Thought for the Day – 20 July– Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Surest Way to Avoid Sin
“The surest way of never offending God, is to love Him. If we love God sincerely, it will be impossible for us to offend Him. “Love,” says St Paul, “is the fulfilment of the Law,” (Rom 13:10) and charity “is the bond of perfection” (Col 3:14). If all our actions are inspired by the love of God, it will not matter how insignificant they are, for they will be pleasing to Him and will gain merit for ourselves. Then it will be impossible for us to sin.
If most of our actions, on the other hand, are dictated by an inordinate attachment to creatures and to ourselves, they will certainly not lead us to God. Our hearts need love and cannot live without it. But whom shall we love if we do not love God, Who is our Creator and Redeemer? We shall find love or a moment in beauty, in goodness and in pleasure but, it will soon pass away and leave us with empty hearts. God is our highest good and only He can fully satisfy our hearts. But He wishes us to belong completely to Himself.
Our hearts are too tiny to be divided between God and creatures. We must belong entirely to God. If we love Him sincerely, all created things will form a ladder, which will help us to ascent to Him. Let us love God and remain united to Him in all our actions. Then sin will never find it’s way into our souls.”
Quote/s of the Day – 20 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 14: 21 – 15: 1; Exodus 15: 8-9, 10 and 12, 17; Matthew 12: 46-50
“Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, … he is my brother and sister and mother.”
“Do whatever he tells you.”
“You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you.”
“A person who wishes to become the Lord’s disciple must repudiate a human obligation, however honourable it may appear, if it slows us, ever so slightly, in giving the wholehearted obedience we owe to God.”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Neither do I condemn you but, having been made secure concerning the past, be on your guard in the future. I, for My part, will not condemn you, I have blotted out what you have done; keep what I have commanded, that you may gain what I have promised.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace
“We must note, therefore, that he that does things pleasing to God, serves Christ but he that follows his own wishes, is a follower, rather of himself and not of God.”
One Minute Reflection – 20 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 14: 21 – 15: 1; Exodus 15: 8-9, 10 and 12, 17; Matthew 12: 46-50
“And pointing to his disciples, he said, “Behold my mother and my brothers!” – Matthew 12:49.
REFLECTION – “.“His Mother is the whole Church, since it is she, who, by God’s grace, gives birth to Christ’s members, that is to say, those who are faithful to Him. Again, His Mother is every holy soul who does the Father’s will and whose fruitful charity is made known in those, to whom she gives birth for Him, “until he has been formed in them” (cf Gal 4:19)…St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father and Doctor of Grace of the Church – Sermon 72
PRAYER – Almighty Father, You made us Your children, You called us from all ages and You formed us by Holy Mother Church. Grant, we pray, that by Your grace, we may be ever faithful to her and be guided by Your Holy Spirit of love. O God may YourMother and ours and Your holy Angels and Saints intercede for us that, being made imitators of the Lord’s Passion, we may merit to be co-heirs of His Kingdom. Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 20 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”
Our Lord, King of all! By St Albert the Great (1200-1280) Doctor of the Church
We pray to You, O Lord, who are the supreme Truth, and all truth is from You. We beseech You, O Lord, who are the highest Wisdom, and all the wise depend on You for their wisdom. You are the supreme Joy, and all who are happy owe it to You. You are the Light of minds and all receive their understanding from You. We love, we love You above all. We seek You, we follow You, and we are ready to serve You. We desire to dwell under Your power for You are the King of all. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 20 July – Saint Joseph Barsabbas the Just (1st Century) Disciple of Jesus, Martyr Bishop. Also known as – Justus, Barsabbas, Joseph Basassas, Joseph of Barsabas, Joseph the Just.
The Roman Martyrology states today: “The birthday of the blessed Joseph, surnamed the Just, whom the Apostles selected with the blessed Matthias, for the Apostleshop in the place of the traitor, Judas. The lot having fallen upon Matthias, Joseph, notwithstanding, continued to preach and advance in virtue and after having sustained from the Jews, many persecutions for the Faith of Christ, happoily ended his life in Judea.”
“Wherefore, of these men who have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us; beginning from the baptism of John, until the day wherein he was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus,and Matthias. And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, who knowest the heart of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, to take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath, by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. And they gave them lots and the lot fell upon Matthias and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” ― Acts 1:21 – 26 D-R
St John Chrysostom writes, “The other candidate (Joseph) was not annoyed, for the apostolic writers would not have concealed failings of their own, seeing they have told of the very chief Apostles, that on other occasions had indignation and not only once but again and again.”
It clear that Joseph Barsabbas (also called “Justus”) must have spent much time with the Apostles and witnessed many of the wondrous events in the life of Jesus. Further identification of Joseph is uncertain. In Christian tradition he is numbered among the Seventy disciples mentioned in Luke 10:1–24, although the biblical text mentions no names. “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.” (10:1)
Very little is known about Joseph Barsabbas outside of the apostle selection by lots. Tradition believes that he went to Eleutheropolis (about 25 miles from Jerusalem) where he became Bishop Justus of Eleutheropolis. The town was renamed over the centuries. Its original Aramaic name Beth Gabra, translates as the “house of the mighty one.” The Romans gave it the Greek name, Eleutheropolis, meaning “City of the Free.”
Rev Alban Butler says – “After the dispersion of the disciples he preached the gospel to many nations and among other miracles, drank poison without receiving any hurt, as Papias and from him ,Eusebius, testify. This saint, from his extraordinary piety, was surnamed the Just.“
Nuestra Señora de Zocueca / Our Lady of Zocueca, Bailén, Jaén, Andalucía, Spain (1808 – 20 July:
Around 1150, Mozarabic Christians built a rudimentary Chapel near the Rumblar River, the Guadalquivir tribuitary that waters this region in southern Spain, at a place called Zocueca. When Alfonso VII reconquered the area in 1155, people gave thanks to the Virgin at the Shrine. In the 1400s it was was rebuilt, and from this period the graceful, standing Gothic Statue of the Mother and Child seems to date, although tradition holds it to be older than the first Chapel.
During the cholera epidemic of 1681, the people vowed to hold an annual feast in honour of the Virgin, preceded by a day of fasting, if she would save them. The promise has been kept on 5 August ever since. The Chapel was re-decorated in Baroque style in the 1700s.
In 1808, people again thanked the Virgin of Zocueca for her help during the Battle of Bailén, the first Spanish victory against Napoleon. Annually since 1810, the municipality commemorates the battle with a series of civil, patriotic, and religious events from 17-22 July, reaching their greatest splendour on the 20th, when the Patroness, the Virgin of Zocueca, goes through the City streets in procession. Another event in her honour, the romería or pilgrimage, takes place on the last Sunday in September in thanks for her help in ending a plague of locusts which threatened the region’s crops in the late 1800s. Men carry the Statue, bristling with decorations, on their shoulders from its usual home in the Church of the Incarnation in Bailén, to the Sanctuary four miles distant, where overnight vigil is kept before a sunrise Mass. In 1925, the Virgin of Zocueca was proclaimed “Captain General” and her Statue given a military sash. After the Statue burned in the Civil War, religious sculptor Jose Maria Alcacer made a replica, blessed on 5 August1954.
Bl Anne Cartier St Ansegisus St Aurelius of Carthage St Cassian of Saint Saba St Chi Zhuze St Elijah the Prophet
Blessed Gregory Lopez (1542-1596) “The Mystery Man” – Hermit, Spiritual Advisor, Writer. Around 1585, word of a “Mystery Man” began to leak into Mexico City, a strange hermit who lived out in the lonely valley of Guesteca, who walked miles to go to Mass, lived totally subject to “Lady Poverty” and had travelled from the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Spain (which dates from 712), to her Shrine in Mexico (which dates from 1531). Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2018/07/20/saint-of-the-day-20-july-blessed-gregory-lopez-1542-1596/
St Maria Fu Guilin St Mère St Paul of Saint Zoilus St Rorice of Limoges St Severa of Oehren St Severa of Saint Gemma St Wulmar
Martyrs of Corinth – 22 saints: 22 Christians who were martyred together. We know nothing else about them but the names – • Appia • Calorus • Cassius • Celsus • Cyriacus • Donatus • Emilis • Felix • Fructus • Magnus • Maximus • Nestita • Partinus • Pasterus • Paul • Romanus • Spretus • Tertius • Theodolus • Ueratia • Valerian • Victor. They were martyred in Corinth, Greece.
Martyrs of Damascus – 16 saints: 16 Christians who were martyred together. We know the names of six of then, but no details about any of them – Cassia, Julian, Macrobius, Maximus, Paul and Sabinus. They were martyred in Damascus, Syria, date unknown.
Martyrs of Seoul – 8 saints: Eight lay native Koreans in various states of life who were murdered together for their faith. • Anna Kim Chang-gum • Ioannes Baptista Yi Kwang-nyol • Lucia Kim Nusia • Magdalena Yi Yong-hui • Maria Won Kwi-im • Martha Kim Song-im • Rosa Kim No-sa • Theresia Yi Mae-im They were martyred on 20 July 1839 at the Small West Gate, Seoul, South Korea and Canonised on 6 May 1984 by St Pope John Paul.
Martyrs of Zhaojia – 3 saints: Married lay woman and her two daughters in the apostolic vicariate of Southeastern Zhili, China. During the persecutions of the Boxer Rebellion, the three of them hid in a well to avoid being raped. They were found, dragged out, and killed for being Christian. Martyrs. They were – Maria Zhao Guoshi (mother), Maria Zhao and Rosa Zhao (sisters). They were martyred in late July 1900 in Zhaojia, Wuqiao, Hebei, China.
Martyrs of Zhujiahe – 4 saints: Two Jesuit missionary priests and two local lay people who supported their work who were martyred together in the Boxer Rebellion during and immediately after Mass. • Léon-Ignace Mangin • Maria Zhu Wushi • Paul Denn • Petrus Zhu Rixin They were martyred on 20 July 1900 in church in Zhujiahe, Jingxian, Hebei, China and Canonised on 1 October 2000 by St Pope John Paul.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Abraham Furones y Furones • Blessed Antoni Bosch Verdura • Blessed Francisca Aldea y Araujo • Blessed Jacinto García Riesco • Blessed Joan Páfila Monllaó • Blessed Josep Tristany Pujol • Blessed Matías Cardona-Meseguer • Blessed Rita Josefa Pujalte y Sánchez • Blessed Vicente López y López