Thought for the Day – 16 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Work and Worry
“When we recite the Lord’s Prayer, we say with confidence “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
This does not mean, however, that we renounce, in a spirit of fatalism, all right to action and initiative on our part.
“Faith,” says St James, “unless it has works, is dead in itself” (Js 2:17-26).
The same applies to charity (Js 2:13-17).
Faith and charity, must be accompanied by action, which should always be inspired by the interior life.
But our external activity should never be allowed to quench the flame of the divine life within us.
If this should happen, our labour would grow sterile and would receive no blessing from God.
We should work hard but should always act as if death might come at any moment.
In other words, we should not become completely absorbed in our work but should keep before our minds, the ideals of the glory of God, our own sanctification and the salvation of our neighbour.
If our efforts seem to be successful, we should thank God.
But, if all our work appears to be in vain, we should thank Him just the same, for such things happen with God’s permission.
Providence often guides events in it’s own way for the promotion of God’s glory and for our greater good, which can be achieved through our humiliation, as well as through our success.
If our spiritual outlook is in conformity with these principles, we shall be able to preserve our peace of mind, no matter how busy we may be.”
Quote/s of the Day – 6 August – Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readings: Isaiah 56,1.6-7. Psalms 67(66),2-188.8.131.52, Romans 11,13-15.29-32, Matthew 15,21-28
“Great is your faith, be it done for you as you desire.”
“See her humility as well as her faith! … Behold the woman’s wisdom! … Behold her constancy!”
St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Church
“I will suggest a means whereby you can praise God all day long… Whatever you do, do it well and you have praised God.”
“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”
St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace
“Aspire to God with short but frequent outpourings of the heart, admire His bounty, invoke His aid, cast yourself in spirit at the foot of His Cross, adore His goodness, treat with Him of your salvation, give Him your whole soul – a thousand times in the day.”
“He who trusts in God can do all things.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity
“Turn to God. Believe in God. Trust Him for a miracle.”
“God will not allow you to be lost if you persist in your determination not to lose Him.”
One Minute Reflection – 16 August – Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readings: Isaiah 56,1.6-7. Psalms 67(66),2-184.108.40.206, Romans 11,13-15.29-32, Matthew 15,21-28 and Saint Armel of Brittany (Died c 570)
“She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” … Matthew 15:27.
REFLECTION – “See her humility as well as her faith! For He had called the Jews “children” but she was not satisfied with this. She even called them “masters,” so far was she from grieving at the praises of others. She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Behold the woman’s wisdom! She did not venture so much as to say a word against anyone else. She was not stung to see others praised, nor was she indignant to be reproached. Behold her constancy. When He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” she said, “Yes, Lord.” He called them “children” but she called them “masters.” He used the name of a dog but she described the action of the dog. Do you see this woman’s humility?
Then compare her humility with the proud language of the Jews: “We are Abraham’s seed and were never in bondage to any man.”“We are born of God.” But not so this woman. Rather, she calls herself a dog and them masters. So for this reason she became a child. For what does Christ then say? “O woman, great is your faith.”
So we might surmise that this is the reason He put her off, in order that He might proclaim aloud this saying and that He might crown the woman: “Be it done for you as you desire.” This means “Your faith, indeed, is able to effect even greater things than these. Nevertheless be it unto you even as you wish.” This voice was at one with the voice that said, “Let the heaven be” and it was.
“And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” Do you see how this woman, too, contributed not a little to the healing of her daughter? For note, that Christ did not say, “Let your little daughter be made whole,” but “Great is your faith, be it done for you as you desire.” These words were not uttered at random, nor were they flattering words but great was the power of her faith and for our learning.
He left the certain test and demonstration, however, to the issue of events. Her daughter accordingly was immediately healed.” … St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor – The Gospel of Matthew, Homily 52.
PRAYER – Lord, by Your grace, we are made one in mind and heart. Give us a love for what You command and a longing for what You promise, so that, amid this world’s changes, our hearts may be set on the world of lasting joy. May the intercession of Your faithful servant, St Armel, bring us strength and courage. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, God now and for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 16 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart”
O Food of Life, Nailed to the Cross By Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464)
It is Your will that we proclaim Your Death
in the eating of the Bread of Life.
What more could You give to us,
who deserve to die through the eating
of the forbidden fruit,
than life through the eating of the Bread?
