Thought for the Day – 12 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Our Relationship with the Most Holy Trinity
“The soul should also be the spouse of Jesus Christ. The union between us and Our Lord, should be loving and intimate, like that of husband and wife. Jesus has been called our Brother, “the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom 8:29). We are, in fact, the adopted sons of God, just as He is the natural Son. But Jesus was not satisfied merely to show a fraternal love by giving us His Heavenly Father as our Father and His Mother Mary as our mother. He wanted to give us something even more intimate, so He communicated to us His very life! The soul of a Catholic is the spouse of Jesus, not only because it is united closely with Him but, because, through the channel of His grace, He gives it His own Divine life.
Jesus has often spoken to His Saints as to a spouse. “Christ is our spouse and wishes to be loved by us,” writes St Bernard, “He desires,” says St Teresa, “to be loved by us and to love us with the love of a spouse. He demands all the affection of which our hearts are capable.” We should examine ourselves to see if we really return this intimate love of Jesus. Above all, we should ensure that all our actions are performed solely out of love for Him.”
“In all our undertakings – when we enter a place or leave it, before we dress, before we bathe, when we take our meals, when we light the lamps in the evening, before we retire at night, when we sit down to read, before each new task — we trace the Sign of the Cross on our foreheads”
Tertullian (c155- c240) Father of the Church
In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit By St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church
Father, keep us from vain strife of words. Grant to us constant profession of the Truth! Preserve us in a true and undefiled faith so that we may hold fast to that which we professed when we were Baptised in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that we may have You for our Father, that we may abide in Your Son and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen
Holy God, We Praise Thy Name
Holy God, we praise Thy Name. Lord of all, we bow before Thee. All on earth Thy sceptre claim; all in heav’n above adore Thee. Infinite Thy vast domain, everlasting is Thy reign.
Hark, the loud celestial hymn, angel choirs above are raising. Cherubim and seraphim, in unceasing chorus praising, fill the heav’ns with sweet accord: Holy, holy, holy Lord.
Holy Father, Holy Son, Holy Ghost, three we name Thee While in essence only One, Undivided God, we claim Thee and adoring, bend the knee, while we own the Mystery.
Spare Thy people Lord, we pray, By a thousand snares surrounded. Keep us without sin today, Never let us be confounded. Lo, I put my trust in Thee, Never Lord, abandon me.
Fr Ignaz Franz Poland (1719-1790) (Attri) Archbishop of Schlawa, Germany, Hymnist, Musician He also functioned as the Assessor for Theological Affairs at the Apostolic Vicariate. He wrote hymn lyrics and compiled religious music. Translated by Fr Clarence A Walworth (1820-1900) Convert, writer. He was one of the Founders of the Order of the Paulists in the USA.
One Minute Reflection – 12 June – Trinity Sunday and “The Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus” – Romans 11:33-36, Matthew 28:18-20
“Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19-20
REFLECTION – “And so, dearly-beloved, let us rejoice with spiritual joy and let us with gladness pay God worthy thanks and raise our hearts’ eyes, unimpeded, to those heights where Christ is. Minds that have heard the call to be uplifted must not be pressed down by earthly affections, they that are fore-ordained to things eternal, must not be taken up with the things that perish; they that have entered on the way of Truth, must not be entangled in treacherous snares and, the faithful, must so take their course through these temporal things, as to remember that they are sojourning in the vale of this world, in which, even though they meet with some attractions, they must not sinfully embrace them but bravely pass through them.
For to this devotion, the blessed Apostle Peter arouses us and entreating us, with that loving eagerness which he conceived, for feeding Christ’s sheep, by the threefold profession of love for the Lord, says, dearly-beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul 1 Peter 2:11 . But for whom do fleshly pleasures wage war, if not for the devil, whose delight it is to fetter souls that strive after things above, with the enticements of corruptible good things, and to draw them away from those abodes, from which he himself has been banished? Against his plots every believer must keep careful watch, that he may crush his foe on the side whence the attack is made. And there is no more powerful weapon, dearly beloved, against the devil’s wiles than kindly mercy and bounteous charity, by which every sin is either escaped or vanquished. But this lofty power is not attained, until that which is opposed to it be overthrown. And what so hostile to mercy and works of charity as avarice, from the root of which spring all evils? And unless it be destroyed by lack of nourishment, there must needs grow, in the ground of that heart, in which this evil weed has taken root, the thorns and briars of vices rather than any seed of true goodness.
Let us then, dearly-beloved, resist this pestilential evil and follow after charity, without which no virtue can flourish, that by this path of love, whereby Christ came down to us, we too may mount up to Him, to Whom with God the Father and the Holy Spirit is honour and glory forever and ever.” – St Leo the Great, Pope (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 74).
PRAYER – Almighty, eternal God, Thou Who have given Thy servants, in the confession of the true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity and in the power of that Majesty, to adore its unity, grant, we beseech Thee, that in the firmness of this faith, we may ever be protected from all harm. 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). MAY the HEART of JESUS be loved everywhere. 100 Days, Indulgence Once a day – Bl Pope Pius IX 23 September 1860
An Act of Oblation to the Holy Trinity By St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of Charity
I vow and consecrate to God all that is in me, my memory and my actions, to God the Father; my understanding and my words, to God the Son; my will and my thoughts, to God the Holy Spirit. I consecrate my heart, my body, my tongue, my senses and all my sorrows to the Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, who consented to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men and to suffer the torment of the Cross for me. Amen
The very essence of the Christian Faith consists in the knowledge and adoration of One God in Three Persons. This is the Mystery whence all others flow. Our Faith centres in this, as in the Master-Truth of all it knows in this life and, as the Infinite Object, Whose vision is to form our eternal happiness. And yet, we only know it because it has pleased God to reveal Himself thus to our lowly intelligence, which, after all, can never fathom the Infinite Perfections of that God, Who necessarily, inhabiteth light inaccessible (1 Tim. vi. 16). Human reason may, of itself, come to the knowledge of the existence of God as Creator of all beings; it may, by its own innate power, form to itself, an idea of His perfections by the study of His works; but the knowledge of God’s intimate Being, can only come to us by means of His own gracious revelation.
It was God’s good-pleasure to make known to us, His essence, in order to bring us into closer union with Himself and to prepare us, in some way, for that face-to-face vision of Himself, which He intends giving us in eternity but His revelation is gradual; He takes mankind from brightness unto brightness, fitting it for the full knowledge and adoration of Unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. During the period preceding the Incarnation of the Eternal Word, God seems intent on inculcating the idea of His Unity, for polytheism was the infectious error of mankind and every notion of there being a spiritual and sole cause of all things, would have been effaced on earth, had not the Infinite Goodness of that God watched over its preservation.
Not that the Old Testament Books were altogether silent on the Three Divine Persons, Whose ineffable relations are eternal; only, the mysterious passages, which spoke of them, were not understood by the people at large; whereas, in the Christian Church, a child of seven will answer them that ask him, that, in God, the three Divine Persons have but One and the same nature but One and the same Divinity. “When the Book of Genesis tells us, that God spoke in the plural,and said: Let Us make man to Our Image and likeness (Gen. i. 26), the Jew bows down and believes but he understands not, the sacred text; the Christian, on the contrary, who has been enlightened by the complete revelation of God, sees, under this expression, the Three Persons acting together, in the formation of Man; the light of Faith develops the great Truth to him and tells him, that, within himself, there is a likeness to the blessed Three in One. Power, Understanding and Will, are three faculties within him and yet, he himself is but one being.
In the Books of Proverbs, Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus, Solomon speaks, in sublime language, of Him Who is eternal Wisdom; he tells us and he uses every variety of grandest expression, to tell us, of the Divine Essence of this Wisdom and of His being a distinct Person in the Godhead but, how few among the people of Israel could see through the veil? Isaias heard the voice of the Seraphim, as they stood around God’s throne; he heard them singing, in alternate choirs and, with a joy intense because eternal, this hymn : Holy! Holy! Holy! is the Lord (Is. vi. 3)! but who will explain to men this triple Sanctus, of which the echo is heard here below, when we mortals give praise to our Creator? So, again, in the Psalms and the prophetic Books, a flash of light will break suddenly upon us; a brightness of some mysterious Three will dazzle us but, it passes away and obscurity returns, seemingly all the more palpable; we have but the sentiment of the Divine Unity deeply impressed on our inmost soul and we adore the Incomprehensible, the Sovereign Being.
The world had to wait for the fullness of time to be completed and then, God would send, into this world, His Only Son, Begotten of Him from all eternity. This His most merciful purpose, has been carried out and the Word made Flesh hath dwelt among us (St. John, i. 14). By seeing His glory, the glory of the Only Begotten Son of the Father (Ibid), we have come to know, that, in God, there is Father and Son. The Son’s Mission to our earth, by the very revelation it gave us of Himself, taught us, that God is, eternally, Father, for whatsoever is in God is eternal. But for this merciful revelation, which is an anticipation of the light awaiting us in the next life, our knowledge of God would have been too imperfect. It was fitting that there should be some proportion between the light of Faith and that of the Vision reserved for the future; it was not enough for man to know that God is One.
So that, we now know the Father, from Whom comes, as the Apostle tells us, all paternity, even on earth (Eph. iii. 15). We know Him, not only as the creative power, which has produced every being outside Himself but,, guided as it is by Faith, our soul’s eye respectfully penetrates into the very essence of the Godhead and there beholds the Father begetting a Son like unto Himself. But, in order to teach us the Mystery, that Son came down upon our earth. Himself has told us expressly, that no-one knoweth the Father but the Son and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him (St. Matth. xi. 27). Glory, then, be to the Son, Who has vouchsafed to show us the Father! and glory to the Father, Whom the Son hath revealed unto us!
The intimate knowledge of God, has come to us by the Son, Whom the Father, in His love, has given to us (St. John, iii. 16). And this Son of God, Who, in order to raise up our minds even to His own Divine Nature, has clad Himself, by His Incarnation, with our Human Nature, has taught us that He and His Father are One (St. John, xvii. 22); that they are one and the same Essence, in distinction of Persons. One begets, the Other is begotten; the One is named Power; the Other, Wisdom, or Intelligence. The Power cannot be without the Intelligence, nor the Intelligence without the Power, in the Sovereignly Perfect Being but, both the One and the Other produce a Third term.
The Son, Who had been sent by the Father, had Ascended into Heaven, with the Human Nature which He had united to Himself for all future eternity and, lo! the Father and the Son send into this world, the Spirit Who proceeds from them both. It was a new Gift and it taught man that the Lord God was in Three Persons. The Spirit, the eternal link of the first Two, is Will, He is Love, in the Divine Essence. In God, then, is the fullness of Being, without beginning, without succession, without increase, for there is nothing which He has not. In these Three eternal terms of His uncreated Substance, is the Act, pure and infinite.
The Sacred Liturgy, whose object is the glorification of God and the commemoration of His Works, follows, each year, the sublime phases of these manifestations, whereby the Sovereign Lord has made known His whole self to mortals. Under the sombre colours of Advent, we commemorated the period of expectation, during which the radiant Trinity sent forth but few of its rays, to mankind. The world, during those four thousand years, was praying Heaven for a Liberator, a Messiah and it was God’s Own Son that was to be this Liberator, this Messiah. That we might have the full knowledge of the prophecies which foretold Him, it was necessary that He Himself should actually come – a Child was born unto us (Is. ix. 6) and then, we had the key to the Scriptures. When we adored that Son, we adored also the Father, Who sent Him to us in the Flesh and to Whom, He is Consubstantial. This Word of Life, Whom we have seen, Whom we have heard, Whom our hands have handled (St. John, i. l) in the Humanity which He deigned to assume, has proved Himself to be truly a Person, a Person distinct from the Father, for One sends and the Other is sent. In this second Divine Person, we have found our Mediator, Who has reunited the creation to its Creator; we have found the Redeemer of our sins, the Light of our souls, the Spouse we had so long desired.
Having passed through the Mysteries which He Himself wrought, we next celebrated the descent of the Holy Spirit, Who had been announced as coming to perfect the Work of the Son of God. We adored Him and acknowledged Him to be distinct from the Father and the Son, Who had sent Him to us, with the mission of abiding with us (St. John, xiv. 16). He manifested Himself by Divine Operations which are especially His own and were the object of His coming. He is the soul of the Church; He keeps her in the Truth taught her by the Son. He is the source, the principle of the sanctification of our souls and in them, He wishes to make His dwelling. In a word, the Mystery of the Trinity, has become to us, not only a Dogma made known to our mind by Revelation but, moreover, a practical Truth given to us by the unheard of munificence of the Three Divine Persons; the Father, Who has adopted us; the Son Whose brethren and joint-heirs we are and the Holy Ghost, Who governs us and dwells within us.
Let us, then, begin this Day, by giving glory to the One God in Three Persons. For this end, we will unite with Holy Church, who, in her Office of Prime, recites on this solemnity, as, also, on every Sunday not taken up by a Feast, the magnificent Symbol, known as the Athanasian Creed. It gives us, in a summary of much majesty and precision, the Doctrine of the holy Doctor, Saint Athanasius, regarding the Mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation (It is a psalm or hymn of praise, of confession and of profound, self-prostrating homage, parallel to the Canticles of the elect in Heaven. It appeals to the imagination quite as much as to the intellect. It is the war-song of faith, with which we warn first ourselves, then each other, and then all those who are within its hearing, and the hearing of the Truth, Who our God is and how we must worship Him and how vast our responsibility will be, if we know what to believe and yet believe not.)
St Amphion of Nicomedia Bl Antonio de Pietra St Arsenius of Konev St Christian O’Morgair of Clogher St Chrodobald of Marchiennes St Cominus Bl Conrad of Maleville St Cunera St Cuniald St Cyrinus of Antwerp St Eskil St Galen of Armenia St Gerebald of Châlons-sur-Seine St Geslar Blessed Guy Vignotelli of Cortona OFM (c 1185-1245) Priest of the Friars Minor, Hermit, Miracle-worker.
Bl Mercedes Maria of Jesus St Odulf of Utrecht St Olympius of AEnos St Onuphrius of Egypt Bl Pelagia Leonti of Milazzo St Peter of Mount Athos St Placid of Val d’Ocre Bl Stanislaw Kubista Bl Stefan Grelewski Bl Stefan Kielman St Ternan of Culross St Valerius of Armenia
Martyrs of Bologna: Three Christians who were martyred at different times and places, but whose relics have been collected and enshrined together – Celsus, Dionysius, and Marcellinus. Their relics were enshrined in churches in Bologna and Rome in Italy.
Martyrs of Rome: Four members of the Imperial Roman nobility. They were all soldiers, one or more may have been officers, and all were Martyred in the persecutions of Diocletian – Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor and Nazarius. They were martyred in 304 outside Rome, Italy and buried along the Aurelian Way.
Three Holy Exiles: Three Christian men who became Benedictine Monks at the Saint James Abbey in Regensburg, Germany, then Hermits at Griestatten and whose lives and piety are celebrated together. – Marinus, Vimius and Zimius.