Thought for the Day – 18 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Intimacy with Jesus
“The union of love which should exist between Jesus and ourselves, is modelled on the mysterious union between Jesus and His Heavenly Father.
(1) This intimacy between ourselves and Jesus should be, first of all, in the mind. Our thoughts will be good when we think like God and with the mind of Jesus, “Who is the true light that enlightens every man who comes into the world” (Jn 1:9). If we stray away from that light, darkness overwhelms us, even as it pervaded the earth during the agony of Jesus Christ. Our intelligence is a ray of light which comes from God, we should take care not to allow this ray to be separated from its divine source. This heavenly ray always shone on the faces of the saints because they were clean of heart and close to God. That is how we should all be.
(2) In the second place, we should be united intimately with Jesus in our sentiments. “Have this mind in you which was also in Jesus Christ” (Phil 2:5) says St Paul. Our love must not be abstract or partial but must be all-absorbing. Jesus calls us friends and friendship unites two hearts as one. We must give ourselves completely to Jesus without reserving anything for ourselves. True holiness is found when God and man are united like two faithful constant friends.
(3) In the third place, there must be intimacy in action. It is not possible for a man who truly loves God to do anything which would offend Him. Jesus compares the love which we should have for Him with the love which He has for His Heavenly Father, so we should model our lives continuously on the life of Jesus. Jesus must work in us, as He did in St Paul and all the Saints.
St Francis de Sales writes, that Jesus should always be in our minds, in our hearts, in our eyes and on our tongue. We should be living images of Jesus and we must, therefore, live and act for Him, with Him and in Him.”
Quote/s of the Day – 18 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Jeremiah 23: 1-6; Psalms 23: 1-3, 3-4, 5, 6 (1); Ephesians 2: 13-18 Gospel: Mark 6: 30-34
“Come away by yourselves , o a deserted place and rest awhile”
“What benefits What divine exultation The solitude and silence of the desert Hold in store for those who love it!”
St Bruno (c 1030-1101)
“Alas, such are the passions of the flesh and the turmoil of thoughts, coming and going in our hearts, that we have no time to eat the food of everlasting sweetness, nor perceive the taste of interior contemplation. That is why our Lord says: “Come away” from the noisy crowd “to a deserted place,” to solitude of mind and heart, “and rest awhile.”
St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Doctor of the Church
“Until I was alone I never really lived. Until I was alone, I was not with myself. Until I was alone, I never drew near to my creator.”
Bl Paolo Giustiniani (1476-1528)
“Recall yourself sometimes to the interior solitude of your heart and there, removed from all creatures, treat of the affairs of your salvation and your perfection with God, as a friend would speak heart to heart with another.”
St Francis of Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
“The great method of prayer is to have none. If, in going to prayer, one can form in oneself, a pure capacity for receiving the spirit of God, that will suffice for all method.”
One Minute Reflection – 18 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Jeremiah 23: 1-6; Psalms 23: 1-3, 3-4, 5, 6 (1); Ephesians 2: 13-18 Gospel: Mark 6: 30-34
“He had compassion on them for they were like sheep without a shepherd… ” – Mark 6:34
REFLECTION – “Jesus, God’s Word, was in Judaea. Following the news of the prophet John the Baptist’s murder, He went by boat – symbol of His body – to a desert place apart. In this desert place Jesus was “apart” because His word was set aside there and His teaching went against the customs and traditions of the Gentiles. But then the crowds from the Gentile territories, hearing that He, Who is the Word of God, had come to dwell in their desert…, came to follow Him, leaving their towns behind, that is to say, each of them abandoning the superstitious customs of their native land and adhering to Christ’s law… Jesus had come out to meet them since they were unable to come to Him, mingling with “those outside” (Mk 4,11) He led them within.
This crowd of those outside, that He went to meet, is very great. Shedding the light of His Presence upon it, He looked round at it and, seeing what sort of people were surrounding Him, he found them even more worthy of compassion. He, Who is beyond suffering, insofar as He is God, suffers on account of His love for the people. His heart was moved with feeling. And He is not just moved but He heals them of all their ills, He delivers them from evil.” – Origen (c185-253), Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father – Commentary on St. Matthew, 10,23
PRAYER – Be gracious, Lord, to us who serve You and in Your kindness increase Your gifts of grace within us, so that fervent in faith, hope and love, we may be ever on the watch and persevere in doing what You command. Guard, protect and inspire our own Shepherds, our Priests who serve Your people, keep them faithful, loyal and prayerful. May our Mother, the most Holy and Pure Blessed Virgin Mary, keep our Priests and all of us at her side. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, one God with Holy Spirit, forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 18 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”
Soul of Christ, sanctify me Body of Christ, save me Blood of Christ, inebriate me Water from the side of Christ, wash me Passion of Christ, strengthen me Good Jesus, hear me Within Your wounds, shelter me from turning away, keep me From the evil one, protect me At the hour of my death, call me Into Your presence lead me to praise You with all Your saints Forever and ever, Amen
For many years the Anima Christi was popularly believed to have been composed by Saint Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) , as he puts it at the beginning of his Spiritual Exercises and often refers to it. In the first edition of the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius merely mentions it, evidently supposing that the reader would know it. In later editions, it was printed in full. It was by assuming that everything in the book was written by Ignatius that it came to be looked upon as his composition. On this account the prayer is sometimes referred to as the Aspirations of St. Ignatius Loyola and so my image shows St Ignatius at prayer.
However, the prayer actually dates to the early fourteenth century and was possibly written by Pope John XXII but its authorship remains uncertain. It has been found in a number of prayer books printed during the youth of Ignatius and is in manuscripts which were written a hundred years before his birth. The English hymnologist James Mearns found it in a manuscript of the British Museum which dates to about 1370. In the library of Avignon there is preserved a prayer book of Cardinal Pierre de Luxembourg (died 1387), which contains the prayer in practically the same form as we have it today. It has also been found inscribed on one of the gates of the Alcázar of Seville, which dates back to the time of Pedro the Cruel (1350–1369).
The invocations in the prayer have rich associations with Catholic concepts that relate to the Eucharist (Body and Blood of Christ), Baptism (water) and the Passion of Jesus (Precious Blood and Holy Wounds).
Saint of the Day – 18 July – Saint Arnulf of Metz (c 580-640) Bishop of Metz, France, Monk, miracle-worker, widower and father. Born in c 580 at Lay-Saint-Christophe, France and died in c 640 near Remiremont , France. Also known as – Arnold, Arnoul. Patronage – of Brewers.
The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “At Metz in France, St Arnulf, a Bishop illustrious for holiness and the gift of miracles. He chose an eremitical life and ended his blessed career in peace.”
Arnulf’s parents belonged to a distinguished Frankish family and lived in the eastern section of the kingdom founded by Clovis.
In the school where Arnulf was placed as a boy, he excelled through his talent and his good behaviour. According to the custom of the age, he was sent in due time to the Court of Theodebert II, King of Austrasia (595-612), to be initiated in the various branches of the government. Under the guidance of Gundulf, the Mayor of the Palace, he soon became so proficient that he was placed on the regular list of Royal Officers and among the first of the King’s ministers. He distinguished himself both as a military commander as well as in the civil administration and at one time, he had six distinct Provinces under his care.
In due course, Arnulf was married to a Frankish woman of noble lineage, by whom he had two sons – Anseghisel and Clodulf. While Arnulf was enjoying worldly emoluments and honours, he did not forget higher and spiritual things. His thoughts often dwelt on monasteries and with his friend Romaricus, also an Officer of the Court, he planned to make a pilgrimage to the Abbey of Lérins, evidently for the purpose of devoting his life to God.
However, in the meantime, the Episcopal See of Metz became vacant. Arnulf was universally designated as a worthy candidate for the office and he was Consecrated Bishop of that See around 611, before this he had become a widower. In his new position he set the example of a virtuous life to his community and attended to matters of ecclesiastical government. In 625 he took part in a Council held by the Frankish Bishops at Reims. With all these different activities, Arnulf still retained his station at the Court of the King, and played a prominent role in the national life of his people.
In 613, after the death of Theodebert, he, with Pepin of Landen and other nobles, called on Clothaire II, King of Neustria with a view to friendship. When, in 625, the realm of Austrasia was entrusted to the late King’s son Dagobert, Arnulf became, not only the tutor but also the chief minister, of the young King. At the time of the estrangement between the two Kings, (Clothaire II and Dagobert) in 625 Arnulf, with other Bishops and nobles, tried to bring about a reconciliation. Arnulf now dreaded the responsibilities of the episcopal office, and grew weary of Court life.
About the year 626 he obtained the appointment of a successor to the Episcopal See of Metz and he and his friend, Romaricus withdrew to a solitary place in the mountains of the Vosges. There he lived in communion with God until his death.
His remains, interred by Romaricus, were transferred about a year afterwards, by Bishop Goeric, to the Basilica of the Holy Apostles in Metz.
Miracles of St Arnulf: Arnulf was tormented by the violence that surrounded him and feared that he had played a role in the wars and murders that plagued the ruling families. Obsessed by these sins, Arnulf went to a bridge over the Moselle river. There he took off his Bishop’s ring and threw it into the river, praying to God to give him a sign of absolution by returning the ring to him. Many penitent years later, a fisherman brought to the Bishop’s kitchen a fish in the stomach of which was found the Bishop’s ring. Arnulf repaid the sign of God by immediately retiring as Bishop and becoming a hermit for the remainder of his life.
At the moment Arnulf resigned as Bishop, a fire broke out in the cellars of the Royal Palace and threatened to spread throughout the City of Metz. Arnulf, full of courage and feeling unity with the townspeople, stood before the fire and said, “If God wants me to be consumed, I am in His hands.” He then made the Sign of the Cross, at which point, the fire immediately abated.
It was July 642 and very hot, when the Parishioners of Metz, went to Remiremont to recover the remains of their former Bishop. They had little to drink and the terrain was inhospitable. At the point when the exhausted procession was about to leave Champigneulles, one of the Parishioners, Duc Notto, prayed “By his powerful intercession the Blessed Arnold will bring us what we lack.” Immediately, the small remnant of beer at the bottom of a pot multiplied, in such amounts, that the pilgrims’ thirst was quenched and they had enough to enjoy the next evening when they arrived in Metz. For this reason he is known as the Patron Saint of Brewers.
Notre-Dame-de-Bonne Délivrance /Our Lady of Good Deliverance (14th Century): 18 July Since the 1000s, the Church of Saint-Etienne-des-Grès in the old Latin Quarter of Paris had a chapel to Our Lady of Good Deliverance, where, across the centuries, pilgrims sought the Virgin’s help in their of sufferings. During the Wars of Religion and counter-Reformation, her Confraternity had 12,000 members, including the King and Queen of France. About: https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/18/saint-of-the-day-18-july-our-lady-of-good-deliverance/
Schwarzen Madonna / Black Madonna of Einsiedeln, Schwyz, Switzerland (853) – First Sunday after Our Lady of Mount Carmel:
“Einsiedeln” means “hermitage.” It was the home of St Meinrad (c 797–861) Martyr, a Benedictine Monk who retreated to this place in the pine woods to live in solitude, with a pair of tame crows for company. Abbess Hildegarde of Zurich gave him a Statue of the Madonna for the forest Chapel built in 853, which soon became a place of pilgrimage. In 863, hoping to get his stash of pilgrim donations, two thieves murdered the Saint, who was living in poverty. The crows alerted people, who found and buried the body and executed the killers. St Meinrad’s life here: https://anastpaul.com/2021/01/21/saint-of-the-day-21-january-saint-meinrad-of-einsiedeln-osb-c-797-861-martyr/
In 948, Benedictines built a Church on the site of St Meinrad’s hermitage. On 14 September, the night before Bishop Conrad was to bless the new Church, he dreamed that Jesus Himself was blessing it. In the morning, when he began the ceremony, everyone heard a voice say, “Stop, for the Church has been Consecrated divinely.” In 1028 the first of five fires destroyed everything but the Chapel containing the Statue. These miracles increased popular devotion to the Shrine, which was repeatedly rebuilt.
Although tradition holds the present Statue to be the original, it is unlike any that remain from the Ottonian period. Carved of dark wood, the graceful, sweet-faced Madonna, her right knee slightly bent, stands a little over three feet tall, holding the Divine Child in her left arm. This is a typical late Gothic work of the mid-1400s, possibly installed after the third fire in 1465. Displayed before a great aureole of golden rays,the Statue has worn elaborate vestments in colours matching those of Priests for each liturgical season. The Feast of Our Lady of Einsiedeln is 16 July but is usually celebrated on the Sunday following. Even greater pilgrimages occur on 14 September in honour of the Church’s miraculous Consecration.
St Aemilian of Dorostorium St Alanus of Sassovivo St Alfons Tracki Blessed Angeline of Marsciano Bl Arnold of Amiens St Arnold of Arnoldsweiler St Arnoul the Martyr St Arnulf of Metz (c 580-640) Bishop St Athanasius of Clysma Bl Bernard de Arenis Bl Bertha de Marbais
St Goneri of Treguier St Gundenis of Carthage Bl Herveus Bl Jean-Baptiste de Bruxelles St Marina of Ourense St Maternus of Milan St Minnborinus St Pambo of the Nitrian Desert St Philastrius of Brescia St Rufillus of Forlimpopoli St Scariberga of Yvelines
St Theneva St Theodosia of Constantinople — Martyrs of Silistria – 7 saints: Seven Christians who were martyred together. No details about them have survived but the names – Bassus, Donata, Justus, Marinus, Maximus, Paulus and Secunda. They were martyred in Silistria (Durostorum), Moesia (in modern Bulgaria), date unknown.
Martyrs of Tivoli – 8 saints: A widow, Symphorosa and her seven sons ( Crescens, Eugene, Julian, Justin, Nemesius, Primitivus and Stracteus) martyred in Tivoli, Italy in the 2nd-century persecutions of Hadrian.