Thought for the Day – 2 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Necessity of Meditation in Silence
“With desolation all the land made desolate because, there is none that considereth in the heart” (Jer 12:11).
Very often the world is plunged in the desolation of evil because, there is nobody who will speak with God, in the silence of his heart and try to regulate his life according to His holy commandments. It is in a particularly outstanding way today, that the heresies of actionism and externalism, dominate the great mass of mankind. To act, to rush, to arrive … above all, to arrive! But to arrive where? In this frantic, frenzied and tumultuous race, which good people are often found competing, two very sure things are forgotten, namely, that we shall finally arrive at death and, that from death, we shall pass onto eternity. The whole course of our lives, therefore, should be directed towards this end. But, if we are to keep this end in view, prudent reflection is essential, especially meditation, made with the assistance of the Divine light, on the eternal truths.
Absorbed in the deafening din of the world around us, it is difficult to hear the voice of God. At least, for a little while each day, we must create within ourselves, a zone of silence, in order to listen to His voice. Since God speaks readily in the silence of the heart, let us recollect ourselves before Him, in this quiet oasis. At least a quarter of an hour of daily meditation is essential for the life of a Christian. This should be the jumping-off board for all the actions of day, if we wish these to be correct and productive of good.
It is very useful, moreover, to recall to mind frequently during the day, the resolutions which have been formed and to accompany these reflections, with short prayers, aspirations and acts of love for God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – Christmas Weekday and The Memorial of St Basil the Great (329-379) and St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
“… In the conceitedness of our souls, without taking the least trouble to obey the Lord’s commandments, we think ourselves worthy to receive the same reward as those who have resisted sin to the death!”
“A tree is known by its fruit, a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost, he who sows courtesy, reaps friendship and he who plants kindness, gathers love.”
“There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healing, time for change. Have you slipped? Rise up! Have you sinned? Cease! Do not stand among sinners but leap aside!”
“O sinner, be not discouraged but have recourse to Mary in all you necessities. Call her to your assistance, for such is the divine Will that she should help in every kind of necessity.”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Grace is given, not to those who speak [their faith] but to those, who live their faith.”
“Remember God more often than you breathe!”
“Let us become like Christ, since Christ became like us. He assumed the worse, that He might give us the better; He became poor, that we through His poverty, might be rich.”
St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father and Doctor of the Church
He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” … 1 John 2:23
REFLECTION – “Prepare a way for the Lord.” Brethren, however far you journey along it… from the very nature of goodness, there is no limit to the way along which you travel. And so… the wise and indefatigable traveller… can say to himself each day: “Now I begin”… And how many “go astray in the wilderness”… None of them can yet say: “Now I begin.”
For “the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.” If the beginning of wisdom, then surely it is also the beginning of the way of goodness… It is this that encourages praise…, it also moves the proud to penance, so that they hear the voice of him crying in the wilderness, ordering the preparation of the way and thus showing how to begin it: “Do penance for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand”…
If you are on the way, then fear only one thing, lest you leave it, lest you offend the Lord who leads you along it, so that He would abandon you to “wander in the way of your own heart”… If you feel that the way is too narrow look forward to the end to which it leads you. If you were to see how everything is to be attained, then you would say without hesitation: “Broad indeed is your command!” If you cannot see so far, believe Isaiah who could… “Behold,” he says, “the redeemed shall walk by this way and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Sion with singing, everlasting joy shall be upon their heads . They shall obtain also joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Those who dwell sufficiently on this end, I think, will not only make the way easier for himself but also grow wings, so that he no longer walks but flies… May He, who is the track of the runners and the reward of the winners, lead and guide you along it – He, Christ Jesus!” … Blessed Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157) Cistercian Abbot – 5th sermon of Advent, SC 166
PRAYER – Look with favour on our morning prayer, Lord and in Your saving love, let Your light penetrate the wilderness in our hearts. May no sordid desires darken our minds, renewed and enlightened as we are, by Your heavenly grace. God our Father, You enriched Your Church and gave examples for us to follow in the life and teachings of Sts Basil and Gregory. Grant that, learning Your truth with humility, we may practise it in faith and love. Sts Basil and Gregory, pray for our beloved Church, pray for all Catholic Christians, through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Saint of the Day – 2 January – Saint Adelard of Corbie (c 751 – 827) Monk, Abbot, Apostle of the poor and needy, Court administrator, Counsellor to Charlemagne – born in c 751 snf died on 2 January 827 at Corbie Abbey, Picardy, France following a brief illness. Also known as Adalard, Adalhard, Adelhard, Adalardus, Adelardus, Alard, Alardus, Adalardo. Patronages – against fever, against typhoid, of gardeners, of many Churches and Towns in France and along the lower Rhine.
Adelard (752-827) was the grandson of Charles Martel, nephew of King Pepin and first cousin to Charlemagne. Adalard received a good education in the Palatine School at the Court of Charlemagne in Aachen and while still very young was made Count of the Palace. He became a Monk, at the age of 20, at Corbie in Picardy in 773. He attempted to embrace a more eremitical life at Monte Cassino but was ordered back to Corbie by Charlemagne. Eventually, he was chosen Abbot and became Charlemagne’s counsellor.
He was forced by the King to leave the Monastery and work for him as chief minister for his son Pepin. At his death in Milan in 810, King Pepin appointed Adelard tutor to his son Bernard of Italy, then but twelve years of age.
He was accused of supporting a rival power (Bernard) against Emperor Louis the Debonair and was banished to a Monastery on the island of Heri. Five years later he was recalled to the King’s court (821). Several hospitals were erected by him. In 822 Adalard and his brother Wala founded Corvey Abbey (“New Corbie”) in Westphalia, Germany.
He later retired to the Abbey at Corbie and died on 2 January after an illness, thought today to have been typhoid.
Miracles were reported after his death. When Adelard first became Monk at Corby in Picardy (in 773), his first assignment was gardener of the Monastery. He did his job humbly and piously, praying throughout the day. His great virtues eventually helped him become Abbot but also, forced him into secular posts at the order of the King.
Saint Adelard was Canonised by Pope John XIX in 1026.
With the above description in mind, it will not be much of a surprise that Adelard became the patron saint of gardeners. In addition, he became known as the patron of sufferers of fevers and typhoid.
St Adelard of Corbie (c 751 – 827) Monk, Abbot Bl Airaldus of Maurienne St Asclepius of Limoges St Aspasius of Auch St Blidulf of Bobbio Bl Guillaume Répin St Hortulana of Assisi St Isidore of Antioch St Isidore of Nitria St Laurent Bâtard St Macarius the Younger Blessed Marie Anne Blondin SSA (1809-1890) https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/02/saint-of-the-day-blessed-marie-anne-blondin-ssa-1809-1890/ St Maximus of Vienne Bl Odino of Rot St Paracodius of Vienne St Seraphim of Sarov St Seiriol St Telesphorus, Pope St Theodota St Theopistus St Vincentian of Tulle — Many Martyrs Who Suffered in Rome: There were many martyrs who suffered in the persecutions of Diocletian for refusing to surrender the holy books. Though we know these atrocities occured, we do not know the names of the saints and we honour them as a group. c 303 in Rome, Italy.
Martyrs of Antioch – 5 saints: A group of Christian soldiers martyred together for their faith. We know the names of five – Albanus, Macarius, Possessor, Starus and Stratonicus. They were born in Greece and were martyred in Antioch (modern Antakya, Turkey).
Many Martyrs of Britain: The Christians of Britain appear to have escaped unharmed in the earlier persecutions which afflicted the Church but the cruel edicts of Diocletian were enforced in every corner of the empire and the faithful inhabitants of this land, whether native Britons or Roman colonists, were called upon to furnish their full number of holy Martyrs and Confessors. The names of few are on record but the British historian, Saint Gildas, after relating the martyrdom of Saint Alban, tells us that many others were seized, some put to the most unheard-of tortures and others immediately executed, while not a few hid themselves in forests and deserts and the caves of the earth, where they endured a prolonged death until God called them to their reward. The same writer attributes it to the subsequent invasion of the English, then a pagan people, that the recollection of the places, sanctified by these martyrdoms, has been lost and so little honour paid to their memory. It may be added that, according to one tradition, a thousand of these Christians were overtaken in their flight near Lichfield and cruelly massacred and that the name of Lichfield, or Field of the Dead, is derived from them.
Martyrs of Ethiopia – 3 saints: A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. We know the names of three – Auriga, Claudia and Rutile.
Martyrs of Jerusalem – 2 saints: A group of Christians martyred together for their faith. We know the names of two – Stephen and Vitalis.
Martyrs of Lichfield: Many Christians suffered at Lichfield (aka Lyke-field, meaning field of dead bodies), England in the persecutions of Diocletian. Though we know these atrocities occured, we do not know the names of the saints, and we honour them as a group. Their martyrdom occurred in 304 at Lichfield, England.
Martyrs of Piacenza: A group of Christians who died together for their faith in the persecutions of Diocletian. No details about them have survived. They were martyred on the site of church of Madonna di Campagna, Piacenza, Italy.
Martyrs of Puy – 4 saints: Missionaries, sent by Saint Fronto of Périgueux to the area of Puy, France. Tortured and martyred by local pagans. We know the names – Frontasius, Severinus, Severian and Silanus. They were beheaded in Puy (modern Puy-en-Velay), France and buried together in the church of Notre Dame, Puy-en-Velay by Saint Fronto, their bodies laid out to form a cross.
Martyrs of Syrmium – 7 saints: Group of Christians martyred together, date unknown. We know the names of seven – Acutus, Artaxus, Eugenda, Maximianus, Timothy, Tobias and Vitus – but very little else. This occurred in the 3rd or 4th century at Syrmium, Pannonia (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia).
Martyrs of Tomi – 3 saints: Three brothers, all Christians, all soldiers in the imperial Roman army, and all three martyred in the persecutions of emperor Licinius Licinianus. We know their names – Argeus, Marcellinus and Narcissus – but little else. They were martyred in 320 at Tomi, Exinius Pontus, Moesia (modern Constanta, Romania).