Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DIVINE MERCY, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 16 January – I Am Not Able

Thought for the Day – 16 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

I Am Not Able

“Whenever we feel called upon to make some sacrifice for Jesus or, to form some good resolution, how often do we cry: “I am not able!”
It may be a question of praying more fervently, of performing some mortification or, of helping our neighbour spiritually or materially.
Or perhaps, it is a matter of saying a few words of apology or, of encouragement to our neighbour, whom we have previously treated with coldness and selfishness.
Or. it may be something entirely more generous which is demanded; it may be that God is inviting us to renounce ourselves completely and to dedicate ourselves to Him.
Naturally, this requires sacrifice and great generosity of heart.
But we say to Jesus when He calls us: “I cannot, it is too difficult!”
And yet, the Lord says: “You shall make and keep yourselves holy because, I am holy” (Lev 11:44).
“You, therefore, are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
We must not refuse God, Who became man for us in his love and mercy and shed His blood for our redemption!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/05/thought-for-the-day-5-september-i-am-not-able/

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL

Thought for the Day – 15 January – The Two Standards

Thought for the Day – 15 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Two Standards

“Apart from the throngs of the apathetic, we can see today, as in every stage of the history of Christianity, two armies in battle array, the enemies of Christ and His faithful.
Both the forces of good and evil and, the weapons which they have at their disposal, have increased tremendously in modern times.
Between them, there is Christ, “a sign that shall be contradicted,” (Lk 2:34) as Simeon prophesied.
There are those who give themselves completely to Jesus, their abilities, their health, their virginity offered as a sacrifice for a higher ideal and, if necessary, their life’s blood.
But, there are also those, who use every means which progress has provided, such as the press, cinema and television, in order to destroy God’s dominion over human souls.

Evil today, is organised on a vast scale.
Why, then, can we not employ every modern means, in order to diffuse goodness throughout the world?
This may require sacrifice but, we cannot refuse to make sacrifices on behalf of Jesus Christ, Who did not spare Himself for us!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/09/thought-for-the-day-9-september-the-two-standards/

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The KINGDOM of GOD

Thought for the Day – 14 January – Those Who Will to be Damned

Thought for the Day – 14 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Those Who Will to be Damned

“Only those who will it themselves, are damned.
God wishes all men to be saved.
It was for this, that He came into the world and shed His Precious Blood.
Moreover, He has given us the means necessary for salvation.
“God our Saviour, wishes all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4).

What can be wanting to us, therefore, in order to obtain salvation?
Divine grace is certainly not lacking, for God gives it to us without reserve.
“I come that they may have life and have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10).
Nor are we lacking in strength, for, as St Paul says, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).
We have the Sacraments, good inspirations and the example of the Saints.
All that we can be deficient in, then, is our own goodwill and co-operation with the grace of God.
We must be prepared to play our part in our own salvation.

Our first thought and purpose, therefore, must be our own salvation.
The treasure hidden in a field and the pearl of great price (Cf Mt 13:44-46) are symbols of the Kingdom of God and of everlasting happiness.
We should be prepared to sacrifice everything else, in order to find this treasure an to acquire this pearl!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/08/27/thought-for-the-day-27-august-those-who-will-to-be-damned/

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on ZEAL, St PAUL!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 13 January – The Grace of God

Thought for the Day – 13 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Grace of God

“It is astonishing to consider how much St Paul accomplished when he had been transformed by the grace of God.
Formerly, a persecutor of Christians, he became the Apostle of the Gentiles.
Enlightened by faith and inspired by charity, he travelled the globe, spreading everywhere, the religion of Jesus Christ.

He feared neither the anger of the hostile Jews, nor the tribunals of the Roman judges, neither long and difficult journeys, nor scourging, shipwreck and imprisonment.
“The love of Christ impels us,” (2 Cor 5:14) he said.
It was the love of God which drove him on and on, until he met his martyrdom.
But what about ourselves?
We also have received grace from God.
Often we hear His voice appealing to us to abandon our sinful ways, to practise virtue, to love Him more ardently and to prove our love, by deeds.
If we co-operate, we shall be able to say with St Paul: “by the grace of God, I am what I am and his grace in me has not been fruitless,” (1 Cor 15:10) and “I have laboured … yet, not I but the grace of God with me” (ibid).

It is wise to recall, however, that Judas also received special graces from God.
He did not correspond with them and was probably damned for eternity.
If we fail to correspond with God’s graces, the result will be tragic for ourselves.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One of The Grace of God here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/12/thought-for-the-day-12-july-the-grace-of-god/

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST

Thought for the Day – 12 January – The Beggars of God

Thought for the Day – 12 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Beggars of God

“Both in the natural and in the supernatural orer, we are in continual need of the help of God.
We did not exist and God, in His infinite goodness, created us.
It is He, Who preserves us in existence from day to day and from moment to moment.
The act of conservation, is like a continuous creation.
If God did not sustain us, we should return immediately to the dust from which we came: “Remember, man, that dust you are and unto dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19).

We are continually dependent on our Lord and Creator for our existence and activity.
If we remained always aware of this tremendous fact, we would never offend God.
We would show Him a filial gratitude and humbly implore His assistance.

We are so poor and He is so rich.
We are so weak and He is so strong.
We are blind and He is the true Light, which illumines every man who comes into the world (Jn 1:9).
Ask for God’s help with confidence, perseverance and resignation to His Holy Will.
As St Augustine says, we are the beggars of God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The HOLY CROSS, The KINGDOM of GOD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 11 January – The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian

Thought for the Day – 11 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian

“This exalted dignity carries with it grave obligations.
The most important is to avoid sin.
Who could dare to take the Crucifix and fling it in the mud?
“You are the body of Christ,” St Paul tells us, “member for member” (Cf 1 Cor 12:27).
A man who surrenders himself to sin, therefore, throws the body of Christ into the mud and profanes the temple of the Holy Spirit.
If we sincerely appreciate our dignity as Christians, we cannot possibly give way to sin and destroy, in ourselves, the great work of the Redemption of Christ.
We should, moreover, practise virtue.
We should live in and for Jesus, like St Paul, who said, “For to me to live is Christ … ” (Phil 1:21).
Everyday, we must travel further along the difficult road of self-denial and love.
We must keep going forward, higher and higher towards the summit of perfection.
“You are to be perfect,” Jesus tells us, “even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
Even this is not enough, however!
A genuine Christian is not satisfied with avoiding sin and sanctifying himself but, he tries, by every means at his disposal, by word, action, good example and sacrifice, to spread the Kingdom of Christ among his fellow-men.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One of ‘The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian’ here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/29/thought-for-the-day-29-april-the-dignity-and-responsibility-of-being-a-christian/

Posted in "Follow Me", BAPTISM, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, ORIGINAL SIN, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN

Thought for the Day – 10 January – The Sacrament of Baptism

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

The Sacrament of Baptism

“We are drawn towards Heaven by a golden chain of grace.
The most precious links in this chain of benefits are the Sacraments, which Jesus Christ instituted as sensible and efficacious signs of divine grace.
When we are born, tainted by original sin and, therefore, deprived of supernatural grace, the Church purifies and regenerates us through the Sacrament of Baptism.
We then become the adopted sons of God and heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven.

It is helpful for us to repeat the Baptismal vows which were once made by others, in our name.
Let us imagine that we are at our own Baptism, solemnly promising, through our Godparents, to renounce the devil, the world and the flesh, in order to follow Jesus.

Can we claim to have kept our promises?
Or are we forced to admit that we have not always lived up to our obligations?

Let us renew our promises today and let us ask Jesus, for the grace to be faithful to them, till the end of our lives.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST

Thought for the Day – 9 January – “Lord, that I May See!”

Thought for the Day – 9 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Lord, that I May See!”

“Spiritually, we are all blind to a greater or lesser extent.
Do we understand the infinite truth, beauty and goodness of God, in Whom our true happiness consists?
Do we understand the emptiness of the world, despite the glory of its transient beauty, which can never satisfy our hearts?
Do we understand our own nothingness and our dependence on God for light and grace?
If we understood all this, then the scales of our spiritual blindness would fall from our eyes.
Our faith would be even purer and more heartfelt than that of the poor blind man of Jericho.
If we do not possess this lively faith and our eyes are dazzled by the glittering vanities of the world, let us turn to Jesus and beseech Him: “Lord, that I may see!”
Only the light which comes from You is the true light which illumines every man who comes into this world (Jn 1:9).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD

Thought for the Day – 8 January – Entrusting Ourselves to God

Thought for the Day – 8 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Entrusting Ourselves to God

“Sometimes the cross seems too heavy.
Physical or moral sufferings may give rise to a feeling of rebellion, or temptations may grow so strong that I feel overwhelmed and unable to experiece the supernatural influence of God’s grace.

At such times, I should remember the words of Jesus: “Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Mt 11:28).

If I leave myself entirely in God’s hands, my cross will become lighter.
My worries and woes, will be easier to bear and, I shall not be excessively elated by worldly pleasures.

