Thought for the Day – 22 March – Sin

Thought for the Day – 22 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)


“In that we prefer our own wayward whims to the law of God, sin is an abuse of liberty.
It is a revolt against right reason, the dictates of which, we refuse to obey.
It is an offence against our Creator and Redeemer, whose commandments we despise and whose redeeming grace, we reject by our actions.
It is moreover, an act of supreme folly, for it extinguishes, not only the supernatural splendour of grace but, also, the natural light of reason.
Through sin, man is brutalised and experiences in himself, as his first punishment, the confusion of his whole being.

In practice, the sinner denies God, Who has created and redeemed him.
He upsets the natural order of things and is violently separated from the source of all truth, beauty and goodness.   As a result, he experiences, in himself, the hell which he has constructed with his own hands – a hell of emptiness, disgust and remorse.
Unless the helping hand of God reaches out to rescue him from the abyss, all this is simply a bitter foretaste of eternal despair.
God, as St Augustine has written, has ordained from all eternity, that every dissolute soul will be it’s own punishment.
For the sinner, hell begins on this earth!   There can be no peace for the wicked.

When we realise, the gravity, stupidity and dire consequences of sin, it seems impossible, that a rational being, enlightened and enriched by divine grace, should continue to sin.
Nevertheless, sad experience teaches us that the lives of individuals, families and human society in general, are often distorted by this evil, which is the root of all other evils.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 22 March – Sorrow of Heart

Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 22 March – Monday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41-62, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6, John 8:1-11

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)

“Go and from now on, sin no more” – John 8:11

IF YOU wish to make progress in virtue, live in the fear of the Lord, do not look for too much freedom, discipline your senses and shun inane silliness. Sorrow opens the door to many a blessing which dissoluteness usually destroys.

It is a wonder that any man who considers and meditates on his exiled state and the many dangers to his soul, can ever be perfectly happy in this life.
Lighthearted and heedless of our defects, we do not feel the real sorrows of our souls but often indulge in empty laughter, when we have good reason to weep.
No liberty is true and no joy is genuine, unless it is founded in the fear of the Lord and a good conscience.

Happy is the man who can throw off the weight of every care and recollect himself, in holy contrition.
Happy is the man who casts from himself, all that can stain or burden his conscience.

Fight like a man.
Habit is overcome by habit.
If you leave men alone, they will leave you alone to do what you have to do.
Do not busy yourself about the affairs of others …
Keep an eye primarily on yourself and admonish yourself, instead of your friends.

If you do not enjoy the favour of men, do not let it sadden you but consider it a serious matter, if you do not conduct yourself as well, or as carefully, as is becoming for a servant of God …

It is often better and safer for us to have few consolations in this life, especially comforts of the body.
Yet, if we do not have divine consolation or experience it rarely, it is our own fault because we seek no sorrow of heart and do not forsake vain outward satisfaction.

Consider yourself unworthy of divine solace and deserving rather of much tribulation.
When a man is perfectly contrite, the whole world is bitter and wearisome to him.

A good man always finds enough over which to mourn and weep, whether he thinks of himself, or of his neighbour, he knows that no-one lives here, without suffering and the closer he examines himsel, the more he grieves.

The sins and vices in which we are so entangled, that we can rarely apply ourselves to the contemplation of heaven, are matters for just sorrow and inner remorse.

I do not doubt that you would correct yourself more earnestl,y if you would think more of an early death than of a long life.
And if you pondered in your heart the future pains of hell or of purgatory, I believe. you would willingly endure labour and trouble and would fear no hardship.
But since these thoughts never pierce the heart and, since we are enamoured of flattering pleasure, we remain very cold and indifferent.
Our wretched body complains so easily because, our soul is altogether lifeless.

Pray humbly to the Lord, therefore, that He may give you the spirit of contrition and say with the Prophet: “Feed me, Lord, with the bread of mourning and give me to drink of tears, in full measure.”
(Book 1 Ch 24)


Quote/s of the Day – 22 March – Sin

Quote/s of the Day – 22 March – Monday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62 or 13:41-62, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6, John 8:1-11

“Go and from now on,
sin no more”

John 8:11

“The sky and the earth and the waters
and the things that are in them, the fishes
and the birds and the trees are not evil.
All these are good;
it is evil men who make this evil world.”

