Thought for the Day – 16 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Forget the series of useless and often academic questions which the philosophers asked concerning the nature of friendship. Cicero’s definition, however, is worth recording because it is not far from the Christian concept of friendship. Friends, he says, are those who are united by a bond of affection and of agreement in matters of spiritual and human importance. True friendship is the result of a mysterious and mutual attraction between two persons, who grow to know, respect and love one another (De Amicitia VI).
Thus, friendship would be fleeting and even dangerous, if it were nourished by the body rather than by the soul. The soul is eternal. Therefore, its love is lasting and passes on into eternity. The body, like the flowers in the fields, is pleasing for a while, then fades and dies. St Augustine tells us, in his Confessions that he was passionately attached to a young man of his own age, who was blooming with the flower of adolescence. But he adds, immediately, that this was not a genuine friendship because it did not spring from the charity which the Spirit of God pours into our hearts (Confessions IV, 4:7). These so-called, particular friendships, should be avoided as dangerous and contrary to Christian teaching.”
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but only the one who does the will of My Father in Heaven.”
“God is Good but He is also Just… So do not underestimate God – His love for men should not become a pretext, for negligence on our part.”
St Basil the Great (329-379) Father and Doctor of the Church
“If we fail to live in the Light, we shall, to our condemnation and that of others, be veiling over and obscuring, by our infidelity, the Light men so desperately need. As we know from Scripture, the man who received the talent should have made it produce a heavenly profit but instead, he preferred to hide it away rather than put it to work and was punished as he deserved. Consequently, that brilliant Lamp which was lit for the sake of our salvation should always shine in us. For we have the lamp of the heavenly commandments and spiritual grace, to which David referred: Your law is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
St Chromatius of Aquileia (Died c 407) Bishop of Aquileia, Father of the Church
“When he has begun to follow Me, according to My teaching and precepts, he will find many people contradicting him and standing in his way, many who not only deride but even persecute him. Moreover, this is true, not only of pagans who are outside the Church but also of those, who seem to be in it visibly but are outside of it because of the perversity of their deeds. Although these glory, in merely the title of Christian, they continually persecute faithful Christians.”
One Minute Reflection – 16 January – Saint Pope Marcellus I (Died 309) – 1 Peter 5:1-4, 10-11, Matthew 16:13-19 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in Heaven and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in Heaven.” – Matthew 16:19
REFLECTION – “Bridegroom and Bride, that is Christ and the Church, are as one, be it in receiving confession or in bestowing absolution. All this makes clear why Christ had to tell each of us: “Go, show yourself to the priest” (Mt 8,4)… It follows that apart from Christ, the Church cannot grant forgiveness and that Christ has no will to forgive, apart from the Church. The Church’s authority to forgive extends only to the repentant, to those, that is, whom Christ has already touched; Christ, on His part, has no intention of regarding as forgiven, one who despises the Church.
Doubtless, Christ need accept no restraints to His power of Baptising, Consecrating the Eucharist, Ordaining Priests, forgiving sins and the like but, the humble and faithful Bridegroom, prefers to confer such blessings, with the co-operation of His Bride. “What God,” then, “has joined, let no man put asunder” (Mt 19,6). “I say this is a great mystery and refers to Christ and the Church” (Eph 5,32)… To remove the Head from the Body (Col 1,18) were to ruin the whole Christ, irreparably. Christ, apart from the Church, is no more the whole Christ, than the Church is complete, if separated from Christ. Head and Body go to make the whole and entire Christ.” – Bl Isaac of Stella (c 1100 – c 1170) Cistercian Monk, Abbot, Theologian, Philosopher (Sermon 11, §11-814).
PRAYER – O Lord, we beseech Thee, graciously hear the prayers of Thy people, that we may be helped by the merits of blessed Marcellus, Thy Pope and Martyr, whose sufferings we celebrate. 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).
Prayer to do the Will of God By St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)
Almighty, eternal, just and merciful God, grant us in our misery, the grace to do for You alone what we know You want us to do and always to desire, what pleases You. Thus, inwardly cleansed, interiorly enlightened and inflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, may we be able to follow in the footprints of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. And, by Your grace alone, may we make our way to You, Most High, Who live and rule in perfect Trinity and simple Unity and are glorified God all-powerful, forever and ever. Amen
Saint of the Day – 16 January – Saint Titian of Oderzo (Died 632) Bishop of Oderzo and Confessor, Defender of the True Faith against the heresy of the Arians, Miracle-worker. Born in Heraclea, Italy and died on 16 January 632 in Oderzo, Italy of natural causes. Patronages – the City and Diocese of Oderzo, Treviso, Italy and of the Diocese of Vittorio Veneto (which,until 1939, bore the ancient name of Ceneda) also in Italy. Also known as – Titian of Venice, Tiziano of Oderzo.
According to ancient tradition, Titian belonging to a wealthy and distinguished family, was born around the year 555: on the Island of Eraclea/Heraclea. In his adolescence, Titian was sent to Oderzo, for his education, where St Florian was Bishop and where the Cathedral school was highly regarded.
As he grew older, Titian felt his vocation to the Priesthood mature prompted by his inclination to put himself at the service of poor people but also by the examples of his teacher St Florian. The latter, in due course, was happy to Ordain him a Deacon and then a Priest. Having demonstrated an excellent pastoral preparation, Titian was entrusted with the task of Treasurer and was promoted to Archpriest of the Cathedral. In exercising these trusted duties, Titian found a new opportunity to exercise charity towards the poor, who were many.
St Florian, having renounced the Episcopate, desiring to become a missionary among the pagans, with the hope, moreover, of seizing the Palm of Martyrdom, the clergy and people found no person more worthy than Titian to succeed him as shepherd and guide. According to ancient tradition, he was the Bishop of Oderzo for about 25 years.
As the Bishop, Titian had to fight strenuously to protect his See from the Arians. As historians assure us, by the zealous protection of their Bishop Titian, the Diocese of Oderzo remained immune from yielding to the heresy.
The civil situation, in those days, was profoundly upset by the invasion of the Longobards, against whom, Bishop Titian protect his people. The Lombards did not occupy the City of Oderzo, which still remained, for more than a century, the stronghold of the Byzantine Empire of the Venices.
Titian, rich in virtues and merits, surrounded by fame as a miracle-worker, died on 16 January 632. His body was placed in a separate tomb in the Church of his City, where the people immediately flocked to venerate him as a Saint, recognising the great merits acquired during his lifetime and testifying to the many miracles obtained through his intercession.
The Heracleans for their part did not delay in claiming the relics but in vain, due to the strenuous opposition of the Opitergians. Fellow citizens and relatives of the Saintly Titian, who came one day to Oderzo from Eraclea, under the pretext of visiting his tomb, abducted his body when night fell and carried it off by boat. The locals, soon realising what had happened, gave chase to the robbers and caught up with them in the vicinity of the castle of Motta, where the Monticano flows into the Livenza.
At this point a beautiful miracle, so dear to the people devoted to St Titian occurred and is illustrated by the painter Pomponio Amalteo in five splendid panels (1530) is conserved in the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art. At the gates of the City. St Titian performed a great miracle, suddenly curing a young woman who had been seriously ill for a long time.
To solve the problem, after a fierce battle between the inhabitants of Oderzo and Eraclea, it was decided that St Titian’s Relics should be placed in a wagon pulled by oxen. Wherever the oxen stopped would be where the Relics would be housed. The oxen stopped at Ceneda and this is where the relics have remained to this day.
His Relics are now in the crypt of the Cathedral of Ceneda, in a bronze urn fashioned in neo-Byzantine style, in the form of a sarcophagus. He is depicted in various paintings in the Cathedrals of Oderzo and Ceneda and there are ten Parishes dedicated in his name
St Henry of Coquet St Honoratus of Arles St Honoratus of Fondi Bl James of Luino St James of Tarentaise Bl Joan of Bagno di Romagna Bl Konrad II of Mondsee St Leobazio St Liberata of Pavia St Melas of Rhinocolura St Otto of Morocco St Peter of Morocco St Priscilla of Rome St Sigeberht of East Anglia St Titian of Oderzo (Died 632) Bishop St Triverius St Valerius of Sorrento