All the Saints had perfect TRUST in God.
Therefore, they were always content.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One of ‘Entrusting Ourselves to God’ here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/16/thought-for-the-day-16-july-entrusting-ourselves-to-god/

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, The WILL of GOD

Our Morning Offering – 8 January – Lord, May Your kingdom Come Into My Heart

Our Morning Offering – 8 January – The Third Day within the Octave of Epiphany

Lord, May Your kingdom Come Into My Heart
By Fr Jean Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751)

Lord, may Your kingdom come into my heart
to sanctify me, nourish me and purify me.
How insignificant is the passing moment,
to the eye without faith!
But how important each moment is,
to the eye enlightened by faith!
How can we deem insignificant anything
which has been caused by You?
Every moment and every event is guided by You
and so contains Your infinite greatness.
So, Lord, I glorify You in everything
that happens to me.
In whatever manner You make me live and die,
I am content.
Events please me for their own sake,
regardless of their consequences
because Your action lies behind them.
Everything is heaven to me
because all my moments,
manifest Your love.
Amen

Posted in GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MERIT, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, QUOTES on WORK/LABOUR, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Thought for the Day – 7 January – Merit and the Love of God

Thought for the Day – 7 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Merit and the Love of God

“The more we know, writes St Catherine of Siena, the more we love and the more we love, the more we receive.
Our merit, she concludes, increases in accordance with the measure of our love (Dialogues, c 131).
We tend to judge men on the strength of their achievements and to judge ourselves, according to the degree of success which we have attained.
Our standards could hardly be more false.
How much soever each one is in Thy eyes,” the author of The Imitation of Christ cries out to God in the words of St Francis, “so much is he and no more” (Bk III, c 50).

It is not success which counts with God and still less, human esteem.
What matters with God, is our intention of pleasing Him and of working for His glory, from the motive of pure love.
If we are successful in our work, let us praise God.
If we are unsuccessful, let us thank Him, just the same.
Our merit is commensurate with our love for God.
If we love Him very much, we shall work hard and make sacrifices for His sake.
We must work to satisfy God alone, however and not, for ourselves.
If we work for any other purpose, all our labour is wasted.
We sow abundantly and reap little or nothing.
God alone matters.
If we work only for Him, we shall be blessed by Him and shall reap the fruits of everlasting life.
Amen!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRADITION, SAINT of the DAY, The DIVINE INFANT, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 6 January –

Thought for the Day – 6 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

The Epiphany

It was love which inspired the Magi.
Love sustained them on their journey and made them fall prostrate in adoration before the Infant Jesus.
Even before they offered Him material gifts, they offered Him, their hearts!
As a reward for their faith and charity, God showered his graces upon them and an immense supernatural joy pervaded their souls.
In that moment of adoration, they received the highest possible reward for their hardships and perseverance.
With deep interior joy, they gave Jesus their hearts and never withdrew them.
A pious tradition maintains, that they apostles and Saints and, in fact, the Church venerates them as such, today.

We should follow the example of the Magi and promise, before the cradle of the Infant Saviour, that we shall face any sacrifices, even death, rather than offend Him and shall work, in every way possible, for His glory and our sanctification.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SLOTH, QUOTES on TIME

Thought for the Day – 5 January – The Shortness of Time

Thought for the Day – 5 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Shortness of Time

“We often complain about the swift passage of time.
Hours, days and years pass by, never to return.
When we think about the past, do we feel consoled or depressed?
How many hours have we spent on useless pursuits such as, idle conversation or excessive entertainment?
How many have we devoted to serious sin?
How many, on the other hand, have we spent in prayer, mortification or apostolic work?
How many have we devoted to helping our neighbour by our charitable assistance or advice?
Weigh it all up.
If we discover that the time uselessly or badly spent far outweighs the time spent to our own advantage or to the advantage of others, let us determine to make good the deficit.
Resolve to use God’s precious gift of time in a manner befitting a reasonable being and a Christian, who knows that he has been created for eternity.
“While we have time, let us do good” (Gal 6:10).
We shall be unable to do anything about it afterwards!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 4 January – Accepting the Will of God

Thought for the Day – 4 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Accepting the Will of God

“The Saints were always calm and peaceful because, they accepted everything from God and offered everything to Him.
They thanked God for pleasure and for success; they thanked Him with equal sincerity for suffering and for injuries.

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
Since we are in God’s hands, we are in good hands.
If it pleases God to send troubles to us, this is a sign that they are good for us.
If it pleases Him to humiliate us, it is a sign that we need to be humbled.
If He causes us to suffer, it is a sign, that we need to be purified from our sins and made more worthy of Him.
In suffering and in joy, may His Holy Will be done!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One of Accepting the Will of God here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/13/thought-for-the-day-13-july-accepting-the-will-of-god/

“God wishes to test you,
like gold in the furnace.
The dross is consumed by the fire
but the pure gold remains
and its value increases.
It is in this manner,
that God acts with His good servant,
who puts his hope in Him
and remains unshaken in times of distress.
God raises him up and, in return for the things,
he has left, out of love for God,
He repays him a hundredfold in this life
and with eternal life hereafter.
If then you remain constant in faith,
in the face of trial,
the Lord will give you peace and rest,
for a time in this world,
and forever in the next.”

