Tag Archives: Cross

Mass of the Catechumens – Prayer Part Lesson 1 The Sign of the Cross

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In the name
Of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass begins with the Sign of the Cross. The priest makes it, and the people make it. It is a gesture that everyone can see. When people make the Sign of the Cross, it shows that they are praying with the priest. They are preparing to offer Holy Mass with him. The Sign of the Cross says that priest and people are going to offer Holy Mass to honor the Blessed Trinity.

Christians once used the Sign of the Cross as a pass word. This was in the first centuries of the Christian religion. In making the Sign of the Cross, the early Christians were making an act of faith. They showed they believed in the Blessed Trinity, and that the Son of God died on the cross to make up for sins of men.

Today when Catholics make the Sign of the Cross they also are making an act of faith. The Catechism tells us that we make the Sign of the Cross to express two important truths of Christian religion. These truths are the Blessed Trinity and the Redemption. The Catechism also says:

When we say, “In the name,” we express the truth that there is only one God;

When we say, “of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,” we express the truth that there are three distinct Persons in God;

And when we make the form of the Cross on ourselves, we express the truth that the Son of God, made man, redeemed us by His death on the cross.

In making the Sign of the Cross at the beginning of Holy Mass, the people are praying together. They show that together they are preparing to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. All during Holy Mass they will be praying together.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

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A Terrible Warning

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In 1984, just before retiring at a venerable age, the diocesan Bishop of Niigata, Bishop John Shojiro Ito, in consulation with the Holy See, wrote a pastoral letter in which he recognized as being authentically of the Mother of God, the extraordinary series of events that had taken place from 1973 to 1981 in a little lay convent within his diocese, at Akita Japan. Hence in Akita we are dealing with a Church approved intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary as sure in this respect as Lourdes or La Salette or Fatima.

The message of Akita, authenticated by Bishop Ito, is a continuation of Fatima. The chastisement threatened is truly terrible – far worse that the possibility of annihilation of several nations prophesied at Fatima. Akita is absolutely consistent with prophecies of Scripture.

The first message received by Sister Agnes Katsuko Sasagawa on June 6, 1973 was a call for prayer and sacrifice for the glory of the Father and salvation of souls. The second message,  August 3, 1973, was for prayer, penance and courageous sacrifices to soften the Father’s anger.

The third message on October 13, 1973, the actual anniversary of the final visions and miracle of Fatima is as follows; “As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by my Son. Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the pope, the bishops, and the priests. The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by the Confreres. The Church will be full of those who accept comprises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.”

“The demon will rage especially against souls consecrated to God. The thought of the loss of so many souls is the cause of my sadness. If sins increase in number and gravity, there will no longer be pardon for them.”

In his pastoral letter approving the events of Akita as supernatural, the Bishop of Niigata said: “After the inquiries conducted up to the present day, one cannot deny the supernatural character of a series of unexplainable events relative to the statue of the Virgin honored at Akita (Diocese of Niigata). Consequently, I authorize that all of the diocese entrusted to me venerate the Holy Mother of Akita.”

Concerning the messages, His Excellency said: “As for the content of the messages received, it is no way contrary to Catholic doctrine or to good morals. When one thinks of the actual state of the world, the warning seems to correspond to it in many points.” His Excellency explained that he had taken eight years to give this judgement because of the importance and the responsibility in question. “The Congregation of the Doctrine for the Faith has given me directives in this sense,” the Bishop said, “that only the Bishop of the diocese in question has the power to recognize an event of this kind.”

The events of Akita have been confirmed by definite miracles, two of which are cited by the Bishop in his pastoral letter. While the warning given by Our Lady at Akita is terrible, the message, as the Bishop points out , is basically a repetition of the Message of Fatima. Our Lady stressed the importance of praying the Rosary, and above all of accepting from God whatever He may send in the course of each day…whatever suffering…and to offer it up in a reparation for so many sins committed throughout the world at this time. Our Lady begged especially for prayers for bishops, priests, and religious, and for reparation before the Blessed Sacrament. Our Lady said: “I have prevented the coming of calamities by offering to the Father, together with all the victim souls who console Him, the sufferings endured by the Son on the Cross, by His Blood and by His very loving Soul. Prayer, penance, and courageous sacrifices can appease the anger of the Father.”

To the little religious community where Our Lady gave the messages, she asked that it “live in poverty, sanctity itself and pray in reparation for the ingratitude and the outrages of so many men.”

The apparitions and events in Akita, Japan, center around a three foot high statue of Our Lady with a Japanese face in the chapel of the Eucharisitic Handmaids of the Sacred Heart. These supernatural happenings involve Sr. Agnes Sasagawa, one of the Sisters in the convent, to whom Our Lady gave Her messages. Sister had been very ill, requiring about 20 operations. When the apparitions began, she was nearly deaf. On June 12, 1973, when she opened the tabernacle for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a very strong light came from it and filled the entire chapel. This happened for three days. When Sister asked the other Sisters if they had seen anything out of the ordinary, they said no.

This strong light also came from the tabernacle on the feast of Corpus Christi. When Sr. Sasagawa told the Bishop of Akita (who was visiting the convent on the feast) of this, he advised her to keep it in her heart. On the Vigil of the Feast of the Sacred Heart that same year, Sr. Sasagawa’s guardian angel appeared to her and asked her to pray the Fatima decade prayer after each decade of the Rosary. In 1973 this prayer was not well known in Japan, and Sister had trouble understanding it. But the Sisters began to recite the prayer and it has now spread throughout Japan.

On the same occasion as the apparition of her guardian angel, a wound in the form of a cross appeared in the hollow of Sr. Sasagawa’s left hand and began to bleed. The bleeding ended on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The following Friday, the wound bled and stopped the next day. This continued for a month. Sister’s guardian angel later spoke to her in chapel. Although nearly deaf, she heard the angel saying: “Pray not only for yourself, but for the people of all nations. The world today is wounding the Sacred Heart of Jesus through so much sin and ingratitude.” After hearing this, Sister heard a voice come from the statue in the chapel: “My daughter, you obeyed me very well, you have renounced everything. This deafness is a great suffering for you. Have patience, you will be healed. It is a trial. Pray in reparation for all people. Pray much for the Holy Father, for the bishops and for priests.”

On July 6, 1973, a bleeding wound appeared on the right hand of the statue of Our Lady in the chapel. On other days, the face of the statue bled. Sister’s guardian angel told her: “This flowing of blood is significant. It will be shed for the conversion of men and in reparation for sins. To the devotion of the Sacred Heart add the devotion to the Precious Blood.” Other messages followed. About a month after seeing the wound in the right hand of Our Lady’s statue, Sr. Sasagawa heard: “My daughter, if you love Our Lord, listen to me. Many people in the world grieve Our Lord. I ask for souls who will console Him, and who will make reparation. The Heavenly Father is preparing a great punishment for the world. Many times I have tried with my Son to soften the anger of the Father. I presented to Him many atoning souls who make reparation by prayers and sacrifices. That is what I ask of you. Honor poverty. Live poorly. You must keep your vows, which are like three nails to nail you to the Cross – the nail of poverty, chastity and obedience.”

Beginning on September 20, 1973, the statue began to sweat from the face to the feet. Tears began to flow down the face. Also, a very pleasant odor was felt in the chapel. This happened many times in the presence of others, including the Bishop. In all, the statue wept a total of 101 times. On October 13, 1973, there was a serious message. “As I said before,” Our Lady said, “if mankind does not repent, the Heavenly Father will inflict a very serious punishment on the whole world; a punishment the likes of which has never happened before. Many people will perish. Pray the Rosary often. Only I can prevent the disaster. Whoever entrusts themselves to me will be saved.” The statue continued to weep and other messages followed. Pilgrims came and many received answers to their prayers. Then, in 1981, Theresa Chon, who was suffering from terminal brain cancer, was miraculously healed through the intercession of Our Lady of Akita. This healing was well documented by Fr. Joseph Oh of Seoul, S. Korea.

In his pastoral letter, Bishop Ito said that it would have been difficult to believe in a message from Our Lady that is so terrible, unless there was overwhelming proof that it was indeed from Her. But he points out that the terrible chastisement of which Our Lady speaks is on the condition: “If men do not repent and do not better themselves…” The Bishop added it is a serious warning, while at the same time one perceives in it the maternal love of Our Lady. In Her message warning the world of the annihilation of a great part of humanity, She said: “The thought of the loss of numerous souls makes me sad.”

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How do we repent and better ourselves? Repentance is a “sorrow of heart and detestation for sin committed with the resolution not to sin again.” (Trent.sess.xiv,cap.4). Once mortal sin has been committed, an act of contrition is necessary for salvation (this is of faith from Scripture and Tradition). To be effective contrition must be genuine, must comprise all mortal sin committed, must spring from a motive that has reference to God and include a hatred of sin as the greatest of evils (this is the common teaching of theologians). Contrition is termed perfect when it arises from the pure love of God; by perfect contrition, sin is forgiven even before it is manifested in the sacrament of Penance, though the obligation of confession remains. What are the sins most prevalent today which are calling down God’s wrath upon us? We see wholesale violations of the first three Commandments. The first Commandment: I am the Lord Thy God, thou shall not have strange God’s before me.” In summary, we find in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X and the Baltimore Catechism, that the First Commandment forbids idolatry, superstitution, spiritism, tempting God, sacrilege and sins against Faith. The Catechism then asks “How does a Catholic sin against Faith?” Answer: “A Catholic sins against Faith by apostasy, heresy, indifferentism and by taking part in non-Catholic worship! This, indeed, is a powerful indictment against the present ecumenical practice that has swept through and disfigured the Church since the 2nd Vatican Council.

The Second Commandment forbids using the Lord’s Name in vain (blasphemy). If we consult the Catechism of the Council of Trent’ s treatment of the Second Commandment, it teaches that those who support heresy, and “distort the Sacred Scriptures from their genuine and true meaning,” are guilty of sins against the Second Commandment. Thus, those who distort the meaning of Scripture, namely Protestants, are, in the objective order, guilty of this sin, because their perversion of Sacred Scripture is an irreverence to the Holy Word of God.

The Third Commandment deals with keeping holy the Sabbath Day. It is evident for all to see that Sunday has become a day of business as usual. People doing unnecessary work, places of business opened with people shopping without any regard to the Third Commandment which strictly forbids all unnecessary work and doing business on Sunday.

The Fifth Commandment: Thou shall not kill. We see a blatant disregard for this Commandment in the slaughter of some 3500 babies every day by Abortion with very, very few doing anything to bring about an end to this human carnage.

Now we come to the Sixth Commandment, which violation causes more souls to go to Hell than any of the other Ten Commandments. The Sixth Commandment is transgressed by Divorce which leads to adultery when either of the two spouses remarry. (Mark 10:11, 12) (Matt. 19:6) (Cor. 7:10, 11), Fornication, Homosexuality or Sodomy. (Rom. 1:27) (2nd Peter 2:6) (St. Jude 1:7). We see the Sixth Commandment horribly violated by immodest dress. Modesty and purity have practicality vanished from our society. (1 Tim.2:9-10)

This impending chastisement can be averted if enough people pray the Rosary daily and do penance which Our Lady requested at Fatima in 1917.

Our Lady of the Rosary Library http://www.olrl.org

God Bless BJS!!

​On the Choice Upon to you Between Heaven and Hell Preparation.

Taken from The Saint Francis de Sales Collection Chapter 17.
1. PLACE yourself in the Presence of God.

2. Humble yourself before Him, and ask His inspiration.

Considerations

1. Imagine yourself alone with your good angel in an open plain, as was Tobit on his way to Rages. Suppose the Angel to set before you Paradise, full of delights and joys; and on the other hand Hell, with all its torments. Contemplate both, kneeling in imagination before your guardian Angel. Consider that you are most truly standing between Hell and Paradise, and that both the one and the other are open to receive you, according to your own choice.

2. Consider that the choice you make in this life will last for ever in the next.

3. Consider too, that while both are open to receive you according to your choice, yet God, Who is prepared to give the one by reason of His Justice, the other by reason of His Mercy, all the while desires unspeakably that you should select Paradise; and your good Angel is urging you with all his might to do so, offering you countless graces on God’s part, countless helps to attain to it.

4. Consider that Jesus Christ, enthroned in Heaven, looks down upon you in loving invitation: “O beloved one, come unto Me, and joy for ever in the eternal blessedness of My Love!” Behold His mother yearning over you with maternal tenderness—” Courage, my child, do not despise the Goodness of my Son, or my earnest prayers for thy salvation.” Behold the Saints, who have left you their example, the millions of holy souls who long after you, desiring earnestly that you may one day be for ever joined to them in their song of praise, urging upon you that the road to Heaven is not so hard to find as the world would have you think. “Press on boldly, dear friend,”—they cry. “Whoso will ponder well the path by which we came hither, will discover that we attained to these present delights by sweeter joys than any this world can give.”

The Choice.

1. O Hell, I abhor thee now and for ever; I abhor thy griefs and torments, thine endless misery, the unceasing blasphemies and maledictions which thou pourest out upon my God;—and turning to thee, O blessed Paradise, eternal glory, unfading happiness, I choose thee for ever as my abode, thy glorious mansions, thy precious and abiding tabernacles. O my God, I bless Thy Mercy which gives me the power to choose—O Jesus, Saviour, I accept Thine Eternal Love, and praise Thee for the promise Thou hast given me of a place prepared for me in that blessed New Jerusalem, where I shall love and bless Thee for ever.

2. Dwell lovingly upon the example set before you by the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, and strive to follow where they point you. Give yourself up to your guardian Angel, that he may be your guide, and gird up your courage anew to make this choice.
God Bless BJS!!

77 Graces & Fruits To Be Derived From Devout Attendance At Holy Mass

As taken from The Incredible Catholic Mass by Fr. Martin von Cochem 1704 In German and republished in English in 1997 by Tan Books and Publishers inc.


  1. For your salvation, God the Father sends His beloved Son down from Heaven.
  2. For your salvation, the Holy Spirit changes bread and wine into the true Body and Blood of Christ.
  3. For your sake, the Son of God comes down from Heaven and conceals Himself under the form of the sacred Host.
  4. He even abases Himself to such an extent as to be present in the minutest particle of the sacred Host.
  5. For your salvation, He renews the saving mystery of the Incarnation.
  6. For your salvation, He is born anew into the world in a mystic manner whenever Holy Mass is celebrated.
  7. For your salvation, He performs upon the altar the same acts of worship that He performed when on earth.
  8. For your salvation, He renews His bitter Passion in order that you may participate in it.
  9. For your salvation, He musically renews His death and sacrifices for you His precious life.
  10. For your salvation, He sheds His Blood in a mystic manner and offers it up for you to the Divine Majesty.
  11. With the Precious Blood He sprinkles your soul and purifies it from every stain.
  12. For you, Christ offers Himself as a true burnt offering and renders to the Godhead the supreme honor which is its due.
  13. By offering this act of worship to God, you make reparation for the glory which you have failed to give Him.
  14. For you Christ offers Himself to God as a sacrifice of praise, thus atoning for your omissions in praising His Holy Name.
  15. By offering to God this oblation which Christ offers, you give Him greater praise than do the holy Angels.
  16. For you Christ offers Himself as a perfect sacrifice of thanksgiving, making compensation for all failures on your part to render thanks.
  17. By offering to God Christ’s act of thanksgiving, you make ample acknowledgement of all the benefits He has bestowed upon you.
  18. For you Christ offers Himself as the All-powerful Victim, reconciling you to the God whom you have offended.
  19. He pardons you all your venial sins, provided you are firmly resolved to forsake them.
  20. He also makes reparation for many of your sins of omission; when you left undone the good you might have done.
  21. He removes many of the imperfections attaching to your good deeds.
  22. He forgives you the sins, unknown or forgotten, which you have never mentioned in Confession.
  23. He offers Himself as a victim to make satisfaction for a part, at least, of your debts and transgressions.
  24. Each time you hear Mass, you can do more to pay the penalty due to your sins than by the severest work of penance. 
  25. Christ places to your credit a portion of His merits, which you may offer to God the Father in expiation of you offenses.
  26. For you Christ offers Himself as the most efficacious peace-offering, interceeding for you as earnestly as He interceded for His enemies on the cross.
  27. His Precious Blood pleads for you in words as countless as the drops which issued from His sacred veins.
  28. Each of the adorable wounds His Sacred Body bore is a voice calling aloud for mercy for you.
  29. For the sake of this propitiatory Victim, the petitions proffered during Mass will be granted far sooner than those that are proffered at other times.
  30. Never can you pray so well as while present at Mass.
  31. This is so because Christ unites His prayers to yours and offers them to His heavenly Father.
  32. He acquaints Him with your needs and the dangers to which you are exposed, and makes your eternal salvation His particular concern.
  33. The Angels also who are present plead for and present your poor prayers before the throne of God.
  34. On your behalf the priest says Mass, by virtue of which the evil enemy will not be suffered to approach you.
  35. For you and for your everlasting salvation he says Mass, and offers that Holy Sacrifice to God Almighty.
  36. When you hear Mass, you are yourself in spirit a priest, empowered by Christ to offer the Mass both for yourself and others.
  37. By offering this Holy a Sacrifice you present to the Blessed Trinity the most acceptable of all oblations.
  38. You offer an oblation precious indeed, of greater value than all things in Heaven and earth.
  39. You offer an oblation precious indeed, for it is none other than God Himself.
  40. By this Sacrifice you honor God as He alone is worthy to be honored.
  41. By this Sacrifice you give infinite satisfaction to the Most Holy Trinity. 
  42. You may present this glorious oblation as your own gift, for Christ Himself gave it to you.
  43. When you hear Mass correctly, you perform an act of highest worship.
  44. By hearing Mass you pay the most profound reverence, the most loyal homage, to the sacred humanity of Our Lord.
  45. It is the best means whereby to venerate the Passion of Christ and obtain a share in its fruits.
  46. It is also the best means of generating the Blessed Mother of God and increasing her joy.
  47. By hearing Mass you can give greater honor to the Angels and Saints than by reciting many prayers.
  48. By hearing Mass devoutly, you can also enrich your soul more than by anything else in the world.
  49. For in this act you perform a good work of the highest value.
  50. It is a signal exercise of pure Faith, which will receive a great reward.
  51. When you bow down before the Sacred Host and the sacred chalice, you perform a supreme act of adoration.
  52. For each time that you gaze reverently upon the Sacred Host, you will receive a recompense in Heaven.
  53. Each time you strike your breast with compunction, some of your sins are remitted to you.
  54. If you hear Mass in the state of Mortal sin, God offers you the grace of conversion.
  55. If you hear Mass in the state of grace, God gives you an augmentation of grace.
  56. In Holy Mass you spiritually eat the Flesh of Christ and drink His Blood.
  57. You are privileged to behold with your eyes Christ hidden under the sacramental veil, and to be beheld by Him.
  58. You receive the priest’s benediction, which is confirmed by Christ in Heaven.
  59. Through your diligence in hearing Mass, you will also obtain corporal and temporal blessings. 
  60. Furthermore, you will be preserved from many misfortunes that would otherwise befall you.
  61. You will also be strengthened against temptations which would otherwise have vanquished you.
  62. Holy Mass will also be to you a means of obtaining the grace of a holy death.
  63. The love you have shown for Holy Mass will secure for you the special succor of Angels and Saints in your last moments.
  64. The remembrance of the Masses hears in your lifetime will be a sweet solace to you in the hour of death and inspire you with confidence in the divine mercy.
  65. They will not be forgotten when you stand before the strict Judge and will incline Him to show you favor.
  66. You need not fear a long and terrible Purgatory if you already, to a great extent, attoned for your sins by frequently assisting at Holy Mass.
  67. One Mass devoutly heard will do more to mitigate the pains of Purgatory than any act of penance, however difficult of performance.
  68. One Mass in your lifetime will be of greater service to you than many said for you after death.
  69. You will attain a high place in Heaven, which will be yours for all eternity.
  70. Your felicity in Heaven will, moreover, be increased by every Mass you hear on earth.
  71. No prayers offered for your friends will be as efficacious as a single Mass heard and offered on their behalf.
  72. You can amply recompense all your benefactors by hearing Mass for their intention.
  73. The best help, the greatest consolation, you can afford the afflicted, the sick, the dying, is to hear Mass for them.
  74. By this same means you can even obtain for sinners the grace of conversion.
  75. You can also earn for all faithful Christians saving and salutary graces.
  76. For the Suffering Souls in Purgatory you can procure abundant refreshment.
  77. And if it is not within your power to have Mass said for your departed friends, you can by devout assistance at the Holy Sacrifice release them from the tormenting flames.

“If Christians only knew how to profit by Holy Mass, they might acquire greater riches than are to be found in all things God has created.” – Father Sanchez
God Bless BJS!!

Suffering 

How to Make the Greatest Evil in Our Lives Our Greatest Happiness

by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, O.P.

Suffering is the great problem of human life. We all have to suffer. Sometimes small sorrows, sometimes greater ones fall to our share. We shall now tell our readers how to avoid much of this suffering, how to lessen all suffering and how to derive great benefits from every suffering we may have to bear. The reason why suffering appears so hard is that, first of all, we are not taught what suffering is. Secondly, we are not taught how to bear it. Thirdly, we are not taught the priceless value of suffering. This is due to the incomprehensible neglect on the part of our teachers. It is surprising how easily some people bear great sufferings; whereas, others get excited even at the smallest trouble. The simple reason is that some have been taught all about suffering; others have not.

SUFFERING IS NOT THE EVIL WE THINK IT IS

First of all, then, suffering is not simply an evil, for no one suffered more than the Son of God Himself, more than His Blessed Mother or more than the Saints. Every suffering comes from God. It may appear to come to us by chance or accident or from someone else, but in reality, every suffering comes to us from God. Nothing happens to us without His wish or permission. Not even a hair falls from our heads without His consent.

Why does God allow us to suffer? Simply because He is asking us to take a little share in His Passion. What appears to come by chance or from someone else always comes because God allows it. Every act in Our Lord’s Life was a lesson for us. The greatest act in His life was His Passion. This, then, is the greatest lesson for us. It teaches us that we too must suffer. God suffered all the dreadful pains of His Passion for each one of us. How can we refuse to suffer a little for love of Him?

SUFFERING IS THE GOLD IN OUR LIVES

Secondly, if we accept the suffering He sends us and offer them in union with His sufferings, we receive the greatest rewards. Five minutes’ suffering borne for love of Jesus is of greater value to us than years and years of pleasure and joy. The Saints tell us that if we patiently bear our sufferings, we merit the crown of martyrdom. Moreover, suffering borne patiently brings out all that is good in us. Those who have suffered are usually the most charming people. If we bear these facts clearly in mind, it certainly becomes much easier to suffer.

GOD ALWAYS GIVES STRENGTH TO BEAR OUR SUFFERINGS

Thirdly, when God gives us any suffering, He always gives us strength to bear it, if we only ask Him. Many, instead of asking for His help, get excited and revolt. It is this excitement and impatience that really make suffering hard to bear. Consider that we are now speaking of all suffering, even the most trifling ones. All of us have little troubles, pains, disappointments, every day of our lives. All these, if borne for love of God, obtain for us, as we have said, the greatest rewards.

HOW TO BEAR SUFFERING

Even the greater sufferings that may fall to our share from time to time become easy to bear if we accept them with serenity and patience. What really makes suffering difficult to bear is our own impatience, our revolt, our refusal to accept it. This irritation increases our sufferings a hundred fold and, besides, robs us of all the merit we could have gained thereby. We see some people pass through a tempest of suffering with the greatest calm and serenity; whereas, others get irritated at the slightest annoyance or disappointment. We can all learn this calm and patience. It is the secret of happiness. An eminent physician, in a conference which he gave to distinguished scientists and fellow doctors, told them that he owed all his great success in life to the simple fact that he had corrected his habit of impatience and annoyance, which had been destroying all his energy and activity. Everyone, we repeat, without exception, can learn this calm and serenity.

PENANCE

We must all do penance for our sins. If we do not, we shall have long years of suffering in the awful fires of Purgatory. This fire is just the same as the fire of Hell. Now, if we offer our sufferings the very little ones as well as the greater ones-in union with the sufferings of Jesus Christ, we are doing the easiest and best penance we can perform. We may thus deliver ourselves entirely from Purgatory, while at the same time gaining the greatest graces and blessings.

Let us remember clearly that:

1) Sufferings come from God for our benefit.

2) When we are in the state of grace, we derive immense merit from every suffering borne patiently, even the little sufferings of our daily lives.

3) God will give us abundant strength to bear our sufferings if we only ask Him.

4) If we bear our sufferings patiently, they lose their sting and bitterness.

5) Above all, every suffering is a share in the Passion of Our Lord.

6) By our sufferings, we can free ourselves in great part, or entirely, from the pains of Purgatory.

7) By bearing our sufferings patiently, we win the glorious crown of martyrdom.

Of course, we may do all in our power to avoid or lessen our sufferings, but we cannot avoid all suffering. Therefore, it is clearly necessary for us to learn how to bear them. In a word, we must understand clearly that if we remain calm, serene and patient, suffering loses all its sting, but the moment we get excited, the smallest suffering increases a hundred fold. It is just as if we had a sore arm or leg and rubbed it violently; it would become irritated and painful; whereas, if we touch it gently, we soothe the irritation. We suffer from ill-health, from pains, headaches, rheumatism, arthritis, from accidents, from enemies. We may have financial difficulties. Some suffer for weeks in their homes, some in hospitals or nursing homes. In a word, we are in a vale of tears. Almighty God could have saved us from all suffering, but He did not do so because He knows in His infinite goodness that suffering is good for us.

PRAYER

We have a great, great remedy in our hands, that is, prayer. We should pray earnestly and constantly asking God to help us to suffer, to console us. or if it pleases Him. to deliver us from suffering. This is all, all important. A very eminent doctor, in an able article he recently published in the secular press, says that “Prayer is the greatest power in the world.” He says, “I and my colleagues frequently see that many of our patients, whom we have failed to cure or whose pains we have failed to alleviate, have cured themselves by prayer. I speak now not of the prayers of holy people, but the prayers of ordinary Christians.” We should above all pray to Our Lady of Sorrows in all our troubles. We should ask her, by the oceans of sorrow she felt during the Passion of Our Lord, to help us. God gave her all the immense graces necessary to make her the perfect Mother of God, but He also gave her all the graces, the tenderness, the love necessary to be our most perfect and loving Mother. No mother on earth ever loved a child as Our Blessed Lady loves us. Therefore, in all our troubles and sorrows, let us go to Our Blessed Lady with unbounded confidence.

THE MEMORARE

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother. To thee do I come, before thee I kneel, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer them. Amen.

​Sanctifying Grace

 

A soul in the state of grace is very beautiful in the sight of God. Then we are friends and children of God and heirs of heaven; then we are like the very angels. We must always try to avoid sin. But when the soul has lost the grace of God by mortal sin, nothing on earth can be uglier in God’s sight. If we are so careful about our personal appearance before mortals, how much more should we be careful about the appearance of our immortal soul, that God may be pleased with us.

 

    What is grace? –Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us through the merits of Jesus Christ for our salvation.

     

  1. Grace is a favor, a free gift, granted to us though we have no claim to it. God grants us graces because He is good, not because we deserve them. God grants,us graces for the sake of His Son, Who died on the cross to earn for us these graces; we men can never merit these graces.

    “All have sinned and have need of the glory of God. They are justified freelyby his grace through the redemption which is in Christ” (Rom. 3:23-24).

     

  2. The Holy Ghost dispenses the graces of God merited by Our Lord Jesus Christ; He bestows and perfects what is already earned, and acts as the channel of grace.

    In a similar manner the sun does not make the plants, but develops what is already planted; without the sun plants would die and be useless to man.

     

  3. The supernatural is that which is beyond natural Powers. It is of two kinds:

       

    1. When the fact is beyond natural powers in the manner of occurence: as when a blind man instantly can see; and

       

    2. When the fact fundamentally and entirely surpasses all powers of the natural order: as when God imparts a part of His life to man through the gift of sanctifying grace.

     

  4. The assistance of the Holy Ghost is necessary. Without the help of the graces that He dispenses, with merely natural powers, we cannot do the least work to merit salvation. Without God, we are nothing.

    In order to reach heaven, we need God’s grace; so we say with the Apostle: “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything, as from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5) ; “By the grace of God I am what I am. . . . I have laboured more than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Cor. 15:10).

     

  5. There are two kinds of grace: sanctifying grace and actual grace.

    What is sanctifying grace? –Sanctifying grace is that grace which confers on our souls a new life, that is, a sharing in the life of God Himself.

     

  1. By sanctifying grace, our souls are made holy and pleasing to God. It is anabiding or permanent grace, which we gain by baptism, and lose only by mortal sin.

    By Adam’s sin all mankind lost the friendship of God; that is, we are born in original sin, without sanctifying grace. Our Lord’s death won back sanctifying grace for us; it is granted freely at Baptism.

     

  2. A soul to whom God grants sanctifying grace receives not merely a gift from God, but God Himself. The Holy Ghost lives in him and becomes united with him, so that he receives a new life, a new nature.

    St. Paul refers to this acquisition of sanctifying grace as the putting off of the old man and the putting on of the new. It is as if an old and worn man were suddenly to become a handsome young man full of the vigor of life. The beauty of a soul in the state of sanctifying grace is too great for human eyes to bear. As a child said, when asked how his soul would look immediately after his confirmation, if it could be photographed, “Why, it would look like God!”

    What are the chief effects of sanctifying grace? –The chief effects of sanctifying grace are:

    First, it makes us holy and pleasing to God.-When we are in possession of sanctifying grace, we are free from mortal sin; the two cannot dwell together. The fire of the Holy Ghost sears away all that God abhors, so that we acquire God’s friendship.

    However, although free from mortal sin, we do not: with sanctifying grace, become free from the remains of sin. So even saints feel the human inclination to sin, against which the struggle is lifelong, and from which we should gain merit. This human frailty is imbedded in our flesh, and is present in our souls as a result of original sin.

    Sanctifying grace, however, although it does not cure us of the weakness of the flesh, strengthens our will, so that for us the war against sin becomes easier. The charity accompanying sanctifying grace makes us more prone to good works, more attracted to God, with minds illumined as to the folly of sin.

    Second, it makes us adopted children of God. – With sanctifying grace, the Holy Ghost enters our soul; we are led by His Spirit, and are therefore His children: “For whoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).

    “Now you have not received a spirit of bondage so as to be again in fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons, by virtue of which we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself gives testimony to our spirit that we are sons of God” (Rom. 8:15-16).

    Third, it makes us temples of the Holy Ghost.-Sanctifying grace brings the Holy Ghost to dwell in us as in a temple. St. Paul says, “For you are the temple of the Living God” (2 Cor. 6: 16).

    “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, him will God destroy; for holy is the temple of God and this temple you are” (1 Cor. 3: 16,17)

    Fourth, it gives us the right to heaven.When we are in sanctifying grace, we are inspired to do good works. The Holy Ghost does not sleep within us, but expands our heart with His grace, and urges our will to do good. And as we are adopted children of God, such actions become meritorious for heaven.

    If we are children of God, we are at the same time heirs, and therefore have a right to His Kingdom. “We are the sons of God. But if we are sons, we are heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:16-17)

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.
God Bless BJS!!

​The Resurrection

Fifth Article of the Apostles’ Creed

 

 

“Now late in the night of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary come to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord come down from heaven, and drawing near rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment like snow. And for fear of him the guards were terrified, and became like dead men. But the angel spoke and said to the women, Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen even as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord was laid’ ” (Matt. 28:1-7).

    What do we mean when we say in the Apostles’ Creed that Christ descended into hell? –When we say that Christ descended into hell, we mean that, after He died, the soul of Christ descended into a place or state of rest, called limbo, where the souls of the just were waiting for Him.

     

  1. Christ did not go to the hell of the damned, but to the “hell” of the just. In Holy Scripture, it was called “Abraham’s bosom”. St. Peter called it “a prison”. We call it limbo.

    Among the souls in limbo were Adam, Eve, Abel, Noe, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob; Joseph, David, Isaias, Daniel, Job, Tobias, St. Joseph, and St. John the Baptist. They went to heaven at Our Lord’s entrance upon His Ascension.

     

  2. Christ went to limbo to announce to the souls waiting there the joyful news that He had reopened heaven to mankind.

    “He was brought to life in the spirit, in which also he went and preached to those spirits that were in prison” (1 Pet. 3:19). The souls in limbo could not go to heaven, which had been closed by Adam’s sin. It was only reopened to man by the death of Our Lord, by the Redemption. The souls in limbo did not suffer pain, but they longed for heaven. After the release of these souls from Limbo, and their entrance into heaven, this Limbo for the just souls ceased to exist.

    While His soul was in limbo, Christ’s body was in the holy sepulchre. When man dies, his soul is separated from the body. When Jesus died, His body and soul were separated, but His divinity remained united to both body and soul.

    Christ’s body did not corrupt in the tomb. It was in the holy sepulchre from Friday evening when He was buried, to Sunday morning, when He arose from the grave. This is why we say Christ rose on the third day, although He was in the grave for only three incomplete days.

    When did Christ rise from the dead? –Christ rose from the dead, glorious and immortal, on Easter Sunday, the third day after His death.

     

  1. Christ had often foretold His resurrection.

    He said of His own body; “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). Before entering Jerusalem He said to His Apostles that He would be put to death and “rise again on the third day” (Matt. 20:19). On the night of the Last Supper He said: “But after I have risen, I will go before you into Galilee” (Matt. 26:32).

     

  2. Even His enemies knew that He had predicted His resurrection. This is why they obtained Pilate’s permission to seal the sepulchre and set guards to watch it.

    They said to Pilate: “Sir, we have remembered how that deceiver said, while he was yet alive. ‘After three days I will rise again'” (Matt. 27:63).

     

  3. Today the entire Christendom celebrates Easter Sunday in memory of the Resurrection. It is the Feast of feasts, commemorating the completion of our redemption by Christ.

    Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon of spring; the feast therefore is moveable, and can fall between March 22 and April 25, The Paschal season lasts till Trinity Sunday; till then the joyous alleluia resounds.

    Why did Christ remain on earth forty days after His Resurrection? –Christ remained on earth forty days after His Resurrection to prove that He had truly risen from the dead, and to complete the instruction of the Apostles.

     

  1. Christ’s resurrection is an undoubted fact on which rests the Christian faith.

    St. Paul says: “If Christ has not risen,”vain then is our preaching, vain too is your faith” (1 Cor. 15:14). And according to St. John, an eyewitness: “Many other signs also Jesus worked in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:30-31)

     

  2. In the first place, Christ really died. His death was witnessed by many, both friends and enemies. It was proved by the soldier who plunged his spear into His side. It was communicated officially to Pilate. His bones were not broken, because He was found already dead. His Mother and disciples would never have buried Him had they suspected the least chance of life.

    Some unbelievers urge that Christ was dead only in appearance and after an interval recovered from His swoon and left the grave. The loss of blood following the scourging alone would have been enough to cause death, not to mention the wounds He received on the cross.

     

  3. In the second place, Christ really came to life. On the first Easter morning He appeared to Mary Magdalen and the other women who sought Him at the sepulchre. Then He appeared to Peter. In the evening He walked with two disciples on the road to Emmaus. At night He appeared to the assembled Apostles.

    Nor were these witnesses easily deceived. The Apostles did not at first believe the women who told them the Lord had risen. They would not even believe their own senses, thinking the risen Saviour was a ghost. Christ had to call for something to eat, to prove that He was not a ghost. St. Thomas refused to believe the other ten Apostles, who had seen Christ first. He only believed when Our Lord appeared to him and bade him touch His wounds.

     

  4. The Jews bribed the guards to say that while they were asleep, the disciples had stolen the body of Christ.

    Such an act was made impossible by Christ’s enemies themselves. They had sealed and guarded the tomb. “So they went and made the sepulchre secure, sealing the stone, and setting the guard” (Matt. 27:66). Even supposing the guards to have fallen asleep, the great stone which covered the sepulchre could not have been moved without waking some at least of the guards. Finally, it is a remarkable circumstance that the guards were not punished for this breach of duty.

     

  5. Christ really arose from the dead. For forty days He appeared to many. He conversed, walked, and even ate with them. He spent much time instructing the Apostles.

    One of His most important appearances was to five hundred disciples on a mountain in Galilee, when He gave the Apostles the command to go forth into the world and teach. The Evangelists have recorded nine apparitions: but it is evident from their writings (for example, Acts 1:3) that there were other and unrecorded occasions when Christ appeared. Countless of Christ’s followers laid down their lives in testimony of the truth of the resurrection. “During forty days appearing to them, and speaking of the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.
God Bless BJS!!

Calvary

 

During Holy Week the Church lives again the passion and death of Christ. On the first day, Palm Sunday, the solemn entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is celebrated by the blessing of palms, followed by a solemn procession. At the Mass of this day, as on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, the story of the Passion from each Evangelist is read. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of Holy Week the Tenebrae are celebrated: the fifteen candles are put out one by one, to symbolize the flight of the disciples, and the death of Our Lord. On Holy Thursday morning a pontifical Mass is celebrated, in cathedrals only; at this the holy oils are blessed. Commemorating the Last Supper at which the Holy Eucharist and the Priesthood were instituted, Holy Thursday Mass takes place in the evening, with the washing of feet to commemorate Christ’s washing of the Apostles’ feet. At the Good Friday service, emphasis is given to the veneration of the cross. Holy Saturday services are held at night, beginning with the blessing of the new fire; from this the Paschal candle is lighted, a reminder of Christ, Light of the world. The five grains of incense imbedded in the candle remind us of His wounds. Four Lessons are read; the baptismal water is blessed and taken to the font. The Mass commemorates, Our Lord’s glorious Resurrection.

 

    When did Christ die? –Christ died on Good Friday.

    During the three hours that Christ suffered on the cross, He spoke seven times. We call these the seven words:

     

  1. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

     

  2. “Amen, I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.”

     

  3. “Woman, behold thy son…. Behold thy mother.”

     

  4. “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

     

  5. “I thirst.”

     

  6. “It is consummated.”

     

  7. “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

    Where did Christ die? –Christ died on Golgotha, a place outside the city of Jerusalem.

    Christ was crucified on a hill called Calvary, outside the city of Jerusalem.

    St. Augustine says that on the cross Our Lord bent His head to kiss us, extended His arms to embrace us, and opened His heart to love us. How thankful we should be to Christ for His love! “He humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even to death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8).

    What took place at the death of Christ? –At the death of Christ the sun was darkened, the earth quaked, the veil of the Temple was rent, the rocks split, and many of the dead arose and appeared in Jerusalem.

     

  1. The tearing of the veil of the Temple at the death of Christ marked the endof the Jewish religion as the true religion. This Jewish religion had been a figure of the True Church, and when the Church was established, was no longer needed: types and figures had to give way to reality.

    The veil of the Temple concealed the Holy of Holies, the most sacred part of the Temple.

     

  2. We must not, however, make the mistake of thinking that Christianity ended the moral laws-laws regarding good and evil that were taught by the Jewish religion. Christ came not to destroy, but to perfect, the Old Law.

    The authority of the Temple and its officers was now placed in the Church established by Christ, in the hands of His Apostles. The ceremonial laws of the Jews relating to worship were abolished.

     

  3. The Church commemorates the passion and death of Christ on Good Friday. The solemn afternoon service consists of four parts, the veneration of the cross being the chief feature. All may receive Communion.

    After the Holy Thursday ceremonies the altar was stripped; lights were put out, and bells silenced.

     

  4. After His death, Our Lord’s body was taken down from the cross and laid in the grave which belonged to Joseph of Arimathea. Then His disciples rolled up a great stone to close the tomb.

    The chief priests and the Pharisees went in a body to Pilate, saying, ‘Sir, we have remembered how that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ Give orders, therefore, that the sepulchre be guarded until the third day, or else his disciples may come and steal him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead’; and the last imposture will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard; go, guard it as well as you know how.’ So they went and made the sepulchre secure, scaling the stone, and setting the guard (Matt. 27:63-66)

    What do we learn from the sufferings and death of Christ? –From the sufferings and death of Christ we learn God’s love for man and the evil of sin, for which God, who is all-just, demands such great satisfaction.

     

  1. It was not necessary for Jesus to suffer so intensely in order to redeem all men. As His merits are infinite, He could have wiped away the sins of a thousand worlds by shedding one drop of His blood. But He chose to suffer agonies because He loves us.

    “Greater love than this no one has, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep … I am the good shepherd; and I know mine and mine know me. … and I lay down my life for my sheep” (John 10:11-15).

     

  2. From the Passion of Christ we learn the evil that sin is, and the hatred that God bears it. We learn the necessity of satisfying for the malice and wickedness that is sin. Sin must be a horrible thing, to make Jesus Christ the God-man suffer so much.

    By Christ’s obedience He atoned for Adam’s disobedience, for He was obedient unto death. “He was wounded for our iniquities; he was bruised for our sins” (Is. 53:5).

     

  3. The sufferings of Christ, in addition, serve as an example for us, to strengthen us under trials.

    Christ gave us an example of patience and strength. If we receive trials, we should accept them with resignation, in imitation of Our Lord, Who suffered so willingly for our sake. We can never have as much suffering as He did.

    Churches are built in the form of a cross because within the sacrifice of the cross is reenacted. Within them we remember easily the events that took place that day long ago, when Jesus Christ, Son of God, for love of us suffered and died on the Cross.

    Church spires lead us to “seek those things that are above” (Col. 3:1); they are surmounted by a cross, the symbol of our salvation; their bells call us to prayer, communion with God. The church interior is divided into three parts: the porch, where in former times those preparing for baptism and the penitents knelt; the nave, which is the central and main portion, for those attending the Holy Sacrifice; and the choir or sanctuary, where in former times the singers stayed, now reserved for the clergy, and separated from the nave by the communion rail.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.
God Bless BJS!!