Thought for the Day – 3 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Let us weep for our sins and increase in love for our Divine Redeemer. When we are oppressed by the weight of our own cross, we shall look at the Crucifix and find comfort. When we are tempted, we shall grasp the Crucifix and turn away with horror from thoughts of sin and ingratitude.
The Crucifix will teach us, as it taught the Saints, the lesson of charity towards God and towards our neighbour. It will teach us to hate sin and to love virtue. If we cherish it during life, it will be our consolation to kiss the Crucifix at the moment of death.”
Passion Sunday – 3 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Hebrews 9:11-15, John 8:46-59.
“Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord; teach me to do Your will.” – Psalm 142:9-10
“Amen, amen, I say to you, if anyone keep My word, he will never see death.”
WE SEE THAT DEATH is gain, life is loss. Paul says: For me life is Christ and death a gain. What does “Christ” mean but to die in the body and receive the Breath of Life? Let us then die with Christ, to live with Christ. We should have a daily familiarity with death, a daily desire for death. By this kind of detachment our soul must learn to free itself from the desires of the body. It must soar above earthly lusts to a place where they cannot come near, to hold it fast. It must take on the likeness of death, to avoid the punishment of death. The law of our fallen nature is at war with the law of our reason and subjects the law of reason, to the law of error. What is the remedy? Who will set me free from this body of death? The grace of God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
WE HAVE A DOCTOR to heal us; let us use the remedy He prescribes. The remedy is the grace of Christ, the dead body, our own. Let us then be exiles from our body, so as not to be exiles from Christ. Although we are still in the body, let us not give ourselves to the things of the body. We must not reject the natural rights of the body but, we must desire, before all else, the gifts of grace.
WHAT MORE need be said? It was by the death of One Man that the world was Redeemed. Christ did not need to die, if He did not wish to but He did not look on death as something to be despised, something to be avoided and He could have found no better means to save us, than by dying. Thus His Death is Life for all. We are sealed with the Sign of His Death – when we pray, we preach His Death, when we offer Sacrifice we proclaim His Death. His Death is Victory; His Death is a Sacred Sign; each year His Death is celebrated with solemnity by the whole world.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, Great Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from his work, On the death of Satyrus [Saint Ambrose’s brother])
Quote/s of the Day – 3 April – Passion Sunday – Hebrews 9:11-15, John 8:46-59.
“Amen, amen, I say to you, if anyone keep My word, he will never see death.”
“Each and everyone of us, at the end of the journey of life, will come, face to face with either one, or the other of two faces… And one of them, either, the merciful face of Christ or the miserable face of Satan, will say, “Mine, mine.”
One Minute Reflection – 3 April – Passion Sunday – Hebrews 9:11-15, John 8:46-59.
“Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it and was glad.” – John 8:56
REFLECTION – “God put Abraham to the test and said to him: ‘Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love and offer him up as a sacrifice on a height that I will show to you’ ” (Gn 22,2). Notice how that same son, on whom great and wonderful promises rested… Abraham received the command to offer, in holocaust on a mountain to the Lord!
What do you feel about this command, Abraham?… The Apostle Paul, to whom, I think, the Spirit had revealed Abraham’s thoughts and feelings, said: “Abraham did not doubt God’s promises in unbelief, when he offered up his only son Isaac, on whom rested the promises for he reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead” (Rm 4,20; Heb 11,17.19)… This, then, was the first time when faith in the resurrection was shown. Yes, Abraham hoped Isaac would rise again and believed in the realisation of something that had never happened before… Abraham knew, that in him, the prefiguration of a coming reality was already taking shape; he knew the Messiah, the true Victim offered on behalf of the whole world, Who was to triumph over death, through His Resurrection, would be born from his descendants.
