Thought for the Day – 4 July– Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“A man without the light of faith is like a blind man groping in the dark. The world which surrounds us is an inconceivable absurdity, unless, we have faith in a God who creates and orders. Life is an aimless journey if it is not illuminated by faith in a Creator, Who will reward us. Everything without us and within us, speaks to us of God and directs our steps towards Him, our supreme benefactor, our judge and our eternal reward. The stars of the heavens and the flowers of the fields, tell us of the infinite beauty and goodness of their Creator. In the pages of the Gospel, we find, a clearer and more penetrating light which invites us to adore and love the divine Redeemer and to believe in Him, Who alone, has the words of eternal life and Who alone can satisfy the infinite desires of our hearts.
All this is true. Everything around us and within us leads us to God and invites us to have faith. The virtue of faith, however, is a supernatural gift, which we must humbly and perseveringly beg from God. It is, as St Thomas Aquinas says, the foundation of the entire spiritual life (Summa Theologiae,III,q 73, a 3); without it, the spiritual edifice would collapse. How thankful, therefore, we should be to God for having been called to the faith and for having been born in the Catholic Church. There are so many souls outside Her, who grope in the darkness, longing for the truth. We should pray for them that they may reach the port of salvation and may be able to join with us in praising, loving and serving Our Lord Jesus Christ. We should also be well aware that, as pointed out by St James, faith without good works is dead (Cf Js 2:17-20). Even the devils believe, as St Augustine observes (De Caritate, 10) but, this does not help their salvation. Besides faith, the love of God and love of our neighbour are necessary. The result of this double charity, should be a gradual increase in good works.”
Quote/s of the Day – 4 July – “Month of the Precious Blood”
“Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
“Jesus, knowing that his hour was come, … he loved them unto the end.”
“I beg you never to entertain the least dread and to place all your trust in the Blood of Christ Crucified … May all servile fear be banished from your spirits. You will say with Saint Paul … “I can do all things through Christ crucified, since he is within me by desire and love and he strengthens me” (cf. Phil 4:13; Gal 2:20). Love, love, love! By His Blood, the gentle Lamb has made an unassailable rock of your soul.”
St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
“The actions of good Christians are of such great value, that heaven is given to us for them. However, … it is not because they come from us and are the wool of our hearts. Rather, it is because they are dyed with the Blood of the Son of God. I mean, that the Saviour sanctifies our actions by the merits of His Blood. A branch of the vine, united and joined to the stock, produces fruit, not by it’s own power but empowered by the stock. Now we are united by charity to our Redeemer, as members to the head (Eph 4:15-16). That is why our fruits and good works, drawing their value from Him, merit life everlasting.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
“How long are you going to be deaf to His call? Or are you going to lose your soul, which Jesus Christ bought at the price of His Precious Blood?”
One Minute Reflection – 4 July – “Month of the Precious Blood” – Ezekiel 2: 2-5, Psalms 123: 1-2, 2, 3-4, Second Corinthians 12: 7-10, Mark 6: 1-6
“So he could notperform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them …” – Mark 6:5
REFLECTION – “One meaning of “could not” is simply the limits of some human will. Take, for example, the point ,that Christ “could not” fulfill any signs in Nazareth was due to disbelief on their part. Something essential for healing is required on both sides—faith on the part of the patients, power on that of the healer. So one side without its counterpart “could not,” so to speak, perform them. As this can be seen in medical care, it can also be seen in moral transformation. Similarly involving the limits of the will are the texts: “The world cannot not hate you” and “How can you speak good, being evil?” The metaphor of “impossibility” here must mean free refusal by the will. The same idea applies to those passages which say that what is, impossible for humanity is possible for God. Note also those passages that say that a person “cannot” (in one sense) be born a second time and a needle’s eye “cannot” let a camel through. What would stop these events happening if God willed them directly? Besides all these, there is, as in the case we are presently considering, a “cannot” in the sense of that which is totally inconceivable. We cannot conceive that God can be evil or fail to exist. It is inconceivable that reality cannot exist or two times two is fourteen. So here, it cannot be the case, that the Son would do anything which the Father would not do!” – St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church – Oration 30 (On the Son),10-11.
PRAYER – Lord our God, make us love You above all things and all our fellow-men, with a love that is worthy of You. May we look to Your Divine Son in total trust, faith, love and imitation. Grant too, that by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we too may be granted the grace to follow Your only Son, no matter our sufferings, to one day reach You, in our heavenly home. We make our prayer, through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever amen. Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Precious Blood of Jesus in satisfaction for my sins and for the wants of holy Church. – Indulgence 100 days, Each time, Pope Pius VII, 22 September 1817.
Our Morning Offering – 4 July – “Month of the Precious Blood”
For those unable to attend Holy Mass today and for all of us, everyday!
Act of Spiritual Communion By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
I desire, good Jesus, to receive Thee in Holy Communion and since I cannot now receive Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, I beseech Thee to come to me spiritually and to refresh my soul with Thy sweetness. Come, my Lord, my God and my All! Come to me and never let me ever again be separated from Thee by sin. Teach me Thy blessed ways, help me with Thy grace to imitate Thy example, to practise meekness, humility, charity and all the virtues of Thy Sacred Heart. My divine Master, my one desire is to do Thy will and to love Thee, more and more. Help me, that I may be faithful to the end, in Thy service. Bless me in life and in death, that I may praise Thee, forever in heaven, Amen
Saint of the Day – 4 July – Blessed John Cornelius SJ (1557– 1594) Martyr, English Priest of the Society of Jesus, Missionary. Born in 1557 as John Conor O’Mahony at Bodmin, Lanherne, Cornwall, England on the estate of Sir John Arundell and died by hanging and being hacked to pieces on 4 July 1594 at Dorchester, Oxfordshire, England. Additional Memorials – 29 October as one of the Martyrs of Douai, 1 December as one of the Martyrs of Oxford University. Also known as – John Mohun and John O’Mahony.
John Corneliu, actually John Conor O’Mahony latinised his middle name. He was born of Irish parents in Bodmin, Cornwall. His father worked for Sir John Arundell who took great interest in young John and it was through him, that John was admitted to Exeter College, Oxford. After his expulsion from Oxford for “popery” i.e. for maintaining Catholic beliefs, John went to the English College in Rheims, France and, a year later, to the English College in Rome. His scholastic achievements were so outstanding, that he delivered the College’s Christmas address before Pope Gregory XIII on the Feast of St Stephen, 26 December 1581. He was Ordained in Rome in 1583 and returned to England the same year.
Fr Cornelius made the home of Sir Arundell in London as his operations centre and was responsible for getting the latter, back to his faith, as well as his own Mother back to the Church. His strong zeal to bring people back to Catholicism and for celebrating Mass, soon made him the prime target for government spies who were out to apprehend him.
All this while Fr Cornelius’ longstanding wish was to become a Jesuit as he came to know them during his student days in Rome and had resolved to enter the Society when time permitted. His years on the English mission only strengthened that desire and he wrote to the Jesuit General in Rome to seek admission. As the custom then was for all English candidates to go to Flanders for their Novitiate, Fr Cornelius’ admission had to be delayed as he couldn’t leave his flock without a Priest. He, nevertheless, kept in contact with Fr Henry Garnet, the Superior of the English Jesuits and placed himself under his direction.
Fr Cornelius was betrayed by William Holmes, a servant of the Arundell’s household whom he had previously reprimanded for annoying one of Lady Arundell’s maids.
When apprehended, the Sheriff said, “I’m glad that I finally have you in my hands.” to which Fr Cornelius replied, “And I, more so, for having been captured.”
Fr Cornelius and three laymen from the Arundell household, were arrested with him and pending trial, he discussed religion with the Trenchard’s household, the arresting Officer and it was reported that he converted Trenchard’s sister-in-law. At the Marshalsea Prison in London, Fr Cornelius was tortured on the rack to reveal the names of Catholic households that had given him hospitality and the names of those who had attended his services but he revealed nothing. Knowing that his time was fast approaching, Fr Cornelius pronounced the vows of the Society before two laymen and a Jesuit and instructed them to make this fact known to Fr Garnet, the Jesuit Superior in England.
Fr Cornelius was sentenced to die for high treason and to be hanged and quartered, because he was a Priest, had celebrated Ma, and had reconciled Protestants to the Catholic Church. His three lay companions were condemned to be hanged for having aided and assisted a Priest and were executed first. The first to ascend the scaffold was John Carey; he kissed the rope, exclaiming “O precious collar,” made a solemn profession of faith and died a valiant death . Before his execution, Patrick Salmon exhorted the spectators to embrace the Catholic faith, for which he and his companions were giving their lives. Then followed Thomas Bosgrave, who delivered a stirring address on the truth of his belief. When it was Fr Cornelius’ turn, he approached the gallows and knelt at the foot of the ladder, prayed, then kissed the ground and the feet of his three dead companions and turning towards the scaffold said, with the words of St Andrew,“O good cross, so long desired.” Once on the ladder, he prayed for his persecutors and the Queen and though forbidden to speak further, he revealed to the bystanders that he was a Jesuit, just before he was pushed from the ladder. His body was subsequently quartered.
All the bodies were retrieved and given proper burial by Lady Arundell. Fr Cornelius and his three companions, the Martyrs of England, were Beatified by Pope Pius XI on 15 December 1929.
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul (29 June) +2021
Nuestra Señora del Refugio / Our Lady of Refuge, Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico (1720) – 4 July:
Jesuit Missionary Father Juan José Güica brought a painting of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners from Italy to Mexico in 1720. In a dream, the Virgin told Padre Güica to ask the Franciscans of Zacatecas to use and promote the image; – they distributed over 150 copies, making this one of the most widespread Marian devotions in Mexico.
In 1793 Franciscan Friars came to the new settlement which would become Matamoros, renaming the area “Nuestra Señora del Refugio de los Esteros Hermosos” (Our Lady of the Refuge of the Lovely Marshes).
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Refuge, built in 1832, displays an 1886 painting of her. Her fiesta, celebrated in many Mexican Towns, commemorates the coronation of the original “Refugium Peccatori” in the Jesuit Church of Frascati, Italy, on 4 July 1717.
Bl Agatha Yun Jeom-Hye St Albert Quadrelli St Andrew of Crete St Anthony Daniel St Aurelian of Lyons St Bertha of Blangy St Carileffo of Anille Bl Catherine Jarrige St Cesidio Giacomantonio Bl Damiano Grassi of Rivoli St Donatus of Libya St Edward Fulthrop St Elias of Jerusalem St Finbar of Wexford St Fiorenzo of Cahors St Flavian of Antioch St Giocondiano Bl Giovanni of Vespignano St Haggai the Prophet Bl Hatto of Ottobeuren Bl Henry Abbot St Henry of Albano St Hosea the Prophet St Innocent of Sirmium Bl John Carey Blessed John Cornelius SJ (1557– 1594) Martyr, English Priest of the Society of Jesus, Missionary. Bl Jozef Kowalski St Jucundian St Laurian of Seville St Lauriano of Vistin Bl Maria Crocifissa Curcio St Namphanion the Archmartyr Bl Natalia of Toulouse St Odo the Good Bl Odolric of Lyon Bl Patrick Salmon Bl Pedro Romero Espejo