Thought for the Day – 15 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Christ’s Work in Us
“It is not enough that Jesus live in us ; He must increase and act in us continually. The Spiritual life is like natural life. It cannot stop, for to halt would mean death! If Jesus is our life, He should live in us with ever-increasing intensity. Life is like a stairway, we are either going up or coming down.
If we continue to climb energetically towards Jesus, we shall be coming nearer to Christian perfection. If, on the other hand, we halt, the supernatural life of Jesus in us, will begin to weaken. Tepedity will replace fervour and sin will succeed tepidity. It is difficult to remain unchanged because, life involves movement. ‘Jesus Christ,” writes St Augustine, “was born a baby but, He did not remain one. He grew to boyhood, to adolescence and then, to maturity.”
It is necessary for us to grow also. More precisely, it is necessary that Jesus grow continuously in us through faith, charity and good works. “Court the good,” admonishes St Paul, “from a good motive always … until Christ is formed in you” (Gal 4:18-19).
It is not enough that Christ be born in us, it is necessary that He increase to the fullness of perfection (Cf Eph 4:13-16). “Jesus increases daily,” writes Origen, “in the soul of the holy and just man, which mirror His grace, His wisdom and His sanctity. In the soul of the unfortunate sinner, however, Christ decreases and dies.”
Quote/s of the Day – 16 September – The Memorial of Sts Cornelius & Cyprian
“The world is going mad in mutual extermination and murder, considered as a crime, when committed individually, becomes a virtue, when it is committed by large numbers. It is the multiplication of the frenzy, that assures impunity to the assassins.”
“You cannot have God for your Father if you do not have the Church for your mother.”
“There is one God and one Christ and one Church and one Chair founded on Peter, by the word of the Lord. It is not possible to set up another altar or for there to be another priesthood besides that one altar and that one priesthood. Whoever has gathered elsewhere, is scattering!”
“Their property held them in chains… chains which shackled their courage and choked their faith and hampered their judgement and throttled their soul… If they stored up their treasure in heaven, they would not now have an enemy and a thief within their own household… They think of themselves as owners, whereas it is they rather, who are owned – enslaved as they are to their own property, they are not the masters of their money but it’s slaves!”
“We have solemnly renounced the world and therefore, whilst we continue in it, we should behave like strangers and pilgrims.”
“He [Christ], protects their faith and gives strength to believers, in proportion to the TRUST, that each man, who receives that strength, is willing to place in Him.”
“The wretched bodies of the condemned shall simmer and blaze in those living fires.”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 16 September – Wednesday of the Twenty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Corinthians 12:31–13:13, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 12 and 22, Luke 7:31-35 and the Memorial of Sts Cornelius & Cyprian
“To what shall I compare the people of this generation?” … Luke 7:31
REFLECTION – “The apostle Paul says that there are some, who have no knowledge of God (1 Co 15:34). My opinion is that all those who lack knowledge of God, are those, who refuse to turn to Him. I am certain, that they refuse because they imagine this kindly disposed God, to be harsh and severe, this merciful God to be callous and inflexible, this lovable God to be cruel and oppressive. So it is, that wickedness plays false to itself, setting up for itself an image that does not represent God as He truly is.
