Thought for the Day – 23 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Have We Ever Abandoned Jesus?
“St John the Evangelist relates how, after the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus Christ wished to make the people understand that He would give men bread which would be infinitely more precious; namely Himself, the Bread of Life, the Living Bread that has come down from Heaven. Since the crowd which surrounded Him still failed to understand, He added, “I Am, the Living Bread that has come down from Heaven. If anyone eat of this Bread, he shall live forever and the Bread that I will give, is my Flesh for the life of the world” (Jn 6:51).
At this stage, however, the Jews began to argue with one another, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Jesus endeavoured to remove all doubt by His reply, “Unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you shall not have life in you… He who eats My Flesh and drinks my blood, abides in me and I in him. As the living Father has sent me and as I live because o the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of me” (Cf Jn 6:48-58).
When they had heard these words in which Jesus foretold the sublime miracle of the Blessed Eucharist, some of the disciples began to murmur among themselves. “This is a hard saying. Who can listen to it?” (Jn 6:61). When Jesus saw that some of His closest followers were drawing away from Him, He turned to the twelve Apostles, “Do you also wish to go away?” He asked. It was then that Simon Peter made his memorable reply, “Lord, to whom shall be go? Thou hast the words of everlasting life.” (Jn 6:68-69).
We also may experience, at times, a sense of uncertainty concerning the words of Jesus Christ. There are such tremendous mysteries in the Christian religion. But, a religion which contained no mysteries could scarcely be true. There are mysteries of nature surrounding us and within us. How can we imagine that there are no mysteries in God, the supreme and most perfect Being? Could it be possible for our petty intellects fully to comprehend God in Himself and in His revelation? Let us bow our heads, therefore, before the mysteries of the Divinity. Let us adore God and repeat with St Peter: We cannot go away from You, O God because You have the words of everlasting life.”
Quote/s of the Day – 23 November – The Mmemorial of St Pope Clement I (Died c 101) Martyr, Apostolic Father
“Through Him, our gaze penetrates he heights of heaven and we see, as in a mirror, the most holy Face of God. Through Christ, the eyes of our hearts are opened and our weak and clouded understanding, reaches up toward the light.”
“This, beloved, is the way in which we found our salvation, Jesus Christ, the High Priest Who offers our gifts, the Patron and Helper in our weakness (Heb 10:20; 7:27; 4:15). It is through Him, that we look straight at the heavens above. Through Him, we see mirrored, God’s faultless and transcendent countenance. Through Him, the eyes of our heart were opened. Through Him, our unintelligent and darkened mind shoots up into the light. Through Him, the Master was pleased to let us taste the knowledge that never fades …”
“Charity unites us to God. There is nothing unkind in charity, nothing arrogant. Charity knows no schism, does not rebel, does all things in concord. In charity all the elect of God have been made perfect.”
“Look at the holy Apostles. It was by sinful jealousy that Peter was subjected to tribulation, not once or twice but many times; it was in that way, that he bore his witness before leaving us for his well-earned place in glory. And Paul, because of jealousy and contention, has become the very type of endurance rewarded. … In him we have one of the greatest of all examples of endurance. … [And] we too, are in the same arena and have the same conflict before us.”
“Let us fix our thoughts on the Blood of Christ and reflect how Precious that Blood is, in God’s eyes, inasmuch, as its outpouring for our salvation, has opened the grace of repentance to all mankind.”
One Minute Reflection – 23 November – Readings: Daniel 2: 31-45; Psalm: Daniel 3: 57-61; Luke 21: 5-11 – The Mmemorial of St Pope Clement I (Died c 101) Martyr, Apostolic Father, Papacy c 88 – c 101.
“See that you not be deceived, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he’ and ‘The time has come.’ Do not follow them!” – Luke 21:8
REFLECTION – “[Christ speaks:] I became useless to those who knew Me not, because I shall hide Myself, from those who possessed Me not. And I will be with those who love Me. All my persecutors have died and they, who trusted in Me, sought Me because I am living! I arose and am with them and will speak by their mouths. For they have rejected those who persecute them and I threw over them, the yoke of My love. Like the arm of the bridegroom over the bride (cf Sg 2,6), so is My yoke over those who know Me. And as the bridal feast is spread out by the bridal pair’s home, So is My love, by those who believe in Me.
I was not rejected, although I was considered to be so and I did not perish, although they thought it of Me. Sheol saw Me and was shattered and Death ejected Me and many with Me. I have been vinegar and bitterness to it and I went down with it as far as its depth. Death was released because it was not able to endure My Face.
And I made a congregation of living, among his dead (1P 3,19; 4,6) and I spoke with them, by living lips; in order that My word may not fail. And those who had died ran toward Me and they cried out and said, “Son of God, have pity on us. And deal with us according to Your kindness and bring us out from the chains of darkness. And open for us, the door by which we may go forth to You, for we perceive, that our death does not approach You. May we also be saved with You because You are our Saviour.”
Then I heard their voice and placed their faith in My Heart. And I placed My Name upon their forehead (Rv 14,1) because they are free and they are Mine! – Odes of Solomon (Hebrew Christian text from the beginning of the 2nd century) N° 42
PRAYER – Almighty, everliving God, the holiness of the Saints is Your glory. Let us rejoice in the memory of Saint Clement, Priest and Martyr of Christ Your Son. His life his teaching and his death bore witness to the mystery of faith. Grant us by his prayers, the courage and faith he manifested, to imitate Our Master in all things. We make our prayer through Him Who is the Light and the Power, with You Father and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 23 November – The Memorial of Blessed Miguel Pro – Martyr (1891-1927)
Heart Of Jesus By Blessed Miguel Pro – Martyr (1891-1927)
I believe, O Lord but strengthen my faith, Heart of Jesus, I love Thee but increase my love. Heart of Jesus, I trust in Thee but give greater vigour to my confidence. Heart of Jesus, I give my heart to Thee but so enclose it in Thee that it may never be separated from Thee. Heart of Jesus, I am all Thine but take care of my promise so that I may be able to put it into practice even unto the complete sacrifice of my life. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 23 November – St Pope Clement I (Died c 101) Martyr, Apostolic Father, Papacy c 88 – c 101. Born in Rome and Martyred at Chersonesus, Greece. The Liber Pontificalis states that Clement died in Greece in the third year of Emperor Trajan’s reign, or 101. Patronages – mariners, sailors, marble artisans, sick children, stonecutters, Diocese of Aarhus, Denmark, Dundee, Scotland, Steenwijk, Netherlands, Velletri, Italy. Also known as – Clement of Rome, Clemens Romanus. St Clement is listed by St Irenaeus and Tertullian as the fourth Bishop of Rome, holding office from 88 until his death. He is considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church, (those who provided a direct link between the Apostles and later generations of Church Fathers). one of the three chief ones together with St Polycarp and St Ignatius of Antioch. He has left one genuine writing, a letter to the Church of Corinth and many others have been attributed to him.
The Roman Martyrology states: “The birthday of Pope St Clement, who held the sovereign Pontificate, the third after the blessed Apostle Peter. In the persecution of Trajan, he was banished to Chersonesus, where, being precipitated into the sea with an anchor tied to his neck, he was crowned with Martyrdom. His body was taken to Rome, during the Pontificate of Nicholas I and placed with due honour, in the Church which had been previously built under his invocation.”
Few details are known about Clement’s life. Tradition suggests that Clement was the son of a Roman named Faustinus and that he joined the Church in Rome during its early years through the preaching of Saint Peter or Saint Paul. He went on to share in the missionary journeys of the Apostles, some believe he was one of the 72 or 70 disciples and may even have assisted the first Pope in running the Church on a local level.
Clement was said to have been Ordained by St Peter the Apostle and he is known to have been a leading member of the Church in Rome in the late 1st century. After the deaths of St Peter’s first two successors, the Saints Popes Linus and Cletus, Clement took up St Peter’s position of primacy in the Church around the year 88.
In his letter to the Church at Corinth in response to a dispute in which certain Presbyters of the Corinthian Church had been deposed, he asserted the authority of the Presbyters as rulers of the Church, on the ground that the Apostles had appointed them. His letter, which is one of the oldest extant Christian documents outside the New Testament, was read in Church, along with other Epistles, some of which later became part of the Christian canon. These works were the first to affirm the apostolic authority of the clergy.
St Clement has been identified as the Clement that Paul mentioned in Philippians 4:3: “And I entreat thee also, my sincere companion, help those women who have laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement and the rest of my fellow labourers, whose names are in the book of life.” (DR).
According to apocryphal acta dating to the 4th century at earliest, Clement was banished from Rome to the Chersonesus during the reign of the Emperor Trajan and was set to work in a stone quarry. Finding, on his arrival, that the prisoners were suffering from lack of water, he knelt down in prayer. Looking up, he saw a Lamb on a hill, went to where the Lamb had stood and struck the ground with his pickaxe, releasing a gushing stream of clear water. This miracle resulted in the conversion of large numbers of the local pagans and his fellow prisoners to Christianity.
As punishment, Clement was Martyred by being tied to an anchor and thrown from a boat into the Black Sea. Since then, that every year a miraculous ebbing of the sea revealed a divinely built Shrine containing his bones.
The Inkerman Cave Monastery marks the supposed place of Clement’s burial in the Crimea. A year or two before his own death in 869, Saint Cyril (c 827–869), (brother of St Methodius) brought to Rome what he believed to be the relics of Saint Clement, bones he found in the Crimea buried with an anchor on dry land. They are now enshrined in the Basilica di San Clemente, one of the oldest Parish Churches in Rome. Other relics of Saint Clement, including his head, are claimed by the Kyiv Monastery of the Caves in Ukraine.
In works of art, Saint Clement can be recognised by having an anchor at his side or tied to his neck. He is most often depicted wearing papal vestments, including the Pallium and sometimes, with a Papal Tiara but more often with a Mitre. He is also sometimes shown with Papal symbols such as the Papal Crucifix and the Keys of Heaven. In reference to his Martyrdom, he often holds the palm of Martyrdom.
The St Clement’s Cross is also referred to as the Anchored Cross or Mariner’s Cross.
St Clement is among the Saints mentioned in the Church’s most traditional Eucharistic prayer, the Roman Canon.
La Conchita de Granada. Virgen de la Concepción / Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Granada, Nicaragua (1721) – 23 November to 8 December:
Patron of Granada and of the Armies of Nicaragua – known as the “General” of the armies.
In 1721, women washing clothes in Lake Nicaragua saw a chest floating in but every time it drew near, waves pulled it back out. The women went to tell the Franciscan Friars. When they arrived and waded into the water, the chest floated up to their hands. On top were the words, “For the City of Granada.” Inside were two images of the Virgin (one of which was later given to the City of Masaya). Immediately, the Franciscan Friars carried the image to the Cathedral in procession. In 1856, the American Mercenary, William Walker invaded and proclaimed himself president of Nicaragua. On 23 November 1856, when he began to lose his private war in Central America, he left Granada, commanding the fire that almost completely destroyed the City Among the few objects recovered in good condition was the Sacred Statue of the Virgen de la Concepción, still in the Cathedral of Granada today.
The Virgin is shown slaying a dragon with a spear, which is inscribed in the Title given her in 1862, “General of the Nicaraguan Army.” The army band plays in her honour on 28 November, the first day of the Novena, prior to the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December. The Statue is a one and a half meter tall wood carving,the Virgin Mary smiles gently – in her left arm the Child Jesus lies, while with his right hand he holds a spear that rests on the head of a serpent. The current spear is not the original spear, since William Walker stole the original which was solid silver. The Virgin’s feet rest on a half moon. In 1862, once the Nicaraguan National War had ended, General Tomas Martínez declared the Title of “General of the Nicaraguan Armies,” this Title was granted, considering that the Virgin had played “a decisive role in the great battles against the Mercenaries.” The Title of General makes the Blessed Virgin enjoy a salary for the reconstruction of the Church, in addition, the Title thus belonging to the armed forces, grants the Army a particular role in the celebrations of the Patron during the Novena and the Festivities in her honour on 8 December.
St Pope Clement I (Died c 101) Martyr, Apostolic Father, Papacy c 88 – c101(Optional Memorial)
St Adalbert of Casauria St Alexander Nevski St Amphilochius of Iconium St Augusta of Alexandria St Cecilia Yu Sosa St Clement of Metz Bl Detlev of Ratzeburg Bl Enrichetta Alfieri St Falitrus of Chabris St Faustina of Alexandria Bl Felícitas Cendoya Araquistain St Felicity of Rome St Gregory of Girgenti Bl Guy of Casauria St Jaume Nàjera Gherna St John Camillus the Good St Loëvan of Brittany St Lucretia of Mérida Bl Margaret of Savoy