Thought for the Day – 21 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Sons of God
“We are, or ought to be, sons of God. We are His adopted sons by means of the grace which gives us a share in His Divine Life. This idea is contained, even in the Old Testament, “You are gods, all of you, sons of the Most High (Ps 81:6)” “The Spirit Himself,” explains St Paul, “gives testimony to our spirit that we are sons of God. But if we are sons, we are heirs also, heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Rom 8:16-17).
In other words, the grace of God transforms us and makes us His adopted sons. The supernatural life is grafted onto the soul, bringing forth a new man who is capable of actions which will deserve an everlasting reward. We must not allow the old tree, with its dead branches and barren fruit to spring up again within us, the old man with his defects and evil inclinations must remain dead.
If God’s life is extinguished in us,. we shall cease to be His heirs and co-heirs with Christ. We shall be incapable of doing anything good and shall be destined to eternal damnation.”
Quote/s of the Day – 21 August – The Memorial of St Jane Frances de Chantal VHM (1572-1641)
“All God wants is our heart.”
“We think not enough of this Truth – that God is present with us that He sees our thoughts, even long before we have them. That He knows what we think and shall think, better than we ourselves that He sees the folds and recesses, of our heart and of this other Truth – that NOTHING HAPPENS to us but by the order of Providence. We should all be Saints, if we well apprehended these Truths. And truly, it is a great consolation, to know that God sees the bottom of our heart.”
“Suffering borne … quietly and patiently, is a continual, very powerful prayer, before God.”
One Minute Reflection – 21 August – The 11th Sunday after Pentecost and the Memorial of St Jane Frances de Chantal VHM (1572-1641) – 1 Corinthians 15:1-10, Mark 7:31-37
“And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears and, after spitting. touched his tongue.” – Mark 7:33
REFLECTION – “The Lord heals all your ills” (Ps 102:3). Never fear, all your ills will healed. You say they are big ones but the Doctor is even greater. For an all-powerful Doctor there is no such thing as an incurable sickness. Simply let yourself be cared for, do not push away His hand, He knows what to do. Do not be happy only when He acts with gentleness but bear with it, too, when He prunes. Accept the unpleasantness of the cure, by thinking of the healing it will bring you. Notice all those things, brethren, that people put up with in their physical ills, so as to prolong their lives a few days… You, at least, are not suffering for an uncertain result – He, who has promised you, your health, cannot be mistaken. Why is it that doctors are sometimes mistaken? Because they have not created the body they are treating. But God has made your body, God has made your soul. He knows how to re-create what He has created;, He knows how to re-fashion what He has formed. You have only to abandon yourself into His Doctor’s hands… Endure His hands, then, O soul that “blesses him and forgets not all his benefits – he heals all your ills” (P2 102:2-3). He who had made you never to become sick, if you would keep His precepts, will He not heal you? He who made the Angels and, in re-creating you, will make you equal to the Angels – will He not heal you? He who made Heaven and earth, will He not heal you, after having made you, in His image? (Gn 1:26) He will heal you but you must consent to be healed. He heals every sickness, perfectly but He does not heal it, in spite of Himself… Your health is Christ!” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon on the Psalms, Ps 102: 5-6; PL 37, 1319
PRAYER – Almighty and merciful God, Who endowed St Jane Frances, burning with love of Thee, with a wondrous strength of spirit through all the paths of life, in the way of perfection and willed through her, to ennoble Thy Church, by a new religious family, grant by her merits and prayers, that we who are aware of our weakness, may trust firmly in Thy power and, by the assistance of divine grace, overcome all obstacles in our way. 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).
Our Morning Offering – 21 August – The Memorial of St Jane Frances de Chantal VHM (1572-1641)
Prayer of Abandonment By St Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641)
O sovereign goodness of the sovereign Providence of my God! I abandon myself forever to Thy arms. Whether gentle or severe, lead me henceforth whither Thou will. I will not regard the way through which Thou will have me pass but keep my eyes fixed upon Thee, my God, who guides me. My soul finds no rest without the arms and the bosom of this heavenly Providence, my true Mother, my strength and my rampart. Therefore I resolve with Thy Divine assistance, 0 my Saviour, to follow Thy desires and Thy ordinances, without regarding or examining why Thou does this rather than that but I will blindly follow Thee, according to Thy Divine will, without seeking my own inclinations. Hence I am determined to leave all to Thee, taking no part therein, save by keeping myself in peace in Thy arms, desiring nothing, except as Thou incites me to desire, to will, to wish. I offer Thee this desire, 0 my God, beseeching Thee to bless it. I undertake all it includes, relying on Thy goodness, liberality and mercy, with entire confidence in Thee, distrust of myself, and knowledge of my infinite misery and infirmity. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 21 August – St Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641) Widow, Mother, Foundress of the Congregation of the Visitation. Close friend of St Francis de Sales and St Vincent de Paul, both of whom guided and assisted her and her foundation, spiritually Patronages – against in-law problems, against the death of parents, forgotten people, parents separated from children, widows.
St Jane Frances de Chantal, Widow From the Liturgical Year, 1909
Jane Frances Freiniot de Chantal was born at Dijon in Burgundy, France, of noble parents and from her childhood gave clear signs of her future great sanctity. It was said that when only five years of age, she put to silence a Calvinist nobleman by substantial arguments, far beyond her age, and, when he offered her a little present, she immediately threw it into the fire, saying: “This is how heretics will burn in hell because they do not believe Christ when He speaks.”
When she lost her mother, she put herself under the care of the Virgin Mother of God,and dismissed a maid servant who was enticing her to love of the world. There was nothing childish in her manners. she shrank from worldly pleasures, and thirsting for martyrdom, she devoted herself entirely to religion and piety. She was given in marriage by her father to the Baron de Chantal and in this new state of life, she strove to cultivate every virtue and busied herself in instructing in faith and morals, her children, her servants and all under her authority. Her liberality in relieving the necessities of the poor was very great and more than once, God miraculously multiplied her stores of provisions – on this account, she promised never to refuse anyone who begged an alms in Christ’s Name.
Her husband, having been killed while hunting, she determined to embrace a more perfect life and bound herself ,by a vow of chastity. She not only bore her husband’s death with resignation but, overcame herself, so far, as to stand as the Godmother, to the child of the man who had killed him, in order to give a public proof that she pardoned him. She contented herself with a few servants and with plain food and dress, devoting her costly garments, to pious usages. Whatever time remained from her domestic cares, she employed in prayer, pious reading and good works. She could never be induced to accept offers of a second marriage, even though, honourable and advantageous. In order not to be shaken in her resolution of observing chastity, she renewed her vow and imprinted the most Holy Name of Jesus Christ upon her breast with a red-hot iron. Her love grew more ardent day by day. She had the poor, the abandoned, the sick and those, who were afflicted with the most terrible diseases, brought to her and not only sheltered, and comforted but also, nursed them. She washed and mended their filthy garments and did not shrink from putting her lips to their running sores.
Having learnt the will of God from St Francis de Sales, her Director, she founded the Institute of the Visitation of Our Lady. For this purpose, she quitted, with unfaltering courage, her father, her father-in-law and even her son, over whose body she had to step, in order to leave her home, so violently did he oppose her vocation. She observed her Rule with the utmost fidelity and so great was her love of poverty that she rejoiced to be in want, of even the necessaries of life.
She was a perfect model of Christian humility, obedience, and all other virtues. Wishing for still higher ascensions in her heart, she bound herself by a most difficult vow, always to do what she thought most perfect. At length when the Order of the Visitation had spread far and wide, chiefly through her endeavours, after encouraging her sisters to piety and charity, by words and example and also, by writings full of divine wisdom, laden with merits, she passed to the Lord at Moulins, having duly received the Sacraments of the Church. She died on the 13 December, in the year 1641.
St Vincent de Paul, who was, at a great distance, saw her soul being carried to Heaven and St Francis de Sales coming to meet her. Her body was afterwards translated to Annecy. Miracles having made her illustrious, both before and after her death, Pope Benedict XIV. placed her among the Blessed and Pope Clement XIII. among the Saints. Pope Clement XIV. commanded her Feast to be celebrated by the Universal Church.
The 11th Sunday after Pentecost Sunday within the Octave of the Assumption
Our Lady of Knock, Ireland (1879) – 21 August:
The Apparition in County Mayo in Ireland of Our Lady of Knock is reported to have occurred on the evening of 21 August 1879, the Vigil of the Octave of the Feast of the Assumption. Those who witnessed the miracle, ranged in age from five years old to seventy five.
The Apparition was described as follows: “Our Lady was wearing a large, brilliant crown and clothed in white garments. On her right was Saint Joseph, his head inclined toward her and on her left Saint John the Evangelist. To the left of Saint John was an Altar on which stood a Crucifix and a lamb.” Standing only a few feet off the ground, the Blessed Virgin wore a white cloak and was described by witnesses as being incredibly beautiful. She wore a bright golden crown and appeared to be praying with her eyes looking toward Heaven with her arms bend in front of her with her palms facing inward.”
Fifteen parishioners stood, before the Apparition, for two hours as they recited the Rosary. Although it was daylight when the Apparition began, the weather changed and it began to rain heavily. The area around the Apparition appeared unaffected, however, as the ground remained dry, as long as the vision lasted. Our Lady did not speak but the gable of the Church where the Apparition occured was covered with a cloud of light.
Saint Joseph, also wore white robes and stood on the Virgin’s right. He inclined his head respectfully toward the Blessed Virgin. Saint John the Evangelist wore a miter and appeared to be preaching as he held a book in his left hand.
Since then thousands of people have made pilgrimages to Knock to pray to Our Lady. Their prayerful, penitential and reverential spirit, has been commended again and again by visitors from other lands. No sign of commercialism detracts from the purely religious atmosphere of that hallowed spot. People from all walks of life kneel in humble supplication before the Shrine of Our Lady, fully confident that she has sanctified that spot by her appearance there. Organised pilgrimages from various Diocese are conducted frequently to the Shrine The Holy Rosary comprises the main portion of the devotion – the Shrine is, therefore, appropriately called the Rosary Shrine. The “Knock Shrine Annual” relates many wonderful accounts of cures and conversions effected at the Shrine.
St Agapius of Edessa St Agathonicus of Constantinople St Anastasius Cornicularius St Aria of Rome St Avitus I of Clermont St Bassa of Edessa Bl Beatrice de Roelas St Bernhard of Lérida St Bernard de Alziva St Bonosus St Camerinus of Sardinia St Cameron St Cisellus of Sardinia St Cyriaca St Euprepius of Verona St Fidelis of Edessa Bl Gilbert of Valenciennes St Gracia of Lérida St Hardulph St Joseph Nien Vien Bl Ladislaus Findysz St Leontius the Elder St Luxorius of Sardinia St Maria of Lérida St Maximianus the Soldier St Maximilian of Antioch St Natale of Casale Monferrato St Paternus of Fondi St Privatus of Mende St Quadratus of Utica