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
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.
We added a couple of new books to the All the Saint's story for Mary and her own special month, May! We were reading the intro to this one and just had to share, it was so edifying! Also there is a special sale for the month of May on all the Marian titles, get 10% off by using the coupon code MONTHMARY2013.Month of Mary- Conceived Without Sin
Translated from the French of: A. Gratry, Priest of the Oratory of the Immaculate Conception, with and Introduction by the Very Rev. E. W. Faber, D.D. of the London Oratory
With the Approbation of the Most Rev. F. P. Kenrick,
Archbishop of Baltimore.
From the Introduction: ...To all the faithful, therefore, devotion to our Blessed Mother is of supreme importance. It is not a mere beauty of Catholic worship, a graceful accessory, an exquisite adornment, or a lawful consolation. It is an essential element in all Christian piety. Without it, holiness is simply impossible. But to us in an un-catholic country devotion to Mary assumes a very peculiar importance. We are surrounded on all sides by monuments of falsehood. The air is impregnated with its poison. The daily intercourse of life becomes almost contagion of evil. Measures, weights, and standards, which are quite opposed to those of the sanctuary of God, are implied and acknowledged in the common language which we use, so that it is difficult to avoid making a material profession of an unholy faith, even when we have not such intention. The literature of our country is perpetually imbuing us with unchristian principles, the more insidiously the more the subject of it is apparently removed from religion altogether. The habitual perusal of the Protestant newspapers is itself as nearly as possible incompatible with the existence of the spirit of prayer, or with the preservation of intelligent Catholic sympathies. The very sweetest and kindliest parts of our nature are perpetually alluring us to an easy and indulgent view of that deadliest of all sins, the sin of heresy, and thus to an acquiescence in that which ought, both morally and intellectually, to be the most repulsive of all things to us, falsehood about God.
Now, devotion to Mary has been in all ages, as an historical fact, the guardian of the doctrine about Jesus...
The month of Mary devotion "is itself a visible monument of that endless development of devotion to our Blessed Lady which characterizes the life of the Church. It belongs almost to our own times. Although it is not recognized either in the Breviary or in the Missal, it has become as acknowledged a season of the Christian year as Advent or Lent. The Church has enriched it with indulgences." The venerable Grignon de Montfort tells us that the most remarkable development of devotion to our Blessed Lady is that it " is reserved for the last age of the Church, when her sufferings will have reached their height, and the triumph of the world will seem to be most complete. He tells us that God has reserved for those days saints of almost unparalleled grandeur, whose distinguishing characteristic will be their devouring zeal for Mary's honor."
This devotional book is composed of 31 meditations that are profound and sure to inspire new love of our Blessed Mother.TO PURCHASE YOUR COPY OF MONTH OF MARY AND SEE MORE WONDERFUL BOOKS ON OUR LADY FOR THE MONTH OF MAY VISIT ALL THE SAINTS BOOKS!
"You cannot think that the buckling on of the knight's armor by his lady's hand was a mere caprice of romantic fashion. It is the type of an eternal truth- that the soul's armor is never well set to the heart unless a woman's hand has braced it; and it is only when she braces it looselh that the honor of manhood fails." - Ruskin
+++ We shared this wonderful book with you all last August and it is such a wonderful title so we thought we would bump this post up. It is a great title to read in May (the month of Mary) and also makes a great Mother's Day gift, a book for the heart of every mother. +++
In a day and age where every lady dreams of her knight in shining armor and struggles to find him. When doors are not normally opened for ladies by gentleman and when women generally want to be equal with men this book is as fitting (or even more so) today as it was in 1877 when it was written.
Thomas Foley, Bishop of Chicago in 1877 said: This work is "fitted for our times. It will be of vast service to many mothers and daughters in the Church, by showing them how they may practically conform their lives to the bright pictures of womanly virtue you have so felicitously portrayed."
This wonderful book, The Mirror of True Womanhood, was written by Rev. Monsignor Bernard O'Reilly. It covers so many beautiful topics involving true womanhood with Mary as our shining example. From home-life, a woman's love, supernatural virtues, a living faith, hospitality, making our homes a paradise, biblical examples of virtuous women, stewardship, resourcefulness, spirit of charity, education of our children, childhood, building religious character, city life vs. farm life, generosity, formation of boys and girls in childhood, Christian idea of service, social duties and many, many more topics!
This book is chalk full of real life examples about woman and how they mold the men of the world and how they inspire virtue in the home. Today woman think that their power lies in working and providing an income, in making their way in the world. This book shows in so many ways how special the woman is that molds the world though the children she raises, the home that she keeps and the husband that she loves and honors.
One of the most impressive stories in this book (so far, as I haven't finished reading it yet) is about St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland. Because she was so full of virtue, love of God and charitableness she would never allow anyone to leave her table without first saying the meal prayer at the end of the meal. It was not uncommon for people to get up and leave after they were done. Instead of using her queenly authority she, in a more delicate way, provided those finished with their meal with plenty to drink until everyone had finished their meal. In this way she was able to insure that all gave their thanks to God in a most charitable manner.
There are several secular and Protestant books on the market, even a few Catholic ones, that try to show how a woman is head of the house and how she influences her family and even beyond with her womanly talents. One of the more famous biblical quotes for this sort of topic is also stated in this book: "Who shall find a valiant (brave-hearted) woman? ... The heart of her husband trusteth in her... She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands... She hath tasted and seen that her traffic is good: her lamp shall not be put out in the night... She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hands to the poor. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow." - Proverbs xxxi. This book far exceeds those other books in explanation and its so thoroughly Catholic that it would be hard for any other book to compare to this one.
Mirror of True Womanhood, is one of those books that holds its place in every Catholic home's library, as a wonderful wedding gift, a gift for any young lady, for any mother-to-be as well as one that should be read over and over again. There is true beauty in womanhood and it has its own special place. Not a place that is the same as man's but is different yet equal in importance. The same author has also written a book for men titled "True Men as We Need Them." I imagine it is equally fitting for men in our times. These two books can be found in ebook version online for free.
Download them here:Mirror of True Womanhood True Men as We Need Them
"The Rosary is the most efficacious prayer for the increase in the hearts of the faithful of devotion toward the
Mother of God." - Leo XIII
Catholic Life - Feasts, Fasts and Devotions
Printed by Washbourne
This entire month - especially the first Sunday - is devoted to honour the mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
The universal popularity of this devotion, and the wonderful graces obtained by its practice, are the best guarantees of its excellence.
The prayers of which it is made up were the favourite prayers of the Church in all ages. The mysteries commemorated make a review of what our Divine Redeemer did and suffered for us. In them we find incitement to practice the virtues most necessary for procuring eternal happiness.
It is easy to see, then, what a powerful means we have to persevere in the love of God, hatred of sin, and control of our passions. Besides, the example of Jesus and Mary encourages us, in our trials, to imitate them.
How many times has the remembrance of the nightly family Rosary of earlier years served as an anchor to a storm-tossed soul, or a shield to defend the youth forced by circumstances to face the dances of bad example or wily seductions? Those in charge of others ought to establish the recitation of the Rosary in common every night before retiring to rest. No matter how humble the home may be or how scant its comforts, the incense of family prayer will make it dear to God, and attract the protection of the Queen of Heaven. Every home thus blessed becomes a cradle of faith, a school of virtue, and a citadel of the Church against the assaults of immorality and infidelity.
"How oft, when trouble filled my breast,
Or sin my conscience pained,
Through thee I sought for peace and rest,
Through thee I peace obtained!
Then hence, in all my pain and cares,
I'll seek for help in thee,
E'er trusting, through thy powerful prayers,
To gain eternity."
Example - Gluck
Gluck, the celebrated composer, was the delicate son of very poor parents in Vienna. He had a beautiful voice, but when singing in the choir of the cathedral he took care that his singing was praying, and not an attempt to attract the attention of the audience.
One day when he had sung an anthem to Mary, in better style than usual, a monk went up to him, and said with emotion, "Oh, my son, you made me shed the most delicious tears of my life to-day. I have nothing to give you in token of my admiration but these Rosary Beads. Keep it in memory of me. Say at least a part of it every day; and if you are faithful to this practice, you will be as dear to God as you will some day be great amongst men."
Gluck was faithful to his Rosary. His family was too poor to allow him to continue his studies. It happened one evening that he was visited by a celebrated choir-master, who was commissioned to go to Italy to collect the works of Palestrina. As a result of the visit, he took the boy with him, promising to complete his instruction. Thence-forth, Gluck walked with giant strides on the path of fame, but was always faithful to his practices of piety.
At the Court of Vienna, in the midst of the evening's amusement, he - now the illustrious maestro - would disappear, and, like a priest for his Office, seek solitude to say his Rosary.
When death, after a glorious life, came to strike him down, it found him prepared. He held in his hand the Beads presented to him in his youthful days by the pious monk.
We are happy to announce the winners of this month's book give -a- way! Make sure to keep checking back as we have a special give -a- way in store for November!
Please email your mailing address in order to claim you prize, all addresses must be in by Friday October 12th 2012 Noon PST in order to receive your prize.
Winner's of the Guardian Angel Book Give -a- Way!
Erin and Elise!
Winners of the Rosary Books Give -a- Way!
Rhonda S Lynch
"Mary in Hebrew signifies lady or sovereign: and truly the authority of her Son, who is the Lord of the world, constituted her Queen, both in fact and in name, from her very birth." -St. Peter Chrys.
The Liturgical Year
By: Dom Gueranger
Time After Pentecost V
FEAST OF THE MOST HOLY NAME OF MARY
'And the Virgin's name was Mary. (St. Luke, i. 27.) Let us speak a little about this name, which signifies star of the the sea, and which so well befits the Virgin Mother. Rightly is she likened to a star: for as a star emits its ray wthout being dimmed so the Virgin brought forth her Son without receiving any injury; the ray akes nought from the brightness of the star, nor the Son from His Mother's integrity. This is the noble star risen out of Jacob, whose ray illumines the whole world, whose splendour shines in the heavens, penetrates the abyss, and, traversing the whole earth, gives warmth rather to souls than to bodies, cherishing virtues, withering vices. Mary, I say, is that bright and incomparable star, whome we need to see raised above this vast sea, shining by her merits, and giving us light by her example.
Oh! whosoever thou art that seest thyself, amid the tides of this world, tossed about by storms and tempests rather than walking on the land, turn not thine eyes away from the shining of this star if thou wouldst not be overhwlemed by the hurricane. If squalls of temptations arise, or thou fall upon the rocks of tribulation, look to the star, call upon Mary. If thou art tossed by the wavese of pride or ambition, detraction or envy, look to the star, call upon Mary. If anger or avarice or the desires of the felsh dash against the ship of thy soul, turn thine eyes towards Mary. If, troubled by the enormity of thy crimes, ashamed of thy guilty conscience, terrified by dread of the judgment thou beginnest to sink into the gulf of sadness or the abyss of despair, think of Mary. In dangers, in anguish, in doubt, thnk of Mary, call upon Mary. Let her be ever on thy lips, ever in thy heart; and the better to obtain the helpp of her prayers, innitate the example of her life. Following her, thou strayest not; incoking her, thou desparest not' thinking of her, thou wanderest not' upheld by her, thou fallest not shielded by her, thou Following her, thou strayest not' invoking her, thou despairest not' thinking of her, thou anderest not' upheld by her, thou fallest not' shielded by her, thou fearest not; guided by her, thou growest not weary; favoured by her, thou reachest the goal. And thus dost thou experience in thyself how good is that saying; And the Virgin's name was Mary.' (Lessons of the 2nd nocturn of the feast)
Thus speaks the devout St. Bernard, in the name of the Church. But his pious explaination does not exhaust the meanings of this blessed name of Mary. St. Peter Chrysologus adds in this same night Office: 'Mary in Hebrew signifies lady or sovereign; and truly the authority of her Son, who is the Lord of the world, constituted her Queen, both in fact and in name, from her very birth.' (Peter Chyrs. Sermon cxlii, de Annuntiat).
Our Lady: such is the title which befits her in every way, as that of OUR LORD beseems her Son' it is the doctrinal basis of that worship of hyperdulia which belongs to her alone. She is below her Son, whom she adores as we do' but above all God's servants, both angels and men, inasmuch as she is His Mother. At the name of Jesus ever knee is bent' at the name of Mary every head is bowed. And although the former is the only name whereby we may be saved yet, as the Son can never be separated from His Mother, heaven unites their two names in its hymns of praise, earth in its confidence, hell in its fear and hatred.
It was therefore in the order of divine Providence that devotion to the most holy name of Mary should spread simultaneously with the cultus of the adorable name of Jesus, of which St. Bernadin of Siena was the apostle in the fifteenth century. In 1513 the Church of Cuenca in Spain was the first to celebrate, with the approbation of the Holy See, a special feast in honour of the name of Mary, while the Franciscan Order had not yet succeeded in obtaining a like privilege for the adorable name of Jesus. The reason of this is that the memory of that sacred name included the in the feast of the Circumcision, seemed to the prudence of the Pontiffs to suffice. From the same motive we findthe feast of the most holy name of Mary extended to the universal Church in the year 1683, and that of the most holy name of Jesus not until 1721.
Our Lady justifies her beautiful title y partaking in the warlike exploits of the King of kings her Son. The city of Vienna having been delivered by her, contrary to all hope, from the power of the Crescent, the venerable Innocent XI. made this feast the memorial of universal gratitude to the lieratrix of the west But we shall speak more explicitly of this glorious deliverance on September 12th, the day on which it occured.
(To be continued).......