Thought for the Day – 21 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Our Dominant Passion
“Holy and God-fearing people know their own particular weakness. They accept it as a cross and will not rest until they have conquered it with God’s help, The battle cannot be won in a day but, in most cases, takes a great many years. Often the ultimate victory is not gained until the hour of death.
It has been said that self-love dies three days after ourselves! We are enormously attached to our own ego and humility is a very difficult virtue to acquire. Sometimes, we have struggled for years to gain it and quite suddenly, we meet with another disastrous fall. It would be easy to be overcome by discouragement at this stage but, this should not be allowed to happen. When we fall, we should say to God in our repentance: “It is good for me to be humbled.” To ourselves, we should say immediately: “Let us begin all over again.”
St Francis de Sales was endowed by nature with a sharp and hasty temperament, against which he fought for many years with great determination and reliance on God’s help. Finally, he conquered and came to regarded as an angel of peace. Nevertheless, even in the late years of his life, he still experienced inward tendencies towards anger, so that his exterior gentleness, was really a supreme act of victory!
Quote/s of the Day – 21 July – 1 Corinthians 7:25-3, Matthew 13:44-52
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field; he who finds it, hides it and in his joy. goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
“We have had Your treasure hidden within us, ever since we received baptismal grace, it grows ever richer at Your sacramental table.”
St Ephrem (306-373) Father and Doctor of the Church
“O man, send your treasure on, send it ahead into Heaven, or else your God-given soul will be buried in the earth! Gold comes from the depth of the earth — the soul, from the highest Heaven. Clearly it is better ,to carry the gold to where the soul resides, than to bury the soul, in the mine of the gold. That is why God orders those who will serve in His Army here below, to fight as men stripped of concern for riches and unencumbered by anything.”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) “Doctor of Homilies” Father and Doctor of the Church
“Where is the heart that loves? On the thing it loves. Therefore, where our love is, there our heart is held captive. It cannot leave it; it cannot be lifted higher, it cannot go either to the right or the left; see, it is fixed. Where the miser’s treasure is, there is his heart and where our heart is, there is our treasure.”
One Minute Reflection – 21 July – “The Month of the Precious Blood” – the Memorial of St Praxedes of Rome, Virgin Martyr (Died 164) – 1 Corinthians 7:25-3, Matthew 13:44-52
“Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he finds a single pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.” – Matthew13:45-46
REFLECTION – “For the man who loves God it is sufficient to please the One he loves; and, there is no greater recompense to be sought, than the loving itself. For love is from God, by the very fact, that God Himself is love. The good and chaste soul is so happy to be filled with Him that it desires to take delight in nothing else. For what the Lord says is very true: – ‘Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.’
What is a man’s treasure but the heaping up of profits and the fruit of his toil? For whatever a man sows, this too will he reap and each man’s gain, matches his toil and where delight and enjoyment are found, there the heart’s desire is attached. Now there are many kinds of wealth and a variety of grounds for rejoicing – every man’s treasure is that, which he desires. If it is based on earthly ambitions, its acquisition makes men not blessed but wretched.
But those who enjoy the things that are above and eternal, rather than earthly and perishable, possess an incorruptible, hidden store, of which the prophet speaks: ‘Our treasure and salvation have come, wisdom and instruction and piety, from the Lord: these are the treasures of justice.’ Through these, with the help of God’s grace, even earthly possessions are transformed into heavenly blessings. It is a fact that many people use the wealth, which is either rightfully left to them or otherwise, acquired, as a tool of devotion. By distributing what might be superfluous to support the poor, they are amassing imperishable riches, so that what they have discreetly given, cannot be subject to loss. They have properly placed those riches, where their heart is, – it is a most blessed thing, to work to increase such riches, rather than to fear that they may pass away.” – St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Bishop of Rome and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from Sermon 92).
PRAYER – Graciously hear us, O God our Saviour, that, as we rejoice in the festival of blessed Praxedes, Thy Virgin, so may we be nourished by the food of her heavenly teaching, as to be enlightened by the fervour of her dedicated holiness. 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 – 21 July – “The Month of the Most Precious Blood”
Heal Us Lord God By St Albert of Trapani O.Carm. (c 1240-1307)
O my God, You have created the human race by Your wonderful power. It is an act of Your clemency that has called us to share Your glory and eternal life. When the first sin condemned us to suffer death, out of Your goodness, You wished to redeem us through the Blood of Your Son, To unite us to Yourself through our faith and Your great mercy. You have brought us back from the shame of our sin, You have veiled our dishonour in the brightness of Your glory. Look now and see that what You have created, giving it subtle limbs and joints and made beautiful through its immortal soul, is now subject to the attack of Satan. Be pleased Lord to reconstitute Your work and heal it. May Your power be glorified and may the malice of the enemy be stunned. Amen
Saint of the Day – 21 July – St Daniel the Prophet (Died 5th-century BC). Daniel means ‘God is my Judge. One of the four Great Prophets in the Old Testament and the Writer of the book of Sacred Scripture which bears his name. Died 5th-century BC in Babylon of natural causes. Patronage – Ledeberg, Belgium.
Daniel was a noble Jewish youth of Jerusalem taken into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, serving the king and his successors with loyalty and ability until the time of the Persian conqueror Cyrus, all the while remaining true to the God of Israel. Daniel is not a Prophet in Judaism but the rabbis regard him to be the most distinguished member of the Babylonian diaspora, unsurpassed in piety and good deeds, firm in his adherence to the Law ,despite being surrounded by enemies, who sought his ruin.
The canon of Sacred Scripture contains the Book of Daniel as part of the Old Testament. In it we hear the tale of Daniel and his three companions carried off to Babylon following the capture of the city by Nebuchadnezzar. They were to be trained in the court and are given new names. In observance of Jewish dietary law, they refuse the food and wine provided by the King.
Daniel and his friends gain a reputation for great wisdom. In a number of instances Daniel is the only one who can interpret the dreams of the King, including a dream which foretells the fall of the King’s rule to the rule of the Medes and Persians. Under the new rule, Daniel is appointer to a high position; jealous rivals seek to destroy him by accusing him of worshiping God instead of the King. He is thrown into a den of lions where they assume he will be torn to pieces but he is rescued from the lions den through his trust in the Lord.
Daniel had a number of visions and in the New Testament ,in Matthew 24:15, Jesus recognises Daniel as a Prophet of God.
The last mention of Daniel in the Book of Daniel is in the third year of Cyrus (Daniel 10:1). Rabbinic sources suppose that he was still alive during the reign of the Persian King Ahasuer,us (better known as Artaxerxes – Babylonian Talmud, Megillah 15a, based on the Book of Esther 4, 5) but he was killed by Haman, the wicked Governor of Ahasuerus (Targum Sheini on Esther, 4, 11). The 1st century Jewish writer Josephus, reported that Daniel’s body lay in a tower in Ecbatana in Parthia, alongside the bodies of the Kings of the Medes and Persians; later Jewish authorities said he was buried in Susa and that near his house were hidden the vessels from the Temple of Solomon. Muslim sources reported that the Muslims had discovered his body, or possibly only a box containing his nerves and veins, together with a book, a jar of fat and a signet ring, engraved with the image of a man being licked by two lions. The corpse was reburied, and those who buried it decapitated it, to prevent them from revealing the spot.
Today six cities claim Daniel’s Tomb – Babylon, Kirkuk and Muqdadiyah in Iraq, Susa and Malamir in Iran and Samarkand in Uzbekistan. The most famous is that in Susa, (Shush, in southern Iran), at a site known as Shush-e Daniyal. According to Jewish tradition. the rich and poor of the city quarrelled over possession of the body and the bier was, therefore, suspended from a chain over the centre of the river. A house of prayer open to all who believed in God, was built nearby and fishing was prohibited for a certain distance up and down the river. Fish that swam in that section of the river had heads that glinted like gold and ungodly persons who entered the sacred precinct, would miraculously drown in the river. To this day the tomb is a popular site of pilgrimage.
The Archangel Gabriel visited Daniel:
The Archangel St Gabriel, appears to the Prophet Daniel and explains his visions (Daniel 8:15–26, 9:21–27). The Gospel of Luke relates the stories of the Annunciation, in which the angel Gabriel appears to Zechariah and the Virgin Mary, foretelling the births of St John the Baptist and Jesus, (Luke 1:11–38) (The Annunciation: Luke 1:26-45, 57-60).
13 “I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations and languages, should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one, Which shall not be destroyed.”
St Barhadbescialas St Benignus of Moyenmoutier Bl Claudius of Avignon St Claudius of Troyes St Corona of Marceille Bl Cristóbal López de Valladolid Orea Bl Daniel Molini St Eleutherius of Marseille St Eternus of Evreaux Bl Gabriel Pergaud St Iosephus Wang Yumei St John of Edessa St John of Moyenmoutier Bl Juan de Las Varillas Bl Juan de Zambrana St Jucundinus of Troyes St Julia of Troyes St Justus of Troyes Bl Parthenius of Thessaly St Praxedes of Rome St Simeon Salus
Martyrs of Africa – 6 Saints: Six Christians who were Martyred together. We know no other details about them but the names – Emilian, Hugal, Motanus, Saphus, Stercorius and Victor. They were martyred in an unknown location in Africa, date unknown.