Thought for the Day – 21 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“It is not enough to read and to meditate on the Gospel. We should do so with the correct dispossition, which are three in number. In the first place, we should read the Gospel with the recollection of one who prays, “Prayer must often interrupt reading,” says St Bonaventure. Now and again, while we are reading, we should lift our minds to God and ask Him to enlighten us and to inspire us, towards greater fervour.
Heavenly truths cannot be penetrated or understood without the light of grace which comes from on high. “I am the way and the truth and the life,” Jesus said, “no-one comes to the Father but through me,” (Jn 14:6). The Gospel, therefore, cannot be read like any other book. It is the word of supernatural life, which cannot be infused into our souls, except by grace, for which we should pray humbly and with fervour.
In the second place, we should read slowly and reflectively. “Read with the heart and not with the eyes,” writes Bossuet. “Profit by that which you understand, adore that which you don’t.”
In the Gospel, there is always something which is applicable to ourselves and to the particular circumstances in which we find ourselves. The Saints found there, their own particular road to sanctity, to which they had been called; from our reflective and devout study of the sacred pages, we also shall find what Jesus wants, in a particular way, from us!”
Quote/s of the Day – 21 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” and the Memorial of St Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap (1559-1619) Doctor of the Church
“A sower went out to sow”
“When we stand in the light it is not we who illumine the light and cause it to shine but we are illuminated and made shining by the light… God grants His blessings on those who serve Him because they are serving Him and on those who follow Him because they are following Him but He receives no blessing from them because He is perfect and without need.”
St Irenaeus (c 130 – c 202) Bishop & Martyr, Father of the Church
“It is no advantage to be near the light, if the eyes are closed.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“… [The Kingdom of God] … is within you. That is, it depends on your own wills and is in your own power, whether or not you receive it. Everyone, that has attained to justification, by means of faith in Christ and decorated by every virtue, is counted worthy, of the kingdom of heaven.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Do you know what those people are like who are not sustained by that holy Word or who abuse it? They are like the sick without a doctor, like a traveller who has gone astray without a guide, like a poor man without means. Let us rather say, my brethren, that it is altogether impossible to love God and please Him, without being nourished by this divine Word!”
St John-Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)
O the Word of My Lord Song of a Young Prophet By Brother Damian Lundy FSC (1944-1997)
O the word of my Lord Deep within my being, Oh the word of my Lord, You have filled my mind.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you through and through, I chose you to be Mine. Before you left your mother’s side I called to you, My child, to be My sign. Refrain
I know that you are very young, But I will make you strong. I’ll fill you with My word And you will travel through the land, Fulfilling My command Which you have heard. Refrain
And everywhere you are to go My hand will follow you; You will not be alone. In all the danger that you fear You’ll find Me very near, Your words, My own. Refrain,
This hymn, based on Jeremiah 1, was composed by English Brother and teacher Brother Damian Lundy of the De La Salle Order. It is sometimes referred to as “Song of a Young Prophet.”
One Minute Reflection – 21 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings:Exodus 16: 1-5, 9-15; Psalms 78: 18-19, 23-24, 25-26, 27-28; Matthew 13: 1-9
“Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” – Matthew 13:8
REFLECTION – “Note that Jesus does not say – ‘The careless received some seed and lost it, the rich received other seed and choked it and the superficial received some seed and betrayed it.‘ It is not His intention to rebuke them severely, lest He should cast them into despair. Christ leaves the reproof to the conscience of His hearers. Remember also, in the parable of the net that much was gathered which was unprofitable. But He speaks this parable as if to anoint His disciples and to teach them, that they are not to be despondent ,even though those lost may be more than those who receive the word. It was with this same ease that the Lord Himself continued to sow, even He who fully foreknew the outcomes.
But why would it be reasonable to sow among thorns or on rocks or on the pathway? With regard to the seeds and the earth it cannot sound very reasonable. But in the case of human souls and their instructions, it is praiseworthy and greatly to be honoured. For the farmer might be laughed at for doing this, since it is impossible for a rock to bear fruit. It is not likely that the path will become anything but a path or the thorns anything but thorns. But with respect to the rational soul, this is not so predictable. For here there is such a thing as the rock changing and becoming rich land. Here it is possible, that the wayside might no longer be trampled upon or lie open to all who pass by but that it may become a fertile field. In the case of the soul, the thorns may be destroyed and the seed enjoy full security. For had it been impossible, this sower would not have sown. And if the reversal did not take place in all, this is no fault of the Sower but of the souls who are unwilling to be changed. He has done His part. If they betrayed what they received of Him, He is blameless, the Exhibitor of such love to humanity.
But mark this carefully: there is more than one road to destruction. There are differing ones and wide apart from one another. For they who are like the wayside are the coarse-minded and indifferent and careless but those on the rock – such as fail from willed weakness only.” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor – The Gospel of Matthew: Homily,44
PRAYER – Holy, almighty God, You sent Your prophets and then Your only Son to teach us and lead us to eternal life. Remember Lord, Your solemn covenant, renewed and consecrated by the blood of the Lamb, so that Your people may obtain forgiveness for their sins and a continued growth in grace. Send us Your Spirit, to enlighten our hearts and minds and grow in love for You and the Word made flesh. Guide us in our understanding and living, by the Words of the Word. Holy Mother Mary intercede for us, that 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 – 21 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”
Lord, I Am Yours Prayer of Dedication to the Lord By St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
Lord, I am Yours and I must belong to no-one but You. My soul is Yours and I must live only by You. My will is Yours and must love only for You. I must love You as my first cause, since I am from You. I must love You as my end and rest, since I am for You. I must love You more than my own being, since my being subsists by You. I must love You more than myself, since I am all Yours and all in You. Amen
Saint of the Day – 21 July – Saint Arbogast of Strasbourg (Died 678) Bishop of Strasbour, Missionary, Monk, Hermit, Confessor, miracle-worker. Born as Arascach (Irish) in the 7th century in Ireland and died in 678 in Strasbourg of natural causes. Patronage – St Arbogast is the Principal Patron of the Diocese and City of Strasbourg. T he Roman Martyrology states: “At Strasbourg, St Arbogastus, a Bishop, renowned for miracles.”
We have very little historical information of his life, other than that he came to Francie, lived as a Hermit quickly gathering a reputation for wisdom and holiness. He was then appointed Bishop of Strasbourg and is venerated as the saint who brought Christianity to the Alsace. Because of this, the Christian name “Arbogast” became especially popular in the region. His origin is generally believed to be Ireland,
According to the vita, a 10th-century hagiographical account of his life, Arbogast found a warm friend in the King Dagobert II of Austrasia, who reigned between 673-679. On Dagobert’s accession, Arbogast was appointed Bishop of Strasbourg and was famed for sanctity and miracles.
Still according to the vita, Arbogast brought back to life Dagobert’s son, Siegebert, who had been killed by a fall from his horse. Siegebert had been boar hunting with his father’s huntsmen in forests and became separated from the others. He encountered a boar and his startled horse reared, throwing him and trampling him while his foot was caught in his stirrup. His companions found him and took him home, where he died the next day. King Dagobert summoned Arbogast,and the holy man prayed to Mary, Mother of God – as she had carried the life of the entire world, would she not intercede for the life of this one boy? Siegebert stood up in his burial shroud. When the King offered Bishop Arbogast money in reward, he declined, suggesting instead, that land be donated to build a Cathedral at Strasbourg..
His life as a Hermit in the forest of Haguenau is the domain of legend. But what is true is that the great Bishop Arbogast, installed throughout his territory, Monasteries intended to shine the light of the Gospel in the pagan countryside: – let us mention the Abbey of Surbourg, in the forest of ‘Haguenau and, near Strasbourg, an Abbey which will later bear the name of our saintly Bishop.
Knowing that “it is the Lord who builds up the city,” he put his hope in the prayers of his Monks. Arbogast himself had a great devotion to Saint Martin of Tours, to whom he dedicated, the Monastery of Surbourg.
For six years, he was thus the Good Shepherd of his Church, filled with divine Wisdom, holy virility and fatherly goodness. He spoke the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus his Church experienced a true Christian renewal, he himself deserved to enter into the joy of his Lord as a good and faithful servant and to receive from Christ, the Prince of Shepherds, the incorruptible crown of glory (En.).
According to the vita, he died in 678. His body was buried in the City cemetery and near his grave stood a Chapel, which he had dedicated to Saint Michael. Later, his relics were transferred in part to the Saint-Arbogast Monastery, near Strasbourg, where, his memory is celebrated every year as a Monk and Bishop of great holiness and miracles..
St Arbogast appears on the Coat of Arms of Batzendorf and today, on his Feast, a special Mass, granted by the Holy Father, is celebrated in his honour.
Collect: O God, you wanted Blessed Arbogast, Your confessor and Pontiff, to become wholeheartedly, he model of his flock; grant us to realise, under his protection in our deeds, what he taught by the word of his mouth.
Notre-Dame-de-Verdun / Our Lady of Verdun, Lorraine , France (5th Century) – 21 July:
The present Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de -erdun is both a Cathedral and a national monument of France. It has a long and ancient history. It was in about the year 330 when Saint Sanctinus, a disciple of Saint Denis, converted the City of Verdun to the True Faith and later ,made it an Episcopal City when he became its first Bishop. He built a Church there in honour of Saints Peter and Paul. In the year 457 Saint Pulchrone, built the first Church located at the site where Our Lady of Verdun is presently located. The fifth Bishop of Verdun, Saint Pulchrone, built the Church inside the walls of the City on ancient Roman ruins. This Church was actually named to honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of God, a title that had recently been confirmed at the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon. It was at the Council of Ephesus in 431 that Mary was formally affirmed to be Theotokos, “God-bearer,” or “the one who gives birth to God.” At Chalcedon, the nature of Christ was formally defined, teaching that He was God and man, “one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, known in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation.” With this definition Mary was shown to be the Mother of God and not just of Our Lord in His human nature. The Church and Our Lady of Verdun was celebrated for numerous miracles. In the year 990, Bishop Heimon built a new Cathedral to Our Lady of Verdun, and in the 12th century a choir and two portals were added. In 997, the Emperor Otto III conferred on this Bishop Heimon, or Haymon, the title of Count, making him and his successors Episcopal Counts. The Cathedral was consecrated by Pope Eugene III in 1147. In the 14th century the flat wooden ceiling was replaced with a vaulted ceiling and side-Chapels were added to the nave. Another side Chapel, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of the Assumption, was built in the 16th century. In 1755 the roof and towers were hit by lightning, which set them both on fire, which did significant damage to the Church. In 1760 the Church was repaired and rebuilt in the Neo-Classical style.
The Cathedral was once again severely damaged in World War I, as it was hit by artillery rounds in the Battle of Verdun, which destroyed the towers. The crypt was rediscovered during the renovation that went on until the year 1936 and a re-inauguration took place in 1935. The millennial celebration of the Cathedral took place in 1990. The Arbennes family were the Counts of Verdun, and Godfrey of Bouillon was a member of that family. Godfrey gave up his right to the title before leaving on the First Crusade.
St Arbogast of Strasbourg (Died c 678) Bishop St Barhadbescialas St Benignus of Moyenmoutier Bl Claudius of Avignon St Claudius of Troyes St Corona of Marceille Bl Cristóbal López de Valladolid Orea Bl Daniel Molini St Daniel the Prophet St Eleutherius of Marseille St Eternus of Evreaux Bl Gabriel Pergaud St Iosephus Wang Yumei St John of Edessa St John of Moyenmoutier Bl Juan de Las Varillas Bl Juan de Zambrana St Jucundinus of Troyes St Julia of Troyes St Justus of Troyes Bl Parthenius of Thessaly St Praxides of Rome St Simeon Salus
St Wastrada St Zoticus of Comana — Martyrs of Africa – 6 saints: Six Christians who were martyred together. We know no other details about them but the names – Emilian, Hugal, Motanus, Saphus, Stercorius and Victor. They were martyred in an unknown location in Africa, date unknown.