Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - click to read more

Jacques Daret - Visitation of the Blessed Virgin

It seems to me that the attitude of the Virgin during the months that elapsed between the Annunciation and the Nativity is the model for interior souls, those whom God has chosen to live within, in the depths of the bottomless abyss. In what peace, in what recollection Mary lent herself to everything she did! How  even the most trivial things were divinized by her! For through it all the Virgin remained the adorer of the gift of God! This did not prevent her from spending herself outwardly when it was a matter of charity.

The Gospel tells us that Mary went in haste to the mountains of Judea to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Never did the ineffable vision that she contemplated within herself in any way diminish her outward charity. For, a pious author [Ruusbroeck] says, if contemplation "continues towards praise and towards the eter­nity of its Lord, it possesses unity and will not lose it. If an order from Heaven arrives, contemplation turns towards men, sympa­thizes with their needs, is inclined towards all their miseries; it must cry and be fruitful. It illuminates like fire, and like it, it burns, absorbs and devours, lifting up to Heaven what it has de­voured. And when it has finished its work here below, it rises, burning with its fire, and takes up again the road on high." (Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity)



Commentary after DGO

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Meditation, Novena and Offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Novena starts today - click for link


"You know, my God, that my one desire is to be a victim of Your Sacred Heart, wholly consumed as a holocaust in the fire of Your holy love. Your Heart will be the altar on which I shall be consumed by You, my dear Spouse, and You will be the Priest who will consume this victim by the fires of Your most Sacred Heart. But, O my God, how ashamed I am to see how guilty is this victim and how unworthy to have her sacrifice accepted by You! But I am confident that all will be consumed by this divine fire!
By offering my whole self to You, I understand that I am giving You my free will, so that henceforth, You alone will be the Master of my heart, and Your will alone will regulate my actions. Therefore, dispose of me always according to Your good pleasure; I am content with everything, since I wish to love You with a love that is patient, mortified, wholly abandoned to You, an active love, a strong, undivided love and, what is more important, a persevering love." (St Teresa Margaret Redi)


All ye who bear a burden
Come unto Me, Who know
A place of quiet refreshment,
Where living waters flow!...
O Heart, the well-spring of all love,
Within Thy depths I hide,
And drink the living waters
That flow down from Thy side!
(St Therese "Poems")



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Feast of St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, Carmelite Saint


Holy Spirit, I see you coming down into the soul like the sun which, finding no obstacle, no impediment, illumines everything; I see You descending like a fiery thunderbolt which, in failing, goes to the lowest place it finds and there it reposes, never stopping on the way nor resting on the mountainous or high places but rather in the center of the earth. Thus You, O Holy Spirit, when You come down from heaven with the fiery dart of Your divine love, You do not repose in proud hearts or in arrogant spirit, but You make Your abode in souls that are humble and contemptible in their own eyes (St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi).

Picture represents fragment of the main altar depicting St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi and St Agnes in the Carmelite Church in Cordoba


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St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi - click to read more

Alessandro Rosi, 'The Ecstasy of St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi'

O Lord, if I see my neighbour committing sin, I shall make an excuse for him on the grounds of his intention, which being hidden cannot be seen, and even if I see plainly that his intention was distorted and evil, help me to know how to make allowance for the temptation, which is something from which no mortal is excluded.
And if someone should come to speak to me of my neighbour's fault, I do not want to listen, and I shall answer that I will pray for him and ask the Lord to let me first amend myself. Besides, it will be easier for me to speak to my erring neighbour himself about his fault than to talk about it with others, because instead of remedying that fault, many others, much more serious, may be committed than those that are being discussed. (St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi)

..to read more click here

..to read online 'The Life of St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi' by Fr Placido Fabrini click HERE

St Mary Magdalene de Pazzi was the mystical soul who experienced the very intimate union with God, manifesting in ecstasies and raptures. Her soul was filled with the Holy Spirit and through His spiritual gifts to her she experienced these favours in prayer. St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross writings gives us inside into this kind of spiritual favours. 

There is another kind of rapture -- I call it flight of the spirit -- which, though substantially the same as other raptures, is interiorly experienced very differently. For sometimes suddenly a movement of the soul is felt so swift that it seems the spirit is carried off, and at a fearful speed especially in the beginning. This is why I have told you that strong courage is necessary for the one to whom God grants these favours, and even faith and confidence and a full surrender to our Lord so that He may do what He wants with the soul. Do you think it is a small disturbance for a person to be very much in his senses and see his soul carried off (and in the case of some, we have read, even the body with the soul) without knowing where that soul is going, what or who does this, or how?.... is there some means by which one can resist it? None at all; rather, to resist makes matters worse, for I know this was so with a certain person.It is such that the spirit truly seems to go forth from the body. On the other hand, it is clear that this person is not dead; at least, he cannot say whether for some moments he was in the body or not. It seems to him that he was entirely in another region different from this in which we live, where there is shown another light so different from earth's light that if he were to spend his whole life trying to imagine that light, along with the other things, he would be unable to do so. It happens that within an instant so many things together are taught him that if he were to work for many years with his imagination and mind in order to systematize them he wouldn't be able to do so, not with even one thousandth part of one of them. This is not an intellectual but an imaginative vision, for the eyes of the soul see much better than do we with bodily eyes here on earth, and without words understanding of some things is given; I mean that if a person sees some saints, he knows them as well as if he had often spoken with them. 8. At other times, along with the things seen through the eyes of the soul by an intellectual vision, other things are represented, especially a multitude of angels with their Lord. And without seeing anything with the eyes of the body or the soul, through an admirable knowledge I will not be able to explain, there is represented what I'm saying and many other things not meant to be spoken of. Anyone who experiences them, and has more ability then I, will perhaps know how to explain them; although doing so seems to me very difficult indeed. (St Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle, Sixth Dwelling Place, Ch 5) 

Stanzas concerning an ecstasy experienced in high contemplation. 
I entered into unknowing, and there I remained unknowing transcending all knowledge. 
1. I entered into unknowing, yet when I saw myself there, without knowing where I was, I understood great things; I will not say what I felt for I remained in unknowing transcending all knowledge. 
2. That perfect knowledge was of peace and holiness held at no remove in profound solitude; it was something so secret that I was left stammering, transcending all knowledge. 
3. I was so 'whelmed, so absorbed and withdrawn, that my senses were left deprived of all their sensing, and my spirit was given an understanding while not understanding, transcending all knowledge. 
4. He who truly arrives there cuts free from himself; all that he knew before now seems worthless, and his knowledge so soars that he is left in unknowing transcending all knowledge. 
5. The higher he ascends the less he understands, because the cloud is dark which lit up the night; whoever knows this remains always in unknowing transcending all knowledge. 
6. This knowledge in unknowing is so overwhelming that wise men disputing can never overthrow it, for their knowledge does not reach to the understanding of not understanding, transcending all knowledge. 
7. And this supreme knowledge is so exalted that no power of man or learning can grasp it; he who masters himself will, with knowledge in unknowing, always be transcending. 
8. And if you should want to hear: this highest knowledge lies in the loftiest sense of the essence of God; this is a work of his mercy, to leave one without understanding, transcending all knowledge. (St John of the Cross, The Living Flame of Love, Fourth Stanza)

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Holy Trinity Sunday

Masaccio, Holy Trinity fresco, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

In the beginning the Word was; he lived in God and possessed in him his infinite happiness. The same Word was God, who is the Beginning… The Word is called Son; he was born of the Beginning who had always conceived him, giving of his substance always, yet always possessing it. And thus the glory of the Son was the Father’s glory, and the Father possessed all his glory in the Son….and the Love that unites them is one with them, their equal, excellent as the One and the Other; Three Persons and one Beloved among all three…. In that immense love proceeding from the two the Father spoke words of great affection to the Son….: “My Son, only your company contents me, and when something pleases me I love that thing in you; whoever resembled you most satisfies me most, and whoever is like you in nothing will find nothing in me. I am pleased with you alone, O life of my life! You are the light of my light, you are my wisdom, the image of my substance in whom I am well pleased. On creation. “My Son, I wish to give you a bride who will love you. Because of you she will deserve to share our company and eat at our table, the same bread I eat, that she may know the good I have in such a Son; and rejoice with me in your grace and fullness.” “I am very grateful, the Son answered; “I will show my brightness to the bride you give me, so that by it she may see how great my Father is, and how I have received my being from your being”….“Let it be done, then” said the Father, for your love has deserved it. And by these words the world was created, a palace for the bride made with great wisdom and divided into rooms, and above, the other below. The lower was furnished with infinite variety, while the higher was made beautiful with marvellous jewels, that the bride might know the Bridegroom she had. The orders of angels were placed in the higher, but humanity was given the lower place, for it was, in its being, a lesser thing. And though beings and places were divided in this way, yet all form one, who is called the bride; for love of the same Bridegroom made one bride of them. Those higher ones possessed the Bridegroom in gladness; the lower in hope, founded on the faith that he infused in them, telling them that one day he would exalt them, and that he would lift them up from their lowness so that no one could mock it anymore; for he would make himself wholly like them, and he would come to them and dwell with them; and God would be man and man would be God, and he would walk with them and eat and drink with them; and he himself would be with them continually until the consummation of this world…..For as the Father and the Son and he who proceeds from them live in one another, so it would be with the bride; for, taken wholly into God, she will live the life of God. By this bright hope which came to them from above, their wearying labours were lightened; but the drawn-out waiting and their growing desire to rejoice with their Bridegroom wore on them continually, So with prayers and sigh and suffering, with tears and moaning they asked night and day that now he would determine to grant them his company….. In these and other prayers a long time had passed; but in the later years their fervour swelled and grew when the aged Simeon burned with longing, and begged God that he might see this day. And so the Holy Spirit answering the good old man gave him his word that he would not see death until he saw Life descending from the heights, until he took God himself into his own hands and holding him in his arms, pressed him to himself. The Incarnation. Now that the time had come when it would be good to ransom the bride serving under the hard yoke of that law which Moses had given her, the Father, with tender love spoke… “Surely your bride’s delight would greatly increase were she to see you like her, in her own flesh.” “My will is yours,” the Son replied …..”This is fitting, Father, what you, the Most High, say, for in this way your goodness will be more evident, your great power will be seen and your justice and wisdom I will go and tell the world….I will go and seek my bride and take upon myself her weariness and labours in which she suffers so; and that she may have life, I will die for her, and lifting her out of that deep I will restore her to you”. Then he called the archangel Gabriel and sent him to the virgin Mary, at whose consent the mystery was wrought....and the Word lived incarnate in the womb of Mary. And he who had only a Father now had a Mother too, but she was not like others who conceived by man. From her own flesh he received his flesh, so he is called Son of God and of man. When the time had come for him to be born, he went forth like the bridegroom from his bridal chamber, embracing his bride, holding her in his arms, whom the gracious Mother laid in a manger among the animals that were there at that time. Men sang songs and angels melodies….but God there in the manger cried and moaned; and these tears were jewels the bride brought to the wedding. The Mother gazed in sheer wonder on such an exchange: in God, man’s weeping, and in man, gladness, to the one and the other things usually so strange. St John of the Cross, Romances on the Blessed Trinity.
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