Thought for the Day – 9 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Crown of Thorns Which Surrounds the Sacred Heart
“When Jesus appeared to St Margaret Mary, He showed her His Heart encircled by a crown of sharp thorns.
What is the significance of this?
In Heaven, Jesus is happy and cannot suffer anymore.
The Angels, Saints and the whole of creation, sing a hymn of unceasing praise in His honour.
Nevertheless, He sees the immense tide of sin, which surges forth from the human race which He redeemed by His Precious Blood, a redemption now made futile by many.
He is aware of the insane blasphemies hurled by so many against His lofty throne.
He sees how His gifts, His Sacraments and His graces are abused by many.
He sees, finally, the number of privileged souls, often consecrated to His service, who are indifferent and ungrateful, while, they should be trying to make reparation for the evils of mankind by their love, prayers and penances.
The explanation for this mystical crown of thorns, lies in His infinite love.
He does not suffer anymore because, He cannot suffer but He still has an immense love for all men, even for sinners and for those who are lukewarm and ungrateful.
He loves and wishes to save all men.
In spite of their sinfulness and ingratitude.
He still calls them appealingly to His Heart, which they, by their sins, have crowned with thorns and pierced with a lance.
This is a mystery of love which we cannot properly understand.
Only a man who loves Jesus fervently, can even have the slightest understanding of it.
If we sincerely love the divine Heart of Jesus, we shall realise, that these sharp thorns which once pierced His Heart in Gethsemane and on Calvary, were caused by our sins.
Then, we shall do our best to make a generous return for such love and to make reparation, even with grave sacrifice, for the offences which are still being committed by men against the loving Heart of the Redeemer.”
Quote/s of the Day – 9 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A and the Memorial of St Ephrem of Syria (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
“We give glory to You, Lord, who raised up Your Cross to span the jaws of death like a bridge by which souls might pass from the region of the dead to the land of the living. .. You are incontestably alive. Your murderers sowed Your living body in the earth as farmers sow grain but it sprang up and yielded an abundant harvest of men raised from the dead.”
“The cross gives light to the whole universe; it casts out darkness and gathers nations together in charity into one Church, one faith, one baptism…”
“Jesus, who feared nothing, experienced fear and asked to be freed from death – although He knew it was impossible. How much more, must we persevere in prayer before temptation assails us – so that we may be freed when the test has come!”
“Virtues are formed by PRAYER. PRAYER preserves temperance. PRAYER suppresses anger. PRAYER prevents emotions of pride and envy. PRAYER draws into the soul the Holy Spirit and raises man to Heaven.”
“She bore within herself, as a child, Him by whom the world was filled. He descended to become the model that would renew Adam’s ancient image.”
“You gave us so many gifts on the day of Your birth, a treasure chest of spiritual medicines for the sick. spiritual light for the blind, the cup of salvation for the thirsty, the bread of life for the hungry.”
“We have had Your treasure hidden within us, ever since we received baptismal grace, it grows ever richer at Your sacramental table.”
“Let Heaven sustain me in its embrace, because I am honoured above it. For heaven was not thy mother but Thou hast made it thy throne. How much more honourable and venerable than the throne of a king is His mother.”
“Mary’s titles are numberless… she is the palace in which the mighty King of kings abode, yet He did not cast her out when He came, because it was from her that He took flesh and was born. She is the new heaven in which dwelt the King of kings, in her, Christ arose and from her, rose up to enlighten creation, formed and fashioned in His image. She is the stock of the vine that bore the grape, she yielded a fruit greater than nature and He, although other than her in His nature, ripened in colour on being born of her. She is the spring from which living waters sprang up for the thirsty and all those who drank them, yielded fruit a hundredfold.”
St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 9 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 17:7-16, Psalm 4:2-5, 7-8, Matthew 5:13-16 and the Feast of Our Lady of Grace and the Memorial of St Columba of Iona (521-597) Apostle of the Picts, Apostle to Scotland
“You are the salt of the earth but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? … You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.“…Matthew 5:13, 14
REFLECTION – “That is what we are as authentic disciples of Jesus.
Salt bring savour; light dispels darkness.
In order to bring savour, salt must identify with the food without losing it’s own identity. If it loses it’s own identity, it is fit only to be trampled underfoot.
Light dispels darkness. In fact, light and darkness are mutually exclusive because, where there is light there cannot be darkness and where there is darkness, light is absent.
But the light that we, as disciples of Jesus shed, must be mounted high, not for our own glory but that those who are enlightened may glorify and praise the Father.
If there is still so much darkness in our world, could it be that our light is not bright enough?” ,,, Msgr Alex Rebello, Diocese of Wrexham, Wales.
PRAYER – Holy Almighty Father, we pray that we may be the light of Your divine Son and the salt of the earth. Help us, we pray, to ever strive to be both the light and salt of the earth and may the protection of Our Lady of Grace, first disciple of Jesus and model, be of help to believers who live every day their vocation and mission in history. May our Mother help us, to let ourselves always be purified and illumined by the Lord, to become in turn “salt of the earth” and “light of the world. As St Columba of Iona brought both salt and light to the darkness of the pagan Scotland, grant we pray that his prayers may help us in our mission. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen…
Our Morning Offering – 9 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A
May Your Heart Dwell Always in our Hearts! By St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
May Your Heart dwell
always in our hearts!
May Your Blood
ever flow in the veins
of our souls!
O sun of our hearts,
You give life to all things
by the rays of Your goodness!
I will not go,
until Your Heart
has strengthened me,
O Lord Jesus!
May the Heart of Jesus
be the King of my heart!
Blessed be God.
Saint of the Day – 9 June – Saint Columba of Iona (521-597) Apostle of the Picts, Apostle to Scotland, Abbot, Missionary, Evangelist, Poet, Scholar and Writer – born on 7 December 521 at Garton, County Donegal, Ireland and died on 9 June 597 at Iona, Scotland and buried there. Patronages – Derry, against floods, bookbinders, poets, co-patron of Ireland and of Scotland. St Columba is also known as Coim, Colmcille, Colum, Columbkill, Columbkille, Columbus, Columcille, Columkill, Combs. Additional Memorials – 6 January as one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland, 17 June translation of relics.
His parents named him Crimtham (Pronounced Criffan) meaning “a fox.” This was not an unusual name at the time, as it signifies the type of attributes that a Celtic noble would need throughout his life – those of cunning and stealth. Later on Columba showed such gentleness, sweetness of nature and a desire for things sacred, that those around him called him Colm which means “a dove” and sometimes Colmcille, meaning “dove of the church.” The latter is the name most often given the saint in his native Ireland. More than likely St Columba would have been High King of Ireland had he not devoted his life to the best cause of all – proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ.
The son of a tribal chieftain, Columba was given the name Crimthann when he was Baptised shortly after his birth in Gartan, County Donegal. When he was a boy, he was so often found praying in the town church that his friends called him Colm Cille (Dove of the Church) and it was as Colm, or its Latin form Columba, that he was known for the rest of his life.
In his early 20s, Columba was strongly influenced by one of his teachers, St Finian of Clonard, and asked to be Ordained a Priest. When a prince cousin gave him some land at Derry, he decided to start a Monastery. Because of his love of nature Columba refused to build the Church facing east, as was the custom, he wanted to spare the lives of as many oak trees as he could. His foundation of another Monastery at Durrow 7 years later, was the beginning of an extraordinary decade during which he travelled through northern Ireland teaching about Christianity and inspiring many people by his personal holiness. He founded some 30 Monasteries in those 10 years.
Columba’s strong personality and forceful preaching aroused considerable antagonism. He was accused in 563 of starting a war between two Irish tribes and was sentenced by the high king never to see Ireland again, to spend the rest of his life in exile. This battle it is believed, resulted over what is today seen, as the first Copyright dispute in history – Columba had become involved in a quarrel with Finnian of Moville of Movilla Abbey over a psalter. Columba copied the manuscript at the Scriptorium under Finnian, intending to keep the copy. Finnian disputed his right to keep it.
With 12 companions he sailed from the shores he loved and settled on a bleak island called Iona off the coast of Scotland. The monks made occasional visits to the Scottish mainland, where they preached Christianity. Soon their community had 150 members.
In 575, Columba was persuaded to visit Ireland to mediate a dispute between the high king and the league of poets. Insisting on remaining faithful to the terms of his exile, that he never see Ireland again, he travelled blindfolded. Although his sympathies were with the poets, his reputation was respected by everyone. He spoke to the assembled nobles and clergy with such force and authority that the king was persuaded to reverse his original decree and the hostility between the two parties was calmed.
Columba spent the rest of his life on Iona, praying, fasting and teaching his monks to read and copy the Scriptures. He provided inspiration for their Missionary efforts and was influential, in the politics of Scotland. Long before his death in 597 he was regarded as a saint by his fellow monks and is today a beloved figure in Irish tradition.
Columba died on Iona and was buried in 597 by his monks in the Abbey he created. His relics were removed in 849 and divided between Scotland and Ireland. The parts of the relics which went to Ireland are reputed to be buried in Downpatrick, County Down, with Saint Patrick and Brigid of Kildare and at Saul Church neighbouring Downpatrick.
After his death Iona became a place of pilgrimage for kings and commoners. 60,000 of the latter still visit the rebuilt abbey every year. But did Columba leave any physical trace? His successor Adomnán, writing 100 years after the saint’s death, described him working in his cell on a rocky hillock. That knoll is called Tòrr an Aba – “the mound of the Abbot.” In 1957 the site was excavated by a team led by the Cornish historian and archaeologist Charles Thomas. On Tòrr an Aba the diggers found hazel charcoal, apparently the remains of a wattle hut. The site had been deliberately covered with beach pebbles and there was a hole where a post – possibly a cross – had been placed. Were these the remains of Columba’s cell? Charles Thomas thought so. Only 60 years later were carbon tests capable of being done and they have confirmed that this must’ve been St Columba’s cell.
Dr Campbell who did the testing said: “This being St Columba, who is so important as a spiritual figure and as a person who founded this series of Monasteries which cultivated learning which spread throughout Europe, it’s really important. It’s really exciting to be able to touch some of the things that were associated with him.”Sixty years on, some of Prof Thomas’s fellow diggers on Iona are still alive. They were as sure as they could be, that this was the saint’s Scriptorium but lacked the backing of modern radiocarbon dating. Sadly Charles Thomas did not live to see his work vindicated. He died in 2016 a year before the definitive date of his samples could be established.
There is a lovely story, whereby St Columba prophesied his own death. It was the Sabbath and he told his fellow monks that his Sabbath was come, his time of departure, to the Lord.
As St Columba sat down, to rest his weary, aching body, the Monastery’s work horse approached him. It lay its head upon the saint’s shoulder, as though to console him and to wish him farewell. They remained there together for a short while.
Seventy-five years of prayer, mortification and fasting were almost at an end. The north of Scotland was converted. Monks, trained by St Columba had travelled southwards, setting up Monasteries and converting the northern English. Iona was becoming the great place of pilgrimage it has remained for centuries, to his day.
He made his way to the chapel, blessed his fellow monks and took his leave, expiring right there at the foot of the altar.
And I think it is extremely fitting at this time, to petition this great saint of Ireland to prayers of intercession, for the rekindling of the Faith in this land.
St Columba, Pray for Ireland.
St Columba, Pray for Scotland.
St Columba, Pray for Holy Mother Church.
St Columba, Pray for Us All!
Feast of Our Lady of Grace – 9 June – Tuesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A
Our Lady of Grace is another of the several titles by which Augustinians have traditionally venerated the Blessed Virgin. In fact it is the oldest among these. From the moment that she received the angel’s greeting and gave her consent to God’s invitation to become the mother of the Word made flesh, Mary became the bearer of Grace in this world.
This title of ‘Our Lady of Grace’ is the oldest with which the Order has shown veneration to Mary. The General Chapter of 1284 prescribed the daily recitation or chant of the ‘Benedicta Tu‘ precisely in honour of Our Lady of Grace. The antiphon ‘Ave Regina Caelorum’, also dating back to the 13th Century, is in honour of this same title as well.
A confraternity with the title ‘Lady of Grace’ was established at least as early as 1401 in Augustinian friaries of Spain and Portugal and, over the subsequent one hundred years, had extended widely throughout the Order. New friaries under this title began to be established in Italy and Latin America. In 1807 Pope Pius VII, at the request of Venerable Joseph Menochio, Papal Sacristan and Confessor to the Pope, granted the Order the right to celebrate this Feast on 1 June (or 9 June in some places).
The Virgin Mary, greeted by the angel as ‘full of grace’ became, from that moment, the Mother of Grace. As Mother of the one and only Mediator Jesus, she is Mother of the Author of Grace and dispenser of Grace.
Bl Alexander of Kouchta
St Alexander of Prusa
Bl Anne Marie Taigi
St Arnulf of Velseca
St Baithen of Iona St Columba of Iona (521-597) Apostle of the Picts, Apostle to Scotland
St Comus of Scotland
St Cumian of Bobbio
Bl Diana d’Andalo
St Diomedes of Tarsus
Bl Henry the Shoemaker
St Jose de Anchieta
Bl Joseph Imbert
St Julian of Mesopotamia
St Luciano Verdejo Acuña
Bl Luigi Boccardo
St Maximian of Syracuse
St Pelagia of Antioch
St Richard of Andria
Bl Robert Salt
Bl Sylvester Ventura
St Valerius of Milan
St Vincent of Agen
Martyrs of Arbil – 5 saints: Five nuns who were martyred together in the persecutions of Tamsabur for refusing to renounce Christianity for sun-worship – Amai, Mariamne, Martha, Mary and Tecla. They were beheaded on 31 May 347 at Arbil, Assyria (in modern Kurdistan, Iraq)