According to present usage, Advent
is a period beginning with theSunday
nearest to the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle
(30 November) and embracing four Sundays. The first Sunday
may be as early as 27 November, and then Advent has twenty-eight days,
or as late as 3 December, giving the season only twenty-one days.
Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite in me a
wonder at the wisdom and power of Your Father and ours. Receive
my prayer as part of my service of the Lord who enlists me in
God's own work for justice.
Come, long-expected Jesus.
Excite in me a hunger for peace: peace in the world, peace in my
home, peace in myself.
Come, long-expected Jesus. Excite
in me a joy responsive to the Father's joy. I seek His will so I
can serve with gladness, singing and love.
long-expected Jesus. Excite in me the joy and love and peace
it is right to bring to the manger of my Lord. Raise in me, too,
sober reverence for the God who acted there, hearty
gratitude for the life begun there, and spirited resolution to
serve the Father and Son.
I pray in the name of Jesus
Christ, whose advent I hail.
Juan Diego was born in 1474 in Mexico City and was given the name "Cuauhtlatoatzin"
("the talking eagle") in Cuautlitlán. He was baptized by a Catholic priest
when he was 50 years of age. Juan had been a married man with no children, but
his wife died in 1529. On December 9, 1531, when he was on his way to
morning Mass, the Blessed Mother appeared to him on Tepeyac Hill near Mexico
City. She told him to tell his Bishop to have a shrine built on this site
where she appeared. Juan went to the Bishop who did not believe him and
the Bishop asked for a sign to know that it was true. On December 12th at
Tepeyac, the Blessed Mother told him to climb the hill and pick flowers that
were growing there in winter time. Juan found roses, which he folded up in
his garment and took to the Bishop. When he showed the Bishop the roses,
an image of the Blessed Mother showed up on his garmet with Our Lady's image
imprinted on it. The bishop had the Catholic shrine built and Juan spent
the rest of his life in devotion and prayer to God and his blessed Mother.
The image below is the image that was imprinted on his garmet. He was
canonized as a saint by Pope John Paul II on July 31, 2002 at the basilica of
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: Ask Saint Juan
to increase our devotion to the Blessed Mother.
PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
O Virgin of Guadalupe,
Mother of the Americas,
grant to our homes the grace of loving
and respecting life in its beginnings,
with the same love with which
you conceived in your womb
the life of the Son of God.
Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of Fair Love,
protect our families so that
they may always be united
and bless the upbringing of our children.
Our hope, look upon us with pity,
teach is to go continually to Jesus,
and if we fall
help us to rise again and return to Him
through the confession of our faults
and our sins in the Sacrament of penance,
which gives peace to the soul.
We beg you to grant us a great love
of all the holy Sacraments,
which are, as it were,
the signs that your Son left us on earth.
Thus, Most Holy Mother,
with the peace of God in our consciences,
with our hearts free from evil and hatred,
we will be able to bring to all others
true joy and peace,
which come to us from your Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
who with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
lives and reigns for ever and ever.
(Pope John Paul II.)
ST. NICHOLAS OF BARI.
FEAST DAY: DECEMBER 6TH
ST. NICHOLAS, the patron Saint of Russia, was
the end of the third century. His uncle, the Archbishop
of Myra in Lycia, ordained him priest, and appointed him abbot of a monastery;
and on the death of the archbishop he was elected to the vacant see. Throughout
his life he retained the bright and guileless manners of his early years, and
showed himself the special protector of the innocent and the wronged. Nicholas once heard that a person who had fallen into poverty intended to abandon
his three daughters to a life of sin. Determined, if possible, to save their
innocence, the Saint went out by night, and, taking with him a bag of gold,
flung it into the window of the sleeping father and hurried off. He, on awaking,
deemed the gift a godsend, and with it dowered his eldest child. The Saint,
overjoyed at his success, made like venture for the second daughter; but the
third time, as he stole away, the father, who was watching, overtook him and
kissed his feet, saying: "Nicholas, why dost thou conceal thyself from me? Thou
my helper, and he who has delivered my soul and my daughters from hell." St.
Nicholas is usually represented by the side of a vessel, wherein a certain man
had concealed the bodies of his three children whom he had killed, but who were
restored to life by the Saint. He died A.D. 342. His relics were translated in
1807, to Bari, Italy, and there, after fifteen centuries, "the manna of St.
Nicholas" still flows from his bones and heals all kind of sick.
REFLECTION.—Those who would enter heaven must be as little children, whose
greatest glory is their innocence. Now, two things are ours to do : first, to
preserve it in ourselves, or regain it by penance; secondly, to love and shield
it in others.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT NICHOLAS, PLEASE INTERCEDE TO GOD FOR
ME [MENTION YOUR PRAYER REQUEST.]
FROM BUTLER'S LIVES OF THE SAINTS:
ST. NICHOLAS, CONFESSOR,
ARCHBISHOP OF MYRA.
acts of Nicholas, published about the year 912 by Metaphrastes, are extant,
translated by Lipoman, Surina, &c. Others much shorter, but imperfect, compiled
by Methodius, patriarch of Constantinople, about the year 840, are published by
Mombritius Falcouius, &c. Another life of St. Nicholas was wrote by John, deacon
of Naples, anno 860, from Methodius and others. (See Murat. Ital. Scriptor. t. i.
part 2, p. 287, and Jos. Assemani, t. v. p. 417.) See several acts of his life,
published by Falconius,, Archbishop of San-Severino, at Naples, in 1751, also
Tillemont, t. vi. Vie de St. Nicholas, et Note 1, 2. Fleury, t. xiii. p. 446.]
THE great veneration with
which this saint has been honoured, both in the Greek and Latin churches for
many ages, and the great number of altars and churches which have been
everywhere erected in his memory, are proofs of his extra-ordinary sanctity, and
of the glory which he enjoys with God. The Emperor Justinian built a church in
his honour at Constantinople, in the quarter called Blaquernae, about the year
430,1 and he was titular saint of four churches in Constantinople.* All accounts
agree that he was a native of Patara, in Lycia. We are told that in his infancy
he observed the fasts of Wednesdays and Fridays refusing to suck the breasts on
those days, which were consecrated to fasting by the
Procop. de AEdific. Justinian, lib. i. c. 6, p. 31, Putignani, Diatr. 1, c. 5,
pp. 37, 52.
(2) Du Cange, Constantinopolis
Christiana, lib. iv. c. 6, n. 67. Codinns Orig. Constan. p. 62.
law of the church, as St.
Clement of Alexandria mentions,¹ and as
Bishop Pkitter proves, in his note upon that pas sage from the Apostolic
Constitutions,² and the canonical epistle of
St. Peter, Bishop of Alexandria and martyr. Also St. Epiphanius
³ and others testify the same. Happy are
they who, from their infancy and innocent age, are inured to the exercises of
devotion, penance, and perfect obedience. St. Nicholas increased his fervour in
these and all other virtues with his years, especially when he had devoted
himself to a religious life in the monastery of Holy Sion, near Myra, of which
house he was made abbot, by the archbishop, its founder. Charity in comforting
and relieving the distressed, seemed his characteristical virtue. Amongst many
other instances, it is related, that when three young virgins were exposed
through distress to the danger of falling into vicious courses, he, for. three
successive nights, conveyed to them through the window a competent sum of money
for a fortune for one of them, so that they were all portioned, and afterwards
happily married. Lycia was a large ancient province of Asia, in which St. Paul
had planted the faith. Myra, the capital, three miles from Patara, and from the
sea, was an archiepiscopal see, founded by St. Nicander, of so great dignity,
that, in later ages, thirty-six suffragan bishoprics were subject to it. This
metropolitan church falling vacant, the holy abbot Nicholas was chosen
arch-bishop, and in that exalted station became famous by his extraordinary
piety and zeal, and an incredible number of stupendous miracles. The Greek
histories of his life agree that he suffered imprisonment for the faith, and
made a glorious confession in the latter part of the persecution raised by
Dioclesian: and that he was present at the great council of Nice, and
there condemned Arianism. The silence of other authors make many
justly suspect these circumstances.
Clem. Alex. Strom. lib. vii. t.ii. p. 877, n. 10 et 15, ed. Oxon. anno 1715. (2)
Constit. Apoat. lib. v. e: mix. et lib, vii. c. xxiv. (3) See Pope Benedict XIV.
in Literia Apostolicia ad Joan. V. Portng. Reg. novre edit. Martyr. Rom.
prsefxis, an. 19, ad 36.
history of the translation of his relics place his death in 342. He died at
Myra, and was buried in his own cathedral. The relics of St. Nicholas were kept
with great honour at Myra, till they were translated into Italy. Certain
merchants of Bari, a sea-port in the kingdom of Naples, situate on the Adriatic
Gulf, sailed in, three ships to the coast of Lycia; and watching an opportunity
when no Mahornetans were near the place, went to the church in which the relics
of St. Nicholas were kept, which stood in a desert place three miles from the
sea, and was guarded by a small community of monks. They broke open the marble
coffin in which the sacred bones lay, and carried them off to their ships ; the
inhabitants, upon the alarm given, pursued them to the shore with horrible
outcries, but the Europeans were got safe on board. They landed at Bari on the
9th of May, 1087, and the sacred treasure was deposited by the archbishop in the
Church of St. Stephen. On the first day, thirty persons were cured of various
distempers, imploring the intercession of St. Nicholas, and from that time the
tomb of St. Nicholas of Bari has been famous for pilgrimages. The authentic
history of this translation, written by John, at that time archdeacon of Bari,
by order of the archbishop, is extant in Surius. The same account is confirmed
by another history of this translation, drawn up at the same time by Nicephorus
of Bari, also an eye-witness, commissioned by the magistrates of the city,
quoted in manuscript by Baronius, and published by Falconiss.t By this history
of Nicephorus, it appears that the Venetians having formed a design of carrying
off the relics of St. Nicholas, certain merchants from Bari, who happened then
to be at Antioch,-prevented them. This enterprise could only be justified by the
laws of a just war, joined with the apprehension of the sacrilegious impiety of
(1) Falcouius, Acta Primigeuia St.
N.colai, p. 131.
Mention is made in a novella
of the Emperor Emmanuel, recorded by Balsamon: and all modern writers, of a
fragrant unctuous matter which issues from the relics of St. Nicholas in his
shrine at Bari, a large quantity of which was found in his sepulchre, near Myra,
in Lycia, when his relics were brought thence.
Nicholas is esteemed a patron of children, because he was from his infancy a
model of innocence and virtue, and to form that tender age to sincere piety was
always his first care and delight. To impress on the minds of' children perfect
sentiments of devotion, religion, and all virtues, with an earnestness in all
duties, is a task often as delicate as it is important. Instructions must be
made sensible, and adapted by similes, parables, and examples, to the weakness
of their capacities. Above all, they are to be enforced by the conduct of those
with whom children converse. They learn their maxims, imbibe their spirit, and
are moulded upon their example. A child which sees those who are about him love
their own ease, and ever seek what best pleases their senses ; still more, if he
observes them to be choleric, peevish, vain, slothful, or impatient, will
naturally cherish these passions, and yield up the government of himself to
them, instead of learning by tractableness, humility, meekness, and self-denial,
to subdue and govern them. And so in all other points. Precepts and exhortations
lose their force when contradicted by example; and whilst the infant sees every
one study to please himself in every thing, in fiat opposition to the rules of
the gospel which he hears preached from their mouths, he seems tacitly persuaded
that such a conduct is reconcile-able with those very maxims which condemn it.
was born in about 280 AD in the town of Patara
within the Province of Lycia,
His life was later embroidered with many legends, yet there are several
stories about him which seem solidly historical.
One of these relates how, while Nicholas
was visiting a remote part of his
several citizens from Myra came to him with urgent news: the ruler of
the city, Eustathius, had condemned three innocent men to death.
Nicholas set out immediately for home. Reaching the outskirts of the
city, he asked those he met on the road if they had news of the
prisoners. Informed that their execution was to be carried out that
morning, he hurried to the executioner’s field. Here he found a large
crowd of people and the three men kneeling with their arms bound,
awaiting the fatal blow. Nicholas passed through the crowd, took the
sword from the executioner’s hands and threw it to the ground, then
ordered that the condemned men be freed from their bonds. His authority
was such that the executioner left his sword where it fell. Later
Eustathius confessed his sin and sought the saint’s
forgiveness. Nicholas absolved him, but only after the ruler had
undergone a period of repentance.
In the late 19th century, when Russians
were embroiled in controversy regarding capital punishment, the artist
Ilya Repin made his comment with the painting reproduced [here]. Having
studied ancient icons
in which St. Nicholas is shown grasping the sword with his bare hand,
Repin reproduced the image, but in a realistic modern style in which
each face reveals various atitudes regarding the bishop’s
brave intervention—the shocked astonishment of the executioner, the
pious resignation of the prisoner on his knees who is not yet aware his
life has been saved, and the appeal of a red-cloaked flunky representing
the governor, no doubt pointing out that Nicholas would do well not to
In [the June]
issue of In Communion,
several authors reflect on aspects of the death penalty, still a
punishment in many parts of the USA, as it is in China, most Middle
Eastern countries, regions of Africa in which Islam is dominant, and
parts of Southeast Asia.
Needless to say, unlike the prisoners for whom
St. Nicholas intervened, many on death row are guilty of murder. Yet
knowing the disciplines of the early Church, one can safely assume
Nicholas would have intervened for the guilty no less than the falsely
accused. For what good is served by their killing? How is the God of
mercy honored by bloodshed?
In the early Church those being prepared for
baptism had to make promises regarding their future conduct. One of
these was to not kill. This vow was required even of magistrates and
soldiers. It is a requirement long ago abandoned and nearly forgotten,
so that no one in our world is surprised when Christians take the lives
of others or order others to shed blood. What a pity that we who claim
to be followers of Christ give such a flawed witness to the kingdom of
May we live to see the death penalty
abandoned. May our own efforts help speed that day.
SAINT SABAS, ABBOT
SAINT SABAS, one
of the most renowned patriarchs of the monks of Palestine, was born in the
year 439, near Caesarea. In order to settle a dispute which had
arisen between some of his relations, in regard to the administration of his
estate, while still young, he forsook the world and entered a monastery,
wherein he became a model of fervor. When Sabas had been ten years in this
monastery, being eighteen years old, he went to Jerusalem to visit the holy
places, and attachedhimself to a
monastery then under control of St. Euthymius, but on the death of
the holy abbot our Saint sought the wilderness, where he chose his dwelling in
the top of a
high mountain, at
the bottom of which ran the brook Cedron: After he had lived here five years,
several came to him, desiring to serve God under his direction. He was at first
unwilling to consent, but finally founded a new monastery of persons all
desirous to devote themselves to praise and serve God without interruption. His
great sanctity becoming known, he was ordained priest, at the age of
fifty-three, by the patriarch of Jerusalem and
made Superior-General of all the anchorites of Palestine. He lived to be
ninety-four, and died on the 5th of
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT SABAS, PLEASE PRAY FOR US TODAY [STATE
YOUR PRAYER REQUEST.]
Relics of Saint Sabas: The relics of St. Sabas in Catholicon (main church) of
the Saba Sea Monastery, West Bank, West Jordan.
JOHN OF DAMASCUS
FATHER. AND DOCTOR OF THE
[From the works of the saint, and the
histories of those times. His life, written by John IV., Patriarch of Jerusalem,
who lived two hundred years after him, borrows the first part, before his
monastic profession, from uncertain memoirs. See Nat. Alex. sew. 8 ; Fle0., b.
xlii. ; Papebroke, May 6 ; Ceillier, t. xviii. p. 110. ]Butler's Lives of the
MAHOMET subdued a considerable
part of Arabia before his death, which happened in 632. His successor, Abubeker,
extended his conquests into Chaldea and Persia. Omar, the second caliph of the
Saracens, subdued Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Egypt, before the death of
the Emperor Heraclius, in 641. Othman, the third caliph, died in 655, and Ali,
the fourth, in 660. This last founded the sect of Mahometanism which the
Persians follow, and which the Turks and others, who adhere to the
interpretations of his predecessors, Omar and Othman, detest above all other
religions. Such was the posture of affairs in the East when St. John was born,
in the declension of the 7th century, at Damascus, from which city he received
his surname ; by the Saracens he was called Mansur. He was of a noble and
ancient family, and his father, though always a zealous and pious Christian, was
held in great esteem by the Saracen caliphs for his high birth, probity, and
abilities, was advanced by them to the first employments of the state, and made
their chief secretary or counsellor. The pious statesman was the more watchful
and fervent in all duties of religion, the greater the dangers were to which he
saw his faith exposed. Being chiefly solicitous for the education of his son in
innocence and piety, amidst the dangers of such a court, he purchased the
liberty of a learned and devout Grecian monk, named Cosmas, who having
been taken prisoner, by the Saracens, was brought to Damascus for sale. Him he
appointed tutor to his son, and to another youth called Cosmas, the charge
of whose education he had taken upon himself. The preceptor entered into the
views of the zealous parent, and bent his whole attention to defend the tender
plants from the rude winds of trials and temptations. The caliph was much taken
with the capacity and virtue of John, and after the death of his father, made
him governor of Damascus, his capital city. After Ali, the dignity of caliph had
passed into another family, called Ommiads. The name of the first of these was
Moavia. This prince and his immediate successors treated the Christians with
courtesy and mildness ; and so great were the abilities, and such the
transcendent virtue of John, that he enjoyed his prince's favour without envy.
But he always trembled at the sight of those spiritual dangers with which he saw
himself surrounded. He was sensible that, in a flow of plenty and prosperity,
the heart is apt to warp towards vice and the world, and he dreaded the
contagion of the air hey breathed. He therefore, at length, came to a resolution
to resign his honours, and soon after disposed of his estates in favour of the
church and the poor, and with Cosmas, his companion, withdrew secretly to the
great Laura of St. Sabas, near Jerusalem. Cosmas was afterwards chosen Bishop of
Majuma, in Palestine.
St. John, in his solitude, rejoiced to see himself delivered
from the slavery of the world, and placed in a happy state of
uninterrupted tranquillity; where his years passed away
without one heavy minute, and where he had no other occupation
but that of employing, without distraction, all his thoughts
and endeavours on the end of his creation, the securing the
salvation of his soul. He considered the important work which
he had upon his hands, and set himself in earnest to learn
perfectly to subdue his passions, and walk in the paths of
true virtue. With this view he addressed him-self to the
superior of the Laura, who gave him for director an
experienced old monk. This great master in spiritual life,
conducting the novice to his cell, gave him the following
short lessons :—First, That he should never do his own will,
but study in all things to die to himself, in order to divest
himself of all inordinate self-love or attachment to
creatures. Secondly, That he should frequently offer to God
all his actions, difficulties, and prayers. Thirdly, That he
should take no pride in his learning or any other advantage,
but ground himself in a sincere and thorough conviction that
he had nothing of his own stock but ignorance and weakness.
Fourthly, That he should renounce all vanity, should always
mistrust himself and his own lights, and never desire visions
or the like extraordinary favours. Fifthly, That he should
banish from his mind all thoughts of the world, nor ever
disclose to strangers the instructions given him in the
monastery ; that he should keep strict silence, and remember
that there may be harm even in saying good things without
necessity. By the punctual observance of these rules, the
fervent novice made great progress in an interior life and
Christian perfection. His director, to promote his spiritual
advancement, often put his virtue to severe trials. He once
sent him to Damascus to sell some baskets, and having set an
exorbitant price on them, forbade him to take less. The saint
obeyed his director without the least demur,. and appeared
poor and ill clad in that great city, in which he had formerly
lived in splendour. On being asked the price of his ware, he
was abused and insulted for the unreasonableness of his
demands. At length, one that had been formerly his servant,
but of compassion, purchased his whole stock, at the price he
asked ; and the saint returned to his superior,
victorious over vanity and pride. It happened that a certain
monk, being inconsolable for the death of his brother, the
saint, by way of comforting him, recited to him s. Greek
verse, importing, that all is vanity which time destroyeth.
His di-rector, for his greater security against the temptation
of vanity or ostentation, on account of learning, called this
a disobedience in speaking without necessity, and, by way of
chastisement, turned him out of his cell. The humble saint
wept bitterly to heal this wound of disobedience in his soul,
as he confessed it to be ; and without endeavouring to
extenuate the fault, though in itself so excusable, begged the
monks to intercede for him to his director for pardon. This
was at length obtained, but only on condition that with his
own hands he should cleanse out and carry away all the filth
that lay about the monastery ; which condition the saint, to
whom humiliations were always welcome, most cheerfully
So accomplished a virtue made his superiors judge him worthy
to be promoted to the priesthood, which was then much more
rare in monasteries than at present. This dignity served only
to increase his humility and fervour. His director at length
thought him sufficiently grounded in habits of profound
humility and self-denial, to be permitted to employ his
talents in writing for the edification of others and the
service of the church, without falling into the dangerous
temptations of self-conceit and pride. For a secret vanity or
self-complacency often robs even the Christian writer of the
fruit of his labours before God ; and an eminent author calls
this base weakness of vanity the last foible of great
geniuses. John had given proof by long and sever trials, that
an entire contempt of himself, and a feeling sense of his own
weakness and absolute insufficiency, were deeply rooted in his
heart, when his superiors thought him sufficiently armed
against this snare, to be employed in- teaching their
theological schools. Soon after, they ordered him to take up
his pen in defence of our holy faith, attacked by the
Iconoclast heretics. The Emperor Leo, the Isaurian, had
published his edicts against holy images, in 726, and had
found many followers, when St. John entered the lists against
that heresy. He begins his first discourse, or oration, on
this religious subject as follows : " Conscious to myself of
my own baseness and unworthiness, I ought rather to condemn
myself to an eternal silence, weeping, and confessing my Bins
before God. But seeing the church, which is founded on a rock,
assailed by a furious storm, I think I ought no longer to
remai n silent, because I fear God more than an emperor of the
earth." He lays down for the foundation of the dispute, that
the church cannot err ; consequently it could never fall
into idolatry.¹ He
explains what is meant by the adoration due to God alone,
which, with St. Austin and other fathers, he calls Latria ;
and that inferior veneration which is paid to the friends and
servants of God, which is entirely different, and infinitely
beneath the former ; and no more inconsistent with it than the
civil honour which the law of nature and the holy scriptures
command us to pay to princes and superiors. He shows
that the veneration which we pay to the things which belong to
God, as altars, &c., is not less distinct from the supreme
honour we give to God. He says, the precept in the old law,
which forbade images (if it be not to be restrained to idols),
was merely ceremonial, and only regarded the Jews which law if
we restore, we must equally admit circ»mcision and the
sabbath. He testifies that the Iconoclasts allowed a religious
honour to be due to the holy place on Mount Calvary, to the
stone of the sepulchre; to the book of the gospels, to crosses
and sacred vessels. Lastly, he proves the veneration of
holy images by the testimony of the fathers. In his second
discourse he teaches at large that the emperor is intrusted
with the government of the state, but-has no authority to make
decisions in points of ecclesiastical doctrine. In the- third,
he demonstrates the use of holy images from the tradition of
(1) Or. 1. de Cultu Imag.
The dogmatical writings of this great doctor show the extent
of his genius still more than his controversial ; and in them
the strength and clearness of his reasoning can be equalled
only by the depth of his penetration, and the soundness of his
judgment. His most important and celebrated work is, The
Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, divided into four books, in
which he reduces all the branches of theology, which the
ancients explained in several scattered works, into one
regular all its parts in a short system, and sets them all
together in one clear point of view. This work was the first
plan of the scholastic method of teaching divinity, which St.
Anselm introduced much later among the Latins. St. John
composed many holy canticles ; and- to his fellow-pupil,
Cosmos, is the Greek Church indebted for the greater part of
the sacred hymns which it uses in the divine office. St. John
travelled into Palestine, and also to Constantinople, to
encourage the faithful, and to defend the use of holy images
in the very seat of the persecutor, Constantine Copronymus.
But he re-turned again to the Laura of St. Sabas, in
Palestine, where being in the dominions of the Saracen caliph,
he continued to defend the church by his pen. We have the
unexceptionable testimony of Dr. Cave,' that nor man can have
a sound judgment who, reading his works, cloth not admire his
extraordinary erudition, the justness and precision of his
ideas and conceptions, and the strength of his reasoning,
especially in theological matters.
(1) Hist/ Litter.
observes, that he was sometimes led into mistakes with regard
to historical facts by faulty memoirs. John IV., Patriarch of
Jerusalem, extols his great skill in mathematics. Amidst his
studies he was careful to nourish in his heart a spirit of
devotion by constant recollection; and daily contemplation.
For it is the reflection of a great man, and an eminent
scholar,¹ writing to
contemplative persons, that without assiduous prayer,
reasoning is a great dissipation of the mind, and learning
often extinguishes the humble interior spirit of prayer,
as wind does a candle." In another place he calls too close
application to mathematics the death-of the spirit of prayer,
and adds : " Suffer not yourself to be bewitched with the
enchantment of geometry. Nothing will sooner dry up in you the
interior spirit of recollection and devotion." St. John, to
shun this rock, was careful that his studies should never
degenerate into a passion; he never suffered them to dissipate
his mind, or encroach on his exercises of devotion, or
any other duties, and in his inquiries shunned all idle
curiosity. Having by retirement prepared himself for his
last passage, he died in his cell about the year 780. His tomb
was discovered near the church porch of this Laura, in the
twelfth century, as John Phocas testifies.²
(1) Feuelon, Ep.
155. (2) Phocas in Descript. Palestine.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT JOHN, PLEASE
PRAY FOR US [STATE YOUR PRAYER.]
Queen of Heaven and earth,
most Holy Virgin,
we venerate thee.
Thou art the beloved daughter
of the Most High God,
the chosen mother of the Incarnate Word,
the immaculate spouse of the Holy Spirit,
the sacred vessel of the Most Holy Trinity.
O Mother of the Divine Redeemer,
who under the title of
Our Lady of Good Remedy
comes to the aid of all
who call upon thee,
extend thy maternal protection to us.
We depend on thee,
as helpless and needy children
depend on a tender and caring mother.
Pray the Hail Mary...
O Lady of Good Remedy,
source of unfailing help,
grant that we may draw
from thy treasury of graces
in our time of need.
Touch the hearts of sinners,
that they may seek
reconciliation and forgiveness.
Bring comfort to
the afflicted and the lonely;
help the poor and the hopeless;
aid the sick and the suffering.
May they be healed in body
and strengthened in spirit
to endure their sufferings
with patient resignation
and Christian fortitude.
Pray the Hail Mary...
Dear Lady of Good Remedy,
source of unfailing help,
thy compassionate heart knows a remedy
for every affliction and misery
we encounter in life.
Help me with thy prayers and intercession
to find a remedy for my problems and needs,
(Add your personal prayer requests here.)
On my part,
O loving Mother,
I pledge myself to a more intensely Christian lifestyle,
to a more careful observance of the laws of God,
to be more conscientious
in fulfilling the obligations of my state in life,
and to strive to be a source of healing
in this broken world of ours.
Dear Lady of Good Remedy,
be ever present to me,
and through thy intercession,
may I enjoy health of body and peace of mind,
and grow stronger in the faith
and in the love of thy Son, Jesus.
Pray the Hail Mary...V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of Good Remedy,R. That we may deepen our dedication to thy Son, and make the world alive with His Spirit.
Book of Isaiah
says the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I, the
LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on
the way you should go. If you would hearken to my
commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your
vindication like the waves of the sea; Your descendants
would be like the sand, and those born of your stock like its
grains, Their name never cut off or blotted out from my
the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked Nor
walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the
insolent, But delights in the law of the LORD and
meditates on his law day and night.
He is like a tree
planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due
season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does,
Not so, the wicked, not so; they are like
chaff which the wind drives away. For the LORD watches over
the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint
said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare this generation? It
is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one
another, 'We played the flute for you, but you did not
dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.' For John came
neither eating nor drinking, and they said, 'He is possessed by
a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they
said, 'Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax
collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is vindicated by her works."
AS I have counselled
you before your material dinner to make a spiritual repast in
meditation, so before your evening meal you should make at least a
devout spiritual collation. Make sure of some brief leisure before
suppertime, and then prostrating yourself before God, and recollecting
yourself in the Presence of Christ Crucified, setting Him before your
mind with a stedfast inward glance, renew the warmth of your morning's
meditation by some hearty (86) aspirations and humble upliftings of your
soul to your Blessed Saviour, either repeating those points of your
meditation which helped you most, or kindling your heart with anything
else you will. As to the examination of conscience, which we all should
make before going to bed, you know the rules:
1. Thank God for having
preserved you through the day past.
