Firstly, the Internet has been intermittent and then gone completely since 25 July, hence the sparsity of posts. Those who have been with me for a while will know how bad my service provider can be.
It seems to be repaired now, we pray! BUT today I leave for Cape Town for about a week.
We will be moving in November, God willing, to Hermanus on the Cape Whale Coast and are going down today (the first of a few trips) to finalise various matters.
Praying for you as always, please don’t forget me in your prayers.
Thought for the Day – 28 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“When a man fears and loves God, temptation is the greatest trial which he can endure. “No-one, is so perfect and holy,” says The Imitation of Christ, “as not sometimes to have temptations and we never can be wholly free from them. Nevertheless, temptations are often very profitable to a man, troublesome and grievous though they may be; for, in them, a man is humbled, purified and instructed. All the Saints passed through many tribulations and temptations and profited by them. And they that could not support temptations became reprobate and fell away …
A man is never wholly secure from temptation as long as he lives, for there is within us, the source of temptation, since we were born in concupiscence …
Inconstancy of mind and little confidence in God, is the beginning of all evil temptations. For as a ship, without a helm, is driven to and fro by the waves, so the man who is negligent and gives up his resolutions,is tempted in various ways. Fire tries iron and temptation, a just man” (Bk 1, c 13).”
These words from The Imitation of Christ, should encourage us.
God sends us temptations in order to test our virtue and to make us understand that we are in continual need of Him.
The important thing is to overcome them with the help of His grace, for a thousand temptations do not constitute a single sin.
When we are prepared to make sacrifices and to rely upon God’s assistance, temptations can be a source of merit for us.
“Blessed is the man who endures temptations,” writes St James, “for when he has been tried, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him” (Js 1:12).
We should not fear temptations, nor be discouraged by them.
Instead, we should watch and pray and love God!”
Quote/s of the Day – 28 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Tuesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time, year A, Readings: Jeremiah 14:17-22, Psalm 79:8-9, 11, 13, Matthew 13:36-43
“Then the righteous shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”
“Christ shall minister to us and show us His radiant Face and His glorious Body with all the marks of faithfulness and love therein impressed. And we shall see all the glorious bodies clothed with all the many tokens of love won in the service of God since the beginning of the world… And our living hearts shall flame with burning love for God and all His saints…”
Bl Jan van Ruusbroec (1293-1381)
Canon Regular, “Doctor Divinus Ecstaticus,” Mystic, Spiritual Writer – The seven steps of the ladder of spiritual love
“Give me grace to amend my life and to have an eye to mine end, without grudge of death, which to them that die in You, good Lord, is the gate of a wealthy life.”
St Thomas More (1478-1535) Martyr
“We will not be proclaimed blessed on the altars in all probability but if we are faithful, in Heaven we will be proclaimed ‘blessed’ and that is enough for us. Let us try to merit this hour of eternal delights.”
Bl Mary of the Passion (1839-1904)
“Work always with the same spirit of Christ. Keep Jesus before your eyes. He is the model of all called to glory.”
“On the last day, we will not be asked if we accomplished great deeds, or been acclaimed by men, rather we will be asked if we followed His will, in the state and condition, to which we were called.”
“The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom, all causers of sin and all law-breakers and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” … Matthew 13:41-43
REFLECTION – “In your imagination see our Lord Jesus Christ seated on a throne of glory; beside Him stand the seraphim, cherubim and each angelic order, serving Him with fear and trembling. Then those who will have finished the combat, without allowing themselves to be drawn by any worldly pleasures or seduced by the attractions of this vain world, will hear the blessed voice of the Master. “Then, he says, the righteous will shine like the sun” (Mt 13:43) when they have come from east and west, north and south to take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (cf. Mt 8:11) in an indescribable joy (cf. 1 Pt 1:8), when our King and Lord, will distribute gifts according to their merits. Ah! my brothers and children. ah! how great and beautiful is the glory which the thrice blessed will enjoy and the saints who practised asceticism! Yes, most certainly, each will receive the blessings promised, according to the degree to which they have pleased God. …
So from now on, run well (cf. Gal 5:7) and may the devil not bewitch you (cf. Gal 3:1) nor hinder you! … May mercy, peace, charity, freedom from envy, from jealousy and ostentation come upon you, docility, friendly speech, solidarity, compassion towards each other, humility. Live like this, act like this, praying, too, with all your heart for my humble self that I may not be thrown into the eternal fire. May we all escape it, having been judged worthy of the kingdom of heaven, in Christ Himself, our God, to whom belongs all glory, honour, adoration, magnificence, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and always, world without end. Amen.” … St Theodore the Studite (759-826) Monk and Theologian – Catechesis 42
PRAYER – All-powerful and ever-living God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, chase away the night of sin and fill our minds with the glory of Your coming. Take away our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh, help us in our battle with sin and the devil. By our prayers, Your holy Sacraments and the strength of the Holy Spirit, may we be ever vigilant of the evil one. By our Baptism in Your Son, we are Your children, grant us Your protection. Kindly listen to the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints and angels, whose prayers we beg, through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 28 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Tuesday of the Seventeenth week in Ordinary Time
Prayer for a Humble Walk By Catholic Relief Services
Lord, You have told us what is good:
Help us to treat others
as we would want them to treat us.
When someone asks us to walk a mile with them,
encourage us to walk two.
When someone demands our shirt,
offer our coat as well.
You have taught us Lord,
that justice extends beyond the letter of the law.
Lord, you have taught us what is good:
Help us forgive our enemies
but more so, to pray for them.
Lead us to comfort the widow,
the weakest among us.
Aid us to feed the hungry,
shelter the wanderer and
offer drink to the thirsty.
You have shown us that goodness
extends even to the Cross
and flows from it for all.
Lord, You have taught us what is necessary:
“to walk humbly with You our God.”
And so, grant us, Lord,
the ability to see ourselves as You see us.
Grace us to walk without pride
so that we may serve others,
in humility and graciousness.
You have shown us how to serve
so that in imitation of You
we may do justice, love goodness
and walk with You forever.
Saint of the Day – 28 July – Saint Pope Victor I (Died 199) Pope, Martyr, Confessor – born in Africa, exact location not recorded in the early years of the 2nd Century. His Papal Ascension was in 189 and died by being Martyred 198-199 (though the date of his death and whether he was martyred is not certain). He was the first Bishop of Rome born in the Roman Province of Africa—probably in Leptis Magna (or Tripolitania). Nothing else is known of his younger years.
