Thought for the Day – 8 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Entrusting Ourselves to God
“Sometimes the cross seems too heavy. Physical or moral sufferings may give rise to a feeling of rebellion, or temptations may grow so strong that I feel overwhelmed and unable to experiece the supernatural influence of God’s grace.
At such times, I should remember the words of Jesus: “Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Mt 11:28).
If I leave myself entirely in God’s hands, my cross will become lighter. My worries and woes, will be easier to bear and, I shall not be excessively elated by worldly pleasures.
All the Saints had perfect TRUST in God. Therefore, they were always content.”
Quote/s of the Day – 8 January – The Third Day within the Octave of Epiphany
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.”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258) Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church
“The Lord is near, do not be anxious about anything!”
St Augustine (354-430) Great Western Father and Doctor of Grace
“Rest is in Him alone. Man knows no peace in the world but he has no disturbance when he is with God.”
St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor
“He who trusts in God can do all things.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
“Free your mind from all that troubles you; God will take care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this (choice) without, so to speak, grieving the heart of God because He sees that you do not honour Him sufficiently with holy trust. Trust in Him, I beg you and you will have the fulfilment of what your heart desires.”
St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
“Oh! My God, how much Your Hand was upon me and yet how little I was aware of it! How good You are! How good You are! How You protected me! How you covered me with Your wings, when I did not even believe in Your existence!”
One Minute Reflection – 8 January – The Third Day within the Octave of Epiphany, Readings: 1 John 4:11-18, Psalms 72:1-2, 10,12-13, Mark 6:45-52 and the Memorial of St Peter Thomas OCD (c 1305-1366)
“Take courage, it is I, be not afraid!” … Mark 6:50
REFLECTION – “All ships have a compass which, when touched by the magnet, always turns towards the polar star. And even when the boat is making its way in a southward direction, yet the compass does not cease turning towards its north at all times. In the same way, let the fine point of your spirit always turn towards God, its north. … You are about to take to the high seas of the world, do not on this account, alter dial or mast, sail or anchor or wind. Keep Jesus Christ as your dial, at all times, His Cross for mast on which to hoist your resolutions, as a sail. Let your anchor be, profound trust in Him and set out early. May the propitious wind of heavenly inspirations ever fill the sails of your vessel more and more and cause you, to speed forward, to the harbour of a holy eternity. … Should everything turn upside down, I do not say around us but within us, that is to say, should our soul be sad, happy, in sweetness, in bitterness, peaceful, troubled, in light, in darkness, in temptation, in rest, in enjoyment, in disgust, in dryness, in gentleness, should the sun burn it or the dew refresh it, ah!, this point of our heart, our spirit, our higher will, which is our compass, should, nevertheless, always and at all times turn unceasingly, tend perpetually towards the love of God.” … St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) – Bishop of Geneva and Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – God and Father, light of all mankind, make our hearts radiant with the splendour of that light which long ago You shed on our fathers in the faith and give Your people the joy of lasting peace. May the prayers of Your blessed saints and martyrs be a comfort on our journey. Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 8 January – The Third Day within the Octave of Epiphany
Lord, May Your kingdom Come Into My Heart By Fr Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751)
Lord, may Your kingdom come into my heart to sanctify me, nourish me and purify me. How insignificant is the passing moment, to the eye without faith! But how important each moment is, to the eye enlightened by faith! How can we deem insignificant anything which has been caused by You? Every moment and every event is guided by You and so contains Your infinite greatness. So, Lord, I glorify You in everything that happens to me. In whatever manner You make me live and die, I am content. Events please me for their own sake, regardless of their consequences because Your action lies behind them. Everything is heaven to me because all my moments, manifest Your love. Amen
Saint of the Day – 6 January – St Peter Thomas OCD (c 1305-1366) Carmelite Priest and Friar, Archbishop of Crete, Latin Patriarch of Constantinople, noted Preacher, Papal legate, the Carmelite Order’s Procurator-General to the Papal Court, Teacher, Marian devotee, miracle-worker – born as Pierre Tomas in c 1305 in southern Perigord, France and died 1366 at Famagorta, Cyprus from wounds received in a military action in Alexandria, Egypt in 1365. He preached the Crusade against the Turks throughout Serbia, Hungary and Constantinople and travelled with the armies. He enjoyed a reputation among both Catholic and Orthodox spheres as an apostle of Church unity. Before the Turkish uprising (when his remains were lost), during the Canonisation process, when his tomb was opened, his body was found to be “perfect and whole and the members as flexible as before” (Carmesson, pp. 100-1)
Peter Thomas was born around the year 1305 to a very poor family in Périgord. His father was a serf. When still a teenager, he left his parents and his younger sister to ease the burdens on his family. He went to the nearby small town of Monpazier, where he attended school for about three years, living on alms and teaching younger pupils. He led the same type of life at Agen until the age of twenty, when he returned to Monpazier.
The Prior of the Carmelite convent of Lectoure employed Thomas as a teacher for a year in their school. He entered the Carmelite Order at the age of twenty-one and made his profession of religious vows at Bergerac where he taught for two years. He studied philosophy at Agen, where he was ordained a Priest three years later. For the next few years, he continued his studies, while also teaching in Bordeaux, Albi and again in Agen. This was followed by three years of study in Paris. He was preaching in Cahors, during a procession of prayer held in supplication for the end to a serious drought, when rain began to fall. This was viewed by many as miraculous.
He was the Order’s Procurator General and an official Preacher at the Papal Court of Pope Clement VI at Avignon. At the death of Pope Clement VI, he accompanied the bosy to the Chaise-Dieu, preaching at all the twelve stops along the way (April, 1353).
From that time on the whole life of Peter Thomas was dedicated to the fulfilment of delicate missions entrusted to him by the Holy See, for peace among Christian princes, for the defence of the rights of the Church before the most powerful monarchs of the age, for the union of the Orthodox Byzantine–Slavs with the Roman Church, for the anti-Muslim crusade and the liberation of the Holy Land.
In 1354 he was made Bishop of Patti and Lipari. In 1363 he was appointed Archbishop of Crete and in 1364 he became the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople.
Peter caught a cold during the Christmas feasts of 1365. His condition worsened on 28 December and on 6 January, being “reduced to skin and bones” (Phil Of M., p. 151, 15), he piously ended his earthly life “at about the second hour of the night” (ib. 154, 8), after having distributed all his belongings to the poor. He died in the Carmelite convent of Famagusta.
His remains seemed surrounded by light to those who watched them during the wake. The funeral was a veritable triumph – even the dissident Greeks and others, who would willingly have “drunk his blood” (ib. p. 156, 3-4) while he was aliv, participated devoutly. The funeral eulogy was delivered by John Carmesson, who several times felt himself mysteriously urged to call the deceased a saint (lb., 157, 8). The body remained exposed for six days and was visited by a great number of people – cures and other miracles were verified before and after the burial (Smet, pp. 163-84).
Two qualified admirers of Peter Thomas wrote his Vita almost on the morrow of his death – Philip of Mézières (died 1405), Chancellor of King Peter of Cyprus and spiritual son of the Saint, (The Life of St. Peter Thomas by Philippe de Mézières) and the Franciscan, John Carmesson, Minister of the Province of the Holy Land, who had delivered the funeral eulogy.
The fours volumes of sermons and the tract De Immaculata Conception Blessed Maria Virgini which he wrote have been lost. But the famous processional Cross presented to him in 1360 by the Christian refugees from Syria and used by him, as the standard in the Alexandrian crusade and as a source of strength in his own last agony. is now preserved in the Venetian church of St John. He had willed the Cross to his friend, Philip of Mézières, who on 23 December 1370, gave it to the Grand School of St John in Venice. This processional Cross became the object of intense devotion and was depicted on the city’s standard.
He was Beatified in 1609 by Pope Paul V and Canonised in 1628 by Pope Urban VIII.
The above film was the winner of the International “Festival dobrých správ” (of Good News) honoured a short film about the life of Blessed Titus Zeman SDB. The video entitled “Titus Zeman – a Martyr for Spiritual Freedom to Follow Oneʹs Vocation” was first place in the category of short films under 15 minutes and takes a closer look at the heroic sacrifice of the Salesian. The author of the winning film is Salesian past pupil Roman Maturkanič from Slovakia who currently works as a film director. “Probably the biggest challenge was to narrate the very eventful life of Titus in such a short time. We won the first place prize but we could say that this is Titusʹ victory,” said the director of the film’s achievement in the competition.
St Wulsin of Sherborne — Martyrs of Greece – 9 saints: A group of Christians honored in Greece as martyrs, but we have no details about their lives or deaths – Euctus, Felix, Januarius, Lucius, Palladius, Piscus, Rusticus, Secundus and Timotheus
Martyrs of Terni – 4 saints: A group of Christian soldiers in the imperial Roman army. Executed during the persecutions of emperor Claudius. Martyrs. – Carbonanus, Claudius, Planus and Tibudianus. They were martyred in 270 in Terni, Italy.