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Thought for the Day – 16 June – Purity of Intention

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

Purity of Intention

purity of intention - bacci 17 june 2020

“Purity of intention consists in doing the will of God in all things from the motive of pure love.
We should not be egocentric but theocentric;   in other words, we should perform all our actions, not for our own satisfaction but to please God.
Since God is our final end, everything should be done for Him.
Why are we so often agitated and discontented?
It is because, we are looking for success and for the approval of men.
If we do not get these, we imagine that we have failed and have accomplished nothing.

Men judge the value of an enterprise by it’s external success and by the amount of work which went into it.
It is not so with God.
He judges the value of our actions from the sincerity of our desire to please Him ad to prove our love for Him.
This is enough for Him;  success is not necessary.
If we do everything for the love of God, we shall always be content as the Saints were, whether our projects succeed or fail.
We shall have achieved our purpose, if we have pleased God.

Purity of Intention in our actions, is fundamental in the Christian life.
“If thy eye be sound,” Jesus Himself tells us, “thy whole body will be full of life.   But, if thy eye be evil, thy whole body will be full of darkness” (Mt 6:22)
“Men see those things that appear but the Lord beholds the heart” (1 Kings 16:7).

A man who works solely for the love of God, will have great peace of soul in this life and an everlasting reward in the next.
But, if in our actions, we seek our own satisfaction or the praise of men, we shall have already received our reward on earth and cannot expect to receive it in Heaven.   “They have received their reward” (Mt 6:2).

Purity of intention, inspired by the love of God, transforms even our most trivial actions and makes them pleasing to God.
Without it, we lose all merit in the sight of God.

Do you remember the Gospel incident of the poor widow who offered her last two coins in the Temple?
Others were there, offering up large sums of money but she could not have given more.
“Amen, I say to you,” said Jesus, “this poor widow has put in more than all those who have been putting into the treasury” (Mk 12:41-44).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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One Minute Reflection – 17 June – ‘Purity of intention…’

One Minute Reflection – 17 June – “Month of the Sacred Heart” – Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, Year A, Readings: 2 Kings 2:1, 6-14, Psalm 31:20, 21, 24, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18

“Beware of practising your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” … Matthew 6:1

REFLECTION – “Our Lord, so the early Fathers say, used to tell His disciples to be well-proved bankers, proving all things, holding fast what is of value.   No coin finds acceptance commercially if the gold is below standard, underweight, of it the piece is illegally struck;  nor can our actions have any value spiritually, unless they are suitable, graced with charity and have a pious motive.

Take fasting, for instance – if I fast simply for the purpose of slimming, my fasting is for debased spiritual coinage;  if temperance underlies it but I am not in a state of grace, it is still deficient, for charity alone gives weight to what we do;  if I do it merely out of courtesy for the company in which I find myself, it lacks the stamp of right intention. Let my fasting be based on temperance, my soul in a state of grace, my intention solely to please God, then my efforts will ring true, fit to enlarge my store of charity.

Given utmost purity of intention and a firm resolve to please God, little actions are well done.   In these circumstances they lead to great holiness.   Some people, in spite of eating all they can, remain only skin and bone, weak, listless, their powers of digestion are poor.   Others may eat next to nothing yet be fit as fiddles, full of energy — nothing is wrong with their digestion!   Some folk there are, in the same way, who do many good things, yet have little extra charity to show for it – coldness and carelessness, or instinct and inclination rather than grace or zeal, is where the blame lies.   On the other hand, there are those who accomplish little but to perfect is their will, their intention, however, that their growth in charity is great.   They have only a little talent but they make such careful use of what they have that the Lord rewards them for it generously.” … St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Bishop of Geneva, Doctor Caritatismatthew 6_1 - beware of practising - let my fasting be based on temperance my soul in a state of grace - st francis de sales 17 june 2020

PRAYER – Litany of Humility
By Servant of God Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930) – who was accustomed to recite this prayer daily after the celebration of Holy Mass.

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honoured, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver, me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase
and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
Amenlitany of humility by card merry del val 17 june 2020