Thought for the Day – 13 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“The Incarnation of God, was sufficient to have saved us. It would have been enough for God made man, to have offered Himself to God, for our redemption in a single act of love. Every act of Jesus, the God-Man, had infinite value and was, therefore, sufficient to be offered to the Father as an infinite satisfaction for all our sins.
But, if Jesus had desired to show more clearly His great love for us, He could have offered Hi sufferings as a child in the cold cave at Bethlehem, when He lay whimpering on a wretched straw bed. He could have offered the sorrow of His exile in Egypt, He could have offered a single drop of His Precious Blood , during the ceremony of the circumcision. He could have offered the difficulties and privations of His simple working life at Nazareth, or the fatiguing exertions of His apostolic journeys. All these, would have been more than enough to have made amends to the divine Father for all the sins of humanity, to have ransomed us from the devil and to have restored to us, God’s grace and love. But in God, everything is infinite. His love has no limit. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart,” He as commanded men “and with thy whole soul and with thy whole strength and with they whole mind and thy neighbour as thyself.” He, Himself, did infinitely more than this, however, Jesus was not satisfied merely to love us, His brothers by adoption, as He loved Himself but, He wished to love us “more than He loved Himself. Greater love than this no-one has,” He said, “that one lay down his life for his friends” (1 Jn 15:13). This was what he Himself did. Sinful though we are, He called us friends. “You are my friends” (Jn 15:14). Out of love for us, He gave Himself entirely. He perspired blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, He was betrayed by Judas, denied by Peter and, abandoned by the Apostles, He was bound like a criminal, insulted, scourged, crowned with thorns, condemned to death and burdened with a cross; finally, when He arrived at Calvary, He was nailed to the gibbet, where He shed His Precious Blood and gave His life for our redemption. Such was the extent of Jesus’ infinite love for us.
“Calvary” writes St Francis de Sales,“is the school of love.” The Saints were moved to tears by the strange spectacle of God-made-man, dying on the Cross for men. What is our reaction?”
One Minute Reflection – 10 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Wednesday of the Tenth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 1 Kings 18:20-39, Psalm 16:1-2, 4-5, 8, 11, Matthew 5:17-19
“I have come, not to abolish but to fulfil.” … Matthew 5:17
REFLECTION – “The sacrifice of the lamb, the Passover rite and the letter of the Law, have reached their term in Jesus Christ, in view of Whom, everything in the ancient Law took place – and, even more so, in the new dispensation. For the Law became the Word; from being old it became new … the commandments have been transformed into Grace and the foreshadowing into truth; the lamb has become the Son, the sheep has become man and man has become God. …
God though He was, the Lord put on our humanity; He suffered for him who was suffering, was bound for him who was captive, was judged for the guilty, was buried for him who was buried. He was raised from the dead and cried out in a loud voice: “If anyone wishes to oppose me, let us appear together” (Is 50,8). It is I who delivered the condemned man; I who restored life to the dead; I who raised up those in the grave. “Who disputes my right?” It is I, He says, I, who am the Christ, I, who destroyed death, who triumphed over the enemy, who bound the mighty enemy and carried off man to the heights of heaven; it is I, He says, who am the Christ.
Come along then, every human family, full of sin as you are and receive the forgiveness of your sins. For I Myself, am your forgiveness, I am the Passover of salvation, the Lamb slain for your sakes, your redemption, life and resurrection; I am your Light, your Salvation and your King. It is I, who lead you to the heights of heaven, I, who will raise you up; it is I, who will bring you to see the Father who is from all eternity; it is I, who will raise you up by My all-powerful Hand.” … St Melito of Sardis (Died c 180) Bishop, Apologist – Paschal Homily
PRAYER – Shed your clear light on our hearts, Lord, so that walking continually in the way of Your commandments, we may never be deceived or misled. May your Angels and Saints, pray for us. May the Mother of Our God and our Mother, be at our side and guide our way. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, amen.
Sunday Reflection – 17 May – Sixth Sunday of Easter
The Eucharist in the Plan of Salvation
“God, infinitely perfect and blessed in Himself, in a plan of sheer goodness, freely created man to make him share His own blessed life. For this reason . . . God draws close to man” (CCC 1). Out of the pure and unselfish love that is His very essence, God created the universe so that we could exist and enjoy His love forever.
To this end, He revealed Himself to the whole world through a “Chosen People,” established a covenant of love with them, revealed His law to them, sent them prophets and, finally, fulfilled His covenant by sending His eternal Son, who was born, lived, died, resurrected and ascended, so that we could be saved from sin and united to God.
Jesus Christ the Son of God, continued His presence and work among us, by appointing Apostles and establishing the Church, His “Mystical Body.”
God did all this for one reason – for the love-union with us that is achieved most perfectly in this life in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist rests on the authority of Christ, who instituted it (Lk 22:14-20). “Faithful to the Lord’s command, the Church continues to do . . . what He did . . . ” (CCC 1333). Those who reject what the Church teaches and does, whether they know it or not, really reject what Christ teaches and does, for the Church’s creed, cult and code – her theology, liturgy and morality – are all in His name, who said to the Apostles, “he who hears you, hears me” (Lk 10:16).
The Eucharist has always been controversial and divisive, as was Christ.
This is supremely ironic, for the Eucharist is the sacrament of unity with Christ and, through Him (the “one bread”), with His whole Body the Church (the “one body”).”
Prayer Before The Crucifix – The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass By St Vincent Strambi (1745-1824)
Jesus, by this Saving Sign, bless this listless soul of mine. Jesus, by Your feet nailed fast, mend the missteps of my past. Jesus, with Your riven hands, bend my will to love’s demands. Jesus, in Your Heart laid bare, warm my inner coldness there. Jesus, by Your thorn-crowned head, still my pride till it is dead. Jesus, by Your muted tongue, stay my words that hurt someone. Jesus, by Your tired eyes, open mine to faith’s surprise. Jesus, by Your fading breath, keep me faithful until death. Yes, Lord, by this Saving Sign, save this wayward soul of mine. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 6 May – ‘Mary’s Month” – Wednesday of the Fourth week of Easter, Readings: Acts 12:24–13:5, Psalm 67:2-3, 5-6, 8, John 12:44-50
“I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world”…John 12:47
REFLECTION – “It is not science that redeems man, man is redeemed by love. This applies even in terms of this present world. When someone has the experience of a great love in his life, this is a moment of “redemption” which gives a new meaning to his life. But soon, he will also realise that the love bestowed upon him cannot by itself resolve the question of his life. It is a love that remains fragile. It can be destroyed by death. The human being needs unconditional love. He needs the certainty which makes him say – “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38- 39). If this absolute love exists, with its absolute certainty, then—only then—is man “redeemed”, whatever should happen to him, in his particular circumstances.
This is what it means to say, Jesus Christ has “redeemed” us. Through Him we have become certain of God, a God who is not a remote “first cause” of the world, because His only-begotten Son has become man and of Him everyone can say: “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20)….Pope Benedict XVI – Encyclical “ Spe Salvi ”#26
PRAYER – Lord God, life of those who believe in You, glory of the humble and happiness of the Saints, listen kindly to our prayer. We long for what You promises, fill us from Your abundance, give us true faith and obedience. May the Blessed Virgin, Mother of Your Son, be our constant recourse. Through Our Lord, Jesus with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven,
star of the sea,
assist your people
who have fallen
yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature
you bore your Creator,
Yet remained a virgin
after as before.
You who received
Gabriel’s joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.
Marian Antiphon Traditionally Said from Advent to the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
Thought for the Day – 24 October – The Feast of the Holy Redeemer
St John Paul II from ‘Redemptor Hominis’ his first Enycyclical, ‘The Redeemer of Humankind.’ In it he dealt with the core of our faith, the Person of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the World.
10 . The human dimension of the mystery of the Redemption
We cannot live without love. We remain beings that are incomprehensible for ourselves, our lives are senseless, if love is not revealed to us, if we do not encounter love, if we do not experience it and make it our own, if we do not participate intimately in it. This, as has already been said, is why Christ the Redeemer “fully reveals man to himself”, ‘fully reveals us to ourselves’.
If we may use the expression, this is the human dimension of the mystery of the Redemption. In this dimension we find again the greatness, dignity and value that belong to our humanity.
In the mystery of the Redemption we become newly “expressed” and, in a way, are newly created. We are newly created! “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus”64.
If we wish to understand ourselves thoroughly-and not just in accordance with immediate, partial, often superficial and even illusory standards and measures of his being-we must with our unrest, uncertainty and even our weakness and sinfulness, with our life and death, draw near to Christ. We must, so to speak, enter into Him with all His own self, we must “appropriate” and assimilate the whole of the reality of the Incarnation and Redemption in order to find ourselves. If this profound process takes place within us, we then bear fruit not only of adoration of God but also of deep wonder at ourselves.
How precious must we be in the eyes of the Creator, if we “gained so great a Redeemer” and if God “gave his only Son “in order that we “should not perish but have eternal life”.
God does not leave us groping in the dark. He has shown Himself to us as a man. In His greatness, He has let Himself become small. ... Pope Benedict XVI
Pardon us, O Lord, Pardon us By William of Saint-Thierry OSB, O.Cist. (c 1075-1148) Abbot, Monk, Theologian, Mystic, Writer Friend of St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)
Pardon us, O Lord, pardon us.
We beg to shift the blame for our sins,
we make excuses.
But no-one can hide
from the Light of Your Truth,
which both enlightens those,
who turn to it and exposes those,
who turn away.
Even our blood and our bones
are visible to You,
who created us out of dust.
How foolish we are,
to think that we can rule our own lives,
satisfying our own desires,
without thought of You.
How stupid we are,
to imagine that we can keep our sins hidden.
But although we may deceive other people,
we cannot deceive You.
And since You see into our hearts,
we cannot deceive ourselves,
for Your Light reveals to us,
our own spiritual corruption.
Let us, therefore, fall down before You,
weeping with tears of shame.
May Your judgement,
give new shape to our souls.
May Your power, mould our hearts
to reflect Your love.
May Your grace, infuse our minds,
so that our thoughts reflect Your Will.
Quote of the Day – 24 October – The Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer
“Yes, my gentle Redeemer, let me say it, You are crazy with love! Is it not foolish for You to have wanted to die for me? But if You, my God, have become crazy with love for me, how can I not become crazy with love for You?”
St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
Most Zealous Doctor
One Minute Reflection – 24 October – Wednesday of the Twenty Ninth week in Ordinary Time Year C, Gospel: Luke 12:39-48 and The Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer
“Everyone to whom much is given, of him will much be required”…Luke 12:48
REFLECTION – “In various ways the Gospel modifies the challenge to Christians to live in a constant state of departing.
The more richly God has endowed Christians with gifts and thereby with assignments, the more God varies the requirement to live “underway.”
God’s assignments are carried out best if His servant, never loses sight of the fact, that he might be called to account at any moment – in other words – if every temporal moment is lived and shaped directly in and toward the light of eternity. If he forgets this immediacy, he has forgotten the content of his earthly mission and the justice and righteousness it incorporates (“he begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants”). It now becomes clear, that this justice-righteousness, can only be retained if the believer looks beyond the world to the requirements of eternal justice-righteousness, which is not merely an “idea” but is the living Lord, for whose appearance, all of the world history waits!” … Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)
PRAYER – Heavenly Father, help me to keep my death constantly before my eyes, for this is my final account. pray You for a holy life that my death may be holy and that I may come to You and live for all eternity with You. hen my hour is come, bid me come to You, Lord. ear the prayers of the Blessed Virgin, our Mother and your saints, who lived each moment of their lives for the glory of Your Kingdom. e ask this through Christ, our Lord with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!
Our Morning Offering – 23 October – Wednesday of the Twenty Ninth Week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer celebrated today by the Rdedemptorists
Jesus, My Saviour, Help Me By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Jesus, my Saviour, help me.
I am resolved truly to love You
and to leave all to please You.
Help me to free myself
from everything that hinders me
from belonging wholly to You
who have loved me so much.
By your prayers, O Mother Mary,
which are so powerful with God,
obtain for me this grace
to belong wholly to God.
The Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer was a Catholic liturgical feast. It is celebrated in Venice as the Festa del Redentore. It is also celebrated by the Redemptorists and was celebrated in the City of Rome.
The feast is found only in the special calendar of some dioceses and religious orders and is celebrated with proper Mass and Office either on the third Sunday of July or on 23 October. In Venice this feast has been observed for more than four centuries with great solemnity. In 1576 a plague broke out in Venice which in a few days carried off thousands of victims. To avert this scourge the Senate vowed to erect a splendid temple to the Redeemer of mankind and to offer therein, each year, on the third Sunday of July public and solemn services of thanksgiving. Scarcely had the plague ceased, when they began to fulfil their vow. The church was designed by the famous Andrea Palladio and the corner-stone was laid by the Patriarch Trevisan on 3 May 1577. The celebrated painters Paolo Veronese and Jacopo Tintoretto decorated the interior. The church was consecrated in 1592 and, at the urgent solicitations of Pope Gregory XIII, placed in charge of the Capuchin Fathers.
By concession of Pope Benedict XIV, dated 8 March 1749, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer solemnises this feast as a double of the first class with an octave on the third Sunday of July. The same congregation also keeps the feast as a greater double on 23 October and 25 February and has, besides, the privilege of reciting once a month the votive office of the Most Holy Redeemer.
In Rome also Pope Pius VIII introduced the feast and by a Decree of 8 May 1830, the Sacred Congregation of Rites assigned it to 23 October. The characteristics of the Mass and Office are joy and gratitude for the ineffable graces and benefits of the Redemption. This appears especially from the Introit “Gaudens gaudebo”, from the antiphons of Lauds “Cantate Domino”, from the Epistle of the Mass, taken from St Paul to the Ephesians, (chapter 1), “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings . . . in Christ”. For this reason white is the colour of the vestments and not red, as in the Mass of the Passion.
Why do Redemptorists celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Redeemer?
Who are Redemptorists?
A young priest, Alphonsus de Liguori, 36 years of age, gathered a group of companions around him in November of 1732. He was passionate about reaching out to people who were abandoned, socially and religiously, in the countryside all around the then-great city of Naples, in Italy. They were ‘like sheep without a shepherd’. After a shaky start -his first companions left him -he gathered a group of like-minded men around him, who had the same passion, to go out to people, to share the Good News of Jesus of Nazareth with them, to show them the divine dignity that was in each human being and to share with them, the wonder of being redeemed, being set free, by the blood that Jesus shed for all people, everywhere.
That was the dream then. That is still the same dream now. Redemptorists all over the world (about 6000 in number) and their companions work to bring the joy of the Gospel to everyone we meet. ‘Caritas Christi urget nos’ –Christ’s love drives us.
‘Simon, do you love me?’ asked Jesus of Simon Peter. ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you’. ‘Feed my sheep!’ That’s what the young Alphonsus taught, again and again, that Redemptorists are to be about – if we love Jesus Christ (‘Jesus Christ is the centre of your life’ as a group – this is in our Constitutions), If we love Him, we will feed his people constantly. Hold us to it!
Why the name ‘Redemptorists’? The full title in Latin is ‘Congregatio Santissimi Redemptoris’ – a congregation of priests and brothers, under the title of ‘The Most Holy Redeemer’. In Italy, we are known as the Missionari Redentoristi, (playing on the word Redemptoris, in the Latin) and in Ireland we call ourselves ‘Redemptorist Missionaries’. Our middle name is SENT – just like Jesus! Everything about us is meant to reflect that -the way we live, the way we work, the way we pray, the joy in us, our community life together around the person of Jesus, the Redeemer. ‘The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve’, Jesus said.
And St Mark tells us, about the calling of the Twelve Apostles: ‘he called them to be with him and to go out.’ ‘ To be with him’ in our lives, in our prayer and preparation, ‘to go out’ in our efforts always to reach out, to go to people, to be with them along the road of life, to go out physically to people, to reach out by all media available.
The Nuns of the Redemptoristine Order were founded one year before us. They live enclosed lives of prayer for the whole world. In Ireland, they are in Drumcondra, in St Alphonsus’ Monastery, St Alphonsus Road.
Both the Redemptoristines and the Redemptorists are constantly praying that young women and young men, in their twenties and older, will come and share the passion in us for people. We want the work of the Most Holy Redeemer to continue into future generations. … (Redemptorists, Ireland).
‘Every new generation is a continent to be won for Christ!’ (St John Paul II)
St Benedict of Sebaste
St Gratien of Amiens
St Henry of Cologne
St Ignatius of Constantinople
Bl John Angelo Porro
Bl John Buoni
St John of Syracuse
Oda of Aquitaine
St Phaolô Tong Viet Buong
St Romanus of Rouen
Bl Severinus Boethius
St Severinus of Cologne
Syra of Faremoutiers
St Theodoret of Antioch
Bl Thomas Thwing
St Verus of Salerno
Martyrs of Cadiz – 2 saints
Martyrs of Hadrianopolis – 2 saints
Martyrs of Nicaea – 3 saints
Martyrs of Valenciennes – 6 beati: A group of Urusuline and Briggittine nuns murdered together in the anti-Christian excesses of the French Revolution. They were guillotined on 23 October 1794 in Valenciennes, Nord, France and Beatified on 13 June 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.
• Anne-Joseph Leroux
• Clotilde-Joseph Paillot
• Jeanne-Louise Barré
• Marie-Augustine Erraux
• Marie-Liévine Lacroix
• Marie-Marguerite-Joseph Leroux
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War including Martyrs of Manzanares (7 beati):
• Agapit Gorgues Manresa
• Agustín Nogal Tobar
• Andrés Navarro Sierra
• César Elexgaray Otazua
• Cristóbal González Carcedo
• Dorinda Sotelo Rodríguez
• Eduardo Valverde Rodríguez
• Felipe Basauri Altube
• José María Fernández Sánchez
• Juan Nuñez Orcajo
• Leonardo Olivera Buera
• Manuel Navarro Martínez
• Roque Guillén Garcés
• Toribia Marticorena Sola