Friday, October 19, 2012

Feast of St. Isaac Jogues and Companions - The Blackrobes

Martyrdom of Rene Goupil

Picture sourced

The North American Martyrs

"The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians."  It was  on such sacrifices that the Church and the United States h ave been built."

The martyrdom of St. Isaac Jogues is familiar to most people.  Therefore, I will share the account of  the martyrdom of Saint John de Brebeuf from one Father Christopher Regnaut's diary.

"Father Regnaut described how 1,200 Iroquois sprang from ambush on the village of Saint Ignace. In the surprise attack, Fathers de Brebeuf and Gabriel L'Alemant were captured. The Indians stripped their prisoners naked and tied them to posts. They tore the nails from their fingers, and beat them with clubs all over their bodies. Boiling water was poured upon Father de Brebeuf in imitation of baptism  then a string of red-hot hatchets was hung about his neck.  Then the Indians put a belt of pitch on him and lighted it, roasting his body. Next they cut out his tongue and began to peel the flesh from his bones.

'Those butchers seeing that the good Father began to grow weak," continued Father Regnaut, "made him sit down on the ground; and one of them, taking a knife, cut off the skin covering his skull.  Another one, seeing that the good Father would soon die, made an opening in the upper part of his chest, and tore out his heart, which he roasted and ate.  Others came to drink his blood, still warm, which they drank with both hands."

"No writer of fiction would be taken seriously if he invented such a series of torments, yet these are what one Jesuit missioner underwent without a single complaint!  Indeed, until Father de Brebeuf's tongue was cut out, he 'did not cease continually to speak of God, and to encourage all the new Christians who were captives like himself to suffer well, that they might die well, in order to in a company with him to Paradise."

Source:  Our American Catholic Heritage by Albert J. Nevins, M.M., Our Sunday Visitor

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hawaii Prepares for the Newest Saint

The following are a couple of photos I took this morning at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, Downtown Honolulu.

If you would like to follow the pilgrims from Hawaii, please check out The Hawaii Catholic Herald blog.

 For those of you in Hawaii who would like to venerate our newest saint's relic, you can find out a date and place that is convenient or assigned to your vicariate here at the  Diocese of Honolulu website

A Honolulu Bishop at the Second Vatican Council

Honolulu Bishop John J. Scanlan, D.D. in that group

Bishop Scanlan on the left
It is interesting to note that one of our own bishops considered his participation in the Second Vatican Council to be the highlight of his bishopric.  The following is from A Bishop and His Diocese In an Age of Change. which was dedicated to Bishop Scanlan, the second bishop of the Diocese of Honolulu on the occasion of his Golden anniversary of his priesthood.  Researched and written by Msgr.  Francis A. Marzen and Staff, Hawaii Catholic Herald, September 1980.
"Perhaps the highlight of Bishop Scanlan's years as Auxiliary Bishop did not take place in Hawaii but in St. Peter's Basilica during the four and one-half years and four sessions of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.  These were years of serious study as the Church laid the foundations, the aggiornamento, the updating of Catholic life in the latter years of the twentieth century and the beginnings of the twenty-first century.  Bishop Scanlan in his scholarly manner applied himself to the working drafts of the various declarations and constitutions of the Council so that his vote reflected a grasp of the issues and a commitment to the future of the Church and its {sic}people.  Bishop Scanlan used every opportunity at that time to explain the Council to the faithful of Hawaii and to point out the significance or thrust of each and every decree.  He was proud to be a 'Bishop of the Council.'"

Saintly Quote - On Acquiring Perfection

"The Holy Trinity" by Bartolom√© Esteban Murillo  

Picture source

"...walk ever, we say to these souls so desirous of their perfection, walk in the way of your vocation, with simplicity, more intent on doing than desiring..."

- from The Spirit of St. Francis de Sales by Jean-Pierre Camus

Prayer Chosen for the Year of Faith

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The prayer that appears on the sidebar is the prayer I chose for this blog. It is one of the Fatima prayers. It is exactly what we need to pray during this year of Faith. It is customary to pray the prayer three times.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Prayer to remain Faithful to God

by Cima da Conegliano

Picture source

Lead me in Your way,
and I will walk in Your truth.
Let my heart rejoice
that it may fear Your name.
My God, 
save me from the clutches of the sinner
who works against your law:
for You are the one I await.

New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book

The Last Letter of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Picture source

"I do not know what to think of the state in which I now find myself.  Until how I have had three burning desires that were like three tyrants, making me suffer continual martyrdom and never giving me a moment's rest.  These three desires were to love my God Perfectly, to suffer greatly for love of Him, and to die of this burning love.

"But now, I find myself enjoying a tranquility of hear that I cannot describe, and the cessation of all desires surprises me.  I fear this supposed peace may be an effect of the insensitivity in which God sometimes leaves unfaithful souls; and I'm afraid that, through my great infidelities to His graces, I may have called this state down upon myself, which can be a kind of abandonment and reprobation.  For I assure you that I can no longer will or desire anything in this world, although I clearly see that I lack everything as far as virtue is concerned.  Sometimes I try to grieve over it, but I cannot, since it is not in my power, to so speak, to act.  I feel only a perfect acquiescence to the good pleasure of God and an ineffable pleasure in suffering.

"The thought that consoles me from time to time is that the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ will do everything for me, if I let Him have His way; He will love, desire, and will for me, and make up for all my failings."
This letter was written to her spiritual director right before her death as a "farewell to earth."

Source:  Saint Margaret Mary by Leon Cristiani, St. Paul Editions

Monday, October 15, 2012

St. Teresa of Jesus

Picture source

"As long as we are in this mortal life, nothing is more necessary for us than humility."

"Our works are of no value if they are not united to the merits of Jesus Christ."

"If we are very determined to mortify ourselves and not to be too
much occupied with our corporal health, we will soon, by the grace of God,
become masters of our bodies."

"In order to bear our afflictions with patience, it is very useful to
read the lives and legends of the saints who endured great torments for Jesus Christ."

"On the feasts of the saints consider their virtues, and beseech God to deign to adorn you with them."

"By denying our self love and our inclinations in little things, we gradually acquire mortification and victory over ourselves."

"It seems as if God granted to other saints to free us from some particular needfulness; but I know by experience that the glorious St. Joseph assists us generally in all our necessities."

"It often happens that when we take less care of our body, we have better health than when we bestow upon it too much care."

"He who at the hour of death finds himself protected by St. Joseph, will certainly experience great consolation."

"I have noticed that all persons who have true devotion to St. Joseph and tender him special honor, are very much advanced in virtue, for he takes great care of souls who recommend themselves to him; and I have never asked of him anything which he did not obtain for me."

"When we remember or hear that the enemies of the Church burn and destroy God's temples, we should grieve therefore; but we should also rejoice much when we see new ones built, and we should cooperate in their erection as much as we possibly can."

"Whoever would follow Jesus Christ, must walk in His footsteps , if he would not go astray."

"It is a great folly to be willing to violate the friendship of God, rather than the law of human friendship."

"Unite all your works to the merits of Jesus Christ, and then offer them up to the eternal Father if you desire to make them pleasing to Him."

"Prayer is the only channel through which God's great graces and favors may flow into the soul; and if this be once closed, I know no other way He can communicate them."

"The devotions we practise in honor of the glorious Virgin Mary, however trifling the be, are very pleasing to her divine Son; and He rewards them with eternal glory."

"There is nothing which is more profitable and more consoling to the mind than to frequently remember the Blessed Virgin."

"Let us consider what the glorious Virgin endured, and what the holy apostles suffered, and we shall find that they who were nearest to Jesus Christ were the most afflicted."

"To assure our salvation it does not suffice to call ourselves children of Mary, therefore let us always have the fear of god."

"Men can use no better arms to drive away the devil, than prayer and the sign of the cross."

"There is no affliction, trial, or labor difficult to endure, when we consider the torments and sufferings which Our Lord Jesus Christ endured for us."

"Death is welcome to one who has always feared God and faithfully served Him."

"There is more security in self-denial, mortification, and other like virtues, than in an abundance of tears."

"If we would advance in virtue, we must not neglect little things, for they pave the way to greater."

"He who truly loves his neighbor and can not efficaciously assist him, should strive at least to relieve and help him by his prayers."

"We should blush for shame to show so much resentment at what is done or said against us, knowing that so many injuries and affronts have been offered to our Redeemer and the saints."

"The reason why so many souls who apply themselves to prayer are not inflamed with God's love is, that they neglect to carefully prepare themselves for it."

"No one should think or say anything of another which he would not wish thought or said of himself."

"The life of a true Christian should be such that he fears neither death nor any event of his life, but endures and submits to all things with a good heart."

"Regulate and direct all your actions to God, offering them to Him and beseeching Him to grant that they be for His honor and glory."

"To advance in the way of perfection it does not suffice to say a number of weak prayers; our principal care should be to acquire solid virtues."

"It will be a great consolation for us at the hour of death to know that we are to be judged by Him whom we have loved above all things during life."

"Remember that men change easily, and that you cannot place your trust in them; therefore attach yourself to God alone."

"If we secretly feel a desire to appear greater or better than others, we must repress it at once."

"Be gentle and kind with every one, and sever with yourself."

"He who keeps steadily on without pausing, will reach the end of his path and the summit of perfection.