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Archive for the ‘St Francis de Sales’ Category

This Weeks Posts: Sunday Jan 23-Saturday Jan 29

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 29, 2011

Some posts are scheduled in advance and will not be available until the time indicated. Further posts (e.g., commentary on next Sunday’s readings, etc) will be added to any upcoming day.
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SUNDAY, JAN 23
THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Readings.

Last Weeks Posts: Jan 16-22.

Resources For Sunday Mass, Jan 23. This is a weekly feature on this blog, next Sunday’s Mass resources will be posted on Wednesday.
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MONDAY JAN 24
MEMORIAL OF ST FRANCIS DE SALES, BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Readings.

Father Callan on Today’s First Reading (Heb 9:15, 24-28). 12:03 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 3:22-30). 12:05 AM EST.

Some Online Works By and About St Francis de Sales. 12:10 AM EST.

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TUESDAY JAN 25
FEAST OF THE CONVERSION OF ST PAUL, APOSTLE

Readings.

Father Callan on Today’s First Reading (Acts 22:3-16). 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 16:15-18)12:10 AM EST.

Free Online Resources for the Feast of St Paul’s Conversion. 12:15 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt 5:1-12 for Sunday Mass, Jan 30.

Cornelius a Lapide on 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 for Sunday Mass, Jan 30.

Bernardin de Piconio (Picquigny) on 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 for Sunday Mass Jan 30. This is actually a commentary on verses 18-31 but it is not terribly long.

Father Callan on 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 for Sunday Mass, Jan 30.

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WEDNESDAY JAN 26
MEMORIAL OF SAINTS TIMOTHY AND TITUS, BISHOPS

Readings. Note that the first reading has two choices.

Father Callan on Today’s First Reading (2 Tim 1:1-8). 12:10 AM EST.

Bishop MacEvily on the Alternate First Reading (Titus 1:1-5). 12:10 AM EST.

Father Callan on the Alternate First Reading (Titus 1:1-5). 12:10 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 4:1-20). 12:10 AM EST.

Resources For Sunday Mass, Jan 30. Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms.

Pope John Paul II on Psalm 146 for Sunday Mass, Jan 30.

Bernardin de Piconio on Romans 13:8-10 for Sunday Mass, Jan 30 (Extraordinary Form).

Father Callan on Romans 13:8-10 for Sunday Mass, Jan 30 (Extraordinary Form).

Bishop MacEvily on Romans 13:8-10 for Sunday Mass, Jan 30 (Extraordinary Form).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt 8:23-27 for Sunday Mass, Jan 30 (Extraordinary Form).

Cornelius a Lapide on Matt 8:23-27 for Sunday Mass, Jan 30 (Extraordinary Form).

The Mystical Ship: Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Matt 8:23 for Sunday Mass, Jan 30 (Extraordinary Form).

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THURSDAY JAN 27
THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Readings.

Father Callan on Today’s First Reading (Heb 10:19-25). 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 4:21-25). 12:10 AM EST.
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FRIDAY JAN 28
MEMORIAL OF ST THOMAS AQUINAS, PRIEST AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Readings.

Father Callan on Today’s First Reading (Heb 10:32-39). 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Lecture on Heb 10:32-39.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 4:26-34). 12:10 AM EST.

The English Translations of Aquinas’ Major Works Online. Most of the titles are in Latin but the actual texts are in English.

An English Translation of Aquinas’ Commentary on the Psalms. Scroll down.

Thomas Aquinas. Online book. This is a famous study of his thought by Father Martin D’Arcy.

Medieval Philosophy Illustrated From the System of Thomas Aquinas. Online book. A very good introduction to his thought.

The Bread of Life: St Thomas Aquinas on the Adorable Sacrament of the Altar. Online book.

The Life and Labors of St Thomas of Aquino. Online book by Archbishop Roger Vaughn.
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SATURDAY JAN 29
THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Readings.

Father Callan on Today’s First Reading (Heb 11:1-2, 8-19). 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 4:35-41). 12:10 AM EST.

Posted in Audio/Video Lectures, Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on 2 Tim, Notes on Acts of Apostles, Notes on Hebrews, Notes on Mark, Notes on the Lectionary, Notes on Titus, Quotes, Scripture, St Francis de Sales, St Paul's life, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Some Online Works By And About St Francis de Sales

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 24, 2011

The Spirit of St Francis de Sales. PDF. The great classic by Jean Pierre Camus.

Pope Pius XI’s Encyclical on St Francis de Sales.

A Summary of the Life of St Francis de Sales.

Introduction to the Devout Life. Online, conveniently arranged.

Treatise on the Love of God. Online, conveniently arranged.

The Catholic Controversy. Online. The Saint’s famous defense of the faith against the Calvinists.

Some of St Francis’ Sermons on Prayer. Four sermons on prayer.

Posted in Apologetics, Catholic, Devotional Resources, St Francis de Sales | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Timothy 2:1-8

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 17, 2010

The Apostle, after instructing Timothy in the preceding chapter concerning the mode in which he should guard the purity of doctrine, devotes this chapter to his instruction, as regards the manner of arranging the public offices and prayers of the faithful. He points out the persons for whom prayers ought to be offered, and assigns the reason of praying for such (1-7). He shows, in the next place, where it is, that prayer can be offered up (8); and he treats of the manner in which women should appear in the public
assebnilies of the faithful (9-14). Finally, he points out the occupations whereby women can save their souls (15).

1Ti 2:1  I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men:

“Therefore,” shows the connection of this chapter with the preceding. It may
regard chap. 1:15, “Christ came to save sinners,” or, verse 18, “that thou war in them a good warfare,” or, more probably, both. “Therefore,” in order to co-operate with Christ in saving sinners, and to “fight the good fight;” in a word, in order to discharge the Episcopal functions, according to the prophecies made regarding thee.  “I desire.” The Greek word, ,παρακαλέω (parakaleō) means either a wish, or a command. “First of all,” because, all good things come to us through prayer; and prayer is the principal duty of a bishop. “That supplications, prayers, intercessions,” which some persons
regard as a rhetorical amplification, signifying the same thing. They are commonly, however, supposed to bear different significations. Supplications, or, as the Greek has it, deprecations, prayers, offered for averting evils.
“Prayers,” or as the Greek has it, obsecrations, offered up for the purpose of obtaining blessings. “Intercessions,” prayers for others, particularly for our enemies; and “thanksgivings,” for benefits received. All the Fathers and Commentators say, these are to be understood of the public prayers of the Church, and St. Augustine (59 £p. ad Paulinuum) and St. Thomas refer them to the Adorable Sacrifice of the Mass and its different parts, which shows the antiquity of the Mass, its different parts being, in the days of St. Augustine, the same as they are at the present day. “For all men,” without exception,
believers and unbelievers.

1Ti 2:2  For kings and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity.

“For kings,” even Pagans ; for, the kings then existing were Pagan, “and all
that are in high stations,” i.e., for their ministers, and all who have a share in the government of the state. The ministerial power is but an emanation of the regal dignity, which latter is a ray and participation of the divine Majesty. “That we may lead a quiet,” &:c. All Christians should pray that God would inspire their rulers with the spirit of wisdom and justice, because the peace of the Church depends on the wisdom of her temporal rulers. “In all piety and chastity,” or, as in the Greek, σεμνότης (semnotēs), gravity. This is the end for which we should desire peace, not to indulge in luxury, but to practise with greater facility the duties of religion and morality, both of which are greatly injured during the calamities of war.

1Ti 2:3  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour

“For this,” i.e., to pray for all “is good” in itself, “and acceptable in the sight
of God our Saviour,” the reason of which he assigns next verse, because, in this, we conform to the will of God.

1Ti 2:4  Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

“Who will have all men to be saved.” God wishes the salvation of all men
without exception (for, “he is unwilling that any should perish”—St. Peter, 2 3:9.), “and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” this being the necessary means for salvation.

1Ti 2:5  For there is one God: and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus:

In this verse is assigned a reason why God sincerely wishes the salvation of all, viz., because they are all equally his creatures, and he has given to all the same supreme Mediator, the Man-God, Christ, who uniting in himself the nature of God and man, can most efficaciously interpose with outraged heaven in behalf of sinful mortals. In this the Apostle strikes at the errors of Simon Magus, who asserted that it was through the angels, and not through Christ, we should approach God. These errors were circulated at Ephesus, of which Timothy was chief Pastor. It was for the same reason that the Apostle says in his Epistle to the Ephesians (3:12), that it is by Christ we have access to God, because he is our principal Mediator and Intercessor. It is needless to say, that there is not the shadow of objection here against the Catholic doctrine and practice on the subject of the invocation of saints. For, as is clear from the entire context, the Apostle speaks of Christ, as Mediator of redemption; he paid the ransom and set us free, and he alone could do so. The saints, according to the teaching of Catholics, are only mediators of intercession, mediators in a secondary degree, subordinate to Christ, who alone is Mediator of Redemption.”-(See 1John 2:2).

