Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March, the month of St Joseph - click to read


O, my beloved St. Joseph, adopt me as thy child, take care of my salvation, watch over me day and night, preserve me from the occasion of sin, obtain for me purity of soul and body! Through thy intercession with Jesus grant me a spirit of sacrifice, of humility and self-denial, a burning love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and a sweet tender love for Mary, my Mother. St. Joseph, be with me living, be with me dying and obtain for me a favorable judgment from Jesus, my merciful Savior. Amen

PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH - Ad te beate Joseph - prayer of Pope Leo XIII

To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we have recourse in our tribulation, and having implored the help of thy thrice holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. By that charity wherewith thou wast united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly affection with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray, that thou wouldst look graciously upon the inheritance which Jesus Christ hath purchased by His Blood, and assist us in our needs by thy power and strength.

Most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, protect the chosen people of Jesus Christ; keep far from us, most loving father, all blight of error and corruption: mercifully assist us from heaven, most mighty defender, in this our conflict with the powers of darkness; and, even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the supreme peril of his life, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; keep us one and all under thy continual protection, that we may be supported by thine example and thine assistance, may be enabled to lead a holy life, die a happy death and come at last to the possession of everlasting blessedness in heaven. Amen.

Last picture shows interior of the beautiful Shrine of St Joseph in St Louis, Missouri.

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Apostolate of Suffering 2 - expiatory suffering to spread graces - click to read

...."We know that without the infinite merit of Our Lord Jesus Christ, we could not attain any good thing. But Christ desires, for a reason that is sublime, that our sufferings should also carry some weight in bringing the graces He wants to give to this or that soul. If Our Lord Jesus Christ desires a great conversion or a profound renovation in the life of the Catholic Church, He desires that we immerse ourselves completely into suffering in union with Him. He wants us to allow ourselves to be consumed by this suffering like a fire consumes the burning wood. Thus, for a certain soul, a particular social group, a family, a family of souls, a cycle of civilization, Our Lord Jesus Christ desires that certain souls suffer. He gives them sufferings so they can unite their sufferings to His in the Passion. Through the generosity of these expiatory souls, all the merits of His Passion are applied to those particular souls or that cycle of civilization. Remember that during the Mass the drop of water in the chalice symbolizes our human suffering, which is irrelevant in face of the Divine suffering. Nonetheless, the water is offered together with the Divine offering to God. Our suffering expresses this reality. It is a drop, a drop of water, of common water - not of wine – but it is offered together with the wine, the suffering of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the drop of our suffering united to the infinite ocean of suffering of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It expresses the value of our miserable, insignificant merit when united to the infinite merit of Our Lord Jesus Christ. United to His merit, what we offer can become instrumental in the conversion of a soul or a family of souls, or even in the inauguration of a new historical era. It is beautiful to consider how a soul disposed to suffer in this way has an expiatory character, a spirit of disinterested love and holocaust. "....

To read more, click on title link.

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Mortals' sin - a little poem from Long Skirts

Save the planet.
Save the whale.
Save the cans
Don't inhale.

Save the changes.
Save your screen.
Blend the genders
Pukish green.

Save the documents
Save the file.
Save yourself
For fashion, style.

Save the animals,
Fur and skin
But save your soul...
Now that's a SIN!

Credit: Long Skirts

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Apostolate of suffering part I - click to read

"Though He slay me, yet will I trust him" (Job 13:15)

"Happy is the man whom God correcteth. Therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For He maketh sore, and bindeth up; he woundeth, and his hand make whole" (Job 5: 17-18)

Good Lenten thoughts about value of suffering - often suffering bore with patience and trust in God is associated and followed by great blessings. Let us think about St Paul's words to Phillipians (2: 2-16): "Fulfil ye my joy, that you may be of one mind, having the same charity, being of one accord, agreeing in sentiment. Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vain glory: but in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves: Each one not considering the things that are his own, but those that are other men's. For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names: That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation. For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will. And do ye all things without murmurings and hesitations; That you may be blameless, and sincere children of God, without reproof, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation; among whom you shine as lights in the world. But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. Holding forth the word of life to my glory in the day of Christ, because I have not run in vain, nor laboured in vain."

To the Apostles Jesus said: "Amen I say to you that you who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory, shall also sit on twelve thrones , judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matt 19:28).

Followers of Christ are in truth to imitate Him in some way and to follow Him - as St Paul says (2 Cor 6:4-10) - "in much patience; in tribulations, in hardships, in distress; in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults; in labours, in sleepless nights, in fastings"; but they could also declare with the same author that they existed as "chastised but not killed, as sorrowful yet always rejoicing."

(after "The Life of Christ" by Giuseppe Ricciotti)

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mater Salvatoris - click to read

The lower half of the engraving shows the Nativity scene. It is miniaturized to reflect that by now the birth of Christ is an event of the past. The message, though, remains unchanged, "Today a Savior is born to you." Though as child depicted, this Savior is present, with his mother, in a medallion marked by a crown of thorns and the many instruments of Christ's passion (Arma Christi), from the purse with the thirty shillings to the ladder serving for Christ's deposition from the cross. In fact, the medallion with Mother and Child is hanging on the cross, the same cross Christ is pointing to with his right hand. The caption above Mary's head highlights that she is not only the Mother of the Savior, but in a more intimate way "my mother," which could refer to the Christ child as well as point to each one of us. Christ is destined or called to be the Savior of the world (Genesis 41).

Mary is the one of whom it is said, "She will bear a Son and name him Jesus, and he will save his people" (Matthew 1).


Credit: Mary's Page

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Prime Minister plans to end discrimination against women and Catholics over throne - click to read

But Damian Thompson from the 'Daily Telegraph' Holy Smoke blog thinks Gordon Brown plan to amend anti-Catholic Act of Settlement issued in 1701 is a mere attmept to neuter Catholics. He writes: ..."Here are a few subjects that are of major concern to Catholics: compulsory sex education for five-year-olds, the creation of hybrid embryos, the placing of children with gay couples, the attack on the selection procedures of Catholic schools. These are areas in which Mr Brown wishes Catholics would just shut up."

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Meditation for Lent with St Thomas Aquinas - click to read

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Liberal Bp Roche from Leeds likely to be the next Westminster Archbishop - click to read Damian's blog news

Due to every effort of the present Archbishop it is very likely liberal Bp Roche will succeed him. I can only say, LORD HAVE MARCY ON US ALL.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

On recollection and necessity of prayer - click to read

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Doctors turning into killers - news from SPUC

The evil of euthanasia is horrific. It all starts with so called 'merciful killing' but all evil starts with false 'charitable' ends. I have no need to remind supposed benefits of conceiving children in vitro - now we have evil of experimentation on surplus human embryos, of using their stem cells for so far 'fantasy cures'. Euthanasia, if made lawful, may easily ends in 'obligatory' killings of disabled, elder, homeless. We may be told one day caring for these people is just too expensive. There are news from SPUC, please read them carefully and see in what direction it is all heading:

Patients' deaths are being hastened in the British state health service. Research by Queen Mary University, London, published in the Palliative Medicine journal suggests that some 2,500 people are killed with drugs annually. A survey suggests that a third of doctors approve of assisted suicide (or at least letting people go abroad for it). The Christian Medical Fellowship did not want the law changed; medics needed training in caring for the dying. Dignity in Dying, the pro-euthanasia group, claimed the study showed that the UK needed a law that allows people to be killed by euthanasia and assisted suicide. Ms Sarah Wootton said it should have safeguards. [Daily Mail, 25 March] Paul Tully of SPUC commented: "In fact, the evidence from the Netherlands shows that, even with safeguards, around 900 patients a year are being killed by doctors without request or consent, besides those who volunteer for death. In Oregon too, the safeguards are ineffectual, with massive under-reporting putting patients at risk. In order to truly safeguard patients what is needed in the UK is wider understanding of the pain control available, and the rewriting of recent pro-euthanasia legislation and protocols to make clear that intentional killing is not acceptable. The 2005 Mental Capacity Act made it legal for doctors to kill incapacitated patients deliberately, and medical guidance on withholding treatment says that patients can be killed by starvation and dehydration. It is no wonder that cases like the deaths of six disabled people highlighted by Mencap have been blamed on discrimination. That is what the BMA guidance and recent legislation - for all their safeguards - encourage."

There was not time in the British House of Commons on Monday for debate on a measure to exempt from prosecution people who take others overseas to kill themselves. [Telegraph, 23 March] SPUC's Anthony Ozmic said: "We are calling upon our supporters to be ready to lobby members of the House of Lords, as one or more amendments to weaken the ban on assisted suicide may be tabled to the Coroners and Justice bill when it is debated in the Lords in the coming weeks."

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows starts today, March 25th - April 2nd - click for link

For powerful Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows with St Joseph - follow link on the post's title

The part which the Blessed Virgin took in the sufferings and death of her beloved Son has induced the Church to give her the glorious title of Queen of Martyrs. The feast of the Seven Dolors, originally called the feast of the Compassion of the Blessed Virgin Mary, was first instituted by the Council of Cologne, in 1423. The feast was established to make amends for damages
Hussites had done to the veneration of the Blessed Virgin, whom they, like all heretics, had assailed with many calumnies and insults; in particular, by rejecting Pieta type images of Our Lady holding upon her lap her Son's body.

At the presentation of Jesus in the temple Simeon had predicted that the suffering of the Son would be the suffering of the Mother also: "Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; and thy own soul a sword shall pierce." (Luke 2:34, 35) The ignominy, insults, and cruelties inflicted on Him were to be so many swords piercing her heart. Remember, therefore, on this day the seven dolors which the Blessed Virgin experienced:
At the circumcision of her Son.
At her flight into Egypt with Him.
On losing Him for three days in the temple.
At the sight of Him carrying the cross.
At His death.
When beholding His side pierced with a spear, and His body taken down from the cross.
At His burial.

Let us honour and venerate with utmost piety Our Lady of Sorrows with the nine day Novena. The image is the icon of Our Lady of Sorrows from the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher on Mt Calvary in the Holy Land.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

EC put animals before humans - click to read about wretched legislation

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dutch Protestants finds 'EU Mary' quite contrary - click to read

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Is this man wearing strange, colorful headgear be the next Archbishop of Westminster? - click to read more

Bishop Roche, the first choice of the present Cardinal Cormac McMurphy, and possible successor to the post once held by Catholic prelate like Archbishop Henry Edward Manning. Well, there IS some difference between these two men....

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Is the mandatory ad orientem worship coming back? - read the Cardinal Pell interview's comments

...."I think I would be in favour of it (ad orientem worship) because it makes it patently clear that the priest is not the centre of the show, that this an act of worship of the one true God, and the people are joining with the priest for that.”....

Cardinal Pell on President Obama:
..."[H]is record on life issues is very, very bad indeed. I'm still hoping against hope that he won't do the worst, that he won't bring in that Freedom of Choice Act. I wish him well, because so much rides on his decisions. But he's got a very slight curriculum vitae to be a president of the United States. He ran a brilliant campaign. I think he's an outstanding public orator. We've yet to see him really do anything that has significantly changed the situation for the better. But it's very early days yet. And he has inherited an appalling financial situation."...

Full text of interview with Catholic Herald

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Our Lady of Sichem (Montaigu) and Lanherne Carmel

Picture below represent the image of the original replica of Our Lady of Sichem statue venerated at Lanherne Carmel and carved from the piece of ancient oak-tree where Our Lady's statue miraculously appeared in Sichem, Belgium, and was venerated since then. Needless to say, as it often happened through God's merciful Providence, the oak-tree at Sichem, before the statue miraculously appeared there was the site of some pagan practices.

Lady Lovel richly endowed the first Teresian English Carmel foundation in Hopland, Antwerp not only financially but also with donation of beautifully embroidered vestments, church ornaments and sacred vessels. Many of these treasures were in use in Lanherne, when the convent was transferred there during French Revolution. Lady Lovel also presented new foundation with the image of Our Lady of Sichem, curiously embroidered and set in an ebony case. Our Lady of Sichem, or of 'Montaigu', the title more commonly used to-day, has been venerated in Belgium from time immemorial. The parish of Montaigu was established in 1910; previously the whole district was called Sichem (Zichem). Fr Charles Van de Veyvere, who was a refugee in Cornwall during the Great War, wrote to Lanherne, September 12, 1916, in answer to an inquiry from the Mother Prioress: 'Sichem is a little village about three miles from Scorpen Heuvel (French Mantaigu). It possess a statue of Our Lady, the object of veneration of the faithful, and at certain times the centre of pilgrimages. The veneration of the statue and pilgrimages are documented as early as year 1304.

The shrine stands on the summit of a hill, a steep climb from Sichem on one site and Diest on the other.

A statue of Our Lady was very early placed in a niche cut out of the oak-tree which once crowned the top of the hill. A legend has it that a shepherd noticed a statue of the Virgin and Child that had fallen out of an oak tree. This oak had a cruciform shape and the statue was too heavy for him to lift back into the tree alone, and his master had to come help him replace the statue in the branches of the oak. A small sanctuary was built beneath the tree in 1306 where there was no houses around it and remained in this spot until it was destroyed by the Spanish in 1568 during religious wars. The shrine was rebuilt in 1602, from which time the miracles began to proliferate as Our Lady manifested her pleasure or granted many favours, and the statue soon came to be venerated as miraculous. In 1584 the statue was stolen, but recovered later at Diest. During the Lent of 1602, Godfrey Van Theinwinckel, Cure of Sichem, built a small shrine near the oak-tree wherein the miraculous statue was venerated. Meanwhile, through pious thefts, the tree was beginning to disappear. To prevent this, it was cut down in 1604, and sawn into three unequal parts. Of these the largest was given to the Archduke, the other portions being carved into replicas of the original statue of Our lady of Sichem, one of which was presented by Lady Lovel to the English Carmelites.

Due to the increase in popularity of the shrine, a splendid new church was built in 1609-27 on a different site, by Archduke Albert, with the town built symmetrically around it.

This new church contains a large replica of the oak above the high altar and the statue of Our Lady of Sichem enshrined there.

Many faithful affected with various afflictions implore the Virgin of Montaigu for intercession, in the hope of miraculous cures, but as well, a large communal procession is snaking its way from the town towards the shrine, replete with banners of various confraternities.

We can only ponder what is happening at Sichem shrine and basilica nowadays, are devotion and pilgrimages in honour of Our Lady of Sichem still continue? The Feast of Our Lady of Sichem is observed locally on the 3rd of January.

The photo of Basilica as it looks today.

Text based on various sources, including "English Carmelites in Penal Times" by Sr A. Hardman

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Good and bad news from SPUC

Some news from SPUC. Particularly disturbing is to me the news about couple who is suing hospital for feeding their ill daughter against their wishes.

The Catholic Church in Spain is campaigning against the liberalisation of the country's abortion law. The bishops' conference pointed out that plants and animals had more rights than unborn children. There are already 100,000 abortions a year, most supposedly performed because of danger to the mother's psychological health. [Earth Times, 17 March] Bishop Demetrio Fernández of Tarazona said politicians who supported the new law could not consider themselves Christian. [Catholic News Agency, 17 March] Some 300 academics have signed a declaration opposing the proposed changes. A church advertising campaign contrasts a vulnerable child with a protected species of wild animal. [Fides/IBC on Independent Catholic News, 18 March]

A couple in Canada are suing a hospital for $3.5 million for allegedly giving food and drink to their baby daughter against their wishes. Mr Stephane Mantha and Ms Marie-Eve Laurendeau say that in 2007 they agreed that Montreal Children's Hospital should disconnect a respirator and stop giving fluid by tube to Phébé Mantha who was very ill. The girl was found to be able to breathe on her own and the hospital resumed giving food and water. The parents claim only a court could countermand their decision. The child survives and the case continues. [LifeSiteNews, 17 March]

An economics professor has said that the British government's £250 million teenage pregnancy strategy is failing. Dr David Paton of Nottingham University told a meeting of legislators and political officials that sexually transmitted disease had increased and teenage pregnancy rates were not falling as quickly as had been planned. Mr Tom Harris, Labour MP for Glasgow South, has said that the government has failed to give moral guidance to young girls. [Christian Institute, 18 March]

Catholic schools in north-west England last week boycotted a national fundraising event (Comic Relief) in obedience to their bishop who forbade support for organisations which support abortion. Some schools did raise money but they did not send it to Comic Relief, in line with an instruction from Rt Rev Patrick O'Donoghue, Bishop of Lancaster. Comic Relief denies involvement with abortion. [Whitehaven News, 18 March] Comic Relief actually gives massive financial support to groups which promote the legalisation of abortion in Africa and worldwide. [John Smeaton, 1 March]

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Feast of St Joseph - click to read

St Teresa devotion to St Joseph

Solemn Sung Mass today broadcast on AirMaria - 7pm TODAY!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

English Carmel in Penal times - Lanherne Carmel revisited - click to read previous post

The whole story of Lanherne foundation presented below and on the post title link, is based on the book "English Carmelites in Penal times" by Sr Anne Hardman, SND. Sadly, Lanherne Carmel no longer exists, several years ago, Carmelite nuns decided to leave Lanherne and join the Carmel at St Helens. They were, however, determined to find a contemplative community who would make sure that Lanherne continued as a place of spirituality and prayer. According to Latin Mass Society article featured HERE; ..."Divine Providence, as always, provided an answer. The Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate took up residence. The two orders - The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate and the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate - have interesting histories. The friars were founded in 1970 and the sisters some years later. Both are now of Pontifical Right and belong to the First Order of Franciscans (it is most unusual for Franciscan nuns to belong to the First Order). There are twelve sisters at present, most of them in their thirties and forties. The nuns at Lanherne have been using the 1962 Mass Rite on a daily basis since June 2008. Their chaplain - one of their own Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate - and a US citizen had no prior experience of celebrating the rite but is doing very well with the 1962 Missal. The Conventual Mass is sung daily - the Masses are open to the faithful.What is happening at Lanherne is perhaps the most important of the restoration work being undertaken in the UK to fully re-establish the 1962 rites. This is the first religious order fully to use the 1962 liturgical books in England and Wales since about 1964. Readers of Mass of Ages will I’m sure want to be involved and kept informed of developments. Mass at Lanherne is offered daily at 8.00 am on all weekdays and at 10.00 am on Sundays and Holy Days...." This is a great news for all Traditionally minded Catholics in England and hope that traditional Catholicism is on the way back here, and remarkably starting in Lanherne.

In 2009, it will be 390 years since first post-Reformation English Teresian Carmel foundation in Brussels, 205 years since their coming to England and 365 years since the holy death of the foundress of English Discalced Carmel, Mother Ann of the Ascension Worsley. Her image is presented below.

How the foundation came to be.
The ENGLISH Carmel owes its origin to two splendid English women of the 17th century, Ann Worseley - the spiritual foundress and Lady Mary Lovell, the temporal foundress. Two minds with but single thought, "the greater glory of God through Our Lady of Carmel".

In pre-Reformation England, Carmel was popular and kept in high esteem. Carmelites were known as White Friars and their first foundation in London was Fleet street convent. Friars characteristic white mantles were very common sight there in 12th and 13th centuries. Carmelite friars were well educated, very influential with Kings and the faitful and renown for their pastoral and apostolic work. The mendicants were exempted from the jurisdiction of the bishops, and had been granted extensive faculties for preaching and hearing confessions, together with the right of sepulchre in their churches, - privileges hitherto reserved to the secular clergy. Besides, as confessor and preachers, the orders became immensly popular, so that many a benefice now come to them that might otherwise have gone elsewhere. Lastly, their religious profession imposed on them the obligation of living on alms donated by the faithful as a reward for their services. Almost from the inception of the Mendicant Orders they had met with a determined opposition from the opulent secular clergy and some of wealthy monasteries, for these appreciated that the recognition of the mendicants, and the approbation of their penitential Rules by the Holy See, was the first step in an organised plan of religious reformation. The bitterness was most intense throughout the fourteenth century, and no opportunity for slur and slander was missed. The end of the fourteenth century and the beginning of the fifteenth brought a new element of strife into the lives of the Carmelites. This time, however, they were the attackers, for they themselves bound by honour as well as duty to defend the purity of Catholic doctrine against those who would pollute it. The first to dishonour the proud name of Catholic England was John Wycliff, who, about the year 1366, rose in revolt against God, the Church, the Sacraments, the clergy, and sought to overthrow the very foundamentals of religion. His rebellious faction, increasing from day to day, tried to upset all law and order. John Wycliffe, founded Lollardy, the nickname for the political and religious movement of the mid-14th century to the English Reformation.

In the image above we see John Wycliffe giving Bible translation to his followers at Oxford.

John Wycliffe, taught the concept of the "Church of the Saved", meaning that Christ's true Church was the community of the faithful, which overlapped with but was not the same as the official Church of Rome. He taught a form of predestination and advocated apostolic poverty and taxation of Church properties. A Lollard blacksmith in Lincolnshire declared that he could make "as good a sacrament between ii yrons as the prest doth vpon his auter (altar)". Believing in a lay priesthood, the Lollards challenged the Church’s ability to invest or deny the divine authority to make a man a priest. Denying any special authority to the priesthood, Lollards thought confession unnecessary since a priest did not have any special power to forgive sins. Lollards challenged the practice of clerical celibacy and believed priests should not hold political positions since temporal matters should not interfere with the priests’ spiritual mission.Believing that more attention should be given to the message in the scriptures rather than to ceremony and worship, the Lollards denounced the ritualistic aspects of the Church such as transubstantiation, exorcism, pilgrimages, and blessings. These focused too much on powers the Church supposedly did not have and led to a focus on temporal ritual over God and his message.Immediately upon going public, Lollardy was attacked as heresy. At first, Wycliffe and Lollardy were protected by John of Gaunt and anti-clerical nobility, who may have been interested in using Lollard-advocated clerical reform to create a new source of revenue from England’s monasteries, as Henry VIII would finally succeed in doing. The University of Oxford also protected Wycliffe and allowed him to hold his position at the university in spite of his views on the grounds of academic freedom, which also gave some protection to the academics who supported it within that institution. Lollardy first faced serious persecution after the Peasant’s Revolt in 1381. The Carmelites had to face a double menace now, but they had, also, great men, intellectually and spiritually great, to enter the combat with the courage of lions. These were the most able opponents of Wycliffites, especially in the reigns of Henry V and Henry VI, and some of them, faithful to the last, sufferred greatly in the cause of truth.
Wycliffites were also strongly resisted by secular authorities. Among those in opposition was Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury. It was descendants of the noble Arundel family who provided Lanherne lodging for the foundation of the first Teresian Carmel on English soil.

