Thought for the Day – 18 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Our Passions are not essentially sinful.
They can open the way to evil but, they can also lead us towards perfection.
Everything depends on how we control and direct them.
They are impulses which are, at the same time valuable and, dangerous.
Human nature was wounded as a result of original sin.
The soul was disobedient to God and the lower faculties rebelled against right reason.
Hence, the disturbance of our passions.
What should our attitude be in regard to this problem?
Should we suppress or obliterate our passions, as some of the Stoics would have done?
It is, in fact, impossible to do this, for our passions are innate natural forces which cannot be destroyed.
What we should do, is guide and control them.
If the dykes are burst, a strongly flowing river can cause havoc but, if it’s course is wisely directed, it irrigates the soil and makes it fertile.
It is the same with our natural inclinations, which “can be used to form a saint but, can also make a brigand” (Mariano Cordovani OP, Breviario Spirituale, p88).
A man with a fiery and aggressive temperament, can use his natural impulses under God’s guidance, to combat vice in himself and in others.
One who is haughty and ambitious by nature, can convert his ambition into a quest for the true and lasting glory of Heaven.
Finally, a passionate man who feels the need to love and to be loved, can find a partial remedy in Christian friendship.
Most of all, however, he can find repose in the love of God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 18 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Micah 2:1-5, Psalm 10:1-4, 7-8, 14, Matthew 12:14-21
“In his name the Gentiles will hope”
“Christ made my soul beautiful with the jewels of grace and virtue. I belong to Him whom the angels serve.”
St Agnes (c 291- c 304) Virgin and Martyr
“If you wish to enter into life, keep My commandments. If you will know the truth, believe in Me. If you will be perfect, sell all. If you will be My disciple, deny yourself. If you will possess the blessed life, despise this present life. If you will be exalted in heaven, humble yourself on earth. If you wish to reign with Me, carry the Cross with Me. For only the servants of the Cross find the life of blessedness and of true light.”
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
The Imitation of Christ Chapter 56
“I am the king’s good servant but God’s first.”
St Thomas More (1478-1535)
“God gave Himself to you: give yourself to God.”
Who lives in Love, loves least to live and long delays doth rue, if Him he love by whom he lives, to whom all praise is due, Who for our love did choose to live and was content to die, who loved our love more than His life, and love with life did buy. Let us in life, yea with our life requite His living love, for best we live when least we live, if Love our life remove. Mourn, therefore, no true lover’s death, life only him annoy, and when he taketh leave of life then Love begins his joys.
“I do not much dread the tortures, as I look forward to the crown.”
St Robert Southwell (1561-1595) Martyr
“Jesus will be in agony even to the end of the world; we must not sleep during that time”
One Minute Reflection – 18 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Micah 2:1-5, Psalm 10:1-4, 7-8, 14, Matthew 12:14-21and the Feast of Our Lady of Good Deliverance
“In his name the Gentiles will hope” … Matthew 12:21
REFLECTION – “Who among us can know all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden in Christ and buried within the poverty of His flesh? For, “for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty, you might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). Since He came in order to assume our mortal condition and lay low death itself, He appeared as one who was poor. But He who has promised us distant riches has by no means lost those, from which He is kept away. “How great is his abundant goodness which he keeps in store for those who fear him, he satisfies those who hope in him” (cf. Ps 31:20). …
So that we might be able to lay hold of it, He who is equal to the Father, having the nature of God, became like us by taking the nature of a servant and recreates us in God’s likeness. Having become son of man, the only Son of God transforms numberless men into sons of God. And after having sustained His servants by His own visible nature of a servant, He sets them free to contemplate the nature of God. For “we are God’s children; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really is” (1 Jn 3:2). For in what do these treasures of wisdom and knowledge and these divine riches consist? In what is this abundant goodness? All we know is, that it is this, that satisfies us.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – Sermon 194 ; PL 38, 1016
PRAYER – Lord God, in Your wisdom You created us, by Your Providence, You rule us. Penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light so that our way of life may always be one of faithful service and childlike trust in You. Grant that by the intercession of Our Lady of Good Deliverance, we may always follow behind Your Son and grasp His hand, to lead us to You, Through Jesus Christ our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 18 July – Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time and a Marian Saturday
O Mother of Jesus and my Mother By St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
O Mother of Jesus and my Mother,
let me dwell with you, cling to you
and love you with ever-increasing love.
