Friday, October 31, 2008

All Saints Day vigil

I recommend very good and edifying reading with a lot of Scripture references on Purgatory from Sisters of Carmel for the coming All Souls Day

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

St John of the Cross

Love your enemies

He was also concerned about what was happening to the Order under Doria's authority, and the unhappiness it was causing to the nuns. He wrote to Sr Leonor advising her not to dwell on things, 'because what should be occupied in God be occupied in this....Let the garden be closed, then, without pain or worry, for he who entered bodily for his disciples, when the doors were closed, and gave them peace, without them knowing or imagining that this could be, nor how, will enter in spirit into the soul....and he will fill her with peace.'
He had need of that peace for himself, because a new definitor, Fr Diego Evangelista, elected at the Madrid Chapter, was given the task of investigating Fr Gracian, with a view to carrying out his expulsion from the Order that Doria had proposed. The nuns at Granada were so worried at the interrogation to which they had been subjected and the way what they said was being twisted and misinterpreted, that they burned a whole sack of John's letters and other writings. Hearing of this activity, John was deeply hurt, but refused to say anything against Fr Diego. This campaign continued for the rest of John's life, and hearing of his death, Diego expressed regret that he had not managed to expel him from the Order before he died. The hapless Gracian was not so 'fortunate'. He was expelled, captured and tortured by Barbary pirates, escaped, and, not able to re-enter the Discalced, died as a Calced friar.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

St John of the Cross

God is always good.
What John had foreseen came to pass.

Doria saw his prestige and the reverence in which so many held him for his spiritual stature as a threat to his own authority and he left the Chapter a simple friar, stripped of any post. There were even plans to send him to Mexico, although this never materialised. Instead, he was sent to a remote friary at La Penuela. For John, it was a relief no longer to have all his administrative tasks, and to pursue the life of prayer for which he always yearned, whatever his outward activity over the previous years. As he remarked of those years, when he spent his journeys praying, singing psalms, 'I am well, but my soul lags far behind'. The letter he wrote to Mother Anne of Jesus shortly after the Chapter shows his state of mind: '[God] has arranged this that we may show it by our actions...this is not evil or harmful, neither for me nor for anyone. It is in my favour since, being freed and relieved from the care of souls, I can, if I want and with God's help, enjoy peace, solitude, and the delightful fruit of forgetfulness of self and of all things.' He made the most of the nature he so loved a Penuela, going for hours into the countryside to pray and be alone with his Beloved. Even so, he was not out of contact with the many people whom he had directed, and continued to guide them by letter. Even so, he would not have been human if he had not felt hurt by the antagonism and even hatred of which he had been the butt at the Chapter. A he wrote to Anne of Penalosa, he liked Penuela very much: 'The vastness of the desert is a great help to the soul and the body, although the soul fares very poorly. The Lord must desire that it have its spiritual desert.' He described his simple life to her, which suited him so much: 'This morning we have already returned from gathering our chick-peas, and so the mornings go by. On another day we shall thresh them. It is nice to handle these mute creatures, better than being badly handled by living ones.'
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

St John of the Cross

Today we will continue to meditate on the life of St John of the Cross who at the pick of his religious leadership and popularity preferred to follow in the food-steps of Christ by choosing 'to suffer and to be looked down upon' instead of obtaining temporal rewards for his service to Christ. By meditating upon this example of extraordinary holiness we can better understand what does it really mean to love God above ourselves.

Storms clouds began to break over John's head when the Father General, Nicolas Doria, convened an Extraordinary Chapter in June 1590. John had a premonition that things would go badly for him. When one of the Segovian nuns said that she was sure he would return to them as their Provincial, he replied and with certainty, 'I shall be thrown into a corner like an old rag'. One source of disagreement went as back as 1581 at the Chapter at Almodovar del Campo. John had come into conflict (yes, even saints do this sometimes!) with Fr Gerome Gracian who had been a favourite and close collaborator of St Teresa. Gracian wanted the friars to be more active in the apostolate, whereas John insisted that they should be primarily contemplative, from which their apostolate would flow. He did not want their contemplative vocation to take second place and perhaps be squeezed out. This tension between the active and contemplative aspects of the Carmelite friar's life had a long history. The Order traces its origin back to the time of the Crusades, when some of the crusaders decided to settle in the Holy Land, on Mount Carmel, where Elijah and Elisha had founded a 'school of prophets', living a life of community and contemplation. Ever since, Carmelites have looked on two great prophets as their spiritual forebears. When the Muslims defeated the crusaders and drove them out of the Holy Land, the friars fled to the West, where they took up an active apostolate, sometimes to the detriment of their contemplative base.
At the Madrid Chapter the problem was more a clash of personalities between Gracian, who represented the moderates and Doria who wanted more control. Although Teresa had not taken personally to Doria, a Genoese who had been a banker before entering the Discalced, she had prized Doria's organisational skills, but he was rigid and authoritarian. The younger Gracian had a brilliant mind, a distinguished scholar and organiser , and had a much more pleasing and charming manner, although his impetuosity and rashness made him powerful enemies - including Doria. Now, Doria put forward some proposals with which John adamantly disagreed. Doria changed the government of the Order, concentrating all power in the hands of a permanent committee. He also wanted to take revenge against the formidable Mother Ann of Jesus, who, supported by John of the Cross, opposed his plans for the nuns and wanted to seek papal approbation for their constitutions. In addition, he wanted to expel Gracian from the Order, seeing him as a dangerous rival to his own power. John of the Cross had already warned Gracian that this might happen. He had been horrified when Gracian had proposed that Doria should succeed him as Provincial: he was elected only by two votes. Now, he felt that Gracian was being unfairly treated, and said so. Although many of the other friars privately agreed with him, they were too cowed by Doria's dictatorial manner to speak out.

The moving story of St John of the Cross last years marked by his heroic love of God and the neighbour is to be continued.
Credit: on the basis of little book 'John of the Cross' by Jennifer Moorcroft
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Monday, October 27, 2008

St John of the Cross

There are many Saints who proved their love of God through examples of heroic virtue. St John of the Cross is one of them.

He wrote the most beautiful poems describing soul search for His beloved. It is good to think of him during the month of the Sacred Heart, the beautiful symbol of God's love for us. We will focus today on the period of St John's life that began when he was elected the prior of Discalced friars in Baez. It happened just after Discalced were finally set up as a separate Province. He was the Prior there for two years and after that he was appointed Prior to the Granada foundation of Los Martires. He was far away from his beloved Castile and he felt his isolation deeply. This feeling of isolation was increased after Saint Teresa died the same year. He had reached however, that state of inner freedom when he could truly be himself and not to be forced into a mould of other's making. As Prior and an official in his Order now, he himself had a status that afforded him some dignity, but he refused to be judged by such standards. A high ranking official would be brought to him and be greeted by John just as he was. As he said to one visitor who expressed his surprise, 'After all, I am the son of a weaver'. Later on, his brother Francisco was often with him. Francisco remained what he always was, a poor workman, and John would introduce him with great pride as the greatest treasure he had on earth. To John, earthly rank or attainment did not matter. What did matter was that they were all children of God, and as such, deserving of his respect and love, whatever their rank or lack of it. The Order met for their second Chapter in 1583 and John was reaching the peak of his religious leadership. He was elected 2nd definitor and Vicar Provincial. He completed at that time his major writings, The Spiritual Canticle and the Dark Night of the Soul. From 1585, for the next three years he was almost constantly on the road in his role as Vicar Apostolic, attending chapters, visiting the various foundations, founding new convents and friaries. At one such foundation, that of Cordoba, he nearly lost his life. A stone wall that was being built fell on the cell in which he was working, and the workmen scrabbled frantically to dig him out, fearing he was dead. However, they found him crouched in a corner under a statue of Our Lady that had fallen above him, laughing and saying that it was she who had saved him. To his delight, in 1588 he was appointed prior of the Segovia friary, which meant that he was back in his beloved Castile. A new friary was still being built away from the dampness of the nearby river, so John joined in with the building work. These were to be the last happy moments in his life. He was back in Castile and nearer to his beloved brother who was able to visit him more often. To his brother he revealed an experience he had. Praying before a picture of Christ carrying his cross one day, he heard an inner voice calling his name, and responded inwardly, 'Here I am'. The voice asked him then what reward he would like for all he had done and all he had have suffered. John's response was, 'To suffer and to be looked down upon.' He told this to his brother so that when Francis saw him having trials he would not be distressed, knowing that it was what he desired and that they God's will for him. The time of serious trials was coming for John to prove his love of God and neighbour. God was willing to give him a chance to become a great saint.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Voters guide for serious Catholic - from Catholic Answers

This is the rest of the post

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Quas Primas - encyclical of Pope Pius XI on the Feast of Christ the King - promulgated on Dec 11, 1925 - click to read

Holy Trinity painting is by Raphael

Paragraph 15 in the encyclical letter of Pope Pius XI gives us description of Christ's Kingdom:

(Christ) kingdom is spiritual and is concerned with spiritual things. That this is so the (above) quotations from Scripture amply prove, and Christ by his own action confirms it. On many occasions, when the Jews and even the Apostles wrongly supposed that the Messiah would restore the liberties and the kingdom of Israel, he repelled and denied such a suggestion. When the populace thronged around him in admiration and would have acclaimed him King, he shrank from the honor and sought safety in flight. Before the Roman magistrate he declared that his kingdom was not of this world. The gospels present this kingdom as one which men prepare to enter by penance, and cannot actually enter except by faith and by baptism, which, though an external rite, signifies and produces an interior regeneration. This kingdom is opposed to none other than to that of Satan and to the power of darkness. It demands of its subjects a spirit of detachment from riches and earthly things, and a spirit of gentleness. They must hunger and thirst after justice, and more than this, they must deny themselves and carry the cross.

More reading on the Kingship of Christ in this world from Christian Order

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Feast of Christ, the King - click for link

Link to previous post

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Saturday - Day of Our Lady

The last part of St Therese poem 'Why I love you, O Mary!

Mary, at the top of Calvary standing beside the Cross
To me you seem like a priest at the altar,

Offering your beloved Jesus, the sweet Emmanuel,
To appease the Father's justice....
A prophet said, O afflicted Mother,
"There is no sorrow like your sorrow!"
O Queen of Martyrs, while remaining in exile
You lavish on us all the blood of your heart!

Saint John's home becomes your only refuge.
Zebedee's son is to replace Jesus...
that is the last detail the Gospel gives.
It tells me nothing more of the Queen of Heaven.
But, O my dear Mother, doesn't its profound silence
reveal that The Eternal Word Himself
Wants to sing the secrets of your life
To charm your children, all the Elect of heaven?

Soon I'll hear that sweet harmony.
Soon I'll go to beatifull Heaven to see you.
You who came to smile at me in the morning of my life,
Come smile at me again...Mother...It's evening now!...
I no longer fear the splendor of your supreme glory.

With you I've suffered, and now I want
To sing on your lap, Mary, why I love you.
And to go on saying that I am your child!...

from 'Poetry of St Therese of Lisieux'

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Friday, October 24, 2008

LMS 2008 Willesden Pilgrimage - click for last year report

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Week of St Teresa of Avila

It seems to me the Holy Spirit must be a mediator between the soul and God, the One who moves it with such ardent desires, for He enkindles it is a supreme fire, which is so near.

O Lord, how great are these mercies You show to the soul here! May You be blessed and praised forever, for You are so good a Lover. O my God and my creator! Is it possible that there is no one who loves You? Oh, alas, and how often it is I who do not love You!....
And the Lord is not content with all this - something marvelous, worthy of careful attention - for He understands that the soul is totally His, without any other interests. This means that things must not move it because of what they are, but that it be moved because of Who its God is and out of love for Him, since He never ceases to commune with it in so many ways and manners, as One Who is Wisdom itself....
Well now, what more could we desire than this favour just mentioned? Oh, God help me, how little we desire to reach Your grandeurs, Lord! How miserable we would remain if Your giving were in conformity with our asking! (Meditations on the Song of Songs 5:5-6)
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Summary from SPUC on Human fertilisation and Embryology Bill

Sad day for those who respect sanctity and dignity of human life and who tirelessly campaigned to oppose the HFE bill.
MPs voted by 355 to 129 in favour of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill at third reading (final main vote).

bill enshrines and extends the creation and abuse of human embryos outside the womb. Despite the bill's passage, SPUC paid tribute to all those who have opposed the bill.

John Smeaton, SPUC national director, said: "Today is a tragic date in British history, as Parliament has passed a law extending the lethal abuse of the most vulnerable members of our society. Future generations will look back on this macabre bill and wonder how a supposedly civilised nation could have so devalued human life. SPUC intends to raise these fundamental issues at the general election.

"Our only consolation is that thousands of people across the country have joined a concerted campaign in solidarity with unborn children. Prominent national church leaders, such as Cardinal Keith O'Brien and Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue, showed that strong, clear, courageous stands can put the sanctity of human life at the forefront of public debate. Scores of doctors, lawyers and academics have defended the weakest of the weak. Many pro-life groups, representing the range of activity within the pro-life movement have come together to work against the bill. Choose Life, CARE and Christian Concern for Our Nation led strong initiatives from the Evangelical and Anglican Christians. The Catholic Bishop's Conference of England and Wales gave strong encouragement to Catholic layfolk to speak out on the issue. Others spoke out from the Muslim tradition, the Jewish faith and from multi-faith and interdenominational groups. Equally important, particularly on the issues of embryology, human-animal hybrids and stem cell research have been the contribution of experts scientific and medical bodies and bioethicists.
"The threat of imposing abortion legislation on Northern Ireland met with concerted and powerful resistance. The politicians and people of Northern Ireland showed that a pro-life community cannot be bullied into submission by the ethically compromised Westminster establishment.
"Individual pro-life campaigners and supporters showed that they can work together to deliver politically effective campaigns at a national, regional and local level.

"Despite the embryo bill's passage, the pro-life movement remains motivated to continue developing a peaceful and powerful resistance movement to the culture of death."

The government succeeded in scheduling discussion of amendments so that there was not enough time to discuss abortion-related issues, including the extension of British abortion law to Northern Ireland. Mr Jeffrey Donaldson MP MLA said that issue should be decided upon by the province's legislative assembly. [BBC, 22 October] Mrs Betty Gibson, chairwoman of SPUC Northern Ireland, said: "The leaders of the four major parties in Northern Ireland wrote to every MP opposing the extension of the Act and many members of the Assembly made it clear that they would not implement the law if it was imposed. In the face of such opposition the prime minister has realised that, if pro-abortion MPs outside Northern Ireland ignored the Assembly, it would have created a constitutional dilemma which he would have had to deal with." [SPUC, 22 October]

MPs and others wrote to The Times newspaper to express their concern that the extension of British abortion law to Northern Ireland might not be debated. Ms Diane Abbott and others complained that current law discriminates against poorer women. [Times, 22 October] People from Northern Ireland yesterday delivered a petition, opposing the extension of British abortion law, at 10 Downing Street, the prime minister's official home in London. The petition was coordinated by Ms Bernadette Smyth who organised a rally on the matter in Belfast on Saturday. [BBC, 22 October]

Support for pregnant women is, on its own, an insufficient response to abortion, according to American Catholic bishops. Cardinal Justin Rigali, the bishops' pro-life committee chairman, and Rt Rev William Murphy, head of the domestic justice and human development committee, say that abortion on demand must also be opposed. They point out that merely overturning the 1973 Roe v Wade supreme court decision would not guarantee a right to life for the unborn. The prelates warn against unofficial attempts to interpret Catholic teaching on the matter. [Catholic News Service, 21 October] Rt Rev Arthur Serratelli, Bishop of Paterson, New Jersey, likened Senator Barack Obama, Democrat candidate, to Herod Antipas, the first century ruler of Galilee who ordered an execution in order to keep a promise. Mr Obama has pledged to sign a law which would remove all restrictions on abortion and over-ride medics' conscientious objection to the procedure. [LifeSiteNews, 21 October] Senator Joseph Biden, Democrat running mate, has suggested that there has been continuous debate in the Catholic church about whether abortion is always wrong. Mr Biden describes himself as a practising Catholic. He was previously rebuked by the hierarchy when he suggested that when human life began was a private matter. [LifeNews, 21 October]

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Week of St Teresa of Avila

Oh, how good a Lord and how powerful! He provides not only the counsel but also the remedy! His words are works!

Oh, God help me; and how He strengthens faith and increases love!
(Life 25:18)

O admirable kindness of God, You allow me to gaze upon You with eyes that have so badly gazed as have those of my woul. May they, Lord, become accustomed through this vision not to look at base things, so that nothing outside of You might satisfy them! O ingratitude of mortals! To what extremes will you go? For I know through experience that what I say is true and that what can be said is the least of what You do, Lord, for a soul You bring to such frontiers. (Life 27:11).

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Week of St Teresa of Avila

Video triubte to St Teresa

Saint Teresa of Ávila, known also by her religious name, Saint Teresa of Jesus and baptized as Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada, was born March 28 1515 at Avila, old Castile, Spain, died October 4, 1582 at Alba de Tormes, Salamanca, Spain.

She was a Carmelite nun and prominent Spanish mystic and writer of the Counter Reformation. She reformed her religious Order and together with St John of the Cross founded the Order of Discalced Carmelites. She became the first female to be named a Doctor of the Church in 1970 and is one of the three females to be awarded that honour, along with St Catherine of Siena and another Discalced Carmelite, St Therese of Lisieux.

The slide show starts with panoramic view of Avila, the town built on the hill overlooking the Adaja River and the highest city in Spain. The city is surrounded by distinctive stone walls, we can see the picture of Avila Cathedral followed by vintage and modern pictures of St Teresa convent exteriors - including the Saint statues, and interior - with St Teresa beautiful chapel. These pictures are followed by the image of young Teresa and several of her images painted both by famous artists as well as by more popular productions. We can see also little collection of stained windows depicting the Saint, as found in her convent chapel and in Churches dedicated to her from around the world. We can also see two vintage holy cards dedicated to her. The slide show concludes with the picture of St Teresa reliquary containing her heart and Discalced Carmelites shield followed by drawing representing of St Teresa canonization Mass at St Peter's in Rome back in 17th century. The background music is from the track "Salve Regina" by Benedictine Monks chanting favourite hymn of St Teresa, Ave Verum, followed by Adoro te and short sequence Sub tuum presidium.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Week of St teresa of Avila

From Meditations on the Song of Songs.

Who is this that it is as bright as the sun?
O true King, and how right the bride was in giving You this name! For in a moment You can give riches and place them in a soul that they mamy be enjoyed forever. How well ordered love is in this soul!

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Twenty Third Sunday after Pentecost

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Feast of St Luke Evangelist - click for link

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Saturday - Day of Our Lady

We continue to meditate on a beautiful poem of St Therese wrote in honour of Our Lady. Jesus loved and respected His Parents, in His human nature He was exceptionally pious Jew who was observing God's commandments in most perfect way giving us best example.

While waiting for Heaven, O my dear Mother,
I want to live with you, to follow you each day.

Mother, contemplating you, I joyfully immerse myself,
Discovering in your heart abysses of Love.
Your motherly gaze banishes all my fears.
It teaches me to cry, it teaches me to rejoice.
Instead of scorning pure and simple joys,
You want to share in them, you deign to bless them.
At Cana, seeing the married couple's anxiety
Which they cannot hide, for they have run out of wine,
In your concern you tell the Saviour,
Hoping for the help of his divine power.
Jesus seems at first to reject your prayer:
"Woman, what doe this matter," he answers, "to you and to me?"
But in the depth of is heart, He calls you his Mother,
And he works first miracle for you....

One day when sinners are listening to the doctrine
Of Him who would like to welcome them in Heaven,
Mary, I find you with them on the hill.
Soemone says to Jesus that you wish to see him.
Then, before the whole multitude, Your Divine Son
Shows us the immensity of his love for us.
He says: "Who is my brother and my sister and my Mother,
If not the one who does my will?"

O Immaculate Virgin, most tender of Mothers,
In listening to Jesus, you are not saddened.
But rejoice that He makes us understand
How our souls become his family here below.
Yes, you rejoice that he gives us his life,
The infinite treasures of his divinity!...
How can we not love you, O my dear Mother,
On seeing so much love and so much humility?

You love us, Mary, as jesus loves us,
And for us you accept being separated from Him.
To love is to give everything. It's to give oneself.
You wanted to prove this by remaining our support.
The Saviour knew your immense tenderness.
He knew the secrets of your maternal heart.
Refige of sinners, he leaves us to you
When He leaves the Cross to wait for us in Heaven.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Feast of St Hedwig, the Queen

Hedwig was the youngest daughter of King Louis I of Hungary. She was a member of Capetian of House of Anjou.
Because she was great-niece to King Casimir III of Poland, she became Queen of Poland in 1382 upon her father's death. She was engaged to William, Duke of Austria, whom she loved, but broke off the relationship in order to marry Jagiello, non-Christian Prince of Lithuania, at age 13 for political reasons. She offered her misery in this marriage to Christ, and she eventually converted her husband; Jagiello was later known as King Ladislaus II of Poland after the unification of the kingdoms of Lithuania and Poland, a union that lasted over 400 years. She was exceptional for her charity to all, but especially the sick and poor, and for a revision of the laws to help the poor.

More info on the life of this prominent woman and saint.
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Week of St Teresa of Avila

Deliver me, Lord, from this shadow of death, deliver me from so many trials,

deliver me from so many sufferings, deliver me from these many changes, from so many compliments that we are forced to receive while still living, from so many, many, many things that tire and weary me, that would tire anyone reading this if I mentioned them all. There's no longer anyone who can bear to live here. This weariness must come to me because I have to lived very badly, adn from seeing that the way I live now is still not the way I should live since I owe so much.
O my Lord and my God, deliver me now from all evil and be pleased to bring me to the place where all blessings are. (Way of Perfection 42:20).

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

In the fragment cited below, St Teresa meditates on the instability of short-lived love, gratitude and affection of human race toward the Redeemer, and how it contrast with His love for us.

O Christians, it's time to defend your King and to accompany Him in such great solitude.

Few are the vassals remaining with Him, and the great multitude accompanying Lucifer. And what's worse is that these latter appear as His friends in public and sell Him in secret. He finds almost no one in whom to trust. O true Friend, how badly they pay You back who betray You! O true Christians, help your God weep, for those compassionate tears are not only for Lazarus but for those who were not going to want to rise, even though His Majesty call them. O my God, how you bear in mind the faults I have committed against you. O my God, how You bear in minds the faults I have committed against You! May they now come to an end, Lord, may they come to an end, and those of everyone. Raise up these dead; may Your cries be so powerful that even though they do not beg life of You, You give it to them so that afterward, my God, they might come forth from the depth of their own delight.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Feast of St Teresa of Avila - link to previous post

My God and my infinite Wisdom, measureless and boundless and beyond all the human and angelic intellects!

O love that loves me more than I can love myself or understand! Why, Lord, do I want to desire more than what You want to give me? Why do I want to tire myself in asking You for something decreed by my desire? For with regard to everything my intellect can devise and my desire can want You've already understood my soul's limits, and I don't understand how my desire will help me. In this that my soul thinks it will gain, it will perhaps lose. For I ask You to free me from a trial, and the purpose of that trial is my mortification, what is it that I'm asking for, my God? If I beg You to give the trial, it perhaps is not a suitable one for my patience, which is still weak and cannot suffer such a forceful blow. And if I suffer it with patience and am not strong in humility, it may be that I will think I've done something, whereas You do it all, my God. If I want to suffer, but not in matters in which it might seem unfitting for Your service that I lose my reputation - since as for myself I don't know of any concern in me about honour - it may be that for the very reason I think my reputation might be lost, more will be gained on account of what I'm seeking, which is to serve You.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Week of St Teresa of Avila

St Teresa praises God for the marvels of His grace that unabled her to do all the works. She admits that on her own she could do nothing. What a great humility.

O my Lord! What a shame it is to see so much wickedness and to tell about some grains of sand, which even then I didn't lift from the ground for Your service, since everything I did was enveloped in a thousand miseries!.
The waters of Your grace didn't flow yet under these grains of sand in order to raise them up. O my Creator! Who could find among so many evils something of substance to relate, since I am telling about the great favours I've received from You! So it is, my Lord, that I don't know how my heart can bear it or how anyone who reads this can fail to abhor me in observing that such marvelous favours were so poorly repaid and that I have no shame, in the end, to recount these services as my own. Yes, I am ashamed, my Lord; but having nothing else to tell about the part I played makes me speak of such lowly beginning so that anyone who did great things in the beginning may have hope; since it seems the Lord has taken my early actions into account. He will do so more with theirs. May it please His Majesty to give me grace so that I might not always remain at the beginning, amen. (Life 31:25).

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Feast of St Edward the Confessor, Patron and King of England - click for link

Image depicts St Edward (with the ring) and St Edmund.

October 13th entry in Wilsons Almanac

British Monarchs - The House of Wessex - St Edward the Confessor

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Week of St Teresa of Avila

Oh, God, help me! Oh God, help me! How great a torment it is for me when I consider -

what a soul that has always here below been valued, loved, served, esteemed, and pampered will feel when after having died finds itself lost forever, and understands clearly that this loss is endless. (Forgetting about the truths of faith will be no help there, as it is here below). Also what a torment it is for me to consider what a soul will feel when it finds itself separated from what seemingly will not yet have began to enjoy (and rightly so, for all that which ends with life is but a breath of wind), and surrounded by that deformed and pitiless company with whom it will always have to suffer. It will be placed in that fetid lake filled with snakes, and the bigger the snake, the bigger the bite; in that miserable where darkness where it will only see what gives it torment and pain, without seeing any light other than a dark flame! Oh how ineffective exaggeration is in expressing what this suffering is!(Soliloquies)

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Annual Rosary Crusade of Reparation - 2008

This year Rosary Crusade of Reparation was again great success, over three thousands Catholics participated in the walk between London Westminster Cathedral and Brompton Oratory. The post is adorned with the image of Our Lady of Victories from the side altar in the Brompton Oratory.

Once in Oratory reparation prayers and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament were offered this year in atonement for the disaster of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill, currently almost reaching the phase of implementation by the Parliament. The Crusade was filmed by EWTN TV crew. However, there is certain specific and disturbing problem that is in obvious increase this year. In the introduction to the prayers, one of the Oratory's Fathers mentioned that this July the consecrated Host was
stolen during Mass at the Oratory
and later individuals in possession of the Host committed sacrilegious act of desecration that was filmed and posted on the internet. Oratorian Fathers therefore, no longer offer Communion in the hand, as there is specific provision from the Holy See allowing to ban this way of Communicating to prevent sacrilege when applicable. I can think how many times in the past the Host has been stolen unnoticed and that this way of Communion distribution should be definitely banned for ever from all Catholic Churches not only when 'suspicion of sacrilege' is the option. Well known website posting various home-made videos, such as Youtube, is notorious in promoting public desecration of the Host. Despite petitions and protests of Catholics they keep a channel of attention-seeking individual who had produced 43 videos depicting desecration of the Hosts stolen during Masses in some Canadian Catholic Churches. Angry and scandalised Catholics cannot even flag these videos as offensive and hateful. And ironically, as one can read in Youtube's instruction for videos flagging, Youtube declares: 'We will not tolerate videos showing disturbing images of abusing animals, depicting dead bodies' etc. However, they are happy to keep videos promoting sacrilegious desecration of the Host. Twice, thousands of Catholics sent petitions to Youtube to remove these videos, however Youtube did not act. I encourage Catholics to boycott Youtube. There are alternatives such as Godtube and LoveToBeCatholic.

Commentary from Catholic Culture journalist, Philip Lawler
Desecration of the Eucharist: a story not worth telling

Most sweet Jesus -- Act of Reparation (Iesu dulcissime - Reparationis actus)
Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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Blessed Angela Truszkowska

Today we honour extraordinary woman who submitted to God's will throughout her life—a life filled with pain and suffering.

Angela was the eldest daughter of Joseph and Josephine Truszkowski, Polish nobles. Well educated, pious, and lively youth with a frail constitution. Moved to Warsaw in 1837, and attended the Academy of Madame Guerin. Due to respiratory illness, she and her tutor Anastasia moved to Switzerland in 1841 at age 16. On 26 June 1848, at age 23, she had a moment of extraordinary grace that she considered a conversion experience, and which led her to the religious life. She became spiritual daughter of Capuchin Father Honorat Kozminski in 1854. Joined the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in 1855 to help the poor, aged and homeless of Warsaw. Housed homeless children into her own home. In November 1854, she and her cousin Clothilde rented a two-room apartment at 10 Church Street, Nowe Miasto, in Warsaw, Poland. There homeless children spent their days in class and Mass, and then stayed the night; it was known as the Institute of Miss Truszkowska. Sophia prayed with the children at the Shrine of Saint Felix of Cantalice in a nearby Capuchin church. People call the kids the "children of Saint Felix" and the women the Sisters of Saint Felix, the Felicians. Thus was founded the Felician Sisters who are devoted to service to the poor, orphaned, sick and elderly. Mother Angela served as superior of the new Order for many years until ill health forced her to resign at the age of 44. She watched the order grow and expand, including missions to the United States among the sons and daughters of Polish immigrants.

Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1993.

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St Therese of Lisieux poem-prayer in honour of Our Lady - link to part 1

Beautiful poem "Why I love You, O Mary" written by St Theres in honour of Our Blessed Mother will adorn this blog Saturday's posts this month (part 2)

Oh! I love you, Mary, saying you are the servant
Of God whom you charm by humility.
This hidden virtue makes you all powerful,
It attracts the Holy Trinity into your heart.
The the Spirit of Love covering you with his shadow,
The Son equal to the Father became incarnate in you,
There will be a great many of His sinner brothers,
Since He will be called: Jesus, your first-born!...

At least you find Him and you are overcome with joy,
You say to the fair Child captivating the doctors;
"O my Son, why have you done this?
Your father and I have been searching for you in tears."
And the Child God replies (O what a deep mystery!)
To his dearest Mother holding out her arms to him:
"Why were you searching for me? I must be about
My Father's business. Didn't you know?"

The Gospel tells me that, growing in wisdom,
Jesus remains subject to Joseph and Mary,
And my heart reveals to me with what tenderness
He always obeys his dear parents.
Now I understand the mystery of the temple,
The hidden words of my Lovable King.
Mother, your sweet Child wants you to be the example
Of the soul searching for Him in the night of faith.

Since the King of Heaven wanted his Mother
To be plunged into the night, in anguish of heart,
Mary, is it thus a blessing to suffer on earth?
Yes, to suffer while loving is the purest happiness!...
All that He has given me, Jesus can take back.
Tell Him not to bother with me....
He can indeed hide from me, I'm willing to wait for Him
Till the day without sunset when my faith will fade away...

Mother full of grace, I know that in Nazareth
You live in poverty, wanting nothing more.
No rapture, miracle, or ecstasy
Embellish your life, O Queen of the Elect!...
The number of little ones on earth is truly great.
The can raise their eyes to you without trembling.
It's by the ordinary way, incomparable Mother,
That you like to walk to guide them in Heaven.
("Poetry of St Therese of Lisieux")

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Friday, October 10, 2008

St Therese's week

O Jesus, You offer me a cup so bitter that my feeble nature cannot bear it.

But I do not want to draw back my lips from the cup Your hand has prepared....You teach me the secret of suffering in peace. The word peace does not mean joy, at least not felt jot; to suffer in peace, it is enough to will whatever You will. To be Your spouse, Jesus, one must be like You, and You are all bloody, crowned with thorns! How consoling it is to remember that You shuddered at the sight of the bitter sup, the cup that earlier You had so ardently desired to drink. (from Therese of Lisieux "general correspondence")

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

For Daily Reflection

We look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal: but the things which are not seen, are eternal. (2Cor4:18)

The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he send labourers into his harvest. Go: Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. (Luke 10:2)

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St Therese's week

O Jesus! When You were a Pilgrim on earth, You said: "Learn of Me for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls."

