RSS

Monthly Archives: March 2016

SHORT PRAYER FOR THE EASTER VIRTUES

SHORT PRAYER FOR THE EASTER VIRTUES

“Do not abandon yourself to despair.
We are the Easter people
and halleluiah is our song.”
– St John Paul II

PRAYER:

O Lord,
the Resurrection of Your Son
has given us new life and renewed hope.
Help us to live as new people
in pursuit of the Christian ideal.
Grant us the wisdom to know what we must do,
the will to want to do it,
the courage to undertake it,
the perseverance to continue to do it,
and the strength to complete it.
Amen.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

BE FAITHFUL TO THE CROSS

BE FAITHFUL TO THE CROSS

“The Eternal Father has designed the crosses of His adopted children from all eternity, as He designed that of His only Son; hence the importance of schooling ourselves to bear them faithfully.

Many souls accept them tranquilly at first, for they are prepared for them by the grace of prayers, and have often desired them in the sweetness of loving fervour.

But, because they are but ill formed in the school of crucified love, listening too readily to nature and the senses, which cry out, as the Jews did to our Saviour, to descend from the cross, they seek, later on, some means of escaping from it.

They bear it unwillingly giving way to interior murmurings which render them unworthy of the favour of heaven, and deprive them of the sweet fruit of this tree of life.

This misfortune is often the result of paying too much attention to our sufferings, and thinking too much of ourselves.

Happy is the crucified soul, who only contemplates his crosses in God, whence they derive their beauty, and whose ears are opened only to the voice of the Beloved, who sends them!”
– St Alphonsus Liguori

 

Tags: , , , , ,

PSALM 17 – DILIGAM TE, DOMINE

PSALM 17 – DILIGAM TE, DOMINE

Psalm 17 (Psalm 18)

David’s thanks to God for his delivery from all his enemies.

Unto the end, for David, the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord words of this canticle, in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hands of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 22.)

I will love thee, O Lord, my strength:

The Lord is my firmament, my refuge, and my deliverer.

My God is my helper, and in him will I put my trust.

My protector and the horn of my salvation, and my support.

Praising I will call upon the Lord: and I shall be saved from my enemies.

The sorrows of death surrounded me: and the torrents of iniquity troubled me.

The sorrows of hell encompassed me: and the snares of death prevented me.

In my affliction I called upon the Lord, and I cried to my God:

And he heard my voice from his holy temple: and my cry before him came into his ears.

The earth shook and trembled: the foundations of the mountains were troubled and were moved, because he was angry with them.

There went up a smoke in his wrath: and a fire flamed from his face: coals were kindled by it.

He bowed the heavens, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

And he ascended upon the cherubim, and he flew; he flew upon the wings of the winds.

And he made darkness his covert, his pavilion round about him: dark waters in the clouds of the air.

At the brightness that was before him the clouds passed, hail and coals of fire.

And the Lord thundered from heaven, and the highest gave his voice: hail and coals of fire.

And he sent forth his arrows, and he scattered them: he multiplied lightnings, and troubled them.

Then the fountains of waters appeared, and the foundations of the world were discovered:

At thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the spirit of thy wrath.

He sent from high, and took me: and received me out of many waters.

He delivered me from my strongest enemies, and from them that hated me: for they were too strong for me.

They prevented me in the day of my affliction: and the Lord became my protector.

And he brought me forth into a large place: he saved me, because he was well pleased with me.

And the Lord will reward me according to my justice; and will repay me according to the cleanness of my hands:

Because I have kept the ways of the Lord; and have not done wickedly against my God.

For all his judgments are in my sight: and his justice I have not put away from me.

And I shall be spotless with him: and shall keep myself from my iniquity.

And the Lord will reward me according to my justice; and according to the cleanness of my hands before his eyes.

With the holy, thou wilt be holy; and with the innocent man thou wilt be innocent.

And with the elect thou wilt be elect: and with the perverse thou wilt be perverted.

For thou wilt save the humble people; but wilt bring down the eyes of the proud.

For thou lightest my lamp, O Lord: O my God enlighten my darkness.

For by thee I shall be delivered from temptation; and through my God I shall go over a wall.

As for my God, his way is undefiled: the words of the Lord are fire tried: he is the protector of all that trust in him.

For who is God but the Lord? or who is God but our God?

God, who hath girt me with strength; and made my way blameless.

Who hath made my feet like the feet of harts: and who setteth me upon high places.

Who teacheth my hands to war: and thou hast made my arms like a brazen bow.

And thou hast given me the protection of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath held me up:

And thy discipline hath corrected me unto the end: and thy discipline, the same shall teach me.

Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; and my feet are not weakened.

I will pursue after my enemies, and overtake them: and I will not turn again until they are consumed.

I will break them, and they shall not be able to stand: they shall fall under my feet.

And thou hast girded me with strength unto battle; and hast subdued under me them that rose up against me.

And thou hast made my enemies turn their back upon me, and hast destroyed them that hated me.

They cried, but there was none to save them, to the Lord: but he heard them not.

And I shall beat them as small as the dust before the wind; I shall bring them to nought, like the dirt in the streets.

Thou wilt deliver me from the contradictions of the people: thou wilt make me head of the Gentiles.

A people, which I knew not, hath served me: at the hearing of the ear they have obeyed me.

The children that are strangers have lied to me, strange children have faded away, and have halted from their paths.

The Lord liveth, and blessed be my God, and let the God of my salvation be exalted:

O God, who avengest me, and subduest the people under me, my deliverer from my enemies.

And thou wilt lift me up above them that rise up against me: from the unjust man thou wilt deliver me.

Therefore will I give glory to thee, O Lord, among the nations, and I will sing a psalm to thy name.

Giving great deliverance to his king, and shewing mercy to David his anointed: and to his seed for ever.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

MY DAUGHTER, NEVER BE HEARD TO SAY “I WISH” OR “I DO NOT WISH”

MY DAUGHTER, NEVER BE HEARD TO SAY “I WISH” OR “I DO NOT WISH”

God gave three counsels to St. Catherine of Genoa which, faithfully followed, would make family life very sweet:

  • “My daughter, never be heard to say, I wish, or I do not wish.
  • “Never make an excuse when thou art asked to perform a work of charity.”
  • “Endeavour always to do the will of others.”

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TWELVE STEPS OF SILENCE – SILENCE OF JUDGEMENT

TWELVE STEPS OF SILENCE – SILENCE OF JUDGEMENT

Step 1: Speak seldom with creatures and often with God

Previous: Silence of the mind

THE TWELVE DEGREES OF SILENCE

Step 9: Silence of judgment [Thy will be done]

Silence with regard to persons, silence with regard to things.

Do not judge, do not allow your own opinion to be perceived. Do not have them, that is, yield with simplicity, if these opinions are not opposed to prudence or charity.

It is the silence of the blessed and holy infancy, it is the silence of the perfect, it is the silence of the Angels and of the Archangels when they carry out the orders of God.

It is the silence of the Incarnate Word!

– From: The Twelve Degrees of Silence, Supplemento am.n. 2/2008 di “De Vita Contemplativa”

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

LIVING THE GOSPEL: LITTLE GOOD WORKS OF LOVE FOR CHILDREN, TEENAGERS AND ADULTS (I)

LIVING THE GOSPEL: LITTLE GOOD WORKS OF LOVE FOR CHILDREN, TEENAGERS AND ADULTS (I)

LITTLE OCCUPATIONS

The Repairer of Neglects

Even persons of most generous dispositions and quick perceptions, in the midst of the unceasing occupations of a family, will often forget a number of those minute details, insignificant in themselves, but the deprivation of which is a real trial to certain temperaments. The details of family life are like the small screws which bind together the different parts of a piece of furniture: withdraw one or two of them, and the piece of furniture loses its shape; it becomes disjointed.

It is thus, also, in a family; its harmony is oftentimes only to be ascribed to the care taken not to neglect one of those trifling nothings of politeness, punctuality, or habit, to all of which we should pay almost as much attention as we give to greater duties.

Doing one’s bit for love: happiness, harmony and emotional security in the family 

Each member of a family, especially if he is advanced in years, has his little peculiarities, which render him happy in some way or other.

Perhaps it is a garment made to a special pattern.

Or a newspaper brought at a particular hour.

Or a game played in such a place.

Or a visit expected at some precise moment.

Or the expression of congratulations at a particular hour.

Or a desire scarcely manifested, but often experienced…

Watch all these little things. Take it upon yourself to visit every morning the corners where the members of the family like to find everything that may be useful during the day. Go first to the apartment where they all assemble; remove everything that might displease them; perfect all the arrangements which have been carelessly made.

But do it all without noise, and unostentatiously. Enjoy only the happiness which it affords you. Oh! how God will repay you in heaven.

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

BL. VICENTE VILAR DAVID – “BEING CATHOLIC IS MY GREATEST CALLING, I WILL NOT GIVE UP, EVEN IF IT MEANS DEATH”

BL. VICENTE VILAR DAVID – “BEING CATHOLIC IS MY GREATEST CALLING, I WILL NOT GIVE UP, EVEN IF IT MEANS DEATH”

[On 14th February], one of the Blesseds remembered by the Church  is Blessed Vicente Vilar David. The youngest of eight children, Blessed Vicente was born to a ceramics manufacturer and his wife on June 28, 1889, in Valencia, Spain. His parents were devoted to their Catholic faith, and their children received a good Christian education. After attending a school run by the Piarist Fathers, Blessed Vicente enrolled at a technical school and earned an industrial engineer’s degree.

Blessed Vicente married a young woman named Isabel and the two lived a model Christian life together. Blessed Vicente became involved in his parish, helping the priests however he could. He also took over the management of his father’s ceramics factory. His workers saw him not only as their boss, but also as a caring father. He was concerned that they would be treated with the justice and dignity to which all workers have a right.

He got fired because of his Catholic beliefs

In the summer of 1936, the Spanish Civil War was at its peak in Valencia. The persecution of Catholics and of the Church by the governing regime was also very intense. Blessed Vicente, who had been teaching at a ceramics trade school, was fired because of his Catholic beliefs. He bravely continued to encourage other Catholics and to give the priests whatever support and help he could. He would welcome priests and religious into his home in order to save their lives.

On February 14, 1937, he was called to appear before a tribunal and commanded to stop his activities on behalf of the Catholic Church. Blessed Vicente replied that being a Catholic was his greatest calling and he would not give up, even if it meant death. He was immediately sentenced to be executed. He was permitted to see his wife and encouraged her with words of faith and conviction. He publicly forgave his persecutors and enemies. Then he was shot to death on the very same day he was arrested.

The ceramics factory workers were outraged. In protest at Blessed Vicente’s execution, they went on strike for three days. They told the socialist officials who tried to prevent their strike, “You have robbed us of our employer and our father. Because he was prudent, kind, and concerned for our working conditions, we not only respected him; we loved him.”

Blessed Vicente was beatified on October 1, 1995 by Pope Saint John Paul II. His death by violent hands was recognised as a true martyrdom for the faith. Our faith applies to every aspect of our lives. In our family and social life, our time at school, our time spent working, we are called to put into practice the values that Jesus taught in the Gospel.

– From: Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris (2/2016)

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PSALM 16 – EXAUDI, DOMINE, IUSTITIAM

PSALM 16 – EXAUDI, DOMINE, IUSTITIAM

Psalm 16 (Psalm 17)

A just man’s prayer in tribulation against the malice of his enemy.

The prayer of David.

Hear, O Lord, my justice: attend to my supplication.

Give ear to my prayer, which proceedeth not from deceitful lips.

Let my judgment come forth from thy countenance: let thy eyes behold the things that are equitable.

Thou hast proved my heart, and visited it by night, thou hast tried me by fire: and iniquity hath not been found in me.

That my mouth may not speak the works of men: for the sake of the words of thy lips, I have kept hard ways.

Perfect thou my goings in thy paths: that my footsteps be not moved.

I have cried to thee, for thou, O God, hast heard me: O incline thy ear unto me, and hear my words.

Shew forth thy wonderful mercies; thou who savest them who trust in thee.

From them that resist thy right hand keep me, as the apple of thy eye.

Protect me under the shadow of thy wings. From the face of the wicked who have afflicted me.

My enemies have surrounded my soul:

they have shut up their fat [1] : their mouth hath spoken proudly.

They have cast me forth and now they have surrounded me: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth.

They have taken me, as a lion prepared for the prey; and as a young lion dwelling in secret places.

Arise, O Lord, disappoint him and supplant him; deliver my soul from the wicked one: thy sword from the enemies of thy hand.

O Lord, divide them from the few [2] of the earth in their life: their belly is filled from thy hidden stores.

They are full of children: and they have left to their little ones the rest of their substance.

But as for me, I will appear before thy sight in justice: I shall be satisfied when thy glory shall appear.

[1] Psalm 16. Ver. 10. “Their fat”. That is, their bowels of compassion: for they have none for me. [2] Ver. 14. “Divide them from the few”, &c. That is, cut them off from the earth, and the few trifling things thereof; which they are so proud of, or ” divide them from the few”; that is, from thy elect, who are but few; that they may no longer have it in their power to oppress them. It is not meant by way of a curse or imprecation; but, as many other the like passages in the psalms, by way of a prediction, or prophecy of what should come upon them, in punishment of their wickedness. – Ibid. “Thy hidden stores”: thy secret treasures, out of which thou furnishest those earthly goods, which, with a bountiful hand thou hast distributed both to the good and the bad.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

WITH EVERLASTING LOVE THE LORD YOUR REDEEMER HAS TAKEN PITY ON YOU (IS 54:5-14)

WITH EVERLASTING LOVE THE LORD YOUR REDEEMER HAS TAKEN PITY ON YOU (IS 54:5-14)

For he that made thee shall rule over thee, the Lord of hosts is his name: and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, shall be called the God of all the earth.

For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and mourning in spirit, and as a wife cast off from her youth, said thy God.

For a small moment I have forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.

In a moment of indignation have I hid my face a little while from thee, but with everlasting kindness have I had mercy on thee, said the Lord thy Redeemer.

This thing is to me as in the days of Noe [Noah], to whom I swore, that I would no more bring the waters of Noe upon the earth: so have I sworn not to be angry with thee, and not to rebuke thee.

For the mountains shall be moved, and the hills shall tremble; but my mercy shall not depart from thee, and the covenant of my peace shall not be moved: said the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

O poor little one, tossed with tempest, without all comfort, behold I will lay thy stones in order, and will lay thy foundations with sapphires,

And I will make thy bulwarks of jasper: and thy gates of graven stones, and all thy borders of desirable stones.

All thy children shall be taught of the Lord: and great shall be the peace of thy children.

And thou shalt be founded in justice: depart far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near thee.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

STS CLETUS AND MARCELLINUS – “HEALTH AND APOSTOLIC BENEDICTION”

STS CLETUS AND MARCELLINUS – “HEALTH AND APOSTOLIC BENEDICTION”

Sts Cletus and Marcellinus, Popes and Martyrs; [Memorial: April 26]

Cletus, a Roman, governed the Church when Vespian and Titus were emperors. By order of the Prince of the Apostles he ordained twenty-five priests in the City. He was the first who used the salutation in his letters: “Health and Apostolic benediction.” He put the Church in admirable order and, while Domitian was emperor, in the second persecution after that of Nero, he was crowned with martyrdom and was buried in the Vatican, near the body of St Peter.

Marcellinus, a Roman, ruled the Church in the frightful persecution of the Emperor Diocletian. He suffered many hardships from the unjust severity of those who reproached him. This blessed Pope was beheaded for confessing the faith, together with three other Christians, Claudius, Cyrinus and Antonius.

Prayer

Eternal Shepherd, look with favour upon your flock. Shelter and safeguard it for evermore through blessed Cletus and Marcellinus, Martyrs and Supreme Pontiffs, whom you constituted shepherds of the whole Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,