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MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE

“Does a child trust his parents because he has proved to himself that they are such, and that they are able and desirous to do him good, or from the instinct of affection? We believe, because we love. How plain a truth!…

The Good Shepherd

It is the doctrine then, of the text (‘My sheep hear my voice’), that those who believe in Christ, believe because they know him to be the Good Shepherd; and they know him by his voice, and they know his voice, because they are his sheep… The divine l ye enlightened mind sees in Christ the very object whom it desires to love and worship – the object correlative of its own affections; and it trusts him, or believes, from loving him.”

– Bl. John Henry Newman, A devout affection leads to faith, U.S. , 236

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Words of Wisdom

 

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LORD, GRANT US TO DIE DAILY UNTO SIN

O God, who for our redemption didst give thine only-begotten Son to the death of the Cross, and by his glorious Resurrection hast delivered us from the power of our enemy; grant us so to die daily unto sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his Resurrection; through the same Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Prayers for Today

 

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YOU ALONE ARE THE MOST HOLY KING AND RULER OF ALL NATIONS

O Lord our God, You alone are the Most Holy King and Ruler of all nations. We pray to You, Lord, in the great expectation of receiving from You, O Divine King, mercy, peace, justice and all good things.

Protect, O Lord our King, our families and the land of our birth. Guard us we pray, Most Faithful One. Protect us from our enemies and from Your Just Judgment. Forgive us, O Sovereign King, our sins against You, Jesus, You are the King of Mercy. We have deserved Your Just Judgment. Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us. We trust in Your Great Mercy, O most awe-inspiring King, we bow before You and pray; may Your Reign, Your Kingdom, be recognised on earth. Amen.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Prayers for Today

 

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WHEN OUR OLD CATHOLIC FATHERS LIVED A LONG TIME AGO (ENGLISH SONG)

Now join in hearty chorus while I sing my homely rhyme,

And you shall hear how things went on in good old Catholic time,

When England was a merry land, her sons were brave and free,

And innocence kept company with mirth and jollity.

Chorus: And thus they pass’d a merry time, as ev’ry one may know, when our old Catholic Fathers lived a long time ago.

For what concerned a man’s belief there needed no great search,

They knew but one high road to Heav’n, and that was thro’ the Church,

A Church that priz’d the humble man, and held him full as dear

As those of high and noble blood, with all their costly gear.

Chorus…

Then ev’ry man profess’d himself the Church’s faithful son,

And fearlessly she taught them all their duties ev’ry one,

With tender hearts for brethren poor, with free and open hand,

A noble and frank respect for the gentry of the land.

Chorus…

They knelt beneath the self-some roof and said the self-some prayer,

And all alike, both rich and poor, could meet as brothers there,

For ev’ry place was free to all of high or low degree,

They felt at home as children do around their mother’s knee.

Chorus…

And when they heard the ‘Angelus Bell’ ring over hill and dale

The blacksmith stopp’d his hammer and the thresher stopp’d his flail,

They doff’d their caps and cross’s their breasts with meek and pious care,

And never thought a moment lost when spent in fervent prayer.

Chorus…

Full well the homeless wand’rer knew he had not long to wait,

If he could but contrive to reach the nearest convent gate;

The trav’ler worn was welcom’d there with kindly Christian glee,

And cheerful monks perform’d the rites of hospitality.

Chorus…

They lov’d their Pope, they lov’d their King, they lov’d their freedom too,

Their hands were quick for action and their hearts were staunch and true,

They dearly lov’d their merry land, its customs and its laws,

Right glad to fight for England’s flag and bleed for England’s cause.

Chorus…

Then happy both for high and low shall be the moment when

We see in this our merry land those bright days come again;

And if we strive to live the life our fathers lived of yore,

Old England once again may be what England was before.

Chorus: Oh! then we’ll pass a merry time, as ev’ry one may know, when our old Catholic Fathers lived a long time ago.

– From the time when the Catholic Faith was outlawed in England (18th century), Broughton Charitable Society, published in Dom F. O.Blundell O.S.B., Old Catholic Lancashire, Vol. 1, Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd., London, 1925

 

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“DOES WATCHING MASS ON TELEVISION FULFIL ONE’S SUNDAY OBLIGATION?”

Question: “I would like to know whether watching Mass on television fulfils one’s obligation. My husband never goes to church, but he does watch Mass on TV every Sunday. I attend Mass regularly, although I have missed church recently because of my health.

Answer: The simple answer to your question is ‘no’. Watching Mass on television does not fulfil one’s Sunday obligation. Assuming that your husband is a Catholic and is in reasonable health, he is required to be at Mass in person. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in section 2180, specifies that the Sunday obligation is satisfied by ‘assistance’ at Mass, and every commentator I have read views that to mean attendance at a Eucharistic celebration.

Such reading would seem logical since Jesus said (Matthew 18:20): ‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ The Eucharist has a community dimension which strengthens the faith of participants. It was with deliberate purpose that Jesus directed his memory to be kept alive by his disciples sharing a meal.

Although taking holy Communion at Mass is not required to satisfy the Sunday obligation, it seems clear that those who participate most fully are the ones who receive back from the Lord the sacred food offered in sacrifice. That gift, of course, is not available to television viewers.

The televised Mass has great value for those whose illness or infirmity precludes them from being in church. It would be incorrect to say watching TV fulfills their obligation. Simply put, there is for them no obligation. They are dispensed.

But the housebound can derive real spiritual benefit from following the prayers and readings of the Mass on television. I would suggest that they can multiply that benefit by asking to be placed on their parish’s Communion list so that a Eucharistic minister will visit them regularly.”

– This article by Fr Francis Doyle was published as part of the feature “Questions and Answers” in the Catholic Universe newspaper, issue Friday 14th August, 2015. For subscriptions please visit http://www.thecatholicuniverse.com (external link).

 
 

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THE TEARS OF ST MONICA

THE TEARS OF ST MONICA

“Tears are the heart’s blood. This is a beautiful thought of Saint Augustine’s, which he applies to his mother. ‘My God” he cries “my mother’s tears, this blood of her heart, which flowed night and day, rose to thee in sacrifice for me’.

‘The soul’, said the ancients, ‘is in the blood’. It carries at least part of life; it rolls with our impressions, our thoughts, our desires, our sorrows, our joys, our hopes; for in reality man’s blood is not merely a scarlet liquid which circulates in his veins and constantly repairs his forces. Tears are also a form of blood, and when they rise, they contain as it were drops from the heart, which thus fall to the ground.

 

O Christian souls, you, like Saint Monica, have dear ones, to whom you cling with all your strength! Have you not often shed tears for them before the Lord? And did you not feel that those tears were the very blood of your inner nature, and that this blood, the shedding of which so tore your heart, was like a sacrifice, a veritable martyrdom? Oh! do not regret it; rejoice in this sacrifice; this it was, perhaps, which restored peace and piety in your family. Continue to pray, to shed tears before God. Each one of these drops is taken up by angels, and when they reach the throne of God, Heaven knows what metamorphosis they have undergone in the transit – they are all changed into pearls, whose price serves to purchase the redemption of those who are dear to you.

 

One day a poor woman was weeping in a church for her sins. A Bishop who was on the altar saw a dove collecting her tears in order to bear them to heaven.”

– Laverty&Sons, Leeds, 1905

 

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“HAVE COURAGE” – ST JOAN ANTIDE-THOURET

“[On]  24th August, one of the saints remembered by the Church is St Joan Antide-Thouret. She was born in France in 1755 and lived at a time of great change during the French Revolution but this did not stop St Joan from living the life and vocation that she wanted.

A time of great change during the French Revolution

At the age of sixteen, after her mother had died, St Joan looked after her father in the village of Besancon. However, in 1787 she felt called by God to enter the Sisters of Charity at Paris. There two serious illnesses interrupted her religious training and in 1794, due to the turmoil around them, the sisters had to disperse.

Due to the turmoil, the sisters had to disperse

St Joan returned to her hometown and ran a school for the village children. When political conditions improved the local Vicar General invited St Joan to open a bigger school and, after some reluctance due to her feeling inadequate, this was achieved in April 1799. Six months later St Joan added a soup kitchen and a dispensary.

In obedience to her Bishop

Some critics denounced her for not returning to her original community of sisters. She countered this by saying that she had not yet taken religious vows and was now acting in obedience to her Bishop. St Joan also ran a female asylum at Belleveaux, which housed orphans, criminals, the homeless and women with mental illness. She and others laboured there in the asylum under hopeless conditions, and opponents again criticised her for undertaking this work.

Let’s despise the world and its false gods. Let’s despise its honours. In vain would we seek our happiness in them.

However, St Joan pressed on with this work, encouraging others with her example and writings. In one letter to a fellow worker she wrote: ‘How are you? Still holding on firmly to the handles of the plough? Is the ground hard and dry? Is the corn growing well? The weeds not stifling it? If so, dig out the weeds with a hoe, without damaging the corn. Have courage. The good corn of the elect will ripen and will nourish you for eternal life. Prune the vine well. You will drink the good wine in long draughts in paradise. But to merit this happiness, let’s not tire of fighting during this exile. Let’s despise the world and its false gods. Let’s despise its honours. In vain would we seek our happiness in them. It will benefit us greatly to receive nothing from the world but ingratitude and opposition. This will detach us from it and attach us closely to God alone. You face many troubles in serving these poor people entrusted to you. I am sure that you do so from charity and the love of God.’

This will detach us from the world and attach us closely to God alone.

By 1810 St Joan’s community had spread to Switzerland, Savoy and Naples, where St Joan had gone to administer a hospital. In 1819 the Pope approved this order as the Daughters of Charity. St Joan died in Naples in 1826. She is an inspiration to those of us who wish to do the work of God whilst fighting against opposition, misunderstanding, criticism, feeling inadequate and the pettiness of others. St Joan did it and so can we.”

– From: Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris/2015

 

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