O Food of Life, nailed to the Cross,
who can grasp the bountiful gift
which You offer – the gift of Your very self as food?
Here is generosity beyond all measure,
when the Giver and Gift, are one and the same.
O Food, which truly nourishes and satisfies,
not our flesh but our soul,
not our body but our spirit.
O Memorial, worthy to be cherished
in our inmost soul,
to be deeply engraved on our mind
and, lovingly preserved in the tabernacle of our heart.
Its remembrance is a joy forever
and a cause for tears that well up
from a heart filled with overpowering joy.
Saint of the Day – 16 August – Saint Armel of Brittany (Died c 570) Priest, Monk, Missionary, Confessor, Evangeliser, spiritual adviser, miracle-worker – Born in south Wales and died in Brittany, France in c 570. Also known as Armagillus, Erme, Armael, Armagil, Armagilus, Armahel, Armail, Arthmael, Arthfael, Artmaglus, Arthmail, Arzel, Ermel, Ermin, Ermyn, Hermel, Thiarmail. Patronages – to cure headaches, fever, colic, gout and rheumatism. He is also the Patron of hospitals.
Armel is said to have been a Breton prince, born to the wife of King Hoel while they were living in Glamorgan in Wales in the late 5th century. He was a cousin of Saint Samson and Saint Cadfan, with whom it is believed, crossed the English Channel to Brittany.
He founded the Abbey of Plouarzel in Brittany and was, from there, called to attend the Court of King Childebert I of Paris. On the journey, he established Churches at Ergué-Armel, Ploermel and Saint-Armel, which is named after him.
He remained for seven years at the Royal Court, as a spiritual adviser and teacher. There, he cured the lame and the blind. Armel provided clean water for the people of Loutéhel. He struck the ground with his staff and a spring immediately flowed. Some of the stories of his miracles have been lost but we can guess at them from pictures and carvings showing the saint in action. The King, in gratitude for his service and holiness, gave him land at Saint-Armel-des-Bochaux in Ille-et-Vilaine where he founded a second Monastery. After his years at the Court he then retired to the Forest of Teil to spend his time in prayer and penance in the Monastery he had established there.
The most famous story about Armel was something that happened at St Armel-des-Boscheaux. The district around Armel’s Monastery was being ravaged by a dragon. The local people came to Armel for help. He defeated the dragon, tied it up with his stole and led it to the top of a hill called Mount St Armel. From there, he commanded it to throw itself into the river Sèche. He died in this Monastery around 570.
A church called Saint Erme is dedicated to him in Cornwall, perhaps because King Henry VII of England believed that Armel’s intercession saved him from shipwreck off the coast of Brittany. His earliest known “vita” dates only from the 12th century but his cultus spread from Brittany to Normandy, Anjou and Touraine. His feast was added to the Sarum Calendar in 1498.
There is a statue, below, of Armel in Henry VII’s chapel at Westminster and another on Cardinal Morton’s tomb at Canterbury. In paintings on the altar pieces of Romsey Abbey and elsewhere, he may be represented in armour and a chasuble, leading a dragon with a stole around it’s neck.
A small chapel is dedicated to him just north of Westminster Abbey, where the St Ermyn Hotel is now. (The name St Ermyn is a corruption of St Armel). Pilgrims went there to ask the Saint for help. He was particularly famous for healing gout, ague and other fevers.
In the later Middle Ages, Pilgrimages to Rome or Compostela or even to the Holy Land were still popular but there were also many small-scale local pilgrimages. It was easy enough to walk from the bustling City of London through the fields and along the river Thames to Westminster on a sunny Sunday afternoon. You could visit some of the Shrines there, including St Armel’s Chapel, have a drink or a meal in one of the many taverns around the Abbey and walk home in the evening light. There were shops and stalls where you could buy souvenirs, cheap little pewter badges to put on your hat.
Literally thousands of these badges have been dug up on building sites in the City of London, several of them showing St Armel with the dragon.
Bl Simon Kiyota Bokusai
Bl Thomas Gengoro
St Titus the Deacon
Martyrs of Palestine – 33 saints: Thirty-three Christians martyred in Palestine; they are commemorated in old martyrologies, but the date and exact location have been lost.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Bl Amadeu Monje Altés
Bl Antonio María Rodríguez Blanco
Bl José María Sanchís Mompó
Bl Laurentí Basil Matas
Bl Plácido García Gilabert