Thought for the Day – 4 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Work and Sanctity
“A man who does not work, cannot be a saint. But it is not enough to work alone, just as it is not enough to pray alone, in order to become holy. Either, on it’s own, is too little. Perfection consists in praying and working. This is how Jesus spent His Life. The Apostolic Constitution (Pius XII), Sponsa Christi, urges, even the contemplative Orders, to devote themselves to work. It assures them, that work will prove no obstacle to their growth in perfection but, will be “a powerful and consistent exercising of all the virtues and the pledge of an effective combination of the contemplative and active life, after the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth” (AAS 1951, p 13). We must sanctify our work with prayer. The Benedictines have practiced throughout the centuries, their celebrated motto “Ora et labora,” “Pray and work.” By means of it, they transformed the world during the darkest centuries of the Church. They converted impenetrable forests into fertile plains. They set up centres of work and study which later became flourishing cities. They appeased the barbarians who were threatening to destroy civilisation. They built Monasteries and Cathedrals.
Above all, they preached the Gospel to the people and bound them together, in the brotherhood of Christian charity. This is an illustration of what can be accomplished by work united with prayer. It produces holiness in the individual and, through him, in human society.”
Quote/s of the Day – 4 February – Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30–19:3, Psalm 86:1-6, Mark 5:21-43
”I say to you, arise.”
“May Jesus touch us, too and at once we shall walk. We may well be paralysed, our deeds may be evil and we may be unable to walk, we may be lying on the bed of our sins… but if Jesus touches us, then we shall immediately be healed. Peter’s mother-in-law was suffering with fever – Jesus touched her hand and she arose and immediately served Him (Mk 1:31)…”
“Lord, I beseech you, touch our hands as we, too, lie prostrate. Make us rise from our bed of sins and enable us to walk. And when we have walked, make them give us something to eat. We cannot eat when we are lying down – unless we are standing, we shall not be able to receive the Body of Christ.”
One Minute Reflection – 4 February – Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Samuel 18:9-10, 14, 24-25, 30–19:3, Psalm 86:1-6, Mark 5:21-43 and the Memorial of St John de Britto SJ (1647-1693) Martyr
“The child is not dead but asleep” … Mark 5:39
REFLECTION -“My dear young people, the future depends on you, the completion of this millennium and beginning of another depend on you. So do not be passive, assume your responsibilities in every area that opens itself up to you in this world. (…) Take up your responsibilities! Inspired by faith in the Lord “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope” (1 Pet 3:15) (…) What is the reason for your confidence? Your faith, recognition and acceptance of the tremendous love God is constantly showing towards humankind.(…) Jesus Christ, “the same today, yesterday and forever” (Heb 13:8), continues to show to all young people the same love the Gospel describes when he met up with a young man or woman.
So we can contemplate the raising of Jairus’ daughter who “was twelve years old” (…) Jairus frankly exposes his anguish to the Master, he earnestly beseeches his heart: “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay hands on her that she may get well and live”. “Jesus went off with him”. The heart of Christ, which is moved before this man and his daughter’s human suffering, cannot remain heedless before our suffering. Christ always hears us but He asks us to turn to Him with faith (…). The Lord’s every gesture and word express this love.
I would like especially to pause over the words drawn from Jesus’ own lips: “The child is not dead but asleep”. These words that are so deeply illuminating, prompt me to think of the mysterious presence, of the Lord of life, in a world that appears to have succumbed to the shameless promptings of hate, violence and injustice. Yet, no, this world of yours is not dead but sleeps. In your hearts, dear young people, we perceive the strong beat of life and the love of God. Youth is not dead when it is close to the Master. Yes, when it is close to Jesus, you are all close to Jesus. Listen to all His words, every word, each one. Young people, love Jesus, seek Jesus, meet Jesus.” … Saint John Paul II (1920-2005), Pope from 1978 to 2005 – Speech to the youth of Chile, 02/04/1987
PRAYER – Increase in us, O Lord, the gift of faith, so that we may arise and offer our praise to You and by Your grace, yield fruit from heaven, for the glory of Your Kingdom. Lord God, may St John de Britto, who became precious in Your sight through his pure life and valiant martyrdom, plead for our forgiveness. Through Jesus Christ, Your divine Son, in unity with the Spirit, one God forever. St John de Britto, pray for us, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 4 February – Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A and The Memorial of Blessed Rabanus Maurus (776-856)
Veni Creator Spiritus By Blessed Rabanus Maurus (776-856)
Come, Creator, Spirit,
come from Your bright heavenly throne,
come take possession of our souls
and make them all Your own.
You who are called the Paraclete,
best gift of God above,
the living spring,
the vital fire,
sweet christ’ning and true love. . . .
O guide our minds with Your best light,
with love our hearts inflame
and with Your strength,
which ne’er decays,
confirm our mortal frame.
Far from us drive our deadly foe,
true peace unto us bring
and through all perils lead us safe
beneath Your sacred wing.
Through You may we the Father know,
through You th’eternal Son
and You the Spirit of them both,
thrice-blessed Three in One. . . .
Saint of the Day – 4 February – Saint Rabanus Maurus OSB (776-856) Archbishop, Monk, Abbot,Theologian, Poet, Writer, Teacher, Encyclopedist – also known as Hrabanus or Rhabanus and “The Teacher of Germany” – born in 776 at Mainz, Germany and died on 4 February 856 at Winkel, Germany of natural cause. In the most recent edition of the Roman Martyrology (Martyrologium Romanum, 2004, pp. 133), his feast is given as today and he is qualified as a Saint (‘sanctus’).
Rabanus was born of noble parents in Mainz. The exact date of his birth remains uncertain, but in 801 he was ordained a deacon at Benedictine Abbey of Fulda in Hesse, where he had been sent to school and had become a monk. At the insistence of Ratgar, his abbot, he went to complete his studies at Tours. There he studied under St Alcuin(735-804) , who in recognition of his diligence and purity gave him the surname of Maurus, after the favourite disciple of Benedict, Saint Maurus.
Returning to Fulda, in 803 he was entrusted with the principal charge of the abbey school, which, under his direction, became one of the most pre-eminent centres of scholarship and book production in Europe and sent forth many erudite and saintly pupils. It was probably at this period that he compiled his excerpt from the grammar of Priscian, a popular textbook during the Middle Ages. According to Alban Butler’s Lives of the Saints, Rabanus ate no meat and drank no wine.
In 814 Rabanus was ordained a priest. Shortly afterwards, apparently on account of disagreement with Abbot Ratgar, he withdrew for a time from Fulda. This banishment has long been understood to have occasioned a pilgrimage to Palestine, based on an allusion in his commentary on Joshua. Rabanus returned to Fulda in 817 on the election of a new abbot, Eigil, and at Eigil’s death in 822, Rabanus himself became abbot.He handled this position efficiently and successfully but in 842 he resigned so as to have greater leisure for study and prayer, retiring to the neighbouring monastery of St Petersberg.
In 847, he was chosen to be Archbishop of Mainz, at the age of sixty-three and the last years of his life were spent directing the affairs of his Diocese, holding provincial Synods and directing a multitude of charitable works. During a famine, he fed three hundred poor people at his own house. He became bedridden shortly before his death and from the moment of his death was regarded as a saint.
Blessed Rabanus composed a number of hymns, the most famous of which is the Veni Creator Spiritus. This is a hymn to the Holy Spirit often sung at Pentecost and at ordinations. It is known in English through many translations, including Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest and Creator Spirit, by whose aid. Veni Creator Spiritus was used by Gustav Mahler as the first chorale of his eighth symphony.
One of his most popular and enduring works is a spectacular collection of poems centred on the cross, called De laudibus sanctae crucis or In honorem sanctae crucis, a set of highly sophisticated poems that present the cross (and, in the last poem, Rabanus himself kneeling before it) in word and image, even in numbers.
He was buried at the monastery of St Alban’s in Mainz but later his relics were transferred to Halle.
St Liephard of Cambrai
St Magnus of Fossombrone
St Nicholas Studites
St Phileas of Alexandria Blessed Rabanus Maurus OSB (776-856)
St Theophilus the Penitent
St Vincent of Troyes
St Vulgis of Lobbes
Jesuit Martyrs of Japan: A collective memorial of all members of the Jesuits who have died as martyrs for the faith in Japan.
Martyrs of Perga – 4 saints: A group of shepherds martyred in the persecutions of Decius. The only details we have about them are the names – Claudian, Conon, Diodorus and Papias. They were martyred in c 250 in Perga, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey).