Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE

Thought for the Day – 2 April – The Imitation of the Saints

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

The Imitation of the Saints

we are taught by words and we are attracted by examples - bacci 2 april 2020

“We are taught by words and we are attracted by examples.
Speech is a wonderful gift from God.
By means of it, we photography our thoughts, as it were and communicate them to others.
We express our wishes and our commands; we give life and colour to the innermost feelings of the heart.
We can employ the spoken word to do great good or to do great evil.
We can teach and educate, or we can deceive and corrupt.

Speech is an extraordinary gift and one day, we shall have to render God a strict account of it.
Learn from the Saints.
They understood perfectly, that they have to account, not only for evil or deceitful words but, “that of every idle word men speak, they shall give account on the day of judgement” (Mt 12:36).
For this reason, their conversation was always impregnated with divine wisdom.
By their instruction and advice, they raised men’s minds to an appreciation of heavenly truths and encouraged them to practice virtue.
They did this, not only by word but, also by example.
Their own lives were a complete theoretical and practical model, which led others towards sanctity.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on the CHURCH, St PETER!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 February – ‘Peter alone was chosen to stand at the head’

One Minute Reflection – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Readings: 1 Peter 5:1-4, Psalm 23, Matthew 16:13-19

“Upon this rock I will build my church” … Matthew 16:18matthew 16 18 upon this rock i will build my church 22 feb 2020 chair of st peter

REFLECTION – “Nothing escaped the wisdom and power of Christ, the elements of nature lay at His service, spirits obeyed Him, angels served Him. (…)   And yet, out of all the world, Peter alone was chosen to stand at the head, for the calling of all the peoples and the oversight of all the apostles and Fathers of the Church.   Thus, even though there are many priests and shepherds among the People of God, Peter governed them all in person, while Christ also governs them in the capacity of Head. (…)

The Lord asks all the apostles what people think of Him and they all say the same thing, so long as they are making known the doubts deriving from human ignorance.   But when the Lord demands to know what the disciples themselves think, the first to confess the Lord is he who is the first in dignity of the apostles.   As he had said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus answers him:  “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.   For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.”   That is to say, blessed are you because my Father taught this to you.   Earthly opinion has not led you astray but it is heavenly inspiration that has instructed you.   It is not flesh and blood that enabled you to discover me but He, whose only Son I am.

“And so I say to you,” that is to say- just as my Father has manifested my divinity to you so I am making known your superiority to you.   “You are Peter” namely, I am the unshakeable Rock, the Cornerstone who makes two peoples one (Eph 2:14), the foundation other than which, no-one can lay any other (1 Cor 3:11).   But you also, you are rock, since you are impregnable by My strength and, what I have by virtue of My power, you have in common with Me, by the fact, that you participate in it.   “On this rock I will build my Church” (…)   On the firmness of this foundation, He says, will I build an everlasting temple and my Church, whose summit is to reach to heaven, will be raised on the strength of that faith.” … Saint Pope Leo the Great (400-461) Father and Doctor of the Church – 4th sermon for the Anniversary of his Consecrationnothing escaped the wisdom and power of christ - 22 feb 2020 chari of st peter st pope leo the great

PRAYER – Holy Father, send Your Divine Enlightener into the hearts of all Your faithful, filling us with the strength to fulfil our mission as the followers of the Chair of St Peter. And most of all, we pray Lord Holy God, to inspire and light the way of our Holy Father, Francis.   Sustain and guide him, keep him in health and strength, to lead Your people by the Light of the Way and the Truth.   Holy Father, have mercy on us, Holy Spirit guide and lead us, Lord Jesus Christ be our intercessor and teacher, amen.st peter pope apostle martyr pray for us 22 feb 2020 chair of st peter

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 8 February – Doing Everything for the Love of God

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

Doing Everything for the Love of God

“The beginning of perfection consists in doing the will of God, even in our smallest actions.
But, to do everything for the love of God, is the summit of Christian perfection.
If we aimed always at doing God’s will and acting from the motive of love for Him, we should be contented and at peace, because we should be holy.
The saints are the only people who remain calm and undisturbed in the midst of worldly adversity.
They are always content, because they live in God.
Their lives are in full conformity with His Will, guided by His Love and dedicated to His Service.
As a result, they live in a kind of spiritual stratosphere far above the storms of this world.
There they are above the clouds of pride, ambition, avarice and all the other major vices.
There they see and contemplate everything in the Light of God.
Let us become saints.
Then we shall have solved all the problems of life!.” Amen

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

the saints are the only people who remain calm - bacci 8 feb 2020

Posted in ON the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Second Thought for the Day – 30 January – Let us never give up the pursuit of holiness, amen!

Second Thought for the Day – 30 January – The Memorial of Blessed Sebastian Valfrè CO (1629-1710)

Blessed Sebastian’s sanctity, under God, arose from his struggles to conform himself to Saint Philip – and that was quite a task.   Whereas Philip was gentle and kind by nature, Sebastian was harsh and prone to outbursts of anger.   Philip had to refrain from extended prayer in public for fear of going into ecstasy.   Sebastian experienced nothing but dryness in prayer and had to keep his mind from wandering.   The thought of death and judgement so tormented him, that he could not sleep at night.
And Sebastian found one of the principal works of the Oratory – the hearing of confessions – so repugnant that the congregation could not prevail upon him to accept faculties until ten years after his ordination.   Yet, he was able to overcome all these difficulties and always to maintain a serene and joyful expression, so that everyone considered him to be another Saint Philip.

Community life presented Sebastian with many opportunities for mortifying his short temper.   When teaching theology to the novices, he had to endure a student who had no interest in the subject and showed his annoyance by constantly arguing and contradicting the professor.
Sebastian patiently answered his objections and did not betray his own displeasure, although, as he confided to one of the fathers, the very sight of the man filled him with repugnance.   The novice subsequently left the congregation; more serious, however and more enduring was Sebastian’s natural antipathy for one of the fathers.   He admitted that there was nothing objectively wrong with the priest but that the dislike was so strong that he had to take a private vow to endure the father’s company.   Sebastian believed that he never once betrayed his feelings and was grateful for the opportunity to mortify his nature which he recognised to be imperfect.

Sebastian had a beautiful plaster Crucifix, over the prie-Dieu in his room, to which he was quite attached.    He once asked a father to get some papers for him which were inside the flap of the prie-Dieu.   In opening the flap, the priest let it slip and it shattered the crucifix into tiny pieces.   Sebastian, although he was in the room when it happened, remained calm, told the father not to trouble himself with it and swept up the pieces himself.

The Congregation of the Oratory derives its name from a place of prayer and Saint Philip used to say that anyone who did not intend to pray should leave the community. Sebastian, although he was intent on praying, found prayer extremely difficult.   He found it dry and God seemed to be very far away from him.   When engaged in mental prayer, Sebastian found it hard to concentrate, although he was careful to prepare his meditations.   The inability to concentrate was especially painful to him when saying his office and he seems to have given in to scruples on occasion, reciting the office more than once.   And at Mass, too, he found it difficult to concentrate, although for a brief time after Communion, his soul found some peace.

Sebastian remained in this state of anguish for many years.   But, although he suffered interiorly, he was able to lead his penitents in the way of Christian joy associated with his spiritual father, Saint Philip.   Sebastian, himself, acknowledged the value of these torments in teaching him perfect detachment from all earthly things.   Others have seen them as protecting his humility from his admiring disciples who were intent on bestowing every honour upon the Saint.

Blessed Sebastian is a model of perseverance and a great source of hope.   He fought against imperfections such as his temper and repugnances and prevailed.   And he persevered in prayer although he did not find any consolation there but, more often than not, spiritual torment.   Yet, God used these means to purify him and present him to the outside world as a great saint full of Christian joy.   His exemplary life of holiness would inspire the Church in Turin for many generations and now, he inspires the faithful in perseverance, hope and humility, knowing that we are all called to be Saints too!   It is comforting and a source of consolation to realise, that the Saints too, experienced the hardships we sometimes do – let us never give up the pursuit of holiness, amen.

Blessed Sebastian Valfrè, Pray for Us!

bl sebastian valfre pray for us no 3

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, ON the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE

Thought for the Day – 18 January – The Veneration and Imitation of the Saints

Thought for the Day – 18 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Saturday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A

The Veneration and Imitation of the Saintswhat a wonder a saint is - bacci 18 jan 2020

“If anyone has the good fortune during his lifetime to meet a Saint, he should be very grateful to God.
What a wonder a Saint is!
He is a man, in whom God lives in the fullness of His grace, in such a way, that St Paul could say:  “It is now no longer I that live but Christ, lives in me.” (Gal 2:20).

He is a man of great spiritual tranquillity, who, by being master of things outside himself, as well as of the inner powers of his own being, can pay the full homage of love and obedience to God.
He is a man from whose glance, there flashes, the living image of God.
He can be found on a bed of pain, in the rags of a beggar, beneath the purple of a Cardinal, in the solitude of a hermitage, or in the hurly-burly of modern life.
It is all the same, because he is no longer involved with himself, nor with the world.
He seeks God alone, Who is his love and his glory.
Such is a Saint.
If we are not lucky enough to meet him in reality, we can and should, read and meditate about his life.
The literature of the Saints, is a practical complement to the Gospel, because, it shows us, how the Gospel should be lived.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MYSTICS, ON the SAINTS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, SAINT of the DAY

Quote/s of the Day – 4 January – Pope Benedict and St Angela of Foligno

Quote/s of the Day – 4 January – Saturday of Christmas – the Memorial of Saint Angela of Foligno (1248-1309)

“Dear brothers and sisters, Blessed Angela’s life began with a worldly existence, rather remote from God.   Yet her meeting with the figure of St Francis and, finally, her meeting with Christ Crucified, reawakened her soul to the presence of God, for the reason that with God alone life becomes true life, because, in sorrow for sin, it becomes love and joy.   And this is how Blessed Angela speaks to us.

Today we all risk living as though God did not exist, God seems so distant from daily life. However, God has thousands of ways of His own for each one, to make Himself present in the soul, to show that He exists and knows and loves me.   And Blessed Angela wishes to make us attentive to these signs with which the Lord touches our soul, attentive to God’s presence, so as to learn the way with God and towards God, in communion with Christ Crucified.

Let us pray the Lord that He make us attentive to the signs of His presence and that He teach us truly to live.”

Pope Benedict XVI
A talk on Angela of Foligno – October, 2010today we all rish living as if god did not exist - pope benedict - 1000s of ways on st angela of foligno 4 jan 2019.jpg

“O children of God,
transform yourselves totally
in the human-God who so loved you
that He chose to die for you,
a most ignominious and altogether
unutterably painful death
and in the most painful and bitterest way.
And this was solely for love of you,
O human being.”

Saint Angela of Foligno (1248-1309)o children of god - st angela of foligno 4 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in ON the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Thought for the Day – 27 December – ‘He gives all for all and has all in all’ – St John the Beloved

Thought for the Day – 27 December – Feast of St John the Evangelist and the Third Day of the Christmas Octave

“There are [Saints] … who are so absorbed in the divine life, that they seem, even while they are in the flesh, to have no part in earth or in human nature but, to think, speak and act under views, affections and motives, simply supernatural.
If they love others, it is simply because they love God and because man is the object, either of His compassion , or of His praise.
If they rejoice, it is in what is unseen, if they feel interest, it is in what is unearthly, if they speak, it is almost with the voice of Angels, if they eat or drink, it is almost of Angels’ food alone – for it is recorded in their histories, that for weeks, they have fed on nothing else but that Heavenly Bread, which is the proper sustenance of the soul.

Such we may suppose, to have been St John!”

St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)the love of jesus - st john 27 dec 2019 thomas a kempis.jpg

“The love of Jesus is noble and generous, it spurs us onto do great things and excites us to desire always, that which is most perfect.   Love will tend upwards and is not to be detained by things beneath.   Love will be at liberty and free from all worldly affections… for love proceeds from God and cannot rest but in God above all things created.   The lover flies, runs and rejoices, he is free and not held.   He gives all for all and has all in all, because he rests in one sovereign Good above all, from Whom all good flows and proceeds”

Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book III, Chapter V, 3-4

St John, Beloved of the Lord, Pray for Us!st john beloved of the lord pray for us 27 dec 2019.jpg