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Spiritual Direction for Today
Our Lady of Good Remedy Prayer

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Saint Peter of Alcantara
Prayer to Our Lady Untier of Knots
Litany of Saint Joseph
America's Sin of Abortion
Pray for Donald Trump
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Chaplet of Saint Michael
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Overcoming difficulties at Work/Home
Holy Water
Intercession of Two Great Popes
Prayer to the Precious Blood

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THE VIRGIN MARY

 THE UNTIER OF KNOTS

ADVENT

 

MASS READINGS FOR TODAY 

1/16/2018

Tuesday of the Second week in Ordinary Time

 

1st book of Samuel 16:1-13.
The LORD said to Samuel: "How long will you grieve for Saul, whom I have rejected as king of Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen my king from among his sons."
But Samuel replied: "How can I go? Saul will hear of it and kill me." To this the LORD answered: "Take a heifer along and say, 'I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.'
Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I myself will tell you what to do; you are to anoint for me the one I point out to you."
Samuel did as the LORD had commanded him. When he entered Bethlehem, the elders of the city came trembling to meet him and inquired, "Is your visit peaceful, O seer?"
He replied: "Yes! I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. So cleanse yourselves and join me today for the banquet." He also had Jesse and his sons cleanse themselves and invited them to the sacrifice.
As they came, he looked at Eliab and thought, "Surely the LORD'S anointed is here before him."
But the LORD said to Samuel: "Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the LORD looks into the heart."
Then Jesse called Abinadab and presented him before Samuel, who said, "The Lord has not chosen him."
Next Jesse presented Shammah, but Samuel said, "The LORD has not chosen this one either."
In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, "The LORD has not chosen any one of these."
Then Samuel asked Jesse, "Are these all the sons you have?" Jesse replied, "There is still the youngest, who is tending the sheep." Samuel said to Jesse, "Send for him; we will not begin the sacrificial banquet until he arrives here."
Jesse sent and had the young man brought to them. He was ruddy, a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance. The LORD said, "There-anoint him, for this is he!"
Then Samuel, with the horn of oil in hand, anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and from that day on, the spirit of the LORD rushed upon David. When Samuel took his leave, he went to Ramah.

Psalms 89(88):20.21-22.27-28.
Once you spoke in vision;
to your faithful ones you said:
“On a champion I have placed a crown;
over the people I have set a youth.”

I have chosen David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him.
That my hand will be with him;
and that my arm will make him strong.

“He shall say of me, 'You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.'
And I will make him the first-born,
highest of the kings of the earth.”


Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 2:23-28.
As Jesus was passing through a field of grain on the sabbath, his disciples began to make a path while picking the heads of grain.
At this the Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?"
He said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions were hungry?
How he went into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest and ate the bread of offering that only the priests could lawfully eat, and shared it with his companions?"
Then he said to them, "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.
That is why the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."

_________


 

SOURCE:   http://www.evangeliumtagfuertag.org

 

 

 

"At the evening of life, you will be examined in love. Learn to love as God desires to be loved and abandon your own ways of acting."  ---Saint John of the Cross

 

 

 

PART III.

CONTAINING COUNSELS CONCERNING THE PRACTICE OF VIRTUE.

 

PART III

CHAPTER XLI.
One Word to Maidens.


O YE virgins, I have but a word to say to you. If you look to married life in this life, guard your first love jealously for your husband. It seems to me a miserable fraud to give a husband a worn-out heart, whose love has been frittered away and despoiled of its first bloom instead of a true, whole-hearted love. But if you are happily called to be the chaste and holy bride of spiritual nuptials, and purpose to live a life of virginity, then in Christ's Name I bid you keep all your purest, most sensitive love for your Heavenly Bridegroom, Who, being Very Purity Himself, has a special love for purity; Him to Whom the first-fruits of all good things are due, above all those of love. S. Jerome's Epistles will supply you with the needful counsels; and inasmuch as your state of life requires obedience, seek out a guide under whose direction you may wholly dedicate yourself, body and soul, to His Divine Majesty.
 

_

PART IV.

 CONTAINING NEEDFUL COUNSELS CONCERNING SOME ORDINARY TEMPTATIONS.

CHAPTER I.

We must not trifle with the Words of Worldly Wisdom.

DIRECTLY that your worldly friends perceive that you aim at leading a devout life, they will let loose endless shafts of mockery and misrepresentation upon you; the more malicious will attribute your change to hypocrisy, designing, or bigotry; they will affirm that the world having looked coldly upon you, failing its favour you turn to God; while your friends will make a series of what, from their point of view, are prudent and charitable remonstrances. They will tell you that you are growing morbid; that you will lose your worldly credit, and will make yourself unacceptable to the world; they will prognosticate your premature old age, the ruin (291) of your material prosperity; they will tell you that in the world you must live as the world does; that you can be saved without all this fuss; and much more of the like nature. My daughter, all this is vain and foolish talk: these people have no real regard either for your bodily health or your material prosperity. "If ye were of the world," the Saviour has said, "the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." (a) We have all seen men, and women too, pass the whole night, even several in succession, playing at chess or cards; and what can be a more dismal, unwholesome thing than that? But the world has not a word to say against it, and their friends are nowise troubled. But give up an hour to meditation, or get up rather earlier than usual to prepare for Holy Communion, and they will send for the doctor to cure you of hypochondria or jaundice! People spend every night for a month dancing, and no one will complain of being the worse; but if they keep the one watch of Christmas Eve, we shall hear of endless colds and maladies the next day! Is it not as plain as possible that the world is an unjust judge; indulgent and kindly to its own children, harsh and uncharitable to the children of God?  (292) We cannot stand well with the world save by renouncing His approval. It is not possible to satisfy the world's unreasonable demands: "John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say he hath a devil. The Son of Man is come eating and drinking, and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, the friend of publicans and sinners." (b) Even so, my child, if we give in to the world, and laugh, dance, and play as it does, it will affect to be scandalized; if we refuse to do so, it will accuse us of being hypocritical or morbid. If we adorn ourselves after its fashion, it will put some evil construction on what we do; if we go in plain attire, it will accuse us of meanness; our cheerfulness will be called dissipation; our mortification dulness; and ever casting its evil eye upon us, nothing we can do will please it. It exaggerates our failings, and publishes them abroad as sins; it represents our venial sins as mortal, and our sins of infirmity as malicious. S. Paul says that charity is kind, but the world is unkind; charity thinks no evil, but the world thinks evil of every one, and if it cannot find fault with our actions, it is sure at least to impute bad motives to them,--whether the sheep be black or white, horned or no, the wolf will devour them if he can. (293) Do what we will, the world must wage war upon us. If we spend any length of time in confession, it will speculate on what we have so much to say about! if we are brief, it will suggest that we are keeping back something! It spies out our every act, and at the most trifling angry word, sets us down as intolerable. Attention to business is avarice, meekness mere silliness; whereas the wrath of worldly people is to be reckoned as generosity, their avarice, economy, their mean deeds, honourable. There are always spiders at hand to spoil the honey-bee's comb. Let us leave the blind world to make as much noise as it may,--like a bat molesting the songbirds of day; let us be firm in our ways, unchangeable in our resolutions, and perseverance will be the test of our self-surrender to God, and our deliberate choice of the devout life. The planets and a wandering comet shine with much the same brightness, but the comet's is a passing blaze, which does not linger long, while the planets cease not to display their brightness. Even so hypocrisy and real goodness have much outward resemblance; but one is easily known from the other, inasmuch as hypocrisy is short-lived, and disperses like a mist, while real goodness is firm and abiding. There is no surer groundwork for the beginnings of a devout life than the endurance of misrepresentation (294) and calumny, since thereby we escape the danger of vainglory and pride, which are like the midwives of Egypt, who were bidden by Pharaoh to kill the male children born to Israel directly after their birth. We are crucified to the world, and the world must be as crucified to us. It esteems us as fools, let us esteem it as mad.

a. S. John xv. 19.
b. S. Luke vii. 33, 34.

 

 

CHAPTER II.

The need of a Good Courage.

HOWEVER much we may admire and crave for light, it is apt to dazzle our eyes when they have been long accustomed to darkness; and on first visiting a foreign country, we are sure to feel strange among its inhabitants, however kindly or courteous they may be. Even so, my child, your changed life may be attended with some inward discomfort, and you may feel some reaction of discouragement and weariness after you have taken a final farewell of the world and its follies. Should it be so, I pray you take it patiently, for it will not last,--it is merely the disturbance caused by novelty; and when it is gone by, you will abound in consolations. At first you may suffer somewhat under the loss what you enjoyed among your vain, frivolous (295) companions; but would you forfeit the eternal gifts of God for such things as these? The empty amusements which have engrossed you hitherto may rise up attractively before your imagination, and strive to win you back to rest in them; but are you bold enough to give up a blessed eternity for such deceitful snares? Believe me, if you will but persevere you will not fail to enjoy a sweetness so real and satisfying, that you will be constrained to confess that the world has only gall to give as compared with this honey, and that one single day of devotion is worth more than a thousand years of worldly life. But you see before you the mountain of Christian perfection, which is very high, and you exclaim in fearfulness that you can never ascend it. Be of good cheer, my child. When the young bees first begin to live they are mere grubs, unable to hover over flowers, or to fly to the mountains, or even to the little hills where they might gather honey; but they are fed for a time with the honey laid up by their predecessors, and by degrees the grubs put forth their wings and grow strong, until they fly abroad and gather their harvest from all the country round. Now we are yet but as grubs in devotion, unable to fly at will, and attain the desired aim of Christian perfection; but if we begin to take shape through (296) our desires and resolutions, our wings will gradually grow, and we may hope one day to become spiritual bees, able to fly. Meanwhile let us feed upon the honey left us in the teaching of so many holy men of old, praying God that He would grant us doves' wings, so that we may not only fly during this life, but find an abiding resting-place in Eternity.

_____________

 

TO GO TO NEXT CHAPTER SEE:   III. Of Temptations, and the difference between experiencing them and consenting to them . . . 296

 

 

 
SAINT FOR TODAY

St. Marcellus, Pope and Martyr

January 16

See the epitaph of eight verses, composed for this Pope, by St. Damasus, carm. 26; and Tillemont, T. 5. [BUTLER'S LIVES OF THE SAINTS]

A.D. 310.

ST. MARCELLUS was priest under Pope Marcellinus, whom he succeeded in 308, after that see had been vacant for three years and a half. An epitaph written on him by Pope Damasus, who also mentions himself in it, says that by enforcing the canons of holy penance, he drew upon himself the contradictions and persecutions of many tepid and refractory Christians, and that for his severity against a certain apostate, he was banished by the tyrant Maxentius. 1 He died in 310, having sat one year, seven months, and twenty days. Anastatius writes, that Lucina, a devout widow of one Pinianus, who lodged St. Marcellus when he lived in Rome, after his death converted her house into a church, which she called by his name. His false acts relate, that among his other sufferings, he was condemned by the tyrant to keep cattle in this place. He is styled a martyr in the sacramentaries of Gelasius I. and St. Gregory, and in the Martyrologies ascribed to St. Jerom and St. Bede, which, with the rest of the Western calendars, mention his feast on the sixteenth of January. His body lies under the high altar in the ancient church, which bears his name, and gives title to a cardinal in Rome; but certain portions of his relics are honoured at Cluni, Namur, Mons, &c. 1

God is most wonderful in the whole economy of his holy providence over his elect: his power and wisdom are exalted infinitely above the understanding of creatures, and we are obliged to cry out, “Who can search his ways?” 2 We have not penetration to discover all the causes and ends of exterior things, which we see or feel. How much less can we understand this in secret and interior things, which fall not under our senses? “Remember that thou knowest not his work. Behold he is a great God, surpassing our understanding.” 3 How does he make every thing serve his purposes for the sanctification of his servants! By how many ways does he conduct them to eternal glory! Some he sanctifies on thrones; others in cottages; others in retired cells and deserts; others in the various functions of an apostolic life, and in the government of his church. And how wonderfully does he ordain and direct all human events to their spiritual advancement, both in prosperity and in adversity! In their persecutions and trials, especially, we shall discover at the last day, when the secrets of his providence will be manifested to us, the tenderness of his infinite love, the depth of his unsearchable wisdom, and the extent of his omnipotent power. In all his appointments let us adore these his attributes, earnestly imploring his grace, that according to the designs of his mercy, we may, make every thing, especially all afflictions, serve for the exercise and improvement of our virtue. 2

Note 1. Damasus, carm. 26. [back]

Note 2. Job. xxxvi. 23. [back]

Note 3. Ib. [back]

INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Saint Marcellus, please pray for us today [say your prayer request.]

 

 

ST. PAUL, THE FIRST HERMIT.

JANUARY 15TH

[Pictorial Lives of the Saints, compiled from "Butler's Lives" and other approved sources, Imprimatur: John, Cardinal McCloskey, Archbishop of New York, June 3, 1878.  and Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York, January 21, 1887.]

ST. PAUL was born in Upper Egypt, about the year 230, and became an orphan at the age of fifteen, being very rich and highly educated. Fearing lest the tortures of a terrible persecution might endanger his perseverance, he retired into a remote village. But his pagan brother-in-law denounced him, and St.  Paul, rather than remain where his faith was in danger, entered the barren desert, trusting that God would supply his wants. And his confidence was rewarded ; for in the spot to which Providence led him he found the fruit of the palm-tree for food, and its leaves for clothing, and the water of the spring for drink. His first de-sign was to return to the world when the persecution was over, but tasting great delights in prayer and penance, he remained the rest of his life, ninety years, in penance, prayer, and contemplation. God revealed his existence to St. Antony, who sought him for three days. Seeing a thirsty she-wolf run through an opening in the rocks, Antony followed her to look for water, and found Paul. They knew each other at once, and praised God together. When St. Antony visited him, a raven brought him a loaf, and St. Paul said, " See how good God is ! For sixty years this bird has brought me half a loaf every clay ; now thou art come, Christ has doubled the provision for His servants." Having passed the night in prayer, at dawn of day Paul told Antony he was about to die, and asked to be buried in the cloak given to Antony by St. Athanasias. Antony hastened to fetch it, and on his way back saw. Pahl rise to heaven in glory. He found his dead body kneeling as if in prayer, and two lions came and dug his grave. Paui died in his one hundred and thirteenth year.


REFLECTION.—We shall never repent of having trusted in God for he cannot fail those who lean on him ; nor shall we ever trust in ourselves without being deceived.

 

INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Saint Paul the hermit, please pray for us today [say your prayer request.]

 

 

Saint Felix of Nola, Priest and Confessor

January 14

IT is observed by the judicious Tillemont, with regard to the life of this saint, that we might doubt of its wonderful circumstances, were they not supported by the authority of a Paulinus; but that great miracles ought to be received with the greater veneration, when authorized by incontestable vouchers.

 St. Felix was a native of Nola, a Roman colony in Campania, fourteen miles from Naples, where his father Hermias, who was by birth a Syrian, and had served in the army, had purchased an estate and settled himself. He had two sons, Felix and Hermias, to whom at his death he left his patrimony. The younger sought preferment in the world among the lovers of vanity, by following the profession of arms, which at that time was the surest road to riches and honours. Felix, to become in effect what his name in Latin imported, that is happy, resolved to follow no other standard than that of the King of kings, Jesus Christ. For this purpose, despising all earthly things, lest the love of them might entangle his soul, he distributed the better part of his substance among the poor, and was ordained Reader Exorcist, and, lastly, priest, by Maximus, the holy bishop of Nola; who, charmed with his sanctity and prudence, made him his principal support in those times of trouble, and designed him for his successor. 1

In the year 250, the Emperor Decius raised a bloody persecution against the church. Maximus, seeing himself principally aimed at, retired into the desert, not through the fear of death, which he desired, but rather not to tempt God by seeking it, and to preserve himself for the service of his flock. The persecutors not finding him, seized on Felix, who in his absence was very vigilant in the discharge of all his pastoral duties. The governor caused him to be scourged; then loaded with bolts and chains about his neck, hands, and legs, and cast into a dungeon, in which, as St. Prudentius informs us, 2 the floor was spread all over with potsherds and pieces of broken glass, so that there was no place free from them, on which the saint could either stand or lie. One night an angel appearing in great glory, filled the prison with a bright light, and bade St. Felix go and assist his bishop, who was in great distress. The confessor seeing his chains fall off, and the doors open, followed his guide, and was conducted by heaven to the place where Maximus lay, almost perished with hunger and cold, speechless, and without sense: for, through anxiety for his flock, and the hardships of his solitary retreat, he had suffered more than a martyrdom. Felix, not being able to bring him to himself, had recourse to prayer; and discovering thereupon a bunch of grapes within reach, he squeezed some of the juice into his mouth, which had the desired effect. The good bishop no sooner beheld his friend Felix, but he embraced him, and begged to be conveyed back to his church. The saint taking him on his shoulders, carried him to his episcopal house in the city, before day appeared, where a pious ancient woman took care of him. 3

Felix, with the blessing of his pastor, repaired secretly to his own lodgings, and there kept himself concealed, praying for the church without ceasing, till peace was restored to it by the death of Decius, in the year 251. He no sooner appeared again in public, but his zeal so exasperated the pagans, that they came armed to apprehend him; but though they met him, they knew him not; they even asked him where Felix was, a question he did not think proper to give a direct answer to! The persecutors going a little further, perceived their mistake, and returned; but the saint in the mean time had stept a little out of the way, and crept through a hole in a ruinous old wall, which was instantly closed up by spiders’ webs. His enemies never imagining any thing could have lately passed where they saw so close a spiders’ web, after a fruitless search elsewhere, returned in the evening without their prey. Felix finding among the ruins, between two houses, an old well half dry, hid himself in it for six months; and received during that time wherewithal to subsist by means of a devout Christian woman. Peace being restored to the church by the death of the emperor, the saint quitted his retreat, and was received in the city as an angel sent from heaven.

Soon after, St. Maximus dying, all were unanimous for electing Felix bishop; but he persuaded the people to make choice of Quintus, because the older priest of the two, having been ordained seven days before him. Quintus, when bishop, always respected St. Felix as his father, and followed his advice in every particular. The remainder of the saint’s estate having been confiscated in the persecution, he was advised to lay claim to it, as others had done, who thereby recovered what had been taken from them. His answer was, that in poverty he should be the more secure of possessing Christ. 4 He could not even be prevailed upon to accept what the rich offered him. He rented a little spot of barren land, not exceeding three acres, which he tilled with his own hands, in such manner as to receive his subsistence from it, and to have something left for alms. Whatever was bestowed on him, he gave immediately to the poor. If he had two coats, he was sure to give them the better; and often exchanged his only one for the rags of some beggar. He died in a good old age, on the fourteenth of January, on which day the Martyrology, under the name of St. Jerom, and all others of later date mention him. Five churches have been built at, or near the place, where he was first interred, which was without the precincts of the city of Nola. His precious remains are at present kept in the cathedral; but certain portions are at Rome, Benevento, and some other places. Pope Damasus, in a pilgrimage which he made from Rome to Nola, to the shrine of this saint, professes, in a short poem which he composed in acknowledgment, that he was miraculously cured of a distemper through his intercession.

St. Paulinus, a Roman senator in the fifth age, forty-six years after the death of St. Damasus, came from Spain to Nola, desirous of being porter in the church of St. Felix. He testifies, that crowds of pilgrims came from Rome, from all other parts of Italy, and more distant countries, to visit his sepulchre on his festival: he adds, that all brought some present or other to his church, as wax candles to burn at his tomb, precious ointments, costly ornaments, and such like; but that for his part, he offered to him the homage of his tongue, and himself, though an unworthy victim. 5 He everywhere expresses his devotion to this saint in the warmest and strongest terms, and believes that all the graces he received from heaven were conferred on him through the intercession of St. Felix. To him he addressed himself in all his necessities; by his prayers he begged grace in this life, and glory after death. 6 He describes at large the holy pictures of the whole history of the Old Testament, which were hung up in the church of St. Felix, and which inflamed all who beheld them, and were as so many books that instructed the ignorant. We may read with pleasure the pious sentiments the sight of each gave St. Paulinus. 7 He relates a great number of miracles that were wrought at his tomb, as of persons cured of various distempers and delivered from dangers by his intercession, to several of which he was an eye-witness. He testifies, that he himself had frequently experienced the most sensible effects of his patronage, and, by having recourse to him, had been speedily succoured. 8 St. Austin also has given an account of many miracles performed at his shrine. 9 It was not formerly allowed to bury any corpse within the walls of cities. The church of St. Felix, out of the walls of Nola, not being comprised under this prohibition, many devout Christians sought to be buried in it, that their faith and devotion might recommend them after death to the patronage of this holy confessor, upon which head St. Paulinus consulted St. Austin. The holy doctor answered him by his book, On the Care for the Dead: in which he shows, that the faith and devotion of such persons would be available to them after death, as the suffrages and good works of the living in behalf of the faithful departed are profitable to the latter. See the poems of St. Paulinus on his life, confirmed by other authentic ancient records, quoted by Tillemont, t. 4. p. 226. and Ruinart, Acta Sincera, p. 256. Muratori, Anecd. Lat.

Note 1. St. Paulin. Carm. 19, 20. See Natali. 4. [back]
Note 2. De Cor. hymn. 5. [back]
Note 3. Paulin. Carm. 19. [back]
Note 4. Dives egebo Deo; nam Christum pauper habebo. Paulin. Carm. 20. Natali S. Felicis 5. [back]
Note 5.
————————— Ego munere linguæ.
Nudus opum, famulor, de me mea debita solvens,
Meque ipsum pro me, vilis licet hostia, pendam.
Natal 6.
[back]
Note 6. Nat. 1, 2, &c. [back]
Note 7. Nat. 9, 10. [back]
Note 8. St. Paulin. Ep. 28 and 36. Carm. 13. 18. 21, 22, 23. 29. &c. [back]
Note 9. St. August. Ep. 78. olim 137. and lib. De curâ pro mortuis, c. 16. [back]



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

 

 

 

 

 

 

ST. THEODOSIUS, THE CENOBIARCH

FEAST DAY:  JANUARY 11TH

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

THEODOSIUS was born in Cappadocia in 423. The example of Abraham urged him to leave his country, and his desire to follow Jesus Christ attracted him to the religious life. He placed himself under Longinus, a very holy hermit, who sent him to govern a monastery near Bethlehem. Unable to bring himself to command others,  he fled to a cavern, where he lived in penance and prayer. His great charity, however, forbade him to refuse the charge of some disciples, who, few at first, became in time a vast number, and Theodosius built a large monastery and three churches for them.  He became eventually Superior of the religious communities of Palestine. Theodosius accommodated himself so carefully to the characters of his subjects, that his reproofs were loved rather than dreaded. But once he was obliged to separate from the communion of the others a religious guilty of a grave fault. Instead of humbly accepting his sentence, the monk was arrogant enough to pretend to excommunicate Theodosius in revenge. Theodosius thought not of indignation, nor of his own position but meekly submitted to this false and unjust excommunication. This so touched the heart of his disciple that he submitted at once and acknowledged his fault. Theodosius never refused assistance to any in poverty or affliction; on some days, the monks laid more than a hundred tables for those in want. In times of famine Theodosius forbade the alms to be diminished, and often miraculously multiplied the provisions. He also built five hospitals, to which he lovingly served the sick, while by assiduous spiritual reading he maintained himself in perfect recollection. He successfully opposed the Eutychian heresy in Jerusalem, and for this was banished by the emperor. He suffered a long and painful malady, and refused to pray to be cured, calling it a salutary penance for his former successes. He died at the age of a hundred and six.

REFLECTION.—St. Theodosius, for the sake of charity, sacrificed all he most prized—his home for the love of God, and his solitude for the love of his neighbor. Can ours be true charity if it costs us little or nothing?

Butler's Lives complete teaching at:  http://www.bartleby.com/210/1/111.html

_________

INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Saint Theodosius, please pray for us [say your prayer request.]

 

 
 
 

Holy Name of Jesus

From Catholic encylopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07421a.htm

We give honour to the Name of Jesus, not because we believe that there is any intrinsic power hidden in the letters composing it, but because the Name of Jesus reminds us of all the blessings we receive through our Holy Redeemer. To give thanks for these blessings we revere the Holy Name, as we honour the Passion of Christ by honouring His Cross (Colvenerius, "De festo SS. Nominis", ix). At the Holy Name of Jesus we uncover our heads, and we bend our knees; it is at the head of all our undertakings, as the Emperor Justinian says in his law-book: "In the Name of Our Lord Jesus we begin all our consultations". The Name of Jesus invoked with confidence

  • brings help in bodily needs, according to the promise of Christ: "In my name They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover". (Mark 16:17-18) In the Name of Jesus the Apostles gave strength to the lame (Acts 3:6; 9:34) and life to the dead (Acts 9:40).
  • It gives consolation in spiritual trials. The Name of Jesus reminds the sinner of the prodigal son's father and of the Good Samaritan; it recalls to the just the suffering and death of the innocent Lamb of God.
  • It protects us against Satan and his wiles, for the Devil fears the Name of Jesus, who has conquered him on the Cross.
  • In the Name of Jesus we obtain every blessing and grace for time and eternity, for Christ has said: "If you ask the Father anything in my name he will give it you." (John 16:23) Therefore the Church concludes all her prayers by the words: "Through Our Lord Jesus Christ", etc.
So the word of St. Paul is fulfilled: "That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (Philippians 2:10).

A special lover of the Holy Name was St. Bernard, who speaks of it in most glowing terms in many of his sermons. But the greatest promoters of this devotion were St. Bernardine of Siena and St. John Capistran. They carried with them on their missions in the turbulent cities of Italy a copy of the monogram of the Holy Name, surrounded by rays, painted on a wooden tablet, wherewith they blessed the sick and wrought great miracles. At the close of their sermons they exhibited this emblem to the faithful and asked them to prostrate themselves, to adore the Redeemer of mankind. They recommended their hearers to have the monogram of Jesus placed over the gates of their cities and above the doors of their dwelling (cf. Seeberger, "Key to the Spiritual Treasures", 1897, 102). Because the manner in which St. Bernardine preached this devotion was new, he was accused by his enemies, and brought before the tribunal of Pope Martin V. But St. John Capistran defended his master so successfully that the pope not only permitted the worship of the Holy Name, but also assisted at a procession in which the holy monogram was carried. The tablet used by St. Bernardine is venerated at Santa Maria in Ara Coeli at Rome.

The emblem or monogram representing the Holy Name of Jesus consists of the three letters: IHS. In the Middle Ages the Name of Jesus was written: IHESUS; the monogram contains the first and last letter of the Holy Name. It is first found on a gold coin of the eight century: DN IHS CHS REX REGNANTIUM (The Lord Jesus Christ, King of Kings). Some erroneously say that the three letters are the initials of: "Jesus Hominum Salvator" (Jesus Saviour of Men). The Jesuits made this monogram the emblem of their Society, adding a cross over the H and three nails under it. Consequently a new explanation of the emblem was invented, pretending that the nails originally were a "V", and that the monogram stands for "In Hoc Signo Vinces" (In This Sign you shall Conquer), the words which, according to a legendary account, Constantine saw in the heavens under the Sign of the Cross before the battle at the Milvian bridge (312).

Urban IV and John XXII are said to have granted an indulgence of thirty days to those who would add the name of Jesus to the Hail Mary or would bend their knees, or at least bow their heads when hearing the Name of Jesus (Alanus, "Psal. Christi et Mariae", i, 13, and iv, 25, 33; Michael ab Insulis, "Quodlibet", v; Colvenerius, "De festo SS. Nominis", x). This statement may be true; yet it was only by the efforts of St. Bernardine that the custom of adding the Name of Jesus to the Ave Maria was spread in Italy, and from there to the Universal Church. But up to the sixteenth century it was still unknown in Belgium (Colven., op. Cit., x), whilst in Bavaria and Austria the faithful still affix to the Ave Maria the words: "Jesus Christus" (ventris tui, Jesus Christus). Sixtus V (2 July, 1587) granted an indulgence of fifty days to the ejaculation: "Praise be to Jesus Christ!" with the answer: "For evermore", or "Amen". In the South of Germany the peasants salute each other with this pious formula. Sixtus V and Benedict XIII granted an indulgence of fifty days to all as often as they pronounce the Name of Jesus reverently, and a plenary indulgence in the hour of death. These two indulgences were confirmed by Clement XIII, 5 Sept., 1759. As often as we invoke the Name of Jesus and Mary ("Jesu!", "Maria!") we may gain an indulgence of 300 days, by decree of Pius X, 10 Oct., 1904. It is also necessary, to gain the papal indulgence in the hour of death, to pronounce at least in mind the Name of Jesus.

________

THE LITANY OF THE
MOST HOLY NAME OF JESUS.

 

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Jesus, hear us.
Jesus, hear us.

Jesus, graciously hear us. Jesus,
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.

Jesus, Son of the living God,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Splendor of the Father,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Brightness of eternal Light,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, King of Glory,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Sun of Justice,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, most amiable,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, most admirable,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, the mighty God,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Father of the world to come,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Angel of Great Council,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, most powerful,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, most patient,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, most obedient,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Lover of Chastity,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, our Lover,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, God of Peace,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Author of Life,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Model of Virtue,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, zealous for souls,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, our God,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, our Refuge,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Father of the Poor,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Treasure of the Faithful,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, good Shepherd,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, true Light,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, eternal Wisdom,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, infinite Goodness,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, our Way and our Life,
have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of the Angels,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, King of the Patriarchs,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Master of the Apostles,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Teacher of the Evangelists,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Strength of Martyrs,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Light of Confessors,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Purity of Virgins,
have mercy on us.

Jesus, Crown of all Saints,
have mercy on us.

Be merciful,
spare us O Jesus.

Be merciful,
graciously hear us, O Jesus.

From all evil,
deliver us, O Jesus.

From all sin,
deliver us, O Jesus.

From Thy wrath,
deliver us, O Jesus.

From the snares of the devil,
deliver us, O Jesus.

From the spirit of fornication,
deliver us, O Jesus.

From everlasting death,
deliver us, O Jesus.

From the neglect of Thy inspirations,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through Thy Nativity,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through Thy Infancy,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through Thy most divine Life,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through Thy Labors,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through Thy Agony and Passion,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through Thy Cross and Dereliction,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through Thy Sufferings,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through Thy Death and Burial,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through Thy Resurrection,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through Thy Ascension,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through Thy Institution of the Most Holy Eucharist,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through Thy Joys,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Through Thy Glory,
deliver us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us, O Jesus.

Jesus hear us.
Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray,

O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou hast said,
"Ask and you shall receive;
seek and you shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened to you";
mercifully attend to our supplications,
and grant us the grace of Thy most divine love,
that we may love Thee with all our hearts,
and in all our words and actions,
and never cease to praise Thee.

Make us, O Lord,
to have a perpetual fear
and love of Thy holy name,
for Thou never failest to govern
those who Thou dost solidly establish in Thy love.

Amen.

 

 

 
JohnCrossImage.jpg (9797 bytes)

ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS.

December 14th

The father of St. John was discarded by his kindred for marrying a poor orphan, and the Saint, thus born and nurtured in poverty chose it also for his portion. Unable to learn a trade, he became the, servant of the poor in the hospital of Medina, while still pursuing his sacred studies. In 1563, being then twenty-one, he humbly offered himself as a lay-brother to the Carmelite friars, who, however, knowing his talents, had him ordained priest. He would now have exchanged to the severe Carthusian Order, had not St. Teresa, with the instinct of a Saint, persuaded him to remain and help her in the reform of his own Order. Thus he became the first prior of the Barefooted Carmelites. His reform, though approved by the general, was rejected by the elder friars, who condemned the Saint as a fugitive and apostate, and cast him into prison, whence he only escaped, after nine months' suffering, at the risk of his life. Twice again, before his death, he was shamefully persecuted by his brethren, and publicly disgraced. But his complete abandonment by creatures only deepened his interior peace and devout longing for heaven.

Reflection. "Live in the world," said St. John, "as if God and your soul only were in it; so shall your heart be never made captive by any earthly thing."

INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Saint John of the Cross, please pray for [state your prayer request.]

For more information see the works of St. John of the Cross.

 

Saint John of the Cross

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_John_of_the_Cross

  
Saint John of the Cross
Zurbarán St. John of the Cross.jpg
 
Saint John of the Cross by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1656
Religious founder, priest and Doctor of the Church
Born 1542[1]
Fontiveros, Ávila, Spain
Died December 14, 1591 (aged 49)
Úbeda, Jaén, Spain
Honored in Roman Catholic Church; Anglican Communion; Lutheran Church
Beatified 25 January 1675 by Pope Clement X
Canonized 27 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Major shrine Tomb of Saint John of the Cross, Segovia, Spain
Feast 14 December
24 November (General Roman Calendar, 1738-1969)
Patronage Contemplative life; contemplatives; mystical theology; mystics; Spanish poets[2]

Saint John of the Cross, O.C.D. (Spanish: San Juan de la Cruz; 1542[1] – 14 December 1591), was a major figure of the Counter-Reformation, a Spanish mystic, a Roman Catholic saint, a Carmelite friar and a priest who was born at Fontiveros, Old Castile.

John of the Cross was a reformer of the Carmelite Order and is considered, along with Saint Teresa of Ávila, as a founder of the Discalced Carmelites. He is also known for his writings. Both his poetry and his studies on the growth of the soul are considered the summit of mystical Spanish literature and one of the peaks of all Spanish literature. He was canonized as a saint in 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII. He is one of the thirty-five Doctors of the Church.

 

 

Life

Early life and education

Statues in Fontiveros of John of the Cross, erected in 1928 by popular subscription by the townspeople.

He was born Juan de Yepes y Álvarez[3] into a Jewish converso family in Fontiveros, near Ávila, a town of around 2,000 people.[4][5] His father, Gonzalo, was an accountant to richer relatives who were silk merchants. However, when in 1529 he married John's mother, Catalina, who was an orphan of a lower class, Gonzalo was rejected by his family and forced to work with his wife as a weaver.[6] John's father died in 1545, while John was still only around seven years old.[7] Two years later, John's older brother Luis died, probably as a result of insufficient nourishment caused by the penury to which John's family had been reduced. After this, John's mother Catalina took John and his surviving brother Francisco, and moved first in 1548 to Arévalo, and then in 1551 to Medina del Campo, where she was able to find work weaving.[8][9]

In Medina, John entered a school for around 160[10] poor children, usually orphans, receiving a basic education, mainly in Christian doctrine, as well as some food, clothing and lodging. While studying there, he was chosen to serve as acolyte at a nearby monastery of Augustinian nuns.[8] Growing up, John worked at a hospital and studied the humanities at a Jesuit school from 1559 to 1563; the Society of Jesus was a new organization at the time, having been founded only a few years earlier by the Spaniard St. Ignatius of Loyola. In 1563[11] he entered the Carmelite Order, adopting the name John of St. Matthias.[8]

The following year (1564)[12] he professed his religious vows as a Carmelite and travelled to Salamanca, where he studied theology and philosophy at the prestigious University there (at the time one of the four biggest in Europe, alongside Paris, Oxford and Bologna) and at the Colegio de San Andrés. Some modern writers[citation needed] claim that this stay would influence all his later writings, as Fray Luis de León taught biblical studies (Exegesis, Hebrew and Aramaic) at the University: León was one of the foremost experts in Biblical Studies then and had written an important and controversial translation of the Song of Songs into Spanish. (Translation of the Bible into the vernacular was not allowed then in Spain.)

Joining the Reform of Teresa of Jesus

 

John was ordained a priest in 1567, and then indicated his intent to join the strict Carthusian Order, which appealed to him because of its encouragement of solitary and silent contemplation. A journey from Salamanca to Medina del Campo, probably in September 1567, changed this.[13] In Medina he met the charismatic Carmelite nun Teresa of Jesus. She was in Medina to found the second of her convents for women.[14] She immediately talked to him about her reformation projects for the Order: she was seeking to restore the purity of the Carmelite Order by restarting observance of its "Primitive Rule" of 1209, observance of which had been relaxed by Pope Eugene IV in 1432.

Under this Rule, much of the day and night was to be spent in the recitation of the choir offices, study and devotional reading, the celebration of Mass and times of solitude. For the friars, time was to be spent evangelizing the population around the monastery.[15] Total abstinence from meat and lengthy fasting was to be observed from the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (September 14) until Easter. There were to be long periods of silence, especially between Compline and Prime. Coarser, shorter habits, more simple than those worn since 1432, were to be worn.[16] They were to follow the injunction against the wearing of shoes (also mitigated in 1432). It was from this last observance that the followers of Teresa among the Carmelites were becoming known as "discalced", i.e., barefoot, differentiating themselves from the non-reformed friars and nuns.

Teresa asked John to delay his entry into the Carthusians and to follow her. Having spent a final year studying in Salamanca, in August 1568 John traveled with Teresa from Medina to Valladolid, where Teresa intended to found another monastery of nuns. Having spent some time with Teresa in Valladolid, learning more about this new form of Carmelite life, in October 1568, accompanied by Friar Antonio de Jesús de Heredia, John left Valladolid to found a new monastery for friars, the first for men following Teresa's principles. They were given the use of a derelict house at Duruelo (midway between Ávila and Salamanca), which had been donated to Teresa. On 28 November 1568, the monastery[17] was established, and on that same day John changed his name to John of the Cross.

Soon after, in June 1570, the friars found the house at Duruelo too small, and so moved to the nearby town of Mancera de Abajo. After moving on from this community, John set up a new community at Pastrana (October 1570), and a community at Alcalá de Henares, which was to be a house of studies for the academic training of the friars. In 1572[18] he arrived in Ávila, at the invitation of Teresa, who had been appointed prioress of the Monastery of the Visitation there in 1571.[19] John became the spiritual director and confessor for Teresa and the other 130 nuns there, as well for as a wide range of laypeople in the city.[8] In 1574, John accompanied Teresa in the foundation of a new monastery in Segovia, returning to Avila after staying there a week. Beyond this, though, John seems to have remained in Ávila between 1572 and 1577.[20]

Drawing of the crucifixion by John of the Cross, which inspired Salvador Dalí

One day at some point between 1574 and 1577, while praying in the Monastery of the Incarnation in Ávila, in a loft overlooking the sanctuary, John had a vision of the crucified Christ, which led him to create his famous drawing of Christ "from above". In 1641, this drawing was placed in a small monstrance and kept in Ávila. This drawing inspired the artist Salvador Dalí's 1951 work Christ of Saint John of the Cross.

The height of Carmelite tensions

The years 1575-77, however, saw a great increase in the tensions among the Spanish Carmelite friars over the reforms of Teresa and John. Since 1566 the reforms had been overseen by Canonical Visitors from the Dominican Order, with one appointed to Castile and a second to Andalusia. These Visitors had substantial powers: they could move the members of religious communities from house to house and even province to province. They could assist religious superiors in their office, and could depute other superiors from either the Dominicans or Carmelites. In Castile, the Visitor was Pedro Fernández, who prudently balanced the interests of the Discalced Carmelites against those of the friars and nuns who did not desire reform.[21]

In Andalusia to the south, however, where the Visitor was Francisco Vargas, tensions rose due to his clear preference for the Discalced friars. Vargas asked them to make foundations in various cities, in explicit contradiction of orders from the Carmelite Prior General against their expansion in Andalusia. As a result, a General Chapter of the Carmelite Order was convened at Piacenza in Italy in May 1576, out of concern that events in Spain were getting out of hand, which concluded by ordering the total suppression of the Discalced houses.[8]

This measure was not immediately enforced. For one thing, King Philip II of Spain was supportive of some of Teresa's reforms, and so was not immediately willing to grant the necessary permission to enforce this ordinance. Moreover the Discalced friars also found support from the papal nuncio to King Philip II, Nicolò Ormaneto (it), Bishop of Padua, who still had ultimate power as nuncio to visit and reform religious Orders. When asked by the Discalced friars to intervene, Ormaneto replaced Vargas as Visitor of the Carmelites in Andalusia (where the troubles had begun) with Jerónimo Gracián, a priest from the University of Alcalá, who was in fact a Discalced Carmelite friar himself.[8] The nuncio's protection helped John himself avoid problems for a time. In January 1576, John was arrested in Medina del Campo by some Carmelite friars. However, through the nuncio's intervention, John was soon released.[8] When Ormaneto died on 18 June 1577, however, John was left without protection, and the friars opposing his reforms gained the upper hand.

Imprisonment, writings, torture, death and recognition

El Greco's landscape of Toledo depicts the priory in which John was held captive, just below the old Muslim alcázar and perched on the banks of the Tajo on high cliffs

On the night of 2 December 1577, a group of Carmelites opposed to reform broke into John's dwelling in Ávila and took him prisoner. John had received an order from some of his superiors, opposed to reform, ordering him to leave Ávila and return to his original house, but John had refused on the basis that his reform work had been approved by the Spanish nuncio, a higher authority than these superiors.[22] The Carmelites therefore took John captive. John was taken from Ávila to the Carmelite monastery in Toledo, at that time the Order's most important monastery in Castile, where perhaps 40 friars lived.[23][24] John was brought before a court of friars, accused of disobeying the ordinances of Piacenza. Despite John's argument that he had not disobeyed the ordinances, he received a punishment of imprisonment. He was jailed in the monastery, where he was kept under a brutal regimen that included public lashing before the community at least weekly, and severe isolation in a tiny stifling cell measuring ten feet by six feet, barely large enough for his body. Except when rarely permitted an oil lamp, he had to stand on a bench to read his breviary by the light through the hole into the adjoining room. He had no change of clothing and a penitential diet of water, bread and scraps of salt fish.[25] During this imprisonment, he composed a great part of his most famous poem Spiritual Canticle, as well as a few shorter poems. The paper was passed to him by the friar who guarded his cell.[26] He managed to escape nine months later, on 15 August 1578, through a small window in a room adjoining his cell. (He had managed to pry the cell door off its hinges earlier that day.)

After being nursed back to health, first with Teresa's nuns in Toledo, and then during six weeks at the Hospital of Santa Cruz,[27] John continued with reform. In October 1578 he joined a meeting at Almodóvar del Campo of the supporters of reform, increasingly known as the Discalced Carmelites. There, in part as a result of the opposition faced from other Carmelites in recent years, they decided to demand from the Pope their formal separation from the rest of the Carmelite Order.[8]

At this meeting John was appointed superior of El Calvario, an isolated monastery of around thirty friars in the mountains about 6 miles away[28] from Beas in Andalusia. During this time he befriended the nun Ana de Jesús, superior of the Discalced nuns at Beas, through his visits every Saturday to the town. While at El Calvario he composed his first version of his commentary on his poem, The Spiritual Canticle, perhaps at the request of the nuns in Beas.

In 1579 he moved to Baeza, a town of around 50,000 people, to serve as rector of a new college, the Colegio de San Basilio, to support the studies of Discalced friars in Andalusia. This opened on 13 June 1579. He remained in post there until 1582, spending much of his time as a spiritual director for the friars and townspeople.

1580 was an important year in the resolution of the disputes within the Carmelites. On 22 June, Pope Gregory XIII signed a decree, titled Pia Consideratione, which authorised a separation between the Calced and Discalced Carmelites. The Dominican friar Juan Velázquez de las Cuevas was appointed to carry out the decisions. At the first General Chapter of the Discalced Carmelites, in Alcalá de Henares on 3 March 1581, John of the Cross was elected one of the "Definitors" of the community, and wrote a set of constitutions for them.[29] By the time of the Provincial Chapter at Alcalá in 1581, there were 22 houses, some 300 friars and 200 nuns in the Discalced Carmelites.[30]

Saint John of the Cross' shrine and reliquary, Convent of Carmelite Friars, Segovia
Reliquary of John of the Cross in Úbeda, Spain

In November 1581, John was sent by Teresa to help Ana de Jesus in founding a convent in Granada. Arriving in January 1582, she set up a monastery of nuns, while John stayed in the friars' monastery of Los Martires, beside the Alhambra, becoming its prior in March 1582.[31] While here, he learned of the death of Teresa in October of that year.

In February 1585, John travelled to Málaga and established a monastery of Discalced nuns there. In May 1585, at the General Chapter of the Discalced Carmelites in Lisbon, John was elected Provincial Vicar of Andalusia, a post which required him to travel frequently, making annual visitations of the houses of friars and nuns in Andalusia. During this time he founded seven new monasteries in the region, and is estimated to have travelled around 25,000 km.[32]

In June 1588, he was elected third Councillor to the Vicar General for the Discalced Carmelites, Father Nicolas Doria. To fulfill this role, he had to return to Segovia in Castile, where in this capacity he was also prior of the monastery. After disagreeing in 1590-1 with some of Doria's remodeling of the leadership of the Discalced Carmelite Order, though, John was removed from his post in Segovia, and sent by Doria in June 1591 to an isolated monastery in Andalusia called La Peñuela. There he fell ill, and traveled to the monastery at Úbeda for treatment. His condition worsened, however, and he died there on 14 December 1591, of erysipelas.[8]

Veneration

The morning after John’s death, huge numbers of the townspeople of Úbeda entered the monastery to view John’s body; in the crush, many were able to take home parts of his habit. He was initially buried at Úbeda, but, at the request of the monastery in Segovia, his body was secretly moved there in 1593. The people of Úbeda, however, unhappy at this change, sent representative to petition the pope to move the body back to its original resting place. Pope Clement VIII, impressed by the petition, issued a Brief on 15 October 1596 ordering the return of the body to Ubeda. Eventually, in a compromise, the superiors of the Discalced Carmelites decided that the monastery at Úbeda would receive one leg and one arm of the corpse from Segovia (the monastery at Úbeda had already kept one leg in 1593, and the other arm had been removed as the corpse passed through Madrid in 1593, to form a relic there). A hand and a leg remain visible in a reliquary at the Oratory of San Juan de la Cruz in Úbeda, a monastery built in 1627 though connected to the original Discalced monastery in the town founded in 1587.[33]

The head and torso was retained by the monastery at Segovia. There, they were venerated until 1647, when on orders from Rome designed to prevent the veneration of remains without official approval, the remains were buried in the ground. In the 1930s they were disinterred, and now sit in a side chapel in a marble case above a special altar built in that decade.[33]

Proceedings to beatify John began with the gathering of information on his life between 1614 and 1616, although he was only beatified in 1675 by Pope Clement X, and was canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726. When his feast day was added to the General Roman Calendar in 1738, it was assigned to 24 November, since his date of death was impeded by the then-existing octave of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.[34] This obstacle was removed in 1955 and in 1969 Pope Paul VI moved it to the dies natalis (birthday to heaven) of the saint, 14 December.[35] The Church of England commemorates him as a "Teacher of the Faith" on the same date. In 1926, he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI.

Editions of his works

His writings were first published in 1618 by Diego de Salablanca. The numerical divisions in the work, still used by modern editions of the text, were introduced by Salablanca (they were not in John's original writings) in order to help make the work more manageable for the reader.[8] This edition does not contain the Spiritual Canticle however, and also omits or adapts certain passages, perhaps for fear of falling foul of the Inquisition.

The Spiritual Canticle was first included in the 1630 edition, produced by Fray Jeronimo de San José, at Madrid. This edition was largely followed by later editors, although editions in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries gradually included a few more poems and letters.[36]

The first French edition was published in Paris in 1622, and the first Castilian edition in 1627 in Bruselas.

Literary works

The Ascent of Mount Carmel, as depicted in the first edition of 1618 by Diego de Astor.[37]

St. John of the Cross is considered one of the foremost poets in the Spanish language. Although his complete poems add up to fewer than 2500 verses, two of them — the Spiritual Canticle and the Dark Night of the Soul — are widely considered masterpieces of Spanish poetry, both for their formal stylistic point of view and their rich symbolism and imagery. His theological works often consist of commentaries on these poems. All the works were written between 1578 and his death in 1591, meaning there is great consistency in the views presented in them.

The Spiritual Canticle is an eclogue in which the bride (representing the soul) searches for the bridegroom (representing Jesus Christ), and is anxious at having lost him; both are filled with joy upon reuniting. It can be seen as a free-form Spanish version of the Song of Songs at a time when translations of the Bible into the vernacular were forbidden. The first 31 stanzas of the poem were composed in 1578 while John was imprisoned in Toledo. It was read after his escape by the nuns at Beas, who made copies of these stanzas. Over the following years, John added some extra stanzas. Today, two versions exist: one with 39 stanzas and one with 40, although with some of the stanzas ordered differently. The first redaction of the commentary on the poem was written in 1584, at the request of Madre Ana de Jesus, when she was prioress of the Discalced Carmelite nuns in Granada. A second redaction, which contains more detail, was written in 1585-6.[8]

The Dark Night (from which the spiritual term takes its name) narrates the journey of the soul from her bodily home to her union with God. It happens during the night, which represents the hardships and difficulties she meets in detachment from the world and reaching the light of the union with the Creator. There are several steps in this night, which are related in successive stanzas. The main idea of the poem can be seen as the painful experience that people endure as they seek to grow in spiritual maturity and union with God. The poem of this title was likely written in 1578 or 1579. In 1584-5, John wrote a commentary on the first two stanzas and first line of the third stanza of the poem.[8]

The Ascent of Mount Carmel is a more systematic study of the ascetical endeavour of a soul looking for perfect union, God and the mystical events happening along the way. Although it begins as a commentary on the poem "The Dark Night", it rapidly drops this format, having commented on the first two stanzas of the poem, and becomes a treatise. It was composed sometime between 1581 and 1585.[8]

A four-stanza work, Living Flame of Love, describes a greater intimacy, as the soul responds to God's love. It was written in a first redaction at Granada between 1585-6, apparently in two weeks,[8] and in a mostly identical second redaction at La Peñuela in 1591.

These, together with his Dichos de Luz y Amor (or "Sayings of Light and Love") and St. Teresa's writings, are the most important mystical works in Spanish, and have deeply influenced later spiritual writers all around the world. Among these are T. S. Eliot, Thérèse de Lisieux, Edith Stein (Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) and Thomas Merton. John has also influenced philosophers (Jacques Maritain), theologians (Hans Urs von Balthasar), pacifists (Dorothy Day, Daniel Berrigan and Philip Berrigan) and artists (Salvador Dalí). Pope John Paul II wrote his theological dissertation on the mystical theology of Saint John of the Cross.

Intellectual influences

Working out the main influences on John’s thought has been an ongoing debate.

Scripture

In the first place, John was clearly influenced by the Bible. Scriptural images are common in both his poems and prose—in total, there are 1,583 explicit and 115 implicit quotations from the Bible in his works.[38] The influence of the Song of Songs on the Spiritual Canticle has often been noted, both in terms of the structure of the poem, with its dialogue between two lovers, the account of their difficulties in meeting each other and the "offstage chorus" that comments on this action, and also in terms of the imagery of pomegranates, wine cellar, turtle dove and lilies, for example, which echoes that of the Song of Songs.[38]

In addition, John shows at occasional points the influence of the Divine Office. This demonstrates how John, steeped in the language and rituals of the Church, drew at times on the phrases and language here.[39]

Early studies

In order to gain a better understanding of the intellectual influences to which John was exposed in his formative years (and so to isolate what shaped his unusual theology), many scholars have tried to reconstruct John's likely course of studies while he was at Salamanca between 1563 and 1567, living at the Carmelite College of San Andrès and studying at the University of Salamanca. It has been widely acknowledged in the 20th century to be most likely that John would have received teaching both from the College of San Andres and from Salamanca University.[40]

If taught at the College of San Andrès, John would have been exposed to the teachings of both Michael of Bologna and John Baconthorpe, with the Spanish Carmelites of the day concentrating more on Baconthorpe's thought.[41] There are, however, no clear signs of the influence of either writer in John's works. Perhaps no more can be said of the influence of Baconthorpe than that, given that he was a "subtle and eclectic scholar who did not hesitate to disagree with Aquinas on many important issues", it might be "that acquaintance with his works may have helped John to avoid any slavish adherence to Thomistic doctrines".[42]

In the University itself, there is widely acknowledged to have existed a range of intellectual positions. Academic positions in John's time included Chairs of St. Thomas, Chairs of Scotus and Durandus.[43] Typically, it is assumed that John would have been educated here in the thought of Thomas Aquinas, explaining the influence of Thomas on much of the scholastic framework of his writings.

However, the belief that John was taught at both the Carmelite College of San Andrès and at the University of Salamanca has been criticised.[44] He argues, firstly, that it is unclear whether there were in fact lectures in arts and theology at the College of San Andrès before 1571, that a reconstruction of the typical timetable of teaching at the University of Salamanca shows that there would have been little time for extra teaching at the College of the San Andrès, and that what therefore happened at San Andrès (if indeed it happened at all) is therefore likely to have taken the form of rehearsals, preparation of classes, and not in an official form — making the idea that John received systematic exposure to Baconthorpe less likely.[45] More controversially, Bezares calls into question whether John even studied theology at the University of Salamanca. The philosophy courses John probably took in logic, natural and moral philosophy, can be reconstructed, but Bezares argues that John in fact abandoned his studies at Salamanca in 1568 to join Teresa, rather than having graduated, meaning that he did not study theology in Salamanca.[46]

Another claim frequently made about John's time in Salamanca, by scholars trying to explain the origins of John's mystical thought, is that it was here he was exposed in detail to mystical thought. In the first biography of John, published in 1628, it is claimed, on the basis of information from John's fellow students, that he in 1567 made a special study of mystical writers, in particular of Pseudo-Dionysius and Saint Gregory the Great.[47] Much weight has been put on this evidence by later writers. However, others have doubted the veracity of this anecdote, even though they do not dispute that John may have studied mystical theology in this period.[48]

In short, there is little consensus from John's early years on potential influences on him. Although a list of certain theologians about whom John may well have been taught can be drawn up, the evidence is not sufficient to make firm judgements on who may have influenced John.

Pseudo-Dionysius

It has rarely been disputed that the overall structure of John’s mystical theology, and his language of the union of the soul with God, is influenced by the pseudo-Dionysian tradition.[49] However, it has not been clear whether John might have had direct access to the writings of pseudo-Dionysius, or whether this influence may have been mediated through various later authors.

The main conduit of Dionysian spirituality into ascetic-mystical literature on contemplative prayer in sixteenth-century prayer (such as that by John of the Cross and Teresa of Ávila) appears to have been through the recogido tradition of Francisco de Osuna, Bernardino de Laredo and others.[50] Osuna’s focus on recogimiento (recollecting or gathering of the senses) as a means of prayer, bears similarity to John’s discussion of prayer, and may have been an influence.[51] In terms of Spanish writing, it is notable that although the second half of the sixteenth century produced many great mystics, mysticism was not common in Spain before that.

______________

 

 

 

 ST. PETER OF ALCANTARA.

FEAST DAY:  OCTOBER 19TH

PETER, while still a youth, left his home at Alcantara in Spain, and entered a convent of Discalced Franciscans. He rose quickly to high posts in the Order, but his thirst for penance was still unappeased, and in 1539, being then forty years old, he founded the first convent of the "Strict Observance." The cells of the friars resembled graves rather than dwelling-places. That of St. Peter himself was four feet and a half in length, so that he could never lie down ; he ate but once in three days; his sackcloth habit and a cloak were his only garments, and he never covered his head or feet. In the bitter winter he would open the door and window of his cell that, by closing them again, he might experience some sensation of warmth. Amongst those whom he trained to perfection was St. Teresa. He read her soul, approved of her spirit of prayer, and strengthened her to carry out her reforms. St. Peter died, with great joy, kneeling in prayer, October 18th, 1562, at the age of sixty-three.

REFLECTION.-If men do not go about barefoot now, nor under-go sharp penances, as St. Peter did, there are many ways of trampling on the world; and our Lord teaches them when He finds the necessary courage.

MORE ON SAINT PETER FROM BUTLER'S LIVES OF THE SAINTS

 

INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Saint Teresa of Avila said concerning Saint Peter of Alcantara that, "The Lord once told me that no one should ask Him for anything in his name and not be heard."

Saint Peter of Alcantara, please pray for us today [state your prayer request.]

 

 

OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY

FEAST DAY:  OCTOBER 7TH

HAIL MARY, FULL OF GRACE,
THE LORD IS WITH THEE,
BLESSED ART THOU AMONGST WOMEN,
AND BLESSED IS THE FRUIT OF THY WOMB JESUS,
HOLY MARY, MOTHER OF GOD,
PRAY FOR US SINNERS
NOW AND AT THE HOUR OF OUR DEATH. 
AMEN!

 

 

SEE SAINT LOUIS DE MONTFORT'S BOOK ON THE ROSARY: 
                                             THE SECRET OF THE ROSARY

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE VIRGIN MARY POURS OUT SPECIAL GRACES  FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO SAY THE ROSARY! 

SAINT PADRE PIO PRAYED HIS ROSARY THROUGHOUT THE DAY AND WOULD SAY AT LEAST 15 DECADES OF THE ROSARY EACH DAY.  THE MESSAGE HE WANTED TO  LEAVE THE WORLD WITH BEFORE HE DIED WAS FOR PEOPLE TO PRAY THE ROSARY.

 

 

Our Lady of the Rosary
Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario by Damián Domingo
Our Lady of Victory, Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Major shrine Our Lady of Victory Basilica,
Basilica of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Paris
Feast October 7
Attributes Blessed Virgin Mary, Infant Jesus, crown, rosary
Patronage Rosary, Roman Catholic Diocese of Malaga, Toledo, Rosario, Santa Fe, Melilla, Trujillo, Cáceres, Colombia, Manizales, Puyo, Pastaza, North Carolina, Bohol, Guatemala, Surigao del Norte, Manila, Quezon City, West Virginia, Seseña, Ontígola, Olías del Rey, Montearagón, Toledo, Lagartera, Huerta de Valdecarábanos, Brenes

 

Our Lady of the Rosary

Our Lady of the Rosary, also known as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary in relation to the Rosary. The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is on October 7, the anniversary of the decisive victory of the combined Christian fleet in 1571 at the Battle of Lepanto, defeating an Ottoman fleet off western Greece. It was formerly sometimes known as the Feast of Our Lady of Victory.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

According to Dominican tradition, in 1214, St. Dominic was in Prouille, France attempting to convert the Albigensians back to the Catholic faith. The young priest had little success until one day he received a vision of the Blessed Virgin, who gave him the Rosary as a tool against heretics.[1] While Mary's giving the rosary to St. Dominic is generally acknowledged as a legend, the development of this prayer form owes much to the followers of St. Dominic, including the 15th century priest and teacher, Alanus de Rupe.[2]

On December 3, 1836, Fr. Charles Eléonor des Genettes had an interior locution directing him to dedicate the parish of Our Lady of Victory to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.[3]

On October 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima told the shepherd children, "I am the Lady of the Rosary".[4]

In 1987, during the civil war with the anti-clerical Sandinista government in Nicaragua, sacristan Bernardo Martinez reported seeing an apparition of Our Lady who urged him to pray the rosary and work for peace. One of the appearances was in the parish church of Our Lady of Victories near Cuapa.

 

 

THE HOLY GUARDIAN ANGELS.

FEAST DAY:  OCTOBER 2ND

GOD does not abandon to mere chance any of His handiworks; by His providence He is everywhere present; not a hair falls from the head of a sparrow to the ground without His knowledge. Not content, however, with yielding such familiar help in all things, not content with affording that existence which He communicates and perpetuates through every living being, He has charged His angels with the ministry of watching and safeguarding every one of His creatures that behold not His face. Kingdoms have their angels assigned to them, and men have their angels; these latter it is whom religion designates as the Holy Guardian Angels, Our Lord says in the Gospel, "Beware lest ye scandalize any of these little ones, for their angels in heaven see the face of my Father." The existence of Guardian Angels is, hence, a dogma of the Christian faith : this being so, what ought not our respect be for that sure and holy intelligence that is ever present at our side; and how great should our solicitude be, lest, by any act of ours, we offend those eyes which are ever bent upon us in all our ways !

REFLECTION.-Ah! let us not give occasion, in the language of Holy Scripture, to the angels of peace to weep bitterly.

INTERCESSORY PRAYER:  Today, thank your guardian angel for his work in which he always strives to keep us close to Jesus.  Ask you guardian angel to guide your steps in the upcoming days, weeks, months and years.

 

 
 

ST. JOSEPH, THE WORKER

Spouse of the Blessed Virgin and Patron of the Universal Church.

ST. JOSEPH was by birth of the royal family of David, but was living in humble obscurity as a carpenter when God raised him to the highest sanctity, and fitted him to be the spouse of His Virgin Mother, and foster-father and guardian of the Incarnate Word. Joseph, says the Holy Scripture, was a just man; he was innocent and pure, as became the husband of Mary; he was gentle and tender, as one worthy to be named the father of Jesus; he was prudent and a lover of silence, as became the master of the holy house; above all, he was faithful and obedient to divine calls. His conversation was with angels rather than with men. When he learned that Mary bore within her womb the Lord of heaven, he feared to take her as his wife; but an angel bade him fear not, and all doubts vanished. When Herod sought the life of the divine Infant, an angel told Joseph in a dream to fly with the Child and His Mother into Egypt. Joseph at once arose and obeyed. This sudden and unexpected flight must have exposed Joseph to many inconveniences and sufferings in so long a journey with a little babe and a tender virgin, the greater part of the way being through deserts and among strangers; yet he alleges no excuses; nor inquires at what time they were to return. St. Chrysostom observes that God treats thus all His servants, sending them frequent trials to clear their hearts from the rust of self-love, but intermixing seasons of consolation. "Joseph," says he, "is anxious on seeing the Virgin with child; an angel removes that fear. He rejoices at the Child's birth, but a great fear succeeds: the furious king seeks to destroy the Child, and the whole city is in an uproar to take away His life. This is followed by another joy, the adoration of the Magi; a new sorrow then arises: he is ordered to fly into a foreign unknown country, without help or acquaintance." It is the opinion of the Fathers that upon their entering Egypt, at the presence of the child Jesus, all the oracles of that superstitious country were struck dumb, and the statues of their gods trembled and in many places fell to the ground. The Fathers also attribute to this holy visit the spiritual benediction poured on that country, which made it for many ages most fruitful in Saints. After the death of King Herod, of which St. Joseph was informed in another vision, God ordered him to return with the Child and His Mother into the land of Israel, which our Saint readily obeyed. But when he arrived in Judea, hearing that Archelaus had succeeded Herod in that part of the country, and apprehensive that he might be infected with his father's vices, he feared on that account to settle there, as he would otherwise probably have done for the education of the Child; and therefore, being directed by God in another vision, he retired into the dominions of Herod Antipas, in Galilee, to his former habitation in Nazareth. St. Joseph, being a strict observer of the Mosaic law, in conformity to its direction annually repaired to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Our Saviour, now int the twelfth year of His age, accompanied His parents thither. Having performed the usual ceremonies of the feast,they were returning with many of their neighbors and acquaintance towards Galilee; and never doubting but that Jesus was with some of the company, they travelled on for a whole day's journey before they discovered that He was not with them. But when night came on and they could hear no tidings of Him among their kindred and acquaintance, they, in the deepest affliction, returned with the utmost speed to Jerusalem. After an anxious search of three days they found Him in the Temple, discoursing with the learned doctors of the law, and asking them such questions as raised the admiration of all that heard Him, and made them astonished at the ripeness of His understanding; nor were His parents less surprised on this occasion. When His Mother told Him with what grief and earnestness they had sought Him, and asked, "Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? Behold Thy Father and I sought Thee in great affliction of mind," she received for answer, "How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" But though thus staying in the Temple unknown to His parents, in all other things He was obedient to them, returning with them to Nazareth, and there living in all dutiful subjection to them. As no further mention is made of St. Joseph, he must have died before the marriage of Cana and the beginning of our divine Saviour's ministry. We cannot doubt that he had the happiness of Jesus and Mary attending at his death, praying by him, assisting and comforting him in his last moments; whence he is particularly invoked for the great grace of a happy death and the spiritual presence of Jesus in that hour.

 Reflection.  -St. Joseph, the shadow of the Eternal Father upon earth, the protector of Jesus in His home at Nazareth, and a lover of all children for the sake of the Holy Child, should be the chosen guardian and pattern of every true Christian family.


[MENTION YOUR PRAYER REQUEST]

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, spouse of St. Joseph,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, confirmed in grace,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, guardian of the Word Incarnate,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, favorite of the King of Heaven,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, ruler of the family of Jesus,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, spouse of the ever-blessed Virgin,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, foster father to the Son of God,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, example of humility and obedience,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, mirror of silence and resignation,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, patron of innocence and youth,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, exited with Christ into Egypt,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, intercessor for the afflicted,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, advocate of the humble,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, model of every virtue,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, honored among men,
Pray for us.

Saint Joseph, in whom is the union of all Christian perfections,
Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Saint Joseph,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray.

Assist us, O Lord,
we beseech Thee,
by the merits of the spouse
of Thy most holy Mother,
that what our unworthiness cannot obtain,
may be given us by his intercession with Thee,
Who livest and reignest with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.

Amen.

PRAYER TO SAINT JOSEPH

O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O thou Saint Joseph, do assist me by thy powerful intercession, and obtain for me from thy divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee, and Jesus asleep in thy arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. Saint Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for me.  Amen!

___________

 

BLESSED ANNE CATHERINE EMMERICH'S VISION:

 THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT

 

 

 
POPE FRANCIS PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR 2018

THE POPE’S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR 2018

ENTRUSTED TO THE POPE’S WORLDWIDE

PRAYER NETWORK (APOSTLESHIP OF PRAYER)

 

JANUARY

Evangelization: Religious Minorities in Asia

That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practise their faith in full freedom.

 

FEBRUARY

Universal: Say “No” to Corruption

That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.

 

MARCH

Evangelization: Formation in Spiritual Discernment

That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.

 

APRIL

Universal: For Those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters

That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.

 

MAY

Evangelization: The Mission of the Laity

That the lay faithful may fulfil their specific mission, by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today.

 

JUNE

Universal: Social Networks

That social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.

 

JULY

Evangelization: Priests and their Pastoral Ministry

That priests, who experience fatigue and loneliness in their pastoral work, may find help and comfort in their intimacy with the Lord and in their friendship with their brother priests.

 

AUGUST

Universal: The treasure of Families

That any far-reaching decisions of economists and politicians may protect the family as one of the treasures of humanity.

 

SEPTEMBER

Universal: Young People in Africa

That young people in Africa may have access to education and work in their own countries.

 

OCTOBER

Evangelization: The Mission of Religious

That consecrated religious men and women may bestir themselves, and be present among the

poor, the marginalized, and those who have no voice.

 

NOVEMBER

Universal: In the Service of Peace

That the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict.

 

DECEMBER

Evangelization: In the Service of the Transmission of Faith

That people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their

dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time.

 

Vatican, 13 February 2017

Francis

 


 

 

 

 
 

OUR LADY OF GOOD REMEDY

PRAYER

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...


(Mention your personal intention)


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.

 
 

 

 

Unfailing Novena To The Virgin Mary Untier of Knots

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.

 

 

 

 
 

PRAY FOR DONALD TRUMP

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

Pray hard for him.  If you have time now please say one Hail Mary and One Glory Be for him now. Pray that he would do God's will while working as President for our country.  That he would protect the unborn, help the poor and keep peace throughout this world.

 

 

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  59,440,015  
...since abortion was legalized in 1973

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PRAY THAT ABORTION WOULD BE OUTLAWED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD

 

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 a Kempis and Saint Louis de Montfort, Saint Teresa of Avila, 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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