2. Examine how you have
conducted yourself through the day, in order to which recall where and
with whom you have been, and what you have done.
3. If you have done
anything good, offer thanks to God; if you have done amiss in thought,
word, or deed, ask forgiveness of His Divine Majesty, resolving to
confess the fault when opportunity offers, and to be diligent in doing
4. Then commend your
body and soul, the Church, your relations and friends, to God. Ask that
the Saints and Angels may keep watch over you, and with God's Blessing
go to the rest He has appointed for you. Neither this practice nor that
of the morning should ever be omitted; by your morning prayer you open
your soul's windows to the sunshine of Righteousness, and by your
evening devotions you close them against the shades of hell.
THIS is a matter, dear
daughter, to which I am very anxious to win your attention, for in it
lies one of the surest means of spiritual progress. Strive as often as
possible through the day to place yourself in God's Presence by some one
of the methods already suggested. Consider what God does, and what you
are doing;--you will see His Eyes ever fixed upon you in Love
incomparable. "O my God," you will cry out, "why cannot I always be
looking upon Thee, even as Thou lookest on me? why do I think so little
about Thee? O my soul, thy only resting-place is God, and yet how often
dost thou wander?" The birds have nests in lofty trees, and the stag his
refuge in the thick coverts, where he can shelter from the sun's burning
heat; and just so, my daughter, our hearts ought daily to choose some
resting-place, either Mount Calvary, or the Sacred Wounds, or some other
spot close to Christ, where they can retire at will to seek rest and
refreshment amid toil, and to be as in a fortress, protected from
temptation. Blessed indeed is the soul which can truly say, "Thou, Lord,
art my Refuge, my Castle, my (88) Stay, my Shelter in the storm and in
the heat of the day." Be sure then, my child, that while externally
occupied with business and social duties, you frequently retire within
the solitude of your own heart. That solitude need not be in any way
hindered by the crowds which surround you-- they surround your body, not
your soul, and your heart remains alone in the Sole Presence of God.
This is what David sought after amid his manifold labours;--the Psalms
are full of such expressions as "Lord, I am ever with Thee. The Lord is
always at my right hand. I lift up mine eyes to Thee, O Thou Who
dwellest in the heavens. Mine eyes look unto God." There are few social
duties of sufficient importance to prevent an occasional retirement of
the heart into this sacred solitude. When S. Catherine of Sienna was
deprived by her parents of any place or time for prayer and meditation,
Our Lord inspired her with the thought of making a little interior
oratory in her mind, into which she could retire in heart, and so enjoy
a holy solitude amid her outward duties. And henceforward, when the
world assaulted her, she was able to be indifferent, because, so she
said, she could retire within her secret oratory, and find comfort with
her Heavenly Bridegroom. So she counselled her (89) spiritual daughters
to make a retirement within their heart, in which to dwell. Do you in
like manner let your heart withdraw to such an inward retirement, where,
apart from all men, you can lay it bare, and treat face to face with
God, even as David says that he watched like a "pelican in the
wilderness, or an owl in the desert, or a sparrow sitting alone upon the
housetop." (a) These words have a sense beyond their literal meaning, or
King David's habit of retirement for contemplation;--and we may find in
them three excellent kinds of retreats in which to seek solitude after
the Saviour's Example, Who is symbolised as He hung upon Mount Calvary
by the pelican of the wilderness, feeding her young ones with her blood.
(b) So again His Nativity in a lonely stable might find a foreshadowing
in the owl of the desert, bemoaning and lamenting: and in His Ascension
He was like the sparrow rising high above the dwellings of men. Thus in
each of these ways we can make a retreat amid the daily cares of life
and its business. (90) When the blessed Elzear, Count of
Arian-enProvence, had been long separated from his pious and beloved
wife Delphine, she sent a messenger to inquire after him, and he
returned answer, "I am well, dear wife, and if you would see me, seek me
in the Wounded Side of our Dear Lord Jesus; that is my sure
dwelling-place, and elsewhere you will seek me in vain." Surely he was a
true Christian knight who spoke thus.
a. Ps. cii. 6, 7. b.
The Egyptians used the pelican as a symbol of parental devotion; and
among the early Christians, as may be seen in the Catacombs, it was
employed to shadow forth the deep mysteries of Christ's love. On many a
monumental brass, church window, or chalice of old time, occurs this
device, with the motto, "Sic Christus dilexit nos." "Thus hath Christ
loved us." And so Saint Thomas in his Eucharistic Hymn "Adoro Te
devote,"--"Pie Pelicane, Jesu Domine, Me immundum munda, Tuo sausguine!"
Ejaculatory Prayer and Holy Thoughts.
WE retire with God,
because we aspire to Him, and we aspire in order to retire with Him; so
that aspiration after God and spiritual retreat excite one another,
while both spring from the one Source of all holy thoughts. Do you then,
my daughter, aspire continually to God, by brief, ardent upliftings of
heart; praise His Excellence, invoke His Aid, cast yourself in spirit at
the Foot of His Cross, adore His Goodness, offer your whole soul a
thousand times a day to Him, fix your inward gaze upon Him, stretch out
your hands to be led by Him, as a little child to its father, clasp Him
to your breast as a fragrant nosegay, upraise Him in (91) your soul as a
standard. In short, kindle by every possible act your love for God, your
tender, passionate desire for the Heavenly Bridegroom of souls. Such is
ejaculatory prayer, as it was so earnestly inculcated by S. Augustine
upon the devout Proba; and be sure, my daughter, that if you seek such
nearness and intimacy with God your whole soul will imbibe the perfume
of His Perfections. Neither is this a difficult practice,--it may be
interwoven with all our duties and occupations, without hindering any;
for neither the spiritual retreat of which I have spoken, nor these
inward upliftings of the heart, cause more than a very brief
distraction, which, so far from being any hindrance, will rather promote
whatever you have in hand. When a pilgrim pauses an instant to take a
draught of wine, which refreshes his lips and revives his heart, his
onward journey is nowise hindered by the brief delay, but rather it is
shortened and lightened, and he brings it all the sooner to a happy end,
pausing but to advance the better. Sundry collections of ejaculatory
prayer have been put forth, which are doubtless very useful, but I
should advise you not to tie yourself to any formal words, but rather to
speak with heart or mouth whatever springs forth from the love within
you, which is sure to supply you with all (92) abundance. There are
certain utterances which have special force, such as the ejaculatory
prayers of which the Psalms are so full, and the numerous loving
invocations of Jesus which we find in the Song of Songs. Many hymns too
may be used with the like intention, provided they are sung attentively.
In short, just as those who are full of some earthly, natural love are
ever turning in thought to the beloved one, their hearts overflowing
with tenderness, and their lips ever ready to praise that beloved
object; comforting themselves in absence by letters, carving the
treasured name on every tree;--so those who love God cannot cease
thinking of Him, living for Him, longing after Him, speaking of Him, and
fain would they grave the Holy Name of Jesus in the hearts of every
living creature they behold. And to such an outpour of love all creation
bids us--nothing that He has made but is filled with the praise of God,
and, as says S. Augustine, everything in the world speaks silently but
clearly to the lovers of God of their love, exciting them to holy
desires, whence gush forth aspirations and loving cries to God. St.
Gregory Nazianzen tells his flock, how, walking along the seashore, he
watched the waves as they washed up shells and sea weeds, and all manner
of small substances, which seemed, as it were, rejected by the sea, (93)
until a return wave would often wash part thereof back again; while the
rocks remained firm and immoveable, let the waves beat against them
never so fiercely. And then the Saint went on to reflect that feeble
hearts let themselves be carried hither and thither by the varying waves
of sorrow or consolation, as the case might be, like the shells upon the
seashore, while those of a nobler mould abide firm and immoveable amid
every storm;--whence he breaks out into David's cry, "Lord, save me, for
the waters are gone over my soul; deliver me from the great deep, all
Thy waves and storms are gone over me;" for he was himself then in
trouble by reason of the ungodly usurpation of his See by Maximus. When
S. Fulgentius, Bishop of Ruspe, heard Theodoric, King of the Goths,
harangue a general assembly of Roman nobles, and beheld their splendour,
he exclaimed, "O God, how glorious must Thy Heavenly Jerusalem be, if
even earthly Rome be thus!" (a) And if this world can afford so much
gratification to mere earthly lovers of vanity, what must there be in
store hereafter for those who love the truth? (94) We are told that S.
Anselm of Canterbury, (our mountains may glory in being his birthplace
(b) ) was much given to such thoughts. On one occasion a hunted hare
took refuge from imminent death beneath the Bishop's horse, the hounds
clamouring round, but not daring to drag it from its asylum, whereat his
attendants began to laugh; but the great Anselm wept, saying, "You may
laugh forsooth, but to the poor hunted beast it is no laughing matter;
even so the soul which has been led astray in all manner of sin finds a
host of enemies waiting at its last hour to devour it, and terrified,
knows not where to seek a refuge, and if it can find none, its enemies
laugh and rejoice." And so he went on his way, sighing. Constantine the
Great wrote with great respect to S. Anthony, at which his religious
expressed their surprise. "Do you marvel," he said, "that a king should
write to an ordinary man? Marvel rather that God should have written His
Law for men, and yet more that He should have spoken with them Face to
face through His Son." When S. Francis saw a solitary sheep amid a flock
of goats; "See," said he to his companion, "how gentle the poor sheep is
among the goats, even as was Our Lord among the Pharisees;" and seeing a
boar devour a little lamb, (95) "Poor little one," he exclaimed,
weeping, "how vividly is my Saviour's Death set forth in thee!" A great
man of our own day, Francis Borgia, then Duke of Candia, was wont to
indulge in many devout imaginations as he was hunting. "I used to
ponder," he said, "how the falcon returns to one's wrist, and lets one
hood its eyes or chain it to the perch, and yet men are so perverse in
refusing to turn at God's call." St. Basil the Great says that the rose
amid its thorns preaches a lesson to men. "All that is pleasant in this
life" (so it tells us mortals) "is mingled with sadness--no joy is
altogether pure--all enjoyment is liable to be marred by regrets,
marriage is saddened by widowhood, children bring anxiety, glory often
turns to shame, neglect follows upon honour, weariness on pleasure,
sickness on health. Truly the rose is a lovely flower," the Saint goes
on to say, "but it moves me to sadness, reminding me as it does that for
my sin the earth was condemned to bring forth thorns." Another devout
soul, gazing upon a brook wherein the starlit sky of a calm summer's
night was reflected, exclaims, "O my God, when Thou callest me to dwell
in Thy heavenly tabernacles, these stars will be beneath my feet; and
even as those stars are now reflected here below, so are we Thy
creatures reflected above in the (96) living waters of Thy Divine Love."
So another cried out, beholding a rapid river as it flowed, "Even thus
my soul will know no rest until it plunge into that Divine Sea whence it
came forth!" S. Frances, as she knelt to pray beside the banks of a
pleasant streamlet, cried out in ecstasy, "The Grace of my Dear Lord
flows softly and sweetly even as these refreshing waters" And another
saintly soul, looking upon the blooming orchards, cried out, "Why am I
alone barren in the Church's garden!" So S. Francis of Assisi, beholding
a hen gathering her chickens beneath her wings, exclaimed, "Keep me, O
Lord, under the shadow of Thy Wings" And looking upon the sunflower, he
ejaculated, "When, O Lord, will my soul follow the attractions of Thy
Love?" (c) And gathering pansies in a garden which are fair to see, but
scentless, (d) (97) "Ah," he cried out, "even so are the thoughts of my
heart, fair to behold, but without savour or fruit!" Thus it is, my
daughter, that good thoughts and holy aspirations may be drawn from all
that surrounds us in our ordinary life. Woe to them that turn aside the
creature from the Creator, and thrice blessed are they who turn all
creation to their Creator's Glory, and make human vanities subservient
to the truth. "Verily," says Saint Gregory Nazianzen, "I am wont to turn
all things to my spiritual profit." Read the pious epitaph written for
S. Paula by S. Jerome; it is marvellous therein to see how she conceived
spiritual thoughts and aspirations at every turn. Now, in the practice
of this spiritual retreat and of these ejaculatory prayers the great
work of devotion lies: it can supply all other deficiencies, but there
is hardly any means of making up where this is lacking. Without it no
one can lead a true contemplative life, and the active life will be but
imperfect where it is omitted: without it rest is but indolence, labour
but weariness,--therefore I beseech you to adopt it heartily, and never
let it go.
a. Was it in
imitation of this that the hymn was written? "If thus Thy lower
works are fair,-- If thus Thy glories gild the span Of ruined earth
and guilty man,-- How glorious must the mansions be Where Thy
redeemed dwell with Thee!"
b. S. Anselm was
born at Aosta in Piedmont, A.D. 1033.
c. Moore has
preserved the graceful imagery of the sunflower, anciently called
"tourne-soleil" (as by S. Francis here). "Oh the heart that once
truly loved, never forgets, But as truly loves on to the close, As
the sunflower turns to her God when he sets The same look which she
turned when he rose."
d. "Pensees." This
play on words is common--as Ophelia says in Hamlet, Act iv. sc. 5:
"There is pansies--that's for thoughts." But the name of this pretty
viola is really derived from panacea, signifying all-heal, just as
Tansy is derived from Athanasia, i.e. immortelle or everlasting. Its
other name of heart's-ease also refers to the potent virtues
ascribed to it of old. Cawdray, in his Treasurie of Similies,
London, 1609, says: "As the herb Panax or Panace hath in it a remedy
against all diseases, so is the Death of Christ against all sin
sufficient and effectual." In the preface to our English Bible of
1611, the translators speak of "Panaces, the herb that is good for
To show us the mission granted to
the Virgin Mary by Her Son, an artist Johann Melchior Georg Schmittdner
painted Mary Undoer of Knots with great grace. Since 1700, his painting
has been venerated in the Church of St. Peter in Perlack, Augsburg,
Germany. It was originally inspired by a meditation of Saint Irenaeus
(Bishop of Lyon and martyred in 202) based on the parallel made by Saint
Paul between Adam and Christ. Saint Irenaeus, in turn, made a comparison
between Eve and Mary, saying:“Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of
disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it”.
what are these knots? There are the problems
and struggles we face for which we do not see any solution … knots of
discord in your family, lack of understanding between parents and
children, disrespect, violence, the knots of deep hurts between husband
and wife, the absence of peace and joy at home. There are also the knots
of anguish and despair of separated couples, the dissolution of the
family, the knots of a drug addict son or daughter, sick or separated
from home or God, knots of alcoholism, the practice of abortion,
depression, unemployment, fear, solitude…Ah, the knots of our life! How
they suffocate the soul, beat us down and betray the heart’s joy and
separate us from God.
Day after day, more and more
Christians kneel to pray to Her as soon as they meet the Mother of the
Fair Love. Many families have become reconciled! Many diseases
have been healed! Many spouses have returned to the Church! Many jobs
have been given! Many conversions have taken place! Many Catholics have
been on their knees praying and giving thanks for graces received from
our sweet Mother. For that reason, Mary Who undoes the knots, Who was
chosen by God to crush the evil with Her feet, comes to us to reveal
Herself. She comes to provide jobs, good health, to reconcile families,
because She wants to undo the knots of our sins which dominate our
lives, so that – as sons of the King – we can receive the promises
reserved for us from eternity. She comes with promises of victory,
peace, blessings and reconciliation.
Then, free from our knots – filled
with happiness, we can be a testimony of the Divine Power in this world,
like pieces of God’s heart or small bottles of perfume exhaling mercy
and love to our neighbor. Like ambassador of Jesus Christ and the Virgin
of the fair love, we can rescue those who cry without any consolation,
those who are lonely, tied with knots, who have no God, no Father nor
Mother of the Rising Sun,
Immaculate, our Advocate, Helper in moments of affliction, Mother of God
and made by Him our Mother, this is how Mary, Undoer of Knots is
presented. Above all, She comes as the Queen of Mercy, the one who knows
all about us, who has compassion for us and hurries to rescue us,
praying for each one of us to Her beloved Jesus.
Prayer to Mary, Undoer of Knots
Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who
never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose
hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are
moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in your
heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of
knots that exist in my life. You know very well how desperate I am,
my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God
entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I
entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the
Evil One himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your
hands there is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by
your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator,
Jesus, take into your hands today this knot.
[Mention your request here]
I beg you to undo it for the glory of God,
once for all. You are my hope. O my Lady, you are the only
consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength,
the enrichment of my destitution, and, with Christ, the freedom from
my chains. Hear my plea. Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe
JOSEPH, ASK GOD TO BLESS THE U.S. WITH A PROLIFE PRESIDENT AND
VICE-PRESIDENT] [SAINT JOSEPH, PLEASE PRAY FOR DONALD TRUMP,
THAT HE WOULD FOLLOW OUR LORD AND ALL HIS TEACHINGS.]
[MENTION YOUR PRAYER TO SAINT JOSEPH]
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.Holy Mary, pray for us.St. Joseph, pray for us. Renowned offspring of David, pray for us. Light of Patriarchs, pray for us.Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.Chaste guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.Foster father of the Son of God, pray for us.Diligent protector of Christ, pray for us.Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.Joseph most just, pray for us.Joseph most chaste, pray for us.Joseph most prudent, pray for us.Joseph most strong, pray for us.Joseph, most obedient, pray for us.Joseph most faithful, pray for us.Mirror of patience, pray for us.Lover of poverty, pray for us.Model of artisans, pray for us.Glory of home life, pray for us.Guardian of virgins, pray for us.Pillar of families, pray for us.Solace of the wretched, pray for us.Hope of the sick, pray for us.Patron of the dying, pray for us.Terror of the demons, pray for us.Protector of Holy Church, pray for us.Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.V. He made him the lord of his household. R. And prince over all his possessions.Let us pray;O God, in Your ineffable providenceYou were pleased to choose Blessed Joseph to be the spouse of Your most holy Mother, grant, we beg You, that we may be worthy to have him for our intercessor in heaven whom on earth we venerate as our Protector; You who lives and reigns forever and ever.Amen.
Ben Carson was asked this
week about Obama’s support of Planned Parenthood. “You wonder if
he actually knows the history of Planned Parenthood and Margaret
Sanger, who was trying to eliminate black people,” Carson
replied. “That was
the whole purpose of it.” That is obviously political hyperbole.
But founder Margaret Sanger was a eugenicist, who
constantly talked about
the need to keep “inferior” types from breeding, even if she did
not specify the nature of their inferiority. “[We should] apply
a stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation to
that grade of population whose progeny is tainted, or whose
inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted
to offspring.” “The most merciful thing that the large family
does to one of its infant members is to kill it.”
SEE: BLACK GENOCIDE SITE:
"Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of
their clinics are in minority communities. Blacks make up 12% of the
population, but 35% of the abortions in America."
Each standard size cross-mark
represents 50,000 people killed. The smaller
cross-marks represent less than 50,000 deaths. The war
casualties represent all American combat-related deaths.
Statistics from 1982 World Almanac.
ON UNBORN CHILDREN
OVER 57,762,169 ...since
abortion was legalized in 1973
Pray hard for him. If you have time now
please say one Hail Mary and One Glory Be for him now.Donald Trump said he would nominate
a justice like Supreme Court Justice Scalia who recently passed.
Justice Scalia always voted against abortion and gay marriage.
Trump said he wanted Roe vs. Wade to be reversed and the
decision on abortion would go back to each individual state.
THE FIFTEEN PROMISES OF MARY TO CHRISTIANS WHO RECITE THE ROSARY
These promises were given by the
Blessed Mother to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan.
Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall
receive signal graces.
2. I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those
who shall recite the rosary.
3. The rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell, it will destroy
vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
4. It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for
souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from
the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire
of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this
5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the
rosary, shall not perish.
6. Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the
consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by
misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not
perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the
grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.
7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die
without the sacraments of the Church.
8. Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their
life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His
graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of
the saints in paradise.
9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the
10. The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of
glory in heaven.
11. You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
12. All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in
13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the
rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during
their life and at the hour of death.
14. All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only Son
15. Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of predestination.
Mass we hear with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at
death. (revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the great).
Padre Pio, the stigmatic
priest, said, the world could exist more easily without the sun than
without the Mass.
The Cure'd' Ars, St. Jean
Vianney said, if we knew the value of the Mass we would die of joy.
A great doctor of the
Church, St. Anselm, declares that a single Mass offered for oneself
during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same
intention after death. St. Leonard of Port Maurice supports this
statement by saying that one Mass before death may be more profitable
than many after it.
"The Holy Mass would be
of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather
than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after death."
(Pope Benedict XV).
Once, St. Teresa was
overwhelmed with God's Goodness and asked Our Lord, "How can I thank
you?" Our Lord replied, "ATTEND ONE MASS".
Louis De Montfort stresses that people should give there hearts and
wills to Jesus through Mary and that by doing this a soul will be able
to soar toward God. See Saint Louis's book
True Devotion To Mary.Saint Louis
warns of the devil's great ability to deceive souls, including souls of
"Because the devils, who
are skillful thieves, wish to surprise us unawares, and to strip us.
They watch day and night for the favorable moment. For that
end they go round about us incessantly to devour us and to snatch
from us in one moment, all the graces and merits we have gained for
many years. Their malice, their experience, their
stratagems and their number ought to make us fear this misfortune
immensely, especially when we see how many persons fuller of grace
than we are, richer in virtues, better founded in experience and far
higher exalted in sanctity, have been surprised, robbed and
unhappily pillaged. Ah! How many cedars of Lebanon, how
many stars of the firmament, have we not seen fall miserably, and in
the twinkling of an eye lose all their height and their brightness!
Whence comes that sad and curious change? It was not for want
of grace, which is wanting to no man; but it was for want of
humility. They thought themselves capable of guarding their
own treasures. They trusted in themselves, relied upon
themselves. They thought their house secure enough, and their
coffers strong enough, to keep the precious treasure of grace.
It is because of that scarcely perceptible reliance upon themselves,
though all the while it seemed to them that they were relying only
on the grace of God, that the most just Lord permitted them to be
robbed by leaving them to themselves. Alas! If they had
but known the admirable devotion which I will unfold presently, they
would have confided their treasure to a Virgin powerful and
faithful, who would have kept it for them as if it had been her own
possession; nay, who would have even taken it as an obligation of
justice on herself to preserve it for them".
Mary, my Queen and sovereign Lady, I give you myself, trusting in your
fidelity and your protection. I surrender myself entirely to your
motherly tenderness, my body, my soul, all that I am, all that I
possess, for the whole of this day, my life, and especially
at the hour of my death. I entrust to you once more all my hopes, all my
consolations, all my anxieties, all my troubles, my life, my dying
breath, so that by your prayers and merits, I may have, in all I do, one
only goal, your good pleasure and the holy will of your Son. Amen!
One day, Saint Michael the
Archangel appeared to Antonia d'Astonac, a most devout Servant of God
and told her that he wished to be honoured by nine salutations
corresponding to the nine Choirs of Angels, which should consist of one
Our Father and three Hail Marys in honour of each of the Angelic Choirs.
Promises of St. Michael
"Whoever would practice this
devotion in his honour would have, when approaching the Holy Table, an
escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition,
for the daily recital of these nine salutations, he promised his
continual assistance and that all the holy angels during life, and after
death deliverance from Purgatory for themselves and all their
The Chaplet of St. Michael
O God, come to my assistance. O
Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, etc.
[Say one Our Father and three Hail
Marys after each of the following nine salutations in honor of the nine
Choirs of Angels]
[STATE YOUR PRAYER REQUEST]
1. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy
to burn with the fire of perfect charity.
2. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the
grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian
3. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our
hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility.
4. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominations may the Lord give us
grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions.
5. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from
evil and falling into temptation. Amen.
6. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls
against the snares and temptations of the devil.
7. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls
with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.
8. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us
perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain
the glory of Heaven.
9. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be
protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come
Say one Our Father in honor of each
of the following leading Angels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael
and our Guardian Angel.
O glorious prince St. Michael,
chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher
of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our
admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue
deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us
by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every
Pray for us, O glorious St.
Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made
worthy of His promises.
Almighty and Everlasting God, Who,
by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all
men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of
Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our
enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that
we may be conducted by him into Your Presence.This we ask through the
merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Welcome to this Catholic Spiritual Direction Web
Site. It is the intention of this site to lead people to a
closer relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the
Holy Spirit through the promotion of prayer and Christian teaching which
will enable Christians to adhere to the straight and narrow path Jesus
speaks of in the Gospels. Included in these web pages are the
Douay-Rheims Bible and the works of Saint John of the Cross, Thomas à
Kempis and Saint Louis de Montfort, and the works of other saints of the
Catholic faith, all of whose teachings on spiritual direction have been
followed by priests, ministers, clergymen, Popes and Saints. These
teachings adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church. This site is
dedicated to Blessed Anne Catherine
Mystic, Stigmatist, Prophet, and Great
Visionary, a saintly Augustinian nun from Flamske, Germany. Her highly
descriptive visions of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ,The Sorrowful Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ,are presented here. In time more works from the
Saints of the Catholic Church will be added to these pages.
When difficulties come to us at work or at home it
important to pray your way through these difficulties. At work, it
could be trouble with a supervisor or a co-worker, with the result that
misery is brought into our lives. Or at home a wife or a husband, or a
child or a relative may be causing you trouble. It is important to pray
your way through these difficulties. The different forms of prayers
listed above, the Rosary, the Chaplet of Saint Michael, the Divine Mercy
Chaplet and the Holy Mass, can move God to assist us with the things the
bother us the most during our lives. Try these prayers, they work.
And sometimes, it takes the prayers of others to help change the
current situations that are going on in our lives. On the following
web page, there are several prayer groups that will pray for yours
needs; this a great tool against our daily problems and against the
assaults of demons. Sometimes it takes the prayers of many people to
From the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila , Chapter 31. 1562 A.D.
"From long experience I have learned that there is
nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from
coming back again. They also flee from the Cross, but return; so holy
water must have great virtue. For my own part, whenever I take it, my
soul feels a particular and most notable consolation. In fact, it is
quite usual for me to be conscious of a refreshment which I cannot
possibly describe, resembling an inward joy which comforts my whole
soul. This is not fancy, or something which has happened to me only once
it has happened again and again and I have observed it most attentively.
It is let us say, as if someone very hot and thirsty were to drink from
a jug of cold water: he would feel the refreshment throughout his body.
I often reflect on the great importance of everything ordained by the
Church and it makes me very happy to find that those words of the Church
are so powerful that they impart their power to the water and make it so
very different from water which has not been blessed."
The Catholic Church around the world
uses Holy Water in every church to make the church a fortress against
the demons which assault men and women. The Holy Water is usually
situated near every entrance to the church for people to use to anoint
themselves with the Sign of the Cross. When an individual puts on
Holy Water any demons present will flee. Catholics should put Holy
Water in containers and place them in their homes and their offices; by
doing so they make their homes and offices fortresses against the demons
which are always lurking about. Catholics should also consider
carrying the Holy Water in small containers in their pockets to ward off
demonic attacks during each day.
Saint John XXIII, you spent
deeply immersed in the truths of the
Catholic Faith. You led us by your great
example of sacrifice and love as you
successively led millions to love Our
Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church.
We now ask for your
those who are troubled and in need:
Saint John XXIII, please pray for the
Holy Catholic Church and for the
following prayer request: [state your prayer request.]
Trinity, we thank you
for having graced the Church with
Saint John Paul II and for allowing
the tenderness of your fatherly care,
the glory of the Cross of Christ
and the splendor of the Spirit of love
to shine through him.
fully in your infinite mercy
and in the maternal intercession of Mary,
he has given us a living image of
Jesus the Good Shepherd.
He has shown us that holiness
is the necessary measure of ordinary
Christian life and is the way of
achieving eternal communion with you.
Grant us, by his intercession,
and according to your will,
the graces we implore,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRECIOUS BLOOD, ocean of divine mercy: Flow upon us! Precious Blood, most pure
Procure us every grace!
Precious Blood, hope and refuge of sinners: Atone for us! Precious Blood, delight of
sick or do you know someone who is ill. Say the
prayer above for them everyday. Also, there is greater
power of prayer when many people are praying for the sick.
Ask many fellow Catholics to join in prayer with you for the
sick. You can send prayer requests to Catholic Groups that
will join you in prayer at: