Thought for the Day – 19 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Mercy of God
“God is the Being, Who is infinitely true, beautiful and good. His goodness is manifested in His infinite love for all the creatures which He has made but, it is in His relations with sinners, in particular, that we call Him merciful. He loves all things which He has created and directs them towards Himself, their beginning and their end. When He is dealing, however, with beings endowed with free will, who can separate themselves from Him and even offend Him, He tries, while respecting the liberty which He has given them, to recall them to Himself, by the influence of His love and of His grace. It is this supernatural outpouring of love towards sinners, which we call mercy.
The mercy of God shines forth in all the pages of Sacred Scripture. In the Old Testament, there is promised and foreshadowed, in many ways, the coming of the Saviour of the sinful human race. In the New Testament, Jesus appears, made man for our salvation, meek and humble of heart and merciful towards the unfortunate, especially towards sinners. For them, He offers His life and His Precious Blood, dying on the Cross with His arms outstretched, as if in an embrace of forgiveness. He tells us that He has not come to call the just but sinners, (Lk 5:32) and, that He has not come to those who are in health but to those who are sick (Mk 2:17); He assures us that, if we ask the Father for anything in His name, it will be given to us (Jn 16:23). So much goodness should move and soften our hearts. Even if we are unfaithful servants and are covered with the leprosy of sin, let us go to Him and He will heal us. Even if we have deserved Hell a thousand times, let us shed tears of repentance at His feet as Magdalen did and, He will give us His forgiveness and His peace.”
Quote/s of the Day – 11 April – The Octave Day of Easter, Readings; First: Acts 4: 32-35,salm: Psalms 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24,Second: First John 5: 1-6, Gospel: John 20: 19-31
“According to your faith, be it done to you.”
“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
“Place all your trust in God, let Him be your fear and your love. He will answer for you, He will do what is best for you. You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be and you shall have no rest, until you are wholly united with Christ. Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose?”
One Minute Reflection – 11 April – The Octave Day of Easter, Readings; First: Acts 4: 32-35,salm: Psalms 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24,Second: First John 5: 1-6, Gospel: John 20: 19-31
“… Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands and bring your hand and put it into my side and do not be unbelieving but believe.” – John 20:27
REFLECTION – “After the resurrection, we shall have the same members that we now use, the same flesh and blood and bones, for it is not the nature of these, that is condemned in Holy Scripture but, their works. The true confession of the resurrection declares that the flesh will be glorious but without destroying its reality. And so, when the Apostle says, “This [flesh] is corruptible and mortal,” his words denote this very body, in other words, the flesh that was then seen. But when he further adds, that it “puts on incorruption and immortality,” he is not saying that what was put on [i.e., the clothing] does away with the body that it adorns in glory. Rather, it makes that body glorious that previously lacked glory. When the more worthless robe of mortality and weakness is laid aside, then we can be clothed with the gold of immortality and the blessedness of strength as well as virtue.” – St Jerome (343-420) Father and One of the original four Doctors of the Church- Against John of Jerusalem
PRAYER – God of eternal compassion, each Easter, You rekindle the faith of Your consecated people. Grant still greater grace, so that all may truly understand, the water in which they were cleansed, the Spirit by which they were reborn, the Blood by which they were redeemed. May Mary’s help, Mater Misericordiae, Mother of the Risen Jesus Christ, be always with us. Through Christ, Redeemer and Merciful Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.
First Reading: Acts 4: 32-35 32 And the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul: neither did any one say that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own; but all things were common unto them. 33 And with great power did the apostles give testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord; and great grace was in them 34 For neither was there any one needy among them. For as many as were owners of lands or houses, sold them and brought the price of the things they sold 35 And laid it down before the feet of the apostles. And distribution was made to every one, according as he had need.
Second Reading: First John 5: 1-6 1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God. And every one that loveth him who begot, loveth him also who is born of him. 2 In this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not heavy. 4 For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world: and this is the victory which overcometh the world, our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which
Gospel: John 20: 19-31 19 Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. 20 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. 22 When he had said this, he breathed on them and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. 24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples, therefore, said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails and put my finger into the place of the nails and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut and stood in the midst and said: Peace be to you. 27 Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither and see my hands and bring hither thy hand and put it into my side and be not faithless but believing. 28 Thomas answered and said to him: My Lord, and my God. 29 Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen and have believed. 30 Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. 31 But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing, you may have life in his name.
Our Morning Offering – 11 April – The Octave Day of Easter
The Regina Coeli
Queen of heaven, rejoice, alleluia. For He whom thou did merit to bear, alleluia. Has risen, as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen
Remember to exchange your Angelus prayer for the Regina Coeli as from Easter Sunday for the next 50 days of Eastertide. According to Catholic tradition, St Gregory the Great (540-604) heard angels chanting the first three lines one Easter morning in Rome, while following barefoot in a great religious procession of the icon of the Virgin painted by St Luke the Evangelist. He was thereupon inspired to add the fourth line.
Saint of the Day – 11 April – St Antipas of Pergamon (Died c 92) Bishop of Pergamon during the persecutions of Emperor Domitian and Martyr, spiritual student of Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist. Unknown place of birth but died in c 92 by being roasted to death in a bronze bull at Pergamum, Greece (an area in modern Turkey). Patronage – against toothaches and tooth problems.
“I know where thou dwellest, where the seat of Satan is and thou holdest fast my name and hast not denied my faith. Even in those days when Antipas was my faithful witness, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.”
The Apocalypse of St John (Revelation) Chapter 2:13
When St John the Apostle, wrote the Book of the Apocalypse, he made an interesting reference to a person named Antipas, calling the man a “faithful witness” and one “who was slain.” This reference can be found fairly early on in the Apocalypse, within the section containing special messages to the seven Christian communities in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey). Antipas’s name is found in the third of the seven letters―the letter to the Church in the City of Pergamum.
Pergamum was a City not far from the Aegean Sea. It was considered to be a beautiful and cultural City. Impressively, parchment was invented in Pergamum about 150 years before the birth of Christ.
The modern City of Bergama, Turkey, overlaps some of the ruins of ancient Pergamum. Interestingly, St John, the author of the Apocalypse referred to Pergamum as the location of Satan’s throne! It has been suggested that this distressing label could be due to the multitude of pagan practices that abounded in the City, including, the worshipping of the Roman Emperor as a God.
St Antipas’ tomb became a site of miracles with a miraculous oil being secreted from his relics.
The Roman Martyrology states of St Antipas: “St Antipas, a faith witness, of whom St John speaks in the Apocalypse, under the Emperor Domitian, he was shut up n a red-hot brazen ox and thus, consummated his martyrdom.”
Low Sunday +2021The Octave Day of Easter, also known as the Sunday in White
Notre-Dames de Fourviere / Our Lady of Fourviere
According to the traditions of Lyons, supported by a Bull of Pope Innocent IV, Saint Pothinus erected the first Oratory where Mary was invoked in Gaul. It is asserted that he brought, from the interior of Asia, a small Statue of the Blessed Virgin, which he deposited in a solitary and shaded crypt on the banks of the Saone, in front of the hill of Fourviere. He set up in this wild and secluded spot an Altar to the true God and placed there, the image, which was transferred later to a Church built on the hill itself, whence it took the name of Our Lady of Fourviere. The veneration of the people, in the middle ages, surrounded this Church and it was a pilgrimage of great renown throughout the Lyonnais but the Calvinists, who destroyed and pillaged so many rich Sanctuaries, showed no favour to that of Lyons, the Church of Fourviere, where, from the birth of Christianity, each generation had marked its passage by gifts to Our Lady of Fourviere. After the desecration, the Church retained nothing but its four bare walls, which could not be melted down in the crucible, where so many master productions disappeared, which had the misfortune to be made of gold or silver. The chapter of Saint John could not attend to the renovation of the Church of Fourviere, until long after the ravages of the Protestants. They worked at it after they had restored the Cathedral and the cloister. The Altar of Mary, Our Lady of Fourviere, was at last consecrated on 21 August 1586. From that moment, the confidence of the inhabitants turned towards that beacon of salvation. “The source of prodigies seemed dried up there,” says an ancient historian; “they began again at the end of the sixteenth century and all Lyons felt great joy on the occasion.”
During the revolution of 1793, the Church of Fourviere was sold but when calm was restored, the zealous prelate who governed the ancient Church of Pothinus and Irenaeus, procured the Sanctuary of Mary, to be restored to the veneration of her as Our Lady of Fourviere. The inauguration of the Sanctuary was performed on 19 April 1805, by the Sovereign Pontiff Pius VII. In 1832 and 1835, Lyons being threatened with cholera, lifted up her eyes to the holy mountain and the Blessed Virgin said to the scourge, “Thou shalt go no farther.” The capital of the Lyonnese, changed its cries of alarm into canticles of joy and the prayers of thanksgiving were solemnly and justly offered to Mary. Ever since the happy period when that Sanctuary was restored to religious worship, piety seems to have redoubled its ardour for Our Blessed Lady and, it is at Fourviere, that it is sharpened and revived. The inhabitants of Lyons and those of the county adjacent, throng the paths of the hill of Mary; at whatever hour you repair there, you will always find yourself in the midst of a crowd of pious persons ,of all ranks, ages and conditions.
One day, in the year 1815, a pilgrim of an unusual kind, who had begun by observing Lyons from the summit of the hill, like a man who wanted to study both its strength and its weakness, presented himself in the Church of Notre Dame and the faithful, lifting up for a moment their eyes, which had been cast down in prayer, said to themselves, “Marshal Suchet!” It was indeed he – the Marshal of the empire, the child of Lyons, to whom was confided the defence of his native city – who passed along the nave of the Church of Mary with a slow step, with a respectful countenance, in which was mingled something mild and softened, something like a distant remembrance of joy, which awakens and soothes the soul with an invisible music. He went into the Sacristy and directed one of the Chaplains to come to him there;. The vice-president hastened to him: “Monsieur l’Abbe,” said the marshal, stepping forward towards the ecclesiastic, “when I was quite a child, my pious and good mother often brought me here, to the feet of Our Lady and this I still remember…I will say more, this recollection is dear to me and I have never lost it. Be pleased to have some Masses said for my intentions.” And putting down three Napoleons on the table where the offerings are registered, the brilliant hero of the gigantic epoch went to kneel, before the Altar of Mary, where he prayed for some time with edifying devotion. Moreover, Marshal Suchet terminated his noble and loyal career by a Christian end, for which he was praised upon his tomb.
Bl George Gervase St Godeberta of Noyon St Guthlac of Crowland (674–715) Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2019/04/11/saint-of-the-day-11-april-st-guthlac-674-715/ St Hildebrand of Saint-Gilles St Isaac of Monteluco Bl James of Africa Bl John of Cupramontana Bl Lanunio St Machai St Maedhog of Clonmore Bl Mechthild of Lappion Bl Paul of Africa St Philip of Gortyna St Raynerius Inclusus St Sancha of Portugal St Stephen of Saint-Gilles Bl Symforian Ducki