Thought for the Day – 21 March – The Power of God’s Love in the Christian Life

Thought for the Day – 21 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Power of God’s Love
in the Christian Life

“The love which we have for God, our Creator, Redeemer and Benefactor, should not be merely sentimental.
It must be effective.
When love is sincere, it is active.
It is not enought to say: I love You, O my God.
We must show by our actions, that we love Him.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven,” Jesus tells us, “but he who does the will of my Father in heaven, shall enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 7:21).
Our love must be active, therefore.
Moreover, we must avoid and detest sin because it is an offence against God and, we must strive to become holy.
This involves sacrifice but sacrifice is the touchstone of love.
Anyone in love, is not afraid of sacrifice – in fact, he looks for it, in order to prove his love.
Charity, like faith, is a lifeless thing, if it is not accompanied by actions (Cf Js 2:17).
We must love God by doing everything for love of Him.
God will repay us generously, ot only in the next life but even in the present.
Even on earth, the only real happiness, is that whch comes from Him.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Day Thirty three of our Lenten Journey – 21 March – Your life is our way

Day Thirty three of our Lenten Journey – 21 March – Passion Sunday, Readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34, Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15, Hebrews 5:7-9, John 12:20-33

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“If anyone serves me, he must follow me and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honour him.” – John 12:26

CHRIST: MY CHILD, I came down from heaven for your salvation and took upon Myself your miseries, not out of necessity but out of love, that you might learn to be patient and bear the sufferings of this life ,without complaint.
From the moment of My birth to My death on the Cross, suffering did not leave Me.
I suffered great want of temporal goods.
Often I heard many complaints against Me.
Disgrace and reviling I bore with patience.
For My blessings, I received ingratitude, for My miracles, blasphemies and for My teaching, scorn.

DISCIPLE: O Lord because You were patient in life, especially in fulfilling the design of the Father, it is fitting that I, a most miserable sinner, should live patiently according to Your will and, as long as You shall wish, bear the burden of this corruptible body, for the welfare of my soul.
For though this present life seems burdensome, yet by Your grace, it becomes meritorious and it is made brighter and more endurable, for the weak, by Your example and the pathways of the saints.
But it has also more consolation. than formerly. under the old law. when the gates of heaven were closed, when the way thereto. seemed darker than now and when. so few cared to seek the eternal kingdom.
The just, the elect, could not enter heaven before Your sufferings and sacred death had paid the debt.

Oh, what great thanks I owe You, Who have shown me and all the faithful. the good and right way to Your everlasting kingdom!
Your life is our way and in Your holy patience, we come nearer to You, Who are our crown.
Had You not gone before and taught us, who would have cared to follow?
Alas, how many would have remained far behind, had they not before their eyes, Your holy example!
Behold, even we who have heard of Your many miracles and teachings, are still lukewarm; what would happen if we did not have such light, by which to follow You?

(Book 3 Ch 18)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on TIME, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 21 March – “Where I am, there will my servant be also … ” John 12:26

Quote/s of the Day – 21 March – Passion Sunday, Readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34, Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15, Hebrews 5:7-9, John 12:20-33

“If anyone serves me,
he must follow me
and where I am,
there will my servant be also.
If anyone serves me,
the Father will honour him.”

John 12:26

… “Now is the time for us to choose! …
Listen to me, you holy seed,
for I have no doubt, that it is here, in abundance…
Listen to me or, rather, listen to Him, in me,
Who was first called a good seed.
Do not love your life in this world!
If you truly love yourselves,
do not thus love your life
and then, you will save your life!”…

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

“We must note, therefore,
that he that does things pleasing to God,
serves Christ but he that follows his own wishes,
is a follower, rather of himself and not of God.”

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father and Doctor of the Incarnation


One Minute Reflection – 21 March – ‘ … If He had not died, the grain of wheat would not be multiplied …’ John 12:20-33

One Minute Reflection – 21 March – Passion Sunday, Readings: Jeremiah 31:31-34Psalms 51:3-412-1314-15Hebrews 5:7-9John 12:20-33

“If it dies, it produces much fruit” … John 12:24

REFLECTION – “Through the glorious achievements of the holy Martyrs with which the Church blossoms everywhere, we are ourselves, proving to our own eyes, how true are the words we have been singing that:  “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Ps 116[115]:15).   For it is precious both in our sight and in the sight of Him, in whose name the death took place.

But the price of those deaths is the death of one man.   How many deaths did that one man purchase by His death, for, if He had not died, the grain of wheat would not be multiplied?   You heard His words when He drew near His passion, that is when He was drawing near to our redemption:  “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”   On the Cross He carried out a vast transaction, there, the purse of our price was unfastened and, when His side was opened by the lance of the soldier, there streamed the price for the redemption of the whole earth (cf. Jn 19:34).

Now the faithful ones and Martyrs have been purchased but the faithfulness of the Martyrs has been proved – their blood is the proof … “As Christ laid down his life for us, so we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1Jn 3:16).   In another place it is stated:  “At a grand table you have sat;  now carefully consider what has been put before you, since it is your duty to prepare for such things” (cf. Prv 23:1).   That table is great where the Lord of the table is Himself the meal.   No-one feeds guests with Himself as food but this is exactly what the Lord Christ does, He, Himself is the host who in­vites;  He, Himself is the food and the drink.   Therefore, the Martyrs have recognised what they were eating and drink­ing so as to be able to repay such gifts.  But whence can they make such return unless He who first paid the cost, supplies the source from which restitu­tion may be made?   That is the reason for the Psalm, where we sing what is written: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” ... St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor – Sermon 329, for the Feast of the Martyrs, 1-2 ; PL 38, 1454

PRAYER – Lord our God, Your Son so loved the world that He gave Himself up to death for our sake. Strengthen us by Your grace and give us a heart willing to live by that same love. With Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mother of Jesus and our Mother, may we stand at His Cross. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with You and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST

Our Morning Offering – 21 March – I Beg You, O Lord By St Peter Canisius

Our Morning Offering – 21 March – Passion Sunday

I Beg You, O Lord
By St Peter Canisius SJ (1521-1597)
Doctor of the Church

I beg You, O Lord
to remove anything
which separates me from You,
or You from me
Remove anything
that makes me unworthy of Your sight,
Your control,
Your reprehension,
of Your speech and conversation,
of Your benevolence and love.
Cast from me,
every evil that stands in the way
of my seeing You,
hearing, tasting,
savouring and touching You,
fearing and being mindful of You,
knowing, trusting, loving
and possessing You,
being conscious of Your Presence
and as far as maybe, enjoying You.
This is what I ask for myself
and earnestly desire from You.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 21 March – Saint Serapion the Scolastic (Died c 354-370) Bishop

Saint of the Day – 21 March – Saint Serapion the Scolastic (Died c 354-370) Bishop of Thmuis, near Diospolis in the Nile delta of Egypt, Monk and Hermit, Confessor, brilliant Scholar of great learning, theologian, writer, a companion to St Anthony, the Desert Father and a close friend of St Athanasius and gave support to him against the heretic Arians in Egypt, for which action he was exiled. Died in c 365-370 of natural causes while in exile in Egypt. Also known as Serapion of Thmuis, Serapion the Scholar.

The surname of the Scholastic, which was given him, is a proof of the reputation which he acquired, by his penetrating genius and by his extensive learning, both sacred and profane. He presided for some time in the catechetical school of Alexandria but, to apply himself more perfectly to the science of the saints, to which he had always consecrated himself, his studies and his other actions, he retired into the desert and became a bright light in the monastic state.

Saint Athanasius assures us, in his life of Saint Antony, that in the visits which Serapion paid to that illustrious Father of Hermits, Saint Antony often spoke of things which passed in Egypt at a distance, of which he had gained supernatural knowledge. St Athanasius tells too, that St Anthony bequeathed after his death, one of his tunics of hair to Serpaion.

Serapion was drawn out of his retreat, to be placed in the Episcopal See of Thmuis, a famous City of Lower Egypt, near Diospolis. The name in the Egyptian tongue signified ‘a goat,’ which animal, as St Jerome informs us, was anciently worshipped there.

Serapion was closely linked with St Athanasius in the defence of the Catholic faith—for which he was banished by the Emperor Constantius; whence Saint Jerome styles him as confessor. Certain persons, who confessed God, the Son consubstantial with the Father, denied the divinity of the Holy Ghost. This error was no sooner broached but our saint strenuously opposed it and informed Saint Athanasius of this new inconsistent blasphemy and that zealous defender of the adorable mystery of the Trinity, the fundamental article of the Christian faith, wrote against this rising monster.

The four letters which Athanasius wrote to Serapion, in 359, when in exile, were the first express confutation of the Macedonian heresy that were published. Serapion, though separated from Athanasius, continued the fight, to great advantage, against both the Arians and Macedonians.

He also compiled an excellent book against the Manichees, in which he shows that our bodies may be made the instruments of good and that our souls may be perverted by sin; that there is no creature of which a good use may not be made and that both just and wicked men, are often changed, the former by falling into sin, the latter by becoming virtuous. It is, therefore, a self-contradiction to pretend with the Manichees that our souls are the work of God but our bodies of the devil, or the evil principle.

Saint Serapion wrote several learned letters and a treatise on the Titles of the Psalms, quoted by Saint Jerome, which are now lost. He was also the author of a series of writings on the Doctrine of the Divinity of the Holy Spirit (addressed to the Emperor).

At his request, Saint Athanasius composed several of his works against the Arians and so great was his opinion of our saint, that he desired him to correct, or add to them what he thought wanting.

Socrates relates that Saint Serapion gave an precis of his own life and an abridged rule of Christian perfection in very few words, which he would often repeat, saying: “The mind is purified by spiritual knowledge, (or by holy meditation and prayer,) the spiritual passions of the soul by charity, and the irregular appetites by abstinence and penance.”

Serapion died in his banishment and is commemorated on this day in the Roman Martyrology, which states of him: “At Alexandria, the blessed Serapion, anchorite and Bishop of Thmuis, a man of great virtue, who, being forced into exile by the enraged Arians, went to heaven.”


Passion Sunday or the Fifth Sunday of Lent +2021, OOnze-Lieve-Vrouw van Bruges / Our Lady of Bruges, Flanders (1150 and Memorials of the Saints – 21 March

Passion Sunday or the Fifth Suday of Lent +2021
Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Bruges / Our Lady of Bruges, Flanders (1150), where a lock of Our Lady’s hair is preserved – 21 March:

Michelangelo Buonarroti; Bruges Madonna; Credit line: (c) (c) Royal Academy of Arts /

At a Shrine in Flanders, dedicated to Mary, it is reported that a lock of Our Lady’s hair is preserved, given by a Syrian Bishop, named Mocca.
This Shrine is likewise said to have its famous relic of the Holy Blood, which is the centre of much pilgrimage. The precious relic was brought from Palestine by Thierry of Alsace on his return from the second crusade. From 1150 this relic has been venerated with much devotion. The annual pilgrimage attended by the nobility in their quaint robes takes place on the Monday following the first Sunday in May. Not only the Flemish nobility take part, but also thousands of pilgrims from all over Christendom.
Every Friday the relic is less solemnly exposed for the veneration of the Faithful. As mentioned above, the Shrine is dedicated to Mary, for it was she who gave her own blood to her Divine Son, the God-Man.
As at all the Marian Shrines, miracles take place through the intercession of the Mother of God.
The present Gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Bruges was built in 1225 and is famous for its 400 foot tall brick tower. Inside, however, is where the real treasures are kept. Among those relics already mentioned, there is also a Madonna of Bruges, a marble sculpture of the Blessed Virgin and the Divine Child sculpted by Michelangelo.

The features of the Blessed Virgin depicted in the Madonna of Bruges are very similar in appearance to the famous Pieta, which Michelangelo was said to have completed just prior to this sculpture. It is the only one of his works that left Italy during Michelangelo’s lifetime and was purchased and brought to Bruges by a wealthy merchant.
In 1794 the inhabitants of Bruges were forced by the French Revolutionaries to ship the Madonna of Bruges to Paris. It was fortunate that the Statue was not destroyed, as so many Catholic works of art were during the French Revolution. TheSstatue did not remain long in Paris, as it was returned to Bruges after the defeat of Emperor Napoleon. It was taken again in 1944 when the German’s retreated from Belgium, but it was discovered two years later in Germany and returned once again to Bruges.
As a precaution, after a bomb was set before the Statue of the Pieta in Saint Peter’s Basilica in 1972, the Madonna of Bruges was placed behind bulletproof glass, so that the public can now only admire the sculpture from several feet away.

Alfonso de Rojas
St Augustine Tchao
St Benedetta Cambiagio Frassinello (1791 – 1858)
St Birillus of Catania
St Christian of Cologne
St Domninus of Rome
St Enda of Aran (c 450 – c 530)
About St Enda:
St Isenger of Verdun
St James the Confessor
Bl John of Valence
Bl Lucia of Verona
St Lupicinus of Condat
Bl Mark Gjani
Bl Matthew Flathers
St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)
About St Nicholas:
St Serapion the Scolastic (Died c 354-370) Bishop
St Philemon of Rome
Bl Santuccia Terrebotti

Bl Thomas Pilcher
Bl William Pike

Martyrs of Alexandria: A large but unknown number of Catholics massacred in several churches during Good Friday services in Alexandria, Egypt by Arian heretics during the persecutions of Constantius and Philagrio. They were martyred on Good Friday in 342 in Alexandria, Egypt.