Sunday, August 30, 2009

Angelus message from His Holiness Pope Benedict - Faith in Christ still today gives scandal to the world

Read whole post......

Vatican prepares vast reforms of the ways the Mass is celebrated - Catholic Herald reports - click to read

...The Vatican has proposed sweeping reforms to the way Mass is celebrated, it has been claimed.

Communion on the tongue, Consecration celebrated ad orientem (facing east) and renewed use of Latin could all be re-introduced to ordinary Sunday Masses as part of proposals put forward by the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Andrea Tornielli, a senior Vatican watcher, reported last week that the congregation's cardinals and bishops voted "almost unanimously in favour of greater sacrality of the Rite" at a plenary meeting in March.

Members of the congregation are said to have put forward 30 propositiones ("propositions") aimed at reforming the way in which the Novus Ordo has been celebrated since the Second Vatican Council.

These set out to recover a "sense of Eucharistic worship", the use of the "Latin language in the celebration" and include the "remaking of the introductory parts of the Missal in order to put a stop to liturgical abuses".

According to Mr Tornielli the propositions, which were voted on by the congregation on March 21, also include placing renewed emphasis on receiving Communion on the tongue "according to the norms"....

Read whole post......

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thirteen Sunday after Pentecost - click to read

....What may be understood by leprosy in a spiritual sense?
Sin, particularly impurity, by which the soul of man is stained much more than is the body by the most horrid leprosy: In the Jewish law (Lev. 13) three kinds of leprosy are enumerated: the leprosy of the flesh, of garments, and of houses. Spiritually, the impure are af­flicted with the leprosy of the flesh who easily infect others, and are therefore to be most carefully avoided. The leprosy of garments consists in extravagance of dress and scandalous fashions, whereby not only individuals, but also whole communities are brought to poverty, and many lose their innocence. The leprosy of houses, finally, is to be found in those places, where scandalous servants are retained, where nocturnal gatherings of both sexes are en­couraged, where, obscenities are indulged in, where unbe­coming dances and plays are held, and filthy actions per­formed; where married people allow themselves liberties in presence of others, and give scandal to their household, where they take their small children and even such as al­ready have the use of reason, with themselves to bed, where they permit children of different sexes to sleep together. Such houses are to be avoided, since they are infected with the pestilential leprosy of sin, and woe to them who vol­untarily remain in them....

Read whole post......

Beheading of the John the Baptist

Video tribute to St John the Baptist

Read whole post......

Saturday - Day of Our Lady

Thoughts about Our Lady from St Teresa:

[Souls easily conquered] must take His Blessed Mother and His Saints as intercessors so that these intercessors may fight for them. (Collected Works v.2)

It is important to know that Our Lord is pleased with any service rendered to His Mother, and great is His mercy. (Collected Works v.3)

It is her custom to favour those who want to be protected by her. (Collected Works v.3)

Read whole post......

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Feast of the Transverberation of the Heart of St Teresa

Brethren: the word of God is living and affectual, and more piercing than any two-edged sword; and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thought and intents of the heart (Hebrew 4).

Amid the other virtues of Teresa, the love of God shone forth with particular lustre. It burned in her heart so strongly that the confessors of Theresa marvelled thereat, and extolled it as the love belonging to the Cherubim rather than to man. Our Lord Jesus Christ increased it, in a wonderful manner, by many visions and revelations, for once he adopted her as His spouse, giving to her His right hand, and holding forth to her a nail. He moreover vouchsafed to speak to her in these words: "Henceforth thou shalt be zealous for my honour like a true Spouse; now I am wholly thine, and thou art wholly mine".
At another time she saw an angel, who pierced her heart with a fiery dart. She herself narrates the vision as follows: "I saw an angel standing at my left hand in bodily shape. He was not large, but small, and most beautiful in form. His countenance was so bright and shining that he seemed to belong to the highest choir of angels, who are all on fire, or, in other words, to those who are called Seraphim. I saw that he carried in his hands a long golden dart, even to my entrails, which he seemed to me to carry away with him when he drew forth the dart, thus leaving me all on fire with the love of God. The pain of the would was so violent that it forced me to break forth into repeated groans; and yet so excellent is the sweetness to which this intense pain gives rise, that one desires not to be freed from it, and naught is pleasing to the soul save God Himself".
In consequence of these heavenly gifts, the flames of divine love burned in her heart so strongly that, under God's guidance, she made a very difficult vow. She bound herself always to do that which she should see to be the more perfect, and that which might tend to the greater glory of God. After her death, moreover, she made known to a certain nun, in a vision, that she had died of the unbearable burning of divine love, and not from the attacks of illness.

Her heart, which was incorrupt and adorned with the marks of the piercing, was placed in the Church of the Most Holy Incarnation, belonging to the nuns of the Order of Barefooted Carmelites in Alba de Tormes, and it has been venerated down to the present day by the large and devout crowds of Christian who flock thither. All these things having been carefully examined, the Sovereign Pontiff Benedict the Thirteenth, in order to recall the remembrance of this great miracle, permitted the celebration of this feast each year in that Order.

The text after Traditional Carmelite Breviary Matins Lessons (1887 edition)

To view the previous post commemorating the Feast please follow the LINK

Read whole post......

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

News from SPUC - street-preacher harrased by police officers in Manchester, UK, for reading passages from the Bible that may 'offend' homosexuals

"They were clearly told that reading the Bible and preaching can be offensive and that they could be arrested," she wrote.

"Furthermore, they were subjected to abuse and intimidation. They were told that they were being monitored and filmed," she wrote.

Critics claimed that a Muslim preaching his religion in the street would not have been treated in such a way by police.

Mr Hayworth, a voluntary worker who is married with two children, has been a street preacher in the Manchester area for five years and he is often accompanied by his father.

He said that he and his father had decided to preach from 11am at St Ann's Square in Manchester instead of their usual place on nearby Market Street.

He was reading passages from the Old and New Testaments while his father distributed leaflets containing the message of the gospel.

"At 2pm, I was approached on more than one occasion by several police officers who falsely accused me, stating that I was inciting hatred with homophobic and racial comments," he said.

"One plain-clothed officer, who was with the other two uniformed officers, said: 'It is against the law to preach and hand out tracts: preaching causes offence and handing out tracts is harassment and could result in an arrest.'"

This is how our tax money are spent and this is what police officers do while patrolling the streets?? In no time we may be bullied and ridiculed for being Christians and of 'heterosexual orientation'. I remember the incident when 'pro-choice' council 'lady-boss' caused the arrest of elderly man who dare to sent her leaflets against abortion. What kind of society we live in....

Read whole post......

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

SAINT LOUIS IX King of France (1215-1270

Spiritual Bouquet:
Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. St. Matthew 26:41

The mother of the incomparable Saint Louis IX of France, Blanche of Castille, told him when he was still a child that she would rather see him dead in a coffin than stained by a single mortal sin. He never forgot her words. Raised to the throne and anointed in the Rheims Cathedral at the age of twelve, while still remaining under his mother’s regency for several years, he made the defense of God’s honor the aim of his life. Before one year of their mutual sovereignty had ended, the Catholic armies of France, by a particular blessing, had crushed the Albigensians of the south who had risen up under a heretical prince, and forced them by stringent penalties to respect the Catholic faith. Amid the cares of government, the young prince daily recited the Divine Office and heard two Masses. The most glorious churches in France are still memorials to his piety, among them the beautiful Sainte Chapelle of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, where the Crown of Thorns, the great relic which he brought back from the Holy Land, is enshrined. When his courtiers remonstrated with Louis for his law that blasphemers must be branded on the lips, he replied, “I would willingly have my own lips branded if I could thereby root out blasphemy from my kingdom.” fearless protector of the weak and the oppressed, a monarch whose justice was universally recognized, he was chosen to arbitrate in all the great feuds of his age.
In 1248, to rescue the land where Christ had walked, he gathered round him the chivalry of France, and embarked for the East. He visited the holy places; approaching Nazareth he dismounted, knelt down to pray, then entered on foot. He visited the Holy House of Nazareth and on its wall a fresco was afterwards painted, still visible when the House was translated to Loreto, depicting him offering his manacles to the Mother of God. Wherever he was: at home with his many children, facing the infidel armies, in victory or in defeat, on a bed of sickness or as a captive in chains, King Louis showed himself ever the same — the first, the best, and the bravest of Christian knights.

