Thought for the Day – 28 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Only Remedy for All Our Ills
“Life is a continual battle. “Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery?” (Job 7:1). If we consider, only the material aspect of this battle, we are all among the vanquished. Admittedly, there is some joy and some victory. But, our pleasures are as short-lived as the flowers of the field, they are soon “withered and dried up like grass” (Cf Ps 101:5). Our conquests are also very insignificant; they can inflate us for a while but they do not last long and cannot satisfy us. After death, only our triumphs in virtue will persist. Moreover, whereas the joys of this life are few and fleeting, the physical and moral sufferings, are innumerable. Sometimes, they are so heavy and overwhelming, that they cause us to despair. But, surely there is a remedy for all the evils which afflict us? God is infinitely good and He has permitted suffering. Will He not give us the means of enduring it and the medicine to cure it? In fact, Our Lord, has given us a remedy for all our ills, even for the most distressing. It is a bitter medicine but, it will heal anyone who has the courage to swallow it and, it will give him perfect peace of soul. The treatment consists of three stages: (1) Doing the will of God in all things with complete resignation. (2) Doing everything for the love of God. (3) Doing everything and enduring everything for the love of God alone. When a man reaches this highest peak of the spiritual life, he acquires that perfect peace of soul, which the Saints possessed.”
Quote/s of the Day – 28 April – The Memorial of Quote/s of the Day – 28 April – The Memorial of St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)
“Take advantage of little sufferings even more than of great ones. God considers not so much what we suffer, as how we suffer. . . Turn everything to profit as the grocer does in his shop.”
“The salvation of the whole world began with the “Hail Mary.” Hence, the salvation of each person is also attached to this prayer.”
“Mary is the great mould of God … He who is cast in this divine mould is soon formed and moulded in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ in him. With little effort and in a short time, he will become divine, since he is cast in the same mould which formed a God.”
“The Rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus, Our Redeemer, who loves His Mother.”
One Minute Reflection – 28 April – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Easter, Readings: Acts 12:24–13:5, Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8, John 12:44-50 and the Memorial of St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)
“I am come as light into the world, that whosoever believes in me, may not remain in darkness..” – John 12:46
REFLECTION – “The humility with which Christ “emptied himself, assuming the condition of a servant” (Phil 2:7) is our light. His denial of the world’s glory, He who chose to be born in a stable rather than a palace and to undergo a shameful death on the cross, is light for us. Owing to this humility, we can know just how detestable is the sin of a creature of clay (Gn 2:7), a wretched man of no worth, when he puffs himself up, vaunts himself and refuses to obey, while we see the infinite God, humiliated, despised and delivered up to men.
A light for us, too, is the meekness with which He bore hunger, thirst and cold, insults, blows and wounding, when “like a lamb led to the slaughter and like a sheep before its shearers, he did not open his mouth” (Is 53:7). Indeed, in view of this meekness, we see how pointless anger is, as also threats. Then we consent to suffer and do not serve Christ out of habit. Thanks to this, we learn to pay heed to all that is asked of us, weeping for our sins in submission and silence and patiently bearing the sufferings that come our way. For Christ bore His torments with such great meekness and patience, not for sins He had not committed but for those of others.
From now on, dearest brethren, ponder over all the virtues Christ taught us by the example of His life, that He recommends to us through His preaching and. gives us the strength to imitate, by the aid of His grace.” – Lanspergius the Carthusian (1489-1539) Monk, theologian – Sermon 5
PRAYER – Lord God, life of those who believe in You, glory of the humble and happiness of the Saints, listen kindly to our prayer. We long for what You promises, fill us from Your abundance, give us true faith and obedience. May the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Your Son, be our constant recourse. and may her cliet and Yours, St Louis Marie de Montfort, pray for us all. Through Our Lord, Jesus with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Acts 12: 24 — 13: 5a 24 But the word of the Lord increased and multiplied. 25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, having fulfilled their ministry, taking with them John, who was surnamed Mark. 13:1 Now there were in the church which was at Antioch, prophets and doctors, among whom was Barnabas and Simon who was called Niger and Lucius of Cyrene and Manahen, who was the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 And as they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Ghost said to them: Separate me Saul and Barnabas, for the work whereunto I have taken them. 3 Then they, fasting and praying and imposing their hands upon them, sent them away. 4 So they being sent by the Holy Ghost, went to Seleucia and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they were come to Salamina, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews.
Gospel: John 12: 44-50 44 But Jesus cried and said: He that believes in me, does not believe in me but in him that sent me. 45 And he that sees me, sees him that sent me. 46 I am come as light into the worl, that whosoever believes in me, may not remain in darkness. 47 And if any man hears my words and keeps them not, I do not judge him: for I came not to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He that despises me and receives not my words, has one that judges him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken of myself but of the Father who sent me, he gave me commandments what I should say and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting. The things, therefore, that I speak, even as the Father said unto me, so do I speak.
Our Morning Offering – 28 April – Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easte and the Memorial of St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)
Morning Offering By St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)
My God, just as I wish to love nothing more than You, so I wish to live, only for You. I offer You all my thoughts, all my words, all my actions and all my sufferings of this day; please bestow Your holy blessing, upon them all. Amen
Saint of the Day – 28 April – Saint Vitalis of Ravenna (Died c 171) – Martyr, Husband and Father , Confessor. Died in c 171 in Ravenna by being buried alive. Patronage – Ravenna, Italy and Thibodeaux, Louisiana. Also known as St Vitalis of Milan,
The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “At Ravenna, the birthday of St Vitalis, Martyr, father of the Saint Gervasius and Protasius. When he had taken up and reverently buried the body of blessed Ursicinus, he was arrested by the ex-consul Paulinus and after being racked and thrown nto a deep pit, was overwhelmed with earth and stones and by this kind of martyrdom, went to Christ.”
Saint Vitalis was a first century Christian citizen of Milan, a consular knight (miles consularis) in the time of Nero who got into trouble when he publicly exhorted a Christian to stand firm under torture. He was the father of the twin brothers and future Martyrs, Saints Gervasius and Protasius. He is the principal Patron of Ravenna, where he was martyred.
Divine providence had conducted him to that city, where he saw come before the tribunal there, a Christian Physician named Ursicinus, who had been tortured and who then was condemned to lose his head for his faith. Suddenly the captive grew terrified at the thought of death and seemed ready to yield. Vitalis was extremely moved by this spectacle. He knew his double obligation to prefer the glory of God and the eternal salvation of his neighbour to his own corporal life; he, therefore, boldly and successfully encouraged Ursicinus to triumph over death, saying, “Ursicinus, you who cured others would want to drive into your soul the dagger of eternal death? Do not lose the crown the Lord has prepared for you!” Ursicinus was touched and deeply strengthened – he knelt down in prayer and then asked the executioner to strike him. After his martyrdom, Saint Vitalis carried away his body and respectfully interred it.
Saint Vitalis now resigned his post as judiciary and consular assistant to Paulinus, who had been absent on the occasion of the sentence of Ursicinus.Paulinus had his former assistant apprehended,and after having him tortured, commanded that if he refused to sacrifice to the gods, he be buried alive, which sentence was carried out.
Afterwards, his wife, Valeria, as she was on her way from Ravenna to Milan, was beaten by peasants because she refused to join them in an idolatrous festival and riot. She died two days later in Milan and is also honoured as a Martyr . Their twin sons, Saint. Gervasius and Protasius, sold their heritage and for ten years before their own martyrdom, lived a penitential life of prayer.
We are not all called to the sacrifice of martyrdom; but we are all bound to make our lives a continuing sacrifice of ourselves to God,and to perform every action ,in this spirit of sacrifice. Thus we shall both live and die to God, perfectly resigned to His holy will in all He ordains or permits.
The 6th century Basilica of San Vitalis is dedicated to St Vitalis. The mosaic of him, first image above, is one of the many famous mosaics in this most important surviving example of early Christian Byzantine art and Architecture. It is one of eight structures in Ravenna inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Its foundational inscription describes the Church as a Basilica, though its centrally-planned design is not typical of the Basilica form. The Vatican has designated the building a “basilica,”,an honorific title bestowed on exceptional Church buildings of historic and ecclesial importance.
