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Thought for the Day – 22 April – The Divided Heart

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

The Divided Heart

Even if your heart has not become the property of the devil and retains a horror of mortal sin, it is still possible, that you have not given it completely to God.
Your heart is divided.
Part of it belongs to God and part of it to the world.
You are distracted by your own self-love and earthly desires.
A heart which is divided in its affections between God and the world, is dazzled by everything around it and tends to forget God, more and more.

We protest that we belong entirely to God but, in practice, we are so absorbed by work, ambition and pleasure, that we neglect God.

A man who is torn between love of God and love of the world is like Cain who, unlike Abel, did not offer God, the best part of his flock but kept this for himself and offered God whatever he had rejected.
God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice but had no regard for that of Cain, who finally became a murderer and was cursed by his Creator.

Do we offer God the leavings of life while we keep the best part of it for our selves?
Do we think of ourselves nearly all the time and give very little thought to God?
This is not the way in which God has dealt with us.
Not only has He created us but, He loves us with an everlasting love.
He came down to earth and lived as our fellow man.
He redeemed us by His Precious Blood and gave Himself to us as our food!

Why are we not willing to give ourselves to Him forever in return?
Gratitude demands that we should do so.
God, moeover, is our supreme and only good.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/30/thought-for-the-day-30-april-the-divided-heart/

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The HEART

Thought for the Day – 13 April – My Life is Christ

Thought for the Day – 13 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

My Life is Christ

“St Paul reached such a degree of union with Christ that he could exclaim” “To me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21).
Elsewhere he says” “It is now no longer I that live but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
This is a characteristic of the Saints.
They live their own lives no longer, for they live the life of Christ.
That is to say, their minds and hearts are always fixed on Jesus.
They love the Lord, more than all things and, more than themselves.
God is the object of all their desires, affections and actions.
As a result, the soul is transfigured and is infused with divine life, so that it does nothing which is not activated by grace.
In the Saints, then, there is reflected something heavenly which attracts and stimulates one to virtue.

The Saints preached effectively in simple, unadorned language, as in the case of the Cure of Ars.
But, their most effective sermon was the example of their lives.
They could say with St Paul: “To me to live is Christ.”
They could repeat the thought of St Jerome: “Christ is the breath of my lips.”
Like St John Chrysostom, they could say: “My heart is the heart of Christ.”
They could say with St Augustine: “I am only an instrument in the service of Christ” and, with St Anselm: “My eyes are the eyes of Christ.”

When we meditate on these words, which signify the height of sanctity, we feel very small, shabby and far from the Christian perfection to which we should aspire.
Perhaps we are still immersed in sin, or perhaps, we are wavering between the things of this world and the things of God, or perhaps, as yet, we have not given up our egoism and complacent mediocrity in order to offer ourselves entirely to God.
Real Christianity demands that we renounce ourselves, live the life of Christ and, make every effort to acquire perfection.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 10 April – Word and Example

Thought for the Day – 10 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Word and Example

“Good example is the most effective sermon and we are all obliged to preach in this fashion.
God entrusted the care of his neighbour to each one of us (Ecclus 17:12).
Each of us is responsible for the salvation of those who have been entrusted to him in this way, especially for the salvation of those who live near him and are influenced by his behaviour.
Jesus’ exhortations in this regard, have the force of a command.
“Let your light shine before men,” He says, “in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:16).
St Paul urges us to “provide good things, not only in the sight of God but also, in the sight of all men” (Cf Rom 12:17).
This must not be interpreted as meaning, that we should be anxious for others to see our good deeds, in order that they may respect and praise us.
It is our own undoing if our good example is tainted with ostentation, for we should lose all merit for it and should deserve to hear the words of the Eternal Judge: “You have received your reward” (Cf Mt 6:5).
Our good example should be inspired only by the love of God and of our neighbour but never, by self-love.
By saving the souls of others, we save our own!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/25/thought-for-the-day-25-april-word-and-example/

Posted in EASTER, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD

Thought for the Day – 8 April – Easter: The Herald of Peace

Thought for the Day – 8 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Easter: The Herald of Peace

“For this interior peace to be complete, it is necessary that it should exist in our relations with God, with ourselves and with our neighbour.
Peace with God, is especially necessary.
This involves the subjection of the intellect and will, to Him, perfect obedience to His law, the avoidance of sin and the entire surrender of ourselves to Him.
When we have prepared ourselves in this way, God will visit us with His grace and we shall experience the joy of inward peace.

Jesus came into the world to bring us this peace, which He provides for us with His Precious Blood, thereby, erasing sin and opening the gates of Heaven.
So much the worse for us, if we destroy the work of God by turning back to sin.
We shall no longer be at peace with God, Who hates sin so much, that in order to redeem us from it, He gave us His only-begotten Son, nor with ourselves because “there is not peace to the wicked” (Is 48:22).
Remorse and disgust are the necessary results of sin.

Let us remember, that those who are really content, even in this world, are those who lead good lives.
Whoever extinguishes divine grace in himself, destroys the harmony and order which reigned in his soul as a result of the subjection of his reason to his Creator and Redeemer.
Then, because we are not at peace with God, nor with ourselves, we cannot really be at peace with men.
It is our faith which teaches us, that they are our brothers, redeemed, as we have been, by the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ and that, therefore, we should always love and assist them.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/13/thought-for-the-day-13-april-easter-the-herald-of-peace/

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Lenten Journey Day Forty-one – 31 March – What is this one thing?

Lenten Journey Day Forty-one – 31 March – Wednesday in Holy Week, Readings: First: Isaiah 50: 4-9a, Psalm: Psalms 69: 8-10, 21-22, 31 and 33-34, Gospel: Matthew 26: 14-25

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)

“My appointed time draws near. I am to celebrate the Passover in your house” – Matthew 26:18

JESUS has always many who love His heavenly kingdom but few, who bear His cross.

