Thought for the Day – 22 July – Nature and Grace

Thought for the Day – 22 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Nature and Grace

“Two extremes must be avoided in the relationship between nature and grace.
The first is that of the regorists, who see, in human nature, nothing but confusion and the propensity towards evil and, therefore, advocate an iron domination completely lacking in any understanding of human frailty.
They believe that perfection must be achieved swiftly, by means of the most ferocious privations and penance.
This excessively severe approach to the spiritual life, can lead to discouragement and eventual collapse.

The way of perfection is an ascending ladder, which must be climbed, step-by-step.
Falls must be expected but it is necessary to rise again at once, with renewed courage, knowing that when we reach the top, we shall find rest and peace.

The other extreme is an attitude of superficial ease.
There is no emphasis on the necessity of grace, nor on the need for prayer and faithful co-operatin with God’s grace, in order to perform good works.
Instead, there is a kid of natural decency and lukewarm virtue, which, ignores the necessity for mortification and the spirit of sacrifice.
Anyone who sets out on this path, can never be a fervent and active Catholic.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Quote/s of the Day – 22 July – Love Him

Quote/s of the Day – 22 July – St Mary Magdalen (1st Century) Penitent – Song 3:2-5; 8:6-7, Luke 7:36-50.

Wherefore I say to you,
her sins, many as they are,
shall be forgiven her
because she has loved much.
But he, to whom little is forgiven,
loves little.”

Luke 7:47

A servant of the Lord
stands bodily before men
but mentally,
he is knocking at the gates of Heaven.
with prayer.”

St John Climacus (c 525-606)
Father of the Church

“Place all your trust in God,
let Him be your fear and your love.
He will answer for you,
He will do what is best for you.
You have here no lasting home.
You are a stranger and a pilgrim
wherever you may be
and you shall have no rest,
until you are wholly united with Christ.
Why do you look about here
when this is not the place of your repose?”

Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

To magnify her Royal Lover still further,
the soul must have eyes only for Him,
in other words,
with an ever-growing, anxiously eager attentiveness.
the soul must study all the details of His beauty,
His perfections,
must keep on discovering motives
for finding ever-increasing gratification
in the ineffable Beauty with which it is in love.

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church

Love tends towards an intimate union
with the person loved
and does not rest,
until this union is achieved.
This is the unity of love.
“It is now, no longer I that live,”
exclaimed St Paul,
“but Christ lives in me”
(Gal 2:20).
If only we could succeed
in achieving such a complete
and lasting union with God,
any sacrifice would seem easy
and we should certainly grow in sanctity.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)


One Minute Reflection – 22 July – ‘ … She did for the feet, what you refused to the Head. … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 22 July – “The Month of the Precious Blood” – St Mary Magdalen (1st Century) Penitent – Song 3:2-5; 8:6-7, Luke 7:36-50.

She began to bathe His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed is feet and anointed them with ointment.” – Luke 7:38

REFLECTION – “With her hands of good works, she holds the feet of those who preach His Kingdom. She washes them with tears of charity, kisses them with praising lips and pours out the whole ointment of mercy, until He will turn her. This means that He will come back to her and say to Simon, to the Pharisees, to those who deny, to the nation of the Jews, “I came into your house. You gave me no water for my feet.

When will He speak these words? He will speak them when He will come in the Majesty of His Father and separate the righteous from the unrighteous, like a shepherd who separates the sheep from the goats. He will say, “I was hungry and you did not give me to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger and you did not take me in.” This is equivalent to saying, “But this woman, while she was bathing my feet, anointing them and kissing them, did to the servants, what you did not do for the Master.” She did for the feet, what you refused to the Head. She expended upon the lowliest members, what you refused to your Creator. Then He will say to the Church, “Your sins, many as they are, are forgiven you because you have loved much.” St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and “Doctor of Homilies” (Sermon 95).

PRAYER – May the prayers of blessed Mary Magdalen help us, O Lord, Who was moved by her prayers, her love and peniteance, that we too may learn true repentance and sorrow for our sins..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).

Posted in ACT of CONTRITION, DOCTORS of the Church, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 22 July – Act of Contrition By St Alphonsus

Our Morning Offering – 22 July – “The Month of the Most Precious Blood” – St Mary Magdalen (1st Century) Penitent

Act of Contrition
By St Alphonsus Maria Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor of the Church

My Lord Jesus Christ,
You have made this journey
to die for me, with love unutterable
and I have so many times unworthily abandoned You
but now I love You with my whole heart
and because I love You,
I repent sincerely for having ever offended You.
Pardon me, my God
and permit me to accompany You on this journey.
You go to die for love of me,
I wish also, my beloved Redeemer,
to die for love of Thee.
My Jesus, I will live
and die always united to You.

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 22 July – St Joseph of Palestine (Died c 356)

Saint of the Day – 22 July – St Joseph of Palestine (Died c 356) Layman, Convert from Judaism, a contemporary of Emperor Constantine, a Rabbinical scholar, member of the Sanhedrin and a disciple of Hillel II. Following his conversion, Emperor Constantine gave him the rank of Count, appointed him as supervisor of the Churches in Palestine and gave him permission to build Churches in the Galilee. Patronages – converts, guardians. Also known as – Count Joseph, sJoseph of Tiberias.

This is not St Joseph, of whom there are no representations in art. This is a young Rabbinical Scholar.

After the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews erected two academies, the one at Babylon, the other at Tiberias, a City on the lake of Genesareth, rebuilt by Herod, in honour of the Emperor Tiberius. Both these schools flourished until the Saracen empire overran those countries. That of Tiberias produced the Massoretes or Massoretic doctors, so famous for the invention of the vowel points in the Hebrew tongue and their care, in preserving the genuine text of the Sacred Scriptures.

Although the Jews then retained no sort of jurisdiction or form of government, yet they chose one among their chief doctors, to whom they gave the title of patriarch or prince of the captivity. The most celebrated person who ever bore this honour among them, was Hillel, whose name is still in great veneration amongst the Jews and who was their most learned oracle and the principal founder and ornament of their academy at Tiberias. This Hillel, a few days before his death, sent for a Christian Bishop in the neighbourhood, under the character of a physician, who ordered a bath to be prepared in his chamber, as if it had been for his health and Baptised him in it. Hillel received the Divine Mysteries, and died.

Joseph, one of his assistants, called Apostoli, whose life we are writing, was witness to this secret transaction and, having always been the confidant of Hillel, had the care of his son Judas, who succeeded him in the dignity of patriarch of the Jews. Joseph found the Holy Gospels in Hillel’s treasures and read them with incredible pleasure.

The young patriarch fell into evil ways and employed magical arts, to seduce a Christian woman but the Sign of the Cross made his charms of no effect. Joseph was surprised to hear this prodigy. He seemed in a dream one night, to see Christ and to hear from His mouth these words: “I am Jesus whom thy fathers Crucified; believe in Me.”

He relished our Holy Faith more than ever,and going into Cilicia to collect the tenths (tithes) for the patriarch, he borrowed again the Holy Gospels. The Jews, already dissatisfied with his conduct, finding him with this Holy Book, dragged him to their synagogue and cruelly scourged him. They were preparing worse treatment for him, when the Bishop rescued him out of their hands. Joseph having already begun to suffer for Christ, was soon disposed to receive Baptism.

Constantine the Great became master of the East in 323. He gave Joseph the title and rank of Count, with authority to build Churches all over Palestine, wherever he should judge proper. Joseph began to raise one at Tiberias. The Jews employed many artifices to hinder the work and stopped his lime-kilns from burning by enchantments but he, making the Sign of the Cross upon a vessel of water and invoking the Name of Jesus, poured it on the kilns and the fire instantly burst forth and burned with great activity.

Count Joseph showed no less zeal against the Arians than against the Jews and both conspired together to persecute him;but he was protected by his dignity of Count, which gave him a superior command and authority. Joseph, however, when the Emperor Constantius persecuted the orthodox prelates, retired from Tiberias to the neighbouring City, Scythopolis, where, in 355, he lodged St Eusebius of Vercelli, banished by the Arians. His was the only Catholic house in that Town. He harboured many other illustrious servants of God and among the rest, St. Epiphanius, who had from his own mouth the particulars here related. Joseph was then seventy years of age. He died soon after, about the year 356. The Greeks and Latins both mention his name in their Martyrologies. St Joseph’s guardianship of holy writings and holy men led to his association with and patronage of guardians in general.

Posted in MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Feast of St Mary of Magdala and Memorials of the Saints – 22 July

The only Marian Feast I can find for today seems to be unverified, in other words, I can find absolutely no references online relating to this invisible Shrine. There is also a Marian Title relating to the Orthodox Church which is not recognised by the Catholic Church.

St Mary of Magdala “The Apostle of the Apostles” (St Thomas Aquinas), Penitent. During the Middle Ages, Mary Magdalene was regarded in Western Christianity as a repentant prostitute or promiscuous woman, claims not found in any of the four Canonical Gospels.
About St Mary:

St Anastasius of Schemarius
St Andrea of Antioch

Blessed Augustine Fangi O.P. (1430-1493) Dominican Priest and Friar, Confessor, Mystic, known as “The Miracle Worker.”

St Baudry of Montfaucon
St Claudius Marius Victorinus of Saussaye
St Cyril of Antioch
St Dabius
St John Lloyd
St Joseph of Palestine (Died c 356) Layman, Convert from Judaism
St Lewine
St Maria Wang Lishi
St Meneleus of Ménat
St Movean of Inis-Coosery
St Pancharius of Besancon
Bl Paolo de Lara

St Philip Evans SJ (1645-1679) Confessor, Priest Martyr, Missionary of the Society of Jesus.
His Life and Death:

St Plato of Ancyra
St Syntyche of Philippi
St Theophilus of Cyprus

St Wandrille of Fontenelle (c 605–668) Priest, Monk, Abbot. Married out of obedience to his parents, Wandrille agreed with his wife to keep their virginity and both retired to a Monastery.
About St Wandrille:

Martyrs of Marula/Massylis: – 3 Saints: Three Christians Martyred together. We know nothing else about them but the names – Ajabosus, Andrew and Elian. They were martyred in Massylis (Marula), Numidia (in modern Algeria).

Martyrs of Massilitani: A group of Christians Martyred together in northern Africa. Saint Augustine of Hippo wrote about them.