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I CRY THEE MERCY, LORD, FOR ALL THOSE THAT ARE TEMPTED BY THEIR GHOSTLY ENEMIES

I CRY THEE MERCY, LORD, FOR ALL THOSE THAT ARE TEMPTED BY THEIR GHOSTLY ENEMIES

I cry thee mercy, Lord, for all false heretics, and for all mis-believers, for all false tithepayers, thieves, adulterers, and all common women, and for all mischievous livers. Lord, for thy mercy, have mercy upon them, if it be thy will, and bring them out of their misbehaviour the sooner for my prayers.

I cry thee mercy, Lord, for all those that are tempted and vexed by their ghostly enemies, that thou, of thy mercy, will give them grace to withstand their temptations, and deliver them there-of, when it most pleaseth thee.

I cry thee mercy, Lord, for all my ghostly fathers, that thou vouchsafe to spread as much grace in their souls as I would that thou didst in mine.

I cry thee mercy, Lord, for all my children, ghostly and bodily, and for all the people in the world, that thou make their sins to me by true contrition, as it were my own sins, and forgive them as I would that thou forgive me.

I cry thee mercy, Lord, for all my friends and all mine enemies, for all that are sick, especially for all lepers, for all bedridden men and women, for all that are in prison, and for all creatures that, in this world, have spoken of me either good or ill, or shall do so unto the world’s end.

Have mercy upon them, and be gracious to their souls as I would that thou wert to mine.

– The Book of Margery Kempe (modernised text 1936)

 

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7th APRIL, GOSPEL READING (JOHN 8:1-11)

IF THERE IS ONE OF YOU WHO HAS NOT SINNED, LET HIM BE THE FIRST TO THROW A STONE AT HER.

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At daybreak he appeared in the Temple again; and as all the people came to him, he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery; and making her stand there in full view of everybody, they said to Jesus, “Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery, and Moses has ordered us in the Law to condemn women like this to death by stoning. What have you to say?” They asked him this as a test, looking for something to use against him.

But Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. As they persisted with their question, he looked up and said, “If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he bent down and wrote on the ground again. When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained standing there. He looked up and said, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she replied. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus, “go away, and don’t sin any more.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (MATTHEW 5:27-32)

IF A MAN LOOKS AT A WOMAN LUSTFULLY, HE HAS ALREADY COMMITTED ADULTERY.

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have learnt how it was said: You must not commit adultery. But I say this to you: if a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye should cause you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body thrown into hell. And if your right hand should cause you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; for it will do you less harm to lose one part of you than to have your whole body go to hell.

“It has also been said: Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a writ of dismissal. But I say this to you: everyone who divorces his wife, except for the case of fornication, makes her an adulteress; and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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PRAYER NOT TO ENGAGE IN SEX OUTSIDE THE HOLY BOND OF MARRIAGE

“Neither can anyone take away from you your right to respect yourself, nor your right not to be used for people’s self-seeking ends.”

Guardian of virgins, and holy father Joseph, to whose faithful custody Christ Jesus, innocence itself, and Mary, Virgin of virgins, were committed: I beg you, by these dear pledges, Jesus and Mary, that, being preserved from all uncleanness, I may now always respect myself and with spotless mind, pure heart and chaste body ever serve Jesus and Mary most chastely all the days of my life. Amen.

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 8:1-11)

IF THERE IS ONE OF YOU WHO HAS NOT SINNED, LET HIM BE THE FIRST TO THROW A STONE AT HER.

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At daybreak he appeared in the Temple again; and as all the people came to him, he sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery; and making her stand there in full view of everybody, they said to Jesus, “Master, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery, and Moses has ordered us in the Law to condemn women like this to death by stoning. What have you to say?” They asked him this as a test, looking for something to use against him.

But Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. As they persisted with their question, he looked up and said, “If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then he bent down and wrote on the ground again. When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained standing there. He looked up and said, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she replied. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus, “go away, and don’t sin any more.”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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WHETHER OUR TIMES BE THE LAST DAYS OR NOT, ST PAUL DESCRIBED THE TIMES WE LIVE IN (2 TIM. 3:1-7)

We live in times that, whether they be the last days or not, fulfil to a striking degree the words of St Paul:

“Know also this, that in the last days, shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than God: Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof…ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth.”
(2 Tim 3:1-7).

By Fr Nicholas A. Norman

“Lovers of themselves” – Let not the success of sundry charity drives blind us to the woeful spirit of selfishness that has gripped the world in its loveless embrace. “What is in it for me?” – this is the watchword of countless millions. Individuals are affected, and nations. So we have wars and the rumours of wars, the abominable housing situation, the grim, embattled strikes, ugly race prejudice, nervous impatience that explodes at the slightest delay in fulfilment of personal desires, spiralling prices, a widespread breakdown of marriage, birth control and needles shuffling of child care to others, while so many mothers spend their time in activities of little or no value, or unnecessary employment, and so many fathers act as though their only duty towards their children were to provide them with material necessities or goods. How many organisations, ostensibly high-minded and charitable in purpose, are impeded in their efforts by petty jealousies and cliques within their own ranks! Is the spirit still dominant among us all as much as it was among the first Christians, to unite for one purpose, and for one alone – the glory of God and the extension of His Kingdom? “Human frailty,” we say unctuously, and let it go at that. Once the pagans marvelled, saing: “See how those Christians love one another!” They will say it today, but now with sardonic amusement. “Covetous” – Greed and avarice have wrecked the modern world and prostrated civilisation. What else has caused wars, and so often lies beneath the high-flown words of diplomacy? “Haughty, proud, blasphemers” – For the first time in history, while the majority may agree in theory that there is a God, a vast proportion deny in practice the existence of a Deity, and are gods unto themselves. Colleges of learning use His Name, but define Him fantastically. His Name is not mentioned at the councils of the nations. “Nature” has usurped His place as the Author of Creation and the Arranger of its beautiful order. “Disobedient” – The revolt against the very idea of authority exists not only in children, but has become a real obsession in our age, an obsession which has reached even into the fields of art and music, and is responsible for the modern monstrosities, daubs and cacophonies. To a staggering number, freedom means license, whether they wish to admit it or not. “Without affection” – The world may have been as bad in pre-Christian times, but never since the Redeemer came and sanctified marriage has this exalted union been so abused, its promises so flouted. Never has personal desire counted for so much, and surrender for so little. Never has there been so little place in the world for children – birth control, abortion, neglect. “Without peace” – The world is aflame with war, rumours of war, and revolt. Men cry “Peace, peace!” – but there is no peace. “Slanderers” – “Propaganda” and “smearing” are common words now, and every child knows their meaning. “Incontinent” – The world has been sexy in many periods of its existence. Prominent men have paraded their mistresses. But when since the times of ancient Rome has divorce been so legalised and shameless with its attendant progressive polygamy? When was there such a widespread birth control? When has the human body been paraded in such nudity? What stigma is attached to adultery and infidelity? Is it not “love”? And must not “love” be satisfied at any cost, regardless of encumbering husband, wife or children? What unprinted horrors are discovered by scratching the veneer of modern respectability! How often we read of the flame of lust raging in the hearts even of children, leading them to murder. Obscene pinups are commonplace in the rooms of teenagers. When was the world so flooded with pornographic writings and pictures, so many of which find their way into the hands of children? What age has seen such filthy advertisements, promising to reveal secrets of perversion, sexy comics, provocative motion pictures, dirty jokes sent into clean homes via radio? The Romans adored Venus. Is she being adored again? But is not all this “broadminded” and “modern”? It is as broadminded and modern as Sodom and Gomorrah. “Unmerciful” – Wandering refugees, wild children, slave labour, concentration camps nauseating in their horror, sadistic tortures that have shamed this decade forever and are still going on – these outrival the cruelties of the Huns. And all this in a “civilised” world! “Traitors” – When ever has the solid structure of the State well nigh universally been so shot through with the rat burrows of traitors working for another country, for foreign ideas and interests, covering their treason with the noble sounding cry of “Freedom, free speech, free press!” How many times in recent years has the enemy swallowed up a country without so much as firing a shot? “Fifth columnists”, “infiltration” – these are common household words today. “Lovers of pleasures more than of God…” – no comment is needed. “Ever learning and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth…” Our institutions of learning are bursting today as never before in history and they present numerous courses in widely varied fields. How many have for their object the education of man for the material concerns of life? How much time is allotted for the intensive cultivation of man’s noble spirit? To attain the truth means to find and to hold forever the Truth, the Infinite, Ineffable Essence. It calls not merely for a theoretical knowledge of the Divinity, but for INTIMATE UNION with the All-Good, the All-Beautiful, the All-True. Because so many have been so far from attaining the Truth, the foregoing indictment holds true. But those who have attained it have found the peace that surpasses all understanding…herein lies the indictment of our times, that we have gone pell-mell down the road of [the senses], and are making but desultory attempts to ascend the way of spirit. At the end of the low road of sense lies death, corruption, and the stench of decay. At the heights of the high road of the spirit awaits peace, and a joy immeasurable, beyond that of all our wistful dreams…

THE IMMACULATE VIRGIN AS A SURE GUIDE ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH

There is only one under Our Lord among all the children of men who can fulfil perfectly the place of guide and beloved, only one with complete experience and complete love – the Immaculate Virgin. She has explored the way unto the Truth, and attained Him in a measure that no one else ever will or can. She has known all the darknesses that lead unto the light, the depths of suffering that has richly merited her the title Queen of Martyrs. She alone of all mankind knows the fullness of the glory and the inexpressible joy that awaits at the end of the road. And her beauty is so compelling, and her love so selfless and divine, that if we but lift our eyes unto her we shall love her ardently in return and never wish to be separated from her. And if we but give her our hand, in complete trust, she will guide us safely to the Goal of All Desire. So those whom she has guided and who have found Him, call to us with all possible loving urgency: “Go to Mary!”

 
 

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