Thought for the Day – 15 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Prayer as a Necessary Means of Salvation
“St Augustine calls prayer “the key to Heaven.”
We should acknowledge the infinite goodness of God in giving us such an easy means of salvation, for when He gave us prayer, He gave us the key to His Kingdom of Heaven.
He invites us earnestly to pray. “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you” (C. Mt 7:7, Lk 11:9). “If you ask the Father anything in my name, He will give it to you” (Cf Jn 16:23) “Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation” (Cf Mt 26:41, Mk 14:38).
When Jesus was in agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, His Apostles became tired and sleepy.
He rebuked them gently and asked them for the second time to pray, that they might not yield to temptation.
He makes this request of us also.
We grow weary and apathetic as the Apostles did, while the devil is busy with his evil suggestions and the dangers of the world surround us.
We have constant need of the grace of God to prevent us from falling.
Let us pray fervently and bear in mind the advice of St Alphonsus: “If you give up praying, you will certainly be damned.”
Quote/s of the Day – 15 March – The Third Sunday of Lent
Speaking of: Receiving Holy Communion Worthily
“Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself and so, eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone, who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgement on himself.”
1 Corinthians 11:27-29
“I beseech, beg and implore, that no-one draw near to this Sacred Table, with a sullied and corrupt conscience. Such an act, in fact, can never be called “Communion,” not even were we to touch the Lord’s body a thousand times over but, “CONDEMNATION,” ‘TORMENT” and ‘INCREASE OF PUNISHMENT.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father & Doctor of the Church
“As Christ’s Passion does not produce it’s effect on those who do not hold Him as they should, so also, those do not attain heaven through this Sacrament, who receive Him unworthily. Accordingly, Augustine writes: “The Sacrament is one thing, it’s virtue another. Many receive from the altar and, receiving it, are dead. Eat, therefore, heavenly bread, carry innocence to the altar.” So it is not surprising, that those who do not keep a pure heart, fail to gain the effect of the Sacrament.”
Lenten Reflection – 15 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: Exodus 17:3-7, Psalm 95:1-2, 6-9, Romans 5:1-2, 5-8, John 4:5-42
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him, will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” … John 4:13-14
Jesus spoke of a “living water” able to quench her thirst and become in her “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” in addition, He demonstrated that He knew her personal life, He revealed that the hour has come to adore the one true God in spirit and truth and lastly, He entrusted her with something extremely rare – that He is the Messiah.
All this began from the real and notable experience of thirst. The theme of thirst runs throughout John’s Gospel, from the meeting with the Samaritan woman to the great prophecy during the feast of Tabernacles (Jn 7: 37-38), even to the Cross, when Jesus, before He dies, said to fulfil the Scriptures: “I thirst” (Jn 19: 28). Christ’s thirst is an entranceway to the mystery of God, who became thirsty to satisfy our thirst, just as He became poor to make us rich (cf. II Cor 8: 9). Yes, God thirsts for our faith and our love. As a good and merciful father, He wants our total, possible good and this good is He
The Samaritan woman, on the other hand, represents the existential dissatisfaction of one who does not find what he seeks. She had “five husbands” and now she lives with another man, her going to and from the well to draw water expresses a repetitive and resigned life. However, everything changes for her that day, thanks to the conversation with the Lord Jesus, who upsets her to the point that she leaves her pitcher of water and runs to tell the villagers: “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” (Jn 4: 29).
Dear brothers and sisters, like the Samaritan woman, let us also open our hearts to listen trustingly to God’s Word in order to encounter Jesus who reveals His love to us and tells us: “I who speak to you am he” (Jn 4: 26), the Messiah, your Saviour. May Mary, the first and most perfect disciple of the Word made flesh, obtain this gift for us.” … Pope Benedict XVI – Third Sunday of Lent, 24 February
Let us praise our loving Redeemer, who gained for us this season of grace,
and pray to Him, saying:
Lord, create a new spirit in us.
Christ, our life, through baptism we were buried with You and rose to life with You,
– may we walk today in newness of life.
Lord, You have brought blessings to all mankind,
– bring us to share Your concern for the good of all.
May we work together to build up the earthly city,
– with our eyes fixed on the city that lasts forever.
Healer of body and soul, cure the sickness of our spirit,
– so that we may grow in holiness through Your constant care.
So many times I turn away from You
and always You welcome me back.
Your mercy and love gives me confidence
Thank You for the invitation to share, fast and pray
so that You can form a new heart within me.
Your powerful compassion for my weaknesses
leads me to ask for mercy
and await with great hope the Easter joy You share with us.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
“Come, then, behold our Lord, He has come into the world from His Father’s side, He has emptied Himself so as to complete His course in humility (Phil 2:7) (…). He saw the Gentiles like a parched flock whose spring of life was closed by sin as by a stone. He saw the Church like Rachel and so He ran towards her and removed the heavy sin as though it were a rock. He has opened up the baptistery for His bride to bathe in, He has drawn water and refreshed the nations of earth as if they were His sheep. With His almighty power, He has removed the heavy burden of sin, He has uncovered the spring of sweet water for the whole world.”
One Minute Reflection – 15 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: Exodus 17:3-7, Psalm 95:1- 2, 6-9, Romans 5:1-2, 5-8, John 4:5-42 and the Memorial of Blessed Artemide Zatti SDB (1880-1951)
“Jesus, therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well. It was about the sixth hour.” … John 4:6
REFLECTION – “Now begin the mysteries. For it is not without a purpose that Jesus is weary, not indeed without a purpose that the strength of God is weary, not without a purpose that He is weary, by whom the wearied are refreshed, not without a purpose is He weary, by whose absence we are wearied, by whose presence we are strengthened.
Nevertheless, Jesus is weary and weary with His journey and He sits down and that, too, near a well and it is at the sixth hour that, being wearied, He sits down.
All these things hint something, are intended to intimate something, they make us eager, and encourage us to knock. May Himself open to us and to you, He who has deigned to exhort us, so as to say, Knock and it shall be opened to you. It was for you that Jesus was wearied with His journey.
We find Jesus to be strength and we find Jesus to be weak – we find a strong and a weak Jesus – strong, because in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God, the same was in the beginning with God. Would you see how this Son of God is strong? All things were made by Him and without Him was nothing made and without labour, too, were they made. Then what can be stronger than He, by whom all things were made without labour? Would you know Him weak? The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
The strength of Christ created you, the weakness of Christ created you anew. The strength of Christ caused that to be which was not, the weakness of Christ caused that what was, should not perish. He fashioned us by His strength, He sought us by His weakness.
But why at the sixth hour? Because at the sixth age of the world. In the Gospel, count up as an hour each, the first age from Adam to Noah; the second, from Noah to Abraham; the third, from Abraham to David; the fourth, from David to the removing to Babylon; the fifth, from the removing to Babylon to the baptism of John – thence is the sixth being enacted. Why do you marvel? Jesus came and, by humbling Himself, came to a well. He came wearied, because He carried weak flesh. At the sixth hour, because in the sixth age of the world. To a well, because to the depth of this our habitation. For which reason it is said in the psalm – From the depth have I cried unto You, O Lord. He sat, as I said, because He was humbled.” … St Augustine (354-430) – Father & Doctor of the Church – Tractate 15 (John 4:1-42)
PRAYER – Lord our God, Your Son so loved the world that He gave Himself up to death for our sake. Strengthen us by His weakness and Your grace and give us a heart willing to live by that same love. We know His excuses for us and His broken heart at our neglect and sin, make us like unto Him O Father, that we might be holy and come to see His Face. May the prayers of the angels, Blessed Artemide Zatti and the Blessed Virgin be of assistance to us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 15 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Year C
How Great is Your Goodness, Lord By Archbishop Baldwin of Canterbury (c 1125-1190)
How great is Your goodness, Lord,
who does not shrink from letting
Your servant, place You upon his heart!
How great my own worth,
since You have chosen me
to have part in Yours,
to have You abiding in me,
to love You, as You deserve, above myself.
Lord, take from me this hard heart
and give me a new, clean heart
of flesh and blood.
You who make my heart pure,
take possession of mine
and make it Your home.
Hold it and fill it,
You who are higher than my topmost height,
more inward than my inward being.
You, the seal of holiness,
beauty of beauties,
engrave on my heart, Your image
and the imprint of Your mercy.
Be, O God, my eternal love
and my inheritance.
Saint of the Day – 15 March – Blessed Artemide Zatti SDB (1880-1951) Italian Religious Brother of the Order of the Salesians of John Bosco, Missionary, Apostle of the poor sick, Pharmacist. Nurse – born on 12 October 1880 at Boretto, Reggio Emilia, in northern Italy and died on 15 March 1951 of cancer at Bahia Blanca, Argentina – Patronages Pharmacists and Immigrants. His nephew was the eighth rector of the Salesians – Juan Edmundo Vecchi.
Blessed Artemide Zatti was born on 12 October 1880 in Italy and died on 15 March 1951 at Viedma, Argentina. As a Salesian religious brother, he became a saint by running a hospital and pharmacy for the sick poor for 40 years in Viedma, Argentina. In 1897, when Artemide was 17 years old, his family emigrated from Reggio Emilia to join Artemide’s uncle who had a good job in Bahía Blanca, Argentina. There they found steady work and a livelihood. In his “new life” in Argentina, Artemide worked in a
hotel and then in a brick factory. On Sundays the Zatti family faithfully assisted at Mass and other activities in the parish of the Salesian Fathers who in 1890 set up a community in Bahía Blanca. With true apostolic spirit, Artemide used his free time to help the Salesian parish Priest in his parish activities and, especially, in visiting the sick.
He was inspired by the life of Don Bosco and by the Salesian priests and felt called to imitate him. In 1900 when he was 19, the Salesians accepted him as a student for the priesthood . But he had great difficulty with the studies since he had left elementary school long before. Also, during the novitiate, Artemide contracted a severe case of TB from taking care of a young priest who was a TB victim.
In 1902 Artemide was forced to leave the house of studies to seek a cure in the pure air of Viedma, a city located high in the Andes. Little did he realise that Viedma was going to be his city for the rest of his life. Along with the healthy climate, in Viedma there was a hospital and pharmacy attached to the Salesian College run by Fr Evaristo Garrone, a priest and physician who was known for his empirical approach to medicine. Fr Evaristo was also known for his trust in God’s Providence, he never turned away the poor who could not pay. Under the guidance of Fr Garrone, Artemide made a promise to Our Lady, Help of Christians, that if she would obtain a cure for him, he would serve the sick poor for the rest of his life. When he was cured, he promptly continued his training as a Salesian religious brother.
In 1908 he was professed and began his mission alongside Fr Garrone. When Fr Garrone died in 1911, Artemide was put in charge of the pharmacy and the hospital. He was a trained pharmacist, nurse, operating-room assistant, as well as juggler of finances and head of personnel. He followed Fr Garrone’s rule that “he who has little, pays little and the one who has nothing pays nothing”. In running the hospital, Artemide also depended entirely on Providence and the generosity of the people. In his 40 years of dedicated service, he found in his religious life with its periods of prayer and community life the secret of balancing the daily tasks of administering the hospital and
pharmacy, taking care of patients inside and outside the hospital . Despite the demands of the sick and the needs of the hospital, Artemide was known for his “Salesian joy”, a sign of his holiness for those around him. He was “not only provider of medicine, but was himself a medicine for others by his presence, his songs, his voice …”
In 1913 he was the force behind the building of a new hospital which was demolished in 1941 when the spot was taken as the residence of the Bishop of the newly-founded Diocese.
In July 1950, after falling off a ladder that he was climbing to get on the roof to fix a leaky water tank, Artemide was forced to take a period of rest and recovery. After a few months the doctors diagnosed his livid skin colour as a serious cancer of the liver. He was sick from January to March. He died on 15 March 1951. His mortal remains repose in the chapel of the Salesians at Viedma.
Bl. Artemide lived what St John Bosco said to the first Salesians leaving for America: “Take special care of the sick, the children, the elderly, the poor and you will receive God’s blessing and the respect of those around you.”
The process for investigating a miracle opened in Buenos Aires after Jorge Mario Bergoglio – the future Pope Francis – inaugurated the process on 14 April 1998 and closed it one month later on 14 May 1998. A medical board approved the miracle on 9 March 2000 and theologians followed this decision on 27 October 2000. The C.C.S. voted in favour as well on 6 February 2001 which led to papal approval on 24 April 2001. Blessed Artimedi was Beatified by St John Paul II on 14 April 2002 in St Peter’s Square….Vatican.va
“Artemide Zatti, Salesian religious brother, left the diocese of Reggio Emilia with his family to seek a better life in Argentina, the land dreamt of by Don Bosco. There he discovered his Salesian vocation, which took the form of a passionate, competent and loving service to the sick. His almost fifty years in Viedma represent the history of an exemplary religious, careful to accomplish his duties in his community and totally devoted to the service of those in need. May his example help us to be conscious of the presence of the Lord and bring us to welcome him in all our needy brothers and sisters.” – from the beatification homily by Pope John Paul II
The postulator of the cause is the Fr Pierluigi Cameroni and there is currently a miracle being investigated through the intercession of Blessed Artemide which would lead to his Canonisation:
“Indeed the first miracle for the Beatification happened in 1980 to that time Salesian theology student Carlo Bosio (later on SDB provincial) and was the motivation for the Beatification of Br Zatti by St John Paul II in 2002. Now another presumed miracle is being investigated in the Philippines (Diocesan stage of the investigation) and it looks very serious (according the reports from the Philippines).
Possible canonisation of Br Zatti would remind the whole Catholic community worldwide about the love for the poor, showing all the way how to meet Jesus in the sick people: ‘Please, prepare the clothes for 12 year old Jesus! or Do you have ready the hot soup for 10 year old Jesus?’
We wish all Salesian family members both in Patagonia – Viedma and in the Philippines that the investigation about the presumed miracle, will bring many pastoral fruits for the growth in faith and charity amongst the Catholic community and beyond.” (by Salesian Sr Denise Sickinger).
St Eoghan of Concullen
St Eusebius II
Bl Francis of Fermo Blessed Jan Adalbert Balicki (1869-1948) About Blessed Jan: https://anastpaul.com/2019/03/15/saint-of-the-day-blessed-jan-adalbert-balicki-1869-1948/
St Leocritia of Córdoba
St Longinus the Centurian
Bl Ludovico de la Pena
St Mancius of Evora
St Matrona of Capua
St Matrona of Thessaloniki
St Menignus of Parium
Bl Monaldus of Ancona
St Nicander of Alexandria
St Peter Pasquale
St Pío Conde y Conde
St Vicenta of Coria
Bl Walter of Quesnoy
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St Pope Zachary