Thought for the Day – 13 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Grace of God
“It is astonishing to consider how much St Paul accomplished when he had been transformed by the grace of God. Formerly, a persecutor of Christians, he became the Apostle of the Gentiles. Enlightened by faith and inspired by charity, he travelled the globe, spreading everywhere, the religion of Jesus Christ.
He feared neither the anger of the hostile Jews, nor the tribunals of the Roman judges, neither long and difficult journeys, nor scourging, shipwreck and imprisonment. “The love of Christ impels us,” (2 Cor 5:14) he said. It was the love of God which drove him on and on, until he met his martyrdom. But what about ourselves? We also have received grace from God. Often we hear His voice appealing to us to abandon our sinful ways, to practise virtue, to love Him more ardently and to prove our love, by deeds. If we co-operate, we shall be able to say with St Paul: “by the grace of God, I am what I am and his grace in me has not been fruitless,” (1 Cor 15:10) and “I have laboured … yet, not I but the grace of God with me” (ibid).
It is wise to recall, however, that Judas also received special graces from God. He did not correspond with them and was probably damned for eternity. If we fail to correspond with God’s graces, the result will be tragic for ourselves.”
Quote/s of the Day – 11 July – “The Month of the Precious Blood” – The Memorial of St Anacletus (c25-c89) 3rd Bishop of Rome and Martyr
“There are also some among the heretics who … flatter themselves with claims of martyrdom … But not all ,who submit their bodies to suffering, even to flames, are to be considered as having as having shed their blood for their sheep; rather, they may have shed it against the salvation of their sheep, for the Apostle says: “If I should deliver my body to be burned and have not charity, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). And how can he have the faintest charity in him who, although shown to be at fault, yet has no love for that unity which the Lord chose to recommend? Indeed, so long as you remain outside the Church and severed from the fabric of unity and bond of charity, you will be punished with everlasting chastisement, even if you were burned alive for the sake of Christ
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Without the Cup of the Lord preserving the holy bond of love, even if a man should deliver his body to be burned, he gains nothing!”
St Fulgentus of Ruspe (c 462 – 533)
The prayer below, was written by Saint Thomas More while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, awaiting execution by King Henry VIII.
Give Me Thy Grace, Good Lord! A Prayer of Hope By St Thomas More (1478-1535)
Give me Thy grace, good Lord. To set the world at naught. To set the mind firmly on Thee and not to hang upon the words of men’s mouths. To be content to be solitary. Not to long for worldly pleasures. Little by little, utterly to cast off the world and rid my mind of all its business. Not to long to hear of earthly things but that the hearing of worldly fancies, may be displeasing to me. Gladly to be thinking of God, piteously to call for His help. To lean into the comfort of God. Busily to labour to love Him. To know mine own vileness and wretchedness. To humble myself under the mighty Hand of God. To bewail my sins past, for the purging of them, patiently to suffer adversity. Gladly to bear my purgatory here. To be joyful in tribulations. To walk the narrow way that leads to life. To bear the Cross with Christ. To have the last thing in remembrance. To have ever before mine eyes, my death that is ever at hand. To make death no stranger to me. To foresee and consider, the everlasting fire of Hell. To pray for pardon before the Judge come. To have continually in mind, the Passion that Christ suffered for me. For His benefits, unceasingly to give Him thanks. To buy the time again, that I before have lost. To abstain from vain conversations. To shun foolish mirth and gladness. To cut off unnecessary recreations. Of worldly substance, friends, liberty, life and all, to set the loss at naught, for the winning of Christ. To think my worst enemies, my best friends, for the brethren of Joseph could never have done him so much good with their love and favour, as they did him, with their malice and hatred. These minds are more to be desired of every man, than all the treasures of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen, were it gathered and laid together, all in one heap. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 11 July – “The Month of the Precious Blood” – The Memorial of St Anacletus (c25-c89) 3rd Bishop of Rome and Martyr – 1 Petet 5:1-4; 5:10-11, Matthew 16:13-19
“Upon this rock I will build my church” – – Matthew 16:18
REFLECTION – “Although the earth and all who dwell in it quake, I have set firm its pillars” (Ps 74,40). All the Apostles are pillars of the earth but, at their head, the two whose Feast we are celebrating. They are the two pillars who support the Church with their teaching, their prayer and the example of their steadfastness. The Lord Himself strengthened these pillars. For at first they were weak, completely incapable of supporting either themselves or others. And in this the Lord’s great design appears: it they had always been strong, people could have thought their strength came from themselves. That is why the Lord wanted to show what they were capable of, before strengthening them, so that all might know, that their strength came from God… Peter was thrown to the ground by the voice of a mere servant… and the other pillar was very weak too: “I was once a blasphemer and persecutor and an arrogant man” (1Tm 1,13)…
Hence we ought to praise these Saints with all our heart: our Fathers who bore such trials for the Lord’s sake and who persevered, with such determination. It is nothing to persevere in joy, happiness and peace. But this is what is great – to be stoned, scourged, struck for Christ (2 Cor 11,25) and in all this, to persevere with Christ. With Paul it is a great thing to be cursed and to bless, to be persecuted and to endure, to be slandered and to console, to be like the world’s rubbish and to draw glory from it (1 Cor 4,12-13)… And what shall we say of Peter? Even if he had undergone nothing for Christ, it would be sufficient to celebrate him today in that he was crucified for Him… He well knew where He Whom he loved, He Whom he longed for was…: his cross has been his road to Heaven.” – St Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167) Cistercian Monk Sermon 18, for the feast of S (ints Peter and Paul ; PL 195, 298).
PRAYER – Look forgivingly on thy flock, Eternal Shepherd, and keep it in thy constant protection, by the intercession of blessed Anacletus thy Martyr and Sovereign Pontiff, whom thou didst constitute Shepherd of the whole Church.Through the same 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 – 13 July – “The Month of the Most Precious Blood” 1 Petet 5:1-4; 5:10-11, Matthew 16:13-19
Prayer for the Gift of Prayer By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church
O Incarnate Word, You have given Your Blood and Your Life to confer on our prayers that power by which, according to Your promise, they obtain for us, all that we ask. And we, O God, are so careless of our salvation, that we will not even ask You for the graces that we must have, if we should be saved! In prayer You have given us the key of all Your Divine treasures and we, rather than pray, choose to remain in our misery. Alas! O Lord, enlighten us, and make us know the value of prayers, offered in Your Name and by Your merits, in the eyes of Your Eternal Father. Amen
Saint of the Day – 13 July – St Mildred of Thanet OSB (Died c 700) English Benedictine Nun and Abbess, Born as an Anglo-Saxon Princess and died in c.700 of natural causes. Patronage – the Island of Thanet, Kent, England. Also known as – “The Fairest Lily of the English,” Mildred of Minster, Mildryth, Mildthryth. Additional Memorials – 18 May (translation of relics), 20 February (translation of relics).
Mildred was the daughter of King Merewalh of Magonsaete, an area similar to the present day Herefordshire, a sub-kingdom of Mercia. Her mother was Domne Eafe (also sometimes named as Saint Eormenburga), herself a great-granddaughter of Æthelberht of Kent and as such, appears in the Kentish Royal Legend.
Her sisters Milburga of Much Wenlock and Mildgyth, are also Saints and Mildred, along with her extended family, also feature in the Kentish Royal Legend. In the 11th Century, Goscelin wrote a hagiography of Mildred, the Vita Mildrethae. Another work, the Nova Legenda Anglie of 1516, gives an extensive account of her life.
Mildred was educated at the prestigious Merovingian Royal Abbey of Chelles. She entered the Abbey of Minster-in-Thanet, which her mother had established and became Abbess there by 694. A number of dedications to Mildred exist in the Pas-de-Calais, including at Millam, thereby suggesting that ties to Gaul were maintained. Mildred died at Minster-in-Thanet some time after 700 and was buried there in the Abbey Church of St Mary.
Mildrith’s successor as Abbess, Eadburg, also known as Edburga of Minster-in-Thanet, a correspondent of Saint Boniface, built a new Abbey Church, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul and translated Mildred’s relics there, not later than 748. The Shrine within the Abbey became a popular place of local pilgrimage, with Mildred becoming a much-loved local Patron Saint.
The last Abbess of Minster in Thanet was Leofruna, who was captured by Danes in 1011. The Abbey was abandoned and the Church downgraded to a Parish Church. n 1030, Mildred’s remains, despite fierce local opposition, were translated to St Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury, an event commemorated on 18 May. St Mildred’s Church, within the town walls at Canterbury, dates back to this time.
In the 11th Century, some of her relics were given, to a Church at Deventer, Netherlands. In 1881 St Mildred’s Feast Day was officially reinstated by Pope Leo XIII.n 1882, following a refounding of the Benedictine Convent at Minster in Thanet, the nuns petitioned the Archbishop of Utrecht, who granted their return to Thanet. In 1937, Minster Abbey was bought by Nuns of the Benedictine Order, and in 1953, a relic of St Mildred was brought there.
There are numerous medieval Churches dedicated to St Mildred of Thanet, most of them in Kent. This one is in pretty Tenterden (whose name means ‘woodland pasture of the people of Thanet.’ (I have many times visited this Tenterden, a very pretty Town indeed and have visited this Church.)
Blessed James of Voragine OP (c 1226 – 3 or 16 July 1298) Italian Archbishop of Genoa, Author of the ‘Golden Legend’ (a collection of lives of Saints and treatises on Christian festivals, one of the most popular religious works of the Middle Ages and is still published and referred to today – completed 1265), Priest and Friar of the Order of Preachers of St Dominic, Writer, Scholar of great genius, Prior and Provincial General of the Order. Blessed James was Beatified on 11 May 1816 by Pope Pius VII. Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2021/07/13/saint-of-the-day-13-july-blessed-james-of-voragine-op-c-1226-1298-author-of-the-golden-legend/
Bl Jean of France St Joel the Prophet Bl Marie-Anastasie de Roquard Bl Marie-Anne Depeyre Bl Marie-Anne Lambert St Mildred of Thanet OSB (Died c 700) English Benedictine Nun and Abbess.
St Muritta of Carthage St Myrope St Salutaris of Carthage St Sarra of Egypt St Serapion of Alexandria Serapion of Macedonia Bl Thérèse-Henriette Faurie Bl Thomas Tunstal St Turian
Martyrs of Cyprus – 300 Saints: 300 Christians who retired to Cyprus to live as cave Hermits, devoting themselves to prayer and an ascetic life devoted to God. Tortured and Martyred for their faith and their bodies thrown into the various caves in which they had lived. We know the names of five of them but no other details even about them – Ammon, Choulélaios, Epaphroditus, Eusthénios and Héliophotos. They were beheaded in the 12th century on Cyprus and their bodies dumped in the cave where they had lived and only rediscovered long afterwards.
Martyrs of Philomelio – 31 Saints: 31 soldiers Martyred for their faith in the persecutions of prefect Magno, date unknown. The only name that has come down to us is Alexander. In Philomelio, Phrygia (in modern Turkey).