He has many who desire consolation but few, who care for trial. He finds many to share His table but few, to take part in His fasting.

All desire to be happy with Him; few wish to suffer anything for Him.

Many follow Him to the breaking of bread but few, to the drinking of the chalice of His passion.

Many revere His miracles; few approach the shame of the Cross.

Many love Him as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless Him, as long as they receive some comfort from Him. But if Jesus hides Himself and leaves them for a while, they fall either into complaints or into deep dejection.

Those, on the contrary, who love Him for His own sake and not for any comfort of their own, bless Him in all trial and anguish of heart as well as in the bliss of consolation. Even if He should never give them consolation, yet they would continue to praise Him and wish always to give Him thanks.

What power there is in pure love for Jesus – love that is free from all self-interest and self-love!

If a man give all his wealth, it is nothing; if he do great penance, it is little; if he gain all knowledge, he is still far afield; if he have great virtue and much ardent devotion, he still lacks a great deal and especially, the one thing that is most necessary to him.

What is this one thing? That leaving all, he forsake himself, completely renounce himself, and give up all private affections. Then, when he has done all that he knows ought to be done, let him consider it as nothing, let him make little of what may be considered great; let him in all honesty call himself an unprofitable servant. For truth itself has said: “When you shall have done all these things that are commanded you, say: ‘we are unprofitable servants.'” (Luke 17:10)

Then he will be truly poor and stripped in spirit, and with the prophet may say: “I am alone and poor.”(Ps 25:16) No-one, however, is more wealthy than such a man; no0one is more powerful, no-one freer, than he who knows how to leave all things and think of himself as the least of all.
(Book 2 Ch 11)

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Thought for the Day – 12 March – Detachment from the World

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

Detachment from the World

“It is very difficult to detach ourselves from worldly affairs and remain always united to God.
Nevertheless, St Ignatius Loyola often exclaimed: “How ugly the earth seems when I look towards Heaven!”
The Saints saw the things of this world in the light of God.
They recognised how insignificant this world is, beside the infinite splendour of God.
They realised that earthly things cannot satisfy the human heart, nor assuage the restlessness of the soul, which was created for God.
We, on the other hand, become too attached to worldly goods.
It may happen that our hearts become absorbed in them.
Let us reflect on the unimportance of this world.
There are myriad of stars in the firmament, many of which are far larger than our earth or sun.
Some, like Andromeda, are 250,000 light years distant from us;  others, like the Triangle, are 280,000 light years away, while still others, are probably much farther.
All obey exactly the plan of their Creator.
How tiny our earth is by comparison!
How insignificant we ourselves are!
Why should we become so attached to the things of this earth?
God alone is great.
He alone should occupy our minds and hearts.
We have been made for Him alone.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 24 March – Renouncing self

Day Thirty four of our Lenten Journey – 24 March – Wednesday of Passion or the Fifth Week of Lent, Readings: Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95, Daniel 3:52, 53, 54,55, 56, John 8:3

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)

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples
and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
– John 8:31-32

CHRIST: MY CHILD, you can never be perfectly free unless you completely renounce self, for all who seek their own interest and who love themselves, are bound in fetters. They are unsettled by covetousness and curiosity, always searching for ease and not for the things of Christ, often desiring and pursuing, that which will not last, for anything that is not of God, will fail completely.

Hold to this short and perfect advice, therefore, give up your desires and you will find rest.
Think upon it in your heart and when you have put it into practice, you will understand all things.

DISCIPLE: But this, Lord, is not the work of one day, nor is it mere child’s play, indeed, in this brief sentence is included all the perfection of holy persons.

CHRIST: My child, you should not turn away or be downcast when you hear the way of the perfect. Rather you ought to be spurred on the more, toward their sublime heights, or at least, be moved to seek perfection.

I would this were the case with you — that you had progressed to the point where you no longer loved self but simply awaited My bidding … Then you would please Me very much and your whole life would pass in peace and joy.
But you have yet many things which you must relinquish and, unless you resign them entirely to Me, you will not obtain that which you ask.

“I counsel thee to buy of me gold, fire-tried, that thou mayest be made rich” (Apoc 3:18)– rich in heavenly wisdom, which treads underfoot, all that is low.
Cast aside earthly wisdom, which seeks to please the world, others and self.

I have said: exchange what is precious and valued among men, for that which is considered contemptible.
For true heavenly wisdom — not to think highly of self and not to seek glory on earth — does indeed seem mean and small and is well-nigh forgotten, as many men praise it with their mouths but shy far away from it, in their lives.
Yet this heavenly wisdom is a pearl of great price, which is hidden from many.
(Book 3 Ch 32)

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Our Morning Offering – 23 March – I Will Love and Follow You

Our Morning Offering – 23 March – Tuesday of Passion Week or the Fifth Week of Lent

I Will Love and Follow You
By Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)

Oh my Lord,
Let my heart expand in Your love.
Let me learn to know
how sweet it is, to serve You,
how joyful it is, to praise You
and to be absorbed in Your love.
Oh, I am possessed by love
and rise above myself
because of the great fervour I feel,
through Your infinite goodness.
I will sing the canticle of love to You
and I will follow You, my Beloved,
wherever You go
and may my soul never weary of praising you,
rejoicing in Your love.
I will You more than myself
and myself, only for Your sake.
I will love all others in You
and for you,
as Your law of love commands.
Amen

(Book 3 Ch 5:6)

Posted in "Follow Me", GOD ALONE!, LENT 2021, LENTEN THOUGHTS, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Day Twenty of our Lenten Journey – 8 March – ‘Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him.’

Day Twenty of our Lenten Journey – 8 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: 2 Kings 5:1-15, Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4, Luke 4:24-30

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)

And they rose up and tdrove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.– Luke 4:29

When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men.
In the hour of need He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends to the depths of scorn.
He was willing to suffer and to be despised. Do you dare to complain of anything?

He had enemies and defamers. Do you want everyone to be your friend, your benefactor?
How can your patience be rewarded if no adversity test it?
How can you be a friend of Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship?
Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him.

Had you but once entered into perfect communion with Jesus or tasted a little of His ardent love, you would care nothing at all for your own comfort or discomfort but would rejoice in the reproach you suffer.
For love of Him makes a man despise himself.

A man who is a lover of Jesus and of truth, a truly interior man who is free from uncontrolled affections, can turn to God at will and rise above himself to enjoy spiritual peace.
He who tastes life as it really is, not as men say or think it is, is indeed wise with the wisdom of God rather than of men.

He who learns to live the interior life and to take little account of outward things, does not seek special places or times to perform devout exercises.
A spiritual man quickly recollects himself because he has never wasted his attention upon externals.
No outside work, no business that cannot wait stands in his way. He adjusts himself to things as they happen.

He whose disposition is well ordered cares nothing about the strange, perverse behaviour of others, for a man is upset and distracted only in proportion as he engrosses himself in externals.
If all were well with you, therefore and, if you were purified from all sin, everything would tend to your good and be to your profit.
But because you are as yet neither entirely dead to self nor free from all earthly affection, there is much that often displeases and disturbs you.
Nothing so mars and defiles the heart of man as impure attachment to created things.

But if you refuse external consolation, you will be able to contemplate heavenly things and often to experience interior joy.
(Book 2 Ch 1)

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Day Nineteen of our Lenten Journey – 7 March – ‘ Who is more at rest, than he who aims at nothing but God?’

Day Nineteen of our Lenten Journey – 7 March – The Third Sunday of Lent, Readings: Exodus 20:1-17, Psalms 19:8-11, 1 Corinthians 1:22-25, John 2:13-25

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)

“Zeal for your house will consume me.” John 2:17

O LORD, I am in sore need still of greater grace, if I am to arrive at the point, where no man and no created thing can be an obstacle to me. For as long as anything holds me back, I cannot freely fly to You. He that said “Oh that I had wings like a dove, that I might fly away and be at rest!“(Ps 55:7) desired to fly freely to You. Who is more at rest, than he who aims at nothing but God? And who more free, than the man who desires nothing on earth?

It is well, then, to pass over all creation, perfectly to abandon self and to see in ecstasy of mind that You, the Creator of all, have no likeness among all Your creatures and that unless a man be freed from all creatures, he cannot attend freely to the Divine. The reason why so few contemplative persons are found, is that so few know how to separate themselves entirely from what is transitory and created.

For this, indeed, great grace is needed, grace that will raise the soul and lift it up above itself. Unless a man be elevated in spirit, free from all creatures and completely united to God, all his knowledge and possessions are of little moment. He who considers anything great except the one, immense, eternal good will long be little and lie groveling on the earth. Whatever is not God is nothing and must be accounted as nothing.

There is great difference between the wisdom of an enlightened and devout man and the learning of a well-read and brilliant scholar, for the knowledge which flows down from divine sources is much nobler than that laboriously acquired by human industry.

Many there are, who desire contemplation but, who do not care to do the things, which contemplation requires. It is also a great obstacle to be satisfied with externals and sensible things and to have so little of perfect mortification. I know not what it is, or by what spirit we are led, or to what we pretend — we who wish to be called spiritual — that we spend so much labour and even more anxiety on things that are transitory and mean, while we seldom or never advert with full consciousness to our interior concerns.

Alas, after very little meditation we falter, not weighing our deeds by strict examination. We pay no attention to where our affections lie, nor do we deplore the fact that our actions are impure.

Remember that because all flesh had corrupted its course, the great deluge followed. Since, then, our interior affection is corrupt, it must be that the action which follows from it, the index as it were of our lack of inward strength, is also corrupt. Out of a pure heart come the fruits of a good life.

People are wont to ask how much a man has done but they think little of the virtue with which he acts. They ask: Is he strong? rich? handsome? a good writer? a good singer? or a good worker? They say little, however, about how poor he is in spirit, how patient and meek, how devout and spiritual. Nature looks to his outward appearance; grace turns to his inward being. The one often errs, the other trusts in God and is not deceived.
(Book 3 Ch 31)

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Quote/s of the Day – 6 March – ‘Why not use the day, today?’

Quote/s of the Day – 6 March – Saturday of the Second week of Lent, Readings: Micah 7:14-15, 18-20, Psalms 103: 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12, Luke 15: 1-3, 11-32

“Quickly bring the finest robe
and put it on him”

Luke 15:22

‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

Luke 18:13

“You do not know
when your last day may come.
You are an ingrate!
Why not use the day, today,
that God has given you
to repent?

“He who calls us, came here below,
to give us the means of getting there.
He chose the wood
that would enable us to cross the sea –
indeed, no-one can cross the ocean of this world,
who is not borne by the Cross of Christ.
Even the blind can cling to this Cross.
If you can’t see where you are going very well,
don’t let go of it, it will guide you by itself. ”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of Grace

“A saint is not someone, who never sins,
but one who sins less and less frequently
and gets up more and more quickly.”

St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

“Aspire to God with short
but frequent outpourings of the heart,
admire His bounty,
invoke His aid,
cast yourself in spirit at the foot of His Cross,
adore His goodness,
treat with Him of your salvation,
give Him your whole soul –
a thousand times in the day.”

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

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One Minute Reflection – 9 February – “Man looks at the appearance but God looks at the heart”

One Minute Reflection – 9 February –Genesis 1:20 – 2: 4Psalms 8:4-56-7,8-9Mark 7:1-13 and the Memorial of St Sabinus of Canosa (c 461–566) Bishop

This people honours me with their lips but their hearts are far from me” … Mark 7:6

REFLECTION – “WE MUST not rely too much upon ourselves, for grace and understanding are often lacking in us. We have but little inborn light and this we quickly lose through negligence. Often we are not aware that we are so blind in heart. Meanwhile, we do wrong and then do worse in excusing it. At times, we are moved by passion and we think it zeal. We take others to task for small mistakes and overlook greater ones in ourselves. We are quick enough to feel and brood over the things we suffer from others but we think nothing of how much others suffer from us. If a man would weigh his own deeds fully and rightly, he would find little cause to pass severe judgement on others.
The interior man, puts the care of himself before all other concerns and he who attends to himself carefully, does not find it hard to hold his tongue about others. You will never be devout of heart unless you are thus silent about the affairs of others and pay particular attention to yourself. If you attend wholly to God and yourself, you will be little disturbed by what you see about you.
… You will sweetly repose if your heart does not rebuke you. Rejoice at nothing but only your good deeds. Bad men have never a true joy, nor feel inner peace, for “there is no peace for the wicked” (Is 57:21). … He is easily calmed and contented whose conscience is clean. Praise makes you not more holy, nor insult more worthless. What you are you are, what God knows of you, is all that can be said for you. If you will only look at what you truly are, you will not care what men say of you. “Man looks at the appearance but God looks at the heart” (1 Sam 16:7). – Thomas`a Kempis – The Imitation of Christ – Book II, ch. 5-6

PRAYER – Almighty Lord and God, protect us by your power throughout the course of this day, do not let us turn aside to any sin, purify our conscience and let our every thought, wod and dedd aim at doing only what is pleasing in Your sight. May the intercession of our Holy Mother and all the saints, be a strength and a comfort. Through Jesus, our compassionate and loving Redeemer, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You forever, amen.

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Quote/s of the Day – 4 February – Thursday – ‘Go!’ Mark 6:7-13

Quote/s of the Day – 4 February – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24, Psalms 48:2-3,3-4, 9, 10-11, Mark 6:7-13

And he called the twelve
and began to send them out,
two by two …

Mark 6:7

“Go into all the world
and proclaim the gospel
to vthe whole creation.”

Mark 16:15

“Lord, if Your people still have need
of my services,
I will not avoid the toil.
Your will be done.
I have fought the good fight long enough.
Yet, if You bid me to continue to hold
the battle line, in defence of Your camp,
I will never beg to be excused
from failing strength.
I will do the work You entrust to me.
While You command,
I will fight beneath Your banner.
Amen”

St Martin de Tours (c 316-397)

“Pray as though everything depended on God.
Work as though everything depended on you.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“What a tragedy,
how many souls
are being shut out of heaven
and falling into hell,
thanks to you!”

St Francis Xavier (1506-1552)

“We ought to instruct with meekness
those whom heresy has made bitter and suspicious
and has estranged from orthodox Catholics,
… Thus, by whole-hearted charity and goodwill,
we may win them over to us in the Lord.”

St Peter Canisius (1521-1397)
Doctor of the Church

“Let us go in simplicity,
where merciful Providence leads us,
content to see the stone on which we should step,
without wanting to discover,
all at once and completely,
the windings of the road.”

Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853)
“Servant to the Poor”

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One Minute Reflection – 28 January – Blessed is the servant ….

One Minute Reflection – 28 January – Thursday of the Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 10:19-25, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, Mark 4:21-25 and the Memorial of St Thomas Aquinas OP (1225-1274) and Blessed Julian Maunoir SJ (1606-1683)

“For to the one who has, more will be given and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” – Mark 4:25

REFLECTION – “Blessed is the servant who attributes every good to the Lord God, for he who holds back something for himself, hides within himself, the money of his Lord God (Mt 25:18) and that which he thought he had, shall be taken away from him (Mt 25:18.28; Lk 8:18).

Blessed is the servant who esteems himself, no better when he is praised and exalted by people, than when he is considered worthless, simple and despicable; for what a man is before God, that he is and nothing more. …

Blessed is that religious, who takes no pleasure and joy except in the most holy words and deeds of the Lord and with these, leads people to the love of God in joy and gladness … Blessed is the servant who, when he speaks, does not reveal everything about himself in the hope of receiving a reward and, who is not quick to speak but wisely weighs what he should say and how he should reply.
Woe to that religious, who does not keep in his heart, the good things the Lord reveals to him and who does not manifest them to others, by his actions but, rather seeks to make such good things known by his words. He, thereby, receives his reward while those who listen to him, carry away but little fruit. …

Blessed is that servant who stores up in heaven (Mt 6,20) the good things which the Lord has revealed to him and does not desire to reveal them to others, in the hope of profiting thereby. For the Most High will manifest his deeds to whomever he wishes. Blessed is the servant who keeps the secrets of the Lord in his heart.” – St Francis of Assisi (c 1181–1226) Founder of the Friars Minor – Admonitions, 19-22.28

PRAYER – Lord, our God, since it was by Your gift that St Thomas became so great a Saint and theologian, give us grace to understand his teaching and follow his way of life. May his great love for Jesus Crucified and His pure adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, be our guide to follow in Your Son’s footsteps and take up our cross and follow Him. Grant that by the prayers of St Thomas, we may grow in love and sanctity, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on MEDIOCRITY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, St PAUL!, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The PASSION, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 25 January – Mediocrity

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

Mediocrity

“There is no such thing as half-way virtue.

Virtue is a struggle and a sacrifice.
It presupposes a generous heart which gives itself to Jesus without reserve.
Did He not give Himself completely for our sakes?
Did He not die upon the Cross for our salvation and reopen Heaven, which had been closed to us by sin?
Moreover, did He not remain hidden in our midst under the Eucharistic species in order to become our sustenance and our support?

When we are faced with such goodness and generosity, can we be so niggardly as to offer God, only a part of ourselves and perhaps a part which is worthless and perishable, as Cain did when he offered sacrifices from his fields and flocks?
God would certainly turn away from us and refuse our gifts.
And then, we should be lost forever!
Let us give ourselves completely and then be able to say with St Paul “I have fought the good fight to the end, I have run the race to the finish, I have kept the faith … ” (2 Tm 4:7)

“The time is sure to come, when people will not accept sound teaching but their ears will be itching for anything new and they will collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes and then they will shut their ears to the truth and will turn to myths.
But you must keep steady all the time; put up with suffering, do the work of preaching the gospel, fulfil the service asked of you.
As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation and the time has come for me to depart. I have fought the good fight to the end, I have run the race to the finish, I have kept the faith … ”
(2 Tm 4:3-7)

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/25/thought-for-the-day-25-january-mediocrity/

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SLOTH, QUOTES on TIME, The KINGDOM of GOD

Thought for the Day – 22 January – The Proper Use of Time

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

The Proper Use of Time

“The high value of the divine gift of time imposes an obligation on us to avoid laziness.
The obligation to avoid sin, is still greater.
Sin is the most serious way in which we can abuse this gift of God.
It is also an act of deep ingratitude, in that, we turn this treasure which God has bestowed on us, into a weapon to be used against the Giver of every good.
To use time properly, it is necessary to direct all our actions, intentions and desires towards God, Who is the source of our being and the goal of our earthly pilgrimage.

If everything we do, intend, or desire, springs from our love of God and is aimed at the manifestation of His glory and the expansion of His kingdom upon earth, then, even our most humble and apparently indifferent actions, are precious in the sight of the Mos High and receive His blessing.
But, if we are working for ourselves, for our own satisfaction and petty glorification, we ruin everything.
All that we do is barren.
If we seek ourselves instead of God, we shall hear Him say one day: “You shall have no reward with your Father in Heaven” (Mt 6:1).

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Quote/s of the Day – 17 January – “Speak Lord for your servant hears.” 1 Samuel 3:10

Quote/s of the Day – 17 January – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Readings: 1 Samuel 3:3-10, 19, Psalms 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10, 1 Corinthians 6:13-15, 17-20, John 1:35-42

“Come and you will see.”

“Speak Lord for your servant hears.”

1 Samuel 3:10

He said to them,
“Come and you will see.”

John 1:39

“Go your way,
behold, I send you out
as lambs
in the midst
of wolves.”

Luke 10:3

“A person who wishes
to become the Lord’s disciple
must repudiate a human obligation,
however honourable it may appear,
if it slows us, ever so slightly,
in giving the wholehearted obedience
we owe to God.”

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

“He wants you to become
a living force for all mankind,
lights shining in the world.
You are to be radiant lights
as you stand beside Christ,
the Great Light,
bathed in the glory of Him
who is the Light of Heaven.”

St Gregory Nazianzen (330-390)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“Be strengthened in Almighty God
and in the power of His might,
for with His help, nothing is difficult.
Throw off the heavy load of your own will,
cast aside the burden of sin
and gird yourselves as valiant warriors.
Forget what you are leaving behind;
strain forward to the great things before you.
I tell you, that every place where you set foot,
shall be yours.
For the Spirit who goes before your face is Christ the Lord.
He will carry you to the topmost peak in the arms of His love.”

St Francis of Assisi (c 1181-1226)

“Christ has no body on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours.
Yours are the eyes, through which,
the compassion of Christ, looks out to the world.
Yours are the feet,
with which,
He is to go about doing good.
Yours are the hands,
with which,
He is to bless others now.”

St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
Doctor of the Church

“It is our vocation to set people’s hearts ablaze,
to do what the Son of God did,
who came to light a fire on earth
in order to set it ablaze with His love.”

Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853)
“Servant to the Poor”

“The well-being of souls is only in Christ.
Therefore, let the love of Jesus
be our perfection and our profession,
let us light our hearts
from the eternal flames of love
that radiate from the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

Bl Paolo Manna PIME (1872-1952)
“A Burning Soul”

Priest, Missionary in Burma (Myanmar),
Superior General of PIME,
Founder of the Pontifical Missionary Union

Posted in "Follow Me", MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The HOLY CROSS, The KINGDOM of GOD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 11 January – The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian

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

The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian

“This exalted dignity carries with it grave obligations.
The most important is to avoid sin.
Who could dare to take the Crucifix and fling it in the mud?
“You are the body of Christ,” St Paul tells us, “member for member” (Cf 1 Cor 12:27).
A man who surrenders himself to sin, therefore, throws the body of Christ into the mud and profanes the temple of the Holy Spirit.
If we sincerely appreciate our dignity as Christians, we cannot possibly give way to sin and destroy, in ourselves, the great work of the Redemption of Christ.
We should, moreover, practise virtue.
We should live in and for Jesus, like St Paul, who said, “For to me to live is Christ … ” (Phil 1:21).
Everyday, we must travel further along the difficult road of self-denial and love.
We must keep going forward, higher and higher towards the summit of perfection.
“You are to be perfect,” Jesus tells us, “even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
Even this is not enough, however!
A genuine Christian is not satisfied with avoiding sin and sanctifying himself but, he tries, by every means at his disposal, by word, action, good example and sacrifice, to spread the Kingdom of Christ among his fellow-men.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One of ‘The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian’ here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/29/thought-for-the-day-29-april-the-dignity-and-responsibility-of-being-a-christian/

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Quote/s of the Day – 9 January – Run, … do not stay asleep

Quote/s of the Day – 9 January – Saturday after Epiphany

“He must increase
but I must decrease.”

John 3:30

“Do not have Jesus Christ on your lips
and the world in your heart.”

St Ignatius of Antioch (37-105)
Bishop & Martyr

“You hide your heart from man –
hide it from God if you can.
… Where will you go?
Where will you flee?
Do you want to hear some advice?
If you want to flee from Him – flee to Him.
Flee to Him by Confessing, not from Him, by hiding,
for you cannot hide but you can Confess.
Tell Him. “You are my refuge” (Ps 32[31]:7)
and let there be nursed in yo,
the love that alone leads to life.”

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

“If we would God discern
The world we must despise,
His love and hate must learn,
See all things with His eyes.
And we must self forgo
If God we would attain,
His grace must in us grow
And ease us from all pain.
So shall we sing His praise
And be at one with Him,
In peace our voices raise
In the celestial hymn,
That with quadruple harmony
And all mellifluous melody,
In Heaven resounds eternally.”

Bl Jan van Ruusbroec (1293-1381)

Embrace, then, Jesus crucified,
raising to Him the eyes of your desire!
Consider His burning love for you,
which made Jesus pour out His blood
from every part of His body!
Embrace Jesus crucified,
loving and beloved and in Him,
you will find true life because He is God made man.
Let your heart and your soul burn
with the fire of love drawn from Jesus on the Cross!
… You will have no other desire than to follow Jesus!
Run, … do not stay asleep
because time flies and does not wait one moment!
Dwell in God’s sweet love!”

St Catherine of Sienna (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Church

“Without the Way, there is no going,
Without the Truth, there is no knowing,
Without the Life, there is no living.”

Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

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One Minute Reflection – 9 January – “He must increase but I must decrease.” John 3:30

One Minute Reflection – 9 January – Saturday after Epiphany, Readings: 1 John 5:14-21, Psalms 149:1-2, 3-4,5 and 6 and 9, John 3:22-30

“He must increase but I must decrease.” – John 3:30

REFLECTION – “He must increase but I must decrease.” In John, human righteousness had reached the highest level that man could attain. Truth itself (Jn 14:6) said: “Among men, there has been none greater than John the Baptist” (cf. Mt 11:11); so no man could have surpassed him. But he was only a man, whereas Jesus Christ, was man and God. And since, according to Christian grace, we are asked (…) not to boast about ourselves but “whoever boasts let him boast in the Lord” (2 Cor 10:17), …, that is the reason John cried out: “He must increase but I must decrease.” To be sure, God is neither decreased nor increased in Himself. But for ourselves, to the extent that a true spiritual life develops, divine grace increases and human importance decreases until the temple of God, which is made up of all the members of the body of Christ (cf. 1 Cor 3:16), reaches it’s perfection, all domination, authority and importance have died and God has become “all in all” (cf. Col 1:16; 1 Cor 15:28). …
“The Word was the true light which enlightens everyone coming into this world, … from his fullness we have all received” (Jn 1:9.16). In itself, the light is always total light, however, it increases in one who is enlightened and diminishes when, what is without God in that person, is destroyed. For without God, we can only sin and this human power decreases, when divine grace overcomes and destroys the sin. The weakness of the creature gives way to the power of the Creator and the vanity of our egoism melts before the love that fills the universe. From the depths of our distress, John the Baptist acclaims the mercy of Christ: “He must increase and I must decrease.”St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Father, Doctor of Grace Sermon for the birth of John the Baptist;

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, through Christ, Your Son, You made of us a new creation. Shape us then, in His likeness, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, since in Him, our human nature now lives with You. Lord God, let the Blessed Virgin the Mother of Your Divine Son and our mother, ever commend us to Your love and care. May her charity and wisdom inspire us to treasure Your teaching and express it in our lives. Through our Lord Jesus, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.

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Thought for the Day – 6 January –

Thought for the Day – 6 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

The Epiphany

It was love which inspired the Magi.
Love sustained them on their journey and made them fall prostrate in adoration before the Infant Jesus.
Even before they offered Him material gifts, they offered Him, their hearts!
As a reward for their faith and charity, God showered his graces upon them and an immense supernatural joy pervaded their souls.
In that moment of adoration, they received the highest possible reward for their hardships and perseverance.
With deep interior joy, they gave Jesus their hearts and never withdrew them.
A pious tradition maintains, that they apostles and Saints and, in fact, the Church venerates them as such, today.

We should follow the example of the Magi and promise, before the cradle of the Infant Saviour, that we shall face any sacrifices, even death, rather than offend Him and shall work, in every way possible, for His glory and our sanctification.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, The WILL of GOD

Quote/s of the Day – 4 January – Our First Resolution

Quote/s of the Day – 4 January – Christmas Weekday

Our First Resolution

“God desires, not death but faith.
God thirsts, not for blood but for self-surrender.
God is appeased, not by slaughter
but by the offering of your free will.”

St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450)
Bishop, Father & Doctor of Homilies

“Lord what will Thou have me do?
Behold the true sign of a totally perfect soul –
when one has reached the point
of giving up his will so completely
that he no longer seeks,
expects or desires
to do ought
but that which God wills.”

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

For God, …
does not work in those
who refuse to place all their confidence
and hope in Him alone.
But He does impart
the fullness of His love
upon those who possess
a deep faith and hope;
for them He does great things.

St Jerome Emiliani (1486-1537)

“More determination is required
to subdue the interior man
than to mortify the body
and to break one’s will,
than to break one’s bones.”

St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)

“What was the first rule of our dear Saviour’s life?
You know it was to do His Father’s will.
Well, then, the first purpose of our daily work
is to do the will of God;
secondly, to do it, in the manner He wills;
and thirdly, to do it, because it is His will.
We know certainly that our God
calls us to a holy life.
We know that He gives us every grace,
every abundant grace
and though, we are so weak of ourselves,
this grace is able to carry us through
every obstacle and difficulty.”

St Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821)

St Elizabeth Ann’s Memorial today – more quotes from her here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/01/04/quote-s-of-the-day-4-january-the-memorial-of-st-elizabeth-ann-seton-1774-1821/

“I will attempt, day-by-day,
to break my will into pieces.
I want to do God’s Holy Will,
not my own!”

St Gabriel Francis Possenti
of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862)

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, I BELIEVE!, MARIAN QUOTES, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SAINT of the DAY, The DIVINE INFANT, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – St Basil and St Gregory Nazianzen

Quote/s of the Day – 2 January – Christmas Weekday and The Memorial of St Basil the Great (329-379) and St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)

“… 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!”

“A tree is known by its fruit,
a man by his deeds.
A good deed is never lost,
he who sows courtesy,
reaps friendship
and he who plants kindness,
gathers love.”

“There is still time for endurance,
time for patience,
time for healing,
time for change.
Have you slipped?
Rise up!
Have you sinned?
Cease!
Do not stand among sinners
but leap aside!”

“O sinner, be not discouraged
but have recourse to Mary
in all you necessities.
Call her to your assistance,
for such is the divine Will
that she should help
in every kind of necessity.”

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

“Grace is given, not to those who speak [their faith]
but to those, who live their faith.”

“Remember God
more often
than you breathe!”

“Let us become like Christ,
since Christ became like us.
He assumed the worse,
that He might give us the better;
He became poor,
that we through His poverty,
might be rich.”

St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390)
Father and Doctor of the Church

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/01/02/quote-s-of-the-day-2-january-the-memorial-of-st-basil-the-great-329-379-and-st-gregory-of-nazianzen-330-390-fathers-doctors-of-the-church/

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on GOSSIP, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on SIN, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 21 December – The Silence of the Divine Infant

Thought for the Day – 21 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Silence of the Divine Infant

Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word of God, made man, the infinite and substantial image of the Divine Intellect.
Nevertheless, the Divine Infant, Whom we adore in the stable at Bethlehem, is mute and silent.
The voluntary humiliation of the Son of God is such, that He, the Word of God, cannot utter a single human syllable.
By this chosen silence, however, He teaches us many things.
In the first place, He teaches us humility and self-denial.
He teaches us, moreover, to recollect ourselves in the Presence of God, so that it may be easier for us to speak with Him and for Him, to make known what He requires of us.
The silence of prayer brings forth divine consolations and inspirations to holiness,

Do we love to be silent?
It is not necessary to become hermits but, it is essential, from time to time, to place ourselves quietyly in the Presence of God.
God cannot be heard through the noise and confusion of the world, whereas, He speaks clearly to the soul, which seeks the silence of prayer.
In any case, if we go about looking for the gossip and idle chatter of the world, it is almost impossible not to offend God.
“Avoid profane and empty babblings,” St Paul urges us, “for they contribute much to ungodliness” (2 Tim 2:16).
“If anyone does not offend in word,” adds St James, “he is a perfect man” (Js 3:2).
“The tongue is a little member,” he continues but, goes onto emphasis that it is capable of doing either a great deal of good or a great deal of harm.
“With it, we bless God the Father and, with it, we curse men, who have been made after the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren ought not to be so” (Js 3:5-10).

There are two main lessons which we should learn, therefore, from the silence of the Divine Infant.
We should learn to love recollection and, we should learn to make proper use of the gift of speech, which can be an equally powerful weapon, in the cause of good, or, in the cause of evil!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, CONFESSION/PENANCE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, SACRED HEART QUOTES, The DIVINE INFANT, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 11 December – “May We Love Only You”

Quote/s of the Day – 11 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent

“May We Love Only You”

“Stay with us, for it is nearly evening
and the day is almost over.”

Luke 24:29

“You hide your heart from man –
hide it from God if you can.
… Where will you go?
Where will you flee?
Do you want to hear some advice?
If you want to flee from Him – flee to Him.
Flee to Him by Confessing, not from Him, by hiding,
for you cannot hide but you can Confess.
Tell Him. “You are my refuge” (Ps 32[31]:7)
and let there be nursed in yo,
the love that alone leads to life.”

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

May We Love Only You
By St Columban (543-615)

Loving Saviour,
be pleased to show Yourself to us who knock,
so that in knowing You,
we may love only You,
love You alone,
desire You alone,
contemplate only You, day and night
and always think of You.
Inspire in us the depth of love
that is fitting for You to receive as God.
So may Your love pervade our whole being,
possess us completely
and fill all our senses,
that we may know no other love
but love for You,
Who are everlasting.
May our love be so great,
that the many waters of sky, land and sea
cannot extinguish it in us –
many waters could not extinguish love.
May this saying be fulfilled
in us also, at least in part,
by Your gift,
Jesus Christ, our Lord,
to whom be glory forever and ever.
Amen

“How good and pleasant it is
to dwell in the Heart of Jesus!
Who is there who does not love a heart so wounded?
Who can refuse a return of love
to a Heart so loving?
Amen.”

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

“Who could ever soften this heart of mine
but YOU alone O Lord!”

St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)

“Christ first of all,
Christ in the centre of the heart,
in the centre of history
and of the cosmos.
Humanity needs Christ intensely
because, He is our “measure.”
There is no realm,
that cannot be touched
by His strength;
there is no evil,
that cannot find remedy in Him,
there is no problem,
that cannot be solved in Him.
Either Christ or nothing!”

St John Leonardi (1541-1609)

“During the night
we must wait
for the light.”

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

“Only God fills the soul and fills it wholly.
Let scientists go on asking – Where is God?
He is where those clever ones,
arrogant in their knowledge, cannot reach.”

Saint Raphael Arnaiz Baron (1911-1938)

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Advent Reflection – 9 December – ‘… We do not seek joy elsewhere than in Jesus …’

Advent Reflection – 9 December – Wednesday of the Second week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 40:25-31Psalms 103:1-23-4,8 and 10Matthew 11:28-30

Come Lord Jesus, come.

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for yourselves…” … Matthew 11:29

REFLECTION – “Dearest sister in Jesus. I, Catherine, servant of the servants of Jesus, write to you in His Precious Blood, wishing only that you feed yourself with God’s love and nourish yourself with it, as at a mother’s breast. Nobody, in fact, can live without this milk!
Who possesses God’s love, finds so much joy that every bitterness transforms itself into sweetness and that every great weight becomes light. One must not be astonished because living in charity you live in God – “God is love and he who abides in love, abides in God and God abides in him”(1 John 4:16)
Thus, living in God, you can have no bitterness because God is delight, gentleness and never-ending joy!
This is why God’s friends are always happy! Even if we are sick, poor, grieved, troubled, persecuted, we are always joyful.
… We do not seek joy elsewhere than in Jesus and we avoid any glory which is not that of the Cross.
Embrace, then, Jesus crucified, raising to Him the eyes of your desire! Consider His burning love for you, which made Jesus pour out His blood from every part of His body!
Embrace Jesus crucified, loving and beloved and in Him you will find true life because He is God made man. Let your heart and your soul burn with the fire of love drawn from Jesus on the Cross!
You must, then, become love, looking at God’s love who loved you so much not because He had any obligation towards you but out of pure gift, urged only by His ineffable love.
You will have no other desire than to follow Jesus! As if you were drunken with Love, it will no longer matter whether you are alone or in company – do not think about many things but only about finding Jesus and following Him!
Run, Bartolomea, do not stay asleep, because time flies and does not wait one moment!
Dwell in God’s sweet love.
Sweet Jesus, Jesus love.” … St Catherine of Sienna (1347-1380) – Doctor of the Church – From the “Letters” (letter no. 165 to Bartolomea, wife of Salviato of Lucca).

Prayer – Almighty and merciful God, let neither our daily work nor the cares of this life, prevent us from hastening to meet Your Son. Lord, make straight the winding ways within us. Draw us to repent! Enlighten us with Your wisdom and lead us into His company, that we may love Him and do homage to Him. Amen

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Thought for the Day – 6 December – The Glory of God

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

The Glory of God

“The whole of creation manifests the glory of God.
The grass of the field, the trees of the forest, the insects and birds of the air, the creatures on the earth and in the sea, the stars in the sky – they all speak to us of the power and beauty of the Creator.

You also were created by and for God, Who is the beginning and end of all things.
In all thoughts, actions and affections, therefore, you should seek the glory of God.
God, indeed, has no need of your small contribution to enhance His glory.
His glory is complete and perfect in Himself, in Heaven and in Hell.
God does not need you but, you need God.
It is your strict obligation, not only to proclaim the glory of God but, also, to work for its triumph in yourself and in all things.

The man who loves God above all things seeks only His glory.
The man who loves himself more than he loves God, however, seeks his own petty, worldly glorification and strays away from the main road of life which should lead him towards God.

Holiness consists in love – not earthly love, of course, but supernatural love.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 4 December – True Love of Self

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

True Love of Self

“There is a passage in the Gospel which might lead us to believe that we are forbidden to love ourselves.
“Amen, amen, I say to you,” Jesus declares, “unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone but, if it dies, it brings forth much fruit. He who loves his life, loses it and he who hates his life in this world, keeps it unto life everlasting” (Jn 12:24-25).

These words command us to hate ourselves in this world if we wish to attain salvation in the next life.
In what sense, however, does Christ mean that we are to hate ourselves?
He certainly means, that we should mortify our lower inclinations, deny our selfish ambitions, die to the world and be prepared to lose life itself, rather than offend God in any way.
This is the kind of hate to which He urges us, a hatred of any perversion of our nature or of our faculties.
If we prefer our own will, to that of our Creator, or love Him less than we love ourselves, or, worse still, if we forget and ignore Him in favour of passing pleasures, then, we invert the order of spiritual and moral values established by God and create a disorder which could lead us into sin.

Instead, we should love God above all things and subjugate our thoughts, desires and affections to Him.
We should be prepared to forget ourselves for His sake and even to sacrifice life itself or His honour and glory.
Then, our self-hatred will become a sublime love, which will bring us victory in our battle against our sensual inclinations.
It will give us peace and resignation in suffering and, at the hour of death, will give us that consolation and joy, which the martyrs experienced when they shed their blood for the sake of Jesus Christ.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Quote of the Day – 2 December – “If we would God discern …

Quote of the Day – 2 December – Wednesday of the First Week of Advent and The Memorial of Bl Jan/John van Ruusbroec(k) (c 1293-1382)

“If we would God discern
The world we must despise,
His love and hate must learn,
See all things with His eyes.
And we must self forgo
If God we would attain,
His grace must in us grow
And ease us from all pain.
So shall we sing His praise
And be at one with Him,
In peace our voices raise
In the celestial hymn,
That with quadruple harmony
And all mellifluous melody,
In Heaven resounds eternally.”

Blessed Jan van Ruusbroec (1293-1381)

(The Seven Steps of the Ladder of Spiritual Love)

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Thought for the Day – 30 October – “Prayer to Mary, Our Mother”

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

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
“Prayer to Mary, Our Mother”

“There is a story told of a devout man who was wavering before the onslaught of temptation and was accustomed to kneel before a statue of Our Lady and say this simple prayer: “Show yourself a mother to me.”
When the same man had fallen into sin and, although full of remorse, had not succeeded in reforming, he went one day to Mary’s Altar and pitifully repeated his usual prayer.
Immediately, he heard a gentle voice replying – “Show that you are my son.”

If we wish Our Lady to be a mother to us, we must also show her that we are her children.
Earthly mothers are delighted to think that their offspring take after them.
In the same way, Mary wishes to see, a reflection of her own sanctity in our thoughts, desires and actions.
All this demands sacrifice, of course.
It demands hard work, fervent prayer and constant watchfulness over ourselves.
If we do all that we can and never lose courage, God will not refuse us His help and our good Mother, will not, fail to intercede for us!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci