Monday, April 23, 2018

Who does not Have Mary for His Mother, does not Have God for His Father: Saint Louis Marie de Montfort


Our condition of children of Mary is by express will of Jesus, who wanted His Church not to be orphaned, but to have a Mother to love, invoke and imitate, this means we necessarily need to turn to her.

Represented by Saint John at the foot of the Cross, Christ left us as a testament: "Behold your Mother".

The way to reach Christ is through Mary, those who flee from her will not find peace": Saint Bonaventure

Saint Louis Marie de Montfort teaches us on A Treatise on the True Devotion to Mary, p. 284):
“Just as in natural and bodily generation there is a father and a mother, so in the supernatural and spiritual generation there is a father who is God and a mother who is Mary.”
“All true children of God have God for their father and Mary for their mother; anyone who does not have Mary for his mother, does not have God for his father. This is why the reprobate, such as heretics and schismatics, who hate, despise or ignore the Blessed Virgin, do not have God for their father though they arrogantly claim they have, because they do not have Mary for their mother. Indeed if they had her for their mother they would love and honour her as good and true children naturally love and honour the mother who gave them life.”
“An infallible and unmistakable sign by which we can distinguish a heretic, a man of false doctrine, an enemy of God, from one of God's true friends is that the heretic and the hardened sinner show nothing but contempt and indifference for our Lady. He endeavours by word and example, openly or insidiously - sometimes under specious pretexts - to belittle the love and veneration shown to her. God the Father has not told Mary to dwell in them because they are, alas, other Esaus.”

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Pride is Lucifer’s Most Favorite Sin



Pride is the sin of Lucifer. Pride clouds reason and understanding. When someone feels their pride hurt, they react like a wounded animal, losing all capacity for judgment.

To seek the truth despite our wounded pride is a virtue that only very few attain. Only by asking it to God is it achieved. It is a quality almost impossible to find today. It is only for the chosen who have asked for it.

Pride blinds many and loses them. It is the most difficult sin to overcome. It leads many souls to eternal damnation. The devil uses the proud to attack what he most detests.

That was the sin of Luther and many others like him.

We should pray and ask God daily that even when someone hurts our ego, we do not become blind so we can seek the truth and remain in it forever. The problem is that we tend to give more importance to our own opinion because it is more comfortable for us. And pride anchors us in it.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Soul and the Body, by Sr. Clotilde García Espejel, E.D.


In modern-day life, we see that the body gets a lot of attention and care.

We use the life we have to care for the body in all its internal and external functions: daily exercise, deep breathing, fear of disease and death. We could expose an endless list of actions, both for men and for women, that abound in the care and repair of the body.

The strange thing is that, at the same time, the body is poisoned with alcohol, drugs, sleepless nights, and pleasures that wear down its health and, although it is a true contradiction: "I take care of my body and, at the same time, I hurt it". But with these vices and excesses I stain my soul, I weaken it ... However, it is well known that everything is intended for the pleasure of the senses and the cult of the body.

Now, I ask: What is done for the health of the Soul? Do you even know that you have a soul? You forgot it already?

The truth is that, since we ignore it, we have forgotten about it and lost the light of its existence.

God creates a soul for each body, and the soul vivifies, gives spirit to that body. Without the soul, the body would not have life. Thanks to the soul, man can think, know, choose, love... and yet we have forgotten the motor of our life and, I ask: "What is the soul?".

The soul is a substance created by God, whose qualities are: simplicity, spirituality, freedom and immortality. And it needs the body to know what exists and happens on the outside, and as a spiritual laboratory, it transforms and elevates in its interior what is transmitted to it. And, later, it expresses it to the outside, in multiple manifestations.

But the soul needs its food. And, what is the food of the soul? The knowledge of God, the study of good works, attendance at Holy Mass, prayer. But at its core foundation, the Sanctifying Grace through the Sacraments. Even the knowledge of truth through philosophy, science and true art. Much must be given to the soul and this will be for the benefit of the whole human being.

Man or woman: move your body, with the life that the soul transmits to you, and reach the confessional; confess your sins and, thus anointed your soul by the grace, you will feel the new life, the life of God, which is the supernatural life, which can lead human beings to unsuspected heights that satisfy, something that cannot be provided by matter, nor the pleasure of the senses.

The soul and the body are two different substances, but together they make the substantial union, forming a single rational and volitional being.

Take care harmoniously of your body and your soul: "My soul for the body and my body for the soul", making them a single identity, giving only glory to God and therefore achieving happiness; since for this we are born.

Sr. Clotilde García Espejel, E.D.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Disposition to Pray when We Want to Obtain any Grace – Saint Thomas à Kempis

Not every desire is from the Holy Spirit, even though it may seem right and good. It is difficult to be certain whether it is a good spirit or a bad one that prompts one to this or that, and even to know whether you are being moved by your own spirit.

Many who seemed at first to be led by a good spirit have been deceived in the end. Whatever the mind sees as good, ask and desire in fear of God and humility of heart. Above all, commit the whole matter to Him with true resignation, and say:


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Palm Sunday


EXIT FROM BETANIA - Early in the morning of this Day, Jesus sets out for Jerusalem, leaving Mary His Mother, and the two sisters Martha and Mary Magdalene, and Lazarus at Bethania. The Mother of sorrows trembles at seeing her Son thus expose Himself to danger, for His enemies are bent upon His destruction; but it is not death, it is triumph, that Jesus is to receive today in Jerusalem. The Messias, before being nailed to the cross, is to be proclaimed King by the people of the great city; the little children are to make her streets echo with their Hosannas to the Son of David; and this in presence of the soldiers of Rome's emperor, and of the high priests and pharisees: the first standing under the banner of their eagles; the second, dumb with rage.

FULFILLMENT OF THE PROPHECY - The prophet Zachary had foretold this triumph which the Son of Man was to receive a few days before His Passion, and which had been prepared for Him from all eternity. 'Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion! Shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold thy King will come to thee; the Just and the Savior. He is poor and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.'(1)- {Zach. ix. 9} Jesus, knowing that the hour has come for the fulfillment of this prophecy, singles out two from the rest of His disciples, and bids them lead to Him as ass and her colt, which they would find not far off. He has reached Bethphage, on Mount Olivet. The two disciples lose no time in executing the order given them by their divine Master; and the ass and the colt are soon brought to the place where He stands.

TWO CITIES - The holy fathers have explained to us the mystery of these two animals. The ass represents the Jewish people, which had been long under the yoke of the Law; the colt, upon which, as the evangelist says, no man yet hath sat,(2)-{St. Mark. Xi. 2} is a figure of the Gentile world, which no one had ever yet brought into subjection. The future of these two peoples is to be decided a FEW DAYS hence the Jews will be rejected for having refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Messias; the Gentiles will take their place, to be adopted as God's people, and become docile and faithful.

TRIUMPHAL PROCESSION - The disciples spread their garments upon the colt; and our Savior, that the prophetic figure might be fulfilled, sits upon him,(3)-{Ibid.7, and St. Luke xix. 35} and advances towards Jerusalem. As soon as it is known that Jesus is near the city, the holy Spirit works in the hearts of those Jews, who have come from all parts to celebrate the feast of the Passover. They go out to meet our Lord, holding palm branches in their hands, and loudly proclaiming Him to be King.(1)-{St. Luke xix. 38} They that have accompanied Jesus from Bethania, join the enthusiastic crowd. Whilst some spread their garments on the way, others cut down boughs from the palm trees, and strew them along the road. Hosanna is the triumphant cry, proclaiming to the whole city that Jesus, the Son of David, has made His entrance as her King.

THE MESSIANIC KINGDOM - Thus did God, in His power over men's hearts, procure a triumph for His Son, and in the very city which, a few days later, was to clamor for His Blood This day was one of glory to our Jesus, and the holy Church would have us renew, each year, the memory of this triumph of the Man-God. Shortly after the birth of our Emmanuel, we saw the Magi coming from the extreme east, and looking in Jerusalem for the King of the Jews, to whom they intended offering their gifts and their adorations; but it is Jerusalem herself that now goes forth to meet this King. Each of these events is an acknowledgment of the kingship of Jesus; the first, from the Gentiles; the second homage, before He suffered His Passion. The inscription to be put upon the cross, by Pilate's order, will express the kingly character of the Crucified Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. Pilate, the Roman governor, the pagan, the base coward, has been unwittingly the fulfiller of a prophecy; and when the enemies of Jesus insist on the inscription being altered, Pilate will not deign to give them any answer but this: 'What I have written, I have written.' Today, it is the Jews themselves that proclaim Jesus to be their King; they will soon be dispersed, in punishment for their revolt against the Son of David; but Jesus is King, and will be so for ever. Thus were literally verified the words spoken by the Archangel to Mary, when he announced to her the glories of the Child that was to be born of her. 'The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David, His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.'(1)- {St. Luke i 32} Jesus begins His reign upon the earth this very day; and though the first Israel is soon to disclaim His rule, a new Israel, formed from the faithful few of the old, shall rise up in every nation of the earth, and become the kingdom of Christ, a kingdom such as no mere earthly monarch ever coveted in his wildest fancies of ambition.

This is the glorious mystery which ushers in the great week, the week of Dolours. Holy Church would have us give this momentary consolation to our heart, and hail our Jesus as our King. She has so arranged the service of today, that it should express both joy and sorrow; joy, by uniting herself with the loyal hosannas of the city of David; and sorrow, by compassionating the Passion of her divine Spouse.

THE BLESSING OF THE PALMS

The first is the blessing of the palms; and we may have an idea of its importance from the solemnity used by the Church in this saved rite.

One would suppose that the holy Sacrifice has begun, and is going to be offered up in honour of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. Introit, Collect, Epistle, Gradual, Gospel, even a Preface, are said, as though we were, as usual, preparing for the immolation of the spotless Lamb; but, after the triple the Church suspends these sacrificial formulas, and turns to the blessing of the palms. The prayers she uses for this blessing are eloquent and full of instruction and, together with the sprinkling with holy water and the incensation, impart a virtue to these branches which elevates them to the supernatural order, and makes them means for the sanctification of our souls and the protection of our persons and dwellings. The faithful should hold these palms in their hands during the procession, and during the reading of the Passion at Mass, and keep them in their homes as an outward expression of their faith, and as a pledge of God's watchful love.

ORIGIN OF THE RITE - It is scarcely necessary to tell our reader that the palms or olive branches, thus blessed, are carried in memory of those wherewith the people of Jerusalem strewed the road, as our Saviour made His triumphant entry; but a word on the antiquity of our ceremony will not be superfluous. It began very early in the east. It is probable that, as far as Jerusalem itself is concerned, the custom was estate. fished immediately after the ages of persecution St. Cyril, who was bishop of that city in the fourth century, tells us that the palm-tree, from which the people out the branches when they went out to meet our Saviour, was still to be seen in the vale of Cedron.[6] Such a circumstance would naturally suggest an annual commemoration of the great event. In the following century, we find this ceremony established, not only in the churches of the east, but also in the monasteries of Egypt and Syria. At the beginning of Lent, many of the holy monks obtained permission from their abbots to retire into the desert, that they might spend the saved season in strict seclusion; but they were obliged to return to their monasteries for Palm Sunday, as we learn from the life of Saint Euthymius, written by his disciple Cyril.[7] In the west, the introduction of this ceremony was more gradual; the first trace we find of it is in the sacramentary of St. Gregory, that is, at the end of the sixth, or the beginning of the seventh, century. When the faith had penetrated into the north, it was not possible to have palms or olive branches; they were supplied by branches from other trees. The beautiful prayers used in the blessing, and based on the mysteries expressed by the palm and olive trees, are still employed in the blessing of our willow, box, or other branches; and rightly, for these represent the symbolical ones which nature has denied us.

THE PROCESSION

The second of today's ceremonies is the procession, which comes immediately after the blessing of the palms. It represents our Saviour's journey to Jerusalem, and His entry into the city. To make it the more expressive, the branches that have just been blessed are held in the hand during it. With the Jews, to hold a branch in one's hand was a sign of joy. The divine law had sanctioned this practice, as we read in the following passage from Leviticus, where God commands :His people to keep the feast of tabernacles: And you shall take to you, on the first day, the fruits of the fairest tree, and branches of palm-trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God.[8] It was, therefore, to testify their delight at seeing Jesus enter within their walls, that the inhabitants, even the little children, of Jerusalem, went forth to meet Him with palms in their hands. Let us, also, go before our King, singing our to Him as the conqueror of death, and the liberator of His people.

During the middle ages, it was the custom, in many churches, to carry the book of the holy Gospels in this procession. The Gospel contains the words of Jesus Christ, and was considered to represent Him. The procession halted at an appointed place, or station: the deacon then opened the sacred volume, and sang from it the passage which describes our Lord's entry into Jerusalem. This done, the cross which, up to this moment, was veiled, was uncovered; each of the clergy advanced towards it, venerated it, and placed at its foot a small portion of the palm he held in his hand. The procession then returned, preceded by the gross, which was left unveiled until all had re-entered the church. In England and Normandy, as far back as the eleventh century, there was practised a holy ceremony which represented, even more vividly than the one we have just been describing, the scene that was witnessed on this day at Jerusalem: the blessed Sacrament was carried in procession. The heresy of Berengarius, against the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, had been broached about that time; and the tribute of triumphant joy here shown to the sacred Host was a distant preparation for the feast and procession which were to be instituted at a later period. A touching ceremony was also practised in Jerusalem during today's procession, and, like those just mentioned, was intended to commemorate the event related by the Gospel. The whole community of the Franciscans (to whose keeping the holy places are entrusted) went in the morning to Bethphage. There, the father guardian of the holy Land, being vested in pontifical robes, mounted upon an ass, on which garments were laid. Accompanied by the friars and the Catholics of Jerusalem, all holding palms in their hands, he entered the city, and alighted at the church of the holy sepulchre where Mass was celebrated with all possible solemnity.

We have mentioned these different usages, as we have done others on similar occasions, in order to aid the faithful to the better understanding of the several mysteries of the liturgy. In the present instance, they will learn that, in today's procession, the Church wishes us to honour Jesus Christ as though He were really among us, and were receiving the humble tribute of our loyalty. Let us lovingly go forth to meet this our King, our Saviour, who comes to visit the daughter of Sion, as the prophet has just told us. He is in our midst; it is to Him that we pay honour with our palms: let us give Him our hearts too. He comes that He may be our King; let us welcome Him as such, and fervently cry out to Him: Hosanna to the Son of David!'

ENTRANCE TO THE CHURCH - At the close of the procession a ceremony takes place, which is full of the sublimes symbolism. On returning to the church, the doors are found to be shut. The triumphant procession is stopped; but the songs of joy are continued. A hymn in honour of Christ our King is sung with its joyous chorus; and at length the subdeacon strikes the door with the staff of the gross; the door opens, and the people, preceded by the clergy, enter the church, proclaiming the praise of Him, who is our resurrection and our life.

This ceremony is intended to represent the entry of Jesus into that Jerusalem of which the earthly one was but the figure-the Jerusalem of heaven, which has been opened for us by our Saviour. The sin of our first parents had shut it against us; but Jesus, the King of glory, opened its gates by His cross, to which every resistance yields.

THE MASS

The third part of today's service is the offering of the holy Sacrifice. The portions that are sung by the choir are expressive of the deepest desolation; and the history of our Lord's Passion, which is now to be read by anticipation, gives to the rest of the day that character of saved gloom, which we all know so well. For the last five or six centuries, the Church has adopted a special chant for this narrative of the holy Gospel. The historian, or the evangelist, relates the events in a tone that is at once grave and pathetic; the words of our Saviour are sung to a solemn yet sweet melody, which strikingly contrasts with the high dominant of the several other interlocutors and the Jewish populace. During the singing of the Passion, the faithful should hold their palms in their hands, and, by this emblem of triumph, protest against the insults offered to Jesus by His enemies. As we listen to each humiliation and suffering, all of which were endured out of love for us, let us offer Him our palm as to our dearest Lord and King. When should we be more adoring, than when He is most suffering? These are the leading features of this great day. According to our usual plan, we will add to the prayers and lessons any instructions that seem to be needed.

OTHER NAMES GIVEN TO THIS DAY - This Sunday, besides its liturgical and popular appellation of , has had several other names. Thus it was called, in allusion to the acclamation wherewith the Jews greeted Jesus on His entry into Jerusalem. Our forefathers used also to call it , because the feast of the Pasch (or Easter), which is but eight days off, is today in bud, so to speak, and the faithful could begin from this Sunday to fulfill the precept of Easter Communion. It was in allusion to this name, that the Spaniards, having on the Palm Sunday of 1613, discovered the peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico, called it Florida. We also find the name Capitilavium given to this Sunday, because, during those times when it was the custom to defer till Holy Saturday the baptism of infants born during the preceding months (where such a delay entailed no danger), the parents used, on this day, to wash the heads of these children, out of respect to the holy chrism wherewith they were to be anointed. Later on, this Sunday was, at least in some churches, Easter of the Catechumens, who were admitted to Baptism; they assembled today in the church, and received a special instruction on the symbol, which had been given to them in the previous scrutiny. In the Gothic Church of Spain, the symbol was not given till today.

TEARS OF JESUS

Let us now go over in our minds the other events which happened to our divine Lord on this day of His solemn entry into Jerusalem. St. Luke tells us that it was on His approach to the city, that Jesus wept over it, and spoke these touching words: 'If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace! But now they are hidden from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee; and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone; because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.'(1)- {St. Luke xix. 42-44}. A few days ago, we were reading in the holy Gospel how Jesus wept over the tomb of Lazarus; today He shed tears over Jerusalem. At Bethania His weeping was caused by the sight of bodily death, the consequence and punishment of sin; but this death is not irremediable: Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and he that believieth in Him shall life. (1)-{St. John xi. 25} Whereas, the state of the unfaithful Jerusalem is a figure of the death of the soul, and from this there is no resurrection, unless the soul, while time is given to her, return to the Author of life. Hence it is, that the tears shed by Jesus over Jerusalem are so bitter. Amidst the acclamations which greet His entry into the city of David, His heart is sad; for He sees that many of her inhabitants will not profit of the time of her visitation. Let us console the Heart of our Jesus, and be to Him a faithful Jerusalem.

RETURN TO BETANIA

We learn from St. Matthew (1)-{St. Matt. xxi. 17} that our Savior spent the remainder of this day at Bethania. His blessed Mother and the house of Lazarus were comforted by His return. There was not a single offer of hospitality made to Him in Jerusalem, at least there is mention in the Gospel of any such offer. We cannot help making the reflection, as we meditate upon this event of our Lord's life:--an enthusiastic reception is given to Him in the morning, He is proclaimed by the people as their King; but when the evening of that day comes on, there is not one of all those thousands to offer Him food or lodging. In the Carmelite monasteries of St. Teresa's reform, there is a custom, which has been suggested by this thought, and is intended as a reparation for this ingratitude shown to our Redeemer. A table is placed in the middle of the refectory; and after the community have finished their dinner, the food which was placed upon that table is distributed among the poor, and Jesus is honored in them.

Liturgical Year – Dom Prospero Guéranger.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mother of Sinners



The Holy Virgin assured Saint Bridget (Book 4, c. 138] that not only is she the Mother of the good and righteous, but also of sinners, as long as they wish to repent.”

Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, « The Glories of Mary » chapter 1.

Monday, March 19, 2018

QUAMQUAM PLURIES BY H.H. LEO XIII, ON THE DEVOTION TO SAINT JOSEPH



To Our Venerable Brethren the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops,
 and other Ordinaries, in Peace and Union with Holy See.

1. Although We have already many times ordered special prayers to be offered up in the whole world, that the interests of Catholicism might be insistently recommended to God, none will deem it matter for surprise that We consider the present moment an opportune one for again inculcating the same duty. During periods of stress and trial - chiefly when every lawlessness of act seems permitted to the powers of darkness - it has been the custom in the Church to plead with special fervour and perseverance to God, her author and protector, by recourse to the intercession of the saints - and chiefly of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God - whose patronage has ever been the most efficacious. The fruit of these pious prayers and of the confidence reposed in the Divine goodness, has always, sooner or later, been made apparent. Now, Venerable Brethren, you know the times in which we live; they are scarcely less deplorable for the Christian religion than the worst days, which in time past were most full of misery to the Church. We see faith, the root of all the Christian virtues, lessening in many souls; we see charity growing cold; the young generation daily growing in depravity of morals and views; the Church of Jesus Christ attacked on every side by open force or by craft; a relentless war waged against the Sovereign Pontiff; and the very foundations of religion undermined with a boldness which waxes daily in intensity. These things are, indeed, so much a matter of notoriety that it is needless for Us to expatiate on the depths to which society has sunk in these days, or on the designs which now agitate the minds of men. In circumstances so unhappy and troublous, human remedies are insufficient, and it becomes necessary, as a sole resource, to beg for assistance from the Divine power.

2. This is the reason why We have considered it necessary to turn to the Christian people and urge them to implore, with increased zeal and constancy, the aid of Almighty God. At this proximity of the month of October, which We have already consecrated to the Virgin Mary, under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary, We earnestly exhort the faithful to perform the exercises of this month with, if possible, even more piety and constancy than heretofore. We know that there is sure help in the maternal goodness of the Virgin, and We are very certain that We shall never vainly place Our trust in her. If, on innumerable occasions, she has displayed her power in aid of the Christian world, why should We doubt that she will now renew the assistance of her power and favour, if humble and constant prayers are offered up on all sides to her? Nay, We rather believe that her intervention will be the more marvellous as she has permitted Us to pray to her, for so long a time, with special appeals. But We entertain another object, which, according to your wont, Venerable Brethren, you will advance with fervour. That God may be more favourable to Our prayers, and that He may come with bounty and promptitude to the aid of His Church, We judge it of deep utility for the Christian people, continually to invoke with great piety and trust, together with the Virgin-Mother of God, her chaste Spouse, the Blessed Joseph; and We regard it as most certain that this will be most pleasing to the Virgin herself. On the subject of this devotion, of which We speak publicly for the first time to-day, We know without doubt that not only is the people inclined to it, but that it is already established, and is advancing to full growth. We have seen the devotion to St. Joseph, which in past times the Roman Pontiffs have developed and gradually increased, grow into greater proportions in Our time, particularly after Pius IX., of happy memory, Our predecessor, proclaimed, yielding to the request of a large number of bishops, this holy patriarch the patron of the Catholic Church. And as, moreover, it is of high importance that the devotion to St. Joseph should engraft itself upon the daily pious practices of Catholics, We desire that the Christian people should be urged to it above all by Our words and authority.

3. The special motives for which St. Joseph has been proclaimed Patron of the Church, and from which the Church looks for singular benefit from his patronage and protection, are that Joseph was the spouse of Mary and that he was reputed the Father of Jesus Christ. From these sources have sprung his dignity, his holiness, his glory. In truth, the dignity of the Mother of God is so lofty that naught created can rank above it. But as Joseph has been united to the Blessed Virgin by the ties of marriage, it may not be doubted that he approached nearer than any to the eminent dignity by which the Mother of God surpasses so nobly all created natures. For marriage is the most intimate of all unions which from its essence imparts a community of gifts between those that by it are joined together. Thus in giving Joseph the Blessed Virgin as spouse, God appointed him to be not only her life's companion, the witness of her maidenhood, the protector of her honour, but also, by virtue of the conjugal tie, a participator in her sublime dignity. And Joseph shines among all mankind by the most august dignity, since by divine will, he was the guardian of the Son of God and reputed as His father among men. Hence it came about that the Word of God was humbly subject to Joseph, that He obeyed him, and that He rendered to him all those offices that children are bound to render to their parents. From this two-fold dignity flowed the obligation which nature lays upon the head of families, so that Joseph became the guardian, the administrator, and the legal defender of the divine house whose chief he was. And during the whole course of his life he fulfilled those charges and those duties. He set himself to protect with a mighty love and a daily solicitude his spouse and the Divine Infant; regularly by his work he earned what was necessary for the one and the other for nourishment and clothing; he guarded from death the Child threatened by a monarch's jealousy, and found for Him a refuge; in the miseries of the journey and in the bitternesses of exile he was ever the companion, the assistance, and the upholder of the Virgin and of Jesus. Now the divine house which Joseph ruled with the authority of a father, contained within its limits the scarce-born Church. From the same fact that the most holy Virgin is the mother of Jesus Christ is she the mother of all Christians whom she bore on Mount Calvary amid the supreme throes of the Redemption; Jesus Christ is, in a manner, the first-born of Christians, who by the adoption and Redemption are his brothers. And for such reasons the Blessed Patriarch looks upon the multitude of Christians who make up the Church as confided specially to his trust - this limitless family spread over the earth, over which, because he is the spouse of Mary and the Father of Jesus Christ he holds, as it were, a paternal authority. It is, then, natural and worthy that as the Blessed Joseph ministered to all the needs of the family at Nazareth and girt it about with his protection, he should now cover with the cloak of his heavenly patronage and defend the Church of Jesus Christ.

4. You well understand, Venerable Brethren, that these considerations are confirmed by the ,opinion held by a large number of the Fathers, to which the sacred liturgy gives its sanction, that the Joseph of ancient times, son of the patriarch Jacob, was the type of St. Joseph, and the former by his glory prefigured the greatness of the future guardian of the Holy Family. And in truth, beyond the fact that the same name - a point the significance of which has never been denied - was given to each, you well know the points of likeness that exist between them; namely, that the first Joseph won the favour and especial goodwill of his master, and that through Joseph's administration his household came to prosperity and wealth; that (still more important) he presided over the kingdom with great power, and, in a time when the harvests failed, he provided for all the needs of the Egyptians with so much wisdom that the King decreed to him the title "Saviour of the world." Thus it is that We may prefigure the new in the old patriarch. And as the first caused the prosperity of his master's domestic interests and at the same time rendered great services to the whole kingdom, so the second, destined to be the guardian of the Christian religion, should be regarded as the protector and defender of the Church, which is truly the house of the Lord and the kingdom of God on earth. These are the reasons why men of every rank and country should fly to the trust and guard of the blessed Joseph. Fathers of families find in Joseph the best personification of paternal solicitude and vigilance; spouses a perfect example of love, of peace, and of conjugal fidelity; virgins at the same time find in him the model and protector of virginal integrity. The noble of birth will earn of Joseph how to guard their dignity even in misfortune; the rich will understand, by his lessons, what are the goods most to be desired and won at the price of their labour. As to workmen, artisans, and persons of lesser degree, their recourse to Joseph is a special right, and his example is for their particular imitation. For Joseph, of royal blood, united by marriage to the greatest and holiest of women, reputed the father of the Son of God, passed his life in labour, and won by the toil of the artisan the needful support of his family. It is, then, true that the condition of the lowly has nothing shameful in it, and the work of the labourer is not only not dishonouring, but can, if virtue be joined to it, be singularly ennobled. Joseph, content with his slight possessions, bore the trials consequent on a fortune so slender, with greatness of soul, in imitation of his Son, who having put on the form of a slave, being the Lord of life, subjected himself of his own free-will to the spoliation and loss of everything.

5. Through these considerations, the poor and those who live by the labour of their hands should be of good heart and learn to be just. If they win the right of emerging from poverty and obtaining a better rank by lawful means, reason and justice uphold them in changing the order established, in the first instance, for them by the Providence of God. But recourse to force and struggles by seditious paths to obtain such ends are madnesses which only aggravate the evil which they aim to suppress. Let the poor, then, if they would be wise, trust not to the promises of seditious men, but rather to the example and patronage of the Blessed Joseph, and to the maternal charity of the Church, which each day takes an increasing compassion on their lot.

6. This is the reason why - trusting much to your zeal and episcopal authority, Venerable Brethren, and not doubting that the good and pious faithful will run beyond the mere letter of the law - We prescribe that during the whole month of October, at the recitation of the Rosary, for which We have already legislated, a prayer to St. Joseph be added, the formula of which will be sent with this letter, and that this custom should be repeated every year. To those who recite this prayer, We grant for each time an indulgence of seven years and seven Lents. It is a salutary practice and very praiseworthy, already established in some countries, to consecrate the month of March to the honour of the holy Patriarch by daily exercises of piety. Where this custom cannot be easily established, it is as least desirable, that before the feast-day, in the principal church of each parish, a triduo of prayer be celebrated. In those lands where the 19th of March - the Feast of St. Joseph - is not a Festival of Obligation, We exhort the faithful to sanctify it as far as possible by private pious practices, in honour of their heavenly patron, as though it were a day of Obligation.

7. And in token of heavenly favours, and in witness of Our good-will, We grant most lovingly in the Lord, to you, Venerable Brethren, to your clergy and to your people, the Apostolic blessing.
Given in the Vatican, August 15th, 1889, the 11th year of Our Pontificate.

LEO XIII
________________________________________
Prayer to Saint Joseph

To thee, O blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and having implored the help of thy thrice holy Spouse, we now, with hearts filled with confidence, earnestly beg thee also to take us under thy protection. 

By that charity wherewith thou wert united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly love with which thou didst cherish the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray that thou wilt look down with gracious eye upon that inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by His blood, and wilt succor us in our need by thy power and strength.

Defend, O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen off-spring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving Father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, most valiant defender, in this conflict with the powers of darkness. And even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the peril of His life, so now defend God's Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. 

Shield us ever under thy patronage, that, following thine example and strengthened by thy help, we may live a holy life, die a happy death, and attain to everlasting bliss in Heaven. Amen.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A PRAYER FOR HAWKING


By the way, he was not the first to postulate the Big Bang theory, as some media have said, but the Belgian CATHOLIC PRIEST Georges Lemaître (1894 - 1966), who was also an astrophysicist and cosmologist. Father Lemaître elaborated the hypothesis that all the matter of the universe at the time of origin was concentrated in a primordial atom, a point of very high density whose explosion would have determined the beginning of the expansion and creation of matter.

Lemaître and Einstein


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Prayer reminder for the thirteenth day of each month


We remind you that today, as every 13th day of each month, we will join together in prayer for five minutes, for the intentions that are explained in the following link: http://www.catholicityblog.com/2016/01/appeal-to-our-friendsreaders.html

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Weakness of the Catholic is Prayer Badly Made: it Causes Spiritual Anaemia

What is at risk in this life is Heaven or Hell for all eternity after death.



Prayer, explains St. John Damascene [De Fide Orthod. 1, 3, c.24], is: "Ascensus mentis in Deum" (the elevation of the soul towards God).

The holiness of life comes from God [Holy of Holies], during prayer the good Catholic rises to God, that is why the prayer in grace and a friendship with God is extremely desirable, for the soul rises towards Him [implores, pleads, thanks, talks]. How to understand an elevation towards God with the soul in mortal sin [that has seriously offended God]? It is obvious that it is not the best, a dialogue with whom you have offended and you have not asked for forgiveness.

* Annotations:

1st THE STRENGTH OF THE CATHOLIC IS GOD

A soul united to God by true faith, by the grace and friendship, is very strong, so much so that God himself dwells in the soul of a Catholic in grace. “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. And my Father will love him and we will come to him and will make our abode with him.” Saint John 14:23

The strength of the Catholic is proven in tribulations and troubles of life; an evident testimony is the martyrdom of the saints at the time of their death: strength, humility, peace, charity.

2nd THE CATHOLIC MUST LIVE UNITED TO GOD

What is at risk in this life is Heaven or Hell for all eternity after death.
The soul has three enemies that will try to take it to hell: the world, the devil and the flesh.
A Catholic, with his good intention, living in mortal sin, is extremely vulnerable: weak, fearful, in danger of being condemned.

3rd THE CATHOLIC BECOMES STRONG IN PRAYER

The source [origin] of grace, of holiness is found in God, that is why He must have the holy doctrine of God, fulfill His holy commandments, constantly rise towards God: That is the way, form and substance of a strong soul of a holy catholic.

"I am the vine: you the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing." Saint John 15:5

4th THE HOLY ROSARY

Brother sinner, if your soul is in danger of condemnation, I ask you to start a change of life through the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, by slowly praying with attention and devotion the Holy Rosary, remembering that it is a safe means of eternal salvation.

"Even if you were on the edge of the abyss or had one foot in hell, even if you had sold your soul to the devil, even if you were a heretic hardened and stubborn as a demon, sooner or later you will convert, as long as you pray devoutly every day the Holy Rosary until your death.” Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary.

5th HOLY ADVICE.

I recommend that you have a special place in your home [it does not matter if it is humble] for praying with a small altar to the Blessed Virgin Mary, a kneeler for you to pray with two candles lit during it.

I advise you that this little place be clean, ventilated, in silence where every day you raise your soul towards God.

God bless you.

“O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.

Monday, February 26, 2018

The True Treasures


It is most useful for our salvation to say often to ourselves: I must one day die! The Church every year on Ash Wednesday brings this remembrance to the faithful. This certainty of death is brought to our recollection many times in the year; sometimes by the burial grounds which we pass upon the road, sometimes by the graves which we behold in churches, sometimes by the dead who are carried to burial.

The most precious furniture that was carried by the anchorites to their caves was a cross and a skull; the cross to remind them of the great love of Jesus Christ for us, and the skull to remind them of the day of their own death. And so they persevered in penitential works till the end of their days; and thus dying in poverty in the desert, they died more contented than if they had died as kings in their palaces.

"The end is at hand! The end is at hand! In this life one man lives a longer, another a shorter time; but for everyone sooner or later, the end comes; and when that end comes, nothing will comfort us at death but the thought that we have loved Jesus Christ, and have endured with patience the labors of this life for love of Him.

Then, not the riches we have gained, nor the honors we have obtained, nor the pleasures we have enjoyed, will console us. All the greatness of the world cannot comfort a dying man; it rather adds to his pains; and the more he has gained of it, the more does he suffer.

It was said by Sister Margaret of St. Anne, a very holy Discalced Carmelite, and daughter of the Emperor Rudolph II: "What profit is a kingdom at the hour of death?". Oh, how many worldly persons are there to whom, at the very moment when they are busy in seeking for gain, power, and office, the message of death comes: "Set thy house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live." (Isaias 37:1). Why, O man, hast thou neglected to make thy will till the hour when thou art in sickness? O my God, what pain is suffered by him who is on the point of gaining some lawsuit, or of taking possession of some palace or property, who hears it said by the priest who has come to pray for his soul: Depart, Christian soul, from this world. Depart from this world, and render thy account to Jesus Christ. "But," he cries, "I am not now well prepared." What matters that? Thou must now depart.

O my God, give me light, give me strength to spend the rest of my life in serving and loving Thee. If now I should die, I should not die content; I should die disturbed. What, then, do I wait for? That death should seize me at a moment of the greatest peril to my soul? O Lord, if I have been foolish in the past, I will not be so for the time to come. Now I give myself wholly to Thee; receive me and help me with Thy grace.

In a word, to every one the end comes, and with the end comes that decisive moment on which depends a happy or wretched eternity. Oh, what a moment, on which Eternity depends! Oh, that all would think upon that moment, and the account they must give to their Judge of their whole life! Truly, they would not then devote themselves to amassing riches, nor labor to become great in this perishable world; they would think how to become Saints, and to be great in that life which never ends. If, then, we have Faith, let us believe that there is a Death, a Judgment, an Eternity, and labour for the rest of our life to live only for God. And, therefore, let us take care to live as pilgrims on this earth, remembering that we must speedily leave it. Let us live ever with death before our eyes; and, in all the affairs of life, let us take care to act precisely as we should act at the point of death.

All things upon earth either leave us or we leave them. Let us hear Jesus Christ, Who says: "Lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither the rust nor moth doth consume." (Matthew 6:20). Let us despise the treasures of earth, which cannot content us, and speedily end; and let us gain those heavenly treasures which will make us happy and will never end.

Miserable I am, O Lord, in that I have so often, for the sake of the goods of this life, turned my back upon Thee Who art the Infinite Good! I see my folly in having sought for a great name, and for making my fortune in the world. I see what my true happiness is: it is henceforth to love Thee, and in everything to fulfill Thy Will. O my Jesus, take from me the desire of gain; make me love neglect and a humble life. Give me strength to deny myself in everything that displeases Thee. Make me embrace, with a calm mind, infirmities, persecutions, desolations, and all the crosses that Thou mayst send me. Oh, that I could die for the love of Thee, abandoned by all, as Thou didst die for me!

Holy Virgin, Thy prayers can enable me to find my true happiness, which is earnestly to love Thy Son. Oh, pray for me; in Thee I put my trust.

SAINT ALPHONSUS MARIA DE LIGUORI

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Naked Truth About Modesty

A TOPIC THAT MANY PRIESTS AVOID TODAY


This is an excellent video, although it is important to clarify that the example that the man gives on Adam and Eve is incorrect, because the sin of our first parents was wanting to be like God and not a sin of fornication as he (and many others) wrongly believe.


Monday, February 19, 2018

"Is Fasting Good for Us?" Saint Thomas Answers this Question:


We fast mainly for three reasons:

1) To suppress the lusts of the flesh. Reason why the Apostle says: "In fasting, in chastity" (II Cor 6:5), because fasts preserve chastity. As St. Jerome says: "Without Ceres and Bacchus Venus would freeze, as much as to say that lust loses its heat through spareness of food and drink.
2) We fast so that the spirit rises with more freedom to the contemplation of sublime things. That is why it is written in Daniel that after a three-week fast, he received the revelation from God (10, 2 and later).

3) To make satisfaction for sin. This is the reason given by the prophet Joel: “Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting and in weeping and in mourning” (Joel ii. 12). And here is what St. Augustine writes on the matter. "Fasting purifies the soul. It lifts up the mind, and it brings the body into subjection to the spirit. It makes the heart contrite and humble, scatters the clouds of desire, puts out the flames of lust and the true light of chastity."

II There is commandment laid on us to fast. For fasting helps to destroy sin, and to raise the mind to thoughts of the spiritual world. Each man is then bound, by the natural law of the matter, to fast just as much as is necessary to help him in these matters. Which is to say that fasting in general is a matter of natural law. To determine, however, when we shall fast and how, according to what suits and is of use to the Catholic body, is a matter of positive law. To state the positive law is the business of the bishops, and what is thus stated by them is called ecclesiastical fasting, in contradistinction with the natural fasting previously mentioned.

III. The times fixed for fasting by the Church are well chosen. Fasting has two objects in view:
the destruction of sin, and the lifting of the mind to higher things. The times self-indicated for fasting are then those in which men are especially bound to free themselves from sin and to raise their minds to God in devotion.

Such a time especially is that which precedes that solemnity of Easter in which baptism is administered and sin thereby destroyed, and when the burial of Our Lord is recalled, for we are buried together with Christ by baptism into death (Rom. vi. 4). Then, too, at Easter most of all, men's minds should be lifted, through devotion to the glory of that eternity which Christ in His resurrection inaugurated. Wherefore the Church has decreed that immediately before the solemnity of Easter we must fast, and, for a similar reason, that we must fast on the eves of the principal feasts, setting apart those days as opportune to prepare ourselves for the devout celebration of the feasts themselves.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Meditations, 2nd 2ae, q. CXLVII, a. 1, 3 and 5

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Faith is not a Buffet where You Can Choose Which Truths to Believe. Whosoever has True Faith Accepts Everything that God Revealed which is Guarded by His Church

  • The buffet "Catholics", are neither Catholics nor have faith, but mere personal opinions.
  • Faith must be integral or it is not faith.
  • Whoever has faith believes all that God revealed, not just the dogmas that he likes or agrees with.
  • There is no foundation more true and rational than the Truth that God left us, because God never lies since He is the Truth itself.
  • He who consciously and pertinaciously denies one or more dogmas of the Catholic faith is a formal heretic.
  • Such person would be in error and would not be a formal heretic if he does not deny it with pertinacity.
  • The formal heretic who denies a single truth of faith, does not believe in the others with true faith but as a simple personal opinion. Therefore, the heretic does not have faith.