Friday, August 31, 2007

Absence makes the heart grow fonder


Indeed, the clichéd phrase, so ever present, so ever true ...



Like:

1) how much I miss going for Holy Mass as often as I can




2) how I cried, because of (I don't know why :D too, i must be getting too emotional [lol]) when I finally, after only 2 weeks of not touching the piano, played my favourite Beethoven piece, his Sonata in C minor op. 13 , Sonata Pathétique. Beethoven's musique is certainly very soul stirring, deep and very mature, the first movement of this famous piece made me cry. =) But I must say the third movement made me smile. =D



3) etc.

What must Jesus have felt, from the depths of His dearest, most amiable, most beautiful wounded heart, not withstanding all the sorrow He had to go through His passion etc., when He went through the Passion, the Crucifixion and all that He went through throughout His entire life? The love that must have been burning in His Heart for souls, so pure, so chaste, so beautiful, must be the driving force for every single action, every single thought, every single word of our dearest Jesus, our Redeemer, for though it was through one man, Adam that caused the downfall of men, it was through this new Adam, my Jesus :) and your Jesus too :), that the Redemption of mankind was secured.

And it was also solely this reason, this love that Jesus had/still has/will always have (yesterday/today/forever - the same) for US all, those humans with souls :), that made Him stay with us in the Holy Eucharist. He could not bear to be absent from us physically, He had to be with us. And this is why also the Holy Eucharist is called the Sacrament of love. Amor amorum, the Love of all Love, the pledge of Love, as St. Thomas says for love was the only motive which induced Jesus Christ to give us in it [the Holy Eucharist] his whole self..

St. John, the Apostle whom Jesus loved, has this beautiful expression, so sublime, before St. John started writing on the washing of the feet before the Last Supper (which Is the very very first Mass, the very first transubstantiation), from the Gospel according to St. John 13:1 Before the festival day of the pasch, Jesus knowing that his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

He loves us, still loves us and will forever love us - till the end. O, how beautiful it is!

But as with St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi and St. Rose of Lima (whose Most Blessed Feast day was yesterday): "Love is not loved! Love is not loved!"

A Spiritual Communion, Formula by St. Alphonsus Ligouri:

My Jesus, I believe that Thou art truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things, and I desire to possess Thee within my soul. Since I am unable now to receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.

As though Thou wert already there, I embrace Thee and unite myself wholly to Thee, permit me not that I shoul ever be separated from Thee. May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ keep my soul unto everlasting life.
Amen.


Fortunate indeed shall I be, if I lose all to gain Thee, my God, my treasure, my love, my all!




Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Dearest Saint Augustine of Hippo




Sancte Augustine, Ora pro nobis!

"Our Hearts were made for Thee, O Lord, and it finds no rest till it rests in Thee."
-St. Augustine, d.430 A.D.

Alone with God
By Father J. Heyrman, S.J.

August 28

ST AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO (354 – 430)

1. St. Augustine is perhaps the most eminent and most genial Doctor of the Church; at the same time he is one of the most humble. He was a learned man, endowed with a most keen intellect: but not one of those learned men from whom God keeps hid His secrets. He was a learned men, but also one of those little ones to whom the heavenly Father has vouchsafed a profound insight into the mysteries of the Deity.

He is represented as wearing a mitre, and carrying a crozier, holding a burning heart in one hand. Whatever he said, whatever he wrote, flowed from his burning heart, and therefore his message appeals to men of all centuries.

2. Petition: That we may admire the working of God’s grace in this Saint; that following his example, we may with tireless love seek God, until we find rest in Him.

I. The Humility of St. Augustine

As a child, St. Augustine had been instructed in the Christian religion by his pious mother, St. Monica; but, according to the custom of those days, he had not received Baptism. He became a brilliant student, and a noted professor; but he fell victim to the temptations of the flesh, and to heresy. At the age of thirty-three, not without a fierce struggle, and owing to the many tears and prayers of his mother, he was converted and baptized by St. Ambrose at Milan, where he held a chair of rhetoric.

No convert has ever written a more sincere and a more humble account of his laborious ascent from the depths into which he had sunk, than did Augustine in his “Confessions”. As he himself tells us, these Confessions are rather a hymn of praise in honour of God’s mercy, than an avowal of sin.

He never forgot from what an abyss God’s grace had rescued him; that is why he became the “Doctor Gratiae”, the herald of God’s grace, of the all-powerful grace which makes man’s weak will victorious.

He died at the age of 76, on 28th August, 430, after having been for 35 years bishop of the little town of Hippo in North Africa. In his day he was acclaimed as the greatest theologian of his age, and universally venerated as a Saint. But till the last day he remained as humble as he was on the day of his conversion. During his last illness he had the penitential psalms written out in large characters, and hung up on the walls of his cell, that he might have them continually before his eyes.

II. The Searcher for Truth and Beauty


All his life Augustine was a passionate searcher for truth and beauty: at first he trod the path of error, and was driven to the brink of despair, till he met on his way Christ, the Word of God made Man, and in His school learnt to be humble, and to “seek devoutly”. “Till then,” he says, “I was not humble and failed to understand the humble Jesus.” Later, he would write to one who was in search of truth: “In order to understand truth, we first need humility, and then again humility, and finally humility.” Yet with another he insisted: “Hold the intellect in high regard”. The powerful intellect of Augustine never ceased, devoutly and humbly, to study the deepest mysteries of the faith. His mind and his heart could find rest only in the possession of Truth and Beauty, that is, God!

Remembering his conversion, fourteen years after the event, he cried out: “Too late have I loved Thee, O Beauty, ever ancient ever new! Too late have I loved Thee.” During too many years he had tried to find Beauty in things that perish. These had led him astray, but had never satisfied his soul. Then he discovered the Beauty that perishes not; but still he keeps yearning for the complete and secure possession of It. This explains a mysterious word in one of his letters, “My peace is a screen for much internal turmoil.”

III. “My Weight Is My Love”

Thus Augustine expresses what, in his opinion, makes the value of a man: his love, which is the most powerful lever in the human heart. “My weight is my love: what impels me, in whatever direction it be, is my love.” Throughout life he had manifold experience of its power: the dead weight of sensual love, that pulled him down, until he was lifted up on high by divine love: here he found the eternal Truth after which he had yearned all the while, and the imperishable Beauty, which his heart had longed for. But this one love, as he himself reminds us, is expressed in two commandments: Love God with thy whole heart, and love thy neighbour as thyself; and for Augustine too, the second was like unto the first. This love enabled him to devote himself to his engrossing pastoral duties (as Bishop he had often to act a judge, when he was delighted to promote peace and harmony); gladly he reverted to the solitude of his beloved theological studies, which he called his “sacred rest” after the fulfillment of the duties of state”.

For the clergy who lived with him and whom he had formed into a religious community he wrote a short rule of life. Which later on he adapted to the needs of the community of virgins over which his sister presided. This celebrated rule of St. Augustine (Regula Sancti Patris Nostri Augustini) forms the essence of the Rule of very many religious Orders and Congregations. It begins thus, “First of all, dearly beloved, you should love God, and then the neighbour. These are the chief commandments that Christ gave us. This, therefore, is the rule which you shall follow in the cloister: the first aim of your life, in community is to live together in peace, to have one heart and one soul in God.”

Prayer to God:
O God, from whom to turn
away is to fall, to whom to return is to rise, in whom to remain is to stand
fast … God, whom no one forsakes unless he be misled; whom no one seeks unless
he be called; whom no one finds unless he be cleansed; whom to forsake is to
perish; whom to heed is to love; whom to see is to possess: O that I might know
Thee, that I might know myself …” (Soliloquy of St. Augustine).

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

13th Sunday after Pentecost

Today's the 13th Sunday after Pentecost :)

From the Introit of today's Holy Mass: Ps. 73:20, 19, 23, 1

Have regard, O Lord, to Thy convenant, and forsake not to the end the souls of Thy poor: arise, O Lord, and judge Thy cause, and forget not the voices of them that seek Thee. (Psalm) O God, why hast Thou cast us off unto the end: why is Thy wrath enkindled against the sheep of Thy pasture? Gloria Patri et Fili et Spiritui Sancti, sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

From the Collect of today's Holy Mass:

Almighty and everlasting God, give to us an increase of Faith, Hope and Charity: and that we may deserve to obtain what Thou dost promise, make us love what Thou dost command. Through Christ our Lord.

A beautiful picture from the book, The Sign of the Cross by Msgr. Jean-Joseph Gaume:

Here's a beautiful excerpt from the book, The Holy Eucharist by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri:

Affections and Prayers

Ah, my Jesus, Thou hast not refused to give me Thy blood and Thy life, and shall I refuse to give Thee my miserable heart? No, my dearest Redeemer, I offer it entirely to Thee. I give Thee all my will; do Thou accept it, and dispose of it at Thy pleasure. I can do nothing, and have nothing; but I have this heart which Thou hast given me, and of which no one can deprive me. I may be deprived of my goods, my blood, my life, but not of my heart. With this heart I can love Thee; with this heart I will love Thee. I beseech Thee, O my God, teach me a perfect forgetfulness of myself; teach me what I must do to arrive at Thy pure love, of which Thou in Thy goodness hast inspired me with the desire. I feel in myself a determination to please Thee; but in order to put my resolve into execution, I expect and implore help from Thee. It depends on Thee, O loving heart of Jesus, to make entirely Thine my poor heart, which hitherto has been so ungrateful, and through my own fault deprived of Thy love. Oh, grant that my heart may be all on fire with the love of Thee, even as Thine is on fire with the love of me. Grant that my will may be entirely united to Thine, so that I may will nothing but what Thou willest, and that from this day forth Thy holy will may be the rule of all my actions, of all my thoughts, and of all my desires. I trust, O my Saviour, that Thou wilt not refuse me Thy grace to fulfil this resolution which I now make prostrate at Thy feet, to receive with submission whatever Thou mayest ordain for me and my affairs, as well in life as in death.

Blessed art thou, O Immaculate Mary, who hadst thy heart always and entirely united to the heart of Jesus; obtain for me, O my Mother, that in future I may wish and desire that which Jesus wills and thou willest.

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Saint Louis IX


In hoc signo vinces.

By this Sign thou shalt conquer.





Today's the Feast of Saint Louis IX, Most Catholic King of France :) A title, I think he very well deserves. For St. Louis led an exemplary life, always bearing constantly in mind his mother's words: "I would rather see you dead at my feet than guilty of a mortal sin."





From the 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal:





The pious queen of France, Blanche, educated her son Louis IX to be a model for all kings in his faith, courage, and love of justice. He undertook two crusades to reconquer the Holy Land. The plague, which decimated his army in Africa, struck him down and he died at Tunis. This most Christian king reigned from 1226 to 1270.




And




I was just reading the beautiful Catholic Newspaper, published by the Transalpine Redemptorists (they also have a beautiful blog), God Bless them and Mother Mary protect them :) They have such beautiful beautiful beautiful articles, its hard to describe the articles as otherwise. And they should be given to every single Catholic to read! :) More on the Catholic Newspaper can be found here.



Along with this July/Aug/Sept 2007 edition of the Newspaper came also a beautiful book by Monsignor Jean-Joseph Gaume, on the Sign of the Cross. The last 2 editions of the newspaper came also with beautiful and old Catholic books, one of them also by Monsignor Gaume, The Catechism of Perseverance and Mid Snow and Ice by Rev. Fr. Pierre Douchaussois O.M.I. another beautiful book of short stories sewn together into a Catholic history of the frozen Canadian North all for the love of God! Something which I would never have had heard/known about if I didn't read the newspaper, if they didn't publish what they do. Beautiful. God Bless their work, there are many grateful souls! :)



Now back to St. Louis IX, I was just reading the book, The Sign of the Cross (that's where I got the picture (In hoc signo vinces) for this post) and there I read an excerpt on Saint Louis in the 3rd letter of Mgr. Gaume to Frederic.

[Note: A short introduction of the book, taken from the book itself: the chapters in this book appear in the form of letters from Mgr. J.J. Gaume to a young German Catholic, Frederic, who, in the month of November, 1862, just arrived in Paris to pursue his studies in the College of France (Universität in German). Faithful, according to the traditional usage of his country, to make the Sign of the Cross before and after meals, he, on the first day, became the wonder of his school-companions. The next day, in virtue of the freedom of worship, he was the object of their mockeries. In one of his visits he begged us to tell him what we thought of the practice, of which his companions were trying to make him ashamed, and of the Sign of the Cross in general. The letters are intended as an answer to those 2 questions.]


Here's the excerpt on Saint Louis taken from page 27 of the book as published, Third Letter:


Let us go back some centuries, and point out some brilliant links in the traditional chain. Without speaking of those immortal emperors, legislators, and warriors, Constantine, Theodosius and Charlemagne, so faithful to the use of the Sign of the Cross, let us come to the greatest of French kings, St. Louis. His friend and historian, the Sire de Joinville, has left us the following testimony: "At table, in the council, in the combat, and in every action, the king always began by the Sign of the Cross." [Vic. c. xv.]


And another beautiful excerpt from the book, this time not on Saint Louis, but about Real Great Men in general (the definition of "a Great Man"), as written by Msg. Jean-Joseph Gaume, taken from the Second Letter, page 25:


In the world, in like manner, we find the traditional usage of this saving Sign. All those great men, who, during more than 500 years succeeded one another in the East and in the West; those incomparable geniuses whom we call the Fathers of the Church - Tertullian, Cyprian, Athanasius, Gregory, Basil, Augustine, Chrysostom, Jerome, Ambrose, and so many others who swell the list so terrible to pride, which it crushes by its weight; all those great intelligences practiced the Sign of the Cross most assiduously, and they incessantly recommended all Christians to make it on every occasion.


I have called the Fathers of the Church great geniuses and great men. If, as such, you compare them to your companions, expect a smile of pity; be not angry with them. Poor young men! They know the Fathers of the Church as they know their antipodes. In your turn, ask them what they understand by great men. In default of their reply, here is mine; it may be useful to you.


I call great men those, who, by the elevation, depth and extent of their genius, embrace the immense horizons of the world of truth; who know sciences, men, and things, not on the surface, but in their principles, end, and intimate nature; not only the matter below, but the spirit above; not only the man, but the angel; not only the creature, but the Creator; not only what is on this side of the grave, but what is beyond it; not one detail, but the whole; not one isolated law of creation, but the whole system, from which they cause to spring, unexpectedly, lumious applications for the perfection of humanity. Behold genius, and behold the Fathers of the Church! You can challenge your companions to find among the ancients or moderns, any who have verified better, or as well, the definition of a great man.

However renowned they may be in particular departments, in chemistry, physics, mechanics, or art, they are neither geniuses nor great geniuses. The man whose ideas embrace only one law, secondary to universal harmony, deserves not the name of genius; no one calls great the musician who can draw but one sound from his instrument, but only him who strikes harmoniously every chord.

Seriously and Simply, Beautiful. I can describe it in no other way. :)


On Saint Louis IX from BUTLER'S LIVES of the SAINTS:

J.M.J.

SAINT LOUIS, King of France, loyal and faithful servant of the Lord

From "Lives of The Saints with Reflections for Every Day in the Year" by Rev. Alban Butler.

The mother of Louis told him she would rather see him die than commit a mortal sin, and he never forgot her words. King of France at the age of twelve, he made the defense of God's honor the aim of his life. Before two years, he had crushed the Albigensian heretics, and forced them by stringent penalties to respect the Catholic faith. Amidst the cares of government, he daily recited the Divine Office and heard two Masses, and the most glorious churches in France are still monuments of his piety. When his courtiers remonstrated with Louis for his law that blasphemers should be branded on the lips, he replied, "I would willingly have my own lips branded to root out blasphemy from my kingdom." The fearless protector of the weak and the oppressed, he was chosen to arbitrate in all the great feuds of his age, between the Pope and the Emperor, between Henry III and the English barons. In 1248, to rescue the land which Christ had trod, he gathered round him the chivalry of France, and embarked for the East. There, before the infidel, in victory or defeat, on the bed of sickness or a captive in chains, Louis showed himself ever the same, -- the first, the best, and the bravest of Christian knights. When a captive at Damietta, an Emir rushed into his tent brandishing a dagger red with the blood of the Sultan, and threatened to stab him also unless he would make him a knight, as the Emperor Frederick had Facardin. Louis calmly replied that no unbeliever could perform the duties of a Christian knight. In the same captivity he was offered his liberty on terms lawful in themselves, but enforced by an oath which implied a blasphemy, and though the infidels held their swords' points at his throat, and threatened a massacre of the Christians, Louis inflexibly refused. The death of his mother recalled him to France; but when order was reestablished he again set forth on a second crusade. In August, 1270, his army landed at Tunis, and, though victorious over the enemy, succumbed to a malignant fever. Louis was one of the victims. He received the Viaticum kneeling by his camp-bed, and gave up his life with the same joy that he had given all else for the honor of God.

Please read below a most inspiring letter sent to his son when St. Louis was near death. This is taken from an account of his life as contained in BUTLER'S LIVES OF THE SAINTS.

Finding his distemper increase, he called for his eldest son Philip and gave him certain pious instructions which he had drawn up in writing before he left Paris. Two copies hereof are still kept in the Chamber of Accounts at Paris, under this title: "Instructions of King Lewis, the saint, to Philip, his eldest son." The dying admonitions of this great king to him are here inserted in abstract: "My son, before all things I recommend to you that you love God. Be always ready rather to suffer all manner of torments than to commit any mortal sin. When sickness or any other affliction befalls you, return thanks to God for it and bear it courageously, being persuaded that you deserve to suffer much more for having served God ill, and that such tribulations will be your gain. In prosperity give thanks to God with humility and fear lest by pride you abuse God's benefits, and so offend Him by those very means by which you ought particularly to improve yourself in his service. Confess your sins frequently, and choose a wise and pious ghostly father who will teach you what to follow and what to shun; let him be one that will boldly reprehend you and make you understand the grievousness of your faults. Hear the Divine Office devoutly - meditate affectionately what you ask of God with your mouth; do this with more than ordinary application during the holy sacrifice of the mass, especially after the consecration. Be bountiful, compassionate, and courteous to the poor, and relieve and favour them as much as you can. If anything trouble your mind, reveal it to your ghostly father or to some other grave and discreet person; for by the comfort you will receive you will bear it more patiently. Love to converse with pious persons; never admit any among your familiar friends but such as are virtuous and of good reputation; shun and banish from you the vicious. Make it your delight to hear profitable sermons and discourses of piety. Endeavor to gain the benefit of indulgences and to get the prayers of others. Love all good and abhor all evil. Wherever you are, never suffer anyone to detract or say anything sinful in your presence. Punish all who speak ill of God or his saints. Give often thanks to God for all His benefits. In the administration of justice be upright and severe; hear patiently the complaints of the poor, and in all controversies where your interests are concerned stand for your adversary against yourself till the truth be certainly found out. Whatever you find not to belong to you, restore it without delay to the owner, if the case be clear; if doubtful, appoint prudent men to examine diligently into it. Endeavor to procure peace and justice to all your subjects. Protect the clergy and religious who pray for you and your kingdom. Follow the maxim of my grandfather King Philip, that it is sometimes better to dissemble certain things in ecclesiastics than to repress them with too great violence and scandal. Love and honour the queen your mother, and follow her counsels. Make no war, especially against Christians, without great cause and good advice. If necessity force you to it, let it be carried on without damage to those who are not in fault, and spare the innocent subjects of your enemy as much as possible. Use all your authority to hinder wars among your vassals. Be scrupulous in the choice of good judges and magistrates. Have always a great respect for the Roman Church and the pope, and honour him as your spiritual father. Hinder, to the utmost of your power, all blasphemies, rash oaths, games of chance, drunkenness, and impurity. Never make any extravagant expenses, and never lay on your subjects any heavy or unjust burdens. After my death take care to have a great many masses and prayers said for me in all churches and religious communities in France; and give me a share in all the good works which you shall do. I give you my blessing with the most tender affection that any father can give to a son; and I pray our Lord Jesus Christ to protect and strengthen you in His service, and always to increase His grace in you that you never do anything against His holy will, and that He may be ever faithfully honoured and served by you. I beg this same grace for myself, that we may together see, laud and honor Him for all eternity.

The feast of St. Louis, King of France is August 25th. Let us meditate, in the person of St. Louis, upon one of the most beautiful masterpieces of grace and see that religion made of this prince: 1st a great king; 2nd a great Christian. We will than make the resolution: 1st to act, to speak, and to think in a spirit of faith, with a view to God and His glory; 2nd, always to treat our neighbor in a spirit of charity, forgetting ourselves for the good of others. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the beautiful eulogium pronounced upon St. Louis by one of his historians: "He endeavored always to please Jesus Christ, as the sole King of all hearts."



Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

From the Introit of Holy Mass today: Heb. 4:16; Ps. 44:2

Adeamus cum fiducia ad thronum gratiae, ut misericordiam consequamur, et gratiam inveniamus in auxilo opportuno. (Psalm) Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea Regi. Gloria Patri

Let us come with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and may find grace in seasonable aid. (Psalm) My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the King. Glory be to the Father.

Sweet Heart of Mary, Be My Salvation!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, convert sinners, save souls
from hell!

- Jacinta (one of the 3 seers of Fatima)

At Fatima, Our Lady said:

"Many souls go to hell because there is no one to pray and make sacrifices for them."

Therefore, in our sufferings, let us always remember the salvation of souls:

O Jesus, it is for Thy love, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the offences committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Prayer of Reparation


O My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love Thee. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.

Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference by which He is offended, and by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and through the merits of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of poor sinners.

From the 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal:

Mary began her journey along the road to perfection at a height to which other Saints arrived only at the end of a long life of saintliness. In all other children of Adam original sin prevented the divine generosity from having a free course. But Mary was created immaculate, and therefore the grace of God streamed into her soul without check or hindrance. Her sinlessness, her heavenly purity, directed every action, every movement to God. Her Heart was the pattern and model of all virtues, of all purity. "Blessed are the pure in heart!"

An Act of Consecration to the Immaculata by St. Maximilian Kolbe (the beautiful saint who died at Auschwitz in one of the concentration/death camps in Poland during WWII)

O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our Mother most loveable, to whom God deigned to confide the whole order of mercy, I, an unworthy sinner, prostrate myself at thy feet, humbly begging thee if thou wouldst deign to take me wholly and entirely as thy property and possession and to use me, together with all the powers of my body and soul, my life, my death, my eternity, as pleases thee.

Use the whole of me, if thou so willest, without any reservations, to fulfill that which is said of thee, "She has crushed all the heresies in the world" and "Thou alone hast destroyed all heresies in the whole world", so that in thy immaculate and loving hands I may become a useful instrument in engrafting and increasing thy glory in so many straying and indifferent souls, and in this way to bring about the greatest extension, the blissful Kingship of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever thou enterest, thou obtainest graces of conversion and sanctification. Through thy immaculate hands all graces from the Sweetest Heart of Jesus flow upon us.

Grant me grace to praise thee, Lady most holy.

Grant me strength against my enemies.

No one in the world can change Truth. What we can do and should
do is to seek truth and to serve it when we have found it. The real conflict is
the inner conflict. Beyond armies of occupation and the hecatombs of
extermination camps, there are two irreconcilable enemies in the depth of every
soul: good and evil, sin and love. And what use are the victories on the
battlefield if we ourselves are defeated in our innermost personal selves?

