Friday, April 04, 2008

San Isidro de Sevilla

San Isidro
How can I forgot to post about this saint? I can't even though it's late for many of you on the Mainland and elsewhere. This is my dear father in law's name day saint.

Please check out Charity Therese's post about St. Isidore.

Fine Art Friday - Avoiding Scandal Through Profane Art

The following is from the book by Fr. Paul O'Sullivan O.P., Read Me or Rue Me.
Those who have had the misfortune to give bad example and to wound or cause the perdition of souls by scandal must take care to repair all in this world, if they would not be subjected to the most terrible expiation in the other. It was not in vain that Jesus Christ cried out, "Woe to the world because of scandals!" "Woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh!"
The following explains the difference between real art and profane art and is from the book Merveilles du Purgatoire.
True art is an expression from Heaven which elevates the soul to God; profane art, which appeals to the senses only, which presents to the eye nothing but the beauties of flesh and blood, is but an inspiration of the evil spirit; his works, brilliant though they may be, are not works of art, and the name is falsely attributed to them. They are the infamous productions of a corrupt imagination.

Fine Arts Friday - Giovanni Bellini

Self Portrait
Self-Portrait

Pieta
The Pieta

Mary Magdalena
Mary Magdalena

Madonna and Child
Madonna and Child

Christ Blessing
Christ's Blessing

Madonna with Saints and Donors
Madonna with Saints and Donors

This week's artist is Giovanni Bellini.
Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430 – 1516) was an Italian Renaissance painter, probably the best known of the Bellini family of Venetian painters. His father was Jacopo Bellini, his brother was Gentile Bellini, and his brother-in-law was Andrea Mantegna. He is considered to have revolutionized Venetian painting, moving it towards a more sensuous and colouristic style. Through the use of clear, slow-drying oil paints, Giovanni created deep, rich tints and detailed shadings. His sumptuous coloring and fluent, atmospheric landscapes had a great effect on the Venetian painting school, especially on his pupils Giorgione and Titian.
Source Wikipedia

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Mortifications - One Way of Avoiding Purgatory

Purgatory
In the last couple of days, we have learned that mortifying ourselves is a good way of avoiding or lessening our time in Purgatory. Providentially, I found that Sue of Half the Kingdom has posted a list of examples of mortifications we can do daily.

See below. I have made bold certain parts that I think need emphasizing:
1 - Close your eyes always and above all to every dangerous sight, and even - have the courage to do it - to every frivolous and useless sight. See without looking; do not gaze at anybody to judge of their beauty or ugliness.

2 - Keep your ears closed to flattering remarks, to praise, to persuasion, to bad advice, to slander, to uncharitable mocking, to indiscretions, to ill disposed criticism, to suspicions voiced, to every word capable of causing the very smallest coolness between two souls.

3 - If the sense of smell has something to suffer due to your neighbor’s infirmity or illness, far be it from you ever to complain of it; draw from it a holy joy.

4 - In what concerns the quality of food, have great respect for Our Lord’s counsel: “Eat such things as are set before you.” “Eat what is good without delighting in it, what is bad without expressing aversion to it, and show yourself equally indifferent to the one as to the other. There,” says St. Francis de Sales, “is a real mortification.”

5 - Offer your meals to God; at table impose on yourself a tiny penance: for example, refuse a sprinkling of salt a glass of wine, a sweet, etc.; your companions will not notice it, but God will keep account of it.

6 - If what you are given appeals to you very much, think of the gall and the vinegar given to Our Lord on the cross: that cannot keep you from tasting, but will serve as a counterbalance to the pleasure.

7 - You must avoid all sensual contact, every caress in which you set some passion, by which you look for passion, from which you take a joy which is principally of the senses.

8 - Refrain from going to warm yourself, unless this is necessary to save you from being unwell. (comment by me: I try to remind myself and to picture how much colder or hotter it may be in Purgatory...or even Hell).

9 - Bear with everything which naturally grieves the flesh, especially the cold of winter, the heat of summer, a hard bed and every inconvenience of that kind. Whatever the weather, put on a good face; smile at all temperatures. Say with the prophet: “Cold, heat, rain, bless ye the Lord.” It will be a happy day for us when we are able to say with a good heart these words which were familiar to St. Francis de Sales: “I am never better than when I am not well.”

10 - Mortify your imagination when it beguiles you with the lure of a brilliant position, when it saddens you with the prospect of a dreary future, when it irritates you with the memory of a word or deed which offended you.

11 - If you feel within you the need to day dream, mortify it without mercy.

12 - Mortify yourself with the greatest care in the matter of impatience, of irritation or of anger.

13 - Examine your desires thoroughly; submit them to the control of reason and of faith: do you never desire a long life rather than a holy life, wish for pleasure and well-being without trouble or sadness, victory without battle, success without setbacks, praise without criticism, a comfortable, peaceful life without a cross of any sort, that is to say a life quite opposite to that of Our Divine Lord?

14 - Take care not to acquire certain habits which, without being positively bad, can become injurious, such as habits of frivolous reading, of playing at games of chance, etc…

15 - Seek to discover your predominant failing and, as soon as you have recognized it, pursue it all the way to its last retreat. To that purpose, submit with good will to whatever could be monotonous or boring in the practice of the examination of conscience.

16 - You are not forbidden to have a heart and to show it, but be on your guard against the danger of exceeding due measure. Resist attachments which are too natural, particular friendships and all softness of heart.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

More Ways of Avoiding Purgatory

Purgatorio

This is a continuation from yesterday's post on How to Avoid Purgatory

7. Ask God to Free You From Purgatory.

"Two conditions... make prayer infallible, namely perseverance and faith. God cannot refuse such a prayer."

You should pray expressly every day of your life that God frees you from Purgatory.

8. Offering God Your Death With Perfect Resignation.

Pope Pius X granted a Plenary Indulgence of the hour at death to those who would say at least after one Holy Communion the following prayer:
"Eternal Father from this day forward I accept with joyful and resigned heart the death it will please you to send me with all its pains and sufferings."
Fr. Sullivan suggests that we say this prayer after every Holy Communion we receive.

9. Receiving the Sacrament of Extreme Unction.

According to St. Thomas and St. Albert, this sacrament was instituted
"especially to obtain for us the grace of a holy and happy death and to prepare us for immediate entrance into Heaven.
10. Indulgences.
"Fully aware of our weakness and knowing, too, how fearful many are of penance, He opens wide the treasury of His Goodness and offers us most abundant Indulgences in exchange for some small act of devotion.

For one recitation of short ejaculatory prayers, He grants 100 or 200 or more days of Indulgence. These we may say hundreds of times in the day.
"Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in Thee"

By reciting the Hail Mary when praying the Rosary gains us more than 2000 days of indulgences.

These indulgences can be applied to the Holy Souls in Purgatory too.

11. By joining a Third Order.

Lay Carmelites

Third Order of St. Dominic

Oblates of St. Benedict

Pauline Cooperators

Salesian Cooperators

Secular Franciscan Order
"Among the extraordinary graces which Catholics gain by becoming members of a Third Order are a share in many Masses and prayers.
Benedict XV, a Tertiary said
"One of the easiest and most effectual ways of reaching a high degree of sanctity is by becoming a Dominican Tertiary."

..."Among the many beautiful characteristic of the Order of St. Dominic is its intense devotion and love for the Holy Souls, especially for the souls of its members, friends and benefactors."
12. Assisting the Holy Souls.
"The Holy Souls whom we relieve or release by our Masses and good works pray for us with such indescribable fervor that God cannot refuse to hear their prayers. One of the principal graces they ask for their friends is that these shall have little or no Purgatory...
13. Saving a Soul From Perdition.
"St. James, the Apostle gives another very effectual method of avoiding or lessening our stay in Purgatory. He says: "He who saves a soul saves his own and satisfies for a multitude of sins."
a. We can pray earnestly for souls. We can give them good advice and good example.

b. "The most efficacious method of savings souls is by propaganda viz: Catholic Action. Note: I am not sure if Catholic Action is still around but I found this one place that uses its principles. Catholic Success

His Holiness John Paul II - 3rd Anniversary of His Death

JPII
April 2, 2005

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

How to Avoid Purgatory

Purgatory
Purgatory by Koch


I am reading a little book my mother insisted I read. In fact, she even sent me a copy of it. It is entitled Read Me or Rue it...How to Avoid Purgatory...by Father Paul O'Sullivan O.P. This book used to be available through Tan Books. However, now it is only available through JMJ Book Co. PO Box 15 Necedah, WI 54646, (608) 565-2526.

The main purpose of the book is to teach us that we can avoid going to Purgatory if we try. It is not inevitable that we go through Purgatory before reaching our final home in Heaven. If we cannot avoid Purgatory altogether, we can at least shorten our stay there and this little book tells us how.
"The reason why we have to pass through Purgatory after death is because we have committed sins and have not made satisfaction for them.

Every individual sin must be expiated in this life or the next...

It is not God's fault nor God's wish that we go to Purgatory. The fault is all our own..."
Below is a list of ways of avoiding Purgatory:

1. Removing the cause, i.e. stop sinning.

By making frequent use of the sacraments we can avoid committing mortal sins. We may not be able to refrain from committing all kinds of sins but at least we can avoid the mortal sins .

2. Avoid deliberate and grave venial sins.
"It is an awful thing to offend the good God deliberately."
We should also try our hardest to break our bad habits.
"If a Christian avoids,...these three classes of sin. viz, mortal sins, deliberate and grave venial sins, and habits of sin, it will be relatively easy for him to atone for faults of frailty..."
3. Giving special attention when we pray:

"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

These words given to us by our Lord Himself said frequently and fervently will no doubt obtain us pardon for our many offenses.

4. Doing penance.

Bearing our little crosses without complaint during our day. Doing mortifications (which helps us to die to self). These are little penance which will also help lessen the time in Purgatory.
"Penance is not only easy, it is useful and necessary and it will bring us very great happiness...Daily acts of self restraint, of patience with others, of kindness to others, the exact fulfillment of duty are splendid penances and a great aid to happiness."
5. Accepting our sufferings with patience.
Bearing patiently what we cannot avoid, all the more as suffering, born patiently, becomes easy and light. Suffering if accepted with calmness and for God's sake loses all its sting. If received badly, in the spirit of revolt and with repugnance it is intensified a hundredfold, and becomes almost intolerable...

How sad it is that so many Christians for want of thought make their sufferings a thousands times worse than they are and lose all the immense merits that they could so easily gain.
6. By frequent Confession, Communion and daily assistance at Mass.
"Confession applies to our souls the Precious Blood of Christ, wipes out our sins, gives us light to see their malice, fills us with horror of sin, and above all, it give us strength to avoid it.

The Mass is identical with the Sacrifice of Calvary, in its essence, in its value, in the graces it bestows. The Sacrifice of Calvary saved all the world millions and millions of souls...By assisting at Mass we can apply all these oceans of graces to our own souls, and that not once but every day."
I think that is enough for today. The rest of the list will be posted tomorrow.

Updated:

More Ways to Avoid Purgatory

Mortifications: One Way of Avoiding Purgatory

Monday, March 31, 2008

Divine Mercy - The Philippines

Bang was nice enough to post the link to her blog. Check out these magnificent photos:
Feast of Divine Mercy in El Salvador

Salamat Bang!

Solemnity - Feast of the Annunciation

The Annunciation
The Annunciation by Philippe de Champaigne