Posted in LENTEN THOUGHTS, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on POVERTY

Thought for the Day – 4 March – Riches and Poverty

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

Riches and Poverty

“There is a striking contrast between the luxurious living of wealthy people who waste their money on pleasure and amusement and the abject poverty of those who are without food, clothing and shelter.
This is in complete contradiction of the Gospel message which has proclaimed that we are all brothers.

Extravagance is always self-centred, whereas Christianity, is the creed of love.
Sumptuous living cannot be justified by an appeal to the right to own property, for, it is a shameless betrayal of the Gospel spirit of fraternl charity.
When St Thomas Aquinas is defending the right to private property, he adds at once: “In regard to the use of it, however, a man should not regard material goods as belonging entirely to himself but … should be ready to share them with others in their necessity” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, 1 66, a 2).
If such maxims, which derive their inspiration from the Gospel, were put into practice, there would be neither excessive wealth, nor excessive poverty, in the world today.

It is true, that there would still be poverty but, destitution would disappear.

Poverty is good, in that it makes us detached from worldly things and helps us to think more about the next life.
But, destitution is really a social crime, for it is the result of human egoism and can breed hatred and spiritual degradation.

“Poverty,” writes Péguy, “is decent. It does not dress in rags … It’s dwelling is tidy, healthy and affords a welcome. It can have a change of linen once a week. It is not emaciated nor hungry… It is not good for anyone to live in easy circumstances; on the contrary, it is much better always to feel the goad of necessity…” (La guerre et la paix, p 338).

It was, in this sense, that Jesus blessed the poor and condemned the rich.
He is referring to the poor man who has enough to supply his needs, is detached from worldly possessions, uses his poverty to assist him in his journey towards Heaven and, is happy or, at any rate, content.
But He condemns the rich man who squanders his wealth on selfish amusement and is deaf to the entreaties of those in need.

After twenty centuries of Christianity, the violent contrast still exists in modern society.
If we have any reason to reproach ourselves, let us try now, to make up for our deficiencies.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on WORK/LABOUR

Thought for the Day – 21 February – Detachment from the World

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

Detachment from the World

“St John Bosco said, that we should ork as if we never had to die.
But, we should also be as detached from worldly things, as if we had to die in one hour.
A man who works like this, can accomplish wonders because, he is not working for himself but, for God.
We should work and pray with our feet on the earth and our minds in heaven.
We should seek God, not ourselves, in everything which we do.
Let us remember, that one moment in Heaven, is worth infinitely more than all the pleasure, love and vanity of this world!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/12/thought-for-the-day-12-march-detachment-from-the-world/

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, ON the SAINTS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 20 February – Doing Everything for the Love of God

Thought for the Day – 20 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Doing Everything for the Love of God

“The beginning of perfection consists in doing the will of God, even in our smallest actions.
But, to do everything for the love of God, is the summit of Christian perfection.
If we aimed always at doing God’s will and acting from the motive of love for Him, we should be contented and at peace, because we should be holy.
The saints are the only people who remain calm and undisturbed in the midst of worldly adversity.
They are always content, because they live in God.
Their lives are in full conformity with His Will, guided by His Love and dedicated to His Service.
As a result, they live in a kind of spiritual stratosphere far above the storms of this world.
There they are above the clouds of pride, ambition, avarice and all the other major vices.
There they see and contemplate everything in the Light of God.
Let us become saints.
Then we shall have solved all the problems of life!.” Amen

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CONFESSION, CONFESSION/PENANCE, INDULGENCES, LENT, LENT 2021, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PURGATORY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, QUOTES on SIN

Thought for the Day – 19 February – Purification

Thought for the Day – 19 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Purification

“God has given us two supernatural means of purifying ourselves after we have sinned – the Sacrament of Penance and Indulgences.
The Sacrament of Penance is the plank of salvation to which we can cling when we have been shipwrecked by sin and, by means of Indulgences, we can draw on the infinite treasury of the merits of Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints, in order to make partial or total satisfaction for the temporal punishment due to our sins.
In this way, we can shorten our purgatory in this life and escape it in the next!

We should make good use of the Sacrament of Penance.
If we fall into mortal sin, let us have recourse at once to this fount of grace.
Even when we are not in mortal sin, let us be faithful to the practice of weekly or at least, fortnightly, confession.

We should not abuse this great gift simply because it seems such a simple method of obtaining pardon.
God is infinitely just, we must remember and, He expects us to co-operate with His graces.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One Here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/25/thought-for-the-day-25-july-purification/

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 11 February – The Power of Mary

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

The Power of Mary

“We should turn confidently to Mary, especially when we are tempted.
She cannot allow us to offend her Jesus and to fall into the foils of the devil, as long as we pray to her with faith in her intercession.
“The devil, as a roaring lion,” says St Peter, “goes about seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
But, our Mother Mary is always by our side seeking to protect us.
Let us entrust ourselves to her maternal care.
Not only does Mary wish to help us, declares St Bonaventure but, those who do not pray to her, commit almost as great an offence, as those who openly insult her (In Spec Virg)!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One Here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/15/thought-for-the-day-15-may-the-power-of-mary/

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on MERIT, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 21 January –Fundamental Facts

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

Fundamental Facts

“Death is approaching.
How many years have we left?
How many months?
How many hours?
We do not know.
Perhaps this could be the last day or the last hour of our lives and, if that were true, in what state would we appear before the majesty of God?
How terrible if we were in mortal sin – we would be damned for all eternity!

But, even if we find ourselves in the state of grace, what merits have we to present to the eternal Judge?
What sacrifices have we made to prove our love for Him?
What mortifications and penances have we voluntarily undertake to purify ourselves of our sins?
What good works have we done, what alms have we given, what prayers have we said?
We may have to admit that we have wasted most of the time which God has given us in useless or even sinful occupations.
Let us treasure, at least, the years, days, or hours which God still wills to grant us, for our full conversion and for our spiritual perfection.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/26/thought-for-the-day-25-september-fundamental-facts/

Posted in JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The BEATITUDES, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 19 January – The Thirst for Justice

Thought for the Day – 19 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Thirst for Justice

“Jesus commands us, in the Beatitudes, to seek justice, that is perfection in the fulfilment of our obligations to God, to ourselves and, to our neighbour.
He commands us, to hunger and thirst for this justice, which is identical with holiness.

When Christ tells us to hunger and thirst for justice, He imposes on us, the obligation of doing our very best to acquire the virtue of Christian justice, which is the sythesis of all the virtues.
We must be aware, therefore, of laziness, apathy, tepidity, or mediocrity, for our advance in spiritual perfection, must be continuous.
There must be no hesitation or backsliding.
The high target which God has set for us, demands hard work and boundless generosity on our part.
Jesus Christ loved us so much that He gave Himself entirely for us and shed His Precious Blood to the last drop, for our Redemption.
How can we possibly be niggardly or half-hearted in our relatioas with Him?

Whenever God’s cause is at stake, whether in our efforts to achieve our own spiritual perfection or in the fulfilment of our obliations towards our neighbour, we should never refuse anything but, should display absolute dedication to God and to our fellow-man.
“Let us hunger,” said St Catherine of Siena, “for God’s honour and for the salvation of souls” (Vrev di perfezioe, p81).
The hunger and thirst for justice, nourished by the love of God and of our neighbour, should exclude all mediocrity and selfishness from our lives.
It should urge us on, as it did the Saints, towards the highest pinnacles of sanctity.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, QUOTES on VIRTUE

Thought for the Day – 18 January – External Mortification

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

External Mortification

“The interior mortification of self-love and of our sensual inclinations is not enough.
Bodily mortifiation is also necessary.
St Paul provides the reason. “the flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh” (Gal 5:17)

Original sin disturbed the perfect harmony which existed between man’s body and soul.
“I see another law in my members,” said the Apostle Paul, “warring against the law of my mind” (2 Cor 12:7).

There is no such struggle between the flesh and the spirit in brute animals, which are concerned only with the satisfaction of their sensible appetites.
It is because he is endowed with reason and an immortal soul, that man experiences this conflict.
The result is, that either the soul is conquered and becomes the slave of man’s lower instincts, or, the soul is victorious and uses the body as a instrument of virtue.

We can see from this, how necessary it is to mortify our bodies, so that they will not rebel against the mastery of the soul.
Our body will be either the faithful servant, or the relentless tyrant of the soul!

What penances do I perform?
When do I fast?
Little or never, perhaps?
If so, it is not surprising that my body rebels and causes me to fall into sin.
We must follow the example of Jesus and the Saints in this matter, if we wish to remain in the state of grace.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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

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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

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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

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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)

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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

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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

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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