"Suppose one of you
has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the
ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he
finds it? Luke 15:4
"Holy Communion is the shortest and
safest way to Heaven." --Saint Pope Pius
SAINT ALPHONSUS LIGUORI.
BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
FEAST DAY: AUGUST 1ST
ST. ALPHONSUS was born of noble parents, near
Naples, in 1696. His spiritual training was entrusted to the Fathers of the
Oratory in that city, and from his boyhood Alphonsus was known as a most devout
Brother of the Little Oratory. At the early age of sixteen he was made doctor in
law, and he threw himself into this career with ardor and success. A mistake, by
which he lost an important case, showed him the vanity of human fame, and
determined him to labor only for the glory of God. He entered the priesthood,
devoting himself to the most neglected souls; and to carry on this work he
founded later the missionary Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. At the age
of sixty-six he became Bishop of St. Agatha, and undertook the reform of his
diocese with the zeal of a Saint. He made a vow never to lose time, and, though
his life was spent in prayer and work, he composed a vast number of books,
filled with such science, unction, and wisdom that he has been declared one of
the Doctors of the Church. St. Alphonsus wrote his first book at the age of
forty-nine, and in his eighty-third year had published about sixty volumes, when
his director forbade him to write more. Very many of these books were written in
the half-hours snatched from his labors as missionary, religious superior, and
Bishop, or in the midst of continual bodily and mental sufferings. With his left
hand he would hold a piece of marble against his aching head while his right
hand wrote. Yet he counted no time wasted which was spent in charity. He did not
refuse to hold a long correspondence with a simple soldier who asked his advice,
or to play the harpsichord while he taught his novices to sing spiritual
canticles. He lived in evil times, and met with many persecutions and
disappointments. For his last seven years he was prevented by constant sickness
from offering the Adorable Sacrifice; but he received Holy Communion daily, and
his love for Jesus Christ and his trust in Mary's prayers sustained him to the
end. He died in 1787, in his ninety-first year. He was beatified in 1816 and
canonized in 1839. In 1871, Alphonsus was declared a Doctor of the Church
by Pope Pius IX (r. 1846-1878).
REFLECTION.—Let us do with all our heart the
duty of each day, leaving the result to God, as well as the care of the future.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: Ask Saint
Alphonsus to help us increase our devotion to the Blessed Mother through
whom all graces flow to us.
Born into Neapolitan nobility, Ligouri had a successful law
career before becoming a priest. He founded the
Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (the Redemptorists) to
work among the poor. In 1762 he was appointed
Bishop of Sant'Agata dei Goti. He was a prolific writer,
publishing nine editions of his Moral Theology in his lifetime, in
addition to other devotional and ascetic works and letters. Among
his best known works are
The Glories of Mary and The Way of the Cross, the
latter still used in parishes during Lenten devotions.
Alphonsus Maria de' Liguori was born in
Naples, then part of the
Kingdom of Naples. He was the first-born of seven belonging to
nobility. Two days after he was born he was baptized at the
Church of Our Lady the Virgin as Alphonsus Mary Antony John Cosmas
Damian Michael Gaspard de' Liguori.
Alphonsus Liguori went to law school at age sixteen, becoming a
very well known lawyer. He was thinking of leaving the profession,
and wrote to someone: "My friend, our profession is too full of
difficulties and dangers; we lead an unhappy life and run risk of
dying an unhappy death. For myself, I will quit this career, which
does not suit me; for I wish to secure the salvation of my soul."
At the age of twenty-seven, after having lost an important
case—the first he had lost in eight years of practicing law—he
made a firm resolution to leave the profession of law.
In 1723, after a long process of
discernment, and with his legal career abandoned, he decided
to offer himself as a novice to the
Oratory of St. Philip Neri with the intention of becoming a
priest. His father strenuously opposed this plan, but after two
months (and with his Oratorian confessor's permission), he and his
father compromised: he would study for the
priesthood, but not as an Oratorian and while living at home.
He was ordained on 21 December 1726, at the age of 30. He lived
his first years as a priest with the homeless and marginalized
youth of Naples. He founded the Evening Chapels which were
managed by the young people themselves. These chapels were centers
of prayer and piety, preaching, community, social activities, and
education. At the time of his death, there were 72 of these
chapels with over 10,000 active participants. His sermons were
very effective at converting those who were alienated from their
The saint suffered from
scruples much of his adult life, and felt guilt about the most
minor issues relating to sin.
Moreover, the saint viewed scruples as a blessing at times, he
wrote: "Scruples are useful in the beginning of conversion....they
cleanse the soul, and at the same time make it careful".
In 1729, Alphonsus left his family home and took up residence
Chinese Institute in Naples. It was there that he began his
missionary experience in the interior regions of the Kingdom of
Naples where he found people who were much poorer and more
abandoned than any of the street children in Naples.
On 9 November 1732, Alphonsus founded the
Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, when Sister
Maria Celeste Crostarosa told him that it had been revealed to
her that he was the one God had chosen to found the congregation.
Its goal was to teach and preach in the slums of cities and other
poor places. They also fought
Jansenism, a doctrine that barred many Catholics from
Eucharist because of its excessive moral rigor. He gave
himself entirely to this new mission. A companion congregation of
nuns was founded simultaneously by Sister Maria Celeste.
Alphonsus kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament in a
19th-century stained glass window of
Alphonsus was consecrated Bishop of Sant'Agata dei Goti in
1762. He tried to refuse the appointment, proposing his age and
infirmities as arguments against his consecration. During this
time he wrote sermons, books, and articles to encourage devotion
to the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 1775, he
was allowed to retire from his office and went to live in the
Redemptorist community in
Pagani, Italy, where he died on August 1, 1787. He was
beatified on September 15, 1816, by
Pope Pius VII and
canonized on May 26, 1839, by
Pope Gregory XVI. He was named patron of confessors and
Pope Pius XII on April 26, 1950, who subsequently wrote of him
in the encyclical
Alphonsus was proficient in the arts, his parents having had
him being trained by various masters of the arts, and was a
musician, painter, poet, and author at the same time. He put all
his artistic and literary creativity at the service of the
Christian mission and he asked the same of those who joined his
congregation. His biography says that, in his later days, he liked
to go to the local theater, which at the time had a very bad
reputation. After being ordained, each time he attended the
recitals Alphonsus simply took his optic glasses off and sat in
the last row, listening to the music and not paying attention to
Alphonsus wrote 111 works on spirituality and theology. The
21,500 editions and the translations into 72 languages that his
works have undergone attest to the fact that he is one of the most
widely read Catholic authors. Among his best known works are
The Great Means of Prayer, The Practice of the Love of
Jesus Christ and The Visits to the Most Holy Sacrament.[citation
In the field of
Mariology, Alphonsus Liguori wrote The Glories of Mary,
Marian Devotion, Prayers to the Divine Mother,
Spiritual Songs,The True Spouse of Jesus Christ,
Visitations to the
Blessed Sacrament and to the Virgin Mary, and other
writings. His Mariology, though mainly pastoral in nature,
rediscovered, integrated and defended the Mariology of
Saint Augustine and
Saint Ambrose and other fathers and represented an
intellectual defence of Mariology in the 18th century, the
Age of Enlightenment, against the cold rationalism of which
his often flaming Marian enthusiasm contrasted.
Alphonsus' greatest contribution to the Church was in the area
moral theological reflection with his Moral Theology.
This work was born of Alphonsus' pastoral experience, his ability
to respond to the practical questions posed by the faithful and
from his contact with their everyday problems. He opposed sterile
legalism and strict rigorism. According to Alphonsus, those were
paths closed to the Gospel because "such rigor has never been
taught nor practiced by the Church". His system of moral theology
is noted for its prudence, avoiding both laxism and excessive
rigor. He is credited with the position of
Aequiprobablism, which avoided
Jansenist rigorism as well as
laxism and simple
The Redemptorists founded the Alphonsian Academy for the
advanced study of Catholic moral theology in the spirit of St.
Alphonsus. The Academy offers licentiates and doctorates in moral
theology. Many of the professors are Redemptorists.
"Inspired by St. Alphonsus M. de Liguori, who strove to
renew moral theology in his time, and in harmony with the
Magisterium of the Church, as expressed especially in the
Second Vatican Council, the Alphonsian Academy seeks the
fullest human and christian knowledge about humankind. Rooted
always in the salvific Mystery of Christ the Redeemer, the
Academy promotes the worth and meaning of human life by
discerning the norm of human behaviour in the individual, in
the family, in civil society and in religious faith. Over
4.600 students who have passed through the Academy give vital
witness to the pastoral and doctrinal worth of the Institute."
Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p.
ST. IGNATIUS was born at Loyola in
Spain, in the year 1491. He served his king as a courtier and a soldier till
his thirtieth year. At that age, being laid low by a wound, he received the call
of divine grace to leave the world. He embraced poverty and humiliation, that he
might become more like to Christ, and won others to join him in the service of
God. Prompted by their love for Jesus Christ, Ignatius and his companions made a
vow to go to the Holy Land, but war broke out, and prevented the exe- cution of
their project. Then they turned to the Vicar of Jesus Christ, and placed
themselves under his obedience. This was the beginning of the Society of Jesus.
Our Lord promised St. Ignatius that the precious heritage of His Passion should
never fail his Society, a heritage of contradictions and persecutions. St.
Ignatius was cast into prison at Salamanca, on a suspicion of heresy. To a
friend who expressed sympathy with him on ac-count of his imprisonment, he
replied, " It is a sign that you have hut little love of Christ in your heart,
or you would not deem it so hard a fate to be in chains for His sake. I declare
to you that all Salamanca does not contain as many fetters, manacles, and chains
ns I long to wear for the love of Jesus Christ." St. Ignatius went to his crown
on the 31st July, 1556.
REFLECTION.—Ask St. Ignatius to obtain
for you the grace to desire ardently the greater glory of God, even though it
may cost you much suffering and humiliation.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT IGNATIUS,
PLEASE PRAY FOR ME [STATE YOUR PRAYER.]
[From his works, Rubeus in his elegant History of Ravenna,
lib. ii. ; Ughelli, Italia Sacra, t. ii.; and Descriptio Patenae ejus, &c., a
Joan. Pastritio, in quarto, Ronde, 1706. Agnellus, a schismatic of Ravenna, in
the ninth age, in his Pontifical of Ravenna, or lives of the Bishops, published
by Muratori, Ital. Rerum Scriptores, t. ii. p. 53, with notes, by which many
mistakes of Rubeus and Agnellus are corrected. See also Muratori, Spicilegium
Ravennat. Hist. t. i. part 2, p. 529, and Ceillier, t. p. 11]
DIED: A. D. 450.
ST. PETER was a native of Imola, anciently
called Forum Cornelii, a town in the ecclesiastical state, near Ravenna. He was
taught the sacred sciences, and ordained deacon by Cornelius, bishop of that
city, of whom he always speaks with veneration, and the utmost gratitude.¹
He calls him his father, and tells us, that in his whole conduct all virtues
shone forth, and that by the bright lustre of his great actions he was known to
the whole world. Under his prudent direction our saint was formed to perfect
virtue from his youth by the exercises of an interior life, and understood that
to command his passions and govern himself was true greatness, and the only
means of learning to put on the spirit of Christ. For by the oracle of truth we
are assured that to bear well an injury is something far more heroic than to
vanquish nations, and when the noon-day light shall break in upon us, and dispel
the darkness with which we are at present encompassed, we shall most clearly see
that the least act of perfect meekness, humility, resignation, or patience, is
of greater value than the gaining of millions of worlds. This is the most
glorious triumph by which God is honoured in us, and a soul enjoys interior
peace, and his holy grace ; all her affections being regulated by, and
subjected. to his will in all things. This domestic victory is some-thing too
great to be obtained without earnestness, and the difficulties which stand in
the way are not to be vanquished or
(1) St. Peter Chrysol. Serra. 107 and 165.
removed but by constant watchfulness an application. The more easily to accomplish this great and arduous work of subduing and regulating his passions, are
forming the spirit of Christ in his soul, hw embraced a monastic state, and had
serve God in it with great fervour and simplicity for some time, when he was
placed in the archiepiscopal see of Ravenna. The Archbishop John dying about the
year 430, the clergy of that church, with the people, chose a successor, and
entreated the Bishop Imola to go at the head of their deputies to Rome to obtain
the confirmation of Pope Sixtus III. Cornelius took with him deacon Peter, and
the pope (who, according to the historian of Ravenna, had be commanded so to do
by a vision the for going night) refused to ratify the election already made, and
proposed Peter as the person designed by heaven for that post: in which, after some
opposition, the deputies acquiesced.
Our saint, after receiving the episcol consecration, was conducted to Ravenna, a
there received with extraordinary joy, the Emperor Valentinian III. and his mother Galla Placidia, then residing in that city. The holy bishop extenuated his body by
fasting, and offered his tears to God for the sins of his people, whom he never
ceased to teach no less by example than by words. When he entered on his charge, he
found the remains of pagan superstition in his diocess, and several abuses had
crept among the faithful in several parts : but the total extirpation of the
former, a the reformation of the latter, were the fruit of the holy pastor's
zealous labour. The town of Classis, situate on the con was then the port of
Ravenna, from which it was three miles distant : St. Peter built there a fountain
near the great churn also St. Andrew's monastery. He employed an extensive
charity and unwearied vigilance in favour of his flock which he fed assiduously
with the bread of life, the word of God. We have hundred and seventy-six of his
discourses still extant, collected by Felix, Archbishop of Ravenna, in 708. They
are all very short ; for he was afraid of fatiguing the attention of his
joins great elegance with extreme brevity. His style has nothing swelling or
forced, though it is made up of short sentences or phrases, which have a natural
connexion together : the words are very fit, simple, and natural, and the
descriptions easy and clear. Among the remains of heathenish superstition, which
he laboured to extirpate, he reckons the riotous manner of celebrating the
New-year's day ; of which he says, "He who will divert himself with the devil,
can never reign with Christ." It appears that he often preached in presence of
the emperor and of the catholic Empress Placidia, mother of three children, Valentinian III., Placidia, and Eudocia.³ He says that the episcopal see of Ravenna
had been lately raised to the metropolitical dignity by the pope, and by the
favour of a Christian prince.4 For though Ravenna had been long the metropolis
of the Flaminian province or vicariat, the bishop continued suffragan to the
Archbishop of Milan, till about the time that St. Peter Chrysologus was exalted
to this dignity. Eutyches, the heresiarch, having been condemned by St. Flavian,
addressed a circular letter to the most distinguished prelates in the church in
his own justification. Our saint, in the answer which he sent him, told him that
he had read his letter with sorrow : for, if the peace of the church causes joy
in heaven, divisions ought to beget sadness and grief ; that the mystery of the
incarnation, though inexplicable, is delivered to us by the divine law, and to
be believed in the simplicity of faith. He,therefore,exhorted him to acquiesce,
not to dispute, having before his eye the rocks upon which Origen, Nestorius,
and others had split, by taking that method. In 448, our saint received St. Germanus of Auxerre
with great honour at Ravenna, and, after his death, esteemed it no small
happiness to inherit his cowl and hair shirt. He did not long survive : for, in
452, when Attila approached Ravenna, John, St. Peter's successor, held his see,
and went out to meet him. The saint being forewarned of his approaching death,
returned to Imola, his own country, and there gave to the church of St. Cassian,
a golden crown set with jewels, a gold cup, and a silver paten, pre-served to
this day with great reverence, and famed for miracles. Peter died at Imola,
probably on the 2nd of December, 450, and was buried there in St. Cassian's
church. The greatest part of his relics are preserved there; but one arm is kept
in a rich case at Ravenna.
(1) St. Pet. Chrys. Serm. 36, 86,120,122. (2 i Serm. in Calendas. (3) Serm. 130. (4) Serm. 175
People knew Saint Peter Chrysologus, the Doctor of Homilies,
for his short but inspired talks; he supposedly feared boring his
audience. His piety and zeal won universal admiration. After hearing
oratory of his first homily as bishop, Roman Empress Galla Placidia
supposedly gave him the surname
Chrysologus, meaning "golden-worded."
Empress Galla Placidia patronized many projects of Bishop Saint Peter.
A synod held in Constantinople
in 448 condemned Eutyches
Eutyches then appealed to Saint Peter Chrysologus but failed in his
endeavour to win the support of the Bishop. The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon
(451) preserves the text of letter of Saint Peter Chrysologus in response
to Eutyches; Peter admonishes Eutyches to accept the ruling of the synod
and to give obedience to the Bishop of Rome
as the successor of Saint Peter.
Archbishop Felix of Ravenna
in the early eighth century collected and preserved 176 of his homilies.
Various authors edited and translated these works into numerous languages.
St Peter died circa or after 450 during a
visit to Imola, the town of his birth. Older reference books say he died
on 2 December, but a more recent interpretation of the ninth-century
"Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiae
Ravennatis" indicated that he died on 31
A contemporary portrait of Saint Peter
Chrysologus, found in the mosaics of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista
in Ravenna, depicts him among the members of the eastern and western
imperial family, showing his extraordinary influence.[
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT PETER, PLEASE
PRAY FOR [STATE YOUR PRAYER REQUEST.]
FEAST DAY: JULY 29TH
[The following is from the book:
Pictorial Lives of the Saints, with Reflections for Every Day in the Year,
compiled from "Butler's Lives" and other approved sources.]
SAINT JOHN tells us that "Jesus loved Martha
and Mary and Lazarus," and yet but few glimpses are vouchsafed us of them.
First, the sisters are set before us with a word. Martha received Jesus into
her house, and was busy in outward, loving, lavish service, while Mary sat in
silence at the feet she had bathed with her tears. Then, their brother is ill,
and they send to Jesus, "Lord, he whom Thou lovest is sick." And in His
own time the Lord came, and they go out to meet Him ; and then follows that
scene of unutterable tenderness and of sublimity unsurpassed : the silent
waiting of Mary ; Martha strong in faith, but realizing so vividly, with her
practical turn of mind, the fact of death, and hesitating : "Canst Thou show
Thy wonders in the grave ?" And then once again, on the eve of His Passion, we
see Jesus at Bethany. Martha, true to her character, is serving; Mary, as at
first, pours the precious ointment, in adoration and love, on His divine head.
And then we find the tomb of St. Martha, at Tarascon, in Provence. When the
storm of persecution came, the family of Bethany, with a few companions, were
put into a boat, without oars or sail, and borne to the coast of France. St.
Mary's tomb is at St. Baume ; St. Lazarus is venerated as the founder of the
Church of Marseilles ; and the memory of the virtues and labors of St. Martha
is still fragrant at Avignon and Tarascon.
REFLECTION.--When Martha received Jesus
into her house, she was naturally busy in preparations for such a Guest. Mary
sat at His feet, intent alone on listening to His gracious words. Her sister
thought that the time required other service than this, and asked our Lord to
bid Mary help in serving. Once again Jesus
spoke in defence of Mary. " Martha, Martha," He said, " thou art lovingly
anxious about many things; be not over-eager; do thy chosen work with
recollectedness. Judge not Mary. Hers is the good part, the one only thing
really necessary. Thine will be taken away, that something better be
given thee." The life of action ceases when the body is laid down; but the
life of contemplation endures and is perfected in heaven.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: Ask Saint
Martha to intercede for us that we may be always attentive to what the
Lord is trying to teach us and to avoid being so busy in our lives that we
do not have time during the week to pray and to go to Mass when we should.
MORE FROM BUTLER'S
LIVES OF THE SAINTS:
ST. MARTHA, V.
She was sister to Mary and Lazarus, and
lived with them at Bethania, a small town two miles distant from
Jerusalem, a little beyond Mount Olivet. Our Blessed Redeemer had made his
residence usually in Galilee, till in the third year of his public
ministry he preached chiefly in Judaea, during which interval he
frequented the house of these three holy disciples. Martha seems to have
been the eldest, and to have had the chief care and direction of the
household. It appears from the history of the resurrection of Lazarus that
their family was of principal note in the country. In the first visit, as
it seems, with which Jesus honoured them,²
St. Luke tells us³ that St. Martha
showed great solicitude to entertain and serve him. She forgot the
privilege of her rank and riches, and would not leave so great an honour
to servants only, but was herself very busy in preparing every thing for
so great a guest and his holy company. Mary sat all the while at our
Saviour's feet, feeding her soul with his heavenly doctrine. In this she
found such inexpressible sweetness, and so great spiritual advantage,
that she forgot and contemned the whole world, and would suffer nothing to
draw her from her entertainment with her God, or make her lose any one of
those precious moments.
(2) Luke x. 38. (3)
At his sacred discourses her heart was
inflamed, her pure soul seemed to melt in holy love, and in a total
forgetfulness of all other things she said to herself, with the spouse in
the Canticles, "My beloved to me, and I to him, who feedeth among the
lilies ;"¹ that is, with chaste
souls, or among the flowers of virtues. St.. Austin observes that this
house represents to us the whole family of God on earth. In it no one is
idle, but his servants have their different employments, some in the
contemplative life, as recluses; others in the active; as, first, those
who labour for the salvation of souls in the exterior functions of the
pastoral charge; secondly, those who, upon pure motives of charity, serve
the poor or the sick; and, lastly, all who look upon their lawful
profession in the world as the place for which God has destined them, and
the employment which he has given them; and who faithfully pursue its
occupations with a view purely to accomplish the divine will, and acquit
themselves of every duty in the order in which God has placed them in this
world. He is the greater saint, whatever his state of life may be, whose
love of God and his neighbour is more pure, more ardent, and more perfect;
for charity is the soul and form of Christian perfection.
But it has been
disputed whether the contemplative or the active life be in itself the
more perfect. St. Thomas answers this question,²
proving from the example of Christ and his apostles, that the mixed life,
which is made up of both, is the most excellent. This is the apostolic
life, with the care of souls, if in it the external functions of
instructing, assisting, and comforting others, which is the most noble
object of charity, be supported by a constant perfect spirit of prayer and
(1) Cant. ii. (2) 3,
p. 9, 40 a. 1, ad 2 et 3. Item 2, 23m. q. 182, art. 1 et 2, in corp.
In order to this, a long and fervent
religious retirement ought to be the preparation which alone can form the
perfect spirit of this state; and the same must be constantly nourished
and improved by a vehement love and frequent practice of holy retirement,
and a continued recollection, as Christ during his ministry often retired
to the mountains to pray; for that pastor who suffers the spirit of prayer
to languish in his soul, carries about a dead soul in a living body, to
use the expression of St. Bonaventure.¹
The like interior spirit must animate; and some degree of assiduity in the
like exercises, as circumstances will allow, must support those who are
engaged in worldly employs, and those who devote themselves to serve
Christ's most tender and afflicted members, the poor and the sick, as
Martha served Christ himself.
With so great love
and fervour did Martha wait on our Redeemer, that, as we cannot doubt, she
thought that if the whole world were occupied in attending so great a
guest, all would be too little. She wished that all men would employ their
hands, feet, and hearts, all their faculties and senses, with their whole
strength, in serving with her their gracious Creator, made for us our
brother. Therefore, sweetly complaining to him, she desired him to bid her
sister Mary to rise up and help her. Our meek and loving Lord was well
pleased with the solicitude and earnestness, full of affection and
devotion, where with Martha waited on him; yet he commended more the quiet
repose with which Mary attended only to that which is of the greatest
importance, the spiritual improvement of her soul. "Martha, Martha," said
he, "thou art careful and troubled about many things ; but one thing is
necessary." If precipitation or too great eagerness had any share in her
service, this would have been an imperfection ; which, nevertheless,
does not appear.
(1) L. de Perfect.
Christ only puts Martha in mind that
though corporal duties ought not to be neglected, and if sanctified by a
perfect intention of charity are most excellent virtues, yet spiritual
functions, when they come in competition, are to be preferred. The former,
indeed, become spiritual, when animated by a perfect spirit and
recollection; but this is often much impaired by the distraction of the
mind, and in the course of action. In our external employments, which we
direct with a pure intention to fulfil the divine will, we imitate the
angels when they are employed by God in being our guardians, or in other
external functions with which God hath charged them; but as these blessed
spirits in such employs never lose sight of God, so ought we in all our
actions to continue, at least virtually, to adore and praise his holy
name; but herein the eye of the soul is often carried off, or its
attention much weakened. Whereas, in heavenly contemplation, the heart is
wholly taken up in God, and more perfectly united to him by adoration and
love. This is the novitiate of heaven, where it is the uninterrupted
occupation of the blessed. In this sense Christ so highly commends the
choice of Mary, affirming that her happy employment would never be taken
from her. He added, "One thing is necessary;" which words some explain as
if he had said, "a little is enough, one dish suffices;" but the word
"necessary" determines the sense rather to be, as St. Austin, St. Bernard,
Maldonatus, Grotius, and others expound it, eternal salvation is our only
which shows how dear this devout family was to our, divine Saviour, is the
raising of Lazarus to life. When he fell sick, the pious sisters sent to
inform Christ, who was then absent in Galilee. They said no more in their
message than this, "He whom thou lovest is sick." They knew very well that
this was enough; and that his tender bowels would be moved to compassion
by the bare representation of their calamity. It was not to remove our
corporal miseries that Christ came from heaven, and died and suffered so
much; this was not the object which drew down this Almighty Physician
among us. If, in his mortal life on earth, he healed the sick and raised
the dead, by these miracles he would manifest, as by sensible tokens, the
spiritual cures which he desired to work in our souls. We groan under the
weight of innumerable and the most dreadful spiritual miseries. Our tender
Redeemer knows their horrible depth and endless extent; but he would have
us to conceive a just sense of them, to acknowledge them, and earnestly to
implore his aid: for this he sheds the rays of his light upon our blind
souls, and rouses us by his repeated graces. The first step towards a
deliverance is, that we confess, with a feeling sense, our extreme
baseness and ingratitude, and our weakness and total incapacity of doing
any thing of ourselves towards our recovery; but we have a physician
infinitely tender and powerful. To him then we must continually lay open
our distress, and with deep compunction display our miseries before his
holy eyes, earnestly striving by this dumb eloquence to move him to pity;
exposing to him that we whom he loveth still as the work of his hands, as
the price of his blood, lie engulfed in unspeakable miseries. Thus we must
entreat him, with tears and loud cries of our hearts, to look down on his
image in our souls now disfigured and sullied with sin; on his kingdom
left desolate by the tyranny of the devil and our passions; on the
vineyard which himself had planted, adorned, and fenced, but which is laid
waste by merciless robbers and enemies; and that he would stretch out his
almighty hand to repair these breaches, and save us. So long as life lasts
we can never be sure that we shall find mercy, or rest secure of the issue
of our great trial upon which our eternity depends; so long, therefore, we
ought never to cease with most earnest cries, to implore the clemency of
our Judge, laying open our spiritual miseries to him in these words of the
two sisters,— Behold he, whom thou lovest, is sinking under the weight of
his evils," and beg him to remember his ancient love and mercies towards
us. We ought also in corporal distempers to address ourselves to God with
the like words, begging with Martha our own or our brother's corporal
health, if this may be expedient to our souls, and conducive to the divine
In all these
petitions we ought to implore the joint supplications of the saints, as at
the entreaties of the sisters Christ raised Lazarus. Having received their
message, he wanted no other prompter than that of his own compassion and
affection; an emblem of the paternal mercy with which he draws to himself,
and receives penitent sinners. Had the prodigal son offered any plea of
merits or deserts, he had never deserved to find favour; but he knew the
goodness and tenderness of his father, who had with restless nights waited
with impatience to see him return. The tender parent wanted no motives
drawn from other objects or things without himself. The paternal affection
within his own; breast pleaded in favour of his disobedient child. By this
his very bowels yearned to embrace him again, and raise him from spiritual
death to life. This same tenderness and compassion in Christ was the
grounds of the sisters' confidence. Jesus, however, deferred setting out
two or three days, that his glory might be the more manifested by the
greater evidence of the miracle, and by the trial of the virtue and
confidence of the two holy sisters. When he arrived at Bethania, Martha
went first out to meet and welcome him; and then called her sister Mary.
The presence of Jesus brings every blessing and comfort; and, by it, the
sisters had the joy to see their brother again restored to life when he
had been four days in the grave.
Christ was again at
Bethania, at the house of Simon the Leper, six days before his passion.
Lazarus was one of the guests, Martha waited at table; and Mary poured a
box of costly ointments out our Lord's feet, which she wiped with the hair
of her head.¹ Judas Iscariot
complained of this waste, saying, that the ointment might have been sold,
and the price given to the poor. Not that he had any regard for the poor,
but, bearing the common purse, he converted things sometimes to his own
use, being a thief. How imperceptible a vice is covetousness, and how
subtle in excuses to deceive itself ! Charity interprets the actions of
others in the best part; but passion hurries men into rash judgments.
Judas condemned the most heroic virtue and devotion of a saint; but Jesus
undertook her defence. He was pleased not with the ointment, but with the
love and devotion of his fervent servant, which he suffered her to satisfy
by that action, which he received as performed for the embalming of his
body, his death being then at hand. He, moreover, declared that this good
work which Judas condemned, should be commended to the edification of his
servants over the whole world wherever his gospel should be preached.
St. Martha seems to
have been one of those holy women who attended Christ during his passion,
and stood under his cross, After his ascension, she came to Marseilles,
and ended her life in Provence, where her body was found at Tarascon, soon
after the discovery of that of St. Mary Magdalen. It lies in a magnificent
subterraneous chapel of the stately collegiate church at Tarascon, which
is dedicated to God in her honour. King Lewis XI. gave a rich bust of
gold, in which the head of the saint is kept.
We have all, like St. Martha, one only
necessary affair; that for which alone God created and redeemed us ; for
which he has wrought so many wonderful mysteries in our favour, and upon
which the dreadful alternative of sovereign and everlasting happiness or
(l) Matt. xxvi.; John
This is, that we refer even all our
worldly employments and all that we do, to glorify God, to fulfil his
will, and to save our souls. In this, all our thoughts, desires, and
enterprises ought to centre : this is the circle in which we must shut
ourselves up, and never think of moving out of. Every one ought sincerely
to say with an ancient writer, I have but one only affair; and I care for
nothing else only lest any other thing should take off any part of my
attention from this my only business." What account will they be able to
give to themselves or to their Judge at the last day, who make vanity,
pastimes, and idle employments, the sole business of their life? or they
who toil and slave much in bustling through the world, seeming to neglect
nothing but their only affair.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINT MARTHA, PLEASE PRAY FOR
ME TODAY [STATE YOUR PRAYER.]
SAINTS NAZARIUS AND CELSUS, MARTYRS.
father was a heathen, and held a considerable post in the Roman army. His
mother, Perpetua, was a zealous Christian, and was instructed by St. Peter, or
his disciples, in the most perfect maxims of our holy faith. Nazarius
embraced it with so much ardor that he copied in his life all the great
virtues he saw in his teachers; and out of zeal for the salvation
of others, he
left Rome, his native city, and preached the faith in many places
with a fervor and disinterestedness becoming a
disciple of the Apostles. Arriving at Milan, he was there beheaded for the
faith, together with Celsus, a youth whom he carried with him to assist him in
his travels. These martyrs suffered soon after Nero had raised the first
persecution. Their bodies were buried separately in a garden without the city,
where they were discovered and taken up by St. Ambrose, in 395. In
the tomb of St. Nazarius, a vial of the Saint's blood was found as fresh and red
as if it had been spilt that day. The faithful stained handkerchiefs with some
drops, and also formed a certain paste with it, a portion of which St. Ambrose
sent to St. Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia. St. Ambrose conveyed the bodies of
the two martyrs into the new church of the apostles, which he had just built. A
woman was delivered of an evil spirit in their presence. St. Ambrose sent some
of these relics to St. Paulinus of Nola, who
received them, with great respect, as a most valuable present, as he
martyrs died as the outcasts of the world, but are crowned by God with immortal
honor. The glory of the world is false and
transitory, and an empty bubble or shadow, but that of virtue is true,
solid, and permanent, even in the eyes of men.
INTERCESSORY PRAYER: SAINTS NAZARIUS AND CELSUS, PLEASE
PRAY FOR ME [STATE YOUR PRAYER].
Unfailing Novena To The Virgin Mary
Untier of Knots
How this devotion started?
To show us the mission granted to the Virgin
Mary by Her Son, an artist Johann Melchior Georg Schmittdner painted
Mary Undoer of Knots with great grace. Since 1700, his painting has
been venerated in the Church of St. Peter in Perlack, Augsburg,
Germany. It was originally inspired by a meditation of Saint Irenaeus
(Bishop of Lyon and martyred in 202) based on the parallel made by
Saint Paul between Adam and Christ. Saint Irenaeus, in turn, made a
comparison between Eve and Mary, saying:“Eve, by her disobedience,
tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her
obedience, undid it”.
what are these knots? There
are the problems and struggles we face for which we do not see any
solution … knots of discord in your family, lack of understanding
between parents and children, disrespect, violence, the knots of deep
hurts between husband and wife, the absence of peace and joy at home.
There are also the knots of anguish and despair of separated couples,
the dissolution of the family, the knots of a drug addict son or
daughter, sick or separated from home or God, knots of alcoholism,
the practice of abortion, depression, unemployment, fear, solitude…Ah,
the knots of our life! How they suffocate the soul, beat us down and
betray the heart’s joy and separate us from God.
Day after day, more and more Christians kneel
to pray to Her as soon as they meet the Mother of the Fair Love.
Many families have become reconciled! Many diseases have been healed!
Many spouses have returned to the Church! Many jobs have been given!
Many conversions have taken place! Many Catholics have been on their
knees praying and giving thanks for graces received from our sweet
Mother. For that reason, Mary Who undoes the knots, Who was chosen by
God to crush the evil with Her feet, comes to us to reveal Herself.
She comes to provide jobs, good health, to reconcile families, because
She wants to undo the knots of our sins which dominate our lives, so
that – as sons of the King – we can receive the promises reserved for
us from eternity. She comes with promises of victory, peace,
blessings and reconciliation.
Then, free from our knots – filled with
happiness, we can be a testimony of the Divine Power in this
world, like pieces of God’s heart or small bottles of perfume
exhaling mercy and love to our neighbor. Like ambassador of Jesus
Christ and the Virgin of the fair love, we can rescue those who cry
without any consolation, those who are lonely, tied with knots, who
have no God, no Father nor Mother.
Mother of the Rising Sun, Immaculate, our
Advocate, Helper in moments of affliction, Mother of God and made by
Him our Mother, this is how Mary, Undoer of Knots is presented. Above
all, She comes as the Queen of Mercy, the one who knows all about us,
who has compassion for us and hurries to rescue us, praying for each
one of us to Her beloved Jesus.
TO MARY, UNDOER OF KNOTS Virgin
Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid
of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your
beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense
mercy that exists in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me
and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life. You know very well how
desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God
entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I
entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it
away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that
cannot be undone. Powerful
Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My
Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot...I beg you to
undo it for the glory of God, once for all, You are my hope. O my Lady, you are the
only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble
strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom
from my chains. Hear
my plea. Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe
whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The
Israelites said to them, "Would that we had died at the LORD'S hand in the
land of Egypt, as we sat by our fleshpots and ate our fill of bread! But you
had to lead us into this desert to make the whole community die of famine!"
Then the LORD said to Moses, "I will now rain down bread from heaven for
you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion; thus
will I test them, to see whether they follow my instructions or not. "I
have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them: In the evening
twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of
bread, so that you may know that I, the LORD, am your God." In the
evening quail came up and covered the camp. In the morning a dew lay all
about the camp, and when the dew evaporated, there on the surface of the
desert were fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground. On seeing it, the
Israelites asked one another, "What is this?" for they did not know what it
was. But Moses told them, "This is the bread which the LORD has given you to
we have heard and know, And what our fathers have declared to us, we
will declare to the generation to come The glorious deeds of the LORD
and his strength.
He commanded the skies above and the doors of
heaven he opened; He rained manna upon them for food and gave them
Man ate the bread of angels, food he sent them
in abundance. And he brought them to his holy land, To the mountains
his right hand had won.
Letter to the Ephesians
I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the
Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; That is not how you learned
Christ, assuming that you have heard of him and were taught in him, as
truth is in Jesus, that you should put away the old self of your former
way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the
spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God's way in
righteousness and holiness of truth.
Holy Gospel of Jesus
Christ according to Saint John 6:24-35.
the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they
themselves got into boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. And
when they found him across the sea they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you
get here?" Jesus answered them and said, "Amen, amen, I say to you, you
are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves
and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food
that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on
him the Father, God, has set his seal." So they said to him, "What can we
do to accomplish the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them,
"This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent." So they
said to him, "What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What
can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: 'He
gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" So Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen,
I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father
gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which
comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." So they said to
him, "Sir, give us this bread always." Jesus said to them, "I am the
bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes
in me will never thirst." _____________
The Church draws her life
from the Eucharist. This truth does not simply express a daily experience of
faith, but recapitulates the heart of the mystery of the Church. In a
variety of ways she joyfully experiences the constant fulfilment of the
promise: “Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20), but
in the Holy Eucharist, through the changing of bread and wine into the body
and blood of the Lord, she rejoices in this presence with unique intensity.
Ever since Pentecost, when the Church, the People of the New Covenant, began
her pilgrim journey towards her heavenly homeland, the Divine Sacrament has
continued to mark the passing of her days, filling them with confident hope.
The Second Vatican Council rightly proclaimed that the Eucharistic
sacrifice is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (LG 11). “For the
most holy Eucharist contains the Church's entire spiritual wealth: Christ
himself, our passover and living bread (1Cor 5,7; Jn 6,51). Through his own
flesh, now made living and life-giving by the Holy Spirit, he offers life to
men” (Vatican II PO 5). Consequently the gaze of the Church is constantly
turned to her Lord, present in the Sacrament of the Altar, in which she
discovers the full manifestation of his boundless love.
IT IS a very great thing to obey,
to live under a superior and not to be one's own master, for it is much
safer to be subject than it is to command. Many live in obedience more
from necessity than from love. Such become discontented and dejected on
the slightest pretext; they will never gain peace of mind unless they
subject themselves wholeheartedly for the love of God. Go where you may,
you will find no rest except in humble obedience to the rule of authority.
Dreams of happiness expected from change and different places have
deceived many. Everyone, it is true, wishes to do as he pleases and is
attracted to those who agree with him. But if God be among us, we must at
times give up our opinions for the blessings of peace. Furthermore, who is
so wise that he can have full knowledge of everything? Do not trust too
much in your own opinions, but be willing to listen to those of others.
If, though your own be good, you accept another's opinion for love of God,
you will gain much more merit; for I have often heard that it is safer to
listen to advice and take it than to give it. It may happen, too, that
while one's own opinion may be good, refusal to agree with others when
reason and occasion demand it, is a sign of pride and obstinacy.
SHUN the gossip of men as much as
possible, for discussion of worldly affairs, even though sincere, is a
great distraction inasmuch as we are quickly ensnared and captivated by
vanity. Many a time I wish that I had held my peace and had not associated
with men. Why, indeed, do we converse and gossip among ourselves when we
so seldom part without a troubled conscience? We do so because we seek
comfort from one another's conversation and wish to ease the mind wearied
by diverse thoughts. Hence, we talk and think quite fondly of things we
like very much or of things we dislike intensely. But, sad to say, we
often talk vainly and to no purpose; for this external pleasure
effectively bars inward and divine consolation. Therefore we must watch
and pray---MATT. XXVI. 41.--- lest time pass idly. When the right and
opportune moment comes for speaking, say something that will edify. Bad
habits and indifference to spiritual progress do much to remove the guard
from the tongue. Devout conversation on spiritual matters, on the
contrary, is a great aid to spiritual progress, especially when persons of
the same mind and spirit associate together in God.
WE SHOULD enjoy much peace if we
did not concern ourselves with what others say and do, for these are no
concern of ours. How can a man who meddles in affairs not his own, who
seeks strange distractions, and who is little or seldom inwardly
recollected, live long in peace? Blessed are the simple of heart for they
shall enjoy peace in abundance. Why were some of the saints so perfect and
so given to contemplation? Because they tried to mortify entirely in
themselves all earthly desires, and thus they were able to attach
themselves to God with all their heart and freely to concentrate their
innermost thoughts. We are too occupied with our own whims and fancies,
too taken up with passing things. Rarely do we completely conquer even one
vice, and we are not inflamed with the desire to improve ourselves day by
day; hence, we remain cold and indifferent. If we mortified our bodies
perfectly and allowed no distractions to enter our minds, we could
appreciate divine things and experience something of heavenly
contemplation. The greatest obstacle, indeed, the only obstacle, is that
we are not free from passions and lusts, that we do not try to follow the
perfect way of the saints. Thus when we encounter some slight difficulty,
we are too easily dejected and turn to human consolations. If we tried,
however, to stand as brave men in battle, the help of the Lord from heaven
would surely sustain us. For He Who gives us the opportunity of fighting
for victory, is ready to help those who carry on and trust in His grace.
If we let our progress in religious life depend on the observance of its
externals alone, our devotion will quickly come to an end. Let us, then,
lay the ax to the root that we may be freed from our passions and thus
have peace of mind. If we were to uproot only one vice each year, we
should soon become perfect. The contrary, however, is often the case -- we
feel that we were better and purer in the first fervor of our conversion
than we are after many years in the practice of our faith. Our fervor and
progress ought to increase day by day; yet it is now considered noteworthy
if a man can retain even a part of his first fervor. If we did a little
violence to ourselves at the start, we should afterwards be able to do all
things with ease and joy. It is hard to break old habits, but harder still
to go against our will. If you do not overcome small, trifling things, how
will you overcome the more difficult? Resist temptations in the beginning,
and unlearn the evil habit lest perhaps, little by little, it lead to a
more evil one. If you but consider what peace a good life will bring to
yourself and what joy it will give to others, I think you will be more
concerned about your spiritual progress.
THE POWER AND THE BLESSINGS THAT COME FROM
PRAYING THE ROSARY
THE FIFTEEN PROMISES OF MARY TO CHRISTIANS WHO RECITE THE
These promises were given by the
Blessed Mother to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan.
Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary, shall
receive signal graces.
2. I promise my special protection and
the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.
3. The rosary shall be a powerful armour against hell, it will destroy
vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.
4. It will cause
virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant
mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the
world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal
things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.
5. The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the
rosary, shall not perish.
6. Whoever shall recite the rosary
devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries
shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His
justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he
shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal
7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall
not die without the sacraments of the Church.
8. Those who are
faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their
death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment
of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in
9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been
devoted to the rosary.
10. The faithful children of the rosary
shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.
11. You shall
obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.
those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their
13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the
advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial
court during their life and at the hour of death.
14. All who
recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only Son Jesus
15. Devotion of my rosary is a great sign of
One day, Saint Michael the
Archangel appeared to Antonia d'Astonac, a most devout Servant of God
and told her that he wished to be honoured by nine salutations
corresponding to the nine Choirs of Angels, which should consist of one
Our Father and three Hail Marys in honour of each of the Angelic
Promises of St. Michael
"Whoever would practice this
devotion in his honour would have, when approaching the Holy Table, an
escort of nine angels chosen from each of the nine Choirs. In addition,
for the daily recital of these nine salutations, he promised his
continual assistance and that all the holy angels during life, and after
death deliverance from Purgatory for themselves and all their
The Chaplet of St. Michael
O God, come to my assistance. O
Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, etc.
[Say one Our Father and three Hail
Marys after each of the following nine salutations in honor of the nine
Choirs of Angels]
[STATE YOUR PRAYER REQUEST]
1. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy
to burn with the fire of perfect charity. Amen.
2. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the
grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian
3. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our
hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility. Amen.
4. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominations may the Lord give us
grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions.
5. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from
evil and falling into temptation. Amen.
6. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls
against the snares and temptations of the devil. Amen.
7. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls
with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.
8. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us
perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain
the glory of Heaven. Amen.
9. By the intercession of St.
Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be
protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come
to Heaven. Amen.
Say one Our Father in honor of each
of the following leading Angels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael
and our Guardian Angel.
O glorious prince St. Michael,
chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher
of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our
admirable conductor, you who shine with excellence and superhuman virtue
deliver us from all evil, who turn to you with confidence and enable us
by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every
Pray for us, O glorious St.
Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made
worthy of His promises.
Almighty and Everlasting God, Who,
by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all
men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of
Your Church, make us worthy, we ask You, to be delivered from all our
enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that
we may be conducted by him into Your Presence.This we ask through the
merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
For each Mass we hear
with devotion, Our Lord sends a saint to comfort us at death.
(revelation of Christ to St. Gertrude the great).
Padre Pio, the stigmatic
priest, said, the world could exist more easily without the sun than
without the Mass.
The Cure'd' Ars, St. Jean
Vianney said, if we knew the value of the Mass we would die of
A great doctor of the
Church, St. Anselm, declares that a single Mass offered for oneself
during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same
intention after death. St. Leonard of Port Maurice supports this
statement by saying that one Mass before death may be more profitable
than many after it.
"The Holy Mass would be
of greater profit if people had it offered in their lifetime, rather
than having it celebrated for the relief of their souls after
death." (Pope Benedict XV).
Once, St. Teresa was
overwhelmed with God's Goodness and asked Our Lord, "How can I thank
you?" Our Lord replied, "ATTEND ONE MASS".
Saint Louis De Montfort stresses that people should give
there hearts and wills to Jesus through Mary and that by doing this a
soul will be able to soar toward God. See Saint Louis's book
True Devotion To Mary.Saint Louis warns of the
devil's great ability to deceive souls, including souls of
"Because the devils, who are skillful thieves,
wish to surprise us unawares, and to strip us. They watch day
and night for the favorable moment. For that end they go round
about us incessantly to devour us and to snatch from us in one
moment, all the graces and merits we have gained for many
years. Their malice, their experience, their stratagems
and their number ought to make us fear this misfortune immensely,
especially when we see how many persons fuller of grace than we are,
richer in virtues, better founded in experience and far higher
exalted in sanctity, have been surprised, robbed and unhappily
pillaged. Ah! How many cedars of Lebanon, how many stars
of the firmament, have we not seen fall miserably, and in the
twinkling of an eye lose all their height and their brightness!
Whence comes that sad and curious change? It was not for want
of grace, which is wanting to no man; but it was for want of
humility. They thought themselves capable of guarding their own
treasures. They trusted in themselves, relied upon
themselves. They thought their house secure enough, and their
coffers strong enough, to keep the precious treasure of grace.
It is because of that scarcely perceptible reliance upon themselves,
though all the while it seemed to them that they were relying only
on the grace of God, that the most just Lord permitted them to be
robbed by leaving them to themselves. Alas! If they had
but known the admirable devotion which I will unfold presently, they
would have confided their treasure to a Virgin powerful and faithful,
who would have kept it for them as if it had been her own possession;
nay, who would have even taken it as an obligation of justice on
herself to preserve it for them".
Mary, my Queen and sovereign Lady, I give you myself, trusting in your
fidelity and your protection. I surrender myself entirely to your
motherly tenderness, my body, my soul, all that I am, all that I
possess, for the whole of this day, my life, and especially
at the hour of my death. I entrust to you once more all my hopes, all my
consolations, all my anxieties, all my troubles, my life, my dying
breath, so that by your prayers and merits, I may have, in all I do, one
only goal, your good pleasure and the holy will of your Son.
OVERCOMING DIFFICULTIES AT WORK OR AT
come to us at work or at home it important to pray your way through
these difficulties. At work, it could be trouble with a supervisor
or a co-worker, with the result that misery is brought into our
lives. Or at home a wife or a husband, or a child or a relative
may be causing you trouble. It is important to pray your way
through these difficulties. The different forms of prayers listed
above, the Rosary, the Chaplet of Saint Michael, the Divine Mercy
Chaplet and the Holy Mass, can move God to assist us with the things the
bother us the most during our lives. Try these prayers, they
And sometimes, it takes the prayers of
others to help change the current situations that are going on in our
lives. On the following web page, there are several prayer
groups that will pray for yours needs; this a great tool against our
daily problems and against the assaults of demons. Sometimes it
takes the prayers of many people to change things.
PURPOSE OF THIS WEB SITE
Welcome to this Catholic Spiritual Direction Web
Site. It is the intention of this site to lead people to a
closer relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the
Holy Spirit through the promotion of prayer and Christian teaching which
will enable Christians to adhere to the straight and narrow path Jesus
speaks of in the Gospels. Included in these web pages are the
Douay-Rheims Bible and the works of Saint John of the Cross, Thomas à
Kempis and Saint Louis de Montfort, and the works of other saints of the
Catholic faith, all of whose teachings on spiritual direction have been
followed by priests, ministers, clergymen, Popes and Saints. These
teachings adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church. This site is
dedicated to Blessed Anne Catherine
Mystic, Stigmatist, Prophet, and Great
Visionary, a saintly Augustinian nun from Flamske, Germany. Her highly
descriptive visions of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ,The Sorrowful Passion of Our
Lord Jesus Christ,are presented here. In time more works from the
Saints of the Catholic Church will be added to these pages.
Saint John XXIII, you spent
your life deeply immersed in the truths of the Catholic
Faith. You led us by your great example of sacrifice and love
as you successively led millions to love Our Lord Jesus Christ
and His Holy Church.
We now ask for your
intercession for those who are troubled and in
Saint John XXIII, please pray for the Holy Catholic
Church and for the following prayer request: [state your
Blessed Trinity, we thank you for having graced the Church
with Saint John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of
your fatherly care, the glory of the Cross of Christ and the
splendor of the Spirit of love to shine through him.
Trusting fully in your infinite mercy and in the
maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of
Jesus the Good Shepherd. He has shown us that holiness is
the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way
of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his
[MENTION PRAYER REQUEST]
and according to your
will, the graces we implore, through Christ our Lord.
Prayer of Saint Catherine of Siena for
Physical and Spiritual Healing.
PRECIOUS BLOOD, ocean of divine mercy: Flow upon us! Precious Blood, most pure
offering: Procure us every grace! Precious Blood, hope and refuge of sinners: Atone for us! Precious Blood, delight of
holy souls: Draw
sick or do you know someone who is ill. Say the
prayer above for them everyday. Also, there is greater
power of prayer when many people are praying for the sick.
Ask many fellow Catholics to join in prayer with you for the
sick. You can send prayer requests to Catholic Groups that
will join you in prayer at: