Thought for the Day – 12 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Everyday of our lives should be a further step towards perfection. Holiness should be our goal in life. If we set before ourselves any illusory targets at which to aim, we are making a serious mistake and shall have cause, in the end, to appreciate the truth of the prophet’s warning: “You have sowed much and brought in little” (Agg 1:6). Jesus Christ, moreover, has given us this commandment: “You are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
The ideal is high, certainly and, it is impossible for human resources but Jesus assures us, that nothing is impossible with God (Cf Lk 18:27). We can do nothing without God’s help but, with His grace, we can do everything. “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).
Naturally, we cannot hope to accomplish everything in one day. We should desire to reach the highest possible level of perfection and not to be discouraged by the many difficulties which we are sure to encounter on the way. But, it would be presumptuous to expect to achieve perfection in a single moment.
The road to sanctity is long and arduous. It is essential to stride this path resolutely and with complete confidence in God. We should go forward with enthusiasm, not depending on our own poor resources but, on divine grace.
This is a matter of life and death and here we speak of eternal life. If we cease to advance and fall into indolence and inactivity, God will leave us to ourselves and we shall be lost! A man who is not advancing in the spiritual life must lose ground sooner or later because, he is not obeying the command of Jesus Christ.”
Quote/s of the Day – 12 November – Readings: Wisdom 13: 1-9; Psalm 19: 2-5; Luke 17: 26-37
“On that day, … a person in the field, must not return to what was left behind.”
“The Son of Man will send his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom, all causers of sin and all law-breakers and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”
“Then the righteous shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”
“So from now on, run well (cf. Gal 5:7) and may the devil not bewitch you (cf. Gal 3:1) nor hinder you! … May mercy, peace, charity, freedom from envy, from jealousy and ostentation come upon you, docility, friendly speech, solidarity, compassion towards each other, humility.”
St Theodore the Studite (759-826)
“Ah Jesus, Sun of Justice, make me clothe myself with You, so that I may be able to live according to Your will. Make me, under Your guidance, preserve my robe of baptismal innocence, white, holy and spotless and present it undefiled, before Your tribunal, so that I may wear it, for eternal life.”
St Gertrude the Great of Helfta (1256-1301)
“Let everyone who has the grace of intelligence, fear that because of it, he will be judged more heavily, if he is negligent.”
St Bridget of Sweden (c 1303 – 1373)
“Life is passing. The days chase one another; time is flying. Do not say, therefore, that you will change tomorrow, that tomorrow you will turn away from the path of sin and begin to lead a holy life. For not alone does time pass but, it often betrays us! Our Lord tells us that the judgement will come at a time when we least expect it. The time that is gone will never return; the future is uncertain; there remains, only the present. But the present is equally uncertain; it is something that passes and, every moment could be the last of our lives. How many whom we have known, were taken away suddenly in the flower of their youth … Is that not a warning to us?”
One Minute Reflection – 12 November – “Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory” – Readings: Wisdom 13: 1-9; Psalm 19: 2-5; Luke 17: 26-37
“On that day, … a person in the field, must not return to what was left behind.” – Luke 17:31
REFLECTION – “He that will be in the field, do not let him turn back.” How may I understand what is the field unless Jesus Himself teaches me? He says, “No-one putting his hand to the plough and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.” The lazy person sits in the farmhouse but the industrious person, plants in the field. The weak are at the fireplace but the strong are at the plough. The smell of a field is good because the smell of Jacob is the smell of a full field. A field is full of flowers. It is full of different fruits. Plough your field if you want to be sent to the Kingdom of God. Let your field flower, fruitful with good rewards. Let there be a fruitful vine on the sides of your house and young olive plants around your table. Already aware of its fertility, let your soul, sown with the Word of God and tilled by spiritual farming, say to Christ, “Come, my brother, let us go out into the field.” Let Him reply, “I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride. I have gathered my vintage of myrrh.” What is better than the vintage of faith, by which the fruit of the resurrection is stored and the spring of eternal rejoicing is watered?” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and one of the original four Fathers and Doctors of the Latin Church (Exposition on the Gospel of Luke, 8)
PRAYER – Lord God, grant to us that the power of Your protecting hand may keep us unshaken in the face of our ancient enemy and all his hidden snares. Lighten our way so that, through the prayers of intercession of the Angels and Saints, we may experience the joy of Your presence in our hearts, courage in times of suffering and the wisdom to obey Your instructions. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 12 November -Friday, the day of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ
To Christ Crucified Traditional Irish Prayer Trans. Brendan Devlin
May the sweet Name of Jesus Be written deeply on my heart and mind. Through the power of His Passion, Through the force of His Prayer, Through the shedding of His Blood, Through the sweetness of His Sweetness, Through His cruel Death on the Cross, for the sake of us all. O Lord Jesus Christ, be the Saviour of our souls. O Mary, Mother of Jesus and Jesus, be with me, the bond of love, binding us together and never be loosed. Amen
Saint of the Day – 12 November – Saint Astricus of Esztergom (Died c 1035) Archbishop of Esztergom, the first Archbishop of the Hungarian Church, Confessor, Monk, Abbot, Missionary, Born in Bohemia as Radla and died in c 1035 of natural causes. Patronage – Hungary. Also known as – Astricus of Ungarn, Anastasius XIX, Astericus Anastasius, Astrik of Pannonhalma, Ascrick, Astericus, Astrik-Anastaz, Radla.
Radla was a Czech or Croat from Bohemia, who was a Monk in Hungary. He probably received the habit at Brevnov, taking the name of Anastasius, of which Astricus is the equivalent. Astricus accompanied Saint Adalbert in the latter’s missionary work to the Bohemians and became the first Abbot of Břevnov Monastery. When Adalbert failed to consolidate his position in Bohemia and left Prague, Astricus went to the Kingdom of Hungary to help the missionaries among the Magyars.
He first served the wife of Duke Géza. In 997 Astricus became the first Abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of St Martin’s, the first ecclesiastical institution in Hungary, founded by Duke Géza. He then served Géza’s son, who was the great Saint Stephen I of Hungary and became the first Archbishop of the Hungarian Church.
Astricus served as Stephen’s Ambassador to Pope Sylvester II and negotiated the recognition of the new Kingdom of Hungary The Pope recognised Stephen as King of the Hungarians. Soon after Astricus’ return bringing the Crown with hin, Stephen was crowned by him, with the royal crown sent by Pope Sylvester, granted no doubt at the instance of the Emperor Otto III, in 1001. Astricus fulfilled the role of the Advisor to St Stephen on matters of spirit and of state until Stephen‘s death. He outlived the King and Saint by two years and spent those last days as a prayerful Monk.
The Assumption Cathedral of Kalocsa was extensively restored between 1907 and 1912. Under the Sanctuary, a red marble archiepiscopal tomb was excavated in 1910 in the place of the original 11th-century Cathedral. In addition to the intact skeleton, a gilded silver-headed crosier, a silver chalice, paten, golden rings, crosses, pallium with three jeweled gold pins and textile remnants were found. After many investigations these relics were confirmed as belonging to our Saint Astricus.
Maria Ausiliatrice a Valdocco / Our Lady of the Tower Secret, Turin, Italy (1863) – 12 November:
Our Lady of the Tower, at Fribourg, built on the lands of the heretics, on the very spot where an image of Our Lady had been found.
Don John Bosco, the amiable saint of the nineteenth century built a major Shrine to Our Lady Help of Christians, tying it in with the past and with the future. The Church was begun in 1863 with the sum of 8 cents. Don Bosco never revealed all that Our Lady had told him, in the several visions that preceded this but he did reveal that she asked him to build a great Shrine and that it would be a source of grace to all who came there to pray. He simply got permission, hunted up an architect who was willing, in the coldly realistic nineteenth century, to begin a Church on 8 cents and said, when the work was finished, that he had been paid every cent owing to him but, that he had been confronted in the beginning, by a man who many people said was completely mad. The architect must have had real faith, even to listen to Don Bosco. Like everything else accomplished by the great Saint of Turin, the building was beset with difficulties. No-one could understand why he insisted on naming it for Our Lady; even his own fellow priests. The money to pay for the project did not come in by the thousands, or even by the hundreds but by the penny. Every stone in the building, every bit of decorations, was a gift of love, and sacrifice from some grateful person who had benefitted from Our Lady’s help. The completed building is a testimonial of miracles and a Shrine of beauty, fit to stand with the world’s finest.
The curious thing about Don Bosco’s Shrine to Our Lady, and the one that should cause us thought, is the story of the right-hand tower. There is a large central dome, and on each side of it, a smaller one. On top of left-hand one is an angel holding a banner. The right-hand dome is built in the same way but its decoration is an angel offering a crown to Our Lady. One who saw the original sketches of the Church, drawn out in Don Bosco’s own hand, saw on the right-hand tower, a date 19.., indicating that at some time, in this warring century, there would be a victory over evil to correspond with Lepanto. Our Lady often tells her secrets to the saints and apparently Don Bosco knew the name and the place and thought it better not to reveal what he knew. Our Lady of the Tower Secret would take care of it in time and the left-hand angel bearing a banner labelled LEPANTO would have a counterpart, if mankind proves worthy. Don Bosco’s Church with Our Lady of the Tower was raised to the rank of a Basilica by Pope Pius X, Saint Pope Pius X.
St Arsatius St Astricus of Esztergom (Died c 1035) Bishop St Aurelius St Cadwallader St Cummian Fada St Cunibert of Cologne St Emilian Cucullatus St Evodius of Le Puy St Hesychius of Vienne Bl John Cini della Pace Bl José Medes Ferrís
St Namphasius St Nilus the Elder St Paternus of Sens St Publius St Renatus of Angers St Rufus of Avignon Bl Ursula Medes Ferris St Ymar of Reculver — Five Polish Brothers – martyrs: They weren’t Polish and they weren’t related but were instead five Italian Benedictine monks who worked with Saint Adalbert of Prague as missionaries to the Slavs and were martyred together. They were – Benedict, Christinus, Isaac, John and Matthew. Born in Italy. They were martyred in 1005 at the Benedictine monastery near Gnesen, Poland and Canonised by Pope Julius II.