"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. KempisSt. Paschal Baylon
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
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