Simply put, the Saints intercede only in virtue of Christ the Mediator:

it says that this holy Lady, coming up from the desert flowing with delights (see Song of Songs 8:5), is leaning upon her beloved. This is the last word in all the praises that the Church holily gives to the saints, and above all to the Virgin. For we always refer them to the honor of her Son by whose strength and virtue she ascends to receive the plenitude of delights. Have you not noticed that the Queen of Sheba, in bearing so many precious things to Jerusalem, offered them all to Solomon? Ah, all the saints do the same, and particularly the Virgin. All her perfections, all her virtues, all her happiness are referred, consecrated and dedicated to the glory of her Son, who is their source, their author and finisher (see Heb 12:2). Soli Deo honor et gloria: “To the only God be glory and honor” (1 Tim 1:17). All returns to this point.

If she is holy who has sanctified her if not her Son? If she is saved, who is her Saviour if not her Son? “Leaning upon her beloved:” All her felicity is founded on the mercy of her Son. You would name our Lady a lily of purity and innocence? Yes, she is that in truth. But this lily has its whiteness from the Blood of the Lamb in which she has been purified, like the robes of those who have washed them white in the Blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:14). If you call her a rose because of her most excellent charity, her color will be only the blood of her Son. If you say that she is a column of smoke, sweet and pleasing (Song of Songs 3:6), Say at once that the fire of this smoke is the charity of her Son; the wood is his cross. In brief, in all and through all she is leaning upon her beloved. ~St Francis De Sales.

1Ti 2:6  Who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times.

The (keek word for “redemption,” ἀντίλυτρον (antilutron), means not only giving a price, but a vicarious, substitutional price, head for head and life for life. This clearly shows in what sense “Christ Jesus” is termed the “one Mediator” by the Apostle; it is as Redeemer, who ransomed us on the cross, and offered himself as a victim, in our stead, and to say there could be any other such Mediator, would be the rankest blasphemy. This, of course, is by no means opposed to—what is quite a different thing—the mediation of saints, according to Catholic doctrine. “A testimony in due times,” is understood by some to mean, that this substitution of himself by Christ for us is the doctrine to be taught and preached—a doctrine to which testimony is to be borne in
due time. The Apostle thus intimates through Timothy to all the Pastors of the Church what the great theme of their preaching should be, viz., “Christ crucified.” The interpretation in the Paraphrase is the one more commonly received.

It would be out of place to enter here into a discussion of the several scholastic questions regarding the will of God to save all, which are raised by interpreters on the foregoing passage. Let it suffice simply to remark, that it is clear from the words themselves and the entire context, that God sincerely and truly wishes the salvation of all men (verse 5) without exception. For, the Apostle tells us to pray for all men without exception (verse 1). Why? Because, it is pleasing to God that we should do so (verse 3). And why is this pleasing to God? Because, it is conformable to his will, “since he wishes all to be saved ” (verse 4). Now, unless he wished all to be saved without exception, it would not be conformable to his will, that we should pray for the salvation of all, without exception. In a word, the Apostle gives the will of God for the salvation of all, as the rule of our will in the same respect, and as a motive to induce us to will it. We have, moreover, the same truth announced in a negative form by St. Peter.—(2 Pet 3:9). “God is unwilling that any should perish.” And here it is said that “he wishes all to be saved.” Hence, any interpretation, that restricts this universal will in God, is to be rejected. The interpretation of Estius is quite opposed to the context. He maintains, that God wishes the salvation of all, because he inspires us with the wish, just as
“the spirit asketh for us with unspeakable groans.”—(Rom. 8:26.) Because he makes us ask, &c. This interpretation is opposed to the context. For why should the Apostle exhort us to wish for the salvation of all, if God makes us wish for it already?

1Ti 2:7  Whereunto I am appointed a preacher and an apostle (I say the truth, I lie not), a doctor of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

“Whereunto,” i.e., to preach which testimony regarding the will of God to save
all, or, according to others, regarding “Christ crucified.” (“I lie not, I say the
truth “). The Greek adds, in Christ. These words are employed to silence the cavils of some who questioned his Apostleship. “Doctor of the Gentiles in faith and truth,” may also mean a true and faithful doctor of the Gentiles.

1Ti 2:8  I will therefore that men pray in every place, lifting up pure hands, without anger and contention.

Having pointed out, verse 1, the objects of prayer, and verse 2, the persons for whom we should pray, he now, as Apostle of the Gentiles, points out the place where we are to pray, viz., “in every place” suited for public prayer, of which he here speaks. Hence, it is not confined to the Jewish synagogues, nor to the temple of Jerusalem. “Anger and contention,” or animosity towards each other, are vices peculiar to men. “Pure hands,” mean, consciences free from guilt. It is not so much physical or bodily ablutions, as moral purity he requires.


Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, NOTES ON 1 TIM, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture, St Francis de Sales | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Resources for Sunday Mass, Sept 19 (Ordinary & Extraordinary Forms

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 15, 2010

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MORE RESOURCES COMING THURSDAY -SATURDAY! This post contains (mostly) biblical resources for this Sunday’s Mass and includes items for both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite. A number of these resources were published on this blog earlier in the week, these are marked with asterisks (***).More resources will be added to the page in the coming days.

ORDINARY FORM: Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Readings from the NAB. Text.

***My Notes on Amos 8:4-7 for Sunday Mass, Sept 19.

Pope Benedict XVI on Psalm 113 for Sunday Mass, Sept 19. Off site.

UPDATE: Bishop MacEvily on 1 Tim 2:1-8 for Sunday Mass, Sept 19. Available @ midnight.

***Aquinas Catena Aurea on Luke 16:1-13 for Sunday Mass, Sept 19.

Bishop MacEvily on Luke 16:1-13 for Sunday Mass, Sept 19.

Haydock Bible Commentary. Text of the Douay Rheims followed by notes from the commentary.

Dr Scott Hahn Podcast. Brief, relates the theme(s) of the readings. Text Available.

Word On Fire Podcast. Father Robert Barron’s Homily.

UPDATE, 9/16. Franciscan Sisters Sunday Bible Study Podcast.

UPDATE, 9/17. Navarre Bible Commentary.

UPDATE, 9/17. Word Sunday.

  • MP3 PODCAST In this week’s audio podcast, we consider the true use of money, not on the self, but for the good of others.
  • FIRST READING Amos preached against the money hungry, those who accumulation above the good of people.
  • PSALM Psalm 113 spoke to the glory of God and his care for the least in society. YHWH is the Lord of all, not the few.
  • SECOND READING 1 Timothy addressed the ideal Christian life, one lived in peace, piety and evangelization. How can we create conditions for this life?
  • GOSPEL In Luke 16, Jesus addressed the possession and use of wealth. How we use our wealth is far more important than how we gain it, for it’s use reveals our character and our relationships with others.
  • CHILDREN’S READINGS In the story for the first reading, we imagine the prophet Amos as a young boy. The young Amos saw a merchant trying to cheat his father, a practice he would rail against as an adult. In the story for the gospel, three friends were almost torn apart by a loan. In the end, they realized people are more important than money, just like Jesus told us.
  • CATECHISM LINK In this week’s Catechism Link, we study God the Father, All-powerful and All-loving.

Lector Notes. gives historical and theological background.

Historical Cultural Context. Focuses on the Parable of the Steward.

Thoughts from the Early Church. Excerpt on the Gospel from Gaudentius of Brescia.

EXTRAORDINARY FORM: 17th Sunday After Pentecost.

***Father Callan on Ephesians 4:1-6.

***Father Wilberforce on Ephesians 4:1-6.

***Aquinas Catena Aurea on Matt 22:35-46.

The following links are to online books. If you need to increase text size for easier reading use the site’s zoom feature located on the top left side of page.

UPDATE, 9/16. Homily on the Epistle. By Bishop Bonomelli.

UPDATE, 9/16. Homily on the Gospel. Bishop Bonomelli.


