Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, Quotes on SALVATION, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day  – 7 July  – Saint Prosper of Aquitaine (c 390-c 465)

Saint of the Day  – 7 July  – Saint Prosper of Aquitaine (c 390-c 465) Theologian, Married Layman, Writer, disciple and friend of St Augustine (354-430). St Prosper was the first continuator of St Jerome’s Universal Chronicle. Born in c 390 in Aquitaine, France and died in c 465 in Rome, Italy, of natural causes. Also known as – Tiro Prosper or Prosper Tiro.

Prosper was a native of Aquitaine, France and may have been educated at Bordeaux. By 417 he arrived in Marseilles as a refugee from Aquitaine, in the aftermath of the Gothic invasions of Gaul.

We first meet Prosper definitively around 425 as a participant in the Pelagian controversy which rocked the Church in southern France. Pelagian heretics minimised the role of grace in the first steps of becoming a Christian. Many vigorously opposed St Augustine’s strict views that special grace was required for salvation and thus, many were predestined to damnation. Prosper, a lay theologian, championed St Augustine. And in 428, a letter from Prosper prompted Augustine to write a major work on predestination.

Although a layman, Prosper threw himself with ardour into the religious controversies of his day, defending St Augustine and propagating orthodoxy. In his De vocatione omnium gentium – “The Call of all Nations,”, in which the issues of the call to the Gentiles is discussed, in the light of Augustine’s doctrine of Grace, Prosper appears as the first of the medieval Augustinians.

In 431, Prosper went to Rome and obtained a letter from Pope Celestine I that affirmed Augustine and his views and urged the French Bishops to quell the dispute peacefully. But it raged on. For several more years, Prosper wrote extensively, defending and popularising St Augustine’s teaching.

St Prosper on the right with Baby Jesus above him

In The Call to All Nations, Prosper seems to have mellowed somewhat, allowing that God mercifully made the Grace of Salvation available to all human beings. In the following excerpt Prosper describes the interplay of grace and free will:

“When the Word of God enters the ears through the ministry of preachers, the action of the Divine Power fuses with the sound of the human voice. The soul passes from one will to another will. Although the will that is driven out lingers on for a while, the newborn will claims for itself, all that is better in human beings. Thus the law of sin and the law of God do not dwell in the same way and together in the same person. Then the tempter tries to ambush the person through external things but the mind, strong with God’s help, prevails. For there are occasions for struggle and these greatly benefit the faithful. Their weakness is buffeted so that their holiness may not yield to pride. All good things, especially those conducive to eternal life, are obtained, increased and preserved through God’s favour.

Prosper spent the last part of his life in Rome where he served as secretary to St Pope Leo the Great. During that tim, he wrote the Chronicle, a universal history from Adam’s fall to the Vandal’s conquest of Rome in 455. He died in Rome around 465.

You will remember yesterday’s Saint Palladius of Ireland, knowledge of whose history, was greatly enhanced by his contemporary’s writings, St Prosper, who speaks of St Palladius, in particular in regard to the Pelagian heresy.

A reflection by St Prosper here: https://anastpaul.com/2021/10/27/one-minute-reflection-27-october-children-of-promise/

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD is LOVE, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on STRENGTH, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SACRED HEART QUOTES, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote/s of the Day – 24 June – The Sacred Heart of Jesus

Quote/s of the Day – 24 June – “The Month of the Sacred Heart” and the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

We, Christians,
are the true Israel
which springs from Christ,
for we are carved out of His Heart,
as from a Rock!

St Justin Martyr (100-165)
Father of the Church and Martyr

Be strengthened in Almighty God
and in the power of His might,
for with His help, nothing is difficult.
Throw off the heavy load of your own will,
cast aside the burden of sin
and gird yourselves as valiant warriors.
Forget what you are leaving behind;
strain forward to the great things before you.
I tell you, that every place where you set foot,
shall be yours.
For the Spirit who goes before your face
is Christ the Lord.
He will carry you to the topmost peak
in the arms of His Love.

St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)

The Sacred Heart is the symbol
of that boundless love
which moved the Word to take flesh,
to institute the Holy Eucharist,
to take our sins upon Himself
and, dying on the Cross,
to offer Himself as a victim
and sacrifice to the eternal Father.”

O Heart of love,
I put all my trust in Thee,
for I fear all things,
from my own weakness,
but I hope for all things,
from Thy Goodness
.”

The Twelve Promises of Jesus
to Saint Margaret Mary
or those Devoted to His Sacred Heart:

  1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
  2. I will establish peace in their families.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life
    and especially at the hour of their death.
  5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  9. I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart
    shall be exposed and honoured.
  10. I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names
    written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
  12. The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those
    who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months
    the grace of final repentance;
    they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments;
    My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

From Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque’s Vision of Jesus

St Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)
Visionary of the Sacred Heart

Posted in "Follow Me", CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CREEDS, DOCTORS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, QUOTES on REASON/INTELLECT, QUOTES on TRUTH, The CREED, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 12 May – “And himself believed and his whole house.” John 4:53

Quote/s of the Day – 12 May – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 4:46-53.

And himself believed
and his whole house.

John 4:53

Believing is:
an act of the intellect
assenting to the divine truth,
by command of the will,
moved by God through grace.

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Doctor Angelicus.
Doctor Communis

Do you also wish to go away?” He asked.
It was then that Simon Peter
made his memorable reply,
“Lord, to whom shall be go?
Thou hast the words of everlasting life.”
(Jn 6:68-69).
We also may experience, at times,
a sense of uncertainty
concerning the words of Jesus Christ.
There are such tremendous mysteries
in the Christian religion.
But, a religion which contained
no mysteries could scarcely be true.
There are mysteries of nature surrounding us
and within us.
How can we imagine that there are
no mysteries in God, the supreme
and most perfect Being?
Could it be possible
for our petty intellects fully
to comprehend God in Himself
and in His revelation?
Let us bow our heads, therefore,
before the mysteries of the Divinity.
Let us adore God and repeat with St Peter:
We cannot go away from You, O God
because You have the words of everlasting life.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand
of God the Father Almighty;
from thence He shall come
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of Saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body
and life everlasting.
Amen

Posted in CARMELITES, DOCTORS of the Church, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRAYER, St JOSEPH

Quote/s of the Day – 11 May – Hail, Holy Joseph, Hail!

Quote/s of the Day – 11 May – Octave Day of St Joseph

I cannot call to mind
that I have ever asked him,
at any time for anything,
which he has not granted
and I am filled with amazement
when I consider the great favours
which God has given me,
through this blessed Saint;
the dangers from which he has delivered me,
both of body and of soul!

St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
Doctor of the Church

It is impossible, that he could be denied
the favours for which he asks
and which we should request him
to obtain for us.
Let us go to him trustingly
but, let us remember,
that the surest way of being heard by him,
is to imitate his wonderful virtues,
especially his humility,
his spirit of prayer,
his purity and his calm desire always,
to do God’s will.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Hail, Holy Joseph, Hail!
By Father Frederick William Faber CO (1814-1863)

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
Chaste spouse of Mary hail!
Pure as the lily flow’r
In Eden’s peaceful vale.
Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
Prince of the house of God!
May His best graces be
By thy sweet hands bestowed.

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
Comrade of Angels, hail!
Cheer thou the hearts that faint,
And guide the steps that fail.
Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
God’s choice wert thou alone!
To thee the Word made flesh,
Was subject as a Son.

Hail, holy Joseph, hail!
Teach us our flesh to tame
And, Mary, keep the hearts
That love thy husband’s name.
Mother of Jesus! bless,
And bless, ye Saints on high,
All meek and simple souls
That to Saint Joseph cry.
Amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FRUITS of the SPIRIT, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on TRUTH, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 May – “I am the vine, you the branches.” – John 15:5

One Minute Reflection – 7 May – The Memorial of St Stanislas (1030-1079) Bishop and Martyr – Wisdom 5:1-5, John 15:1-7.

I am the vine, you the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, the same bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

REFLECTION – “The Lord calls Himself the Vine and those united to Him, branches, in order to teach us how much we shall benefit from our union with Him and, how important it is for us, to remain in His Love. By receiving the Holy Spirit, Who is the bond of union between us and Christ our Saviour, those who are joined to Him, as branches are to a vine, share in His own nature.

On the part of those who come to the Vine, their union with Him depends upon a deliberate act of the will, on his part, the union is effected by grace. Because we had goodwill, we made the act of faith that brought us to Christ and received from Him, the dignity of adoptive sonship which made us His own kinsmen, according to the words of Saint Paul: He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.

The prophet Isaiah calls Christ the Foundation because it is upon Him that we, as living and spiritual stones, are built into a holy priesthood to be a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. Upon no other Foundation than Christ ,can this temple be built. Here Christ is teaching the same Truth, by calling Himself the Vine, since the Vine is the parent of its branches and provides their nourishment.

From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit, in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but, the fruit of a new life, founded upon our faith in Him and our love for Him. Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ and we cling to His holy commandment, in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us and Who makes us aware of God’s Presence in us.

Let the wisdom of John teach us how we live in Christ and Christ lives in us: The proof that we are living in Him and He is living in us, is that He has given us a share in His Spirit. Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the only-begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with Himself and with God the Father because they have been united to Him by faith and determination to do His will in all things. He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God and teaches them, to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Known as “The Pillar of Faith” Archbishop of Alexandria, Father & Doctor of the Church, Doctor Incarnationis (Doctor of the Incarnation) [Commentary on the Gospel of John].

PRAYER – O God, in defence of Whose honour Stanislaus, the glorious Bishop, died by the swords of wicked men, grant, we beseech Thee, that all who seek his help may obtain salvation as a result of his prayers. 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 "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, FATHERS of the Church, FRUITS of the SPIRIT, ONE Minute REFLECTION, POETRY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – Joined to Christ

One Minute Reflection – 29 April – The Memorial of St Peter Martyr of Verona OP (1205–1252) Martyr, Priest – 2 Timothy 2:8-10; 3:10-12, John 15:1-7

I am the vine, you the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, the same bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

REFLECTION – “The Lord calls Himself, the vine and those united to Him, branches, in order to teach us how much we shall benefit from our union with Him and how important it is for us to remain in His love. By receiving the Holy Spirit, Who is the bond of union between us and Christ our Saviour, those who are joined to Him, as branches are to a vine, share in His own nature.

On the part of those who come to the vine, their union with Him depends upon a deliberate act of the will; on His part, the union is effected by grace. Because we had goodwill, we made the act of faith that brought us to Christ,and received from Him, the dignity of adoptive sonship which made us His own kinsmen, according to the words of Saint Paul: – He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.

The prophet Isaiah calls Christ the foundation because, it is upon Him that we as living and spiritual stone, are built into a holy priesthood to be a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. Upon no other foundation than Christ, can this temple be built. Here Christ is teaching the same truth by calling Himself the vine, since the vine is the parent of its branches and provides their nourishment.

From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit, in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but the fruit of a new life, founded upon our faith in Him and our love for Him. Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ and we cling to His holy commandment in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit Who dwells in us and Who makes us aware of God’s presence in us.

Let the wisdom of John teach us how we live in Christ and Christ lives in us – The proof that we are living in Him and He is living in us, is that He has given us a share in His Spirit. Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the Only-Begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with Himself and with God the Father because they have been united to Him by faith and determination to do His will in all things. He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God and teaches them to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity.”St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Archbishop of Alexandria, Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from: Commentary on the Gospel of John).

PRAYERSaint Thomas Aquinas in Eulogy for Saint Peter the Martyr
Here silent is Christ’s Herald;
Here quenched, the People’s Light;
Here lies the Martyred Champion
Who fought Faith’s holy fight.

The voice the sheep heard gladly,
The light they loved to see
He fell beneath the weapons
Of graceless Cathari.

The Saviour crowns His Soldier;
His praise the people psalm.
The Faith he kept adorns him
With Martyr’s fadeless palm.

His praise new marvels utter,
New light he spreads abroad
And now the whole wide city
Knows well the path to God.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2022, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The KINGDOM of GOD, The LORD'S PRAYER, The WILL of GOD

Saturday in Passion Week – 9 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘… What is the point …?’

Saturday in Passion Week – 9 April – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Jeremias 18:18-23, John 12:10-36

In You, O Lord, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame. In Your justice rescue me.Psalm 30:2”

He who loves his life, loses it
and he who hates his life
in this world,
keeps it unto life everlasting.
If anyone serves Me,
let him follow Me
and where I am,
there also shall My servant be
.”

John 12:25-26

OUR OBLIGATION is to do God’s will and not our own. We must remember this, if the praye that our Lord commanded us to say daily, is to have any meaning on our lips. How unreasonable it is to pray that God’s will be done and then not promptly obey it, when He calls us from this world!
Instead, we struggle and resist like self-willed slaves and are brought into the Lord’s presence, with sorrow and lamentation, not freely consenting to our departure but constrained by necessity.

AND YET, WE EXPECT to be rewarded with heavenly honours by Him to Whom we come, against our will!
Why then do we pray for the Kingdom of Heaven to come, if this earthly bondage pleases us?

WHAT IS THE POINT of praying so often for its early arrival, if we would rather serve the devil here than reign with Christ!?” – St Cyprian of Carthage (200-258) Bishop of Carthage, Martyr, Great Father of the Church (Excerpt from On Man’s Mortality).

Posted in CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the BRIDEGROOM, LENT 2022, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUTH, The HEART, The WORD

The Third Sunday of Lent – 20 March – Our Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – ‘The will is drawn also by love. ‘

The Third Sunday of Lent – 20 March – Ou4 Lenten Journey with the Great Fathers – Ephesians 5:1-9, Luke 11:14-28

“My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will free my feet from the snare. Look toward me and have pity on me, for I am alone and afflicted.” – Psalm 24:15-16

He who is not with Me,
is against Me
and he who does not gather
with Me scatters.

Luke 11:23

NO-ONE COMES TO ME unless the Father draws him. Do not think that you are drawn against your will – the will is drawn also by love. We must not be afraid of men who weigh words but are far from understanding what belongs above all to Divine Truth. They may find fault with this passage of Scripture and say to us: “How can I believe of my own free will if I am drawn to believe?” I answer: “It is not enough that you are moved by the will, for you are drawn also by desire.”

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN, to be drawn by desire? Take delight in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. The heart has its own desires; it takes delight, for example, in the bread from heaven. The poet could say: “Everyone is drawn by his own desire,” not by necessity but by desire, not by compulsion but by pleasure. We can say then with greater force, that one who finds pleasure in Truth, in Happiness, in Justice, in Everlasting Life, is drawn to Christ, for Christ is all these things.

ARE OUR BOIDLY SENSES to have their desires but not the will? If the will does not have its desires, how can Scripture say: The children of men will find their hope under the shadow of your wings, they will drink their fill from the plenty of your house and you will give them drink from the running stream of your delights, for with you is the fountain of life, and in your light we shall see light.

SHOW ME ONE WHO LOVES; he knows what I mean. Show me one who is full of longing, one who is hungry, one who is a pilgrim and suffering from thirst in the desert of this world, eager for the fountain in the homeland of eternity; show me someone like that and he knows what I mean. But if I speak to someone without feeling, he does not understand what I am saying.

YOU HAVE ONLY to show a leafy branch to a sheep and it is drawn to it. If you show nuts to a boy, he is drawn to them. He runs to them because he is drawn, drawn by love, drawn without any physical compulsion, drawn by a chain attached to his heart. Everyone is drawn by his own desire. ” This is a true saying and earthly delights and pleasures, set before those who love them, succeed in drawing them. If this is so, are we to say that Christ, revealed and set before us by the Father, does not draw us? What does the soul desire more than truth? Why then does the soul have hungry jaws, a spiritual palate as it were, sensitive enough to judge the truth, if not in order to eat and drink Wisdom, Justice, Truth, Eternal Life?

BLESSED ARE THOSE who hunger and thirst for justice, that is, here on earth. They shall be satisfied, that is, in Heaven. Christ says: I give each what he loves, I give each the object of his hope; he will see what he believed in, though without seeing it. What he now hungers for, he will eat; what he now thirsts for, he will drink to the full. When? At the resurrection of the dead, for I will raise him up on the last day.”St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Great Western Father and Doctor of Grace of the Church (An excerpt from his Treatise 26).

Posted in GOD ALONE!, GOD the FATHER, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE

Thought for the Day – 9 March – The Human Soul

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

The Human Soul

“Consider that you have only one soul, which belongs entirely to God and has Heaven for its true home.
God has given you two hands, two feet, two ears and two eyes but, He has given you only one soul.
What a disaster, if you should lose it, for you would then be damned forever!
When God made you to be free, He placed your fate in your own hands.

When God, in the beginning, created man, He made him subject to his own free choice” (Ecclus 15:14).
Remember that the salvation of your soul is the most necessary work which you have to do!
It is more precious to you than gold or silver.
More precious than gold is health and well-being, contentment of spirit, than coral” (Ecclus 30:15).
All our attention should be devoted to keeping our soul free from sin and endowing it with every virtue.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One Here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/27/thought-for-the-day-27-march-the-human-soul/

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, DOMINICAN OP, I BELIEVE!, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on TRUTH, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quotes of the Day – 7 March – St Thomas Aquinas

Quotes of the Day – 7 March – Monday of the First Week of Lent and the Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas OP (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus and Doctor Communis

Charity is
the form,
mover,
mother
and root
of all
the virtues
.”

To love is to
will the good
of the other.

The greatest kindness
one can render
to any man
consists in leading him
from error to truth.”

The celebration of Holy Mass
is as valuable, as the death
of Jesus on the cross.

Believing is:
an act of the intellect
assenting to the divine truth,
by command of the will,
moved by God through grace.

He who is NOT angry
when there is just cause
for anger, is IMMORAL.
WHY?
Because anger looks to
the good of Justice.
And if you can live amid Injustice
without anger,
you ARE IMMORAL
as well as UNJUST!”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Doctor Angelicus. Doctor Communis

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on PRAYER

Thought for the Day – 17 February – The Will

Thought for the Day – 17 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Will

“St Paul seems to contradict this idea when he writes: “There is question, not of him who wills, nor of him who runs but of God showing mercy” (Rom 9:16).

What he says is true.
Our will is inadequate to effect anything without the grace of God.
But, it is equally true, that the grace of God is not sufficient without an act of the will on our part.
God created us as intelligent beings with the marvellous gift of free will.
Because He respects the liberty which He gave us, He will not compel us by His grace to become holy.
He only assist us.
His assistance is absolutely necessary because of ourselves, we are incapable of forming a good intention, let alone performing a good action.
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves,” St Paul says elsewhere, “to think anything, as from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor 3:5).

We must pray fervently for divine grace but, it depends on our own will to ensure, that God’s grace produces results in us.
This is the only way in which we can become perfect.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/17/thought-for-the-day-17-february-the-will/

Posted in CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HERESY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on WORK/LABOUR

Thought for the Day – 8 February – Doing Everything for the Love of God

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

Doing Everything
for the Love of God

“In one of his letters, Luther wrote that he was so busy that he had no time to read his Breviary, nor to offer Holy Mass.
There is no doubt that it was this estrangement from prayer and from the love of God, which caused him to finish up as he did.
Our work must be based on charity and the interior life, so that we may be always united with God.
Otherwise, every action of ours, no matter how good it may appear, is sterile and valueless in the sight of God.

Today also, there are many people busily engaged in apostolic work but they have no interior life nourished by charity.
This is what is known as the heresy of action.

Everything we do is useless and even harmful, if our external activity is not accompanied by a flourishing interior life, enriched by divine grace.
St Gregory the Great paraphrases the words of the Gospel as follows: “Our Lord says: If anyone loves Me, let him keep my commandments. Love is proved by action. This is why St John (1 Jn 2:4) says, that the man who claims to love God and does not keep His commandments, is a liar. We love God sincerely if we keep His commandments and avoid the immoderate pleasures of our age.
Anyone who surrenders without reserve to the unlawful desires of this world, certainly does not love God because, he is acting contrary to His will
.” (Homil 30 in Ev).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/02/05/thought-for-the-day-5-february-doing-everything-for-the-love-of-god/
PART TWO HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/02/05/thought-for-the-day-5-february-doing-everything-for-the-love-of-god/

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, Quotes on SALVATION, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The KINGDOM of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 6 February – ‘ … It depends on your own wills …’

Quote/s of the Day – 6 February – The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany – Readings: Colossians 3:12-17, Matthew 13:24-30

A sower went out to sow

Matthew 13:30

Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field?
How then has it weeds
?”

Matthew 13:27

It is better to be cured
within the Church’s community
than to be cut off from its Body
as incurable members.
As long as a member still forms
part of the Body,
there is no reason to despair of its cure;
once it has been cut off,
it can be neither cured nor healed
.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

Brethren, the just man shall scarcely be saved.
What, then, will become of the sinner?

St Arsenius s the Great (c 354-c 449)

… [The Kingdom of God] … is within you.
That is, it depends on your own wills
and is in your own power,
whether or not you receive it.
Everyone, that has attained
to justification, by means of faith in Christ
and decorated by every virtue,
is counted worthy,
of the Kingdom of Heaven.

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

“And like the little grain of mustard seed …
we should set it in the garden of our soul,
all weeds being pulled out
for the better feeding of our faith.
Then shall it grow and …
through the true belief of God’s word …
we shall be well able to command
a great mountain of tribulation
to void from the place
where it stood in our hearts,
whereas with a very feeble faith
and faint, we shall scarcely
be able to remove a little hillock.

St Thomas More (1478-1535)

“My child, it is indeed
the Voice of God you have heard.
He has given you a great grace
in thus calling you into His one true Church.
While you live,
never cease to thank Him
and bless Him for it.”

St John Francis Régis (1597-1640)

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PURGATORY, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, The WILL of GOD, VENIAL SIN

Thought for the Day – 5 January – Venial Sin

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

Venial Sin

Next to mortal sin, the greatest of all evils is venial sin.
Sin is always an offence against the God of goodness,
When we sin, we place our own will above His and put Him in a position secondary to ourselves.
If mortal sin is spiritual suicide because it extinguishes, in us, the divine life of grace, venial sin is an injury, more or less grave, to the soul.
The former completely separates us from God; the latter moves us further away from Him.
Mortal sin means the death of the soul.
Venial sin is a disease of the soul which reduces its supernatural powers and leaves it more open to the ever–increasing attraction of evil.

We cannot speak of small sins, as if sin could be a triviality.
Sin is always something great and terrible because, it is an offence against our Creator and Redeemer, Whom we should love, honour and serve with every impulse of our heart and with the whole strength of our will.
It is the height of ingratitude because, in order to offend God, we make use of the gifts He has given us – our eyes, ears, speech and all our powers of soul and body.

Let us think seriously about this.
We must firmly resolve to be more vigilant so that, with the grace of God, we may avoid ever committing a deliberate venial sin.

The Gospel tells us that we must render an account of every idle word and that nothing tarnished can be admitted into the splendour of Paradise.
In the terrible torments of Purgatory, we must pay the full price for all our faults, even the slightest!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, GOD the FATHER, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on the CHURCH, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE, The KINGDOM of GOD, The LORD'S PRAYER

Thought for the Day – 20 October – The First Part of the “Our Father”

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

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The First Part of the “Our Father”

Our second aspiration is: “Thy kingdom come.”
It is true, that God reigns over Heaven, earth and the infernal regions.
Everything is subject to His Will – the sun, the stars, the birds of the air, the fishes of the sea and the tiniest insects carry out His commands.
Even the demons of Hell, who He has condemned to eternal punishment, are obedient to His Will.
But what about the human race?

Man possesses the precious but dangerous privilege of free will. which he has power to abuse by rebelling against God.
We should pray that the sovereignty of God may be triumphant in all hearts, beginning with our own and, that all men may willingly subject themselves to His commandments and to His grace.
This is the only way in which they can find peace.
“Take my yoke upon you and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29).

We should pray, moreover, for the Church, which is the kingdom of God upon earth.
We should pray for her peaceful victory over her enemies, who persecute her and impede her work for the salvation of souls.
We should love the Church even as we love Jesus Christ, for the Church is His handiwork and the fruit of His Precious Blood.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/10/19/thought-for-the-day-19-october-the-first-part-of-the-our-father/

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The LORD'S PRAYER, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 6 October – “Lord, teach us…”

Quote/s of the Day – 6 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Readings: Jonah 4: 1-11; Psalm 86: 3–6, 9-10; Luke 11: 1-4

Lord, teach us to pray …”

Luke 11:1

For what reason did God send Him to preach to the poor?
“To preach release to captives.”
We were the captives.
For many years Satan had bound us
and held us captive and subject to himself.
Jesus has come
“to proclaim release to captives and sight to the blind.”
By His word and the proclamation of His teaching,
the blind see.

Origen (c 185-253)

He did not treat us as our sins deserved.
For we are now sons of God.
How do we show this?
The only Son of God died for us,
so that He might not remain alone.
He who died as the only Son,
did not want to remain as the only Son.
For the only Son of God made many sons of God.
He bought brothers for Himself by His blood,
He made them welcome by being rejected,
He ransomed them by being sold,
He honoured them by being dishonoured,
He gave them life by being put to death.

St Augustine (354-430)
Bishop, Great Western Father and Doctor of Grace

For the Author and Giver of divine blessings
could not but be our Teacher as well,
providing the words of this prayer,
as precepts of life,
for those disciples who believe in Him
and follow the way He taught in the flesh.
Through these words,
He has revealed the hidden treasures
of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3)
that exist in Him as pure form.
And, in all who offer this prayer,
He kindles the desire to enjoy such treasures.”

St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662)
Monk and Theologian

Interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer

Prayer is nothing other than union with God.
… This union of God with his little creature
is something beautiful.
It is a happiness that we cannot understand.
We had deserved not to pray
but God, in His goodness, allows us to speak to Him.
Our prayer is incense,
which He receives with tremendous pleasure.”

St John-Marie Vianney (1786-1859)

(Catechism on Prayer]

“Immediately after rising
and throughout the day,
all make the Sign of the Cross
and renew their trust in God:
to be strengthened by the power of the Father,
to be enlightened by the wisdom of the Son
and to be sanctified by the love of the Holy Spirit.
And as they bless themselves, they may say:
Of myself I can do nothing,
with God I can do everything,
I want to do everything for love of God.

St Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850)

From the Rule of the Pallottines

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on MEDITATION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 23 September – Who is this

Quote/s of the Day – 23 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Haggai 1: 1-8; Psalm 149: 1b-6a and 9b; Luke 9: 7-9

“… Who is this about whom
I hear such things?”
And he sought to see him.”

Luke 9:9

“Prayer is the wing,
wherewith the soul flies to heaven
and meditation,
the eye,
wherewith we see God.”

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

“Faith is to believe
what you do not see;
the reward of this faith,
is to see what you believe.”

“A person can do other things against his will
but belief is possible,
only in one who is willing.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

“To one who has faith,
no explanation is necessary.
To one without faith,
no explanation is possible.”

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

He who wishes for anything but Christ,
does not know what he wishes;
he who asks for anything but Christ,
does not know what he is asking;
he who works and not for Christ,
does not know what he is doing.

St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

“Only one thing is necessary:
Jesus Christ!
Think unceasingly of Him.

St John Gabriel Perboyre CM (1802-1840)
Martyr for Christ

“Only God fills the soul and fills it wholly.
Let scientists go on asking – Where is God?
He is where those clever ones,
arrogant in their knowledge, cannot reach.”

St Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, GOD the FATHER, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, The HOLY NAME, The HOLY TRINITY, The LORD'S PRAYER, The SIGN of the CROSS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 14 August – God, Our Father

Quote/s of the Day – 14 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Joshua 24: 14-29; Psalm 16: 1-2a and 5-8, 11; Matthew 19: 13-15

God, Our Father

“Let the children come to me,
do not prevent them”

Matthew 19:14

“Whoever has seen me, has seen the Father.”

John 14:9

“So, my brothers, let us pray as God our master has taught us.
To ask the Father in words His Son has given us,
to let Him hear the prayer of Christ ringing in His ears,
is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer.
Let the Father recognise the words of His Son.
Let the Son who lives in our hearts, be also on our lips.
We have Him as an Advocate for sinners, before the Father,
when we ask for forgiveness for ours sins,
let us use the words given by our Advocate.
He tells us –
Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you.
What more effective prayer could we then make,
in the name of Christ, than in the words of His own prayer?”

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr

An excerpt from his “On the Lord’s Prayer”

“Immediately after rising
and throughout the day,
all make the Sign of the Cross
and renew their trust in God:
to be strengthened by the power of the Father,
to be enlightened by the wisdom of the Son
and to be sanctified by the love of the Holy Spirit.
And as they bless themselves, they may say:
Of myself I can do nothing,
with God I can do everything,
I want to do everything for love of God.”

From the Rule of the Pallottines

Our life is:
“To breathe God in and out.
To find God in everything.
To reveal God to all.
To radiate the presence of God.”

My God, In Your Infinite Love
By St Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850)

“My God,
in Your infinite love
You created me
according to Your image and likeness.
You gave me a free will.
Help me to use Your gifts
and improve myself
so as to become totally Your living image,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
an image of Your infinite
qualities and perfections.
Amen

St Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850)

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, EASTER, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRED SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on SIN, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The UNFORGIVEABLE SIN

Thought for the Day – 11 April – The Mercy of God

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

The Mercy of God

“God is the Being, Who is infinitely true, beautiful and good.
His goodness is manifested in His infinite love for all the creatures which He has made but, it is in His relations with sinners, in particular, that we call Him merciful.
He loves all things which He has created and directs them towards Himself, their beginning and their end.
When He is dealing, however, with beings endowed with free will, who can separate themselves from Him and even offend Him, He tries, while respecting the liberty which He has given them, to recall them to Himself, by the influence of His love and of His grace.
It is this supernatural outpouring of love towards sinners, which we call mercy.

The mercy of God shines forth in all the pages of Sacred Scripture.
In the Old Testament, there is promised and foreshadowed, in many ways, the coming of the Saviour of the sinful human race.
In the New Testament, Jesus appears, made man for our salvation, meek and humble of heart and merciful towards the unfortunate, especially towards sinners.
For them, He offers His life and His Precious Blood, dying on the Cross with His arms outstretched, as if in an embrace of forgiveness.
He tells us that He has not come to call the just but sinners, (Lk 5:32) and, that He has not come to those who are in health but to those who are sick (Mk 2:17);  He assures us that, if we ask the Father for anything in His name, it will be given to us (Jn 16:23).
So much goodness should move and soften our hearts.
Even if we are unfaithful servants and are covered with the leprosy of sin, let us go to Him and He will heal us.
Even if we have deserved Hell a thousand times, let us shed tears of repentance at His feet as Magdalen did and, He will give us His forgiveness and His peace.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", GOD ALONE!, LENT, LENTEN THOUGHTS, OUR Cross, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, The PASSION, The WILL of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 March – “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” – Matthew 20:17-28

One Minute Reflection – 3 March – Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 18:18-20,Psalms 31: 5-61415-16Matthew 20: 17-28

“You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” … the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” … Matthew 20:22,28

REFLECTION – “It is our task and, in our case, an obligation, to make of you the object of all our care, our zeal, our ministrations, by word and deed, by warnings, encouragement, admonitions and incitement, (…) so that, in this way, we might insert you into the rhythm of the divine will and face you towards the goal set before us – to give pleasure to God. …

He who is immortal, voluntarily shed His blood. He who created the host of angels, was
bound at the hands of soldiers and He who is to judge the living and the dead, was dragged to justice (cf. Acts 10:42; 2 Tm 4:1). Truth was exposed to false witnesses, was slandered, struck, covered with spittle, hung on the wood of the cross – the Lord of glory (cf. 1 Cor 2:8) endured every outrage and suffering without Himself needing these trials. How could this have happened to Him who, even as man, was without sin and who, to the contrary, snatched us away from the tyranny of the sin through which death came into the world and falsely took possession of our first father?

So there is nothing surprising about it, if we submit to even one of these trials since such is our condition … Therefore, we too have to be offended and tempted, afflicted by the cutting off of our wills. According to the interpretation of our Fathers, there is in this, a shedding of blood for this is what it means to be a monk. And we must gain the Kingdom of heaven in that way, by spending our lives in imitation of the Lord. … Apply yourselves zealously to your duties in the thought that by means of them, far from being slaves of men, you are serving God.” … St Theodore the Studite (759- 826) Monk at Constantinople – Catecheses 1

PRAYER – Protect Your family, Lord, trained as it is by the constant exercise of good works. Renew our spirit with the grace that teaches us how to imitate You, to suffer for You and with You, strengthen us with Your consoling presence and lead us, to the joys of heaven. May the intercession of our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary keep us on the path of Your kingdom’s glory. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 27 February – St Gregory of Narek, d St Gabriel Francis Possenti

Quote/s of the Day – 27 February – The Memorial of St Gregory of Narek (950-1003) Father & Doctor of the Church and St Gabriel Francis Possenti of Our Lady of Sorrows CP (1838-1862)

“In the face of my darkness,
You are light.
In the face of my mortality,
You are life.”

“The soul’s every movement
is a reminder of God,
the taking of a step,
the extension of the right hand,
the raising of the arm,
with thanks for good works,
with shame for bad,
for familiar conversation
and public addresses,
in rational discourse,
in works of success,
in the fervour of virtue,
day and night,
we are guided by You
in the useful movements for our spirit,
asleep or awake … ”

Assist me by the wings of your prayers,
O you who are called the Mother of the living,
so that on my exit from this valley of tears
I may be able to advance without torment,
to the dwelling of life
that has been prepared for us
to lighten the end of a life burdened by my iniquity.

Healer of the sorrows of Eve,
change my day of anguish into a feast of gladness.
Be my Advocate,
ask and supplicate.
For as I believe in your inexpressible purity,
so do I also believe in
the good reception that is given to your word.

O you who are blessed among women,
help me with your tears
for I am in danger.
Bend the knee to obtain my reconciliation,
O Mother of God.

Be solicitous for me for I am miserable,
O Tabernacle of the Most High.
Hold out your hand to me as I fall,
O heavenly Temple.

Glorify your Son in you,
may He be pleased to operate Divinely in me
the miracle of forgiveness and mercy.
Handmaid and Mother of God,
may your honour be exalted by me
and may my salvation be manifested, through you.
Amen.

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

“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)

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRAYER

Thought for the Day – 17 February – Ash Wednesday – The Will

Thought for the Day – 17 February – Ash Wednesday – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Will

“It is necessary, that our resolutions should be accompanied by the grace of God.
We should pray fervently and make firm decisions.
We must pray for divine grace but, it depends on our own will to ensure, that God’s grace produces results in us.
This is the only way in which we can become perfect.

We are assured of this by St Paul and by all the Saints.
“I can do all things in him who strengthens me,” wrote the Apostle of the Gentiles (Phil 4:13).
“By the grace of God, I am what I am and his grace in me has not been fruitless – in fact, I have laboured more than any of them, yet, not I but the grace of God with me” (1 Cor 15:10).

So, let us go forward.
Be determined.
Work hard.
Above all, pray humbly and fervently for the grace of God, without which, we can do nothing that is good!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One Here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/17/thought-for-the-day-17-february-the-will/

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

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

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

Those Who Will to be Damned

Only those who will it themselves, are damned.
God wishes all men to be saved.

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

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

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

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, The WILL of GOD

Quote/s of the Day – 4 January – Our First Resolution

Quote/s of the Day – 4 January – Christmas Weekday

Our First Resolution

“God desires, not death but faith.
God thirsts, not for blood but for self-surrender.
God is appeased, not by slaughter
but by the offering of your free will.”

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Bishop, Father & Doctor of Homilies

“Lord what will Thou have me do?
Behold the true sign of a totally perfect soul –
when one has reached the point
of giving up his will so completely
that he no longer seeks,
expects or desires
to do ought
but that which God wills.”

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

For God, …
does not work in those
who refuse to place all their confidence
and hope in Him alone.
But He does impart
the fullness of His love
upon those who possess
a deep faith and hope;
for them He does great things.

St Jerome Emiliani (1486-1537)

“More determination is required
to subdue the interior man
than to mortify the body
and to break one’s will,
than to break one’s bones.”

St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

“What was the first rule of our dear Saviour’s life?
You know it was to do His Father’s will.
Well, then, the first purpose of our daily work
is to do the will of God;
secondly, to do it, in the manner He wills;
and thirdly, to do it, because it is His will.
We know certainly that our God
calls us to a holy life.
We know that He gives us every grace,
every abundant grace
and though, we are so weak of ourselves,
this grace is able to carry us through
every obstacle and difficulty.”

St Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821)

St Elizabeth Ann’s Memorial today – more quotes from her here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/01/04/quote-s-of-the-day-4-january-the-memorial-of-st-elizabeth-ann-seton-1774-1821/

“I will attempt, day-by-day,
to break my will into pieces.
I want to do God’s Holy Will,
not my own!”

St Gabriel Francis Possenti
of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862)

Posted in GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, GOD the FATHER, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CREATION, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL

Thought for the Day – 6 December – The Glory of God

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

The Glory of God

“The whole of creation manifests the glory of God.
The grass of the field, the trees of the forest, the insects and birds of the air, the creatures on the earth and in the sea, the stars in the sky – they all speak to us of the power and beauty of the Creator.

You also were created by and for God, Who is the beginning and end of all things.
In all thoughts, actions and affections, therefore, you should seek the glory of God.
God, indeed, has no need of your small contribution to enhance His glory.
His glory is complete and perfect in Himself, in Heaven and in Hell.
God does not need you but, you need God.
It is your strict obligation, not only to proclaim the glory of God but, also, to work for its triumph in yourself and in all things.

The man who loves God above all things seeks only His glory.
The man who loves himself more than he loves God, however, seeks his own petty, worldly glorification and strays away from the main road of life which should lead him towards God.

Holiness consists in love – not earthly love, of course, but supernatural love.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, INCORRUPTIBLES, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FREE WILL, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 20 October – ‘May your door be open to Him … ‘ Luke 12:35-38

One Minute Reflection – 20 October – Tuesday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 2:12-22,Psalms 85:9-10,11-1213-14Luke 12:35-38 and the Memorial of Blessed James Strepar OFM (c 1340-1409)

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.” – Luke 12:35-36

REFLECTION – “God, the Word, stirs up the lazy and arouses the sleeper. For indeed, someone who comes knocking at the door is always wanting to come in. But it depends on us if He does not always enter or always remain. May your door be open to Him who comes; open your soul, enlarge your spiritual capacities, that you may discover the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace and sweetness of grace. Expand your heart; run to meet the Sun of that Eternal Light that “enlightens everyone” (Jn 1,9). It is certain that this true Light shines for all but, if anyone shuts their windows, then they themselves shut themselves off from this Eternal Light.

So even Christ remains outside, if you shut the door of your soul. It is true that He could enter but He doesn’t want to use force, He doesn’t put those who refuse under pressure. Descended from the Virgin, born from her womb, He shines throughout the universe to give light to all. Those who long to receive the light, that shines with an everlasting brightness, open up to Him. No night comes to intervene. Indeed, the sun we see each day gives way to night’s darkness but the Sun of justice (Mal 3,20) knows no setting for Wisdom is not overcome by evil.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan and Father and Doctor of the Church – 12th Sermon on Psalm 118

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God and Father, grant us the grace of Your Spirit and fill us with the light of understanding and love. May we learn to truly pray and by our prayers to entreat You to bless us in Your goodness and lead us to true faith in Your eternal light and Word sent to redeem us. May we always be waiting and prepared to open the door of our hearts to Jesus Christ our Lord, who comes in light, love and peace. Grant that by the prayers of Blessed James Strepar we may be strengthened. Holy Mother, be our protection and our guide. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on INDIFFERENCE, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, SAINT of the DAY, The WILL of GOD

Quote/s of the Day – 18 September – St Joseph of Cupertino and Free Will – “Our Unique Possession”

Quote/s of the Day – 18 September – The Memorial of St Joseph of Cupertino OFM Conv. (1603-1663)

Free Will – “Our Unique Possession”

“Clearly, what God wants, above all,
is our will,
which we received as a free gift from God in creation
and possess as though our own.
When a man trains himself to acts of virtue,
it is with the help of grace from God,
from whom all good things come …
The will is what man has,
as his unique possession.”

St Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1663)

“A man may lose the good things
of this life against his will
but, if he loses the eternal blessings,
he does so with his own consent.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

“God desires, not death but faith.
God thirsts, not for blood but for self-surrender.
God is appeased, not by slaughter
but by the offering of your free will.”

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Bishop, Father & Doctor of Homilies

“Remove grace
and you have nothing,
whereby to be saved.
Remove free will
and you have nothing,
that could be saved.”

St Anselm (1033-1109)
Doctor of the Church

“Lord what will Thou have me do?
Behold the true sign of a totally perfect soul –
when one has reached the point
of giving up his will so completely
that he no longer seeks,
expects or desires
to do ought
but that which God wills.”

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

“Happiness is secured through virtue,
it is a good attained by man’s own will.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Angelic Doctor

“But do not forget,
that all the saints cannot endear you to Christ
as much as you can yourself.
It is entirely up to you!”

St Cajetan (1480-1547)

“More determination is required
to subdue the interior man
than to mortify the body
and to break one’s will,
than to break one’s bones.”

St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

“A man makes the most progress
and merits the most grace,
precisely in those matters,
wherein he gains
the greatest victories over self
and most mortifies his will.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity

“I will attempt, day-by-day,
to break my will into pieces.
I want to do God’s Holy Will,
not my own!”

By St Gabriel Francis Possenti
of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862)

Posted in GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on VANITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE

Thought for the Day – 28 August – The Sons of God

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

The Sons of God

“In the beginning of his Gospel, St John speaks of the eternal nature of the Son of God, the Word through Whom all things were created and Who became man to enlighten and redeem the world, which was wallowing in ignorance and sin.
Unfortunately, he adds, instead of welcoming Him, the world rejected Him but, he goes on to say that “to as many as received him, he gave the power of becoming the sons of God” (Cf. John 1:1-12).
These words are a summary of the history of Christianity and, indeed, of the human race, for Jesus Christ was to be a “sign that shall be contradicted” (Lk 2:34).
On our side, there have always been the children of the world, those who ignore or openly combat Christ; on the other, the children of God,the thousands who acknowledge Christ as the Hope of salvation and the Light of the world and adore and love Him as God.

To which side do I belong?
Perhaps I am convinced that I have never attacked or rejected Christ.
But, in effect, I did so every time I committed a deliberate sin, for I put my own caprice before His will.
God’s grace in me was weakened by venial sin, or extinguished altogether by mortal sin.
As a result, I cased to be a child of God and became a child of Satan.
In losing Jesus, I forfeited all real happiness in this world AND in the next!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MUSIC/SINGING, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on TIME, QUOTES on TRUTH, QUOTES on WORRY/ANXIETY, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY CROSS, The LAMB of GOD, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD

Quotes of the Day – 28 August – St Augustine

Quotes of the Day – 28 August – The Memorial of St Augustine of Hippo (354-430) – Father and Doctor of Grace

“To fall in love with God,
is the greatest romance;
to seek Him,
the greatest adventure;
to find Him,
the greatest human achievement.”

“You ask what you might offer to God?
Offer yourself!
What does God expect from you,
except yourself?”

“He bought brothers for Himself by His blood,
He made them welcome by being rejected,
He ransomed them by being sold,
He honoured them by being dishonoured,
He gave them life by being put to death.
So, brethren, rejoice in the Lord,
not in the world.
That is, rejoice in the truth,
not in wickedness,
rejoice in the hope of eternity,
not in the fading flower of vanity.
That is the way to rejoice.
Wherever you are on earth,
however long you remain on earth,
the Lord is near,
do not be anxious about anything!”

“God provides the wind
but man must raise the sails.”

“A man may lose the good things
of this life against his will
but, if he loses the eternal blessings,
he does so with his own consent.”

“Do you wish to RISE?
Begin by DESCENDING.
You plan a tower
that will pierce the CLOUDS?
Lay first the foundation
of HUMILITY.”

“If we live good lives,
the times are also good.
As we are, such are the times.”

“He who calls us, came here below,
to give us the means of getting there.
He chose the wood
that would enable us to cross the sea –
indeed, no-one can cross the ocean of this world,
who is not borne by the Cross of Christ.
Even the blind can cling to this Cross.
If you can’t see where you are going very well,
don’t let go of it, it will guide you by itself. ”

“We pray then to Him,
through Him, in Him
and we speak along with Him
and He along with us. ”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

Posted in GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on INDIFFERENCE, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on VIRTUE

Thought for the Day – 27 August – Those Who Will to be Damned

Thought for the Day – 27 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Those Who Will to be Damned

“There are many who are so steeped in vice that they never think of eternity and seek their happiness in sinful and worldly pleasures.
They have grown deaf to God’s voice, although He instils in them remorse and restlessness and invites them by good inspirations, to return to His merciful embrace.
They are deaf, too, to the voice of conscience, which, in spite of their degradation, cannot fail to make them feel the attractiveness of virtue and their great need of their Creator.
They are fundamentally unhappy, doubly so because, in this life “there is no peace to the wicked” (Is 48:22) and, in the next life, they will be damned forever.
Only a miracle of divine grace can save them from the abyss into which they have voluntarily precipitated themselves.

There are others who want to have their heaven both in this world and in the next.
They oscillate uncertainly, between good and evil, today being full of good resolutions and tomorrow giving way to sin because virtue seems to demand too many sacrifices.
They would like to be good but they will not take the necessary trouble.

Indecisive and lukewarm, they think that they can serve God and the devil at the same time!
Naturally, this is impossible, as Christ has told us, “No man can serve two masters … You cannot serve God and mammon” (Mt 6:24).
If people of this kind will not make up their minds, they are running the risk of eternal damnation.

To what category do you belong?
Think about this and make a firm decision.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci