Thought for the Day – 27 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Power of God’s Love in the Christian Life
“Everyday, in the lives of the Saints, was a continual act of love of God. This was how they became holy. They loved God intensely all the time. They loved Him above all things. Everything which they thought, desired or did, was directed to Him. Their entire lives were consecrated to Him. We should all desire to be holy, if we do, we must love God with our whole heart, strength and will. Not until then, will every action of ours become meritorious. Holiness is born of the love of God. Without the love of God, everything is futile and useless; our conversation is so much idle chatter; our desires are empty dreams which excite us for a while and then dissolve like bubbles of soap; our actions are unprofitable and our enterprises are not aimed at a true objective; our achievements can inflate us for a time but they will leave us disillusioned at the hour of death. The love of God is necessary for us. He alone is entirely worthy of our affection. Other loves are passing but, this love is eternal. Other loves confuse and trouble us but, the love of God gives us peace of soul. Other loves weaken and vanish with time but, the love of God is the source of all holiness in this life and of eternal happiness in the next. Why, then, do we not forget our worldly preoccupations? Let us give our hearts to God forever and we shall be in possession of the one true happiness which never fades.”
Announcing a Novena to Our Lady of the Rosary Begins 28 September The Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary is on 7 October.
Please join me in praying a Novena in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary for the nine days preceding her Feast on 7 October and, of course, October is the Month of the Holy Rosary.
This Feast was instituted to commemorate the victory of Christianity over the forces of Islam at the battle of Lepanto on 7 October 1571. The victory was brought about through the recitation of the Rosary. In thanksgiving for another victory over the same foes in Hungary in 1715, the Feast was extended to the entire Church. In the course of centuries the Rosary has been a source of abundant blessings. In her apparitions at Lourdes, France, in 1858 and again at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, Mary urged Catholics to pray the Rosary daily in order to bring about the conversion of sinners and a lasting world peace. Resolve to say your Rosary every day. Besides being a beautiful tribute of love and filial piety, to your Heavenly Mother, it will be your support and joy in life and your consolation at the hour of death.
Quote/s of the Day – 27 September – 27 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
“The Church teaches us, that mercy belongs to God. Let us implore Him, to bestow on us the spirit of mercy and compassion, so that we are filled with it and may never lose it. Only consider how much we ourselves, are in need of mercy.”
“Humility and charity are the two master-chords – one, the lowest; the other, the highest; all the others are dependent on them. Therefore, it is necessary, above all, to maintain ourselves in these two virtues, for observe well, that the preservation of the whole edifice depends on the foundation and the roof!”
“Humility is nothing but truth and pride is nothing but lying!” …
One Minute Reflection – 27 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Zechariah 8: 1-8; Psalm 102: 16-21, 29 and 22-23; Luke 9: 46-50
“Whoever receives this little child in my name, receives me” – Luke 9:48
REFLECTION – “As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms and fondled in her lap; as a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you,” (Is 66:12-13). The mother embraces her children and we seek out our own mother, the Church. Anything weak and helpless, whose weakness needs supporting, is sweet and vulnerable and endearing: -God does not refuse His help to anything so young. Parents devote particular gentleness to their little ones; … in the same way, the Father of all creation gathers to Himself all who take refuge in Him, regenerates them by His Spirit and adopts them as His sons. He knows how gentle they are and they are the ones He loves, helps and protects;,that is why He calls them His little children, (cf. Jn 13:33).
The Holy Spirit, speaking through the mouth of Isaiah, applies the expression “child” to the Lord Himself: “For a child is born to us, a son is given us (…)” (Is. 9,5). Who is this Child, then? This newborn Infant in whose image we, too, are children? Through the same prophet, the Spirit describes His greatness: “Wonder-CounselLor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace,” (v. 6).
Oh great God! Oh perfect Child! The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son. How could the teaching this Child gives, not be irreproachable? It includes us all to guide us all, His children. He has stretched out His hands to us and we have placed in them all our faith. To this little Child, John the Baptist himself also gave testimony – “Behold,” he said, “the Lamb of God,” (Jn 1:29). Since Scripture has called children ‘lambs’, it has called “Lamb of God” the Word of God Who became man for us and Who wanted to become like us in all things, the Son of God Himself, the child of the Father. – St Clement of Alexandria (150-215) Theologian, Father – (Paedagogus I, 21-24)
PRAYER – God our Father, Your rule is a rule of love, Your providence is full of mercy for Your people. Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of the Word made flesh and His sorrowful Mother, grant the spirit of wisdom and understanding in Your Word, Your Son Jesus Christ. Grant that by the healing Word our repentant hearts may know our way to our eternal home and strive to attain eternal joy there with You. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 27 September – the Memorial of St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
Lord, Teach me How to Pray By St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
Oh Lord, You selected the poor and simple people to be Your Apostles. Look upon Your poor servant kneeling before You now. I recognise that I am simple and poor too. Dear Lord, please teach me how to pray as You taught Your disciples upon their humble request. If it pleases You in Your goodness to grant me that grace, I shall be able to pray well and much better than I could ever hope for if left to my own efforts. Lord, I trust that You will bless me with the fulfilment of this request. Amen
Saint of the Day – St Elzear TOSF (1285-1323) Layman, Member of the Third Order of St Francis, Mystic, miracle-worker, Baron of Ansouis, Count of Ariano, France, Ruler, Diplomat, Military Leader. Born in the Castle of Saint-Jean-de-Robians, near Cabrières-d’Aigues in Provence, southern France, in 1285. He died in Paris, France, on 27 September 1323. Also known as – Eleazarus. Patronages – Tertiaries, Ariano Irpino-Lacedonia, Italy, Diocese of. Additional Memorial – 26 September, commemorated by the Franciscans. together with Blessed Delphine..
Elzear was descended of the ancient and illustrious family of Sabran, in Provence, France. His father, Hermengaud of Sabran, was created Count of Arian (Ariano), in the kingdom of Naples; his mother was Lauduna of Albes, a family no less distinguished for its nobility.
Immediately after his birth, his mother, whose great piety and charity to the poor had procured her the name of “The Good Countess,” taking him in her arms, offered him to God with great fervour, begging that he might never offend his Divine Majesty but, might rather die in his infancy than live ever to be guilty of so dreadful an evil. The child seemed formed from his cradle to piety and virtue; nor could he, by any means, be satisfied if he saw any poor beggar, till he was relieved; for which reason his nurses and governesses were obliged to have their pockets always furnished with bread and small money, in order to give something to every poor person they met when they took him abroad and it was his delight to divide his dinner with poor children.
The first impressions of virtue he received from his mother but these were perfected by his religious uncle, William of Sabran, Abbot of St Victor’s, at Marseilles, under whom he had his education in that Monastery. In his tender age he wore a rough knotty cord, armed with sharp pricks, which galled his flesh, so that it was discovered by blood issuing from the wounds. The Abbot severely chided him for this and some other extraordinary austerities which he practiced, calling him a self-murderer; yet he secretly admired so great fervour in a tender young Lord.
When he had reached the appropriate age, he acceded to the wish of King Charles II of Naples and married Delphine of Glandèves (1284–1358). Upon their wedding night, Delphine advised her new husband that she had taken a private vow of chastity. Even though he had the right in canon law to make her abandon this commitment, Elzear chose to respect her desire to live in virginity and even copied her example in making the same vow. Together they joined the Third Order of Saint Francis.
The Saint was twenty-three years old when, by their deaths, he inherited his father’s honours and estates but these advantages he looked merely upon ,as talents and instruments put into his hands, to be employed for the advancement of piety, the support of justice and the relief and protection of the poor. He moved with his wife from Ansouis to Puimichel for greater solitude and formulated for his servants, rules of conduct that made his household a model of Christian virtue.
In 1309, he went to his new domains in Italy. There he gained by kindness the trust and support of his subjects, who had despised their Norman conquerors. In 1312 he marched to Rome at the head of the army of King Robert of Naples, which was mobilised to aid in expelling the Emperor Henry VII from that City. Returning to Provence after the war, he again set up a household in which piety and faithful practice of the Catholic faith were expected of all the members of his house.
He said one day to Delphine: “I do not think a man on earth can enjoy any pleasure equal to that which I feel in the Holy Communion. It is the greatest delight and comfort of a soul in her earthly pilgrimage, to receive, most frequently, this divine Sacrament.” In prayer he was often favoured with raptures and heavenly graces. By the constant habitual union of his soul with God, he never found any difficulty in keeping it recollected in all places and at all times. He often watched great part of the nights on his knees in prayer.
In 1317 Elzear went to Naples to become the Tutor of Duke Charles, son of King Robert, and later became Charles’ Castellan, when Charles became Vicar General of the Kingdom of Sicily. He was sent as Ambassador to the King of France in 1323 to obtain the hand of Marie of Valois in marriage for Charles, edifying a worldly Court by his heroic virtues. While serving in that post he died, shortly after accomplishing his mission.
His body was returned to his domain and he was buried in the Franciscan habit in the Church of the Friars Minor at Apt, Vaucluse. The decree of his Canonisation was signed by his godson, Pope Urban V and was carried out by his successor, Pope Gregory XI about 1371. Countess Delphine was also Beatified by Pope Urban at that time. Their liturgical feast day, which they share, is celebrated by the Franciscan Third Order on 26 September.
St Ceraunus of Paris St Chiara of the Resurrection St Deodatus of Sora Saint Delphina of Glandenes St Elzear of Sabran TOSF (1285-1323) Layman, Member of the Third Order of St Francis St Epicharis St Fidentius of Todi St Florentinus the Hermit St Gaius of Milan St Hilary the Hermit St Hiltrude of Liessies Bl Jean-Baptiste Laborie du Vivier St John of Cordoba