June 28, 2008

Day 8- For Holiness

You have decided to give yourselves to Christ and I desire that you do not fall victims to lukewarmness, but rather that you grow more and more fervent.

(St. A. Zaccaria , Letter to Mr. Bernardo Omodei and Madonna Laura)

A reading from the second Letter of St. Paul to the Romans (Rom 12:1-2)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

A reading from the letter of St. Anthony Zaccaria to the Bernardo Omodei and Madonna Laura

Anyone willing to become a spiritual person begins a series of surgical operations in his soul. One day he removes this, another day he removes that, and relentlessly proceeds until he lays aside his old self. Let me explain. First of all, he eliminates offensive words, then useless ones, and finally speaks of nothing else but of edifying things. He eradicates angry words and gestures and finally adopts meek and humble manners. He shuns honors and, when they are given to him, not only is he not interiorly pleased, but he also welcomes insults and humiliations, and even rejoices in them. He not only knows how to abstain from the marital act, but, aiming at increasing in himself the beauty and merits of chastity, he also renounces anything smacking of sensuality. He is not content to spend one or two hours in prayer but loves to raise his mind to Christ frequently. (…)
What I do say is: I would like you to be intent on doing more every day and on eliminating every day even licit sensual inclinations. All this is, indeed, for the sake of willing to grow in perfection, of diminishing imperfections, and of avoiding the danger of falling prey to lukewarmness.
Do not think that my love for you or the good qualities you are endowed with, may have me desire that you be just little saints. No, I greatly desire that you become great saints, since you are well equipped to reach this goal, if you will it. All that is required is that you really mean to develop and give back to Jesus Crucified, in a more refined form, the good qualities and graces He has given you.
Saint Anthony, angel in flesh and bones …… Pray for us.
Saint Anthony, youth grown as a lily … … Pray for us.
Saint Anthony, rich man stripped of everything …… Pray for us.

Holy Father, you predestined us to be holy and without blame in your presence, enlighten our hearts so that we may know the hope of my vocation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be...

Prayer to St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria

Saint Anthony Zaccaria, helper of the poor and the sick, you who devoted your life to our spiritual welfare, listen to my humble and hopeful prayer. Continue your work as doctor and priest by obtaining from GOD healing from my physical and moral sickness, so that free from all evil and sin, I may love the LORD with joy, fulfill with fidelity my duties, work generously for the good of my brothers and sisters, and for my sanctification. AMEN

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