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Thought for the Day – 28 May – Living the Gospel

Thought for the Day – 28 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Living the Gospel

“The doctrine of the Gospel is so sublime that no generation has yet been able to practice it fully.
Only the Blessed Virgin and the Saints have approached the peak of perfection indicated by Christ.
“You are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
How far have we advanced?
We are not expected, obviously, to achieve the absolute perfection of our heavenly Father.
But, we are obliged to strive towards it with the help of the grace of God.
It maybe that our particular circumstances excuse us from fulfilling the evangelical counsels but, we have no option but to obey the precepts of the Gospel.
We are under no obligation to sell all our possessions and give the money to the poor but, it is too bad for us if our hearts are not detached from earthly things and in contact with God.
We must be prepared to face the consequences, if we do not observe the precepts of justice and charity towards God and our neighbour.
We are especially obliged to help those who are in need of any kind, with whatever we have to spare in the way of material assistance or advice.
It is our own misfortune, too, if we do not mortify ourselves, accept the will of God, even in suffering and, empty our hearts of worldly attachments, in order to fill them with spiritual preoccupations.
Let us remember, that we belong to God!
All our thoughts and desires should, therefore, be directed towards God alone!

Most Holy Mary, you sought always to reflect in your own soul, the beauty and sanctity of your divine Son, by obeying His teaching in a heroic manner.
Obtain for me, the grace, to be detached from worldly affairs, especially from sin.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

you are to be perfect - living the gospel bacci 28 may 2020

Posted in GOD ALONE!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE

Thought for the Day – 27 May – A Lesson from Scripture – God alone

Thought for the Day – 27 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

A Lesson from Scripture
God alone

“Mary lived a life of poverty and suffering, even though, she was close to Jesus, Who could have made her wealthy and happy on this earth by a single act of His will.
But she never asked her divine Son for worldly happiness.
She regarded Jesus, as her only treasure and her happiness consisted in perfect obedience to the will of God.
When she arrived in Bethlehem with her holy Spouse, St Joseph, she could not find room in the inn nor in any of the houses.
This did not matter to her.
She found refuge in a stable and there, she gave birth to Jesus, the only treasure of her life.

When Herod planned to kill the Divine Infant, Mary did not ask for a miracle in order to escape but, undertook a long and difficult journey into exile.
Only once did she ask her Divine Son for a miracle.
Then, it was not for herself but for the newly-married couple at Cana, who had run short of wine.
What is our attitude?
How important are worldly matters to us?
What place has God in our hearts?
Are we chasing after money, pleasure and success?
If we worry a great deal about these things, we shall suffer torment and disillusionment.
The final disillusionment will be the restlessness of our hearts, which can find peace and lasting happiness in God alone.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

a lesson from scripture god alone - bacci 27 may 2020

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on SOLITUDE, The ANNUNCIATION

Thought for the Day – 26 May – Solitude

Thought for the Day – 26 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Solitude

“A man who has no love for solitude, does not love God.
It can easily happen that worldly objects dazzle the mind and enchant the heart, so that anyone who is greatly occupied with them, does not see or experience God in any way.
A man who talks a lot with other men, rarely speaks with God.
God’s voice is heard in silence and in solitude and we must listen for it if we wish to have any ease of conversation with Him.
It is fatal to allow ourselves to be deafened by the noise of the world and never to listen for the voice of God, which speaks within us.

Only those who have been called to a higher vocation, can live in a cloister but a little solitude is necessary for everybody from time to time.
It maybe a course in the Spiritual Exercises, or a monthly day of recollection, or a quarter of an hour spent everyday in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.
In those moments of detachment from the world and of intimacy with God, we can enjoy conditions far above any which can be found on earth.
Such moments can be the beginning of a new life.
The Holy Spirit incites us through the prophet Osee, to find these necessary intervals for silence and prayer:  “I will allure her and will lead her into the wilderness and I will speak to her heart” (Osee 2:14).
Jesus set the standard for us, when He spent forty days alone in the desert, fasting and praying.
Even though the Apostles were engaged in public missionary activity, He was anxious that they should retire from it for a while, in order to refresh themselves spiritually. “Come apart into a desert place,” He said “and rest a while” (Mk 6:31).
St Bernard wrote that silence and peace far away from the noise of the world, helped the soul to meditate on God and on spiritual matters (Epist 73).
“Solitude is Heaven to me,” (Epist 4 ad Rust) said St Jerome.

The Blessed Virgin also took refuge from distraction and loved the solitude of her home in Nazareth, where the Angel first announced to her, that she was to be the Mother of God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

solitude bacci 26 may 2020

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 25 May – Living in the Presence of God

Thought for the Day – 25 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Living in the Presence of God

“The ability to live always in the presence of God, is the foundation of the spiritual life.
It is an unquestionable fact, that we are always i the presence of God.
“In Him, we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
But, we must be aware of this divine presence.
If we really live all the time in the presence of God, we shall be able to avoid sin, practise virtue and enjoy God’s close friendship.
How can we offend God, our Creator, Redeemer and Judge, if we remember that we are being watched by Him?
“If we reflect on the presence of God,” says St Thomas Aquinas, “we shall hardly ever sin” (Opusc 58:2).
“If we keep ourselves always in the presence of God,” writes St John Chrysostom, “we shall think no evil, say no evil and do no evil” (Hom 8 ad Phil 2).

When we are always aware of God’s presence and realise that He is absolute truth, goodness and beauty, we shall be moved to love and imitate Him.
“Walk in my presence and be perfect” (Gen 17:1).
Because God is our only true good, we shall try, by every means in our power, to live close to Him and to offer Him all the thoughts, desires and actions of our day.
The rare moments of formal prayer will not be enough for us then but, we shall long to be in constant communication with God.

When boiling water is moved away from the fire, it gradually loses it’s heat.
It is the same with us, St John Chrysostom remarked, when we move away from our awareness of God.   We must live in His presence all the time and must check ourselves immediately, if we notice that we are slipping away from this ideal.

My dear Mother Mary, you who lived in the intimate presence of God, obtain for me also this great grace, so that I may avoid sin, do good and love God upon earth, in the hope of enjoying Him forever in Heaven.  Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

my dear mother mary - living in the presence of god - bacci - 25 may 2020

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Thought for the Day – 24 May – The Recollection of Mary

Thought for the Day – 24 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Recollection of Mary

“It is believed that when the Angel Gabriel visited the Blessed Virgin in order to tell her that she was to be the Mother of God, she was in a quiet corner of her home, absorbed in prayer.
She had no love for the noise and confusion of the world but preferred to be recollected in the company of God.
This was to be the pattern of her whole life.
In the midst of her domestic duties, on her journey to St Elizabeth and on her travels in Galilee and Judea, in the wake of her divine Son, her mind and heart were always concentrated on God.

Interior recollection is a wonderful thing.
It helps us to hear God’s voice more clearly.
It keeps us removed from the temptations of the world and assists us in sanctifying every moment of our lives.

“The cell continually dwelt in growth sweet,” (Bk 1, C 20:5) says The Imitation of Christ and goes onto ask:  “What can thou see elsewhere that thou does not see here?   Behold the heavens and the earth and all the elements, for out of these are all things made” (Ibid C 20:8).
“As often as I have been amongst men,” it exclaims, “I have returned less a man” (Ibid C 20:2).
When we move around chattering with different people, we have lost something of ourselves by the time we return home.
Perhaps we have wasted a good deal of time in useless conversation or, worse still, have seen or heard unpleasant or disturbing things.
When we go about in the world, we do not often see much that is edifying or instructive and rarely meet people whose conversation does us good.
For this reason, even when we cannot remain apart, we should carry in ourselves, as Mary did, a spirit of interior recollection and communication with God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

the recollection of mary - bacci 24 may 2020

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Thought for the Day – 23 May – Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth

Thought for the Day – 23 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth

“Towards the close of his life, St Paul wrote to his well-beloved disciple, St Timothy:  “As for me, I am already being poured out in sacrifice and the time of my deliverance is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.   For the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will give to me in that day;  yet, not to me only but, also to those who love his coming” (2 Tim 4:6-8).

After all his apostolic labours and difficulties and, after a lifetime of boundless love, St Paul could confidently say, that he would receive the crown which he had earned.
When the Blessed Virgin came to the end of her earthly pilgrimage, during which she had lovingly worked and suffered so much for Jesus, she could have expected, with even greater certainty, to receive the crown of glory, which she had merited.
She was the noblest and holiest of creatures, because, she was the Mother of the eternal Word of God made man.
Therefore, her reward had to be greater than that of any other creature.
She was the Mother of the King of Angels and of Saints, of Heaven and earth.
As such, it was her place to rule over them all.
Seated at the right hand of her divine Son, she has glory and power, which none other could possess.
The Church, therefore, invokes her under the title of Queen of Angels and of Saints, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Virgins, of Confessors and of Martyrs, Queen of Heaven and of earth.
When our Holy Father, Pius XII, solemnly proclaimed her Queenship, in the year 1954, he was only giving voice to the general consensus of tradition, of the Liturgy and of the belief of all the faithful (Cf Encyclical, Ad Coeli Reginum, 11 Oct 1954).

It should be very encouraging to all of us to know that we have so powerful a Queen in Heaven, whose privilege it is, to dispense God’s graces.
She has crushed the poisonous head of Satan.
Now, she is able and eager to help us, her loyal sons and servants, to resist temptation, to frustrate the schemes of our deadly enemy and to perfect ourselves in virtue. Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

mary queen of heaven and earth -bacci 23 may 2020

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Thought for the Day – 22 May – Prayer to Mary, Our Mother

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

Prayer to Mary, Our Mother

“There is a story told of a devout man who was wavering before the onslaught of temptation and was accustomed to kneel before a statue of Our Lady and say this simple prayer:  “Show yourself a mother to me.”
When the same man had fallen into sin and, although full of remorse, had not succeeded in reforming, he went one day to Mary’s Altar and pitifully repeated his usual prayer.
Immediately, he heard a gentle voice replying – “Show that you are my son.”

If we wish Our Lady to be a mother to us, we must also show her that we are her children.
Earthly mothers are delighted to think that their offspring take after them.
In the same way, Mary wishes to see, a reflection of her own sanctity in our thoughts, desires and actions.
All this demands sacrifice, of course.
It demands hard work, fervent prayer and constant watchfulness over ourselves.
If we do all that we can and never lose courage, God will not refuse us His help and our good Mother, will not, fail to intercede for us!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

prayer to our lady - bacci 22 may 2020