Butler's Lives of the Saints - Vol. V
Edited By Rev. Bernard Kelly
+ Imprimatur 1936
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
So great are the advantages we reap from the incarnation of the Son of god that to contemplate it, and to thank and praise him for the same, ought to be the primary object of all our devotions and the employment of our whole lives. In the feast of the Conception of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God we celebrate the joyful dawning of that bright day of mercy, the first appearance which the most glorious of all pure creatures made in the world, with those first seeds of grace which produced the most admirable fruit in her soul. Her conception was itself a glorious mystery, a great grace, and the first effect of her predestination. Her Divine Son, the eternal God, in the first moment of her being, considered the sublime dignity to which he had decreed to raise her, and remembered that august, dear, sacred, and verbal name of his mother, which she was one day to bear; and he beheld her with a complacency, and distinguished her in a manner, suitable to so near a relation she was to bear. He called her not his servant in whom he gloried, as he did Israel (Isa. xlix.3.), but his mother, whom for the sake of his own glory he decreed exceedingly to exalt in grace and glory. From that instant the eternal Word of God, which was to take flesh of her, looked upon it as particularly incumbent on him, in the view of his future incarnation, to sanctify this virgin, to enrich her with his choicest gifts, and to heap upon her the most singular favors with a profusion worthy his omnipotence. From that very moment he prepared her to be his most holy tabernacle. When Almighty God commanded a temple to be built to his honor in Jerusalem, what preparations did he not ordain! What purity did he not require in the things that belonged to that work, even in the persons and materials that were employed in it! David, though a great saint, was excepted against by God, because he had been stained with blood spilt in just wars. Again what purifications, consecrations, rites, and ceremonies did he not order to sanctify all the parts of the building! This for a material temple in which the ark was to be placed, and men were to offer their homage’s and sacrifices to his adorable Majesty. What, then, did he not do for Mary in spiritually decking her, whose chaste womb was to be his living tabernacle, from whose pure flesh he was to derive his own most holy body, and of whom he would himself be born!
The first condition in the spiritual embellishing of a soul is perfect purity, or cleanness from whatever can be a blot or stain in her. A skillful statuary is careful, in the first place, that there be no irregularity or deformity in the piece which he is going to carve. Almighty God therefore was pleased to preserve this holy Virgin from contracting any stain of sin, grace, the greatest saints daily fall into venial sins of surprise and inadvertence, through a neglect of a universal watchfulness over all the secret motions of their hearts in the course of action. But Mary was distinguished by this rare privilege, and by the succor of an extraordinary grace was so strengthened that her interior beauty was never sullied with the least spot, and charity or the divine love never suffered the least remission or abatement in her soul; but from the moment in which she attained the use of reason, increased, and she continually pressed forward with fresh ardor towards the attainment of higher perfection in virtue and holiness. Her exemption from original sin was yet a more extraordinary privilege of grace. It is an undoubted truth (A few sentences of the author have been altered here, in consequence of the solemn definition of the Immaculate Conception, December 8, 1854- Editor) that she was sanctified and freed from original sin before she was born, and that she was brought into this world in a state of perfect sanctity. It is defined as an article of faith that in very conception she was immaculate. It is needless here to produce proofs by which this doctrine is confirmed. It is founded in the clear testimonies of the most illustrious among the fathers, in the decrees of several particular councils, and the suffrages of the most learned and eminent masters of the theological schools. The very respect, which we owe to the Mother of God, and the honor which is due to her divine Son, incline us to believe this privilege most suitable to her state of spotless sanctity. St. Austin thought this reason sufficient for exempting her, whenever mention is made of sin. "Our of reverence," says he, "and for the honor which is due to her Son, I will have no question put about her when we speak of any sin." (St. Aug. I, de Nat. et Grat. c. 36,, n. 42, p. 144.) Christ was no less her Redeemer, Reconciler, and most perfect Saviour and benefactor, by preserving her from this taint, than he would have been by cleaning her from it: as by descending from Adam she was liable to this debt, and would have contracted the contagion had she not been preserved from it through the grace and merits of her Son.
to understand how great a grace and how singular a prerogative this total exemption from all sin was in Mary, we may take a survey of the havoc that monster made amongst men from the beginning of the world, existence in sin; they were all obliged to say with St. Paul, "We were the children of weather, even as the rest." (Ephez. x.3.) The fall of our first father Adam involved all mankind in guilt and misery. from that time, for the space of four thousand years, sin greened without control on every side. By its dire effects the greatest part of the world was plunged into the most frightful state of spiritual darkness and blindness. Even the sons of light were under its slavery; Abraham, Moses, Elias, Jeremy, Job, and all the other saints confessed with David, "Behold, I was conceived in iniquities, and in sin my mother conceived me." (Ps. l.7.) Sin was become a universal leprosy, a contagion which no one could escape; an evil common to all mankind and infecting every particular individual that descended from Adam. It was communicated with the flesh and blood which men received from their parents, and from their first father Adam. Every child contracted this infection with the first principle of life. Mary, by a singular privilege, was exempted from it, and entered a world of sin spotless and holy.
The grace which exempted Mary from original sin preserved her also from the sting of concupiscence, or inordinate love of creatures, and tendency to evil. The first sin of Adam brought on us a deluge of evils, and by the two wounds of ignorance and concupiscence which it has left in us its malignity has spread its influence over all the powers of our souls. Through it our understanding is liable to be deceived and to be led away with errors; our will is abandoned to the assaults of the basest passions: our senses are become inlets of dangerous suggestions: we are subjected to spiritual weakness, inconstancy, and vanity, and are tyrannized over by inordinate appetites. Hence proceeds in us a difficulty in doing good, a repugnance to our duties, a proneness to evil, the poisoned charm of vice, and the intestine war of the flesh against the spirit. All this we experience and groan under; yet under the weight of such miseries, by a much greater evil, we are blind, proud, and insensible. We court our dangers, indulge and fortify our enemies, and caress an adore idols which we are bound to destroy. To procure for ourselves some part in the blessing which Mary enjoyed, in the empire over our passions, we must check them, restrain our senses, and die to ourselves. WE must never cease sighing to God, to implore his aid against this domestic enemy, and never enter into any truce with him. "Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled." (Ps. vii.3.) If our weakness and dangers call for our tears, we have still much greater reason to weep for our guilt and repeated transgressions. Whereas grace in Mary triumphed even over original sin; we, on the contrary, even after baptism and penance, by which we were cleansed from sin, return to it again, increase our hereditary and weakness and guilt by daily offenses. "Who will give water to my head, and a fountain of tears to my eyes?" (Jer. ix) O, Mother of Mercy, let your happy privilege, your exemption from all sin and concupiscence, inspire you with pit for our miseries: and by your spotless purity and abundant graces obtain for us strength against all our dangers, the deliverance from all our miseries and the most powerful remedies of divine grace.
Mary, in her conception, was not only free from stain, but moreover was adorned with the most precious graces, so as to appear beautiful and glorious in the eyes of God. And the grace she then received was the seed of the great virtues which she exercised, and the higher graces to which, buy the improvement of her first stock, she was afterwards raised, during the whole course of her mortal life. By the first graces she was free from all inclination to accursed pride and from all inordinate self-love, and remained always perfectly empty of herself. This disposition she expressed when honored with the highest graces and exalted to the most sublime and wonderful spiritual dignity; under which, singling lower in her own abyss of weakness and nothingness, she sincerely and purely gave all glory to him. She confessed aloud that he chose her not for any merit, or anything he saw in her, but because he would signalize his omnipotence by choosing the weakest and meanest instrument, and because he saw in her the nothingness in which he most fitly exerted and manifested his infinite power and greatness. By a lurking pride we obstruct the designs of the divine mercy in our favor. The vessel of our heart cannot receive the plentiful effusion of divine grace so long as it is filled with the poison of self-love. The more perfectly it is cleansed and empty, the more it fitted to receive. As the prophet called for vessels that were empty, that hearts that are perfectly empty, when we pray that he replenish them with his grace. The exercise of humility, meekness, patience, resignation, obedience, self-denial, rigorous self-examination, compunction, and penance begin the work: but prayer and divine love perfect the cleansing of the heart and affections by which we shall bear some degree of resemblance to the holy Mother of God. This grace we ought earnestly to beg of God, the preservation of the holy virtue of purity.
The Immaculate Conception of the holy Mother of God was not only in itself a great and glorious mystery, but likewise joyful to mankind. Certain glimmerings of the benefit of our Redemption had gone before from the fall of Adam in several revelations, types, and figures; in which the distant prospect of this wonderful mercy filled the patriarchs and other saints of the old law with comfort and holy joy. but the conception of Mary displayed the first rays of its approaching light, and may be said to have been its rising morning, or the dawning of its day. In this mystery she appeared pure and glorious, shining among the daughters of Adam as a "lily among thorns." (Cant. xi. 2.) To her from the moment of her conception God said, "Thou art all beautiful, my love and there is no spot in thee," (Cant. iv.7.) She was the "enclosed garden," which the serpent could never enter; and the "sealed fountain," which he never defiled. (Cant. iv. 12.) She was the throne and the tabernacle of the true Solomon, and the ark of the testament to contain, not corruptible manna, but the Author of the incorruptible life of our souls. Saluting her with these epithets, in exultation and praise, let us sing with the church, "This is the Conception of the glorious Virgin Mary, of the seed of Abraham, sprung from the tribe of Juda, illustrious of the house of David, whose life, by its brightness, illustrates all churches." (The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception was solely defined by Pope Pius IX in The Bull "Ineffabilis Deus," Dec. 8, 1854).
Giveaway in Honor of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception
A blessed Friday to you all! We would like to start this weeks Feria Friday
post with announcing the winners of the Christmas Card Giveaway
as well as the winners of the two copies of the Purgatory book and the Catholic Life book! And the winners are:Theresa - Catholic Life; or Feasts Fasts and Devotions of the Eccesiastical Year
Jennifer Kray - Purgatory Book
Lynna Wagner - Purgatory Book
And the winner of the box of Christmas Cards is Brian Pate!
All winners have been notified by the email address which was provided when registering for the giveaway. Thank you all for entering and we hope that you all have a blessed weekend!
Pictorial Lives of the Saints + Imprimatur John, Cardinal McCloskey
PROTESTANTISM pretends to regard the veneration which the Church pays to the relics of the Saints as a sin, and contends that this pious practice is a remnant of paganism. The Council of Trent, on the contrary, has decided that the bodies of the martyrs and other Saints, who were living members of Jesus Christ and temples of the Holy Ghost, are to be honored by the faithful. This decision was based upon the established usage of the earliest days of the Church, and upon the teaching of the Fathers and of the Councils. The Council orders, however, that all abuse of this devotion is to be avoided carefully, and forbids any relics to be exposed which have not been approved by the bishops, and these prelates are recommended to instruct the people faithfully in the teaching of the Church on this subject. While we regret, then, the errors of the impious and of heretics, let us profit by the advantages which we gain by hearkening to the voice of the Church.
This Weeks Friday Fare …. Food for the Soul
Anecdotes and Examples By: Rev. Francis Spirago +Imprimatur 1908Q. Does the first commandment forbid the honoring of the saints?A. The first commandment does not forbid the honoring of the saints, but rather approves of it; because by honoring the saints, who are the chosen friends of God, we honor God himself.
ST. WENCELSAUS IN THE SNOW
Imitation is the sincerest flattery, and the best way to horn the saints and through them to honor God is to follow their example. On one very severe and snoy night St. Wenceslaus was on his way to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in the neighboring church. His servant who accompanied him complained that his feet, though well shod, were nub with cold, while the saint, who wore but sandals, seemed not to suffer at all. "Put your feet prints into mine, and fear not," said the saint/ This the servant did, and presently a genial warmth spread from his feed throughout his whole body. This is a lively image of what takes place in the soul of the Christian who tries to walk i nthe footsteps of the saints by imitating their virtue.Q. Does the first commandment forbid us to pray to the saints?A. The first commandment does not forbid us to pray to the saints.
A FATHER IS TOLD TO TEACH HIS UNRULY SON TO PRAY
Prayer is the surest means of obtaining the grace of amendment. A man once went to a priest and asked him to advise him what to do with his son to make him behave better. He said he had flogged him several times, made him go hungry, and shut him up in the cold, but nothing had any effect on him. Then the priest asked whether the man had made his son pray, and had himself prayed for and with him. He acknowledged that he had not done so, but promised to have recourse to that means. He kept his word, and this means proved effectual' the boy corrected his ways and grew up to be worthy, God-fearing man.Q. What do we mean by praying to this saints?A. By praying to the saints we mean the asking of their help and prayers.
