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Thought for the Day – 3 April – Our Martyrdom

Thought for the Day – 3 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Our Martyrdom

“St Ambrose describes virtue, as a slow martyrdom.
In this sense, we must all be martyrs.
There is only one difference.
The Martyrs of the Church shed their blood and gave up their lives for Jesus, within one hour or one day and gained their reward immediately.
Our martyrdom, on the other hand, will be prolonged.
It will last all our lives and will end only when we accept death with resignation from the hands of God.
Ours is the martyrdom of virtue.
Let us clearly understand, that solid Christian virtue is a slow and continual martyrdom, which will end with death.
It is not a flower, which springs up spontaneously in the garden of the soul.
It is like a seed which is thrown on the damp earth and must die there slowly, so that it can generate young shoots, which will produce the ears of corn.
“Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But, if it dies, it brings forth much fruit” (Jn 12:24-25).
It is necessary, then, to descend into the mire of humility and to remain there until we die.
Only after we have died to ourselves, shall we rise again in God (Cf ibid).
After the death of our lower instincts and vices, we shall find a new life.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

st ambrose describes virtue as a slo martyrdom - bacci 3 april 2020

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Thought for the Day – 31 March – Entertainment and Sport

Thought for the Day – 31 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Entertainment and Sport

“It is wrong to imagine that Christianity is a sad and gloomy religion.
Quite otherwise, it is the religion of joy, that is, which comes from God, from the serenity of a sound conscience and from the hope and sure expectation of the immeasurable happiness of heaven, after the trials of this world are over.
Other pleasures are passing and often leave behind disillusionment, boredom and remorse.
The happiness of living a sincere Christian life does not vanish, even in the midst of suffering, for it bestows an inner peace, which nothing else can give.
“The kingdom of God,” says St Paul, “does not consist in food and drink but in justice and peace and joy, in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17).
“The fruit of the Spirit,” he says in his letter to the Galatians, “is charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness…” (Gal 5:22).
St John the Apostle, writing to the faithful of his time, encourages them to be joyful with the joy which comes from Jesus Christ.   “These things we write to you that you may rejoice and our joy may be full” (1 Jn 1:4).
It is not contrary to Christian teaching, to indulge in lawful recreation and amusement.
If a bow is drawn too tight, it snaps.
Our physical constitution demands that after our work, we should rest.
Resting does not mean idleness and inactivity but suitable recreation and entertainment.
God, Himself, set aside six days for working and one for repose.
This day of solemn repose, however, should be dedicated in a particular way to God, by the fulfilment of the obligations which the Church prescribes.
But, there is no question of our being forbidden to refresh ourselves, mentally and physically, on this day, by suitable entertainment.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

The image is, of course, our mountain-climbing Blessed,

Pier Giorgio Frassati OP (1901-1925)

entertainment and sport - bacci - 31 march 2020

Posted in LENT 2020, LENTEN THOUGHTS, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The WORD

Lenten Reflection – 30 March – ‘The Holy and sublime ladder …’

Lenten Reflection – 30 March – Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62, Psalm 23, John 8:1-11

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“Neither do I condemn you; go and do not sin again.” … John 8:11

Daily Meditation:
Help us to pass from our old life of sin
to our new life of grace.

“The Lord Jesus, the Saviour of all, “made himself all things to all men” (1 Cor 9:22) in such a way that He revealed Himself as being smaller than the small, He who was greater than the great.   To save a soul who was surprised in adultery and accused by the demons, He lowered Himself to the point of writing on the ground with His finger…. He, Himself, is the holy and sublime ladder that the traveller Jacob saw in his sleep (Gen 28:12),… the ladder that was set up from the earth to God and that God held out to the earth.   When He wants, He goes up to God. Sometimes He is accompanied by a few people … and sometimes no-one can follow Him.   And when He wants, He joins the crowd… He heals lepers, eats with publicans and sinners… touches the sick to heal them.he himself is the holy and sublime ladder - isaac of stella 30 march 2020

Blessed is the soul that can follow the Lord Jesus wherever He goes, going up to the rest of contemplation… and on the other hand, coming down by the practice of charity, following Him to the point of lowering itself in service, of loving poverty, of bearing with (…) fatigue, work, tears, prayer and finally compassion and the passion.   For He came in order to obey even to death, to serve and not to be served, not to give gold or silver but His teaching and His help to the many, His life for the many (Mk 10:45)…

So, brethren, may this be the model for your life: (…) to follow Christ by going up to the Father… to follow Christ by going down to your neighbour, refusing no practice of charity, making yourselves all things to all persons.” … Isaac of Stella (c 1100-c 1171) Cistercian Monk, theologian, philosopher – Sermon 12

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want;
he makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters,
he restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Psalm 23:1-3monday of the fifth week 30 march 2020

Intercessions:
Praise to Jesus, our Saviour.
By His death He has opened for us the way of salvation.
Let us ask Him:
Lord, guide Your people to walk in Your ways.

