Thought for the Day – 4 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
More About the Sufferings of Purgatory
“The vision of Purgatory accorded to St Frances of Rome, is well known. She saw Purgatory divided into three separate sections.
(1) The firs was the part furthest from Heaven and bordering, as it were, on Hell. In it two kinds of people were suffering terrible torments, namely, lay folk who had committed grave sins and postponed their conversion until the moment of death; and – men and women who had dedicated their lives to God but on account of venial sins, neglect of duty, tepidity and lack of gratitude for their great vocations, had heavy debt to pay to Divine Justice.
(2) The second place, was the most crowded. Here, the physical pain was still unimaginably severe, while the desire to be purified and to b with God was the cause of intense spiritual anguish. The souls in this region, however, were not only resigned to their lot but, even longed for greater sufferings which would finally wash away the imperfections which kept them apart from God.
(3) The Third section was the nearest to Heaven and was the abode of purer and more perfect souls. These did not have to endure much sensible pain but, their yearning for God was so insistent that, every moment of separation, seemed like an eternity.”
Quote/s of the Day – 4 November – St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)
“We have only one life and we should spend it for Jesus Christ and souls, not as we wish but, at the time and in the way, God wishes. It would show presumption and neglect of our duty and God’s service, to fail to do this.”
“If a tiny spark of God’s love already burns within you, do not expose it to the wind, for it may get blown out… Stay quiet with God. Do not spend your time in useless chatter… Do not give yourself to others, so completely, that you have nothing left for yourself.”
“Behold Jesus Christ Crucified, Who is the only foundation of our hope; He is our Mediator and Advocate; the Victim and Sacrifice for our sins. He is goodness and patience itself; His mercy is moved by the tears of sinners and He never refuses pardon and grace, to those who ask it, with a truly contrite and humbled heart.”
“The best way not to find the bed too cold, is to go to bed colder, than the bed already is.”
One Minute Reflection – 4 November – “The Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory – Saint Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) – Sirach 44:16-27; 45:3-20, Matthew 25:14-23 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“His Lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant because thou has been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many thing. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” – Matthew 25:21
REFLECTION – “I have no idea what to write you from these parts [India and Sri Lanka] except this – the consolations bestowed by our Lord God, to those who go among the pagans, to convert them to the faith of Christ, are so great that, if there is any joy to be had in this life, it is surely this! I have often heard it said, to someone going about amongst these Christians: “Lord, do not give me so many consolations in this life! Yet since, in Thy infinite goodness and pity, Thou are giving them me, take me into Thine holy glory! For indeed, there is such great suffering in living without seeing Thee, after Thou has shown Thyself to Thy creature, in this way!” Ah! If only those who look for knowledge in study, took as much trouble in looking for the consolations of the apostolate, as they give day and night to the pursuit of knowledge! If only those joys, which the scholar seeks in what he is learning, he were to seek in making his neighbour feel, what he is in need of – to know and serve God, how much more consoled he would find himself to be and better prepared, to give an account of himself, when Christ returns and asks him: “Give me an account of your stewardship” …
I will end, asking our Lord God … to bring us together in His holy glory. And to obtain this blessing, let us take as our intercessors and advocates, all the holy souls of the region, where I now am. … I beg all these holy souls to obtain for us from our Lord God, for as long as we remain separated, the grace of feeling His holy will in the depth of our souls and of fulfilling it perfectly.” – St Francis Xavier (1506-1552) Jesuit missionary (Letter of 15/01/1544).
PRAYER – Safeguard Thy Church, O Lord, under the continual protection of St Charles, Thy Confessor and Bishop, so that just as his concern for his flock made him glorious, so his intercession may make us ever fervent in loving Thee. 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 – 4 November – “The Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory” – The Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)
O My Good Angel Prayer to One’s Guardian Angel Appointing him Intercessory at the hour of Death By St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)
My good Angel – I know not when or how I shall die. It is possible I may be carried off suddenly and before my last sigh, I may be deprived of all intelligence. Yet, how many things I would wish to say to God, on the threshold of eternity. In the full freedom of my will today, I come to charge thee to speak for me at that fearful moment. Thou will say to Him, then, O my good Angel – That I wish to die in the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church in which all the Saints, since Jesus Christ, have died and, out of which, there is no salvation. That I ask the grace, of sharing in the Infinite Merits of my Redeemer and that I desire to die, in pressing to my lips, the Cross which was bathed in His Blood! That I detest my sins because they displease Him and that I pardon, through love of Him, all my enemies, as I wish myself to be pardoned. That I die willingly because He orders it and that I throw myself, with confidence, into His adorable Heart, awaiting all His mercy. That in my inexpressible desire to go to Heaven, I am disposed to suffer everything it may please His Sovereign Justice to inflict on me. That I love Him before all things, above all things and for His own sake; that I wish and hope, to love Him with the elect, His Angels and the Blessed Mother, during all eternity. Do not refuse, O my Angel, to be my interpreter with God and to protest to Him, that these, are my sentiments and my will. Amen.
Saints of the Day – 4 November – St Vitalis (Died c 304) and St Agricola (Died c 304) Martyrs, Laymen. They died in c 304 in Bologna, Italy in the persecution of Diocletian. Patronage – Bologna.
The Roman Martyrology reads: “In Bologna, Saints Vitalis and Agricola, Martyrs, of whom, according to what Saint Ambrose recounts, the first was first a slave to the other, then a companion in Martyrdom: Vitalis, in fact, suffered such torments that there was no longer any part of his body without wound. Agricola, not at all terrified by the torture of his slave, imitated him in Martyrdom by undergoing crucifixion.”
At the roots of the Bolognese Church, there is the figure of two Martyrs, distinguished by social class but united by the Palm of death due to faith. Vitalis and Agricola, servant and master, launched, with their testimony, a message of equality and solidarity that would have public recognition, at the rise of freedom, with the decree of liberation of the serfs (Liber Paradisus).
The oldest memory of the two Proto-martyrs of Bologna, dates back to St Ambrose (340-397) and St Paulinus of Nola (354-431), who attest to their “connection and bonds of Martyrdom.” Their bodies were rediscovered in the Jewish cemetery by Bishop Eusebius and, in 393, were transferred by St Ambrose to the Milan.
Their cult was already widespread in the 5th and 6th Centuries. Their Relics are venerated in the Mother Church of Bologna. At the end of the sixth Century, St Gregory of Tours, in one of his works complained that there was no “passio” of the Saints Vitalis and Agricola. However, this was not entirely correct, as the reports on the two Bolognese Proto-martyrs is based on an authentic statement by the Milanese Bishop St Ambrogio in 392, as well as one of St Paulinus ofi Nola in 403. Two stories have also been included in the Acta Sanctorum also attributed to St Ambrose himself.
In reality, Vitalis and Agricola had been absolutely unknown until 392, the year in which the Bolognese Bishop, St Eusebius, announced the discovery of their remains in a Jewish cemetery in today’s Emilian capital. He gave them a new burial, with a Christian rite, an event which was also attended by St Ambrose, who spoke of the Martyrs in his sermon and invited the population to venerate their Relics.
The cult of the two holy Martyrs spread, thanks to the impulse given by St Ambrose, who, in addition to writing about them, wanted to transfer part of the Relics to Milan and then donated part of them to Florence. Numerous Bishops too, felt compelled to request some for their Cathedrals. However, the cult maintained its epicentre in Bologna, where a Basilica was built specifically to house their remains, which were later transferred to the adjacent Chapel.
So we know little about the life of the two Saints. It seems that Agricola was a Christian citizen of Bologna and Vitalis was his servant. The latter had also followed his master in his religion and was the first to crown his life with Martyrdom. Both were led to the arena, Vitalis was tortured throughout his body until death. The torturers thought that at the sight of his sufferings, Agricola would lose his determination to declare himself a Christian but instead, all this had the opposite effect of what was hoped for. Agricola was in fact fortified and encouraged by the death of his faithful servant and faced the crucifixion with great courage, testifying his Christian faith to the end. His body was also pierced with nails.
We bless and thank Thee, Father, for the gift of Martyrdom in our brothers, Vitalis and Agricola: from their fruitful blood, Thou made the Church of Bologna sprout and in the fraternal solidarity of the slave and the master Thou gave us a shining example of humanity reconciled in the love of Christ. Through their solidarity, grant us to be courageous witnesses of the Faith, living stones of Thy Church, operators of communion and peace. We ask Thee Father, in the Holy Spirit, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bl Frances d’Amboise St Gerard de Bazonches St Gregory of Burtscheid Bl Helen Enselmini Bl Henry of Zweifalten St Hermas of Myra St Joannicus of Mount Olympus St John Zedazneli St Modesta of Trier St Nicander of Lycia St Patrobas St Perpète St Philologus St Pierius St Proculus of Autun
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