Saturday, March 23, 2019

Pain


Pain puts on an equal footing all who suffer, which is to put all men on an equal footing, because all men suffer; happiness separates us, suffering unites us with fraternal bonds. Pain takes away what we have plenty of and gives us what we lack, giving man a perfect balance: the proud does not suffer without losing some of his pride, nor the ambitious without losing some of his ambition, nor the angry without losing some of his anger, or the lustful without losing some of his lust. Sorrow puts out the fires of passion; at the same time that it takes away what harms us, it gives us what ennobles us; the hard-hearted never suffer without feeling more inclined to compassion, nor the haughty without being more humble, nor the lustful without becoming more chaste; the violent is tamed, the weak is strengthened. No one comes out from that great forge of pain worse than he went in; most come out of it with great virtues that they never knew before: he who enters impious comes out religious; he who enters greedy comes out as a beggar; he who enters without ever having cried comes out with the gift of tears; he who enters hard-hearted comes out full of mercy. Pain has something fortifying, virile and profound, that is the origin of all heroism and all greatness; none have felt its mysterious contact without growing; pain gives the child the virility of the young men, it gives the young men the maturity and seriousness of the grown men, it gives the grown men the strength of the heroes, and it gives the heroes the holiness of the saints.

Juan Donoso Cortés

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Do Not Give in to Weariness


Oppose vigorously any inclinations to sadness, and although it may seem that all you do at that time is done coldly, without relish, and languidly, nevertheless do not fail to do it; for the enemy seeks by sadness to make us weary of good works; and when he sees that we cease not to do them, and that being done in spite of opposition they are the more meritorious, he will cease to trouble us.

Saint Francis of Sales

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Story of a Sinner Saved by the Virgin Mary



We read in the life of sister Catherine, an Augustinian nun, that in the place where that servant of God lived, there lived also a woman named Mary, who, in her youth, was a sinner, and obstinately persevered in her evil courses, even to extreme old age. For this she was banished by her fellow citizens, forced to live in a cave beyond the limits of the place, and died in a state of loathsome corruption, abandoned by all, and without the sacraments; and on this account was buried in a field, like a beast.

Now sister Catherine, who was accustomed to recommend very affectionately to God the souls of those who had departed this life, after learning the miserable death of this poor old woman, did not think of praying for her, as she and every one else believed her already among the damned.

Four years having past, a soul from purgatory one day appeared to her, and said,

"Sister Catherine, how unhappy is my fate! You commend to God the souls of all those who die, and for my soul alone you have had no pity." "Who are you?" said the servant of God. "I am," answered she, "that poor Mary who died in the cave." "How! are you saved?" exclaimed sister Catherine. "Yes, I am saved," she said, "by the mercy of the Virgin Mary”.

When I saw death drawing near, finding myself laden with sins, and abandoned by all, I turned to the mother of God and said to her, Lady, thou art the refuge of the abandoned, behold me at this hour deserted by all; thou art my only hope, thou alone canst help me; have pity on me. The holy Virgin obtained for me the grace of making an act of contrition; I died and am saved.

And my queen has also obtained for me the grace that my pains should be abridged, and that I should, by suffering intensely for a short time, pass through that purification which otherwise would have lasted many years. A few masses only are needed to obtain my release from purgatory. I pray thee cause them to be offered for me, and I promise to pray God and Mary for thee."

Sister Catherine immediately caused those masses to be said for her, and that soul, after a few days, appeared to her again, more brilliant than the sun, and said to her, "I thank thee, sister Catherine: behold I am now going to paradise to sing the mercy of God and pray for thee."

Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, The Glories of Mary, Ch. 1.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Vatican Council I


“For the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention, to be perfected by human ingenuity; but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ, to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared. Hence, also, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our holy Mother the Church has once declared; nor is that meaning ever to be departed from, under the pretence or pretext of a deeper comprehension of them.” (D, 1800).

(VATICAN COUNCIL I).