Thought for the Day – 26 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Let us weep for our sins and increase in love for our Divine Redeemer. When we are oppressed by the weight of our own cross, we shall look at the Crucifix and find comfort. When we are tempted, we shall grasp the Crucifix and turn away with horror from thoughts of sin and ingratitude.
The Crucifix will teach us, as it taught the Saints, the lesson of charity towards God and towards our neighbour. It will teach us to hate sin and to love virtue. If we cherish it during life, it will be our consolation to kiss the Crucifix at the moment of death.”
Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 26 March – Passion Sunday – Hebrews 9:11-15, John 8:46-59 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“… By means of His death, … they, who have been called, may receive the eternal inheritance, according to the promise, in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Hebrews 9:15
“Amen, amen, I say to you, if anyone keep My word, he will never see death.” John 8:51
DEATH St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“CONSIDER THE UNCERTAINTY of the day of your death. One day, my soul, you must depart from this body. When will it be? In winter or summer? In town or country? At home or afar? During the day or the night? With or without warning? As a result of illness of accident? Shall I have a chance to go to Confession? Shall I be assisted by a Priest? Will I be prepared? Unhappily, I know the answer to none of these things. Only one thing is certain – that I shall die and sooner than I imagine.”
Consider that then, the world will come to an end, as far as you are concerned. You will have no more part in it. It will turn upside down before your eyes, for worldly joys and pleasures and the things you loved in vain, will turn into empty dreams and shadows. Fool that I am to offend God for the sake of such trifling vanities. I have forsaken God and for what – for nothing! On the other hand, devotion and good deeds will be seen as desirable and delightful and you will ask yourself – why did I not take this beautiful and pleasant path of everlasting joy? At that hour, your sins – which at the time seemed so small – willappear as vast as mountains and your devotions truly small. …
Pray to God and cast yourself into His arms. O my God, take me into Thy care on that terrible day; may all other days be sad, if only that single day will be a happy one! Thank God for inspiring these resolutions and offer them to Him, imploring Him to grant you the grace of a Happy Death, through the merits of His Son and through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints. Carry with you always a small Happy Death Crucifix, properly blessed, to obtain a Plenary Indulgence at the hour of death and meditate upon it often.” – (Introduction to the Devout Life – Excerpt from The Fifth Meditation on Death).
WHAT IS A HAPPY DEATH CRUCIFIX? A Crucifix which displays the “Skull and Crossbones” preferably at the Feet of Jesus. “The skull and bones have many symbolic meanings. All Catholics are encouraged to meditate on the “Four Last Things – Death and Judgement, Heaven and Hell” so that they will live in a state of grace and prepare themselves for Heaven. The skull is a great reminder of human mortality. Jesus Christ was Crucified on Golgotha – “the place of the skull,” There is a tradition that Christ, the New Adam, Who conquered sin and death, was Crucified on the gravesite of the first man, Adam, who brought sin and death into the world through his disobedience to God. The skull is a symbol of Adam’s grave. Most important of all, the skull and bones are placed beneath Jesus’ Feet, to show that He triumphed over death and sin on our behalf.”
One Minute Reflection – 24 March – “The Month of the St Joseph” – Friday of the Fourth Week in Lent and the Feast of St Gabriel the Archangel – Daniel 9:21-26, Luke 1:26-38 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Hail, full of grace!” – Luke 1:28
REFLECTION – “So the Lord now manifestly came to His own. Born by His own created order that He Himself bears, He by His obedience on the tree, renewed and reversed what was done by disobedience, in connection with a tree.
The power of that seduction, by which the virgin Eve, already betrothed to a man, had been wickedly seduced, was broken when the Angel in truth brought good tidings to the Virgin Mary, who already, by her betrothal belonged to a man. For as Eve was seduced by the word of an Angel to flee from God, having rebelled against His Word, so Mary by the word of an Angel, received the glad tidings that she would bear God, by obeying His Word.
The former was seduced to disobey God and so fell but the latter, was persuaded to obey God, so that the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of Eve.
As the human race was subjected to death through the act of a Virgin, so was it saved by a Virgin, was precisely balanced by the obedience of Another. Then indeed, the sin of the first formed man was amended by the chastisement of the First Begotten, the wisdom of the serpent was conquered by the simplicity of the Dove and the chains were broken, by which we were in bondage to death.” – St Irenaeus (130-202) Bishop of Lyons, Martyr, Father of the Church (Against Heresies, 5)
PRAYER – O God, Who, out of all the Angels, chose the Archangel Gabriel to announce the Mystery of Thy Incarnation, mercifully grant that we who keep his feast on earth, may have him as our patron in Heaven.Through the same 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).
O glorious Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you we raise our hearts and hands, to implore your powerful intercession, to obtain from the gentle heart of Jesus all the help and graces necessary for our spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a holy death and the special grace I now implore: …………….. (Mention your request) O guardian of the Word Incarnate we feel animated with confidence, that your prayers on our behalf, will be graciously heard, before the throne of God. St Joseph, Patron of the Dying, Pray for us! Amen
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 sunand 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).
Thought for the Day – 3 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Shortness of Time
“Another vision will confront us also in that final hour. Our frightened minds will see again all those hours which we have misused in sin. The devil will try by every means in his power, to repaint them in our troubled imagination. He will do his best to lead us into despair, even as he tempted Judas and many other sinners before us.
We know well that the mercy of God is infinite and that it remains infinite at the hour of death. But, we know too that His justice, is no less infinite. Since God has granted us so much time in which He called us to repentance and to a life of virtue, it could happen that at the point of death, He will put an end to the mercy and to the favours which He has shown us and which we have disregarded. What will become of us then? Remember that only one of the two thieves was converted. The other died unrepentant on his cross, even though he was hanging by the side of Jesus!
Reflect and make provision while there is still time. While we have time.,let us do good (Gal 6:10). We shall be unable to do anything about it afterwards.”
Quote/s of the Day – 27 February – Monday of the First Week in Lent – The Memorial of St Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows/Gabriel Possenti CP (1838-1862)
“By sin, O Jesus, I gave Thee Thy Death but I do not despair of Thy Forgiveness. Those Scourges call me, those Arms extended invite me that injured Heart offers me a secure shelter.”
“I will attempt, day by day, to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s Holy Will, not my own.”
“Do not bestow your love on the world!”
“Love Mary!… She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her. She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you, embraces you and consoles and serves you. She will even be at hand, to accompany you on the trip to eternity.”
(From a letter to his brother).
St Gabriel Francis Possenti of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862)
Thought for the Day – 8 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Use of Creatures
“St Ignatius Loyola investigates this subject in his Spiritual Exercises. He writes that we ought to use things, insofar as they bring us nearer to our final end. We ought to avoid things completely, he continues, insofar as they separate or distract us from this end.
The function of creatures in our regard, is to lead us nearer to God, to remind us of God and to make us love God. But if they are a source of scandal to us, we must avoid them. The Gospel is very strict on this matter when it says, “If thy hand or foot is an occasion of sin to thee, cut it off and cast it from thee” (Mt 5:29-30; 18:8).
This means that we must be ready to give up anything or anyone, rather than endanger our souls and risk the loss of Divine grace and eternal life.”
One Minute Reflection – 8 February – St John of Matha (1160-1213) – Confessor, Priest, Founder – Sirach 31:8-11, Luke 12:35-40 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Be you then also ready …” – Luke 12:40
REFLECTION – “At an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.” Jesus says this to them so that the disciples would stay awake and always be ready. If He tells them, He will come when they are not expecting Him, this is because He wants to make them practice virtue zealously, without relaxing. It is as though He were saying to them: “If people knew when they were going to die, they would be completely ready for the day”… But the end of our life is a secret, hidden from us all…
This is why the Lord expects two qualities of His steward – that he should be faithful, lest he attribute to himself anything that belongs to his Master and that he should be wise, so that he might suitably administer everything put in his charge. So we too ought to have these two qualities if we are to be ready at the Master’s coming… Because this is what happens due to our not knowing the day we shall meet Him – we say to ourselves: “My Master is delayed in coming.” The faithful and wise steward has no such thoughts. Wretch! using the excuse that your Master is late, do you imagine He will not come at all? His coming is certain! Then why do you not stay on your guard? No, the Lord is not slow in coming – this lateness is purely in the imagination of the wicked servant!” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 77 on St Matthew).
PRAYER – O God, Who graciously and by Divine means founded, through blessed John, the Order of the Most Holy Trinity to ransom captives from the hands of the Saracens, grant, we beseech Thee that through Thy help and the merits of his prayers, we may be freed body and soul from captivity. 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).
Quote/s of the Day – 17 January – St Anthony Abbot (251-356)
“The fruits of the earth are not brought to perfection immediately but by time, rain and care. Ssimilarly, the fruits of men ripen through ascetic practice, study, time, perseverance, self-control and patience.”
“Regard as free, not those, whose status makes them outwardly free but those, who are free in their character and conduct. For we should not call men truly free when they are wicked and dissolute, since they are slaves to worldly passions. Freedom and happiness of soul consist in genuine purity and detachment from transitory things.”
“. . . You should know that there is present with you, the Angel whom God has appointed for each man. . . This Angel, who is sleepless and cannot be deceived, is always present with you; he sees all things and is not hindered by darkness. You should know, too, that with him, is God!”
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).
Thought for the Day – 11 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Particular and General Judgements
“St Catherine of Siena believed that loyalty to the Church and devotion to the Blessed Virgin, were two pledges of salvation. In one of her letters she wrote that “he will not die forever, who serves the Church faithfully.” Elsewhere she said that “out of reverence for the Word, the Divine Goodness has granted Our Lady, the privilege that any man, good or sinful, who pays her due honour, will not be taken captive by the devil.” Consequently, we need not be inordinately afraid of death, or of the final judgement, if we love the Church, obey her commandments and work generously for her triumph in the universe and, if we show a filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin, pray to her and imitate her in virtue, as far as possible,
It will be profitable for us to think about death and the last judgement (Cf Ecclus 7:36). It will moderate our impatience in tribulations and our inordinate pleasure in consolations. It will be a stimulus to perseverance in good actions.”
Thought for the Day – 10 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Death of the Sinner as Opposed to the Death of the Just
“Now that we have witnessed these contrasting scenes, let us examine ourselves in the presence of God. Let each of us ask: What will be my fate? If we can rank ourselves amongst the just, let us thank God. We are not there on our own merits. “By the grace of God, I am what I am” (1 Cor 15:10).
Perhaps we need only reproach ourselves with some deficiency or weakness but, have at the same times, a strong desire to serve God and a great love for Him. In this case, we can take heart. We can cast ourselves into the merciful arms of God. But, if on the other hand, we are hardened and habitual sinners, then woe betide us! Perhaps this meditation is the last grace which God will bestow on us!”
Thought for the Day – 9 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“The greatest lesson in life springs from reflection on death. Whoever does not learn, how to live, from death, will never learn anything from anybody!
We MUST DIE and we DIE ONLY ONCE. This is a test which we shall never have a chance to repeat! This thought should inspire in us a healthy fear of sin and an ardent desire to be more closely united with God and more faithful in the observance of His law.
As a special fruit of this mediation, let us form the resolution of asking for the last Sacraments at the hour of death, instead of waiting until our relatives are obliged to exhort us to receive them. It is not a sentence but a gift, for which we ask. It is the greatest gift which God’s mercy could grant us in that final and decisive moment of our lives .
There is another resolution which we ought to make. We should live everyday as if it were our last but, we should work as tirelessly as if we never had to die!”
Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – The Feast and the Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus
“Faith in Jesus and in the power of His Holy Name is the greatest spiritual force in the world today. It is a source of joy and inspiration in our youth; of strength in our manhood, when only His Holy Name and His grace, can enable us to overcome temptation; of hope, consolation and confidence at the hour of our death, when more than ever before, we realise, that the meaning of Jesus is ‘Lord, the Saviour.’ We should bow in reverence to His Name and submission to His Holy Will.”
Bl Henry Suso OP (1290-1365)
“The Name of Jesus, is in fact, the great foundation of the Faith that turns people into children of God. The Catholic Faith indeed, consists in the news of Jesus Christ, as Light of the soul, Gate of Life and Foundation of Eternal Salvation.”
“The Name of Jesus is the glory of preachers because the shining splendour of that Name causes His Word to be proclaimed and heard. And how do you think such an immense, sudden and dazzling Light of Faith came into the world, if not because Jesus was preached? Was it not through the brilliance and sweet savour of this Name that God called us into His marvelous Light?”
Quote/s of the Day – 4 December – St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) “Golden Words” Confessor, Father & Doctor of the Church
“John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him.”
“Let your behaviour, as one who has converted, be manifest. You who preferred what is human, to what is divine, who desired to be the world’s slave, r ather than to conquer the world along with the world’s Lord, Repent. You who fled the freedom which virtue would have won for you because you wished to take on the yoke of sin: Repent. Repent in earnest, you who, for fear of possessing Life, have given yourself up to death!”
“O my brethren, if only we wanted to, if only we all wanted to perceive our soul’s paralysis in all its depth! Then we would see that it is lying on a stretcher of sins, deprived of strength. Christ’s action within us, would be a source of light and we would understand that each day He sees our lack of faith, harmful as it is, that He draws us towards healing remedies and sharply presses our rebellious wills. “My son” He says, “your sins are forgiven you.”
“For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
“O man, send your treasure on, send it ahead into Heaven, or else your God-given soul, will be buried in the earth! Gold comes from the depth of the earth — rhe soul, from the highest Heaven. Clearly, it is better, to carry the gold to where the soul resides, than to bury the soul, in the mine of the gold. That is why God orders those who will serve in His Army here below, to fight as men stripped of concern for riches and unencumbered by anything. To these, He has granted the privilege of reigning in Heaven!”
“And behold, there arose, a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was covered by the waves but He was asleep.”
“While all the rest were awake, He alone was fast asleep, even with utter doom threatening both Himself and His dear ones. Why? It is not a calm sky, beloved but the storm, which tests a pilot’s skill. When the breeze is mild, even the poorest sailor can manage the ship. But in the crosswinds of a tempest, we want the best Pilot with all His skil!.”
One Minute Reflection – 3 December – St Memorial of St Francis Xavier SJ (1506-1552) Confessor – Romans 10:10-18, Mark 16:15-18 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” – Mark 16:15
REFLECTION – “You have heard what the Lord said to His disciples after the Resurrection. He sent them out to preach the Gospel and they did so. Listen: “Through all the earth their voice resounds and to the ends of the world, their message” (Ps 18,5). Step by step, the Gospel has reached even to us and the ends of the earth. In a few words the Lord, addressing Himself to His disciples, set out what we are to do and what we have to hope for. Just as you have heard, He said: “Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved.” He asks for our faith and offers us salvation. What He offers us, is so precious that what He asks of us, is as nothing.
“The children of men take refuge in the shadow of Thy wings, O my God… from Thy delightful stream, Thou gives them to drink, for with Thee, is the Fountain of Life” (Ps 35,8f.). Jesus Christ is the Fountain of Life. Before the Fountain of Life came to us, we had only a human salvation like that of the beasts, of which the psalm speaks: “Man and beast you save, O Lord” (Ps 35,7). But now the Fountain of Life has come even to us, the Fountain of Life died for our sakes. Will He refuse us His Life,Who, for our sakes, gave His Death? He is salvation and this salvation is not worthless, like the other one. Why? Because it does not pass away. The Lord has come. He died but He killed death. In Himself, He brought an end to death. He assumed it and He killed it. Where is death now, then? Look for it in Christ and it is no longer there. It used to be there but there it died. O Life, Death of death! Take heart: it will also die in us. What was fulfilled in the Head will also be fulfilled in the members and death will die in us, too!” – St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace (Sermon 233).
PRAYER – O God, Thou Who were pleased to gather into Thy Church the peoples of the Indies by the preaching and miracles of blessed Francis, mercifully grant that we, who honour his glorious merits, may also imitate the example of his virtues. 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).
Thought for the Day – 19 November – 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 the 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).”
One Minute Reflection – 14 November – St Josaphat Kuncewicz OSBM (1584-1623) Confessor, Archbishop, Martyr – Hebrews 5:1-6, John 10:11-16 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“I am the good shepherd and I know mine and mine know me.”- John 10:14
REFLECTION – “He shows in what manner a shepherd may be proved good and, He teaches that, he must be prepared to give up his life, fighting in defence of his sheep, which was fulfilled in Christ. For man has departed from the love of God and fallen into sin and because of this was, I say, excluded from the divine abode of paradise. And when he was weakened by that disaster, he yielded to the devil tempting him to sin and death, following that sin, he became the prey of fierce and ravenous wolves. But after Christ was announced as the True Shepherd of all men, He laid down His life for us (1 John 3:16), fighting for us against that pack of inhuman beasts. He bore the Cross for us that by His own death, He might destroy death. He was condemned for us that He might deliver all of us, from the sentence of punishment: the tyranny of sin being overthrown by our faith: fastening to the Cross, the decree that stood against us, as it is written (Colossians 2:14).
Therefore, as the father of sin had, as it were, shut up the sheep in hell, giving them to death to feed on, as it is written in the Psalms (Ps. Xlviii.16), He died for us, as truly Good and truly our Shepherd, so that the dark shadow of death is driven away, He might join us to the company of the blessed in Heaven and, in exchange for abodes, which lie far in the depths of the pit …grants us mansions in His Father’s House above. Because of this, He says to us in another place: Fear not, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you a Kingdom (Luke 12:32). Do you listen attentively to the Voice of the Good Shepherd and obey His Word? – ” – St Cyril of Alexander (376-444) Known as “The Pillar of Faith” Archbishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church. (Commentary on the Good Shepherd).
PRAYER – Arouse in Thy Church, O Lord, the spirit with which blessed Josaphat, Thy Martyr and Bishop, was filled, when he laid down his life for his flock; so that, by his intercession, we, also moved and strengthened by the same spirit, may not fear to lay down our lives for our brethren. 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).
Quote/s of the Day – 13 November – St Stanislaus Kostka SJ (1550-1568) Jesuit Novice
“Consider how difficult it is, for a person to be separated from any place, he has loved deeply. How much more difficult, the soul will find it when the time comes to leave the mortal body, its companion so dear. And the great fear it will experience in that moment because its salvation is at stake and it must stand in the presence of the One it has so offended. If the just man will scarcely be saved, what about me a sinner?”
“What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I do for Christ?”
One Minute Reflection – 13 November – The Twenty Third Sunday after Pentecost – St Didacus de Alcalá de Henares) OFM (c 1400-1463) Confessor and the Feast of All Saints of the Augustinian Order – Philippians 3:17-21; 4:1-3, Matthew 9:18-26 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Behold .a certain ruler came up and adored him, saying: Lord, my daughter is even now dead but come, lay Thy hand upon her and she shall live. ” – Matthew 9:18
REFLECTION – “The hour is coming, in which all that are in their graves ,shall hear His Voice and shall come forth” (Jn 5,28)… We have read in the Gospel, of three dead persons who were raised to life by the Lord and, let us hope, to some good purpose. For surely the Lord’s deeds are not merely deeds but signs… We were listening with wonder… in the reading of the Gospel, how Lazarus was restored to life (Jn 11). If we turn our thoughts to the still more wonderful works of Christ, everyone who believes, rises again – if we all consider and understand that more horrifying kind of death which everyone who sins dies.
But every man is afraid of the death of the flesh; few, of the death of the soul! …Man, destined to die, labours to avert his dying and yet, man, destined to live forever, labours not, to cease from sinning! … Oh that we could arouse men and be ourselves aroused along with them, to be, as great lovers of the life that abides, as men are of that, which passes away.! … Who has had it said to him: “Be off to sea, if you would escape with your life” and has delayed to do so? Who has had it said to him: “Set to work if you would preserve your life” and has continued a sluggard? It is but little that God requires of us that we may live forever and we neglect to obey Him?! …
If, then, the Lord in the greatness of His grace and mercy, raises our souls to life that we may not die forever, we may well understand, that those three dead persons whom He raised in the body, have some figurative significance of that resurrection of the soul, which is effected by faith.” – St Augustine (354-430), Father and Doctor of Grace of the Church (Sermons on Saint John’s Gospel, no.49, 1-3).
PRAYER – Almighty, eternal God, Who in Thy wondrous providence, choose the weak things of the world to overcome the strong, mercifully grant unto us Thy humble servants that, by the loving prayers of blessed Didacus, Thy Confessor, we may be found worthy to be raised unto the everlasting glory of 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).
Our Morning Offering – 11 November – The day of the Passion
In Your Hour of Holy Sadness By St Bernard (1090-1153) Father & Doctor of the Church
In Your hour of holy sadness could I share with You, what gladness should Your Cross to me be showing. Gladness past all thought of knowing, bowed beneath Your Cross to die! Blessed Jesus, thanks I render that in bitter death, so tender, You now hear Your supplicant calling, Save me Lord and keep from falling from You, when my hour is nigh. Amen.
Our Morning Offering – 4 November – “The Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory” – The Memorial of Saint Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)
O My Good Angel Prayer to One’s Guardian Angel Appointing him Intercessory at the hour of Death By St Charles Borromeo (1538-1584)
My good Angel – I know not when or how I shall die. It is possible I may be carried off suddenly and before my last sigh, I may be deprived of all intelligence. Yet, how many things I would wish to say to God, on the threshold of eternity. In the full freedom of my will today, I come to charge thee to speak for me at that fearful moment. Thou will say to Him, then, O my good Angel – That I wish to die in the Roman Catholic Apostolic Church in which all the Saints, since Jesus Christ, have died and, out of which, there is no salvation. That I ask the grace, of sharing in the Infinite Merits of my Redeemer and that I desire to die, in pressing to my lips, the Cross which was bathed in His Blood! That I detest my sins because they displease Him and that I pardon, through love of Him, all my enemies, as I wish myself to be pardoned. That I die willingly because He orders it and that I throw myself, with confidence, into His adorable Heart, awaiting all His mercy. That in my inexpressible desire to go to Heaven, I am disposed to suffer everything it may please His Sovereign Justice to inflict on me. That I love Him before all things, above all things and for His own sake; that I wish and hope, to love Him with the elect, His Angels and the Blessed Mother, during all eternity. Do not refuse, O my Angel, to be my interpreter with God and to protest to Him, that these, are my sentiments and my will. Amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 2 November – All Souls Day – “The Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory”
“Remember, when you leave this earth, you can take nothing with you, which you have received, only that, which you have given.”
St Francis of Assisi (c 1181–1226)
“This death … has already levelled his bow to strike me. Is it not prudent to prevent its stroke, by dying now to the world, that at my death, I may live to God?”
St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)
“It seems to me, my daughters, that everything passes so quickly that we should be thinking more, about how to die, than how to live!”
St Teresa of Jesus of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church
“The powers of hell will assail the dying Christian but his Angel Guardian will come to console him. His Patrons and St Michael, who has been appointed by God to defend his faithful servants, in their last combat with the devils, will come to his aid.”
St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
“It is not Death that will come to fetch me, it is the good God. Death is no phantom, no horrible specter, as presented in pictures. In the catechism it is stated, that death is the separation of soul and body, that is all! Well, I am not afraid of a separation which will unite me to the good God forever.”
St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face (1873 – 1897)
Prayer for a Holy Death By St Alphonsus de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
My beloved Jesus, I will not refuse the cross, as the Cyrenian did; I accept it, I embrace it. I accept, in particular, the death Thou hast destined for me, with all the pains which may accompany it; I unite it to Thy Death, I offer it to Thee Thou hast died for love of me; I will die for love of Thee and to please Thee. Help me by Thy grace. I love Thee, Jesus, my love; I repent of ever having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always and then do with me what Thou will. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 2 November – All Souls Day – “The Month of the Holy Souls in Purgatory” – 1 Corinthian 15:51-57, John 5:25-29 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Do not wonder at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs shall hear the Voice of the Son of God. And they who have done good, shall come forth unto the resurrection of life but they who have done evil, until the resurrection of judgement.” – John 5:28-29
REFLECTION – “Let them weep who lack all hope of resurrection; it is not the will of God that takes it away from them but the inflexibility of what they believe. There has to be a difference between the servants of Christ and the pagans. This is what it is – they mourn for those close to them, whom they think to be dead forever; they see no end to their weeping, reach no rest for their grief …, whereas, for us, death is not the end of our existence but the end of our life. Since our existence is restored by a condition that is better, therefore, the coming of death sweeps away all our tears.…
How much greater is our comfort, who believe that our good deeds are the promise, of better rewards after death. As for the pagans, they have their consolation, in thinking that death is a rest from all our trials. Since they think their dead are denied the enjoyment of life, they also think them, to be deprived of every faculty of sense and freed from the pain of the hard and continual sorrows, we bear in this life. We, on the other hand, just as we should have a more elevated spirit because of the reward we expect, so, we should also better bear our pains because of this consolation. … Our dead have been sent on, not far from us but before us – they, whom death will not take but whom, eternity will receive!” – St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church (On the death of his brother, I, 70-71).
PRAYER – O God, Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of Thy servants and handmaids, the remission of all their sins, that they may obtain, by our loving prayer,s the forgiveness which they have always desired. Who lives and reigns with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
Thought for the Day – 31 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Pray for Us … at the Hour of Our Death”
“My dear Mother Mary, you who lived in the intimate presence of God, obtain for me too, this great grace, so that I may avoid sin, do good and love God, upon earth, in the hope of enjoying Him forever in Heaven. Amen.🙏”
Thought for the Day – 27 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Hail Mary … Holy Mary”
“We seek her intercession, moreover, at the hour of death. Death must come but if we have prayed often to our heavenly Mother, she will certainly be with us in those final and decisive moments of our lives. If Mary is there to help us, we may be sure that death will come as a consolation, for it will be a peaceful journey towards everlasting happiness.”
Thought for the Day – 26 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Deliver Us From Evil”
“Deliver us, O God, from the evil of eternal damnation. Sin is the greatest evil but, as long as we are on earth, it is an evil which can still be remedied, for God, in His Infinite Mercy, is always ready to forgive and to restore us to His divine friendship, if we sincerely repent. In Hell, however, there is no further remedy, for there, the Mercy of God has been superseded by His Infinite Justice. Where the tree falls, there it must lie forever. Such dreadful unhappiness is barely conceivable!
Deliver us from sin, O God, deliver us from a bad death, deliver us from Hell. Help us to love You more and more and to serve You more faithfully, so that we may one day enjoy Your blessed company, for all eternity. Amen.”
Thought for the Day – 17 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fourth Glorious Mystery The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven
“As a result of this meditation, let us make the following resolutions in the presence of Mary Assumed into Heaven.
(1) To offer to God, everyday, in expiation of our sins, whatever kind of death He will please to give us.
(2) To build up for ourselves, henceforth, a substantial credit account of good actions and generous sacrifices.
(3) To pray fervently to our Mother Mary, to obtain for us from her Divine Son, a death which will be peaceful like hers, with all our sins forgiven and our hearts filled with a loving desire to be with God.”
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