Thought for the Day – 19 JuLy – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Falling into Sin
“When we realise that we have fallen, what should we do about it? We must avoid two extremes and opposing kinds of reaction – hardness of heart and an excessive anxiety, which may lead to discouragement and loss of confidence in God’s infinite mercy.
Above all, we must avoid hardness of heart and that accompanying state of indifference which causes us to become immersed in sin. Let us hope that we shall never foolishly boost: “I have sinned and what has befallen me? for the Lord bides His time. Of forgiveness, be not over-confident, adding sin upon sin ” (Ecclus 5:4-5). When we see that we have fallen into sin, let us cry out at once, like the prodigal son: “ I will get up and go to my Father” (Lk 15:19). How unfortunate I am, if I have lost the friendship of God! But God is an infinitely merciful Father and I must throw myself into His arms and implore His forgiveness. When we have sinned, a good Confession will give us God’s forgiveness and peace of soul. Let us go to Him humbly and penitently, trusting that He will give us the kiss of peace.”
Quote/s of the Day – 19 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 14: 5-18; Exodus 15: 1bc-2, 3-4, 5-6; Matthew 12: 38-42 and the Memorial of St Arsenius s the Great (c 354-c 449)
“The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgement with this generation and condemn it, for they repented …”
“If you will, you can make me clean.”
“I have come, to warn the faithful, to amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not continue to offend Our Lord, Who is already too much offended.”
Our Lady of Fatima 1917
There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healing, time for change. Have you slipped? Rise up! Have you sinned? Cease! Do not stand among sinners but leap aside!”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Today, for those who will not repent at the approach of the kingdom of heaven, the reproof of the Lord Jesus is the same… As for when the end of the world will be, that is God’s concern… Even so, the time is very near for each of us, for we are mortal.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace
“Brethren, the just man shall scarcely be saved. What, then, will become of the sinner?”
One Minute Reflection – 19 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 14: 5-18; Exodus 15: 1bc-2, 3-4, 5-6; Matthew 12: 38-42
“They repented” – Matthew 12:41
REFLECTION – “Let us meditate on the Ninevites…, let us listen to what they did. After the terrifying proclamation made by Jonah before this gluttonous and drunken people…, like capable workmen they made hast to restore the City their evil deeds had destroyed, taking a sure rock for its foundation…: repentance. After washing away its filth in the floods of their tears, they adorned their Town with their prayer and, converted Nineveh, pleased the Merciful One. For she immediately showed forth the beauty of her heart to “he who searches the heart” (Ps 7,10)… rubbed with the oil of their good deeds, perfumed with fasting, she returned to the One who loves her… and He embraced her repentance. Its king, a wise man,… prepared animals and flocks as if to bring them along in dowry, saying: “O God, my Saviour, I offer everything to You, only reconcile, bring back in grace, she who prostituted herself and betrayed… Your purity, for see how, in her love, she offers her repentance to You like a gift… If I, the sovereign king, have sinned then strike me alone and take pity on all these others. But if we have all fallen short, hear the voices of all… May Your help come upon us and all fear will be dissolved. Nothing will frighten us if You receive what we are offering You – our repentance… Rebellious Nineveh throws herself at Your feet and I, a miserable king and Your wretched servant, I sit down in ashes since I am unworthy of my throne (Joh 3,6). Because I have scorned the crown, I throw dust on my head. Because I am not worthy of my purple, I have put on sackcloth and burst into lamentation. Therefore, do not despise me, cast a glance upon us, O my Saviour, and accept our repentance.” Son of the One God, O only God, those who love You, wish to carry out Your Will; protect them in Your mercy… As in former days You took pity on the Ninevites… so today, release from judgement those who sing to You and grant me forgiveness in return for my confession… Since I have no works worthy of Your glory, at least save me, my Saviour, for my words of contrition – You Who love repentance.” – St Romanos Melodios (c 490-c 556) Monk, Poet, Hymnist – Hymn « Nineveh » § 4-17; SC 99
PRAYER – My Lord Jesus Christ, You have made this journey to die for me, with love unutterable and I have so many times unworthily abandoned You but now I love You with my whole heart and because I love You, I repent sincerely for having ever offended You. Pardon me, my God and permit me to accompany You on this journey. You go to die for love of me, I wish also, my beloved Redeemer, to die for love of Thee. My Jesus, I will live and die always united to You.” Amen – By St Alphonsus Mary Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church
Our Morning Offering – 19 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”
Prayer for Five Graces By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Eternal Father, Your Son has promised that You would grant, all the graces we ask of You in His name. Trusting in this promise and in the name of and through the merits of Jesus Christ, I ask of You five special graces: First, I ask pardon for all the offenses I have committed, for which I am sorry with all my heart because I have offended Your infinite goodness. Second, I ask for Your divine Light, which will enable me to see the vanity of all things of this earth and see also, Your infinite greatness and goodness. Third, I ask for a share in Your love, so that I may detach myself from all creatures, especially from myself and love only Your holy will. Fourth, grant me the grace to have confidence in the merits of Jesus Christ and in the intercession of Mary. Fifth, I ask for the grace of perseverance, knowing that, whenever I call on You for assistance, You will answer my call and come to my aid. I fear only, that I will neglect to turn to You in time of need and thus bring myself to ruin. Grant me the grace to pray always, O Eternal Father, in the name of Our Lord Jesus. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 19 July – Saint Arsenius the Great (c 354-c 449) Deacon, Hermit, Ascetic, theologian, writer. Born in s 354 in Rome and died in c 449 at Troë near Memphis, Egypt of natural causes. Arsenius one of the most highly regarded of the Desert Fathers, whose teachings were greatly influential on the development of asceticism and the contemplative life. His contemporaries so admired him as to surname him “the Great”. Also known as – Arsenius the Roman, Arsenius the Deacon.
The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “At Scete, a mountain in Eqypt, St Arsenius, a Deacon of the Roman Church, in the time of Theodosius, he retired into a wilderness, where, endowed with every virtue and shedding continual tears, he yielded his soul to God.”
Arsenius was born in Rome to a Christian, Roman senatorial family. After his parents died, his sister Afrositty was admitted to a community of virgins,and he gave all their riches to the poor, and lived an ascetic life. Arsenius became famous for his virtue and wisdom. Emperor Theodosius the Great, having requested the Emperor Gratian and Pope Damasus to find him in the West a tutor for his son Arcadius, decided on Arsenius, a man well read in Greek literature, a member of a noble Roman family and a Deacon. Upon receving the request to become the tutor of young Arcadius, he left and reached Constantinople in 383 and continued as tutor in the imperial family for eleven years, during the last three of which he also had charge of his pupil’s brother ,Honorius.
Coming one day to see his children at their studies, Theodosius found them sitting while Arsenius talked to them standing. This he would not tolerate and he ordered the teacher to sit while the pupils stood.
Upon his arrival at Court, Arsenius had been given a splendid establishment, and probably because the Emperor so desired, he lived a very great lifestyle but all the time felt a growing inclination to renounce the world. After praying for a long time to be enlightened as to what he should do, he heard a voice saying “Arsenius, flee the company of men and thou shalt be saved.” Thereupon he embarked secretly for Alexandria and hastening to the desert of Scetis, asked to be admitted among the solitaries who dwelt there.
St John the Dwarf, to whose cell he was conducted, though previously warned of the quality of his visitor, took no notice of him and left him standing by himself while he invited the rest to sit down at table. When the John was half finished with his meal, he threw down some bread before Arsenius, bidding him, with an air of indifference, to eat if he would. Arsenius meekly picked up the bread and ate, sitting on the ground. Satisfied with this proof of humility, St.John kept him under his direction. The new solitary was from the beginning most exemplary, yet unwittingly retained some of his old habits, such as sitting cross-legged or laying one foot over the other. Noticing this, the Abbot requested someone to imitate Arsenius’s posture at the next gathering of the brethren and upon his doing so, forthwith rebuked him publicly. Arsenius took the overt hint and corrected himself.
During the fifty-five years of his solitary life he was always the most meanly clad of all, thus punishing himself for his former seeming vanity in the world. In like manner, to atone for having used perfumes at Court, he never changed the water in which he moistened the palm leaves of which he made mats but only poured in fresh water upon it as it wasted, thus letting it become of bad odour.
Even while engaged in manual labour, he never relaxed in his application to prayer . At all times copious tears of devotion fell from his eyes. But what distinguished him the most ,was his disinclination to all that might interrupt his union with God. When, after a long period of searching, his place of retreat was discovered, he not only refused to return to Court and act as adviser to his former pupil the Emperor Arcadius but he would not even be his almoner to the poor and the Monasteries of the neighbourhood. He invariably denied himself to visitors, no matter what their rank and condition and left to his disciples the care of entertaining them.
His contemporaries so greatly admired him that they gave him the surname “the Great.” A biography of Arsenius was written by Theodore the Studite (750–826). Two of his writings are still extant – a guideline for monastic life titled “Instruction and Advice” and a commentary on the Gospel of Luke titled “On the Temptation of the Law.” Apart from this, many sayings attributed to St Arsenius are contained in a collection of quotations of the Saints in the Orthodoz tradition.
Saint Arsenius was a man who lived in solitude and silence, as evidenced by an adage of his: “Many times I spoke and as a result felt sorry but I never regretted my silence.”
Nuestra Señora del Milagro / Our Lady of the Miracle, Lima, Peru (1630) – 19 July and 27 November:
The Franciscan Friars who accompanied the Conquest to Peru hung an image of the Immaculate Conception over the door of their first Church in Lima. On missionary journeys around the region, they would take the image, “La Misionera,” with them. They were in Cusco, the Inca capital, on 23 May 1536 when, during the rebellion of Manco Inca against the two-year Spanish regime, natives trapped many Spaniards in a hut and set fire to the straw roof. La Misionera was seen by all to leave her place inside and to appear above the burning building together with Santiago (St.James the Greater). The fire ceased and all were saved. In honoUr of this event, the Spanish built the Church of the Triumph, now an adjunct of the Cusco Cathedral. Back in Lima, after the Franciscans surrounded the little Chapel with a big Monastery complex, the image over the door was gradually forgotten. By the 1600s, it had one regular devotee, a poor woman. One day she heard the Virgin speak: “You alone, daughter, among all the people here, visit me and pray to me. One day I will repay you.” After the woman told saintly Brother Juan Gomez, he often remarked, “Lima does not recognise the great good it has in this miraculous image, but soon it will know.”
On 27 November 1630, when most of the people of Lima were attending a bullfight in the main plaza, a violent earthquake struck the City. All were terrified, for it seemed certain that they would perish. But those near the Franciscan Church saw the image of Our Lady turn in the direction of the Blessed Sacrament, with her hands held in suppliant gesture. Abruptly, the earthquake stopped.
Several hours later, at vespers that evening, while the populace was leaving the Church, the image, in full view of all present, returned to its original position, when the Marian hymn Tota Pulchra was intoned. This painting shows the Virgin kneeling in prayer, with her arms crossed upon her breast, presumably interceding for Lima.
Now called “Our Lady of the Miracle,” the image was given a magnificent new Church. In 1835, the church burned down. Only the image remained intact. On J19 une 1953, the Papal Nuncio crowned the miraculous image The feast of Our Lady of the Miracle is on 27 November the anniversary of the 1630 earthquake and today the Crowning is honoured each year.
St Ambrose Autpertus Bl Antonio of Valladolid St Aurea of Cordoba St Arsenius the Great (c 354-c 449) Deacon, Hermit, Desert Father. Bl Bernhard of Rodez St Daria of Constantinople St Epaphras of Colosse St Felix of Verona
St Macrina the Younger (c 327-379) Virgin, Ascetic. With charm and grace, St Macrina ruled the roost in a family of saints. St Basil the Elder and St Emmelia, her parents, had ten children including the younger St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church, St Gregory of Nyssa (c 335–C 395) Father of the Church and St Peter of Sebaste Bishop (c 340–391). As the eldest child, Macrina exercised a formative influence on her more famous brothers and even on her mother. Her Life: https://anastpaul.com/2019/07/19/saint-of-the-day-19-july-saint-macrina-the-younger-c-327-379/
St Martin of Trier St Michael the Sabaitè Bl Pascasio of Lyon
St Romain of Ryazan St Pope Symachus St Vicente Cecilia Gallardo — Martyrs of Meros – 3 saints: Three Christians tortured and martyred together in the persecutions of emperor Julian the Apostate and governor Almachio. We know nothing else about them but the names – Macedoniuis, Tatian and Theodule. They were burned to death on an iron grill in Meros, Phrygia (in modern Turkey).
Martyrs of China: 3 Beati Elisabeth Qin Bianshi Elisabeth Ioannes Baptista Zhu Wurui Simon Qin Chunfu