Thought for the Day – 13 August – Almsgiving

Thought for the Day – 13 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)


almsgiving bacci 13 aug 2020

“The view has been expressed, that almsgiving is useless and degrading.
It is useless, it has been said because, the implementation of social justice should be sufficient to provide for the needs of everybody and, it is degrading, it has been held because, it places the poor man in a position of inferiority to the rich man and makes him beg for that which is really his right.

This is a false line of reasoning.
Social justice can and should, do a great deal to achieve a more equal distribution of wealth among men.
But social justice cannot do everything.

Until the end of the world, the weak will always succumb in the battle of life, before the energy and enterprise of the strong.
There will always be unfortunates who, by reason of some tragic accident, are unable to fend for themselves.
No matter what form it takes, the State will not be able to provide fully for the disabled and infirm.

There will always be plenty of scope for Christian charity, which does not proceed with the measured stride of justice but with the swift wings of the love of God.
It seeks out sorrows which need to be assuaged and wants, which need to be relieved.
There will always be suffering and want upon earth.
“The poor you have always with you,” (Mt 26:11) Jesus has told us.

It cannot be said that almsgiving is degrading because it makes the receiver inferior to the giver.
This may be so, if alms are given from motives of mere philanthropy.
But when almsgiving is accompanied by charity and understanding and the donor sees, in the poor man, the person of Jesus Christ, there is no difference of status between the two individuals.
They are brothers who wish to love and help one another …
In this case, it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Christian almsgiving is the fulfilment of an obligation and is a source of merit for the giver.
As for the receiver, not only are his wants relieved but, he is the means by which his wealthier brother can acquire merit and fulfil his obligations.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 13 August – St Maximus the Confessor

Quote/s of the Day – 13 August – The Memorial of St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Father of the Church

“For indeed, what is more dire
than the evils
which today afflict the world? …
What is more terrible for the discerning
than the unfolding events?
What is more pitiable and frightening
for those who endure them?
To see a barbarous people of the desert
overrunning another’s lands
as though they were their own,
to see civilisation itself, being ravaged
by wild and untamed beasts
whose form alone is human.”

for indeed what is more dire than the evils which today afflict the world_ - st maximus the confessor 13 aug 2020

“All the ends of the inhabited world …
look directly to the most holy Church
of the Romans and her confession
and faith as to a sun of eternal light,
receiving from her,
the radiant beam of the patristic and holy doctrines.”

all the ends of the inhabited world - st maximus the confessor 13 aug 2020

“Since He causes the darkness of ignorance
and the evil of men to vanish,
my Saviour and my God is called a lamp in Scripture.
And since He is the only one able to obliterate
the darkness of ignorance and disperse the shadows of sin,
He has become the way of salvation for all
… The lampstand is holy Church
because the Word of God shines out through her preaching.
This is how the beams of its truth
can enlighten the whole world…”

luke 8 18 take heed then how you hear - since he causes the darkness - st maximus the confessor 23 sept 2019

“To harbour no envy,
no anger,
no resentment
against an offender is still not to have charity for him.
It is possible, without any charity,
to avoid rendering evil for evil.
But to render, spontaneously, good for evil –
such belongs to a perfect spiritual love.”

to harbour no evy no anger no resentment - st maximus the confessor - 13 aug 2020

“He who busies himself
with the sins of others,
or judges his brother on suspicion,
has not yet even begun to repent
or to examine himself
so as to discover his own sins…”

he who busies himself with the sins of others - st maximus the confessor 13 aug 2020

“We adore one Son,
together with the Father
and the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning
before all time,
is now and ever shall be,
for all time
and for the time after time.

Saint Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662)
Father of the Church

we adore one son together with the father - st maximus the confessor 13 aug 2020


One Minute Reflection – 13 August – What He receives on earth He returns in heaven.