I promise the honour,
love and trust of a child.
Give me a mother’s protection,
for I need your watchful care.
You know better than any other
the thoughts and desires of the Sacred Heart.
Keep constantly before my mind
the same thoughts,
the same desires,
that my heart may be filled with zeal
for the interests of the Sacred Heart
of your Divine Son.
Instil in me a love of all that is noble,
that I may no longer be easily turned to selfishness.
Help me, dearest Mother,
to acquire the virtues that God wants of me,
to forget myself always,
to work solely for Him,
without fear of sacrifice.
I shall always rely on your help
to be what Jesus wants me to be.
I am His; I am yours, my good Mother!
Give me each day your holy and maternal blessing
until my last evening on earth,
when your Immaculate Heart
will present me to the heart of Jesus in heaven,
there to love and bless you
and your divine Son for all eternity.
Saint of the Day – 18 July – Our Lady of Good Deliverance, also known as the “Black Madonna of Paris.” The statue dates from the 14th century, replacing an 11th-century version. It is 150 centimeters (59 in) tall, and made from painted limestone. The Virgin wears a white veil and dark blue mantle ornamented with fleur-de-lis over a red robe.
France, known as “the Eldest Daughter of the Church” is a country rooted in Catholicism, where her love of the faith is depicted in it’s magnificent Cathedrals, literature, sacred music, artistic works of paintings, frescoes and sculptures. Prayer books contain Illuminations penned in gold leaf and plant colours and the very air holds the fragrance of religion. In France, Marian devotion runs deep in the hearts of the faithful. One of the first recorded apparitions of our Lady was at Le-Puy, France in the year 70. A Shrine at LePuy was erected and has drawn many saints and faithful throughout the centuries.
Today in France, there is still a distinct dedication to Our Lady of Good Deliverance. This devotion refers to a classic fourteenth century gothic statue of the Virgin holding the Child Jesus, both coal black in colour.
A Confraternity in honour of Our Lady of Good Deliverance was established in 1533 by a Priest , Fr Jean-Jacques Olier SS (1608 – 1657) (Founder of the Sulpicians – Congregation of the Holy Spirit). Fr Jean-Jacques was “greatly pious, devoted to Our Lady with strong affection, in the service of the Queen of Angels.” The Confraternity numbered thousands of members, which included aristocratic and common members alike, including the King and Queen of France, Louis XIII and Anne of Austria. The society was dedicated to honour God and his “very dignified Mother, the glorious Virgin Mary to keep a singular devotion alive in all real Christian men and women.” The group organised processions and aided prisoners, paying their debts when possible. Our Lady of Good Deliverance was invoked in all needs, tragedies and sufferings, spiritual and temporal.
Our Lady of Good Deliverance used to stand in the Church Saint-Etienne-des-Grès in the Latin Quarter but that Church was destroyed during the Revolution and all its content sold.
Madame de Carignan, a pious rich lady bought the Statue and venerated her in her private home until she was arrested during the Reign of Terror (a period of 11 months following the Revolution, which cost 20-40,000 people their lives.) In jail she used to pray to Our Lady of Good Deliverance with others who had been arrested for their faith, in particular the Sisters of St Thomas. When all of them survived and were freed in 1806, Madame gave the Black Virgin to the Sisters. The statue is still located in the Chapel of the Congregation of the Sisters of St Thomas of Villeneuve in Neuilly-sur-Seine, see below. The Sisters of St Thomas pray every day in the chapel on behalf of families, the sick, religious vocations, those who have entrusted themselves to the Virgin, and peace in the world.
Our Lady of Good Deliverance was invoked as a helper in all kinds of calamities and suffering, whether of a spiritual or material nature. She was also called upon as the Victorious One in the fight against the Huguenots and other heretics.
The great Saints of Paris, most notably St Vincent de Paul and St Francis de Sales prayed before her.
The de Sales family were members of the minor nobility and staunch Catholics but young St Francis de Sales fell victim to the religious turmoil of his age. The question of predestination, the hottest point of contention between Catholic and Calvinist theologians, tormented him while he was a student in Paris. In his distress over the uncertain fate of his soul he cried out to God, “Whatever happens, Lord, may I at least love you in this life if I cannot love you in eternity.”At the age of 18, while studying at the Jesuit run Collège de Clermont at the University of Paris, according to the book The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales, by Jean-Pierre Camus:
“…The evil spirit was permitted by God to insinuate into his mind the terrible idea that he was one of the number of the damned. This delusion took such possession of his soul, that he lost his appetite, was unable to sleep and day-by-day grew more wasted and languid. His tutor and director, noticing how his health was affected and how pale, listless and joyless he had become, often questioned him as to the cause of his dejection and evident suffering but his tormentor, who had filled his mind with this delusion, being what is called a dumb devil, the poor youth could give no explanation.
For one whole month he suffered this mental torture, this agony of soul. He had lost all the sweetness of divine love but not, happily, his fidelity to it. He looked back with happy tears to the happy time when he was, as it were, inebriated with that sweetness, nor did any ray of hope illumine the darkness of that night of despair. In late December, at last, led by a divine inspiration, he entered a Church to pray that this agony might pass. On his knees before the Statue of the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of Good Deliverance, he implored the assistance of the Mother of Mercy with tears and sighs and the most fervent devotion.”
According to De Sales’ Selected Letters, the “torment of despair came to a sudden end” as he knelt in prayer before the statue of Our Lady of Good Deliverance at the church of Saint-Étienne-des-Grès, Paris, saying the Memorare. Francis credited the Blessed Virgin with “saving him from falling into despair or heresy”thereafter, he “recited the Memorare day after day” and she “did not leave him unaided.”
Not long after this event another Priest with great love for Our Mother, who ministered to the poor and to prisoners in Paris, especially those condemned to death, spread the fame of this prayer. He was Fr Claude Bernard (23 December 1588 – 23 March 1641). Known as “Le Pauvre Prêtre” “The Poor Priest,” he is primarily remembered as the populariser of the Memorare, over 200,000 copies of which he distributed by leaflets printed in various languages.
Notable pilgrims to Our Lady of Good Deliverance—some before the Revolution, some after—have included Fr Claude Bernard, Fr Jean-Jacques Olier, St John Bosco, Blessed Prosper Guéranger and St Madeleine Sophie Barat RSCJ (1779 – 1865).
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known,
that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help, or sought thy intercession,
was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly unto thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother.
To thee do I come,
before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions
but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Our Lady of Good Deliverance: 18 July
Since the 1000s, the Church of Saint-Etienne-des-Grès in the old Latin Quarter of Paris had a chapel to Our Lady of Good Deliverance, where, across the centuries, pilgrims sought the Virgin’s help in their of sufferings. During the Wars of Religion and counter-Reformation, her Confraternity had 12,000 members, including the King and Queen of France.
St Goneri of Treguier
St Gundenis of Carthage
Bl Jean-Baptiste de Bruxelles
St Marina of Ourense
St Maternus of Milan
St Pambo of the Nitrian Desert
St Philastrius of Brescia
St Rufillus of Forlimpopoli
St Scariberga of Yvelines St Simon (Szymon) of Lipnica (1435/1440-c 1482) His Story: https://anastpaul.com/2019/07/18/saint-of-the-day-18-july-saint-simon-of-lipnica-1435-1440-c-1482/
St Theodosia of Constantinople
Martyrs of Silistria – 7 saints: Seven Christians who were martyred together. No details about them have survived but the names – Bassus, Donata, Justus, Marinus, Maximus, Paulus and Secunda. They were martyred in Silistria (Durostorum), Moesia (in modern Bulgaria), date unknown.
Martyrs of Tivoli – 8 saints: A widow, Symphorosa and her seven sons ( Crescens, Eugene, Julian, Justin, Nemesius, Primitivus and Stracteus) martyred in Tivoli, Italy in the 2nd-century persecutions of Hadrian.