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Advent Reflection – 17 December – O Wisdom / O Sapientia …….

Advent Reflection – 17 December – O Wisdom ……. – Readings: Genesis 49:28-10Psalms 72:1-23-47-817Matthew 1:1-17

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

O Wisdom
O Sapientia

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti,
attingens a fine usque ad finem,
fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia-
veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae
.

O Wisdom, coming forth from the Mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other,
mightily and sweetly ordering all things-
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise your hand on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you.” – Genesis 49:8

REFLECTION – “This text appears to be directed to the Patriarch Judah, indeed but more so that later Judah is meant, the true Confessor who was born of that tribe and who alone is praised by His brothers; of them He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers.”
He is the Lord by nature but a brother by grace; His hands, which He stretched out to an unbelieving people, are on the back of His enemies.
For with those same hands and by that same passion, Christ protected His own, subjugated hostile powers and made subject to Himself, all people who were without faith and devotion.
Of these the Father says to His Son, “And you will rule in the midst of your enemies.”
It was their own wickedness that made them enemies, not Christ’s will. In this there is a great gift of the Lord. Previously, spiritual wickedness generally used to make our neck bend to the yoke of captivity. Thus even David wrote that he felt, in some way, the hands of those who triumphed over him, for he said, “Upon my back sinners have wrought.”
But now spiritual wickedness is subject to the triumph of Christ and to His hands, as it were; that is, wickedness undergoes the affliction of captivity, being subject forever in deeds and in works.
And, it is He indeed, to whom the sons of His Father bow down, when we bow down to Him; for he has permitted us to call upon the Father and, to be subject to the Father, is to be subject to virtue.” – St Ambrose (340-397) One of the original four Doctors of the Latin Church – (The Patriarchs, 4)

PRAYER – Collect:
O God,
Creator and Redeemer of human nature,
Who willed
that Your Word should take flesh
in an ever-virgin womb,
look with favour on our prayers,
that Your only Begotten Son,
having taken to Himself our humanity,
may be pleased to grant us
a share in his divinity.
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

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Thought for the Day – 10 December – The Divine Counsellor

Thought for the Day – 10 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Divine Counsellor

“It is often difficult and unpleasant to take advice from someone whom we dislike but, when we really like somebody, his advice is always acceptable and we are inclined to take it to heart.
Counsel is the light of the soul, which points out to us which path to follow.
Often we are surrounded by darkness, we do not know which way to turn, for uncertainty and discouragement have paralysed our will.
Now Jesus, as St John tells us, is the light which enlightens every man who comes into this world – He is full of grace and truth (Jn 1:9-14).
If we love Jesus, we shall always receive from Him the light and counsel which we need – His enlightenment is clear and His counsel satisfies fully the needs of our hearts.

How can we have this light and this counsel?
Jesus speaks to our souls in many ways.
He speaks to us when we read the pages of the Gospel; when we recollect ourselves in His presence during meditation; when we visit Him in the Tabernacle and speak to Him really and truly present under the Eucharistic species and, when we ask Him, in all our difficulties, for holy inspiration which will guide us and direct us towards what is good.
God will never deny His light and counsel to a humble supplicant.

Nobody can speak to our souls with greater efficacy than Jesus Christ.
“Listen to the interior Master,” wrote St Margaret Mary Alacoque.
“Never do anything without seeking His advice.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Quote/s of the Day – 25 October – Love of God, love of neighbour – Bl Charles of Jesus de Foucauld

Quote/s of the Day – 25 October – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readings: Exodus 22:20-26, Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4,47, 51, 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10, Matthew 22:34-40

“You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your mind.
And the second is like it:
You shall love your neighbour as yourself.

Matthew 22:36,39

“No eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor has the heart of man conceived,
what God has prepared,
for those who love him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9

“Oh! My God, how much your hand was upon me
and yet how little I was aware of it!
How good you are! How good you are!
How you protected me!
How you covered me with Your wings,
when I did not even believe in your existence!”

“The Gospel showed me
that the first commandment is to love God
with all one’s heart
and that, we should enfold everything in love;
everyone knows,
that the first effect of love is imitation.”

“Every person is a child of God,
who loves them infinitely:
it is, therefore, impossible to want to love God,
without loving human beings –
the more one loves God,
the more one loves people.
The love of God, the love of people,
is my whole life;
it will be my whole life, I hope.”

“When you love,
you feel like speaking the whole time
with the one you love,
or at least, you want to look at Him without ceasing.
Prayer is nothing else.
It is the familiar meeting with our Beloved.
We look at Him,
we tell Him we love Him,
we rejoice to be at His feet.”

“I would like to be
sufficiently good
that people would say:
‘If such is the servant,
what must the Master be like.’”

From the (Auto)Biography of

Blessed Charles of Jesus de Foucauld (1858-1916)

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Quote/s of the Day – 11 October – St Alexander Sauli

Quote/s of the Day – 11 October – The Memorial of St Alexander Sauli CRSP (1534-1592) Bishop “The Apostle of Corsica”

“I offer my whole self to You, to You alone.”

St Alexander’s Motto on the profession of his Vows
as a Barnabite.
“EGO TIBI TOTUS, TOTUS TIBI SOLI”

“I will follow God’s inspiration everyday.”

(From a letter written to St Charles Borromeo after his arrival in Corsica)

“If I should start all over, what I have done,
I would do it over again.
For a shepherd,
it is a duty, to give his life for his flock.”

St Alexander Sauli (1534-1592)

(Said just before his death whilst on pastoral visits to his Diocese)

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Thought for the Day – 10 September – The Creation

Thought for the Day – 10 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Creation

“God is infinitely perfect in Himself and has, therefore, no need of creatures of His eternal happiness.
He knows Himself fully and this act of knowing, is not transient but substantial and eternal.
It is the perfct image of His own Essence, the Word which expressed His Divine Infinity.

Knowing Himself in the infinite depths of His truth, beauty and goodness, God naturally loves Himself.
This love, also substantial and external, is the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds, not only from the Father but also from the Word, since God loves Himself because He knows Himself perfectly.
The happiness of God, as St Gregory Nazianzen writes, is not a solitary state of beatitude.
He has within Himself, the Word, His consubstantial Son, in Whom is reflected the perfection of His nature and to Whom, He repeats from eternity: “You are my son; this day I have begotten you” (Ps 2:7).
Moreover, in an act equally substantial and infinite, He pours forth His love, the Holy Spirit.
Because, He is infinitely happy and perfect in Himself, God wished to manifest His perfection and to communicate His happiness to others.
According to St Thomas Aquinas, the only reason why God has created, is to manifest His glory and to share His happiness.
Creation is, therefore, an act of love.
“I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore, have I drawn thee, taking pity on thee” (Jer 31:3).
“God,” says St Irenaeus, “did not create man because He had need of him but because, He wished to have creatures on whom He could shower His gifts.”
That is why Sacred Scripture tells us that “the Lord has made everything for His own ends” (Prov 16:4).

Turning over these reflections in our minds, we should make an act of profound humility before God and acknowledge that we are nothing without Him.
We should express our deep gratitude to God for our very existence and for all the other gifts with which He has enriched us.

Finally, we should pay Him the tribute of our love, which should be expressed in a practical manner, as well as verbally, by complete and constant fidelity to His commandments.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 17 July – The Voice of God

Thought for the Day – 17 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Voice of God

the voice of god - bacci 17 july 2020

“God speaks to us in many ways by means of created things.
We see His glory in the stars of the firmament, (Cf Ps 13:2), in the seas, mountains and valleys and in the trees and flowers.
St Therese was once examining the petals of a flower, when she exclaimed:  “How good thou art, O God!”

God also speaks within us.
Sometimes, He sees how absorbed we are in worldly affairs and He stirs up, in us, a restlessness and a longing for Heaven.
When we fall into sin, He pricks us with remorse and appeals to us to rise again, making us realise that everything else is empty and futile, if we have lost Him.
He speaks to us still more clearly by means of Revelation, which is contained in Sacred Scripture, as officially interpreted by the Church.

The revealed Word of God has always been with us to answer the searchings of the human heart and to allay it’s anxieties.
The Gospel is as new and as illuminating today, as yesterday.
It is a book which we should study reverently and diligently, in order to solve our personal problems and the problems of mankind.

Let us listen to God when He speaks to us in these diverse ways.
Let us respond to His appeals and carry out whatever He requires of us, in our daily lives.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci