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IN ALL THINGS CONSIDER YOUR END

IN ALL THINGS CONSIDER YOUR END

In all things consider the end; how you shall stand before the strict Judge from Whom nothing is hidden and Who will pronounce judgment in all justice, accepting neither bribes nor excuses. And you, miserable and wretched sinner, who fear even the countenance of an angry man, what answer will you make to the God Who knows all your sins? Why do you not provide for yourself against the day of judgment when no man can be excused or defended by another because each will have enough to do to answer for himself? In this life your work is profitable, your tears acceptable, your sighs audible, your sorrow satisfying and purifying.

PRIORITIES

The patient man goes through a great and salutary purgatory when he grieves more over the malice of one who harms him than for his own injury; when he prays readily for his enemies and forgives offences from his heart; when he does not hesitate to ask pardon of others; when he is more easily moved to pity than to anger; when he does frequent violence to himself and tries to bring the body into complete subjection to the spirit.

It is better to atone for sin now and to cut away vices than to keep them for purgation in the hereafter. In truth, we deceive ourselves by our ill-advised love of the flesh. What will that fire feed upon but our sins? The more we spare ourselves now and the more we satisfy the flesh, the harder will the reckoning be and the more we keep for the burning.

– From: Thomas a Kempis; The Imitation of Christ

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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A MAN OUGHT TO ROOT HIMSELF SO FIRMLY IN GOD THAT HE WILL NOT NEED THE CONSOLATIONS OF MEN

A MAN OUGHT TO ROOT HIMSELF SO FIRMLY IN GOD THAT HE WILL NOT NEED THE CONSOLATIONS OF MEN

We are cast down, but we perish not: Always bearing in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our body. (2Co4:9b,10)

THE VALUE OF ADVERSITY

It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing. It is good for us sometimes to suffer contradiction, to be misjudged by men even though we do well and mean well. These things help us to be humble and shield us from vainglory. When to all outward appearances men give us no credit, when they do not think well of us, then we are more inclined to seek God Who sees our hearts. Therefore, a man ought to root himself so firmly in God that he will not need the consolations of men.

When a man of good will is afflicted, tempted, and tormented by evil thoughts, he realises clearly that his greatest need is God, without Whom he can do no good. Saddened by his miseries and sufferings, he laments and prays. He wearies of living longer and wishes for death that he might be dissolved and be with Christ. Then he understands fully that perfect security and complete peace cannot be found on earth.

– From: The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2016 in Words of Wisdom

 

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MGR DOUMALO: “CHRISTIANS FACE CONTINUAL DANGER AND UNCERTAINTY… WE’RE ASKING THE WORLD NOT TO FORGET US.”

PLEASE PRAY FERVENTLY FOR THESE OUR BELOVED BROTHERS AND SISTERS!

“CLERGY ARE BEING KIDNAPPED, TABERNACLES PROFANED AND CHURCH HOSPITALS RANSACKED IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC”

“When rebel forces, led by Arab-speaking Muslims, seized control of the Central African Republic this March, it deepened fears that a co-ordinated Islamist insurgency could now be spreading through swathes of the continent. Four months on, the landlocked country is living through a reign of terror, largely directed against its Christian minority.

‘Churches have been routinely robbed and pillaged here, while Muslim mosques have been left untouched, ‘ Mgr Cyriaque Gbate Doumalo, secretary-general of the Central African Republic’s Catholic bishops conference, told me in an interview. ‘Our public institutions aren’t functioning and our hospitals have been ransacked, leaving the sick and destitute without care. This is why we’re urgently seeking help in restoring and maintaining peace.’

The insurgents, calling themselves Seleka (‘Alliance’), launched their offensive last December after accusing President Francois Bozize of reneging on promises to share power, and captured the capital, Bangui, on March 26, helped by fighters from Chad and Sudan.

In a letter in May, Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga, the country’s most senior Catholic, condemned the recruitment of child soldiers and rape of girls by Seleka forces, and urged the new self-proclaimed president, Michel Djotodia, to declare ‘Seleka’s true intentions’ towards Christians.

With little infrastructure left, some observers think Seleka’s fighters and mercenaries are being allowed to live from the spoils of war, and to establish Islam by looting and destroying Christian communities.

‘This is a rebellion of religious extremism with evil intentions, characterised by the profanation and programmed destruction of Christian buildings,’ the Church’s Justice and Peace Commission noted in a May report. ‘We count on the responsibility of the country’s new authorities and their sense of patriotism to see how this crisis is weakening social cohesion, and to bring all perpetrators of crime to justice, with reparation and compensation for victims. It seems Beelzebub, chief of all demons, now inhabits the hearts of certain daughters and sons of this country.’

The assault on the Central African Republic, on of the world’s poorest states, has been only the latest in a pattern of Islamist-linked violence.

In Mali, ethnic Tuareg rebels overran most Northern provinces during 2012, operating alongside Ansar Edine, which was recruited from Islamist fighters driven out of neighbouring Lybia by the bloody fall of Muammar Gaddafi. France, the former colonial power, intervened this January to prevent insurgents from seizing more of the country after imposing strict Shariah law and vandalising towns such as the fabled Timbuktu. By April, the hi-tech French contingent, backed by fighter jets, had pushed the rebels back to the mountainous Algerian border and begun withdrawing, leaving security in the hands of troops from neighbouring African states under a United Nations mandate.

Yet, with guerrilla operations continuing, alongside sporadic attacks on churches and presbyteries, leaders of Mali’s Catholic minority fear the Islamists could still regroup. The bishops’ conference backed the French intervention, and promised acting president Dioncounda Traore to help ‘mobilise the Christian community’ to help secure Mali’s future.

But the conference’s secretary-general, Fr Edmond Dembele, told me he feared ‘acts of revenge’ against Tuareg and Arab citizens, as local people began to ‘confuse ethnicity with rebellion’.

Mali’s Catholic archbishop, Mgr Jean Zerbo of Bamako, was ready to work with the High Islamic Council, Fr Dembele said, and ‘act as a bridge’ between the discontented northeners and the sub-Saharan population of the south.

‘But it will take at least a year to repair what was destroyed and replace what was taken away,’ the bishops’ conference secretary-general said. For this, we’ll also need justice, reconciliation and forgiveness.’

Those qualities will be needed elsewhere too.

Horrific scenes have become common in northern Nigeria, where an anti-western Islamist movement, Boko Haram, formed in 2001, has massacred Christians in a campaign to impose Sharia nationwide.

Christian leaders welcomed the Nigerian government’s spring declaration of a state of emergency in parts of the north. But some prominent churchmen, including Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, president of Nigeria’s Catholic bishops’ conference, have publicly doubted whether it can stem the violence.

There have been signs the Islamist campaign could be spreading to Kenya, where Islamists linked to al-Qaeda promised revenge after local troops invaded neighbouring Somalia two years ago to help quell another Muslim insurgency there.

Meanwhile, in the Tanzanian city of Arusha in May a Catholic parish was attacked, leaving three dead and 60 injured. The blast, during the Mass to dedicate a new church, narrowly missed maiming the Vatican’s nuncio, Archbishop Francisco Padilla. Although religious leaders quickly came together, Christian-Muslim tensions have been growing here too.

In February, a Catholic priest, Fr Evarist Mushi, was shot dead on the predominantly Muslim island of Zanzibar during a spate of attacks on churches.

Last autumn, 120 Muslims were arrested, includinh Sheikh Issa Ponda, head of Tanzania’s Council of Imams, after Islamic protesters attacked five churches in the main city, Dar es Salaam. Many observers think the wave of violence reflects attempts to implement a 1989 Islamist ‘Abuja Declaration’, which called for Islamicisation throughout Africa. The declaration, issued by the Nigeria-based Islam in Africa Organisation, with member-groups in some 20 countries, demanded the eradication of Christianity and the continent-wide imposition of Shariah. It also called for only Muslims to be elected to political offices and appointed to ‘strategic national and international posts’.

Preaching at the funeral of the Arusha victims, the president of Tanzania’s Catholic bishops’ conference, Bishop Tarcisius Ngalalekumwta, criticised ‘violent propaganda’ by Muslim leaders, including recent complaints that Tanzania was ‘governed in a Christian way’.

‘These recent campaigns can’t be seen as isolated or separate. Christian-Muslim relations have always been cordial here, which is why we conclude the latest violence must reflect interference from outside,’ the Swahili-speaking bishop told me later. ‘Ordinary Muslims have nothing against the Christian religion and Catholic faith – the only ones who do are fundamentalists, pressed and influenced from outside. But we’re all affected by the intimidation, and are meeting and praying to encourage each other.’

In the Central African Republic, Catholic groups joined other civic organisations in a mid-June appeal, which talked of summary executions, torture, rape, looting and disappearances. The statement said the country could soon become a haven for terrorist groups as ‘the Somalia of central Africa’.

Human rights sources said a Catholic church had recently been looted and a tabernacle profaned at Ouango, on the Congolese border, in an attack which left nine dead, while the rector of Bangui’s Immaculate Conception cathedral, Mgr Francis Saint Clair Siki, had been abducted with the archdiocese’s chancellor, Mgr Dieu- Beni Banga.

While some Muslims had tried to stop the violence, the sources added, others had turned a blind eye and even sold objects looted from churches in their shops.

Mgr Doumalo, the bishops’ conference secretary-general, says Church leaders are planning a concilliary pastoral letter and hoping to meet Michel Djotodia, the de facto president, to discuss protection for local Christians.

In the meantime, they’re counting on the international communityy to do something to restore peace and security, and ensure humanitarian aid becomes available as conditions worsen.

‘Security measures aren’t proving effective since the transitional authorities aren’t controlling the different rebel elements,’ Mgr Doumalo said. ‘Although our Church has nothing to do with the state, it’s seen as a public institution, so Christians face continual danger and uncertainty. This is why we’re asking the world not to forget us.'”
– This article by Jonathan Luxmoore was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue July 19 2013. For subscriptions please visit http://www.catholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 
 

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“WHEN THE SKIES OF MY SOUL ARE DARK AND MY CROSS IS HEAVY…”: GOD IS MY FATHER

MOTHER EUGENIA’S BEAUTIFUL NOVENA PRAYER: “GOD IS MY FATHER”

God the Father grants many graces through the intercession of Mother Eugenia by reciting the prayer “God is my Father”, which the Father Himself transmitted to her. The Father Himself said to Mother Eugenia that every time someone prays His message, He would be present with His Love and Living Presence to be in communion with the soul.

NOVENA PRAYER:

O my Heavenly Father, how sweet and soothing it is to know that You are my Father and I am Your son/daughter.

It is, above all, when the skies of my soul are dark and my cross heavy that I feel the need to tell You: Father, I believe in Your love for me!

Yes, I believe You are my Father and that I am Your son/daughter!

I believe that You love me with infinite love!

I believe that You look after me day and night and that not a hair from my head falls without Your consent!

I believe that, being infinite Knowledge, You know much better what is good for me!

I believe that, being infinite Power, You bring good out of evil!

I believe that, being infinite Good, You make everything turn out for the good of those whom You love; ignoring the hand that strikes, I kiss Your hand that heals!

I believe, but increase my faith and, above all, my hope and charity! Teach me to know how to see Your love directing all that happens in my life.

Teach me to entrust myself to Your direction, like a child in the arms of its mother.

Father, You know everything, You see everything. You know me better than I do myself. You can do everything and You love me!

O my Father, since You wish that we ask You for everything, I confidently come to ask You, with Jesus and Mary, (mention your request).

For the sake of this intention, I offer You, in unity with the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, my sacrifices and mortifications, and my fidelity to duty.

(If you say the prayer as a Novena for the intention mentioned, you ought to add: “I promise to be faithful, especially during these nine days, in the circumstance of ……. with that person.”)

Give me the light, strength and grace of Your Spirit! Confirm me in this Spirit so that I never lose Him, sadden Him or weaken His presence in me.

My Father, it is in the Name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, that I ask this. And You, O Jesus, open up Your Heart and put mine inside It; with that of Mary, offer it to our Divine Father. In return, obtain for me this grace that I need so much!

My Divine Father, let all men know You.

May the whole world proclaim Your goodness and mercy!

Be my tender Father and protect me everywhere like the pupil of Your eyes. May I always be Your worthy son/daughter.

Have mercy on me!

Divine Father, sweet hope of our souls, may You be known, honoured and loved by all men!

Divine Father, infinite goodness, You are concerned with all people. May You be known, honoured and loved by all men!

Divine Father, benign morning dew of humanity, may You be known, honoured and loved by all! Amen.

 
 

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BIBLE READING WHEN GOING THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME: PSALM 23

“…THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD.

The shepherd is the most important person in the lives of the sheep, just as Jesus should be the most important person in our lives. God uses the imagery of this psalm to show us how careless we are, how materialistic we are, that we often prefer to look down to the things of this world rather than look up to the spiritual world offered to us by our Good Shepherd, the One who gives up His life in sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.

When we prayerfully read this psalm line by line we realise that through the words God tells us about relationship, supply, rest, refreshment, healing, guidance, purpose, testing, protection, faithfulness, discipline, hope, consecration, abundance, blessing, security and eternity. It really is a wonderful psalm for us to read often and get comfort from. I often say to people who are going through a difficult time, read this psalm. Here are the words for your prayerful reading. Why not read the psalm one line at a time and leave some space after each line for your thoughts.

‘The Lord is my shepherd
there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me
to revive my drooping spirit.
He guides me along the right path;
he is true to his name.
If I should walk in the valley of darkness
no evil would I fear.
You are there with your crook and your staff;
with these you give me comfort.
You have prepared a banquet for me
in the sight of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing.
Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for ever and ever.'”
– from: “Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris”

 

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