Thought for the Day – 23 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“An outward show of patience, will hardly avail us much in God’s eyes, unless it is accompanied by interior patience which, consists in the possession of complete mastery over all our faculties. We should be able to control our feelings, as well as our actions. This is a difficult virtue but, it is the duty of every sincere Catholic, to try and acquire it. Only the grace of God and constant effort, will enable us to succeed but when we have, at last, mastered our unruly and selfish impulses, we shall have arrived at a state of peace and perfection.
“By your patience, you will win your souls” (Lk 21:19).”
Quote/s of the Day – 6 April – Wednesday of Passion Week, the Fifth Week of Lent Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-19, 25, John 10:22-38
“My sheep hear My Voice; I know them and they follow Me.”
“The mark of Christ’s sheep is their willingness to hear and obey, just as disobedience is the mark of those who are not His. We take the word ‘hear’ to imply obedience to what has been said.”
“My sheep follow me,” says Christ. By a certain God-given grace, believers follow in the footsteps of Christ. No longer subject to the shadows of the Law , they obey the commands of Christ, and guided by His words, rise through grace, to His own dignity, for they are called children of God. When Christ ascends into heaven, they also follow Him.”
St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
“Chosen soul, how will you bring this about? What steps will you take to reach the high level to which God is calling you? The means of holiness and salvation, are known to everybody, since they are found in the Gospel, the masters of the spiritual life have explained them, the Saints have practised them… These means are – sincere Humility, unceasing Prayer, complete Self-denial, abandonment to Divine Providence and obedience to the Will of God.”
St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)
“Peace in us is the result of two kinds of necessary obedience, the obedience to right reason of the lower faculties and the obedience of right reason to God, our Creator. “This is the peace which God gives on earth to men of goodwill; this is the most perfect wisdom,” St Augustine.”
Thought for the Day – 5 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
PRIDE “I will not serve.”
“Pride is the sin of Satan. Being a pure spirit, he could not commit sins which have material things as their object, such as sins of impurity or of avarice. The one sin of which a spirit is capable, is pride. Satan had been created by God and had been endowed with the loftiest gifts but, he was obliged to undergo a trial, in order that he could merit the reward reserved for him by God, namely, the everlasting happiness of the Beatific Vision. It is generally held, that God revealed to Satan and to all the legions of Angels, the Eternal Word made man, Jesus Christ and commanded them to adore Him. But when Satan and the other rebellious Angels saw in Jesus Christ, a nature far inferior to their own, they were indignant, because, the Divine Word had not been united to the angelic, instead of the human nature. They refused to bow their haughty heads and flung back at God, the arrogant and blasphemous ultimatum:“I will not serve.”
This, is the essence of pride – the creature attributes to himself, the gifts which he has received from his Creator and believes, that he can do without God. Pride is opposed to truth, which requires us to acknowledge, that we have received everything from God. We should not grow proud, therefore but should gratefully refer all that we are and all that we have, to Our Lord and Creator. We should remember, that one day, we shall have to render to God, a strict account of all these gifts.”
Thought for the Day – 14 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Leaving Our Worries in God’s Hands
“Although we ought to be busy, we should never be too preoccupied. We should do what we can and leave the rest to Providence. Preoccupation is unprofitable and even harmful, for it produces worry and anxiety. Very often, it impedes our work because it destroys our peace of mind. We should do everything of which we are capable, therefore and leave the rest for God to do, if He believes that it is for our spiritual benefit. If He does not consider that it would be to our advantage, He will leave it undone and we shall be the gainers thereby.
Preoccupation springs from lack of faith and lack of resignation to the Will of God. One is reminded, in this context ,of a story which is told about St John Bosco. He was waiting one day for an audience with a Minister of State, with whom he would have to discuss various difficult problems. There were a good many other people in the waiting room, most of whom walked up and down agitatedly as they pondered over what they intended to say to the Minister and what they hoped to receive from him. Dom Bosco, however, remained calm, so calm in fact, that because he was also very tired, he fell asleep. At last the Minister appeared in the doorway and to his amusement discovered the Priest slumbering contentedly. Dom Bosco awoke when the Minister called him and calmly proceeded to explain, at once, what it was that he desired. He spoke in the manner of one accustomed to conversing with God and he obtained, without any trouble, everything which he wanted.
We should try and behave with similar serenity. We should stay close to God and live in complete conformity with His Will. We should perform our duties attentively and whole-heartedly but, we should never worry about them. As a result, we shall do more and do it more effectively. Most important of all, we shall be sure that God will bless our work.”
Thought for the Day – 6 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971) (Apologies for the late post – the usual South African problem to blame – Power Cuts! 🙄)
Pride is Robbery!
“When we are proud, we steal from God! Everything which we are and have, both in the natural and supernatural order, is a gift from God. Therefore, when we claim the credit for ourselves, we take from Him that which really belongs to Him. “What hast thou that thou hast not received.” asks St Paul. “And if thou has received it, why do thou boast as if thou had not received it?” (1 Cor 4:7).
Pride is a very grave sin, therefore. According to Sacred Scripture, “pride is the reservoir of sin, a source which runs over with vice” (Ecclus 10:15). “The beginning of pride,” says the same Book of Ecclsiasticus, “is man’s stubbornness in withdrawing his heart from his Maker” (10:14). It is worth meditating on these words, for because of this sin “God sends unheard-of afflictions and brings men to utter ruin” (Ecclus 10:15). As St Augustine points out, the first sin was one of pride and it changed an angel into a demon. (In Ps 18:15).
When we reflect on the matter, it becomes quite clear, that pride is the basis of every sin (Ibid). When man disobeys the law of God, he prefers sin to God. Sin, therefore, is always an act of rebellion against God. It is as if we were to say to Him: “I prefer to obey my own caprice, rather than to obey Your will.” In this sense, it is true to state, that every sin is founded on pride and involves a turning away from God. But, when we turn away from our Creator and Redeemer, where are we to go? “Lord,” let us say with St Peter, “to whom shall we go? Thou has the words of everlasting life …” (Jn 6:69).”
Thought for the Day – 1 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” -Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Virginal Purity of Mary
O Mary, my Heavenly Mother, I am so weak, yet the danger in which I find myself, is so great. Turn your eyes of mercy upon me and come to my assistance. Most of all, do not allow the demon of impurity to seduce my soul. Grant that I may never yield to the temptations of the flesh. Protect for me, the flower of my chastity, until I can deliver it, unsullied, into the hands of Jesus in Heaven. Amen.
Thought for the Day – 27 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Faith teaches us that the soul which is in the state of grace and has expiated all the temporal punishments due to its sins, goes immediately to Heaven when it is separated from the body. There, the soul enjoys eternal happiness. It sees God face-to-face. It sees Him without any intervention of created things but as He is in Himself in the Unity and Trinity of His infinite perfections.
In this Beatific Vision, the intellect remains completely satisfied because, in God, there is every truth, beauty and goodness, The will abandons itself entirely to the Will of God, desiring nothing else and loving nothing else but God alone. There springs from this abandonment, a love which satisfies every desire, an inexpressible joy and a boundless peace. The happy soul will see the Blessed Virgin too and she will smile upon it with maternal tenderness. It will see the Angels and the Saints gathered around the King of Kings and the Queen of Heaven, singing praises. St Paul, who was taken up to the third Heaven, tells us that it is impossible to imagine or to describe the unknown joys which are experienced there. In comparison with the eternal happiness of Heaven, the poor pleasures of this world are empty shadows. We cannot imagine the happiness of those who have gained Heaven by their good lives upon earth. The concept of Heaven is so beautiful and immense, that it caused the Saints to desire death as a means of going there. They welcomed suffering too because, it brought them nearer to their goal.
St Augustine tells us, that Paradise is ours, if we wish: “You are not called to embrace the earth but to prepare yourselves for Heaven; not to the successes of this world, nor to a short-lived transient prosperity but, to eternal life together with the Angels.” (Serm 296, 6:7).”
Thought for the Day – 25 June – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Power of God’s Love in the Christian Life
“The love which we have for God, our Creator, Redeemer and Benefactor, should not be merely sentimental. It must be effective. When love is sincere, it is active. It is not enought to say: I love You, O my God. We must show by our actions, that we love Him. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven,” Jesus tells us, “but he who does the will of my Father in heaven, shall enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 7:21). Our love must be active, therefore. Moreover, we must avoid and detest sin because it is an offence against God and, we must strive to become holy. This involves sacrifice but sacrifice is the touchstone of love. Anyone in love, is not afraid of sacrifice – in fact, he looks for it, in order to prove his love. Charity, like faith, is a lifeless thing, if it is not accompanied by actions (Cf Js 2:17). We must love God by doing everything for love of Him. God will repay us generously, ot only in the next life but even in the present. Even on earth, the only real happiness, is that whch comes from Him.”
Thought for the Day – 24 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Some people think that they are good Christians because they avoid committing grave sin and more or less, fulfil their duties. They do not entirely omit their prayers but, they are content to recite them listlessly.
They go to Mass on days of obligation but, they are afraid of arriving too early and so, they are usually a little late. Once Mass is over, they leave the Church, as if they had been set on fire. During Mass, they are cold and distracted. They are like candlesticks without candles – their minds are absent, their hearts are mute.
In regard to their work or other obligations, any excuse suffices to escape or to leave a job half-done. It is useless to expect from them, anything like fervour in prayer, attention to duty, or a spirit of sacrifice in the performance of good works.
Such people are only half-Christians. They do not wish to serve Satan but, they lack the generosity ad the strength of will to become true sons of God. Do you belong to this category? If your carelessness derives from a lack of appreciation of divine things and of your duty in life, you can hardly avoid grave fault. If it comes from laziness, tepidity or lack of mortification, there is no doubt but that you are close to mortal sin! Anyone who is negligent, not only disgusts men but he is an object of loathing to God also and is running the risk of being abandoned by Him. We should examine ourselves seriously and, if we discover this indifference in ourselves, we should shake off our lethargy and make good resolutions to love God more and to serve Him with greater fidelity and diligence. We should be ready, no matter how great the sacrifice, to avoid every imperfection and sin. Any offence against God can lead us nearer to eternal damnation!”
Thought for the Day – 25 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“There is no such thing as half-way virtue.
Virtue is a struggle and a sacrifice. It presupposes a generous heart which gives itself to Jesus without reserve. Did He not give Himself completely for our sakes? Did He not die upon the Cross for our salvation and reopen Heaven, which had been closed to us by sin? Moreover, did He not remain hidden in our midst under the Eucharistic species in order to become our sustenance and our support?
When we are faced with such goodness and generosity, can we be so niggardly as to offer God, only a part of ourselves and perhaps a part which is worthless and perishable, as Cain did when he offered sacrifices from his fields and flocks? God would certainly turn away from us and refuse our gifts. And then, we should be lost forever! Let us give ourselves completely and then be able to say with St Paul “I have fought the good fight to the end, I have run the race to the finish, I have kept the faith … ” (2 Tm 4:7)
“The time is sure to come, when people will not accept sound teaching but their ears will be itching for anything new and they will collect themselves a whole series of teachers according to their own tastes and then they will shut their ears to the truth and will turn to myths. But you must keep steady all the time; put up with suffering, do the work of preaching the gospel, fulfil the service asked of you. As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation and the time has come for me to depart. I have fought the good fight to the end, I have run the race to the finish, I have kept the faith … ”(2 Tm 4:3-7)
Thought for the Day – 9 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Crown of Thorns Which Surrounds the Sacred Heart
“When Jesus appeared to St Margaret Mary, He showed her His Heart encircled by a crown of sharp thorns.
What is the significance of this?
In Heaven, Jesus is happy and cannot suffer anymore.
The Angels, Saints and the whole of creation, sing a hymn of unceasing praise in His honour.
Nevertheless, He sees the immense tide of sin, which surges forth from the human race which He redeemed by His Precious Blood, a redemption now made futile by many.
He is aware of the insane blasphemies hurled by so many against His lofty throne.
He sees how His gifts, His Sacraments and His graces are abused by many.
He sees, finally, the number of privileged souls, often consecrated to His service, who are indifferent and ungrateful, while, they should be trying to make reparation for the evils of mankind by their love, prayers and penances.
The explanation for this mystical crown of thorns, lies in His infinite love.
He does not suffer anymore because, He cannot suffer but He still has an immense love for all men, even for sinners and for those who are lukewarm and ungrateful.
He loves and wishes to save all men.
In spite of their sinfulness and ingratitude.
He still calls them appealingly to His Heart, which they, by their sins, have crowned with thorns and pierced with a lance.
This is a mystery of love which we cannot properly understand.
Only a man who loves Jesus fervently, can even have the slightest understanding of it.
If we sincerely love the divine Heart of Jesus, we shall realise, that these sharp thorns which once pierced His Heart in Gethsemane and on Calvary, were caused by our sins.
Then, we shall do our best to make a generous return for such love and to make reparation, even with grave sacrifice, for the offences which are still being committed by men against the loving Heart of the Redeemer.”
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