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THE DEGREE OF GRACE OFFERED TO ANY SOUL IS GOD’S SECRET

THE DEGREE OF GRACE OFFERED TO ANY SOUL IS GOD’S SECRET

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: ZEAL FOR SOULS IS SIMPLY LOVE IN ACTION

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

In working for souls, the Child of Mary is constantly aware that he is working for Christ. The secret of his influence over others is simply his own love of God overflowing upon them. His is no apostolate of mere philanthropy or natural pity for the unfortunate ones of the world. Written on his heart are the words of the Master: “So long as you did it unto one of these my least brethren, you did it to Me.

In this light, he sees all mankind, even the most repulsive, the thankless, the despised, the ungrateful, the selfish, the stupid, the afflicted, the vicious. To one and all, as to the least of Christ’s brethren, he strives to render a princely and reverential service. In each of them, he sees neither an equal nor an inferior, but one as superior to himself as is Christ. He approaches each one as he would Christ Himself, humbly, respectfully, reverently. Never does he deliver a lecture or ask a multitude of questions. He enters the cottage of the poorest in exactly the same spirit as he would enter the palace of the greatest.

Through the exercise of supernatural charity, his one aim is to sow the seeds of that eventual intimacy which will, one day, open the floodgates of grace. He regards it to be the special glory of charity to understand others. When they are deliberately rude to him, he submits meekly, remembering that such conduct often springs from a sense of neglect which most people suffer. He is never critical; he never sits in judgment on those for whom he works; he never sets up his own standards of conduct as those to which all must conform. When some differ from him, oppose him or refuse to receive him, he remembers his obligation to love and banishes the thought that they are necessarily less worthy than he. Even when he comes across lives that are unsightly with sin, he remembers that God alone can see the heart and judge as to its real position. The degree of grace offered to any soul is God’s secret and none will be asked for any return save that which has been given to him.

– Excerpts from “Holiness Through Mary” by Fr Francis Ripley, copied from a pamphlet by the Universal Rosary Association. For the Association’s details, please visit the link above (Part I).

 

 

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Posted by on November 16, 2016 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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WOLVES IN SHEEPS’ CLOTHING (Mt 7:15-21)

WOLVES IN SHEEPS’ CLOTHING (Mt 7:15-21)

For the text of this Bible passage, please see the previous post.

All men are known by their works

The Lord warns us that we must measure the worth of fair words and seeming meekness by the fruit of works. That is, we should look not so much to what a man says of himself, as to what he does; for there are many who hide the ravening of a wolf under sheep’s clothing.

As, then, thorns do not bear grapes, nor do thistles produce figs, and evil trees do not bring forth good fruits, so, the Lord teaches, neither do evil men bring forth good works. Therefore, all men are to be known by their works. Words alone will not win the kingdom of heaven, nor will he ever inherit it who says only: “Lord, Lord.”

– St Hilary, Bishop, Commentary on Matthew, can. 6, from: An Approved Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964 (bold emphasis added)

 

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BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS (MATTHEW 7:15-23)

BEWARE OF FALSE PROPHETS (MATTHEW 7:15-23)

WOLVES IN SHEEPS’ CLOTHING

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire.

Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.

Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name?

And I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.

 
 

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THE MEANING OF THE HOUSEHOLDER WHO PLANTED A VINEYARD (MT 21:33-46)

Homily of St Ambrose on Matthew 21:33-46

There are several different interpretations of the term vineyard: but Isaiah said plainly that the vineyard of the Lord of Sabaoth was the house of Israel. Who else but God planted this vineyard? It is he then that let it out to husbandmen, and went himself into a strange country; not that the Lord went from place to place, since he is present everywhere; but that he is more especially present with those who are diligent in his service, and far from those who are negligent. He was abroad for a long time, lest he should seem overhasty in what he required. For where the more indulgent liberality has been shown, there obstinacy is the more inexcusable.

Thus it is well said, according to Matthew, that he “put a hedge about it,” that is, he fenced it in with the wall of divine protection, lest it should too easily be open to the inroads of spiritual wild beasts. And he “dug a wine-vat in it.” How shall we understand what is meant by this wine-vat, unless perhaps, since certain Psalms are inscribed: “For the presses”; for in these Psalms the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion seethe and brim over with the Holy Spirit like foaming new-made wine? Whence those men were thought to be drunk, who were flooded with the Holy Spirit. This man, therefore, dug the vine-vat into which the inward fruit of the reasonable grape should flow in a spiritual outpouring.

“He built a tower”: he raised aloft, so to say, the pinnacle of the law; and “then he let it [the vineyard] out,” thus furnished, tended, and adorned, to the Jews. “And, at the fruit season, he sent his servants.” It is well put: “At the fruit season,” not, “At the vintage.” For no fruit came forth from the Jews, no vintage from this vineyard, whereof the Lord says: “I looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it has brought forth thorns.” And, therefore, these vine-vats did not run over with the wine of joy, the new-made wine of the spirit, but with the blood of the Prophets who were slain.

Prayer: Grant to your people, we beseech you, O Lord, health of mind and body, that, by persevering in good works, we may be worthy to be protected by your mighty power. 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.

– St Ambrose, Bk. 9 on Luke, Ch. 20; from: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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A PRAYER FOR THIS LENT TO BE FRUITFUL

PRAYER FOR THIS LENT TO BE FRUITFUL

Lord, we pray that this season of Lent will be a time of greater prayer and fervent devotion for us and for all the Church. Lord, in your mercy, – HEAR OUR PRAYER.
Lord, we pray that these days of Lent will be marked by earnest efforts at peacemaking throughout the world. Lord, in your mercy, – HEAR OUR PRAYER.
Lord, we pray that we will be generous in our almsgiving this Lent, and attentive to the poor. Lord, in your mercy, – HEAR OUR PRAYER.
Lord, we ask you to repair all the broken relationships in our life and make us merciful, gentle and forgiving. Lord, in your mercy, – HEAR OUR PRAYER.
Lord, we pray that this Lent we will be faithful to fasting and to all the ways in which you sanctify us. Lord, in your mercy. – HEAR OUR PRAYER.
Lord, rescue all those who live at a distance from you because of self-absorption or sin. Lord, in your mercy, – HEAR OUR PRAYER.
Loving Father, bless our Lent so that we will live as your holy children. We ask this through Christ our Lord. – AMEN.

 
 

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MAY YOUR GRACE, O LORD, MAKE US CONSTANTLY AWARE OF THE GOOD WE SHOULD DO

Let us pray. May your grace, O Lord, forestall us and accompany us, and may it make us constantly aware of the good we should do. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 
 

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A PRAYER FOR OUR BIBLE READING TO BEAR FRUIT IN HOLINESS AND GOOD WORKS FOR LOVE OF GOD

O Lord Jesus Christ, open thou the eyes of my heart, that I may hear thy word and understand and do thy will, for I am a soujourner upon the earth. Hide not thy commandments from me, but open mine eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of thy law. Speak unto me the hidden and secret things of thy wisdom.

On thee do I set my hope, O my God, that thou shalt enlighten my mind and my understanding with the light of thy knowledge, not only to cherish those things which are written, but to do them; that in reading the lives and sayings of the saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my restoration, enlightenment and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance everlasting. For thou art the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness, and from thee cometh every good deed and every gift. Amen.
– St John Chysostom

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2013 in Prayers for Ordinary Time

 

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