God of mercy, You gave us new life through Baptism,
– make us grow day by day in Your likeness.
May our generosity today bring joy to those in need,
– in helping them may we find You.
Help us to do what is good, right and true in Your sight,
– and to seek You always with undivided hearts.
Forgive our sins against the unity of Your family,
– make us one in heart and spirit.

Closing Prayer:

I Unite My Sacrifice
Prayer for Submission to Divine Providence
By St Joseph Maria Pignatelli SJ (1737 – 1811)

My God, I do not know
what must come to me today.
But I am certain
that nothing can happen to me
that You have not foreseen, decreed
and ordained from all eternity.
That is sufficient for me.
I adore Your impenetrable
and eternal designs,
to which I submit with all my heart.
I desire, I accept them all
and I unite my sacrifice to that of
Jesus Christ, my Divine Saviour.
I ask in His name
and through His infinite merits,
patience in my trials
and perfect and entire submission,
to all that comes to me
by Your good pleasure.
Ameni unite my sacrifice by st joseph pignatelli sj 30 march 2020

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Lenten Reflection – 18 March – What He receives on earth He returns in heaven.

Lenten Reflection – 18 March – Tuesday of the Third week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 3:25, 34-43, Psalm 25:4-9, Matthew 18:21-35

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

“Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” …Matthew 18:33tuesday-of-the-third-week-26-march-2019 and 18 march 2020

Daily Meditation:
Make us one in love and prayer.

“What is human mercy like?   It makes you concerned for the hardship of the poor.   What is divine mercy like?   It forgives sinners…
In this world God is cold and hungry in all the poor, as He Himself said (Mt 25:40)…  What sort of people are we?   When God gives, we want to receive, when He asks, we refuse to give?   When a poor man is hungry, Christ is in need, as He said Himself:  “I was hungry and you gave me no food” (v. 42).   Take care not to despise the hardship of the poor, if you would hope, without fear, to have your sins forgiven…
What He receives on earth He returns in heaven.
I put you this question, dearly beloved – what is it you want, what is it you are looking for, when you come to church?   What indeed if not mercy?   Show mercy on earth and you will receive mercy in heaven.   A poor man is begging from you and you are begging from God, he asks for a scrap, you ask for eternal life…   And so when you come to church give whatever alms you can to the poor in accordance with your means.” … St Caesarius of Arles (470-543) Sermon 25matthew-18-35-should-you-not-have-pitty-what-sort-of-people-are-we-st-caesarius-of-arles-26-march-2019 and 27 aug 2019 mem of st caesarius

Intercessions:
Blessed be God, the giver of salvation,
who decreed that mankind should become a new creation in Himself,
when all would be made new.
With great confidence let us ask him:
Lord, renew us in Your Spirit.

Lord, You promised a new heaven and a new earth;  renew us daily through Your Spirit,
– that we may enjoy Your presence for ever in the heavenly Jerusalem.
Help us to work with You to make this world alive with Your Spirit,
– and to build on earth a city of justice, love and peace.
Free us from all negligence and sloth,
– and give us joy in Your gifts of grace.
Deliver us from evil,
– and from slavery to the senses, which blinds us to goodness.

Closing Prayer:
O Lord and Master of My Life
Prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian (306-373)
Father & Doctor of the Church

O Lord and Master of my life,
give me not a spirit of sloth, vain curiosity,
lust for power and idle talk.
But give to me, Thy servant,
a spirit of soberness, humility, patience and love.
O Lord and King,
grant me to see my own faults
and not to condemn my brother.
For blessed art Thou to the ages of ages.
Amen
O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
O God, cleanse me, a sinner.
O God, my Creator, save me
and for my many sins forgive me!o lord and master of my life - st ephrem 17 march 2020

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Thought for the Day – 22 February – Why Should It Happen to Me?

Thought for the Day – 22 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Why Should It Happen to Me?

“When we are overtaken by some unexpected misfortune or sorrow, or are forced to undertake an unusually difficult job, we often forget to surrender ourselves into the hands of God and pray for help and peace of mind.
Instead, we feel annoyed and discouraged and give vent to our feelings in a most unchristian manner.
“Why should it happen to me?”
This is the reaction of many people in such cases.
“It had to happen to me!” they say.
They forget that sanctity involves sacrifice, self-denial and resignation to the Will of God.
“The kingdom of heaven has been enduring violent assault and the violent have been seizing it by force,” the Gospel says (Mt 11:12).
In other words, if a man wants to win Heaven, he must be stern with himself and establish control over any perverse tendencies in his own nature.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

why should it happen to me - bacci 22 feb 2020

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One Minute Reflection – 7 February – ‘Learn to think and live like a Christian.’

One Minute Reflection – 7 February – Friday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Sirach 47:2-11 (2-13), Psalm 18:31, 47, 50-51, Mark 6:14-29 and the Memorial of Bl Alfredo Cremonesi PIME (1902-1953) Priest and Martyr

“He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.   The girl in turn gave it to her mother.” … Mark 6:28

REFLECTION – “In what way, then, was this just man harmed by this demise, this violent death, these chains, this imprisonment?   Who are those he did not set back on their feet — provided they had a penitent disposition — because of what he spoke, because of what he suffered, because of what he still proclaims in our own day — the same message he preached while he was living.   Therefore, do not say:  “Why was John allowed to die?” For what occurred was not a death but a crown, not an end but the beginning of a greater life.

Learn to think and live like a Christian.   You will not only remain unharmed by these events but will reap the greatest benefits.” … St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father & Doctor – On the Providence of God, 22.he brought in the head mark 6 28 - what occurred was not a death but a crown st john chrysostom 7 feb 2020

PRAYER –  Father of mercy, You chose Blessed Alfredo Cremonesi to be a father to orphans in their need.   Grant that through his prayer, we may keep faithfully the spirit of sonship, by which we are not only called but really are Your children.   Help us to imitate his love and faith, manifesting by our commitment to Your commandments, our true faith.   May we be filled with strength and grace as we face persecution and animosity in Your service.   We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amenbl alfredo cremonesi pray for us 7 feb 2020

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Quote/s of the Day – 6 February – Speaking of: Discipleship

Quote/s of the Day – 6 February – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 2:1-4, 10-12, Responsorial psalm 1 Chronicles 29:10-12, Mark 6:7-13

Speaking of:  Discipleship

“He charged them
to take nothing for their journey,
except a staff…”

Mark 6:8

mark 6 8 he charged them to take nothing for the journey 6 feb 2020

“Go your way,
behold, I send you out
as lambs
in the midst
of wolves.”

Luke 10:3

luke-10-3-go-your-way-bhold-i-send-you-out-as-lambs-in-the-midst-of-wolves-3-oct-2019 and 6 feb 2020

“Heretics are to be converted
by an example of humility
and other virtues
far more readily,
than by any external
display or verbal battles.
So let us arm ourselves with
devout prayers
and set off,
showing signs of genuine humility
and go barefooted
to combat
Goliath.”

St Dominic (1170-1221)

heretics-are-to-be-converted-st-dominic-8-aug-2019 and 6 feb 2020

“He will be with you also, all the way, that faithful God.
Every morning when you awaken to the old and tolerable pain,
at every mile of the hot uphill dusty road of tiring duty,
on to the judgement seat, the same Christ there as ever,
still loving you, still sufficient for you, even then.
And then, on through all eternity.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

he-will-be-with-you-also-that-same-christ-thomas-a-kempis-14-june-2018-and-3-oct-2019 and 6 feb 2020

“Go forth and set the world on fire.”

St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556)

go-forth-and-set-the-world-on-fire-st-ignatius-loyola-14-jan-2019 and 6 feb 2020

“Christ has no body on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes, through which,
the compassion of Christ, looks out to the world.
Yours are the feet,
with which,
He is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands,
with which,
He is to bless others now.

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

christ has no body but yours - st teresa of avila -6 feb 2020

“Let us remain unafraid in all dangers,
trusting calmly, in the Divine
Providence, that watches over us day and night.”

St Joseph Freinademetz (1852-1908)
“Fu Shenfu” – Lucky Priest

let-us-remain-unafraid-st-joseph-freinademetz-28-jan-2020 and 6 feb 2020

“We are apostles!
We are apostles
and we wander far and wide,
we work generously,
only for the sake of souls,
only for the Church,
only for heaven!”

Blessed Paolo Manna (1872-1952)

we-are-apostles-bl-paolo-manna-15-sept-2019 and 6 feb 2020

“If everyone does something,
then we can do a lot.”

“Each of us feels an inclination,
a charism within ourselves.
A project, which makes each of us
unique, irreplaceable.
This call, this vocation,
is the sign of the Holy Spirit in us.
Only by listening to this voice
can we make sense of our lives.”

Blessed Giuseppe “Pino” Puglisi (1937-1993) Priest, Martyr

if-everyone-does-something-each-of-us-feels-a-charism-bl-pino-puglisi-21-oct-2019 and 6 feb 2020

“Leave your country, your people
and your father’s household
and go to the land I will show you.”

Genesis 12:1

genesis-12-1-leave-your-country-your-people-st-francis-xavier-3-dec-2019.and 6 feb 2020