Posted in "Follow Me", MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, ROSARY QUOTES, The 1st Glorious Mystery - THE RESURRECTION of OUR LORD, The HOLY CROSS, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE, The RESURRECTION

Thought for the Day – 14 October – The First Glorious Mystery – The Resurrection of Our Lord

Thought for the Day – 14 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The First Glorious Mystery
The Resurrection of Our Lord

“Do we wish to share also in the joy of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Let us imitate Mary.
First of all, we must participate as she did in the sufferings of Christ.
By meditating frequently on the Passion and Death of Christ, we can nourish in our hearts, an intense love for Him Who suffered so much for our salvation.
Let us learn to carry our cross, as He carried His, with resignation and with conformity to God’s Will.
Spiritual joy is always the fruit of renunciation and love.

We cannot be happy with Jesus triumphant ,if we have not first imitated Jesus suffering.
We cannot rise gloriously into Heaven, if we have not first walked patiently with Mary along the Way of Calvary!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/10/13/thought-for-the-day-13-october-the-first-glorious-mystery-the-resurrection-of-our-lord/

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, The 5th Sorrowful Mystery - The CRUCIFIXION, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE, The INCARNATION, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 13 October – The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery – The Crucifixion

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

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery
The Crucifixion

“Jesus had only one consolation in the midst of His terrible sufferings.
His mother, Mary was beside the Cross along with His beloved Apostle and the holy women who had always followed Him.
Mary loved her Son with a love greater than that of any mother, which is the greatest love possible on earth.
She loved Jesus with the heart of a Mother and of a Virgin – He was her only treasure.
Moreover, she loved Him, not only as her Son but, also as her God.
Precisely because she loved Him as her God, her love was in perfect harmony with the divine will.

She understood the mystery which led Jesus to accept death on the Cross – the mystery of the Redemption.
“He was offered because it was his own will” (Isa 53:7).
He was offered on our behalf, as a voluntary victim to His heavenly Father.

In the same way, Mary freely offered herself to God, as a victim of expiation along with her Son.
She saw on one hand, the Child of her womb – murdered and dying in frightful agony and, on the other, sinful humanity in need of redemption from its iniquity.
She did not hesitate; even as she pronounced her Fiat when the Angel told her that she was to be the instrument of the Incarnation, so now, she repeated her acceptance of her part in the Redemption.

By her first Fiat, she became the Mother of God; by her second Fiat, she became the loving Mother of poor sinners and our co-redemptrix in Jesus and for Jesus.
Woman, behold thy son,” (Jn 19:27) the Redeemer said, referring to John and to the entire humans race as represented by him.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/10/12/thought-for-the-day-12-october-the-fifth-sorrowful-mystery-the-crucifixion/

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Hail MARY!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, To JESUS through MARY

Thought for the Day – 11 October – Mary, Mother of God

Thought for the Day – 11 October – Feast of the Divine Maternity – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary, Mother of God

“The near-infinite greatness of Mary, flows from the fact, that she is the Mother of God.
The Eternal Word of the Father, consubstantial with Him in nature and equal to Him in majesty, willed to become man in order to set us free from the slavery of sin and to regain Heaven for us.
He became man in the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary.
He took a human body and soul and was born of her, as the God-Man.
For this reason, there is attributed to His Divine Person, the title of Son of Mary and to Mary, the title of Mother of God.

There is a relationship between Mary and each of the three Divine Persons, for she is the daughter of God the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit by whose power the Word became incarnate in her and the mother of the Word made Man.
She is, moreover, in the words of Dante, the “termine fisso di eterno consiglio” (Paradiso 33:1-3).
In other words, she is the centre of the eternal plan which God established for the redemption of the human race.
It was God’s eternal design to reunite creation to the Uncreated, by means of Mary.
She became the mother of the Eternal Word, in whom the divine and human natures were indissolubly united.
He redeemed us by His infinite merits but, in this work of redemption, He employed the co-operation of His holy Mother.
All the graces, privileges and virtues of Mary, flow from this great mystery of her divine Motherhood.
As befitted the future Mother of God, she was conceived free from the stain of original sin and full of grace.
Her mortal life was a continuous ascent towards the highest peak of sanctity.
When she died, she was assumed body and soul into Heaven, where she was crowned in glory, as Queen of Angels and Queen of Saints.
When we consider the sublime nobility of Our Lady, we should be moved to love and venerate her.
This love and veneration does not subtract in the slightest from God’s glory, because, she is the Mother of God.
In fact, it is a great advantage to us, to imitate her and to call on her to intercede for us.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in AUGUST - The Immaculate Heart of Mary, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, IMMACULATE HEART Quotes, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MOTHER of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 11 October – The Divine Maternity

One Minute Reflection – 11 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Feast of the Divine Maternity – Readings: Ecclus 24:23-31, Gospel: Luke 2: 43-51

And his mother kept all these words in her heart.” – Luke 2:51

REFLECTION – “Often, it seems to us, Mary forgot to eat and to drink, keeping vigil in order to think about Christ, to see Christ in His flesh. She burned with love of Him and passionately loved to serve Him. She often did what the Song of Songs sings about: “I was sleeping, but my heart kept vigil.” (Song 5:2) Even when she was resting, she continued to dream of Him who filled her thoughts throughout the day. Whether she was keeping vigil or resting in peace, she always lived in Him, was always occupied with Him.

Where her treasure was, there also was her heart (Mt 6:21); where her glory was, there also was her mind. She loved her Lord and her Son with all her heart, with all her mind, with all her strength (Mt 22:37). She saw with her eyes, touched with her hands, the Word of Life (1 Jn 1:1). How blessed was Mary, to whom it was given to embrace Him who embraces and nourishes everything! How happy was she who carried Him, who carries the universe (Heb 1:3), she who nursed a Son, who gives her life, a Son who nourishes her and all beings on earth (Ps 145:15).

The One Who is the wisdom of the Father, put His arms around her neck, the One Who is the strength, that gives movement to everything sat in her arms. He Who is the rest of souls, (Mt 11:29) rested on her motherly breast. How gently He held her in His hands, peacefully looked at her, He Whom the angels wish to contemplate (1 Pet 1:12) and He gently called her, He Whom every being calls upon when in need. Filled with the Holy Spirit, she held Him close to her heart … She never had enough of seeing Him or of hearing Him, Whom “many prophets and kings wished to see … but did not see.” (Lk 10:24) Thus Mary grew evermore in love and her mind was unceasingly attached to divine contemplation.” – St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Bishop (Homily on the Motherhood of Mary, 4).

PRAYER – Lord open our hearts to Your grace. As You brought joy to the world through the incarnation of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, grant that through the prayer of His Immaculate Ever-Virgin Mother, our hearts too may grow in virtue and love by learning to reflect constantly on His commandments and counsels. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN POETRY, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, Our MORNING Offering, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Our Morning Offering – 7 October – Through Thee, to Us, our Saviour Came

Our Morning Offering – 7 October – “Month of the Holy Rosary” – Memorial of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary and of Victory

Through Thee, to Us, our Saviour Came
To Our Lady of the Rosary
By St Amadeus of Lausanne O.Cist (1108-1159)

Through thee, to us, our Saviour came,
Through thee, to Him, we fain would go.
Our lives are marred by wrong and shame,
Yet, confidence in thee we know.
The friendship thou dost give to all
Who love thy name, shall ever be
Assurance thou wilt hear our call,
Sweet Lady of the Rosary!

Thou art our Strength upon the way,
Our Morning Star, to cheer and guide;
Our Beacon Light to show the day,
And lead us to the Saviour’s Side;
A Comforter in ev’ry pain
We find, O Mother blest, in thee,
And seek we, never, thee in vain,
Fair Lady of the Rosary!

Thy praises, Mary, we would sing,
And all our faculties employ,
That unto thee our hearts might bring
A glory-crown of love and joy.
Bless thou each humble effort made
In thy regard and grant that we,
May by thy influence be swayed,
Our Lady of the Rosary!

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, The NATIVITY of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 18 September – “And some seed fell on good ground” – Luke 8:8

One Minute Reflection – 18 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – Readings: Timothy 6: 13-16; Psalm 100: 1b-2-5; Luke 8: 4-15

“And some seed fell on good ground” – Luke 8:8

REFLECTION – “In my view it was to Mary that the blessed Prophet Joel was speaking when he exclaimed: “Fear not, O land! Exult and rejoice! For the Lord has done great things in you” (2,21). For Mary is a land – that ground on which Moses, the man of God, heard the command to remove his sandals (Ex 3,5), an image of the Law now replaced by grace. She is also that land on which, through the Holy Spirit, He was built up of whom we sing that He “fixed the earth on its foundations” (Ps 104[103],5). She is a land which, without being sown, brings forth the fruit that feeds all flesh (Ps 136[135],25). A land on which the thorns of sin have never sprung up, to the contrary, she has given birth to Him who pulled it up by the roots. And she is a land that is not cursed as the first one was, to bring forth a harvest of thorns and thistles (Gn 3,18) but on whom rests the Lord’s blessing and who bears in her breast, a “blessed fruit” as sacred scripture says (Lk 1,42)…

Rejoice, O Mary, House of the Lord, earth trodden by the Footsteps of God… Rejoice, O Paradise more happy than the Garden of Eden, where every virtue has been seeded and where the Tree of Life has grown.” – St Theodore the Studite (750-826) Father, Abbot, Theologian, Writer (Homily 2 for the Nativity of Mary, 4, 7; PG 96, 683f)

PRAYER – All-powerful, eternal God, splendour of true light and never-ending day, turn our ears and hearts to Your Word, that we may hear and live by the seed You have sown. May all that grows in us be of Your good seed and yield fruit a hundredfold. Grant us the grace of imitating the virtues of Mary, the Mother of Your only-begotten Son and our Mother and may her prayers intercede on our behalf. May we may be filled with courage and love and spread Your Word by our lives. We make our prayer through Jesus, our Lord and Word, with the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever, amen.

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, SEPTEMBER-The SEVEN SORROWS of MARY, The 5th Sorrowful Mystery - The CRUCIFIXION, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 15 September – Mary’s Only Treasure

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

Mary’s Only Treasure

Jesus had only one consolation in the midst of His terrible sufferings.
His Mother, Mary was beside the Cross along with His beloved Apostle
and the holy women who had always followed Him.
Mary loved her Son with a love greater than that of any mother, which is the greatest love possible on earth.
She loved Jesus with the heart of a Mother and of a Virgin – He was her only treasure.
Moreover, she loved Him, not only as her Son but, also as her God.

Precisely because she loved Him as her God, her love was in perfect harmony with the divine will.

She understood the mystery which led Jesus to accept death on the Cross – the mystery of the Redemption.
“He was offered because it was his own will” (Isa 53:7).
He was offered on our behalf, as a voluntary victim to His heavenly Father.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, MOTHER of GOD, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on MOTHERHOOD, SEPTEMBER-The SEVEN SORROWS of MARY, The PASSION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 September – “Behold, your mother”

One Minute Reflection – 15 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Memorial of the Seven Sorrows of our Mother – Readings: First Timothy 3: 14-16; Psalm 111: 1-6; John 19: 25-27 or Luke 2: 33-35

“Behold, your mother” – John 19:27

REFLECTION “Woman, this is your son. This is your mother.” By what right is the disciple whom Jesus loved, the son of the Lord’s mother? By what right is she his mother? By the fact that, without pain, she brought into the world the salvation of us all, when she gave birth in the flesh to the God-man. But now she is in labour with great pain as she stands at the foot of the Cross.

At the hour of His Passion, the Lord Himself rightly compared the Apostles to a woman in childbirth, when He said: “When a woman is in labour she is in anguish because a child is born into the world” (cf. Jn 16:21). How much more, then, might such a Son compare such a Mother, the Mother standing at the foot of His Cross, to a woman in labour? What am I saying? “Compare?” She is indeed truly a woman and truly a mother and, at this hour, she is truly experiencing the pains of childbirth. When her Son was born she did not experience the anguish of giving birth in pain as other women do; it is now that she is suffering, that she is crucified, that she experiences sorrow like a woman in labour because her hour has come ( Jn 16:21; cf.13:1; 17:1). …

When this hour has passed, when the sword of sorrow has completely pierced her soul in labour (Lk 2:35), then, no more shall she “remember the pain because a child has been born into the world” – the new Man who renews the entire human race and reigns forever over the whole world, truly born, beyond all suffering, immortal, the firstborn from the dead. If the Virgin has thus brought the salvation of us all into the world, in her Son’s Passion, then she is indeed the Mother of us all!Rupert of Deutz (c 1075-1130) Benedictine Monk, Theologian, Exegete and Writer – Commentary on Saint Johns Gospel, 13 ; PL 169, 789.

PRAYER – Our Father, when Jesus Your Son, was raised up on the Cross, it was Your will that Mary, His Mother, should stand there and suffer with Him in her heart. Grant that in union with her, the Church may share in the passion of Christ and so be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Be our intercessor and our consolation, Our Lady of Sorrows, amen.

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, SAINT of the DAY, SEPTEMBER-The SEVEN SORROWS of MARY, YouTube VIDEOS

Saint of the Day – 15 September – Our Sorrowful Mother Mary – The Seven Sorrows

Saint of the Day – 15 September – Our Sorrowful Mother Mary –

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Also known as:
• Septem Dolorum.
• Beata Maria Virgo Perdolens
• Beata Vergine Addolorata
• Dolorosa
• Maria Santissima Addolorata
• Mater Dolorosa
• Mother of Sorrows
• Our Lady of the Seven Dolours
• Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows
• Sorrowful Mother

The Seven Sorrows of Mary

The Prophecy of Simeon at the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple:
Forty days after Christ’s birth, Mary presented Him in the temple. The aged Simeon, a just and devout servant of the Lord, took Jesus into his arms and inspired by the Holy Spirit, exclaimed:

Behold, this child is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel and for a sign that shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:34-35

The Flight Into Egypt:
No sooner did the heartless Herod hear that Jesus, the Infant King of the Jews, had been born, than he sought His life. But an Angel of the Lord appeared to Saint Joseph in a dream and warned:

Arise, take the Child and His mother and flee into Egypt and remain there until I tell thee.” – Matthew 2:13

The Loss of Child Jesus for 3 Days:
The third sword that pierced Our Lady’s heart was the three-day loss in the temple. At the age of twelve, Jesus went with Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem. Only when Mary and Joseph were travelling home, realise that Jesus was not with them. They hurried back and for three days sought Him among friends and relatives in Jerusalem. Finally, they found Him in the temple, listening and discussing with the teachers there , who were amazed at his knowledge and wisdom.

The Meeting of Jesus on the Way of The Cross:
Mary’s fourth great sorrow we remember in the fourth Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary and also the fourth Station of the Cross. Mary meets Jesus carrying His Cross to Calvary. What a mournful meeting. Imagine the pain in Mary’s heart to see her Jesus groaning and staggering under the cruel Cross. What an anguish to see the One she loved so dearly, being tortured by the taunts of the crowd, as well as the weight of the wood. And there is nothing she is able to do to help Him.

The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus:
But the sword will plunge still deeper. She must see Him shamefully stripped of His garments, rudely thrown upon the Cross and then hear the sickening strokes of the hammer. Helplessly and heartbroken, she must stand beneath His cross watching Him writhe in torture, listening to His parting words, listening for His parting breath.

The Pieta – Jesus Is Laid In The Arms Of His Mother:
And now comes the moment when they take Him down from the Cross. As each nail and each thorn was pulled from His body, it was a new blow to the heart of His Mother. How she must have hugged Him to her heart!

Jesus is Laid in The Tomb:
The seventh sword was to witness that broken body laid in the grave. It was a Mother putting her child to bed. What a grief-stricken good-night that was. Mary must have wished that she could bury her heavy heart with Him.

During Passiontide, on the Friday before Palm Sunday, a second feast of Mary’s Dolors is held, which emphasises particularly, the four last mentioned of the seven sorrows above.

Thus the Church reflects on the feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The prayers of the Mass and the Office are indicative of her sorrows.

The first trace of the feast, St Alphonsus Liguori tells us, is found in Germany towards the beginning of the fifteenth century. Archbishop Theodoric’s ordered the keeping of this day at an assembly convened at Cologne in 1413 to wage battle against heresies of the iconoclast “Hussites,” who were very active in destroying images and pictures of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Before the sixteenth century the feast was observed only in the Diocese of North Germany, Scandinavia and Scotland but by the end of the sixteenth century, it extended over the south of Europe. In 1506 the celebration was granted the Friday before Passion Sunday as the feast of the Sorrows of Mary. To the whole German Church this last date was later assigned. On 22 April 1727, Pope Benedict XIII, extended it to the entire Latin Church under the title “Septem dolorum.”

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SEPTEMBER-The SEVEN SORROWS of MARY, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 12 September – Mary, the Source of Peace

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

Mary, the Source of Peace

“Mary is surrounded by an atmosphere of peace.
The countenance of the Virgin Mother, reflects the serenity of her soul.
She was conceived free from original sin and endowed with every grace ad with every supernatural gift.
There was no struggle in her, between good and evil, for this conflict is the effect of concupiscence.
She never experienced the rule of sin of which St Paul complains. “I see another law in my members,” says St Paul, “warning against the law of my mind and making me prisoner to the law of sin that is in my members.   Unhappy man that I am!   Who will deliver me from the body of this death?   The grace of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 7:23-25).
It was quite otherwise with Mary.
Her lower inclinations were completely subject to her spiritual faculties, which were, in their turn, perfectly submissive to the commands and inspirations of God.
Nevertheless, while she enjoyed complete interior harmony, Mary had to endure external conflict and suffering.
Holy Simeon foretold, that the sword of sorrow would pierce her heart.
In fact, her life was altogether interwoven with hardship, want and suffering until, eventually, she knelt at the foot of the Cross on which Jesus was dying for the love of mankind and offered the divine Victim for our salvation.
At the last moment, however, torn with sorrow though she was, she did not depart in the slightest from her spirit of perfect acceptance of God’s will.
Consequently, her peace of soul was never diminished or extinguished.
Let us learn from her to accept everything from God’s hands, both the tiny pleasures which brighten our lives, from time to time and the humiliations, sufferings and death, which it pleases God to keep in store for us
.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in Hail MARY!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The INCARNATION, The NATIVITY of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, To JESUS through MARY, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 8 September – Mary, Mother of God

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

Mary, Mother of God

“The near-infinite greatness of Mary, flows from the fact, that she is the Mother of God.
The Eternal Word of the Father, consubstantial with Him in nature and equal to Him in majesty, willed to become man in order to set us free from the slavery of sin and to regain Heaven for us.
He became man in the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary.
He took a human body and soul and was born of her, as the God-Man.
For this reason, there is attributed to His Divine Person, the title of Son of Mary and to Mary, the title of Mother of God.

There is a relationship between Mary and each of the three Divine Persons, for she is the daughter of God the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit by whose power the Word became incarnate in her and the mother of the Word made Man.
She is, moreover, in the words of Dante, the “termine fisso di eterno consiglio” (Paradiso 33:1-3).
In other words, she is the centre of the eternal plan which God established for the redemption of the human race.
It was God’s eternal design to reunite creation to the Uncreated, by means of Mary.
She became the mother of the Eternal Word, in whom the divine and human natures were indissolubly united.
He redeemed us by His infinite merits but, in this work of redemption, He employed the co-operation of His holy Mother.
All the graces, privileges and virtues of Mary, flow from this great mystery of her divine Motherhood.
As befitted the future Mother of God, she was conceived free from the stain of original sin and full of grace.
Her mortal life was a continuous ascent towards the highest peak of sanctity.
When she died, she was assumed body and soul into Heaven, where she was crowned in glory, as Queen of Angels and Queen of Saints.
When we consider the sublime nobility of Our Lady, we should be moved to love and venerate her.
This love and veneration does not subtract in the slightest from God’s glory, because, she is the Mother of God.
In fact, it is a great advantage to us, to imitate her and to call on her to intercede for us.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRIST the WORD, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, The NATIVITY of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection –8 September – ‘The only Mother worthy of the One who created her.’

One Minute Reflection –8 September – Feast of theNativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Readings: Micah 5:1-4a or Romans 8:28-30, Psalms 13:6, 6, Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son – Matthew 1:23

REFLECTION – “Come, you nations; come, all peoples of every race and language, every age and rank. Joyfully let us celebrate the nativity of the whole world’s joy! If even the pagans honour the birthday of their king … what ought not we to do to honour that of the Mother of God, through whom all humanity has been transformed and the pain of Eve, our first mother, has been turned to joy? For Eve heard God’s sentence: “You will bring forth children in pain” (Gn 3:16) but Mary: “Rejoice, most highly favoured … the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28). …

Let all creation celebrate and sing the holy childbirth of a holy woman, for she has brought a lasting treasure into the world. … Through her, the creative Word of God has been united to the whole creation and we celebrate the ending of human barrenness, the ending of the sickness that kept us from possessing all our good. … Nature has given way to grace … As the Virgin Mother of God had to be born of barren Anna, so nature remained without fruit until grace had produced its own. It was to open the womb of its mother, she who would give birth to “The Firstborn of all creation” in whom “all things hold together” (Col 1:15,17).

O blessed couple, Joachim and Anna! All creation owes you thanks; through you it has offered the Creator the best of all His gifts: a Mother worthy of veneration, the only Mother worthy of the One who created her. ”- St John Damascene (675-749) Monk, Theologian, Father and Doctor of the Church – Homily on the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, 1-2 (cf SC 80, p. 48)

PRAYER – Lord God, the day of our salvation dawned when the Blessed Virgin gave birth to Your Son. As we celebrate her nativity, grant us Your grace and Your peace. Through Christ, our Lord, Your Son in union with the Holy Spirit. Mary, Mother of God, pray for us, amen.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, The NATIVITY of the BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, YouTube VIDEOS

Vigil of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary instituted by Pope Gregory II (722) and Memorials of the Saints – 7 September

Vigil of the Nativity of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, instituted by Pope Gregory II (722):

The day destined for the parturition of Saint Anne and for the birth of her, who was consecrated and sanctified to be the Mother of God, had arrived – a day most fortunate for the world. This birth happened on the eighth day of September, fully nine months having elapsed since the Conception of the soul of our most holy Queen and Lady.

Saint Anne was prepared by an interior voice of the Lord, informing Her, that the hour of her parturition had come. Full of the joy of the Holy Spirit at this information, she prostrated herself before the Lord and besought the assistance of his grace and his protection for a happy deliverance.

Presently she felt a movement in her womb similar to that which is proper to creatures being born to the light. The most blessed child Mary was at the same time, by divine providence and power, ravished into a most high ecstasy. Hence Mary was born into the world without perceiving it by her senses, for their operations and faculties were held in suspense. As She had the use of her reason, she would have perceived it by her senses, if they would have been left to operate in their natural manner at that time. However, the Almighty disposed otherwise, in order that the Princess of heaven might be spared the sensible experience, otherwise connected with birth.
she was born pure and stainless, beautiful and full of grace, thereby demonstrating, that she was free from the law and the tribute of sin. Although she was born substantially like other daughters of Adam, yet her birth was accompanied by such circumstances and conditions of grace, that it was the most wonderful and miraculous birth in all creation and will eternally redound to the praise of her Maker.

At twelve o-clock in the night this divine child issued forth, dividing the night of the ancient Law and its pristine darknesses from the new day of grace, which now was about to break into dawn. She was clothed, handled and dressed like other infants, through she excelled all mortals and even all the angels in wisdom. Her mother did not allow her to be touched by other hands than her own but she, herself, wrapped her in swaddling clothes: and in this Saint Anne was not hindered by her present state of incapacity, for she was free from the toils and labours, which mothers endure in such circumstances.

So then Saint Anne received in her arms she, who was her Daughter but at the same time, the most exquisite treasure of all the universe, inferior only to God and superior to all other creatures. (The City of God, by Venerable Mary of Jesus of Agreda OIC (1602-1665) [Her body is incorrupt].

St Alcmund of Hexham
Bl Alexander of Milan
St Augustalus
St Balin
St Carissima of Albi
St Chiaffredo of Saluzzo
Bl Claude-Barnabé Laurent de Mascloux

St Cloud (522-c 560) Priest, Hermit, Confessor and Abbot.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2017/09/07/saint-of-the-day-7-september-st-cloud/

St Desiderio of Benevento
St Dinooth
Bl Eugenia Picco
St Eupsychius of Caesarea
St Eustace of Beauvais
St Evortius of Orleans
St Faciolus
St Festo of Benevento
Bl François d’Oudinot de la Boissière

Blessed Giovanni Battista Mazzucconi (1826-1855) aged 29, Martyr, Priest, Missionary of The Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME).
His Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/09/07/saint-of-the-day-7-september-blessed-giovanni-battista-mazzucconi-1826-1855-martyr/

St Giovanni of Lodi
St Goscelinus of Toul
St Gratus of Aosta
St Grimonia of Picardy
St Hiduard
Bl Ignatius Klopotowski
Bl John Duckett
Bl John Maki
Bl John of Nicomedia
Bl Ludovicus Maki Soetsu
Madalberta
Bl Maria of Bourbon
St Marko Križevcanin
St Melichar Grodecký
St Memorius of Troyes
St Pamphilus of Capua
Bl Ralph Corby

St Regina (3rd Century) Virgin Martyr
Her Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/07/saint-of-the-day-7-september-saint-regina-3rd-century-virgin-martyr/

St Sozonte
Blessed Thomas Tsuji SJ (1570-1627) Priest of the Society of Jesus, Martyr.

St Tilbert of Hexham

Martyrs of Noli: Four Christians who became soldiers and were martyred together for their faith. A late legend makes them member of the Theban Legend who escaped their mass martyrdom but that’s doubtful – Paragorius, Partenopeus, Parteus and Severinus. They were born in Noli, Italy and martyred in Corsica, France. Attribute – soldiers with a banner of Noli.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Antoni Bonet Sero
• Blessed Ascensión Lloret Marcos
• Blessed Gregorio Sánchez Sancho
• Blessed Félix Gómez-Pinto Piñero

Posted in ART DEI, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SEPTEMBER-The SEVEN SORROWS of MARY, The HOLY CROSS

September Devotion – The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

September – Month of The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Seven Sorrows of
the Blessed Virgin Mary

1, The prophecy of Simeon
2. The Flight to Egypt
3. Loss of Child Jesus for 3 days
4. Meeting Jesus carrying His Cross
5. The Crucifixion of Jesus
6. The Pieta – receiving Jesus’ Body
The Burial of Jesus

The Seven Sorrows of the Virgin – Altarpiece by Albrecht Dürer.

During this month of September, we are drawn into the spiritual Martyrdom which the Blessed Mother experienced during the physical Martyrdom of Jesus. The evils of sin are manifest but conquered through intense suffering. The Blessed Mother’s tears of anguish reflect God’s washing away of sin.

We see this theme of joy followed by affliction mirrored in the liturgical calendar in two September Feasts – the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on 14 September and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on 15 September. Happy the heart of the blessed Virgin Mary! She, without dying, earned the treasure of Martyrdom beneath the Cross of our Lord for her anguish.

The name of Our Lady of Sorrows centres on the extraordinary and bittersweet suffering the Blessed Mother experienced during Christ’s Passion. As seen in the artwork above, her agony is composed of “The Seven Dolors,” that pierced the Heart of Mary. Dürer’s portrayal of each event encompasses the central figure of Christ’s sorrowful Mother.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SEPTEMBER-The SEVEN SORROWS of MARY

Our Morning Offering – 1 September – What Can I Say? By St Anselm

Our Morning Offering – 1 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary”

As we enter the Month of our Sorrowful Mother, let us unite ourselves to her and offer her our meagre consolation.

What Can I Say?
By St Anselm (1033-1109)
Magnificent Doctor
Marian Doctor

My most merciful Lady,
what can I say about the fountains
that flowed from your most pure eyes
when you saw your only Son before you,
bound, beaten and suffering?
What do I know of the flood
that drenched your matchless face,
when you beheld your Son,
your Lord and your God,
stretched on the Cross without guilt,
when the flesh of your flesh
was cruelly butchered by wicked men?
How can I judge, what sobs,
troubled your most pure breast,
when you heard, “Woman, behold your son,”
and the disciple, “Behold, your Mother,”
when you received as a son
the disciple in place of the Master,
the servant for the Lord?
Amen

From “The Prayers and Meditations of Saint Anselm with the Proslogion,” Benedicta Ward, trans,1973, Penguin classics, Penguin Group (UK)

Posted in AUGUST - The Immaculate Heart of Mary, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, IMMACULATE HEART PRAYERS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN Saturdays, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRAYER, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – 31 August – Prayer and Our Lady

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

Prayer and Our Lady

“He told them a parable – that they must always pray and not lose heart” (Lk 18:1).
Nobody else on earth ever carried out this command of Our Lord as perfectly as Our Lady.
St Albert the Great says that, after Jesus Christ, the spirit of prayer is to be found at it’s most perfect, in Our Lady (Sup Miss 80).
It was because of her immense love for her divine Son that Mary was able to put into practice, throughout her life, that Gospel precept of unceasing prayer.
Prayer in it’s fullest sense, is in fact, an act of love rather than supplication.
It is defined as an elevation of soul to God, to adore and praise Him, to thank Him and to ask Him for His favours.
It leads to lasting and intimate union with God, who should be regarded as our only good and as the final end of our lives.
Since Mary was full of grace, she was always closest to God.
Even before she became His Mother, she constantly enjoyed His intimacy.
Despite the many sorrows of her life, this intimacy became still greater and more beautiful, when she became the Mother of Jesus.
From that time, she was able to hold Him to her immaculate bosom and to live in close familiarity with Him.
She was able, too, to follow Him on His apostolic journeys, until He reached Calvary and the Cross and, finally, to see Him gloriously risen from the dead.
After Jesus had ascended into Heaven, her soul expanded with a nostalgic love for her divine Son, until her earthly journey was over and she was taken up into Heaven.
There, she reigns supreme among the Saints and Angels and never ceases to pray for us, her exiled children, who need her help so much.
Let us learn from Mary, how to pray with love and perseverance.
Then, we shall be able to follow her along the difficult way of perfection, which leads towards Heaven.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

On this last day of the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us call upon her in all our great needs.

Deign, O Immaculate Virgin
By St Paschasius Radbertus (785–865)

Deign, O Immaculate Virgin,
Mother most pure,
to accept the loving cry of praise
which we send up to you
from the depths of our hearts.
Though they can but add little to your glory,
O Queen of Angels,
you do not despise, in your love,
the praises of the humble
and the poor.
Cast down upon us a glance of mercy,
O most glorious Queen,
graciously receive our petitions.
Through your immaculate purity of body and mind,
which rendered you so pleasing to God,
inspire us with a love of innocence and purity.
Teach us to guard carefully the gifts of grace,
striving ever after sanctity, so that,
being made like the image of your beauty,
we may be worthy to become the sharers
of your eternal happiness.
Amen

St Paschasius Radbertus was a Theologian and the Benedictine Abbot of Corbie.
Read about him here: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2019/04/26/saint-of-the-day-26-april-saint-paschasius-radbertus-785-865/

Posted in GOD ALONE!, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CREATION, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on NATURE - GOD'S CREATION, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on THE WORLD

Thought for the Day – 5 August – Mary, a Light in the Darkness

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

Mary, a Light in the Darkness

“Let us imagine for a moment, that we have grown blind and are forever plunged in darkness.
It is an unhappy thought.
Never again to see those who are dear to us, never to see the light of the sun nor any of the splendour of the universe.
We should feel as if were alone, for we should have to depend only on sounds and on the voices of others for communication with the external world.
As St Augustine points out, however, in his commentary on the miracle of the man who had been blind from birth, we are all more or less blind in the supernatural order.
The world is the image of God but, do we see His Presence in everything which surrounds us?
Is it not more often the case that created things distract us and lead us to forget their Creator because, we regard them as a means of satisfying our own comfort and our own ego?
We should look on creatures as go-betweens which help us to ascend to God, the beginning and end of all creation.

Unfortunately, instead of climbing this mystical ladder which leads us to God, we often descend it.
We forget God and become excessively wrapped up in worldly affairs.
Sometimes matters may be even worse, not only do we forget God through our love of creatures but, we use them, to offend Him.
God has given us eyes to admire His works and, as a result, to lead us to praise, thank and love Him.
Instead, we often use this wonderful gift in order to commit sin.
He has given us the gift of speech, the gift of hearing and other senses.
But how do we employ them?
The tongue is a marvellous invention but, as St James writes, “if anyone does not offend in the word, he is a perfect man, able also to lead round by the bridle, the whole body … 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 3:2-10).
What can be said of vision and of speech can be said of all the senses and faculties of body and soul.
They are all God’s gifts and should, therefore, be used as means of bringing ourselves closer to Him.
If creatures lead us away from God and cause us to forget Him, or if, worse still, they cause us to offend Him, then we are spiritually blind and far more unfortunate than those who have lost their natural vision.

Most Holy Mary, during your earthly pilgrimage, you never once lost sight of God.
Grant that I may not be lost in the darkness of this world.
Grant that I may not be ensnared by the passing charm and false beauty of these created things which surround me.
Grant that I may see, in all things, the Presence and Beauty of God, so that I may always continue to advance, nearer and nearer to Him.   Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in AUGUST - The Immaculate Heart of Mary, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 12 June – “All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed”

Thought for the Day – 12 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

“All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed”

‘A Jewish girl, poor in this world’s goods but rich in virtue, arrived after a long and difficult journey at a village in the hills of Judea, called Hebron.
There, she paid a visit to her cousin, Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth saw the girl, she was immediately enlightened by the Holy Spirit with the knowledge, that her visitor, was the Mother of God.
“How have I deserved,” she cried out, “that the mother of my Lord, should come to me?” (Lk 1:43).
At these words, Mary looked up towards Heaven and gave spontaneous expression to a hymn of humble acknowledgement to God, Who had “regarded the lowliness of His Handmaid” (Lk 1:48).
Then she made a solemn prophecy, which would surely have assured the cynical intellectuals and nobles of the land but, which history has wonderfully fulfilled.
“Behold” she said, “all generations shall call me blessed” (ibid).  We can testify today, that this miracle came to pass.
All the nations have paid reverence to the Jewish girl, who became the Mother of God and our Mother, the Queen of Heaven and earth, the comforter of the afflicted, the conqueror of Satan and the invincible Guardian of the Church.
From the engravings in the Catacombs, to the celestial Madonnas of the Angelico, from the rudimentary sculpture of Roman art, to the prayerful statues on the pinnacles of more modern Cathedrals, the image of Mary has shone as a beacon of hope for all generations.
Men bow before her and ask for light, for comfort and for pardon.
“If anyone follows Mary,” says St Bernard, “he will not lose his way; if anyone pray to her, he will not despair; if anyone thinks of her, he will not sin; if anyone reaches out to her, he will not fall; if anyone places himself under her protection, he need have no fear; if anyone places himself under her leadership, he will never give up; if anyone pays homage to her, he is certain to reach his destination safely” (Homil Missus est 2:17).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in AUGUST - The Immaculate Heart of Mary, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN Saturdays, SACRED and IMMACULATE HEARTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 June – “And his mother kept all these words in her heart.” – Luke 2:51

One Minute Reflection – 12 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Readings: Second Corinthians 5: 14-21, Psalms 103: 1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12, Gospel: Luke 2: 41-51

And his mother kept all these words in her heart.” – Luke 2:51

REFLECTION – “Often, it seems to us, Mary forgot to eat and to drink, keeping vigil in order to think about Christ, to see Christ in His flesh. She burned with love of Him and passionately loved to serve Him. She often did what the Song of Songs sings about: “I was sleeping, but my heart kept vigil.” (Song 5:2) Even when she was resting, she continued to dream of Him who filled her thoughts throughout the day. Whether she was keeping vigil or resting in peace, she always lived in Him, was always occupied with Him.

Where her treasure was, there also was her heart (Mt 6:21); where her glory was, there also was her mind. She loved her Lord and her Son with all her heart, with all her mind, with all her strength (Mt 22:37). She saw with her eyes, touched with her hands, the Word of Life (1 Jn 1:1). How blessed was Mary, to whom it was given to embrace Him who embraces and nourishes everything! How happy was she who carried Him, who carries the universe (Heb 1:3), she who nursed a Son, who gives her life, a Son who nourishes her and all beings on earth (Ps 145:15).

The One Who is the wisdom of the Father, put His arms around her neck, the One Who is the strength, that gives movement to everything sat in her arms. He Who is the rest of souls, (Mt 11:29) rested on her motherly breast. How gently He held her in His hands, peacefully looked at her, He Whom the angels wish to contemplate (1 Pet 1:12) and He gently called her, He Whom every being calls upon when in need. Filled with the Holy Spirit, she held Him close to her heart … She never had enough of seeing Him or of hearing Him, Whom “many prophets and kings wished to see but did not see.” (Lk 10:24) Thus Mary grew evermore in love and her mind was unceasingly attached to divine contemplation.” – St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Bishop – Homily on Mary, 4

PRAYER – Lord open our hearts to Your grace. As You brought joy to the world through the incarnation of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, grant that through the prayer of the Immaculate Heart of His Ever-Virgin Mother, our hearts too may grow in virtue and love by learning to reflect constantly on His commandments and counsels. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUEENSHIP of MARY

Thought for the Day – 22 May – Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth

Thought for the Day – 22 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth

“Towards the close of his life, St Paul wrote to his well-beloved disciple, St Timothy:  “As for me, I am already being poured out in sacrifice and the time of my deliverance is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.   For the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will give to me in that day;  yet, not to me only but, also to those who love his coming” (2 Tim 4:6-8).

After all his apostolic labours and difficulties and, after a lifetime of boundless love, St Paul could confidently say, that he would receive the crown which he had earned.
When the Blessed Virgin came to the end of her earthly pilgrimage, during which she had lovingly worked and suffered so much for Jesus, she could have expected, with even greater certainty, to receive the crown of glory, which she had merited.
She was the noblest and holiest of creatures, because, she was the Mother of the eternal Word of God made man.
Therefore, her reward had to be greater than that of any other creature.
She was the Mother of the King of Angels and of Saints, of Heaven and earth.
As such, it was her place to rule over them all.
Seated at the right hand of her divine Son, she has glory and power, which none other could possess.
The Church, therefore, invokes her under the title of Queen of Angels and of Saints, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Virgins, of Confessors and of Martyrs, Queen of Heaven and of earth.
When our Holy Father, Pius XII, solemnly proclaimed her Queenship, in the year 1954, he was only giving voice to the general consensus of tradition, of the Liturgy and of the belief of all the faithful (Cf Encyclical, Ad Coeli Reginum, 11 Oct 1954).

It should be very encouraging to all of us to know that we have so powerful a Queen in Heaven, whose privilege it is, to dispense God’s graces.
She has crushed the poisonous head of Satan.
Now, she is able and eager to help us, her loyal sons and servants, to resist temptation, to frustrate the schemes of our deadly enemy and to perfect ourselves in virtue. Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – 21 May – Holy Purity

Thought for the Day – 21 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Holy Purity

“Have you ever experienced the sheer delight of climbing the mountains on a summer’s day and coming across one of those little alpine lakes, a tiny mirror, reflecting the still blueness of the sky?
Or have you ever watched an infant smiling in it’s angelic slumber and been held spellbound by this vision of innocence?
Finally, on some calm, clear night, surely you have studied the star-spangled sky and have been so overwhelmed by the beauty of the scene, that you could have cried out with the Psalmist:  “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament proclaims His handiwork” (Ps 18:1).
These, are only faint images of the beauty and virginal purity of Mary.
Her soul was the purest and most beautiful of the entire human and angelic creation, because, nobody else was ever raised to the dignity of the Motherhood of God.
She was conceived free from all taint of original sin and enriched with every grace.
In her chaste womb, she conceived the Infant Jesus.
Later, she held Him close to her heart;  she lived for Him and eventually died for love of Him.

Purity is a virtue which is attractive to everybody, even to those who are evil themselves, or to those, who have lost their own chastity.
We love and desire this virtue but, are we prepared to make any sacrifice in order to preserve it, in the manner demanded by our particular state in life?
“The kingdom of heaven has been enduring violent assault,” Jesus said “and the violent have been seizing it by force” (Mt 11:12).
This is especially true in regard to the acquisition of the virtue of purity.
It is not enough to desire it, we must be willing to make sacrifices in order to acquire it.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Thought for the Day – 20 May – Mary, the Source of Holiness

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

Mary, the Source of Holiness

“God is the primary origin of all holiness.
But, the Blessed Virgin gave us Jesus, Who is our Redeemer and the author of grace.
For this reason, she may be called the source of grace, the divine aqueduct, as St Bernard puts it, through which, the supernatural life of grace is brought to us (In adv Domini, Serm 2, no 5).
She was, moreover, full of grace and outstanding in holiness – as the Mother of God, she can obtain anything for us from her divine Son, because “it is the will of God that we receive everything through the hands of Mary” (St Bernard, In Nativ BMV, Serm, no 7).
Thirdly, even by her example, she can be the source of sanctity for us.
If we study her amazing humility, we shall learn to be humble, for our sinfulness gives us such good reason to humble ourselves.
If we meditate on her spotless purity, we shall experience a great desire and love for this beautiful virtue and shall have recourse to her in every danger to save us from impurity.
Then, let us reflect on her ardent love for God and for men.
Her charity prompted her maternal heart to offer up, as a divine Victim, her Son nailed to the Cross.
If we reflect on the nature of her charity, we also shall feel urged to love God above all things and to pray, work and make sacrifices for the salvation of our fellowmen.
Let us have, always before our minds, the image of our heavenly Mother and we shall be inspired to seek perfection in all our actions.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on THE WORLD

Thought for the Day – 19 May – Mary, a Light in the Darkness

Thought for the Day – 19 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary, a Light in the Darkness

“Let us imagine for a moment, that we have grown blind and are forever plunged in darkness.
It is an unhappy thought.
Never again to see those who are dear to us, never to see the light of the sun nor any of the splendour of the universe.
We should feel as if were alone, for we should have to depend only on sounds and on the voices of others for communication with the external world.
As St Augustine points out, however, in his commentary on the miracle of the man who had been blind from birth, we are all more or less blind in the supernatural order.
The world is the image of God but, do we see His Presence in everything which surrounds us?
Is it not more often the case that created things distract us and lead us to forget their Creator, because, we regard them as a means of satisfying our own comfort and our own ego?
We should look on creatures as go-betweens which help us to ascend to God, the beginning and end of all creation.

Unfortunately, instead of climbing this mystical ladder which leads us to God, we often descend it.
We forget God and become excessively wrapped up in worldly affairs.
Sometimes matters may be even worse, not only do we forget God through our love of creatures but, we use them, to offend Him.
God has given us eyes to admire His works and, as a result, to lead us to praise, thank and love Him.
Instead, we often use this wonderful gift in order to commit sin.
He has given us the gift of speech, the gift of hearing and other senses.
But how do we employ them?
The tongue is a marvellous invention but, as St James writes, “if anyone does not offend in the word, he is a perfect man, able also to lead round by the bridle, the whole body … 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 3:2-10).
What can be said of vision and of speech can be said of all the senses and faculties of body and soul.
They are all God’s gifts and should, therefore, be used as means of bringing ourselves closer to Him.
If creatures lead us away from God and cause us to forget Him, or if, worse still, they cause us to offend Him, then we are spiritually blind and far more unfortunate than those who have lost their natural vision.

Most Holy Mary, during your earthly pilgrimage, you never once lost sight of God.
Grant that I may not be lost in the darkness of this world.
Grant that I may not be ensnared by the passing charm and false beauty of these created things which surround me.
Grant that I may see, in all things, the Presence and Beauty of God, so that I may always continue to advance, nearer and nearer to Him.   Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CONTEMPLATIVE Prayer, GOD ALONE!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ZEAL, The KINGDOM of GOD

Thought for the Day – 17 May – Contemplation and Our Lady

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

Contemplation and Our Lady

“We must try and unite the active, with the contemplative life, as far as circumstances will allow.
St Thomas Aquinas says, that the perfection of the spiritual life consists precisely in this union of activity and contemplation.
One, with the other, falls short of perfection.
“It is greater to enlighten than simply to shine,” writes St Thomas Aquinas “and greater to pass on the fruits of contemplation to others, than merely to contemplate.” (Summa Theologiae, II-II, q 6, a 3).

Contemplation on its own, can degenerate into useless day dreaming.
It is necessary that it should produce a genuine interior transformation, as a result of which, the subject, under the guidance of the Holy Sprit, becomes, in his speech and his conduct, a man of God.
Now, the man of God is not satisfied with enjoying spiritual consolations but, is moved by his zeal for the glory of God, to try and extend His Kingdom, by every possible means.
It is in this way, that contemplation becomes apostolic action.

We must remember, on the other hand, that neither is action on its own, sufficient.
It can become barren when it is not nourished by the interior life of grace, which is the source of prayer and contemplation.
It cannot be held, that this last, is the exclusive gift of a few privilege souls.
Anyone can have it, as long as he allows himself to be penetrated by the love of God and as long as he succeeds, in securing moments of recollection and silence, at intervals during life.
In these moments, he will grow closer to God and will enjoy a foretaste of the happiness of heaven.
We must strive, like the Blessed Virgin Mary, for complete union with God, each day of our lives!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/17/thought-for-the-day-17-may-contemplation-and-our-lady/

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on PRAYER

Thought for the Day – 16 May – Prayer and Our Lady

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

Prayer and Our Lady

“Mary’s was a life of constant prayer.
It is a thousand tmes more necessary, that ours, should be the same.
We are so weak and so prone to temptation, that we are always in danger of falling into sin.
“Without me, you can do nothing,” (Jn 15:5) Jesus tells us.
I am the vine, you are the branches. If anyone does not abide in me, he shall be cast outside as the branch and wither.” (Ibid).
Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you ” (Mt 7:7).
In short, Jesus asks us to pray.
He wants us to pray because He wants to give us His graces.

We cannot object that it is impossible for us to pray all the time because we have to work and fulfil other obligations.
The work, which has first claim on us, is the service of God, which is prayer.
Secondly, we can pray in tbe course of our daily work and of our different occupations, by offering to God, everything which we do.
No matter what we are doing, we can raise our minds to God in an act of love and so remain always, close to Him.

It is not our work which prevents us from praying constantly but our attachment to worldly things, our excessive love for ourselves and of other creatures.
We must avoid these distractions, if we wish to live like Mary in a continual state of prayer. ”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/16/thought-for-the-day-16-may-prayer-and-our-lady/

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on TEMPTATION

Thought for the Day – 15 May – The Power of Mary

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

The Power of Mary

“We should turn confidently to Mary, especially when we are tempted.
She cannot allow us to offend her Jesus and to fall into the foils of the devil, as long as we pray to her with faith in her intercession.
“The devil, as a roaring lion,” says St Peter, “goes about seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
But, our Mother Mary is always by our side seeking to protect us.
Let us entrust ourselves to her maternal care.
Not only does Mary wish to help us, declares St Bonaventure but, those who do not pray to her, commit almost as great an offence, as those who openly insult her (In Spec Virg)!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE: https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/15/thought-for-the-day-15-may-the-power-of-mary/

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on TEMPTATION

Thought for the Day – 14 May – The Refuge of Sinners

Thought for the Day – 14 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Refuge of Sinners

“Mary is called, the Star of Sea because, as St Thomas Aquinas says, “even as sailors are guided into port, by means of a star, so Christians are guided towards Heaven, by means of Mary, .” (Opuse, 7).
This absolute guarantee of the protection of our heavenly Mother, should increase our trust in her and lead us to turn towards her in every difficulty and temptation.
It should not, however, result in an unhealthy attitude of spiritual inactivity, a passive dependence on Mary’s favours, without any co-operation on our part.
Such behaviour would be the height of filial ingratitude.
Mary will certainly save repentant sinners who have recourse to her but she cannot pay any attention to hardened sinners, who pray to her with their lips, while their hearts remain steeped in sin.
We must have complete confidence in her but, we must also have a sincere intention of raising ourselves under her protection, from the slavery of sin, to the friendship of God.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/14/thought-for-the-day-14-may-the-refuge-of-sinners/

Posted in LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE

Thought for the Day – 12 May – “All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed”

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

“All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed”

“It is related in the Gospel, that once a certain occasion, a woman in the crowd, was roused by the preaching and miracles of Jesus and cried out: “Blessed is the womb that bore thee and the breasts that nursed thee.” But Jesus replied: “Rather blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it” (Lk 11:27-28).
These words take nothing from the glory of the Mother of God.
They were not intended for her but, for us.
She was great and holy, not only because she was chosen to be the Mother of the Word Incarnate but also because she perfected herself in virtue by carrying out, in everything, the teaching of her divine Son, Jesus.

We cannot follow her as far as her high dignity of Mother of God but we can follow her in her heroic practice of virtue.
Admittedly, we shall not be able to climb to an equal height but, with the help of God and under Mary’s own protection, we can and should, walk in her footsteps.

We can imitate her humility, her purity, her lively faith, her burning love for God and for her neighbour and her spirit of constant prayer and union with God.
If we do this, we shall always feel that she is by our side as our loving Mother, who is eager to help us to become holy.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/12/thought-for-the-day-12-may-all-generations-shall-call-me-blessed/

Posted in APRIL -MONTH of the BLESSED SACAMENT, GOD ALONE!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, The HEART, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 11 May – The Search for God

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

The Search for God

“All men are looking for God, whether they are aware of it or not.
They are discontented and cannot understand why.
They do not realise, that the real source of their discontent, is that they have not found God and God alone can make men happy.
The Blessed Virgin had to put up with many sorrows but, she never had to bear the pain which afflicts the rest of us, to a greater or a lesser degree, the pain of separation from God.
Even when she lost the Child Jesus, she still possessed God in her soul, for she had surrendered herself completely to Him.
Throughout her life, she remained united to God in joy and in sorrow.
God’s will was her will, His desires were her desires.

If we wish to be worthy sons of Mary, we must imitate her in this.
Let us consider the nature of our most intimate thoughts and desires.
How often we forget God!
How little we really think of Him.
We are absorbed in so many other affairs, that we forget Him, Who should be the centre of our plans.
We are too fond of ourselves and of our own comfort and interests.
As a result, we forget Him, to Whom we owe everything and Who should be the final goal of our lives.
Our hearts are very small.
If we fill them with worldly desires, there is no room for God.
But God should be the absolute master of our souls.

Let us empty ourselves of useless worldly preoccupations and make room for spiritual aims.
Let us make room for God.
Like Mary, let God be our only preoccupation,
If we look for Him in everything, we shall find Him.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/11/thought-for-the-day-11-may-the-search-for-god/

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, SEPTEMBER-The SEVEN SORROWS of MARY, The HOLY CROSS

Thought for the Day – 10 May – Mary’s Patience

Thought for the Day – 10 May – “Mary’s Month” Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary’s Patience

“We also have our share of suffering and humiliation.
It is useless to try and escape from it, useless to rebel against it.
If we embrace the cross patiently and lovingly, a Jesus and Mary did, it will seem lighter, even welcome.
If we attempt to cast it from us, it will weigh more heavily on our shoulders.
There are two kinds of men, those who bear their cross, patiently and embrace it because they wish to be like Jesus and, those who do not want to suffer and rebel.
The former may stagger beneath their daily burden but, they have peace of soul because they are putting into practice, the great Gospel precept: “By your patience, you will win your souls” (Lk 21:19).
They know that they are on the path to Heaven and this thought is consolation, which cannot be taken from them.
The second group of men, rebel against the cross and, therefore, suffer doubly, in body and in soul.
“The senseless man,” the Holy Spirit says, “loves not to be reproved” (Prov 15:12).

To which of these two categories do we belong?
Do we love our cross, or do we carry it patiently, at least?
Anyone who does not want the cross, does not want Jesus.
Let the example of Mary and of the Saints inspire us.
They always bore their burden patiently, they even looked for suffering and humiliation.
If we cannot reach such heroic heights, let us at last, accept, from the hands of Our Lord, the cross which He offers us.
Let us accept the sufferings which we meet on the way of life.
If we are not heroic enough to seek to be unknown and mortified, let us resolve to accept, patiently, the inevitable sorrows of life.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/10/thought-for-the-day-10-may-marys-patience/