Thought for the Day – 4 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Ora et labora” – Work and Sanctity
“Everyone imagines that there are innumerable problems in the world to be solved. As a matter of fact, there are but they can all be reduced to one in the end – the problem of sanctity. If we were all saints, or at any rate sincerely trying to put into practice the maxims of the Gospel – all the other questions would be answered.
For a Christian, work should mean the employment of his bodily and spiritual energies for the glory of God, for his own benefit and for the common good. He can work to earn his daily bread, for personal satisfaction, for the advancement of science, art, or society. These are all good motives. But the Christian must also have a higher motive. Even as he is living for eternity, so must he work for eternity. He must realise that God will admit us to Heaven if we have worked for love of Him and in union with Him. Like everything else in our lives, work must be raised to a supernatural level. We must work patiently because it is our duty and the will of God. In this way, we shall make use of the talents which God has given us, not only for our own benefit but also, as a means of helping so many of our fellowmen, who are dependent on us.
Then work will be something other besides an expenditure of energy and an atonement for our sins. It will be a pleasure because we shall know that God is counting every moment of sacrifice which we are willingly enduring for His sake.”
Quote/s of the Day – 4 February – St Andrew Corsini O.Carm (1302-1373) Bishop, Confessor – Sirach 44:16-27; 45:3-20, Matthew 25:14-23 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“And he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more.
“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
“For the man who is kindly, modest, merciful and just, will not keep his good works to himself but will see to it that these admirable fountains, send out their streams, for the good of others. Again, the man who is clean of heart, a peacemaker and ardent for truth, will order his life, so as to contribute to the common good.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) 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,
“Whatever He receives on earth, He returns in Heaven.”
St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)
“O God, grant that whatever good things I have, I may share generously with those who have not and whatever good things, I do not have, I may request humbly, from those who do.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus
“I have not been faithful, nor have I traded with the talent Thou entrusted to me, the priceless treasure of the Christian faith … O Truth, Thou hast justice and equity as Thine inseparable judges… Woe to me if, when I come before Thee, I lack an advocate to plead my cause. O Love, come forward on my behalf, answer for me, sue for my pardon. If Thou pleads my cause, I know I still have hope of life!”
One Minute Reflection – 4 February – St Andrew Corsini O.Carm (1302-1373) Bishop, Confessor – Sirach 44:16-27; 45:3-20, Matthew 25:14-23 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one—to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately …” – Matthew 25:15
REFLECTION – “The man who is the landowner is actually the Creator and Lord of all. The Word compares the time the landowner spends away from home, in the parable, to either the Ascension of Christ into Heaven, or, at any rate, to the unseen and invisible character of the Divine Nature. Now, one must conceive of the property of God, as those in each country and city who believe in Him. He calls His servants, those who, according to the times, Christ crowns with the glory of the Priesthood. For the holy Paul writes, “No-one takes this honour upon himself; he must be called by God.”
He hands over [His property] to those who are under Him, to each giving a spiritual gift, so that he might have character and aptitude. We think that this distribution of the talents, is not supplied to the household servants in equal measure because, each is quite different from the other, in their understanding. Immediately they head out for their labours, He says, directly, indicating to us here, that apart from the procrastination of one, they are fit to carry out the work of God.
Surely those who are bound by fear and laziness will evolve into the worst evils. For he buried, Jesus says, the talent given to him, in the earth. He kept the gift hidden, making it unprofitable for others and useless for himself. For that very reason, the talent is taken away from him and will be given to the one who is already rich. The Spirit has departed from such as these and the gift of the Divine gifts. But to those who are industrious, an even more lavish gift will be presented.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Archbishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church (Fragment 283)
PRAYER – O God, Who establishes ever new examples of virtue in Thy Church, grant that Thy people may follow the footsteps of blessed Andrew, Thy Confessor and Bishop, so that they may also obtain his reward. Through 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 – 4 February – Mary’s Satuirday
Make Me Like Yourself, Mary My Mother By St Louis-Marie de Montfort (1673-1716)
My powerful Queen, you are all mine, through your mercy and I am all yours. Take away from me, all that may displease God and cultivate in me, all that is pleasing to Him. May the light of your faith, dispel the darkness of my mind, your deep humility, take the place of my pride, your continual sight of God, fill my memory, with His Presence. May the love of your heart inflame the lukewarmness, of mine. May your virtues, take the place of my sins. May your merits, be my enrichment and make up for all which is wanting in me, before God. My beloved Mother, grant that I may have, no other spirit but your spirit, to know Jesus Christ and His Divine Will and to praise and glorify the Lord, that I may love God, with burning love like yours. Amen
Saint of the Day – 4 February – Saint Aventinus of Troyes (Died c538) Priest, Almoner and Administrator of the funds for the See of Troyes, Hermit, Miracle-worker., gifted with a great affinity with animals, who came to him for help when sick or hurt. Born in Bourges, France and died in c538 of natural causes. Patronages – headaches, nervous disorders, of sick animals, of Saint Aventin sous Verrières and the Town of Creney, France. Also known as – Aventin, Aventine.
In the heart of ancient Gaul (today’s France), in the second half of the fifth century, Saint Aventinus was born, probably in Bourges. From the few documents which have come down to us, we know that his parents belonged to the middle class and were very religious. According to tradition, Christianity in those lands already spread in the third century. The sound moral and Christian principles of the parents would form the basis of his holiness – from an early age, Aventinus was held up as a model.
