Thought for the Day – 26 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Still we must watch,” The Imitation of Christ continues, “especially in the beginning of temptation, for then the enemy is more easily overcome, if he be not suffered to enter the door of the mind but, is withstood upon the threshold, the very moment that he knocks. Whence a certain one has said: ‘Resist beginning; all too late the cure, when ills have gathered strength, by long delay’ (Ovid. Remedia Amoris 5:91). For first there comes into the mind a simple thought, then a strong imagination afterward delights and the evil notion [gains power] and [then come] consent” (Bk 1 c 13).
It is worth meditating on this vivid description of the psychology of temptation and of the simplest remedy, by which it can be combated. Every temptation is first presented to the mind as a simple thought. If a man is determined enough, it is quite easy to reject it immediately. If there is any delay, however, the concept is clothed by the imagination and projected in vivid colours until it arouses the evil inclinations of the senses. In this way, the idea takes possession of the mind, so that it is almost impossible to set it free.
We must be ready to face up to such an idea before it takes possession of us. We should treat it as we would a serpent, not pausing to examine it but, taking to flight at once! If we are resolute, the grace of God will ensure our safety!”
Quote/s of the Day – 26 July – St Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Grandmother of Jesus.
St Anne, through her constant prayer, received, the Mother of God and then, became the Grandmother of God!
“God accepts our desires as though they were of great value. He longs ardently for us to desire to and love Him. He accepts our petitions for benefits, as though we were doing Him a favour. His joy in giving, is greater than ours in receiving. So let us not be apathetic in our asking, nor set too narrow bounds to our requests; nor ask for frivolous things unworthy of God’s greatness.”
St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness.”
“When you are weary of praying and do not receive, consider how often you have heard a poor man calling and have not listened to him.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. Let no-one try to separate them, they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them, or not all together, you have nothing! So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Realise above all, that you are in God’s presence and stand there with the attitude of one, who stands before the Emperor.”
St Romuald (c 951-1027)
“The spirit of prayer is the spirit of the love of God and this should inspire all our vocal prayers. Flowery petitions are no use if our minds and hearts are turned away from God. God wants our hearts. Let us pray often but let our prayers be sincere acts of the love of God, coming from the heart.”
One Minute Reflection – 26 July – St Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Grandmother of Jesus.– Proverbs 31:10-31, Matthew 13:44-52
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again and out of joy, goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” – Matthew 13:44
REFLECTION – “It was Christ who was present to all those to whom, from the beginning, God communicated His Speech and Word. If anyone, therefore, reads the Scriptures with attention, he will find, in them, an expression of Christ and a foreshadowing of this new calling. For Christ is the treasure which was hidden in the field, that is, in this world (Mt 13:38) – a treasure hidden in the Scriptures, since it was alluded to by means of symbols and parables which, humanly speaking, could not be understood prior to the fulfilment of prophecy, that is to say, before the coming of the Lord. That is why it was said to Daniel the prophet: ” Keep secret the message and seal the book until the end of time ” (12:4) … And Jeremiah also says, “In the last days they shall understand these things.” (23:20) …
When read by Christians, the Law is a treasure, hidden beforehand in a field, but brought to light and interpreted by the Cross of Christ. It shows forth the Wisdom of God and makes known His intentions with regard to our salvation; it prefigures the Kingdom of Christ and preaches, by anticipation, the Good News of our inheritance of the holy Jerusalem. It proclaims beforehand, that those who love God shall advance even to hearing and seeing His Word and, that they will be glorified by this Word …
Thus it was, that the Lord explained the Scriptures to His disciples, after His Resurrection from the dead, proving to them, by their means, that “it was necessary the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory” (Lk 24:26). So if anyone should likewise read the Scriptures, that person will become a perfect disciple, “like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom things both new and old.” (Mt 13:52). – St Irenaeus of Lyons ((130-202) Bishop, Martyr, Theologian – Against the Heresies, IV, 26 ; SC 100
PRAYER – O God, Who in Thy kindness gave blessed Anne the grace to be the mother of her, who Mothered Thy Only-begotten Son, graciously grant that we who keep her feast, maybe helped by her intercession with Thee. 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).
Saint of the Day – 26 July – St Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Grandmother of Jesus. The name Anne from the Hebrew commonly believed to mean “grace” but St Augustine says (City of God) that it in fact means ,“by the grace of God.” Patronages – against poverty, against sterility or infertility, broommakers, cabinetmakers, carpenters,of childless couples, equestrians, expectant mothers and mothers, childbirth, grandmothers, grandparents, housewives, lace makers, lost articles, miners, old-clothes dealers, the poor,, seamstresses, stablemen, turners, Canada, France, Micmaqs, 4 Diocese, 18 Cities.
St. Anne, Mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary By Fr Francis Xavier Weninger SJ (1805-1888)
St Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin, was a native of Bethlehem, a City two miles distant from Jerusalem, frequently mentioned in Holy Writ. Having passed her youth in unstained purity, she was married to a man named Joachim, who was born at Nazareth in Galilee, with whom she lived in such love and harmony and, at the same time, so piously, that one could justly say of them, what St. Luke writes of Zachary and Elizabeth: “They were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame.” They divided their income into three parts, the first of which was used for the honour of God and to adorn the Temple, the second to assist the poor and the third, for their own subsistence. They employed the day in prayer, work suitable to their station in life and charitable deeds.
Their only grief was, that, although so long married, they had no issue and a barren marriage was, at that time, considered a disgrace, nay almost a sign of a Divine curse. Saddened by this sorrow, St Anne, as well as her spouse, prayed with many sighs and tears, that God would take pity on them and remove the disgrace that was weighing them down. But when, after having prayed long and earnestly, they were not heard, they determined to bear patiently the will of the Almighty. As, however, St Anne knew that God required continual prayer and ,that He had not given to men a certain time to ask for grace, she ceased not to implore eaven with great confidence, for all that she believed was for His honour and her own salvation .
Being one day in the Temple, she felt her distress so deeply, that she wept bitterly,but she remembered, at the same time, that there had been another Anne, spouse of Elcana, who had been afflicted as she was but whose prayers, God at last had answered, making her the mother of the great prophet Samuel. While thinking of this, she perceived in herself, an invincible desire to beg the Lord for a like grace. Hence, she repeated her prayer with earnest fervour, promising, at the same time, that if God would grant her a child, she would consecrate it in the Temple, to His Divine service, as the above-mentioned Anne had done.
God answered the trusting, tearful prayer of His servant,and sent her, according to the opinion of the Holy Fathers, an Angel, who announced to her that she would give birth to a child who blessed among women, would become the Mother of the long expected Saviour of the world. It is also believed, that the Angel told St Anne the name which she should give to the blessed fruit of her womb. The same revelation was made to St Joachim and the happiness of both and their gratitude to the Almighty, can be easily imagined. Their happiness was crowned when St Anne gave birth to her, who was elected by God from all eternity, to become the Mother of His Only Son.
Who can describe the joy with which Anne pressed her newborn child to her heart, or the solicitude and love with which she brought it up? The knowledge that her blessed daughter was chosen by God to so great a dignity, was incentive enough, to leave nothing undone for her welfare. The mind of the blessed child was so far beyond her years and her whole being, so angelically innocent, that her education was an easy task and St Anne deemed herself, the happiest mother in the world because God had entrusted to her, so priceless a child. The graces which, through the presence of the Blessed Virgin, she received from Heaven, cannot but have been innumerable . For if, in after times, the house of Elizabeth and Zachary was, by a visit from Mary, filled with Heavenly blessings, who can doubt, that St Anne, who was the mother of the Blessed Virgin, was gifted with extraordinary graces?
Knowing, however, that Mary was not only a precious treasure lent her by Heaven but also, had consecrated herself to the service of the Almighty, St Anne did not fail to return to God, what she had received from Him and to offer willingly, what she had so willingly promised. Hardly had Mary reached the age of three years, when Anne and Joachim went with her to the temple at Jerusalem and presenting her to the Priest, consecrated her through him to the Almighty. Nothing could have been more painful to the pious parents than to separate from so perfect a child but, as they were more zealous for the glory of God, than for their own joy, even though it was so pious, they made this sacrifice without complaining. Thus Mary was received among the number of those who, under the direction of the priests, served God in the Temple and were led in the path of virtue.
After they had piously offered this agreeable sacrifice, the parents of the Blessed Virgin returned home and spent the remainder of their days in good works, which were continued by St Anne, when she became a widow by the death of her holy spouse. As she had been an example to the virgins, before her marriage, as well as a perfect model of a wife, so also was she, in her widowhood, a shining light, for all those qualities which St Paul,afterwards required of a Christian widow, in his first Epistle to Timothy. She went frequently to Jerusalem to see her holy daughter and died, according to several authors, in the 79th year of her age. Mary, who at that time still lived in the temple, closed her eyes.
As one cannot give to the Blessed Virgin a higher title than to call her, Mother of God, thus St Anne, cannot be more exalted, than when she is called the mother of her, who bore the Son of God. And for the very reason, that she was chosen to be her mother, we must believe, that the Almighty favoured her here upon earth, with grace above all the Saints and raised her to high glory in Heaven. Hence we may rightly suppose, that her intercession with God, is most powerful and this is also testified by many examples.
St Benigno of Malcestine Bl Camilla Gentili St Charus of Malcestine Bl Edward Thwing Bl Élisabeth-Thérèse de Consolin St Erastus Bl Évangéliste of Verona St Exuperia the Martyr Bl George Swallowell St Gérontios St Gothalm St Hyacinth Bl Hugh of Sassoferrato Bl Jacques Netsetov Bl John Ingram St Joris Bl Marie-Claire du Bac Bl Marie-Madeleine Justamond Bl Marie-Marguerite Bonnet St Olympius the Tribune