"If I yet pleased men I should not be the servant of Christ." (Gal. i. 20.) St. Peter on the Cross
The Liturgical Year- Pascal Time Book III
By Dom Gueranger +Imprimatur 1927
THE GIFT OF FORTITUDE
The gift of knowledge has taught us what we must do and what we must avoid, in order that we may be such as Jesus, our divine Master, wishes us to be. We now need another gift of the Holy Ghost, from which to draw the energy necessary for persevering in the way He has pointed out to us. Difficulties we are sure to have; and our need of support is proved enough by the miserable failures we are daily witnessing. This support the Holy Ghost grants us by the gift of fortitude, which, if we but faithfully use it, will enable us to master every difficulty, yea, will make it easy to us to overcome the obstacles which would impede our onward march. When the difficulties and trials of life come upon him, man is tempted, sometimes to cowardice and discouragement, sometimes to an impetuosity which arises either from his natural temperament or from pride. These are poor aids to the soul in her spiritual combat. The Holy Ghost, therefore, brings her a new element of strength: it is supernatural fortitude, which is so peculiarly His gift, that when our Saviour instituted the seven sacraments, He would have one of them be for the special object of giving us the Holy Ghost as a principle of energy, It is evident that, having to fight during our whole lives against the devil, the world, and ourselves, we need some better power of resistance than either pusillanimity or daring. We need some gift, which will control both our fear, and the confidence we are at times inclined to have in ourselves. Thus gifted by the Holy Ghost, man is sure of victory; for grace will supply the deficiencies, and correct the impetuosities of nature.
There are two necessities, which are ever making themselves felt in the Christian life: the power of resistance, and the power of endurance. What could we do against the temptations of data, if the fortitude of the holy Spirit did not clothe us with heavenly armour and nerve us for the battle? And is not the world, too, a terrible enemy? Have we not reason to dread it when we see how it is every day making victims by the tyranny of its claims and its maxims? What, then, must be the assistance of the Holy Ghost, which is to make us invulnerable to the deadly shafts that are dealing destruction around us?
The passions of the human heart are another obstacle to our salvation and sanctification; they are the more to be feared, because they are within us. It is requisite that the Holy Ghost change our heart, and lead it to deny itself as often as the light of grace points out to us a way other than that which self-love would have us follow. What supernatural fortitude we need in order to hate our life, (St. John, xii, 25.) as often as our Lord bids us make a sacrifice, or when we have to chose which of the two masters we will serve! (St. Matth. vi. 24(. The holy Spirit is daily working this marvel by means of the gift of fortitude: so that, we have but to correspond to the gift, and not stifle it either by cowardice or indiscretion, and we are strong enough to resist even our domestic enemies. This blessed gift of fortitude teaches us to govern our passions and treat them as blind guides; it also teaches us never to follow their instincts, save when they are in harmony with the law of God.
There are times, when the holy Spirit requires from a Christian something beyond interior resistance to the enemies of his soul: he must make an outward protestation against error and evil, as often as position or duty demands it. On such occasions, he must bear to become unpopular, and console himself with the words of the apostle: 'If I yet pleased men I should not be the servant of Christ." (Gal. i. 20.) But the Holy Ghost will be on his side; and finding him resolute in using His gift of fortitude, not only will He give him a final triumph, but He generally blesses that soul with a sweet and courageous peace, which is the result and recompense of a duty fulfilled.
Thus does the Holy Ghost apply the gift of fortitude when there is question of a Christian's making resistance. But, as we have already said, He imparts also the energy necessary for bearing up against the trials, which all must go through who would save their souls. There are certain fears, which damp our courage, and expose us to defeat. The gift of fortitude dispels them, and braces us with such a peaceful confidence, that we ourselves are surprised at the change. Look at the martyrs: not merely at such an one as Saint Mauritius, the leader of the Theban legion, who was accustomed to face danger on the battle-field; but at Felicitas, a mother of seven children; at Perpetual, a high born lady with everything this world could give her; at Agnes, a girl of thirteen; and at thousands of others like them: and say, if the gift of fortitude is not a prompter to heroism. Where is the fear of death - that death the very thought of which is sometimes more than we can bear? And what are we to say of all those lives spent in self-abnegation and privation with a view to make Jesus their only treasure and to be the more closely united with Him? What are we to say of those hundreds and thousands of our fellow-creatures who shun the sight of a distracted and vain world, and make sacrifice their rule? whose peacefulness is proof against every trial, and whose acceptance of the cross is as untiring as the cross itself is in its visit? What trophies are these of the Spirit of fortitude! and how magnificent is the devotedness He creates for every possible duty! Oh! truly, man of himself is of little worth; but, how grand when under the influence of the Holy Ghost!
It is the same divine Spirit who also gives the Christian courage to withstand and the vile temptation of human respect, by raising him above those worldly considerations which would make him disloyal to duty. It is He that leads man to prefer, to every honour this world could bestow, the happiness of never violating the law of his God. It is the Spirit of fortitude that makes him look upon the reverses of fortune as so many merciful designs of Providence; that consoles him, when death bereaves him of those who are dear to him; that cheers him under bodily sufferings, which would be so hard to bear but for his taking them as visits from his heavenly Father. In a world, it is He, as we learn from the lives of the saints, that turns the very repugnances of nature into matter for heroic acts, wherein man seems to go beyond the limits of his frail mortality and emulate the impossible and glorified spirits of heaven.
O divine Spirit of fortitude! take full possession of our souls, and keep us from the effeminacies of the age we live in. Never was there such lack of energy as now, never was the worldly spirit more rife, never was sensuality more unbridled, never were pride and independence more the fashion of the world. So forgotten and unheeded are the maxims of the Gospel, that when we witness the fortitude of self-restraint and abnegation, we are as surprised as though we beheld a prodigy. O holy Paraclete! preserve us from this anti-Christian spirit, which is so easily imbedded! Suffer us to present to Thee, in the form of prayer, the advice given by Saint Paul to the Christians of Ephesus: 'Give us, we beseech Thee, the armour of God, that we may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Gird our reins with truth; arm us with the breast-plate of justice; let our feet be shod with the love and practice of the Gospel of peace; give us the shield of faith, wherewith we may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one; cover us with the helmet of the hope of salvation; put into our hand the spiritual sword, which is the world of God,' (Eph. vi. 11-17) and by which we as did our Jesus in the desert, may defeat all our enemies! O Spirit of fortitude! hear, we beseech Thee, and grant our prayer!
Make sure you enter Sunday's give-a-way for a copy of the Catholic Life
book, Monday's give-a-way for a copy of the First Vol. of the Time After Pentecost from Dom Gueranger
, Tuesdays give-a-way for a copy of Pictorial Lives of the Saints
, and Wednesday's giveaway for a copy of the Holy Simplicity Planner
and come back every day this week for another!
Today we are giving away a copy of the lovely book Little Therese
! Many of you expressed a devotion to this saint and so we thought you would enjoy this title. This is a wonderful book for children, we are in fact currently using this as our morning read-aloud and our boys (9 & 8) are loving it. You can sample the chapters over at Crusaders-For-Christ
as they share a chapter weekly along with a coloring page
! We enjoy the coloring pages immensely and the boys ask every morning if there is one for today's chapter! Below is an excerpt from The Life of Saint Therese of Lisieux for Children
, which is also available over at All the Saints Books
Children, this book is for you. It will tell you about the life of a child like yourselves who became very dear to Our Lord, and who has been placed by the Church in the ranks of the Saints. She did the same things that you do; the only difference was that she did them much better. She was very gay and full of fun, yet she never forgot that we cannot always be quite happy in this world, but must wait for perfect happiness in Heaven. Sometimes, too, she cried as you do, but she bore her little troubles bravely to atone for her childish faults and for the sins of others. She was even glad to suffer, because her model, the Holy Child, had suffered so much for her.
God gave little Therese very special gifts: a remarkably quick intelligence, deep power of affection, and great personal charm. But all of these gifts are nothing in comparison with her deep love of God, and you can all imitate her in this.
It would be difficult to imagine more tender affection and more absolute trust between father and child than that which existed between Therese and her Father in Heaven. The first words of the Lord's Prayer had impressed her so deeply that she made them her guiding principle in life and in death.
Read this life, then, children. All its details have been given to me by the sisters of Therese. I shall often write down word for word what she wrote about herself, using her own expressions. It will help and encourage you in your efforts to be good, and you will soon learn to love its little heroine.
And you must try to talk to her. Do this and she will love you and send you some of her "roses," as she so sweetly called the graces God has given to her to shower down on us from Heaven.
Is everyone getting excited for the end of the academic year and the beginning of another?! For me I'm always glad to get to start planning again, a new fresh start! We have decided to offer the Holy Simplicity Planner free month by month! Just like our Notebooking Pages and the Liturgical Bulletin board we will put up the upcoming month worth's of planning pages to use for free. Those downloads will be placed on the Holy Simplicity Planner page here
on Sanctus Simplicitus and also on the All the Saint's Bookstore page
. Below are not only the planner pages for this month and the next but also the rest of June's downloads! Happy planning!
June (and some of July's) Downloads
Holy Simplicity PlannerJune 2013 (last year's design)July 2013 (upcoming year's design)Butler's Live's of the Saint's Notebooking Pages for June
Saints included this month: St. Justin, St. Pamphilus, SS Ponthinus, Sanctus, Attalus, Belandina; St. Clotilda, St. Francis Caracciolo, St. Boniface, St. Norbert, St. Robert of Newminster, St. Claude, St. Merdard, SS Primus, and Felicianus, St. Columba, St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Barnabas, St. John of St. Facundus, St. Antony of Padua, St. Basil the Great, SS Vitus, Crescentia, and Modestus; St. John Francis Regis, St. Avitus, SS. Marcus and Marcellinaus, St. Juliana Falconieri, St. Silverius, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, St. Paulinus of Nola, St. Etheldreda, St. John the Baptis, St. Prosper of Aquitaine, St. William of Monte-Vergine, SS John and Paul, St. Ladislas, St. Irenaeus, St. Peter the Apostle and St. Paul the ApostleDownload Starting With Sunday - non academic Planner pages for June 2013 for $1Download June's Title Piece for the Liturgical Year Bulletin Board (Includes blank year, 2013,2014 & 2015)Maidens for Mary Planner Pages for June 2013Cruaders for Christ Planner Pages forJune 2013
"O thou, the Giver and the Gift, O thou, the only good of our hearts! make our hearts eager to praise thee, and teach our tongues to sound forth thy glory. Do thou, I Author of purity, purify us from sin! Renew us in Christ; and then, give us the full joy of perfect newness! Amen."
The Liturgical Year - Pascal Time Book III
By: Dom Gueranger +Imprimatur 1927
THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE
Detached from evil by the fear of the Lord, and ennobled with holy love by the gift of godliness, the soul feels the want of knowing how she is to avoid what she must fear, and how to find what she must love. The Holy Ghost comes to her assistance, and brings her what she needs, by infusing into her the gift of knowledge. By means of this precious gift, truth is made evident to her; she knows what God asks of her and what He condemns, she knows what to seek and what to shun. Without this holy knowledge, we are in danger of going astray, because of the frequent darkness which, more or less, clouds our understanding. This darkness arises, in the first place, from our own nature, which bears upon itself the but too visible proofs of the fall.It is added to by the false maxims and judgements of the world, which so often warp even those whose upright minds seemed to make them safe. And lastly, the action of satan, who is the prince of darkness, has this for one of his chief aims: to obscure our mind, or to mislead it by false lights.
The light of our soul is faith, which was infused into us at our Baptism. By the gift of knowledge, the Holy Ghost empowers our faith to elicit rays of light strong enough to dispel all darkness. Doubts are then cleared up, error is exposed and put to flight, truth beams upon us in all its beauty. Everything is viewed in its true light, the light of faith. We see how false are the principles which sway the world, which ruin so many souls, and of which we ourselves were once, perhaps, victims.
The gift of knowledge reveals to us the end which God had in creation, and out of which creatures can never find either happiness or rest. It teaches us what use we are to make of creatures, for they were not given us to be a hindrance, but a help whereby to reach our God. The secret of life thus possessed, we walk on in safety, we halt not and new are resolved to shun every path which would not lead us to our end.
The apostle had this gift in view, when, speaking to the converts of Ephesus, he said: 'Ye were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord: walk then as children of the light.' (Eph. v. 8.) Hence comes that unhesitatingness, that confidence of the Christian life. There may be a want of experience now and then; so much so, indeed, that the little world around talks feelingly about the indiscretions and scandals which are almost sure to arise; but they forget that there is the gift of knowledge, of which the sacred Scripture thus speaks: 'She conducted the just through the right ways, and gave him the knowledge of holy things,' or as some render it, 'the science of the saints.' (Wisd. x. 10.) We have daily proofs of this truth: a Christian, by means of supernatural light, is found to escape every danger; he has no experience of his own, but he has the experience of God. We give thee thanks, O holy Paraclete! for this Thy gift of light, which Thou so lovingly maintainest within us! Oh! never permit us to seek any other. It alone is sufficient; without it, there is nought but darkness. Preserve us from those sad inconsistencies, of which so many are guilty, who follow Thy guidance to-day, and the maxims of the world to-morrow; wretched double-dealing, which displeases Thee, and does not please the world! Make us love that knowledge, which Thou gavest us in order to our salvation. The enemy of our souls is jealous of our having such a gift, and is ever studying to make us exchange it for his lying principles. O divine Spirit! suffer not his treachery to triumph. Be Thou ever within us, aiding us to distinguish truth from falsity, and right from wrong. May our eye be single and simple, as our JEsus bids it b; that so our body, that is, our actions, desires, and thoughts, may be lightsome; and preserve us from that evil eye, which makes the whole body to be darkness.
"Thou guidest man to truth, thou formest his love. Thou confirmest him in good, and, having made him deserving of thy love, thou crownest him at heaven's gate. Amen."
The Liturgical Year- Pascal Time Book III
By: Dom Gueranger +Imprimatur 1927
THE GIFT OF GODLINESS
The gift of the fear of God is intended as a cure for our pride; the gift of godliness is infused into our souls by the Holy Ghost, in order that we may resist self-love, which is one of the passions of our fallen nature, and the second hindrance to our union with God. The heart of a Christian is not made to be either cold or indifferent; it must be affectionate and devoted; otherwise, it can never attain th perfection for which God, who is love, has graciously created it.
The Holy Ghost, therefore, puts the gift of godliness into the soul, by inspiring her with a filial affection for her Creator. 'You have received', says the apostle, 'the Spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry to our God, Abba! Father!' (Rom. vii, 15.) This disposition makes the soul alive to whatsoever regards God's honour. It enables man to nourish within him a sorrow for his sins, in consideration of the divine mercy which has borne with and forgiven him, and makes him thirst for God's glory to be every spreading; he would, if he could, bring all his fellow creatures to adore this God; he feels most keenly every insult that is offered to so dear a King. His great devotedness in the service to his heavenly Father whose every will he is most ready to do, cheerfully resigned to whatsoever He may appoint.
His faith is unhesitating and fervent. Affectionately docile to the Church, he is always in the disposition of mind to abandon his most cherished ideas the moment he discovers them to be, in any way, out of harmony with her teaching or practice; for he has an instinctive horror of novelties and insubordination.
This devotedness to God, which results from the gift of godliness, and unites the soul to her Creator by filial love, makes her love all God's creatures inasmuch as they are the work of His hands, and belong to Him.
The blessed in heaven hold the first place in the fraternal affection of such a Christian. He has a most tender love for the holy Mother of God, and is zealous for her honor; he venerates the saints; he is a warm admirer of the courage of the martyrs, and of the heroic actions of the servants of God; he delights in reading of their miracles, and has a devotion to their sacred relics.
But his love is not limited to the citizens of heaven; it is extended also to his fellow-creatures here on earth, for the gift of godliness makes him find JEsus in them. He is kind to every one, without exception. He forgives injuries, bears with the imperfections of others, and, where an excuse is possible for his neighbour, he makes it. He has compassion on the poor, and is attentive to the sick. His whole conduct is the index of a sterling warm-heartedness, that weeps with them that weep, and rejoices with them that rejoice.
All this is found in those, who use Thy gift of godliness, O holy Spirit! By infusing it into our souls, Thou enablest us to withstand the workings of our self-love, which would corrupt the heart; Thou preservest us from that odious indifference to every one around us, which dries up all feeling; Thou drivest from us the sentiments of jealousy and hatred. Yes, godliness inspired us with a filial love for our Creator, that softened the heart; and every creature of God became dear to us. O blessed Paraclete, grant that this gift may produce its rich fruits in us! Never permit us to stifle it by the love of self. Our Jesus has told us that His heavenly Father maketh His sun to rise upon the good and bad: (St. Matth. v. 45,) He would have us take this divine generosity as our model: do Thou, therefore, foster within us that germ of devotedness, kindness, and sympathy, which we received from Thee on the day of our Baptism, when Thou first tookest possession of our souls!
Make sure to enter Sunday
Give-a-ways as well! Today we are giving away a copy of Pictorial Lives of the Saints with Reflections for Everyday of the Year
! This wonderful book has a saint story for every day in the year and at the end is a little reflection for the read to make. Nearly every saint in this book has a black/white image of the saint. It makes for great daily reading and also pairs great with our free Butler's Lives of the Saint's Notebooking pages
. It would make a great supplementary religious reading for the older grades or parents can summarize the stories for their younger children who can use those summaries as copy work and put them on the notebooking pages
. There are many ways to use this wonderful title! The Saints are surely an inspiration to all and great guides on our path to Heaven.
The Liturgical Year, Paschal Book III
By: Dom Gueranger +Impriamtur 1927
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST
It is our intention to explain, during this week, the workings of the Holy Ghost, both in the Church, and in the faithful soul. These seven days are given to us, that we may know and appreciate the great Gift sent us by the Father and the Son. Moreover the Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son, has seven different ways whereby He manifests His presence in our souls. It behoves us, therefore, to devote this happy week to the study and love of the sevenfold gift, whereby are to be wrought our salvation and sanctification.
The seven gifts of the Holy Ghost are seven energies, which He graciously infuses into the soul, when He enters there by sanctifying grace. Actual graces put these divinely infused powers into motion, supernatural and meritorious of life everlasting are produced by the free consent of our will.
The prophet Isaias, guided by divine inspiration, has told us of these seven gifts. He is foretelling the workings of the Holy Ghost upon the Soul of the Song of God made Man, whom he calls the Flower of a virginal root of JEsse. HE says: 'And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him: the Spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of fortitude, the Spirit of knowledge, and of godliness, and HE shall be filled with the Spirit of of the fear of the Lord.' (Is. xi. 2,3) These mysterious words not only express the qualities of the Holy Ghost; they also describe the effects He produces in the soul of man; and it is in this sense that they have been interpreted by the holy fathers and theologians.
The sacred Humanity of the Incarnate Son of God is the supernatural type of our own; and what the Holy Ghost operated in the former for its sanctification, that same, in proportion, He wills to do in the latter. He infused into the Son of Mary the seven energies mentioned by the prophet; and same seven gifts are prepared for regenerated man. But let us notice the order in which they come. Isaias begins with the Spirit of wisdom, and ends with the Spirit of the fear of the Lord. Wisdom, as we shall see further on, is the noblest prerogative of which man is capable; whereas the fear of the Lord is but the beginning of wisdom, as the royal psalmist assures us. (Ps. cx. 10.) The soul of Jesus was created for a personal union with the divine Word, and was therefore treated with exceptional honor; the first and foremost gift infused into it was that of wisdom, and the gift of the fear of the Lord followed, necessarily indeed (because a creature is not perfect unless it have this quality), but still as a sequel and completion. With us, on the contrary, frail and inconstant as we are, the fear of God is the foundation of our whole spiritual building, and by it we raise ourselves gradually to that wisdom which brings union with God. It is by means of the gifts of the Holy Ghost that man attains to perfection; but they are bestowed upon him in the order inverse of that wherein Isaias names them when speaking of the Son of God. We receive them at the time of our Baptism; and, when we have the misfortune to lose them (as we do when we lose sanctifying grace, that is, when we commit a mortal sin), they are restored to us by the sacrament of Penance.
Let us respectfully consider how the whole work of our salvation and sanctification is marked with the mysterious number seven. There are seven principal virtues which render us dear to our Maker; it is by seven gifts that the Holy Ghost leads us to our last end; the seven sacraments apply to us the merits of the Incarnation and redemption; it is after seven weeks from the Pasch, that the holy Spirit is sent upon the earth, there to establish and maintain the kingdom of God. Can we wonder, after this, that satan should have sacrilegiously mimicked the work of God, striving to destroy, by the seven deadly sins, the creatures whom God would save?
THE GIFT OF FEAR
Pride is the obstacle to man's virtue and well-being. It is pride that leads us to rsist God, to make self our last end, in a word, to work our own ruin. Humility alone can save us from this terrible danger. Who will give us humility? The Holy Ghost; and this by infusing into us the gift of the fear of God.
This holy sentiment is based on the following truths, which are taught us by faith: the sovereign majesty of God, in comparison with whom we are mere nothingness; the infinite sanctity of that God, in whose presence we are but unworthiness and sin; after death; the danger of falling into sin, which may be our misfortune at any time, if we do not correspond to grace, for although grace be never wanting, yet we have it in our power to resist it.
Man, as the apostle tells us, must work out his salvation with fear and trembling; (Philipp. ii. 12.) but this fear, which is a gift of the Holy Ghost, is not the base sentiment which goes no further than the dread of eternal punishments. It keeps alive within us an abiding compunction of heart, even though we hope that our sins have long ago been forgiven, It prevents our forgetting that we are sinners, that we are wholly dependent upon God's mercy, and that we are not as yet safe, except in hope. (Rom. viii. 24.)
This fear of God, therefore, is not a servile fear; on the contrary, it is the source of the noblest sentiments. Inasmuch as it is a filial dread of offending God by sin, it may go hand-in-hand with love. Arising as it does from a reverence for God's infinite majesty and holiness, it puts the creature in his right place, and, as St. Paul says, it contributes to the perfecting of sanctification. (II. Cor. vii.) Hence this great apostle, who had been rapt up to the third heaven, assures us that he was severe in his treatment of himself, lest he should become a cast-away. (I. Cor.ix. 27.)
The spirit of independence and of false liberty, which is nowadays so rife amongst us, is a great enemy to the fear of God' and one of the miseries of our age is, that there is little fear of God. Familiarity with God but too frequently usurps the place of that essential basis of the Christian life. The result is, that there is no progress in virtue, such people are prey to illusion; and the sacraments, which previously worked so powerfully in their souls, are now well-nigh unproductive. The reason is, that the gift of fear has been superseded by a conceited self-complacency. Humility has no further sway; a secret and habitual pride has paralyzed the soul; and seeing that these people scout the very idea of their ever trembling before the great God of heaven, we may well ask them if they know who God is.
Therefore we beseech thee, O holy Spirit! keep up within us the fear of God, which Thou didst infuse into our hearts at our Baptism. This saving fear will ensure our perseverance in virtue, for it will oppose the growth of pride. Let it pierce our soul through and through, and ever abide with us as our safeguard. Let it bring down our haughtiness, and rouse us from tepidity, by ceaselessly reminding us of the greatness and holiness of Him who is our Creator and our Judge.
This holy fear does not stifle the sentiment of love; on the contrary, it removes what would be a hindrance to its growth. The heavenly Powers see and ardently love their God, their infinite and eternal good; and yet, they tremble before His dread Majesty: Tremunt Postestates.
And shall we, covered countless imperfections, exposed on every side to snares, obliged to fight with so many enemies - shall we flatter ourselves that we can do without this strong and filial fear? and that we need nothing to stimulate us, when we are in those frequent trials - a want of fervour in our will, or of light in our mind? O holy Spirit! watch over us! Preserve within us Thy precious gift! Teach us how to combine peace and joy or heart with the fear of our Lord and God, according to those words of the psalmist: Serve ye the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto Him with trembling! (Ps. ii. 11.)
"From the Holy Spirit springs a never-ending joy, the likening unto God." - St. Basil
Catholic Life; or Feasts, Fasts & Devotions of the Ecclesiastical Year +Imprimatur 1908
Pentecost with the Jews was a feast in memory of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, amidst thunder and lightning, fifty days after their deliverance out of Egypt. Their feast was a type of ours, for on this day the Holy Ghost wrote the New Law, amidst a new kind of noise and fire, in the hearts of the faithful disciples, and by their mouths published it to the world. "When the days of Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: and suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men out of every nation under Heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these, that speak, Galileans? and how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Lybia about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God" (Acts ii. 1-11). The Holy Ghost came in the form of fire to denote that He is a spiritual fire which enlightens the soul, purifies and inflames the heart, consumes what is vicious in it, and raises,
consecrates, and sacrifices it to God. He assumed the shape of tongues to express how He inspired the Apostles with knowledge and zeal, in order to enlighten and inflame the minds of men, and to preach the Gospel of Christ to all the world.