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

“Our God, … being good and merciful,
wants us to confess [our sins] in this world,
so that we may not be ashamed
because of them in the next.
So if we confess them them,
He, on His part,
shows Himself to be merciful;
if we acknowledge them,
then He forgives … ”

St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)
Bishop and Monk

“Oh, what peril attaches to sin, wilfully committed!
For it is so difficult for man to bring himself to penance
and without penitence,
guilt remains and will ever remain,
so long as man retains unchanged,
the will to sin,
or is intent upon committing it.”

St Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)

“Sin is the assassin of the soul.”

St John Vianney (1786-1859)


One Minute Reflection – 22 March – “Go and from now on, sin no more” – John 8:11

One Minute Reflection – 22 March – Monday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-915-1719-3033-62 or 13:41-62Psalms 23:1-33-456John 8:1-11

“Go and from now on, sin no more” – John 8:11

REFLECTION – “One after another all withdrew.
The two were left alone, the woman in need of mercy and Mercy.
But the Lord, having struck them through with that dart of justice, deigned not to heed their fall but, turning His eyes away from them, “again he wrote with his finger on the ground.”

But when that woman remained alone and all had gone, He raised His eyes to her. We have heard the voice of justice; let us listen too to the voice of clemency…
This woman expected to be punished by Him, in whom sin could not be found.
But He, who had driven back her adversaries with the voice of justice, lifting the eyes of mercy to her, asked her: “Has no-one condemned you?” She answered, “No-one, Lord.”
And He said: “Neither do I condemn you. I by Whom, perhaps, you were afraid of being condemned because you have found no sin in Me; neither do I condemn you.”

What is this, O Lord?
Do you favour sins, then?
Certainly not!
But take note of what follows: “Go, henceforth sin no more.
The Lord did condemn, therefore but He condemned the sin, not the sinner… Let them be careful, then, those who love the goodness in the Lord but who fear His truthfulness…
The Lord is gracious, the Lord is slow to anger, the Lord is merciful BUT the Lord is also just and the Lord is abounding in truth (Ps 85[86],15).
He gives you time for amendment but you prefer to take advantage of the delay, rather than to reform your ways.
Did you act wickedly yesterday? Be good today. Have you spent today in evil? At any rate change your behaviour tomorrow.

This, then, is the meaning of the words He addresses to this woman, “Neither do I condemn you but, having been made secure concerning the past, be on your guard in the future. I, for My part, will not condemn you, I have blotted out what you have done; keep what I have commanded, that you may gain what I have promised.” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Father, Doctor of Grace –Tractate 33 on the Gospel of John, 5-8

PRAYER O Infinite Goodness – Act of Contrition
By St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) – Doctor of the Church

O my God,
I am exceedingly grieved,
for having offended Thee
and with my whole heart,
I repent of the sins I have committed.
I hate and abhor them above every other evil,
not only because, by so sinning,
I have lost heaven and deserved hell
but still more because I have offended Thee,
O infinite Goodness,
who art worthy to be loved above all things.
I most firmly resolve,
by the assistance of Thy grace,
never more to offend Thee for the time to come
and to avoid those occasions
which might lead me into sin.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 22 March – A Lenten Offering By St Thérèse

Our Morning Offering – 22 March – Monday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent

A Lenten Offering
By St Thérèse of the Child Jesus
and the Holy Face of Lisieux (1873-1897)
Doctor of the Church

O my God!
I offer Thee all my actions of this Lent
for the intentions and for the glory
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart,
my every thought,
my simplest works,
by uniting them to Its infinite merits
and I wish to make reparation for my sins,
by casting them into the furnace
of Its Merciful Love.
O my God!
I ask of Thee for myself
and for those whom I hold dear,
the grace to fulfil perfectly Thy Holy Will,
to accept for love of Thee,
the joys and sorrows of this passing life,
so that we may one day
be united together in heaven,
for all eternity.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 22 March – Saint Benevenuto Scotivoli of Osimo (c 1188-1282)

Saint of the Day – 22 March – Saint Benevenuto Scotivoli of Osimo (c 1188-1282) Bishop of Osimo from 13 March 1264-his death on 22 March 1282, Reformer, apostle of the poor. Born in c 1188 in Ancona, Italy and died on 22 March 1282 in Osimo, Italy of natural causes. Patronage – Osimo, City and Diocese, Italy.

