Thought for the Day – 26 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Deliver Us From Evil”
“When we ask God to deliver us from evil, we should think chiefly of the real evil, which is spiritual. All other evils are insignificant in comparison with sin, which is an offence committed against God, our only good. Sin robs us of His grace, which is the supernatural life of the soul, deprives us of His friendship and is an act of ingratitude towards our supreme Benefactor.
When we pray to God to deliver us from evil, we should renew our determination to avoid sin by every means in our power. Prayer is futile, unless it is accompanied by the resolution never to offend God again. Our prayers and good resolutions will draw God’s favour and will strengthen our bond of intimacy with Him.”
Quote/s of the Day – 26 October – The Memorial of St Alfred the Great (849-899) King
“For in prosperity, a man is often puffed up with pride, whereas tribulations chastens and humbles him through suffering and sorrow. In the midst of prosperity, the mind is elated, and in prosperity. a man forgets himself. In hardship, he is forced to reflect on himself, even though he be unwilling. In prosperity, a man often destroys the good he has done. Amidst difficulties, he often repairs what he long since did in the way of wickedness.”
“He seemed to me, a very foolish man and very wretched, who will not increase his understanding while he is in the world and ever with and long to reach that endless life, where all shall be made clear.”
“The saddest thing about any man, is that he be ignorant and the most exciting thing. is that he knows it!”
“Ah, what shall I be at fifty, should nature keep me alive, if I find the world so bitter when I am but twenty-five?”
“One God, one law, one element, And one far-off divine event, To which the whole creation moves.”
One Minute Reflection – 26 October – Readings: Romans 8: 18-25;p Psalm 126: 1-5, Luke 13:18-21 and the Memorial of St Alfred the Great (849-899)
“When it was fully grown, it became a large bush and ‘the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches.’” – Luke 13:19
REFLECTION – “It is up to us to sow this mustard seed in our minds and let it grow within us into a great tree of understanding reaching up to Heaven and elevating all our faculties; then it will spread out branches of knowledge, the pungent savour of its fruit will make our mouths burn, its fiery kernel will kindle a blaze within us, enflaming our hearts and the taste of it, will dispel our unenlightened repugnance. Yes, it is true: a mustard seed is indeed an image of the Kingdom of God.
Christ is the Kingdom of Heaven. Sown like a mustard seed in the garden of the Virgin’s womb, He grew up into the Tree of the Cross, whose branches stretch across the world. Crushed in the mortar of the Passion, its fruit has produced seasoning enough for the flavouring and preservation of every living creature, with which it comes in contact. As long as a mustard seed remains intact, its properties lie dormant but when it is crushed, they are exceedingly evident. So it was with Christ, He chose to have His Body crushed because He would not have His Power concealed. Christ became all things in order to restore all of us in Himself. The Man Christ received the mustard seed, which represents the Kingdom of God; as Man He received it, though as God He had always possessed it. He sowed it in His Garden, that is in His Bride, the Church. The Church is a garden extending over the whole world, tilled by the plough of the Gospel, fenced in by stakes of doctrine and discipline, cleared of every harmful weed by the labour of the apostles, fragrant and lovely with perennial flowers, virgins’ lilies and martyrs’ roses set amid the pleasant verdure of all. who bear witness to Christ and the tender plants of all, who have faith in Him. Such then is the mustard seed which Christ sowed in His Garden. When He promised a Kingdom to the Patriarchs, the seed took root in them; with the Prophets it sprang up; with the Apostles it grew tall; in the Church it became a great tree putting forth innumerable branches laden with gifts. And now you too must take the wings of the Psalmist’s Dove, gleaming gold in the rays of divine sunlight and fly to rest forever among those sturdy, fruitful branches. No snares are set to trap you there; fly off, then, with confidence and dwell securely in its shelter.” – St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Doctor of Homilies (Sermon 98.)
PRAYER – True light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us grace, we pray, to herald Your coming by preparing the ways of justice and of peace. Help us Lord, that we may sprout and bear fruit, fitting to grow and be a home of comfort to our neighbour. By the prayers of St Alfred the Great, may we too be beacons of Your Light and of the glory of Your Kingdom. Through Jesus our Lord, Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 26 October – The Memorial of St Alfred the Great (849-899)
We Pray to You, O Lord, the King of All By St Alfred the Great (849-899)
We pray to You, O Lord, Who are the surpeme Truth and all truth is from You. We beseech You, O Lord, Who are the highest Wisdom and all the wise depend on You for their wisdom. You are the supreme Joy and all who are happy, owe it to You. You are the Light of minds and all receive their understanding from You. We love, we love You above all. We seek You, we follow You and we are ready to serve You. We desire to dwell under Your Power, for You are the King of all. Amen
Saint of the Day – 26 October – Saint Alfred the Great (849-899) King of Wessex, Confessor, Scholar, Writer and Translator, negotiator. He administered justice with insight and fairness, protected the poor, and encouraged art and the crafts. He tried in all that he did, to rule as a model Christian King. For all this, he alone among the rulers of England is called “the Great.”
Born in the year 849 in the Royal Saxon Palace at Wantage, in what is now Berkshire, the youngest of five sons of King Æthelwulf,
Alfred spent his life in a time of “battle, murder and sudden death” during the Danish invasions and settlement in Britain.
On a pilgrimage to Rome at the age of four, Alfred was blessed by Pope Leo IV, an event that deeply impressed the young Saxon boy. Two years later he witnessed his father’s marriage to a young Princess of the Frankish court. Following the death of his father and the brief reigns of his brothers, Alfred became King of the West Saxons (the Kingdom of Wessex) in 871. At the time, the pagan Danes had gained control of large part of eastern and southern England and were harrying the eastern coasts, burning Churches and Monasteries and killing the inhabitants.
Despite many setbacks against the Danes, Alfred never despaired and in time, he was able to drive the Danes from Wessex, saving his Kingdom and subjects from death and despoliation. He was generous to the defeated Danish Leader Guthrum, persuading him to accept Baptism and to recognise the boundaries between the Danish holdings and Wessex.
In his later years, Alfred sought to repair the damage done by the Danish invasions to the culture and learning of his Kingdom, especially among the Parish clergy. On the earlier model of Charlemagne’s school at Aachen, he founded a Palace school that was unrivaled in northern Europe at the time. He not only encouraged men of learning but he laboured himself and gave proof of his own learning. He translated into Anglo-Saxon: “The Consolation of Philosophy” of Boëthius; “The History of the World” of Orosius; the “Ecclesiastical History” of Bede, and the “Pastoral Rule” and the “Dialogues” of St. Gregory the Great. The “Consolation of Philosophy” he not only translated but adapted, adding much of his own. The “Anglo-Saxon Chronicle”, the record of the English race from the earliest time, was inspired by him.
He is generally credited with establishing trial by jury, the law of “frank-pledge,”(an Anglo-Saxon legal system in which units composed of ten households were formed, in each of which members were held responsible for one another’s conduct) and many other institutions which were rather, the development of national customs of long standing. He is represented as the Founder of Oxford, a claim which some recent research wishes to disprove. But ,even the elimination of the legendary from Alfred’s history does not, in any way, diminish his greatness, so much is there of actual, recorded achievement to his credit. His own estimate of what he did for the regeneration of England is modest, beside the authentic history of his deeds.
He endeavoured, he tells us, to gather all that seemed good in the old English laws and adds: -“I durst not venture much of mine own to set down, for I knew not what should be approved by those who came after us.” Not only did he codify and promulgate laws but he looked, too, to their enforcement, and insisted that justice should be dispensed ,without fear or favour. He devoted his energies to restoring, what had been destroyed, by the long wars with the invaders. Monasteries were rebuilt and founded and learned men brought from other lands. He brought Archbishop Plegmund and Bishop Wetfrith from Mercia; Grimbold and John the Old-Saxon from other Teutonic lands; Asser, John Scotus Erigena and many others.
In one of the works prepared at his direction, he wrote, “He seemed to me, a very foolish man and very wretched, who will not increase his understanding while he is in the world and ever with and long to reach that endless life, where all shall be made clear.”
Notre-Dame de la Victoire / Our Lady of Victory, near Senlis, France (1225) – 26 October:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Dedication of Our Lady of Victory, near Senlis, in the year 1225, by Guarin, Bishop of Senlis and Chancellor of France. This Abbey was built by Philip Augustus, in thanksgiving for the victory which he gained over the Emperor Otho IV, at Bouvines, in the year 1214.”
The Battle of Bouvines took place on 27 July 1214 and although, it is no longer much remembered as a famous battle, it is one in which the world was changed in its aftermath. Easily one of the most significant battles to take place in the Middle Ages, there were combatants from several European countries taking part on one side or the other. With the death of King Richard the Lion-hearted, his brother John claimed the lands of Normandy along with England, even though he had no right to them, as they rightfully belonged to his nephew, a boy named Arthur. John probably killed Arthur, as he was the one with the most to gain. When King Philip Augustus heard that John was claiming to be the Duke of Normandy, he called him to account for his nephew. When John refused, King Philip took away his right to rule Normandy. Rather than submit, John joined forces with the German Emperor and the Count of Flanders in open rebellion. King Philip went to Mass with his troops just prior to the battle. His army probably numbered in total about 15,000 men, while the allied forces arrayed against him, were nearly double that size. Knowing that his noblemen were anxious about the upcoming battle, King Philip took off his Crown and placed it upon the Altar, saying: “If anyone here thinks he can wear this crown more worthily than I, let him step forward to take it.” Philip’s men loudly reaffirmed their faith in their King and went enthusiastically to the battle. The battle was hotly contested,and both King Philip and Otto IV of Germany had several horses killed beneath them. At one point, when King Philip was unhorsed, he was surrounded by Flemish pikemen. It is related that his life was only saved due to the superior plate mail armour he wore,but later events came to demonstrate that it was also because of the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary. King Philip captured the Count of Flanders and took him back to France to display him to his nobles like a pet in an iron cage. The victory did much more than bring an end to the King of England’s claims to Brittany and Normandy, it also helped strengthen the Monarchy in France as it simultaneously weakened the monarchy in England. When King John returned to England, his position was so weakened that he felt compelled to sign the Magna Carta, which greatly limited his power over his subjects. Otto IV of Germany was deposed soon after he returned to his own realm. In thanksgiving for his victory, King Philip Augustus founded the Abbey of Victory between Senlis and the Bishop Mount, to honour the Mother of God for this signal victory.
St Adalgott of Einsiedeln St St Alanus of Quimper St Albinus of Buraburg St Alfred the Great (849-899) King of Wessex St Alorus of Quimper St Amandus of Strasburg St Amandus of Worms St Aneurin St Aptonius of Angouleme St Arnold of Queralt St Bean of Mortlach St Bernard de Figuerols
St Felicissimus of Carthage St Fulk of Piacenza St Gaudiosus of Salerno St Gibitrudis St Gwinoc St Humbert St Lucian St Marcian St Quadragesimus of Policastro St Rogatian of Carthage St Rusticus of Narbonne St Sigibald of Metz — Martyrs of Nicomedia – 5 saints