Thought for the Day – 6 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“It is easier to practice the virtue of obedience when we remember, that all power omes from God, Then we can see Him in those who have authority over us. This will prevent us obeying orders from secondary motives, such as the desire to please men or to avoid punishment. We shall be able to obey solely for the purpose of doing our duty and pleasing God.
Many think that it is easier to command than to obey. They are mistaken. Anyone in authority has grave responsibility before God and men and can sin seriously, as well!
The man who is obedient to his lawful superiors in the name of God, however, can never go wrong. Reflect on the following exhortation from St Paul, which still holds good in our times:
“Servants, be obedient to them that are your lords according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the simplicity of your heart, as to Christ.  Not serving to the eye, as it were pleasing men but, as the servants of Christ doing the will of God, from the heart,  With a good will serving, as to the Lord and not to men.  Knowing that, whatsoever good thing any man shall do, the same shall he receive from the Lord, whether he be bond or free.  And you, masters, do the same things to them, forbearing threatenings, knowing that the Lord, both of them and you, is in heaven and there is no respect of persons with him.” [Ephesians 6:5-9]”
Wednesday of Passion Week, the Fifth Week of Lent – 6 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-19, 25, John 10:22-38
“O Lord, deal with us not according to our sins, nor requite us according to our crimes.” – Psalm 102:10
“My sheep hear My Voice; I know them and they follow Me.”
“THE MARK OF CHRIST’S SHEEPis their willingness to hear and obey, just as the sign of those who are not His, is their disobedience. We take the word “Hear” to imply obedience to what has been said. People who hear God are known by Him. No-one is entirely unknown by God but to be known in this way, is to become His Kin. Thus, when Christ says, “I know mine,” He means, “I will receive them and give them permanent Mystical Kinship with Myself.” It might be said, that inasmuch as He has become man, He has made all human beings His Kin, since all are members of the same race; we are all united to Christ in a Mystical relationship because of His Incarnation. Yet, those who do not preserve the likeness of His holiness are alienated from Him… .
“MY SHEEP FOLLOW ME,” says Christ. By a certain God-given grace, believers follow in the footsteps of Christ. No longer subject to the shadows of the Law, they obey the commands of Christ and, guided by His Words rise, through grace, to His own dignity, for they are called children of God. When Christ ascends into Heaven, they also follow Him.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church (Commentary on Saint John’s Gospel, 7, 10, 26).
Quote/s of the Day – 6 April – Wednesday of Passion Week, the Fifth Week of Lent Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-19, 25, John 10:22-38
“My sheep hear My Voice; I know them and they follow Me.”
“The mark of Christ’s sheep is their willingness to hear and obey, just as disobedience is the mark of those who are not His. We take the word ‘hear’ to imply obedience to what has been said.”
“My sheep follow me,” says Christ. By a certain God-given grace, believers follow in the footsteps of Christ. No longer subject to the shadows of the Law , they obey the commands of Christ, and guided by His words, rise through grace, to His own dignity, for they are called children of God. When Christ ascends into heaven, they also follow Him.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
“Chosen soul, how will you bring this about? What steps will you take to reach the high level to which God is calling you? The means of holiness and salvation, are known to everybody, since they are found in the Gospel, the masters of the spiritual life have explained them, the Saints have practised them… These means are – sincere Humility, unceasing Prayer, complete Self-denial, abandonment to Divine Providence and obedience to the Will of God.”
St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)
“Peace in us is the result of two kinds of necessary obedience, the obedience to right reason of the lower faculties and the obedience of right reason to God, our Creator. “This is the peace which God gives on earth to men of goodwill; this is the most perfect wisdom,” St Augustine.”
One Minute Reflection – 6 April – Wednesday of Passion Week, the Fifth Week of Lent – Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-19, 25, John 10:22-38
“And I give them everlasting life and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My Hand.” – John 10:28
REFLECTION – “For “no-one snatches us away from His Hands,” according to what was said in the Gospel according to John. Yet, it is not written, that just as no-one snatches us away, no-one also falls from His Hands. For one who is self-determined is free. And, I say, no-one will snatch us away from the Hand of God, no-one can take us. But, we are able to fall from His Hands, if we are negligent!” – Origen (c 185-253) Priest, Theologian, Exegist, Writer, Apologist, Father (Homilies on Jeremiah, 18).
PRAYER – In Your mercy, O Lord, may this hallowing fast enlighten the hearts of Your faithful people and since You have given them the desire to serve You, lend a gracious ear to their prayers. 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 – 6 April – Wednesday of Passion Week, the Fifth Week of Lent
I Will Love and Follow You By Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)
Oh my Lord, Let my heart expand in Your love. Let me learn to know how sweet it is, to serve You, how joyful it is, to praise You and to be absorbed in Your love. Oh, I am possessed by love and rise above myself because of the great fervour I feel, through Your infinite goodness. I will sing the canticle of love to You and I will follow You, my Beloved, wherever You go and may my soul never weary of praising You, rejoicing in Your love. I will love You more than myself and myself, only for Your sake. I will love all others in You and for You, as Your law of love commands. Amen
Saints of the Day – 6 April – A Hundred and Twenty Martyrs of Hadiab (Died 345) (or Hadiabena) in Persia. These one hundred and twenty Martyrs suffered at Seleucia, in the year of Christ 345.
From their genuine Acts in Syriac:
“In the fifth year of our persecution, say the Acts, Sapor being at Seleucia, caused to be apprehended, in the neighbouring places, one hundred and twenty Christians, of which nine were Virgins, consecrated to God; the others were Priests, Deacons, or of the inferior Clergy.
They lay six months in filthy stinking dungeons, till the end of winter: during all which space Jazdundocta, a very rich virtuous lady of Arbela, the Capital City of Hadiab supported them by her charities, not admitting of a partner in that good work. During this interval, they were often tortured but always courageously answered the president that they would never adore the sun, a mere creature for God and begged He would finish speedily their triumph by death, which would free them from dangers and insults.
Jazdundocta, hearing from the Court one day, that they were to suffer the next morning, flew to the prison, gave to everyone of them, a fine white long robe, as to chosen spouses of the Heavenly Bridegroom; prepared for them a sumptuous supper, served and waited on them herself at table, gave them wholesome exhortations and read the Holy Scriptures to them. They were surprised at her behaviour but could not prevail on her to tell them the reason. The next morning, she returned to the prison and told them she had been informed ,that that was the happy morning in which they were to receive their crown and be joined to the blessed spirits. She earnestly recommended herself to their prayers for the pardon of her sins and that she might meet them at the last day and live eternally with them.
Soon after, the King’s order for their immediate execution was brought to the prison. As they went out of it Jazdundocta met them at the door, fell at their feet, took hold of their hands and kissed them. The guards hastened them on, with great precipitation, to the place of execution;,where the Judge who presided at their tortures ,asked them again if any of them would adore the sun and receive a pardon. They answered ,that their countenance must show him they met death with joy and regarded this world with contempt and being perfectly assured of receiving an immortal crown in the Kingdom of Heaven. He then dictated the sentence of death, whereupon, their heads were struck off.
Jazdundocta, in the dusk of the evening, brought out of the City two undertakers, or embalmers for each body, caused them to wrap the bodies in fine linen,and carry them in coffins, for fear of the Magians, to a place at a considerable distance from the Town, where she buried them in deep graves, with monuments, five and five in a grave. They were of the Province called Hadiab, which contained the greatest part of the ancient Assyria and was in a manner, peopled by Christians.
Helena, Queen of the Hadiabenians, seems to have embraced Christianity in the second Century. Her son Izates and his successors, promoted the Faith, so that Sozomen say, the Country was almost entirely Christian.
These one hundred and twenty Martyrs suffered at Seleucia, in the year of Christ 345, of King Sapor the thirty-sixth, and the sixth of his great persecution, on the 6th day of the moon of April, which was the 21st of that month. They are mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on the 6th.” – From Lives of the Saints by Father Alben Butler.
A Hundred and Twenty Martyrs of Hadiab, or Hadiabena, in Persia
St Agrarius the Martyr St Amand of Grisalba St Berthanc of Kirkwall St Brychan of Brycheiniog Bl Catherine of Pallanza St Diogenes of Philippi St Elstan of Abingdon St Galla of Rome St Gennard St Irenaeus of Sirmium Bl Jan Franciszek Czartoryski St Marcellinus the Martyr
St Phaolô Lê Bao Tinh St Philaret of Calabria Bl Pierina Morosini St Platonides of Ashkelon St Prudentius of Troyes St Pope Sixtus I St Timothy of Philippi St Ulched St Urban of Peñalba St William of Eskilsoe St Winebald
Martyrs of Sirmium : 7 Saints – A group of fourth century Martyrs at Sirmium, Pannonia (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia). We know little more than seven of their names – Florentius, Geminianus, Moderata, Romana, Rufina, Saturus and Secundus.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Bl Enric Gispert Domenech Bl Josep Gomis Martorell
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