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Briefest Reminder Posts – Assumption and Kolbe Novenas August 7, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Novenas, Our Lady, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
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The Assumption Novena properly started yesterday, but you can start today and finish on the feast.  The Novena for Maximilian Kolbe started Saturday but better late than never.

Brief Assumption Novena below:

Mary, Queen Assumed into Heaven, I rejoice that after years of heroic martyrdom on earth, Thou hast at last been taken to the throne
prepared for Thee in heaven by the Holy Trinity.

Lift my heart with Thee in the glory of Thy Assumption above the dreadful touch of sin and impurity. Teach me how small earth becomes when viewed from heaven. Make me realize that death is the triumphant gate
through which I shall pass to Thy Son, and that someday my body shall rejoin my soul in the unending bliss of heaven.

From this earth, over which I tread as a pilgrim, I look to Thee for help. I ask for this favor:

(State your intention here…)

When my hour of death has come, lead me safely to the presence of Jesus to enjoy the vision of my God for all eternity together with Thee.

Novena to St. Maximilian Kolbe:

O St. Maximilian Kolbe,

faithful follower of St. Francis,

inflamed by the love of God

you dedicated your life to the practice of virtue

and to works of the apostolate.

Look down with favor upon us

who devoutly confide in your intercession, especially for:

(here mention your special requests)

 

Having consecrated yourself to the Immaculate Virgin Mary,

you inspired countless souls to a holy life

and various forms of the apostolate

in order to do good to others

and to spread the kingdom of God.

Obtain for us the grace by our lives and labors

to draw many souls to Christ.

 

In your close conformity to our Divine Savior

you reached such an intense degree of love

that you offered your life to save a fellow prisoner.

Implore God that we,

inflamed by such ardent charity,

may through our living faith and our apostolic works

witness Christ to others,

and thus merit to join you in the blessed vision of God.

Amen.

Praying as a family has such enormous spiritual efficacy!  Perhaps you could have as an intention for your Novena the conversion of this nation and our fallen world – or maybe better yet the conversion of the leadership of the Church and the restoration of the Church’s human element.

Whatever your intention, Novenas as a beautiful aspect of Catholic Tradition!

Catholic Tradition in Prayer: Saint Patrick’s Breastplate August 3, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Interior Life, Saints, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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According to tradition, St. Patrick wrote this hymn in AD 433 for divine protection before successfully converting the Irish king Leoghaire and his subjects from paganism to Christianity.  The breastplate of course references Ephesians vi:12-18, wherein St. Paul describes the various armaments we must take on (those of prayer and virtue) in order to do battle with the principalities and powers of this world.  So the name is quite apropos for the combat the great Saint of Ireland engaged in in converting a violent pagan country to the sweet yoke of Jesus Christ.

Some dispute whether the prayer really is that ancient, but at any rate it is beautiful, and since I had never come across it before reading The Gentle Traditionalist, I figured you may not be familiar with it, either.  Or maybe it’s widely known, I really don’t know.  At any rate, here it is:

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

———-End Quote————

It’s rather pretty and, I would say, quite lyrically Irish, is it not? I like it quite a bit. I hope to add this regularly to my prayer rotation.  God willing.

Perhaps this prayer might be invoked with the great evangelist Saint Patrick that the Church might be gifted with men of similar faith, devotion, and willingness to speak the truth in our own age.  The Church desperately needs some new Saints to reinvigorate the remaining faithful and begin converting the fallen away masses.

PS there are shorter versions of this prayer.  They basically are limited to the last half of the above.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori on How to Perform Our Actions Well      July 19, 2017

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In performing our actions well, the Saint means in the manner most pleasing to God.  This excerpt is from The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, a book originally intended for religious, but this section in particular has great relevance for all souls, not only those specifically consecrated to God in religious life (pp. 187-9).

Many times, we may get bogged down with the seemingly dull routine of life. We might find our job less than satisfying. We may be tempted to find as many distractions to get us through the day as possible (like, say, blogging).  We might find raising and educating kids very tiresome after 5 or 10 or even 2 years.  We might find it a lot more appealing to spend the afternoon on Facebook rather than do the laundry and check the kid’s math homework.

Even though our daily actions may not seem glamorous, even though they may eventually come to seem to be a tiresome routine, these constitute (for laity) the duties of our vocation in life and the means God has given us to grow in Grace and virtue.  We should not only perform these duties with great diligence, but we should even thank God for these means  He gives us to draw nearer to Him in this life.

Begin excerpt:

The following are the means to perform our actions well:

The first means is to preserve during the discharge of our duties a lively sense of the presence of God, that thus every act may be worthy of His divine eyes.

The second means is, to perform every work as if it were the only duty you had to fulfill. When at prayer, let your sole care be to pray well; when you say the Divine Office [which is not enjoined as precept on laity, but which is an extremely beneficial devotion], direct all your attention to the devout recitation of it; when engaged in any employment, your soul concern should be to discharge it well.  Think of nothing but the duty in which you are occupied. To examine, during the time of prayer, how you will direct a certain work, or to reflect on the mans of performing some other duty, is a temptation of the enemy.  “When,” says Saint John of Avila, “any unseasonable thought enters your mind, say: God does not will that I think at this moment on such a subject; and therefore it is not useful for me to reflect upon it: when He commands  me, I shall attend to it.”

The third means is, to perform every action as if it were the last of your life.  St. Anthony frequently recommended this means to his disciples. “In every work,” says St. Bernard, “let each one say to himself: If I were about to die, would I do this?”  Would I it in in this manner? Were this the last Mass that I should hear, with what devotion would I be present at it?………Were this my last Communion or my last meditation, with what fervor would I perform it?  When, says St. Basil, you discharge the duties of the morning, imagine that you shall not live till evening; when night approaches, think that you shall not see morning……….

Four, to think each day only on the labors of the day, is another means which greatly assists weak souls to discharge their duties with fervor.  The apprehension of the pains to be endured, in living till death with so much exactness, and in continually resisting self-love, is one of the causes which make many lose courage in the way of God.  The best means of conquering this temptation is to imagine each morning that you have but one day to live.  Whoever represents to himself that only one day of life remains, will certainly perform all the actions of that day with great perfection.  This means is very profitable for weak souls, but strong and perfect Christians do not require to conceal from themselves the labors necessary for the attainment of sanctity; they rejoice in suffering, and pant for opportunities of pleasing God.

Fifth, and finally, to those beginning to walk in the way of perfection it will be very useful to consider that what is in itself difficult and painful will by habit soon become easy and agreeableI will, says the Holy Ghost, lead thee by the paths of equity; which, when thou shalt have entered, shall not be straightened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not meet a stumbling block (Prov iv:11-12).  I will, says the Lord, first conduct  you into the narrow paths of virtue; but you shall soon walk through a broad and pleasing way, and there you shall run without difficulties or obstacles. “At first,” says St. Bernard, writing to Pope Eugenius, “some duty will seem intolerable; if you accustom yourself to it, in process of time it will not appear so difficult; afterwards you shall not feel it; and in the end you will delight in it.” Behold with your eyes, says Ecclesiasticus, how I have labored a little, and have found much rest to myself (Eccl li:35).

———-End Quote———–

Do you find it difficult to present to yourself each day or night as your last? This is something I – I’m not sure struggle with is the right phrase – I have not developed the habit of or accustomed myself to.   It seems something very much worth trying, for both embracing some of my more prosaic duties and overcoming some attachments I have so far been unable to separate myself from.  If you have experience with these methods, please share, or if you try them, let me know how they work out.

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga on the Practice of Humility June 6, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in attachments, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, Grace, mortification, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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If you’re anything like me, you may have a hard time practicing humility.  I don’t think blogging as an enterprise is well-suited for the development of humility, but it doesn’t have to be incompatible with the practice of this virtue.

In this era of exaltation of the self and the cult of instant gratification, probably few virtues aside from purity have been more trammeled on and disregarded than humility.

Mostly I fail in humility in preferring my own thoughts, plans, and opinions to others.  But I also do so in myriad other ways.  Probably most readers are stronger in this virtue than I am.  If so, please pray for me.

On the other hand, if you feel you could use some help in the growth of the practice of humility, you might consider the counsel given by the great Saint Aloysius Gonzaga. There are no great mysteries or deep behavioral insights below, but I have found that imploring the Lord, the Blessed Virgin, and the Saints for their help in acquiring this virtue can reap great rewards. Especially focus on those Saints known for their humility, such as St. Teresa of Avila and Saint Mary Magdalene dei Pazzi. Also, St. Joseph, especially for men, is our model of humility.  He is barely mentioned in the Gospels, because he married exceedingly well the practice of humility with his role as protector and provider of the two holiest creatures who have ever trod the earth. I find this an especial challenge for fathers, marrying humility with right family leadership, not asserting what I want because of my role, but also not failing in my God-given duty as leader of our domestic church and family.  It is a difficult balance, one I cannot say I always practice with perfection.

Intro aside, here are Saint Aloysius Gonzaga’s two rules for making progress in humility:

The first means is to remember that although this virtue is most becoming to man, on account of his lowliness, nevertheless it does not grow upon our earth, but must be obtained from Heaven by prayer to Him, from Whom every best gift and every perfect gift comes.  Since, then, you are proud, force yourself to ask this virtue of the infinite Majesty of God, its first Source, with all the humility of which you are capable, and ask it through the merits and intercession of the deep humility of Jesus Christ, Who, when He was in the form of God, emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant.

The second means is to have recourse to the intercession of those Saints who have especially excelled in this virtue.

Remember, first, that if the Saints while on earth merited to obtain this virtue in such a high degree, they must certainly now be still more worthy and deserving, since in Heaven they are far more pleasing to God than they ever were on earth. And as they no longer need to humble themselves for their own sake, since by this virtue they have already won their way to the heights of Heaven, beg of them to obtain for you from God this virtue of humility.

Secondly, consider that on earth everyone naturally tries to help those who follow the calling in which he has distinguished himself.  For example, a great general who frequents the King’s Court will recommend to his royal master those who devote themselves to service in the army; a distinguished man of letters will patronize those who follow a literary vocation………So too in Heaven those who excelled in some particular virtue more than in others, whilst they lived on earth, will most favor and help those who are striving most to acquire these virtues, and who seek their intercession in order to obtain them.  These considerations should encourage you, in the first place, to have recourse especially to the Blessed Virgin Mother of God, for she excelled in the virtue of humility far beyond any other mere creature.  Then hasten to the holy Apostles, to St. Peter, who said of himself “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man), and to St. Paul, who, although he had been rapt into the third heaven, had such a humble opinion of himself that he said: “Jesus came to save sinners, of whom I am the chief.”

The first of these two thoughts will help you to understand how powerful these Saints are with God in obtaining for  you this virtue; and the second will show you not only how much they are able to do, but also how willing they are to do it.

———-End Excerpt———–

Saint Alphonsus’ 16 Principal Means for Attaining Sanctity June 1, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, mortification, religious, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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The world may seem to be falling down around us, but our duty is to practice virtue and work towards the attainment of the greatest sanctity possible regardless.  From The True Spouse of Jesus Christ, Saint Alphonsus’ 16 means to the attainment of sanctity.

This list, as it goes along, becomes quite challenging, but it is held up as an example of how to attain perfection, to whatever degree we are capable in cooperation with Grace:

  1. Strong and ardent desire to become a saint.
  2. Great confidence in Jesus Christ and in His Holy Mother.
  3. To avoid every deliberate sin or defect, and after a fault not to lose courage, but to make an act of contrition for it, and then resume  your ordinary occupations.
  4. To cut off all attachment to creatures, to self-will, and self-esteem.
  5. To resist continually your own inclinations. [4 and 5 are very difficult, and will take many a lifetime even to begin, but we are talking about attainment of practical perfection, to the degree humans aided by Grace are capable of such.  The thing is to do  your best and, most importantly, always be advancing, never retreating]
  6. To observe with exactness the rules governing your state in life.
  7. To perform your ordinary duties with all possible perfection
  8. To communicate often – with the permission of your director/priest; to make long and frequent meditations,  and to perform all the mortifications which he will permit
  9. To prefer, on all occasions, those actions which are most agreeable to God, and most opposed to self-love.
  10. To receive all crosses and contradictions with joy and gladness from the hands of God.
  11. To love and serve those who persecute you. [10 and 11 are also very difficult. They are so contrary to our fallen natures. But again we are talking about working towards perfection]
  12. To spend every moment of your time for God.
  13. To offer to God all your actions in union with the merits of Jesus Christ.
  14. To make a special oblation of yourself to God, that He may dispose of you and of all you possess in whatever way He pleases.
  15. To protest continually before God that His pleasure and love are the only objects of your wishes.
  16. Lastly, and above all, to pray continually, and to recommend yourself, with unbounded confidence, to Jesus Christ and to His Virgin Mother and to entertain a special affection and tenderness towards Mary.

On the need to always be advancing in sanctity, and never retreating, a further excerpt:

“Not to advance,” says St. Augustine, “is to go back.” St. Gregory beautifully explains this maxim of spiritual life by comparing a Christian who seeks to remain stationary in the path of virtue to a man who is in a boat on a rapid river, and striving to keep the boat always in the same position………Since the fall of Adam man is naturally inclined to evil from birth……..Because, in the way of God, a Christian must either go forward and advance in virtue or backward and rush headlong into vice.

In seeking eternal salvation, we must, according to St. Paul, never rest, but must run continually in the way of perfection, that we may win the prize and secure an incorruptible crown.  So that you may obtain (I Cor ix:24). If we fail, the fault will be ours; for God wills that all be holy and perfect.  This is the will of God – your sanctification (I Thess iv:3). He even commands us to be perfect and holy.  Be you therefore perfect, also your Heavenly Father is perfect (Matt v:48). Be holy because I am holy. [Lest we think God demands more of us than is possible……..] He promises and gives, as the holy Council of Trent teaches, abundant strength, for the observance of all His commands, to those who ask it from Him.  “God does not command impossibilities; but by His precepts He admonishes you to do what you can, and to ask what you cannot do; and He assists you, that you may be able to do it.”

———-End Quote———–

Earlier in the week we had the four practices that principally sanctified Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.  St. Alphonsus breaks those down into more detailed steps with a bit different emphasis.  There are many mansions in the Father’s house. There are many paths to sanctity.  But all revolve around constant prayer, devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and Our Lady, self-denial, practice of virtue, and eschewing all sin.  Not difficult to understand, but extremely difficult to practice.

Especially in this fallen age.  But it has always been such, I suppose.

The Four Sacred Devotions that Drove Saint Aloysius Gonzaga to Great Sanctity May 30, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Domestic Church, Eucharist, family, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, manhood, mortification, religious, Saints, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, thanksgiving, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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From the Life of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Patron of Christian Youth by Maurice Meschler, SJ, the four pious practices the Saint felt were most efficacious in achieving great sanctity and practice of devotion to our Blessed Lord.  None of  these particular devotions will be strange or unfamiliar to readers, but the passion and fervor with which they were practiced were spectacular.  Our Catholic Faith is not difficult to comprehend – many wholly uneducated people have  become hidden saints – but it is very difficult to put into practice.  That is why the Lord has blessed His Church with many canonized Saints, to provide us with direct examples of how to conduct lives pleasing to Him:

The practice of the various Catholic devotions is an important point, and an excellent means of promoting the spiritual life.  Aloysius had four special devotions.  The first of these was the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar.  In his father’s house and in the midst of his life in the world, it had been a joy to him to serve Mass; and now in the novitiate he could do this to his heart’s content.  Very often during the day he visited the Blessed Sacrament in the church, or in an adjoining chapel.  In order to prepare well for Holy Communion, he divided the week into two parts, the first of which he devoted to thanksgiving for his last Communion, and the second to preparation for the next. [Back then, even such obvious Saints as Aloysius Gonzaga could only receive weekly, if they were fortunate.  Today we can the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar daily, but do we really adequately prepare ourselves, or render due thanksgiving, for this unspeakable Gift? Do we sometimes, or perhaps often, take it for granted, or allow the concerns of the world and the flesh to crowd our souls and cause us to receive the Sacrament in a blasé fashion? While we may not have the time or the gift of such immense sanctity to make such preparations or thanksgivings as Gonzaga did, perhaps we could do a bit more?]    On the eve of his Communion day he would speak with touching piety of the happiness in store for him the next morning.  Many of his companions, and even those who were already priests, who wished to prepare well for Holy Mass, sought to be with him on such days, in order to be moved to greater fervor by his piety and the ardent love which his words displayed.  On the morning of the day itself, his first thought was of the Savior he was about to receive, and he passed the whole hour appointed for meditation in pious reflections upon the Blessed Sacrament.  He sought out a quiet corner of the church to make his immediate preparation and thanksgiving, and his heart overflowed with the sweetest consolation. Many other worshippers who saw him, but did not know him, concluded merely from the sight of his fervor that he must have a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and even that he must be a Saint.  He spent the whole morning after his Communion in silence and recollection, praying and reading passages from St. Augustine or St. Bernard. [If Saint Aloysius devoted days and hours to preparation and thanksgiving, perhaps we could arrive to Mass a 10 or 15 minutes early (or more) to properly prepare ourselves, and not move to depart the church the instant Mass ends?] Thus the precious seed, planted by Saint Charles Borremeo in the child’s heart at his First Communion, had grown into a beautiful tree that enriched his whole life and character with its blossoms and fruits.  [For it was from this Saint that Aloysius Gonzaga received his First Communion]….And the Church herself has raised an imperishable memorial to this beautiful trait of his piety, in the Collects of the Mass for his feast, in which she commemorates his excellent method of preparation and thanksgiving for Communion, and begs God to grant us the grace to ever appear at this heavenly banquet adorned with the wedding garment of Grace, whose beauty Aloysius enhanced as with pearls of inestimable value by his pious preparation and copious tears.

A second favorite devotion of the Saint was that to the Passion of Our Lord.  The life of suffering and mortification he led naturally urged him to seek in the mysteries of the Passion a model of strength and comfort.  Everyday at noon he recited an antiphon in honor of the Passion, and placed himself in spirit before the Cross of Our Savior……

…….His third devotion was his ardent love of Our Lady. Since his sojourn in Florence she had been the Queen of his heart and the guiding star of his life, and he never tired of thinking of her, honoring her, praising and loving her, especially now that he could appreciate the inestimable benefit he owed to her in his vocation.  In his letters to his mother he frequently recommends her to have a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin, holds up to her in her trials the example of the Mother of God and encourages her to be faithful in the service of the Queen of Heaven……

..Lastly, Aloysius had a special devotion to the holy Angels.  Virginal souls have a certain affinity to the Angels, and always feel attracted to them.  His veneration for these blessed spirits was so well-known to his companions that when Fr. Vincent Bruno was about to publish a book of meditations, he asked Aloysius to write the meditation on the Holy Angels, and the Saint joyfully complied.  Thus originated the little “Treatise upon the Angels, especially the Holy Guardian Angels.” After having cited the principal passages of Scripture in which the Angels are mentioned, he speaks in the first part of Angels in general, showing the necessity of devotion to them, first, from the example of the Church, secondly, from their nature and dignity, third, from their number, and lastly from their ninefold order. It is remarkable and very characteristic of Aloysius, that he unites devotion to the HOly Angels with his favorite virtue of humility in this first part of the meditation: “Consider how fitting it is, that on the feast of the invincible Arcangel the Gospel of the virtue of humility is read; for while proud Lucifer, on the one hand, was precipitated from his lofty throne in Heaven down into the depths of hell, because he presumed to arrogate divine honor to himself, the humble Archangel Michael and the whole host of the good Angels were highly honored and raised to the  highest rank, because they submitted to their Creator and full of zeal for his honor, opposed the proud serpent.”

……A colloquy with God after the meditation teaches us “to beg Him, Who bestowed such abundant graces upon the Angels, to grant unto us also through their intercession the grace to imitate their humility, clarity, and purity.”…..

…….A slip of paper has been preserved, upon which Aloysius had noted down for his own use a few “pious practices in honor of the Holy Angels”: “Imagine yourself standing in the midst of the nine choirs of Angels, as they pray to God and sing that hymn of praise: ‘Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortalis.’ Repeat this prayer nine times in union with them – Recommend yourself three times daily to the special care of your Guardian Angel.  Every morning and evening, and during the day, when you visit the church and pray at the altar, recite the prayer ‘Angele Dei.’ [Angel of God…..] Remember that you must follow the guidance of your Angel, like a blind man who does not know the way, and trusts entirely to the care of the person who leads him.”……….

……..One of the effects of his frequent and fervent prayers was an uninterrupted union with God.  It cost Aloysius more effort to put the thought of God away from his mind than it does others to turn their thoughts away from creatures to God.

———–End Quote———-

I was unfamiliar with Saint Aloysius before reading this biography, but what a great Saint he was.  And is.  A patron for Christian youth, indeed, his purity was unequaled.  He often did not even know what women he had been met numerous times before looked like, so skilled was he in practicing custody of the eyes.  His practice of prayer and penance was so immense his superiors in the Jesuit novitiate actually had to restrict his activities to some degree in these regards, so as not to so surpass his confreres as to disrupt the unity of the group nor cause discouragement in others.

I would strongly encourage parents to learn about Saint Aloysius Gonzaga and have their children do the same.  He is a great example and powerful protector in this time of gross immodesty, unchecked lusts, and a million lurking dangers for children.

The “Other” Miracle at Fatima after the Sun Danced May 24, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Our Lady, Saints, sanctity, thanksgiving, Tradition.
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Reader TE sent this to me this past week, it’s not a huge miracle but it’s an interesting follow-up to what was the most widely seen miracle in the history of the Church – at least since Pentecost or when our Blessed Lord walked this earth:

Several years ago Carl Malburg had the privilege of speaking with a woman who was present in Fatima at the Miracle of the Sun. But what she really wanted to tell him about was the second miracle she witnessed there at Fatima shortly after she and everyone saw the sun dancing in the sky, hurling toward earth, then returning to its place in the heavens.

…….While following the usual pattern of going to a diocese then traveling through parishes, hospitals, and nursing homes with that Pilgrim Virgin statue, Malburg happened to be in San Diego in 1997. There, a woman told him her mother was in Fatima and saw the miracle.  [So this was a little more than several years go.  It was more like 20.]

Malburg picks up the story. “The woman said my mother has always wished to be interviewed because she’s always wanted to tell the story. She is still living, 92 years old now. She insists Our Lady is keeping her mind sharp until someone interviews her.” 

The custodian told this daughter he didn’t know Portuguese but would get someone he knew to translate. He chuckled at this point because the woman answered him, “My mother’s lived in America since 1942. She lost all her Portuguese years ago.”

Since this was the first-ever person at the Miracle of the Sun that Malburg encountered, he asked John Haffert to go with him to talk to her. But Haffert told him to go by himself.

“I found out why she thought why she should be interviewed,” he well remembers from when he got there. “She said she was 12, and that she and the other girls — four of them — walked all the way up from the coast to Fatima.”

Malburg continued with the story as the elderly woman told it. “We were children, and we pushed our way through the crowd. We came really close to the center where the apparitions would be there, and we climbed on some rocks and blocked the view of people behind. We could look down and see [everything]. The three children [Lucia, Jacinta, Francisco] would never have gotten there unless carried on the shoulders of some big men who pushed their way through the crowds.”

Malburg didn’t go into detail about what the woman, whose name has disappeared in the annals of time and travels, said about the sun, but that “she wanted to tell me something else. She moved on because there was another miracle not in the books,” he says. [So a woman reveals a heretofore unknown, and quite significant, set of details regarding the unprecedented apparitions and miracles at Fatima, and you don’t bother to get a name?!?  Dude.]

She told him, “A lot of people picked the twigs and leaves of the bushes to take” because they smelled so good, so aromatic. Those went quickly. “But we picked up some pebbles around the bush [by where Our Lady appeared] because they would smell good too.” Malburg was amazed that here it was 80 years later and she told him she had those pebbles in her furniture draw, making her clothes smell fresh even then.

The woman continued her miracle story. “People put their rosaries on the ground. They knew what way the Blessed Mother would face, and they put their rosaries out there in front of the place. [The pile of] rosaries were shaped like a cross. [After the apparition] There were so many that when everybody went to get their rosaries, they were all tangled up. And they were trying to find the right rosary.

“The men had the three children up on their shoulders again,” she said. Malburg adds, “Otherwise they would be buffeted and smothered — I knew that for a fact.” The woman told him about the girl’s new dresses and people pulling pieces of the lace around them. Malburg also knew about that.

“It was all adding up except the rosaries,” he says. “Then she said, One of the children saw the people had the rosaries all tangled. Then the children slid down from the shoulders, took a handful of [the tangled] rosaries and just passed them out. None were tangled! And everybody got the right rosary! We watched that happen!” she told Malburg, still in amazement.

The woman had waited to tell someone who someday in her lifetime was going to interview her that story about what she and her friends witnessed with the pile of tangled rosaries miraculously untangled, and each one immediately given to the right owner without the seer knowing who in that crowd owned which one.

“My wife and I got goosebumps listening to that,” Malburg recalls.

He immediately asked Haffert, “Are you aware people laid their rosaries in the mud hoping to get a blessing on them?” No one ever told him that, he answered.

“This lady told me a lot of rosaries were laid around the bush,” Malburg repeated, and she said “rosaries were all tangled up. She insisted they [she and her friends] were standing on the rocks, and saw the children pick the rosaries up and hand them out blindly, and everyone got their right rosary.”

Haffert answered him, “Why would you doubt it?”

About 10 years later Malburg came across a magazine article in Portugal that verified this miracle. “This truly was one of the highlights,” he says of the story of the second, little-known miracle at Fatima right after the sun danced in the sky. 

As I said, not exactly a huge miracle, but interesting.  Have you ever heard of this before?

Eucharistic Devotion of the Saints May 24, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, Eucharist, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, reading, Saints, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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From Eucharistic Miracles by Joan Carroll Cruz, some thoughts by great Saints on the nature and benefits of the Eucharist.  More specifically, this excerpt and the quotes contain therein highlight once again the enormous, wholly unearned and amazingly generous Gift Christ makes of the Eucharist.  What really struck me is how careful we should be in receiving the Blessed Sacrament.  Not in a Jansenist sense where an 18th century French Jansenist priest bragged there were zero sacrilegious communions at his parish that Christmas because there were NO communions at his parish!  But we’re in the opposite extreme in the Church now, where it is metaphysical certitude that people persisting in a manifest state of mortal sin are receiving Communion – literally re-crucifying Christ in a mystical way.  And not just a few people, but millions, likely tens or even hundreds of millions every day.

So if you fall into a sin make sure you make a good Confession before receiving!   There is a union there we cannot really even comprehend in this life, but we will in the next, God willing.  It is so sublime and generous on God’s part we can only dimly perceive its outer edges.  But it is not something we should ever trifle with, take advantage of, or assume we have “earned” or is our due.  It is always the most incomprehensible Gift imaginable and we should do all we can to be as little unworthy – as inoffensive, as our own “worthiness” will never happen –  as possible:

Devotion to the Holy Eucharist has been expressed in one way or another by all the Saints of the Church.  This is a statement that cannot be contradicted.  Since Our Lord instituted this holy Sacrament to unite Himself with us, to nourish our souls, and as a means of retaining His presence among us in tabernacles throughout the world, the saints have embraced this treasure with faith and love…….

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori expressed his heartfelt appreciation for the Blessed Sacrament in this way:

Our most loving Redeemer, on the last night of His Life, knowing that the much-longed-for time had arrived on which He should die for the love of man, had not the heart to leave us alone in this valley of tears; but in order that He might not be separated form us even by death, He would leave us His whole self as food in the Sacrament of the Altar; giving us to understand by this that, having given us this gift of infinite worth, He could give us nothing further to prove to us his infinite love. 

This same thought is also expressed by St. Peter of Alcantara, who wrote in one of his meditations:

No tongue is able to express the greatness of the love which Jesus bears to every soul.  Hence that His absence might not be an occasion of forgetting Him, He left to His spouse the Church, before His departure from this world, this most holy Sacrament in which He Himself remained, wishing that between them there should be no other pledge than Himself to keep alive the remembrance of Him.

St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi expresses her faith and love for the Sacrament by praying:

O Lord, You are as truly present under the sacramental species as You are in Heaven at the right hand of the Father.  Because I have and possess this great wonder, I do not long for, want, or desire any other. 

St. Teresa of Avila had the following consideration:

I cannot doubt at all at Your Real Presence in the Eucharist.  You have given me such a lively faith that when I hear others say they wish they had been living when You were on earth, I laugh to myself, for I know that I possess You as truly in the Blessed Sacrament as people did then, and I wonder what more anyone could possibly want.

St. Teresa of Avila gives us cause to consider the great wisdom and kindness of Our Savior in veiling Himself under the appearance of bread.  She prays:

How could I, a poor sinner, who have so often offended You, dare to approach You, O Lord, if I beheld You in all Your majesty?  Under the appearance of bread, however, it is easy to approach You, for if a king disguises himself, it seems as if we do not have to talk to him with so much circumspection and ceremony.  If You were not hidden, O Lord, who would dare to approach You with such coldness, so unworthily, and with so many imperfections?

Saint Bernard calls the Sacrament of the Altar “The Love of loves,” while St. Thomas Aquinas said that the Holy Eucharist is “a Sacrament of love and a to ken of the greatest love that a God could give us.”

Saint Lawrence Justinian tell us, “We have seen the All-Wise made foolish by an excess of love” – to which the Cure of Ars, St. Jean Baptiste Marie Vianney, adds, “I tis the destiny of every consecrated Host to melt with love in a human heart.”

It is said of St. Francis of Assisi that “every fiber of his heart was kindled into love for the Sacrament of Christ’s Body,” and he constantly urged his brothers to bring others to know and love Christ living in the Blessed Sacrament.  From this love sprang  St. Francis deep reverence for priests.  He declared that if confronted  with an angel and  an unworthy priest, he would kiss the hand that had touched the Body of Christ before saluting the angel.  One day someone pointed out a priest living in notorious sin. Francis instantly knelt before him, kissing his hands and saying, “These hands have touched my Lord, and out of love for Him I honor His vicar.  For himself he may be bad; but for me he is good.”  Even before his conversion, St. Francis honored Our Lord in the Eucharist by sending costly and beautiful gifts to adorn poor churches.  He felt nothing was good enough for the dwelling place of Christ. [Contrast that with  the brutalist bathhouse design of most parishes today and of the past 70 years]

Our Lord’s words, “Take ye and eat, this is My Body……” inspired St. John Chrysostom to remark, “It is as if He had said, ‘Eat me, that the highest union may take place.’” The Saint further remarked, “To that Lord on whom the angels even dare not fix their eyes, to Him we unite ourselves, and we are made one body, one flesh.” Of this union St. Cyril of Alexandria observed that “as two pieces of melted wax unite together, so a soul that communicates is so thoroughly united to Jesus that Jesus remains in it, and it in Jesus.”

St. Francis de Sales concludes:

In no action does our Savior show Himself more loving or more tender than in this one, in which, as it were, He annihilates Himself and reduces Himself to food in order to penetrate our souls and unite Himself to the hearts of His faithful ones.

———End Quote———-

Francis at Fatima: “I am the bishop in white” May 23, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Christendom, cultural marxism, different religion, error, Francis, General Catholic, pr stunts, Revolution, Saints, scandals, Society, the struggle for the Church, unbelievable BS.
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Well, I guess that’s settled now:

Lots of good stuff from Matt, including expressions of grave doubt against the growing drumbeat towards war with Syria – yet another Mideast country where the US apparently has a grave national interest in seeing the ancient Catholic communities wiped out.

I must also agree with Matt that the very watered-down canonization process that has been implemented in the past 35 years – because the most substantial changes happened well after the Council and were in fact put in place by Pope Saint John Paul II (who wound up, in a certain sense, being a beneficiary of the changes, at least as far as his public cultus goes) – has helped contribute to a “meh, whatever” sense regarding the many canonizations to which we are now exposed.  The dilution of the requirement for miracles from 3 to 1 (or none?), the deletion of the role of the devil’s advocate – these things have I think helped trivialize the process and decrease the general affection souls have towards the Church Triumphant in Heaven.

 

Francis also expresses what must be assumed to be disbelief of several recent – and Church-approved – Marian apparitions, accosting those who believe that Mary’s intercession stays her Son’s wrathful arm as basically an invention of the mind of  some of the faithful.  Mary referred to staying her Son’s arm not only at La Sallete but also Akita.  Apparently Francis takes a dim view of those revelations.  As for imposing one’s own beliefs on the Church – project much, Francis?

There is much more, it’s well worth watching.  The video does close with some good news that the school principal who insulted, cussed at, and threatened some home schooled evangelical kids who were witnessing against abortion outside the public school he serves at has been suspended.  Whether that is with or without pay is not stated.  If it were a Catholic cussing out and threatening some little pagans arguing in favor of abortion, does anyone doubt he would have been fired on the spot?  But that’s what the Left wants, the full measure of the law or social rules (rules they invent) for you, but special kid glove treatment for themselves.  Of course they deserve that, because every leftist knows, they are just better than everyone else.

If this double standard continues, it will be the end of this country.  People will not stand to be treated as second class citizens.  Or will they?  For now, I think, a majority answers no, as the election of Trump, I think, proves.  I think these kinds of social-interaction issues played a huge role in Trump’s election.

Blessed Miguel Pro, the Cristiada, and the Synagogue of Satan May 1, 2017

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, history, Holy suffering, Latin Mass, manhood, martyrdom, mortification, priests, Saints, sanctity, secularism, Spiritual Warfare, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
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Great sermon from Padre Not Tony Romo, on the life and suffering of Blessed Miguel Pro.  He then ties in his own apostolate trying to re-establish the authentic practice of the Faith in Latin America generally and once so devout Mexico in particular.

As is widely known, Blessed Miguel Pro, SJ, was one of many Catholic priest-martyrs of the Cristiada in Mexico, which developed after a masonic-inspired cabal of Christ-hating pseudo-revolutionaries gained control of that tortured nation’s governance.  I did not know, as Father relates, that Blessed Miguel Pro levitated during his final Mass before his capture and martyrdom, nor that his face was transfigured as on Mount Tabor.  Very interesting.

I like how Father notes the false Catholics of our time (and all times), those who, when confronted with a contradiction between the Truth of Jesus Christ and the ways of the world, choose the world over Jesus Christ.  Father does not say this, but the greatest reason for the crisis in the human element of the Church is that the vast majority of priests and prelates today are of just that type of Catholic, those who choose the world over Jesus Christ in the constant belief and practice of the Faith.  In fact, there was an entire ecumenical council that was captured, or hijacked, by this same spirit.  Or, at least, many think, and so it seems.

Many of those who choose the world over Christ lambaste those who still cling to Christ and His Truth as extremists, fanatics. Amazingly, guns are no longer needed to persecute the Faith out of Catholics, Catholics have largely voluntarily lost their faith under the bad example of so many priests and prelates, the errors taught since 1965, and the practice of all manner of immodesty, unchastity, and personal filthiness.  That is to say, the reason men like Plutarco Calles used violence was to force Catholics of the time to lose their faith through exposure to evils like pronographic sexual education in the state schools that replaced parochial schools.  Today, people happily partake of far worse of their own volition.

Good sermon:

I have had the privilege of meeting this priest and I follow his apostolate with some closeness.  I continue to be impressed with his devotion to the many souls in his care and efforts to restore the Catholic Faith in Mexico, which never really

Sorry if this is too many sermons for one day!