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THIS HOME IS AN EXAMPLE OF MARRIED LIFE AND OF VIRGINITY

THIS HOME IS AN EXAMPLE OF MARRIED LIFE AND OF VIRGINITY

ST ANNE, THE MOTHER OF OUR LADY

The home of Anne is set before us, giving an example at once of married life and of virginity, the first in the person of the mother, the second in that of the daughter; of whom the one has just been freed from sterility, and the other, a little later on, is to bring forth Christ in a supernatural birth, adapted by a divine artifice to the circumstances of our nature. Therefore, filled with the divine Spirit, her soul happy and joyous, deservedly does Anne cry aloud: “Rejoice with me, for from my sterile womb I have borne the bud of promise, and, as I had desired, I feed at my breast the fruit of blessing. I have put off the mourning-garment of sterility, and put on the joyful raiment of fruitfulness. Let that other Anne [Hannah], the rival of Phenenna, rejoice with me this day, and let her celebrate with me this new and unexpected miracle, which has been wrought in me, as it was in her.

LET ALL THE BARREN AND CHILDLESS SING IN HARMONY TOGETHER

Let Sara rejoice, she who rejoiced in conception in her old age, and foreshadowed my conception from sterility. Let all the barren and childless sing in harmony together at my visitation made to me from heaven in a wonderful manner.” Likewise, let all mothers endowed with this fruitfulness say: “Blessed be he who granted what they wished to those who prayed to him, and who gave fruit to the sterile, and granted her to bear that most happy bud, the Virgin who was the Mother of God according to the flesh, whose womb was a heaven, in which he dwelt whom no place can contain. And let us also offer praise becoming to these very things, that she who was called sterile now stands forth as the mother of a virgin mother. Let us say to her in the words of Scripture: “How blessed is the house of David, from which you have sprung, and the womb in which God fashioned the ark of sanctification,” that is, her from whom he himself was conceived without seed.

TRULY BLESSED ARE YOU, AND THRICE BLESSED

Truly blessed are you, and thrice blessed, you who have borne an infant given you by the blessing of God, that is to say, Mary, whose very name is likewise to be honoured in the highest degree; from whom came forth Christ, the flower of life; a Virgin whose origin was glorious, and whose child-bearing was above all the world. We also congratulate you, most blessed woman, for truly you have brought forth by the divine bounty the hope of all of us, that is, the child of promise. Blessed indeed are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. For the tongues of the godly magnify your offspring, and every joyful word is spoken concerning your child. It is truly fitting indeed, and most fitting it is, to praise her, who received a revelation by the divine goodness, and brought forth for us so great a fruit, from whom came forth the sweet Jesus.

– St John Damascene (Discourse II on the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary), from: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

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Posted by on October 8, 2019 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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LITTLE GOOD WORKS: THE SEEKER OF EXCUSES FOR OTHERS

LITTLE GOOD WORKS: THE SEEKER OF EXCUSES FOR OTHERS

TO EXCUSE, SUSTAIN, AND PROTECT; IS THAT NOT WHAT JESUS WOULD DO IN YOUR PLACE?

What a useful and delightful occupation!

What a useful and delightful occupation is this! Have you never seen the embarrassment and terror of a child, a servant, a brother, or a sister, who has committed a fault, and who is reprimanded rather sharply, perhaps even a little unjustly?

Let you, who possess a good heart, not leave them under the weight of reproach and shame.

Human justice always furnishes to prisoners accused of crimes a counsellor, whose office is to defend them.

Assume, then, this paternal – I would almost say divine – mission.

An almost divine mission

In order to mitigate a punishment, or to shorten a painful separation, can you not plead the frivolity due to the person’s age, the thoughtlessness of his character, the ardour of his temperament, the devotion displayed by him in the past, the affection so many times manifested, the efforts towards reformation made with such constancy, the heartfelt tears which you have seen him shed, the fear which prevented his submission?

Peace-maker

Ask pardon for him, insist, promise, guarantee fidelity for the future; and, when you see that the person who had to reprimand is moved, go to the culprit, speak to him some of those affectionate words which certainly do not encourage his fault, but tend to renew his courage; bring before his mind the pain which he has caused those he loves, and lead him back repentant.

I know it is often necessary to scold and to punish, but those on whom God has imposed this duty are very much to be pitied.

Let you who have it not, excuse, sustain, and protect; is that not what Jesus would do in your place?

You require tact; your heart will give it to you. You require constancy; prayer will sustain you. You require courage – you who want it on almost all occasions; affection will strengthen you, and you will be astonished at the bravery which you will exhibit.

A father of a family once said: “If I wish to scold any one, I must do so in the absence of my daughter; she always finds excuses for others.”

Oh! if that could be said of you.

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

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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HE KNOWS THAT, FOR EVEN THE MOST SERIOUS EVILS, THERE IS A REMEDY, AND ONE ONLY WHICH GOD WILLS HIM TO EMPLOY

HE KNOWS THAT, FOR EVEN THE MOST SERIOUS EVILS, THERE IS A REMEDY, AND ONE ONLY WHICH GOD WILLS HIM TO EMPLOY

MARY’S ARMY

Previous chapter: IT IS EVER GOD’S WAY TO PERFECT HIS GREATEST PROJECTS WITH INADEQUATE INSTRUMENTS

HOLINESS THROUGH MARY

There is no room for timidity in the work of a Child of Mary who trusts fully in God and the might of His Grace. What the world calls heroism is mere formality and, if persevered in, has an electrifying effect upon the accepted standards of a community.

As for difficulties and dangers, a little courage, nurtured on supernatural trust, shows that they resemble a forest which, at a distance appears solid and impenetrable, but when approached is found easy on entry.

In fact, he is trained for this difficult work and his vocation is to penetrate to the utmost depths his search for the lost sheep, to establish personal contact with every member of underprivileged groups, to reach each of the lapsed and uplift all of the most wretched and dejected of the population. So great is his trust in God, through Jesus and Mary, that he pursues his search for souls to the bitter end with far more zeal and earnestness than those who search for the rare and precious things of the earth.

[Enemies not of flesh and blood, but principalities and powers: the rulers of this world of darkness (Ep6:12)]

[THE ARMOUR OF GOD: ]

No matter how long and drawn-out the battle, how toilsome the labours, how severe the rebuffs, how hardened the cases, how hopeless the prospect, the Child of Mary is buoyed up with unfailing confidence in the omnipotence of grace. He knows that for even the most serious evils, there is a remedy, and ONE only, which God wills him to employ: the intense and patient application of the whole religious system of the Catholic Church.

– 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 13, 2016 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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MY DAUGHTER, NEVER BE HEARD TO SAY “I WISH” OR “I DO NOT WISH”

MY DAUGHTER, NEVER BE HEARD TO SAY “I WISH” OR “I DO NOT WISH”

God gave three counsels to St. Catherine of Genoa which, faithfully followed, would make family life very sweet:

  • “My daughter, never be heard to say, I wish, or I do not wish.
  • “Never make an excuse when thou art asked to perform a work of charity.”
  • “Endeavour always to do the will of others.”

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

 

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LIVING THE GOSPEL: LITTLE GOOD WORKS OF LOVE FOR CHILDREN, TEENAGERS AND ADULTS (I)

LIVING THE GOSPEL: LITTLE GOOD WORKS OF LOVE FOR CHILDREN, TEENAGERS AND ADULTS (I)

LITTLE OCCUPATIONS

The Repairer of Neglects

Even persons of most generous dispositions and quick perceptions, in the midst of the unceasing occupations of a family, will often forget a number of those minute details, insignificant in themselves, but the deprivation of which is a real trial to certain temperaments. The details of family life are like the small screws which bind together the different parts of a piece of furniture: withdraw one or two of them, and the piece of furniture loses its shape; it becomes disjointed.

It is thus, also, in a family; its harmony is oftentimes only to be ascribed to the care taken not to neglect one of those trifling nothings of politeness, punctuality, or habit, to all of which we should pay almost as much attention as we give to greater duties.

Doing one’s bit for love: happiness, harmony and emotional security in the family 

Each member of a family, especially if he is advanced in years, has his little peculiarities, which render him happy in some way or other.

Perhaps it is a garment made to a special pattern.

Or a newspaper brought at a particular hour.

Or a game played in such a place.

Or a visit expected at some precise moment.

Or the expression of congratulations at a particular hour.

Or a desire scarcely manifested, but often experienced…

Watch all these little things. Take it upon yourself to visit every morning the corners where the members of the family like to find everything that may be useful during the day. Go first to the apartment where they all assemble; remove everything that might displease them; perfect all the arrangements which have been carelessly made.

But do it all without noise, and unostentatiously. Enjoy only the happiness which it affords you. Oh! how God will repay you in heaven.

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

 

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