Thought for the Day – 12 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Peace of Soul
“Peace of soul is more to be desired than anything else in this world. Wealth, honours and pleasures are valueless, as long as we are discontented and disturbed at heart. Happiness is essentially internal, not external. Anyone who looks for it outside himself cannot find it, simply because it does not exist there. Interior peace, however, is capable of bringing us whatever happiness can be obtained in this world.
We can have this peace if, we avoid sin. The Holy Spirit assures us that “there is no peace for the wicked” (Isa 48:22). Our tranquillity will be increased by humility and gentleness. A haughty and ambitious man can never be at peace. “Come to me” Jesus invites us, “all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your soul” (Mt 11:28-29).
The only way then, by which we can acquire peace of soul, is by avoiding sin, practising humility and obeying the law of God. The Saints possessed this serenity, even in times of trial and of suffering because they lived in God and were perfectly faithful to His law.”
Quote/s of the Day – 12 December – “Gaudete Sunday” – Readings: Zephaniah 3: 14-18; Psalm Isaiah 12: 2-6; Philippians 4: 4-7; Luke 3: 10-18
“Gaudete in Domino semper”
“Rejoice in the Lord always”
“The very Son of God, Older than the ages, the Invisible, the Incomprehensible, the Incorporeal, the Beginning of beginning, the Light of light, the Fountain of Life and Immortality, the Image of the Archetype, the Immovable Seal, the Perfect Likeness, the Definition and Word of the Father: He it is, Who comes to His Own Image and takes our nature, for the Good of our nature and unites Himself to an intelligent soul for the good of the soul, to purify like by Like.”
St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Awake, you who lie in the dust, awake and give praise. Behold, the Lord comes with salvation. He comes with salvation, He comes with unction, He comes with glory. Jesus cannot come without salvation, Christ cannot come without unction, nor the Son of God without glory. For He Himself is salvation, He is unction, He is glory, as it is written, ‘A wise son is the glory of his father.‘”
St Bernard (1090-1153) MellifluousDoctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 12 December – “Gaudete Sunday” – Readings: Zephaniah 3: 14-18; Psalm Isaiah 12: 2-6; Philippians 4: 4-7; Luke 3: 10-18 – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
“I am baptising you with water, for repentance but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptise you with the holy Spirit and fire.” – Luke 3:16
REFLECTION – “Now we must focus on what is meant by these sandals from the spiritual standpoint. We know that Moses said long ago: “Put off your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” We read that Joshua, the son of Nun likewise said, “Remove the latchet from your sandal.” But as to why they are ordered by the Lord to remove their sandals, we must understand this to be the type of a future truth. According to the law, if a man is unwilling to accept the wife of his brother after his brother’s death, he should take off his shoes, so that another may marry her and succeed, by right of law. As to the commandment prefigured in law, we find it fulfilled in Christ, Who is the true Bridegroom of the Church. Therefore, because neither Moses the lawgiver, nor Joshua the leader of the people, could be the bridegroom of the Church, not without good reason, was it said to them that they should remove the sandals from their feet because the true future Bridegroom of the Church, Christ, was to be expected. John says concerning Him: “He who has the bride is the bridegroom.” To bear, or loosen His sandals, John professed himself to be unworthy. The Lord Himself, through David, revealed that these sandals signify the footsteps of Gospel preaching when he says, “Upon Edom I cast my shoe,” through His Apostles, He will take the steps of Gospel ,teaching everywhere.” – St Chromatius of Aquileia Bishop and Father of the Church (Died c 407) (Tractate on Matthew, 11). About St Chromatius below.
PRAYER – O infinite God and only love of my soul, I thank You, for having given me Your Son. For the sake of this same Son, accept me and bind me with chains of love to my Redeemer. Amen … St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for us!
Saint of the Day – 12 December – Saint Pope Callistus II (c 1065-1124) Bishop of Rome 1 February 1119-13 December 1124) Born in c1065 Quingey, France as Guy or Guido and died on 13 December 1124 in Rome, Italy of natural causes. Also known as – Calixtus II, Guy of Burgundy, Guido of Burgundy.
Guy or Guido in Italian, as he was called before his elevation to the Papacy, was the son of Count William of Burgundy and both by his father’s and mother’s side, was closely connected with nearly all the Royal Houses of Europe. He was the uncle of the Queen of France, cousin of the King of England, related to the German Emperor. His brother Hugh had been appointed Archbishop of Besançon and he himself was named Archbishop of Vienne in 1088 and afterwards appointed Cardinal and Papal Legate in France by Pope Paschal II.
When appointed Papal Legate in France by Pope Paschal II, Guido strenuously opposed Paschal’s “Privilege,” extorted by Henry V, which would have surrendered most of the political positions held by Church officials in the Empire. After protesting the “Privilege” at the Lateran Synod of 1112, he called and presided over a Synod of French and Burgundian Bishops at Vienne, which denounced lay investiture of the clergy as heretical and excommunicated Henry V as hostile to the welfare of the Church. When Gelasius II, who succeeded Pascal, refused to confirm the “Privilege,” the angry Henry V set up Archbishop Burdinus of Braga as antipope Gregory VIII and installed him in Rome. Gelasius was forced to spend his brief, harassed Pontificate in exile and died at Cluny within a year. Some of the Cardinals who had come to Cluny now elected Guido, who was crowned in Vienne on 1 February 1119.
Callistus took immediate steps to establish peace with the imperial government, since both sides were tired of the long investiture struggle. Henry V favourably received a Papal Embassy and temporarily withdrew his support from Gregory VIII. A meeting between Pope and Emperor was arranged.
After presiding over a Synod at Toulouse (1119), which was mainly concerned with reform of the French Church, Callistus proceeded to Reims, where he held a great Council (1119), attended by some 400 Prelates and by Louis VI of France. Negotiations with Henry V broke down after he came to Mousson with a large army and Papal plans to meet with the Emperor were abandoned. The Emperor was excommunicated again (October 1119).
Callistus then went to Rome, where he was enthusiastically received by the people, who had meanwhile driven out the antipope. He allied himself with the Normans, who aided in the capture of antipope Gregory VIII. Gregory, who had taken refuge at Sutri, was held prisoner and subsequently other enemies of the Pope in Italy were overcome too.
Callistus then sent a new embassy to Henry V. A preliminary understanding with a truce was arranged at Würzburg in 1121. The following year, the famous Concordat of Worms (1122) was arrived at, in a Synod held in that City. Because of the Pope’s patience and perseverance, the Concordat was a reasonably satisfactory arrangement for both sides, although a complete victory for neither, bringing peace to both Empire and Church, to the great relief of Christendom.
The First Lateran Council (1123), convoked by Callistus, solemnly confirmed the Concordat of Worms and issued Decrees against clerical marriage and simony. It provided penalties against violators of the Truce of God and against forgers of Ecclesiastical documents and renewed Indulgences for crusading.
During his Pontificate, Callistus also secured from Henry I of England, the acceptance of his candidate, Thurstan, for the Archbishopric of York, transferred metropolitan rights in Spain from the ancient See of Merida to the popular See of Santiago de Compostela and settled the old French rivalry over metropolitan disagreements between Aries and Vienne, in favour of the latter.
Callistus died in 1124 and after some dispute Honorius II was selected as his successor. As to the great influence of the reign of Callistus II on the policy of the Church, there can be no dispute. Owing mainly to him ,the concessions so weakly made by Pope Paschal II were recalled and on his own accession to the Papal throne, his firmness and strength of character secured a settlement of the controversy between Church and State which, although not entirely satisfactory, was at least sufficient to assure a much needed peace.
Through his exertions he put an end to the wholesale bestowal of Ecclesiastical offices by laymen; he re-established the freedom of canonical elections and secured recognition of the principle that Ecclesiastical jurisdiction can come, only from the Church, while on the other hand, he conceded to the secular authorities, the influence to which they were rightly entitled, in the election of Prelates who were at the same time the most powerful and richest subjects of the State.
Callistus II was not very remarkable for his literary productions, yet a few works have come down to us which are ascribed to his pen. They are: “De Miraculis Sancti Jacobi Apostoli,” “De obitu et Vita Sanctorum,”,”Vita Caroli Magni Imperatoris.” Many letters attributed to him are preserved.
Martyrs of Alexandria – (6 saints): A group of six Christians martyred for their faith during the persecutions of Decius. We know little more than five of their names – Alexander, Ammonaria, Dionysia, Epimachus and Mercuria. They were burned to death c 250 in Alexandria, Egypt.
Martyrs of Trier – (4 saints): A group of six Christians martyred for their faith during the persecutions of Decius. We know little more than five of their names – Alexander, Ammonaria, Dionysia, Epimachus and Mercuria. They were burned to death c 250 in Alexandria, Egypt.