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Friday, June 8, 2018

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As they were looking on, so we too gaze on his wounds as he hangs. We see his blood as he dies. We see the price offered by the redeemer, touch the scars of his resurrection. He bows his head, as if to kiss you. His heart is made bare open, as it were, in love to you. His arms are extended that he may embrace you. His whole body is displayed for your redemption. Ponder how great these things are. Let all this be rightly weighed in your mind: as he was once fixed to the cross in every part of his body for you, so he may now be fixed in every part of your soul. – 

St. Augustine

Monday, June 4, 2018

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Keresztlevétel (1847), Mihály Zichy

"The intensity of certain sorrows makes them almost sacred 
and compels them to be hidden from the eyes of men."

Thursday, May 31, 2018

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Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All
Fredrick W. Faber 1814-1863
Tune: Sweet Sacrament 

Jesus, my Lord, my God, my All,
How can I love Thee as I ought?
And how revere this wondrous gift,
So far surpassing hope or thought?
Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore!
O make us love Thee more and more!
O make us love Thee more and more.
Had I but Mary's sinless heart,
To love Thee with, my dearest King
O! with what bursts of fervent praise,
Thy goodness, Jesus would I sing!
Sweet Sacrament, we Thee adore!
O make us love Thee more and more!
O make us love Thee more and more!
O make us love Thee more and more!

"This food we call the Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake except one who believes that the things we teach are true, and has received the washing for forgiveness of sins and for rebirth, and who lives as Christ handed down to us. For we do not receive these things as common bread or common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior being incarnate by God's Word took flesh and blood for our salvation, so also we have been taught that the food consecrated by the Word of prayer which comes from him, from which our flesh and blood are nourished by transformation, is the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus." 
St. Justin Martyr

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

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One of life’s great scandals is pain. Not only in ourselves but in others. Pain will always be a trouble to the human mind as well as to the human body. How did our Lord look upon it? When he went into the Garden of Gethsemane on Holy Thursday night, there was an alternative presented to him: the alternative of the sword and the cup.

As he abandons himself to his Father’s will, coming down on this moonlit night is a band of about 200 led by Judas. Peter takes out a sword to defend our blessed Lord…. Our Lord said to Peter, ‘Put the sword back again into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup my Father gave?’ asks Jesus. ‘My Father’? Not Pilate? Not Herod? Not you and me? Not the people? Is this the cup the loving Father gives? That’s precisely the point.

All pains, all trials of life pass through God’s hands first, before they ever come to us. Before Satan could strike Job, God reviewed the punishments that Satan would visit upon Job and said ‘You may touch everything except his soul.’ And so what our blessed Lord is saying is that the pains that we have are seen and known by the Father. That was the way he looked on pain.

from A Voice from Calvary

Thursday, May 24, 2018

A CHURCH which is not one in its doctrine and faith can never be the True Church. Hence, because truth must be one, of all the different churches, only one can be the true one, and outside of that Church there is no salvation.
Now, in order to determine which is this one true Church, it is necessary to examine which is the Church first founded by Jesus Christ, for when this is ascertained, it must be confessed that this one alone is the true Church which, having once been the true Church must always have been the true Church and must forever be the true Church. For to this first Church has been made the promise of the Savior that the gates of Hell would never be able to overturn it [Matt 16:18].
In the entire history of religion, we find that the Roman Catholic Church alone was the first Church, and that the other false and heretical churches afterwards departed and separated from her. This is the Church which was propagated by the Apostles and afterwards governed by pastors whom the Apostles themselves appointed to rule over her. This character can be found only in the Roman Church, whose pastors descend securely by an uninterrupted and legitimate succession from the Apostles of the world [Matt 28:20].
The innovators themselves do not deny that the Roman Church was the first which Jesus Christ founded. However, they say that it was the true Church until the fifth century, or until it fell away, because it had been corrupted by the Catholics. But how could that Church fall which St. Paul calls the "pillar and ground of truth" [1 Timothy 3:15]? No, the Church has not failed. The truth is, that all the false churches, which have separated from the Roman Church, have fallen away and erred.
To convince all heretical sects of their error, there is no way more certain and safe than to show that our Catholic Church has been the first one founded by Jesus Christ. For, this being established, it is proved beyond all doubt that ours is the only true Church and that all the others which have left it and separated are certainly in error. But, pressed by this argument, the innovators have invented an answer. They say that the visible Church has failed, but not the invisible Church. But these doctrines are diametrically opposed to the Gospel.
The innovators have been challenged several times to produce a text of Sacred Scripture which would prove the existence of the invisible church they invented, and we are unable to obtain any such text from them. How could they adduce such a text when, addressing His Apostles whom He left as the propagators of His Church, Jesus said: "You cannot be hidden" [Matt 5:14].
Thus He has declared that the Church cannot help but be visible to everyone. The Church has been at all times, and will forever be, necessarily visible, so that each person may always be able to learn from his pastor the true doctrine regarding the dogmas of faith, to receive the Sacraments, to be directed in the way of salvation, and to be enlightened and corrected should he ever fall into error.
For, were the Church in any time hidden and invisible, to whom would men have recourse in order to learn what they are to believe and to do? It was necessary that the Church and her pastors be obvious and visible, principally in order that there might be an infallible judge, to resolve all doubts, and to whose decision everyone should necessarily submit. Otherwise, there would be no sure rule of faith by which Christians could know the true dogmas of faith and the true precepts of morality, and among the faithful there would be endless disputes and controversies. "And Christ gave some apostles, and others pastors and doctors, that henceforth we be no more children tossed to-and-fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine" [Eph 4:11-14].
But what faith can we learn from these false teachers when, in consequence of separating from the Church, they have no rule of faith. How often Calvin changed his opinions! And, during his life, Luther was constantly contradicting himself: on the single article of the Eucharist, he fell into thirty-three contradictions! A single contradiction is enough to show that they did not have the Spirit of God.
"He cannot deny Himself" [2 Timothy 2:13]. In a word, take away the authority of the Church, and neither Divine Revelation nor natural reason itself is of any use, for each of them may be interpreted by every individual according to his own caprice. Do they not see that from this accursed liberty of conscience has arisen the immense variety of heretical and atheistic sects? I repeat: if you take away obedience to the Church, there is no error which will not be embraced.
  St. Alphonsus de Ligouri

Thursday, May 17, 2018

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God is as really present in the
 consecrated Host as He is in the 
glory of Heaven   

St. Paschal Baylon

Monday, May 7, 2018

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From a sermon by Saint Anselm, Bishop (1033-1109), from the Office of the Readings for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8.

Blessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night, everything that is subject to the power or use of man, rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace. All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for men or for the praise of God who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of men who served idols. Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendor by men who believe in God.

The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God Himself, its Creator, it sees Him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary's womb.

Through the fullness of grace that was given to you, dead things rejoice in their freedom, and those in heaven are glad to be made new. Through the Son Who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before His life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity, and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.

Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator Himself has been blessed by creation.

To Mary God gave His only-begotten Son, Whom He loved as Himself. Through Mary God made Himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God Who made all things gave Himself form through Mary, and thus He made His own creation. He Who could create all things from nothing would not remake His ruined creation without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary is the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by Whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through Whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to Him as the Savior of the world. Without God's Son, nothing could exist; without Mary's Son, nothing could be redeemed.

Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to Himself.