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/

Posted in "Follow Me", MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES

Thought for the Day – 9 May – The Cardinal Virtues of Mary

Thought for the Day – 9 May – “Mary’s Month” Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Cardinal Virtues of Mary

Let us compare ourselves with Mary and consider how far we have succeeded in acquiring these virtues.
If we are to possess fully, the Cardinal virtue of JUSTICE, we must direct all our thoughts, desires and actions, towards God.

Since everything comes from God, we should offer everything back to Him.
If we fail to do this, we are guilty of injustice towards God.
We take for ourselves, something which belongs to Him.
We must also be just to our neighbour.
It is not enough to be charitable only because there can be no charity, unless, it is founded on justice.
This justice should characterise our thoughts and judgements, as well as our words and actions.

Have we the Virtue of PRUDENCE?
Prudence demands constant self-control.
How often do we lose control over ourselves and say things which we ought not to say, or do things, which we ought not to do?

Prudence is a splendid virtue, which can be obtained by the grace of God, by living a life of union with Him.
It necessitates constant vigilance over our faculties and passions, in order to ensure, that nothing will interfere with our rational conduct and with our observance of the commandments of God.

Interior TEMPERANCE, is simply the result of prudence, insofar, as it obliges us to master ourselves and to abstain from everything which could upset the proper order of our faculties, in relation to one another and to God.
If we are inwardly temperate, we shall show external temperance in our words and deeds.
We shall abstain, in other words, from everything suggested by our lower nature, which is contrary to the commandments of God and the precepts of the Church.
This means, we shall observe among other things, the Church’s laws of fasting and abstinence.
We shall keep away from dangerous amusements and from anything else which could be harmful to ourselves or to our neighbour.

Finally, we must imitate the FORTITUDE of Mary.
We must be brave in the face of temptation to sin, in suffering and in all the diffculties of life.
Looking always towards Heaven, our true home, we shall find at last, the peace and happiness, which have no end.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/09/thought-for-the-day-9-may-the-cardinal-virtues-of-mary/

Posted in BAPTISM, I BELIEVE!, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on the CHURCH, THEOLOGICAL

Thought for the Day – 8 May – The Theological Virtues of Our Lady

Thought for the Day – 8 May – “Mary’s Month” Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Theological Virtues of Our Lady

“We also possess the Catholic faith, or at any rate, believe that we possess it, for we often recite the Creed and were received, at Baptism, into the family of the Catholic Church.

But is our faith alive?
When a man is living his faith, he has a constant realisation of the presence of God, Who has created him, maintains him in existence, has redeemed him, loves him and commands him to do good.
Otherwise, our faith is dead, for as St James writes, “faith, without works, is dead” (Js 2:26).
If our faith is not living, neither is our hope nor our charity.

Let us examine ourselves thoroughly.
Perhaps we do not think about God enough and, as a result our faith is weak.
Perhaps we place all our hope in earthly things and look for these passing pleasures, which cannot satisfy or hearts.
Perhaps we love ourselves and our possessions too much and have too little love for God, our only real good.
It maybe that we are constantly seeking our own interests and ease and are lacking in sincere and active charity towards our neighbour, when he is in need, even though he is our brother in Jesus Christ and we should love him as ourselves.
If this is the way matters stand, we are not genuine Catholics, for we have not the three theological virtues, which should form the basis of our lives.
Neither are we sincere sons of Mary, who possessed these three virtues in an outstanding manner.
Let us examine ourselves with a view to forming a few good and earnest resolutions.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/08/thought-for-the-day-8-may-the-theological-virtues-of-our-lady/

Posted in GOD ALONE!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONSCIENCE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The KINGDOM of GOD, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 7 May – The Humility of Mary

Thought for the Day – 7 May – “Mary’s Month” Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Humility of Mary

“Unfortunately, we often look for our share of glory on earth.
We wish to appear to others, not only at our true value but much more than we are really worth.
We imagine that the gifts and qualities which God has given us, belong to ourselves, whereas they are entirely His.

We like to put up a good appearance to win praise and renown – in other words, we want to have our reward upon this earth.
We should remember, however, that if we look for our reward now, we shall not have it in Heaven.

God sees when our motives in doing good are distorted and, when we appear before His judgement throne, He will say to us: “You have received your reward” (Cf Mt 6:2).

Let us be humble like Mary.
Let us make God’s glory, rather than our own satisfaction, the object of our actions.
It will sometimes happen that men will misunderstand us, perhaps even insult us.
We are not forbidden to defend ourselves and explain our position.
We may not have the heroic virtue of St Francis de Sales, who remained silent when he was caluminated.
But we should not be too disturbed by lack of understanding or slander, nor should we be too elated by flattery.
Only one thing should count with us and that is, the testimony of a good conscience before God.
Everything else is passing and futile.

Our humility will be tested by the inevitable opposition, sometimes jealous and malicious, which we shall experience on the part of other men.
On these occasions, we shall see if we are really meek and humble of heart, like Jesus and our Blessed Mother.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/07/thought-for-the-day-7-may-the-humility-of-mary/

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, The FOUR CARDINAL VIRTUES

Thought for the Day – 6 May – The Virginal Purity of Mary

Thought for the Day – 6 May – “Mary’s Month” Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Virginal Purity of Mary

“Purity is the most beautiful of virtues.
It is a virtue which is admired by God and by men, even by the most corrupt.
It is often said, that it makes us like the angels but in fact, looking at it in a particular way, it makes us superior to the angels.
Since they have no bodies, the angels cannot sin against purity, while we have to fight many battles and overcome many temptations, in order to preserve our chastity.
Jesus had a very special love for this virtue.
He chose to be born of a virgin and, He showed a particular affection for St John, who was a dedicated celibate.
On one occasion, He placed His Hands on the head of a little child and said: “Unless you turn and become like little children, you will not enter into the kingdom of Heaven “(Mt:18.3)

Unfortunately, the virtue of purity is as fragile as it is beautiful.
It can be lost in a single moment of weakness.
We must love ths virtue as Mary loved it.
We must be prepared to make any sacrifice, even the most heroic, rather than lose it.
Worldly charm and beauty attract us and the devil works hard to control our imagination and our affections.
On account of the disturbance of original sin, the flesh is like a terrible weight retarding our spiritual advancement.
Sometimes it seems as if it is irresistibly drawing us towards the abyss of impurity.
But we need not be dragged down, if we are prepared to fly from the occasions of sin and to pray to God and to our heavenly Mother for her intercession.
We must always act at once, for there is no time to dally.
It is fatal to remain inactive and to allow temptation to make its way into our soul.
This kind of battle, said St Francis de Sales, is won only by soldiers who flee.
We must fly from the occasions of sin, no matter what sacrifice this entails.
Jesus has warned us, that it is better to enter Heaven without a hand or a foot, than to be cast into hell.

We know the remedies – instant flight, heroic sacrifice and constant prayer.
We can leave the rest to the grace of God and to the maternal protection of Mary.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/06/thought-for-the-day-6-may-the-virginal-purity-of-mary

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

Thought for the Day – 5 May – Mary, Our Mother

Thought for the Day – 5 May – “Mary’s Month” Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary, Our Mother

“Mary is, at the same time, our loving and powerful Mother.
No matter how much earthly mothers love their sons and desire to help them, very often they cannot do so because, their love is limited.
It is not so with Mary.
Not only does she love us but, she also possesses great influence with her divine Son, Jesus.
We should have confidence in her, therefore and have recourse to her, in every spiritual or temporal need.
We may be certain that she will use her powers of intercession on our behalf.
Let us remember, however, to ask, first of all, for the spiritual favours which we need.
Later, we may ask, in a spirit of resignation to God’s Will, for temporal benefits and for release from worldly suffering.
If we acted otherwise, we should not be worthy sons of Mary, who endured all kinds of suffering for the sake of Jesus.

When we recite the Our Father, we say ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,‘ before we say ‘Deliver us from evil.’
If anyone refuses the cross, he shows that he does not love God because, he does not will what God wills for him.
We should remember that there is no affliction which does not come from God and, that nothing comes from God, which is not for our own good.

So let us ask Mary for everything which we desire but let us ask her, first of all to make us holy.
Devotion to Mary, as St Catherine of Siena assures us, is a mark of predestination..”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/05/thought-for-the-day-5-may-mary-our-mother/

Posted in MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 4 May – Mary, the Mother of God

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

Mary, the Mother of God

“St Matthew (Cf Mt 12:46-50) and St Mark (Cf Mk 3:31-35), relate how Jesus was preaching one day in Galilee, surrounded by His Apostles and by a large crowd, when a man approached and said: “Behold, thy mother and thy brethren are standing outside, seeking thee.”
“Who is my mother,” He answered, “and who are my brethren?”
Then He extended His hand towards His disciples and said: “Behold, my mother and my brethren! For whoever does the will of my Father in Heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.”

These words were directed at us, not at Our Lady.
Not only was she the Immaculate Mother of Jesus Christ but, she performed lovingly, on all occasions, the Will of the heavenly Father.
She did His Will, in poverty and obedience, in exile and on Mount Calvary.
Therefore, she was God’s Mother in the spiritual, as well as, in the physical sense of the word, insofar, as she was constantly united to Him by a bond of love and of conformity with His desires.

Christ’s words indicate, that Mary’s perfect and continuous acceptance of God’s Will, was even more pleasing to God, than the dignity of the divine Motherhood.

We cannot equal her in dignity but, we can imitate her in this other respect.
Jesus will look on us as His brothers and as worthy sons of Mary, if we carry out His Will in all things.
It is not always easy to do this.
It is not easy, when we are strongly tempted to commit sins of pride, anger or impurity.
It is not easy, when we are overcome by sorrow or by sickness, when we are let down or misunderstod by others, when we are in want and, when we feel that we are collapsing beneath the weght of our cross.
At times like these, we should pray for Mary’s spirit of complete acceptance of the Will of God.

Most Holy Mary, not only were you raised to the dignity of Mother of God but, you carried out His holy Will, heroically on all occasions.
Obtain for me, from your divine Son, Jesus, the grace to co-operate always and at all costs, with His designs for me, both in life and in death, amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART OE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/04/thought-for-the-day-4-may-mary-the-mother-of-god/

Posted in "Follow Me", MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 3 May – The Imitation of Mary

Thought for the Day – 3 May – “Mary’s Month – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Imitation of Mary

“At first sight, it seems a very difficult matter, to imitate Mary.
More than any other creature, she reached the highest peak of perfection.
But, if we examine the nature of her outstanding sanctity, it will seem easier to imitate her.

According to the masters of spiritual life, there are three kinds of holiness.
First, there is extraordinary sanctity, which abounds in miracles and ecstasies. such as that of St Francis, St Aloysius Gonzaga, St Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi, St Catherine of Siena and many others.
Secondly, there is ordinary holiness, where perfection is achieved without being manifested in miracles or in ecstasies.
Thirdly, there is hidden sanctity, a relationship entirely between the soul and God, which consists in the faithful and loving fulfilment of Hs holy Will.
It is unnoticed by men but one day, it will shine forth in the sight of God and the human race.

The holiness of Mary, falls into the latter two categories, for hers was a hidden sanctity, to outward appearances, quite ordinary.
We read nothing of her having been in ecstasy or having performed miracles.
We do read, however, that she did God’s Will on all occasions; that she lived an obscure life of humility and love; that she followed Jesus, as far as Calvary, along the sorrowful road of the Cross; that she loved Him above everything else and, that she lived for Him alone.

It is not too difficult to imitate Mary.
With her protection and with the grace of God, it can become almost easy.
All we need, is a firm resolution to accomplish the Will of God in all things, a great love for Jesus, which will make Him the object of all our actions and, a spirit of prayer, which will keep us close to God, in every kind of circumstance.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/03/thought-for-the-day-3-may-the-imitation-of-mary/

Posted in "Follow Me", MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 2 May – The Intercession of Our Lady

Thought for the Day – 2 May – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Intercession of Our Lady

“There is a passage in the Gospel which illustrates, in outstanding fashion, Mary’s great power of intercession.
St John relates (Cf Jn 2:1-2) that, along with Mary and the Apostles, Jesus took part at a wedding celebration in Cana of Galilee.
During the banquet, the wine ran short.
Mary realised how embarrassing this would be for the young couple and took pity on them.
She said to Jesus in a tone of request: “They have no wine.”
But Jesus seemed quite indifferent to her appeal.
“What would thou have me do, woman?” He said, “My hour has not yet come.”

One would have imagined from the coolness of this reply, that it would have been useless to press the matter and further.
Mary, on the other hand, was sure, that Jesus would not refuse the favour which she asked.
She turned without any hesistation to the attendants and directed them: “Do whatever he tells you.”

As if disarmed by His Mother’s trustfulness, Jesus then worked His first miracle through her intercession.
When we pray we should do so with the same confidence and we shall certainly be answered.

Remember Mary’s words,however, “Do whatever he tells you.”
We must do whatever Jesus tells us, if we want Mary to listen to us and to work in us, the miracle of our sanctification.
If we desire to be true sons of Mary, her advice to us, is to carry out the commands of Jesus Christ.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/02/thought-for-the-day-2-may-the-intercession-of-our-lady/

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on VIRTUE, ROSARY QUOTES, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Thought for the Day – 1 May – The Month of Mary

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

The Month of Mary

“This work of eradicating of our faults and replacing them by their opposite virtues, is a difficult task which we cannot carry out on our own.
Prayer is necessary if we are to obtan the grace which we need.
During Mary’s month, we should beseech our heavenly Mother, with greater earnestness, to obtain for us, from her divine Son, the grace which we need to correct the evil in our nature and to perfect it in goodness.

Mary wants us to pray to her because she wishes to obtain for us, the graces which we require.
She loves us very much and is ready to help us to become, like her, living imitations of Jesus, insofar as the weakness of our nature will permit.

Among our other prayers, let us remember to give pride of place to the Holy Rosary, whether we recite it in Church or with the family.
Let us include, at least a quarter of an hour meditation; a daily visit, however short, to the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady’s Altar; an examination of conscience in the evening and many ejaculatory prayers during the day, which will express our love for Mary and for her divine Son.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE HERE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/01/thought-for-the-day-1-may-the-month-of-mary/

Posted in EASTER, HOLY SATURDAY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN Saturdays

Sabbatum Sanctum – Holy Saturday: “Watching” – The Easter Vigil of the Holy Night

Sabbatum Sanctum – Holy Saturday:  “Watching” – The Easter Vigil of the Holy Night

On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on His suffering and death.   The Altar is left bare and the Sacrifice of the Mass, is not celebrated.   Only after the solemn Vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the Resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin, with a spirit of joy which overflows into the following period of fifty days.

Holy Saturday (from Sabbatum Sanctum, its official liturgical name) is sacred as the day of the Lord’s rest; it has been called the “Second Sabbath” after creation.   The day is and should be the most calm and quiet day of the entire Church year, a day broken by no liturgical function.   Christ lies in the grave, the Church sits near and mourns.   After the great battle He is resting in peace but upon Him, we see the scars of intense suffering…The mortal wounds on His Body remain visible…J esus’ enemies are still furious, attempting to obliterate the very memory of the Lord by lies and slander.

Mary and the disciples are grief-stricken, while the Church must mournfully admit, that too many of her children return home from Calvary cold and hard of heart.   When Mother Church reflects upon all of this, it seems as if the wounds of her dearly Beloved were again beginning to bleed.

The entire body of the Church is represented in Mary for she is the “credentium collectio universa” (Congregation for Divine Worship, Lettera circolare sulla preparazione e celebrazione delle feste pasquali, 73).   Thus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as she waits near the Lord’s tomb, as she is represented in Christian tradition, is an icon of the Virgin Church keeping vigil at the Tomb of her Spouse while awaiting the celebration of His Resurrection.

The pious exercise of the Ora di Maria is inspired by this intuition of the relationship between the Virgin Mary and the Church – while the Body of her Son lies in the Tomb and His soul has descended to the dead ,to announce liberation, from the shadow of darkness ,to His ancestors, the Blessed Virgin Mary, foreshadowing and representing the Church, awaits, in faith, the victorious triumph of her Son over death. — Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, HOLY SATURDAY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN Saturdays, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, REDEMPTORISTS CSSR, SAINT of the DAY

Holy Saturday +2021 and Memorials of the Saints – 3 April

Holy Saturday +2021
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/11/sabbatum-sanctum-holy-saturday-the-second-sabbath-10-april/

Our Glorious Most Sorrowful Mother – By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor

Mary is our Mother — not by the flesh but by love. That is, she is our Mother by love alone. So someone observes that she glories in being the mother of love. She is all love for us, her adopted children.
The first reason for Mary’s great love for human beings, is that she loves God so much. She loved Him more in the first moment of her existence, than all the Saints and Angels every loved Him or will love him.

Just as there is not one, among all the blessed ,who loves God as Mary does, so there is no one, after God, who loves us as much as this most loving Mother does. Furthermore, if we heaped together all the love that mothers have for their children, all the love of husbands and wives, all the love of all the Angels and Saints for their clients, it could never equal Mary’s love for even a single soul.
Mary, to obtain the life of grace for us … offered her beloved Jesus to an ignominious death, and watched him die before her eyes, in cruel and unexampled torments.
It is written of the Eternal Father, that God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son (Jn 3:16), so also, we can say of Mary, that she so loved the world, as to give her only-begotten Son.
So with St Anselm I will cry:

“Let my heart languish and my soul melt away and be consumed with love of you, my beloved Saviour Jesus and my dear Mother Mary! But because I cannot love you unless You give me grace, then give me grace, O Jesus and Mary — by Your merits, not mine — to love You as You deserve to be loved. O God, lover of humankind, You loved sinful human beings to the point of death. Will You deny Your love and Your Mother’s to anyone who begs for it?”

__
Bl Alexandrina di Letto
St Attala of Taormina
St Benatius of Kilcooley
St Benignus of Tomi
St Burgundofara
St Chrestus
St Comman
St Evagrius of Tomi
Bl Francisco Solís Pedrajas
Saint or Blessed (conflicting reports?) Gandulphus of Binasco OFM (c 1200-1260)
https://youtu.be/MH42oExIiEI?list=PL5_ax08Z6UX-Mp6eiMLvUNsbqM5V47Q9q

Bl Iacobus Won Si-bo
St John I of Naples
Blessed John of Penna OFM (c 1193-1271) Priest, Friar
Blessed John of Jesus and Mary/Juan Otazua Madariaga O.SS.T (1895-1937)
Priest Martyr
His Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/03/saint-of-the-day-3-april-blessed-john-of-jesus-and-mary-o-ss-t-1895-1937-priest-martyr/
Bl Lawrence Pak Chwi-deuk
St Luigi Scrosoppi Cong. Orat. (1804-1884)
About St Luigi:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/saint-of-the-day-3-april-st-luigi-scrosoppi/

A little Note about St Luigi – his Canonisation Miracle occurred in my previous Parish in Oudtshoorn, Cape Town!

Blessed Maria Teresa Casini (1864–1937)
Her life:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/04/03/saint-of-the-day-3-april-blessed-maria-teresa-casini-1864-1937/
St Nicetas of Medicion
St Papo
Bl Piotr Edward Dankowski
St Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)
Biography:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/04/03/saint-of-the-day-3-april-st-richard-of-chichester-1197-1253/

Posted in HOLY WEEK, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The LAMB of GOD, The PASSION, The REDEMPTION, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 28 March – The Lamb of God

Thought for the Day – 28 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Lamb of God

“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 MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 27 March

Apparition of Our Lord to Our Lady, as soon as He was risen – 27 March:

There is nothing in Scripture that says Jesus appeared to His Mother after His resurrection.
Not everything that occurred is recorded in Scripture (Jn. 21:25), therefore, just because it is not recorded does not mean it did not happen.

Pious belief has long held, that Jesus must have appeared to His Mother before anyone else. The popular belief of why it was not recorded in Scripture, is that the other appearances of Jesus, were written and publicised as proof of the risen Christ, whereas His appearance to His Mother, was a private and personal appearance, born of a deep communion of love.

Pious belief has also noted the absence of Jesus’ mother on Easter morning. Why did she not go to the tomb? Why was Jesus already missing? When news of Jesus’ Resurrection spread amongst His followers, why did Jesus’ Mother not follow them to the tomb? Pious belief has reasoned, that Jesus must have appeared to His Mother immediately following His Resurrection.
Indeed, it is legitimate to think, that the Mother was probably the first person to whom the risen Jesus appeared. Could not Mary’s absence from the group of women, who went to the tomb at dawn, (cf. Mk 16:1; Mt 28:1) indicate that she had already seen her Son Jesus?

Out of interest, all these great masterpieces of the Catholic faith shown here were painted at least 500 years plus ago – this first apparition of Our Risen Lord to His Mother, has always been believed!

__
Bl Aimone of Halberstadt
St Amphilochius of Illyria
St Alexander of Drizipara
St Alexander of Pannonia
St Alkeld the Martyr
St Amator the Hermit
St Augusta of Treviso
St Claudio Gallo
St Cronidas of Illyria
St Ensfrid of Cologne
Bl Francesco Faà di Bruno
Bl Frowin of Engelberg
St Gelasius of Armagh
Blessed Giuseppe Ambrosoli MCCI (1923-1987)
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/27/saint-of-the-day-27-march-blessed-giuseppe-ambrosoli-mcci-1923-1987-to-be-beatified-on-22-november-2020/
St John of Lycopolis

Blessed Louis-Édouard Cestac (1801-1868)
Blessed Louis’s Story:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/03/27/saint-of-the-day-27-march-blessed-louis-edouard-cestac-1801-1868/

St Matthew of Beauvais
St Macedo of Illyria
St Panacea de’Muzzi of Quarona
Blessed Pellegrino of Falerone OFM (Died 1233) Lay Franciscn Brother
Bl Peter Jo Yong-sam
St Philetus
St Romulus the Abbot
St Rupert of Salzburg (c 660–710)
Biography of St Rupert:

https://anastpaul.com/2019/03/27/saint-of-the-day-st-rupert-of-salzburg-c-660-710/
St Suairlech of Fore
St Theoprepius

Martyrs of Bardiaboch: A group of Christians who were arrested, tortured and executed together for their faith during the persecutions of Persian king Shapur II. Martyrs. – Abibus, Helias, Lazarus, Mares, Maruthas, Narses, Sabas, Sembeeth and Zanitas. 27 March 326 at Bardiaboch, Persia.

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on MEDITATION, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SILENCE, The ANNUNCIATION, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Thought for the Day – 25 March – The Recollection of Mary

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

The Recollection of Mary

“It is believed that when the Angel Gabriel visited the Blessed Virgin in order to tell her that she was to be the Mother of God, she was in a quiet corner of her home, absorbed in prayer.
She had no love for the noise and confusion of the world but preferred to be recollected in the company of God.
This was to be the pattern of her whole life.
In the midst of her domestic duties, on her journey to St Elizabeth and on her travels in Galilee and Judea, in the wake of her divine Son, her mind and heart were always concentrated on God.

Interior recollection is a wonderful thing.
It helps us to hear God’s voice more clearly.
It keeps us removed from the temptations of the world and assists us in sanctifying every moment of our lives.

“The cell continually dwelt in growth sweet,” (Bk 1, C 20:5) says The Imitation of Christ and goes onto ask:  “What can thou see elsewhere that thou does not see here?   Behold the heavens and the earth and all the elements, for out of these are all things made” (Ibid C 20:8).
“As often as I have been amongst men,” it exclaims, “I have returned less a man” (Ibid C 20:2).
When we move around chattering with different people, we have lost something of ourselves by the time we return home.
Perhaps we have wasted a good deal of time in useless conversation or, worse still, have seen or heard unpleasant or disturbing things.
When we go about in the world, we do not often see much that is edifying or instructive and rarely meet people whose conversation does us good.
For this reason, even when we cannot remain apart, we should carry in ourselves, as Mary did, a spirit of interior recollection and communication with God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, The 1st Joyful Mystery - the ANNUNCIATION, The ANNUNCIATION, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 25 March – The Annunciation of the Lord

Quote/s of the Day – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, Readings: Isaiah 7:10-14; 8: 10, Psalms 40:7-8,8-9, 10, 11, Hebrews 10:4-10, Luke 1:26-38

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord;
let it be to me according to your word.”

Luke 1:38

“And so, when God’s birth is proclaimed to you, keep silent.
Let Gabriel’s word be held in your mind
for nothing is impossible to this glorious Majesty,
who humbled Himself for us
and was born of our humanity.”

“In her, God spun a garment
with which to save us.”

St Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctor

“He came from Him,
from whom He did not depart,
going forth from Him,
with whom He stayed,
so that without intermission,
He was wholly in eternity,
wholly in time,
wholly was He found in the Father
when wholly in the Virgin,
wholly in His own majesty
and in His Father’s,
at the time
when He was wholly in our humanity. ”

“Has anyone ever come away from Mary,
troubled or saddened or ignorant
of the heavenly Mysteries?
Who has not returned to everyday life
gladdened and joyful
because a request has been granted
by the Mother of God?”

St Amadeus of Lausanne (1110-1159)

“The Father bending down to this beautiful creature,
who was so unaware of her own beauty,
willed that she be the Mother, in time,
of Him, Whose Father He is, in eternity.
Then the Spirit of love,
Who presides over all of God’s works,
came upon her; the Virgin said her fiat:
“Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
be it done to me according to thy word”
and the greatest of mysteries, was accomplished!”

St Elizabeth of the Trinity OCD (1880-1906)

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, The 1st Joyful Mystery - the ANNUNCIATION, The ANNUNCIATION, YouTube VIDEOS

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, Our Lady of Betania and Memorials of the Saints – 25 March

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord 25 March

The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord – 25 March

Abbot Prosper Guéranger OSB (1805-1875) narrates:

A tradition, which has come down from the apostolic ages, tells us that the great mystery of the Incarnation, was achieved on the twenty-fifth day of March. It was at the hour of midnight, when the most holy Virgin was alone and absorbed in prayer, that the Archangel Gabriel appeared before her and asked her, in the name of the Blessed Trinity, to consent to become the Mother of God. Let us assist, in spirit, at this wonderful interview between the angel and the Virgin: and, at the same time, let us think of that other interview which took place between Eve and the serpent. A holy Bishop and Martyr of the second century, Saint Irenaeus, who had received the tradition from the very disciples of the Apostles, shows us that Nazareth, is the counterpart of Eden.

In the garden of delights there is a virgin and an angel and a conversation takes place-between them. At Nazareth a virgin is also addressed by an angel and she answers him but the angel of the earthly paradise, is a spirit of darkness and he of Nazareth, is a spirit of light. In both instances, it is the angel that has the first word. ‘Why,’ said the serpent to Eve, ‘hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise?’ His question implies impatience and a solicitation to evil, he has contempt for the frail creature to whom he addresses it but he hates the image of God, which is upon her.

See, on the other hand, the angel of light; see with what composure and peacefulness he approaches the Virgin of Nazareth, the new Eve and how respectfully he bows himself down before her: ‘Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among women!’ Such language is evidently of heaven, none but an angel could speak thus to Mary.

Scarcely has the wicked spirit finished speaking than Eve casts a longing look at the forbidden fruit, she is impatient to enjoy the independence it is to bring her. She rashly stretches forth her hand, she plucks the fruit, she eats it and death takes possession of her: death of the soul, for sin extinguishes the light of life; and death of the body, which being separated from the source of immortality, becomes an object of shame and horror and finally, crumbles into dust.

But let us turn away our eyes from this sad spectacle and fix them on Nazareth. Mary has heard the angel’s explanation of the mystery, the will of heaven is made known to her and how grand an honour it is to bring upon her! She, the humble maid of Nazareth, is to have the ineffable happiness of becoming the Mother of God and yet, the treasure of her virginity is to be left to her! Mary bows down before this sovereign will and says to the heavenly messenger: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me, according to thy word.’

Thus, as the great St Irenaeus and so many of the holy fathers remark, the obedience of the second Eve, repaired the disobedience of the first, for no sooner does the Virgin of Nazareth speak her fiat, ‘be it done,’ than the eternal Son of God (who, according to the divine decree, awaited this word) is present, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, in the chaste womb of Mary and there, He begins His human life. A Virgin is a Mother and Mother of God and it is this Virgin’s consenting to the divine will, that has made her conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost. This sublime mystery puts between the eternal Word and a mere woman, the relations of Son and Mother, it gives to the almighty God, a means whereby He may, in a manner worthy of His majesty, triumph over satan, who hitherto seemed to have prevailed against the divine plan.

Never was there a more entire or humiliating defeat than that which this day befell satan. The frail creature, over whom he had so easily triumphed at the beginning of the world, now rises and crushes his proud head. Eve conquers in Mary. God would not choose man for the instrument of His vengeance, the humiliation of satan would not have been great enough and, therefore, she who was the first prey of hell, the first victim of the tempter, is selected to give battle to the enemy. The result of so glorious a triumph is, that Mary is to be superior not only to the rebel angels but to the whole human race, yea, to all the angels of heaven. Seated on her exalted throne, she, the Mother of God, is to be the Queen of all creation. Satan, in the depths of the abyss, will eternally bewail his having dared to direct his first attack against the woman, for God has now so gloriously avenged her and, in heaven, the very Cherubim and Seraphim reverently look up to Mary and deem themselves honoured, when she smiles upon them, or employs them in the execution of any of her wishes, for she is the Mother of their God.

Therefore is it that we, the children of Adam, who have been snatched by Mary’s obedience from the power of hell, solemnise this day of the Annunciation. Well may we say of Mary, those words of Debbora, when she sang her song of victory over the enemies of God’s people: ‘The valiant men ceased and rested in Israel, until Debbora arose, a mother arose in Israel. The Lord chose new wars and He Himself, overthrew the gates of the enemies.’ Let us also refer to the holy Mother of Jesus, these words of Judith, who by her victory over the enemy was another type of Mary: ‘Praise ye the Lord our God, who hath not forsaken them that hope in Him. And by me, His handmaid, He hath fulfilled His mercy, which He promised to the house of Israel and He hath killed the enemy of His people, by my hand this night. . . . The almighty Lord hath struck him and hath delivered him into the hands of a woman and hath slain him.’

Our Lady of Betania:
The name Betania means Bethany in Spanish. It was originally given this name by Maria Esperanza and was the site of their farm, in Venezuela. Apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary were reported and eventually a small Chapel was built there and the faithful began to gather, especially on Feast Days but throughout the year.

St Alfwold of Sherborne
St Barontius of Pistoia
St Desiderius of Pistoia
St Dismas (Crucified with Jesus) “The Good Thief”

St Dula the Slave
Blessed Emilian Kovch (1884-1944) Priest, Martyr
About Bl Emilian:

https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/03/25/saint-of-the-day-25-march-blessed-emilian-kovch-1884-1944-martyr/

Bl Everard of Nellenburg
Bl Herman of Zahringen
St Hermenland
St Humbert of Pelagius
Bl James Bird
Bl Josaphata Mykhailyna Hordashevska
St Kennocha of Fife
St Lucia Filippini
St Marie-Alphonsine/Mariam Sultaneh Danil Ghattas (1843-1927)
About St Marie-Alphonusine:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/03/25/saint-of-the-day-25-march-st-marie-alphonsine-danil-ghattas-1843-1927/
St Matrona of Barcelona
St Matrona of Thessaloniki
St Mona of Milan
St Ndre Zadeja
Bl Pawel Januszewski
St Pelagius of Laodicea
Bl Placido Riccardi
St Procopius
St Quirinus of Rome
Bl Tommaso of Costacciaro

262 Martyrs of Rome: A group 262 Christians martyred together in Rome. We know nothing else about them, not even their names.

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 11 February – The Power of Mary

Thought for the Day – 11 February – 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 FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, The 4th Joyful Mystery - THE PRESENTATION

Feast of the Purification of Our Lady, the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple – Candlemas Day – 2 February

Feast of the Purification of Our Lady, the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple – Candlemas Day – 2 February

Master of Saint Severin c 1490

Besides commemorating the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, this day has another meaning, for it is called Candlemas Day. The candle is one of the most widely used sacramentals in the Church; one blessed in a special Mass.

We use candles at Baptism, at Mass and other church devotions, at the Ordination of a Priest, the Consecration of a Bishop, at Easter, at Christmas to signify the coming of Christ. Two blessed candles should be in every home, to use in times of sickness, death, storms and calamities.

In the blessing of candles, the Church reminds us, that the candles signify light; they are blessed for the service of mankind, for health of body and soul, for those who desire to carry them in their hands with honour. Christ, the true Light and Fire of Charity, is asked to bless these candle,; to dispel the darkness of night, to free us from the blindness of vice and to discern what is pleasing to Him and profitable for our salvation.

On the Feast of Mary’s Purification, we greet her with lighted candles – shining with faith and understanding, burning with love and zeal, as Sion welcomed Christ the King; today we go to Christ through Mary, to Christ, the new Light that gives Faith, Hope and Charity to us all.

The two-fold Jewish rites, to which the Holy Family submitted on this occasion, were the legal purifying of the mother after childbirth and the offering of the first-born male child to the Lord. They showed reverence for the Father’s Law, by fulfilling its obligations and so, the Mother submitted to the Purification in all humility.

Angels beheld in wondering awe, what was the greatest event the Temple had ever witnessed. It was nothing less than the second coming of the Lord to His Temple, which the prophets had foretold. At the Presentation, God the Son made Man, took possession of the Temple built for His Father’s glory and so, ratified the worship which is offered to God in sacred courts, churches.

This simple ceremony is the link between the mystery of the Incarnation and the Redemption; here the Saviour renews the oblation of Himself; “Sacrifice and oblation Thou wouldst not but a body Thou hast fitted to me. Then, I said: “Behold, I come: in the head of the book it is written of me, that I should do Thy will, O God.”

Jesus really begins His Passion in this mystery of the Presentation and so, too, Mary begins her dolors. It is by Mary’s hands, that Jesus makes the oblation, which is the prelude to His Sacrifice. We honour the Presentation among the Joyful Mysteries but it is also, first in place among Mary’s Sorrows.

Simeon enlightened by the Holy Spirit, understood the mystery and so, too, did Mary. After his first transports of joy at seeing the Messiah, he blessed them and said to His Mother, “Behold this Child is set for the fall and the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted and thy own soul, a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

This prophecy reminds us, that Mary is always to be associated with the destiny of Jesus, the one solitary partner of His lot, singled out to suffer with Him. Heresies that pierced the Son have trans-pierced the Mother. The early Church guarded the doctrines of Jesus by defining Mary’s titles; today, those who repudiate the honour of Mary, turn from the Son also; in the mind of satan as in the mind of the Church, the honour of Son and Mother go together.

The Church of Jerusalem was the first to celebrate this Feast. On this day, also, a procession was held to the Constantinian basilica. The Armenians still keep the day on 14 February and call it “The Coming of the Son of God into the Temple.” The Greeks called it “Hypapante” the meeting of the Child Jesus and His Mother with Simeon and Anna in to Temple.

This Feast reminds us how intimately Mary is associated with her Son in the work of Redemption. We welcome Her Child to our hearts with love and faith, we bless the Mother, too, for she had “not spared her life by reason of the distress and tribulation of her people but has prevented our ruin, in the presence of our God.”

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, FEBRUARY-The HOLY FAMILY, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the FAMILY, QUOTES/PRAYERS on THE FAMILY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – 1 February – The Holy Family – The Blessed Virgin Mary

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

The Holy Family – The Blessed Virgin Mary

“The Blessed Vigin Mary is the second model proposed for our imitation in the Holy Family.
She is the purest and most beautiful creature ever fashioned by the Hand of God.
As Mother of the Word Incarnate, her dignity touches the divine.
Peserved from all stain of sin from the moment of her conception, she is full of grace.
Except in God Himself, no greater beauty and holiness can be found elsewhere, than in Mary.

We do not read that Mary worked miracles, had ecstasies, or possessed any extraordinary external gifts.
Her sanctity was completely internal.
She trod the ordinary way of perfection, therefore, the way most easily imitated by us and, nevertheless, reached the highest peak of holiness.
Since we are her devoted and affectionate children, let us ask her for the grace to follow her in the way of perfection and of complete resignation to the Will of God.
Although, we may have to follow her from afar, let us follow with enthusiasm.
As parents, let us imitate her holy, loving and obedient hand in the growth of our Saviour.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One – Jesus – here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/24/thought-for-the-day-24-december-the-holy-family-jesus/

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, The INCARNATION, To JESUS through MARY

Thought for the Day – 1 January – Mary, Mother of God

Thought for the Day – 1 January – 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 FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MOTHER of GOD, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 January – ‘… We are all children of Mary’

One Minute Reflection – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, Readings: Numbers 6:22-27Psalms 67:2-35,68Galatians 4:4-7Luke 2:16-21

But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. … Luke 2:19

REFLECTION – “Is not Mary the Mother of Christ? Then she is our Mother also. And we must in truth hold that Christ, the Word made Flesh, is also the Saviour of mankind. He had a physical body like that of any other man and again, as Saviour of the human family, He had a spiritual and mystical body, the society, namely, of those who believe in Christ. “We are many, but one sole body in Christ” (Rom. xii., 5). Now the Blessed Virgin did not conceive the Eternal Son of God, merely in order, that He might be made man taking His human nature from her but, also in order, that by means of the nature assumed from her, He might be the Redeemer of men. For which reason, the Angel said to the Shepherds: “To-day there is born to you a Saviour who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
Wherefore, in the same holy bosom of His most chaste Mother, Christ took to Himself flesh and united to Himself, the spiritual body formed by those who were to believe in Him. Hence Mary, carrying the Saviour within her, may be said to have also carried, all those whose life was contained in the life of the Saviour. Therefore, all we who are united to Christ and, as the Apostle says, are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones (Eph 5:30), have issued from the womb of Mary, like a body united to it’s head.
Hence, though in a spiritual and mystical fashion, we are all children of Mary and she is Mother of us all. … If then, the most Blessed Virgin is the Mother at once of God and men, who can doubt that she will work with all diligence to procure that Christ, Head of the Body of the Church (Col 1:18), may transfuse His gifts into us, His members and above all, that of knowing Him and living through Him (I John 4:9)? Saint Pius X (1835-1914) – Pope from 1903 to 1914 – Encyclical “Ad diem illum laetissimum” §10-11

PRAYER – God, our Father, since You gave mankind a Saviour through the blessed Mary, virgin and mother and a heavenly mother through our Saviour, grant that we may feel the power of her intercession, when she pleads for us with Jesus Christ, Your Son, the author of life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MOTHER of GOD, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel” ‘The Light that enlightens all things’

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel” The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight – Readings:  Isaiah 62:1-5Psalms 89:4-516-172729Acts 13:16-1722-25Matthew 1:1-25

Know today that the Lord will come – in the morning you will see His glory.

“She will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” … Matthew 1:21

REFLECTION – “The heavens were glad, earth exulted when Mary gave birth and hell was troubled and aghast. The heavens in their joy produced a shining star and a glorious army of angels, uttering praise and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will.” (Lk 2:14) The earth, exulting, brought shepherds giving glory and magi adoring and offering gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh. …
Reflect how that night poured forth light in the darkness and instead of blackness, it offered radiance. It gave light before the sun arose and a brightness which, from its exceeding brilliance, obscured the splendour of the sun. Concerning this night the psalmist says: “Night is my light in my delights” and turning to the Lord he says: “The darkness will not be dark for you and the night will be as bright as the day, for the darkness is as light for him” (cf Ps 38[139]:11-12 LXX). …
Taking up the newborn Emmanuel, Mary beheld a Light incomparably fairer than the sun and saw a Fire that water cannot quench. She received, in the covering of flesh that she had borne, the Light that enlightens all things and she was worthy to carry in her arms, the Word that carries the universe.” – St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Bishop, Cistercian Monk – Homilies in praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary, IV, SC 72

PRAYER –
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, GOD ALONE!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The REDEMPTION, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 22 December – The Humility of Mary

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

The Humility of Mary

“The profound humility of Mary was commensurate with her high dignity.
As Dante put it, she was the humblest and noblest of creatures. “Umile ed altra piu che creatura” (Paradiso 33:2)
None of the saints was humbler than Mary, just as none of them was greater.
It was an Archangel who came down from Heaven and bowed before her as he praised her in the highest terms as “full of grace” and announced the unique dignity she was to receive as Mother of God.
She bowed her head in turn and declared herself to be the handmaid of the Lord, ready to do His will in all things.
Then she went to visit and congratulate her cousin, Elizabeth, because she had heard from the Angel that she was to be the mother of the Precursor.
When she arrived at the house, she was greeted by Elizabeth with the words: “How have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Far from being flattered, however, Mary attributed all her glory to God and replied with the Magnificat, a hymn of praise and gratitude in God’s honour.
It was the same when Jesus was born in the manger at Bethlehem.
There was a sudden brightness in the sky and the angels sang “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among men of goodwill.”
But even though she held the Lord of Heaven and earth, in her arms, the Blessed Virgin asked for nothing for herself.
Her only desire was to do the will of God.
The love of Jesus was enough for her.
She did not seek her own glory but the glory of God.
Likewise, on the weary journey into Egypt, she was content because, she was with Jesus and in the obscure life of Nazareth, she desired no other treasure but Her divine Son.
During His public life, she followed Him in silence.
Once only she spoke in a submissive tone, in order to ask a favour for others but not for herself.
It was at the wedding celebrations in Cana, when she asked for the first miracle, in such a way, that it was not even apparent that it was she who had wrung the favour from the filial heart of Jesus.
It was always like that, up to the time of Calvary and the Resurrection, the Ascension and Pentecost.
She remained humbly in the background all the time.
Now, after her departure from this earth, her humility has been gloriously crowned in the dogma of the Assumption and in her Coronation as Queen of Angels and of Saints.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci