Thought for the Day – 13 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Religion and Action
“Anyone who fails to correspond with the grace of God, is not living the life of Jesus. Without the life of Jesus, he is a dead limb, a withered branch cut away from the vine. It is not enough to say “Lord, Lord!” in order to enter the kingdom of Heaven, but, it is necessary to do the will of our Heavenly Father (Cf Mt 7:21). The grace of God must produce an abundant harvest of good works, no matter what sacrifices this may cost us. Otherwise, God’s gift would have been bestowed in vain and, before the Supreme Judge one day, would be a reason for a terrible retribution, instead of a reward. Let us think seriously about this. Has the spirit of religion become reduced to an empty form of belief and ritual action, or are we really living what we believe? Meditate with attention to these words of St James: “What will it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but does not have works? Can the faith save him? And if a brother or a sister be naked and in want of daily food and, one of you say to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ yet you do not give them what is necessary for the body, what does it profit? So faith too, unless it has works, is dead in itself” (Js 2:14-17).
Even the devil believes but he is damned forever (Cf Js 2:18). “Religion pure and undefiled before God the Father is this – to give aid to orphans and widows in their tribulation and to keep oneself unspotted from this world!” (Js 1:27).
Quote/s of the Day – 13 February – The Memorial of Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP (1190-1237)
“I send you a you a very little word, THE WORD, made little in the crib, THE WORD, made flesh for us …. THE WORD, of salvation and grace THE WORD, of sweetness and glory THE WORD Who is good and gentle – JESUS CHRIST.”
“There are two ways of keeping God’s word, namely, one, whereby we store in our memory what we hear and the other, whereby we put into practice, what we have heard (and none will deny that the latter is more commendable, inasmuch, as it is better to sow grain, than to store it in the barn).”
“Virtue – humility and patience, kindness and obedience, charity also and sobriety – can never grow to excess.”
Meeting a vagabond upon the road who feigned sickness and poverty, Blessed Jordan gave him one of his tunics, which the fellow at once carried straight to a tavern for drink. The brethren, seeing this done, taunted him with his simplicity:
‘There now, Master, see how wisely you have bestowed your tunic.’
“I did so,’ said he, ‘because I believed him to be in want, through sickness and poverty and it seemed, at the moment, to be a charity to help him. Still, I reckon it better, to have parted with my tunic than with charity.”
“And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” – Mark 8:3
REFLECTION – “Lord Jesus, how well I know You have no wish to allow these people here with me, to remain hungry but to feed them, with the food You distribute, and so, strengthened with Your food, they will have no fear of collapsing from hunger. I know, too, that You have no wish to send us away hungry, either… As You have said – You do not want them to collapse on the way, meaning to collapse in the byways of this life, before reaching the end of the road, before coming to the Father and understanding that You come from the Father…
Our Lord takes pity, then, so that none may collapse along the way… Just as He makes it rain on the just as well as the unjust (Mt 5,45) so He feeds the just, as well as the unjust. Was it not thanks to the strength of the food, that the holy prophet Elijah, when he was collapsing on the way, was able to walk for forty days? (1Kgs 19,8). It was an angel who gave that food to him but, in your case, it is Christ Himself who feeds you. If you preserve the food you have received, in this way, then you will walk, not forty days and forty nights… but for forty years, from your departure from the borders of Egypt to your arrival in the land of plenty, the land where milk and honey flow (Ex 3,8)…
And so Christ shares out the foodstuffs and, there is no question, He wants to give it to all. He withholds it from no-one, for He provides for everyone. Nevertheless, when He breaks the loaves and gives them to the disciples, unless you hold out your hands to receive your portion, you will collapse along the way… This bread that Jesus breaks, is the mystery of the Word of God, it increases as it is distributed. With only a few words Jesus has provided abundant nourishment for all peoples. He has given us His words as bread and, while we are tasting them, they increase in our mouths… Even as the crowds are eating, the pieces increase and become more numerous to such an extent that, in the end, the leftovers are even more plentiful than the loaves that were shared.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on the Gospel of Saint Luke, VI, 73-88
PRAYER – Lord support us as we pray, protect us day and night. Grant us the grace of total trust and teach us to hear Your Voice and do Your Will. By Your Word You teach and lead us and Your Word, we share with all. May Your food always strengthen us for the journey that we may reach the end of the road in Heaven. May the prayers of Blessed Jordan of Saxony, help us and strengthen us that we may grow in worthiness to receive Your grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 13 February – The Memorial of Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP (1190-1237) and a blessed Marian Saturday
It was Jordan who initiated the custom of singing the Salve Regina in procession each night after Compline, to ask Our Lady’s protection of the brothers against temptations from the devil. This is a custom still practised by Dominicans throughout the world and by our community each night.
Salve Regina Hail Holy Queen By Blessed Herman the Cripple of Reichenau(1013–1054)
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, Poor banished children of Eve; To thee do we send up our sighs, Mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, Thine eyes of mercy toward us; And after this our exile, Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
This line, below, by St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Doctor of the Church
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
℣ Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, ℟ that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: Almighty, everlasting God, who by the co-operation of the Holy Spirit didst prepare the body and soul of the glorious Virgin-Mother Mary to become a dwelling-place fit for Thy Son, grant that as we rejoice in her commemoration, so by her fervent intercession, we may be delivered from present evils and from everlasting death. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen
Saint of the Day – 13 February – Saint Fulcran of Lodève (Died 1006) Bishop of Lodève, Reformer, especially within the clergy and religious orders, builder of many Churches, Convents and Hospitals, apostle of the poor and needy, miracle-worker. Unknown birth date – died on 13 February 1006 of natural causes. Patronage – co-Patron of the Diocese of Lodève.
According to the biography which Bernard Guidonis, Bishop of Lodève, who died in 1331, has left us, his saintly predecessor, Fulcran came of a distinguished family. From his youth led a pure and holy life and consecrated himself at an early age to the service of the Church and became a Priest.
When in 949, Theoderich, Bishop of Lodève, died, Fulcran, notwithstanding his unwillingness, was chosen as his successor and was Consecrated by the Archbishop of Narbonne on 4 February of the same year.
He was untiring in his efforts to conserve the moral life within his Diocese, especially among the clergy and the religious orders. He rebuilt many Churches and Convents, among them the Cathedral dedicated to St Genesius and the Church of the Holy Redeemer with the Benedictine Monastery attached to it.
The poor and the sick were the objects of his special care; for their support he founded Hospitals and endowed others, already existing.
The following anecdote from his Vita is worthy of mention:
A Bishop of Gaul had fallen away from the Faith and had accepted Jewish teachings. When the news reached Fulcran, he exclaimed in an excess of zeal: “This bishop should be burned!” Shortly afterwards the renegade prelate was actually seized by his incensed flock and delivered up to death by fire. Fulcran was then filled with remorse that by his utterance he should have been the cause of the apostate’s death and, after doing severe penance, he made a pilgrimage to Rome, there to receive absolution for his supposed guilt.
After his death he was buried in the Cathedral of Lodève which was renamed after and dedicated to him and honoured as a saint. His body, which had been preserved intact, was burned by the Huguenots in 1572 and only a few particles of his remains were saved.
The City of Lodève celebrates the Fête de St Fulcran every year for a week, during which there are many festivities and liturgical celebrations amongst other events.
Mother of Mercy, Our Lady of Pellevoisin, France (1876) – 13 February: Pellevoisin is a little village not far from Tours in France. In 1876, a young woman, Estelle Faguette, lay dying from tuberculosis, at the aged of 33 – only five hours to live in the opinion of the doctors. With childlike faith, Estelle composed a letter to the Blessed Virgin Mary in which she asked for a cure. The letter was laid at the feet of a Statue of the Virgin in Montbel, the summer chateau of the Rochefoucaulds, about 3 km from Pellevoisin.
And, on the 13th of February, when all were expecting her death, Our Lady appeared near the sickbed. This occurred on three successive nights and then, as Our Lady had promised, the sick woman was instantly cured on a Saturday. During the visits, Our Lady of Pellevoisin frequently spoke to Estelle, her theme being that which she so often has expressed during the past hundred years:
“I am all-merciful and have great influence over my Son. What distresses me most is the lack of respect for my Son. Publish my glory.”
For some months after her miraculous cure, Estelle continued to live quietly at Pellevoisin. She was at a loss to find the means of fulfilling the mission entrusted to her by Our Lady. Her heavenly visitor, however, was watching over her and Estelle was to see her again and receive more minute instructions as to what was required of her. On the feast of Our Lady’s Visitation in the same year, 1876, as Estelle was praying in her room, she was granted another vision. Our Lady, robed in white and wearing on her breast a white scapular with the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, appeared to her favoured friend. This was the first of a series of wonderful visions enjoyed by Estelle, ten in all. Again and again Mary pointed to the great need for penance and expiation – a return to God. During one of these apparitions, Our Lady of Pellevoisin, taking her white scapular in her hand, held it before Estelle saying,
“I love this devotion.”
Immediately Estelle knew that her life’s work was to propagate devotion to the Sacred Heart by means of a scapular modeled on Mary’s. On her last appearance, December 8th, Our Lady commanded Estelle to approach her Bishop and give him a copy of the new scapular.
“Tell him to help you with all his power and that nothing would be more agreeable to me, than to see this badge on each one of my children, in reparation for the outrages that my Son suffers in the Sacrament of His Love. See, the graces I pour upon those who wear it with confidence and who help to make it known.”
The Prelate in question, the Archbishop of Bourges, Mnsgr de La Tour d’Auvergne, gave Estelle a favourable hearing and immediately set up a commission to investigate the whole matter. The result of all this was the establishment at Pellevoisin in 1894 by Pope Leo XIII of an Archconfraternity under the title of Mother of Mercy, Our Lady of Pellevoisin. The membership of this Confraternity has gone on increasing year after year, while Pellevoisin itself has become a centre of pilgrimages for thousands of Mary’s friends. Estelle lived her quiet and peaceful life at Pellevoisin, neither desiring nor receiving any personal credit. She died in 1929. Her miraculous cure was recognised in 1983 by Monsignor Paul Vignancour. Although no formal approval has been granted acknowledging the authenticity of the events at Pellevoisi, either by the local bishop at Bourges or by the Holy See, numerous acts of secondary level of approval, including recognition of Mary’s scapular request, have been granted. Pope Leo XIII, by a Motu Proprio, granted indulgences to encourage the pilgrimage to Pellevoisin on 20 December 1892, and on 4 April 1900, The Congregation of Rites issued a decree granting approval to the Scapular of the Sacred Heart.
St Julian of Lyon St Lucinus of Angers St Marice St Martinian the Hermit St Maura of Ravenna St Modomnoc St Paulus Lio Hanzuo St Peter I of Vercelli St Phaolô Lê Van Loc St Stephen of Lyons St Stephen of Rieti