Monday, October 18, 2021

Feast of St Luke Evangelist

ST LUKE EVANGELIST Luke was born in Antioch to pagan Greek parents. St. Paul met him at Troas and invited him to accompany him into Macedonia where they traveled first to Samothrace, Neapolis, and finally Philippi about the year 51. Later, he became the constant companion of St. Paul, following him everywhere. He alone remained with Paul when he was imprisoned in Rome about the year 61. After St. Paul's death, St. Luke left Rome. There are conflicting reports about where he went. Some say he preached in Greece, others in Gaul. He wrote his Gospel with the aim of attracting the Gentiles to the goodness and mercy of the Lord. A little later he wrote the Acts of the Apostles. He died without shedding his blood, but the Church honored him with the title of martyr for the long sufferings and mortifications he endured for the cause of the Gospel.  
 
Joy in temporal goods. How a person should direct it to God. 1. We listed the first kind of goods as temporal.[1] By temporal goods we mean: riches, status, positions, and other things claiming prestige; and children, relatives, marriages, and so on. All these are possible objects of joy for the will. But the vanity of rejoicing over riches, titles, status, positions, and other similar goods after which people usually strive is clear. If people were better servants of God by being richer, they would be obliged to rejoice in riches. But riches are rather the occasion of their offending God, as the Wise Man teaches: Son, if you be rich you shall not be free from sin [Ecclus. 11:10]. Though it is true that temporal goods of themselves are not necessarily the cause of sin, yet, because of the weakness of its tendencies, the human heart usually becomes attached to them and fails God, which is sin. Thus the Wise Man says you will not be free from sin. This is why the Lord in the Gospel calls them thorns; the one who willfully handles them will be wounded with some sin [Mt. 13:22; Lk. 8:14]. In St. Luke's Gospel the exclamation – which ought to be greatly feared - asserts: How difficult will it be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of heaven (those who have joy in them), and demonstrates clearly a person's obligation not to rejoice in riches, since one is thereby exposed to so much danger [Lk. 18:24; Mt. 19:23]. In order to turn us from this danger, David also taught: If riches abound, do not set your heart on them [Ps. 62:10]. St John of the Cross, ‘Ascent of Mt Carmel’, Book 3. Ch 18. 
 
The picture of St Luke the Evangelist is from fresco in Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence, 1486-90
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Thursday, October 14, 2021

St Teresa of Avila, Virgin and Doctor of the Church, solemnity

 
Mercies of the Lord I will sing forever, says the latin inscription (after Psalm89) on the picture of St Teresa above. It fits her life perfectly. She was born in Avila, Spain in 1515. As a member of the Carmelite Order she made great
progress in perfection and received mystical revlations. As reformer of her Order she underwent many trials which she intrepidly overcame. She also wrote books of the greatest spiritual value which reflect her own experiences. She died at Alba in 1582. 

This is what she writes with great humlility in the Epilogue of the Interior Castle: "Through the strong desire I have to play some part in helping you serve my God and Lord, I ask that each time you read this work you, in my name, praise His Majesty fervently and ask for the increase of His Church and for light for the Lutherans. As for me, ask Him to pardon my sins and deliver me from purgatory, for perhaps by the mercy of God I will be there when this is given you to read -- if it may be seen by you after having been examined by learned men. If anything is erroneous it is so because I didn't know otherwise; and I submit in everything to what the holy Roman Catholic Church holds, for in this Church I live, declare my faith, and promise to live and die." 

In her autobiography she tells us: Whoever lives in the presence of so good a friend and excellent a leader as is Jesus Christ can endure all things. Christ helps us and sthrengthens us and never fails.; He is a true friend. And I see clearly that God desires that if we are going to please him and receive his great favours this must come about through the most sacred humanilty of Christ, in whom he takes his delight. Many, many times have I perceived this through experience. The Lord has told it to me. I have definitely seen that we must enter by this gate if we desire His sovereign Majesty to show us great secrets. A person should desire no other path, even if he be at the summmit of contemplation; on this road he walks safely. This Lord of ours is the one through whom all blessings come to us. He will teach us these things. In beholding his life we find that he is the best example. What more do we desire from such a good friend at our side, who will not abandon us in our labours and tribulations as firends in the world do? Blessed is the one who truly loves him and always keeps him near. Let us consider the glorious St Paul: it doesn't seem that any other name fell from his lips than that of Jesus, as coming from one who kept the Lord close to his heart. Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the saints, the great contemplatives, and found that they hadn't taken any other path: Francis, Anthony of Padua, Bernard, Catherine of Siena. A person must walk along this path in freedom, placing himself in God's hands. If His Majesty should desire to raise us to the position of one who is an intimate and shares his secrets, we ought to accept gladly. As often as we think of Christ we should recall the love with which he bestows on us so many favours and the great things God showed in giving us a pledge like this of his love: for love begets love. Let us strive to keep this always before our eyes and to waken ourselves to love. For if at some time the Lord should grant us the favour of impressing this love on our hearts, all will become easy for us and we shall carry out our tasks quickly and without much effort.After Discalced Carmelite Proper Offices.

 

 

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Thursday, October 07, 2021

Praying the Rosary with St Therese of the Child Jesus and St Teresa of Avila during October, the month of the Most Holy Rosary


Joyful Mysteries
The Annunciation of Our Lord - Humility
Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 18:4
Our Father
*
Sanctity is an interior disposition which makes us humble and little in God's arms, conscious of our weakness and trusting even to audacity in the goodness of our Father. 3 Hail Mary
*
Spiritual Childhood also means not to attribute to ourselves the virtues we practice, not to believe that we are capable of anything, but to acknowledge that it is the good Lord who has placed that treasure in the hand of His little child that He may use it when He needs it. 3 Hail Mary
*
Humility is truth. 4 Hail Mary. Glory be. Hail Holy Queen.
(St Therese)
or:
*
It is proper to divine love to lower itself; hence, the loser we are, the more we attract God.
*
We would like never to fail. What an illusion! What does it matter, my Jesus, if I fall at every moment? I come to recognise by it how weak I am and that is gain for me. You see by that how little I am able to do and You will be more likely to carry me in Your arms.
*
If I am humble, I am entitled, without offending the good Lord, to do small foolish things until I die.
*


The Visitation to Elizabeth - Love of Neighbour
You shall love your neighbour as yourself (Mark 12:31)
Our Father
*
I saw some new virtues arise in me...not speaking evil of anyone, no matter how slight, but ordinarily avoiding all fault-finding. I was very much aware that I should not desire to say of another person what I would not want them to say of me. I was extremely cautious about this. 3 Hail Mary
*
If through my intercession I could play a part in getting a soul to love and praise God more, even if it be for just a short time, I think that would matter more to me than being in glory. 3 Hail Mary
*
Whoever fails to love their neighbour, fails to love You, my Lord, since we see You showed the very great love You have for the children of Adam by shedding so much blood. 4 Hail Mary, Glory to be, Hail Holy Queen
(St Teresa)
or:
*
Let us strive always to look at the virtues and good deeds we see in others and cover their defects with the thought of our own great sins.
*
While we live in this mortal life, earthly joys are uncertain, even when they seem to be given by You.ig they are not accompanied by love of neighbour.
*
For at times it happens that some trifle will cause as much suffering to one as a great trial will to another; little things can bring much distress to persons who have sensitive nature. If you are not like them, do not fail to be compassionate.

The Birth of Jesus - Spirit of Poverty
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:3)
Our Father
*
My way is the way of spiritual childhood. 3 Hail Mary
*
My peace consists in remaining small. 3 Hail Mary
*
The thing that pleases Jesus when He beholds my soul is that I love my littleness and my poverty and have a blind hope in His mercy. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail Holy Queen.
(St Therese)
or:
*
The God of strength loves to show His power by making use of nothing.
*
It is possible to remain little even when we are charged with the most formidable functions and ...even when we are in extreme old age.
*
Remain always little and poor, in order to expect everything from God.

Presentation in the Temple - Obedience
If you love me, you will keep my commandments - (John 14:15)
Our Father
*
Let Your will be done in me in every way, and may it not please Your Majesty that something as precious as Your love be given to anyone who serves You only for the sake of consolation. 3 Hail Mary
*
We shouldn't care at all about not having devotion - as I have said - but we ought to thank the Lord who allows us to be desirous of pleasing Him, even though our works may be weak. This method of keeping Christ present with us is beneficial in all stages and is a very safe means of advancing. 3 Hail Mary
*
Everything other than pleasing God is nothing. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail Holy Queen.
(St Teresa)
or:
*
No matter how much I did, I strove that it be done in such a way that it would not displease the One who I clearly saw was witnessing it.
*
Nor does God ever fill anyone who serves Him.
*
The Lord helps those who are resolved to render Him service and glory.

The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple - Piety
You...must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48)
Our Father
*
The Way of Spiritual Childhood...is the only means to make rapid progress in love and the only way by which saints are made. 3 Hail Mary
*
Take Jesus by His Heart...It is this way that I took hold of the good Lord and that is why I shall be well received by Him. 3 Hail Mary
*
Practice all the virtues and so always lift up your little foot to mount the ladder of holiness. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail, Holy Queen
(St Therese)
or:
*
The good Lord does not demand more from you than good will....He looks at you with love. Very soon, won over by your useless efforts, He will come down and take you in His arms. He will carry you up.
*
I know that there are saints who spent their lives practicing extraordinary mortifications,,,but after all, there are many mansions in the house of our heavenly Father. Jesus had told us so and that is why I follow the way He has traced out for me.
*
The best rule is that we should follow what love inspires us to do from moment to moment, with the sole desire of pleasing the good Lord in everything He asks of us.



Glorious Mysteries
The Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead - Faith
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (John 20:29)
Our Father
*
The Lord said to me: "Why are you afraid? Do you not know that I am all powerful? I will fulfill what I have promised" 3 Hail Mary
*
 I thought I would be able to serve God much better if I were in good health. This is our mistake: not abandoning ourselves entirely to what the Lord does, for He knows best what is fitting for us. 3 Hail Mary
*
I often thought that St Peter didn't lose anything when he threw himself into the sea, even though he grew frightened afterward. These first acts of determination are very important. 4 Hail Mary. Glory be. Hail, Holy Queen.
(St Teresa, Collected Works)
alternative quotations:
*
*Let us believe that all is  for our own greater good. Let His Majesty lead the way along the path He desires. We belong no longer to ourselves but to Him.
*
God's words cannot fail.
*
God always understand us and is with us. There is no doubt about this understanding and presence...He wants to begin to work in the soul in a special way. 
*
I write this for the consolation of weak souls like myself that they might never despair or fail to trust in the greatness of God.
*
The Lord helps us, strengthen us, and never fails; He is a true friend.
*
He shows no partiality, He loves everyone.

Ascension of Jesus into Heaven - Hope
Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you (Luke 11:9) Our Father
*
We never have too much confidence in the good Lord who is so powerful and merciful. We obtain from Him as much as we hope for. 3 Hail Mary
*
In order to remain a little child, we must expect everything fro our Good Lord, as a child expects everything from his father, without worrying about anything. 3 Hail Mary
*
When I fall on the road I can quickly rise again and Jesus takes me by the hand. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail, Holy Queen.
St Therese, various sources.
alternative quotations:
*
It is confidence and confidence alone that should lead us to Love.
*
Justice itself, amd justice even more than any other divine perfection, seems to me to be clothed in love.
*
That justice which frightens so many souls is for me a source of joy and confidence. To be just means more than to be severe in punishing the guilty. It takes account of right intentions and wishes to reward virtue. 
or:
Abandon yourself with absolute confidence to His infinite mercy.
*
He measures His gifts according to the amounts of confidence He finds us.
*
Jesus does not wish to give me provisions for the future. He feeds me from the moment to moment.
*
The whole of nature, in fact, enchanted me and raised my soul towards Heaven.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit - Love of God
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength (Mark 12:30) Our Father
*
Prayer is and exercise of love. 3 Hail Mary
I liked images so much. Unfortunate are those who through their own fault lose this great good. It indeed appears that they do not love the Lord, for if they loved Him they would rejoice to see a portrait of Him, just as here on earth it really gives joy to see one whom you deeply love. 3 Hail Mary
*
The love of God does not consists in tears or in this delight and tenderness, which for the greater part we desire and find consolation in; but it consists in serving with justice and fortitude of soul and in humility. Without such service it seems to me we would be receiving everything and giving nothing. 3 Hail Mary
*
It is very obvious that we love others more when we often recall the good works they do for us....Keep always in mind that we have our being from God, that He created us from nothing and sustains us, and all the other benefits flowing from His death and trials. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail Holy Queen.
St Teresa
or:
*
What a charming way to seek the love of God!
*
The perfect attainment of this true love of God brings with it every blessing....There is nothing on earth with which one can buy so wonderful a blessing.
*
The soul is therefore neither content with nor desirous of the world's satisfactions, because it has in itself what pleases it more...a desire to enjoy Him more and to be with Him. Being with Him is what it wants.
*Virtue always inspires love.
*
The Lord goes to in search of those who do love Him so as to give more to them.
*
Come to love a goodness so perfect and a mercy so unmeasurable.

Assumption of Mary into Heaven - Desire for Heaven
Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matt 25:34) Our Father
I will spend my heaven in doing good upon earth. Why not, since the Angels can take care of us while still enjoying the Beatific Visions? 3 Hail Mary
*
If my wishes are granted, my heaven will be spent on earth until the end of the world. 3 Hail Mary
*
When the Angel shall have said "time is no more" then will I rest. I shall then be able to rejoice because the number of the elect will be complete and all shall have entered into joy and repose. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail Holy Queen.
St Therese
or:
*
I feel always the same audacious confidence that I will become a great saint, for I do not count on my own merits since I have none, but I hope in Him.
*
It is He and He alone who, being satisfied with my feeble efforts, will raise me to Himself and, covering me with His infinite merits, will make me a saint.
*
If we abandon ourselves, and place our confidence in God, while making every small effort and hoping everything from His mercy, we shall be rewarded as much as the greatest saints. 
*
One glance, one moment of His Heart can cause His flower to open out for all eternity.
*
If it is necessary to suffer and weep in order to reach heaven, I want to suffer whatever may please Jesus.
*
Eternal reward has no proportion to our small sacrifices in this life.

The Crowning of Mary Queen of Heaven and Earth - Devotion to Mary
Behold, your Mother (John 19:27) Our Father
*
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. 3 Hail Mary
*
I remember that when my mother died 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. 3 Hail Mary
*
I have found favour wuth this souvereign Virgin in everything I have asked of her, and in the end she has drawn me to herself. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail Holy Queen
or:
*
To see a work accomplished that I knew was for the service of the Lord and to the honour of the habit of His glorious Mother - these were my concerns.
*
I prayed very much to St Joseph, as I did also to our Lady.
*
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.
*
He told me: 'I gave my Son, and the Holy Spirit, and this Blessed Virgin. What can you give Me?
*
He showed me His Mother ascend 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.
*
On another day the Lord told me this: 'Do you think, daughter, that merit lies in enjoyment? No, rather it lies in working and suffering and loving...When you see My Mother holding Me in her arms, don't think she enjoyed those consolations without heavy torment. From the time Simeon spoke those words to her, My Father gave her clear light to see what I was to suffer.
*

Sorrowful Mysteries
The Agony of Jesus in the Garden - Sorrow for sin
The cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful (Mark 4:19)
Our Father.
*
Many times the feeling of my great faults is tempered by the happiness experienced in the thought that the multitude of Your mercies may be known. 3 Hail Mary
*
I found great consolation in sinners whom, after having been sinners, the Lord brought back to Himself. It seemed to me I could find help in them and that since the Lord had pardoned them He could also pardon me. 3 Hail Mary
*
Oh, what a good friend You make, my Lord! How you proceed by favouring and enduring...You take into account, my Lord, the times when they love You, and in one instant of repentance You forget their offences. 4 Hail Mary. Glory be.
(St Teresa Collected Works)
or:
*
The scene of His prayer in the garden, especially, was a comfort to me: I strove to be His companion there. If I could, I thought of the sweat and agony He had undergone in that place...I remained with Him as long as my thought allowed me to.
*
Where, my Lord, did I think I could find a remedy save in You? What folly; to flee from the light so as to be always stumbling!
*
Where, my Lord, did I think I could find a remedy save in You? What a folly; to flee from the light so as to be always stumbling!

The Scourging at the Pillar - Purity
Clean the inside of cup and dish so that the outside may become clean as well (Matthew 23:26). 
Our Father
*
Jesus is pleased to teach [me] the science of glorying in [my] infirmities. That is a great grace and I pray Jesus to teach it also to you, for there alone are found peace and repose of heart. 3 Hail Mary
*
Why should we defend ourselves when we are misunderstood and misjudged? Let us leave that aside. Let us not say anything....O blessed silence, which gives so much peace to the soul. 3 Hail Mary
*
I prefer to be accused unjustly...and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. 4 Hail Mary. Glory be.
(St Therese, various sources)
or:
*
In the hidden struggle of interior resurrection, nature cannot get such a hold on us and we can more easily attain humility and peace.
*
When something was wanting I was much more satisfied, because I was then truly giving up something.
*
It suffices that we refrain from indulging in a selfish sort of happiness, and offer to our Spouse the small joys He strews on the path of our life to delight our souls and raise them even to Himself. 

The Crowning with Thorns - Courage
Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid (Matthew 14:27
Our Father
*
I don't understand these fears, "The devil! The devil!", when we can say "God! God!", and make the devil tremble. 3 Hail Mary
*
I would never counsel anyone - if there were someone to whom I should have to give counsel - to fail out of fear to put a good inspiration into practice when it repeatedly arises. For if one proceeds with detachment for God alone, there is no reason to fear that the effort will turn out bad; for God has the power to accomplish all. 3 Hail Mary
*
His Majesty wants this determination, and He is a friend of courageous souls if they walk in humility and without trusting in self. 4 Hail Mary. Glory be.
(St Teresa of Avila, Collected works)
or:
*
By understanding the love He bore me, I regained my courage, for I never lost confidence in His mercy.
*
God does not deny Himself to anyone who perseveres. Little by little He will measure out the courage sufficient to attain this victory. I say 'courage' because there are so many things the devil puts in the minds of beginners to prevent them in fact from starting out on this path.
*
Since we have an all-powerful King and so great a Lord that He can do all and that He brings all under His subjection, there is nothing to fear, if one walks, as I have said, in truth in the presence of His Majesty and with a pure conscience.

The Carrying of the Cross - Patience
As for the seeds in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience (Luke 8:15). Our Father.
*
The glory of my Jesus, that is all. For my honour, I abandon it to Him, and if He seems to forget me, well! He is free to do so, for I no longer belong to myself but to Him. 3 Hail Mary
*
He will tire more quickly of making me wait than I shall tire of waiting for Him. 3 Hail Mary
*
To humble ourselves, to suffer our imperfections with patience, this is true sanctity, the source of peace. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be.
(St Therese)
or:
*
God's mercy exercises endless patience.
*
I am willing to wait until the day which has no setting sun, and when my darksome faith will vanish at His sight.
*
In one instance Jesus accomplished what I had been unable to do for several years, having been content, on my part, with my good will, which had never been wanting.


The Crucifixion - Self-Denial
If any man come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:23). Our Father.
*
Even in sickness itself and these other occasions the prayer is genuine when i comes from a soul that loves to offer the sickness up and accept what is happening and be conformed to it. 3 Hail Mary
*
All bear their crosses even though these crosses be different. For all who follow Christ, if they don't want to get lost, must walk along the path that He trod. And blessed be the trials that even here in this life are so super-abundantly repaid. 3 Hail Mary
*
There are many who begin, yet they never reach the end. I believe this is due mainly to a failure to embrace the cross from the beginning. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be.
 (St Teresa)
or:
*
If people wish to gain freedom of spirit and not be always troubled, let them begin by not being frightened by the cross, and they will see how the Lord also helps them carry it and they will gain satisfaction and profit from everything.



All quotation after John McClernon 'Sermon in a Sentence' books.



















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Saturday, October 02, 2021

Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels

FEAST OF THE HOLY GUARDIAN ANGELS Father Goffine's "Devout Instructions" after www.catholic-forums.org/saints/ This feast was instituted: 1.To thank God that to each one of us He has given a particular guardian angel to conduct him unharmed through the dangers of this world. 2.To inspire us with gratitude to the angels who do us such great good, and to incite us to efforts to render ourselves worthy of their guardianship. What is the office of a guardian angel? To guard men against dangers of soul and body. The Psalmist says: "He hath given His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways; in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone" (Psalm 90:11); that is, that thou mayest neither fall into sin nor misfortune. "Oh, what great regard for us," hereupon exclaims Saint Bernard, "what wonderful love! Who is it that has given charge? God. To whom has He given charge? The angels, those noble spirits, His own household. What charge has He given them? To guard and defend us, poor men. 'O Lord, what is man, that Thou art mindful of him'?" Saint Paul calls the angels "ministering spirits" sent to minister to them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). In innumerable other places in the Bible they are represented as friends of children, guides of youth, defenders of innocence, promoters of good deeds, monitors against evil, guardians of the pious, protectors against misfortune, comforters in need, deliverers in danger, helpers in combat, companions of the souls in everlasting joy. What should we do every day, but particularly this day? We should thank God for having given us guardians so holy and powerful, and our guardian angel himself for the help he has rendered us; should think of and call upon him often, especially in the hour of temptation; finally, we should promise fidelity and obedience to his admonitions. Whatever in this regard is at any time binding upon us should especially be done to-day. Prayer O God, Who by an unspeakable providence dost vouchsafe to send Thy angels to guard us, grant to Thy suppliants to be ever defended by their protection, and to rejoice eternally in their society. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. Epistle: Exodus 23:20-23 Thus saith the Lord: Behold I will send My angel, who shall go before thee, and keep thee in thy journey, and bring thee into the place that I have prepared. Take notice of him, and hear his voice, and do not think him one to be contemned; for he will not forgive when thou hast sinned, and My name is in him. But if thou wilt hear his voice, and do all that I speak, I will be an enemy to thy enemies, and will afflict them that afflict thee. And My angel shall go before thee. Gospel: Matthew 18:1-10 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest Thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus calling unto Him a little child, set him in the midst of them, and said: 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 greater in the kingdom of heaven. And he that shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come, but nevertheless, woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven. 


 

 

 

 

 

Prayer to the Guardian Angel Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom His love commits me here, Ever this day be at my side, To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen. (100 days' indulgence each time)

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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels - Feast

SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL Protector of the People of God

Spiritual Bouquet: We have been made a spectacle to the world, and to Angels, and to men. I Cor. 4:9

“MI-CA-EL,” or “Who is like unto God?” was the cry of the great Archangel when he smote the rebel Lucifer in the conflict of the heavenly hosts. From that hour he has been known as Michael, Captain of the armies of God, the archetype of divine fortitude, the champion of every faithful soul in strife with the powers of evil. What is more, we see him in Holy Scripture as the special guardian of the children of Israel, their comfort and protector in times of sorrow or conflict. It is he who prepares their return from the Persian captivity, when the prophet Daniel prays for that favor (Daniel 10:12-13); who leads the valiant Maccabees to victory in battle, after the prayer of Judas Maccabeus (I Mac. 7:41-44). Ever since its foundation by Jesus Christ, the Church has venerated Saint Michael as her special patron and protector. She invokes him by name in her Confiteor, when accusing her faults; she summons him to the side of her children in the agony of death, and chooses him as their escort from the chastening flames of purgatory to the realms of holy light. Lastly, when Antichrist shall have set up his kingdom on earth, it is Michael who will unfurl once more the standard of the Cross. This we know from a prophecy of Scripture which states clearly that in those days the great prince Michael will rise up to protect the children of God. (Daniel 12:1-4)

During the plague in Rome in the 6th century, Pope Gregory the Great saw Saint Michael in a vision sheathing his flaming sword to show that he would put an end to the scourge which was ravaging the city. In 608 a church was erected in thanksgiving to Saint Michael for the help he gave.

Reflection: Saint Bernard wrote: “Whenever any grievous temptation or vehement sorrow oppresses you, invoke your Guardian, your Leader. Cry out to him and say, Lord, save us, lest we perish!”

Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

Novena to St. Michael

Glorious Saint Michael, guardian and defender of the Church of Jesus Christ, come to the assistance of His followers, against whom the powers of hell are unchained. Guard with special care our Holy Father, the Pope, and our bishops, priests, all our religious and lay people, and especially the children.

Saint Michael, watch over us during life, defend us against the assaults of the demon, and assist us especially at the hour of death. Help us achieve the happiness of beholding God face to face for all eternity. Amen.

Saint Michael, intercede for me with God in all my necessities, especially {mention special petition}. Obtain for me a favorable outcome in the matter I recommend to you. Mighty prince of the heavenly host, and victor over rebellious spirits, remember me for I am weak and sinful and so prone to pride and ambition. Be for me, I pray, my powerful aid in temptation and difficulty, and above all do not forsake me in my last struggle with the powers of evil. Amen

Prayer Against Satan and the Rebellious Angels

Published by Order of His Holiness Pope Leo XIII

The following is a simple exorcism prayer that can be said by priests or laity. The term “exorcism” does NOT always denote a solemn exorcism involving a person possessed by the devil. In general, the term denotes prayers to “curb the power of the devil and prevent him from doing harm.” As St. Peter had written in Holy Scripture, “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.” (1 St.Peter 5,8) The Holy Father exhorts priests to say this prayer as often as possible, as a simple exorcism to curb the power of the devil and prevent him from doing harm. The faithful also may say it in their own name, for the same purpose, as any approved prayer. Its use is recommended whenever action of the devil is suspected, causing malice in men, violent temptations and even storms and various calamities. It could be used as a solemn exorcism (an official and public ceremony, in Latin), to expel the devil. It would then be said by a priest, in the name of the Church and only with a Bishop's permission.

Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel

+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Most glorious Prince of the Celestial Host, Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in the conflict which we have to sustain against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places (Eph. 6.12). Come to the rescue of men whom God has created to His image and likeness, and whom He has redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. It is thou whom Holy Church venerates as her guardian and protector; thou whom the Lord has charged to conduct redeemed souls into Heaven. Pray, therefore, the God of Peace to subdue Satan beneath our feet, that he may no longer retain men captive nor do injury to the Church. Present our prayers to the
most High, that without delay they may draw His mercy down upon us. Seize the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, bind him and cast him into the bottomless pit, that he may no more seduce the nations (Apoc. 20.2-3).

Exorcism

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, strengthened by the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Blessed Michael the Archangel, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the Saints, [and powerful in the holy authority of our ministry]*, we confidently undertake to repulse the attacks and deceits of the devil.

*Lay people omit this text

Psalm 67

Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face.

As smoke vanishes, so let them vanish away: as wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord! Flee, bands of enemies.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Offspring of David has conquered.
V. May Thy mercy descend upon us.
R. As great as our hope in Thee.

(The crosses (+) below indicate a blessing to be given if a priest recites the Exorcism; if a lay person recites it, they indicate the Sign of the Cross to be made by that person.)

We drive you from us, whoever you may be, unclean spirits, Satanic powers, infernal invaders, wicked legions, assemblies, and sects. In the name and by the virtue of Our Lord Jesus Christ +. May you be snatched away and driven from the Church of God and from the souls redeemed by the Precious Blood of the Divine Lamb +.

Cease by your audacity, cunning serpent, to deceive the human race, to persecute the Church, to torment God's elect, and to sift them as wheat +. This is the command made to you by the Most High God +, with Whom in your haughty insolence you still pretend to be equal +. The God Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth (I Tim. 2.4). God the Father commands you +. God the Son commands you +. God the Holy Ghost commands you +. Christ, the Eternal Word of God made Flesh, commands you +. He Who to save our race, outdone through your malice, humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death (Phil. 2.8). He Who has built His Church on the firm rock and declared that the gates of hell shall not prevail against Her, because He dwells with Her all days, even to the consummation of the world (Matt. 28.20). The hidden virtue of the Cross requires it of you, as does the power of the mysteries of the Christian Faith +. The glorious Mother of God, the Virgin Mary, commands you +. She who by Her humility and from the first moment of Her Immaculate Conception crushed your proud head. The faith of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul and of the other Apostles commands you +. The blood of the Martyrs and the pious intercession of all the Saints command you +.

Thus, cursed dragon, and you, wicked legions, we adjure you by the living God +, by the true God +, by the holy God +, by the God Who so loved the world, as to give up His only-begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him may not perish but may have life everlasting (St. John 3.16). Cease deceiving human creatures and pouring out to them the poison of eternal perdition. Cease harming the Church and hindering her liberty. Retreat, Satan, inventor and master of all deceit, enemy of man's salvation. Cede the place to Christ in Whom you have found none of your works. Cede the place to the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church acquired by Christ at the price of His Blood. Stoop beneath the all-powerful Hand of God. Tremble and flee at the evocation of the Holy and terrible name of Jesus; this Name which causes hell to tremble; this Name to which the Virtues, Powers and Dominations of Heaven are humbly submissive; this Name which the Cherubim and Seraphim praise unceasingly, repeating: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord, the God of Hosts.

V. O Lord hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. May the Lord be with thee.
R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

God of Heaven, God of earth, God of Angels, God of Archangels, God of Patriarchs, God of Prophets, God of Apostles, God of Martyrs, God of Confessors, God of Virgins, God who has power to give life after death and rest after work, because there is no other God than Thee and there can be no other, for Thou art the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, of Whose reign there shall be no end. We humbly prostrate ourselves before Thy glorious Majesty and we supplicate Thee to deliver us from all the tyranny of the infernal spirits, from their snares, their lies, and their furious wickedness. Deign, O Lord, to protect us by Thy power and to preserve us safe and sound. We beseech Thee through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

V. From the snares of the devil,
R. Deliver us, O Lord.

V. That Thy Church may serve Thee in peace and liberty,
R. We beseech Thee to hear us.

V. That Thou would crush down all enemies of Thy Church,
R. We beseech Thee to hear us.

(Holy water is sprinkled in the place where we may be.)

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Divine Power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who wander throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

*Indulgence of 300 days, plenary under the usual conditions, if this invocation is recited daily during a month.

Imprimatur: + Manuel, Bishop of Barcelona, December 19, 1931

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Friday, September 24, 2021

Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham


Our Lady of Walsingham belongs to England. And it is a 15th-century poet, laureate of the famous chapel now destroyed, who sang that England belonged to Mary:

O England, great cause thou hast glad for to be,
Compared to the land of promised Sion,
Thou attainest my grace to stand in that degree
Through this glorious Lady’s supportation,
To be called in every realm and region
The holy land, Our Lady’s dowry;
Thus art thou named of old antiquity.


One cannot doubt that Our Lady is still looking with a maternal love on this island where, for centuries, countless pilgrims came to put down their burden at her shrine «where grace is poured out daily upon men of all ages» and, when they departed, they carried with them in the intimate recess of their heart the peace of heaven, sprung from the faith of their childhood, which brings peace to the heart and lifts up the veil that hides the vision of a pure and everlasting joy. (His Holiness Pope Pius XII - An address to British Soldiers on April 11, 1947)

credit 'A Moment with Mary'


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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Novena Rose Prayer to St Therese starts 22nd September


Novena Rose Prayer

O Little Therese of the Child Jesus, please pick for me a rose from the heavenly gardens and send it to me as a message of love.

O Little Flower of Jesus, ask God today to grant the favors I now place with confidence in your hands...(mention petitions)

St. Therese, help me to always believe as you did, in God's great love for me, so that I might imitate your "Little Way" each day. Amen.

credit to Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus, Manchester, St Louis

The image is my drawing of St Therese image with mixed media, charcol/watercolour.


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Tuesday, September 14, 2021

FEAST OF EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROS - click to read

O God, Who on this day givest us joy by the annual solemnnity of the exaltation of the holy cross, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may deserve the reward of His redemption in heaven Whose mystery we have known upon earth. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, etc. Amen. EPISTLE Brethren. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names: That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. GOSPEL (John 12:31-36) At that time Jesus said to the multitude of the Jews: Now is the judgment of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to myself. (Now this he said, signifying what death he should die.) The multitude answered him: We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever; and how sayest thou: The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while, the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, that the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth.Whilst you have the light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. These things Jesus spoke; and he went away, and hid himself from them. INSTRUCTION ON THE WAY OF THE CROSS What is the Holy Way of the Cross? It is a devotional exercise by which we meditate upon the passion and death of Jesus, and particularly upon His last way of sorrows, from the house of Pilate to Mount Calvary. Tradition testifies that after Christ's ascension the Christians living in Jerusalem were accustomed particularly to venerate the holy places which had been sanctified by the passion of the divine Redeemer. But after Jerusalem fell into hands of the infidels, so that it became dangerous, and often impossible, to pass over the ground which Our Lord had trod, the children of St. Francis of Assisi began to erect in their churches the fourteen stations of the Way of the Cross, by meditating on which the faithfull might, in spirit, accompany the pilgrims to Jerusalem on the way to Calvary, dwelling in thought on what Christ had suffered for men. Stations here means a place to pause, a resting-point for meditation. This devoution has been examined and approved by many Popes, enriched with indulgences, and earnestly recommended to Christians. It may be found in any prayer-book. No exercise is more profitable to our souls than this. What can bring before us the love of God and the abominabless and frightfulness of sin in a more vivid manner than the sufferings of the God-man? How can we any longer indulge in hate when we hear Jesus pray for His enemies? How can we give ourselves up to sensuality and lust when we see the divine Saviour scourged, crowned with thorns, and hanging on the cross? How can we murmur at our trials when we think that Jesus innocent takes up the cross for us guilty? In truth, we should see our coldness and indifference disappear, as ice melts in the heat, we should grow more and more zealous in the way of virtue, if we would but rightly meditate upon the passion of Christ. How are visit to the stations of the Cross to be made? Rightly to visit the Stations of the Cross, and to draw therefrom real benefit, we should at each station consider with attention, with devotion and sorrow, what Jesus has done and suffered for us. We should not content ourselves with merely reciting at each station the proper prayers and meditations, but should pause, to impress upon our hearts what is there represented, that we may be moved and quickened to wholesome resolutions. In order to gain indulgences we must endeavour to be in the state of grace, and therefore at least, by the way of beginning, we must have perfect contrition for our sins.
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Wednesday, September 08, 2021

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Our Lady's Birthday! What a beautiful feast on which to become the bride of Christ, baby Mary a day old presenting His little flower to little Jesus! On that day everything was little except the graces I received, and the peace and joy I felt when evening came and I gazed up at the starry heavens, where I would soon be united to my divine Bridegroom in everalsting happiness. From the time I awoke in the morning I was filled with peace, and it was in the peace of God which surpasseth all understanding (Phil 4; 7) that I pronounced my holy vows. At the close of this beautiful day I laid my wreath, as is the custom, at Our Lady's feet without any feeling of sadness, for I felt that time would not lessen my hapiness. O Jesus, I only ask Thee to give me peace!....Peace, and above all a love that knows no bounds. (St Therese, The Story of a Soul)
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Wednesday, September 01, 2021

St Teresa Margaet Redi


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.” Father, you unabled St Teresa Margaret Redi to draw untold resorces of humility and charity from the fountain-head, our Sviour. Through her prayers may we never be separated from the love of Christ. Grant this through our Lord, amen. After concluding prayer, Discalced Carmelite Proper Office.

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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Commemoration of the Transverberation of St Teresa of Avila heart

St Teresa - ora pro nobis.

Today, Discalced Carmelites commemorate transverberation (piercing) of the heart of St. Teresa of Avila. In 1559, at the age of 44, the saint experienced one of the most sublime of her many mystical ecstasies. In a vision, she saw an angel, and in his hand he held a golden spear tipped with fire. He penetrated her heart and caused a very sharp pain that was at the same time exquisitely beautiful. Signs that the piercing were real are visible in her heart, which is incorrupt and kept in the glass reliquary (photo on the left) located in the Carmelite convent in Alba de Tormes, where St Teresa died in 1582 on her way back to Avila.
We can read description of this mystical experience in Chapter 29 of her "Autobiography": “It pleased the Lord that I should sometimes…see beside me…an angel in bodily form…. He was not tall, but short, and very beautiful, his face so aflame that he appeared to be one of the highest types of angel who seemed all afire…. In his hands I saw a long golden spear and at the end of its iron tip I seemed to see a point of fire. With this he seemed to pierce my heart several times…[leaving] me completely afire with a great love of God.”

(picture after American Catholic

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Sunday, August 15, 2021

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, solemnity

See the beauty of the daughter of Jerusalem, who ascended to heaven like the rising sun at dawn (Morning Prayer, Benedictus Antiphon.
 
 One day, the feast of the Assumption of our Lady, Queen of Angels, the Lord desired to grant me the following favor; in a rapture He showed me her ascent to heaven, the happiness and solemnity with which she was received, and the place where she is. I wouldn't be able to describe how this happened. The glory my spirit experienced in seeing so much glory was magnificent. The effects of this favor were great. I was helped in having a deeper desire to undergo difficult trials, and I was left with a longing to serve our Lady since she deserved this so much. St Teresa of Avila, The book of her life, ch 39.
 
 
The image represents Titiano Vecelli's 'The Assumption of the Virgin' altarpiece, Venice Basilica di Santa Gloriosa dei Frari, after Titian.org
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Monday, August 09, 2021

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross - Carmelite Nun.


"Those who join the Carmelite Order are not lost to their near and dear ones, but have been won for them, because it is our vocation to intercede to God for everyone....I keep thinking of Queen Esther who was taken away from her people precisely because God wanted her to plead with the king on behalf of her nation. I am a very poor and powerless little Esther, but the King who has chosen me is infinitely great and merciful. This is great comfort." (Edith Stein on Carmelite vocation, 1938). After being transferred to Dutch Carmelite convent from Cologne because of severe persecusion of Jews in Nazi Germany, she wrote in her will these words "Even now I accept the death that God has prepared for me in complete submission and with joy as being his most holy will for me. I ask the Lord to accept my life and my death ... so that the Lord will be accepted by His people and that His Kingdom may come in glory, for the salvation of Germany and the peace of the world.""

A brilliant philosopher who stopped believing in God when she was 14, Edith Stein was so captivated by reading the autobiography of Teresa of Avila that she began a spiritual journey that led to her Baptism in 1922. Twelve years later she imitated Teresa by becoming a Carmelite, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Born into a prominent Jewish family in Wroclaw (Poland), Edith abandoned Judaism in her teens. As a student at the University of Göttingen, she became fascinated by phenomenology, an approach to philosophy. Excelling as a protégé of Edmund Husserl, one of the leading phenomenologists, Edith earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1916. She continued as a university teacher until 1922 when she moved to a Dominican school in Speyer; her appointment as lecturer at the Educational Institute of Munich ended under pressure from the Nazis.

After living in the Cologne Carmel (1934-38), she was moved to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands. 
In Echt, Edith Stein completed her study of "The Church's Teacher of Mysticism and the Father of the Carmelites, John of the Cross, on the Occasion of the 400th Anniversary of His Birth, 1542-1942." In 1941 she wrote to a friend, who was also a member of her order: "One can only gain a scientia crucis (knowledge of the cross) if one has thoroughly experienced the cross. I have been convinced of this from the first moment onwards and have said with all my heart: 'Ave, Crux, Spes unica' (I welcome you, Cross, our only hope)." Her study on St. John of the Cross is entitled: "Kreuzeswissenschaft" (The Science of the Cross). 
In retaliation for being denounced by the Dutch bishops, the Nazis arrested all Dutch Jews who had become Christians. Teresa Benedicta was arrested by the Gestapo on 2 August 1942, while she was praying in the convent's chapel with the other sisters. She was to report within five minutes, together with her sister Rosa, who had also converted and was serving at the Echt Convent. Her last words to be heard in Echt were addressed to Rosa: "Come, we are going for our people."
Together with many other Jewish Christians, the two women were taken to a transit camp in Amersfoort and then to Westerbork. This was an act of retaliation against the letter of protest written by the Dutch Roman Catholic Bishops against the pogroms and deportations of Jews. Edith commented, "I never knew that people could be like this, neither did I know that my brothers and sisters would have to suffer like this. ... I pray for them every hour. Will God hear my prayers? He will certainly hear them in their distress." Prof. Jan Nota, who was greatly attached to her, wrote later: "She is a witness to God's presence in a world where God is absent."

On 7 August, early in the morning, 987 Jews were deported to Auschwitz. It was probably on 9 August that Sister Teresia Benedicta a Cruce, her sister and many other of her people were gassed.

When Edith Stein was beatified in Cologne on 1 May 1987, the Church honoured "a daughter of Israel", as Pope John Paul II put it, who, as a Catholic during Nazi persecution, remained faithful to the crucified Lord Jesus Christ and, as a Jew, to her people in loving faithfulness."
 

To read the writings of St Teresa Benedicta on the history and spirit of Carmel, please follow LINK1


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Thursday, August 05, 2021

The dedication of the Basilica of St Mary Major

Virgin most faithful, pray for us!

We address Our Lady with this title to praise her faithfulness to God. She says: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord" (Luke 1:38) and in these words is her readiness to accept all God wish to send her, no matter if it brings joy or sadness. She was steady and meek to keep her words in poor and cold stable in Bethlehem, during hard times of exile in Egypt, in poor house in Nazareth, during Jesus bloodstained way to Calvary, standing under His Cross and during long years without Jesus after His Ascension to Heaven. Let us meditate on her care and faithfulness to us. In short testament: "This is your son!" (John 19:26)
she was given by Jesus all of us in the person of St John. Acting as the best mother she takes all Adam's descendants under her mantle. St Bernard says that Satan is roaming around looking for someone to devour, but Mary is tirelessly looking for those to save. Let us be filled with gratitude and appreciation for Our Immaculate Lady most faithful care and work for the salvation of souls. Let us follow closely her example for she fulfills her promises with great care. Let us do all we can to keep our Baptismal and First Holy Communion promises remembering Our Lord words: "No man putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62)

Today's picture of this beautiful statue "Ave Regina Pacis" was taken in St Mary Major Basilica in Rome
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