One Minute Reflection – 13 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Thursday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ezekiel 12:1-12Psalms 78: 56-5758-5961-62Matthew 18: 21 – 19:1 and the Memorial of St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Father of the Church

“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” …Matthew 18:33

REFLECTION – ““What is human mercy like?   It makes you concerned for the hardship of the poor.   What is divine mercy like?   It forgives sinners…

In this world God is cold and hungry in all the poor, as He Himself said (Mt 25:40)…   What sort of people are we?   When God gives, we want to receive, when He asks, we refuse to give?   When a poor man is hungry, Christ is in need, as He said Himself:  “I was hungry and you gave me no food” (v. 42).   Take care not to despise the hardship of the poor, if you would hope, without fear, to have your sins forgiven…

What He receives on earth He returns in heaven.

I put you this question, dearly beloved – what is it you want, what is it you are looking for, when you come to church?   What indeed if not mercy?   Show mercy on earth and you will receive mercy in heaven.   A poor man is begging from you and you are begging from God, he asks for a scrap, you ask for eternal life…   And so when you come to church give whatever alms you can to the poor in accordance with your means.” … St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) – Sermon 25matthew-18-35-should-you-not-have-pitty-what-sort-of-people-are-we-st-caesarius-of-arles-26-march-2019-and-27-aug-2019-mem-of-st-caesarius and 13 aug 2020

PRAYER – Lord God, who bestowed Your spirit of truth and of love in full measure onthe blessed Saint Maximus, grant that we, who are celebrating his feast, may be supported by his prayer and grow in perfection, as we follow his example. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, maximus the confesor pray for us 13 aug 2020


Our Morning Offering – 13 August – Shelter Me Under Your Mantle, Refuge of Sinners

Our Morning Offering – 13 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Thursday of the Nineteenth week in Ordinary Time and the Feast of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners

Shelter Me Under Your Mantle
Refuge of Sinners
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary,
to you who are the Mother of my Lord,
the Queen of the Universe, the Advocate,
the hope, the refuge of sinners,
I, who am the most miserable of all sinners,
have recourse this day.
I venerate you, great Queen
and I thank you for the many graces
you have bestowed upon me even unto this day,
in particular for having delivered me from the hell
which I have so often served by my sins.
I love you, my dearest Lady
and because of that love,
I promise to serve you willingly forever
and to do what I can,
to make you loved by others also.
I place in you all my hopes for salvation,
accept me as your servant
and shelter me under your mantle,
you who are the Mother of Mercy.
And since you are so powerful with God,
deliver me from all temptations,
or at least obtain for me the strength
to overcome them until death.
From you I implore a true love for Jesus Christ.
Through you I hope to die a holy death.
My dear Mother, by your love for Almighty God,
I pray you to assist me always
but most of all, at the last moment of my life.
Forsake me not then,
until you shall see me safe in heaven,
there to bless you
and sing of your mercies through all eternity.
Such is my hope.
Amenshelter me under your mantle st alphonsus liguori 27 july 2019 no 2 and 13 aug 2020

Posted in DOGMA, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 13 August – Saint Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Father of the Church

Saint of the Day – 13 August – Saint Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Father of the Church, Monk, Abbot, Theologian, Confessor, Scholar, Writer – born in c 580 at Constantinople (some accounts say Palestine) and died on 13 August 662 at Batum near the Black Sea of the extreme suffering caused by the tortures he underwent at the age of 82.    Also known as St Maximus of Constantinople and St Maximus the Theologian.   St Maximus, a man of fearless courage in witnessing to – “confessing” – even while suffering, the integrity of his faith in Jesus Christ, true God and true man, Saviour of the world and of His Holy Catholic Church.header beautiful st maximus

“All the ends of the inhabited world … look directly to the most holy Church of the Romans and her confession and faith as to a sun of eternal light, receiving from her, the radiant beam of the patristic and holy doctrines.”

St Maximus was born in Constantinople around the year 580 and died in exile on 13 August 662.   As a boy he was initiated to the monastic life and the study of the Scriptures through the works of Origen, the great teacher who by the third century had already “established” the exegetic tradition of Alexandria.

