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PENTECOST BIBLE READING (ACTS 2:1-11)

PENTECOST BIBLE READING (ACTS 2:1-11)

FIRST READING OF PENTECOST SUNDAY, YEAR A, MASS DURING THE DAY

When Pentecost day came round, the apostles had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared to them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.

Now there were devout men living in Jerusalem from every nation under heaven, and at this sound they all assembled, each one bewildered to hear these men speaking his own language. They were amazed and astonished. “Surely” they said “all these men speaking are Galileans? How does it happen that each of us hears them in his own native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; people from Mesopotamia, Judaea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Lybia around Cyrene; as well as visitors from Rome – Jews and proselytes alike – Cretans and Arabs; we hear them preaching in our own language about the marvels of God.”

V. The word of the Lord.

R. Thanks be to God.

 

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THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS IN FOR A LONG PERIOD OF PERSECUTION

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS IN FOR A LONG PERIOD OF PERSECUTION

“FRANCE WILL SUFFER”

“I can no longer restrain my Son!” Our Lady had declared sadly to Estelle Faguette at Pellevoisin in 1876. The world continued to ignore its Mother’s warnings and to bring ever closer the great punishment that was to befall it.

THE DEVIL IS “EVERY DAY REDOUBLING HIS EFFORTS” 

Two years after the apparitions at Pellevoisin, the frail sixty-eight-year-old Cardinal Pecci became the new Pontiff, Pope Leo XIII. “It is not the tiara you are giving me, but death,” the Pope said to the Cardinals who elected him. It is true that the papal tiara has been a heavy burden in these days when the devil is “every day redoubling his efforts.” Nevertheless, Pope Leo XIII reigned for twenty-five years, until 1903. He thus became the first Pontiff of our twentieth century.

Pope Leo XIII earned the title “Pope of the Workingman” because of his great encyclical Rerum Novarum. Like Karl Marx, the Pontiff recognised the great abuse that had been brought about by the Industrial Revolution. But his solution, based on the teachings of Christ, was vastly different from the class warfare advocated by Marx. Employers who were making large profits were slow to follow the Pope’s plan of granting justice to the workingman. Some even denounced him as a socialist. Had Pope Leo XIII been heeded, Communism would not be the threat that it now is.

ITALY’S SECULAR GOVERNMENT’S SEIZURE OF THE VATICAN

As a protest against Italy’s unjust seizure of the Vatican, Pope Leo XIII followed the example of his predecessor and did not leave the Vatican during his entire reign. Relations improved slightly with some countries, but only slightly. Germany, under Chancellor Bismarck, engaged in a persecution of the Church. France, now in the firm grip of the anti-clericals, passed law after law to hamstring the Church.

SECULAR FRANCE PASSED LAW AFTER LAW TO HAMSTRING THE CHURCH 

When Estelle Faguette had an audience with Pope Leo XIII in 1900, she said, “Holy Father, the Blessed Virgin said that France will have to suffer.”

“Yes,” said the Pontiff sadly, “France will have to suffer.”

Fourteen years later, World War I broke out, and most of the battles were fought on French soil. This war was even more devastating than the one of 1870-1871 had been.

Cardinal Sarto was elected to succeed Pope Leo XIII. “Since I must suffer I will take the name of those who have suffered,” he said, “I will be called Pius.”

France caused Pope Pius X great anguish, as it had his predecessors. In 1904, the government declared that the concordat which had been in effect with the Holy See for a century was at an end. The Law of Separation was passed the following year. By this law, the government confiscated all possessions of the clergy as well as of charitable institutions. Religious congregations were disbanded. Many of the religious were forced to leave the country. Nuns were driven from their work in schools and hospitals. Churches were looted.

Many of the French people protested. The men sent to despoil the churches were often attacked by the infuriated peasants, and many of them had to have guards to protect them. Nevertheless, the sacrilegious work went on. “And France,” our Lady had said at Pellevoisin, “what have I not done for her? How many warnings and yet she refused to listen!

The misnamed liberalism which was scourging France spread to Spain and – this is interesting in the light of later developments – to Portugal. The king and his son were murdered. The next king was forced to abdicate. A republic was established. A Law of Separation, based on the one in France, was passed, and the Church was in for a long period of persecution.