Benevenuto was born in Ancona of the noble Scotivoli family in around 1188. He studied theology and law in Bologna under the guidance of Silvestro Gussolino, Canon of Osimo. There he was a great friend of St Silvestro Abate of Osima. After his studies he was Ordained to Holy Orders. He was then appointed Papal Chaplain and, before 1262, Archdeacon of Ancona.

Benevenuto was highly esteemed by Pope Urban IV and was sent by him to Osimo with the aim of restoring order and peace in the City, which had passed a period of turbulence and rebellion and for this reason had also lost the Bishopric. On 1 August 1263 he became administrator of the Diocese of Osimo and by his reforms, he fulfilled his Papal mission. Now Benevenuto decided to fulfil his great desire and wear the Franciscan habit. Prior to entering the Friary, in preparing himself, he distributed all his possessions to the poor.

But his plans were to be thwarted for having re-established the Bishopric of Osima, Pope Urban IV, on 13 March 1264, entrusted its government to Benvenuto, who in 1267 was also commissioned to hold the civil government of the March of Ancona. In this period he Ordained St Nicholas of Tolentino.

Benvenuto was a great reformer – with a provision dated 15 January 1270, in fact, he forbade the monastery of St Fiorenzo di Posciavalle, of which he had been appointed administrator, to alienate its assets; in a Synod held on 7 February 1273, he also forbade the sale of ecclesiastical properties and in 1274, finally, he implemented the reform of the chapter of his Cathedral and defended the rights of his Diocese over the City of Cingoli.

In his pastoral care of his Diocese, he was both energetic and magnanimous in forgiveness. He gave all he had and ate little in order to give the rest to the poor. He also had to suffer persecution from some Monks who were unwilling to accept his fight against abuse.

Benvenuto died on 22 March 1282 and was succeeded by Berardo, elected by Pope Martin IV on 18 January 1283. He was buried in the Cathedral Church of Osimo, in a noble mausoleum prepared by the clergy and the people.In July 1590, his relics were translated to the Crypt of the same Cathedral.

Many miracles took place aat his tomb and the cult rendered to him, by the faithful, was already mentioned in the Statutes of Osimo of 1308, while indulgences are said to have been granted by Pope Eugene IV in 1432.

Benvenuto, was Canonised in 1284 by Pope Martin IV and he was declared the patron of the City of Osimo in 1755, his feast, in the Diocese of Osimo and Cingoli, Franciscan Order, is the day of his entry into heaven, today, 22 March.

Inspection of his tomb revealed a dark capuche sewn to a lambskin and it led to the biographer Jean Baldi, asserting that Scotivoli was a Franciscan which became an accepted proposition. But in 1765 the Osimo Priest Pannelli, contended that he was not a member of the Friars Minor, although he lived many of the St Francis’ rules. The Saint is still recognised on the Franciscan calendar.

Roman martyrology: “In Osimo in the Marches, St Benvenuto Scotivoli, Bishop, who, appointed there by Pope Urban IV, promoted peace among the citizens and, in the spirit of the Friars Minor, wanted to die on the bare earth.”


Notre-Dame-de-Citeaux / Our Lady of Citeaux, France built by St Robert (1098), Our Lady of the Seven Veils (11th Century and Memorials of the Saints – 22 March

Notre-Dame-de-Citeaux / Our Lady of Citeaux, France built by St Robert (1098) – 22 March:

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “On Palm Sunday, in the year 1098, Saint Robert, Abbot of Moleme, retired with twenty-one of his Monks to the Diocese of Chalops-sur-Saone, where he built, in honour of Our Lady, the celebrated Monastery of Citeaux, the head house of the order.”

The Notre-Dame de Citeaux Abbey is the first Abbey of the Order of Citeaux, or the Cistercian Order. The original Abbey dates back to 1098, where in the Duchy of Burgundy, Robert of Molesme, Abbot of the Abbey of Our Lady of Molesme, founded the Church. Constructed in the Gothic style, which was current in the 11th century, it was dedicated to Mary, Mother of God and placed under the protection of the Dukes of Burgundy.
Having left the Abbey of Our Lady of Molesme, a small group of twenty-one Monks, led by Robert of Molesme, went to Citeaux to apply the Gregorian reform and live in the spirit of prayer and poverty of the rule of St. Benedict. The low country was a land sparsely populated, well forested but also an unwelcoming and hostile place. The beginning was very difficult, for what was required to develop the land was beyond what they possessed. The disciples of Robert suffered from extreme poverty but Pope Pascal II, in the year 1100, gave his protection to the new Monastery and the Duke of Burgundy provided the Monks with what they needed for construction and supplied funding for food and the overall maintenance of the religious.

Our Lady and St Robert

Difficulties with the water supply at the original site required Aubry, successor of Robert after 1099, to settle the new community two kilometers further south. New buildings were constructed, including a Chapel, which was built of stone and dedicated to Our Lady.
After the death of Abbot Aubry in 1109, Stephen was elected as the third Abbot. He faced great problems, for their voluntary poverty appeared so strict, that they had a reputation for too much austerity and there were few vocations. The community was shrinking and some appeared at the gates of despair because they feared to have no successors.
Depending directly on the Papal States by pontifical right, the Cistercian Order was officially approved in 1119 by Pope Calixte II, with the purpose that it spread and enforce the Gregorian reform throughout the Christian West. The Abbey of Citeaux, thus became the founding mother of more than two thousand Monasteries from the Kingdom of France and throughout the Christian West to Transylvania in the East, during the 12th century.
The Abbey of Citeaux, whose founding was so difficult, became a major spiritual center which profoundly influenced the spiritual, economic and social life of men in the Middle Ages. It was from this place, that new Cistercian Abbeys sprung up all over Europe for the benefit of all mankind. The Christian West returned to a more rigorous respect for the rule of St Benedict and none of this, is to even begin to mention, the influence of the great Saint and Monk, Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153). The famous Saint Bernard actually left Citeaux to found his Monastery at Clairvaux in the year 1115.
The Monastery at Citeaux suffered pillaging several times throughout the Hundred Year’s War and the Monks were often forced to take refuge elsewhere during those perilous times. It was not until the 16th century, that the community once again numbered over 200 Monks but then, with the Wars of Religion, the number of Monks began to decrease again. Finally, in 1791, the Abbey was struck by the French Revolution. The property was illegally seized and sold as national property by the government.
In 1898, twenty Cistercians returned to occupy the Abbey, although the Church had been completely destroyed. Still, it is one of the few sites that has regained at least something of its spiritual tradition. The Church has been rebuilt and there are currently about 30 brothers living there.
The Abbey of Citeaux was classified as an historical monument in 1978.

Nostra Signora dei Sette Veli / Our Lady of the Seven Veils, Foggia, Italy (11th Century) – 22 March:

St Avitus of Périgord
St Basil of Ancyra
St Basilissa of Galatia
St Benevenuto Scotivoli of Osimo (c 1188-1282) Bishop

Blessed Bronislaw Komorowski (1889-1940) Priest and Martyr of the Nazi occupation of Poland.
His Life and Death:

Blessed Clemens August von Galen (1878-1946)
The Lion of Munster!

St Darerca of Ireland
St Deghitche
St Epaphroditus of Terracina
St Failbhe of Iona
Bl François-Louis Chartier
St Harlindis of Arland
Bl Hugolinus Zefferini
St Lea of Rome
Bl Marian Górecki
St Nicholas Owen SJ (1562-1606)
Dear St Nicholas Owen – The Priest-Hole Builder:

St Octavian of Carthage
St Paul of Narbonne
St Saturninus the Martyr
St Trien of Killelga