Saturday, July 31, 2010

Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola - click to read previous posts

Saint Ignatius of Loyola spent nine months in convalescence from March 1522 to February 1523, in Manresa, close to the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat in Spain, in the diocese of Barcelona, due to a war wound. Ignatius had a vision that he shared in his autobiography.

One night, he was awoken and he saw the Blessed Virgin with the Holy Child; during this vision, which lasted a good length of time, he received great spiritual consolation and the memory of his past life became very distasteful to him, especially the things concerning the flesh. He had the impression that all the images that had been imprinted in his heart before had been completely removed. From that moment until August 1533, when he wrote these words, he never again gave even the smallest consent to the things of the flesh. Without indicating the origin of this vision, he simply recorded the fruits, which in their sobriety, were never doubted. ('Dictionary of Apparitions')

credit: quoted after 'A Moment with Mary', picture represents Black Madonna of Montserrat, Spain. To visit the breathtaking photo gallery of Montserrat shrine, click HERE

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July, is the time dedicated to the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord - click to read more

According to Traditional Liturgical Calendar, today is the Feast of Most Precious Blood of Our Lord and the first day of July, the month dedicated to the Precious Blood that our merciful Lord shed for us. I provided the link on this post's title for more reading on the subject from my favourite blog - Vultus Christi. 
Pope Benedict XVI thoughts on the Precious Blood of Our Lord
To read the encyclical of Pope John XXIII, 'Inde a Primis - On Promoting the Devotion to the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus' click HERE.
To recite or listen to mp3 file of the Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord
click HERE

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Feast of St Martha

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. (St Luke 10:38-42).

...St. Martha was a saint, even though they do not say she was contemplative. Well now, what more do you want than to be able to resemble this blessed woman who merited so often to have Christ our Lord in her home, give him food, serve him, and eat at table with him [and even from his plate]?? If she had been enraptured like the Magdalene, there wouldn't have been anyone to give food to the divine Guest. Well, think of this congregation as the home of St. Martha and that there must be people for every task. And those who are led by the active life shouldn't complain about those who are very much absorbed in contemplation... and let them consider themselves lucky to serve with Martha. Let them consider how true humility consists very much in great readiness to be content with whatever the Lord may want to do with them and in always finding oneself unworthy to be called his servant.

If contemplating, practicing mental and vocal prayer, taking care of the sick, helping with household chores, and working even at the lowliest tasks are all ways of serving the Guest who comes to be with us and eat and recreate, what difference does it make whether we serve, in the one way or the other?
I don't say that we shouldn't try...What I am saying is that this is not a matter of your choosing but of the Lord's... Leave it up to the Lord of the house. (St Teresa of Avila, Way of Perfection)

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Feast of St Ann and St Joachim

"Joachim and Ann, how blessed a couple! All creation is indebted to you. For at your hands the Creator was offered a gift excelling all other gifts: a chaste mother, who alone was worthy of him." (St John Damascene)

Credit: DG 

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

The chapel of Mount Carmel - click for link

When on the holy day of the Pentecost the Apostles, through heavenly inspiration, spoke diverse tongues and worked many miracles by the invokation of the most holy name of Jesus, it is said that many men who were walking in the footsteps of the holy prophets Elias and Eliseus, and had been prepared for the coming of Christ by the preaching of John the Baptist, saw and acknowledged the truth, and at once embraced the faith of the Gospel. These new Christians were so happy as to be able to enjoy familiar intercourse with the Blessed Virgin Mary and venerated her with so special an affection, that they before all others, built a chapel to the purest of Virgins on that very spot of Mount Carmel where Elias of old had seen the cloud, a remarkable type of the Virgin ascending. Many times each day they came together to the new oratory, and with pious ceremonies, prayers, and praises honoured the most Blessed Virgin as the special protectress of their Order. For this reason, people from all parts began to call them the Brethren of the Blessed Mary of Mount Carmel; and the Sovereign Pontiffs not only confirmed this title, but also granted special indulgencies to whoever called either the whole Order or individual Brothers by that name. But the most noble Virgin not only gave them her name and protection, she also bestowed upon blessed Simon the Englishman the holy scapular as a token, wishing the holy Order to be distinguished by that heavenly garment and to be protected by it from the evils that were assailing it. Moreover, as formerly the Order was unknown in Europe, and on this account many were importuning Honorius III for its abolition, the Blessed Virgin mary appeared by night to Honorius and clearly bade him receive both the order and its members with kindness. (Dom Prosper Gueranger 'Liturgical Year' from the Feast of OLMC, Holy Liturgy)

The picture represents the statue of OLMC in Stella Maris Carmelite monastery in Haifa - see link on the post's title

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His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI enjoys holidays at Castel Gandolfo while writing the book about the infancy of Our Lord

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Let not thy heart be troubled, and let it not fear. Believe in Me and trust My mercy. (Imitation fo Christ, Book 3:30)

Having received so many graces, I can cry out with the Psalmist: Give praise to the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever (Ps 117). I cannot help thinking that if everyone were given such graces, no one would fear God, but all would love Him with a boundless love. No longer out of fear, but out of love no soul would deliberately commit the least fault. (St Therese, Story of the Soul)

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Carmelite Saint, St Teresa Margaret Redi, has some words to encourage the practice of recollection and the presence of God amid our daily duties:

“If we work here through obedience to God’s commands, it is impossible that He should destroy His own work in the soul....If we live and move in God, ... I do not think His company or love will desert us when we perform necessary external tasks, let alone constitute any obstacleto them....When I place everything in Love, Love will never abandon me. So I in my turn  abandon myself to the love of Jesus Christ with love for love, because His loving Heart desires to rule and reign in me, and of myself I would not know how to behave unless I place no obstacle to His acting in me.” 

credit: Mary's Vitamin
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light. (Matt11:28-30)

O Jesus! when you were a Pilgrim on earth, you said: "Learn of Me for I am gentle and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls." 0 Mighty Monarch of Heaven, yes, my soul finds rest in seeing you, clothed in the form and nature of a slave (Phil 2:7), humbling yourself to wash the feet of your apostles. I recall your words that teach me how to practice humility: "I have given you an example so that you may do what I have done. The disciple is not greater than the Master .... If you understand this, happy are you if you put them into practice» (Jn 13,15-17). Lord, I do understand these words that came from your gentle and humble Heart and I want to practice them with the help of your grace.

I want truly to humble myself and to submit my will to that of my sisters. I do not wish to contradict them nor seek to see whether or not they have the right to command me. O my Beloved, no one had this right over you and yet you obeyed not only the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph but even your executioners. Now in the Sacred Host I see you at the height of your annihilations. How humble you are, O divine King of Glory... O my Beloved, how gentle and humble of heart you seem under the veil of the white Host!... O Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, make my heart like yours. (St Therese of Child Jesus 'Prayer for acquiring humility')

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Selected Poems and Prayers composed by the Saints of Carmel in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Beauty and Queen of Carmel.

Mother of Mount Carmel, I kiss your Holy Scapular and thank you for this precious gift. Help and guide me always. I place my confidence in your intercession. Never has it been known, dearest Lady and Mother, that anyone who fled to your protection was left unaided. 
(Bl Nuno Alvares Pereira,1360-1411)

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 clocks 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. 
You are brighter than the star of Venus.
Your virginity was not vitiated by child-bearing, 
nor can your brightens 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 your 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 paths cross at this point,
posterity will call this day Hypante in the Greek language, 
and it will be lit up with numberless torches. 
(Bl Baptist Spagnoli of Mantua 1447-1516)

Supplication to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary
Glory of the world, Queen of Heaven, Mother
of the 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 cracking 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 wrong doing.
Make heavenly nourishment give taste to our lips,
make love of God pierce my heart,
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. 
(Bl Baptist Spagnoli of Mantua, 1447-1516)

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 again. Receive me, therefore, O Mary, and keep me within yourself. 
 (St Mary Magdalen de'Pazzi 1566-1607)

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 Saviour Jesus: - Hail Mary 

 (St Theresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart, 1747-1770).

Mary, you are the standart, the model,
The mirror, support, and firm strength
of the virtues.  
(Bl Francis Palau y Quer, 1811-1872)

We entrust our task to our Most Holy Mother, the Virgin 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 life, and finally lead you to the fountain of love, that is, to God Himself in eternity. 
(St Raphael Kalinowski, 1835-1907)

The bread set aside for me, my beautiful Mother has blessed it.
Now that my life on earth is drawing to its close, 

I ask you good Mother, to keep me forever beside you.
My food is the desire I have, dearest Mother, to see you;
The water my thirsty soul drinks is my love for you.
My true life, my soul's life, grows more vigorous by
loving you;
The rest I take is to seek you, restless, day and night
(Bl Mary of Jesus Crucified, 1846-1878)

O Mary, my dear Mother, grant me the grace never to stain the robe of innocence that you will give me on the day of my profession (St Therese of the Child Jesus, 1873-1897)

Virgin full of Grace
Now 'tis at Nazareth, O Virgin full of grace,
In poverty abiding, you never knew desire;
Now ecstasy nor miracle nor rapture there had place,
To fill your life with splendour, O Queen of
heavenly choir!
Ah! Countless are the little ones that throng the earth today,
Unfearing, without tremour, to you they lift their eyes,
Incomparable Mother, 'tis by the common way
It pleases you to go, that you may lead them to the skies.
Throughout this exile sad I long, O mother mine,
To dwell with you, to follow each day your path above.
In contemplating you, enraptured, I divine in your pure, 
gentle heart the deep abyss of love,
Your gentle gaze maternal will banish all of fear,
It teaches me to weep, it teaches happiness. 
 (St Therese of Child Jesus, 1873-1897)

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, yes all the while to remain like you the constant adorer of God within me. (Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity, 1880-1906)

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 dwell 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...I adore the mystery of this God who made flesh in 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. (Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity, 1880-1906)

My heart is stirred by a noble theme:
I address my poem to the king. Psalm 45:1
A festive song streams from my heart,
Which to the King I dedicate
My tongue shall take the pen's swift part
His praises duly to behold
He is most glorious to behold
His arm is powerful and bold.

The Queen stands ever by His side
In splendid gold-brocaded gown;
Demure young maidens with her stride
Whom He has raised to high renown.
A joyous chorus, sweet they sing,
Entering the place of the King.
(St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, 1891-1942)

Vineyard of Carmel
Come, Love, to the vineyard
In the morning dew,
There we'll watch in silence,
It vineyards bloom anew,
If the grapes are growing,
Life with vigour glowing,
Fresh the vine and true.

From the heights of Heaven
Holy Mother descend,
Lead unto your vineyard
Our beloved friend.
Dew and rain let gently
Drop from His kind hand
And the balm of sunshine
Fall on Carmel's land.

Young vines, newly planted,
True though they be,
Grant them life eternal
A gift of grace from Thee.
Trusted vintners strengthen 
Their frail and feeble powers,
Shield them from the enemy
Who in darkness cowers.

Holy Mother grant reward
For your vintners' care
Give them, I beseech you,
Crown of Heaven fair.
Don't let raging fire
Kill these vines, we pray,
And frant your life eternal
To each young shoot some day.
(St Benedicta of the Cross, 1891-1942)

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! 
(St Teresa of Jesus of the Andes, 1900-1920)

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saints of Mt Carmel litany - click for link

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Tuesday, July 06, 2010

St Thomas More - 475th Anniversary of his martyrdom

Today is anniversary of St Thomas' execution and martyrdom. He was loving father, husband, statesman, writer and lawyer, man of magnanimous integrity and faith. 

“[If a leader allows weariness to so grip] the mind that its strength is sapped and reason gives up the reins, if a [leader] is so overcome by heavy-hearted sleep that he neglects to do what the duty of his office requires…--like the cowardly ship’s captain who is so disheartened by the furious din of the storm that he deserts the helm, hides away cowering in some cranny, and abandons the ship to the waves—if a [leader] does this, I would certainly not hesitate to juxtapose and compare his sadness with the sadness that leads as [Paul] says, to hell….”(St Thomas More "The Sadness of Christ" - the book  written before his execution)
After 'Catholic and Loving It!' blog

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

Madonna of the Precious Blood - click to read more

The picture is representation of Madonna of the Precious Blood. Please follow the link on the title to read insightful post from St Gaspar's Retreat blog and see more images.

"Truly it is right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
through Christ our Lord.
Christ, upon coming into the world,
offered to You the Body you had prepared for Him
together with the Precious Blood formed by the Holy Spirit
in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This is the Blood in which Mary, the Daughter of Zion,
recognized the fulfillment of the ancient forms and shadows
and the end of every other sacrifice and offering.
This is the Blood shed by her Son when,
after eight days, He was circumcised and called Jesus,
the name given him by the Angel
before she bore Him in purest love.
This is the Blood she saw streaming from His wounds
when, with deepest sorrow, she followed Him in His Passion
even to the place of His sacrifice.
This is the Blood that flowed with water from His pierc├Ęd side,
the Blood that she offered to you, standing at the foot of the Cross
united to the redeeming work of her Son, both Priest and Victim.
This is the Blood by which,
in virtue of a wonderful disposition of your providence,
Mary was preserved from every stain of Adam's sin
so as to be a Mother full of grace
and worthy of the Lamb without blemish.
This is the Blood of the New and Eternal Covenant,
the Blood in which the martyrs above have washed their robes,
the Blood by which the Church on earth is, day by day, renewed in joy.
This is the Blood
by which we have confidence to come into your presence
where together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints,
we join our voices to the jubilation of the angels of heaven
to sing the ceaseless hymn of praise. (From the Preface of the Mass)

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Friday, July 02, 2010

Feast of Visitation - click to read more

"And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda" (Luke 1:39-47)

O Mary, you cannot give me a share in your great privileges as Mother of God; these belong to you alone! But you want me to share in your virtues, giving me examples of them by yourself. If, then, sincere humility, magnanimous faith, and delicate, sympathetic charity are lacking in me, how can I excuse myself? O Mary, O Mother of mercy, you who are full of grace, nourish us, your poor little ones, with your virtues! (St Bernard)

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Thursday, July 01, 2010

St Therese and her 'little way'

When I read the story like this from St Therese' autobiography, I really better understand what is her 'little way' of perfection.

One day at recreation the portress came to ask for a Sister to do some special work. I had a childish longing to do it, and I was the one chosen. I therefore began to fold our work, but without hurrying, which enabled my neighbour to be ready first, for I knew how delighted she would be to take my place. The Sister who had asked for help remarked laughingly: "You were so slow that I guessed you would not add this jewel to your crown!" The Community all thought I was following my natural inclination.

I cannot tell you how much this little incident helped me to become indulgent. It even prevents my feeling proud when I am judged favourably, for I say to myself: if my little acts of virtue seem to be imperfections, it is quite possible for my imperfections to be considered virtues, and so I say with St Paul: "To me it is very small things to be judged by you, or by man's day; but neither do I judge my own self. For I am not conscious to myself of anything, yet am I not hereby justified, but he that judgeth me is the Lord" (1 Cor 4: 3, 4)(St Therese, Story of the Soul).

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