As a teenager, he began to wonder about the purpose of his life. He wanted to visit the most famous holy manof that region, the Bishop St Lupus of Troyes who, in the year 451 had saved the city from the invasion of Attila the Hun, by offering himself as a hostage. The elderly prelate was not slow to see sincere Christian virtues in the young man and desiring to see them brought to fruition for the glory of the Lord and the Church and so, St Lupo kept him with him as a disciple and assistant. It was the happy meeting of two true men of God.
Aventinus distinguished himself by the humility and zeal with which he carried out the work; constant in the practices of piety, he was growing internally. He had as an example a Saint who continually turned his attentions to him. The virtue that shone most in him was charity towards others. Slavery of foreign prisoners of war was widespread in those days – St Lupus and Aventinus did not remain indifferent to the children of God who were treated like beasts. They ransomed as many as they could, collecting alms for this purpose. Given their freedom, they worried about their spiritual health, often helping them to approach the Sacraments. St Luuso died in 479 and was succeeded by St Camelianus, who, knowing well the virtues of Aventinus, made him Steward, with ample power to manage alms.
God only knows how widespread poverty was and Aventinus’ attention to the poor was never limited to material aid. He aroused amazement at the miraculous way the Bishop’s finances could cope with so many expenses, there was something supernatural at work. Aventinus fame went on spreading but he, keeping faith with his humility and with the deep regret of the Bishop, decided to retire.
He was welcomed into a hermitage with the will to sanctify himself by living in solitude. Although he was not inclined to lead, he was soon elected Superior of the community. Precious was his example and the retreat became a school of perfection. That place was later named after him.
While living withdrawn from the world, he could not help but think about the redemption of slaves. Among others, news reached him of a certain Fidolus, of rare virtues, perhaps already a cleric, originally from Auvergne, who had lost his freedom at the hands of Theodoric I, King of Austrasia. It was about the year 530. Aventinus ransomed him for twelve gold pieces. Fidolus’ happiness and gratitude was immense and he decided to join the holy community, which seemed a most natural development.
Meanwhile, Aventinus’ fame was spreading again among the people who often visited him. The tranquility of the brothers was compromised and Aventinus decided to leave. It was Fidolus himself who took over the position of Superior (he died with fame as a Saint on 16 May 540).
Aventinus withdrew to a solitary place along the Seine, about seven miles distant from Troyes. He had only brought with him some bread, legumes, a hoe and some seeds. He did not want to be a burden to anyone. Finally he had achieved the desired tranquility, dividing his time between prayer, work and penance. He slept little, wore a poor and rough dress, ate only three days a week.
A few years passed but even here he could not escape the admiration of the people, while not even the Bishop St Camelianus had forgotten about him. The latter, who also knew well of his knowledge of the Psalms and Sacred Scripture, conferred upon him Sacred Orders. The maturity of the years was crowned by the Priesthood. He lived peacefully the last period of his life celebrating Mass near his hut, for the benefit of the locals. Demanding with himself, he looked to the needs of his neighbour with his big heart, also curing those who were sick. His charity became legendary and it is said that even a bear knocked on his door one night. He lay down on the ground and held out a paw in which a thorn was stuck. The hermit assisted him by releasing the thorn and bandaging his wound.
He fell asleep in the peace of the Lord on 4 February of the year 538. Acclaimed Saint and Patron of those places he had lived, a few years later Bishop Vincent had a Church built in his honour, where he placed his precious Relics and in which he then wanted to be buried. Chapels and Churches were erected in his honour, even outside France. From time immemorial he has been particularly invoked against headaches and nervous diseases. Today, near Troyes, a Town has his name (Saint Aventin sous Verrières) and Creney venerates him as Patron.
St Aventinus, Hermit and Priest, is not to be confused with the Aventinus, the Saint Bishop of Chartres, who died in 520, also venerated on today, 4 February.
Among the many graces which the Lord grants through your intercession, glorious Saint Aventinus, frequent are the cures from headaches and other nervous diseases, of which you have been a singular protector since time immemorial. With all humility and trust I resort to your patronage and I ask you to obtain from the Supreme Giver of all good, health of mind and body so that I may serve God with greater fervour and attend to the duties of my state. I ask you, not only for freedom from headaches but also for the grace to live as a studious emulator of your examples, that I may one day attain eternal happiness, where faith guides me and hope invites me. Amen
Saint Aventinus of Troyes (Died c538) Hermit Bl Dionisio de Vilaregut St Donatus of Fossombrone St Eutychius of Rome St Filoromus of Alexandria St Firmus of Genoa Bl Frederick of Hallum St Gelasius of Fossombrone St Geminus of Fossombrone St Gilbert of Limerick (c 1070–1145) Bishop
St Rembert St Themoius St Theophilus the Penitent St Vincent of Troyes St Vulgis of Lobbes
Jesuit Martyrs of Japan: A collective memorial of all members of the Jesuits who have died as Martyrs for the faith in Japan.
Martyrs of Perga – 4 Saints: A group of shepherds Martyred in the persecutions of Decius. The only details we have about them are the names – Claudian, Conon, Diodorus and Papias. They were Martyred in c 250 in Perga, Asia Minor (in modern Turkey).
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