Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on PEACE, The BEATITUDES

Thought for the Day – 31 January – Blessed are Those who Love Peace

Thought for the Day – 31 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Blessed are Those who Love Peace

“Blessed are the peacemakers,” Our Lord says, “for they shall be called children of God” (Mt 5:9).

All those who are in the state of grace and, therefore, living on the supernatural plane, are the adopted sons of God and shares in His divine nature (Cf 2 Peter 1:4), which they will enjoy one day in the Beatific Vision.
Our Saviour, however, refers to those who love peace, as being in a special way, the sons of God.
Why is this?
St Augustine offers the real explanation (Cf De Serm Domini, lib 1, Cap 2).   God is perfect peace and harmony.   In Him, there is no conflict.   His being and His activity, are identical.   He is perfect unity and simplicity, eternal and unaffected by the limitations of space and time.
Now, the son, should be a living image of the father.
Those who reflect, although necessarily in a limited way, this peace, harmony and serene activity in their own personality, deserve to be called, in a special way, the sons of God. They are the true lovers of peace.

Antonio Cardinal Baccigod is perfect peace and harmony bacci 31 jan 2020

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 DIVINE MERCY, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on FORGIVENESS, QUOTES on MERCY, The BEATITUDES, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 28 January – Blessed are the Merciful

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

Blessed are the Merciful

this parable refers to all of us - blessed are the merciful bacci - 28 jan 2020

If we want God to show mercy to us, we must be merciful to those who are in material or spiritual distress.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7)

Let us recall the Gospel parable about the king who was making out the accounts of all his servants.
One man was brought before him who owed him the enormous sum of ten thousand talents.
He had no means of paying the debt.
In order to obtain at least some compensation, the king ordered that this servant should be sold, together with his wife and children.
But the servant wept and implored, so that the king was moved with pity and pardoned him completely.
When the servant had left the king’s presence, he met a fellow servant who owed him a small sum, namely, one hundred pieces of silver.
He threw himself angrily upon him immediately.
The unfortunate fellow began begging for mercy with tears in his eyes but, it was no use.
He was flung into prison and condemned to forced labour until such time as the debt would be paid.
Soon afterwards, the king came to hear of this incident.
He was furious with the cruel servant and ordered him to be put in prison and severely punished (Mt 18:23-25).

This parable refers to all of us.
What debts we have contracted before God!
Nevertheless, He is prepared to forgive us everything, provided that we are also merciful towards our fellowmen.
This should be a comforting assurance.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on WEALTH/RICHES, The BEATITUDES, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 26 January – Blessed are the Poor

Thought for the Day – 26 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Blessed are the Poor

love of riches may cause the rich man - bacci 26 jan 2020

“Blessed are the rich.”
This, is the judgement of the world.
But Jesus says: “Blessed are you poor” (Lk 6:20).
Whom are we to believe?
Naturally, we must believe Jesus.
A certain amount of confusion could arise, however, in our understanding of this maxim.
It becomes clear from the context of St Lk and still clearer in the words of St Matthew, who writes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Mt 5:3).
It is necessary, therefore, as St Jerome and others have commented, to be poor in our detachment from our possessions.

If a poor man longs for riches and envies and hates the wealthy because of their possessions, he is NOT poor in spirit.
So he cannot receive the blessing of which Our Lord spoke.
In the same way, a rich man may be attached to his great wealth.
Perhaps he aims at nothing else but to increase it and, because he is thinking of it all the time, neglects his duty to God and to his neighbour.
Above all, love of riches may causes him to be lacking in justice and charity.
The behaviour of such a man is contrary to the law of God.
Meditate carefully on this point and do not neglect to make, whatever resolutions, seem necessary.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, HYMNS, Lady POVERTY, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, QUOTES on MERCY, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, The BEATITUDES, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 25 November – Give us a pure and lowly heart, a temple fit for Thee…

Thought for the Day – 25 November – Monday of the Thirty Fourth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel:  Luke 21:1-4

Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (1813–1853)
“Servant to the Poor”
and Founder of the St Vincent de Paul Society

“Society today seems to me to be not unlike the wayfarer described in the parable of the Good Samaritan.   For while journeying along the road, mapped out for it by Christ, it has been set upon by thieves of evil human thought.   Bad men have despoiled the wayfarer of all his goods, of the treasures of faith and love… .   The priests and the Levites have passed him by.   But this time, being real priests and true Levites, they have approached the suffering, wretched creature and attempted to cure him.   But in his delirium he has not recognised them and has driven them away.   Then we, weak Samaritans, outsiders as we are, have dared to approach this great sick patient.   Perhaps he will be less affrighted by us?   Let us try to measure the extent of his wounds, in order to pour oil into them.   Let us make words of peace and consolation ringing in his ears.   Then, when his eyes are opened, we will hand him over to the tender care of those, whom God has chosen, to be the guardians and doctors of souls.”society today seems to me - bl frederic ozanam - 25 nov 2019 speaking of mercy luke 21 1-4 the widow's mite.jpg

Blest are the pure in heart,
for they shall see our God,
the secret of the Lord is theirs,
their soul is Christ’s abode.

The Lord, who left the heavens,
our life and peace to bring,
to dwell in lowliness with men,
their pattern and their King.

Still to the lowly soul,
He does Himself impart
and for His dwelling and His throne,
chooses the pure in heart.

Lord, we Thy presence seek,
May ours this blessing be:
give us a pure and lowly heart,
a temple fit for Thee.blest are the pure in heart - 25 nov 2019 - speaking of mercy thought for the day bl frederic ozanam

Posted in MARTYRS, ON the SAINTS, PAPAL HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on MARTYRDOM, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CHURCH, QUOTES on VIOLENCE, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL, The BEATITUDES

Thought for the Day – 19 October – “One doesn’t suffer when one suffers for Christ”

Thought for the Day – 19 October – The Memorial of Bl Jerzy Popiełuszko (1947-1984) Priest and Martyr

This beloved and unassuming young priest of Poland was a true hero of that tortured land during the Soviet Communist occupation.   Now a Blessed, Father Jerzy was beloved by everyone in his homeland, believers and non-believers alike, because of his bravery in the face of extreme hatred on the part of the Communist officials.   His story should be much more widely known than it is.

Never in good health, the strongest part of Father Jerzy were his hands.   His most beloved possessions were the crucifix and Rosary sent to him by St Pope John Paul II, a fellow countryman.   He was sickly his whole life, yet he never complained of illness or injury.   One day, when he was making toys with his brothers and sisters, a nail pierced his palm. Later, one of the children noticed blood dripping from his hand.   One of his siblings told the parents because young Jerzy did not want to bother anyone.

Young Jerzy’s great hero was Saint Maximillian Kolbe, another Polish priest who gave his life to save another prisoner – a man with a family – at Auschwitz.   He determined early on to become a priest but kept it a secret so that the authorities could not alter his examination results or pressure the family to keep him out of the seminary.

In 1966, his entire seminary class was drafted into the special indoctrination unit in violation of a church-state agreement.   This cruel treatment was reserved for the most outspoken church leaders, including the future St Pope John Paul II.

The horrible treatment he received in this “special unit” broke his health but not his spirit.   He wrote to his father “It turned out to be very tough but I can’t be broken by threats or torture.”   His seminary professors demanded that he take a period of rest but he refused.   “One doesn’t suffer when one suffers for Christ,” was his reply.

St Pope John Paul said, on his apostolic journey to Poland in 1999:

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:10).

“Our century too has written a great martyrology.   I myself, in the course of the twenty years of my papacy, have raised to the glory of the altars many groups of martyrs: Japonese, French, Vietnamese, Spanish, Mexican.   And how many martyrs there were during the time of the Second World War and under Communist totalitarianism!   They suffered and gave their lives in the death camps of Hitler or those of the Soviets.   In a few days, in Warsaw, I will beatify 108 martyrs who gave their lives for the faith in the concentration camps.   Now is the time to remember all these victims and to grant them the honour which is their due.   These are “the martyrs, many of them nameless, ‘unknown soldiers’ as it were of God’s great cause”, as I wrote in the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente (No. 37).   And it is good that we speak of them in Poland, since this country had a special role in this contemporary martyrology.   It is good that we speak of them in Bydgoszcz!   All gave testimony of fidelity to Christ in spite of sufferings which horrify us by their cruelty.   Their blood was poured out on our land and made it fertile for growth and for the harvest.   That same blood continues to bring forth fruit a hundredfold for our nation, which perseveres faithfully alongside Christ and the Gospel.   Let us persevere unceasingly in union with them.   Let us thank God that they emerged victorious from their labours:   “God … tried them like gold in the furnace, and like a sacrificial offering he accepted them” (Wis 3:6).   They represent for us a model to be followed.   From their blood we ought to draw strength for the sacrifice of our own life, which we must offer to God each day.   They are an example for us, so that, like them, we may give a courageous witness of fidelity to the Cross of Christ.

4. “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you … on my account” (Mt 5:11).

Christ does not promise an easy life to those who follow Him.   Instead, He proclaims that, by living according to the Gospel, they are to become a sign of contradiction.   If He Himself suffered persecution, so too will His disciples:   “Beware of men”, he says, “for they will deliver you up to councils and flog you in their synagogues” (Mt 10:17).

Dear Brothers and Sisters!   Every Christian, united to Christ through the grace of Holy Baptism, has become a member of the Church and “no longer is his own” (cf. 1 Cor 6:19) but belongs to the one who died and rose for our sake.   From that moment on, the baptised enter into a particular bond of community with Christ and His Church.   They, therefore, have the duty of professing before others the faith they have received from God through the Church.   At times this demands great sacrifice on our part, to be offered each day and sometimes for an entire lifetime.   This firm perseverance alongside Christ and His Gospel, this readiness to face “sufferings for righteousness’ sake”, often involve acts of heroism and can take the form of an authentic martyrdom, carried out every day and at every moment of life, drop by drop, until the final “it is finished”.” – Homily in Bydgoszcz – Monday, 7 June 1999 (Excerpt)

The enemies of Christ rule Poland no more!

Blessed Jerzy, Pray, for us!one doesn't suffer when one suffers for christ bl jerzy pray for us 19 oct 2019.jpg

Posted in MARTYRS, NOTES to Followers, SAINT of the DAY, The BEATITUDES

Thought for the Day – 11 September – “Blessed are you when men hate you”

Thought for the Day – 11 September – – Wednesday of the Twenty-third week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 6:20–26 and The Memorial of St John Gabriel Perboyre (1802-1840) Martyr of the Congregation of the Mission

“Blessed are you when men hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!   Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven, for so their fathers did to the prophets. ... Luke 6:22-23

A sermon he heard at age 15 inspired St John Gabriel to become a missionary in China. There he met a brutal death on a cross for refusing to renounce his faith.

Born in France in 1802, Jean-Gabriel became a Vincentian priest.   He displayed so many gifts and had such fine personal and spiritual qualities that, for a time, his religious order kept him busy closer to home.

He finally received permission to begin his missionary endeavours in 1835.   After a 1,000-mile trip by boat and foot across three provinces, he arrived in central China.   In one early letter, written to his community in Paris, he described himself as a curious sight –  “my head shaved, a long pig-tail, stammering my new languages, eating with chopsticks.”

He soon joined the Vincentians in helping to rescue abandoned Chinese children and in educating them in the Catholic faith.   He was arrested in 1839 under an edict that banned Christianity.   He was tortured and interrogated for months.   Almost one year later he was executed by strangling while hanging on a cross.

Saint Jean-Gabriel was Canonised by St Pope John Paul II in 1996.   Chinese government officials denied permission for any public Mass commemorating the new saint.

So many saints seem to have lived centuries ago.   Jean-Gabriel is far more recent and we can identify better with his life and circumstances.   His life and death speak to us of living the faith in our own times and places, for these are times of great persecution and endurance for the Son of man!

St John Gabriel Perboyre, pray for us!st john gabriel perboyre - pray for us.2.jpg