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CATHOLIC
SPIRITUAL DIRECTION

Second Week of Advent

"Holy Communion is the shortest and safest way to Heaven." --Saint Pope Pius X

ON THIS PAGE:

FEAST DAY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION,  December 8th
HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION

ADVENT
SAINT OF THE DAY
Mass Readings

Spiritual Direction for Today
Our Lady of Good Remedy Prayer
Prayers for the Day
Prayer to Our Lady Untier of Knots
Litany of Saint Joseph
Ben Carson Denounces
Planned Parenthood for Racism

America's Sin of Abortion
Pray for Donald Trump
Blessings of the Rosary

Blessings of Daily Mass
Marian Prayers
Chaplet of Saint Michael
Purpose of this Web Site
Overcoming difficulties at Work/Home
Holy Water
Intercession of Two Great Popes
Prayer to the Precious Blood

PRAYER REQUESTS

 

 
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8TH IS THE FEAST DAY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY -- HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION, CHECK FOR WEDNESDAY NIGHT VIGIL MASSES AT YOUR PARISH AND FOR THURSDAY MASS TIMES

FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

DECEMBER 8TH

HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION

THE VIRGIN MARY WAS CONCEIVED WITHOUT SIN AND
REMAINED SINLESS THROUGHOUT HER LIFE

[The picture to the right is Saint Anne holding the new born baby Mary, the Mother of God.]

 The following Questions and Answers are from the book:  The Question Box, by Rev. Bertand L. Conway, C.S.P., Published by The Paulist Press, 1929.  Permissu Superiorum:  John B. Harney, C.S.P. , Superior General.  Nihil obstat:  Arthur J. Scanlan, S.T.T., Censor Librorum.   Imprimatur:  Patrick Cardinal Hayes, Archbishop, New York.

  Can you prove from the Scriptures that the Virgin Mary was miraculously conceived? Does not your doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin contradict the Scriptures, which teach that all men died in Adam (ICor. xv. 22; Cf. Rom. v. 12)?

Is this not a new teaching of your Church, first proclaimed in 1854?

    We do not believe that the Virgin Mary was miraculously conceived. Her Son was born miraculously of a virgin Mother, but she herself had a real father and a real mother, St. Joachim and St. Anne. The doctrine means that at the very first instant when her soul was infused into her body, the Virgin Mary was sanctified by God's grace, so that "her soul was never deprived of the sanctification, which all other creatures had forfeited by the sin of Adam. Her soul was never displeasing to God, because it had never been stained with original sin.

On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX defined that "the doctrine which declares that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God, and therefore must be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful" (Ineffabilis Deus).

      Rationalists and Broadchurchmen deny this dogma because they deny the existence of Original Sin, while orthodox Protestants deny it, because of their erroneous notion of Original Sin. Cardinal Newman writes:   "Our doctrine of Original Sin is not the same as the Protestant doctrine. Original Sin with us cannot be called sin, in the mere ordinary sense of the word; it is a term denoting Adam=s sin as transferred to us, or the state to which, Adam=s sin reduces his children; but by Protestants it seems to be understood as sin, in much the same sense as actual sin."

       We, with the Fathers, think of it as something negative, Protestants as something positive. Protestants hold that it is a disease, a radical change of nature, an active poison actively corrupting the soul, infecting its primary elements, and disorganizing it; and they fancy we ascribe a different nature from ours to the Blessed Virgin, different from that of her parents, and from that of fallen Adam.

    We hold nothing of the kind; we consider that in Adam she died as others; that she was included, together with the whole race, in Adam's sentence; that she incurred the debt as we do; but that for the sake of Him who was to redeem her and us upon the Cross, to her the debt was remitted by anticipation; on her the sentence was not carried out, except indeed as regards her natural death, for she died when her time came, as others.

    All this we teach, but we deny that she had Original Sin; for by Original Sin we mean, as I have already said, something negative, namely, this only, the deprivation of that supernatural, unmerited grace which Adam and Eve had on their first formationCdeprivation and the consequences of deprivation.   All this we teach, but we deny that she had Original Sin; for by Original Sin we mean, as I have already said, something negative, namely, this only, the deprivation of that supernatural, unmerited grace which Adam and Eve had on their first formationCdeprivation and the consequences of deprivation.

    Mary could not merit, any more than they, the restoration of that grace; but it was restored to her by God's free bounty from and at the very first moment of her existence, and thereby, in fact, she never came under the original curse, which consisted in the loss of it@ (Difficulties of Anglicans, ii., 48, 49).

   The Scriptures nowhere expressly teach this doctrine, but Pius IX cites two passages, from which it may be inferred, if they are considered in the light of Catholic tradition. They are: AI will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel@ (Gen. iii. 15). "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;   blessed art thou among women@ (Luke 1. 28).  Christ and His Mother are both spoken of as enemies of Satan and of sin; He, absolutely sinless as the Son of God, and she sinless, or full of grace, by God=s special prerogative and gift.

    The Blessed Virgin holds a unique position of dignity and preeminence in the writings of the early Fathers, many of whose statements would be exaggerated or untrue, had she been conceived in Original Sin. They imply her freedom from all sin by their insistence upon her perfect purity, and her position as the second Eve.

     St. Irenaeus (140-205) writes: "As Eve, becoming disobedient, became the cause of death both to herself and the whole human race, so also Mary, bearing the predestined Man, and being yet a virgin, being obedient, became both to herself and to the whole human race the cause of salvation@ (Adv. Hcer., iii., 22). The same idea is set forth by St. Justin Martyr, Tertullian, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Ephrem of Syria, St. Epiphanius, St. Jerome and others, cited by Cardinal Newman in his letter to Dr. Pusey (Cf. Harper, The Immaculate Conception, 43-59). Of all the, testimonies that might be given, St. Ephrem=s (306- 373) words of praise can only mean that Mary was immaculately conceived. He says that Ashe was as innocent as Eve before her fall, a Virgin most estranged from every stain of sin, more holy than the Seraphim, the sealed fountain of the Holy Ghost, the pure seed of God, ever in body and in mind intact and immaculate@ (Carmine Nisibena, first discovered and published in 1866).

Bibliography:   Harper, The Immaculate Conception; Kellner, The Christian Festivals; Livius, The Blessed Virgin in the Fathers;  Newman, Letter to Dr. Pusey;  Pohle, Mariology; Rickaby, The Lord My Light, 223-231;  Storf, The Immaculate Conception; Ullathorne, The Immaculate Conception; Vacandard, Etudes de Critique, iii., 215.  C. E. vii. 674-681.CD.   Oct., 1893.CD. T. vi. 846-1218.CI. T. Oct., 1918.C.R. A. vi. 766-844.CR. C. i. 173; viii. 276.

ALSO SEE:

THE BIRTH OF THE VIRGIN MARY FROM THE VISIONS OF BLESSED ANNE CATHERINE EMMERICH

 

PRAYER TO IMMACULATE MARY
(By Blessed Father Annibale Di Francia.)

 Give me the grace to annihilate my will 
before the Will of Your Divine Son 
so that the Will of Your Divine Son be mine. 
Kindle my heart with Divine Love! 
See to it that the purest flame of God's Love 
penetrate deeply in my spirit 
and rout out my selfishness. 
Give me a tender devotion to the Blessed Sacrament 
and Your holy Love in order that 
I love You as You deserve. 
Help me detach perfectly from everything, 
creatures, and myself, 
renouncing myself and everything to live only in God. 
My tender Mother, 
obtain for me a deep humility from God, 
internal and external humility, 
a deep knowledge of myself, 
and a spirit of mortification 
so that I humble myself before God and creatures. 
Help me to have contempt and humiliations loved, 
but myself despised. 
Mirror of humility 
grant me the virtue of humility and obedience. 
Grant me the virtue of meekness and sweetness 
so that I treat people with kindness, 
especially when I meet the ones 
against whom I feel repugnance. 
Give me a simple, merry, sweet, 
gentle, kind, benign, compassionate, 
humble and meek heart. 
Impetrate for me a profound contrition 
and intimate sorrow to make my heart bleed 
for my offenses against Your Divine Son. 
Grant me a spirit of holy prayer, 
the grace of meditating upon the sublime truths of faith, 
especially the Passion of Jesus and Your sorrows. 
Give me the grace of praying in the occasions of sin.
Grant me a holy recollection, 
the grace of being aware of Your holy presence, 
and the virtue of silence. 
Grant me from God the holy virtue 
of spiritual and bodily purity; 
as well as purity of conscience through humble, 
frequent, and sincere confession, 
for the greater glory of God. 
Obtain for me a heroic faith along with a loving, 
filial confidence in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus 
and in Your Motherly affection.
Grant me fervent zeal for the glory of God 
and the salvation of souls, 
letting me perform the duties of my priestly ministry perfectly. 
See to it that I celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass 
and recite the Holy Canonical Hours 
with deep recollection and intimate devotion. 
My tender Mother, 
give me the virtue of fortitude to prevail over myself 
through internal and external mortification. 
O valiant Lady, 
you have conquered hell. 
Give me strength to triumph over the devil, 
the world, and the flesh. 
You are our life and hope, 
please grant me holy, 
final perseverance in the grace of Your Divine Son. 
See to it that I live and die saintly, 
and love You in Paradise forever. 
Amen.

______________



The Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Bernadette in 1858 and declared that she was the Immaculate Conception.


 

PICTURE OF SAINT BERNADETTE, [PICTURE ABOVE TAKEN WHILE SHE WAS LIVING]

 

 

 

[PICTURE AT RIGHT SHOWS HER BODY IN HER COFFIN IN INCORRUPT STATE.]

 

 

YOU TUBE MOVIE:  SONG OF BERNADETTE (THE VIRGIN MARY APPEARS TO SAINT BERNADETTE AT LOURDES GROTTO IN FRANCE:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HucJrglwy6E&list=PLaFyC84TKYHIfGWexV5HBYXE2foYqlBh2

 

 

 

ADVENT

From Catholic Encylopedia:

According to present  usage, Advent is a period beginning with the Sunday nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (30 November) and embracing four Sundays. The first Sunday may be as early as 27 November, and then Advent has twenty-eight days, or as late as 3 December, giving the season only twenty-one days.

With Advent the ecclesiastical year begins in the Western churches. During this time the faithful

During Advent:

1) Attend Mass often.

2) Pray.  Pray the Rosary,  Pray to the Holy Saints of God and to the Blessed Mother.

3) Go to Confession.  Forgive the sins of other.

4) Do good works to help others, especially the poor.

 

Works of Mercy

The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy are actions we can perform that extend God’s compassion and mercy to those in need.

Corporal Works of Mercy

The Corporal Works of Mercy are these kind acts by which we help our neighbors with their material and physical needs.

feed the hungry
shelter the homeless
clothe the naked
visit the sick and imprisoned
bury the dead
give alms to the poor


Spiritual Works of Mercy

The Spiritual Works of Mercy are acts of compassion, as listed below, by which we help our neighbors with their emotional and spiritual needs.

instruct
advise
console
comfort
forgive
bear wrongs patiently

 

 

ADVENT PRAYER

Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me a wonder at the wisdom and power of Your Father and ours.
Receive my prayer as part of my service of the Lord
who enlists me in God's own work for justice.

Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me a hunger for peace: peace in the world,
peace in my home, peace in myself.

Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me a joy responsive to the Father's joy.
I seek His will so I can serve with gladness, singing and love.

Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me the joy and love and peace
it is right to bring to the manger of my Lord.
Raise in me, too,
sober reverence for the God who acted there,
hearty gratitude for the life begun there,
and spirited resolution to serve the Father and Son.

I pray in the name of Jesus Christ,
whose advent I hail.

Amen.

 

 
 

SAINT OF THE DAY

ST. AMBROSE, BISHOP.

FEAST DAY:  DECEMBER 7TH.

[The following is from the book:  PICTORIAL LIVES OF THE SAINTS, COMPILED FROM "BUTLER'S LIVES" AND OTHER APPROVED SOURCES. BENZIGER BROTHERS, PRINTERS TO THE HOLY APOSTOLIC SEE.]

AMBROSE was of a noble family, and was governor of Milan AM. 374, when a bishop was to be chosen for that great see. As the Arian heretics were many and fierce, he was present to preserve order during the election. Though only a catechumen, it was the will of God that he should himself be chosen by acclamation; and, in spite of his utmost resistance, he was baptised and consecrated. He was unwearied in every duty of a pastor, full of sympathy and charity, gentle and condescending in things indifferent, but inflexible in matters of principle. He showed his fearless zeal in braving the anger of the Empress Justina, by resisting and foiling her impious attempt to give one of the churches of Milan to the Arians, and by rebuking and leading to penance the really great Emperor Theodosius, who in a moment of irritation had punished most cruelly a sedition of the inhabitants of Thessalonica. He was the friend and consoler of St. Monica in all her sorrows, and in 387 he had the joy of admitting to the Church her son, St. Augustine. St. Ambrose died A.D. 397, full of years and of honors, and is revered by the Church of God as one of her greatest doctors.


REFLECTION.—Whence came to St. Ambrose his grandeur of  mind, his clearness of insight, his intrepidity in maintaining the faith and discipline of the Church? Whence but from his contempt of the world, from his fearing God alone ?

INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Ask Saint Ambrose to bless the theologians and priests today with the gift of accurate and holy preaching of the Catholic Faith.

 

SAINT AMBROSE, BUTLER'S LIVES OF THE SAINTS

 

 


 
ST. NICHOLAS OF BARI.

FEAST DAY:  DECEMBER 6TH

ST. NICHOLAS, the patron Saint of Russia, was born toward the end of the third century. His uncle, the Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, ordained him priest, and appointed him abbot of a monastery; and on the death of the archbishop he was elected to the vacant see. Throughout his life he retained the bright  and guileless manners of his early years, and showed himself the special protector of the innocent and the wronged. Nicholas once heard that a person who had fallen into poverty intended to abandon his three daughters to a life of sin. Determined, if possible, to save their innocence, the Saint went out by night, and, taking with him a bag of gold, flung it into the window of the sleeping father and hurried off. He, on awaking, deemed the gift a godsend, and with it dowered his eldest child. The Saint, overjoyed at his success, made like venture for the second daughter; but the third time, as he stole away, the father, who was watching, overtook him and kissed his feet, saying: "Nicholas, why dost thou conceal thyself from me? Thou art my helper, and he who has delivered my soul and my daughters from hell." St. Nicholas is usually represented by the side of a vessel, wherein a certain man had concealed the bodies of his three children whom he had killed, but who were restored to life by the Saint. He died A.D. 342. His relics were translated in 1807, to Bari, Italy, and there, after fifteen centuries, "the manna of St. Nicholas" still flows from his bones and heals all kind of sick.

REFLECTION.—Those who would enter heaven must be as little children, whose greatest glory is their innocence. Now, two things are ours to do : first, to preserve it in ourselves, or regain it by penance; secondly, to love and shield it in others.

INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  SAINT NICHOLAS, PLEASE INTERCEDE TO GOD FOR ME [MENTION YOUR PRAYER REQUEST.]

 

 

FROM BUTLER'S LIVES OF THE SAINTS:

DECEMBER VI.

ST. NICHOLAS, CONFESSOR, ARCHBISHOP OF MYRA.

 [The acts of Nicholas, published about the year 912 by Metaphrastes, are extant, translated by Lipoman, Surina, &c. Others much shorter, but imperfect, compiled by Methodius, patriarch of Constantinople, about the year 840, are published by Mombritius Falcouius, &c. Another life of St. Nicholas was wrote by John, deacon of Naples, anno 860, from Methodius and others. (See Murat. Ital. Scriptor. t. i. part 2, p. 287, and Jos. Assemani, t. v. p. 417.) See several acts of his life, published by Falconius,, Archbishop of San-Severino, at Naples, in 1751, also Tillemont, t. vi. Vie de St. Nicholas, et Note 1, 2. Fleury, t. xiii. p. 446.]

A.D. 342.

THE great veneration with which this saint has been honoured, both in the Greek and Latin churches for many ages, and the great number of altars and churches which have been everywhere erected in his memory, are proofs of his extra-ordinary sanctity, and of the glory which he enjoys with God. The Emperor Justinian built a church in his honour at Constantinople, in the quarter called Blaquernae, about the year 430,1 and he was titular saint of four churches in Constantinople.* All accounts agree that he was a native of Patara, in Lycia. We are told that in his infancy he observed the fasts of Wednesdays and Fridays refusing to suck the breasts on those days, which were consecrated to fasting by the

 (I) Procop. de AEdific. Justinian, lib. i. c. 6, p. 31, Putignani, Diatr. 1, c. 5, pp. 37, 52.

 (2) Du Cange, Constantinopolis Christiana, lib. iv. c. 6, n. 67. Codinns Orig. Constan. p. 62.

law of the church, as St. Clement of Alexandria mentions,¹ and as Bishop Pkitter proves, in his note upon that pas sage from the Apostolic Constitutions,² and the canonical epistle of St. Peter, Bishop of Alexandria and martyr. Also St. Epiphanius ³ and others testify the same. Happy are they who, from their infancy and innocent age, are inured to the exercises of devotion, penance, and perfect obedience. St. Nicholas increased his fervour in these and all other virtues with his years, especially when he had devoted himself to a religious life in the monastery of Holy Sion, near Myra, of which house he was made abbot, by the archbishop, its founder. Charity in comforting and relieving the distressed, seemed his characteristical virtue. Amongst many other instances, it is related, that when three young virgins were exposed through distress to the danger of falling into vicious courses, he, for. three successive nights, conveyed to them through the window a competent sum of money for a fortune for one of them, so that they were all portioned, and afterwards happily married. Lycia was a large ancient province of Asia, in which St. Paul had planted the faith. Myra, the capital, three miles from Patara, and from the sea, was an archiepiscopal see, founded by St. Nicander, of so great dignity, that, in later ages, thirty-six suffragan bishoprics were subject to it. This metropolitan church falling vacant, the holy abbot Nicholas was chosen arch-bishop, and in that exalted station became famous by his extraordinary piety and zeal, and an incredible number of stupendous miracles. The Greek histories of his life agree that he suffered imprisonment for the faith, and made a glorious confession in the latter part of the persecution raised by Dioclesian: and that he was present at  the great council of Nice, and there condemned Arianism.   The silence of other authors make many justly suspect these circumstances.

 (1) Clem. Alex. Strom. lib. vii. t.ii. p. 877, n. 10 et 15, ed. Oxon. anno 1715. (2) Constit. Apoat. lib. v. e: mix. et lib, vii. c. xxiv. (3) See Pope Benedict XIV. in Literia Apostolicia ad Joan. V. Portng. Reg. novre edit. Martyr. Rom. prsefxis, an. 19, ad 36.

     The history of the translation of his relics place his death in 342. He died at Myra, and was buried in his own cathedral. The relics of St. Nicholas were kept with great honour at Myra, till they were translated into Italy. Certain merchants of Bari, a sea-port in the kingdom of Naples, situate on the Adriatic Gulf, sailed in, three ships to the coast of Lycia; and watching an opportunity when no Mahornetans were near the place, went to the church in which the relics of St. Nicholas were kept, which stood in a desert place three miles from the sea, and was guarded by a small community of monks. They broke open the marble coffin in which the sacred bones lay, and carried them off to their ships ; the inhabitants, upon the alarm given, pursued them to the shore with horrible outcries, but the Europeans were got safe on board. They landed at Bari on the 9th of May, 1087, and the sacred treasure was deposited by the archbishop in the Church of St. Stephen. On the first day, thirty persons were cured of various distempers, imploring the intercession of St. Nicholas, and from that time the tomb of St. Nicholas of Bari has been famous for pilgrimages. The authentic history of this translation, written by John, at that time archdeacon of Bari, by order of the archbishop, is extant in Surius. The same account is confirmed by another history of this translation, drawn up at the same time by Nicephorus of Bari, also an eye-witness, commissioned by the magistrates of the city, quoted in manuscript by Baronius, and published by Falconiss.t By this history of Nicephorus, it appears that the Venetians having formed a design of carrying off the relics of St. Nicholas, certain merchants from Bari, who happened then to be at Antioch,-prevented them. This enterprise could only be justified by the laws of a just war, joined with the apprehension of the sacrilegious impiety of the Mahometans.

(1) Falcouius, Acta Primigeuia St. N.colai, p. 131.

Mention is made in a novella of the Emperor Emmanuel, recorded by Balsamon: and all modern writers, of a fragrant unctuous matter which issues from the relics of St. Nicholas in his shrine at Bari, a large quantity of which was found in his sepulchre, near Myra, in Lycia, when his relics were brought thence.

    St. Nicholas is esteemed a patron of children, because he was from his infancy a model of innocence and virtue, and to form that tender age to sincere piety was always his first care and delight. To impress on the minds of' children perfect sentiments of devotion, religion, and all virtues, with an earnestness in all duties, is a task often as delicate as it is important. Instructions must be made sensible, and adapted by similes, parables, and examples, to the weakness of their capacities. Above all, they are to be enforced by the conduct of those with whom children converse. They learn their maxims, imbibe their spirit, and are moulded upon their example. A child which sees those who are about him love their own ease, and ever seek what best pleases their senses ; still more, if he observes them to be choleric, peevish, vain, slothful, or impatient, will naturally cherish these passions, and yield up the government of himself to them, instead of learning by tractableness, humility, meekness, and self-denial, to subdue and govern them. And so in all other points. Precepts and exhortations lose their force when contradicted by example; and whilst the infant sees every one study to please himself in every thing, in fiat opposition to the rules of the gospel which he hears preached from their mouths, he seems tacitly persuaded that such a conduct is reconcile-able with those very maxims which condemn it.

_____________

A Saint Who Stopped an Execution

by Jim Forest

http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/saint-who-stopped-execution/


Saint Nicholas of Myra saves three innocents from death Ilya Repin, The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg Wikipedia Commons

St. Nicholas of Myra was born in about 280 AD in the town of Patara within the Province of Lycia, Asia Minor. His life was later embroidered with many legends, yet there are several stories about him which seem solidly historical.

One of these relates how, while Nicholas was visiting a remote part of his diocese, several citizens from Myra came to him with urgent news: the ruler of the city, Eustathius, had condemned three innocent men to death. Nicholas set out immediately for home. Reaching the outskirts of the city, he asked those he met on the road if they had news of the prisoners. Informed that their execution was to be carried out that morning, he hurried to the executioner’s field. Here he found a large crowd of people and the three men kneeling with their arms bound, awaiting the fatal blow. Nicholas passed through the crowd, took the sword from the executioner’s hands and threw it to the ground, then ordered that the condemned men be freed from their bonds. His authority was such that the executioner left his sword where it fell. Later Eustathius confessed his sin and sought the saint’s forgiveness. Nicholas absolved him, but only after the ruler had undergone a period of repentance.

In the late 19th century, when Russians were embroiled in controversy regarding capital punishment, the artist Ilya Repin made his comment with the painting reproduced [here]. Having studied ancient icons in which St. Nicholas is shown grasping the sword with his bare hand, Repin reproduced the image, but in a realistic modern style in which each face reveals various atitudes regarding the bishop’s brave intervention—the shocked astonishment of the executioner, the pious resignation of the prisoner on his knees who is not yet aware his life has been saved, and the appeal of a red-cloaked flunky representing the governor, no doubt pointing out that Nicholas would do well not to interfere.


Image from Russian hagiographic icon of Saint Nicholas

In [the June] issue of In Communion, several authors reflect on aspects of the death penalty, still a punishment in many parts of the USA, as it is in China, most Middle Eastern countries, regions of Africa in which Islam is dominant, and parts of Southeast Asia.

Needless to say, unlike the prisoners for whom St. Nicholas intervened, many on death row are guilty of murder. Yet knowing the disciplines of the early Church, one can safely assume Nicholas would have intervened for the guilty no less than the falsely accused. For what good is served by their killing? How is the God of mercy honored by bloodshed?

In the early Church those being prepared for baptism had to make promises regarding their future conduct. One of these was to not kill. This vow was required even of magistrates and soldiers. It is a requirement long ago abandoned and nearly forgotten, so that no one in our world is surprised when Christians take the lives of others or order others to shed blood. What a pity that we who claim to be followers of Christ give such a flawed witness to the kingdom of God.

May we live to see the death penalty abandoned. May our own efforts help speed that day.

 

SAINT SABAS, ABBOT

DECEMBER 5TH

 

SAINT SABAS, one of the most renowned patriarchs of the monks of Palestine, was born in the year 439, near Caesarea. In order to settle a dispute which had arisen between some of his relations, in regard to the administration of his estate, while still young, he forsook the world and entered a monastery, wherein he became a model of fervor. When Sabas had been ten years in this monastery, being eighteen years old, he went to Jerusalem to visit the holy places, and attached himself to a monastery then under control of St. Euthymius, but on the death of the holy abbot our Saint sought the wilderness, where he chose his dwelling in a cave on the top of a high mountain, at the bottom of which ran the brook Cedron: After he had lived here five years, several came to him, desiring to serve God under his direction. He was at first unwilling to consent, but finally founded a new monastery of persons all desirous to devote themselves to praise and serve God without interruption. His great sanctity becoming known, he was ordained priest, at the age of fifty-three, by the patriarch of Jerusalem and made Superior-General of all the anchorites of Palestine. He lived to be ninety-four, and died on the 5th of December, 532.

 

INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  SAINT SABAS, PLEASE PRAY FOR US TODAY [STATE YOUR PRAYER REQUEST.]

 

MORE FROM BUTLER'S LIVES OF THE SAINTS:  http://www.bartleby.com/210/12/051.html

 

 

Relics of Saint Sabas: The relics of St. Sabas in Catholicon (main church) of the Saba Sea Monastery, West Bank, West Jordan.

 

 

SAINT JOHN OF DAMASCUS

FATHER. AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH.

FEAST DAY:  DECEMBER 4TH

[From the works of the saint, and the histories of those times. His life, written by John IV., Patriarch of Jerusalem, who lived two hundred years after him, borrows the first part, before his monastic profession, from uncertain memoirs. See Nat. Alex. sew. 8 ; Fle0., b. xlii. ; Papebroke, May 6 ; Ceillier, t. xviii. p. 110. ]Butler's Lives of the Saints

 A.D.780.

MAHOMET subdued a considerable part of Arabia before his death, which happened in 632. His successor, Abubeker, extended his conquests into Chaldea and Persia. Omar, the second caliph of the Saracens, subdued Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Egypt, before the death of the Emperor Heraclius, in 641. Othman, the third caliph, died in 655, and Ali, the fourth, in 660. This last founded the sect of Mahometanism which the Persians follow, and which the Turks and others, who adhere to the interpretations of his predecessors, Omar and Othman, detest above all other religions. Such was the posture of affairs in the East when St. John was born, in the declension of the 7th century, at Damascus, from which city he received his surname ; by the Saracens he was called Mansur. He was of a noble and ancient family, and his father, though always a zealous and pious Christian, was held in great esteem by the Saracen caliphs for his high birth, probity, and abilities, was advanced by them to the first employments of the state, and made their chief secretary or counsellor. The pious statesman was the more watchful and fervent in all duties of religion, the greater the dangers were to which he saw his faith exposed. Being chiefly solicitous for the education of his son in innocence and piety, amidst the dangers of such a court, he purchased the liberty of a  learned and devout Grecian monk, named Cosmas, who having been taken prisoner, by the Saracens, was brought to Damascus for sale. Him he appointed tutor to his son, and to another youth called Cosmas,  the charge of whose education he had taken upon himself. The preceptor entered into the views of the zealous parent, and bent his whole attention to defend the tender plants from the rude winds of trials and temptations. The caliph was much taken with the capacity and virtue of John, and after the death of his father, made him governor of Damascus, his capital city. After Ali, the dignity of caliph had passed into another family, called Ommiads. The name of the first of these was Moavia. This prince and his immediate successors treated the Christians with courtesy and mildness ; and so great were the abilities, and such the transcendent virtue of John, that he enjoyed his prince's favour without envy. But he always trembled at the sight of those spiritual dangers with which he saw himself surrounded. He was sensible that, in a flow of plenty and prosperity, the heart is apt to warp towards vice and the world, and he dreaded the contagion of the air hey breathed. He therefore, at length, came to a resolution to resign his honours, and soon after disposed of his estates in favour of the church and the poor, and with Cosmas, his companion, withdrew secretly to the great Laura of St. Sabas, near Jerusalem. Cosmas was afterwards chosen Bishop of Majuma, in Palestine.

     St. John, in his solitude, rejoiced to see himself delivered from the slavery of the world, and placed in a happy state of uninterrupted tranquillity; where his years passed away without one heavy minute, and where he had no other occupation but that of employing, without distraction, all his thoughts and endeavours on the end of his creation, the securing the salvation of his soul. He considered the important work which he had upon his hands, and set himself in earnest to learn perfectly to subdue his passions, and walk in the paths of true virtue. With this view he addressed him-self to the superior of the Laura, who gave him for director an experienced old monk. This great master in spiritual life, conducting the novice to his cell, gave him the following short lessons :—First, That he should never do his own will, but study in all things to die to himself, in order to divest himself of all inordinate self-love or attachment to creatures. Secondly, That he should frequently offer to God all his actions, difficulties, and prayers. Thirdly, That he should take no pride in his learning or any other advantage, but ground himself in a sincere and thorough conviction that he had nothing of his own stock but ignorance and weakness. Fourthly, That he should renounce all vanity, should always mistrust himself and his own lights, and never desire visions or the like extraordinary favours. Fifthly, That he should banish from his mind all thoughts of the world, nor ever disclose to strangers the instructions given him in the monastery ; that he should keep strict silence, and remember that there may be harm even in saying good things without necessity. By the punctual observance of these rules, the fervent novice made great progress in an interior life and Christian perfection. His director, to promote his spiritual advancement, often put his virtue to severe trials. He once sent him to Damascus to sell some baskets, and having set an exorbitant price on them, forbade him to take less. The saint obeyed his director without the least demur,. and appeared poor and ill clad in that great city, in which he had formerly lived in splendour. On being asked the price of his ware, he was abused and insulted for the unreasonableness of his demands. At length, one that had been formerly his servant, but of compassion, purchased his whole stock, at the price he asked ; and the  saint returned to his superior, victorious over vanity and pride. It happened that a certain monk, being inconsolable for the death of his brother, the saint, by way of comforting him, recited to him s. Greek verse, importing, that all is vanity which time destroyeth. His di-rector, for his greater security against the temptation of vanity or ostentation, on account of learning, called this a disobedience in speaking without necessity, and, by way of chastisement, turned him out of his cell. The humble saint wept bitterly to heal this wound of disobedience in his soul, as he confessed it to be ; and without endeavouring to extenuate the fault, though in itself so excusable, begged the monks to intercede for him to his director for pardon. This was at length obtained, but only on condition that with his own hands he should cleanse out and carry away all the filth that lay about the monastery ; which condition the saint, to whom humiliations were always welcome, most cheerfully complied with.

     So accomplished a virtue made his superiors judge him worthy to be promoted to the priesthood, which was then much more rare in monasteries than at present. This dignity served only to increase his humility and fervour. His director at length thought him sufficiently grounded in habits of profound humility and self-denial, to be permitted to employ his talents in writing for the edification of others and the service of the church, without falling into the dangerous temptations of self-conceit and pride. For a secret vanity or self-complacency often robs even the Christian writer of the fruit of his labours before God ; and an eminent author calls this base weakness of vanity the last foible of great geniuses. John had given proof by long and sever trials, that an entire contempt of himself, and a feeling sense of his own weakness and absolute insufficiency, were deeply rooted in his heart, when his superiors  thought him sufficiently armed against this snare, to be employed in- teaching their theological schools. Soon after, they ordered him to take up his pen in defence of our holy faith, attacked by the Iconoclast heretics. The Emperor Leo, the Isaurian, had published his edicts against holy images, in 726, and had found many followers, when St. John entered the lists against that heresy. He begins his first discourse, or oration, on this religious subject as follows : " Conscious to myself of my own baseness and unworthiness, I ought rather to condemn myself to an eternal silence, weeping, and confessing my Bins before God. But seeing the church, which is founded on a rock, assailed by a furious storm, I think I ought no longer to remai n silent, because I fear God more than an emperor of the earth." He lays down for the foundation of the dispute, that the church cannot  err ; consequently it could never fall into  idolatry.¹ He explains what is meant by the adoration due to God alone, which, with St. Austin and other fathers, he calls Latria ; and that inferior veneration which is paid to the friends and servants of God, which is entirely different, and infinitely beneath the former ; and no more inconsistent with it than the civil honour which the law of nature and the holy scriptures command us to  pay to princes and superiors. He shows that the veneration which we pay to the things which belong to God, as altars, &c., is not less distinct from the supreme honour we give to God. He says, the precept in the old law, which forbade images (if it be not to be restrained to idols), was merely ceremonial, and only regarded the Jews which law if we restore, we must equally admit circ»mcision and the sabbath. He testifies that the Iconoclasts allowed a religious honour to be due to the holy place on Mount Calvary, to the stone of the sepulchre; to the book of the gospels, to crosses and sacred vessels. Lastly, he  proves the veneration of holy images by the testimony of the fathers. In his second discourse he teaches at large that the emperor is intrusted with the government of the state, but-has no authority to make decisions in points of ecclesiastical doctrine. In the- third, he demonstrates the use of holy images from the tradition of the fathers.

(1) Or. 1. de Cultu Imag.

     The dogmatical writings of this great doctor show the extent of his genius still more than his controversial ; and in them the strength and clearness of his reasoning can be equalled only by the depth of his penetration, and the soundness of his judgment. His most important and celebrated work is, The Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, divided into four books, in which he reduces all the branches of theology, which the ancients explained in several scattered works, into one regular all its parts in a short system, and sets them all together in one clear point of view. This work was the first plan of the scholastic method of teaching divinity, which St. Anselm introduced much later among the Latins. St. John composed many holy canticles ; and- to his fellow-pupil, Cosmos, is the Greek Church indebted for the greater part of the sacred hymns which it uses in the divine office. St. John travelled into Palestine, and also to Constantinople, to encourage the faithful, and to defend the use of holy images in the very seat of the persecutor, Constantine Copronymus. But he re-turned again to the Laura of St. Sabas, in Palestine, where being in the dominions of the Saracen caliph, he continued to defend the church by his pen. We have the unexceptionable testimony of Dr. Cave,' that nor man can have a sound judgment who, reading his works, cloth not admire his extraordinary erudition, the justness and precision of his ideas and conceptions, and the strength of his reasoning, especially in theological matters.

(1) Hist/ Litter.

But Banius observes, that he was sometimes led into mistakes with regard to historical facts by faulty memoirs. John IV., Patriarch of Jerusalem, extols his great skill in mathematics. Amidst his studies he was careful to nourish in his heart a spirit of devotion by constant recollection; and daily contemplation. For it is the reflection of a great man, and an eminent scholar,¹ writing to contemplative persons, that without assiduous prayer, reasoning is a great dissipation of the mind, and learning often extinguishes the humble  interior spirit of prayer, as wind does a candle." In another place he calls too close application to mathematics the death-of the spirit of prayer, and adds : " Suffer not yourself to be bewitched with the enchantment of geometry. Nothing will sooner dry up in you the interior spirit of recollection and devotion." St. John, to shun this rock, was careful that his studies should never degenerate into a passion; he never suffered them to dissipate his  mind, or encroach on his exercises of devotion, or any other duties, and in his inquiries shunned all idle curiosity.  Having by retirement prepared himself for his last passage, he died in his cell about the year 780. His tomb was discovered near the church porch of this Laura, in the twelfth century, as John Phocas testifies.²  

 (1) Feuelon, Ep. 155.  (2) Phocas in Descript. Palestine.

********

INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  SAINT JOHN, PLEASE PRAY FOR US [STATE YOUR PRAYER.]

 

 
 
 

OUR LADY OF GOOD REMEDY


Queen of Heaven and earth, 
most Holy Virgin, 
we venerate thee. 
Thou art the beloved daughter 
of the Most High God, 
the chosen mother of the 
Incarnate Word, the immaculate spouse of
the Holy Spirit, the sacred vessel of the
Most Holy Trinity. O Mother of the Divine Redeemer, who under the title of Our Lady of Good Remedy comes to the aid of all who call upon thee, extend thy maternal protection to us. We depend on thee, dear Mother, as helpless and needy children depend on a tender and caring mother. Pray the Hail Mary... O Lady of Good Remedy, source of unfailing help, grant that we may draw from thy treasury of graces in our time of need. Touch the hearts of sinners, that they may seek reconciliation and forgiveness. Bring comfort to the afflicted and the lonely; help the poor and the hopeless; aid the sick and the suffering. May they be healed in body and strengthened in spirit to endure their sufferings with patient resignation and Christian fortitude. Pray the Hail Mary... Dear Lady of Good Remedy, source of unfailing help, thy compassionate heart knows a remedy for every affliction and misery we encounter in life. Help me with thy prayers and intercession to find a remedy for my problems and needs, especially for...
(Add your personal prayer requests here.)

On my part, 
O loving Mother, 
I pledge myself to a more intensely Christian lifestyle, 
to a more careful observance of the laws of God, 
to be more conscientious 
in fulfilling the obligations of my state in life, 
and to strive to be a source of healing 
in this broken world of ours.

Dear Lady of Good Remedy, 
be ever present to me, 
and through thy intercession, 
may I enjoy health of body and peace of mind, 
and grow stronger in the faith 
and in the love of thy Son, Jesus.

Pray the Hail Mary...


V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of Good Remedy,
R. That we may deepen our dedication to thy Son, 
   and make the world alive with His Spirit.
 
 
 
 
 

MASS READINGS FOR TODAY
Wednesday of the Second week of Advent
December 7

Book of Isaiah 40:25-31.
To whom can you liken me as an equal? says the Holy One.
Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these: He leads out their army and numbers them, calling them all by name. By his great might and the strength of his power not one of them is missing!
Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"?
Do you not know or have you not heard? The LORD is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint nor grow weary, and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny.
He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes vigor abound.
Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall,
They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.

Psalms 103(102):1-2.3-4.8.10.

R. (1) O bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.

He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.

Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 11:28-30.
Jesus said to the crowds: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
___________

Commentary of the day : Saint Ambrose
Go out to others just as the Lord comes out to us

 

 


PART II.

CONTAINING SUNDRY COUNSELS AS TO UPLIFTING THE SOUL TO GOD IN PRAYER AND THE USE OF THE SACRAMENTS.

 

 

CHAPTER XI.

Evening Prayer and Examination of Conscience.

AS I have counselled you before your material dinner to make a spiritual repast in meditation, so before your evening meal you should make at least a devout spiritual collation. Make sure of some brief leisure before suppertime, and then prostrating yourself before God, and recollecting yourself in the Presence of Christ Crucified, setting Him before your mind with a stedfast inward glance, renew the warmth of your morning's meditation by some hearty (86) aspirations and humble upliftings of your soul to your Blessed Saviour, either repeating those points of your meditation which helped you most, or kindling your heart with anything else you will. As to the examination of conscience, which we all should make before going to bed, you know the rules:

1. Thank God for having preserved you through the day past.

2. Examine how you have conducted yourself through the day, in order to which recall where and with whom you have been, and what you have done.

3. If you have done anything good, offer thanks to God; if you have done amiss in thought, word, or deed, ask forgiveness of His Divine Majesty, resolving to confess the fault when opportunity offers, and to be diligent in doing better.

4. Then commend your body and soul, the Church, your relations and friends, to God. Ask that the Saints and Angels may keep watch over you, and with God's Blessing go to the rest He has appointed for you. Neither this practice nor that of the morning should ever be omitted; by your morning prayer you open your soul's windows to the sunshine of Righteousness, and by your evening devotions you close them against the shades of hell.

(87)

 

CHAPTER XII.

On Spiritual Retirement.

THIS is a matter, dear daughter, to which I am very anxious to win your attention, for in it lies one of the surest means of spiritual progress. Strive as often as possible through the day to place yourself in God's Presence by some one of the methods already suggested. Consider what God does, and what you are doing;--you will see His Eyes ever fixed upon you in Love incomparable. "O my God," you will cry out, "why cannot I always be looking upon Thee, even as Thou lookest on me? why do I think so little about Thee? O my soul, thy only resting-place is God, and yet how often dost thou wander?" The birds have nests in lofty trees, and the stag his refuge in the thick coverts, where he can shelter from the sun's burning heat; and just so, my daughter, our hearts ought daily to choose some resting-place, either Mount Calvary, or the Sacred Wounds, or some other spot close to Christ, where they can retire at will to seek rest and refreshment amid toil, and to be as in a fortress, protected from temptation. Blessed indeed is the soul which can truly say, "Thou, Lord, art my Refuge, my Castle, my (88) Stay, my Shelter in the storm and in the heat of the day." Be sure then, my child, that while externally occupied with business and social duties, you frequently retire within the solitude of your own heart. That solitude need not be in any way hindered by the crowds which surround you-- they surround your body, not your soul, and your heart remains alone in the Sole Presence of God. This is what David sought after amid his manifold labours;--the Psalms are full of such expressions as "Lord, I am ever with Thee. The Lord is always at my right hand. I lift up mine eyes to Thee, O Thou Who dwellest in the heavens. Mine eyes look unto God." There are few social duties of sufficient importance to prevent an occasional retirement of the heart into this sacred solitude. When S. Catherine of Sienna was deprived by her parents of any place or time for prayer and meditation, Our Lord inspired her with the thought of making a little interior oratory in her mind, into which she could retire in heart, and so enjoy a holy solitude amid her outward duties. And henceforward, when the world assaulted her, she was able to be indifferent, because, so she said, she could retire within her secret oratory, and find comfort with her Heavenly Bridegroom. So she counselled her (89) spiritual daughters to make a retirement within their heart, in which to dwell. Do you in like manner let your heart withdraw to such an inward retirement, where, apart from all men, you can lay it bare, and treat face to face with God, even as David says that he watched like a "pelican in the wilderness, or an owl in the desert, or a sparrow sitting alone upon the housetop." (a) These words have a sense beyond their literal meaning, or King David's habit of retirement for contemplation;--and we may find in them three excellent kinds of retreats in which to seek solitude after the Saviour's Example, Who is symbolised as He hung upon Mount Calvary by the pelican of the wilderness, feeding her young ones with her blood. (b) So again His Nativity in a lonely stable might find a foreshadowing in the owl of the desert, bemoaning and lamenting: and in His Ascension He was like the sparrow rising high above the dwellings of men. Thus in each of these ways we can make a retreat amid the daily cares of life and its business. (90) When the blessed Elzear, Count of Arian-enProvence, had been long separated from his pious and beloved wife Delphine, she sent a messenger to inquire after him, and he returned answer, "I am well, dear wife, and if you would see me, seek me in the Wounded Side of our Dear Lord Jesus; that is my sure dwelling-place, and elsewhere you will seek me in vain." Surely he was a true Christian knight who spoke thus.

a. Ps. cii. 6, 7.
b. The Egyptians used the pelican as a symbol of parental devotion; and among the early Christians, as may be seen in the Catacombs, it was employed to shadow forth the deep mysteries of Christ's love. On many a monumental brass, church window, or chalice of old time, occurs this device, with the motto, "Sic Christus dilexit nos." "Thus hath Christ loved us." And so Saint Thomas in his Eucharistic Hymn "Adoro Te devote,"--"Pie Pelicane, Jesu Domine, Me immundum munda, Tuo sausguine!"

 

CHAPTER XIII.

Aspirations, Ejaculatory Prayer and Holy Thoughts.

WE retire with God, because we aspire to Him, and we aspire in order to retire with Him; so that aspiration after God and spiritual retreat excite one another, while both spring from the one Source of all holy thoughts. Do you then, my daughter, aspire continually to God, by brief, ardent upliftings of heart; praise His Excellence, invoke His Aid, cast yourself in spirit at the Foot of His Cross, adore His Goodness, offer your whole soul a thousand times a day to Him, fix your inward gaze upon Him, stretch out your hands to be led by Him, as a little child to its father, clasp Him to your breast as a fragrant nosegay, upraise Him in (91) your soul as a standard. In short, kindle by every possible act your love for God, your tender, passionate desire for the Heavenly Bridegroom of souls. Such is ejaculatory prayer, as it was so earnestly inculcated by S. Augustine upon the devout Proba; and be sure, my daughter, that if you seek such nearness and intimacy with God your whole soul will imbibe the perfume of His Perfections. Neither is this a difficult practice,--it may be interwoven with all our duties and occupations, without hindering any; for neither the spiritual retreat of which I have spoken, nor these inward upliftings of the heart, cause more than a very brief distraction, which, so far from being any hindrance, will rather promote whatever you have in hand. When a pilgrim pauses an instant to take a draught of wine, which refreshes his lips and revives his heart, his onward journey is nowise hindered by the brief delay, but rather it is shortened and lightened, and he brings it all the sooner to a happy end, pausing but to advance the better. Sundry collections of ejaculatory prayer have been put forth, which are doubtless very useful, but I should advise you not to tie yourself to any formal words, but rather to speak with heart or mouth whatever springs forth from the love within you, which is sure to supply you with all (92) abundance. There are certain utterances which have special force, such as the ejaculatory prayers of which the Psalms are so full, and the numerous loving invocations of Jesus which we find in the Song of Songs. Many hymns too may be used with the like intention, provided they are sung attentively. In short, just as those who are full of some earthly, natural love are ever turning in thought to the beloved one, their hearts overflowing with tenderness, and their lips ever ready to praise that beloved object; comforting themselves in absence by letters, carving the treasured name on every tree;--so those who love God cannot cease thinking of Him, living for Him, longing after Him, speaking of Him, and fain would they grave the Holy Name of Jesus in the hearts of every living creature they behold. And to such an outpour of love all creation bids us--nothing that He has made but is filled with the praise of God, and, as says S. Augustine, everything in the world speaks silently but clearly to the lovers of God of their love, exciting them to holy desires, whence gush forth aspirations and loving cries to God. St. Gregory Nazianzen tells his flock, how, walking along the seashore, he watched the waves as they washed up shells and sea weeds, and all manner of small substances, which seemed, as it were, rejected by the sea, (93) until a return wave would often wash part thereof back again; while the rocks remained firm and immoveable, let the waves beat against them never so fiercely. And then the Saint went on to reflect that feeble hearts let themselves be carried hither and thither by the varying waves of sorrow or consolation, as the case might be, like the shells upon the seashore, while those of a nobler mould abide firm and immoveable amid every storm;--whence he breaks out into David's cry, "Lord, save me, for the waters are gone over my soul; deliver me from the great deep, all Thy waves and storms are gone over me;" for he was himself then in trouble by reason of the ungodly usurpation of his See by Maximus. When S. Fulgentius, Bishop of Ruspe, heard Theodoric, King of the Goths, harangue a general assembly of Roman nobles, and beheld their splendour, he exclaimed, "O God, how glorious must Thy Heavenly Jerusalem be, if even earthly Rome be thus!" (a) And if this world can afford so much gratification to mere earthly lovers of vanity, what must there be in store hereafter for those who love the truth? (94) We are told that S. Anselm of Canterbury, (our mountains may glory in being his birthplace (b) ) was much given to such thoughts. On one occasion a hunted hare took refuge from imminent death beneath the Bishop's horse, the hounds clamouring round, but not daring to drag it from its asylum, whereat his attendants began to laugh; but the great Anselm wept, saying, "You may laugh forsooth, but to the poor hunted beast it is no laughing matter; even so the soul which has been led astray in all manner of sin finds a host of enemies waiting at its last hour to devour it, and terrified, knows not where to seek a refuge, and if it can find none, its enemies laugh and rejoice." And so he went on his way, sighing. Constantine the Great wrote with great respect to S. Anthony, at which his religious expressed their surprise. "Do you marvel," he said, "that a king should write to an ordinary man? Marvel rather that God should have written His Law for men, and yet more that He should have spoken with them Face to face through His Son." When S. Francis saw a solitary sheep amid a flock of goats; "See," said he to his companion, "how gentle the poor sheep is among the goats, even as was Our Lord among the Pharisees;" and seeing a boar devour a little lamb, (95) "Poor little one," he exclaimed, weeping, "how vividly is my Saviour's Death set forth in thee!" A great man of our own day, Francis Borgia, then Duke of Candia, was wont to indulge in many devout imaginations as he was hunting. "I used to ponder," he said, "how the falcon returns to one's wrist, and lets one hood its eyes or chain it to the perch, and yet men are so perverse in refusing to turn at God's call." St. Basil the Great says that the rose amid its thorns preaches a lesson to men. "All that is pleasant in this life" (so it tells us mortals) "is mingled with sadness--no joy is altogether pure--all enjoyment is liable to be marred by regrets, marriage is saddened by widowhood, children bring anxiety, glory often turns to shame, neglect follows upon honour, weariness on pleasure, sickness on health. Truly the rose is a lovely flower," the Saint goes on to say, "but it moves me to sadness, reminding me as it does that for my sin the earth was condemned to bring forth thorns." Another devout soul, gazing upon a brook wherein the starlit sky of a calm summer's night was reflected, exclaims, "O my God, when Thou callest me to dwell in Thy heavenly tabernacles, these stars will be beneath my feet; and even as those stars are now reflected here below, so are we Thy creatures reflected above in the (96) living waters of Thy Divine Love." So another cried out, beholding a rapid river as it flowed, "Even thus my soul will know no rest until it plunge into that Divine Sea whence it came forth!" S. Frances, as she knelt to pray beside the banks of a pleasant streamlet, cried out in ecstasy, "The Grace of my Dear Lord flows softly and sweetly even as these refreshing waters" And another saintly soul, looking upon the blooming orchards, cried out, "Why am I alone barren in the Church's garden!" So S. Francis of Assisi, beholding a hen gathering her chickens beneath her wings, exclaimed, "Keep me, O Lord, under the shadow of Thy Wings" And looking upon the sunflower, he ejaculated, "When, O Lord, will my soul follow the attractions of Thy Love?" (c) And gathering pansies in a garden which are fair to see, but scentless, (d) (97) "Ah," he cried out, "even so are the thoughts of my heart, fair to behold, but without savour or fruit!" Thus it is, my daughter, that good thoughts and holy aspirations may be drawn from all that surrounds us in our ordinary life. Woe to them that turn aside the creature from the Creator, and thrice blessed are they who turn all creation to their Creator's Glory, and make human vanities subservient to the truth. "Verily," says Saint Gregory Nazianzen, "I am wont to turn all things to my spiritual profit." Read the pious epitaph written for S. Paula by S. Jerome; it is marvellous therein to see how she conceived spiritual thoughts and aspirations at every turn. Now, in the practice of this spiritual retreat and of these ejaculatory prayers the great work of devotion lies: it can supply all other deficiencies, but there is hardly any means of making up where this is lacking. Without it no one can lead a true contemplative life, and the active life will be but imperfect where it is omitted: without it rest is but indolence, labour but weariness,--therefore I beseech you to adopt it heartily, and never let it go.

a. Was it in imitation of this that the hymn was written? "If thus Thy lower works are fair,-- If thus Thy glories gild the span Of ruined earth and guilty man,-- How glorious must the mansions be Where Thy redeemed dwell with Thee!"

b. S. Anselm was born at Aosta in Piedmont, A.D. 1033.

c. Moore has preserved the graceful imagery of the sunflower, anciently called "tourne-soleil" (as by S. Francis here). "Oh the heart that once truly loved, never forgets, But as truly loves on to the close, As the sunflower turns to her God when he sets The same look which she turned when he rose."

d. "Pensees." This play on words is common--as Ophelia says in Hamlet, Act iv. sc. 5: "There is pansies--that's for thoughts." But the name of this pretty viola is really derived from panacea, signifying all-heal, just as Tansy is derived from Athanasia, i.e. immortelle or everlasting. Its other name of heart's-ease also refers to the potent virtues ascribed to it of old. Cawdray, in his Treasurie of Similies, London, 1609, says: "As the herb Panax or Panace hath in it a remedy against all diseases, so is the Death of Christ against all sin sufficient and effectual." In the preface to our English Bible of 1611, the translators speak of "Panaces, the herb that is good for all diseases."

 

 

 

 

 

http://jesus-passion.com/Saint_Francis_de_Sales_Contents.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

PRAYERS FOR THE DAY

MORNING PRAYER
AFTERNOON PRAYER
EVENING PRAYER

 

 
How this devotion started?  

To show us the mission granted to the Virgin Mary by Her Son, an artist Johann Melchior Georg Schmittdner painted Mary Undoer of Knots with great grace. Since 1700, his painting has been venerated in the Church of St. Peter in Perlack, Augsburg, Germany. It was originally inspired by a meditation of Saint Irenaeus (Bishop of Lyon and martyred in 202) based on the parallel made by Saint Paul between Adam and Christ. Saint Irenaeus, in turn, made a comparison between Eve and Mary, saying:“Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it”.

But what are these knots?
There are the problems and struggles we face for which we do not see any solution … knots of discord in your family, lack of understanding between parents and children, disrespect, violence, the knots of deep hurts between husband and wife, the absence of peace and joy at home. There are also the knots of anguish and despair of separated couples, the dissolution of the family, the knots of a drug addict son or daughter, sick or separated from home or God, knots of alcoholism, the practice of abortion, depression, unemployment, fear, solitude…Ah, the knots of our life! How they suffocate the soul, beat us down and betray the heart’s joy and separate us from God.

Day after day, more and more Christians kneel to pray to Her as soon as they meet the Mother of the Fair Love.  Many families have become reconciled! Many diseases have been healed! Many spouses have returned to the Church! Many jobs have been given! Many conversions have taken place! Many Catholics have been on their knees praying and giving thanks for graces received from our sweet Mother. For that reason, Mary Who undoes the knots, Who was chosen by God to crush the evil with Her feet, comes to us to reveal Herself. She comes to provide jobs, good health, to reconcile families, because She wants to undo the knots of our sins which dominate our lives, so that – as sons of the King – we can receive the promises reserved for us from eternity. She comes with promises of victory, peace, blessings and reconciliation.

Then, free from our knots – filled with happiness, we can be a testimony of the Divine Power in this world, like pieces of God’s heart or small bottles of perfume exhaling mercy and love to our neighbor. Like ambassador of Jesus Christ and the Virgin of the fair love, we can rescue those who cry without any consolation, those who are lonely, tied with knots, who have no God, no Father nor Mother.

Mother of the Rising Sun, Immaculate, our Advocate, Helper in moments of affliction, Mother of God and made by Him our Mother, this is how Mary, Undoer of Knots is presented. Above all, She comes as the Queen of Mercy, the one who knows all about us, who has compassion for us and hurries to rescue us, praying for each one of us to Her beloved Jesus.

 

Prayer to Mary, Undoer of Knots

Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life. You know very well how desperate I am, my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the Evil One himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot.

[Mention your request here]

I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all. You are my hope. O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution, and, with Christ, the freedom from my chains. Hear my plea. Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge!

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LITANY OF ST JOSEPH

(Approved by Pope St. Pius X in 1909.)

[SAINT JOSEPH, ASK GOD TO BLESS THE U.S. WITH A PROLIFE PRESIDENT AND VICE-PRESIDENT]
[SAINT JOSEPH, PLEASE PRAY FOR DONALD TRUMP, THAT HE WOULD FOLLOW OUR LORD AND ALL HIS TEACHINGS.]

[MENTION YOUR PRAYER TO SAINT JOSEPH]
Lord, have mercy on us. 
Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. 
Christ, hear us. 
Christ, graciously hear us.
 
God the Father of heaven, 
have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, 
have mercy on us.
 
God the Holy Spirit,
 have mercy on us.
 
Holy Trinity, one God, 
have mercy on us.
 
Holy Mary, 
pray for us.
 
St. Joseph, 
pray for us. 
 
Renowned offspring of David, 
pray for us. 
 
Light of Patriarchs, 
pray for us.
 
Spouse of the Mother of God, 
pray for us.
 
Chaste guardian of the Virgin, 
pray for us.
 
Foster father of the Son of God, 
pray for us.
 
Diligent protector of Christ, 
pray for us.
 
Head of the Holy Family, 
pray for us.
 
Joseph most just, 
pray for us.
 
Joseph most chaste, 
pray for us.
 
Joseph most prudent, 
pray for us.
 
Joseph most strong, 
pray for us.
 
Joseph, most obedient, 
pray for us. 
 
Joseph most faithful, 
pray for us. 
 
Mirror of patience, 
pray for us. 
 
Lover of poverty, 
pray for us. 
 
Model of artisans, 
pray for us. 
 
Glory of home life, 
pray for us. 
 
Guardian of virgins, 
pray for us. 
 
Pillar of families, 
pray for us. 
 
Solace of the wretched, 
pray for us. 
 
Hope of the sick, 
pray for us. 
 
Patron of the dying, 
pray for us. 
 
Terror of the demons, 
pray for us. 
 
Protector of Holy Church, 
pray for us. 
 
Lamb of God, 
who takes away the sins of the world, 
spare us, O Lord. 
 
Lamb of God, 
who takes away the sins of the world, 
graciously hear us, O Lord. 
 
Lamb of God, 
who takes away the sins of the world, 
have mercy on us. 
 
V. He made him the lord of his household. 
R. And prince over all his possessions. 
 
Let us pray;

O God, in Your ineffable providence
You were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph 
to be the spouse of Your most holy Mother, 
grant, we beg You, 
that we may be worthy to have him 
for our intercessor in heaven 
whom on earth we venerate as our Protector; 
You who lives and reigns forever and ever.

Amen.
(Approved by Pope St. Pius X in 1909.)

 

BEN CARSON DENOUNCES PLANNED PARENTHOOD FOR TRYING TO ELIMINATE BLACK PEOPLE:

World's Most Famous Brain Surgeon: Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger "was trying to eliminate black people"

Ben Carson was asked this week about Obama’s support of Planned Parenthood. “You wonder if he actually knows the history of Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger, who was trying to eliminate black people,” Carson replied. “That was the whole purpose of it.” That is obviously political hyperbole. But founder Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist, who constantly talked about the need to keep “inferior” types from breeding, even if she did not specify the nature of their inferiority. “[We should] apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.” “The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” 

SEE:  BLACK GENOCIDE SITE:  http://blackgenocide.org/home.html
"Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the population, but 35% of the abortions in America."


PLANNED PARENTHOOD USED BIRTH CONTROL AND ABORTION  TO GET RID OF MINORITIES



 

AMERICA'S GREATEST SIN IS ABORTION


AMERICAN WAR CASUALTIES

Each standard size cross-mark  represents 50,000 people  killed.  The smaller cross-marks represent less than 50,000 deaths.   The war casualties represent all American combat-related deaths.  Statistics from 1982 World Almanac.
REVOLUTIONARY WAR                25,324       
CIVIL WAR                                               496,332    †††††††††
WORLD WAR I                                   116,708    ††
WORLD WAR II                                  407,316    ††††††††
KOREAN WAR                                           54,246    
VIETNAM WAR                                        58,655        

 WAR ON UNBORN CHILDREN  

 OVER   57,762,169   
...since abortion was legalized in 1973

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PRAY FOR DONALD TRUMP

 SO THAT HE DOES GOD'S WILL IN THE WHITE HOUSE

 

DONALD TRUMP PRAYING WITH OTHER CHRISTIANS




Pray hard for him.  If you have time now please say one Hail Mary and One Glory Be for him now.
Donald Trump said he would nominate a justice like Supreme Court Justice Scalia who recently passed.  Justice Scalia always voted against abortion and gay marriage.  Trump said he wanted Roe vs. Wade to be reversed and the decision on abortion would go back to each individual state. 



 

 

THE POWER AND THE BLESSINGS THAT COME FROM PRAYING THE ROSARY

 THE FIFTEEN PROMISES OF MARY TO CHRISTIANS WHO RECITE THE ROSARY

These promises were given by the Blessed Mother to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan.

 1. Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall receive signal graces.

2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.

3. The rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.

4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.

5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.

6. Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.

7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.

8. Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.

9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.

10. The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.

11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.

12. All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.

13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.

14. All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only Son Jesus Christ.

15. Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.

________________

THE SECRET OF THE ROSARY(by Saint Louis De Montfort)

  
 

Graces Derived from Going to Mass
(Note:  Assisting at Mass simply means attending Mass.  By attending a Mass Catholics are actually assisting in Mass.) 

THE FOLLOWING IS FROM THE PIETA PRAYER BOOKLET, Published in U.S.A. by  MLOR Corporation, 1186 Burlington Drive, Hickory Corners, MI  49060-9330:

1. The Mass is Calvary continued.

2. Every Mass is worth as much as the sacrifice of our Lord's life, sufferings and death.

3. Holy Mass is the most powerful atonement for your sins.

4. At the hour of death the Masses you have heard will be your greatest consolation.

5. Every Mass will go with you to judgment and plead for pardon.

6. At Mass you can diminish more or less temporal punishment due to your sins, according to your fervor.

7. Assisting devoutly at Holy Mass you render to the sacred humanity of Our Lord the greatest homage.

8. He supplies for many of your negligences and omissions.

9. He forgives the venial sins which you have not confessed.  The power of Satan over you is diminished.

10. You afford the souls in Purgatory the greatest possible relief.

11. One Mass heard during life will be of more benefit to you than many heard for you after your death.

12. You are preserved from dangers and misfortunes which otherwise might have befallen you.  You shorten your Purgatory.

13. Every Mass wins for you a higher degree of glory in Heaven.

14. You receive the priest's blessing which Our Lord ratifies in Heaven.

15. You kneel amidst a multitude of holy angels, who are present at the adorable Sacrifice with reverential awe.

16. You are blessed in your temporal goods and affairs.

In eternity, we shall fully realize that it was certainly worthwhile to have assisted at Holy Mass daily.  PRAY FOR PRIESTS THAT THEY MAY OFFER THE MASS WITH HOLY LOVE AND REVERENCE.

**********

 

"WHY Should I Go To Mass Every Day?"

"The Mass is the most perfect form of prayer!"

For each Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at death.  (revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the great).

Padre Pio, the stigmatic priest, said, the world could exist more easily without the sun than without the Mass.

The Cure'd' Ars, St. Jean Vianney said, if we knew the value of the Mass we would die of joy.

A great doctor of the Church, St. Anselm, declares that a single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death.  St. Leonard of Port Maurice supports this statement by saying that one Mass before death may be more profitable than  many after it.

"The Holy Mass would be of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death."  (Pope Benedict XV).

Once, St. Teresa was overwhelmed with God's Goodness and asked Our Lord, "How can I thank you?"  Our Lord replied, "ATTEND ONE MASS".

**************

  
 

MARIAN PRAYERS

 Saint Louis De Montfort stresses that people should give there hearts and wills to Jesus through Mary and that by doing this a soul will be able to soar toward God.  See Saint Louis's book True Devotion To Mary. Saint Louis warns of the devil's great ability to deceive souls, including souls of saints:

"Because the devils, who are skillful thieves, wish to surprise us unawares, and to strip us.  They watch day and night for the favorable moment.  For that end they go round about us incessantly to devour us and to snatch from us in one moment, all the graces and merits we have gained for many years.   Their malice, their experience, their stratagems and their number ought to make us fear this misfortune immensely, especially when we see how many persons fuller of grace than we are, richer in virtues, better founded in experience and far higher exalted in sanctity, have been surprised, robbed and unhappily pillaged.  Ah!  How many cedars of Lebanon, how many stars of the firmament, have we not seen fall miserably, and in the twinkling of an eye lose all their height and their brightness!  Whence comes that sad and curious change?  It was not for want of grace, which is wanting to no man; but it was for want of humility.  They thought themselves capable of guarding their own treasures.  They trusted in themselves, relied upon themselves.  They thought their house secure enough, and their coffers strong enough, to keep the precious treasure of grace.  It is because of that scarcely perceptible reliance upon themselves, though all the while it seemed to them that they were relying only on the grace of God, that the most just Lord permitted them to be robbed by leaving them to themselves.  Alas!  If they had but known the admirable devotion which I will unfold presently, they would have confided their treasure to a Virgin powerful and faithful, who would have kept it for them as if it had been her own possession; nay, who would have even taken it as an obligation of justice on herself to preserve it for them".

TRUE DEVOTION TO THE VIRGIN MARY, SAINT LOUIS de MONTFORT

PRAYER TO
THE VIRGIN MARY

 

Holy Mary, my Queen and sovereign Lady, I give you myself, trusting in your fidelity and your protection. I surrender myself entirely to your motherly tenderness, my body, my soul, all that I am, all that I possess,  for the whole of this day, my life,  and especially at the hour of my death. I entrust to you once more all my hopes, all my consolations, all my anxieties, all my troubles, my life, my dying breath, so that by your prayers and merits, I may have, in all I do, one only goal, your good pleasure and the holy will of your Son.  Amen!

 

 

The Chaplet of St. Michael

One day, Saint Michael the Archangel appeared to Antonia d'Astonac, a most devout Servant of God and told her that he wished to be honoured by nine salutations corresponding to the nine Choirs of Angels, which should consist of one Our Father and three Hail Marys in honour of each of the Angelic Choirs.

Promises of St. Michael

"Whoever would practice this devotion in his honour would have, when approaching the Holy Table, an escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition, for the daily recital of these nine salutations, he promised his continual assistance and that all the holy angels during life, and after death deliverance from Purgatory for themselves and all their relations."

 

 

 

The Chaplet of St. Michael

O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, etc.

[Say one Our Father and three Hail Marys after each of the following nine salutations in honor of the nine Choirs of Angels]

  [STATE YOUR PRAYER REQUEST]

 

1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity.
Amen.

2. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian perfection.
Amen.

3. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility.
Amen.

4. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominations may the Lord give us grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions.
Amen.

5. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation. Amen.

6. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil.
Amen.

7. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.

8. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven.
Amen.

9. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come to Heaven.
Amen.

Say one Our Father in honor of each of the following leading Angels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and our Guardian Angel.

 

Concluding prayers:

O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.

Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises.

Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into Your Presence.This we ask through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord.    Amen.

 

 

PURPOSE OF THIS WEB SITE

Welcome to this Catholic Spiritual Direction Web Site.   It is the intention of this site to lead people to a closer relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit through the promotion of prayer and Christian teaching which will enable Christians to adhere to the straight and narrow path Jesus speaks of in the Gospels. Included in these web pages are the Douay-Rheims Bible and the works of Saint John of the Cross, Thomas à Kempis and Saint Louis de Montfort, and the works of other saints of the Catholic faith, all of whose teachings on spiritual direction have been followed by priests, ministers, clergymen, Popes and Saints. These teachings adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church. This site is dedicated to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (Biography) (1774-1824) Mystic, Stigmatist, Prophet, and Great Visionary, a saintly Augustinian nun from Flamske, Germany. Her highly descriptive visions of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, The Sorrowful Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, are presented here. In time more works from the Saints of the Catholic Church will be added to these pages.

 

 
OVERCOMING DIFFICULTIES AT WORK OR AT HOME:

    
When difficulties come to us at work or at home it important to pray your way through these difficulties.  At work, it could be trouble with a supervisor or a co-worker, with the result that misery is brought into our lives.  Or at home a wife or a husband, or a child or a relative may be causing you trouble.  It is important to pray your way through these difficulties.  The different forms of prayers listed above, the Rosary, the Chaplet of Saint Michael, the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Holy Mass, can move God to assist us with the things the bother us the most during our lives.  Try these prayers, they work. 


 And sometimes, it takes the prayers of others to help change the current situations that are going on in our lives.   On the following web page, there are several prayer groups that will pray for yours needs; this a great tool against our daily problems and against the assaults of demons.  Sometimes it takes the prayers of many people to change things.

http://www.jesus-passion.com/catholic_groups_that_will_pray_for_you.htm


 

SAINT TERESA RECOMMENDS HOLY WATER

From the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila , Chapter 31. 1562 A.D.

"From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy water must have great virtue. For my own part, whenever I take it, my soul feels a particular and most notable consolation. In fact, it is quite usual for me to be conscious of a refreshment which I cannot possibly describe, resembling an inward joy which comforts my whole soul. This is not fancy, or something which has happened to me only once it has happened again and again and I have observed it most attentively. It is let us say, as if someone very hot and thirsty were to drink from a jug of cold water: he would feel the refreshment throughout his body. I often reflect on the great importance of everything ordained by the Church and it makes me very happy to find that those words of the Church are so powerful that they impart their power to the water and make it so very different from water which has not been blessed."

The Catholic Church around the world uses Holy Water in every church to make the church a fortress against the demons which assault men and women.  The Holy Water is usually situated near every entrance to the church for people to use to anoint themselves with the Sign of the Cross.  When an individual puts on Holy Water any demons present will flee.  Catholics should put Holy Water in containers and place them in their homes and their offices; by doing so they make their homes and offices fortresses against the demons which are always lurking about.  Catholics should also consider carrying the Holy Water in small containers in their pockets to ward off demonic attacks during each day.

____________

GRACE POURED OUT FROM HOLY WATER

"because they include a movement of reverence for God and Divine things; and in this way a bishop's blessing, the sprinkling of holy water, any sacramental anointing, a prayer said in a dedicated church, and anything else of the kind, conduce to the remission of venial sins."  Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica

ORDER HOLY WATER BOTTLES:  http://totallycatholic.com/subcat.php?cid=61&id=190

ALSO SEE: http://www.discountcatholicproducts.com/cath

 

 

SAINT JOHN XXIII

 POPE JOHN XXIII SUMMARY ON WIKIPEDIA

 

    PRAYER OF INTERCESSION TO 
SAINT JOHN XXIII.

Saint John XXIII, you spent your life
deeply immersed in the truths of the
Catholic Faith.  You led us by your great
example of sacrifice and love as you
successively led millions to love Our
Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church. 

We now ask for your intercession for
those who are troubled and in need:

  Saint John XXIII, please pray for the
Holy Catholic Church and for the
following prayer request:
[state your prayer request.]

SAINT JOHN PAUL II

SEE:  EWTN  Biography on Pope John Paul II

PRAYER FOR THE INTERCESSION
OF SAINT JOHN PAUL II

O Blessed Trinity, we thank you
for having graced the Church with
Saint John Paul II and for allowing
the tenderness of your fatherly care,
the glory of the Cross of Christ
and the splendor of the Spirit of love
to shine through him.

Trusting fully in your infinite mercy
and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has given us a living image of
Jesus the Good Shepherd.
He has shown us that holiness
is the necessary measure of ordinary
Christian life and is the way of
achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession,

[MENTION PRAYER REQUEST]

and according to your will,
the graces we implore,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Prayer of Saint Catherine of Siena
for Physical and Spiritual Healing
.

PRECIOUS BLOOD, ocean of divine mercy:
Flow upon us!
Precious Blood, most pure offering:
Procure us every grace!
Precious Blood, hope and refuge of sinners:
Atone for us!
Precious Blood, delight of holy souls:
Draw us! Amen.
 

 

Are you sick or do you know someone who is ill.  Say the  prayer above for them everyday.  Also, there is greater power of prayer when many people are praying for the sick.  Ask many fellow Catholics to join in prayer with you for the sick.  You can send prayer requests to Catholic Groups that will join you in prayer at:    http://www.jesus-passion.com/catholic_groups_that_will_pray_for_you.htm

 




 

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