"O Simon Magus! O disciples of his!
Monday, September 29, 2008
"O Simon Magus! O disciples of his!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Why on earth is it a good idea to think about, let alone meditate on hell?? The answer is simple - in order to avoid it. If we open our minds to the reality of this horrible place, and that we are only one mortal sin away from hell, we are more highly motivated to avoid sin & practice virtue. In our little struggles and strivings toward God, He who is Holy and Immortal will kindly bend Himself to us and pour His gracious love into our souls and strengthen it against the powers of hell. He will grant us the ability to avoid hell if we seek Him. "Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you."
If we were perfect, we would love God for His own sake - this is the ideal we strive for. BUT - fear of hell is a good start on the spiritual path, so let us attempt to instill in our hearts a holy and reverent fear of hell. Seek God who we pray will kindle in us great faith and a lively hatred of all sin.
One of my favorite books, The Four Last Things (Fr. Martin von Cochem, O.S.F.C. TAN Books) provides many excellent meditations on hell:
"According to St. Bridget 'The heat of hell-fire is so great that if the whole world were wrapped in flames, the heat of the conflagration would be as nothing in comparison with it.'...Remember this O sinner and lay it well to heart. When thou seest a fire, call to mind the fire of hell. And since thou couldst not endure to put thy hand for a single moment into that fire, think what the heat of hell-fire must be..if thou canst bear this, how will thou bear the other? The damned will one day be cast body and soul into the huge awful furnace of hell, into the immense lake of fire, where they will be surrounded by flames. There will be fire below them, fire above them, fire all around them. Every breath will be a scorching breath of a furnace. These infernal flames will penetrate every portion of the body, so that there will be no part or member, within or without, that is not steeped in fire.
How despairing will be the cries, how agonizing the shrieks that will ascend from this bed of torture! 'Woe to us miserable creatures! Woe to us a thousand times! We are tortured in this flame! The excruciating pain pervades every member of our body, the intolerable agony leaves us no rest! If only we could die, if only we could die so as to escape this horrible torture! Alas this wish is all in vain! Dead as far as the life of the soul is concerned, dead because we have forfieted grace, the mercy of God-we are condemned to live on, to live forever and ever!"
We must pray for God's mercy on that fateful last day of Judgement. We must pray and pray for the conversion of poor sinners whose fate lies in those awful flames. Have pity on your fellow man who knows not of the mercy and love of God - who is at such great risk of casting himself headlong into the flames of hell when he sees with the eyes of his soul how rotten with sin he is at his particular judgement. Invoke our Blessed Lady, entrust yourself to her - she saves more souls from hell than we can know is this life!
Hail O Resurrection of mankind; Hail o Downfall of the demons! Hail O you who crushed the error of deceit; Hail O you who exposed the fraud of idols! Hail O Bride, and Maiden ever pure! O Thou who are Immaculate, destined before all time to be the Holy Tabernacle of the New Covenant - Ora Pro Nobis Maria!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Born into Italian nobility and became a Priest, theological teacher and founder. He lived in constant danger working with the sick during a cholera epidemic. He was also a highly successful fund-raiser for charities for the poor. St. Vincent founded guilds for workers, agricultural schools, loan associations, orphanages and homes for the destitute. This saintly priest felt a strong calling to bring Christ to Muslims, and founded a program to incorporate lay people in the apostolate of priests. He founded the Pious Society of Missions (Pallottines) for urban mission work. He also started the special observance of the Octave of Epiphany for the reunion of the Eastern and Roman Churches, and the return of the Church in England. (Source: Catholic Forum Saints Index)
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
A PRAYER FOR PRIESTS
Keep them, I pray Thee, dearest Lord, Keep them, for they are Thine -
Thy priests whose lives burn out before Thy consecrated shrine.
Keep them, for they are in the world, Though from the world apart;
When earthly pleasures tempt, allure, - Shelter them in Thy heart.
Keep them, and comfort them in hours Of loneliness and pain,
When all their life of sacrifice For souls seems but in vain.
Keep them, and O remember, Lord, They have no one but Thee,
Yet they have only human hearts, With human frailty.
Keep them as spotless as the Host. That daily they caress;
Their every thought and word and deed, Deign, dearest Lord, to bless.
Imprimatur: +D. Card. Dougherty, Arch. of Philadelphia
Monday, September 15, 2008
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee,
Monday, September 8, 2008
"For thus says the LORD: Indeed, I will deliver you to terror, you and all your friends. Your own eyes shall see them fall by the sword of their enemies. All Judah I will deliver to the king of Babylon, who shall take them captive to Babylon or slay them with the sword." ~Jeremiah 20:4
Are we not being delivered to terror? Does any nation who legally condones the willfull murder of the most innocent deserve to exist? Who shall be America's Babylon? And what of Canada and Europe? We who have for the most part forsaken our Christian roots and beliefs, O where has the faith of our father's gone?
We must as a nation repent, or we shall pass through the door of Christ's judgment.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Temperance is one of the four cardinal virtues. It may be defined as the righteous habit which makes a man govern his natural appetite for pleasures of the senses in accordance with the norm prescribed by reason. In one sense temperance may be regarded as a characteristic of all the moral virtues; the moderation it enjoins is central to each of them. It is also according to St. Thomas Aquinas a special virtue. Thus, it is the virtue which fights concupiscence or which controls the yearning for pleasures and delights which most powerfully attract the human heart. These fall mainly into three classes: some are associated with the preservation of the human individual; others with the perpetuation of the race, and others still with the well-being and comfort of human life.
The virtue of modesty, as ranged under temperance, has as its task the holding in reasonable leash of the less violent human passions. It brings into service humility to set in order a man's interior. By transfusing his estimates with truth, and increasing his self-knowledge it guards him against the radical malice of pride. It is averse to pusillanimity, the product of low views and a mean-spirited will. In the government of the exterior of a man modesty aims to make it conform to the demands of decency and decorousness (honestas). In this way his whole outward tenor of conduct and method of life fall under its sway. Such things as his attire, manner of speech, habitual bearing, style of living, have to be made to square with its injunctions. To be sure the cannot always be settled by hard and fast rules. Convention will oftenhave a good deal to say in the case, but in turn will have its propriety determined by modesty. Other virtues are enumerated by St. Thomas as subordinate to temperance inasmuch as they imply moderation in the management of some passion. It ought to be noted, however, that in its primary and generally understood sense temperance is concerned with what is difficult for a man, not in so far as he is a rational being precisely, but rather in so far as he is an animal. The hardest duties for flesh and blood are self-restraint in the use of food and drink and of the venereal pleasures that go with the propagation of the race. That is why abstinence and chastity may be reckoned the chief and ordinary phases of this virtue. All that has been said receives additional force of we suppose that the self-control commanded by temperance is measured not only by the rule of reason but by the revealed law of God as well. It is called a cardinal virtue because the modration required for every righteous habit has in the practice of temperance a specially trying arena. The satisfactions upon which it imposes a check are at once supremely natural and necessary in the present order of human existence. It is not, however, the greatest of moral virtues. That rank is held by prudence; then come justice, fortitude, and finally temperance.