Thought for the Day – 21 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Why God Created Us
“If we are to reach God, Who is our goal, it is necessary for us to know, love and serve Him. Everything speaks to us of God, from the blade of grass, to the cedar of Lebanon, from the insect which glows in the darkness of the night, to the highest stars of the firmanent. In the hidden depths of our own being, we hear His Voice. The more we grow in the knowledge of God, the more we feel the need to love Him. We see how so much beauty, goodness and power is alone worthy of all our love.
As our Creator, Redeemer and Benefactor, God has the right to the undivided affection of our hearts. This love should not be empty and sterile, however, it should be active and effective. Knowing and loving God, we should feel the obligation of serving Him as our Master, in whatever He commands, even when this demands a heavy sacrifice on our part!”
Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 21 March – Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Lent – Ecclesiasticus 45:1-6, Matthew 19:27-29 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“He asked life of Thee and Thou hast given him length of days forever and ever.” Psalm 20:5
“And everyone who has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My Name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold and shall possess life everlasting.” Matthew 19:29
FOLLOW ME! St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“WE MUST POSSESS a continual and imperturbable equanimity, amid the great variety of human occurrences and although, all things change around us, remain immovable, with our eyes fixed on God alone. And although, all things, I will not merely say around us but even within us, should turn topsy-turvy; whether our souls be joyful or sorrowful, in peace or in trouble, in light or in darkness, in temptation or in repose, in happiness or in disgust, although the sun scorch, or the dew refresh – we should always keep our will fixed on the good pleasure of God, as its sole and supreme object.
It is true that we require great confidence to abandon ourselves, without any reserve, to Divine Providence but, when we do abandon all, Our Lord takes care of all and disposes of all. But, if we reserve anything which we are unwilling to confide to Him, He leaves us, as if He would say: “You think yourselves sufficiently wise to manage that affair without Me – you can do so and see what will come of it!” ( Consoling Thoughts on God and Providence).
One Minute Reflection – 21 March – Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Lent and the Memorial of St Benedict OSB (c 480-547) Abbot – Ecclesiasticus 45:1-6, Matthew 19:27-29 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“And everyone who has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My Name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold and shall possess life everlasting.” – Matthew 19:29
REFLECTION – “No-one should say to himself, even when he regards others who have left a great deal behind: “I want to imitate those who despise this world but I have nothing to leave behind.” You leave a great deal behind, my friends, if you renounce your desires. Our external possessions, no matter how small, are enough for the Lord, He weighs the heart and not the substance and does not measure the amount we sacrifice for Him but the effort with which we bring it…. The Kingdom of God has no assessment value put on it but it is worth everything you have… To Peter and Andrew it was worth the nets and boat they gave up; to the widow it was worth two small coins (Lk 21:2); to another person it was worth a cup of cold water (Mt 10:42). The Kingdom of God, as I said, is worth everything you have. Think about it, my friends, what has less value when you purchase it, what is more precious when you possess it?
But perhaps a cup of cold water offered to someone who needs it, is not enough, even then the Word of God gives us assurance…: “Peace on earth to men of goodwill!” (Lk 2:4). In the sight of God, no hand is ever empty of a gift, if the deep places of the heart are filled with goodwill… Although I have no gifts to offer outwardly, yet I find within myself something to place on the Altar of Thou praise…: Thou art better pleased with an offering of our heart! (cf. Ps 55:13).” – St Gregory the Great (540-604) Pope, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermons on the Gospel no 5).
PRAYER – May the intercession of the blessed Abbot Benedict, commend us to Thee, O Lord, so that through his merits we may obtain that which we cannot accomplish by our own. T hrough 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 – 21 March – St Benedict OSB (c480-547) Abbot, Patron of Europe and Founder of Western Monasticism
O God, Be With Us By St Benedict (c480-547)
O God, from Whom to be turned, is to fall, to Whom to be turned, is to rise, and in Whom to stand, is to abide forever. Grant us in all our duties, Thy help, in all our perplexities, Thy guidance, in all our dangers, Thy protection, and in all our sorrows, Thy peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saint of the Day – 21 March – St Benedict OSB (c480-547) Abbot, Patron of Europe and Founder of Western Monasticism. Born in c480, at Nursia, Umbria, Italy – as the twin brother of a sister, St Scholastica and died on 21 March 547 of a fever while in prayer at Monte Cassino, Italy. Patronages – of Europe, against Poison, against Witchcraft, agriculture, Cavers, Civil Engineers, Coppersmiths, Dying People, Farmers, Fevers, Inflammatory Diseases, Kidney Disease, Monks, Religious Orders, Schoolchildren, Temptations.
The Medal or Cross of St Benedict It’s Origin, Meaning, Benefits and Privileges By Abbot Dom Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875)
“Of the Letters which are Inscribed on the Medal
Besides the two figures of the Cross and of St Benedict, there are also inscribed on the Medal, a certain number of letters, each of which is the initial of a Latin word. These words compose one or two sentences, which explain the Medal and its object. They express the relationship existing between the holy Patriarch of the Monks of the West and the Sacred Sign of the salvation of mankind, at the same time that they offer the faithful a formula, which they may make use of, for employing the virtue of the Holy Cross against the evil spirits.
These mysterious letters are arranged on that side of the Medal on which the Cross is shown. Let us begin by noticing the four which are placed in the angles formed by the arms of the Cross.
C. S.P. B: They signify: Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti – in English: The Cross of Holy Father Benedict. These words explain the nature of the Medal.
On the perpendicular line of the Cross itself are these letters:– C.S.S.M.L: They stand for these words: Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux – in English: May the Holy Cross be my Light.
On the horizontal line of the Cross are these letters:– N. D. S. M. D: The words which they imply are: Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux – in English: Let not the Dragon be my Guide. These two lines put together form a pentameter verse, containing the Christian’s protestation that he confides in the Holy Cross and refuses to bear the yoke which the devil would put upon him.
On the rim of the Medal there are inscribed several other letters and first the well-known monogram of the Holy Name of Jesus, I. H. S. Faith and our own experience convince us of the all-powerfulness of this Divine Name. Then follow, beginning at the right hand, the following letters: —
V. R. S. N. S. M. V.S. M. Q. L. I. V. B: These initials stand for the two following verses:– VADE RETRO, SATANA; NUNQUAM SUADE MIHI VANA. SUNT MALA QUAE LIBAS; IPSE VENENA BIBAS – in English: Begone, Satan! and suggest not to me thy vain things: the cup thou profferest me is evil; drink thou thyself poison.
These words are believed to be uttered by St Benedict; those of the first verse when he was suffering the temptation in his cave and which he overcame by the Sign of the Cross and those of the second verse, at the moment of his enemies offering him the draught of death, which he discovered by his making over the poisoned cup, the Sign of Life.
The Christian may make use of these same words as often as he finds himself tormented by the temptations and insults of the invisible enemy of our salvation. Our Saviour sanctified the first of these words by Himself making use of them: “Begone, Satan!“ Vade retro, Satana. Their efficacy has thus been tested and the very Gospel is the guarantee of their power. The vain things to which the devil incites us are disobedience to the law of God. They are also the pomps and false maxims of the world. The cup proffered us by this angel of darkness is evil, that is, sin, which brings death to the soul.
And now, applying these considerations to the Medal which is the subject of these pages, we come to this conclusion, that it must be profitable to us, to use with faith the Medal of St Benedict on occasions when we have reason to fear the snares of the enemy. Its protection will infallibly prove efficacious in every kind of temptation. Numerous and undeniable facts attest its powerful efficacy on a thousand different occasions, in which the faithful had reason to apprehend a danger, either from the direct agency of Satan, or from the effects of certain evil practices.
We may also employ it in favour of others as a means of preserving or delivering them from dangers, which we foresee are threatening them.
Unforeseen accidents may happen to us on land or on sea; let us carry about us this holy Medal with faith and we shall be protected. Even in the most trivial circumstances and in those interests which regard solely man’s temporal wellbeing, the efficacy of the Holy Cross and the power of St Benedict, have been felt.
For example, the wicked spirits, in their hatred of man, sometimes molest the animals which God has created for our service, or infest the various articles of nourishment which the same Providence has given to us. Or again, it is not unfrequently the case that our bodily sufferings are caused or protracted by the influence of these our cruel enemies. Experience has proved that the Medal of St Benedict, made use of with a proper intention and with prayer, has frequently broken the snares of the devil, procured a visible improvement in cases of sickness and sometimes, even effected a complete cure.”
St John of Valence (Died 1146) Bishop, Founder of the Abbey of Bonnevaux, Monk, Abbot, Apostle of the poor, Social Reformer. The Roman Martyrology reads: “In Valence in the territory of Vienne in France, St John, Bishop, who, at first Abbot of Bonnevaux, suffered many adversities for the defence of justice and with charity took care of the peasants, the poor and the merchants ruined by debts.” His Life: https://anastpaul.com/2022/03/21/saint-of-the-day-21-march-saint-john-of-valence-died-1146/
Bl Lucia of Verona (1514-1574) Laywoman, Apostle of the Sick St Lupicinus of Condat
St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487) Swiss Hermit and Ascetic who is the Patron Saint of Switzerland. He is sometimes invoked as Brother Klaus. A husband and father, a Mystic, a Writer, farmer, military leader, Member of the assembly, Councillor, Judge, he was respected as a man of complete moral integrity. He was Canonised on 15 May 1947 by Pope Pius XII. About St Nicholas: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/03/21/saint-of-the-day-21-march-st-nicholas-of-flue-1417-1487/St Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487)
Martyrs of Alexandria: A large but unknown number of Catholics massacred in several Churches during Good Friday services in Alexandria, Egypt by Arian heretics during the persecutions of Constantius and Philagrio. They were Martyred on Good Friday in 342 in Alexandria, Egypt.
You must be logged in to post a comment.