“So early the next morning Abraham rose and… on the third day… came to the place of which God had told him.” The third day is always associated with mystery and… the Lord’s Resurrection, in particular, took place on the third day… “Abraham got sight of the place from afar. Then he said to his servants: ‘Both of you stay here with the donkey, while the boy and I go over yonder. We will worship and then come back to you.’”… Now tell me, Abraham, were you speaking the truth to your servants when you stated you were going to worship and then return with the boy; or did you want to deceive them?… “I am telling the truth,” Abraham answers. “I am offering the boy in sacrifice , which is why I am bringing the wood with me. Then I am coming back to you with the boy. Truly, I believe with all my heart that ‘God is sufficiently powerful to raise the dead.’” – Origen (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Father (Homilies on the book of Genesis no 8).
PRAYER – Look graciously upon Your household, Almighty God, we beseech You, that by Your grace we may be governed in body and by Your protection safeguarded in mind. 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).
Saint of the Day – 3 April – Blessed Gandulphus of Binasco OFM (c 1200-1260) Priest and Friar of the Friars Minor of St Francis, renowned Preacher mainly in Sicily, Hermit, Miracle-worker . He was one of those who entered the Order while the Seraphic Father was still alive and the life he led was one of great self-abnegation. Born in c 1200 at Binasco, Lombardy, Italy and died on Holy Saturday 3 April 1260 at the San Nicolò Hospital in Polizzi Generosa, Sicily, Italy of natural causes. Patronage – Polizzi Generosa, Italy (chosen by citizens and confirmed in 1320). Also known as – Gandulphus Sacchi, Gandulphus of Polizzi, Generosa, Gandulphus of Polizzo, Gandolf, Gandolfo, Gandulf. Additional Memorial – relics processed in Polizzi Generosa, Italy on the 3rd Sunday of September.
Gandulphus was born to the nobility, a member of the wealthy and powerful Sacchi family in Binasco (near Milan). He joined the Franciscans while Saint Francis was still alive and made his final vows and was Ordained to the Priesthood in c 1224.
In 1256, he founded the Franciscan convent at Termini Imerese, Italy.
Gandulphus spent the majority of his life in Sicily, preaching the Gospel throughout the region. Many miracles were worked by his intercession. In 1260, a young mute man was cured outside Polizzi Generosa, Italy, which led to his preaching having great effect on the local people, so much so, that after his death, the people requested that he become the Patron Saint of their City, which was granted and confirmed in 1320.
Gandulphus became alarmed at hearing himself highly commended, which induced him to embrace the solitary life, lest he should be tempted to vainglory. With one companion, Brother Pascal, he left the Friary at Palermo and set out for the wild district in which he had determined to settle. Afterwards, from time to time, he would emerge from his retreat to evangelise the people of the neighbouring districts, upon whom his discourses and miracles made a profound impression. Once while he was preaching at Polizzi, the sparrows chattered so loudly that the congregation could not hear the sermon. Gandulphus appealed to the birds to be quiet and we are told that they kept silence until the conclusion of the sermon. On that occasion the holy man told the people that he was addressing them for the last time and in fact, immediately upon his return to the hospital of St Nicholas, where he was staying, he was seized with fever,and died on Holy Saturday as he had foretold, in 1260.
When his body was enshrined, the watchers declared that during the night there had flown into the Church a number of swallows, who had separated into groups and had sung, in alternating choirs, a Te Deum of their own.
Gandulphus’ preaching and miracles ,had such a profound effect on the Sicilians who still, to this day, have a great veneration for him. His relics were re-enshrined in a marble ark in 1482 and then translated in 1549 in a Reliquary covered in silver leaf. On 10 March 1881 Pope Leo XIII confirmed his cultus.
Bl Alexandrina di Letto St Attala of Taormina St Benatius of Kilcooley St Benignus of Tomi St Burgundofara St Chrestus St Comman St Evagrius of Tomi Bl Francisco Solís Pedrajas Blessed Gandulphus of Binasco OFM (c 1200-1260)Priest, Friar of the First Order of St Francis and became a Franciscan during St Francis’ lifetime..
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