Thought for the Day – 14 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Proper Use of Time
“The high value of the divine gift of time imposes an obligation on us to avoid laziness. The obligation to avoid sin, is still greater. Sin is the most serious way in which we can abuse this gift of God. It is also an act of deep ingratitude, in that, we turn this treasure which God has bestowed on us, into a weapon to be used against the Giver of every good. To use time properly, it is necessary to direct all our actions, intentions and desires towards God, Who is the source of our being and the goal of our earthly pilgrimage.
If everything we do, intend, or desire, springs from our love of God and is aimed at the manifestation of His glory and the expansion of His kingdom upon earth, then, even our most humble and apparently indifferent actions, are precious in the sight of the Mos High and receive His blessing. But, if we are working for ourselves, for our own satisfaction and petty glorification, we ruin everything. All that we do is barren. If we seek ourselves instead of God, we shall hear Him say one day: “You shall have no reward with your Father in Heaven”(Mt 6:1).
Quote/s of the Day – 14 January – The Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
“The privilege of our Church is such that it is never stronger than when it is attacked, never better known than when it is accused, never more powerful than when it appears forsaken.”
(Treatise on the Trinity)
“The Church is the Ship outside which it is impossible to understand the Divine Word, for Jesus spoke from the boat to the people gathered on the shore.”
“No matter how sinful one may have been, if he has devotion to Mary, it is impossible that he be lost.”
“Little children follow and obey their father. They love their mother. They know nothing of covetousness, ill-will, bad temper, arrogance and lying. This state of mind, opens the road to Heaven. To imitate our Lord’s own humility, we must return to the simplicity of God’s little ones.”
St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 14 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – 2 Timothy 4:1-8; Matthew 5:13-19 and the Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
“I have come, not to abolish but to fulfil.” … Matthew 5:17
REFLECTION – “In Him, the promise made through the shadows of prophecy, stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the One Who teaches the truth of prophecy, through His presence and makes obedience to the commandments possible, through grace. In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No-one should be ashamed of the Cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed. No-one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice, no-one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on Himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then, we are steadfast in our faith in Him and in our love for Him, we win the victory that He has won, we receive what He has promised. When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears – “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.” … St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from Sermo 51).
PRAYER – God our Saviour, through the grace of Baptism, You made us children of light. You lead us by the hand and guide and protect us by Your commandments. Fill us with joy at Your nearness and the light of Your Son, by whose beam we see You and follow. St Hilary was a shining examples to us all, grant, we pray, that his prayers may aid us. Through Jesus our Lord and Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 14 January – The Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
I Owe You a Most Particular Duty By St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368)
I am well aware, Almighty God and Father, that in my life, I owe You a most particular duty. It is to make my every thought and word, speak of You. In fact, You have conferred on me, this gift of speech and it can yield no greater return than to be at Your service. It is for making You known as Father, the Father of the only-begotten God and preaching this, to the world, that knows You not and to the heretics, who refuse to believe in You. … Grant that I may express what I believe. Amen
Excerpt from a Sermon On the Trinity (Lib 1, 37-38: PL 10, 48-49) by Saint Hilary of Poitiers. It is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the Feast of St Hilary, today.
Saint of the Day – 14 January – St Godfrey of Cappenberg (c 1097-1127) Friar of the Order of St Norbert (the Premonstratensians or Norbertines), Husband and Father, Monk and Founder of Monasteries, Apostle of the Sick and the poor. Born in c 1097 at Cappenberg Castle, Westphalia, Germany and died on 13 January 1127 at the Abbey of Ilbenstadt, Germany of natural causes. Also known as – Godfrey of Ilbenstadt, Godfrey of Kappenberg. Gaufrid, Geoffrey, Geoffroy, Geofroi, Gioffredo, Godefrid, Godefridus, Godefroid, Godfrey, Goffredo, Goffrey, Gofrido, Gotfrid, Gothofred, Gottfrid, Gottfried, Jeffrey.
Godfrey was born into the wealth and prestige of the Counts of Cappenberg. In his early adulthood he played an active role in supporting the cause of the Roman Pontiff against Emperor Henry IV. In 1121 he encountered St. Norbert at Cologne and was so struck by his lifestyle and preaching that he immediately made plans to give away all his possessions and enter the infant Norbertine Order.
Together with his brother Otto and his wife Judith, he handed over Cappenberg Castle to St Norbert on 31 May 1122, thus establishing the first foundation of the Order in Germany. Both Otto and Judith followed Godfrey’s example and embraced the religious life of the new Order. The further donation of his estates at Varlar and Ilbenstadt to St. Norbert caused an uproar among the local nobility who viewed it as a threat to their established aristocracy. Under the leadership of Godfrey’s hostile father-in-law, Frederick of Arnsberg, an unsuccessful military assault was made upon the new Monastery at Cappenberg.
Through all of these trials Godfrey remained steadfast in his desire to be a Norbertine. When things calmed down, Godfrey received the Habit from the hand of St Norbert, himself.
Godfrey especially loved to care for the poor and sick in the hospital attached to the Abbey. St Norbert wanted to have him by his side at Magdeburg but Godfrey felt out of place in the noisy northern metropolis and was granted permission to return to Cappenberg. It was on his way back to Mount. Cappenberg that Godfrey fell ill at Ilbenstadt. Surrounded by his brethren and his brother Otto, he made peace with them all: “My brothers, through love for the Order, through zeal for the glory of God, I have occasionally reprimanded some of you a bit too harshly. I beg pardon from you now.” Moments later, seeing a vision of Angels, Godfrey exclaimed, “How beautiful! How beautiful! The Messengers of my Creator and God have finally come!” With that he fell asleep in the Lord. It was 13 January 1127.
Godfrey is pictured with the crown of nobility which he rejected for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom, with the skull of penitence recalling his severe trials and with one of the poorest of the poor, whom he loved to serve so much. St Godfrey’s relics are enshrined in the Churches in Ilbenstadt and Cappenberg, Germany.
Generous God, You raise up in the Church, men and women who out of love for You, are willing to follow in poverty the poverty of the poor Christ. Out of their abundance, others are cared for in their need. We honour in prayer and praise, he example of Godfrey of Cappenberg who, in spite of even violent opposition, gave to Saint Norbert his home as a new community and who himself, became a faithful disciple of that man of God. Inspired by his openness of heart and hands, lead us to build up the Body of Christ by our generous response to the Gospel. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ in the communion of the Holy Spirit this day and forever and ever. Amen
St Felix of Rome St Fermin of Mende St Glycerius of Antioch St Godfrey of Cappenberg (c 1097-1127) Monk St Isaias the Martyr St Jesaja of Sinai St Macrina the Elder St Nino of Georgia Bl Odoric of Pordenone
St Potitus Bl Rainer of Arnsberg St Sabas of Sinai St Sava of Serbia St Successus of Africa St Theodolus of Sinai Bl William de Sanjulia
Martyrs of Mount Sinai: A group of Monks on Mount Sinai who were Martyred by desert Bedouins. Their names and exact number have not come down to us. Martyred by Bedouins.
Martyrs of Raithu – 43 saints: A group of 43 Monks in the Raithu Desert near Mount Sinai, Palestine, near the Red Sea. They were Martyred for their faith by desert Bedouins. Their names have not come down to us. Martyred by Bedouins.
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