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

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on MERIT, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 20 January –

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

Fundamental Facts

“Death is approaching.
How many years have we left?
How many months?
How many hours?
We do not know.
Perhaps this could be the last day or the last hour of our lives and, if that were true, in what state would we appear before the majesty of God?
How terrible if we were in mortal sin – we would be damned for all eternity!

But, even if we find ourselves in the state of grace, what merits have we to present to the eternal Judge?
What sacrifices have we made to prove our love for Him?
What mortifications and penances have we voluntarily undertake to purify ourselves of our sins?
What good works have we done, what alms have we given, what prayers have we said?
We may have to admit that we have wasted most of the time which God has given us in useless or even sinful occupations.
Let us treasure, at least, the years, days, or hours which God still wills to grant us, for our full conversion and for our spiritual perfection.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/26/thought-for-the-day-25-september-fundamental-facts/

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SIN, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 20 January – How have you esteemed the benefits bestowed on you?

One Minute Reflection – 20 January – Wednesday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 7: 1-3, 15-17, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4, Mark 3:1-6

“Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him. – Mark 3:5-6

REFLECTION – “You have not seen God; you have not recognised the Lord; you did not know that it was He, God’s Firstborn, who was begotten before the morning star (Ps 110[109]:3), who caused light to spring up, who caused day to shine forth when He separated it from darkness, who set the first limits, suspending the earth, drying up the great abyss, spreading out the firmament …, who created the angels in heaven, setting thrones there and who shaped man of the earth. He it was who chose Israel and guided it from Adam to Noah, from Noah to Abraham, from Abraham to Isaac and Jacob and the twelve patriarchs. It was He who led your fathers in Egypt, who protected and fed them. He, who gave them manna from heaven, who quenched their thirst from the rock, who gave them the Law and the promised land, who sent prophets to them and raised up their kings. It is He who has come to you, healing the sick and raising the dead … It is He whom you wanted to put to death, He whom you handed over for money. …

How have you esteemed the benefits bestowed on you? … Esteem now the withered hand He has restored to its body. Esteem now those born blind whom He has restored to the light with a word. Esteem now those dead He has raised from their tombs after three or four days. The gifts He has given you are priceless. And you …, you have repaid Him evil for good, affliction for joy, death for life.” – St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180) Bishop and Apologist – Homily on the Pasch, 82-90

PRAYER – Shed Your clear light on our hearts, Lord, keep us in Your Way, that we too may stretch out our hands and love to those who come our way. May Your law be our light and Your love our only way. Hear the prayers of the Your Angels and Saints and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Our Lord and our mother and lead us to eternal life. We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MISSION, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on VOCATIONS, SACRED HEART QUOTES, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD, VOCATIONS

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 DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The DIVINE INFANT, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 16 January – “Cast Upon Us a Look of Mercy”

Quote/s of the Day – 16 January – Saturday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 4:12-16, Psalms 19:8, 9, 10,15, Mark 2:13-17

“Cast Upon Us a Look of Mercy”

“Those who are well
have no need of a physician
but those who are sick.
I came not to call
the righteous but sinners.”

Mark 2:17

“For John came,
neither eating nor drinking and they said,
‘He is possessed by a demon.’
The Son of Man came
eating and drinking and they said,
‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard,
a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’
But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”

Matthew 11:18-19

“He became small because you were small –
understand how great He is
and you will become great along with Him.
This is how houses are built,
how the solid walls of a building are raised.
The stones brought to construct the building increase,
you, too, increase, understanding how great Christ is
and how He who appeared to be small is great,
very great indeed…”

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

“But He still follows behind us and counsels us,
that we have despised Him
but He still does not cease to call us.
We turn our backs on His face, so to speak,
when we reject His words,
when we trample His commandments underfoot
but He who sees that we reject Him,
still calls out to us by His commandments
and waits for us by His patience,
stands behind us and calls us back
when we have turned away.”

St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“In order that you may have the same experience,
reflect within yourself that your sin is great
but that it is blasphemy against God
and an injury to yourself,
to despair of His forgiveness,
because your sin seems to you to be too great.
He has promised to forgive your sins, however many they are;
will you tell Him you cannot believe this and dispute with Him,
saying that your sin is too great
and He cannot heal your sickness?
Stop at that point and cry out with the prophet:
“Lord, I have sinned against you” (Ps 51[50]:6).
At once He will reply,
“As for me, I have overlooked your fault, you shall not die.”
Glory to Him from us all, through all ages!
Amen, Amen.”

An anonymous Syrian writer of the 6th century

Cast Upon Us a Look of Mercy
By Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878)

O Jesus!
Cast upon us a look of mercy,
turn Your Face towards each of us
as You did to Veronica,
not that we may see it with our bodily eyes,
for this we do not deserve
but turn it towards our hearts,
so that, remembering You,
we may ever draw from this fountain of strength,
the vigour necessary to
sustain the combats of life.
Amen

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, The KINGDOM of GOD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 14 January – Repentance

Quote/s of the Day – 14 January – Thursday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 3:7-14, Psalms 95:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, Mark 1:40-45

Repentance

“If you will, you can make me clean.”

Mark 1:40

“Today, for those who will not repent
at the approach of the kingdom of heaven,
the reproof of the Lord Jesus is the same…
As for when the end of the world will be,
that is God’s concern…
Even so, the time is very near for each of us,
for we are mortal.”

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

“Our God, … being good and merciful,
wants us to confess [our sins] in this world,
so that we may not be ashamed
because of them in the next.
So if we confess them them,
He, on His part,
shows Himself to be merciful;
if we acknowledge them,
then He forgives … ”

St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)
Bishop and Monk

“To do penance is to bewail
the evil we have done
and to do no evil to bewail.”

“If some rich and powerful friend were to enter your home,
you would quickly clean the entire house,
for fear something there,
might offend your friend’s eyes, when he entered.
Let anyone then who is preparing his inner house for God,
cleanse away the dirt of his evil deeds.
… The Lord comes into the heart
and makes His home in one,
who truly loves God
and observes His commandments…”

St Pope Gregory the Great (540-604)
Father & Doctor “Father of the Fathers”

“It is clear, my brethren,
that we live outside ourselves,
we are forgetful of ourselves
whenever we fritter our lives away
in empty pursuits or distractions,
decked out with trifles.
That is why Wisdom
is more concerned to invite us
to the house of repentance
than the house of feasting,
that is to say to call back into himself,
the man outside himself …”

Bl Isaac of Stella O.Cist (c 1100 – c 1170)


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

St Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510)

Posted in DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on MERIT, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, SACRED HEART REFLECTIONS, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 14 January – “I will, be clean.”

One Minute Reflection – 14 January – Thursday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 3:7-14, Psalms 95:6-7, 8-9, 10-11, Mark 1:40-45

“If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will, be clean.” – Mark 1: 40-41

REFLECTION – “As for me, what can I appropriate that I lack, from the Heart of the Lord who abounds in mercy? … He was thinking thoughts of peace and I did not know it, for who knows the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counsellor? But the piercing nail has become a key to unlock the door, that I may see the goodwill of the Lord. And what can I see as I look through the hole? Both the nail and the wound cry out, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. The sword pierced His soul and came close to His Heart, so that He might be able to feel compassion for me in my weaknesses.

Through these sacred wounds we can see the secret of His Heart, the great mystery of love, the sincerity of His mercy, with which He visited us from on high. Where have Your love, Your mercy, Your compassion shone out more luminously, than in Your wounds, sweet, gentle Lord of mercy? More mercy than this no-one has, than that He lay down His life for those who are doomed to death.

My merit comes from His mercy; for I do not lack merit so long as He does not lack pity. And if the Lord’s mercies are many, then I am rich in merits. For even if I am aware of many sins, what does it matter? Where sin abounded grace has overflowed. And if the Lord’s mercies are from all ages forever, I too will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever. Will I not sing of my own righteousness? No, Lord, I shall be mindful only of Your justice. Yet that too is my own, for God has made You my righteousness.” – St Bernard of Clarirvaux (1090-1153) Doctor of Light – Excerpt from his Sermon 61 On the Song of Songs

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, we make our prayer to You at morning, noon and evening. Dispel from our hearts, the darkness of sin and bring us to the true light, Christ Your Son. Grant that through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, all your Angels and Saints, we may deny ourselves in love and obedience to You the reward of our love. Through Jesus, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MYSTICS, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, SAINT of the DAY, The HEART

One Minute Reflection – 13 January – He heals without charge!

One Minute Reflection – 13 January – Readings: Hebrews 2:14-18, Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9, Mark 1:29-39 and the Memorial of St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father & Doctor of the Church and Blessed

That evening at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick, or oppressed by demons. – Mark 1:32

REFLECTION – “Let us set before our interior consideration someone gravely wounded who is about to breathe his last. … Now, the soul’s wound is sin, of which Scripture speaks in these terms: “Wound and welt and gaping gash, not drained or bandaged or eased with salve” (Is 1:6). Oh you who are wounded, recognise your physician within you and show Him the wounds of your sins. May He understand your heart’s groaning Who already knows its secret thoughts. May your tears move Him. Go as far as a little shamelessness in your beseeching (cf. Lk 11:8). Ceaselessly bring forth deep sighs to Him from the depth of your heart.

May your grief reach Him so that He may say to you also : “The Lord has pardoned your sin” (2 Sam 12:13). Cry out with David, who said: “Have mercy on me, O God, in (…) the greatness of your compassion” (Ps 50[51]:3). It is as though one were to say: “I am in great danger because of an enormous wound, that no doctor can cure, unless the all-powerful Physician comes to help me.” For this all-powerful Physician, nothing is incurable. He heals without charge! With one word He restores to health! I would have despaired of my wound were it not, that I placed my trust in the Almighty.” – St Gregory the Great (540-604) Pope, Father, Doctor of the Church – Commentary on Psalm 50[51]

PRAYER – God our Saviour, through the grace of Baptism, You made us children of light. You lead us by the hand and guide and protect us by Your commandments. Fill us with joy at Your nearness and the light of Your Son, by whose beam we see You and follow. St Hilary and Bl Veronica were shining examples to us all, grant, we pray, that their prayers may aid us. Through Jesus our Lord and Christ, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST

Thought for the Day – 12 January – The Beggars of God

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

The Beggars of God

“Both in the natural and in the supernatural orer, we are in continual need of the help of God.
We did not exist and God, in His infinite goodness, created us.
It is He, Who preserves us in existence from day to day and from moment to moment.
The act of conservation, is like a continuous creation.
If God did not sustain us, we should return immediately to the dust from which we came: “Remember, man, that dust you are and unto dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19).

We are continually dependent on our Lord and Creator for our existence and activity.
If we remained always aware of this tremendous fact, we would never offend God.
We would show Him a filial gratitude and humbly implore His assistance.

We are so poor and He is so rich.
We are so weak and He is so strong.
We are blind and He is the true Light, which illumines every man who comes into the world (Jn 1:9).
Ask for God’s help with confidence, perseverance and resignation to His Holy Will.
As St Augustine says, we are the beggars of God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SAINT of the DAY, The INCARNATION, The SECOND COMING

Quote/s of the Day – 12 January – St Aelred of Rievaulx

Quote/s of the Day – 12 January – The Memorial of St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) “St Bernard of the North”

“We should consider how much good
our Lord did us,
by His first coming
and how much more He will do for us,
by His second.
This thought will help us,
to have a great love
for that first coming of His
and a great longing for His return.”

“Let us then learn from the Cross of Jesus
our proper way of living.
Should I say ‘living’ or, instead, ‘dying’?
Rather, both living and dying.
Dying to the world, living for God.
Dying to vices and living by the virtues.
Dying to the flesh but living in the spirit.
Thus in the Cross of Christ,
there is death
and in the Cross of Christ, there is life.
The death of death is there
and the life of life.
The death of sins is there
and the life of the virtues.
The death of the flesh is there
and the life of the spirit.
… It was fitting, that we,
who had fallen because of a tree,
might rise up because of a tree.”

“Faith is not even a virtue,
unless it is expressed by love,
nor is hope,
unless it loves,
what it hopes for.”

“When insults have no effect on us,
when persecutions and penalties,
have no terror for us,
when prosperity or adversity,
has no influence on us,
when friend and foe,
are viewed in the same light…
do we not come close,
to sharing, the serenity of God?”

“If I see him [my neighbour] in distress,
whether it be on account
of the austerity of the food.
or because of work or the vigils –
if, I say, I see that he is tormented
in body and tempted in spirit,
if I see him in such affliction,
and…do not on occasion
accommodate myself to the infirmities of the weak
I am not running in the fragrance
of Christ’s ointments
but with the harshness of the pharisees.”

St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167)
“St Bernard of the North”

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/

Posted in "Follow Me", BAPTISM, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, ORIGINAL SIN, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN

Thought for the Day – 10 January – The Sacrament of Baptism

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

The Sacrament of Baptism

“We are drawn towards Heaven by a golden chain of grace.
The most precious links in this chain of benefits are the Sacraments, which Jesus Christ instituted as sensible and efficacious signs of divine grace.
When we are born, tainted by original sin and, therefore, deprived of supernatural grace, the Church purifies and regenerates us through the Sacrament of Baptism.
We then become the adopted sons of God and heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven.

It is helpful for us to repeat the Baptismal vows which were once made by others, in our name.
Let us imagine that we are at our own Baptism, solemnly promising, through our Godparents, to renounce the devil, the world and the flesh, in order to follow Jesus.

Can we claim to have kept our promises?
Or are we forced to admit that we have not always lived up to our obligations?

Let us renew our promises today and let us ask Jesus, for the grace to be faithful to them, till the end of our lives.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", BAPTISM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST

Quote/s of the Day – 10 January – Baptism

Quote/s of the Day – 10 January – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

“ … Sin is washed away by the waters of the font,
the Holy Spirit is poured forth in the chrism
and we obtain both of these gifts,
through the hands and the mouth of the Priest.
Thus the whole man is reborn
and renewed in Christ.”

St Pacian (c 310–391)
Bishop of Barcelona

“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

“By Baptism we are made flesh of the Crucified.”

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor of the Church’s Unity

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/01/08/quote-s-of-the-day-8-january-the-feast-of-the-baptism-of-the-lord/

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRADITION, SAINT of the DAY, The DIVINE INFANT, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

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 LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SLOTH, QUOTES on TIME

Thought for the Day – 5 January – The Shortness of Time

Thought for the Day – 5 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Shortness of Time

“We often complain about the swift passage of time.
Hours, days and years pass by, never to return.
When we think about the past, do we feel consoled or depressed?
How many hours have we spent on useless pursuits such as, idle conversation or excessive entertainment?
How many have we devoted to serious sin?
How many, on the other hand, have we spent in prayer, mortification or apostolic work?
How many have we devoted to helping our neighbour by our charitable assistance or advice?
Weigh it all up.
If we discover that the time uselessly or badly spent far outweighs the time spent to our own advantage or to the advantage of others, let us determine to make good the deficit.
Resolve to use God’s precious gift of time in a manner befitting a reasonable being and a Christian, who knows that he has been created for eternity.
“While we have time, let us do good” (Gal 6:10).
We shall be unable to do anything about it afterwards!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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/

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Thought for the Day – 31 December – The Last Day of the Year

Thought for the Day – 31 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Last Day of the Year

“The last day of the year has come.
It should be a day of reckoning and of resolution.
Think of the many benefits which God has conferred on you throughout your life but, especially in the year which is now drawing to a close.

Count the temporal favours which you have received.
Many of your friends and acquaintances have died during the year but, you are still alive!
God has rescued you from innumerable perils and illnesses.
He has allowed you more time in which to perfect your spiritual life and to perform pastoral work on your neighbour’s behalf.
Try not to be like the barren tree in the gospel because, this could be your final year of trial.

Count the spiritual blessings which you have received.
Think of the graces and good inspirations which God has given you during the past twelve months.
How often have you received forgiveness for your sins, been restored to the friendship of God and, experienced anew, the joy and peace of being in the state of grace?
How often has Jesus come into your heart under the guise of the Blessed Eucharist?
How often have you been enlightened ad ecouraged by hearing or reading the word of God?
Think, too, of the good example which you have received in private and in public and recall the many occasions, on which the helping hand of God has reached out to save you from falling into sin.

You could never show sufficient gratitude for all these favours.
Spend this day, at least, in acts of repentance and thanksgiving and, promise God, to be faithful to Him in the coming year.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TRUTH, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 25 December – The Feast of the Nativity

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

The Feast of the Nativity

“While the earth, plunged in darkness, ignores the birth of Jesus, the sky brightens above the lowly barn in which the Infant is lying.
The voices of Angels are heard singing a sweet refrain which will echo through the centuries.
“Glory to God in the highest,” they chant “and on earth, peace among men of goodwill (Lk 2:14).”

The world rejects and despises Jesus; one day, moreover, He will be condemned as a criminal and Crucified.
What happens to Jesus is what always happens to TRUTH and JUSTICE, which are often spurned by men but are always victorious in the end.
For a time, truth and justice may seem to have been defeated once and for all but then, they triumph in an extraordinary manner.
The example of Christ is enough to convince us of this.

Let us never reject Jesus Christ, however.
Let us refuse to trample on His holy law or to crucify Him again, by our sins!
Let us listen to the chorus of Angels singing.
Let us make our lives a hymn of praise to Almighty God and then, we shall have that peace of heart which is rserved for men of goodwill.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on SIN, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – St Augustine ‘The Divine Physician’ John 1:14

One Minute Reflection – 25 December – The Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ – Mass during the day – Readings:  Isaiah 52:7-10Psalms 98:12-33-45-6Hebrews 1:1-6John 1:1-18

Christ has been born for us, come, let us adore Him!

“And the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14

REFLECTION – “His glory no-one could see unless he was healed by the lowliness of His flesh. Why could we not see? Concentrate, my beloved people and see what I am saying. Dust, so to speak, had forcibly entered humanity’s eye; earth had entered it, had injured the eye and it could not see the light. That injured eye is anointed; it was injured by earth and earth is put there that it may be healed. For all salves and medicines are nothing but [compounds] of the earth. You have been blinded by dust, you are healed by dust; thus the flesh has blinded you, flesh heals you. For the soul had become carnal by assenting to carnal passions; from that the eye of the heart had been blinded. “The Word was made flesh.” That physician made a salve for you. And because He came in such a way that by His flesh He might extinguish the faults of the flesh and by His death He might kill death, it was, therefore, effected in you that, because “the Word was made flesh,” you could say, “And we saw his glory.”St Augustine (354-430) Great Western Father & Doctor of Grace –Tractates on the Gospel of John, 2

PRAYER – Almighty God, Your incarnate Word fills us with the new light He brought to men. Let the light of faith in our hearts, shine through all that we do and say. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

The Word was God in the beginning and before all time, today, He is born to us, the Saviour of the world.

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Thought for the Day – 23 December – What Jesus Wants From Us

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

What Jesus Wants From Us

“Let us contemplate Jesus lying on a rough pallet of straw in the manger.
When we see Him looking at us, let us ask ourselves what it is that He requires of us.
In fact, He wants many things from us.
First of all, He wants us to weep for our sins and to promise, never to fall again, as long as we have the assistance of His grace, for which we should pray continually.
For this, He has become man and has entered into the world.
For this He will work miracles, preach His doctrine and shed His Precious Blood on the Cross.
All this He will do to redeem us from sin and to win Heaven for us.

If we return to the path of sin, we destroy the divine work of redemption, inasfar as it applies to ourselves.
We make Christ’s passion, death and resurrection useless in our case.
We brush aside the chain of favours with which His love has girdled us – the Gospel, the Sacraments and the Church, our good mother who is always at our side to instruct and direct us, to rescue us from peril and, to distribute to us, the gifts of her divine Founder.
When we sin, we commit an act of base ingratitude to Jesus and accomplish our own eternal ruin.

The Infant Jesus longs for us to give our hearts to Him.
Since He has given us His own, why should we be unwilling to give ours to Him?
Who or what can we love, if we do not love Jesus?
Nothing else is capable of giving us peace of soul and resignation in suffering.
Jesus alone can bestow these gifts on us, as long as we love and follow Him and abandon ourselves completely to His Holy Will.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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

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Thought for the Day – 11 December – Christ’s Work in Us

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

Christ’s Work in Us

“It is not enough that Jesus live in us ; He must increase and act in us continually.
The Spiritual life is like natural life.
It cannot stop, for to halt would mean death!
If Jesus is our life, He should live in us with ever-increasing intensity.
Life is like a stairway, we are either going up or coming down.

If we continue to climb energetically towards Jesus, we shall be coming nearer to Christian perfection.
If, on the other hand, we halt, the supernatural life of Jesus in us, will begin to weaken.
Tepedity will replace fervour and sin will succeed tepidity.
It is difficult to remain unchanged because, life involves movement.
‘Jesus Christ,” writes St Augustine, “was born a baby but, He did not remain one. He grew to boyhood, to adolescence and then, to maturity.”

It is necessary for us to grow also.
More precisely, it is necessary that Jesus grow continuously in us through faith, charity and good works.
“Court the good,” admonishes St Paul, “from a good motive always … until Christ is formed in you” (Gal 4:18-19).

It is not enough that Christ be born in us, it is necessary that He increase to the fullness of perfection (Cf Eph 4:13-16).
“Jesus increases daily,” writes Origen, “in the soul of the holy and just man, which mirror His grace, His wisdom and His sanctity. In the soul of the unfortunate sinner, however, Christ decreases and dies.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Advent Reflection – 11 December – ‘… I want to love You with all my heart.’

Advent Reflection – 11 December – Friday of the Second week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 48:17-19, Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6, Matthew 11:16-19

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

“For John came, neither eating nor drinking and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.” … Matthew 11:18-19

REFLECTION – “O Fire ever burning,” let us say together with Saint Augustine – “inflame our souls.”
O incarnate Word, You became man to strike in our hearts the fire of divine love, how is it You should find in us such great ingratitude?
You held nothing back to enable us to love You; You went as far as to sacrifice Your blood and Your life.
What is the reason we humans remain unmoved by such great gifts?
Is it because we know nothing about them? Not at all.
People understand and believe, it is for love of them, You came down from heaven to put on human flesh and take on the burden of their woes.
They know it is for love of them, You willed to lead a life of constant suffering and undergo a shameful death.
How explain, after all this, their living in such absolute forgetfulness of Your unequalled kindness?
They love their family, they love their friends, they even love their livestock! … it is for You alone they are without love and without gratitude!
But what am I saying? In accusing others of ungratefulness, I condemn myself since my conduct in Your regard is even worse than theirs.
Nevertheless, Your mercy gives me courage.
I know how long it has borne with me, to forgive me and set me on fire with Your love, if only I am willing to repent and love You.

Oh yes, my God, I want to repent … I want to love You with all my heart.
I well see how my heart … has abandoned You to love the things of this world but I also see how, in spite of this betrayal, You yet claim it as Your own.
And so, with all the strength of my will, I consecrate it and offer it to You. Therefore, be pleased to inflame it wholly with Your holy love and grant, that from now on, it may love no other thing but You …
O my Jesus, I love You, I love You, my sovereign Good!
I love You, sole Love of my soul.

O Mary, my mother, you are the “mother of noble loving” (Sir 24:24 Vg.), grant me the grace of loving my God.
It is from you that I hope to gain it.” – St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) – Bishop and Most Zealous Doctor of the Church – 1st Sermon for the Octave of Christmas

PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people, who come to You in confidence. Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You. Give courage to those who falter because of their failures. In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in hope, by the power of Your Holy Spirit. May Mary Immaculate, our Mother and Advocate be our eternal succour. Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.

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Advent Reflection – 10 December – Let us fulfil what is right and holy!

Advent Reflection – 10 December – Thursday of the Second week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 41:13-20Psalms 145:1 and 9,10-1112-13Matthew 11:11-15 and the Feast of Our Lady of Loreto

Let us adore the Lord, the king who is to come.

Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might
. – Psalm 145:10-11

REFLECTION – “My children, eternal life is being offered to us, the kingdom of heaven is made ready and Christ’s inheritance awaits us – the enjoyment of innumerable and unimaginable blessings, the happiness of a great joy and of immortality, glory and honour without measure and all the other blessings in such great number, that human language is not sufficient to make known its grace and mercy (cf. Wsd. 3:9)!
So let us run from now on with increased energy and above all you, lazy, recalcitrant, dull of heart, friends of murmuring who, unless you improve, are like the cursed fig tree. We surround it with manure (cf. Lk 13:8) and it takes no root at all, we water you with words and not a bit of growth results! “Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees” (Lk 3:9) and I will silence the rest. Let us seek out the fight, bravely pour with our sweat, adorn ourselves with crowns, gain praises and gather up like a treasure “what eye has not seen, and ear has not heard and what has not entered the human heart” (1 Cor 2:9).

Let us rule our lives by that of our fathers, that which goes back to the origin, let us follow in the footsteps of their virtues, love their upright deeds, make of our way of life an image of their own. (…) Yes, let us work together with them! Let us act with them! Let us follow in their footsteps! Yes! Let us, too, fulfil what is right and holy! In this way we will share in their glory, we will be crowned and, together with them, exult in the kingdom of heaven, in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom belongs the glory and the power, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.” – St Theodore the Studite (759-826) Catechesis 72 (from the Great Cathecheses)

PRAYER – O God, You willed that, at the message of an angel, Your word should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; grant to Your suppliant people, that we, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with You. Through the same Christ our Lord.

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Thought for the Day – 8 December – THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

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

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

“Let us read the first chapter of St Luke’s Gospel in order to try and understand, as far as possible, the Immaculate Conception and the sublime holiness of Mary.
“The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David and the virgin’s name was Mary. And when the angel had come to her, he said, ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women’” (Lk 1:26-28).
The Blessed Virgin was troubled when she heard these words but the Angel reassured her.
He told her that she had found favour with God and added, that she would become the Mother of God, for the Word would become flesh in her womb through the power of the Holy Spirit, in such a manner that in her nature, the privileges of virginity and of the divine motherhood, would be miraculously united.
Mary then gave her assent to the will of God and, her ‘fiat’ placed her on a pedestal, high above all the generations of humanity and all the choirs of the angelic kingdom.

It is on this passage of the Gospel, that the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, chiefly depends.
She was full of grace and the supremely beloved of God.
How then could she have been subject to the rule of sin which we inherited from Adam?
If her soul had been stained with sin at the first moment of her conception, she would not have enjoyed the special favour of God and the plenitude of grace.
She was, moreover, predestined to become the Mother of God.
Was it possible that the divine Word, Who was to become her Son, could have permitted her soul to have been sullied, even for a single instant, by sin, which deprives us of grace and makes us enemies of God?
It was on good grounds, therefore, that the Church defined, that from the first moment of her conception, Mary was free from all taint of sin, by a singular privilege conferred on her by God and through the merits of her divine Son, Jesus Christ.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ACT of PERFECT CONTRITION, CONFESSION/PENANCE, DIVINE MERCY, I BELIEVE!, INDULGENCES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on HERESY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on REPARATION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY

Thought for the Day – 7 December – INDULGENCES

Thought for the Day – 7 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

INDULGENCES

“Indulgences are among the means by which we can help to satisfy the Divine Justice for our own offences and for those of the faithful depared.

Unfortunately, very few Christians understand the true nature of indulgences.
As a result, they neglect to fulfil the conditions necessary to gain them.

Canon Law defines an indulgence as “the remission in the sight of God of the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven, which, the proper ecclesiastical authority concedes from the treasury of the Church, for the living, by way of absolution and for the dead, by way of suffrage” (Canon 911).
The main requirement is to be in the state of grace, which sinners can attain by means of the Sacrament of Penance, or by an Act of PERFECT CONTRITION.
If properly made, Confession takes away sin and eternal punishment but, not temporal punishment.
This may be cancelled by means of penance, prayer and good works.
In the early days of the Church, the penitential system was most severe (I wish it were so again!)
According to the degree of gravity, different sins drew penances of days, weeks or months of fasting on bread and water.
As times changed, the Church reduced these penalties and granted indulgences instead.

What we may ask, is the theological basis for these indulgences?
It is the spiritual treasury which is at the disposal of the Church, made up of the infinite merits of our Redeemer and added to, by the merits of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints.
These merits are communicated to us by the Church by reason of the consoling Dogma of the Communion of Saints, according to which, the Church Militant, Suffering and Triumphant, constitutes one Mystical Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head.

The Church has power to dispose of this immense treasure by reason of the injunction given to her by her Founder, when He said to St Peter: “Whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Mt 16:19).
There are no reservations – the injunction applies, not only to sin but, also to its punishment.
It is clear that indulgences are not merely a dispensation from the penitential discipline in the eyes of the Church, as certain heretics held and still hold but also, in the sight of God.
Indulgences reflect, both the mercy and the justice of God.
They reflect His justice because complete satisfaction is rendered by the merits of Jesus Christ.
They reflect His mercy because these merits are applied to us poor sinners and also, by way of suffrage, to the souls of our departed friends.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on HYPROCRISY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN

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

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, HOLY ORDERS, I BELIEVE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the PRIESTHOOD, The WORD

Advent Reflection – – 6 December – “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” – Matthew 9:28

Advent Reflection – – 6 December – Friday of the First week of Advent, Readings: Isaiah 29:17-24,Psalms 27:1413-14,Matthew 9:27-31 and the Memorial of St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church

Let us adore the Lord, the King who is to come.

When he entered the house, the blind men came to him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. … Matthew 9:28-30

REFLECTION – “O Lord, You led me from my father’s loins and formed me in my mother’s womb. You brought me, a naked babe, into the light of day, for nature’s laws always obey Your commands.
By the blessing of the Holy Spirit, You prepared my creation and my existence, not because man willed it or flesh desired it but by Your ineffable grace. The birth You prepared for me was such, that it surpassed the laws of our nature. You sent me forth into the light by adopting me as Your son and You enrolled me among the children of Your holy and spotless Church.
You nursed me with the spiritual milk of Your divine utterances. You kept me alive with the solid food of the body of Jesus Christ, Your only-begotten Son for our redemption. And He undertook the task willingly and did not shrink from it. Indeed, He applied Himself to it as though destined for sacrifice, like an innocent lamb. Although He was God, He became man and in his human will, became obedient to You, God His Father, unto death, even death on a cross.
In this way You have humbled Yourself, Christ my God, so that You might carry me, Your stray sheep, on Your shoulders. You let me graze in green pastures, refreshing me with the waters of orthodox teaching at the hands of Your shepherds. You pastured these shepherds and now, they in turn tend Your chosen and special flock. Now You have called me, Lord, by the hand of Your bishop to minister to Your people. I do not know why You have done so, for You alone know that. Lord, lighten the heavy burden of the sins through which I have seriously transgressed. Purify my mind and heart. Like a shining lamp, lead me along the straight path. When I open my mouth, tell me what I should say. By the fiery tongue of Your Spirit make my own tongue ready. Stay with me always and keep me in Your sight.
Lead me to pastures, Lord and graze there with me. Do not let my heart lean either to the right or to the left but let Your good Spirit guide me along the straight path. Whatever I do, let it be in accordance with Your will, now until the end.
And you, O Church, are a most excellent assembly, the noble summit of perfect purity, whose assistance comes from God. You in whom God lives, receive from us an exposition of the faith that is free from error, to strengthen the Church, just as our Fathers handed it down to us.” – From The Statement of Faith by St John Damascene, Priest“You have called me, Lord, to minister to Your people”

PRAYER – Lord, watch over Your people who come to You in confidence. Strengthen the hearts of those who hope in You. Give courage to those who falter because of their failures. In this holy season of Advent, lead them closer to You in faith and hope, by the power of your Holy Spirit. May they proclaim Your saving acts of kindness here on earth and one day, in Your eternal kingdom and may the prayers of St John Damascene bring us light and strength. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 October – “They have bowed my soul down.” – Luke 13:10-17

One Minute Reflection – 26 October – Monday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Monday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ephesians 4:32-5:8Psalms 1:1-234 and 6Luke 13:10-17

“But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.” – Luke 13:14

REFLECTION – “The whole human race, like this woman, was bent over and bowed down to the ground. Someone already understands these enemies. He cries out against them and says to God, “They have bowed my soul down.” The devil and his angels have bowed the souls of men and women down to the ground. He has bent them forward to be intent on temporary and earthly things and has stopped them from seeking the things that are above.

Since that is what the Lord says about the woman whom Satan had bound for eighteen years, it was now time for her to be released from her bondage on the sabbath day. Quite unjustly, they criticised Him for straightening her up. Who were these, except people bent over themselves? Since they quite failed to understand the very things God had commanded, they regarded them with earthbound hearts. They used to celebrate the sacrament of the sabbath in a literal, material manner and did not notice it’s spiritual meaning.” – St Augustine (354-430) Father, Doctor of Grace (Sermon 162)

PRAYER – Come to help us in our weakness, God of mercy, forgive the sins of Your people and as nothing we can do is worthy in Your sight, save us through the intercession of the Mother of our Lord, Jesus Christ. May the prayers of all your saints be offered to You on our behalf. We make our prayer through Jesus with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.