O Mighty Monarch of Heaven, yes, my soul finds rest in seeing You, clolthed in the form and nature of a slave, humbling Yourself to wash the feet of Your apostles. I recall Your words that teach me how to practice humility: "I have given you an example so that you may do what I have done. The disciple is no greater than the Master....If you understand this, happy are you if you put them into practice." Lord, I do understand these words that came from Your gentle and humble heart and I want to practice them with the help of Your grace.
I want truly humble myself and to submit my will to that of my sisters. I do not wish to contradict them nor seek to see whether or not they have the right to command me. O my Beloved, no one had the right over You and yet you obeyed not only the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph but even our executioners. Now in the Sacred Host I see You at the height of Your annihilations. how humble You are, O Divine King of Glory, to subject Yourself to all Your priests without making any distinction between those who love You and those who are, alas! lukewarm or cold in Your service....At their word, You come down from Heaven. Whether they advance or delay the hour of the Holy Sacrifice, you are always ready...
O my Beloved, how gentle and humble of heart You seem under the veil of the white Host! To teach me humility You cannot humble Yourself further. Therefore, to respond to Your love, I desire that my sisters always put me in the lowest place, and I want to convince myself that this place is indeed mine.
I beg You, my Divine Jesus, to send me a humiliations whenever I try to set myself above others.
I know, O my God, that You humble the proud soul but to the one who humiliate herself You give an eternity of glory. So I want to put myself in the last rank and to share Your humiliations so as "to have a share with You" in the kingdom of Heaven.
But, You know my weakness, Lord. Every morning I make a resolution to practice humility and in the evening I recognize that I have committed again many faults of pride. At this I am tempted to become discouraged but I know that discouragement is also pride. Therefore, O my God, I want to base my hope in You alone. Since You can do everything, deign to bring to birth in my soul the virtue I desire. To obtain this grace of Your infinite mercy I will very often repeat: "O Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, make my heart like Yours!" (taken from "Prayers of St Therese of Lisieux")

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

St Therese's week

St Therese tells us today of her total trust and love for God, nothing can disturb her gazing upon the Lord.

With bold surrender, I wish to remain gazing upon You, O Lord, my divine Sun.
Nothing will frigthen me, neither wind nor rain, and if dark clouds come and hide You from my gaze, I will not change my place because I know that beyond the clouds You still shine on and Your brightness is not eclipsed for a single instant. Even if You remain deaf to the sorrowing of Your creature, even if You remain hidden, I accept being numb with cold and rejoice in this suffering. My heart is at peace and continues its work of love.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Anniversary of the Lepanto Victory - The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

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St Therese's week

O Jesus, the sight of Your precious blood flowing from Your wounds strikes me deeply, and I feel pang of sorrow in thinking that this blood is falling to the ground without anyone's hastening to gather it up.

I want to remain here in spirit at the foot of the cross to receive this divine dew and to pour it out upon souls. O Jesus, Your cry sounds continually in my heart. "I thirst!" These words ignite in me an unknown and very living fire. I wish to give You to drink, O my Beloved, and I feel myself consumed with a thirst for souls. It is the souls of great sinners that attract me, and I burn with the desire to snatch them from eternal flames. My desire to save souls grows form day to day, adn I seem to hear You say to me what You said to the Samaritan woman" "Give me to drink!" What a wonderful interchange of love! To souls I give Your blood, to You I offer these same souls refreshed by Your divine dew. i hope thus to slake Your thirst, and the more I give You to drink, the more the thirst of my poor little soul increases, but truly this ardent thirst You are giving me is the most delightful drink of Your love. (Story of the Soul")

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Monday, October 06, 2008

St Therese's week

St Therese famous text explaining her idea of 'elevator' to Heaven to replace 'the rough stairs of perfection' commonly used to climb there.

God cannot inspire unrealizable desires. I can, then, in spite of my littleness, aspire to holiness.

It is impossible for me to grow up, and so I must bear with myself such as I am with all my imperfections. But I want to seek out a means of going to heaven by a little way, a way that is very straight, very short, and totally new. We are living now in an age of inventions, and we no longer have to take the trouble of climbing stairs, elevator has replaced these very successfully. I wanted to find an elevator which would raise me to Jesus, for I am too small to climb the rough stairway of perfection. I searched, then, in the Scripture for some sign of this elevator, the object of my desires, and I read these words coming from the mouth of Eternal Wisdom: "Whoever is a LITTLE ONE, let him come to me." And so I succeeded. I felt I had found what i was looking for...The elevator which must raise me to heaven is in Your arms, O Jesus! And for this I had no need to grow up, but rather I had to remain little and become this more and more. O, my GGod, You surpassed all my expectation. I want only to sing of Your Mercies. (St Therese: 'Story of a Soul' ICS 1976)

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Saturday, October 04, 2008


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Feast of St Francis of Assisi

Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181.

In 1182, Pietro Bernadone returned from a trip to France to find out his wife had given birth to a son. Far from being excited or apologetic because he'd been gone, Pietro was furious because she'd had his new son baptized Giovanni after John the Baptist. The last thing Pietro wanted in his son was a man of God -- he wanted a man of business, a cloth merchant like he was, and he especially wanted a son who would reflect his infatuation with France.

So he renamed his son Francesco -- which is the equivalent of calling him Frenchman.Francis enjoyed a very rich easy life growing up because of his father's wealth and the permissiveness of the times. From the beginning everyone -- and I mean everyone -- loved Francis. He was constantly happy, charming, and a born leader. If he was picky, people excused him. If he was ill, people took care of him. If he was so much of a dreamer he did poorly in school, no one minded. In many ways he was too easy to like for his own good. No one tried to control him or teach him.
As he grew up, Francis became the leader of a crowd of young people who spent their nights in wild parties. Thomas of Celano, his biographer who knew him well, said, "In other respects an exquisite youth, he attracted to himself a whole retinue of young people addicted to evil and accustomed to vice." Francis himself said, "I lived in sin" during that time.
Francis fulfilled every hope of Pietro's -- even falling in love with France. He loved the songs of France, the romance of France, and especially the free adventurous troubadours of France who wandered through Europe. And despite his dreaming, Francis was also good at business. But Francis wanted more..more than wealth. But not holiness! Francis wanted to be a noble, a knight. Battle was the best place to win the glory and prestige he longed for. He got his first chance when Assisi declared war on their longtime enemy, the nearby town of Perugia.
Most of the troops from Assisi were butchered in the fight. Only those wealthy enough to expect to be ransomed were taken prisoner. At last Francis was among the nobility like he always wanted to be...but chained in a harsh, dark dungeon. All accounts say that he never lost his happy manner in that horrible place. Finally, after a year in the dungeon, he was ransomed. Strangely, the experience didn't seem to change him. He gave himself to partying with as much joy and abandon as he had before the battle.
The experience didn't change what he wanted from life either: Glory. Finally a call for knights for the Fourth Crusade gave him a chance for his dream. But before he left Francis had to have a suit of armor and a horse -- no problem for the son of a wealthy father. And not just any suit of armor would do but one decorated with gold with a magnificent cloak. Any relief we feel in hearing that Francis gave the cloak to a poor knight will be destroyed by the boasts that Francis left behind that he would return a prince.But Francis never got farther than one day's ride from Assisi. There he had a dream in which God told him he had it all wrong and told him to return home. And return home he did. What must it have been like to return without ever making it to battle -- the boy who wanted nothing more than to be liked was humiliated, laughed at, called a coward by the village and raged at by his father for the money wasted on armor.
Francis' conversion did not happen over night. God had waited for him for twenty-five years and now it was Francis' turn to wait. Francis started to spend more time in prayer. He went off to a cave and wept for his sins. Sometimes God's grace overwhelmed him with joy. But life couldn't just stop for God. There was a business to run, customers to wait on.
One day while riding through the countryside, Francis, the man who loved beauty, who was so picky about food, who hated deformity, came face to face with a leper. Repelled by the appearance and the smell of the leper, Francis nevertheless jumped down from his horse and kissed the hand of the leper. When his kiss of peace was returned, Francis was filled with joy. As he rode off, he turned around for a last wave, and saw that the leper had disappeared. He always looked upon it as a test from God...that he had passed.
His search for conversion led him to the ancient church at San Damiano. While he was praying there, he heard Christ on the crucifix speak to him, "Francis, repair my church." Francis assumed this meant church with a small c -- the crumbling building he was in. Acting again in his impetuous way, he took fabric from his father's shop and sold it to get money to repair the church. His father saw this as an act of theft -- and put together with Francis' cowardice, waste of money, and his growing disinterest in money made Francis seem more like a madman than his son. Pietro dragged Francis before the bishop and in front of the whole town demanded that Francis return the money and renounce all rights as his heir.The bishop was very kind to Francis; he told him to return the money and said God would provide. That was all Francis needed to hear. He not only gave back the money but stripped off all his clothes -- the clothes his father had given him -- until he was wearing only a hair shirt. In front of the crowd that had gathered he said, "Pietro Bernadone is no longer my father. From now on I can say with complete freedom, 'Our Father who art in heaven.'" Wearing nothing but castoff rags, he went off into the freezing woods -- singing. And when robbers beat him later and took his clothes, he climbed out of the ditch and went off singing again. From then on Francis had nothing...and everything.Francis went back to what he considered God's call. He begged for stones and rebuilt the San Damiano church with his own hands, not realizing that it was the Church with a capital C that God wanted repaired. Scandal and avarice were working on the Church from the inside while outside heresies flourished by appealing to those longing for something different or adventurous.Soon Francis started to preach. (He was never a priest, though he was later ordained a deacon under his protest.) Francis was not a reformer; he preached about returning to God and obedience to the Church. Francis must have known about the decay in the Church, but he always showed the Church and its people his utmost respect. When someone told him of a priest living openly with a woman and asked him if that meant the Mass was polluted, Francis went to the priest, knelt before him, and kissed his hands -- because those hands had held God.Slowly companions came to Francis, people who wanted to follow his life of sleeping in the open, begging for garbage to eat...and loving God. With companions, Francis knew he now had to have some kind of direction to this life so he opened the Bible in three places. He read the command to the rich young man to sell all his good and give to the poor, the order to the apostles to take nothing on their journey, and the demand to take up the cross daily. "Here is our rule," Francis said -- as simple, and as seemingly impossible, as that. He was going to do what no one thought possible any more -- live by the Gospel. Francis took these commands so literally that he made one brother run after the thief who stole his hood and offer him his robe!
Francis never wanted to found a religious order -- this former knight thought that sounded too military. He thought of what he was doing as expressing God's brotherhood. His companions came from all walks of life, from fields and towns, nobility and common people, universities, the Church, and the merchant class. Francis practiced true equality by showing honor, respect, and love to every person whether they were beggar or pope.Francis' brotherhood included all of God's creation. Much has been written about Francis' love of nature but his relationship was deeper than that. We call someone a lover of nature if they spend their free time in the woods or admire its beauty. But Francis really felt that nature, all God's creations, were part of his brotherhood. The sparrow was as much his brother as the pope.In one famous story, Francis preached to hundreds of birds about being thankful to God for their wonderful clothes, for their independence, and for God's care. The story tells us the birds stood still as he walked among him, only flying off when he said they could leave.Another famous story involves a wolf that had been eating human beings. Francis intervened when the town wanted to kill the wolf and talked the wolf into never killing again. The wolf became a pet of the townspeople who made sure that he always had plenty to eat.Following the Gospel literally, Francis and his companions went out to preach two by two. At first, listeners were understandably hostile to these men in rags trying to talk about God's love. People even ran from them for fear they'd catch this strange madness! And they were right. Because soon these same people noticed that these barefoot beggars wearing sacks seemed filled with constant joy. They celebrated life. And people had to ask themselves: Could one own nothing and be happy? Soon those who had met them with mud and rocks, greeted them with bells and smiles.Francis did not try to abolish poverty, he tried to make it holy. When his friars met someone poorer than they, they would eagerly rip off the sleeve of their habit to give to the person. They worked for all necessities and only begged if they had to. But Francis would not let them accept any money. He told them to treat coins as if they were pebbles in the road. When the bishop showed horror at the friars' hard life, Francis said, "If we had any possessions we should need weapons and laws to defend them." Possessing something was the death of love for Francis. Also, Francis reasoned, what could you do to a man who owns nothing? You can't starve a fasting man, you can't steal from someone who has no money, you can't ruin someone who hates prestige. They were truly free.Francis was a man of action. His simplicity of life extended to ideas and deeds. If there was a simple way, no matter how impossible it seemed, Francis would take it. So when Francis wanted approval for his brotherhood, he went straight to Rome to see Pope Innocent III. You can imagine what the pope thought when this beggar approached him! As a matter of fact he threw Francis out. But when he had a dream that this tiny man in rags held up the tilting Lateran basilica, he quickly called Francis back and gave him permission to preach.Sometimes this direct approach led to mistakes that he corrected with the same spontaneity that he made them. Once he ordered a brother who hesitated to speak because he stuttered to go preach half-naked. When Francis realized how he had hurt someone he loved he ran to town, stopped the brother, took off his own clothes, and preached instead.Francis acted quickly because he acted from the heart; he didn't have time to put on a role. Once he was so sick and exhausted, his companions borrowed a mule for him to ride. When the man who owned the mule recognized Francis he said, "Try to be as virtuous as everyone thinks you are because many have a lot of confidence in you." Francis dropped off the mule and knelt before the man to thank him for his advice.Another example of his directness came when he decided to go to Syria to convert the Moslems while the Fifth Crusade was being fought. In the middle of a battle, Francis decided to do the simplest thing and go straight to the sultan to make peace. When he and his companion were captured, the real miracle was that they weren't killed. Instead Francis was taken to the sultan who was charmed by Francis and his preaching. He told Francis, "I would convert to your religion which is a beautiful one -- but both of us would be murdered."Francis did find persecution and martyrdom of a kind -- not among the Moslems, but among his own brothers. When he returned to Italy, he came back to a brotherhood that had grown to 5000 in ten years. Pressure came from outside to control this great movement, to make them conform to the standards of others. His dream of radical poverty was too harsh, people said. Francis responded, "Lord, didn't I tell you they wouldn't trust you?"He finally gave up authority in his order -- but he probably wasn't too upset about it. Now he was just another brother, like he'd always wanted.Francis' final years were filled with suffering as well as humiliation. Praying to share in Christ's passion he had a vision received the stigmata, the marks of the nails and the lance wound that Christ suffered, in his own body.Years of poverty and wandering had made Francis ill. When he began to go blind, the pope ordered that his eyes be operated on. This meant cauterizing his face with a hot iron. Francis spoke to "Brother Fire": "Brother Fire, the Most High has made you strong and beautiful and useful. Be courteous to me now in this hour, for I have always loved you, and temper your heat so that I can endure it." And Francis reported that Brother Fire had been so kind that he felt nothing at all.How did Francis respond to blindness and suffering? That was when he wrote his beautiful Canticle of the Sun that expresses his brotherhood with creation in praising God.Francis never recovered from this illness. He died on October 4, 1226 at the age of 45. Francis is considered the founder of all Franciscan orders and the patron saint of ecologists and merchants.

Copyright 1996-2000 by Terry Matz. All Rights Reserved.

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St Therese of Lisieux week

Beautiful poem in honour of Our Lady written by St Therese - Why I Love You, O Mary - will adorn this blog's Saturday posts this month - part 1

Oh! I would like to sing, Mary, why I love you,
Why your sweet name thrills my heart,
And why the thought of your supreme greatness
Could not bring fear to my soul.
If I gazed upon youn in your sublime glory,
Surpassing the splendor of all blessed,
I could not believe that I am your child
O Mary, before you I would lower my eyes!

If a child is to cherish his mother,
She has to cry with him and share his sorrows,
O my dearest Mother, on this foreign shore
How many tears you shed to draw me to you!...
In pondering your life in the holy Gospels,
I dare look at you and come near you.
It's not difficult for me to believe I'm your child,
For I see you human and suffering like me...

When an angel from Heaven bids you be the Mother
Of God who is to reign for all eternity,
I see you prefer, O Mary, what a mystery!
the ineffable treasure of virginity.
O Immaculate Virgin, I understand how your soul
Is dearer to the Lord than his heavenly dwelling.
I understand how your soul, Humble and Sweet Valley,
Can contain Jesus, the Ocean of Love!...

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Feast of ST Therese of Lisieux

Devotion to the Holy Rosary is the spiritual hallmark of the month of October. Therefore to celebrate with loving meditation the Feast of St Therese I thought of posting some of her quotes listed for the Fifth Joyful Mystery, Finding Jesus in the Temple, and gathered under the title - 'Piety' - in the book 'Sermon in the Sentence'.

You must be perfect as your heavenly father is perfect - Matt 5:48

The way of spiritual childhood, is the only means to make rapid progress in love and the only way by which saints are made.

Our Lord has one great weakness. He is blind and knows nothing about arithmetics. He does not know how to add. But to blind Him and prevent Him to add the smallest sum you must take Him by His heart. This is His weak spot.

Take Jesus by His Heart...It is this way that I took hold of the good Lord and that is why I shall be well received by Him. (c66).

Practice all the virtue and so always lift up your little foot to mount the ladder of holiness. (c69).

The Good Lord does not demand more from you than good will....He looks at you with Love. Very soon, won over by your useless efforts, He will come down and take you in His arms. He will carry you up .(c69).

More love is required of those who have received more. Hence, I do my best to make my love one act of love .(c146).

Live in one great act of perfect love. (c152).

Words are not enough. In order to be truly a victim of love, we must give ourselves entirely. We shall be consumed by love to the extent that we surrender to love.

I know that there are Saints who spent their lives practicing extraordinary mortifications....but after all there are many mansions in the house of Our Heavenly Father. Jesus told us so and that is why I follow the way He has traced out for me. (c143).

The best rule is that we shoud follow what love inspires us to do from moment to moment, with the sole desire of pleasing the good Lord in everything He asks of us. (c143).

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

St Therese - a little pictorial documentary on her life and canonization

The beautiful readings chosen for the Feast of St Therese:

Is 66:12-14.
For thus saith the Lord: Behold I will bring upon her as it were a river of peace, and as an overflowing torrent the glory of the Gentiles, which you shall suck; you shall be carried at the breasts, and upon the knees they shall caress you. As one whom the mother caresseth, so will I comfort you, and you shall be comforted in Jerusalem. You shall see and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb, and the hand of the Lord shall be known to his servants, and he shall be angry with his enemies.

Mt 18:1-4.
At that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who, thinkest thou, is the greater in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus, calling unto him a little child, set him in the midst of them. And said: amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven.

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Feast of Guardian Angels

Perhaps no aspect of Catholic piety is as comforting to parents as the belief that an angel protects their little ones from dangers real and imagined. Yet guardian angels are not just for children. Their role is to represent individuals before God, to watch over them always, to aid their prayer and to present their souls to God at death. The concept of an angel assigned to guide and nurture each human being is a development of Catholic doctrine and piety based on Scripture but not directly drawn from it. Jesus' words in Matthew 18:10 "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father." Devotion to the angels began to develop with the birth of the monastic tradition. St. Benedict gave it impetus and Bernard of Clairvaux, the great 12th-century reformer, was such an eloquent spokesman for the guardian angels that angelic devotion assumed its current form in his day. A feast in honor of the guardian angels was first observed in the 16th century. In 1615, Pope Paul V added it to the Roman calendar.
The concept of an unseen companion has given rise to many childish titters about leaving room for an angel in a crowded seat and teacher-induced terrors about the danger of sudden death for a child who fails to honor the angel with prayer. But devotion to the angels is, at base, an expression of faith in God's enduring love and providential care extended to each person day in and day out until life's end.

Quote: May the martyrs come to welcome you the new and eternal Jerusalem." (Rite for Christian Burial)

Picture "Guardian Angels" by JHS Mann

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