Thought for the Day – 5 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Consolations of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory
“In her description of Purgatory, St Catherine of Genoa, writes as follows:
“The soul in Prgatory is happy with its lot but, its happiness is similar to that of the Martyr at the stake. Its happiness, in other words, is of a pure and supernatural kind which the world could not understand. The Martyr allows himself to be put to death, rather than offend God; he feels the pain of dying but, despises death because of his ardent love for God. In the same way because it realises that God desires and commands its agony, the soul in Purgatory, loves Him and is happy to allow Him to refine and purify it spiritually, through suffering.”
In one of her ecstasies, St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi was accorded a vision of Purgatory so terrifying that it caused her to grow pale and cry out. Suddenly she saw her own recently deceased brother among the suffering souls. “My poor brother!” she exclaimed, “how much you are suffering. Yet, I can see too, how greatly you are consoled. Although you are tortured by fire, you are content because, you know that these tortures are the prelude to everlasting happiness.”
Quote/s of the Day – 5 November – All Saints and Blesseds of the Society of Jesus (SJ)
“God’s love calls us to move beyond fear. We ask God for the courage to abandon ourselves unreservedly, so that we might be moulded by God’s grace, even as we cannot see where that path may lead us.”
“Hate what the world seeks and seek, what it avoids.”
“He who carries God in his heart bears heaven with him, wherever he goes.”
St Ignatius Loyola SJ (1491-1556)
“We must make our way towards eternity, never regarding what men think of us, or of our actions, studying only to please God.”
St Francis Borgia SJ (1510-1572)
“Better that only a few Catholics should be left, staunch and sincere in their religion, than that they should, remaining many, desire as it were, to be in collusion with the Church’s enemies and in conformity with the open foes of our faith.”
St Peter Canisius SJ (1521-1597) Doctor of the Church
“The path to Heaven is narrow, rough and full of wearisome and trying ascents, nor can it be trodden without great toil and, therefore, wrong is their way, gross their error and assured their ruin, who, after the testimony of so many thousands of Saints, will not learn where to settle their footing!”
St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595) Priest and Martyr
“Recommend yourself to your Angel Guardian three times a day – in the morning. by the prayer “Angele Dei” in the evening, by the same prayer and during the day, when you visit the Altars in Churches. Remember that you are to be guided by your Angel, like a blind man who cannot see the dangers of the streets and trusts entirely. to the person who leads him.”
St Aloysius de Gonzaga (SJ 1568-1591)
“My child, it is indeed the Voice of God you have heard. He has given you a great grace in thus calling you into His one true Church. While you live, never cease to thank Him and bless Him for it.”
St John Francis Régis SJ (1597-1640)
“Teach Us Good Lord” By St Ignatius Loyola SJ (1491-1556) Teach us, good Lord, to serve You as You deserve; to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for reward, except that of knowing that we are doing Your will. Amen
My God, I Love Thee By St Francis Xavier (1506-1552) (Attri) Transr: Fr Edward Caswall CO (1814-1878)
My God, I love Thee, not because I hope for heav’n thereby, nor yet for fear, that loving not, I might forever die but for that Thou didst all mankind upon the Cross embrace; for us didst bear the nails and spear and manifold disgrace.
And griefs and torments numberless and sweat of agony; e’en death itself and all for man, who was Thine enemy. Then why, most loving Jesus Christ, should I not love Thee well? Not for the sake of winning heav’n, nor any fear of hell.
Not with the hope of gaining aught, nor seeking a reward but as Thyself hast loved me, O ever loving Lord! E’en so I love Thee and will love and in Thy praise will sing, solely because Thou art my God and my eternal King! Amen
One Minute Reflection – 5 November – “The Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory – Within the Octave of All Saints and the Feast of the Holy Relics –Apocalypse 7:2-12, Matthew 5:1-12 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in Heaven.” – Matthew 5:12
REFLECTION – “Rejoice in the Lord without ceasing (cf. Phil 4:4), my dear children. I beg you rejoice, citizens of heaven but exiles on earth, inhabitants of the Jerusalem on high (cf. Gal 4:26) but banished from affairs here below, inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven but disinherited from taking any part at all, in earthly pleasures! Rejoice, ardent travellers, at undergoing exile and maltreatment in a foreign land in the name of the commandment of God! Rejoice, you who are last in this world but lords of blessings that exceed our understanding (cf. Phil 4:7). Rejoice, noble company, brought together by God, assembly united in heart and soul, who give life to filial and fraternal love, a replica on earth of the host of angels! (…) Rejoice, God’s workers, apostolic men. (…) Rejoice, you who set your joy in each other, each making his own the reputation of his brother, you in whom is found neither jealousy, rivalry nor envy but, in their place, peace and charity and life in common. In truth, I do not say that we are not attacked – indeed, who is crowned if not the one who struggles and fights, who exchanges thrusts and wounds with his assailants? – but I say that we should not let ourselves be brought down by the machinations of Satan. Yes, my children, assembly of God, nourish yourselves with the food of the Spirit and drink the water given by the Lord: whoever comes to possess this water will never thirst again but it will become, in Him, a spring of living water welling up to eternal life (cf. Jn 4:14). (…) Yet a little while and we shall have vanquished. And blessed shall we be; blessed also, it shall be said, are the places, family and countries that have borne you (cf. Lk 11:27-28).” – St Theodore the Studite (759-826) – Catechesis 47 (The Great Catecheses)
PRAYER – Almighty, eternal God, Who granted us to honour the merits of all Thy Saints in a single solemn festival, bestow on us, we beseech Thee, through their manifold intercession, that abundance of Thy mercy for which we yearn.Through Jesus Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
Our Morning Offering – 5 November – Within the Octave of All Saints and the Feast of the Holy Relics
Sanctorum Meritis Inclita Gaudia Sing, O Sons of the Church Unknown Author 8th Century But Attributed to St Rabanus Maurus (c 776-856) Vespers Hymn in the Common of Martyrs
Sing, O Sons of the Church sounding the Martyrs’ praise! God’s true soldiers applaud, who, in their weary days, Won bright trophies of good, glad be the voice ye raise, While these heroes of Christ ye sing!
They, while yet in the world, were by the world abhorred; Felt how fading the joys, fleeting the wealth it stored; Spurned all pleasure for Thee, and at Thy call, O Lord, Came forth strong in Thy Name, as King.
Lord, how bravely they bore fury and pain for Thee! Scourge, rod, sword, and the rack strongly endured; but free Sang out, bold in Thy love, longing on high to be; Earth’s might never their souls could bend.
While they, shedding their blood, victims for Jesus fell, No sound out of their lips came of their throes to tell; Bowed low, patient and meek, loving the Lord so well, Turned they still to the Christ, their Friend.
What joys, bright with the blood shed for Thy love they share, Those brave Martyrs of Thine crowned, with Thy laurels rare; Man’s tongue never can tell, never can half declare, How pure now is their bliss above!
Yet we, Father on high, God of eternal might, Lift weak voices in prayer, asking for peace and light; Cleanse Thou out of our heart,s every stain and blight, So our songs may be songs of love. Amen
There are thirteen translations of this Hymn and five in Liturgical usage. This one by Daniel Joseph Donahoe (1853-1930), an Irish American of Connecticut. A Judge, Poet, Writer and Latin Translator. This from his Early Christian Hymns Vol I or II.
Feast of the Holy Relics – 5 November – From the Liturgical Year, 1901.
Had we Angels’ eyes, we should see the earth as a vast field sown with seed for the Resurrection. The death of Abel opened the first furrow and ever since, the sowing has gone on unceasingly, the wide world over. This land of labour and of suffering, what treasures it already holds laid up in its bosom! And what a harvest for Heaven, when the Sun of Justice, suddenly darting forth His rays, shall cause to spring up, as suddenly from the soil, the elect ears ripe for glory! No wonder that the Church herself blesses and superintends, the laying of the precious grain in the earth.
But the Church is not content to be always sowing. Sometimes, as though impatient of delay, she raises from the ground the chosen seed she had sown therein. Her infallible discernment preserves her from error and, disengaging from the soil the immortal germ, she forestalls the glory of the future. She encloses the treasure in gold or precious stuffs, carries it in triumph, invites the multitudes to come and reverence it; or, she raises new temples to the name of the blessed one and assigns him the highest honour of reposing under the Altar, whereon she offers to God, the tremendous Sacrifice.
“Let your charity understand,” explains St Augustine (Aug. Sermo cccxviii, de Stephano Mart. V): “it is not to Stephen we raise an Altar in this place but of Stephen’s relics, we make an Altar to God. God loves these Altars and, if you ask the reason – Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (Ps. cxv, 15).” In obedience to God “the invisible soul has quitted its visible dwelling. But God preserves this dwelling; He is glorified by the honour we pay to this lifeless flesh and, clothing it with the might of His Divinity, He gives it the power of working miracles” (Aug. Sermo cclxxv, de Vincentio Mart. II). Hence the origin of pilgrimages to the Shrines of the Saints.
“Christian people,” says St Gregory of Nyssa, “wherefore are you assembled here? A tomb has no attractions, nay, the sight of its contents inspires horror! Yet, see what eagerness to approach this sepulchre! So great an object of desire is it, that a little of the dust from around it is esteemed a gift of great price. As to beholding the remains it conceals, that is a rare favour and an enviable one, as those can testify who enjoy the privilege: they embrace the holy body as though it were yet alive, they press their lips and their eyes upon it, shedding tears of love and devotion. What emperor ever received such honour ”(Greg. Nyssa de Theodoro Mart)?”
“Emperors!” rejoins St John Chrysostom; “as the porters at their gates, such have they become with regard to poor fishers. The son of the great Constantine deemed he could not pay a higher honour to his father, than to procure him a place of sepulture in the porch of the fisherman of Galilee” (Chrys. in Epist. II. ad Cor. Hom. xxvi). And again, concluding his commentary on St Paul’s admirable Epistle to the Romans, the golden-mouthed Doctor exclaims: “And now, who will grant me to prostrate myself at Paul’s sepulchre, to contemplate the ashes of that body which, suffering for us, filled up what was wanting of the sufferings of Christ? The dust of that mouth, which spoke boldly before kings, and, showing what Paul was, revealed the Lord of Paul? The dust of that heart, truly the heart of the world, more lofty than the heavens, more vast than the universe, as much, the heart of Christ as of Paul and wherein might be read, the book of grace, graven by the Holy Spirit? Oh! that I might see the remains of the hands, which wrote those Epistles; of the eyes, which were struck with blindness and recovered their sight for our salvation; of the feet which traversed the whole earth! Yes. I would fain contemplate the tomb where repose these instruments of justice and of light, these members of Christ, this temple of the Holy Ghost. O venerable body, which, together with that of Peter, protects Rome more securely, than all ramparts” (Chrys. in Epist. ad Rom. Hom. xxxii)
In spite of such teachings as these, the heretics of the sixteenth Century profaned the tombs of the Saints, under pretext of bringing us back to the doctrine of our forefathers. In contradiction to these strange reformers, the Council of Trent expressed the unanimous testimony of Tradition, in the following definition, which sets forth the theological reasons of the honour paid by the Church, to the relics of Saints:,
“Veneration ought to be shown, by the faithful, to the bodies of the Martyrs and other Saints, who live with Jesus Christ. For they were His living members and the temples of the Holy Ghost; He will raise them up again to eternal life and glory and through them, God grants many blessings to mankind. Therefore, those who say that the relics of the Saints are not worthy of veneration, that it is useless for the faithful to honour them, that it is vain to visit the memorials or monuments of the Saints, in order to obtain their aid, are absolutely to be condemned and, as they have already been long ago condemned, (Conc. Nic. II. cap. vii), the Church now condemns them once more” (Conc. Tird. Sess. xxv. De invocatione, veneratione et reliquiis Sanctorum).
All Saints and Blesseds of the Society of Jesus: The Society of Jesus, commonly known as the Jesuits, was Founded in 1534 by Saint Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) at Montmartre, Paris, France. A body of clerics regular organised for Apostolic work, following a religious rule and relying on alms for their support. It was the chief instrument of the Catholic Reformation. Pope Paul III approved the new rule in 1540 and Ignatius was elected the first general of the order in 1541. The constitutions, drafted by him and based on his Spiritual Exercises were adopted in 1558. It was the first order which enjoined by its constitutions devotion to the cause of education. The ministry of the Society consists chiefly in preaching. teaching catechism. administering the sacraments. conducting missions in parishes, taking care of parishes. organising pious confraternities, teaching in schools of every grade, writing books, pamphlets, periodical articles, going on foreign missions and special missions when ordered by the current Holy Father, to whom they take a vow of total obedience. Our current Holy Father, Pope Francis is a Jesuit and has jokingly wondered aloud who is boss of whom in his Order. The general resides at Rome, Italy and has a council of assistants. The motto of the Society is Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (For the greater glory of God). All Jesuit Saints and Blesseds: https://anastpaul.com/2018/11/05/feast-of-all-the-saints-and-blesseds-of-the-society-of-jesus/
St Canonica St Comasia St Dominator of Brescia St Elizabeth St Domninus the Physician St Epistemis St Eusebius of Terracina St Felix of Terracina St Fibitius St Galation St Gerald of Beziers Bl Gomidas Keumurjian Bl Gregory Lakota St Guetnoco St Hermenegild St Idda St Juan Antoni Burró Mas St Juan Duarte Martín St Kanten St Kea St Laetus of Orleans St Magnus of Milan St Mamete St Marco of Troia Bl Simon Ballachi St Spinulus of Moyen-Moûtier St Sylvanus of Syria St Zachary
Martyrs of Caesarea Maritima – 4 Saints: Four young Christian men who were Martyred together is the persecutions of Maximian – Aussenzius, Philotheus, Timothy and Theotimus. They were martyred in the arena at Caesarea Maritima, Palestine.