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PRAYER TO OUR HOLY GUARDIAN ANGEL

PRAYER TO OUR HOLY GUARDIAN ANGEL

O holy Angel, to whom the mercy of Our Father in Heaven has confided me here on earth, may I never forget the gratitude I owe thee for thy unfailing goodness, the confidence inspired by thy generous protection, the respect due to thy holy presence!

O constant witness of my daily actions, may I never sadden thy sight! Angel of peace, may I never cause thee to weep bitter tears over me!

O my celestial guide, I wish to invoke thee at all times! In affliction thou wilt dry my tears; in danger thou wilt bear me on thy wings; in temptation thou wilt preserve my innocence; in my falls thou wilt inspire me with repentance; finally, at my last hour, thou wilt console me in my sorrows and introduce me into the eternal tabernacles.

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THE ANGELS OF THE FIRESIDE: THE ANGEL OF GRATITUDE

THE ANGELS OF THE FIRESIDE: THE ANGEL OF GRATITUDE

How to attain a happy home and a content family

The Angel of Gratitude

This is perhaps the most beloved of the Angels of the Fireside, because he unceasingly reminds us of our kindness to others. Nothing is so sweet as to feel that we are kind.

But it must be confessed, alas! that the angel of gratitude – that angel who, either as a child, friend, brother, sister, or companion, repeatedly makes us know that we are kind and generous – is not often to be found.

Unconditional appreciation and kindness

To merit this name it is not sufficient to manifest the gratitude of our hearts on particular occasions, such as when we receive a benefit, or on some feast or anniversary; on the contrary, this sentiment should so fill our hearts as to flood over all our faculties and senses.

Whenever we are in the presence of a benefactor, or in conversation with him, the smile on our lips and the gentleness of our words must let him see that “we are happy near him, because he is so kind.”

When we seek to give him pleasure, or to lavish attention upon him which we think he requires, our manner must say to him: “I do it all to remind you how kind you are.”

Finally, our repeated attentions, without being obtrusive, and our services, without being troublesome, must say to him: “I can never be as kind as you are.”

Oh! is it not true that there is happiness in having near us a heart thus filled with gratitude?

It will never weary of us, nor we of it.

It will never cease to be devoted to us, and we will never cease our efforts to do it good.

It will make us know that we can always rely on it, and it understands that it can equally depend on us.

Such a heart is not a mere dream of the imagination; there are many such in families, in communities, and amongst friends… but they have not the courage to show themselves.

Do you, who read and love these pages, not feel that they make known your experiences, and relate only what you yourself would wish to do for some people near you, and to whom you owe very much?

Why, then, do you not do it?

Why do you gradually permit to depart from you that desire to be grateful which God has been pleased to give you, and of which he will demand an account?

A grateful heart is a privileged grace.

The absence of this virtue, says Father Faber, is a grave fault, and certainly does not prove the holiness of him who is devoid of it.

Show me a person who retains for a long time the remembrance of some trifling favour, who seems never able to pay the debts which he thinks his heart owes, who exaggerates his obligations to others, who estimates them at twenty times their value; … in my opinion that person is infinitely more likely to become a saint than if he were raised in ecstasy during prayer.

Then prove yourselves grateful. Gratitude attracts new favours, too, and this sweet interchange of treasures between hearts softens them, opens them to grace, frees them from little antipathies, mean jealousies, petty rivalries – all of which are to the family what thorns are to the rose.

Prove yourselves grateful. It is impossible for a grateful heart ever to become a wicked heart.

– From: Golden Grains, A Collection of Little Counsels for the Sanctification and Happiness of Every-Day Life, H.M.Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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HOW DO I SEND GOOD THOUGHTS TO SOMEONE?

HOW DO I SEND GOOD THOUGHTS TO SOMEONE?

A good thought spread about is an angel who goes, in the name and to the profit of him who sends it, to do good in all places to which it has the mission to penetrate.

You desire to accomplish some work of mercy, which are so sweet to the soul and so meritorious for heaven – to give alms, for example… But you are too poor: Send forth a good thought which will simply tell of the happiness of giving, and, guided by Providence, it will penetrate into the soul of some person, who, being moved, will give largely out of his abundance. God will then have two people to reward – the one who gave and the one who inspired him to give.

You wish to visit prisoners [Mt 25:33-46] and the sick, to console those who weep, to speak of God to little children who do not know him… but your duty keeps you within the narrow precincts of a cell, a room, or a family: Send a good thought which will tell of God’s goodness, which will speak of the happiness and the merit of suffering, and will show how, it is followed by the sweet repose of Paradise… This thought will give birth to hope, to a smile, to some act of love… and God will be indebted to you for regaining to Himself a soul that perhaps had forgotten him

“That which reassures me against the judgment of God,” said a devout person on the point of death, “is the good books and pious pamphlets which I have distributed during my earthly life; it seems to me that each good thought to which they have given birth will plead as an advocate for me before God.’

Unknown friends, whom the reading of Golden Grains unites spiritually by prayer and zeal, let us sow good thoughts, in order that we may reap merits! [Mt 6:19-21]

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

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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THE ANGELS OF THE FIRESIDE: THE ANGEL OF SMALL SACRIFICES

How to attain a happy home and a content family

The Angel of Small Sacrifices

Have you never seen her at work? Have you never, at least, felt her influence?

In every Christian family, and in all pious communities, God has placed the Angel of Small Sacrifices, in order to be the image of his Providence in the household. Her duty is to remove all thorns, to lighten all burdens, and to share all fatigues.

She has for her motto these gracious words: God makes no noise, because noise effects no good.

Thus she is like a ray of sunlight, lightning, warming, giving life to all, but inconveniencing no one.

We feel that she is near us, because we no longer experience those misunderstandings which we formerly met with, those rancorous thoughts, those deliberate coolnesses which make family life unhappy; because we no longer hear those harsh words which wound so deeply; because affectionate sentiments mount readily from the heart to the lips, and life becomes sweeter.

Who, then, has taken from us that self-love which would not yield; that egotism which had a place in the most sincere friendship; that self-indulgence, in short, which always sought for ease?

The Angel of Small Sacrifices has received from heaven the mission of those angels, of whom the prophet speaks, who removed the stones from the road, lest they might bruise the feet of travellers.

And that of the angels who, according to the simple legend of the early Christians, scattered rose-leaves beneath the feet of Jesus and Mary during their flight into Egypt…

But, like them, she is invisible; she does her work in secret.

 

The Angel of Small Sacrifices works in secret

If there is one place less commodious than another, she chooses it, saying, with a sweet smile, How comfortable I am here!

If there is some work to be done, she presents herself simply to perform it, with the joyous manner of one who finds her happiness in so doing.

If it is an object of trifling value, she deprives herself of it in order to give it to her who the evening before manifested a desire to possess a similar one.

How many oversights are repaired by this unknown hand!

How many neglected things are put in their places, without our ever seeing how they came there!

How many little joys are procured for others without their ever having mentioned to any one the happiness which they would give them!

Who has thus known how to do good in secret?

Who has thus known to divine the secrets of the heart?

 

Who has thus known to divine the secrets of the heart?

Should a dispute arise, she knows how to settle it by a pleasant word, which wounds no one, and falls upon the slight disturbance like a ray of sunlight upon a cloud.

Should she hear of two estranged hearts, she has always some means of reuniting them without their being able to show her any gratitude; she does everything sweetly, simply, and naturally.

But who can tell the thorns which have torn her hands, the pain which has racked her heart, the humiliations which her charity has borne?

And yet she is always smiling. Does sacrifice cause her joy?

Have you never seen the angel of small sacrifices at work? On earth she is called a mother, a friend, a sister, or a wife. In heaven she is called a saint.

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

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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ARCHANGEL MICHAEL, CONSOLER OF THE POOR SOULS

In her beautiful prayers in the Mass for the Dead, the Church with maternal solicitude places the souls of her departed children in the hands of St Michael, that he may lead them into the kingdom of everlasting light. If St Michael is so solicitous for the welfare of souls during their lifetime on earth and at the hour of death, we may be certain that he will also befriend them during their stay in Purgatory and will hasten to bring them consolation.

St Michael helps the Holy Souls in Purgatory

A Cistercian monk appeared to a priest friend soon after his death and told him he would be delivered from Purgatory if during Holy Mass the priest would recommend his soul to St Michael. The priest complied with this desire, and he, together with others who were present, had the consolation of seeing the soul of his friend taken to Heaven by the Archangel.

It is related that a certain priest, one day while offering the Holy Sacrifice for the dead, recommended some souls in a particular manner when pronouncing the words: “May the Prince of Angels, St Michael, lead them into the glory of Heaven.” At the same time he saw the glorious Archangel descend from Heaven into Purgatory to deliver those souls and to conduct them into Paradise.

St Michael conducted the Holy Souls into Paradise

“The prince of the heavenly militia,” says St Anselm, “is all-powerful in Purgatory, and he can assist the Poor Souls whom the justice and sanctity of the Almighty retain in this place of punishment.” “It is incontestably recognised since the foundation of Christianity,” declares St Robert Bellarmine, “that the souls of the Faithful Departed are delivered from Purgatory  through the intercession of St Michael the Archangel.” Let us add to these authorities the words of St Alphonsus Liguori: “St Michael has received the care of consoling and helping the souls in Purgatory.”

– From: ‘Neath St Michael’s Shield, Fifth Edition, 1962

 

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GIVE FREELY WHAT THE HELPFUL ANGEL ASKS YOU TO GIVE

To be in this world but not of this world.

Therefore, let us not sleep as others do; but let us watch, and be sober (1Thess5:6)

My child, said a priest to a young girl whom he blessed as she was about to enter the world after years of pious convent education; my child, you will find all through life, at almost every step, an angel of God, who will present himself to you under a thousand forms, offering you true happiness, but always asking something from you in return.

He is called the angel of sacrifice.

Do not refuse him what he will ask from you.

God has put into his hands immense treasures of pure joy, from which he will return a hundredfold all that you give him.

From you, who are still young, he will demand but little: a glance which would only serve to gratify your curiosity; an object of no real value, to which you are too strongly attached; a reading [or viewing] which might have fostered your self-indulgence; some word, some arrangement of your appearance, the only object of which is to please.

My child, do not deny him what he asks of you.

If you refuse him once, you will lose your strength to grant him later what he will grant imperiously.

You will hardly believe me, perhaps, but my experience is this: When we accustom ourselves to give, we become so infatuated with giving that we can never cease.

And whilst we are always giving, he gives also, and his are godly gifts, if we but learn it.

O my child! the more sacrifices we make on earth, the happier we become.

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889 (headings in bold added)

 

 

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WHY IS ST MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL CALLED “PRINCE OF THE HEAVENLY HOST”?

Theologians are of the opinion that St Michael surpasses in glory and power all other angels in Heaven and possesses in the highest and most perfect degree the zeal and the love peculiar to the highest Seraphim.

The title “Archangel” does not, in accord with the words of St Peter and St Jude Thaddeus, signify that St Michael belongs to the choir of angels designated by that name, but that he is an angel of superior rank. The Church also invokes him as the prince of the angels, who has supreme command over all the heavenly hierarchies.

St Michael has supreme command over all the heavenly hierarchies

This position of honour was merited by St Michael in the battle which he waged against Lucifer and the rebellious angels before the creation of the world. When God created the angels as magnificent spirits of light and love, which in countless hosts surround His heavenly throne, He bestowed upon them most eminent gifts of nature and grace.

But before admitting them to the unveiled vision of His glory in Heaven, He placed them under probation, just as later He subjected mankind to a trial of obedience in the persons of Adam and Eve.

The nature of the trial is not known with certainty. Learned and saintly theologians hold that the Heavenly Father revealed to the angels the future Incarnation of His Divine Son, whom they were to adore in His Sacred Humanity. At the same time He revealed to them the surpassing dignity and glory of Mary, whom, as the Mother of God, they were to venerate as their Queen.

The angels were subjected to a trial

Lucifer, one of the most glorious and exalted princes of the heavenly court, dazzled by the splendour of his own gifts, rebelled at the thought that human nature should be preferred to his own angelic nature. He would not acknowledge that a woman, inferior to him in nature, should at some future time be made his Queen, and that the seed of that woman should be preferred to himself for the honour of the hypostatic union. Desiring for himself the prerogatives of the God-Man, he raised his great battle-cry of rebellion: “I will be like the Most High!” (Is 14:14).

Who is like unto God?

Some have held that, in their pride, a third of the angels took up Lucifer’s rebellious cry. At the same instant another great Archangel, equal in beauty and grace to the proud Lucifer, prostrated himself before the throne of God. With an act of profound adoration, he opposed the cry of the rebellious angels with his own battle-cry of love and loyalty: “Mi-cha-el” – “Who is like unto God?”

The fearlessness and fidelity of this mighty champion roused the faithful angels, who rallied to his standard, repeating with one accord: “Who is like unto God?”

The tremendous battle

Then followed that tremendous battle between the good and the bad angels which St John describes in the Apocalypse:

And there was a great battle in Heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world (Apoc. 12:7:9).

Thus, St Michael and his faithful followers won a glorious victory. With the swiftness of lightning, Lucifer and his companions were transformed into hideous demons and cast into the abyss of eternal torment and darkness, which God created for them.

The angels most willingly recognise St Michael’s supremacy

In reward for his zeal and fidelity, the holy Archangel Michael was made prince and commander-in-chief of all the heavenly legions. The angels most willingly and gratefully recognise his supremacy, for after God, they owe to him their perseverance in grace and their eternal happiness.

With loving submission they receive from him their various offices. They are attentive to his slightest wish, seeing in his commands and regulations the will of God, the sovereign Lord and King of all. Thus St Michael receives highest honour among the angels in the heavenly court.

St Michael was the first to announce the Saviour to the angelic choirs

On our part, also, he deserves highest honour among the angels. Since he was the first to recognise and adore the Word-made-flesh, and the first to be illumined by His grace, he is the “first Christian”. He is also the “first Apostle,” because he was the first to announce the Saviour to the angelic choirs. He is the “first lieutenant” of Jesus Christ, for he was the first to lead the faithful servants of God to victory against the enemy.

– From: ‘Neath St Michael’s Shield, Fifth Edition, 1962

 

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