Saturday, March 27, 2010


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Lenten devotions - click for link

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Lent with Carmelite Saints

Updated as often as possible during these days of Lent to read, reflect and maybe to try to amend some imperfections. May God help us!

Passion Sunday
Passiontide is consecrated to the remembrance and loving contemplation of the sorrows of Jesus. The veiled crucifix and statues, the absence of the Gloria Patri in the responsories of the Divine Office, the suppression of the psalm Judica me at the beginning of Mass are all signs of mourning by which the Church commemorates Our Lord's Passion. Through meditating on Our Lord's Passion we bear His suffering in our hearts and by uniting our own suffering to His (2 Cor 4:10) we shall be able to share in its fruits "If you hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts." At the same time let us open our hearts to a lively hope; for our salvation is in the Passion of Jesus. St Paul says in the epistle to Hebrews (9:11-15) that 'by His Blood, entered once into the holies [that is, heaven] having obtained eternal redemption". The passion of Jesus has redeemed us; it has re-opened again our Father's house to us; it is then the motive for our hope.

The Value of Suffering
The Passion of Jesus teaches us in a concrete way that in the Christian life we must be able to accept suffering for the love of God. This is a hard and repugnant task for our nature, which naturally prefers comfort and happiness. Suffering in itself is an evil and cannot be agreeable; but Jesus willed to embrace it in all its plenitude for our sake, he offers it to us and invites us to esteem and love it - as the only means to accomplish the sublime good of our redemption and the sanctification of our souls. God willed to exempt our first parents from suffering by preternatural gifts, but through sin, these gifts were lost forever, and suffering inevitably entered our life. the gamut of sufferings which has harassed humanity is therefore direct outcome of the disorder caused by sin, not only by original sin, but also by actual sins. Yet Church chants: O happy fault! Why? The answer lies in infinite love of God which transform everything and draws from the double evil of sin and suffering the great good of the redemption of the human race. When Jesus took upon Himself the sins of mankind, He also assumed their consequences, that is, suffering and death; and this suffering, embraced by Him during his whole life, and especially in His Passion, became the instrument of our redemption. Let St Therese speak on the value of suffering:
"O Lord, You do not like to make us suffer, but You know it is the only way to prepare us to know You as You know Yourself, tp prepare us to become like You. You know well that if You sent me but a shadow of earthly happiness, I should cling cling to it with all the intense ardour of my heart, and so You refuse me even this shadow... because you wish that my heart be wholly Yours.
Life passes quickly that it is obviously better to have a most splendid crown and a little suffering, than an ordinary crown and no suffering. When I think that, for a sorrow borne with joy, i shall be able to love You more for all eternity, I understand clearly that if You gave me the entire universe, with all its treasures, it would be nothing in comparison to the slightest suffering. Each new suffering, each oang of the heart, is a gentle wind to bear to You, o Jesus, the perfume of the soul that loves You; then you smile lovingly, and immediately make ready a new grief, and fill the cup to the brim, thinking the more the soul grows in love, the more it must grow in suffering too.
What a favour, my Jesus, and how You must love me to send me suffering! Eternity itself will not be long enough to bless You for it. Why this predilection? it is a secret which You will reveal to me in our heavenly home on the day when You will wipe away all our tears.
I am happy not to be free from suffering here; suffering united with love is the only thing that seems desirable to me in this vale of tears (St Therese of Child Jesus "Letters", Story of the Soul)

