Saturday, October 30, 2010

Feast of Christ the King - click to read Quas Primas,On the Feast of Christ the King

You, my God, are an eternal King, and Yours is no borrowed Kingdom....When the Credo says: 'of Your Kingdom there shall be no end' this phrase nearly always makes me feel particularly happy. Yes, I praise you, Lord, and bless You, for Your Kingdom will endure forever" (Teresa of Jesus, Way of Perfection, 22)

....Do we not read throughout the Scriptures that Christ is the King? He it is that shall come out of Jacob to rule, who has been set by the Father as king over Sion, his holy mount, and shall have the Gentiles for his inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for his possession. In the nuptial hymn, where the future King of Israel is hailed as a most rich and powerful monarch, we read: "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the scepter of thy kingdom is a scepter of righteousness." (Ps 44) There are many similar passages, but there is one in which Christ is even more clearly indicated. Here it is foretold that his kingdom will have no limits, and will be enriched with justice and peace: "in his days shall justice spring up, and abundance of peace...And he shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.... (From the encyclical of Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas)


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Three great Feasts of Christ the King, the Holy Souls and All Saints coming! Queen of All Saints, pray for us!

"O saints of heaven, I am the least of all creatures. I know my worthlessness, but I also know how noble and generous hearts love to do good. Therefore, O blessed inhabitants of the heavenly City, I entreat you to adopt me as your child. All the glory you may help me to acquire will be yours; deign, then, to hear my prayer and obtain for me...your love...(St Therese "Story of a Soul")

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ireland and the Rosary

With the victory of Cromwell’s armies, Ireland entered a period of harsh persecutions during which it became more and more difficult for Catholic priests to meet the spiritual needs of the faithful. From that time dates the very special importance the Irish attribute to the Rosary, among the devotions in honor of the Blessed Virgin.

When a priest couldn’t be there to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice for the faithful, the assembly would pray the Rosary as a form of public prayer. It is not an exaggeration to affirm that, for more than three hundred years, the Rosary has been the most characteristic form of devotion of the Irish people. In each Catholic home, the recitation of the Rosary has become a daily, scrupulously observed ritual.

If sailors were setting sail to cross the seas and expose their lives, a pubic Rosary was offered before the ship hoisted the anchor. Fishermen used to recite it before lifting their nets. It is the traditional prayer at Catholic funerals; the one also that families recite when they gather at the bedside of one of their beloved who is dying. During the 19th century, when emigration dispersed Irish Catholics throughout the world in faraway countries often deprived of Catholic priests, the Rosary was the most efficient support for the poor exiles. (A. Gwynn, SJ 'Our Lady of Ireland')

credit: after 'A Moment with Mary'
picture represents colonial style painting of 'Our Lady of the Rosary and Saints', Brooklyn Museum, NJ 

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

NOVENA TO ST TERESA OF AVILA starts Oct 6 -Oct 14 - click to pray!

The pious Catholic devotion to saying Novenas has been attacked in the Church history in particular by Jansenists or rigorists. But Catholics know from their own experience that the novena (..) is the best means to obtain signal heavenly graces through the intercession of Our Lady and all the saints. The novena of prayer is the prayer of confidence and perseverance, with a pledge of being heard, the most important qualities of efficacious prayer. Moreover, from the Holy Scriptures we know Our Lady and the Apostles prayed in the Upper room for nine consecutive days before the descend of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

Novenas - info

And now, words of St Teresa on prayer:

Prayer brings us here and now into God's kingdom
"Hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come within us.» Now behold, daughters, how great the wisdom of our Master is... I am reflecting here on what we are asking for when we ask for this kingdom. But since His Majesty saw that we could neither hallow, nor praise, nor extol, nor glorify this holy name of the Eternal Father in a fitting way, because of the tiny amount we ourselves are capable of doing, He provided for us by giving us here on earth His kingdom. That is why Jesus put these two petitions next to each other...
   Now, then, the great good that it seems to me there will be in the kingdom of heaven, among many other blessings, is that one will no longer take any account of earthly things, but have a calmness and glory within, rejoice in the fact that all are rejoicing, experience perpetual peace and a wonderful inner satisfaction that comes from seeing that everyone hallows and praises the Lord and blesses His name and that no one offends Him. Everyone loves Him there, and the soul itself doesn't think about anything else than loving Him; nor can it cease loving Him, because it knows Him.
    And would that we could love Him in this way here below, even though we may not be able to do so with such perfection or stability. But if we knew Him we would love in a way very different from that in which we do love Him... The above would be possible, through the favor of God, for the soul placed in this exile, but not in perfection... for we are at sea and journeying along this way. But there are times when, tired from our travels, we experience that the Lord calms our faculties and quiets the soul. As though by signs, He gives us a clear foretaste of what will be given to those He brings into His kingdom. (St Teresa, Way of Perfection ch.30)

Previous posts Feast of St Teresa of Jesus

Recommended reading: 'The life and letters of St Teresa of Jesus' by Henry James Coleridge

'The life of St Teresa'translation from French original 'A Carmelite Nun' by Alice Lady Lovat with a preface by Robert Hugh Benson

St Teresa and her first English daughters

The life of St Teresa of Jesus of the Order of Our Lady of Carmel, written by herself"
St Teresa of Jesus of the Order of Our Lady of Mt Carmel written by the Saint also A History of St Teresa's journeys and Foundations with Maps and Illustrations with a preface an and introduction by Walter Elliot and edited by John J. Burke

The Wonders of the Heart of St Teresa of Jesus"by Simon of St Joseph and Teresa, priest of the 3rd Order of Discalced Carmelites

St Teresa book-mark - a Meditative Commentary Spanish translation by the Very reverend Luke of St Joseph, Assistant General of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites, Rome

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary - click to visit the shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii

Today we remember and reflect on the conversion and works of charity of
Bl Bartolo Longo
and his devotion to the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Above is the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Rosary that was given to Bl Bartolo by the nuns who were in custody of the image for some time. He restored the image and placed it in the Church built in the valley of Pompeii, the place where he built the shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Pompeii.

The story of Bl Bartolo may tell us a lot about grace of God and good work of one faithful friend. Bartolo was born into a wealthy middle class family and was trained to become a lawyer. He fall under the influence of bad companion, entered the satanic sect, became a satanic priest and staunch enemy of the Catholicism who would publicly ridicule Catholic religion. However, he had a good and devout friend who had not abandoned him in this misery but prayed for him and managed to help Bartolo to convert and return to Catholicism. He put Bartolo in touch with devout Dominican priest who was instrumental in helping Bartolo to develop deep devotion to Our Lady and the Holy Rosary. Bartolo entirely abandoned his past and decided to do all he could in reparation the sins he committed through good works with the poor living in the Valley of Pomepii, which was the place of utter desolation, crime and poverty. After many attempts he managed to convert people living there back to Catholicism, built the shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Pompeii and established Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. No need to say how much the lives of the Valley of Pompeii inhabitants was changed through the work of Bl Bartolo and his wife. 
There is a Petition Prayer composed by Bl Bartolo and I encourage all who have devotion to the Holy Rosary to pray this prayer.

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Holy Rosary, click to read more on this devotion

The Holy Rosary, the Carmelite Devotion - read more Here

Why pray the Rosary today? Certainly, to grow in holiness and in one's prayer life. The following are a few others reasons why the Rosary should be prayed often, even daily:

"Among all the devotions approved by the Church none has been so favored by so many miracles as the devotion of the Most Holy Rosary" (Pope Pius IX).

"Say the Rosary every day to obtain peace for the world" (Our Lady of Fatima).

"There is no surer means of calling down God's blessings upon the family . . . than the daily recitation of the Rosary" (Pope Pius XII).

"We do not hesitate to affirm again publicly that we put great confidence in the Holy Rosary for the healing of evils of our times" (Pope Pius XII).

"No one can live continually in sin and continue to say the Rosary: either they will give up sin or they will give up the Rosary" (Bishop Hugh Doyle).

"The Rosary is a magnificent and universal prayer for the needs of the Church, the nations and the entire world" (Pope John XXIII).

"The Rosary is the compendium of the entire Gospel" (Pope Paul VI quoting Pope Pius XII).

"Meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary . . . can be an excellent preparation for the celebration of those same mysteries in the liturgical actions [i.e. the Mass] and can also become a continuing echo thereof" (Pope Paul VI).

"My impression is that the Rosary is of the greatest value not only according to the words of Our Lady at Fátima, but according to the effects of the Rosary one sees throughout history. My impression is that Our Lady wanted to give ordinary people, who might not know how to pray, this simple method of getting closer to God" (Sister Lucia, one of the seers of Fátima).

"How beautiful is the family that recites the Rosary every evening" (Pope John Paul II).

Pope John Paul II has called the Rosary his "favorite prayer," after the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.

St. Louis de Montfort warns us against both the ignorant and scholars who regard the Rosary as something of little importance..."the Rosary is a priceless treasure inspired by God."

and more quotes:

"What actually is the Rosary? A compedium of the Gospel. It brings us back again and again to the most important scenes of Christ's life, almost as if to let us''breathe' his mystery. The Rosary is the privileged path to contemplation. It is, so to speak, Mary's way. Is there anyone who knows and
loves Christ better?" John Paul II, Pastoral Visit to the shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompeii

"It is a solemn custom of the faithful during the month of October to weave the prayers of the Rosary into mystical garlands for the Mother of Christ." Pope Paul VI Christi Matri

"Yet another excellent fruit follows from the Rosary, exceedingly opportune to the character of our times. This we have referred to elsewhere. It is that, whilst the virtue of Divine Faith is daily exposed to so many dangers and attacks, the Christian may here derive nourishment and strength for his faith. Now Christ stands forth clearly in the Rosary. We behold in meditation His life, whether His hidden life in joy, or His public life in excessive toil and sufferings unto death, or His glorious life from His triumphant resurrection to His eternal enthronement at the right hand of the Father." Pope Leo XIII, Fidentem Piumque Animum

"We exhort them, citing Our own example, not to let even one day pass without saying the Rosary, no matter how burdened they may be with many cares and labors." Pope Pius XI Ingravescentibus Malis (On the Rosary)

"We would like to repeat one admonition from [Pope Leo XIII's encyclical Ingruentium Malorum] Turn in spirit with ever greater confidence to the Virgin Mother of God, the constant refuge of Christians in adversity, since she 'has been made a source of salvation for the human race.'" Bl. Pope John XXIII Grata Recordatio (On Pope Leo XIII's encyclicals Ingruentium Malorum)

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