A MIRACULOUS DELIVERANCE
The year 1618 was marked by the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War. It is also memorable on account of the sentence passed on the imperial viceroys in Prague, Martinitz and Slawata, as well as their private secretary, Fabricius, who were condemned by the Protestants to be thrown out of the window of the royal palace. This is how it came to pass. On stringent decrees against the Protestants being issued by the Emperor Nathias, a large body of those heretics, headed by Count Thurn, entered forcibly into the royal place in Prague and charged the viceroy and governor with having instigated their august master to take those drastic measures. They announced their intention of putting the supposed authors of the decrees to immediate death. The two governors begged that at least a short time might be granted them to prepare for death, and that a confessor might be sent for. This privilege was however denied them; the crowd below insisted that according to an ancient Bohemian custom in regard to traitors, they should be thrown out the window. This was accordingly done. In spite of their expostulations and entreaties they were seized, conveyed to a window overlooking the deep but then dry moat of the castle, and flung down from a great height. Martinitz continually uttered the names of JEsus and Mary, invoking their mercy and their aid. The Protestants, hearing this, cried contemptuously: "Let us see whether Mary will come to help him." Martinitz fell, and rose to his feet without having sustained the slightest injury, so that the bystanders were forced to acknowledge that Our Lady had indeed come to his aid. Slawata struck his head gainst a stone window-sill, and lay on the ground insensible, blood flowing from his mouth. Martinitz lifted him in his arms and carried him away; and although a number of shots were fired at the fugitives, all missed their aim. Friends came to the help of the wounded man, so that they were both able t effect their escape. The Catholics who witnessed this scene doubted not that these men were rescued by a miraculous intervention of Providence, but the heretics said it was the effect of magic. The statement that the men fell upon heaps of dust, or that bushes broke their fall, is fictitious. We learn from this incident that we cannot do better than call upon JEsus and Mary in the hour of peril and sore distress.
Anecdotes and Examples By: Rev. Francis Spirago +Imprimatur 1908
Q. Is Jesus Christ more than one Person?A. No, Jesus Christ is but one Divine Person.
THE DIVINE MATERNITY OF MARY
The whole doctrine of Christianity depends on the truth of the Incarnation, - that is, that in the single person of Jesus Christ the divine and human natures were united. The value of all His words and works, of all His teaching and example, of His life and sufferings and death, depend on the fact that He, one person, was both God and man. And that is why no other doctrine has been so much insisted on and so much assailed. Even in the time of the apostles, some heretics taught that Christ was not God; others, that he was God but not man; others, that His body was only a body in appearance; others, that He took possession of His body after its birth, and left it before its death; others, that in Him there were two persons, etc. "I don't see," said a Protestant to a Catholic friend, "why you Catholics make such a fuss over your devotion to the Virgin." "It is," was the reply, "because 'Mary, the Mother of God," is the most fundamental dogma of our faith." And such, in truth, it is. Eve sought to make Adam equal to God: but to the new Eve, Mary, it fell to make man God Himself.
Today's Friday Fare ... Food for the Soul
Mary Help of ChristiansBy: Rev. Bonaventure Hammper, O.F.M.+ Imprimatur 1909
MARY THE MOTHER OF GOD
Mary's true greatness consists in her having been chose the Mother of God. This sublime dignity, pre-eminently her own and shared by no other creature, elevates her to a station inconceivably exalted. Mother of God! St. Peter Damian thus gives expression to his conception of this dignity: "In what words may mortal man be permitted to pronounce the praises of her who brought forth that divine Word who lives for all eternity? Where can a tongue be found holy and pure enough to eulogize her who bore the author of all created things, whom the elements praise and obey in fear and trembling? When we essay to extol a martyr's constancy, to recount his heroic acts of virtue, to describe his devotion to his Saviour's cause and honor, we are supplied with words by facts and occurrences that belong to the province of human experience. But when we undertake to describe the glories of the Blessed Virgin, we are on unknown ground, on a subject transcending all human effort. We fail to find words suitable to portray her sublime prerogatives, privileges, and mysteries."
St. Anselm, writing on the motherhood of Mary, says: "It was eminently just and proper that the creature chosen to be the Mother of God should shine with luster of purity far beyond anything conceivable in any other creature under heaven. For it was to her that the eternal Father decreed to give His only-begotten Son, whom He loves as Himself; and to give Him in such a mysterious manner that He should be at the same time the Son of God and the Son of the Virgin Mary. She must indeed be purity itself, whom the Son of God elected as His Mother, and who was the chosen Spouse of the Holy Ghost, to be overshadowed by Him to bring forth the SEcond PErson of that Most Blessed Trinity from whom He Himself proceeds."
Let us honor the virgin Mother with filial devotion, gratefully greeting her often in the words of the angel, "Hail Mary, full of grace!" Let us remember that God alone is above Mary, and beneath her is all that is not God.
I believe, holiest Mary, that almighty God was ever with thee from thy conception, and is, by His incarnation, still more closely united to thee. Make it thy care, I pray thee, that I may be with that same Lord Jesus ever one heart and soul by means of sanctifying grace.
Mary Help of Christians
Compiled By: Rev. Boneventure Hammer O.S.B.
+Imprimatur John M. Farley
Taken from the Novena for the Nativity of Mary- 9th Day
St. Alphonsus writes of the name of Mary: "This name was neither invented on earth, nor imposed by human agency. It can from heaven and was given to the Mother of God by divine command." Just as it is a peculiar glory of our Saviour's name, that "God hath given Him a name which is above all names, that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (Philipp. ii. 9), thus it also behooves that Mary, the most perfect, the most pure, and most exalted of all created beings, should receive the most holy, lovely, and powerful name. St. Methodius declares that the name of Mary is so rich in grace and blessing, that no one can pronounce it devoutly without at the same time receiving a spiritual favor. Bl. Jordan exclaims: "Let a heart be ever so obdurate, let a man even despair of God's mercy, if he have recourse to thee, O Mary, virgin most clement, he can not fail to be softened and filled with confidence if he invokes thy name; for thou wilt inspire him with hope in God's mercy, pardon, and grace."
It, is, then, meet and just that we should devoutly honor and praise the name of Mary. Let us never mention it except in reverence and devotion. Let us invoke Mary by it in all dangers of body and soul, mindful of the words of St. Bernard: "O sinner, when the floods and tempests of this earthly live overwhelm thee so that thou canst not firmly set thy foot, turn not away thy graze from the light of this guiding star. When the storms of temptation assail thee, and the rocks and the quicksands of vexation and trial threaten to shatter thy bark of hope, look up to that bright star in the heavens, and call on the name of Mary. When the billows of pride and of ambition, when the floods of calumny are about to submerge thee, look up to this star and call on the name of Mary. When anger, avarice, and concupiscence convulse the peace of thy soul, look up to this star and call on Mary. When thy sins rise up like hideous monsters before thy troubled vision, when the conscience stings thee, when the terrors of future judgment fill thee with deadly anguish, when gloom and sadness overpower thee, when thou findest thyself on the brink of hellish despair, take courage; think of MAry, and thou wilt find from thy own inward experience how true are the sayings of those who tell thee that the name of the Blessed Virgin is 'Star of the Sea,' the name of the Virgin is Mary."
We hail thee, beloved child Mary, adorned with every virtue, immeasurably above all the saints, and therefore worthy Mother of the Saviour of the world, who by the operation of the Holy Ghost didst bring forth the incarnate Word. We give thee our homage, and with all our hearts we pray thee to vouchsafe in thy goodness to be born again in our souls, that, led captive by thy loveliness and sweetness, thy may ever live united to thy most sweet and loving heart.Find another lovely sermon on the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary along with two coloring pages for today over at our friends' Crusaders-for-Christ.
The Liturgical Year - Time After Pentecost Book V Volume 14
By: Dom Gueranger + Imprimatur 1929
SECOND DAY WITHIN THE OCTAVE OF THE NATIVITY
Let Us make man to Our image and likeness. (Gen. i. 26) 'And God made man; He modeled him,' says Tertullian, 'to the image of God, i.e. of Christ. Wonderful deed, to fashion this slime of the earth! God seems to be absorbed in it; He makes it the work of His hand and His heart; counsel, wisdom, providence, and above all love, trace the lines. As He forms each lineament of this clay, He has in mind Christ who is to become man. This slime of the earth, stamped with the image of the Christ to come, is not only God's work, it is also His pledge.' (Tertull. De resurrect. carnis vi.)
These words were spoken concerning our first parent, Adam; but how much more truly do they apply to the Mother of the Man-God, during these days when He who is to be born of her watches over her growth! As God, He now places in her provisionally what He wills to take from her hereafter. For, as Man, He will receive from her, together with His sacred Body, everything that children, naturally inherit from their parents: such dispositions and qualities as arise from the physical completion; features, ways, haibts acquired by the imitation or by early education. Such is the ineffable condescension of Him who, knowing all things by infused science, condescends to pass like us through the apprenticeship of life. Jesus is to have no earthly father; He will therefore receive more from His Mother than could any other son. In return, no creature could be so like to Jesus in the order of grace, as she whom He thus designs to resemble the order of nature; and our heavenly Father loves every creature in proportion to the degree of that creature's conformity to the image of His divine Son. How exceedingly, then, I Mary, art thou loved! Already in they sweet features we discern the nobility of the King's daughter, whose glory is from within, hidden beneath the golden fringes and variety of ornaments that deck her; for the manifold gifts of the holy Spirit enhance the grace and beauty that crown thee in they very cradle. Together with Andrew of Crete, speaking on this day, we thus salute thee: 'Hail, mediatrix of the law of grace; seal of the ancient and the new Alliance; luminous fulfillment of all prophecy; summary of revealed truth; living immaculate book of God the Word, wherein, without immaculate book of God the Word, wherein, without writing or characters, the Word God its Author may be daily read! Hail, first-fruits of our regeneration; term of the divine promises and predictions; sanctuary promised by God to His own glory; liberatrix foretold to the nations!' (Andr. cret. In Nativit. Deiparae, Oratio iv.)
The Greeks make to-day a special commemoration of our Lady's holy parents. Already yesterday the Menaea repeated in a thousand ways the gratitude all creatures owe to them. We select the following passages from among many.
MENSIS SEPTEMBRIS, DIE VIII
Lest heaven exult the earth rejoice, for God's own heaven, his bride, is this day born on earth. According to promise the barren mother suckles her infant Mary; Joachim rejoices in his daughter, saying: Mine is the branch whereon is to blossom Christ the flower, of the root of David.
Now may Anne say: Thou hast heard, O Lord, my prayer, giving me this day as fruit, the Virgin chosen among all women and of all generations to be thy spotless Mother.
Eve's sentence is cancelled to-day; and Adam, released from the ancient curse, cries out at thy birth, O immaculate one: In thee we are redeemed from death.
I hear David singing to thee: Virgins shall be brought after thee, they shall be brought into the temple of the King. And I, uniting my voice with his, celebrate thee in my songs, O daughter of the King!
Come, hasten, all ye barren and fruitless souls; for Anne is now the joyful mother of many children. And ye mothers lead choirs with the Mother of God.
O prodigy! the fount of lie springs from one that was sterile. rejoice, O Joachim, for among all fathers there is none like unto thee, by whom was given to us the Virgin Mother of God, the tabernacle of the Divinity, the holy mountain.
Exult, O ye people,: the nuptial chamber of the light has come forth from her mother's womb; to-day is born the eastern gate which will soon give entrance to the great High-Priest, for the salvation of our souls.
Hail, star of the Sea!
Blessed Mother of God, yet ever a Virgin!
O happy gate of heaven!
Thou that didst receive the Ave from Gabriel's lips,
Confirm us in peace,
And so let Eva be changed into an Ave of blessing for us.
Loose the sinner's chains, bring light to the Blind,
Drive from us our evils, and ask all good things for us.
Show thyself a Mother, and offer our prayers to him,
Who would be born of thee, when born for us.
O incomparable Virgin, and meekest of the meek,
Obtain for us the forgiveness of our sins,
And make us meek and chaste.
Obtain us purity of life, and a safe pilgrimage;
That we may be united with thee,
In the blissful vision of Jesus.
Praise be to God the Father, and to the Lord Jesus,
and to the Holy Ghost: to the Three one self-same praise. Amen.
Today is the birthday of the holy Virgin Mary.
Whose glorious life is the light of all the churches.
-Hymn from the Liturgical Year, Time After Pentecost Book 14
A blessed Feast of St. Stephen, King of Hungary, to you all! To start off our Monday we would like to announce the winner of the Life of St. Rose of Lima Book give away
! We are happy to announce that, Jerilyn Butler, is the give-a-way winner! Also we will be doing another give-a-way tomorrow in honor of the Feast of St. Pius X! Tomorrow is also the day to begin the Novena in honor of the Holy Name of Mary, which will end on that feast day's name, on September 12th, the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary. Praying you all have a blessed week as well as special prayers for those starting up the school year this week. May God send you all many blessings!
Today's reading is from one of my favorite books on mothering and family life, True Mirror of Womanhood
. A book that I'm re-reading and hope to continue reading over and over until I've properly meditated and applied all the lessons in the book... perhaps a life long project.. The section shared today is called 'She ought to be a companion to her husband.'TRUE MIRROR OF WOMANHOOD
By: Rt. Rev. Monsignor Bernard O'Reilly, D.D., L.D.
+ Imprimatur 1877
SHE OUGHT TO BE A COMPANION TO HER HUSBAND
One half of the unhappiness of married life comes from the fact that the wife is either unfitted or unwilling to be a true companion to her husband. This companionship requires that she should be suited by her qualities of mind and heart and temper to enter into her husband's thoughts and tastes and amusements, so as to make him find in her company and conversation a perfect contentment and delight. Persons who are perfectly companionable never weary of each other,- indeed, they are never perfectly happy while away form each other; - they enter into each other's thoughts, reflect (and increase by the reflection) the light in each other's mind; cultivate the same tastes, pursue the same ideals, and complete each other in the interchange of original or acquired knowledge.
But there is more than that in the companionship of the true wife. She studies to make herself agreeable, delightful, and even indispensable to him who is her choice among all men. If true love be in her heart, it will suggest to her, day by day, a thousand new devices for charming the leisure of her husband.
Woman has been endowed by the Creator with a marvelous fertility of resource in this respect: it is an unlimited power, productive of infinite good when used for a holy purpose and within her own kingdom; but productive of infinite evil when employed in opposition to the design of the Give, or allowed to lie idle when it should be used to promote the sacred ends of domestic felicity.
There are wives who will study certain languages, sciences, arts, or accomplishments, in order to make themselves the companions of the men they love, and thus be able to converse with them on the things they lovem ost, or to charm the hours of home repose by music and song. The writer of these lines remembers, that while a young priest in Quebec, upward of thirty years ago, he was much struck by seeing a young lady of one of the best families there, applying herself assiduously to study the sign-language of the deaf-mutes in order to converse easily with her husband - a wealthy young merchant, throughly trained himself in the admirable Deaf and Dumb Institution of his native city. They were devoted to each other, and the young wife's earnestness in making herself companionable to her husband, must have brought many a blessing on the home in which the writer beheld them so wrapt in each other, so virtuous, and so full of bright hope!
It must not be concluded from this, that a woman who applies herself to acquire knowledge for the purpose of being more of a companion to her husband, should thoroughly master either a language, a science, or an art.... In the case of the young wife just mentioned, a thorough familiarity with the language of signs was indispensable as a means of easy conversation with her husband. But this is evidently an exceptional case; - and is only mentioned to show what difficulties love will overcome to be helpful or agreeable to its companion.
The word helpful, just used, will furnish to every wife the true measure of the knowledge she may be prompted to acquire. Her husband has to know perfectly whatever he knows, because his success as a professional man or a business man depends on this through knowledge, whereas his wife only acquires to please and to help her companion.
But there are things beside this scientific, literary, or artistic knowledge, which may be more needful to a wife if she would make herself of all earthly beings the most delightful and necessary companion to her husband. She must study him, - his needs, his moods, his weak as well as strong points, - and known how to make him forget himself when he is moody and selfish, and bring out every joyous side of his nature when he is prone to sadness. God, who has made the soul both of man of woman, and who has united them in the duties and burdens of home-life, wills that they should complete each other. Man has bodily strength, because it is his duty to labor for the home and protect it; he has also certain mental and moral qualities which woman does not need, and which fit him for the battle of life and his continual struggle with the crowd. But she has, on her part, far more of fortitude, of that power to bear and to forbear, to suffer silently and uncomplainingly herself while ministering with aching heart and head to the comfort, the cheerfulness, the happiness of all around her.
At any rate, she has by nature the power, the art, and the disposition to please, to soothe, to charm, and to captivate. It is a wonderful power; and we see daily women exerting it in a wonderful way and for the purposes that God cannot bless, and that every right conscience must condemn. Why will not women who are truly good, or who sincerely strive to be so, not make it the chief study of their lives to find out and acquire the sovereign art of making their influence as healthful, as cheering, as blissful as the sunlight and the warmth are to their homes?
Let us give an example of what is meant here - and this illustration will suggest, of itself, many other applications. We all know - a mother more than any one else - what a potent spell praise is in the making children master whatever they are learning, and, what is far more difficult, acquire a mastery over themselves, both in repressing wrong inclinations and in gaining the habits of the noblest virtues. A word of praise from a mother will stir the heart of every word of well-born child- and few children are ill-born, that is, with radically bad dispositions - to the most extraordinary exertions, and fill the whole soul with delight, when that word is sweetly spoken of successful efforts made. We say nothing here of the stimulus which praise from the queen of the home gibes to the zeal and conscientious labors of servants.
We are concerned with the master of the home. Do you not know that all men, even old men, even the proudest and the coldest men, are only great children, who thirst for praise from a wife, a mother, or a sister's lips? There are men - and they are the noblest, the most high-souled - who care but little, if anything, for the praise or censure of the crowd, even of the learned or titled crowd; but their heart is stirred through all its depths by one sweet word from the lips of mother, sister, or wife. Why, O women, are you so niggard of a money which you can bestow without making yourselves the poorer, and which your dear ones prize above gold and gems?
Give generously, but discerningly, what is held so dear as coming from you, and which will only encourage those you love above all the world to strive to-morrow for still higher excellence, and look forward to still sweeter praise.
Pictorial Lives of the Saints with Reflections for Every Day of the Year+ Imprimatur John, Cardinal McCloske
HYACINTH, the glorious apostle of Poland and Russia, was born of noble parents in Poland, about the year 1185. In 1218, being already Canon of Cracow, he accompanied his uncle, the bishop of that place, to Rome. There he met St. Dominic, and received the habit of the Friar Preachers from the patriarch himself, of whom be became a living copy. So wonderful was his progress in virtue that within a year Dominic sent him to preach and plant the Order in Poland, where he founded two houses. His apostolic journeys extended over numerous regions. Austria, Bohemia, Livonia, the shores of the Black Sea, Tartary, and Northern China on the east, and .Sweden and Norway to the west, were evangelized by him, and he is said to have visited Scotland. Everywhere multitudes were converted, churches and convents were built; one hundred and twenty thousand pagans and infidels were baptized by his hands. He worked numerous miracles, and at Cracow raised a dead youth to life. He had inherited from St. Dominic a most filial confidence in the Mother of God; to her he ascribed his success, and to her aid he looked for his salvation. When St. Hyacinth was at Kiev the Tartars sacked the town, but it was only as he finished Mass that the Saint heard of the danger. Without waiting to unvest, he took the ciborium in his hands, and was leaving the church. As he passed by an image of Mary a voice said: "Hyacinth, my son, why dust thou leave me behind? Take me with thee, and leave me not to mine enemies." The statue was of heavy alabaster, but when Hyacinth took it in his arms it was light as a reed. With the Blessed Sacrament and the image he came to the river Dnieper, and walked dry-shod over the surface of the waters. On the eve of the Assumption he was warned of his coming death. In spite of a wasting fever, he celebrated Mass on the feast, and communicated as a dying man. He was anointed at the foot of the altar, and died the same day, 1257.Reflection
.—St. Hyacinth teaches us to employ every effort in the service of God, and to rely for success not on our own industry, but on the prayer of His Immaculate Mother.
This Weeks Friday Fare ...... Food for the Soul
Anecdotes and Examples; Illustrating the CatechismBy: Rev. Francis Spirago Imprimatur + John M. Farley, D.D.
Q. Is the Blessed Virgin Mary truly the Mother of God?
A. The Blessed Virgin Mary is truly the Mother of God, because the same Divine Person who is the Son of God is also the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
THE CATHOLIC WAIF AND THE PROTESTANT BISHOP
In a London charity-school a Protestant bishop and several other Anglican clergymen were hearing the waifs recite their prayers. Among them was a Catholic lad. This latter, having said the "Our Father, etc., began, as he has been taught, to recite the "Hail Mary"; but the bishop interposed hastily, saying: "No, no! we want to hear nothing about her. Go on to the next/" The lad then began the "Apostles' Creed"; but when he arrived at "was conceived of the Holy Ghost, born of the -" he stopped, and looking up said, "Now, what am I do do, sir, for here she comes again." And so it is, indeed, for the Virgin is as irrevocably bound up with our Redemption and our religion as is a loving mother with the existence and the fortunes of her children.
Pius X in his very first message to the world mentions Mary as "participating ni all mysteries and dispensing every grace."
Catholic Life ; or feasts, fasts and devotions of the Ecclesiastical Year
By: Washbourne +Imprimatur 1908
This is the crowning feast of our Blessed Lady. On this day the Church celebrates her departure from this world, and the triumphant entrance into Heaven, not only of her soul, but, according to pious belief (though not of faith), of her body also. Try and imagine the respect, honour, and admiration with which she was received by the whole heavenly court. Words fail us when we try to express with what love and graciousness the Most Holy Trinity welcomed her; how the Father received her as His daughter, the Son as His mother, and the Holy Ghost as His spouse.
What does Mary do for us from the heights of Heaven? She intercedes for us, she pleads our cause, she obtains and distributes heavenly favors. She is a queen of mercy. Her power equals her goodness. Let us, therefore, pray to her in all our wants of body and soul. Let us, above all, implore her to obtain for us a good death, and that constant fidelity to grace which will procure it.
If we are really anxious to be devout to our Blessed Mother, and to obtain her protection, we must strive daily to rid ourselves of sin, which offends her Divine Son, and, moreover, earnestly endavour to imitate her virtues- viz., her love for God, her humility, purity, patience, and conformity with the Divine Will.
"Look down on us thy children,
O Mother dear! look down;
The Mother's face beams kindly
When other faces frown.
Though thou art Queen of Heaven,
And reign'st in joy above,
Yet still, O dearest Mother!
Look down on us with love."
Example.- St. Stanislaus Kostka
One day this amiable Saint was asked if her loved the Virgin Mary. Immediately his face flushed and beamed with angelic sweetness, and raising his eyes towards Heaven, he replied: 'She is my mother; what can I say more?"
Later on, in his eighteenth year, speaking to Father Emmanuel Sa about the Feast of the Assumption, which was approaching, he exclaimed, "O Father, what a happy day for the Saints when our Lady entered Heaven! I feel confident that they celebrate the memory of it every year, and I hope to be present the next time." His youth and good health prevented any serious notice being taken of his remark. Shortly after he began to show signs of weakness, then got so ill that he received the last Sacraments on the eve of the Feast of the Assumption. When asked if he was willing to die or live, according to God's holy will, he replied, "My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready." He then lay peacefully, with his eys raised to Heaven or towards and image of our Lady, which he pressed to his lips frequently. After midnight he began to fail fast. Suddenly his face changed, and a wonderful radiance rested on it as he gazed on our Lady, who appeared to him surrounded by a number of virgins, who came to bear his soul to Paradise. As the sun rose on the Feast of the Assumption he breathed his last, surrounded by the Father and Brothers, who shed abundant tears as they kissed his hands and fee reverently.
More to read on Our Lady's Assumption
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"Whosoever shall die in this habit shall not suffer eternal flames."View of Mt. Carmel (View Source)
Pope John XXII
Tomorrow is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel so we thought we would share the wonderful writings of Dom Gueranger in his Liturgical Year set
, as he provides a wonderful and very interesting history of Mount Carmel through history along with God's grand design for this heavenly place on earth!
OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL - JULY 16TH
Towering over the waves on the shore of the Holy Land, Mount Carmel, together with the short range of the same name, forms a connecting link to two other chains, abounding with glorious memories, namely: the mountians of Galilee on the north, and those of Judea on the south.
'In the day of My love, I brought thee out of Egypt into the land of Carmel,' (Cf. Jerem. ii 2,7) said the Lord to the daughter of Sion, taking the name of Carmel to represent all the blessings of the Promised Land; and when the crimes of the chosen people were about to bring Judea to ruin, the prophet cried out: "I looked, and behold Carmel was a wilderness: and all its cities were destroyed at the presence of the Lord, and at the presence of the wrath of His indignation." (Ibid. iv. 26) But from the midst of the Gentile world a new Sion arose, move loved than the first; eight centuries beforehand Isaias recognized her by the glory of Libanus, and the beauty of Carmel and Saron which were given her. In the sacred Canticle, also, the attendants of the Bride sing to the Spouse concerning His well-beloved, that her head is like Carmel, and her hair like the precious threads of royal purple carefully woven and dyed. (Cant. vii. 5.)
There was, in fact, around Cape Carmel, an abundant fishery of the little shell-fish which furnished the regal colour. Not far from there, smoothing away the slopes of the noble mountain, flowed the torrent of Cison, that dragged the carcasses
(Judg. v. 21) of the Chanaanites, when Debbora won her famous victory. Here lies the plain where the Madianites were overthrown, and Sisara felt the power of her that was called the Mother in Israel
(Ibid. 7). Here Gedeon, too, marched against Madian in the name of the Woman terrible as an army set in array
(Cant. vi. 3,9), whose sign he had received in the dew-covered fleece. Indeed, this glorious plain of Esdrelon, which stretches away from the foot of Carmel, seems to be surrounded with prophetic indications of her who was destined from the beginning to crust the serpent's head: not far from Esdrelon, a few defiles lead to Bethulia, the city of Judith, type of Mary, who was the true joy of Israel and the honour of her people;
(Judith xv. 10) while nestling among the norther hills lies Nazareth, the white city, the flower of Galilee. (Hieron. Epist. xlvi. Paule et Eustochii ad Marcellam.)
When Eternal Wisdom was playing in the world, forming the hills and establishing the mountains, she destined Carmel to be the special inheritance of Eve's victorious daughter And when the last thousand years of expectation were opening, and the desire of all nations was developing into the spirit of prophecy, the father of prophets ascended the privileged mount, thence to scan the horizon. The triumphs of David and the glories of Solomon were at an end: the sceptre of Juda, broken by the schism of the ten tribes, threatened to fall from his hand; the worship of Baal prevailed in Israel. A long-continued drought, figure of the aridity of men's souls, had parched up every spring, and men and beasts were dying beside the empty cisterns, when Elias the Thesbite gathered the people, representing the whole human race, on Mount Carmel, and slew the lying prophets of Baal. Then, as the Scripture relates, prostrating with his face to the earth, he said to his servant: Go up, look towards the sea. And he went up, and looked and said: There is nothing. And gain he said to him: Return seven times. And at the seventh time: Behold, a little cloud arose out of the sea like a man's foot. (
3 Reb. xviii.)
Blessed cloud! unlike the bitter waves from which it spring, it was all sweetness. Docile to the least breath of heaven, it rose light and humble, above the immense heavy ocean; screaming the sun, it tempered the heat that was scorching the earth and restored the stricken world life and grace and fruitfulness. The promised Messias, the Son of Man, set His impress upon it, showing to the wicked serpent the form of the heel that was to crush Him. The prophet, personifying the human race, felt his youth renewed; and while the welcome rain was already refreshing the valleys, he ran before the chariot of the king of Israel. Thus did he traverse the great plain of Esdrelon, even to the mysteriously-named town of Jezrahel, where, according to Osee, the children of Juda and Israel were again to have but one head in the great day of Jezrahel (i.e., of the seed of God), and when the Lord would seal His eternal nuptials with a new people. (Osee i. II, and ii, 14-24). Later on, from Sunam, near Jezrahel, the mother whose son was dead crossed the same plain of Esdrelon, in the opposite direction, and ascended Mount Carmel, to obtain from Eliseus the resurrection of her child, who was a type of us all. (4 Reg. iv. 8-37) Elias had already departed in the chariot of fire, to await the end of the world, when he was to give testimony, together with Henock, to the son of her that was signified by the cloud; (Apoc. xi. 3,7) and the disciple, clothed with the mantle and the spirit of his father, had taken possession, in the name of the sons of the prophets, of the august mountain honoured by the manifestation of the Queen of prophets. Henceforward Carmel was sacred in the eyes of all who looked beyond this world. Gentiles as well as Jews, philosophers and princes, came here on pilgrimage to adore the true God; while the chosen souls of the Church of the expectation, many of whom were already wandering in the deserts and in the mountains,
(Herb. xi. 38), loved to take up their abode in its thousand grottos; for the ancient traditions seemed to linger more lovingly in its silent forests, and the perfume of its flowers foretokened the Virgin Mother. The cultus of the Queen of heaven was already established; and to the family of her devout clients, the ascetics of Carmel, might be applied to the words spoken later by God to the pious descendants of Rechab: There shall not be wanting a man of this race, standing before Me for ever. (
Jerem. xxxv. 19)
At length figure gave place to the reality; the heavens dropped down their dew, and the Just One came forth from the cloud. When His work was done and He returned to His Father, leaving His blessed Mother in the world, and sending His Holy Spirit to the Church, not the least triumph of that Spirit of love was the making known of Mary to the new-born Christians of Pentecost. 'What a happiness,' we then remarked, in being brought to the Queen of heaven, the Virgin Mother of Him who was the hope of Israel! They saw this second Eve, they conversed with her, they felt for her that filial affection wherewith she inspired all the disciples of Jesus. The liturgy will speak to us at another season of these favoured ones.' (Paschal Time, Vol. III., p. 314) The promise is fulfilled to-day. In the lessons of the feast of the Church tells us how the disciples of Elias and Eliseus became Christians at the first preaching of the apostles, and being permitted to hear the sweet words of the Blessed Virgin and enjoy an unspeakable intimacy with her, they felt their veneration for her immensely increased. Returning to the loved mountain, where their less fortunate fathers had lived but in hope, they built, on the very spot where Elias had seen the little cloud rise up out of the sea, an oratory to the purest of virgins; hence they obtained the name of Brothers of Blessed Mary of Mount Carmel. (Lessons of 2nd Nocturn.)
In the twelfth century, in consequence of the establishment of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, many pilgrims from Europe came to swell the ranks of the solitaries on the holy mountain; it therefore became expedient to give to their hitherto eremitical life a form more in accordance with the habits of Western nations. The legate Aimeric Malafaida, patriarch of Antioch, gathered them into a community under the authority of St. Berthold, who was thus the first to receive the title of Prior-General. At the commencement of the next century, Blessed Albert, patriarch of Jerusalem and also apostolic legate, completed the work of Aimeric by giving a fixed Rule to the Order, which was now, through the influence of princes and knights returned from the Holy Land, beginning to spread into Cyprus, Sicily, and the countries beyond the sea. Soon, indeed, the Christians of the East being abandoned by God to the just punishment of their sins, the vindictiveness of the conquering Saracens reached such a height in this age of trial for Palestine, that a full assembly, held on Mount Carmel under Alan the Breton, resolved upon a complete migration, leaving only a few friars eager for martyrdom to guard the cradle of the Order. The very year in which this took place (1245) Simon Stock was elected General in the first Chapter of the West, held at Aylesford in England.
Simon owed his election to the successful struggle he had maintained for the recognition of the Order which certain prelates, alleging the recent decrees of the Council of Lateran, rejected as having been newly introduced into Europe. Our Lady had ten taken the cause of the friars into her own hands, and had obtained from Honorius III the decree of confirmation, which originated to-day's feast. This was neither the first nor the last favour bestowed by the sweet Virgin upon the family that had lived so long under the shadow, as it were, of her mysterious cloud, and shrouded like her in humility, with no other bond, no other pretension than the imitation of her hidden works and the contemplation of her glory. She herself had wished them to go forth from the midst of the faithless people; just as, before the close of that same thirteenth century, she would command her angels to carry into a Catholic land her blessed house of Nazareth. Whether or not the men of those days, or the short-sighted historians of our own time, ever thought of it, the one translation called for the other, just as each completes and explains the other, and each was to be, for our own Europe, the signal for wonderful favours from heaven.
In the night between the 15th and the 16th of July of the year 1251, the gracious Queen of Carmel confirmed to her sons by a mysterious sign the right of citizenship she had obtained for them in their newly adopted countries; as mistress and mother of the entire religious state she conferred upon them with her queenly hands the scapular, hitherto the distinctive garb of the greatest and most ancient religious family of the West. On giving St. Simon Stock this badge, ennobled by contract with her sacred fingers, the Mother of God said to him: 'Whosoever shall die in this habit shall not suffer eternal flames.' But not against hell fire alone was the all=powerful intercession of the Blessed Mother to be felt by those who should wear her scapular. In 1316, when every soul was imploring heaven to put a period to that long and disastrous widowhood of the Church which followed the death of Clement V, the Queen of Saints appeared to James d'Euse, whom the world was soon to hail as John XXII; she foretold to him his approaching elevation to the Sovereign Pontificate, and at the same time recommended him to publish the privilege she had obtained from her Divine Son for her children of Carmel - viz., a speedy deliverance from purgatory. 'I, their Mother, will graciously go down to them on the Saturday after their death, and all whom I find in purgatory I will deliver and will bring to the mountain of life eternal.' These are the words of our Lady herself, quoted by John XXII in the Bull which he published for the purpose of making known the privilege, and which was called the Sabbatine Bull on account of the day chosen by the glorious benefactress for the exercise of her mercy.
We are aware of the attempts made to nullify the authenticity of these heavenly concessions; but our extremely limited time will not allow us to follow up these worthless struggles in all their endless details. The attack of the chief assailant, the too famous Launoy, was condemned by the Apostolic See; and after, as well as before, these contradictions, the Roman Pontiffs confirmed, as much as need be, by their supreme authority, the substance and even the letter of the precious promises. The reader may find in special works the enumeration of the many indulgences with which the Popes have, time after time, enriched the Carmelite family, as if earth would vie with heaven in favouring it. The munificence of Mary, the pious gratitude of her sons for the hospitably given them by the West, and lastly, the authority of St. Peter's successors, soon made these spiritual riches accessible to all Christians, by the institution of the Confraternity of the holy Scapular, the members whereof participate in the merits and privileges of the whole Carmelite Order. Who shall tell the graces, often miraculous, obtained through this humble garb? Who could count the faithful enrolled in the holy militia? When Benedict XIII, in the eighteenth century extended the feast of July 16 to the whole Church, he did but give an official sanction to the universality already gained by the cultus of the Queen of Carmel.
Queen of Carmel, hear the voice of the Church as she sings to thee on this day. When the world was languishing in ceaseless expectation, thou wert already its hope. Unable as yet to understand thy greatness, it nevertheless, during the reign of types, loved to clothe thee with the noblest symbols. In admiration and in gratitude for benefits foreseen, it surrounded thee with all the notions of beauty, strength, and grace suggested by the loveliest landscapes, the flowery plains, the wooded heights, the fertile valleys, especially of Carmel, whose very name signifies 'the plantation of the Lord.' On its summit our fathers, knowing that Wisdom had set her throne in the cloud, hastened by their burning desires the coming of the saving sign: at length there was given to their prayers what the Scripture calls perfect knowledge, and the knowledge of the great paths of the clouds. (Job xxxvii. 16.) And when He who maketh His chariot and his dwelling in the obscurity of a cloud had herein shown Himself, in a nearer approach, to the practiced eye of the father of prophets, then did a chosen band of holy persons gather in the solitudes of the blessed mountain, as heretofore Israel in the desert, to watch the least movements of the mysterious cloud, to receive from it their guidance in the paths of life, and their light in the long night of expectation.
O Mary, who from that hour didst preside over the watches of God's army, without ever failing for a single day: now that the Lord has truly come down through thee, it is no longer the land of Judea alone, but the whole earth that thou coverest as a cloud, shedding down blessings and abundance. thine ancient clients, the sons of the prophets, experienced this truth when, the land of promise becoming unfaithful, they were forced to transplant into other climes their customs and traditions; they found that even into our far West the cloud of Carmel had poured its fertilizing dew, and that nowhere would its protection be wanting to them. This feast, O Mother of our God, is the authentic attestation of their gratitude, increased by the refresh benefits wherewith thy bounty accompanied the new exodus of the remnant of Israel. And we, the sons of ancient Europe, we too have a right to echo the expression of their loving joy; for since their tents have been pitched around the hills where the new sion is built upon Peter, the cloud has shed all around showers of blessing more precious than ever, driving back into the abyss the flames of hell and extinguishing the fire of purgatory.
Whilst, then, we join with them in thanksgiving to thee, deign thyself, O Mother of divine grace, to pay our debt of gratitude to them. Protect them ever. Guard them in these unhappy times, when the hypocrisy of modern persecutors has more fatal results than the rage of Saracens. Preserve the life of the deep roots of the old stock, and rejoice it by the accession of new branches, bearing, like the old ones, flowers and fruits that shall be pleasing to thee, O Mary. Keep up in the hearts of the sons that spirit of retirement and contemplation which animated their fathers under the shadow of the cloud; may their sisters, too, wheresoever the Holy Spirit has established the, be ever faithful to the traditions of the glorious past, so that by their holy lives may avert the tempest and draw sown blessings from the mysterious cloud. May the perfume of penance that breathes from the holy mountain purify the now corrupted atmosphere around; and may Carmel ever present to the Souse the type of the beauties He loves to behold in His Bride!
Giveaway & Coloring Page
In honor of The Feast of Our Lady of Carmel we are giving away three copies of the wonderful book Mary in Her Scapular Promise
. The giveaway will be announced on next weeks Keeping It Catholic Monday
which is the feast of st. Mary Magdalen. Mary In Her Scapular Promise By John Mathias Haffert + Imprimatur 1940 By: Bartholomaeus Joseph - Episcopus Camdensis
From the preface:
Mr. Haffert has in a masterly way laid bare the solid foundations upon which this [Brown Scapular] devotion reposes. His case is so strikingly presented that to challenge this devotion is to challenge to some extent, the tradition and authority of the Church." The Scapular Promise of Our Lady is: "Whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire." Pope Pius IX said, "this extraordinary gift of the Scapular brings its great usefulness not only to the Carmelite Family of Mary but also to all the rest of the faithful who wish, affiliated to that Family, to follow Mary with a very special devotion." This book contains 15 chapters including: The Origin of the Promise, Meaning of the Promise, Historicity of the Promise, How the Promise is Kept, Scapular Prayer and Communication of Benefits, and much more! This is the most complete book on the subject and it gives many examples of the powerful protection one gets from the Scapular and that protection is in great need today.