Thought for the Day – 5 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
My Life is Christ
“St Paul reached such a degree of union with Christ that he could exclaim” “To me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21). Elsewhere he says” “It is now no longer I that live but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20). This is a characteristic of the Saints. They live their own lives no longer, for they live the life of Christ. That is to say, their minds and hearts are always fixed on Jesus. They love the Lord, more than all things and, more than themselves. God is the object of all their desires, affections and actions. As a result, the soul is transfigured and is infused with divine life, so that it does nothing which is not activated by grace. In the Saints, then, there is reflected something heavenly which attracts and stimulates one to virtue.
The Saints preached effectively in simple, unadorned language, as in the case of the Cure of Ars. But, their most effective sermon was the example of their lives. They could say with St Paul: “To me to live is Christ.” They could repeat the thought of St Jerome: “Christ is the breath of my lips.” Like St John Chrysostom, they could say: “My heart is the heart of Christ.” They could say with St Augustine: “I am only an instrument in the service of Christ” and, with St Anselm: “My eyes are the eyes of Christ.”
When we meditate on these words, which signify the height of sanctity, we feel very small, shabby and far from the Christian perfection to which we should aspire. Perhaps we are still immersed in sin, or perhaps, we are wavering between the things of this world and the things of God, or perhaps, as yet, we have not given up our egoism and complacent mediocrity in order to offer ourselves entirely to God. Real Christianity demands that we renounce ourselves, live the life of Christ and, make every effort to acquire perfection.”
One Minute Reflection – 5 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” – Readings: Isaiah 35: 4-7a; Psalm 146: 7-10 (1b); James 2: 1-5; Mark 7: 31-37 and the Memorial of St Lawrence Justinian (1381-1455) Bishop
“And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears and, after spitting. touched his tongue.” – Mark 7:33
REFLECTION – “Divine Strength came down, which we humans cannot touch; it covered itself with a palpable body so that the poor might touch it and, in touching Christ’s Humanity, might perceive His Divinity. The deaf-mute sensed that his ears and his tongue were being touched with fingers of flesh. Through those palpable Fingers, he perceived the intangible Divinity when the bonds of his tongue were broken and the closed doors of his ears opened. For the body’s Architect and Artisan came to him and with a gentle word, without pain, He created openings in deaf ears. Then, too, the mouth, that had been closed and until then, incapable of giving birth to a word, brought forth, into the world, the praise of Him who thus caused its sterility to bear fruit.
In the same way, the Lord made paste with His saliva and spread it over the eyes of the man born blind (Jn 9:6), so we might understand that, like the deaf-mute, He was lacking something. An inborn imperfection in our human dough was removed thanks to the leaven that comes from His perfect body …. To complete what was missing in these human bodies of ours, He gave something of Himself, just as He gives Himself to be eaten [in the Eucharist]. By this means, He causes our deficiencies to disappear and raises the dead, so that we might recognise that, thanks to His body in which “the fullness of deity resides” (Col 2:9), the deficiencies in our humanity are brought to completion and true life is given to mortals by this Body in which true life resides.” – St Ephrem (c306-373) Deacon in Syria, Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon “On our Lord,” 10
PRAYER – Almighty and merciful God, open the ears and eyes of our hearts and fill us with Your grace. May we follow You in holiness all the days of our lives. Grant we pray, that as You brought Your Saints and Martyrs to overcome fearlessly, the persecutions of Your people, that we too may remain invincible under Your protection and by their prayers, be strengthened against the snares of the enemy. St Lawrence Justinian, pray for us in these times of evil! Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Our Morning Offering – 5 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” – The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
A Eucharistic Offering By Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
Lord, all things in heaven and earth are Yours. I desire to offer myself to You in free and perpetual oblation, so that I may forever be with You. Lord, in simpliciy of heart, I offer myself this day to You, to be Your servant in service and sacrifice of perpetual praise. Accept me with the oblation of Your precious Body, which this day I offer You in the presence of Your holy Angels, here invisibly present, so that it may be to my salvation and to the salvation of all people. Amen
Saint of the Day – 5 September – Saint Lawrence Justinian (1381-1455) Bishop of Venice, Confessor, Reformer, Spiritual writer. Born on 1 September 1381 at Venice, Italy and died on 8 January 1455 at Venice of natural causes. Also known as – Lorenzo Giustiniani, Laurence…Laurentius…Patriarch of Venice.Patronage – Venice, Italy. Additional Memorial – 8 Jamuary.
The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “The Feast of St Lawrence Justinian, first Patriarch of Venice, who, by glorious miracles and virtues, illustrated the Episcopal dignity which he received against his will on this day. His birthday into Heaven is 8 January.”
Lawrence Justinian was a member of the well-known Giustiniani family, which includes several Saints. The piety of his mother seems to have served as an inspiration for his own piety and he chose a life of prayer and service. In 1404, after he had been Ordained a Deacon, at the suggestion of an uncle who was a Priest, he joined a community of Canons regular following a monastic form of life on the island of San Giorgio in Alga. He was admired by his fellows for his poverty, mortification and fervency of prayer. Two years after his Ordination to the Priesthood in 1407, the community accepted the Rule of St. Augustine. He was chosen to be the first Prior of the community.
Lawrence promoted the Constitutions which had been established for the Canons Regular of St George’S Monastery, which was embraced by other communities of Canons in the region and shortly thereafter, he became the Prior General of his Congregation. He was so zealous in spreading the merits of his community, that he was looked upon as if he were the actual Founder of the Order.
His great humility was a lesson to all his fellow Canons – when he went out begging, even to his own family home where the servants were embarrassed and as quickly as they could, gave him the bread he sought and then hrried him away, before the family were aware that their ‘child‘ was the beggar at the door.
Lawrence, although he had no great oratory skills preached very effectively, on the one hand, continuing to go around with his habit and saddlebag begging and, on the other hand, writing tirelessly. He wrote for the learned and the ignorant, theological treatises and popular pamphlets, offering everyone a guide to personal reform in faith and practicing that faith. He urged the faithful to recover a sense of communion with the whole Church, he encouraged trust in God’s mercy rather than fear of His justice.
In 1433, Pope Eugene IV, one of the Founders of the Monastery of San Giorgio, named Lawrence as the Bishop of Castello. Although he resisted this elevation to the Episcopal dignity supported by his brother Canons in protest, Pope Eugene, who knew him very well, did not heed his protesting pretexts – his tiredness, the task too difficult, etc … He found a Diocese in disarray and his administration was marked by considerable growth and reform. In 1451, Pope Nicholas V united the Diocese of Castello with the Patriarchate of Grado, and the seat of the Patriarchate was moved to Venice, making Lawrence the first Patriarch of Venice, a post that he held for over four years.
It was during Lawrence’s rule that Constantinople fell to Muslim forces. Due to their centuries of close trading partnerships with the Byzantine Empire, the people of Venice were in distress as to their future. He took a leading role in helping the Republic to deal with the crisis, working with the Senate to help chart its future, as well as with the clergy and people.
He died on 8 January 1455 and was Canonised by Pope Alexander VIII (1689–1691) on 16 October 1690. His works, consisting of sermons, letters and ascetic treatises, have been frequently reprinted.
Pope Innocent XII (1691–1700) inserted his Feast day into the General Roman Calendar for celebration on 5 September, the Anniversary of his elevation to the Episcopate.
The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost +2021 Twenty third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Notre-Dame, Folgoët / Our Lady of Folgoët Finistère, Brittany, France (1650) – First Sunday of September:
Known as the “the fool of the woods,” St Salaün (Died1358 – Memorial on1 November) lived in a forest clearing near a spring, over which he enjoyed hanging from an oak branch, immersed to his shoulders, singing “O Maria.” He lived by begging: “Ave Maria! Salaün could eat some bread!” After he died in 1358, aged 48, in the woods near the spring, people found a white lily with “Ave Maria” in gold lettering on its petals — growing from the mouth of the dead fool buried beneath.
The Basilica of Notre-Dame du Folgoët was begun on the spot in 1365, completed in 1419 and consecrated in 1423. Its main Altar is over the spring, channeled into a basin behind the Church. In 1888, a dark stone Virgin was crowned Our Lady of Folgoët, replacing a polychrome wooden Statue which was moved to a side Altar. The Black Virgin is standing, holding the Child with her left arm; both wear large crowns. Her back is flat; the statue may have been on the exterior of the Church before the Revolution, when some Statues were damaged and removed for safekeeping from the marauding mobs of the French Revolution.
In the late 1500s, the big pilgrimage date was 15 August Feast of the Assumption. Three hundred years later, the celebration moved to 8 September, Nativity of the Virgin. Since 1970 the Grand Pardon has been held the first weekend in September, with a succession of processions and Masses in the Breton language.
St Charbel Bl Florent Dumontet de Cardaillac St Genebald of Laon Bl Gendtilis Bl Gerbrand of Dokkum St Guise Hoang Luong Canh Blessed John the Good OSA (c 1168-1249) Bishop Bl Jordan of Pulsano St Lawrence Justinian (1381-1455) Bishop St Obdulia St Phêrô Nguyen Van Tu St Romulus of Rome
St Victorinus of Amiterme St Victorinus of Como Bl William Browne — Martyrs of Armenia – 1,000 saints: A group of up to 1,000 Christian soldiers in the 2nd century imperial Roman army of Trajan, stationed in Gaul. Ordered to sacrifice to pagan gods, they refused and were transferred to Armenia. Ordered again to sacrifice to pagan gods, they refused again. Martyrs. We know the names of three of them, but nothing else – Eudoxius, Macarius and Zeno.
Martyrs of Capua – 3 saints: Three Christians who were martyred together. Long venerated in Capua, Italy. We know their names, but little else – Arcontius, Donatus and Quintius. They were martyred in Capua, Italy.
Martyrs of Nicomedia – 80 saints: A group of 80 Christians, lay and clergy, martyred together in the persecutions of Valens. We know little more than the names of three of them – Menedemo, Teodoro and Urbano. They were locked on a boat which was then set on fire on the shore of Nicomedia, Bithynia (in modern Turkey) c 370.
Martyrs of Porto Romano – 4+ saints: A group of Christians martyred together in the persecutions of Marcus Aurelius. We know little more than their names – Aconto, Herculanus, Nonno and Taurino. c180 at Porto Romano, Italy.