Thought for the Day – 17 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Commandments and the Desires of Jesus Christ
“Sanctity consists, in doing the will of God, in all things. We can become perfect by doing His will, from the motive of love alone. “He who has my commandments and keeps them,” said Jesus, “he it is who loves me. But he who loves me, will be loved by my Father and I will love him and manifest myself to him. If anyone love me, he will keep my word and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our abode with him” (Jn 14:21-23).
Do we wish to know if we love God sincerely? The proof is this. If we do His will and obey His precepts, it is a sign that we love him but, if we do not observe His commandments, we lie when we say we love Him. We must, therefore, show our love, by observing in all things, the commandments of God. He gave us these commandments our of love for us, so that, by observing them, we should be saved and should be happy with Him. Even as He has given them out of love, we should observe them out of love, for He is our supreme and only good. Just as Jesus lovingly did the will of His heavenly Father, from Bethlehem to Nazareth, from Nazareth to Calvary and from Calvary to Heaven, so we should follow in His footsteps, by doing the adorable will of God in all the circumstances of our lives, both joyful and sorrowful. But, we must obey the divine will out of love, that is, because we love God whole-heartedly and above all created things.
Everything is easy to him who loves. “When we love him who gives us orders,” says St Francis de Sales, “even the hardest of actions becomes easy.”
Let us examine ourselves. Are we always ready to obey the commandments of God at any cost and would we die rather than offend Him? Let us examine ourselves also, to see, if we do all this out of love for Jesus. “He who does not love,” writes St John, “abides in death” (1 Jn 3:14).”
Quote/s of the Day – 17 September – The Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine SJ (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church
“The school of Christ is the school of love. In the last day, when the general examination takes place … Love will be the whole syllabus.”
“What is easier, sweeter, more pleasant, than to love goodness, beauty and love, the fullness of which, YOU ARE, O Lord, my God?”
“If you are wise, then, know that you have been created for the glory of God and your own eternal salvation. This is your goal; this is the centre of your life; this is the treasure of your heart. May you consider truly good, whatever leads you to your goal and truly evil, whatever makes you fall away from it.”
“It is granted to few, to recognise the true Church, amidst the darkness, of so many schisms and heresies and, to fewer still, so to love the Truth which they have seen, as to fly to it’s embrace!”
“Charity is that, with which no man is lost and without which, no man is saved.”
“It seems unbelievable that a man should perish in whose favour Christ said to His Mother: ‘Behold thy son’, provided that he has not turned a deaf ear to the words, which Christ addressed to him: ‘Behold thy Mother.’”
St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church
“Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” ~ Luke 7:48,50
REFLECTION – “A sinful woman has proclaimed to us that God’s love has gone forth in search of sinners. For when He called her, Christ was inviting our whole race to His love and, in her person, He was drawing all sinners to His forgiveness. He spoke to her alone but He was drawing all creation to His grace. (…)
Who would not be struck by the mercy of Christ, who accepted an invitation to a Pharisee’s house in order to save a sinner! For the sake of the woman who hungered for forgiveness, He, Himself felt hunger for the table of Simon the Pharisee and all the while, under the guise of a meal of bread, He had prepared for the sinner a meal of repentance! (…)
In order that you may have the same experience, reflect within yourself that your sin is great but that it is blasphemy against God and an injury to yourself, to despair of His forgiveness, because your sin seems to you to be too great. He has promised to forgive your sins, however many they are; will you tell Him you cannot believe this and dispute with Him, saying that your sin is too great and He cannot heal your sickness? Stop at that point and cry out with the prophet: “Lord, I have sinned against you” (Ps 51:6). At once He will reply, “As for me, I have overlooked your fault, you shall not die.” Glory to Him from us all, through all ages! Amen, Amen.” ~ An anonymous Syrian writer of the 6th century – From a collection of homilies on the sinful woman, 1, 188.8.131.52.28 (Eastern Syrian)
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, teach me to do everything for Your honour and glory. Grant me the grace to work out my salvation with anxious concern each day of my life. St Robert Bellarmine, as you worked tirelessly for the salvation of souls, so now pray for us all, as tirelessly, that we may achieve eternal joy, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 17 September – Thursday of the Twenty Fourth week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church
O Infinite Goodness Act of Contrition By St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church
O my God, I am exceedingly grieved, for having offended Thee and with my whole heart, I repent of the sins I have committed. I hate and abhor them above every other evil, not only because, by so sinning, I have lost heaven and deserved hell but still more because I have offended Thee, O infinite Goodness, who art worthy to be loved above all things. I most firmly resolve, by the assistance of Thy grace, never more to offend Thee for the time to come and to avoid those occasions which might lead me into sin. Amen
Saint of the Day – 17 September – St Lambert (c 635-c 700) Bishop and Martyr, Bishop of Maastricht, Confessor, Missionary. Born in c635 at Maastricht, Netherlands and died by stabbing through the heart by a javelin in c 700 at the Chapel of Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian, Liège, Belgium while celebrating Mass. Patronages – Liège, Belgium, Diocese of Middelaar, Netherlands,Freiburg , Gladbeck and Lambrecht in the Palatinate; of farmers, surgeons, dentists, against kidney disease, against diseases of domestic animals, as well as against hernia, gallstones and epilepsy. Finally, he is the patron saint of fowl. St Lambert is also known as Lambert of Liege or of Maastricht, Lamberto, Lambertus, Landebertus.
Lambert was from a noble family of Maastricht, the supposed son of Apre, lord of Liège, and his wife Herisplende, both from noble families. The child was Baptised by his godfather, the local bishop, Remaclus and educated by Landoald, Archpriest of the city. Lambert was also related to the seneschal Hugobert, father of Plectrude, Pepin of Herstal’s lawful wife and thus an in-law of hereditary mayors of the palace who controlled the Merovingian kings of Austrasia.
Lambert appears to have frequented the Merovingian Court of King Childeric II and was a protégé of his uncle, St Theodard, who succeeded Remaclus as Bishop of Maastricht. He is described by early biographers as “a prudent young man of pleasing looks, courteous and well-behaved in his speech and manners, well-built, strong, a good fighter, clear-headed, affectionate, pure and humble and fond of reading.” When Theodard was murdered soon after 669, the councillors of Childeric made Lambert Bishop of Maastricht. After five years he was involved in the political turmoil following the death of Childeric II. Lambert was then exiled from his seat by Ebroino, the previous mayor of the Neustria palace.
He withdrew to the Monastery of Stavelot where he lived for seven years as one of the Monks, claiming no privileges despite his office. Once, getting up to pray during the night, he accidentally disturbed the monastic silence.
The Abbot called out for whoever was responsible, to do penance by standing barefoot in the snow, before a Cross outside the Monastery Church. In the morning, the Abbot was dismayed to see the Bishop standing barefoot, covered with snow, before the Cross, his face shining. The Abbot sought to apologise but Lambert replied that he was honoured to serve God like the Apostles, in cold and nakedness.
When King Pepin of Heristal took power in 681, he restored Lambert to his See, despite the Saint’s desire to remain in obscurity. The holy Bishop renewed his pastoral labours with vigour, visiting the most distant parishes and preaching the Gospel to the pagans who still inhabited the area, despite danger and threats.
In company with St Willibrord, who had come from England in 691, Lambert preached the gospel in the lower stretches of the Meuse, in the area to the north. In conjunction with St Landrada, he founded a female Convent at Munsterblizen. Lambert was also the spiritual director of the young noble Hubertus, eldest son of Bertrand, Duke of Aquitaine. Hubertus would later succeed Lambert as Bishop of Maastricht.
Lambert seems to have succumbed to the political turmoil that developed when various clans fought for influence as the Merovingian dynasty gave way to the Carolingians. Historian Jean-Louis Kupper says that the Bishop was the victim of a private struggle between two clans seeking to control the Tongres-Maastricht see. Lambert is said to have denounced Pepin’s adulterous liaison with Alpaida, who was to become the mother of Charles Martel. This aroused the enmity of either Pepin, Alpaida, or both. The Bishop was murdered at Liege by the troops of Dodon, Pepin’s domesticus (manager of state domains), father or brother of Alpaida.
The year of his death is variously given for some time between 700 and 709. Lambert came to be viewed as a Martyr for his defence of the Sacrament of Marriage and marital fidelity. Lambert’s two nephews, Peter and Audolet, were also killed defending their uncle. They too, were viewed as saints.
Although Lambert was buried in his family’s vault in the cemetery of Saint Peter, Maastricht, Netherlands, his successor as Bishop, St Hubertus, translated his relics to Liège, to which the see Maastricht was eventually moved. To enshrine Lambert’s relics, Hubertus, built a Basilica near Lambert’s residence which became the true nucleus of the city. The shrine became St Lambert’s Cathedral which was destroyed in 1794. Its site is the modern Place Saint-Lambert. Lambert’s tomb is now located in the present Liège Cathedral. The Cathedral of Our Lady and St Lambert in Liege was built in his honour.
Saint Lambert is one of the best-loved Saints of Belgium, where many Parish Churches are dedicated to him. St Lambert’s admiration was also particularly widespread in the Archdiocese of Cologne. Near Lambrecht in the Palatinate Forest, in Germany now but bordering on France, is the Lambert Cross, a stone cross, which bears the name of Lambert, from which the town takes its name.
Stigmata of St Francis of Assisi: Two years before the great Saint Francis of Assisi died and when he was forty-two years old — one year after he had built the first crib in honour of Our Lord — he went off to a lonely mountain called Mount Alvernia, to prepare himself by forty days of fasting and prayer for the feast of Saint Michael, the greatest of God’s angels, whose feast day is 29 September. On the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on 14 September, Saint Francis received in his hands, feet and side the Sacred Wounds from Our Lord’s own body.
Never was a saint more beautifully loved by Jesus than Saint Francis of Assisi. The wounds Jesus gave him stayed in his hands, feet and side and continually bled for two more years, until he died in 1226. The day on which Saint Francis received the Five Wounds of Our Lord was 14 September but so, that this beautiful event might have a feast day for itself, the Stigmata of Saint Francis is commemorated today, on 17 September. The simple liturgy of this holy saint’s life might be put this way – the crib in 1223 and the Cross in 1224.
St Justin of Rome St Lambert (c 635-c 700) Bishop & Martyr St Narcissus of Rome St Peter Arbues St Rodingus St Satyrus of Milan St Socrates Bl Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary St Stephen St Theodora St Uni of Bremen St Zygmunt Sajna St Zygmunt Szcesny Felinski TOSF (1822-1895) His Life: https://anastpaul.com/2019/09/17/saint-of-the-day-17-september-saint-zygmunt-szcesny-felinski-1822-1895/ — Martyred in the Spanish Civil War • Blessed Álvaro Santos Cejudo Moreno Chocano • Blessed Juan Ventura Solsona • Blessed Timoteo Valero Pérez