Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CREATION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD

Thought for the Day – 12 March -Detachment from the World

Thought for the Day – 12 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Detachment from the World

there are a myriad of stars - bacci - 12 march 2020

“It is very difficult to detach ourselves from worldly affairs and remain always united to God.
Nevertheless, St Ignatius Loyola often exclaimed: “How ugly the earth seems when I look towards Heaven!”
The Saints saw the things of this world in the light of God.
They recognised how insignificant this world is, beside the infinite splendour of God.
They realised that earthly things cannot satisfy the human heart, nor assuage the restlessness of the soul, which was created for God.
We, on the other hand, become too attached to worldly goods.
It may happen that our hearts become absorbed in them.
Let us reflect on the unimportance of this world.
There are myriad of stars in the firmament, many of which are far larger than our earth or sun.
Some, like Andromeda, are 250,000 light years distant from us;  others, like the Triangle, are 280,000 light years away, while still others, are probably much farther.
All obey exactly the plan of their Creator.
How tiny our earth is by comparison!
How insignificant we ourselves are!
Why should we become so attached to the things of this earth?
God alone is great.
He alone should occupy our minds and hearts.
We have been made for Him alone.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on MERCY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 11 March – ‘… Lest instead of Lazarus, there be many’

Quote/s of the Day – 11 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent

And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy upon me and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’

Luke 16:24

luke 16 24 and he called out father abraham send lazarus - 12 march 2020

“… Let us be afraid, my beloved,
lest we also see the poor
and pass them by,
lest instead of Lazarus,
there be many
to accuse us hereafter.”

St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor

Sermon 6 on Lazarus and the Rich Man

let us be afraid ... lest we also see the poor - rich man and lazarus luke 16 - st john chrysostom 12 march 2020

Posted in LENT 2020, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, The WORD

Lenten Reflection –11 March – ‘To ignore a poor man is to scorn God!’

Lenten Reflection –11 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 17:5-10, Psalm 1:1-4, 6, Luke 16:19-31

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple
and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.
And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus…”
Luke 16:19–20THURSDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT - 12 MARCH 2020

DAILY MEDITATION:
“Lazarus is a good example of the silent cry of the poor throughout the ages and the contradictions of a world in which immense wealth and resources are in the the hands of the few.   To ignore a poor man is to scorn God!   We must learn this well – to ignore the poor is to scorn God.to ignore a poor man is to scorn god - pope francis 21 march 2019 thurs2ndweeklent

There is a detail in the parable that is worth noting – the rich man has no name but only an adjective – ‘the rich man’, while the name of the poor man is repeated five times and ‘Lazarus’ means ‘God helps’.   Lazarus, who is lying at the gate, is a living reminder to the rich man to remember God but the rich man does not receive that reminder.   Hence, he will be condemned not because of his wealth but for being incapable of feeling compassion for Lazarus and for not coming to his aid.

God’s mercy toward us is linked to our mercy toward our neighbour, when this is lacking, also that of not finding room in our closed heart, He cannot enter.   If I do not thrust open the door of my heart to the poor, that door remains closed.   Even to God. This is terrible.”….Pope Francis – General Audience, 18 May 2016luke 16 19-20 there was a rich man - there is a detail - pope francis - 21 march 2019 thurs2ndweeklent

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers
but his delight is in the law of the Lord
and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2

Intercessions:
God has revealed Himself in Christ.
Let us praise His goodness
and ask Him from our hearts:
Remember us, Lord, for we are your children.

Teach us to enter more deeply into the mystery of the Church,
– that it may be more effective for ourselves and for the world as the sacrament of salvation.
Lover of mankind, inspire us to work for human progress,
– seeking to spread Your kingdom in all we do.
May our hearts thirst for Christ,
– the fountain of living water.
Forgive us our sins,
– and direct our steps into the ways of charity, justice and sincerity.

Closing Prayer:
Loving God,
I hear Your invitation, “Come back to me”
and I am filled with such a longing to return to You.
Show me the way to return.
Lead me this day in good works I do in Your name
and send Your Spirit to guide me and strengthen my faith.
I ask only to feel Your love in my life today
and to spread it to all, especially those most in need.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

“All of our religion is but a false religion and all our virtues are mere illusions and we ourselves are only hypocrites in the sight of God, if we have not that universal charity for everyone, for the good and for the bad, for the poor people as well as for the rich, for all those who do us harm as much as for those who do us good.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)all of our religion is but a false - st john vianney thurs2ndweeklent 21 march 2019

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2020, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRIDE

One Minute Reflection –11 March – “God resists the proud”

One Minute Reflection –11 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 17:5-10, Psalm 1:1-4, 6, Luke 16:19-31

The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. … Luke 16:22-23luke 16 22-23 the poor man died - 29 sept 2019

REFLECTION – “Was that poor man welcomed by the angels solely on account of his poverty?   And the rich man, was he delivered up to torment by fault of his wealth alone? No.   Let us clearly understand that it was humility that was honoured in the poor man and pride condemned in the rich.

This is the proof, briefly, that it was not his wealth but his pride for which the rich man deserved his punishment.   So then, the poor man was carried into the bosom of Abraham, yet Scripture says of Abraham that he had much gold and silver and was rich on earth (Gn 13:2).   If every rich man is sent into torment, how is it that Abraham could precede the poor man so as to welcome him into his bosom?   It was because, in the midst of his wealth, Abraham was poor, humble, respectful and obedient to all God’s commands.   He held his riches in so little esteem that, when God asked it of him, he consented to offer in sacrifice the son for whom these riches were destined (Gn 22:4).

Learn to be poor and needy, then, whether you possess something in this world or whether you don’t possess anything.   Because we find beggars full of pride and rich people who confess their sins.   “God resists the proud” whether they are covered with silk or with rags but “he gives grace to the humble” (Jas 4:6) whether or not, they have possessions in this world.   God looks at what is within, it is there He assesses, there He examines.” … Saint Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church – Discourses on the psalms, Ps 85 [86]; CCL 39, 1178god-resists-the-proud-god-looks-at-what-is-within-st-augustine-29-sept-2019 and 12 March 2020

PRAYER – Dear and Holy God, let us offer You all our daily struggles against sin and evil. Grant us the strength to resist all forms of idolatry, to seek only You and never to allow the material goods of this world to seduce us.   Sustain us ever more with Your word and help us to find in it, the source of life.   Grant that by the intercession of our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, may defend us during our life on earth and protect us from evil. Grant this, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amenmother-mary-trusted-guide-pray-for-us-1-nov-2018and 2019

Posted in LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!

Our Morning Offering – 11 March – My Lord, I Offer You Myself

Our Morning Offering – 11 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent

My Lord, I Offer You Myself
By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

My Lord,
I offer You myself in turn,
as a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
You have died for me,
And I in turn make myself over to You.
I am not my own.
You have bought me:
I will, by my own act and deed,
complete the purchase.
My wish is to be separated
from everything of this world;
To cleanse myself simply from sin;
To put away from me even what is innocent,
If used for its own sake
and not for Yours.
I put away reputation and honour
and influence and power,
For my praise and strength,
shall be in You.
Enable me to carry out what I profess
Amenmy-lord-i-offer-you-myself-by-john-henry-newman-21-march-2019-thurs2ndweeklent and 12 march 2020

Posted in MYSTICS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 12 March – Blessed Giustina Francucci Bezzoli (c 1257-1319)

Saint of the Day – 12 March – Blessed Giustina Francucci Bezzoli (c 1257-1319) Virgin of the Order of St Benedict, Hermitess and Anchoress, Mystic – born in c 1257 in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy and died on 12 March 1319 in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy of natural causes while praying.   A white lily grew out of the stone of her tomb.   Her body is incorrupt.   Patronages – eye and sight diseases and problems, demonics.bl giustina_francucci_bezzoli_45_01

In Florence, in the Benedictine monastery of St Maria del Fiore in Lapo, the incorrupt body of Blessed Giustina Bezzoli Francucci is kept and venerated, moved here from the Monastery of the Holy Spirit of Arezzo in 1968, when the two cloistered communities met.   The large church of the monastery, in the centre of the village north of Florence, on Via Faentina, has also been a parish since 1938 and so, in admirable harmony, the two communities live and pray side by side, enriching each other with different gifts of the Spirit.   The nuns’ choir is the extension of the church and in the centre there is the tabernacle.   The community was founded by the wealthy Lapo da Fiesole who in 1350 hosted the first nuns here.   On 13 October of that year, Bishop S. Andrea Corsini consecrated the monastery with the rule of St Augustine and with the title of St Maria del Fiore which is older here than the Florentine cathedral  . The Augustinians remained until 1808, when they had to leave because of the laws for the suppression of religious orders, the Benedictines took over in 1817.   The tomb with the body of the Blessed is placed in a wall that unites the two communities and is visible from both sides – her face looks towards the cloister and seems to invite the lay faithful to dedicate time to prayer.

Blessed Giustina was a descendant of a very noble family, the Bezzoli Francucci and was born in Arezzo between 1257 and 1260.   With a lovable and humble character, she quickly gained a certain maturity.   In the rich paternal home, between ease and comfort, she assimilated with daily prayer, the most genuine religious sentiments.  She often deprived herself of food and loved to retire to her room to pray, thus the decision to consecrate herself to God matured at a very young age.   Her parents refused her permission and denied her any argument.   A single, beloved daughter, heir of conspicuous wealth, she had a very enviable future ahead of her – marriage to a man worthy of her family.   We know, however, that the ways of the Lord are not the ways of men – she first convinced her father with many tears and pleadings, then it was the turn of her paternal uncle, who was also determined not to deprive himself of his only
niece.   A serious illness of the father made everyone reflect on the transience of things and Giustina obtained the desired approval.   She was only twelve years old and this decision is incomprehensible to us but, at that time, important choices were sometimes made at that age.

Giustina was welcomed into the monastery of St Marco (which no longer exists today), bringing only an image of the Crucifix with her.   A dove landed on her head upon entry, an eloquent sign that the Holy Spirit was already assisting the humble daughter of the Holy Father Benedict.  She left everything to devote herself to meditating on the Word of God – the rough habit took the place of opulent silks and satin clothes.    Giustina was an exemplary novice, in the simplest tasks she responded with obedience to the needs of the community.   Giustina stayed in the monastery for about four years, until she was forced to leave with her sisters because of the wars that devastated the city.   With her Crucifix she moved to the Monastery of All Saints but even here the stay was not long.

One day she heard that in a cave, at the Castle of Civitella, a virgin named Lucia voluntarily lived.   To join this Lucis, it to share the most austere practice of Christian virtues became her greatest desire.   With the permission of Bishop Guglielmo Umbertini she moved to the hermitage where Lucia, very happily, welcomed her.   In extreme poverty they received a visit from Giustina’s father who, we can imagine with how much anguish, he tried in vain to bring her home.

The coexistence of the two anchorites lasted only a few years, until Lucia became seriously ill and the young companion assisted her with love until the moment of her death.   Left alone, Giustina continued to live devoted only to prayer and penance, visibly comforted by the Celestial Bridegroom who, through an angel, defended her several times from the attacks of wolves.   Such and many deprivations could not fail to undermine her health and at only thirty-five she began to have serious vision problems. She was forced to return to the monastery amidst the jubilation of the sisters who
now saw in her a heavenly soul.   However, the monastery was subject to soldiers’ raids
and the bishop Ildebrando Guidi had to transfer it to a safe place.   It was the year 1315 and Giustina changed residence again.

The Blessed had a singular devotion to the Passion of Christ and, although sick, she practised many mortifications.   She spent the last twenty years of her life, completely blind, falling into ecstasy several times, even in the presence of her sisters.   She lived in conditions of great misery but always confident in Providence and those who asked for a word of comfort did not fail to help them as much as she could.   She died praying, surrounded by her companions, on 12 March 1319.   On her body were evident, the sores caused by an iron chain, that for years had encased her fragile body.

The graces obtained through her intercession were immediately numerous.   A white lily grew spontaneously on her grave and with this attribute, Giotto painted it for the Florentine Church of Mercy.   The body, ten years after her death, was surprisingly flexible and the Bishop of Arezzo, Buono degli Uberti, confirmed the spontaneous cult that had been born in the people.   Two centuries later her body was enclosed in an iron chest until 1709, when it it was again exhumed and confirmed to be incorrupt.   An ancient war flag was found in the coffin left by a captain as an ex voto around 1384. Some fragments of the banner were distributed to the faithful as relics.
Blessed Giustina is invoked especially for eye and sight problems but some demoniacs have also been exorcised in front of her Shrine.

Blessed Giustina was Beatified on 14 January 1891 by Pope Leo XIII (cultus confirmation).

bl giustina bezzoli

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 12 March

St Almut of Wetter
St Alphege the Bald
Bl Angela Salawa
St Basilissa of Asia
Bl Beatrix of Engelport
St Bernard of Carinola
Bl Claudius the Minor
St Egdunus
St Fechno
St Girolamo da Recanati
Blessed Giustina Francucci Bezzoli (c 1257-1319)
St Heiu of Hartlepool
St Indrecht of Iona
St Pope Innocent I
St Joseph Zhang Dapeng
St Luigi Orione FDP (1872-1940)
About amazing St Luigi:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/03/12/saint-of-the-day-12-march-st-luigi-orione-fdp-1872-1940/

St Maximilian of Thebeste
St Mura McFeredach
St Paul Aurelian
St Peter the Deacon
St Seraphina
St Theophanes the Chronographer

Martyrs of Nicomedia – 8 saints: Eleven Christians who were martyred in succession in a single incident during the persecutions of Diocletian. First there were the eight imprisoned Christians, Domna, Esmaragdus, Eugene, Hilary, Mardonius, Maximus, Mígdonus and Peter, about whom we know little more than their names.   Each day for eight days one of them would be strangled to death in view of the others so that they would spend the night in dread, not knowing if they were next.
Peter was the chamberlain or butler in the palace of Diocletian.   When he was overheard complaining about this cruelty, he was exposed as a Christian, arrested, tortured and executed by having the flesh torn from his bones, salt and vinegar poured on the wounds and then being roasted to death over a slow fire.
Gorgonio was an army officer and member of the staff in the house of emperor Diocletian, Doroteo was a staff clerk.   They were each exposed as Christians when they were overhead objecting to the torture and murder of Peter.   This led to their own arrest, torture and executions.
Died in 303 in Nicomedia, Bithynia (in modern Turkey)
Additional Memorial – 28 December as part of the 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia.