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.
Saint of the Day – 22 July – St Wandrille of Fontenelle (c 605–668) Priest, Monk, Abbot – born c 605 near Verdun, Austrasia (in modern France) and died on 22 July 668 of natural causes.
Born in the Verdun region at the beginning of the 7th century, into a family related to the mayor of the palace, Pépin d’Héristal, father of Charles Martel, Saint Wandrille entered the Court of King Dagobert I at a young age, who granted him the title of count and entrusted him with the administration of the royal domains.
He carried out his office with loyalty but his preference led him to lead a life consecrated to God. He had also made a spiritual friendship with other dignitaries, such as Didier the treasurer and Dadon the chancellor, who led a life of mortification at court. Married out of obedience to his parents, Wandrille agreed with his wife to keep their virginity and both retired to a Monastery.
He, therefore, retired to one of his properties in Lorraine, called Montfaucon, near the Holy Hermit Baldric. Informed of his defection, King Dagobert summoned Wandrille, who appeared at the palace in his ascetic garment but beaming with celestial brilliance and obtained from the king his authorisation to leave the world. He then went to the Jura, to restore the Hermitage founded by Saint Ursanne.
Following the tradition of the Irish Monks and of Saint Columban, he led an extremely mortified life, spent almost all his sleepless nights, barefoot, reciting Psalms and when temptations oppressed him, he would throw himself into a frozen pond. Desirous of assimilating more fully the heritage of Saint Columban, he went to the Monastery of Bobbio, founded by the latter in Italy and there he learnt perfection in the experience of community life.
Back in Gaul, he stopped at the Monastery of Romainmoutier which had been restored by disciples of Saint Columban and lived there for ten years.
Warned by an Angel of the mission he had to undertake for the salvation of many souls, he left Jura for Neustria. In Rouen, he found his friend Dadon, who had become a Bishop under the name of St Ouen and was Ordained by him as a Deacon.
After having received the Priesthood from the hands of Saint Omer, Bishop of Thérouanne, he assisted Saint Ouen in the evangelisation of his Diocese. After a few years (649), the heart still altered from the conversation with God in solitude, he obtained the authorisation of his Bishop to settle in the marshy valley of Fontenelle, in the forest of Jumièges, acquired by his nephew, Gond who had decided to give up the world.
Striving with tireless zeal to clear the land, Wandrille and the growing number of disciples who had gathered around him, built four churches and cells there. Showing the example in manual work, the Saint was the first for Prayer and he taught his monks to strive always forward towards perfection, saying: “We must not count the years that we have spent in the Monastery but rather, those which we have spent in the irreproachable practice of the divine commandments. May fraternal charity be your link and put yourselves at the service of one another. Your adversary, the devil, seeing you united in this way, will flee very far, for he cannot approach the one whom he sees united in mind and heart with those around him.”
Wandrille only left the Monastery to preach to the pagans of the region, or to go and found other Monasteries, five in number, organised like Fontenelle by harmonising the Irish tradition of Saint Colomban and the rule of Saint Benedict which was beginning to take hold and spreading in France. Below is the New Benedictine Fontanelle Monastery on the same site as the original.
Having ruled his Monastery for nineteen years, Saint Wandrille, who lamented to remain in exile on earth, fell ill and went into a three-day ecstasy, during which he saw the door of heaven open and the throne of glory which was prepared for him.
Returning from this vision, he exhorted his disciples to mutual charity, appointed his successor and smiling at the Angels and the Saints who had come to welcome him, he fell asleep in peace, on 22 July 668, in the presence of Saint Ouen and of his three hundred disciples.
He was buried at Fontanelle but during the Viking invasions, Wandrille’s relics were dispersed to various locations and shared between various churches, including the abbey of Saint-Pierre-au-Mont-Blandin in Ghent (now in Belgium). Wandrille’s cult was celebrated in England prior to the Norman Conquest of 1066.
In the 19th century one of his relics remained – his skull was found in Liège. It was brought back to the Abbey, when the new church was dedicated in 1967. It can be seen today in a modern reliquary.
Wandrille is apparently a common name in France and in the new Monastery of Fontanelle, the Monks have established a “Wandrille Day” on the Memorial of St Wandrille. The day is devoted to Holy Mass, prayer and recreation too, celebrating all the many ‘Wandrilles’ of all ages, who attend. Such a lovely way of honouring St Wandrille’s feast!
St Baudry of Montfaucon
Bl Benno of Osnabruck
St Claudius Marius Victorinus of Saussaye
St Cyril of Antioch
Bl Jacques Lombardie
St John Lloyd
St Joseph of Palestine
St Lucia Wang Wangzhi Blessed “María Inés Teresa of the Blessed Sacrament” / Manuela de Jesus Arias Espinosa (1904-1981) Her Life: https://anastpaul.com/2019/07/22/saint-of-the-day-22-july-blessed-maria-ines-teresa-of-the-blessed-sacrament/
St Maria Wang Lishi
St Meneleus of Ménat
St Movean of Inis-Coosery
St Pancharius of Besancon
Bl Paolo de Lara
St Philip Evans
St Plato of Ancyra
St Syntyche of Philippi
St Theophilus of Cyprus St Wandrille of Fontenelle (c 605–668) Priest, Monk, Abbot
Martyrs of Marula/Massylis: – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together. We know nothing else about them but the names – Ajabosus, Andrew and Elian. They were martyred in Massylis (Marula), Numidia (in modern Algeria).
Martyrs of Massilitani: A group of Christians martyred together in northern Africa. Saint Augustine of Hippo wrote about them.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Jaime María Carretero Rojas
Bl Joaquin Rodríguez Bueno
Bl José María Mateos Carballido
Bl Juan Durán Cintas
Bl Ramón María Pérez Sous