When he was a captive at Damietta, an Emir rushed into his tent brandishing a dagger red with the blood of the Sultan, and threatened to stab him also unless he would make him a knight. Louis calmly replied that no unbeliever could perform the duties of a Christian knight. In the same captivity he was offered his liberty on terms lawful in themselves, but enforced by an oath which implied a blasphemy, and although the infidels held their swords’ points at his throat and threatened a massacre of the Christians, Louis inflexibly refused.
The death of his mother recalled him to France in 1252; but when order was re-established he again set out for a second crusade. In August of 1270 his army landed at Tunis, won a victory over the enemy, then was laid low by a malignant fever. Saint Louis was one of the victims. He received the Viaticum kneeling by his camp bed, and gave up his life with the same joy in which he had given all else for the honor of God.

Reflection: Saint Louis wrote to his oldest son Philip, heir to the crown: “I recommend to you before all else to apply yourself with all your heart to love God.”

The picture from old manuscript depicts King Louis IX on the Crusade

The Feast of St Louis reminds me of my little, five days pilgrimage to Rome this year to visit seven Churches of Rome, the route of pilgrimages as recommended by St Philip Neri. After I visited the must Churches, participated in Wednesday Papal Audience and spent two days revisiting St Peters Basilica, the Santa Scala Church and praying at the tomb of St Ignatius who is my Patron Saint, in Il Gesu Church, I decided to see on my last day the most famous landmarks of Rome such as Fontana di Trevi and Spanish Steps. The area of Spanish Steps was called in the 18th century Roman slang "er ghetto de l'inglesi" (the English ghetto), because it was the preferred area of the English artists and tourists. Pope Sixtus V, the great townplanner, set the architecture layout of this beautiful place as we can see it now. I took some pictures which are in a little movie below. Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti) by Francesco De Sanctis (1723-1726) are made of twelve flight of steps of varying width moving upwards towards the Piazza Trinità dei Monti. Before the steps there is a fountain in the form of large boat "Barcaccia", spouting water while it sinks. The fountain is the work of Bernini and the movie starts with the picture of Barcaccia. At the top of steps I saw the Church and I decided to go up there to visit it, not knowing that actually I would make, as tradition calls it, the most beautiful climbing to the Trinity of Mounts Church. Only inside the Church I realized that it is dedicated to the Holy Trinity and built in honour of St. Louis IX in 1502 and consecrated by Pope Sixtus V in 1585. The Church was restored after the Napoleonic occupation of Rome. The view of the City from a little piazza around the Church is splendid, one of the pictures shows beautiful gardens, cafes and little restaurants on the roofs of buildings. The Church interior deserves admiration: it still preserves some of the original Gothic arches and contains artistic treasures in the lateral chapels such as impressive frescoes and altarpiece by Daniele da Volterra, a pupil of Michelangelo: "The Deposition" and "The Assumption". Interestingly, when I visited the Church there was a Mass and Liturgy of the Hours chanted by the group of young men and women wearing white habits. I read that they belong to religious Order established originally in honour of St Louis. These young religious are captured by me while kneeling in the picture of the Church interior in the movie below. The Mass and Liturgy were in French and it was beautiful and spiritual experience.

Read whole post......

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pere Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus, OCD - click to read

Pere Marie-Eugene (1894-1967) founded just before WW2 the Carmelite Secular Institute, Notre-Dame de Vie, for young women wishing to live in the world the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the principal lines of a program of perfection in conformity to the spirit of Carmel - "The great proof of holiness is not to not have temptations or weariness, but to always go on, to react, to climb towards God." He also trained them in an asceticism adapted to each one's temperament and to the difficulties of our times. Far from urging them on to do spectacular penances, he proposed an "asceticism of smallness", which one could call "enduring the difficulties of our state." He said, "If you know how to accept the trials, worries, sufferings, and fatigue arranged by God throughout the days and hours of life, you will practice a lot of asceticism, and you will not have to look for more of it." He wrote two books that synthesize Carmelite spirituality and mental prayer.

How much time do you think one must devote to mental prayer each day?» a young wife asked Father Marie-Eugène of the Child Jesus. «To start, an hour a day,» replied the Father. The young woman was flabbergasted: «An hour a day for prayer! But that's impossible! Unthinkable! Where would I find an hour for prayer in a life that's already as full as it can be?» A kind smile lit up the Father's face: «Madame, if you do not feel ready to give God an hour each day in prayer, it's certain proof for me that you were knocking on the wrong door when you came to mine.» So who was this priest who made such astonishing demands?

Henri Grialou, the future Father Marie-Eugène, was born on December 2, 1894, into a country family in the Rouergue region of France, in the small town of Gua. He was not yet ten years old when his father died after a few days of illness, leaving the young mother five children to raise. Growing up, Henri became a robust boy: enterprising, headstrong, aggressive. Later, he would speak of his «rough husk.» Very early, prompted by his family environment and encouraged by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, he wanted to be a priest. In 1905, he left for Suse, Italy, where he would be able to study for free with the Fathers of the Holy Spirit. There, he discerned that his vocation was not in this congregation and asked to enter the minor seminary in Graves. However, his mother, who thought she wouldn't be able to pay his boarding expenses, placed him in an apprenticeship with a metal worker. Henri applied himself as much as he could to this work that he didn't feel cut out for. His mother, a very intuitive woman, understood and took on the great sacrifice of paying his board at the minor seminary. At the end of his secondary studies, the young man entered the major seminary in Rodez, on October 2, 1911. After the retreat he took upon first entering the major seminary, he wrote, «Especially during a retreat, you perceive the 'pros and cons' of the priesthood, if I may put it in these terms. You weigh all the reasons... We are rushing, with the love of God in our hearts, and hope for the future in our heads, into the lists, where, it seems to us, we will be happy, if not to shed our blood all at one time, at least, and it maybe just as good, to shed it drop by drop, to use up our physical and intellectual strength little by little, and in the end, to fall on the field as a good captain in Christ's army.» During these years, Henri discovered the writings of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, to whom he was passionately devoted. «Pray well for me,» he wrote in 1913 to one of his friends, «so that I might be, like Sister Thérèse, God's little thing, that He might do with me as He wishes, consuming my life little by little here or somewhere else, or taking me away in another manner as He wishes. Ask for this perfect conformity to His will for me.» The future Saint herself had written, «Perfection consists in doing the will [of God], of being what He wants us to be» (Ms. A, v. 2, 20). Later on, this communion of spirit with Thérèse would progress to the point that Mother Agnes of Jesus, the saint's eldest sister, would be able to say, «I have never seen a soul that resembled my little sister's as much as Father Marie-Eugène's.»

«He speaks to us in a whisper»

The First World War broke out; Henri left for the front. After six years in the armed forces, he returned with the rank of lieutenant, decorated with the Military Cross and the Legion of Honor. In August 1919, he returned to the seminary, but his readings of the saints of Carmel (Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Thérèse of the Child Jesus) awakened in him the desire to become a Carmelite. He wrote to his youngest sister: «God speaks to us directly and very clearly only on rare occasions. Most of the time, He slips into our souls through inspirations, through circumstances that He causes. He speaks to us in veiled terms, in a whisper, and shows us what we might do if we wanted to please Him.» He was ordained a priest on February 4, 1922; on the 24th, Father Grialou crossed the threshold of the Carmelite monastery in Avon, near Fontainebleau. After an austere novitiate, where he learned of the primacy of mental prayer, he made his first religious profession on March 11, 1923, taking the name Father Marie-Eugène of the Child Jesus. «Mental prayer,» he wrote to a friend, «is, as it were, the sun and center of all one's daily occupations. One has the impression every evening that one has done nothing else of importance... Mental prayer is a great consolation here and makes me forget everything else.» What is mental prayer? Saint Teresa of Avila answers, «Contemplative prayer in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us» (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, CCC, 2709).

The years 1923-25 were marked by the beatification and canonization of Sister Thérèse of Lisieux. This gave Father Marie Eugène great joy. On April 29, 1923, the day of her beatification, he wrote to a seminarian friend, «I have the impression that this is one of the most beautiful days of my life. It's the realization of very old and very deep desires.... This glorification of the little Sister is the form in which I best understand the glorification of Jesus Himself. The little Blessed's mission is an outpouring of the divine love in souls, in the form God desires for our age.» During these two great events, just as for the proclamation of Saint John of the Cross as Doctor of the Church, in 1926, Father Marie-Eugène was called upon to give numerous conferences or homilies on the spirituality of the Carmelite masters. Having come to intimately know their spiritual doctrine, he would publish syntheses of their teachings in two books in 1949 and 1951, I Am a Daughter of the Church, and I Want to See God.

An antidote for atheism

Father Marie-Eugène had long been convinced that the doctrine of the Carmel saints was something everyone could understand, provided that it was presented in a form adapted to the needs of our time. On Pentecost Monday, 1929, at the time superior of the Carmelite boys' school at the Petit Castelet in Tarascon, he was approached by three young female teachers, including Marie Pila, who wished to know the tenets of Carmel and to learn mental prayer. He quickly realized that God intended him to found an organization for them, but he also knew that he would have to «have the humility to wait for the moment, the way, the hour, and God's grace, instead of rushing into plans to carry out this project, which would then be arrogant because they would be our own.» So he waited until May 1931 to begin a series of conferences on mental prayer at «Our Lady of France» in Aix-en-Provence. There, he discovered an audience of young women who were very anxious to be introduced to the contemplative life, all the while retaining their jobs. Thus was born a secular institute, which he set up on the property of Our Lady of Life in Venasque, in the diocese of Avignon. The aim of this institute was the original Carmelite ideal, realized by the prophet Elijah: «To closely join a contemplative and apostolic life in the world, by permeating every apostolate with mental prayer, so as to be the witness through word and life to the living God.» Each of these women began by spending a year in the solitude of Our Lady of Life; she then could take the spirit of contemplation into her social circle, while trying diligently to be a model of professional ability.

Father Marie-Eugène deeply rooted his disciples in the mental prayer of faith, this simple looking at God that leads one to discover His Merciful Love. Struck by this phrase from Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus: «I beg You to look down with Your divine look on a great number of little souls, I beg You to choose a host of little victims worthy of Your love» (Ms. B 5 v. 5, 42), he explained, «I would like you to go where we (religious) cannot go, on the boulevards, in the middle of the sea, in every environment.» The organization wanted itself to be an antidote to the practical atheism of modern times: «In a world that has lost a sense of God, that is perhaps losing this sense more and more, the Institute has its place, it has its mission all the more urgent because atheism is taking more victims: atheism does not make us flee; on the contrary, it calls us, because it calls for a testimony, the testimony that affirms the existence of God and of His rights.» Indeed, the more the world forgets God, the more it is necessary to give witness to God. Mankind is hungry for God without knowing it, and it is groping for Him in the darkness. «Let us be anxious to lead them to God!» the priest loved to say. But the conditions of this apostolate are those of «the struggle between two ferments, between two kingdoms, that of God and that of Satan. For the divine ferment to triumph, it is necessary that it be the strongest and invincible in each apostle... This overwhelming ferment must be capable not only of keeping up the fight, but of strengthening itself to continue this fight... If it were otherwise, the first meeting would be presumptuous and would lead to a defeat of the kingdom of God, and perhaps to the loss of the apostle.»

Read whole post......

Twelve Sunday after Pentecost - Instructions on the love of neighbour - click to read

"The Landscape in Sabine Hills with Good Samaritan" by Friedrich Preller the Elder

Read whole post......

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Immaculate Heart of Mary - click to read more

Spiritual Bouquet: Father, I will that where I am, they also whom Thou hast given Me may be with Me; in order that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me. (St John 17:24)

In 1917 the Mother of God appeared six times at Fatima in Portugal. After showing the three children a vision of hell, She informed Lucy of Fatima, the oldest of the visionaries: “You have seen hell, where the souls of poor sinners will go. To save them, the Lord desires to establish devotion to My Immaculate Heart in the world.” The Saviour Himself, when He appeared to Lucy again on December 10, 1925 with His Mother, indicating with His hand the Heart of His Mother, said: “Have pity on this gentle Heart, continually martyred by the ingratitude of men.”
Christians have long known that at the very origin of the world God threatened the ancient enemy, disguised under the form of a serpent, that the Woman he had seen in vision with Her Son, the Son of God, would eventually crush his head. “I Myself,” God told him, “will place an irreducible enmity between Her race and your race.” Thus Satan was informed at that moment, after he had just seduced the first human couple, that in the end, it would be this other Woman and Her Son, who would vanquish him. He had refused to honor the incarnate Son of God in His future human nature, inferior to his own angelic nature; his pride would not permit him to abase himself to serve God in that form. Christian hope has been nourished ever since by the prospect of this victory; nonetheless, the Mother of God wanted the twentieth century from its early years to understand that the time was drawing near when Her Immaculate Heart would triumph, as She explicitly said at Fatima, but that it was only through Her, uniquely by Her maternal aid, that this victory could be attained.
Mary is indispensable to the sanctification of each soul. This is the great truth which in the Latter Times must be better understood. For that purpose, consecration to Her Immaculate Heart was given us at Fatima, as the means She Herself desired, with the daily Rosary. Devotion to Her Heart is not new in the Church; Saint John Eudes, Saint Louis Mary de Montfort, how many others, in truth all the Saints have loved the Heart of their Mother in Heaven. But to know Her well, each one must individually establish the relationship of a child with its loving Mother. For this purpose She asks for our personal and effective consecration to Her Immaculate Heart. The child of Mary turns to Her constantly for counsel, force and courage, gentleness and humility in the affairs of daily life. Many prayers of consecration to Mary exist, in particular that of Montfort; but one may use any simple formula such as the following: “Blessed and beloved Mother, I am Your child and I wish to belong to You; I give and consecrate myself forever to Your Immaculate Heart, renewing in Your hands my baptismal promises, and I ask You to ratify my filial homage to Your Immaculate Heart — that of my person and my activities, my temporal and spiritual goods, my resolution to have frequent recourse to Your maternal and merciful intercession. And, insofar as it is within my scope to do so, I offer You also my family, my homeland and all of humanity.”

Source: "Pourquoi me consacrer au Coeur Immaculée de Marie?" by H. Desmullier, Montfort Father (Bonne Presse: Paris, 1955).


Read whole post......

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Feast of St Bernard, Abbot of Clairvoux and Doctor of the Church - click to read

Today is the Feast of St Bernard and asking his intercession we may pray today for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. St Bernard's disciple became Pope Eugenius III and fulfilling his request, St Bernard composed for him the book "On Considerations" - the most beautiful book ever written on the Papacy.

....Innocent II died in 1143. His two successors, Celestin II and Lucius, reigned only a short time, and then Bernard saw one of his disciples, Bernard of Pisa, Abbot of Three Fountains, and known there-after as Eugenius III, raised to the Chair of St. Peter. Bernard sent him, at his own request, various instructions which compose the Book on Considerations - click to read online, the predominating idea of which is that the reformation of the Church ought to commence with the sanctity of its head. Temporal matters are merely accessories; the principal are piety, meditation, or consideration, which ought to precede action. The book contains a most beautiful page on the papacy, and has always been greatly esteemed by the sovereign pontiffs, many of whom used it for their ordinary reading...

Read whole post......

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Meditation for the Octave of Assumption - Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth

Pope Pius XII proclaimed in October 1954 the feast of Mary Queen (May 31). As in the case of all great privileges of Mary, her Queenship flows from her divine Motherhood as from its source: because Christ her Son is King, Mary is Queen. St Paul describes very beautifully the Kingship of Christ. "Rendering thanks to the Father, who had made us worthy to share the lot of the saints in light. He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have our redemption, the remission of our sins. he is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of every creature. For in Him all things were created, things visible and things invisible, whether Thrones, or Dominations, or Principalities, or Powers. All things have been created through and unto him, and he is above all creatures, and in him all things hold together" (Col. 1, 12-17)

Thus it is clear that in the divine plan of creation the God-man is the first and essential member, around whom everything else revolves, to whom everything else is subordinated, and by whom everything else is explained.