Nuestra Señora del / Our Lady of Quito, Ecuador (1534) – 28 April:
This miraculous image of Our Lady of Quito currently in the Capital City of Ecuador ,is said to date from the first Spanish settlement there in the year 1534. At the very least, it has certainly been venerated there for a long time and is popularly called ,by the people of Quito, Our Lady of the Earthquake. The painting represents the Sorrowful Mother and in the early years of the twentieth century, devotion to Mary under the title of Our Lady of Quito was introduced into England ,by the Servite Friars in London. Saint Pius X accorded them an indulgence for those who should pray before her picture, and the devotion was greatly promoted in England by the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus, Mother Cornelia Connelly’s congregation. The original image at Quito was solemnly crowned in 1918. On 20 April 1906, thirty-six boys attending the boarding school of the Jesuit Fathers at Quito, Ecuador, together with Father Andrew Roesch, witnessed a miracle of this famous picture of Our Lady. While in the refectory they all saw the Blessed Mother slowly open and shut her eyes. The same miracle occurred no less than seven times after that, in favour of the boys at the school but this time, in the Chapel to which the picture had been taken.
Ecclesiastical authorities soon investigated these incidents and finally concluded by ordering the picture to be transferred, in procession from the college to the Church of the Jesuit Fathers. Once at the Church, the miracle was repeated several times before large crowds and many, many conversions took place because of these miracles. At one time, the wonder continued for three consecutive days. At Riobamba, before a faithful reproduction of Our Lady of Quito, the same wonder was seen by more than 20 persons, including the president of the City. In Quito this picture is known as the Dolorosa del Colegio.
A Conceptionist Sister, named Mother Mariana de Jesús Torres received Marian apparitions under this title from 2 February 1594 to 2 February 1634. In 1611, the local Bishop gave his approval to the apparitions.
Our Lady appeared to Mother Mariana and predicted many things about our own times. This following, is part of what she told her. We can see for ourselves how it relates directly to our own time. “…. I make it known to you, that from the end of the 19th century and shortly after the middle of the 20th century…. the passions will erupt and there will be a total corruption of customs (morals)…. “They will focus principally on the children, in order to sustain this general corruption. Woe to the children of these times! It will be difficult to receive the Sacrament of Baptism and also, that of Confirmation… “As for the Sacrament of Matrimony… it will be attacked and deeply profaned… The Catholic spirit will rapidly decay; the precious light of the Faith will gradually be extinguished… Added to this, will be the effects of secular education, which will be one reason for the dearth of priestly and religious vocations. “The Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed and despised… The Devil will try to persecute the ministers of the Lord in every possible way; he will labour with cruel and subtle astuteness, to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation and will corrupt many of them. These depraved priests, who will scandalise the Christian people, will make the hatred of bad Catholics and the enemies of the Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church ,fall upon all priests… “Further, in these unhappy times, there will be unbridled luxury, which will ensnare the rest ,into sin and conquer innumerable frivolous souls, who will be lost. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women. In this supreme moment of need of the Church, the one who should speak will fall silent.” In a subsequent apparition, Our Lady told Mother Mariana that these apparitions were not to become generally known until the twentieth century.
On 8 December 1634, the apparition predicted that Papal Infallibility “will be declared a Dogma of the Faith by the same Pope chosen to proclaim the Dogma of the Mystery of My Immaculate Conception.” In 1854, Blessed Pope Pius IX defined the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception and in 1870, he declared the Dogma of Papal Infallibility as defined by the First Vatican Council.
Mother Mariana died on 16 January 1635, shortly after the last apparition. When her tomb was reopened in 1906, her body was found to be perfectly incorrupt, after nearly 300 years in an ordinary, unprotected, wooden coffin. The Archdiocese of Quito opened her cause for Canonisation in 1986 and finished the Diocesan stage of the process ,in 1997.