Three thousand were converted by St. Peter's first sermon, and five thousand by his second. These first-fruits of the Gospel gave themselves at once to the practice of the evangelical doctrine of Christ, and so became models of sanctity. They loved one another so that they all seemed to have one heart and soul. The pagans, astonished at this, exclaimed: "See how the Christians love one another!" They lived in common, selling all they had, and giving the price to the Apostles to be distributed according to each one's necessities. They rejoiced in sufferings and privations for the sake of Christ. They met daily to pray, to
receive instruction, and to partake of the Body and Blood of our Lord. Not less remarkable was the change in the Apostles themselves. Before the descent of the Holy Ghost they were ignorant and fearful, but after, they were so enlightened as to be able to explain all the Scriptures and Divine mysteries; so courageous as to proclaim openly Christ's Resurrection, which they confirmed by astonishing miracles, and by suffering persecution and death itself in testimony of the truths they preached. We ought, on this great feast, to beg the Holy Ghost to imprint on our hearts the Law of God and the maxims of Jesus Christ; to give us a lively faith, in and a great love for, them, and courage to confess them by a life in conformity with their teaching. We ought also to resolve to imitate the lives of the first Christians by resignation in suffering, sincere love of our neighbour, assiduity in prayer, attention to the Word of God, alms-giving, and the frequentation of the Sacraments, and thus show ourselves worthy children of our Holy Mother the Church.
“Refine and purge our earthly parts:
But, O, inflame and fire our hearts!
Our frailties help, our vice control,
Submit and senses to the soul;
And when rebellious they are grown,
Then lay Thy hand, and hold them down:
Make us eternal truths receive,
And practice all that we believe."
Example.- St. Polycarp.
St. Polycarp, disciple of the Apostle St. John, and Bishop of Smyrna, suffered martyrdom under Marcus Aurelius. The Proconsul Quadratus caused him to be arrested and brought before him as being a chief propagator of a religion prohibited by the Emperor. He had his tribunal erected in an amphitheater. Polycarp stood before him, in the presence of an immense multitude of pagans, who, in spite of their hatred for the Christians, could not help admiring him, being so venerable, and having such a sweet majesty and holy joy in his features. "Polycarp!" said the Proconsul, "swear by the fortune of Cæsar, and curse Christ." The holy man replied, smiling: "For eighty-six years I have served this good Master, and I have received nothing but benefits from Him. What odious ingratitude it would be, then, to blaspheme Him! Ah! I will bless Him till my last sigh, and I am happy to be able to glorify Him by declaring that I am a Christian."
A few minutes later the public crier said: "Polycarp has confessed that he is a Christian." All the multitude demanded that he should be burned alive. In a short time the stake and fire were ready. Polycarp divested himself of his principal garments, and then, mounting the faggots, he offered himself to God as a holocaust, and recited the following prayer: "Receive, O Father Eternal, the life which Thou hast given me. I thank Thee for deigning to number me among Thy martyrs, and for making me a sharer in the chalice and sufferings of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I praise Thee, I glorify Thee, I bless Thee with Thy only Son, Who is the sovereign Priest and Eternal Pontiff, who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost for ever and ever."
Amidst wonderful miracles, and the admiration of the spectators, his glorious soul went unto the bosom of the Eternal Father, January 26, A.D. 169.
Pentecost Give-A-Way & Coloring Contest
A blessed Pentecost to you all! To celebrate this great event in the Liturgical Year we are going to be doing a give-a-way every day from now until Trinity Sunday! A new give-a-way will be posted every day and the winners of ALL the give-a-ways will be shared on Trinity Sunday, May 26th 2013, in which all give-a-ways will end at that point. Make sure to visit every day until then to enter that day's prize! Today we are giving away a copy of the wonderful book, one of my absolute favorites, Catholic Life; or Feasts, Fasts & Devotions of the Ecclesiastical Year.
The above article was taken from this book and this is also where the articals from last years Holy Simplicity Planner
came from. Those articles were removed this year, in their place are the Liturgical Journaling/Planning pages and the whole entire Catholic Life
book is now available separate as an exact reprint of the original title. Details on how to enter today's give away are below, as well as details on the children's give away (coloring contest).
"Come Holy Ghost fill the hearts of thy Faithful and enkindle within them the fire of Thy love!"
On Sunday we will be making our Pentecost Cupcakes which have yellow (or orange, or red) frosting on them, with mini marshmallows cut in half and dipped in red, yellow and orange colored sugars to look like tongues of fire. And then we use the Holy Ghost cupcake toppers
, tape them to a tooth pick and stick in the middle of our cupcakes. The boys have been counting down the days until they can have their cupcakes! For dinner we will be having fajitas... cooked over fire, the chicken as a reminder of the symbol of the Holy Ghost (dove), and red/yellow and orange peppers as the tongues of fire. Joining our main dish will be the 12 Fruits of the Holy Ghost Fruit Salad. Our twelve fruits include: watermelon, grapes, kiwi, pineapple, honeydew, orange, apple, pears, papaya, mango, cantaloupe and strawberries. To top it off we will make a Sweet Sunrise (non-alchocolic Sunrise)
with orange juice and grenadine.
For breakfast we will have our Sunday usual with a twist... Sour Dough Cream Cheese braid, bacon, eggs, a preview of our 12 Fruits of the Holy Ghost Fruit Salad and a tongue of fire smoothie! The smoothie is made by blending banana, mango and strawberries separately and then layering them.
And now for the writings of the wonderful Dom Gueragner from the Liturgical Year set, volume 9, Paschal Time book III. Imprimatur 1927
The great day, which consummates the work that God had undertaken for the human race, has at last shone upon the world. The days of Pentecost, as St. Luke says, are accomplished. (Acts, ii. 1) We have had seven weeks since the Pasch; and now comes the day that opens the mysterious number of fifty. This day is the Sunday, already made holy by the creation of the light, and by the Resurrection of Jesus: it is about to receive its final consecration, and bring us the fullness of God. (Eph. iii. 19. - See the Chapter on the Mystery of Easter', pages 19 and 20).
In the old and figurative Law, God foreshadowed the glory that was to belong, at a future period, to the fifieth day. Israel had passed the waters of the Red Sea, thanks to the protecting power of his Paschal Lamb! Seven weeks were spent in the desert, which was to lead to the promised land; and the very morrow of those seven weeks was the day whereon was made the alliance between God and His people. The pentecost (the fiftieth day) was honored by the promulgation of the ten commandments of the divine law; and ever following year, the Israelites celebrated the great even by a solemn festival. But their Pentecost was figurative, like their Pasch: there was to be a second Pentecost for all people, as there was to be a second Pasch, for the Redemption of the whole world. The Pasch, with all its triumphant joys, belongs to the Son of God, the Conqueror of death: Pentecost belongs to the Holy Ghost, for it is the day whereon He began His mission into this world, which, henceforward, was to be under His Law.
But how different are the two Pentecosts! The one, on the rugged rocks of Arabia, amidst thunder and lightning, promulgates a Law that is written on tablets of stone; the second is in Jerusalem, on which God's anger has not as yet been manifested, because it still contains within its walls the first fruits of that new people, over whom the Sprit of love is to reign. In this second Pentecost, the heavens are not overcast, nor is the roar of thunder heard; the hearts of men are not stricken with fear, as when God spake on Sinai; repentance and gratitude are the sentiments now uppermost. A divine fire burns within their souls, and will spread throughout the whole world. Our Lord Jesus had said: "I am come to cast fire on the earth; and what will I, but that it be kindled?" (St. Luke, xii. 49) The hour for the fulfillment of this word has come: the Spirit of love, the Holy Ghost, the eternal uncreated Flame, is about to descend from heaven, and realize the merciful design of our Redeemer.
Jerusalem is filled with pilgrims, who have flocked thither from every country of the Gentile world. They feel a strange mysterious expectation working in their souls. They are Jews, and have come from every foreign land where Israel has founded a synagogue; they have come to keep the feasts of Pasch and Pentecost. Asia, Africa, and Rome have their representatives.
amidst these Jews properly so called, are to be seen many Gentiles, who, from a desire to serve God more faithfully , have embraced the Mosaic law and observances; they are come to Jerusalem out of a desire to observe the Law, gives the city a Babel-like appearance, for each nation has its own language. They are not, however, under the influence of pride and prejudice, as are the inhabitants of Judea; neither have theym like these latter, known and rejected the Messias, nor blasphemed His works whereby He gave testimony of His divine character. It may be that they took part with the other Jews in clamoring for Jesus' death' but they were led to it by the chief priests and magistrates of the Jerusalem which they reverenced as the holy city of God, and to which nothing but religious motives have brought them.
It is the hour of Tierce, the third hour of the day, (Our nine o'clock. Acts, ii. 15.) fixed from all eternity for the accomplishment of a divine decree. It was at the hour of midnight that the Father sent into this world, that He might take flesh in Mary's womb, the Son eternally begotten of Himself: so now, at this hour of Tierce, the Father and the Son send upon the earth the holy Spirit who proceeds from Them both. He is sent to form the Church, the bride of the kingdom of Christ: He is to assist and maintain her; He is to save and sanctify to the end of time.
Suddenly is heard, coming from heaven, the sound of a violent wind; it startles the people in the city, it soon fills the cenacle with its might breath. A crowd is soon round the house that stands on Mount Sion; the hundred and twenty disciples hat are within the building feel that mysterious emotion within them, of which their Master once said: 'The Spirit breatheth where He will, and thou hearest His voice'. (St. John, iii. 8.) Like that strange invisible creature, which probes the very depth of the sea and makes the waves heave mountains high this Breath from heaven will traverse the world from end to end, breaking down every barrier that would stay its course.
The holy assembly have been days in fervent expectation; the divine Spirit gives them this warning of His coming, and they in the passiveness of ecstatic longing, away His will. As to those who are outside the cenacle, and who have responded to the appeal thus given, let us, for the moment, forget them. A silent shower falls in the house; it isa shower of fire, which, as holy Church says 'burns not but enlightens, consumes not but shines.' (Responsory for the Thursday within the Octave.) Flakes of fire, in the shape of tongues, rest on the heads of the hundred and twenty disciples; it is the Holy Ghost taking possession of all and each. The Church is now not only in Mary, but also in these hundred and twenty disciples. All belong now to the Spirit that has descended upon them; His kingdom is begun, it is manifested, its conquests will be speedy and glorious.
But let us consider the symbol chosen to designate this divine change. He who shoed Himself under that of fire. He is the Spirit of love; and love is not only gentle and tender, it is also ardent as fire. Now, therefore, that the world is under the influence of the Holy Ghost, it must needs be on fire, and the fire shall not be checked. And why this form of tongues? To show that the heavenly fire is to be spread by the word, by speech. These hundred and twenty disciples need but to speak of the Son of God, who renews our souls; of the heavenly Father, who loves and adopts us as His children: their word will receive it shall all be united in one faith; they shall be called the Catholic Church, that is, universal, existing in all places and times. Josus had said: 'God, teach all nations!' (St. Matth. xxviii. 19.) The Holy Ghost brings from heaven both the tongue that is to teach, and the fire (the love of God and of mankind), which is to give warmth and efficacy to the teaching. The tongue and the fire are now given to these first disciples, who, by the assistance of the holy Spirit, will transmit them to others. So will it be to the end of time.
Latin the Language of the Church.......
An obstacle, however, opposes the mission at the very outset. Since the confusion at Babel, there have been as many languages as countries; communication by word has been interrupted. How, then, is the word to become the instrument of the world's conquest, and to make one family out of all these nations that cannot understand each other? Fear not: the holy Spirit is all-powerful, and has provided for this difficulty. With the other gifts, wherewith He has enriched the hundred and twenty disciples, He has given them that of understanding all languages, and of making themselves understood in every language, In a transport of holy enthusiasm, they attempt to speak the languages of all nations; their tongue and their ear take in, not only without effort, but even with charm and joy, this plenitude of word and speech which is to reunite mankind together, The Spirit of love has annulled the separation of Babel' men are once more made brethren by the unity of language.
How beautiful art thou, dear Church of our God! Heretofore, the workings of the Holy Ghost have been limited; but now, He breatheth freely where He willeth; He brings thee forth to the eyes of men by this stupendous prodigy. Thou art the image of what this earth was, when all its inhabitants spoke the same language. The prodigy is not to cease with the day of Pentecost, nor with the disciples who are its first receivers. When the apostles have terminated their lives and preaching, the gift of tongues, at least in its miraculous form, will cease, because no longer needed: but thou O Church of Christ! wilt continue to speak all languages, even to the end of time, for thou art to dwell in every clime. The one same faith is to be expressed in the language of every country; and thus transformed, the miracle of Pentecost is to be kept up for ever within thee, as one of thy characteristic marks.
The great St. Augustine alluded to this, when he spoke the following admirable words: 'The whole body of Christ, the Church, now speaks in all tongues. Nay, I myself speak all tongues, for I am in the body of Christ, I am in the Church of Christ. If the body of Christ now speaks all languages, then am I in all languages. Greek is mine, Syriac is mine, Hebrew is mine, and lal are mine, for I am one with the several nations that speak them.' (Enarratio in Psalmum cxlvii., verse 14) During the ages of faith, the Church (which is the only source of all true progress), succeeded in giving one common language to all the nations that were in union with her. For centuries, the Latin language was the bond of union between civilized countries. However distant these might be from one another, was the medium of communication for political negotiations, for the spread of science, or for friendly epistolary correspondence/ No one was a stranger in any part of the west, or even beyond it, who could speak this language. The great heresy of the sixteenth century robbed us of this as of so many other blessings; it dismembered that Europe which the Church had united, not only by her faith, but by her language. But let us return to the wondrous workings of the holy Spirit within this still closed sanctuary.
First of all, we look for Mary; for her who now, sureless gifts lavished upon her in her Immaculate Conception' after the treasures of holiness infused into her by the Incarnate Word during the nine months she bore Him in her womb; after the special graces granted her for acting and suffering in union with her Son, in the work of the world's Redemption; after the favours wherewith this same Jesus loaded her when in the glory of His Resurrection: we should have thought that heaven had given all it could to a mere creature, however sublime the destiny that creature might be. But no., Here is a new mission opened for Mary. The Church is born; she is born of Mary. Mary has given birth to the bride of her Son; new duties fall upon the Mother of the Church. Jesus has ascended into heaven, leaving Mary upon the earth, that she may nurse the infant Church. Oh! how lovely and yet how dignified, is this infancy in our dear Church, cherished as she is, fed, and strengthened by Mary! But this second Eve, this true Mother of the living (Gen. iii. 20) must receive a fresh infusion of grace to fit her for this her new office: therefore it is that she has the first claim to, and the richest portion of, the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Heretofore, He overshadowed her and made her Mother of the Son of God; now He makes her the Mother of the Christian people. It is the verification of those words of the royal prophet: 'The stream (literally, the impetuosity) of the river maketh the city of God joyful: the Most High hath sanctified His own tabernacle.' (Ps. svl. 5.) The Spirit of love here fulfills the intention expressed by our Redeemer when dying on the cross. 'Woman!' said Jesus to her, 'behold thy son!' St. John was this son, and he represented all mankind. The Holy Ghost now infuses into Mary the plentitude of the grace needful for her maternal mission. From this day forward, she acts as Mother of the infant Church; and when, at length, the Church no longer needs her visible presence, this Mother quits the earth for heaven, where she is crowned Queen; but there, too, she exercises her glorious title and office of Mother of men.TO CONTINUE READING THESE WONDERFUL WRITINGS ON PENTECOST VISIT ALL THE SAINTS BOOKS FOR A COPY OF THIS TEXT
Our school year is done here and I've been busy working on next year's lesson plans. We studied bible history this year as our history course for 2nd grade. In doing such I found that just reading the stories and answering the questions didn't go over so well with my students. As I tend to find out, at least with my children, hands on activities seem to help them learn better and so I usually make things to go with our books to accommodate their learning style.
Sometimes I find this out half way through the year then struggle to find things to do with our lessons. This year I'm hoping to get ahead or at least on track and make the hands on items BEFORE school starts. This project is one of those items. We are doing bible history again for our 3rd grade history course but this year we are switching to a different book, Bible Stories for Children.
Such a beautiful old book that is now back in print. It has short 2-3 page stories for all the main parts of the Bible, Old and New Testament. Its written by a Catholic Teacher and worded just right for this age group. It also connects the old testament stories to parts of the Catholic faith making it ideal for the young Catholic learning the Bible.
Combined with the Bible Stories for Children book
is the Anecdotes and Examples for the Catholic Catechism
, one of my absolute favorite books! They are short simple stories that explain some part of the Catholic Catechism in an easy way to understand and the short story is easy for short attention spans or a quick read. Sometimes the stories are even funny which makes the learning fun. I also wanted my children to learn the vocabulary words in the Catechism lesson
they are doing on Sunday with their father and so those are integrated into this unit study as well. With worksheets for helping them to understand how the word is spelled, used and what the object or word looks like.
While this is written for early elementary students many students would enjoy these books and the lesson plans can easily be adjusted and added to according to age/learning level.
Every lesson contains several hands on activities and many of them have worksheet and/or templates to go with them. Any crafts done contain simple household items or things that most of us have as well as coloring pages around the house. A few lessons even have snack and recipe ideas to help tie in the chapter of the book with something yummy!
There are 52 Chapters in this book and 52 Units to download. This is my summer project so as I get them done they will be loaded on the Bible Stories for Children Unit Study Page
located on the Sanctus Simplicitus site under the download page> educational downloads. Directions for using this unit study may be found on that page as well with all the details to get one started.
Many of you have asked for a Lenten study and about the Jesse Tree study. This lovely book will cover both those topics! The Old Testament happens to be 25 lessons, which will work for the Jesse Tree using each lesson for each day of December up to Christmas showing the genealogy of Christ. And then the New Testament starts with the birth of Our Lord and ends with His Resurrection, perfect for a Lenten study and both of these will take you all the way through the school year! I hope that this project will be enjoyed by many and hopefully save all the other busy mothers some time, as we all seem to enjoy help in that area. May you all have a blessed Pentecost Sunday!
"None but God, eternal and incomprehensible, who fills all things, can afford true comfort to the soul and true joy to the heart." - Thomas A. Kempis St. Paschal Baylon
PICTORIAL LIVES OF THE SAINTS WITH REFLECTIONS FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR
May 17.—ST. PASCHAL BAYLON.
FROM a child Paschal seems to have been marked out for the service of God; and amidst his daily labors he found time to instruct and evangelize the rude herdsmen who kept their flocks on the hills of Arragon. At the rage of twenty-four he entered the Franciscan Order, in which, however, he remained, from humility, a simple lay-brother, and occupied himself, by preference, with the roughest and most servile tasks. He was distinguished by an ardent love and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. He would spend hours on his knees before the tabernacle—often he was raised from the ground in the fervor of his prayer—and there, from the very and eternal Truth, he drew such stores of wisdom that, unlettered as he was, he was counted by all a master in theology and spiritual science. Shortly after his profession he was called to Paris on business connected with his Order. The journey was full of peril, owing to the hostility of the Huguenots, who were numerous at the time in the south of France; and on four separate occasions Paschal was in imminent danger of death at the hands of the heretics. But it was not God's will that His servant should obtain the crown of martyrdom which, though judging himself all unworthy of it, he so earnestly desired, and he returned in safety to his convent, where he died in the odor of sanctity, May 15, 1592.
As Paschal was watching his sheep on the mountainside, he heard the consecration bell ring out from a church in the valley below, where the villagers were assembled for Mass. The Saint fell on his knees, when suddenly there stood before him an angel of God, bearing in his hands the Sacred Host, and offering it for his adoration. Learn from this how pleasing to Jesus Christ are those who honor Him in this great mystery of His love; and how to them especially this promise is fulfilled: "I will not leave you orphans: I will come unto you " (John xiv. 18) .Reflection
.—St. Paschal teaches us never to suffer a day to pass without visiting Jesus in the narrow chamber where He, Whom the heaven itself cannot contain, abides day and night for our sake.
This weeks Friday Fare..... Food for the Soul
ANECDOTES AND EXAMPLES FOR THE CATECHISM
By: Rev. Francis Spirago +Imprimatur 1908
Q.How many kinds of contrition are there?A. There are wtwo kinds of contrition: perfect contrition and imperfect contrition.
THE DISOBEDIENT BOYS
Contrition is either perfect or imperfect. A sick man sent his two boys to the apothecary for some medicine. On their way the lads fell in with a man who was leading a dancing bear, and they ran after him, forgetting the errand on which they were sent. Toward evening they remembered what their father had told them, bought the medicine, and hastened homward. When they got near the house, one of the boys began to cry, saying: "I am afraid to go in, for I am sure father will flog me." The other said: "We were very wrong to run off like that and displease our good father." The former of the two boys resembs the sinner who is sorry for his sin because he forsees that he will be punished by God. The latter is an example of asinner who has perfect contrition, who is sorry for his sin because he has thereby offended God. The repentance of the one arises from fear of God; that of the other from love of God.Q. What is perfect contrition?A. Perfect contrition is that which fills us with sorrow and hatred for sin, because it offends God, who is infinitely good in Himself and worthy of all love.
THE FIRE AT THE THEATER IN VIENNA
On the 8th of December, 1881, a fire broke out in the Ring Theater in Vienna, which spread with amazing rapidity. Every one made for the doors. Unfortunately the side doors, intended for the scape in caes of fire, were locked, so that over four hundred persons perished in the flames. A few more fortunate individuals made their way into a corridor; amongst these was a girl who had not long left school, and who remembered having while there heard the catechist say that if they were in danger of death they should make an act of perfect contrition. Thereupon she repeated aloud an act of contrition; after which, turning around, her hand came into contact with the latch of door behind her. The door yielded to a slight pressure, and all who were in the corridor gained access to a room from the windows of which they could attract the attention of the people in the street, and obtain rescue by means of a fire-escape. With the exception of these favored persons, very few of those who filled the theater at the time the fire broke out were rescued from death.Q. What is imperfect contrition?A. Imperfect contrition is that by which we hate what offends God, because by it we lose heaven and deserve hell or because sin is so hateful in itself.
THE ACCIDENT ON THE RHINE NEAR BINGEN
In the spring of the year 1900 a pleasure party, consisting of about thirty persons returning from an excursion, were being conveyed across the Rhine in a boat, when, just as they were halfway, they felt themselves sinking. The boat had sprung a leak and was beginning to fill with water. A priest who was in the boat immediately called upon the passengers to make an act of contrition and gave them the absolution. Only three persons were rescued: one of these was the priest in question. Such dangers are very often permitted by God to recall us to Himself, and rescue or disaster depends on whether or not the desired effect was produced.Q. Is imperfect contrition sufficient for a worthy confession?A. Imperfect contrition is sufficient for a worthy confession, but we should endeavor to have perfect contrition.
A CASE OF SUDDEN DEATH
It happened once that the father of a family broke a blood vessel. A messenger was instantly dispatched to summon a priest, but the nearest place where one was to be found was about four miles distant. Meanwhile the youngest child, who had recently made his first communion, perceiving that his father's life was fast ebbing away, took a crucifix down from the wall, and, holding it before the dying man's eyes, repeated aloud an act of perfect contrition. Tears filled the father's eyes; he expired before the priest arrived, but undoubtedly, on account of the real repentance he felt, he was safe for all eternity.
Q. Is it well to receive holy communion often?A. It is well to receive holy communion often, as nothing is greater aid to a holy life than often to receive the Author of all grace and the Source of all good.
A CRIMINAL CONDEMNED TO DIE OF STARVATION
Spiritual communion consists in the earnest desire to receive holy communion, and when the actual reception of the Blessed Sacrament is impossible, spiritual communions are advisable and are productive of grace. In the olden times a king once sentenced one of his subjects to be starved to death in punishment of a heinous crime. The condemned criminal besought the king to permit him to make his peace with God before paying the penalty of his sins. The king granted the desired permission, and a priest was conducted to the cell where he was confined. The man made his confession, and the priest was about to administer holy communion to him when the soldiers who were on guard in the cell interposed, saying that the man must not have anything given him to eat; he was condemned to die of hunger. The unhappy criminal fell on his knees, and exclaimed: "Lord Jesus, Thou art present here under the form of bread.I long for Thee, but I am not allowed to receive Thee. Come to me in an invisible manner; Thou who art almighty canst do this." This man had a heartfelt desire to receive holy communion. Such a lively desire is called spiritual communion. We should communicate spiritually, when we hear Mass, at the priest's communion.READ MORE ON PERFECT CONTRITION IN THE PAMPHLET- PERFECT CONTRITION THE GOLDEN KEY TO HEAVEN AVAILABLE AT ALL THE SAINTS BOOKS