Victor’s reign showed many changes in the Church. Culture had begun to change in the Roman Empire. No longer was Greek the standard language. Latin had taken precedence as the official language of the Church, as well. Victor, unlike many of his predecessors, wrote in Latin. During the time of peace in the Church, Victor acted more like a ruler than many of the previous Bishops of Rome had been able to.
The mistress of Emperor Commodus was a woman named Marcia. It is said that she was a secret Christian, or at least, a woman tolerant towards Christianity. At one time, she called Victor to her, asking for a list of names of the Christians who had been sentenced to work in the mines of Sardinia. He gave her a list. This implies that the Christians were a tight group who knew each other well enough to keep tabs on one another. Marcia had them pardoned and sent the presbyter Hyacinthus, who may have been her advisor, to secure their release. One man, Callistus, chose to remain behind, possibly to preach to the pagans there. The Roman Christians sent him a stipend until he left.
At the time, not only was there peace but Christians could practice their religion and serve in the imperial court, which some did. This was a time when the Church attracted men and women of position and wealth.
Victor sought to solidify Roman control of the Church throughout the Mediterranean. He proclaimed that Easter was to be celebrated only on Sunday, a continuing battle, if you have read other entries on the Popes. Many Middle Eastern Christians had moved to Rome and were celebrating Easter as they did at home, following the Passover dates, rather than having Easter on a specific day. Victor requested their Bishops to send him a letter indicating how many people followed this custom. It was the great majority. Victor was not pleased and he went so far as to demand that the Eastern churches follow his rule. He set up the first Synod of Rome to deal with this. But, Eastern churches chose to ignore Victor and continued as they were, despite his threat of excommunication. St Ireneas, Bishop of Lyons and others wrote to Victor asking him to not be so harsh and demanding that he keep the Middle Eastern Churches within the fold. There are no letters of response from Victor but he must have relented because the Eastern churches remained.
There was a Priest who had known St Polycarp and was probably taught by him. The man’s name was Florinus. He began to teach questionable doctrine and eventually Gnostic heresy. St Ireneas wrote two treatises against Forinus’ preaching then notified Victor of the man’s work. Pope Victor immediately excommunicated sndf defrocked Florinus.
Another man, Theodotus, came to Rome from Asia and preached that Jesus was just a normal man until he was Baptised and was endowed with the Spirit. As much as Victor tried to excommunicate him, Theodotus continued his preaching. He and his followers developed a schismatic group which continued for a while.
In addition to these two, the Montanists were still troubling the churches of Asia with their odd prophecies, indicating that marriage was as much a sin as adultery and on and on. At first, from a distance, Victor thought them to be just zealously pious. But when some came to speak to him, he realised his mistake and ordered excommunication.
In addition to Victor’s writings about the paschal question, he was known to have written a treatise against gambling.
Considering the attitudes of the government at the time, it is thought that St Pope Victor probably did not die as a Martyr.
He is the first US-born Priest and Martyr to be Beatified (on 23 September 2017) and the second person to be Beatified on US soil following the 2014 Beatification of New Jersey-born nun, Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich S.C. (1901-1927).
His First Feast Day today, 28 July 2018
St Pope Victor I (Died 199) Martyr
Martyrs of Laodicea – 8 saints
Martyrs of Thebaid: A large but unspecified number of Christians who were imprisoned, tortured and murdered together in the persecutions of Decius and Valerian. 3rd century Thebes, Egypt.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War – Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
Martyrs of Fernán Caballero – 14 beati: Fourteen Claretian clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War. – 28 July 1936 in Fernán Caballero, Ciudad Real, Spain. They were Beatified on 13 October 2013 by Pope Francis.
Bl Antolín Astorga Díez
Bl Enrique Serra Chorro
Bl Gregorio Charlez Ribera
Bl Joan Ayats Plantalech
Bl Joan Bover Teixidor
Bl Joan Costa Canal
Bl José Aurelio Calleja de Hierro
Bl José Gutiérrez Arranz
Bl Josep Camí y Camí
Bl Josep Martí Coll
Bl Lluis Casanovas Vila
Bl Lorenzo Arribas Palacio
Bl Manuel Collellmir Sentíes
Bl Miguel Léibar Garay
Bl Narcís Felíu Costa
Bl Pedro Alonso Fernández
Bl Pelagi Ayats Vergés
Bl Pere Vilar Espona
Bl Primitivo Sandín Miñambres
Bl Ramon Gros Ballbé
Bl Vicente Toledano Valenciano
Saint of the Day – 26 July – Saint Bartholomea Capitanio SCCG (1807-1833) Religious and the Co-Foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Lovere, Teacher, Apostle of the Poor, the ill, children – commonly known as the Sisters of Maria Bambina, which she established with St Vincenza Gerosa (about St Vinenza – https://anastpaul.com/2019/06/28/saint-of-the-day-28-june-st-vincenza-gerosa-1784-1847/ ). Born on 13 January 1807 at Lovere, Bergamo, Italy and died on 26 July 1833 at Lovere, Bergamo, Italy of tuberculosis, aged 26. Patronages – Teachers, Sisters of Charity of Lovere. St Bartolomea Capitanio was Canonised in Rome by Pope Pius XII on 18 May 1950 together with St Vincenza Gerosa. The two Saint friends, have an additional Memorial on 18 May in the Ambrosian Rite which includes the Sisters of Maria Bambina, the Diocese of Brescia, Italy, the Diocese of Bergamo, Italy and the Archdiocese of Milan, Italy.
Bartolomea Capitanio was born at Lovere, a flourishing commercial centre on the western bank of Lake Iseo, on 13 January 1807, as the first born of Modesto Capitanio and Caterina Canossi. Of the six children born after her, only Camilla survives, all the others died at a young age. Her father, a merchant of grains, managed a small shop with which he maintained the family. The girl grew vivacious and dynamic, gifted with an exceptional intelligence.
Her mother, unable to care for her as she would have preferred, to give her proper Catholic instruction and to keep her away from dangers, due to having to work in the shop, entrusted her to the Sisters of the Poor Clares. She attended their School at the Monastery in Lovere.
Here, at just 12 years of age – as witnesses attest – having chosen the longest straw in a game, that indicated who would have become a Saint first, she decided really to become “a saint, a great saint, a saint soon.” Discovering the tangible signs of God’s love in her life, Bartholomea became fascinated by this immense love, unmerited and gratuitous, and felt the need to respond to it, with the whole strength of her exuberant and determined/strong-willed nature. She understood that there is no better way to reciprocate God’s love, than that of loving concretely one’s brothers and sisters, those whom He loves as He has loved her and for whom, He did not hesitate to descend to earth, to offer His life on the Cross and to give himself totally in the Eucharist.
And so, as soon as she came out of the Monastery, without disregarding her family duties, she took care of the needy persons of her town – the girls in moral danger, for whom she opened a small school with the help of the Parish Priest; she revived with brilliant initiatives, the Oratory which had been started by Caterina (St Vincenza) in her wealthy house; the abandoned sick and those who were in the hospital, that was also begun by “Lady” Caterina with the bequest of her uncle. She visited the prisoners and the poor.
Bartholomea kept in contact with many of her companions through her frequent correspondence and with the Priests of the neighbourhood to favour the renewal of Christian practice after the outburst of irreligiousness and anti-clericalism that had turned Italy upside down, following the French revolution. The passage of Napoleonic army had left the population in a deep material, moral and spiritual desolation.
The activity of Bartolomea was untiring, sustained by an intense prayer that pervaded every second of her day, lived in a spousal intimacy with her Lord. She understood that in order to give continuity to the works initiated, it was necessary to begin an Institute “whose aim should be – the Works of Mercy.”With the support of the Parish Priest and the help of her Spiritual Father, Fr Angelo Bosio, amidst difficulty and tribulation, she began her Order in an extremely precarious situation, in a poor house, with only one companion, Caterina (later Sr Vincenza). On the Feast of the Presentation – on 21 February 1832 – the pair dedicated themselves to God (in Bosio and Barboglio’s presence at San Giorgio in Casa Gaia) and began to live a communal life. The formal founding was on 21 November 1832. Within five months of it’s beginning, a grave pulmonary sickness took her to her tomb at only 26 years of age.
She accepted it as the call of the Lord with serenity, with the certainty that from heaven, she could have helped the Institute more than on earth. At her death, everything seemed to end because Caterina, already mature in years, did not feel capable of the project of Bartolomea. Nevertheless, solicited by the Parish Priest and supported by Fr Bosio, she carried on the work and took it forward with fidelity and holiness of life. Thus the Institute grew quickly, expanding in Lombardy-Venice and in Tyrol.
In 1860 the sisters were requested to evangelise Bengal (India) and following it, they continued to spread, going where their presence was called for because “the need is great and urgent,” just as the Foundress used to desire
Today they are present in 20 Countries on four continents. For this reason, the Institute has acquired a clear international physiognomy. Everything sprang forth from that small seed in the beginning, sown with trust in the Lovere soil, which had accepted to die in order to let the Lord to make it fruitful for the necessity of men and women of their and our time.
The Sisters of Charity of the Saints Bartolomea Capitanio and Vincenza Gerosa (SCCG) grateful for the gift that God had given them and to the whole Churc, committed themselves to witness, with a life dedicated to charity, to the Redeemer’s ardent love for every man and woman, of any race, language, culture, religion and social origin, as Bartolomea and Vincenza did.
They are familiarly called Sisters of Maria Bambina because they preserve in the Shrine in Milan, where the body of St Bartholomea lies, an effigy of baby Mary gifted to the Institute in 1842.
Thought for the Day – 25 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“We must recognise that we are all poor sinners in the sight of God.
Sacred Scripture warns us that “the just mans falls seven times” (Prov 24:16). “If we say that we have no sin,” says St John, “we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn 1:8).
Sin is the greatest evil because it offends God, our highest good and happiness.
It only needs our own malice for us to commit sin but, in order to make reparation for it and to redeem us from slavery, it was necessary for God to become man and to offer Himself as a victim of expiation for our sins.
Only a God-Man could have fully satisfied our debt, by offering Himself as a victim of reparation for His adopted brothers.
Jesus desires us to be associated with Him in His Passion, however (Cf Col 1:24).
Our justification cannot be something extrinsic to ourselves but should transform us and make us holy.
Our co-operation with divine grace is necessary for this purpose (1 Cor 15:10).
If we are in sin, we should not only repent but should purify ourselves by acts of penance.
Jesus Himself commands this. “Unless you repent, you will all perish,” (Lk 13:5) “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Mt 3:2, 4:17).
We must make satisfaction for our sins, therefore, by voluntary co-operation with the grace of God.
Although God is infinitely good and merciful, He will not purify us without this co-operation on our part.
We can be purified by accepting the unavoidable tribulations of life with perfect resignation and by offering to God, our own voluntary mortifications and sacrifices.
Are we prepared to follow the example of the Saints in this matter?”
One Minute Reflection – 25 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – The Memorial of St James the Greater, Apostle of Christ, Readings: 2 Corinthians 4:7-15, Psalm 126, Matthew 20:20-28
INTERNET PROBLEMS – CANNOT UPLOAD IMAGES!
“Can you drink the cup that I am going to drink?” … Matthew 20:28
REFLECTION – “How shall I repay the Lord?” (Ps 115[116B],12) Not with holocausts or sacrifices or the observances of the legal cult but with my whole life itself. And this is why, says the psalmist, “The cup of salvation I will take” (v.13). The labour he underwent in the struggles of his filial devotion to God and the constancy with which he resisted sin even to death – this is what the psalmist calls his cup.
It was concerning this cup that our Lord Himself expressed Himself in the Gospels : “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me” (Mt 26:39). And again, to His disciples: “Can you drink the cup that I shall drink?” He intended to speak of that death He desired to suffer, for the salvation of the world. Therefore, He says: “The cup of salvation I will take up,” namely, my whole being is reaching out, parched, towards the consummation of martyrdom, even to the point of holding the torments endured, in the struggles of filial love as rest and not as suffering, for soul and body. I too, He says, will offer Myself to the Lord as a sacrifice and oblation. … And I am ready to pay these vows before all the people, for: “My vows to the Lord I will pay in the presence of all his people!” (v.14).” … St Basil the Great (330-379) Monk and Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Father & Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Lord our God, You accepted the sacrifice of St James, the first of Your Apostles to give his life for Your sake. May Your Church find strength in his martyrdom and support in his constant prayer. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. St James the Greater, Apostle of Christ, Pray for us! Amen
Our Morning Offering – 25 July – The Memorial of St Christopher (died c 251)
The Christopher Prayer
Father, grant that we may be,
bearers of Christ Jesus, Your Son.
Allow us to fill with Your light
the world around us.
Strengthen us by Your Holy Spirit
to carry out our mission
of living and following
the path of Jesus, our Lord.
Help us to understand,
that by Your grace
our gifts are Your blessings,
to be shared with others.
Fill us with Your Spirit of love
to give glory to You
in loving all
and preaching by our love.
Nourish in us the desire
to go forth
as the bearers of Your Son
fearless and gentle,
loving and merciful.
Make us true Christ bearers,
that in seeing us
only He is visible.
Pietro Corradini was born in 1435 in Macerata into a prominent household. When he was only thirteen years old he was graced with a vision. God showed Peter the whole world in ruins. Then God showed him that the world would be rescued by a single monk. The vision is reminiscent of Christ’s request to St Francis: “Francis, rebuild my Church.” How can a single man or a small group of men and women have such an impact? It defies common sense and the ways of the world.
Perhaps Blessed Peter was mindful of this, or perhaps his well-off family pushed him into university but in either event, Peter’s life took a more practical turn and he achieved his doctorate in law. He seemed poised to become a successful man of the world until he experienced a deep conversion upon listening to the sermon of a visiting Franciscan. Pietro immediately approached the Preacher and asked to be admitted as a Franciscan.
He joined the Order of Friars Minor in 1467 and was later Ordained to the Priesthood. He became a travelling Preacher in the Marche region, perhaps always zealously aiming to be the monk of his dream and save the world. He preached with immense power of his love for Christ and His Church and the dire need of the conversion of soul.
Much later he sent to Crete where he served as a Commissioner for the entire Order and advisor and collaborator of St James of the Marches who selected Corradini to be his protégé.
Fr Pietro was also a friend, as well as, both the Confessor and the Spiritual Director of St Camilla Battista da Varano and to to her father. Fr Pietro preached a Crusade against the Ottoman Empire and on three occasions served s the as the Franciscan Provincial for the Marche region. His first period of administration was in 1477 followed with appointments in 1483 and 1489. He also served as a Franciscan Representative to Rome in 1474.
He became ill in Camerino and immediately requested the Viaticum before he died, which occurred just after midnight on 25 July 1490.
The bells for the Te Deum during the midnight office rung when he died. St Camilla Da Varano presented a eulogy at the graveyard.
The Beatification process commenced not too long after Fr Pietro’s death and culminated on 10 August 1760 after Pope Clement XIII issued a formal decree that approved Corradini’s local ‘cultus’ thus naming him Blessed.
The image below is of Blessed Peter at the Holy House of Loreto, communing with the Blessed Virgin and the Christ Child.
St Cugat del Valles
Bl Darío Acosta Zurita
St Fagildo of Santiago
St Felix of Furcona
St Florentius of Furcona
St Glodesind of Metz
St Magnericus of Trier
Bl Michel-Louis Brulard
Bl Mieczyslawa Kowalska
St Nissen of Wexford
St Olympiad of Constantinople
St Paul of Palestine Blessed Pietro Corradini OFM (1435–1490) Priest
St Theodemir of Cordoba
Martyrs of Caesarea – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together in the pesecutions of emperor Maximilian and governor Firmilian – Paul, Tea and Valentina. 309 in Caesarea, Palestine.
Martyrs of Cuncolim – 20 saints: On 15 July 1583 the group met at the church of Orlim, and hiked to Cuncolim to erect a cross and choose land for a new church. Local anti-Christian pagans, seeing the unarmed Christians, gathered their weapons and marched on them. One of the parishioners, a Portuguese emigre named Gonçalo Rodrigues, carried a firearm, but Father Alphonsus Pacheco stopped him from using it. The pagans then fell upon them, and killed them all without mercy. They were –
• Alphonsus Pacheco
• Alphonsus the altar boy
• Anthony Francis
• Dominic of Cuncolim
• Francis Aranha
• Francis Rodrigues
• Gonçalo Rodrigues
• Paul da Costa
• Peter Berno
• Rudolph Acquaviva
• ten other native Christian converts whose names have not come down to us
They were martyred on Monday 25 July 1583 at the village of Cuncolim, district of Salcete, territory of Goa, India. Beatified on 30 April 1893 by Pope Leo XIII.
Martyrs of Motril – 5 beati: Four priests and a brother, all members of the Augustinian Recollects, who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War:
• Deogracias Palacios del Río
• José Rada Royo
• José Ricardo Díez Rodríguez
• Julián Benigno Moreno y Moreno
• León Inchausti Minteguía
They were shot on 25 July 1936 in Motril, Granada, Spain and Beatified on 7 March 1999 by Pope John Paul II.
Martyrs of Toledo – 4 beati: Four brothers and a priest, all members of the Hospitallers of Saint John of God, and all martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Carlos Rubio álvarez
• Eloy Francisco Felipe Delgado Pastor
• Jerónimo Ochoa Urdangarín
• Primo Martínez De San Vicente Castillo
25 July 1936 in Talavera de la Reina, Toledo, Spain. They were Beatified on 25 October 1992 by Pope John Paul II.
Martyrs of Urda – 3 beati: Three members of the Passionists who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Benito Solana Ruiz
• Felix Ugalde Irurzun
• Pedro Largo Redondo
They were shot on 25 July 1936 in Urdá, Toledo, Spain and Beatified on 1 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II.
Thought for the Day – 24 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Progress in the Love of God
“The entire Christian system is based on the love of God.
This, is “the greatest and first commandment” (Mt 22:38) of Jesus, from which the second commandment, to love our neighbour, naturally flows.
A man who does not observe this first commandment is not a Christian, whereas a man who endeavours to increase, everyday, his love for God, is a saint.
There are may grades of ascent in this love but, the basic step is indicated in the words of our Divine Master: “He who has my commandments and keeps them, he is is who loves me” (Jn 14:15,21).
The love of God should not consist of an empty and ineffective sentimentality but, should comprise a sincere determinations to please God by carrying out His will, without reserve and by becoming more closely united to Him, by the help of His holy grace.
Progress in the love of God is divided by the masters of the spiritual lfe into three stages:
(1) the period of purification;
(2) the period of illuminations and;
(3) the period of union with God.
We may have advanced no farther than the first stage because there is still so much to be purified in our souls.
Nevertheless, let us ask God’s grace, to help us to begin this work immediately!”
