Friday, August 31, 2007

Today's Reading I found very edifying. I will share Daily Readings with you, dear Visitors, during several days of my recess; I will publish, however, Saturday and Sunday posts as usual.

Daily Reading

Sirach 31,8-11.
Blessed is the rich man that is found without blemish: and that hath not gone after gold, nor put his trust in money nor in treasures. Who is he, and we will praise him? for he hath done wonderful things in his life. Who hath been tried thereby, and made perfect, he shall have glory everlasting. He that could have transgressed, and hath not transgressed: and could do evil things, and hath not done them: Therefore are his goods established in the Lord, and all the church of the saints shall declare his alms.

Lk 12,35-40.
Let your loins be girt and lamps burning in your hands. And you yourselves like to men who wait for their lord, when he shall return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching. Amen I say to you that he will gird himself and make them sit down to meat and passing will minister unto them.
And if he shall come in the second watch or come in the third watch and find them so, blessed are those servants. But this know ye, that if the householder did know at what hour the thief would come, he would surely watch and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Be you then also ready: for at what hour you think not the Son of man will come.


Daily Reflection

I am quite resigned to live or to die, I am even willing to recover and go to Cochin-China if it is God's will.
St Therese

after Society of Little Flower
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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Daily Reading

2 Cor. 10,17-18.11,1-2.

But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commendeth himself is approved: but he, whom God commendeth. Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly! But do bear with me. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Mt 25,1-13.
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride. And five of them were foolish and five wise. But the five foolish, having taken their lamps, did not take oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And the bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh. Go ye forth to meet him. Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise: Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out. The wise answered, saying: Lest perhaps there be not enough for us and for you, go ye rather to them that sell and buy for yourselves. Now whilst they went to buy the bridegroom came: and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage. And the door was shut. But at last came also the other virgins, saying: Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answering said: Amen I say to you, I know you not. Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour.

Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible

After Per Ipsum - Daily Reading - link on this page

Daily Reflection

He that judges me is the Lord; Jesus Christ is my judge. St Therese

After The Society of the Little Flower
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SAINT ROSE of LIMA Virgin (1586-1617)

Spiritual Bouquet: He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned. St. Mark 16:16

This lovely flower of sanctity, the first canonized Saint of the New World, was born at Lima, Peru, in 1586. She was christened Isabel, but the beauty of her infant face earned for her the title of Rose, which she thereafter bore....
At an early age she engaged herself as a servant to support her impoverished parents, then worked day and night. In spite of hardships and austerities her beauty ripened with increasing age, and she was openly much admired. Fearing vanity would enter her heart, she cut off her hair, blistered her face with pepper and her hands with lime.... She finally obtained her parents’ permission to be enrolled in the Third Order of Saint Dominic; from her childhood she had taken Saint Catherine of Siena as her model, and she then redoubled her penance. The Blessed Sacrament seemed virtually her only food. Her love for it was intense. Her fasting was near miraculous; during Lent in particular, she denied herself her former single piece of bread each day, to consume only a few orange seeds. Her disciplines were of an almost incredible severity, and her hair shirt reached from her shoulders to her wrists and knees; not satisfied with its rudeness, she armed it with iron nails.

The cell of Saint Rose was a garden hut, her couch a box of broken tiles. Concealed by her veil, a silver crown armed with ninety sharp points encircled her head. More than once, when she shuddered at the prospect of a night of torture, a voice said, “My cross was yet more painful.” The demon tormented her for fifteen years with insupportable temptations; but God sustained His spouse against them, though she would gladly have died rather than live any longer in their clutches. When a Dutch fleet prepared to attack the city of Lima, Rose took her place before the tabernacle, and wept because she felt unworthy to die in its defense, as she hoped she might; the enemy weighed anchor soon afterwards and departed without attempting a siege. All of Saint Rose’s sufferings were offered for the conversion of sinners, and the thought of the multitudes in hell was ever before her soul. She died in 1617, at the age of thirty-one.

Reflection: Rose, pure as driven snow, was filled with deepest contrition and humility, and did constant and terrible penance. Our sins are continual, our repentance passing, our contrition slight, our penance nothing. How will it fare with us?

Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

after Magnificat
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Spiritual Bouquet: All power in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. St. Matthew 28:18

Saint John the Baptist was called by God to be the precursor of His divine Son. In order to preserve his innocence spotless, and to improve upon the extraordinary graces which he had received in his earliest infancy, he was directed by the Holy Spirit to lead an austere and contemplative life in the wilderness. There he devoted himself to the continuous exercise of devout prayer and penance.

When Saint John was thirty years old, the faithful minister of the Lord began to discharge his mission. Clothed with the garments of penance, he announced to all men the obligation weighing upon them of washing away their iniquities with the tears of sincere compunction. He proclaimed the Messiah, who was of his own age but whom he had never seen, when one day Jesus came to be baptized by him in the Jordan. Saint John was received by the poor folk as the true herald of the Most High God, and his voice was, as it were, a trumpet sounding from heaven to summon all men to avert the divine judgments. Souls were exhorted by him to prepare themselves to reap the benefit of the mercy offered them.

When the tetrarch Herod Antipas, in defiance of all laws divine and human, married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip who was yet living, Saint John the Baptist boldly reprimanded the tetrarch and his accomplice for so scandalous an adultery. Herod, motivated by his lust and his anger, cast the Saint into prison. About a year after Saint John had been made a prisoner, Herod gave a splendid entertainment to the official world of Galilee. Salome, a daughter of Herodias by her lawful husband, pleased Herod by her dancing, to the point that he made her the foolish promise of granting whatever she might ask. Salome consulted with her mother as to what to ask, and that immoral woman instructed her daughter to demand the death of John the Baptist, and that the head of the prisoner should be immediately brought to her on a platter. This barbaric request startled the tyrant himself; but governed by human respect he assented and sent a soldier of his guard to behead the Saint in prison. Thus died the great forerunner of our blessed Saviour, some two years after his entrance upon his public ministry, and a year before the death of the One he announced.

Reflection: All the signal graces with which Saint John was favored sprang from his humility; in that virtue all his other virtues were founded. If we desire to form ourselves to solid virtue, we must, above all things, labor to lay the same deep foundation.

Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

SAINT AUGUSTINE Bishop of Hippo and Doctor of the Church (354-430)

Spiritual Bouquet: Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed. St. John 20:29

Saint Augustine was born in 354 at Tagaste in Africa. He was brought up in the Christian faith but did not receive baptism, result of the practice, common in the first centuries, of deferring it until adulthood. An ambitious schoolboy of brilliant talents and violent passions, he early lost both his faith and his innocence. He pursued with ardor the study of philosophy. He taught grammar, rhetoric and literature for nine years in his native town of Tagaste, and in Carthage. He persisted in his irregular life and doctrinal errors until he was thirty-two. Then one day, stung to the heart by the account of some sudden conversions, he cried out, “The unlearned rise and storm heaven, and we, with all our learning, for lack of courage lie inert!” The great heart of this future bishop was already evident.

When as a genial student of rhetoric, he was at Milan, where Saint Ambrose was bishop, Augustine tells us later in his autobiography, the Catholic faith of his childhood regained possession of his intellect, but he could not as yet resolve to break the chains of bad habit. His mother helped him to separate from the mother of his son, Adeodatus, who had died as a young man; and she, after this painful separation, retired for life to a convent, regretting that she had long enchained this soul of predilection. Augustine’s mother, Saint Monica, died soon afterwards.

Urged also by a friend who had decided to adopt a celibate life, Saint Augustine took up a book of the Holy Scriptures, and read the Epistles of Saint Paul in a new light. A long and terrible conflict ensued, but with the help of grace the battle was won; he went to consult a priest and received baptism, returned to Africa and gave all he had to the poor. At Hippo, where he settled, he was consecrated bishop in 395. For thirty-five years he was the center of ecclesiastical life in Africa, and the Church’s strongest champion against heresy. His writings, which compose many volumes, have been everywhere accepted as a major source of both Christian spirituality and theological speculation. The great Doctor died, deeply regretted by the entire Christian world, in 430.

Reflection: Read the lives of the Saints, and you will find yourself living amid company to whose standards you will be forced to raise, at least in some measure, your own in your daily life.

Sources: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 10; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York,

after Lives of the Saints
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Saint Robert Arrowsmith SJ, Martyr

St Robert Arrowsmith was born of the farmer Robert Arrowsmith and Margery Gerard Arrowsmith. His rebel parents refused to attend Protestant services, harbored priests in their home, and at one point were arrested for their actions, and dragged away in the night, leaving the child Edmund alone. Entered Douai College in 1605; he was forced to quit due to ill health. Ordained in France in 1611. Worked among beleaguered English Catholics in Lancashire for 15 years. Even in these oppressive times he was known for his pleasant disposition, sincerity, and energy.
Queen Elizabeth's governors and hierarchy lived on confiscated Catholic property, so public distrust of priests as agents of Catholic Spain working for a Spanish invasion, worked to their advantage, keeping the population in a constant state of paranoia, dependant on an intrusive government. To keep all this in place, Elizabeth had her own Inquisition. Edmund was arrested in 1622 for his faith, and spent his prison time arguing theology with the local Protestant bishop.
Edmund was unexpectedly freed by a pardon issued by King James I. After making the Spiritual Exercises, Edmund entered the Jesuits in 1623, and returned to Lancashire for the remaining five years of his life. Betrayed by the son of the landlord of the Blue Anchor Inn in south Lancashire, he was arrested by priest hunters, and imprisoned for his vocation. He decided to let the court prove the charge rather than help them with a confession, replying, "Would that I were worthy of being a priest!" When the jury found him guilty of being a Jesuit priest, he exclaimed, "Thanks be to God!". Brought to execution, he prayed for everyone in the kingdom, then said, "Be witnesses with me that I die a constant Roman Catholic and for Christ's sake; let my death be an encouragement to your going forward in the Catholic religion." His confession on the day of his execution was heard by fellow-prisoner Saint John Southworth, and his final words were "Bone Jesu" (O good Jesus).

Born in 1585 at Haydock, Lancashire, England as Brian Arrowsmith; preferred his confirmation name of Edmund
Died - hanged, drawn, and quartered on 28 August 1628 at Lancaster, England; his hand is preserved as a relic at Saint Oswald's Church, Ashton-in-Makerfield, England
Beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI
Canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Commemoration of the Transverberation of St Teresa of Avila heart

St Teresa - ora pro nobis.

Today, Discalced Carmelites commemorate transverberation (piercing) of the heart of St. Teresa of Avila. In 1559, at the age of 44, the saint experienced one of the most sublime of her many mystical ecstasies. In a vision, she saw an angel, and in his hand he held a golden spear tipped with fire. He penetrated her heart and caused a very sharp pain that was at the same time exquisitely beautiful. Signs that the piercing were real are visible in her heart, which is incorrupt and kept in the glass reliquary (photo on the left) located in the Carmelite convent in Alba de Tormes, where St Teresa died in 1582 on her way back to Avila.
We can read description of this mystical experience in Chapter 29 of her "Autobiography": “It pleased the Lord that I should sometimes…see beside me…an angel in bodily form…. He was not tall, but short, and very beautiful, his face so aflame that he appeared to be one of the highest types of angel who seemed all afire…. In his hands I saw a long golden spear and at the end of its iron tip I seemed to see a point of fire. With this he seemed to pierce my heart several times…[leaving] me completely afire with a great love of God.”

(picture after American Catholic

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Time of Recollection

"The bridegroom is on his way; go out and meet him" (Matt 25:6).

There is but one way to sanctity, whether we call it the royal road of the cross, the princely way of the resurrection, or the little way of interior childhood. For some the cross is great, for others small; for some it is exterior, for others interior; it all comes to the same thing - abandonment of self and surrender to Christ. He himself shows us the road: "The bridegroom is on his way...". St Agnes repeats this lesson in other words: I have seen Him, loved Him, but in too human way. I had first to lose myself by faith before I could embrace him with a love that was divine. Between sight and disinterested love lies a long life of mortification, by which alone faith and pure love are to be reached. "When a man is tempted" says St James, "it is always because he is being drawn away by the lure of his own passions. When that has come about, passions conceives and gives birth to sin (Jas 1:14, 15). The necessity of mortification is born in us. He who thinks he can live without it has no idea of his own innate sinfulness. All that in life is positively good and fair can so absorb us that we imagine that we are no longer subject to its contrary; that is, to the sinful tendencies in our own nature; but a day will come when the God who wills our salvation will show us that they still subsist. The Preacher bids us enjoy life and all it contains, becasue all is a gift of God. Must we follow his advice? Doubtless, but with certain limits. We may taste of what life offers us, but must desire that only which is necessary to our salvation. St Augustine warns us: "Whatever your progress, cupidity still lives in you." We must rule ourselves to the day of our death. Is it not sufficient to take whatever pain God sends us, and to bear it patiently? Our Lord gives us the answer: a master expects his servants to be vigilant. "Blessed are those servants, whom their master will find watching when he comes." (Luke 12:37). A man who is training for the race cannot content himself with taking his ordinary exercise; he will have to take more than the minimum normally required of him. By the way, for the sake of fitness or beauty, to what extend men and women go in the gym or on a diet. But this is not for God, this is to satisfy self-love and in no way could be meritorious. On the other hand are we always generous in keeping fasts or abstinence on prescribed days or in Lent? Lent is such a precious time given us for our sanctification through self-denial, external and internal. As age advances, physical mortifications becomes more difficult; then the accent must be laid on that which is interior, but mortification in one or another must never be neglected.

O Jesus, he who would follow you must first deny himself; then you will give him your cross to carry. Help us to see the cross you are offering, and to receive it, humbly and gratefully, from your hand.

Some fragments taken from "With the Church - Meditations on Topics from Missal and Breviary" by Fr Mathias Goossens OFM
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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Bl. Jacques Retouret O.Carm - Martyr

Bl Jacques Retouret was born at Limoges in France on 15th September 1746 to a merchant family. He was a serious young man, a lover of books and greatly gifted. At fifteen years of age, he entered the Carmelite house in his native city. After ordination, his zeal and learning were widely admired and large crowds of people were attracted by his way of preaching. Unfortunately, he was often unable to fulfil all his engagements, due to his persistent bad health which plagued him throughout his life. The French Revolution did not spare him. Like the majority of his fellow clergy, Jacques refused to accept the civil law, unilaterally introduced by the state, which decreed, among other things, the election of bishops and parish priests by the people, only afterwards to be approved by the hierarchy and the pope. In addition to this refusal, Jacques was accused of siding with a group of political emigres who had invaded the country against the revolutionaries. He was arrested and condemned, together with many other priests and religious, and sentenced to exile in French Guinea in South America. Taken to Rochefort, he was held there in a prison ship. The British navy, at this time, was blockading the French coast and so preventing the departure of the prison ships. The conditions for the prisoners were beyond description: they were crowded together, hungry, plagued by sickness, and suffered from either the heat or the cold in overpowering smells, and persecuted by their gaolers. Jacques died at Madame Isle, some miles distant from Rochefort, on 26th August 1794 at the age of 48 years. He was beatified, together with 63 other priests and religious, as martyrs for the faith, on 1st October 1995 by Pope John Paul II.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saturday - Day of Our Lady

Comfort of the afflicted, pray for us.

This invocation comes from and is connected to the previous one - the 'Cause of our Joy'.
Life can always be very hard and full of perils: Great labour is created for all men, and a heavy yoke is upon the children of Adam, from the day of their coming out of their mother's womb, until the day of their burial into the mother of all (Ecclesiasticus 40:1). St Paul calls God: the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort (2 Cor 1:3) and in our troubles we have God of all comfort on our site! Moreover, He gave us His mother, herself invaluable comfort of all afflicted. The following words: He that hath not been tried, what manner of things doth he know? (Ecclesiasticus 34:11) refer to Our Lady for the Most Blessed Virgin knows herself from experience the most severe trials. This is why she can comfort us so well and her heart is open to us in every need; she is our refuge in illness, in sadness, in sin and in every trouble. The heavier the yoke - the quicker Mary's help. We can always come and humbly ask her assistance and intercession in prayers before her statue in the Church. Like terrified child running to the mother, we can run to her with open hearts, praying to her with this very name, Comfort of the afflicted. The best way to express gratitude for answered prayers and favours granted is to be helpful to those in need, in honour of Our Blessed Mother. Sadly, as St Francis de Sales once said, it happens quite often that those who desire to be like angels just keep forgetting to be first good and charitable to others. It is of great spiritual profit to join the Church's prayers to honour Our Lady, the Comfort of all afflicted.

Picture is from: Holy Cards for your Inspiration
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Friday, August 24, 2007

Fragments from the book "In the silence of Mary" - presenting life of Mother Mary of Jesus, Carmelite Prioress and Foundress (1851-1942). In Chapter 4 of this book, we continue to follow young Sister Mary of Jesus spiritual development and growing intimacy with God - described mostly in her own words. "In the Hands of the Living God" - last fragments of chapter 4.

Sister Mary of Jesus' own summing up of these last two years of her hermit life was that they were 'nothing but a succession of graces. Dawn broke, day come, and God's life became my treasure, my wealth and my good'. Of these graces and of the knowledge of divine mysteries they left in her soul, only the faintest indication can be given. 'I was given' she says, 'a wonderful understanding....of the divine Order in my own soul, in the souls of others, in the world and in Religion'. Here is one passage which reveals something of her insight into the life of Carmel: it is a forerunner, as it were, of the Chapters of her later life which were to draw so plenteously upon the hidden springs of her knowledge. 'In Carmel, life is not in the exterior, in what we do: that is only the outer shell. Our life, our place is in God. This true life, how one longs to be able to give it to souls who do not even suspect it. Oh, how often souls are too active! Rest or action, sickness or health, in themselves are all equal - indifferent accidents that have no value save in God's choice of them for us. But, sometimes, He makes us touch nothingness in order to reach our goal, and to pass through nothingness in order to reach the All. Oh, then one finds that this 'nothing' can fill a whole life. In one's nothingness, one feels active - what am I saying? - one seems to participate in the activity of God. Yes, his action is ours - we do nothing, nothing visible, but we pass into Him, and in Him, with Him, what do we not achieve? It is then, too, Father, that your lives are, as it were, the activity of our souls: we work together and our actions are united'.
There are several passages which touch on the penetration she had been granted into the meaning of the divine attributes. Thus, she writes: 'I often saw in God a simplicity of which one can say nothing except that one understands it. In this shhowing God acted strongly upon my soul, transforming it and bestowing on it a share and emanation of this simplicity. These touches impressed upon my soul this simplicity which God had often made me glimpse and desire, but that he alone could and willed to give'. Again: 'Often during my days (of eternity, I could almost say), the divine unity appeared to me, without measure and without limit. This was an obscure perception in one sense, and profoundly indistinct, during which wonderful things happened'.
It was however, into the mystery of the Blessed Trinity that it was given her to enter most deeply during these years, Alreadym in the earlier phase, she mentions several times what she calls 'little gleams of light' on this subject. Once, as a novice , when she read in some book the simple sentence: 'They are three and these are but One,' her soul 'received something living of this Holy Trinity, of this divine Life - Trinity and Unity - it knew by some means other than the Faith that they were three and One.' Later on she experienced so many of these touches that she declared that even if revelation had not taught this dogma, she could not have doubted the existence of the Trinity, so distinct and so special had been the way in which each of the three Persons had touched her soul. In 1876 came the greatest of these experiences, when she passed three months in intimate contact with the Blessed Trinity.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Luke 10:27)

Love of God without love of neighbour cannot exist. It is our most important duty to love each other for God said so: Thou shalt love..... It is God's will revealed both in Old and New Testament. If this command would be kept diligently we could only imagine idyllic happiness of earthly life, with no social problems. Duty of brotherly love is also command of justice, and Our Lord says: And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them in like manner (Luke 6:31) and : for this is the law and the Prophets (Matt 7:12). We certainly desire to be treated with charitable understanding by others, therefore all we need to do first is to adjust properly own own attitude. In this way we would become equally worthy before God and He wants us to love Him in our neighbours: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me (Matt 25:40). That is why beloved Apostle warns us: If any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother ; he is a liar. For he that loveth not his brother, whom he seeth, how can he love God whom he seeth not? (1 John 4:20). No matter how diligently we would fulfill our religious duties, prayers, fasting, pilgrimages, it is all for nothing without charity: But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection (Col 3:14). Without charity: it profiteth me nothing (1 Cor 13:3). Our last Judgment depends on this virtue, and at this moment Lord Jesus would say to us: For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; Naked , and you covered me; sick and you visited me: I was in prison and you came to me (Mt 25:35,36). We need to apply rule of charity to everything otherwise: He that loveth not abideth in death (1John 3:14)

Picture today is by Adolphe William Bouguereau, "Charity"

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul and with all thy strength and with all thy mind (Luke 10:27)

God wants us to love Him like children love their natural fathers, in childlike manner. Our Lord instructed us to address God: 'Our Father'. It is true that in times of Old Testament, God was known as a just, lawgiving and almighty judge. In the New Testament, however, He revealed Himself as loving, merciful and forgiving Father who told us: 'Thus therefore shall you pray: Our Father '(Matt 6:9). Lord Jesus also encouraged us to pray with trust and confidence for the remission of sins. Jesus healed sinner suffering from palsy because He was touched by deep faith of those who brought to Him the helpless and sick old man: 'Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven' (Matt 9:2). Remarkably, Jesus granted remission of sins with no confession nor penance on the side of sick man. It seems like turning point, in Christianity the core of religion is total trust in God's mercy and love for poor sinners. We cannot see in Him only stern Lord and Judge and our imperfections and faults should make us even more hopeful and trusting in help of merciful Father. Moreover, trustful surrender can induce desire of union with God through mutual charity. God's love is also educational, and God the Son gives us example in this passage: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory? ( Luke 24:26). God proves His love through suffering, and in this gentle way He detaches us from things of this world and leads us to higher perfection and into Heaven. Childlike simplicity is pleasing to God because He is worthy of trust like this. It is helpful to see Majesty of God and His Religion in proper dimension but in the same time allows us to remain humble, little and happy, like a child. Let us remember consoling words of St Paul: For you have not received the Spirit of bondage again in fear; but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father)(Rom 8:15)

This meditation brings to mind the core of Catholic faith, the adoption as God's children through Our Lord Jesus.
Today's picture is "God, the Father blessing" by Raphael
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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart (Luke 10:27)

Jesus Christ brought good news about God's love for us, mere mortals! We are obliged to respond to this love with childlike trust. Is that easy to find trust like this? Some people serve God with their strong reason and intelligence and for them religion is like scientific system of study and investigation. Others, employ their will to find God and for them religion resembles law system of rules. They go from one conflict of conscience to another and cannot find inner peace. There are also people who want to serve their God with their sense of beauty. They look for Him in the beauty of Catholic liturgy. None of these people ever satisfied their thirst for God. Therefore, we can ask what is the real essence of religion? Someone said it is a deep and sincere conviction that God is Our Father and we are His children. This is simple and childlike attitude but most effective in understanding even the most lofty mysteries of faith. This is why Christ was praying for us to the Father: I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to the little ones. (Matt 11:25). God, like every father, loves the best childlike simplicity in us, which means we should listen to and simply accept even in the most sublime truth with trust. This trust will bring peace and joy, whereas proud person full of doubts, questions, searches will never find peace. If we ask experienced scientist why Christ redeemed the world, he would have difficulty finding the answer, but simple soul would answer immediately: Christ revealed to us God the Father Who: himself loveth you (John 16:27). Christ Way of the Cross was on top of that statement to prove this love. Jesus gives us also the advice: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Mt 18, 3).

This series of meditations is very old and written in typical for old sermons stern, admonishing style. However, I decided posting them for they could be edifying in our lukewarm times. But please, do not feel intimidated - it is not my intention. God bless all visitors and readers of this blog.
The picture today is by Antonio da Correggio.
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SAINT JANE FRANCES de CHANTAL - Foundress of the Order of the Visitation of The Blessed Virgin Mary (1572-1641)

Spiritual Bouquet: May they be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and that Thou hast loved them even as Thou hast loved Me (John 17:23)

At the age of sixteen, Jane Frances de Fremyot, already a motherless child, was placed under the care of a worldly-minded governess. In this crisis she offered herself to the Mother of God, and secured Mary’s protection for life. When a Protestant sought her hand in marriage, she steadily refused to marry “an enemy of God and His Church.” Later, as the loving and beloved wife of the noble Baron de Chantal, she made her house the pattern of a Christian home. But God had marked her for something higher than domestic sanctity. Two children and a dearly beloved sister died, and then, in the full tide of their prosperity, her husband’s life was ended by an accident, through the innocent hand of a friend, when a small group went hunting in the forest.

For seven years the sorrows of her widowhood were increased by ill usage from servants and inferiors, and the cruel importunities of those who urged her to marry again. Harassed almost to despair by their entreaties, she branded on her heart the name of Jesus, and in the end left her beloved home and children, to live for God alone. It was on the 19th of March, 1609, that Madame de Chantal bade farewell to her family and relatives. Pale and with tears in her eyes, she passed around the large room, sweetly and humbly taking leave of each one. Her son, a boy of fifteen, used every entreaty, every endearment, to induce his mother not to leave them, and finally flung himself passionately across the doorsill of the room. In an agony of distress, she passed over the body of her son to the embrace of her aged and disconsolate father. The anguish of that parting reached its height when, kneeling at the feet of the venerable old man, she sought and obtained his last blessing, promising to repay his sacrifice in her new life by her prayers.

Well might Saint Francis de Sales call her “the valiant woman.” She founded under his direction and patronage the great Order of the Visitation. Sickness, opposition and want beset her, and the deaths of children, friends, and of Saint Francis himself followed, while eighty-seven houses of the Visitation rose under her hand. Nine long years of interior desolation completed the work of God’s grace in her soul. The Congregation of the Visitation, whose purpose was to admit widows and persons of fragile health, not accepted elsewhere, was canonically established at Annecy on Trinity Sunday of 1610. The Order counted thirteen houses already in 1622, when Saint Francis de Sales died; and when the Foundress died in her seventieth year, there were eighty-six. Saint Vincent de Paul saw her soul rise up, like a ball of fire, to heaven. At her canonization in 1767, the Sisters in 164 houses of the Visitation rejoiced.

Reflection: Profit by the successive trials of life to gain the strength and courage of Saint Jane Frances, and difficulties will become stepping stones from earth to heaven.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Fragments from the book "In the silence of Mary" - presenting life of Mother Mary of Jesus, Carmelite Prioress and Foundress (1851-1942). In Chapter 4 of this book, we continue to follow young Sister Mary of Jesus spiritual development and growing intimacy with God - described mostly in her own words. "In the Hands of the Living God" - last fragments of chapter 4.

The signs of a new phase are apparent even towards the end of 1875, but manifest themselves more clearly and seem to develop as the next year advances. There is an intensification of spiritual suffering reflected in one brief note: 'I am passing now through a more intimate Purgatory - night - a deeper abyss.' This sense of suffering sounds, as it were, like undertone of diminishing intensity throughout the ensuing period, with a note of joy increasingly dominant and resolving the harmony. 'As for this suffering' she writes 'of which I can say nothing, because nothing describes it, it is like a look of fire falling on the soul and consuming it. I could readily believe that it is God purifying it. St John of the Cross says that it is the same flame that is at first distressing and afterwards no longer so: it is, then, always the same love at work'. 'From my poor suffering there springs rejoicing without end, which makes me love everything'. 'One loves this precious sufferings that unites us to God and operates such wonderful things in the soul'. Little by litle, she is coming to realize that union will be the outcome of these trials, and with the growing certainty, there is a corresponding increase of joy. It is at the end of 1875, just after the note already quoted, that she writes: 'There are moments when my soul experiences more than gratitude, a sort of transport of love and of joy, in seeing that, in spite of my wretchedness, God is giving Himself'.

Early in 1876, one finds this entry. 'A few days ago, I do not know what was happening in me, but it was so strong, that I could only say: "My God, finish Your work in me, finish it!"'; and this for two hours. God did not show Himself or give Himself in any sensible way, but I had so strong a feeling that it was He, that I needed to thank Him by going to Holy Communion....He has not given Himself: I have not yet met Him, but it seems to my soul that He is preparing for His coming by different divine touches and operations'. From this point onwards, she reiterates this feeling that the hour of union is drawing near. She uses the word rencontre to designate it, but it is clear each time from the context that she has more in mind than merely a 'meeting'. Sometimes during Lent she describes another experience. 'One Sunday morning, God.......absorbed everything. It was perhaps a suffering, for there is suffering when a certain life, a certain intimate part of one's being leaves one, tends towards God without ever reaching Him. It is a little like having something snatched, but with no violence, and without any effort on my part. If it is a suffering, it is at the same time a grace, a joy for the soul, and it is impossible to say: "this is too much" or even: "this is too hard"'. After Pentecost, she speaks of God's incomprehensible love and mercy, 'wanting me to be so near, so very near Him, nothing except for Him; it is wonderful. He seems to want my Religious life to be His alone. He is even the only one Who can see anything in it. I have not yet reached God: there is always a space between us'. Sometimes after the anniversary of her Profession in September, she repeats: 'I still have not met Him. That state of union, definite, substantial union (see John of the Cross 'Spiritual canticle: 26:9, 38:4; Dark Night: II, 23:2; Living Flame: 4:3, also St Teresa: Interior Castle: 7th Mansion, ch2), I have not reached it, I do not know it. I have so often seen and believed that there would be an insurmountable obstacle between Him and me. I have suffered so greatly all my life from the thought and fear that I would never be able to love Him, never reach Him, that now the sight of the contrary gives me joy I cannot describe. I have not yet met Him, but one might say that we are in each other's presence, on level ground, and that it is only a question of advancing'. She realized, however, that what she had written in 1875 still remained to be answered: 'Which of us must make the step? I cannot make it without His help. I can tend towards it, but Jesus must take my desire and unite it to Him.
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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday - Day of Our Lady!

