Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SACRED SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The BEATITUDES

Quote/s of the Day – 2 May – St Athanasius

Quote/s of the Day – 2 May – The Memorial of St Athanasius (297-373) Confessor, Father & Doctor of the Church

You will not see anyone,
who is really striving
after his advancement,
who is not given to spiritual reading.
And as to him who neglects it,
the fact will soon be observed
by his progress
.”

Similarly, anyone who wishes
to understand the minds
of the sacred writers
must first cleanse his own life
and approach the Saints,
by imitating their deeds
.”

Let us remember the poor
and not forget kindness to strangers;
above all, let us love God
with all our soul
and might
and strength
and our neighbour
as ourselves.

MORE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/02/quote-s-of-the-day-2-may/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/05/02/quote-s-of-the-day-2-may-st-athanasius/

St Athanasius (297-373)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Posted in QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on POVERTY, QUOTES on SACRED SCRIPTURE, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 29 April – Faith and Charity

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

Faith and Charity

“Our faith should be suffused by love of our neighbour , as well as, by the love of God.
We should love our neighbour as ourselves.
Does anybody really practise this fundamental Christian precept?
Once again, let us contrast the magnificent mansions and places of entertainment of the rich, with the slums and hovels where thousands are living, in conditions which are not fit for rational human beings.
Is this Christianity?

Is this the teaching of the Gospel?

What would Jesus say about such aspects of modern life?
It would seem, that the Gospel is still a closed book for many Christians.

Let us examine ourselves on this commandment, which is so generally ignored that the consequences are likely to be disastrous for everybody.
Let us investigate how much responsibility we bear for this sad and dangerous state of affairs.
Let us make appropriate resolutions, which will save us from the peril of God’s final and fearful condemnation – “Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire… As long as you did not do it for one of these least ones, you did not do it for me!” (Cf Mt 25:41-46).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/23/thought-for-the-day-23-april-faith-and-charity/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/04/19/thought-for-the-day-19-april-faith-and-charity/

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on the CHURCH

Thursday in Passion Week – 7 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘ … She did for the feet what you refused to the Head. …’

Thursday in Passion Week, the Fifth Week of Lent – 7 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Daniel 3:25, 34-45, Luke 7:36-50

Happy are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord.” – Psalm 118:1

… She began to bathe His feet with her tears
and wiped them with the hair of her head
and kissed His feet
and anointed them with ointment.”

Luke 7:38

WITH HER HANDS OF GOOD WORKS, she holds the feet of those who preach His Kingdom. She washes them with tears of charity, kisses them with praising lips and pours out the whole ointment of mercy, until He will turn to her. This means that He will come back to her and say to Simon, to the Pharisees, to those who deny, to the nation of the Jews, “I came into your house. You gave me no water for my feet.

WHEN WILL HE SPEAK these words? He will speak them when He will come in the Majesty of His Father and separate the righteous from the unrighteous, like a Shepherd, Who separates the sheep from the goats. He will say, “I was hungry and you did not give me to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger and you did not take me in.” This is equivalent to saying, “But this woman, while she was bathing My Feet, anointing them and kissing them, did to the servants what you did not do for the Master.” She did for the feet what you refused to the Head. She expended upon the lowliest members, what you refused to your Creator. Then He will say to the Church, “Your sins, many as they are, are forgiven you because you have loved much.”St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and “Doctor of Homilies” of the Church (Sermon 95)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, LENTEN PRAYERS & NOVENAS, QUOTES on ALMS, Quotes on SALVATION, The WORD

Monday of the Third Week of Lent – 21 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘ Are we going to neglect our own salvation? … ‘

Monday of the Third Week of Lent – 21 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – 4 Kings, 5:1-15, Luke 4:23-30

“O God, my wanderings You have counted; my tears are recorded in Your sight.” – Psalm 55:9

There were many widows in Israel

Luke 4:25

THE WIDOW OF SAREPTA welcomes the prophet Elijah with every generosity and expends all her poverty in his honour, even though she is a Sidonian foreigner. She had never heard what the prophets have to say about the merits of almsgiving, let alone the words of Christ: “You saw me hungry and gave me food” (Mt 25:35).

WHAT EXCUSE DO WE HAVE if, after such exhortations, after the promise of such great rewards, after the promise of the Kingdom of Heaven and its happiness, we fail to reach the same level of goodness as this widow? A Sidonian woman, a widow, burdened with the care of a family, threatened by famine and seeing the advent of death, opens her door to welcome an unknown man and gives him the scrap of meal she has left …

YET WE, WHO HAVE been taught by the prophets, have heard the teachings of Christ, have the opportunity of meditating on what is to come, who are not threatened by famine and who own a great deal more that this woman, are we to be excused if we dare not lay a finger on our goods to give of them? Are we going to neglect our own salvation? …

SO THEN, LET US SHOW GREAT compassion towards the poor so as to be made worthy of possessing good things to come for all eternity, by the grace and love for humankind of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Great Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon on Elijah and the widow and almsgiving; PG 51, 348).

Posted in LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD

Thought for the Day – 20 March – Charitable Works

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

Charitable Works

“When Jesus was asked, what was the first commandment, He replied: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than this” (Mk 12:30-31).
As St Augustine says, the love of God and the love of neighbour are two branches of the same tree, the tree of charity.
“If anyone says, ‘I love God’ and hates his brother,” St John warns us, “he is a liar” (1 Jn 4:20).

We must prove our love for God by showing charity towards our neighbour.
All men are our brothers in Jesus Christ, Who has redeemed us by His Precious Blood.
Our Lord has said that He will regard as done for Himself, anything which we do for the least of our brethren (Mt 25:10).

Like the Saints, we should see Jesus Himself living in the poor and the suffering.
The Saints gave Him everything they had, not only their possessions but also their toil and their love.

Think how much those missionaries do who leave everything in order to go to foreign lands and win souls for Christ.
Think of the charitable work of the sisters and nurses in the hospitals, asylums and orphanages.
What are we doing?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/21/thought-for-the-day-21-march-charitable-works/

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on POVERTY, QUOTES on WEALTH/RICHES, The WORD

Thursday of the Second week of Lent – 17 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – The rich man and Lazarus

Thursday of the Second week of Lent – 17 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Jeremias 17:5-10, Luke 16:19-31

“Deign, O God, to rescue me; O Lord, make haste to help me … ” – Psalm 69:2

There was a rich man,
who was clothed in purple
and fine linen
and who feasted sumptuously everyday.
And at his gate lay a poor man,
named Lazarus…

Luke 16:19–20

“… A CERTAIN MAN, it is said, living in great wickedness, was rich and he experienced no ill fortune but all good things flowed to him as from a perennial fountain. For that nothing undesirable happened to him – no cause of trouble – none of the ills of human lif, is implied when it is said, that “he feasted sumptuously everyday.

AND THAT HE LIVED wickedly is clear from the end allotted to him and even before his end, from the neglect which he displayed in the case of the poor man – for, that he felt pity neither for the poor man at his gate, nor for any other, he himself showed. …

BUT HE HAD NO FEELINGS, he was more severe and harsh than that judge who neither feared God nor regarded man. For the judge, although so cruel and stern, was moved by the perseverance of the widow to be gracious and listen to her petition but this man, could not even thus be induced to give aid to the poor man, notwithstanding that his petition was not like that of the widow but much easier and fairer. …

WHEN WE ARE URGED, we frequently feel annoyed but when we see those who need our help remaining in perfect silence and saying not a word and although always failing to gain their object, not bearing it hardly but. only appearing before us in silence, even though we are more unfeeling than the very stones, we are shamed and moved by such exceeding humility.

THERE IS ALSO another circumstance of not less weight, namely, that the very appearance of the poor man was pitiable, since he was emaciated by hunger and long sickness. Yet none of these things influenced that cruel man. …

STILL IT CAME TO PASS that a man living in wickedness and inhumanity enjoyed every kind of good fortune and a just and virtuous man lingered in the greatest ills. For that Lazarus was a just man is made plain, as in the other case, by his end and even before his end, by his patience and poverty. Do you not, indeed, seem to see these things present before our eyes?” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (Excerpt First Discourse on Luke 16:19-31)

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on WEALTH/RICHES, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day –17 March – ‘Give earth and receive heaven!’

Quote/s of the Day –17 March – Thursday of the Second week of Lent – Jeremias 17:5-10, Luke 16:19-31

There was a rich man,
who was clothed in purple
and fine linen
and who feasted sumptuously everyday.
And at his gate lay a poor man,

named Lazarus…”

Luke 16:19–20

… So then, you rich who have wisdom,
apply yourselves to this business…
Why let yourselves be transfixed
by diamonds and emeralds,
by houses that fire devours,
time destroys,
or earthquakes throw down?
Aspire for nothing other
than to dwell in the heavens
and reign with God.
A mere man,
a beggar will gain you this kingdom!

St Clement of Alexandria (150- 215)
Father of the Church

Give of your earthly goods
and receive eternal ones;
give earth and receive heaven
!”

St Augustine (354-430)\
Father and Doctor of the Church

Earthly riches are like the reed.
Its roots are sunk in the swamp
and its exterior, is fair to behold
but inside, it is hollow.
If a man leans on such a reed,
it will snap off and pierce his soul.”

“Damned money!
Alas! …
Money is the ‘droppings of birds’
that blinded the eyes of Tobit.

St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Evangelical Doctor

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, LENT 2022, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, The WORD

Tuesday of the First Week of Lent – 7 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘… For You commanded that we should do good, from dawn to dusk, in the same day, …’

Tuesday of the First Week of Lent – 7 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers

Let my prayer come
like incense before You, O Lord.
Psalm 140:2

And the blind and the lame
came to Him in the temple
and He healed them. …
and the children cried out ,,, saying,
Hosanna to the Son of David
” –

Matthew 21:14,15

“You alone are great and generous in everything.
You are the definition of abundant goodness,
Who pours forth constantly, without measure,
more than we ask or expect,
as Paul said in gratitude.

For You commanded that we should do good,
from dawn to dusk, in the same day,

nine times fifty, plus four times ten.
Always attentive,
forgiving with an unfettered heart,
something more
than the expectation of men’s prayers.

And if we place my wretchedness
and disgrace beside Your glory,
omnipotent and awesome Power,
God of all, blessed Lord Christ,
by what measure of weight
shall the balance between
the Creator and the clay be set?
You remain in these things infinite
and unexaminable,
good in all things,
having no part in the wrath of darkness,
therefore, far less are the number of stars
than Your greatness,
for You called them into existence from nothing
by merely pronouncing their names.
Or take the mass of the earth floating in air,
created from nothing,
from which You established the dry land of earth.
These are less than the number I formulated above,
by which You taught us to be like You in forgiveness.”St Gregory of Narek (c 951-c 1010) Monk, Poet, Mystical philosopher, Theologian, Father (Excerpt – Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, The WORD

Monday of the First Week of Lent – 7 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘… Let us not labour to heap up and hoard riches, while others remain in need. …’

Monday of the First Week of Lent – 7 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers

O Lord, deal with us,
not according to our sins,
nor requite us,
according to our crimes..

Psalm 102:10

Amen I say to you,
as long as you did not do it
for one of these least ones,
you did not do it for Me.

Matthew 25:45

RECOGNISE TO WHOM you owe the fact, that you exist, that you breathe, that you understand, that you are wise and, above all, that you know God and hope for the Kingdom of Heaven and the vision of glory, now darkly as in a mirror but then, with greater fullness and purity. You have been made a son of God, co-heir with Christ. Where did you get all this and from whom?

LET ME TURN to what is of less importance: – the visible world around us. What benefactor has enabled you to look out upon the beauty of the sky, the sun in its course, the circle of the moon, the countless number of stars, with the harmony and order that are theirs, like the music of a harp? Who has blessed you with rain, with the art of husbandry, with different kinds of food, with the arts, with houses, with laws, with states, with a life of humanity and culture, with friendship and the easy familiarity of kinship?

WHO HAS GIVEN YOU DOMINION over animals, those that are tame and those that provide you with food? Who has made you lord and master of everything on earth? In short, Who has endowed you with all that makes man superior to all other living creatures?

IS IT NOT GOD WHO ASKS YOU NOW, in your turn, to show yourself generous above all other creatures and for the sake of all other creatures? Because we have received from Him so many wonderful gifts, will we not be ashamed to refuse Him this one thing only, our generosity? Although He is God and Lord, He is not afraid to be known as our Father. Shall we, for our part, repudiate those who are our kith and kin?

BRETHREN AND FRIENDS, let us never allow ourselves to misuse what has been given us by God’s gift. If we do, we shall hear Saint Peter say: Be ashamed of yourselves for holding onto what belongs to someone else. Resolve to imitate God’s justice and no-one will be poor. Let us not labour to heap up and hoard riches, while others remain in need. If we do, the prophet Amos will speak out against us with sharp and threatening words – Come now, you that say:- When will the new moon be over, so that we may start selling? When will the sabbath be over, so that we may start opening our treasures?

LET US PUT INTO PRACTICE the supreme and primary law of God. He sends down rain on just and sinful alike and causes the sun to rise on all, without distinction. To all earth’s creatures he has given the broad earth, the springs, the rivers and the forests. He has given the air to the birds and the waters to those who live in the water. He has given abundantly to all the basic needs of life, not as a private possession, not restricted by law, not divided by boundaries but as common to all, amply and in rich measure. His gifts are not deficient in any way because He wanted to give equality of blessing to equality of worth and to show the abundance of His generosity.” – St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from his Oration 14: On Love of the Poor)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on POVERTY, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 March – Do you suppose that charity is not an obligation but voluntary?

One Minute Reflection – 7 March – Monday of the First Week of Lent – Ezech 34:11-16, Matt hew 25:31-46 and the Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas OP (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus and Doctor Communis

Amen I say to you, as long as you did not do it for one of these least ones, you did not do it for Me.” – Matthew 25:45

REFLECTION –Do you suppose that charity is not an obligation but voluntary? That it is not a law but merely a counsel? I should like it to be so, too and would gladly think so. But God’s left hand gives me cause for alarm, the place where He has set the goats to whom He addresses His reproaches, not because they stole, plundered, committed adultery or perpetrated other such faults but because, they did not honour Christ in the person of His poor!

If you are willing to listen to me, then, O servants of Christ, His brothers and co-heirs, I say ,that we should visit Christ while there is an opportunity, take care of Him and feed Him. We should clothe Christ and welcome Him. We should honour Him, not only at our table, like some; not only with ointments, like Mary Magdalene; not only with a sepulchre, like Joseph of Arimathea; nor with things which have to do with His burial, like Nicodemus… nor finally, with gold, incense and myrrh, like the Magi.

But, as the Lord of all “desires mercy and not sacrifice” (Mt 9,13) and as compassion is better than tens of thousands of fat rams, let us offer Him this mercy through the needy and those who are at present cast down to the ground. Let us do this, so that, when we depart hence, they may “welcome us into the eternal habitations” (Lk 16,9), in the same Christ our Lord, to whom be glory forever.” – St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 14, on Love for the Poor, 27, 28, 39-40).

PRAYER – O God, our Saviour, direct our minds by Your heavenly teaching, so that the Lenten fast may profit us. And may the intercession of St Thomas Aquinas, Your humble servant, aid us in our need. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, QUOTES on ALMS, The WORD

First Saturday of Lent – 5 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘light shall rise for you in the darkness …’ Isaiah 58:10

First Saturday of Lent – 5 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers

Take courage; it is I,
do not be afraid.
And He got into the boat with them
and the wind fell.

Mark 6:50-51

If you bestow your bread
on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
then light shall rise
for you in the darkness
and the gloom
shall become for you,like midday…

Isaiah 58:10

[My father] actually treated his own property, as if it were another’s, of which he was but the steward, relieving poverty, as far as he could and expending, not only his superfluities but his necessities — a manifest proof of love for the poor, giving a portion, not only to seven, according to the injunction of Solomon but, if an eighth came forward, not even in his case being mi8serly but, more pleased to dispose of his wealth, than we know others are to acquire it.

THIS IS WHAT MOST people do – they give indeed but without that readiness, that is a greater and more perfect thing than the mere offering.
For he thought it much better to be generous, even to the undeserving, for the sake of the deserving, than from fear of the undeserving to deprive those who were deserving.
And this seems to be the duty of casting our bread on the waters, since it will not be swept away or perish in the eyes of the just Investigator but, will arrive yonder where all that is ours is laid up and will meet with us in due time, even though we think it not.

But what is best and greatest of all – [my father’s] magnanimity was accompanied by freedom from ambition!St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (On the Death of His Father [Oration 18], 20).

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on FASTING, The WORD

First Friday of Lent – 4 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘And what kind of Christian is it, who will not fast with the Lord?’

First Friday of Lent – 4 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Isaiah 58:1-9, Matthew 5:43-38,6:1-4

One thing I ask the Lord;
this I seek:
to dwell in the house of the Lord.

Psalm 26:4

Take heed not to do your good before men,
in order to be seen by them;
otherwise you shall have no reward
with your Father in Heaven.

Matthew 6:1

AND WHAT KIND OF CHRISTIAN is it who will not fast, at least until None (the mid-afternoon Breviary hour), during this season?
Recall how the Ninevites required even of children at the breast that they too should fast and their flocks and herds likewise, that all might be delivered from the danger that threatened them.
What kind of Christian is he who, although well and able refuses to fast with … the Lord?
They will say: We cannot both work and fast.
They cannot because they WILL NOT.
Then let them work less that they may fast more.
I warn you and I exhort you in the Lord, that none among you, unless a sick person or a child, eat or drink before the hour of Nones, except on Sundays.

I COUNSEL YOU ALSO, that he who is near the Church and can come, should hear Mass each day. And that he who can, should come each evening to the recitation of Vespers.
Let those who live far from the Church try to come to Vespers each Sunday at least …

LET HIM who has HATE in his heart, or anger, against another, put it wholly from himself, if he wishes to be saved. …
And you must understand, that whatever it is that you deny yourself through fasting must be given entirely to the poor, not kept back for yourselves!

MAY ALMIGHTY GOD grant, that you keep before you what I have told you and that you fulfil it … so that at the end of this life and at the close of your labours, you may enter into eternal rest.
May He grant you this, Who created you and sought at the price of His own Blood to redeem you,
Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church

Posted in LENT 2021, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on MERCY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 4 March – Isaiah 58:6-9, Matthew 6:1-4

Quote/s of the Day – 4 March – First Friday of Lent – Isaiah 58:1-9, Matthew 5:43-38,6:1-4

This, rather, is the fasting that I wish:
releasing those bound unjustly,
untying the thongs of the yoke;
setting free the oppressed,
breaking every yoke;
sharing your bread with the hungry,
sheltering the oppressed and the homeless;
clothing the naked when you see them
and not turning your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
your vindication shall go before you
and the glory of the Lord
shall be your rearguard.
Then you shall call
and the Lord will answer,
you shall cry for help
and He will say:
‘Here I am!’
For I, the Lord your God, am merciful.

Isaiah 58:6-9

Take heed not to do your good before men,
in order to be seen by them;
otherwise you shall have no reward
with your Father in Heaven.
Therefore, when you give alms,
do not sound a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and streets,
in order that they may be honoured by men.
Amen I say to you,
they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know
what your right hand is doing,
so that your alms may be given in secret
and your Father, Who sees in secret,
will reward you.

Matthew 6:1-4

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on WATCHING, The HEART

Ash Wednesday – 2 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers Begins

Ash Wednesday – 2 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers Begins

In the face of my darkness,
You are Light.
In the face of my mortality,
You are Life.”

St Gregory of Narek (950-1003)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“O Lord, deal with us,
not according to our sins,
nor requite us according to our crimes.”

Psalm 102:10

BEHOLD, DEARLY BELOVED, the Sacred days are drawing near, the acceptable time, of which it is written – Behold, now is the acceptable tome. behold, now is the day of salvation (II Cor vi)
And so you must be more earnest in prayer and in alms-giving, in fasting and in watching. He that until now has given alms, in these days let him give more – for as water quencheth a flaming fire, so does almsgiving wipe out sin (Eccles. iii. 33).
He that until now fasted and prayed, let him fast and pray still more – for there are certain sins which are not cast out, except by prayer and fasting
(Mc. xvii. 20).

SHOULD ANYONE CHERISH ANGER towards another, let him forgive from his heart. Should anyone take, unjustly what belongs to another, let him restore it and if not fourfold, at least that which he has taken, if he desires God to be merciful to himself (Lk. xix. 8).

AND although a Christian should abstain at all times from cursings and revilings, from oaths, from excessive laughter and from idle words, he must do this especially in these holy days, which are set apart, so that during these forty days, he may, by Penance, wipe out the sins of the whole year!

MAY YOU BELIEVE and believe firmly, that if, in these days, you have made a thorough Confession of your sins and done Penance as we have told you, you shall receive from Our Most Merciful Lord, the pardon of all your offences, as did the Ninivites, who earned deliverance from their afflictions by doing penance in sackcloth and ashes (Jn. iii).

So you also, following their example, if you cry out with all your heart to the Lord, you will invoke His Mercy on you, so that, serene and joyful, you will celebrate the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, and, thus blessed, you will after this life cross over to your heavenly home, by the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest, world without end. Amen. – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan. Father and One of the Four Original Doctors of the Latin Church

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The HOLY CROSS, The SIGN of the CROSS

Quote/s of the Day – 2 March – Ash Wednesday

Quote/s of the Day – 2 March – Ash Wednesday

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.
Rend your hearts, not your garments
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger,
rich in kindness
and relenting in punishment.

Joel 2:12-13

He need not fear anything,
nor be ashamed of anything,
who bears the Sign of the Cross
on his brow
.”

Fasting is the soul of prayer,
mercy is the lifeblood of fasting.
Let no-one try to separate them,
they cannot be separated.
If you have only one of them,
or not all together,
you have nothing!
So if you pray, fast;
if you fast, show mercy;
if you want your petition to be heard,
hear the petition of others.
If you do not close your ear to others,
you open God’s ear to yourself.

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Fasting cleanses the soul,
raises the mind,
subjects one’s flesh to the spirit,
renders the heart contrite and humble,
scatters the clouds of concupiscence,
quenches the fire of lust
and kindles the true light of chastity.
Enter again into yourself!

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Fasting, when rightly practised,
lifts the mind to God
and mortifies the flesh.
It makes virtue easy to attain
and increases our merits
.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on PRIDE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 March – ‘ … He strips bare the secret intentions of our souls. …’

One Minute Reflection – 2 March – Ash Wednesday –Joel 2:12-19, Matthew 6:16-21

They have received their reward” – Matthew 6:16

REFLECTION – “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them.” Why not? If people see them then what will you get out of them? “You will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.”  My brethren, the Lord is not bringing judgement here but giving an explanation. He casts light on the wiles of our thoughts, He strips bare the secret intentions of our souls. He draws attention to the measure of a just retribution, to those unrighteous, pondering righteousness. Righteousness that sets itself in the sight of others can expect no divine reward from the Father. It wanted to be seen and it was seen; it wanted to please others and it pleased them. It has received the recompense it wanted – the recompense it did not want, it will not have …

“When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do.” “Blow your trumpet” – this is the exact phrase in that this kind of alms is more like a deed of war than of peace. It passes wholly into its sound but has nothing to do with mercy. It comes from the land of disunion but has not been nourished by goodness. It is a dealing in outward show, not chaste commerce …. “So, then, when you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.” You have taken good note: – alms offered at a meeting, in public square and street corners, is not an offering made for the comforting of the poor but has been set forward in the sight of others to attract their admiration … Flee hypocrisy, my brethren, flee from it …. It does not bring comfort to the poor; the groans of the homeless but is only a pretext for it, to seek out even more busily, a spectacular glory for itself. It inflates its praise of the suffering of the poor. – St Peter Chrysologus (406-450) Bishop of Ravenna, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 9).

PRAYER – Grant, O Lord, that Your faithful people may, with true piety, undertake the time-honoured custom of fasting and may carry it out with unwavering devotion. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in LENT 2022, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on ANGELS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on KINDNESS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE

Second Thoughts for our immanent entry into Lent – Planting a Lenten Garden

A few last-minute sowing plans
for the garden of our souls.
Planting virtue and good habits
and ascending that steep hill,
day-by-day, with love, faithfulness
and perseverance.

Accompanying our Saviour on His
Journey of our Redemption:

Five Rows of Squash:

  1. Squash gossip
  2. Squash indifference
  3. Squash unkindness
  4. Squash temper
  5. Squash the idols of greed and lust

Six Rows of Peas:

  1. Prayer
  2. Penance
  3. Perseverance
  4. Purity
  5. Patience
  6. Politeness

Seven Heads of Lettuce:

  1. Let us be unselfish
  2. Let us be charitable
  3. Let us be obedient
  4. Let us be truthful
  5. Let us be gentle and kind
  6. Let us be repentant
  7. Let us be renewed

No garden is complete without Turnips:

  1. Turn up for Daily Mass
  2. Turn up fo Eucharistic Adoration
  3. Turn up for Daily Morning and Night Prayer
  4. Turn up for Spiritual reading on Breathing Catholic 🤗🙏💘

Conclude with Thyme:

Thyme with God, thyme for fasting, thyme for generosity and care of the poor, the sick, the suffering.

Water daily with patience
Feed with love
The Beloved Saviour will provide the growth.

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 7 February – Religion and Action

Thought for the Day – 7 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Religion and Action

“Anyone who fails to correspond with the grace of God, is not living the life of Jesus.
Without the life of Jesus, he is a dead limb, a withered branch cut away from the vine.
It is not enough to say “Lord, Lord!” in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven but, it is necessary to do the will of our Heavenly Father (Cf Mt 7:21).
The grace of God must produce an abundant harvest of good works, no matter what sacrifices this may cost us.
Otherwise, God’s gift would have been bestowed in vain and, before the Supreme Judge one day, would be a reason for a terrible retribution, instead of a reward.
Let us think seriously about this.
Has the spirit of religion become reduced to an empty form of belief and ritual action, or are we really living what we believe?
Meditate with attention to these words of St James: “What will it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but does not have works? Can the faith save him? And if a brother or a sister be naked and in want of daily food and, one of you say to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ yet you do not give them what is necessary for the body, what does it profit? So faith too, unless it has works, is dead in itself” (Js 2:14-17).

Even the devil believes but he is damned forever (Cf Js 2:18).
Religion pure and undefiled before God the Father is this – to give aid to orphans and widows in their tribulation and to keep oneself unspotted from this world!” (Js 1:27).

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One Here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/07/thought-for-the-day-7-february-religion-and-action/

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MARIAN QUOTES, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL

Quote/s of the Day – 29 January – St Francis de Sales

Quote/s of the Day – 29 January – St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Bishop, Confessor and Doctor – “The Gentle Christ of Geneva,” “The Gentleman Saint”

Nothing makes us
so prosperous in this world,
as to give alms
.”

We must fear God out of love,
not love Him out of fear.

“In the royal galley of Divine Love,
there is no galley slave:
all rowers are volunteers.

“Perfection of life
is the perfection of love.
For love is the life of the soul.”

Let us run to Mary
and, as her little children,
cast ourselves into her arms
with a perfect confidence.

MORE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/01/24/quote-s-of-the-day-24-january-the-gentle-christ-of-geneva/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/24/quote-s-of-the-day-24-january-st-francis-de-sales/

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on WORRY/ANXIETY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote/s of the Day – 27 January – St John Chrysostom

Quote/s of the Day – 27 January – The Memorial of St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church, Bishop, Confessor.

“The waters have risen
and severe storms are upon us
but we do not fear drowning,
for we stand firmly upon a rock.
Let the sea rage,
it cannot break the rock.”
Let the waves rise,
they cannot sink the Boat of Jesus.

“Let the world be in upheaval.
I hold to His Promise
and read His Message,
that is my protecting wall and garrison.
What Message?
“Know that I am with you always,
until the end of the world!

Prayer is the place of refuge
for every worry,
a foundation for cheerfulness,
a source of constant happiness,
a protection against sadness.

If you cannot find Christ
in the beggar at the Church door,
you will not find Him in the Chalice.

“When you are weary of praying
and do not receive,
consider how often
you have heard a poor man calling
and have not listened to him.

St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Posted in "Follow Me", LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MERCY, The BEATITUDES

Thought for the Day – 26 January – Blessed are the Merciful

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

Blessed are the Merciful

“Some day, each one of us will stand before the Judgement Seat of God and will have to render an account of all our actions.
Are we anxious that God will be merciful to us at that crucial moment?
Let us be forgiving and charitable towards others now.
It is clear from the words of the Gospel, that we shall be pardoned or condemned, largely in accordance with the measure of our mercifulness and charity.
God will show mercy towards us as we show mercy towards others.
In fact, the Eternal Judge will say to the good “Come, blessed of my Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me to eat; I was thirst and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked and you covered me; sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.”
Then He will turn to the wicked and deliver this terrible sentence: “Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you did not give me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink’ I was a stranger and you did not take me in; naked and you did not clothe me; sick and in prison and you did not visit me … Amen I say to you, as long as you did me not do it for one of these least ones, you did not do it for me” (Mt 25:34-46),

These are terrifying words.
They should persuade us to express charity towards all who are suffering in any way whatsoever!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/28/thought-for-the-day-28-january-blessed-are-the-merciful/

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 January – “You give them something to eat ”- Mark 6:37

One Minute Reflection – 5 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” – Christmas Weekday, Readings: 1 John 4:7-10, Psalms 72:1-2, 3-4,7-8, Mark 6:34-44

But he answered them, “You give them something to eat .. ” – Mark 6:37

REFLECTION – “Let us take note of the disciples’ trusting abandonment to God’s providence in life’s greatest necessities and their disdain for a life of luxury – there were twelve of them and they only had five loaves and two fish. They were not bothered by bodily things but dedicated all their zeal to the things of the soul. Moreover, they did not keep these provisions for themselves, they handed them over to the Saviour at once, when He asked them for them. Let us learn from this example, to share what we have, with those in need, even if we only have a little. When Jesus asks them to bring the five loaves, they don’t say: “What will there be for us later on? Where will we find what is necessary for our own needs?” They obey promptly …
Taking the loaves, then, the Lord broke them and entrusted the honour of distributing them to the disciples. He did not just want to honour them by this holy service but desired them to take part in the miracle, so as to be wholly convinced witnesses to it and, not forget what had taken place under their own eyes …. It is through them, that He made the people sit down and, that He distributed the bread, so that each one of them, might bear witness to the miracle accomplished at their hands …
Everything in this event – the desert place, the bare ground, the small supply of bread and fish, the distribution of these same things to everyone without distinction, each one of them having the same as their neighbour – all this teaches us humility, frugality and fraternal charity. To love one another equally, to place everything in common amongst those who are serving the same God – this is what our Saviour is teaching us here.” – St John Chrysostom (345-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, let our striving for Your kingdom not fall short through selfishness or fear, may the universe be alive with the Spirit and our homes be the pledge of the world redeemed. May our eyes see and our hearts have compassion, to all those who need us. May the intercession of our Holy Mother and all the saints, be a strength and a comfort. Through Jesus, our compassionate and loving Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD ALONE!, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

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

“The world ignores the Birth of Jesus.
There is no room for Him in the inns of Bethlehem and no room for Mary and Joseph, two poverty-stricken travellers, who are obliged, as a result, to take refuge in a miserable hovel.
In the world, it is always so, for men judge one another by external appearances and by financial standards.

How do we behave towards Jesus Christ?
How do we behave towards the needy and the afflicted, in whom we should discern the Person of Christ Himself?

If we are prepared to open our hearts to Jesus and to welcome Him as our King and absolute Master, we shall be so transformed, that we shall live His life and act in unison with Him.
In short, we shall become saints!
But if we are lacking in generosity and are reluctant to welcome Jesus unreservedly into our hearts, we shall never be more than half-Christian, tepid and ungrateful!
We should even be prepared to welcome the poor as the representatives of Christ.
As long as you did it for one of these, the least of my brethren,” He has assured us, “you did it for me” (Mt 25-40).

Before the cave at Bethelehm then, we should learn two great lessons.
We should learn to love Jesus intensely, as our highest and only good and we should learn to love, in an effective and practical way, those who are poverty-stricken or suffering, in whom we should be able to see Jesus Christ Himself.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/25/thought-for-the-day-25-december-the-feast-of-the-nativity/

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on POVERTY, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – “And the Word became flesh…”

Quote/s of the Day – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ

In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.

John 1:1

“And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14

“On this day, on which the Lord of all came among servants, let the lords also bow down, to their servants lovingly.

On this day, when the rich One was made poor for our sake, let the rich man also make the poor man, a sharer at his table.

On this day, a gift came out to us without our asking for it, let us then give alms to those, who cry out and beg from us.

This Lord of natures, today was transformed, contrary to his nature; it is not too difficult for us also to overthrow our evil will.

Bound is the body by its nature, for it cannot grow larger or smaller but powerful is the will, for it may grow to all sizes.

Today the Deity imprinted itself on humanity, so that humanity might also be cut into the seal of Deity.”

St Ephrem (306-373)
Father and Doctor

(Homily on Our Lord, 21)

“… Let us keep the Feast,
not after the manner of a heathen festival
but after a godly sort;
not after the way of the world
but in a fashion above the world;
not as our own
but as belonging to Him
who is ours,
or rather as our Master’s;
not as of weakness
but as of healing;
not as of creation
but of re-creation.

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Awake, mankind!
For your sake God has become man.
Awake, you who sleep,
rise up from the dead
and Christ will enlighten you.
I tell you again,
for your sake,
God became man.”

St Augustine 354-430)
Great Latin Father
and Doctor of the Church

Posted in BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, SAINT of the DAY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – St Ambrose

Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – Tuesday of the Second Week of Advent and the Memorial of St Ambrose (c 340-397)- Father and Doctor of the Church

Let us take refuge like deer
beside the fountain of waters.
Let our soul thirst,
as David thirsted,
for the fountain.
What is that fountain?
Listen to David –
With you is the fountain of life.
Let my soul say to this fountain,
When shall I come and see You face to face?
For the fountain is God Himself.

“All the children of the Church are priests.
At Baptism, they received the anointing
that gives them a share in the priesthood.
The sacrifice that they must offer to God
is completely spiritual – it is themselves.

“If you have two shirts
in your closet,
one belongs to you
and the other to the man
who has no shirt.

“The devil tempts,
that he may ruin;
God tests,
that He may crown.

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father and Doctor of the Church

MORE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/07/quote-s-of-the-day-7-december-st-ambrose/

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on DESPAIR, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on REPARATION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The BEATITUDES

Thought for the Day – 30 November – The Blessedness of Those Who Mourn

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

The Blessedness of Those Who Mourn

“Blessed are they who mourn” (Mt 5:5), says Jesus Christ, in direct contrast to the opinion of the world, which believes, that happiness is to be found in merrymaking.
Who is correct?
The Gospel does not forbid us to rejoice, indeed, a blessing was given to the wedding celebration in Cana.
This, however, was a manifestation of good and honest joy.
It is the immoderate revelling of irresponsible worldlings and sinners, which is condemned in the Gospel.
God does not promise these any of His consolations but, only remorse and perhaps despair.
On the other hand, those who suffer are called blessed by Jesus Christ, Who has promised to console them.
The consolations which they will receive are those which spring from their repentance, from the forgiveness which they obtain for their sins and from the expectation of everlasting life, which is promised to those who choose the royal road of the Cross.
They will also enjoy, the consolations of contemplation and of the love of God.

The Catholic sheds tears of sadness, of repentance and of joy.
He is sometimes sad because he is sensitive to the evil which exists in the world.
When he sees so many of his fellowmen going from sin to sin, on the downward slope towards damnation, he is saddened and longs to remedy this situation, as much as possible, by prayer, good example and penance.

Perhaps you are indifferent to the evil which is being perpetrated in the world?
Perhaps nothing has power to upset you, apart from yur own petty troubles and frustrated ambitions?
This kind of sadness is not pleasing to God.

Another motive for sadness, is the great physical and moral suffering which afflicts so many of our brethren.
We should be generous in tendering whatever assistance we can, generous also in our understanding and in our sympathy.
Very often, a single gesture of compassion towards a man who is suffering, is of greater value than a substantial alms, which is offered with coldness and indifference.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The LAST THINGS, The SECOND COMING, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 24 November – The Most Terrifying Passage in the Gospel

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

The Most Terrifying Passage
in the Gospel

“The Teaching of Jesus Christ, bears the stamp of gentleness and kindness towards humanity, especially sinners.
There is, however, one passage in the Gospel which inspires real dread.
Let us quote it in full:

When the Son of Man shall come in his majesty and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory and before him will be gathered, all the nations and he will separate them one from another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats and he will set the sheep on his right hand but the goats, on the left.
Then the king will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked and you covered me; sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me… ‘Then he will say to those on his left hand, ‘Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you did not give to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take me in; naked and you did not clothe me; sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
Then they also will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick or in prison and did not minister to thee?’
Then he will answer them saying, ‘Amen I say to you, as long as you did not do it for one of these least ones, you did not do it for me.’

And these will go into everlasting punishment.
(CF Mt 25:31-46).

These are terrifying words, in the light of which each one of us has something with which to reproach himself!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 17 November – St Hugh of Lincoln

Quote/s of the Day – 17 November – The Memorial of St Hugh of Lincoln O. Cart. (1135-1200)

“So if I, your Lord and Teacher,
have washed your feet,
you also ought to wash
one another’s feet.

John 13:14

Yes, the kisses of St Martin
healed the bodies of the lepers
but with me,
it is the other way,
the kisses of the lepers,
heal my sick soul
.”

St Hugh of Lincoln (1135-1200)

Posted in ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 17 November – ‘… Anything which seemed to be hers, belonged to the poor. …’

One Minute Reflection – 17 November – Readings: 2 Maccabees 7: 1, 20-31; Psalm 17: 1, 5-6, 8b and 15; Luke 19: 11-28 and the Memorial of St Elizabeth of Hungary TOSF (1207-1231) Princess

He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’” – Luke 19:13

REFLECTION – “From this time onward, Elizabeth’s goodness greatly increased. She was a lifelong friend of the poor and gave herself entirely to relieving the hungry. She ordered that one of her Castles, should be converted into a Hospital in which she gathered many of the weak and feeble. She generously gave alms to all who were in need, not only in that place but in all the territories of her husband’s empire. She spent all her own revenue from her husband’s four principalities and finally, she sold her luxurious’ possessions and rich clothes for the sake of the poor.

Twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, Elizabeth went to visit the sick. She personally cared for those who were particularly repulsive; to some she gave food, to others clothing; some she carried on her own shoulders and performed many other kindly services. Her husband, of happy memory, gladly approved of these charitable works. Finally, when her husband died, she sought the highest perfection; filled with tears, she implored me to let her beg for alms from door to door.

On Good Friday of that year, when the Altars had been stripped, she laid her hands on the Altar in a Chapel in her own Town, where she had established the Friars Minor,and before witnesses, she voluntarily renounced all worldly display and everything that our Saviour in the gospel advises us to abandon. Even then, she saw that she could still be distracted by the cares and worldly glory which had surrounded her while her husband was alive. Against my will she followed me to Marburg. Here in the Town she built a hospice, where she gathered together the weak and the feeble. There she attended the most wretched and contemptible at her own table.

Apart from those active good works, I declare before God that I have seldom seen a more contemplative woman. When she was coming from private prayer, some religious men and women often saw her face shining marvelously and light coming from her eyes like the rays of the sun!

Before her death I heard her Confession. When I asked what should be done about her goods and possessions, she replied that anything which seemed to be hers, belonged to the poor. She asked me to distribute everything except one worn out dress in which she wished to be buried. When all this had been decided, she received the Body of our Lord. Afterward, until vespers, she spoke often of the holiest things she had heard in sermons. Then, she devoutly commended to God all who were sitting near her and as if falling into a gentle sleep, she died.” – Conrad of Marburg (1180-1233) Priest, Spiritual Director of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary (An excerpt from Letter).

PRAYER – Holy God and Father, grant us a strong Faith! Poor Your graces into our hearts that we may believe with all our hearts, minds and souls and that in believing, we may constantly raise our entire being to You in prayer and supplication, in prayer and adoration, in prayer and love. May the intercession of St Elizabeth of Hungary, a woman of deep prayer and charity from her youth, strengthen our perseverance and trust. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on WORRY/ANXIETY, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 13 November – Almsgiving and Simplicity

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

Almsgiving and Simplicity

“Some people are so afraid of poverty, that they rarely give alms.
Let them meditate on these words of St Cyprian of Carthage: “You are afraid that if you begin to engage in too many charitable enterprises, your substance will be dissipated and you will be reduced to poverty.
Have confidence and do not be afraid
” (De Opere at elemosynis, 9-10),

That fortune, will never be exhausted, he assures us, from which the possessor draws frequently, in order to relieve Christ’s poor or to perform an act of religion.
He does not assure us of this on his own authority, he says but bases his promises on the evidence of Sacred Scripture.

Speaking through the medium of Solomon, the Holy Spirit says: “He who gives to the poor, suffers no want but he who ignores them, gets many a curse” (Prov 28:27).
In other words, the avaricious and self-centred man, is more likely to be reduced to poverty, than the kind and bountiful man.

St Paul says much the same under the influence of diving inspiration.
He who provides the sower with seed, will both give you bread to eat and will multiply your seed and will increase the growth of the fruits of your justice, that being enriched in all things, you may contribute with simplicity of purpose” (2 Cor 9-10).
The administration of this service,” he adds, “not only supplies the wants of the saints but, overflows also, in much gratitude to the Lord” (Ibid 9-12).
The poor thank God for the alms which we give them and our prosperity increases as a result.

In the Gospel, Our Lord reproaches men for their niggardliness and lack of confidence.
Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What are we to put on?’ (for after all these things, the Gentiles seek), for your Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the Kingdom of God and his justice and all these things shall be given you besides” (Mt 6:31).
The man who aims at doing justice, therefore, will not go in want.
When the Day of Judgement comes, moreover, he has Our Lord’s promise, that he will be given a share in the Kingdom, for the sake of which, he performed his charitable actions.

You are afraid,” says St Cyprian, “that your substance will be exhausted, if you take from it, in order to give in charity. You do not realise, wretched man, that while you are afraid of losing your substance, you are losing life itself!
While you are carefully guarding against the diminution of your possessions, you do not see, that you, yourself, are diminishing.
You love money more than life!
While you are afraid of expending your wealth for the sake of spiritual gain, you are ruining yourself, for the sake of your possessions!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci