Thursday, November 30, 2006


fragments from "Scripture by Topic" - Originally titled "The Divine Armory of Holy Scripture" - 1943 edition - Angelus Press 2006


I will bring them into my holy mount, and will make them joyful in my house of prayer. Isa 56:7
The light of thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us: thou hast given gladness in my heart. Ps. 4:7
I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing to thy name, O thou Most High. I will rejoice in thy salvation. Ps. 9:3, 16
Thou hast made known to me the ways of life, thou shall fill me with joy with thy countenance: at thy right hans are delights even to the and. Ps. 15:11 Read whole post......

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


fragments from "Scripture by Topic" - Originally titled "The Divine Armory of Holy Scripture" - 1943 edition - Angelus Press 2006


The fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy. Gal. 5:22
The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but justice, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Rom. 14:17
The joy of the Lord is our strength. 2 Es. 8:10
My soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was delighted, and was exercised, and my spirit swooned away. Ps. 76:3
There is no riches above the riches of the health of the body: and there is no pleasure above the joy of the heart. The joyfulness of the heart is the life of a man, and never-failing treasure of holiness: and the joy of a man is length of life. A cheerful and good heart is always feasting: for his banquets are prepared with diligence. Ecclus. 30:16, 23, 27
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God: for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, and with the robe of justice he hath covered me, as a bridegroom decked with a crown, and as a bride adoerned with her jewels. Isa. 61:10
The voice of rejoicing and of salvation is in the tabernacles of the just. Ps. 117:15 Read whole post......

Friday, November 24, 2006




Which treats of the third kind of good thing whereon the will may set the affection of rejoicing, which kind pertains to sense. Indicates what these good things are and of how many kinds, and how the will has to be directed to God and purged of this rejoicing.

WE have next to treat of rejoicing with respect to the good things of sense, which is the third kind of good thing wherein we said that the will may rejoice. And it is to be noted that by the good things of sense we here understand everything in this life that can be apprehended by the senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste or touch, and by the interior fashioning of imaginary reflections, all of which things belong to the bodily senses, interior and exterior.
2. And, in order to darken the will and purge it of rejoicing with respect to these sensible objects, and direct it to God by means of them, it is necessary to assume one truth, which is that, as we have frequently said, the sense of the lower part of man which is that whereof we are treating, is not, neither can be, capable of knowing or understanding God as God is. So that the eye cannot see Him, or aught that is like Him; neither can the ear hear His voice, or any sound that resembles it; neither can the sense of smell perceive a perfume so sweet as He; neither can the taste detect a savour so sublime and delectable; neither can the touch feel a movement so delicate and full of delight, nor aught like to it; neither can His form or any figure that represents Him enter into the thought or imagination. Even as says Isaias: 'Eye hath not seen Him, nor hath ear heard Him, neither hath it entered into the heart of man.'
3. And here it must be noted that the senses may receive pleasure and delight, either from the spirit, by means of some communication that it receives from God interiorly, or from outward things communicated to them. And, as has been said, neither by way of the spirit nor by that of sense can the sensual part of the soul know God. For, since it has no capacity for attaining to such a point, it receives in the senses both that which is of the spirit and that which is of sense, and receives them in no other way. Wherefore it would be at the least but vanity to set the rejoicing of the will upon pleasure caused by any of these apprehensions, and it would be hindering the power of the will from occupying itself with God and from setting its rejoicing upon Him alone. This the soul cannot perfectly accomplish, save by purging itself and remaining in darkness as to rejoicing of this kind, as also with respect to other things.
4. I said advisedly that if the rejoicing of the will were to rest in any of these things it would be vanity. But, when it does not rest upon them, but, as soon as the will finds pleasure in that which it hears, sees and does, soars upward to rejoice in God -- so that its pleasure acts as a motive and strengthens it to that end -- this is very good. In such a case not only need the said motions not be shunned when they cause this devotion and prayer, but the soul may profit by them, and indeed should so profit, to the end that it may accomplish this holy exercise. For there are souls who are greatly moved by objects of sense to seek God. But much circumspection must be observed herein and the resulting effects must be considered; for oftentimes many spiritual persons indulge in the recreations of sense aforementioned under the pretext of offering prayer and devotion to God; and they do this in a way which must be described as recreation rather than prayer, and which gives more pleasure to themselves than to God. And, although the intention that they have is toward God, the effect which they produce is that of recreation of sense, wherein they find weakness and imperfection, rather than revival of the will and surrender thereof to God.
5. I wish, therefore, to propose a test whereby it may be seen when these delights of the senses aforementioned are profitable and when they are not. And it is that, whensoever a person hears music and other things, and sees pleasant things, and is conscious of sweet perfumes, or tastes things that are delicious, or feels soft touches, if his thought and the affection of his will are at once centred upon God and if that thought of God gives him more pleasure than the movement of sense which causes it, and save for that he finds no pleasure in the said movement, this is a sign that he is receiving benefit therefrom, and that this thing of sense is a help to his spirit. In this way such things may be used, for then such things of sense subserve the end for which God created and gave them, which is that He should be the better loved and known because of them. And it must be known, furthermore, that one upon whom these things of sense cause the pure spiritual effect which I describe has no desire for them, and makes hardly any account of them, though they cause him great pleasure when they are offered to him, because of the pleasure which, as I have said, they cause him in God. He is not, however, solicitous for them, and when they are offered to him, as I say, his will passes from them at once and he abandons it to God and sets it upon Him.
6. The reason why he cares little for these motives, although they help him on his journey to God, is that the spirit which is ready to go by every means and in every way to God is so completely nourished and prepared and satisfied by the spirit of God that it lacks nothing and desires nothing; or, if it desires anything to that end, the desire at once passes and is forgotten, and the soul makes no account of it. But one that feels not this liberty of spirit in these things and pleasures of sense, but whose will rests in these pleasures and feeds upon them, is greatly harmed by them and should withdraw himself from the use of them. For, although his reason may desire to employ them to journey to God, yet, inasmuch as his desire finds pleasure in them which is according to sense, and their effect is ever dependent upon the pleasure which they give, he is certain to find hindrance in them rather than help, and harm rather than profit. And, when he sees that the desire for such recreation reigns in him, he must mortify it; for, the stronger it becomes, the more imperfection he will have and the greater will be his weakness.
7. So whatever pleasure coming from sense presents itself to the spiritual person, and whether it come to him by chance or by design, he must make use of it only for God, lifting up to Him the rejoicing of his soul so that his rejoicing may be useful and profitable and perfect; realizing that all rejoicing which implies not renunciation and annihilation of every other kind of rejoicing, although it be with respect to something apparently very lofty, is vain and profits not, but is a hindrance towards the union of the will in God. Read whole post......

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Last Sunday After Pentecost
after Divine Instructions by Fr Leonard Goffine

The Introit of the Mass is the same as that said on the twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost.

COLLECT Quicken, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, the wills of Thy faithful: that they, more earnestly seeking after the fruit of divine grace, may more abundantly receive the healing gifts of Thy mercy. Thro'.

EPISTLE(Col. I. 9—14.) Brethren, We cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of the will of God, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding: that you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God: strengthened with all might according to the; power of his glory, in all patience and long-suffering with joy, giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins.

EXPLANATION In this epistle St. Paul teaches us to pray for our neighbor, and to thank God especially for the light of the true, only saving faith. Let us endeavor to imitate St. Paul in his love and zeal for the salvation of souls, then we shall also one day partake of his glorious reward in heaven.

GOSPEL (Matt. XXIV. 15—35.) At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: When you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth, let him understand: then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains: and he that is on the house-top, let him not come down to take anything out of his house: and he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat. And woe to them that are with child, and that give suck, in those days. But pray that your flight be not in the winter, or on the Sabbath. For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be: and unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened. Then, if any man shall say to you: Lo, here is Christ, or there: do not believe him: for there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Behold, I have told it to you before hand: if therefore they shall say to you: Behold, he is in the desert, go ye not out; Behold, he is in the closets, believe it not. For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even into the west, so shall also the coming- of the Son of man be. Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together. And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be moved: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty: and he shall send his an gels with a trumpet and a great voice, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them. And from the fig-tree learn a parable: when the branch thereof is now tender, and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh. So you also, when you shall see all these things, know ye that it is nigh, even at the doors. Amen I say to you, that this generation shall not pass till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.

EXPLANATION When you shall see the abomination of desolation. The abomination of desolation of which Daniel (IX. 27.) and Christ here speak, is the desecration of the temple and the city of Jerusalem by the rebellious Jews by perpetrating the most abominable vices, injustices and robberies, &c., but principally by the pagan Romans by putting up their idols. This destruction which was accomplished in the most fearful manner about forty years after the death of Christ, was foretold by Him according to the testimony of St. Luke. (XXI. 20.) At the same time He speaks of the end of the world and of His coming to judgment, of which the desolation of Jerusalem was a figure.
Pray that your flight be not in the winter or on the Sabbath. Because, as St. Jerome says, the severe cold which reigns in the deserts and mountains would pre vent the people from going thither to seek security, and because it was forbidden by the law for the Jews to travel on the Sabbath.
There shall rise false Christs and false prophets. According to the testimony of the Jewish historian Josephus, who was an eyewitness of the destruction of Jerusalem, Eleazar, John, Simon, &c., were such false prophets who under the pretence of helping the Jews, brought them into still greater misfortunes; before the end of the world it will be Antichrist with his followers, whom St. Paul calls the man of sin and the son of perdition, (II Thess. II. 3.) on account of his diabolical malice and cruelty. He will rise up, sit in the temple, proclaim himself God, and kill all who will not recognize him as such. His splendor, his promises and his false miracles will be such that even the holy and just will be in danger of being seduced, but for their sake God will shorten these days of persecution.
Wheresoever the body shall be, there shall the eagles also be gathered together. That is, where the wicked are, who have aimed at spiritual corruption, there punishment will overtake and destroy them.
This generation shall not pass till all these things be done. By these words Christ defines the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, and says that many of His hearers would live to see it, which also happened. But when the end of the world will come, He says, not even the angels in heaven know. (Matt. XXIV. 36.) Let us endeavor to be always ready by leading a holy life, for the coming of the divine Judge, and meditate often on the words of our di vine Lord: Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.

(See the account of the Destruction of Jerusalem on the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost.)

PRAYER Remove from us, O Lord, all that is calculated to rob us of Thy love. Break the bonds with which we are tied to the world, that we may not be lost with it. Give us the wings of eagles that we may soar above all worldly things by the contemplation of Thy sufferings, life and death, that we may hasten towards Thee now, and gather about Thee, that we may not become a prey to the rapacious enemy on the day of judgment. Amen.

Amen, I say to you.(Matt. XXIV. 34.)

The Son of God here, and elsewhere in the gospel, con firms His word by an oath, as it were, for swearing is nothing else than to call upon God, His divine veracity, His justice, or upon His creatures in the name of God, as witness of the truth of our words. — Is swearing, then, lawful, and when? — It is lawful when justice or necessity or an important advantage requires it, and the cause is true and equitable. (Jer. IV. 2.) Those sin grievously, there fore, who swear to that which is false and unjust, because they call upon God as witness of falsehood and injustice, by which His eternal truthfulness and justice is desecrated; those sin who swear in a truthful cause without necessity and sufficient reason, because it is disrespectful to call upon God as witness for every trivial thing. In like manner, those sin grievously and constantly who are so accustomed to swearing as to break out into oaths, without knowing or considering whether the thing is true or false, whether they will keep their promise or not, or even if they will be able to keep it; such expose themselves to the danger of swearing falsely. "There is no one," says St. Chrysostom, "who swears often, who does not sometimes swear falsely, just as he who speaks much, sometimes says unbecoming and false things." Therefore Christ tells those who seek perfection, not to swear at all, (Matt. V. 34.) that they might not fall into the habit of swearing and from that into perjury. He who has the habit of swearing should, therefore, take the greatest pains to eradicate it; to accomplish which it will be very useful to reflect that if we have to render an account for every idle word we speak, (Matt. XII. 36.) how much more strictly will we be judged for unnecessary false oaths! God's curse accompanies him who commits perjury, in all his ways, as proved by daily experience. He who commits perjury in court, robs himself of the merits of Christ's death and will be consumed in the fire of hell, which is represented by the crucifix and burning tapers, in presence of which the oath (in some places) is taken. If you have had the misfortune to be guilty of perjury, at once be truly sorry, weep for this terrible sin which you have committed, frankly confess it, repair the injury you may have caused by it, and chastise yourself for it by rigorous penance.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

St Raphael of St Joseph Kalinowski

... Joseph Kalinowski was the son of a prominent professor of mathematics, Andrew Kalinowski, and Josepha Polonska Kalinowski. He was born on September I, 1835, in Vilna, Russian Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania). Having received his earliest education at home, at nine he entered the local College of the Nobility, where his father taught, graduating at 17 with a gold medal to his credit. Raised in devout Catholicism, Joseph even at that point felt called to the priesthood. On his father's advice, however, he chose to go to a university first.
Finding a university was no easy task for a young Pole in those days. When Russia took over Poland and Lithuania in 1795, she had closed all independent Polish universities, so the only universities available were Russian. Young Joseph picked the Institute of Agronomy in Hory Horki, Russia, where he studied zoology, chemistry, agriculture and apiculture (raising bees). But gifted as he was like his father in mathematics, he soon switched to the Academy of Military Engineering in St. Petersburg.
When he graduated in 1857 as a lieutenant in the Russian Engineering Corps, he was sent to supervise the designing and building of a railway line between Kursk, Kiev and Odessa. This pioneering effort took him into lonely country, but he profited spiritually by the very solitude of his surroundings.
Work on the railroad project was postponed in 1860. Lieut. Joseph was reassigned to the fortress at Brest-Litovsk. In 1862 he was promoted to captain on the general staff. His three years at the fortress were disturbing, however. He felt the heavy hand of Russia, especially toward Poles and the Catholic Church in Poland. Nevertheless, he started a Catholic Sunday School, teaching there himself, and he limited his own expenditures so as to be able to assist the poor of the area.
In 1863, the Poles rose against their Russian oppressors. Kalinowski was in a difficult position. He knew the revolt was doomed to failure, but he approved its purpose, and he believed that if he joined the rising he might be able to limit somehow the damage that would certainly occur. He therefore resigned from the Russian army, cast his lot with the insurgents, and was named their minister of war for the Vilna region, on the understanding that he would not have to pronounce a death sentence on anybody. During the next ten months of the rebellion, he spent his time doing what he could to save lives.
The Russians were watching him, however, and on March 25, 1864, they arrested him. Three months later they condemned him to death, but since he was well-known and popular, and might even be called a martyr if executed, they commuted his sentence to ten years of hard labor. On June 29, 1864, he set out on the nine-month trek on foot to Siberia, one of a long line of exiles bound for what he described as "a vast cemetery for tens of thousands of victims. "
Joseph was in Siberia for nine years. These were days of profound religious change for him. He became a spiritual leader, looked up to by all the fellow prisoners for strength and consolation. Becoming good friends with a priest whose parish was all Siberia, with him he prepared the children of the prisoners for their first Communion. Meanwhile he was himself preparing for what he now realized was his vocation, to enter a monastery.
On his release in 1873, he first went home, and then sought to carry out his resolution to become a religious. But since he was forbidden to settle in Lithuania, and since most Polish monasteries had been suppressed, he went to Paris. After serving as a tutor for three years, he finally went to join the Carmelites at Graz in Austria. Having made his noviciate there and received the religious name Raphael of St. Joseph, he did his theological studies in Hungary. Then he went to Czema, the only Carmelite house then in Poland, and was ordained a priest on January 15,1882.
On a firm foundation of constant prayer and self-denial, he embraced an apostolate designed to liberate his oppressed fellow-citizens spiritually while they struggled for political and religious liberation. He thus became a strong influence in the revival of the Polish Carmelites. Among his apostolic programs, he laid great stress on the sacrament of penance. In fact, he spent so much time hearing confessions that he came to be called a "martyr of the confessional." Eastern-rite Christians were numerous in his homeland. Father Raphael was not only attentive to the Ukrainian Catholics but also, in an ecumenical spirit, to the local Orthodox.
Father Raphael died on November 15, 1907, at Wadowice, Poland. The news of his death spread rapidly, and thousands came to honor a man they already considered a saint.....

affter/ Read whole post......

COLLECT Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that ever fixing our thoughts on such things as are reasonable, we may both in our words and works do what is pleasing in Thy sight. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, etc.

EPISTLE (I. Thess. I. 2-10.) Brethren, we give thanks to God for you all, making a remembrance of you in our prayers without ceasing; being mindful of the work of your faith, and labor, and charity, and of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Jesus Christ before God and our Father: knowing, brethren, beloved of God, your election: for our gospel hath not been unto you in word only, but in power also, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much fullness, as you know what manner of men we have been among you for your sakes. And you became followers of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in much tribulation, with joy of the Holy Ghost: so that you were made a pattern to all that believe, in Macedonia and in Achaia. For from you was spread abroad the word of the Lord, not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but also in every place, your faith, which is towards God, is gone forth; so that we need not to speak anything. For they themselves relate of us what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how ye turned, to God from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven (whom he raised from the dead), Jesus, who both delivered us from the wrath to come.

EXPLANATION The apostle gives thanks to God in prayer for those inhabitants of Thessalonia, who have been converted to Christianity by his words, and declares to them his joy at their Christian life which they prove by their good works and their perseverance, even through all trials, in expectation of eternal reward through Christ. He assures them also of their salvation, (election) because God had caused the preaching of His gospel, which they so willingly received, to produce in them such extraordinary fruit. He praises them not only for having listened to the gospel and abandoned idolatry, but for having regulated their lives in accordance with the faith, and having become a model to distant nations, for the report of their faith had spread far, and everywhere their zealous reception of the gospel was spoken of. Would that the same could be said of all Christians!

GOSPEL (Matt. XIII. 31-35.) At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to the multitudes: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard-seed, which a man took and sowed in his field: which is the least indeed of all seeds; but when it is grown up, it is greater than all herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come, and dwell in the branches thereof. Another parable he spoke to them: The kingdom of heaven is like to leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened. All these things Jesus spoke in parables to the multitude, and without parables he did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.

What is here understood by the kingdom of heaven?

The Church and the doctrine of Christ.

Why is the Church compared to a grain of mustard-seed?

Because there is a great similarity between them. The mustard-seed, though so small, grows in Palestine so high and so rapidly, that it becomes a broad tree, in which birds can build their nests. In like manner the Church of Christ was in the beginning very small like the mustard-seed, but it soon spread so wide that numberless people, even great philosophers and princes, came to find peace and protection under its branches.

Why is Christ's doctrine compared to leaven?

Because like the leaven, which quickly penetrates the flour, and makes it palatable bread, the doctrine of Christ, spreading with surprising swiftness over the then known parts of the globe, gave the Gentiles a taste for divine things and for heavenly wisdom. Thus Christ’s doctrine penetrates him who receives it, sanctifies all his thoughts, words, and deeds, and makes him pleasing to God.

By what means, in particular, was the Church of Christ propagated?

By the omnipotence of God and the miracles which He so frequently wrought to prove the truth and divinity of the Christian religion; the courageous faith, and the pure moral life of the early Christians, which led many pagan minds to accept the doctrine of Christ; and the persecution of Christianity, for, as Tertullian says: "The blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church." The false doctrine of Mahomet, the erroneous teachings of Luther, Calvin, and earlier and later heretics have, it is true, also spread quickly far and wide; but this is not to be wondered at, for it is easy to lead people to a doctrine that encourages sensuality, and to which they are carried by their evil inclinations, as was the case with the doctrine of the impostor Mahomet, and three hundred years ago with the heresy of Luther; but to spread a doctrine which demands the subduing of the carnal, earthly inclinations, and to bend the will to the yoke of obedience to faith, something more than human eloquence is required. Thus, the Chancellor of England, Thomas More, who gave his blood for the true doctrine of Christ, wrote to Luther, who was boasting of the rapid increase of his sect: "It is easy to descend; seducing the people to a bad life is nothing more marvellous than that a heavy stone should fall of its own accord to the ground;" and Melanchton, a friend of Luther, in answer to his mother's question, whether she should remain a Catholic or receive Luther's doctrine, wrote : "In this religion it is easy to live, in the Catholic it is easy to die."

Why did Christ always speak in parables?

That His teaching by being simple might be more easily understood, and better remembered. He who is called upon to teach others, should, as did Christ, always speak to them according to their ability to understand, and by no means seek his own honor, but the honor of God, and the benefit of those who hear him.

PRAYER O most benign Jesus. How much do we give Thee thanks that Thou hast permitted us to be born in Thy holy Church, and instructed in Thy holy doctrine, which, like the mustard-seed, has grown to be a large tree, spreading over the whole earth. Grant that under the shadow of this tree, in Thy holy Church, we may ever rest securely, cling to her faithfully, and penetrated, as by leaven, with her doctrine may bring Thee pleasing fruits of faith and virtue. Amen.

after Read whole post......

Saturday, November 18, 2006



by St Louis de Montfort
 Ch 7: 2. The Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin

234. If it is not too inconvenient, they should recite every day of their lives the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin, which is composed of three Our Fathers and twelve Hail Marys in honour of the twelve glorious privileges of Mary. This prayer is very old and is based on Holy Scripture. St. John saw in a vision a woman crowned with twelve stars, clothed with the sun and standing upon the moon. According to biblical commentators, this woman is the Blessed Virgin.

235. There are several ways of saying the Little Crown but it would take too long to explain them here. The Holy Spirit will teach them to those who live this devotion conscientiously. However, here is a simple way to recite it. As an introduction say:" Virgin most holy, accept my praise; give me strength to fight your foes", then say the Creed. Next, say the following sequence of prayers three times: one Our Father, four Hail Marys and one Glory be to the Father. In conclusion say the prayer Sub tuum - "We fly to thy patronage".

Here I am delighted to present the example of the practice of devotion to Little Crown of Our Lady, so profitable to the soul in particular in this time of the year when we are preparing for the coming Feast of Immaculate Conception - text after "Christian Warfare" - SSPX prayerbook, 2006, Angelus Press

(To honour the divine maternity of the Blessed Virgin, her ineffable virginity, her purity without stain and her innumerable virtue - Let us humbly pray for the share of her virtue!

1.Our Father, Hail Mary
Blessed art thou, O Virgin Mary, who didst bear the Lord, the Creator of the world; thou didst give birth to Him who made thee, and remainest a virgin forever.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary; rejoice a thousand times!

2.Hail Mary

O. Holy and Immaculate Virgin, I know not with what praise to extol thee, since thou didst bear in thy womb the very One Whom the heavens cannot contain.

Rejoice o Virgin Mary, rejoice a thousand times!

3.Hail Mary

Thou art all fair, O Virgin Mary, and there is no stain in thee.

Rejoice of Virgin Mary, rejoice a thousand times!

4. Hail Mary

Thy virtues, O Virgin Mary, surpass the stars in number.

Rejoice O Virgin Mary, rejoice a thousand times!

Glory be to the Father.

(To honour the royalty of the Blessed Virgin Mary, her magnificence, her universla mediation and the strength of her rule)

5. Our Father, Hail Mary

Glory be to thee, O Empress of the world! Bring us with thee to the joys of Heaven.

Rejoice o Virgin Mary, rejoice a thousand times!

6. Hail Mary.

Glory be to thee, O Treasure House of the Lord's graces! Grant us a share in thy riches!

Rejoice o Virgin Mary, rejoice a thousand times!

7. Hail Mary

Glory be to thee, O Mediatrix between God and man! Through thee may the Almighty be favourable to us.

Rejoice o Verigin Mary, rejoice a thousand times!

8. Hail Mary.

Glory be to thee who destroyest heresies and crushest demons! Be thou our loving guide.

Rejoice of Virgin Mary, rejoice a thousand times!

Glory be to the Father.

To honour the mercy of teh Blessed Virgin toward sinners, the poor, the just and the dying

9. Our Father. Hail Mary

Glory be to thee, O Refuge of sinners! Intercede for us with God.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, rejoice a thousand times!

10. Hail Mary.

Glory be to thee, O Mother of orphans! Render the Almighty favourable to us.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, rejoice a thousand times!

