Thought for the Day – 24 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Lead Us Not Into Temptation”
“Let no man say, when he is tempted,” St James warns us, “that he is tempted by God; for God is no tempter to evil and he himself tempts no-one. But everyone is tempted by being drawn away and enticed by his own passion. Then, when passion has conceived, it brings forth sin but when sin has matured, it begets death” (Js 1:13-15).
When we ask God during the Pater Noster not to lead us into temptation, we should really beseech Him to rescue us from temptation. We should not request this in any absolute sense, however, for it would be a poor soldier who would refuse to be tried in battle. Our prayer should be prompted by a holy fear of offending God. We should ask Him, therefore, either to set us free from temptations or to grant us the grace to overcome them. We should then co-operate earnestly with divine grace in resisting these temptations and should adopt the means necessary to overcome them.
In the first place, we should never go voluntarily into an occasion of sin. What use is it asking God to rescue us from temptations, if we immediately proceed to go in search of them? When possible, therefore, avoid the occasions of sin. “He who loves danger,” says the Holy Spirit, “will persist in it” (Ecclus 3:25). If duty or charity compels us to expose ourselves to danger, God will certainly help us. But, if we fail to recognise our own frailty and expose ourselves voluntarily to the risk of committing sin, God is not obliged to work a miracle to save us. Our presumption and imprudence will be severely punished.”
Quote/s of the Day – 24 October – The Memorialof St Anthony Mary Claret CMF (1807-1870) Archbishop and Founder of the Claretians
“The sole reason why society is perishing is because, it has refused to hear the word of the Church, which is the word of God. All plans for salvation will be sterile, if the great word of the Catholic Church, is not restored in all it’s fullness!”
“Humility, obedience, meekness and love are the virtues that shine through the Cross and the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. O my Jesus, help me imitate you!”
“To labour and to suffer for the One we love, is the greatest proof of our love.”
“Woe to me if I do not preach and warn [sinners], for I would be held responsible for their condemnation.”
And he said to the vinedresser, “Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and I find none. Cut it down, why should it use up the ground? ” – Luke 13:7
REFLECTION – “The Lord also has something very fitting to say about a fruitless tree, “Look, it is now three years that I have been coming to it. Finding no fruit on it, I will cut it down, to stop it blocking up my field.” The gardener intercedes.
This tree is the human race. The Lord visited this tree in the time of the patriarchs, as if for the first year. He visited it in the time of the law and the prophets, as if for the second year. Here we are now, with the gospel the third year has dawned. Now it is as though it should have been cut down but the merciful one intercedes with the merciful one. He wanted to show how merciful he was and so he stood up to himself with a plea for mercy. “Let us leave it,” he says, “this year too. Let us dig a ditch around it.” Manure is a sign of humility. “Let us apply a load of manure, perhaps it may bear fruit.” Since it does bear fruit in one part and in another part does not bear fruit, it’s Lord will come and divide it. What does that mean, “divide it?” There are good people and bad people now in one company, as though constituting one body.” – St Augustine (354-430)Doctor of Grace – Sermon 254
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to keep my death constantly before my eyes, for this is my final account. I pray You for a holy life that my death may be holy and that I may come to You and live for all eternity with You. May each moment of my life bear abundant fruit for love of You. When my hour is come, bid me come to You, Lord. Hear the prayers of your Saints, Anthony Mary Claret, who lived each moment of his life for the glory of Your Kingdom. We ask this through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 24 October – Saturday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time
Mary, I Love You By St Philip Neri (1515-1595)
Mary, I love you. Mary, make me live in God, with God and for God. Draw me after you, holy mother. O Mary, may your children persevere in loving you. Mary, Mother of God and Mother of mercy, pray for me and for the departed. Mary, holy Mother of God, be our helper. In every difficulty and distress, come to our aid, O Mary. O Queen of Heaven, lead us to eternal life with God. Mother of God, remember me, and help me always to remember you. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray to Jesus for me. Amen
Saint of the Day – 24 October – Saint Proclus of Constantinople (Died c 446) Archbishop of Constantinople, Confessor, Defender of the Church and of the Blessed Virgin, Writer, renowned Preacher – born in Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey) and died in c 446 in the area of modern Turkey of natural causes. He defended the divine maternity of Mary, fought against the heresy of Nestorius and, after Nestorius’ deposition, became Bishop of Constantinople. Roman Martyrology: In Constantinople, St Proclus, Bishop, who courageously proclaimed Blessed Mary as the Mother of God and brought the body of St John Chrysostom back from exile to the city with a solemn procession, thus deserving the title of the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon, as “Great.”
The friend and disciple of Saint John Chrysostom, Proclus became secretary to Archbishop Atticus of Constantinople (406–425), who ordained him Deacon and Priest. Atticus’ successor, Sisinnius I (426–427), consecrated him Bishop of Cyzicus but the Nestorians there, refused to receive him and he remained at Constantinople. On the death of Sisinnius, the infamous Nestorius succeeded as Archbishop of Constantinople (428–431) and early in 429, on a festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Proclus preached his celebrated sermon on the Incarnation, which was later inserted in the beginning of the Acts of the Council of Ephesus. Below is an excerpt from St Proclus sermon:
“Our present gathering in honour of the Most Holy Virgin inspires me, brethren, to offer her a word of praise, of benefit also for those who have come to this holy celebration. It is a praise of women, a glorification of their gender, which (glory) she brings to it, she who is both Mother and Virgin at the same time.
O desired and wondrous gathering! O nature, celebrate that whereby honour is rendered to woman! Rejoice, O human race, that in which the Virgin is glorified. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” [Romans 5:20]. The Holy Mother of God and Virgin Mary has gathered us here. She is the pure treasure of virginity, the intended paradise of the Second Adam, the place where the union of natures (divine and human) was accomplished and the Counsel of salvific reconciliation was affirmed.
Who has ever seen, who has ever heard, that the Limitless God would dwell within a womb? He Whom the Heavens cannot circumscribe is not limited by the womb of a Virgin! He Who is born of woman is not just God and He is not just Man. He Who is born has made woman the gateway of salvation. Where evil poured forth its poison, bringing on disobedience, there the Word made a living temple for Himself, bringing obedience there. From the place where the archsinner Cain sprang forth, there Christ the Redeemer of the human race was born without seed. The Lover of Mankind did not disdain to be born of woman, since She gave Him life (in His human nature). He was not subject to impurity by being in the womb which He Himself arrayed free from all harm. If this Mother had not remained a Virgin, then the Child born of her might be a mere man and the birth would not be miraculous in any way. Since she remained a Virgin after giving birth, then how is He Who is born not God? It is an inexplicable mystery, for He Who passed through locked doors without hindrance was born in an inexplicable manner. Thomas cried out, “My Lord, and my God!” [John 20:28], thus confessing the union of two natures in Him.”
When Archbishop Maximianus (431–434) died on Holy Thursday, Proclus was immediately enthroned by the permission of the Emperor Theodosius II and the Bishops gathered at Constantinople. His first care was the funeral of his predecessor and he then sent to both Bishops, St Cyril of Alexandria and St John of Antioch, the usual synodical letters announcing his appointment, both of whom approved of it.
In 436 the Bishops of Armenia consulted Proclus upon certain doctrines prevalent in their country and attributed to Theodore of Mopsuestia, asking for their condemnation. Proclus replied the next year in the celebrated letter known as the Tome to the Armenians, which he sent to the Eastern Bishops, asking them to sign it and to join in condemning the doctrines arraigned by the Armenians. They approved the letters but from admiration of Theodore, hesitated to condemn the doctrines attributed to him. Proclus replied that while he desired the extracts subjoined to his Tome to be condemned, he had not attributed them to Theodore or any individual, not desiring the condemnation of any single person.
A rescript from Theodosius procured by Proclus, declaring his wish that all should live in peace and that no imputation should be made against anyone who died in communion with the church, appeased the storm. The whole affair showed, conspicuously, the moderation and tact of Proclus. In 438, he transferred the relics of his old master, Saint John Chrysostom, from Comana back to Constantinople, where he interred them with great honour in the Church of the Twelve apostles. This action reconciled to the church those of Saint John’s adherents, who had separated themselves in consequence of his unjust removal as Archbishop.
In 439, at the request of a deputation from Caesarea in Cappadocia, Proclus selected as their new Bishop Thalassius, who was about to be appointed praetorian prefect of the East.
Proclus died most probably in October, 446. He appears to have been wise, moderate and conciliatory, desirous, while strictly adhering to Orthodoxy himself, to win over those who differed from him by persuasion rather than force.
The works of Proclus consist of 20 sermons. Five were published by Cardinal Mai, of which 3 are preserved only in a Syriac version, the Greek being lost; 7 letters, along with several addressed to him by other persons and a few fragments of other letters and sermons.
Proclus was cited by St John Henry Newman for his work on Mariology and his strong support of the conciliar dogma on the Mother of God. With his Marian doctrine, St Proclus opened the door to the further development of Marian doctrine during the period following the Council of Ephesus. Thanks to him, the faithful understood in a clearer way the great dignity of Mary, the power of her intercession and the need to honour her with special devotion.
St Maglorius of Wales St Marcius of Monte Cassino St Martin of Vertou St Proclus of Constantinople (Died c 446) Bishop St Senoch St Senócus of Tours St Septimus of Thibiuca — Martyrs of Ephesus – 3 saints: Three Christians martyred together. All we know about them are the names Mark, Sotericus and Valentina. They were stoned to death near Ephesus, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey). Their relics are enshrined on the island of Tasos.