One Minute Reflection – 30 January – “Is Christ asleep in you? – Mark 4:35-41

One Minute Reflection – 30 January – Saturday of the Third week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19, Luke 1:69-70, 71-72,73-75, Mark 4:35-41 and the Memorial of Saint Bathilde (c 626–680) Queen

“And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” – Mark 4:39

REFLECTION – “Your heart is imperilled, your heart is taking a battering. On hearing yourself insulted, you long to retaliate but, the joy of revenge, brings with it another kind of misfortune – shipwreck. Why is this? Because Christ is asleep in you. What do I mean? I mean you have forgotten His presence. Rouse Him, then; remember Him, let Him keep watch within you, pay heed to Him. … You have forgotten that when Christ was being crucified He said: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). Christ, the sleeper in your heart, had no desire for vengeance in His.

Rouse Him, then, call Him to mind. (To remember Him, is to recall His words; to remember Him, is to recall His commands.) Then, when He is awake within you, you will ask yourself, “Whatever kind of wretch am I to be thirsting for revenge? … He who said, ‘Give and it shall be given you; forgive and you will be forgiven,’ would indeed decline to acknowledge me. So I will curb my anger and restore peace to my heart.” Now all is calm again. Christ has rebuked the sea. … This is the moment to awaken Christ and let Him remind you of those words: “Who can this be? Even the winds and the sea obey him” Who is this whom the sea obeys? “It is he to whom the sea belongs, for he made it” (Ps 95[94]:5); “all things were made through him” (Jn 1:3).

Try, then, to be more like the wind and the sea – obey the God who made you. The sea obeys Christ’s command and are you going to turn a deaf ear to it? … Words, actions, schemes, what are all these but a constant huffing and puffing, a refusal to be still at Christ’s command? When your heart is in a troubled state, do not let the waves overwhelm you.

If, since we are only human, the driving wind should stir up in us a tumult of emotions, let us not despair but awaken Christ, so that we may sail in quiet waters and reach at last our heavenly homeland.” – St Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo, Father and Doctor of Grace – Sermon 63

PRAYER – Waken us holy Lord, to Your presence in us, with us, now and forever. Open our eyes to see Your presence and our ears to hear Your voice. Teach us that You are always with us and Your presence is all we need to survive the storms and the winds of this world. For You, just You, are our rock and our foundation, our ship and our harbour. Grant that the prayers of St Bathilde and all Your saints may serve to remind us of Your love and power. Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God forever, amen.


Our Lady of the Rose (Lucca, Italy) and Memorials of the Saints – 30 January

Our Lady of the Rose (Lucca, Italy) – 30 January:

History shows, that the rose is the favourite flower of Our Lady herself, the Madonna of the Rose. In her apparition at Guadeloupe, she made use of roses as a sign of her presence and even arranged them, with her own beautiful hands, in the tilma of Juan Diego. At La Salette she wore a profusion of roses in three garlands and had tiny roses around the rim of her slippers. She brought beautiful roses with her at Lourdes, Pontmain, Pellevoisin, Beauraing and Banneaux. To Sister Josefa Menendez she showed her immaculate heart encircled with little white roses. Truly, she could be called the Madonna of the Rose.
In the city of Damascus, very familiar to Mary, hundreds of men and women earn their living by working with roses, from which they distil rosewater and extract attar and syrup of rose. These people carry the scent of roses with them, wherever they go. This is a lesson for us – let us become so saturated with the virtues of Mary, the Madonna of the Rose, that we carry their fragrance and attract other souls to our Divine Lord, through His Mother, the Mystical Rose, the Madonna of the Rose.
Among the many feasts of Our Lady we find mentioned in an old Latin chronicle: “30 January, Our Lady of the Rose, at Lucca in Italy. Three roses were found in January in the arms of the statue of Our Lady there.”
Cardinal Newman says “Mary is the most beautiful flower ever seen in the spiritual world. It is by the power of God’s grace that from this barren and desolate earth there ever sprung up at all flowers of holiness and glory and Mary is the Queen of them all. She is the Queen of spiritual flowers and, therefore, is called the Rose, for the rose is called, of all flower, the most beautiful. But, moreover, she is the Mystical or Hidden Rose, for mystical means hidden.”
In the stately college of King’s Chapel, in Cambridge, England, one of the most renowned universities, built by Henry VIII in memory of his father, there can be discerned, hidden in one of the Tudor rose-bosses on the walls, a small head of Our Lady which somehow escaped observation, at the despoliation of images at the Protestant Deformation. Brother John, a clever carver, was hired to carve all of the roses; knowing of the King’s quarrel with the Pope, he secretly carved a tiny head of Mary, half-hidden within the rose petals in the upper tier of decorations, saying, “There you remain, Our Lady of the Rose, even if wicked men try to drive you and your Son from this Church.” His words came true, when the place was stripped of every trace of Faith, the diminutive head of the Mother of God still remained.
But a rose has thorns and so had the Mystical Rose – the sharpest for herself alone; so she could have compassion on our infirmities. Never did the breathE of evil spoil the splendour of this Mystical Rose; never did God’s lovely flower, the Madonna of the Rose, cease to give forth the sweet perfume of love and praise.
“Mystical Rose, thou hast been hailed to shed they fragrance sweet, to flood our desert with thy perfume rare. We beg thee, daily kneeling at thy feet, let fall thy petals for our repose, shower upon us thy aroma, O thou Mystical Rose.”

St Aldegundis
St Alexander of Edessa
St Amnichad of Fulda
St Armentarius of Antibes
St Armentarius of Pavia
St Barsen
St Barsimaeus of Edessa
St Bathilde (c 626–680) Queen, Religious
Blessed Bronislaw Markiewicz SDB (1842-1912)

Bl Carmen Marie Anne García Moyon
St David Galván-Bermúdez (1881-1915) Martyr of the Mexican Revolution
Biography here: Felician of Africa
St Felix IV, Pope
Bl Francis Taylor
Bl Haberilla
St Hippolytus of Antioch
St Hyacintha of Mariscotti
Bl Margaret Ball
Bl Maria Bolognesi
St Martina of Rome
St Matthias of Jerusalem
St Mutien Marie Wiaux
St Paul Ho Hyob
St Philippian of Africa
St Savina of Milan
Blessed Sebastian Valfrè CO (1629-1710)
His Life:
St Theophilus the Younger
St Tôma Khuông
St Tudclyd
Bl Zygmunt Pisarski


Thought for the Day – 30 January

Thought for the Day – 30 January

A Christian, who seriously considers that he is to live here but a moment and will live eternally in the world to come, must confess that it is a part of wisdom to refer all his actions and views to prepare himself for that everlasting dwelling, which is his true country.   Our only and necessary affair is to live for God. to do His will and to sanctify and save our souls.   If we are employed in a multiplicity of exterior business, we must imitate St Bathilde, when she bore the whole weight of the state.   In all we do, God and His holy will must be always before our eyes and to please Him must be our only aim and desire.

Shunning the anxiety of Martha and reducing all our desires to this one of doing what God requires of us, we must with her call in Mary to our assistance.    In the midst of action, while our hands are at work, our mind and heart ought to be interiorly employed on God, at least virtually, that all our employments may be animated with the spirit of piety: and hours of repose must always be contrived to pass at the feet of Jesus, where in the silence of all creatures we may listen to His sweet voice, refresh in Him our wearied souls and renew our fervour.

While we converse with the world, we must tremble at the sight of its snares, and be upon our guard that we never be seduced so far as to be in love with it, or to learn its spirit.  o love the world, is to follow its passions; to be proud, covetous and sensual, as the world is. The height of its miseries and dangers, is that blindness by which none who are infected with its spirit, see their misfortune, or are sensible of their disease.   Happy are they who can imitate this holy queen in entirely separating themselves from it!   Not only a slave but a queen – St Bathilde was both and yes, BOTH MAY BE SAINTS!

St Bathilde PRAY FOR US!


(Partially taken from Vol. I of “The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints” by the Rev. Alban Butler, the 1864 edition published by D. & J. Sadlier, & Company)

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 30 January – St Bathilde

Saint of the Day – 30 January – St Bathilde (also known as Baldechilde, Baldhild, Bathild, Bathildes, Bathildis, Bauteur) (c630-680). Queen

It is certain that ST Bathilde was a slave in the service of the wife of Erchinoald, mayor of the palace of Neustria.  Her unusual qualities of mind and her virtues inspired the confidence of her master who gave many of the affairs of the household into her charge and, after the death of his wife, wished to marry her.   At this the young girl fled and did not return until Erchinoald had married again.   About this time Clovis II met her at the house of the mayor of the palace, and was impressed by her beauty, grace and the good report he had of her.   He freed and married her, 649.   This sudden elevation did not diminish the virtues of Bathilde but gave them a new lustre. Her humility, spirit of prayer and large-hearted generosity to the poor were particularly noticeable.

Seven years after their marriage Clovis II died, 656, leaving Bathilde with three sons, Clothaire, Childeric, and Thierry.  An assembly of the leading nobles proclaimed Clothaire III, aged five, king under the regency of his mother, Bathilde.   Aided by the authority and advice of Erchinoald and the saintly bishops, Eloi (Eligius) of Noyon, Ouen of Rouen, Leéger of Autun, and Chrodebert of Paris, the queen was able to carry out useful reforms. She abolished the disgraceful trade in Christian slaves, and firmly repressed simony among the clergy.   She also led the way in founding charitable and religious institutions, such as hospitals and monasteries.   Through her generosity the Abbey of Corbey was founded for men, and the Abbey of Chelles near Paris for women.   At about this date the famous Abbeys of Jumièges, Jouarre, and Luxeuil were established, most probably in large part through Bathilde’s generosity. Berthilde, the first Abbess of Chelles, who is honoured as a saint, came from Jouarre.   The queen wished to renounce her position and enter the religious life, but her duties kept her at court.   Erchinoald died in 659 and was succeeded by Ebroin.   Notwithstanding the ambition of the new mayor of the palace, the queen was able to maintain her authority and to use it for the benefit of the kingdom.  After her children were well established in their respective territories, Childeric IV in Austrasia and Thierry in Burgundy, she returned to her wish for a secluded life and withdrew to her favourite Abbey of Chelles near Paris.

On entering the abbey she laid down the insignia of royalty and desired to be the lowest in rank among the inmates.   It was her pleasure to take her position after the novices and to serve the poor and infirm with her own hands.   Prayer and manual toil occupied her time, nor did she wish any allusion made to the grandeur of her past position.   In this manner she passed fifteen years of retirement.   At the beginning of the year 680 she had a presentiment of the approach of death and made religious preparation for it.   Before her own end, that of Radegonde occurred, a child whom she had held at the baptismal font and had trained in Christian virtue.   She was buried in the Abbey of Chelles and was canonized by Pope Nicholas I.