Thought for the Day – 30 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Death of the Just
Consider now the death of the just man. Through his dying tears, he also will see the world slipping away from him. But, one thing will remain to comfort him, namely, the memory of his good actions, of the virtues he acquired, of his fervent prayers and of his voluntary mortifications. Above all, there will remain his great love of God, for Whom he has lived, worked and drawn breath. In that moment, this love will even increase the flaming desire consuming his poor, frail body, to be united to God. He will be able to say, as some of the Saints have said – “I never thought it would be so sweet to die.” With St Louis, he will be able top say: “I am going joyfully to meet my God.” He will be able to exclaim with St Charles: “I long for my body to be dissolved, so that I may be with Christ!” (Phil 1:23)
In the sight of God, the death of the good man is a very precious thing. “Precious in the eyes of the Lord, is the death of His faithful ones” (Ps 115:6)
Thought for the Day – 8 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Mary, Mother of God
“The near-infinite greatness of Mary, flows from the fact, that she is the Mother of God. The Eternal Word of the Father, consubstantial with Him in nature and equal to Him in majesty, willed to become man in order to set us free from the slavery of sin and to regain Heaven for us. He became man in the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary. He took a human body and soul and was born of her, as the God-Man. For this reason, there is attributed to His Divine Person, the title of Son of Mary and to Mary, the title of Mother of God.
There is a relationship between Mary and each of the three Divine Persons, for she is the daughter of God the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit by whose power the Word became incarnate in her and the mother of the Word made Man. She is, moreover, in the words of Dante, the “termine fisso di eterno consiglio” (Paradiso 33:1-3). In other words, she is the centre of the eternal plan which God established for the redemption of the human race. It was God’s eternal design to reunite creation to the Uncreated, by means of Mary. She became the mother of the Eternal Word, in whom the divine and human natures were indissolubly united. He redeemed us by His infinite merits but, in this work of redemption, He employed the co-operation of His holy Mother. All the graces, privileges and virtues of Mary, flow from this great mystery of her divine Motherhood. As befitted the future Mother of God, she was conceived free from the stain of original sin and full of grace. Her mortal life was a continuous ascent towards the highest peak of sanctity. When she died, she was assumed body and soul into Heaven, where she was crowned in glory, as Queen of Angels and Queen of Saints. When we consider the sublime nobility of Our Lady, we should be moved to love and venerate her. This love and veneration does not subtract in the slightest from God’s glory, because, she is the Mother of God. In fact, it is a great advantage to us, to imitate her and to call on her to intercede for us.”
Madonna dei Miracoli / Our Lady of the Miracles, Alcamo, Sicily (1547) – 21 June:
The cult of Our Lady of the Miracles in Alcamo dates to 21 June 1547, the day people remember the Madonna’s apparition to some women near a stream running north of Alcamo. According to tradition while washing their clothes in the stream, the women, with a blind and a deaf one among them, saw the apparition of a woman with a child and were hit by a gust of pebbles, during the apparition but without receiving any injury or pain; on the contrary, after being hit by the pebbles, they strangely felt a certain sense of wellbeing and recovered their health. After learning the news, the women’s husbands, thinking that it was a joke, went to investigate, thinking that someone was hidden among the bushes but they didn’t find anybody. Then the local authorities inquired on the spot, cut down the near grove and found the ruins of a “cuba,” an old arc of a mill that nobody remembered any longer and insidem there was a fresco on a stone made by an anonymous painter of the 13th century representing Our Lady with the Child Jesus, which at first. the believers called “Madonna Fons Misericordiae” (that is Our Lady Source of Mercy).
After this discovery, all the people started praying before the rediscovered image and in the following days there were several miracles. Our Lady of Miracles became the Patron of Alcamo, in substitution of the Holy Crucified, who was the Patron Saint of Alcamo and other near small towns (among which Calatafimi and Salemi). The old Patron Saint’s memory however, remains: in fact, they call St Francesco of Paola “santu patri” (whose translation means “Patron Saint”) as the Church named after him was called the Holy Crucified Church. The Madonna’s discovered image was first called “Our Lady Source of Mercy” but thanks to the high number of subsequent miracles, in 1583 the name was changed into “Our Lady of Miracles”. Further to these events, Don Fernando Vega, Alcamo’s governor, ordered the construction of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Miracles, which hosts the Madonna’s image. Inside the Church there is a white marble sarcophagus containing the mortal remains of the governor Don Fernando Vega, according to his will.
Every year in Alcamo there are the celebrations in honour of Our Lady of Miracles from 19 June until 21 of June. This is the most important religious festivity in Alcamo. The real celebrations are often anticipated by other events, so extending the feast to about two weeks, in this way the beginning of the celebrations changes every year, while the last day is always the 21 June. The celebrations include: The pealing of church bells” which opens the celebrations together with the burst of fireworks and the passing of the band through the town streets; in the past Alcamo’s band also joined the musical band of Partinico (a neighbouring small town). The Holy Mass in honour of Our Lady of Miracles in the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta (also called “Mother Church”), in which all confraternities and laity groups in Alcamo take part. The procession to the Sanctuary of Madonna of Miracles (called “calata”), in which all civil and religious authorities of the town (together with the Mayor) take part; they are preceded by the band of the town. In old times people took also the animals that had recovered from an illness. Inside the Sanctuary they sing Vespers and then there is the Eucharistic Blessing/Benediction.
St Raymond of Barbastro St Rufinus of Syracuse St Suibhne the Sage St Terence St Ursicenus of Pavia — Martyrs of Taw – 3+ saints: Three Christians of different backgrounds who were martyred together – Moses, Paphnutius, Thomas. They were beheaded in Taw, Egypt, date unknown.
Easter Friday – Day Six in the Easter Octave +2021
Notre-Dames de Myans, Savoie / Our Lady of Myans, Savoy, France (1249) – 9 April:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “It is believed that this image, in the year 1249, prevented the thunder, which had already consumed the Town of Saint Andre with sixteen villages, from going farther and was the cause of its stopping at Myans.”
Our Lady of Myans in Savoy, is located on a little hill between Modane and Chambery near the Mont Cenis tunnel. It can be easily recognised, as there is a huge statue of the Blessed Virgin standing atop the Shrine’s belfry. The Shrine has been a pilgrimage site since at least the thirteenth century, and its small ‘Black Virgin’ was an object of the devotion of Saint Francis de Sales. The foundation of the Shrine is no longer remembered but the Church became famous for a miracle that occurred there in 1248.
On the evening of 24 November of that year, a tremendous earthquake shook the region causing Mont Granier, the tallest mountain of the Chartreuse Massif, to disintegrate into huge boulders, which came crashing down into the valley. Some of these boulders, were the size of a house, and 16 villages were crushed and 5,000 lives lost. The Shurch of Myans, however, was spared, though gigantic boulders were stopped abruptly at the very door of the Church. Some of these boulders can still be seen around the church grounds.
A marvellous answer to prayer occurred in 1534, in favour of Jean Grandis of Savoy, who was on a vessel bound from Genoa to Leghorn. When the ship was threatened during a tempest and seemed likely to sink, Jean Grandis called upon Our Lady of Myans, Queen of Savoy. Battered by the waves, the ship foundered and sank. Jean Grandis was the only survivor. As a gesture of thanksgiving, he travelled barefoot to the Shrine and there placed his ex-voto. It is said to be one of the oldest to survive.
Another miracle attributed to Our Lady of Myans was in favour of the brother of Saint Francis de Sales, Count Louis de Sales, who in 1603 was travelling to the Chateau of Cusy to marry Claudine Philiberte de Pingon. Since there was no bridge in sight, the Count attempted to cross the River Cheran at a place that he thought was shallow and safe. However, the Count was swept away by flood water. Invoking the name of Our Lady of Myans and promising to make a pilgrimage, he was suddenly thrust onto an obstruction that saved his life. The wedding ceremony was conducted on 2 April. The next day, Saint Francis de Sales offered a Mass of thanksgiving in the little Crypt Chapel before the miraculous image of Our Lady of Myans.
The Black Madonna of Myans, venerated in the Crypt (lower church), is a 70cm high wooden statue, representing the seated Virgin. It dates to around the 12 th century . With her left arm, she presents the Child Jesus seated on her knees. Under the stiff folds of the mantle, the detail of the attitudes fades and the Virgin appears to be standing. She is a virgin of majesty . The mantle of the Statue is in fine moiré gold cloth, revealing a dress in silver cloth. The whole forms a royal adornment. The Virgin was crowned on 17 August 1905 by decision of Pope Pius X who delegated, for this purpose, Cardinal Couillé, Prelate of Gauls, Archbishop of Lyon, surrounded by 5 Bishops and more than 20,000 faithful.
The Church was half destroyed during the French Revolution but the Statue was saved and later enshrined again in the restored building, where it was crowned in 1905. The Sanctuary is particularly resorted to by pilgrimages of men and the image was taken to Rome by a Savoyard pilgrimage for the definition of the Dogma of the Assumption in the year 1950. At the entrance to the choir is evoked the disaster of the landslide of Granier. In the vault of the nave of the lower Church are painted ten unforgettable figures of the Saints and blessed of Savoy and Dauphiné, including St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) and St Louis of Savoy (1462-1508).
In 1855, the steeple, half demolished during the revolution, was raised in its current form to serve as a pedestal for a monumental Statue which crowns its summit. This Statue, executed in Paris by the sculptor Louis Rochet, was inaugurated on 17 October 1855. It is in gilded bronze, measures 5.25m and weighs 3 tons . The Virgin holds the Child Jesus on her left arm, her right arm is extended as if to bless. She wears the ducal crown, emblem of her sovereignty over Savoy. It is draped in the costume of the 13th century, the time of the Granier disaster.
Martyrs of Masyla: Massylitan Martyrs Group of Christians martyred in Masyla in northwest Africa.
Martyrs of Pannonia: Seven virgin-martyrs in Sirmium, Pannonia (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia).
Martyrs of Thorney Abbey – 3+ saints: A group of Hermits, hermitesses and monks who lived in or around Thorney Abbey who were martyred together during raids by pagan Danes. We know little more than the names of three – Tancred, Torthred and Tova. 869 by raiders at Thorney Abbey, Cambridgeshire, England.
Saint of the Day – 9 February – Saint Sabinus of Canosa (c 461–566) Bishop, Confessor, Benedictine Monk, Papal Legate, miracle-worker, graced with the charism of prophecy, Defender of the Faith against heretics, friend of Saint Benedict of Nursia, builder of Churches and Monasteries, following the Benedictine discipline of Ora et labora. Born in c 461 in Italy and died on 9 February 556. Patronages – Atripalda, Canosa Italy, Torremaggiore and Furci and Bari, Italy, protector against poisoning. At some point Sabinus went blind but records do not reveal exactly when this occurred, nor is it revealed in the Dialogues of St Gregory. Additional Memorial – 14 September in Atripalda. Roman Martyrology: “At Canossa in Apulia, St Sabinus, Bishop and Confessor.”
Saint Pope Gregory tells that he was endowed with the spirit of prophecy and the power of miracles. After he had become blind, when a cup of poison was offered to him by a servant who was bribed, he knew it by divine instinct. He, however, declared that God would punish the one who had bribed the servant and, making the Sign of the Cross, he drank the poison without anxiety and without harmful effect.”
Sabinus was a friend of Saint Benedict, whom he visited at Montecassino and to whom, as recorded by St Gregory the Great, he once expressed his preoccupations on the incursions of the Ostrogoth King Totila into the Italian peninsula. According to the hagiographic legend, he succeeded in saving Canosa from the threat of the latter. In fact, the Dialogues of Pope Gregory I (Book III, Chapter 5) also contains a second anecdote relating to “Sabinus, Bishop of Canosa.” Totila, King of the Goths, who was sceptical about the prophetic powers of the blind St Sabinus, visited and had dinner with him. He handed him a glass of wine, in place of the cupbearer. “Then the man of God taking the cup but not seeing him that did deliver it, said: ‘Blessed be that hand.’ At which words, the King very merrily blushed because, albeit he was taken, yet he had found that gift in the man of God which before he desired to know.” Totila was so impressed that he renounced his pillaging.
In 531, under the Papacy of Boniface II, he participated in the Roman Synod. Sabinus was sent twice as a Papal Envoy to Constantinople, in 525, by Pope John I and in 536 to accompany Pope Agapitus I, (who lost his life on the journey,) to defend the true faith against the Monophysite heresy.
St Sabinus died after 52 years of dedicated service in the Episcopate.
Bishop Angelarius rescued the relics of St Sabinus from Canos Cathedral and took them to Bari when Canosa was destroyed by Saracens in 844. It is not clear how some of them came to be venerated in San Giovenale, Orvieto. The Cappella di San Sabino, to the left of the apse of this Church, was built at the end of the 13th century on what might have been the site of a free-standing Oratory of St Sabinus. This Church itself is referred to as Sts Giovenale and Sabinus in a document of 1314.
A reliquary (1340) by Ugolino di Vieri for the skull of St Sabinus of Canosa (see below) was displayed in this Chapel until 1845, when it was sold to the Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo. The rest of the saints’ relics are said to rest under its high altar.
Week long festivities are celebrated each year in Atripalda prior to the Feast Day of our Saint, where St Sabinus’ memory is celebrated on 14 September.
Quote/s of the Day – The Weekdays of Advent, 18 December O Adonai/O Lord Jeremiah 23:5-8, Psalm 72:1-2, 12-13, 18-19, Matthew 1:18-24
“Only let it be in the name of Jesus Christ, that I may suffer together with Him! I endure everything because He Himself, Who is perfect man, empowers me.”
St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church, Martyr
“And you shall call His name Jesus, because in His Name we adore the entire majesty of the Godhead. All who dwell in the heavens, those who abide upon the earth and everyone of those who are held in the depths of hell, bow down prostate to this Name. This is the Name which gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, agility to the lame, speech to the mute and life to the dead, The power of this Name forced the mastery of the devil entirely, from the bodies of the possessed.”
St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) Father and Doctor of the Church
“The Name of Jesus is the purest and holiest, the noblest and most indulgent of names, the Name of all blessings and of all virtues, it is the Name of the God-Man, of sanctity itself.”
St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor of the Church
Jesus, Name Full of Glory By St Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444)
Jesus, Name full of glory, grace, love and strength! You are the refuge of those who repent, our banner of warfare in this life, the medicine of souls, the comfort of those who morn, the delight of those who believe, the light of those who preach the true faith, the wages of those who toil, the healing of the sick. To You our devotion aspires, by You our prayers are received; we delight in contemplating You. O Name of Jesus, You are the glory of all the saints for eternity. Amen
“The Holy Name of Jesus is, first of all, an all-powerful prayer. Our Lord, Himself, solemnly promises, that whatever we ask the Father in His Name, we shall receive. God never fails to keep His word. Each time we say “Jesus,” it is an act of perfect love, for, we offer to God, the infinite love of Jesus”
St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Doctor of the Church
“There is just one Name in the whole world that lives – it is the Name of One who passed His years in obscurity and who died a malefactor’s death. (Two thousand yeas) have gone by since that time but still It has It’s hold upon the human mind. It has possessed the world and It maintains possession. Amid the most various nations, under the most diversified circumstances, in the most cultivated, in the rudest races and intellects, in all classes of society, the Owner of that great Name reigns. High and low, rich and poor, acknowledge Him. Millions of souls are conversing with Him, are venturing at His word, are looking for His presence. Palaces, sumptuous, innumerable, are raised to His honour. His image, in it’s deepest humiliations, is triumphantly displayed in the proud city, in the open country, at the corners of streets, on the tops of mountains. It sanctifies the ancestral hall, the closet and the bedchamber, it is the subject for the exercise of the highest genius in the imitative arts. It is worn next to the heart in life, it is held before the failing eyes in death.”
St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Blessed be the Most Holy Name of Jesus without end!
One Minute Reflection -19 August – Wednesday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Ezekiel 34: 1-11, Psalms 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6, Matthew 20:1-16 and The Memorial of St John Eudes Orat. (1601-1680) “Apostle of Two Hearts” and St Louis of Toulouse OFM (1274-1297)
“Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first and the first last.” … Matthew 20:15-16
REFLECTION – “One of the robbers crucified with Jesus cried out: “Lord, remember me; it is to you I now turn (…). Remember not my works, for of these I am afraid. Every man has a feeling for his fellow-traveller; I am travelling with you towards death; remember me, your fellow-wayfarer. I do not say, Remember me now, but, “when you come in your kingdom” (Lk 23:42).
What power, O robber, led you to the Light? Who taught you to worship that despised Man, your companion on the cross? O Light Eternal, which gives light to them that are in darkness! (Lk 1:79) “Take courage! Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise” because “today you have heard my voice, and have not hardened your heart” (Ps 95:8). Very speedily I passed sentence upon Adam (…) but you, who today have obeyed the faith, today is your salvation. By the tree Adam fell away; by the tree you are brought into paradise (…)
O mighty and ineffable grace! The faithful Abraham had not yet entered but the robber enters! Paul also wondered at this before you, saying, “Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more” (Rom 5:20). They who had borne the heat of the day had not yet entered and he of the eleventh hour entered. Let none murmur against the Master of the House, for He says, “My friend, I am not cheating you. Am I not free to do as I wish with what is my own?” The robber has a will to work righteousness … I accept his faith … I, the Shepherd, have “found the sheep that was lost”; I lay it on my shoulders (Lk 15:5); since he himself has said, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; Lord, remember me when You come in Your kingdom.” … St Cyril of Jerusalem (315-387) Bishop of Jerusalem, Father, Doctor of the Church
PRAYER – Father of mercies and God of all consolation, You gave us the loving Heart of Your own beloved Son, because of the boundless love by which You have loved us, which no tongue can describe. May we render You a love that is perfect with hearts made one with His. Grant, we pray, that our hearts may be brought to perfect unity, each heart with the other and all hearts with the Heart of Jesus….and may the rightful yearnings of our hearts find fulfilment through Him, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. – Collect from Saint John Eudes’ Mass, Gaudeamus, 1668 St John Eudes and St Louis of Toulouse, Pray for us! amen.
St Magnus of Anagni St Magnus of Avignon St Magnus of Cuneo St Marianus of Entreaigues St Marinus of Besalu St Magino of Tarragona St Mochta St Namadia of Marsat St Rufinus of Mantua St Sarah the Matriarch St Sebaldus St Thecla of Caesarea St Timothy of Gaza — Martyrs of Nagasaki – 15 beati: A group of missionaries and their laymen supporters who were executed for spreading Christianity in Japan. • Antonius Yamada • Bartholomaeus Mohyoe • Iacobus Matsuo Denji • Ioachim Díaz Hirayama • Ioannes Miyazaki Soemon • Ioannes Nagata Matashichi • Ioannes Yago • Laurentius Ikegami Rokusuke • Leo Sukeemon • Ludovic Frarijn • Marcus Takenoshita Shin’emon • Michaël Díaz Hori • Paulus Sankichi • Pedro de Zúñiga • Thomas Koyanagi They were beheaded on 19 August 1622 at Nagasaki, Japan and Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Pius IX.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War Martyred Carmelite Sisters of Charity – 9 beati Martyred Salesians of Ciudad Real – 8 beati Martyred Subiaco Benedictines of Barcelona – 7 beati • Blessed Agueda Hernández Amorós • Blessed Agustí Busquets Creixell • Blessed Andrés Pradas Lahoz • Blessed Antolín Martínez y Martínez • Blessed Antoni Pedró Minguella • Blessed Càndid Feliu Soler • Blessed Cipriano González Millán • Blessed Damián Gómez Jiménez • Blessed Elvira Torrentallé Paraire • Blessed Félix González Bustos • Blessed Francisca de Amézua Ibaibarriaga • Blessed Francisco de Paula Ibáñez y Ibáñez • Blessed Ignasi Guilà Ximenes • Blessed Isidro Muñoz Antolín • Blessed Joan Roca Bosch
St Rusicola of Arles
St Rufinus of Marsi
St Susanna of Rome
St Taurinus of Evreux
Bl Theobald of England and Companion
St Tiburtius of Rome
Bl William Lampley
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War
Bl Armando Óscar Valdés
Bl Benjamín Fernández de Legaria Goñi
Bl Carlos Díaz Gandía
Bl Rafael Alonso Gutiérrez
Bl Ramon Rosell Laboria
Quote/s of the Day – 20 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Monday of the Sixteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year “A”, Readings: Micah 6:1-4, 6-8, Psalm 50:5-6, 8-9, 16-17, 21, 23, Matthew 12:38-42
And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign?
“But for what sign from heaven were they asking? Maybe that He should hold back the sun, or curb the moon, or bring down thunderbolts, or change the direction of the wind, or something like that? In Pharaoh’s time there was an enemy from whom deliverance was needed. But for one who comes among friends, there should be no need of such signs.”
St John Chrysostom (347-407)
Father & Doctor of the Church
Firmly I Believe and Truly St John Henry Newman (1801-1890)
Firmly I believe and truly God is three and God is One And I next acknowledge duly Manhood taken by the Son. And I trust and hope most fully In that Manhood crucified And each thought and deed unruly Do to death, as He has died. Simply to His grace and wholly Light and life and strength belong And I love, supremely, solely, Him the holy, Him the strong.
And I hold in veneration, For the love of Him alone, Holy Church, as His creation, And her teachings, as His own. And I take with joy whatever Now besets me, pain or fear And with a strong will I sever All the ties which bind me here. Adoration aye be given, With and through the angelic host, To the God of earth and heaven, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
“… Only by faith is He known to be present… He removed His visible presence and left but a memorial of Himself. He vanished from sight that He might be present in a Sacrament and, in order to connect His visible presence with His presence invisible, He for one instant, manifest Himself to their open eyes; manifested Himself, if I may so speak, while He passed from His hiding-place of sight without knowledge, to that of knowledge without sight.”
The Sign of the Cross
WHENE’ER across this sinful flesh of mine I draw the Holy Sign, All good thoughts stir within me and renew Their slumbering strength divine, Till there springs up a courage high and true To suffer and to do.
And who shall say but hateful spirits around, For their brief hour unbound, Shudder to see and wail their overthrow? While on far heathen ground Some lonely Saint hails the fresh odour, though Its source he cannot know.
Quote/s of the Day – 7 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Isaiah 38:1-6, 21-22, 7-8, Responsorial psalm Isaiah 38:10-12, 16, Matthew 12:1-8
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, you are mine.”
Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! …The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God, that surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4, 5d,6-7
“The Christian should be an ‘alleluia’ from head to foot.
St Augustine (354-430)
Father & Doctor of the Church
“May Christ be heard in our language, may Christ be seen in our life, may He be perceived in our hearts”
St Peter Damian (1007-1072)
Doctor of the Church
(Sermo VIII, 5)
“The one you are looking for, is the One who is looking.”
“Jesus is happy to come with us, as Truth is happy to be spoken, as Life to be lived, as Light to be lit, as Love is to be loved, as Joy to be given, as Peace to be spread.”
St Francis of Assisi (1181/2–1226)
“Love God, serve God, everything is in that.”
“Totally love Him, who gave Himself totally, for your love.”
St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)
“If, then, you seek to know what path to follow, take Christ because He is the way.”
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
Doctor of the Church
“He will be with you also, all the way, that faithful God. Every morning when you awaken to the old and tolerable pain, at every mile of the hot uphill dusty road of tiring duty, on to the judgement seat, the same Christ there as ever, still loving you, still sufficient for you, even then. And then, on through all eternity.”
Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)
“Every Christian must be a living book wherein one can read the teaching of the gospel. This is what St Paul says to the Corinthians. Our heart is the parchment; through my ministry the Holy Spirit is the writer because ‘my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe’ (Psalm 45:1).”
The Fifteenth Sunday of the Year in Ordinary Time, Year A +2020
St Agnes De
St Andreas the Soldier
St Ansbald of Prum
St Clement Ignatius Delgado Cebrian
Bl David Gonson
St Faustus the Soldier
St Felix of Milan
St Fortunatus of Aquileia
St Hermagorus of Aquileia
St Hilarion of Ancyra
St Jason of Tarsus
Bl Jeanne-Marie de Romillon St John Gualbert (c 985-1073) His Life: https://anastpaul.com/2019/07/12/saint-of-the-day-12-july-st-john-gualbert-c-985-1073-the-merciful-knight/ St John Jones OFM (c 1574 – 1598) Priest and Martyr
St Viventiolus of Lyons
Martyrs of Nagasaki – 8 beati: Additional Memorial – 10 September as one of the 205 Martyrs of Japan
Eight lay people, many them related to each other, who were martyred together:
• Catharina Tanaka
• Ioannes Onizuka Naizen
• Ioannes Tanaka
• Ludovicus Onizuka
• Matthias Araki Hyozaemon
• Monica Onizuka
• Petrus Araki Chobyoe
• Susanna Chobyoe
12 July 1626 in Nagasaki, Japan
Beatified on 7 May 1867 by Pope Blessed Pius IX.
One Minute Reflection – 9 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood” – Thursday of the Fourteenth week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Hosea 11:1-4, 8-9, Psalm 80:2-3, 15-16, Matthew 10:7-15 and the Memorial of Blessed Marija of Jesus Crucified Petković (1892-1966)
“And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” … Matthew 10:7
REFLECTION – “We Missionaries often wonder why the work of the conversion of the non-Christian world goes so slowly. We usually give various reasons to explain this painful fact and in truth, the problem may be considered from many angles, some of which do not concern our responsibility. But, for the part that does concern us and it is the main part, the problem has a very clear solution. To save the world, God in His infinite wisdom wanted to have co-workers. God does His part well – do the people called to help Him do their part equally well?
Let us work in such a way that the whole Church, all Christian people, led by their Bishops and clergy, truly feel the apostolic duty that is incumbent upon them to promote the propagation of the faith, with every means. Let us work in such a way that that Missionaries, the most direct instruments for the conversion of souls, are saints and non-Christians will not be slow to be converted.
… You, Missionaries in active service in the field, are particularly concerned with your part of co-operation. Therefore, I say to you, be holy Missionaries by following the footsteps of those great Missionaries who went before you and, for the part that concerns you, your apostolic duty will have been done to the full. The souls the Lord, in His merciful designs, has entrusted to each one of you that you may lead them to salvation, will be saved and at the end of your days you will be able to say with the Divine Redeemer: “(Father) I kept those you had given me true to you name. I have watched over them and not one is lost” (Jn 17:12).” … Blessed Paolo Manna PIME (1872-1952) Superior General of the PIME Founder of the Pontifical Missionary Union – “Holiness is the Soul of Mission”
PRAYER – “Lord, You have called us to the apostolate with the witness of our life and the proclamation of the Gospel, may we contribute to the coming of Your Kingdom in the nations to which you send us. Lord, You wish us to be Missionaries in communion with the Churches that have given us the faith and richness of Christian life, keep us united to our bishops and to the people they guide, that together we may carry out the mission You have entrusted to us in their name. Lord, You wanted our parents and benefactors, through their generosity and sacrifices, to participate in our apostolic life, may they share the reward You have prepared for those who work for the coming of Your Kingdom throughout the world. Merciful Lord, during their earthly life You assigned our deceased brethren the task of spreading Your Word, may they receive the reward for their apostolate in the glory of heaven. AMEN” … (From the Manual of PIME MIssionaries) And Lord, may the prayers of Your holy men and women, today we call on Bl Marija of Jesus Crucified Petković, who proclaimed Your Kingdom by her life, be every heard for our intercession.
Catholic doctrine teaches the faithful, that the Blood of Jesus Christ is part of His Sacred Humanity and hypostatically united to the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
And as such, it is worthy of adoration and veneration proper to latreutical worship (cultus latriae) which is rendered only to God. In other words, we adore the human nature of Christ because of its intimate and eternal union with the Person of the Divine Word.
It is for this same reason, that we honour the Most Sacred Heart or the Wounds of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Devotion to the Precious Blood:
This devotion is one of the most ancient of pious Church practices. It is said that the Blessed Virgin venerated the Most Precious Blood of her infant Son on the day of His circumcision as she collected the first relics of His Precious Blood on a piece of cloth.
On that momentous occasion she united her tears with that of the Word Incarnate on account of, not so much of the sensible pain bu,t of His supernatural sorrow for the hard-heartedness of mortals.
This was the first of seven Blood-Sheddings of Our Divine Saviour, The rest being:
2. The Agony in the Garden
3. The Scourging at the Pillar
4. The Crowning with Thorns
5. The Way of the Cross
6. The Crucifixion
7. The Piercing of His Heart
The old sacrifice took a new form in the New Testament when the Immaculate Lamb of God offered Himself on the altar of the Cross, to redeem mankind from sin and the slavery of Satan.
And during the Last Supper, Our Lord offered Himself in an unbloody, yet real sacrifice when He uttered the following words: “For this is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins.”(Matthew 26: 28)
Truly, this “shedding of blood’ or “pouring out of blood” took place and forms one of the glorious mysteries of our Faith.
Quote/s of the Day – 22 June – The Memorial of St John Fisher (1469-1535) Bishop, Martyr
“I reckon in this realm no one man, in wisdom, learning and long approved virtue together, meet to be matched and compared with him.”
St Thomas More speaking of St John Fisher
“A good man is not a perfect man; a good man is an honest man, faithful and unhesitatingly responsive to the voice of God in his life.”
“Contrition is to have sorrow at heart and great repentance of all his sins and to have steadfast purpose to keep and abstain him from all deadly sins. For who has intention to return him to deadly sin, his confession avails him nothing!”
“Penance is a needful thing to the sinner, who desires to recover health of his soul. And, in doing penance, there be three things to be considered: serious compunction of heart, confession of mouth and satisfaction by deed.”
“As St Paul has said, for our justification, He [Christ], gave to man all that was necessary – His Blood to wash us, His Body to redeem us. In His Passion, Justice and peace have met each other.”
“Beware of those prophets who speak unto you and deceive you! They prophecy nothing but the imaginations and forgings of their own minds and not the truth of Holy Scripture!”
Quote/s of the Day – 18 June – Thursday of the Eleventh week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: Sirach 48:1-14 (1-15), Psalm 97:1-7, Matthew 6:7-15
“Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our trespasses As we forgive those who trespass against us And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen”
“So, my brothers, let us pray as God our master has taught us. To ask the Father in words His Son has given us, to let Him hear the prayer of Christ ringing in His ears, is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer. Let the Father recognise the words of His Son. Let the Son who lives in our hearts, be also on our lips. We have Him as an Advocate for sinners, before the Father, when we ask for forgiveness for ours sins, let us use the words given by our Advocate. He tells us – Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you. What more effective prayer could we then make, in the name of Christ, than in the words of His own prayer?”
“As the Lord’s Prayer continues, we ask: Give us this day our daily bread. We can understand this petition in a spiritual and in a literal sense. For in the divine plan both senses may help toward our salvation. For Christ is the Bread of Life; this Bread does not belong to everyone but is ours alone. When we say, our Father, we understand that he is the Father of those who know Him and believe in Him. In the same way, we speak of our daily bread, because Christ is the Bread of those who touch His body.”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258)
Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr
An excerpt from his “On the Lord’s Prayer”
“For the author and giver of divine blessings could not but be our teacher as well, providing the words of this prayer, as precepts of life, for those disciples who believe in Him and follow the way He taught in the flesh. Through these words, He has revealed the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:3) that exist in Him as pure form. And, in all who offer this prayer, He kindles the desire to enjoy such treasures.”
St Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662)
Monk and Theologian
Interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer
“You see, my children, the Christian’s treasure is not on earth, it is in heaven (Mt 6:20). So our thinking must go to where our treasure is. The human person has a beautiful task, to pray and to love. You pray, you love – that is the human being’s happiness on earth.”
“Prayer is nothing other than union with God. … This union of God with his little creature is something beautiful. It is a happiness that we cannot understand. We had deserved not to pray but God, in His goodness, allows us to speak to Him. Our prayer is incense, which He receives with tremendous pleasure.”
St John-Marie Vianney (1786-1859)
Catechism on Prayer]
“Father, hallowed be thy name.”
“I have an instinct within me, which leads me to rise and go to my Father, to name the Name of His well-beloved Son and having named it, to place myself, unreservedly in His hands, saying “if Thou, Lord, will mark iniquity, Lord, who shall stand it? For with Thee, there is merciful forgiveness.”
St John Henry Newman
To My Father
“God sees us always, for He is everywhere. …He sees clearly, everything which we think, desire or do, even our most secret hidden actions. Do we perfectly grasp this tremendous truth? Are we aware of it, at every moment of our lives and do we make it the guide for our conduct? If we were to live continually in the Presence of God, our lives would be angelic, rather than human, for we would not allow ourselves to commit even the slightest sin, nor to be guilty of the least thought, word or action, which might offend Him. The more we fail in our awareness of the Presence of God, the more disordered our actions become.”
Saint of the Day – 24 May – St David, King of Scotland (1085-1183) King of Scotland from 1124 to 1153 – born as Dabíd mac Maíl Choluim in 1085 and died on 24 May 1183 in Carlisle, Scotland of natural causes. King David was a social and religious Reformer, a man of great administrative skills, apostle of charity and of holy piety. He transformed his Kingdom by the widespread introduction of Catholic Churches and Monasteries, thus also assisting in the international diplomatic influence of his country, it’s farming and agricultural wealth and it’s education. He was the main force and instrument of God in Christianising Scotland. Patronage – Scotland and various Dioceses and Churches there.
St David was the youngest son of King Malcolm III of Scotland and his wife Margaret who is herself a Saint. Although David spent most of his childhood in Scotland, he was educated for some years at the Anglo-Norman court in England. When his brother Alexander acceded to the throne of Scotland in 1107, David became Prince of Cumbria. He married Matilda, daughter of Waldef, Earl of Northampton and Huntingdon and thus became an English Earl. As Prince of Cumbria he was entitled to an inheritance in southern Scotland.
Upon Alexander’s death, David reluctantly became King of Scots in 1124. He brought with him many knights and courtiers from Norman England, many of whom became the future aristocrats and even Kings of Scotland including Bruce, Balliol and FitzAlan, who later became the Stewart kings.
King David oversaw the continuing development of the Scottish state and the organisation of Christianity within it. He established the Royal cities of Edinburgh, Berwick, Roxburgh, Stirling and perhaps Perth and founded Diocese at Brechin, Dunblane, Caithness, Ross and Aberdeen. He founded and endowed numerous Monasteries. Among them were the Cistercian Houses of Melrose, Kinloss, Newbattle and Dundrennan and Holyrood itself for Augustinian canons as well as the Benedictines at Dunfermline. This period in Scottish history has become known as the “Davidian Revolution.”
Not only were such Monasteries an expression of David’s undoubted piety but they also functioned to transform Scottish society. Monasteries became centres of foreign influence and provided sources of literate men, able to serve the crown’s growing administrative needs. These new Monasteries and the Cistercian ones in particular, introduced new agricultural practices. Cistercian labour, for instance, transformed southern Scotland into one of northern Europe’s most important sources of sheep wool.
When Queen Matilda died, he gave even more attention to religious matters, reciting the Divine Office himself each day and devoting himself to almsgiving and other works of charity. In all he exercised a wholly civilising influence upon his family and upon the nation.
Perhaps the greatest blow to David’s plans came on 12 July 1152 when Henry, Earl of Northumberland, David’s only son and heir, died. David had under a year to live and he may have known that he was not going to be alive much longer. David quickly arranged for his grandson, Malcolm IV, to be made his successor and for his younger grandson William to be made Earl of Northumberland. The 11 year-old Malcolm around Scotland-proper on a tour to meet and gain the homage of his future Gaelic subjects.
St Ælred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) (his life here: https://anastpaul.com/2018/01/12/saint-of-the-day-12-january-st-aelred-of-rievaulx-1110-1167-saint-bernard-of-the-north/) who was, in his earlier years, master of the household to David with whom he kept up a close friendship with the King, gives a circumstantial account of David’s death at Carlisle on 24 May 1153. On the Friday he was anointed and given Viaticum and then spent much time in praying psalms with his attendants. On Saturday they urged him to rest but he replied, “Let me rather think about the things of God, so that my spirit may set out strengthened on its journey from exile to home. When I stand before God’s tremendous judgement-seat, you will not be able to answer for me or defend me, no-one will be able to deliver me from His hand.” And so, he continued to pray and at dawn of Sunday, he passed away peacefully as if he slept. St David had helped to endow Dunfermline Abbey, founded by his father and mother and he had peopled it with Benedictine monks from Canterbury. There he was buried and at his shrine, his memory was venerated until the Reformation.
After the King’s death, St Ælred delivered the eulogy at the Requiem Mass, praising Saint David’s reluctance to become king, his sense of justice and his accessibility to everyone, his efforts to maintain concord among the clergy, of his personal piety and in general, of the great work he did for the consolidation of the Kingdom of Scotland.
Ælred’s only criticism was of his failure to control the savagery and rapacity of his troops when he invaded England, on behalf of his niece Matilda, against Stephen. For this, David was very contrite and is said to have looked on his defeat at the Battle of the Standard and the early death of his only son, as just retribution therefor.
St David, Pray for Scotland, Pray for us all, amen!
Fountain of Life
Moments with Saint Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)
“There is a passage from the pen of a distinguished English writer on religious subjects (F W Faber, The Blessed Sacrament 1855), which is so wonderful that I am sorry that I can do no more than briefly trace the main line of his thought.
The Immaculate Virgin is with us.
We still enjoy hearing our fathers describe the delight felt by the whole Catholic world in the middle of the last century, when the ancient doctrine of Mary having been preserved from all taint of original sin, was defined as Dogma.
That doctrine is like the mountain spring, purer than the waters of Sion, from which flow all the other mysteries of the Incarnation.
The whole Church gathers around this source to gaze at it’s reflection in the clear deep waters.
Kneeling on the bank is the supreme Pontiff, the teachers who thirst for the truth, hasten to drink from the spring.
Mitred and crowned heads and humble children of the people, the poor and afflicted of all classes, a whole multitude of pious folk, stoop down, drink and rise again – sight is restored, Mary shines more brightly than before.
Look well, my brothers, at those waters.
They are the elements of the Precious Blood of Jesus.
They flow mysteriously in the sanctified breast of Anna, they appear again, transfigured into the blood of Mary, the fair child, the maiden of fifteen years, the Bride of the Holy Spirit.
Through the power of the Spirit that overshadows her, this blood gathers into itself, the elements of the Sacred Humanity of Christ.
Behold the Spring and then the Blood!
Oh, what a miracle occurs!
The Blood is already beating in the Sacred Heart, it crimsons the cheeks of the Divine Child – it is sweated out from every pore of Jesus, in His Passion.”
Bercthun of Beverley
Bertha of Bingen
St Caecilius of Granada
St Caesarea of Otranto
St Cassius of Clermont
Bl Clemente of Bressanone
St Colman Mc O’Laoighse
St Ctesiphon of Verga
Bl Diego of Valdieri St Dymphna (7th Century) Virgin Martyr “The Lily of Éire”
St Euphrasius of Andujar (1st Century) Martyr St Euphrasius’ Life: https://anastpaul.com/2019/05/15/saint-of-the-day-15-may-saint-euphrasius-of-andujar-1st-century/
St Hallvard of Oslo
St Hesychius of Gibraltar
St Hilary of Galeata
St Indaletius of Urci
St Isidore of Chios
Bl Joan Montpeó Masip
St Maximus of Clermont
St Nicholas the Mystic
St Rupert of Bingen
St Secundus of Avila
St Simplicius of Sardinia
St Sophia of Rome
St Victorinus of Clermont
St Waldalenus of Beze
Martyrs of Maleville: 50 Mercedarian friars murdered for their faith by Huguenots. 1563 in the Mercedarian convent of Maleville in Rodez, France.
Martyrs of Persia: Three Christians who were tortured, mutilated, imprisoned, starved and finally executed together for refusing to worship the sun and fire during the persecutions of Shapur II. We know nothing else about them but their names: Bohtiso, Isaac and Simeon. They were beheaded or burned at the stake (records vary) in the late 3rd century somewhere in Persia
Martyrs of Lampsacus:
Andrew of Troas
Denysa of Troas
Paul of Troas
Peter of Lampsacus
Thought for the Day – 8 May – “Mary’s Month” Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Theological Virtues of Our Lady
“The three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, shone like constellations throughout the life of Mary. “Blessed is she who has believed” (Lk 1:45), St Elizabeth said of her. Mary’s life was one long act of faith and of love. She lived continuously in the presence of God, being united to Him by lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity. Her spirit of constant prayer was the result of her intense practice of these theological virtues. When the Archangel Gabriel came down from Heaven, to bring her the tidings of her divine motherhood, he found her absorbed in prayer. When St Elizabeth praised and called her the Mother of her Lord, Mary, from the depths of her faith, attributed everything to God and glorified Him in her Magnificat. When the baby Jesus was born in the cave of Bethlehem, she adored Him with faith, hope and love, as her God and future Saviour. When she realised that Herod was searching for her Son to put Him to death, she placed her confidence in Him. She fled with Him into Egypt and brought Him back later, to their land, always with the same faith, hope and love. Her faith and hope were not weakened by the loss of Jesus in Jerusalem, only her mother’s love was disturbed, on this occasion. When it seemed in that hidden life of Nazareth, that Jesus was leading a life of pointless silence, her faith and hope in Him, did not fade, while her love grew greater from day to day. In the triumphs and sorrows of His public life, she continued to practice, to an extraordinary degree, these three virtues – on the road to Calvary, at the foot of the Cross, at the removal of Our Lord’s body from the Cross, at the tomb, at the glorious Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost. At last, when she was alone in this world without Jesus, these three virtues seemed to burn more brightly in her soul. She thought only of Jesus, hoped in Jesus alone and loved Jesus alone. Then Jesus rewarded the lively faith, expectant hope and flaming charity of His Mother, for on her assumption into Heaven, these three virtues shared in her triumph and coronation.”
Rejoice! It’s 1 May and the Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“God wills that all his gifts should come to us through Mary”
St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor
“This is the month in which, in the churches and individual homes, the most affectionate and fervent homage of prayers and devotions from the hearts of Christians are raised to Mary. It is also the month in which from His throne, descend upon us, the most generous and abundant gifts of the Divine Mercy.”
Please join me in wishing our beloved Pope Emeritus on his Birthday.
On Holy Saturday, 93 years ago today, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger was born and Baptised. This baby was destined to be our Holy Father from 19 April 2005 to 26 February 2013.
This year’s birthday will be different given the restrictions and lockdowns in place, across Italy, Europe and the world, which will not permit his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, to join him this year.
Yet, “we are doing well,” Benedict’s personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein says.
Let us all pray a Rosary for beloved Pope Benedict today!
Saint of the Day – 31 March – Blessed Bonaventure Tornielli OSM (1411-1491) Priest of the Servite Order, called the “Apostolic Preacher”, Confessor, Biblical expert, Missionary Preacher – born in 1411 in Forli, Italy and died on 31 March 1491 of natural causes, aged 80 years old. Patronages – Missionaries, Catechists.
The Roman Martyrology says of him: “In Udine, in the territory of Venice, Blessed Bonaventure Tornielli, Priest of the Order of the Servants of Mary, who moved the villages to penance with his preaching in various regions of Italy. He died as an octogenarian, while preaching a Lenten sermon.”
Bonaventura Tornielli was born in 1411 in Forlì to the nobleman Giacomo Tornielli and he received a devout family education.
He enlisted into the Servite Order in 1448, where he became noted as a Biblical expert and was later Ordained as a Priest. He completed his studies in Venice in 1454 and earned his Master’s Degree in his Theological studies. After he was Ordained to the Priesthood, he made preparation for a life of apostolic work, by a year in solitude. After this period of retirement, he began to preach eloquently and successfully.
He became noted for his love of contemplative silence in which to meditate on the Gospel, while also preaching sermons and missions in the Papal States and in other Italian cities, all on the subject of repentance.
His fame for personal holiness spread at a rapid pace even to the ears of Pope Sixtus IV who named him as the “Apostolic Preacher.” Fr Bonaventura served for an unknown duration as his order’s Vicar-General. In this office, he gave proof of wonderful administrative ability and charity.
In 1468 he led a sermon before the Senate of the Republic of Venice (also to them in 1482) and in 1488 at the San Marco Basilica. He also led sermons in Florence at the Cathedral at the request of their Senate and also at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in 1481 . He preached during a period of plague in 1476 in both Bologna and Perugia . In 1483 he served as Prior of the San Marcello convent in Rome and there decided to retire, with six others, to a hermitage after receiving papal permission to do so. This was short lived, for Pope Sixtus IV on 31 May 1483, requested that he preach in the Papal States.
Fr Bonaventure participated in the General Chapter of his Order in 1485 in Vetralla and again in 1488 at Bologna where he preached.
It was said that he walked barefoot regardless of the weather conditions and also refrained from consuming both meat and wine. Fra Filippo Albrizzi wrote: “He was a priest of great holiness. His beard was unkempt, his feet were bare, suffering the heat of summer and the freezing cold of winter. He never wore shoes and his feet were often seen to be bleeding.” Fr Bonaventure also slept either on the floor or on a bed of wooden planks.
Fr Bonaventure died on 31 March 1491 – on Holy Thursday – in Udine where he was preaching during the Lenten season.
In 1507 the Lieutenant Andrea Loredan was on a trip from Venice to Udine when he fell ill and was cured, after turning to the late Fr Bonaventure for intercession. His remains were moved in 1509 to Venice to the Church of Saint Mary of the Servants that Loredan himself oversaw. His remains were relocated to the private home of a Servite priest – due to the Napoleonic invasion. In 1971 his remains were moved to Udine. In both Udine and the City of Venice, a cultus grew up around him, it was marked by many miraculous cures. This cultus was confirmed in 1911 when he was Beatified by St Pope Pius X.
Oh God, who didst impart to Blessed Bonaventure, the Confessor, the grace of recalling sinners to repentance, grant we beseech Thee, through his merits and intercession, that we may also weep over our sins, so that, renewed in heart and will, we may serve Thee faithfully, until death. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen
Lenten Reflection – 13 March – Friday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Genesis 37:3-4, 12-13, 17-28, Psalm 105:16-21, Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46
“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”
“God planted the vineyard of the human race when at the first he formed Adam (Gn 2:7) and chose the fathers. Then he let it out to husbandmen through the gift of the Law passed on to Moses. He hedged it round about, that is, he marked out the land they were to cultivate; he built a tower, that is, he chose Jerusalem; he dug a winepress, that is, he prepared those who were to receive the prophetic Spirit. And he sent them prophets prior to the Babylonian exile and then, after the exile, others again in even greater number to seek the fruits, saying to the : “Cleanse your ways and your doings” (Jer 7:3); “Execute just judgment and “Each one act with pity and compassion towards his brother. Do not oppress the widow, the orphan, the stranger or the poor, and let none of you treasure up evil against his brother in your hearts” (Zac 7:9-10) “Wash, make yourselves clean, put away evil from your hearts; learn to do good, seek judgment, protect the oppressed” (Is 1:16-17).
See by what preachings the prophets sought the fruits of righteousness. But last of all He sent to those unbelievers His own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, whom those wicked husbandmen slew and cast out of the vineyard. That is why God entrusted it – no longer hedged around but thrown open throughout all the world – to other husbandmen, who would render the fruits in due season. The elect tower is raised everywhere in all its beauty, for everywhere the Church now shines and everywhere the winepress is dug because everywhere are they, who receive the Spirit of God.
That is why the Lord said to His disciples, to make us become good workmen: “Take heed to yourselves and watch at all times lest your hearts be overcharged with debauchery, drunkenness and the cares of this life” (Lk 21:34.36); “Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like those who wait for their master to come” (Lk 12:35-36).” … Saint Irenaeus (c 130-c 202) Bishop, Martyr, Theologian – Against the heresies, IV 36, 2-3
“Therefore, I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and be given to a people that will produce its fruit.”
— Matthew 21
Let us pray to Christ our Saviour, who redeemed us by His death and resurrection::
Lord, have mercy on us.
You went up to Jerusalem to suffer and so enter into Your glory,
– bring Your Church to the Passover feast of heaven.
Lord, have mercy on us.
You were lifted high on the cross and pierced by the soldier’s lance,
– heal our wounds.
Lord, have mercy on us.
You made the cross the tree of life,
– give its fruit to those reborn in baptism.
Lord, have mercy on us.
On the cross You forgave the repentant thief,
– through which we are cleansed of our sins.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!
Loving God, Caring parent,
I am a child who so often turns my back
on Your love.
Please accept my small acts of sorrow today
and help to release me from the self-absorption
that closes my heart to You.
As I journey through Lent,
let me remember the feast You have prepared for me
in the resurrection
and let me be filled with thanks to You.
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
“Let us serve God but let us do so according to His will. He will then take the place of everything in our lives. He will be our strength and the reward of our labours.”
One Minute Reflection – 11 March – Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Jeremiah 18:18-20, Psalm 31:5-6, 14-16, Matthew 20:17-28
“You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” … the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ... Matthew 20:22,28
REFLECTION – “It is our task and, in our case, an obligation, to make of you the object of all our care, our zeal, our ministrations, by word and deed, by warnings, encouragement, admonitions and incitement, (…) so that, in this way, we might insert you into the rhythm of the divine will and face you towards the goal set before us – to give pleasure to God. …
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. How could this have happened to Him who, even as man, was without sin and who, to the contrary, snatched us away from the tyranny of the sin through which death came into the world and falsely took possession of our first father?
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. According to the interpretation of our Fathers, there is in this, a shedding of blood for this is what it means to be a monk. And we must gain the Kingdom of heaven in that way, by spending our lives in imitation of the Lord. (…) Apply yourselves zealously to your duties in the thought that by means of them, far from being slaves of men, you are serving God.” … St Theodore the Studite (759- 826) Monk at Constantinople – Catecheses 1(load shedding about to happen – image to follow and rest of posts).
PRAYER – Protect Your family, Lord, trained as it is by the constant exercise of good works. Renew our spirit with the grace that teaches us how to imitate You, strengthen us with Your consoling presence and lead us, to the joys of heaven. May the intercession of our Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary keep us on the path of Your kingdom’s glory. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.