Thought for the Day – 5 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Blessedness of the Peracemakers
“The spirit of peace pervades the Gospel. When Jesus is born, choirs of angels sing above the stable in Bethlehem: “Glory to God in the highest ad on earth, peace among men of good will” (Lk 2:14). When our Saviour has risen gloriously from the dead, He appears to His disciples and greets them with the words: “Peace be to you.” Finally, when He is departing from this earth, He leaves his peace to His followers as their inheritance.“Peace I leave with you,” He says to them, “my peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled or be afraid” (Jn 14:27).
Exactly what is the peace of Jesus Christ? It is much different from worldly peace, presuming that the world can give some kind of peace. St Paul says of the Saviour that “he himself is our peace” (Eph 2:14). How are we to understand what is meant by this? The Apostle himself explains when he writes: “Having been justified by faith, let us have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:1). Jesus Christ, therefore, is our peacemaker. He has shouldered our iniquities and has offered Himself to the Father as a victim of expiation and of reconciliation. It is at the price of Christ’s precious blood, that we have regained peace with God and freedom from our sins. This is the peace which our Lord has given us. Let us remember, however, that if we return to the slavery of sin, we shall lose at once, the jewel of peace which Jesus Christ has bestowed on us. “There is no peace to the wicked” (Isa 48:22). We have experienced on many occasions how true this is. Sin destroys peace of soul because it deprives us of Jesus, without Whom, peace cannot survive. Let us resolve, therefore, to remain always close to our Lord and far from sin. Then only shall we be able to preserve our peace of mind in the midst of temptations and of earthly sorrows.
Let us begin: In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
O most Holy Virgin, who was pleasing to the Lord and became His Mother, Immaculate in body and spirit, in faith and in love, look kindly on us as we implore your powerful intercession.
O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God and our Mother, from the sublime heights of your dignity, turn your merciful eyes upon us while we, full of confidence in your bounty and fully conscious of your power, beg of you, to come to our aid and ask your Divine Son to grant the favour we earnestly seek in this novena… if it be beneficial for our immortal souls and the souls for whom we pray. ………………………… (State your intention here… ) O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son, while upon this earth, you have the same influence now in Heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from Him the granting of our petition if it be the Divine Will. Amen
Say the: Our Father… the: Hail Mary… the: Glory Be…
Quote/s of the Day – 5 December – The Second Sunday of Advent – Readings: Baruch 5: 1-9; Psalm 126: 1-6; Philippians 1: 4-6, 8-11; Luke 3: 1-6
“Prepare the way of the Lord make his paths straight” …
“There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healing, time for change. Have you slipped? Rise up! Have you sinned? Cease! Do not stand among sinners but leap aside!”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Open wide your door to the One who comes. Open your soul, throw open the depths of your heart to see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the sweetness of grace. Open your heart and run to meet the Sun of eternal Light that illuminates all men.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
“If we wish to make any progress in the service of God, we must begin everyday of our life, with new eagerness. We must keep ourselves, in the presence of God, as much as possible and have no other view or end, in all our actions but the divine honour.”
St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)
“Come, O come, for without You there will be no happy day or hour because You are my happiness and without You my table is empty. I am wretched, as it were imprisoned and weighted down with fetters, until You fill me with the Light of Your Presence, restore me to liberty and show me a friendly countenance.”
One Minute Reflection – 5 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” and The Second Sunday of Advent – Readings: Baruch 5: 1-9; Psalm 126: 1-6; Philippians 1: 4-6, 8-11; Luke 3: 1-6
“Prepare the way of the Lord” – Luke 3:4
REFLECTION – “Let the desert and the parched land exult! Let the arid ground rejoice and bloom. Let it bloom with abundant flowers” (Is 35:1). What the inspired Scriptures usually call ‘desert’ and ‘waste,‘ is the Church of the pagans. She already existed in former times among the peoples but had not received her mystical Spouse from Heaven, I mean the Christ … Christ came to her, however. Captivated by her faith, He enriched her from the divine river that streams from Him – streams because it is the “fountain of life, stream of delight” (Ps 36:10.9) … At His Presence, the Church ceased to be parched and arid, she encountered her Spouse, brought into the world countless children and was adorned with mystical flowers. …
Isaiah continues: “A pure way will be there, called the holy way” (v. 8). This pure way is the power of the Gospel entering into our lives or, to put it another way, the purifying power of the Spirit. For the Spirit removes the stain imprinted on the human soul, delivers us from our sins and enables us to rise above our uncleanness. Thus, this road is very rightly described as holy and pure, for it cannot be reached by anyone who has not been purified. Indeed, no-one is able to live according to the Gospel who has not first been purified by holy Baptism, no-one, therefore, can do so without faith. … Only those delivered from the devil’s tyranny can lead the glorious life the prophet describes with these images: “No lion will be there nor beast of prey” (v. 9) on that pure way. Indeed, in former times such fierce beasts, as is the devil, that inventor of sin, used to attack earth’s inhabitants together with the evil spirits. But he was crushed by Christ, driven far away from the flock of believers and stripped of the dominion he used to wield over them. That is why, redeemed by Christ and brought together in faith, they will walk united in heart along this pure way (v. 9). Forsaking their former ways “they will return to Zion,” that is, the Church, “with everlasting joy” (v. 10) that has no end, whether on earth or in Heaven and they will glorify God their Saviour. – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church (On Isaiah, III, 3).
PRAYER – Almighty and merciful God, let neither our daily work nor the cares of this life prevent us from hastening to meet your Son. Teach us Holy Father God, silence and solitude, to hear and learn, then lead us into the company of Your Son, as He comes to save us! And may His Mother and ours, the most pure Virgin Mary be our intercessor and advocate. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 5 December – The Second Sunday of Advent
A Great and Mighty Wonder By St Germanus (c 640-c 733)
A great and mighty wonder, a glorious mystery, a Virgin bears an Infant who veils His Deity. Refrain: Proclaim the Saviour’s birth, “To God on high be glory and peace to all the earth!” The Word becomes incarnate and yet remains on high, and Cherubim sing anthems to shepherds from the sky. … [Refrain] While thus they sing your monarch, those bright angelic bands, rejoice, O vales and mountains and oceans, clap your hands. [Refrain] Since all, He comes to ransom, by all, be He adored, the Infant born in Bethl’em, the Saviour and the Lord. [Refrain] All idols then shall perish and Satan’s lying cease, and Christ shall raise his sceptre, decreeing endless peace. [Refrain]
St Germanus was one of the Greek hymnwriters and one of the grandest among the defenders of the Icons. He was born at Constantinople of a patrician family, was ordained there and became subsequently Bishop of Cyzicus. He was present at the Synod of Constantinople in 712, which restored the Monothelite heresy but in after years he condemned it. He was made Archbishop of Constantinople in 715. In 730 he was driven from the See, not without blows, for refusing to yield to the Iconoclastic Emperor Leo the Isaurian. He died shortly afterwards in exile at a good old age. His Life below: https://anastpaul.com/2021/05/12/saint-of-the-day-12-may-saint-germanus-of-constantinople-c-640-733/
Saint of the Day – 5 December – Blessed Bartholomew Fanti of Mantua O.Carm. (c 1443-1495) Carmelite Priest renowned Preacher. Born in c 1428 at at Mantua, Italy and died on 5 December 1495 of natural causes. Patronage – Mantua.
Bartholomew became a professed member of the Carmelite Order at the age of seventeen and by the age of 24 was already Ordained as a Priest.
On 1 January 1460, he became the Spiritual Director and the Rector of the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and composed their Rule and Statues. Long before he formalised the Confraternity’s Rule, he had been a member and remained so for all his life, serving the Confraternity and the Blessed Virgin faithfully for 35 years in his hometown of Mantua.
He became a spiritual teacher of the Carmelite Priest Blessed John Baptist Spagnuolo, a Poet and Writer who also served as Prior General of the Carmelite Order. Bartholonew became well known for being an effective preacher with an ardent devotion to the Blessed Sacrament.
He died on 5 December 1495 in Mantua. His remains were relocated to another chapel in 1516 and again in 1783 to the Church of Saint Mark in Mantua before being relocated for the final time, in 1793.
Humble and gentle, Bartholomew gave an example to everyone of a life of prayer, of loving kindness and generosity to all and of faithful service to the Lord. He was remembered and revered, even during his life, for his great love ot the Blessed Sacrament, which was the source and the summit of his apostolic life, together with his love and devotion to the Virgin Mother.
His Beatification received the papal approval of Pope Pius X on 18 March 1909 (cultus confirmed).
Prayer: Lord God, You made Blessed Bartholomew Fanti outstanding in his zeal for the salvation of souls, in his devotion to the Holy Eucharist and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. May we experience, by his intercession, the same fullness of devotion and love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen
The Sodality of Our Lady / Our Lady of the Jesuit College, Rome (1584) – 5 December:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “In the year 1584 was instituted, the first congregation of Our Lady at the Jesuits’ college, at Rome, whence is derived their custom of establishing it in all their houses.”
The Sodality of Our Lady, or the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was actually founded in 1563 by a Belgian Jesuit, Father John Leunis, at the Collegio Romano in Rome. It was established for young schoolboys and the Papal Bull Superna Dispositione opened it to adults, under the authority of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus. A Jesuit historian recorded that it was originally “made up especially of younger boys from the college, who agreed to go to daily Mass, weekly confession, and monthly Communion, as well as to engage in a half-hour of meditation each day and do some other pious exercises.” The youths who felt drawn to the spirit of the Jesuits and were often called the “Congregation Mariana.” Once formed into a Sodality of Our Lady, they were to do apostolic work in the City of Rome, while also serving the poor. Since the time of its humble beginnings in 1563, twenty-two Sodalists have become Popes. After Fr Leunis’ death in 1584, Pope Gregory XIII canonically established the Sodality Group of the Roman College in his bull “Omnipotentis Dei.” The sodality of Fr Leunis was declared to be the mother of all such subsequent sodalities. Having attained the status of Prima Primaria, it had gained the right to partner with other similar groups, and through that affiliation ,all could share in the indulgences and privileges of the Prima Primaria, with the General of the Society of Jesus having the authority to grant such an affiliation. These sodalities were established all over Europe, India and Asia, as well as in the Americas and included both sexes. They reached their greatest number in the 17th century, when it was estimated that there were as many as 2500 such groups. In 1773, Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society of Jesus and separated the sodalities from their jurisdiction. From that time on it was Catholic bishops who established Marian Sodalities throughout the world.
St Abercius St Anastasius St Aper of Sens Blessed Bartholomew Fanti of Mantua O.Carm. (c 1428-1495) Carmelite Priest St Basilissa of Øhren St Bassus of Lucera St Bassus of Nice St Cawrdaf of Fferreg St Christina of Markyate St Consolata of Genoa St Crispina St Cyrinus of Salerno St Dalmatius of Pavia St Firminus of Verdun St Gerald of Braga St Gerbold St Gratus
St Vicente Jovaní Ávila — Martyrs of Thagura – (12 saints): A group of twelve African Christians who were martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. The only details about them that have survived are five of their names – Crispin, Felix, Gratus, Juliua and Potamia. 302 in Thagura, Numidia
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: • Blessed Joaquín Jovaní Marín • Blessed Vicente Jovaní Ávila