Thought for the Day – 1 January – The New Year

Thought for the Day – 1 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The New Year

This is a new gift which God, in His infinite goodness, gives to us.   But every gift of God, demands, on our part, a generous expression of gratitude, which should result in positive acts of virtue.   Gratitude is an empty and short-lived sentiment, unless, it is accompanied by a sincere intention of performing good works.

Time is the price of eternity, because, with time, we can purchase an eternity of happiness or misery.

Consider this great truth – Every year is like a ladder in our lives.   Now, it is necessary that this ladder should lead us, not perilously downwards towards evil but, upwards towards Heaven, even if, with faltering footsteps.

The New Year opens today as a blank page in the diary of our lives.   What do we intend to write there?   The usual inanities and sins, perhaps?

Let us reflect before God and in the light of eternity which awaits us.   This is the time for great decisions.   It is necessary that we should offer our resolutions to God, along with a humble and fervent prayer, that He will strengthen us to comply faithfully with His grace.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Meditations for Each Day with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Meditations for Each Day with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)cardinal bacci.jpg

I plan, in 2020, to use Cardinal Bacci’s Daily Meditations in my usual ‘Thought for the Day’.

From the Introduction to his book:

“The frenetic pace of modern life presents a host of challenges for the Catholic who wishes to grow in sanctity.   Distracted by the pressures of modernity, it often leaves him little room for making a profound and serious study of the state of his interior life.
The Catholic Faith is not only to be believed but applied to our everyday life and as St James has said, “faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself” (Js 2:14).
An excellent means of helping a soul interiorise the principles of the Faith and to dispose the soul to greater acts of love of God, is through daily meditation.   This brings us to the present book, written by Antonio Cardinal Bacci, who was one of the most renowned Latinists of the 20th century.

[These Meditations] will aid the reader in exploring the depths of the Catholic Faith and, if understood and prayerfully read, hopefully will help him persevere in virtue, as Cardinal Bacci states:   “The masters of the spiritual life assure us that without the practice of meditation, it is almost impossible for the just man to persevere in virtue, or for the tepid to become fervent, or for the sinner to be converted.” (Med 2 Jan)

What sources does Cardinal Bacci use to compose his reflections?   As a classicist, he approaches the great sources of the ancient world …. he shows his great familiarity with the wisdom of the Church Fathers, especially through the works of St Augustine.   His constant guide is St Thomas Aquinas, whose penetrating reason illuminated by Divine Revelation, probes the profound beauty and mystery of Catholicism.   The Imitation of Christ is another cherished companion, indicating that Cardinal Bacci has made it’s teachings an integrated part of his life.   Of course, the words of Sacred Scripture, spill out on almost every page, giving life to St Jerome’s words, who said, that “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”


Unfortunately, there is not a great deal of biographical information about Cardinal Bacci in English.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci was born in Giugnola, Italy and was Ordained a Priest in 1909, becoming a faculty member and rector of the Archiepiscopal Seminary of Florence between 1910 and 1922.   Due to his reputation as a Latinist – already at such a young age – during the latter part of 1922, he was chosen to work for the Secretariate of the Vatican State.   Made an honourary Chamberlain for Pope Pius XI the following year, he soon earned the great trust and respect of the then Secretary for Briefs, Msgr Nicola Sebastiani.   In this role he composed letters and Pontifical documents in Latin “with pose and prudence … weighing and adjusting thoughts and expressions even to the smallest shades of meaning.”   When Msgr Sebastiani died, Cardinal Bacci took over the Secretariate for Briefs.   During this time he published an Italian-Latin dictionary.

In 1960, St Pope John XXIII made him a Cardinal Deacon and consecrated him as titular Archbishop of Colonia de Cappadocia two years later.   He participated in all the sessions of Vatican II and made an impassioned address to the Council on the use of Latin.

In 1971, he died of a stroke in his Vatican apartment, after having spent nearly 50 years, in direct service to 4 Popes.


“In writing these pages, I have desired, to do a little good, … first of all for myself and secondly for those who may wish to read and reflect upon them.   I hoped to accomplish something for myself, in that I wrote down these short daily meditations, in order to be able to remember them more easily and to be able to turn to them whenever the opportunity should arise.   Then, on the advice of enlightened friends, I decided to publish them in the hope that they might prove useful to others.

It was my intention to produce an edifying, rather than, an erudite work.   This explains the simple style and the repetition of certain ideas.   I have found it convenient to return to these ideas at regular intervals, in order to impress them more deeply on the mind and heart of the reader.

There are many well-written books of meditation but they are either too long and, therefore, inaccessible to many classes of people, who complain that they have not time to read them, or they are written in an antiquated style, which is not acceptable today. The result is, that many persons, including some who are genuinely holy, never make a meditation at all and this, is a very great loss.

I have done my best to be concise and, at the same time, to offer an abundance of ideas, in the hope that the reader … may derive from them, material for useful reflections and for profitable resolutions.

May God and the Blessed Virgin bless my labour so that it may be the source of good, for many souls, amen.”Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in NOTES to Followers, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, The WORD

May our good Lord Bless and keep you all in 2020! Rejoice in the Lord always

May our good Lord
Bless and keep you all
in 2020!may our good lord bless and keep you all in 2020.jpg

“Brothers, . . . I can only say,
that forgetting all that lies behind me
and straining forward to what lies in front of me
and I am racing towards the finishing-point,
to win the prize of God’s heavenly call
in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:13BROTHERS I CAN ONLY SAY THAT forgetting phil 3 13 - happy new year .jpg

Rejoice in the Lord always.
I shall say it again: rejoice!
…The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all
but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God,
that surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4, 5d,6-7philippians 4 4 5d 6-7 1 jan 2020.jpg

Do not let love and fidelity forsake you,
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then will you win favour and esteem
before God and human beings.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
on your own intelligence do not rely.
In all your ways be mindful of him,
and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:3-6proverbs 3 3-6 do not let love and fidelity forsake you happy new year.jpg


The Holy Father’s Prayer Intention for January 2020

The Holy Father’s
Prayer Intention for

Prayer Intention for Evangelisation

Promotion of World Peace

We pray that Christians,
followers of other religions
and all people of goodwill,
may promote peace
and justice in the world.

the holy father's prayer intention january 2020.jpg


Monthly Catholic Devotions – January, the Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

january the month of the most holy name of jesus 1 jan 2020.jpgMonthly Catholic Devotions

is the Month of

The month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus.
“In the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth and under the earth” (Phil 2:10).
Christ’s name is chosen in heaven and the Angel Gabriel announces it when he informs the Blessed Virgin of the incarnation:
“Behold thou shall conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son and thou shall call his name Jesus”.
It is a name that has marvellous implications, for it means “saviour.”   The very name bespeaks the magnitude of His mission, His infinite love, a love that will cause Him to offer Himself up for us.

The name of Jesus is the sweetest of all names and He who bears it is most worthy of all love.   He who calls Jesus, his friend, can be assured that this friend is the most devoted and unselfish of all friends.

Jesus is our all.
In His name, we may pray to the Father with assurance of being heard.
In His name, the Church administers all her sacraments.
In His name, she offers all her prayers and blesses homes, the fields and the sick.
In the name of Jesus, she casts out evil spirits
and at the hour of our death bids us, “Go forth, Christian soul.”
She assures us, that whoever shall call upon this name will be saved. When our soul has departed this life to seek its eternal home, the Church asks in the name of Jesus, “Eternal rest give unto him, O Lord.” … Fr Benedict Baur, OSB

Jesu Dulcis Memori

By St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
with sweetness fills my breast,
But sweeter far Thy face to see
and in Thy presence rest.

Nor voice can sing nor heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find
a sweeter sound than Jesus’ name,
O Saviour of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek
to those who fall, how kind Thou art,
how good to those who seek!

But what to those who find?
Ah this nor tongue nor pen can show,
the love of Jesus, what it is none
but His loved ones know.

Jesus our only joy be Thou
as Thou our prize wilt be.
Jesus, be Thou our glory now
and through eternity.


2018:, dulcis memoria st bernard of clairvaux hymn or prayer.jpg


Thought for the Day – 1 January – Take heart, dear children, here I am, your Mother!

Thought for the Day – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lordtake heart dear children here i am your mother - pope francis 1 jan 2019.jpg

Pope Francis’ Homily on
The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God
1 January 2019

“All who heard were amazed at what the shepherds told them” (Lk 2:18).   To be amazed -this is what is asked of us today, at the conclusion of the Octave of Christmas, as we continue to contemplate the Child born for us, lacking everything, yet abounding in love. Amazement is what we should feel at the beginning of each year, for life is a gift that constantly gives us a chance to make a new start, even from the most lowly of circumstances.

Today is also a day to be amazed by the Mother of God.   God appears as a little child, held in the arms of a woman who feeds her Creator.   The statue before our eyes depicts the Mother and Child so close as to appear as one.   That is the mystery we celebrate today, which gives rise to boundless amazement – God has become one with humanity forever.   God and man, always together, that is the good news of this new year.   God is no distant lord, dwelling in splendid isolation above the heavens but love incarnate, born like us of a mother, in order to be a brother to each of us, to be close to us – the God of closeness.   He rests on the lap of His mother, who is also our mother and from there he pours out upon humanity a new tenderness.   Thus we come to understand more fully God’s love, which is both paternal and maternal, like that of a mother who never stops believing in her children and never abandons them.   God-with-us, Emmanuel, loves us despite our mistakes, our sins and the way we treat our world.   God believes in mankind, because its first and pre-eminent member is His own Mother.

At the beginning of the year, let us implore from Mary the grace to be amazed at the God of surprises.   Let us renew the amazement we felt when faith was first born in us. The Mother of God helps us – the Mother who gave birth to the Lord, now presents us, reborn, to the Lord.   She is a mother who generates in her children the amazement of faith, because faith is an encounter, not a religion.   Without amazement, life becomes dull and routine and so it is with faith.   The Church too needs to renew her amazement at being the dwelling place of the living God, the Bride of the Lord, a Mother who gives birth to her children.   Otherwise, she risks turning into a beautiful museum of the past.   A “Church museum”.   Our Lady, instead, gives the Church the feel of a home, a home in which the God of newness dwells.   Let us receive with amazement the mystery of the Mother of God, as the inhabitants of Ephesus did at the time of the Council.   Like them, let us acclaim her “Holy Mother of God”.   From her, let us allow ourselves to be gazed upon, to be embraced, to be taken by the hand.

Let us allow ourselves to be gazed upon.   Especially in times of need, when we are entangled in life’s knots, we rightly lift our eyes to Our Lady, to Our Mother.   Yet first, we should let ourselves be gazed upon by Our Lady.   When she gazes upon us, she does not see sinners but children.   It is said that the eyes are the mirror of the soul, the eyes of Mary, full of grace, reflect the beauty of God, they show us a reflection of heaven.   Jesus Himself said that the eye is “the lamp of the body” (Mt 6:22) – the eyes of Our Lady are able to bring light to every dark corner, everywhere they rekindle hope.   As she gazes upon us, she says: “Take heart, dear children, here I am, your Mother!”

Holy Mother of God, OUR  mother, Pray for Us!mother of god and our mother - mary pray for us - 14 may 2018.jpg


Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – ‘Love God’

Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord and the Memorial of St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533)

“My brothers,
Christ made love the stairway
that would enable all Christians
to climb to heaven.
Hold fast to it, therefore,
in all sincerity,
give one another practical proof of it
and by your progress in it,
make your ascent together.”

St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533)

From a sermon on The Feast of Saint Stephenchrist made love the stairway - st fulgentius 1 jan 2020.jpg

“Love God,
serve God,
everything is in that.”

St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)love-god-serve-god-everything-is-in-that-st-clare-1-jan-2019 and 2020.jpg

“During this new year,
I resolve to begin a new life.
I do not know,
what will happen to me, during this year.
But I abandon myself entirely to You, my God.
And my aspirations and all my affections,
will be for You.
I feel so weak, dear Jesus
but with Your help,
I hope and resolve,
to live a different life,
that is, a life closer to You.”

St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)during this new year i resolve - st gemma galgani a blessed new year - 1 jan 2020.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 1 January – ‘..For the sake of His love take me…’

One Minute Reflection – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, Readings: Numbers 6:22-27, Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8, Galatians 4:4-7, Luke 2:16-21

But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. … Luke 2:19luke 2 19 but mary kept all these things pondering 1 jan 2019.jpg

REFLECTION – “You will pray to the Virgin Mother that she obtain for you a perfect renewal of life and that, by this grace, she herself, the venerable rose, become your mother and godmother in such a way, that you may be her true daughter in conduct.  And pray that this very gem of decency, may envelop your soul, in the mantle of her cleanliness, preserving you without any spot, under her most dulcet tutelage, for her Son, the Lord King.   And pray that your name may be numbered among Israel, the choicest lot, so that you have share with those who walk in innocence of heart, always seeing the Lord before them in all of their ways. (cf. Ps 15:8)

Greetings, Mary, queen of clemency, olive tree of mercy, through whom life’s remedy has come to us.   Queen of clemency, Virgin Mother of the divine offspring, through whom the Child of supernal light came to us, the scented offspring of Israel.   Ah!   Just as you became the true mother of us all, through your Son, who Himself, your one and only Son, did not scorn to become our Brother, now then, for the sake of His love take me, an unworthy woman, into your motherly care.   Aid my faith, keep and instruct it and become so much the godmother of my renewal and faith now, that you may be my only mother and closest to my heart for eternity, always caring for me with loving-kindness in this life and taking me, into your full motherliness, at the hour of death.   Amen.” … St Gertrude the Great of Helfta (1256-1301)greetings mary queen of clemency - 1 jan 2020 st gertrude the great.jpg

PRAYER – God, our Father, since You gave mankind a Saviour through the blessed Mary, virgin and mother, grant that we may feel the power of her intercession, when she pleads for us with Jesus Christ, Your Son, the author of life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.


Our Morning Offering – 1 January – ‘Now will I sing to Thy mother!’

Our Morning Offering – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord

By Gertrude von le Fort (1876-1971)

Your voice speaks:
Little child out of Eternity, now will I sing to Thy mother!
The song shall be fair as dawn-tinted snow.
Rejoice Mary Virgin, daughter of my earth, sister of my soul,
rejoice, O joy of my joy!
I am as one who wanders through the night
but you are a house under stars.
I am a thirsty cup but you are God’s open sea.
Rejoice Mary Virgin, blessed are those who call you blessed,
never more shall child of man lose hope.
I am one love for all, I shall never cease from saying:
one of you has been exalted by the Lord.
Rejoice Mary Virgin, wings of my earth, crown of my soul,
rejoice joy of my joy!
Blessed are those who call you blessed.

The Baroness Gertrud von Le Fort (full name Gertrud Auguste Lina Elsbeth Mathilde Petrea Freiin von Le Fort – 11 October 1876 – 1 November 1971 – aged 95) was a German writer of novels, poems and essays.
She converted to Catholicism in 1925 and most of her writings came after this conversion. She published over 20 books, comprising poems, novels and short stories.   Her work gained her the accolade of being “the greatest contemporary transcendent poet.”   Her works are appreciated for their depth and beauty of their ideas and for her sophisticated refinement of style.   She was nominated by Hermann Hesse for the Nobel Prize in Literature and was granted an honorary Doctorate of Theology for her contributions to the issue of faith in her works.CHRISTMAS BY GERTRUDE VON LE FORT 1 january 2019.jpg

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 1 January – Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533) “The Pocket Augustine”

Saint of the Day – 1 January – Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533) Abbot, Bishop of the city of Ruspe, Roman province of Africa, North Africa in modern day Tunisia, Theologian, Writer- known as “The Pocket Augustine” – born Fabius Claudius Gordianus Fulgentius in c 462 at Carthage, North Africa (modern Tunis, Tunisia) and died on 1 January 533 in Ruspe of natural causes.   He is venerated today and on 3 January by the fulgentius engraving.jpg

He was born to a Roman senatorial family, and was well educated.   His father Claudius, died while Fulgentius was still quite young.   His mother, Mariana taught him to speak Greek and Latin.   He became so good at Greek, that he spoke it like a native and committed all of Homer to memory.   He was also well trained in Latin literature.

As he grew older, he managed his house wisely in subjection to his mother and Fulgentius quickly gained wide respect for his conduct of the family affairs.   This reputation helped him to acquire a post as a civil servant in the government of Rome, as a procurator of Byzacena.

He quickly grew tired of the provincial life.   This, together with his studies of religion, particularly a sermon of Saint Augustine of Hippo on Psalm 36, led to his being attracted to a religious life and he entered a monastery, became a monk, then was Ordained and became Abbot.585px-Fulgentius_von_Ruspe_17Jh.jpg

At the time, the Arian persecutions had ceased but the election of Catholic bishops was forbidden.   In 508 it became necessary to defy the law when bishops were consecrated, Fulgentius being chosen for Ruspe (modern Kudiat Rosfa, Tunisia).   He was exiled with 60 other bishops to Sardinia.   There they built a monastery and continued to write, pray, and study.Landscape_with_St.jpg

Fulgentius was invited back to Carthage by the Arian king Thrasimund to hold a debate with his Arian replacement around 515 and so successfully refuted his Arian opponents that he was exiled again in 518.

King Hilderic succeeded Thrasimund in 523 and permitted the exiles to return.   Peace finally being restored to the African church, Fulgentius returned to his Diocese. He would have preferred to return to his monastery and resume his studies but he was such a popular preacher, he was kept busy in the pulpit until his fulgentius

As a Bishop, he followed Augustine’s example in living in community with the clergy of his Diocese.   He founded several other monasteries in Africa.   When he was exiled to Sardinia, not wanting to be away from the monastic community life, he even founded monasteries there.

Various letters and eight sermons survive.   Fulgentius’s work shows his vast knowledge of Greek and a strong influence and agreement with Saint Augustine, so much so, that he is known as “The Pocket Augustine.”   He wrote frequently against Arianism and Pelagianism.E07a-photo-St-Fulgentius-of-Ruspe-1013x1024.jpg

Saint Fulgentius died of natural causes in 533 at Ruspe.   Some of his relics are located at Bourges, France.

St Fulgentius truly aimed to live a life in conformity with St Augustine’s precept:

“Everything outside of us fluctuates with the storms and temptations of this age.   But we need an interior desert, where we gather ourselves and live of our faith.” … (Sermo 47,25)Saint+Fulgentius.jpg


1 January 2020 – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord and the 53rd World Day of Prayer for Peace +2019 and Memorials of the Saints

1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord and the 53rd World Day of Prayer for Peace +2019

Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord (Solemnity)
1 January 2018:
1 January 2019:

53rd Annual World Day of Prayer for Peace:   Feast day dedicated to peace.   It first observed on 1 January 1968, proclaimed by St Pope Paul VI.   It was inspired by the encyclical Pacem in Terris by St Pope John XXIII and with reference to Paul’s encyclical Populorum Progressio.   Our Holy Fathers have used this day to make magisterial declarations relevant to the social doctrine of the Church on such topics as the United Nations, human rights, women’s rights, labour unions, economic development, the right to life, international diplomacy, peace in the Holy Land, globalisation, migrants, refugees and terrorism.

St Pope Paul VI:

Titular Feast of the Society of Jesus – But now celebrated on 3 January, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

Bl Adalbero of Liege
St Baglan of Wales
St Basil of Aix
Bl Bonannus of Roio
St Brogan
St Buonfiglio Monaldi
Bl Catherine de Solaguti
St Clarus of Vallis Regia
St Clarus of Vienne
St Colman mac Rónán
St Colman Muillin of Derrykeighan
St Concordius of Arles
St Connat
St Cuan
St Demet of Plozévet
St Elvan
St Eugendus of Condat
St Euphrosyne of Alexandria
St Fanchea of Rossory
St Felix of Bourges
St Frodobert of Troyes
St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533)
St Gisela of Rosstreppe
St Gregory Nazianzen the Elder
Bl Hugolinus of Gualdo Cattaneo
Bl Jean-Baptiste Lego
Bl Jean of Saint-Just-en-Chaussée
St Joseph Mary Tomasi
St Justin of Chieti
Bl Lojze Grozde
St Maelrhys
St Magnus the Martyr
Bl Marian Konopinski
St Mydwyn
St Odilo of Cluny
St Odilo of Stavelot
St Peter of Atroa
St Peter of Temissis
Bl René Lego
St Sciath of Ardskeagh
St Severino Gallo
St Telemachus
St Thaumastus of Mainz
St Theodotus
St Tyfrydog
Bl Valentin Paquay
St Vincent Strambi
St William of Dijon
St Zedislava Berka
St Zygmunt Gorazdowski

Breton Missionaries to Britain
Martyred Soldiers of Rome: Thirty soldiers martyred in Rome as a group during the persecutions of Diocletian. We don’t even known their names. They were martyred c 304 at Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Africa – 8 saints: Eight Christians martyred together in Africa, date unknown. The only details we have are four of their names – Argyrus, Felix, Narcissus and Victor.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Andrés Gómez Sáez