Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, BAPTISM, CONFESSION, CONFIRMATION, HOLY COMMUNION, HOLY ORDERS, HOLY SPIRIT, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HUMAN DIGNITY, QUOTES on MARRIAGE, MARRIED LOVE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THANKSGIVING, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, QUOTES on VOCATIONS, Sacrament of the SICK, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The KINGDOM of GOD, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD

Thought for the Day – 21 April – The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian

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

The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian

“It is a great dignity to be a Christian.
By Baptism, we become sons of God, heirs to Heaven, temples of the Holy Spirit and members of the Mystical Body of Jesus, which is the Church.
God’s grace raises us to the supernatural order and makes us, as St Paul expresses it, sharers in the divine nature.
By the Sacrament of Confirmation, the Holy Spirit fortifies our faith and gives us the strength to resist the temptations of the devil and to fight like loyal soldiers, for the triumph in ourselves and in others, of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
The Sacrament of Penance, is our plank of salvation in the shipwreck of sin.

Although, we are all wretched sinners, by this give of the divine mercy, we can recover our lost innocence and return to the grace and friendship of God.
Moreover, in order to prevent us from falling back into sin, Jesus give us Himself in the Blessed Eucharist, which is called, by St Thomas Aquinas, the greatest miracle of His infinite love (Opusculum 56, Officium de festo Corporis Christi, lectures 1-4).

But this is not all.
If it is our vocation for form a family, God consecrates our union at the altar and gives us the graces necessary, to sanctify it, so that it may produce a good Christian family.
If God has called us, on the other hand, to become spiritual fathers of the souls redeemed by His Precious Blood, He raises us to this high dignity, by the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
Finally, when we shall have come to the end of our mortal lives, the Priest will be still by our side, to wash away, by the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, the last traces of sin and to comfort us in our passage to eternity.
The whole life of a Christian, is a chain of favours which accompany him, from the cradle to the grave.
We should be grateful to God for the goodness with which He has treated us and continues to treat us.
We should co-operate generously with His gifts by recognising the lofty honour it is, to be a Christian and by living in accordance with this dignity.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CONFESSION, CONFESSION/PENANCE, HOLY COMMUNION, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on GRACE, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Thought for the Day – 20 April – Frequent Confession and Communion

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

Frequent Confession and Communion

“The purifying and reforming action of frequent Confession is completed by the practice of receiving Communion, as frequently as possible.

Sacramental Confession gives us the grace of God, while Holy Communion gives us the Author of that grace, Jesus Christ, living and really present, Who comes to dwell in our poor hearts.
How can anybody who goes frequently to Confession and Communion sin?
How can any man cast himself once more into the clutches of the devil after experiencing the heavenly consolation of the Eucharist?

Do not protest that we are not worthy to go to Holy Communion frequently…
It is true that we are not worthy but, we have a great need of this divine nourishment.
If we wait until we are worthy, we shall never approach the Sacred Banquet but, if we realise our need of Jesus, we shall want to receive Him everyday.
This was the practice of the early Christians, who were persevering in prayer and in the ‘Breaking of Bread’ that is, in receiving Holy Communion.
From the divine Eucharist, they gained the courage to endure martyrdom.
A good life is a slow martyrdom – we, who must be virtuous, have a continual need of Holy Communion, the food of the strong!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/29/thought-for-the-day-29-september-frequent-confession-and-communion-part-one/

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, I BELIEVE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on POVERTY, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, QUOTES on WEALTH/RICHES, QUOTES on WORRY/ANXIETY, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 19 April – ‘ … Whoever believes, begins a new life … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 19 April – Monday of the Third Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 6: 8-15, Psalm: Psalms 119: 23-24, 26-27, 29-30, Gospel: John 6: 22-29 and the Memorial of Bl Conrad of Ascoli OFM (1234-1289)

“This is the work of God, that you believe in him, whom he hath sent.” – John 6:29

REFLECTION – “The senses are full of curiosity – faith is content to know nothing, it… longs to pass its life motionless before the Tabernacle. The senses love riches and honour – faith holds them in horror… “Blessed are the poor” (Mt 5,3). She adores the poverty and lowliness with which Jesus covered His life, as though with a garment, that He never cast off… The senses take fright at that which they call danger, at all that might mean pain or death – but faith is afraid of nothing, it knows nothing can happen to it but what is the will of God: “I have counted every hair of your head” (Mt 10,30) and whatever God wishes, will always be for its good. “All that happens is for the good of my elect” (Rm 8,28). Thus in everything that may happen, sorrow or joy, health or sickness, life or death, it is content and fears nothing. The senses are anxious about the future and ask how we shall live tomorrow but faith feels no anxiety…

Thus faith illumines everything with a new light, different to the life of the senses, more brilliant, of another kind. Whoever lives by faith, has a soul full of new thoughts, new tastes, new impressions; new horizons open up, marvellous horizons, lit with a new light and with a divine beauty, surrounded with new truths of which the world is not aware. Thus, whoever believes, begins a new life opposed to that of the world, whose acts seem like madness. The world is in the darkness of night, the person of faith is in full light – this light-filled path on which we walk, is not manifest to others. It seems to them, that we want to walk like a madman, in emptiness.” – Blessed Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916) Hermit and Missionary in the Sahara – Retreat Notes, Nazareth, Nov. 1897

PRAYER – King of heaven and earth, Lord God, rule over our hearts and bodies this day. Sanctify us and guide our every thought, word and deed, according to the commandments of Your law, so that now and forever, Your grace may free and save us. Let us walk in Your ways and be your lights and thus, by our lives, help others to follow You. Grant that the prayers of our blessed Mother, the Mother of Jesus Your Son and Blessed Conrad of Ascoli, who always lived for You alone, may help us, as we work through each day to reach our heavenly home. Through Jesus the Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.

Acts 6: 8-15
8 And Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people.
9 Now there arosesome of that which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen.
0 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit that spoke.
11 Then they suborned men to say, they had heard him speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God.
12 And they stirred up the people, and the ancients and the scribes and running together, they took him and brought him to the council.
13 And they set up false witnesses, who said: This man ceaseth not to speak words against the holy place and the law.
14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place and shall change the traditions which Moses delivered unto us.
15 And all that sat in the council, looking on him, saw his face as if it had been the face of an angel.

