Saturday, August 28, 2010

Spiritual Combat: Learning to Recover Your Soul's Calmness

Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Picture Source

The following is the last spiritual guidance Dom Scupoli gave in Spiritual Combat.

"Take this rule, whenever you fall into a fault, be it great or small, even though you may have committed the same four thousand times in a day, and always voluntarily and with advertency:

- never allow yourself to fall into a state of morose bitterness

- do not be disquieted

- do not waste your time scrutinizing yourself

But at once acknowledge what you have done, and humbly regarding your own weakness, turn lovingly to your God and and say to Him with your lips or with your mind only,

"Lord, I have done this, being what I am, and nothing else could be expected from me, save only these and similar faults, and I would not have stopped where I did, had not Thy goodness lifted me up and continued with me. I give Thee thanks for that from which Thou hast preserved me, and I grieve over that which I have done through not corresponding with Thy grace. Pardon me, and give me grace that I may never offend Thee anymore and may nothing ever separate me from Thee, whom I desire ever to serve and to obey."

Having done this do not waste time in anxious thoughts, imagining that the Lord has not forgiven you. But, in a spirit of faith and repose, continue your exercises, as if you had not fallen at all.

And this you must do, not only once, but a hundred times, if it is needed, and at every moment and with the same confidence and repose the last time as the first...

Thus nothing will come to disturb your progress, and your perseverance, and your onward course, nor will you let time pass away vainly and fruitlessly..."

Spiritual Combat, available at Sophia Press.

Feast of Saint Augustine

Picture Source: Idle Speculations

"Christ held Himself in His hands when He gave His Body to His disciples saying: 'This is My Body.' No one partakes of this Flesh before he has adored it."

- St. Augustine

Quote source.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Holy Land Contemplatives: E-mail Us Your Petitions

From Zenit comes the following:
And, please keep the people in the Holy Land in your daily prayers.

Several contemplative communities in the Holy Land are now accepting e-mailed prayer requests.

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem announced that it set up this service whereby people worldwide can request prayers from the religious communities that reside in the Holy Land.

In a communiqué, the patriarchate acknowledged that these prayer intentions "may be very important to you and this is the reason why you want to entrust them to the people who have devoted their life to God and who live and pray in the Holy Land."

The communiqué also quoted from the instrumentum laboris (working document) of the upcoming synod of bishops for the Middle East, which states that "the first mission of the monks and moniales is the prayer and intercession for society."

The patriarchate invited the faithful to send their prayer requests to one or several of the religious communities.

It noted: "You can entrust them your prayers, specifying the details you want to communicate. All this will stay private and only be known by you and the community!"

The e-mail addresses given by the patriarchate are as follows:

-- Poor Clares, Nazareth:

-- Carmelites, Mount Carmel, Haifa:

-- Nuns of the Emmanuel, Bethlehem:
-- Bridgettine Sisters, Bethlehem:

-- Silent Workers of the Cross, Mater Misericordiae, Jerusalem:

-- Benedictines, Mount of Olives, Jerusalem:

-- Poor Clares, Jerusalem:

-- Carmelites of the Pater, Jerusalem:

-- Nuns of Bethlehem, Bet Gemal, Bet Shemesh:

-- Little Family of the Resurrection, Jerusalem:

The Tears of St. Monica

Does God really answer our prayers? If He is eternal and unchanging, as the orthodox Christian tradition has always confessed, what’s the point in praying if we can’t actually change His mind?

Medieval theology would develop sophisticated accounts of the way in which human freedom genuinely participates in the execution of God’s sovereign, inviolable will. We do well to pray as we need, for God has ordained that we be given certain blessings, only having prayed for them.

Centuries earlier, St. Augustine had laid the foundations for such insight: “In prayer, there occurs a turning of the heart to Him who is always ready to give if we will but take what He gives.”

Furthermore, in his mother, the Doctor of Grace had a living icon of the way in which our petitions cooperate with the providence of the Creator. While tears are a natural outflow of sorrow for sin, in St. Monica, we see the meritorious power of weeping. Through St. Augustine’s narration in The Confessions, we receive a basic catechesis about what to keep in mind when praying for others who seem beyond all hope.
Read the rest here.

Thanks to Sue Cifelli for sharing.

EWTN Family Prayer- For Ourselves

EWTN Family Prayer - For Peace in the World

Galileo died as a man of faith, says priest

Galileo Galilei "was a believer" who "did not spend one minute behind bars", nor was he excommunicated, said a physics expert and priest.

The Catholic News Agency quotes Fr. Manuel Carreira saying in an interview with Peruvian daily El Comercio that the scientist and artist "died professing the faith under the care of a religious sister and with a papal blessing".
Read the rest here.

Feast of St. Monica

Painting by Lucas Jordan

Picture source

The end of the autobiography. Augustine tells of his resigning from his professorship and of the days at Cassiciacum in preparation for baptism. He is baptized together with Adeodatus and Alypius. Shortly thereafter, they start back for Africa. Augustine recalls the ecstasy he and his mother shared in Ostia and then reports her death and burial and his grief. The book closes with a moving prayer for the souls of Monica, Patricius, and all his fellow citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem.

St. Augustine on the Death of his mother St. Monica

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pope John Paul I - An Anniversary

Terry of Idle Speculations remembers that 32 years ago today, Albino Luciani was elected Pope John Paul I. Terry has a nice post about it here

EWTN Family Prayer - For EWTNs Benefactors

In Honor of What Would Have Been Blessed Mother Teresa's 100th Birthday

One way the women in our family are honoring Mother Teresa (born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu) is by wearing blue and white. Today, I am wearing a blue shirt and white shorts.
Picture source

Picture Source

"...The pure heart can easily see Christ in the hungry, in the naked, in the homeless, in the unwanted, in the unloved, in the leper, in the alcoholic..."

"Naturally our joy will be complete if we remain in His love- for His love is personal, intimate, real, living delicate, faithful love..."
Picture source

"...God's hunger for human love, for human care, for human touch, for that human joy of loving and touching- that is why He became man: to be able to be loved by you and me."
Picture source

"There is no need to fear death, because death is nothing more than going home to God. .."
Picture source

"No one can make a better friend than Jesus- because His love is so humble and so tender..."

 "Faith is the most beautiful gift God can give to a human being- to believe that He IS, and that Christ IS..."
Picture source

"Talk to God. Just let Jesus pray in you."
Picture source

Quote source: The Best Gift is Love: Meditations by Mother Teresa.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Padre Pio: Confessions

State of St. Padre Pio, Blessed Sacrament Church, Paterson,  NJ

The following is just one story of people who confessed to Padre Pio. This one is on divorce:

In the united and holy family, Padre Pio saw the place where the faith can grow and develop. He said: “Divorce is the passport to hell".

A young lady finished the confession of her sins. She received her penance from Padre Pio who said: "You have to immerse yourself in the silence of prayer and you will save your marriage."

The lady was amazed since her marriage didn't have any problems. After a long time, her marriage began to experience trouble. However she was ready to face the problems and overcame them and so avoided the destruction of the family because she had been following the suggestion that Padre Pio gave her.
You can read them all at Why Become a Catholic?

Novena to Mary for Employment

Easter is calling on all us of to join her for a novena to our Blessed Mother, for employment. The novena starts on August 30th and will end on the vigil of the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, September 7th.

Click here for the novena.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Vocation - St. Rose of Lima

Why Are We Afraid to Invite People to Mass?

My Facebook friend Terry, a Catholic convert wanted to know the reason why no one ever invited her or her husband to attend Mass. I invite you to read her beautiful words here

A beautiful thought from St. Bernard

Shared by Father Vince Inghilterra:

In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart. And that you may more surely obtain the assistance of her prayer, neglect not to walk in her footsteps. With her for guide, you shall never go astray; while invoking her, you shall never lose heart; so long as she is in your mind, you are safe from deception; while she holds your hand, you cannot fall; under her protection you have nothing to fear; if she walks before you, you shall not grow weary; if she shows you favor, you shall reach the goal" (St. Bernard).

Feast of Santa Rosa de Lima

Painting by Murillo

Picture source and a good biography about the saint, in Spanish

"Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which
we may get to heaven." - St. Rose of Lima

Picture source

"Lord, increase my sufferings, and with them increase Your love in my heart."- St. Rosa de Lima

Picture source

Picture source

"Our Lord and Savior lifted up his voice and said with incomparable majesty: “Let all men know that grace comes after tribulation...."

Picture source

..."Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace..."

"...Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase..."

..."Let men take care not to stray and be deceived..."

Picture source

..."We cannot obtain grace unless we suffer afflictions..."

Picture source

Picture source

..."We must heap trouble upon trouble to attain a deep participation in the divine nature, the glory of the sons of God and perfect happiness of soul”..."

Picture source

..."If only mortals would learn how great it is to possess divine grace, how beautiful, how noble, how precious...."

From "The Beauty of Divine Grace by Sta. Rosa de Lima. Source