Thought for the Day – 8 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Apostolate of Suffering
“Suffering has a still further purpose. Besides bearing the role of an apostolate in our own lives, it can also be an apostolate for others. We can offer our sufferings and sorrows to God, not only for our own spiritual advancement but, also for the expiation of the sins of the human race, for our enemies, for the persecutors of the Church, for the Church itself and for all the other suffering members of the Mystical Body of Christ. In this way, we can accomplish great good and can acquire merit before God.
As a result of our offering, who knows how many hearts hardened in sin, or how many souls forgetful of Heaven, may be touched by the grace pof God?
Let us suffer with Jesus. He alone can ease our pain and make it meritorious for ourselves and for many others!”
Quote of the Day – 8 January – The Third Day within the Octave of Epiphany and the Memorial of St Apollinaris the Apologist (Died 2nd Century)
“Although we acknowledge virtue to be the richest treasure of the soul of man, we take little pains about it; passionately seek the things of this world, are cast down and broken, under every adversity and curb and restrain our passions only by halves!”
“We, therefore, grossly deceive ourselves, in not allotting more time, to the study of divine truths. It is not enough barely to believe them and let our thoughts, now and then, glance upon them. That knowledge, which shows us Heaven, will not bring us to the possession of it and will deserve punishments, not rewards, if it remain slight, weak and superficial. By serious and frequent meditation, it must be concocted, digested and turned into the nourishment of our affections, before it can be powerful and operative enough, to change them and produce the necessary fruit in our lives. For this, all the Saints, affected solitude and retreats from the noise and hurry of the world, as much as their circumstances allowed them.”
One Minute Reflection – 8 January – The Third Day within the Octave of Epiphany, Readings: Titus 3:4-7; Luke 2:15-20
“But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19
REFLECTION – “Often, it seems to us, Mary forgot to eat and to drink, keeping vigil in order to think about Christ, to see Christ in His flesh. She burned with love of Him and passionately loved to serve Him. She often did what the Song of Songs sings about: “I was sleeping, but my heart kept vigil.” (Song 5:2) Even when she was resting, she continued to dream of Him who filled her thoughts throughout the day. Whether she was keeping vigil or resting in peace, she always lived in Him, was always occupied with Him.
Where her treasure was, there also was her heart (Mt 6:21); where her glory was, there also was her mind. She loved her Lord and her Son with all her heart, with all her mind, with all her strength (Mt 22:37). She saw with her eyes, touched with her hands, the Word of Life (1 Jn 1:1). How blessed was Mary, to whom it was given to embrace Him who embraces and nourishes everything! How happy was she who carried Him, who carries the universe (Heb 1:3), she who nursed a Son, who gives her life, a Son who nourishes her and all beings on earth (Ps 145:15).
The One, Who is the Wisdom of the Father, put His arms around her neck, the One, Who is the Strength, that gives movement to everything, sat in her arms. He, Who is the Rest of souls, (Mt 11:29) rested on her motherly breast. How gently He held her in His hands, peacefully looked at her, He ,Whom the angels wish to contemplate (1 Pet 1:12) and He gently called her, He ,Whom every being calls upon when in need. Filled with the Holy Spirit, she held Him close to her heart … She never had enough of seeing Him or of hearing Him, Whom “many prophets and kings wished to see … but did not see.” (Lk 10:24) Thus Mary grew evermore in love and her mind was unceasingly attached to divine contemplation.” – St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Bishop (Homily on Mary, 4).
PRAYER – Lord open our hearts to Your grace. As You brought joy to the world through the Incarnation of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, grant that through the prayer of His Ever-Virgin Mother, our hearts too may grow in virtue and love by learning to reflect constantly on His commandments and counsels. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 8 January – Octave of Epiphany and Mary’s Day
Mother of Salvation, Blessed Lady By Anselm (1033-1109) Magnificent Doctor Marian Doctor
Mother of Salvation, Blessed Lady, you are the Mother of Justification and those who are justified; the Mother of Reconciliation and those who are reconciled; the Mother of Salvation and those who are saved. What a blessed trust and what a secure refuge! The Mother of God is our Mother. The Mother of the One in Whom alone, we hope and Whom alone, we fear, is our Mother! … The One Who partook of our nature and by restoring us to life, made us children of His Mother, invites us by this grace, to proclaim that we are His brothers and sisters. Therefore, our Judge, is also our Brother. The Saviour of the world, is our Brother. Our God has become – through Mary – our Brother! Anen
Saint of the Day – 8 January – Saint Apollinaris the Apologist (Died 2nd Century) Bishop of Hierapolis, Apologist, Confessor, Defender of the True Faith against heretics, Writer, renowned Scholar. Also known as – Apollinaris Claudius, Apollinaris of Hierapolis, Claudius Apollinaris, Apollinare di Gerapoli. Additional Memorial – 7 February on some calendars.
The Roman Martyrology states: “In Hierapolis in Phrygia, in today’s Turkey, Saint Apollinaris, Bishop, who shone under the Emperor Marcus Aurelius for doctrine and holiness.”
He lived in the time of Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161-180) and was undoubtedly one of the most important prelates in Asia. He became famous for his polemical treatises against the heretics of his day, whose errors he showed to be entirely borrowed from the pagans.
Notwithstanding the great eulogies bestowed on Saint Apollinaris by Eusebius, Saint Jerome, Theodoret and others, little is known of his acts and his writings, which then were held in great esteem, are apparently all lost, just a few fragments remaining for our edification. . He had written many excellent treatises against the heretics and pointed out, as Saint Jerome testifies, the pagan sect from which each heresy derived its errors.
Nothing rendered his name so illustrious, however, as the noble apology for the Christian religion which he addressed to the Emperor, Marcus Aurelius about the year 175. This was spoken soon after the miraculous victory the Emperor obtained over enemies, through the prayers of the Christians. Saint Apollinaris reminded Marcus Aurelius of the benefit he had received from God through the prayers of his Christian subjects and implored protection for them, against the persecutions of the pagans. Marcus Aurelius published an edict in which he forbade anyone, under pain of death, to accuse a Christian on account of his religion but, by a strange inconsistency, he did not have the courage to abolish the laws then in force against the Christians. As a consequence, many of them continued to suffer martyrdom, though their accusers were also put to death.
The exact date of St Apollinaris’ death is not known; but the Roman Martyrology mentions him today.
St Abo of Tblisi St Albert of Cashel St Apollinaris the Apologist (Died 2nd Century) Bishop, Apologist St Athelm of Canterbury St Atticus of Constantinople St Carterius of Caesarea Bl Edward Waterson St Ergnad of Ulster St Erhard of Regensburg St Eugenian of Autun
St Garibaldus of Regensburg St Gudule of Brussels St Helladius St Julian of Beauvais St Lawrence Giustiniani St Lucian of Beauvais St Maximian of Beauvais St Maximus of Pavia Bl Nathalan of Aberdeen St Patiens of Metz St Pega of Peakirk
The above film was the winner of the International “Festival dobrých správ” (of Good News) honoured a short film about the life of Blessed Titus Zeman SDB. The video entitled “Titus Zeman – a Martyr for Spiritual Freedom to Follow Oneʹs Vocation” was first place in the category of short films under 15 minutes and takes a closer look at the heroic sacrifice of the Salesian. The author of the winning film is Salesian past pupil Roman Maturkanič from Slovakia who currently works as a film director. “Probably the biggest challenge was to narrate the very eventful life of Titus in such a short time. We won the first place prize but we could say that this is Titusʹ victory,” said the director of the film’s achievement in the competition.
St Wulsin of Sherborne
Martyrs of Greece – 9 saints: A group of Christians honored in Greece as martyrs, but we have no details about their lives or deaths – Euctus, Felix, Januarius, Lucius, Palladius, Piscus, Rusticus, Secundus and Timotheus
Martyrs of Terni – 4 saints: A group of Christian soldiers in the imperial Roman army. Executed during the persecutions of emperor Claudius. Martyrs. – Carbonanus, Claudius, Planus and Tibudianus. They were martyred in 270 in Terni, Italy.