Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 23 January – Why Should It Happen to Me?

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

Why Should It Happen to Me?

“When Jesus had been scourged and crowned with thorns, He was forced to set out towrds the execution-ground on Calvary, carrying the heavy wooden Cross.
On the way, He met a Cyrenean named Simon, who was probably returning from his work in the fields outsdie the city.
The Jews had realised, that Jesus had lost so much blood, that He was unable to bear the weight any longer.
They felt no compassion for Him but they were anxious to save their victim for the final punishment.
With this in mind, they compelled Simon to carry Jesus’ Cross.
The Cyrenean could have said: “Why pick on me? I am tired and must get home …”
But his eyes met the tired gaze of Our Saviour.
He saw that He was covered with wounds and streaming blood.
Simon was deeply moved and willingly lifted the Cross which he carried to the place of execution (Cf Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26).

Picture Jesus, suffering and bleeding on the road to Calvary and Simon removing the Cross from the shoulders of Our Saviour and transferring it to his own.
How can we ever again rebel and complain, when we meet with inconvenience or sorrow?!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/22/thought-for-the-day-22-february-why-should-it-happen-to-me/

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Quote/s of the Day – 23 January – Blessed Henry Suso

Quote/s of the Day – 23 January – “Month of the Most Holy Name of Jesus” and The Memorial of Blessed Henry Suso OP (1295-1366)

“Faith in Jesus and in the power of His Holy Name
is the greatest spiritual force in the world today.
It is a source of joy and inspiration in our youth;
of strength in our manhood,
when only His Holy Name and His grace,
can enable us to overcome temptation;
of hope, consolation
and confidence at the hour of our death,
when more than ever before,
we realise, that the meaning of Jesus is
‘Lord, the Saviour.’
We should bow in reverence to His Name
and submission to His Holy Will.”

“Suffering is the ancient law of love;
there is no quest without pain;
there is no lover who is not also a martyr.”

“Remember, that you will derive strength
by reflecting, that the saints yearn
for you to join their ranks;
desire to see you fight bravely
and, that you behave like true knights
in your encounters with the same adversities
which they had to conquer.
That
breath-taking joy is theirs
and your eternal reward
for having endured a few years of temporal pain.
Every drop of earthly bitterness
will be changed into an ocean
of heavenly sweetness!”

“I have often repented of having spoken.
I have never repented of silence.”

“Let each look to himself
and see what God wants of him
and attend to this,
leaving all else alone.”

Blessed Henry Suso (1295-1366)

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on VOCATIONS, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 January – He appointed the Twelve – Mark 3:16-18

One Minute Reflection – 24 January – Friday of the Second week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 8: 6-13, Psalms 85:8 and 10, 11-12, 13-14, Mark 3:13-19 and the Memorial of St Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850)

He appointed the twelve –
Simon (to whom the gave the name Peter);
James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James
(to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder);
Andrew and Philip and Bartholomew and Matthew and Thomas
and James the son of Alphaeus and Thaddaeus
and Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
– Mark 3:16-18

REFLECTION – “Accordingly, in affirming that they are sent by Him, just as He was sent by the Father, Christ sums up in a few words the approach, they themselves should take to their apostolate. From what He said, they would gather, that it was their vocation to call sinners to repentance, to heal those who were sick, whether in body or spirit, to seek in all their dealing, never to do their own will but the will of Him who sent them and, as far as possible, to save the world by their teaching.” – St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444) Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – Human weakness finds its anchor in You, Lord and our faith is build on You as on a rock. Supported by the teachings, lives and prayers of our fathers, Your Apostles, may we always answer Your call and live in ever-closer union with You. And may all your Angels, Martyrs and Saints, pray for Holy Mother Church and for us all. Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spiirt, God forever and ever, amen.

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Thought for the Day – 20 January – Carrying our Cross – The Royal Road

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

Carrying our Cross – The Royal Road

“There is only one way to become holy and to win Heaven.
This is the way of the Cross.
The Imitation of Christ contains some moving thoughts on the subject of the royal road of the Cross.
We shall summarise them here.

The words of Jesus seem hard to many: “Renounce yourself, take up your cross and follow Me.”
But, it would be much harder to hear on the last day those terrible words: “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire.”
Those who listen now and accept the message of the Cross, need not be afraid of hearing this irrevocable sentence on that day.
Why avoid the way of the Cross if it is the only road which leads to Heaven?
In the Cross there is salvation; in the Cross there is protection from our enemies.
If we carry our cross with submission and love, we shall find peace of soul.
If we intertwine our cross with the Cross of Jesus, we shall obtain energy of mind, joy of spirit and perfect holiness.
If we die on the Cross with Jesus, we shall live with Him in eternal happiness.
If we are His companions in suffering, we shall also be with Him one day in glory (Rom 6:8).

Everything depends on our dying on the Cross with Jesus.
There is no other way to life and to true interior peace but the way of the Holy Cross and of daily mortification (Imitation of Christ, Bk II ch 12).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Quote/s of the Day – 20 January – Our only “Mask”

Quote/s of the Day – 20 January

Our only “Mask

Do not let love and fidelity forsake you,
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then will you win favour and esteem
before God and human beings.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
on your own intelligence do not rely.
In all your ways be mindful of him,
and he will make straight your paths.”

Proverbs 3:3-6

“Whatever you do, do from the heart,
as for the Lord and not for others,
knowing that you will receive
from the Lord
the due payment of the inheritance;
be slaves of the Lord Christ.”

Colossians 3:23-24

“So then let us cast off the works of darkness
and put on the armour of light. …
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ
and make no provision
for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

Romans 13:12,14

“He [Christ], protects their faith
and gives strength to believers,
in proportion to the TRUST,
that each man,
who receives that strength,
is willing to place in Him.”

St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Bishop and Martyr, Father of the Church

“Remember God
more often
than you breathe!”

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

“… There is one Road
and one only,
well secured against all possibility
of going astray
and, this Road is provided
by One Who is Himself
both God and man.
As God, He is the Goal,
as man, He is the Way.”

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

“Loving You, O God,
brings its own reward here on earth,
as well as the eternal reward of heaven.
By becoming mirrors of Your love,
by wearing the mask of Your likeness
and by allowing You to make us perfect,
we can know the joy of heaven,
even while we abide here on earth.”

William of St Thierry O.Cist (c 1075 – c 1148)
Cistercian Monk, Mystic, Theologian, Writer

“May He,
Who is the Track of the runners
and the Reward of the winners,
lead and guide you along it –
He, Christ Jesus!”

Bl Guerric of Igny O.Cist (c 1080-1157)
Cistercian Abbot

“Christ is both the way and the door.
Christ is the staircase and the vehicle …”

St Bonaventure (1221-1274)
Seraphic Doctor

“He who wishes for anything but Christ,
does not know what he wishes;
he who asks for anything but Christ,
does not know what he is asking;
he who works and not for Christ,
does not know what he is doing.”

St Philip Neri (1515-1595)

Transform me into Yourself
By St John Gabriel Perboyre (1802-1840) Martyr

O my Divine Saviour,
Transform me into Yourself.
May my hands be the hands of Jesus.
Grant that every faculty of my body
May serve only to glorify You.
Above all,
Transform my soul and all it’s powers
So that my memory, will and affection
May be the memory, will and affections
Of Jesus.
I pray You
To destroy in me all that is not of You.
Grant that I may live
but in You, by You and for You,
So that I may truly say, with Saint Paul,
“I live – now not I – But Christ lives in me.
Amen

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER

Thought for the Day – 17 January – The Help of God

Thought for the Day – 17 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Help of God

“There are several passages in Sacred Scripture which emphasise clearly and effectively, our utter weakness and dependence on God.
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves,” says St Paul, “to think anything, as from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor 3:5).

Jesus warns us, that without Him, we can do nothing: “Without me, you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).
He uses the allegory of the vine and the branches as an illustration of this.
I am the vine, He says and you are the branches.
So it is necessary for you to remain united to me and I to you.
In the same way as a branch that does not live on, in the vine, can yield no fruit of itself, so you can do nothing, if you do not live on in Me.
If anyone does not remain united to Me, he will be like a withered branch which is thrown into the fire to be burned (Jn 15),

We must remain united to Jesus, therefore, if we wish to do anything good and to merit everlasting life.
Otherwise, the supernatural life of grace will not be transmitted to us.
If Jesus is not there, death comes into our souls.
Let us remain close to our Divine Redeemer.
If we continue to live in Him, He will give us everything we ask, as He has promised: “If you abide in me and, if my words abide in you, ask whatever you will and it shall be done to you” (Jn 15:7).

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One of this thread here:
https://anastpaul.com/?s=the+beggars+of+god

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

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Thought for the Day – 16 January – I Am Not Able

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

I Am Not Able

“Whenever we feel called upon to make some sacrifice for Jesus or, to form some good resolution, how often do we cry: “I am not able!”
It may be a question of praying more fervently, of performing some mortification or, of helping our neighbour spiritually or materially.
Or perhaps, it is a matter of saying a few words of apology or, of encouragement to our neighbour, whom we have previously treated with coldness and selfishness.
Or. it may be something entirely more generous which is demanded; it may be that God is inviting us to renounce ourselves completely and to dedicate ourselves to Him.
Naturally, this requires sacrifice and great generosity of heart.
But we say to Jesus when He calls us: “I cannot, it is too difficult!”
And yet, the Lord says: “You shall make and keep yourselves holy because, I am holy” (Lev 11:44).
“You, therefore, are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
We must not refuse God, Who became man for us in his love and mercy and shed His blood for our redemption!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/05/thought-for-the-day-5-september-i-am-not-able/

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN TITLES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 16 January – “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Mark 2:16

One Minute Reflection – 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 and the Feast Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners and Memorial of St Fursey (Died c 648)

“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “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 16-17

REFLECTION – “He came in humility – He, the Creator, was created amongst us, He made us but He was made for us. God before time began, man in time, He delivered man from time. This great physician has come to heal our cancer… by His example, He has come to heal pride itself.

This is what we must give our attention to, in the Lord – let us consider His humility, drink the cup of His humility, clasp Him, contemplate Him. How easy it is to have elevated thoughts, easy to take pleasure in honours, easy to give one’s ear to flatterers and people who praise us. But to bear with insult, patiently undergo humiliation, pray for those who persecute us (Mt 5,39.44) – that is the Lord’s cup, that is the Lord’s feast.“… St Augustine (354-430) Father & Doctor of the Church – Sermon for the ordination of a bishop, Guelferbytanus no.32

PRAYER – Almighty, ever-living God, You offer the covenant of reconciliation to mankind through Your Son Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Lord God, grant Your people constant joy, in the renewed vigour of their souls. They rejoice because You have restored them to the glory of Your adopted children, through Him who saves them. Grant that by the assistance of Mary, His mother and theirs, they may look forward gladly to the certain hope of resurrection. Through Christ, the Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.

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Thought for the Day – 15 January – The Two Standards

Thought for the Day – 15 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Two Standards

“Apart from the throngs of the apathetic, we can see today, as in every stage of the history of Christianity, two armies in battle array, the enemies of Christ and His faithful.
Both the forces of good and evil and, the weapons which they have at their disposal, have increased tremendously in modern times.
Between them, there is Christ, “a sign that shall be contradicted,” (Lk 2:34) as Simeon prophesied.
There are those who give themselves completely to Jesus, their abilities, their health, their virginity offered as a sacrifice for a higher ideal and, if necessary, their life’s blood.
But, there are also those, who use every means which progress has provided, such as the press, cinema and television, in order to destroy God’s dominion over human souls.

Evil today, is organised on a vast scale.
Why, then, can we not employ every modern means, in order to diffuse goodness throughout the world?
This may require sacrifice but, we cannot refuse to make sacrifices on behalf of Jesus Christ, Who did not spare Himself for us!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/09/thought-for-the-day-9-september-the-two-standards/

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/

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Quote/s of the Day – 11 January – The kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the gospel.

Quote/s of the Day – 11 January – The Sixth Day in the Octave of Epiphany, Readings: Hebrews 1:1-6, Psalms 97:1 and 2, 6 and 7, 9, Mark 1:14-20

“This is the time of fulfilment.
The kingdom of God is at hand,
repent and believe in the gospel.”

Mark 1:15

“And the people sought him and came to him
and would have kept him from leaving them,
but he said to them,
I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God
to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

Luke 4:42-43

” … For behold,
the kingdom of God,
is in the midst of you.”

Luke 17:21

“Proclaim the word;
be persistent
whether it is convenient or inconvenient;
convince,
reprimand
and encourage
through all patience and teaching.”

2 Timothy 4:2

“Everyone without God,
has a dead soul.
You, who bewail the dead,
rather, should bewail sin.
Bewail ungodliness.
Bewail disbelief.”

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

“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!”

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

” …[The Kingdom of God] … is within you.
That is, it depends on your own wills
and is in your own power,
whether or not you receive it.
Everyone, that has attained
to justification, by means of faith in Christ
and decorated by every virtue,
is counted worthy,
of the kingdom of heaven.”

St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father & Doctor of the Church

“Christ acts like a loving mother.
To induce us to follow Him,
He gives us Himself as an example
and promises us a reward in His kingdom.”

St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Evangelical Doctor

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

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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 "Follow Me", BAPTISM, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 January -“ He will baptise you, with the Holy Spirit.” – Mark 1:8

One Minute Reflection – 10 January – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord , Readings: Isaiah 55:1-11, Isaiah 12:2-3,4,5-6, 1 John 5:1-9, Mark 1:7-11

“I have baptised you with water but he will baptise you, with the Holy Spirit.” – Mark 1:8

REFLECTION – “Today, the Lord Jesus has come to be baptised. He wanted to wash His body in the water of the Jordan.
Someone might say: “Why did He who was the Holy One want to be baptised?” So listen.
Christ was baptised, not in order to be sanctified by the water but so that He, Himself would sanctify the water and would purify the waves, that He touched by His personal action.
Thus, we have to do with the consecration of the water much more than with that of Christ. For the moment the Lord was washed, all the waters became pure in view of our baptism. The spring was purified so that grace might be obtained for the people who would come afterwards. Thus Christ was the first to go to His baptism, so that the Christian people might follow Him without hesitation.
And in this I perceive a mystery.
Did not the column of fire go ahead into the Red Sea in this way, so as to encourage the children of Israel to walk behind it? It crossed the water first so as to break a path for those who would follow.
According to the testimony of the Apostle Paul, this event was a symbol of baptism (1 Cor 10:1f.). Without any doubt, when the people were covered by the cloud and carried by the water, it was a kind of baptism.
And all that was fulfilled by the same Christ our Lord, who in the column of His body now precedes the Christian people to baptism, just as He preceded the children of Israel across the sea, in the column of fire. The same column, which in times past enlightened the eyes of those who were walking, now gives light to the hearts of the believers. Then it marked a solid path in the waves, now in this bath, it strengthens the steps of faith.” – St Maximus of Turin (?-c 420) BishopSermon for the feast of the Epiphany

PRAYER – By the Benedictines of Stanbrook
When Jesus comes to be baptised,
He leaves the hidden years behind,
The years of safety and of peace,
To bear the sins of all mankind.

The Spirit of the Lord comes down
Anoints the Christ to suffering,
To preach the word, to free the bound
And to the mourner comfort bring.

Our everlasting Father, praise,
With Christ, His well-beloved Son,
Who with the Soirit reigns serene,
Untroubled Trinity in One.
Amen

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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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One Minute Reflection – 8 January – Our compass

One Minute Reflection – 8 January – The Third Day within the Octave of Epiphany, Readings: 1 John 4:11-18, Psalms 72:1-2, 10,12-13, Mark 6:45-52 and the Memorial of St Peter Thomas OCD (c 1305-1366)

“Take courage, it is I, be not afraid!” … Mark 6:50

REFLECTION – “All ships have a compass which, when touched by the magnet, always turns towards the polar star. And even when the boat is making its way in a southward direction, yet the compass does not cease turning towards its north at all times.
In the same way, let the fine point of your spirit always turn towards God, its north. … You are about to take to the high seas of the world, do not on this account, alter dial or mast, sail or anchor or wind. Keep Jesus Christ as your dial, at all times, His Cross for mast on which to hoist your resolutions, as a sail. Let your anchor be, profound trust in Him and set out early. May the propitious wind of heavenly inspirations ever fill the sails of your vessel more and more and cause you, to speed forward, to the harbour of a holy eternity. …
Should everything turn upside down, I do not say around us but within us, that is to say, should our soul be sad, happy, in sweetness, in bitterness, peaceful, troubled, in light, in darkness, in temptation, in rest, in enjoyment, in disgust, in dryness, in gentleness, should the sun burn it or the dew refresh it, ah!, this point of our heart, our spirit, our higher will, which is our compass, should, nevertheless, always and at all times turn unceasingly, tend perpetually towards the love of God.” … St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) – Bishop of Geneva and Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – God and Father, light of all mankind, make our hearts radiant with the splendour of that light which long ago You shed on our fathers in the faith and give Your people the joy of lasting peace. May the prayers of Your blessed saints and martyrs be a comfort on our journey. Through Christ, our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

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Quote/s of the Day – 5 January – Our Work

Quote/s of the Day – 5 January – Christmas Weekday and the Memorial of St John Neumann (1811-1860)

Our Work

“You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your mind.
And the second is like it:
You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”

Matthew 22:36,39

“We must make our way towards eternity,
never regarding what men think of us,
or of our actions,
studying only to please God.”

St Francis Borgia (1510-1572)

“Give yourself to prayer
and try by it, to procure,
first the amendment
of your fault,
then the practice of Christian virtues
and finally a great love of God.”

Bl Sebastian Valfre (1629-1710)

“Only one thing is necessary:
Jesus Christ!
Think unceasingly of Him. ”

St John Gabriel Perboyre CM (1802-1840)
Martyr for Christ

“Everyone who breathes, high and low,
educated and ignorant, young and old,
man and woman, has a mission, has a work.
We are not sent into this world for nothing;
we are not born at random;
we are not here, that we may go to bed at night
and get up in the morning, toil for our bread,
eat and drink, laugh and joke,
sin when we have a mind
and reform when we are tired of sinning,
rear a family and die.
God sees every one of us,
He creates every soul . . .
FOR A PURPOSE.
He needs, He deigns to need, every one of us.
He has an end for each of us.
We are all equal in His sight and we are placed
in our different ranks and stations,
not to get what we can out of them for ourselves
but to labour in them for Him.
As Christ has His work, we too have ours –
as He rejoiced to do His work,
we must rejoice in ours also.”

“Man must always be ready,
for death comes when
and where God wills it.”

St John Neumann (1811-1860)

“Our vocation, yours and mine,
is not to go harvesting in the fields of ripe corn,
Jesus does not say to us;
“Lower your eyes, look at the fields and go and reap them,”
our mission is still loftier.
Here are Jesus’ words: “Lift up your eyes and see….”
See how in My Heaven there are places empty,
it is for you to fill them! …
each one of you is my Moses praying on the mountain (Ex 17:8f),
ask Me for labourers and I shall send them,
I await only a prayer, a sigh from your heart!”

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face (1873 – 1897)
Doctor of the Church

“Without Prayer
nothing good is done.
God’s works are done
with our hands joined
and on our knees.
Even when we run,
we must remain spiritually
kneeling before Him.”

Bl Luigi Orione (1872-1940)

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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)

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One Minute Reflection – 4 January – “Come and see.” – John 1:39

One Minute Reflection – 4 January – Christmas Weekday, Readings: 1 John 3:7-10, Psalm 98:1, 7-9, John 1:35-42

He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying and they stayed with him that day … John 1:39

REFLECTION “John was there and two of his disciples with him.” John was such “a friend of the Bridegroom” that he did not seek his own glory, he simply bore witness to the truth (Jn 3:29.26). Did he dream of keeping back his disciples and preventing them from following the Lord? Not in the least. He himself showed them the one they were to follow … He declared: “Why cling to me? I am not the Lamb of God. Behold the Lamb of God ……)Behold him who takes away the sins of the world.”

At these words the two disciples who were with John, followed Jesus. “Jesus turned and saw that they were following him and said to them: ‘What are you looking for?’ They said to him: ‘Rabbi, where are you staying?” As yet they were not following Him definitively, as we know, they joined themselves to Him, when He called them to leave their boat …, when He said to them: “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4:19). That was the moment they joined Him definitively, no longer to leave Him. But for now they wanted to see where Jesus was living and put into practice the words of Scripture: “If you see an intelligent man, seek him out at daybreak; let your feet wear away his doorstep! Learn from him the precepts of the Lord” (cf. Sir 6:36f.). So Jesus showed them where He was living, they went and stayed with Him. What a happy day they spent! What a blessed night! Who can say what it was they heard from the Lord’s mouth? Let us, too, build a dwelling in our hearts, construct a house where Christ can come to teach and converse with us.” … St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father & Doctor of the Church – Sermons on Saint John’s Gospel, no 7

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, thank You for making me a child of eternity. Help me to live each day in such a way that I may deserve to be a child of Yours forever. Grant that by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, all Your Angels and Martyrs and Saints, we may strive always to keep our eyes fixed on Your Son, our entry to You, our Shepherd and our Saviour who will lead us to our eternal home. May we never waiver from Your commandments. Amen

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Thought for the Day – 3 January – Following Jesus, the Divine Model

Thought for the Day – 3 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Following Jesus, the Divine Model

“Jesus is the Divine Model, Whom we ought to follow and imitate.
In Him, the virtues possess both the infinite splendour of the Divinity and the gentle appeal of glorified Humanity.
Jesus does not dazzle us with His brightness but kindly invites us to love and follow Him.
“Learn from me” He says, “for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29).
After He has indicated humility, meekness and interior peace, as the foundations of the spiritual life, He invites us to take up the yoke of His law and assures us, that we shall find it light (Mt 11).

If we follow Jesus, even though we are bowed with Him, beneath the weight of the Cross, we shall experience, even in this life, a reflection of the peace and joy which will be our reward in Heaven.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", Archbishop Alban GOODIER SJ, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD ALONE!, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on MISSION, The HOLY NAME, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 3 January – ‘He was called Jesus’ Luke 2:21

One Minute Reflection – 3 January – Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, Readings: Epistle Acts 4:8-12, Psalm 105:47, Isa 63:16, Ps 144:21, Gospel Luke 2:21-24

“And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus”…Luke 2:21

REFLECTION – “The Name stands as a complete summary and description of our Lord’s character and office and it is under this aspect that it has been regarded by thousands of Saints, whose hearts have melted at its mere sound. To them Jesus is their God, Jesus is their King, Jesus is their Redeemer, Jesus is their Mediator, Jesus is their Saviour, Jesus is their great Priest, Jesus is their Intercessor, Jesus is the Captain under Whom they fight, Jesus is the Leader Whom they follow, Jesus is their Teacher, Jesus is the Giver of their law, Jesus is the Spouse and Shepherd of their souls, Jesus is their Light, Jesus is their Life, Jesus is the Judge before Whom they rejoice to think, that they must one day stand, Jesus is their final and eternal Reward, for which alone they live.

But He is also to them the Mirror of all the most glorious and winning virtues. He is, and His Name tells them that He is, unbounded Charity, infinite Mercy, extremest Kindness, deepest Humility, most devoted Piety, transparent Simplicity, uttermost Poverty, Chastity without a stain. It is the prerogative of love to transform those who love into the likeness of Him Whom they love and as the mere name of one who is loved cannot sound in the ear or be thought of in the mind, without adding to the love which is already there, so the thought of the Holy Name and the mention of the Holy Name have a kind of sacramental power in the hearts of His Saints. The [name] seems to convey the grace which enables men to think like Him, to speak like Him, to act like Him, to sacrifice themselves like Him and to Him, and for Him, and along with Him, to make Him known to others, not by word only but also by reproduction of Him in themselves, and to win all men to love Him.” – Fr Alban Goodier SJ (1869-1939) Archbishop – Excerpted from The Prince of Peace

PRAYER – O God, who founded the salvation of the human race on the Incarnation of Your Word, give Your people the mercy they implore, so that all may know there is no other Name to be invoked but the Name of Your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

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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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One Minute Reflection – 2 January – “Now I begin”…

One Minute Reflection – 2 January – Christmas Weekday and The Memorial of St Basil the Great (329-379) and St Gregory of Nazianzen (330-390), Readings: 1 John 2:22-28Psalms 98:12-3,3-4John 1:19-28

He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” … 1 John 2:23

REFLECTION“Prepare a way for the Lord.” Brethren, however far you journey along it… from the very nature of goodness, there is no limit to the way along which you travel. And so… the wise and indefatigable traveller… can say to himself each day: “Now I begin”… And how many “go astray in the wilderness”… None of them can yet say: “Now I begin.”

For “the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.” If the beginning of wisdom, then surely it is also the beginning of the way of goodness… It is this that encourages praise…, it also moves the proud to penance, so that they hear the voice of him crying in the wilderness, ordering the preparation of the way and thus showing how to begin it: “Do penance for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand”…

If you are on the way, then fear only one thing, lest you leave it, lest you offend the Lord who leads you along it, so that He would abandon you to “wander in the way of your own heart”… If you feel that the way is too narrow look forward to the end to which it leads you. If you were to see how everything is to be attained, then you would say without hesitation: “Broad indeed is your command!” If you cannot see so far, believe Isaiah who could… “Behold,” he says, “the redeemed shall walk by this way and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Sion with singing, everlasting joy shall be upon their heads . They shall obtain also joy and gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Those who dwell sufficiently on this end, I think, will not only make the way easier for himself but also grow wings, so that he no longer walks but flies… May He, who is the track of the runners and the reward of the winners, lead and guide you along it – He, Christ Jesus!” … Blessed Guerric of Igny (c 1080-1157) Cistercian Abbot – 5th sermon of Advent, SC 166

PRAYER – Look with favour on our morning prayer, Lord and in Your saving love, let Your light penetrate the wilderness in our hearts. May no sordid desires darken our minds, renewed and enlightened as we are, by Your heavenly grace. God our Father, You enriched Your Church and gave examples for us to follow in the life and teachings of Sts Basil and Gregory. Grant that, learning Your truth with humility, we may practise it in faith and love. Sts Basil and Gregory, pray for our beloved Church, pray for all Catholic Christians, through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Thought for the Day – 30 December – Following Jesus

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

Following Jesus

“When we have renounced ourselves and have embraced our cross with resignation and love, we must follow Jesus.
We must follow Him in a special way as the infallible Teacher of truth.
The teachings of men cannot satisfy our intellects.
Still less, can they satisfy our hearts.
What they teach is either incomplete or false.
This is proved by the fact that the doctrines of mean have succeeded and replaced one another, down through the centuries while “the word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25).

The teaching of Christ produces an extraordinary renovation in the individual, in the family and in society.
It is this renewal which we call Christianity and Christian civilisation.
There is a wide chasm between paganism and Christianity.
This gulf would be even wider, only for the fact that Christianity has not yet been fully put into practice throughout the universe.
There is only one reform necessary.
This is to realise the Christian ideal everywhere.
We must begin by carrying it out ourselves.
Let us follow Jesus, Who is saying to us: “I am the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6). “He who follows Me does not walk in darkness” (Jn 8:12).

Let us follow our divine Master and we shall be sure that we are travelling towards Heaven!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – “The servant is not greater than his lord”

One Minute Reflection – 28 December – The Feast of the Holy Innocents – The Fourth Day of the Christmas Octave, Readings: 1 John 1:5-2:2, Psalm 124:2-5, 7-8, Matthew 2:13-18

When Herod realised that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity, two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. – Matthew 2:16

REFLECTION – “The Apostle John said: “Whoever says he abides in Christ, ought to walk even as Christ walked” (1 Jn 2:6). Moreover, the blessed Apostle Paul exhorts and teaches us, saying: “We are God’s children but if children, then heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him that we may also be glorified together” (Rm 8:16f.) … Let us, beloved brethren, imitate righteous Abel, who initiated martyrdom, he being the first to be slain for righteousness’s sake (Gn 4:8) …; let us imitate the three children Ananias, Azarias and Misael, who … overcame the king by the power of faith (Dn 3) … What of the prophets whom the Holy Spirit quickened to a foreknowledge of future events? What of the Apostles whom the Lord chose? Since these righteous men were slain for righteousness’ sake, have they not taught us also to die?

The nativity of Christ at once witnessed the martyrdom of infants, so that they who were two years old and under were slain for His name’s sake. An age, not yet fitted for the battle, appeared fit for the crown. That it might be manifest that they who are slain for Christ’s sake are innocent, innocent infancy was put to death for His name’s sake … How grave is the case of a Christian, if he, a servant, is unwilling to suffer when his Master first suffered! … The Son of God suffered that He might make us sons of God and the son of man will not suffer that he may continue to be a son of God! … The Maker and Lord of the world also warns us, saying: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me before you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own but because you are not of the world but I have chosen you out of the world … remember the word that I said to you: “The servant is not greater than his lord” (Jn 15:18-20).” – St Cyprian of Carthage (c.200-258) Martyr, Bishop of Carthage, Father of the Church – Letter 55

PRAYER – We praise You, O God, we acclaim You as Lord, the white-robed army of martyrs praise You. (from the Te Deum).

Posted in "Follow Me", MARTYRS, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 26 December – “Love was Stephen’s weapon …”

Quote/s of the Day – 26 December – Feast of St Stephen the ProtoMartyr and The Second Day in the Christmas Octave

“And so the love that brought Christ
from heaven to earth,
raised Stephen from earth to heaven;
shown first in the King,
it later shone forth in his soldier.”

“Love was Stephen’s weapon
by which he gained every battle
and so won the crown
signified by his name.”
(The meaning of the anme
STEPHEN is “crown/wreath”)

“His love of God
kept him from yielding
to the ferocious mob;
his love for his neighbour
made him pray for those
who were stoning him.”

“Love inspired him
to reprove those who erred,
to make them amend;
love led him to pray for those
who stoned him,
to save them from punishment.”

“Strengthened by the power of his love,
he overcame the raging cruelty of Saul
and won his persecutor on earth
as his companion in heaven.
In his holy and tireless love he longed,
to gain by prayer,
those, whom he could not convert,
by admonition.”

More here:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/12/26/quote-s-of-the-day-26-december-see-the-gold-that-i-expect-of-you-st-stephen/

St Fulgentius of Ruspe (460-533)

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARTYRS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 December – “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” – Acts 7:60

One Minute Reflection – 26 December – Feast of St Stephen the ProtoMartyr and The Second Day in the Christmas Octave, Readings: Acts 6:8-107: 54-59Psalms 31:3-46 and 816 and 17Matthew 10:17-22

“Lord, do not hold this sin against them” – Acts 7:60

REFLECTION – “Let us imitate our Lord and pray for our enemies … He was crucified yet, at the same time, prayed to His Father for the sake of those who were crucifying Him. But how could I possibly imitate our Lord, one might ask? If you want to, you can. If you weren’t able to do it how could He have said: “Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart”? (Mt 11:29) …

If you have difficulty in imitating our Lord, at least imitate him who is also His servant, his deacon. I would speak of Stephen. Just as Christ, in the midst of those crucifying Him, without considering the cross, without considering His own predicament, pleaded with the Father on behalf of His tormentors (Lk 23:34), so His servant, surrounded by those who were stoning him, attacked by all, crushed beneath a hail of stones and without taking any account of the suffering they were causing him, said: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60). Do you see how the Son spoke and how His servant prayed? The former said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do,” and the latter said: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Moreover, to make us realise better the fervour with which he was praying, he did not just pray as he stood beneath the blows of the stones but he spoke on his knees with sincerity and compassion …

Christ said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Stephen cried out: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Paul, in his turn, said: “I offer up this sacrifice for my brethren, my kin according to race” (cf. Rm 9:3). Moses said: “If you would only forgive their sin! And if you will not, then strike me out of the book that you have written!” (Ex 32:32). David said: “May your hand fall on me and my kindred,” (2 Sam 24:17). … What kind of forgiveness do we think we shall get if we ourselves do the opposite of what is asked of us and pray against our enemies, when the Lord Himself and His servants of both Old and New Testaments, direct us to pray on their behalf?” – St John Chrysostom (345-407) Father and Doctor of the Church – Sermon for Good Friday “The Cross and the bandit”

PRAYER – Grant us Your Grace, Lord God Almighty, to practise what we worship. Teach us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us. As we keep the feast of Saint Stephen, may we learn from him, who learned from You and prayed, even for the men who stoned him to death. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.