Gospel: John 6: 22-29
22 The next day, the multitude that stood on the other side of the sea, saw that there was no other ship there but one and that Jesus had not entered into the ship with his disciples but, that his disciples were gone away alone.
23 But other ships came in from Tiberias, nigh unto the place where they had eaten the bread, the Lord giving thanks.
24 When herefore he multitude saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they took shipping and came to Capharnaum, seeking for Jesus.
25 And when they had found him, on the other side of the sea, they said to him: Rabbi, when camest thou hither?
26 Jesus answered them and said: Amen, amen I say to you, you seek me, not because you have seen miracles but because you did eat of the loaves and were filled.
27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth but for that which endures unto life everlasting, which the Son of man will give you. For him hath God, the Father, sealed.
28 They said, therefore, unto him: What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said to them: This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he hath sent.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, QUOTES on UNITY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 13 April – “One heart and one soul” Acts 4:32

Quote/s of the Day – 13 April – Tuesday of the Second Week of Easter, Readings: First: Acts 4: 32-37, Psalm: Psalms 93: 1ab, 1cd-2, 5, Gospel: John 3: 7b-15

“And the multitude of believers
had but one heart and one soul”

Acts 4:32

Every kingdom divided against itself
is laid waste.”

Luke 11:17

“No-one can have God as his father,
if he does not have the Church as his mother…
The Lord warned us of this when He said:
“Whoever is not with me, is against me
and whoever does not gather together with me, scatters.”
The person who breaks the peace and concord of Christ,
acts against Christ;
the person who gathers together,
outside of the Church,
scatters the Church of Christ.”

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

“No Christian should think of himself
as his own master
but each should rather so think and act,
as though given by God,
to be slave to his fellow brothers and sisters.”

St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father & Doctor

“By nature, each one of us
is enclosed, in his own personality
but supernaturally, we are all one.
We are made one body in Christ
because we are nourished by one flesh.
As Christ is indivisible, we are all one in Him.
Therefore, He asked His Father
“that they may all be One, as We also are one.”

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

“And so we pray,
that, by the same grace,
which made the Church Christ’s Body,
all its members may remain firm
in the unity of that Body,
through the enduring bond of love.”

St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533)
Bishop, Father of the Church

Posted in BAPTISM, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRACE

Thought for the Day – 12 April– The Sacrament of Baptism

Thought for the Day – 12 April– Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Sacrament of Baptism

“Like the other Sacraments, Baptism is composed of a material and a spiritual element.
The sensible outward sign produces the grace, or spiritual element, which it signifies.
Since we are composed of body and soul, it is fitting that the Sacrament should also consist of this double element.
Baptism, for example, being a spiritual cleansing of the soul, is conferred by the pouring of natural water, accompanied by the sacramental words by Jesus Christ.

The Church adds its own ceremonial to the essential part of the Sacrament.
By means of the exorcisms, the devil is expelled and the tongue is consecrated with the salt of wisdom, to indicate, that it should be the instrument of goodness.
The body is sanctified by the oil and chrism, so that it may always be the living temple of the Holy Spirit.
The white garment, symbolises the innocence which we ought to preserve for the rest of our lives and the lighted candle, stands for the faith and charity, which ought always to inspire the soul.

All this is done for us before we are in a position to understand anything about it.
Nevertheless, we should reflect today on the meaning of these sacred ceremonies and on how they should affect our lives.
Can we claim to have kept our promises?
Or are we forced to admit that we have not always lived up to our obligations?
Let us renew our promises today and let us ask Jesus, for the grace, to be faithful to them all, until the end of our lives. Amen!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/01/10/thought-for-the-day-10-january-the-sacrament-of-baptism/

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOMINICAN OP, EASTER, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 10 April – Easter Saturday, “Preach the gospel to every creature”

Quote/s of the Day – 10 April – Easter Saturday, Readings: First: Acts 4: 13-21, Psalm: Psalms 118: 1 and 14-15ab, 16-18, 19-21, Gospel: Mark 16: 9-15

“Preach the gospel to every creature”

Mark 16:15

“I send you a very little word,
THE WORD,
made little in the crib,
THE WORD,
made flesh for us ….
THE WORD,
of salvation and grace
THE WORD,
of sweetness and glory
THE WORD
Who is good and gentle –
JESUS CHRIST!”

“There are two ways of keeping God’s word,
namely, one, whereby we store in our memory
what we hear and the other,
whereby we put into practice,
what we have heard
(and none will deny that the latter
is more commendable, inasmuch,
as it is better to sow grain,
than to store it in the barn).”

Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP (1190-1237)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, EASTER, GOD ALONE!, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 9 April – Easter Friday – “It is the Lord!” – John 21:7

One Minute Reflection – 9 April – Easter Friday, Readings: Acts 4:1-12, Psalm 118:1-2, 4, 22-27, John 21:1-14

“It is the Lord!” – John 21:7

REFLECTION – “All creatures that exist, are in the hands of God. The action of the creature can only be perceived by the senses,but faith sees, in all things, the action of the Creator. It believes that in Jesus Christ all things live and, that His divine operation, continues to the end of time, embracing the passing moment and the smallest created atom, in its hidden life and mysterious action. The action of the creature is a veil, which covers the profound mysteries of the divine operation.

After the Resurrection, Jesus Christ took His disciples by surprise in His various apparitions. He showed Himself to them, under various disguises and, in the act of making Himself known to them, disappeared. This same Jesus, ever living, ever working, still takes by surprise, those souls whose faith is weak and wavering. There is not a moment, in which, God does not present Himself under the cover of some pain to be endured, of some consolation to be enjoyed, or of some duty to be performed. All that takes place within us, around us, or through us, contains and conceals, His divine action. It is really and truly there present but, invisibly present, so that we are always surprised and do not recognise His operation until it has ceased.

If we could lift the veil and if we were attentive and watchful, God would continually reveal Himself to us and we should see His divine action, in everything that happened to us and rejoice in it. At each successive occurrence, we should exclaim: “It is the Lord” and we should accept every fresh circumstance, as a gift of God. We should look upon creatures as feeble tools in the hands of an able workman and should discover, easily, that nothing was wanting to us and, that the constant providence of God, disposed Him to bestow upon us, at every moment, whatever we required! ”- Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751) Jesuit – Abandonment to divine Providence (ed. J. Ramière, SJ)

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You offer the covenant of reconciliation to mankind in the mystery of Easter. Cleanse our hearts by Your truth and guide our lives by Your holiness, may we do what is right and pleasing to You. Open our eyes to see You and our ears to Hear You, that we may follow your commandments and Your Way. Grant that what we celebrate in worship, we may carry out in our lives. May our Holy Mother, ever keep us in her prayers and care. Through Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour to You, forever, amen

Acts 4: 1-12
1 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests, and the officer of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
2 Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead: 3 And they laid hands upon them, and put them in hold till the next day; for it was now evening.
4 But many of them who had heard the word, believed; and the number of the men was made five thousand.
5 And it came to pass on the morrow, that their princes, and ancients, and scribes, were gathered together in Jerusalem; 6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest.
7 And setting them in the midst, they asked: By what power, or by what name, have you done this?
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said to them: Ye princes of the people, and ancients, hear: 9 If we this day are examined concerning the good deed done to the infirm man, by what means he hath been made whole: 10 Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God hath raised from the dead, even by him this man standeth here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.

Gospel: John 21: 1-14
1 After this, Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias. And he shewed himself after this manner.
2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas, who is called Didymus, and Nathanael, who was of Cana of Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples.
3 Simon Peter saith to them: I go a fishing. They say to him: We also come with thee. And they went forth, and entered into the ship: and that night they caught nothing.
4 But when the morning was come, Jesus stood on the shore: yet the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
5 Jesus therefore said to them: Children, have you any meat? They answered him: No.
6 He saith to them: Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find. They cast therefore; and now they were not able to draw it, for the multitude of fishes.
7 That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved, said to Peter: It is the Lord. Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, girt his coat about him, (for he was naked,) and cast himself into the sea.
8 But the other disciples came in the ship, (for they were not far from the land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
9 As soon then as they came to land, they saw hot coals lying, and a fish laid thereon, and bread.
10 Jesus saith to them: Bring hither of the fishes which you have now caught.
11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land, full of great fishes, one hundred and fifty-three. And although there were so many, the net was not broken.
12 Jesus saith to them: Come, and dine. And none of them who were at meat, durst ask him: Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
13 And Jesus cometh and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish in like manner.
14 This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to his disciples, after he was risen from the dead.

Posted in EASTER, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD

Thought for the Day – 8 April – Easter: The Herald of Peace

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

Easter: The Herald of Peace

“For this interior peace to be complete, it is necessary that it should exist in our relations with God, with ourselves and with our neighbour.
Peace with God, is especially necessary.
This involves the subjection of the intellect and will, to Him, perfect obedience to His law, the avoidance of sin and the entire surrender of ourselves to Him.
When we have prepared ourselves in this way, God will visit us with His grace and we shall experience the joy of inward peace.

Jesus came into the world to bring us this peace, which He provides for us with His Precious Blood, thereby, erasing sin and opening the gates of Heaven.
So much the worse for us, if we destroy the work of God by turning back to sin.
We shall no longer be at peace with God, Who hates sin so much, that in order to redeem us from it, He gave us His only-begotten Son, nor with ourselves because “there is not peace to the wicked” (Is 48:22).
Remorse and disgust are the necessary results of sin.

Let us remember, that those who are really content, even in this world, are those who lead good lives.
Whoever extinguishes divine grace in himself, destroys the harmony and order which reigned in his soul as a result of the subjection of his reason to his Creator and Redeemer.
Then, because we are not at peace with God, nor with ourselves, we cannot really be at peace with men.
It is our faith which teaches us, that they are our brothers, redeemed, as we have been, by the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ and that, therefore, we should always love and assist them.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/13/thought-for-the-day-13-april-easter-the-herald-of-peace/

Posted in EASTER, GOD ALONE!, HOLY COMMUNION, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD

Thought for the Day – 7 April – The Meaning of Easter, Part Two

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

The Meaning of Easter, Part Two

“In the course of this battle for our spiritual resurrection, it is necessary for us to grow continually in Jesus.
When we make a good Confession t Easter, He favours us anew, by means of His grace.
When we receive Holy Communion, He comes to us and is renally present in our souls.
But, in what way is He present?
Sometimes, He is silent and hidden.
He may seem to be asleep, as He slept n the Apostles’ boat o the ea of Galilee, when the waves were raging violently all around them.
Often, we have Jesus within us but do not listen to His Voice.
He does not live actively in us; He does not speak to us.
Why is this?
It is because, we are distracted and indifferent, absorbed in the petty affairs of this world.
We must be fervent!
It is necessary to LISTEN for His Voice, to be united to Him and, above all, to LOVE Him.
Then, our actions will not be our own but, HIS.
He will grow in us by His grace and we shall act in Jesus, with Jesus and for Jesus.
Then, Jesus will be everything to us and we shall be able to say with St Paul, “It is now, no longer I that live but, Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).

Does this goal seem too difficult to attain?
Does it seem that it is not meant for us?
Such a doubt is an insult to Our Lord, Who, has told us to be perfect, as His heavenly Father is perfect. (Cf Mt 5:48).
It is enough, however, that we should earnestly desire to reach this goal and should try, with the help of God’s grace, to come gradually nearer to it everyday.
THIS is the resurrection which should take place in us this Easter!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/04/06/thought-for-the-day-6-april-the-meaning-of-easter/

Posted in EASTER, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The RESURRECTION

Thought for the Day – 6 April – The Meaning of Easter

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

The Meaning of Easter

“Today the Church adorns herself in festival array.
Gone are the lengthy lamentations of Holy Saturday and the sorrowful recitations of the Passion and in their place, is the glad cry of Alleluia, the hymn of vitory over death and sin.
The true joy of Easter, lies, not merely in external celebration, however but in the spiritual gladness of the soul.
As Jesus has conquered death and sin, so we must purify ourselves of every trace of guilt by a good confession and must be sure, that it will result in a practical renovation of our lives.
We should approach Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist with greater fervour and humility and with greater trust in His goodness and mercy.
When we have received Him into our hearts, we should ask Him to renew and transform us in Himself.
He is everything and we are nothing without Him.
He is strong, we are weak.
We are capable only of feeble desires to do good but He can make them effective by His grace.
We should not be satisfied with forming general resolutions when we go to confession and receive Holy Communion at Easter.
We should examine the depths of our soul and discover the sin which we are most accustomed to commit and the virtue which we are principally lacking.
As a result of our investigation, we should form a particular resolution to combat this sin and to practise this virtue.
It is only in this way, that our celebration of Easter can inaugurate the beginning of a genuine self-renewal which will gain momentum daily, until it becomes a true spiritual resurrection.
It will be a hard battle, which will necessitate a constant vigilance and a readiness to begin again, everytime we realise, that we have fallen.
It will require an unfailing spirit of prayer but, the final victory, will bring us such happiness, that worldly pleasures will seem empty and illusory, by comparison.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS

Thought for the Day – 30 March –The Hour of Trial

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

The Hour of Trial

“Whether they are physical, moral or spiritual, these severe trials affect us greatly.
We feel crushed and abandoned, lacking in the power to resist and tend to yield to temptation or to despair.
At these times, we should take the Crucifix in our hands and remember the suffering of Jesus.
Let us recall His terrible physical suffering, as He was dying upon the Cross.
Let us remember the suffering of His Heart, when He was betrayed by Judas, deserted by the Apostles, denied by St Peter and rejected by his own people.
Finally, let us recall His spiritual sufferings, for He, Who was innocence itself, willed to carry the weight of our sins and to experience, in a mysterious manner, the sense of abandonment by His heavenly Father.

No matter what our trial may be, let us ask Jesus for the grace of resignation, of perseverance aganst temptation and for Christian hope.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/02/18/thought-for-the-day-18-february-the-hour-of-trial/

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MEDIOCRITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE

Thought for the Day – 29 March – Holiness

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

Holiness

“It is not true to say, that holiness can be attained only by a few select souls, so that ordinary goodness is sufficient for people like ourselves, who have so many other things to think about and to do.
Such an attitude, leads to tepidity, from which it is a short and easy step to sin itself!

Anyway, there is no such thing as mediocre virtue, for if virtue is not aiming at perfection, it is not genuine!
A sincere Catholic, cannot be satisfied with mediocrity, for he is obliged to be holy, or at least, to fight hard, with the help of God’s grace, to become holy.

Even in the Old Testament we read: “I, the Lord, am your God and you shall make and keep yourselves holy because I am holy” (Lev 11:44; 19:2).
This exhortation is repeated by St Peter in his first Epistle (1 Pet 1:15-16) and in the Gospel, Jesus Himself commands us to be perfect even as our heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48).
Holiness, then, is a goal towards which, all sincere Catholics must strive.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/19/thought-for-the-day-19-july-holiness/

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL

Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Sin

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

Sin

“In that we prefer our own wayward whims to the law of God, sin is an abuse of liberty.
It is a revolt against right reason, the dictates of which, we refuse to obey.
It is an offence against our Creator and Redeemer, whose commandments we despise and whose redeeming grace, we reject by our actions.
It is moreover, an act of supreme folly, for it extinguishes, not only the supernatural splendour of grace but, also, the natural light of reason.
Through sin, man is brutalised and experiences in himself, as his first punishment, the confusion of his whole being.

In practice, the sinner denies God, Who has created and redeemed him.
He upsets the natural order of things and is violently separated from the source of all truth, beauty and goodness.   As a result, he experiences, in himself, the hell which he has constructed with his own hands – a hell of emptiness, disgust and remorse.
Unless the helping hand of God reaches out to rescue him from the abyss, all this is simply a bitter foretaste of eternal despair.
God, as St Augustine has written, has ordained from all eternity, that every dissolute soul will be it’s own punishment.
For the sinner, hell begins on this earth!   There can be no peace for the wicked.

When we realise, the gravity, stupidity and dire consequences of sin, it seems impossible, that a rational being, enlightened and enriched by divine grace, should continue to sin.
Nevertheless, sad experience teaches us that the lives of individuals, families and human society in general, are often distorted by this evil, which is the root of all other evils.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CONFESSION, CONFESSION/PENANCE, INDULGENCES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, NOVEMBER - Month of the SOULS in PURGATORY, PURGATORY, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN

Thought for the Day – 16 March – Purification

Thought for the Day – 16 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Purification

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

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

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

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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

Posted in LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Twenty Four of our Lenten Journey – 12 March – ‘… Let Him be your special love.’

Day Twenty Four of our Lenten Journey – 12 March – Friday of the Third Week of Lent, Readings: Hosea 14: 2-10, Psalms 81: 6-8, 8-9, 10-11, 14 and 17, Mark 12:28-34

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“You shall love the Lord your God
with ALL your heart”
– Mark 12:30

When Jesus is near, all is well and nothing seems difficult.
When He is absent, all is hard.

When Jesus does not speak within, all other comfort is empty.
But if He says only a word, it brings great consolation.

[…] How dry and hard you are without Jesus!
How foolish and vain if you desire anything but Him!
Is it not a greater loss than losing the whole world?
For what, without Jesus, can the world give you?
Life without Him, is a relentless hell but living with Him, is a sweet paradise.
If Jesus be with you, no enemy can harm you.

He who finds Jesus, finds a rare treasure, indeed, a good above every good, whereas he who loses Him, loses more than the whole world.
The man who lives without Jesus, is the poorest of the poor, whereas no-one is so rich, as the man who lives in His grace.

It is a great art to know how to converse with Jesus and great wisdom, to know how to keep Him.
Be humble and peaceful and Jesus will be with you.
Be devout and calm and He will remain with you.

[…] You cannot live well without a friend and if Jesus be not your friend, above all else, you will be very sad and desolate.
Thus, you are acting foolishly, if you trust or rejoice in any other.

Choose the opposition of the whole world, rather than offend Jesus.
Of all those who are dear to you, let Him be your special love.

Let all things be loved, for the sake of Jesus but Jesus, for His own sake.

[…] Never wish that anyone’s affection be centred in you, nor let yourself be taken up with the love of anyone but, let Jesus be in you and in every good man.
Be pure and free within, unentangled with any creature.

You must bring to God, a clean and open heart, if you wish to attend and see how sweet the Lord is.
Truly you will never attain this happiness, unless His grace prepares you and draws you on, so that you may forsake all things to be united with Him alone.
When the grace of God comes to a man, he can do all things but when it leaves him, he becomes poor and weak, abandoned, as it were, to affliction.
Yet, in this condition he should not become dejected or despair.
On the contrary, he should calmly await the will of God and bear whatever befalls him in praise of Jesus Christ.

For after winter comes summer, after night, the day and after the storm, a great calm.
(Book 2 Ch 8)

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, The HEART, The HOLY SCRIPTURES, The LAMB of GOD, The REDEMPTION, The TEN COMMANDMENTS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 10 March – New in Old, Old through New Matthew 5:17-19

Quote/s of the Day – 10 March – Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent, Readings: Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9, Psalms 147:12-13,15-16, 19-20, Matthew 5:17-19

“I have come, not to abolish but to fulfil.”

Matthew 5:17

“The sacrifice of the lamb,
the Passover rite and the letter of the Law,
have reached their term in Jesus Christ,
in view of Whom, everything in the ancient Law took place –
and, even more so, in the new dispensation.
For the Law became the Word;
from being old it became new …
the commandments have been transformed into Grace
and the foreshadowing into truth;
the lamb has become the Son,
the sheep has become man
and man has become God. …”

St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180)
Bishop, Apologist – Paschal Homily

“In the first instance,
the finger of God inscribed the laws on tablets of stone
but now, it is in human hearts,
that He writes it (Ex 31:18; 2 Cor 3:3).”

“The New Testament lies hidden, in the Old;
the Old is made accessible, by the New.”

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

“When it comes to obeying the commandments
or enduring adversity,
the words uttered by the Father
should always echo in our ears –
“This is my Son, the beloved,
in whom I am well pleased,
listen to Him.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 March – “I have come, not to abolish but to fulfil.” Matthew 5:17-19

One Minute Reflection – 10 March – Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent, Readings: Deuteronomy 4:15-9Psalms 147:12-13,15-1619-20Matthew 5:17-19 and the Memorial of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, Armenia (Died 320)

“I have come, not to abolish but to fulfil.” … Matthew 5:17

REFLECTION – “In Him the promise made through the shadows of prophecy stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the one who teaches the truth of prophecy through His presence and makes obedience to the commandments possible, through grace.
In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No-one should be ashamed of the Cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.
No-one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice, no-one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on Himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then we are steadfast in our faith in Him and in our love for Him, we win the victory that He has won, we receive what He has promised.
When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears – “This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.” St Pope Leo the Great (400-461) – An excerpt from Sermo 51

PRAYER – Shed your clear light on our hearts, Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be deceived or misled. May your Angels and the FortyHoly Martyrs of Sebaste, pray for us. May the Mother of Our God and our Mother, be at our side and guide our way. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The INCARNATION, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 7 March– My Life is Christ

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

My Life is Christ

“Through the work of the Incarnation and Redemption, Jesus assumed, not only a human body and soul so that He might be loved more and so, that He might redeem us but, He also assumed a mystical body, which is composed of all men in the state of grace.
The mystical body is the Church, of which Christ is the head.
We should all desire to be members of this mystical body.
To do so, we must live the life of Christ, which is His grace.
If we are separated from the life of Christ, we are nolonger Christians.
We are merely dead and rotten limbs, to use the metaphor of the vine tree and the branches.
“I am the vine,” says Jesus, “you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him,” He continues, “he bears much fruit. If anyone does not abide in me,” He adds, “he shall be cast outside, as the branch and wither and they shall gather them up and cast them into fire and they shall burn” (Cf Jn 15:4-5).

“For the branch,” says St Augustine, “there can be no half-measures. Either it remains united with the vine, or it is thrown into the fire.”
The same holds true for each one of us.
We must choose, either close union with Jesus, or separation and spiritual death.
We must decide between a life of fervour in Christ, or a life of tepidity and sin.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/14/thought-for-the-day-14-september-my-life-is-christ/

Posted in "Follow Me", GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on FREEDOM, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MEDITATION, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Nineteen of our Lenten Journey – 7 March – ‘ Who is more at rest, than he who aims at nothing but God?’

Day Nineteen of our Lenten Journey – 7 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: Exodus 20:1-17, Psalms 19:8-11, 1 Corinthians 1:22-25, John 2:13-25

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“Zeal for your house will consume me.” John 2:17

O LORD, I am in sore need still of greater grace, if I am to arrive at the point, where no man and no created thing can be an obstacle to me. For as long as anything holds me back, I cannot freely fly to You. He that said “Oh that I had wings like a dove, that I might fly away and be at rest!“(Ps 55:7) desired to fly freely to You. Who is more at rest, than he who aims at nothing but God? And who more free, than the man who desires nothing on earth?

It is well, then, to pass over all creation, perfectly to abandon self and to see in ecstasy of mind that You, the Creator of all, have no likeness among all Your creatures and that unless a man be freed from all creatures, he cannot attend freely to the Divine. The reason why so few contemplative persons are found, is that so few know how to separate themselves entirely from what is transitory and created.

For this, indeed, great grace is needed, grace that will raise the soul and lift it up above itself. Unless a man be elevated in spirit, free from all creatures and completely united to God, all his knowledge and possessions are of little moment. He who considers anything great except the one, immense, eternal good will long be little and lie groveling on the earth. Whatever is not God is nothing and must be accounted as nothing.

There is great difference between the wisdom of an enlightened and devout man and the learning of a well-read and brilliant scholar, for the knowledge which flows down from divine sources is much nobler than that laboriously acquired by human industry.

Many there are, who desire contemplation but, who do not care to do the things, which contemplation requires. It is also a great obstacle to be satisfied with externals and sensible things and to have so little of perfect mortification. I know not what it is, or by what spirit we are led, or to what we pretend — we who wish to be called spiritual — that we spend so much labour and even more anxiety on things that are transitory and mean, while we seldom or never advert with full consciousness to our interior concerns.

Alas, after very little meditation we falter, not weighing our deeds by strict examination. We pay no attention to where our affections lie, nor do we deplore the fact that our actions are impure.

Remember that because all flesh had corrupted its course, the great deluge followed. Since, then, our interior affection is corrupt, it must be that the action which follows from it, the index as it were of our lack of inward strength, is also corrupt. Out of a pure heart come the fruits of a good life.

People are wont to ask how much a man has done but they think little of the virtue with which he acts. They ask: Is he strong? rich? handsome? a good writer? a good singer? or a good worker? They say little, however, about how poor he is in spirit, how patient and meek, how devout and spiritual. Nature looks to his outward appearance; grace turns to his inward being. The one often errs, the other trusts in God and is not deceived.
(Book 3 Ch 31)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The RESURRECTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 7 March – “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”

One Minute Reflection – 7 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: Exodus 20:1-17Psalms 19:8-111 Corinthians 1:22-25John 2:13-25

“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” – John 2:19

REFLECTION – “We are still God’s workmen who are building the temple of God. This temple’s dedication has already taken place in its Head, in that the Lord has risen from the dead after His victory over death and having destroyed in Himself what was mortal, He has ascended to heaven … But now we are building this temple through faith, so that its dedication may also be made at the final resurrection. That is why … one of the Psalms has the title: “When the Temple was rebuilt after the captivity” (95[96]:1 Vg.). Call to mind our own former captivity when the devil held the whole world in his power, like a flock of the unfaithful. It was due to this captivity that our Redeemer came. He shed His blood for our ransoming and, by the blood He poured out, He cancelled the debt that was holding us captive (Col 2:14) … Sold beforehand to sin, we have now been set free by grace.
Following this captivity, the temple is now being built and, to raise it up, the Good News proclaimed. That is why this Psalm begins as follows: “Sing to the Lord a new song” And, lest you think this temple is being constructed in some insignificant corner, as the heretics who separate themselves from the Church build it, pay attention to what follows: “Sing to the Lord, all you lands”
“Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all you lands.” Sing and clap your hands! Sing and “bless the name of the Lord” (v. 2). Proclaim the day, born of the day of salvation, the day, born of the day of Christ. For who is the salvation of God if not His Christ? This is the salvation we pray for in the Psalm: “Show us, Lord, your mercy and give us your saving help.” Just men of old longed for this salvation, those of whom the Lord said to His disciples: “Many desired to see what you see but did not see it” (Lk 10:24)…
“Sing to the lord a new song; sing to the Lord” See the fervour of the builders! “Sing to the Lord and bless his name.” Proclaim the Good News! What good news is that? Day is born from Day… Light from Light; the Son from the Father, the saving power of God! This is how the temple is built after the captivity.” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father and Doctor of Grace – Sermon 163,5

PRAYER – Lord our God, Your Son so loved the world that He gave Himself up to death for our sake. Strengthen us by You grace and give us a heart willing to livew by that same love. May His Mother and ours, be with us and give us hope and strength. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DIVINE MERCY, LENT, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 6 March – ‘You, Who desire that all should be saved.’ Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

One Minute Reflection – 6 March – Saturday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Psalms 103: 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12, Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

“Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him” – Luke 15:22

REFLECTION – “How many there are who, through repentance, have been worthy to receive the love You hold for humankind. You justified the anguished publican and the weeping woman who was a sinner (Lk 18.14; 7,50) for, through a predetermined design, You foresee and grant pardon. Convert me also together with them, You, Who desire that all should be saved.

My soul was soiled as it put on the garment of its sins (Gn 3,21). O let me make fountains flow from my eyes that I may purify it by repentance. Clothe me with the shining robe worthy of Your wedding (Mt 22,12), You, Who desire that all should be saved…

O heavenly Father, have compassion for my cry as You did for the prodigal son, for I, too, am throwing myself at Your feet and crying aloud as he cried: “Father, I have sinned!” Do not reject me Your unworthy child, O my Saviour but cause Your angels to rejoice also on my behalf, O God of goodness You, Who desire that all should be saved.

For you have made me Your child and Your own heir through grace (Rm 8,17). Yet as for me, because I have offended You, am here a prisoner, an unhappy slave sold over to sin! Take pity on Your own image (Gn 1,26) and call it back from exile, O Saviour, You, Who desire that all should be saved…

Now is the time for repentance… The words of Paul urge me to persevere in prayer (Col 4,2) and await You. Therefore, with trust I pray, for I well know Your mercy, I know You come the first towards me and I am calling out for help. Should You delay, it is to give me the reward for perseverance, You, Who desire that all should be saved.

Grant me always to extol You and give You glory by leading a life that is pure. Grant that my deeds may be in accord with my words, that I may sing to You, Almighty… with pure prayer, Christ alone who desires that all should be saved.” – St Romanos Melodios (c 490-c 556) Monk, Composer of hymns, Poet – Hymn 55; SC 283

PRAYER – Almighty God, Whose sanctifying grace, even hee on earth, brings us the gifts of heaven, guide us in this present life and lead us, in the footsteps of that Light the Christ, Whom You sent to lead us in His Light to the light of Your dwelling. May the prayers of all Your angels with the Blessed Virgin our Mother, St John the Baptist, St Joseph, Blessed Sylvester of Assisi and all the Saints strengthen and lighten our way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Fifteen of our Lenten Journey – 3 March – ‘Each day we ought to renew our resolutions …’

Day Fifteen of our Lenten Journey – 3 March – Wednesday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 18:18-20,Psalms 31: 5-6, 14, 15-16, Matthew 20: 17-28

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

In You is the source of life
and in Your Light Lord, we see light

Psalm 35(36)

“Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” – Matthew 20:22

Each day we ought to renew our resolutions and arouse ourselves to fervour, as though it were the first day of our turning back to God.
We ought to say: “Help me, O Lord God, in my good resolution and in Your holy service. Grant me now, this very day, to begin perfectly, for thus far I have done nothing.”

As our intention is, so will be our progress and he who desires perfection must be very diligent.
If the strong-willed man fails frequently, what of the man who makes up his mind seldom or half-heartedly?
Many are the ways of failing in our resolutions …

Just men depend on the grace of God rather than on their own wisdom in keeping their resolutions.
In Him they confide every undertaking, for man, indeed, proposes but God disposes and God’s way is not man’s.
If a habitual exercise is sometimes omitted out of piety or in the interests of another, it can easily be resumed later.
But if it be abandoned carelessly, through weariness or neglect, then the fault is great and will prove hurtful.
Much as we try, we still fail too easily in many things.
Yet we must always have some fixed purpose, especially against things which beset us the most.
Our outward and inward lives alike, must be closely watched and well ordered, for both are important to perfection.
(Book 1 Ch 19:1-2)

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Thought for the Day – 23 March – The Christian Formation of Character

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

The Christian Formation of Character

“St Francis de Sales writes thus, with his usual simplicity:
“A way has been found of making bitter almonds sweet, by pucturing them at the base and squeezing out the juice.
Why cannot we eject our evil inclinations in order to make ourselves better.
There is nobody so good by nature, that a bad habit could not altogether corrupt him.
Similarly, there is nobody so bad by nature, that he could not be trained in goodness by the grace of God and his own perseverance.”

St Francis de Sales did not teach this in theory alone but, he put his advice into practice to an heroic degree in his own life.
He was endowed by nature, with a vigorous, irascible and resentful disposition and he bacame an angel of gentleness and affability.
From his youth, he was aware of the defects in his character.
He himself, admitted, that he struggled against them for twenty two years with God’s help.
He reached the point where he was able to remain silent when he was insulted and to refrain from defending himself, when he was slandered, for he had acquired an inward peace and a remarkable calmness of manner.
This gentleness of character enabled him to convert over seventy thousand heretics, to win back hardened sinners to Jesus Christ and, to set countless souls on fire with the love of God.
This is the man called “the Gentle Christ of Geneva” and “the Gentleman Saint!”
We have a great deal to learn from him!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/23/thought-for-the-day-23-march-the-christian-formation-of-character/

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, SAINT of the DAY, The 3rd Glorious Mystery - DESCENT of the HOLY SPIRIT, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 2 March – ‘… Embrace the breast of Jesus ‘ – Matthew 23:1-12

One Minute Reflection – 2 March – Tuesday of the Second week of Lent and the Memorial of St Chad (c 620-672) Bishop of York and Lichfield, Readings: Isaiah 1:1016-20,Psalms 50: 8-9,16-1721 and 23Matthew 23: 1-12

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” … Matthew 23:12

REFLECTION – “Humility is a secret power the saints receive when they bring all their life’s ascetical practices to a successful conclusion. For indeed, this power is only bestowed on those who attain to the perfection of virtue through the strength of grace … It is the same power the blessed Apostles received in the form of fire. Our Saviour commanded them, in fact, not to leave Jerusalem until they had received the power from on high (Acts 2:3; 1:4). Here Jerusalem stands for virtue; the power is humility and the power from on high, is the Paraclete, in other words the Consoler Spirit.

Now this is exactly what Sacred Scripture had said – these mysteries are revealed to the humble (Lk 10:21). To the humble it is given to receive within themselves that Spirit of revelation that uncovers mysteries. That is why certain saints have said that humility is what brings the soul to fulfilment in divine contemplation. So let no-one start thinking they have attained complete humility because at some moment a thought of compunction came to them or because they shed a few tears …. But if someone has overcome every contrary spirit …, if he has overturned and subjected all the strongholds of the enemy and if he then feels that he has received that grace in which “the Spirit bears witness to our spirit” (Rom 8:16), in the Apostle Paul’s words, then there is the perfection of humility. Blessed are they who possess it. For they continually embrace the breast of Jesus (cf. Jn 13,25).” … St Isaac the Syrian of Nineveh (c 613-c 700) Bishop of Nineveh, Monk at Mosul – Ascetical discourses, 1st series, no 20

PRAYER – Almighty Father, look with favour on Your family and as You have given us Your Son as Master and Redeemer, grant that we may be strengthened by Your grace, to follow His teachings. May the prayers of St Chad be heard for ou needs. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, PRECIOUS BLOOD PRAYERS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD

Our Morning Offering – 2 March – Prayer for the Gift of Prayer By St Alphonsus Liguori

Our Morning Offering – 2 March – Tuesday of the Second week of Lent

Prayer for the Gift of Prayer
By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

O Incarnate Word,
You have given Your Blood and Your Life
to confer on our prayers that power by which,
according to Your promise,
they obtain for us all that we ask.
And we, O God,
are so careless of our salvation,
that we will not even ask You for the graces
that we must have, if we should be saved!
In prayer You have given us the key
of all Your Divine treasures;
and we, rather than pray,
choose to remain in our misery.
Alas! O Lord, enlighten us,
and make us know the value of prayers,
offered in Your name and by Your merits,
in the eyes of Your Eternal Father.
Amen

Posted in Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Our Morning Offering – 26 February – Prayer for the Grace of Patient Suffering

Our Morning Offering – 26 February – Friday of the First Week of Lent

Prayer for the Grace of Patient Suffering
By Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

O Lord Jesus,
make possible to me by grace,
what is difficult by nature.
You know well how little I can bear
and how easily I am upset by a little adversity.
Therefore, I beseech You,
that hereafter, any trouble or adversity
may be loved and desired by me
for Your Name,
for it is very good and profitable
to my soul,
to suffer and be afflicted
for You.
Amen

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CHURCH, St PETER!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 February – ‘Upon this rock …’ Matthew 16:13-19

One Minute Reflection – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4Psalms 23:1-34,56Matthew 16:13-19

“Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and, whatever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.” … Matthew 16:18-19

REFLECTION – “Peter was to receive on deposit, the keys of the Church, or rather the keys of heaven and, he should see himself entrusted with the numerous people. What did the Lord actually say to him? “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19).
For Peter had a somewhat abrupt character; if he had been without sin what sort of forgiveness would the disciples have received from him? This is why divine grace allowed him to fall into a certain fault, in order that his own trial should make him benevolent towards others.
Do you see how God can let someone fall into sin; this Peter, the leader of the Apostles, the unshakable foundation, indestructible rock, first in the Church, impregnable harbour, unshakable tower — this same Peter who had said to Christ: “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you” (Mt 26:35), Peter who, by a divine revelation, had confessed the truth: “You are the Christ, Son of the Living God” (Mt 16:16). (…)
But as I said, God arranged it in this way and allowed Peter to sin because he had it in mind, to confer numerous people on him and he feared, that his roughness, joined to his impeccability, might make him unsympathetic towards his brothers.
He gave way to sin so that, remembering his own failure and the kindness of the Lord, he might testify to others, a grace of philanthropy in accord with the divine design conceived by God. The fall had been permitted to the one who was going to see himself entrusted with the Church, the Pillar of the Church, the Harbour of the Faith; the fall had been permitted to Peter, the Doctor of the Universe, in order that, the forgiveness received, might remain the foundation of love for others.” – (Attr) St John Chrysostom (347-407) Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church – On the apostle Peter and the prophet Elijah

PRAYER – Holy Father, send Your Divine Enlightener into the hearts of all Your faithful, filling us with the strength to fulfil our mission as the followers of the Chair of St Peter. And most of all, we pray Lord Holy God, to inspire and light the way of our Holy Father, Francis. Sustain and guide him, keep him in health and strength, to lead Your people by the Light of the Way and the Truth. Holy Father, have mercy on us, Holy Spirit guide and lead us, Lord Jesus Christ be our intercessor and teacher, amen.

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

Thought for the Day – 19 February – Purification

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

Purification

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

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

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

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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

Posted in "Follow Me", LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, QUOTES on SLOTH, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Three of our Lenten Journey – 18 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday – ‘… We do little or nothing …’

Day Three of our Lenten Journey – 18 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58:1-9, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19, Matthew 9:14-15

Imitating Christ with Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

In Your Light Lord, we see light

“Then they will fast” – Matthew 9:15

Consider the glowing examples of the holy Fathers, in whom shone true religion and perfection; compared with them, we do little or nothing. Alas, how can our life be compared with theirs!
The Saints and friends of Christ served Our Lord in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, in toil and weariness: in watching and fasting, in prayer and meditation, in persecutions and insults without number (Heb.9:38, 1 Cor.4:11).

How countless and constant were the trials endured by the Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins and all those others, who strove to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
These all hated their lives in this world, that they might keep them to life eternal (Jn 12:35).
How strict and self-denying was the life of the holy Fathers in the desert! How long and grievous the temptations they endured!
How often they were assaulted by the Devil!
How frequent and fervent their prayers to God! How strict their fasts! How great their zeal and ardour for spiritual progress!
How valiant the battles they fought to overcome their vices!
How pure and upright their intention towards God!

All day long they laboured and the night they gave to continuous prayer; even as they worked, they never ceased from mental prayer.
They spent all their time with profit, every hour seeming short in the service of God.
They often forgot even their bodily needs in the great sweetness of contemplation.
They renounced all riches, dignities, honours, friends and kindred; they desired to possess nothing in this world.
Scarcely would they take the necessities of life and only with reluctance would they provide for the needs of the body.
Thus, though destitute of earthly goods, they were abundantly rich in grace and all virtues.
Outwardly they were poor but inwardly they were refreshed with grace and heavenly consolation.
They were strangers to the world but to God, they were dear and familiar friends (Ex 33:11).
To themselves they were nothing but in the eyes of God, they were precious and beloved.
Grounded in true humility, they lived in simple obedience, they walked in charity and patience; (Eph 5:2) and thus daily increased in the Spirit, and received great grace from God.

… Oh, the carelessness and coldness of this present time!
Sloth and lukewarmness makes life wearisome for us and we soon lose our early fervour!
May the longing to grow in grace not remain dormant in you …
(Book 1, Ch 18:1-4a,6)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, LENT 2021, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The PASSION, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 18 February – The Hour of Trial

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

The Hour of Trial

“Everybody, even a Saint, has his hour of trial.
God wants it this way. so that if we are victorious with the help of His grace, we can receive our reward.
“One who enters a contest is not crowned unless he has competed according to the rules” (Cf 2 Tim 2:5).
Even the Angels were put on trial and those haughty spirits who rebelled against God, were damned forever.

Our first parents were placed on trial and because they disobeyed God’s command, were deprived of their supernatural gifts and exiled from their earthly paradise.
Even Jesus willed to endure His hour of trial in the Garden of Gethsemane, before the Sanhedrin, before the judgement seat of Pilate and on Mount Calvary.
He desired to be tried in this way, in order to teach us how to be victorious.

Our trials are of various kinds, some of which recur frequently during our lives.
They may be physical, such as suffering, disease, disgrace or poverty.
They may be moral trials, which affect mainly the heart – the neglect of those whom we love, calumny, misunderstanding, or malice.
There are also spiritual trials, such as discouraging lapses into sin, or aridity of soul when it seems that the Heavenly Father has abandoned us as He abandoned Jesus in His last agony on the Cross.

How should we behave when we are tried?
Jesus showed us the way, when He took upon Himself, the sins of all mankind and His passion began in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Even before He ascended Mount Calvary and was nailed to the Cross, He experienced here all the agony and terror of His redemptive mission.
Prostrate with suffering, He prayed three times: “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me; yet not as I will but as thou willest” (Cf Mt 26:39-42).
When we are tried, we should fervently repeat this prayer of complete resignation to the will of God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci