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Thought for the Day – 16 January – Heaven 1

Thought for the Day – 16 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Thursday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A

Heaven 1

in comparison with the poor pleasures of this world bacci 16 jan 2020 heaven 1

“Faith teaches us, that the soul which is in the state of grace and has expiated all the temporal punishments due to it’s sins, goes immediately to Heaven when it is separated from the body.
There, the soul enjoys eternal happiness.   It sees God, face-to-face.   It sees Him without any intervention of created things but, as He is, in Himself, in the Unity and Trinity of His infinte perfections.

In this beatific vision, the intellect remains completely satisfied, because, in God, there is every truth, beauty and goodness.
The will abandons itself entirely to the will of God, desiring nothing else and loving nothing else but God alone.
There springs from this abandonment, a love which satisfies every desire, an inexpressible joy and a boundless peace.
The happy soul will see the Blessed Virgin, too and she will smile upon it with maternal tenderness.
It will see the Angels and Saints gathered around the King of Kings and the Queen of Heaven, singing their praises.
St Paul, who was taken up to the third Heaven, tells us, that it is impossible to imagine or to describe, the unknown joys which are experienced there.
In comparison with the eternal happiness of Heaven, the poor pleasures of this world are empty shadows.
We cannot imagine the happiness of those, who have gained Heaven, by their good lives upon earth.
The concept of Heaven is so beautiful and immense, that it caused the Saints to desire death as a means of going there.
They welcomed suffering, too, because it brought them nearer to their goal.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on HELL, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 15 January – HELL 3

Thought for the Day – 15 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

HELL 3

it is not god who is relentless - bacci 15 jan 2020 hell 3.jpg

“The greatest punishment, however, will be that of LOSS.
This is the knowledge that we have lost forever, our one, true and highest good.
God Himself!
The soul will now understand, fully, what it means to have lost God forever.
It will feel irresistibly, the need to be united with Him and to see, enjoy and love Him.
But, at the same time, it will KNOW that God has cast it away from Himself for all eternity, “Go, accursed soul, into everlasting fire!”
Then, the irresistible need for God, will turn to hate and eternal malediction.

The terrifying reality of hell, should not leave us amazed, as if it were an act of implacable severity.
Rather, it should be a warning to us.
God should not seem to us to be a pitiless judge but a judge who is infinitely just and infinitely good.
Rather than send us to hell, God gave us His only-begotten Son, Who died on the Cross for our sins.
Just as the Redemption is a work of infinite love and goodness, so hell is a work of infinite justice.

If we reflect on the mystery of the Incarnation, on the Redemption and on the death of the Son of God, it will appear that, omnipotent though He is, He could not have done more to save us.
The divine work of the Redemption explains the mystery of the eternity of hell.
It is not God Who is relentless.
It is the damned soul which was relentlessly ungrateful towards the infinitely good and merciful God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HELL, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 14 January – HELL 2

Thought for the Day – 14 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Tuesday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A

HELL 2

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“In that place of never-ending suffering, there will be three punishments to torture us.
There will be the worm of conscience which does not die – “Their worm dies not” (Mk 9:43).
This is the awful realisation that we could have saved ourselves but are lost for all eternity, that God gave us so many graces and we damned ourselves, by abusing them.
Now there is no longer any remedy, because the mercy of God has been succeeded once and for all, by His justice.

In the second place, there is fire!
This is a real fire but altogether different from the material fire we know in this world, which was created by God for our benefit and service.
The fire of hell, on the other hand, was created by Divine Justice, purely to punish us.
It is a special kind of fire which tortures body and soul and the rebel angels, as well as damned human beings.
It could be called discerning, insofar, as it torments, more or less mercilessly, according to the gravity of the sin.
These flames embrace every evil and exclude every good.
They are flames which will never be extinguished, flames which burn but do not consume, flames without light – dark and accompanied by the shrieking of eternal despair.
The very thought of this horrible dungeon of torments should spur us onto begin immediately, a life of virtue and Christian perfection.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, The LAST THINGS, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 13 January – HELL 1

Thought for the Day – 13 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Monday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A

HELL 1

remember that a singel mortal sin - bacci - hell 1 13 jan 2020

“In whatever you do, remember your last days and you will never sin.” (Eccl 7:36)

“The meditation considered, by the masters of the spiritual life, to be the most useful for rousing the soul from sin, or from a state of torpor, is that on the last things, in other words, on what will happen to us at the end of life.
Amongst these last things, hell is the most terrifying.
Yet, if the mercy of God did not sustain us, we could fall into hell at any moment.
St John Chrysostom meditated on hell everyday.
All the Saints have found in this meditation, the first steps on the way to perfection.
Remember, that a single mortal sin, would merit hell for us.
In that moment, the sinner could have been already hurled into the abyss of torments.
Let us imagine, that we are there …. and, that the goodness and mercy of God has released us from those everlasting, all-devouring flames.   If this should happen, all the sacrifices, which virtue demands, would seem so easy and pleasant.
How ready we should be to do anything, sooner than return to that chasm of eternal sorrow!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DESPAIR, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on SIN, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 11 January – The Death of the Sinner

Thought for the Day – 11 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Saturday after Epiphany

The Death of the Sinnerit is the height of stupidity - bacci - 11 jan 2020.jpg

“The Sinner must also die.
For him death is really terrible.
Imagine him lying on his deathbed, instinctively aware, that his life is over.
The past will rise up to reproach him, a past full of sin and of ingratitude towards his Creator and Redeemer.
The plans which he has centred around profit, ambition and honour, will have vanished like smoke.
His friends, will have either deserted him, or will be at hand, to utter useless words, which will have no power to comfort him.
Now he must stand alone, alone before God!

What will happen, at that moment?
Perhaps, despair will overcome his soul, as it overcame the soul of Judas?
Perhaps, the innumerable graces which he has despised, will tip the balance of Divine Justice towards the abyss of damnation?
Or, will a final ray of mercy pierce his tired mind, burning with remorse, so that, with it’s last throb, his poor heart will torn towards God and implore His pardon?
Who can say?
It is certain, however, that of the two thieves dying beside the Cross of our Redeemer, only one heard Him say:
“This day, you will be with me in Paradise!”
The other, remained obdurate in his sin.
It is the height of stupidity, to wait to be converted, at the hour of death!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DEATH, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 8 January – Death

Thought for the Day – 8 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Third Day after Epiphany

Death

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In theory, everybody believes in death.
In practice, many live as if they did not believe in it.
So, it is necessary and helpful, for us to meditate on death.
We begin to die on the day when we were born.
People say:  “I have lived twenty, thirty or forty years.” But, if they said, “I have used up twenty or thirty or forty years of my life,” how many would then be left?   We do not know, we only know that death will come at the very moment when we least expect it.
Let us always be prepared.
“You also must be ready, because at an hour that you do not expect, the Son of Man is coming.” (Lk 12:40)

We must always be ready.
Let our faith be lively and active and our minds turned towards God, Who is waiting for us.
There is no need to be afraid.
He is good and merciful.
He desires our salvation.
This is a wonderfully consoling thought.   God desires my salvation!
Let us surrender ourselves to Him, therefore, as if we had to die this very moment!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT PRAYERS, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The LAST THINGS, The SECOND COMING

Thought for the Day – 1 December – On the Twofold Coming of Christ – St Cyril of Jerusalem

Thought for the Day – 1 December – The First Sunday of Advent, Year A

On the Twofold Coming of Christ

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

An excerpt from Catechetical Instruction, Catechesis 15

We do not preach only one coming of Christ but a second as well, much more glorious than the first.   The first coming was marked by patience, the second will bring the crown of a divine kingdom.

In general, whatever relates to our Lord Jesus Christ has two aspects.   There is a birth from God before the ages and a birth from a virgin at the fullness of time.   There is a hidden coming, like that of rain on fleece and a coming before all eyes, still in the future.

At the first coming He was wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger.   At His second coming He will be clothed in light as in a garment.   In the first coming He endured the cross, despising the shame;  in the second coming He will be in glory, escorted by an army of angels.   We look then beyond the first coming and await the second.   At the first coming we said – Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.   At the second we shall say it again, we shall go out with the angels to meet the Lord and cry out in adoration – Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
The Savior will not come to be judged again, but to judge those by whom he was judged. At His own judgement He was silent, then He will address those who committed the outrages against Him when they crucified Him and will remind them – You did these things and I was silent.

His first coming was to fulfil His plan of love, to teach men by gentle persuasion.   This time, whether men like it or not, they will be subjects of His kingdom by necessity. Malachi the prophet speaks of the two comings.   And the Lord whom you seek will come suddenly to His temple – that is one coming.

Again he says of another coming – Look, the Lord almighty will come and who will endure the day of His entry, or who will stand in His sight?   Because he comes like a refiner’s fire, a fuller’s herb and He will sit refining and cleansing.

These two comings are also referred to by Paul in writing to Titus – The grace of God the Saviour has appeared to all men, instructing us to put aside impiety and worldly desires and live temperately, uprightly and religiously in this present age, waiting for the joyful hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.   Notice how he speaks of a first coming for which he gives thanks and a second, the one we still await.

That is why the faith we profess has been handed on to you in these words:  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father and He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and His kingdom will have no end.

Our Lord Jesus Christ will therefore come from heaven.   He will come at the end of the world, in glory, at the last day.   For there will be an end to this world and the created world will be made new.

Grant, almighty Father,
that when Christ comes again,
we may go out to meet Him,
bearing the harvest of good works,
achieved by Your Grace.
We pray, that He will receive us
into the company of the saints
and call us into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Through Christ, our Lord,
with the Holy Spirit,
God for all eternity,
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