“THE CHURCH WAS IN FOR A LONG PERIOD OF PERSECUTION”

In the dark days in which we are now living, the most encouraging signs we behold are increased devotion to Mary and increased devotion to her Son in the Eucharist. It is largely to Pope Pius X, “Pope of the Eucharist”, that we owe the latter. It was he who urged frequent Communion and permitted children to receive Communion as soon as they reached the age of reason.

In 1916, two years after the death of Pius X, an angel appeared to three children near Fatima in Portugal. They were aged nine, eight, and six. The angel placed a Host on the tongue of Lucia, the oldest. To Francisco and Jacinta, who had not made their first Communion, he presented a chalice, and they drank from it. The angel said: “Take the body and blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.” He seemed to be expressing at the same time displeasure with the state of the world and approval of the early Communion advocated by Pius X.

It was to these same three children that our Lady was later to appear.

MEN WERE ABOUT TO REAP THE TERRIBLE PUNISHMENT THAT WAS DUE TO THEM

The war clouds were gathering in the last part of the reign of Pope Pius X. Men were about to reap the terrible punishment that was due to them for having “horribly outraged” their God.

THE POPE TRIED TO AVERT THE LOOMING WORLD WAR

The Pontiff tried in every way possible to avert the war, but he saw that he was doomed to fail. He told his Secretary of State that a war would break out in 1914. Early in May, 1914, he said to a South American who was returning home, “How fortunate you are that you will not be here when war breaks out in a very short time.

When he heard that Archduke Ferdinand of Austria had been assassinated, he knew that the conflict had begun. “Oh, my poor children!” he cried. “This is the last affliction which the Lord is sending me! Willingly would I sacrifice my life to ward off this terrible scourge!”

Twice the Austrian ambassador asked Pope Pius to bless the armies of that country. He was told, “I bless peace.”

Austria declared war on Serbia. Russia joined the conflict on the side of Serbia. Germany came to the aid of Austria.

Pope Pius was stricken by what the physicians thought to be a minor illness, but he died on August 10, 1914. Those about him knew that he died of a broken heart.

Pope Pius was declared a Saint. He was beatified June 3, 1951, and was canonised May 29, 1954.

THE POPE WAS FORBIDDEN TO TAKE PART IN THE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS 

The new Pontiff, Benedict XV, strove valiantly to bring an end to the war. The leaders on both sides were convinced that they could win, however, and they were in no mood to stop fighting when victory seemed within their grasp. Never before had there been such destruction. This was the first war in which airplanes were used, and death rained from the skies. Ships were sunk; cities levelled. Women and children were victims along with the fighting men.

The Pope tried to arrange a truce on Christmas Day. Great Britain, Germany and Belgium seemed sympathetic, but France and Russia said no. Cannons continued to roar, and blood continued to flow on the birthday of the Prince of Peace.

When Italy entered the war, she made the Allies promise that the Pope would not be allowed to take part in the peace negotiations. She was afraid the matter of the Papal States might be brought up.

IT “APPEARS TO US AS THE SUICIDE OF CIVILISED EUROPE” 

The Pope’s efforts for peace went on constantly. On March 6, he said to his Vicar-General, Cardinal Pompili: “A father whose sons are engaged in a violent conflict is not at liberty to cease his pleadings for peace, even though they disregard his tears and exhortation… Therefore, we must again raise our voice against this war which appears to us as the suicide of civilised Europe.”

Far from diminishing, the war, like a giant conflagration, was spreading throughout the world. Portugal was engulfed in 1916, the United States in April, 1917. By this time almost every country in the world was involved.

EVENTS OF SINISTER IMPORTANCE 

In Russia, events of sinister and far-reaching importance were taking place. The war was going badly for that country which had been misruled for so many years by the czars. A revolution broke out in March 1917, and Czar Nicholas II abdicated.

An unstable provisional government was set up in Russia. It was not to last for long. Conditions were in a state of chaos, and the followers of Karl Marx thrive on that sort of thing. On April 16, Nicolai Lenin and Leon Trotsky, leaders of the Communists, arrived in Petrograd to make their plans for taking over the country.

In May, 1917, the month of our Lady, the world situation seemed hopeless. The war had been going on for almost three years, and no end was in sight… On May 5, 1917, when everything appeared darkest, Pope Benedict XV addressed a letter to his Cardinal Secretary of State in which he recounted his unsuccessful efforts to bring about peace. Then he said:

“Because all graces… are dispensed by the hands of the most holy Virgin, we wish the petitions of her most afflicted children to be directed with lively confidence, more than ever in this awful hour, to the great Mother of God.

“We charge you, then, Lord Cardinal, to communicate to all the bishops of the world our ardent desire that recourse be made to the Heart of Jesus, Throne of grace, and that to the Throne recourse be made through Mary… To Mary, then, who is the Mother of Mercy, and omnipotent by grace, let loving and devout appeal go up from every corner of the earth… Let it bear to her the anguished cry of mothers and wives, the wailing of little ones, the sighs of every generous heart, that her most tender and benign solicitude may be moved and the peace we ask be obtained for our agitated world.”

The Pope also directed that “Queen of Peace” be added to Mary’s titles in the Litany of Loreto.

Eight days later – as if in direct answer to the Pope’s appeal – the Mother of God appeared to the three shepherd children of Fatima.

(Next chapter – Fatima)

From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2020 in Words of Wisdom

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 15:1-8)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 15:1-8)

Jesus said to his disciples:

“I am the true vine,
and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that bears no fruit
he cuts away,
and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes
to make it bear even more.
You are pruned already,
by means of the word that I have spoken to you.
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.

As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,
but must remain part of the vine,
neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine,
you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
bears fruit in plenty;
for cut off from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
is like a branch that has been thrown away
– he withers;
these branches are collected and thrown on the fire,
and they are burnt.
If you remain in me
and my words remain in you,
you may ask what you will
and you shall get it.
It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,
and then you will be my disciples.”

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

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 14:1-6)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 14:1-6)

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house;
if there were not, I should have told you.
I am going now to prepare a place for you,
and after I have gone and prepared you a place,
I shall return to take you with me;
so that where I am
you may be too.
You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said, “Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus said:

“I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.”

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

 

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A PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION

A PREPARATION FOR HOLY COMMUNION

Dearest Jesus, all thy creatures are more worthy of thy grace

Than the vile and wretched sinner who now kneels before thy Face.

Yet one claim I have upon thee, which thou never wilt deny:

In the bounds of thy creation, no one needs thee more than I!

 

Other souls have been more faithful, and have served thee better far,

Many spotless hearts more fitting for thy gracious Presence are,

Many lips devout a greeting far more fervent can supply,

But, dear Master, well thou knowest: no one needs thee more than I.

 

Many loving hands have carried richer offerings to thy Shrine,

Many generous hearts have loved thee with a purer love than mine;

These thy chosen ones approach thee, as the doves to covert fly,

I am utterly unworthy, but none need thee more than I!

 

Sins unnumbered, unatoned for, have made havoc in my soul,

And against me stands, as witness, the Recording Angel’s roll;

All untilled has been my vineyard, and its soil is hard and dry,

O my God, my only refuge, no one needs thee more than I!

 

For without thee I am helpless, fast in sin’s strong fetters caught.

Blinded by my evil passions, swayed by impulses untaught:

I could do no good unaided, it were worse than vain to try;

Come thyself to me, sweet Jesus! no one needs thee more than I!

 

Thou didst leave thy Father’s bosom, to reclaim and save the lost,

Thou didst take upon thee freely our redemption’s awful cost,

Thou thyself hast called me to thee, thou wilt hearken to my cry,

In the bounds of thy creation, no one needs thee more than I!

– St Anthony’s Treasury, Laverty&Sons, Leeds, 1916

 

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ST JOSEPH THE WORKER, ALT. FIRST READING (COLOSSIANS 3:14-15.17.23-24)

ST JOSEPH THE WORKER, ALT. FIRST READING (COLOSSIANS 3:14-15.17.23-24)

WHATEVER YOUR WORK IS, PUT YOUR HEART INTO IT AS IF IT WERE FOR THE LORD AND NOT FOR MEN

Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body.

Always be thankful. Never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever your work is, put your heart into it as if it were for the Lord and not for men, knowing that the Lord will repay you by making you his heirs. It is Christ the Lord that you are serving.

V. The word of the Lord.

R. Thanks be to God.

 

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ST JOSEPH THE WORKER – PRAYER

ST JOSEPH THE WORKER – PRAYER

PRAYER TO ST JOSEPH FOR ALL WHO ARE DEVOTED TO LABOUR 

Glorious St Joseph, model of all those who are devoted to labour, obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance for the expiation of my many sins; to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my inclinations; to work with gratitude and joy, considering it an honour to employ and develop, by means of labour, the gifts received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever recoiling before weariness or difficulties; to work, above all, with purity of intention and with detachment from self, having always death before my eyes and the account which I must render of time lost, of talents wasted, of good omitted, of vain complacency in success, so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all, after thy example, O Patriarch Joseph. Such shall be my watchword in life and death. Amen.

[300 days once a day. – Pius X, 23rd Nov. 1906]

– from: St Anthony’s Treasury

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 6:22-29)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (JOHN 6:22-29)

DO NOT WORK FOR FOOD THAT CANNOT LAST, BUT WORK FOR FOOD THAT ENDURES TO ETERNAL LIFE 

Next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other side saw that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that the disciples had set off by themselves. Other boats, however, had put in from Tiberias, near the place where the bread had been eaten. When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into those boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, “Rabbi,
when did you come here?”

Jesus answered:
“I tell you most solemnly,
you are not looking for me
because you have seen the signs
but because you had all the bread you wanted to eat.
Do not work for food that cannot last,
but work for food that endures to eternal life,
the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you,
for on him the Father, God Himself, has set his seal.”

Then they said to him, “What must we do if we are to do the works that God wants?” Jesus gave them this answer, “This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent.”

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

 

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O LOVING JESUS, CONCEALED UNDER THE FORM OF BREAD

O LOVING JESUS, CONCEALED UNDER THE FORM OF BREAD

ACT OF LOVE BEFORE HOLY COMMUNION 

O loving Jesus, concealed under the form of bread, thou art my hope, and thou art also my love; for how great, how unconquerable must have been thy love to induce thee, the Son of the Most High, the object of the adoration of Heaven, to descend from thy throne of eternal glory to this miserable earth to dwell among us and become our very own?

It did not satisfy thy love to remain as man among us for a few passing years: thou wouldst always remain with us. Thou wast not satisfied to shed thy Blood once for us in terrible suffering on the cross; thou wouldst have the sublime sacrifice daily offered for us. O love of my Saviour, unfathomable abyss, what must be the perversion and hardness of heart that cannot love thee in return! I love thee, my Jesus; at least I desire to love thee as fervently as thou meritest to be loved.

Inflame my cold heart with thy love and let thy holy fire never be extinguished; let this love be stronger in me than death; nothing henceforth shall separate me from thy love, O Jesus; neither life nor death, neither the world nor the flesh, neither affliction nor distress. In this love will I persevere to my last hour, and be thine, O Jesus, forever.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, Laverty & Sons Ltd., Leeds, 1916

 

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JESUS LOVES US

JESUS LOVES US

Yes, the Sacred Heart of Jesus loves us. It loves us infinitely more than do all the angels and saints together, more than even we can love ourselves; it loves us to excess.

And indeed, what an excess of love, to love us from all eternity so that He has never been an instant without loving us, and has always loved us at the same time, and with the same love with which He has loved His Father in eternity.

Again, what an excess to love us to such an extent as to become man for us, to live for our sakes so laborious a life, and lastly to die for us on the arms of the cross; so that He has loved us more than His honour, more than His repose, more than His life!

Finally, what excess to remain for love of us in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, day and night; so that thirty-three years entirely devoted to our salvation did not suffice for the Heart of Jesus; He must remain with us in the tabernacle for nineteen centuries. What do I say? He takes the form of bread and wine, in order to be our food, and to contract the closest possible union with each one of us.

How many things are explained by these words: God can do all. “But”, says a holy man, “if you ask me how it can come to pass that God should love such a miserable creature as man, and love him to such a degree, I confess that I have no answer to give, and that it is a truth beyond my comprehension.”

– Laverty&Sons (eds), 1905

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2020 in Words of Wisdom

 

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