Friday, July 31, 2009

Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola - click to read

It would be not enough words to praise the founder of the Society of Jesus. For centuries Jesuits served the Papacy and evangelized half of the world bringing Catholic faith to savages of Amerindia and Asia, faith bought at the price of blood of their Saints and martyrs. I hope and pray, one day they may return to their former glory - AMDG

Statue of St Ignatius lit for his Feast day in Il Gesu Church in Rome

2 Tim 2:8-10, 3:10-12.
Be mindful that the Lord Jesus Christ is risen again from the dead, of the seed of David, according to my gospel: Wherein I labour even unto bands, as an evildoer. But the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with heavenly glory. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patience, persecutions, afflictions: such as came upon me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra: what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me. And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.


Luke 10:1-9.

And after these things, the Lord appointed also other seventy-two. And he sent them two and two before his face into every city and place whither he himself was to come. And he said to them: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he send labourers into his harvest. Go: Behold I send you as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say: Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon him: but if not, it shall return to you. And in the same house, remain, eating and drinking such things as they have: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Remove not from house to house. And into what city soever you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick that are therein and say to them: The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.



Letter of St Ignatius with his signature.




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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Br Lawrence of the Resurrection, OCD - Spiritual maxims and prayers

Brother Lawrence was born Nicolas Herman in French Lorraine. He was not a learned man and served as a footman and a soldier before entering the Discalced Carmelites as a lay brother in 1666. The prayer of Br Lawrence was constant and simple. He found his converse with God as easily in his work among the pots and pans as in the chapel. He would console himself with some thoughts such as: "Let what may come of it, however many be the days remaining to me, i will do all things for the love of God." Thus in forgetting self he had in truth found God. He died in 1691 in Paris.


"O Lord, the sense of Thy love well-nigh overwhelms me. If it be Thy will.bestow these many tokens of Thy loving-kindness on those who know Thee not, to draw them to Thy service; for me it is enough to have the riches that faith brings in the knowledge of Thee. Yet forasmuch as I must not reject the favours of Thy bounteous Hand, accept my praises, Lord. And, I entreat, receive again these gifts, which Thou hast granted; for, O Lord, enlarge the chambers of my heart that I may find room for Thy love. Sustain me by Thy power, lest the fire of Thy love consume, me.
Lord, Thou knowest that it is not Thy gifts I seek, but Thee Thyself, and my heart will know no rest, till it has found Thee. O loving-Kindness so old and still so new, I have been too late of loving Thee."
"My God, I believe You are really present in my heart and see all that passes and will pass within me and in all creatures. What can I fear when I am with You? Do with me as You please, for I wish nothing but Yourself and to be all Yours."

"Your treasure, my God is like an infinite ocean, yet a little wave of feeling, passing with the moment, contents us. Blind as we are, we hinder you and stop the current of your graces. But when you find a soul permeated with a living faith, you pour your graces plenteously into it; they flow into the soul like a torrent, which after being forcibly stopped against its ordinary course, has found a passage, and spread its pent-up flood with great impetuosity. O Lord, grant that I may make it my only business to preserve always in your holy presence, keeping myself there in a simple attention and a most loving regard....in a silent and secret conversation of my soul with you. O Lord, I contemplate you as my Father, present in my heart; and there I adore you...keeping my mind in your holy presence and calling it back every time I surprise it wandering in distraction."

From Br Lawrence of the Resurrection: "Practice of the presence of God and Spiritual Maxims", selected from 'Drink of the Stream'




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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Feast of St Martha - click to read

The cult of St. Martha began about the year 1200. She was the person for whom Jesus was like family, and therefore, a powerful one in the presence of God. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen "the best part". In this way Our Lord gently reminds us the good prayer is proper nourishment for the soul. We can see Martha again at the tomb of her brother Lazarus, where she pronounces words of faith: "I know He will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus' answer was: "I am the resurrection and the life: whoever believes in me, though he should die, will come to life;...Do you believe this?" "Yes Lord", she replied, "I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God; he who is to come into the world." 

 


2 Cor. 10:17-18,11:1-2. But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commendeth himself is approved: but he, whom God commendeth. Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly! But do bear with me. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Luke 10:38-42.
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain town: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary. who, sitting also at the Lord's feet, heard his word. But Martha was busy about much serving. Who stood and said: Lord, hast thou no care that my sister hath left me alone to serve? Speak to her therefore, that she help me. And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, thou art careful and art troubled about many things: But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Novena prayer to St Martha
O glorious Saint Martha,
I have recourse to your protection and aid,
And as proof of my affection and faith
I promise faithfully to complete this novena.

Comfort me in my difficulties
And intercede for my family
With your intimate friend, Our Saviour,
That we may always hold God in our hearts
And be provided for in our necessities.

I beg your supplications
Especially in behalf of the favour
I ask of you in this novena.

(mention your request).

I ask you, Saint Martha,
By your intercession to help me
In overcoming all my difficulties
And to teach me to become great
In the Kingdom of Heaven
By becoming as humble as you
In this world. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be

Picture represent a copy of Tintoretto painting, depicting Christ in the house of Martha and Mary.






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Monday, July 27, 2009

Octave of the Feast of St Elijah

Devotion to Our Holy Father St. Elijah

Those to whom Elijah is little more than a myth, should visit Mount Carmel on July 20 — his Feast. They would behold a revelation. The chronicles of the Order give accounts of it each year, for it is a thing not of the past but of the present. The Holy Mountain is a teeming mass to celebrate Mar Elijah, as it is called. It is not by hundreds, but by thousands, the people are counted. For centuries, they have come on foot, on asses, on camels, on horseback, in carriages, and now, in automobiles! They come in caravans on pilgrimages, and singly on the eve, the pilgrims take their places nearest the Monastery, in every possible costume. The accounts are fascinating, and the ceremonies lend themselves to vivid description, but they would over-pass our space. The tone of the Feast is of innocent joy and profound veneration. There are two statues of Elijah, one in the original grotto under the Sanctuary, reached by steps from the Basilica, another exposed in the Basilica itself; they go from one to the other, praying and asking protection — the devotion to the Prophet enters into the very life of the people.



The good Fathers lend themselves with the utmost charity to all harmless local customs. The archives of the Monastery record many well-authenticated incidents of miraculous favors, and even of apparitions of the Prophet. Children are dedicated to him and offered to God in his grotto. There are always many baptisms. The Arabs of the Greek Catholic Rite wish their children baptised in that spot, and often defer the Sacrament until their yearly pilgrimage.

The closing of the Feast leaves a beautiful picture; the sun sets in the deep blue of the Mediterranien; the Mountain, so lovely in form that the Canticle says of the Bride, “Thy head is as Carmel,” is veiled in shadow, the moon rises over the olives, and it is night! The monks come out upon the terrace, and the traditional illumination takes place, the Monastery is outlined in fire, and as it fades away once more, the pilgrims in their turn continue the display far into the night.

Devotion to the Holy Prophet was brought into the West with the advent of Carmel, and probably no living man has so many adherents, followers, and devotees as he. East and West combine to do him homage: East, because of traditions which hang without dispersion, as clouds in summer, over those dreamy, non forgetting, changeless peoples; West, because of the diffusion of Carmel throughout every nation.

A volume might be filled, indeed many have been filled, with memories of Elijah. The Prophet had no home, but a solitary cave in the mountain, and divine hospitality has opened a home for him in every quarter of the world. And what more in keeping with the idea of divine economy than to believe that when an ambassador of God returns to earth after thousands of years, God should thus provide for him, and how better provide than by constituting him the father of innumerable children who everywhere claim him as their own; who treasure every detail of his life, and, what is most sublime, who offer the supreme Sacrifice many times each day in the humble cave wherein he dwelt, which has be come a Sanctuary enclosed in the Basilica of Carmel. There in the Tabernacle, he will find his Master awaiting him.

The Manual of the Carmelite Order contains prayers for a procession to be made in time of drought or flood, for the holy Prophet both opened and closed the heavens, and in many countries messages are sent to the Monasteries for prayers in either necessity. In May, 1779, there was a great drought in Rome and a Triduum was inaugurated at the four Carmelite Churches in the City. Prayers were said in honor of Elijah, and the Cardinal Vicar of Rome urged the faithful to follow the exercises. The people came in crowds to the statue of the Thaumaturgus, and from the first day the prayer was granted, rain began to fall, and the devotions were continued in thanksgiving. This is only one of many analogous cases.

The Holy Prophet is invoked against pestilence, to avert public calamities, to restore peace of soul, and to draw down the blessings of God on those aspiring to perfection, as is proved in innumerable cases among the Saints and Blessed of Carmel. He is also called upon to avert wars and a remarkable instance is given when Roger of Sicily had to sustain terrible combats against the Saracens. So immediate was the answer of his prayers, that the pious Count built a Church and Monastery in honor of Elijah and presented it to the Carmelites. Many churches, altars, and statues have been erected in his name; states and cities have chosen him for Patron.

This devotion is proper to these latter times when the crimes of men are such as to weary the Divine patience and draw down calamities upon the human race. It is well to seek the charitable aid of him “who has been chosen to appease the wrath of God.” (Ecclesiasticus) Then, too, each day brings us nearer the time when he will come among us with the last message of mercy and forgiveness, ere he sheds his blood for the Lord “in whose sight he stands.”

PRAYER TO ST. ELIJAH

Holy Prophet of God Elijah, Leader and Father of Carmelites, intercede
for us and for the salvation of all.

V: Pray for us, O holy Father Elijah.
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech You, O Almighty God, that we who believe that the
Blessed Elijah Your Prophet and our Father was wonderfully carried up in
a fiery chariot, may by his intercession be raised to the desire of
heavenly things and rejoice in the society of Your saints. We ask this
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

After: “Carmel, Its History, Spirit, and Saints”


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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Commemoration of St Ann, mother of the Blessed Virgin - click to read






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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Eight Sunday after Pentecost - click to read




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Saturday, Day of Our Lady

Inspiring thoughts of St Teresa about Queen of Heaven, Flower and Beauty of Carmel. Devotion to Our Lady is our legacy given to us by Christ from the Cross: "Behold, Thy mother" (John 19:27).


I saw our Lady in the greatest glory clothed in a white mantle; it seemed she was sheltering us all under it. I understood how high degree of glory the Lord would give to those living in this house (1:320)

He showed me [His Mother's] ascent to heaven, the happiness and solemnity with which she was received, and the place where she is...The glory my spirit experienced in seeing so much glory was magnificent. The effects of this favour were great (I:353)

I saw Christ who seemed to be receiving me with great love and placing a crown on my head and thanking me for what I did for His Mother (I:320)

[Jesus] told me that immediately after His resurrection he went to see our Lady because she then had great need and that the pain she experienced so absorbed and transpierced her soul that she did not return immediately to herself to rejoice in that joy...What must have been that transpiercing of the Blessed Virgin's soul (I:390-391).

Quotations after "Collected Works of St Teresa " Vol.I, 1976 ed and "Sermon in a Sentence"

If you are a Catholic lady who loves Blessed Mother of Our Lord, please read Requirement of modesty in dress" and make the pledge of modesty for your sake and those close to your heart, in reparation for the sins of immodesty and pride and remain under the protective wings of Our Lady: "Our Sorrowful and Immaculate Mother, who in all her apparitions is fully covered, is presented by her divine Son to us as the perfect model of modesty and purity. She is terribly saddened by the immodest and impure conduct so prevalent in our society. Our Lord speaks to us through His Blessed Mother in condemning the modern trends of uncovering the body. In fact, Our Lady came down from heaven to warn against this disrobing trend. Listen to what she revealed to little ten-year-old Jacinta of Fatima while she was dying in a hospital in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1920: "Certain fashions will be introduced which will offend Our Divine Lord very much. Those who serve God ought not to follow these fashions. Our Lord is always the same." And she also revealed to Jacinta that "the sins that lead most souls to hell are the sins of the flesh." Today's fashion is extremely immodest and very much of bad taste, not far from mere vulgarity. By keeping carefully modesty in apparel and conduct, Christian women give good example, are pleasing to God, and shine in the world like precious gems. Do not be discourage by dissapproving looks or ironical, sneering smiles - by resisting you practice your virtue. "St. John Chrysostom (347-407), the illustrious Bishop of Constantinople and one of the 32 doctors of the Church, had this to say about women who dress immodestly: "You carry your snare everywhere and spread your net in all places. You allege that you never invited others to sin. You did not indeed by your words, but you have done so by your dress and your deportment. "





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St. James the Greater, Apostle

Two of the twelve apostles were named James. St. James the Greater is the brother of the apostle St. John and son of Zebedee and Mary Salome. He is "the Greater" because he was called to the apostolate earlier than St. James the Less, the "Brother of Jesus" who led the Christians of Jerusalem until that city's destruction in 70 AD. A tradition in late antiquity held that the apostles divided up the world into territories to be evangelized, with Spain falling to St. James. In the ninth century a Galician monk announced that a star had led him to a field where he found the remains of the saint. This "field of the star" became the city of Compostela, one of the most important medieval pilgrimage destinations.

Many images of St. James the Greater represent him as a well-equipped medieval pilgrim with an ample cape, sturdy boots, a broad-brimmed hat, and a walking stick with a hook for hanging a drinking gourd. The hat will be adorned with a scallop shell, which is in the nature of a heraldic device for the St. James; Compostela pilgrims have used it to identify themselves for more than a thousand years. Less literal portraits of the pilgrim saint may show him in the kind of antique garb associated with apostles, with the walking stick as his one irreducible attribute. A second iconographic type presents St. James as Santiago Matamoros -- St. James the Moor Slayer. This image recalls Ramiro of Castile's victory over the Muslims at the Battle of Clavijo (ca. 844). Christian participants in the battle said they saw St. James riding with them, slaying the enemy on every side. Santiago Matamoros became the patron saint of Christian Spain, and an iconography developed in which the horseback saint raises his sword in the midst of the fray, with dead and dying Moors at his feet.

More details about St James the Greater and pilgrimages to Santiago di Compostela in Spain on the website of Confraternity of St James





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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Carmelite Saints and Devotion to Mary, Queen, Flower and Beauty of Carmel













St Teresa Margaret Redi

short biography

I venerate you a thousand times, O true Mother of my Lord Jesus Christ - Hail Mary.

I venerate you, O sovereign Queen of the Angels, Empress of the Universe - Hail Mary.

I venerate you, most kindly Virgin Mary, most worthy mother of my one Saviour Jesus - Hail Mary.

***





















The Martyrs of Compiegne.

story of the Martyrs

Fragment of the Prayer composed by Sister Julie Louise

...Holy Virgin, our Example
Of martyrs all the august Queen,
Do thou deign to sustain our great ardor
Cleanse our desires, make us all pure and clean!
Still protect sweet France, our dear country
From heaven's heights lend us all now thine aid
Let us all feel here in these places
The effects of all thy graces.
We, thine own, await thy power;
Submit, obey thee in this hour.
We'll die as did Jesus our God.
And our believing King.

Behold O divine Mary
The holy zeal of us, thine own.
Since it's God who us life had given
We accept this death as our own.
Reveal thyself as our tender mother,
And present us all to Jesus Christ
That, given life by His Spirit
We may, in taking leave of life;
With the fire of His great love
Join with all the saints above,
And sing, and sing, on heaven's shore,
All His goodness evermore!





















Bl Francis Palau y Quer

short biography

Model of the Church

Mary, Mother of God all pure,
Mary, Mother of Jesus
I am a perfect complete model
Of your loved
Holy Church
The communion of all the saints
the Virgin of Carmel

***

Mary

Mary, you are the standard, the model
The mirror, support, and firm strength
Of all virtues.















St Raphael Kalinowski

short biography

We entrust our task o our Most Holy Mother, theVirgin Mary, under her maternal care.
If there is anything to correct, let it be corrected once and for all; may the good that is done continue to increase. Toward this purpose, may God's love flood your souls along this earthly love, that is, to God Himself in eternity.




















Bl Mary of Jesus Crucified

short biography

At the feet of Mary, my mother dear
I came back to life.
Of all you who suffer, come to Mary,
At the feet of Mary I came back to life.
O you who work in this monastery,
Mary counts your steps and your labours.
Tell yourselves:
At the feet of Mary, I came back to life
You who dwell in this monastery,
Detach yourself from things of earth.
Your salvation and your life are at the feet of Mary
I dwell in the heart of my mother,
There I find my Beloved.
Am I then an orphan? In the bosom of Mary
I have found life.
Do not say I am an orphan:
I have Mary for Mother and God for Father.
The serpent, the dragon wished to catch me
And take my life;
But at the feet of Mary, I recovered my life.
Mary called me, and, in this monastery,
Will I remain forever.
At the feet of Mary
I came to life again.

***

In a vision Blessed Mary saw Jesus holding a three-year-old girl dressed as a Carmelite. She said to Our Lord: "This little one is fortunate, You loved her so much!"And Jesus replied: "Yes, I love her, see how I hold her in my arms; but she does not know it! Ah, if I were like that, I promise You that I would feel it and I would be happy! O little one, pray me who am so sinful. You are pure and I am dung. (This little one did not see me; she was looking at Jesus, and Jesus was looking only at her all the time.)






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Friday, July 17, 2009

Carmelite Saints and Devotion to Mary, Queen, Flower and Beauty of Carmel



Our Lady was helping me to prepare a wedding garment for my soul (S 118)

BEHOLD, YOUR MOTHER (ST JOHN 19:27)

Not being able to bear it any longer, I asked the Blessed Virgin to take my head in her hands and to support it (C 189)

The Blessed Virgin is my mother and little children ordinarily resemble their mama (C 275)

How great favour with which I begged her to be always my protector and to help me realize my dream, hiding me in the shadow of the virginal mantle! (C 277)

It is proper to speak of her prerogatives, but we must not content ourselves with that. We must do all we can to make her beloved of souls. (C 277)

[The Blessed Virgin] loves us truly as Jesus loves us. (C 278)

I feel that the Blessed Virgin was watching over me, that I was her child. Hence I found it necessary to call her "Mama", for this name seemed even more tender than that of my mother. (C 279)

When we ask a grace from the Blessed Virgin, we receive immediate help. have you not experienced this? Well, try it and you will see. (C 279)

The Blessed Virgin never fails to protect me as soon as I invoke her. In my troubles and anxieties I very quickly turn towards her and, like the most tender of mothers, she always takes care of my interest. (C 279)

To ask something of the Blessed Virgin is not the same thing as asking it of the good Lord. She knew very well what to do with my little wishes, whether to transmit them [to God] or not...If, after that, we obtain nothing, it is because what we asked for is not in accordance with God's design. (C 279)

When we have prayed to the Blessed Virgin and she has not given us what we asked for, we should let her do what she pleases, without insisting on our request; and after that let us not worry any more about it. (C 279)

I like to hide my pains fro the good Lord, because i want to give Him the impression that I am always happy; but I hide nothing from the Blessed Virgin; to her I tell everything (C 280)

Mary my Mother made it quite clear to me that it was really she who had smiled on me and cured me. With all my heart I begged her to keep me far from all occasions of sin and to make my dream come true of casting about me her mantle of virginity. (S 86)

The Blessed Virgin is sometimes pictured as if she were unapproachable. We should realize on the contrary that it is possible to imitate her by practicing her hidden virtues. (C 277)

I will never cease to bless the Mother who gave [me] to Jesus. [I] will eternally rejoice to be a flower in her crown; with her [I] will entirely sing the canticle of love and gratitude that is ever new. (S 137)

I think of my soul as a piece of waste ground and ask Our Lady to take away the rubbish of my imperfections and then build a spacious tabernacle there, worthy of Heaven, adorning it with her own loveliness. (S 129)

I can't describe what I experienced at her Shrine. The graces she gave me there were like those of my First Communion, filling me with peace and happiness. (S 86)

The Queen of Heaven was keeping faithful watch over her little lower, smiling down on her from above. She was ready to calm the storm. (S 39)

There was a sun not far away to which the petals of the "little flower" would often turn - the statue of the Queen of Heaven. (S42)

Quotations from "The Story of the soul" (S) and "Complete Spiritual Doctrine of ST Therese of Lisieux" by Fr Francoise Jamart, OCD (C) and "Sermon in a sentence".





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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel



The slide show is made of pictures taken during Mass celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel in July, 2005 in Campos, Brazil. The Solemn Pontifical Traditional Latin Mass was celebrated by Bishop Fernando A. Rifan, the apostolic administrator for traditionalist Catholics in Campos diocese in Brazil. The Apostolic Administration was created in 2002 by the Holy See. The main celebrant, Bp Rifan is himself a member of the Third Order of Carmelites of Ancient Observance. The Mass was concluded with Procession, coronation and veneration of Our Lady's beautiful statue. The audio clips, Flos Carmeli and Agnus Dei, are chanted by Traditional Carmelite Monks of Ancient Observance from Wyoming

Prayers and meditations of Carmelite Saints in honour of Our Lady.


St Therese of the Child Jesus.

Short biography

But good Blessed Virgin, it seems to me that I am more fortunate than you, for I have you for Mother and you have no Blessed Virgin to love. Jesus on the Cross gave you to us for our Mother, so we are richer than you, since we possess Jesus and you are ours as well.

***

O Immaculate Virgin, O tenderest Mother!....you rejoiced that Jesus gave us His life and the infinite treasures of His divinity. How can we not love you and bless you, O Mary, for such great generosity. You love us as Jesus loves us, an for our sake you are willing to live far from Him. To love means to give all, to give one's self, and you wanted to prove that by remaining our support. The Saviour knew well the secrets of your Mother's heart, the immensity of your tenderness....Jesus left us to you, O Refuge of Sinners, when he left the cross to wait for us in heaven.
O Mary, I see you on Calvary's height, standing near the cross like a priest at the altar, offering the sweet Emmanuel, you dear Jesus, to appease the Father's justice. O desolate Mother, a prophet said of you: "There is no sorrow like to your sorrow." O Queen of martyrs, standing there bereft, you pour out all your heart's blood for us.

St Elizabeth of the Trinity
short biography

O faithful Virgin, when you uttered your 'fiat', the greatest of all mysteries was accomplished in you. In what peace and recollection did you live and act! Teach me to sanctify my most trivial actions and to spend myself for others when charity requires it, yet all the while to remain like you the constant adorer of God within me.

***

O Virgin most faithful, you remain night and day in profound silence, in ineffable peace, in a divine prayer that never ceases, your soul ever inundated with heavenly light. Your heart is like a crystal that reflects the divine One, the Guest who dwells in you, the Beauty that knows no setting. O Mary, you draw heaven down to you: see the Father commits His Son to you that you may be His mother, and the Spirit of love overshadows you. The Blessed Three come to you, and all heaven is opened and abases itself before you, O Virgin Mary.
Mother of the Word, show me your mystery after the Incarnation of the Lord; how you lived buried in adoration....Keep me ever in a divine embrace. Let me carry upon me the stamp of this God of love.

***

O Mary, you are the one created being who knew the gift of God, and lost no particle of it; a creature so pure and luminous that you seemed to be the light itself. "Mirror of justice": your life was so simple, so lost in God, that there is but little to say of it; "faithful virgin": who kept all these things...in your heart." You were so lowly, so hidden in God in the seclusion of the temple that you drew upon yourself the complacent regard of the Holy Trinity. "For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaid, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed."
The Father, bending down to you, a creature so lovely, so unaware of your own beauty, chose you for the Mother in time of him whose Father is in eternity. Then the Spirit of love, who presides over all the works of God, overshadowed you, and, O Virgin, you uttered your 'Fiat': Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word," and the greatest of all mysteries was accomplished. By the descent of the Word into your womb, you became God's own for ever and ever.






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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MT CARMEL STARTS TODAY! (7.07-15.07)


NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MT CARMEL - short version

Most powerful NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MT CARMEL - longer version




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Monday, July 13, 2009

St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi
short biography

O Mary, anyone who looks at you is comforted in any anxiety or tribulation, or pain, and is victorious over any temptation. Anyone who does not know something about God, let him have recourse to you, O Mary. Anyone who does not find mercy in God, let him have recourse to you, O Mary. Anyone whose will is not in conformity, let him have recourse to you, O Mary. Anyone who falters on account of weakness let him have recourse to you who are all strong and powerful. Anyone in constant struggle, let him have recourse to you who are a tranquil sea....Whoever is tempted,...let him have recourse to you, who are the mother of humility, and nothing drives away the devil more than humility. Let them, one and all, have recourse to you, O Mary!

***

Oh Mary, you have gone too high in telling me to love him as my Bridegroom loved him! And how did He love him? For them He left, so to speak in a certain way, the bosom of the Eternal Father, with His power, His wisdom and, in a way of speaking, His purity, in order to be able to dwell with the impurity of creatures. He left His substance and His faculties, and finally gave Himself and His own blood. And I too ought to leave myself and the love of all created things, and be prepared, should it be necessary for their salvation, to give my own blood.

***

O most pure Mary, I offer and give myself to you, not only with that purity and innocence that I received when I consecrated myself to you, but adorned beyond that, and then repurified, and then adorned you again. Receive me, therefore, O Mary, and keep me within yourself.






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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - click to read





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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday - Day of Our Lady

The Nativity
When I was at the crib of Bethlehem, I beheld a most beautiful Virgin with child, in a white mantle and tunic, evidently soon about to be delivered. With her was a most venerable old man, and they had an ox and an ass. When they entered the cave, the old man tied the ox and the ass to the crib; going out he brought the Virgin a lighted torch, and set it in the wall. Then he again withdrew so as not to be personally present at the birth. Then the Virgin loosed her shoes from off her feet, and laid aside her white mantle, and took off her veil from her head, and laid it beside her, remaining in her tunic, her long hair, as beautiful as gold, falling down over her shoulders. Then she drew out two fine, clean linen cloths, and two of wool, which she had brought to wrap the new-born Child in, and two smaller linen ones to cover and tie His head. These she laid beside her to use in due time. When all these things were ready, then the Virgin, kneeling with great reverence, placed herself in prayer, with her back to the crib, her face eastward, raised to Heaven. She stood with uplifted hands, and eyes fixed on Heaven, rapt as it were, in an ecstasy of contemplation, inebriated with the divine sweetness. And while she thus stood in prayer, I beheld her Child move in her womb, and at once in a moment, and in the twinkling of an eye, she brought forth her Son, from whom such ineffable light and splendor radiated, that the sun could not be compared to it; nor did the torch, and so sudden and momentary was the mode of bearing, that I could not perceive or discern how, or in what part she brought forth. Nevertheless, I immediately beheld that glorious Babe lying naked from all filth or impurity...I then also heard angelic chants of wonderful suavity and great sweetness....When the Virgin perceived that she had been delivered, she immediately bowed her head, and joining her hands, adored her Son with great respect and reverence, saying: "Welcome, my God, and my Lord, and my Son." Then the Child crying, and, as it were, shivering with cold and the hard floor where He lay, turned a little, and stretched out His limbs, seeking to find a mother's favour and caress. Then His mother took Him in her hands and clasped Him to her heart, and with her cheek and breast warmed Him with great joy, and a mother's tender compassion. Then, and drawing them tight on sitting on the ground, she laid her Son in her lap....and began diligently to wrap Him up, at first in linen and then in woolen cloths, and drawing them tight on His little body, bound His legs and arms with fillets tied to the four corners of the outer woolen cloth. And then she wrapped on her Son's head the two small linen cloths, which she had ready for the purpose. When this was done, the old man entered, and prostrating himself on his knees on the ground, he adored Him, weeping for joy. Nor did the Virgin on this occasion lose colour or strength, as befalls other woman who are delivered, except that her size was diminished. Then she arose with the Child in her arms, and both together, that is, she and Joseph, laid Him in the manger, and kneeling, adored Him with immense joy and gladness. (Lib. vii, c.21).
While the Blessed Virgin and Joseph were adoring the Infant in the crib, I beheld the shepherds, and those that tended the flocks, come to see and adore the Child. When they saw Him, they immediately adored Him with great reverence and joy; and afterwards returned, praising and glorifying God for all that they had heard and seen (Lib. vii, c.23).

Picture shows Nossa Senhora da Alva, Church in Aljezur, Portugal.






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Friday, July 10, 2009

Carmelite Saints and Devotion to Mary, Queen, Flower and Beauty of Carmel - St Teresa

"Let us go to the shepherdess...
Is she a relative of the Mayor?
Or who is the maiden?
God the Father's daughter,
Glowing starlike". (3: 391)


BEHOLD, YOUR MOTHER - St John 19:37

I sought out solitude to pray my devotions, and they were many, especially the Rosary, to which my mother was very devoted, and she made us devoted to it too. (I:55,56)

I remember that when my mother died when I was twelve years old...When i began to understand what I had lost, I went, afflicted, before an image of Our Lady and besought her with many tears to be my mother. It seems to me that although I did this in simplicity it helped me (1:56)

I have found favour with this sovereign Virgin in everything I have asked of her, and in the end she has drawn me to herself (1:56)

If there should be anything good in this work, may it be for the honour and glory of God and the service of His most Blessed Mother, Our Lady and Patroness whose habit I wear. (2:28)

What a marvelous thing, that He who would fill a thousand worlds and many more with His grandeur would enclose Himself in...the womb of His most Blessed Mother. (2:144)

If only they [some learned men] could learn something from the humility of the most Blessed Virgin! (2:311)

With greater reason might He have complained to His Mother and our Lady when she was at the foot of the cross, and...suffering in her most holy soul and dying a harsh death; it always consoles us more to complain to those who we know feel our trials and love us more. (3:241)

Souls easily conquered...must take His Blessed Mother and His Saints as intercessors so that these intercessors might fight for them. (2:293)

In spite of all her wisdom she asked the angel:"How can this be?" but after he answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you; the power of the Most High will overshadow you", she engaged in no further discussions. As one who had such great faith and wisdom, she understood at once that if these two intervened, there was nothing more to know or doubt. (2:253)

I can boast only of His mercy, and since I cannot cease being what I have been, I have no other remedy than to approach His mercy and to trust in the merits of His Son and of the Virgin, His Mother. (2:305)

You have such a good Mother. Imitate her and reflect that the grandeur of Our Lady and the good of having her for your patroness must be indeed great. (2:305-306)

Jesus is too good a companion for us to turn away from Him and His blessed Mother. (2:403)

She was firm in the faith; she knew Him more than [the disciples] did, she did so with such perfection. (2:404)

It is important to know that Our Lord is pleased with any service rendered to His Mother, and great is His mercy. (3:147)

It is her custom to favour those who want to be protected by her. (3:218)

We were happy to be able to serve in some way our Mother, and Patroness (3:276)

She is our Lady and our Patroness. And this for me was one of the great joys and satisfactions of my life (3:279)


All citation from "The Completed works of St Teresa" vols 1, 2, 3.




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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Martyrs of Gorkum, Netherlands

In 1572, following the first Calvinist synod at Embden in the Netherlands, the Watergeuzen heretics seized 17 priests and two lay-brothers in Gorkum and its environs. They threw them into prison, and, after transferring them to Brielle, cruelly mutilated and hanged them, 9 July, for refusing to deny their belief in the Blessed Sacrament and the papal supremacy; this in spite of an order of William of Orange that priests should not be molested. They were beatified in 1675 and canonized in 1865.

Holy Martyrs of Gorkum, pray for us!






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Carmelite Saints and Our Lady

Bl Baptist Spagnoli of Mantua, O.Carm
short biography

MARY AND CARMEL

For a long time Carmel had been planning widespread honours for you, and in its happy caves it trains sons who in white cloaks will witness to perpetual chastity for you and will bind your name with the name of this Mount in everlasting covenant. You are purer than gold. You are whiter than snow. Your are brighter than the star of Venus. Your virginity was not vitiated by child-bearing, nor can your brightness be darkened by any stain. You certainly were not bound to this legitimate custom, and in all justice you could have renounced these gifts. Time will come when a future age will remember us and on this solemn day will offer you honour on the altars, and will carry candles in long procession of a well celebrated liturgy.
Then your priest, processing in golden vestments, will chant your hymns and will sent forth a sweet smelling cloud. Throughout the Church and the breeze will spread the pleasant scent far and wide, and because our path cross at his point, posterity will call this day Hypante*, in the Greek language, and it will be lit up with numberless torches.


Suuplication to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary

Glory to the world, Queen of heaven, Mother of Almighty, harbour for mankind, soothing breeze in adversity. As in my memory I call my sins to mind,
I am ashamed to open my lips in your sight. For you lack any stain. You are brighter than gold, which the smith submitted to the crackling fire ten times. However I am sacrificed by the consuming waves of the nether world, and my members are besmirched by the mud of hell. But as often as I call to mind your heart of mercy that shame of mine haunts me just a little less.
Hope gives me a pledge that you will prove to be benign and gentle and it promises your help to us. Thus, do not be disgusted by my uncleanness, always grant me your favour before your Son. Subdue my senses which seek pleasure in earthly goods which poison the mind and rush to the wrong doing. Make me look down on the earth; make me conquer hell, while anger seizes the evil spirits. Be my guide at the critical moments of my life, nor let any hand attack me in body. Under your care, may I be allowed to return to the kingdom of heaven, and with shattered yoke to submit my vows to you. May your Child, at your intercession, govern me and my house in every adversity.

* Hypante - refers to the Presentation of Child Jesus in the Temple and the prophecy of Simeon




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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Carmelite Saints and Our Lady

St Teresa of Jesus of the Andes
short biography

"Each day I feel worse. I have no courage for anything; but finally, it is the will of God. May this be done as He desires. My Mother, I place all this in your hands. Why have you abandoned me? Bring it about that I know my lessons very well and my compositions. Show that you are my Mother and give me everything, but above all humility. Dear Jesus, give me suffering. Suffering is no bother becasue thus You love me."

***

"My Mother, I know you are my mother. Remember that I gave myself to you in your Immaculate Heart, keep me pure, a virgin. May it be my refuge, my hope, my consolation, my solitude. I place myself in your maternal arms, so you may put me in the arms of Jesus. I abandon myself to Him. May His holy will be done. Thank you, my Mother. For having freed me from all dangers and for being made me spend my vacation well. Thanks, my Mother. My Mother, I would tell you may things. But my language is so poor that it trembles in just telling you that I love you. My Mother, at your virginal feet I would love to sing your praises, but my voice is so weak that I can only formulate a prayer. I have pain because, despite having asked and at the same time having mortified myself, I have not obtained my request that my father, Miquel and Luis make a retreat. But may God's will be done.

***

Oh, my Jesus and my Mother, may I belong to Him forever. May nothing on earth claim my attention but the tabernacle. Preserve me pure for Yourself so that when I die I can say: how happy I am now that at least I can lose myself in the infinite Ocean of the Heart of Jesus, my adored Spouse.

***

There are three things we will be judged on: Your blessings to us, our sins and our deeds, according to what our intention was. Oh, my God, I am not a saint even though You filled me with blessings! Pardon me so I may be a saint from now on. My Mother, make me become a saint!






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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Letter from a confused Catholic: Could the liturgical crisis stem from the Council itself? - click to read



In the wake of oncoming doctrinal talks between Vatican theologians and SSPX experts on Catholic doctrine and liturgy, Catholic Herald 's journalist, Moyra Doorly, exchanged insightful letters on the matter of unprecedented Vatican II reform of the Catholic Church with Dominican theologian Aidan Nichols. Very interesting reading, some excerpts below.

Letter from a confused Catholic: Could the liturgical crisis stem from the Council itself? by Moyra Doorly

...Given that the 20th century produced so many silver-tongued visionaries determined to sweep away the past and remake the world, could the liturgical renewal simply be another example of a big idea gone wrong? And could the current liturgical crisis actually stem from the Council itself which articulated the vision? One clue is to be found in paragraph two of the General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM), which asserts that Vatican II reaffirmed the sacrificial nature of the Mass as affirmed by the Council of Trent in accordance with the Church's universal tradition. The GIRM then refers to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (CSL) which states: "At the Last Supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Saviour instituted the eucharistic sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the Cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved Spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a paschal banquet in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us" (paragraph 47)....

...But compare this with an apparently similar, but significantly different, definition of the Mass in Pope Pius XII's 1947 encyclical Mediator Dei: "Christ the Lord, Eternal Priest according to the order of Melchisedech, loving His own who were of the world, at the last supper, on the night He was betrayed, wishing to leave His beloved Spouse, the Church, a visible sacrifice such as the nature of men requires, that would re-present the bloody sacrifice offered once on the cross, and perpetuate its memory to the end of time, and whose salutary virtue might be applied in remitting those sins which we daily commit ... offered His body and blood under the species of bread and wine to God the Father, and under the same species allowed the apostles, whom He at that time constituted the priests of the New Testament, to partake thereof; commanding them and their successors in the priesthood to make the same offering" (paragraph 67, my emphasis)...

...Somehow the propitiatory character of the sacrifice of the Mass has been dropped from the CSL version, with the emphasis placed on a "bond of charity, a paschal banquet" etc, and the Mass is described as a memorial of Christ's "death and resurrection"....

....In the Catechism of the Council of Trent, the various terms used to "convey the dignity and excellence of this admirable sacrament" are explained, eg the Eucharist, the Sacrifice, Communion, the sacrament of peace and charity, the supper. Also explained are the three things indicated by this sacrament: "The first is the Passion of Christ the Lord, a thing past ... Another is divine and heavenly grace, which, being present, is imparted by this sacrament, to nurture and preserve the soul ... The third thing, which it foreshows as future, is the fruit of eternal joy and glory, which, according to God's promise, we shall receive in our heavenly country."...

...But no room is left to doubt that "the Eucharist was instituted by Christ for two purposes, one, that it might be the celestial food of our soul, by which we may be able to support and preserve life; the other, that the Church might have a perpetual sacrifice, by which our sins might be expiated"....

....And also that, "it must be unhesitatingly taught that ... the holy sacrifice of the Mass is not a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving only, or a mere commemoration of the sacrifice accomplished on the cross, but also a truly propitiatory sacrifice, by which God is appeased and rendered propitious to us."....

....To be fair, the GIRM paragraph two, does include the following: "The Mass is a sacrifice of praise, of thanksgiving, of propitiation and of satisfaction." But then it goes on to practically ignore this, as do the rest of the Council documents. Everywhere the emphasis is on the Mass as a memorial of Christ's Death, Resurrection and Ascension - the Paschal Mystery - which the people gather to celebrate as if salvation is guaranteed because God's love is unconditional and His justice makes no demands....


Reply a confused Catholic: The contrasts you draw are unnecessarily sharp

by Fr Aidan Nichols

...we need to work on not only catechesis but also, in the fullness of time, a revision of the Offertory texts, the ceremonial of the Mass, and (not least) the position of the celebrant so as to re-activate the diminished but by no means extinguished feeling of the faithful for the sacramental identity of Calvary and the Eucharist of the Church. The things you mention that would increase reverence (the chant, kneeling communion, communion on the tongue) are not strictly necessary accompaniments of the Mass (the Eastern churches, for instance, stand to receive), but they are congruent with the demands of the Mass (every Mass, so including those in the Novus Ordo)....

...You are correct to say that the ministerial priesthood of the ordained and the royal and universal priesthood of the baptised are two distinct yet related ("analogous") ways of sharing in ("participating") the priesthood of Christ. The universal priesthood is exercised most obviously in the good works which should embody faith throughout the Christian life. That general priesthood also has, however, a cultic dimension. Just as it was begun for the faithful in the sacramental mysteries of Baptism, so it finds its noblest expression in their Eucharistic worship. At Mass the baptised exercise their royal priesthood because, in Pope Pius's terminology (see Mediator Dei 88), they are "members of the Mystical Body of Christ the Priest", while the Head of that Body represents himself to them in the ministerial priest who, like Christ himself, stands before the Father on their behalf. The ordained minister's analogical participation in Christ's High Priesthood is, accordingly, different from that of the lay faithful. The latter can offer the (as yet, unconsecrated) gifts in a properly Eucharistic way only through the hands of the ministerial priest, though once those gifts have become, through the act which is his by the New Covenant sealed at the Supper, the Body and Blood of the Lamb, they co-offer with him the saving Victim to the Father. Were there, you ask me, layfolk in the Cenacle at the Last Supper? I have to answer that I don't know. But I do know that in the High Priestly Prayer recorded from that Supper in the Gospel of St John, the Saviour prays that the apostolic priesthood may truly be consecrated so that a far wider flock may be gathered into their company. Every Mass, even when celebrated by a hermit priest in the desert, is offered in the name of the whole Church: not only validly but fruitfully for the living and the dead. The Mass of the hermit is a moving testimony to the unseen. But the mystery of the Mass finds its liturgical epiphany when celebrated with the holy people of God - and notice I add the adjective "holy", as in the Latin original of the phrase (plebs sancta Dei), since mere demonstration of numbers signifies nothing in divine arithmetic....






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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - click to read

Very powerful teaching on how to sanctify our hearts for the Lord. We are instructed how to prevent and overcome feeling of anger and also when the anger is sinful. Highly recommended read.




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Little Gem from St Therese - click to read





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