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One Minute Reflection – 1 July – ‘Alas, my dear brethren, we are poor stuff …’

One Minute Reflection – 1 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Wednesday of the Thirteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Amos 5: 14-15, 21-24,  Psalm 50: 7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 16bc-17, Matthew 8: 28-34 and the Memorial of St Junipero Serra (1713-1784) and Blessed Ignatius “Nazju” Falzon OFS (1813-1865)

And he said to them:  Go.   But they going out went into the swine and behold, the whole herd ran violently down a steep place, into the sea and they perished in the waters.   And behold the whole city went out to meet Jesus and when they saw him, they besought him, that he would depart from their coasts.. … Matthew 8:32,34… Matthew 8:32-34

matthew 8 32 and he said to them go but they going out went into the swine 1 july 2020

REFLECTION – “Dear Lord, what we are capable of when we are left to ourselves!   There are some who, in their own words, are envious of the saints who did great penances.   They believe that they could do as well.   When we read the lives of some of the martyrs, we would, we think, be ready to suffer all that they suffered for God, the moment is short lived, we say, for an eternity of reward.   But what does God do to teach us to know ourselves or, rather, to know that we are nothing? This is all He does – He allows the Devil to come a little closer to us. Look at this Christian who a moment ago was quite envious of the hermit who lived solely on roots and herbs and who made the stern resolution to treat his body as harshly.   Alas!   A slight headache, a prick of a pin, makes him, as big and strong is he is, sorry for himself. He is very upset.   He cries with pain.   A moment ago he would have been willing to do all the penances of the anchorites — and the merest trifle makes him despair!

Look at this other one, who seems to want to give his whole life for God, whose ardour all the torments there are cannot damp.   A tiny bit of scandalmongering …. a word of calumny …. even a slightly cold reception or a small injustice done to him …. a kindness returned by ingratitude …. immediately gives birth in him to feelings of hatred, of revenge, of dislike, to the point, often, of his never wishing to see his neighbour again, or at least. of treating him coldly with an air which shows very plainly what is going on in his heart.   And how many times is this his waking thought, just as it was the thought that almost prevented him from sleeping?   Alas, my dear brethren, we are poor stuff and we should count very little upon our good resolutions!” … St John Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859)

a slight headache a prick of apin - st john vianney mattew 8 28-34 two demonics and the pigs swine 1 july 2020

PRAYER – All-powerful God, to serve You is to reign.   Your love gave St Juniperro Serra and Blessed Nazju Falzon, the courage to proclaim the truth of Christ and to preach and live in the light of the Kingdom.  Grant that by their prayers, our lives may bear witness to the faith we profess and our love bring others, to the peace and joy of Your gospel. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.  Amenstjuniperoserra-pray-for-us - 1 July 2017 and 2020

bl nazju falzon pray for us 1 july 2020

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION

Thought for the Day – 22 June – Interior Mortification

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

Interior Mortification

anyone who is full of himself and of worldly matters - bacci interior mortification 22 june 2020

“In the spiritual life, as in the physical order, death is the beginning of life.
“Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone.   But, if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.   He who loves his life, loses it and he who hates his life in this world, keeps it unto life everlasting” (Jn 12:24-25).

This passage of the Gospel, epitomises the doctrine of Christian mortification – it is necessary to die to ourselves, in order to live in God.
Anyone who is full of himself and of worldly matters, has no room in his heart for God.
It is not possible, as St Augustine points out, to fill a vase with earth and then to fill it with water.
There is no room left for the water and, if a little of it enters the vase, it is no longer pure water but muddy!

We must empty ourselves of ourselves and of worldly things, in order to fill ourselves with God.
Jesus told us this quite clearly. “If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself” (Mt 16:24).

If anyone denies himself in order to do God’s will in all things, he has achieved real interior mortification.
Moreover, he has perfect peace, which consists in being established in the love of God.

This does not mean that all self-love is wrong.
In fact, there are two kinds of self-love.
We can love our true good, which is God and, therefore, desire to live in harmony with this supreme good in this life in order to enjoy it as our eternal reward.
This kind of self-love is founded on the love of God, Who is the main reason why we love ourselves.
But if we prefer our own pleasure and satisfaction to God, then our self-love is disproportionate and wrong and leads us into sin.

The first thing we must do, therefore, is to mortify our inordinate self-love.
In other words, we must deny ourselves in matters where self-love is keeping us apart from God, Whom we should love more than anything else in life.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 25 March – Mortification and Penance

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

Mortification and Penance

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

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

humility - bacci - 25 march 2020

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, QUOTES on WORK/LABOUR, SAINT of the DAY

Second Thought for the Day – 8 February – Blessed Esperanza’s Spiritual Testament

Second Thought for the Day – 8 February – The Memorial of Blessed Maria Esperanza de Jesus (1893-1983)

Extract from Blessed Esperanza’s Spiritual Testament

“In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, I write to my beloved sons and my beloved daughters this Testament.

I leave entrusted to the Most Holy Virgin, all my sons and daughters and my two beloved Congregations and all the poor people received in them.

I wish to leave to my sons and daughters the precious inheritance that I have, freely and without any merit, received from the Good Jesus.

Recommendations that I make to my beloved sons and to my beloved daughters:
Be humble, love one another, eradicate from your heart the rash judgements, never look for responsibilities or high positions, stay in the hands of obedience like little children; never have discussions or quarrels, never occupy yourselves with things for which you are not responsible, be very charitable and attached to prayer, because the means to obtain grace and glory is prayer;  always follow the narrow path of mortification; work to acquire detachment and disdain with respect to yourselves; you will succeed in this with the knowledge of Our God, His love and the knowledge of your nothingness and your miseries; always and in everything, try to accomplish the Will of Our God and always seek His glory and not yours.

Keep yourselves free, my children, from all greed, try hard to have no attachment to earthly things, because the Son and Handmaid of Merciful Love must be occupied with charity, divine and spiritual things and you will arrive there easily if your hearts are strongly attached to the Good Jesus.

Walk with great attention in order to not become implicated in cares foreign to your vocation and to your state, never get involved in secular business contrary to your vocation, not even in the name of charity or prudence.

The Request I address to the Good Jesus, at the time of the death of my body and the life of my soul, by the mercy and the love of my God. I ask that the Good Jesus personally and the glory of God be the cause of the actions of all the sons and daughters and that He always be their Advocate and defend them against the enemies of the respective Congregations, always repeating in their favour: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing!”

Jesus, at the time of death, see to it that all the sons and daughters can say, full of love and confidence, what I say to You in these moments, with hope in Your charity, love and mercy:  “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Blessed Esperanza de Jesus, Pray for Us!

bl esperanza de jesus pray for us no 2 8 feb 2020

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Thought for the Day – 6 January – Giving Ourselves, Our Prayer, Our Mortification

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

Giving Ourselves, Our Prayer, Our Mortificationthere can be no sanctity without prayer - bacci 6 jan 2020

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

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

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

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

Definition of Mortification:
Mortification is the feeling of being completely humiliated.
The word mortification has its roots in the Latin word for “death,” mors.

The original meaning of mortification is religious, in Christianity the meaning is “putting your sin to death”.
In Christian practice, this has varied from denying oneself pleasurable things, like certain foods, to inflicting physical pain on oneself.
The religious reason for this kind of mortification is to cause the “death” of sins — or desires — of the body.