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Thought for the Day – 24 December – The Holy Family – Jesus

Thought for the Day – 24 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena IX
The Holy Family – Jesus

“We have in the Holy Family, the highest possible models of perfection – Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
As God, Jesus is essentially holy.
By means of the Hypostatic Union, this sanctity is transmitted also to His human nature.
The holiness of Jesus was only gradually revealed as He grew older because He wished to be like us in everything, save in sin.
As the Gospel says, He “advanced in wisdom and age and grace before God and men” (Lk 2:52).
Jesus gave us an example of holiness which we should find easier to imitate because it was eternally increasing all the time.
He offered us, as an example, the kind of sanctity which has its beginning and foundation in utter humility and detachment from worldly goods.
“Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29).

Socrates advised his followers to have few desires and to desire these as little as possible, in order to remain content, for the man who is full of desires is always uneasy and restless.
This human counsel is very true but, it is incomplete.
It recommends detachment from earthly things but fails to teach the ardent and practical desire for supernatural things.
Jesus Christ teaches us both.
After He has urged us to become gentle and humble like Himself, after He has told us not to worry about the future and not to fret about what to wear and what to eat, He points out the way in which Providence clothes the lilies of the filed and feeds the birds of the air.
Then He adds: “Seek the kingdom of God and all these things shall be given you besides” (Cf Lk. 12:22-31).

We must limit and moderate our desire for earthly goods, therefore but, should ardently yearn to love God, to serve and obey Him in this life and to enjoy Him forever in Heaven.
This is what the Infant Jesus wishes to teach us
.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 22 December – A Christmas Novena VII – Prayer and Dedication

Thought for the Day – 22 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena VII
Prayer and Dedication

“Let us kneel once more before the crib.
Like other newborn infants, Jesus is sometimes asleep and sometimes awake, sometimes crying and sometimes smiling.
Often His tiny eyes silently watch Mary and Joseph.
Surely, this seems a useless existence for Almighty God.
But we know that it is not purposeless.
This is the first great lesson which God wishes to give to the proud and corrupt human race.
It is the lesson of humility, prayer and total dedication to God.

To outward appearances, Jesus is behaving like any other baby.
Internally, however, His soul is hypostatically united to the Eternal Word and dwells in the Presence of the Heavenly Father, Whom He loves with a burning and infinite love.
Heart and soul, He offers Himself as a holocaust on behalf of sinful humanity and implores His Heavenly Father, to enlighten minds darkened by error, to strengthen weak human wills and to make all men holy.
It may well be said, that already, in the silence and obscurity of the cradle, Jesus has begun to redeem the world, for every one of His human-divine actions has an infinite value.
Whether He is awake or asleep, crying or smiling, He offers Himself silently to His Eternal Father as a holocaust of propitiation for our sins.

Let us adore the Divine Infant, therefore and thank Him for the priceless gift of our Redemption, which is already accomplished in the silence and obscurity of the manger.
Let us implore the grace to love Him and to imitate Him more closely.

As we kneel before the Infant Jesus, let us beseech Him to enable us to grasp the truth of these reflections.
Let us take more care of our soul than we do of our external talents and possessions.
May God occupy the foremost place in our minds and may He be the principal object of our thoughts, desires and affections.
Let us imitate the humble recollection and ardent love for God of the Holy Infant.
Like Him, let us offer ourselves entirely to God.

Let us ask Him to make us like Him, in complete acceptance of the Divine Will, especially when we are in trouble or in pain, for in this way, we shall be able to show God how sincerely we love Him.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST the WORD and WISDOM, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on BAD CONVERSATION, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, QUOTES on THE WORLD, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 21 December – The Silence of the Divine Infant

Thought for the Day – 21 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena VI
The Silence of the Divine Infant

Jesus Christ is the Eternal Word of God, made man, the infinite and substantial image of the Divine Intellect.
Nevertheless, the Divine Infant, Whom we adore in the stable at Bethlehem, is mute and silent.
The voluntary humiliation of the Son of God is such, that He, the Word of God, cannot utter a single human syllable.

By this chosen silence, however, He teaches us many things.
In the first place, He teaches us humility and self-denial.
He teaches us, moreover, to recollect ourselves in the Presence of God, so that it may be easier for us to speak with Him and for Him, to make known what He requires of us.
The silence of prayer brings forth divine consolations and inspirations to holiness,

Do we love to be silent?
It is not necessary to become hermits but, it is essential, from time to time, to place ourselves quietly in the Presence of God.
God cannot be heard through the noise and confusion of the world, whereas, He speaks clearly to the soul, which seeks the silence of prayer.
In any case, if we go about looking for the gossip and idle chatter of the world, it is almost impossible not to offend God.
“Avoid profane and empty babblings,” St Paul urges us, “for they contribute much to ungodliness” (2 Tim 2:16).
“If anyone does not offend in word,” adds St James, “he is a perfect man” (Js 3:2).
“The tongue is a little member,” he continues but, goes onto emphasis that it is capable of doing either a great deal of good or a great deal of harm.
“With it, we bless God the Father and, with it, we curse men, who have been made after the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren ought not to be so” (Js 3:5-10).

There are two main lessons which we should learn, therefore, from the silence of the Divine Infant.
We should learn to love recollection and, we should learn to make proper use of the gift of speech, which can be an equally powerful weapon, in the cause of good, or, in the cause of evil!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", CONFESSION/PENANCE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on REPARATION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 20 December – The Swaddling Clothes of the Divine Infant

Thought for the Day – 20 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena V
The Swaddling Clothes of the Divine Infant

“Mary, like other mothers in those days, wrapped the Infant Jesus in swaddling clothes.
The Divine Child quietly offered this new humiliation to His heavenly Father.
He saw prefigured in these bands, the ropes with which He would be bound in the garden of Gethsemane, even after He had given sinful humanity, His celestial teaching, example and miracles and finally, His own Body inthe Sacrament of the Eucharist.
He saw in them too, the chains with which He would be secured to the pillar, in order to be scourged in the Praetorium of Pilate among the jeers and insults of the onlookers.
He saw in them, finally, the cords with which, after having been condemned to the ignominious death of the Cross, He would be tied, while being led to the place of execution on Mount Calvary.
Filled with infinite love for stricken humanity, the Heart of the Divine Infant offered all this, in advance, to His Father in heaven.

Are we making any effort to return such great love?
Like Jesus, we are often obliged to endure, both physical and moral anguish.
Have we the resignation to offer it all to Jesus, or do we squander our opportunities in useless complaining or in acts of impatience and rebellion?
We shall have to go on suffering anyway but, in the latter case, we may have to suffer even more and shall lose all merit in the sight of God.

Let us kneel down before the Holy Infant wrapped in His swaddling clothes and, let us promise to endure everything for His sake and in reparation for our sins.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The 3rd Joyful Mystery - the NATIVITY, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 16 December – The Cave of Bethlehem

Thought for the Day – 16 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Christmas Novena
The Cave of Bethlehem

“Why, asked Bossuet, should the Eternal Word of God, infinitely and everlastingly happy, have deigned to assume in time, the fallen state of humanity?
Why should He have chosen, as the scene of His miraculous life of love, this insignificant world, a planet almost imperceptible among the myriads of gigantic heavenly bodies?
It was for the very same reason, Bossuet replied, that propmpted Him, once He had become man, to choose as His birthplace, the tiny and unknown village of Nazareth in Galilee rather than Rome, the centre of power, or Athens, the centre of learning, or Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel.
Our world is the Nazareth of creation, one of the smallest planets in the firmament.

God did not even choose, moreover, to be born in the poor but comparatively comfortable house at Nazareth.
He preferred to be born in the strange town of Bethlehem.
It was the cradle of His ancestral line but it gave Him no welcome and compelled Him to be born in a cold and squalid barn on the straw of a manger.
God had no need of human grandeur.
His power and majesty shone more brightly through the insignificance of the objects and means which He employed in order to fulfil His purpose.
It would be ridiculous to imagine, even for a moment, that He had any need of human aid in order to accomplish His designs.
God chooses the weak things of the world in order to confound the strong!” (Missale Romanum, Miss. Virg et Mart).

Antonio Cardinal Bacci