- Saint Maximilian Kolbe in the last issue of the Knight

More on Fatima and the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart:

(from http://www.fatima.org/)

The Consecration of Russia:

The Request of Our Lord and Analysis of this Request

On June 13, 1929, while Sister Lucy was at the novitiate of the Dorotheans at Tuy, Spain, Our Lady fulfilled Her promise of July 13, 1917: "I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia ..." Sister Lucy writes1 that, as she was praying by herself in the convent chapel at midnight with only the sanctuary lamp lit:

Suddenly, the whole chapel lit up with a supernatural light and on the altar appeared a cross of light which reached the ceiling. In a clearer light, on the upper part of the cross, could be seen the face of a man with His body to the waist, on His chest a dove, equally luminous; and nailed to the cross, the body of another man. A little below the waist (of Christ on the cross), suspended in the air, could be seen a Chalice and a large Host, onto which some drops of blood were falling, which flowed from the face of the Crucified One and from the wound in His breast. Running down over the Host, these drops fell into the Chalice.

Under the right arm of the cross was Our Lady with Her Immaculate Heart in Her hand ... (She appeared as Our Lady of Fatima, with Her Immaculate Heart in Her left hand, without sword or roses, but with a crown of thorns and flames). Under the left arm [of the cross], in large letters, like crystalline water which flowed over the altar, these words were formed: "Grace and Mercy". I understood that the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity was shown to me, and I received lights about this mystery which I am not permitted to reveal.2

Our Lady then said to Sister Lucy:
The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. So numerous are the souls which the justice of God condemns for sins committed against Me, that I come to ask for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.2

The request for the solemn public Consecration of Russia by the Pope and all the Catholic bishops, expressed through Our Lady to Sister Lucy, is a request made by God Himself. At Tuy Our Lady said to Lucy: "The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to make …"

For almost 1,000 years the rejection of God’s most holy will and the rejection of God Himself has been escalating. In 1054 A.D. the Orthodox schism started when they said "yes" to God, "yes" to Christ, "yes" to His Church, but "no" to the Pope – the Vicar of Jesus Christ. They do recognize him as "first among equals", but do not recognize his primacy of jurisdiction over all the Patriarchs, Cardinals, and bishops of the Church.

In 1517 Martin Luther said "yes" to God, "yes" to Christ, "no" to the Catholic Church and "no" to the Pope. He claimed to have fidelity to God and Our Lord, but rejected the Church. Yet, it is impossible to remain faithful to Christ while rejecting His Bride, the Church.

In 1717 Freemasonry said "yes" to God, "no" to Christ, "no" to the Catholic Church and "no" to the Pope. They claimed to acknowledge God (not the true God, but their own conception of God), but no longer wanted Christ and His Church. Again, it is impossible to serve God while rejecting His Son: "I and the Father are one," Our Lord said.

Finally, in 1917 Lenin said "no" to God, Christ, the Catholic Church and the Pope. With communism, we see the culmination of what was begun with the Orthodox schism and the Lutheran heresy: the bold rejection of not only the Catholic Church, but also the rejection of Jesus Christ and even the very notion of an Almighty God. The Consecration of Russia will reverse the upheaval and revolt against God begun by the Orthodox schism of 1054, furthered by Luther’s heresy of sola scriptura, added to by the apostasy of Freemasonry and intensified by Communism.

It is these "No’s" that will be reversed by the consecration of Russia. As Our Lord said, the Church is His bride. You find that in Ephesians. We can’t be for Christ and against His Church as Luther taught. We can’t be for God and against Christ. As Our Lord said to the Pharisees: "If God was your Father, you would accept Me because I am the image of My Father. I and the Father are One. No, your father is the devil." God the Son is the image of the Father. "Philip. Do you not know I and the Father are One? You have seen Me, you have seen the Father." And so in a certain sense, Marx was just fulfilling, by saying "No" to God, the logic that’s inherent in "No" to Christ, "No" to His Church and "No" to His Vicar on earth. But all of these things will be reversed by the consecration and the conversion of Russia. Even the "No" of the Orthodox, denying the Papal Primacy in 1054 A.D., will be reversed.

So when we finally do get the Consecration of Russia and world peace we must remember that it did not come through me. It is not through any of you, or all of us together. It is not even through the merits of the Holy Father, but it is the merits of Our Lady.

At the same time God also wants the whole world to see the importance of the unique position of the Holy Father and of the Catholic bishops and in fact of the Catholic Church. And that’s why He has insisted that it not only be the Holy Father but the Catholic bishops together with the Holy Father, so that the world sees the direct relationship between Russia being converted and the Pope and the bishops having made this act of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The people will do several things. They will say thanks be to God and Our Lady that we have received this grace of world peace. Thanks be to God the Son for becoming man and founding and sustaining His one true Church, the Catholic Church.

They will also say, thanks be to God for clearly indicating the power, the prestige, the importance of the Catholic Hierarchy and especially the primacy that the Pope has over the bishops of the Church. Because this Consecration will take place by the direct order of the Pope who commands the bishops, the people will then see that the Pope is not an equal among the bishops but that he is their superior. This action of the Consecration will clearly, publicly and definitively manifest to the whole world in a most miraculous way the will of God that the Papacy is founded by God and the Pope not only has the primacy of honor but also primacy of jurisdiction over all other Bishops.

In the last analysis, God has given to the Church and the world this unchangeable plan of His to obtain world peace only by means of the Pope and Catholic bishops’ consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Almighty God has so decreed to demonstrate to the Church and the world not only the necessity and importance of devotion to Our Lady, but also to demonstrate through this consecration of Russia and the consequent world peace, that He has founded only one Church, the Catholic Church and that He has established therein the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, and He has given the primacy of authority in the Church to the Pope.3

Since God has been publicly insulted by atheistic Communism, the chief error of Russia of which Our Lady warned in 1917, He asks that public reparation be made for this grave blasphemy through a rededication of the country and the peoples of Russia to God’s service. However, He has ordained that it be done in a certain way.

Speaking of Our Lady, Saint Bernard tells us, "There are many things imperfect in our offerings to God that She will make acceptable to Him." St. Alphonsus Liguori explains that if we want our gift to be received by Almighty God, we should offer it through the Blessed Virgin Mary.

God desires the Consecration of Russia to come through the hands of His Blessed Mother, who will not only make the consecration more pleasing to Him, but Who will draw the world to Her Immaculate Heart through the subsequent peace She will bring to it. Shortly before her death, Blessed Jacinta of Fatima told her cousin Lucy,

It will not be long now before I go to Heaven. You will remain here to make it known that God wishes to establish in the world devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When you are to say this, don’t go and hide. Tell everybody that God grants us graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that people are to ask Her for them; and that the Heart of Jesus wants the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be venerated at His side. Tell them also to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace, since God has entrusted it to Her.4

Through the conversion of Russia to the Catholic Faith, the subsequent missionary activity of a converted Russia, and through the moral miracle of Russia’s conversion, the rest of the world will be converted. We cannot have the peace of Christ in the whole world without the conversion of the world to the one true religion that Jesus Christ founded, namely the Catholic Faith. The Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, when performed as was specifically requested, will bring schismatics, Protestants, Masons, Communists and all peoples into the fold of the one true Church, and under the protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which will then be loved and honored as Our Lord desires.

Finally, the request at Tuy, for the Consecration of Russia, was especially distinguished by the role the bishops of the Church, and specifically the Holy Father, have been given in God’s plan for peace. The faithful, for their part, had been instructed in prayer and sacrifice in the apparitions at Fatima, and their prayers and sacrifices can help bring about the Consecration. At Tuy, however, the Pope is designated as the one primarily responsible for future peace: "God asks the Holy Father …" The peace of the world, we are told in the Fatima Message, depends upon the Pope and the world’s bishops obeying the request for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It cannot and will not come about through any other means.

On May 5, 1917 the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XV, publicly begged the Blessed Mother to show him and mankind the way to peace. Like a loving Mother She readily consented, and on May 13 – 8 days later – She came to show the Pope and mankind how to obtain peace for the whole world, but on the condition of the Holy Father’s and the Church’s faithful cooperation with the requests made of them. (For a further explanation of this point, read "Today Everything Depends on the Pope", in Issue 34 of The Fatima Crusader, for a more in-depth analysis of the unique and necessary role God has given the Pope.)

Notes:

1. Upon the request of her spiritual director, Father Goncalves, Sister Lucy recorded the account of the apparition, in May of 1936. Found in Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinitè, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume II: The Secret and the Church, p. 504.

2. Documentos, pp. 463-465. Found in Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinitè, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume II: The Secret and the Church, pp. 463-64.

3. Father Nicholas Gruner, "Do Not Despise Prophecy", The Fatima Crusader, Issue 54, Winter 1997, pp. 3ff.

4. From Sister Lucy’s Third Memoir; Documentos p. 235; see also Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinitè, The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume II: The Secret and the Church, p. 283.

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

12th Sunday after Pentecost

What have I in heaven? and besides Thee, what do I deisre upon earth? Thou art the God of my heart, and the God that is my portion forever. - Ps. lxxii. 25,26.

Quid enim mihi est in caelo? et a Te quid volui super terram? Deus cordis mei, et pars mea Deus in aeternum

And

I would like to blog more about the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart :)

Links:

1) From the SSPXAsia.com website's Audio Conferences and Sermon page, the MP3 file: Opening your homes to the Sacred Heart: 100th anniversary of the ceremony of Enthronement: August 24, 2007 (History and Explanation of the Devotion) by Father D. Couture - at a conference given in KL, Malaysia (given sometime in July) on the importance of the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in commemoration of centenary of the devotion founded in the August of 1907 by Father Mateo Crawley Boevey ss.cc. (you can listen to this via the SnapShot function of this website - hover over the link and press play) :)

2) From Joyce of the Catholic Upstart, with more links to traditional catholic websites on the Enthronement and the ceremony of the Enthronement itself.

3) My blogpost on my own family's Enthronement to the Sacred Heart and Act of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on 9th Dec 2006 :) Deo gratias et Mariae :)


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A short introduction to the picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus as above :)


Reading this book: Garcia Moreno, the Avenger and Martyr of Christian Justice, one of the greatest Catholic statesmen of Modern times too, will help you to understand the painting and the history behind the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus ever since Paray-le-monial at the end of the 1600s.

Dios no muere!: God does not die! - Garcia Moreno

History:

This painting was commissioned by the zealous Ecuadorean Catholic statesman, President Gabriel Garcia Moreno, (1821-1875) and was used during Ecuador’s consecration to the Sacred Heart in 1873. After the president was assassinated, people opposed to the Church twice tried to destroy the painting that was placed in the House of Parliament. For safe keeping, it was given to a Chilean priest of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts ( SS.CC.)

Years later, in Valparaiso, Chile, Fr. Mateo Crawley-Boevey, ss.cc., unexpectedly came upon the painting; many people believe that the discovery helped inspire Fr. Mateo to begin his crusade for the Social Reign of the Sacred Heart. The original is now enshrined in Quito, Ecuador. This is a facsimile of the original oil-painting. (12x16 framed copies available).

Symbolism:

The scepter and the globe convey Christ’s kingship: “Behold the Lord, the Ruler is come; and a Kingdom is in his hand and power and dominion.”(Introit of Epiphany). His heart, as shown to St. Margaret Mary in her apparition, with the symbols of love (the flames and the cross), and the symbols of sorrow (the wound and the crown of thorns), tell us that Christ desires to rule over families and societies through love.

Our Lord is drawing the world to His Sacred Heart – “burning furnace of charity” – in order for the world to share in the graces of salvation.

The majestic yet tender expression of the Savior, his eyes filled with sadness and mercy, appeals to families:

To recognize and love this kingship of Our Lord, who in the mercy of his heart wishes to befriend the home through a life of intimacy and confidence.

To repair in the family itself, the social injuries committed against the authority and love of this divine heart, whose rights are everywhere denied.

To make the home in which the Sacred Heart is enthroned, a sanctuary of powerful family prayer and a center of apostolate-outreach to spread the Reign of the King of Love, “the way, the truth, and the life.”

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More on this in the upcoming days and weeks :)

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Another Visit to Mother Mary III



A visit to Mother Mary II :)

This is an excerpt from one of my favourite books, The Holy Eucharist by St. Alphonsus de Maria Ligouri. It's a visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother Mary, usually said/read/meditated after a visit to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. It's most beautiful, I feel. :)

A Visit to Mother Mary

St. Bernard says, that Mary is that heavenly ark, in which if we take timely refuge, we shall certainly be delivered from the shipwreck of eternal damnation: "She is the ark in which we escape shipwreck." The ark in which Noe escaped from the general wreck of the world was indeed a type of Mary. But Hesychius says, that Mary is a more spacious, stronger, and more compassionate ark. Only a few men and a few beasts were received and saved by the former, but Mary, our ark, receives all who take refuge under her mantle, and with certainty saves them all. Unfortunate should we be had we not Mary! But still, my Queen, how many are lost! and why? Because they have not recourse to thee. And who would ever be lost had he recourse to thee?

Ejaculatory prayer: Grant, most holy Mary, that we may all and always have recourse to thee!

O my sovereign Queen! thou art the treasure of God. and in thy hands are deposited those stores of mercy which he wishes to bestow upon us. Thou hast said, by the mouth of the prophet, that thou holdest in thy hands the treasures of heaven, to enrich those who love thee. (Prov. xviii.8). My loving Mother, I am an unfortunate sinner, and in the greatest need of help. Remember that I love thee with all my heart; yes, next to God, there is no object that I love so much as thee, because I know that this is due to thy unrivalled perfections. Have pity on me, and forsake me not; help me during life, and help me at the hour of death, that I may one day arrive at the enjoyment of thy happy society in the kingdom of heaven.

Ejaculatory prayer: O Mary! all my hopes are directed towards thee.

A little trivia: Since this is August, the month of the Immaculate Heart, Here is the Ave Maria in different languages! :) (as also posted in the Month of May, the month of Mother Mary =D)


Latin

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Italian

Ave Maria, piena di grazia, il Signore è con te. Tu sei benedetta fra le donne, e benedetto è il frutto del tuo seno, Gesú. Santa Maria, Madre di Dio, prega per noi peccatori, adesso e nell'ora della nostra morte. Amen.

French

Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grâce, Le Seigneur est avec vous. Vous êtes bénie entre toutes les femmes, et Jésus, le fruit de vos entrailles, est béni. Sainte Marie, Mère de Dieu, priez pour nous, pauvres pécheurs, maintenant et à l'heure de notre mort. Amen.

German

Gegrüßet seist du, Maria, voll der Gnade, der Herr ist mit dir. Du bist gebenedeit unter den Frauen, und gebenedeit ist die Frucht deines Leibes, Jesus. Heilige Maria, Mutter Gottes, bitte für uns Sünder jetzt und in der Stunde unseres Todes. Amen.

P/S: Does anyone know the Ave Maria in Chinese (Mandarin) ? :) Please put it in the comment function of this post ... Deo gratias et Mariae!

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary





I love thee, O Mother Dearest, Mother Fairest!

Tota pulchra est, O Virgo Maria, Mater Dei!

Mater meus.

Alone with God
By Fr. J. Heyrman S.J.

August 15

THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY

1. On the feast of All Saints, November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII, in the presence of 600 Cardinals and Bishops, and of hundreds of thousands of devout pilgrims who had flocked to Rome from every part of the world, solemnly proclaimed that Mary’s assumption into heaven is a dogma of the Catholic faith. This was, after many centuries, the infallible confirmation of a revealed truth, by which the Church had lived from the beginning. It was also the glorious fulfilling of Mary’s prophecy when she cried out, “Behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty hath done great things to me” (Luke 1: 48, 49).

On this feast of All Saints the whole Church joyfully praised the Lord: the Church Triumphant, because of the homage paid that day on earth to the Queen of heaven; the Church Militant, because of the glorious accomplishment in Mary of that work of salvation of which one day we shall all be partakers.

2. Petition: The grace to be strengthened by the hope of this blessed consummation; by her powerful intercession “may we one day deserve to be partakers of her glory”.

I. The Mystery

The life of Mary was a succession of “great things”, done to her in the most profound silence, by the Almighty. The first of these was her conception without original sin, and the last (in truth the consequence of the first) her bodily assumption into heaven.

Mary, a daughter of Adam, was a member of our fallen race. But God, almighty and all-holy, had preserved His future Mother from the hereditary stain that cleaves to the soul of every man who is born. Did He also preserve her from death, which is the penalty of sin? Or did she too, like her Divine Son and Saviour, taste death? And did she, like Him, and through His resurrection, triumph over death and rise again? Pius XII uses the following words in the Bull, which proclaims the dogma: “After accomplishing her earthly career, she was, with body and soul, assumed into the glory of heaven.” Mary therefore, the new Eve, was completely restored to that state, in which Adam and Eve had been created, whose destiny it was that, without returning into dust, “they should, after their earthly career, enter with body and soul into the glory of heaven”.

“Christ is risen from the dead, the first-fruits of them that sleep” (1 Cor. 15:20), and by His own power He ascended into heaven. By His power also, Mary, in whose Virginal womb He had assumed our nature, followed her Son. “Jesus placed at the right hand of God’s glory, our frail human nature, which He had united to His Person” (Communicantes of Ascension). Mary was “assumed into heaven”; she was “led by her Son to the highest heavens”, there, with her glorified body and soul to be seated in His glory.

Mary is Queen of Angels and of Archangels; but she is one of our race, and we salute her, “Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, thou art the joy of Israel, thou art the honour of our people” (Jdt. 15:10).

II. The Dogma

This dogma, or revealed truth, was by no means a recently revealed, or newly discovered doctrine. It has always been the belief of the Christian people that the holy body of the Mother of God never knew the corruption of the grave, and that this exalted tabernacle of the Divine Word never knew dissolution, nor returned into dust” (Pius XII, Munificentissimus, 1 Nov. 1950).

From the time of the Apostles, guided by the Holy Ghost, the Church kept “this word in her heart, pondering on it”. The first feast in honour of Our Lady was the so-called “Dormition” of Mary, “her falling asleep” which was celebrated in Rome in the fifth century on the 15th of August. (The Annunciation, Christmas, the Purification were chiefly feasts in honour of the Son made man). By study, meditation, and prayer, the Church became more and more conscious of this truth, which had been believed and confessed throughout the centuries: and it became more evident how this doctrine fitted into the divine scheme of salvation. And so the Pope, with the assent of practically every Bishop in the world, was justified “in proclaiming as a revealed truth, that Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, ever Virgin, after completing her earthly career, was assumed with body and soul into the glory of heaven”.

With grateful hearts, great joy, and firm faith, we listen to the Pope’s voice. Only one man on earth could utter such words, because he relies on the infallible authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, who have had mercy on us.

III. The Appropriate Time

Pius XII said, “We feel assured that the hour, chosen by Divine Providence, has now struck, solemnly to proclaim this glorious privilege of the Virgin Mary.” The definition of this dogma was not, as often was the case in the past, the final decision about a point of doctrine, which had been denied or called into question, nor was it the solemn condemnation of an error. In the face of the modern world, with its materialistic conception of life and its headlong pursuit of things that are merely material, in the face of a world, which, is tortured with doubts and fears about the meaning of life, the Pope bids us look up to the glorious figure of the immaculate and virginal Mother of God, “who throughout the world vanquishes all error”.

“And so we may hope that those who meditate upon the glorious example Mary offers us, may be more and more convinced of the value of a human life entirely devoted to carrying out the heavenly Father’s will, and doing good to others. We pray that while the illusory teachings of materialism and the corruption of morals that follows from those teachings, threaten to extinguish the light of virtue, and to ruin the lives of men by exciting discord among them, all may see clearly what a glorious destiny God has assigned to our bodies and to our souls. Finally it is our hope that belief in Mary’s bodily Assumption into heaven will make our belief in our own resurrection stronger and render it more effective” (Munificentissimus Deus).

Prayer: “O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of God and Mother of men, we believe with all the fervour of our faith in your triumphal Assumption, both in body and soul, into heaven, where you are acclaimed as Queen by all the choirs of the Angels and all the legions of the Saints; and we unite with them to praise and bless the Lord, who has exalted you above all other pure creatures, and to offer you the tribute of our devotion and love … We are inspired by the certainty that your eyes are yet turned towards this world, held in the clutches of wars, persecutions, oppression of the just and the weak … And from this earth, over which we tread as pilgrims, comforted by our faith in the future resurrection, we look to you, our life, our sweetness and our hope. Draw us onwards with the sweetness of your voice that one day, after our exile, you may show us Jesus, the Blessed Fruit of your womb, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary” (Prayer of Pope Pius XII).

O Sanctissima!

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Uniformity with God's Will

Sit nomen Domini benedictum ex hoc nunc et usque in saeculum- Psalm 112:2

Today's the 11th Sunday after Pentecost. And Fr.'s sermon was on the Thy will be done part of the Pater noster. It reminds me again, of one of my favourite works of dear Saint Alphonsus Ligouri on Uniformity With God's Will. Here's a link to something that I posted a year ago, also from this same book, that sincerely melted this hard heart of mine :)



------------- (excerpt from the abovementioned link)



This is taken from page 13 of St. Alphonsus Ligouri's book, Uniformity with God's Will, translated from the Italian of the Saint, by Thomas W. Tobin, C.S.S.R.


The devout Father John Tauler relates this personal experience: For years he had prayed God to send him someone who would teach him the real spiritual life. One day, at prayer, he heard a voice saying: "Go to such and such a church and you will have the answer to your prayers." He went and at the door of the church he found a beggar, barefooted and in rags. He greeted the mendicant saying:



"Good day, my friend."



"Thank you, sir, for your kind wishes, but I do not recall ever having had a 'bad' day."



"Then God has certainly given you a very happy life."



"That is very true, sir. I have never been unhappy. In saying this I am not making any rash statement either. This is the reason: When I have nothing to eat, I give thanks to God; when it rains or snows, I bless God's providence; when someone insults me, drives me away, or otherwise mistreats me, I give glory to God. I said I've never had an unhappy day, and it's the truth, because I am accustomed to will unreservedly what God wills. Whatever happens to me, sweet or bitter, I gladly receive from his hands as what is best for me. Hence my unvarying happiness."



"Where did you find God?"



"I found him where I left creatures."



"Who are you anyway?"



"I am a king."



"And where is your kingdom?"



"In my soul, where everything is in good order; where the passions obey reason, and reason obeys God."



"How have you come to such a state of perfection?"



"By silence. I practice silence towards men, while I cultivate the habit of speaking with God. Conversing with God is the way I found and maintain my peace of soul."



Union with God brought this poor beggar to the very heights of perfection. In his poverty he was richer than the mightiest monarch; in his sufferings, he was vastly happier than worldlings amid their worldly delights.
---



This IS the answer to true happiness!



A good priest (God Bless His Soul!) told this to me once, (or to this extend the way I remember it) in order to hear/listen to God, and let God enter into your soul, you need to be rid of worldly affections, rid of things that will cause God to be separated from you .. (etc)



Reading that particular page from St. Alphonsus's book and remembering what the good priest told me, I was compelled to put this up.



------------- (end of excerpt from that post a year ago) :)

"Perfection is founded entirely on the love of God: "Charity is the bond of perfection;" and perfect love of God means the complete union of our will with God's."


- Saint Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri

The Proper of the Mass today says so much, so beautifully ...

From the Collect of today's Holy Mass:

Almighty and everlasting God, Who in the abundance of Thy kindness art wont to go beyond our merits and our prayers: pour down Thy mercy on us: forgive us aught whereof our conscience is afraid, and grant us all we dare not ask in prayer. Through Christ our Lord.

The last part of the Epistle of today's Holy Mass (I Cor. 15:10):

But by the grace of God I am what I am; and His grace in me hath not been void.
Gratia autem Dei sum id, quod sum, et gratia ejus in me vacua non fuit.

From the Gradual of today's Holy Mass (Ps. 27:7,1):

In God hath my heart confided, and I have been helped; and my flesh hat flourished again; and with my will I will give praise to Him. Unto Thee have I cried, O Lord: O my God, be not Thou silent: depart not from me.

From the Communion of today's Holy Mass (Prov. 3:9,10):

Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first of all thy fruits: and thy barns shall be filled with abundance, and thy presses shall run over with wine.

Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori!

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Another visit to our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary



A visit to Mother Mary I :)

This is an excerpt from one of my favourite books, The Holy Eucharist by St. Alphonsus de Maria Ligouri. It's a visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother Mary, usually said/read/meditated after a visit to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. It's most beautiful, I feel. :)

A Visit to the Blessed Virgin Mary

The devout Bernardine de Bustis says: "O sinner, whoever you may be, despair not; but with confidence have recourse to this Lady: you will find her hands filled with mercies and graces." "And know also," he adds, "that this most compassionate Queen has a greater desire to do you good than you can have to be succoured by her." I will ever, O my Lady, thank God for having taught me to know thee. Unfortunate indeed should I be, did I not know thee, or did I forget thee. Ill would it fare with my salvation. But, my Mother, I bless thee, I love thee; and so great is my confidence in thee, that I place my whole soul in thy hands.

Ejaculatory prayer: O Mary, blessed is he who knows thee, and puts his trust in thee!

Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grâce, Le Seigneur est avec vous ...

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum ...

A Prayer of the Abbot of Celles - Most Beautiful! :)

Draw me after thee, O Virgin Mary! that I may run in the odor of thy perfumes. Draw me because I am impeded by the weight of my sins, and by the malice of my enemies. As no one can go to thy divine Son who is not conducted by his heavenly Father, so I presume also to say, that no one can approach this same Jesus but through thy intercession. Thou art the teacher of true wisdom: through thee sinners obtain grace because thou art their advocate; thou promisest to obtain help for those who honour thee, because thou art the treasure of God and the depository of all his graces.

Ejaculatory prayer: O thou, who art the salvation of those who invoke thee, save me!

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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To Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament enclosed in the Tabernacle

O Flowers, O happy flowers, which day and night
So near to my own Jesus silent stay,
And never leave him, till before his sight
At length your
life in fragrance fades away!
Could I, too, always make my dwelling-place
In that dear spot to which your charms you lend.
Oh, what a blessed lot were mine! what grace,
Close to my truest Life, my life to end!


O lights! O happy lights, which burn away,
The presence of our Jesus to proclaim;
Ah! could I see my heart become one day
Like you, all fire of love and burning flame,
Then, as you waste away, so would I die,
Like you, consumed with fire of love divine;
Oh! how I envy you! How blest were I
Could I but change your happy lot with mine!


O sacred pyx! thou art more favoured still,
For thou my love concealed dost here enclose;
What nobler, happier part could creature fill?
In thee thy very God deigns to repose!
Ah! were thy office but for one brief day
On this my poor and frozen breast bestow'd,
Then would my heart be melted all away,
Of love and fire become the blest abode!


But ah, sweet flowers, bright lights, and pyx so blest!
Far, far more fortunate than you am I,
When my Beloved comes within my breast,
All loving like a tender lamb to lie;
And I, poor worm, in this frail host receive
My good, my all, the God of Majesty!
Why then not burn? my life why then not give,
Since here my treasure gives himself to me?


Away, like fluttering moth around the light,
my raptured soul, about thy Jesus fly,
Inflamed with faith and love; and at the sight
Of thy beloved ever burn and sigh!
And when the hour arrives, and he is thine
Whose very sight make Paradise above,
Oh, press him to thy heart with fire divine,
And say thou wilt but love, love, only love!

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The beautiful Curé d' Ars


The incorrupt body of the Holy Curé d' Ars, St. John Mary Vianney.




« Mon secret est bien simple, c'est de tout donner et de rien garder » (S. Jean-Marie Vianney).

Alone with God
By Fr. J. Heyrman S.J.

August 8

ST JOHN MARY VIANNEY

1. The great pilgrimages to Ars began in the year 1817. Ars is a small village, situated not far from Lyons. At first hundreds, very soon thousands of people came from every corner of France, abroad, even from distant America, merely to make their confession to a pour country parish priest, obscure and with little learning. To that source of grace, which God’s wand caused to flow in a wonderful manner, thousands came to cleanse their souls, to quench their spiritual thirst, and to strengthen themselves, ready to wait long hours that they might get close to that fountain.

2. Petition: The grace to admire and thank the Lord, who made St. John Vianney a perfect instrument to distribute the gifts of His mercy to men.

I. “A Spiritually Gifted Man”

A modern writer said that a Saint is a spiritually gifted man. He intended to stress the truth that sanctity at its best is a gift, which is not bestowed on all, nor within the reach of all.

Every gift or talent comes from God, also intellectual and artistic talents: most of all supernatural gifts. All saints were highly gifted in the spiritual sphere: this appears all the more strikingly in St. John Vianney because, though he was by no means a simpleton, his talents seemed to belong exclusively to the spiritual order, and these gifts made of him a most fascinating person.

He himself never failed to pay homage to two persons, whom God had used to develop the spiritual gifts, of which God had laid the germs in his soul: they were his own mother, and his parish priest, whose persistent devotion enabled him to overcome every obstacle that stood between him and the priesthood. One day a friend said to him, “It was a great blessing that from your childhood you felt such an attraction for prayer.” He replied with tears in his eyes, “After God, that was the work of my mother. She was so good! Virtue flows from a mother’s heart into the hearts of her children.”

The Bishop, who finally agreed to promote him to the priesthood, had understood that this thirty-two year old son of peasants, so pious and so humble, had discovered other sources of knowledge than books and learned treaties. When one day some of his colleagues in the ministry expressed their doubts about his abilities, and felt ill at ease about his “follies”, the Bishop replied, “I do not know whether he is learned, but I know that he is enlightened. And as to his “follies”, would to God we all had a share of them; they would not hurt our wisdom.”

God is wonderful in his Saints. We all can, and should, learn from those men on whom God has conferred such wonderful gifts.

II. The Indefatigable Labourer

Like St. Paul, St. John Vianney might have said of himself: “By the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace in me hath not been void, but I have laboured more abundantly than all they. Yet not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Cor. 15:10).

As a student in the seminary he made heroic efforts to draw fruit from lectures and from books, and to store a few abstract notions in his unretentive memory. His ardent prayers did not enable him to pass examinations, brilliantly but they obtained for him the courage to persevere: love of God, whose call he had heard, and love of souls, whom he hoped to save, encouraged and comforted him.

Ars, a rural parish of a little above 200 souls, which was entrusted to him, had sunk to a lamentably low moral and spiritual level. God alone knows how much prayer and penance, how much zeal and patience it cost this devoted shepherd to bring back to the Church, and to a truly Christian life this long-neglected and material-minded little flock. During five years he preached against drinking houses; during eight years against breaches of the Sunday observance; ten years against their excessive addiction to dancing. His warnings, and his threats would never have won the victory, had the sinners not been aware how many hours he devoted to prayer, how austerely he lived, how he gave to the poor whatever he had, and, when he called on them in their houses, how gentle he was and kind, and how pleasant to talk to.

Especially during his first six years at Ars, faced with the deep-seated religious indifference of his flock, he practiced fearful austerities, “the follies of my youth” as he said later. But when a change had come and “Ars was no longer Ars” when his fame had spread far and wide, he became the most reputed confessor of the century. He would sit in his narrow and dark confessional sixteen hours a day, not seldom through out the whole night, dispensing God’s grace, bestowing pardon, light and encouragement on repentant souls who were in search of peace. In that labour he spent every ounce of the strength he had, impelled and sustained by his love for God and for souls.

III. The Humble Saint

A spiritually gifted man is also a modest and a truly humble man. John Vianney was humble, not because he possessed little learning, but because he had great wisdom. God did work miracles through him in the souls of men: but that made hi even more conscious of his own unworthiness. His letters to his Bishop were signed, “the poor cure of Ars”. To a fellow priest, who had written to him a deeply offensive letter, he replied: “Dear and venerated Confrere: I have many reasons to love you. You are the only person that knows me as I am”.

We feel small in the presence of such an abyss of humility and pray:

Prayer: O Almighty and merciful God, who hast deigned to make Blessed John Mary a source of wonder to us by his zeal for souls and his ardour in prayer and mortification: grant, we beseech Thee, that by his example and intercession we may win the souls of our brethren to Christ and with them attain the glory of life everlasting. Through our Lord … (Collect of the Mass of today).
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Something suddenly reminds me of my convent school days (even though school was somewhat secular and not as religious as the days of old when Blessed Nicholas Barre founded the schools) and our school motto:

Simple dans ma vertu, Forte dans mon devour (Simple in Virtue, Steadfast in duty)

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Monday, August 06, 2007

The Transfiguration of Our Lord


Today's the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord :)

Introit of today's Holy Mass

Thy lightnings enlightened the world: the earth shook and trembled. How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord, of hosts! my soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God. (Ps. LXXXIII. 2-3.) Gloria Patri.

How do I loathe the world, when I contemplate heaven. (St. Ignatius Loyola.)

Collect of today's Holy Mass

O God, Who in the glorious Transfiguration of Thine only-begotten Son didst confirm the mysteries of the faith by the witness of the fathers, and in the voice which came down from the shining cloud, didst wondrously foreshow the perfect adoption of sons: vouchsafe in Thy loving kindness, to make us coheirs with this King of glory, and to grant that we may be made partakers of that same glory. Through the same Christ our Lord.

The Gospel of today's Holy Mass, gives us a full description of the wonderful Transfiguration of Our Lord on Mount Tabor:

Matthew 17:

Gospel According to Saint Matthew Chapter 17

The Transfiguration of Christ:

1 And after six days Jesus taketh unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart: 2 And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow. 3 And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4 And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5 And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him.
6 And the disciples hearing, fell upon their face, and were very much afraid. 7 And Jesus came and touched them: and said to them, Arise, and fear not. 8 And they lifting up their eyes saw no one but only Jesus. 9 And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying: Tell the vision to no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead.

Gradual Ps. 44:3,2

Thou art beautiful above the sons of men: grace is poured abroad in Thy lips. My heart hath uttered a good word. I speak my works to the King.

Speciosus forma prae filiis hominum: diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis. Eructavit cor meum verbum bonum: dico ego opera mea regi.

And

here's something that Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and Holy Face, my heavenly patron :) wrote in one of her poems:

Here on earth, to live for love, does not mean settling on Thabor; it means climbing Calvary with Jesus and looking at the Cross as a treasure.

How beautiful is that! ;)

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

10th Sunday after Pentecost


Today's the 10th Sunday after Pentecost, and here's the link to Fr. Leonard Goffine's The Church Year on the SSPXAsia website.

INTROIT of today's Holy Mass

When I cried to the Lord, he heard my voice, from them that draw near to me, and he humbled them, who is before all ages, and remains forever. Cast thy care upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee. (Ps. LIV.) Hear, O God, my prayer, and despise not my supplication; be attentive to me, and hear me. Gloria Patri et Fili et Spiritui Sancti.


And today's


GOSPEL (Luke XDII. 9-14.) on the Pharisee and the Publican


At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despisedothers. Two men went up into the Temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a Publican. The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this Publican. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess. And the Publican standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven, but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you: this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.


I am reminded of a sermon of Cardinal John Henry Newman that I read on The Religion of the Pharisee. I will post more on it in the coming week.


But, I shall end this post with a beautiful phrase:


Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori

O God, be merciful to me, a sinner!!!


Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Friday, August 03, 2007

First Friday of the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (August)



But, as it is written: That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.


I Cor. 2:9



Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on us!



Immaculate Heart of Mary, Pray for us!

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Sancta Alphonsum Mariam Ligouri

The Signature of St. Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri:




Today's the Feast of Saint Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri, Doctor of the Church!! One of my favourite saints, and I do really think he is one of the best spiritual writers I've ever read! As a quick search on my blog will show. His Uniformity with the Will of God, Glories of Mary, The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, The Holy Eucharist, Victories of Martyrs etc. etc. a whole long list of his ascetical works - so lovingly written with a depth so infinitely beautiful ... has helped me a lot, a lot! And I cannot but Thank God and Mother Mary for one of the greatest Saints of the Church. :) Deo gratias et Mariae!


From the Collect at Mass today:

O God, Who didst kindle in blessed Alphonsus Mary, Thy Confessor and Bishop, burning zeal for the salvation of souls, and through him didst enrich Thy Church with a new offspring: grant, we beseech Thee, that imbued with his saving doctrine and strengthened by his example, we may be able happily to come to Thee. Through our Lord.

An example of one of his beautiful writings:



Affections of Love towards the Heart of Jesus

This was written by St. Alphonsus, but remained unpublished till 1875.


O amiable Heart of my Saviour! Thou art the seat of all virtues, the source of all graces, the burning furnace in which are inflamed all holy souls. Thou art the object of all God’s love; thou art the refuge of the afflicted, and the abode of the souls that love thee, O Heart worthy of reigning over all hearts, and of possessing the affection of all hearts! O Heart that was wounded for me on the Cross by the lance of my sins, and that remained afterwards continually wounded for me on the altar in the Blessed Sacrament, but not by any other lance than that of the love that thou entertainest for me! O loving Heart, that loves men with so much tenderness, and that is so little loved by men! Do thou apply a remedy to so great an ingratitude, inflame thou our hearts with a true love for thee. Ah! Why can I not go all over the world to make known the graces, the sweetness, the treasures that thou dispensest to those who truly love Thee? Accept the desire that I have of seeing all hearts burning with love for thee. O Divine Heart! Be Thou my consolation in trials, my repose in labours, my solace in anxieties, my haven in tempests. I consecrate Thee my body and my soul, my heart and my life, together with all that I am. I unite to Thine all my thoughts, all my affections, all my desires. O Eternal Father! I offer Thee the pure affections of the Heart of Jesus. If Thou dost reject mine, Thou canst not reject those of Thy Son, who is sanctity itself; may they supply what is wanting in me, and may they render me pleasing in Thy eyes!








And his love for the Blessed Virgin Mary, so - ever true, fervent and beautiful!


Here's a prayer from his book, The Holy Eucharist:


A Visit to the Blessed Virgin


(Read the visit of the day, and finish by the following prayer, thereby to obtain the most powerful patronage of Mary:)


Most holy Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I have recourse to-day,-I, who am the most miserable of all. I render thee my most humble homages, O Great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces thou hast conferred on me until now, particularly for having delivered me from hell, which I have so often deserved. I love thee, O most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise to serve thee always, and to do all in my power to make others love thee also. I place in thee all my hopes; I confide my salvation to thy care. Accept me for thy servant, and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or rather obtain me the strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask a perfect love for Jesus Christ. From thee I hope to die a good death. O my Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me at all times, but especially at the last moment of my life. Leave me not, I beseech thee, until thou seest me safe in heaven, blessing thee, and singing thy mercies for all eternity. Amen. So I hope. So may it be.


Mary, my mother, my hope, my refuge, to thee I recommend myself; to thee I consign my soul: pray to Jesus for me.


Read here, a very beautiful spiritual reading by St. Alphonsus Ligouri on Death. Whence death alone is our only certainty. Memento Mori!

Jesus, Mary, I love Thee; Save Souls!

Jesu mitis et humilis corde, Fac cor nostrum secundum Cor tuum. (ter)

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