Thought for the Day – 22 February – The Early Hours of the Day

Thought for the Day – 22 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Early Hours of the Day

If possible, it is desirable to begin the day by visiting Jesus.
He is always in the Tabernacle, waiting patiently and lovingly for us to visit Him.
Why could we not spend at least one half-hour with Him?
There are twenty four hours in the day.
Must we spend them in sleep, work, amusements and conversation without ever pausing to speak with Jesus?

What about Mass and Holy Communion?
It is true that we are not obliged to go to Mass on weekdays, nor have we a strict obligation to receive Holy Communion, except during the Paschal period.
But a genuine Catholic should not be satisfied with doing only what is commanded under pain of mortal sin.
He should love Jesus so much that he will experience an urgent need of communication with Him.
He should be ready to sacrifice a little of his early morning sleep, for the purpose of receiving Jesus in Holy Communion – if he is so blessed as to be near an early morning Mass.
Never forget (and pray for them) that there are thousands, perhaps millions who are deprived of this great grace of living near a Church!
There is no surer way of being able to resist the temptations of the day and of acquiring peace of spirit.
The practice of daily Communion can transform a man’s life.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci



Quote/s of the Day – 22 February – Ash Wednesday

Quote/s of the Day – 22 February – Ash Wednesday – Joel 2:12-19, Matthew 6:16-21 – Scripture search here:

“… Behold, now is the acceptable time.
behold, now is the day of salvation (2
Cor 6).
And so, you must be more earnest
in prayer and in alms-giving,
in fasting and in watching.
He that until now has given alms,
in these days let him give more –
for as water quencheth a flaming fire,
so does almsgiving wipe out sin (Eccles 3:3).
He that, until now, fasted and prayed,
let him fast and pray still more –
for there are certain sins which are not cast out,
except by prayer and fasting
(Mc 27:20).”

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

He need not fear anything,
nor be ashamed of anything,
who bears the Sign of the Cross
on his brow.

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Fasting is the soul of prayer,
mercy is the lifeblood of fasting.
Let no-one try to separate them,
they cannot be separated.
If you have only one of them,
or not all together,
you have nothing!
So if you pray, fast;
if you fast, show mercy;
if you want your petition to be heard,
hear the petition of others.
If you do not close your ear to others,
you open God’s ear to yourself.

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“Fasting, when rightly practised,
lifts the mind to God
and mortifies the flesh.
It makes virtue easy to attain
and increases our merits

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENT 2023, QUOTES on FASTING, The HEART

Ash Wednesday – 22 February – ‘… THE FIRST CONDITION is that we must fast with our whole heart …’

Ash Wednesday – 22 February – Our Lenten Journey Begins with St Francis de Sales – Joel 2:12-19, Matthew 6:16-21 – Scripture search here:

Return to Me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning;
rend your hearts, not your garments
and return to the Lord, your God
Joel 2:12-13

But you, when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not be seen fasting by men …

Matthew 6:17-18.

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor Caritas

THESE FIRST FOUR DAYS of the holy season of Lent serve as a preface to indicate the preparation which we ought to make, in order to spend Lent well and to dispose ourselves to fast well. … It will be very helpful to state clearly, what must be done to fast well these forty days. … Now, among all the conditions required for fasting well, I will select three principal ones …

THE FIRST CONDITION is that we must fast with our whole heart, that is to say, willingly, whole-heartedly universally and entirely. If I recount St Bernard’s words regarding fasting, you will know, not only why it is instituted but also, how it ought to be kept.

He says that fasting was instituted by Our Lord, as a remedy for our mouth, for our gourmandising and for our gluttony. Since sin entered the world through the mouth, the mouth must do penance by being deprived of foods prohibited and forbidden by the Church, abstaining from them for the space of forty days. But this glorious Saint adds that, as it is not our mouth alone which has sinned but also all our other senses, our fast must be general, entire, that is, all the members of our body must fast. For if we have offended God through the eyes, through the ears, through the tongue and through our other senses, why should we not make them fast as well? And not only must we make the bodily senses fast but also the soul’s powers and passions – yes, even the understanding, the memory and the will, since we have sinned through both the body and spirit.” – (Excerpt from the Sermon given for Ash Wednesday on 9 February 1622).

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING

One Minute Reflection – 22 February – ‘ … What the sun is to the day, almsgiving is to our fast …’

One Minute Reflection – 22 February – Ash Wednesday – Joel 2:12-19, Matthew 6:16-21 – Scripture search here:

But you, when you fast…” – Matthew 6:17..

REFLECTION – “My dear brethren, today we set out on the great Lenten journey. So let us take our food and drink along in our boat, putting into the chest, the abundant mercy we shall need. For our fasting is a hungry one, our fasting is a thirsty one, if it is not sustained by goodness and refreshed by mercy. Our fasting will be cold, our fasting will flag, if the fleece of almsgiving does not clothe it, if the garment of compassion, does not wrap it around.

Brethren, what Spring is for the land, mercy is for fasting – the soft, Spring winds, cause all the buds on the plains to flower – the mercy of our fast causes all our seeds to grow until they blossom and bear fruit, for the heavenly harvest. What oil is to the lamp, goodness is to our fast. As the oily fat sets the lamp alight and, in spite of so little to feed it, keeps it burning, to our comfort, all night long, so goodness makes our fasting shine: it casts its beams until it reaches the full brightness of self-restraint. What the sun is to the day, almsgiving is to our fast – the sun’s splendour increases the light of day, breaking through the dullness of the clouds – almsgiving, together with fasting, sanctifies its holiness and, thanks to the light of goodness, dispels from our desires anything that could petrify.

In short, what the body is for the soul, generosity acts similarly for the fast: when the soul leaves the body it brings about death; if generosity abandons the fast, it is, its death!” – St Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, “Doctor of Sermons” Father and Doctor of the Church (From Sermon 8).

PRAYER – Grant, O Lord, that Thy faithful people may, with true piety, undertake the time-honoured custom of fasting and may carry it out with unwavering devotion. 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).

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HYMNS, LENT, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 22 February – The Glory of These Forty Day

Our Morning Offering – 22 February – Ash Wednesday

The Glory of These Forty Days
By St Gregory the Great (540-604)
Pope, Father and Doctor of the Church

The glory of these forty days
we celebrate with songs of praise,
for Christ, by Whom all things were made,
Himself has fasted and has prayed.

Alone and fasting Moses saw
the loving God Who gave the law.
And to Elijah, fasting, came
the steed and chariots of flame.

So Daniel trained his mystic sight,
delivered from the lion’s might.
And John, the Saviour’s friend, became
the herald of Messiah’s Name.

Then grant, O God, that we may, too,
return in fast and prayer to Thee.
Our spirits strengthen with Thy grace
and give us joy to see Thine Face.

( Translator: Maurice F Bell 1862-1947)

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 22 February – Saint Maximian of Ravenna (499-556) Bishop

Saint of the Day – 22 February – Saint Maximian of Ravenna (499-556) Archbishop of Ravenna, Italy, completor of the immensely renowned Basilica of St Vitalis and many more Churches. He was a man of creative talents who ordered the creation of many renowned and very beautiful artworks of various types, for his See, as well as, a great lover of Books and literature, ensuring the acquisition of many illuminated manuscripts. Maximian may have been the first Latin Bishop to use the title ‘Archbishop.’ Born in 499 in Pola, Istria (modern Pula, Croatia) and died at Ravenna, Italy in 556 of natural causes. Also known as – Maximianus.

The Roman Martyrology reads: “At Ravenna in Emilia, Saint Maximian, a Bishop, who faithfully fulfilled his pastoral office, fought against heretics and beautified the buildings of his See.”

Born in the Istrian City of Pula (Croatia), Maximian was Consecrated Bishop of Ravenna in 546 by Pope Vigilius in Patras, Greece. Maximianus was a forty-eight year old Deacon when he became the twenty sixth Bishop of Ravenna.

According to the ninth Century Ravennate Priest, Andreas Agnellus, Maximian’s flock initially refused his leadership because he was selected by the Emperor Justinian and was not their initial candidate.

He completed the renowned Basilica of St Vitalis in Ravenna and also built St Apollinare in Classe and several other Churches.

St Vitalis Basilica

Maximian devoted himself too, to the updating of Liturgical books and to the authoritative corrections of the Latin text of Sacred Scriptures and commissioned a large number of illuminated manuscripts.

For the High Altar at Ravenna, he had a hanging made of the most costly cloth, which was embroidered with a portrayal of the entire life of Jesus. In another hanging he had portraits of all his predecessors embroidered on gold ground.

Maximian’s most remarkable Episcopal furnishing is the Bishop’s Cathedra, now known as the Throne of Maximian. The Cathedra is constructed entirely of ivory panels. It was probably carved in Constantinople and shipped to Ravenna. It consists of decorative floral panels framing various figured panels, including one with the complex monogram of the Bishop.

In the world famous Mosaic at Ravenna, Saint Maximian (named above the figure) is shown leading a procession with Emperor Justinian. The Saint holds a Cross and wears a chasuble and stole.

We have no firm knowledge of where St Maximian’s Relics lie but presume they are in St Vitalis Basilica. There is another Church dedicated to him in Ravenna.

Emperor Justinian and his retinue, St Maximian on his left.

Ash Wednesday, The Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch, Notre-Dame de Rennes / Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, Rennes, France (1357) and Memorials of the Saints – 22 February

Ash Wednesday +2023Obligatory FAST and ABSTINENCE

The Chair of Saint Peter at Antioch – where the disciples were first entitled “Christians.” The Chair/Throne or Cathedra itself is a relic conserved in St Peter’s Basilica although it seems not to be the original Chair.

Notre-Dame de Rennes / Our Lady of Miracles and Virtues, Rennes, France (1357) – 22 February:

St Ailius of Alexandria
St Angelus Portasole
St Aristion of Salamis
St Athanasius of Nicomedia
St Baradates of Cyrrhus

Blessed Diego Carvalho SJ (1578-1624) Priest and Martyr of the Society of Jesus, Missionary to Japan. Patronage Japanese miners. Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Blessed Pius IX.
His Life and Death:

St Elwin
St John the Saxon
St Limnaes

St Maximian of Ravenna (499-556) Bishop
Bl Mohammed Abdalla
St Papias of Heirapolis
St Paschasius of Vienne
St Raynerius of Beaulieu
St Thalassius

Martyrs of Arabia – A memorial for all the unnamed Christians Martyred in the desert and mountainous areas south of the Dead Sea during the persecutions of Emperor Valerius Maximianus Galerius.