Thought for the Day – 9 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Perseverance may be a difficult virtue but nothing is really difficult to a person of strong resolution. When the sister of St Thomas Aquinas asked him how to become holy, he replied that it needed only one thing – a firm act of the will, for God will certainly supply the necessary grace.
Think of how much work and sacrifice is required to achieve worldly success. Cicero wrote that it required constant and tireless labour in order to become a great orator (Cf De Oratore, 1:39). St Paul cited the example of athletes who are prepared to make such great sacrifices, in order to train themselves to win. If they are prepared to do so much to gain a perishable crown, he comments, we should be prepared to do much more to gain an imperishable one (Cf 1 Cor 9:25).
The grace of God is the principal weapon upon which we must depend in order to gain our victory. We should pray for it humbly and perseveringly. There will be victors and losers in the battle for Heaven as well as in earthly contests. We must make sure that we are on the winning side! For this purpose, we should combine fervent and constant prayer with generous co-operation with the grace of God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 9 December – Thursday of the Second week of Advent
“A person who wishes to become the Lord’s disciple must repudiate a human obligation, however honourable it may appear, if it slows us, ever so slightly, in giving the wholehearted obedience we owe to God.”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Neither do I condemn you but, having been made secure concerning the past, be on your guard in the future. I, for My part, will not condemn you, I have blotted out what you have done; keep what I have commanded, that you may gain what I have promised.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of Grace
“Be strong and kill yourself with the sword of hate and love, then you will not hear the insults and abuse. which the enemies of the Church throw at you. Your eyes will not see anything, which seems impossible, or the sufferings, which may follow but only the light of faith and in that light , everything is possible and remember , God never lays greater burdens on us than we can bear.”
St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
The Love of Your Name
“My God, Sweetness beyond words, make bitter all the carnal comfort that draws me from love of the eternal and lures me to its evil self, by the sight of some delightful good in the present. Let it not overcome me, my God. Let not flesh and blood conquer me. Let not the world and its brief glory deceive me, nor the devil trip me by his craftiness. Give me courage to resist, patience to endure and constancy to persevere. Give me the soothing unction of Your spirit, rather than all the consolations of the world and in place of carnal love, infuse into me the love of Your Name.”
Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471) The Imitation of Christ (Book 3 Ch 26:1-4)
“Crosses, contempt, sorrows and afflictions, are the real treasures of the lovers of Jesus Christ Crucified.”
St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) “Apostle of the Sacred Heart”
One Minute Reflection – 9 December – Thursday of the Second week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 48:17-19; Psalm 1:1-4 and 6; Matthew 11:11`-15
“From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence …” – Matthew 11:12
REFLECTION – “Someone wrestled with Jacob until morning perseveringly … and Jacob said to him: “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Gn 32:25.27). … So to you, my brethren, we say, you whose set purpose is to win heaven by force, you who have come together to wrestle with the angel who guards the way to the tree of life, to you we say – it is wholly necessary that you should wrestle perseveringly and without remission, not only until the thigh … is deprived of its vigour but also, until the body is mortified. But your toil will be able to achieve this, only by the touch of God’s strength and through His bounty. …
Do you not seem, to yourself ,to be wrestling with an angel, or rather, with God Himself, when day by day He resists your impatient prayers? … You cry to Him and He does not listen to you; you wish to approach Him and He repels you. You make a decision and the opposite happens and so, in every way, He sets Himself against you, with an unrelenting hand. O Mercy, You conceal Yourself and pretend to be unrelenting! With what loving-kindness You fight against those, for whom You fight. For although You “hide these things in your heart,” I know that You “love those who love you” and that, “the abundance of your sweetness which you hide away for those who fear you is immense” (Jb 10:13; Pr 8:17; Ps 31:20).
Do not despair then, persevere, happy soul, who has begun to wrestle with God; He loves to suffer violence from you. He desires to be overcome by you. For when He is angry and stretches forth His Hand to strike, He seeks, as He Himself confesses, a man like Moses to resist Him. … For if His anger is implacable and His sentence unbending, Jeremiah, who had attempted to resist, will weep and say: “You were the stronger and did prevail” (20:7).” – Blessed Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157) Cistercian Abbot (2nd Sermon on Saint John the Baptist).
PRAYER – Almighty and merciful God, let neither our daily work nor the cares of this life, prevent us from hastening to meet Your Son. Lord, make straight the winding ways within us. Draw us to repent! Enlighten us with Your wisdom and lead us into His company, that we may love Him and do homage to Him. By the prayers of the Immaculate Mother of Your only-begotten Son, may we receive Your grace and Your strength. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, now and for all eternity. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 9 December – Thursday of the Second week of Advent
Let Your goodness, Lord, Appear to Us An Advent Prayer By St Bernard (1090-1153) Father and Mellifluous Doctor
Let Your goodness, Lord, appear to us, that we, made in Your image, conform ourselves to it. In our own strength we cannot imitate Your majesty, power and wonder, nor is it fitting for us to try. But Your mercy reaches from the heavens through the clouds to the earth below. You have come to us as a small child but You have brought us the greatest of all gifts, the gift of eternal love. Caress us with Your tiny hands, embrace us with Your tiny arms and pierce our hearts with Your soft, sweet cries. Amen
Saint of the Day – 9 December – Saint Syrus of Pavia (1st Century) the First Bishop og Pavia, Italy, Confessor, miracle-worker, Defender of the Faith, Evangeliser. His birthplace is unknown but he died at Pavia where his relics are enshrined in the City’s Cathedral. Also known as – Cyril, Siro.Patronages – the City and the Diocese of Pavia, Italy.
The Roman Martyrology states: “At Pavia, St Syrus, the first Bishop of that City, who was renowned for miracles and virtues worthy of an apostle.”
Nothing is known of St Syrus early life but some believe that he was the little boy with the five loaves and 2 fish, who appears in the Gospels.
Syrus is said to have followed Saint Peter to Rome and from there he was sent to the Po valley to preach and convert the people to the Christian faith. He preached in all of the major cities of northern Italy.
Another tradition, from the eighth century, states that Syrus was also a disciple of St Hermagoras, the first Bishop of Achilles, himself a disciple of St Mark the Evangelist.
In the company of St Juventius, Dyrus fought against Arianism. Syrus worked to challenge and convert those who followed Arianism in his Diocese.
Syrus’ relics are enshrined in the Chapel of Saint Syrus in the Pavia Cathedral on the facade of which the Statue below is displayed.
Nostra Signora dell’Immacolata Concezione / Our Lady of the Conception, Naples, Italy (1618) – 9 December:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of the Conception, at Naples, so called because, in the year 1618, the Viceroy, with all his Court and the soldiery of Naples, made a vow, in the Church of Our Lady the Great, to believe and defend the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin.”
Pedro Tellez-Giron, 3rd Duke of Osuna, was the Viceroy of Naples under King Philip III of Spain. He was a Spanish nobleman born in 1574 and married in 1594. He joined the army of the Archduke of Austria as a mere private but his ability and courage, must have been considerable, as he was soon placed in command of two cavalry companies. He fought in several battles and was seriously wounded on two occasions before being made the Viceroy of Sicily in 1610. When he took this new position as Viceroy, the Spanish had not a single galley on the island that was seaworthy. It was necessary to remedy that problem at once, as Sicily was vulnerable to Barbary pirates as well as potential attacks of the fleet of the Ottoman Empire. Within two years he was no longer in a weak position, and as he had 8 galleys and several other ships in the new navy, he used them to attack Ottoman territory. In the summer of 1613 his fleet encountered a larger Ottoman fleet under the command of Sinari Pasha. The encounter lasted three hours and became known as the Battle of Cape Corvo. Sinari Pasha was captured, and Mahamet, Bey of Alexandria and son of Muezzinzade Ali Pasho, Commander of the Ottoman fleet at the battle of LepanTo, was also captured. In 1616 Pedro Tellez-Giron was promoted to Viceroy of Naples and it was during this time, that the now Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece ,made his vow to defend what would later become a Dogma of the Catholic Faith, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This doctrine was not actually formally proclaimed by the Church until the Blessed Pope Pius IX formally proclaimed it, on 8 December 1854, in the Papal Bull, Ineffabilis Deus. The Napule have a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin of the Immaculate Conception as manifested by this immense “Guglia” Column or Spire proudly displayed in Naples.
St Adam Scotus Bl Agustín García Calvo * Bl Antonio Martín Hernández * St Auditor of Saint-Nectaire St Balda of Jouarre St Bernhard Mariea Silvestrelli St Budoc of Brittany Bl Carmen Rodríguez Banazal * St Caesar of Korone St Cephas Bl Clara Isabella Fornari St Cyprian of Perigueux Bl Dolores Broseta Bonet * Bl Estefanía Irisarri Irigaray * St Ethelgiva of Shaftesbury St Gorgonia Bl Isidora Izquierdo García * Bl José Ferrer Esteve * Bl José Giménez López * Bl Josefa Laborra Goyeneche * Bl Josep Lluís Carrera Comas * St Julian of Apamea Bl Julián Rodríguez Sánchez *
Bl María Pilar Nalda Franco * St Michaela Andrusikiewicz St Nectarius of Auvergne
St Peter Fourier CRSA (1565-1640) “The Good Father of Mattaincourt,” Priest, Founder, Reformer, Confessor, Ascetic, Theologian, Teacher, Preacher, Apostle of Prayer, Penance and Charity, Marian devotee. Together with the Blessed Alix Le Clerc, in 1597, Fourier founded the Congregation of Notre Dame of Canonesses Regular of St Augustine, who were committed to the free education of children, taking a fourth vow to that goal. Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2018/12/09/saint-of-the-day-9-december-st-peter-fourier-c-r-s-a-1565-1640/
St Proculus of Verona Bl Recaredo de Los Ríos Fabregat * St Syrus of Pavia (1st Century) Bishop St Valeria of Limoges St Wulfric of Holme
Blessed Mercedarian Fathers – (10 beati): The memorial of ten Mercedarian friars who were especially celebrated for their holiness. • Arnaldo de Querol • Berengario Pic • Bernardo de Collotorto • Domenico de Ripparia • Giovanni de Mora • Guglielmo Pagesi • Lorenzo da Lorca • Pietro Serra • Raimondo Binezes • Sancio de Vaillo
Martyred Salesians of Valencia – (5 beati) Martyrs of North Africa – (4 saints): Twenty-four Christians murdered together in North Africa for their faith. The only details to survive are four of their names – Bassian, Peter, Primitivus and Successus.
Martyrs of Paterna – (7 beati) Martyrs of Samosata – (7 saints): Seven martyrs crucified in 297 in Samosata (an area of modern Turkey) for refusing to perform a pagan rite in celebration of the victory of Emperor Maximian over the Persians. They are – Abibus, Hipparchus, James, Lollian, Paragnus, Philotheus and Romanus. They were crucified in 297 in Samosata (an area in modern Turkey).
Martyrs of the Spanish Civil War – (13 beati): • Blessed Agustín García Calvo • Blessed Antonio Martín Hernández • Blessed Carmen Rodríguez Banazal • Blessed Dolores Broseta Bonet • Blessed Estefanía Irisarri Irigaray • Blessed Isidora Izquierdo García • Blessed José Ferrer Esteve • Blessed José Giménez López • Blessed Josefa Laborra Goyeneche • Blessed Josep Lluís Carrera Comas • Blessed Julián Rodríguez Sánchez • Blessed María Pilar Nalda Franco • Blessed Recaredo de Los Ríos Fabregat