Thought for the Day – 17 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“St Paul seems to contradict this idea when he writes: “There is question, not of him who wills, nor of him who runs but of God showing mercy” (Rom 9:16).
What he says is true. Our will is inadequate to effect anything without the grace of God. But, it is equally true, that the grace of God is not sufficient without an act of the will on our part. God created us as intelligent beings with the marvellous gift of free will. Because He respects the liberty which He gave us, He will not compel us by His grace to become holy. He only assist us. His assistance is absolutely necessary because of ourselves, we are incapable of forming a good intention, let alone performing a good action. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves,” St Paul says elsewhere, “to think anything, as from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor 3:5).
We must pray fervently for divine grace but, it depends on our own will to ensure, that God’s grace produces results in us. This is the only way in which we can become perfect.”
Quote of the Day – 17 February – Feast of the Flight into Egypt
“My dear Jesus, Thou art the King of Heaven but now I behold Thee as an Infant wandering over the earth – tell me whom dost Thou seek? I pity Thee when I see Thee, so poor and humbled but I pity Thee more when I see Thee treated with such ingratitude by the same men whom Thou came to save. Thou dost weep but I also weep because I have been one of those who in times past have despised and persecuted Thee. But now I value Thy grace more than all the kingdoms of the world; forgive me, O my Jesus, all the evil I have committed against Thee and permit me to carry Thee always in my heart during the journey of my life to eternity, even as Mary carried Thee in her arms during the flight into Egypt.”
By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 16 February – Septuagesima Weekday – 1 Cor. 9:24-27; 10:1-5, Matthew 20:1-6
“… Do you not know that those who run in a race, all indeed run but one receives the prize? So run as to obtain it. ..” – 1 Corinthians 9:245
REFLECTION – “Let nothing intervene to hinder the progress of any who travel alongside each other … but let us walk with agile step though the road be rough and hard, let us show a brave and manly spirit, overcome obstacles, pass along from pathway to pathway, from hill to hill, until we climb onto the mountain of the Lord and make a home for ourselves in the holy place of His impassibility.
For now, let us persevere, children, dear children, let us be patient for a little, brothers, dear brothers.… Who will be crowned without having fought? Who will go to rest if he is not tired (cf. 2 Tim 2:5-6)? Who will gather the fruits of life without having planted virtues in his soul? Cultivate them, prepare the earth with the greatest care, take trouble over it, sweat over it, children, God’s workers, imitators of the angels, competitors with incorporeal beings, lights for those who are in the world (cf. Phil 2:15)!” … St Theodore the Studite (759-826) Monk (Catechesis 28).
PRAYER – O Lord, we beseech You, graciously hear the prayers of Your people, that we who are justly punished for our sins may be mercifully delivered for the glory of Your name. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
Our Morning Offering – 17 February – Feast of the Flight into Egypt
My Beloved Redeemer Prayer for the Flight into Egypt (Excerpt) By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church
My beloved Redeemer, I have many times driven Thee out of my soul but now I hope, that Thou have again taken possession of it. I beseech Thee, do Thou bind it to Thyself with the sweet chains of Thy love. Oh, do Thou make Thyself loved, make Thyself loved by all the sinners who persecute Thee, give them light, make them know the love Thou hast borne them and the love Thou deserves, since Thou goes wandering over the earth as a poor Infant, weeping and trembling with cold and seeking souls to love Thee! O Mary, most holy Virgin, O dearest Mother and companion of the sufferings of Jesus, do thou help me always to carry and preserve thy Son in my heart, in life and in death! Amen.
Saint of the Day – 17 February – Saint Constabilis of Cava OSB (c 1070-1124) Abbot, miracle-worker, known as “The Blanket of the Brothers” for gus gentle kindness and caring humility for all the Monks in their trials and sorrows. He is the Patron Saint of the Town of Castellabate in Cilento, which he founded in 1123 and whose name clearly indicates it. Born in c 1070 at Lucania, Italy and died on 17 February 1124 at Cava de’ Tirreni of natural causes. Patronages – • Castelabbate, Italy, of sailors, since 1979 he has been elevated to Co-Patron of the Diocese of Vallo della Lucania. Also known as – Constabile, Costabile.
The Roman Martyrology reads today: “In the monastery of Cava de ‘Tirreni in Campania, Saint Constabilis, Abbot: – for his extraordinary meekness and his charity towards everyone, he was commonly called the “Blanket” of the brothers.”
Constabilis was born around 1070 at Tresino, in Lucania to the noble Gentilcore family. At the age of seven, he was entrusted to the care of Abbot of Cava, St Leo I.
He became a Monk at the Abbey, which followed the Benedictine Rule . Constabilis zealously lived the Rule to perfection and was entrusted by the Abbot to manage important negotiations and transactions on behalf of the Abbey.
On 10 January 1118, he was promoted by Abbot St Peter of Pappacarbone to the position of Coadjutor. He subsequently succeeded Peter as the Abbot after the latter’s death on 4 March 1122. His work was carried out with kindness, understanding for each of the Monks and their individual problems, without imposing authoritarian superiority over them. He approached each with humility and gentleness in his administration of the Abbey,.
He died on 17 February 1124 at the age of around 53 and was buried in the part of the Church overlooking the ‘Arsicia’ Cave used by St Alferius. After his death he appeared several times to his successor Abbots, coming to their aid in contingencies, there are records of his miraculous interventions for the salvation of the ships, which later belonged to the famous Abbey. These miraculous intercessions granted him widespread veneration as the protector of sailors.
On 21 December 1893, Pope Leo XIII recognised the ancient verneration and the title of Saint, to the first four Abbots, of the famous Abbey of Trinità di Cava dei Tirreni, founded in the 11th century. They are St Alferius the Founder and first Abbot († 1050), St Leo I (1050-1079), St Peter Pappacarbone (1079-1123) and St Constabilis (c 1122-1124). Their relics rest in the Abbey Church in the Chapel of the Saintly Fathers.’
It was on the seventeenth of February, fifty five days after the Nativity of Jesus, when King Herod’s soldiers — sent to slaughter all little boys in Bethlehem and its neighbourhood who were two years old or under, in order to destroy a rival King, Jesus — were getting perilously near the cave at Bethlehem, where at first they little expected Our Lord to be. Saint Joseph received a message from God through an Angel, whereupon he took Our Lady and the Divine Infant and set off leaving the land of the Jews to travel to a land of the Gentiles. They took no-one with them, by way of servants or friends, as Saint Peter Chrysologus tells us.
The Town to which the Holy Family fled was called Fostat. It was three hundred miles from Bethlehem. A Church has been erected there, on the site of the house where the Holy Family lived during their exile. The little Town where the Holy Family lived in Egypt was not far from Heliopolis, a City in which — when Jesus, Mary and Joseph passed through it — statues of pagan gods crashed to the ground. Both Fostat and Heliopolis are not far from Cairo in Egypt.
St Antoni Leszczewicz St Bartholomew degli Amidei – One of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servites. St Benedict dell’Antella – One of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servites. St Benedict of Cagliari St Buonfiglio Monaldi – One of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servites. St Bonosus of Trier St Constabilis of Cava OSB (c 1070-1124) Abbot St Donatus the Martyr Bl Elisabetta Sanna St Evermod of Ratzeburg St Faustinus the Martyr St Finan of Iona
St Flavian of Constantinople St Fortchern of Trim St Gherardino Sostegni – One of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servites. St Guevrock St Habet-Deus St Hugh dei Lippi-Uguccioni – One of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servites. St John Buonagiunta Monetti – One of the Seven Holy Founders of the Servites. St Julian of Caesarea St Loman of Trim
St Lupiano Bl Martí Tarrés Puigpelat St Mesrop the Teacher St Petrus Yu Chong-nyul St Polychronius of Babylon St Romulus the Martyr St Secundian the Martyr St Silvinus of Auchy St Theodulus of Caesarea Bl William Richardson