Patience is the virtue which makes us accept for love of God, generously and peacefully, everything that is displeasing to our nature, without allowing ourselves to be depressed by the sadness which easily comes over us when we meet with disagreeable things.
Patience is a special aspect of the virtue of fortitude which prevents our deviating from the right road when we encounter obstacles. it is an illusion to believe in a life without difficulties. many difficulties are surmounted and overcome by an act of courage; others, on the contrary, cannot be mastered. We must learn to bear with them, and this is the role of patience - an arduous task, because it is easier to face obstacle directly, than to support the inevitable oppositions and sufferings of life, which, in time, tend to discourage and sadden us. By fixing our glance on Jesus, the divinely patient One, we can learn to practice patience most effectively. When we see Him who came into the world to save us, living from the first moment of His earthly existence in want, privation, and poverty, and later in the midst of misunderstanding and persecution; when we see Him become the object of the hatred of His own fellow citizen, calumniated, doomed to death, betrayed by a friend, and tried and condemned as malefactor, our souls are stirred: we realized that we cannot be his disciples unless we follow the same road. If Jesus, the Innocent One par excellence, bore so much for love of us, can we, sinnners who are deserving to suffer, not endure something for love of Him? Whatever the total suffering in our lives, it will always be very small, and even nothing, compared with the infinite sufferings of jesus; for in His Passion Christ not only endured the suffering of one life or several human lives, but that of all mankind.

It is very consoling for me to remember that You, the God of might, knew our weaknesses, that You shuddered at the sight of the bitter cup which earlier You had so ardently desired to drink.
In spite of this trial which robs me of all sense of enjoyment, i can still say: 'You have given me, O Lord, a delight in Your doings.' For is there any greater joy than to suffer for Your love, O my God? the more intense and the more hidden the suffering, the more do You value it. And even if, by an impossibility, You should not be aware of my affliction, I should still be happy to bear it, in the hope that by my tears I might prevent or atone for one sin against faith" (St Therese - "Letters" "The Story of the Soul")

Hidden life
St Teresa Margaret of the Heart of Jesus was the Saint who perfected the way of 'hidden life'. She wanted to reserve for God alone the gift of her whole being, and she tried to hide from the eyes of others the riches of her interior life, her heroic virtues. She once said: "Work for the sole end of pleasing God, never looking for any human praise". St Therese prays: "Yes, all must be kept for You with jealous care, because it is so sweet to work for You alone! Then the heart is filled with gladness!...Yes I want to be forgotten, not only by creatures, but even by myself...and to have no other desire than Your glory, my Jesus - that is all! My own I abandon to You". It sounds hard, but not so if we realize it was Jesus Himself has thought us how to practice the hidden life, insisting that we do our good works in secret, only to please God, and without ostentation. He tells us also to guard the secret of our interior life and our relations with Him: "When thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber and shut the door"; to conceal our self-denials: "When thou fastest, anoint thy head and wash thy face"; not to display our good works: "When thou dost give alms, let not thy left hand know what the right hand doth," for those who do their good works before man, to be seen by them, "have received their reward" and will receive no further one from their heavenly Father (Matt 6: 1-18). When "we observe in ourselves a desire for something brilliant", said St Therese, "Let us humbly take our place with the imperfect and know that we are weak souls who must be sustained every instant by God" (Ven Gabriel of St Mary Magdalene)

Humility and confidence
In the Psalm 129 also known as 'De Profundis' or prayer of a sinner trusting in the mercies of God we read: 'Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it. For with thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord. My soul hath relied on his word: My soul hath hoped in the Lord. From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord. Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with him plentiful redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities. (D-R B). When the Apostles asked Jesus who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven He answered this way: 'Amen I say to you, unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven' (Matt 18:3-4). St Therese therefore says in Novissima Verba: 'to remain little, is to acknowledge one's nothingness and to expect everything from the good God, as the child expects everything from its father...even among the poor, a child, while he is very little, is given everything that is necessary, but when he has grown, his father no longer wants to support him, and says 'Go to work now!...You can rely on yourself.' It is that I might never hear those words that I never wanted to grow up, because I felt incapable of earning my own living: eternal life."In spiritual terms when a soul forgets its nothingness, and relies on its own strength, knowledge, initiative, or virtues, God leaves it to itself, and the failures which follow, the falls, the fruitlessness of its works - all reveal its insufficiency. God does not introduce a soul to a higher spiritual life, nor admits it to deeper intimacy with Himself, as long as it is not completely despoiled of all confidence in itself. St Teresa of Jesus, speaking of difficulties in overcoming the last obstacles to her total conversion says: 'I must have failed to put my whole confidence in His Majesty and to have a complete distrust of myself' (Life, 8). St Therese is convinced that 'what pleases Jesus is to see me love my littleness and poverty, the blind hope that I have in His mercy. This is my only treasure' and 'I admit, O Lord, that I am very weak; I have salutary proof of it every day. But You deign to teach me the knowledge which makes me glory in my infirmities. This is a very great grace, and only in it do I find peace and contentment of heart, for now I understand Your ways: You give as God, but You want humility of heart'. (Letters) (credits: based on  'Divine Intimacy' meditations)

Humility in our falls
It often happens when we try to practice some virtue or execute a good resolution that we fail and feel discouragement - our inner pride is wounded and deceived. This is because we depend upon our own strength. We act by ourselves. In our busy lives we easily forget that all our strength depends on the grace of God. We often forget about Him in times of prosperity, nor do we have recourse to Him when we fail Him. We rely on ourselves and this is not what God wants us to do: 'Woe to him that is alone, for when he falleth, he hath none to lift him up (Eccl 4:10). In our struggle for better, holy life we are in great need of God's help and considering any failure we should remember that God is our merciful and loving Father. He alone can raise us up. St Teresa of Jesus teaches us that our self-knowledge cannot be separated form the knowledge of God when she says: 'The soul must sometimes emerge from self-knowledge and soar aloft in meditation upon the greatness and the majesty of its God. Doing this will help it to realize its own baseness better than thinking of its own nature, and it will be freer form the reptiles which enter the first room, that is, the rooms of self-knowledge' (Int C 1:2). In her 'Way of Perfection' the Saints says: 'True humility, however deep it may be, neither disquiets, nor troubles, nor disturbs the soul; it is accompanied by peace, joy and tranquility....It enlarges it, and makes it fit ti serve God better', whereas 'false humility only disturbs and upsets the mind and troubles the soul, so grievious is it. I think the devil is anxious for us to believe that we are humble and, if he can, he will lead us to distrust God' (Way, 39). Therefore, when we fall into the same imperfections after so many good resolutions; when after many efforts we still so not succeed in correcting certain faults or in overcoming certain difficulties, St Teresa encourages us to have recourse to the infallible remedy of humility that is: 'the ointment for our wounds' (Int C 3:2). After St Therese of Child Jesus we may say: 'Yes, O my God, I am happy to feel little and weak in Your presence, and my heart remains in peace...I am glad to feel so imperfect and to need Your mercy so much! When we calmly accept the humiliation of being imperfect, Your grace, O Lord, returns at once' (Letters, Novissima Verba). (Based on 'Divine Intimacy' Lenten meditations)

To be hidden with Christ in God
Our Lord's interior life was the life of intimacy with the Holy Trinity. His sacred soul was personally united to the Word, unceasingly enjoying the Beatific Vision. It sees the Word, the subject of His activity, it sees the Father, the cause of its Being and it sees the Holy Spirit, who dwells in it as 'His chosen temple' and who, by covering it with the flame of His love, draws it toward God in perfect accomplishment of His will. Exteriorly, Jesus lives among men, deals with them as one of them, but His real life, His existence as the Son of God, is lived hidden from all human sight, with the Trinity and in the Trinity. The imitation of Jesus' hidden life has for its ultimate end the participation in His interior life; that is, to be hidden 'with Christ in God' - in order to enter with Him  the sanctuary of the Most Holy Trinity. St Teresa Margaret expressed this in her ardent desire to 'emulate by faith insofar as it is possible for a creature, the hidden, interior life and activity of the intellect and will of the sacred humanity of Jesus Christ, hypostatically united to the Word' (Spirituality of St Teresa Margaret of the Heart of Jesus). The practice of the hidden life, which St Teresa Margaret perfected, has two aspects. First consists in dying to glory and worldly honours, whereas the second, consists in concentrating entirely on God in a life of relation with Him. The more the soul is able to hide from creatures, the more it is capable to live 'with Christ in God' - as St Paul beautifully expressed, saying: "You are dead [to the world] and your life is hidden with Christ in God"(Col 3:3). The more we are detached from worldly honours, fame, earthly glory and esteem the more we become close to God. Our Lord is the best example: "When the people, therefore, had seen the sign which Jesus had worked, they said, "This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world." So when Jesus perceived that they would come to take him by force and make Him a king, he fled again to the mountain, himself alone (John 6:14-15).
"My God, I desire to enclose myself forever within Your most loving Heart, as in a desert, so that in You, with You, and for You I may live a hidden life of love and sacrifice" " O Jesus,...since You inspire  me to become as much as possible like, all my efforts will tend toward that end. I shall imitate You especially in those virtues which are most pleasing to Your most lovable Heart - humility and purity of intention, interior as well exterior - always working with a spirit of simplicity" (Spirituality of St Teresa Margaret)

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

PASSION SUNDAY - click to read

"Crucifixion of Christ" by Lucas Cranach.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Consolatrix Afflictorum, Comfort of the Afflicted - Pray for us , click for link

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday) meditation - click to read Mass comments and explanation

Captivating fragments from the book "The Public Live of Our Lord Jesus Christ" by Archbishop Goodier, SJ let us reflect on the miracle Our Lord wrought. Picture below is by Dutch master Cornelius Engelbreschtszoon "Feeding the five Thousands". This beautiful piece of art, however, does not longer exist, it has been destroyed in the last year of WW2.

...A vessel sailing from Capharnaum to the north of the lake could easily be followed from the shore. We have seen how the crowd gathered, how it made its way along the bank; if the wind were light or contrary, it would easily reach the spot before the ship. At the north-east corner the little boat put in. From the deck out at sea the disciples had not noticed the excitement on the land; they were with Him, absorbed in Him, serving Him, and that was enough. When then they turned their course towards the landing-place, what was their surprise to find, already lined up along the beach, an almost countless multitude!
Men were gesticulating, calling to them, signing to them where to land, talking much to one another, while no one heeded what another said, delighted only to be noisy, officiously preparing to receive the boat and its occupants, laughing at their cleverness in thus forestalling and recapturing their fugitive Jesus. Whence had they come? The disciples were not long left in ignorance. Soon they recognised many of their friends from Capharnaum, and understood. But what was next to be done? They looked at their Master in dismay. He had brought them to a desert place for a day of rest with Him alone, and this had happened. Would He dismiss these people, or would He yield to them and deprive His Twelve of their holiday? Alas! They knew how it would be. They saw Him arise from His place in the stern; He looked across the ship to the crowd waiting for Him, to be with Him, because they believed in Him thus far. He was pleased, He was gratified, He must show His gratitude; he loved them, He pitied them, He must go to them as they had come to Him.

The Apostles read it in His face before He spoke; when at length He murmured something about 'Sheep having no shepherd', they knew the day was lost. Submissively they put in to the shore and let Him land.
'And Jesus coming forth saw a great multitude and he received them and had compassion on them because they were as sheep not having a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things of the Kingdom of God and healed them who had need of healing'
He came ashore among them. Proudly they received Him, effusively they made the way for Him. They would welcome Him, they would do Him honour; that they tried Him with their demonstration did not occur to or concern them; He was Jesus, and He must submit. And He did. He received their attentions; they might pull Him to and fro as they chose; they knew no better and they never would. But they were not wholly to blame. They ought to have been guided, and their guides had failed them; worse than that, of late these guides had made great efforts to lead them astray. While He could He would be with them. He would help them, he would teach them anything he could, but chiefly of the Kingdom of God. He passed up the passage through the crowd that had been made for Him. Here and there, as He went along, a cripple boy was seen, a beggar with some sore. He paused at each, He stooped down and put His hand on each; He looked into sufferer's face and he was healed. He led the way across the green plain beneath the hill; the crowd closed in and followed. As for the Twelve, they could wait; before evening was come they would not be sorry they had sacrificed their day of rest.
Through the long hours they sat together, Jesus and the common multitude, on that green plain below the hill above the water's edge. Men came and went; and He spoke to them all, and rested at intervals, and some came around him and they just talked together. Time passed away unnoticed; the sun began to bend over the western Galilean hills. Almost suddenly it dawned upon the Twelve that unless they were careful the day might end in trouble. Their Master, good man, was again forgetting; so lost he was in His work that he did not notice how the time was fleeting. The sun would soon be dawn and the darkness be upon them. They were all far from home, two hours at least from Capharnaum, and all were in need of food and rest. They held a consultation together; he must be reminded. They made bold, as the had often done before, and came to Him. They interrupted His discourse with the warning:
'This is a desert place and the hour is now past. Send away the multitudes that going into the towns and villages round about. They may lodge and buy themselves victuals'.
He seemed not to mind what they said. He seemed to be in one of His careless moods, when love got the better of Him and he was unreasonable. What other impression cold they receive from His reply?
'They have no need to go, give you them to eat'.
this, surely, was too much. He knew very well that they had nothing with them; in any case to expect them to find food for five thousand people and more was an extravagance. But perhaps he meant that they should go and buy what was needed. How much money had they? Judas looked into the purse; at most there were two hundred pence. It was the best they could do; they could spend the money on bread and see how far it would go. So 'They said to him. Let us go and buy bread for two hundred pence and we will give them to eat'.
Meanwhile Jesus had risen from where he sat and was moving to a spot higher up the mountain-side. Here again He sat down and turned his eyes on the crowd gathered in the plain below. At first the sight seemed as if he were doubtful of being able to feed such a number. Philip was by His side, gentle, accommodating Philip.
'When Jesus therefore had lifted up his eyes and seen that a very great multitude cometh to him, he said to Philip whence shall we buy bread that these may eat? And this he said to try him for he himself knew what he would do.'
To the meaning of this, as he thought he understood it, Philip agreed. Two hundred pence! For five thousand men and more! The food supply of more than one village would be needed.
'And Philip answered him. Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them that everyone may eat a little.'
Did Philip guess something at least of that which was about to happen? Did it occur to him that He who had turned water into wine might, if He so chose, turn stones into bread? Did he remember how the Master had but lately said that should they ever be in need their heavenly father would feed them? Did he recall the Manna in the desert, and how bread had been sent down from heaven, merely, as it were, to humour the people of God? From his words one suspects it; form other things we know of His simple faith we believe it...
Jesus looked at Philip no more. He fell back into one of these inspiring moods when He instilled peace around Him, and certainty, and trust; when men of goodwill obeyed Him, though he might command what seemed impossible or absurd. So it had been at the marriage feast at Cana; so with the ruler and his son; so in these last days when he sent out His Twelve to preach, and in the strength of His command they had succeeded. Such a mood was on Him now. He seemed to live outside the world around Him; and Philip, here as elsewhere, was the first to catch the spirit that was on Him. To the rest Jesus turned, and quietly, almost carelessly, asked them:
'How many loaves have you?'
To them, then, it seemed that He was still living on false hope. Loaves they had none among themselves;...They moved about among those who were near. They found a little boy with a basket; in it were five loaves of common barley and two tiny fishes, more than he could need for himself....he was all the twelve could find; they came to report the failure.
'And when they knew one of his disciples Andrew the brother of Simon Peter saith to him. There is a boy here, that has five barley loaves and two fishes. But what are these among so many?'
No; there was nothing else to be done. They would be compelled to go into the town, and buy what they could with the money they possessed.'Unless perhaps we should go and buy victuals for all this multitude';...All this time had Jesus waited. Deliberately He had waited, that quide clearly beforehand the exact facts might be made known to all. There were so many men; there was just this amount of food and no more. Even what was to follow must be done in strict order, so that from first to last there should be no room for mistake or misinterpretation. Never before or after was Jesus more careful or exacting in the working of a miracle. On this occasion, more than on any other, he acted like a king, and would be obeyed, down to the smallest detail.
'And he said to his disciples. Make the man sit down by fifties in a company upon the green grass.' It was so done.....There were fifty such groups gathered and seated on the grass that evening before the Pasch. Jesus had taken good care that the number should be known for ever....Then when all was ready, with the Twelve standing about Him from below, slowly and carefully He took the little boy's five loaves and two fishes on His knee. He held them in His hands and looked up to heaven; for a moment he was lost to earth. He placed a hand upon the bread and fishes and blessed them; there was an uttered prayer of thanksgiving to the Father who would give to His children their daily, their substantial bread. He broke the loaves in parts, then the tiny fishes. With the broken pieces on His knee, He called His Twelve yet nearer. To each He gave a part; five loaves and two fishes divided amongst twelve men, scarcely a meal for themselves, let alone for the multitude below. But it was not for them; they were to take what He gave them to others. So He bade them, and they could only obey. The Twelve did as they were told. They came to their respective groups. With their fingers, as He had done, they broke their portions into smaller pieces. These they handed out; they put their hands into their wallets for more, and there was something always over. Again, they broke, again they gave, again they found something in the wallet. At first it may be they did not noticed, but soon the truth grew upon them. They gave more freely and abundantly, so abundantly that some had more than they could eat; and still their wallets never emptied. They passed down all the lines, they came to the end; each of the Twelve has served the groups allotted to him. There was not a man there who was not satisfied, and still there were still portions left.
'And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, looking up to heaven He blessed and broke the loaves and when he had given thanks he gave the loaves to his disciples to set before them and the disciples to the multitudes that were sat down. In like manner also the two fishes he divided among them as much as they would and they did all eat and were filled.'
But Jesus had not finished yet. He had given them the gift of bread, 'Full measure and pressed down'; but before He had done it must be 'Flowing over.'

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Auxilium Christianorum, Help of Christians - pray for us! - click for link

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Novena to St Joseph starts today - click for link

St Teresa of Jesus was very devoted to St Joseph, she explain this in great detail in her autobiography:
"Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this glorious Saint , for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and honored him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast, and I have always received it. If the petition was in any way amiss, he rectified it for my greater good . . . I ask for the love of God that he who does not believe me will make the trial for himself-then he will find out by experience the great good that results from commending oneself to this glorious Patriarch and in being devoted to him . . ." - click to read more Here

In his encyclical  Quamquam Pluries on Catholic devotion to St Joseph, Pope Leo XIII writes:
"The special motives for which St. Joseph has been proclaimed Patron of the Church, and from which the Church looks for singular benefit from his patronage and protection, are that Joseph was the spouse of Mary and that he was reputed the Father of Jesus Christ. From these sources have sprung his dignity, his holiness, his glory. In truth, the dignity of the Mother of God is so lofty that naught created can rank above it. But as Joseph has been united to the Blessed Virgin by the ties of marriage, it may not be doubted that he approached nearer than any to the eminent dignity by which the Mother of God surpasses so nobly all created natures. For marriage is the most intimate of all unions which from its essence imparts a community of gifts between those that by it are joined together. Thus in giving Joseph the Blessed Virgin as spouse, God appointed him to be not only her life's companion, the witness of her maidenhood, the protector of her honour, but also, by virtue of the conjugal tie, a participator in her sublime dignity. And Joseph shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men. Hence it came about that the Word of God was humbly subject to Joseph, that He obeyed him, and that He rendered to him all those offices that children are bound to render to their parents. From this two-fold dignity flowed the obligation which nature lays upon the head of families, so that Joseph became the guardian, the administrator, and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was. And during the whole course of his life he fulfilled those charges and those duties. He set himself to protect with a mighty love and a daily solicitude his spouse and the Divine Infant; regularly by his work he earned what was necessary for the one and the other for nourishment and clothing; he guarded from death the Child threatened by a monarch's jealousy, and found for Him a refuge; in the miseries of the journey and in the bitternesses of exile he was ever the companion, the assistance, and the upholder of the Virgin and of Jesus. Now the divine house which Joseph ruled with the authority of a father, contained within its limits the scarce-born Church. From the same fact that the most holy Virgin is the mother of Jesus Christ is she the mother of all Christians whom she bore on Mount Calvary amid the supreme throes of the Redemption; Jesus Christ is, in a manner, the first-born of Christians, who by the adoption and Redemption are his brothers. And for such reasons the Blessed Patriarch looks upon the multitude of Christians who make up the Church as confided specially to his trust - this limitless family spread over the earth, over which, because he is the spouse of Mary and the Father of Jesus Christ he holds, as it were, a paternal authority. It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ."


Brother Andre Bessette beatification news. Br Andre was a greatest St Joseph's devotee, he founded famous St Joseph Oratory in Montreal where hundreds of miraculous cures were granted, read the story HERE

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Feast of St John of Cross, founder of Brothers Hospitallers - click to visit Hospitallers webpage

The archbishop called John of God to him in response to a complaint that he was keeping tramps and immoral women in his hospital. In submission John fell on his knees and said: “The Son of Man came for sinners, and we are bound to seek their conversion. I am unfaithful to my vocation because I neglect this, but I confess that I know of no bad person in my hospital except myself alone, who am indeed unworthy to eat the bread of the poor.” The archbishop could only trust in John’s sincerity and humility, and dismissed him with deep respect. (After American Catholic 'Saint of the Day)

...."Another day, after taking possession of rich spoils, the captain ordered John to guard the treasure, especially a chest filled with jewels, for the night; John obeyed with a sullen face. The next morning, the chest of jewels was missing. John questioned the sentinels, but nobody could give him any information. The only person to have entered the tent just before the changing of Ciudad's guard was the captain.

The young captain condemned John to death by hanging, in accordance with the military code. John, his hands and feet bound, spent most of the night without sleeping. His friend Alfonso Ferrus slipped under the tent to free him, but John refused. He knew that the sentinel would be hanged in his place. Left alone, he fell asleep and he had an incredible dream. He saw the French shepherdess again, who transformed herself into the Queen of Heaven, and said to him, "Trust me. I will save you." John awoke, recited one Hail Mary with enthusiasm and felt consoled. He walked with a firm step to be hanged. He promised the Good Mother to give up soldiering, if she delivered him from this terrible fate... He did not doubt Mary's help for one moment. John, in the gallows, declared his innocence. And added: "I have confidence that the Blessed Virgin can still help me."

The drum beat a second time and the noose was around John's neck when a rider arrived in haste. It was Colonel Ribera, who revoked the execution order. He wanted to be the judge of that affair himself. Meanwhile, Alphonso Ferrus arrived out of breath. He had the chest of jewels in his hands, which he had found in the captain's tent. The latter was condemned and executed on the spot.

Mary was faithful to her promise. John also kept his word. He gave up his life of soldiering and went in search of God's will. He later became the great Saint John of God"...

Excerpt from The Beggar of Grenade by Hunermann, after 'A Moment with Mary'

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Sunday, March 07, 2010

Third Sunday of Lent - click to read

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Refugium Peccatorum, Refuge of Sinners - pray for us - click for link

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi and humility of heart


Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you shall find rest to your soul (Mt 11:29

"This is the remedy to fix my gaze on you, Incarnate Word, hanging on the Cross. As soon as You see s humble soul looking at You in this way, You are quickly moved to look at it, and the effect of Your divine glance is like that of a ray of sunshine on the earth: it warms it and prepares it to bring forth fruit. This is the way You act, O divine Word, who by the light of Your glance, drain my soul of all its pride, and consume it in Your fire. No one can acquire humility if he does not fix his gaze on You, O Word, on the Cross."

St Therese said: "The remembrance of my weakness is so constantly present to me that there is no room for vanity"   

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