Thought for the Day – 3 April – Our Martyrdom

Thought for the Day – 3 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Our Martyrdom

“St Ambrose describes virtue, as a slow martyrdom.
In this sense, we must all be martyrs.
There is only one difference.
The Martyrs of the Church shed their blood and gave up their lives for Jesus, within one hour or one day and gained their reward immediately.
Our martyrdom, on the other hand, will be prolonged.
It will last all our lives and will end only when we accept death with resignation from the hands of God.
Ours is the martyrdom of virtue.
Let us clearly understand, that solid Christian virtue is a slow and continual martyrdom, which will end with death.
It is not a flower, which springs up spontaneously in the garden of the soul.
It is like a seed which is thrown on the damp earth and must die there slowly, so that it can generate young shoots, which will produce the ears of corn.
“Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But, if it dies, it brings forth much fruit” (Jn 12:24-25).
It is necessary, then, to descend into the mire of humility and to remain there until we die.
Only after we have died to ourselves, shall we rise again in God (Cf ibid).
After the death of our lower instincts and vices, we shall find a new life.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

st ambrose describes virtue as a slo martyrdom - bacci 3 april 2020


Quote of the Day – 3 April – May I Love You More Dearly

Quote of the Day – 3 April – The Memorial of St Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)

May I Love You More Dearly
St Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)

Thanks be to You,
my Lord Jesus Christ
For all the benefits
You have given me,
For all the pains and insults
You have borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer,
friend and brother,
May I know You more clearly,
Love You more dearly,
Follow You more nearly.

St Richard recited this prayer on his deathbed, surrounded by the clergy of the diocese. The words were transcribed, in Latin, by his confessor Ralph Bocking, a Dominican friar and were eventually published in the Acta Sanctorum, an encyclopedic text in 68 folio volumes of documents examining the lives of Christian saints.   The British Library copy, contains what is believed to be Bockings transcription of the prayer:

Gratias tibi ago, Domine Jesu Christe,
de omnibus beneficiis quae mihi praestitisti,
pro poenis et opprobriis, quae pro me pertulisti,
propter quae planctus ille lamentabilis vere tibi competebat.
Non est dolor similis sicut dolor meus.

thanks be to you my lord jesus christ - st richard of chichester - 3 april 2018


Lenten Reflection – 3 April – ‘He alone is Priest, Sacrifice and Temple…’

Lenten Reflection – 3 April – Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 20:10-13, Psalm 18:2-7, John 10:31-42

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

“If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me
but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works,
that you may know and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” … John 10:37-38

Daily Meditation:
Set us free.

“The Apostle teaches that Christ offered Himself for us to God as a fragrant offering and sacrifice.   He is the true God and the true high priest who for our sake entered once for all into the holy of holies, taking with Him not the blood of bulls and goats but His own blood.   This was foreshadowed by the high priest of old when each year he took blood and entered the holy of holies.

Christ is, therefore, the one who in Himself alone, embodied all that He knew to be necessary to achieve our redemption.   He is at once Priest and Sacrifice, God and Temple. He is the Priest through whom we have been reconciled, the Sacrifice by which we have been reconciled, the Temple in which we have been reconciled, the God with whom we have been reconciled.   He alone is Priest, Sacrifice and Temple because He is all these things as God, in the form of a Servant but He is not alone as God, for He is this with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the form of God.

Hold fast to this and never doubt it – the only-begotten Son, God the Word, becoming man offered Himself for us, to God, as a fragrant offering and sacrifice.   In the time of the Old Testament, patriarchs, prophets and priests sacrificed animals in His honour and in honour of the Father and the Holy Spirit, as well.   Now in the time of the New Testament the Holy Catholic Church, throughout the world, never ceases to offer the Sacrifice of bread and wine, in faith and love, to Him and to the Father and the Holy Spirit, with whom He shares one Godhead.” … St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533) – An excerpt from his Treatise on Faith addressed to PeterFRIDAY OF THE FIFTH WEEK 3 APRIL 2020

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised
and I am saved from my enemies.
Psalm 18:2-3

Thanks be to Christ the Lord,
who brought us life by is death on the cross.
With our whole heart let us askHhim:
By Your death raise us to life.

Teacher and Saviour,
You have shown us Your fidelity and made us a new creation by Your passion,
– keep us from falling again into sin.
Help us to deny ourselves today,
– and not deny those in need.
May we receive this day of penance as Your gift,
– and give it back to You through works of mercy.
Master our rebellious hearts,
– and teach us generosity.
Closing Prayer:
Most forgiving Lord,
again and again You welcome me back into Your loving arms.
Grant me freedom from the heavy burdens of sin
that weigh me down
and keep me so far from You.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

“O Fountain of everlasting love,
what shall I say of You?
How can I forget You,
Who have vouchsafed to remember me
even after I was corrupted and lost?”

Thomas á Kempis (1380-1471)

Imitation of Christ, Book 3, Chapter 10

o-fountain-of-everlasting-love-thomas-a-kempis-3-april-2019 AND 2 APRIL 2020


One Minute Reflection – 3 April – “Then they tried to seize him.”

One Minute Reflection – 3 April – Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 20:10-13, Psalm 18:2-7, John 10:31-42

“Then they tried to seize him.” … John 10:39

REFLECTION “If the Law calls them gods to whom the word of God came and scripture cannot be set aside,how can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?”   Yes indeed, if God has spoken to us so that we might be called ‘gods,’ how could the Word of God, the Word that is in God, not be God?   If we have been made sharers in His nature and have become gods because God speaks to us, how could this Word, through which this gift comes to us, not be God? …   As for you, you approach the Light and receive it and are counted among the children of God but if you draw back, you become dark and are counted among the children of darkness (cf. 1 Thes 5:5). …

“Believe the works, so that you may realise and understand, that the Father is in me and I in the Father.”   The Son of God does not say “the Father is in me and I in the Father” in the same sense as we are able to do.   In effect, if our thoughts are good, we are in God;  if our lives are holy, God is in us.   When we are sharers in His grace and enlightened by His light then we are in Him and He in us.   But … recognise what is proper to the Lord and what is a gift made to His servant.   What is proper to the Lord is His equality with the Father but the gift granted to His servant, is to participate in the Saviour.

“Then they tried to seize him.”   If only they had seized Him!   But by faith and intellect, not so as to mock and put him to death!   At this very moment, as I speak to you …, all of us, both you and I, are wanting to seize Christ.   To ‘seize’, what does that mean?   You have ‘seized’ when you have understood.   But Christ’s enemies were looking for something different.   You have seized in order to possess but they wanted to seize Him in order to get rid of Him.   And because this was how they wanted to seize Him, what does Jesus do?   “He escaped from their power.”   They were unable to seize Him because they did not have the hands of faith. …   We truly seize Christ if our minds grasp the Word.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church – Sermons on the Gospel of John, no 48, 9-11john 10 39 then they tried to seize him - to seize what does that mean st augustine 3 april 2020

PRAYER – Holy Father, our Father, help us to lay down the stones of hate and embrace Your Son who stands before us in need.   Give us the hands of faith and minds to grasp the Word, teach us to see His Face in those who cry out to us.   Teach us compassion and love.   Mary, your Immaculate Heart is our school.   We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.immaculate heart pray for us 3 april 2020

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Our Morning Offering – 3 April – Strengthen me, O God

Our Morning Offering – 3 April – Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Strengthen me, O God
By Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Strengthen me, O God,
by the grace of Your Holy Spirit.
Grant me the power to grow in holiness
and to empty my heart of all useless care and anxiety,
that I may not be led by the desire for earthly things,
whether of little or great value.
Help me to regard all things
in this world, as they are –
passing and short-lived –
realising, that I, too,
will pass away with them.
Nothing under the sun is lasting
but all is vanity and a chase after wind (Eccl 1:14).
Give me Your heavenly wisdom, O Lord,
that I may learn,
that the most important thing
is to seek You and to find You
and, above all things else,
to love You,

The Imitation – Book 3 Ch 27strengthen me o god by thomas a kempis 3 april 2020

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 3 April – Blessed John of Jesus and Mary O.SS.T (1895-1937) Priest Martyr

Saint of the Day – 3 April – Blessed John of Jesus and Mary O.SS.T (1895-1937) Priest Martyr, Religious Priest of the The Order of the Holy Trinity and of the Captives, more commonly known as the Trinitarians, Musician – born as Juan Otazua y Madariaga on 8 February 1895 in Rigoitia, Vizcaya, Spain and died by being shot at dawn on 3 April 1937 in the cemetery of Mancha Real, Jaén, Spain.   He was 42 years Juan-de-Jesús-María-Juan-Otazua-y-Madariaga

Juan Otazua was born on 8 February 1895 in the small town of Rigoitia, in the province of Vizcaya Spain.

On 30 September 1913, he began his Novitiate with the Trinitarian Religious Order in the Sanctuary of Bien Aparecida (Cantabria).   He made his simple profession in said sanctuary, on 11 October 1914, then taking the name of John of Jesus and Mary.   He studied philosophy at the Bien Aparecida and Córdoba and theology at La Rambla.   He professed his solemn vows at the Trinidad house in Córdoba on 17 May 1918.   He was Ordained a Priest on 23 October 1921 in Madrid .

For many years he was a Priest of the house of the Trinity in Madrid and exercised his pastoral work in the Church of the Basques of San Ignacio de Loyola, in the now known Las Letras neighbourhood.   He was known for his excellent command of music , especially the cello.

In March 1936 the church of San Ignacio was burned down by the mobs, in the atmosphere of civil war, which led to the disintegration of the Trinitarian community and the distribution of the Religious to various convents in Spain.   However some of them were arrested and executed days later.   Fr John was sentenced to 20 years in prison.   Despite the sentence, on the night of 2 April 1937, militiamen took him out of prison and took him to the La Mancha Real cemetery, where they shot him the following morning.   Fr John was 42 years old.   His body was buried in a grave to avoid recognition.

Fr John of Jesus and Mary was Beatified by Pope Benedict XVI on 28 October 2007.   His Memorial is also celebrated with his fellow Trinatarian Martyrs on 6 November.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 3 April

Bl Alexandrina di Letto
St Attala of Taormina
St Benatius of Kilcooley
St Benignus of Tomi
St Burgundofara
St Chrestus
St Comman
St Evagrius of Tomi
Bl Francisco Solís Pedrajas
Saint or Blessed (conflicting reports?) Gandulphus of Binasco OFM (c 1200-1260)

Bl Iacobus Won Si-bo
St John I of Naples
Bl John of Penna
St Joseph the Hymnographer
Blessed John of Jesus and Mary/Juan Otazua Madariaga O.SS.T (1895-1937) Priest Martyr
Bl Lawrence Pak Chwi-deuk
St Luigi Scrosoppi Cong. Orat. (1804-1884)
About St Luigi:

A little Note about St Luigi – his Canonisation Miracle occurred in my Parish in Oudtshoorn!

Blessed Maria Teresa Casini (1864–1937)
Her life:
St Nicetas of Medicion
St Papo
Bl Piotr Edward Dankowski
St Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)