Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Necessity of Prayer
In the first place the necessity of prayer should be insisted upon. Prayer
is a duty not only recommended by way of counsel, but also commanded by
obligatory precept. Christ the Lord declared this when He said: "We should
pray always." This necessity of prayer the Church points out in the
prelude, if we may so call it, which she prefixes to the Lord's Prayer:
"Admonished by salutary precepts, and taught by divine instruction, we
presume to say," etc.
Therefore, since prayer is necessary to the Christian, the Son of God,
yielding to the request of the disciples, "Lord, teach us to pray," gave
them a prescribed form of prayer, and encouraged them to hope that the
objects of their petitions would be granted. He Himself was to them a model
of prayer; He not only prayed assiduously, but watched whole nights in
The Apostles, also, did not omit to recommend this duty to those who had
been converted to the faith of Jesus Christ. St. Peter and St. John are
most diligent in their admonitions to the devout; and the Apostle, mindful
of its nature, frequently admonishes Christians of the salutary necessity
Besides, so various are our temporal and spiritual necessities, that we
must have recourse to prayer as the best means for communicating our wants
and receiving whatever we need. For since God owes nothing to anyone, we
must ask of Him in prayer those things we need, seeing that He has
constituted prayer as a necessary means for the accomplishment of our
desires, particularly since it is clear that there are blessings which we
cannot hope to obtain otherwise than through prayer. Thus devout prayer has
such efficacy that it is a most powerful means of casting out demons; for
there is a certain kind of demon which is not cast out but by prayer and
Those, therefore, who do not practice assiduous and regular prayer deprive
themselves of a powerful means of obtaining gifts of singular value. To
succeed in obtaining the object of your desires, it is not enough that you
ask that which is good; your entreaties must also be assiduous. "Every one
that asketh", says St. Jerome, "receiveth, as it is written. If, therefore,
it is not given you, this is because you do not ask. Ask, therefore, and
you shall receive".
Catechism of the Council of Trent
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Now the Catholic is the only Church whose children, generation after generation, from the first to the present century, have pronounced her blessed; of all Christians in this land, they alone contribute to the fulfillment of the prophecy.
Therefore, it is only Catholics that earn the approval of Heaven by fulfilling the prediction of the Holy Ghost.
Protestants not only concede that we bless the name of Mary, but they even reproach us with being too lavish in our praises of her.
On the other hand, they are careful to exclude themselves from the "generations" that were destined to call her blessed, for, in speaking of her, they almost invariably withhold from her the title of blessed preferring to call her the Virgin, or Mary the Virgin, or the Mother of Jesus.
And while Protestant churches will resound with the praises of Sarah and Rebecca and Rachel, of Miriam and Ruth, of Esther and Judith of the Old Testament, and of Elizabeth and Anna, of Magdalen and Martha of the New, the name of Mary the Mother of Jesus is uttered with bated breath, lest the sound of her name should make the preacher liable to the charge of superstition.
The piety of a mother usually sheds additional lustre on the son, and the halo that encircles her brow is reflected upon his. The more the mother is extolled, the greater honor redounds to the son. And if this is true of all men who do not choose their mothers, how much more strictly may it be affirmed of Him who chose His own Mother, and made her Himself such as He would have her, so that all the glories of His Mother are essentially His own.
And yet daily we see ministers of the Gospel ignoring Mary's exalted virtues and unexampled privileges and parading her alleged imperfections; nay, sinfulness, as if her Son were dishonored by the piety, and took delight in the defamation of His Mother.
Monday, May 11, 2015
May 13 – “Can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?”
May 12, 2014
Imelda was born in 1322 in Bologna, the only child of Count Egano Lambertini and Castora Galuzzi. Her parents were devout Catholics and were known for their charity and generosity to the underprivileged of Bologna. As a very young girl, Imelda had a burning desire to receive Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist. On her fifth birthday, she requested this privilege.
However, Church custom at the time was that a person did not receive his or her First Holy Communion until age 12. Imelda was sorely disappointed but knew the time would come soon enough. She would sometimes exclaim: “Tell me, can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?”
As time went by, her desire for the Blessed Sacrament grew, and she loved Christ more than ever. To show this love, she joined a cloistered Dominican community at age nine in Valdipietra, near Bologna . (It was unusual at the time for a girl her age to enter the convent). There it would be easier to wait for her First Communion, in deep prayer and conversation with God.
On May 13, the day of the vigil of the Ascension, in 1333, she finally got her wish. As she knelt in prayer the “Light of the Host” was witnessed above her head by the Sacristan, who then fetched the Priest so he could see. After seeing this miracle, the Priest felt he had to give Blessed Imelda her Holy Communion. Immediately after receiving the Holy Eucharist, Imelda fell to the floor and died in complete ecstasy. Her remains are in Bologna, Italy, at the Church of San Sigismondo, beneath the wax effigy of her likeness. There still remains some controversy as to whether Blessed Imelda can be classified as incorrupt. Many argue that contrary to popular belief, she is not truly incorrupt. Many other sources, including the Church of San Sigismondo, steadfastly claim that she is incorrupt.
She was beatified by Pope Leo XII in 1826.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
"There is one God, and one Christ, and one Church, and one chair, by our Lord's voice founded upon Peter. To set up another altar, or to constitute another priesthood, besides the one altar and the one priesthood, is impossible. Whosever gathereth elsewhere scattereth. It is adulterous, it is impious, it is sacrilegious, whatsoever is instituted by man to the breach of God's disposition. Get ye far from such men: they are blind, and leaders of the blind..."
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the
earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like
transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating
about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that
issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now
falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or
equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which
horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be
distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and
unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an
instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother,
who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take
us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.
Lucia's Vision of Hell
Fr. Martin Von Cochem (1900): “It has now been made clear that the damned will one day be cast, body and soul, into the huge and 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 round about them. Every breath will be the 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.” (The Four Last Things., p. 120)