Thought for the Day – 6 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Religion and Devotion
“We must not be satisfied simply to carry out the acts of religion, however exactly. We must fulfil them with love. It is the spontaneous homage of the mind and the heart that God wants most of all. The body must also pay its tribute of subjection to its Creator but if the mind and heart are cold and distracted, this tribute is worthless. There is no religion without devotion. “This people honours me with their lips but their heart is far from me” (Mt 15:8; Mk 7:6). Consider this complaint of Our Lord. Let us earnestly examine our conduct. Religion is useless if it is not fed by the active fire of charity. Anyone who is content to go to Mass on Feast Days and stand in the Church silently and indifferently like a candlestick without a candle, is not a true and sincere Catholic. Religion must be deeply felt. It must be penetrated by devotion and charity. Only then will it inspire real Christian activity.”
Quote/s of the Day – 6 February – St Titus (Died c96) Bishop, Confessor
“Love one another as I have loved you”
“I have chosen you and have appointed you, that you should go and should bring forth fruit and your fruit should remain, says the Lord.”
“He wants you to become a living force for all mankind, lights shining in the world. You are to be radiant lights as you stand beside Christ, the Great Light, bathed in the glory of Him who is the Light of Heaven.”
St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Father & Doctor of the Church
“My children, eternal life is being offered to us, the Kingdom of Heaven is made ready and Christ’s inheritance awaits us … So let us run from now on with increased energy and above all you, lazy, recalcitrant, dull of heart, friends of murmuring who, unless you improve, are like the cursed fig tree. … Let us seek out the fight, bravely pour with our sweat, adorn ourselves with crowns, gain praises and gather up, like a treasure, “what eye has not seen and ear has not heard and what has not entered the human heart” (1 Cor 2:9).
“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have conquered the world.”
“Who will be crowned without having fought? Who will go to rest if he is not tired (cf. 2 Tim 2:5-6)? Who will gather the fruits of life without having planted virtues in his soul? Cultivate them, prepare the earth with the greatest care, take trouble over it, sweat over it, children, God’s workers, imitators of the Angels, competitors with incorporeal beings, lights for those who are in the world (cf. Phil 2:15)!”
One Minute Reflection – 6 February – “The Month of the Blessed Trinitys” – St Titus (Died c96) Bishop, Confessor – Ecclesiasticus 44:16-27; 45:3-20, Luke 10:1-9 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“At that time, the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them forth two-by-two, before Him into every town and place, where He, Himself, was about to come.” – Luke 10:1
REFLECTION – “Beloved brothers, our Lord and Saviour sometimes gives us instruction by Words and sometimes by Actions. His very Deeds are our commands and whenever He acts silently, He is teaching us what we should do. For example, He sends His disciples out to preach, two-by-two because the precept of charity is twofold—love of God and of one’s neighbour.
The Lord sends His disciples out to preach in twos, in order to teach us, silently, that whoever fails in charity toward his neighbour, should by no means take upon himself the office of preaching.
Rightly is it said, that He sent them ahead of Him into every city and place, where He ,Himself was to go. For the Lord follows after the preachers because preaching goes ahead to prepare the way and then, when the words of exhortation have gone ahead and established Truth in our minds, the Lord comes to live within us. To those who preach ,Isaiah says: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God. And the psalmist tells them: Make a way for Him who rises above the sunset. The Lord rises above the sunset because, from that very place where He slept in death, He rose again and manifested a greater glory. He rises above the sunset because, in His Resurrection, He trampled underfoot the death, which He endured. Therefore, we make a way for Him who rises above the sunset ,when we preach His glory to you, so that when He, Himself follows after us, He may illumine you with His Love.
Let us listen now to His words as He sends His preachers forth: The harvest is great but the labourers are few. Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into His harvest. That the harvest is good but the labourers are few cannot be said without a heavy heart, for although there are many to hear the good news there are only a few to preach it. Indeed, see how full the world is of Priests but yet, in God’s harvest, a true labourer is rarely to be found;,although we have accepted the Priestly office, we do not fulfil its demands!
Think over, my beloved brothers, think over His Words: Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into His harvest. Pray for us, so that we may be able to labour worthily on your behalf, that our tongue may not grow weary of exhortation, that after we have taken up the office of preaching, our silence may not bring us condemnation from the Just Judge! ” – St Gregory the Great (540-604) Pope, Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from his Homily 17, On the Gospels).
PRAYER – O God, Who adorned blessed Titus, Thy Confessor and Bishop, with the virtues of an apostle, grant, through his merits and intercession that by living justly and piously in this world, we may be found worthy to enter Heaven. 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 – 6 February – St Titus (Died c96) Bishop, Confessor
O Fathers of Our Ancient Faith
O Fathers of our ancient faith, With all the heav’n, we sing your fame Whose sound went forth in all the earth To tell of Christ and bless His Name.
You took the Gospel to the poor, The Word of God alight in you, Which in our day is told again, That timeless Word, forever new.
You told of God, Who died for us And out of death triumphant rose, Who gave the Truth which made us free and changeless through the ages goes.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Whose gift is faith that never dies, A light in darkness now, until The Day-Star in our hearts arise.
O Fathers of Our Ancient Faith is written by the Benedictine Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey. In the Divine Office it is sung at Morning Prayer in the Common of Apostles. It is set to the anonymous tune associated with the 7th century Latin hymn, Creator Alme Siderum.
Saint of the Day – 6 February – St Titus (Died c96) Bishop, Confessor, Disciple of St Paul, Missionary, Peacemaker, Teacher, Administrator, Friend – Patron of Crete.
Saint Titus, Bishop and Confessor From the Liturgical Year, 1904
We are to celebrate today, the Feast of a holy Bishop of the Apostolic Age–a Disciple of the Apostle St Paul. Little is known of his life but, by addressing to him, one of his inspired Epistles, the Apostle of the Gentiles has immortalised his memory. Wheresoever the Faith of Christ has been or shall be preached, Titus’ name has been venerated by the Faithful and, as long as the world lasts, the holy Church will read to her children, this Epistle, which was written, indeed, to a simple Bishop of the Isle of Crete but was dictated by the Holy Ghost and, therefore, destined to be a part of those Sacred Scriptures, which contain the Word of God. The counsels and directions given in this admirable Letter, were the rule of the holy Bishop, for whom St Paul entertained a very strong affection. St Titus had the honour of establishing the Christian Religion in that famous Island, which was one of the strongholds of Paganism. He survived his master, who was put to death by Nero. Like St John, he sweetly slept in Christ at a very advanced age, respected and loved by the Church he had founded. As we have already observed, his life left but few traces behind it; but these few are sufficient, to prove him to have been, one of those wonderful men, whom God chose as the directors of His infant Church.
Titus, Bishop of Crete, was initiated into the Christian faith by Paul the Apostle and being prepared by the Sacraments, he shed so bright a light of sanctity on the infant Church that he merited to be chosen as one of the Disciples of the Doctor of the Gentiles. Being called to bear the burden of preaching the Gospel, so ardent and persevering was he, in the discharge of that duty that he endeared himself to St Pau,l so much, as to make the Apostle say in one of his Epistles that being come to Troas, to preach the Faith in that City, he found no rest for his heart because he found not there his brother Titus. And having, a short time after this, gone to Macedonia, he thus expresses his affection for his disciple in these terms -“ But God who comforteth the humble, comforted us by the coming of Titus.”
Being sent to Corinth by the Apostle, he acquitted himself in this mission (which mainly consisted in collecting the alms, given by the piety of the faithful, towards alleviating the distress of the Hebrew Church) with so much prudence and patience that he not only confirmed the Corinthians in the Faith of Christ but made them so desirous of a visit from Paul, who had been their first teacher in the faith that they shed tears of longing affection.
After having undertaken several journeys both by sea and land, in order to sow the seed of the Divine Word among people of various tongues and Countries and, after having supported, with great firmness of soul, countless anxieties and fatigues, in order to plant the standard of the Cross – he landed at the Island of Crete, in company with his master, St Paul. The Apostle made him Bishop of the Church which he had founded in that Island and it is not to be doubted but that Titus so discharged his duty, as that he became a model to the Faithful, according to the advice given to him by his master, in good works, in doctrine, in integrity, in gravity.
Thus did he become a shining light, pouring forth the rays of the Christian Faith on them that were sitting in the darkness of idolatry and lies, as in the shadow of death. Tradition tells us that he passed into Dalmatia, where he laboured with extraordinary zeal to enlist that people under the Banner of the Cross.
At length, full of days and merit, in the ninety-fourth year of his age, he slept in the Lord, the death of the just, on the vigil of the nones of January (4 January) and was buried in the Church in which the Apostle had appointed him Minister of the Word. St John Chrysostom and St Jerome pass great eulogium upon this holy Bishop and his name is inscribed in the Roman Martyrology on the day abovementioned but in establishing his Feast to be celebrated, with an Office and Mass, throughout the Catholic world, by the Clergy secular and regular, the Sovereign Pontiff Pius the Ninth ordered it to be kept on the first vacant day following the anniversary of the Saint’s death, which is today, 6 February.
Saint Pedro Bautista Blásquez y Blásquez OFM (1542-1597) Priest Martyr and the 26 Martyrs of Japan – Died by Crucifixion on 5 February 1597. Canonised on 8 June 1862 by Pope Pius IX.
St Amand of Moissac St Amand of Nantes St Andrew of Elnone Bl Angelus of Furci St Antholian of Auvergne St Brinolfo Algotsson Cassius of Auvergne Bl Diego de Azevedo St Ethelburga of Wessex Bl Francesca of Gubbio St Gerald of Ostia St Gonsalo Garcia OFM St Guarinus St Guethenoc St Hildegund St Ina of Wessex St Jacut St Liminius of Auvergne St Maximus of Aurvergne St Mel of Ardagh St Melchu of Armagh St Mun of Lough Ree St Relindis of Eyck St Revocata St Saturninus St Tanco of Werden St Theophilus St Theophilus the Lawyer
St Vaast of Arras (c 453-539 or 540) Bishop – The First Bishop of Arras, France , Hermit, Ascetic, Miracle-worker, Advisor to King Clovis. The Roman Martyrology reads: “In Arras in Belgian Gaul, today in France, Saint Vedastus, Bishop, who, sent by Saint Remigius Bishop of Rheims to the devastated City, catechised King Clovis, re-established the Church and held it for about forty years and brought to an end, the need of work for evangelisation among the previously still pagan peoples of the region.” St Vaast is another Patron of eye diseases, problems and blindness. Biography: https://anastpaul.com/2022/02/06/saint-of-the-day-6-february-saint-vaast-of-arras-c-453-539-or-540/
St Victorinus of Auvergne
Martyrs of Emesa: St Luke the Deacon St Mucius the Lector
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