What are you afraid of, you men of little faith? That He will not pardon your sins? But with His own hands He has nailed them to the cross. That you are used to soft living and your tastes are fastidious? But He knows the clay of which we are made (Gn 2:7). That a prolonged habit of sinning binds you like a chain? But the Lord loosens the shackles of prisoners. Or perhaps that angered by the enormity and frequency of your sins, He is slow to extend a helping hand? But where sin abounded, grace became superabundant (Rom 5,20). Are you worried about clothing and food and other bodily necessities so that you hesitate to give up your possessions? But He knows that you need all these things (Mt 6,32). What more can you wish? What else is there to hold you back from the way of salvation? This is what I say – you do not know God, yet you will not believe our words. I should like you to believe those whom experience has taught.” … St Bernard (1091-1153) Mellifluous Doctor of the Church – Commentary on the Song of Songs, Sermon 38
PRAYER – Look upon us Lord, Creator and Ruler of the whole world, give us the grace to serve You with all our hearts, to take up our cross and follow You, that we may come to know the power of Your love and the forgiveness which You give and You teach. Grant that by the intercession of Sts Cornelius and Cyprian, we may attain the glory of Your kingdom and see You face to face. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 16 September – Wednesday of the Twenty Fourth week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of Sts Cornelius & Cyprian
“So, my brothers, let us pray as God our Master has taught us. To ask the Father, in words His Son has given us, to let Him hear the prayer of Christ ringing in His ears, is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer. Let the Father recognise the words of His Son. Let the Son, who lives in our hearts, be also on our lips. We have Him as an Advocate for sinners, before the Father, when we ask for forgiveness for ours sins, let us use the words given by our Advocate. He tells us – Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you. What more effective prayer could we then make, in the name of Christ, than in the words of His own prayer?”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church
The Lord’s Prayer Jesus Matthew 6:9-13
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our trespasses As we forgive those who trespass against us And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen
Saint of the Day – Blessed Luigi Ludovico Allemandi (1390-1450) Bishop and Cardinal – often called “The Cardinal of Arles.” Born in c 1390 possibly in Arbent, Bugey, Kingdom of France and died on 16 September 1450 (aged 60) Arles, Kingdom of France. Blessed Luigi was a Priest driven by immense love for the Holy Mother of God and for the Church. His involvement in various Councils and papal dissentions, were the result of his great desire to maintain the purity of the Chair of Peter. He is also known as Louis Allemand, Louis Alamanus, Louis Alemanus, Louis Almannus, Louis Alamandus.
The noble Germanic family of Allemandi moved, at the time of the Ottoni emperors, to Piedmont and more precisely to San Michele di Prazzo, in Val Maira. Most likely the present Blessed was born here, although according to other hypotheses he would have been born in the nearby French region of Bugey. What is certain, however, is the Saluzzo origins of the family, given the future good relations that Ludovico had with Cardinal Amedeo of the Marquises of Saluzzo.
He embarked on an ecclesiastical career at a very young age and, having entered the Canons of Lyon, he was elevated to the dignity of Prior of Piellonez and Contamines-sur-Arles. At the University of Avignon, he graduated in law in 1414. He received various positions as a teacher at Abbeys in Tours, Valenza and Barbona.
He took part in the councils of Pisa and Constance, both aimed at a positive conclusion of the Western schism. Pope Martin V then assigned him to the Episcopal chair of Maguelonne in 1418 and of Arles in 1423.
Awarded the Cardinal’s purple, in 1424 he became governor of Bologna, where he had to face the ongoing struggle between Guelphs and Ghibellines. Here he was imprisoned for several long days by the powerful Guelph family of the Canetoli. When released, he moved to Rome where he worked at the Papal Court.
He was a prominent member of the Council of Basel in 1432 and together with Cardinal Julian Cesarini led the forces that maintained the power of the general councils over the Pope’s own control of the Church. It was while the council was proceeding, that he tended to victims of the plague. He later led opposition to the Pope but Cesarini was reconciled with Pope Eugene IV and had a prominent part in the Pope’s convoked Council of Florence. In 1439 he led the effort to depose Eugene IV and the election of a successor. In 1440 he placed the tiara upon Antipope Felix V and Consecrated him as a Bishop. This was a misguided attempt at reforming the Church which Blessed Luigi believed was vital. Eugene IV responded to this and excommunicated the antipope while also depriving Luigi of all his Ecclesiastical dignities. This occurred on 11 April 1440 – he was stripped of Arles as his Archdiocese and was stripped of his Titular Church.
Antipope Felix V made him the legate to the Diet of Frankfurt to the Court of Emperor Friedrich IV. He was further involved in the unsuccessful efforts to win over Europe’s Princes to Basel’s antipope. In order to make an end of the schism, the former cardinal advised Felix V to abdicate, at which stage Pope Nicholas V restored the Cardinal to all his honours and appointed him as a Papal Legate to the German kingdom; his full restoration was on 19 December 1449. He was restored to his Titular Church as well and from that moment, until his death served as the Protopriest of the College of Cardinals. It was due to his estrangement to the Roman See that he was not permitted to participate in the conclave of 1447.
He returned to his former Archdiocese of Arles, where he dedicated himself with great zeal, to the catechetical formation of the people. Death reached him in 1450 at the Franciscan convent of Salon. He was buried in his Cathedral and his tomb did not take long to become a pilgrimage destination and a miraculous place.
The historian, Saxius, summarised his life as follows: “Angelicam vitam duxit,” that is, “he led an angelic life,” characterised by a marked Marian devotion embodied in support of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
In 1527, Pope Clement VII officially confirmed his cult by declaring him “Blessed.”
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