Thought for the Day – 25 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Lead Us Not Into Temptation”
“Life is a prolonged trial. St Paul compares it to a stadium in which everyone must fight to win. If anyone lays down his arms, he will be unable to conquer his passions or to achieve the palm of victory. “One who enters a contest, is not crowned, unless he has competed according to the rules ” (2 Tim 2:5).
With the exception of the Blessed Virgin, every human being is obliged to battle against the temptations of the flesh. Sometimes, these can be quite terrifying. St Paul himself confessed that he felt another law in his members, warning against the law of his mind. “Unhappy man that I am!” he exdclaimed in supplication to God to come to his assistance. “Who will deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom 7:24).
The false enchantment and the wickedness of the world, also threatens to ensnare us. “We know that we are of God and the whole world is in the power of the evil one” (1 Jn 5:19). It is easy to become absorbed in worldly affairs and to forget the all-important spiritual realities.
Finally, there is the devil, whom St Peter describes as wandering about “seeking someone to devour.” Resist him, he urges us, “steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same suffering befalls your brethren all over tyhe world ” (Cf 1 Peter 5:9).
Faced as we are, with these three foes, we should implore God to help us by His grace. Lead us not into temptation, O God but help us to conquer these enemies. Without You, we can do nothing but with Your aid, all is possinble. Lead us not into temptation!”
Thought for the Day – 24 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “As We Also Forgive Our Debtors”
“If thou art offering thy gift at the altar,” Jesus tells us “and thou remember that thy brother has anything against thee, leave thy gift before the altar and go first to be reconciled to thy borhter and then come and offer thy gift” (Mt 5:23-24). Prayer is futile, therefore, unless we have first forgiven our enemies!
“Learn from me,” Jesus said when He proposed Himself as a model to be imitated, “for I am meek and humble of heart.” Then He added, “you will find rest for your souls” (Cf Mt 11:29). The foundation of our hatred, anger and resentment, is always our wounded pride. We need Christlike gentleness and humility, if we are to forgive sincerely and generously. Only when we have this gentleness and humility, moreover, shall we find joy in forgiving and only then, shall we have peace. As long as there is room in our hearts for pride and hatred, we can never enjoy peace of soul!”
Thought for the Day – 23 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Forgive Us Our Debts”
“Over and above these natural debts, we are also indebted to God for His grace. Not only has God created us but He has also raised us to the supernatural order. By His grace, He has made us His friends and His adopted children. As a result of original sin, we lost this supernatural life and were unable to regain it by our own efforts.
God was moved with compassion for us, however and sent His own divine Son to sacrifice Himself for love of us, in order to redeem us and to restore to us, the supernatural life of the soul. We are greatly indebted in the supernatural order, therefore, to our Creator and our Redeemer. The only way in which we can adequately satisfy our obligation is by offering up the infinite merits of Jesus Christ.
We have been born, moreover, in the Catholic Church and have received a Christian education. God has always been close to us with His Sacraments. By means of Baptism, He caused us to be born again to a life of grace. Whenever we fell, He raised us up again through the Sacrament of Penance and, when we were weak and faltering, He nourished us with His Eucharistic food. Let us adore Him and acknowledge that we can never thank Him enough for all that He has done for us. That is why we need to repeat, time and time again, Forgive us our debts!”
Thought for the Day – 22 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” Our Daily Bread
“We can find this teaching which is contained in these words of the “Our Father” in another section of the Gospel, where Jesus tells us that not to ask for riches and not to hoard goods for the future but, to pray and work from day to day, for our daily needs.
“ Do not be anxious for your life, what you shall eat, nor yet for your body, what you shall put on … Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them … Consider how the lilies of the fields grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I say to you, that not even Solomon, in all his glory, was arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which flourishes today but tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more you, O you … you of little faith! … Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow will have anxieties of its own. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Cf Mt 6:25-34).“
Thought for the Day – 20 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” “Give Us this Day Our Daily Bread”
“Note that each one of us prays for “Our Daily Bread” not for “MY Daily Bread.” We should not ask only for our own requirements but, for those of all our fellowmen, as well.
There are many poverty-stricken people for whom bread is very scarce. We should pray especially for them and should be prepared to share our bread with those who have none. Both charity and justice demand this of us. Let us ask, moreover, only for our necessary requirements, not for wealth and luxury. Anything superfluous which we possess does not belong to us but, to the poor. “Give that which remains,” the Gospel commands, “as alms” (Lk 11:41). Let us remember that, whether we are rich or poor, we are all one great family. Our love for one another should not be merely theoretical but practical, otherwise we are not sincere Christians!”
Thought for the Day – 20 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The First Part of the “Our Father”
“Our second aspiration is: “Thy kingdom come.” It is true, that God reigns over Heaven, earth and the infernal regions. Everything is subject to His Will – the sun, the stars, the birds of the air, the fishes of the sea and the tiniest insects carry out His commands. Even the demons of Hell, who He has condemned to eternal punishment, are obedient to His Will. But what about the human race?
Man possesses the precious but dangerous privilege of free will. which he has power to abuse by rebelling against God. We should pray that the sovereignty of God may be triumphant in all hearts, beginning with our own and, that all men may willingly subject themselves to His commandments and to His grace. This is the only way in which they can find peace. “Take my yoke upon you and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29).
We should pray, moreover, for the Church, which is the kingdom of God upon earth. We should pray for her peaceful victory over her enemies, who persecute her and impede her work for the salvation of souls. We should love the Church even as we love Jesus Christ, for the Church is His handiwork and the fruit of His Precious Blood.”
Thought for the Day – 19 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The “Our Father”
“Our Father, Who art in heaven.” Heaven is God Himself, Who reveals Himself to the souls of the blessed. If a man lives in God, his mind and heart are already in Heaven, even though he is still an exile upon this earth. It is a wonderful experience to lead a bodily existence upon earth, while our minds are with God in Heaven, for, as St Paul says, “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil 3:20). As we are aware, God is everywhere, in Heaven and on earth. When we invoke our Father, Who is in Heaven, however, we manifest our faith in Him and in His generosity, whereby, He reveals Himself in all His glory to the blessed and shows His mercy to us poor exiles, when we come to Him. In the first words of the Pater Noster, we express, not only our faith but, also our hope of being happy with God for all eternity.”
Thought for the Day – 18 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fifth Glorious Mystery The Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth
“Mary is also styled, ‘Queen of the Patriarchs‘ because, it was through her, that they came to possess the object of their desires, the divine Redeemer, Who released them from Limbo and brought them to Heaven. She is ‘Queen of the Prophets‘ because, their prophecies were realised through her. She is ‘Queen of the Apostles‘ whom she assisted and encouraged after the departure of her divine Son. She is the ‘Queen of Martyrs‘ because, her maternal heart was pierced by a sword of sorrow. She is ‘Queen of the Confessors‘ because, nobody else was capable of so deep and lively a profession of the Faith. She is ‘Queen of Virgins‘ because, her virginal purity was crowned by the supreme dignity of Mother of God. She is ‘Queen, moreover, of all the Saints‘, for no other human creature could ever surpass, or even dream of the summit of holiness, to which she attained. Above all, however, she is our Mother and our most powerful Queen. She loves us because, we have been redeemed by the Blood of her Son, Jesus Christ and she desires to obtain God’s favours for us and to take us under her maternal protection.
We, the children of Eve, in exile in the vale of tears, should turn to Mary with confidence and trust in her power to save us.”
Thought for the Day – 17 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fourth Glorious Mystery The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin into Heaven
“Because we are wretched sinners, death for us is a punishment. Let us accept it with resignation. We should frequently offer to God whatever death He has in store for us, with all its sorrows and sufferings.
We can gain great merit in this way. As a result of our daily offering, God will surely grant us a more peaceful death. There are many people who long for death. Some desire it in moments of discouragement as a release from the sorrows of life. Others long for it, to bring to an end their struggle against their sinful inclinations and to assure them of an everlasting reward, to gain which, they may not even have made many sacrifices. The first kind of desire is unworthy of a true soldier of Christ, while the second, is presumptuous and self-interested. The only legitimate yearning for death, is the desire to be united, at last, with Jesus.
This was the nature of Mary’s death, as well as that of St Paul, who wrote that he desired “to depart and to be with Christ” (Phil 1:23).”
Thought for the Day – 16 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Third Glorious Mystery The Descent of the Holy Spirit
“The Apostles were completely transformed after the feast of Pentecost. They had ben ignorant rustics, timid and vacillating. They had hardly understood at all, the lofty teachings of Christ, for they were hoping still for an earthly kingdom in which they would occupy the highest posts.
When they received the Holy Spirit, however, their minds were flooded with supernatural light and they became heroic in their resolution. Ignorant, though they had been, they became masters of Truth, far superior to the sages of Athens or the philosophers of Rome. They were no longer timid and hesitating but, fearlessly encountered the power of the Sanhedrin, the whips of the soldiery, the dangers of long voyages and, Martyrdom itself.
We too have received the illumination and favours of the Holy Spirit. Many times, when we have invoked Him, He has inspired and consoled us. But we may not have responded with the same fervour and self-denial as the Apostles. Let us remember that, to neglect God’s gifts, is to risk our eternal salvation!”
Thought for the Day – 15 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Second Glorious Mystery The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven
“In the course of our ascent, we must never stop and decide that we have gone far enough! To stop would inevitably mean going backward. Jesus and Mary are inviting and encouraging us to go higher and higher.
Have we been purified of sin, the defiler of the soul and the destroyer of human dignity? Have we an intense horror, even of venial sin, which separates us from God and kills the life of grace? It is still not enough – we must go higher.
Are we generous and unselfish in the fight to achieve holiness, guarding ourselves against the evil suggestions of the world, the flesh and the devil? It is still not enough – we must continue to advance.
Do we carry the daily cross which God has entrusted to us and accept the burden with perfect resignation to His Holy Will? Very good but even this is not enough!”
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!”
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.”
Thought for the Day – 12 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery The Road to Calvary
“The Moment soon pases. The executioners urge Jesus forward once more, towards the place of execution. His strength is exhausted and He stumbles several times beneath the weight of the Cross. Each time, however, He rises, covered with blood and dust and again, embraces the Cross.
How often we also fall! Sometimes because of the weight of our cross, we fall in discouragement or in despair. On these occasions, let us look towards the divine Sufferer and embrace our cross again, for it is the ladder by which we must ascend to Heaven.
Sometimes, it is sin which causes us to fall. If we have yielded to the violence of temptation, let us look towards Jesus, just the same. He Who loved us so much on the way to Calvary and on the tree of the Cross, is certainly ready to forgive and comfort us.
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.”
Thought for the Day – 10 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Third Sorrowful Mystery The Crowning with Thorns
“When we see Jesus scourged and crowned with thorns, how can we complain if our path in life is also strewn with thorns? Jesus was the embodiment of innocence; He was God, yet He willed to suffer in order to expiate our sins and to teach us, that the surest road to Heaven is the way of the Cross. It was because the Saints understood this so clearly, that they were so eager to participate in the Passion of Jesus Christ and to offer Him, not only the inevitable sorrows of life but, also voluntary suffering of their own, as a proof of their love. Anyone who does not desire mortification and suffering, does not desire Heaven because, he is not a true follower of Jesus Crucified.
“They who belong to Christ,” says St Paul, “have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:24). Let us meditate carefully on the significance of these stern words, so often forgotten today.
Thought for the Day – 9 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Second Sorrowful Mystery The Scourging
“The Saints voluntarily imposed on themselves flogging and other severe penances, which would make us shudder in modern times, in order to control their bodily impulses and to expiate, along with Jesus, the sins of their fellowmen. Today, the pleasure-loving world cries out against such barbaric folly and extravagance. But you who are a Catholic, educated in the school of Christ Crucified, know that suffering has a mission in your life, that mortification is necessary for the control of the body.
We must make sacrifices in order to combat our evil impulses. We should avoid weakness and self-indulgence. Let us always remember that we are followers of Christ Crucified and should, therefore, be prepared to chastise our bodies, even to the point of undergoing martyrdom, if this is necessary, in order to avoid sin and to preserve our chastity.”
Thought for the Day – 8 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The First Sorrowful Mystery The Agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
“Let us pay particular attention to the scene in Gethsamane. Jesus is lying prostrate on the ground. He has given everything for sinful humanity. He has given His heavenly teaching, His miracles and His mercy. Even more, He has given Himself in the Blessed Eucharist, which He has instituted in the form of food and drink, to sustain men on their earthly journey.
Now, He lies prostrate in prayer. Near Him, are His Apostles who, already forgetful of the immense favours which they have received, are asleep!
Not far away, there is another Apostle, Judas, who has sold his Master for thirty pieces of silver, as a slave would be sold and is about to deliver Him to His executioners. But Jesus can see across the centuries – many other Judases, so many traitors, who will be indifferent and sleep, never thinking of Him and neglecting to make any return for His infinite love. His Passion is beginning now and will be protracted throughout the centuries. Before His Crucifixion, He drinks the bitter chalice of human ingratitude and, in His tremendous Agony, He perspire drops of Blood.”
Thought for the Day – 7 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fifth Joyful Mystery The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
“To search for Jesus is the principal obligation of the soul, to find Him, is the highest happiness! If we are without Jesus, our minds are in darkness and scared with false ideas. Separated from Him, our hearts are filled with remorse, emptiness and yearning. Only when Jesus is with us, have life and death any meaning. Then we can set our journey towards the unfading star of Christian hope.
When Jesus promised to give us His Flesh to eat and His Blood to drink, He saw that His listeners were going away, scandalised. “Do you also wish to go away?” He asked His Apostles. “Lord,” replied St Peter, “to whom shall we go? Thou hast wprds of everlasting life” (Jn 6:69).”
Thought for the Day – 6 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Fourth Joyful Mystery The Purification of Our Lady and The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple
“Then Joseph and Mary carried the Infant Jesus to the Temple to offer Him to God and to buy Him back as their first-born Son, with the price paid by the poor, namely, with a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons. Let us reflect on this new act of humility on the part of the Holy Family. In spite of the supreme dignity which had been accorded them, they submitted quietly to the law which bound those in poverty and in sin. We, who are so fond of money and of ostentation, have much to learn from this scene. Jesus, the God-Man, is purchased back as a sinner for two for two young pigeons. Mary, the Immaculate Virgin and Mother and Joseph, the holiest and noblest of men, make themselves subject to the law of sin. We can derive from this, lessons in humility and in detachment from the goods of this world.”
Thought for the Day – 5 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Third Joyful Mystery The Birth of Jesus
“Like the simple shepherds, let us protrate ourselves with faith and with love before the Manger. Let us offer, as our gifts, our good resolutions; let us offer our hearts and ask God to change them and make them entirely His forever.
Quite suddenly, the darkness of the night and the wretchedness of the cave was illuminated by a bright light from Heaven. While men were unaware of, or indifferent to, the miraculous event which had taken place, bands of Angels descended from Heaven and sang: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among men of goodwill” (Lk 2:13-14). Joseph bent over the divine Infant and silently adored Him, while the Blessed Virgin knelt at His Feet in loving contemplation.
Let us too, learn to adore and love Him, as His Mother and Foster-Father did.”
Thought for the Day – 4 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The Second Joyful Mystery Mary’s Visit to St Elizabeth
“But are we as grateful to God as we ought to be! Do we correspond with His graces? Are we prepared to make any sacrifice in order to share with others the gifts with which He has enriched us?
Let us remember that gratitude is a virtue which is very pleasing to God and draws down on us other graces and gifts.
In his panegyric on Trajan, the younger Pliny observes that the best means of soliciting new favours, is to show gratitude for those which we have already received. On the other hand, as St Bernard points out, ingratitude is like a scorching wind, which dries up the dew of Divine Mercy (Sermon 5 in Cant). Let us be grateful to God, therefore and do our best to share with others the gifts which we have received. “Because He Who is mighty has done great things for me and Holy is His Name!” (Lk 1:46-55).”
Thought for the Day – 3 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Month of the Holy Rosary” The First Joyful Mystery The Annunciation
“Consider now Mary’s reaction to the reverence and praise with which the Angel greets her. Is she carried away by delight and exaltation at this solemn moment? Nothing of the sort! In her humility and modesty, she is disturbed by the Angel’s salutation and wonders what the reason is for it. “She was troubled at his word and kept pondering what manner of greeting this might be” (Lk 1:29).
How do we behave when we receive praise from our superiors or from our friends and acquaintances? We are pleased and overcome perhaps by feelings of vanity. We smile to ourselves and are convinced that we are of more consequence than we really are. We even feel the need to reveal our thoughts to others and, thereby, seek further aggrandisement! There is a world of difference between the simplicity and humility of the Blessed Virgin and our vain hunger for praise and honour.”
Thought for the Day – 2 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Our Guardian Angels
“The realisation that our Guardian Angel is always close at hand, should be a warning to us. It should prevent us from doing anything displeasing to God. Would we venture to do anything unbecoming in the presence of our Father or Mother, or of anyone for whom we have any regard? Definitely not and still less, should we dare to perform an evil action in the presence of our Angel, to whom we owe such gratitude and in the presence of God, our Creator, Lord and Redeemer, Who could, at any moment, snap the thread which binds us to life and plunge us into eternity.
Furthermore, when pride convinces us that we are of some importance, let us turn to our Angel and pray for the virtue of humility. When we begin to seethe with anger and long to utter words which are harsh and injurious, let us ask our Angel to pray on our behalf, for the gift of Christian gentleness. When the devil fills our minds with impure images and thoughts, let us ask our Angel to beseech God to give us the Christian fortitude to resist temptation and to imitate his angelic purity.
Finally, when tepidity is sapping the vigour of our interior life, let us pray to our Guardian Angel in the hope of obtaining a share in his intimate union with God.
Let us pray the Guardian Angel prayer or at least say: “My Guardian Angel enlighten me. My Guardian Angel help me. My Guardian Angel, protect me.” Amen.”
“One of the main advantages of the Rosary is that it enables us to unite with our vocal prayer, meditation on the principal Mysteries of our faith. During each decade we should meditate briefly on one of these Mysteries. In this way, our faith will be enlivened and we shall be roused to imitate, in our lives, the example of Jesus and Mary.
The Rosary is composed of the Church’s most beautiful prayers – the Our Father, which Jesus Himself taught us to say when addressiug our heavenly Father and the Hail Mary, which consists of the Angel’s greeting to the Blessed Virgin when he came to announce to her, that she was to be the Mother of God, of the inspired words of St Elizabeth on the occasion of the Visitation and of the moving plea for mercy, both now and at the hour of our death, which the Church places upon the lips of her sinful children (composed and proposed by St Peter Canisius 1521-1597) Doctor of the Church). Each decade concludes with the short hymn of praise in honour of the Blessed Trinity: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, amen. This prayer, expresses the two principal Mysteries of our faith, namely, the Unity and Trinity of God and, in an indirect fashion, the Incarnation of the Second Divine Person.
If we think of all this when we are fervently reciting the Holy Rosary, it will prove to be a treasury of grace.”
Thought for the Day – 30 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Death of the Just
Consider now the death of the just man. Through his dying tears, he also will see the world slipping away from him. But, one thing will remain to comfort him, namely, the memory of his good actions, of the virtues he acquired, of his fervent prayers and of his voluntary mortifications. Above all, there will remain his great love of God, for Whom he has lived, worked and drawn breath. In that moment, this love will even increase the flaming desire consuming his poor, frail body, to be united to God. He will be able to say, as some of the Saints have said – “I never thought it would be so sweet to die.” With St Louis, he will be able top say: “I am going joyfully to meet my God.” He will be able to exclaim with St Charles: “I long for my body to be dissolved, so that I may be with Christ!” (Phil 1:23)
In the sight of God, the death of the good man is a very precious thing. “Precious in the eyes of the Lord, is the death of His faithful ones” (Ps 115:6)
Thought for the Day – 29 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Death of the Sinner
“The Sinner must also die. For him death is really terrible. Imagine him lying on his deathbed, instinctively aware, that his life is over. The past will rise up to reproach him, a past full of sin and of ingratitude towards his Creator and Redeemer. The plans which he has centred around profit, ambition and honour, will have vanished like smoke. His friends, will have either deserted him, or will be at hand, to utter useless words, which will have no power to comfort him. Now he must stand alone, alone before God!
What will happen, at that moment? Perhaps, despair will overcome his soul, as it overcame the soul of Judas? Perhaps, the innumerable graces which he has despised, will tip the balance of Divine Justice towards the abyss of damnation? Or, will a final ray of mercy pierce his tired mind, burning with remorse, so that, with it’s last throb, his poor heart will torn towards God and implore His pardon? Who can say? It is certain, however, that of the two thieves dying beside the Cross of our Redeemer, only one heard Him say: “This day, you will be with me in Paradise!” The other, remained obdurate in his sin. It is the height of stupidity, to wait to be converted, at the hour of death!”
Thought for the Day – 28 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Goodness and Christian Courtesy
“St Francis de Sales was a model of gentleness and Chrisitan courtesy. He had every regard and respecct of his neighbour because he saw God in everyone and everyone in God.
He had the ability to listen to everybody with great patience and kindness, without ever showing any sign of tiredness or boredom, even when he was dealing with unpleasant people or when he was busy with far more important matters. He maintained his equilibrium and self-control, even after many hours of work and of difficult consultations. He was always prepared, moreover, to listen to the troubles of the poor.
Even when insulted and reviled, he displayed perfect serenity and calm. It was a result of this, that, with the helo of God, he made innumerable converts.
“Always be as gentle as you can,.” he was accustomed to advise “and remember that you will catch more flies with a spoon of honey than with a barrel of vinegar. If you must err, let it be on the side of gentleness ….” “Be humble,.” he wrote again “and you will be gentle. Humility makes the heart kind towards the perfect and the imperfect; towards the former through veneration, towards the latter through compassion.” (Letter 51).
How much we have to learn from the serenity and courtesy of this Saint – for, it is not without reason that he is known as “the Gentleman Saint” and an even greater title “the Gentle Christ of Geneva!.”
Thought for the Day – 27 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Power of God’s Love in the Christian Life
“Everyday, in the lives of the Saints, was a continual act of love of God. This was how they became holy. They loved God intensely all the time. They loved Him above all things. Everything which they thought, desired or did, was directed to Him. Their entire lives were consecrated to Him. We should all desire to be holy, if we do, we must love God with our whole heart, strength and will. Not until then, will every action of ours become meritorious. Holiness is born of the love of God. Without the love of God, everything is futile and useless; our conversation is so much idle chatter; our desires are empty dreams which excite us for a while and then dissolve like bubbles of soap; our actions are unprofitable and our enterprises are not aimed at a true objective; our achievements can inflate us for a time but they will leave us disillusioned at the hour of death. The love of God is necessary for us. He alone is entirely worthy of our affection. Other loves are passing but, this love is eternal. Other loves confuse and trouble us but, the love of God gives us peace of soul. Other loves weaken and vanish with time but, the love of God is the source of all holiness in this life and of eternal happiness in the next. Why, then, do we not forget our worldly preoccupations? Let us give our hearts to God forever and we shall be in possession of the one true happiness which never fades.”
Thought for the Day – 21 March – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“When Jesus was asked, what was the first commandment, He replied: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul and with thy whole mind and with thy whole strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is no other commandment greater than this” (Mk 12:30-31). As St Augustine says, the love of God and the love of neighbour are two branches of the same tree, the tree of charity. “If anyone says, ‘I love God’ and hates his brother,” St John warns us, “he is a liar” (1 Jn 4:20).
We must prove our love for God by showing charity towards our neighbour. All men are our brothers in Jesus Christ, Who has redeemed us by His Precious Blood. Our Lord has said that He will regard as done for Himself, anything which we do for the least of our brethren (Mt 25:10).
Like the Saints, we should see Jesus Himself living in the poor and the suffering. The Saints gave Him everything they had, not only their possessions but also their toil and their love.
Think how much those missionaries do who leave everything in order to go to foreign lands and win souls for Christ. Think of the charitable work of the sisters and nurses in the hospitals, asylums and orphanages. What are we doing?”