We are so happy to inform you that the Crown of Twelve Stars Youth Program has been launched!
Dear Members of the International Family of Saint Philomena,
My name is Fr. Chad Partain and I am a priest of the Diocese of Alexandria in Louisiana in the United States, where I serve as pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Church and as chancellor of the diocese. On November 13, 2011, Msgr. Giovanni Braschi, rector of the Shrine of St. Philomena, officially established the Congregation of the Children of Mary, as the youth program for the International Family of St. Philomena. The program’s website and Facebook page were launched in October of 2011 and, since then, we have registered members, both young and the young at heart, from across the world.
As we prepare to celebrate the first anniversary of the youth congregation on November 21 (the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary), I am writing to you, as promoters of the devotion, to introduce this work of youth evangelization. The purpose of the Children of Mary is threefold:
1. to encourage and foster an extraordinary devotion to the Blessed Mother in the hearts of its members,
2. to introduce the devotion of St. Philomena to the youth of today, and
3. to encourage the imitation of St. Philomena’s heroic purity.
The youth who enroll as members of the Children of Mary, are also automatically enrolled in the Archconfraternity of St. Philomena and as members of the Universal Living Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena. The members make an individual Act of Consecration to the Blessed Mother and assume responsibility for praying an assigned daily Decade of the Rosary. They are encouraged to form Circles of five or more members for monthly meetings on the First Saturday of each month At this meeting they can participate in Holy Mass and offer their Communions of love and reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Monthly meeting guides and points for reflection are given on the Facebook page. Prayers and guidelines for the meetings are included in the Manual which is sent to the registered members along with their membership card and Medal of Consecration.
It is our hope that this organization can be a great force for good in forming a new generation of committed disciples who will truly make Mary’s ‘YES’ their own. Please include the Children of Mary and our Youth for Purity Program in your prayers and encourage the formation of ‘Circles’ in your local area. While this is primarily a youth movement of education and sanctification, membership is open to all the baptized who wish to be enrolled as Children of Mary. Registration applications can be found online at: TheChildrenOfMary.net
For more information or to register by mail, write to:
St. Philomena, Patroness of the Children of Mary, pray for us!
Come, Let Us Adore Our Eucharistic King
Glory to God in the highest and, on earth, peace to men of good will!
From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the amazing act of Consecration that was first performed by Christ in the Cenacle is perpetuated by His chosen priesthood, daily, on every Catholic Altar. The Holy Eucharist is the Flower of the Incarnation, the completion of all the Mysteries of the Redeemer’s Life as Man. Christ came to seek that which was lost. The end of His Passion and Death and glorification of our nature was that He might dwell forever in His Mystical Body, the Church. In this Mystery, Christ, Inexpressible Love, unites Himself with us.
O Incomprehensible Mystery, Masterpiece of Infinite Wisdom, Boundless Goodness,
Hiddenness must distinguish our lives as it does the God of the Eucharist, Who is concealed under the humblest elements. In marked contrast with the feverish excitement of the world, the dwelling of the Eucharistic King is a paradise of blissful repose. Our lives must be silent and calm if we are to be conformed to the Divine Solitary upon our Altars, in order that He may form in us His image.
The Holy Eucharist is the sun of Christianity, the source of life, the fountainhead of all grace and virtue. Although Christ conquered sin by His Death and Resurrection, He is still within the range of sinners’ power as they fling at Him insult and outrage. The storm of sin beats Him ruthlessly and heartlessly; its steel scourge falls upon His virginal flesh and numbers all His bones. Great, then, is the urgent need of our reparation for the pain which Our Eucharistic King is daily the silent Victim.
When we receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, all that He is and possesses is ours. ‘I live now, not I, but Christ liveth in me.’ (Gal. 2:20) Christ, within us, will always ennoble the world around us. Christ gives Himself to the soul and, then, diffuses Himself throughout the body becoming bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. Even the mortal part of our being experiences the closest contact with the God of Love. (Gen. 2:23) Christ will become the King of our hearts and the Director of our pilgrimage on earth, only if we are one with Him in thought, desire and sympathy. Every Holy Communion by a miracle of God’s forgiveness remits venial sin, for Christ cannot unite Himself with sin.
The chief effect of the Bread of Angels is to change us into its very substance. There is not, and there can never be, a closer union than this. Man cannot be independent of God. For the creature to attain his natural and supernatural ends, the Creator must dwell within him. In Him, we live and move and have our being. “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and will take up Our abode with him.” (John 14:23)
Our Lord places Himself upon the Altar, within the easy reach of every one of us. He puts His Sacred Heart at our disposal, bidding us help ourselves freely from its treasures, to pay the last farthing of the debt we owe to God. By Him, with Him and in Him, we, little finite creatures, nothing of ourselves, can give a supreme worship to God which He accepts as sufficient. At this time of intimate union, God wants to hear about ourselves, how we are getting on, is He becoming the main focus of our lives? He wants to know all. His Heart does not sink when He sees us coming. His delight is to see us take up our post before the Tabernacle. Perhaps, we are too weary to pray, but just to sit before Him, with our eyes upon the little door, waiting for refreshment is enough. The sympathy of His Heart beating there, is infinite. It never fails us nor can it ever fail us. We are always welcome. There is no sign that our waywardness or perversity tires Him. He receives us with graciousness that soothes while it shames us. He comes with gentle touch and heals our wounds with oil and wine, sending us again on our way with lightened and braver hearts.
“I will cast myself at His Feet and place myself beneath His healing Hand. I wait for the word that will cure, though not all at once, my pride, my hastiness of temper, my coldness in prayer, my uncharitable tongue and my neglect of distasteful duties. He knows, I am an imperfect being. He has compassion on my infirmities. He is the Divine Physician, Who has come, not for those who are whole, but for they that are sick. A merciful and gracious God, long-suffering and full of Love, He will take away from me all sickness and infirmity.”
And what shall I give Him in return? Lord, it is not much, but it is all I have. I give Thee myself, body and soul. I give Thee my life, strength, desires, resolutions, efforts, all my love and trust, my joys and anxieties, my labor for souls that Thou lovest. Freely, I have received; freely let me give. Let the sense of my own infirmity, need of sympathy and encouragement make me alive to the needs of others. My own moods come and go. I find myself hard to handle. I am a trial to those about me. May I be tender and compassionate to those who, like myself, are struggling!
What Christ by His sacramental presence does in us, we must do in the world around us. As He transfigures us with His grace, we, too, must elevate and ennoble all who come within the sphere of our influence. We must be other Christs. We must glorify Christ by emptying ourselves for others. Christ came to restore to His Father the souls of sinners. Only by continuing this work, only by love of our neighbor, will we be saved; for by our sacrifices and the helpfulness of our charity for others, we decide our eternal destiny!
“Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess ye the Kingdom of My Father, for I was hungry and you gave Me to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave Me to drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you covered Me, I was sick and you visited Me. Amen, I say to you, so long as you did it to one of the least of My brethren, you did it to Me!” (Matt. 25:34)
“Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving?
(Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen)
In every Holy Communion, we taste the supernatural sweetness of the divinely communicated Life as it pours itself out in tidal waves of supernatural strength and limitless riches of Christ’s benedictions. His Eucharistic Life will not only illumine our own souls, but will enlighten those sitting in the darkness of the valley of death. Unless Holy Communion makes us one with Christ, the light of His sacramental presence in us cannot shine before our fellowmen. When Christ prayed for this union, His Heart embraced the Church collectively and each member individually, bestowing on Her a Sacrament that would establish every single soul in a relationship with every other, He would perfect It with a unity that symbolize the eternal unity of the Triune God. This union transcends time and space, linking us children of the Church Militant with the Saints of the Church Triumphant and the members of the Church Suffering. We are one with all that is one with Christ. When worthily received, the Blessed Sacrament will rob life of its bitterness and inspire supernatural considerateness, forbearance and forgiveness, giving us tenderness and compassion for every other child of God.
Largeness of desire will characterize our thanksgiving. With the gift of Himself, all other gifts are included! Convinced of this truth, we can be bold with God. We can presume on His kindness and try to exhaust His generosity. We must get rid of all distrust of the Infinite Lover. One Holy Communion can make us a saint!
I am blind. Eternity is coming, and coming fast; I must prepare for death and judgment; I can only live my life once. O my God, Thou Who hast made me, have mercy on me! When the world is cold to Thee, continue to dwell with infinite patience in this desert of forgetfulness, where ingratitude abounds; bless those who outrage Thee. Self-oblation is the essence of the Altar. Having set aside our own petty desires, ambitions, and selfish whims, let us offer to Christ our strong faith, absolute trust and sincere love – that our closest union with Him may be complete. May the Love that brought Thee down from Heaven burn brightly within our hearts! It is by suffering that one learns to LOVE!
My God, I long to love Thee with my whole heart, with my whole soul, with all my mind and with all my strength that before I come to die, I may love Thee according to Thy desire throughout Eternity!
O SACRAMENT MOST HOLY, O SACRAMENT DIVINE!
|A Christmas Bouquet For Your Loved Ones!
We wish to give you the greatest gift possible during this Advent and Christmas Season to help in a special way to prepare your hearts and souls for the momentous event which we anticipate: God with us!In reality, the first coming of Our Lord in the stable at Bethlehem occurs again and again. It is a merciful reality not only at the feast of Christmas, but in the hearts of each one of us at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – the Church being the stable of Bethlehem, and the altar and our hearts the crib. The Church celebrates not only the first coming of Christ upon earth as Our Redeemer, but also the merciful reality of His second coming on earth as our Judge! By His first coming, Our Lord redeemed us from sin and obtained the resurrection of our souls to the life of Grace. With His second coming, Christ will heal us of all our frailties and will bring resurrection to our bodies. We shall reap the harvest of complete happiness with God even as we have served Him in this world with our whole being, body and soul. Christ desires to be born in us that we may live new, purer and more perfect lives.
Thirty days of Sacred Liturgies will be offered for all those who enroll in the Christmas Bouquet of Masses offered by Fr. Ivan Kolodij and the good priests in Ukraine. Your spiritual and temporal needs and your family, living and dead, will be remembered at the Holy Altar every day during December. The Christmas Mass Bouquet will be crowned with a solemn High Mass on the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and during the Christmas Octave. There could be no more precious gift you can give at Christmas time. Each person arranging these Masses for their loved ones will be sent a beautiful Mass card which may be mailed to the person enrolled. We will mail the Mass cards directly to you. These may be sent in your Christmas greeting cards or placed inside your gift packages. This is a wonderful way to keep Christ in Christmas!!!
Archive for October, 2012
Weekly News Flash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, Wednesday, October 31, 2012Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
Weekly News Flash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, Wednesday, October 24, 2012Wednesday, October 31st, 2012
Why God Allows Problems?
The problems you face will either defeat you or develop you, depending on how YOU respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how God wants to use problems for good in their lives. They react foolishly and resent their problems rather than pausing to consider what benefit they might bring. Here are FIVE reasons God may have permitted the problems you have experienced in your life:
1. God permits problems to DIRECT you:
2. God permits problems to INSPECT you:
3. God uses problems to CORRECT you:
4. God permits problems to PROTECT you:
5. God permits problems to PERFECT you:
God is at work in our Lives, even when we do not recognize it or understand it!
BLESSED BE THE HOLY WILL OF GOD!
Jesus, had no servants, yet they called Him, MASTER!
|A Moral Society To A Godless Society!
How did it happen?
Incredibly and without our realizing it, an entire generation has lost its family values, traditions and roots. Never before in history has an era existed in which everything was questioned, changed or compromised. The family has become a democracy of individuals with no real direction other than the values society and culture dictate to it. How did a God-fearing nation turn away from Him so quickly and lose its spirit of righteousness? Fifty years ago, abortion, murder, corruption, pornography and the multitude of evils which plague our society today would never have been tolerated. Society would have revolted!
It was well calculated, planned and cultivated over a period of time. TV was introduced and we enjoyed the antics of ‘I LOVE LUCY, Brady Bunch and the fine family entertainment of Lawrence Welk’. TV introduced a whole world of new, exciting and fascinating entertainment. America took the bait and we never saw the hook! We left our backyards, quit spending time with our families on our front porches and got busier and busier. Man became more reliant on himself and less reliant on God. When we quit praying, we became less holy. Because of our lack of virtue, we became more prone to sin. This lack of holiness was a breeding ground for the great sins of our society.
This is the challenge: TURN OFF THE TV!
The pictorial history of Television describes TV as a magical, electronic “modern wizardry”. The Church Fathers tell us that, “The eyes are the windows of the soul.” If protected, innocence dwells; if exposed to the world, filth dwells. If the body is poisoned through the mouth, the heart is poisoned through the ear. Television is often used as a habitual way to ‘wind down the day’ and relax. Tragically, it is used to baby sit for our children and to keep our youth from making demands on our time. There are three areas in which this medium is used to destroy our American culture:
Materialism, Sexual Revolution and Pride
The unending and loud ads at commercial time (which is now nearly one-third of the air time) pound into our subconscious, our need for endless savory comfort or luxury items that promise happiness and health. We are programmed to believe we “deserve the best”, we “owe it to ourselves”! This is directly opposed to the Gospel, Life of Christ and message of Our Lady of Fatima:
Penance, Reparation and Prayer!
The entire sexual revolution has been launched by television and brought into the sacred confines of our home, imprinted on our minds and is a constant torment to the natural piety and modesty of our souls. The American Heresy is planted firmly in both the young and the old. “I am #1, I will do it my way, I gotta be me!” It is an entire philosophy of self-glorification, instant and complete, which has snuffed out the noble deeds of sacrificing oneself for the sake of one’s brethren.
Padre Pio was disturbed and disgusted by television. He realized that, in time, it would destroy family life and told everyone not to allow this devil in their homes, saying, “SIN”ema: THE DEVIL IS IN IT! Saint Cyprian said, “Theaters are a school of impurity and a place where modesty is prostituted”. Saint John Chrysostom stated in 347: “All should fly from theaters as from a plague.” Jesus Christ said, “Whoever allows adultery into his heart, commits the sin”. Doesn’t the TV constantly put in front of its viewers innumerable accounts of infidelity and adultery, and are these not occasions of sin? A man is a fool to think he can sit in front of this mire of impurity and not be affected by it. American Saint, Elizabeth Seton, had a vision she could not drive from her mind. In the early 1800’s, she saw in “Every American home a Black Box through which the devil would enter.” Pope Pius XII made a prophetic statement about TV back in the days of Ozzie and Harriet: “Children can often avoid the transient attack of a disease outside their home, but cannot escape the disease when it resides in the home itself. It is wrong to introduce any occasion of sin, whatever, into the sanctity of the home.”
