Posted in PURGATORY

HOW TO AVOID PURGATORY By Fr. Paul O’Sullivan O.P.

HOW TO AVOID PURGATORY By Fr. Paul O’Sullivan O.P.

For those who have not read this little book and to refresh myself, I will be posting the entire book in daily doses.  (To read later find in the Purgatory Category).

Chapter 11

THE THIRD ORDERS

Among the extraordinary graces which Catholics gain by becoming members of
a Third Order is a share in many Masses and prayers.

To mention, for instance, the Third Order of Saint Dominic, Pope Benedict
XV, himself a Tertiary, said: “One of the easiest and most effectual ways
of reaching a high degree of sanctity is by becoming a Dominican Tertiary”

The members of this order receive during life a share every day in
thousands of Masses and prayers, and after death, when, alas, so many are
neglected by their relatives, those who are members of this Third Order
have a share daily in thousands of other Masses and prayers, this for as
long as they remain in Purgatory!

Among the many beautiful characteristics of the Order of St. Dominic is its
intense devotion and love for the Holy Souls, especially for the souls of
its members, friends and benefactors.   So true is this that a young Italian
nobleman who consulted the Pope as to which religious order he would do
well to enter received for answer: “My dear son, you may with much profit
join any of the Orders, for in each you will find abundant means of
becoming a Saint. After death, however, be a Dominican” The Holy Father
meant to imply that the suffrages given after death to their deceased
members are, indeed, most abundant in the Dominican Order.

The conditions of becoming a member of this order are so easy and the
advantages so many that half the world would become Dominican Tertiaries
did they know these advantages.

RESOLUTION

Investigate and do something TODAY!

chapter-eleven-howtoavoidpurgatory

Posted in LENT, NOVENAS

Lenten Preparation Novena

REFLECTION – “Give back some of God’s gifts to God, that you may safely enjoy the rest. Fast, or watch, or abound in alms, or be instant in prayer, or deny yourselves society, or pleasant books, or easy clothing, or take on you some irksome task or employment; do one or other, or some, or all of these, unless you say that you have never sinned and may go like Esau with a light heart to take your crown”

“But, O ye sons and daughters of men, what if this fair weather but ensure the storm afterwards? what if it be, that the nearer you attain to making yourselves as gods on earth now, the greater pain lies before you in time to come, or even (if it must be said), the more certain becomes your ruin when time is at an end? Come down, then, from your high chambers at this season to avert what else may be. Sinners as ye are, act at least like the prosperous heathen, who threw his choicest trinket into the water, that he might propitiate fortune. Let not the year go round and round, without a break and interruption in its circle of pleasures. Give back some of God’s gifts to God, that you may safely enjoy the rest. Fast, or watch, or abound in alms, or be instant in prayer, or deny yourselves society, or pleasant books, or easy clothing, or take on you some irksome task or employment; do one or other, or some, or all of these, unless you say that you have never sinned and may go like Esau with a light heart to take your crown. Ever bear in mind that Day which will reveal all things and will test all things “so as by fire” and which will bring us into judgment ere it lodges us in heaven.” (Blessed John Henry Newman)

give-back-some-of-gods-gifts-to-god-bljhnewman

Lenten Preparation Novena

DAY NINE

O gracious Father,
infuse in our hearts
the spotless light of Your Divine Wisdom
and open the eyes of our mind
that we may understand the teachings of Your Gospel.
Instill in us also the fear of Your blessed commandments,
so that having curbed all carnal desires,
we may lead a spiritual life,
both thinking and doing everything to please You.
Help us to see,
in our ordinary difficulties and duties,
in the trials and temptations of every day,
the best opportunity of making up for past infidelities.
United with Your Son, who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intention
(Mention your intention)
For You, our God,
are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies;
and to You we render glory,
together with Your Suffering Son,
and with Your all holy,
life-creating Spirit,
now and ever, and forever. Amen

day-nine-lentprepnovena

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, Uncategorized

Thought for the Day – 28 February

Thought for the Day – 28 February

After having renounced everything, one can still worship other idols, such as fame and name.   To be able to enjoy ‘hundred-fold’, one must detach oneself from ‘self’.   A true disciple is not the one who has left all material possessions to follow Jesus, rather the one who has given up the home of self-prestige, brother hatred, sister gossiping, mother backbiting, father pride and child selfishness.   When a person is free from such entanglements, she or he will receive a hundred times more the home of humanness, brother love, sister charity, mother understanding, father humility and child generosity.   This is the way one obtains eternal life.   It is easier to be a philanthropic than a disciple.   The former gives from abundance and earns worldwide praises;  the latter strives hard to let go the wealth of ego and receives mockery and persecution.   Only those who walk the talk can teach the value of renunciation and commitment.  (Sr Virginia Rajakumari SAB)

Lord, Lord help us all!

Veronica’s veil, by Claude Mellan (c. 1649).800px-claude_mellan_-_face_of_christ_-_wga14764

 

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 28 February

Quote of the Day – 28 February

“Those on earth who contemplate the wounds of My Face

shall in heaven behold it radiant with glory.”

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Jesus to Sr Mary of St Peter in 1844 and dictated The Golden Arrow Prayer

card_214_golden_arrow_1201-052710-g-final-back-web

 

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 28 Februa

One Minute Reflection – 28 February

Whoever wishes to be my follower
must take up his cross each day
and follow in my footsteps…………..Luke 9:23

REFLECTION – Let the primary desire of your heart be to stir up in yourselves an ardent and affectionate desire to imitate Jesus in all your works.
Strive to do everything as the Lord Himself would do……………St John of the Cross

PRAYER – Lord Jesus, help me to pattern my life after You.  Grant that I may imitate You completely – in all my thoughts, words and deeds.  May Your Holy Face be before my eyes in every moment, in every word, in every deed.    Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner!  Amen

luke-9-23

let-the-primary-desire-of-your-heart-stjohnofthecrossmay-your-holy-face-be-before-my-eyes

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Our Morning Offering – 28 February

Our Morning Offering – 28 February

Almighty and Eternal Father,
since it has pleased Our Divine Saviour
to reveal to mankind in modern times
the power residing in His Holy Face,
we now avail ourselves of this Treasure
in our great need.
Since our Saviour Himself promised
that by offering to You His Holy Face
disfigured in the Passion we can procure
the settlement of all the affairs of our household
and that nothing whatsoever will be refused to us,
we now come before Your throne.
Eternal Father, turn away Your angry gaze
from our guilty people whose face has
become unsightly in Your eyes.
Look instead upon the Face of Your Beloved Son;
for this is the Face of Him in whom You are well pleased.
We now offer You His Holy Face covered
with blood, sweat, dust, spittle and shame,
in reparation for the worst crimes of our age.
The All-Merciful Advocate opens His mouth
to plead our cause; listen to His cries,
behold His tears, O God and,
through the merits of His Holy Face,
hearken to Him when He intercedes
for us poor miserable sinners.
Amen

the-holy-face-prayer

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY

Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus – 28 February – Shrove Tuesday

Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus – 28 February – Shrove Tuesday

DEVOTION TO THE HOLY FACE OF JESUS

This ancient and venerable Catholic practice is rooted in the representation of the face of Christ said to have been left on the towel or veil used by a holy woman thought to be named, Veronica.   An Archconfraternity of the Holy Face was established in Tours, France, 1884;  its members make reparation for the blasphemies hurled at Christ.   Since St. Therese’s devotion to the Holy Face has become known, this devotion has spread worldwide.

 

In addition, a devout and pious nun, Sr. Pierina, who died in 1945, was given many visions through Our Blessed Lady who appeared to her, as did Our Lord Jesus.  They urged her to make reparation for the many insults Jesus suffered in His Passion, such as to be slapped, spit upon and kissed by Judas, as well as now being dishonoured in many ways in the Blessed Sacrament by neglect, sacrileges, and profanations.

She was given a medal which on one side bore a replica of the Holy Shroud and the inscription: “Illumina, Domine, vultum tuum super nos.” [O Lord, the light of Thy countenance shine upon us.]   On the reverse side was a radiant host with the words: “Mane nobiscum, Domine.” [Stay with us, O Lord.]    After great difficulties, Sr. Pierina obtained permission to have the medal cast.    Even the expenses for the casting were miraculously met when she found on her desk an envelope with the exact amount of the bill—–11,200 lire.

The Evil Spirit showed his chagrin and rage at the medals by flinging them down and burning the pictures of the Sacred Face and beating the nun savagely.

In 1940, when the Second World War had the world in turmoil, Italy saw a wide distribution of the medal: soldiers, sailors and pilots were provided with the replica of the Holy Face since the medal was already famous for its miracles and countless spiritual and temporal favours.

In Our Blessed Mother’s own word, the medal is a weapon for defense, a shield for courage, a token of love and mercy and which her Divine Son wished to give the world in these troubled days of lust and hatred for God and His Church.   Devilish snares have been set to rob the hearts of men of their faith while evil spreads the world over. Genuine apostles are few.   A Divine remedy to all these evils will be the Adorable Face of her Son, Jesus.

Whoever wears this medal and, if possible, pays a visit to the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesday in a spirit of reparation for the outrages received by the Holy Face of Our Blessed Saviour during His Passion and those bestowed on Him every day in the Sacrament of His Divine Love, will be granted the gift of a strong Faith and the grace to fly to its defense, conquering if need be, all exterior and interior difficulties.   Moreover, they are promised a happy death with special assistance of Christ Himself.

The very first medal of the Holy Face was offered to our glorious Pontiff, Pius XII; then the whole world became acquainted with this special object of holy favours and devotion.   No soldier taken as a prisoner of war and who wore the medal was ever executed.   Our Blessed Lord requested that a special feast be instituted to honor His Holy Face on Shrove Tuesday. Pope St. Pius XII obeyed and had this day set aside to honour the Holy Face in 1958.

When Venerable Pope Pius XII granted that the Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus be observed on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, he fulfilled the desire of Our Lord that His sorrowful Holy Face be contemplated in reparation for our sins.  The history and tradition of venerating His Holy Face began on the day of His crucifixion and continues through the centuries with the help of holy men and women chosen by  Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother to propagate this devotion.

The bloodied, bruised, disfigured face of Jesus was imprinted on a veil as St. Veronica comforted Christ by wiping His face on the road to Calvary.   The original veil is kept at St. Peter’s Basilica and is displayed every Passion Sunday.   The image of the face on the Shroud of Turin provides another opportunity of veneration of the Holy Face.

 

 

 

In his 2005 book On the Way to Jesus Christ, Pope Benedict XVI performed an analysis of Holy Face devotions and characterised them as having three separate components.   The first element is discipleship, and the orientation of one’s life towards an encounter with Jesus. The second element is seeing Jesus in the Eucharist, the third element is eschatological and is interwoven between the other two.

Referring to Matthew 25:31-36 Benedict XVI stated that the first element (i.e. discipleship) involves seeing Jesus in the face of the poor and the oppressed and caring for them but to properly see Jesus in the face of those in need, believers first need to become better acquainted with Jesus through the Eucharist.   The second element involves relating the Passion of Jesus, and the suffering expressed by the images that represent his wounded face to the Eucharistic experience.   Thus the devotion that starts with the images of the face of Jesus leads to his contemplation in the Eucharistic experience.    The eschatological element then builds on awakening to Christ by contemplating his face in the Eucharist

 

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, SAINT of the DAY

Saints and Feasts – 28 February – Shrove Tuesday

Feast of the Holy Face of Jesus
Shrove Tuesday (2017) – Derivation: Old English: to shrive, i.e., hear confessions. Monday and Tuesday (also sometimes the preceding Thursday) before Ash Wednesday, known in southern Europe as the Carnival (carnem levare, taking away of flesh); a period of festivity before Lent.

Abercius
Antonia of Florence
Augustus Chapdelaine
St Caerealis
St Caerealis of Alexandria
St Cyra of Beroea
Bl Daniel Brottier
St Ermine
St Gaius of Alexandria
St Pope Hilary/Hilarius
St Justus the Potter
St Llibio
St Macarius the Potter
St Maidoc
St Marana of Beroea
St Oswald of Worcester
St Proterius of Alexandria
St Pupulus of Alexandria
St Romanus of Condat
St Ruellinus of Treguier
St Rufinus the Potter
St Serapion of Alexandria
St Sillan of Bangor
Bl Stanislaw Antoni Trojanowski
St Theophilus the Potter
Bl Villana de’Botti

Martyrs of Alexandria – A number of clerics and layman who died as martyrs of charity for ministering to the sick during a plague that ravaged Alexandria, Egypt in 261.

Martyrs of Unzen – 16 lay people martyred together in one of the periodic anti-Christian persecutions in imperial Japan – Died: 28 February 1627 in Unzen, Japan. Beatified:
24 November 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI

• Alexius Sugi Shohachi
• Damianus Ichiyata
• Dionisius Saeki Zenka
• Gaspar Kizaemon
• Gaspar Nagai Sohan
• Ioannes Araki Kanshichi
• Ioannes Heisaku
• Ioannes Kisaki Kyuhachi
• Leo Nakajima Sokan
• Ludovicus Saeki Kizo
• Ludovicus Shinzaburo
• Maria Mine
• Paulus Nakajima
• Paulus Uchibori Sakuemon
• Thomas Kondo Hyoemon
• Thomas Uzumi Shingoro

Posted in PURGATORY

HOW TO AVOID PURGATORY By Fr. Paul O’Sullivan O.P.

HOW TO AVOID PURGATORY By Fr. Paul O’Sullivan O.P.

For those who have not read this little book and to refresh myself, I will be posting the entire book in daily doses.  (To read later find in the Purgatory Category).

Chapter 10

INDULGENCES AND PURGATORY

[The grants of indulgences were changed in 1968. See the Enchiridion of
Indulgences 1968]

God in His infinite mercy and compassion offers us a most wonderful and
easy means for lessening or cancelling our Purgatory.

Fully aware of our weakness and knowing, too, how fearful many are of
penance, He opens wide the treasury of His Goodness and offers us most
abundant Indulgences in exchange for some small act of devotion.

For one recitation of short ejaculatory prayers, He grants 100 or 300 or
more days Indulgence.    These we may say hundreds of times in the day.    Those
who say the little ejaculation: “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in
Thee” one hundred times a day gain 30,000 days Indulgence.   Those who say it
1,000 times, as many do, gain 300,000 days Indulgence each day!

Nothing can be easier than to acquire the habit of saying this little
prayer all day long, countless times each day.

Then, for each Hail Mary of the Rosary, one gains more than 2,000 days
Indulgence!

Besides an immense number of Partial Indulgences, there are very many
Plenary (full, complete) Indulgences which may be gained during life and at
the hour of death.

These are specially given by the Church to enable us to avoid Purgatory.

These Indulgences can be applied to our own souls and we shall thus
directly make satisfaction for our sins.    Or, we may apply them to the souls
in Purgatory, who will see to it that we do not lose by our generosity.

RESOLUTION

Let us strive to gain all possible Indulgences.

chapter-ten-howtoavoidpurgatory

Posted in LENT, NOVENAS

Lenten Preparation Novena

REFLECTION – “Easy circumstances are generally thought a special happiness; it is thought a great point to get rid of annoyance or discomfort of mind and body; it is thought allowable and suitable to make use of all means available for making life pleasant.”

“Such advice is especially suitable to an age like this, when there is an effort on all hands to multiply comforts and to get rid of the daily inconveniences and distresses of life. Alas! my brethren, how do you know, if you avail yourselves of the luxuries of this world without restraint but that you are only postponing, and increasing by postponing, an inevitable chastisement? How do you know, but that, if you will not satisfy the debt of daily sin now, it will hereafter come upon you with interest? See whether this is not a thought which would spoil that enjoyment which even religious persons are apt to take in this world’s goods, if they would but admit it. It is said that we ought to enjoy this life as the gift of God. Easy circumstances are generally thought a special happiness; it is thought a great point to get rid of annoyance or discomfort of mind and body; it is thought allowable and suitable to make use of all means available for making life pleasant. We desire and confess we desire, to make time pass agreeably and to live in the sunshine. All things harsh and austere are carefully put aside. We shrink from the rude lap of earth and the embrace of the elements and we build ourselves houses in which the flesh may enjoy its lust and the eye its pride. We aim at having all things at our will. Cold and hunger and hard lodging and ill usage and humble offices and mean appearance, are all considered serious evils. And thus year follows year, tomorrow as today, till we think that this, our artificial life, is our natural state and must and ever will be.” (Blessed John Henry Newman)

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Lenten Preparation Novena

DAY EIGHT

Loving Father,
may I live this Lent as an unceasing act of love for You.
Let me grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ.
In my prayer, grant me a spirit to see what must be done
and the strength to do what is right.
Make me radiant in Your presence
with the strength of my yearning for You.
By my fasting, fortify my resolve to carry out Your loving commands.
Bless me with an increase in devoutness of life so that I may be found steadfast in faith.
Any by my almsgiving, renew and purify my heart so that I may hold to the
things that eternally endure.
Help me to repent of my sins now and make reparation throughout
this Lenten season and each day thereafter.
Teach me and help me Lord, my God,
to relinquish the comforts of this world,
to leave my house and follow only the
Way of the Cross,
to sell al, give to the poor, and follow Your Son.
And thus, united with Him,
who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intentions
(Mention your special intention)
Amen

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Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, LENT, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 27 February

We welcome you St Gregory of Narek as our newest Doctor of the Universal Church, with gratitude and joy! Gregory’s Book of Lamentations was the source of consolation and guidance for generations in times of immense suffering. His monastery survived for a thousand years but was destroyed by the Turks during the genocide. Armenians lost Narek but they still have the book they call by that name in his honour and many Armenians have traditionally slept with a copy of the work under their pillows. The words of Gregory, too, are consonant with Pope Francis’ call on all Catholics to reach out to God in our brokenness with humble and contrite hearts. Perhaps we should allow St Gregory to lead us through Lent this year? As Gregory wrote in the Lamentations, “Hear the prayers of my embattled heart for mercy, when I cry out to you, ‘Lord,’ in my time of need.”

St Gregory of Narek- Doctor of the Universal Church, pray for us!

All you Holy Martyrs and Saints of Armenia, pray for us!

st-gregory-of-narek-pray-for-usst-gregory-of-narek-pray-for-us-3armenian-martyrs-ico-pray-for-us

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Quote of the Day – 27 February

Quote of the Day – 27 February

“You found me, a sinner, lost in darkness
crying like the psalmist in prayer,
and because of Your willing care
you were called Shepherd, for not only
did You care, but You sought,
not only did You find, O worker of miracles
but with the goodness of Your love,
a love that defies description,
You rescued me,
lifting me upon Your shoulders,
to set down alongside Your heavenly army,
the heirs to Your fatherly legacy. ”

~~~~~ St Gregory of Narek (Book fo Lamentations) – Saint of the Day

you-found-me-a-sinnerlostindarkness-stgregoryofnarek

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 27 February

One Minute Reflection – 27 February

You have drawn near …….. to the heavenly Jerusalem ……. to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant…..Hebrews 12:22-24

REFLECTION – “Hear the prayers of my embattled heart for mercy, when I cry out to you, ‘Lord,’ in my time of need.” …….St Gregory of Narek

PRAYER – Heavenly Father, amid the dizzying events and circumstances of daily life, let me keep my eyes on Jesus. Help me to rely on Him always, for He is my Redeemer. St Gregory of Narek, you who continue to lead and teach us the ways of true love, consolation and repentance, pray for all the souls of the Universal Church. Amen

hebrews-12-22-24hear-the-prayers-of-my-embattled-heart-st-gregory-of-narekst-gregory-of-narek-pray-for-us-2

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, Uncategorized

Our Morning Offering – 27 February

Our Morning Offering – 27 February

I long not so much for the gifts
as for the Giver.
I yearn not so much for the glory
as the Glorified.
I burn not so much with the desire for life
as in memory of the Giver of Life.
I sigh not so much with the rapture of splendour
as with the heartfelt fervour for its Maker.
I seek not so much for rest
as for the face of our C omforter.
I pine not so much for the bridal feast
as for the distress of the Groom,
through whose strength I wait with certain
expectation believing with unwavering hope
that in spite of the weight of my transgressions
I shall be saved by the Lord’s mighty hand and
that I will not only receive remission of sins
but that I will see the Lord Himself
in His mercy and compassion.

St Gregory of Narek – Book of Lamentations

i-long-not-so-much-for-the-gifts-st-gregory-of-narek

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 27 February -St Gregory of Narek/Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 27 February -St Gregory of Narek/Doctor of the Church (951 – 1003)  Armenian monk, poet, mystical philosopher, theologian and saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church and Catholic Church, born into a family of writers. Based in the monastery of Narek (Narekavank), he was “Armenia’s first great poet”and as “the watchful angel in human form”

Born circa 950 to a family of scholarly churchmen, St. Gregory entered Narek Monastery on the south-east shore of Lake Van at a young age.   Shortly before the first millennium of Christianity, Narek Monastery was a thriving center of learning.   These were the relatively quiet, creative times before the Turkic and Mongol invasions that changed Armenian life forever.   Armenia was experiencing a renaissance in literature, painting, architecture and theology, of which St. Gregory was a leading figure.   The Prayer Book is the work of his mature years. He called it his last testament: “its letters like my body, its message like my soul.” St. Gregory left this world in 1003, but his voice continues to speak to us.

Written shortly before the first millennium of Christianity, the prayers of St. Gregory of Narek have long been recognized as gems of Christian literature. St. Gregory called his book an “encyclopedia of prayer for all nations.” It was his hope that it would serve as a guide to prayer by people of all stations around the world.

A leader of the well-developed school of Armenian mysticism at Narek Monastery, at the request of his brethren he set out to find an answer to an imponderable question: what can one offer to God, our creator, who already has everything and knows everything better than we could ever express it?    To this question, posed by the prophets, psalmist, apostles and saints, he gives a humble answer – the sighs of the heart – expressed in his Book of Prayer, also called the Book of Lamentations.

In 95 grace-filled prayers St. Gregory draws on the exquisite potential of the Classical Armenian language to translate the pure sighs of the broken and contrite heart into an offering of words pleasing to God  The result is an edifice of faith for the ages, unique in Christian literature for its rich imagery, its subtle theology, its Biblical erudition and the sincere immediacy of its communication with God.

For my soul is filled with torment, and there is no cure for my body. I am tortured and laid low in the extreme, and I groan with the sighs of my heart.
Psalm 38:9-10

Gregory of Narek is recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and is particularly venerated among Catholics of the Armenian rite.   His name is listed among the saints for 27 February in the Martyrologium Romanum.

Pope John Paul II referred to Gregory of Narek in several addresses as well as in his encyclical Redemptoris Mater and in his Apostolic Letter for the 1,700th Anniversary of the Baptism of the Armenian People.

He is mentioned by name in Article 2678 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

On 21 February 2015, it was announced that Saint Gregory of Narek would be named a Doctor of the Catholic Church by Pope Francis.    His being given this title was not an equipollent canonisation since he had already been listed as a saint in the Martyrologium Romanum.    On 12 April 2015, Divine Mercy Sunday, during a Mass for the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, Pope Francis officially proclaimed Gregory of Narek as Doctor of the Church.

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St. Gregory’s proclamation as a Doctor of the Church was commemorated by the Vatican City state with a postage stamp issued September 2, 2015.

Minifoglio

 

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, SAINT of the DAY

Saints – 27 February

St Abundius of Rome
St Alexander of Rome
St Alnoth
St Anne Line
St Antigonus of Rome
St Baldomerus of Saint Just
St Basilios of Constantinople
St Comgan
St Emmanuel of Cremona
St Fortunatus of Rome
St Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows/Gabriel Possenti
St Gregory of Narek – Doctor of the Church, Poet, Philosopher and Theologian
St Herefrith of Lindsey
St Honorina
St John of Gorze
Bl Josep Tous Soler
St Luke of Messina
Bl Maria Caridad Brader
Bl Mark Barkworth
St Procopius of Decapolis
Bl Roger Filcock
St Thalilaeus
Bl William Richardson

Martyrs of Alexandria: –
Besas of Alexandria
Cronion Eunus
Julian of Alexandria

Posted in LENT

POPE FRANCIS’ MESSAGE FOR LENT 2017

Catholics Striving for Holiness

https://www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness/videos/740022072841459/

POPE FRANCIS’ MESSAGE FOR LENT 2017

OUTLINE

  1. The other person is a gift
  2. Sin blinds us
  3. The Word is a gift

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Lent is a new beginning, a path leading to the certain goal of Easter, Christ’s victory over death. This season urgently calls us to conversion. Christians are asked to return to God “with all their hearts” (Joel 2:12), to refuse to settle for mediocrity and to grow in friendship with the Lord. Jesus is the faithful friend who never abandons us.  Even when we sin, he patiently awaits our return; by that patient expectation, he shows us his readiness to forgive (cf. Homily, 8 January 2016).

Lent is a favorable season for deepening our spiritual life through the means of sanctification offered us by the Church: fasting, prayer and almsgiving. At the basis of everything is the word of God, which during this season…

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Posted in PURGATORY

HOW TO AVOID PURGATORY By Fr. Paul O’Sullivan O.P.

HOW TO AVOID PURGATORY By Fr. Paul O’Sullivan O.P.

For those who have not read this little book and to refresh myself, I will be posting the entire book in daily doses.  (To read later find in the Purgatory Category).

CHAPTER NINE

THE SEVENTH MEANS: EXTREME UNCTION

The Seventh Means of avoiding Purgatory is Extreme Unction:  God Himself has
given us a Sacrament, the end of which is to take us directly to Heaven.
This Sacrament is Extreme Unction, which according to St. Thomas and St.
Albert was instituted especially to obtain for us the grace of a holy and
happy death and to prepare us for immediate entrance into Heaven.

Many Catholics do not understand this most consoling doctrine and because
they do not understand it, they prepare themselves insufficiently for the
reception of Extreme Unction and so lose many of its great graces.

Every Sacrament properly received produces its effect.    Baptism cleanses us
from Original Sin and any other actual sins that may have been committed by
adults before receiving the Sacrament.

The Sacrament of Holy Orders gives a priest all his tremendous powers.
Matrimony makes man and woman husband and wife.   In the same way Extreme
Unction, if devoutly received, prepares the dying Christian for immediate
entrance into Heaven, thus delivering him from Purgatory.

How foolish it is, therefore, to put off receiving this Sacrament until
very late, when the dying person is too exhausted to receive it with full
knowledge of what he is doing and with due fervour and devotion.   The moment
of death is the supreme moment in our lives.   It is the moment which decides
our fate for all Eternity.

RESOLUTION

Let us use every means in our power to secure a happy and holy death,
especially by receiving most devoutly and as soon as possible, Extreme
Unction.   Leave your instructions with those closest to you – explain your dying needs and your funeral wishes too!

chapter-nine-howtoavoidpurgatory

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, LENT, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION

Lenten Preparation Novena

REFLECTION – “LET US JUDGE OURSELVES, that we be not judged.
Let us afflict ourselves, that God may not afflict us.”

“And be sure of this: that if He has any love for you,
if He sees aught of good in your soul, He will afflict you,
if you will not afflict yourselves. He will not let you escape.
He has ten thousand ways of purging those whom He has chosen,
from the dross and alloy with which the fine gold is defaced.
He can bring diseases on you, or can visit you with misfortunes,
or take away your friends, or oppress your minds with darkness,
or refuse you strength to bear up against pain when it comes upon you.
He can inflict on you a lingering and painful death.
He can make “the bitterness of death pass” not.
We, indeed, cannot decide in the case of others,
when trouble is a punishment and when not;
yet this we know – that all sin brings affliction.
We have no means of judging others
but we may judge ourselves.
LET US JUDGE OURSELVES, that we be not judged.
Let us afflict ourselves, that God may not afflict us.
Let us come before Him with our best offerings,
that He may forgive us.” (Blessed John Henry Newman)

and-be-sure-of-this-john-henry-newman

Lenten Preparation Novena

DAY SEVEN

Today Lord I choose life,
I choose Your love and the challenge to live it and share it,
I choose hope, even in moments of darkness,
I choose faith, accepting You as Lord and God,
I choose to let go of some part of my burdens, day by day handing them over to You,
I choose to take hold of Your strength and power ever more deeply in my life.
I choose to judge and afflict myself.
I choose repentance and reparation and suffering, for all my sins
and those of all the world.
Forgive me my Lord!
May this truly be for me a time of new life, of change, challenge and growth.
May I come to Easter with a heart open to dying with You
and rising to Your new life, day by day. Help me to repent of my sins now and make reparation throughout
this Lenten season and each day thereafter.
United with your Son,
who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intentions
(Mention your special intention)
Amen.

day-seven-lentprepnovena

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 26 February

Thought for the Day – 26 February

The life of Blessed Isabella suggests to us that our human weaknesses, even those of the body, can be overcome by the grace of God. Isabelle, despite pressure to do otherwise for personal and political gain, resisted the pressure of the Courts of France to marry, remaining a virgin and consecrating herself to God.   She sought out the spiritual direction she needed, listened for the call of the Lord and followed it without question.   So eager to rejoin her Maker, she was rewarded with knowledge of when that would happen, which she awaited with joy.    Blessed Isabella of France inspires us to examine our lives, identifying those small barriers we hide behind, rather than serving God.   Whether it be work, sickness, fatigue, or financial security, we all have many reasons—many excuses—to focus on ourselves, rather than on the Lord and through Him, on those in need around us.   This is a perfect opportunity to broaden our view from ourselves to those around us, breaking down our barriers and embracing the Lord in those we serve.   Isabella made sure that nothing would keep her from God and she walked a very singular path to Him.   She is a lesson in determination – something we can achieve in our own quest for complete holiness!

Bl Isabella of France, pray for us!

bl-isabella-of-france-pray-for-us

Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT SJ- Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 26 February

Our Morning Offering – 26 February

Anima Christi by St. Ignatius of Loyola

Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from the side of Christ, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
Good Jesus, hear me
Within Your wounds, shelter me
from turning away, keep me
From the evil one, protect me
At the hour of my death, call me
Into Your presence lead me
to praise You with all Your saints
Forever and ever, amen

anime-christi-by-st-iggy

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 26 February – Blessed Isabella/e of France

Saint of the Day – 26 February – Bl Isabella/Isabelle of France (1224-1270) – Virgin/Princess and Lay Religious, Founder and Apostle of Mercy – Patron of the sick

img-blessed-isabella-of-france

Isabella was the sister of King Saint Loius IX of France. Her mother, the saintly Queen Blance, bore this child special affection because, after the death of her husband, Isabella was the only daughter still living. Her cousin was King Saint Fernando III of Castile and Leon. Isabella was endowed with remarkable gifts, and special attention was paid to educate her in the requirements of her high position. She knew Latin perfectly and could read the writings of the Gathers of the Church in that language. She was, however, no less capable in accomplishments that are peculiarly feminine. With consummate artistry she embroidered vestments for divine services, and took great pleasure in working for the poor and the sick.

The princess loved and honored her saintly brother Louis, who was her senior by ten years and had then been king for many a year. But her love for God was still greater. One day she was knitting a new-fashioned nightcap. The king asked her to give it to him when finished.

“No,” she said, “this is the first of its kind and I must make it for my Savior Jesus Christ.”

Accordingly, she gave it to a poor sick person, and then made another for the king.

Her life in the royal palace was as retired as that of a nun in her convent. Hardly ever did she speak at mealtime. The choicest food she sent to the sick, and she ate so little even of the ordinary food that it was remarkable how she could live. Blessed Isabella of France fasted three days every week. All the court considered the princess a saint. One of the court ladies, who wrote her life, says,

“We beheld in her a mirror of innocence, and at the same time an admirable model of penance, a lily of purity, a fragrant rose of patience and self-renunciation, and endless fountain of goodness and mercy.”

Isabella’s only desire was to belong entirely to God, and so she took the vow of perpetual virginity. However, Emperor Frederick II sought her consent for marriage with his eldest son Conrad. Her mother, her brother, the king, and even Pope Innocent IV would have liked to see the marriage take place for the good of the State and the Church. But Isabella wrote the Holy Father a letter in which she expressed such high regard for consecrated virginity and so strong a desire to persevere in it, that the pope praised her highly and encouraged Blessed Isabella of France in her noble sentiments.

When her mother died, Isabella wished to withdraw from the court in order to consecrate herself entirely to God in a convent. With the king’s assistance she built a convent for the Poor Clares at Longchamps near Paris, and then with several ladies of the court she obtained admission. At the request of the Holy Father, the strict rule of St Clare was mitigated for this community by St Bonaventure, who was minister general of the Franciscan Order at that time, and the modified rule was confirmed anew by Pope Urban IV.

At Isabella’s request, the convent was named for the Humility of Our Blessed Lady. Blessed Isabella of France lived there nine years and desired nothing more than to be a humble subject although she surpassed everyone in sanctity. At her death in 1270 angels were heard singing. Several miracles occurred also after her death, and so Pope Leo X beatified her.

 

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saints 26 February

Bl Adalbert of Tegernsee
St Agricola of Nevers
St Alexander of Alexandria
St Andrew of Florence
St Dionysius of Augsburg
St Faustinian of Bologna
St Felix
St Fortunatus
St Irene
St Isabelle of France
Bl Ottokar of Tegernsee
St Paula of Saint Joseph of Calasanz
Bl Piedad de la Cruz Ortiz
St Porphyrius of Gaza
Bl Robert Drury
St Victor the Hermit

Posted in PRAYERS of the SAINTS, PURGATORY

HOW TO AVOID PURGATORY By Fr. Paul O’Sullivan O.P.

HOW TO AVOID PURGATORY By Fr. Paul O’Sullivan O.P.

For those who have not read this little book and to refresh myself, I will be posting the entire book in daily doses.  (To read later find in the Purgatory Category).

Chapter 8

A SIXTH MEANS: RESIGNATION TO DEATH

A Sixth Means of avoiding Purgatory is given us by some great saints: They say that when a sick person becomes aware that he is dying and offers to God his death with perfect resignation, it is very likely that he will go straight to Heaven.

Death is the awful punishment of sin and when we accept it, as of course we ought to do, with submission and resignation, our act pleases God so much that it may satisfy perfectly for all our sins.

The idea of Pope St. Pius X was the same when he granted a plenary indulgence at the hour of death to those who say at least after one Holy Communion the following prayer: “Eternal Father, from this day forward, I accept with a joyful and resigned heart the death it will please You to send me, with all its pains and sufferings” It will be better still to say this prayer after every Holy Communion we receive.

It is for our best interest to accept God’s will in everything that happens to us in life and in death. Nothing can be easier when we remember that God always wishes what is best for us. If we do what God does not will, we shall surely suffer.

RESOLUTION

Each time we repeat the Our Father, let us say with special fervour the words: “Thy will be done.” In all our troubles, small and great, let us do likewise. Thus everything will gain us merit. By this simple act we change sorrow into joy, the worries of life into gold for Heaven.

eternal-father-stpius-xchapter-eight-howtoavoidpurgatory

 

Posted in Blessed JOHN HENRY Cardinal NEWMAN, LENT, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY

Lenten Preparation Novena

REFLECTION – “Now is the accepted time, now the day of salvation.”

“These are thoughts, I need hardly say, especially suited to this season. From the earliest times down to this day, these weeks before Easter have been set apart every year, for the particular remembrance and confession of our sins. From the first age downward, not a year has passed but Christians have been exhorted to reflect how far they have let go their birthright, as a preparation for their claiming the blessing. At Christmas we are born again with Christ; at Easter we keep the Eucharistic Feast. In Lent, by penance, we join the two great sacraments together. Are you, my brethren, prepared to say,—is there any single Christian alive who will dare to profess,—that he has not in greater or less degree sinned against God’s free mercies as bestowed on him in Baptism without, or rather against his deserts? Who will say that he has so improved his birthright that the blessing is his fit reward, without either sin to confess, or wrath to deprecate? See, then, the Church offers you this season for the purpose. “Now is the accepted time, now the day of salvation.” Now it is that, God being your helper, you are to attempt to throw off from you the heavy burden of past transgression, to reconcile yourselves to Him who has once already imparted to you His atoning merits and you have profaned them.” (Blessed John Henry Newman)

are-you-my-brethren-bl-j-h-newman

Lenten Preparation Novena

DAY SIX

O gracious Father,
infuse in our hearts
the spotless light of Your Divine Wisdom
and open the eyes of our mind
that we may understand the teachings of Your Gospel.
Instill in us also the fear of Your blessed commandments,
so that having curbed all carnal desires,
we may lead a spiritual life,
both thinking and doing everything to please You.
Help us to see,
in our ordinary difficulties and duties,
in the trials and temptations of every day,
the best opportunity of making up for past infidelities.
United with Your Son, who makes His way to Calvary,
I offer You my intention
(Mention your intention)
For You, our God,
are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies;
and to You we render glory,
together with Your Suffering Son,
and with Your all holy,
life-creating Spirit,
now and ever, and forever. Amen

day-six-lentprepnovena

Posted in MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 25 February

Thought for the Day – 25 February

In these days of “women’s liberation”, it is good to know that women like St Walburga worked side by side with their male brothers in great missionary works.   They are remembered for their independence, their splendid gifts and their devotion to the work of Christ.   Their example is still an inspiration today when the harvest indeed is great but the labourers are few.   And there is really no substitute for the female gifts – so come all your discerning hearts, go forth and show them!

St Walburga, pray for us!

st-walburga-pray-for-us-2st-walburga-feb-25

 

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS

Quote of the Day – 25 February

Quote of the Day – 25 February

“Your God is ever beside you—
indeed, He is even within you.
“In Him we live, and move, and are.”
(Acts 17:28).
Not only is there no need of an intermediary
through whom He would want you
to speak to Him but He finds His delight
in having you treat with Him
personally and in all confidence.
Speak to Him often of your business, your plans,
your troubles, your fears—of everything
that concerns you.
But above all, converse with Him confidently
and frankly;
for God is not wont to speak to a soul
that does not speak to Him.”

~~~~~ St Alphonsus Liguori

your-god-is-ever-beside-you-stalphonsus

Posted in MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 25 February

One Minute Reflection – 25 February

In truth and love then, we shall have grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son……..2 John 1

REFLECTION – Our thoughts must be centred on the search for truth and our affections on the fervour of love.   In this way, we will always be practising divine love…….St Bernard

PRAYER – All-loving Father, let me ever be open to Your truth and Your love.   Enable me to walk all my days in that love and that truth.    St Walburga, you were a shining example in your day and in ours, of living the walk of faith and truth for the honour and glory of God’s truth and His Kingdom, please pray for us all, amen.

2-john-1our-thoughts-must-be-centred-stbernardofclairvauxst-walburga-pray-for-us

Posted in MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS

Our Morning Offering – 25 February

Our Morning Offering – 25 February

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve You as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do Your will.
Amen.

prayer-for-generosity-stignatiusloyola