Quote/s of the Day – 24 July – Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Jeremiah 3:14-17, Responsorial psalm Jeremiah 31:10-13, Matthew 13:18-23
“This, beloved, is the way in which we found our salvation, Jesus Christ, the High Priest who offers our gifts, the patron and helper in our weakness (Heb 10:20; 7:27; 4:15). It is through Him, that we look straight at the heavens above. Through Him, we see mirrored, God’s faultless and transcendent countenance. Through Him, the eyes of our heart were opened. Through Him, our unintelligent and darkened mind shoots up into the light. Through Him, the Master was pleased to let us taste the knowledge that never fades, He who is “the radiance of His splendour, who towers as much above the angels, as the title He has inherited, is superior to theirs.”
St Pope Clement I (c 35 – c 99)
O Lord and Master of My Life Prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian (306-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
O Lord and Master of my life, give me not a spirit of sloth, vain curiosity, lust for power and idle talk. But give to me, Thy servant, a spirit of soberness, humility, patience and love. O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to condemn my brother. For blessed art Thou to the ages of ages. Amen O God, be merciful to me a sinner. O God, cleanse me, a sinner. O God, my Creator, save me and for my many sins forgive me!
“A Christian is: a mind through which Christ thinks, a heart through which Christ loves, a voice through which Christ speaks and a hand through which Christ helps.”
St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church
“You have the words of eternal life”
“These words surely make quite obvious to us the necessity for sitting at the feet of Christ, taking Him as our one and only teacher and giving Him our constant and undivided attention. … Keeping with their guide was the Israelites’ salvation then, just as not leaving Christ is ours now. … We will stay with You always and hold fast to Your commandments. We will receive Your words without finding fault, or thinking Your teaching hard, as the ignorant do but thinking rather: “How sweet are Your words to my throat! Sweeter to the mouth are they, than honey or the honeycomb!”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father and Doctor of the Church
“Paul says: I appeal to you by the mercy of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice, living and holy. The prophet said the same thing: Sacrifice and offering you did not desire but you have prepared a body for me. Each of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and His priest. Do not forfeit what divine authority confers on you. Put on the garment of holiness, gird yourself with the belt of chastity. Let Christ be your helmet, let the cross on your forehead be your unfailing protection. Your breastplate, should be the knowledge of God, that He Himself has given you. Keep burning continually, the sweet smelling incense of prayer. Take up the sword of the Spirit. Let your heart be an altar. Then, with full confidence in God, present your body for sacrifice. God desires, not death but faith; God thirsts, not for blood but for self-surrender; God is appeased, not by slaughter but by the offering, of your free will.”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church
“Doctor of Homilies”
“Fix your minds on the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Inflamed with love for us, He came down from heaven to redeem us. For our sake He endured every torment of body and soul and shrank from no bodily pain. He Himself gave us an example of perfect patience and love. We, then, are to be patient in adversity.”
St Francis of Paola OM (1416-1507)
“There is One very near you Who knocks at your door every hour of the day, Who begs you to listen to Him and to keep silence in order to hear Him.”
St Simon-Marie-Just Ranfer de Bretenières (1838-1866)
“As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty and in another thirty.”...Matthew 13:23
REFLECTION – “And yet, if both the land be good and the Sower one and the seed the same, wherefore did one bear a hundred, one sixty, one thirty?
Here again the difference is from the nature of the ground, for even where the ground is good, great even therein, is the difference.
Understand that not the Sower is to be blamed, nor the seed but the land that receives it? not for its nature but, for its disposition.
And herein too, great is His mercy to man, that He does not require one measure of virtue.
… And these things He says, lest they that followed Him should suppose that hearing is sufficient for salvation.
… Yes, both vainglory and all the rest belong to this world and to the deceitfulness of riches, such as pleasure and gluttony and envy and vainglory and all the like.
But He added also the “way” and the “rock,” signifying that it is not enough to be freed from riches only, but we must cultivate also the other parts of virtue.
But what if you are free indeed from riches, yet are soft and unmanly? and what if you are not indeed unmanly but are remiss and careless about the hearing of the word?
No one part is sufficient for our salvation but there is required first, a careful hearing and a continual recollection, then fortitude, then contempt of riches and deliverance from all worldly things.” … St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor
PRAYER – A pure heart create for me O God, put a steadfast spirit within me! (Ps 50) Lord God, bestow a full measure of Your grace to us. Keep us within in the path of Your commandments, help us to work on the earth of our souls, rooting out the weeds and casting forth the stones of malice. Grant that by the prayers of St Charbel Makhluf, who by Your grace triumphed in all virtues, we may succeed in attaining sanctity. Through Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 24 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Friday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time
Your Blood, The Fire of Love! By St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
O sweet Jesus, my Love,
to strengthen my soul
and to rescue it from the weakness
into which it has fallen,
You have built a wall around it
and have mixed the mortar with Your blood,
confirming my soul and uniting it
to the sweet will and charity of God!
Just as lime mixed with water
is placed between stones to cement them together,
so You, O God, have placed between
Your creature and Yourself,
the Blood of Your only-begotten Son,
cemented with the divine lime
of the fire of ardent charity,
in such a way that there is no Blood
without fire, nor fire without Blood.
Your Blood was shed, O Christ, by the fire of love!
St Cyriacus of Ziganeus
St Declan of Ardmore
Bl Diego Martinez
Bl Donatus of Urbino Blessed Giovanni Tavalli (1386-1446) Bishop
Bl Godo of Oye
St John Boste
Bl Joseph Fernandez
Bl Joseph Lambton
Bl Juan Solorzano
St Lewina of Seaford
Bl Louise of Savoy
Bl Nicholas Garlick
Bl Paulus Yi Do-gi
Bl Pierre de Barellis
Bl Richard Simpson
Bl Robert Ludlam
Rufinus of Mercia
St Sigolena of Trocar
St Stercatius of Merida
St Ursicinus of Sens
St Victor of Merida
St Victorinus of Amiterno
St Vincent of Rome
St Wulfhad of Mercia
Martyred in England:
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Cándido Castán San José
Bl Cecilio Vega Domínguez
St Ignacio González Calzada
St Jaime Gascón Bordas
Bl José Joaquín Esnaola Urteaga
Bl José Máximo Moro Briz
St Josep Guillamí Rodo
St Marcos Morón Casas
Bl Maria Angeles of Saint Joseph
Bl Maria Mercedes Prat
Bl Maria Pilar of Saint Francis Borgia
Bl Teresa of the Child Jesus and of Saint John of the Cross
St Xavier Bordas Piferrer
Saint of the Day – 24 July – Blessed Giovanni Tavalli (1386-1446) Archbishop, Friar of the Jesuit Friars of Saint Jerome, Spiritual Advisor – born in 1386 in Tossignano, Bologna, Italy and died on 24 July 1446 in Ferrara, Italy of natural causes.
Giovanni was born into a wealthy family, he undertook studies in philosophy and law, first in Tossignano, then at the University of Bologna. In 1408 he abandoned his studies to enter the Order of the Gesuati – the Jesuit Friars of Saint Jerome.
In 1426 he was appointed Prior of the Convent of the Order, in Ferrara. In 1428 he built the Church of San Gerolamo, intended for his order.
In October 1431, Pope Eugene IV appointed him Bishop of Ferrara even though he was not yet a Priest. Initially he refused but accepted after the Pope’s insistence. He was Ordained a Priest and Consecrated as Bishop on 27 December 1431.
He visited his entire Archdiocese six times, attended the Council of Basel in 1433 and the Council of Ferrara in 1438.
He extended his help in whatever way he could, to help the citizens of Ferrara during a flood and during the plague. It was in these circumstances that he conceived the construction of a Hospital where the sick could find comfort. In 1443 he founded the Sant’Anna hospital to which he dedicated the last years of his life. Today it is the most important and biggest Hospital in Ferrara and it’s province.
He was the Spiritual Advisor to high-level personalities, including Cardinal Niccolò Albergati and Pope Eugene IV .
His cult began immediately after his death and was subsequently approved by Pope Clement VIII (1592-1605). On 19 August 1729, his remains were transferred to the Church of San Girolamo, built in 1428 by Tavelli himself and placed under the main altar. Later, in 1947, these were placed under the altar of the Crucifix, in the first Chapel on the left of the church, where they still rest.
On 20 July 1748 Pope Benedict XIV granted his permission for Holy Mass to be celebrated in his honour in the whole Archdiocese of Ferrara and, the following year, he extended the concession also to the territory of Tossignano .
In August 1846 , shortly after his election, Pope Pius IX , who had been Bishop of Imola, allowed that the relic of the metacarpus of the right hand of Blessed Tavelli, be kept in the Bishopric of Ferrara, was donated to the Church of Tossignanese. Since then, it has been kept in the Cathedral of San Michele Arcangelo in Tossignano. Another relic is preserved in the Diocesan Museum of Pope Pius IX in Imola.
In Ferrara there is also a Parish, in a new neighbourhood, dedicated to Blessed Tavelli.
Thought for the Day – 23 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Knowledge and Sanctity
“If there had been equal progress throughout the ages in sanctity and in science, men would now be very wise and very holy.
It is a well-known fact, that science has made great strides but, it must be admitted,unfortunately, that it has often forgotten it’s beginning and final end, which is God alone.
The object of knowledge, is truth and, all truth comes from God but, it dwells in created things like a reflection of divine light.
We must trace this reflected light back to it’s original source.
If students had always done this, they could have become wise as well as learned.
They would have gained from their studies and research, a deeper knowledge of God, the author of all the marvels in the universe and, they would have discovered, how to worship and obey Him.
When science goes astray or becomes an end in itself, it ceases to be of real service and can become an instrument of evil.
When the history of philosophy was described as the history of human aberrations, this was not altogether an exaggeration.
Moreover, the technical and practical science which are flourishing in this era, have often become the means of human destruction.
This is what happens when science turns away from God, who is it’s origin.
There is a great deal of learning in the modern world but, very little holiness.
As a result of their absorption in intellectual labour and scientific research, men have forgotten the most important thing in life, which is goodness.
It would seem that the intellect has stifled the impulses of the heart and the dictates of conscience.
Do not let this happen in your own case.
By all means, have and promote learning but, more than anything else, cultivate in your soul that sanctity which will be your greatest treasure in life.”
Quote/s of the Day – 23 July – the Memorial of St John Cassian (c 360- c 435), St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373)
“Whoever has achieved love has God within himself and his intellect is always with God.”
“No structure of virtue can possibly be raised in our soul unless, first, the foundations of true humility are laid in our heart.”
“The thief on the cross certainly did not receive the Kingdom of Heaven as a reward for his virtues but as a grace and a mercy from God. He can serve as an authentic witness that our salvation is given to us only by God’s mercy and grace. All the holy masters knew this and unanimously taught that perfection in holiness can be achieved only through humility.”
St John Cassian (c 360- c 435)
“O Lord, make haste and illumine the night. Say to my soul that nothing happens without You permitting it and that nothing of what You permit, is without comfort.”
“There is no sinner in the world, however much at enmity with God, who cannot recover God’s grace, by recourse to Mary and by asking her assistance.”
One Minute Reflection – 23 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Thursday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Jeremiah 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13, Psalm 36:6-11, Matthew 13:10-17and the Memorial of St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373) and Blessed Margarita de Maturana (1881-1934)
“For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see” … Matthew 13:17
REFLECTION – “In one of the psalms the prophet says: “My soul pines for your salvation; I hope in your word” (119:1) … Who is it expressing this ardent desire if not “the chosen race, the royal priesthood, the people set apart for God” (1 Pt 2:9), each in their own day, in each one of those who have lived, are living or will live, from humanity’s first beginning, until the end of the world? … That is why our Lord Himself says to His disciples: “Many prophets and righteous men have longed to see what you see.” It is their voice, then, we must recognise in this psalm … Their longing has never come to an end in the saints, nor does it end even now in “the Body of Christ, the Church” (Col 1:18) until “the Desired of all nations” comes (Hag 2:8 Vg) …
So the beginning of the Church’s era, before the Virgin had given birth, comprised saints who longed to see Christ’s coming in the flesh and the period where we are now, following the Ascension, comprises other saints, who long to see the revealing of Christ to judge the living and the dead. From the beginning to the end of time, the Church’s longing has never lost its intensity, excepting only, when our Lord was alive on earth in the company of His disciples.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – Discourses on the Psalms, Ps 119, no. 20 ; CCL 40, 1730
PRAYER – “O Jesus, Son of God, You Who were silent in the presence of Your accusers, restrain my tongue until I find what should say and how to say it. Show me the way and make me ready to follow it. It is dangerous to delay, yet perilous to go forward. Answer my petition and show me the way. As the wounded go to the doctor in search of aid, so do I come to You. O Lord, give Your peace to my heart. “ (St Bridget). And we ask God our Father that the prayers of St Bridget and Blessed Margarita de Maturana, may serve as an aid as we strive to attain virtue and see Your Face, O Lord, through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 23 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Thursday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time
May We Confess Your Name to the End By St Cyprian of Carthage (200-258) Bishop and Martyr Father of the Church
may we confess Your Name to the end.
