St. Martha, St. Mary Magdalene and Jesus
Such a great Saint deserves to have her day honored especially when there is so much misinformation spread around about her in our day and age. A great example for converts to the Faith and a great penitent for us all to use as an example of how to choose "the better part". Its long but wonderful, download it here
to print and read.The Liturgical Year- Vol 13 Time After Pentecost Book IVBy: Dom Gueranger, O.S.B.Imprimatur 1927July 22Saint Mary Magdalen'THREE saints,' said our Lord to St. Bridget of Sweden, 'have been more pleasing to me than all others: Mary my mother, John the Baptist, and Mary Magdalen. (Revelationes S. Birgittae, lib. IV., cap. 108). The Fathers tell us that Magdalen is a type of the Gentile Church, called from the depth of sin to perfect holiness; and, indeed, better than any other, she personifies both the wanderings and the love of the most illustrious characters of the law of grace, she has her antitype in past ages. Let us follow the history of this great penitent as traced by unanimous radiation: Magdalen's glory will not be thereby diminished.When, before all ages, God decreed to manifest His glory, He willed to reign over a wold drawn from nothing; and as His goodness was equal to His power, He would have the triumph of supreme love to be the law of that kingdom, which the Gospel likens unto a king who made a marriage for his son (St. Matt. xxii 2).Passing over the pure intelligences whose nine choirs are filled with divine light, the immortal Son of the King of ages looked down to the extreme limits of creation; there he beheld human nature, made, indeed, to know God, but acquiring that knowledge laboriously; its weakness would better show His divine condescension: with it, then, He chose to contract His alliance.Man is flesh and blood: so the Son og God would be made Flesh; He would not have angels, but men for His brothers. He that in heaven is the Splendour of His Father, and on earth the most beautiful of the sons of men, would draw the human race with the cords of Adam (Osee xi. 4). In the very act of creation He sealed His espousals by raising man to the supernatural state of grace, and placing him in the paradise of expectation.Alas! the human race knew not how to await her Bridegoom even in the shades of Eden. Cast out of the garde
n of delights, she prostituted to vain idols in their groves what was left her of her glory. For she had much beauty still, the gift of her Spouse, through she had profaned it: Thou wast perfect through my beauty, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God
(Ezech. xvi. 14).God would not suffer His love to be defeated. Leaving humanity at large to walk in the ways of folly, He chose out a single people, sprung from a holy stock, to be the guardian of His promises. Coming forth from Egypt was consecrated to God and became His inheritance. In the person of Ballam, the former Bride saw Israel pass through the desert, and filled with admiration at the glory of the Lord dwelling with him in his tent, her heart for a moment beat with bridal love. I shall see Him, she cried in her transport, but not now: I shall behold Him, but not near (Num. xxiv. 17). From those wild heights the Star that was to rise out of Jacob, and predicted
the ruin of the Hebrew people who had supplanted her for a time.To soon was this sublime ecstasy followed by still more culpable wanderings! How long wilt thou be dissolute in deliciousness, O wandering daughter? Know thou, and see, that it is an evil and bitter thing for thee to have left the Lord thy God (Jerem. xxxi. 22 and ii. 19). But the ages are passing, the night will soon be over, and the day-star will arise, the sign of the Bridegroom gathering the nations. Let Him lead thee into the wilderness and there He will speak to thy heart. Thy rival knows not how to be a queen; the alliance of Sinai has produced but a slave. The Bridegroom still waits for His Bride.At length the hour came: bending the heavens, He was made sin (2 Cor. v 21) for sinful men; and hidden under the servile garb of mortals, He sat down to table in the house of the proud Pharisee. The haughty Synagogue, who would neither fast with Hon nor rejoice with Christ, was now to see God justifying the delays of His merciful love. 'Let not, like Pharisees,' says St. Ambrose, 'despise the counsels of God. The sons of Wisdom are singing: listen to their voices, attend to their dances; it is the hour of the nuptials. This sang the prophet when he said: Come from Libanus, my spouse, come from Libanus (Amb. in Luc).
And behold a woman that was in the city, a sinner, when she knew that He sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment; and standing behind at His feet, she began to wash His feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment (St. Luke vii 37,38). 'Who is this woman? Without doubt it is the Church,' answers St. Peter Chrysologus, 'the Church, weighed down and stained with sins committed in the city of this world. At the news that Christ appeared in Judea, that He is to be seen at the banquet of the Pasch, where He bestows His mysteries and reveals the divine Sacrament, and makes known the secret of salvation, suddenly she darts forward; despising the endavours of the Scribes to prevent her entrance, she confronts the princes of the Synagogue; burning with desire she penetrates into the sanctuary, where she finds Him whom she seeks, betrayed by Jewish perfidy even at the banquet of love; not the passion, nor the Cross, nor the tomb can check her faith, or prevent her from bringing her perfumes to Christ.' (Pet. Chrysol. Sermo xcv)
Who but the Church knows the secret of this perfume? asks Paulinus of Nola with Ambrose of Milan; the Church, whose numberless flowers have all aromas; the Church, who exhales before God a thousand sweet odours aroused by the breath of the Holy Spirit- viz. the virtues of nations and the prayers of the saints. Mingling the perfume of her conversion with her tears of repentance, she anoints the feet of her Lord, honouring in them His humanity. Her faith ,whereby she is justified, grows equally with her love: soon the Head of the Spouse - that is, His divinity - receives from her the homage of the full measure of pure and precious spikenard - to wit, consummate holiness, whose heroism goes so far s to break the vessel of mortal flesh by the martyrdom of love, if not by that of tortures.
Arrived at the height of the mystery, she forgets not even there those sacred feet, whose contact delivered her from the seven devils representing all vices; for to the heart of the Bride, as in the bosom of the Father, her Lord is still both God and Man. The Jew, who would not own Christ either for head or foundation, found no fragrant oil for His head, nor even water for His feet; she, on the contrary ,m pours her priceless perfume over both. And while the sweet odour of her perfect faith fills the earth, now become by the victory of that faith the house of the Lord, she continues to wipe her Master's feet with her beautiful hair - i.e., her countless good works and her ceaseless prayer. The growth of this mystical hair requires all her care here on earth; and in heaven its abundance and beauty will call forth the praise of Him who jealously counts, without losing one, all the works of His Church. Then from her own head, as from that of her Spouse, will the fragrant unction of the Holy Spirit overflow even to the skirt of her garment.
Thou despisest, O Pharisee, the poor woman weeping with love at the feet of thy divine Guest, whom that knowest not; but 'I would rather,' cries the solitary of Nola, 'be bound up in her hair at the feet of Christ, than be seated with thee near Christ, yet without Him.' ( Paulin. ep. xxiii 42) Happy sinner to be, both in her life of sin and that of grace, the figure of the Church, even so far as to have been foreseen and announced by the prophets. For such is the teaching of St. Jerome and St. Cyril of Alexandria; while Venerable Bede, gathering up, according to his wont, the traditions of his predecessors, does not hesitate to assert that 'what Magdalen once did, remains the type of what the whole Church does, and of what every perfect soul must ever do." ( Beda in xii Joann.
We can well understand the predilection of the Man-God for this soul, whose repentance from such a depth of misery manifested so fully, from the outset, the success of His mission, the defeat of Satan, and the triumph of divine love. While Israel was expecting from the Messias nought but perishable goods, when the very apostles, including John the beloved, were looking for honours and first places, she was the first to come to Jesus for Himself alone, and not for His gifts. Eager only for pardon and love, she chose for her portion those sacred feet, wearied in the search after the wandering sheep: here was the blessed altar whereon she offered to her divine Deliverer as many holocausts of herself says St. Gregory, as she had had vain objects of her complacency. Henceforth her goods and her person were at the disposal of Jesus; the rest of her life was to be spent in sitting at His feet, contemplating the mysteries of HIs life, gathering up His every word, following His footsteps, as He preached the Kingdom of God. How swiftly, in the light of her humble confidence, did she outstrip the Synagogue and the very just themselves! The Pharisee might be indignant, her sister might complain, the apostles might murmur: Mary held her peace; but Jesus spoke for her, as if His Sacred Heart were hurt by the least word said against her. AT the death of Lazarus the Master had to call her from the mysterious repose wherein even then shew as seated; her presence at the tomb was of more avail than the whole college of apostles and crowd of Jews. One word from her, though already said by Martha who had arrived first, was more powerful than all the words of the latter; her tears made the Man-God weep, and drew from Him that groan which He uttered before recalling the dead man to life- that divine trouble of a God overcome by His creature. Oh truly, for others as well as for herself, for the world as well as for God Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken from her. (St. Luke x. 42)
In all that we have said, we have but linked together the testimonies of a veneration universally consistent. But the homage of all the doctors together cannot compare with the honour which the Church pays to the humble Magdalen, when she applies to the Queen of heaven on her glorious Assumption day the Gospel words first uttered in praise of the justified sinner. Albert the Great (Albert. Magn. in vii Luc.) assures us that, in the world of grace as well as in the material creation, God has made two great lights - to wit, two Maries, the Mother of our Lord and the the sister of Lazarus: the greater, which is the Blessed Virgin, to rule the day of innocence; the lesser, which is Mary the penitent beneath the feet of that glorious Virgin, to rule the night by enlightening repentant sinners. As the moon by its phases points out the feast days on earth, so Magdalen in heaven gives the signal of joy to the angels of God over one sinner doing penance. Does she not also share with the Immaculate One the name of Mary, start of the sea, as the Churches of Gual sang in the Middle Ages, recalling how, through one was a Queen and the other a handmaid, both were causes of joy to the Church: the one being the gate of salvation, the other the messenger of the Resurrection? (Sequence Mane prima sabbati- Paschal Time Vol I p 287)
On that great Easter day, Magdalen, like a morning star, announced the rising of the Sun of Justice, who was never more to set. 'Woman,' said Jesus to her, 'why weepest thou? Thou art not mistaken." He seemed to say, 'It is, indeed, the Divine Gardener speaking to htee, the same that planted Eden in the beginning. But now dry thy tears; in this new garden, whose centre is an empty tomb, Paradise is restored; the angels no longer close the entrance; here is the Tree of Life, which has borne fruit these three days past. This fruit, which thou, O woman, art eager, as of old, to seize and taste, belongs to thee now by right; for thou art no longer Eve but Mary. If thou art bidden not to tought it yet, it is because, as thou wouldst not heretofore taste the fruit of death thyself alone, thou mayest not now enjoy the fruit of life till thou bring back him that was first lost through thee.' Thus by the wisdom and mercy of our God, woman is raised to a greater dignity than before the Fall. Magdalen, to whom woman is is indebted for this glorious revence, has hence obtained in the Church's litanies the place of honour above even the virgins; as John the Baptist precedes the whole arm of the saints on account of his privilege of being the first witness to our salvation. The testimony of the penitent completes that of the Precursor: n the word of John the Church recognized the Lamb who taketh away the sins of the world; on the word of Magdalen she hails the Soouse triumphant over death (Sequesce of Easter day). MAnd, judging that by this last testimony Catholic belief is put in full possesion of the entire cycle of mysteries, she to-day intones the immortal symbol, which she deemed premature for the feast os Zachary's son.
O Mary! how great didst thou appear before heaven at that solemn moment when, before the world knew aught of the triumph of life, our Emmanuel the conqueror said to thee: Go My brethren, and say to them: I ascend to My Father and to your Father, to My God and to your God (St. John xx 17). Thou didst represent us Gentiles, who were not to obtain possession of our Lord by faith till after His ascension into heaven. These brethren, to whom the Man-God sent thee, were doubtless those privileged men whom He had called to know Him during His mortal life, and to whom thou, O apostle of the apostles, hadst to announce the mystery of the Pasch; and yet, in His loving mercy, the divine MAster intended to show Himself that same day to many of them; and both thou and they were soon to be witnesses of His triumphant Ascension. Is it not evident that thy mission, O Magdalen, though addressed to the immediate disciples of our Lord, was to extend much further both in space and time? As He entered into His glory, the Conqueror of death already beheld these brethren filling the whole earth. It is of them He had said in the psalm: I will declare thy name to My brethren: in the mist of the Church will I praise thee; in the midst of a people that shall be born which the Lord hath made. (Ps. xxi 23,32) It is of them and of us, the generation to come, to whom the Lord was to be declared, that He said to thee: Go to My brethren and say to them: I ascend to My Father and to your Father, to My God and your God. Thou didst come, and thou comest continually, fulfilling thy mission towards the disciples, and saying to them: I have seen the Lord, and these things He said to me. (St. John xx 18)
Thou camest, O Mary, when our West beheld thee, treading the rocks of Provence with thine apostolic feet, whose beauty Cyril of Alexandria admires. There seven times a day, raised on angels' wings towards thte Spouse, thou didst point out, more eloquently than any speech could do, the way He took, the way the Church must follow by her desires, until she is reunited with Him for ever. Thou didst prove that the apostolate in its highest reach does not depend on words. In heaven the SEraphim and the Cherubim and Thrones gaze unceasingly upon the Eternal Trintitym without so much as glancing at the world of nothingness; and nevertheless it is though them that pass the strength and light and love which the heavenly messengers in the lower hierarchies distribute to us on earth. Thus, O magdalen, through thou clingest ever to the sacred feet which are now not denied to thy love, and thy life is unreservedly absorbed with Christ in God, thou seemest more than any other to be always saying to us:
If ye be risen with Christ, seek the things that are above; where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth.
( Col. iii I,2)
O thou, whose choice, so highly approved by our Lord, had revealed to the world the better part, obtain that that portion may be ever appreciated in the Church as the better - viz., that divine contemplation which begins here on earth the life of heaven, and which in its fruitful repose is the source of all the graces spread by the active ministry throughout the world. Death itself does not take away that portion, but assures its possession for ever, and makes it blossom into the full, direct vision. May he that has received it from the gratuitous goodness of God never strive to dispossess himself of it! 'Happy house,' says the devout St. Bernard, 'blessed assembly, where Martha complains of Mary! But how indignant we should be if Mary were jealous of Martha!' ( Bern .Sermo iii in Assumpt B.V.M.) And St. Jude tells us the awful judgment of the angels who kept not their principality, the familiar friends of God who forsook their own habitation. ( St. Jude 6) Keep up in religious families established by their fathers on heights that touch the clouds the sense of their inborn nobility; they are not made for the dust and noise of the plain: and did they come down to it, they would injure both the Church and themselves. By remaining what they are, they do not, any more than thou, O Magdalen, become indifferent to the lost sheep; but they take the surest of all means for purifying the earth and drawing souls to God.
From thy church at Vezelay thou didst look down one day upon a vast multitude eagerly receiving the cross; they were about to undertake that immortal Crusade, not the least glory whereof is to have supernaturalized the sentiments of honour in the hearts of those Christian warriors armed for the defense of the holy Sepulchre. A similar lesson was given to the world at the beginning of last century; Napoleon, intoxicated with power, would raise to himself and his army a Temple of glory; before the building was completed he was swpt away, and the temple was dedicated to thee. O Mary! bless this last homage of hy beloved France, whose people and princes have always surrounded with deepest veneration thy hallowed retreat at Sainte Baume, and thy church Saint Maximin, where rest thy precious relics. In return, teach them and teach us all, that the only true and lasting glory is to follow saying: Go my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to My Father, and to your Father, to My God and to your God!
During the difference seasons of the year Holy Church inserts in their proper places, as so many precious pearls, the various passages of the Gospel relating to St, Mary Magdalen; for the particulars of her life after the Ascension we are referred to the feast of her sister, St. Martha, which we shall keep in a week's time.
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!
40 Martyrs of Sebaste
A blessed second week of Easter to you all! Last year we hosted a special 50 days of Easter series
that we hope you will still enjoy reading from our blog post archives. Today's post continues one with our Easter theme.Anecdotes and Examples
By: Rev. Francis Spirago Imprimatur 1908Q. On what day did Christ rise from the dead?A. Christ rose from the dead, glorious and immortal on Easter Sunday, the third day after His death.
THE PASCHAL CONTROVERSY
The first Easter Sunday fell on the 26th of March, the year 782 A.U.C. or 29 A.D. The early Christian Church was much disturbed by the controversy as to what day was the proper one on which to celebrate the Easter festival. The dispute was waged between the JEwish converts who constituted the church in Asia Minor, on the one hand, and the rest of the Christian world, on the other. The former celebrated the crucifixion on the 14th of the month Nisan, and the resurrection on the third day following. The consequence was that Easter was oftenest celebrated on a week day. In the rest of Christendom the custom was to celebrate the resurrection always on Sunday, and the death of Our Lord on the preceding Friday. The controversy lasted centuries, and though attempts to settle it were made by Popes Anicetus (157-168) and Victor (191-201) it was not until the Council of Nicaea (325) that the western custom was adopted by all.Q. How long did Christ stay on earth after His resurrection?A. Christ stayed on earth forty days after His resurrection, to show that He was truly risen from the dead, and to instruct His apostles.THE FORTY MARTYRS
The number forty has been rendered sacred in various ways. The chosen people wandered forty years in the desert; Moses spent forty days on Mount Sinai; Elias traced forty days to Mount Horeb, and Our Lord fasted forty days in the wilderness. In one of the Roman legions were forty young Christian soldiers remarkable for their piety and courage. One day when the legion was being hard pressed by the enemy and was half dead from heat and thirst, these young men prayed God for aid, and immediately a thunder-storm broke out of a clear sky, the rain refreshing their fellow-sodiers, and the thunder and lightning putting the enemy to flight. Soon afterward the "Thundering Legion" was ordered on duty at a pagan religious service, and the forty Christians, for refusing to attend, were stripped and bound and laid side by side on a frozen lake. Night and day they prayed that all might persevere and preserve their number forty intact, but in the middle of the night the soldier on guard saw an angel come down with thirty-nine crowns, and at the same moment one of the suffers rolled himself over and into a hot bath which their torturers had kept handy for any who should yield. Immediately the pagan guard threw down his arms, stripped off his clothes, and announcing himself a Christian, lay down and perished with the others. Thus was their prayer answered, for the fortieth crown too had a claimant.READ MORE ABOUT THE 40 MARTYRS
FROM DOM GUERANGER'S LITURGICAL YEAR
"We should reflect that the resurrection of Christ is an assured pledge of our own, and that our body, if we have laboured to sanctify it here below, will one day participate in the qualities of the glorified body of Jesus Christ." -Grou.
A blessed and most holy Easter to you all! We pray that your Easter Sunday was as beautiful as ours was warm and bright. God graced us with the most beautiful sunshine on the day dedicated to His Son! Typically in Oregon it rains EVERY year, but not this year, God is good!
We also pray that your Holy Week devotions are starting to show their fruits and that Easter JOY is upon you all. Last year on our blog we hosted a series of Easter posts, we would like to encourage you to read those again this year over at our 50 Days of Easter
. A Resurrection Coloring
page may also be printed for our littlest readers, and Easter Holy Cards
here to be printed and laminated. We pray your Easter week is a blessed one!
From Catholic Life
- Imprimatur 1908
This is the Christian Pasch, or Passover. The Jewish Passover commemorated their passage out of Egypt, and their deliverance from its slavery, of Egypt, and their deliverance from its slavery, and so was a type. Jesus Christ at His Resurrection passed from death to life, and by this passage triumphed over the powers of hell, rescued us from their tyranny and from eternal death, and opened a passage for us to eternal life. At that time "Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome brought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came to the sepulcher, and sun being now risen. And they said one to another: Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulcher? And looking, they saw the stone rolled back. For it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side clothed with a white robe; and they were astonished. Who saith to them: Be not affrighted; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified: He is risen, He is not here, behold the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, that He goeth before you into Galilee: there you shall see Him, as He told you.'*
To celebrate this festival with due dispositions, we ought with joy and gratitude to adore Jesus Christ in His immortal state, and to rise with Him, by entering as He did upon a new life, so as never more to die by relapsing into sin, and to persevere in the practice of virtue and good works. We may know if we have entered on this new life- if we are at peace with God; if we love whatever leads to Him, such as prayer, reading good books, hearing the word of God, and assisting devoutly at Mass and other devotions. As we hope, too, that the Last Day our bodies will rise and partake of the privileges of our Lord's glorious body, so we should respect our bodies, resist evil passions, and not use the members of our body for sinful purposes, but for the practice of good works. "We, Lord, with faithful heart and cheerful voice, On this Thy glorious rising day rejoice: O Thou! Whose conq'ring power o'er came the grave, By thy victorious grace us, sinners, save."
* Mark xvi. 1-7
Lamoriciére's name stands prominently in the military history of France in the nineteenth century. His early intercourse with certain students of the Polytechnic School, and his almost constant engagement in warfare, dimmed for a time the lustre of the lofty Catholic principles instilled into him by a pious father. It is true he never lost his faith, but the smoke of the battle-field sometimes concealed it from his view. A period of forced rest, in which he could count no longer on outward victories, turned his thoughts to interior conquest, and thus he left an example of spiritual bravery which, while it excites our admiration, stimulates us to imitation. One day an old colleague and friend visited him and found him bent over maps, in which he was noting with anxiety the movements of the armies to the Crimea. To keep down the curled corners of the map he had employed the books which were the usual companions of his leisure hours - a Catechism, his Prayer Book, the "Imitation," and some other pious book. The visitor could not conceal his surprise at the sight of the four silent witnesses of the General's occupation.
"Well, yes," said Lamoriceiére, "that is my occupation. I do not wish to remain like you between day and night. I like to know where I go and by what I hold; and I make no secret of it."
At an age when few seek to modify their long formed character and habits, he laboured diligently to soften and tone the asperities of his impetuous nature. Every day he became more patient, more indulgent to adversaries, and calmer under the many little annoyances with which this life is strewn. For instance, he was told that one of his best horses had broken its knees: some years before, the same matter had been made the signal for a storm, and coachman trembled to think of what was coming; but to his astonishment the General was not even impatient. In his camp-life he had learned a somewhat free and dictatorial mode of speaking, and was much addicted to swearing; but these faults entirely disappeared.
When his son died he felt it very much, and what added to his grief was the fact that he could not be present. "My God!" he exclaimed, "You send us bitter trials in this world; I beseech You to be merciful to us in the next."
Although not unexpected, Lamoriciére's death was rather sudden. He died on his knees with the crucifix pressed to his breast, and received absolution while still conscious. It would be well for the world to have many more such lives to record.
"He who exerciseth himself devoutly in the Passion of our Lord shall find abundantly all that is useful and necessary for him." - A Kempis.
Image from Wikipedia Commons
A blessed Holy Monday to you all, this will be our last post until after Lent is over and the blessed Resurrection of our Lord is upon us. We pray that you have a most holy and fruitful Holy Week and ask your prayers for our own same intentions.
The Office of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings in Holy Week is called Tenebraæ which signifies darkness), because in ancient times it was performed at midnight. In the sanctuary we notice a large triangular candlestick. The highest candle represents Jesus Christ, Who said of Himself, "I am the Light of the World," and the rest represent the Apostles and disciples, to whom He was pleased to communicate His own prerogative of being the Light of the world (Matt. v. 14). These candles are successively extinguished during the Office to represent how the Apostles fled and disappeared at the time of our Saviour's Passion. Near the end the candle representing our Lord is not extinguished, but hidden behind or under the altar to represent His death. Immediately there is profound silence to signify the horror of the Redeemer's death, followed by noise representing the earthquake and the confusion the world was in at that time.
The candlestick itself represents the Blessed Trinity, and the triangular arrangement of the candles gives us to understand that the light of truth which shone to the world from the life and doctrine of Christ and His disciples was derived from the same Blessed Trinity, and was intended to proclaim God's glory.
"The earth is darkened - rent the Temple's veil Now do the hearts of men with terror quail:
Rend Thou my heart, O God, in this dread hour; Break it with sweet contrition's holy power."
Example. - Count Elzear
The devout Count Elzear, despite the purity of his life, was blamed, calumniated, and otherwise badly treated even by his own subjects. Being asked one day by his wife Delphina how he would bear with indifference so many insults, he replied: "Whenever I receive an injury from anyone, I immediately turn away my heart to consider the great affronts that were put upon the Son of God by His own creatures, and I say to myself: Even if they were to pluck thee by the beard, or to buffet thee, what would that be in comparison with what they Divine Lord endured with so much patience? Know, moreover, that sometimes in these cases I feel great movements of anger, but then I fix my mind directly upon some corresponding injury that Jesus Christ once endured; nor do I let it wander from this consideration until I find that the inclination to anger has entirely passed away."
Links & Resources
Meditations for Lent
By: Thomas Aquinas
Fourth Monday - CHRIST BY His PASSION MERITED TO BE EXALTED
He became obedient unto death even to the death of the cross : for which cause God hath exalted him. Phil. ii. 8.
Merit is a thing which implies a certain equality of justice. Thus St. Paul says, To him that worketh the reward is reckoned according to debt (Rom. iv. 4). Now since a man who commits an injustice takes for himself more than is due to himself, it is just that he suffer loss even in what is actually due to him. If a man steals one sheep, he shall give back four as it says in Holy Scripture (Exod. xxii. i). And this is said to be merited inasmuch as in this way the man s evil will is punished. In the same way the man who acts with such justice that he take less than what is due to him, merits that more shall be generously superadded to what he has, as a kind of reward for his just will. So, for instance, the gospel tells us, He that humbleth himself shall be exalted (Luke xiv. 1 1). Now in His Passion Christ humbled himself below His dignity in four respects : (i) In respect of His Passion and His death, things which He did not owe to undergo. (ii) In respect to places, for His body was placed in a grave and his soul in hell. (iii) In respect to the confusion and shame that He endured. (iv) In respect to His being delivered over to human authority, as He said Himself to Pilate, Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above (John xix. n).
Therefore, on account of His Passion, He merited a fourfold exaltation. (i) A glorious resurrection. It is said in the Psalm (Ps. cxxxviii. i), Thou hast known my sitting down, that is, the humiliation of my Passion, and my rising up. (ii) An ascension into heaven. Whence it is said, He descended first into the lower parts of the earth : He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens (Eph. iv. 9, 10). (iii) To be seated at the right hand of the Father, with His divinity made manifest. Isaias says, He shall be exalted, and extolled, and shall be exceeding high. As many have been astonished at thee, so shall his visage be inglorious among men, and St. Paul says, He became obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God hath exalted him and hath given him a name which is above all names (Phil. ii. 8, 9), that is to say, He shall be named God by all, and all shall pay Him reverence as God. And this is why St. Paul adds, That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth (ibid. x). (iv) A power of judgment. For it is said, Thy cause hath been judged as that of the wicked. Cause and judgment thou shalt recover (Job xxxvi. 17). (3. 49. 6.)
St. Elizabeth of Hungary
St. Rose of Lima
Our friends over at Crusader's for Christ
have added some new Saint's outfits for dolls to their site. Their daughter, a fellow Catholic homeschooler, is making these at home as a little business. We just had to share her beautiful work with you! They just put up their St. Elizabeth of Hungary doll outfit today and last week the St. Rose of Lima. At the end of last year we shared with you the St. Lucia outfit. These would make such cute gifts for Easter baskets, birthdays and Christmas. Hop on over to Bella's Boutique a
nd take a closer look.
Praying that you all are having a blessed and fruitful Lenten season, God bless!
(C) Sanctus Simplicitus
Our "little" project is growing! We continue to add to our Life of our Savior
and Life of the Soul pages
weekly. There are many, many coloring pages with many more to come. Next week we should have several coloring pages on Our Lord's passion and death with some on Easter to follow. We also added a coloring page for Ash Wednesday on our Lent page
. Make sure to check them all out and keep coming back to see what is new.
March and April's children's planner pages
are also up, including some exciting news to go with them! Starting in May we will be offering a printed planner for sale for both the Maiden's for Mary and Crusader's for Christ planners. That is in addition to the Holy Simplicity planner
in which we will start taking pre-orders for PRINTED VERSIONS! Those pre-orders are expected to start late April or early May. If you have suggestions for any of these planners, things you like, would like to see changed etc. Please leave us a comment at the bottom of this blog post. We are more than happy to accommodate where we can and make these planners easier to use and the most productive for students and teachers.
We pray that you are having a wonderful week and contemplating plans for the Lenten season.