Thought for the Day – 19 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Each one of us is obliged to properly train his own character. Above all, it is necessary to know ourselves as the result of meditation and examination of conscience, so that we may be able to correct and change our temperament. This kind of formation is slow and difficult but, we must overcome difficulties patiently and perseveringly. There is no need to be discouraged. Our main requirement in the battle against our evil instincts is the grace of God, for which we should pray fervently. We need an enlightened spiritual director who will guide and encourage us. Finally, we need the determination to succeed, without which the grace of God cannot achieve the Christian transformation of our character.”
Quote/s of the Day – 16 March – Thursday of the Third Week in Lent
“Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him and he laid his hands on everyone of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak because they knew that he was the Christ.”
“If thou art bound down by sickness, if sorrows weary thee, if thou art trembling with fear, invoke the name of Jesus!”
St Lawrence Justinian (1381-1456)
“The poor and the sick are the Heart of God. In serving them, we serve Jesus Christ.”
St Camillus de Lellis MI (1550-1614)
“Our misery is the throne of God’s Mercy.”
“If it be God’s will that the remedies overcome the sickness, return to God thanks, with humility; if it be God’s will that the sickness overcome the remedies, bless God with patience.”
“The prayer of the sick person is his patience and his acceptance of his sickness for the love of Jesus Christ. Make sickness itself a prayer, for there is none more powerful, save Martyrdom!”
Thought for the Day – 15 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Consolation of Prayer
“There are moments when we are overcome by a very deep sadness. It maybe an illness, the result of which could be death or inability to work. Perhaps it is an insult or calumny which has crushingly humiliated us. Or perhaps it is some sin into which we have fallen so seriously that we are close to despair. Somehow, our cross seems too heavy to bear.
It is now that we are in special need of prayer. We can find peace and resignation. God is infinitely good and loves us with a fatherly love. Let us run confidently to Him. If we pray with humility and perseverance, we shall always be comforted.”
Thought for the Day – 14 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
How We Should Pray
“Finally, our prayer should be persevering. Perseverance in prayer is always rewarded by God, especially during times of temptation. The Gospel is full of examples of the way in which perseverance is rewarded. Remember the blind man of Jericho, who was rebuked for his persistent entreaties. Nevertheless, he went on shouting: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (Cf Lk 18:34-43). His prayer was eventually answered. Remember the Centurion. Although he was a pagan, he requested the cure of his paralysed servant with such outstanding faith and perseverance that Jesus granted what he asked. “Not even in Israel,” said Jesus, “have I found such great faith” (Lk 7:9). Remember the parable of the three loaves, which were so persistently demanded in the middle of the night until they were at last obtained (Cf Lk 11:5). Remember Mary, the sister of Lazarus and the Samaritan woman. Remember Jairus and the man suffering from dropsy. Above all, remember the Canaanite woman who almost snatched a miracles from the Hands of Jesus by her humility and perseverance.
A confident spirit of perseverance always wins the Heart of God, Who sometimes waits before answering our prayers, in order to enkindle our desire, to make us pray more and, to reward our perseverance by a liberal bestowal of His favours. Let us persevere in total trust, with intense love and in the deepest humility, knowing, without any doubt, that our prayers will be answered.”
“Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” “Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times but seventy times seven.”
“Judge not and you will not be judged; condemn not and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give, will be the measure you get back.”
“If your brother sins, rebuke him and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, ‘I am sorry,’ you should forgive him.”
“To the extent that you pray, with all your soul, for the person who slanders you, God will make the truth known to those who have been scandalised by the slander.”
St Maximus the Confessor (c 580–662)
“See to it that you refrain from harsh words. But if you do speak them, do not be ashamed to apply the remedy from the same lips, that inflicted the wounds.”
“The recollection of an injury, is . . . a rusty arrow and poison for the soul.”
St Francis of Paola OM (1416-1507)
“If a man finds it very difficult to forgive injuries, let him look at a Crucifix and think that Christ shed all His Blood for him and not only forgave His enemies but, even prayed His Heavenly Father, to forgive them too. Let him remember, that when he says the Pater Noster, everyday, instead of asking pardon for his sins, he is calling down VENGEANCE UPON HIMSELF!”
St Philip Neri (1515-1595)
The Lord’s Prayer Jesus Matthew 6:9-13
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our trespasses As we forgive those who trespass against us And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen
Thought for the Day – 13 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“The Saints had their failings and temptations like everyone else. Some experienced continual spiritual aridity. Others, like St Anthony and St Benedict, were often tempted against purity, while St Francis de Sales, was strongly inclined towards impatience. Others, like St Therese of the Child Jesus, were even tempted to despair. But, they all conquered, by means of prauer.
