Posted in AUGUST - The Immaculate Heart of Mary, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, FATHERS of the Church, IMMACULATE HEART PRAYERS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARY'S MONTH, QUEENSHIP of MARY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on PURITY

Our Morning Offering – 18 May – Deign, O Immaculate Virgin

Our Morning Offering – 18 May – “The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary”

Deign, O Immaculate Virgin
By St Paschasius Radbertus (785–865)

Deign, O Immaculate Virgin,
Mother most pure,
to accept the loving cry of praise
which we send up to you
from the depths of our hearts.
Though they can but add little to your glory,
O Queen of Angels,
you do not despise, in your love,
the praises of the humble
and the poor.
Cast down upon us a glance of mercy,
O most glorious Queen,
graciously receive our petitions.
Through your immaculate purity of body and mind,
which rendered you so pleasing to God,
inspire us with a love of innocence and purity.
Teach us to guard carefully the gifts of grace,
striving ever after sanctity, so that,
being made like the image of your beauty,
we may be worthy to become the sharers
of your eternal happiness.
Amen

Posted in AUGUST - The Immaculate Heart of Mary, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, IMMACULATE HEART PRAYERS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on PURITY

Thought for the Day – 6 May – The Virginal Purity of Mary

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

The Virginal Purity of Mary

“O Mary, my Heavenly Mother,
I am so weak, yet the danger in which I find myself, is so great.
Turn your eyes of mercy upon me and come to my assistance.
Most of all, do not allow the demon of impurity to seduce my soul.
Grant that I may never yield to the temptations of the flesh.
Protect for me, the flower of my chastity, until I can deliver it, unsullied, into the hands of Jesus in Heaven.
Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/06/thought-for-the-day-6-may-the-virginal-purity-of-mary
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/05/06/thought-for-the-day-6-may-the-virginal-purity-of-mary-2/

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MODESTY, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 7 April – ‘We are under an obligation …’

Quote/s of the Day – 7 April – Thursday in Passion Week, the Fifth Week of Lent

Many sins are forgiven her
because she has loved much.

Luke 7:42

The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgement
with this generation and condemn it, for they repented
…”

Matthew 12:41

… In the conceitedness of our souls,
without taking the least trouble
to obey the Lord’s commandments,
we think ourselves worthy
to receive the same reward
as those who have resisted sin to the death!

St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“And when I hear it said,
that God is good and He will pardon us
and then see, that men cease not from evil-doing,
oh, how it grieves me!
The infinite goodness
with which God communicates with us,
sinners as we are,
should constantly make us love and serve Him better
but we, on the contrary,
instead of seeing in His goodness
an obligation to please Him,
convert it into an excuse for sin,
which will, of a certainty,
lead in the end,
to our deeper condemnation.

St Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)

We … are under an obligation
to be the light of the world
by the modesty of our behaviour,
the fervour of our charity,
the innocence of our lives
and the example of our virtues.
Thus shall we be able
to raise the lowered prestige
of the Catholic Church
and, to build up again,
the ruins that others by their vices have caused.
Others, by their wickedness,
have branded the Catholic Faith
with a mark of shame,
we must strive,
with all our strength, to cleanse it
from its ignominy
and to restore it
to its pristine glory!

The path to Heaven is narrow,
rough and full of wearisome
and trying ascents,
nor can it be trodden without great toil
and, therefore, wrong is their way,
gross their error
and assured their ruin,
who, after the testimony
of so many thousands of Saints,
will not learn where to settle their footing!

St Robert Southwell SJ (1561-1595)
Priest and Martyr

Posted in LENT 2022, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on ANGELS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on KINDNESS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE

Second Thoughts for our immanent entry into Lent – Planting a Lenten Garden

A few last-minute sowing plans
for the garden of our souls.
Planting virtue and good habits
and ascending that steep hill,
day-by-day, with love, faithfulness
and perseverance.

Accompanying our Saviour on His
Journey of our Redemption:

Five Rows of Squash:

  1. Squash gossip
  2. Squash indifference
  3. Squash unkindness
  4. Squash temper
  5. Squash the idols of greed and lust

Six Rows of Peas:

  1. Prayer
  2. Penance
  3. Perseverance
  4. Purity
  5. Patience
  6. Politeness

Seven Heads of Lettuce:

  1. Let us be unselfish
  2. Let us be charitable
  3. Let us be obedient
  4. Let us be truthful
  5. Let us be gentle and kind
  6. Let us be repentant
  7. Let us be renewed

No garden is complete without Turnips:

  1. Turn up for Daily Mass
  2. Turn up fo Eucharistic Adoration
  3. Turn up for Daily Morning and Night Prayer
  4. Turn up for Spiritual reading on Breathing Catholic 🤗🙏💘

Conclude with Thyme:

Thyme with God, thyme for fasting, thyme for generosity and care of the poor, the sick, the suffering.

Water daily with patience
Feed with love
The Beloved Saviour will provide the growth.

