Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on SPIRITUAL WORKS of MERCY

Thought for the Day – 18 March – Charitable Works

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

Charitable Works

As well as the corporal works, there are the spiritual works of mercy.
Everyone is not obliged to undertake the former, that would be impossible, for instance, for the desitute, the sick, the aged.
But, everyone is OBLIGED to undertake the latter.
Sometimes a kind word is more valuable than money!

There are many ways in which we can carry out the spiritual works of mercy.
There is the well-timed and understanding advice we can give to others, the visit to a sick man who is alone in his suffering, the friendly and encouraging visit to an unfortunate prisoner, the tactful and patient instruction we can give to those who have gone astray through ignorance, rather than through malice and at times, the rebuke we can administer to a hardened sinner, in such a way, as to make it quite clear that our only motive is to win him back to the real happiness, which only goodness can give.

Remember, however, that the practice of the spiritual works of mercy, does not excuse us from the exercise of material works of charity, wherever that is possible for us (Cf Js 2:16).

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/21/thought-for-the-day-21-march-charitable-works/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/03/20/thought-for-the-day-20-march-charitable-works/

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Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENT 2023, LENTEN THOUGHTS, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on ENEMIES, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PERSECUTION

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 14 March – CHARITY in INJURY

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 14 March – Tuesday of the Third Week in Lent – 4 Kings 4:1-7, Mattew 18:15-22 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

And forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone
who is indebted to us.

Luke 11:4

Then Peter came up to him and said,
“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me
and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times
but seventy times seven.

Matthew 18:21-22

CHARITY in INJURY
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor Caritas

THE CHRISTIAN SHOULD LOVE husband or wife with a calm, tranquil, firm and constant love, chiefly because God desires and enjoins us to do so. The same reason holds good as to children and other relatives and friends, each one according to
his rank.

But as a general thing, what is the state of your heart with regard to your neighbour? Do you love him from your heart and for the love of God?
In order to prove this, you must call to mind certain disagreeable, troublesome individuals, for with such, it is that we practice the love of God towards our neighbour and still more, towards those who do us any injury, either in word or deed.
Consider whether your heart is clear with regard to such and whether you have to force it to love them?
Are you slow to speak evil of your neighbour, especially of those whom you do not like?
Do you never injure him, either directly or indirectly?

A very little reflection will easily satisfy you on these points.” – (Introduction to the Devout Life).

Posted in "Follow Me", CATECHESIS, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, LENT 2023, LENTEN THOUGHTS, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on UNITY/with GOD, The WORD

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 12 March – MUTUAL CHARITY

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 12 March – The Third Sunday in Lent – Ephesians 5:1-9, Luke 11,14-28 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

To Thee have I lifted up my eyes,
Who dwells in Heaven.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us
.”
Psalm 122:1,3

Every kingdom divided
against itself is laid waste.”

Luke 11:17

MUTUAL CHARITY
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor Caritas

IN TODAY’S GOSPEL[Lk. 11:14-28], Our Lord insists that every kingdom divided against itself, (not united in itself) is brought to desolation.
On the other hand, the converse is true, too – all kingdoms united in concord, not permitting any division to enter, will surely be filled with consolation. For if the propositions are opposite, the consequences must be, too.
These words are among the most remarkable, noteworthy and important that our Divine Master ever spoke. For this reason the ancient Fathers carefully interpreted them.

They agree that our Saviour had three kinds of concord or union in mind when He spoke, where division in any of them, results in desolation.
The first is the concord which should exist between a king and his subjects, making subjects submissive and obedient to his laws.
The second is the union which we ought to have within, in our inner kingdom, where reason must be the king to whom are subject, all the faculties of our spirit, all our senses and even our bodies. … (Without this obedience and submission we cannot avoid having desolation and trouble, any more than there could be peace in a kingdom in which the subjects are not obedient to the laws of the king.)

… The third, is that which we ought to have with each other. This union or concord, has been earnestly preached, recommended and taught to us by Our Lord, equally in word and example. … Nothing is so stressed, nothing stated so completely as the observance of this Commandment [the Commandment of love[. He does so with good reason, for the beloved of the Beloved, the great Apostle St John, assures us that anyone who says that he loves God and does not love his neighbour, is a liar [1 Jn.4:20-21]. On the other hand, he who says he loves his neighbour but does not love God also contradicts the truth. That simply cannot be. To love God without loving the neighbour, who is created in His Image and Likeness [Gen. 1:26-27], is im­possible.

But what should this union and concord be which we all ought to have? Oh! What should it be indeed! It must be such that if Our Lord Himself had not explained it, no-one would have been so daring as to use the same terms as His.
At the Last Supper, after He had given the incomparable pledge of His love for us men, the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, He said:

Father, My very dear Father, I beseech Thee that all those whom Thou hast given Me may be one, as Thou and I, Father, are One ” [Jn 17:11-12, 21-22].
To show that He was not speaking only for the Apostles but for all the rest of us, He added: I do not pray for them alone (that is, those He had just mentioned) but for all those who will believe in Me, through their word” [Jn 17:20].
Who would have dared, I repeat, to make such a comparison, or to ask that we might be united as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are united? – (Sermon for the Third Sunday of Lent, 27 February 1622).

Posted in CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, LENT 2023, LENTEN THOUGHTS, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The WORD

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 8 March – THE GREAT COMMANDMENT

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 8 March – Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent – Ecclesiasticus Sirach 31:8-11, Matthew 22:34-46 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
he shall delight exceedingly
in His commandments.
…”
Psalm 111:3

“‘You shall love the Lord your God
with your whole heart
and with your whole soul
and your whole mind.’
This is the greatest and first commandment.
And the second is like it,
‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’

Matthew 22:37-39

THE GREAT COMMANDMENT
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor Caritas

CHARITY, while it is alive in the soul, reigns supreme and holds sway over all the emotions, leading the will to put God before everything else without delay, without exception, without reserve. … But why does charity include love of ourselves? Why, because we are wearing God’s Image and Likeness and, since all men enjoy the same noble dignity, we love them too as we love ourselves – in other words, as devoted living likenesses of the Godhead. … So it is, then, that the same charity which gives rise to acts of love of God, also breeds love of our neighbour.

When we see our neighbour, created to the Image and Likeness of God, should we not say to one another, ‘Stop, do you see this created being, do you see how he resembles the Creator? should we not cast ourselves upon him and weep over him with love? Should we not give him a thousand, thousand blessings?

It is for love of God Who made him in His Own Image and Likeness and, therefore, capable of sharing in His goodness in grace and glory. I say it is for love of God, from Whom he is, Whose he is, by Whom he is, in Whom he is, for Whom he is, Whom he resembles in a most particular manner.” – (Treatise on the Love of God, Book 10).

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, LENT 2023, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 6 March – HEAVENLY TREASURE

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 6 March – Ecclesiasticus Sirach 51:13-17, Matthew 13:44-52 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure …
Matthew 13:44

Again, the Kingdom of Heaven
is like a merchant in search of fine pearls.
When he finds a single pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.

Matthew13:45-46

HEAVENLY TREASURE
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor Caritas

The first difficulty seen in the question is: Can the souls of the blessed, separated from their bodies, see, hear, consider and understand? Can they, in short, exercise the functions of the mind, as freely as when they were united to their bodies?
I answer that not only can they act as before but much more perfectly.
And to support this theory I shall give you a story from St Augustine, an author in whom one can place complete trust.
He relates that he was acquainted with a physician from Carthage who was as famous in Rome as in that City, both because he excelled in the art of medicine and because, he was a very good man, one who did many charitable works and served the poor gratis.

His charity towards his neighbour, moved God to lift him out of an error into which he had fallen as a young man. God always greatly favours those who practise charity toward their neighbour; indeed, there is nothing that draws down His mercy upon us more abundantly. Our Lord has declared it His own special commandment [Jn. 15:12], the one He loves and cherishes most. For after that of the love of God, there is none greater [Matt 22:37-40].

St Augustine recounts how this physician told him that when young, he began to doubt whether the soul, separated from the body, can see, hear, or understand anything.
One day, while in this error, he fell asleep. Suddenly, a handsome young man appeared to him in his sleep and said: “Follow me.
The physician did so and his guide led him into a large and spacious field where, on one side he showed him incomparable beauties and on the other allowed him to hear a concert of delightful music.
Then the physician awoke.

Some time after, the same young man again appeared to him in sleep and asked: “Do you recognise me?” The physician answered that he did indeed recognise him distinctly, that it was he who had conducted him to the beautiful field where he had heard such pleasing music.
But how can you see and recognise me?” asked the youth. “Where are your eyes?” “My eyes,” he replied, “are in my body.” “And where is your body?
My body is lying in my bed.
And are your eyes open or closed?
They are closed.
If they are closed, they can see nothing. Admit, then, since you see me even with your eyes closed, recognise me distinctly and have heard the music, even though your senses slept, that the functions of the mind do not depend on the corporal senses and that the soul, even when separated from the body, can neverthe­less see, hear, consider and understand.
Then the sacred dream ended and the youth left the physician, who never after doubted this truth.” – (Sermon for the Second Sunday of Lent, 20 February 1622).

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL

Thought for the Day – 5 March – Mortification and Penance

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

Mortification and Penance

“In Christian teaching, death is the beginning of life.
Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies,” Jesus said, “it remains alone. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. He who loves his life, loses it and he, who hates his life in this world, keeps it unto life everlasting” (Jn 12:24-25).
This paradox of dying to this life in order to live in Heaven, was enacted in a wonderful way in the lives of Jesus and of the Saints.
It must be put into effect in our lives also, if we are to be genuine Christians.
Jesus shed His precious blood for us and His death was the beginning of His triumph.
The Apostles, Martyrs and Saints, gave their lives for Christ and received, as their reward, the happy and eternal life of Heaven.
By dying to our own ego and to our passions, we shall find the true life of Christ.
We must die to ourselves, so that Christ may live in us, as He lived in St Paul.
We must die to pride, so that Christian humility may live in us;
we must die to anger, so that patience may live in us;
we must die to lust, so that purity and innocence may live in us
and, we must die to selfishness, so that charity may live in us.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, QUOTES on SACRED SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The TRANSFIGURATION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 March – ‘… We will share in this honour … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 5 March – The Second Sunday in Lent
– Thessalonians 4:1-7, Matthew 17:1-9 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

His face shone like the sun and His garments became white as snow.” – Matthew 17:2

REFLECTION – “The Lord displays His glory before chosen witnesses and makes illustrious that bodily shape which He shared with others, with such splendour that His countenance shone like the sun and His garments were as white as snow. In this Transfiguration, the chief object was to remove the scandal of the Cross from the hearts of the disciples and, to prevent their faith being disturbed, at the humiliation of His voluntary Passion, by revealing the excellence of His hidden dignity. But with no less foresight, the foundation was laid of the hope of holy Church that the whole Body of Christ, might realise, with what a change it was to be endowed and that the members, might promise themselves, a share in that honour which had shone forth in their Head.

But to confirm the Apostles and to lead them onto all knowledge, still further, instruction was conveyed by this miracle. For Moses and Elias, that is, the law and the prophets, appeared talking with the Lord, so that, in the presence of these five men, might most truly be fulfilled, what was said – In two or three witnesses every word stands. What more stable, what more steadfast, than the word, in the proclamation of which, the trumpet of the old and of the new TestamentS, sounds forth and the records of ancient witnesses, agree with the teaching of the Gospel? For the pages of both Covenants corroborate each other and He, Whom, under the veil of Mysteries, the types that went before, had promised, is displayed clearly and manifestly by the splendour of His present glory.

The Apostle Peter, therefore, being stirred by the revelation of these Mysteries, despising things worldly and scorning things earthly, was carried away by a certain excess of mind, to the desire of things eternal and, being filled with rapture at the whole vision, longed to make his abode with Jesus, in the place where he was gladdened by the sight of His glory. And so also he says: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if Thou wilt, let us set up here, three tents, one for Thee and one for Moses and one for Elias. But to this proposal the Lord made no reply, signifying that what he asked was not indeed wicked, but irregular, since the world could not be saved, except by Christ’s Death and by the Lord’s example in this, the faithful were called upon to believe that, although there ought not to be any doubt about the promises of happiness, yet, we should understand that, amid the trials of this life, we must ask for power to endure, rather than for glory.” – St Leo the Great (400-461) Pope, Father and Doctor (Sermon on the Transfiguration – excerpt).

PRAYER – O God, Thou Who sees how we are deprived of all strength, guard us inwardly and outwardly that in body, we may be protected against all misfortunes and in mind, cleansed of evil thoughts and by the intercession of blessed and gloriosus ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, be assisted on this earthly pilgrimage. 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 LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MARIAN HYMNS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 4 March – St Casimir

Quote/s of the Day – 4 March – The Memorial of St Casimir (1458-1484) Confessor, Prince

I would rather die than not live as a virgin.
If I had a thousand lives,
I would sacrifice them all to remain a virgin
.”

But above all these things have charity,
which is the bond of perfection …

Colossians 3:14

By the power of the Holy Ghost,
Casimir burned with a sincere
and unpretentious love for Almighty God
which was almost unbelievable in its strength.
So rich was his love
and so abundantly did it fill his heart
that it flowed out from his inner spirit
toward his fellow men.
As a result, nothing was more pleasant,
nothing more desirable for him,
than to share his belongings
and even to dedicate and give, his entire self,
to Christ’s poor, to strangers, to the sick,
to those in captivity and all who suffer.
To widows, orphans and the afflicted,
he was not only a guardian and patron
but a father, son and brother!

From the Biography of Saint Casimir,
written by a contemporary.

St Casimir called the Blessed Virgin his dear mother and he loved her as a child. In her honour he sang frequently a touching Hymn which is in use even at the present day. It begins thus: “Daily, Daily Sing to Mary.”
He repeated this many times everyday and asked to have it placed in the grave with him.
When his grave was opened after 120 years, both his body and this written Hymn, were untainted by any sign of corruption.

Daily, Daily, Sing to Mary
By Bernard of Cluny (12th Century)

Trans. Fr Henry Bittleshon C.Orat. (1818-1886)

Daily, daily sing to Mary,
Sing, my soul, her praises due.
All her glorious actions cherish,
With the heart’s devotion true.
Lost in wond’ring contemplation,
Be her majesty confessed!
Call her Mother, call her Virgin,
Happy Mother, Virgin blest!

She is mighty to deliver,
Call her, trust her lovingly.
When the tempest rages round thee,
She will calm the troubled sea.
Gifts of Heaven she has given,
Noble Lady, to our race;
She, the Queen, who clothes her subjects,
With the Light of God’s own grace.

Sing, my tongue, the Virgin’s honours,
Who for us, her Maker bore,
For the curse of old inflicted,
Peace and blessings to restore.
Sing in songs of praise unending,
Sing the world’s majestic Queen;
Weary not nor faint in telling,
All the gifts that earth has seen.

All my senses, heart, affections,
Strive to sound her glory forth.
Spread abroad the sweet memorials
Of the Virgin’s priceless worth.
Where the voice of music thrilling,
Where the tongues of eloquence,
That can utter hymns befitting
All her matchless excellence?

All our joys do flow from Mary,
All then join her praise to sing.
Trembling, sing the Virgin Mother,
Mother of our Lord and King.
While we sing her awesome glory,
Far above our fancy’s reach,
Let our hearts be quick to offer
Love the heart alone can reach.

Bernard of Morlaix, or of Cluny, for he is equally well known by both titles, was an Englishman by extraction, both his parents being natives of this country. He was, however, born in France very early in the 12th Century, at Morlaix, Bretagne. Little or nothing is known of his life, beyond the fact that he entered the Abbey of Cluny, of which at that time Peter the Venerable, was the Abbot, who filled the post from 1122 to 1156. There, as far as we know, he spent his whole life and there he probably died, although the exact date of his death, as well as of his birth, is unrecorded.

St Casimir (1458-1484) Confessor, Prince

Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, CATHOLIC Quotes, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, LENT 2023, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PATRONAGE - of PILGRIMS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, QUOTES on SLOTH, QUOTES on TRUTH, QUOTES on VIRTUE, QUOTES on WATCHING, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 4 March –

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 4 March – The Memorial of St Casimir (1458-1484) Confessor, Prince – Saturday of Ember Week in Lent – Ecclesiasticus Sirach 31:8-11,Luke 12:35-40 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

The just shall flourish like the palm tree,
he shall grow up, like the cedar of Lebanon
.

Psalm 91:13

Stay dressed for action
and keep your lamps burning …

Luke 12:35-36

VIGILANT FAITH AND CHARITY
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor Caritas

IT WORKS THE SAME WAY with faith as with charity.
We know by the works which charity performs, whether faith is dead or dying. When it produces no good works, we conclude that it is dead and when they are few and sluggish, that, it is dying.
But just as there is a dead faith, there must also be a living one which is its opposite.
It is excellent. Joined and United with charity and vivified by it, it is strong, firm and Constant. It performs many great and good works which deserve the praise: “Oh, how great is your faith! Let all that you desire be done.” …

It is great because of the good works it performs and also because of the many virtues which accompany it and which it governs. … So charity united to faith is not only followed by all the virtues but, as a queen, she commands them and all obey and fight for her and, according to her will. From this, results the multitude of good works, of a living faith.

There is a vigilant faith which, again, depends on its union with charity.
But there is also one which is sluggish, dull and apathetic and, it is the opposite of vigilant faith. It is lax in applying itself to the consideration of the Mysteries of our Religion.
It is completely torpid and, for this reason, it does not penetrate revealed Truths at all. It sees them, to be sure and knows them, because its eyes are not altogether closed.
It is not asleep but it is drowsy or dozing. It resembles weary people who, although their eyes are open, see almost nothing and although they hear talking, they neither know nor understand what is said. Why? Because they are quite overcome with sleepiness. …

But vigilant faith not only performs good works, like living faith, it also penetrates and understands revealed Truths quickly and with great depth and subtlety of perception.
It is active and diligent, in seeking and embracing those things which can increase and strengthen it.
It watches and perceives from afar, all its enemies.
It is always on the alert to discover the good and to avoid evil.
It guards itself against anything which could ruin it.
Vigilant, it walks firmly and easily keeps from falling over precipices.

This vigilant faith is accompanied by the Four Cardinal Virtues: Fortitude, Prudence, Justice and Temperance.
It uses them as an Armoured Breastplate to put its enemies to flight, or to remain among them firm, invincible and unshaken.
So great is its strength that it fears nothing because, not only is it strong but also, it is aware of its strength and by Whom it is supported—Truth itself!
” (Sermon for Thursday after the First Sunday of Lent, 17 February 1622).

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, LENT, LENT 2023, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 1 March – FAITH

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 1 March – Thursday of the First Week in Lent – Ezechiel 18:1-9, Matthew 15:21-28 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of Your eye,
hide me in the shadow of Your wings.

Psalm 16:8,2

O woman, great is thy faith!
be it done to thee as thou desire
…”
Matthew 15:28

FAITH
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor Caritas

FAITH IS THE BASIS AND FOUNDATION of all the other virtues but particularly of hope and of charity.
Now what I say of charity applies also to all the many virtues associated with it. When charity is united and joined to faith, it vivifies it.
And so it follows that there is a dead faith and a dying faith.

Dead faith is faith separated from charity, a separation which prevents us from performing works, conformable to the faith we profess.
This dead faith is that which many Christians – the worldly – have. Indeed, they believe all the Mysteries of our Holy Religion but since their faith is not accompanied by charity, they perform no good works which conform to their faith.
Dying faith is that which is not entirely separated from charity. It performs some good works, although rarely and feebly, for charity cannot really be in the soul which has faith without performing works, either little or great.
It must either produce or perish because it cannot exist without doing good works.

Just as the soul cannot remain in the body without producing vital actions, so charity cannot be united to our faith, without performing works conforming to it [Gal 5:6; Jas 2:14-26]. It cannot be otherwise.
Therefore, do you want to know if your faith is dead or dying? Examine your works and actions. …

Dead faith resembles a dry tree that has no living substance at all. In springtime when other trees bud forth leaves and flowers, this one brings forth nothing because it does not have sap which those have that are not dead but only dormant.
Now, here is another point. However much all other trees may look like this dead tree in winter, nevertheless, in their season they produce leaves, flowers and fruits. This never happens with the tree that is really dead. It may look like the other trees, to be sure but it is dead, for it never brings forth either flowers or fruit.
Similarly, dead faith may indeed appear to be living faith but with this important difference – it bears neither the flowers nor the fruit of good works, while living faith always bears them,and in all seasons! (Sermon for Thursday after the First Sunday in Lent, 17 February 1622).

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENT 2023, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on VANITY

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 23 February – THE SECOND CONDITION is never to fast through vanity but always through humility.

Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 23 February – Ash Thursday

Blessed is the man who feareth the Lord,
he shall delight exceedingly in His Commandments.

Psalm 111:1

But you, when you fast,
anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not be seen fasting by men …

Matthew 6:17-18.

ON FASTING 2
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor Caritas

THE SECOND CONDITION is never to fast through vanity but always through humility. If our fast is not performed with humility, it will not be pleasing to God. All our ancient Fathers have declared it so but particularly, St Thomas, St Anbrose and the great St Augustine. St Paul, in the epistle which he wrote to the Corinthians (1 Cor 3) … declares the conditions necessary for disposing ourselves to fast well during Lent. He says this to us: “Lent is approaching. Prepare yourselves to fast with charity, for if your fast is performed without it, it will be vain and useless, since fasting, like all other good works, is not pleasing to God unless it is done in charity and through charity. When you disciopline yourself, when you say long prayers, if you have not charity, all that is nothing. Even though you should work miracles, if you have not charity, they will not profit you at all. Indeed, even if you should suffer martyrdom, without charity, your martyrdom is worth nothing and would not be meritorious in the eys of the Divine Master. For all works, small or great, however good they may be in themselves, are of no value and profit us nothing, if they are not done in charity and through charity,

I say the same now – if your fast is without humility it is worth nothing and cannot be pleasing to the Lord! … Now, according to the Apostle, all that is done without charity is not pleasing to God, so I say, in the same way with this great Saint, that if you fast without humility, your fast is of no value. For if you have not humility you have not charity and if you are without charity, you are also without humility.
It is almost impossible to have charity without being humble and to be humble withou having charity. These two virtues have such an affinity with one another that the one can never be without the other!

But what is this fast through humility?
It is never to fast through vanity.
Now how can one fast through vanity?
… To fast through vanity is to fast through self-will, since this self-will is not without vanity or, at least, not without a temptation to vanity.
And what does it mean to fast through self-will.
It is to fast as one wishes and not as others wish – to fast in the manner which pleases us and not as we are ordered or counselled.

Let each one of us examine our consciences and we will find that all that comes from ourselves, from our own judgement, choice and election, is esteemed and loved far better, than that which comes from another!” – (Excerpt from the Sermon given
for Ash Wednesday on 9 February 1622
).

Posted in LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on POVERTY

Thought for the Day – 9 February – The Love of Our Neighbour

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

The Love of Our Neighbour

“A few hundred yards from the centre of a big City, one often finds groups of hovels in which large numbers of families are living, herded together in poverty.
There, in the wintertime, these poor people suffer from the cold and damp and, in hot areas, from the burning heat in summer.
Often their hovels are badly roofed and protect from neither the cold nor the heat.
They are hungry and have not even a loaf of bread to kill the pangs of their deprived bodies.

Not very far away, there are luxurious mansions and expensive villas and up and down the streets, drift splendidly upholstered cars, carrying men and women for whom the only thing in life that matters, is pleasure and comfort.

Love your neighbour as yourself” the Gospel says.
How far we still are from the realisation of this command!
Men would need to go to these poor hovels to do the Spiritual Exercises.
They would need to live in these places for at least a month.
Many ideas would be changed and many hearts transformed if this were done.
The slums, shacks, caves, shipping and even cardboard boxes and other hovels in which men have to live, bear sad testimony to the fact that the Gospel has not yet been understood by many and that Christian charity has still a long way to go.

Consider before God, if you are responsible, even in some small way, for this wretched state of affairs.
Form the resolution of contributing, as far as possible, to the relief of so much want and suffering.

Now is the time – Lent is nearly here!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/11/thought-for-the-day-11-february-the-love-of-our-neighbour/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/02/11/thought-for-the-day-11-february-the-love-of-our-neighbour-2/

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL

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

“If we wish to be true and sincere Christians, it is not enough to believe, nor is it enough to attend the ceremonies of religion,
We must act like true Christians.
As St Gregory the Great writes, “We shall really be faithful Christians only when we practise, in our actions, what we promise in our words” (Sermon 29).
Since Christianity is above everything else, the religion of charity, it is essential that we should be on fire with the love of God and our our neighbour.
As St Augustine says, faith without charity is the faith which even the devil possesses (De Caritas 10).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/07/thought-for-the-day-7-february-religion-and-action/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/02/07/thought-for-the-day-7-february-religion-and-action-2/

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS for PRIESTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRIESTS, the PRIESTHOOD and CONSECRATED LIFE, SAINT of the DAY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 February – ‘… His very deeds are our commands and whenever He acts silently, He is teaching us what we should do. …’

One Minute Reflection – 6 February – “The Month of the Blessed Trinitys” – St Titus (Died c96) Bishop, Confessor – Ecclesiasticus
44:16-27; 45:3-20, Luke 10:1-9 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

At that time, the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them forth two-by-two, before Him into every town and place, where He, Himself, was about to come.” – Luke 10:1

REFLECTION – “Beloved brothers, our Lord and Saviour sometimes gives us instruction by Words and sometimes by Actions. His very Deeds are our commands and whenever He acts silently, He is teaching us what we should do. For example, He sends His disciples out to preach, two-by-two because the precept of charity is twofold—love of God and of one’s neighbour.

The Lord sends His disciples out to preach in twos, in order to teach us, silently, that whoever fails in charity toward his neighbour, should by no means take upon himself the office of preaching.

Rightly is it said, that He sent them ahead of Him into every city and place, where He ,Himself was to go. For the Lord follows after the preachers because preaching goes ahead to prepare the way and then, when the words of exhortation have gone ahead and established Truth in our minds, the Lord comes to live within us. To those who preach ,Isaiah says: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God. And the psalmist tells them: Make a way for Him who rises above the sunset. The Lord rises above the sunset because, from that very place where He slept in death, He rose again and manifested a greater glory. He rises above the sunset because, in His Resurrection, He trampled underfoot the death, which He endured. Therefore, we make a way for Him who rises above the sunset ,when we preach His glory to you, so that when He, Himself follows after us, He may illumine you with His Love.

Let us listen now to His words as He sends His preachers forth: The harvest is great but the labourers are few. Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into His harvest. That the harvest is good but the labourers are few cannot be said without a heavy heart, for although there are many to hear the good news there are only a few to preach it. Indeed, see how full the world is of Priests but yet, in God’s harvest, a true labourer is rarely to be found;,although we have accepted the Priestly office, we do not fulfil its demands!

Think over, my beloved brothers, think over His Words: Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into His harvest. Pray for us, so that we may be able to labour worthily on your behalf, that our tongue may not grow weary of exhortation, that after we have taken up the office of preaching, our silence may not bring us condemnation from the Just Judge! ” – St Gregory the Great (540-604) Pope, Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from his Homily 17, On the Gospels).

PRAYER – O God, Who adorned blessed Titus, Thy Confessor and Bishop, with the virtues of an apostle, grant, through his merits and intercession that by living justly and piously in this world, we may be found worthy to enter Heaven. 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 ACT of CONTRITION, CONFESSION/PENANCE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ENVY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on JEALOUSY, QUOTES on KINDNESS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on UNITY/with GOD, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 5 February – Septuagesima Sunday – Preparing to Prepare

Quote/s of the Day – 5 February – Septuagesima Sunday – Preparing to Prepare

“Prepare the way of the Lord
make His paths straight
” …

Luke 3:4

There is still time for endurance,
time for patience,
time for healing,
time for change.
Have you slipped?
Rise up!
Have you sinned?
Cease!
Do not stand among sinners
but leap aside!

St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“Then the righteous shall shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.

Matthew 13:43

So from now on, run well (cf. Gal 5:7)
and may the devil not bewitch you (cf. Gal 3:1)
nor hinder you! …
May mercy, peace, charity,
freedom from envy,
from jealousy and ostentation
come upon you, docility, friendly speech,
solidarity, compassion
towards each other, humility.

St Theodore the Studite (759-826)

My Lord Jesus Christ,
You have made this journey
to die for me, with love unutterable
and I have so many times unworthily abandoned You
but now I love You with my whole heart
and because I love You,
I repent sincerely for having ever offended You.
Pardon me, my God
and permit me to accompany You on this journey.
You go to die for love of me,
I wish also, my beloved Redeemer,
to die for love of Thee.
My Jesus, I will live
and die always united to You.”
Amen

By St Alphonsus de Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor of the Church

“Each and everyone of us,
at the end of the journey of life,
will come, face to face
with either one,
or the other
of two faces…
And one of them,
either, the
merciful face of Christ
or the
miserable face of Satan,
will say,
“Mine, mine.

May we be Christ’s!”

Ven Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on WORK/LABOUR, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 4 February – “Ora et labora” – Work and Sanctity

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

“Ora et labora” – Work and Sanctity

“Everyone imagines that there are innumerable problems in the world to be solved.
As a matter of fact, there are but they can all be reduced to one in the end – the problem of sanctity.
If we were all saints, or at any rate sincerely trying to put into practice the maxims of the Gospel – all the other questions would be answered.

For a Christian, work should mean the employment of his bodily and spiritual energies for the glory of God, for his own benefit and for the common good.
He can work to earn his daily bread, for personal satisfaction, for the advancement of science, art, or society.
These are all good motives.
But the Christian must also have a higher motive.
Even as he is living for eternity, so must he work for eternity.

He must realise that God will admit us to Heaven if we have worked for love of Him and in union with Him.
Like everything else in our lives, work must be raised to a supernatural level.
We must work patiently because it is our duty and the will of God.
In this way, we shall make use of the talents which God has given us, not only for our own benefit but also, as a means of helping so many of our fellowmen, who are dependent on us.

Then work will be something other besides an expenditure of energy and an atonement for our sins.
It will be a pleasure because we shall know that God is counting every moment of sacrifice which we are willingly enduring for His sake.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/04/thought-for-the-day-4-february-ora-et-labora-work-and-sanctity/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/02/04/thought-for-the-day-4-february-ora-et-labora-work-and-sanctity-2/

Posted in CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the SUN of JUSTICE, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SACRAMENTS

Thought for the Day – 1 February – Divine Worship, Charity and Justice

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

Divine Worship, Charity and Justice

Divine Worship:
We have a strict duty to honour and obey God.
I, the Lord, Am your God,” He tells us in the first commandment of the Decalogue.
You shall not have other gods besides me.
We are obliged, therefore, to worship God both internally and externally, since both soul and body are created by God.
Internal worship is especially necessary, for without it, external worship would be an empty formality.
It is useless to kneel before the Altar, to assist at Sacred Rites and to recite vocal prayers if, all the time, our minds are elsewhere and we are lacking in the love of God.
Spiritual adoration and prayer, are more important than the bowed head and the bended knee.

It would be a grave error, however, to imagine that internal adoration is sufficient and there is not need to assemble in the Church, to observe Feast days or to participate in Sacred Rites and receive the Sacraments, as the Church commands.
Everything should be subject to God.
The Church was founded by Christ and endowed by Him with the authority to lay down the exact manner in which we should pay homage to Almighty God.
She has the right to dictate the feasts and ceremonies in which we are obliged to participate.
Anyone who refused to obey the Church, is guilty of disobedience to God.
He who hears you hears me,” said Jesus Christ to His Apostles and through them to their successors “and he who rejeccts you, rejects me” (Lk 10:16).

How do we adore God?
Are we among those who pray with their lips and not from the heart?
Or do we believe that private devotion is quite sufficient and that there is no need to subject ourselves to all the laws of the Church?
Some laws we agree with, some we do not and choose to ignore.
In either case, we have gone astray and should be unable to gain God’s favour and cannot be regarded as members of His Church!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", GOD is LOVE, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The LAST THINGS, The SECOND COMING

Thought for the Day – 30 January – The Most Terrifying Passage in the Gospel

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

The Most Terrifying Passage
in the Gospel

Why should the Eternal Judge punish or reward us in accordance with our own deeds of charity and of mercy towards our unfortunate fellowmen?
Simply because Christianity consists mainly of charity, since God Himself is charity.
God is love and he who abides in love, abides in God and God in him” (1 Jn 4:16).

When charity is genuine, being the love of God above all things and of our neighbour as ourselves, it is “the bond of perfection” (Col 3:14) and “bears with all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:7).

True love, in the Christian sense, presupposes faith, hope and all other virtues, whereas faith without charity is, as St Paul says, as futile as “a tinkling cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1).
Even the devils have faith but their faith will not save them.
He who does not love,” St John tells us, “abides in death” (1 Jn 3:14).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/11/24/thought-for-the-day-24-november/

Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the SUN of JUSTICE, GOD is LOVE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 29 January – True Peace

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

True Peace

“This absolute and loving abandonment to the Will of God in all things, brings complete inner peace but, it does not exclude conflict.
Interior peace is the result of the practice of virtue and, therefore, of the struggle against evil.
When Our Lord had repeated several times that He had given us His peace, He said too: “Do not think that I have come to send upon upon the earth; I have come to bring a sword, not peace.” (Mt 10:34).

These apparent contradictory words of Our Lord, are explained by the fact that the peace of Jesus does not consist in inactivity but demands action and strife and the conquest of evil.
It is a militant peace which Our Lord desires us to possess.
Only when we have controlled our passions, when we have made our wills entirely subject to the Will of God and have renounced ourselves, so that the Justice and Charity of Jesus Christ can triumph in us, only then shall we reach those serene heights, where storms from below cannot come near us and the peace of God reigns supreme!

We find examples of this true and perfect peace among the Saints, Martyrs and Apostles.
We read of the Apostles that “they departed … rejoicing that they had been counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the Name of Jesus” (Acts 5:41).
This is an example of that genuine peace which is the result of victory in the combat against evil and of complete and loving submission to the Will of God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/01/thought-for-the-day-1-february-true-peace/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/01/30/thought-for-the-day-30-january-true-peace/

Posted in "Follow Me", LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, The BEATITUDES

Thought for the Day – 28 January – Blessed are Those who Love Peace

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

Blessed are Those who Love Peace

Peace is especially opposed to sentiments of anger and hatred against our brothers.
It commands us to love and help them.
Hatred is the heritage of Cain because God says that “he who does not love, abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murdere. And you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 Jn 3:15).
A man who hates his brother may not actually kill him but, he is guilty of murdering him in his heart!
As a result, he loses peace of soul because, as St Augustine points out (Sermon 82), by hating someone, you create disorder in yourself and destroy that Divine harmony which was the gift of Divine grace and charity.

If we wish to preserve interior peace, we must cast out from our hearts, every vestige of hatred for our neighbour and entertain love, understanding and forgiveness, for all.
By loving our enemies, we place ourselves above them by an act of true Christian nobility.
We imitate Jesus, Who forgave His executioners and prayed for them from the Cross.

A fit of anger is like a moment of madness.
It is a great misfortune for anyone to yield to it.
He speaks and acts like a man who has lost his reason and allows himself to be carried away by blind passion.
When the moment of insanity is over, he will be ashamed of himself and of all that he has said and done.

It is necessary to be masters of ourselves and of our feelings.
Never speak or act until anger has subsided within you.
By persevering in co-operation with the grace of God, we presercve that inward calmness which is a reflection of the peace of God.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/31/thought-for-the-day-31-january-blessed-are-those-who-love-peace/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/01/29/thought-for-the-day-29-january-blessed-are-those-who-love-peace/

Posted in "Follow Me", QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on KINDNESS, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the POOR

Thought for the Day – 25 January – Blessed are the Merciful

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

Blessed are the Merciful

Works of mercy can be either corporal or spiritual.
The former cannot be practised much by those who are poor but, any generous-minded Christian can perform the latter.
Sometimes, there is greater charity in speaking a kind word than in giving a large alms.
Often, it is worth more in the sight of God, to comfort a sorrowful heart or to revive, in some soul, a dying hope, than it is to fill a hungry belly.

There are so many spiritual miseries which are crying out to be assuaged.
The suffering of the soul is much deeper than that of the body.
This is why anything done to soothe and encourage the soul is so valuable before God.

We can also do something about the remorse, disgust and darkness which are the results of the state of sin.
If we can succeed in enlightening or healing one of these poor souls, we shall have accomplished a work of mercy which is most beautiful and meritorious in the eyes of God.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/28/thought-for-the-day-28-january-blessed-are-the-merciful/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/01/26/thought-for-the-day-26-january-blessed-are-the-merciful/

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on POVERTY, QUOTES on the POOR, QUOTES on WEALTH/RICHES

Thought for the Day – 23 January – The Rich

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

The Rich

“A very rich man who was convinced that he was a good Christian, went to Confession one day.
He discussed his doubts and worries about the passages in Sacred Scripture which have just been quoted (see Part One).
The penance which he received from the Confessor, was that he should go and read and meditate in a certain city suburb.
This area was full of cabins and shacks, where large numbers of poor, abandoned people were eking out an existence.
He drove there in his large streamlined car.
He stopped and began reading slowly.
After a while, he became greatly affected and wept …
He left his car and, as if driven by some irresistible force, began to distribute all the money which he had with him to those poor people.
At last, he understood fully and without the need of any glossary, the command of Our Lord: “Give that which remains as alms and behold, all things are clean to you” (Lk 11:41).
From that day, he was no longer a self-complacent Christian but a just and charitable rich man.

We can all learn a lot from this story.
Even if we are not rich, we certainly have a little more than we need.
Let us give it to the poor.
They are the poor representations of Christ, our poor Saviour.
We shall never be worthy members of the Mystical Body of Christ, if we do not see the image of Jesus Christ in the poor.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/27/thought-for-the-day-27-january-the-rich/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/01/25/thought-for-the-day-25-january-the-rich/

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OUR Cross, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SLOTH, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 20 January – Blessed are you who are poor …

Quote/s of the Day – 20 January – St Fabian, Pope, and St Sebastian – Martyrs – Hebrews 11:33-39, Luke 6:17-23 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the Kingdom of God.

Luke 6:20

“If the poison of pride is swelling up in you,
turn to the Eucharist and that Bread,
Which is your God humbling and disguising Himself,
will teach you humility.

If the fever of selfish greed rages in you,
feed on this Bread and you will learn generosity.

If the cold wind of coveting withers you,
hasten to the Bread of Angels and charity
will come to blossom in your heart.

If you feel the itch of intemperance,
nourish yourself with the Flesh and Blood of Christ,
Who practiced heroic self-control during His earthly life
and you will become temperate.

If you are lazy and sluggish about spiritual things,
strengthen yourself with this heavenly Food
and you will grow fervent.

Lastly, if you feel scorched by the fever of impurity,
go to the banquet of the Angels
and the spotless Flesh of Christ,
will make you pure and chaste
.”

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father and Doctor

For everyone who exalts himself,
shall be humbled and he
who humbles himself, shall be exalted.

Luke 14:11

We must erect the mystical ladder of Jacob,
where Angels, ascending and descending,
appeared to him.
Ascent and descent means,
that we go downward when we exalt ourselves
and rise, when we are humbled.
The ladder represents our life in this world,
which our Lord erects to Heaven,
when our heart is humbled.
The sides of the ladder represent our soul and body,
sides between which,
God has placed several rungs of humility and, discipline,
whereby we are to ascend
if we would answer His call.”

(Rule of Benedict #7)

St Benedict (480-547)
Father of the Church

“If you seek an example of humility,
look upon Him Who is Crucified,
although He was God, He chose to be judged
by Pontius Pilate and put to death. …
If you seek an example of obedience,
imitate Him Who was obedient to the Father
“even to death” (Phil 2:8).
“For just as through the disobedience
of one person, Adam,
the many were made sinners,
so through the obedience of One,
the many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19). .
If you seek an example of contempt
for earthly things,
imitate Him Who is “King of kings
and Lord of lords” (1 Tm 6:15),
“in whom are hidden
all the treasures of wisdom
and knowledge” (Col 2:3).
On the Cross He was stripped naked,
ridiculed, spat upon, bruised,
crowned with thorns,
given to drink of vinegar and gall.

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Angelic Doctor of the Church

When he Canonised St Thomas,
John XXII declared that
“every article he wrote was a miracle!”
One might say that St Thomas Aquinas
was raised up by God, for he gathered together,
the whole of human knowledge up to his own time
and interpreted it in the new light of Christianity.
… In spite of his greatness, however,
Thomas of Aquin, was a very humble man.
There is a good deal of truth
in Pascal’s remark
that a little knowledge makes the mind proud
but real wisdom, makes it humble.
We cannot all imitate the knowledge
of St Thomas Aquinas but we should all
imitate his humility.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in "Follow Me", GOD ALONE!, JESUIT SJ, Lady POVERTY, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on GOOD WORKS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on KINDNESS, QUOTES on the POOR, QUOTES on ZEAL

Thought for the Day – 18 January – The Veneration and Imitation of the Saints

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

The Veneration and Imitation
of the Saints

It is not enough, simply to honour the Saints.
We should love and imitate them as well.

Following the example of the Saints, as St Paul says, is the same as imitating Jesus Christ Himself (1 Cor 4:16).
It is a step towards Christian perfection.
No matter what our circumstances, we have outstanding models to follow.

From St Francis of Assisi, we can learn to be detached from worldly things, even to the point of loving poverty!
From St Philip Neri, we can learn to despise honours and to make God and Heaven, the object of our desires and actions.
St Francis de Sales, although he was by nature resentful and scathing, can teach us how to be gentle, kind and calm in all the trials of life.
We can learn heroic love for the poor and unfortunate, from St Vincent de Paul.
We can imitate the fervent apostolic work of St Francis Xavier,.
St Charles Borromeo sold his goods and gave all to the poor.
During the plague in Milan, he dedicated himself lovingly to the care of the unfortunate victims, selling his household furniture and even his bed, so that he had nothing left to sleep on but a table!
We can learn from his example, how the flame of Christ’s charity can transform the heart and overcome all human wretchedness.

Above all, let us remember that our devotion to the Saints will be valueless, if it is not accompanied by untiring efforts to follow their example.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/18/thought-for-the-day-18-january-the-veneration-and-imitation-of-the-saints/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/01/18/thought-for-the-day-18-january-the-veneration-and-imitation-of-the-saints-2/

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the BRIDEGROOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DIVINE MERCY, GOD ALONE!, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The HEART, The KINGDOM of GOD, The LAMB of GOD, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – St Macarius of Egypt

Quote/s of the Day – 15 January – The Memorial of St Macarius of Egypt (c 300-390) Priest, Abbot, Hermit, Father

The heart itself is only a small vessel,
yet dragons are there and lions,
there are poisonous beasts
and all the treasures of evil,
there are rough and uneven roads,
there are precipices
but there too is God and the Angels,
life is there and the Kingdom,
there too is light and there, the Apostles
and heavenly cities
and treasures of grace.
All things lie within that little space!

Prayer for Mercy
and Forgiveness
By St Macarius of Egypt (c 300-390)

Lord, be merciful now
that my life is approaching its end
and the evening awaits me.
There is not enough time
for me to cleanse myself of my sins,
for they are so many.
Heal me while I am still on earth
and I shall be truly healthy.
In Thy mercy,
move me to repent,
so that I shall not be ashamed,
when I meet Thee in Heaven.
Amen

Then go and learn,
neither to be moved with injuries nor flatteries.
If you die to the world and to yourself,
you will begin to live to Christ
.”

The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath.
Luke 6:5

… The Lord calls on us to rest,
telling us: “Come to me, all you who labour
and are burdened and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28)
And He gives rest to all souls who trust Him
and come to Him,
by delivering them from painful,
oppressive and impure thoughts.
Then they completely stop indulging in evil,
celebrating a true, a delightful and holy Sabbath,
a feast of the Spirit in inexpressible joy
and rejoicing.
They offer a pure and acceptable worship to God,
coming from a pure heart.
That is the true and holy Sabbath.

And as soon as He sees you seek Him fervently,
He will make Himself known to you.
He will appear to you, grant you His help,
bestow the victory on you
and save you from your enemies.
In fact, when He sees how you are looking for Him,
how you continually place all your hope in Him,
then He will instruct you,
teach you true prayer,
give you that authentic charity that is Himself.
Then, He will become everything to you:
your Paradise, Life-giving Tree,
Precious Pearl, Crown, Architect, Farmer,
One subject to suffering
but not afflicted with suffering,
Man, God, Wine, Living Water,
Lamb, Bridegroom, Soldier, Armour,
Christ Who is “All in All” (1Cor 1B,28)
.

St Macarius of Egypt (c 300-390)

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, FRANCISCAN OFM, GOD ALONE!, MODESTY, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on ZEAL, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The HEART, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 12January – The love of Jesus is noble and generous

Quote/s of the Day – 12January – Within the Octave of Epiphany – Isaias 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

And seeing the star they rejoiced
with exceeding great joy
.”

Matthew 2:10

When it is dark,
we do not see how dusty and dirty
our house is.
Only when the place
is flooded with sunlight,
do we realise its awful condition.
So, we need the light of God’s grace
to show us the real state of our soul
and to induce us
to clean up our hearts!

St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Evangelical Doctor of the Church

Grant me, O my God
By St Vincent Ferrer OP (1350-1419)

Good Jesus,
let me be penetrated with love
to the very marrow of my bones,
with fear and respect toward You.
Let me burn with zeal for Your honour,
so that I may resent terribly,
all the outrages
committed against You,
especially those of which
I myself have been guilty.
Grant further, O my God,
that I may adore and acknowledge You humbly,
as my Creator and that,
penetrated with gratitude
for all Your benefits,
I may never cease to render You thanks.
Grant that I may bless You in all things,
praise and glorify You
with a heart full of joy and gladness
and that, obeying You with docility
in every respect, I may one day,
despite my ingratitude and unworthiness,
be seated at Your table
together with Your Holy Angels and Apostles
to enjoy ineffable delights.
Amen

The love of Jesus is noble and generous,
it spurs us on to do great things
and excites us to desire always,
that which is most perfect.
Love will tend upwards
and is not to be detained by things beneath.
Love will be at liberty
and free from all worldly affections…
for love proceeds from God
and cannot rest but in God,
above all things created.
The lover flies, runs and rejoices,
he is free and not held.
He gives all for all and has all in all,
because he rests in One Sovereign Good above all,
from Whom all good flows and proceeds.

Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)
(Book III, Chapter V, 3-4)

Where is the heart that loves?
On the thing it loves.
Therefore, where our love is,
there our heart is held captive.
It cannot leave it;
it cannot be lifted higher,
it cannot go either to the right or the left;
see, it is fixed.
Where the miser’s treasure is,
there is his heart
and where our heart is,
there is our treasure.

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)

Do not live any longer in yourself
but let Jesus Christ live in you in such a way
that the virtue of this Divine Saviour may be resplendent
in all your actions, in order that all may see in you
a true portrait of the Crucified and sense,
the sweetest fragrance of the holy virtues of the Lord,
in interior and exterior modesty,
in patience,
in gentleness,
suffering,
charity,
humility
and in all others that follow.

St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the KING, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on the POOR, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD

Thought for the Day – 6 January – The Epiphany

Thought for the Day – 6 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Epiphany

The Magi gave Jesus material gifts too, as symbols of their complete dedication to Him.
They gave Him gold because He was a King, incense because He was God and myrrh because, He was Man.
We often say that we love God and wish to serve and obey Him in all things.
But when we see that this entails sacrifice, we forget our promises
.

We must ask ourselves if we are prepared to offer Jesus, gold, that is, to offer Him everything we possess, for the promotion of His glory, for the spread of His Kingdom and for the relief of His poor, to whom we ought always to see and love in them, Christ Himself.
We must examine ourselves thoroughly on this.
It is easy to find excuses for not giving to God and to His poor, in accordance with our means.

We should offer too, the incense of our adoration and unceasing prayer.
There can be no sanctity without prayer.
There can be no real Christians, without sanctity.

Finally, we must offer the myrrh of our mortification.
Mortification, as St Vincent de Paul has said, is the ABC of Christian perfection.
St Paul exhorts us to carry always, in ourselves, the mortification of Jesus.
If we are not mortified, we can never be holy and can never share the joy which the Magi experieced as they lay prostrate before the cradle of our Divine Redeemer.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/01/06/thought-for-the-day-6-january-2/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/01/06/thought-for-the-day-6-january-the-epiphany/

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The HEART

Our Morning Offering – 5 January – Oh Jesus, My Love

Our Morning Offering – 5 January – The Vigil of the Epiphany of Our Lord

Oh Jesus, My Love
By St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)

Oh Jesus, my Love,
may my heart be consumed
in loving Thee.
Make me humble and holy,
giving me childlike simplicity,
transform me into Thy holy Love.
O Jesus, Life of my life,
Joy of my soul,
God of my heart,
accept my heart as an altar,
on which I will sacrifice to Thee,
the gold of ardent charity,
the incense of continual,
humble and fervent prayer
and the myrrh
of constant sacrifices!
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", ADVENT, ADVENT QUOTES, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The HEART, The KINGDOM of GOD, The SECOND COMING, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 27 November – The Kingdom of God is near. Luke 21:31

Quote/s of the Day – 27 November – The First Sunday of Advent –– Romans 13:11-14, Luke 21:25-33 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Look at the fig tree and all the trees,
when they produce their fruit
you know that summer is near.
So too, when you see these things happening,
know that the Kingdom of God is near.

Luke 21:29-31

The Kingdom of Heaven
is like a treasure
hidden in a field;
he who finds it, hides it
and in his joy.
goes and sells all that he has
and buys that field.”

Matthew 13:44

The only true riches are those
that make us rich in virtue.
Therefore, if you want to be rich, beloved,
love true riches.
If you aspire to the heights of real honour,
strive to reach the Kingdom of Heaven.
If you value rank and renown,
hasten to be enrolled
in the heavenly court of the Angels.

St Pope Gregory III (Died 741)

How long are we going to put off
obeying Christ, Who calls us
into His Heavenly Kingdom?
Are WE NOT going to purify ourselves?
WILL we NOT resolve to forsake
our customary way of life
to follow the Gospel radically?…
We claim to want the Kingdom of God
yet, without bothering,
to concern ourselves,
with the means of obtaining it?!
What is more, in the conceitedness
of our souls, without taking the least trouble
to obey the Lord’s Commandments,
we think ourselves worthy
to receive the same reward,
as those who have resisted sin,
to the death!

St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church

The soul must grow and expand
so as to be capable of God.
And its largeness is its love,
as the Apostle says,
“widen yourselves in love”
(2 Cor 6:13).
It grows and extends spiritually,
not in substance but in virtue.
The greatness of each soul is judged
by the measure of love that it has-
he who has great love, is great-
he who has little love is little,
while he who has no love at all –
is nothing!

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Father & Mellifluous Doctor of the Church

Where is the heart that loves?
On the thing it loves.
Therefore, where our love is,
there our heart is held captive.
It cannot leave it;
it cannot be lifted higher,
it cannot go either to the right or the left;
see, it is fixed.
Where the miser’s treasure is,
there is his heart
and where our heart is,
there is our treasure.

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)

Posted in CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, GOD ALONE!, JESUIT SJ, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on BLASPHEMY, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on WATCHING, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HEART, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 25 November – Our journey to sanctity

Quote/s of the Day – 25 November – Sirach 51:1-8; 5:12, Matthew 25:1-13 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Watch, therefore,
for you know neither the day
nor the hour.

Matthew 25:13

Lord Jesus, Bind Me to Yourself

Lord Jesus, bind me to Yourself
and to my neighbour, with love.
May my heart not be turned away from You.
May my soul not be deceived,
nor my talent or mind,
enticed by allurements of error,
so that I may never
distance myself from Your love.
Thus, may I love my neighbour as myself,
with strength, wisdom and gentleness,
with Your help,
You Who are blessed
throughout all ages.
Amen.

St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Evangelical Doctor of the Church

The medicine of God,
is Jesus Christ,
Crucified and Risen,
the measure of all things.

St John Leonardi (1541-1609)
Confessor, Priest, Founder

Master, which commandment
in the law is the greatest?

Matthew 22:36

That first and great commandment
is not only profitable for the man
who keeps it. or for God Who commands it –
the other commandments of God
also make perfect, him who obeys them,
improves him, instructs him
and makes him illustrious;
in a word, they make him good and holy.
If you understand this,
realise that you have been created
for the glory of God
and for your own eternal salvation;
this is your end, this is the object of your soul
and the treasure of your heart.
You will be blessed if you reach this goal
but miserable if you are cut off from it.

St Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621)
Doctor of the Church

O God, fullness of goodness,
You do not forsake any,
except those who forsake You.
You never take away Your gifts,
except when we take away our hearts.
We rob the goodness of God,
if we claim the glory of our salvation for ourselves.
We dishonour His mercy,
if we say He has failed us.
… We blaspheme His goodness,
if we deny that He has helped and assisted us.
In short, O God, cry loud and clear into our ears:
“your destruction comes from you, O Israel.
In Me alone is found your help
” (Hos 13:9).

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor Caritatis

“Entrust yourself entirely to God.
He is a Father
and a most loving Father at that,
Who would rather let Heaven
and earth collapse,
than abandon anyone
who trusted in Him.

St Paul of the Cross (1604-1775)

“50 Maxims for Attaining Perfection” – all on the link below

Quote/s of the Day – 2 August – “50 Maxims for Attaining Perfection in the Love of Jesus Christ”

St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor