Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 23 January – Why Should It Happen to Me?

Thought for the Day – 23 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Why Should It Happen to Me?

“When Jesus had been scourged and crowned with thorns, He was forced to set out towrds the execution-ground on Calvary, carrying the heavy wooden Cross.
On the way, He met a Cyrenean named Simon, who was probably returning from his work in the fields outsdie the city.
The Jews had realised, that Jesus had lost so much blood, that He was unable to bear the weight any longer.
They felt no compassion for Him but they were anxious to save their victim for the final punishment.
With this in mind, they compelled Simon to carry Jesus’ Cross.
The Cyrenean could have said: “Why pick on me? I am tired and must get home …”
But his eyes met the tired gaze of Our Saviour.
He saw that He was covered with wounds and streaming blood.
Simon was deeply moved and willingly lifted the Cross which he carried to the place of execution (Cf Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26).

Picture Jesus, suffering and bleeding on the road to Calvary and Simon removing the Cross from the shoulders of Our Saviour and transferring it to his own.
How can we ever again rebel and complain, when we meet with inconvenience or sorrow?!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/02/22/thought-for-the-day-22-february-why-should-it-happen-to-me/

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SLOTH, QUOTES on TIME, The KINGDOM of GOD

Thought for the Day – 22 January – The Proper Use of Time

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

The Proper Use of Time

“The high value of the divine gift of time imposes an obligation on us to avoid laziness.
The obligation to avoid sin, is still greater.
Sin is the most serious way in which we can abuse this gift of God.
It is also an act of deep ingratitude, in that, we turn this treasure which God has bestowed on us, into a weapon to be used against the Giver of every good.
To use time properly, it is necessary to direct all our actions, intentions and desires towards God, Who is the source of our being and the goal of our earthly pilgrimage.

If everything we do, intend, or desire, springs from our love of God and is aimed at the manifestation of His glory and the expansion of His kingdom upon earth, then, even our most humble and apparently indifferent actions, are precious in the sight of the Mos High and receive His blessing.
But, if we are working for ourselves, for our own satisfaction and petty glorification, we ruin everything.
All that we do is barren.
If we seek ourselves instead of God, we shall hear Him say one day: “You shall have no reward with your Father in Heaven” (Mt 6:1).

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CONFESSION/PENANCE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on MERIT, QUOTES on MORTAL SIN, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, The LAST THINGS

Thought for the Day – 20 January –

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

Fundamental Facts

“Death is approaching.
How many years have we left?
How many months?
How many hours?
We do not know.
Perhaps this could be the last day or the last hour of our lives and, if that were true, in what state would we appear before the majesty of God?
How terrible if we were in mortal sin – we would be damned for all eternity!

But, even if we find ourselves in the state of grace, what merits have we to present to the eternal Judge?
What sacrifices have we made to prove our love for Him?
What mortifications and penances have we voluntarily undertake to purify ourselves of our sins?
What good works have we done, what alms have we given, what prayers have we said?
We may have to admit that we have wasted most of the time which God has given us in useless or even sinful occupations.
Let us treasure, at least, the years, days, or hours which God still wills to grant us, for our full conversion and for our spiritual perfection.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/26/thought-for-the-day-25-september-fundamental-facts/

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on PEACE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The HOLY CROSS, THOMAS a KEMPIS

Thought for the Day – 20 January – Carrying our Cross – The Royal Road

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

Carrying our Cross – The Royal Road

“There is only one way to become holy and to win Heaven.
This is the way of the Cross.
The Imitation of Christ contains some moving thoughts on the subject of the royal road of the Cross.
We shall summarise them here.

The words of Jesus seem hard to many: “Renounce yourself, take up your cross and follow Me.”
But, it would be much harder to hear on the last day those terrible words: “Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire.”
Those who listen now and accept the message of the Cross, need not be afraid of hearing this irrevocable sentence on that day.
Why avoid the way of the Cross if it is the only road which leads to Heaven?
In the Cross there is salvation; in the Cross there is protection from our enemies.
If we carry our cross with submission and love, we shall find peace of soul.
If we intertwine our cross with the Cross of Jesus, we shall obtain energy of mind, joy of spirit and perfect holiness.
If we die on the Cross with Jesus, we shall live with Him in eternal happiness.
If we are His companions in suffering, we shall also be with Him one day in glory (Rom 6:8).

Everything depends on our dying on the Cross with Jesus.
There is no other way to life and to true interior peace but the way of the Holy Cross and of daily mortification (Imitation of Christ, Bk II ch 12).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on JUSTICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The BEATITUDES, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 19 January – The Thirst for Justice

Thought for the Day – 19 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Thirst for Justice

“Jesus commands us, in the Beatitudes, to seek justice, that is perfection in the fulfilment of our obligations to God, to ourselves and, to our neighbour.
He commands us, to hunger and thirst for this justice, which is identical with holiness.

When Christ tells us to hunger and thirst for justice, He imposes on us, the obligation of doing our very best to acquire the virtue of Christian justice, which is the sythesis of all the virtues.
We must be aware, therefore, of laziness, apathy, tepidity, or mediocrity, for our advance in spiritual perfection, must be continuous.
There must be no hesitation or backsliding.
The high target which God has set for us, demands hard work and boundless generosity on our part.
Jesus Christ loved us so much that He gave Himself entirely for us and shed His Precious Blood to the last drop, for our Redemption.
How can we possibly be niggardly or half-hearted in our relatioas with Him?

Whenever God’s cause is at stake, whether in our efforts to achieve our own spiritual perfection or in the fulfilment of our obliations towards our neighbour, we should never refuse anything but, should display absolute dedication to God and to our fellow-man.
“Let us hunger,” said St Catherine of Siena, “for God’s honour and for the salvation of souls” (Vrev di perfezioe, p81).
The hunger and thirst for justice, nourished by the love of God and of our neighbour, should exclude all mediocrity and selfishness from our lives.
It should urge us on, as it did the Saints, towards the highest pinnacles of sanctity.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on The HUMAN SOUL, The MOST HOLY REDEEMER

Thought for the Day – 17 January – The Help of God

Thought for the Day – 17 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Help of God

“There are several passages in Sacred Scripture which emphasise clearly and effectively, our utter weakness and dependence on God.
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves,” says St Paul, “to think anything, as from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor 3:5).

Jesus warns us, that without Him, we can do nothing: “Without me, you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).
He uses the allegory of the vine and the branches as an illustration of this.
I am the vine, He says and you are the branches.
So it is necessary for you to remain united to me and I to you.
In the same way as a branch that does not live on, in the vine, can yield no fruit of itself, so you can do nothing, if you do not live on in Me.
If anyone does not remain united to Me, he will be like a withered branch which is thrown into the fire to be burned (Jn 15),

We must remain united to Jesus, therefore, if we wish to do anything good and to merit everlasting life.
Otherwise, the supernatural life of grace will not be transmitted to us.
If Jesus is not there, death comes into our souls.
Let us remain close to our Divine Redeemer.
If we continue to live in Him, He will give us everything we ask, as He has promised: “If you abide in me and, if my words abide in you, ask whatever you will and it shall be done to you” (Jn 15:7).

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One of this thread here:
https://anastpaul.com/?s=the+beggars+of+god

Posted in "Follow Me", CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DIVINE MERCY, JULY - The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 16 January – I Am Not Able

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

I Am Not Able

“Whenever we feel called upon to make some sacrifice for Jesus or, to form some good resolution, how often do we cry: “I am not able!”
It may be a question of praying more fervently, of performing some mortification or, of helping our neighbour spiritually or materially.
Or perhaps, it is a matter of saying a few words of apology or, of encouragement to our neighbour, whom we have previously treated with coldness and selfishness.
Or. it may be something entirely more generous which is demanded; it may be that God is inviting us to renounce ourselves completely and to dedicate ourselves to Him.
Naturally, this requires sacrifice and great generosity of heart.
But we say to Jesus when He calls us: “I cannot, it is too difficult!”
And yet, the Lord says: “You shall make and keep yourselves holy because, I am holy” (Lev 11:44).
“You, therefore, are to be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
We must not refuse God, Who became man for us in his love and mercy and shed His blood for our redemption!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/05/thought-for-the-day-5-september-i-am-not-able/

Posted in "Follow Me", ARMOUR of CHRIST, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PERSECUTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL

Thought for the Day – 15 January – The Two Standards

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

The Two Standards

“Apart from the throngs of the apathetic, we can see today, as in every stage of the history of Christianity, two armies in battle array, the enemies of Christ and His faithful.
Both the forces of good and evil and, the weapons which they have at their disposal, have increased tremendously in modern times.
Between them, there is Christ, “a sign that shall be contradicted,” (Lk 2:34) as Simeon prophesied.
There are those who give themselves completely to Jesus, their abilities, their health, their virginity offered as a sacrifice for a higher ideal and, if necessary, their life’s blood.
But, there are also those, who use every means which progress has provided, such as the press, cinema and television, in order to destroy God’s dominion over human souls.

Evil today, is organised on a vast scale.
Why, then, can we not employ every modern means, in order to diffuse goodness throughout the world?
This may require sacrifice but, we cannot refuse to make sacrifices on behalf of Jesus Christ, Who did not spare Himself for us!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/09/thought-for-the-day-9-september-the-two-standards/

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on HELL, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, The KINGDOM of GOD

Thought for the Day – 14 January – Those Who Will to be Damned

Thought for the Day – 14 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Those Who Will to be Damned

“Only those who will it themselves, are damned.
God wishes all men to be saved.
It was for this, that He came into the world and shed His Precious Blood.
Moreover, He has given us the means necessary for salvation.
“God our Saviour, wishes all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4).

What can be wanting to us, therefore, in order to obtain salvation?
Divine grace is certainly not lacking, for God gives it to us without reserve.
“I come that they may have life and have it more abundantly” (Jn 10:10).
Nor are we lacking in strength, for, as St Paul says, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).
We have the Sacraments, good inspirations and the example of the Saints.
All that we can be deficient in, then, is our own goodwill and co-operation with the grace of God.
We must be prepared to play our part in our own salvation.

Our first thought and purpose, therefore, must be our own salvation.
The treasure hidden in a field and the pearl of great price (Cf Mt 13:44-46) are symbols of the Kingdom of God and of everlasting happiness.
We should be prepared to sacrifice everything else, in order to find this treasure an to acquire this pearl!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/08/27/thought-for-the-day-27-august-those-who-will-to-be-damned/

Posted in MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on ZEAL, St PAUL!, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 13 January – The Grace of God

Thought for the Day – 13 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Grace of God

“It is astonishing to consider how much St Paul accomplished when he had been transformed by the grace of God.
Formerly, a persecutor of Christians, he became the Apostle of the Gentiles.
Enlightened by faith and inspired by charity, he travelled the globe, spreading everywhere, the religion of Jesus Christ.

He feared neither the anger of the hostile Jews, nor the tribunals of the Roman judges, neither long and difficult journeys, nor scourging, shipwreck and imprisonment.
“The love of Christ impels us,” (2 Cor 5:14) he said.
It was the love of God which drove him on and on, until he met his martyrdom.
But what about ourselves?
We also have received grace from God.
Often we hear His voice appealing to us to abandon our sinful ways, to practise virtue, to love Him more ardently and to prove our love, by deeds.
If we co-operate, we shall be able to say with St Paul: “by the grace of God, I am what I am and his grace in me has not been fruitless,” (1 Cor 15:10) and “I have laboured … yet, not I but the grace of God with me” (ibid).

It is wise to recall, however, that Judas also received special graces from God.
He did not correspond with them and was probably damned for eternity.
If we fail to correspond with God’s graces, the result will be tragic for ourselves.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One of The Grace of God here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/12/thought-for-the-day-12-july-the-grace-of-god/

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DIVINE PROVIDENCE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST

Thought for the Day – 12 January – The Beggars of God

Thought for the Day – 12 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Beggars of God

“Both in the natural and in the supernatural orer, we are in continual need of the help of God.
We did not exist and God, in His infinite goodness, created us.
It is He, Who preserves us in existence from day to day and from moment to moment.
The act of conservation, is like a continuous creation.
If God did not sustain us, we should return immediately to the dust from which we came: “Remember, man, that dust you are and unto dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19).

We are continually dependent on our Lord and Creator for our existence and activity.
If we remained always aware of this tremendous fact, we would never offend God.
We would show Him a filial gratitude and humbly implore His assistance.

We are so poor and He is so rich.
We are so weak and He is so strong.
We are blind and He is the true Light, which illumines every man who comes into the world (Jn 1:9).
Ask for God’s help with confidence, perseverance and resignation to His Holy Will.
As St Augustine says, we are the beggars of God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on EVANGELISATION, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The HOLY CROSS, The KINGDOM of GOD, The REDEMPTION

Thought for the Day – 11 January – The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian

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

The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian

“This exalted dignity carries with it grave obligations.
The most important is to avoid sin.
Who could dare to take the Crucifix and fling it in the mud?
“You are the body of Christ,” St Paul tells us, “member for member” (Cf 1 Cor 12:27).
A man who surrenders himself to sin, therefore, throws the body of Christ into the mud and profanes the temple of the Holy Spirit.
If we sincerely appreciate our dignity as Christians, we cannot possibly give way to sin and destroy, in ourselves, the great work of the Redemption of Christ.
We should, moreover, practise virtue.
We should live in and for Jesus, like St Paul, who said, “For to me to live is Christ … ” (Phil 1:21).
Everyday, we must travel further along the difficult road of self-denial and love.
We must keep going forward, higher and higher towards the summit of perfection.
“You are to be perfect,” Jesus tells us, “even as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).
Even this is not enough, however!
A genuine Christian is not satisfied with avoiding sin and sanctifying himself but, he tries, by every means at his disposal, by word, action, good example and sacrifice, to spread the Kingdom of Christ among his fellow-men.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One of ‘The Dignity and Responsibility of Being a Christian’ here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/04/29/thought-for-the-day-29-april-the-dignity-and-responsibility-of-being-a-christian/

Posted in "Follow Me", BAPTISM, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, ORIGINAL SIN, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SIN

Thought for the Day – 10 January – The Sacrament of Baptism

Thought for the Day – 10 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Sacrament of Baptism

“We are drawn towards Heaven by a golden chain of grace.
The most precious links in this chain of benefits are the Sacraments, which Jesus Christ instituted as sensible and efficacious signs of divine grace.
When we are born, tainted by original sin and, therefore, deprived of supernatural grace, the Church purifies and regenerates us through the Sacrament of Baptism.
We then become the adopted sons of God and heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven.

It is helpful for us to repeat the Baptismal vows which were once made by others, in our name.
Let us imagine that we are at our own Baptism, solemnly promising, through our Godparents, to renounce the devil, the world and the flesh, in order to follow Jesus.

Can we claim to have kept our promises?
Or are we forced to admit that we have not always lived up to our obligations?

Let us renew our promises today and let us ask Jesus, for the grace to be faithful to them, till the end of our lives.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PURITY, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST

Thought for the Day – 9 January – “Lord, that I May See!”

Thought for the Day – 9 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Lord, that I May See!”

“Spiritually, we are all blind to a greater or lesser extent.
Do we understand the infinite truth, beauty and goodness of God, in Whom our true happiness consists?
Do we understand the emptiness of the world, despite the glory of its transient beauty, which can never satisfy our hearts?
Do we understand our own nothingness and our dependence on God for light and grace?
If we understood all this, then the scales of our spiritual blindness would fall from our eyes.
Our faith would be even purer and more heartfelt than that of the poor blind man of Jericho.
If we do not possess this lively faith and our eyes are dazzled by the glittering vanities of the world, let us turn to Jesus and beseech Him: “Lord, that I may see!”
Only the light which comes from You is the true light which illumines every man who comes into this world (Jn 1:9).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on TRUST in GOD

Thought for the Day – 8 January – Entrusting Ourselves to God

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

Entrusting Ourselves to God

“Sometimes the cross seems too heavy.
Physical or moral sufferings may give rise to a feeling of rebellion, or temptations may grow so strong that I feel overwhelmed and unable to experiece the supernatural influence of God’s grace.

At such times, I should remember the words of Jesus: “Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Mt 11:28).

If I leave myself entirely in God’s hands, my cross will become lighter.
My worries and woes, will be easier to bear and, I shall not be excessively elated by worldly pleasures.

All the Saints had perfect TRUST in God.
Therefore, they were always content.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One of ‘Entrusting Ourselves to God’ here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/16/thought-for-the-day-16-july-entrusting-ourselves-to-god/

Posted in GOD ALONE!, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on GRATITUDE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on MERIT, QUOTES on PURITY of INTENTION, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on VIRTUE, QUOTES on WORK/LABOUR, The FAITHFUL on PILGRIMAGE

Thought for the Day – 7 January – Merit and the Love of God

Thought for the Day – 7 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

Merit and the Love of God

“The more we know, writes St Catherine of Siena, the more we love and the more we love, the more we receive.
Our merit, she concludes, increases in accordance with the measure of our love (Dialogues, c 131).
We tend to judge men on the strength of their achievements and to judge ourselves, according to the degree of success which we have attained.
Our standards could hardly be more false.
How much soever each one is in Thy eyes,” the author of The Imitation of Christ cries out to God in the words of St Francis, “so much is he and no more” (Bk III, c 50).

It is not success which counts with God and still less, human esteem.
What matters with God, is our intention of pleasing Him and of working for His glory, from the motive of pure love.
If we are successful in our work, let us praise God.
If we are unsuccessful, let us thank Him, just the same.
Our merit is commensurate with our love for God.
If we love Him very much, we shall work hard and make sacrifices for His sake.
We must work to satisfy God alone, however and not, for ourselves.
If we work for any other purpose, all our labour is wasted.
We sow abundantly and reap little or nothing.
God alone matters.
If we work only for Him, we shall be blessed by Him and shall reap the fruits of everlasting life.
Amen!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on JOY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, QUOTES on PERSEVERANCE, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on THE LIGHT of CHRIST, QUOTES on TRADITION, SAINT of the DAY, The DIVINE INFANT, THE EPIPHANY of the LORD, The NATIVITY of JESUS

Thought for the Day – 6 January –

Thought for the Day – 6 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

The Epiphany

It was love which inspired the Magi.
Love sustained them on their journey and made them fall prostrate in adoration before the Infant Jesus.
Even before they offered Him material gifts, they offered Him, their hearts!
As a reward for their faith and charity, God showered his graces upon them and an immense supernatural joy pervaded their souls.
In that moment of adoration, they received the highest possible reward for their hardships and perseverance.
With deep interior joy, they gave Jesus their hearts and never withdrew them.
A pious tradition maintains, that they apostles and Saints and, in fact, the Church venerates them as such, today.

We should follow the example of the Magi and promise, before the cradle of the Infant Saviour, that we shall face any sacrifices, even death, rather than offend Him and shall work, in every way possible, for His glory and our sanctification.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in LOVE of NEIGHBOUR, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for the NEW YEAR, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONSOLATION, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DEATH, QUOTES on ETERNITY, QUOTES on MORTIFICATION, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on SLOTH, QUOTES on TIME

Thought for the Day – 5 January – The Shortness of Time

Thought for the Day – 5 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Shortness of Time

“We often complain about the swift passage of time.
Hours, days and years pass by, never to return.
When we think about the past, do we feel consoled or depressed?
How many hours have we spent on useless pursuits such as, idle conversation or excessive entertainment?
How many have we devoted to serious sin?
How many, on the other hand, have we spent in prayer, mortification or apostolic work?
How many have we devoted to helping our neighbour by our charitable assistance or advice?
Weigh it all up.
If we discover that the time uselessly or badly spent far outweighs the time spent to our own advantage or to the advantage of others, let us determine to make good the deficit.
Resolve to use God’s precious gift of time in a manner befitting a reasonable being and a Christian, who knows that he has been created for eternity.
“While we have time, let us do good” (Gal 6:10).
We shall be unable to do anything about it afterwards!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 4 January – Accepting the Will of God

Thought for the Day – 4 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Accepting the Will of God

“The Saints were always calm and peaceful because, they accepted everything from God and offered everything to Him.
They thanked God for pleasure and for success; they thanked Him with equal sincerity for suffering and for injuries.

“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
Since we are in God’s hands, we are in good hands.
If it pleases God to send troubles to us, this is a sign that they are good for us.
If it pleases Him to humiliate us, it is a sign that we need to be humbled.
If He causes us to suffer, it is a sign, that we need to be purified from our sins and made more worthy of Him.
In suffering and in joy, may His Holy Will be done!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One of Accepting the Will of God here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/07/13/thought-for-the-day-13-july-accepting-the-will-of-god/

“God wishes to test you,
like gold in the furnace.
The dross is consumed by the fire
but the pure gold remains
and its value increases.
It is in this manner,
that God acts with His good servant,
who puts his hope in Him
and remains unshaken in times of distress.
God raises him up and, in return for the things,
he has left, out of love for God,
He repays him a hundredfold in this life
and with eternal life hereafter.
If then you remain constant in faith,
in the face of trial,
the Lord will give you peace and rest,
for a time in this world,
and forever in the next.”

St Jerome Emiliani (1486–1537)

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Thought for the Day – 3 January – Following Jesus, the Divine Model

Thought for the Day – 3 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Following Jesus, the Divine Model

“Jesus is the Divine Model, Whom we ought to follow and imitate.
In Him, the virtues possess both the infinite splendour of the Divinity and the gentle appeal of glorified Humanity.
Jesus does not dazzle us with His brightness but kindly invites us to love and follow Him.
“Learn from me” He says, “for I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls” (Mt 11:29).
After He has indicated humility, meekness and interior peace, as the foundations of the spiritual life, He invites us to take up the yoke of His law and assures us, that we shall find it light (Mt 11).

If we follow Jesus, even though we are bowed with Him, beneath the weight of the Cross, we shall experience, even in this life, a reflection of the peace and joy which will be our reward in Heaven.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 2 January – The Necessity of Meditation in Silence

Thought for the Day – 2 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Necessity of Meditation in Silence

“With desolation all the land made desolate because, there is none that considereth in the heart” (Jer 12:11).

Very often the world is plunged in the desolation of evil because, there is nobody who will speak with God, in the silence of his heart and try to regulate his life according to His holy commandments.
It is in a particularly outstanding way today, that the heresies of actionism and externalism, dominate the great mass of mankind.
To act, to rush, to arrive … above all, to arrive!
But to arrive where?
In this frantic, frenzied and tumultuous race, which good people are often found competing, two very sure things are forgotten, namely, that we shall finally arrive at death and, that from death, we shall pass onto eternity.
The whole course of our lives, therefore, should be directed towards this end.
But, if we are to keep this end in view, prudent reflection is essential, especially meditation, made with the assistance of the Divine light, on the eternal truths.

Absorbed in the deafening din of the world around us, it is difficult to hear the voice of God.
At least, for a little while each day, we must create within ourselves, a zone of silence, in order to listen to His voice.
Since God speaks readily in the silence of the heart, let us recollect ourselves before Him, in this quiet oasis.
At least a quarter of an hour of daily meditation is essential for the life of a Christian.
This should be the jumping-off board for all the actions of day, if we wish these to be correct and productive of good.

It is very useful, moreover, to recall to mind frequently during the day, the resolutions which have been formed and to accompany these reflections, with short prayers, aspirations and acts of love for God.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 31 December – The Last Day of the Year

Thought for the Day – 31 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Last Day of the Year

“The last day of the year has come.
It should be a day of reckoning and of resolution.
Think of the many benefits which God has conferred on you throughout your life but, especially in the year which is now drawing to a close.

Count the temporal favours which you have received.
Many of your friends and acquaintances have died during the year but, you are still alive!
God has rescued you from innumerable perils and illnesses.
He has allowed you more time in which to perfect your spiritual life and to perform pastoral work on your neighbour’s behalf.
Try not to be like the barren tree in the gospel because, this could be your final year of trial.

Count the spiritual blessings which you have received.
Think of the graces and good inspirations which God has given you during the past twelve months.
How often have you received forgiveness for your sins, been restored to the friendship of God and, experienced anew, the joy and peace of being in the state of grace?
How often has Jesus come into your heart under the guise of the Blessed Eucharist?
How often have you been enlightened ad ecouraged by hearing or reading the word of God?
Think, too, of the good example which you have received in private and in public and recall the many occasions, on which the helping hand of God has reached out to save you from falling into sin.

You could never show sufficient gratitude for all these favours.
Spend this day, at least, in acts of repentance and thanksgiving and, promise God, to be faithful to Him in the coming year.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 30 December – Following Jesus

Thought for the Day – 30 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Following Jesus

“When we have renounced ourselves and have embraced our cross with resignation and love, we must follow Jesus.
We must follow Him in a special way as the infallible Teacher of truth.
The teachings of men cannot satisfy our intellects.
Still less, can they satisfy our hearts.
What they teach is either incomplete or false.
This is proved by the fact that the doctrines of mean have succeeded and replaced one another, down through the centuries while “the word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25).

The teaching of Christ produces an extraordinary renovation in the individual, in the family and in society.
It is this renewal which we call Christianity and Christian civilisation.
There is a wide chasm between paganism and Christianity.
This gulf would be even wider, only for the fact that Christianity has not yet been fully put into practice throughout the universe.
There is only one reform necessary.
This is to realise the Christian ideal everywhere.
We must begin by carrying it out ourselves.
Let us follow Jesus, Who is saying to us: “I am the way and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6). “He who follows Me does not walk in darkness” (Jn 8:12).

Let us follow our divine Master and we shall be sure that we are travelling towards Heaven!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 29 December – The Value of An Hour

Thought for the Day – 29 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Value of An Hour

“There are twenty four hours in a day, eight thousand seven hundred and sixty, in a year.
How have you spent all the hours which God has given you in the past?
How do you intend to use the hours which He will give you in the future?

When you examine the past, you will find much to regret.
Perhaps you have spent many hours in sin, in idle gossp, in useless or dangerous pastimes, or in innumerable business transactions, all of which will contribute NOTHING towards your eternal salvation, which should be our main concern in this life.

How much time have you spent thinking of God, your Creator and Redeemer?
How many hours have you devoted to prayer, thanksgiving and penance.
How many have you spent in apostolic work on behalf of your neighbour?
It may be that the service of God and your spiritual welfare have, so far, been the least of your worries, on which you have expended no more than the few odd moments left over from your other preoccupations.
You are well aware, nevertheless, that the purpose of life is to know, love and serve God.
You know that you ought to offer Him all your thoughts, affections and actions, for He alone can make your happy – or do you NOT know and believe this?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 28 December – Scandal

Thought for the Day – 28 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Scandal

The Gospel contains a frightening condemnation of those who give scandal.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it were better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandal! … If thy hand or thy foot is an occasion of sin to thee, cut it off and cast it from thee! It is better for thee to enter life, mained or lame, than, having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire …” (Cf Mt 18:6-9).
Why was Christ so strict on scandal-givers?
He condemned them because they are the accomplices of the devil.
Not satisfied with doing evil themselves, they seek by means of bad example, to draw others towards ruin as well.
They try to destroy Christ’s work of Redemption and the fruits of the shedding of His Precious Blood.
Let us examine our own conduct.
If we discover anything which could provide an occasion of sin for others, let us remedy it immediately.
Thoughtlessness in such matters can be very dangerous.
Something which seems perfectly innocent to us, could be a source of scandal to others.
Prudence and delicacy are necessary in our relations with our fellow-men.

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHASTITY, QUOTES on PURITY, The APOSTLES & EVANGELISTS, The HEART

Thought for the Day – 27 December – St John the Apostle and Evangelist

Thought for the Day – 26 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) – Feast of St John the Apostle and Evangelist, the Beloved

St John the Apostle and Evangelist

“St John was the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ.
He was allowed, along with St Peter and St James, to enjoy the glory of the Transfiguration and, he was invited with them into the Garden of Gethsemane to witness the agonu ofour divine Redeemer.
In the Cenacle, moreover, after he had received the Blessed Eucharist, he was the only one of the Apostles privileged to rest his head on the breast of Jesus.
He stood at the foot of the Cross on Mount Calvary and heard his Master entrust to him, with His dying breath, the most precious treasure which still remained to Him on earth, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Son, behold thy Mother.”

It is true, that Jesus loved all His Apostles, to all of whom He granted the happiness of enjoying His company, listening to His teaching and witnessing, His miracles.
Even so, He had a special affection for St John.
This was because John was a virgin when Jesus called him and remained so, all his life.
The state of virginity is especially pleasing to God.
It makes us like the Angels and, in a sense, superior to them, since these pure spirits are naturally chaste and, we can only succeed in being so, by means of great self-control.
“Blessed are the pure of heart,” says Jesaus in the Gospel, “for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8).

The privilege of the vision of God is attributed, in a special way, to the pure of heart.
Therefore, St John, the virgin Apostle, begins his Gospel with a descriptio of the intimate life of the eternal God.
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word, was God” (Jn 1:1).
He soars above the earth like an eagle, as St Jerome observes and penetrates into the presence of God Himself.

We know that we shall never be called to scale such heights.
We may not even have a vocation to live as virgins.
But, we are all required to be clean of heart.
Purity is a virtue which all Christians should possess in whatever manner is appropriate to their position in life.
Let us examine ourselves strictly on this matter and make suitable resolutions for the future.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 26 December – St Stephen, the First Martyr

Thought for the Day – 26 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

St Stephen, the First Martyr

“Among the original seven Deacons nominated by the Apostles, there was one name Stephen, who was outstanding for his sanctity and extraordinary spiritual gifts.
Being enlightened by God, this young man dared to rebuke the Jews in public for their hardness of heart and openly defended the doctrine of Christ, Whom he proclaimed to be the Saviour and Redeemer of the world.
One day when he was threatened by his foes, Stephen raised his eyes trustfully towards Heaven and said: “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
The Jews could no longer restrain their fury and proceeded to drag the young man outside the city.
There they left their garments in the care of a youth named Saul, while they savagely stoned Stephen to death.
Stricken to his knees by the force of the missiles, the saintly young disciple continued to look towards Heaven.
“Lord Jesus,” he cried, “receive my spirit.”
Before he breathed his last, he forgave his enemies in the manner of his divine Master.
“Lord,” he prayed, “do not lay this sin against them.”
And with these words he fell asleep (Cf Acts 7:51-60; 8:1-2).

Let us admire and imitate the courage of this Martyr.
We may never be called on, to endure a martyrdom of blood on behalf of our faith but, we shall almost certainly be obliged to undergo the martyrdom of the assault of the passions on our purity of soul, or of severe physical or mental suffering…
If we accept these trials from God with perfect resignation and love, they will certainly prove as valuable to us, as real martyrdom.
If we endure them with the courage and fortitude of St Stephen, we shall be rewarded as he was, by seeing Jesus standing at the right hand of God and offering us the palm of victory!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Thought for the Day – 25 December – The Feast of the Nativity

Thought for the Day – 25 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Feast of the Nativity

“While the earth, plunged in darkness, ignores the birth of Jesus, the sky brightens above the lowly barn in which the Infant is lying.
The voices of Angels are heard singing a sweet refrain which will echo through the centuries.
“Glory to God in the highest,” they chant “and on earth, peace among men of goodwill (Lk 2:14).”

The world rejects and despises Jesus; one day, moreover, He will be condemned as a criminal and Crucified.
What happens to Jesus is what always happens to TRUTH and JUSTICE, which are often spurned by men but are always victorious in the end.
For a time, truth and justice may seem to have been defeated once and for all but then, they triumph in an extraordinary manner.
The example of Christ is enough to convince us of this.

Let us never reject Jesus Christ, however.
Let us refuse to trample on His holy law or to crucify Him again, by our sins!
Let us listen to the chorus of Angels singing.
Let us make our lives a hymn of praise to Almighty God and then, we shall have that peace of heart which is rserved for men of goodwill.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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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)

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 tech 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

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Thought for the Day – 23 December – What Jesus Wants From Us

Thought for the Day – 23 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

What Jesus Wants From Us

“Let us contemplate Jesus lying on a rough pallet of straw in the manger.
When we see Him looking at us, let us ask ourselves what it is that He requires of us.
In fact, He wants many things from us.
First of all, He wants us to weep for our sins and to promise, never to fall again, as long as we have the assistance of His grace, for which we should pray continually.
For this, He has become man and has entered into the world.
For this He will work miracles, preach His doctrine and shed His Precious Blood on the Cross.
All this He will do to redeem us from sin and to win Heaven for us.

If we return to the path of sin, we destroy the divine work of redemption, inasfar as it applies to ourselves.
We make Christ’s passion, death and resurrection useless in our case.
We brush aside the chain of favours with which His love has girdled us – the Gospel, the Sacraments and the Church, our good mother who is always at our side to instruct and direct us, to rescue us from peril and, to distribute to us, the gifts of her divine Founder.
When we sin, we commit an act of base ingratitude to Jesus and accomplish our own eternal ruin.

The Infant Jesus longs for us to give our hearts to Him.
Since He has given us His own, why should we be unwilling to give ours to Him?
Who or what can we love, if we do not love Jesus?
Nothing else is capable of giving us peace of soul and resignation in suffering.
Jesus alone can bestow these gifts on us, as long as we love and follow Him and abandon ourselves completely to His Holy Will.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci