Thought for the Day – 19 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The “Our Father”
“God is truly our Father because He created us from nothing and because, He caused us to be born again through the Incarnation of His Only-begotten Son and the work of the Redemption. In this way, He is doubly our Father.
Can we claim, however, to be true sons of God? It is not enough simply to make this claim by reciting the “Our Father” but, we should prove it in a practical way in our daily lives. We can do this by accepting God’s will in all things, by obeying His commandments and the precepts of the Church and, especially, by loving Him more than anything in creation.”
Quote/s of the Day – 19 October – St Peter of Alcantara OFM (1499-1562) Confessor
“Truly, matters in the world, are in a bad state but if you and I begin, in earnest, to reform ourselves, a really good beginning will have been made.”
“Our Lord, in the Blessed Sacrament, has His Hands full of graces and He is ready to bestow them on anyone, who asks for them”
“No tongue is able to declare the greatness of the love which Jesus bears to every soul and, therefore, this Spouse, when He would leave this earth, in order that His absence might not cause us to forget Him, left us, as a memorial, this Blessed Sacrament, in which He Himself remained; for He would not, that there should be any other pledge to keep alive, our remembrance of Him, than He Himself!”
One Minute Reflection – 19 October – St Peter of Alcantara OFM (1499-1562) Confessor – Philippians 3:7-12, Luke 12:32-34 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” – Luke 12:34
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 – O God, Who graciously made blessed Peter, Thy Confessor, glorious by the gift of remarkable penance and sublime contemplation, grant, we beseech Thee, that, by the merit of his prayers, we may the more easily understand the things of Heaven by curbing our passions. 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 – 18 October – St Peter of Alcantara OFM (1499-1562) Confessor
Hear Me, O Lord By St Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562)
Hear me, O Lord, my soul’s delight, joy of my heart, not because of my merits but because of Thy boundless goodness. Teach me, enlighten me, direct me, help me in all things that I may never say or do anything but that which I know to be pleasing in Thou sight. Guide me, O God, my Love, my Light and my Life! Amen.
Saint of the Day – 19 October – St Peter of Alcantara OFM (1499-1562) Confessor, Franciscan Friar and Priest, Mystic, Ecstatic, Writer, Preacher, Reformer, Hermit, Apostle of Prayer, Eucharistic Adoration, the Passion and Charity, Miracle-worker. Patronages – Nocturnal Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Brazil (named by Pope Pius IX in 1862), Estremadura Spain, night watchmen.
St Peter of Alcantara, Confessor By Father Francis Xavier Weninger (1860-1946)
St Peter was born in the year 1499, at Alcantara, in Spain. He became celebrated for his great piety and the austerity of his life and in order to distinguish him from other Saints of the same name, received the surname, “of Alcantara.”
Besides other signs of future holiness, Peter, when only seven years of age, evinced so great a love for prayer that he sometimes forgot to eat and drink. During the time of his studies, he kept his innocence unspotted in the midst of many dangers, by making prayer, the holy Sacraments and penances, its guardians. When hardly sixteen years old, he secretly left his father’s house and entered the Franciscan Order, in which he soon became a model of all virtues. After having finished his novitiate, he was charged with different functions, all of which he discharged most successfully. The office of preacher was the most agreeable to him. An incredible number of hardened sinners were converted by his sermons, in which he treated of penance and a reform of life.
The fame of his virtues and holiness gave additional weight to every word he uttered. Especially admirable, were the untiring zeal with which he practised all manner of bodily austerities and his continual communion with God in prayer. His whole life was one of extraordinary and almost unexampled mortification. He guarded his eyes so closely that he not only never looked on a woman’s face but knew his brethren only by their voices and, after a long sojourn in the Monastery, could not tell whether the choir and the dormitory were vaulted or covered with boards.
The cell he chose for his dwelling was so narrow that it was more like a tomb than the abode of a living human being and so low that he could not stand upright in it. He kept an almost continual fast and hardly partook, every third day, of some undressed herbs, bread and water. It even happened that during eight days he took no food whatever. He scourged himself twice daily with iron chains. He wore, day and night, a penitential instrument made of tin, pierced like a grater. For forty years, he allowed himself only one hour and a half of sleep at night and this, not lying down but kneeling, or standing with his head leaning against a board. The remainder of the night he occupied in prayer and meditation. As long as he lived in the order, he went barefoot and bareheaded, even in the coldest season. His clothing consisted of his habit and a short cloak, made of rough sack-cloth. He seemed to have made a comtract with his body, never in this world, to allow it any peace or comfort.
His union with God in prayer had reached so high a degree that he was often seen in ecstacy, or raised high in the air and surrounded by a heavenly brightness. The power of his holy prayers was experienced, not only by many hardened sinners but also by many sick, for whom he obtained health and strength. The inhabitants of the City of Albuquerque, ascribed to him their deliverance from the pestilence, for, as soon as Peter had called upon the Divine Mercy, the pestilence, which had most fearfully ravaged the City, disappeared.
The love of God, which filled the heart of the Saint, manifested itself in his intercourse and conversation with men, whom he endeavoured to inflame with the same love. This appeared in all his actions but especially, at the time of Holy Mass, when he stood like a Seraph before the Altar, his face burning and tears streaming from his eyes. When meditating on the Passion and Death of our Saviour, he was frequently so deeply touched, in his inmost heart that for hours, he was like one dead. His devotion to God would sometimes burn his heart so intensely, that to moderate his emotion, he would go into the fields to breathe more freely.
Having reached his fortieth year, he was chosen Provincial but endeavoured to refuse the dignity and when compelled by obedience to accept it, he regarded it as an opportunity to do good to those under his charge. God admonished him to restore the primitive observance in the Order, according to the Rule and spirit of St Francis. Although he could not but foresee, the many and great difficulties which he would encounter in this undertaking, still, trusting in God, he went courageously to work after having obtained the sanction of the Pope.
The Almighty visibly aided His faithful servant, for, in six years, the Saint had founded nine Monasteries, in which the mortification and the perfect poverty, which St Francis especially cherished, were observed in all the rigour of the first Rule. In the course of time, this renewed Order was disseminated throughout all Spain, to the great joy of the Saint. This and other labours which he performed, to the honoir and glory of God, made him greatly esteemed by everyone.
St Teresa, who lived at that period, asked his advice in her cares and doubts, whenever she had occasion and called him a Saint while he was yet upon earth. St Francis Borgia entertained great friendship for him and the praise of his great virtues resounded throughout all Spain. The Emperor Charles V. desired to make him his Confessor but the humble servant of the Almighty knew how to say so much of his incapacity for this office, that the Emperor abandoned the idea, to the Saint’s great joy. This became a new incentive for him to devote himself entirely to the service of God and the welfare of those in his care.
He had reached his 63rd year, more by a miracle than in a natural way, when he was visited by Providence with a severe illness, which soon left no hope of his recovery, as his body was entirely wasted away by the severity of his life, his painful journeys and his uninterrupted labours. He himself, was informed from on high, of his approaching end and he received the last Sacraments, with so deep a devotion that the eyes of all present were filled with tears. After this he fell into a rapture, in which the Divine Mother and St John the Evangelist, appeared to him and assured him of his salvation. Hence, regaining consciousness, he cheerfully recited the words of the Psalmist: “I have rejoiced in those things which have been said to me; We shall go into the house of the Lord.” Having said this, he calmly gave his soul into the keeping of his Creator, in the year of Our Lord 1562.
St Teresa, who has written much in his praise, says among other things: “He died as he had lived, a Saint and I have, after his death, received many graces from God, through his intercession. I have often seen him in great glory and when I saw him the first time, he said to me: ‘O happy penance, which has obtained so great a glory for me!‘” The Roman Breviary testifies that, St Teresa, although, at the time of his death, far from him, saw his soul gloriously ascend into Heaven.
The biographers of St Peter, relate many and great miracles which he wrought, while he was still living. In the Breviary, we read, among other things, the following. “He crossed rapid rivers with dry feet. In times of great poverty, he fed his brethren with food which he received from Heaven. The staff which he placed in the ground, immediately became a budding fig-tree. Once, in the night-time, when he sought shelter from a snow-storm in a roofless house, the snow remained hanging in the air, above it and thus, formed a roof to protect him from being buried in the snow.” St Peter of Alcantara, pray for Holy Mother Church and for all her faithful Amen, amen!
St Altinus St Aquilinus of Evreux St Asterius of Ostia St Beronicus of Antioch St Desiderius of Longoret St Ednoth St Ethbin St Eusterius of Salerno St Frideswide St Laura of Cordoba St Lucius of Rome St Lupus of Soissons St Pelagia of Antioch
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