Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Sin

Thought for the Day – 4 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)


for the sinner hell begins on this earth - bacci 4 jan 2020

In that we prefer our own wayward whims to the law of God, sin is an abuse of liberty.
It is a revolt against right reason, the dictates of which, we refuse to obey.
It is an offence against our Creator and Redeemer, whose commandments we despise and whose redeeming grace, we reject by our actions.
It is moreover, an act of supreme folly, for it extinguishes, not only the supernatural splendour of grace but, also, the natural light of reason.
Through sin, man is brutalised and experiences in himself, as his first punishment, the confusion of his whole being.

In practice, the sinner denies God, Who has created and redeemed him.
He upsets the natural order of things and is violently separated from the source of all truth, beauty and goodness.   As a result, he experiences, in himself, the hell which he has constructed with his own hands – a hell of emptiness, disgust and remorse.
Unless the helping hand of God reaches out to rescue him from the abyss, all this is simply a bitter foretaste of eternal despair.
God, as St Augustine has written, has ordained from all eternity, that every dissolute soul will be it’s own punishment.
For the sinner, hell begins on this earth!   There can be no peace for the wicked.

When we realise, the gravity, stupidity and dire consequences of sin, it seems impossible, that a rational being, enlightened and enriched by divine grace, should continue to sin.
Nevertheless, sad experience teaches us that the lives of individuals, families and human society in general, are often distorted by this evil, which is the root of all other evils.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 4 January – Pope Benedict and St Angela of Foligno

Quote/s of the Day – 4 January – Saturday of Christmas – the Memorial of Saint Angela of Foligno (1248-1309)

“Dear brothers and sisters, Blessed Angela’s life began with a worldly existence, rather remote from God.   Yet her meeting with the figure of St Francis and, finally, her meeting with Christ Crucified, reawakened her soul to the presence of God, for the reason that with God alone life becomes true life, because, in sorrow for sin, it becomes love and joy.   And this is how Blessed Angela speaks to us.

Today we all risk living as though God did not exist, God seems so distant from daily life. However, God has thousands of ways of His own for each one, to make Himself present in the soul, to show that He exists and knows and loves me.   And Blessed Angela wishes to make us attentive to these signs with which the Lord touches our soul, attentive to God’s presence, so as to learn the way with God and towards God, in communion with Christ Crucified.

Let us pray the Lord that He make us attentive to the signs of His presence and that He teach us truly to live.”

Pope Benedict XVI
A talk on Angela of Foligno – October, 2010today we all rish living as if god did not exist - pope benedict - 1000s of ways on st angela of foligno 4 jan 2019.jpg

“O children of God,
transform yourselves totally
in the human-God who so loved you
that He chose to die for you,
a most ignominious and altogether
unutterably painful death
and in the most painful and bitterest way.
And this was solely for love of you,
O human being.”

Saint Angela of Foligno (1248-1309)o children of god - st angela of foligno 4 jan 2020.jpg


One Minute Reflection – 4 January – “Come and see.” 

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – Saturday of Christmas, Readings:
1 John 3:7-10, Psalm 98:1, 7-9, John 1:35-42

He said to them, “Come and see.”   They came and saw where he was staying and they stayed with him that day … John 1:39

REFLECTION“John was there and two of his disciples with him.”   John was such “a friend of the Bridegroom” that he did not seek his own glory, he simply bore witness to the truth (Jn 3:29.26).   Did he dream of keeping back his disciples and preventing them from following the Lord?   Not in the least.   He himself showed them the one they were to follow (…) He declared:   “Why cling to me?   I am not the Lamb of God.   Behold the Lamb of God (…) Behold him who takes away the sins of the world.”

At these words the two disciples who were with John followed Jesus.   “Jesus turned and saw that they were following him and said to them:   ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him: ‘Rabbi, where are you staying?”   As yet they were not following Him definitively, as we know, they joined themselves to Him when He called them to leave their boat (…), when He said to them:  “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). That was the moment they joined Him definitively, no longer to leave Him.  But for now they wanted to see where Jesus was living and put into practice the words of Scripture:  “If you see an intelligent man, seek him out at daybreak;  let your feet wear away his doorstep!   Learn from him the precepts of the Lord” (cf. Sir 6:36f.).   So Jesus showed them where He was living, they went and stayed with Him.   What a happy day they spent! What a blessed night!   Who can say what it was they heard from the Lord’s mouth?   Let us, too, build a dwelling in our hearts, construct a house where Christ can come to teach and converse with us.” … St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father & Doctor of the Church – Sermons on Saint John’s Gospel, no 7john 1 39 he said to them come and see - let us too build a dwelling - st augustine 4 jan 2020.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, the light of a new star in heaven, heralded Your saving love  . Let the light of Your salvation dawn in our hearts and keep them always open to Your life-giving grace.   May we stay with Your Son, for He will teach us Your ways.   Kindly hear the prayers on our behalf of Mary our mother and of all Your saints and may St Angela of Foligno intercede today on our behalf.    Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, angela of foligno pray for us 4 jan 2020.jpg


Our Morning Offering – 4 January – Morning Offering to the Sacred Heart

Our Morning Offering – 4 January – Saturday of Christmas

Morning Offering to the Sacred Heart
(Treasury of the Sacred Heart 1950)

Everyday of my life belongs to You,
O my God
and every action of my life
should be performed with the pure intention
of honouring You alone.
From this moment, I offer them
to Your Sacred Heart
and by this offering,
I consecrate them without reserve
to Your glory.
What a motive for performing
all my actions with all possible perfection!
Do not permit them, O my divine Saviour,
to be sullied by any motives unworthy of
Your Sacred Heart.
I renounce all that could lessen
the merit of my offering.
I renounce all vanity,
self-love and human respect.
Grant, O my God,
that I may commence, continue
and end this day in Your grace
and solely from the pure motive
of pleasing and honouring You.
Amenmorning offering to the sacred heart - treasury of the sacred heart 1950.jpg


Saint of the Day – 4 January – Saint Angela of Foligno TOSF (1248-1309)

Saint of the Day – 4 January – Saint Angela of Foligno TOSF (1248-1309) known as the “Mistress of Theologians” – Wife, Mother, Widow, Religious, Mystic, Writer, Third Order Franciscan, Foundress of a religious community, which refused to become an enclosed religious order, so that it might continue her vision of caring for those in need.   It is still active.  Patronages – against sexual temptation, against temptations, assistance with the death of children, people ridiculed for their piety, widows.509px st angela foligno-Domenico_Beccafumi_026.jpg

Angela’s birth date, which is not known with certainty, is often listed as 1248.   She was born into a wealthy family at Foligno, in Umbria.   Married, perhaps at an early age, she had several children.   Angela reports that she loved the world and its pleasures.   Around the age of 40, she reportedly had a vision of St Francis and recognised the emptiness of her life.   From that time, she began to lead a life devoted to higher perfection.

Angela of Foligno is a model for people who want to simplify their lifestyle. As a young adult she reveled in luxury and sensuality. She married a rich man of Foligno, Italy, and used his wealth to indulge herself in possessions. And her impetuous temperament nudged her into sinful behaviour.

However in 1285, Angela experienced a surprising conversion.  st Angela_of_Foligno_1One day she wept bitterly and confessed a serious sin to a friar, who absolved her.   Then she embarked on a life of prayer and penance.   Over the next six years, step-by-step she divested herself of her attachments to people and things.

In 1288 her mother, husband and sons died of a plague.   As a widow, Angela was free to concentrate on her pursuit of holiness  . She modelled herself on St Francis of Assisi and joined the Franciscan Third Order in 1291.   Like Francis, Angela expected to meet Christ in the poor.   For instance, on Holy Thursday, 1292, she and a companion went to care for lepers at the hospital in Foligno.   After they had washed a man who was badly decomposed, they drank some of the bathwater.   The experience so moved Angela that she says all the way home she felt “as if we had received Holy Communion.”

Angela of Foligno was a visionary who, like St Catherine of Siena, regularly fell into  trances.   From 1292 to 1296 she dictated her revelations to Brother Arnold, her confessor.   Angela recorded 30 steps of her tortured spiritual journey, which always seemed to blend awareness and absence of God, certitude and doubt and joy and angela-of-foligno.jpg

A small band of disciples gathered around the saint.   She led them wisely, instructing them in basic Christian living.   This excerpt from her Instructions, advocates prayer and meditation on Scripture:

“No-one can be saved without divine light.   Divine light causes us to begin and to make progress and it leads us to the summit of perfection.   Therefore, if you want to begin and to receive this divine light, pray.   If you have begun to make progress, pray.   And if you have reached the summit of perfection and want to be super-illumined so as to remain in that state, pray.   If you want faith, pray.   If you want hope, pray.   If you want charity, pray.   If you want poverty, pray.   If you want obedience, pray.   If you want chastity, pray. If you want humility, pray.   If you want meekness, pray.   If you want fortitude, pray.   If you want any virtue, pray.”

And pray in this fashion – always reading the Book of Life, that is, the life of the God-man, Jesus Christ, whose life consisted of poverty, pain, contempt and true angela of foligno.jpg

At Christmas, 1308, Angela told her companions she would die shortly.   A few days later Christ appeared to her, promising to come personally to take her to heaven.   She died in her sleep on 3 January 1309, surrounded by her community.   Her remains repose in the Church of St Francis at Foligno and many miracles have been recorded there.shrine st angela foligno.jpg

Considered a “great medieval mystic,” Angela is said to have received mystical revelations, which she dictated to a scribe in the late 13th century.   These accounts are contained in a compilation of two works, her Book of Visions and Instructions.

Pope Clement XI approved the veneration paid to her over the centuries in his Beatification of her on 11 July 1701 and Pope Francis extended the veneration to all the Church on 9 October 2013, declaring her a saint by equipollent Canonisation, recognising the validity of the long-standing veneration of her.

Her feast day is celebrated by the Third Order of Saint Francis, both Secular and Regular, on 4 January (7 January in the United States).   Although the community she founded was not recognised as a religious institute until the 20th-century, she is honoured as a angela foligno statue.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 4 January

St Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) (Memorial, United States)

St Aedh Dubh
St Aggaeus the Martyr
St Angela of Foligno TOSF (1248-1309)

St Celsus of Trier
Bl Chiara de Ugarte
St Chroman
St Dafrosa of Acquapendente
St Ferreolus of Uzès
St Gaius of Moesia
St Gregory of Langres
St Hermes of Moesia
St Libentius of Hamburg
Bl Louis de Halles
St Manuel Gonzalez Garcia (1877–1940) “Apostle of the Abandoned Tabernacles”
St Manuel’s Story:
St Mavilus of Adrumetum
St Neophytos
St Neopista of Rome
St St St Oringa of the Cross
Bl Palumbus of Subiaco
St Pharaildis of Ghent
St Rigobert of Rheims
Bl Roger of Ellant
St Stephen du Bourg
St Theoctistus
Bl Thomas Plumtree

Martyrs of Africa – 7 saints: A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of the Arian Vandal king Hunneric. Saint Bede wrote about them. – Aquilinus, Eugene, Geminus, Marcian, Quintus, Theodotus and Tryphon. In 484 in North Africa.

Martyrs of Rome – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Julian the Apostate for refusing to renounce Christianity as ordered. – Benedicta, Priscillianus and Priscus. In 362 in Rome, Italy.