Thought for the Day – 7 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Problem of Suffering
“Jesus is the Head of the Mystical Body of the Church and we are its members. We ought to suffer with submission and love, as He did. Rebellion increases and aggravates the pain. Resignation and love, on the other hand, lighten it, making it meritorious and even welcome. It is a consolation to suffer with Jesus. St Paul says: “I rejoice now in the sufferings I have for your sake and what is lacking of the sufferings of Christ, I fill up in my flesh, for His Body, which is the Church” (Col 1:24). In other words,the Passion of Christ demands our submissive and joyful co-operation in suffering along with Jesus.
The Acts says of the Apostles, “So they departed from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the Name of Jesus.” (Acts 5:41).
“So great is the reward which awaits me,” exclaims St Francis, “every suffering is pure joy to me!” He knew well, that the sorrows of this world are very tiny compared with the wonderful recompense which awaits us in Heaven. “The sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18).”
Quote/s of the Day – 7 January – Within the Octave of Epiphany
“If the Magi had come in search of an earthly King, they would have been disconcerted at finding that they had taken the trouble to come such a long way for nothing. Consequently, they would have neither adored, nor offered gifts. But since they sought a Heavenly King, although they found in Him, no signs of royal pre-eminence, yet, content with the testimony of the Star alone, they adored – for they saw a man and they acknowledged God!”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Although many kings of the Jews had been born and died, none of them did the Magi seek to adore. And so, they who came from a distant foreign land, to a kingdom which was entirely strange to them… But they had learnt that such a King was born that by adoring Him, they might be sure of obtaining from Him, the salvation which is of God.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“What are you doing, O Magi? Do you adore a little Babe, in a wretched hovel, wrapped in miserable rags? Can this Child be truly God? … Are you become foolish, O Wise Men … Yes, these Wise Men have become fools that they may be wise!”
St Bernard (1090-1153) Father and Doctor of the Church
One Minute Reflection – 7January – Within the Octave of Epiphany – Isaias 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Where is He Who is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and are come to adore Him.” – Matthew 2:2
REFLECTION – “All these things we know to have taken place ever since the three wise men, aroused in their far-off land, were led by a star to recognise and worship the King of Heaven and earth. The responsiveness of that star exhorts us to imitate it’s obedience and, as much as we can, to make ourselves servants of that grace which invites us all to Christ. For, whoever lives religiously and chastely in the Church and “sets his mind on the things which are above, not on the things that are upon the earth” (Col 3:2) resembles that heavenly light in a certain sense. So long as he maintains in himself the brightness of a holy life, he points out to many, like a star, the way that leads to God. All having this concern, dearly-beloved… you will shine in the Kingdom like children of Light.”… St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father & Doctor of the Church.
PRAYER – O God, Thou Who by the guidance of a star this day revealed Thy Only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we, who know Thee now by faith, may come to behold Thee in glory. 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 – 7 January – Within the Octave of Epiphany – “The Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus”
The Love of Your Name By Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471) The Imitation of Christ (Book 3 Ch 26:1-4)
My God, Sweetness beyond words, make bitter all the carnal comfort that draws me from love of the eternal and lures me to its evil self, by the sight of some delightful good in the present. Let it not overcome me, my God. Let not flesh and blood conquer me. Let not the world and its brief glory deceive me, nor the devil trip me by his craftiness. Give me courage to resist, patience to endure and constancy to persevere. Give me the soothing unction of Your spirit, rather than all the consolations of the world and in place of carnal love, infuse into me the love of Your Name. Amen
Saint of the Day – 7January – St Valentine of Passau (Died 475) Bishop in Passau in the Rhaetia region, Switzerland, an area in the border region of modern Italy, Austria and Switzerland, Monk, Abbot, Missionary, Hermit, Miracle-worker. Died on 7 January 475 at Mais, Tyrol, Austria of natural causes. Patronages – against convulsions, against cramps/stomach pain, against epilepsy, against gout, against plague/epidemics, against demonic possession, of cattle diseases, of pilgrims, poor people, City and Diocese of Passau. Also known as • Valentine of Mais • Valentine of Raetia • Valentine of Ratien • Valentine of Retie • Valentine of Rezia • Valentine of Rhaetia • Valentine of Rhétie • Valentin, Valentinus.Additional Memorial – 4 August (translation of relics), 29 October a combined Feast with the other Patrons of Passau, St Stephen, the Protomartyr and St Maximillian Martyr Bishop of Passau for 20 years, who died in c 284 (Feast day 12 October)..
According to tradition, Valentine came to Passau around 430; there the construction of the first Church on the site of today’s Cathedral is attributed to him.
Valentine had been sent by the Pope to preach the Gospel in the Passau. He found that his work was without fruit and returned to Rome to implore the Holy Father to send him elsewhere. But the Pope Consecrated him Bishop and sent him back to Passau, to preach in season and out of season, whether it produced fruit or not.
The Bishop renewed his efforts but the pagans and Arians combined to drive him out of the City. Thereupon, he went into the Rhætian Alps and his teaching produced abundant fruit in the region. His Vita states, St Valentine was “teaching the word of God and doing great good, such that he was able to expel demons from the obsessed and cure those who were sick of all sorts of diseases.”
At length he resolved to serve God and purify his own soul, in a life of retirement. He, therefore, built a little Chapel and Monastery at Mais, in Tyrol and there he died. His Relics are enshrined at Passau.
A Monk who died in 482 wrote a Vita of the Bishop of Raetia. St Venantius Fortunatus knew of a Church dedicated to Saint Valentine in the Upper Inn Valley and another, probably on the Brenner Pass in the Alps.
Around 1200, on the occasion of the discovery of his grave in the forecourt of Passau Cathedral, a life story was written by an Cathedral Chaplain – who said that Valentin worked in the area around Passau but was unsuccessful because of the wildness of the residents and finally retreated to the Alps after abuse and expulsion.
Below is a Painting by Franz de Neve “The Cures Wrought by Saint Valentine and the Beheading of St Maximilian” (after 1689) which resides in the Cathedral of St Stephen, Passau. In the foreground, St Valentine cures the sick. The beheading of St Maximilian is barely visible in the left edge of the background.
Bl Albert of Siena St Aldric of Le Mans Bl Ambrose Fernandez St Anastasius of Sens St Brannock of Braunton St Candida of Greece St Canute Lavard St Cedd St Clerus of Antioch St Crispin I of Pavia St Cronan Beg St Emilian of Saujon St Felix of Heraclea St Giuliano of Gozzano (c 350-c 391) Deacon, Missionary St Januarius of Heraclea St Julian of Cagliari St Kentigerna St Lucian of Antioch
St Pallada of Greece St Polyeuctus of Melitene St Reinhold of Cologne St Spolicostus of Greece St Theodore of Egypt St Tillo of Solignac St Valentine of Passau (Died 475) Bishop St Virginia of Ste-Verge Bl Wittikund of Westphalia