Thought for the Day – 9 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Love of God
“If we really know God, we should love Him above all created things. “I have loved you too little, My God,” said St Augustine in his Confessions, “because I have not known You well enough.” If we knew God, we should recognise, that He is infinite beauty, goodness and wisdom. We should realise, that the beauty of creatures is like a passing cloud, for it is a vague and distant reflection of the eternal beauty of God. We should realise, that the wisdom of men, is only a ray of God’s light which comes from Him and must return to Him. Finally, we should perceive that men are good, only insofar, as they do their best to respond to the inspirations of grace which God has placed in their hearts. God alone is in Himself and of Himself, supremely true, beautiful, good, wise and holy. Created things are only an invitation to love God, their Creator. God alone, therefore, is supremely lovable in Himself. In the apt words of St Bernard, “God Himself is the reason why we should love God and, the measure of our love should be measureless.”
Let us not allow ourselves to become entangled in the empty passing things of this world but, let us raise our minds and hearts to God alone. There is only one thing necessary!”
Quote/s of the Day – 9 February – Genesis 1:20 – 2: 4, Psalms 8:4-5, 6-7,8-9, Mark 7:1-13
Where is our Heart?
“This people honours me with their lips but their hearts are far from me”
“Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ.”
“Remember God more often than you breathe!”
St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father and Doctor of the Church
“You first loved us so that we might love You— not because You needed our love but because, we could not be what You created us to be, except by loving You.”
“Loving You, O God, brings its own reward here on earth, as well as the eternal reward of heaven. By becoming mirrors of Your love, by wearing the mask of Your likeness and by allowing You to make us perfect, we can know the joy of heaven, even while we abide here on earth.”
William of Saint Thierry (c 1075-1148)
“Immediately after rising and throughout the day, all make the Sign of the Cross and renew their trust in God: to be strengthened by the power of the Father, to be enlightened by the wisdom of the Son and to be sanctified by the love of the Holy Spirit. And as they bless themselves, they may say: Of myself I can do nothing, with God I can do everything, I want to do everything for love of God.”
“This people honours me with their lips but their hearts are far from me” … Mark 7:6
REFLECTION – “WE MUST not rely too much upon ourselves, for grace and understanding are often lacking in us. We have but little inborn light and this we quickly lose through negligence. Often we are not aware that we are so blind in heart. Meanwhile, we do wrong and then do worse in excusing it. At times, we are moved by passion and we think it zeal. We take others to task for small mistakes and overlook greater ones in ourselves. We are quick enough to feel and brood over the things we suffer from others but we think nothing of how much others suffer from us. If a man would weigh his own deeds fully and rightly, he would find little cause to pass severe judgement on others. The interior man, puts the care of himself before all other concerns and he who attends to himself carefully, does not find it hard to hold his tongue about others. You will never be devout of heart unless you are thus silent about the affairs of others and pay particular attention to yourself. If you attend wholly to God and yourself, you will be little disturbed by what you see about you. … You will sweetly repose if your heart does not rebuke you. Rejoice at nothing but only your good deeds. Bad men have never a true joy, nor feel inner peace, for “there is no peace for the wicked” (Is 57:21). … He is easily calmed and contented whose conscience is clean. Praise makes you not more holy, nor insult more worthless. What you are you are, what God knows of you, is all that can be said for you. If you will only look at what you truly are, you will not care what men say of you. “Man looks at the appearance but God looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). – Thomas`a Kempis – The Imitation of Christ – Book II, ch. 5-6
PRAYER – Almighty Lord and God, protect us by your power throughout the course of this day, do not let us turn aside to any sin, purify our conscience and let our every thought, wod and dedd aim at doing only what is pleasing in Your sight. May the intercession of our Holy Mother and all the saints, be a strength and a comfort. Through Jesus, our compassionate and loving Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You forever, amen.
Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me. Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up. Thou hast understood my thoughts afar off, my path and my line, thou hast searched out. And thou hast foreseen all my ways, for there is no speech in my tongue. Behold, O Lord, thou hast known all things, the last and those of old, Thou hast formed me and hast laid Thy hand upon me. Thy knowledge is become wonderful to me, it is high and I cannot reach to it. Whither shall I go from Thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy face? If I ascend into heaven, Thou art there, if I descend into hell, Thou art present. If I take my wings early in the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there also, shall Thy hand lead me and Thy right hand shall hold me. And I said: Perhaps darkness shall cover me and night shall be my light in my pleasures. But darkness shall not be dark to Thee and night shall be light as day, the darkness thereof and the light thereof, are alike to Thee. For Thou hast possessed my reins. Thou hast protected me from my mother’s womb. I will praise Thee, for Thou art fearfully magnified, wonderful are Thy works and my soul knoweth right well. Prove me, O God, and know my heart, examine me and know my paths. And see if there be in me the way of iniquity and lead me in the eternal way. Amen
Saint of the Day – 9 February – Saint Sabinus of Canosa (c 461–566) Bishop, Confessor, Benedictine Monk, Papal Legate, miracle-worker, graced with the charism of prophecy, Defender of the Faith against heretics, friend of Saint Benedict of Nursia, builder of Churches and Monasteries, following the Benedictine discipline of Ora et labora. Born in c 461 in Italy and died on 9 February 556. Patronages – Atripalda, Canosa Italy, Torremaggiore and Furci and Bari, Italy, protector against poisoning. At some point Sabinus went blind but records do not reveal exactly when this occurred, nor is it revealed in the Dialogues of St Gregory. Additional Memorial – 14 September in Atripalda. Roman Martyrology: “At Canossa in Apulia, St Sabinus, Bishop and Confessor.”
Saint Pope Gregory tells that he was endowed with the spirit of prophecy and the power of miracles. After he had become blind, when a cup of poison was offered to him by a servant who was bribed, he knew it by divine instinct. He, however, declared that God would punish the one who had bribed the servant and, making the Sign of the Cross, he drank the poison without anxiety and without harmful effect.”
Sabinus was a friend of Saint Benedict, whom he visited at Montecassino and to whom, as recorded by St Gregory the Great, he once expressed his preoccupations on the incursions of the Ostrogoth King Totila into the Italian peninsula. According to the hagiographic legend, he succeeded in saving Canosa from the threat of the latter. In fact, the Dialogues of Pope Gregory I (Book III, Chapter 5) also contains a second anecdote relating to “Sabinus, Bishop of Canosa.” Totila, King of the Goths, who was sceptical about the prophetic powers of the blind St Sabinus, visited and had dinner with him. He handed him a glass of wine, in place of the cupbearer. “Then the man of God taking the cup but not seeing him that did deliver it, said: ‘Blessed be that hand.’ At which words, the King very merrily blushed because, albeit he was taken, yet he had found that gift in the man of God which before he desired to know.” Totila was so impressed that he renounced his pillaging.
In 531, under the Papacy of Boniface II, he participated in the Roman Synod. Sabinus was sent twice as a Papal Envoy to Constantinople, in 525, by Pope John I and in 536 to accompany Pope Agapitus I, (who lost his life on the journey,) to defend the true faith against the Monophysite heresy.
St Sabinus died after 52 years of dedicated service in the Episcopate.
Bishop Angelarius rescued the relics of St Sabinus from Canos Cathedral and took them to Bari when Canosa was destroyed by Saracens in 844. It is not clear how some of them came to be venerated in San Giovenale, Orvieto. The Cappella di San Sabino, to the left of the apse of this Church, was built at the end of the 13th century on what might have been the site of a free-standing Oratory of St Sabinus. This Church itself is referred to as Sts Giovenale and Sabinus in a document of 1314.
A reliquary (1340) by Ugolino di Vieri for the skull of St Sabinus of Canosa (see below) was displayed in this Chapel until 1845, when it was sold to the Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo. The rest of the saints’ relics are said to rest under its high altar.
Week long festivities are celebrated each year in Atripalda prior to the Feast Day of our Saint, where St Sabinus’ memory is celebrated on 14 September.
Our Lady of the Bells, Cathedral of Saintes, France – 9 February:
“Saintes” is the English translation for the French word meaning female saints. There is a great deal of history to the Poitou-Charentes region of western France where the town of Saintes is located. The town of Saintes was originally a thriving settlement in ancient Gaul located along the Charente River. The town became known as Mediolanum Santonum once conquered by the Romans under Julius Caesar, and the remains of the triumphal arch of Germanicus and a large amphitheatre can still be seen there today. The town takes its name, Saintes, due to a fascinating legend that many still piously believe. According to this tradition, Mary Salome and Mary Jacob, accompanied by other disciples of Jesus Christ, were forced to flee the Holy Land about the year 45. They left, taking a boat with no sail and were miraculously transported across the Mediterranean Sea, making land near the place which became known as Saintes Maries de la Mer. Long before the arrival of the saints, indeed, since prehistoric times, Saintes Maries de la Mer (Saint Mary’s of the Sea) had been considered a holy place. This tradition was carried on by the Celts and then the Romans. It is recorded that St Eutropius was a Bishop there in the 3rd century and, that the first Cathedral was reconstructed by no less a personage than Charlemagne.
Norman invaders twice burned the town during the 9th century. Richard the Lionheart took refuge there against his father and King Saint Louis IX defeated the English on the plains before the town. The Cathedral of Saint Peter, built in the 12th century, was severely damaged by the Huguenots in the year 1568. Its bishopric was ended in 1790 due to the oppression of the French Revolution. The Church is now reduced to being only an historical monument. It is recorded, though, that one year long ago, on the octave day of the Purification, the bells in the Cathedral of Saintes, France, rang out most sweetly of themselves. The sacristans, having run to the Church, saw what appeared to be several unknown men holding lighted tapers and melodiously chanting hymns in honour of the Blessed Virgin, Our Lady of the Bells, who was venerated in a Chapel of this Cathedral. Approaching softly, they – the men who had run to the church – begged the last of these men carrying lighted candles, to give them one in proof of the miracle they had witnessed. The light-bearers graciously complied. This taper, or candle, in remembrance of Our Lady of the Bells, is said to be preserved in that Cathedral up to this day.
St Nebridius of Egara St Nicephorus of Antioch St Poëmus of Membressa St Primus the Deacon St Raynald of Nocera St Romanus the Wonder Worker St Ronan of Lismore St Sabino of Abellinum St Sabinus of Canosa (c 461–566) Bishop St Teilo of Llandaff — Martyrs of Alexandria: An unknown number of Christians who were massacred in church in 4th century Alexandria, Egypt by Arian heretics for adhering to the orthodox faith.
Martyrs of Membressa: A group of 44 Christians martyred together. We know little else about them some names – • Ammon • Didymus • Emilian • Lassa • Poemus They were martyred in Membressa in Africa.