11. Hail Mary.

Glory be to thee, O Joy of the just! Lead us with thee to the joys of Heaven.

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, rejoice a thousand times!

12.Hail Mary

Glory be to thee who art ever ready to assist us in life and in death! Lead us with thee to the Kingdom of Heaven!

Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, rejoice a thousand times!

Glory be to the Father.

Let us pray
Hail! Mary, Daugther of God and Father; Hail, Mary, Mother of God the Son; Hail, Mary Spouse of the Holy Ghost; Hail, Mary, Temple of the most Holy Trinity; Hail Mary, my Mistress, my treasure, my joy, Queen of my heart; my Mother, my life, my sweetness, me dearest hope - yea, my heart and my soul! I am all thine and all that I have is thine, O Virgin blessed above all things! Let thy soul be in me to magnify the Lord; let thy spirit be in me to rejoice in God. Set thyself, O faithful Virgin, as a seal upon my heart, that in thee and through thee I may be faithful to God. Receive me, O gracious Virgin, among those whom thou lovest and teachest, whom thou leadest and nourishest and protectest as thy children. Grant that for love of thee I may despise all earthly consolations and ever cling to tose of Heaven until, through the Holy Ghost, thy faithul Spouse, and through thee, His faithful spouse, Jesus Christ, thy Son, be formed in me for the glory of the Father. Amen. Read whole post......

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Blessed Louis Morbioli OC Tert. (AC)

Born in Bologna, Italy, 1439; died 1495; cultus confirmed in 1842. As a young man, Louis was notorious for his dissipated lifestyle which continued even after his marriage. The Holy Spirit brought Louis low and raised him up again. After a serious illness, Louis completely turned his life over to the Lord. He became a member of the third order of Carmelites, began teaching Christian doctrine, and begged alms for the poor (Benedictines).

after Read whole post......

Wednesday, November 15, 2006




Which describes how it is vanity to set the rejoicing of the will upon the good things of nature, and how the soul must direct itself, by means of them, to God.

BY natural blessings we here understand beauty, grace, comeliness, bodily constitution and all other bodily endowments; and likewise, in the soul, good understanding, discretion and other things that pertain to reason. Many a man sets his rejoicing upon all these gifts, to the end that he himself, or those that belong to him, may possess them, and for no other reason, and gives no thanks to God Who bestows them on him so that He may be better known and loved by him because of them. But to rejoice for this cause alone is vanity and deception, as Solomon says in these words: 'Deceitful is grace and vain is beauty; the woman who fears God, she shall be praised.' Here he teaches us that a man ought rather to be fearful because of these natural gifts, since he may easily be distracted by them from the love of God, and, if he be attracted by them, he may fall into vanity and be deceived. For this reason bodily grace is said to be deceptive because it deceives a man in the ways and attracts him to that which beseems him not, through vain joy and complacency, either in himself or in others that have such grace. And it is said that beauty is vain because it causes a man to fall in many ways when he esteems it and rejoices in it, for he should rejoice only if he serves God or others through it. But he ought rather to fear and harbour misgivings lest perchance his natural graces and gifts should be a cause of his offending God, either by his vain presumption or by the extreme affection with which he regards them. Wherefore he that has such gifts should be cautious and live carefully, lest, by his vain ostentation, he give cause to any man to withdraw his heart in the smallest degree from God. For these graces and gifts of nature are so full of provocation and occasion of evil, both to him that possesses them and to him that looks upon them, that there is hardly any who entirely escapes from binding and entangling his heart in them. We have heard that many spiritual persons, who had certain of these gifts, had such fear of this that they prayed God to disfigure them, lest they should be a cause and occasion of any vain joy or affection to themselves or to others, and God granted their prayer.
2. The spiritual man, then, must purge his will, and make it to be blind to this vain rejoicing, bearing in mind that beauty and all other natural gifts are but earth, and that they come from the earth and will return thither; and that grace and beauty are the smoke and vapour belonging to this same earth; and that they must be held and esteemed as such by any man who desires not to fall into vanity, but will direct his heart to God in these matters, with rejoicing and gladness, because God is in Himself all these beauties and graces in the most eminent degree, and is infinitely high above all created things. And, as David says, they are all like a garment and shall grow old and pass away, and He alone remains immutable for ever. Wherefore, if in all these matters a man direct not his rejoicing to God, it will ever be false and deceptive. For of such a man is that saying of Solomon to be understood, where he addresses joy in the creatures, saying: 'To joy I said: "Why art thou vainly deceived?"' That is, when the heart allows itself to be attracted by the creatures. Read whole post......

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


"My Imitation of Christ"
by Thomas a Kempis
Revised translation edited by Confraternity of the Precious Blood, Imprimatur Thomas Edmundus Molloy, Archbishop of Brooklyn, 1954

Book One - useful adminishes for a Spiritual Life

Obedience and Subjection

1. He was subject to them Luke 2, 51
It is a very great thing to be under obedience, to live under a superior and not be at our own disposal. it is much more secure to be in a state of subjection than in authority. Many are under obedience more out of necessity than for the love of God; and such as these are in pain and easily repine. Nor will they gain freedom of mind unless they subject themselves with their whole heart for God's sake. Run here and there, thou wilt find no rest, but in an humble subjection under the government of a superior. The imagination and changing of places have deceived many.

2. It is true every one is desirous of acting according to his own liking; and is more inclined to such as are of their own mind. But if God be amongs us we must sometimes give up our own opinion for the sake of peace. Who is so wise as to be able fully to know all things? Therefore trust not too much to thine own thoughts, but be willing also to hear the sentiments of others. Although thy opinion be good, yet if for God's sake thou leave it to follow that of another it will be more profitable to you.

3. For I have often heard that it is more safe to hear and to take counsel than to give it. It may also happen that each one's thought may be good; but to refuse to others, when reason or a just cause requires it, is a sign of pride and willfulness. Read whole post......

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost
after Divine Instructions by Fr Leonard Goffine affter

REMARK If from Pentecost until Advent there be only twenty-three Sundays, the following one is omitted, and the Mass of the twenty-fourth is said.

The Introit of the Mass consoles and incites us to confidence in God who is so benevolent towards us, and will not let us pine away in tribulation. The Lord saith: I think thoughts of peace, and not of affliction: you shall call upon me, and I will hear you: and I will bring back your captivity from all places. (Fer. XXIX. 11. 12. 14.) Lord, thou hast blessed thy land: thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob. (Ps. LXXXIV.) Glory etc.

COLLECT Absolve, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, Thy people from their offences: that through Thy bountiful goodness we may be freed from the bonds of those sins which through our frailty we have contracted. Thro',

EPISTLE (Philipp. III 17-21.: IV, 1-3.) Brethren, Be followers of me, and observe them who walk so as you have our model. For many walk, of whom I have told you often (and now tell you weeping), that they are enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. But our conversation is in heaven: from whence also we look for the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of his glory, according to the operation whereby also he is able to subdue all things unto himself. Therefore, my dearly beloved brethren, and most desired, my joy and my crown: so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. I beg of Evodia, and I beseech Syntyche, to be of one mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, my sincere companion, help those women who have labored with me in the gospel with Clement and the rest of my fellow-laborers, whose names are in the book of life.

EXPLANATION There are unhappily many Christians, who, as St. Paul complains, are, declared enemies of Christ's cross, who do not wish to mortify their senses, who only think of gratifying their lusts, and, as it were, find their only pleasure, even seek their honor, in despising the followers of Jesus and His saints on the narrow path of the cross, of mortification and humiliation. What will be the end of these people? Eternal perdition! For he who does not crucify the flesh, does not belong to Christ. (Gal. V. 24.) He who does not bear the-marks of the mortification of Jesus in his body, in him the life of Christ shall not be manifested. (II Cor. IV. 10.) He who does not walk in heaven during his, life-time, that is, who does not direct his thoughts and desires heavenward, and despise the world and its vanities, will not find admission there after his death.

ASPIRATION I could say with St. Paul: The world is crucified to me, and I to the world. (Gal. VI. 14.)

GOSPEL (Matt. IX. 18-26.) At that time, As Jesus was speaking to the multitudes, behold, a certain ruler came up, and adored him, saying: Lord , my daughter is even now dead: but come, lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus, rising up, followed him, with his disciples. And behold, a woman, who was troubled with an 'issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment. For she said within herself: If I shall touch only his garment, I shall be healed. But Jesus turning and seeing her, said: Be of good heart, daughter: thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. And when Jesus was come into the house of the ruler, and saw the. minstrels and the multitude making a tumult, he said: Give place: for the girl is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. And when the multitude was put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand. And the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that country.

I. Filial was the faith, unbounded the confidence, profound the humility of this woman, and therefore, she received health also. Learn from this, how pleasing to the Lord is faith, confidence and humility; let your prayer always be penetrated by these three virtues, and you will receive whatever you ask.

II. The devout Louis de Ponte compares the conduct of this woman to our conduct at holy Communion, and says: Christ wished to remain with us in the most holy Eucharist, clothed with the garment of the sacramental species of bread, that he who receives His sacred flesh and blood, may be freed from evil concupiscence. If you wish to obtain the health of your soul, as did this woman the health of the body, imitate her. Receive the flesh and blood of Jesus with the most profound humility, with the firmest confidence in His power and goodness, and like this woman you too will be made whole.

III. Jesus called three dead persons to life, the twelve year old daughter of Jairus, ruler of the synagogue, of whom there is mention made in this gospel, the young man at Naim, (Luke VII. 14.) and Lazarus. (John. XI- 43.) By these three dead persons three classes of sinners may be understood: the maiden signifies those who sin in their youth through weakness and frailty, but touched by the grace of God, perceive their fall and easily rise again through penance; by the young man at Naim those are to be understood who sin repeatedly and in public, these require greater grace, more labor and severer penance; by Lazarus, the public and obdurate habitual sinners are to be understood who can be raised to spiritual life only by extraordinary graces and severe public penance.

IV. Christ did not raise the maiden, until the minstrels and noisy multitude were removed, by which He wished to teach us that the conversion of a soul cannot be accomplished in the midst of the noise and turmoil of temporal cares, idle pleasures and associations.


And they laughed him to scorn. (Matt IX. 24.)

When Jesus told the minstrels and the crowd that the girl was not dead, but sleeping, they laughed at Him, because they understood not the meaning of His words. Sensual-minded men generally act in the same manner towards the priests and ministers of God, who by their word and example admonish them to despise honors, riches and pleasures, and to embrace the love of poverty, humility and mortification. This is, an unintelligible and hateful language to them which they ridicule and mock just as they do when they hear that death is a sleep, from which we shall one day awake and be obliged to appear before the judgment-seat of God. Woe to such scoffers by whose ridicule so many souls are led from the path "of virtue! What the devil formerly, accomplished by tyrants in estranging men from God and a lively faith in Him and His Church, he seems to wish to accomplish in our days by the mockery, scoffs, and blasphemies of wicked men; for at no period have piety and virtue, holy simplicity and childlike faith, adherence to the holy Roman Church and her laws, reverence for her head, her ministers and priests, been more mocked, derided and blasphemed. Unhappily many permit themselves to be induced by mockery to abandon piety, to omit the public practice of their faith, to conceal their Catholic conviction, and to lead a lukewarm, careless, indeed, sinful life. Woe to the scoffers! they are an abomination to the Lord (Prov. III. 32.) who will one day require from their hands all the souls perverted by them. Do not permit yourself to be led astray by those who ridicule your faith and zeal for virtue; remember the words of Jesus: He that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. (Matt. X. 33.) Let Jesus be your consolation, He was scoffed and blasphemed for your sake, and often say within yourself:

I know, my most amiable Jesus, that the servant cannot be more than his master. Since Thou wert so often sneered at, mocked and blasphemed, why should I wonder if I am derided for my faith in Thee and Thy Church, and for the practice of virtue! Read whole post......

Thursday, November 09, 2006


"My Imitation of Christ"
by Thomas a Kempis
Revised translation edited by Confraternity of the Precious Blood, Imprimatur Thomas Edmundus Molloy, Archbishop of Brooklyn, 1954

Book One - useful adminishes for a Spiritual Life

CHAPTER 8 Shunning too Much Familiarity

1. "Discover not thy heart to every one" - Ecclus. viii. 22; but treat of thy affairs with a man that is wise and feareth God."
Keep not much company with young people and strangers.
Be not a flatterer with the rich, nor willingly appear before the great.
Associate thyself with the humble and simple, with the devout and virtuous, and treat of those things which edify. - Rom. xiv. 19
Be not familiar with any woman; but recommend all good women in general to God.
Desire to be familiar only with God and His angels and fly the acquaintance of men.

2. We must have charity for all, but familiarity is not expedient.
It sometimes happens that a person, when not known, shines by a good reputation, who, when he is present, is disagreeable to them that see him.
We think sometimes to please others by being with them; and we begin rather to disgust them by the evil behaviour which they discover in us. Read whole post......

Wednesday, November 08, 2006




9. To this fourth degree belong those who hesitate not to subject Divine and supernatural things to temporal things, as to their God, when they ought to do the contrary, and subject temporal things to God, if they considered Him as their God, as would be in accordance with reason. To these belonged the iniquitous Balaam, who sold the grace that God had given to him. And also Simon Magus, who thought to value the grace of God in terms of money, and desired to buy it. In doing this he showed a greater esteem for money; and he thought there were those who similarly esteemed it, and would give grace for money. There are many nowadays who in many other ways belong to this fourth degree; their reason is darkened to spiritual things by covetousness; they serve money and not God, and are influenced by money and not by God, putting first the cost of a thing and not its Divine worth and reward, and in many ways making money their principal god and end, and setting it before the final end, which is God.
10. To this last degree belong also those miserable souls who are so greatly in love with their own goods that they take them for their god, so much so that they scruple not to sacrifice their lives for them, when they see that this god of theirs is suffering some temporal harm. They abandon themselves to despair and take their own lives for their miserable ends, showing by their own acts how wretched is the reward which such a god as theirs bestows. For when they can no longer hope for aught from him he gives them despair and death; and those whom he pursues not to this last evil of death he condemns to a dying life in the griefs of anxiety and in many other miseries, allowing no mirth to enter their heart, and naught that is of earth to bring them satisfaction. They continually pay the tribute of their heart to money by their yearning for it and hoarding of it for the final calamity of their just perdition, as the Wise Man warns them, saying: 'Riches are kept to the hurt of their owner.'
11. And to this fourth degree belong those of whom Saint Paul says: Tradidit illos in reprobum sensum. For joy, when it strives after possessions as its final goal, drags man down to these evils. But those on whom it inflicts lesser evils are also to be sorely pitied, since, as we have said, their souls are driven far backward upon the way of God. Wherefore, as David says: Be not thou afraid when a man shall be made rich: that is, envy him not, thinking that he outstrips thee, for, when he dieth, he shall carry nothing away, neither shall his glory nor his joy descend with him. Read whole post......

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


fragments from "Scripture by Topic" - Originally titled "The Divine Armory of Holy Scripture" - 1943 edition - Angelus Press 2006


Lord, Thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. John 21:17
I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord in my firmament, my refuge, and my deliverer. Ps 72:25
Turn, O my soul, into thy rest: for the Lord hath been bountiful to thee. For he hath delivered my soul from death; my eyes from tears; my feet from falling. I will please the Lord in the land of the living. Ps. 114:7-9
As the hart panteth after the fountains of water, so my soul panteth after thee, O my God. Ps 41:1
Thou hast delivered my soul that it should not perish, thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. For hell shall not confess to thee, neither shall death praise thee, nor shall they that go down into the pit look for thy truth. The living, the living he shall give praise to thee, as I do this day. Is 38:17-19
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and my supplication: give ear to my tears. Be not silent: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. O forgive me, that I may be refreshed before I go hence, and be no more. Ps. 38:13-15 Read whole post......

Monday, November 06, 2006


"My Imitation of Christ"
by Thomas a Kempis
Revised translation edited by Confraternity of the Precious Blood, Imprimatur Thomas Edmundus Molloy, Archbishop of Brooklyn, 1954

Book One - useful adminishes for a Spiritual Life

CHAPTER 7 -Avoiding Vain Hope and Pride

1. He is vain who puts trust in man or in creatures. - Jer. xvii. 5; Ps. cxiv. 2Be not ashamed to serve others and to appear poor in this world for the love of Jesus Christ.- 2 Cor. iv. 5. Confide not in thyself, but place thy hope in God-Ps. Lxxii. 28. Do what is in thy power, and God will be with thy good will. Trust not in thine own knowledge, nor in the cunning of any man living, but rather in the grace of God, who helps the humble and humbles those who presume themselves.

2. Glory not in riches, if thou hast them, nor in friends, becasue they are powerful, but in God, who gives all things, and desires to give Himself above all things. - 1 Cor. 1, 31. Boast not of the stature nor in beauty of thy body which is spoiled and disfigured by a little sickness. Do not take pride in thy ability or talent, lest thou displease God, to whom belongs every natural good quality and talent which thou hast.

3. Esteem not thyself better than others, lest, perhaps thou be accounted worst in the sight of God, who knows what is in man. Be not proud of thy own works: for the judgments of God are different from the judgments of man; and often times that displeaseth Him which pleaseth man. if thou hast anything of good believe better things of others that thou mayst preserve humility. It will do thee no harm to esteem thyself the worst of all; but it will hurt thee very much to prefer thyself before any one. Continual peace is with the humble; but in the heart of the proud is frequent envy and indignation. Read whole post......

Sunday, November 05, 2006

from "Divine Instructions" by Fr Leonard Goffine ater

At the Introit of the Mass pray with the priest for the forgiveness of your sins: If thou shalt observe iniquities O Lord: Lord, who shall endure? for with thee is propitiation, O God of Israel. From the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. (Ps. CXXIX.) Glory etc.

O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all goodness, hear, we beseech Thee, the devout prayers of Thy Church, and grant that what we faithfully ask we may effectually obtain. Throu.

EPISTLE (Philipp. I. 6-II.)
Brethren, We are confident in the Lord Jesus, that he who hath begun a good work in you will perfect it unto the day of Christ Jesus. As it is meet for me to think this for you all, for that I have you in my heart, and that in my bands, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, you are all partakers of my joy. For God is my witness, how I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your charity may more and more abound in knowledge and in all understanding: that you may approve the better things; that you may be sincere and without offence unto the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of justice, through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

This epistle was written by St. Paul at Rome, where he was imprisoned for the faith, to the inhabitants of Philippi in Macedonia whom he had converted to the true faith. He congratulates them that they so willingly received and conscientiouly obeyed the gospel which he had preached to the, and he says, he trusts in God to complete the good work which He has commenced, and to give them perseverance until the day of Christ, that is, until death.

GOSPEL (Matt. XXII. 15-21.)
At that time, The Pharisees went and consulted among themselves how to ensnare Jesus in his speech. And they send to him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying: Master, we know that thou art a true speaker, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man, for thou dost not regard the person of men: tell us, therefore, what dost thou think? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not? But Jesus knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt me, ye hypocrites? Show me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny. And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this? They say to him: Caesar's. Then he saith to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.

Why did the Pharisees try to ensnare Jesus in His speech?

In order to find some reason to accuse Him before tho emperor, or to make Him hated by the Jews; for had He denied tribute to Caesar, they would have accused Him before the emperor as guilty of high treason; had He, on the contrary made it obligatory to pay tribute, then they would have denounced Him as a destroyer of the liberty of the people, who considered themselves a free nation owing allegiance only to God. Like the Pharisees are all those who, under the appearance of friendship, only cause vexation and misfortune to their neighbor.

Who are really hypocrites?

Those who in order to cheat their neighbor, appear outwardly pious and holy, whilst inward they are full of malice; those who have honey on the tongue, but gall in the heart, and sting like scorpions, when we least expect it. Because there are so many vices connected with hypocrisy, (Matt. XXIII.) therefore Christ has denounced no sin more emphatically than this one. Hypocrites are brethren of Cain, Joab, and Judas, of whom the first killed his brother, the second his cousin and the third betrayed his divine Master with a kiss. Such false men are cursed by God. (Mal, I. 14.) I hate a mouth with a double tongue. (Prov. VIII. 13.) "The devil silently possesses the hearts of hypocrites and quietly sleeps in them, whilst he gives them no peace," says St. Gregory; and St. Jerome writes: "Pretended holiness is double malice." Better is an open enemy, before whom we can be on our guard, than a hypocritical friend of whom we have no suspicion, because we look upon him as a friend. Beware, therefore, my dear Christian, of the vice of hypocrisy, which is so hateful to God; endeavor always to be sincere with God, thyself and thy neighbor, and to walk in-true humility before God, then mayst thou carry His image within thee.

Help me, O Lord, for the number of the saints is decreasing and truth is becoming rare among men. They speak vain things each with his neighbor: their lips are deceitful, and they speak with double hearts. Let the Lord destroy all those who say: We will magnify our tongue; our lips are our own; who is Lord over us? O Lord, deliver my soul from wicked lips and deceitful tongues give me grace to preserve Thy image in my soul, by piety and virtue. Direct my heart to justice and keep it from avarice, that I may give to each his own.

Thou art a true speaker ' neither carest thou or any man, for thou dost not regard the person of men. (Matt. XXII. 16.)

In this Christians ought especially to follow the Saviour, and not permit themselves to be deterred from piety, and the practice of virtue by fear or human respect. What matters it, what people think and say of us, if we only please God? He alone can truly benefit or injure us; therefore he alone is to be feared, as Christ says: Fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matt. X. 28.)

How foolishly, therefore, do those act who through fear of displeasing certain people, are afraid to serve God and practice piety; who even go so far as to commit sin; who in order to be pleasing to others, oppress innocent, poor and forsaken people; who adopt the latest and most scandalous fashions and customs; those who eat meat on days of abstinence, or give it to others; those who sing sinful songs, or what is still worse, do not hesitate to ridicule sacred things to give others occasion to laugh, or in order to be considered strong-minded. Implore God daily and sincerely, that He may take from you this vain fear of men and give you instead the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom.

Whose image is this? (Matt. XXII. 20.)

Thus we should often ask ourselves with respect to our soul, particularly when we are tempted to stain and rain it by sin, Whose image is this? We should then say to ourselves, "Is it not the likeness of God, a likeness painted with the blood of Jesus, an image for which the Saviour gave His life? Should I defile and deform this by sin and voluptuousness? God forbid!" For in truth, what among all created things, except the angels, is more beautiful and more precious than a -human soul, which is in the state of grace? "Could we," says St. Catherine of Sienna, "behold with our corporal eyes a soul in the state of grace, we would see with astonishment that it surpasses in splendor all flowers) all stars, the whole world, and there is probably no one who would not wish to die for such beauty." It is a dwelling of the Blessed Trinity! Christ did not give His life for all the goods and treasures of this earth, but for the human soul. And yet many estimate their soul at such little value that they sell it for a momentary pleasure, for a present not worth a penny! For shame! The body we estimate so highly that we take all pains to decorate it and keep it alive, and the soul the image and likeness of God, we take no pains to keep in the state of grace, and adorn with virtues! What folly!

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. (Matt. XXII. 21.)

To pay tribute to the lawful government is a duty of justice which the Spirit of God Himself commands us faithfully to fulfil. (Rom. XIII. 6, 7.) Christ Himself paid the customary didrachma for Himself and St. Peter; (Matt. XVII. 23.) "and if the Son of God Himself paid duty and tax," says St. Ambrose, "who art thou, O man, that thou wouldst free thyself from it?" The government must watch lest the life of its subjects be at hazard, that their property be not endangered or stolen, that there be security on the highways, that peace, harmony and order be preserved among the citizens, that their temporal welfare be promoted; that science and art flourish, etc. For this, teachers, judges, officers and soldiers are necessary, for whose support care must be taken, and whose trouble must be rewarded. Besides this the government must care for the security of the country, for public streets and bridges, and institutions necessary for the common good; to enable the government to perform these duties, taxes are necessary and lawfully assessed. If you oppose these laws, you oppose God, for by Him princes rule, and the mighty degree justice. (Prov. VIII. 16.) Let the payment of duties be done willingly, because you pay them for love of God, and resigned to His holy will as the early Christians did, who even served their heathenish government with pleasure, in all that was not contrary to God's will, and cheerfully paid the duties. Read whole post......