St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST

Thought for the Day – 3 January – Following Jesus, the Divine Model

Thought for the Day – 3 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Following Jesus, the Divine Model

“Jesus is the Divine Model, Whom we ought to follow and imitate.
In Him, the virtues possess both the infinite splendour of the Divinity and the gentle appeal of glorified Humanity.
Jesus does not dazzle us with His brightness but kindly invites us to love and follow Him.
“Learn from me” He says, “for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29).
After He has indicated humility, meekness and interior peace, as the foundations of the spiritual life, He invites us to take up the yoke of His law and assures us, that we shall find it light (Mt 11).

If we follow Jesus, even though we are bowed with Him, beneath the weight of the Cross, we shall experience, even in this life, a reflection of the peace and joy which will be our reward in Heaven.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MEDITATION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SILENCE

Thought for the Day – 2 January – The Necessity of Meditation in Silence

Thought for the Day – 2 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Necessity of Meditation in Silence

“With desolation all the land made desolate because, there is none that considereth in the heart” (Jer 12:11).

Very often the world is plunged in the desolation of evil because, there is nobody who will speak with God, in the silence of his heart and try to regulate his life according to His holy commandments.
It is in a particularly outstanding way today, that the heresies of actionism and externalism, dominate the great mass of mankind.
To act, to rush, to arrive … above all, to arrive!
But to arrive where?
In this frantic, frenzied and tumultuous race, which good people are often found competing, two very sure things are forgotten, namely, that we shall finally arrive at death and, that from death, we shall pass onto eternity.
The whole course of our lives, therefore, should be directed towards this end.
But, if we are to keep this end in view, prudent reflection is essential, especially meditation, made with the assistance of the Divine light, on the eternal truths.

Absorbed in the deafening din of the world around us, it is difficult to hear the voice of God.
At least, for a little while each day, we must create within ourselves, a zone of silence, in order to listen to His voice.
Since God speaks readily in the silence of the heart, let us recollect ourselves before Him, in this quiet oasis.
At least a quarter of an hour of daily meditation is essential for the life of a Christian.
This should be the jumping-off board for all the actions of day, if we wish these to be correct and productive of good.

It is very useful, moreover, to recall to mind frequently during the day, the resolutions which have been formed and to accompany these reflections, with short prayers, aspirations and acts of love for God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, The INCARNATION, To JESUS through MARY

Thought for the Day – 1 January – Mary, Mother of God

Thought for the Day – 1 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary, Mother of God

“The near-infinite greatness of Mary, flows from the fact, that she is the Mother of God.
The Eternal Word of the Father, consubstantial with Him in nature and equal to Him in majesty, willed to become man in order to set us free from the slavery of sin and to regain Heaven for us.
He became man in the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary.
He took a human body and soul and was born of her, as the God-Man.
For this reason, there is attributed to His Divine Person, the title of Son of Mary and to Mary, the title of Mother of God.

There is a relationship between Mary and each of the three Divine Persons, for she is the daughter of God the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit by whose power the Word became incarnate in her and the mother of the Word made Man.
She is, moreover, in the words of Dante, the “termine fisso di eterno consiglio” (Paradiso 33:1-3).
In other words, she is the centre of the eternal plan which God established for the redemption of the human race.
It was God’s eternal design to reunite creation to the Uncreated, by means of Mary.
She became the mother of the Eternal Word, in whom the divine and human natures were indissolubly united.
He redeemed us by His infinite merits but, in this work of redemption, He employed the co-operation of His holy Mother.
All the graces, privileges and virtues of Mary, flow from this great mystery of her divine Motherhood.
As befitted the future Mother of God, she was conceived free from the stain of original sin and full of grace.
Her mortal life was a continuous ascent towards the highest peak of sanctity.
When she died, she was assumed body and soul into Heaven, where she was crowned in glory, as Queen of Angels and Queen of Saints.
When we consider the sublime nobility of Our Lady, we should be moved to love and venerate her.
This love and veneration does not subtract in the slightest from God’s glory, because, she is the Mother of God.
In fact, it is a great advantage to us, to imitate her and to call on her to intercede for us.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 31 December – The Last Day of the Year

Thought for the Day – 31 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Last Day of the Year

“The last day of the year has come.
It should be a day of reckoning and of resolution.
Think of the many benefits which God has conferred on you throughout your life but, especially in the year which is now drawing to a close.

Count the temporal favours which you have received.
Many of your friends and acquaintances have died during the year but, you are still alive!
God has rescued you from innumerable perils and illnesses.
He has allowed you more time in which to perfect your spiritual life and to perform pastoral work on your neighbour’s behalf.
Try not to be like the barren tree in the gospel because, this could be your final year of trial.

Count the spiritual blessings which you have received.
Think of the graces and good inspirations which God has given you during the past twelve months.
How often have you received forgiveness for your sins, been restored to the friendship of God and, experienced anew, the joy and peace of being in the state of grace?
How often has Jesus come into your heart under the guise of the Blessed Eucharist?
How often have you been enlightened ad ecouraged by hearing or reading the word of God?
Think, too, of the good example which you have received in private and in public and recall the many occasions, on which the helping hand of God has reached out to save you from falling into sin.

You could never show sufficient gratitude for all these favours.
Spend this day, at least, in acts of repentance and thanksgiving and, promise God, to be faithful to Him in the coming year.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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One Minute Reflection – 31 December – God is on earth and man is in heaven.

One Minute Reflection – 31 December – The Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas, Readings: 1 John 2:18-21Psalms 96:1-211-1213John 1:1-18

Christ has been born for us, come, let us adore Him.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

REFLECTION – “God, who gave being to all that is, at the same time united all things together in His providence.

Being master, He became a servant (cf, Phil 2:6-7) and so revealed to the world, the depth of His providence.

God the Word, in becoming incarnate while remaining unchanged, was united through His flesh with the whole of creation.

There is a new wonder in heaven and on earth – God is on earth and man is in heaven.

He united men and angels, so as to bestow deification on all creation.

The knowledge of the holy and co-essential Trinity is the sanctification and deification of men and angels. …

When, in His compassion for man, the Word became flesh (cf. Jn 1:14), He changed, neither what He was, nor what He became.” – Thalassios the Syrian (5th Century)
Priest, Hermit and Abbot in Syria – Centuries on Love I

PRAYER – All-powerful, ever-living God, we thank You for the human birth of Your Son, which is the source and perfection of our Christian life and worship. Number us among His people, for the salvation of all mankind is found in Him, for the Word became flesh who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.

Thalassius of Syria undertook the call of God to life as a hermit in the fifth century.
Thalassius is recorded to have entered into solitude at a young age near a village named Targala in Byzantine Syria. He is said to have dwelt there, living the ascetic life with no shelter for nearly forty years.
Thalassius’ was a soul filled with humbleness, simplicity and a gentle nature. God manifested in him, the gifts of powerful intercession and healing for which he gained considerable renown.
In time, many came to join Thalassius in the eremitic life and he welcomed them as he would welcome Christ, building them cells with his own hands.
BlessedThalassius, Hermit of Syria is said to have died peacefully.

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Thought for the Day – 30 December – Following Jesus

Thought for the Day – 30 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Following Jesus

“When we have renounced ourselves and have embraced our cross with resignation and love, we must follow Jesus.
We must follow Him in a special way as the infallible Teacher of truth.
The teachings of men cannot satisfy our intellects.
Still less, can they satisfy our hearts.
What they teach is either incomplete or false.
This is proved by the fact that the doctrines of mean have succeeded and replaced one another, down through the centuries while “the word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25).

The teaching of Christ produces an extraordinary renovation in the individual, in the family and in society.
It is this renewal which we call Christianity and Christian civilisation.
There is a wide chasm between paganism and Christianity.
This gulf would be even wider, only for the fact that Christianity has not yet been fully put into practice throughout the universe.
There is only one reform necessary.
This is to realise the Christian ideal everywhere.
We must begin by carrying it out ourselves.
Let us follow Jesus, Who is saying to us: “I am the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6). “He who follows Me does not walk in darkness” (Jn 8:12).

Let us follow our divine Master and we shall be sure that we are travelling towards Heaven!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 29 December – The Value of An Hour

Thought for the Day – 29 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Value of An Hour

“There are twenty four hours in a day, eight thousand seven hundred and sixty, in a year.
How have you spent all the hours which God has given you in the past?
How do you intend to use the hours which He will give you in the future?

When you examine the past, you will find much to regret.
Perhaps you have spent many hours in sin, in idle gossp, in useless or dangerous pastimes, or in innumerable business transactions, all of which will contribute NOTHING towards your eternal salvation, which should be our main concern in this life.

How much time have you spent thinking of God, your Creator and Redeemer?
How many hours have you devoted to prayer, thanksgiving and penance.
How many have you spent in apostolic work on behalf of your neighbour?
It may be that the service of God and your spiritual welfare have, so far, been the least of your worries, on which you have expended no more than the few odd moments left over from your other preoccupations.
You are well aware, nevertheless, that the purpose of life is to know, love and serve God.
You know that you ought to offer Him all your thoughts, affections and actions, for He alone can make your happy – or do you NOT know and believe this?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 28 December – Scandal

Thought for the Day – 28 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Scandal

The Gospel contains a frightening condemnation of those who give scandal.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it were better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandal! … If thy hand or thy foot is an occasion of sin to thee, cut it off and cast it from thee! It is better for thee to enter life, mained or lame, than, having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire …” (Cf Mt 18:6-9).
Why was Christ so strict on scandal-givers?
He condemned them because they are the accomplices of the devil.
Not satisfied with doing evil themselves, they seek by means of bad example, to draw others towards ruin as well.
They try to destroy Christ’s work of Redemption and the fruits of the shedding of His Precious Blood.
Let us examine our own conduct.
If we discover anything which could provide an occasion of sin for others, let us remedy it immediately.
Thoughtlessness in such matters can be very dangerous.
Something which seems perfectly innocent to us, could be a source of scandal to others.
Prudence and delicacy are necessary in our relations with our fellow-men.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 27 December – St John the Apostle and Evangelist

Thought for the Day – 26 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist, the Beloved

St John the Apostle and Evangelist

“St John was the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ.
He was allowed, along with St Peter and St James, to enjoy the glory of the Transfiguration and, he was invited with them into the Garden of Gethsemane to witness the agonu ofour divine Redeemer.
In the Cenacle, moreover, after he had received the Blessed Eucharist, he was the only one of the Apostles privileged to rest his head on the breast of Jesus.
He stood at the foot of the Cross on Mount Calvary and heard his Master entrust to him, with His dying breath, the most precious treasure which still remained to Him on earth, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Son, behold thy Mother.”

It is true, that Jesus loved all His Apostles, to all of whom He granted the happiness of enjoying His company, listening to His teaching and witnessing, His miracles.
Even so, He had a special affection for St John.
This was because John was a virgin when Jesus called him and remained so, all his life.
The state of virginity is especially pleasing to God.
It makes us like the Angels and, in a sense, superior to them, since these pure spirits are naturally chaste and, we can only succeed in being so, by means of great self-control.
“Blessed are the pure of heart,” says Jesaus in the Gospel, “for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8).

The privilege of the vision of God is attributed, in a special way, to the pure of heart.
Therefore, St John, the virgin Apostle, begins his Gospel with a descriptio of the intimate life of the eternal God.
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word, was God” (Jn 1:1).
He soars above the earth like an eagle, as St Jerome observes and penetrates into the presence of God Himself.

We know that we shall never be called to scale such heights.
We may not even have a vocation to live as virgins.
But, we are all required to be clean of heart.
Purity is a virtue which all Christians should possess in whatever manner is appropriate to their position in life.
Let us examine ourselves strictly on this matter and make suitable resolutions for the future.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 26 December – St Stephen, the First Martyr

Thought for the Day – 26 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

St Stephen, the First Martyr

“Among the original seven Deacons nominated by the Apostles, there was one name Stephen, who was outstanding for his sanctity and extraordinary spiritual gifts.
Being enlightened by God, this young man dared to rebuke the Jews in public for their hardness of heart and openly defended the doctrine of Christ, Whom he proclaimed to be the Saviour and Redeemer of the world.
One day when he was threatened by his foes, Stephen raised his eyes trustfully towards Heaven and said: “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
The Jews could no longer restrain their fury and proceeded to drag the young man outside the city.
There they left their garments in the care of a youth named Saul, while they savagely stoned Stephen to death.
Stricken to his knees by the force of the missiles, the saintly young disciple continued to look towards Heaven.
“Lord Jesus,” he cried, “receive my spirit.”
Before he breathed his last, he forgave his enemies in the manner of his divine Master.
“Lord,” he prayed, “do not lay this sin against them.”
And with these words he fell asleep (Cf Acts 7:51-60; 8:1-2).

Let us admire and imitate the courage of this Martyr.
We may never be called on, to endure a martyrdom of blood on behalf of our faith but, we shall almost certainly be obliged to undergo the martyrdom of the assault of the passions on our purity of soul, or of severe physical or mental suffering…
If we accept these trials from God with perfect resignation and love, they will certainly prove as valuable to us, as real martyrdom.
If we endure them with the courage and fortitude of St Stephen, we shall be rewarded as he was, by seeing Jesus standing at the right hand of God and offering us the palm of victory!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 25 December – The Feast of the Nativity

Thought for the Day – 25 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Feast of the Nativity

“While the earth, plunged in darkness, ignores the birth of Jesus, the sky brightens above the lowly barn in which the Infant is lying.
The voices of Angels are heard singing a sweet refrain which will echo through the centuries.
“Glory to God in the highest,” they chant “and on earth, peace among men of goodwill (Lk 2:14).”

The world rejects and despises Jesus; one day, moreover, He will be condemned as a criminal and Crucified.
What happens to Jesus is what always happens to TRUTH and JUSTICE, which are often spurned by men but are always victorious in the end.
For a time, truth and justice may seem to have been defeated once and for all but then, they triumph in an extraordinary manner.
The example of Christ is enough to convince us of this.

Let us never reject Jesus Christ, however.
Let us refuse to trample on His holy law or to crucify Him again, by our sins!
Let us listen to the chorus of Angels singing.
Let us make our lives a hymn of praise to Almighty God and then, we shall have that peace of heart which is rserved for men of goodwill.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 24 December – The Holy Family – Jesus

Thought for the Day – 24 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Holy Family – Jesus

“We have in the Holy Family, the highest possible models of perfection – Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
As God, Jesus is essentially holy.
By means of the Hypostatic Union, this sanctity is transmitted also to His human nature.
The holiness of Jesus was only gradually revealed as He grew older because He wished to be like us in everything, save in sin.
As the Gospel says, He “advanced in wisdom and age and grace before God and men” (Lk 2:52).
Jesus gave us an example of holiness which we should find easier to imitate because it was eternally increasing all the time.
He offered us, as an example, the kind of sanctity which has its beginning and foundation in utter humility and detachment from worldly goods.
“Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29).

Socrates advised his followers to have few desires and to desire these as little as possible, in order to remain content, for the man who is full of desires is always uneasy and restless.
This human counsel is very true but, it is incomplete.
It recommends detachment from earthly things but fails to tech the ardent and practical desire for supernatural things.
Jesus Christ teaches us both.
After He has urged us to become gentle and humble like Himself, after He has told us not to worry about the future and not to fret about what to wear and what to eat, He points out the way in which Providence clothes the lilies of the filed and feeds the birds of the air.
Then He adds: “Seek the kingdom of God and all these things shall be given you besides” (Cf Lk. 12:22-31).

We must limit and moderate our desire for earthly goods, therefore but, should ardently yearn to love God, to serve and obey Him in this life and to enjoy Him forever in Heaven.
This is what the Infant Jesus wishes to teach us.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 23 December – What Jesus Wants From Us

Thought for the Day – 23 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

What Jesus Wants From Us

“Let us contemplate Jesus lying on a rough pallet of straw in the manger.
When we see Him looking at us, let us ask ourselves what it is that He requires of us.
In fact, He wants many things from us.
First of all, He wants us to weep for our sins and to promise, never to fall again, as long as we have the assistance of His grace, for which we should pray continually.
For this, He has become man and has entered into the world.
For this He will work miracles, preach His doctrine and shed His Precious Blood on the Cross.
All this He will do to redeem us from sin and to win Heaven for us.

If we return to the path of sin, we destroy the divine work of redemption, inasfar as it applies to ourselves.
We make Christ’s passion, death and resurrection useless in our case.
We brush aside the chain of favours with which His love has girdled us – the Gospel, the Sacraments and the Church, our good mother who is always at our side to instruct and direct us, to rescue us from peril and, to distribute to us, the gifts of her divine Founder.
When we sin, we commit an act of base ingratitude to Jesus and accomplish our own eternal ruin.

The Infant Jesus longs for us to give our hearts to Him.
Since He has given us His own, why should we be unwilling to give ours to Him?
Who or what can we love, if we do not love Jesus?
Nothing else is capable of giving us peace of soul and resignation in suffering.
Jesus alone can bestow these gifts on us, as long as we love and follow Him and abandon ourselves completely to His Holy Will.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 22 December – The Humility of Mary

Thought for the Day – 22 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Humility of Mary

“The profound humility of Mary was commensurate with her high dignity.
As Dante put it, she was the humblest and noblest of creatures. “Umile ed altra piu che creatura” (Paradiso 33:2)
None of the saints was humbler than Mary, just as none of them was greater.
It was an Archangel who came down from Heaven and bowed before her as he praised her in the highest terms as “full of grace” and announced the unique dignity she was to receive as Mother of God.
She bowed her head in turn and declared herself to be the handmaid of the Lord, ready to do His will in all things.
Then she went to visit and congratulate her cousin, Elizabeth, because she had heard from the Angel that she was to be the mother of the Precursor.
When she arrived at the house, she was greeted by Elizabeth with the words: “How have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Far from being flattered, however, Mary attributed all her glory to God and replied with the Magnificat, a hymn of praise and gratitude in God’s honour.
It was the same when Jesus was born in the manger at Bethlehem.
There was a sudden brightness in the sky and the angels sang “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among men of goodwill.”
But even though she held the Lord of Heaven and earth, in her arms, the Blessed Virgin asked for nothing for herself.
Her only desire was to do the will of God.
The love of Jesus was enough for her.
She did not seek her own glory but the glory of God.
Likewise, on the weary journey into Egypt, she was content because, she was with Jesus and in the obscure life of Nazareth, she desired no other treasure but Her divine Son.
During His public life, she followed Him in silence.
Once only she spoke in a submissive tone, in order to ask a favour for others but not for herself.
It was at the wedding celebrations in Cana, when she asked for the first miracle, in such a way, that it was not even apparent that it was she who had wrung the favour from the filial heart of Jesus.
It was always like that, up to the time of Calvary and the Resurrection, the Ascension and Pentecost.
She remained humbly in the background all the time.
Now, after her departure from this earth, her humility has been gloriously crowned in the dogma of the Assumption and in her Coronation as Queen of Angels and of Saints.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Advent Reflection – 22 December – O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations – ‘ … that we might see Him, touch Him and hear Him speak.”

Advent Reflection – 22 December – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations, Readings: 1 Samuel 1:24-281 Samuel 2:14-56-78Luke 1:46-56

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

O KING OF ALL NATIONS
and keystone of the Church
come and save man,
whom You formed from the dust!

…For he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name. … Luke 1:49

REFLECTION – “Then Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour … He has helped Israel his child (Lk 1:54 Gk), remembering his mercy and the covenant he made with Abraham and his descendants forever.”
Do you observe how the Virgin surpasses the perfection of the patriarch and seals the covenant God made with Abraham when He said to him: “This is to be the covenant between me and you”? (Gn 17:11) … It is the song of this prophecy that the holy Mother of God addressed to God when she said: “My soul magnifies the Lord …, for He who is Mighty has magnified me; holy is His name. In making me the mother of God He preserves my virginity. The full number of every generation is summed up within my womb, that they may be made holy in it. For He has blessed all ages, men and woman, young people, children, the old” (…)

“He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly” (…) The lowly, the gentile peoples hungry for righteousness (Mt 5:6), have been exalted. By making known their lowliness and hunger for God and by begging for God’s word, just as the Canaanite woman asked for crumbs (Mt 15:27), they have been satisfied with the riches concealed within the divine mysteries.
For Jesus Christ our God, son of the Virgin, has handed out to the gentiles the whole inheritance of divine favours.
He has raised up Israel his child: not just any Israel but His child, on whose exalted birth He bestows honour. This is why the Mother of God calls this people her child and her heir. God, who found this people worn out by the letter, wearied by the Law, calls it to His grace. By giving this name to Israel He raises him up, “remembering his mercy, as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.”
These few words sum up the whole mystery of our salvation. Wanting to save humankind and seal the covenant established with our fathers, Jesus Christ then “inclined the heavens and came down” (Ps 18[17]:10).
Thus He manifested Himself to us, putting Himself within our reach so that we might see Him, touch Him and hear Him speak.” – A 4th century homily (Incorrectly attributed to Gregory of Neocaesarea, called “Thaumaturgos”, no. 2)

Prayer – The Magnificat
The Canticle of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour
He looks on His servant in her lowliness
Henceforth, all ages will call me blessed:
The Almighty works marvels for me,
holy is His Name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear Him.
He puts forth His arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, His servant,
remembering His mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons forever.
Amen

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Thought for the Day – 21 December – The Silence of the Divine Infant

Thought for the Day – 21 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Silence of the Divine Infant

Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word of God, made man, the infinite and substantial image of the Divine Intellect.
Nevertheless, the Divine Infant, Whom we adore in the stable at Bethlehem, is mute and silent.
The voluntary humiliation of the Son of God is such, that He, the Word of God, cannot utter a single human syllable.
By this chosen silence, however, He teaches us many things.
In the first place, He teaches us humility and self-denial.
He teaches us, moreover, to recollect ourselves in the Presence of God, so that it may be easier for us to speak with Him and for Him, to make known what He requires of us.
The silence of prayer brings forth divine consolations and inspirations to holiness,

Do we love to be silent?
It is not necessary to become hermits but, it is essential, from time to time, to place ourselves quietyly in the Presence of God.
God cannot be heard through the noise and confusion of the world, whereas, He speaks clearly to the soul, which seeks the silence of prayer.
In any case, if we go about looking for the gossip and idle chatter of the world, it is almost impossible not to offend God.
“Avoid profane and empty babblings,” St Paul urges us, “for they contribute much to ungodliness” (2 Tim 2:16).
“If anyone does not offend in word,” adds St James, “he is a perfect man” (Js 3:2).
“The tongue is a little member,” he continues but, goes onto emphasis that it is capable of doing either a great deal of good or a great deal of harm.
“With it, we bless God the Father and, with it, we curse men, who have been made after the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren ought not to be so” (Js 3:5-10).

There are two main lessons which we should learn, therefore, from the silence of the Divine Infant.
We should learn to love recollection and, we should learn to make proper use of the gift of speech, which can be an equally powerful weapon, in the cause of good, or, in the cause of evil!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci