Thought for the Day – 5 January– Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“There is another motive too, which obliges us to carefully avoid even commiting a venial sin. The path of sin leads us down a smooth and slippery incline towards destruction. Once we begin to descend, it is difficult to stop the momentum and scramble back up the smooth, slippery, steep incline. Even to begin on this path, is a disaster.
“He who wastes the little he has, will be stripped bare” (Eccles 19:1).
“He who is faithful in a very little thing, is faithful also, in much and he who is unjust in a very little thing, is unjust also, in much” (Lk 16:10).
Whoever is faithful to God in little things, will receive from Him, the grace to remain faithful too, in greater things but a man who despises the lesser falls, rejects the Divine assistance and so, exposes himself to the danger of falling more seriously.
If we reflect on such dangers, we shall have a real fear of venial sin and shall be always on our guard against it.”
Quote/s of the Day – 5 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Vigil of the Epiphany –
“Wake up then, believer and note what is stated here: “In my Name.” That [Name] is Christ Jesus. Christ signifies King, Jesus signifies Saviour. Therefore, whatever we ask for that would hinder our salvation, we do not ask in our Saviour’s Name and yet, He is our Saviour, not only when He does what we ask but also, when He does not. When He sees us ask anything to the disadvantage of our salvation, He shows Himself our Saviour by not doing it. The physician knows whether what the sick person asks for, is to the advantage or disadvantage of his health. And [the physician] does not allow what would be harmful to him, although the sick person himself, desires it. But the physician looks to his final cure.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace of the Church
“The Lord, although He was God, became man. He suffered for the sake of those who suffer, He was bound for those in bonds, condemned for the guilty, buried for those who lie in the grave but He rose from the dead and cried aloud: “Who will contend with Me? Let him confront Me.” I have freed the condemned, brought the dead back to life, raised men from their graves. Who has anything to say against Me? I, He said, Am the Christ, I have destroyed death, triumphed over the enemy, trampled hell underfoot, bound the strong one and taken men up to the heights of Heaven. I Am the Christ. Come, then, all you nations of men, receive forgiveness for the sins which defile you. I Am your Forgiveness. I Am the Passover which brings salvation. I Am the Lamb Who was immolated for you. I Am your Ransom, your Life, your Resurrection, your Light, I am your Salvation and your King. I will bring you to the heights of Heaven. With My own Right Hand I will raise you up and I will show you the Eternal Father.”
St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180) Bishop, Father
“Listen! the reason He is called Saviour is because, for all those to whom He is united, He gains salvation. Now salvation means, to be delivered from all ills and, at the same time, to find all blessings forever – Life instead of death, Light in place of darkness and, instead of the slavery of the passions and unworthy deeds, the complete freedom granted to all those, who are united to Christ, Saviour of all beings. Thus they will possess, without being able to lose it, all joy, all happiness, all blessedness (…) that that none can ever know, or conceive, or see, if not sincerely and ardently attached to Christ.”
One Minute Reflection – 5 January – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Vigil of the Epiphany – Galatians 4:1-7, Matthew 2:19-23 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Arise and take the Child and His Mother and go into the land of Israel. For they are dead who sought the life of the Child.” – Matthew 2:20
REFLECTION – “My dear Jesus, Thou art the King of Heaven but now I behold Thee as an Infant wandering over the earth – tell me whom dost Thou seek? I pity Thee when I see Thee, so poor and humbled but I pity Thee more when I see Thee treated with such ingratitude by the same men whom Thou came to save. Thou dost weep but I also weep because I have been one of those who in times past have despised and persecuted Thee. But now I value Thy grace more than all the kingdoms of the world; forgive me, O my Jesus, all the evil I have committed against Thee and permit me to carry Thee always in my heart during the journey of my life to eternity, even as Mary carried Thee in her arms during the flight into [and return from] Egypt.” – St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church”
PRAYER – O Almighty and everlasting God, do Thou order all our actions in conformity with Thy good pleasure that through the name of Thy well-beloved Son, we may worthily abound in all good works. 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 – 5 January – The Vigil of the Epiphany of Our Lord
Oh Jesus, My Love By St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)
Oh Jesus, my Love, may my heart be consumed in loving Thee. Make me humble and holy, giving me childlike simplicity, transform me into Thy holy Love. O Jesus, Life of my life, Joy of my soul, God of my heart, accept my heart as an altar, on which I will sacrifice to Thee, the gold of ardent charity, the incense of continual, humble and fervent prayer and the myrrh of constant sacrifices! Amen
Saint of the Day – 5 January – Saint Telesphorus (Died c 138) Confessor, Pope Martyr. Papal Ascension – 128 to 129 and died by Martyredom in 138 to 139. Also known as – Telesforo.
The Roman Martyrology reads today: “In Rome, in the time of Antoninus Pius, St Telesphorus, Pope, who after many sufferings for the Confession of Christ, underwent a glorious Martyrdom.”
He was of Greek ancestry and born in Terranova da Sibari, Calabria, Italy.
Telesphorus is traditionally considered as the Eighth Bishop of Rome in succession after Saint Peter. The Liber Pontificalis mentions that he had been an Anchorite Monk prior to assuming office.
The tradition of Christmas Midnight Masses, the celebration of Easter on Sundays, the keeping of a seven-week Lent before Easter and the singing of the Gloria, are usually attributed to his Pontificate. A fragment of a letter from St Irenæus to Pope Victor I, during the Easter controversy in the late 2nd Century, also preserved by Eusebius, testifies that Telesphorus was one of the Roman Bishops who always celebrated Easter on Sunday,, rather than on other days of the week, according to the calculation of the Jewish Passover. Unlike Victor, however, Telesphorus remained in communion with those communities who did not follow this custom.
According to the testimony of St Irenaeus (Against Heresies III.3.3), he suffered a “glorious Martyrdom.” Although most early Popes are called Martyrs by sources such as the Liber Pontificalis, Telesphorus is the first to whom St Irenaeus, writing in c 180, gives this title, thus making his Martyrdom the earliest attested Martyrdom of a Pope, after Saint Peter.
Eusebius (Church History iv.7; iv.14) places the beginning of his Pontificate in the twelfth year of the reign of Emperor Hadrian (128–129) and gives the date of his death as being in the first year of the reign of Antoninus Pius (138–139).
The Carmelites venerate Telesphorus as a Patron Saint of the Order since some sources depict him as a hermit living on Mount Carmel. The town of Saint-Télesphore, in the southwestern part of Canada’s Quebec Province, is named after him.
St Kiara St Lomer of Corbion Bl Marcelina Darowska Bl Paula of Tuscany Bl Pietro Bonilli St Simeon Stylites St Syncletica St Talida of Antinoë
Martyrs of Africa – 14 Saints: A group of Christians Martyred together in Africa, date unknown, exact location unknown. We know nothing more than their names – Acutus, Anastasia, Candidus, Coelifloria, Felix, Honorius, Januaria, Jucundus, Lucianus, Marcus, Petrus, Secundus, Severus and Telesphorus.
Martyrs of Sais: A group of Christians Martyred for their faith, but about whom no details have survived. They were Martyred by drowning near Sais, Egypt.
Martyrs of Upper Egypt: There were many Martyrs who suffered in the persecutions of Diocletian in the Thebaid region. Though we know these atrocities occurred, to the point that witnesses claim the torturers and executioners were exhausted by the work, we do not know the names of the saints and we honour them as a group. Many were beheaded and or burned alive in 303 in Upper Egypt.