Posted in HOLY ORDERS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on PRIESTS, the PRIESTHOOD and CONSECRATED LIFE, QUOTES on PURITY, The BEATITUDES

Thought for the Day – 29 January – Blessed are the Clean of Heart

Thought for the Day – 29 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Blessed are the Clean of Heart

it is a sublime dignity to belong body and soul to god - bacci 29 jan 2020

“Understood in it’s entirety, as embracing it’s higher grade, that is, perpetual virginity consecrated to God, purity of heart is a gift which only Christianity can give (Encyclical, Sacra Virginitas, Pope Pius XII, 1954).
If we have been called to receive this wonderful gift, let us humbly thank God.
It is a sublime dignity to belong, body and soul, to God.

Sacred Scripture says of men:  “What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man, that you should care for him?   You have made him a little less than the angels and crowned him with glory and honour.   You have given him rule over the works of your hands, putting all things under his feet” (Ps 8:5, Heb 2:7).
But, under a certain aspect, those who are living in virginity, can be said to be superior to the angels.
Since an angel has no body, he offers God only the homage of his spirit.
A virgin, on the other hand, must bear the burden of an earthly body.
He must offer continually, on the altar of his heart (and often, after a heroic battle), not only his soul with it’s appetites and will but also, all the impulses and lower faculties “which wage war against the soul” (1 Pter 2:11).

This is a double sacrifice, which St Ambrose calls, a continual martyrdom of body and soul.
But the reward lies in the joy and peace which flow from this perpetual offering of soul and body to the Immaculate Lamb.
This happiness is a compensation, for any conflict, which must be endured and is, a foretaste of the joys of Heaven.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY ORDERS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES of the SAINTS, Sacrament of the SICK, SACRAMENTS, The HOLY SPIRIT

Thought for the Day – 26 April – The Anointing with the Holy Spirit

Thought for the Day – 26 April – Friday in the Octave of Easter

The Anointing with the Holy Spirit

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Bishop, Father & Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from his Mystagogical Catechesis 3

When we were baptised into Christ and clothed ourselves in Him, we were transformed into the likeness of the Son of God.   Having destined us to be His adopted sons, God gave us a likeness to Christ in His glory and living as we do, in communion with Christ, God’s anointed, we ourselves are rightly called “the anointed ones.”   When He said: Do not touch my anointed ones, God was speaking of us.

We became “the anointed ones” when we received the sign of the Holy Spirit.   Indeed, everything took place in us by means of images, because we ourselves are images of Christ.   Christ bathed in the river Jordan, imparting to its waters the fragrance of His divinity and, when He came up from them, the Holy Spirit descended upon Him, like resting upon like.   So we also, after coming up from the sacred waters of baptism, were anointed with chrism, which signifies the Holy Spirit, by whom Christ was anointed and of whom blessed Isaiah prophesied in the name of the Lord – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor.

Christ’s anointing was not by human hands, nor was it with ordinary oil.   On the contrary, having destined Him to be the Saviour of the whole world, the Father Himself anointed Him with the Holy Spirit.   The words of Peter bear witness to this – Jesus of Nazareth, whom God anointed with the Holy Spirit.   And David the prophet proclaimed: Your throne, O God, shall endure for ever; your royal sceptre is a sceptre of justice.   You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above all your fellows.

The oil of gladness with which Christ was anointed was a spiritual oil, it was in fact the Holy Spirit Himself, who is called the oil of gladness, because He is the source of spiritual joy.   But we too have been anointed with oil and by this anointing, we have entered into fellowship with Christ and have received a share in His life.   Beware of thinking that this holy oil is simply ordinary oil and nothing else.   After the invocation of the Spirit it is no longer ordinary oil but the gift of Christ and by the presence of His divinity, it becomes the instrument, through which we receive the Holy Spirit.   While symbolically, on our foreheads and senses, our bodies are anointed with this oil that we see, our souls are sanctified by the holy and life-giving Spirit.beware of thinking that this holy oil - st cyril of jerusalem 26 april 2019 easter friday - anointingwiththeholyspirit.jpg