Thought for the Day – 5 November – The Consolations of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory

Thought for the Day – 5 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Consolations of the
Suffering Souls in Purgatory

“The following is an excerpt from a book by a spiritual writer named, Father Alberione:

There is suffering in Purgatory and there is suffering in Hell but there are essential difference between one and the other.
Hell is eternal, while Purgatory is temporal.
In Hell, there is no hope of salvation, whereas in Purgatory, there is the certainty of future happiness in Heaven.
Hell is the lasting state of a soul rejected by God, while Purgatory is the temporary state of a soul loved and awaited by God in Heaven.
In Hell, suffering is without hope and altogether unprofitable but in Purgatory, the purpose of suffering, is to become worthy of entering Heaven.
Hell is a place forever cursed by God, whereas Purgatory is a place which He has blessed.
Hell is governed by the stern and exacting justice of God, whereas Purgatory is under the dominion of the divine justice, which seeks to be merciful.
Hell is the abode of the damned.
Purgatory is the abode of the saved and this earth is the abode of those who are still uncertain of salvation

The writer goes onto examine the three main reasons why there is joy in Purgatory, even in the midst of the most dreadful torments.
The first reason is that the suffering souls are sure of eternal salvation.
They are confirmed in grace and it is impossible for them to sin any more.
No Saint on earth had this wonderful certitude, which makes the sufferings of Purgatory seem desirable to those confined there.

In the second place, these souls recognise their own imperfection and need of purification, therefore, they are glad to suffer in order to become worthy, at last, of the happiness of God’s company.

The third source of consolation, is their ardent love of God.
Love does not measure or feel sacrifices; it even desires them because it knows that they are a necessary means of achieving an intimate union with the beloved.
It is the greatness of their love for the Supreme Good, which makes it a joy for the suffering souls, to suffer for His sake and for the purpose of being united with Him.

If only we could love God as they love Him, we should avoid and abhor the least imperfection.
We should accept ,with perfect resignation, the sorrows and trials of this life, as a means of making reparation for our sins and, we should pray often for these suffering souls, so that they might at last, fulfil their intense desire to be united with their Infinite Good.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 5 November – Jesuits

Quote/s of the Day – 5 November – The Memorial of All Jesuit Saints and Blesseds

Hate what the world seeks
and seek, what it avoids

God’s love calls us to move beyond fear.
We ask God for the courage
to abandon ourselves unreservedly,
so that we might be moulded
by God’s grace,
even as we cannot see
where that path may lead us.

Act as if everything depended on you;
trust as if everything depended on God

St Ignatius Loyola SJ (1491-1556)

I Beg of You, My Lord
By St Peter Faber (1506-1546)

I beg of You, my Lord,
to remove anything which separates
me from You
and You from me.
Remove anything that makes me unworthy
of Your sight,
Your control,
Your reprehension;
of Your speech and conversation,
of Your benevolence and love.
Cast from me every evil
that stands in the way of my seeing You,
hearing, tasting, savouring and touching You,
fearing and being mindful of You,
knowing, trusting, loving and possessing You;
being conscious of Your Presence
and, as far as may be, enjoying You.
This is what I ask for myself
and earnestly desire from You.

What a tragedy,
how many souls
are being shut out of heaven
and falling into hell,
thanks to you!

St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552)

This death … has already levelled
his bow to strike me.
Is it not prudent to prevent its stroke,
by dying now to the world,
that at my death,
I may live to God?

St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)

“We ought to instruct with meekness
those whom heresy has made bitter and suspicious
and has estranged from orthodox Catholics,
… Thus, by whole-hearted charity and goodwill,
we may win them over to us in the Lord.

St Peter Canisius SJ (1521-1397)
Doctor of the Church

We … are under an obligation
to be the light of the world
by the modesty of our behaviour,
the fervour of our charity,
the innocence of our lives
and the example of our virtues.
Thus shall we be able
to raise the lowered prestige
of the Catholic Church
and, to build up again,
the ruins that others by their vices have caused.
Others, by their wickedness,
have branded the Catholic Faith
with a mark of shame,
we must strive,
with all our strength, to cleanse it
from its ignominy
and to restore it
to its pristine glory!

The Burning Babe,

As I in hoary winter’s night
stood shivering in the snow,
Surprised I was with sudden heat
which made my heart to glow;
And lifting up a fearful eye to view
what fire was near,
A pretty babe all burning bright
did in the air appear;
Who, scorchëd with excessive heat,
such floods of tears did shed
As though His floods should quench His flames
which with His tears were fed.
Alas, quoth He but newly born in fiery heats I fry,
Yet none approach to warm their hearts
or feel my fire but I!
My faultless breast the furnace is,
the fuel wounding thorns,
Love is the fire and sighs the smoke,
the ashes shame and scorns;
The fuel justice layeth on
and mercy blows the coals,
The metal in this furnace wrought
are men’s defiled souls,
For which, as now on fire I am
to work them to their good,
So will I melt into a bath to wash them in my blood.
With this He vanished out of sight
and swiftly shrunk away,
And straight I called unto mind
that it was Christmas day.

St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
Priest and Martyr

When He takes away
what He once lent us,
His purpose is to
store our treasure elsewhere,
more safely and bestow on us,
those very blessings,
that we ourselves
would most choose to have.

(From A Letter to His Mother)

St Aloysius Gonzaga SJ (1568-1591)

The Catholic religion was the religion of your forefathers
and the only one Jesus Christ founded; –
the one which He promised would endure
till the end of time.
It is in the Catholic religion alone
that you can save your soul.

How long are you going to be deaf to His call?
Or are you going to lose your soul,
which Jesus Christ bought at the price
of His Precious Blood?

St John Francis Régis SJ (1597-1640)

… Make use of Our Lord
as an armour which covers [us] all about,
by means of which [we] shall resist
every device of [our] enemies.
You shall then be my Strength, O my God!
You shall be my Guide,
my Director,
my Counsellor,
my Patience,
my Knowledge,
my Peace,
my Justice
and my Prudence.

He promises to be [our] strength,
in proportion to the trust
which [we] place in Him.

St Claude de la Colombiere SJ (1641-1682)
“Apostle of the Sacred Heart”

The May Magnificat
By Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889)

May is Mary’s month and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season-

Candlemas, Lady Day:
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?
Ask of her, the mighty Mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?
Growth in everything-
All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Nature’s motherhood.

Well but there was more than this:
Spring’s universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.


One Minute Reflection – 5 November – ‘… The handwriting of sin … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 5 November – “Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory” – Readings: Romans 15: 14-21; Psalms 98: 1-4; Luke 16: 1-8 and the Memorial of All Jesuit Saints and Blesseds

Then to another he said: ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note, write one for eighty.’” – Luke 16:7

REFLECTION – “What the Gospel of “the unjust steward” says, is also an image of this matter. He says to the debtor [of one hundred measures of wheat], “Take your bill, sit down and write eighty” and the other things that are related.
You see that he said to each man, “Take your bill.
It is evident from this, that the ‘documents of sin‘ are ours but God writes ‘documents of justice.
The Apostle says, “For you are an epistle written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone but in the fleshly tables of the heart.” You have in yourselves, ‘documents of God’ and ‘documents of the Holy Spirit.’
If you transgress, you yourself write in yourselves, the handwriting of sin.
Notice, that at anytime, when you have approached the Cross of Christ and the grace of Baptism, your handwriting is fastened to the Cross and blotted out in the fountain of Baptism.
Do not rewrite later, what has been blotted out, or repair what has been destroyed. Preserve only the documents of God in yourself. Let only the scripture of the Holy Spirit remain in you.
” – Origen Adamantius (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father (Homilies on Genesis, 13)

PRAYER – Lord God, teach us humility, to give and not to count ever the cost to ourselves, to take the lowest part and the back seat – teach us Lord, to strive and not to seek for glory, save for that of Your Kingdom. Let us see Your Face, His Face, He our Teacher, our Saviour in the face of all those in most need. May all those great Jesuit Saints standing before that Face, pray for us! We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who we beg, have mercy on us all, who seek rewards for our own sakes, amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, GOOD FRIDAY, HOLY WEEK, Our MORNING Offering

Our Morning Offering – 5 November – Come Jesus,for My Feet are Soiled

Our Morning Offering – 5 November – “Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory”

Come Jesus,
for My Feet are Soiled
By Origen of Alexandria (c 185-253)

Come Jesus,
for my feet are soiled.
Become once more,
a Servant for my sake.
Pour water into Your basin
and come and wash my feet.
I know these words of mine,
presume too much
and yet, I dread those
frightening Words of Yours,
“If I do not wash your feet,
you can have no part in me!”
Then wash my feet,
so that I belong to You.
Yet how can I dare to say,
“Wash my feet?”
Let Peter say so;
he needed only
to have his feet washed
For he was clean through and through.
I too have been washed once in Baptism
and yet, I need that other cleansing
that You spoke of,
when You said:
“I have another baptism to undergo;”
Cleanse me Lord thoroughly,
by Your saving Death.

