Thought for the Day – 7 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
How We Should Pray
“We must pray with deep humility. Once again we find, that the Man-God Jesus, has given us an example. In Gethsemane He fell prostate on the ground and begged that, if it were possible, the bitter chalice might be taken away from Him. Immediately He added. with full submission to the will of His Heavenly Father – “Yet, not my will but thine be done” (Lk 22:42). Let us remember, moreover, the parable of the Pharisee and the publican. The former appeared to be full of virtue but he was proud and was rejected. The latter, recognised in all humility, that he was a poor sinner and he was exalted. “Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be exalted” (Lk 14:11). “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (Js 4:6). “The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest, until t reaches its goal” (Ecclus 35:17).
When we kneel down to pray, therefore, we should make an act of humility. We are poor beggars, as St Augustine puts it, before the throne of God. Let us pray with confidence in God’s goodness but also with a proper realisation of our own helplessness. Then God will take pity on us.
Quote/s of the Day – 7 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” – Readings: Colossians 2: 6-15; Psalm 145: 1b-2, 8-9-11; Luke 6: 12-19
“Jesus departed to the mountain to pray and he spent the night in prayer to God”
“Prayer is the wing, wherewith the soul flies to heaven and meditation, the eye, wherewith we see God.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Ask with tears, seek with obedience, knock with patience.”
St John Climacus (c 525-606) Father of the Church
“[Prayer] is the one means for our purification, the one way to union with God, the one channel by which God may unite Himself with us, that He may do anything with us, for His glory. To obtain the virtues of an apostle, we must pray; to make them of use to our neighbour, we must pray; to prevent our losing them, while we use them in His service, we must pray. The counsel, or rather the commandment: Pray always, seems to me extremely sweet and by no means impossible. It secures the practice of the presence of God …”
St Claude de la Colombiere (1641-1682) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
“In silence, He listens to us, in silence He speaks to our souls, in silence we are granted the privilege of hearing His voice –
Silence of the eyes, Silence of the ears, Silence of our mouths, Silence of our minds. In the silence of the heart God will speak.”
One Minute Reflection – 7 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” – Readings: Colossians 2: 6-15; Psalm 145: 1b-2, 8-9-11; Luke 6: 12-19
“Jesus departed to the mountain to pray and he spent the night in prayer to God”– Luke 6:12
REFLECTION – “So the Lord prays, not to entreat for Himself but to intercede for me. Although the Father placed all things in the power of His Son, yet the Son, in order to fulfill the form of a man, thinks that the Father must be entreated for us because He is our Advocate. If He is an Advocate, He must intercede on account of my sins.
It says, “He passed the whole night in prayer.” A model is given to you. A form is prescribed which you must imitate. Unless I am mistaken, it is nowhere found that He prayed with the Apostles. Everywhere He entreats alone, for human prayers do not grasp the counsels of God, nor can anyone share with Christ in the inward mysteries.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, Father, Doctor of the Church – (Exposition on the Gospel of Luke, 5.)
PRAYER – Our Father who art in heaven, almighty and eternal God, teach us to pause often during our active lives and recollect ourselves. Let us put away the problems of life and commune with You in prayer and meditation. Mary, Holy and Sorrowful Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, teach us the how to pray and how to imitate your courage and strength in silence. Pray for us that we may be inspired to turn to our God for strength, in this vale of tears. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Advocate, with the Holy Spirit, one God now and for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 7 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary”
Christ be Near Excerpt from St Patrick’s Breastplat St Patrick (c 386 – 461)
Christ be near, at either hand, Christ behind, before me stand, Christ with me, where’er I go, Christ around, above, below.
Christ be in my heart and mind, Christ within my soul enshrined, Christ control, my wayward heart, Christ abide and ne’er depart.
Christ my Life and only Way, Christ my Lantern, night and day, Christ be my unchanging Friend, Guide and Shepherd to the end.
We have this prayer and his own story in one of the certainly authentic writings of this beloved Saint Patrick – his Confessio, which is, above all, an act of homage to God, for having called Patrick, unworthy sinner, to the apostolate.
Saint of the Day – 7 September – Blessed Thomas Tsuji SJ (1570-1627) Priest of the Society of Jesus, Martyr. Born in c1571 in Sonogi, Nagasaki, Japan and died by being burned at the stake on 7 September 1627 at Nagasaki, Japan. Additional Memorial – 7 May together with the Martyrs of Japan. Also known as – Thomas Tsugi, Thomas Tsughi, Thomas Tzugi.
Thomas Tsuji was born in Sonogi, near Omura of a noble family. He received his early education from the Jesuits in Arima and entered the Society in January 1589. He was Ordained a Priest in Nagasaki sometime before 1613. He was an excellent preacher and became well known throughout southern Japan. He was transferred to Hakata after he became too outspoken in his condemnation of the scandalous conduct of some Christian Japanese in the City. While exercising his priestly ministry in Hakata, the edict of 1641 which ordered the banishment of all Catholic Priests from Japan was enacted. In obedience to the order, Fr Tsuji and the other eighty Priests left for Macau and remained there for four years.
In August 1618, Fr Tsuji,disguised as a merchant, returned to Japan and secretly resumed his apostolic work. Unlike the European Jesuits who could only minister at night, Fr Tsuji worked day and night, achieving great results, disguised sometime as a prosperous Japanese gentleman and at times, as an artisan. His favourite disguise was as a humble wood seller who could knock at the doors of Christian homes without being noticed.
As the persecution against Christians intensified and his workload increased, Fr Tsuji found his energy waning as he began to doubt whether he could match the heroic example of his brother Jesuits who were being martyred. This uncertainty of himself, led him to be depressed and as he found it difficult to continue living up to the ideals that the Society demanded of its men, he was released of his religious vows in late 1619.
Within a short time of his departure from the Society, he requested to be readmitted but while immediate readmission was not possible, the Jesuit superiors allowed him to go through a period of probation. This lasted six years, during which time he demonstrated more zealously, by exposing himself to many dangers, in order to help other Christians. After his readmission in 1626, Fr Tsuji was assigned to Nagasaki where he continued his apostolic duties until his capture the same year.
Fr Tsuji had been living with a devout Christian, Louis Maki and his son John. On the morning of 21 July 1626, just after he had celebrated Mass, which the Makis attended, the house was invaded by soldiers and the three were arrested. Fr Tsuji appeared before the district judge and when asked who he was and what he was doing, he responded: “For many years the people of Nagasaki have seen Thomas Tsuji, a religious of the Society of Jesus and have heard him preach the Christian message. I am he and I am prepared to uphold. with my life and to testify with my blood. to the truths that I have faithfully taught.” He was found guilty and imprisoned at the Omura prison. The Makis were also imprisoned for collaborating with a Priest and offering him hospitality.
While in prison, Fr Tsuji had to endure the visits of his family who endlessly asked him to think of them and not to bring shame upon them. They appealed to him to renounce his Christian religion and return to live with them. His reply was: “What you ask me to do is wrong and even if you offered me a thousand Japans, or the whole world, I could not do it.” After thirteen months of incarceration the three prisoners were taken to Nagasaki to receive the death sentence
On 7 September 1627 they were led to the Martyrs’ Hill, made holy by many Martyrs and there, they were tied to stakes. Fr Tsuji comforted his two companions and urged them to think of Christ’s passion. When the stakes were on fire, he blessed his companions, raised his eyes to heaven and prayed silently. When the flames twirled and wrapped about his body, he chanted the psalm: “Praise the Lord, All You Nations.”
Many witnesses have attested that few moments before his death, his breast burst open and from it there issued a flame that rose upwards and upwards until it was lost in sight. They believed that the sacrifice offered by Fr Tsuji and his companions was found to be most pleasing to God.
Fr Tsuji, Louis and John Maki were beatified by Pope Pius IX together with other Japanese martyrs on 7 May 1867.
Vigil of the Nativity of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, instituted by Pope Gregory II (722):
The day destined for the parturition of Saint Anne and for the birth of her, who was consecrated and sanctified to be the Mother of God, had arrived – a day most fortunate for the world. This birth happened on the eighth day of September, fully nine months having elapsed since the Conception of the soul of our most holy Queen and Lady.
Saint Anne was prepared by an interior voice of the Lord, informing Her, that the hour of her parturition had come. Full of the joy of the Holy Spirit at this information, she prostrated herself before the Lord and besought the assistance of his grace and his protection for a happy deliverance.
Presently she felt a movement in her womb similar to that which is proper to creatures being born to the light. The most blessed child Mary was at the same time, by divine providence and power, ravished into a most high ecstasy. Hence Mary was born into the world without perceiving it by her senses, for their operations and faculties were held in suspense. As She had the use of her reason, she would have perceived it by her senses, if they would have been left to operate in their natural manner at that time. However, the Almighty disposed otherwise, in order that the Princess of heaven might be spared the sensible experience, otherwise connected with birth. she was born pure and stainless, beautiful and full of grace, thereby demonstrating, that she was free from the law and the tribute of sin. Although she was born substantially like other daughters of Adam, yet her birth was accompanied by such circumstances and conditions of grace, that it was the most wonderful and miraculous birth in all creation and will eternally redound to the praise of her Maker.
At twelve o-clock in the night this divine child issued forth, dividing the night of the ancient Law and its pristine darknesses from the new day of grace, which now was about to break into dawn. She was clothed, handled and dressed like other infants, through she excelled all mortals and even all the angels in wisdom. Her mother did not allow her to be touched by other hands than her own but she, herself, wrapped her in swaddling clothes: and in this Saint Anne was not hindered by her present state of incapacity, for she was free from the toils and labours, which mothers endure in such circumstances.
So then Saint Anne received in her arms she, who was her Daughter but at the same time, the most exquisite treasure of all the universe, inferior only to God and superior to all other creatures. (The City of God, by Venerable Mary of Jesus of Agreda OIC (1602-1665) [Her body is incorrupt].
St Alcmund of Hexham Bl Alexander of Milan St Augustalus St Balin St Carissima of Albi St Chiaffredo of Saluzzo Bl Claude-Barnabé Laurent de Mascloux
St Giovanni of Lodi St Goscelinus of Toul St Gratus of Aosta St Grimonia of Picardy St Hiduard Bl Ignatius Klopotowski Bl John Duckett Bl John Maki Bl John of Nicomedia Bl Ludovicus Maki Soetsu Madalberta Bl Maria of Bourbon St Marko Križevcanin St Melichar Grodecký St Memorius of Troyes St Pamphilus of Capua Bl Ralph Corby
St Sozonte Blessed Thomas Tsuji SJ (1570-1627) Priest of the Society of Jesus, Martyr.
St Tilbert of Hexham — Martyrs of Noli: Four Christians who became soldiers and were martyred together for their faith. A late legend makes them member of the Theban Legend who escaped their mass martyrdom but that’s doubtful – Paragorius, Partenopeus, Parteus and Severinus. They were born in Noli, Italy and martyred in Corsica, France. Attribute – soldiers with a banner of Noli.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Antoni Bonet Sero • Blessed Ascensión Lloret Marcos • Blessed Gregorio Sánchez Sancho • Blessed Félix Gómez-Pinto Piñero