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Tag Archives: Original Sin

O STAINLESS MOTHER OF THE LORD (HYMN)

O stainless Mother of the Lord,

While we thy glory chant,

A gracious ear to us accord

And heavenly favour grant.

 

A sad inheritance we own –

In guilt our lives begin:

Exempt from Adam’s fall alone,

Thou never knewest sin.

 

Prone on the earth beneath thy heel

The serpent’s head remained;

Thou only dost to heaven reveal;

An origin unstained.

 

Do thou whose glory takes away

The shame of Mother Eve,

Accept the tribute that we pay

And all our wants relieve.

 

From Satan’s every dart and snare

Our weakened soul defend,

That so thy glory we may share

In joys that never end.

 

All honour, laud, and glory be,

O Jesu, Virgin-born, to thee;

All glory, as is ever meet,

To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

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Posted by on February 11, 2016 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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THE DEVIL IS NOT TOSSING FLOWERS AT US, BUT FLAMING ARROWS

Christian life is a daily battle against the Devil

“Christian life is a constant battle against the Devil, who really exists and is not the stuff of legend, Pope Francis said in a homily last week.

The battle is not easy, because the Evil One’s traps and temptations are many, and ‘the Devil is not tossing flowers at us’, but ‘flaming arrows’ aimed to kill, the Pope said at a morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

There are three ‘enemies of Christian life’, Pope Francis said: ‘The Devil, the world and the flesh’, in other words, the carnal passions that are ‘the wounds of Original Sin’.

‘But this generation, and many others, made people think that the Devil was a myth, a character, an idea, the concept of evil,’ the Pope said, according to Vatican Radio.

‘The Devil exists and we have to fight against him. Paul says so – I’m not the one saying it. The word of God says it,’ the Pope added, referring to the day’s reading from St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians (6:10-20), which calls on believers to ‘stand firm against the tactics of the Devil’.

Even believers ‘are not too convinced’ the Devil exists, he said, or else ‘we are a bit lazy in the fight and we let ourselves be led by our passions, by temptations. It’s because we are sinners – all of us… However, do not be discouraged. [Have] courage and strength because the Lord is with us’ and supplies all we need for battle, the Pope said.

Because the Devil is ‘the father of lies, the father of deception’, Christians must arm themselves with the ‘armour of God – the truth’.

Earlier in the week hundreds of exorcists gathered in Rome for a convention organised by the International Association of Exorcists. In a message Francis said their work showed the Church’s care for ‘those who suffer because of the work of the Devil’.”

– This article was published in the Catholic Herald newspaper, issue November 7 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 
 

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HUMANS CANNOT EARN THEIR OWN SALVATION BY THEIR OWN EFFORTS – ST AURELIUS

ST AURELIUS, MEMORIAL: JULY 20th

On “20th July, one of the saints remembered by the Church is St Aurelius. In the late fourth century he was ordained Bishop of Carthage, which today is in Tunisia. At that time there were two heresies which needed to be countered and St Aurelius played a significant part in promulgating what was true Catholic teaching. These heresies, and then Catholic teaching, are summarised below:

Donatism

The first heresy was Donatism. This heresy had implications both for the sacrament of confession and the other sacraments in general. Donatists believed that the sacrament of confession could not reconcile certain sinners back into full communion with the Church. This was in the context of certain clerics having previously gone against the Church during times of persecution. The Donatists had a rigorist position against them returning to the Church. The other belief of the Donatists which needed to be countered was their insistence that by sinful acts priests made themselves unable to celebrate valid sacraments. St Aurelius proclaimed the truth of the Catholic Faith that the sacrament of confession was precisely for everyone who repented and that there was a way back to full communion with the Church.

Also that the validity of any sacrament depended on the holiness of God, the priest being a mere instrument of God’s work. So any priest, even one in a state of sin, who speaks the formula of the sacrament with valid matter, as laid down by the Church, and with the intent of causing the sacrament to occur, acts validly. For example, a Catholic who receives the Eucharist from the hands of a priest, even if he has sinned, still receives Christ’s Body and Blood, their own sacramental life being undamaged by the priest’s sins.

Pelagianism

The other heresy to be countered was that of Pelagianism. This taught that original sin did not taint human nature and that mortal will was still capable of choosing good or evil without God’s help. Human will alone was sufficient to live a sinless life and that human beings can earn their own salvation by their own efforts.

The Council of Carthage at that time corrected these errors. The statements include the teaching that death did not come to Adam from a physical necessity, but through sin; newborn babies must be baptised on account of original sin; justifying grace not only avails for the forgiveness of past sins, but also gives assistance for the avoidance of future sins; without God’s grace it is not merely more difficult, but impossible to perform good works; not out of humility, but in truth we must confess ourselves to be sinners.

St Aurelius became a good friend of St Augustine of Hippo and the two of them, in writing and spoken word, actively confronted the teachings and tactics of these heretics. St Aurelius died in the year 430.”

From: “Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris”/2015

 

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“WHY IS THERE MORE JOY IN HEAVEN FOR ONE MAN WHO REPENTS THAN FOR 99 JUST PERSONS WHO NEED NO REPENTANCE? THIS MAKES NO SENSE TO ME.”

ANSWER: “The parables of Jesus usually have a moral lesson for us when read simply and literally, and a spiritual lesson when read as dramatic illustrations of how Christ fulfilled the Old Testament and brought us salvation. Since Our Lord Himself used the scriptures in this way, the Fathers of the Church followed His example.

The Pharisees knew of the mercy of God for His people: Jesus teaches that the repentance of the sinner is not simply an occasion for relief, but for overflowing joy. Immediately after the parable of the lost sheep, Our Lord tells of the woman who found the coin she had lost. She naturally rejoiced over that coin rather than the others. The point is developed further in the parable of the Prodigal Son, in which the grumbling of the older brother serves as a warning to those who begrudge the generosity of God who will pay the last-hired labourers in the vineyard as much as he pays the first.

The allegorical interpretation of the lost sheep sees Christ as the Good Shepherd, fulfilling the prophecy of Ezekiel 34 in which God identifies Himself as the shepherd who searches for the sheep who have strayed. The lost sheep, representing all humanity, is Adam who has fallen. The Good Shepherd went into the wilderness by becoming incarnate in a sinful world, and then carried the lost sheep home by taking the cross on his shoulders. In this reading of the parable, we are all part of the lost sheep, as members of the fallen race of Adam, and the joy of the virtuous is the rejoicing of heaven in the salvation of mankind.

Our Lord’s parables invite us to prayerful meditation and call us not simply to have an opinion but to change our lives. In the case of the lost sheep, the proper response is sincere repentance for our sins, encouraged by the generosity of Our Lord and the joy of heaven at our salvation.”
– This article by Fr Tim Finigan was published as part of the feature “Catholic Dilemmas” in “The Catholic Herald” issue August 1 2014. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 
 

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ONCE SHE STARTED GOING TO DAILY MASS, SHE BECAME VERY CALM, BALANCED AND CHEERFUL

OUR SOULS NEED GOD

“I once knew a family whose mother was in and out of a psychiatric ward. She was not a Catholic, though the rest of the family were. It seemed to me that if she became a Catholic and started going to the sacraments she would stay calm and keep out of hospital. She was happy to become a Catholic, so I instructed her and received her into the Church and she started going to daily Mass. She soon became very calm and balanced and cheerful – she seemed almost a different person.

HER CHILDREN SAID THE ROSARY FOR HER

Then she went back to West Africa on holiday, and her mother made her go to her own local church, one, I fancy, that dabbled in witchcraft. The poor woman came back as bad as ever, and when I went to see her in her psychiatric ward she would not even speak to me. However, her children started saying the rosary for her every day, and their mother came out of hospital and resumed her sacramental life. Once more she became peaceful and contented, and all was well again. When she went to the sacraments she was fine, but when she didn’t she lost her balance completely.

WE WERE NOT MEANT TO REMAIN MERE HUMAN BEINGS

I suppose you could say that in God’s original design we were never meant to remain mere human beings. We were meant to be also living that sharing in God’s life which we call the life of grace.

SIN TIES KNOTS IN THE SOUL, KNOTS THAT NO PSYCHIATRIST CAN UNRAVEL

The sin of our first parents introduced a flaw into the product. The sacraments are the remedy, the supplement, the correction, that God has provided to make good the fault. But it’s up to us to decide whether we use it or not.

Our Lord is like the doctor of our soul when he comes to us in the sacraments. The same Jesus who went around Galilee, doing good and healing all manner of diseases, is still healing our sick souls when we turn to him for help.

Sin ties knots in the soul, knots that no psychiatrist can unravel. But God can, and he does it in the sacraments, in baptism to begin with, and then in confession.”
– Fr Hugh S. Thwaites

 

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9th MARCH, BIBLE READING II (ROMANS 5:12, 17-19)

CHRIST, BY HIS SUPREME ACT OF LOVING OBEDIENCE, TURNED BACK THE COURSE OF HUMAN DESTINY.

Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned.

It is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man’s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause everyone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man’s fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justified. As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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9th MARCH, BIBLE READING I (GENESIS 2:7-9, 3:1-7)

THE GARDEN OF EDEN

The Lord God fashioned man of dust from the soil. Then he breathed into his nostrils a breath of life, and thus man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden in Eden which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned.

The Lord God caused to spring up from the soil every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat, with the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden.

The serpent was the most subtle of all the wild beasts that the Lord God had made. It asked the woman, “Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” The woman answered the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit in the tree in the middle of the garden God said, ‘You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death’.” Then the serpent said to the woman, “No! You will not die! God knows in fact that on the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.”

The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was desirable for the knowledge that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She gave some also to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realised that they were naked. So they sewed fig-leaves together to make themselves loin-clothes.

V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

 

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