Origen Adamantius (c 185-253)
Priest, Theologian, Exegist,
Writer, Apologist, Father

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 5 November – Saint Bertille (c 629-c 703)

Saint of the Day – 5 November – Saint Bertille (c 629-c 703) Virgin, Abbess, spiritual student of St Ouen (also known as St Audoin). Born at Soissons, France and died in c 703 of natural causes. Also known as – Bertilla.

St Bertille was born of one of the most illustrious families in the territory of Soissons, in the reign of Dagobert I and by her piety, acquired the true nobility of the children of God. From her infancy she preferred the love of God to that of creatures, shunned as much as possible, the company and amusements of the world and employed her time in serious duties and chiefly in holy prayer.

As she grew up, by relishing daily more and more. the sweetness of conversing with God, she learned perfectly, to despise the world and earnestly desired to renounce it. Not daring to discover this inclination to her parents, she first opened herself to St Ouen, by whom she was encouraged in her resolution. Self-love early disguises itself in every shape and the devil often transforms himself into an angel of light. Not to be deceived through precipitation and rashness in so important a choice as that of a state of life, impartial advice, prayer, careful self-examination and mature deliberation are necessary. These means having been employed, the saint’s parents were made acquainted with her desire, which God inclined them not to oppose. They conducted her to Jouarre, great Monastery in Brie, four leagues from Meaux, founded not long before, about the year 630, by Ado, the elder brother of St. Ouen, who took the monastic habit there with many other young noblemen and established a nunnery in the neighbourhood, which became the principal house.

St Thelchildes, a Virgin of noble descent, who seems to have been educated or first professed in the Monastery of Faremoutier, was the first Abbess of Jouarre and governed that house until about the year 660. By her and her religious community, St Bertille was received with great joy and trained in the strictest practice of monastic perfection. Our saint, looking upon this solitude as a secure harbour, never ceased to return thanks to God for His infinite mercy in having drawn her out of the tempestuous ocean of the world but was persuaded she could never deserve to become the spouse of Jesus Christ ,unless she endeavoured to follow Him in the path of humiliation and self-denial. By her perfect submission to all her sisters she seemed everyone’s servant and in her whole conduct, was a model of humility, obedience, regularity and devotion. Though she was yet young, her prudence and virtue appeared consummate and the care of entertaining strangers, of the sick and of the children that were educated in the Monastery was successfully committed to her. In all these employments she had acquitted herself with great charity and edification when she was chosen Prioress to assist the Abbess in her administration. In this office, her tender devotion, her habitual sense of the divine presence and her other virtues, shone forth with new lustre and had a wonderful influence on the direction of the whole community.

When St Bathildes, wife of Clovis II, munificently refounded the Abbey of Chelles, which St Clotildis had instituted near the Marne, four leagues from Paris, she desired St Thelchildes to furnish this new community with a small colony of the most experienced and virtuous Nuns of Jouarre, who might direct the novices in the rule of monastic perfection. Bertille was sent at the head of this holy company and was appointed the first Abbess of Chelles, in 646, or thereabouts. The reputation of the sanctity and prudence of our saint and the excellent discipline which she established in this house, drew several foreign princesses to desire admittance. Among others Bede mentions Hereswith, Queen of the East-Angles. She was daughter of Hereic, brother or brother-in-law to St Edwin, King of Northumberland and married the religious King Annas, with whose consent she renounced the world and, passing into France, in 646, became a Nun at Chelles. Queen Bathildes, after the death of her husband in 655, was left Regent of the Kingdom during the minority of her son Clotaire III but as soon as he was of age to govern, in 665, she retired to Chelies, took the religious habit from the hands of St Bertille, obeyed her as if she had been the last sister in the house and passed to the glory of the Angels in 680. In this numerous family of holy Queens, Princesses and Virgins, no contests arose but those of humility and charity. The holy Abbess, who saw two great Queens everyday at her feet, seemed the most humble and the most fervent among her sisters and showed, by her conduct, that no-one commands well or with safety, who has not first learned and is not always ready,, to obey well.

St Bertille governed this great Monastery for the space of forty six years with equal vigour and discretion. In her old age, far from abating her fervour, she strove daily to redouble it both in her penances and in her devotions. In these holy dispositions of fervour the saint closed her penitential life in around 703. (Rev Alban Butler).


Feast of the Holy Relics, Nossa Senhora da Medalha Milagrosa / Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Monte Sião, Brazil (1939) and Memorials of the Saints

Feast of the Holy Relics:

Nossa Senhora da Medalha Milagrosa / Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Monte Sião, Brazil (1939)5 November now moved to 27 November:

The first Church in Monte Sião appeared in 1849, dedicated to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, built by the founder of the place, Antonio Bernardes de Souza. The official Consecration of the Church took place on 13 April 1850. In the Parish of Father Luigi Cocoresi, from 1883 to 1890, more precisely in 1881, the Chapel was replaced by the Parish Church, built on top of in in the same square. The new Church was also built of clay based on strips of sawn wood.
In the parish administration of Fr. José Eugênio de Faria – Fr Zequinha – in 1934, the construction of the current Mother Church began, which is located in the same place as the previous otwo
The Church’s architecture resembles the style of Roman art from the 12th century and the main Altar is entirely carved in wood, where the centenary image of the Patron Saint, the Blessed Mother, can be seen. The image of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, which adorns the main Altar, was brought to Monte Sião around 1860 and came from Portugal, through a Portuguese farmer, Mr João Pereira Batista Machado, who would have funded both its acquisition and the transportation. The image arrived at the Port of Rio de Janeiro and was brought to the City on the back of animals, inside a cargo jack and wrapped in dry corn husk.

In 1937, at the request of the Bishop, the image was removed from the Altar and sent to a Chapel in the countryside, claiming that the Statue looked too modern.
The faithful greatly missed the Statue in the Igreja Matriz. It was then, that between 1937 and 1939, the City of Monte Sião was inflicted by a period of great drought. There was rain in every other City but not there. The people then associated the lack of rain with the absence of the Statue of their Patron and went to intercede with the Parish Priest, to bring the Statue back. On 5 November 1939, the Statue was allowed to return. The day was sunny and a procession was held to honour the Patroness.
When the Statue reached the City, the first drops began to fall and then a heavy rain, soaking everyone. This was called the rain miracle and after that, everything went smoothly. The Statue underwent a restoration in the year 2015, which returned all the original features to the image, which had been lost with previous restorations.
Although the Feast was 5 November it was moved to co-incide with the official Feast of the Miraculous Medal, 27 November, which is a local public holiday, when it is celebrated after a Novena between 18 and 26 November, with a Mass in honour of the Patron , the Blessed Maria of the Miraculous Medal.

All Saints and Blesseds of the Society of Jesus:

The Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits, was Founded in 1534 by Saint Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) at Montmartre, Paris, France. A body of clerics regular organised for Apostolic work, following a religious rule and relying on alms for their support. It was the chief instrument of the Catholic Reformation. Pope Paul III approved the new rule in 1540 and Ignatius was elected the first general of the order in 1541. The constitutions, drafted by him and based on his Spiritual Exercises were adopted in 1558. It was the first order which enjoined by its constitutions devotion to the cause of education. The ministry of the Society consists chiefly in preaching. teaching catechism. administering the sacraments. conducting missions in parishes, taking care of parishes. organising pious confraternities, teaching in schools of every grade, writing books, pamphlets, periodical articles, going on foreign missions and special missions when ordered by the current Holy Father, to whom they take a vow of total obedience. Our current Holy Father, Pope Francis is a Jesuit and has jokingly wondered aloud who is boss of whom in his Order. The general resides at Rome, Italy and has a council of assistants. The motto of the Society is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (For the greater glory of God).
All Jesuit Saints and Blesseds:

St Augustine of Terracina
Bl Bernhard Lichtenberg
St Bertille (c 629-c 703) Abbess
St Canonica
St Comasia
St Ðaminh Mau
St Dominator of Brescia
St Elizabeth
St Domninus the Physician
St Epistemis
St Eusebius of Terracina
St Felix of Terracina
St Fibitius
St Galation
St Gerald of Beziers
Bl Gomidas Keumurjian
Bl Gregory Lakota
St Guetnoco
St Guido Maria Conforti
St St Hermenegild
St Idda
St Juan Antoni Burró Mas
St Juan Duarte Martín
St Kanten
St Kea
St Laetus of Orleans
St Magnus of Milan
St Mamete
St Marco of Troia
Bl María del Carmen Viel Ferrando
Bl Simon Ballachi
St Spinulus of Moyen-Moûtier
St Sylvanus of Syria
St Zachary

Martyrs of Caesarea Maritima – 4 saints: Four young Christian men who were martyred together in the persecutions of Maximian – Aussenzius, Philotheus, Timothy and Theotimus. They were martyred in the arena at Caesarea Maritima, Palestine.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Juan Antoni Burró Mas
• Blessed Juan Duarte Martín
• Blessed María del Carmen Viel Ferrando