Christianity

…If there be any virtue,if any praise of discipline, think on these things

Posted on March 22, 2009. Filed under: Benedict of Nursia, Catholicism, Christianity, Epistle to the Philippians, Religion and Spirituality, United Kingdom |

Douay-Rheims Bible Philippians 4:8
For the rest, brethren,
whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever modest,
whatsoever just,
whatsoever holy,
whatsoever lovely,
whatsoever of good fame,
if there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things.
+++

Happy Feast of St. Benedict to the
Congregation of Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, of Monmarte
Tyburn Convent UK

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To arrive at the beginning and the first cause – St Pio Daily

Posted on February 25, 2009. Filed under: Christianity, Jesus, Pietrelcina, San Giovanni Rotondo |

http://www.sspx.ca/Communicantes/Oct2002/Frenc...Image via Wikipedia

“Certain sorrows are not consoled naturally […]. Therefore, it is necessary to raise oneself higher, to arrive at the beginning and the first cause of our suffering. Now, the cause and beginning of our sufferings is Jesus Whom we have chosen for our portion; He is the health of souls, for whom we have explicitly immolated ourselves to the justice of God. […]. To us then, there remains nothing else than the eternal Will which thus disposes.” – St Pio

www.airmaria.com

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Remembering St. Robert Southwell

Posted on February 22, 2009. Filed under: Christianity, England, London, Religion and Spirituality, Southwell, United States |

Da Mihi Animas: The Martyrs Walk: Remembering St. Robert Southwell

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In What Way, and For What Reason, the Will of God Permits This and That

Posted on February 18, 2009. Filed under: Catholicism, Christianity, Divine Providence |

HELIOTROPIUM :Conformity of the Human Will to the Divine

By FATHER JEREMIAS DREXELIUS
excerpt from Book One:Chapter Two:
In What Way, and For What Reason, the Will of God Permits This and That
2. Never certainly would such infinite Goodness permit so great wickedness in the world, unless it could thence produce greater good, and turn to salvation things which were devised for destruction. God permitted the jealousy of his brethren to exercise its malice against innocent Joseph; but with how great good was this Permission, not merely to his parents and brethren, but to the whole land of Egypt! God permitted guiltless David to be harassed with the most cruel injuries by wicked Saul, but it was to the greatest advantage of David himself and the entire kingdom of Israel. God permitted Daniel, most unjustly accused, to be cast into the den of lions, but it was to his own great good and that of many others. But why do I mention such as these? God permitted His Own Son to be crucified by murderers, but His Permission was for the ineffable good of the whole human race. And so from every Divine Permission there flow the greatest increase to the Divine Glory, and the richest blessings to the human race. Hence the Goodness of God and His Mercy, hence His Bounty and Power, hence His Providence, hence his Wisdom and Justice shine forth in a way which is altogether wonderful. Hence it is that the courage of many grows, the contest thickens, rewards are multiplied, and crowns of victory are increased.
And how worthy of wonder does Divine Providence show itself in these daily Permissions! For what great thing is it if you have produced good from good? But it is great indeed if you produce good from evil. Anyone can be a pilot in a calm sea, as the saying is. It requires no great skill, when the wind is favorable, the ship stout, the sea calm, the stars shining brightly, and the rowers well-used to their work, to reach the harbor already in sight; but when the winds are raging, the ship dismantled, the sky thundering, pirates lurking around, the rowers unskilled in their work, and the stars hidden from sight, still to reach the wished-for harbor, this in truth is a feat to be admired in a pilot. And such is God in His Permissions. By means of seeming contraries He conducts to a happy end. By means of so many sins of men he advances His Own Glory. In such an accumulation of wickedness He causes His Own dear ones to shine the more conspicuously. Under God’s guidance, acts of fraud turn to the advantage of the person who has been deceived; vexations and injuries add strength to the vexed; the wickedness of so many abandoned men strengthens the piety of others, and preserves them from perishing; and where many are thought to be utterly swallowed up they emerge again. The dungeon and chains opened for Joseph the way to an exalted throne of dignity; the envy of his brethren was of more service to him than the kindness of all the world besides. The treachery of Saul conferred on David a kingly crown. The den of lions raised Daniel higher than any courtiers or kings could have done. From the Cross Christ passed to Paradise; from Olivet He ascended to the Throne with the Father. But if God did not permit sins, and did not ordain what He permitted, and did not by His Ordinance turn them into good, we should have difficulty in recognizing the avenging Justice of God. But in this way we are taught lessons of deeper wisdom, and are constrained to confess a most wonderful order and connection of causes, by which so many blessings emerge at length from evils of such magnitude. There are, therefore, manifold causes for the Divine Permission. And this was the second point.
****

HELIOTROPIUM: CONFORMITY TO THE DIVINE WILL, Fr. Jeremias Drexelius

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Prayers for His Holiness: pass the word… 7 Penitential Psalms & Litany of the Saints

Posted on February 14, 2009. Filed under: Catholicism, Christianity, Pope, Pope Benedict, Pope Benedict XVI, Prayer and Spirituality, Religion and Spirituality |

First Friday Prayers for His Holiness: pass the word…

“The Holy Father asks to be joined by the prayers of all the faithful, so that the Lord may enlighten the path of the Church. May the effort of the Pastors and of all the faithful increase in support of the delicate and burdensome mission of the Successor of Apostle Peter as «custodian of the unity» in the Church”.

*****

7 Penitential Psalms Latin & English

http://www.fisheaters.com/7penitentialpsalms.html

The Seven Penitential Psalms: Psalms 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129 and 142

To download these Psalms in Microsoft Word format (10 pages),

in both English and Latin, with Antiphons and Glorias, click here

Litany of the Saints

Litany of the Saints (3 pages): English Latin

To download an mp3 of this litany prayed in Latin, right click here

Novena of Prayer for Pope Benedict XVI

*****

Sources:

Fisheaters, http://www.fisheaters.com/downloads.html

Hermenuetic of Continuity http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/2009/02/novena-of-prayer-for-pope-benedict.html

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The Smile of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes March 3, 1858

Posted on February 14, 2009. Filed under: Christianity, Immaculate Conception, Jesus, Lourdes, Mary, Pope Benedict XVI, Virgin Mary |

LOURDES, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15:  Pope Benedict...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

excerpt from Le sourire de la Vierge – Vultus Christi

from the Homily of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Esplanade in front of the Basilica of Notre-Dame du Rosaire, Lourdes
Monday, 15 September 2008

Seeking the Smile of the Virgin Mary
The psalmist, seeing from afar this maternal bond which unites the Mother of Christ with the people of faith, prophesies regarding the Virgin Mary that “the richest of the people … will seek your smile” (Ps 44:13). In this way, prompted by the inspired word of Scripture, Christians have always sought the smile of Our Lady, this smile which medieval artists were able to represent with such marvellous skill and to show to advantage. This smile of Mary is for all; but it is directed quite particularly to those who suffer, so that they can find comfort and solace therein. To seek Mary’s smile is not an act of devotional or outmoded sentimentality, but rather the proper expression of the living and profoundly human relationship which binds us to her whom Christ gave us as our Mother.

Contemplating the Smile of the Virgin
To wish to contemplate this smile of the Virgin, does not mean letting oneself be led by an uncontrolled imagination. Scripture itself discloses it to us through the lips of Mary when she sings the Magnificat: “My soul glorifies the Lord, my spirit exults in God my Saviour” (Lk 1:46-47). When the Virgin Mary gives thanks to the Lord, she calls us to witness. Mary shares, as if by anticipation, with us, her future children, the joy that dwells in her heart, so that it can become ours. Every time we recite the Magnificat, we become witnesses of her smile.

Here in Lourdes, in the course of the apparition of Wednesday 3 March 1858, Bernadette contemplated this smile of Mary in a most particular way. It was the first response that the Beautiful Lady gave to the young visionary who wanted to know who she was. Before introducing herself, some days later, as “the Immaculate Conception”, Mary first taught Bernadette to know her smile, this being the most appropriate point of entry into the revelation of her mystery.

Turn Towards Mary
In the smile of the most eminent of all creatures, looking down on us, is reflected our dignity as children of God, that dignity which never abandons the sick person. This smile, a true reflection of God’s tenderness, is the source of an invincible hope. Unfortunately we know only too well: the endurance of suffering can upset life’s most stable equilibrium; it can shake the firmest foundations of confidence, and sometimes even leads people to despair of the meaning and value of life. There are struggles that we cannot sustain alone, without the help of divine grace. When speech can no longer find the right words, the need arises for a loving presence: we seek then the closeness not only of those who share the same blood or are linked to us by friendship, but also the closeness of those who are intimately bound to us by faith. Who could be more intimate to us than Christ and his holy Mother, the Immaculate One? More than any others, they are capable of understanding us and grasping how hard we have to fight against evil and suffering. The Letter to the Hebrews says of Christ that he “is not unable to sympathize with our weaknesses; for in every respect he has been tempted as we are” (cf. Heb 4:15). I would like to say, humbly, to those who suffer and to those who struggle and are tempted to turn their backs on life: turn towards Mary! Within the smile of the Virgin lies mysteriously hidden the strength to fight against sickness and for life. With her, equally, is found the grace to accept without fear or bitterness to leave this world at the hour chosen by God.

Gaze Frequently Into the Eyes of the Virgin Mary
How true was the insight of that great French spiritual writer, Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, who in L’ âme de tout apostolat, proposed to the devout Christian to gaze frequently “into the eyes of the Virgin Mary”! Yes, to seek the smile of the Virgin Mary is not a pious infantilism, it is the aspiration, as Psalm 44 says, of those who are “the richest of the people” (verse 13). “The richest”, that is to say, in the order of faith, those who have attained the highest degree of spiritual maturity and know precisely how to acknowledge their weakness and their poverty before God. In the very simple manifestation of tenderness that we call a smile, we grasp that our sole wealth is the love God bears us, which passes through the heart of her who became our Mother. To seek this smile, is first of all to have grasped the gratuitousness of love; it is also to be able to elicit this smile through our efforts to live according to the word of her Beloved Son, just as a child seeks to elicit its mother’s smile by doing what pleases her. And we know what pleases Mary, thanks to the words she spoke to the servants at Cana: “Do whatever he tells you” (cf. Jn 2:5).

Maria, Fons Amoris
Mary’s smile is a spring of living water. “He who believes in me”, says Jesus, “out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water” (Jn 7:38). Mary is the one who believed and, from her womb, rivers of living water have flowed forth to irrigate human history. The spring that Mary pointed out to Bernadette here in Lourdes is the humble sign of this spiritual reality. From her believing heart, from her maternal heart, flows living water which purifies and heals. By immersing themselves in the baths at Lourdes, so many people have discovered and experienced the gentle maternal love of the Virgin Mary, becoming attached to her in order to bind themselves more closely to the Lord! In the liturgical sequence of this feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, Mary is honoured with the title of Fons amoris, “fount of love”. From Mary’s heart, there springs up a gratuitous love which calls forth a response of filial love, called to ever greater refinement. Like every mother, and better than every mother, Mary is the teacher of love. That is why so many sick people come here to Lourdes, to quench their thirst at the “spring of love” and to let themselves be led to the sole source of salvation, her son Jesus the Saviour.
*****
Interesting to me that my birthday is 3 March. Until blogging this post I never realized that the smile of the Immaculate that St. Bernadette received was on the 3rd of March. I also know the Rosary Novena of Our Lady of Pompeii has the date of 3 March.

I am very grateful for the love of the Immaculata, Mother of the Church and our Mother.
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Pope Benedict XVI in Lourdes 2008

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Reading – Weekend of 13 February 2009 – 16 February 2009

Posted on February 14, 2009. Filed under: Catholicism, Christianity, Divine grace, Divine Will, Eternal Word Television Network, love, Pope Benedict XVI. Prayer, St. Gaspar |

*The Black Biretta: EWTN is in and with the REAL Church

*HELIOTROPIUM: CONFORMITY TO THE DIVINE WILL, Fr. Jeremias Drexelius

Prayer for Conformity To The Will Of God

O Lord Almighty, Who permittest evil in order to draw good therefrom, hear our humble prayers, and grant that we remain faithful to Thee unto death. Grant us also, through the intercession of Most Holy Mary, the strength ever to conform ourselves to Thy Most Holy Will.

On Devotion to the Precious Blood
***Image:

Pluscarden Abbey, Scotlandhttp://www.pluscardenabbey.org/monasticism.asp

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16th World Day of the Sick- message of Pope Benedict XVI

Posted on February 13, 2009. Filed under: Christianity, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion and Spirituality |

Message for World Day of the Sick

VATICAN CITY, JAN. 22, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Pain is the door by which the faithful can enter into the mystery of redemption, and reach with Christ peace and happiness, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this in his message for the 16th World Day of the Sick, to be celebrated on the diocesan level Feb. 11, which has as its theme “The Eucharist, Lourdes and Pastoral Care for the Sick”

The Holy Father said the theme connects three events of the Church — the World Day of the Sick, the 150th anniversary of the Marian apparitions at Lourdes, and the celebration of the International Eucharistic Congress, to be held Jun 15-22 in Quebec City.

By contemplating the mystery of the Eucharist in connection with the World Day of the Sick, said the Pontiff, “not only will the actual participation of human suffering in the salvific work of God be celebrated, but the valuable fruits promised to those who believe can in a certain sense be enjoyed.”

“Thus pain,” he added, “received with faith, becomes the door by which to enter the mystery of the redemptive suffering of Jesus and to reach with him the peace and the happiness of his resurrection.”

He also said that reflecting on the three events is “a remarkable opportunity to consider the close connection that exists between the mystery of the Eucharist, the role of Mary in the project of salvation and the reality of human pain and suffering.”

Fiat

“Mary is a model of total self-abandonment to the will of God,” he said. “To reflect upon the Immaculate Conception of Mary is thus to allow oneself to be attracted by the ‘yes’ that joined her wonderfully to the mission of Christ, the redeemer of humanity.

“It is to allow oneself to be taken and led by her hand to pronounce in one’s turn ‘fiat’ to the will of God, with all one’s existence interwoven with joys and sadness, hopes and disappointments, in the awareness that tribulations, pain and suffering make rich the meaning of our pilgrimage on earth.”

“One cannot contemplate Mary without being attracted by Christ,” continued Benedict XVI, “and one cannot look at Christ without immediately perceiving the presence of Mary. There is an indissoluble link between the Mother and the Son, generated in her womb by work of the Holy Spirit, and this link we perceive, in a mysterious way, in the sacrament of the Eucharist.”

Mary is a “woman of the Eucharist,” noted the Pope, explaining that this why at Lourdes the devotion to the Virgin Mother “is joined to a strong and constant reference” to the sacrament.

The Pontiff continued: “The presence of many sick pilgrims in Lourdes, and of the volunteers who accompany them, helps us to reflect on the maternal and tender care that the Virgin expresses toward human pain and suffering.

“Mary suffers with those who are in affliction, with them she hopes, and she is their comfort, supporting them with her maternal help.”

Gift

Speaking of the International Eucharistic Congress in Canada, the Holy Father said the event “will be an opportunity to worship Jesus Christ present in the sacrament of the altar, to entrust ourselves to him as hope that does not disappoint, to receive him as that medicine of immortality which heals the body and the spirit.”

He said the theme of the congress — “The Eucharist, Gift of God for the Life of the World” — emphasizes how the Eucharist is the gift that the Father makes to the world of His only Son, incarnated and crucified.”

Benedict XVI continued: “It is specifically from the Eucharist that pastoral care in health must draw the necessary spiritual strength to come effectively to man’s aid and to help him to understand the salvific value of his own suffering.

“Mysteriously united to Christ, the man who suffers with love and meek self-abandonment to the will of God becomes a living offering for the salvation of the world.”

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St Catherine de Ricci, OP

Posted on February 13, 2009. Filed under: Catholicism, Christianity, Dominican Order, Religion and Spirituality |

St Catherine de Ricci, Virgin, Order of Preachers

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Reading Today

Posted on February 12, 2009. Filed under: Catholicism, Christianity, English language, Johansen, Liturgy, Our Lady of Lourdes, Religion and Spirituality, Sacred Music, Vigneron |

Victim souls: a perspective from Lourdes bloggingLOURDES
Père Georges David Byers, Chapelain des Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes
The Immaculate Conception is the victim soul par excellence. She had no dark nights of the senses or soul to go through, for she never had any effects of original sin or personal sin. However, by her very purity, her clarity of vision, her perfect love of God, of her Divine Son, and of the many, she witnessed the infinite gulf between God’s charity and our need. This occasioned in her the knowledge of the way she would be if she were without grace. To know this, she only had to look at her Son on the Cross. Although sinless, immaculate from the first moment of her conception, she knew that that grace only came about because of what Christ was doing on the Cross. Her sorrow was perfect. Her heart was pierced by a sword of sorrow. She saw all the sins of all men of all time in looking upon her Son of the Cross, but she also knew what she would be like. Because of this, she also knew how to thank God perfectly, how to intercede for us perfectly, as our coredemptrix. She’s not our Redeemer, but her intercession matches the grace of redemption perfectly. In this way, ever so simple, so full of love, she is our Mediatrix of all graces as she stood under the grace.

Pledge prayers by poll for the intentions of the Holy Father (closes LATE 11 February 2009)

Ideas for the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

Vigneron on LiturgyFr.Rob Johansen – Thrown Down “The single greatest problem is the tendency to turn the Liturgy into a focus on the self, rather than on God. Archbishop Vigneron believes these tendencies are misguided, because they “obscure the Christological and Trinitarian focus inherent in liturgy.”

“Liturgy”, he says, “is not entertainment, it is not self-validated. Liturgy is the experience of heaven, not something that happens to me in some sort of emotional-personal state.”
***
Suffering from chronic lack of hope – Fr. Bill Bellrose, CPM – Seminarians for Life
Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, warned (this week) that European society “has made science almighty, it has made progress a substitute for salvation and suffers a chronic lack of hope, where the culture of death gains ground everyday on the culture of life.”

On Sickness and God’s Healing Love “We Are Made for Life”– Zenit

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