Thought for the Day – 27 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Fervour and Tepidity
“Our Lord does not command us to be merely virtuous. He commands us to be perfect. “You, therefore, are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). He tells us to love Him with our whole heart and our whole soul. “Thou shalt love the Lord th God, with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul” (Mt 22:37). He orders us to renounce everything rather than offend Him, (Lk 14:33) even to pluck out an eye or cut off a hand or foot, if it should present an obstacle to our eternal salvation (Mt 18:81).
How can we remain unmoved and inactive in the face of these exhortations? The grace of perfection to which Our Lord calls us, cannot be reached without His grace which we can only obtain by fervent and unceasing prayer. Fervour is the animating principle of the spiritual life. It wins God’s gifts for us and makes us almost immune from sin.”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 February – Monday of the First Week in Lent – The Memorial of St Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows/Gabriel Possenti CP (1838-1862)
“By sin, O Jesus, I gave Thee Thy Death but I do not despair of Thy Forgiveness. Those Scourges call me, those Arms extended invite me that injured Heart offers me a secure shelter.”
“I will attempt, day by day, to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s Holy Will, not my own.”
“Do not bestow your love on the world!”
“Love Mary!… She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her. She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you, embraces you and consoles and serves you. She will even be at hand, to accompany you on the trip to eternity.”
(From a letter to his brother).
St Gabriel Francis Possenti of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862)
Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 27 February – Monday of the First Week in Lent – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“My son, when you come to serve God, prepare your sould for temptation.” Ecclus. Sirach 2:1
“Then the devil left Him and behold, Angels came and ministered to Him.” Matthew 4:11
THESE FORTY DAYS … St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“I DOUBT NOT that many prefer the end of today’s Gospel (Mt 4:1-11) to its beginning. It is said there that after Our Lord had overcome His enemy and rejected his temptations, Angels came and brought Him heavenly food. What joy to find oneself with the Saviour at this delicious feast! My dear friends, we shall never be capable of keeping company with Him in His consolations, nor be invited to His Heavenly banquet, if we are not sharers of His labours and sufferings (2 Cor 1:7). He fasted for forty days but the Angels brought Him something to eat only at the end of that time.
These forty days, … symbolise the life of the Christian – of each one of us! Let us then desire these consolations only at the end of our lives and let us busy ourselves in steadfast resistance to the frontal attacks of our enemies. For whether we desire it or not, we shall be tempted. If we do not struggle, we shall not be victorious, nor shall we merit the crown of immortal glory which God has prepared for those of us, who are victorious and triumphant! Let us fear, neither the temptations nor the tempter, for if we make use of the Shield of Faith and the Armour of Truth, they will have no power whatsoever, over us.
… Let us also shun both spiritual avarice and the ambition which occasions so much disorder in our hearts and so greatly impedes our perfection. The noonday devil will be powerless in causing us to fail in our firm and steadfast resolution, to serve God generously and as perfectly as possible, in this life, so that after this life, we shall go to enjoy Him forever. May He be blessed ! Amen.” – (Extract-Sermon 1st Sunday of Lent – 13 February 1622).
One Minute Reflection – 27 February – Monday of the First Week in Lent – 1 John 2:14-17, Mark 10:13-21 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“One thing is lacking to thee; go, sell whatever thou has and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven and come, follow Me.” – Mark 10:21
REFLECTION – “Blessed is the poor man who cried and whom the Lord heard. Blessed is the man poor in offence. Blessed is the man poor in vices. Blessed is the poor man, in whom the prince of this world finds nothing. Blessed is the poor man who, is like that Poor Man Who, although He was rich, became poor for our sake. Matthew fully revealed this when he said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” One poor in spirit is not puffed up, is not exalted in the mind of his own flesh. This Beatitude is first, when I have laid aside every sin and I have taken off all malice and I am content with simplicity, destitute of evils. All that remains is that I regulate my conduct. For what good does it do me to lack worldly goods, unless I am meek and gentle?
Although there are many charms of delights in riches, yet there are more incentives to practice virtues. Although virtue does not require assistance and the contribution of the poor person, is more commended, than the generosity of the rich, yet with the authority of the heavenly saying, He condemns, not those who have riches but those who do not know how to use them. The pauper is more praiseworthy who gives with eager compassion and is not restrained, by the bolts of looming scarcity. He thinks that he who has enough for nature, does not lack. So the rich person is the more guilty, who does not give thanks to God, for what he has received but vainly hides wealth given for the common use and conceals it, in buried treasures. Then the offence consists, not in the wealth but in the attitude.
Purify yourself with your tears. Wash yourselves with mourning. If you weep for yourself, another will not weep for you…. One who is a sinner weeps for himself and rebukes himself, that he may become righteous, for just people accuse themselves of sin. Let us pursue order because, it is written, “Set in order love in me.” I have laid down sin. I have tempered my conduct. I have wept for my transgressions. I begin to hunger. I hunger for righteousness. The sick, when he is seriously ill, does not hunger, because the pain of the illness excludes hunger. What is the hunger for righteousness? What is the bread of which it is said, “I have been young and am old and I have not seen the righteous man forsaken, nor his seed begging bread?” Surely, one who is hungry, seeks increase of strength. What greater increase of virtue is there, than the rule of righteousness?” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, Father and Doctor of the Church( Exposition on the Gospel of Luke, 5).
PRAYER – O God, Who taught blessed Gabriel to meditate continually on the sorrows of Thy most sweet Mother and Who, through her, exalted him by the glory of a holy life and miracles; grant us, we beseech Thee, through his intercession and example so to share in the sorrows of Thy Mother that her motherly protection may save us. 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 – 27 February – Monday of the First Week in Lent – The Memorial of St Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows/Gabriel Possenti CP (1838-1862)
O Mother of Sorrows, Stand by Me in My Last Agony By St Gabriel Francis Possenti of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862)
O Mother of Sorrows, by the anguish and love with which thou did stand at the Cross of Jesus, stand by me in my last agony. To thy maternal heart I commend the last three hours of my life. Offer these hours to the Eternal Father in union with the agony of our dearest Lord, in atonement for my sins. Offer to the Eternal Father the most precious blood of Jesus, mingled with your tears on Calvary, that I may obtain the grace of receiving Holy Communion with the most perfect love and contrition before my death and that I may breathe forth my soul in the adorable presence of Jesus. Dearest Mother, when the moment of my death has at last come, present me as your child to Jesus. Ask Him to forgive me for having offended Him, for I knew not what I did. Beg Him to receive me into His kingdom of glory to be united with Him forever. Amen
Saint of the Day – 27 February – Blessed William Richardson (1572–1603) English Priest, Martyr. Born in Yorkshire and died by being hanged, drawn and quartered on 27 February 1603 at Tyburn, London, aged just 31. William owns the dubious honour of being the last Martyr under Elizabeth I’s barbaric policy of murdering Catholics and especially Priests, in this manner. Also known as – William Anderson. He was Beatified on 15 December 1929 by Pope Pius XI.
Richardson was born in the village of Wales, West Riding of Yorkshire., although his father was a Lancashireman who had taken his family to Yorkshire in search of work. William was actually born in the hamlet of Bedgreave. It is believed that William’s father was a Miller at the Medieval Mill which still stands in the area.
We know from the Entry Book at the English Collge at Valladolid in Spain, that William was a convert and was received into the Church by one of the Clergy at Wiesloch, where, at that time, he was working. He studied for the Priesthood at seminaries in Valladolid and then Seville, Spain.
In 1594 William was Ordained and then sent back to England, where he used the alias William Anderson. His apostolate was spent mostly in London, often with Catholics of the Legal Profession at the Inns of the Court. He visited prisons under cover as an ordinary vistor, to take the Sacraments to Catholics imprisoned for their Faith.
But he was betrayed by a trusted person, arrested in London’s Gray’s Inn (an Inn of Court) and imprisoned. He was tried and convicted of being a Catholic Priest, within a week and Martyred by the barbaric act of being hung, drawn and quartered.
Bishop Challoner (Died 1781) tells us that William accepted his death sentence with such constancy and deep faith that he prayed for the his murderer, Elizabeth I in his last prayers. Sadly, we have no knowledge of Blessed William’s resting place. The little Church below dedicated to him is near his birthplace and is apparently well attended in a region listed as of the lowest Church attendance in Europe!
His was the final Martyrdom to take place during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I as she was to die herself one week after William’s entry into life.
St Abundius of Rome St Alexander of Rome St Alnoth St Antigonus of Rome St Baldomerus of Saint Just St Basilios of Constantinople St Comgan St Emmanuel of Cremona St Fortunatus of Rome St Herefrith of Lindsey St Honorina St John of Gorze St Luke of Messina
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