Quote/s of the Day – 24 April – Friday of the Second week of Easter and the Memorial of St Fidelis of Sigmaringen OFM.Cap (1577-1622) and St Mary Euphrasia Pelletier (1796-1868)
“O Catholic faith, how solid, how strong you are!
How deeply rooted, how firmly founded on a solid rock!
Heaven and earth will pass away but you can never pass away.
From the beginning the world opposed you
but you mightily triumphed over everything.
This is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.
It has subjected powerful kings to the rule of Christ,
it has bound nations to His service.
What made the holy apostles and martyrs endure fierce agony
and bitter torments, except faith and especially faith in the Resurrection?
What is it that today makes true followers of Christ cast luxuries aside,
leave pleasures behind and endure difficulties and pain?
It is living faith that expresses itself through love.
It is this, that makes us put aside the goods of the present in the hope of future goods.
It is because of faith, that we exchange the present for the future.”
“Woe to me if I should prove myself
but a half-hearted soldier
in the service of my thorn-crowned Captain.”
St Fidelis of Sigmaringen (1577-1622)
“Draw near to our Lord, thoroughly aware
of you own nothingness and you may hope
all things from His Goodness and Mercy.
Never forget that Jesus Christ is no less generous
in the Blessed Sacrament than He was
during His mortal life on earth.”
“May your heart be an altar,
from which the bright flame,
of unending thanksgiving
ascends to heaven.”
“It is human to fall
but angelic to rise again.”
St Mary Euphrasia Pelletier (1796-1868)
“To the end of the longest life,
you are still a beginner.
What Christ asks of you
is not sinlessness
but diligence ….
You cannot be profitable to Him,
even with the longest life;
you can show faith
in an hour!”
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Parochial and Plain Sermons, v.4
Thought for the Day – 23 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Faith and Charity
“Faith is a gift from God (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q 45).
We should, therefore, ask for it in our prayers.
Faith cannot enter into a proud soul, because, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (Js 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).
If a man does not pray, his faith grows weaker and he may lose it altogether.
Faith must be nourished continually by grace, which is obtained through prayer.
A man who is in a state of mortal sin, loses his faith, ‘especially if he is a slave to impurity, because, only the clean of heart can see God’ (Cf Mt 5:8).
St Thomas Aquinas knew what he was talking about when he said, that “faith is the foundation of the entire spiritual edifice of the Christian life” (Summa Theologiae III, q 73, a 3).
It is faith, nourished by grace, which raises us to the supernatural level, where everything which we do, say or think, becomes meritorious in the sight of God. “My just one lives by faith” (Heb 10:38).
The keener and stronger our faith is, the firmer is the foundation of our spiritual life and the more numerous are our good works.
This is not to say, that faith excludes all study and investigation.
In fact, the more lively is our faith, the more earnest will be our desire to understand better the terms in which our faith is expressed and to explore the intimate connection, between divine revelation and human knowledge.
Study of this kind, will prove, a refreshing experience because, it will bring us to the threshold of the contemplation of eternal truth.
Reason is not humiliated but ennobled by the light of revelation, which raises it to a higher plane.”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci
Quote/s of the Day – 21 April – The Memorial of St Anselm OSB (1033-1109)
Doctor of the Church
“God has promised pardon
to him that REPENTS
but He has NOT
to him that sins.”
“A single Mass offered
for oneself during life,
may be worth more,
than a thousand celebrated
for the same intention, after death.”
and you have nothing,
whereby to be saved.
Remove free will
and you have nothing,
that could be saved.”
“It is impossible to save one’s soul
without devotion to Mary
and without her protection.”
St Anselm (1033-1109)
Doctor of the Church
Thought for the Day – 19 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Mercy of God
“God is the Being, Who is infinitely true, beautiful and good.
His goodness is manifested in His infinite love for all the creatures which He has made but, it is in His relations with sinners, in particular, that we call Him merciful.
He loves all things which He has created and directs them towards Himself, their beginning and their end.
When He is dealing, however, with beings endowed with free will, who can separate themselves from Him and even offend Him, He tries, while respecting the liberty which He has given them, to recall them to Himself, by the influence of His love and of His grace.
It is this supernatural outpouring of love towards sinners, which we call mercy.
The mercy of God shines forth in all the pages of Sacred Scripture.
In the Old Testament, there is promised and foreshadowed, in many ways, the coming of the Saviour of the sinful human race.
In the New Testament, Jesus appears, made man for our salvation, meek and humble of heart and merciful towards the unfortunate, especially towards sinners.
For them, He offers His life and His Precious Blood, dying on the Cross with His arms outstretched, as if in an embrace of forgiveness.
He tells us that He has not come to call the just but sinners, (Lk 5:32) and, that He has not come to those who are in health but to those who are sick (Mk 2:17); He assures us that, if we ask the Father for anything in His name, it will be given to us (Jn 16:23).
So much goodness should move and soften our hearts.
Even if we are unfaithful servants and are covered with the leprosy of sin, let us go to Him and He will heal us.
Even if we have deserved Hell a thousand times, let us shed tears of repentance at His feet as Magdalen did and, He will give us His forgiveness and His peace.”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci
Quote/s of the Day – 16 April – Easter Thursday, Readings: Acts 3:11-26, Psalm 8:2, 5-9, Luke 24:35-48 and the Memorial of St Benedict Joseph Labre (1748-1783)
“… And said to them,
“Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer
and on the third day rise from the dead
and repentance for the forgiveness of sins
should be proclaimed in his name to all nations…”
“Repentance lifts a man up.
Mourning knocks at heaven’s gate.
Holy humility opens it.”
St John Climacus (579-649)
“The Ladder of Divine Ascent” (Step 25)
“Meditate on the horrors of Hell,
which will last for eternity
because of one easily-committed mortal sin.
Try hard to be among the few who are chosen.
Think of the eternal flames of Hell
and how few there are that are saved.”
“The want of proper examination,
true contrition and a firm purpose of amendment,
is the cause of bad confessions
and of the ruin of souls.”
St Benedict Joseph Labre (1748-1783)
“The Beggar of Perpetual Adoration”
“The saints understood how great
an outrage sin is against God.
Some of them passed their lives
in weeping for their sins.
St Peter wept all his life;
he was still weeping at his death.
St Bernard used to say,
‘Lord! Lord! it is I who fastened You to the Cross!’”
St John Vianney (1786-1859)
Thought for the Day – 14 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Death of our Saviour
In the midst of His sufferings, Jesus forgets Himself and pray for His executioners.
“Father,” He pleaded, “forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34).
Who were these people who crucified Him?
We know well that they were not only the Jews but all of us.
The prophet Isaiah, had foretold this. “He was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins … He was offered because it was his own will…” (Is 53:5-7).
We are all the crucifiers of Jesus. Therefore, He willed to suffer and to die for all of us and when He was hanging on the Cross, He begged for forgiveness for us all.
This should incite us to trust in God and to do repentance for our sins.
We should be sorry for our sins because, they were the real cause of the voluntary death of Jesus.
We should have confidence in Him, because, He forgave us when He was dying on the Cross and is ready to pardon us again, as long as we are sincerely repentant.
Let us consider how Jesus, even though He was derided and nailed to the Cross, prayed for and forgave His executioners.
How do we normally behave?
Perhaps we fly into anger at the first word of offence or act of misunderstanding, or perhaps we nourish secret feelings of hatred in our hearts for our brothers in Jesus Christ?
Let us kneel before the Cross and tell Our Lord, that we wish to be meek and humble of heart, like Him.
We wish to be quick to forgive and to live in peace and, even, if it is necessary, to do good to those who offend us, or at any rate, to pray fervently for them.
Antonio Cardinal Bacci
Thought for the Day – 12 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Meaning of Easter
“Today the Church adorns herself in festival array.
Gone are the lengthy lamentations of Holy Saturday and the sorrowful recitations of the Passion and in their place, is the glad cry of Alleluia, the hymn of vitory over death and sin.
The true joy of Easter, lies, not merely in external celebration, however but in the spiritual gladness of the soul.
As Jesus has conquered death and sin, so we must purify ourselves of every trace of guilt by a good confession and must be sure, that it will result in a practical renovation of our lives.
We should approach Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist with greater fervour and humility and with greater trust in His goodness and mercy.
When we have received Him into our hearts, we should ask Him to renew and transform us in Himself.
He is everything and we are nothing without Him.
He is strong, we are weak.
We are capable only of feeble desires to do good but He can make them effective by His grace.
We should not be satisfied with forming general resolutions when we go to confession and receive Holy Communion at Easter.
We should examine the depths of our soul and discover the sin which we are most accustomed to commit and the virtue which we are principally lacking.
As a result of our investigation, we should form a particular resolution to combat this sin and to practise this virtue.
It is only in this way, that our celebration of Easter can inaugurate the beginning of a genuine self-renewal which will gain momentum daily, until it becomes a true spiritual resurrection.
It will be a hard battle, which will necessitate a constant vigilance and a readiness to begin again, everytime we realise, that we have fallen.
It will require an unfailing spirit of prayer but, the final victory, will bring us such happiness, that worldly pleasures will seem empty and illusory, by comparison.”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci
Most of us are barred from the Sacraments at present. Some, have been able to make their Easter Confession before all this ‘lockdown’ occurred. For those of us who were not able to do so, now is perhaps the most perfect time to prepare ourselves for the great day, when this time is over and we can, again, joyfully receive the Sacraments! In the meantime, let us be strong in the Risen Christ and rejoice in His Glory – Alleluia!