16 September, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

Christ’s Work in Us

1. It is not enough that Jesus live in us; He must increase and act in us continually. The spiritual life is like natural life. It…

16 September, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

11 September, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

The Incarnation1. By means of the Incarnation God comes to man so that man may return to God. God created man by an act of love to display and to …

11 September, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

Does it already feel like autumn?

As much as I love summer – swimming in the Mediterranean, eating grilled sardines and salads at the edge of the water, savoring the light until 9:30 p.m. – I’m happy to see the end of THIS particular summer.

It was simply too hot in Greece. The intense heat started at the end of June, and lasted through July and August. Three heat waves with temperatures over 40 Celsius for several weeks, made the summer especially miserable, and disastrous for those who happened to live on the island of Evia, which suffered devastating fires. Two thirds of the island’s forests burned down. Who knows how many people died of the heat? We may never know, given that the authorities could focus only on one thing: Covid. They tracked Covid cases because that’s what stupid bureaucrats do, but sadly, heat deaths were left untracked. Oh, all those old people who died in overheated apartments! Not interested, says the government.

Speaking of Covid, as of the date of this writing, the so-called Delta variant has been disappointing in its ability to create panic among the frightened little mice formerly known as humans. Now the buzz in the mainstream press is inflation. That’s what happens when governments print money for a year and half to pay people to sit at home under lockdown, order soggy pizza, and watch Netflix. At least we won’t be taken on a tour of the Greek alphabet. Delta, Gamma, Epsilon and so on. They’ll run out of Greek letters. But people won’t care about Covid when bread, milk, electricity, beer and toilet paper become twenty percent more expensive in three months. I always wondered when the money-printing, which made the Covid lockdowns and travel bans possible, would come to a stop. Now seems a good time to end the charade, say the US Federal Reserve. All the other countries will follow.

Watch the narrative change overnight from “We have a pandemic, stay indoors, wear masks” to “It’s just slightly worse than the flu, only old people need to stay home”.

Back to autumn.

I love autumn. It is my favorite season. Leaves turn gold and fiery red. White truffle mushrooms appear on menus. Grapes are harvested (vendemmia) and game starts appearing on tables. It’s the time to tell ghost stories, contemplate the Four Last Things, put on a sweater and sit by the fire with a glass of Burgundy.

Humility is the foundation of all virtues

“If pride produces every sin, we can just as well say that humility produces every virtue. With humility you have everything which you ought to have to please God and to save your soul, and without humility all the other virtues will be of no avail. We read in the Gospel that some mothers presented their children to Jesus Christ that He might bless them. The Apostles wanted to turn them away, but Our Lord would not permit this, and He said to them: “Suffer the little children to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” He embraced them, and gave them His blessing. Why did the divine Redeemer receive them so lovingly? For the reason that children are simple, humble, and without guile.”

— Sermons of the Curé of Ars: Sermons for all the Sundays and Feast Days of the Year by St. Jean Marie Vianney

Must read of the day: Potemkin Nation

John Michael Greer has written an excellent essay in light of the US debacle in Afghanistan. It’s called Potemkin Nation.

“… we Americans live in a Potemkin nation, a land of glossy facades and false fronts covering the stark but unmentionable reality of a society in freefall.”

Chant the Divine Office in Latin with an app called Neumz

You can chant the Divine Office in Latin with the nuns of Notre Dame de Fidelite using the website or the app, with English translations.

Neumz is a project from the community at Notre Dame de Fidélité in Jouques, France.

13 August, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

Work and Worry1. When we recite the Lord’s Prayer, we say with confidence “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” This does not mean, however…

13 August, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

Rome Day 9: Sant Andrea delle Fratte and the Gesù

The Basilica of Sant Andrea delle Fratte is famous for two things: Bernini’s angels and the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Alphonse Ratisbonne, a wealthy Jewish heir who converted to Catholicism, became a priest and established the Congregation of Our Lady of Zion. The side chapel where Ratisbonne saw the Virgin on 20 January 1842 is called the chapel of the Madonna of the Miracle. It is now richly decorated and illuminated.

Angel with the Crown of Thorns by Bernini
Angel with a Scroll by Bernini

After Sant Andrea delle Fratte, I visited again my favorite church in Rome: the Gesù. This church is truly a counter-Reformation Baroque gem. Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (grandson of Pope Paul III, who authorized the establishment of the Jesuit order) spared no expense in building this spectacular church. Consecrated in 1584, it is the mother church of the Jesuits, and houses the tomb of Saint Ignatius of Loyola as well as an arm bone of Saint Francis Xavier.

The altar of the Gesù
Ceiling of the Gesù in Rome

The temperature in Rome reached 38 Celsius (100 Fahrenheit) today. It feels like an inferno.

10 August, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

The Mystery of Life1. “Life,” said the poet Tommaseo, “is only a remembrance, a hope, and a passing moment.”How true this is. This life which …

10 August, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day