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Thought for the Day – 27 May – A Lesson from Scripture – God alone

Thought for the Day – 27 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Lesson from Scripture
God alone

“Mary lived a life of poverty and suffering, even though, she was close to Jesus, Who could have made her wealthy and happy on this earth by a single act of His will.
But she never asked her divine Son for worldly happiness.
She regarded Jesus, as her only treasure and her happiness consisted in perfect obedience to the will of God.
When she arrived in Bethlehem with her holy Spouse, St Joseph, she could not find room in the inn nor in any of the houses.
This did not matter to her.
She found refuge in a stable and there, she gave birth to Jesus, the only treasure of her life.

When Herod planned to kill the Divine Infant, Mary did not ask for a miracle in order to escape but, undertook a long and difficult journey into exile.
Only once did she ask her Divine Son for a miracle.
Then, it was not for herself but for the newly-married couple at Cana, who had run short of wine.
What is our attitude?
How important are worldly matters to us?
What place has God in our hearts?
Are we chasing after money, pleasure and success?
If we worry a great deal about these things, we shall suffer torment and disillusionment.
The final disillusionment will be the restlessness of our hearts, which can find peace and lasting happiness in God alone.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

a lesson from scripture god alone - bacci 27 may 2020

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Thought for the Day – 26 May – Solitude

Thought for the Day – 26 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Solitude

“A man who has no love for solitude, does not love God.
It can easily happen that worldly objects dazzle the mind and enchant the heart, so that anyone who is greatly occupied with them, does not see or experience God in any way.
A man who talks a lot with other men, rarely speaks with God.
God’s voice is heard in silence and in solitude and we must listen for it if we wish to have any ease of conversation with Him.
It is fatal to allow ourselves to be deafened by the noise of the world and never to listen for the voice of God, which speaks within us.

Only those who have been called to a higher vocation, can live in a cloister but a little solitude is necessary for everybody from time to time.
It maybe a course in the Spiritual Exercises, or a monthly day of recollection, or a quarter of an hour spent everyday in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
In those moments of detachment from the world and of intimacy with God, we can enjoy conditions far above any which can be found on earth.
Such moments can be the beginning of a new life.
The Holy Spirit incites us through the prophet Osee, to find these necessary intervals for silence and prayer:  “I will allure her and will lead her into the wilderness and I will speak to her heart” (Osee 2:14).
Jesus set the standard for us, when He spent forty days alone in the desert, fasting and praying.
Even though the Apostles were engaged in public missionary activity, He was anxious that they should retire from it for a while, in order to refresh themselves spiritually. “Come apart into a desert place,” He said “and rest a while” (Mk 6:31).
St Bernard wrote that silence and peace far away from the noise of the world, helped the soul to meditate on God and on spiritual matters (Epist 73).
“Solitude is Heaven to me,” (Epist 4 ad Rust) said St Jerome.

The Blessed Virgin also took refuge from distraction and loved the solitude of her home in Nazareth, where the Angel first announced to her, that she was to be the Mother of God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

solitude bacci 26 may 2020

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One Minute Reflection – 26 May- “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.”

One Minute Reflection – 26 May- “Mary’s Month!” – Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter, Readings: Acts 20:17-27, Psalm 68:10-11, 20-21, John 17:1-11 and The Memorial of St Mariana de Jesus de Paredes OFS (1618-1645) “The Lily of Quito”

“Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him.” … John 17:1-2

REFLECTION – “At the conclusion of the central section of the Church’s great Credo—the part that recounts the mystery of Christ, from His eternal birth of the Father and His temporal birth of the Virgin Mary, through His Cross and Resurrection to the second coming—we find the phrase:  “he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.”   From the earliest times, the prospect of the Judgement has influenced Christians in their daily living, as a criterion by which to order their present life, as a summons to their conscience and at the same time as hope in God’s justice.   Faith in Christ, has never looked merely backwards or merely upwards but always also forwards to the hour of justice that the Lord repeatedly proclaimed…

In Christ who was crucified, the denial of false images of God is taken to an extreme.  God now reveals His true Face in the figure of the Sufferer who shares man’s God-forsaken condition, by taking it upon Himself.   This innocent Sufferer has attained the certitude of hope – there is a God and God can create justice, in a way that we cannot conceive, yet, we can begin to grasp it through faith.   Yes, there is a resurrection of the flesh.   There is justice.   There is an “undoing” of past suffering, a reparation that sets things aright.

For this reason, faith in the Last Judgement is first and foremost hope—the need for which, was made abundantly clear in the upheavals of recent centuries.   I am convinced that the question of justice constitutes the essential argument, or in any case the strongest argument, in favour of faith in eternal life.   The purely individual need for a fulfilment, that is denied to us in this life, for an everlasting love that we await, is certainly an important motive for believing, that man was made for eternity but, only in connection with the impossibility, that the injustice of history should be the final word, does the necessity for Christ’s return and for new life become fully convincing.” … Pope Benedict XVI – Pope from 2005 to 2013 – Encyclical “ Spe Salvi ” § 41, 43john 17 1-2 give glory to your son so that he may give eternal life - faith in christ - pope benedict 26 may 2020

PRAYER – Lord God, You opened for us, the way to eternal life, when Christ Your Son was take up to glory and Your Holy Spirit, came to enlighten Your Church.   Grant that, as we share in so great a gift, our longing and hope, for our eternal home may grow every stronger and so our service ever more loyal to Your commandments.   Listen to the prayers of Holy Mother Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mother of Your Son and of St Maria de Jesus de Paredes, whom we beg to pray for our intercession.   Through Christ, Our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all time and for all eternity, amen.blessed virgin mother pray for us 26 may 2020

ST MARIANA DE JESUS DE PAREDES PRAY FOR US 26 MAY 2020

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Thought for the Day – 24 May – The Recollection of Mary

Thought for the Day – 24 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Recollection of Mary

“It is believed that when the Angel Gabriel visited the Blessed Virgin in order to tell her that she was to be the Mother of God, she was in a quiet corner of her home, absorbed in prayer.
She had no love for the noise and confusion of the world but preferred to be recollected in the company of God.
This was to be the pattern of her whole life.
In the midst of her domestic duties, on her journey to St Elizabeth and on her travels in Galilee and Judea, in the wake of her divine Son, her mind and heart were always concentrated on God.

Interior recollection is a wonderful thing.
It helps us to hear God’s voice more clearly.
It keeps us removed from the temptations of the world and assists us in sanctifying every moment of our lives.

“The cell continually dwelt in growth sweet,” (Bk 1, C 20:5) says The Imitation of Christ and goes onto ask:  “What can thou see elsewhere that thou does not see here?   Behold the heavens and the earth and all the elements, for out of these are all things made” (Ibid C 20:8).
“As often as I have been amongst men,” it exclaims, “I have returned less a man” (Ibid C 20:2).
When we move around chattering with different people, we have lost something of ourselves by the time we return home.
Perhaps we have wasted a good deal of time in useless conversation or, worse still, have seen or heard unpleasant or disturbing things.
When we go about in the world, we do not often see much that is edifying or instructive and rarely meet people whose conversation does us good.
For this reason, even when we cannot remain apart, we should carry in ourselves, as Mary did, a spirit of interior recollection and communication with God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

the recollection of mary - bacci 24 may 2020

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Thought for the Day – 23 May – Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth

Thought for the Day – 23 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth

“Towards the close of his life, St Paul wrote to his well-beloved disciple, St Timothy:  “As for me, I am already being poured out in sacrifice and the time of my deliverance is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.   For the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will give to me in that day;  yet, not to me only but, also to those who love his coming” (2 Tim 4:6-8).

After all his apostolic labours and difficulties and, after a lifetime of boundless love, St Paul could confidently say, that he would receive the crown which he had earned.
When the Blessed Virgin came to the end of her earthly pilgrimage, during which she had lovingly worked and suffered so much for Jesus, she could have expected, with even greater certainty, to receive the crown of glory, which she had merited.
She was the noblest and holiest of creatures, because, she was the Mother of the eternal Word of God made man.
Therefore, her reward had to be greater than that of any other creature.
She was the Mother of the King of Angels and of Saints, of Heaven and earth.
As such, it was her place to rule over them all.
Seated at the right hand of her divine Son, she has glory and power, which none other could possess.
The Church, therefore, invokes her under the title of Queen of Angels and of Saints, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Virgins, of Confessors and of Martyrs, Queen of Heaven and of earth.
When our Holy Father, Pius XII, solemnly proclaimed her Queenship, in the year 1954, he was only giving voice to the general consensus of tradition, of the Liturgy and of the belief of all the faithful (Cf Encyclical, Ad Coeli Reginum, 11 Oct 1954).

It should be very encouraging to all of us to know that we have so powerful a Queen in Heaven, whose privilege it is, to dispense God’s graces.
She has crushed the poisonous head of Satan.
Now, she is able and eager to help us, her loyal sons and servants, to resist temptation, to frustrate the schemes of our deadly enemy and to perfect ourselves in virtue. Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

mary queen of heaven and earth -bacci 23 may 2020

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Thought for the Day – 21 May – Holy Purity

Thought for the Day – 21 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Holy Purity

“Have you ever experienced the sheer delight of climbing the mountains on a summer’s day and coming across one of those little alpine lakes, a tiny mirror, reflecting the still blueness of the sky?
Or have you ever watched an infant smiling in it’s angelic slumber and been held spellbound by this vision of innocence?
Finally, on some calm, clear night, surely you have studied the star-spangled sky and have been so overwhelmed by the beauty of the scene, that you could have cried out with the Psalmist:  “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament proclaims His handiwork” (Ps 18:1).
These, are only faint images of the beauty and virginal purity of Mary.
Her soul was the purest and most beautiful of the entire human and angelic creation, because, nobody else was ever raised to the dignity of the Motherhood of God.
She was conceived free from all taint of original sin and enriched with every grace.
In her chaste womb, she conceived the Infant Jesus.
Later, she held Him close to her heart;  she lived for Him and eventually died for love of Him.

Purity is a virtue which is attractive to everybody, even to those who are evil themselves, or to those, who have lost their own chastity.
We love and desire this virtue but, are we prepared to make any sacrifice in order to preserve it, in the manner demanded by our particular state in life?
“The kingdom of heaven has been enduring violent assault,” Jesus said “and the violent have been seizing it by force” (Mt 11:12).
This is especially true in regard to the acquisition of the virtue of purity.
It is not enough to desire it, we must be willing to make sacrifices in order to acquire it.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

hr soul was the purest and most beautiful - the purity of mary bacci 21 may 2020 bacci the purity of mary

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Thought for the Day – 18 May – Mary, the Source of Peace

Thought for the Day – 18 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary, the Source of Peace

“Mary is surrounded by an atmosphere of peace.
The countenance of the Virgin Mother, reflects the serenity of her soul.
She was conceived free from original sin and endowed with every grace ad with every supernatural gift.
There was no struggle in her, between good and evil, for this conflict is the effect of concupiscence.
She never experienced the rule of sin of which St Paul complains. “I see another law in my members,” says St Paul, “warning against the law of my mind and making me prisoner to the law of sin that is in my members.   Unhappy man that I am!   Who will deliver me from the body of this death?   The grace of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 7:23-25).
It was quite otherwise with Mary.
Her lower inclinations were completely subject to her spiritual faculties, which were, in their turn, perfectly submissive to the commands and inspirations of God.
Nevertheless, while she enjoyed complete interior harmony, Mary had to endure external conflict and suffering.
Holy Simeon foretold, that the sword of sorrow would pierce her heart.
In fact, her life was altogether interwoven with hardship, want and suffering until, eventually, she knelt at the foot of the Cross on which Jesus was dying for the love of mankind and offered the divine Victim for our salvation.
At the last moment, however, torn with sorrow though she was, she did not depart in the slightest from her spirit of perfect acceptance of God’s will.
Consequently, her peace of soul was never diminished or extinguished.
Let us learn from her to accept everything from God’s hands, both the tiny pleasures which brighten our lives, from time to time and the humiliations, sufferings and death, which it pleases God to keep in store for us.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Holy simeon foretold - mary, the source of peace - bacci -18 may 2020