Thought for the Day – 25 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Fervour and Tepidity
“Our Lord does not command us to be merely virtuous. He commands us to be perfect. “You, therefore, are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). He tells us to love Him with our whole heart and our whole soul. “Thou shalt love the Lord th God, with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul” (Mt 22:37). He orders us to renounce everything rather than offend Him, (Lk 14:33) even to pluck out an eye or cut off a hand or foot, if it should present an obstacle to our eternal salvation (Mt 18:81).
How can we remain unmoved and inactive in the face of these exhortations? The grace of perfection to which Our Lord calls us, cannot be reached without His grace which we can only obtain by fervent and unceasing prayer. Fervour is the animating principle of the spiritual life. It wins God’s gifts for us and makes us almost immune from sin.”
Quote of the Day – 25 August – St Louis IX (1214-1270) Confessor, King of France
The instructions which St Louis gave to the heir of his crown and which, he had constantly observed himself, testify to his great devotion and holiness. These were the last admonitions of the Holy King:
Love God, the Almighty, above all else.
Flee sin more quickly than you would a serpent.
Become not fainthearted, in adversity.
Become not elevated, in the days of prosperity.
Show the wounds of your soul frequently, to your spiritual physician and refuse no remedies, however bitter, to heal them.
Be compassionate and generous to the poor.
If your mind is harassed with doubt, consult a devout man.
Keep faithful and pious counsellors around you and dismiss those who are wicked.
All that is good hold fast: all that is bad discard.
Lend a willing ear to those who speak of God.
Listen not to calumniators and slanderers.
So long as you reign, leave not unpunished those who blaspheme God and the Saints.
First be grateful to God, then to men.
Love and protect justice and neither neglect nor despise, the complaints of the needy.
In your own affairs, when they are not perfectly clear, speak and act against yourself.
Refund immediately the possessions of others.
Protect the clergy.
Love and honour your parents.
If you are obliged to war against Christians, spare the Churches and the Convents.
Endeavour to terminate all contentions with kindness.
Guard all your officials with a watchful eye.
Ever show due reverence to the Pope.
Overstep not the bounds of moderation in your expenses.
When I have departed, let prayers and Masses be said for the repose of my soul.
One Minute Reflection – 25 August – St Louis IX (1214-1270) Confessor, King of France – Wisdom 10:10-14, Luke 19:12-26
“I say to you that to everyone who has, shall be given but from him, who does not have, even that which he has, shall be taken away.” – Luke 19;26
REFLECTION – “The Lord was looking to our days when He said, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” (Lk 18:8) We see that what He foretold has come to pass. There is no faith in the fear of God, in the law of righteousness, in love, in good works …. That which our conscience would fear if it believed, it does not fear because it does not believe at all. If it believed, it would also take heed and if it took heed, it would be saved.
Therefore, beloved brothers, let us arouse ourselves as much as we can and break the slumber of our listlessness. Let us be watchful to observe and to do the Lord’s precepts. Let us be like He Himself, has bidden us to be, saying, “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately, when He comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants, whom the Master finds vigilant on His arrival“.
We ought to be dressed for work, lest, when the day of setting forth comes, it should find us burdened and entangled. Let our light shine, in good works and glow, in such a way, as to lead us from the night of this world, to the daylight of eternal brightness. Let us always wait with solicitude and caution for the sudden coming of the Lord, so that when he knocks, our faith may be on the watch and receive from the Lord, the reward of our vigilance. If these commands be observed, if these warnings and precepts be kept, we will not be overtaken in slumber, by the deceit of the devil. But we shall reign with Christ in His Kingdom, as servants on the watch.” – St Cyprian (c 200-258) Bishop of Carthage and Martyr, Father of the Church (Treatise on the unity of the Church, 26-27).
PRAYER – O God, Who transported Thy blessed Confessor Louis from an earthly throne to the glory of the heavenly Kingdom, by his merits and intercession we beseech Thee, to make us of the company of the King of kings, Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
Our Morning Offering – 25 August – St Louis IX (1214-1270) Confessor, King of France
O God, We Love Thee Prayer inspired by St Louis’ Last Instructions to his Eldest Son, Philip (Perhaps Philip prayed thus)
O God, we love Thee. We wish to do nothing to displease Thee. If we have troubles, let us thank Thee. If we do not, we also humbly thank Thee. Let us pray diligently and be compassionate and generous to the poor. May we hold fast all that is good and all that is bad, discard. We thank Thee for friends, who help us bear our burdens and help us grow in holiness. Let us turn away from calumniators and slanderers and lend a willing ear to those who speak of God. Let us always do what is right and just for those we serve and promote peace among our neighbours. Let us be quick to defend our Faith. O Holy Lord, all Thy holy Saints, defend us from all evils. Grant us Thy grace to fulfil always, Thy Holy Will, so that Thou may be glorified and honoured and so we may be with Thee forever. Amen
Saint of the Day – 25 August – St Louis IX (1214-1270) King of France Confessor, King, Reformer, Apostle of Charity.
This remarkable man was born on 25 April 1214, near Paris, France. When his grandfather, King Philip II of France, passed away, his son, Prince Louis the Lion, became King Louis VIII. His wife became Queen Blanche. Their son, now Prince Louis, was only nine-years-old.
Three years later Louis’ father died and the boy was crowned King Louis IX. Because of his young age the Queen Mother, Blanche, took over the reins of government. A great woman in her own right, she made sure her son would be prepared for his life as King. Queen Blanche, also known as Blanche of Castille, took her Catholic faith very seriously. She was rigid and determined in teaching her son the faith and managed to instill genuine piety and a deep sense of devotion in him. She was quoted as having told her son, “I love you, my dear son, as much as a mother can love her child but I would rather see you dead at my feet, than that you should commit a mortal sin.”
At the age of 21, Louis took charge of the government. His mother’s influence in his life was apparent because there was a force within Louis that made him strive to rule justly and to attain sanctity. King Louis had a pronounced affinity for the sick and poor of his kingdom. He treated the downtrodden with compassion, understanding and with a humility that was unheard of in a king.
Everyday King Louis IX would have three special guests called in from among the poor to have dinner with him…Since there were always crowds of poor and hungry outside the palace, he would try to have as many of them fed as was possible. During Lent and Advent anyone who presented themselves before him was given a meal and often, the King served them himself. He even had lists compiled of needy people in every Province under his rule.
Louis married his true love, Margaret of Provence on 27 May 1234. Queen Margaret was filled with religious fervour as was her husband and they truly made a beautiful couple while setting a fine example for all married couples. They both enjoyed each other’s company and liked riding together, listening to music and reading. King Louis and Queen Margaret had eleven children.
Louis was a strong-willed and strong-minded man with a powerful faith. His word was trusted throughout the Kingdom, and his courage, in taking action against wrongs was remarkable. Amazingly, this King had true respect for anyone with whom he had dealing, especially the poor and downtrodden. King Louis built Churches, libraries, hospitals and orphanages. He treated both Princes and commoners equally.
King Louis had taken his army on the 7th Crusade in 1248. This proved to be a disaster and the king was captured by the Muslims. After an absence of six years, he was successfully ransomed and returned home. In 1270 he sought redemption for his first failure and embarked on another crusade. It was summer in northern Africa and dysentery and typhoid swept through the dirty camps. King Louis IX, died while lying on a bed of ashes saying the name of the City he had not relieved; “Jerusalem, Jerusalem.”
Pope Boniface VIII, proclaimed Louis a Saint in 1297. He is the only King of France named a Saint by the Church. This man was a true gentleman as he tried to treat everyone with courtesy, love and respect, whilst remaining strong and just at the same time. He is most beloved both in France and across the Catholic world.
St Alessandro Dordi St Andreas Gim Gwang-Ok St Aredius of Limoges St Ebbe the Elder St Eusbius of Rome St Genesius of Arles St Genesius of Brescello St Genesius of Rome St Gennadius of Constantinople St Geruntius of Italica St Ginés de la Jara St Gregory of Utrecht St Gurloes of Sainte Croix St Hermes of Eretum St Hunegund of Homblieres St Julian of Syria St Julius of Eretum Bl Ludovicus Baba Bl Ludovicus Sasada Bl Luis Cabrera Sotelo St Maginus St Marcian of Saignon
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