Thought for the Day – 2 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Prayer as a Necessary Means of Salvation
“We should appreciate how necessary it is to pray with special fervour and perseverance, in times of great temptation and suffering. If we neglect to do so when temptation assails us, we shall be on our own and shall certainly fall. When we encounter suffering and everything seems to be crumbling around us, let us remember that God sees us and pities us. Let us turn to Him. Who alone is able and eager to help us in our misfortunes. When we pray, our tears are precious in His sight. God’s love for us is infinite. If we have recourse to Him, He will certainly answer us in the manner which He knows is best for us. He has promised this, “If he cries out to me, I will hear him, for I am compassionate” (Ex 22:26).”
Quote/s of the Day – 2 March – Thursday of the First Week in Lent – Ezechiel 18:1-9, Matthew 15:21-28 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Then Jesus answering, said to her: O woman, great is thy faith! be it done to thee as thou desire and her daughter was cured from that hour.”
“I implore you to live with me and, by believing, to run with me; let us long for our Heavenly Country, let us sigh for our Heavenly Home, let us truly feel that here, we are strangers. What shall we then see? Let the gospel tell us: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. You will come to the fountain, with whose dew you have already been sprinkled. Instead of the ray of Light which was sent through slanting and winding ways, into the heart of your darkness, you will see the Light Itself, in all its purity and brightness. It is to see and experience this Light that you are now being cleansed. … It has been good for us to share the common Light, good to have enjoyed ourselves, good to have been glad together. When we part from one another, let us not depart from Him!”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
Prayer of Blessed Severinus Boethius (c 475-524) Martyr
“O Father, enable our minds, to rise to Thy ineffable dwelling place. Let us find the Light and direct the eyes of our soul to Thee. Dispel the mists and the opaqueness of the earthly mass and shine out with Thy splendour. Thou art the serene and tranquil abode of those who persevere in their goal of seeing Thee. Thou art, at the same time, the Beginning, the Vehicle, the Guide, the Way and the Goal. Amen”.
“… How can anyone put on Jesus Christ and imitate His example, if he does not study this Jesus, who must inspire and perfect our faith? He must run the race to which he is challenged, the glorious race in which, he overcomes the enemy of the human family and follows the Way of the Cross. Under the lordly banner of that Cross, he will attain eternal life.”
Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 1 March – Thursday of the First Week in Lent – Ezechiel 18:1-9, Matthew 15:21-28 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of Your eye, hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 16:8,2
“O woman, great is thy faith! be it done to thee as thou desire …” Matthew 15:28
FAITH St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“FAITH IS THE BASIS AND FOUNDATION of all the other virtues but particularly of hope and of charity. Now what I say of charity applies also to all the many virtues associated with it. When charity is united and joined to faith, it vivifies it. And so it follows that there is a dead faith and a dying faith.
Dead faith is faith separated from charity, a separation which prevents us from performing works, conformable to the faith we profess. This dead faith is that which many Christians – the worldly – have. Indeed, they believe all the Mysteries of our Holy Religion but since their faith is not accompanied by charity, they perform no good works which conform to their faith. Dying faith is that which is not entirely separated from charity. It performs some good works, although rarely and feebly, for charity cannot really be in the soul which has faith without performing works, either little or great. It must either produce or perish because it cannot exist without doing good works.
Just as the soul cannot remain in the body without producing vital actions, so charity cannot be united to our faith, without performing works conforming to it [Gal 5:6; Jas 2:14-26]. It cannot be otherwise. Therefore, do you want to know if your faith is dead or dying? Examine your works and actions. …
Dead faith resembles a dry tree that has no living substance at all. In springtime when other trees bud forth leaves and flowers, this one brings forth nothing because it does not have sap which those have that are not dead but only dormant. Now, here is another point. However much all other trees may look like this dead tree in winter, nevertheless, in their season they produce leaves, flowers and fruits. This never happens with the tree that is really dead. It may look like the other trees, to be sure but it is dead, for it never brings forth either flowers or fruit. Similarly, dead faith may indeed appear to be living faith but with this important difference – it bears neither the flowers nor the fruit of good works, while living faith always bears them,and in all seasons! (Sermon for Thursday after the First Sunday in Lent, 17 February 1622).
One Minute Reflection – 2 March – “The Month of the St Josephs” –Thursday of the First Week in Lent – Ezechiel 18:1-9, Matthew 15:21-28 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“But she said, Yes, Lord; for even the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” – Matthew 15:27
REFLECTION – “See her humility as well as her faith! For He had called the Jews “children” but she was not satisfied with this. She even called them “masters,” so far was she from grieving at the praises of others. She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Behold the woman’s wisdom! She did not venture so much as to say a word against anyone else. She was not stung to see others praised, nor was she indignant to be reproached. Behold her constancy! When He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs,” she said, “Yes, Lord.” He called them “children” but she called them “masters.” He used the name of a dog but she described the action of the dog. Do you see this woman’s humility?
Then compare her humility with the proud language of the Jews: “We are Abraham’s seed and were never in bondage to any man.” “We are born of God.” But not so this woman. Rather, she calls herself a dog and them masters. So for this reason, she became a child. For what does Christ then say? “O woman, great is your faith.”
So we might surmise that this is the reason He put her off, in order that He might proclaim aloud this saying and that He might crown the woman: “Be it done for you as you desire.” This means “Your faith, indeed, is able to effect even greater things than these. Nevertheless, be it unto you even as you wish.” This Voice was at one with the Voice that said, “Let the heaven be,” and it was. “And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”
Do you see how this woman, too, contributed not a little to the healing of her daughter? For note that Christ did not say, “Let your little daughter be made whole” but “Great is your faith, be it done for you as you desire.” These words were not uttered at random, nor were they flattering words,but great was the power of her faith and for our learning. He left the certain test and demonstration, however, to the issue of events. Her daughter accordingly was immediately healed.” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor (The Gospel of Matthew – Homily 52).
PRAYER – From all perils of soul and body defend us, O Lord, we beseech Thee and by the intercession of blessed and gloriosus ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of Thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul and all the Saints, graciously grant us safety and peace that all adversities and errors, being overcome, Thy Church may serve Thee in security and freedom. 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 – 2 March – Thursday of the First Week in Lent
A Lenten Prayer By St Pope Pius V (1504-1572)
Look with favour, Lord, on Your household. Grant that, though our flesh be humbled by abstinence from food, our souls, hungering after You, may be resplendent in Your sight. Amen
St Pius V is the Pope of the Council of Trent, the Counter Reformation, the excommunication of Elizabeth I for Heresy and persecution of English Catholics and of the Battle of Lepanto, amongst many other illustrious and holy achievements.
Saint of the Day – 2 March – Blessed Charles the Good (c1083-1127) Martyr, Duke, Apostle, protector and defender of the poor, selling his and his kingdom’s riches to help those in need, wherever he could, a fair and just Ruler who made laws to accommodate the poor rather than the rich (the eventual cause of his Martyrdom), Knight who assisted in Secomd Crusade. Born in c1083 and died by being beheaded on 2 March 1127 at Bruges, Belgium. Patronages – of Dukes, Counts, the Diocese of Bruges,Crusaders.Also known as – Charles of Flanders. Blessed Charles cultus was officially confirmed by his Beatification in 1883 by Pope Leo XIII.
Charles was the son of St Canut, King of Denmark and of Alice of Flanders, who, in 1086, after the death of his father, carried him, then an infant of 3 years, into Flanders. His cousin, Baldwin the Seventh, Earl of Flanders, dying without issue in 1119, appointed Charles as his heir, on account of his extraordinary valour and merit.
The young Earl was a perfect model of all virtues, especially devotion, charity and humility. Among his friends and courtiers, he loved those best who admonished him of his faults. He frequently exhausted his treasury to the benefit of the poor and often gave the clothes off his back to be sold for their relief. He served them with his own hands and distributed clothes and bread to them wherever he travelled. It was observed that in Ipres he gave away, in one day, no less than seven thousand eight hundred loaves.
Charles took care, for the sake of the poor, to keep the price of corn and provisions always low and he made wholesome laws to protect them from the oppressions of the great. This exasperated Bertulf, who had tyrannically usurped the provostship of St Donatian’s in Bruges, to which dignity was annexed the Chancellorship of Flanders. Between Bertulf and and his wicked relatives, the exercised a great oppressors of their country.
In this horrible conspiracy they were joined by Erembald, Castellan or Chief Magistrate of the territory of Bruges, with his five sons, who were provoked against their Sovereign Charles because he had repressed their unjust violence.
The holy Earl went every morning barefoot and very early, to perform his devotions before the Altar of the Blessed Virgin in St Donatian’s Church. On the morning of 2 March 1127, following his usual practice he left to walk to the Church. Before he left, he was informed of a conspiracy but answered; “We are always surrounded by dangers but we belong to God. If it be His will, can we die in a better cause than that of justice and truth?”
While he was reciting the Penitential Psalms before the Altar, the conspirators rushed in and hacked him to death with broadswords. These enemies were Fromold Borchard, nephew to Bertulf.
The brutal and sacrilegious murder of the popular Duke provoked widespread public outrage, and he was immediately regarded as a Martyr and Saint, although not formally Beatified until 1882.
The Erembalds, who had planned and carried out the murder of Charles, were besieged inside the castle of Bruges by the enraged nobles and commoners of Bruges and Ghent. All the conspirators were defeated, captured and tortured to death. King Louis VI of France, who had supported the uprising against the Erembalds, used his influence to select William Clito as the next Duke of Flanders., Charles having died without issue.
Charles was buried in St Christopher’s Church at Bruges, not in that of St Donatian See the remarkable painting above created by Jan van Beers. To view clearly click on the image. In 1600, Charles’s Shrine was placed, by an order of Charles Philip Rodoan, the fourth Bishop of Bruges, in the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin in the St Saviour’s Cathedral in Bruges. Ever since the year 1610, a Solemn High Mass in honour of the Blessed Trinity, is sung on his festival.
Blessed Charles the Good (c1083-1127) Martyr, Duke St Cynibild of Laestingaeu St Felix of Treves St Fergna the White Bl Girolamo Carmelo di Savoia St Gistilian St Joavan of Brittany St John Maron St Jovinus the Martyr St Lorgius of Caesarea St Lucius of Caesarea
St Quintus the Thaumaturge St Slebhene St Troas St Willeic
Martyrs of Campania – Approximately 400 northern Italian Christians Martyred for their faith by pagan Lombards. Their story was recorded by Pope Saint Gregory the Great, who reports that they people spent their final days supporting each other with prayer. c 579 in Camnpania, Italy.
Martyrs of Porto Romano – 4 Saints – Group of Christians Martyred in the persecution of Diocletian. The only other information that survives are the names of four of them – Heraclius, Januaria, Paul and Secondilla. c305 at Porto Romano at the mouth of the River Tiber, Rome.
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