Thought for the Day – 6 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – First Day after Epiphany
Giving Ourselves, Our Prayer, Our Mortification
The Magi gave Jesus material gifts also, as symbols of their complete dedication to Him.
They gave Him gold, because He was a king,
incense, because He was God
and myrrh, because He was man.
We often say that we love God and wish to serve and obey Him in all things.
But when we see that this entails sacrifice, we forget our promises!
We must ask ourselves if we are prepared to offer Jesus gold, that is, to offer Him everything we possess for the promotion of His glory, for the spread of His Kingdom and for the relief of His poor, in whom we ought, always, to see and love Christ Himself.
We must examine ourselves thoroughly on this.
It is easy to find excuses for not giving to God and to His poor in accordance with our means.
We should offer also, the incense of our adoration and unceasing prayer.
There can be no sanctity without prayer.
There can be no real Christians without sanctity.
Finally, we must offer the myrrh of our mortification.
Mortification, as St Vincent de Paul has said, is the ABC of Christian perfection.
St Paul exhorts us, to carry always in ourselves the mortification of Jesus.
If we are not mortified, we can never be holy and can never share the joy which the Magi experienced as they lay prostrate before the cradle of our Divine Redeemer.
Definition of Mortification:
Mortification is the feeling of being completely humiliated.
The word mortification has its roots in the Latin word for “death,” mors.
The original meaning of mortification is religious, in Christianity the meaning is “putting your sin to death”.
In Christian practice, this has varied from denying oneself pleasurable things, like certain foods, to inflicting physical pain on oneself.
The religious reason for this kind of mortification is to cause the “death” of sins — or desires — of the body.