Thought for the Day – 10 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Those Who Will to be Damned
“Only those who will it themselves, are damned. God wishes all men to be saved. It was for this, that He came into the world and shed His Precious Blood. Moreover, He has given us the means necessary for salvation. “God our Saviour, wishes all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4).
What can be wanting to us, therefore, in order to obtain salvation? Divine grace is certainly not lacking, for God gives it to us without reserve. “I come that they may have life and have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10). Nor are we lacking in strength, for, as St Paul says, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). We have the Sacraments, good inspirations and the example of the Saints. All that we can be deficient in, then, is our own goodwill and co-operation with the grace of God. We must be prepared to play our part in our own salvation.
Our first thought and purpose, therefore, must be our own salvation. The treasure hidden in a field and the pearl of great price (Cf Mt 13:44-46) are symbols of the Kingdom of God and of everlasting happiness. We should be prepared to sacrifice everything else, in order to find this treasure an to acquire this pearl!”
Quote/s of the Day – 10 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 48: 17-19; Psalm 1: 1-4,6, Matthew 11:16-19
“We played the flute for you but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.”
“The soil that should have presented its Master with fruits of sweetness, pierced Him with its sharp thorns. In the same way His enemies, who ought to have welcomed our Saviour with all the devotion of their faith, crowned Him with the thorns of His Passion.”
St Maximus of Turin (c 380-c 420)
“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Matthew 6:10 “I want to advise you and remind you, what His will is. Do not fear that it means He will give you riches, or delights, or honours, or all these earthly things. His love for you is not that small! and He esteems highly what you give Him. He wants to repay you well, for He gives you His kingdom while you are still on earth … See … what He gave to the One He loved most. By that we understand what His will is. For these are His gifts in this world.”
St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of Prayer of the Church
Lord, May Your Kingdom Come Into My Heart By Fr Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751) Lord, may Your Kingdom come into my heart to sanctify me, nourish me and purify me. How insignificant is the passing moment, to the eye without faith! But how important each moment is, to the eye enlightened by faith! How can we deem insignificant anything which has been caused by You? Every moment and every event is guided by You and so contains Your infinite greatness. So, Lord, I glorify You in everything that happens to me. In whatever manner You make me live and die, I am content. Events please me for their own sake, regardless of their consequences because Your action lies behind them. Everything is Heaven to me because all my moments, manifest Your love. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 10 December – Friday of the Second Week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 48: 17-19; Psalm 1: 1-4,6, Matthew 11:16-19 and the Memorial of Our Lady of Loreto and the Holy House
“We played the flute for you but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.” – Matthew 11:17
REFLECTION – “When some children are dancing and others are singing a dirge, their purpose does not agree. Both sides find fault with their friends for not being in harmony with them. So the Jews underwent such an experience when they accepted, neither the gloominess of John the Baptist, nor the freedom of Christ. They did not receive help, one way or another. It was fitting for John, as a lowly servant, to deaden the passions of the body through very hardy training and for Christ, by the power of His Godhead, freely to mortify the sensations of the body and the innate practice of the flesh and to do so, without reliance on strenuous ascetic labours. Nevertheless, John, “while he was preaching the baptism of repentance,” offered himself as a model for those who were obliged to lament, whereas the Lord, “who was preaching the kingdom of heaven” similarly displayed radiant freedom in Himself. In this way, Jesus outlined for the faithful, indescribable joy and an untroubled life. The sweetness of the Kingdom of Heaven is like a flute. The pain of Gehenna is like a dirge.”– OrigenAdamantius (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father (Fragments, 142-143)
PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people, who come to You in confidence. Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You. Give courage to those who falter because of their failures. In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in hope, by the power of Your Holy Spirit. May Mary Immaculate, our Mother and Advocate be our eternal succour. Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 10 December – Friday of the Second Week of Advent and the Memorial of Our Lady of Loreto and the Holy House
Maiden yet a Mother By Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) Trans. Msgr Ronald A Knox (1888-1957)
Maiden yet a mother, daughter of thy Son, high beyond all other, lowlier is none; thou the consummation planned by God’s decree, when our lost creation nobler rose in thee!
Thus His place prepared, He who all things made ‘mid His creatures tarried, in thy bosom laid; there His love He nourished, warmth that gave increase to the root whence flourished our eternal peace.
Nor alone thou hearest When thy name we hail; Often thou art nearest When our voices fail; Mirrored in thy fashion All creation’s gird, Mercy, might compassion Grace thy womanhood.
Lady, let our vision Striving heavenward, fail, Still let thy petition With thy Son prevail, Unto whom all merit, prayer and majesty, With the Holy Spirit And the Father be.
Maiden Yet A Mother is a translation of a Poem by Durante (Dante) degli Alighieri (c 1265–1321). It is based upon the opening verses of Canto 33 of the Paradiso from his Divine Comedy in which St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153) praises and prays to the Virgin Mother on behalf of Dante. It was translated from the original Italian into English by the Catholic convert, Monsignor Ronald A Knox (1888-1957).
Saint of the Day – 10 December – Saint John Roberts (1577-1610) Priest Martyr, Monk, Missionary. Born in 1577 at Trawsfynydd, Merionethshire, Gwynedd, northern Wales and died by being hung, drawn and quartered on 10 December 1610 at Tyburn, London, England. Additional Memorials – • 25 October as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, 1 December as one of the Martyrs of Oxford University.
John Roberts was the eldest son of Robert and Anna of Rhiw Goch Farm, Trawsfynydd. He was a descendant of the Welsh Princes, including Maelgwn Gwynedd, Hywel Dda and Llewelyn the Great.
Despite being raised a Protestant, it is believed that he received his early education from a Monk who had been forced to leave nearby Cymer Abbey after Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries.
John studied at St John’s College at Oxford. However, he left without earning a degree and entered as a law student at one of the Inns of Court. He travelled throughout the continent and more so, Paris and through the influence of a Catholic fellow traveller, he was converted to Catholicism. By the advice of John Cecil, an English Priest, he decided to enter the English College, at Douai in 1598.
He left College the following year for the Abbey of St Benedict and was sent to make his novitiate at San Martin Pinario, Santiago de Compostela. He made his profession towards the end of 1600. He was Ordained and set out for England in December 1602. Although a Government spy observed him, John and his companions succeeded in entering the country in April 1603 but he was arrested and banished in May. He soon managed to return to England, and worked among the plague victims in London. In 1604 while preparing to leave for Spain with four postulants, he was arrested again. Not recognised as a Priest, he was released and again banished but he returned to England, once again.
In 1605, he was found at the house of Mr And Mrs Thomas Percy, who was involved in the Gunpowder Plot. Although he was not found guilty of being involved, in July 1606. he was imprisoned in the Gatehouse Prison at Westminster for seven months and then exiled This time he was gone for fourteen months, nearly all of which he spent at Douai where he founded and became the first Abbot of a house for English Benedictine Monks, who had entered through Spanish Monasteries. This was the beginning of the Monastery of St Gregory at Douai.
In October 1607, John returned to England. In December, he was again arrested and placed in the Gatehouse at Westminster. After several months, he escaped. He lived in London for about a year and in May 1609, he was taken to Newgate Prison. He would have been executed but the French Ambassador interceded on his behalf and his sentence was reduced to banishment. He visited Spain and Douai but returned to England within the year. He was captured again on 2 December 1610, just as he was concluding Mass. They took him to Newgate in his Vestments. On 5 December he was tried and found guilty under the Act forbidding Priests to minister in England.
On 10 December he was hung, drawn and quartered along with Father Thomas Somers at Tyburn, London. His body was recovered and taken to St Gregory’s at Douai. His arm was found in the possession of the Spanish Royal family before being returned to Santiago de Compostela, where he served as a novice. One of his fingers is kept in the Sacred Cross Church, Gellilydan, while another is at the Tyburn convent and one more in Taunton.
He was Beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and Canonised by Pope Paul VI as one of the “Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.”
His life is commemorated in Trawsfynydd’s heritage centre, Llys Ednowain. There is an information board about him outside the centre, one of six posted along a walk past significant locations in his life.
The title Our Lady of Loreto refers to the Holy House of Loreto, the house in which Mary was born and where the Annunciation occurred and to an ancient statue of Our Lady which is found there. Tradition says that a band of angels scooped up the little house from the Holy Land and transported it first to Tersato, Dalmatia in 1291, then Recanati, Italy in 1294 and finally to Loreto, Italy where it has been for centuries. It was this flight that led to her patronage of people involved in aviation and the long life of the house that has led to the patronage of builders, construction workers, etc. It is the first shrine of international renown dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and has been known as a Marian centre for centuries. Popes have always held the Shrine of Loreto in special esteem and it is under their direct authority and protection.
The Holy House of Loreto – The feast is so named from the tradition that the house where the Holy Family lived in Nazareth, was transported by angels to the city of Loreto, Italy. The Holy House is now encased by a basilica. It has been one of the famous shrines of the Blessed Virgin since the 13th century.
St Abundius St Albert of Sassovivo St Angelina of Serbia Bl Brian Lacey BL Bruno of Rommersdorf St Caesarius of Epidamnus St Carpophorus St Deusdedit of Brescia
Bl Guglielmo de Carraria St Guitmarus St Hildemar of Beauvais Bl Jerome Ranuzzi Bl John Mason St John Roberts (1577-1610) Priest Martyr St Julia of Merida St Lucerius Bl Marco Antonio Durando St Maurus of Rome St Mercury of Lentini St Pope Miltiades St Polydore Plasden Bl Sebastian Montanol Bl Sidney Hodgson St Sindulf of Vienne St Swithun Wells St Thomas of Farfa Bl Thomas Somers St Valeria Martyrs of Alexandria – 3 saints – A group of Christians murdered for their faith in the persecutions of Galerius Maximian – c312. The only details that have survived are three of the names – Eugraphus, Hermogenes and Mennas.