Thought for the Day – 8 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Apostolate of Suffering
“Suffering has a still further purpose. Besides bearing the role of an apostolate in our own lives, it can also be an apostolate for others, We can offer our sufferings and sorrows to God, not only for our own spiritual advancement but, also for the expiation of the sins of the human race, for our enemies, for the persecutors of the Church (especially those within the Church!) and for all the other suffering members of the Mystical Body of Christ. In this way, we can accomplish great good and can acquire great merit before God.
As a result of our offering, who knows how many hearts, hardened in sin, or how many souls forgetful of Heaven, may be touched by the grace of God? Let us suffer with Jesus. He alone can ease our pain and make it meritorious.”
Quote/s of the Day – 8 January – The Holy Family – Sunday within the Octave of Epiphany – Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 2:42-52 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them.”
“So, taking Christ’s genealogy from Joseph – a husband in chastity, he was father in the same way. … Are you saying that he did not conceive Jesus through the operation of nature? Well then, what the Holy Spirit operated, He did for them both. For Joseph was “a just man,” Matthew tells us (1:19). Both husband and wife were just. The Holy Spirit dwelt within their mutual justice and gave each of them, a Son!”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
(Marriage and concupiscence 1,11; Sermon 51)
“God, to whom angels submit themselves and who principalities and powers obey, was subject to Mary and not only to Mary but Joseph atoo, for Mary’s sake [….]. God obeyed a human creature – this is humility without precedent. A human creature commands God; it is sublime beyond measure!”
St Bernard (1090-1153) Father and Doctor of the Church
O Gente Felix O House of Nazareth The Blest By Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)
O house of Nazareth the blest, Fair hostess of the Lord, The Church was nurtured at thy breast And shared thy scanty hoard.
In all the spreading lands of earth. The wandering sun may see No dearer spot, no ampler worth Than erst was found in thee!
We know thy humble tenement Was heaven’s hermitage: Celestial heralds came and went In endless embassage.
There, whatsoever Joseph asks Christ hastens to fulfil; While Mary loves the household tasks That wait her joyous will.
There, Joseph toileth at her side Her joys and griefs to share, With thousand ties knit to his bride, Of love and work and prayer.
Yet how their bosoms constant burn And deeper ardours prove In love of Christ, whose eyes return Tokens of mutual love.
O then, in all the homes of earth, Be Love the bond of life: May it enthrone at every hearth The peace that husheth strife.
All praise to thee, O Jesus, Who parents dost obey; Praise to the sovereign Father And Paraclete for aye. Amen.
One Minute Reflection – 8 January – The Holy Family – Sunday within the Octave of Epiphany – Colossians 3:12-17, Luke 2:42-52 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them.” – Luke 2:51
REFLECTION – “He was subject to them.” With these words let all pride dissolve, all rigidness crumble, all disobedience submit. “He was subject to them.” Who? In brief, He Who created all things from nothing; He Who, as Isaiah says, “has cupped in His Hand the waters of the sea and marked off the heavens with a span; Who has held in a measure the dust of the earth, weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance” (40:12). He Who, as Job says, “shakes the earth and the pillars beneath it tremble. He commands the sun and seals up the stars. He alone stretches out the heavens and treads upon the crests of the sea; He Who made the constellations; He does marvellous things beyond reckoning” (9:6-10)… This is He who, great and powerful though He be, was subject. And subject to whom? To a workman and a poor young maid.
O “First and Last”! (Apoc 1:17). O Leader of Angels, subject to men! The Creator of Heaven, subject to a workman; God of eternal glory, subject to a poor young maid! Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Has anyone heard such a thing before?
So no longer hesitate to obey or be submissive… Come down, come to Nazareth, be subject, obey perfectly: all Wisdom lies in this… This is what it means to be soberly wise. Simplicity that is pure, is “like the waters of Shiloah that flow silently” (Is 8:6). There are people of wisdom within religious orders but it is by means of simple men that God brought them there. God chose the foolish and weak, the lowly and ignorant to bring together those who were wise, powerful and of noble birth through them, “so that no human being might boast in itself” (cf 1 Cor 1:26-29) but in Him Who came down, Who came to Nazareth,and Who was subject!” – St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) Franciscan, Doctor of the Church (Sermons for Sundays and Feasts of the Saints).
PRAYER – O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Who while subject to Mary and Joseph, hallowed family life with virtues beyond description, grant us by their combined intercession, that, having been taught by the example of the Holy Family, we may attain unto their everlasting companionship. 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 – 8 January – Within the Octave of Epiphany
Of the Father’s Love Begotten (Excerpt) By Prudentius, Aurelius Clemens (c 348-c 413) Trans. J M Neale (1818-1866)
Of the Father’s love begotten Ere the world began to be, He is Alpha and Omega, He the Source, the Ending he, Of the things that are, that have been, And that future years shall see Evermore and evermore.
Blessed was the day forever, When the Virgin, full of grace, By the Holy Ghost conceiving, Bore the Saviour of our race And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer, First revealed His Sacred Face Evermore and evermore.
Glory be to God the Father, Glory be to God the Son Glory be the Holy Ghost, Persons Three, yet Godhead One, Glory be from all creation While eternal ages run, Evermore and evermore.
Saint of the Day – 8 January – Saint Severinus of Noricum (c 410-482) Abbot, Hermit, Missionary, established Monasteries and refuge centres for those stricken by war. Severinus was graced with the gifts of prophecy. and miracles. He is known as “The Apostle to Noricum” – Noricum is the Latin name for the Celtic kingdom or federation of tribes that included most of modern Austria and part of Slovenia. Born in c 410 and died on 8 January 482 at Favianae, Noricum of natural causes. Patronages – against famine, of linen weavers, prisoners, vineyards/vintners/wine farms, Austria, Bavaria, Germany, the Diocese of Linz, Austria. Also known as – Severrin, Severino.
The Roman Martyrology reads today: “This same day, among the inhabitants of Noricum (now Austria), the Abbot, St Severin, who preached the Gospel in that country and is called it’s apostle. By Divine Power, his body was carried to Lucullanum, near Naples and thence transferred to the Monastery of St Severin.”
Little is known of his origins. The source for information about him is the Commemoratorium Vitae St Severini (511) by Eugippius (c 460-c 535), who was a disciple of Severinus. In 511 Eugippius wrote to Paschasius and asked his venerated and dear friend, who had great literary skill, to write a biography of St Severinus from the accounts of the Saint which he (Eugippius) had put together in crude and unartistic form. Paschasius, however, replied that the acts and miracles of the Saint could not be described better than had done by Eugippius. This Vita is available online at: https://www.tertullian.org/fathers/severinus_02_text.htm
Severinus was a high-born Roman living as an Hermit in the East. He was an ascetic in practice. He is first recorded as travelling along the Danube in Noricum and Bavaria, preaching Christianity, procuring supplies for the starving, redeeming captives and establishing Monasteries at Passau and Favianae,
While the Western Empire was falling apart, Severinus, thanks to his virtues and organisational skills, committed himself to the religious and material care of the frontier peoples, also taking care of their military defence. He organised refugee camps, migrations to safer areas and food distribution.
Serverinus offered practical leadership, as well as spiritual leadership. He was a tireless preacher and a marvellous Miracle-worker – he miraculously multiplied food reserves, cured the sick, cast out devils, commanded the elements of nature and once even resurrected the dead.
The main theme of his teaching was the value of penance. It was a propitious choice. The sufferings of his people under the Germanic invasions were acute and, uniting them with Christ’s sufferings for the reparation of sin and the conversion of sinners, enabled them to find meaning and strength amid calamity. He also practiced what he preached. In his constant barefoot journeying throughout Austria and Bavaria, he ate only one meal a day and slept on a sack which he carried around with him, wherever he happened to find himself at bedtime.
His efforts seem to have won him wide respect, including that of the Germanic chieftain Odoacer. Eugippius credits him with the prediction that Odoacer would become king of Rome. However, Severinus warned that Odoacer would rule not more than fourteen years.
Severinus also prophesied the destruction of Asturis in Austria, by the Huns. When the people would not heed his warning, he took refuge in Comagena. There he established refugee centres for people displaced by the invasion and founded Monasteries to re-establish spirituality and preserve learning in the stricken region.
He died in his monastic cell at Favianae while singing Psalm 150. Six years after his death, his Monks were driven from their Abbey and his body was taken to Italy, where it was at first kept in the Castel dell’Ovo, Naples, then eventually interred at the Benedictine Monastery rededicated to him, the Abbey of San Severino in the City of Naples.
St Athelm of Canterbury St Atticus of Constantinople St Carterius of Caesarea Bl Edward Waterson St Ergnad of Ulster St Erhard of Regensburg St Eugenian of Autun St Garibaldus of Regensburg St Gudule of Brussels St Helladius St Julian of Beauvais St Lucian of Beauvais St Maximian of Beauvais St Maximus of Pavia Bl Nathalan of Aberdeen St Patiens of Metz St Pega of Peakirk
St Severinus of Noricum (c 410-482) Abbot, Hermit, Missionary, the “Apostle to Noricum” (Noricum is the Latin name for the Celtic kingdom or federation of tribes that included most of modern Austria and part of Slovenia.) St Theophilus the Martyr St Thorfinn St Wulsin of Sherborne
Martyrs of Greece – 9 Saints: A group of Christians honoured in Greece as Martyrs, but we have no details about their lives or deaths – Euctus, Flix, Januarius, Lucius, Palladius, Piscus, Rusticus, Secundus and Timotheus
Martyrs of Terni – 4 Saints: A group of Christian soldiers in the imperial Roman army. Executed during the persecutions of Emperor Claudius. Martyrs. – Carbonanus, Claudius, Planus and Tibudianus. They were martyred in 270 in Terni, Italy.
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