Thought for the Day – 23 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Necessity of Meditation
“With desolation is all the land made desolate because, there is none that considereth in the heart” (Jer 12:11). Very often the world is plunged in the desolation of evil because there is nobody who will speak with God in the silence of his heart and try to regulate his life according to His holy commandments. It is in a particularly outstanding way today, that the heresies of actionism and externalism dominate the great mass of mankind. To act, to rush, to arrive … above all, to arrive! But to arrive where? In this frantic, frenzied and tumultuous race, in which good people are often found competing, two very sure things are forgotten, namely, that we shall finally arrive at death and, that from death we shall pass on to eternity. The whole course of our lives, therefore, should be directed toward this end. But, if we are to keep this end in view, prudent reflection is essential, especially meditation, made with the assistance of the Divine Light, on the eternal truth.
Absorbed in the deafening din of the world around us, it is difficult to hear the voice of God. At least, for a little while each day, we must create within ourselves, a zone of silence, in order to listen to His voice. Since God speaks readily in the silence of the heart, let us recollect ourselves before Him, in this quiet oasis. At least a quarter of an hour of daily meditation is essential for the life of a Christian. This should be the jumping-off board for all the actions of day, if we wish these to be correct and productive of good.
It is very useful, moreover, to recall to mind frequently during the day, the resolutions which have been formed and to accompany these reflections, with short prayers, aspirations and acts of love for God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 23 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Haggai 1: 1-8; Psalm 149: 1b-6a and 9b; Luke 9: 7-9
“… Who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him.”
“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
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith, is to see what you believe.”
“A person can do other things against his will but belief is possible, only in one who is willing.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor of the Church
“He who wishes for anything but Christ, does not know what he wishes; he who asks for anything but Christ, does not know what he is asking; he who works and not for Christ, does not know what he is doing.”
St Philip Neri (1515-1595)
“Only one thing is necessary: Jesus Christ! Think unceasingly of Him. ”
St John Gabriel Perboyre CM (1802-1840) Martyr for Christ
“Only God fills the soul and fills it wholly. Let scientists go on asking – Where is God? He is where those clever ones, arrogant in their knowledge, cannot reach.”
One Minute Reflection – 23 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Haggai 1: 1-8; Psalm 149: 1b-6a and 9b; Luke 9: 7-9 and the Memorial of Saint Adamnan of Iona (c 628-704)
“… Who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he sought to see him.” – Luke 9:9
REFLECTION – “[John] says: “We announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was manifested to us. What we have seen and heard we announce to you (1 Jn 1:2-3). Let Your Charity pay heed: “What we have seen and heard we announce to you.” They saw the Lord Himself present in the flesh and they heard words from the Lord’s mouth and they announced them to us. We also have heard, then but we have not seen. Are we, therefore, less fortunate than those who saw and heard? And why does [John] add: “So that you also may have fellowship with us?” They saw; we did not see and yet, we are in fellowship because we maintain a common faith.
To the disciple who wished to touch and thus to believe, the Lord – consoling us, who are unable to touch Him with our hand, as He is now seated in Heaven, although we can touch Him by faith – said, “Blessed are those who do not see and who believe” (Jn 20:29). It is we who were described, we who were designated. May there be in us, then, the blessedness that the Lord foretold would come to be! Let us hold firmly onto what we do not see because, those who have seen it, are announcing it, so that we also may have fellowship with them and so, that “our joy may becomplete” (v. 4).”– St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermons on the first letter of Saint John, I, 3)
PRAYER – Shepherd of Your Church and we, the sheep of Your flock, who follow You and hear and do Your Word. Support us with grace those who are constantly striving to do Your will, so that following the example of the humble fiat of Your blessed Mother and ours, we may devote all our powers and talents to love of You and our neighbour and finally arrive safely in our heavenly home. May the prayers of St Adamnan of Iona, your faithful servant, be assistance in strengthening us in this vale of tears. In God, our Father we pray through You who live in union with Him and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ages and ages. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 23 September – The Memorial of Saint Adamnan of Iona (c 628-704) Relative of Saint Columban
May We Love Only You By St Columban (543-615)
Loving Saviour, be pleased to show Yourself to us who knock, so that in knowing You, we may love only You, love You alone, desire You alone, contemplate only You, day and night and always think of You. Inspire in us the depth of love that is fitting for You to receive as God. So may Your love pervade our whole being, possess us completely and fill all our senses, that we may know no other love but love for You, Who are everlasting. May our love be so great, that the many waters of sky, land and sea cannot extinguish it in us – many waters could not extinguish love. May this saying love be fulfilled in us also, at least in part, by Your gift, Jesus Christ, our Lord, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen
Saint of the Day – 23 September – Saint Adamnan of Iona or St Eunan of Iona (c 628-704) Relative of Saint Columban. Monk at Drunhome, Donegal, Ireland. Abbot of Iona in 679. President-general of all the Columban houses in Ireland. Hagiographer and Spiritual Writer, Poet, Statesman, Canon Lawyer. Born in c 628 in Drumhome, County Donegal, Ireland and died on 23 September 704 at Iona Abbey of natural causes. Patronages – Donegal, Ireland, County of, Raphoe, Ireland, City of, Raphoe, Ireland, Diocese of. Also known as – Adam, Adamnano, Adomnan, Eunan.
Adamnan was the Author of the Life of Columban, probably written between 697 and 700. This Biography is, by far, the most important surviving work written in early-medieval Scotland and is a vital source for our knowledge of the Picts and an insight into the life of Iona and the early-medieval Gaelic Saint Columban. (His life here: https://anastpaul.com/2018/11/23/saint-of-the-day-23-november-st-columban-543-615/)
Adamnan promulgated the Law of Adamnan or “Law of Innocents” (Irish: The Cáin Adomnáin). He also wrote the treatise De Locis Sanctis (i.e. “On Holy Places”), an account of the great Christian holy places and centres of pilgrimage. Adamnan received much of his information for this work, from a Frankish Bishop called Arculf, who had personally visited Egypt, Rome, Constantinople and the Holy Land and visited Iona after his travels.
Adamnan was a descendant of a cousin of Saint Columban, Colmán mac Sétna. He is thought to have been born into a noble family in what is now County Donegal in Ireland, probably as a younger son. Some historians believe he attained his obviously high level of education by studying at Durrow Abbey, one of Ireland’s most important early Christian Monasteries. He became a Monk at a Columban Monastery in Ireland in about 640 and then, at some later point, transferred to Iona Abbey. Opinions again differ about the date of his move to Iona, ranging from about 650, during the Abbacy of Ségéne, to about 670, after the accession of Abbot Failbe.
In 679, Adomnan became the ninth Abbot of Iona Abbey. As Abbot, he was extremely influential in the wider affairs of a land that was still divided between Gaels, Picts, Britons and Angles. He forged especially, strong links with King Aldfrith of Northumbria. He was also influential in partially bringing the Celtic Church into line with the wider body of the Roman Church when he adopted the Roman dating of Easter. This had been agreed in 664 at the Synod of Whitby and the difference, possibly trivial to modern eyes, had led to a rift between the Roman and Celtic Churches.
Adomnan’s most important innovation came in 697. The Synod of Birr, in Ireland, attracted a highly influential gathering of Irish, Dalriadan and Pictish nobles. Adomnan used it to gain widespread agreement to his “Law of Adomnan.” This “Law of Innocents,” set out to guarantee the safety and immunity of various types of non-combatants in warfare. It was a pioneering initiative in Europe and a remarkable achievement for a cleric on the Celtic fringe of the known world. Many see it as the first step in the process that has since led to the Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Adomnan is probably better known, however, for his Life of St Columban. This was really a Biography or a history of his predecessor of a Century earlier as Abbot of Iona. Rather it was a “hagiography” intended to prove Columban’s saintliness and extol his virtues and achievements. It is perhaps the most important surviving record from the areas which later became Scotland at this time. He also wrote a considerable amount of poetry.
Adomnan died in 704, probably on 23 September, the day now celebrated as his feast day. He was subsequently regarded as a Saint of the Irish and Scottish tradition and is considered to have been one of the mos influential participants in this early period of Irish and Scottish Church.
Along with St Columban, he is joint Patron of the Diocese of Raphoe, which encompasses the bulk of County Donegal in the north-west of Ireland. The Cathedral of St Eunan and St Columban (popularly known as St Eunan’s Cathedral), the Cathedral in that Diocese, is in Letterkenny. In 727 the relics of AdAmnan were brought to Ireland to renew the “Law of Innocents” and they were returned to Iona in 730.
In his native Donegal, Adamnan has given his name to several Churches, Institutions and buildings – all under the Irish version of his name Eunan.
Nuestra Senora de Valvanera / Our Lady of Valvanera, La Rioja, Spain (9th Century) – 23 September:
This image is a replica of the original which appears to have dated from the ninth century and is preserved in the Royal Abbey Shrine of Our Lady of Valvanera, or Valvanere, in Rioja, jealously guarded by Benedictine Monks. The oldest documents preserved, dates from the thirteenth century and tells how, according to tradition, the original image was found by a thief who later converted and became a hermit.
There was a thief named Nuno Onez, who was a hardened criminal and a “man of licentious life and dedicated to looting.” One day, however, upon hearing the prayer of a man who was to be his next victim, he was touched by Divine grace and repented of his many crimes, turning to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help him change his life. One day while he was praying, an Angel appeared to him to tell him to go to Valvanera and search for an oak that stood out from the rest, with a fountain that gushed at its feet and surrounded by swarms of bees. There, in the branches of a strong and noble oak, in the presence of a fountain of pure and clear water, the trunk of which was overflowing with the sweetness of honey, he found an image of the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Nuno went to the place with a Priest on the following Sunday and found the image, just as the Angel had said. The Statue had probably been hidden there when the Moslems invaded the Iberian Peninsula in the 8th century. In that place, in the last third of the ninth century, he began to build a place of worship that became known as the Chapel of Santo Cristo. Soon there was a small group of hermits who met to pray around this image, men who eventually adopted a regular life inspired by the Rule of Saint Benedict. Thus, this small Shrine is believed to have given rise to the Monastery of Valvanera, where the Virgin is currently venerated. Valvanera Monastery is surrounded by a forest near the Town of Anguiano in the valley of the Sierra Demand La Rioja. Its name derives from the Latin “Vallis Venaria,” which literally means: “Valley water veins.” The first Abbot was a man named Don Sancho in the year 990. Our Lady apparently has a preference for oak trees, since this is one of several Statues found in or on an oak tree. On that very spot today is seen the magnificent Church which Alphonsus IV, King of Castile, built in honour of the Mother of God in 1073 and which houses the image.
She, the valiant woman of Scripture, desired her children, her clients and her devotees to share in a spiritual manner, in the strength and the power of this mighty tree, which is certainly a symbol of her.
St Alfonso Burgos St Adamnan of Iona/Eunan of Iona (c 628-704) Monk, Abbot Bl Antonio of Tlaxcala Bl Bernardina Maria Jablonska St Cissa of Northumbria St Constantius of Ancona Bl Cristobal of Tlaxcala Bl Emilie Tavernier Gamelin Bl Francisco de Paula Victor Bl Guy of Durnes Bl Helen Duglioli Bl Juan of Tlaxcala
Bl William Way St Xantippa — Martyrs of Syracuse – (4 saints): Group of Christians deported from Syracuse, Sicily by invading Saracens and sent to North Africa where they were tortured and executed for their faith. Martyrs. The names that have survived are Andrew, Antony, John and Peter. c900
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Crispulo Moyano Linares • Blessed María Josefa del Río Messa • Blessed Norberto Cembranos de la Verdura • Blessed Purificación Ximénez y Ximénez • Blessed Sofía Ximénez y Ximénez del Río • Blessed Vicente Ballester Far