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One Minute Reflection – 12 September – ‘… Perfume is not to be found in mud…’

One Minute Reflection – 12 September – Saturday of the Twenty Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Corinthians 10:14-22Psalms 116:12-1317-18Luke 6:43-49 and The Memorial of The Most Holy Name of Mary

“A good person, out of the store of goodness in his heart, produces good” … Luke 6:45

REFLECTION – “Those who conceal their hypocrisy beneath feigned love, bless outwardly with their mouths but curse inwardly.
Those who have acquired love, endure patiently the injuries and sufferings that their enemies inflict on them.
Love alone harmoniously joins all created things with God and with each other.
A person who does not tolerate suspicion or disparagement of others, possesses true love.
Someone who does nothing to dispel love, is precious in the sight of God and the world.
True words from a pure conscience betoken unfeigned love.
If you tell your brother how someone else is denigrating him, you conceal your own envy under the guise of goodwill. (…)
Guard yourself from hatred and dissipation and you will not be impeded at the time of prayer.
Perfume is not to be found in mud nor the fragrance of love in the soul of a rancorous person. (…)
Anyone who does not envy the spiritually mature and is merciful to the wicked, has attained an equal love for all. (…)
Do not trust a thought that would judge your neighbour: for it is the person who is a store of evil who thinks evil thoughts (Mt 6:21; 12:35).” … St Thalassios the Libyan (5th Century) – Priest and Abbot in Libya (see a little biography of him below).

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, assist us at all times we pray, to obtain a spirit of worthy penance, for our sins and that of all the world. To the invocation of Your Divine Son, Jesus, we call on the intercession of His holy Mother, to aid us on our pilgrimage. With great affection and confidence, we honour the Holy Hearts and invoke the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, to be our constant source of pure assistance and succour that we might bear fruits worthy of their Names. Blessed be the Name of Mary! Amen

Saint Thalassius the Libyan undertook the call of God to life as a hermit in the fifth century.
Thalassius is recorded to have entered into solitude at a young age near a village named Targala in Byzantine Syria. He is dwelt there living the ascetic life with no shelter for nearly forty years.
His was a soul filled with humbleness, simplicity and a gentle nature. God manifested in the saint the gifts of powerful intercession and healing for which he gained considerable renown.
In time, many came to join Thalassius in the eremitic life and he welcomed them as he would welcome Christ, building them cells with his own hands.
Saint Thalassius, Hermit of Syria is said to have died peacefully and is commemorated on 22 February.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN TITLES, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on ENVY, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on JUDGING, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, SEPTEMBER-The SEVEN SORROWS of MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 September – The log and the speck – Luke 6:39-42

One Minute Reflection – 11 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” – Friday of the Twenty Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22b-27, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 12, Luke 6:39-42

“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye and then you will see clearly, to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” … Luke 6:42

REFLECTION – “The Lord in this passage warns us against rash and unjust judgement. He wants us to act with a heart that is single and intent on God alone. Because there are many things about which, it would be rash to pass judgement, since we do not know with what kind of a heart they are done. For the most part, those who readily judge and condemn, are those who love to find fault and to condemn rather than to reprove and correct – and this is the vice of pride or envy. (…)

So if, for instance, someone sins through anger, you would reprove him through hatred. There is as much difference between anger and hatred, as there is between a speck and a beam. For hatred is an inveterate anger which, in time, has come to such a pitch that it may aptly be called a beam. Even though you are angry with someone, you may nevertheless wish them to amend. But if you hate someone, you cannot wish them to change for the better (…) First rid yourself of hatred, and then you will immediately be able to correct the person you love.” … St Augustine (354-430) Father and Doctor of Grace – Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount, 19,63

PRAYER – Lord God, in Your wisdom, You created us, in love. By Your providence, You rule us, in love. Penetrate our inmost being with the holy light of Your Son. Penetrate our hearts with the overwhelming love for Your love, so that we may weep in consolation. May the Light that is Jesus Christ our Lord, enlighten our hearts that we may see clearly the way we should tread. May the prayers of Your holy Angels, Martyrs, Saints and our Sorrowful Martyr Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, be our guiding inspiration. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 5 September – ‘… The true Sabbath…’ Luke 6:5

One Minute Reflection – 5 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” – Saturday of the Twenty Second week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Corinthians 4:6-15, Psalms 145:17-18, 19-20, 21, Luke 6:1-5

And he said to them, “The Son of man is lord of the sabbath.” … Luke 6:5

REFLECTION – “In the Law given by Moses, which was a shadow of things to come (Col 2:17), God commanded everyone to rest and to do no work on the Sabbath. But this was a symbol and foreshadowing of the true Sabbath, which is bestowed on the soul by the Lord (…) For the Lord calls on us to rest, telling us: “Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28) And He gives rest to all souls who trust Him and come to Him by delivering them from painful, oppressive and impure thoughts. Then they completely stop indulging in evil, celebrating a true, a delightful and holy Sabbath, a feast of the Spirit in inexpressible joy and rejoicing. They offer a pure and acceptable worship to God, coming from a pure heart. That is the true and holy Sabbath.

So let us, too, beseech God, to bring us into that rest, to give a vacation to our shameful, bad and useless thoughts, so that we might serve God with pure hearts and celebrate the feast of the Holy Spirit. Blessed are they who enter into this rest.” … St Macarius of Egypt (c 300- c 390)- Desert Father, Monk – Spiritual Homilies, no. 35

PRAYER – Holy God, Almighty Father, You taught us to honour Your holy day and the day of rest. In Your divine Son, Whom You gave to us as our brother and glorified by His Resurrection, You showed us the way to our eternal life. As His glorified body shines anew, we rejoice in our future life with Him and embrace His day as our own, each Sunday renewing His Resurrection. We run forward to sing Your glory together with our Holy Mother, the Blessed Virgin and most Sorrowful Mary, to eternity, through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

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One Minute Reflection – 25 August – “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. ” Matthew 23:23

One Minute Reflection – 25 August – Tuesday of the Twenty First week in Ordinary Time, Readings: 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3a14-17Psalms 96: 1011-12,13Matthew 23: 23-26 – The Memorials of Sts Louis IX, (1214-1270) King of France, St Thomas de Cantelupe of Hereford (c 1218–1282) and St Joseph Calasanz (1557-1648) Founder

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You pay tithes of mint and dill and cumin and have neglected the weightier things of the law – judgement and mercy and fidelity. [But] these you should have done, without neglecting the others…” … Matthew 23:23

REFLECTION – “Not only among the Jews but among ourselves as well, we find people sinning in these ways. They are swallowing camels. People of this type frequently show off their religion even in the smallest of things. They are rightly called hypocrites for wanting to exploit their religiosity before men but being unwilling to undertake that very faith, which God Himself has justified.
Therefore, the imitators of the scribes and Pharisees must be dislodged and sent away from us, lest a woe, touches us, in the same way it touches them.
The scribes could be described as those who valued nothing found in the Scriptures, except its plain sense interpreted legalistically.
Meanwhile, they condemn those who look into the very depths of God Himself.
Mint and dill and cumin are only spices for food but are not themselves, substantial food. What substantive food would mean in conversion, would be that which is necessary for the justification of our souls—faith and love—unlike these legalisms, which are more like condiments and flavourings. It is as if, a meal might be thought to consist, more of condiments and flavourings than the food itself.
The seriousness of judgement is neglected, while great attention is given to minor matters.
Spiritual exercises which in and of themselves are hardly justice, are spoken of as justice and compassion and faith.
It is lacking in justice to treat these small parts as the whole.
When we do not offer to God the observance of all that is necessary for worship, we fail altogether.” … Origen (c 185-253) – Priest, Theologian, Father – Commentary on Matthew, 19

PRAYER – Dear Lord, help me to teach others about You by my example as well as my words. Grant that I may spread Your truth and Your light wherever I go. St Louis and St Joseph of Calasanz, you are examples of the way to true faith and love, assist us by your prayers, in living the true way of life in this world to attain our true home in heaven. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST

Thought for the Day – 25 July – Purification

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

Purification

purification - bacci -25 july 2020

“We must recognise that we are all poor sinners in the sight of God.

Sacred Scripture warns us that “the just mans falls seven times” (Prov 24:16).
“If we say that we have no sin,” says St John, “we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn 1:8).
Sin is the greatest evil because it offends God, our highest good and happiness.
It only needs our own malice for us to commit sin but, in order to make reparation for it and to redeem us from slavery, it was necessary for God to become man and to offer Himself as a victim of expiation for our sins.
Only a God-Man could have fully satisfied our debt, by offering Himself as a victim of reparation for His adopted brothers.

Jesus desires us to be associated with Him in His Passion, however (Cf Col 1:24).
Our justification cannot be something extrinsic to ourselves but should transform us and make us holy.
Our co-operation with divine grace is necessary for this purpose (1 Cor 15:10).
If we are in sin, we should not only repent but should purify ourselves by acts of penance.
Jesus Himself commands this.
“Unless you repent, you will all perish,” (Lk 13:5) “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” (Mt 3:2, 4:17).

We must make satisfaction for our sins, therefore, by voluntary co-operation with the grace of God.
Although God is infinitely good and merciful, He will not purify us without this co-operation on our part.
We can be purified by accepting the unavoidable tribulations of life with perfect resignation and by offering to God, our own voluntary mortifications and sacrifices.

Are we prepared to follow the example of the Saints in this matter?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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One Minute Reflection – 15 July – “You have revealed them to the childlike.” … Matthew 11:25

One Minute Reflection – 15 July – Monday of the Fifteenth week in Ordinary Time, YearA, Readings: Isaiah 10:5-713-16Psalm 94:5-1014-15Matthew 11:25-27 and the Memorial of St Bonaventure OFM (1221-1274)

“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, 1matthew 11 25 - you have revealed to the children-who are the wise - st john chrysostom 15 july 2020

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 Bonaventure and may 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.st bonaventure seraphic doctor pray for us 15 july 2020

Posted in GOD is LOVE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Thought for the Day – 12 July – The Grace of God

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

The Grace of God

the grace of god bacci 12 july 2020

“God has endowed us with wonderful corporal and spiritual gifts, creating us after His own image with powers of intellect and of will.
More than this, He has raised us to the supernatural order by communicating to us, His grace, which enables us to live His own life and to share in His divine nature, as His adopted sons.

Grace is the greatest gift which God has given us.
It enlightens our minds and moves our will to obey His commands and to perform actions which merit an everlasting reward.
It is an entirely supernatural and gratuitous gift.
For this reason, we cannot merit it but, we should continually pray for it because, it is absolutely necessary if we are to do good and to merit Heaven.
Our first ancestor, Adam, was endowed with this gift by our Creator.
Unfortunately, by original sin, he lost it for himself and for his descendants.

We cannot complain to God about this loss, since grace is an entirely supernatural gift which is in no way, due to our human nature.
For the same reason, we cannot merit it on our own.
But God, being infinitely good, as well as, infinitely just, sent His only-begotten Son to redeem us from sin and to grant us His friendship once more.

We should be very grateful to God for this extraordinary favour and should unite our efforts to the divine action of grace, in the performance of good works, which will enable us to merit everlasting life.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 11 July – The Good Odour of Christ

Thought for the Day – 11 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Good Odour of Christ

you can see a reflection of heaven in the eyes of a saint - bacci the good odour of christ - 11 july 2020

“Everyone has an attractive side to his personality which can draw others towards good or towards evil, for a man’s behaviour, countenance and conversation, reflect his inner spirit.
Charm is very often a mysterious and undefinable quality.
Sometimes you may meet a man of the world who has forgotten that he has an immortal soul and lives purely for pleasure.
Even before he speaks to you, you can read on his lips and in his eyes, the kind of man he is.
If you fail to resist and to do your best to remain on a higher plane, you will be overwhelmed by the charm of his personality.

Your can also encounter charm, however, in a privileged soul, who is in constant contact with God.
You can find it in the monk who has left the world, in order to meditate on God and to pay for his own salvation and for the salvation of his brothers in Christ.
You can meet it in a Saint, one of those rare men, who lives in the world but thinks all the time of God.
When you encounter this supernatural charm, you experience a longing to be good and holy also.

You can see a reflection of Heaven in the eyes of a Saint.
When he speaks to you, words, which if uttered by somebody else, would have no force, stir you and urge you towards all that is good.
What exactly is this quality of attractiveness?
It is “the sweet odour of Christ,” the spiritual fragrance of virtue.
Anyone who met St Aloysius Gonsaga, felt a yearning to be pure.
Anyone who heard the unadorned sermons of the Cure d’Ars, wept for his sins and was set on fire with the love of God and the desire of everlasting happiness.
It was the same with all the Saints.
Do we influence others in this way?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Quote/s of the Day – 11 July – St Benedict

Quote/s of the Day – 11 July – The Memorial of St Benedict of Nursia OSB (c 480-547)

“It is time now for us to rise from sleep!”

it is time now for us to rise from sleep! st benedict 11 july 2020

“Listen and attend
with the ear of your heart.”

listen and attend with the ear of your heart st benedict 11 july 2020

“He should know,
that whoever undertakes,
the government of souls,
must prepare himself
to account for them.”

he should know that whoever undertakes the government - st benedict 11 july 2020

“There exists an evil fervour, a bitter spirit,
which divides us from God and leads us to hell.
Similarly, there is a good fervour,
which sets us apart from evil inclinations
and leads us toward God and eternal life.”

st-benedict-there-exists-an-evil-fervour-11-july-2017 and 11 juy 2020

“For at all times
we must so serve Him
with the good things He has given us,
that He may not, as an angry Father,
disinherit His children,
nor as a dread Lord, provoked by our evil deeds,
deliver us to everlasting punishment
as wicked servants who refuse
to follow Him to glory.”

for at all times we must so serve Him - st benedict 11 july 2020

“He, who labours as he prays,
lifts his heart to God,
with his hands.”

he who labours as he prays lifts his heart to god with his hands - st benedict 11 july 2020

“Run, while you have the light of life!”

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/07/11/quote-s-of-the-day-11-july-st-benedict/

St Benedict (c 480-547)

run while you have the light of life! 11 july 2020 st benedict

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SLOTH, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SPEAKING of ....., The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 6 July – ‘… The Measure of each One’s Faith…’

Quote/s of the Day – 6 July – Monday of the Fourteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Hosea 2:14-16, 19-20 (16-18, 21-22), Psalm 145:2-9, Matthew 9:18-26

‘… The measure of each one’s faith…’

“If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.”
Jesus turned, and seeing her he said,
“Take heart, daughter, your faith has made you well.”
And instantly the woman was made well.”

Matthew 9:21-22

matthew 9 21-22 if I only touch his garment i will be made well - 6 july 2020

“I live, no longer I
but Christ lives in me,”

Galasians 2:20

galasians-2-20-i-live-no-longer-i-but-christ-lives-in-me-25-jan-2020 - ST PAUL - and 6 july 2020

“Elizabeth says:
‘Blessed are you because you have believed.’
You also are blessed,
because you have heard and believed.
A soul that believes,
both conceives and brings forth
the Word of God
and acknowledges His works.”

St Ambrose of Milan (340-397)
Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church

A Commentary on Luke, Book 2

elizabeth says blessed are you because you have believed - you also are blessed - st ambrose 6 july 2020

“What determines that the gifts of God dwells in us,
is the measure of each one’s faith.
Because it is to the extent that we believe,
that the enthusiasm to act is given us.
And so those who act,
reveal the measure of their faith
proportionate to their action,
they receive their measure of grace
according to what they have believed. …”

St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662)
Monk and Theologian

what determines that the gifts of god dwells in us - st maximus the confessor 6 july 2020

“Pray in the spirit and sentiment of love,
in which the royal prophet said to Him,
‘Thou, O Lord, are my portion.’
Let others choose to themselves,
portions among creatures,
for my part, You are my portion,
You alone I have chosen for my whole inheritance.”

St Augustine of Canterbury (Died c 605)

pray-in-the-spirit-and-sentiment-of-love-you-alone-i-have-chosen-st-augustine-of-canterbury-27-may-2020 and 6 july 2020 speaking of faith

“He is present to the eyes of the mind,
making Himself seen by those who have a pure heart
and conversing with them.
So pursue your path ….
Do not hinder the Lord’s narrow way
with your dragging feet.
Hitch up your garment and be ready for action,
look up and don’t burden yourself
with those oppressive loads
which are your evil desires.
For anyone who is accomplishing
the journey from earth to heaven,
it is enough to diligently pursue one’s path
without assuming extra weight. … “

St Theodore the Studite (759-826)
Monk and Theologian at Constantinople

he is present to the eyes of the mind - st theodore the studite 6 july 2020

“Faith is like a bright ray of sunlight.
It enables us to see God in all things,
as well as, all things in God.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622)
Doctor of Charity

faith is like a bright ray of sunlight - st francis de sales 6 july 2020

“By faith we adhere to Christ
and the edifice of our spiritual life
becomes thereby firm and stable.
Christ makes us share
in the stability of the divine rock
against which even hell’s fury
cannot prevail (Mt 16:18).”

Blessed Columba Marmion (1858-1923) Abbot

Our faith, the victory over the world

by faith we adhere to christ - bl columba marmion 6 july 2020

“Life has only one face – LOVE.”

Blessed Benedetta Bianchi Porro (1936-1964)

life-has-only-one-face-love-bl-benedetta-porro-23-jan-2020 and 6 july 2020

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, HOLY COMMUNION, I BELIEVE!, JUNE-THE SACRED HEART, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SIN, SACRED HEART QUOTES, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST

Thought for the Day – 21 June – Holy Communion

Thought for the Day – 21 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) (Incorporating the Sunday Reflection)

Holy Communion

when we take ordinary natural food, we assimilate it - bacci - holy communion 21 june 2020

“Let us meditate on what an extraordinary thing Holy Communion is.
Jesus, God made man, really descends into us, poor creature though we are.
We become the living temples of the Holy Trinity.

Not only does Jesus come to us, body, soul and divinity but, He also becomes our food.
There is a great difference, however, between the nourishment of material food and the spiritual nourishment which we receive from the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ.
When we take ordinary natural food, we assimilate it.
In other words, we cause it to become blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh.
When we receive Holy Communion, on the other hand, it is we who must be assimilated and changed into Jesus.
Each of us should become, therefore, another Christ, in the manner indicated by St Paul:  “It is now, no longer I that live but Christ, lives in me” (Gal 2:20).

Material food becomes human and is assimilated into our being.
Our Eucharistic food assimilates us into Itself and, in a certain sense, deifies us.
This is why St John Chrysostom calls it a mystery which transports us into Heaven.

Before this can happen, however, it is necessary for us to approach Holy Communion with the necessary dispositions.
These are:
(1) A lively and active faith, which will enable us to recognise in the white Host, the person of Jesus Himself, full of goodness, mercy and love, eager to shower upon us, all the treasures of His Heart.
(2) Purity and freedom, not only from mortal sin but, also from any deliberate attachment to venial sin.
(3) Deep humility because, Jesus loves the humble and holds the proud at a distance from Him.   He wishes us to be like Him, in other words, meek and humble of heart.   There must be no worldly ambition, therefore, no love of honours, riches or human greatness, no inordinate affection for things or persons.   There must be only a great desire to please God alone and to offer Him our whole life, including every thought and action.
(4) Finally, an ardent love for Jesus, which will consume all our imperfections and unite us to Him so intimately, that, we shall be transformed by Him.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

how w should approach holy communion bacci 21 june 2020

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 16 June – Purity of Intention

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

Purity of Intention

purity of intention - bacci 17 june 2020

“Purity of intention consists in doing the will of God in all things from the motive of pure love.
We should not be egocentric but theocentric;   in other words, we should perform all our actions, not for our own satisfaction but to please God.
Since God is our final end, everything should be done for Him.
Why are we so often agitated and discontented?
It is because, we are looking for success and for the approval of men.
If we do not get these, we imagine that we have failed and have accomplished nothing.

Men judge the value of an enterprise by it’s external success and by the amount of work which went into it.
It is not so with God.
He judges the value of our actions from the sincerity of our desire to please Him ad to prove our love for Him.
This is enough for Him;  success is not necessary.
If we do everything for the love of God, we shall always be content as the Saints were, whether our projects succeed or fail.
We shall have achieved our purpose, if we have pleased God.

Purity of Intention in our actions, is fundamental in the Christian life.
“If thy eye be sound,” Jesus Himself tells us, “thy whole body will be full of life.   But, if thy eye be evil, thy whole body will be full of darkness” (Mt 6:22)
“Men see those things that appear but the Lord beholds the heart” (1 Kings 16:7).

A man who works solely for the love of God, will have great peace of soul in this life and an everlasting reward in the next.
But, if in our actions, we seek our own satisfaction or the praise of men, we shall have already received our reward on earth and cannot expect to receive it in Heaven.   “They have received their reward” (Mt 6:2).

Purity of intention, inspired by the love of God, transforms even our most trivial actions and makes them pleasing to God.
Without it, we lose all merit in the sight of God.

Do you remember the Gospel incident of the poor widow who offered her last two coins in the Temple?
Others were there, offering up large sums of money but she could not have given more.
“Amen, I say to you,” said Jesus, “this poor widow has put in more than all those who have been putting into the treasury” (Mk 12:41-44).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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One Minute Reflection – 17 June – ‘Purity of intention…’

One Minute Reflection – 17 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Kings 2:1, 6-14, Psalm 31:20, 21, 24, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

“Beware of practising your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” … Matthew 6:1

REFLECTION – “Our Lord, so the early Fathers say, used to tell His disciples to be well-proved bankers, proving all things, holding fast what is of value.   No coin finds acceptance commercially if the gold is below standard, underweight, of it the piece is illegally struck;  nor can our actions have any value spiritually, unless they are suitable, graced with charity and have a pious motive.

Take fasting, for instance – if I fast simply for the purpose of slimming, my fasting is for debased spiritual coinage;  if temperance underlies it but I am not in a state of grace, it is still deficient, for charity alone gives weight to what we do;  if I do it merely out of courtesy for the company in which I find myself, it lacks the stamp of right intention. 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.

Given utmost purity of intention and a firm resolve to please God, little actions are well done.   In these circumstances they lead to great holiness.   Some people, in spite of eating all they can, remain only skin and bone, weak, listless, their powers of digestion are poor.   Others may eat next to nothing yet be fit as fiddles, full of energy — nothing is wrong with their digestion!   Some folk there are, in the same way, who do many good things, yet have little extra charity to show for it – coldness and carelessness, or instinct and inclination rather than grace or zeal, is where the blame lies.   On the other hand, there are those who accomplish little but to perfect is their will, their intention, however, that their growth in charity is great.   They have only a little talent but they make such careful use of what they have that the Lord rewards them for it generously.” … St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Bishop of Geneva, Doctor Caritatismatthew 6_1 - beware of practising - let my fasting be based on temperance my soul in a state of grace - st francis de sales 17 june 2020

PRAYER – Litany of Humility
By Servant of God Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930) – who was accustomed to recite this prayer daily after the celebration of Holy Mass.

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honoured, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver, me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase
and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
Amenlitany of humility by card merry del val 17 june 2020

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One Minute Reflection – 8 June – There is nothing so beautiful as a soul that is pure. 

One Minute Reflection – 8 June – Month of the Sacred Heart” – Monday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 17:1-6, Psalm 121:1-8, Matthew 5:1-12 and the Memorial of Saint Medard (c 456-545) Bishop

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” … Matthew 5:8

REFLECTION – “There is nothing so beautiful as a soul that is pure.   If we understood this, we would be incapable of losing our purity.   A pure soul is like a beautiful pearl.   So long as it is concealed in a shell at the bottom of the sea, no-one thinks of admiring it.   But if you display it in the sun then this pearl shines and draws people’s eyes. Purity comes from heaven, we have to ask God for it.   If we ask for it we shall get it.   We must take great care not to lose it.   It closes our hearts to pride, sensuality and every other passion.

Children, we cannot understand the power that a pure soul has over the Good God – it gets all it wants.   Before God, a pure soul is like a child before it’s mother, it caresses her and hugs her and it’s mother returns it’s caresses and embraces.

To preserve our purity there are three things – the Presence of God, prayer and the sacraments.” … St John-Marie Baptiste Vianney (1786-1859) Curé d’Ars – Selected thoughts of the Curé d’Arsmatthew 5 8 - blessed are the pure in heart - purity comes from heaven - st john vianney 8 june 2020

PRAYER – Lord God and Father, grant us we pray, a heart like Your divine Son’s – His Sacred Heart is our standard and our goal – grant us a heart made of flesh, pure and beautiful in Your sight.   May we ever seek Your Face and follow the love with which the Sacred Heart of Jesus guides our way.   May the prayers of St Medan today, help us to be Your children, pure in heart.    Through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.st medard pray for us 8 june 2020 (1)

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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

hr soul was the purest and most beautiful - the purity of mary bacci 21 may 2020 bacci the purity of mary

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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

god is the primary origin of all holiness. bacci 20 may 2020 mary the source of holiness

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Thoughts of Mary – 6 May – The Purple Flower of Sacrifice

Thoughts of Mary – 6 May – “Mary’s Month”

The Immaculate Virgin – the Purple Flower of Sacrifice
Moments with Saint Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

She who was preserved from original sin through the merits of her Son the Redeemer, was granted this privilege because she was predestined for the sublime mission of being the Mother of God.
She, who was to clothe in mortal flesh, the eternal Word of the Father, could not be contaminated, even for an instant, by the shadow of sin.
So, she is immaculate through the power of Christ, because all that was granted to the Mother, was granted through her Son.
The blooming of this snow white flower on our soil, is a sure pledge of the reconciliation of mankind with God.

How apt are the words of the liturgy that we sin on the Feast of the Nativity of the Virgin – “Thy nativity, O Virgin Mother of God, was the herald of joy to the whole world.”

But this joy is also a purple flower of sacrifice – the sacrifice of the Blessed Mother of Jesus who, when she gave her consent:  “Be it unto me …” accepted her share in the destines of her Son, from the poverty of Bethlehem, to the self-denials of the secluded life in Nazareth and the martyrdom of Calvary.

So we may not consider ourselves, the beloved children of Our Lord and of His Mother, if our life is without sacrifice and self-denial.

May this reference to the requirement of sacrifice, be then a loving and thoughtful reminder of the strong and solid Christian virtues of self-denial, patience and penitence.  Amen

the purple flower of sacrifice - st john XXIII 6 may 2020

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Thought for the Day – 30 January – How to Guard Holy Purity

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

How to Guard Holy Purity

st augustine warns us also in his confessions - on purity - bacci - 30 jan 2020

“Purity of heart is a quality which attracts everybody, even those who are evil themselves.   It makes a man seem like an angel in human form, for it shines from his countenance.
Unfortunately, the virtue of purity, is as difficult as it is beautiful.
It is fatal for anyone to cast himself into the mire.
The first sin of impurity is a disaster, because it is often the first link in a tragic chain, which makes him the salve of his lower impulses and of the tyrannical enemy of souls, the devil.

We must resist the earliest suggestions of the flesh, by every means in our power, both natural and supernatural.

St Thomas Aquinas tells us that none of the passions dethrones reason so much as sensuality (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q.53, a.6).
St Augustine warns us also in his Confessions, that lust has it’s cause in a perverse will and if anybody surrenders to it, he acquires the evil habit.
If this habit is not resisted, the sin becomes a frightening necessity.
Resist from the beginning, if you wish to avoid ruin and the slavery of the devil, who cunningly uses this passion, to capture souls.
If a man is overcome by violent temptation and falls into sin, however, he should not lose courage.
God is infinitely good and merciful.
He knows our weakness.
When anyone falls, let him rise immediately.
Let him return to God by repenting and making a good confession.
Let him resolve to make any sacrifice, rather than fall again!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 29 January – Blessed are the Clean of Heart

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

Blessed are the Clean of Heart

it is a sublime dignity to belong body and soul to god - bacci 29 jan 2020

“Understood in it’s entirety, as embracing it’s higher grade, that is, perpetual virginity consecrated to God, purity of heart is a gift which only Christianity can give (Encyclical, Sacra Virginitas, Pope Pius XII, 1954).
If we have been called to receive this wonderful gift, let us humbly thank God.
It is a sublime dignity to belong, body and soul, to God.

Sacred Scripture says of men:  “What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man, that you should care for him?   You have made him a little less than the angels and crowned him with glory and honour.   You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet” (Ps 8:5, Heb 2:7).
But, under a certain aspect, those who are living in virginity, can be said to be superior to the angels.
Since an angel has no body, he offers God only the homage of his spirit.
A virgin, on the other hand, must bear the burden of an earthly body.
He must offer continually, on the altar of his heart (and often, after a heroic battle), not only his soul with it’s appetites and will but also, all the impulses and lower faculties “which wage war against the soul” (1 Pter 2:11).

This is a double sacrifice, which St Ambrose calls, a continual martyrdom of body and soul.
But the reward lies in the joy and peace which flow from this perpetual offering of soul and body to the Immaculate Lamb.
This happiness is a compensation, for any conflict, which must be endured and is, a foretaste of the joys of Heaven.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 27 November – What is the surest kind of witness?

Thought for the Day – 27 November – Wednesday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 21:12–19

“But not a hair of your head shall perish.” … Luke 21:9

What is the surest kind of witness?

St Ambrose (340-397) Father & Doctor of the Church

“You can be a witness to Christ every day.   You were tempted by the spirit of impurity but… you considered that chastity of spirit and body should not be soiled – you are a martyr or, in other words, a witness to Christ…  You were tempted by the spirit of pride but, seeing the poor and needy, you were seized by tender compassion and preferred humility to arrogance – you are a witness to Christ.   Better still – you have not given your witness in word alone but in deed as well.
What is the surest kind of witness?   “Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ came among us in the flesh” (cf. 1Jn 4,2) and who keeps the commands of the Gospel…  How many there are each day of these hidden martyrs of Christ who confess the Lord Jesus! The apostle Paul knew that kind of martyrdom and witness of faith rendered to Christ, he who said:  “Our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience” (2Cor 1,12).   For how many people have made a confession of faith exteriorly but denied it interiorly!…   So be faithful and courageous in interior persecutions so that you may also win the victory in exterior persecutions.   There are “kings and rulers,” judges of formidable power, in the persecutions within, likewise.   You have an example of these in the temptations undergone by our Lord (Mt 4,1ff.)”… (Sermon 20 on Psalm 118)what-is-the-surest-kind-of-witness-st-ambrose-13-july-2019 and 27 nov 2019

“When I feel overwhelmed by misfortune,
the greatest joy that the Lord can give me,
is to go to the altar, to put my forehead against it
(as on the day of my ordination to the priesthood)
and to feel the presence of the only reality.
Not only does calm return
but my body seems to be annihilated,
the only true life begins,
the life of that which is intangible.”

Blessed Leonid Feodorov (1879-1935) Martyrwhen-i-feel-overwhelmed-by-misfortune-bl-leonid-feodorov-7-march-2019 and 27 nov 2019

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Thought for the Day – 4 October – St Francis to All the Faithful

Thought for the Day – 4 October – The Memorial of St Francis of Assisi OFM (1181/2–1226)

We must be Simple, Humble and Pure

Saint Francis of Assisi
Religious

An excerpt from his Letter Written to All the Faithful

It was through His archangel, Saint Gabriel, that the Father above, made known to the holy and glorious Virgin Mary, that the worthy, holy and glorious Word of the Father would come from heaven and take from her womb, the real flesh of our human frailty. Though He was wealthy beyond reckoning, He still willingly chose to be poor, with His blessed mother.   And shortly before His passion, He celebrated the Passover with His disciples.   Then He prayed to His Father saying – Father, if it be possible, let this cup be taken from me.

Nevertheless, He reposed His will in the will of His Father.   The Father willed that His blessed and glorious Son, whom He gave to us and who was born for us, should, through His own blood, offer Himself as a sacrificial victim on the altar of the cross.   This was to be done not for Himself, through whom all things were made but for our sins.   It was intended to leave us an example of how to follow in His footsteps.   And He desires all of us to be saved through Him and to receive Him with pure heart and chaste body.

O how happy and blessed are those who love the Lord and do as the Lord Himself said, in the gospel – You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart and your whole soul and your neighbour as yourself.   Therefore, let us love God and adore Him with pure heart and mind.   This is His particular desire when He says – True worshippers adore the Father in spirit and truth.   For all who adore Him must do so in the spirit of truth.   Let us also direct to Him our praises and prayers saying – Our Father, who art in heaven, since we must always pray and never grow slack.

Furthermore, let us produce worthy fruits of penance.   Let us also love our neighbours as ourselves.   Let us have charity and humility.   Let us give alms because these cleanse our souls from the stains of sin.   Men lose all the material things they leave behind them in this world but they carry with them, the reward of their charity and the alms they give.   For these, they will receive from the Lord, the reward and recompense they deserve.   We must not be wise and prudent according to the flesh.   Rast-francis-pray for us - 4-oct-2018.jpgther we must be simple, humble and pure.   We should never desire to be over others.   Instead, we ought to be servants who are submissive to every human being for God’s sake.   The Spirit of the Lord will rest on all who live in this way and persevere in it to the end.   He will permanently dwell in them.   They will be the Father’s children who do His work.   They are the spouses, brothers and mothers of our Lord Jesus Christ.

St Francis of Assisi, Pray for Us!