Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Our Lady of Grace/Our Lady of the Bowed Head and Memorials of the Saints – 25 June

Our Lady of Grace/Our Lady of the Bowed Head – 25 June
About:
https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/06/25/25-june-the-feast-of-our-lady-of-grace/

our lady of grace of the bowed head

St Adalbert of Egmond
St Amand of Coly
Bl Burchard of Mallersdorf
St Cyneburga of Gloucester
St Domingo Henares de Zafra Cubero
Bl Dorothy of Montau
St Eurosia of Jaca
St Febronia of Nisibis
Bl Fulgentius de Lara
St Gallicanus of Embrun
St Gallicanus of Ostia
St Gohard of Nantes
Bl Guy Maramaldi
Bl Henry Zdick
Bl John the Spaniard
St Luceias and Companions
St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)
Biography:
https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/25/saint-of-the-day-25-june-st-maximus-of-turin-c-420-father-of-the-church/

St Moluag of Lismore (c 530–592)
St Molonachus of Lismore
St Phanxicô Ðo Van Chieu
St Prosper of Reggio (Died c 466)
His Life:
https://anastpaul.com/2019/06/25/saint-of-the-day-25-june-saint-prosper-of-reggio-died-c-466/
St Selyf of Cornwall
St Solomon I
St Solomon III of Bretagne
St William of Vercelli (1085-1142) – Biography: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/06/25/saint-of-the-day-25-june-st-william-of-vercelli/

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, St JOHN the BAPTIST

Quote/s of the Day – 24 June – St John the Baptist

Quote/s of the Day – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist

The name “John” means
“God is Gracious”

the name john means god is gracious 24 june 2020 nativity of st john the baptist

“The Church observes the birth of John as a hallowed event.
We have no such commemoration for any other fathers
but, it is significant,
that we celebrate the birthdays of John and of Jesus.
This day cannot be passed by.”

the church observes the birth of john - 24 june 2020

“As a representative of the past,
he is born of aged parents,
as herald of the new,
he is declared to be a prophet,
while still in his mother’s womb.”

as a representative of the past - st augustine - the nativity of st john the baptist 24 june 2020

“The release of Zechariah’s voice at the birth of John,
is a parallel to the rending of the veil, at Christ’s Crucifixion.
If John were announcing his own coming,
Zechariah’s lips would not have been opened.
The tongue is loosened because a voice is born.

the-tongue-is-loosened-because-a-voice-is-born-24-june-2019-birth-of-john-the-baptist and 15 dec 2019 gaudete
For when John was preaching the Lord’s coming he was asked:
Who are you?
And he replied: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.
The voice is John but the Lord in the beginning was the Word.
John was a voice that lasted only for a time;
Christ, the Word in the beginning, is eternal.”

St Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of Grace

i-am-the-voice-the-voice-is-john-but-st-augustine-24-june-2019-nativity-of-st-john-the-baptist and 24 June 2020

“Our Lord says that John is a lamp:
“He was a burning and shining lamp” (Jn 5:35).
But the light of a lamp pales, when the sun shines,
it’s flame dies down, overcome by an even more radiant light.
What sensible person uses a lamp in full sunlight?…
Who would still come for John’s baptism of repentance (Mk 1:4)
when Jesus’ baptism brings salvation?”

St Maximus of Turin (5th Century)
Bishop

Sermon 99, PL 57, 535

john-5-35-he-was-a-burning-and-shining-lamp-but-the-light-of-a-lamp-pales-st-maximus-of-turin-24-june-2018 and 24 june 2020

[Like St John the Baptist did -]
“Prepare a path for God
so that He can enter your heart.”

St John Baptiste de la Salle FSC (1651-1719)

like st john the baptist prepare a path for god - st john baptiste de la salle 24 june 2020 nativity of st john the aoptist

“The true secret of love consists in this:
we must forget self
like St John the Baptist
and exalt and glorify the Lord Jesus.”

St Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868)the-true-secret-of-love-is-this-st-peter-julian-eymard-24-june-2018-and-24-june-2019 and 2020

Posted in LENT 2020, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on FREE WILL, QUOTES on SIN, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 13 March – ‘We ourselves are this house …’

One Minute Reflection – 13 March – Friday of the Second Week of Lent, Readings: Genesis 37:3-4, 12 -13, 17-28, Psalm 105:16-21, Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46

“Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.”...Matthew 21:43matthew 21 43 therefore i tell you the kingdom of god will be taken away from you 13 march 2020

REFLECTION – “The vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel” says the prophet (Is 5:7).   We ourselves are this house… and, since we are His Israel, we are the vineyard. So let us take good care that grapes of wrath (Rv 14:19) rather than sweetness do not grow from our branches, so that no-one may say to us:  “I expected grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:4).   What fruitless soil!   The soil that should have presented its master with fruits of sweetness, pierced Him with its sharp thorns.
In the same way His enemies, who ought to have welcomed our Saviour with all the devotion of their faith, crowned Him with the thorns of His Passion.   In their eyes this crown expressed insult and abuse but in the Lord’s eyes it was the crown of virtue…

My brethren, take good care that no one says with regard to you: “He expected it to yield grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:2)… Let us be careful that our evil deeds do not rub against our Lord’s head like thorns. ” … Saint Maximus of Turin (c 380-c 420)Sermon for the feast of Saint Cyprian – CC Sermon 11the-soil-that-should-have-st-maximus-of-turin-22-march-2019-2nd-fri-lent and 13 march 2020

PRAYER – Almighty God, help us dear Father to produce fruits acceptable to You. Help us to reach out of our enclosed spaces in love to all. Even when the road is rocky, grant that we may not falter but always turn back to Your merciful gaze.ay the prayers of our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, who fearlessly withstood the fury of evil, be a help in our times of need and fear.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, one God for all eternity, amen.blessed virgin mary pray for us 17 jan 2019

Posted in BAPTISM, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BAPTISM of the LORD, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 12 January – ‘..The Father reveals, that His Son is to be worshipped by all the nations.’

One Minute Reflection – 12 January – Feast of the Baptism of the Lord,
Readings: Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7, Psalm 29:1-4, 9-10, Acts 10:34-38, Matthew 3:13-17

And when Jesus was baptised, he went up immediately from the water and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw, the Spirit of God, descending like a dove and alighting on him... Matthew 3:16matthew 3 16 behold the heavens were opened - 12 jan 2020.jpg

REFLECTION – “At Christmas, He was born a man, today, He is reborn sacramentally. Then He was born from the Virgin, today, He is born in mystery.
When He was born a man, His mother Mary held Him close to her heart; when He is born in mystery, God the Father embraces Him with His voice when He says: ‘This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, listen to him.’
The mother caresses the tender baby on her lap, the Father serves His Son by His loving testimony.   The mother holds the child for the Magi to adore, the Father reveals, that His Son is to be worshipped by all the nations.
That is why the Lord Jesus went to the river for baptism, that is why He wanted His holy body, to be washed with Jordan’s water.at christmas he was born a man today he is bor sacramentally st maximus of turin 5 jan 2019.jpg

Someone might ask, “Why would a holy man desire baptism?”  Listen to the answer: Christ is baptised, not to be made holy by the water but to make the water holy and by His cleansing, to purify the waters which He touched.  For the consecration of Christ involves a more significant consecration of the water.
For when the Saviour is washed, all water for our baptism is made clean, purified at its source for the dispensing of baptismal grace to the people of future ages.
Christ is the first to be baptised then, so that Christians will follow after Him with confidence.” … St Maximus of Turin (c 380-c 465)christ is baptised not to be made holy but to make the water holy - st maximus of turin 12 jan 2020.JPG

PRAYER – Father, keep us from vain strife of words.
Grant to us constant profession of the Truth!
Preserve us in a true and undefiled faith
so that we may hold fast to that
which we professed when we were baptised
in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
that we may have You for our Father,
that we may abide in Your Son
and in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.
Amen…St Hilary of Poitiers (315-368) Father and Doctor of the Churcho-holy-trinity-prayer-for-perseverance-in-truth-st-hilary-of-poitiers-13-jan-2018 and 12 jan 2020.jpg

Posted in CHRISTMASTIDE!, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SUNDAY REFLECTIONS, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The INCARNATION

Sunday Reflection – 5 January – ‘Today He is born in mystery.’

Sunday Reflection – 5 January – The Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord

“At Christmas He was born a man, today He is reborn sacramentally.

Then He was born from the Virgin, today He is born in mystery.

When He was born a man, His mother Mary held Him close to her heart, when He is born in mystery, God the Father embraces Him with His voice when He says: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, listen to Him.

The mother caresses the tender baby on her lap, the Father serves His Son by His loving testimony.

The mother holds the child for the Magi to adore, the Father reveals that His Son is to be worshipped by all the nations.”

St Maximus Of Turin (380 to 465)
Bishop of Turin, Theologian

at christmas he was born a man today he is bor sacramentally st maximus of turin 5 jan 2019.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FRANCISCAN OFM, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SILENCE, QUOTES on the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, St JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN!, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 23 September The Light of the world

One Minute Reflection – 23 September – Monday of the Twenty Fifth Week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 8:16–18 and the Memorial of St Padre Pio (1887-1968)

“Take heed then how you hear…” … Luke 8:18

REFLECTION – “The lamp on the lampstand is our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Father’s true light “who enlightens everyone coming into the world” (Jn 1:9), in other words, the Father’s Wisdom and Word. having accepted our flesh, He truly became and was called, the “light of the world”.   By our faith and devotion He is honoured and exalted in the Church.   In this way He is made visible to all nations and shines out for “all the people in the house”, namely the whole world, as He said:  “They do not light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket, it is set on a lampstand , where it gives light to all in the house” (Mt 5:15).

As we have seen, Christ calls Himself a lamp. God by nature, He became flesh according to the plan of salvation, a light held within the flesh as if in a vase…  This is what David was thinking when he said: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Ps 119[118]:105).   Since He causes the darkness of ignorance and the evil of men to vanish, my Saviour and my God is called a lamp in Scripture.   And since He is the only one able, to obliterate the darkness of ignorance and disperse the shadows of sin, He has become the way of salvation for all.   He leads towards the Father all those who, through understanding and virtue, walk with Him along the path of the commandments as on a road of righteousness.

The lampstand is holy Church because the Word of God shines out through her preaching.   This is how the beams of its truth can enlighten the whole world… On one condition, however – so long as it is not hidden under the letter of the Law.   Anyone who clings to Scripture according to the letter only is living according to the flesh, he is placing the lamp under a bushel basket.   But when, to the contrary, the Church is set on the lampstand, it enlightens everyone.” … Saint Maximus the Confessor (c 580-662) – Abbot and Theologian – Question 63 to Thalassiusluke 8 18 take heed then how you hear - since he causes the darkness - st maximus the confessor 23 sept 2019

PRAYER – Holy God, teach me gratitude for Your love, teach me faithfulness no matter what difficulties I face. Jesus, my Lord, Your Church is my guide and my understanding, help me to always be true to her, my holy mother. St Padre Pio, pray for the Church and all God’s people. We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.st pio pray for us - 2 - 23 sept 2017

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 25 June – The endless day

Quote of the Day – 25 June – Tuesday of the Twelfth week in Ordinary Time, Year C and the Memorial of St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)

“The light of Christ
is an endless day
that knows no night.”

St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)the-light-of-christ-st-maximus-of-turin-25-june-2018.jpg

Posted in MARIAN TITLES, SAINT of the DAY

Feast of Our Lady of Grace and Memorials of the Saints – 25 June

Our Lady of Grace/Our Lady of the Bowed Head

About:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/06/25/25-june-the-feast-of-our-lady-of-grace/our lady of grace.jpg

St Adalbert of Egmond
St Amand of Coly
Bl Burchard of Mallersdorf
St Cyneburga of Gloucester
St Domingo Henares de Zafra Cubero
Bl Dorothy of Montau
St Eurosia of Jaca
St Febronia of Nisibis
Bl Fulgentius de Lara
St Gallicanus of Embrun
St Gallicanus of Ostia
St Gohard of Nantes
Bl Guy Maramaldi
Bl Henry Zdick
Bl John the Spaniard
St Luceias and Companions
St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)
Biography:   https://anastpaul.com/2018/06/25/saint-of-the-day-25-june-st-maximus-of-turin-c-420-father-of-the-church/

St Moloc of Mortlach
St Molonachus of Lismore
St Phanxicô Ðo Van Chieu
St Prosper of Reggio (Died c 466)
St Selyf of Cornwall
St Solomon I
St Solomon III of Bretagne
St William of Vercelli (1085-1142)Biography:  https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/06/25/saint-of-the-day-25-june-st-william-of-vercelli/

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, LENT 2019, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on ALMS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, QUOTES on VIOLENCE, The PASSION, The WILL of GOD

Lenten Reflection – 22 March –

Lenten Reflection – 22 March – Friday of the Second week of Lent, Year C

“Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God
will be taken away from you
and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.”...Matthew 21:43lent - friday of the second week matthew 21 43 22 march 2019.jpg

Daily Meditation:
Help us open our hearts to you.

We hear of the vineyard owner whose tenants killed his servants and then his son.
Let us open our hearts and lives
to the challenge of Your Gospel.

“Let us serve God but let us do so according to His will.
He will then take the place of everything in our lives.
He will be our strength and the reward of our labours.”

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)let us serve god but let us do so according to his will st vincent de paul 22 march 2019.jpg

“The vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel” says the prophet (Is 5:7).   We ourselves are this house… and, since we are His Israel, we are the vineyard.   So let us take good care that grapes of wrath (Rv 14:19) rather than sweetness do not grow from our branches, so that no one may say to us:  “I expected grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:4).   What fruitless soil!   The soil that should have presented its master with fruits of sweetness, pierced Him with its sharp thorns.   In the same way His enemies, who ought to have welcomed our Saviour with all the devotion of their faith, crowned Him with the thorns of His Passion.   In their eyes this crown expressed insult and abuse but in the Lord’s eyes it was the crown of virtue…

My brethren, take good care that no one says with regard to you:   “He expected it to yield grapes but it yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:2)…   Let us be careful that our evil deeds do not rub against our Lord’s head like thorns.   There are thorns in the heart that have even wounded the word of God, as our Lord says in the gospel when he relates how the sower’s seed fell among thorns that grew and choked what had been sown (Mt 13:7)…  So take care that your vineyard does not bring forth thorns instead of grapes and your vintage produce vinegar instead of wine.   Anyone who gathers in the grapes, without sharing them with the poor, is collecting vinegar instead of wine and anyone who stores his harvests, without sharing them with the needy, is not setting aside the fruit of almsgiving but the briars of greed.”

Saint Maximus of Turin (c 380-c 420)

Sermon for the feast of Saint Cyprian – CC Sermon 11the soil that should have - st maximus of turin 22 march 2019 2nd fri lent.jpg

Closing Prayer:

Loving God, caring parent,
I am a child who so often turns my back
on Your love.
Please accept my small acts of sorrow today
and help to release me from the self-absorption
that closes my heart to You.
As I journey through Lent,
let me remember the feast You have prepared for me
in the resurrection
and let me be filled with gratitude to You.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on LOVE, SAINT of the DAY, The SOCIAL TEACHING of the Church, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 25 June – Monday of the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 7:1-5 & The Memorial of St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)

Thought for the Day – 25 June – Monday of the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time, Year B – Today’s Gospel Matthew 7:1-5 & The Memorial of St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)

“Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye”

Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace.   It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth.   Each person finds his good by adherence to God’s plan for him, in order to realise it fully:  in this plan, he finds his truth, and through adherence to this truth he becomes free (cf. Jn 8:32)…

Charity is love received and given.   It is “grace”.   Its source is the wellspring of the Father’s love for the Son, in the Holy Spirit.   Love comes down to us from the Son.   It is creative love, through which we have our being; it is redemptive love, through which we are recreated.   Love is revealed and made present by Christ (cf. Jn 13:1) and “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5).   As the objects of God’s love, men and women become subjects of charity, they are called to make themselves instruments of grace, so as to pour forth God’s charity and to weave networks of charity.

This dynamic of charity received and given is what gives rise to the Church’s social teaching…: the proclamation of the truth of Christ’s love in society.   This doctrine is a service to charity but its locus is truth…   Development, social well-being, the search for a satisfactory solution to the grave socio-economic problems besetting humanity, all need this truth.  What they need even more is that this truth should be loved and demonstrated.   Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalised society at difficult times like the present….Pope Benedict XVI Encyclical « Caritas in veritate 

“To illustrate this view of Maximus’ ministry in his city, I would like to point out for example Sermons 17 and 18, dedicated to an ever timely topic:  wealth and poverty in Christian communities.   In this context too, the city was fraught with serious tensions.   Riches were accumulated and hidden.   “No one thinks about the needs of others”, the Bishop remarked bitterly in his 17th Sermon.   “In fact, not only do many Christians not share their own possessions but they also rob others of theirs.   Not only, I say, do they not bring the money they collect to the feet of the apostles but in addition, they drag from priests’ feet their own brethren who are seeking help”.   And he concluded:  “In our cities there are many guests or pilgrims.   Do what you have promised adhering to faith, so that what was said to Ananias will not be said to you as well:  “You have not lied to men but to God'” (Sermon 17, 2-3).”…Pope Benedict Homily on St Maximus 31 October 2007

St Maximus of Turin, Pray for us!st maximus pray for us - 25 june 2018.jpg

 

Posted in EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The HOLY EUCHARIST, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Quote/s of the Day 25 June – The Memorial of St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)

Quote/s of the Day 25 June – The Memorial of St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)

“At Christmas He was born a man;
today He is reborn sacramentally.
Then He was born from the Virgin;
today He is born in mystery.
When He was born a man,
His mother Mary held Him close to her heart;
when He is born in mystery,
God the Father embraces Him
with His voice when he says:
This is my beloved Son,
in whom I am well pleased: listen to Him.
The mother caresses the tender baby on her lap;
the Father serves His Son by His loving testimony.
The mother holds the child for the Magi to adore;
the Father reveals that His Son
is to be worshiped by all the nations.”at chridtmas he was born a man - st maximus of turin - 25 june 2018

“The light of Christ
is an endless day
that knows no night.”

St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420)the light of christ - st maximus of turin - 25 june 2018

Posted in FATHERS of the Church, PAPAL HOMILIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 25 June – St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420) Father of the Church

Saint of the Day – 25 June – St Maximus of Turin (? – c 420) Father of the Church, Bishop, Writer, Theologian  –  known as Massimo – date of birth unknown – his date of death is also not certain.   St Maximus is believed to have been a native of Rhaetia (modern day Northern Italy).  Patron of Turin, Italy.   St Maximus attended the synod of Milan where northern Italian bishops accepted the letter of Pope Leo I which set forth the orthodox doctrine of the Incarnation.   He also attended the the Synod of Rome in 465.   He was a prolific and inspirational Theological writer with 118 homilies, 116 sermons and 6 treatises surviving.

ST maximus of turin

“Between the end of the fourth century and the beginning of the fifth, another Father of the Church after St Ambrose made a great contribution to the spread and consolidation of Christianity in Northern Italy – St Maximus, whom we come across in 398 as Bishop of Turin, a year after St Ambrose’s death.   Very little is known about him, in compensation, we have inherited a collection of about 116 of his Sermons.   It is possible to perceive in them the Bishop’s profound and vital bond with his city, which attests to an evident point of contact between the episcopal ministry of Ambrose and that of Maximus.

At that time serious tensions were disturbing orderly civil coexistence.   In this context, as pastor and teacher, Maximus succeeded in obtaining the Christian people’s support. The city was threatened by various groups of barbarians.   They entered by the Eastern passes, which went as far as the Western Alps.   Turin was therefore permanently garrisoned by troops and at critical moments became a refuge for the populations fleeing from the countryside and urban centres where there was no protection.   Maximus’ interventions in the face of this situation testify to his commitment to respond to the civil degradation and disintegration.   Although it is still difficult to determine the social composition of those for whom the Sermons were intended, it would seem that Maximus’ preaching – to avoid the risk of vagueness – was specifically addressed to a chosen nucleus of the Christian community of Turin, consisting of rich landowners who had property in the Turinese countryside and a house in the city.   This was a clear-sighted pastoral decision by the Bishop, who saw this type of preaching as the most effective way to preserve and strengthen his own ties with the people.St. Maximus presents to the people of Turin the Icon of the Madonna Consolata.

To illustrate this view of Maximus’ ministry in his city, I would like to point out for example Sermons 17 and 18, dedicated to an ever timely topic:  wealth and poverty in Christian communities.   In this context too, the city was fraught with serious tensions. Riches were accumulated and hidden.   “No one thinks about the needs of others”, the Bishop remarked bitterly in his 17th Sermon.   “In fact, not only do many Christians not share their own possessions but they also rob others of theirs.   Not only, I say, do they not bring the money they collect to the feet of the apostles but in addition, they drag from priests’ feet, their own brethren who are seeking help”.   And he concluded:  “In our cities there are many guests or pilgrims.   Do what you have promised”, adhering to faith, “so that what was said to Ananias will not be said to you as well:  “You have not lied to men but to God'” (Sermon 17, 2-3).

In the next Sermon, the 18th, Maximus condemns the recurring forms of exploitation of others’ misfortunes.   “Tell me, Christian”, the Bishop reprimands his faithful, “tell me why you snatched the booty abandoned by the plunderers?   Why did you take home “ill-gotten gains’ as you yourself think, torn apart and contaminated?”.   “But perhaps”, he continues, “you say you have purchased them and thereby believe you are avoiding the accusation of avarice.   However, this is not the way to equate purchasing with selling.   “It is a good thing to make purchases but that means what is sold freely in times of peace, not goods looted during the sack of a city… So act as a Christian and a citizen who purchases in order to repay”  (Sermon 18: 3).   Without being too obvious, Maximus thus managed to preach a profound relationship between a Christian’s and a citizen’s duties.   In his eyes, living a Christian life also meant assuming civil commitments.   Vice-versa, every Christian who, “despite being able to live by his own work, seizes the booty of others with the ferocity of wild beasts”;  who “tricks his neighbour, who tries every day to nibble away at the boundaries of others, to gain possession of their produce, does not compare to a fox biting off the heads of chickens but rather to a wolf savaging pigs.” (Sermon 41, 4).

img-Saint-Maximus-of-Turin

In comparison with the cautious, defensive attitude that Ambrose adopted to justify his famous project of redeeming prisoners of war, the historical changes that occurred in the relationship between the Bishop and the municipal institutions are clearly evident. By now sustained through legislation that invited Christians to redeem prisoners, Maximus, with the collapse of the civil authority of the Roman Empire, felt fully authorised in this regard to exercise true control over the city.   This control was to become increasingly extensive and effective until it replaced the irresponsible evasion of the magistrates and civil institutions.   In this context, Maximus not only strove to rekindle in the faithful the traditional love for their hometown but he also proclaimed the precise duty to pay taxes, however burdensome and unpleasant they might appear (cf. Sermon 26, 2).   In short, the tone and substance of the Sermons imply an increased awareness of the Bishop’s political responsibility in the specific historical circumstances. He was “the lookout tower” posted in the city.   Whoever could these watchmen be, Maximus wonders in Sermon 92, “other than the most blessed Bishops set on a lofty rock of wisdom, so to speak, to defend the peoples and to warn them about the evils approaching in the distance?”.   And in Sermon 89 the Bishop of Turin describes his tasks to his faithful, making a unique comparison between the Bishop’s function and the function of bees:  “Like the bee”, he said, Bishops “observe bodily chastity, they offer the food of heavenly life using the sting of the law.   They are pure in sanctifying, gentle in restoring and severe in punishing”.   With these words, St Maximus described the task of the Bishop in his time.st maximus of turin - snip

In short, historical and literary analysis show an increasing awareness of the political responsibility of the ecclesiastical authority in a context in which it continued de facto to replace the civil authority.
Indeed, the ministry of the Bishop of Northwest Italy, starting with Eusebius who dwelled in his Vercelli “like a monk” to Maximus of Turin, positioned “like a sentinel” on the highest rock in the city, developed along these lines.   It is obvious that the contemporary historical, cultural and social context is profoundly different.   Today’s context is rather the context outlined by my venerable Predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, in which he offers an articulate analysis of the challenges and signs of hope for the Church in Europe today (nn. 6-22).   In any case, on the basis of the changed conditions, the believer’s duties to his city and his homeland still remain effective.   The combination of the commitments of the “honest citizen” with those of the “good Christian” has not in fact disappeared.

In conclusion, to highlight one of the most important aspects of the unity of Christian life, I would like to recall the words of the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes:  consistency between faith and conduct, between Gospel and culture.   The Council exhorts the faithful “to perform their duties faithfully in the spirit of the Gospel.   It is a mistake to think that because we have here no lasting city, but seek the city which is to come, we are entitled to shirk our earthly responsibilities;  this is to forget that by our faith we are bound all the more to fulfil these responsibilities according to the vocation of each one” (n. 43).   

In following the Magisterium of St Maximus and of many other Fathers, let us make our own, the Council’s desire, that the faithful may be increasingly anxious to “carry out their earthly activity in such a way as to integrate human, domestic, professional, scientific and technical enterprises with religious values, under whose supreme direction all things are ordered to the glory of God” (ibid.) and thus for humanity’s good.”…Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, Wednesday, 31 October 2007header - st maximus of turin

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, B

One Minute Reflection – 24 June – The Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist, B

“He was a burning and shining lamp”…John 5:35

REFLECTION – “Our Lord says that John is a lamp:  “He was a burning and shining lamp” (Jn 5:35).   But the light of a lamp pales, when the sun shines, it’s flame dies down, overcome by an even more radiant light.   What sensible person uses a lamp in full sunlight?…  Who would still come for John’s baptism of repentance (Mk 1:4) when Jesus’ baptism brings salvation?… St Maximus of Turin (?-c 420) Bishop – Sermon 99 ; PL 57, 535john 5 - 35 - he was a burning and shining lamp - but the light of a lamp pales - st maximus of turin - 24 june 2018

PRAYER – Almighty God and Father, You sent St John the Baptist, to the people of Israel to make them ready for Christ the Lord.   Give us the grace of joy in the Spirit and guide the hearts of all the faithful, in the way of salvation and peace, as they harken to the voice of John, the Lord’s herald and bring them safely to Jesus, whom John foretold.   St John the Baptist, may your intercession for the Church, bring us to the Light and the Way.   We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God with You, forever amen.st john the baptist - pray for us - 24 june 2018