Thought for the Day – 10 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Death of the Sinner as Opposed to the Death of the Just
“Now that we have witnessed these contrasting scenes, let us examine ourselves in the presence of God. Let each of us ask: What will be my fate? If we can rank ourselves amongst the just, let us thank God. We are not there on our own merits. “By the grace of God, I am what I am” (1 Cor 15:10).
Perhaps we need only reproach ourselves with some deficiency or weakness but, have at the same times, a strong desire to serve God and a great love for Him. In this case, we can take heart. We can cast ourselves into the merciful arms of God. But, if on the other hand, we are hardened and habitual sinners, then woe betide us! Perhaps this meditation is the last grace which God will bestow on us!”
Quote/s of the Day – 10 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus”
“People who associate the name of Christian with a dishonest life, injure Christ… If God’s Name, is blasphemed by bad Christians, it is praised and honoured, on the other hand, by the good: “For in every place, we are the aroma of Christ” (2 Cor,14-15). And it is said in the Song of Songs: “Your name is oil poured out” (1,3).”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“The Name of Jesus is the purest and holiest, the noblest and most indulgent of names, the Name of all blessings and of all virtues, it is the Name of the God-Man, of sanctity itself.”
St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor of the Church
“Sacrilegious tongues blaspheme the God who preserves their existence! … you should be damned forever and, instead of thanking Him for His goodness, you, at the very time that He bestows His favours upon you, YOU blaspheme His Holy Name!”
St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
One Minute Reflection – 10 January – The Fifth Day within the Octave of Epiphany, Readings: Romans 12:1-5; Luke 2:42-52
“After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions…” Luke 2:46
REFLECTION – ”Because He was a small child, He is found “in the midst of teachers,” sanctifying and instructing them. Because He was a small child, He is found “in their midst,” not teaching them but “asking questions.” He did this because it is appropriate to His age, to teach us what befits boys, even if they are wise and learned. They should rather hear their teachers than want to teach them and not show off with a display of knowledge. He interrogated the teachers, not to learn anything but to teach them by His questions. From one fountain of doctrine, there flow, both wise questions and answers. It is part of the same wisdom, to know what you should ask and what you should answer. It was right for the Saviour first to become a master of learned interrogation. Later He would answer questions according to God’s reason and Word.” – Origen (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Father(Homilies on the Gospel of Luke, 19).
PRAYER – Holy Father, trusting in the motherly intercession of Mary Most Holy, Queen of Families and under the powerful protection of St Joseph, her spouse, grant we pray, that we may dedicate ourselves tirelessly to this beautiful mission which You have placed in our hands, as mothers and fathers of Your children. Strengthen us to protect and guide them in Your ways. Through the prayers of our Holy Mother and the Guardian of Your divine Son and of His Church, in union with Jesus Christ our Lord and the Holy Spirit, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 10 January – The Fifth Day within the Octave of Epiphany
O Child, So Worthy of Our Love, I Offer You My Heart By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
O Child so worthy of our love, I see You lying on the straw in this cave, so poor and despised. Yet faith teaches me, that You are my God come down from heaven for my salvation. I acknowledge You as my Sovereign Lord and Saviour, as such I proclaim You, yet, I have nothing at all to offer You. I am without Love’s Gold, since I have given my love to the things of this world – I have only loved my own whim, rather than loving You, so infinitely worthy of love. I am without Prayer’s Incense, since I have lived wretchedly without thinking of You. I have no Myrrh of Mortification since, so as not to forsake some paltry pleasures, I have so often saddened Your infinite goodness. So what am I to offer You? O my Jesus, I offer You my heart, soiled and naked as it is. Take it and change it, for You have come down to us to wash our guilty hearts with Your Blood and so transform us from sinners into saints. O grant me that Gold, Incense and Myrrh which I lack. Grant me the Gold of Your Holy Love; grant me the Incense which is the spirit of prayer; grant me Myrrh, the willingness and strength to deny myself in all that displeases You… O holy Virgin, you welcomed those devout Magi Kings with keen affection and satisfied them. Deign to welcome and comfort me also, I, who come, following their example, to visit and offer myself to your Son Amen.
Saint of the Day – 10 January – Blessed Pope Gregory X TOSF (1210-1276) Bishop of Rome 1272 and Ruler of the Papal States until his death. He was elected on 1 September 1271 following the longest election in the history of the Church and ascended the throne on 27 March. He was a Third Order Franciscan. Born Teobaldo Visconti, in 1210 in Piacenza, Italy and died on 10 January 1276 at Arezzo, Italy of a fever. He was Beatified on 8 July 1713 by Pope Clement XI.
Teobaldo Visconti, a member of the illustrious Visconti family of Piacenza, was born in the City in 1210. In his youth, he was distinguished for his extraordinary virtue and his progress in his studies, especially of the Canon Law, which he began in Italy and pursued at Paris and lastly, at Liege. He was Archdeacon of this last Church, when he received an order from the Pope to preach the Crusade for the recovery of the Holy Land. Incredible were the pains which he took in executing this commission and in reconciling the Christian Princes, who were at variance.
When the Crusade faltered, a tender compassion for the distressed situation of the servants of Christ in those parts, moved the holy Archdeacon of Liege to undertake a dangerous pilgrimage to Palestine, in order to comfort them, and at the same time to satisfy his devotion by visiting the holy places.
In the interim, the See of Rome had been vacant for almost three years, from the death of Clement IV, in November 1268, the Cardinals, who were assembled at Viterbo, could not reach an agreement in the choice of a Pope. By common consent, they referred the election to six amongst them, who, on 1 September in 1271, nominated Teobald, the Archdeacon of Liege. Upon the news of his election, he prepared himself to return to Italy. Nothing could be more tender and moving than his last farewell to the disconsolate Christians of Palestine, whom he promised, in a most solemn manner, never to forget.
He arrived at Rome in March 1272 and was first Ordained Priest, then Consecrated Bishop and Crowned. He took the name of Gregory X and, to procure the most effectual succour to the Holy Land, called a General Council to meet at Lyons, where Pope Innocent IV had held the last in 1245. The fourteenth General Council, the second of Lyons, was opened in that City in May, 1274, in which were assembled five hundred Bishops and seventy Abbots.
The Council was closed by the fifth and last session, on 17 July. The more our holy Pope was overwhelmed with public affairs, the more watchful he was over his own soul and the more earnest in the interior duties of self-examination, contemplation and prayer. He spoke little, conversing assiduously in his heart with God; he was very abstemious in his diet and most rigorous to himself in all things. By this crucified life, his soul was prepared to taste the hidden manna which is concealed in the divine word, with which he continually nourished it, in holy meditation.
After the Council, he was taken up in measures for carrying out its decrees, particularly those relating to the Crusade in the East. By his unwearied application to business and the fatigues of his journey, in passing the Alps on his return to Rome, he contracted a distemper, of which he died at Arezzo, on 10 January, in 1276, three years and nine months after his Consecration and four years, four months, and ten days after his election. His name was inserted in the Roman Martyrology, published by Benedict XIV and he was Beatified on 8 July 1713, by Pope Clement XI.
Madonna del Pianto / Madonna of the Lament or the Weeping Madonna, Rome, Italy (1546) – 10 January:
On 10 January1546, two men quarreled violently near the street Shrine of the Madonna del Portico d’Ottavia, on via Arco dei Cenci near the Roman Ghetto. One begged the other to spare him for love of the Virgin Mary, then stabbed that man in the back when he hugged him in forgiveness. The image of the Virgin wept three days. The 15th-century fresco was then moved into the nearby Church of San Salvatore de Cacabariis.
In 1612 the Church reconstruction began and in 1616 the image was re-installed and the Church re-dedicated to the Weeping Madonna. The event is commemorated in a fresco, the Madonna of the Lament, over the high Altar. There is also the painting of the Miracle of the Weeping Madonna opposite the organ on one of the two sides of the Altarpiece. Mother and Child were crowned on 20 May 1643. The ancient image is a representation of Mary nursing the Child.
St Aldo of Carbonari St Pope Agatho Bl Anna of the Angels Monteagudo St Arcontius of Viviers Bl Benincasa of Cava St Dermot of Inis Clothrann St Domitian of Melitene Blessed Pope Gregory X TOSF (1210-1276) Bishop of Rome 1272-1276 Bl Giles of Lorenzana
St Maurilius of Cahors St Nicanor of Cyprus St Paul the Hermit (c 230-342) The First Desert Hermit “In Thebais, the birthday of St Paul, the first Hermit, who lived alone in the desert from the sixteenth to the one hundred and thirteenth year of his age. His soul was seen by St Anthony Abbot, carried by Angels among the choirs of Apostles and Prophets. His Feast is celebrated on the 15th day of this Month. (Roman Martyrology)”