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POOR UNFORTUNATES, DEPRIVED OF HOPE, WHY DO YOU WEEP?

POOR UNFORTUNATES, DEPRIVED OF HOPE, WHY DO YOU WEEP?

My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. (Luke 1:46b-48)

Poor unfortunates, deprived of hope, why do you weep? Is it true that you can no longer hope, or, at least, is hope for you but a phantom which eludes you at the moment when it seems to smile upon you?

Have you, then, forgotten Mary?

Is she not full of grace, adorned with the choicest gifts of the Holy Ghost? And has she not obtained this grace, in the opinion of one of her most illustrious servants, both for herself and for us? Does she not burn to communicate to our souls these gifts of the consoling Spirit, that they may bring forth in us fruits of joy, peace, and consolation! And, since God wishes that we should obtain all through her, who has given us Jesus, then, through Mary, shall we not first receive Hope – Hope which is the key to all the other treasures promised us by God, in the abundance of His mercy?

Have you, then, forgotten Mary?

Did not Jesus give her that which He had Himself received from His heavenly Father? Has she not by privilege what her Divine Son has by right, namely, unlimited power in heaven and on earth? Since the Lord regarded the humility of His handmaid, have not all generations proclaimed as blessed the Virgin who is all-powerful by intercession, all-powerful, particularly, to lead back to Hope, as to a second life, one who has had the misfortune to lose sight of it.

– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2016 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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TEN COMMANDMENTS – EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE IN PREPARATION FOR SACRAMENTAL CONFESSION

TEN COMMANDMENTS – EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE IN PREPARATION FOR SACRAMENTAL CONFESSION
  • When did you make your last confession? Was it a good one? Did you conceal a mortal sin? Did you perform your penance?
  • 1st Commandment: Have you since neglected your morning, evening, or meal prayers? Often? Have you said them with wilful distraction? Have you doubted in matters of faith? Were you ashamed to fulfil your religious duties? Have you exposed your faith to danger, for instance, by going to heretical churches, reading heretical books, etc.? Did you deny your religion?
  • 2nd Commandment: Have you taken the name of God in vain? Have you spoken irreverently or mockingly of holy things? Have you cursed yourself or others? Have you sworn falsely, rashly, or in trivial matters? Have you broken your vows?
  • 3rd Commandment: Did you on Sundays or Holy days stay away from Mass wilfully? Did you come too late? How often? Have you done or commanded servile work on such days without necessity? Have you been irreverent in Church?
  • 4th Commandment: (Children): Have you been disobedient towards your parents or disrespectful otherwise? Have you grieved them, neglected to assist them when in need? (Parents): Have you neglected to teach your children their prayers, to send them to church and to a Catholic school? Have you given them scandal by cursing, quarreling, etc., in their presence? Neglected to watch over them: the company they keep, the books they read, etc.?
  • 5th Commandment: Have you struck or wounded others? Did you injure your health by excessive drink, etc.? Did you bear hatred? How long? Did you desire revenge, refuse to forgive? Did you wish others harm? Have you led others into sin? What sins? How many persons? Have you given others bad books to read; shown them bad pictures; taken them to bad places; helped them to steal, etc.?
  • 6th and 9th Commandments: Have you wilfully entertained impure thoughts? desires? How often? Have you recalled with pleasure to mind former sins of impurity? What sins? Did you expose yourself to danger of committing sins of impurity by keeping bad company, reading lewd books, frequenting bad places, dangerous dances, theatres, etc.? Did you wilfully give ear to, or take part in impure conversations, sing immodest songs, boast of immodest actions, etc.? Did you wilfully look at immodest pictures, or cast immodest looks upon yourself or others? Did you sin by immodest touch or action? Was it with yourself or with others? How often? Was it with relatives, perhaps, or with a married person? Did you wilfully desire to commit such sins? Did you lead others to any sins of immodesty?
  • 7th and 10th Commandments: Did you steal? What was it worth? Have you cheated anyone? Have you done or caused damage? To what amount? Did you neglect to make restitution in former cases? Neglect to pay your debts? Retain things found or stolen? Did you have a desire to steal?
  • 8th Commandment: Did you tell lies? Did you make known the hidden faults of your neighbour? Did you, through envy or hatred, tell lies about others? Have you injured them thereby? Have you judged others rashly?
  • Precepts of the Church: Have you gone to confession within the last year? Have you fulfilled your Easter duty by receiving Holy Communion during Easter-time? Did you eat flesh-meat on forbidden days, wilfully? Did you neglect to fast on the days prescribed, without cause? Do you belong to any society forbidden by the Church?
  • The Seven Capital Sins: Have you been proud and thought yourself better than others? Have you been jealous or envious? Have you the habit of drinking to excess? Have you given way to anger?

– From St John’s Sunday Missal, 1952

Please see also: “I would like to have my sins forgiven properly, but I shy away from Jesus in the Sacrament of Confession”, please click here.

 

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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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IT IS GOOD FOR US TO HAVE OTHERS KNOW OUR FAULTS AND REBUKE THEM, FOR IT GIVES US GREATER HUMILITY

IT IS GOOD FOR US TO HAVE OTHERS KNOW OUR FAULTS AND REBUKE THEM, FOR IT GIVES US GREATER HUMILITY

Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. (Mt11:29)

HUMILITY

Be not troubled about those who are with you or against you, but take care that God be with you in everything you do.

Keep your conscience clear and God will protect you, for the malice of man cannot harm one whom God wishes to help. If you know how to suffer in silence, you will undoubtedly experience God’s help. He knows when and how to deliver you; therefore place yourself in His hands, for it is a divine prerogative to help men and free them from all distress.

It is often good for us to have others know our faults and rebuke them, for it gives us greater humility. When a man humbles himself because of his faults, he easily placates those about him and readily appeases those who are angry with him.

It is the humble man whom God protects and liberates; it is the humble whom He loves and consoles. To the humble He turns and upon them bestows great grace, that after their humiliation He may raise them up to glory. He reveals His secrets to the humble, and with kind invitation bids them to come to Him. Thus, the humble man enjoys peace in the midst of many vexations, because his trust is in God, not in the world. Hence, you must not think that you have made any progress until you look upon yourself as inferior to others.

– From: The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis

 

 

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I AM FED UP! SAVE ME FROM BEING FED UP!

I AM FED UP! SAVE ME FROM BEING FED UP!

I am weary! I am weary! Save me from weariness! Without taste for prayer, without energy for work, without strength for suffering, I am helpless. Save me!

I know an infallible remedy: Put a good action beside your weariness; it will destroy it.

A good action! I am incapable of performing one!

What! you cannot even stand up and walk? Do you not know of some wretched hovel in your village in which some poor invalid lies on his bed of pain? Force yourself to go thither, and, seated by his bedside, remain in his company for a while, soothing his soul with words of consolation and hope.

You who dwell in a city, do you not know the way to the hospital, which our ancestors, in their simple faith, called the restorative for sick hearts? Walk slowly through these halls of sorrow and expiation, listen to the complaints of these poor abandoned people, and, taking them by the hand, say to them, Pray for me.

*     *     *

We have given up the habit of visiting hospitals under the ridiculous pretext of fear of contagion from the pestilential atmosphere, as if the heated air of a theatre or ball-room is not more injurious. A visit to the hospital has seldom caused disease in the body, but it has always elevated the soul, restored serenity of mind, and soothed the heart.

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

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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PSALM 41 – QUEMADMODUM DESIDERAT

PSALM 41 – QUEMADMODUM DESIDERAT

[Spiritual enemies]

THE FERVENT DESIRE OF THE JUST AFTER GOD; HOPE IN AFFLICTIONS

Unto the end, understanding for the sons of Core.

As the hart panteth after the fountains of water; so my soul panteth after their, O God.

My soul hath thirsted after the strong living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God?

My tears have been my bread day and night, whilst it is said to me daily: Where is thy God?

These things I remembered, and poured out my soul in me: for I shall go over into the place of the wonderful tabernacle, even to the house of God:

With the voice of joy and praise; the noise of one feasting.

Why art thou sad, O my soul? and why dost thou trouble me?

Hope in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God.

My soul is troubled within myself: therefore I will remember thee from the land of Jordan and Hermoniim, from the little hill.

Deep calleth on deep, at the noise of thy flood-gates.

All the heights and thy billows have passed over me.

In the daytime the Lord hath commanded his mercy; and a canticle to him in the night.

With me is prayer to the God of my life. I will say to God: Thou art my support.

Why hast thou forgotten me? and why go I mourning, whilst my enemy afflicteth me?

Whilst my bones are broken, my enemies who trouble me have reproached me;

Whilst they say to me day by day: Where is thy God?

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why dost thou disquiet me?

Hope thou in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God.

 
 

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DO NOT TRUST IN YOUR PRESENT FEELINGS: RESTLESSNESS OF SOUL

DO NOT TRUST IN YOUR PRESENT FEELINGS: RESTLESSNESS OF SOUL

My Child, do not trust in your present feeling, for it will soon give way to another. As long as you live on this earth you will be subject to changeableness in spite of yourself. You will become merry at one time and sad another, noe peaceful but again disturbed, at one moment devout and the next indevout, sometimes diligent while at other times lazy, now grave and again flippant.

Standing superior to these changes

But the man who is wise and whose spirit is well instructed stands superior to these changes. He pays no attention to what he feels in himself or from what quarter the wind of fickleness blows, so long as the whole intention of his mind is conducive to his proper and desired end. For thus he can stand undivided, unchanged, and unshaken, with the singleness of his intention directed unwaveringly toward Me, even in so many changing events. And the purer this singleness of intention is, with so much more constancy does he pass through many storms.

The eye of your intention must be free from interference

But in many ways the eye of pure intention grows dim, because it is attracted to any outwardly delightful thing that it meets. Indeed, it is rare to find one who is entirely free from all taint of self-seeking. The Jews of old, for example, came to Bethany to Martha and Mary, not for Jesus’ sake alone, but in order to see Lazarus.

The eye of your intention, therefore, must be cleansed so that it is single and right. It must be directed towards Me, despite all the objects which may interfere.

– From: The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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