Posted in Audio/Video Lectures, BENEDICT XVI CATECHESIS, Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, NOTES ON 1 TIM, NOTES ON AMOS, Notes on Ephesians, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, Our Lady, Quotes, Scripture, SERMONS, St Francis de Sales, St Thomas Aquinas | 2 Comments »

Wisdom of St Francis De Sales

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 1, 2010

Posted in Catholic, Devotional Resources, St Francis de Sales | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

St Francis De Sales: The Soul As God’s Vineyard

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 5, 2010

I am about to tell all those who listen to me, that their souls are God’s vineyard, in which faith is the cistern, hope the tower, holy charity the wine press, and the law of God the hedge that separates them from unfaithful people.  To you, dear daughter, I say, that you will is you vineyard; the Divine inspirations poured into you soul by God, the cistern; holy chastity, the tower, which, like that of David, should be made of ivory; obedience, by which all your actions become meritorious, the wine press.  Oh! may God preserve this vineyard which He has planted with his own hand.  May he fill the cistern with the abundant waters of Divine grace.  May He protect his tower; may his wine press, beneath the pressure of his hand, teem with good wine; may He always keep the beautiful hedge with which He has surrounded his vineyard close and thick; and may his holy angels be the immortal vine-dressers.~Letter to St Jane de Chantal

Posted in Books, Devotional Resources, Meditations, St Francis de Sales | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Practical Piety: Our Duties Towards God, by St Francis De Sales

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 12, 2009

It is true I am continually imploring that many graces may descend upon your soul; but above all, and for the sake of all, do I ask for divine love; for therein is our all.  It is our honey, in which, and by which, all the affections of our hearts should be preserved and sweetened.  My God, how happy is the interior kingdom, when this holy love reigns there!  How happy are the faculties of our soul, which obey a king so holy and so wise!  No, under his obedience, and in this state, he suffers not great sins to dwell, nor even any affection for them.  True, he allows them to appraoch to the frontiers, in order to exercise the interior virtues in war, and to make them valiant; and he suffers venial sins and imperfections, like spies, to run up and down in his kingdom: but that is only to make us know that without him we should be a prey to all our enemies.

Let us humble ourselves greatly; let us confess that if God be not our shield and buckler, we shall forthwith be pierced and transfixed with every kind of sins.  For this reason, let us hold close unto God by persevering in our exercises: let this be our main care, and the rest only accessories to it.

For what remains, it is necessary always to have courage, and if any langor or feebleness of soul hangs about us, let us run to the foot of the cross, and place ourselves among those holy odors, among those celestial perfumes, and without doubt we shall thereby be fortified and refreshed.

Let us hold ourselves firm, and cling closely to that foot of our Lord’s cross; the rain which falls there from every part quickly abates the storm, however great it be.  Sometimes, when I am there, O God, how is my soul in peace, and what sweetness that celestial dew gives to it!  But I have not stirrd a step away from it, before the blast rises anew.

But not withstanding the storm, let us be entirely in God’s hands, without any reserve, or division, or exception, and without pretending to any thing but the glory of being his.  If we had a single thread of affection in our heart, which was not at his service, and came not from him, we would straight-way pluck it out.  Yes, if we knew of one single particle of our heart which was not marked with the print of the crucifix, we would not wish to keep it for one single moment.

Let us also conceal ourselves in the hole of the turtle-dove, and in the pierced side of our dear Savior.  How good is that Savior!  How loving is his heart!  Let us remain there in that holy abode.  Le that heart always live in our hearts; let that blood always circulate in the veins of our souls.  Let our love be all in God, and let God be in all our love.  Oh, what need we have to desire that love, and what need we have to love that desire, since reason wills that we should desire to love for ever that which can never be loved enough, and that we should love to desire that which can never be desired enough.

Posted in Christ, Devotional Resources, Meditations, Quotes, St Francis de Sales | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Month of Mary, Day 16: Christ, the Foundation of the Church’s Marian Teaching

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 16, 2009

It says that this holy Lady, coming up from the desert flowing with delights (see Song of Songs 8:5), is leaning upon her beloved. This is the last word in all the praises that the Church holily gives to the saints, and above all to the Virgin. For we always refer them to the honor of her Son by whose strength and virtue she ascends to receive the plenitude of delights. Have you not noticed that the Queen of Sheba, in bearing so many precious things to Jerusalem, offered them all to Solomon? Ah, all the saints do the same, and particularly the Virgin. All her perfections, all her virtues, all her happiness are referred, consecrated and dedicated to the glory of her Son, who is their source, their author and finisher (see Heb 12:2). Soli Deo honor et gloria: “To the only God be glory and honor” (1 Tim 1:17). All returns to this point.

If she is holy who has sanctified her if not her Son? If she is saved, who is her Saviour if not her Son? “Leaning upon her beloved:” All her felicity is founded on the mercy of her Son. You would name our Lady a lily of purity and innocence? Yes, she is that in truth. But this lily has its whiteness from the Blood of the Lamb in which she has been purified, like the robes of those who have washed them white in the Blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:14). If you call her a rose because of her most excellent charity, her color will be only the blood of her Son. If you say that she is a column of smoke, sweet and pleasing (Song of Songs 3:6), Say at once that the fire of this smoke is the charity of her Son; the wood is his cross. In brief, in all and through all she is leaning upon her beloved.

Posted in Devotional Resources, Our Lady, Quotes, St Francis de Sales | Leave a Comment »

Let Us Run To The Foot Of The Cross. Let Us Also Conceal Ourselves In The Nesting Place Of The Turtle Dove.

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 17, 2009

The image of the turtle dove is applied to the bride in the Song of Songs.  Since the early days of the Church it has been used as an image of the Church or the soul united to Christ.

It is true I am continually imploring that many graces may descend upon your soul; but above all, and for the sake of all, do I ask for Divine love; for therein is our all.  It is our honey, in which, and by which, all the affections of our hearts should be preserved and sweetened.  My God, how happy is the interior kingdom, when this holy love reigneth there!  How happy are the faculties of our soul, which obey a king so holy and so wise!  No, under His obedience, and in this state, He suffereth not great sins to dwell, nor even any affection for them.  True, He allows them to approach nigh to the frontiers, in order to exercise the interior virtues in war, and to make them valiant; and He suffers venial sins and imperfections, like spies, to run up and down His kingdom: but that is only to make us know that without Him we should be a prey to all our enemies.

Let us humble ourselves greatly; let us confess that if God be not our shield and buckler, we shall forthwith be pierced and transfixed with every kind of sins.  For this reason, let us hold unto God by persevering in our exercises: let this be our main care, and the rest only accessories to it.

For what remains, it is necessary always to have courage, and if any languor or feebleness of soul hangs about us, let us run to the foot of the cross, and place ourselves among those holy odors among those celestial perfumes, and without doubt we shall thereby be fortified and refreshed.

Let us hold ourselves firm, and cling closely to that foot of our Lord’s cross; the rain which falls there from every part quickly abates the storm, however great it be.  Sometimes, when I am there, O God, how my soul is in peace, and what sweetness that celestial dew gives to it!  But I have not stirred a step away from it, before the blast rises anew.

But notwithstanding the storm, let us be entirely in God’s hands, without any reserve, or division, or exception, and without pretending to anything but the glory of being His.  If we had a single thread of affection in our heart, which was not at His service, and came not from Him, we would straightaway pluck it out.  Yes, if we knew of one single particle of our heart which was not marked with the print of the crucifix, we would not wish to keep it for one single moment.

Let us also conceal ourselves in the nesting place of the turtle-dove, in the pierced side of our dear Savior.   How good is that Savior! how loving is His heart!  Let us remain there in that holy abode.  Let that heart always live in our hearts; let that blood always circulate in the veins of our souls.  Let our love be all in God, and let God be in all our love.  Oh, what need we have to desire that love, and what need we have to love that desire, since reason wills that we should desire to love for ever that which can never be loved enough, and that we should love to desire that which can never be desired enough.-St Francis De Sales

Posted in Devotional Resources, Quotes, St Francis de Sales | Leave a Comment »

The Secret of Sanctity (Introduction)

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 8, 2009

Our great happiness as Christians is to posses, in this world, through grace and love, Him Who deigns to be our beatitude for all eternity; and our greatest misfortune, after sin, is not to know or to recognize this secret of eternal charity. God would have us holy even as He is holy; He would have us live His very life. It is for this end that He has given us His Divine Son, and with Him the infinite richesy of His heart; that is, His merits, His sacraments, His Church. Sanctity consists in believing and receiving these divine communications, of which Jesus Christ is the source, the instrument, and the end; consequently, it also consists in a uniting ourselves with Him by loving Him, and in modelling ourselves upon Him by imitating Him; it can and ought to pervade every life, the busiest as well as the simplest.
“I believe,” says Father de Caussade, “that if souls seriously aspiring to perfection understood this, and knew how to direct their path, they would be spared much difficulty. I say the same of souls living in the world, and of souls consecrated to God. If the first knew the means of merit afforded them by their ever-recurring daily duties and the ordinary actions of their state of life; if the second could persuade themselves that the foundation of sanctity lies in those very things which they consider unimportant and even foreign to them; if both could understand that the crosses sent by Providence which they constantly find in their state of life lead them to the highest perfection by a surer and shorter path than do extraordinary states or extraordinary works; and that the true philosopher’s stone is submission to the order of God, which changes into pure gold all their occupations, all their weariness, all their sufferings,-how happy they would be! What consolation and what courage they would gather from this thought, that to acquire the friendship of God and all the glory of heaven they have but to do what they are doing, suffer what they are suffering, and that what they lose and count as naught would suffice to obtain for them eminent sanctity!

“O my God, that I might be the missionary of Thy holy will, and teach the whole world that there is nothing so easy, so simple, so within the reach of all, as sanctity! Would that I could make them understand that just as the good and the bad theif had the same to do and the same to suffer to obtain their salvation, so two souls, one worldly and the other wholly interior and spiritual, have nothing more to do one than the other; that eh who sanctifies himself acquires eternal happiness by doing in submission to the will of God what he who is lost does through caprice; and that the latter is lost bu suffering unwillingly and impatiently what he who is saved endures with resignation. The difference, therefore, is only in the heart. O dear souls who read this, let me repeat to you: Sanctity will cost you no more; do what you are doing; suffer what you are suffering: it is only your heart that needs be changed. By the heart we mean the will. This change, then, consists in willing what comes to us by the order of God. Yes, holiness of heart is a simple fiat, a simple disposition of conformity to the will of God. And what is easier? For who could not love so adorable and merciful a will? Let us love it, then, and through this love alone all within us will become divine” (ABANDONMENT TO DIVINE PROVIDENCE).

But what will enable us to realize this ideal of a Christian and holy life? Prayer, or rather a spirit of confidence and faith which must pervade all our relations with God. I mean by this that disposition of the soul in which it recognizes that God loves it, that He cares for it, and that He desires in all things only the greater good of His little creature.

He who possesses the secret of this blessed science has the secret of a good life, of true strength, and of perfect happiness. “He lives well who prays well,” says St Augustine.

Prayer, thus understood, should not be either a rare or a difficult exercise; for God is our Father, He is our end, He is the indulgent, merciful, untiring Benefactor of our exile; His relations with us are ever present and always infinitely kind. How is it possible that a means by which we correspond to all that He is, and to all that He does for us, should be a difficult exercise? Important and necessary, yes, but difficult, no. I should even say that the more necessary prayer is the more frequent and easy it should be. Providence, in fact, has ordained that the more necessary a thing is the more attainable it is. See, for example, air, water, bread, the sustenance of corporal life. Water, the matter of the sacrament which communicates spiritual life; bread and wine, the matter of the sacrament which sustains and increases this life of grace. All these elements, being necessary, are very easily procured. But is not God still more within our reach? “There is nothing,” says St Bernard, “of which God is so prodigal as of Himself.” Therefore, prayer which gives Him to us, prayer which makes us live in Him, with Him, and by Him, should not be difficult, but easy. We must be convinced of this, and bring to the exercise of this duty the good-will which makes God’s gifts bear fruit in us. It is to aid this good-ill that we purpose to collect the safest rules given by the saints for performing well this double prayer of the heart and of acts.
This is the first post of a series from a public domain text entitled THE SECRET OF SANCTITY. It is my intention to post on this subject at least once a week. You will be able to access these posts by clicking on “Secrets of Sanctity” in the link field below this blogs header.

Posted in Devotional Resources, Quotes, Secret of Sanctity, St Francis de Sales | Leave a Comment »

 
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