We should replace the TV with an altar and get rid of our mountains of newspapers and magazines! These are the tools of propaganda the enemy uses to deceive even the elect. Listen to God! Never let a day go by without doing your spiritual reading and praying the Holy Rosary. The TV, especially the commercials, is the most destructive thing that has ever been unleashed against the souls of mankind. The shepherd of the family is the father, not the TV!
The Medium Is The Message!
It is the television which shapes the people. The greatest disaster of the 20th Century may well be “American television”, a vast wasteland of blood, thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, lust, gangsters, cartoons and endless commercials. Watching TV is a passive sport which promotes loss of imagination, fantasy and day-dreaming. Soap operas and sitcoms entertain the heart with thoughts that are in constant violation of God’s precepts of holiness and purity. Their message reaches people of all walks, even those who cannot read. Television entrances people, and seduces them through its dictates while entertaining the tendency to sin. Television’s BLACK BOX is everywhere and its margins are nowhere! It is all-seeing, all-encompassing, omniscient and all-pervasive! Television comforts us in our loneliness and is always there in our time of need, ministering and giving unceasingly, and this, free of charge!
Abstinence from this medium gives us the ability to think more clearly and discern more correctly. The family that gathers before this medium is mesmerized, and no one dares to interrupt the sound. Family and friends become fools sitting together in silence while the sounds blare all around. There is a real SOUND OF SILENCE with no communication between loved ones. Silence, like a cancer, grows! It kills the social exchange between one human and another. This anti-human medium can make a can of soup dance across the table, giving life to that which is without life, while real life is diminished.
To allow our children to see a movie produced by people whose lives, they believe are normal, but whose lifestyle Christianity teaches us is an abomination, makes about as much sense as letting our children play with rattlesnakes. Do I want the immoral to define for my children what family, home or environment is? Television is a thief, stealing from us time that could be given to prayer, good works and visiting the sick. In this late hour, when Satan firmly controls most of the television media, our only recourse is to attack the instrument. When a gunman is at our door, poised to kill the family, we cannot address a letter to our Congressman, nor are we interested even in attacking the instrument holding the gun, but we take aim directly at the deadly weapon, in order to save our family. Our only recourse is to get the gun out of his hands. While we cannot say that Television breaks our free will, its enslavement comes as close as one can get without doing so, and that in itself is dangerous and a violence to the free will God has given man.
We accepted this “thing” without question. We quit praying and we were deceived. How can we expect to lead holy lives, and possess spiritual wisdom without praying? We wake up to the TV, get out of the shower to it, get into the car with it, jog with it, eat with it, and are put to bed with it. We cannot escape it; public stores, bathrooms, restaurants, all resound with its message. What else has honored Satan and promoted his interests so much? What kind of beast could have authority over every language, let alone “nation,” “people” and “race”?
Science has shown us that TV deceptively stamps an image on the right side of our brain even as it bypasses our logical, analytical left side. There are one-hundred-million-dollar companies guided by people who understand these powerful methods. They use them to sell products, and influence the viewers politically. More and more, everything bought or sold is beginning to come under the control of this unseen force.
“IN WONDERMENT, THE WHOLE WORLD FOLLOWED AFTER THE BEAST!”
Our children are gifts from God. As parents, we have been entrusted with them and asked by God to lead them to holiness of life. TV interferes with our role as parents. The BLACK BOX is an eye and, through this medium, it will watch your children for you, making them docile and quiet. This is a very tempting thing for a parent who longs for a little quiet. Where are the children who gathered around the fire, listened to stories, helped with chores, and sat at table with mom and dad for the evening meal? What dealt the deathblow to the Family Rosary? The Television is the real, living thief, stealing memories and joys while implanting its godless ideals. To keep it in your home is to harbor a burglar within the confines of your sacred dwelling.
Recently, when asked, “What is the greatest threat to Russia?” a professor from Russia said: “TELEVISION! TV is a total waste of time, crushing creativity and destroying the youth in Russia. It leads to the destruction of respect, honor and values. It is sadly sweeping through Russia, leading the youth to all kinds of fads that lack purpose and wisdom. Since TV entered our homes a short time ago, crime has drastically increased; divorce, which was unheard of among those who are Christians, is rapidly increasing, and families are breaking up … We SURVIVED Communism, but we will not survive TV!”
We might argue that some programs are good. Still, it is important to note that Satan always packages things this way, presenting some good which he hates, in order to be successful in bringing about much bad. Even, if shows of merit are viewed, the time might have been used for the greater good of prayer, works of charity, reading or being with family. Life without television can only blossom if we fill that space of time with something wholesome. This will take effort, sacrifice, love and courage. Read aloud to the family ‘Lives of the Saints’, tell stories, share the special joys and challenges of your day, play games, visit shut-ins and take time to listen to your children and your spouse. Appreciate each other and cherish the presence of Christ in each family member.
Be vigilant, therefore, and hold fast to your faith! Take care to see that the many dangers and temptations by which you are surrounded do not darken the light of faith within your soul. Through constant vigilance, that light of faith will shine with ever increasing brightness, guiding you and your family on your heavenward journey.
O Blessed Faith, Thou Gift Divine, Enlightener of the darksome heart!
REMEMBER, CHRISTIAN SOUL THAT THOU HAST THIS DAY A DUTY:
God to glorify, Jesus to imitate, the Angels and Saints to invoke;
Weekly News Flash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, Wednesday, October 16, 2012Sunday, October 28th, 2012
The Christian Way of Life
All men seek happiness, but few find it because they limit their quest to material levels, to such earth-bound preoccupations as the possession of wealth or power, or indulgence in the pleasures of the senses.
True happiness is to be found only in union with God, to whom we belong – union with Him through the Christian way of life. He alone can free us from bondage to passion and from the tragedy of sin. He alone can satisfy the hunger of the soul for the infinite. Estrangement from Him, on the other hand, turns the soul into a miniature hell or isolation of misery and despair.
Is it not a matter of everyday experience that the Christian way of life is comparatively carefree and fear-proof and full of the spiritual gladness arising from a good conscience, whereas godlessness is a state of continual turmoil and torment? If frustration is the dominant note in world affairs today, is it not because men have dethroned God and scrapped His plan for the universe? Is it not because they have turned their backs on the perfectly balanced philosophy of life which the Christian religion offers – a philosophy in which God is the Creator, Ruler and Center of the universe, and in which the life of the humblest citizen has purpose, meaning and value, because he has a specific contribution to make towards the fulfillment of the Divine plan?
Of course, it is not enough to shelter ourselves behind the Christian name. We must make our Faith the supreme controlling factor of every aspect of life and, thus, close the gap between profession and practice.
It is true that we are weak and that our powers are limited but, by means of prayer which unites us to a God of infinite power and love, we can obtain grace, which makes easy what otherwise would be too difficult or impossible.
Many people are scared away from the Christian way of life because it involves self-denial but, if people are prepared to submit to great sacrifice for reasons of temporal security, why not for eternal spiritual values?
It is not for its own sake that we are called upon to practice self-denial, but in order that we may build up will-power for effective co-operation with Divine Grace so that, instead of being dragged down by the urge of passion and by the pull of temptation, we may become masters of ourselves and be able to say: I can do without these seductions; they mean nothing to me!
Without this interior conquest of the bewitchery of sin, happiness is impossible. The tree of renunciation bears good fruit and the feast grows out of the fast. The timid need to be reminded that the Christian message is one of good news. That is what the word GOSPEL means. It is a message telling us of reconciliation between God and man, and telling us also in the clearest possible terms that there is a life beyond the grave – a life inconceivably richer than life here on earth.
It was the exuberant joy of the Apostles, after they had received the Holy Ghost at Pentecost that startled the world into attention to their Gospel of the Risen Savior.
Cultivating a Christ-like spirit, the good Christian is lighthearted and even merry in the best sense of the word. There is a foretaste of Heaven in his heart. He discharges his duties cheerfully and observes the courtesies of life amiably. His very presence is an inspiration to others because, with strict moral principles, he combines kindliness and sympathy. His is the magic touch which gilds the dull cares of life with the gold of contentment and, when disturbing incidents arise, it is he who brings a sense of humor instead of a sense of grievance, to bear upon them. He praises God even when humiliations or misfortune comes his way.
The Christian way of life weans the soul from attachment to sin, and drives away all phobias, superstitions, obsessions and all other joy-killing and misery-producing poisons. It is the most powerful force in the world against the sordid, the morbid and the neurotic, and it bids us in the words of Saint Paul to “rejoice in the Lord always!” (Phil. 4:4)
The Sign Of The Cross
Catholics often make the Sign of the Cross casually, just as a nice gesture for beginning and ending their prayers. But, when we learn to take this act seriously, signing ourselves frequently with faith and reverence, remarkable results can take place. We find ourselves doing measurably better in our Christian life: Praying with more passion, resisting our bad inclinations more effectively, and relating to others more kindly.
The Sign of the Cross, after all, is not merely a pious gesture. It is a powerful prayer, a sacramental of the Church.
The Holy Scripture, Church Fathers and Saints, and Catholic teaching offer SIX perspectives on the Sign of the Cross that reveal why making it opens us to life-transforming graces. Once we grasp them, we can make the gesture with more faith and experience its great blessings.
Six Reasons To Make The Sign:
(1) A MINI-CREED:
(2) A RENEWAL OF BAPTISM:
(3) A MARK OF DISCIPLESHIP:
(4) AN ACCEPTANCE OF SUFFERING:
(5) A TWO-EDGED MOVE AGAINST THE DEVIL:
(6) A VICTORY OVER THE FLESH:
Apply These Truths NOW:
Right now, you can imprint in your heart, these SIX truths about the Sign of the Cross by making it SIX times, each time applying one of the perspectives:
First, sign yourself professing your faith in God.
Second, mark yourself remembering that you died with Christ in Baptism.
Third, make the Sign to declare that you belong to Christ as His disciple and will obey Him.
Fourth, sign yourself to fully embrace whatever suffering comes and to celebrate your suffering with Christ for the Church.
Fifth, make the Sign of the Cross as a defense against the devil and as an offensive advance of God’s Kingdom against him.
Finally, make the Sign of the Cross to crucify your flesh, put on Christ and live by the Holy Spirit.
Go through these SIX Signings often in your Morning Prayer and watch the Grace flow through this ancient sacramental, all in the days to come.
Weekly News Flash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, Wednesday, October 9, 2012Thursday, October 18th, 2012
|Dear Apostle of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Thank you for your very strong help during the month of the Holy Rosary. Your gift will enable us to reach thousands of souls with Our Lady’s Rosary. At the moment, we are preparing Emma for his visit into Sudan where so many are dying. God bless you!!!
Mary, most holy, was standing at the foot of the Cross until the consummation of the great catastrophe. She came down with sure steps from Calvary and, without fear, assumed Her role as Mother of the Church. Just as evil had made war against Her Divine Son, so too, the monster of evil would likewise attack the Mystical Body of Christ. Blasphemies, insults and derisions must not upset us; we must remain firm and constant with Our Sorrowful Mother at the foot of the Cross of Christ. The Holy Rosary has been the victorious instrument over the Albigensians and the Turks in the whole of Europe. It has overcome superstition and barbarism. Who can fail to remember LEPANTO! The Rosary is particularly pleasing to the Blessed Virgin. So many souls redeemed by the Blood of Christ are being snatched from salvation by our Age of ‘enlightenment’. We must seek the protection of Mary and cling more and more to the practice of the Holy Rosary. It is the very badge of Christian piety. We can never do enough to promote this pious devotion among the faithful. May it be prayed at all times and in all places! The darker and more hostile the enemy, the greater need we have for the Holy Rosary. The Virgin of the Rosary is the most potent Help of Christians! Today, the satanic hate of the sects is directed at Christians. The very foundation of religion is being undermined with a boldness which grows daily more intense. Mary is our glorious Mediatrix. She is the mighty Mother of God. But, what is sweeter still, She is gentle, exquisite in tenderness, and of limitless love and kindness.
Let us hold the Rosary, once again, in very high honor for it is the synthesis of the whole Gospel: It is a family prayer, a garland of roses, a hymn of praise, a protection and defense, and a sure pledge of Eternal Life.
GUARDIAN OF SOULS
Through the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, God has given you the power to labor with Him in the procreation and formation of souls for Heaven. He has entrusted to you this privilege and duty: to instruct, to correct, guide, encourage and console them in His Name. God has given you the power to command and to teach. Be vigilant in warding off the evils which may prove injurious to any individual in the family or to the family as a whole. You must provide with tender solicitude for the spiritual and corporal needs of those whom God has entrusted to your care, securing the rights of each, and protecting the weak from the strong. You are to correct and punish leniently and charitably their faults and defects.
What glory and honor for a man to be thus made God’s helper and co-operate with Him in the salvation and sanctification of souls! You are the parents of these souls, not the master of them. You must act as a kind physician, not as a tyrant. Treat them not as slaves, but as children. Be meek, affable, and condescending. Paternally reach out to each one with a loving heart. Your constant preoccupation must be to maintain within your family a spirit of unity, that sweet bond of charity which causes the members to be of one heart and soul.
The Government of Souls is the ART of Arts: The SCIENCE of All Sciences!
God has entrusted the care of the weak to you who also are weak. If you humbly ask for His guidance, He will bless and sanctify your labors. You must absolutely put all your trust in Him. The imperfections in your children serve to train you in the art of governing. As you correct, form, and bear with them, it is you who will grow in prudence, zeal, mild firmness and discretion, and the ways of God. Be full of charity and indulgence for your children and your neighbors, bearing with them in all kindness.
Noble, generous and solidly virtuous parents are rarely disheartened. Never make any correction in haste or in anger, but always with prudence and with patience. Weak persons tend to be naturally more domineering, more cruel and more severe than those who are strong. You cannot fail to notice that, very often, it is the aged, the sickly, the sad and melancholy, the ill-humored, the full-blooded youth and those having poor talents, who are most prone to be more domineering.
A broad mind is indulgent in excusing, while overlooking and easily forgiving the faults of others. Be not narrow-minded; be not over-just; be not severe, or rigid, or hard toward others. Rather, be willing to excuse and forgive. Never measure the favors, which you do for others or keep count of the number of faults which you must daily pardon.
Prudence must be your compass. A lack of prudence will render you useless, and what is more, will be a positive evil to your family. A prudent parent is careful only to command what is just and easy to perform. He who wishes to secure perfect obedience should give but few orders. A wise guardian realizes that authority is conferred to edify and save, not to crush and destroy. Wisdom will inspire you to speak little and listen much.
The government of souls is a gift the Holy Ghost imparts to those parents who are most intimately united with Him in love and in constant prayer. Successful parenting is a mission beyond the power of even the holiest man, unless he is assisted by God.
The foundation of your office of parenting is piety and the spirit of prayer. Without God’s help, you labor in vain. Your most important duties lie in giving instruction, giving good example, and praying. Such a parent wins the hearts of his children, and subjects their wills to his. It is charity and tenderness, which make him singularly persuasive over his children, inducing them to love him, and increasing his love for them.
The office of a parent is not a rest, but a labor; not only an honor, but a burden; not a pledge of security, but a forecast of dangers. A parent will not be saved or lost alone. To fail to correct abuses of obedience and respect in the home is to authorize evil and open the door to every disorder. It is the ultimate ruin of peace. Good example is the shortest and most effective means of leading your children to God. A holy parent turns his home into a nursery of saints. A soul filled with divine love enkindles those souls among which it is placed.
A parent who is lacking piety and virtue is the scourge of his family. Parents, you must be holy in order to sanctify your children! You cannot impart to them what you yourself do not possess. You must hate and detest evil, inspiring your family with an aversion to sin, to vanity, and to impurity. You must be detached from the goods and vanities of this world and filled with divine love. Holiness alone is able to captivate minds, move hearts, instill confidence, subject wills, and compel children to sweetness and to virtue.
You cannot rule the will of another, unless you hold his heart in your hand!
But, how are you to capture the hearts of your children? You must live as a saint. Be meek, kind and amiable, affable and obliging to all. Your charity must always be generous, essentially active, and manifest itself by works. If you must correct, it should be done with kindness, frankness and patience. The title of parent is in reality only a slavery. You must serve your spouse and your children with respect, meekness and kindness, quickly forgiving and forgetting every fault committed against self.
Harshness, by embittering the heart, ruins everything and begets hatred. It is meekness which renders obedience easy, for we obey with pleasure the man who is meek and reasonable. A spirit of meekness is particularly divine. If God, Who is infinitely wise, powerful and just, governs us with consideration and with respect, what parent dare to govern with haughtiness and severity! Entreat rather than command. The gentle dove coos sweetly, caressing with its wing him who strikes it, for it has no gall. Let us be as doves, yielding to the will of others in all that is lawful.
A vigilant parent is ever on guard against the ambushes of the enemy. He has been given the sacred duty of protecting the souls entrusted to him. Constant vigilance is essential to protect your family from evil. Watchfulness has two objects: to anticipate and prevent evil, and to do good.
WORRY IS WEAKNESS
A good parent is attentive and watchful. He is not timid, easily alarmed, mistrustful or suspicious. You must imitate God’s large Heart which bears without worry all idolaters, unbelievers, heretics and schismatics — all the sinners of the world, patiently awaiting their conversion. Perfection bears with imperfection. You cannot correct those at fault, by repelling them. Receive them in a friendly manner, bear with them in patience, with gentleness and kindness. Be firm and clear in your correction. Bid your time till all are calm. Begin always with a prayer to the God the Holy Ghost and to Our Blessed Mother. The most profitable correction requires a calm heart and a tranquil mind, both by the one who receives it, and by the one who administers it. Do not reprove your child for every fault. Often repeated reproofs are wearisome. He, who is too often reproved, may become easily discouraged or grow reckless. Those who commit grievous faults should be treated with kindness.
The imperfections which may be found in every member of the family allow you to practice heroic virtue. Order and holiness are preserved only by continual combat. Virtue is deepened and strengthened by what is difficult. To be genuine, virtue must pass through the crucible of contradiction. Pray unceasingly and in a special manner for those children who are your most incorrigible ones. Prayer is often the only means by which their souls can be won over to Jesus Christ.
TAKE UP YOUR CROSS!
Yes, the life of every good parent is a martyrdom! It is to drink daily from the chalice of Jesus Christ Crucified. To be good parents, you must have a deep and true love of the Cross. It is by changing serpents into doves and tigers into lambs that you will be truly representative of Christ the Good Shepherd, and prove yourself a worthy parent, a man fit to beget and save souls.
Taken from “QUALITIES OF A GOOD SUPERIOR” by Fr. Gerreol Girardey – 1920.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Heart of my Mother, I unite to Thy Purity, Thy Sanctity, Thy Zeal and Thy Love, all my thoughts, words, acts and sufferings of This day, that there may be nothing in me that may not become through Thee, a pleasure to Jesus and an eternal gain for the souls of my family. Amen.
|ARE MY PRAYERS BEING HEARD?
There is no Christian life without prayer. Yet, we often pray with difficulty, distraction and complaint
“I am distracted when I pray;
We feel our prayers are not heard and do us no good. Thus, prayer is sadly abandoned. The reason for comments such as these, is that prayer is often misunderstood. We have the wrong idea of the principle of prayer and its fruits. We tend to judge prayer’s effectiveness by concrete, sensible and immediate results. This is a form of the heresy of pragmatism, according to which all things are to be evaluated upon the instant and practical results produced for oneself or for others. The only cure for prayers that have become infected with the virus of pragmatism is to review the primary purpose of prayer, its infallible benefit and its eternal merit for souls.
Almighty God wants three things for every human being that He has created: these, then, are the infallible fruit of prayer. The fourth thing is relative and must always be left to the wisdom, foreknowledge and goodness of God. Therefore, every Christian should make an agreement with God, covering his entire life, according to which he directs all the prayers he will ever say.
The First purpose of every prayer I ever say, O my God, will be to ask of Thee the grace to save my soul, to reach the happiness of Heaven, and to enjoy the glorious Beatific Vision of Thyself forever. No true prayer can ever bypass or rightly ignore this primary end of all human endeavors. No prayer could ever be granted by God if it asks for something that would interfere with the salvation of the one who prays. Every prayer that is directed first to the attainment of Heaven is infallibly heard.
The Second purpose of every prayer I say, O my God, will be to ask Thee for an ever-increasing measure of the means to salvation, that is the actual graces necessary to do Thy Holy Will, and the courage I shall need in using my free will to cooperate with those graces. God never wills an end for us without providing the means to attain it. Heaven is a supernatural goal, far above the capacity of man to achieve it through his own merits. Therefore, God’s Grace is needed if any man is to attain it. All the graces necessary to reach Heaven have been promised to man as the fruit of his prayers. My God, grant me the grace of perseverance in doing always Thy Holy Will.
The Third purpose of every prayer I ever say, O my God, will be to ask Thee for the grace of salvation for all whom I love, for all who are dependent upon me, for all whom I am indebted and, in a special manner, for my enemies. The purpose of prayer is too often smothered by thoughts of temporary and material blessings, or for the immediate and dramatic conversion of the one for whom the prayer is offered. The real purpose of prayers for others is to help them reach Heaven in the end, no matter how far from its path they may have drifted for years, or how many sufferings they may have to endure before reaching the goal. Our prayer for others should be humble and trusting: “O my God, I ask only to see them in Heaven someday, let nothing else that I ask interfere with Thy granting this petition.”
God wants the salvation of every person. God wants everyone who loves Him to pray and work for the salvation of others, especially those who are united to him in life by any bond of relationship or association. God accepts the prayers of one human being for another, sometimes manifestly, other times secretly, answering them all with the extraordinary graces needed by the wandering soul to reach Heaven.
The Fourth purpose of prayer is to obtain relief from anyone of a thousand forms of temporal suffering, if this be God’s Holy Will. There is no winning Heaven without some suffering. There is no sharing in the Redemption of Christ without a sharing in the Cross. God wants me to be perfect and perpetually happy in Heaven. God wants me to suffer something to win perfect happiness. God never asks or forces me to suffer more than I can bear. God will often take away temporal suffering in answer to prayer to show His Love, to give testimony to the power of prayer and to encourage His followers. But, He never does so when He knows that such relief would make it more difficult for that man to reach Heaven.
Let us pray with perseverance, attention and humility. God will be faithful to His promise: Whatever you ask, you shall receive, if we will pray as we ought. We must believe with all our heart and soul that God’s Will for us is perfect!
(by Fr. Miller, CSSR)
Only to rest where He puts me, only to do His Will,
Only to be what He made me, though I be nothing still!
Never to look beyond me, out of my little sphere,
Only to take what He gives me, meek as a little child,
Only to do what He bids me, patiently gladly today,
Only to watch in the working, lest I should miss His smile,
Only to look at Him ever, only to sit at His Feet,
This is the box we send out to the foreign Missions @ $77.95. It contains Rosaries, Scapulars, Miraculous Medals, Cord & Oil, Newsletters, Calendars, Catechism books, 2 TAN books, large color prints, lists and encouragement for our Promoters.
Weekly News Flash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, Wednesday, October 2, 2012Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
Purgatory – Half Way To Heaven!
At the moment of birth, a child is a mystery of the future. With time, events and the graces given him between the moment of birth and the moment of death, each human being makes choices, advancing toward God or turning away from Him. At the time of death, he has lived one of these two patterns: Either, with his mind on God and motivated for the love of God, to do God’s Will; or with his mind set on himself or another creature in place of God, living his whole life to do his own will. At death, a person’s will is fixed, either on himself or God. If he is in the state of grace, he is God-directed. If he is in the state of unrepented mortal sin, then he has rejected God, set up his own will in opposition to the Divine Will – the consequence of his choices is Hell!
Even in the state of grace and, therefore, a friend of God, a person may not have achieved a total love of God nor a complete union with His Will. What is imperfect and out of order must be consumed and purged so that the soul may be wholly ready for the wedding feast of Heaven. This place of purgation is called “Purgatory”. Although it is not hell, it has some of the intense pains associated with the sufferings of Hell; and while it is not Heaven, it has some intense joys of Heaven. St. Catherine of Genoa, a “specialist” on the doctrine of Purgatory, laid emphasis on the joy of Purgatory — outside of Heaven itself, the happiest state in creation is that of Purgatory.
What Then Is Purgatory?
Purgatory is the never failing and encompassing love of God in action for the souls of the departed who are not yet completely holy. These are friends of God, who died in the state of Sanctifying Grace and share in His Divine Life. They have a right to Heaven but are not yet ready for the fullness of what He has promised. They must be readied by the expiation they undergo in purgatory. It is a time of paying a debt but not degrading or shameful. It is a state of maturing and growing perfect in love.
At the moment a soul passes into eternity, time ceases to exist for it. In Purgatory, the soul progresses toward purity and holiness, but it cannot be said to be in this state for a certain time period. God is at work in the soul and the soul is delayed entry into the unending happiness of Heaven. This process is not measured in our days or years. The Council of Trent declared: Purgatory exists, and certain souls are detained there; these souls can be helped by the prayers and alms of the faithful and especially by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Christian at the moment of death, in the proper disposition, should be able to say, “My Father, whatever I deserve for my sins and my failures, into Thy loving Hands I yield up my soul.” God is Love! Can His purifying work in a soul be done in any other condition than one of love?
For the soul in the state of purgation, the world is left behind! The demands of the body and its senses completely cease. The soul is free, for the first time, to see spiritual realities in the way the Angels perceive them. Heaven is assured. Divine illumination floods the soul’s understanding with an appreciation and desire for God. It sees what shallow satisfactions, weaknesses and selfishness came between God and itself, and understands that satisfaction must be made. In Purgatory, the soul is keenly aware of being deprived of God. It has seen the utter beauty and loveableness of God. His Goodness, Holiness, Love and Wisdom have set the soul aflame with adoration, gratitude and love. This is what penetrates the souls in Purgatory. Nothing distracts them from their attention to HIM! Purgatory is a state of suffering, but the suffering is not grim. The suffering is intense, but it is borne with joy.
The pain of purgatory purifies and prepares the soul for eternal joy. This joy carries them through their suffering. Self-centeredness and selfishness are stripped away as the souls in Purgatory become what God meant them to be on earth: Saints entirely in love with Him. They can in NO WAY accelerate the healing of purgatory’s “fire of joy”. Their utter passivity is probably the reason they are called the “Poor Souls”. Helpless of themselves, they can be helped! They can be helped by our prayers, alms and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
They cannot receive the Sacraments or offer acts of mortification in expiation for their sins, BUT WE CAN! What better way to please Christ than coming to the aid of the poorest of the poor: the helpless souls in Purgatory. Let us remember, too, that by aiding them, we witness God’s mercy and power, and contribute to His glory for all eternity.
There are some who have a special claim to our charity: parents, brothers, sisters, teachers and the priests who brought us the Sacraments. Perhaps, there are thousands of others in Purgatory who have won special graces for us, whom we shall never know … an old woman who suffered patiently and endured pain for some poor sinner known only to God. We are all branches of the Vine, Christ, and we can help one another through channeling the life of the whole Vine, one to the other. The shortest prayer, the smallest act done for the love of God can become a lever to Heaven for the souls in Purgatory.
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated for the souls in Purgatory, wins the infinite merits of Christ, which open like a floodgate to wash over the souls of the living and the dead. The holy souls in Purgatory cannot now unite themselves to Him in Holy Communion, but they can share in the graces that flow from the celebration of the Mass, especially if we bring them there, in spirit, by our Mass intentions.
GREGORIAN Masses are one of the most effective means of delivering a soul from Purgatory. These are 30 Masses offered for the soul of one specified deceased, during the period of 30 consecutive days. The custom originated with St. Gregory the Great. We are not justified to consider the Gregorian Masses as an infallible means of freeing a soul from Purgatory, because the application of the fruit of the Masses depends on the Holy Will of God. Thus, more than one series of Gregorian Masses can be offered for the same soul.
The Way of the Cross, prayerfully made, is highly indulgenced and of great efficacy for the holy souls in Purgatory. The Holy Rosary recalls the events of Redemption, taking us from the first Joyful Mystery to the last Glorious Mystery as we meditate on the great doctrines of the Church. It is best to use a Rosary that has the ‘ABCD’ blessings to obtain the greatest indulgences for the Poor Souls.
Almsgiving is another form of corporal charity that is efficacious and pleasing to God. Today’s poor and suffering are great in number and we ought to thank God we can come to their aid. When this is done for the love of God, we can offer any expiatory value of these acts to God on behalf of the departed souls.
The taking of holy water and sprinkling both ourselves and our surroundings with it, draws down blessings upon the objects that are sprinkled. Hence, the regular and confident use of holy water is attended with great benefits for the living and brings consolation to the departed soul.
Offering indulgenced prayers is beneficial to the Holy Souls. Each of these is given a gain of so many days indulgence in the Raccolta. This does not mean that 300 days are going to be subtracted from their debt, but rather that it is our drawing on the merits of Christ and the saints for the performance of a penance carried out for 300 days in behalf of the poor soul. There is no time beyond death!
God is never outdone in generosity and is sure to be moved by any and all the acts of faith and charity made in the name of the poorest of the poor, the holy souls in Purgatory.
Divine Heart of Jesus, convert Sinners, save the Dying, delivery the Holy Souls in Purgatory. (300 days Indulgence)
Gregorian Masses For Your Departed Loved One
The Gregorian Masses are arranged through Fr. Ivan Kolodij. The money is personally delivered to the priest who will offer 30 consecutive Masses for your departed loved one. This is carried out by the Byzantine priests in Ukraine. The stipend for the Gregorian Masses is $500. We will mail the Mass card to you.
Our Battle Cry
We set out now on a glorious crusade, to conquer the whole world for Christ. Our weapons in this battle must be like arrows that fly with lightning speed from a loving heart, to reach the very Heart of God. Our prayers and pious aspirations must expand the lungs of our soul, keep us in contact with the supernatural and render us ever conscious of our mission as apostles.
In this decisive battle for souls, the Holy Rosary is our protection, our firm anchor, our exultant hope and solid nourishment. We must never set our holy Rosary aside, but carry it in our hand during the day, wear it around our neck, or keep it in our pocket. Each morning, when we set out to conquer the world for Christ, we may most effectively use our Rosary as a panoply; for it is our sign of Total Consecration, and affords us the protection of a full suit of armor! With our Rosary, we can spread our “AVES” out along the path of our laborious day like milestones of Christian life. Keeping our vigil of Aves, we can pass our precious time like a pilgrim of eternity. It will help us think more often and better of the sweet Immaculate Virgin and be encouraged after Her example, and with Her help, to trample underfoot the eternal traitor of purity and impenitent profaner of holiness. And with the Aves, let us breathe in and breathe out the simple ejaculation so delicious to the heart that loves:
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom Come!
It is a shout of conquest, a profession of Faith, a protestation of subjection to the great King; it is, at once, reparation and expiation, a creed and a Decalogue; it is the Gospel compacted into three words, it is the essence of all that the soul can desire; it is a stairway on which one mounts to Heaven! And the infinite beauty of this little practice is that it can be done, not in fits and starts, but uninterruptedly, without losing a single moment of your day.
Let Us Exclude No One!
As you offer this little prayer, you will want to think how it can be scattered to the ends of the Earth. Travel from one country to the next in your heart, showering upon them all this priceless dew of grace. While praying your beads and breathing in and out this powerful song of conquest and subjection, think of the abundant fruit it will bear in time, first in Africa and then in China. To each one, it is love released. I am sure you will like it.
Make a TRIAL of it and you will see for yourselves;
As the world engages in the epic battle with death, you will have merited for souls the flood of Divine Mercy, which is able to save them. Would that millions pray in this manner! May God grant that your little invocations become fervent and passionate!
May they flash ceaselessly across the firmament of the Church like lightning!
May they heal all the sores and wounds of the whole world, all the sobs of ruined innocence, and all the burning tears of the good, who are unjustly oppressed!
Weekly News Flash from the Universal Living Rosary Association of Saint Philomena, Wednesday, September 26, 2012Thursday, October 4th, 2012
Jesus, OUR LOVE, is Crucified!
We are His Members and She is Our Mother!
There is a light in our sad age of blackout and a brilliant hope for a world languishing in its hopelessness. IT IS SHE! Health of the Sick! Refuge of Sinners! Man, in his innermost essence, is hungry for happiness, and thirsts for truth and beauty. Modern man suffers from an awful malignancy that well may cause his death — nostalgia for God and an amnesia of his own dignity and destiny.
Remember that you are a temple of the Holy Ghost, that God is within you, that each dawn can be greeted with the cry:
“This is the Day the LORD hath made, and He made it just for ME!”
Salvation is the reward of those who find Mary. Obedience to the law is the greatest liberty; conformity to the Will of God is the secret of unalloyed happiness. How great was St. Joseph! It was he who purchased the two turtle doves, the offering of the poor, and presented them for the Purification of his immaculate spouse. All contradictions, are they not? Mary needed no purification. Jesus needed no ‘Presentation’. But there was the Law of God. These two, Joseph and Mary, would give a lesson to all who would live happily: follow the Law of God no matter how “reasonable” may seem the reason for not doing so! When God’s Law is obeyed, there is not only order in life, but there is also a tranquility of this order: THERE IS PEACE! THERE IS JOY!
History often repeats itself. Today, just as Mary and Joseph made their flight into Egypt, there are so many living in refugee camps, evacuated from their homes and countries! There is only one Child in the whole world; He is the Christ! We believe, but it is not with our whole body and all our blood, it is not with our whole being. The danger of our day is not Communism, but Christian apathy! We are neither possessed by Truth nor obsessed by the realization that we are Christ.
It is not sorrow, not sadness, nor suffering that God sends His most beloved friends on earth; it is a share He grants them in the Passion of His only Son. It is the greatest gift He could bestow after creation and recreation by Baptism! We have forgotten that pain has a sacred purpose; that all suffering can and should be sublimated into Sacrifice: HIS SACRIFICE!
We have forgotten that we are Christians and we are members of a Body, whose Head is thorn-crowned. We have forgotten that, since there is sin, there must be suffering that will atone.
There are but Two Realities on Earth: Sin and Salvation!
Mary will never rest until we are safely Home. You are more than a ciborium carrying Christ within you; you are more than a monstrance whence His whiteness might shine out; you have been made Christ. Our day is dark. Live not only FOR Him, but WITH Him! Remember, it is not Utopia but Heaven we are trying to begin on earth. In other words, there will be suffering, sorrow and hardships of all kinds, just as there were for Jesus, Mary and Joseph in their flight into Egypt.
The closer we come to Christ, the deeper will the nails sink and the sharper the thorns will bite. To be a Christian means to be crucified. We weep! The world is as pagan today as it was during the time of Christ. Perhaps, more so! The world seems to be slipping back into the cruelty and lust that marked the last days of the Greco-Roman culture. We can do for Christ exactly what His Mother did for Him, when Herod sought His Life: We can shelter Him and see that He grows strong.
We must all learn from Mary that the single most important word in the world is FIAT! It turns every-thing into gold for God and man. On the hill of Calvary, Christ underwent the Passion, and Mary suffered for us a compassion united as one with Him. It was not merely her reaction to His Passion, but her own distinct agony and crucifixion of heart. It was part of God’s plan for our Redemption: A Divine Person would suffer the Passion to redeem us, and a human person would suffer a passion, parallel with His, to co-redeem us!
SIN IS THE LOSS OF GOD!
The sight of the loss of God in any life is terrifying. Still, how many today deny its existence! Small wonder that our ‘sick’ civilization is dying! Small wonder, so much of it is already dead. Sin is as common as dirt, as universal as air. St. Paul writes, “There is not an innocent man among them, no, not one. Their mouths are gaping tombs.” Do we really believe that, when we sin, we are Pilot ordering the cross and the nails; we are Judas taking the 30 pieces of silver and kissing the Christ; we are Annas and Caiaphas and the rest of the people crying,
“Away with this man, give us Barabbas!”
Do we believe that when we sin, we take up the hammer and use it on a nail that pierces the flesh of God? Or, have we too, lost our sense of sin? A man without honor, without love, without loyalty, without pity is a true picture of a man without God – crucifying ANEW, the Son of God!
What the physical Christ did for a time, the Mystical Body of Christ must do for all time. It must labor and suffer to spread the Gospel to all men. Because Christ the Head holds such a prominent position, one must not think that He does not require the Body’s help. The Head cannot say to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ Dying on the Cross, He left to His Church the immense treasure of the Redemption, toward this She contributed nothing. It is a deep mystery that the salvation of many depends upon the prayers and the voluntary penances which members of the Mystical Body offer for this intention. If the members are required to contribute to the Redemption, what must the Mother of both the Head and the members owe? God waited for the consent of the whole human race from the lips of the Virgin Mary: “FIAT”. His plan was accomplished! In that Fiat was the whole course of the Redemption for the entire human race.
Mary, the Co-Redemptrix, represented us who would Co-Redeem.
We forget He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We forget that without Him we can do nothing! We forget that a branch cut off from the vine dies. We forget that we are Christ’s members. Is this not the most tragic loss of memory in the world! A man without Christ, regardless of how energetic, how important and how vigorous he may appear, is actually dead! For he who has lost Christ, has lost life! If we have lost Christ, we will find Him if we search for Him, as did Mary:
Totally forgetful of Self, fully absorbed in the search, indefatigable until He is found.
“He was subject to them….” the Gospels tell us. In these words, there is meditation for a lifetime. God was subject to His creatures. What a lesson for our proud, assertive world! It is remarkable that when-ever we meet Mary in the Life of Christ as portrayed in the Gospels, there is absolutely no manifestation of that immeasurable love which must have filled His Heart, no single trace of that tenderness we would naturally expect from this tenderest of all men. This, too, was her great compassion. Mary would embrace the Cross, not the cross-bearer. Had she her way, there never would have been a Simon of Cyrene, for Mary herself would grasp that Cross and ascend the Hill of Calvary. Her arms go out not to take the cross from Him, but to help Him carry it to the summit where Redemption will be wrought. This is why Mary went to meet Him on His way to Calvary, to help Him on, to give Him courage, to compassionate in the truest sense, to suffer with Him. We will prove true children of Mary if we go out to meet Christ Who is under the Cross.
Look, how we Christians live! What very sorry soldiers we are! We lack character! Yes, we lack the character of Jesus Christ. God has to go underground. We have failed both Christ and His Mother. We have forgotten that we are His members with a work to do! We have forgotten that the very first clause of our CREDO is a declaration of war on the world, the flesh and the devil. Ever since St. Michael the Archangel drew his sword against the apostate angels, there has never been such a great war cry as: “I BELIEVE IN GOD.” The conflict between Heaven and Hell is contained in these four words. Every time, we sign ourselves with the Cross, we take upon ourselves the sins of the world, profess our faith, and declare we are followers of HIM Who is Crucified. The work of His members, is to die that men might live. We in America do not seem to recognize either Christ or Antichrist. We are like the onlookers who were in Jerusalem the day God died.
Will we wake up before it is too late?
If we love Christ, we must keep His Commandments. To be a SAINT, we must fulfill perfectly the daily duties of our state in life. It takes courage to be a Christian. The individual must not only have a lively faith, he must live his faith. He must believe with his whole being what he professes with his lips. He must pray aloud his CREDO, not with words but with every action of his life. If Christ is to reign as King of Nations, His reign as King of each individual must be absolute. ‘This is why I was born, and why I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.’ (Jn.18:37) Every Catholic father and mother who labor day-in and day-out to shelter their children from the contagion of the world, focusing all their attention on the formation of their little minds and hearts, are speaking out to the world. There is power in our Catholic example, which is irresistible. But, we forget the world watches. We forget that it hears our testimony though we speak not a word.
Every Christian is called to be a martyr. Although few of us are called to bend our necks to the sword in a blood-martyrdom, we are called to a far fiercer one, a white martyrdom. We must die daily, and some of us will live long, long lives. We are His members, with a work to do. Christ is on His way to Calvary. Mary, His Mother, has gone out to meet Him. Let us join them that we may know:
The Joy of carrying His Cross!
Taken from “GOD, A WOMAN AND THE WAY” by Rev. Fr. Raymond, OCSO
Nihil Obstat: John A Schelien, STD Imprimatur: + Albert G Meyer, Archiepiscopus Milwauchiensis
THE ROAD TO HEAVEN
The Church teaches us to invoke Mary as Mediatrix of All Graces. This title summarizes what the Blessed Virgin is for us, in our relations with Her beloved Son: the Mediatrix of grace, of mercy, the treasurer of all graces which Jesus merited for us.
“By the Communion of Sorrows and of Will between Christ and Mary, She merited to become the Dispenser of All the Benefits which Jesus acquired for us by shedding His Blood” … says St. Pius X (Encyclical: Ad Deum Illum)
Mary, who was associated in the closest and most intimate way with the LIFE, the WORK, and the PASSION of Her Son, cooperated with Him in our redemption to such an extent that the grace, which Jesus alone could merit for us condignly, was merited also by Mary, although in a secondary way and by congruity only. Thus, Mary obtained real power over all the supernatural treasures acquired by Her Son; and since She obtained them together with Him, She also distributes them to us with Him. Pope Leo XIII says, “It may be affirmed that, according to God’s Will, nothing comes to us without going through Mary’s hands. Just as no one can approach the Almighty Father except through the Son, so no one can approach Christ except through His Mother” (Encyclical: Octobri Mense). After Jesus, Who is the only Mediator, Mary is the Mediatrix: As Jesus continually intercedes with the Father in Heaven on our behalf, so Mary intercedes with Jesus for us; She obtains and dispenses to us all the graces we need. The Introit of the Mass for the Feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces (May 8, in some places) very fittingly applies to Mary the words spoken by St. Paul about Jesus: “Let us approach the Throne of Grace with confidence, to obtain mercy and pardon.” Next to Jesus, Mary is really the “Throne of Grace,” and She can obtain everything for us from Her Son. She is the omnipotentia supplex, the all-powerful intercessor: all-powerful in Her prayer as Mother.
Mary is the Mediatrix between Her Son and us, for a twofold reason: She gives Jesus to us and She brings us to Him. The Gospel tells us this several times, showing us the typically maternal attitude of Mary as She brought Jesus to mankind. Our Lady offered the Infant Jesus to the adoration of the shepherds and the Wise Men; She took Him to the Temple and presented Him to Simeon; by Her intercession at Cana, She obtained the first miracle from Her Son. On Calvary, Mary received into Her arms the martyred, lifeless Body of Her beloved Son, whom She offered for mankind as the price of its Redemption. In the Cenacle, She begged the plenitude of the Holy Spirit for the Apostles and, from that day to the day of Her Assumption, She sustained the infant Church by her prayers and maternal encouragement.
TO FIND MARY, IS TO FIND JESUS!
This is the whole reason for Her existence and Her mission: To give Jesus to the world and to souls and, with Jesus, to give His grace and blessings. As St. Bernard says, Mary is truly the channel which carries the living water of grace to mankind; furthermore, She brings Jesus, the very source of grace.
As Mediatrix, Mary also leads men to Jesus by teaching them the way to Her Son and showing them how to please Him. We are always poor little children incapable of making presentable gifts to God but Mary, Our Mother, with maternal delicacy, arranges and embellishes our gifts, our acts, our prayers and sacrifices, and offers them with Her own hands to Her Divine Son. She, like a true mother, gives particular attention to our hearts, which She desires to make pleasing to Jesus: Mary wants to form in each one of us a heart which is pure, full of love and goodness; a heart which can beat in unison with the Heart of Her Son.
Let us, then, place our hearts in Mary’s hands, that She may fill them:
“With GRACE and TRUTH, LIFE and VIRTUE.”