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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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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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DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC CHRISTIANITY

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROTESTANT AND CATHOLIC CHRISTIANITY

“IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, AND IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ONLY, THE ENDLESS INTRICACIES AND PHENOMENA RECORDED IN THE GOSPELS ARE REPRODUCED ON THE STAGE OF HUMAN HISTORY”

“…let it be observed that in Catholic Christianity alone is such a claim even made as that which has been described. It may be said, without the possibility of contradiction, that in not one of the great world-religions, in not one of the smallest and most arrogant sects, has the proclamation ever been made that the Founder lives in a mystical but absolutely real life in a Body composed of His followers. There have been mystical phrases used occasionally, in certain forms of Buddhism, for example, faintly suggestive of this presence of a Master with His disciples in a very intimate and transcendent manner; but never has it been asserted, in Buddhism, Mohammedanism, Confucianism, in any form of Protestantism, in any other creed, that the great bulk of the faithful compose a living organism whose dominating personality is Divine. Never, except in Catholic Christianity, has the assertion been solemnly made and deliberately acted upon – ‘I am the Vine – you are the branches’; ‘He that heareth you, heareth Me.’

THE FAITHFUL COMPOSE ONE SINGLE UNIFIED LIVING ORGANISM

It is sufficiently remarkable that the Catholic claim is an unique one. ‘I have read,’ says St Augustine, ‘all the sages of the world; and not one of them dares to say ‘Come unto Me.”I have looked, the Catholic may say today, upon all the Churches of the world, all the world-religions, and all the sects, and not one of them dares to take upon her lips the words of very Deity. Many say, ‘I possess the truth, I teach the way, and I promise the life’; but not one, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.’ None, except one, and that is the Catholic Church, claims to be actually Divine and to utter the Voice of God. The Anglicans dare not excommunicate for heresy; the Nonconformists do not wish to… There is but one body in the world, and that is the Catholic Church, which behaves, moves, and speaks as only a Society conscious of Divinity can behave, move, and speak.

THE CHURCH IS CONSCIOUS OF HER DIVINITY

But the significance of the uniqueness of this claim is multiplied an hundredfold if in any way it can be justified. If it can but be shown that the claim is a Catholic commonplace, that all the Church’s actions are based upon that supposition, that the success of her policy depends upon it, that the unique phenomena of her life spring from it, that, in fact, the very heart of her life is the very assertion itself; if, finally, that assertion made by her, and made by Jesus Christ in the Gospels, produces the same results, and those results impossible of production on any other hypothesis, then, so far as moral proof can go, the claim is vindicated.

If, in short, Jesus Christ has succeeded in producing such a Society as this, giving her a confidence that is more than human, and a success unparalleled in human history – if He is able to present to the doubter such a Body as this in which He lives, able to extend hands and side to the touch of scepticism, in proof that it is indeed Himself, risen again and again from what is more final even than death to all merely human energies, then it is hardly possible to imagine any other response but that which Thomas made – ‘My Lord and my God.’

“COME UNTO ME”

For the appeal of the Church is in its essence an extraordinarily simple and direct one. Certainly it is possible to state that appeal in elaborate and intricate terms, to describe, justify, and indicate by illustrations, metaphors, and the rest, until the case seems too utterly complicated to be true.

AS SIMPLE AS “MOTHER AND CHILD” 

Yet the appeal itself is as simple as that of a mother to a child. I believe there are very learned books written on the motherly and filial instincts; it is possible to describe a smile in terms of muscles and sinews, and to analyse tears into lime and hydrogen and other elements; yet for all that, smiles and tears are the simplest things we know. And the appeal of this intricate Society, claiming to possess as she does the wisdom of the Eternal and the Source of all love, is for all that as direct and as simple as the glance of a woman’s eyes into the eyes of her child. All the eloquence of her orators and the learning of her divines, and the elaborateness of her worship, may be summed up in that single sentence that can only adequately be pronounced by the lips of Divinity – ‘Come unto Me.’

THE EUCHARIST 

I treat of the Church from an aspect familiar to Catholics, and yet one that, it would seem, is almost entirely unknown to non-Catholics. One can find, in book after book, the most admirable treatises upon the Church as a human Society, as a worshipping Society, as a patroness and inspirer of art, as a form of pious Freemasonery, as a police force to keep the poor quiet, as a refuge for the ineffective, as the home of learning. Yet non-Catholics, as a rule, seem simply unaware that there is another point of view, infinitely more significant… from which that Society is regarded as the Body in which the Divine Being tabernacles among men; and that, in spite of the fact, that without this aspect, without at any rate the fact of this belief existing, the main phenomena of that Society’s history are inexplicable.

This is as wildly unscientific as to think that you have accounted for a Cathedral, if you leave out the worshippers’ belief in God. It is no explanation of the Cathedral to discourse about the Bishops, and the word ‘Cathedra’ as signifying his seat. A more fundamental point is, Why should there such a phenomenon as a Bishop at all? Polyphonic music may be characteristic of a Cathedral; but why should anyone take the trouble to sing? The architecture may be excellently Gothic; but why is there such a thing as architecture?

“THE CHURCH COMPOSED OF ALL AS ONE UNIT IN THE HIERARCHY ORDAINED FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL BY GOD IS THE TEMPLE OF GOD, THE HUMAN BODY IN WHOM THE SON OF GOD TODAY DWELLS AND SPEAKS”

Such commentators as these, on the subject of the Catholic Church, state, blandly, that she is the best organised Society upon earth; the most elaborate and august in her worship; the Mother of the noblest art; the most exclusive Society in one sense, and the most inclusive in another. Or, again, they denounce her as the masterpiece of Satan, or the monument of the keenest human ambitions; or the unhappy result of an elaborate series of social conditions; or as a fetish whose sanctity rests upon nothing but superstition or association or circumstance; and they seem even to be unaware that countless minds as shrewd as their own have, after an examination of the evidence all round, deliberately come to the conclusion that she is actually the Temple of God, actually the social, corporate, and human Body in whom the Son of God today dwells and speaks, and it is for this reason, beneath all the others, that she is what she is.

I am not complaining of their affirmations; I have no quarrel whatever with the lights they have thrown upon her history – even upon the less reputable parts of that history – her sins of ommission or commission, considered as a result of her extremely human humanity – I only protest against their ignorance of the fact that there is another point of view – their tacit assumption that phenomena which do not fall under their categories are not phenomena, and that any account given of her must be unreal and negligible, for the reason that it is in other terms than their own.

THE ONE AND UNIQUE ORGAN OF DIVINE REVELATION 

This, then, is my object in these pages, to speak of the Church on the hypothesis that she is the Body of Christ in very truth, that what she, as an organism, and not merely as a conglomeration of fallible and faulty units, does, says and lives, is the action, speech, and life of Jesus Christ. I am able to show a strong presumption that this is so – that the Life recorded in the Gospels is reproduced with inimitable fidelity in the life of the Church, and that the characteristics of that life are the characteristics of a Divine Life, I shall also have established a presumption that she is indeed what she claims to be – the one and unique organ of Divine Revelation. It is necessary therefore to keep this point of view in mind, at least as an hypothesis, throughout. Alexander VI may have been a very wicked man; that does not affect the argument. Catholics may, very often, be very stupid and unspiritual; that does not affect the argument. Transsubstantiation may be a very difficult doctrine; it may appear to some that the worship of Mary, as they understand it, is degrading, or the practice of confession humiliating; there may be excellent explanations for the miracles of Lourdes, or the ecstasies of St Teresa, or the predominance of the City of Rome – all this does not affect the argument in the very least.

It is necessary to remember that all these things may seem facts, and yet the Church may be the Body of Christ, and He its Soul and its Supreme Life. Sins of omission and commission on the part of Catholics, stupidities, misunderstandings, apostasies, ignoble and unfashionable circumstances, countless failures, tragedies, comedies and even screaming farces – these simply do not touch the matter at all. Our Lord was betrayed by one Apostle, repudiated by another, and forsaken by the rest; He was the fool of Pilate’s court, the butt and buffoon of Herod’s. Even when He lived on the earth in the Flesh, “His visae was more marred than any man’s, and His countenance more than the sons’ of men.’”
– By Msgr Robert Hugh Benson. [Headings in capital letters added afterwards.] This is an excerpt from Msgr Benson’s book “Christ in the Church”, B. Herder, 17 South Broadway, St Louis, MO, USA, 1913.

 

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CHAPLET OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

CHAPLET OF THE BLESSED SACRAMENT

BLESSED SACRAMENT BEADS

Say on the medal – Spiritual Communion: “My Jesus, I believe that thou art present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love thee above all things. I desire to receive thee into my soul. Since I cannot now receive thee sacramentally, come, at least, spiritually into my heart. I embrace thee, and I unite myself entirely to thee, as if thou hadst already come; do not permit me to be ever separated from thee.” – St Liguori

Say on each bead (33):

“Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, have mercy on us.”

[The Holy Father has granted to the entire world an Indulgence of 300 days each time the above ejaculation is recited.] 

– St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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THE WEAPON OF THE SECOND EVE IS PRAYER

THE WEAPON OF THE SECOND EVE IS PRAYER

I consider it impossible then, for those who believe the Church to be one vast body in heaven and on earth, in which every holy creature of God has his place, and of which prayer is the life, when once they recognise the sanctity and the dignity of the Blessed Virgin, not to perceive immediately, that her office above is one of perpetual intercession for the faithful militant, and that our very relation to her must be that of clients to a patron, and that, in the eternal enmity which exists between the woman and the serpent, while the serpent’s strength lies in being the tempter, the weapon of the second Eve and Mother of God is prayer.

– Bl. John Henry Newman; Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Diff. II, 73

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 11:5-13)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 11:5-13)

ASK, AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU. 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say, ‘My friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him’; and the man answers from inside the house, ‘Do not bother me. The door is bolted now, and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up to give it to you.’ I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it him for friendship’s sake, persistence will be enough to make him get up and give his friend all he wants.

So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him. What father among you would hand his son a stone when he asked for bread? Or hand him a snake instead of a fish? Or hand him a scorpion if he asked for an egg? If you then, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

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

 
 

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ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI, CONFESSOR

ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI, CONFESSOR

ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI, CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: OCTOBER 4

Francis was born at Assisi in Umbria. Following the example of his father, at a young age, he became a merchant. But, he was stricken with a serious illness and, when he had recovered, began to devote himself to works of charity. When his father looked upon this as undignified, Francis renounced all his possessions that he might henceforth have greater reason to say: “Our Father, who art in heaven.”

“OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN”

When, however, he had heard the admonition from the Gospel regarding apostolic poverty, divesting himself of his shoes and retaining only one tunic, he gathered together twelve companions and founded the Order of Friars Minor.

After Pope Innocent III, divinely admonished, confirmed this order, it was spread marvellously through the work of Francis. Afterwards, he retired into the solitude of Mount Alverno and there, on the day of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, from a Seraph displaying between his wings the figure of the Crucified, he received the sacred stigmata, the marks of the nails and spear appearing in his hands, feet and side.

HE RECEIVED THE SACRED STIGMATA 

Two years later, becoming gravely ill, in the church of St Mary of the Angels where he had received the spirit of grace from God, after exhorting his brethren to poverty, patience and preservation of the faith of the Church, he most devoutly breathed forth his soul on the fourth of the Nones of October [1226].

PRAYER:

O God, who by the good works of blessed Francis enriched your Church by establishing a new religious family, grant us to imitate him by emulation of him, by looking upon the things of earth as naught, and ever to rejoice in sharing your heavenly gifts. Through our Lord…

 

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ST JEROME, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST JEROME, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST JEROME, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH – MEMORIAL: SEPTEMBER 30

Jerome was born in Strido in Dalmatia. As a youth, he was baptised at Rome and was educated in the liberal arts by Donatus and other very learned men. From a religious motive he travelled through all of Palestine. Then he retired into the vast desert of Syria. There he spent four years reading the divinely inspired books and meditating upon the blessedness of heavenly things.

HE MEDITATED UPON THE BLESSEDNESS OF HEAVENLY THINGS

After being ordained a priest by Paulinus, Bishop of Antioch, he returned to Palestine, to Bethlehem, to be close by the Crib of Christ the Lord. Here he drew up for himself a holy rule and overcame the snares of the devil by pious works and constant reading and writing. From all over the world he was called upon as an inspired authority to settle questions about the interpretation of Sacred Scripture.

AN EXPERT IN THE INTERPRETATION OF SACRED SCRIPTURE 

Pope Damasus and St Augustine consulted him often about very difficult passages of Scripture because of his singular knowledge and understanding not only of the Latin and Greek languages, but also of Hebrew and Chaldaic. He translated the Old Testament from the Hebrew. At the command of Pope Damasus, he made a faithful translation of the New Testament from the Greek and also wrote commentaries on many parts of Scripture. In his extremely old age, he passed [A. D. 420]. He was buried in Bethlehem, and was later transferred to Rome and entombed in the basilica of St Mary Major.

PRAYER:

O God, who graciously gave your Church blessed Jerome, your Confessor and peerless teacher, to explain the Holy Scriptures, grant, we beseech you, that, with the help of his merits and by your assistance, we may be able to put into practice what he has taught us by his life and works. Through our Lord.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964 [bold headings added]

 

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ST PHILIP BENIZI, CONFESSOR

ST PHILIP BENIZI, CONFESSOR

ST PHILIP BENIZI, CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: 23rd AUGUST 

Philip was born at Florence, of the noble family of Benizi. In a remarkable vision he was called by the most blessed Virgin Mary to the Order of her Servants [the Servites], recently founded.

First he withdrew to a grotto on Monte Senario, where he led a life hard indeed by the constant chastising of his body, but sweet by reason of his meditation on the sufferings of Christ the Lord.

Then he founded sodalities of the Seven Dolours of the Mother of God throughout Europe and a great part of Asia.

Having been proclaimed General of his Order against his will, burning with a strong and ardent love of God and travelling about through many cities of Italy, he settled the disputes of the citizens which were arising in these cities, recalled many to the obedience of the Roman Pontiff, and led the most abandoned of men to penance.

Finally at Todi, in 1285, in the act of embracing Christ the Lord hanging from the cross, which he used to call his “book”, he died a very holy death. Pope Clement X added him to the number of the saints.

PRAYER:

O God, who through St Philip, your Confessor, gave us an outstanding example of humility, grant that your household may follow his example by scorning worldly prosperity and ever seeking the things of heaven. 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.

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

 

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PRAYER OF ST JOHN FISHER FOR THE CHURCH

PRAYER OF ST JOHN FISHER FOR THE CHURCH

Good Lord, set in thy Church strong and mighty pillars,

that may suffer and endure great labours,

which also shall not fear persecution,

neither death

but always suffer with a good will

slanders, shame, and all kinds of torments,

for the glory and praise of thy Holy Name.

By this manner, good Lord,

the truth of thy Gospel

shall be preached throughout the world.

Therefore, merciful Lord,

exercise thy mercy,

show it indeed upon thy Church.

Amen.

 
 

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