Thought for the Day – 29 December – Our Frequent Lapses

Thought for the Day – 29 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Our Frequent Lapses

“It is sad to have to admit, that in spite of our good resolutions and in spite of the graces which we receive from God, we continue to fall into sin.
Our continual lapses can cause us to become discouraged.
This, however, is a device of the devil, who has already lured us into sin and now, proceeds to suggest thoughts of despair.
He wishes to convince us that resistance is useless, that our nature is completely corrupt and, that there is no escape for us.

My dear children,” wrote St John to the early Christians, “these things I write to you, in order that you may not sin. But, if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the just and he is a propitiation for our sins, not for ours only but also, for those of the whole world” (1 Jn 2:1-2).
If we say that that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all iniquity.” (1 Jn 1:9).
He who says that he knows him and does not keep his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him But he who keeps his word, in him the love of God is truly perfected” (1 Jn 2:5).

It is clear, therefore, that we ought to avoid sin by every means in our power because, it extinguishes our charity and brings death to the soul.
Nevertheless, even if we continue to fall into sin, we should never lose heart.
Discouragement and despair are stratagems of the devil.
No matter how great and how numerous our sins maybe, God is always prepared to pardon them.

Let us recall the example of Mary Magdalen, of the repentant thief and of the prodigal son.
As long as we repent sincerely, we may be sure that God will forgive us and clasp us to His breast, for God is infinitely merciful.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


Quote/s of the Day – 29 December – St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170) Martyr

Quote/s of the Day – 29 December – The Fifth Day of the Octave of Christmas and the Memorial of St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

“… No matter who plants or waters,
God gives no harvest
unless what he plants
is the faith of Peter
and unless he himself.
assents to Peter’s teaching.

“Those who tread among serpents
and along a tortuous path,
must use the cunning of the serpent

“If all the swords in England
were pointed against my head,
your threats would not move me.

St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170)
Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury


Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The 4th Joyful Mystery - THE PRESENTATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 December – ‘ … light your candles with His Light…’

One Minute Reflection – 29 December – The Fifth Day of the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:3-11, Psalms 96:1-2, 2b-3, 5-6, Luke 2:22-35 and the Memorial of St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

“A light for revelation to the Gentiles” – Luke 2:32

REFLECTION – “Who is there today who, as he holds a lighted candle in his hand, does not immediately think of the old man who today received Jesus in his arms, the Word in the flesh, the Light in the wax and who bore witness ,that He was the Light that shines upon all nations? The old man was himself a burning flame that enlightens and gives witness to the Light, he who, in the Holy Spirit with which he was filled, came to receive, O God, your love within your Temple (Ps 47[48],10) and bear witness, that You are the Love and Light of Your people…

Rejoice, just old man, look now at what you had once foreseen, darkness has disappeared from the world, the nations walk by Your Light (Is 60,3). The whole earth is filled with the glory (Is 6,3) of this Light which, in the past, you used to hide in your heart and which today, illumines your eyes… Embrace the Wisdom of God, O blessed old man and may your youth be renewed (Ps 102[103],5). Receive the mercy of God in your heart and your old age will know the sweetness of mercy. “He will rest in my bosom,” says Scripture (Wsd 1,12). Even when I give Him back to His Mother, He will continue to dwell with me, my heart will be filled with His mercy and, even more, the heart of His Mother… I give thanks and rejoice for you, full of grace, for you gave birth to the Mercy I have received – the Candle which you prepared, I am holding in my hands…

And you, brethren, look at the Candle that burns in the hands of Simeon, light your candles with His Light… Then, not only will you bear a Light in your hands but you yourselves, will be a light for others. A Light in your hearts, a Light in your lives, a Light for your brothers and sisters.” – Bl Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157), Cistercian Abbot (1st Sermon for the Purification, 2-3).

PRAYER – God our Father, our human nature is the wonderful work of Your hands. Your Son took to Himself our manhood, grant us a share in His Sonship, that as co-heirs with Him, we may strive evermore obediently to gain our final home with the Blessed Virgin, St Thomas à Becket and all Your saints. Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, now and for evermore, amen.

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, The DIVINE INFANT

Our Morning Offering – 29 December – O Dearest Infant by St Alphonsus

Our Morning Offering – 29 December – The Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave

O Dearest Infant
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

O dearest Infant,
tell me what You came on earth to do.
Tell me whom You are seeking.
Ah, yes, I now understand…
You have come to die for me, a lost sheep,
in order that I may no more
hide from You but love You.
O Jesus, my treasure,
my life, my love, my all,
if I do not love You,
then whom shall I love?
Where can I find a mother or father,
a friend, or a spouse more loving than You?
And who has ever loved me more than You have?
I am sorry that I have lived so many years in this world
and yet still love You so little,
even having offended You
and sometimes forgotten You.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 29 December – Saint Ebrulf of Ouche (c 626-7c 06)

Saint of the Day – 29 December – Saint Ebrulf of Ouche (c 626c -706) Abbot, Hermit. Founder of many Monasteries, Married but separated by mutual agreement, miracle-worker. Born in c 626 in Bayeux, Normandy, France and died in c 706 of natural causes, at the Monastery he had founded. Also known as – Ebrolfo, Ebrulfo, Ebrulfus, Ebrulphus, Evroul, Evroult, éVroult. Additional Memorial – 30 August, in England, where some of his relics are venerated.

Of noble birth, Ebrulf received a careful education and gave proofs of profound virtue.

He became a highly-ranked Official of King Childeric II. Ebrulf was a cup-bearer to the King and an Administrator of the Royal Palace but he desired a life consecrated to God.

It was some time before he was given leave to detach himself from his duties at the Court to become a Monk. As he was married to a woman of his own social rank, the two separated by mutual consent, he to lead a life of greater perfection and she, it is believed, became a Nun.

He joined the Monastery of Deux-Jumeaux (Bayeux) before deciding to become a Hermit at Exmes but there, crowds came to visit him and ask for his advice. He then settled, with some companions, in the forest of Ouche, which was infested with wild beasts and brigands. A legend states, that he converted a robber to Christianity when the robber visited Ebrulf’s the rough settlement which consisted of a hedge enclosure and wattle and daub huts. The robber warned Ebrulf of the dangers of the forest but Ebrulf informed him that he feared no-one. Repenting of his own sins, the robber brought a gift consisting of three loaves baked in ashes and a honeycomb, and asked to be admitted as a Monk.

This settlement became the Abbey of Saint-Evroul. He founded other monastic houses, fifteen in total, all of which placed emphasis on manual labour both as a spiritual and economic exercise. Members of the nobility came to Ebrulf offering him money, land, to build monasteries. He founded, after 560, several Monasteries in the Diocese of Séez; one of them became the important Abbey of St-Martin-de-Séez.

The ruins of St Ebrulf Abbey

The Saint worked numerous miracles and even raised the dead . In the 12th century John of St-Evroult composed a work in verse in his honour and many miracles were worked at his tomb.

During the Norman invasions, his remains were transported to Orleans. Later, an attempt was made to bring them back to the Abbey of Saint- Ebrulf but without success.

He was venerated in England as a result of the Norman invasion and the link between Ebrulf and England was maintained, by the fact, that four Abbots from Saint-Evroul Abbey ruled English Monasteries in the 11th and 12th Centuries. They brought to England some of Ebrulf’s relics. A Feast commemorating the translation of his relics is kept at Deeping Abbey in England on 30 August.


The Fifth Day of the Octave of Christmas, Unsere Liebe Frau vom Speyer / Our Lady of Speyer, Germany, Featuring the Salve Regina and St Bernard (1146) and Memorials of the Saints – 29 December

The Fifth Day of the Octave of Christmas

Unsere Liebe Frau vom Speyer / Our Lady of Speyer, Germany Featuring the Salve Regina and St Bernard (1146) – 29 December:

The Abbot Orsini wrote: “Our Lady of Spire (Speyer), in Germany. Saint Bernard, entering this Church on the 29th of December, 1146, was honourably received there by the Canons, who conducted him to the choir, singing the Salve Regina. The antiphon being finished, Saint Bernard saluted the image of the Blessed Virgin in these terms: “O clems, O pia, O dulcis Virgo Maria!” and she answered: “Salve Bernarde!” The words of this Saint to the image are seen engraved in a circle on the pavement of the Church, on the same spot where he pronounced them and they have since been added to the Salve Regina, which was composed in the year 1040, by Herman, surnamed Contractus, a Benedictine monk.” [He is Blessed Herman of Reichenau (often known as Blessed Herman the Cripple OSB (1013–1054) – his Biography here: ]

This date on the Marian calendar, Our Lady of Speyer, actually refers to the Cathedral of Speyer, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and known as Kaiserdom zu Speyer in Germany. Construction began on the Romanesque style Cathedral in the year 1030 and was completed in 1106. It is 134 metres long and 43 metres wide, which made it one of the largest buildings constructed at that time and is now thought to be, the largest surviving Romanesque building in the world.

During the Nine Years’ War the entire Town of Speyer was burned to the ground and the heat from the inferno caused part of the nave to collapse. In 1792 the Town was occupied by the French revolutionary troops and the Church pillaged. It was in that century that the ruins of the Chapel of Saint Bernard were removed. The Cathedral was subsequently used as a warehouse and hospital.
In 1957 the Cathedral was restored and, although much of the plaster and 19th century paintings were removed, the scenes of the life of the Blessed Virgin were left undisturbed. n 1981 the Cathedral was added to the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He engaged in conflict with Henry II, King of England, over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the King in Canterbury Cathedral. Soon after his death, he was Canonised by Pope Alexander III. (Optional Memorial)

St Aileran of Clonard
St Albert of Gambron
St Aproniano de Felipe González
St David the King
St Ebrulf of Ouche (c 626-c 706) Abbot, Hermit
St Enrique Juan Requena
St Florent of Bourges
Bl Francis Ruiz
St Girald of Fontenelle
St Jacinto Gutiérrez Terciado
Bl José Aparicio Sanz
Bl José Perpiñá Nácher
St Juan Bautista Ferreres Boluda
St Libosus of Vaga
St Marcellus the Righteous
St Martinian of Milan
Bl Paul Mary
Bl Peter the Venerable
St Quartillosa of Carthage
St Thaddeus of Scythia
St Trophimus of Arles
St Trophimus of Ephesus

Blessed William Howard (1614–1680) Martyr, Married Laymam and Father, 1st Viscount Stafford. William was the grandson of the Venerable Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, fifth son of Earl Thomas (the first great art collector of England) and Uncle of Thomas Philip – Cardinal Howard.
His Life and Death:

Martyrs of North Africa – (8 saints): A group of Christians executed together for their faith. The only details to survive are eight names – Crescentius, Dominic, Honoratus, Lybosus, Primian, Saturninus, Secundus and Victor.

Martyrs of Rome – (3 saints): A group of Christians executed together for their faith. The only details to survive are three names – Boniface, Callistus and Felix.

Martyrs of Seoul – (7 saints): Additional Memorial – 20 September as part of the Martyrs of Korea.
A group of seven lay woman in the apostolic vicariate of Korea who were martyred together.
• Barbara Cho Chung-I
• Barbara Ko Sun-I
• Benedicta Hyong Kyong-Nyon
• Elisabeth Chong Chong-Hye
• Magdalena Han Yong-I
• Magdalena Yi Yong-Dok
• Petrus Ch’oe Ch’ang-Hub
They were born in South Korea and were martyred by beheading on 29 December 1839 at the Small West Gate, Seoul, South Korea. They were Canonised on 6 May 1984 by St Pope John Paul II.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
• Blessed Aproniano de Felipe González
• Blessed Enrique Juan Requena
• Blessed Jacinto Gutiérrez Terciado
• Blessed Juan Bautista Ferreres Boluda