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