Refuge of sinners, pray for us!

This is the second invocation extending "Cause of our joy" one and implies conviction Our Lady Immaculate can help us all in temporary and spiritual needs and miseries - in overcoming sins. How true it is, for she gave us her Son who became man to break the bond of sin and Satan. She fully cooperated with Our Redeemer for conversion of sinners, she prayed, interceded and sacrificed many beginning in Bethlehem up to Golgotha's last moment. Her whole life on earth was dedicated to serve sinners. This is what she continue to do for us in Heaven, helping sinners to abandon sinful ways and to gain Heaven through Our Lord merits. Confirmation of this Catholic belief is founded on writings of Church's Fathers and theologians including St Alphonsus, St Bonaventura and St Blaise. For example, St Alphonsus says Our Lady's zeal for salvation of souls is so great she herself seeks them first to bring help. Furthermore, St Bonaventure think Our Lady, like Ruth from Old Testament, found favour in God's eyes for the very purpose of salvation of abandoned souls. St Blaise ensures us that even the worst of the worst sinner can obtain Our Lady's greatest assistance without delay when asked for. St Bernard of Siena cites the words of St Peter that Satan like a roaring lion looks for souls to devour, whereas Our Lady with great dedication and tirelessly looks for souls in need of help. We can certainly think about Mary as our help and refuge from the misery of sin and evil passions. We can always turn and cling to her in all spiritual needs and we can certainly ask her assistance not only for our needs but also for the conversion of those from our family or friends who went astray. She will always listen to our prayers for the conversion of sinners. How beautiful, true and powerful is the prayer said in trust and love: "Hail, Mary, full of grace, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death"

Holy card above from Holy Cards for Your Inspiration blog
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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Fragments from the book "In the silence of Mary" - presenting life of Mother Mary of Jesus, Carmelite Prioress and Foundress (1851-1942). In Chapter 4 of this book, we continue to follow young Sister Mary of Jesus spiritual development and growing intimacy with God - described mostly in her own words. "In the Hands of the Living God" - last fragments of chapter 4.

The secret of her triumph over nature lay in the joy and love that filled her soul. Of both more will be said later, for each grew daily deeper; yet even in this period, when suffering might well have predominated, joy is everywhere uppermost. 'We ought to enter into an endless spiritual joy', she says, 'grief, cross, everything is in this joy, for all is of God, in God, with God'. A note written towards the end of 1875 reveals the same spirit: 'Night passed in strong joy in the accomplishment of the divine will - joy in everything - joy during and with suffering, and joy of suffering. I think He has given me the spiritual joy that you foretold would one day be mine.'
Love was well the well-spring of her joy as of everything else; the whole of this fragmentary record is lit and coloured by its flame. It is the love of which the author of the Jesu dulcis memoria sings - that 'seeking God itself inflames to seek Him more and more.' It grows steadily through these years, consuming, absorbing, approaching ever nearer to that divine Flame with which it would one day be merged in union. There are innumerable sighings after Him. 'I thirst for Him, I long for Him always, I want to belong utterly to God'. When the thought of her frailty presses upon her, she experienced 'a tremendous grief that each moment of my life has so little corresponded to what God wanted and asked', but 'I have asked Him to give me a love greater than that of souls who have never offended Him.' When the pain of love unsatisfied grows almost beyond bearing, 'He wants to break the limits of my heart' is her cry, and she yearns all the more 'to love Him with a love that He makes me understand, but that only He can give me'. Yet even as she burns with these desires, there is 'a fear that I may get used to living without God, of not desiring Him sufficiently.' Love engenders love. Acknowledging its own powerlessness, it abandons all into the strength and power of God, the infinite Lover. 'His love is so incomprehensible. He seems to have resolved so determinedly, so lovingly to give Himself even to my poor soul, that sometimes it happens that He acts, comes to me more than ever after my frailties, as though to tell me that my misery can no more stop Him than my fidelity of itself is capable of drawing Him; that it is solely through love and absolutely gratuitously that He gives Himself....I yield myself up with trembling desire. I confide myself to Him Who trusts, awaits and loves me'.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Feast of the Assumption

And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt bruise her heel. (Genesis Ch.3:9-15)

From the Sermon by St John the Damascene
This day the holy and animated Ark of the living God, which had held within it its own Maker, is borne to rest in that Temple of the Lord, which is not made with hands. David, whence it sprang, leapeth before it, and in company with him the Angels dance, the Archangels sing aloud, the Virtues ascribe glory, the Principalities shout for joy, the Powers make merry, the Dominions rejoice, the Thrones keep holiday, the Cherubim utter praise, and the Seraphim proclaim its glory. This day the Eden of the new Adam receiveth the living garden of delight, wherein the condemnation was annulled, wherein the Tree of Life was planted, wherein our nakedness was covered. This day the stainless maiden, who had been defiled by no earthly lust, but ennobled by heavenly desires, returned not to dust, but, being herself a living heaven, took her place among the heavenly mansions. From her true life had flowed for all men, and how should she taste of death? But she yielded obedience to the law established by him to whom she had given birth, and, as the daughter of the old Adam, underwent the old sentence, which even her Son, who is the very Life Itself, had not refused ; but, as the Mother of the living God, she was worthily taken by him unto himself.

A Homily by St. Peter Canisius the Priest
The Church frequently and reverently keepeth feastdays dedicated to the Mother of God, realizing that it is a work pleasing to God and worthy of the faithful if many feasts, with fixed dates and public ceremonies, are celebrated in honour of the most blessed of all the blessed in heaven, the Mother of our Lord and God. Among all these feasts which have been celebrated so devotedly for so many years, even unto the present day, the Feast of the Assumption is considered the greatest and holdeth chief place. Indeed there was no happier or more joyful day for Mary, if we duly consider the happiness of both body and soul granted to her on that day. Then especially, as never before, her spirit, soul and body rejoiced wondrously in the living God and she could rightfully say : He hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden ; for behold, all generations shall call me blessed ; for he that is mighty hath magnified me.
O thrice blessed and truly august Mother, it is for this reason that we who love thee and thy Son cannot refrain from congratulating thee with all sincerity upon thine admirable and incomparable happiness, especially since everything that hath been said to thee and about thee by the Lord, is brought to a conclusion by thy beautiful passing away from this life, and in every wise hath been perfectly fulfilled. Blessed art thou who hast not only believed but hast this day attained unto the end of faith and the fruit of all virtue, and now at last hast merited to enjoy the most pleasing sight of him whom thou didst love and desire so greatly. Thyself a guest, thou didst receive Emmanuel who as a guest did enter into thee, as into a mighty fortress in this world ; and today, thou in turn art received by him into his royal mansion, and magnificently welcomed with the highest honour, as befitteth one found worthy to be the Mother of such a Solomon.
O blessed day which sent so precious a gift from the desert of this world, and carried it to the holy and eternal city, so that universal and unheard of joy no less than admiration welled up in all the blessed in heaven. O blessed day, that fulfilled the long and ardent yearning of the gentle spouse, so that she might find what she had sought, that she might receive what she asked ; that what she awaited she might possess securely, resting safely at last in that perfect vision and inward joy of the eternal and all-great Goodness. O blessed day which raised up and so highly exalted this most humble handmaiden of the Lord that she might become the most glorious Queen of Heaven and the mistress of the world. Indeed she could not have risen to more sublime heights since she had been elevated to the very Throne of the heavenly kingdom, and thus was established in glory next after Christ. O blessed and truly honourable is this day which constituted and confirmed for us a Queen and Mother who is at once powerful and merciful in the kingdom of God, that we might have her, who ever remaineth the Mother of the Judge, as a Mother of mercy protecting us and interceding for us with Christ, unceasingly watching over the work of our salvation.

All text after Matins lessons from the Roman Breviary
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Monday, August 13, 2007

SAINT CLARE OF ASSISI Foundress and Abbess (1194-1253)

Spiritual Bouquet: If they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you also; if they have kept My word, they will keep yours also. St. John 15:20

On Palm Sunday, March 19, 1212, a maiden eighteen years of age left her rich and noble family to retire for her reception as a religious to the little church of the Portiuncula. This maiden was Saint Clare. Already she had learned from Saint Francis to scorn the world, and was secretly resolved to live for God alone. There she was met by Saint Francis and his brethren, and at the altar of Our Lady, Saint Francis cut off her hair, clothed her in the habit of penance, a piece of sackcloth, with a cord as a cincture. Thus was she espoused to Christ. Saint Francis placed her for the moment in a Benedictine convent.

It was in a tiny house outside Assisi that she founded her Order. Two weeks after Clare’s consecration, her sister Agnes left home secretly to go to join her, at the age of fourteen years. Agnes succeeded in her intention, despite their father’s strong opposition and a convoy of twelve men who attempted to take her back home by force. While Clare prayed in the convent, Agnes became so heavy they were unable to move her. Later their mother and other noble ladies joined them. They went barefoot, observed perpetual abstinence, constant silence, and perfect poverty.

Saint Clare is celebrated for a miracle which occurred when the Saracen army of Frederick II was ravaging the valley of Spoleto. A legion of infidels advanced to assault the convent outside Assisi. The Saint, who was ill in the infirmary, rose and went, supported by her religious, to the door of the convent; there she had the Blessed Sacrament placed in a monstrance above the gate of the monastery facing the enemy. She knelt before it and prayed, “Deliver not to beasts, O Lord, the souls of those who confess Your Name!” A voice from the Host replied, “My protection will never fail you.” A sudden panic seized the infidel army, which took flight; and the Saint’s convent was spared.

Although Saint Clare herself never left her monastery of Saint Damian, her Order spread in many places not only in Europe but elsewhere, and some four thousand convents, divided into several branches, shelter her disciples. Many Saints have come from these, especially from the groups which have maintained the original absolute poverty of her Constitutions. The Sisters of the original Order live by charity, and their convents possess nothing. Saint Clare died in 1253, as the Passion was being read, and Our Lady and the Angels conducted her to glory.

Sources: Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 9; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).


Prayer in honour of St Clare

O Blessed Clare
you were a "light" in your day,
radiating the joy and peace
of knowing Jesus.

Be a light to us on our
journey. Gently lead us
to that deep and lasting
union with our Divine Lover.

Help us to put our complete
trust in the One
who loves us,
so that we too may pour out
our lives in service.

Gracious Clare,
teach us your way
of openess and gratitude
to every gift of God.

St Clare's Monastery in Duncan, B.C.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Eleven Sundy after Pentecost

EPISTLE (1 Cor 15: 1-10)

Brethren, I make known unto you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand: by which also you are saved: if you hold fast after what manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures: and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that he was seen by Cephas, and after that by the eleven. Then was he seen by more than five hundred brethren at once, of whom many remain until this present, and some are fallen asleep. After that he was seen by James, then by all the apostles. And last of all, he was seen also by me, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God; but by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace in me hath not been void.

1. St. Paul warns the Corinthians against those who denied the Resurrection of Christ and exhorts them to persevere in the faith which they have received, and to live in accordance with the same. Learn from this to persevere firmly in the one, only saving Catholic faith, which is the same that Paul preached.

2. In this epistle to the Corinthians St. Paul gives us a beautiful example of humility. Because of the sins he had committed before his conversion, he calls himself one born out of due time, the least of the apostles, and not worthy of being called an apostle, although he had labored much in the service of Christ. He ascribes it to God's grace that he was what he was. Thus speaks the truly humble man: he sees in himself nothing but weakness, sin, and evil, and therefore despises himself and is therefore willing to be despised by others. The good which he professes or practices, he ascribes to God, to whom he refers all the honor. Endeavor, too, O Christian soul, to attain such humility. You have far more reason to do so than had St. Paul, because of the sins which you have committed since your baptism, the graces which you have abused, and the inactive, useless life you have led.

GOSPEL (Mark 7:31-37)
At that time, Jesus going out of the coast of Tyre, came by Sidon to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coast of Decapolis. And they bring to him one deaf and dumb, and they besought him that he would lay his hand upon him. And taking him from the multitude apart, he put his fingers into his ears, and spitting, he touched his tongue: and looking up to heaven, he groaned, and said to him, Ephpheta, which is, Be thou opened: and immediately his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke right. And he charged them that they should tell no man; but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal did they publish it, and so much the more did they wonder, saying: He hath done all things well: he hath made both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Whom may we understand by the deaf and dumb man?
Those who desire neither to hear nor to speak of things concerning salvation.

Why did Christ take the deaf and dumb man aside?
To teach us that he who wishes to live piously and be comforted, must avoid the noisy world and dangerous society, and love solitude, for there God speaks to the heart. (Osee 2:14)

Why did Christ forbid them to mention this miracle?
That we might learn to fly from the praise of vain and fickle men.

What do we learn from those who brought the deaf and dumb man to Jesus, and notwithstanding the prohibition, made known the miracle?
That in want and sicknesswe should kindly assist our neighbor, and not neglect to announce and praise the works of God, for God works His miracles that His goodness and omnipotence may be known and honored.

O Lord Jesus, who during Thy life on earth, didst cure the sick and the infirm, open my ears that they may listen to Thy will, and loosen my tongue that I may honor and announce Thy works. Take away from me, O most bountiful Jesus, the desire for human praise, that I may not be led to reveal my good works, and thus lose the reward of my Heavenly Father. (Matt. 6:1) .

There is no member of the body more dangerous and pernicious than the tongue. The tongue, says the Apostle St. James, is indeed a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how small a fire kindleth a great wood. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is placed among our members, which defileth the whole body, and inflameth the wheel of our nativity, being set on fire by hell. (James 3: 5, 6) The tongue no man can tame: an unquiet evil, full of deadly poison. By it we bless God and the Father; and by it we curse men, who are made after the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. (ibid. 3: 8-10) There is no country, no city, scarcely a house, in which evil tongues do not cause quarrel and strife, discord and enmity, jealousy and slander, seduction and debauchery. An impious tongue reviles God and His saints, corrupts the divine word, causes heresy and schism, makes one intemperate, unchaste, envious, and malevolent; in a word, it is according to the apostle a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue of the serpent seduced our first parents, and brought misery and death into the world. (Gen 3) The tongue of Judas betrayed Jesus. (Matt. 46: 49) And what is the chief cause of war among princes, revolts among nations, if it is not the tongue of ambitious, restless men, who seek their fortune in war and revolution? How many, in fine, have plunged themselves into the greatest misery by means of their unguarded tongue? How can we secure ourselves against this dangerous, domestic enemy? Only by being slow to speak according to the advice of St. James, (1: 19) to speak very few, sensible, and well-considered words. In this way we will not offend, but will become perfect. (James 3:2) As this cannot happen without a special grace of God, we must according to the advice of St. Augustine beg divine assistance, in the following or similar words:

ASPIRATION O Lord, set a watch before my mouth, and a door round about my lips, that I may not fall and my tongue destroy me. (Ps 140: 3)

Picture is Rembrandt's drawing "Christ healing the sick".
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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saturday - Our Lady's Day

Morning Star, pray for us!

Mary is like a morning star because the most deep mysteries of faith have been incarnated in her in the person of God's Son. She is like this morning, guiding light that disperses darkness of the night and help us, poor sinners, to reach eternal happiness of beatific vision. That is why St Bernard says that it is well justified to compare Mary to morning star giving light to the whole world. Under this light, virtues bloom but vices die. Mary's life was very edifying and imitating her will be always be spiritually proficient. She possessed the key of understanding mysteries of faith and that was the result of unity with God and her purity. We know from mystical theology, that God reveals Himself to those who are truly pious and pure. The Apostle says: "But the sensual man perceiveth not these things that are of the Spirit of God; for it is foolishness to him, and he cannot understand " (1 Cor 2:14). Following Our Lady is like following shining star that leads straight into happiness, just like St Bernard said: "Look at the star, but invoke Mary!"
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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Today is the Feast of St John Vianney please follow the link to my previous post:
Catechism on Prayer Read whole post......
And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable (Luke 18:9)

Many scientists and intelligentsia can fit into similar category. With the air of superiority they despise all that is Religion or religious and they see pious Catholics practising their Religion as uneducated brood of simpletons. The most offending and stumbling blocks to those 'wise men' are miracles. This is nothing new in their attitude. When St. Paul was preaching the Miracle of Ressurection in Athen's Academy, then: "some indeed mocked, but others said: we will hear thee again concerning this matter " (Acts 17:32). There is no doubt God worked miracles. And He did so to prove beyond any doubt His Almighty power and mercy: "In this thou shalt know I am the Lord "(Exodus 7:17). the other reason was to confirm teaching of His Apostles. Miracles are also to prove particular person holiness. They are extraordinary, supernatural acts above, contrary to, or outside nature. Therefore, only Creator of nature can work these acts: "God of Israel, who alone doth wonderful things." (Psalm 71:18). Our Lord worked many miracles, witnessed by thousands of people of different age, gender and state of life. He worked the miracles in front of His worst enemies, who were crying in hatred and frustration: "What do we, for this man doth many miracles?" (John 11:47). He made clear the purpose of working miracles: " If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, believe the works: that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I in the Father". (John 10: 37,38). If someone cannot believe in Our Lord's miracles, the person is in grave spiritual condition. People have problem believing in Christ's miracles, because otherwise they had to believe in Christ and His Church, and they had to do what Christ commanded: to be humble, honest, pious and chaste! Our Lord again warns those unbelivers: " If I had nnot done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated me and my Father." (John 15:24)

The picture is 'Miraculous fishing' Read whole post......

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Time for break - no posting up to 12th of August. Read whole post......
I recommend posts in August last year to read during my break, if you wish so, please follow the link: HERE Read whole post......