If we wish to conquer in the same way, we must pray too. Let us never tire of prayer. Sooner or later, the Father of Goodness and Mercy, will answer us.”
Quote/s of the Day – 13 March – Monday of the Third Week in Lent
“Are we going to neglect our own salvation? Let us show great compassion towards the poor so as to be made worthy of possessing good things to come for all eternity!”
St John Chrysostom (347-407) Father and Doctor of the Church
“What great profit you gain from God when you are generous! You give a coin and receive a Kingdom; you give bread from wheat and receive the Bread of Life; you give a transitory good and receive an everlasting one. You will receive it back, a hundred times more than you offered.”
“If you want God to hear your prayers, hear the voice of the poor. If you wish God to anticipate your wants, provide for those of the need, without waiting for them to ask you. Especially, anticipate the needs of those, who are ashamed to beg. To make them ask for alms, is to make them buy it!”
Quote/s of the Day – 11 March – Saturday of the Second Week in Lent
“Do you wish your prayer to fly toward God? Make for it two wings – fasting and almsgiving!”
St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace
“It is a matter of real sorrow when God has given us strength to break stronger fetters, those of vanity and sin that we neglect our own progress and the attainment of such great blessings because we will not detach ourselves from trifles. Not only do we not advance, we fall back. For it is well known, that on the spiritual road, not to go on overcoming self, is to go backwards and not to increase our gain, is to lose!”
St John of the Cross (1542-1591) Doctor of the Church
Thought for the Day – 10 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Hidden Life of Jesus
“There are many who complain that their work is degrading or heavy or unsatisfying. This is an indication that they are working for themselves, rather than for God.
We should sanctify our work by prayer. We should meditate on the example of Jesus and remeber that there are many sins for which we must make reparation. If we offer our work to God, it will not only become meritorious but, much easier to bear.
To work purely for profit is avarice, to work for the good opinion and praise of others, is vanity and to work in order to pass the time – is a waste of time! The perfect Christian approach, is to work in order to do our duty, to please God, to atone for our sins and to gain Heaven.”
Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 3 March – Ember Friday of the First Week in Lent – Ezekiel 18:20-28, John 5:1-15 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer and attend to the voice of my petition.” Psalm 85:6
“Do you wish to be made whole?” John 5:6
THE GOAL OF PRAYER St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“ … IN OUR PRIVATE PRAYERS what reverence ought we to have? In private prayer, we are before God, as in public prayer, although in public prayer we ought to be particularly attentive on account of the edification of our neighbour; exterior reverence is a great aid to the interior. We have many examples which witness to the great exterior reverence which we ought to have when praying, even though it be private prayer. Listen to St. Paul: “I kneel, ” he says, “before the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for you all”(cf Eph 3:14). And do you not see that the Saviour Himself, while praying to His Father, is prostrate on the ground? (cf. Mt 26:39 and Mk 14:35). ” (Sermon for the Palm Sunday, given on 12 April 1615).
“We must now speak of the final cause [that is, the goal] of prayer. We ought to know, in the first place that all things have been created for prayer and that, when God created angels and men, He did so that they might praise Him eternally in Heaven above, even though this is the last thing that we shall do – if that can be called “last” which is eternal.
To understand this better we will say this – when we wish to make something, we always look first to the end [or purpose], rather than to the work itself. For example, if we are to build a Church and we are asked why we are building it, we will respond that it is so that we can retire there and sing the praises of God; nevertheless, this will be the last thing that we shall do. …
Now prayer, according to most of the Fathers, is nothing other than a raising of the mind to heavenly things; others say, it is a petition but the two opinions are not at all opposed, for while raising our mind to God, we can ask Him for what seems necessary.
The principal petition which we ought to make to God is that of union of our wills with His and the final cause [goal] of prayer lies in desiring only God. Accordingly,, all perfection is contained therein, as Brother Giles, the companion of St Francis [of Assisi] said, when a certain person asked him what he could do in order to be perfect very soon. “Give,” he replied, “one to One.” That is to say, you have only one soul and there is only God – give your soul to Him and He will give Himself to you. The final cause [goal] of prayer, then, ought not to be to desire those tendernesses and consolations which our Lord sometimes gives, since union does not consist in that but rather, in conforming to the will of God.” (Sermon for the Third Sunday of Lent, given on 22 March 1615).
Thought for the Day – 2 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Prayer as a Necessary Means of Salvation
“We should appreciate how necessary it is to pray with special fervour and perseverance, in times of great temptation and suffering. If we neglect to do so when temptation assails us, we shall be on our own and shall certainly fall. When we encounter suffering and everything seems to be crumbling around us, let us remember that God sees us and pities us. Let us turn to Him. Who alone is able and eager to help us in our misfortunes. When we pray, our tears are precious in His sight. God’s love for us is infinite. If we have recourse to Him, He will certainly answer us in the manner which He knows is best for us. He has promised this, “If he cries out to me, I will hear him, for I am compassionate” (Ex 22:26).”
Our Lenten Journey with St Francis de Sales – 28 February – Tuesday of the First Week in Lent – Isaias 55:6-11, Matthew 21:10-17 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Let my prayer come like incense before You, O Lord” Psalm 140:2
“He said to them, It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’” Matthew 21:13
PERSEVERANCE IN PRAYER… St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor Caritas
“LET US PERSEVERE IN PRAYER at all times. For if Our Lord seems not to hear us, it is not because He wants to refuse us. Rather, His purpose is to compel us to cry out louder and to make us more conscious of the greatness of His mercy. Those who understand the Hunt, know well that in winter, dogs cannot scent their prey. The cold air and frost prevent them from detecting their prey as easily as they do at other times. A similar thing happens in the spring. The variety and fragrance of the flowers takes away the facility of perceiving the animal’s scent. To remedy this the hunter puts some vinegar in his mouth and holding the dog’s head, squirts the vinegar into its nose. Now he does this not to discourage it from going in quest of its prey but rather, to urge and excite it to do its task.
In the same way, when Our Lord deprives us of sweetness and consolation, it is not to refuse us or to make us lose courage but He casts vinegar into our mouth, in order to excite us to draw so much closer to His Divine Goodness and to encourage us in perseverance.
It is also to elicit proofs of our patience. This was the third virtue which accompanied the Canaanite woman’s prayer. Seeing her perseverance, the Saviour desired to prove her patience, too. By this virtue we maintain, as far as possible, equality of mind among the inequalities of this life.” (Sermon for Thursday after the First Sunday of Lent, 17 February 1622),
Quote/s of the Day – 22 February – Ash Wednesday – Joel 2:12-19, Matthew 6:16-21 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“… Behold, now is the acceptable time. behold, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor 6). And so, you must be more earnest in prayer and in alms-giving, in fasting and in watching. He that until now has given alms, in these days let him give more – for as water quencheth a flaming fire, so does almsgiving wipe out sin (Eccles 3:3). He that, until now, fasted and prayed, let him fast and pray still more – for there are certain sins which are not cast out, except by prayer and fasting (Mc 27:20).”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
“He need not fear anything, nor be ashamed of anything, who bears the Sign of the Cross on his brow.”
St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. Let no-one try to separate them, they cannot be separated. If you have only one of them, or not all together, you have nothing! So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.”
St Peter Chrysologus (400-450) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Fasting, when rightly practised, lifts the mind to God and mortifies the flesh. It makes virtue easy to attain and increases our merits.”
St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church
Quote/s of the Day – 27 January – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Bishop, Confessor, Father and Doctor of the Church “Golden Mouthed.” – 2 Timothy 4:1-8, Matthew 5:13-19 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“If we approach with faith, we too will see Jesus… for the Eucharistic table takes the place of the crib. Here, the Body of the Lord is present, wrapped, not in swaddling clothes but in the rays of the Holy Spirit.”
“When you are before the Altar where Christ reposes, you ought no longer to think that you are amongst men but believe that there are troops of Angels and Archangels, standing with you and trembling with respect before the Sovereign Master of Heaven and earth. Therefore, when you are in Church, be there in silence, fear and veneration!”
“God defers hearing our prayers, not because He rejects them but, because He wishes to contrive to draw us to Himself. Do not cease praying until you are heard!”
“He errs who believes that he can overcome his sensual propensities and preserve chastity, by his own efforts. God’s mercy must extinguish nature’s ardour. Have recourse to the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin and rest assured, you will obtain this mercy.”
“Never separate yourself from the Church. No institution has the power of the Church. The Church is your hope. The Church is your salvation. The Church is your refuge.”
Thought for the Day – 6 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“The Magi gave Jesus material gifts too, 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, to whom we ought always to see and love in them, 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 too, 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 experieced as they lay prostrate before the cradle of our Divine Redeemer.”
Quote/s of the Day – 6 January – The Epiphany of the Lord – Isaias 60:1-6, Matthew 2:1-12 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“They fell down and worshipped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
“Thus we offer the Lord, Gold, when we shine in His Sight with the light of heavenly wisdom …. We offer Him Frankincense, when we send up pure prayer before Him and Myrrh, when, “mortifying our flesh with its vices and passions” (Gal 5:24) by self-control, we carry the cross behind Jesus.”
St Bruno of Segni O.Cart. (c 1030 -1101) Bishop
(1st Sermon on the Epiphany PL 165, 863).
Chalk the Door – Epiphany House Blessing 20 C+M+B 23 “Christus mansionem benedicat”
Peace be to this house and to all who dwell herein. From the east came the Magi to Bethlehem to adore the Lord – “and opening their treasures they offered precious gifts – Gold for the Great King, Incense for the True God and Myrrh to symbolise His Burial.”
The equation is written to be the first two digits of the year, followed by the initials C, M and B, followed by the last two digits of the year. Each portion is split by plus signs (being the Sign of the Cross). For this year, the equation would be written as “20 + C + M + B + 23” The chalking holds two meanings. The C, M and B, refer to the traditional names of the Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. The letters also stand for the Latin phrase “Christus Mansionem Benedicat” which means “May Christ Bless this House” The plus signs represents the Cross and the 20 and 23 simply refer to the year.
Thought for the Day – 3 January– Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Making a Good Meditation
“Alessandro Manzoni was once asked how he had managed to penetrate so deeply into the human mind. Newman was asked how he had succeeded in discovering the law of universal gravity. Manzoni’s reply was: “By thinking about it.” Newman’s was: “By thinking intensely.”
Now, in our meditations, we must reveal ourselves to ourselves, which is a very difficult thing to do. It is, nevertheless, supremely important because its purpose, is not literary or scientific but, is the eternal salvation of our souls! The attaining of such a purpose, demands serious application on our part, as well as, earnest prayer that God will guide us, so that we may lead lives which will be in union with Him and directed towards their eternal goal, the enjoyment of the Beatific Vision of God!”
Thought for the Day – 2 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Necessity of Meditation in Silence
“There are various ways of meditating. Each one should choose whichever suits his own character and disposition. It will always be necessary for him, at the outset, however, to place himself in the presence of God, asking Him for light and strength. Then, to reflect on certain truths, in an effort to apply them to his own particular circumstances and needs and finally, to make the necessary resolutions and beseech God to bless them and make them fruitful.
It is very useful, moreover, to recall to mind frequently, during the rest of the day, the resolutions which have been formed and to accompany these reflections, with short prayers, aspirations and acts of love for God.”
Thought for the Day – 29 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Our Frequent Lapses
“The mercy of God, however, should not provide us with a reason for continuing to fall into sin. On the contrary, it should be a motive for greater gratitude and love. We cannot claim, that it is impossible for us to conquer temptation. If we implore God’s grace and employ all the means of resistance at our disposal, temptation cannot overcome us.
How often in the past, when we prayed fervently and fought with determination, have we not successfully routed temptation? Why can we not do the same again? Then we shall have interior peace in this life and an everlasting reward in the next. “God is faithful,” St Paul assures us, “and will not permit you to be tempted beyond your strength but, with the temptation, will also give you a way out that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor 10:13).”
Thought for the Day – 26 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
St Stephen, the First Martyr
“Let us endeavour too, like St Stephen, to suffer, pray and work for the conversion of our fellowmen, so many of whom are wandering in the darkness of error or struggling in the clutches of vice. Let us try, by our sufferings, prayers and good example, to draw down God;s grace on our unhappy brothers. If we succeed, we shall share in the merits of their good actions and we shall have ensured our own everlasting salvation.”
One Minute Reflection – 23 December – “The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception” – Friday of the Fourth Week of Advent – 1 Corinthians 4:1-5, Luke 3:1-6 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Prepare the way of the Lord” – Luke 3:4
REFLECTION – “I speak out in order to lead Him into your hearts but He does not choose to come where I lead Him, unless you prepare the way for Him. To prepare the way means, to pray well – it means thinking humbly of oneself. We should take our lesson from John the Baptist. He is thought to be the Christ, he declares he is not what they think. He does not take advantage of their mistake to further his own glory.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Almighty God, now that the birth of Your Son is drawing near, we pray that Your eternal Word, Who took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary and came to dwell amongst men, will show Your unworthy people, the greatness of His love. And by the intercession of His Holy Mother, may we be granted Your grace. Through Emmanuel, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.
Thought for the Day – 22 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
A Christmas Novena VII Prayer and Dedication
“Men are normally judged by their actions and by the degree of external success which they have achieved. God, however, judges them by their intentions and by their internal dispositions. It is futile and may even be dangerous, to accomplish great thins and to attract the attention and applause of men, unless we have first of all, learned the lesson which the Infant Jesus teaches us in the manger.
In other words, we must be humble and must seek God rather than ourselves, in all our thoughts, desires and actions. If our actions are to be genuinely pleasing to God, however, they must originate in an interior life of dedication to God and of complete harmony with His will. If this is lacking, everything is lacking! Without this interior life of grace and love, we are “as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1) and our actions are valueless in the sight of God.”
Quote/s of the Day – 6 December – St Nicholas (270-343) Confessor, Bishop – Hebrews 13:7-17, Matthew 25:14-23 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“And he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more.”
“I have chosen you and have appointed you, that you should go and should bring forth fruit and your fruit should remain, says the Lord.”
“… Are you debating what you will do? Worship Him as God. Worship the Wonder-worker. Worship One who worked good things on behalf of another!”
St Athansius (297-373) Father and Doctor of the Church
“In those days he departed to the mountain to pray and he spent the night in prayer to God.”
“It says, “He passed the whole night in prayer.” A model is given to you. A form is prescribed which you must imitate.”
St Ambrose (340-397) Father and Doctor of the Church
“Whatever He receives on earth, He returns in Heaven.”
St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)
“O God, grant that whatever good things I have, I may share generously with those who have not and whatever good things, I do not have, I may request humbly, from those who do.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Doctor Angelicus
“Rejoice and be happy! Persevere to the end and prefer to die rather than abandon the post, to which God has called you!”
St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) Doctor of the Church
“The meaning of this parable is clear. We are all servants, to whom our heavenly Father has entrusted various talents. Some have been given more than others. By our own labour and industry, we must all make profitable use of the talents which we have received. The ungrateful and slothful servant, who does not make good use of his talents, will be severely punished. But a happy reward awaits the good and faithful servant, who has worked zealously all his life, for his Master’s interests until the talents which he has received, have produced an increase of sanctity in himself and in others.”
Quote/s of the Day – 2 December – The Memorial of St Chromatius of Aquileia (Died c 407) Bishop of Aquileia, Theologian, Exegete, Writer and friend of Saints Ambrose and Jerome, defender of Saint John Chrysostom.
Let us pray to the Lord with all our heart and with all our faith, let us pray to Him to deliver us from all enemy incursions, from all fear of adversaries. … The Lord will fight to defend you and you will be silent. It is He who fights, it is He who wins the victory…. And so that He may condescend to do so, we must pray as much as possible. He Himself said, in fact, through the mouth of the prophet – Call on Me on the day of tribulation; I will set you free and you will give Me glory.
“However, in the allegorical or mystical sense, this woman prefigured the Church, which offered the full and entire devotion of it’s faith to Christ … There are twelve ounces to a pound and this is the amount of perfume the Church possesses, having received the teaching of the twelve Apostles, as if it were a precious perfume. Indeed, what more precious is there, than the Apostles’ teaching, which contains both faith in Christ and the glory of the Kingdom of Heaven? ”
“No man lights a candle and puts it in a hidden place, nor under a bushel but upon a candlestick, that they who come in, may see the light.”
“If we fail to live in the Light, we shall, to our condemnation and that of others, be veiling over and obscuring, by our infidelity, the Light men so desperately need. As we know from Scripture, the man who received the talent should have made it produce a heavenly profit but instead, he preferred to hide it away rather than put it to work and was punished as he deserved. Consequently, that brilliant Lamp which was lit for the sake of our salvation should always shine in us. For we have the lamp of the heavenly commandments and spiritual grace, to which David referred: Your law is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
St Chromatius of Aquileia (Died c 407) Father of the Church
Thought for the Day – 30 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“There is a perfect picture of the spiritual and recollected man in The Imitation of Christ.
“The man of interior life soon recollects himself because he never wholly pours forth himself upon exterior things. Exterior labour is no prejudice to him, nor any employment necessary for the time but, as things happen, so he accommodates himself to them. He who is well disposed and orderly in his interior, is not concerned about the strange and perverse doings of ment,” (Bk II c 1:7).
The Imitation of Christ also conta\ins the following passage on the love of solitude.
“Seek a convenient time to attend to thyself and reflect often upon the benefits of God to thee. Let curiosities alone. Read such matters as may produce compunction, rather than give occupation. If you withdraw from superfluous talking and idle visitings and from hearing new things and rumours, you will find time sufficient and proper, to spend in good meditations. The greatest Saints shunned the company of men when they could and chose rather to live unto God in secret. *As often as I have been amongst men, said one, I have returned less a man. (*Ana says – St Albert the Great). This we too often experience when we talk often.” (Bk I c 20, 1-2).
“The cell continually dwelt in, grows sweet” the same chapter continues “but, ill-guarded, it begets weariness” (Bk I c 20, 5).”
One Minute Reflection – 17 November – St Gregory Thaumaturgus (c 213-c 270) “the Wonder-Worker,” Bishop, Confessor – Sirach 44:16-27; 45:3-20, Mark 11:22-24 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Therefore, I say to you, all things whatsoever you ask for in prayer, believe that you shall receive and they shall come to you.” – Mark 11:24
REFLECTION – “The one word, faith, can have two meanings. One kind of faith concerns doctrines. It involves, the soul’s ascent to and acceptance of, some particular matter. It also concerns the soul’s good, according to the words of the Lord – Whoever hears My Voice and believes in Him, Who sent Me, has eternal life and will not come to be judged. And again: He who believes in the Son, is not condemned but has passed from death to life.
How great is God’s love for men! Some good men have been found pleasing to God because of years of work. What they achieved by working, for many hours at a task, pleasing to God, is freely given to you by Jesus, in one short hour. For if you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved and taken up to paradise by Him, just as He brought the thief there. Do not doubt that this is possible. After all, He saved the thief on the holy hill of Golgotha because of one hour’s faith; will He not save you too, since you have believed?
The other kind of faith is given by Christ, by means of a special grace. To one wise sayings are given through the Spirit, to another perceptive comments by the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing. Now this kind of faith, given by the Spirit as a special favour, is not confined to doctrinal matters, for it produces effects beyond any human capability. If a man who has this faith says to this mountain move from here to there, it will move. For when anybody says this in faith, believing it will happen and having no doubt in his heart, he then receives that grace.
It is of this kind of faith, moreover, that it is said: If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed. The mustard seed is small in size but it holds an explosive force, although it is sown in a small hole, it produces great branches and when it is grown, birds can nest there. In the same way faith produces great effects in the soul instantaneously. Enlightened by faith, the soul pictures God and sees Him as clearly as any soul can. It circles the earth, even before the end of this world, it sees the judgement and the conferring of promised rewards. So may you have the faith which depends on you and is directed to God, that you may receive from Him, that faith too, which transcends man’s capacity.” – St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Archbishop of Jerusalem, Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from the Catecheses, 5).
PRAYER – Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God that the venerable feast of Thy blessed Gregory Confessor and Bishop may increase our devotion and promote our salvation. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
Thought for the Day – 15 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Conversation with God and with Men
“Do not speak too often with men but speak often with God. We should always be in communication with God because, to converse with God, is to pray. Jesus has told us that we ought always to pray (Lk 18:1). We have a great need of intimacy with God, for if the life of grace does not flow within us, we become like arid branches and fall prey to temptations and to tepidity. In order to remain close to God, we must pray constantly. As St Paul says, “whatever you do, in word or in work, do all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through Him” (Col 3:17). This is what the Saints did. While their feet walked the earth, their minds were in Heaven.
We should imitate them by trying to cultivate the interior life which will keep us detached from the world and from sin and always close to God.”
Thought for the Day – 10 November – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Prayer, Work and Leisure
“WORK: Work is a duty commanded by God, Who, after the sin of Adam, told him and his descendants: “In the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread” (Gen 3:19). So, work becomes an obligation and a means of expiation. We are all obliged, therefore, to engage in some kind of work, mental or manual, whether we are rich or poor. Idleness had been condemned by God as the father of all the vices. “Idleness,” warns the Holy Spirit, “is an apt teacher of mischief” (Eccles 33:29). It is impossible for a man who works and prays, to commit sin, both because he lacks the time and because he is close to God. A man who is close to God will certainly never offend Him. whereas the mind of a man who is lazy and inactive, is open to the attractions of sin.
Let us shun idleness, therefore and love hard work, as a means of making reparation for our sins and of gaining merit before God.”
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