During Reformation, many Catholic nobilities went on exile to Europe and took refuge in the Netherlands. Among them was Worsely family with young girl, Ann, born on the exile. During her girlhood Ann Worsley was attached to the Court of the Infanta Isabella, a patroness of the daughters of St Teresa, inviting them to establish a house in Brussels. In this way Ann came in contact with the spiritual power of Ven. Ann of Jesus, St Teresa's friend and co-adjutrix. To this venerable soul Ann offered herself as a postulant and was accepted, since as the venerable Mother herself declared, "she judged her to be admirable disposed to be accepted for the Order." And so in the Carmel at MONS, under the guidance of the then Prioress, Blessed Mother Anne of St Bartholomew, on Ascension Day the 15th May, 1608, Ann received the Habit of Our Lady taking the name of Ann of Ascension. She took her Solemn Vows on Pentecost Sunday, the 7th of June, 1609. In the next ten years Ann lived successively at Mons, Antwerp (again under Blessed Mother Ann of St Bartholomew), and Mechlin, in the latter place she was elected sub-Prioress.

Ann the Foundress.
There now comes into the picture a splendid English widow, the Lady Mary Lovell, who, possessed of great wealth, desired to use her fortune by establishing English Foundations in France and Flanders, especially a Carmel of St Teresa's Reform for English Subjects. And so Ann, as the spiritual force and Lady Lovell as the temporal aid, under the guidance of the Venerable Mother Ann of Jesus Lebora, founded the FIRST ENGLISH CARMEL of St TERESA'S REFORM, in HOPLAND, ANTWERP, on the 1st of MAY, 1619. it is interesting to record that tradition has it that the sight of the future Carmel was shown by Our Lady herself to the two foundresses and to the Superior of all Discalced Carmelites in the Netherlands, Fr Thomas of Jesus. Of the Community which consisted of six sister chosen by Ven Ann of Jesus was Sister Teresa of Jesus, younger sister of Mary Ward the foundress of the Institute of Our Blessed Lady. From the first Mother Ann Worsley was elected as Prioress, a second foundation was made at Boise-le-duc (s'Hertongenbosch) in October, 1624, Mother Ann going there in person to supervise all arrangements. A Third Foundation followed the next year at bruges, but owing to the difficulties raised by the Friars, its final establishment passed out of the hands of Mother Ann.
A Fourth Foundation was more successful at Cologne whither she went in 1630, with some nuns from Bois-le-duc, who had gone to Hopland Convent for refuge when their own convent was destroyed. Thus Mother Ann Worsley was regarded the Foundress of the Lindenthal Carmel. As late as 1936 this Carmel kept up friendly intercourse with Lanherne.
A Fifth Foundation was at Alost in 1631, to which Carmel the rest of the Bois-le-duc community was transferred. Mother Ann's younger Sister Elizabeth, who had entered Hopland Carmel six months after its foundation, taking the name of Teresa of Jesus Mary, was elected Prioress in 1632. There she remained, dying a holy death in the seventh triennium as prioress on the 7th of November, 1651.

Last Foundation.
Mother Ann Worsley's last external work was the foundation of a Carmel at Dusseldorf in 1643, at the request of the Duke of Julich-Cleve-Berg, who had heard of the sanctity of the English Carmelites and their fidelity to the Reform of St Teresa. Being unable to travel so far herself, she sent two nuns, Ann of St Teresa Leveson and Lucy of St Ignatius Katherine Bedingfield, the former being elected Prioress, the latter Sub-Prioress and Mistress of Novices and whose body was very many years later found to be incorrupt.
Mother Ann of the Ascension was now afflicted with the cross of great suffering, yet we find her clothing Margaret and Ursula Mostyn in the habit of Our Lady, which was to be the last official act on the 10th of August, 1644, since she was confined to her cell soon after. Up to the following December she "ever maintained a most gracious, pleasing and serene countenance." Whenever she was able for it she would sent for the nuns and speak with them on spiritual topics. She often quoted St John's words: "Children, love one another," adding, "and preserve the peace and union I now leave among you." On the 23rd December, 1644, after repeating in a clear voice the Advent responsary, "Come, Lord, do not delay" mother Ann Worsley gave up her soul to God.

Subsequent Foundations including first South Africa and American Carmel.
In 1648 Hopland sent out another foundation of English Teresians with Mother Margaret Downs and eleven other sisters to Lierre. This flourishing Community came over to England in the troubled times of 1794 and is now at Darlington, Co Durham. In recent years the first foundation in South Africa was made by them in Johannesburg. Nine years after the demise of Mother Ann the Carmel at Dusseldorf, where Mother Teresa Leverson was prioress, was instrumental in founding a Carmel at Munstereifel, the new community consisting of five nuns from the Hopland House.
Again in 1678 a Third English Carmel at Hoogstraet, later transferred to Chichester, was made possible, under a legacy left by Mr EVANS. This generous benefactor desired that the New Convent keep the anniversary of its dedication, "on ye feast of Our Blessed Lady's Immaculate Conception." And so it was done.
It is interesting to note that all three English Carmels received postulants from the Colonies in America; indeed it was from the Hoogstreat Carmel that the FIRST CARMEL IN THE NEW WORLD looked for its foundation on October 15th, 1790.

The translation to Lanherne.
The peaceful life of the English Carmels was rudely broken when, in 1794 the French entered Flanders. After some weeks of indecision and alarm, all three communities determined to seek refuge in England. So on June the 29th, the Hopland nuns, "after receiving Holy Communion, hearing three Masses and saying the Hours," left their Conven, arriving in London by way of Rotterdam on the 12th July. they lodged at first with a Mr Coghlan at no 3 Orchard Street, Portman Sq. From this centre they vainly sought a suitable house. At last Providence came to their assistance in the person of the Lord and Lady Arundel of WARDOUR, who offered the nuns their Cornish Mansion at Lanherne. Here the Faith had survived the Reformation in an almost unbroken continuity since Celtic times. With glad and thankful hearts the then Prioress, Mother Francis Xavier Maddocks, together with the community, took up the residence on the 10th of September, 1794. In their flight from Flanders the Community brought with them amny rich and costly Church ornaments and vestments given to them by their first temporal foundress, Lady Mary Lovell. The necessary alterations being almost completed, the first plans of the enclosure were drawn up by the Vicar Apostolic, Charles Walmesley, OSB, on the 27th of February, 1796.
Since then the Lanherne Carmelites have quietly continued their lives of prayer and penance, the only external event of importance being the foundation of another Carmel in the Diocese of Plymouth in 1864, and later transferred to Wells.

Text based on 1936 edition of "English Carmelites in Penal Times" by Sr A. Hardman, SND and on 1926 edition of "The White Friars - an outline Carmelite History" by Rev PR McCafrey, OCarm
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Late abortionist Dr Tiller trial began yesterday in Witchita - click to read about his political connections

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Happy and Blessed St Patrick's Day!

Cardinal Sean Brady, archbishop of Armagh and primate of Ireland, in his massage for St. Patrick's Day released today by the Irish bishops' conference urges Irish to recall their Patron Saint's faith - Zenit reports

St Patrick "Confession" part 1

"Confession" part 2

Lorica Prayer of St Patrick

I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through a belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today Through the strength of Christ's birth and His baptism, Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial, Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension, Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today Through the strength of the love of cherubim, In obedience of angels, In service of archangels, In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward, In the prayers of patriarchs, In preachings of the apostles, In faiths of confessors, In innocence of virgins, In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today Through the strength of heaven; Light of the sun, Splendor of fire, Speed of lightning, Swiftness of the wind, Depth of the sea, Stability of the earth, Firmness of the rock.

I arise today Through God's strength to pilot me; God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's hosts to save me From snares of the devil, From temptations of vices, From every one who desires me ill, Afar and anear, Alone or in a multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and evil, Against every cruel merciless power that opposes my body and soul, Against incantations of false prophets, Against black laws of pagandom, Against false laws of heretics, Against craft of idolatry, Against spells of women and smiths and wizards, Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.

Christ shield me today Against poison, against burning, Against drowning, against wounding, So that reward may come to me in abundance.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through a belief in the Threeness, Through a confession of the Oneness Of the Creator of creation.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Deos Hell exists but nobody goes there? - click to read

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Holy Smoke - Who will be the next Archbishop of Westminster? - click to read

Bishop Longley, Archbishop Nichols and Bishop Philip Tartaglia of Paisley are most likely to be a nominee. Who will be the winner?

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Saturday - Our Lady's Day - click to read previous post

Today we reflect with St Thomas Aquinas on the sublime mystery of Christ conception in the womb of Mary, His Mother. The Son of God in His divine nature was already begotten of God the Father, therefore God the Holy Spirit does not beget the child similar to Himself in the divine nature in the womb of Mary but He forms the human nature of the Son of God in the hypostatic union of two natures, divine and human.

The Son of God, Jesus Christ, was conceived of the flesh of Mary, the Virgin of Nazareth. He was, therefore, a man like other men. He was of the race of Adam. He was also, as had been foretold by the prophets, of the family of David, a member of the royal house of Israel. But the active principle of His conception in the womb of Mary was the Holy Spirit, God Himself. Of course, it is true that it was God, all three Persons of the Trinity, Who conceived Christ in the womb of Mary. but God Himself attributes this action to the Third Person, the Holy Spirit, because it is work of divine love, and in God the Holy Spirit is the love of the Father and the Son. This does not mean that the Holy Spirit is the father of Christ. To be a father, a person must beget a child who is similar to himself in nature. God the Father begets in God a Son Who is like to Him in the divine nature, Who is, in fact, identical with Him in the divine nature, A human father begets a child who is like to himself in human nature. But the Holy Spirit when He conceives Christ in the womb of Mary, does not beget a child similar to Himself in the divine nature. As God, the Son of God is already divine, begotten only of God the Father. The action of the Holy Spirit forms in Mary the human nature of the Son of God.

Text from "My Way of Life- The Summa simplified" by Msgr Austin P. Bennett, Confraternity of the Precious Blood, 1952

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Franciscan, Dominican and Lefebvrists - an open letter to Progressivists and Modernists by Father João Batista de Almeida Prado Ferraz Costa - link

....."A progressivist who is a little more intellectually endowed may make the following challenge: "The Lefebvrists were ostracized because they rejected Vatican II." I would answer like this: "And you, what did you do with Vatican II? From a pastoral council, full of ambiguities, without any doctrinal definition, while full of pleadings to dialogue with the world, out of these pastoral documents – some in obvious contradiction with what the Church had said and done up to 1958 - you wanted to create a super-dogma or turn such documents into a fundamental constitution of a new religion - the "post-conciliar Church" in the words of Cardinal Benelli. A new religion without dogmas, or better, with the sole dogma of prohibiting the stating of any dogma. You caused the Council to say what was not the Council fathers’ purpose. You invented a new mass, stripped of Latin and sacred music, that had been expressly rejected by the Council fathers. Hence, your hatred toward Benedict XVI, Mons. Lefèbvre and everything they represent."....

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Meditation on sin

PRESENCE OF GOD - O Jesus Crucified, give me the grace to understand the great malice of sin.

1. The essence of Christian perfection consists in union with God by charity. While charity, by conforming our wills to God's, unites us to Him, grave sin, which directly opposes His will, produces the opposite effect. In other words, charity is the force uniting man to God, and sin the force drawing him away. Serious sin is therefore the greatest enemy of the spiritual life, since it not only injures, it but destroys it in its constituent elements: charity and grace.

This destruction, this spiritual death, is the inevitable result of sin, the act by which man voluntarily detaches himself from God, the one source of life, charity, and grace. As the branch cannot live if it is separated from the trunk, neither can the soul live if separated from God. God, the cause of every being, is always present in the soul of the sinner in the same way in which He is present in all creatures; yet He is not there as a Father, as a Guest, as the Trinity which offers Itself to the soul to be known and loved. Hence, the sinner, though created to be the temple of the Blessed Trinity, has voluntarily made himself incapable of dwelling with the three divine Persons and has barred his own road to union with God. He has, so to speak, obliged God to break all ties of friendship with him because he has preferred the temporal, fleeting good of a miserable creature - a selfish satisfaction, an earthly pleasure - instead of the sovereign good. This is the malice of sin which rejects the divine gift and betrays its Creator, Father, and Friend. "Oh! Why can we not realize that sin is a pitched battle against God with all our senses and the faculties of the soul; the stronger the soul is, the more ways it invents to betray its King" (T.J.Exc,14).
2. If we wish to have a better understanding of the evil of mortal sin, we must consider its disastrous effects. One single sin instantly changed Lucifer, the angel of light, into an angel of darkness, into the eternal enemy of God. A single sin deprived Adam and Eve of the state of grace and friendship with God, taking away all their supernatural gifts and condemning them to death together with the rest of mankind. One single sin was enough to make an abyss between God and man, to deprive the whole human race of any possibility of union with God.
The Passion of Jesus is a further proof of the great malice and the destructive power of sin. The lacerated members of Christ, His sorrowful death on the Cross, proclaim that sin is a form of deicide. Jesus, the most beautiful of the sons of men, through sin, become the "despised and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows.... He was bruised for our sins," so that "from the sole of His foot unto the top of His head, there is no soundness therein" (Isa 53, 3-5 - 1-6), for by means of it, He wished to vanquish death and restore friendship to man.
Jesus, our Head, invites us, His members, to unite with Him in His work of destroying sin: to destroy it in ourselves down to the very roots, that is, in our evil inclinations, and to destroy it likewise in His other members by allowing Him to work in us. This is the law of solidarity, for the misfortune of the others; each sin is a burden on the whole world and disturbs the equilibrium of God's plan. Therefore, every Christian, and more especially, every soul consecrated to God, must throw himself ardently into the battle against sin and fight it with the proper weapons: penance, expiatory prayer, and most of all, love. When the love of charity is perfect, it destroys sin more efficaciously than the fire of purgatory. In this we see why the saints were able to convert so many souls. God used the fire of their charity to do away with sin in sinners.

"O my God and my true Strength! How is it, Lord, that we are cowards in everything save in opposing Thee? To this the children of Adam devote all their energies. Were not reason so blind, the combined energies of all men put together would not suffice to make them bold enough to take up arms against their Creator and maintain a continual warfare against One who in a moment could plunge them into the depth....."O Lord, what hardness of heart! Oh, what folly and blindness! We are distressed if we lose anything, the merest trifle. Then why are we not distressed at losing that great Treasure which is the Majesty of God, and a kingdom in which our fruition of Him will be endless. Why is this? I cannot understand it.....I believe, Lord, that You treasure one soul that we gain for You by our prayers and works, thanks to your mercy, more than all other services that we can render You" (T.J. Exc, 12 - 14 -F, 1 - Way, 1).

After "Divine Intimacy" by Fr. Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen OCD.
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Press release from Bp Fellay, the Superior General of SSPX - cick to read

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Memorial of Bl Angela Salawa, Franciscan tertiary

Bl Angela tomb is enshrined in beautiful Franciscan Church in Cracow - I had a privilege to pray there with my friend Telesia.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Letter of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the Bishops of the Catholic Church - click to read English version from Vatican website

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An Act modifying corporate laws for certain religious corporations - click to read the new anti-Catholic law

The Church in America has good reasons for preferring to be organized as a series of religious corporations. This bill would make that impossible.

In reflection how reality changed we can read the fragment of "The White Friars" book describing how the relation between Church and State used to be:

"Throughout the Middle Ages all law was looked on as coming from God, as holy, and therefore in a way subject to the approval and custody of the Church. It was the crown of the moral order, the basis of right conduct, and hence the royal chanceries of Europe were always governed by an ecclesiastic, whose duty it was to enlighten the king's conscience, and to see that neither the gospel nor the spirit of it were infringed. We are not surprised to find a close co-operation between Church and State, to learn that large numbers of the priories were founded by the king and endowed by the opulent. They were the recognition, and in a sense the reward, for signal services already rendered. They were the manifestation of a living Faith, for men then appreciated the efficacy of prayer, of prayer for the dead as well as the living".

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Novena to St Joseph starts today - click to read

Novena to St Joseph should be prayed between 10th of March and 18th of March - vigil of the Feast.

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Catholic mother reflects on her decade-long suffering from severe post-natal depression and manic depressive disorder - click to read

Sadly, Jackie Parkes who used to run the blog "Catholic Mum of 10" has deleted the blog for family reason. I hope she will continue to get better and better in her recovery from horrible illness that affected her for such a long time. Her illness may be also an example of spiritual trial that in Jackie's case was providential, as she grew in faith and became spiritually stronger with great devotion to Our Lord and Our Lady.

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Remnant - The Society of St Pius Xth and Vatican II - click to read

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Lenten thoughts - Humility

"Madonna of Humility" by Giovanni Paolo depicts Our Lady in violet robe and sitting on the ground. Frescos with the Madonna dell'Umiltà were the object of special veneration in northern Italy. and images of humble Virgin were very popular in private devotions in fourteen century Siena.

Charity is the essence of Christian perfection, for charity alone has the power to unite mand to God, his last end. But for us poor, miserable creatures, whom God wishes to raise to union with Himself, is charity the ultimate basis of the spiritual life? No. There is something deeper still which is, so to speak, the basis of charity, and that is humility. Humility is to charity what the foundation is to a building. Digging the foundation is not building the house, yet it is preliminary, indispensable work, the condition sine qua non. The deeper and firmer it is, the better the house will be and the greater assurance of stability it will have. Only the fool "built his house upon the sand," with the inevitable consequence of seeing it crumble away very soon. The wise man, on the contrary, "built...upon a rock" (Mt 7:24-26); storms and winds might threaten, but his hhouse was unshakable because foundation was solid.
Humility is the firm bedrock upon which every Christian should build the edifice of his spiritual life. "If you wish to lay good foundations" says St Teresa of Jesus to her daughters, "each of you must try to be the least of all" that is, you must practice humility. "If you do that...your foundation will be so firmly laid that your Castle will not fall" (Interior Castle 7:4).

Fragments from "Divine Intimacy" by Fr Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen OCD

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Saturday - Our Lady's Day

Mary became the Mother of God at the moment of the Incarnation. It was a moment for which God had richly prepared her. Through the fullness of grace which He gave her, Mary had lived a life of obedience to the will of God. Her every thought and action had been formed in the burning crucible of charity or love of God. She had even conceived the resolution to devote herself to the service of God by a vow of virginity. At the moment chosen by God, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to her in bodily form and announced to her the great purpose for which God had chosen her. "Hail, full of grace", he said, and his words signified her worthiness to fulfill the role for which she was destined. "The Lord is with thee," he continues, and in these words he announced the conception that was to take place. When Mary gave the full consent of her loving, obedient heart in the words, "Be it done unto me according to thy word", the marriage between God and human nature was complete. God had become man, and in the consent of Mary all mankind consented to its own ennoblement in the God-man, Christ. Eve seduced Adam to the destruction of the human race. Mary conceived Christ for the salvation of the human race.

Taken from "The Summa simplified" chapter 'Mary: the Virgin Mother of God'.

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EMBER SATURDAY - click to read

Today in Traditional Liturgical Calendar is the Feast of Angelic Doctor, St Thomas Aquinas

St Thomas Aquinas Meditations for Lent

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Friday, March 06, 2009

Holy Smoke thoughts on America's most powerful wife - click to read

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EMBER FRIDAY - click to read

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

News from SPUC

A Lenten pro-life initiative has reportedly saved some 40 lives as women are dissuaded from having abortions. The 40 Days for Life campaign involves vigils at abortion clinics. In one case, a husband spoke to the activists and then returned inside the clinic where he persuaded his wife to keep their child. [LifeSiteNews, 3 March]

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

More on Guardian Angels, their help and our sins

In the light of our own angel's magnificent and unceasing help, there is something of a braggart's pitiful absurdity in the pride we take in the truth we learn and the love we give. There is, too, a note of terror in the exclusive responsibility we have for the success or failure of our own living. Nothing in the universe can withstand the angel's powers, except our own choice. The angel who guards us is of the lowest of the heavenly choirs; yet his power is more than enough for the greatest devil, bowed as the devils are in punishment to the least of the good angels. The only effective obstacle to the angel's guarding love is our own intellect and our own will. We ourselves can defeat such guardianship; and we do in every sin.
Even if angels had never sinned, leaving man free to work out his salvation with no external enemies to fight, we would still have had this guardianship. In the face of the fact of angelic betrayal of God, "our wrestling is not against flesh and blood but against Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places." We, who command our own appetites only with great effort and generous divine help, are no match for such enemies from hell roaming the world like roaring lions. For all our sovereign intellect and will, our battle with the legions of Satan would be a hopeless slaughter of weaponless pygmies by armed giants were it not for divine mercy's restraint of the devil's powers and the protection we receive from the army of heaven.

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EMBER WEDNESDAY - click to read

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Thoughts about our helpers, Holy Guardian Angels.

From the first moment of life until the last, each one of us is engaged in a battle to the death. "The demons are ever assailing us, according to 1Peter: 'Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion , goeth about seeking whom he may devour.' Much more therefore do the good angels ever guard us." We are children in the face of the keen strength of angels and devils so our first thanks for our angel's guarding are for the effects consistent with childhood's helplessness: the warding off of the demons, and the prevention of bodily and spiritual harm. We are not wrong in this spontaneous burst of gratitude to our rescuer. Yet, because we are responsible adults faced with the final choice of heaven and hell, our angel's guardianship is ordered principally to our enlightenment by instruction, as the devil's attack is ordered principally to darkening of our minds by frauds and lies. Truth is the light by which a man guides his steps home.

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

St David, patron of Wales - click to read

St David is the patron saint of Wales and perhaps the most famous of British saints. We have, however, little reliable information about him. It is known that he became a priest, engaged in missionary work and founded many monasteries, including his principal abbey in southwestern Wales. Many stories and legends sprang up about David and his Welsh monks. Their austerity was extreme. They worked in silence without the help of animals to till the soil. Their food was limited to bread, vegetables and water.

In about the year 550, David attended a synod where his eloquence impressed his fellow monks to such a degree that he was elected primate of the region. The episcopal see was moved to Mynyw, where he had his monastery (now called St. David's). He ruled his diocese until he had reached a very old age. His last words to his monks and subjects were: "Be joyful, brothers and sisters. Keep your faith, and do the little things that you have seen and heard with me."
St. David is pictured standing on a mound with a dove on his shoulder. The legend is that once while he was preaching a dove descended to his shoulder and the earth rose to lift him high above the people so that he could be heard. Over 50 churches in South Wales were dedicated to him in pre-Reformation days.


Were we restricted to hard manual labor and a diet of bread, vegetables and water, most of us would find little reason to rejoice. Yet joy is what David urged on his brothers as he lay dying. Perhaps he could say that to them—and to us—because he lived in and nurtured a constant awareness of God’s nearness. For, as someone once said, “Joy is the infallible sign of God’s presence.” May his intercession bless us with the same awareness!

After American Catholic "Saint of the Day"

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