Thought for the Day – 2 January – Silence

Thought for the Day – 2 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)


at least for a little time each day - bacci antonio cardinal 2 jan 2020

“Absorbed in the deafening din of the world around us, it is difficult to hear the voice of God.
At least, for a little while each day, we must create within ourselves, a zone of silence, in order to listen to His voice.
Since God speaks readily in the silence of the heart, let us recollect ourselves before Him, in this quiet oasis.
At least a quarter of an hour of daily meditation is essential for the life of a Christian.
This should be the jumping-off board for all the actions of day, if we wish these to be correct and productive of good.

It is very useful, moreover, to recall to mind frequently during the day, the resolutions which have been formed and to accompany these reflections, with short prayers, aspirations and acts of love for God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – Basil and Gregory

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – Christmas Weekday and The Memorial of St Basil the Great (329-379) and St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390), Readings: 1 John 2:22-28, Psalm 98:1-4, John 1:19-2

“The hairsplitting difference between
formed and unformed makes no difference to us.
Whoever deliberately commits abortion
is subject to the penalty for homicide.”

St Basil the Great (329-379)

Father & Doctor of the Churchthe-hairsplitting-difference-st-basil-the-great-2-jan-2019 and 2020.jpg

“Different men have different names,
which they owe to their parents or to themselves,
that is, to their own pursuits and achievements.
But our great pursuit,
the great name we wanted,
was to be Christians,
to be called Christians.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)

(from his writings on his friendship with St Basil)different-men-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-2-jan-2018 and 2020.jpg

“If anyone does not believe
that Holy Mary
is the Mother of God,
such a one is a stranger
to the Godhead.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Father & Doctor of the Church


One Minute Reflection – 2 January – “Now I begin.”

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – Christmas Weekday and The Memorial of St Basil the Great (329-379) and St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390), Readings: 1 John 2:22-28, Psalm 98:1-4, John 1:19-28

He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” … 1 John 2:231 john 2 23 i am the voice of one crying in the wilderness 2 jan 2020.jpg

REFLECTION“Prepare a way for the Lord.”   Brethren, however far you journey along it… from the very nature of goodness, there is no limit to the way along which you travel. And so… the wise and indefatigable traveller… can say to himself each day:  “Now I begin”… And how many “go astray in the wilderness”… None of them can yet say:  “Now I begin.”

For “the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.”   If the beginning of wisdom, then surely it is also the beginning of the way of goodness…  It is this that encourages praise…; it also moves the proud to penance, so that they hear the voice of him crying in the wilderness,ordering the preparation of the way and thus showing how to begin it:  “Do penance for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand”…

If you are on the way then fear only one thing, lest you leave it, lest you offend the Lord who leads you along it so that He would abandon you to “wander in the way of your own heart”…   If you feel that the way is too narrow look forward to the end to which it leads you.   If you were to see how everything is to be attained, then you would say without hesitation:  “Broad indeed is your command!”   If you cannot see so far, believe Isaiah who could…   “Behold,” he says, “the redeemed shall walk by this way and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Sion with singing, everlasting joy shall be upon their heads  . They shall obtain also joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”   Those who dwell sufficiently on this end I think will not only make the way easier for himself but also grow wings, so that he no longer walks but flies…   May He, who is the track of the runners and the reward of the winners, lead and guide you along it – He, Christ Jesus.” … Blessed Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157) Cistercian Abbot – 5th sermon of Advent, SC 166may he who is the track of the runners and the reward of the winnders guide you along it bl guerric of igny 2 jan 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Look with favour on our morning prayer, Lord and in Your saving love, let Your light penetrate the wilderness in our hearts.   May no sordid desires darken our minds, renewed and enlightened as we are, by Your heavenly grace.   God our Father, You enriched Your Church and gave examples for us to follow in the life and teachings of Sts Basil and Gregory. Grant that, learning Your truth with humility, we may practise it in faith and love.   Sts Basil and Gregory, pray for our beloved Church, pray for all Catholic Christians, through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.sts-basil-and-gregory-pray-for-us-2-jan-2018 AND 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 2 January – Steer the Ship of my Life, Lord

Our Morning Offering – 2 January – Christmas Weekday and The Memorial of St Basil the Great (329-379) and St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)

Steer the Ship of my Life, Lord
By St Basil the Great (329-379)

Steer the ship of my life, Lord,
to Your quiet harbour,
where I can be safe from
the storms of sin and conflict.
Show me the course I should take.
Renew in me the gift of discernment,
so that I can see the right direction
in which I should go.
And give me the strength
and the courage to choose the right course,
even when the sea is rough
and the waves are high,
knowing that through enduring
hardship and danger in Your name
we shall find comfort and peace.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – Blessed Marie Anne Blondin SSA (1809-1890)

Saint of the Day – Blessed Marie Anne Blondin SSA (1809-1890) Religious and Foundress of the Sisters of Saint Anne, apostle of the Holy Eucharist and Divine Providence, Teacher – born Esther Blondin on 18 April 1809 in Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada and died on 2 January 1890 at Lachine, Quebec, Canada of natural causes.  bl marie-anne-blondin-b1).jpg

Esther Blondin, in religion “Sister Marie Anne”, was born in Terrebonne (Quebec, Canada) on 18 April 1809, in a family of deeply Christian farmers.   From her mother she inherited a piety centred on Divine Providence and the Eucharist and, from her father, a deep faith and a strong patience in suffering.   Esther and her family were victims of illiteracy so common in French Canadian milieu of the nineteenth century.   Still an illiterate at the age of 22, Esther worked as a domestic in the Convent of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, that had been recently opened in her own village.   A year later, she registered as a boarder in order to learn to read and write.   She then became a novice in the Congregation but had to leave, due to ill health.

In 1833, Esther became a teacher in the parochial school of Vaudreuil.   Little by little, she found out, that one of the causes of this illiteracy was due to a certain Church ruling, that forbade that girls be taught by men and that boys be taught by women.   Unable to finance two schools, many parish priests chose to have none.   In 1848, under an irresistible call of the Spirit, Esther presented to her Bishop, Ignace Bourget, a plan she long cherished – that of founding a religious congregation “for the education of poor country children, both girls and boys in the same schools”.   A rather new project for the time!   It even seemed quite rash and contrary to the established order.   Since the State was in favour of such schools, Bishop Bourget authorised a modest attempt so as to avoid a greater marie anne blondin with children.jpeg

The Congregation of the Sisters of Saint Anne was founded in Vaudreuil on 8 September 1850.   Esther, now named “Mother Marie Anne”, became its first superior.   The rapid growth of this young Community soon required larger quarters.    During the Summer of 1853, Bishop Ignace Bourget transferred the Motherhouse to Saint Jacques de l’Achigan. The new chaplain, Father Louis Adolphe Marechal, interfered in an abusive way in the private life of the Community.   During the Foundress’ absence, Father changed the pupils’ boarding fees.   Should he be away for a while, he asked that the Sisters await his return to go to confession.   After a year of this existing conflict between the chaplain and the Foundress, the latter being anxious to protect the rights of her Community, Bishop Bourget asked Mother Marie Anne, on 18 August 1854, “to resign.”   He called for elections and warned Mother Marie Anne “not to accept the superiorship, even if her sisters wanted to re-elect her.”   Even though she could be re-elected, according to the Rule of the Community, Mother Marie Anne obeyed her Bishop whom she considered God’s instrument.   And she wrote:  “As for me, my Lord, I bless Divine Providence a thousand times for the maternal care he shows me in making me walk the way of tribulations and crosses.”bl marie anne blondin.jpg

Mother Marie Anne, having been named Directress at Saint Genevieve Convent, became the target of attacks from the Motherhouse authorities, influenced by the dictatorship of Father Marechal.   Under the pretext of poor administration, Mother Marie Anne was recalled to the Motherhouse in 1858, with the Bishop’s warning:  “take means so that she will not be a nuisance to anyone.”   From this new destitution and until her death on 2 January 1890, Mother Marie Anne was kept away from administrative responsibilities. She was even kept away from the General Council deliberations when the 1872 and 1878 elections reelected her.   Assigned to mostly hidden work in the laundry and ironing room, she led a life of total self-denial and thus ensured the growth of the Congregation. Behold the paradox of an influence which some wanted to nullify!   In the Motherhouse basement laundry room in Lachine, where she spent her days, many generations of novices received from the Foundress a true example of obedience and humility, imbued with authentic relationships which ensure true fraternal charity.   To a novice who asked her one day why she, the Foundress, was kept aside in such lowly work, she simply replied with kindness :  “The deeper a tree sinks its roots into the soil, the greater are its chances of growing and producing fruit.”

The attitude of Mother Marie Anne, who was a victim of so many injustices, allows us to bring out the evangelical sense she gave to events in her life.   Just as Jesus Christ, who passionately worked for the Glory of His Father, so too Mother Marie Anne sought only God’s Glory in all she did.   “The greater Glory of God” was the aim she herself gave her Community.   “To make God known to the young who have not the happiness of knowing Him” was for her a privileged way of working for the Glory of God.   Deprived of her most legitimate rights and robbed of all her personal letters with her bishop, she offered no resistance and she expected, from the infinite goodness of God, the solution to the matter.   She was convinced that “He will know well, in his Wisdom, how to discern the false from the true and to reward each one according to his deeds.”Blessed_Marie-Anne_Blondin

Prevented from being called “Mother” by those in authority, Mother Marie Anne did not jealously hold on to her title of Foundress, rather she chose annihilation, just like Jesus, “her crucified Love”, so that her Community might live.   However, she did not renounce her mission of spiritual mother of her Community.   She offered herself to God in order “to expiate all the sins which were committed in the Community” and she daily prayed to Saint Anne “to bestow on her spiritual daughters the virtues so necessary for Christian educators.”bl marie-anne-blondin-bbcb7571-43b9-4f58-85eb-03d51ae92c6-resize-750

Like any prophet invested with a mission of salvation, Mother Marie Anne lived persecution by forgiving without restriction, convinced that “there is more happiness in forgiving than in revenge.”   This evangelical forgiveness, the guarantee of “the peace of soul which she held most precious,” was ultimately proven on her death bed when she asked her superior to call for Father Marechal “for the edification of the Sisters.”

As she felt the end approaching, Mother Marie Anne left to her daughters her spiritual testament in these words which are a resume of her whole life :   “May Holy Eucharist and perfect abandonment to God’s Will be your heaven on earth.”   She then peacefully passed away at the Motherhouse of Lachine, on 2 January 1890, “happy to go to the Good God” she had served all her life…. Vatican.vabl Mother-Mary-Anne-by-Doruyter_edited-1.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints -2 January

St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
About these 2 great fathers:

St Adelard of Corbie
Bl Airaldus of Maurienne
St Asclepius of Limoges
St Aspasius of Auch
St Blidulf of Bobbio
Bl Guillaume Répin
St Hortulana of Assisi
St Isidore of Antioch
St Isidore of Nitria
St Laurent Bâtard
St Macarius the Younger
Blessed Marie Anne Blondin SSA (1809-1890)
St Maximus of Vienne
Bl Odino of Rot
St Paracodius of Vienne
St Seraphim of Sarov
St Seiriol
Bl Stephana de Quinzanis
St Telesphorus, Pope
St Theodota
St Theopistus
St Vincentian of Tulle

Many Martyrs Who Suffered in Rome:   There were many martyrs who suffered in the persecutions of Diocletian for refusing to surrender the holy books.   Though we know these atrocities occured, we do not know the names of the saints and we honour them as a group. c 303 in Rome, Italy.

Martyrs of Antioch – 5 saints:   A group of Christian soldiers martyred together for their faith. We know the names of five – Albanus, Macarius, Possessor, Starus and Stratonicus. They were born in Greece and were martyred in Antioch (modern Antakya, Turkey).

Many Martyrs of Britain:   The Christians of Britain appear to have escaped unharmed in the earlier persecutions which afflicted the Church but the cruel edicts of Diocletian were enforced in every corner of the empire and the faithful inhabitants of this land, whether native Britons or Roman colonists, were called upon to furnish their full number of holy Martyrs and Confessors.   The names of few are on record but the British historian, Saint Gildas, after relating the martyrdom of Saint Alban, tells us that many others were seized, some put to the most unheard-of tortures and others immediately executed, while not a few hid themselves in forests and deserts and the caves of the earth, where they endured a prolonged death until God called them to their reward.   The same writer attributes it to the subsequent invasion of the English, then a pagan people, that the recollection of the places, sanctified by these martyrdoms, has been lost and so little honour paid to their memory.   It may be added that, according to one tradition, a thousand of these Christians were overtaken in their flight near Lichfield and cruelly massacred and that the name of Lichfield, or Field of the Dead, is derived from them.

Martyrs of Ethiopia – 3 saints:   A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. We know the names of three – Auriga, Claudia and Rutile.

Martyrs of Jerusalem – 2 saints:   A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. We know the names of two – Stephen and Vitalis.

Martyrs of Lichfield: Many Christians suffered at Lichfield (aka Lyke-field, meaning field of dead bodies), England in the persecutions of Diocletian.   Though we know these atrocities occured, we do not know the names of the saints, and we honour them as a group. Their martyrdom occurred in 304 at Lichfield, England.

Martyrs of Piacenza: A group of Christians who died together for their faith in the persecutions of Diocletian.   No details about them have survived. They were martyred on the site of church of Madonna di Campagna, Piacenza, Italy.

Martyrs of Puy – 4 saints: Missionaries, sent by Saint Fronto of Périgueux to the area of Puy, France. Tortured and martyred by local pagans.   We know the names – Frontasius, Severinus, Severian and Silanus.   They were beheaded in Puy (modern Puy-en-Velay), France and buried together in the church of Notre Dame, Puy-en-Velay by Saint Fronto, their bodies laid out to form a cross.

Martyrs of Syrmium – 7 saints: Group of Christians martyred together, date unknown. We know the names of seven – Acutus, Artaxus, Eugenda, Maximianus, Timothy, Tobias and Vitus – but very little else. This occurred in the 3rd or 4th century at Syrmium, Pannonia (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia).

Martyrs of Tomi – 3 saints: Three brothers, all Christians, all soldiers in the imperial Roman army, and all three martyred in the persecutions of emperor Licinius Licinianus. We know their names – Argeus, Marcellinus and Narcissus – but little else.
They were martyred in 320 at Tomi, Exinius Pontus, Moesia (modern Constanta, Romania).