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Thought for the Day – 25 March – Mortification and Penance

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

Mortification and Penance

“In Christian teaching, death is the beginning of life.
“Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies,” Jesus said, “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).
This paradox of dying to this life in order to live in Heaven, was enacted in a wonderful way in the lives of Jesus and of the Saints.
It must be put into effect in our lives also, if we are to be genuine Christians.
Jesus shed His precious blood for us and His death was the beginning of His triumph.
The Apostles, Martyrs and Saints, gave their lives for Christ and received, as their reward, the happy and eternal life of Heaven.
By dying to our own ego and to our passions, we shall find the true life of Christ.
We must die to ourselves, so that Christ may live in us, as He lived in St Paul.
We must die to pride, so that Christian humility may live in us;
we must die to anger, so that patience may live in us;
we must die to lust, so that purity and innocence may live in us
and, we must die to selfishness, so that charity may live in us.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

humility - bacci - 25 march 2020

Posted in LENT 2020, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 March – ‘We ourselves are this house …’

One Minute Reflection – 13 March – Friday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Genesis 37:3-4, 12 -13, 17-28, Psalm 105:16-21, Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

“Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.”...Matthew 21:43matthew 21 43 therefore i tell you the kingdom of god will be taken away from you 13 march 2020

REFLECTION – “The vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel” says the prophet (Is 5:7).   We ourselves are this house… and, since we are His Israel, we are the vineyard. So let us take good care that grapes of wrath (Rv 14:19) rather than sweetness do not grow from our branches, so that no-one may say to us:  “I expected grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:4).   What fruitless soil!   The soil that should have presented its master with fruits of sweetness, pierced Him with its sharp thorns.
In the same way His enemies, who ought to have welcomed our Saviour with all the devotion of their faith, crowned Him with the thorns of His Passion.   In their eyes this crown expressed insult and abuse but in the Lord’s eyes it was the crown of virtue…

My brethren, take good care that no one says with regard to you: “He expected it to yield grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:2)… Let us be careful that our evil deeds do not rub against our Lord’s head like thorns. ” … Saint Maximus of Turin (c 380-c 420)Sermon for the feast of Saint Cyprian – CC Sermon 11the-soil-that-should-have-st-maximus-of-turin-22-march-2019-2nd-fri-lent and 13 march 2020

PRAYER – Almighty God, help us dear Father to produce fruits acceptable to You. Help us to reach out of our enclosed spaces in love to all. Even when the road is rocky, grant that we may not falter but always turn back to Your merciful gaze.ay the prayers of our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, who fearlessly withstood the fury of evil, be a help in our times of need and fear.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.blessed virgin mary pray for us 17 jan 2019

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Quote/s of the Day – 13 February – ‘No-one listens to his own heart …’

Quote/s of the Day – 13 February – the Memorial of Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP (1190-1237)

“Happiness is secured through virtue,
it is a good attained by man’s own will.”

St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Angelic Doctor

happiness is secured through virtue - st thomas aquinas 13 feb 2020

Meeting a vagabond upon the road who feigned sickness and poverty, Blessed Jordan gave him one of his tunics, which the fellow at once carried straight to a tavern for drink. The brethren, seeing this done, taunted him with his simplicity:

‘There now, Master, see how wisely you have bestowed your tunic.’

‘I did so,’ said he,
‘because I believed him to be in want,
through sickness and poverty
and it seemed, at the moment,
to be a charity to help him.
Still, I reckon it better, to have parted
with my tunic than with charity.’

Blessed Jordan of Saxony (1190-1237)

it is better to have parted with my tunic than with charity - bl jordan of saxony 13 feb 2020

The Heart of Christ

This Heart lives on service.
It does not seek to glorify itself but the Father alone.
It does not speak of its love.
It performs it’s service so unobtrusively,
that it is almost forgotten, as we forget our heart under the stress of our affairs.
We think that life lives of itself.
No-one listens to his own heart, not even for a second —
his heart, that bestows life, hour after hour on him.
We have grown used to the slight tremor in our being,
to the eternal beating of the waves that from within us,
dash on the shore of consciousness.
We accept it as we do our destiny, or nature, or the course of things.
We have grown used to love.
And we no longer hear the tapping finger, that knocks day and night at the gate of our soul, we no longer hear this question, this request to enter.

Hans Cardinal Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)

~From Heart of the World

we no longer hear this tapping finger - hans urs von balthasar 13 feb 2020

Posted in CARMELITES, DOCTORS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 February – …’He is seated upon an extremely valuable throne…’

One Minute Reflection – 11 February – Tuesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30, Psalm 84:3-5, 10-11, Mark 7:1-13 and the Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes

“This people honours me with their lips but their hearts are far from me” … Mark 7:6mark 7 6 this people honours me with their lips but their hearts are far from me 11 feb 2020

REFLECTION – “Well, let us imagine that within us is an extremely rich palace, built entirely of gold and precious stones, in sum, built for a lord such as this.   Imagine, too, as is indeed so, that you have a part to play, in order for the palace to be so beautiful, for there is no edifice as beautiful as is a soul pure and full of virtues.   The greater the virtues the more resplendent the jewels.
Imagine, also, that in this palace dwells this mighty King who has been gracious enough to become your Father and, that He is seated upon an extremely valuable throne, which is your heart. (…)

You will laugh at me, perhaps and say that what I’m explaining is very clear and you’ll be right, for me, though, it was obscure for some time.   I understood well that I had a soul. But what this soul deserved and who dwelt within it I did not understand because I had covered my eyes with the vanities of the world.   For, in my opinion, if I had understood as I do now, that, in this little palace of my soul dwelt so great a King, I would not have left Him alone so often.   I would have remained with Him at times and striven more so as not to be so unclean.
But what a marvellous thing, that He who would fill a thousand worlds and many more with His grandeur, would enclose Himself in something so small!” … St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) Doctor of the Church – The Way of Perfection, ch. 28, 9-11imagine also that in this palace dwells this mighty king - st teresa of avila 11 feb 2020

PRAYER – Grant us, O merciful God, protection in our weakness, that we, who keep the Memorial of the Immaculate Mother of God, may, with the help of her intercession, rise up from our iniquities.   Grant, we pray that our lives may be gifts to all those who cry out in pain.   Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever, amen.ou-lady-of-lourdes-pray-for-us-11-feb-2019 and 2020

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Second Thought for the Day – 8 February – Blessed Esperanza’s Spiritual Testament

Second Thought for the Day – 8 February – The Memorial of Blessed Maria Esperanza de Jesus (1893-1983)

Extract from Blessed Esperanza’s Spiritual Testament

“In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, I write to my beloved sons and my beloved daughters this Testament.

I leave entrusted to the Most Holy Virgin, all my sons and daughters and my two beloved Congregations and all the poor people received in them.

I wish to leave to my sons and daughters the precious inheritance that I have, freely and without any merit, received from the Good Jesus.

Recommendations that I make to my beloved sons and to my beloved daughters:
Be humble, love one another, eradicate from your heart the rash judgements, never look for responsibilities or high positions, stay in the hands of obedience like little children; never have discussions or quarrels, never occupy yourselves with things for which you are not responsible, be very charitable and attached to prayer, because the means to obtain grace and glory is prayer;  always follow the narrow path of mortification; work to acquire detachment and disdain with respect to yourselves; you will succeed in this with the knowledge of Our God, His love and the knowledge of your nothingness and your miseries; always and in everything, try to accomplish the Will of Our God and always seek His glory and not yours.

Keep yourselves free, my children, from all greed, try hard to have no attachment to earthly things, because the Son and Handmaid of Merciful Love must be occupied with charity, divine and spiritual things and you will arrive there easily if your hearts are strongly attached to the Good Jesus.

Walk with great attention in order to not become implicated in cares foreign to your vocation and to your state, never get involved in secular business contrary to your vocation, not even in the name of charity or prudence.

The Request I address to the Good Jesus, at the time of the death of my body and the life of my soul, by the mercy and the love of my God. I ask that the Good Jesus personally and the glory of God be the cause of the actions of all the sons and daughters and that He always be their Advocate and defend them against the enemies of the respective Congregations, always repeating in their favour: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing!”

Jesus, at the time of death, see to it that all the sons and daughters can say, full of love and confidence, what I say to You in these moments, with hope in Your charity, love and mercy:  “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Blessed Esperanza de Jesus, Pray for Us!

bl esperanza de jesus pray for us no 2 8 feb 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on MORALS, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 7 February – Religion and Action

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

Religion and Action

John 14 6 i am the way -the Christian religion is moe than - bacci 7 feb2020

“Jesus says in the Gospel:  “I am the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6).
The world was lost in the darkness of error and in the entanglement of vice.
Jesus came to point out the only path which leads to truth and to virtue.
But He was not satisfied merely to show the way and to preach the truth.
There were philosophers who had spoken eloquently and taught wisely on the subject of truth and the virtues.
Nobody, however, was able to give men the strength to follow their precepts.
Many could have repeated the words of the poet:  “Video meliora proboque deteriora sequor;  “I see what it is better to do but I do what is worse” (Ovid, Metamorphoses, VII, 20-21).
Jesus, on the other hand, not only taught the way and the truth but by His grace, gave men a spark of the divine life which was in Him.
The Christian religion is more than a system of doctrines to be firmly held.
It is more than a system of private and public worship of God and veneration of His Saints, more than a mere collection of rites to be observed.
It should also be a way of life in full conformity with the moral precepts given by Jesus Christ.
He is declared to be not only the way and the truth but our very life, in the sense, that He transfuses into us, His own divine life, by means of His grace, with which we must co-operate generously, if we wish to be true Christians.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CATHOLIC Quotes, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on VIRTUE

Thought for the Day – 1 February – True Peace

Thought for the Day – 1 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

True Peace

true peace flourishes in an atmosphere of good - bacci 1 fe 2020

Everybody desires peace but very few people possess it.
A good many profound and beautiful definitions have been attempted.
Cicero called it “tranquilla libertas,” which one might translate as “undisturbed freedom.”
His general idea was that there can be no peace without liberty.
St Augustine defined it as “Hominum ordinata concordia” (De Civitate Dei, XLX, 13) or “Ordered agreement among men.”
St Thomas Aquinas followed on the same lines when he said, that peace was “tranquillitas ordinis” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q.29, a1 ad 1) or “tranquillity of order.”
There are three necessary elements in peace.
They are order, harmony and liberty.
Right order is the most important.
Everything in us must be in it’s proper place.
As we have shown in the preceding meditation, our lower faculties must be entirely subordinate to right reason and, this must be completely subject to the law of God.

Every act of rebellion against this proper order, creates confusion in our nature and makes peace impossible.
Furthermore, there must be harmony and agreement.
This means that our minds must voluntarily accept and embrace this just order and not merely endure it with reluctance.
As St Thomas Aquinas says, peace is an act of charity, it comes indirectly from justice and directly from charity.   (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q 29, a1, ad 3).
We have perfect peace when this just order holds sway within us provided that we are not enduring it, as if it were a yoke but lovingly accepting it, under the inspiration of divine charity.
This is that genuine peace which gives us the liberty of the sons of God, that freedom from evil, with which Christ has set us free (Cf Gal 4:31, 2 Cor 3:17).
True peace flourishes in an atmosphere of goodness and perishes when it encounters evil.
Whether it is in the field of social relations or in the spiritual life, peace without liberty is not peace at all but slavery and death!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci