Thought for the Day – 20 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Confidence in the Providence of God
“Sometimes we grow discouraged and lose confidence in God. This may be the result of sickness, or of misfortune, or of misundstanding on the part of others. At any rate, on such occasions, we may feel as if we have been forgotten by God.
Jesus Christ willed to endure a trial of this nature when He was hanging upon the Cross, derided and jeered at by those whom He had come to redeem. “My God. my God,” He cried, “why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mt 27:46). In the Garden of Gethsemane, however, He had already seen, in a terrifying vision, the sins and acts of ingratitude of the human race. He had begged His Father, to take away from Him, the chalice of suffering which had ben offered to Him but, He had added immediately: “Yet not my will but thine be done” (Lk 22:62).
We must behave in the same manner. Whether it is a physical or moral anguish which torments us, we must gaze upon the Crucifix and remember that Jesus suffered much more in obedience to the will of His Heavenly Father. We must never lack confidence in Divine Providence and resignation to the will of God. In the mysterious designs of God for us, this evil which we experience, is intended for our own good. It may have been sent to ennoble us or to purify us or to give us an opportunity of making reparation for our sins.
God has endowed suffering with a very purposeful mission n the world. It should have the effect of making us detached from earthly things and more preoccupied with spiritual matters. Let us trust in God, then and remember the words of the Holy Spirit: “Has anyone hoped in the Lord and been disappointed?” (Ecclus 2:10).
Quote/s of the Day – 20 August – The Memorial of St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Mellifluous Docotr, “Doctor of Light”
“In every lodging, at every corner, have reverence for thy Angel. Do not dare to do in his presence what you would not dare to do, if I were there. Or do you doubt that he is present whom you do not behold? What if you should hear him? What if you should touch him? What if you should scent him? Remember, that the presence of something is not proved only by the sight of things.”
” It is true that the creature loves less because she is less. But if she loves with her whole being, nothing is lacking, where everything is given.”
“There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is Curiosity. There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is Vanity. There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is Love.”
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
“A saint is not someone, who never sins, but one who sins less and less frequently and gets up more and more quickly.”
“Just as Mary surpassed in grace all others on earth, so also in heaven is her glory unique. If eye has not seen or ear heard or the human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9), who can express what He has prepared for the woman who gave Him birth and who loved Him, as everyone knows, more than anyone else?”
“Rest is in Him alone. Man knows no peace in the world but he has no disturbance when he is with God.”
Jesu Dulcis Memori
Jesus, the very thought of Thee with sweetness fills my breast, But sweeter far Thy face to see and in Thy presence rest.
Nor voice can sing nor heart can frame, Nor can the memory find a sweeter sound than Jesus’ name, O Saviour of mankind.
O hope of every contrite heart, O joy of all the meek to those who fall, how kind Thou art, how good to those who seek!
But what to those who find? Ah this nor tongue nor pen can show, the love of Jesus, what it is none but His loved ones know.
Jesus our only joy be Thou as Thou our prize wilt be. Jesus, be Thou our glory now and through eternity. Amen
“The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.” – Matthew 22:2
REFLECTION – “There are three kinds of marriage – the one that concerns union, the one that is about justification and the one that is about glorification. The first kind were celebrated within the temple of the Virgin Mary; the second kind are celebrated daily within the temple of faithful souls and the third, will be celebrated in the temple of heavenly glory. The purpose of a wedding is to unite two people, the bridegroom and the bride. If two families are against each other, marriage usually unites them, when a man from one side marries a woman from the other. Between ourselves and God, there used to be a great division – to wipe it out and establish peace, the Son of God had to take His bride from someone of our lineage. To realise this marriage, numerous intermediaries and peacemakers intervened who, through their insistent prayers, were able to win it, at great cost. Finally, the Father Himself gave His consent and sent His Son, who joined Himself to our nature in the marriage chamber of the Virgin Mary’s womb. Thus the Father “gave a marriage feast for his Son.” In the same way, the second kind of marriage is celebrated when the grace of the Holy Spirit intervenes and the soul is converted (…) The grace of the Holy Spirit is the bridegroom of the soul. When He calls it to repentance with His interior inspiration, all appeal from the vices is without effect. Finally, the third kind of marriage will be celebrated at the coming of the bridegroom, Jesus Christ, on the Day of Judgement. Of Him it is written: “Behold, the bridegroom is coming! Go out to meet him” (Mt 25:6). He will take the Church itself as bride, as John says in the Book of Revelation: “Come here. I will show you the Bride, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, gleaming with the splendour of God” (cf. Rv 21:9-11). The Church of the Faithful comes down from heaven, from beside God, for it has obtained from God that it’s dwelling should be in the heavens. And so, at present, it lives by faith and hope but very soon it will celebrate it’s espousals with it’s bridegroom: “Blessed,” says the Book of Revelation, “are those who have been called to the wedding feast of the Lamb!” (Rv 19:9).” … St Anthony of Padua OFM (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – All-knowing God, let me be able to stand in Your presence with a good conscience. Send Your Holy Spirit to fill my soul with the enlightenment of repentance and then to guide my steps towards the wedding feast You have prepared for Your Son. You made St Bernard burn with zeal for Your house and gave him the grace to enkindle and enlighten others in Your Church. Grant that by his prayer, we may be filled with the same spirit and always live as children of the Light. Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 20 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Thursday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) “Doctor of Light”
Run, hasten, O Lady, I Call upon You By St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor
Run, hasten, O Lady, and in your mercy help your sinful servant, who calls upon you, and deliver him from the hands of the enemy. Who will not sigh to you? We sigh with love and grief, for we are oppressed on every side. How can we do otherwise than sigh to you, O solace of the miserable, refuge of outcasts, ransom of captives? We are certain that when you see our miseries, your compassion will hasten to relieve us. O our sovereign Lady and our Advocate, commend us to your Son. Grant, O blessed one, by the grace which you have merited, that He who through you was graciously pleased to become a partaker of our infirmity and misery, may also, through your intercession, make us partakers, of His happiness and glory. Amen
Saint of the Day – 20 August – Saint Oswine of Deira (Died 651) King, Martyr, King of Deira in northern England. Also known as Osuine, Oswin. Born a Prince, the son of King Osric of Deira in Northumbria and died by being murdered on 20 August 651 at Gilling, Yorkshire, England on the orders of his cousin Oswy. Patronage – betrayal victims (his location was betrayed to his murders by a one of his supposedly loyal nobles).
“King Oswine was of a goodly countenance and tall of stature, pleasant in discourse and courteous in behaviour; and bountiful to all, gentle and simple alike.
[…] He had given a beautiful horse to Bishop Aidan, to use either in crossing rivers, or in performing a journey upon any urgent necessity, though the Bishop was wont to travel ordinarily on foot. Some short time after, a poor man meeting the Bishop and asking alms, he immediately dismounted and ordered the horse, with all his royal trappings, to be given to the beggar; for he was very compassionate, a great friend to the poor and, in a manner, the father of the wretched.
This being told to the King, when they were going in to dinner, he said to the Bishop, “What did you mean, my lord Bishop, by giving the poor man that royal horse, which it was fitting that you should have for your own use? Had not we many other horses of less value, or things of other sorts, which would have been good enough to give to the poor, instead of giving that horse, which I had chosen and set apart for your own use?”
Thereupon the Bishop answered, “What do you say, O King? Is that son of a mare more dear to you than that son of God?”
Upon this they went in to dinner and the Bishop sat in his place but the King, who had come in from hunting, stood warming himself, with his attendants, at the fire. Then, on a sudden, whilst he was warming himself, calling to mind what the Bishop had said to him, he ungirt his sword and gave it to a servant and hastened to the Bishop and fell down at his feet’ beseeching him to forgive him:
“For from this time forward,” said he, “I will never speak anymore of this, nor will I judge of what or how much of our money you shall give to the sons of God.” […] The King, at the Bishop’s command and request, was comforted but the Bishop, on the other hand, grew sad and was moved even to tears. His Priest then asking him, in the language of his country, which the King and his servants did not understand, why he wept.
“I know,” said he, “that the King will not live long, for I never before saw a humble King, whence I perceive that he will soon be snatched out of this life, because this nation is not worthy of such a ruler.” Not long after, the Bishop’s gloomy foreboding was fulfilled by the King’s sad death….”
The Venerable Bede (673-735): Ecclesiastical History of England, 3
St Oswine ruled as King of Deira (southern Northumbria) from 644-651, in the second generation after England’s conversion to Christianity by St Augustine of Canterbury. His father had been murdered by the warlord Cadwalla and young Oswine had been spirited away to safety in Wessex shortly afterwards. Following the death of his kinsman, Oswald, at the hands of King Penda of Mercia in 642, he returned to Deira and became King around 644 . His kinsman Oswy ruled Bernicia, the northern part of Northumbria.
Oswine had a great reputation for sanctity and justice and for seven years the kingdom of Deira enjoyed great happiness and prosperity. But his kinsmen Oswy, jealous of his power, made war upon Oswine. Oswine found himself unable to best the armies of Oswy and so he disbanded them and fled to Humwald of Gilling, whom had recently pledged allegiance to Oswine. But the unscrupulous Humwald quickly betrayed the saintly King Oswin to some of Oswy’s officers who murdered him at Gilling in 651. The slain king was immediately venerated as a Saint as St Bede explained above.
He was buried at Gilling, but his remains were lost during the Danish troubles. Only one year before the Norman Conquest (1065), St Oswine appeared in a vision to a monk named Edmund and revealed the location of his body. On 20 August 1103 his body was transferred solemnly to its final resting place. During the Dissolution of the Monasteries during Henry VIII’s reign, his body was found to be intact in the tomb but it was sacrilegiously destroyed. Only a fragment remained, which is now kept at Durham Cathedral.
As a side note, Eanfleda, the wife of Oswine’s murderer Oswy and daughter of St Edwin, persuaded her husband to do penance for Oswine’s murder by endowing a Monastery at Gilling, which he promptly did. Some remains of the Monastery can still be seen today, though it was destroyed by the Danes in the 11th century.
St Maximus of Chinon St Oswine of Deira (Died 651) King, Martyr St Philibert of Jumièges (c 608–684) About St Philibert: https://anastpaul.com/2019/08/20/saint-of-the-day-20-august-saint-philibert-of-jumieges-c-608-684/ St Porphyrius of Palestrina St Ronald of Orkney St Samuel the Patriarch Bl Wladyslaw Maczkowski St Zacchaeus the Publican — Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: 8 Beati Enrique Rodríguez Tortosa Francesc Llagostera Bonet Ismael Barrio Marquilla José Tapia Díaz Magí Albaigés Escoda Manuel López Álvarez María Climent Mateu Serapio Sanz Iranzo Tomás Campo Marín