Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"In your patience you shall possess your souls"

"With tragic consequences, a long historical process is reaching a turning-point. The process which once led to discovering the idea of "human rights"—rights inherent in every person and prior to any Constitution and State legislation—is today marked by a surprising contradiction. Precisely in an age when the inviolable rights of the person are solemnly proclaimed and the value of life is publicly affirmed, the very right to life is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death… This is what is happening also at the level of politics and government: the original and inalienable right to life is questioned or denied on the basis of a parliamentary vote or the will of one part of the people—even if it is the majority. This is the sinister result of a relativism which reigns unopposed: the "right" ceases to be such, because it is no longer firmly founded on the inviolable dignity of the person, but is made subject to the will of the stronger part. In this way democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism."
—POPE JOHN PAUL II, Evangelium Vitae, “The Gospel of Life”, n. 18, 20

Look with eyes that see. We need to wake up and see that soon this country and the world will be sunk in the mire of totalitarianism where Christianity will be persecuted and not tolerated. We need to pray for the grace to persevere until the end...

"And there shall be great earthquakes in divers places, and pestilences, and famines, and terrors from heaven; and there shall be great signs. But before all these things, they will lay their hands upon you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, dragging you before kings and governors, for my name's sake. And it shall happen unto you for a testimony. Lay it up therefore into your hearts, not to meditate before how you shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist and gainsay.
And you shall be betrayed by your parents and brethren, and kinsmen and friends; and some of you they will put to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake. But a hair of your head shall not perish. In your patience you shall possess your souls. And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed about with an army; then know that the desolation thereof is at hand."
~Luke 21:11-20 Douay-Rheims version

Argeles Nazi Concentration Camp

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Will of the Lord

Have I mentioned before and I am NO MYSTIC? I am just a simple Catholic lady struggling like every one else. The list of my faults and frequent failures are too numberous to list. I have been undergoing a great trial in my life and am currently burning in the furnace of stress. To deal with this I have turned, as I have in the past, to penance and daily Mass. When I am suffering mentally/spiritually I have a very difficult time praying, except perhaps a desperate ejaculatory prayer from time to time and an offering of my anguish. Anyway - I was offering one such prayer this morning before mass "Lord, what do you will?" ...or something to that effect. Without thinking anything of it, I then opened my missal and my eyes fell DIRECTLY upon the following:

"This is the will of God - your sanctification." (I Thess iv. 3)

I guess that's pretty clear. Lord do with me what you will. Amen+

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Absolution over the Catafalque

The Absolution of the dead is a series of prayers for pardon and remission of sins that are said in the Catholic Church over the body of a deceased before burial. Sadly, this beautiful rite has gone into serious lack of use since the second Vatican Council.

From Wikipedia-

"In the Catholic Church the Absolute are said over a deceased Catholic following a Requiem Mass and before burial. The absolution of the dead does not forgive sins or confer the sacramental absolution of the Sacrament of Penance. Rather, it is a series of prayers to God that the person's soul will not have to suffer the temporal punishment in purgatory due for sins which were forgiven during the person's life.
The absolution of the dead is only performed in context of the Tridentine Mass. Following the Second Vatican Council, the absolution of the dead was removed from the funeral liturgy of the Mass of Paul VI."

Very happily - I came into possession of an early 1900's pocket missalette called "Manna of the Soul" This is the little gem I've been bringing with me to Mass. I have taken to the practice of reading from the Mass of the Dead at differing times before and during mass. The prayers are so beautiful, so uplifting - at times they cause my soul to soar. Although these are prayers for the dead, I have found them among THE most consoling prayers ever written.

I encourage anyone - everyone to obtain an old missal, or simply download them from the internet and try them out. Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, they desperately need our charity - especially now during the month of the dead.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

St. Winefride

An excellent blog post on one of my patron saints. I pray God grant me to be able to pilgrimmage to Holywell someday and walk the ground of St. Winefride and also St. Edmund, martyr. Amen+

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Holy Trinity

The Trinity with the Holy Souls in Purgatory
Corrado Giaquinto, c. 1743 Italy

I've posted this amazing picture before. I'm proud to say it's home is here in Minnesota at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. This is one of my favorite works of art. I have not seen an image of the Holy Trinity before that depicts Jesus dead. Also the facial expression of the man in the purgatorial flames in the bottom left - sublime.