Thought for the Day – 18 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“God speaks readily when our souls are silent. He cannot be heard in the noise of the world. But we do not have to abandon our normal way of life in order to find a little interior recollection. It is enough to pause for a moment and remember God’s presence. Once we have formed the habit of doing this, it becomes quite easy, at anytime and in any place. We may be walking along the street, or in the middle of our work. We may be in a room full of people chatting together. Wherever we are, we shall be able to pause and raise our minds to God. If we acquire this habit, we can lead peaceful lives, on a completely supernatural level.“
Quote/s of the Day – 18 February – “Month of the Most Blessed Trinity” – Septuagesima Weekday
“And everyone who has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold and shall possess life everlasting.”
“He seemed to me, a very foolish man and very wretched, who will not increase his understanding while he is in the world and ever with and long to reach that endless life, where all shall be made clear.”
St Alfred the Great (849-899) King
“Eternal life flows from this Sacrament because God, with all sweetness, pours Himself out upon the blessed.”
St Albert the Great OP (1200-1280) Bishop of Regensburg Universal Doctor of the Church
“We must make our way towards eternity, never regarding what men think of us, or of our actions, studying only to please God.”
St Francis Borgia SJ (1510-1572)
“By giving yourself to God, you not only receive Himself in exchange but, eternal life as well!”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritatis
“On the journey of this life to eternity, let me carry You in my heart, following Mary’s example, who bore You in her arms, during the flight to Egypt.”
St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
One Minute Reflection – 14 February – “Month of the Most Blessed Trinity” – Septuagesima Weekday and the Memorial of St Simeon (Died c 106) Martyr, Bishop of Jerusalem, 1 Cor. 9:24-27; 10:1-5, Matthew 20:1-16
“Even so the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few are chosen.” – Matthew 20:16
REFLECTION – “In that hiring then,we shall all be equal and the first as the last and the last as the first because that Denarius is life eternal and in the life eternal all will be equal. For although through diversity of attainments, the saints will shine, some more, some less; yet as to this respect, the gift of eternal life, it will be equal to all. For that will not be longer to one and shorter to another, which is alike everlasting – that which hath no end will have no end either for thee or me. … In respect. to the living forever, this man will not live more than that, nor that one than this one. For alike without end will they live, though each shall live in his own brightness and the Denarius in the parable is that life eternal.
Let not him then who has received after a long time murmur against him who has received after a short time. To the first, it is a payment, to the other a free gift – yet the same thing is given alike to both.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace (Sermon on Matthew 20).
PRAYER – ALMIGHTY GOD, mercifully look upon our infirmities, that whereas we are afflicted by the burden of our sins, the glorious intercession of Thy Martyr and Bishop, blessed Simeon may be our succour and defence. Through Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Our Morning Offering -18 February – Septuagesima Weekday
Lord Jesus, Think on Me By St Synesius of Cyrene (375-430) Bishop of Ptolemais, Father
Lord Jesus, think on me and purge away my sin, from earth-born passions set me free, and make me pure within. Lord Jesus, think on me, With care and woe oppressed, let me Thy loving servant be and taste Thy promised rest. Lord Jesus, think on me, nor let me go astray, through darkness and perplexity point Thou the heav’nly way. Lord Jesus, think on me, that, when the flood is past, I may eternal brightness see and share Thy joy at last. Amen
St Synesius, a native of Cyrene, born circa 375. His descent was illustrious. His pedigree extended through seventeen centuries and in the words of Gibbon, “could not be equaled in the history of mankind.” He became distinguished for his eloquence and philosophy and as a statesman and patriot he took a noble stand. When the Goths were threatening his Country he went to the court of Arcadius and for three years, tried to rouse it to the dangers that were coming on the empire. But Gibbon says, ”The court of Arcadius indulged the zeal, applauded the eloquence and neglected the advice of Synesius.” In 410 he was made Bishop of Ptolemaïs (modern Libya) but much against his will. He died in 430. We have extant one hundred and fifty-five epistles and ten hymns written at different periods of his life.
Saint of the Day – 18 February – St Simeon (Died c 106) Martyr, Bishop of Jerusalem, son of Cleopas, was a Jewish Christian leader and the second Bishop of Jerusalem (62 or 70–106). Died by crucifixion in c 106. Aldo known as – Simon. Saint Simeon succeeded his kinsman, Saint James the Lesser, during the persecution of Christians in Jerusalem. He led the early Church in that City for nearly 50 years until his Martyrdom.
The Roman Martyrology states: “At Jerusalem, the birthday of St Simeon, Bishop and Martyr, who is said to have been the son of Cleopas and a relative of the Saviour according to the flesh. He was Consecrated Bishop of Jerusalem after St James, the kinsman of our Lord and in the persecution of Trajan, after having endured many torments, he consummated his Martyrdom. All who were present, even the Judge himself, were astonished that a man, one hundred and twenty years of age, could bear the torment of crucifixion with such fortitude and sonstancy.”
Cleophas, according to tradition, was Saint Joseph’s brother, making Saint Simeon the first cousin of Jesus.
Simeon is mentioned only three times in the Holy Scriptures, in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark and in the Acts of the Apostles. When Jesus preached in His hometown and was poorly received, Simeon was present:
“53 When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simeon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” 58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” (Matthew 13: 53-58)
No doubt he was one of those brethren of Christ who are mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles as having received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. St Eusebius says that when the Jews massacred St James the Lesser, Simeon upbraided them for their cruelty. The Apostles and disciples afterwards met together to appoint a successor to James as Bishop of Jerusalem and they unanimously chose Simeon, who had probably assisted in the government of that Church.
In the year 66 civil war broke out in Palestine, as a consequence of Jewish opposition to the Romans. The Christians in Jerusalem were warned of the impending destruction of the City and appear to have been divinely ordered to leave it. Accordingly that same year, before Vespasian entered Judaea, they retired with St Simeon at their head, to the other side of the Jordan, occupying a small City called Pella.
After the capture and burning of Jerusalem, the Christians returned and settled among the ruins until the Emperor Hadrian afterwards entirely razed it. We are told by Eusebius that the Church here flourished greatly and that many Jews were converted by the miracles wrought by the Saints.
When Vespasian and Domitian had ordered the destruction of all who were of the race of David, St Simeon had escaped their search but when Trajan gave a similar injunction, he was denounced as being not only one of David’s descendants but also a Christian and he was brought before Atticus, the Roman governor. He was condemned to death and, after being tortured, was crucified. Although he was extremely old – tradition reports him to have attained the age of 120 – Simeon endured his sufferings with a degree of fortitude which roused the admiration of Atticus himself.
St Gertrude Caterina Comensoli St Helladius of Toledo St Ioannes Chen Xianheng St Ioannes Zhang Tianshen St Jean-François-Régis Clet St Jean-Pierre Néel Bl Jerzy Kaszyra Bl John Pibush – one of the Martyrs of Douai St Leo of Patera St Martinus Wu Xuesheng Bl Matthew Malaventino St Paregorius of Patara St Sadoth of Seleucia St Simeon of Jerusalem (Died c 106) Martyr, Bishop of Jerusalem, Cousin of Jesus
Martyrs of North Africa – 7 Saints: Group of Christians who were Martyred together, date unknown. We know nothing else but seven of their names – Classicus, Fructulus, Lucius, Maximus, Rutulus, Secundinus and Silvanus. They were born and martyred in North Africa.
Martyrs of Rome – 5 Saints: A group of Christians Martyred together in the persecutions of Diocletian. We know nothing else but their names – Alexander, Claudius, Cutias, Maximus and Praepedigna. They were martyred in 295 in Rome, Italy.
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