Thought for the Day – 25 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Thirst for Justice
“Many people, unfortunately, hunger and thirst for wealth, for pleasure and for honour. In practice, if not in tbeory, they forget all about their personal sanctification and the welfare of their neighbour. They pray, certainly and they go to Church, give alms and carry out the duties of their station in life conscientiously, from morning until night. They may even engage in many external works of charity, on their neighbour’s behalf but, what is their dominant thought and their principal ambition? To keep up appearances, to be praised and esteemed, to be successful in their careers. This, however, is not justice or Christian perfection but corresponds to the attitude of the Scribes and Pharisees, who did not seek the Kingdom of Heaven but their own interests (Cf Mt 5:46-48). Of these, it is written that “they have received their reward” (Mt 6:21). They have not sought God but themselves! Therefore, they can never have God or His everlasting happiness as their reward. They must be content with the insignificant and passing glory of the world. Indeed, on many occasions, they will be unable to gain even this much and will find that they have laboured in vain!
The envious man will even find cause for personal sorrow and unhappiness, in the welfare and in the success of others, He would have nobody wealthy, respected or happy in the world but himself! Even when the zealous man is working for a good cause, he is not concerned with it but only, with himself. He identifies his own ego with the cause for which he is fighting!”
Quote/s of the Day – 25 November – Sirach 51:1-8; 5:12, Matthew 25:1-13 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
Lord Jesus, Bind Me to Yourself
Lord Jesus, bind me to Yourself and to my neighbour, with love. May my heart not be turned away from You. May my soul not be deceived, nor my talent or mind, enticed by allurements of error, so that I may never distance myself from Your love. Thus, may I love my neighbour as myself, with strength, wisdom and gentleness, with Your help, You Who are blessed throughout all ages. Amen.
St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Evangelical Doctor of the Church
“The medicine of God, is Jesus Christ, Crucified and Risen, the measure of all things.”
St John Leonardi (1541-1609) Confessor, Priest, Founder
“Master, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
“That first and great commandment is not only profitable for the man who keeps it. or for God Who commands it – the other commandments of God also make perfect, him who obeys them, improves him, instructs him and makes him illustrious; in a word, they make him good and holy. If you understand this, realise that you have been created for the glory of God and for your own eternal salvation; this is your end, this is the object of your soul and the treasure of your heart. You will be blessed if you reach this goal but miserable if you are cut off from it.”
St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) Doctor of the Church
“O God, fullness of goodness, You do not forsake any, except those who forsake You. You never take away Your gifts, except when we take away our hearts. We rob the goodness of God, if we claim the glory of our salvation for ourselves. We dishonour His mercy, if we say He has failed us. … We blaspheme His goodness, if we deny that He has helped and assisted us. In short, O God, cry loud and clear into our ears: “your destruction comes from you, O Israel. In Me alone is found your help” (Hos 13:9).
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritatis
“Entrust yourself entirely to God. He is a Father and a most loving Father at that, Who would rather let Heaven and earth collapse, than abandon anyone who trusted in Him.”
St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)
“50 Maxims for Attaining Perfection” – all on the link below
One Minute Reflection – 25 November – St Catherine of Alexandria (Died c 305) Virgin Martyr – Sirach 51:1-8; 5:12, Matthew 25:1-13 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” – Matthew 25:13
REFLECTION – “Consider now the Way of Light – any man who is bent on reaching his appointed goal, must be very careful in all he does. Now these are the directions that have been given to us for this journey,- love your Creator, reverence your Maker; give glory to Him Who redeemed you when you were dead; be single-minded but rich in spiritual treasure; avoid those who travel down death’s highway; hate whatever is displeasing to God; detest all hypocritical pretence; do not abandon God’s commandments. Do not put on airs but be modest in whatever you do; claim no credit for yourself. Plot no evil against your neighbour and do not give pride an entrance into your heart.
Love your neighbour more than your own life. Do not kill an unborn child through abortion, nor destroy it after birth. Do not refrain from chastising son or daughter,but bring them up from childhood in the fear of the Lord. Do not set your heart on what belongs to your neighbour and do not give in to greed. Do not associate with the arrogant but cultivate those who are humble and virtuous.
Accept as a blessing whatever comes your way, in the knowledge, that nothing ever happens without God’s concurrence. Avoid duplicity in thought or in word, for such deception is a deadly snare. Share with your neighbor whatever you have and do not say of anything, this is mine. If you both share an imperishable treasure, how much more must you share what is perishable. Do not be hasty in speech – the mouth is a deadly snare. For your soul’s good, make every effort to live chastely. Do not hold out your hand for what you can get, only to withdraw it when it comes to giving. Cherish as the apple of your eye anyone who speaks to you of the word of the Lord.
Night and day you will bear in mind the hour of judgement; everyday you will seek out the company of God’s faithful, either by preaching the word, earnestly exhorting them, ever considering how you can save souls, by your eloquence, or else by working with your hands, to make reparation for your past sins.
Never hesitate to give and when you do give, never grumble; then you will know the One Who will repay you. Preserve the traditions you have received, adding nothing and taking nothing away. The evildoer will ever be hateful to you. Be fair in your judgments. Never stir dissension but act as peacemaker and reconcile the quarrelsome. Confess your sins and do not begin to pray with a guilty conscience. Such the,n is the Way of Light.” – An excerpt from The Letter of Saint Barnabas (Chapter 19).
PRAYER – O God, Who gave the law to Moses on Sinai’s height and through Thy holy Angels, miraculously placed there, the body of blessed Catherine, Thy Virgin and Martyr, grant, we beseech Thee that by her merits and intercession, we may reach that towering eminence which is Christ our Lord. Through the same 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 – 25 November – “The Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory”
O DIVINE Heart of JESUS Pope Leo XIII Indulgence 100 Days, Once a day Raccolta 167 13 March 1901.
O DIVINE Heart of JESUS, grant, we beseech Thee, eternal rest to the souls in purgatory, the final grace to those who shall die today, true repentance to sinners, the light of the faith to pagans and Thy Blessing to me and mine. To Thee, O most compassionate Heart of JESUS! I commend all these souls and I offer to Thee, on their behalf, all Thy merits, together with the merits of Thy most Holy Mother and of all the Saints, Angels and all the Sacrifices of the Holy Mass, Communions, prayers and good works, which shall be accomplished today, throughout the Christian world. Amen
Saint of the Day – 26 November – Saint Peter of Alexandria (Died 311) Bishop Martyr, known as the “Seal of the Martyrs” Born at Alexandria, Egypt and died by Martyrdom in 311 at Alexandria, Egypt. Tradition attests that the Egyptian Bishop was the last believer to suffer death at the hands of Roman imperial authorities for his faith in Christ. For this reason, St Peter of Alexandria is known as the “Seal of the Martyrs.”
He is said to have undertaken severe penances for the sake of the suffering Church during his lifetime and written letters of encouragement to those in prison, before going to his own death at the close of the “era of the Martyrs.”
Peter was born and raised in Alexandria but both the date of Peter’s birth and of his Ordination as a Priest, are unknown. It is clear, however, that he was chosen to lead Egypt’s main Catholic community in the year 300, after the death of Saint Theonas of Alexandria. He may have previously been in charge of Alexandria’s well-known Catechetical School, an important centre of religious instruction in the early Church. Peter’s own theological writings were cited in a later fifth-century dispute over Christ’s divinity and humanity.
In 302, the Emperor Diocletian and his subordinate Maximian, attempted to wipe out the Church in the territories of the Roman Empire. They used their authority to destroy Church properties, imprison and torture believers and eventually kill those who refused to take part in pagan ceremonies. As the Bishop of Alexandria, Peter offered spiritual support to those who faced these penalties, encouraging them to hold to their faith without compromise.
One acute problem for the Church during this period, was the situation of the “lapsed.” These were Catholics who had violated their faith by participating in pagan rites under coercion but who later, repented and sought to be reconciled to the Church. Peter issued canonical directions for addressing their various situations and these guidelines became an important part of the Eastern Christian tradition for centuries afterward.
Around the year 306, Peter led a Council which deposed Bishop Meletius of Lycopolis, a member of the Catholic hierarchy who had allegedly offered sacrifice to a pagan idol. Peter left his Diocese for reasons of safety during some portions of the persecution , travelling through many lands, encouraging his flock by letter, before returning to his City to guide the Alexandrian Church personally during this period. He secretly visited those imprisoned, assisted widows and orphans, and conducted clandestine services. His absence from Alexandria, however, gave Meletius an opening to set himself up as his rival and lead a schismatic church in the area.
The “Meletian schism” would continue to trouble the Church for years after the death of Alexandria’s legitimate Bishop. Saint Athanasius, who led the Alexandrian Church during a later period, in the fourth century, claimed that Meletius personally betrayed Peter of Alexandria to the state authorities during the Diocletian persecution.
Although Diocletian himself chose to resign his rule in 305, persecution continued under Maximinus Daia, who assumed leadership of the Roman Empire’s eastern half in 310. The early Church historian, Eusebius, attests that, in 311, Maximinus, during an imperial visit to Alexandria, unexpectedly ordered its Bishop to be seized and killed without imprisonment or trial. Three Priests – Faustus, Dio and Ammonius – were reportedly beheaded along with him.
St Peter of Alexandria’s entry in the “History of the Patriarchs of the Coptic Church of Alexandria” (a volume first compiled by a Coptic Bishop in the 10th century) concludes with a description of the aftermath of his death.
“And the City was in confusion and was greatly disturbed, when the people beheld this Martyr of the Lord Christ. Then, the chief men of the City came, and wrapped his body in the leathern mat, on which he used to sleep and they took him to the Church … And, when the liturgy had been performed, they buried him with the fathers. May his prayers be with us and all those who are Baptised!”
St Erasmus of Antioch Bl Garcia of Arlanza Bl Guido of Casauria St Imma of Wurzburg Bl Jacinto Serrano López St Jucunda of Reggio Aemilia Bl Maria Corsini Beltrame Quattrocchi St Mercurius of Caesarea St Moses of Rome
Martyrs of Africa – (13 Saints): A group of 13 Christians murdered together for their faith in Africa, date unknown. The only details to have survived are their names – Claudian, Cyprian, Donatus, Felix, Januarius, Julian, Lucian, Marcian, Martialis, Peter, Quirianus, Victor and Vitalis.