Thought for the Day – 14 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Early Hours of the Day
“Unfortunately, there are many who never give the slightest thought to God when they rise in the morning. Or perhaps they think that a quick mechanical Sign of the Cross satisfies all their religious obligations.
A good Catholic could not behave in this fashion. He kneels to say his morning prayers and raises his mind and heart to God in acts of thanksgiving, reparation and love. Only in this way, can he begin the day with peace and confidence, knowing that during it, he will have continual need of God’s assistance.
If hitherto you have not behaved like this, make up your mind to begin everyday in future, by offering yourself to God, along with all your work, plans and worries. This offering will be a wonderful spiritual advantage throughout the day.”
Quote/s of the Day – 14 February – The Memorial of St Valentine (176-273) Bishop and Martyr
“Many sins are forgiven her because she has loved much.”
“Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ.”
“Without love, there is only faith, which the devil has.”
“Once for all, then, a short precept is given you – Love and do what you will, whether you hold your peace, through love, hold your peace; whether you cry out, through love cry out; whether you correct, through love correct; whether you spare, through love do you spare. Let the root of love be within, of this root, can nothing spring but what is good.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father nd Doctor of Grace
“Love[ing] one another with the charity of Christ, let the love you have in your hearts, be shown outwardly in your deeds …”
St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)
“Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger or higher or wider; nothing is more pleasant, nothing fuller and nothing better in heaven or on earth, for love is born of God and cannot rest except in God, Who is above all created things.”
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
“… It is Him you should love and no other. Of Him you could and should say “My Beloved is mine and I am his” (Sg 2:16); my God has given Himself without reserve and, without reserve, I give myself to Him; He has chosen me as the object of His tenderness and He, among thousands, He, the radiant and ruddy one (Sg 5:10), so loveable and so loving, He is the chosen of my heart, the only one I wish to love.”
St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)
I Love You, O My God By St Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)
I love You, O my God and my only desire is to love You until the last breath of my life. I love You, O my infinitely lovable God and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You. I love You, Lord and the only grace I ask, is to love You eternally My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You, I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 14 February – “Month of the Most Blessed Trinity” – The Memorial of St Valentine (176-273) Bishop and Martyr, 1 Cor. 9:24-27; 10:1-5, Matthew 20:1-16
“The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard.” – Matthew 20:1
REFLECTION – “To hire labourers for his vineyard.” What is the vineyard of God here? Not men, as elsewhere; for men are called the cultivators of the vineyard. The vineyard is justice and in it different kinds of virtues are placed like vines. For example, gentleness, chastity, patience, high-mindedness and countless other good qualities, which are all in general called virtues. So let us note how earnestly we should cultivate the heavenly vineyard. Adam was put in paradise to cultivate it and work it, but because he neglected it, he was ejected from it. We have been put here to cultivate justice; if we neglect it, we will be cast out, just as the Jews also were cast out, of whom it was written: “Add iniquity to their iniquity, that they may not enter thy justice.” The fall of those going before, should be a warning for those following. But if we the followers have also fallen into ruin, those who were the first to fall, deserve pardon more than we, who follow. A hired hand placed in the vineyard will not only lose his pay if he neglects it but, he will also be charged with the loss of the abandoned vineyard! So we too, if we neglect the justice committed to us, will not only have no reward but, we will also be charged for the justice that has been abolished. For God’s vineyard is not outside us but has been planted inside our very selves. So anyone who commits sin destroys the justice of God within himself but anyone who does good works, cultivates it in himself. The well-cultivated justice of God within you, brings forth grapes, that is, Christ. For those who do just deeds form Christ in themselves, as is written: “My little children, with whom I am again in travail, until Christ be formed in you.”
Anyone who consigns a vineyard to another to work consigns it, not so much for the other’s benefit, as for his own but God, giving His justice to our understanding, gave it, not for His own benefit but for ours. God does not need our labour but we, who do just work, may live because of it. The owner who consigned the vineyard to someone else for his own benefit, expects to receive it back in the same condition as He handed it over. How then will justice not be demanded back from us, in as immaculate a condition as He created it in us, particularly as He gave it, not for His own benefit but for our salvation?
Be aware that we have been hired as labourers. If we have been hired as labourers, we ought to know what our tasks are, for a hired labourer cannot be without a task. Our tasks are the works of justice, not to till our fields and vineyards; not to amass riches and pile up honours but to benefit our neighbours. And although we can do this tilling and amassing without sin, yet they are not our tasks but our daily occupations.
No-one hires a labourer to work, only so that the labourer may eat. So we too have been called by Christ, to do, not merely what pertains to our own benefit but, to do what pertains, to the glory of God. The hired hand, who only works so that he may fill his belly, wanders purposelessly about the house. So we too, if we do only what pertains to our benefit, live without reason on the earth. And just as the hired hand first looks to his work and then to his wages, so we too are Christ’s hired hands and first ought to look at what pertains to God’s glory and to the benefit of our neighbours …. Charity and true love toward God “does not insist on its own way” but desires to perform everything to the wish of the Beloved—than to what pertains to our own benefit.” – An anonymous Ancient Christian Writer (ACW) known as the Incomplete Work on Matthew (Sermon 34).
PRAYER – O glorious advocate and protector, St Valentine, look with pity upon our wants, hear our requests, attend to our prayers, relieve by your intercession, the miseries under which we labour and obtain for us the divine blessing, that we may be found worthy to join you in praising the Almighty for all eternity: through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 14 February – The Memorial of St Valentine (176-273) Bishop and Martyr
Deus Tuorum Militum O God, of Those Who Fought Thy Fight Unknown Author
O God, of those Who fought Thy fight, Portion and Prize and crown of Light, Break every bond of sin and shame, As now we praise Thy Martyr’s name.
He recked not of the world’s allure, But sin and pomp of sin forswore; Knew all their gall and passed them by And reached the throne prepared on high.
Bravely the course of pain he ran And bore his torments as a man: For love of Thee, his blood outpoured And thus obtained the great reward.
With humble voice and suppliant word We pray Thee, therefore, holy Lord, While we Thy Martyr’s Feast-day keep, Forgive Thy loved and erring sheep.
Glory and praise for aye be done To God the Father and the Son, And Holy Ghost, Who reign on high, One God, to all eternity. Amen
An Ambrosian hymn historically assigned for Matins and Vespers for the Common Feast of a Martyr in the Roman Breviary. It dates probably from the sixth century and is attributed to the Unknown Author of Rex Gloriose Martyrum and Jesu, Redemptor Omnium. The hymn exists in a longer version of eight strophes and a shorter one of four, which is probably earlier. The Vatican antiphonary provided two different melodies for use in the Paschal season and during the Octave of the Nativity, during which the Feast of Saint Stephen the Protomartyr occurs. The hymn is a prayer of the Catholic assembly, asking God to forgive the sins of His servants, on the day of the martyr’s triumph over the pleasures of the world and the torture of persecution.
Saint of the Day – 14 February – Saint Modestinus of Avellino (c 245-311) Bishop Martyr. Confessor, Missionary, miracle-worker. Also known as – Modestinus of Mercogliano, Modestin…Modestino… Additional Memorials – 10 June (re-internment of relics), 13 August on some calendars. Patronages – Avellino, Italy, City of (given in 1220 by Ruggiero of Avellino). Avellino, Italy, Diocese of (given in 1220 by Ruggiero of Avellino), Mercogliano, Italy.
Modestinus was born in Antioch in c 245 of a noble family. In 302 he was Consecrated Bishop of the City and Patriarch of the region of Antioch. During the persecution of Diocletian (year 303), he retired to a hermitage on Mount Silpio,. But in 310 he returned to his See.
He preached the Gospel of Christ and performed numerous miracles and cures. Arrested and tortured, he was released from prison by the faithful of his Diocese. Modestinus, with his collaborators Fiorentinus a Priest and Flavianus a Deacon, left to travel to Italy. They arrived by sea in Locri (in Calabria) where they preached the Gospel, were arrested again and taken to prison in Sibari. .According to tradition, they were freed by the Archangel Michael.
They left by sea and reached near Avellino – it is believed that St Michael led the Saint to the regions that most needed the Gospel teachings and the truth of Christ. It is reported that Modestinus and his assistants, were successful in their preaching, converting and Baptising around 4,000 souls in one area. Modestinys performed many miracles and cures.
Again they were arrested, imprisoned and tried by an envoy of the Emperor Maxentius and taken to the place called the “Praetorium” where they suffered Martyrdom wrapped in red-hot robes and burned to death. They died in the night between 14 and 15 February in the year 311.
Their bodies were collected by the Christians and buried. A sign with their names was placed on the graves. In St Modestinus Church, a silver sculpture depicting a dove was placed on the tomb.
Their bodies, found in the summer of 1166, were taken to the Cathedral of Avellino, where they are still preserved today in the Chapel of St Modestinus. In 1220 they were appointed primary Patrons of the City and of the Diocese of Avellino by the Bishop Ruggiero.
20 Mercedarians of Palermo Martyrs of Alexandria – 16 saints Martyrs of Rome Felicula Vitalis Zeno
Martyrs of Terni: Three Christians who gave proper burial to Saint Valentine of Terni. Martyred in the persecutions of Aurelius. 273 in Terni, Italy – Apollonius, Ephebus, Proculus.
Martyrs of Alexandria: A group of Christians murdered in various ways for their faith in Alexandria, Egypt. We know the names and a few details about 16 of them – Agatho, Agatone, Ammonio, Ammonius, Antonius, Bassiano, Bassianus, Cirione, Cyrio, Dionysius, Dionysius, Lucio, Moses, Moses, Proto and Tonione.
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