Thought for the Day – 2 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Grace of God
“God has endowed us with wonderful corporal and spiritual gifts, creating us after His own image with powers of intellect and of will. More than this, He has raised us to the supernatural order by communicating to us, His grace, which enables us to live His own life and to share in His divine nature, as His adopted sons.
Grace is the greatest gift which God has given us. It enlightens our minds and moves our will to obey His commands and to perform actions which merit an everlasting reward. It is an entirely supernatural and gratuitous gift. For this reason, we cannot merit it but, we should continually pray for it because, it is absolutely necessary if we are to do good and to merit Heaven. Our first ancestor, Adam, was endowed with this gift by our Creator. Unfortunately, by original sin, he lost it for himself and for his descendants.
We cannot complain to God about this loss, since grace is an entirely supernatural gift which is in no way, due to our human nature. For the same reason, we cannot merit it on our own. But God, being infinitely good, as well as, infinitely just, sent His only-begotten Son to redeem us from sin and to grant us His friendship once more.
We should be very grateful to God for this extraordinary favour and should unite our efforts to the divine action of grace, in the performance of good works, which will enable us to merit everlasting life.”
Quote/s of the Day – 2 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Genesis 23: 1-4, 19; 24: 1-8, 62-67, Psalms 106: 1b-2, 3-4a, 4b-5, Matthew 9: 9-13
“It is not the healthy who are in need of the physician but those who are sick”
“… Veiled in a human body, He was able to communicate with humans. He who wanted to assist the guilty hides the fact that He is a Judge. He who did not deny dignity to faithful servants, conceals his Lordship. He who desired the weak to be embraced by a parent’s love, covers His Majesty.”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) “Doctor of Homilies” Father and Doctor of the Church
” Indeed, the instant you say: “I have sinned against the Lord”, the response is given you: “Your sins are forgiven” (Mt 9:2). … Only do not keep away, or distance yourself, from He who has chosen you to sing and pray but all your life long, remain close to Him, either through pure confidence, or by a holy audacity and courageous confession.”
John of Karpathos (7th Century) Bishop
“My beloved Redeemer, how much did it cost You to raise me from the ruin, which I brought on myself through my sins? What can I do without Your grace? I can do nothing but pray that You will help me but even this prayer comes from the merits of Your suffering and death! O my Jesus, help me!”
St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most zealous Doctor
“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.”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Lord Jesus Christ,Son of God, Have Mercy on me, a sinner.”
One Minute Reflection – 2 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Genesis 23: 1-4, 19; 24: 1-8, 62-67, Psalms 106: 1b-2, 3-4a, 4b-5, Matthew 9: 9-13
“It is not the healthy who are in need of the physician but those who are sick” – Matthew 9:12
REFLECTION – “And by this I wish to know if you love the Lord God and me, His servant and yours – if you have acted in this manner – that is, there should not be any brother in the world, however much he may have possibly sinned, who, after he has looked into your eyes, would go away without having received your mercy, if he is looking for mercy. And if he were not to seek mercy, you should ask him if he wants mercy. And if he should sin thereafter, a thousand times, before your very eyes, love him more than me, so that you may draw him back to the Lord. Always be merciful to such as these …
If anyone of the brothers, at the instigation of the enemy, should sin mortally, he is bound by obedience to have recourse to his guardian. And all the brothers who might know that he has sinned are not to bring shame upon him or speak ill of him but let them show great mercy toward him and keep most secret, the sin of their brother; “because it is not the healthy who are in need of the physician, but those who are sick” (Mt 9:12) … And let the Custodian mercifully take care of him, as he would like to be taken care of, if he were in a similar position.
And if this brother falls into some venial sin, let him confess this to a brother who is a Priest. And if there is no Priest at hand, let him confess to his brother, until he has contact with a Priest who will absolve him canonically. And the brothers should have no power to enjoin any other penance, except this: “Go and sin no more!” (Jn 8:11). – St Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) Founder of the Friars Minor – Letter to a Minister of the Franciscan Order.
PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ You showed Your great mercy to Matthew the tax-gatherer, by calling him to become Your Apostle,. Supported by the intercession of the Your Mother and oursby and the prayers and example of Your Saints, may we always answer Your call, obey Your commandments, fulfil Your Will and thus live in close union with You. We make our prayer, in union with God our Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
Our Morning Offering – 2 July – “Month of the Precious Blood”
O God, Be With Us By St Benedict (c 480-547)
O God, from Whom to be turned, is to fall, to Whom to be turned, is to rise and in Whom to stand, is to abide forever, grant us in all our duties, Your help, in all our perplexities, Your guidance, in all our dangers, Your protection, and in all our sorrows, Your peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Saint of the Day – 2 July – Servant of God Bernard of Quintavalle OFM ( Died 1241) “The First fruits of the Minor Orders,”The First Follower of St Francis of Assisi,” his faithful and devout companion who received. from St Francis on his deathbed, custody of the Friars Minor. \he died nearly 20 years after St Francis.
Bernard, one of the wealthiest young men of Assisi, became intrigued by reports about one of his peers—Francesco di Bernardone, previously known as something of a dandy and carouser—who had recently aroused wonder, as well as ridicule, by his ostentatious embrace of poverty. His curiosity piqued, Bernard who invited Francis to dine with him and spend the night in his home.
During the course of the night, he was so moved by the sound of his guest’s ardent prayers that he confronted Francis the next day and asked his help in discerning God’s will. Opening the Missal at random, Francis alighted on the text, “If you wish to be perfect, go and sell all you own, and give it to the poor.” A second time he opened the book and found, “Take nothing for your journey.” On a third attempt, he found, “If anyone would follow me, let him deny himself.”“This is the advice that the Lord has given us,” Francis proclaimed. “Go and do as you have heard.” Taking these instructions to heart, Bernard disposed of his property and adopted Francis’s way of life.
Becoming one of Francis’s most trusted companions, Bernard accompanied him on many journeys. He established a house in Bologna and undertook a special mission to the Shrine at Santiago de Compostela. When Francis was on his deathbed in 1226, “like the patriarch Jacob, with his devoted sons standing around him, grieving and weeping over the departure of so beloved a father,” he asked, “Where is my firstborn son?” Placing his hand on Bernard, he bestowed a special blessing, and enjoined him to “be the head of all your Brothers.”
Bernard himself died about 20 years later, around 1241 and was buried near his spiritual father in the Basilica of Saint Francis. His last words were, “I find this in my soul – not for a thousand worlds equal to this one, would I want not to have served Our Lord Jesus Christ…. My dearest brothers, I beg you to love one another.”
“Of Bernard, St Francis said that he was worthy of all reverence and that he had founded this Order because he was the first who had left the world, keeping back nothing for himself but giving everything to Christ’s poor.” — From The Little Flowers of St. Francis.
Our Lady of the Walnut Our Lady of Madhu Our Lady of Montallegro Our Lady of the Grove Our Lady of the Leśniów Spring Our Lady of the Visitation Our Lady of the Way of Leon Our Lady of Vaussivieres
Notre Dame de la Visitation / Our Lady of the Visitation, Lescure, Valuéjols, Cantal, Auvergne, France (1717) – Commemorated on the Fourth Sunday of June, 2 July :
At around 19 years old, Shepherd Jean Paillé was devoted to the Virgin Mary, and would daily lead his flock, from his little village in central France ,to a wayside Cross on a bluff, where he would kneel to say the Rosary. On 2 July, 1717, his prayers at the Cross were met by an apparition of the Virgin herself, who asked that a Church be built on that spot, leaving behind a small Statuette of herself at the foot of the Cross. She returned several times with the same request. Finally, Jean answered, “But no one will believe me.”“Keep telling the people of Lescure,” she said “and eventually they will listen.” Both were right. When the shepherd mustered the courage to tell the villagers about his visions, they ridiculed him as a simpleton. So he built a small Shrine in the holy place himself, of dry stone, placing the Statuette inside it.
When bad weather threatened, Jean would go there to pray for help. Seeing those prayers answered, the villagers began to believe in his communication with the Virgin and decided to build her a Church in the village. Jean argued that the Holy Virgin wanted her Church on the promontory but wanting the convenience of building and having it in town, the people built the new Church in Lescure and installed the Statuette there. But, the next day, it had returned to the bluff. Jean was suspected of moving it but the same thing kept happening, even with the shepherd under watch, so finally everyone agreed, that Heaven wanted the Virgin’s Chapel to be on the heights and not in the town. This time Jean Paillé himself organised the work. Building materials poured in, which oxen carried up the hill as easily if they were made of feathers.
In 1724, some 3,000 pilgrims camped in the open air to witness the Consecration of the new Church. The Bishop’s delegate dedicated the Sanctuary to Our Lady of the Visitation, in memory of the first apparition date, 2 July, then the Catholic Feast of the Visitation, commemorating the visit of Mary, pregnant with Jesus, to her cousin Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist. In recent years, the Feast of the Visitation has been moved to 31 May and the Solemnity of Our Lady of Lescure to the last Sunday in June.
She is invoked against illness, of the sick and for cures. Notre-Dame de Lescure, santé des infirmes, priez pour nous. Our Lady of Lescure, health of the sick, pray for us.
Martyred Soldiers of Rome – 3 saints: Three soldiers who were converted at the martyrdom of Saint Paul the Apostle. Then they were martyred, as well. We known nothing else about them but their names – Acestes, Longinus and Megistus. Martyred c68 in Rome, Italy
Martyrs in Carthage by Hunneric – 7 saints: A group of seven Christians tortured and murdered in the persecutions of the Arian Vandal king Hunneric for remaining loyal to the teachings of orthodox Christianity. They were some of the many who died for the faith during a period of active Arian heresy. – Boniface, Liberatus, Maximus, Rogatus, Rusticus, Septimus and Servus.
Martyrs of Campania – 10 saints: A group of ten Christians marytred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. The only details about them to have survived are their names – Ariston, Crescention, Eutychian, Felicissimus, Felix, Justus, Marcia, Symphorosa, Urban and Vitalis. Martyred in 284 in Campania, Italy.
Martyrs of Seoul – 8 saints: Additional Memorial – 20 September as part of the Martyrs of Korea. A group of eight Christians who were martyred together as part of the lengthy persecutions in Korea. • Agatha Han Sin-ae • Antonius Yi Hyeon • Bibiana Mun Yeong-in • Columba Gang Wan-suk • Ignatius Choe In-cheol • Iuliana Gim Yeon-i • Matthaeus Gim Hyeon-u • Susanna Gang Gyeong-bok They were martyred on 2 July 1801 at the Small West Gate, Seoul, South Korea. Beatified on 15 August 2014 by Pope Francis.