Once only in the Gospel narrative does Christ refer expressly to the nature of His Kingdom. Then it is to declare solemnly before the Roman Governor, Pilate, that His Kingship is not of this world. By this Christ meant that His Kingship is not of a transitory political type, but eternal and supra-political. In other words the Kingship of Christ is not concerned with temporal but ultimate values that is, the truths and precepts of the moral law and of religion. It is by accepting these truth and by carrying out these precepts that man attains his final end.

In this Kingship of Christ mary participates as His Mother. In the 12th Chapter of the Apocalypse we read: "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon was under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." The Church applies this verse to the Blessed Virgin. There is no doubt that the Fathers understood this verse as picturing the Church of the Old and New Covenants. The beams of the divine glory clothe her; the moon is beneath her feet; she is crowned with a crown of twelve stars, and she must bring forth Christ to the world. "Who is this Woman? Clearly the Mother of the Messiah, but also of a vast posterity which endures to the end of time. She is, then, as symbolic as the Dragon, and is comparable with the 'Jerusalem on high, the Mother of us all' (Gal 4:26): Jerusalem, whether terrestrial or ideal, especially as representing the whole people of God, was constantly figured as a woman, mother of the Holy People from whom, in Old Testament times, the Messiah was to come" (Cath. Commentary on Holy Scripture). Then St John thinks of the "primeval serpent", he remembers Eve: The Woman becomes the Second Eve, and so we have the series - the Mother of the Messiah: the Universal Eve: Jerusalem and the people: the Church and Mary.
The first chapter of Genesis begins the story of Christ's Kingdom on earth. Satan, having failed in heaven, succeeds in getting newly created man to rebele against God and so gains mastery over the human race. But, by reason of his weaker nature, the malignity of man's sin was far less than that of Satan and his followers, and so, at the very moment of the fall, God promises man ultimate deliverance from the power of Satan at the hands of "the woman and her seed". How this deliverance was effected is recorded in the Gospel story, and enlarged upon in this book. The rightful King appears among His people, and by accepting death freely and in their name at the hands of the powers of darkness, satisfies the divine justice and breaks Satan's power over man: "Now is the judgment of the world; now will the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth (i.e. crucified), will draw all things to myself (John 12: 31-32). By this sacrifice of Himself Christ merited for all His followers the power to triumph over the devil. This Our Lord tells us: "I was watching Satan fall as lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the might of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you" (Luke 10:18-19).
Christ, therefore, is King by double title, by hereditary right and by conquest. And just as Mary participated in Christ's hereditary title of King as His Mother, so also she participates in His title of King by conquest because she took an active part in that victory over Satan by which the world was redeemed.

The doctrine underlying the Queenship of Mary is not a new one. Nor id the title "Qoeen" given to Mary a new one. For centuries Mary has been invoked as Queen in the Litany of Loreto. Why then has the Church seen it fit to proclaim solemnity the Queenship of Mary in our day? The Pope gave the answer to this on the occasion of the proclamation of the new feast . The institution of the new liturgical feats of the Queenship of Mary is intended to throw into special relief that particular aspect of Christian truth that is best adapted to remedy the peculiar evils that afflict the present generation, and to direct this generation in the way of the salvation it so eagerly seeks.

This has always been the custom of the Church. The Church defined the doctrine of the Assumption of Our Lady - a doctrine that has always been held by the Universal Church, but whose solemn definition was intended not merely to gibe glory to the Mother of God, but also to recall to a generation steeped in materialism one of the most fundamental truths of Christianity, namely, the immortal destiny of man, soul and body. So also the Feast of the Queenship of Mary intended to remind man of the existence of an authority which penetrates to the very interior of man's nature as man, which touches him in his profound essence in that part of man that is spiritual and immortal. Further it proposes to the world one to whom all may go confidently for guidance and help in these perilous times when the unity and peace of mankind as a whole, and the very sources of life itself, are in danger. If only she be asked, Mary will confound the evil work of the enemy of mankind, who envies in man the peace he himself has lost. She will give light to the world's rulers to guide their people in the way of justice and peace, for she is the Seat of Wisdom to whom the Church applies the inspired words: "By me Kings reign and lawgivers decree just things. By me princes rule, and the mighty decree justice" (Prov. 8:15-16).

Read whole post......

Meditation for the Octave of Assumption - The Coronation of Mary in Heaven

"Who could form an adequate idea of the resplendent spectacle enacted on this day, as the Queen of Universe enters Heaven? Who can describe the veneration and enthusiasm with which the heavenly hosts come forth to receive her and the anthems of praise with which she was escorted to her glorious heavenly throne? What love glowed in the eyes of her Divine Son, what benevolence lighted up His Face, what Divine tenderness was apparent in His embraces as he welcomed His mother and elevates her above all the other creatures of His Land? He received her with such honour as alone was worthy of the dignity of such a mother. He adorns her with glory, as only a Divine Son could grant her" (St Bernard, First Sermon on Assumption.)

Our Lady, in order of nature, is lower than the Angels; in the order of grace she is higher. Man has been made a little lower than the angels: yet the Son of Man, who is God, had a human mother, and her the Angels venerate. The eternal Son places upon His Mother's brow the crown of Heavenly Queenship. The real glowy and greatness of Mary is revealed: "A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars upon her head."

Mary is Queen of Angels, because she is more glorious than they: Queen of Patriarchs and Prophets, because they were sent in remote expectation of her: Queen of Apostles, as having not merely announced the glad tidings of Salvation, but as having brought us the Saviour: Queen of Confessors, having given greater proof of fortitude: Queen of Virgins while surpassing them in the splendour of her purity: Mary is Queen of all Saints.

Text after "Marian Shrines in the Holy Land" by Fr Hoade, OFM, 1958 edition

Read whole post......

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Feast of St Emygdius, Bishop and Martyr

Today is the feast of St Emygdius, who by God's grace had great power over evil spirits, destroyed many idols and converted hundreds of heathen in ancient Rome. In our difficult and dark times we need the intercession and help of Saints like Emygdius, who is venerated and commemorated in the Traditional Carmelite Breviary.

Emygdius was born in Treves [Germany] of a noble Frank family. In his twenty-third year he embraced the faith of Christ in spite of opposition of his parents who were idolaters, and this faith he steadfastly professed. He lived with three disciples, Euplus, Germanus and Valentinus. He scorned human pleasures, and thus he applied himself the more entirely to divine things. Fired with a burning love of the neighbour, he journeyed to Rome in order to bring about the salvation to many souls, and he was there received as a guest, in the Island of the Tiber, where he cured, by baptism, the daughter of his host, who had been ill for five years of an incurable disease. A little later he opened the eyes of a blind man, in the presence of the people by the sign of the Cross. Thereupon the crowd, thinking that he was the son of Apollo, carried him off by force to the Temple of Aesculapius. he there declared himself the servant of Christ, and by calling upon Christ's name he restored to health a great number of sick persons, who were vainly beseeching the help of the idol. Emygdius tore down the altars, and having broken in pieces the statue of Aesculapius, he cast it into the Tiber. These acts, and the conversion of thirteen hundred of the heathen, which followed, together with that of the priests of Aesculapius, enraged Posthumius Titanus, the Prefect of City. Emygdius, by the counsel of an angel, escaped from his threats, and betook himself to the Pontiff, Saint Marcellus, by whom he was consecrated Bishop, and sent to Ascoli.
On his way thither Emygdius converted a multitude of persons to Christ by the many miracles which he wrought. The demons, whose wailing issued from the idols and filled the temples upon his arrival at Ascoli, declared a traveller to be the cause of their distress. The people were aroused, and sought to slay him, whereupon Polymius, the Governor, who was brought out by the tumult, called Emygdius to him, and in a long fruitless discourse he urged him to worship Jupiter and the goddess Angaria, the patroness of Ascoli. He even promised him as a reward the hand of his daughter Polisia, whom Emygdius converted to Christ and baptized on the spot. Her baptism was followed by that of sixteen hundred men, the Saint having drawn, by a miracle, an abundance of water from the rock. Thrown into fury by these events, Polymius cut off the head of the holy Bishop, whereupon the body, wonderful to relate, stood erect, and , bearing in its hands the head which had been cast upon the ground, carried it to the Oratory, a disctance of three hundred feet. it was removed thence to the principal church, where it is honoured by the people of Ascoli, as well as by a multitude of people from other parts of [Italy]. The blessed death of Emygdius took place during the persecution of Diocletian.

O God! who hast adorned the Blessed Emygdius, Thy Martyr and Bishop, with victory over idols, and with the splendor of miracles; mercifully grant that, through his mediation, we may deserve to conquer the deceits of evil spirits, and to shine by our virtue. Through our Lord.

Text's excerpts after 'Saints of Carmel - Proper Offices of the Saints Granted to the Barefoot Carmelites' 1896 edition

Read whole post......

Monday, August 17, 2009

Meditation fot the Octave of Assumption - Triumphs of Mary, Dormition, Assumption and Coronation of Our Blessed Mother

Mary had various triumphs - triumphs of faith, of love and mercy, endurance, and glory. And in God's providence they led up one to the other, one a preparation for the next, to the culmination - the glorius Assumption into Heaven.
Her first triumph was in Bethlehem. She had believed the word of the Lord, the word Gabriel had brought to her at Nazareth. Faith had triumphed, the Saviour of the world was born. Mary's heart that night was making melody with the angels of God on High: Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Her second triumph was of faith too. Her glory was that the Divinity of her Son was made evident in His public life. The crowds thronged to hear Him: they followed Him, forgetting rest and food. He healed the sick; He cast out devils and they proclaimed Him Christ, the Son fo God. He raised the dead to life; He forgave sin.
All these wonderful things Mary saw, and this triumph of hers lasted for three years, andd it strengthened her for the next triumph - the triumph over a mother's heart, the triumph of love and mercy over sinners.
Calvary is the next scene of Mary's triumph. She offered Him up a Sacrifice for sin, through pity for us poor sinners. She stands there the Queen of Martyrs. As the soul transcends the body, so the sword-thrust, that pierced her soul, was more agonizing than any suffering of the martyrs. The shadow of the cross had been hovering over her since the child was born. At last the hour has come, foreseen for three and thirty years. She gave up her Divine Son and took us for her children in His place. What a bad bargain, says one of the Fathers of the Church.
It is over. As Mary had partaken of the suffering of the Cross, justly did she participate in the triumph of the redeemer in His Resurrection and Ascension.
The Gospel is silent. No mention of Mary, the Immaculate, on easter morning. That was Mary's humility. But we reverently congratulate her on the joy of Easter, for surely she was the first to behold her Son, risen, glorious, immortal. What a triumph! That one moment of ecstatic joy more than compensated the Mother of Sorrows for all she had gone through during the terrible days of the Passion.
All too quickly pass the forty days, and from Mount of Olives Jesus ascended into heaven. During these wonderful days Mary heard from Jesus Himself many of the pains of the passion and these in time, she passed on to the Evangelists. Would it not have not been a beautiful ending, if Mary had been taken up to heaven with her Son? There was another triumph she had to pass through first - the triumph of patience. The infant Church needed a mother. It needed her to tell them all these words that she had kept in her heart. The Evangelists needed her for the Gospel records. Her example, influence, guidance, presence, was needed, and she gave for over twenty years without a word. And yet what a bleak, dreary world to her it must have been when Jesus had gone: She had exchanged God for man.

Mary's Life after The Death of Christ
After the Scene on Calvary Mary is mentioned only once: "All these were persevering with one mind in prayer, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren" (Acts 1, 14).
After that we must fall back on the apocryphal writings, the value of which we have already discussed. We have also many traditions attached to sites in Jerusalem. Such traditions are not negligible: traditions are not the product of legends, but give rise to them.
It was in the tradition of Jerusalem that Mary after the Ascension did what became known as "the Holy Circuit", a pilgrimage in Jerusalem to the holy places connected with the life of Christ. This traditional pilgrimages was adopted by the Franciscans when they took up residence in the city in 1335. Once, as Mary was coming down the Mount of Olives, she was met by the Archangel Gabriel, who gave her a palm in token of her triumphal entry into heaven. This was three days before her death. The place is still known as et Tamir, the Palm Tree, and the ruins of a church were still visible there until 1882.

Age of Mary
We know from tradition that Mary lived with St John beside the place of the Last Supper and died there in the place known as the Dormition.

We have no means of determining the afe of Mary. The Franciscans have for centuries recited the Franciscan Crown, which consists of seventy-two Hail Marys in honour of the seventy-two years of her life. This was revealed to a novice of the order. On the other hand St John undoubtedly remained in Jerusalem as long as Mary lived: "From that hour, the disciple took her to his own [house]" (John 19:27). After Pentecost, John appears with Peter in Jerusalem (Acts 3) and then in Samaria (Acts 8:14). When Paul goes to Jerusalem in 49 AD to attend the council of the Apostles he finds John there (Gal. 2:9; Acts 15). After this, we do not find him any longer in Palestine; probably he left by the year 57; for when Paul returns to Jerusalem he makes no mention of him (Acts 21). Many famous authors accept this as the date of John's departure from Jerusalem. If Mary, as commonly believed was sixteen at the birth of Christ, she was seventy-two in the year 56AD.

Death of Mary
On the third day after meeting with the Archangel Gabriel, when Apostles forewarned, have arrived, a Sunday, Mary dies: Jesus receives her soul which He consigns to Michael. Jesus ordered the burial of Mary in Gethsemane. Having placed the body in the Gethsemane, it was transported to paradise by angels, where it was reunited with the soul. It would take many pages to defend the tradition of Jerusalem over Ephesus as the place of Mary inhabitation and death, and it is not the point of this meditation. However, it may be appropriate to mention the revelations of Bl Catherine Emmerich regarding the house of Mary located in Ephesus are the main source of this supposition, not apocryphal writings. The date of Mary's death is 21 Tobi (January). Yet the fact remains that we must wait until the 7th century, before the Patriarch Modestus explicitly locates the death of Mary on Mount Sion, although it was undoubtedly the firm belief of the Church of Jerusalem that Mary after the Ascension of Jesus lived and died in the vicinity of the Cenacle. When this holy place, fortunately saved in the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70AD and by Hadrian in 135, was included in the great Basilica, Hagia Sion, built by the Patriarch John (388-417) together with the sacred memories of the Last Supper and the Descend of the Holy Ghost, was included also the memory of the Death of the Blessed Virgin, which little by little was localized in a certain part of the Basilica. The Patriarch Sophronius (634-638) successor to Modestus, in a hymn written in 603-604 records "the Stone on which the Mother of God lay in her last moments," and the site is marked on the plan of Arculf (670). This sacred edifice so eulogized by St John of Damascus (748) fell into ruins in 966 and remained so until the arrival of Crusaders. Their devotions to the Mother of Christ explains why in their reconstruction of the Basilica the remembrance of the Dormition prevailed over all the other memories and the official title of the church was "St Mary on the Mt Sion" . The Chapel which was believed to be the room of Mary, was in the northern nave, and on the dome was the inscription "Exaltata est sancta Dei Genitrix super Choros Angelorum." The Church was served by the Canons Regulars of St Augustine, but the Chapter came under the Patriarch, who with his clergy went there in procession from the Holy Sepulchre ro celebrate the feast on August 15.

In 1187, Saladin took Jerusalem from the Crusaders and the Basilica was handed over to the native clergy. Damaged in 1219, it was completely destroyed in 1244.
When in 1335 the Franciscans took up residence beside the Cenacle, which they repaired, they also hoped to rebuilt the Church of St Mary. They never succeeded in building anything except a small Chapel, which the authorities ordered to be destroyed on May 23, 1490. And when the Franciscans were finally expelled from the Cenacle, in 1553, the site remained a ruin.
The place was generally called by the local inhabitants Nijaha, i.e. lamentations or bewailing of the dead, whereas Europeans called it "Dormitio or Koimesis" (Sleeping).
In the year 1898, during his visit to Jerusalem, Emperor William II was given the site as a present by Sultan Abdul Hamid, and he handed it over to the German Catholics under the administration of the Archbishops of Cologne. the foundation stone of the present Church of the Dormition was laid on October 7 1900, and on the March 21, 1906 the Shrine was given into the charge of the Benedictine Monks of Beuron. The Church was consecrated on April 10, 1910, and on August 15, 1926, the Benedictine Priory was raised to the dignity of an Abbey. The Church was badly damaged during the fighting in 1948, and years after that the Israeli soldiers were still occupying the part of the church. The whole building, church, monastery, and belfry, is very massive and presents an appearance of a medieval fortress. the upper church, in the apse, floor and side chapels, is beautifully decorated with mosaics and bronzes. The crypt, of two concentric circles is both beautiful and devout. In the centre is the altar of the Dormition and before the altar lies the statue of the Virgin in the sweet sleep of death.

Excerpts from "Marian Shrines of the Holy Land" by Fr Hoade, OFM

Read whole post......

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost - click to read

Read whole post......

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Feast of St John Berchmans - click to read

Today is the Feast of St John Berchmans, SJ who is the patron of the young. In these day young Catholics need very much good role models in particularly in spiritual life. He died when he was only 22, and much like St Terese of Lisieux, was the kind of saint who performed ordinary actions with extraordinary perfection. He is excellent role model for young Catholics. Let us pray and recommend them all to his intercession.

St John Berchmans Holy Card, he is often depicted holding his crucifix, his book of rules, and his rosary.

St John Berchmans shrine in St Ignazio Church, Rome (picture by Fr Lawrence, OP)

Close up of his tomb

..."St. John Berchmans was born in Belgium in the times of war between the Catholics and Protestants of the Netherlands. He was the oldest of five children and his parents watched him growing and richly endowed by God with kind, gentle and affectionate nature. He was but nine years of old when his mother was stricken with a long and serious illness. John would pass several hours each day by her bedside, and console her with his affectionate though serious, words. Later, when he lived with some other boys at their little parish school dormitory, he would undertake more than his share of the domestic work, selecting by preference the more difficult occupations. If he was loved by his comrades, he repaid their affection by his kindness, without, however, deviating from the dictates of his conscience. It was noticed even that he availed himself discreetly of his influence over them to correct their negligences and to restrain their frivolous conversation. Eager to learn, and naturally endowed with a bright intellect and a retentive memory, he enhanced the effect of these gifts by devoting to study whatever time he could legitimately take from his ordinary recreation.

It was obvious to his parents of to their parish priest, Fr M. Emmerick, that the Lord may work wonders in the soul of this child. When he was hardly seven years old, he was accustomed to rise early and serve two or three Masses with the greatest fervour. He attended religious instructions and listened to Sunday sermons with the deepest recollection, and made pilgrimages to the sanctuary of Montaigu, a few miles from Diest, reciting the rosary as he went, or absorbed in meditation. As soon as he entered the Jesuit college at Mechlin, he was enrolled in the Society of the Blessed Virgin, and made a resolution to recite her Office daily. He would, moreover, ask the director of the sodality every month to prescribe for him some special acts of devotion to Mary. On Fridays, at nightfall, he would go out barefooted and make the Stations of the Cross in the town. Such fervent, filial piety won for him the grace of a religious vocation. Towards the end of his rhetoric course, he felt a distinct call to the Society of Jesus. His family was decidedly opposed to this, and on 24 September, 1616, he was received into the novitiate at Mechlin. After two years passed in Mechlin he made his simple vows, and was sent to Antwerp to begin the study of philosophy. Remaining there only a few weeks, he set out for Rome, where he was to continue the same study. After the journeying three hundred leagues on foot, carrying a wallet on his back, he arrived at theRoman College, he studied for two years and passed on to the third year class in philosophy in the year 1621. One day early in August of that same year he was selected by the prefect of studies to take part in a philosophical disputation at the Greek College, at that time under the charge of the Dominicans. He opened the discussion with great perspicuity and erudition, but, on returning to his own college, he was seized with a violent fever of which he died, on 13 August, at the age of twenty-two years and five months, and numerous miracles were attributed to him at the time of his funeral and his feast is on 26 November.

He was beatified by Pope Pius IX in 1865 and canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1888."

Text based mainly on Catholic Encyclopedia entry.

Read whole post......

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Eco-Nazism - now exposed hatred to unborn and humanity - click to read

Infamous late-abortionist, 'psycho-doctor', Warren Hern, expressed in his last paper chilling environmentalism-based hatred against humanity and unborn, I would call it eco-Nazism. This is how this man, who call himself a 'physician', regards growing human populations:

"From the point of view of a physician, the expanding, invasive, colonizing urban form with highly irregular borders resembles a malignant lesion," wrote Hern. "Malignant neoplasms have at least four major characteristics: rapid, uncontrolled growth; invasion and destruction of adjacent normal tissues (ecosystems); metastasis (distant colonization); and de-differentiation."

Hern continued that "death of the host organism in a cancer occurs between the 37th and 40th doubling of the cell population" and then drew a comparison to the expansion of human populations (32.5 times by 1999) and energy consumption (36 times since 1999), adding that energy consumption is projected to increase 57 percent between 2004 to 2030.

Hern argued that expanding urban communities would "alter the biosphere to the point that it can no longer support large, oxygen-consuming organisms" reaching a point at which in "the point of view of human survival, the host organism will have died."

"If this hypothesis is correct, that urban settlements of all kinds, and cities in particular, are malignant lesions or phenomena on the planet Earth, the conclusion of this process may not be far in the future," wrote Hern."....Back in 1998, LSN reported that Hern had submitted another similar paper to the American Anthropological Association comparing human beings to malignant cancers. Hern explained to the AAA that this belief had motivated him for over 20 years, about the same time that he began his abortion practice in Boulder, Colorado.

After the recent murder of Kansas abortionist Dr. George Tiller by a mentally unstable anti-abortion activist, Hern remains the last full-time US abortionist carrying out very late-term third-trimester abortions even as far as 36 weeks.

With growing pro-euthanasia propaganda in the media we can imagine futuristic horrors of compulsory counselings for elderly to end their lives in euthanasia clinics. It has been already exposed that new Obama Health care plan covers this. SOme argue there is no such plans, but in reality any legislation can be improved, amendments added etc. The word 'may' could be change into 'must'. Euthanasia Bill was recently rejected by the House of Lord in UK, but pro-euthanasia supporters will not stop. Beware of eco-Nazism! This is what it is all about - new form of Nazism under cover of environmentalism. Over-population is a myth, someone used mathematics and said that the whole of 6.5 billion of human population, could easily populate the state of Texas, living in relatively small but decent family houses with front and back yards.

How the Christian world is mislead and cheated by socialists and secularist atheists, please read 'Time to go, Grampa' - by Peter Buchanan

Details of totalitarian Medicare Obamacare plan HERE

Pressure to die for elderly and disabled HERE

Let us offer our prayers in the hands of Our Lady begging mercy of God Almighty for us all.

Read whole post......

Monday, August 10, 2009

Catechism on the Prerogatives of the Pure Soul

Nothing is so beautiful as a pure soul. If we understand this we could not lose our purity...Purity comes from Heaven; we must ask for it from God. If we ask for it, we shall obtain it. We must take great care not to lose it. We must shut our heart against pride, against sensuality, and all the other passions, as one shuts the doors and windows that nobody may be able to get in. What a joy is it to the guardian angel to conduct a pure soul! My children, when a soul is pure, all Heaven looks upon it with love! Pure souls will form a circle wound Our Lord. The more pure soul we have been on earth, the nearer we shall be to Him in Heaven. When the heart is pure, it cannot help loving, because it has found the source of love, which is God. "Happy", says Our Lord, "are the pure in heart, because they shall see God!"
My children, we cannot comprehend the power that a pure soul has over the good God. It is not he who does the will of God, it is God who does his will. Look at Moses, that very pure soul. When God would punish the Jewish people, he said to him: Do not pray for them, because My anger must fall upon upon this people; He let Himself be entreated; he could not resist the prayer of that pure soul. O my children, a soul that has never been stained by that accursed sin obtains from God whatever it wishes!
Three things are wanted to preserve purity - the presence of God, prayer, and the Sacraments. Another means is the reading of holy books, which nourishes the soul. How beautiful is a pure soul! Our Lord showed one to St Catherine; she thought it so beautiful that she said, "O Lord, if I did not know that there is only one God, I should think it was one." The image of God is reflected in a pure soul, like the sun in the water. A pure soul is the admiration of the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity. The Father contemplates His work: There is My creature! ....The Son, the price of His Blood; the beauty of an object is shown by the price it has cost...The Holy Spirit dwells in it, as in a temple.
We also know the value of our soul by the efforts the devil makes to ruin it. Hell is leagued against it - Heaven for it. Oh, how great it must be! In order to have an idea of our dignity, we must often think of Heaven, Calvary, and Hell. If we could understand what it is to be the child of God, we could not do evil - we should be like angels on earth. To be children of God, oh, what a dignity!
It is a beautiful thing to have a heart, and, little as it is, to be able to make use of it in loving God. How shameful it is that man should descend so low, when God has placed him so high! When the angels had revolted against God, this God who is so good, seeing that they could no longer enjoy happiness for which He had created them, made man, and this little world that we see to nourish his body. But his soul required to be nourished also; and as nothing created can feed the soul, which is a spirit, God willed to give Himself for its Food. But the great misfortune is that we neglect to have to this divine Food, in crossing the desert of this life. Like people who die of hunger within sight of a well-provided table, there are some who remain fifty, sixty years, without feeding their souls.
Oh, if Christians could understand the language of Our Lord, who says to them, "Notwithstanding the misery, I wish to see near Me that beautiful soul which I created for Myself. I made it so great, that nothing can fill it but Myself. I made it so pure, that nothing but My Body can nourish it.
Our Lord has always distinguished pure souls. Look at St John, the well-beloved disciple, who reposed upon His breast. St Catherine was pure, and she was often transported into Paradise. When she died, angels took up her body, and carried it to Mt Sinai, where Moses had received the Commandments of the law. God has shown by this prodigy that a soul is so agreeable to Him, that it deserves that even the body which has participated in its purity should be buried by angels.
God contemplates a pure soul with love; he grants it all it desires. Hos could He refuse anything to a soul that lives only for Him, by Him, and in Him? it seeks God, and He shows Himself to it; it calls Him, and God comes; it is one with Him; it captivates his will. A pure soul is all-powerful with the gracious heart of Our Lord. A pure soul with God is like a child with its mother, it embraces her, and its mother returns its caresses and embraces.

Text after "The Little Catechism of the Cure of Ars"

Read whole post......

Sunday, August 09, 2009

St John Mary Baptist Vianney was born on 8 May 1786 in Dardilly and baptised on the same day. His parents, Matthieu Vianney and Marie Beluze, had six children, of whom John was the third. The Vianneys were traditional Catholics who helped the poor and gave hospitality to those in need. By 1790, the French Revolution forced many loyal priests to hide from the government in order to carry out the sacraments in their parish. The Vianneys continued attending Mass, even though it was illegal. In order to attend Mass, the Vianneys travelled to distant farms where they would pray in secret. In 1802, the Catholic Church was re-established in France, resulting in religious peace throughout the country. By this time, St John Vianney was concerned about his future vocation and longed for an education. He was 20 when his father allowed him to leave the farm to be taught at Father Balley's "presbytery-school" in the neighbouring village of Ecully. The school taught arithmetic, history, geography, and Latin. He struggled, especially with Latin, since his past education had been interrupted by the French Revolution. If it wasn't for Vianney's deepest desire to be a priest - and Father Balley's patience - he would have given up his struggle to continue.

In autumn of 1813, he was sent to major seminary at Lyons. At the end of his first term he left to be privately tutored by Fr Balley. He received minor orders and the subdiaconate on 2 July 1814, was ordained deacon in June 1815, and was ordained priest on 12 August 1815. He said his first Mass the next day, and was appointed assistant to Fr Balley.Shortly after the death of Father Balley, Jean-Marie Vianney was appointed pastor of the parish of Ars, a town of 230. As the pastor of Ars, Vianney realized that the Revolution's aftermath resulted in religious ignorance, due to many years of the destruction of the Catholic Church in France. At the time, Sundays in rural areas were spent in the fields working, or spent dancing and drinking in taverns. Vianney was astonished, especially since Sundays were meant to be reserved for religion. Vianney spent time in the confessional and gave homilies railing on blasphemy and dancing. If his parishioners did not give up dancing, he refused them absolution.Vianney came to be known internationally, and people from distant places began traveling to consult him as early as 1827. By 1855, the number of pilgrims had reached twenty thousand a year. During the last ten years of his life, he spent sixteen to eighteen hours a day in the confessional. Even the bishop forbade him to attend the annual retreats of the diocesan clergy because of the souls awaiting him yonder". He spent at least 11 or 12 hours a day in the confessional during winter, and up to 16 in the summer.

St John Vianney had a great devotion to St. Philomena. Vianney looked at her as his guardian and erected a chapel and shrine in honour of the saint. During May 1843, St John Vianney fell so ill he thought that his life was coming to its end. He asked St Philomena to cure him and promised to say 100 Masses at her shrine. Twelve days later, Vianney was cured and he attributed his cure to St Philomena.

St John yearned for the contemplative life of a monk, and four times ran away from Ars, the last time in 1853. He died on 4 August 1859 at age 73. Biographers recorded miracles performed throughout his life, obtaining money for his charities and food for his orphans; he also had supernatural knowledge of the past and future, and could heal the sick, especially children. On 3 October 1874 Pope Pius IX proclaimed him Venerable; on 8 January 1905, Pope Pius X declared him Blessed and proposed him as a model to the parochial clergy; in 1925 Pope Pius XI canonized him, and assigned 8 August as his feast day. This feast was inserted in the General Roman Calendar in 1928 with the rank of Double. He was made patron saint of parish priests in 1929. The rank was changed to that of third-class feast in 1960, and it is thus celebrated in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. In the ordinary form Vianney is commemorated by a memorial on 4 August.

In 1959, Pope John XXIII issued Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia, an encyclical on Vianney.

In honour of the 150th anniversary of Vianney's death, Pope Benedict XVI declared a year for priests, running from the feast of the Sacred Heart 2009-2010.

St John Vianney became internationally notable for his priestly and pastoral work in the parish of Ars because of the radical spiritual transformation of the community and its surroundings. Catholics attribute this to his saintly life, mortifications offered to God for the conversion of his flock and persevering ministry in the sacrament of confession.

ST John Vianney pray for us, that merciful God will grant us many holy priests for the restoration of His Church.

Read whole post......

Optional Memorial of St Benedicta of the Cross - click to read

Read whole post......

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost - click to read

As St John Vianney said in his Catechism on the Word of God:..."My children, I have remarked that there is no moment when people are more inclined to sleep than during the instructions....You will say, I am so very sleepy....If I were to take up a fiddle, nobody would think of sleeping: everybody would be roused, everybody would be on the alert. My children, you listen when you like the preacher; but is the preacher does not suit you, you turn him into ridicule...We must not think so much about the man. It is not the body that we must attend to. Whatever the priest may be, he is still the instrument that the good God makes use of to distribute His holy Word....My chidren, why are people so blind and so ignorant? Because they make so little account of the Word of God. There are some who do not even say a Pater and an Ave to beg of the good God the grace to listen to it attentively, and to profit well by it. I believe, my children, that a person who does not hear the Word as he ought, will not be saved; he will not know what to do to be saved..."

Read whole post......

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Feast of St John Vianney -click to read Catechism and Exhortation

Today is the feast of St John Vianney and day of Our Lady. St John had a great devotion and love for the Blessed Virgin. Let us read his Catechism on the Blessed Virgin.

The Father takes pleasure in looking upon the heart of the most Holy Virgin Mary, as the masterpiece of His hands; for we always like our own work, especially when it is well done. The Son takes pleasure in it as the heart of His Mother, the source from which He drew the Blood that has ransomed us; the Holy Ghost as His Temple. The Prophets published the glory of Mary before her birth; they compared her to the sun. Indeed, the apparition of the Holy Virgin may well be compared to a beautiful gleam of sun on a foggy day.
Before her coming, the anger of God was hanging over our heads like a sword ready to strike us. As soon as the Holy Virgin appeared upon the earth, His anger was appeased....She did not know that she was to be the Mother of God, and when she was a little child she used to say, "When shall I then see that beautiful creature who is to be the Mother of God?" The Holy Virgin has brought us forth twice, in the Incarnation and at the foot of the Cross; he is then doubly our Mother. The Holy Virgin is often compared to a mother, but she is much better still than the best of mothers; for the best of mothers sometimes punishes her child when it displeases her, and even beats it: she thinks she is doing right. But the Holy Virgin does not so; she is good that she treats us with love, and never punishes us. The heart of this good Mother is all love and mercy; she desires only to see us happy. We have only to turn to her to be heard. The Son has His justice, the Mother has nothing but her love. God has loved us so much as to die for us; but in the heart of Our Lord there is justice, which is an attribute of God, in that of the most Holy Virgin there is nothing but mercy. Her Son being ready to punish a sinner, Mary interposes, checks the sword, implores pardon for the poor criminal. "Mother", Our Lord says to her, "I can refuse you nothing. if Hell could repent, you would obtain its pardon".
The most Holy Virgin places herself between her Son and us. The greater sinners we are, the more tenderness and compassion does she feel for us. The child that has cost its mother most tears is the dearest to her heart. Does not a mother always run to the help of the weakest and the most exposed to danger? Is not a physician in the hospital most attentive to those who are most seriously ill? The Heart of Mary is so tender towards us, that those of all the mothers in the world put together are like a piece of ice in comparison to hers. See how good the Holy Virgin is! her great servant St Bernard used often to say to her, "I salute thee Mary." One day this good Mother answered him, "I salute thee, my son Bernard."
The Ave Maria is a prayer that is never wearisome. The devotion to the Holy Virgin is delicious, sweet, nourishing. When we talk on earthly subjects or politics, we grow weary; but when we talk of the Holy Virgin, it is always new. All the saints have a great devotion to our lady; no grace comes from Heaven without passing through her hands. We cannot fo into a house without speaking to the porter; well, the Holy Virgin is the portress of Heaven. When we have to offer anything to a great personage, we get it presented by the person he likes best, in order that the homage may be agreeable to him. So our prayers have quite a different sort of merit when they are presented by the Blessed Virgin, because she is the only creature who has never offended God. The Blessed Virgin alone has fulfilled the first Commandment - to adore God only, and love Him perfectly. She fulfilled it completely.
All that the Son asks of the Father is granted Him. All that the Mother asks of the Son is in like manner granted to her. When we have handled something fragrant our hands perfume whatever they touch; let our prayers pass through the hands of the Holy Virgin; she will perfume them. I think that at the end of the world the Blessed Virgin will be very tranquil: but while the world lasts, we drag her in all directions....The Holy Virgin is like a mother who has a great many children - she is continually occupied in going from one to the other.

Read whole post......

Friday, August 07, 2009

Feast of the Assumption blasphemed in Poland - click to read

To see the post, please, click on the title and scroll down 2-3 posts. Please, join this protest organized by America Needs Fatima blog, it requires to send already prepared email.

...."You are requested to join several groups in Poland who are protesting the pop singer Madonna’s blasphemous show “Sweet & Sticky,” which is scheduled for August 15, the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This is the same day when hundreds of thousands of Poles from all over the country converge upon the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, patroness of the nation.

What is worse is that one of the advertisements for the show reads:

"There's no room for two queens in this country!"

As Catholics, you and I cannot accept such an insult to Our Lady and the Catholic faith! No matter where in the world it is."...

Read whole post......

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Feast of Transfiguration - click to read

"And it came to pass, about eight days after these words, that he took Peter and James and John and went up into a mountain to pray. And whilst he prayed, the shape of his countenance was altered and his raiment became white and glittering. And behold two men were talking with him. And they were Moses and Elias, Appearing in majesty. And they spoke of his decease that he should accomplish in Jerusalem. But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep. And waking, they saw his glory and the two men that stood with him. And it came to pass that, as they were departing from him, Peter saith to Jesus: Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses; and one for Elias: not knowing what he said. And as he spoke these things, there came a cloud and overshadowed them. And they were afraid when they entered into the cloud. And a voice came out of the cloud; saying: This is my beloved son. Hear him. And whilst the voice was uttered Jesus was found alone. And they held their peace and told no man in those days any of these things which they had seen." (Luke 9:28-36)

The Council of Vienne in 1311 defined the thinking soul has the form of the body and contains the body. Dom Wiesenger explains "the human soul is not wholly submerge in the body nor completely enclosed by it, a thing which because of its higher degree of perfection is inconceivable, and that in consequence there is nothing to prevent it from reaching beyond the body in its effective power, despite the fact that with its substance it remains essentially in the body"...This semi-freedom of the soul from the body was present in Adam as a normal condition, which permitted him to hear "the voice of God walking in Paradise at the afternoon air (Gen 3:8) and to name animals, not only by abstraction from sensual perception, but "cognizing things intuitively by the light that God had infused into him at the time of his creation". It was presumably by the same kind of direct communication without the mediation of images, which is like that of the angels, that God counseled Adam and Eve. Scripture tells us, "He created in them the science of the spirit, He filled their heart with wisdom and showed them both good and evil...Moreover He gave them instructions and the law of life for an inheritance..And their eye saw the majesty of His glory and their ears heard His glorious voice, and He said to them: Beware of all iniquity!" (Ecclus 17:5-11). Unfortunately, they did not, and their fall from grace caused their souls to be weighed down by their bodies, depriving them and all their descendants of their original powers of intuition. This happened gradually, for even after his sin, Cain was still able to communicate directly with God, but since the Flood, the faculty became nearly extinct, existing only in exceptional souls. St Bernard says, "It was only through sin that reason was thus imprisoned in the senses; once man also had a spiritual eye that did not need the senses in order to know God, but this has now been clouded and darkened by sin and can only be cleansed for contemplation by asceticism." Another Benedictine and spiritual master, Dom Chapman, Abbot of Downside, was firmly persuaded that the supernatural contemplative prayer which goes by the name of "mysticism" is based on this natural human faculty, given that God always works in us according to our nature. As he put it, "The door to the unseen is connatural to integral nature as possessed by Adam, but filled up with lumber by original sin. But, in some souls there is a little light shining through, and if they blow out or shade their terrene candles and lamps [which is the work of Christian mortification], they begin to perceive this light. Once they use it, God can increase it and communicate with them in this new and higher way. Thus the door is a part of the perfection of human nature; the blocking of it is from the imperfection of our nature; the light through the door is supernatural, and all communication through it is from God - therefore a grace, a gift, and from the Holy Ghost". (Let us remember warnings of many Carmelite Saints and mystics, we should never desire spiritual favours for we may be deceived. Therefore, through prayer, mortifications or rather self-denials and pious life based on genuine charity, we may come closer to God.) It all starts with with "ordinary vocal prayer, which can continue for a lifetime, and is rather a part of that great transformation that must take place in man as he approaches his final perfection (when the soul is no longer subdued to a sensual in us but on the contrary). It begins at that point where the soul, still bound to the body, begins to function as a pure spirit, that is to say, 'independently 'of the body. It means therefore the spiritualization of man, a withdrawal within himself (or deep recollection) the attainment of independence by his purely spiritual part, the re-establishment of the spirit in its original sovereignty over the body" once naturally enjoyed by Adam..Didn't Our Lord tell us plainly, "Lo, the kingdom of God is within you?" (Luke 17:21). This is not pious metaphor, but a revelation of the very core of reality, to be found at the very center of our being....St John of the Cross exclaims in the Spiritual Canticle, "O souls created for these grandeurs and called thereto! What are you doing? Wherein do you occupy yourselves?"

Text adopted from "The Sixth Trumpet" by Solange Hertz

Read whole post......