He worked with Pope Martin I against the Monothelist heresy and attended the Lateran Council of 649.   He was one of the chief doctors of the theology of the Incarnation and of ascetic mysticism and remarkable as a witness to the respect for the papacy held by the Greek Church in his Maximus_the_Confessor_mosaic

This great man came from a noble family of Constantinople.   He became first secretary to Emperor Heraclius, who greatly valued him but despite the favour of the Emperor, Maximus resigned to the world and gave himself up to contemplation in a Monastery at Chrysopolis, near Constantinople.   He became Abbot there – but seems to have left this retreat on account of it’s insecurity from hostile attacks.

“He was distinguished by his extreme courage in the defence of orthodoxy.   Maximus refused to accept any reduction of Christ’s humanity.   A theory had come into being, which held that there was only one will in Christ, the divine will.   To defend the oneness of Christ’s Person, it was denied that He had his own true and proper human will.   And, at first sight, it might seem to be a good thing that Christ had only one will.   But St Maximus immediately realised that this would destroy the mystery of salvation, for humanity without a will, a man without a will, is not a real man but an amputated man. Had this been so, the man Jesus Christ would not have been a true man, He would not have experienced the drama of being human which consists, precisely, of conforming our will with the great truth of being.original icon of christ the lord beautiful

Thus St Maximus declared, with great determination –  “Sacred Scripture does not portray to us, an amputated man with no will but rather true and complete man – God, in Jesus Christ, really assumed the totality of being human – obviously with the exception of sin – hence also a human will.”   And said like this, his point is clear – Christ either is or is not a man.   If He is a man, He also has a will.”

St Maximus was already having problems defending this vision of man and of God.   He was then summoned to Rome.   In 649 he took an active part in the Lateran Council, convoked by Pope Martin I to defend the two wills of Christ against the Imperial Edict which forbade discussion of this matter.   Pope Martin was made to pay dearly for his courage.   Although he was in a precarious state of health, he was arrested and taken to Constantinople.   Tried and condemned to death, the Pope obtained the commutation of his sentence into permanent exile in the Crimea, where he died on 16 September 655, after two long years of humiliation and torment.

It was Maximus’ turn shortly afterwards, in 662, as he too opposed the Emperor, repeating:  “It cannot be said that Christ has a single will!” (cf. PG 91, cc. 268-269).   Thus, together with his two disciples, both called Anastasius, Maximus was subjected to an exhausting trial, although he was then over 80 years of age.   The Emperor’s tribunal condemned him with the accusation of heresy, sentencing him to the cruel mutilation of his tongue and his right hand – the two organs through which, by words and writing, Maximus had fought the erroneous doctrine of the single will of Christ.   In the end, thus mutilated, the holy monk was finally exiled to the region of Colchis on the Black Sea where he died, worn out by the suffering he had endured, at the age of 82, on 13 August that same year, maximus sml

St Maximus died for orthodoxy and obedience to Rome.   He has always been considered one of the chief theological writers of the Greek Church and has obtained the honourable title of the Theologian.  He may be said to complete and close the series of patristic writings on the Incarnation, as they are summed up by St John of Damascus.

We have over 90 published works of St Maximus on mysticism, dogma, and theology.    St Maximus the Confessor’s work on Cosmic Liturgy has been greatly praised as is his Life of the Virgin which is thought to be, one of the oldest biographies of Mary the Mother of God.

“We adore one Son together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning before all time, is now and ever shall be, for all time and for the time after time.   Amen!” (St Maximus)st maximus round


Feast of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners/Refugium Peccatorum and Memorials of the Saints – 13 August

St Pope Pontian (Died 235) Martyr (Optional Memorial)
St Hippolytus (170 – 235) Martyr (Optional Memorial)
Details of St Pope Pontian & St Hippolytus here:

Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners/Refugium Peccatorum:   St John Damascene calls Mary a city of refuge to all who flee to Her.
Blessed Antonio Baldinucci SJ (1665-1717) had a particular devotion to the Refugium Peccatorum image of Virgin Mary in the Church of the Gesu (Frascati) in Italy and commissioned a copy which he considered miraculous and carried it with him in his travels.   The Jesuits spread copies of the image of the Madonna of Refuge in Mexico by the 19th century and it began to be depicted in missions there, often with clouds surrounding the lower portion of the image of the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus.
The term “Refugium Pstjohnberchmanseccatorum” is also used other works of Roman Catholic Marian art.   For instance, there is a marble statue representing the Virgin Mary, on the grand staircase of the old municipal palace in Venice, Italy.   The name came from the fact that the convicts were allowed to stop in front of the Virgin Mary’s statue to pray for their soul on the way to the scaffold.
The traditional feast day of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners is today, 13 August.refugium peccatorum our lady refuge of sinnersbl anthony baldinucci and our lady refuge of sinners

St Anastasius the Monk
St Anastasius the Priest
St Benildus
St Cassian of Imola
St Cassian of Todi
St Concordia
St Conn O’Rourke
Bl Gertrude of Altenberg
St Helen of Burgos
St Herulph of Langres
Bl Jakob Gapp
Bl John of Alvernia
St John Berchmans SJ (1599-1621)

St Junian of Mairé
St Ludolph
Bl Marco d’Aviano/Mark of Aviano OFM Cap (1631-1699)
St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) Father of the Church

St Nerses Glaietsi
St Patrick O’Healy
Bl Pierre Gabilhaud
St Radegund
St Radegunde
St Wigbert of Fritzlar
Bl William Freeman

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Francesc Castells Areny
• Blessed Inocencio García Díez
• Blessed José Bonet Nadal
• Blessed José Boher y Foix
• Blessed José Juan Perot y Juanmarti
• Blessed Jose Tàpies y Sirvant
• Blessed Josep Alsina Casas
• Blessed Luciano Hernández Ramírez
• Blessed Maria de Puiggraciós Badia Flaquer
• Blessed Mateo Despóns Tena
• Blessed Modesto García Martí
• Blessed Pascual Araguàs y Guàrdia
• Blessed Pedro Martret y Molet
• Blessed Silvestre Arnau y Pascuet

Martyred Claretians of Barbastro – 51 beati:
• Blessed Agustín Viela Ezcurdia
• Blessed Alfons Miquel Garriga
• Blessed Alfons Sorribes Teixidó
• Blessed Antolín Calvo y Calvo
• Blessed Antoni Dalmau Rosich
• Blessed Atanasio Vidaurreta Labra
• Blessed Eduardo Ripoll Diego
• Blessed Esteve Casadevall Puig
• Blessed Eusebi Maria Codina Millà
• Blessed Felipe de Jesús Munárriz Azcona
• Blessed Francesc Roura Farró
• Blessed Francisco Castán Meseguer
• Blessed Gregorio Chirivas Lacamba
• Blessed Hilario Llorente Martín
• Blessed Jaume Falgarona Vilanova
• Blessed Joan Baixeras Berenguer
• Blessed Joan Codinachs Tuneu
• Blessed José Amorós Hernández
• Blessed José Blasco Juan
• Blessed José Figuero Beltrán
• Blessed José Pavón Bueno
• Blessed Josep Maria Badía Mateu
• Blessed Josep Ormo Seró
• Blessed Josep Ros Florensa
• Blessed Juan Díaz Nosti
• Blessed Juan Echarri Vique
• Blessed Juan Sánchez Munárriz
• Blessed Leoncio Pérez Ramos
• Blessed Lluís Escalé Binefa
• Blessed Lluís Lladó Teixidor
• Blessed Lluís Masferrer Vila
• Blessed Manuel Buil Lalueza
• Blessed Manuel Martínez Jarauta
• Blessed Manuel Torras Sais
• Blessed Miquel Masip González
• Blessed Nicasio Sierra Ucar
• Blessed Pedro García Bernal
• Blessed Pere Cunill Padrós
• Blessed Rafael Briega Morales
• Blessed Ramon Illa Salvia
• Blessed Ramon Novich Rabionet
• Blessed Salvador Pigem Serra
• Blessed Sebastià Riera Coromina
• Blessed Sebastián Calvo Martínez
• Blessed Secundino Ortega García
• Blessed Teodoro Ruiz de Larrinaga García
• Blessed Tomàs Capdevila Miró
• Blessed Wenceslau Clarís Vilaregut
They were martyred on 2 August through 18 August 1936 in Barbastro, Huesca, Spain and Beatified on 25 October 1992 by Pope John Paul II.