Posted in HOLY COMMUNION, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, QUOTES on PURITY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Our Morning Offering – 27 February – O Christ, our Master and our God

Our Morning Offering – 27 February – Quinquagesima Sunday

O Christ, our Master and our God
By St Basil the Great (329-379)
Father and Doctor of the Church

O Christ, our Master and God,
King of the ages and Creator of all,
I thank You for all the good things
that You have given to me
and for the reception of Your most pure
and life-giving Mysteries.
I pray You, therefore,
O good Lover of mankind,
keep me under Your protection
in the shadow of Your wings.
Grant that with a pure conscience,
until my last breath,
I may worthily partake
of Your Holy Things,
for the forgiveness of sins
and for life everlasting.
For You are the Bread of Life,
the Fountain of holiness
and the Bestower of blessings
and to You, we give glory
together with the Father
and the Holy Spirit,
now nad forever and ever.
Amen

Posted in ACT of PERFECT CONTRITION, CONFESSION/PENANCE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, QUOTES on SIN

Thought for the Day – 23 February – The Sacrament of Penance

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

The Sacrament of Penance

“We should confess our sins humbly and sincerely.
We are obliged to confess at least all the mortal sins which we have committed after Baptism and have never included in a previous good confession.
We should prepare for the Sacrament by making a careful examination of conscience in the presence of God.
When we kneel before our Confessor, we should remember that, even though he is only a man like ourselves, he is the representative of God.
We should confess at least our mortal sins in a clear and exact manner.
Whenever possible, we should confess deliberate venial sins in order to be sure of obtaining forgiveness for them.

It is very necessary to be sincerely sorry for our sins and to be firmly resolved never to commit them again, with the help of divine grace.

Perfect contrition, which stems from a pure and disinterested act of love for God, is not necessary.
Attrition is sufficient, that is, imperfect sorrow which springs from a lower supernatural motive, such as the fear of hell, the hideousness of sin, insofar, as it is an offence against God, or the loss of eternal happiness.

Let us examine ourselves to ensure that we fulfil all the ncessary conditions in our Convession.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/23/thought-for-the-day-23-february-the-sacrament-of-penance/

Posted in "Follow Me", GOD ALONE!, GOD is LOVE, MYSTICS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on THE WORLD, SAINT of the DAY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HEART, The WILL of GOD

Quote/s of the Day – 13 February – Three Points on the Spiritual Life By St Catherine de Ricci

Quote/s of the Day – 13 February – Septuagesima Sunday and the Memorial of Saint Catherine de Ricci OP (1522-1590) Virgin, Mystic, Stigmatist.

Three Points on the Spiritual Life
By St Catherine de Ricci (1522-1590)
1) Detach 2) Direct 3) Accomplish

Letter to a Fellow Nun
by St Catherine de Ricci

Very dear daughter, I have already sent you a letter to exhort you to the service of our Lord and now, I send you this one, in which I am going to give—first for myself and then for you—an account of the true way of faithfullyserving our Divine Spouse and a resume of the spiritual life, so that, by following it, we shall carry out the Holy Will of God.

If, then, my daughter, you would be the true spouses of Jesus, you must do His Holy Will in all things and you will do this, if you entirely give up your own will on every occasion and if you love the divine Spouse with your whole heart, your whole soul and your whole strength. Then, you must carefully attend to the following points (but it is necessary to weigh all these words), as they contain the summary of Christian perfection:

  1. We must force ourselves to DETACH the heart and the will from all earthly love; to love no fleeting things, except for the love of God and, above all, not to love God for our own sakes, for self-interest but with a love as pure as His own goodness.
  2. We must DIRECT all our thoughts, words and actions to His honour and by prayer, counsel and good example, seek His glory solely, whether for ourselves or for others, so that through our means, all may love and honour God.
    This second point is more pleasing to Him than the first, as it better fulfils His will.
  3. We must aim more and more at the ACCOMPLISHMENT of the Divine Will – not only desiring nothing special to happen to us, bad or even good, in this wretched life and thus, keeping ourselves always at God’s disposal, with heart and soul at peace but also, believing, with a firm faith, that Almighty God loves us more than we love ourselves and takes more care of us, than we could take care of ourselves.

The more we conform to this way of acting, the more we shall find God present to help us and the more we shall experience, His most gentle love.
But no-one can reach such perfection except by constant and courageous sacrifice of self-will and, if we would learn to practice such abnegation, it is necessary to keep ourselves in a state of great and deep humility, so that, by perfect knowledge of our own misery and weakness, we may rise to learn the greatness and beauty of our God.

Consider how just and necessary it is, to serve Him unceasingly, with love and obedience.
I say just, because, God being Father and Master of all things, it is just that His Son and Servant, should obey and love Him.
I say necessary because,, by acting otherwise, we could not be saved.

Let us always remember, never doubting, that it is the Eternal, Sovereign, All-powerful God, Who does, orders, or allows, everything that happens and that nothing comes to pass, without His Divine Will.

Let us remember that He is Himself that Wisdom, which, in the government of the universe – of heaven, earth and every single creature – cannot be deceived. (He would be neither God nor most wise, if it were otherwise). Let us look upon Him as supremely good, loving and beneficent.

If, through His Mercy, this conviction becomes strongly impressed upon our wills, we shall easily take all things from His Sacred Hand, with well-contented hearts, always thanking Him for fulfilling His most holy will in us. By acting thus. (with the help of His holy grace) we shall unite ourselves to Him, by true love in this life and by glory in eternity.

May He grant it to us in His goodness! Of your charity pray for me, a wretched sinner, who commends herself to you all.”

Your sister in Christ,
Amen
Catherine

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the HIGH PRIEST, CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST the PHYSICIAN, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MOTHER of GOD, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, SAINT of the DAY, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The LAMB of GOD

Quote/s of the Day – 9 February – St Cyril of Alexandria

Quote/s of the Day – 9 February – The Memorial of St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop, Confessor, Father and Doctor of the Church

“Christ has dominion
over all creatures,
a dominion not seized
by violence
nor usurped but His,
by essence and by nature
.”

For one Lamb died for all,
to restore the whole flock on earth
to God the Father;
“one died for all”
to make all subject to God;
“one died for all”
to gain all, so that
“all might live,
no longer for themselves
but for Him who died
and was raised to life for them

(2 Cor 5:14-15).”

The mark of Christ’s sheep
is their willingness to hear and obey,
just as disobedience
is the mark of those who are not His.
We take the word ‘hear’
to imply obedience
to what has been said
.”

If the poison of pride is swelling up in you,
turn to the Eucharist and that Bread,
Which is your God humbling and disguising Himself,
will teach you humility.

If the fever of selfish greed rages in you,
feed on this Bread and you will learn generosity.

If the cold wind of coveting withers you,
hasten to the Bread of Angels and charity
will come to blossom in your heart
.

If you feel the itch of intemperance,
nourish yourself with the Flesh and Blood of Christ,
Who practiced heroic self-control during His earthly life
and you will become temperate.

If you are lazy and sluggish about spiritual things,
strengthen yourself with this heavenly Food
and you will grow fervent.

Lastly, if you feel scorched by the fever of impurity,
go to the banquet of the Angels
and the spotless Flesh of Christ,
will make you pure and chaste.

“My sheep follow me,” says Christ.
By a certain God-given grace,
believers follow in the footsteps of Christ.
No longer subject to the shadows of the Law ,
they obey the commands of Christ,
and guided by His words,
rise through grace,
to His own dignity,
for they are called children of God.
When Christ ascends into heaven,
they also follow Him.”

That anyone could doubt the right
of the holy Virgin
to be called the Mother of God,
fills me with astonishment.
Surely she must be the Mother of God,
if our Lord Jesus Christ is God
and she gave birth to him
!”

Hail, O Mary, Mother of God
By St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Virgin and Mother!
Morning Star, perfect vessel.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Holy Temple in which God Himself was conceived.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Chaste and pure dove.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
who enclosed the One Who cannot be encompassed
in your sacred womb.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
From you flowed the true light, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Through you the Conqueror
and triumphant Vanquisher of hell, came to us.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Through you, the glory of the Resurrection blossoms.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
You have saved every faithful Christian.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death.
Amen

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on GREED, WEALTH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on Lukewarmness, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The HEART, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Quote/s of the Day – 5 February – Chastity

Quote/s of the Day – 5 February – St Agatha (c 231- c 251) Virgin and Martyr – 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, Matthew 19:3-12

Fasting cleanses the soul,
raises the mind,
subjects one’s flesh to the spirit,
renders the heart contrite and humble,
scatters the clouds of concupiscence,
quenches the fire of lust
and kindles the true light of chastity.
Enter again into yourself!

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

If the poison of pride is swelling up in you,
turn to the Eucharist and that Bread,
Which is your God humbling and disguising Himself,
will teach you humility.

If the fever of selfish greed rages in you,
feed on this Bread and you will learn generosity.

If the cold wind of coveting withers you,
hasten to the Bread of Angels and charity
will come to blossom in your heart
.

If you feel the itch of intemperance,
nourish yourself with the Flesh and Blood of Christ,
Who practiced heroic self-control during His earthly life
and you will become temperate.

If you are lazy and sluggish about spiritual things,
strengthen yourself with this heavenly Food
and you will grow fervent.

Lastly, if you feel scorched by the fever of impurity,
go to the banquet of the Angels
and the spotless Flesh of Christ,
will make you pure and chaste.

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

Be HUMBLE in this life,
that God may raise you up in the next.
Be truly MODERATE
and do not punish or condemn anyone immoderately.
Be GENTLE,
so that you may never oppose justice.
Be HONOURABLE,
so that you may never voluntarily
bring disgrace upon anyone.
Be CHASTE,
so that you may avoid all the foulness of lust
like the pangs of death.

St Stephen of Hungary (c 975- 1038)

(King of Hungary, to his son, St Emeric.
Sadly St Emeric died aged 24 but had
taken a private vow of Celibacy.
)

“Chastity depends on the heart,
as its source
but, it is concerned with the body,
as its matter
and, therefore, it maybe lost,
by all the external senses of the body
and by the thoughts and desires of the heart.
It is immodesty to behold,
to hear, to speak, to smell, to touch,
impure things,
when the heart occupies itself with them
and takes pleasure in them.

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of the Church

(Introduction to the Devout Life
Part Three Chap 13
).

“To defend his purity,
Saint Francis of Assisi rolled in the snow,
Saint Benedict threw himself into a thorn bush
and Saint Bernard plunged into an icy pond…
You – what have you done?

Josemaría Escrivá (1902-1975)

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on CHILDREN, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 January – ‘ … Unless you have similar innocence and purity of mind … ‘ St Jerome

One Minute Reflection – 31 January – St John Bosco, Confessor (1815-1888 – Philippians 4:4-9, Matthew 18:1-5

Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”… Matthew 18:3

REFLECTION – “We must seek for reasons for individual sayings and actions of the Lord. After the coin was found, after the tribute paid, what do the Apostles’ sudden questions mean? Why precisely “at that time” did the disciples come to Jesus saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Because they had seen that the same tax had been paid for both Peter and the Lord. From the equal price they inferred, that Peter may have been set over all the other Apostles, since Peter had been compared with the Lord in the paying of the tax. So they ask, who is greater in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus, seeing their thoughts and understanding the causes of their error, wants to heal their desire for glory, with a struggle for humility.”

He called a child to Him, to ask its age or to show the image of innocence. Or perhaps He actually set a child in their midst — He Himself, Who had not come to be served but to serve — to show them an example of humility.

Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Just as this child, whose example I show you, does not persist in anger, does not long remember injury suffered, is not enamoured inordinately by the sight of a beautiful woman, does not think one thing and say another, so you too, unless you have similar innocence and purity of mind, will not be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven! Or, it might be taken in another way: “Whosoever, therefore, humiliates himself like this child, is greater in the kingdom of heaven,” so as to imply that anyone, who imitates Me and humiliates himself following My example, so that he abases himself as much as I abased Myself in accepting the form of a servant, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” – St Jerome (343-420) Translator of Sacred Scripture into Latin (The Vulgate) One of the original four Doctors of the Latin Church, Father (Commentary on Matthew 3).

PRAYER – O God, Who in Your Confessor, blessed John, raised up a father and teacher of youth and willed that through him, with the help of the Virgin Mary, new religious families should bloom in the Church, grant, we beseech You, that, inflamed by the same fire of love, we may seek to win souls and to serve You alone. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect)

Posted in GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION

Thought for the Day – 28 January – How to Guard Holy Purity

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

How to Guard Holy Purity

“Because it is so difficult to preserve the angelic purity of the soul. it is absolutely essential to make good use of the measures favoured for this purpose, by the masters of the spiritual life.
The first of these is prayer – the spirit of prayer will keep us close to God.
If our minds and hearts are united to God in the performance of every action, we will never allow ourselves to be separated from Him by impurity.
This spirit of prayer must be based on humility and the consciousness of our continual need of God and, must be kept alive, by love for Him.

The second measure is, to avoid the occasions of sin.
“Sensuality is best conquered by flight.” St Thomas Aquinas advises us (Summa Theologiae I-II, q 35).
He who loves danger will perish in it” (Ecclus 3:25).
Battles like this, said St Francis de Sales, are won by the soldiers who retreat.
As soon as an impure thought or image intrudes itself, drive it away as if a serpent were attacking you.
It is fatal to allow the thought or image to gain ground, for at this stage, victory becomes extremely difficult!

Thirdly, it often helps to occupy the mind and imagination immediately with things in which we are interested.
The greatest danger of all in these moments of temptation is idleness.

So let us examine our conscience now and we shall perceive, that everytime we have fallen in any way, it was always because we did not put into practice, the remedies suggested.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/30/thought-for-the-day-30-january-how-to-guard-holy-purity/

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MARRIAGE, MARRIED LOVE, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Thought for the Day – 27 January – Blessed are the Clean of Heart

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

Blessed are the Clean of Heart

“There is a purity of heart and chastity, which is an obligation for everybody, even for those who are married or preparing for marriage.

Everybody is obliged to avoid any act of impurity, insofar as it is opposed to his own particular state, to the natural law and to the Divine law.
Do not think that this degree of chastity is any easier than the first.
Sometimes, the obligations it imposes, are even more difficult than those of absolute virginity.

There is only one remedy for impurity.
It is the practice of virtue, to the point of sacrifice.
Only a man who is ready, with the help of God, to make any sacrifice can preserve purity of heart.
It is a difficult struggle but only those who win, can see God.
Our Lord has said: “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8).

Only the clean of heart will be able to see and enjoy Him forever in Heaven and, by means of His grace, will be able to see Him, in a less perfect manner, on earth.
St Thomas Aquinas says, that mental blindness is the main effect of impurity (Summa Theologiae II-II q 55, a 6).
This is because, anyone who gives himself up to impurity, loses all spiritual enlightenment and easily loses his faith, as well!
He no longer sees God and he does not believe anymore because his heart is steeped in the mire of impurity.
The sensual man does not perceive the things that are of the Spirit of God, for it is foolishness to him and he cannot understand …” (1 Cor 2:14).
He is like the blind mole which creates its own dark little underground world and cannot see the sky anymore.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/29/thought-for-the-day-29-january-blessed-are-the-clean-of-heart/

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, INGRATITUDE, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD

Thought for the Day – 17 January – The Vicissitudes of Life

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

The Vicissitudes of Life

“There are three kinds of trials which we have to expect:

(a) Suffering in the guise of illness or accidents.

(b) The insults, lack of understanding and ingratitude of our fellowmen.

(c) Temptations and allurements of sin.

We must make a spiritual preparation at the beginning of everyday and surrender ourselves with filial confidence into the hands of God.
Sorrows, illness and misfortune may come.
Let us offer ourselves to God in our morning prayer.
Like Jesus and with Jesus, let us bow beneath the cross, which is laid upon us.

Perhaps men will insult us and misunderstand us.
Let us accept all this with resignation and love for God and our neighbour, whoever he may be.
In this, we shall be like our Divine Redeemer, Who, when He was nailed to the Cross, not only forgave but prayed to His Eternal Father, for those who had Crucified Him.

The enchantment of sin may disturb the peace and purity of our soul.
In this matter especially, we must prepare to resist, from the very beginning of the day.
We must intercede with God, fervently renew our resolutions and turn our attention, when necessary, to other worthwhile thoughts and activities.
Let us never panic but place our trust in God.
He will enable us to conquer!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/17/thought-for-the-day-17-january-the-vicissitudes-of-life/

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 8 December – ‘ … Mary is the new Tree of Life …’

One Minute Reflection – 8 December on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – Readings: Genesis 3:9-15, 20, Psalm 98:1-4, Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12, Luke 1:26-38

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus.

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word.” … Luke 1:38

REFLECTION – “Son of God, grant me Your own admirable Gift, that I may celebrate the wondrous beauty of Your beloved Mother! The Virgin gave birth to a Son while preserving her virginity, she suckled Him who gives nourishment to the peoples, in her Immaculate breast she bore Him who carries the whole world in His Hands. She is Virgin and Mother, what will she not be hereafter? Holy in body, all beautiful in soul, pure of mind, upright in intelligence, perfect in feeling, chaste and faithful, pure of heart and filled with virtue.

May the hearts of virgins rejoice in Mary, since of her was born the One Who set humankind free from dreadful slavery. May the old Adam, wounded by the serpent, rejoice in Mary; it is Mary who gives Adam a posterity that allows him to crush the accursed serpent and who cures him of his mortal wound (Gen 3:15). Let Priests rejoice in the blessed Virgin; she has brought the High Priest into the world, Who gave Himself as a victim, putting an end to the sacrifices of the Old Covenant. … Let the Prophets rejoice in Mary, since in her, were fulfilled their visions, in her were realised their prophecies, in her were confirmed their oracles. Let all the Patriarchs rejoice in Mary since she received the blessing promised to them, she, who, in her Son, has brought them to completion. …

Mary is the new Tree of Life, who, instead of the bitter fruit picked by Eve, gives to mankind that Sweet Fruit on which the whole world is fed.”St Ephrem (306-373) Deacon in Syria, Father and Doctor of the Church (Marian hymn).

PRAYER O Mary, My Hope! By St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church
I salute you, O Mary!
you are the hope of Christians.
Receive the prayer of a sinner,
who loves you tenderly,
honours you in a special manner
and places in you the whole hope
of his salvation.
From you I have my life.
You reinstate me in the grace of your Son:
you are the sure pledge of my salvation.
I beseech of you, therefore, to deliver me
from the burden of my sins,
dispel the darkness of my mind,
banish from my heart the love of the world,
repress the temptations of my enemies
and so rule my whole life, that by your means
and under your guidance,
I may obtain everlasting happiness in heaven.
Amen

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD, The BEATITUDES, The HEART

Thought for the Day – 4 December – The Blessedness of the Pure of Heart

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

The Blessedness of the Pure of Heart

“Blessed are the pure of heart,” says Jesus in the beatitudes, for they shall see God (Mt 5:8) .
The sensual man,” adds St Paul, “does not perceive the things that are of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor 2:14).

How true this is.
When the flesh gains control over the spirit and our lower instincts enslave the intellect, we are overcome by confusion and spiritual blindness.
No longer can we see God’s reflection in created things, no longer do we hear His Voice.
Impurity and sensuality, lead to disregard for the law of God, whereas purity of heart, make it easy for us to love His law.

One day, as was his custom, St Joseph Cafasso went to the prison to visit the convicts.
Among them there was a hardened old sinner, who was interested, neither in God, nor in confessing his sins.
The Saint met him and tried to persuade him to kneel down and make his Confession.
I do not believe in God,” replied the old man.
The Saints simply looked at him, “Kneel down,” he said, “confess your sins and afterwards, you will believe.
It turned out as he had predicted.
The old crime-hardened sinner told his sins, wept for them and became a new man.
It was as if the scales had fallen from his eyes, which now saw God clearly once more!
Through the forgiveness of his sins, he found again the way of supernatural love.

We should be grateful to God that we are not in the same state as this poor prisoner was but, it is probable, that we have often been disturbed by impure suggestions.
On these occasions, we may have lost sight of God and our high and pure ideals, may have suffered an eclipse.

We must preserve our chastity, however,
With this purpose in view, we should renew our good resolutions in the presence of God and should constantly implore His grace and the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in AUGUST - The Immaculate Heart of Mary, IMMACULATE HEART PRAYERS, IMMACULATE HEART Quotes, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS

Thought for the Day – 1 August – The Virginal Purity of Mary

Thought for the Day – 1 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” -Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Virginal Purity of Mary

O Mary, my Heavenly Mother,
I am so weak, yet the danger in which I find myself, is so great.
Turn your eyes of mercy upon me and come to my assistance.
Most of all, do not allow the demon of impurity to seduce my soul.
Grant that I may never yield to the temptations of the flesh.
Protect for me, the flower of my chastity, until I can deliver it, unsullied, into the hands of Jesus in Heaven.
Amen.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PARTS ONE and TWO HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/05/06/thought-for-the-day-6-may-the-virginal-purity-of-mary-2/

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on IGNORANCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 July – ‘ … How wonderful are God’s designs for people’s salvation!’

One Minute Reflection – 14 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Readings: Exodus 3: 1-6, 9-12; Psalm: 103: 1b-2, 3-4, 6-7;: Matthew 11: 25-27
and the Memorial of Saint Camillus de Lellis MI (1550-1614) “The Giant of Charity”

“You have revealed them to the childlike.” … Matthew 11:25

REFLECTION “I give praise to you,” Jesus says, “because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned.” What? Is He glad at the loss of those who don’t believe in Him? Certainly not. How wonderful are God’s designs for people’s salvation! When they turn away from the truth and refuse to accept it, God never forces them but lets them be. Their wandering away stimulates them to find the path again. Returning to their senses, they hastily seek out the grace of the call to faith they had rejected before. As for those who had remained faithful, their devotion becomes even stronger like this. So Christ is glad these things are revealed to some but saddened they are hidden from others. This is made known when He weeps over the city (Lk 19:41). Saint Paul writes in the same spirit: “Thanks be to God! You were once slaves of sin but you have become obedient from the heart” to the Gospel (Rom 6:17). …

Who are the wise Jesus is talking about here? The scribes and the Pharisees. He says this to hearten His disciples, by showing them of what privileges they have been accounted worthy. Simple fishermen that they are, they have received the illumination that the wise and learned despised. These latter are wise in name only, they think themselves wise but are false scholars. That is why Christ did not say: “You have revealed them to the ignorant” but to “the childlike,” that is to say, simple, honest people. … In this way, He teaches us to utterly renounce important things and seek out simplicity. Saint Paul goes even further: “If anyone considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool so as to become wise” (1Cor 3:18).” … St John Chrysostom (345-407) – Bishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermons on Saint Matthew’s Gospel, no.38, 1

PRAYER – Lord God, in Your wisdom You created us, by Your Providence, You rule us. Penetrate our inmost being with Your holy light so that our way of life may always be one of faithful service and childlike trust in You. Grant that we may always follow behind Your Son and grasp His hand, to lead us to You. May we grow in faith and love daily, by the intercession of Saint Camillus de Lellis and may we be a light of love, to all around us, as he was. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", GOD ALONE!, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL

Thought for the Day – 14 June – Purity of Intention

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

Purity of Intention

“St Alphonsus indicates the signs by which we can judge whether our actions are performed from the pure intention of pleasing God.

(1) The first sign is that you are not disturbed when your projects are unsuccessful but retain the same composure as if you had succeeded.
This will be the case when you are working for GOD ALONE, so that once you realise, that God has not desired your efforts to succeed, you no longer desire it either.
You know that He is not concerned with the outcome of your work but only with whether you have undertaken it with the purpose of pleasing Him.

(2) The second proof is that you are as pleased with the good which s worked by means of others, as if it had been achieved through you.

(3) The third sign is that you do not long for one position rather than another but, are content with whatever Providence has arranged for you, so that you seek only to please God in everything which you do.

(4) The final proof is that you do not look for approval or gratitude because of your good actions.
If you are not appreciated or are ill-treated in any way, you retain your peace of mind because you have already achieved your purpose, which was to please God by working for love of Him. (Cf Al Divino Servizo, 11, 7).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/06/17/thought-for-the-day-16-june-purity-of-intention/

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – 21 May – Holy Purity

Thought for the Day – 21 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Holy Purity

“Have you ever experienced the sheer delight of climbing the mountains on a summer’s day and coming across one of those little alpine lakes, a tiny mirror, reflecting the still blueness of the sky?
Or have you ever watched an infant smiling in it’s angelic slumber and been held spellbound by this vision of innocence?
Finally, on some calm, clear night, surely you have studied the star-spangled sky and have been so overwhelmed by the beauty of the scene, that you could have cried out with the Psalmist:  “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament proclaims His handiwork” (Ps 18:1).
These, are only faint images of the beauty and virginal purity of Mary.
Her soul was the purest and most beautiful of the entire human and angelic creation, because, nobody else was ever raised to the dignity of the Motherhood of God.
She was conceived free from all taint of original sin and enriched with every grace.
In her chaste womb, she conceived the Infant Jesus.
Later, she held Him close to her heart;  she lived for Him and eventually died for love of Him.

Purity is a virtue which is attractive to everybody, even to those who are evil themselves, or to those, who have lost their own chastity.
We love and desire this virtue but, are we prepared to make any sacrifice in order to preserve it, in the manner demanded by our particular state in life?
“The kingdom of heaven has been enduring violent assault,” Jesus said “and the violent have been seizing it by force” (Mt 11:12).
This is especially true in regard to the acquisition of the virtue of purity.
It is not enough to desire it, we must be willing to make sacrifices in order to acquire it.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Thought for the Day – 20 May – Mary, the Source of Holiness

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

Mary, the Source of Holiness

“God is the primary origin of all holiness.
But, the Blessed Virgin gave us Jesus, Who is our Redeemer and the author of grace.
For this reason, she may be called the source of grace, the divine aqueduct, as St Bernard puts it, through which, the supernatural life of grace is brought to us (In adv Domini, Serm 2, no 5).
She was, moreover, full of grace and outstanding in holiness – as the Mother of God, she can obtain anything for us from her divine Son, because “it is the will of God that we receive everything through the hands of Mary” (St Bernard, In Nativ BMV, Serm, no 7).
Thirdly, even by her example, she can be the source of sanctity for us.
If we study her amazing humility, we shall learn to be humble, for our sinfulness gives us such good reason to humble ourselves.
If we meditate on her spotless purity, we shall experience a great desire and love for this beautiful virtue and shall have recourse to her in every danger to save us from impurity.
Then, let us reflect on her ardent love for God and for men.
Her charity prompted her maternal heart to offer up, as a divine Victim, her Son nailed to the Cross.
If we reflect on the nature of her charity, we also shall feel urged to love God above all things and to pray, work and make sacrifices for the salvation of our fellowmen.
Let us have, always before our minds, the image of our heavenly Mother and we shall be inspired to seek perfection in all our actions.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE

Thought for the Day – 12 May – “All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed”

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

“All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed”

“It is related in the Gospel, that once a certain occasion, a woman in the crowd, was roused by the preaching and miracles of Jesus and cried out: “Blessed is the womb that bore thee and the breasts that nursed thee.” But Jesus replied: “Rather blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it” (Lk 11:27-28).
These words take nothing from the glory of the Mother of God.
They were not intended for her but, for us.
She was great and holy, not only because she was chosen to be the Mother of the Word Incarnate but also because she perfected herself in virtue by carrying out, in everything, the teaching of her divine Son, Jesus.

We cannot follow her as far as her high dignity of Mother of God but we can follow her in her heroic practice of virtue.
Admittedly, we shall not be able to climb to an equal height but, with the help of God and under Mary’s own protection, we can and should, walk in her footsteps.

We can imitate her humility, her purity, her lively faith, her burning love for God and for her neighbour and her spirit of constant prayer and union with God.
If we do this, we shall always feel that she is by our side as our loving Mother, who is eager to help us to become holy.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/12/thought-for-the-day-12-may-all-generations-shall-call-me-blessed/

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES

Thought for the Day – 6 May – The Virginal Purity of Mary

Thought for the Day – 6 May – “Mary’s Month” Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Virginal Purity of Mary

“Purity is the most beautiful of virtues.
It is a virtue which is admired by God and by men, even by the most corrupt.
It is often said, that it makes us like the angels but in fact, looking at it in a particular way, it makes us superior to the angels.
Since they have no bodies, the angels cannot sin against purity, while we have to fight many battles and overcome many temptations, in order to preserve our chastity.
Jesus had a very special love for this virtue.
He chose to be born of a virgin and, He showed a particular affection for St John, who was a dedicated celibate.
On one occasion, He placed His Hands on the head of a little child and said: “Unless you turn and become like little children, you will not enter into the kingdom of Heaven “(Mt:18.3)

Unfortunately, the virtue of purity is as fragile as it is beautiful.
It can be lost in a single moment of weakness.
We must love ths virtue as Mary loved it.
We must be prepared to make any sacrifice, even the most heroic, rather than lose it.
Worldly charm and beauty attract us and the devil works hard to control our imagination and our affections.
On account of the disturbance of original sin, the flesh is like a terrible weight retarding our spiritual advancement.
Sometimes it seems as if it is irresistibly drawing us towards the abyss of impurity.
But we need not be dragged down, if we are prepared to fly from the occasions of sin and to pray to God and to our heavenly Mother for her intercession.
We must always act at once, for there is no time to dally.
It is fatal to remain inactive and to allow temptation to make its way into our soul.
This kind of battle, said St Francis de Sales, is won only by soldiers who flee.
We must fly from the occasions of sin, no matter what sacrifice this entails.
Jesus has warned us, that it is better to enter Heaven without a hand or a foot, than to be cast into hell.

We know the remedies – instant flight, heroic sacrifice and constant prayer.
We can leave the rest to the grace of God and to the maternal protection of Mary.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/06/thought-for-the-day-6-may-the-virginal-purity-of-mary

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, The HEART, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Nine of our Lenten Journey – 25 February – Thursday of the First week of Lent – Bring to God a Clean and Open Heart

Day Nine of our Lenten Journey – 25 February – Thursday of the First week of Lent, Readings: Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25, Psalms 138:1-2,2-3, 7-8, Matthew 7:7-12

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)

“Ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7

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 8:1-5)

Posted in "Follow Me", LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, 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", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, LENT, LENT 2021, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on FASTING, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 18 February – Fast!

Quote/s of the Day – 18 February – Friday after Ash Wednesday, Readings: Isaiah 58:1-9, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19, Matthew 9:14-15

“Then they will fast”

Matthew 9:15

“The days will come,
when the bridegroom is taken away from them
and then they will fast in that day.”

Mark 2:20

“Fasting cleanses the soul,
raises the mind,
subjects one’s flesh to the spirit,
renders the heart contrite and humble,
scatters the clouds of concupiscence,
quenches the fire of lust
and kindles the true light of chastity.
Enter again into yourself!”

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

“Prayer, mercy and fasting:
These three are one
and they give life to each other.
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 heared,
hear the petition of others.
When you fast, see the fasting of others.
If you hope for mercy, show mercy.
If you look for kindness, show kindness.
If you want to receive, give.”

St Peter Chrysologus (400-450)
Bishop of Ravenna
Father and Doctor of Homilies

“Let my fasting be based on temperance,
my soul in a state of grace,
my intention solely to please God,
then my efforts will ring true,
fit to enlarge my store of charity.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Bishop of Geneva OFM, Cap.
Doctor Caritatis

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST

Thought for the Day – 9 January – “Lord, that I May See!”

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

“Lord, that I May See!”

“Spiritually, we are all blind to a greater or lesser extent.
Do we understand the infinite truth, beauty and goodness of God, in Whom our true happiness consists?
Do we understand the emptiness of the world, despite the glory of its transient beauty, which can never satisfy our hearts?
Do we understand our own nothingness and our dependence on God for light and grace?
If we understood all this, then the scales of our spiritual blindness would fall from our eyes.
Our faith would be even purer and more heartfelt than that of the poor blind man of Jericho.
If we do not possess this lively faith and our eyes are dazzled by the glittering vanities of the world, let us turn to Jesus and beseech Him: “Lord, that I may see!”
Only the light which comes from You is the true light which illumines every man who comes into this world (Jn 1:9).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MERIT, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, QUOTES on WORK/LABOUR, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Thought for the Day – 7 January – Merit and the Love of God

Thought for the Day – 7 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Merit and the Love of God

“The more we know, writes St Catherine of Siena, the more we love and the more we love, the more we receive.
Our merit, she concludes, increases in accordance with the measure of our love (Dialogues, c 131).
We tend to judge men on the strength of their achievements and to judge ourselves, according to the degree of success which we have attained.
Our standards could hardly be more false.
How much soever each one is in Thy eyes,” the author of The Imitation of Christ cries out to God in the words of St Francis, “so much is he and no more” (Bk III, c 50).

It is not success which counts with God and still less, human esteem.
What matters with God, is our intention of pleasing Him and of working for His glory, from the motive of pure love.
If we are successful in our work, let us praise God.
If we are unsuccessful, let us thank Him, just the same.
Our merit is commensurate with our love for God.
If we love Him very much, we shall work hard and make sacrifices for His sake.
We must work to satisfy God alone, however and not, for ourselves.
If we work for any other purpose, all our labour is wasted.
We sow abundantly and reap little or nothing.
God alone matters.
If we work only for Him, we shall be blessed by Him and shall reap the fruits of everlasting life.
Amen!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on PURITY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The HEART

Thought for the Day – 27 December – St John the Apostle and Evangelist

Thought for the Day – 26 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist, the Beloved

St John the Apostle and Evangelist

“St John was the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ.
He was allowed, along with St Peter and St James, to enjoy the glory of the Transfiguration and, he was invited with them into the Garden of Gethsemane to witness the agonu ofour divine Redeemer.
In the Cenacle, moreover, after he had received the Blessed Eucharist, he was the only one of the Apostles privileged to rest his head on the breast of Jesus.
He stood at the foot of the Cross on Mount Calvary and heard his Master entrust to him, with His dying breath, the most precious treasure which still remained to Him on earth, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Son, behold thy Mother.”

It is true, that Jesus loved all His Apostles, to all of whom He granted the happiness of enjoying His company, listening to His teaching and witnessing, His miracles.
Even so, He had a special affection for St John.
This was because John was a virgin when Jesus called him and remained so, all his life.
The state of virginity is especially pleasing to God.
It makes us like the Angels and, in a sense, superior to them, since these pure spirits are naturally chaste and, we can only succeed in being so, by means of great self-control.
“Blessed are the pure of heart,” says Jesaus in the Gospel, “for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8).

The privilege of the vision of God is attributed, in a special way, to the pure of heart.
Therefore, St John, the virgin Apostle, begins his Gospel with a descriptio of the intimate life of the eternal God.
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word, was God” (Jn 1:1).
He soars above the earth like an eagle, as St Jerome observes and penetrates into the presence of God Himself.

We know that we shall never be called to scale such heights.
We may not even have a vocation to live as virgins.
But, we are all required to be clean of heart.
Purity is a virtue which all Christians should possess in whatever manner is appropriate to their position in life.
Let us examine ourselves strictly on this matter and make suitable resolutions for the future
.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN PRAYERS, POETRY, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Quote/s of the Day – 23 December – “If you want…”

Quote/s of the Day – 23 December – O Emmanuel

“In adoring our Saviour’s birth,
it is our origin that we celebrate.
Christ’s temporal generation
is the source of the Christian people,
the birth of His Mystical Body.
All of us encounter in this Mystery,
a new birth in Christ.”

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

“If you want,
the Virgin will come walking down the road
pregnant with the Holy,
and say, “I need shelter for the night.
Please take me into your heart, my time is so close. ”

Then, under the roof of your soul,
you will witness the sublime intimacy, the divine, the Christ,
taking birth forever, as she grasps your hand for help;
for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us.

Yet there, under the dome of your being,
does creation come into existence eternally, through your womb,
dear pilgrim – the sacred womb of your soul,
as God grasps our arms for help;
for each of us is His beloved servant never far.

If you want, the Virgin will come walking down the street
pregnant with Light and sing…”

St John of the Cross (1542-1591)
Mystical Doctor of the Church

“No-one can celebrate
a genuine Christmas
without being truly poor.
The self-sufficient, the proud,
those who, because they have everything,
look down on others,
those who have no need,
even of God- for them
there will be no Christmas.
Only the poor, the hungry,
those who need someone
to come on their behalf,
will have that Someone.
That Someone is God.
Emmanuel.
God-with-us.
Without poverty of spirit
there can be no abundance of God.”

St Óscar Romero (1917-1980)
Priest Martyr

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MORALS, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SACRED SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST

One Minute Reflection – 27 October – ‘The doctrine of Christ is fittingly called leaven because the bread is Christ.’ – Luke 13:20-21

One Minute Reflection – 27 October – Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 5:21-33,Psalms 128:1-23,4-5Luke 13:18-21 and the Memorial of St Emeline of Boulancourt (c 1115-c 1178)

Again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?
It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”
… Luke 13:20-21

REFLECTION – “There are three measures – of the flesh, of the soul and of the spirit. This is truer of the spirit in which we all live. The woman, who prefigures the church, mixes with them the virtue of spiritual doctrine, until the whole hidden inner person of the heart is leavened and the heavenly bread arises to grace.

The doctrine of Christ is fittingly called leaven because the bread is Christ. The apostle said, “For we, being many, are one bread, one body.” Leavening happens, when the flesh does not lust against the Spirit, nor the Spirit against the flesh. We mortify the deeds of the flesh and, the soul, aware that through the breath of God, it has received the breath of life, shuns the earthly germs of worldly needs.” – St Ambrose (340-397) (Exposition of the Gospel of Luke, 7)

PRAYER – True light of the world, Lord Jesus Christ, as You enlighten all men for their salvation, give us grace, we pray, to herald Your coming by preparing the ways of justice and of peace. Help us Lord, that we may sprout and bear fruit, fitting to grow and be a home of comfort to our neighbour. By the prayers of St Emeline of Boulancourt, may we too be beacons of Your Light and of the glory of Your Kingdom. Through Jesus our Lord, Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.