Thought for the Day – 3 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Obedience of Jesus
“Obedience is an universal rule, without which, there could be no harmony in the world. All creatures and all creation, obey the laws of nature laid down by their Creator. The sun rises in the east, moves along its accustomed path everyday and every season and sets in the west. The stars never leave the order arranged for them by the Hand of God. The waves of the sea toss about when disturbed by the strength of the wind but, they fall back again without ever crossing the boundaries which God has set for them.
Man alone dares to rebel against his Creator and against those who represent God on earth. Man alone dares to repeat the blasphemous cry of Satan: “I will not serve!”
Remember the example which Jesus has given us. Although He is God, the Lord and Master of Heaven and earth, He condescends to obey Mary and Joseph, two creatures incapable of achieving anything without Him. He “was subject to them” (Lk 2:51).
Let us learn from Him how to obey willingly and humbly, “Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart.” (Mt 11:29).”
First Thursday of Lent – 3 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Isaiah 38:1-6, Matthew 8:5-13
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul: in You, O my God, I trust …
“In those days, when Hezekiah was mortally ill, the prophet Isaiah … came and said to him; Thus says the Lord: ‘Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you shall not recover.’
BEHOLD, NOW IS THE APPOINTED TIME, in which you must confess your sins to God and to the priest and by prayer and by fasting, by tears and by almsgiving, wipe them away. Why should a sinner be ashamed to make known his sins, since they are already known and manifest to God and to His angels and even to the blessed in heaven?
CONFESSION delivers the soul from death. Confession opens the door to heaven. Confession brings us hope of salvation. Because of this, the Scripture says: First tell thy iniquities that you may be justified (Is. xliii. Here we are shown, that the man will not be saved, who, during his life, does not confess his sin. Neither will that confession deliver you, which is made without true repentance. For true repentance is grief of heart and sorrow of soul because of the evils a man has committed. True repentance causes us to grieve over our offences and to grieve over them with the firm intention of never committing them again.
And although, everyday, a man lives may rightly be a day of repentance, yet it is in these days more becoming, more appropriate, to confess our sins, to fast and to give elms to the poor; since in these days you may wash clean the sins of the whole year. Therefore, I counsel all of you and I exhort each one of you singly, to repair, whatever you know within your soul, is blameworthy. Whosoever among you discerns, within himself, what is unworthy in a Christian, let him correct it. … St Athanasius (297-373) Archbishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church (The Season of Lent).
Quote/s of the Day – 3 March – The First Thursday of Lent – Isias 38:1-6, Matthew 8:5-13
“The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.”
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls…”
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
“For the Master of humility, both by word and example, sat down also, in the house of a certain proud Pharisee, Simon and although He sat down in his house, there was no place in his heart. For in his heart. the Son of Man could not lay His head.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“Those who refuse to be humble cannot be saved. They cannot say with the prophet: See, God comes to my aid; the Lord is the helper of my soul. But anyone who makes himself humble, like a little child, is greater in the kingdom of heaven.”
St Bede the Venerable (673-735) Father and Doctor if the Church
“ … If you die with Him, you shall also likewise live with Him. If you are His companion in punishment, so shall you be in glory.”
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
“Humility is not just about self-mistrust but about the entrusting of ourselves to God. Distrusting ourselves and our own strength produces trust in God and from that trust, generosity of soul is born.”
One Minute Reflection – 3 March – The First Thursday of Lent – Isaiah 38:1-6, Matthew 8:5-13
“The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof, only say the word and my servant will be healed.” – Matthew 8:8.
REFLECTION – “When the Lord promised to go to the centurion’s house to heal his servant, the centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.” By viewing himself as unworthy, he showed himself worthy for Christ to come not merely into his house but also into his heart. He would not have said this with such great faith and humility, if he had not already welcomed, in his heart, the One who came into his house. It would have been no great joy for the Lord Jesus to enter into his house and not to enter his heart. For the Master of humility, both by word and example, sat down also in the house of a certain proud Pharisee, Simon and although he sat down in his house, there was no place in his heart. For in his heart the Son of Man could not lay his head.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace (Sermon 62)
PRAYER – O God, offended by sin and appeased by penitence, graciously hear the prayers of Your people as they entreat You, to turn away from us the scourges of anger that we have deserved because of our sins. 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 – 3 March – The First Thursday of Lent
A Lenten Prayer By St Pope Pius V (1504-1572)
Look with favour, Lord, on Your household. Grant that, though our flesh be humbled by abstinence from food, our souls, hungering after You, may be resplendent in Your sight. Amen
St Pius V is the Pope of the Council of Trent, the Counter Reformation, the excommunication of Elizabeth I for Heresy and persecution of English Catholics and of the Battle of Lepanto, amongst many other illustrious and holy achievements.
Saint of the Day – 3 March – St Cunegundes (c 975-1040) Empress of the Holy Roman Empire, Nun, she took a vow of Virginity before her marriage, which, after a miracle was upheld by her husband, the King (also a Saint). Founder of Monasteries and Churches, Nun in one of her Convents, Apostle of Charity. Born in c 975 and died in 1040 of natural causes. Patronages – Bamberg, Germany, Archdiocese of, Luxembourg, Lithuania.Also known as – Cunegundes of Luzembourg, Chunigundis, Cunnegunda, Cunigunde, Cunegonda, Kinga, Kunegunda, Kunigunde.
Saint Cunegundes was the daughter of Siegfried I, one of eleven children. Siegfried was the first Count of Luxemburg and his pious wife was Hadeswigee. From her cradle, her virtuous parents instilled into their daughter the most tender sentiments of piety.
When she was of an age to marry, they chose for her spouse Saint Henry, Duke of Bavaria, who at the death of the Emperor Otto III, was named King of Bavaria and the Holy Romans and was crowned on 6 June 1002. Queen Cunegundes was crowned at Paderborn on Saint Laurence’s day.
In the year 1014 she went with her husband to Rome and they received the Imperial Crown from the hands of Pope Benedict VIII. With Saint Henry’s consent, before their marriage, she had made a vow of perpetual Virginity. Afterwards, certain vile accusations were made against her chastity and the holy Empress, to remove the scandal of such a slander, trusting in God to prove her innocence, walked over red-hot ploughshares without being hurt. The Emperor in turn, renounced and condemned, his own too scrupulous fears and credulity and from that time on, they lived in the strictest union of heart, working together to promote piety and God’s honour in every sphere.
Going once to make a retreat in Hesse, Saint Cunegonde’s fell dangerously ill and she made a vow to found a Monastery at Kaffungen, in the Diocese of Paderborn, if she recovered. This she executed in a stately manner and gave it to Nuns of the Order of Saint Benedict. Before it was finished, Saint Henry died in 1024. She earnestly recommended his soul to the prayers of the empire and especially to her dear Nuns and expressed her longing desire to join the Sisters.
She had already exhausted her treasures in founding Bishoprics, Churches and Monasteries and in relieving the poor, and she had, therefore,little left to give. But intending to embrace perfect evangelical poverty, to renounce all things in order to serve God without obstacle, she assembled a great number of prelates at the dedication of her Church of Kaffungen, on the anniversary day of her husband’s death in 1025. After the Gospel was sung at Mass, she offered on the Altar a relic of the True Cross and then, putting off her imperial robes, clothed herself with a poor habit. Her hair was cut off and the Bishop gave her the Veil and a ring as a pledge of her fidelity to her heavenly Spouse.
After Cunegonde’s was consecrated to God in religion, she seemed to forget entirely that she had been an Empress and served as the least in the Convent, being persuaded that she was such, before God. She prayed and read a great deal, worked with her hands and took singular pleasure in visiting and comforting the sick. In this way, she passed the last fifteen years of her life.
When her last hour was drawing near, perceiving that they were preparing a cloth fringed with gold to cover her corpse after her death, she ordered it to be taken away and she could not rest until the promise was given, that she would be buried as a poor religious in her Habit. She died on the 3rd of March, 1040. Her body was carried to Bamberg and buried near that of her husband. She was solemnly Canonised by Pope Innocent III, in 1200.
Bl Pierre-René Rogue St Sacer St Teresa Eustochio Verzeri St Titian of Brescia St Winwallus of Landévennec
40 Martyrs in North Africa – A group of Christians martyred together in North Africa, date unknown. No details have survived, but we know these names – Antonius, Artilaus, Asclipius, Astexius, Basil, Bosimus, Carissimus, Castus, Celedonius, Claudianus, Cyricus, Donata, Emeritus, Emeterius, Euticus, Felix, Fortunatus, Frunumius, Gajola, Georgius, Gorgonius, Hemeterus, Isicus, Janula, Julius, Luciola, Luciolus, Marcia, Marinus, Meterus, Nicephorus, Papias, Photius, Risinnius, Sabianus, Savinianus and Solus
Martyrs of Pontus – 3+ Saints – A large group of Christians Martyred together in the persecutions of Emperor Maximian Galerius and governor Ascleopiodato. We have some details on three of them – Basiliscus, Cleonicus and Eutropius. 308 in Pontus (in modern Turkey) Martyrs of Caesarea; Asterius Marinus
Martyrs of CalahorraL Cheledonius Emeterius
Martyrs of Gondar, Ethiopia: Bl Antonio Francesco Marzorati Bl Johannes Laurentius Weiss Bl Michele Pío Fasol
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