Posted in PRAYERS for VARIOUS NEEDS, PRAYERS to the SAINTS, St PAUL!

Our Prayers to the Saints – 25 January – Dear Saint Paul, My Patron

Our Prayers to the Saints – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle

Dear Saint Paul, My Patron

Dear Saint Paul, whom I have chosen
as my special Patron, pray for me that I, too,
may one day glorify the Blessed Trinity in Heaven.
Obtain for me your lively faith
that I may consider all persons, things and events,
in the light of Almighty God.
Pray that I may be generous
in making sacrifices of temporal things
to promote my eternal interests,
as you so wisely did.
Set me on fire with a love for Jesus
that I may thirst for His Sacraments
and burn with zeal for the spread of His Kingdom.
By your powerful intercession,
help me in the performance of my duties to God,
myself and all the world.
Win for me the virtue of purity
and a great confidence in the Blessed Virgin.
Protect me this day
and everyday of my life.
Keep me from mortal sin.
Obtain for me the grace of a happy death.
Amen

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, St PAUL!, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 25 January – Saul, Paul

Quote/s of the Day – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle – Acts 9:1-22, Matthew 19:27-29 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?

Acts 9:4.

So Saul was led to Ananias –
the ravaging wolf is led to the sheep.
But the Shepherd,
Who guides everything from Heaven above,
reassures him…
“Do not fear, I will show him
what he will have to suffer, for My Name’s sake”
(Acts 9:16).
What wonder is this!
The wolf is led, a captive, to the sheep…
The Lamb who died for the sheep,
teaches it not to be afraid any more!

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Now Paul rejoices with Stephen,
with Stephen he enjoys the brightness of Christ;
he exults with Stephen,
he reigns with Stephen.
There, where Stephen arose,
the first, stoned under Paul’s very eyes,
there too, Paul has risen
with the help of Stephen’s prayers!

St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533)
Bishop in North Africa

Yet I live, no longer I
but Christ lives in me;
insofar as I now live in the flesh,
I live by faith in the Son of God,
Who has loved me
and given himself up for me.

Galatians 2:20

It is possible that, as he lay dying,
Stephen looked up at Saul
and uttered his last prayer for this sincere
and honest young Jew, who had been led astray
by the prejudice and passion of the mob.
… Let us endeavour too, to suffer, pray
and work for the conversion of our fellowmen,
so many of whom, are wandering
in the darkness of error
or struggling in the clutches of vice.
Let us try, by our sufferings,
prayers and good example,
to draw down God’s grace
on our unhappy brothers.
If we succeed, we shall share
in the merits of their good actions
and we shall have ensured
our own everlasting salvation
.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, GOD ALONE!, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE WORLD, St PAUL!, The GOOD SHEPHERD, The HEART, The HOLY NAME, The LAMB of GOD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – ‘… He had first to be knocked down and afterwards raised up – first struck, then healed. … ‘

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle – Acts 9:1-22, Matthew 19:27-29 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” – Acts 9:4.

REFLECTION – “From Heaven’s height Christ’s Voice overturned Saul. He received a command to carry out his persecutions no more and fell face downwards to the ground. He had first to be knocked down and afterwards raised up – first struck, then healed. For Christ would never have come to live in him, if Saul had not died to his former life of sin. Cast down to the earth in this way, what was it he heard? “Saul, Saul, why are thou persecuting Me? It is hard for thou to kick against the goad” (Acts 9:4-5). And he replied: “Who are you, Lord?” Then the voice from on high continued: “I am Jesus of Nazareth, Whom thou art persecuting.” The members are still on the ground, while the Head cries out, from the heights of Heaven. He is not saying: “Why art thou persecuting My servants?” but “Why art thou persecuting Me?

And Paul, who had put all his energy into his persecutions, is already preparing to obey: “What do Thou want me to do?” The persecutor is already transformed into the preacher, the wolf has become a sheep, the enemy, a defender. Paul learns what he is to do – if he has become blind, if this world’s light is held back from him for a while, it is so as to make the light within shine in his heart. Light is taken away from the persecutor, so that it may be given to the preacher; at the very moment he no longer saw anything of this world, he saw Jesus. This symbolises the believer – those who believe in Christ, must fix the eyes of their soul on Him, without paying attention to outward things…

So Saul was led to Ananias – the ravaging wolf is led to the sheep. But the Shepherd, Who guides everything from Heaven above, reassures him… “Do not fear, I will show him what he will have to suffer, for My Name’s sake” (Acts 9:16). What wonder is this! The wolf is led, a captive, to the sheep… The Lamb who died for the sheep, teaches it not to be afraid any more!” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop, Father and Doctor of Grace of the Church (Sermon 279).

PRAYER – O God, Who taught the whole world by the preaching of Thy blessed Apostle Paul, grant, we beseech Thee that we, who today celebrate his conversion, may draw closer to Thee, by way of hia example.Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, HYMNS, JESUIT SJ, Our MORNING Offering, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St PAUL!

Our Morning Offering – 25 January – Paule Doctor Egregie, Let Gentiles Raise the Thankful Lay By St Peter Damian

Our Morning Offering – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle

Paule Doctor Egregie
Let Gentiles Raise the Thankful Lay
By St Peter Damian (1007-1072)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Trans. John Mason Neale, 1854

Let Gentiles raise the thankful lay
Upon their great Apostle’s Day,
Whose doctrine, like the thunder, sounds
To the wide world’s remotest bounds.

O bliss of Paul beyond all thought!
To Paradise, yet living, caught,
He hears the heav’nly myst’ries there,
Which mortal tongue can not declare.

The Word’s blest seed around he flings
And straight a mighty harvest springs
And fruits of holy deeds supply,
God’s everlasting granary.

The lamp his holy lore displays
Hath fill’d the world with glorious rays
And doubt and error are o’erthrown,
That Truth may reign, and reign alone.

Long as unending ages run,
To God the Father laud be done,
To God the Son our equal praise
And God the Holy Ghost, we raise.
Amen.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, St PAUL!

Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle – 25 January

Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle – 25 January

From the Liturgical Year, 1904

We have already seen how the Gentiles, in the person of the Three Magi, offered their mystic gifts to the Divine Child of Bethlehem and received from Him, in return, the precious gifts of faith, hope and charity. The harvest is ripe; it is time for the reaper to come. But who is to be God’s labourer? The Apostles of Christ are still living under the very shadow of Mount Sion. All of them have received the mission to preach the Gospel of Salvation to the uttermost parts of the world but, not one among them, has, as yet, received the special character of Apostle of the Gentiles. Peter, who had received the Apostleship of Circumcision (Gal 2:8), is sent especially, as was Christ Himself, to the sheep that are lost of the house of Israel (Mt 15:24). And yet, as he is the Head and the Foundation, it belongs to him to open the door of Faith to the Gentiles (Acts 14:26) which he solemnly does, by conferring Baptism on Cornelius, the Roman Centurion.

But the Church is to have one more Apostle – an Apostle for the Gentiles – and he is to be the fruit of the Martyrdom and prayer of St Stephen. Saul, a citizen of Tarsus, has not seen Christ in the flesh and yet, Christ alone can make an Apostle. It is then, from Heaven, where He reigns, impassible and glorified, that Jesus will call Saul to be His disciple, just as, during the period of His active life, He called the fishermen of Genesareth to follow Him and hearken to His teachings. The Son of God will raise Saul up to the Third Heaven and there, will reveal to Him, all His Mysteries and when Saul, having come down again to this earth, shall have seen Peter (Gal 1:18) and compared his Gospel with that recognised by Peter (Ibid 2: 2) – he can say, in all truth that he is an Apostle of Christ Jesus (Gal 1:1) and that he has done nothing less. than the great Apostles (2 Cor 11:55).

It is on this glorious day of the Conversion of Saul, who is soon to change his name into Paul that this great work is commenced. It is on this day, that is heard the Almighty Voice which breaketh the cedars of Libanus (Ps 28:5) and can make a persecuting Jew become, first a Christian and then an Apostle. This admirable transformation had been prophesied by Jacob, when, upon his death-bed, he unfolded, to each of his sons, the future of the tribe of which he was to be the father. Juda was to have the precedence of honour; from his royal race, was to be born the Redeemer, the Expected of nations. Benjamin’s turn came – his glory is not to be compared with that of his brother Juda and yet, it was to be very great – for, from his tribe, is to be born Paul, the Apostle of the Gentile nations!

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo: Conversion of Saint Paul

These are the words of the dying Prophet – Benjamin, a ravenous wolf, in the morning shall eat the prey and in the evening, shall divide the spoil (Gen 49:27). Who, says an ancient writer (These words are taken from a Sermon, which for long time was thought to be St Augustine), is he, that in the morning of impetuous youth, goes like a wolf, in pursuit of the sheep of Christ, breathing threatenings and slaughter against them? Is it not Saul on the road to Damascus, the bearer and doer of the high-priest’s orders and stained with the blood of Stephen, whom he has stoned by the hands of all those, over whose garments he kept watch? And he, who, in the evening, not only does not despoil but, with a charitable and peaceful hand, breaks to the hungry the bread of life – is it not Paul, of the tribe of Benjamin, the Apostle of Christ, burning with zeal for his brethren, making himself all to all and wishing even to be an anathema for their sakes?

Oh! the power of our dear Jesus! how wonderful! how irresistible! He wishes that the first worshippers at His Crib should be humble Shepherds – and, He invites them by His Angels, whose sweet hymn was enough to lead these simple-hearted men to the Stable, where lies, in swaddling-clothes, He Who is the hope of Israel. He would have the Gentile Princes, the Magi, do Him homage – and bids to arise in the Heavens, a Star, whose mysterious apparition, joined to the interior speaking of the Holy Ghost, induces these men of desire, to come from the far East and lay, at the feet of an humble Babe, their riches and their hearts. When the time is come for forming the Apostolic College, He approaches the banks of the sea of Tiberias and, with this single word: Follow me, He draws after Him such as He wishes to have as His Disciples. In the midst of all the humiliations of His Passion, He has but to look at the unfaithful Peter and Peter is a penitent. Today, it is from Heaven that He evinces His power – all the Mysteries of our Redemption have been accomplished and He wishes to show mankind that He is the Sole Author and Master of the Apostolate and that, His alliance with the Gentiles, is now perfect – He speaks – the sound of His reproach bursts like thunder over the head of this hot Pharisee, who is bent on annihilating the Church. He takes this heart of the Jew and, by His grace, turns it into the heart of the Apostle, the Vessel of election, the Paul, who is afterwards to say of himself: I live, not I but Christ liveth in me (Gal 2:20).

The commemoration of this great event was to be a Feast in the Church and it had a right to be kept, as near as might be to the one which celebrates the Martyrdom of St Stephen, for Paul is the Protomartyr’s convert. The anniversary of his Martyrdom would, of course, have to be solemnised at the summer-solstice – where, then, place the Feast of his Conversion if not near Christmas and thus our own Apostle, would be at Jesus’ Crib and Stephen’s side? Moreover, the Magi could claim him, as being the conqueror of that Gentile-world, of which they were the first-fruits.

Andrea Schiavone: Conversion of Saul

And lastly, it was necessary, in order to give the Court of our Infant-King its full beauty that the two Princes of the Church – the Apostle of the Jews and the Apostle of the Gentiles – should stand close to the mystic Crib – Peter, with his Keys and Paul, with his Sword. Bethlehem thus becomes the perfect figure of the Church and the riches of this season of the Cycle are abundant beyond measure. Amen.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARTYRS, SAINT of the DAY, St PAUL!

Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle and Memorials of the Saints – 25 January

Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, Apostle – 25 January
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/feast-of-the-conversion-of-st-paul-25-january/
AND:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/01/25/feast-of-the-conversion-of-st-paul-25-january-2/

St Agape the Martyr
St Agileus of Carthage
St Amarinus of Clermont
St Ananias of Damascus

Blessed Antonio Migliorati OSA (1355-1450) Priest and Friar of the Order of St Augustine, Missionary Preacher, Confessor, Mystc. His body is incorrupt.
His Life:

https://anastpaul.com/2021/01/25/saint-of-the-day-24-january-blessed-antonio-migliorati-osa-1355-1450/

St Apollo of Heliopolis
Bl Archangela Girlani
St Artemas of Pozzuoli
St Auxentius of Epirus
St Bretannion of Tomi
St Donatus the Martyr
St Dwynwen (Died c 460) Virgin Princess, Nun.
St Eochod of Galloway
St Joel of Pulsano
St Juventinus of Antioch
St Maximinus of Antioch
St Palaemon

St Poppo of Stavelot (977-1048) Abbot, Reformer, Ascetic. He became one of the best known Abbots of Stavelot and was one of the first recorded Flemish pilgrims to the Holy Land.
Biography:

https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/25/saint-of-the-day-25-january-saint-poppo-of-stavelot-977-1048/

St Praejectus (625–676) Bishop, Martyr. The Roman Martyrology reads: “In Clermont-Ferrand in the Aquitaine region, in France, Saints Preietto, Bishop and Amarino, man of God, both killed by the notables of the City.”
His Life and Death:

https://anastpaul.com/2022/01/25/saint-of-the-day-25-january-saint-praejectus-625-676/

St Publius of Zeugma
St Racho of Autun
St Sabinus the Martyr

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, St PAUL!, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 7 January – The Problem of Suffering

Thought for the Day – 7 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Problem of Suffering

“Jesus is the Head of the Mystical Body of the Church and we are its members.
We ought to suffer with submission and love, as He did.
Rebellion increases and aggravates the pain.
Resignation and love, on the other hand, lighten it, making it meritorious and even welcome.
It is a consolation to suffer with Jesus.
St Paul says: “I rejoice now in the sufferings I have for your sake and what is lacking of the sufferings of Christ, I fill up in my flesh, for His Body, which is the Church” (Col 1:24).
In other words,
the Passion of Christ demands our submissive and joyful co-operation in suffering along with Jesus.

The Acts says of the Apostles, “So they departed from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the Name of Jesus.” (Acts 5:41).

So great is the reward which awaits me,” exclaims St Francis, “every suffering is pure joy to me!” He knew well, that the sorrows of this world are very tiny compared with the wonderful recompense which awaits us in Heaven.
The sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that will be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/01/07/thought-for-the-day-7-january-the-problem-of-suffering/
PART TWO:
https://anastpaul.com/2022/01/07/thought-for-the-day-7-january-the-problem-of-suffering-2/

Posted in "Follow Me", MARTYRS, QUOTES on LOVE, St PAUL!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 December – St Stephen – ‘ … It was love …’

One Minute Reflection – 26 December – St Stephen the ProtoMartyr (c 05-c 34) – Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-59, Matthew 23:34-39 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” – Acts 7:59

REFLECTION – “Yesterday we celebrated the birth in time, of our eternal King; today we celebrate the triumphant death of a soldier… Our King, although He is most high, came for our sake, in great humility but He could not come empty-handed. He brought with Him, as it were, a great bonus for His soldiers which not only made them abundantly rich but also gave them, strength to fight and conquer. The gift He brought was love, which brings men into fellowship with the Godhead

The love, then, that brought Christ down from Heaven to earth, lifted Stephen from earth to Heaven… And Stephen, so as to deserve to win the crown— which is what his name means—had love as his weapon and by it was everywhere victorious. Through love of God, he did not yield to the raging of his enemies and through love of his neighbour, he prayed for those who were stoning him. Through love, he accused those, who were in the wrong that they might be corrected. Through love, he prayed for those stoning him, to save them from punishment. Trusting in the strength of love, he overcame the cruel raging of Saul and so, won for himself, as a companion in men, the man who had been his persecutor on earth, This holy and untiring love, ardently desired to acquire as converts by his prayers, those whom he had been unable to convert by argument.

Now Paul rejoices with Stephen, with Stephen he enjoys the brightness of Christ; he exults with Stephen, he reigns with Stephen. There, where Stephen arose, the first, stoned under Paul’s very eyes, there too, Paul has risen with the help of Stephen’s prayers.” – St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533) Bishop in North Africa (Sermon 3, 1-3, 5-6).

PRAYER – Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to imitate what we celebrate, so that we may learn to love even our enemies because we keep the anniversary of the death of him, who knew how to plead, even for his persecutors with our Lord, Jesus Christ, Thy Son. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in BLESSED TRINITY PRAYERS, CHRIST the JUDGE, DIVINE MERCY, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, GOOD FRIDAY, HOLY SPIRIT, HYMNS, QUOTES on THE WORLD, St PAUL!, St PETER!, THE BLESSED TRINITY (Traditional), The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HOLY SPIRIT, The HOLY TRINITY, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – St Ambrose

Quote/s of the Day – 7 December – St Ambrose (340-397) – Confessor, Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church

“Take nothing for your journey …

Luke 9:3

This is a great vision.
But if you wish to see it,
remove the sandals from your feet.
Remove every chain of sin.
Remove the chains of the world.
Leave behind earthly sandals.
Jesus sent the Apostles without sandals,
without money, gold and silver,
so that they would not carry earthly things with them.
The one who seeks to do good is praised,
not for his sandals but for the swiftness
and grace of his feet.

Let God alone be sought,
as the Judge of loveliness,
Who loves even, in less beautiful bodies,
the more beautiful souls
.”

And now, let the feet of our minds.
be stretched out.
The Lord Jesus wills also, to wash our feet,
For He says, not to Peter alone
but to each of the faithful:
If I wash not your feet
you will have no part with Me.

[ John 13: 8 ]”

Nunc, Sancte, nobis Spiritus
By St Ambrose (340-397)

Come, Holy Ghost, Who ever One
Trans John Henry Newman (1801-1890) Trans 1836

Come, Holy Ghost, Who ever One
Art with the Father and the Son.
Come, Holy Ghost, our souls possess
With Thy full flood of holiness.

In will and deed, by heart and tongue,
With all our powers, Thy praise be sung.
And love light up our mortal frame,
Till others catch the living flame.

Almighty Father, hear our cry
Through Jesus Christ our Lord most high,
Who with the Holy Ghost and Thee
Doth live and reign eternally.

Apostolorum Passio
By St Ambrose (c 340-397)

This happy day is sanctified
As Martyr’s glory we recall,
The cross bedewed with Peter’s blood,
The sword that won a crown for Paul.

The triumph of their Martyrdom
United these great souls in death,
Whose faith in Christ had crowned their lives
In service to their latest breath.

Saint Peter held the primacy,
Saint Paul would equal him in grace,
When once, as chosen instrument
The cause of Christ, he would embrace

Once, Simon, leaving Rome, turned back
To give, by death, full praise to God,
That by the cross he too should tread
The self-same path his Master trod.

Now Rome exults, as well she may
And strives to give devotion’s due
To one who sealed with his own blood
His work as Priest and Shepherd true.

And who can count the crowds that come
As loving children to her gate,
Where nations’ teacher, holy Paul
Once dwelt and gladly met his fate.

Grant us, O Lord, the final grace
Of sharing in their joy above,
That with such Princes we may praise
Your bounty and undying love.
Amen

Translation: The Benedictines of Saint Cecilia’s Abbey, Ryde, UK

O Lord, Who has Mercy Upon All
By St Ambrose (340-397)

O Lord, who has mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of Your Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore You,
a heart to delight in You,
to follow and enjoy You,
for Christ’s sake.
Amen

MORE:
https://anastpaul.com/2021/12/07/quote-s-of-the-day-7-december-st-ambrose-2/

St Ambrose (340-397)
Confessor, Bishop
Father and Doctor of the Church

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the JUDGE, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, Holy Name PRAYERS, I BELIEVE!, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ANGER, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on ENVY, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on KINDNESS, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on PRIDE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on STRENGTH, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRUTH, St PAUL!, The HOLY NAME, The PASSION, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 29 November – Putting on our Lord Jesus Christ

Quote/s of the Day – 29 November – Vigil of the Feast of St Andrew – Romans 13:11-14, Luke 21:25-33 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Let us walk becomingly, as in the day,
not in revelry and drunkenness,
not in debauchery and wantonness,
not in strife and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 13:13-14

And Jesus, seeing their faith,
said to the paralytic,
Take courage, son,
your sins are forgiven you.

Matthew 9:2

Perhaps, your own faith is feeble.
Nevertheless, the Lord, who is love
will stoop down to you,
provided only that you are penitent
and can say sincerely,
from the depths of your soul:
“Lord, I believe.
Help thou mine unbelief,

(Mark 9:23)……

St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387)
Father and Doctor of the Church

He who is immortal, voluntarily shed His Blood.
He who created the Host of Angels,
was bound at the hands of soldiers
and He who is to judge the living and the dead,
was dragged to justice (cf. Acts 10:42; 2 Tm 4:1).
Truth was exposed to false witnesses,
was slandered, struck, covered with spittle,
hung on the Wood of the Cross –
the Lord of Glory (cf. 1 Cor 2:8)
endured every outrage and suffering
without Himself needing these trials. …

So there is nothing surprising about it,
if we submit to even one of these trials,
since such is our condition …
Therefore, we too have to be offended and tempted,
afflicted by the cutting off of our wills.

St Theodore the Studite (759- 826)
Monk at Constantinople, Father

(Catecheses 1)

Nothing so curbs the onset of anger,
so allays the upsurge of pride.
It cures the wound of envy,
controls unbridled extravagance
and quenches the flame of lust.
It cools the thirst of covetousness
and banishes the itch of unclean desire…
For when I Name Jesus,
I set before myself,
a Man Who is meek and humble of heart,
kind, prudent, chaste, merciful,
flawlessly upright and holy
in the eyes of all
and this same Man, is the all-powerful God
Whose way of life heals me,
Whose support is my strength.

St Bernard (1090-1153)
Father and Mellifluous Doctor of the Church

Lord Jesus, Bind Me to Yourself

Lord Jesus, Bind Me to Yourself
Lord Jesus, bind me to Yourself
and to my neighbour, with love.
May my heart not be turned away from You.
May my soul not be deceived,
nor my talent or mind,
enticed by allurements of error,
so that I may never
distance myself from Your love.
Thus may I love my neighbour as myself,
with strength, wisdom and gentleness,
with Your help,
You who are blessed
throughout all ages.
Amen.

St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)
Evangelical Doctor of the Church

… How can anyone put on Jesus Christ
and imitate His example,
if he does not study this Jesus,
who must inspire and perfect our faith?
He must run the race to which he is challenged,
the glorious race in which,
he overcomes the enemy of the human family
and follows the Way of the Cross.
Under the lordly banner of that Cross,
he will attain eternal life.”

St Vincent Strambi CP (1745-1824)

(From his first Pastoral Letter as Bishop)

Hear Me, O Lord
By St Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562)

Hear me, O Lord,
my soul’s delight,
joy of my heart,
not because of my merits
but because of Thy boundless goodness.
Teach me, enlighten me, direct me,
help me in all things
that I may never say
or do anything
but that which I know
to be pleasing in Thou sight.
Guide me, O God,
my Love, my Light and my Life!
Amen.

St Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562)

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, I BELIEVE!, QUOTES on the CHURCH, St PAUL!, St PETER!, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Quote/s of the Day – 18 November – Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Peter and Paul – ‘… These are the gates of our true country, …’

Quote/s of the Day – 18 November – Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Peter and Paul

“The present Feast, therefore, deserves to be more than a local solemnity, its extension to the Universal Church, is a subject for the world’s gratitude.
Thanks to this Feast, we can all make together in spirit today, the pilgrimage, which our ancestors performed with such fatigue and danger, yet never thought they purchased, at too high a price, its holy joys and blessings.
“Heavenly mountains, glittering heights of the new Sion!”
These are the gates of our true country, the two lights of the immense world.
There Paul’s voice is heard like thunder;
there Peter withholds or hurls the bolt .
The former opens the hearts of men, the latter opens Heaven. Peter is the foundation-stone, Paul the architect of the temple where stands the Altar, by which God is propitiated.
Both together, form a single fountain which, pours out its healing and refreshing waters

St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)
Bishop, Father o the Church

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ON the SAINTS, St PAUL!, St PETER!, The PASSION

Feast of the Holy Relics – 5 November

Feast of the Holy Relics – 5 November – From the Liturgical Year, 1901.

Relics of the Passion conserved in the Roman Basilica of Santa Croce in Jerusalem

Had we Angels’ eyes, we should see the earth as a vast field sown with seed for the Resurrection. The death of Abel opened the first furrow and ever since, the sowing has gone on unceasingly, the wide world over. This land of labour and of suffering, what treasures it already holds laid up in its bosom! And what a harvest for Heaven, when the Sun of Justice, suddenly darting forth His rays, shall cause to spring up, as suddenly from the soil, the elect ears ripe for glory! No wonder that the Church herself blesses and superintends, the laying of the precious grain in the earth.

But the Church is not content to be always sowing. Sometimes, as though impatient of delay, she raises from the ground the chosen seed she had sown therein. Her infallible discernment preserves her from error and, disengaging from the soil the immortal germ, she forestalls the glory of the future. She encloses the treasure in gold or precious stuffs, carries it in triumph, invites the multitudes to come and reverence it; or, she raises new temples to the name of the blessed one and assigns him the highest honour of reposing under the Altar, whereon she offers to God, the tremendous Sacrifice.

Religuary of St Anthony of Padua

Let your charity understand,” explains St Augustine (Aug. Sermo cccxviii, de Stephano Mart. V): “it is not to Stephen we raise an Altar in this place but of Stephen’s relics, we make an Altar to God. God loves these Altars and, if you ask the reason – Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (Ps. cxv, 15).” In obedience to God “the invisible soul has quitted its visible dwelling. But God preserves this dwelling; He is glorified by the honour we pay to this lifeless flesh and, clothing it with the might of His Divinity, He gives it the power of working miracles” (Aug. Sermo cclxxv, de Vincentio Mart. II). Hence the origin of pilgrimages to the Shrines of the Saints.

Left–Adoration of the Holy Cross by the Saints in Heaven;
Right– Reliquary of St Stephen

Christian people,” says St Gregory of Nyssa, “wherefore are you assembled here? A tomb has no attractions, nay, the sight of its contents inspires horror! Yet, see what eagerness to approach this sepulchre! So great an object of desire is it, that a little of the dust from around it is esteemed a gift of great price. As to beholding the remains it conceals, that is a rare favour and an enviable one, as those can testify who enjoy the privilege: they embrace the holy body as though it were yet alive, they press their lips and their eyes upon it, shedding tears of love and devotion. What emperor ever received such honour ”(Greg. Nyssa de Theodoro Mart)?”

Emperors!” rejoins St John Chrysostom; “as the porters at their gates, such have they become with regard to poor fishers. The son of the great Constantine deemed he could not pay a higher honour to his father, than to procure him a place of sepulture in the porch of the fisherman of Galilee” (Chrys. in Epist. II. ad Cor. Hom. xxvi). And again, concluding his commentary on St Paul’s admirable Epistle to the Romans, the golden-mouthed Doctor exclaims: “And now, who will grant me to prostrate myself at Paul’s sepulchre, to contemplate the ashes of that body which, suffering for us, filled up what was wanting of the sufferings of Christ? The dust of that mouth, which spoke boldly before kings, and, showing what Paul was, revealed the Lord of Paul? The dust of that heart, truly the heart of the world, more lofty than the heavens, more vast than the universe, as much, the heart of Christ as of Paul and wherein might be read, the book of grace, graven by the Holy Spirit? Oh! that I might see the remains of the hands, which wrote those Epistles; of the eyes, which were struck with blindness and recovered their sight for our salvation; of the feet which traversed the whole earth! Yes. I would fain contemplate the tomb where repose these instruments of justice and of light, these members of Christ, this temple of the Holy Ghost. O venerable body, which, together with that of Peter, protects Rome more securely, than all ramparts” (Chrys. in Epist. ad Rom. Hom. xxxii)

Chains of St Peter
The wrist bone of St Paul held in Goza, Malta

In spite of such teachings as these, the heretics of the sixteenth Century profaned the tombs of the Saints, under pretext of bringing us back to the doctrine of our forefathers. In contradiction to these strange reformers, the Council of Trent expressed the unanimous testimony of Tradition, in the following definition, which sets forth the theological reasons of the honour paid by the Church, to the relics of Saints:,

“Veneration ought to be shown, by the faithful, to the bodies of the Martyrs and other Saints, who live with Jesus Christ. For they were His living members and the temples of the Holy Ghost; He will raise them up again to eternal life and glory and through them, God grants many blessings to mankind. Therefore, those who say that the relics of the Saints are not worthy of veneration, that it is useless for the faithful to honour them, that it is vain to visit the memorials or monuments of the Saints, in order to obtain their aid, are absolutely to be condemned and, as they have already been long ago condemned, (Conc. Nic. II. cap. vii), the Church now condemns them once more” (Conc. Tird. Sess. xxv. De invocatione, veneratione et reliquiis Sanctorum).

Posted in GOD ALONE!, ONE Minute REFLECTION, OUR Cross, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, St PAUL!, St PETER!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 26 October – “Although the earth and all who dwell in it quake, I have set firm its pillars”

One Minute Reflection – 26 October – “The Month of the Most Holy Rosary and of the Angels” – 1 Peter 5:1-4; 5:10-11, Matthew 16:13-19 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Upon this rock I will build my church” – Matthew 16:18

REFLECTION – “Although the earth and all who dwell in it quake, I have set firm its pillars” (Ps 74[75],40). All the Apostles are pillars of the earth but, at their head, the two whose Feast we are celebrating. They are the two pillars who support the Church with their teaching, their prayer and the example of their steadfastness. The Lord Himself strengthened these pillars. For at first they were weak, completely incapable of supporting either themselves or others. And in this the Lord’s great design appears: it they had always been strong, people could have thought their strength came from themselves. That is why the Lord wanted to show what they were capable of, before strengthening them, so that all might know, that their strength came from God… Peter was thrown to the ground by the voice of a mere servant… and the other pillar was very weak too: “I was once a blasphemer and persecutor and an arrogant man” (1Tm 1,13)…

Hence we ought to praise these Saints with all our heart: our Fathers who bore such trials for the Lord’s sake and who persevered, with such determination. It is nothing to persevere in joy, happiness and peace. But this is what is great – to be stoned, scourged, struck for Christ (2 Cor 11,25) and in all this, to persevere with Christ. With Paul it is a great thing to be cursed and to bless, to be persecuted and to endure, to be slandered and to console, to be like the world’s rubbish and to draw glory from it (1 Cor 4,12-13)… And what shall we say of Peter? Even if he had undergone nothing for Christ, it would be sufficient to celebrate him today in that he was crucified for Him… He well knew where He Whom he loved, He Whom he longed for was… his cross has been his road to Heaven.” – St Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167) Cistercian Monk (Sermon 18, for the feast of S (ints Peter and Paul ; PL 195, 298).

PRAYER – Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto all Thy servants, that they may remain continually in the enjoyment of soundness, both of mind and body and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, always a Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness and enter into the joy of Thine eternal gladness. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in St PAUL!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 18 October – St Luke

Quote/s of the Day – 18 October – The Feast of St Luke, the Evangelist – 2 Corinthians 8:16-24, Luke 10:1-9 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/

Luke, the beloved physician,
sends greetings …

Colossians 4:14

And we have sent along with him (Titus),
the brother (Luke) whose services to the Gospel
are praised in all the churches
and what is more,
who was also appointed by the churches,
to travel with us in this work of grace …

2 Corinthians 8:18-19

The Magnificat
The Canticle of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour
He looks on His servant in her lowliness
Henceforth all ages will call me blessed:
The Almighty works marvels for me,
holy is his Name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear Him.
He puts forth His arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, His servant,
remembering His mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons forever.

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, Holy Name PRAYERS, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PATIENCE, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, QUOTES on THE WORLD, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD, St PAUL!, The HOLY NAME, The SECOND COMING, The WORD, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Quote/s of the Day – 5 October – ‘ … Give me courage to resist, patience to endure …’

Quote/s of the Day – 5 October – Hebrews 10:32-38, Luke 12:1-8
Scripture search – https://www.drbo.org/

Do not, therefore, lose your confidence,
which has a great reward.
For you have need of patience that,
doing the will of God,
you may receive the promise.
For yet a very little while
and He Who is to come,
will come
and will not delay.”

Hebrews 10:35-37

Everyone without God,
has a dead soul.
You, who bewail the dead,
rather, should bewail sin.
Bewail ungodliness.
Bewail disbelief.

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

We have the Providential love of God as our guide.
When there is a ship at sea and heads towards the port,
nobody doubts that it is led by a pilot
and one could doubt that there is a God
who guides the universe
only because He cannot be seen?
By His Providential Love,
God arranges and regulates events,
regulates everything, with gentleness and wisdom.
I advise you to abandon yourself completely
into the hands of Divine Providence.

Blessed Edoardo Giuseppe Rosaz (1877-1903)

The Love of Your Name

“My God, Sweetness beyond words,
make bitter all the carnal comfort
that draws me from love of the eternal
and lures me to its evil self,
by the sight of some delightful good
in the present.
Let it not overcome me, my God.
Let not flesh and blood conquer me.
Let not the world and its brief glory
deceive me, nor the devil trip me by his craftiness.
Give me courage to resist,
patience to endure
and constancy to persevere.
Give me the soothing unction of Your spirit,
rather than all the consolations of the world
and in place of carnal love,
infuse into me the love of Your Name.

Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)
The Imitation of Christ
(Book 3 Ch 26:1-4)

Posted in "Follow Me", MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, St PAUL!, THE ASSUMPTION, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 15 August – ‘ … She “follows the Lamb wherever he goes.”’ – St Aelred

One Minute Reflection – 15 August – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Judith 13:22-25; 15:10, Luke 1:41-50

For behold, henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed.” – Luke 1:48

REFLECTION – “If Saint Mary Magdalene – who had been a sinner and from whom the Lord had cast out seven demons – merited to be glorified by him to the extent that her praise abides forever among the assembly of the saints, who can measure the extent to which “the upright rejoice and dance for joy in the presence of the Lord” with regard to holy Mary, who knew not man? … If the Apostle Peter, – who was not only unable to watch for one hour with Christ but, who even went so far as to deny him, – afterwards won such favour that the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven were entrusted to him, of what praises is holy Mary not worthy, who bore the King of Angels Himself in her womb, He Whom the Heavens cannot contain? If Saul, who “breathed murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord” … was the object of such mercy … that he was “caught up to the third heaven, whether in the body or out of the body,” it is not surprising, that the holy Mother of God – who stayed beside her Son through all the trials He endured, from His cradle onwards – should have been lifted up to Heaven, even in her body and exalted high above the Choirs of Angels.

If there is “joy in heaven before the angels over one sinner who repents”, who can tell what joyful and lovely praises rise up before God, concerning Holy Mary who never sinned? … Indeed, if those who “once were darkness” and have now become “light in the Lord” “will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father,” who is able to tell “the eternal weight of glory” of Holy Mary, who came into the world “like dawn arising, beautiful as the moon, resplendent as the sun” and of whom was born “the true light which enlightens everyone coming into the world?” Moreover, since our Lord said: “Whoever serves me must follow me and where I am, there will my servant also be,” where do we think His Mother must be, who served Him with such eagerness and fidelity? If she followed Him and obeyed Him, even to death, no-one can wonder, that now, more than anyone else, she “follows the Lamb wherever he goes.” – St Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) – Cistercian Monk – 2nd sermon for the Assumption

PRAYER – Almighty, everlasting God, Who took up, body and soul, the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of Thy Son, into heavenly glory, grant, we beseech Thee, that, always devoting ourselves to heavenly things, we may be found worthy to share in her glory. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, St PAUL!, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 14 August – Christian Joy

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

Christian Joy

“In his letters, St Paul frequently exhorts the early Christians to be joyful.
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice” (Phil 4:4).
The fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, kindliness” (Cf Gal 5:22).
But we are to remember that “The Kingdom of God does not consist in food and drink but, in justice and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17).

St Paul emphasises that this joy need not be lost in times of tribulation.
“I am filled with comfort, I overflow with joy in all our troubles” (2 Cor 7:4).
In the life of a Christian, joy and
sorrow are not mutually exclusive but, complement and perfect one another.

This does not mean that Christianity essentially transforms human nature and banishes the pangs of suffering.
It means simply that everything in human nature, is purified and elevated, so that, it may be deserving of Heaven, where true and lasting happiness is to be found.
Be fervent in spirit,” says St Paul, “serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope,” (Rom 12:12)“and as sorrowful, always rejoicing” (2 Cor 6:10.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/08/24/thought-for-the-day-24-august-christian-joy/

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on THE WORLD, St PAUL!, The HOLY NAME, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 10 August – ‘Do not love your life … ‘

Quote/s of the Day – 10 August – St Lawrence (Died 258) Martyr “Keeper of the Treasures of he Church” – 2 Corinthians 9:6-10, John 12:24-26

“If it dies, it produces much fruit”

John 12:24

Through the glorious achievements
of the holy Martyrs with which
the Church blossoms everywhere,
we are ourselves, proving to our own eyes,
how true are the words we have been singing that:
“Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints” (Ps 116[115]:15).
For it is precious both in our sight
and in the sight of Him, in Whose Name.
the death took place.

And all who wish to live
piously in Christ Jesus,
will suffer persecution.

2 Timothy 3:12

Do not love your life in this world!
If you truly love yourselves,
do not thus love your life
and then, you will save your life!”…

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of the Church

“In conformity with
the philosophy of Christ,
let us make of our life,
a training for death.”

St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662)
Father of the Church

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ENEMIES, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, St PAUL!

Quote of the Day – 3 August – ‘Let us endeavour too, to suffer, pray and work for the conversion of our fellowmen, …’

Quote of the Day – 3 August – The Finding of the Relics of St Stephen, Protomarty – Acts 6:8-10; 7:54-60. Matthew 23:34-39

It is possible that, as he lay dying,
Stephen looked up at Saul
and uttered his last prayer for this sincere
and honest young Jew, who had been led astray
by the prejudice and passion of the mob.
… Let us endeavour too, to suffer, pray
and work for the conversion of our fellowmen,
so many of whom, are wandering
in the darkness of error
or struggling in the clutches of vice.
Let us try, by our sufferings,
prayers and good example,
to draw down God’s grace
on our unhappy brothers.
If we succeed, we shall share
in the merits of their good actions
and we shall have ensured
our own everlasting salvation
.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in "Follow Me", DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on COURAGE, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on HAPPINESS, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on STRENGTH, St PAUL!, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 27 July – “And all who want to live piously in Christ Jesus, will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12

Quote/s of the Day – 27 July – The Memorial of St Pantaleon (Died c 305) Martyr, Lay Physician, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers – 2 Tim. 2:8-10; 3:10-12, Matthew 10:26-32

And all who wish to live
piously in Christ Jesus,
will suffer persecution.

2 Timothy 3:12

The very hairs of your head
are all numbered.

Matthew 10:30

What is the surest kind of witness?
“Anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ
came among us in the flesh” (cf. 1Jn 4,2)
and who keeps the commands of the Gospel…
How many there are, each day,
of these hidden martyrs of Christ
who confess the Lord Jesus!
… So be faithful and courageous
in interior persecutions,
so that you may also win
the victory in exterior persecutions.

St Ambrose (340-397)
Father & Doctor of the Church

When he has begun to follow Me,
according to My teaching and precepts,
he will find many people contradicting him
and standing in his way,
many who not only deride but even persecute him.
Moreover, this is true,
not only of pagans who are outside the Church
but also of those, who seem to be in it visibly
but are outside of it because of the perversity of their deeds.
Although these glory,
in merely the title of Christian,
they continually persecute faithful Christians.

St Caesarius of Arles (470-543)

Rejoice and be happy!
Persevere to the end
and prefer to die
rather than abandon the post,
to which God has called you!

St Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)
Doctor of the Church

Let us go forward in peace,
our eyes upon heaven,
the only one goal of our labours.

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897)

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD, St PAUL!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS

Thought for the Day – 13 July – The Grace of God

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

The Grace of God

It is astonishing to consider how much St Paul accomplished when he had been transformed by the grace of God.
Formerly, a persecutor of Christians, he became the Apostle of the Gentiles.
Enlightened by faith and inspired by charity, he travelled the globe, spreading everywhere, the religion of Jesus Christ.

He feared neither the anger of the hostile Jews, nor the tribunals of the Roman judges, neither long and difficult journeys, nor scourging, shipwreck and imprisonment.
“The love of Christ impels us,” (2 Cor 5:14) he said.

It was the love of God which drove him on and on, until he met his martyrdom.
But what about ourselves?
We also have received grace from God.

Often we hear His voice appealing to us to abandon our sinful ways, to practise virtue, to love Him more ardently and to prove our love, by deeds.
If we co-operate, we shall be able to say with St Paul: “by the grace of God, I am what I am and his grace in me has not been fruitless,” (1 Cor 15:10) and “I have laboured … yet, not I but the grace of God with me” (ibid).

It is wise to recall, however, that Judas also received special graces from God.
He did not correspond with them and was probably damned for eternity.
If we fail to correspond with God’s graces, the result will be tragic for ourselves.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE::
https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/12/thought-for-the-day-12-july-the-grace-of-god/

Posted in "Follow Me", ASPIRATIONS and EJACULATIONS, GOD ALONE!, I BELIEVE!, LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OUR Cross, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on FEAR, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, QUOTES on ZEAL, St PAUL!, St PETER!, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Thought for the Day – 6 July – St Peter and St Paul

Thought for the Day – 6 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Octave Day of Saints Peter and Paul

St Peter, Prince of the Apostles
St Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles

“It is good to admire the fidelity of St Peter and the designs of Divine Providence in making him the visible Head of the Church but, it is far better, to follow his example.
His love for Jesus, led him to leave his family and his fisherman’s trade, in order to follow Our Lord.
It led him to undertake long voyages, to endure imprisonment and to face martyrdom.
What can we do for the love of Jesus?
Remember that, if love is to be sincere, it must be generous and effective.

Secondly let us meditate on and imitate, the ardent and fearless faith of St Peter.
He was not afraid to preach the teaching of Christ before the Sanhedrin.
He was not afraid of Herod, who cast him into prison.

He was not afraid of the Roman Emperor, who caused him to be crucified.
Our faith should be steadfast and lively, like his!

Finally, let us imitate Peter in his repentance.
Although he loved Jesus very much and had such great faith in Him, in a moment of weakness and of imprudence, he denied Him three times.
All his life, however, be wept bitterly for this sin.
Whenever he heard a cock crowing, it was as if an arrow had pierced his heart.
He was not satisfied, until he was hanging upon the cross like his Divine Master and could prove his love for Jesus by a Martyr’s death.

St Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles

We can learn many other virtues from St Paul, besides his zealous love for God and for his fellowmen.
We can also learn from him, the virtues of humility and of apostolic fervour.
The Apostle of the Gentiles reached such heights of sanctity, as to feel himself transformed into Christ Himself and to deserve to be taken up into the third Heaven, where he enjoyed a foretaste of eternal happiness.
Nevertheless, he considered himself unworthy to be called an Apostle and he realised, that all his gifts came to him from God.

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to think anything as from ourselves but our sufficiency, is from God” (2 Cor 3:5).
Whenever we succeed in any project, we should think on the same lines because, it is only when we are humble and depend on the grace of God, that the success of our actions will redound to the glory of our Creator.
If the cancer of ambition or of self-love, should corrupt our purity of intention, our work would not be blessed by God and would not make us worthy of everlasting life.
Let us repeat often: “All for You, with You and in You, my God.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

PART ONE:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/06/29/thought-for-the-day-29-june-st-peter-prince-of-the-apostles-st-paul-the-apostle-to-the-gentiles/

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, HYMNS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, POETRY, QUOTES on the CHURCH, St PAUL!, St PETER!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 6 July – Saints Peter and Paul

Quote/s of the Day – 6 July – Octave Day of Saints Peter and Paul

Yes, the Apostle chosen
to be His co-worker,
merited to share,
the same Name as Christ.
They built the same Building together –
Peter does the planting,
the Lord gives the increase
and it is the Lord, too,
Who sends those,
who will do the watering 
(cf 1 Cor 3:6f).”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church

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.

St Pope Leo the Great (400-461)
Father and Doctor of the Church

There are the gates of our true country,
the two lights of the immense world.
There Paul’s voice is heard like thunder;
there Peter withholds or hurls the bolt .
The former opens the hearts of men,
the latter opens Heaven.
Peter is the Foundation-stone,
Paul the Architect of the temple
where stands the Altar
by which God is propitiated.
Both together form a single Fountain,
which pours out its healing
and refreshing waters.

St Venantius Fortunatus (c 530 – c 609)
“The Troubadour of Christ”

St Paul’s Prayer – Ephesians 3:14-21

For this reason, I bow my knees
before the Father, from Whom
every family in heaven and on earth
takes its name.
I pray that, according to the riches
of His glory, He may grant
that you may be strengthened
in your inner being with power through His Spirit
and that Christ may dwell
in your hearts through faith,
as you are being rooted and grounded in love.
I pray that you may have the power
to comprehend, with all the Saints,
what is the breadth and length
and height and depth
and to know, the love of Christ
that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled
with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him Who, by the power at work within us,
is able to accomplish abundantly,
far more than all we can ask or imagine.
To Him be glory in the Church
and in Christ Jesus,
to all generations, forever and ever.
Amen.

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, GOD ALONE!, OUR Cross, POETRY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on THE VOICE OF GOD, QUOTES on THE WORLD, St PAUL!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 4 May – ‘You touched me’

Quote/s of the Day – 4 May – The Memorial of St Monica (322-387) Mother of St Augustine – 1 Timothy 5:3-10, Luke 7:11-16

My grace is sufficient for thee,
for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly
about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9

Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight.
I do not know what there is now for me to do
or why I am still here,
all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled.”

Saint Monica,
on the conversion
of St Augustine

Our Lord and Saviour lifted up His Voice
and said with incomparable majesty:
“Let all men know, that grace comes after tribulation.
Let them know, that without the burden of afflictions,
it is impossible to reach the height of grace.
Let them know,
that the gifts of grace increase,
as the struggles increase.
Let men take care not to stray and be deceived.
This is the only true stairway to paradise
and without the cross,
they can find no road to climb to Heaven
.”

St Rose of Lima (1586-1617)

Late Have I Loved You
By St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

Late have I loved You,
Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved You!
Lo, you were within,
but I outside,
seeking there for You,
and upon the shapely things
You have made
I rushed headlong – I, misshapen.
You were with me
but I was not with You.
They held me back far from You,
those things which would have no being,
were they not in You.
You called, shouted,
broke through my deafness.
You flared, blazed,
banished my blindness.
You lavished Your fragrance,
I gasped
and now I pant for You.
I tasted You
and now I hunger and thirst.
You touched me
and I burned for Your peace.
Amen

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, St PAUL!, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 28 February – BLIND

Quote/s of the Day – 28 February – 1 Cor.inthians 13:1-13, Luke 18:31-43

Blind

I have appeared to you for this purpose,
to appoint you as a servant and witness,
of what you have seen
and what you will be shown.
I shall deliver you from this people
and from the Gentiles, to whom I send you,
to open their eyes, that they may turn
from darkness to light
and from the power of Satan to God,
so that they may obtain forgiveness of sins
and an inheritance among those,
who have been consecrated by faith in me
.”

Acts 26:16-18

I was in the world like someone blind
and as though without God,
since I did not know my God.
Then You, in person, pitied me
and looked upon me,
when You shone Your Light into my darkness,
You converted me
and drew me to Yourself, O my Creator.
And when You had snatched me
out of the depths of the pit …
of this life’s pleasures and desires,
then You showed me the way
and gave me a guide
who would lead me
to Your commandments.”

St Simeon the New Theologian (949-1022)

Our lamps are going out.

Matthew 25:8
I have not become as wise
as those five wise Virgins.
… But I have become the most wretched of the foolish ones
by failing to keep some oil for my lamp,
namely, mercy together with virginity
or, still more, the anointing from Baptism’s Sacred fount

Therefore, the doors of the wedding hall
are closed to me too, in my negligence.
But, O my Bridegroom,
while I am still in my body here below,
listen to my soul, Your Bride…
From now on, I will cry aloud piteously,
“Oh, open to me Your Heavenly Door,
bring me into Your Wedding Chamber on high,
make me worthy of Your Holy Kiss,
Your pure and spotless Embrace.
Oh let me not hear the Voice saying

it does not know me!
I am blind; set alight with Your own Light
my spirit’s extinguished flame!

St Nerses Chnorhali (1102-1173)
Armenian Bishop

Spiritually, we are all blind
to a greater or lesser extent.
Do we understand the infinite truth,
beauty and goodness of God,
in Whom our true happiness consists?
Do we understand the emptiness
of the world, despite the glory of its transient beauty, which can never satisfy our hearts?
Do we understand our own nothingness

and our dependence on God for light and grace?
If we do not possess this lively faith
and our eyes are dazzled
by the glittering vanities of the world,
let us turn to Jesus and beseech Him:
“Lord, that I may see!”
Only the light which comes from You

is the true light which illumines every man
who comes into this world (Jn 1:9)
.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

May the Lord Jesus Touch Our Eyes
By Origen (c 185-253)
Father of the Church

May the Lord Jesus touch our eyes,
as He did those of the blind.
Then we shall begin to see in visible things
those which are invisible.
May He open our eyes to gaze,
not on present realities
but on the blessings to come.
May He open the eyes of our heart,
to contemplate God in Spirit,
through Jesus Christ the Lord,
to whom belong,
power and glory,
through all eternity.
Amen.

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, St PAUL!, St PETER!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 22 February – “Upon this rock I will build my church” – Matthew 16:18

One Minute Reflection – 22 February – The Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter,at Antioch – Readings: 1 Peter 1-7, Matthew 16:13-19.

Upon this rock I will build my church” – Matthew 16:18

REFLECTION – “Though the earth and all who dwell in it quake, I have set firm its pillars” (Ps 74[75],40). All the Apostles are pillars of the earth but, at their head, the two whose feast we are celebrating. They are the two pillars who support the Church with their teaching, their prayer and the example of their steadfastness. The Lord himself strengthened these pillars. For at first they were weak, completely incapable of supporting either themselves or others. And in this the Lord’s great design appears – if they had always been strong, people could have thought their strength came from themselves. That is why the Lord wanted to show ,what they were capable of before strengthening them, so that all might know their strength came from God… Peter was thrown to the ground by the voice of a mere servant… and the other pillar was very weak too: “I was once a blasphemer and persecutor and an arrogant man” (1Tm 1,13)…

Hence we must ought to praise these Saints with all our heart – our fathers who bore such trials for the Lord’s sake and who persevered with such determination. It is nothing to persevere in joy, happiness and peace. But this is what is great: to be stoned, scourged, struck for Christ (2Cor 11,25) and in all this, to persevere with Christ. With Paul, it is a great thing to be cursed and to bless, to be persecuted and to endure, to be slandered and to console, to be like the world’s rubbish and to draw glory from it (1Cor 4,12-13)…, And what shall we say of Peter?,, Even if he had undergone nothing for Christ, it would be sufficient to celebrate him today, in that he was crucified for Him… He well knew where He Whom he loved, He Whom he longed for was… his cross has been his road to heaven.” – St Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167) Cistercian Monk (Sermon 18, for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul PL 195, 298).

PRAYER – O God, Who when giving blessed Peter, Your Apostle, the keys of the heavenly Kingdom, bestowed on him the power of binding and loosing, grant that by the help of his intercession we may be delivered from the bonds of our sins. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE WORLD, St PAUL!, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE, The HEART, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 21 February – ‘And other seed fell upon the rock’ – Luke 8:6

One Minute Reflection – 21 February – Sexagesima Weekday, Readings 2 Cor. 11:19-33; 12:1-9, Luke 8:4-15

And other seed fell upon the rock and as soon as it had sprung up, it withered away because it had no moisture.” – Luke 8:6

REFLECTION – “The seeds of the Word that are lying on rocky ground, are snatched away by fleeting devils. Tell me, whose fault is it? That of the devils who snatch away the seeds, or that of the careless souls who do not bury them in the furrows of their hearts? I believe, the fault is not that of the snatching devils. The thief who breaks through the wall, enters the secret part of the house. But since he is stationed in a position outside, how can the thief be blameworthy, so to speak? Thus also, the devil, were he able to enter the innermost recesses of your heart, to snatch the word away from you against your will, would indeed be blameworthy. But now, what has been neglected and held in contempt by you, he snatches away.

A rock has two properties of nature: strength and hardness. Therefore, a man is said to be a rock either because of the constancy of his faith, or because of the hardness of his heart. The prophet says in this regard, “I will take out of them the heart of stone.” What then is the ground? It is the sinful nature that remains in the soul of the faithful who are still drawn toward the flesh. For many have a good mind according to nature but some do not have a faithful mind. Their mind is from God but their soul is from the divided will. There are people who, if you speak to them about the glory of the Saints or the blessedness of the Heavenly Kingdom, immediately become joyful and take delight in listening. Being wise according to nature, they readily accept the Word. But you who are not content to give alms from your possessions, how will you be able to sustain the loss of your material things when hard times or persecutions strike, in the light of God’s Word? You will become unsettled.” – Anonymous Ancient Christian Writer [ACW] (Incomplete Work on Matthew, Homily 31).

PRAYER – O God, You Who see that we put no trust in anything we do, mercifully grant that by the protection of the Doctor of the Gentiles we may be defended against all adversity. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).

Posted in ARMOUR of CHRIST, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, St PAUL!, The HEART, The HOLY SPIRIT, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 20 February – ‘ … He has done his part. ..,’

One Minute Reflection – 20 February – Sexagesima – 2 Cor. 11:19-33; 12:1-9, Luke 8:4-15

But that upon good ground, these are they who, with a right and good heart, having heard the word, hold it fast and bear fruit in patience.” – Luke 8:15

REFLECTION – “Note that Jesus does not say: The careless received some seed and lost it, the rich received other seed and choked it and the superficial received some seed and betrayed it. It is not His intention to rebuke them severely, lest He should cast them into despair. Christ leaves the reproof to the conscience of His hearers. Remember also in the parable of the net ,that much was gathered in, that was unprofitable. But He speaks this parable as if to anoint His disciples and to teach them, that they are not to be despondent even though those lost, may be more than those who receive the word. It was with this same ease that the Lord Himself continued to sow, even He who fully foreknew the outcomes.

But why would it be reasonable to sow among thorns or on rocks or on the pathway? With regard to the seeds and the earth, it cannot sound very reasonable. But in the case of human souls and their instructions, it is praiseworthy and greatly to be honoured. For the farmer might be laughed at for doing this, since it is impossible for a rock to bear fruit. It is not likely that the path will become anything but a path or the thorns anything but thorns. But with respect to the rational soul, this is not so predictable. For here, there is such a thing as the rock changing and becoming rich land. Here it is possible, that the wayside might no longer be trampled upon or lie open to all who pass by but that it may become a fertile field. In the case of the soul, the thorns may be destroyed and the seed enjoy full security. For had it been impossible, this Sower would not have sown. And if the reversal did not take place in all, this is no fault of the Sower but of the souls who are unwilling to be changed. He has done His part. If they betrayed what they received of Him, He is blameless, the Exhibitor of such love to humanity.

But mark this carefully: there is more than one road to destruction! There are differing ones and wide apart from one another. For they who are like the wayside are the coarse-minded and indifferent and careless but those on the rock, such as fail, from willed weakness only.” – St John Chrysostom (347-407) Archbishop of Constantinople, Father and Doctor of the Church (The Gospel of Matthew: Homily 44).

PRAYER St Paul’s Prayer – Ephesians 3:14-21

For this reason, I bow my knees
before the Father, from Whom
every family in heaven and on earth
takes its name.
I pray that, according to the riches
of His glory, He may grant
that you may be strengthened
in your inner being with power through His Spirit
and that Christ may dwell
in your hearts through faith,
as you are being rooted and grounded in love.
I pray that you may have the power
to comprehend, with all the Saints,
what is the breadth and length
and height and depth
and to know, the love of Christ
that surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled
with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him Who, by the power at work within us,
is able to accomplish abundantly,
far more than all we can ask or imagine.
To Him be glory in the Church
and in Christ Jesus,
to all generations, forever and ever.
Amen.

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, JANUARY month of THE MOST HOLY NAME of JESUS, QUOTES on ETERNAL LIFE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, St PAUL!, The HEART, The HOLY NAME, The WORD

Quote/s of the Day – 25 January – Our Light and Life

Quote/s of the Day – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul , Apostle, Acts 9:1-22, Matthew 19,27-29.

“And everyone who has left house,
or brethren, or sisters, or father,
or mother, or wife, or children, or lands
for my name’s sake,
shall receive a hundredfold
and shall possess life everlasting.

Matthew 19:29

Yet I live, no longer I
but Christ lives in me;
insofar as I now live in the flesh,
I live by faith in the Son of God,
Who has loved me
and given himself up for me.

Galatians 2:20

The Light of Christ
is an endless day
that knows no night.

St Maximus of Truin (Died 420)
Bishop, Father

There is nothing sweeter
than to be enlightened
and made beautiful, by this participation
and communion in the Light,
to have one’s heart softened,
one’s soul sanctified
and to be filled with a holy joy
all the days of this present life…
Truly, this Sun of Justice is,
for those who gaze at It,
the transmitter of joy
according to the prophecy of David:
“The just rejoice and exult before God,
they are glad and rejoice!

St Gregory of Agrigente (c 559-c 630)
Bishop

“As those who see light,
are in the light, sharing its brilliance,
so those who see God,
are in God, sharing His Glory
and that Glory gives them life.
To see God is to share in Life
.”

St Irenaeus (130-202)
Bishop, Father of the Church, Martyr

Posted in AUGUSTINIANS OSA, CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on MYSTERIES of our FAITH, St PAUL!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” – Acts 9:4.

One Minute Reflection – 25 January – Feast of the Conversion of St Paul , Apostle, Acts 9:1-22, Matthew 19,27-29.

“He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” – Acts 9:4.

REFLECTION – “How can we show that He is there and that He is also here? Let Paul answer for us, who was previously Saul. First of all, the Lord’s own Voice from Heaven shows this: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Had Paul climbed up to Heaven then? Had Paul even thrown a stone at Heaven? It was Christians he was persecuting, them he was tying up, them he was dragging off to be put to death, them he was everywhere hunting out of their hiding places and never sparing when he found them. To him the Lord said, “Saul, Saul.” Where is He crying out from? Heaven. So He’s up above. “Why are you persecuting Me?” So He’s down below.” – St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father and Doctor of the Church (Sermon 122).

PRAYER – Today Lord, we celebrate the conversion of St Paul, Your chosen vessel for carrying Your Name to the whole world. Help us to make our way towards You by following in his footsteps and by being Your disciples before the men and women of our day. Grant that by the prayers of St Paul, we too may say, “Yet I live, no longer I but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God Who has loved me and given himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20) Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.