Thought for the Day – 18 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
A Life of Fervour
“To pray is to love,” wrote St Augustine. The man who loves God, prays continually and with fervour, whereas the man who has little love for his Creator, prays rarely and apathetically. Prayer does not consist primarily in verbal expression but in the elevation of the mind to God in adoration, thanksgiving, propitiation and supplication. Love should be the inspiration of our communication with God, for where there is no love, there can be no prayer.
Jesus tells us that we “must always pray and not lose heart” (Lk 18:1). We may be working, talking, eating or sleeping but, whatever we are doing, the love of God, can transform it into a prayer. This is so, if we are engaged in our work but have offered it to God in advance. If we are in trouble, our sufferings will be pleasing to God. If we are walking about, everything will speak to us of God and cause us to make acts of gratitude and of love. We shall have dealings with men of the world but they will perceive and appreciate, that we are spiritually united to God. We shall sleep because sleep is necessary but, what appears to be hours of fruitless inactivity, will be dedicated to our Creator. Fervour in prayer and in action, should be the constant ideal of the good Christian, because, it makes his entire life pleasing to God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 18 April – The Third Suday of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19,salm: Psalms 4: 2, 4, 7-8, 9 (7a), Second: First John 2: 1-5a Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48
“It is I, Myself.”
“Elizabeth says: ‘Blessed are you because you have believed.’ You also are blessed, because you have heard and believed. A soul that believes, both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges His works.”
St Ambrose of Milan (340-397) Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church
“Have faith and the One you cannot see, is with you.”
“The Lord is near do not be anxious about anything.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Jesus is happy to come with us, as Truth is happy to be spoken, as Life to be lived, as Light to be lit, as Love is to be loved, as Joy to be given, as Peace to be spread.”
St Francis of Assisi (1181/2–1226)
“Only by faith is He known to be present… He removed His visible presence and left but a memorial of Himself. He vanished from sight, that He might be present in the Sacrament and in order to connect His visible presence with His presence invisible … ”
One Minute Reflection – 18 April – The Third Suday of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19,salm: Psalms 4: 2, 4, 7-8, 9 (7a), Second: First John 2: 1-5a Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48
“It is I, myself. Touch me and see” – Luke 24:39
REFLECTION – “How was the Lord’s body, which could come in to the disciples through closed doors after the Resurrection, a real one? We must be certain that if a divine work is understood by reason it is not wonderful, nor does our faith have any merit, when human reason provides a proof. We have to consider these works of our Redeemer, which can in no way be understood of themselves, in the light of other works of His, so that His more miraculous deeds, may provoke faith in the miraculous. For the Lord’s Body, which made its entrance to the disciples through closed doors, was the same as that, which issued before the eyes of men from the Virgin’s closed womb at his birth. Is it surprising if He who was now going to live forever, made His entrance through closed doors after His Resurrection, Who on His coming in order to die, made His appearance from the unopened womb of the Virgin?
But because the faith of those who beheld it, wavered concerning the Body they could see, He showed them at once, His Hands and His Side, offering them the Body which He brought in through the closed doors to touch. … Now, it cannot be otherwise then, that what is touched is corruptible and what is not corruptible cannot be touched. But, in a wonderful and incomprehensible way, our Redeemer, after His Resurrection, manifested a Body that was incorruptible and touchable. By showing us that it is incorruptible, He would urge us on toward our reward, and by offering it as touchable, He would dispose us towards faith, He manifested Himself as both incorruptible and touchable to truly show us, that His Body after His Resurrection, was of the same nature as ours but of a different sort of glory. Alleluia!” – St Gregory the Great (540-604) Pope, Father, Doctor of the Church – Homilies on the Gospels, no.26
PRAYER – Lord God, grant Your people constant joy in the renewed vigour of their souls. They rejoice because You have restored them to the glory of Your adopted children, let them look forward gladly to the certain hope of the resurrection. May the prayers of our Blessed Mother, be our succour amidst the storms of this mortal life. We make our prayer through our Resurrected Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen, alleluia!
Acts 3: 13-15, 17-19 13 The God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus, whom you indeed delivered up and denied before the face of Pilate, when he judged he should be released. 14 But you denied the Holy One and the Just and desired a murderer to be granted unto you. 15 But the author of life you killed, whom God hath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses 17 And now, brethren, I know that you did it through ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18 But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. 19 Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out.
First John 2: 1-5a 1 My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only but also for those of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He who saith that he knoweth him and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him. 5 But he that keepeth his word, in him in very deed the charity of God is perfected.
Gospel: Luke 24: 35-48 35 And they told what things were done in the way and how they knew him in the breaking of the bread. 36 Now whilst they were speaking these things, Jesus stood in the midst of them and saith to them: Peace be to you. it is I, fear not. 37 But they being troubled and frightened, supposed that they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them: Why are you troubled and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; touch and se -: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me to have. 40 And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and feet. 41 But while they yet believed not and wondered for joy, he said: Have you any thing to eat? 44 And he said to them: These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then he opened their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. 46 And he said to them: Thus it is written and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead, the third day: 47 And that penance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, unto all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 42 And they offered him a piece of a broiled fish and a honeycomb. 43 And when he had eaten before them, taking the remains, he gave to them.
Our Morning Offering – 18 April – The Third Suday of Easter
My Lord, I am Unworthy! Prayer before Holy Communion By St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church
My Lord, Who are You and who am I, that I should dare to take You into my body and soul? A thousand years of penance and tears would not be sufficient to make me worthy to receive so royal a Sacrament even once! How much more am I unworthy of it, who fall into sin daily, I, the incorrigible, who approach You so often without due preparation! Nevertheless, Your mercy infinitely surpasses my unworthiness. Therefore, I make bold to receive this Sacrament, trusting in Your love. Amen
Saint of the Day – 18 April – Blessed Idesbald of Our Lady of the Dunes O.Cist (c 1095-1167) Cistercian Priest and Abbot of Ten Duinen Abbey, Our Lady of the Dunes from 1155 until his death, Widower. Born in c 1095 in Flanders, Belgium and died in 1167 of natural causes. Patronages – against fever, against rheumatism, against gout, sailors, shrimp fishers, polder farmers, Flemnish nobility, Sint-Idesbald, Belgium.
The Roman Martyrology states: “In Bruges in Flanders, in today’s Belgium, Blessed Idesbaldo, Abbot, who, soon became a widower and exercised for another thirty years, duties in the palace of the Counts, entered the Monastery of Dune at a mature age, which he held holy, as the third Abbot for twelve years.”
As a youth Idesbald was a Courtier and Page to the Count of Flanders. It is believed that he proceeded from the noble family of Van der Gracht, lords of Moorsel.
He had married but was widowed shortly thereafter. In 1135 he was Ordained a Priest and Canon at Veurne, Belgium. In 1150, after 15 years of pastoral service, Idesbald became a Cistercian Monk at the Abbey of Our Lady of the Dunes serving as Abbot with a great reputation for holinessm from 1155 to his death in 1167.
Idesbald was buried in the Abbey in a lead coffin. In 1577, a confederacy of Dutch protestants, plundered the Abbey, and the Monks transported Idesbald’s relics to an outlying Monastic property at Bogaerde.On 13 November 1623, his coffin was opened in the presence of several witnesses so that the relics could be inspected and authenticated – Idesbald’s body was found to be incorrupt. For many days, his body was exposed for the veneration of the faithful, who came en masse, including well known Spanish ecclesiatics as well as the Papal Nuncio many miracles took place on that occasion and his cult was extended more and more.
Again, in 1796, Idesbald’s body was transported to safety from Bruges where he was, to save him from the French Revolutionary troops and finally, in 1830 he was placed in the Chapel associated with the Abbey of Our Lady of the Potteries at the Abbey, where he still is today.
His cult was approved in 1894 by decree of the Diocese of Bruges. On 23 June 1894, Pope Leo XIII confirmed his cultus by an official Beatification.
Basilica della Santa Casa / The Basilica of Our Lady of Loreto erected (1586) – 18 April:
The Basilica of Loreto, one of the finest in Italy, has been adorned, according to their taste, by the Popes, who have often come there on a pilgrimage like the faithful. Three gates of chased bronze give entrance into the holy temple, in the centre of which, arises the Santa Casa in its clothing of white marble, adorned with magnificent bas-reliefs, designed by Bramante and executed by Sansovino, Sangallo and Bandinelli.
La Sala Del Tesoro no longer displays enough riches to pay the ransom of all Italy but it has still received, in our days, very magnificent gifts of princes and Popes. Among these pious gifts we observe a gold Monstrance, enriched with diamonds, a Chalice and a Thurible, offered by the Emperor Napoleon to the Madonna; an enameled Chalice, set with rubies and aqua marinas, offered, in 1819, by Prince Eugene Beauharnais; another Chalice, adorned with brilliants, by the Princess of Bavaria, his spouse; a large Crucifix of gold and diamonds and a Crown of amethysts, rubies and diamonds, offered in 1816, by the King and Queen of Spain, at the time of their pilgrimage to Loreto; a nosegay of diamonds, offered, in 1815, by Maria Louisa, sister of the King of Spain, Queen of Etruria and Duchess of Lucca; an immense heart of very fine gold, with a precious stone in the centre, suspended from a chain of emeralds and amethysts, the gift of the Emperor of Austria to the Madonna. It would be impossible to enumerate the precious stones and rich offerings of all kinds given by Princes and Kings, under the simple title of dono de una pia persona, in the register containing the names of benefactors to the Santa Casa. Cathedral of Loreto. The miraculous statue of the Madonna is nearly 85 centimetres high; it is carved in cedar wood, covered with magnificent drapery and placed on an Altar glittering with precious stones. We are assured that the niche which it occupies is covered with plates of gold. A number of lamps, of massive silver, burn before it.
The beautiful litany of Our Lady of Loreto was the votive offering with which a celebrated Florentine composer, of the early years of the eighteenth century, repaid a miracle of the Blessed Virgin. This composer, whose name was Barroni, all at once lost his hearing, like Beethoven; after having exhausted the succour of art without success, he invoked that of Mary and set out on a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Loreto. There, he was cured, after praying with faith and, in his gratitude to the Holy Madonna, he composed, by inspiration, in her praise, a chorus, which, under the title of Litanie della Santa Casa, was performed for the first time on 15 August 1737. This litany was repeated every year afterwards for the Feast of the Madonna; Rossini, happening to pass by Our Lady of Loreto, was struck with the charm of this composition and is said to have introduced it into his Tancredi (Gazette Musicale). The front area of the Church was constructed during the pontificate of Pope Sixtus V in 1586 and it was he, who founded the Order of Knights of Loreto, who were a company of Knights especially devoted to defend the shores of the Italian Mediterranean against the incursions of barbarians. The Popes have delighted to testify their respect for Mary, by making her miraculous Sanctuary of Loreto the object of their devout solicitude. Pope Pius V offered to the Santa Casa, two silver Statues of Saints Peter and Paul; he did still better, by diverting from its natural channel, a river, the waters of which, sluggish and in great measure stagnant, sent up the most unwholesome exhalations to the top of the hill, where a small Town has been formed, under the shadow of the magnificent Church of Mary. Pope Benedict XIV, embellished this Sanctuary with truly persevering generosity, where Pius VII, having recovered his liberty, came to kneel, before his entrance into Rome and where he left, as a memorial of his visit, a superb gold Chalice, with this inscription: “Pius VII, Sovereign Pontiff, restored to liberty on the day of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and coming from France to Rome, left at Loretto, this monument of his devotion and gratitude.” His holiness Gregory XVI also made a pilgrimage to Loreto.