May we emerge unmarked
and glorious from the traps
and darkness of this world.
As You have bound us together
by charity and peace
and as together
we have persevered under persecution,
so may we also rejoice together
in Your heavenly kingdom.
Saint of the Day – 23 July – Blessed Margarita María López de Maturana (1884-1934) known as “Mother Margarita”– Religious, Foundress of the Mercedarian Missionaries of Berriz – born on 5 July 1884 on the 3rd floor of 52 Tenderia Street, Bilboa, Vizcaya, Spain as Pilar López de Maturana y Ortiz de Zárate and died at 12:15 am on 23 July 1934 at Donostia-San Sebastian, Berriz, Vizcaya, Spain of stomach cancer. Patronages – Mercedarian Missionaries of Bérriz, Missionaries, against stomach cancer.
The life of Mother Margarita was a devout and generous response to God’s call. From childhood she cultivated a deep love for God which developed throughout her lifetime. She is reported as once saying: “There are very important moments in life when God shows us the way to follow and then leaves it to our free will to respond.” Her constant choice was always a generous “yes” to the God of love.
Pilar, as she was named at Baptism, was born with her twin sister Leonor, in Bilbao, Spain, on 25 July 1884. The twins were the youngest of five children born to Juana Ortiz de Zarate and Vicente López de Maturana.
According to early accounts the twins were inseparable. They grew up sharing everything, including their love for God. Both, in fact, decided to enter the convent. But it was Leonor’s desire to make the sacrifice of detachment from her sister that prompted her to chose to enter a different Order from her beloved twin, the Carmelites of Charity.
Opening to a vocation:
In 1901 Pilar’s widowed mother enrolled her in the boarding school of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy (Mercedarians), in an effort to distance her from a suitor and resulting relationship, that Doña Juana felt was premature for Pilar’s 16 years of age.
Her initial difficult adjustment at the school was soothed by the simplicity and manner of educating of the Religious, which made her feel at home and comfortable in her new environment.
Shortly thereafter, she desired to enter the Order and following her 19th birthday, the age established by her mother, she entered the novitiate in the Cloistered Mercedarian Monastery of Vera Cruz in Berriz on 10 August 1903, taking the name Margarita María.
In 1906 she began to work in the Order’s boarding school, where she had also studied. She remained there for more than 20 years, distinguishing herself by fervent prayer and charity.
The Order of Our Lady of Mercy was founded by St Peter Nolasco in 1218 in order to ransom Christian captives. To the traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, St Peter added a fourth vow, to act as hostages, if necessary, to free from the Moors the Christian captives whose faith was in danger. As centuries passed the need to offer oneself in ransom declined but this missionary spirit remained in the hearts of those who lived the charism.
New fruits of the charism:
Consonant with the Mercedarian charism, Sr Margarita María felt a strong desire to practice the fourth vow. She applied this vocation of the ransom of captives to the task of converting the pagan world.
After 17 years of faithful religious life, the Mercedarian spirit inspired Sr Margarita, in 1920, to form an association of Mercedarian Missionary Youth, encouraging them to be co-missionaries through prayer and various activities.
The missionary spirit pervaded not only the youth residing with them but the whole Monastery as well. By September 1924 the request was made to the Superior General of the Order of Mercy, to petition Rome to redefine their religious status, from a contemplative Order to an active Missionary Order. On 23 January 1926 permission was granted ad experimentum to take up the Missionary life. By 19 September 1926 the first group of six Missionary Sisters departed for Wuhu, China, where they arrived safely on 5 November of the same year. The second Missionary expedition that left Berriz, on 30 October 1927, went to Saipan, in the Mariana Islands of the South Pacific, arriving four months later on 4 March 1928.
A third Missionary expedition that set out for Ponape Island, Japan, in 1928 was conducted by Mother Margarita María, who had just been named Superior a year earlier on 16 April 1927.
In 1930 the final approval and blessing came from Rome for the official transformation of the Mercedarian Monastery of Berriz into a Missionary Institute. On 30 July 1931, during the First General Chapter of the Mercedarian Missionaries of Berriz, Mother Margarita María was elected as the first Superior General.
Before her death in Spain due to cancer on 23 July 1934, she had travelled the world twice on Missionary work.
Mother Margarita’s Missionary zeal, sprang from her intense union with Christ, who offered Himself in ransom for all. Her desire to live the fourth vow and save souls, inspired her Missionary spirit. Her writing defines the stimulus for the missionary spirit as a “desire to love Jesus Christ in a new and total way – to love Him above all, in those who do not love Him.”
Margarita María’s Beatification cause was opened on 30 July 1943. Her writings were approved on 4 March 1954. On 16 March 1987 her heroic virtues were proclaimed, followed by recognition on 28 April 2006 of a Miracle attributed to her. … Vatican.va
She was Beatified on 22 October 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI. The recognition was celebrated at Santiago Cathedral, Bilbao, Vizcaya, Spain by Jose Cardinal Saraiva.
Bl Josep Sala Picó
Bl Juan de Luca
Bl Juan de Montesinos
Bl Leonard da Recanati Blessed Margarita María López de Maturana (1884-1934)
Bl Pedro Ruiz de los Paños Angel
St Phocas the Gardener
St Primitiva of Rome
St Rasyphus of Macé
St Rasyphus of Rome
St Ravennus of Macé
St Redempta of Rome
St Romula of Rome
St Severus of Bizye
St Theophilus of Rome
St Trophimus of Rome
St Valerian of Cimiez
Bl Wojciech Gondek
Martyrs of Barcelona – 7 beati: Seven Christians, some lay people, some members of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and some of the Franciscan Daughters of Mercy, who were martyred in two groups on the same day in the Spanish Civil War.
• Catalina Caldés Socías
• Francesc Mayol Oliver
• Miquel Pons Ramis
• Miquela Rul-Làn Ribot
• Pau Noguera Trías
• Prudència Canyelles Ginestà de Aguadé
• Simó Reynés Solivellas
23 July 1936 in Barcelona, Spain. They were Beatified on 28 October 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.
Martyrs of Bulgaria: An unknown number of Christians killed for their faith during the 9th century war between the Greek Emperor Nicephorus and the Bulgars.
Martyrs of Carabanchel Bajo – 9 beati: A group of nine Passionist priests, brothers and clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Anacario Benito Nozal
• Felipe Ruiz Fraile
• Felipe Valcobado Granado
• José Osés Sainz
• José Ruiz Martinez
• Julio Mediavilla Concejero
• Laurino Proaño Cuesta
• Manuel Pérez Jiménez
• Maurilio Macho Rodríguez
22 July 1936 in Carabanchel Bajo, Madrid, Spain. They were Beatified on 1 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II.
Martyrs of Horta – 10 beati: A lay woman and nine Minim nuns who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Ana Ballesta Gelmá
• Dolors Vilaseca Gallego
• Josefa Pilar García Solanas
• Josepa Panyella Doménech
• Lucrecia García Solanas
• Maria Montserrat Ors Molist
• Mercè Mestre Trinché
• Ramona Ors Torrents
• Teresa Ríus Casas
• Vicenta Jordá Martí
23 July 1936 at the Sant Genís dels Agudells highway, Horta, Barcelona, Spain. They were Beatified on
27 October 2013 by Pope Benedict XVI.
Martyrs of Manzanares – 5 beati: Five Passionist clerics who were martyred together in the Spanish Civil War.
• Abilio Ramos y Ramos
• Epifanio Sierra Conde
• José Estalayo García
• Vicente Díez Tejerina
• Zacarías Fernández Crespo
They were shot on 23 July 1936 in Manzanares, Ciudad Real, Spain and Beatified on 1 October 1989 by Pope John Paul II.
Thought for the Day – 21 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Royal Road of the Cross
“The way of the Cross is the only road that leads to Heaven.
Consequently, a man who refuses to take this road cannot reach Heaven.
If there were another way, Jesus would have told us about it.
Instead, He insisted that if anyone wished to go after Him, he would have to deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Him (Lk 9:23).
Our Lord did more than preach this way to us, for He gave us an example of the manner in which to follow it.
Jesus could have redeemed us by a single act of His human-divine will, simply by offering Himself to the Eternal Father in expiation of our sins.
But He chose to carry the weight of the Cross, to climb the Hill of Calvary and, to die in agony.
We must ascend our own Calvary, if we wish to imitate and follow Jesus.
Our divine Redeemer fulfilled perfectly, in His Passion, all the works of perfection which He had preached in the Gospel.
Let the Passion of Christ be our rule of life.
Let us be glad, when we seem to be more like Him and sorrowful, whenever we seem to be departing from the example which He set us.
Suffering should be a source of consolation for us, for it makes us more like Jesus, as long as we endure it with resignation and with love.”
Quote/s of the Day – 22 July – Feast of St Mary of Magdala, Readings: Song of Solomon 3:1-4 or 2 Corinthians 5:14-17, Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9, John 20:1-2, 11-18
Speaking of: Perseverance
“But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb…”
“And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night?”
Lord, if Your people still have need of my services, I will not avoid the toil. Your will be done. I have fought the good fight long enough. Yet, if You bid me to continue to hold the battle line, in defence of Your camp, I will never beg to be excused from failing strength. I will do the work You entrust to me. While You command, I will fight beneath Your banner. Amen
St Martin of Tours (c 316-397)
“Our pilgrimage on earth cannot be exempt from trial. We progress by means of trial. No-one knows himself except through trial, or receives a crown, except after victory, or strives, except against an enemy or temptations.”
St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace
“For now, let us persevere, children, dear children, let us be patient for a little, brothers, dear brothers.… Who will be crowned without having fought? Who will go to rest if he is not tired (cf. 2 Tim 2:5-6)? Who will gather the fruits of life, without having planted virtues in his soul? Cultivate them, prepare the earth with the greatest care, take trouble over it, sweat over it, children, God’s workers, imitators of the angels, competitors with incorporeal beings, lights for those who are in the world (cf. Phil 2:15)!”
St Theodore the Studite (759-826)
“Don’t sow your desires in someone else’s garden, just cultivate your own, as best you can; don’t long to be other than what you are but desire to be thoroughly what you are. Direct your thoughts, to being very good at that and to bearing the crosses, little or great, that you will find there. Believe me, this is the most important and least understood point to the spiritual life. We all love according to what is our taste, few people like what is according to their duty or to God’s liking. What is the use of building castles in Spain when we have to live in France?”
It is not then a case for tears, that we have so much work to do for our souls, for we need great courage to go ever onwards (since we must never stop) and much resolution to restrain our desires. Observe carefully this precept, that all the Saints have given to those who would emulate them – to speak little, or not at all, of yourself and your own interests.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church
“Love never says ‘I have done enough.’”
St Marie Eugénie de Jésus (1817-1898)
“On the last day, we will not be asked if we accomplished great deeds, or been acclaimed by men, rather we will be asked if we followed His will, in the state and condition, to which we were called.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,“Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). … John 20:15-16
REFLECTION – “When Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and did not find the Lord’s body, she thought it had been taken away and so informed the disciples. After they came and saw the tomb, they too believed what Mary had told them. The text then says: The disciples went back home, and it adds: but Mary wept and remained standing outside the tomb.
We should reflect on Mary’s attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the One she had not found and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for Him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ, was the only one to see Him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tells us: Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved.
At first she sought but did not find but when she persevered, it happened that she found what she was looking for. When our desires are not satisfied, they grow stronger and becoming stronger they take hold of their object. Holy desires likewise grow with anticipation and if they do not grow they are not really desires. Anyone who succeeds in attaining the truth has burned with such a great love. As David says: My soul has thirsted for the living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God? And so also in the Song of Songs the Church says: I was wounded by love and again: My soul is melted with love.
Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek? She is asked why she is sorrowing so that her desire might be strengthened, for when she mentions whom she is seeking, her love is kindled all the more ardently.
Jesus says to her – Mary. Jesus is not recognised when He calls her “woman,” so He calls her by name, as though He were saying: Recognise Me as I recognise you, for I do not know you as I know others, I know you as yourself. And so Mary, once addressed by name, recognises who is speaking. She immediately calls Him Rabboni, that is to say, teacher, because the One whom she sought outwardly, was the One who inwardly taught her to keep on searching.” … St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) Father and Doctor – (Hom. 25, 1-2, 4-5:PL 76, 1189-1193)
PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ made Mary of Magdala the first herald of Easter joy. Grant that, following her example and helped by her prayers, we may, in this life, proclaim The living Christ and come to see Him reigning with You in glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever, amen.