Saturday, February 11, 2012

Our Lady of Lourdes

Picture source


O my Mother,
O immaculate,
O pure,
O holy,
O spotless virgin Mary!
if we only knew thee,
how many hearts would cease to be wicked,
how many souls viewing the dazzling splendors of thy graces would hasten to walk in thy footsteps.
O dear Mother,
show thyself to the world,
lost in the darkness of sin.
O resplendent Morning Star,
remove from our eyes the veil which sin has placed there;
open them to the divine light,
and may its heavenly influence blot out our stains,
enliven our actions,
and increase in our hearts a pure and ardent love for Jesus,
thy Divine Son, by the sweet and delightful tears of holy penance.
O Mary, the immaculate heart was Jesus' earthly home;
deign to make my heart also His home.
O Mary, be by me when Jesus comes to judge me.
May my last words in this life and my first in the next be "Jesus, my savior; and Mary, my Mother."

The Prayer Book

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Quis ut Deus

by Cima de Conegliano
Picture Source

Who is like God?

According to Father Charles Arminjon, the above was the war-cry uttered in heaven at the very beginning of time. This was cried out right from the moment when Lucifer the most "dazzling and radiant of the archangels" rebelled against God and became the ugliest and basest of the devils.

"There was then a great battle, in which truth and justice triumphed. The archangel Michael drew attention to the excellence and dignity of the Most High God. He reminded the good angels of the beneficence of Him who had created them... he kept them in fidelity and submission by saying to them, 'Quis ut Deus? Who is like God?'"...

At the time Father wrote his book The End of the Present World, (that is to say in 1881) he enjoined Christians to utter that battle-cry in order to awake the complacent and those blinded to the growing evils in the world. He wrote:

"Modern society today, in the face of heaven and earth, has proclaimed the most audacious boast every conceived by human pride; it declares that it will exclude God from laws and institutions, creating a social order and felicity completely independent of Him; and, confronted with this satanic design, it is our duty to protest loudly, saying, with the archangel, Quis ut Deus?
The foregoing could have been written in the present! We see our society more and more accepting of sin and evil and those who oppose it are maligned as the enemy. But take heart! Good will triumph over evil! It may not be an easy road to follow, but Christians cannot lose sight of God; we cannot lose hope.

The answer to combating the devil is the sacrifice of the Holy Mass.

"The Church teaches that Jesus Christ truly dwells upon our altars...He immolates Himself to His Father, for the sins of the world. However, in order that the sublime mystery of our altars may produce an effect on our lives, the faithful must be rightly disposed. It cannot purify a soul that is attached to its disorderly ways, nor restore to goodness a heart obdurate in evil. The Real Presence and sacrifice detach man from the life of the senses, and make him live a spiritual life..."

The following should then give Christians much hope:
"You, then, feeble and fainted-hearted souls, who feel your faith faltering and weakening, shaken by the effrontery and arrogant clamor of thew wicked, turn your eyes for a moment upon the Christian world, where, in spite of ingenious, mendacious conspiracies, Jesus Christ continues to be loved and adored. See those crowds who fill our churches at the times of the major solemnities, kneeling humbly and invoking Jesus Christ with the unshakable conviction that their prayer will reach heaven. See the dying, as they press His blessed picture to their lips so as to fortify themselves against he anguish and the fears of t heir final agony. See those sorrowful countenances, bowing down at the steps of His lonely altars and straightening up again, beaming with an indescribable joy. See those sinners, stricken with remorse, beating their breast and departing, trusting that they have regained pardon. Such is the infallible voice of mankind; the striking testimony of popular faith; the profound cry of public conscience, which can be diminished for a day but which all the threats of the mighty and the artifices of atheistic science will never succeed in stifling.

Monday, February 06, 2012

How to Personalize Jesus' Passion and Death and become a Better Christian

We ask ourselves:  "When I see a crucifix, do I realize that of Jesus suffered and died for me? Do I realize He was thinking of me and praying for me as He hung on the cross? In fact, that is what He did!

The following is a good way of meditating on our Lord's Passion and Death and overcoming our sins.

- If you are tempted, remember that He was tried before you.

- If you are governed by pride, self-love, or vanity, think of Jesus during His Passion, covered with blows, spat upon, humiliated, and crowned with thorns.

- If you are beset by laziness and sensuality, think of Jesus covered with a bloody sweat, scourged, carrying His Cross, think of Him hanging upon it, His hands and feet pierced, His sacred body torn, devoured by thirst and shattered by pain.

- If you are a slave to material things, think of Jesus poor and wholly destitute at Bethlehem, at Nazareth, and during His public life; think of Him upon the cross, rendering His soul in the supreme embrace of poverty.

- If you fall into sin, remember that Jesus fell three times on the road to Calvary so that He might merit for you the grace to rise again after your falls as H e rose after His, and so that discouragement might never enter your heart.

- If at times the trails and the burden of life are too heavy, if nature rebels and, in spite of yourself, you cry out, "I can bear no more," remember that Jesus in His human nature knew this extremity, the very brink of despair, and that He, too, cried out: "My Father...let this chalice pass from me! My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"

From Keep it Simple by Emmanuel de Gibergues