Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gospel for Aug 15, Solemnity: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From: Luke 1:39-56

The Visitation
[39] In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, [40] and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. [41] And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit [42] and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! [43] And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? [44] For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. [45] And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

The Magnificat
[46] And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, [47] and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, [48] for He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; [49] for He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. [50] And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. [51] He has shown strength with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, [52] He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; [53] He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent empty away. [54] He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy, [55] as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever."

[56] And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.
39-56. We contemplate this episode of our Lady's visit to her cousin St. Elizabeth in the Second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary: "Joyfully keep Joseph and Mary company...and you will hear the traditions of the House of David.... We walk in haste towards the mountains, to a town of the tribe of Judah (Luke 1:39).

"We arrive. It is the house where John the Baptist is to be born. Elizabeth gratefully hails the Mother of her Redeemer: Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord? (Luke 1:42-43).

"The unborn Baptist quivers...(Luke 1:41). Mary's humility pours forth in the "Magnificat".... And you and I, who are proud--who were proud--promise to be humble" ([St] J. Escriva, "Holy Rosary").

39. On learning from the angel that her cousin St. Elizabeth is soon to give birth and is in need of support, our Lady in her charity hastens to her aid. She has no regard for the difficulties this involves. Although we do not know where exactly Elizabeth was living (it is now thought to be Ain Karim), it certainly meant a journey into the hill country which at that time would have taken four days.

From Mary's visit to Elizabeth Christians should learn to be caring people. "If we have this filial contact with Mary, we won't be able to think just about ourselves and our problems. Selfish personal problems will find no place in our mind" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By," 145).

42. St. Bede comments that Elizabeth blesses Mary using the same words as the archangel "to show that she should be honored by angels and by men and why she should indeed be revered above all other women" ("In Lucae Evangelium Expositio, in loc.").

When we say the "Hail Mary" we repeat these divine greetings, "rejoicing with Mary at her dignity as Mother of God and praising the Lord, thanking Him for having given us Jesus Christ through Mary" ("St. Pius X Catechism", 333).

43. Elizabeth is moved by the Holy Spirit to call Mary "the mother of my Lord", thereby showing that Mary is the Mother of God.

44. Although he was conceived in sin--original sin--like other men, St. John the Baptist was born sinless because he was sanctified in his mother's womb by the presence of Jesus Christ (then in Mary's womb) and of the Blessed Virgin. On receiving this grace of God St. John rejoices by leaping with joy in his mother's womb--thereby fulfilling the archangel's prophecy (cf. Luke 1:15).

St. John Chrysostom comments on this scene of the Gospel: "See how new and how wonderful this mystery is. He has not yet left the womb but he speaks by leaping; he is not yet allowed to cry out but he makes himself heard by his actions [...]; he has not yet seen the light but he points out the Sun; he has not yet been born and he is keen to act as Precursor. The Lord is present, so he cannot contain himself or wait for nature to run its course: he wants to break out of the prison of his mother's womb and he makes sure he witnesses to the fact that the Savior is about to come" ("Sermo Apud Metaphr., Mense Julio").

45. Joining the chorus of all future generations, Elizabeth, moved by the Holy Spirit, declares the Lord's Mother to be blessed and praises her faith. No one ever had faith to compare with Mary's; she is the model of the attitude a creature should have towards its Creator--complete submission, total attachment. Through her faith, Mary is the instrument chosen by God to bring about the Redemption; as Mediatrix of all graces, she is associated with the redemptive work of her Son: "This union of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to His death; first when Mary, arising in haste to go to visit Elizabeth, is greeted by her as blessed because of her belief in the promise of salvation and the Precursor leaps with joy in the womb of his mother [...]. The Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood (cf. John 19:25), in keeping with the Divine Plan, enduring with her only-begotten Son the intensity of His suffering, associating herself with His sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which was born of her" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 57f).

The new Latin text gives a literal rendering of the original Greek when it says "quae credidit" (RSV "she who has believed") as opposed to the Vulgate "quae credidisti" ("you who have believed") which gave more of the sense than a literal rendering.

46-55. Mary's "Magnificat" canticle is a poem of singular beauty. It evokes certain passages of the Old Testament with which she would have been very familiar (especially 1 Samuel 2:1-10).

Three stanzas may be distinguished in the canticle: in the first (verses 46-50) Mary glorifies God for making her the Mother of the Savior, which is why future generations will call her blessed; she shows that the Incarnation is a mysterious __expression of God's power and holiness and mercy. In the second (verses 51-53) she teaches us that the Lord has always had a preference for the humble, resisting the proud and boastful. In the third (verses 54-55) she proclaims that God, in keeping with His promise, has always taken care of His chosen people--and now does them the greatest honor of all by becoming a Jew (cf. Romans 1:3).

"Our prayer can accompany and imitate this prayer of Mary. Like her, we feel the desire to sing, to acclaim the wonders of God, so that all mankind and all creation may share our joy" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 144).

46-47. "The first fruits of the Holy Spirit are peace and joy. And the Blessed Virgin had received within herself all the grace of the Holy Spirit" (St. Basil, "In Psalmos Homilae", on Psalm 32). Mary's soul overflows in the words of the "Magnificat". God's favors cause every humble soul to feel joy and gratitude. In the case of the Blessed Virgin, God has bestowed more on her than on any other creature. "Virgin Mother of God, He whom the heavens cannot contain, on becoming man, enclosed Himself within your womb" ("Roman Missal", Antiphon of the Common of the Mass for Feasts of Our Lady). The humble Virgin of Nazareth is going to be the Mother of God; the Creator's omnipotence has never before manifested itself in as complete a way as this.

48-49. Mary's __expression of humility causes St. Bede to exclaim: "It was fitting, then, that just as death entered the world through the pride of our first parents, the entry of Life should be manifested by the humility of Mary" ("In Lucae Evangelium Expositio, in loc.").

"How great the value of humility!--"Quia respexit humilitatem.... It is not of her faith, nor of her charity, nor of her immaculate purity that our Mother speaks in the house of Zachary. Her joyful hymn sings: `Since He has looked on my humility, all generations will call me blessed'" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 598).

God rewards our Lady's humility by mankind's recognition of her greatness: "All generations will call me blessed." This prophecy is fulfilled every time someone says the Hail Mary, and indeed she is praised on earth continually, without interruption. "From the earliest times the Blessed Virgin is honored under the title of Mother of God, under whose protection the faithful take refuge together in prayer in all their perils and needs. Accordingly, following the Council of Ephesus, there was a remarkable growth in the cult of the people of God towards Mary, in veneration and love, in invocation and imitation, according to her own prophetic words: `all generations will call me blessed, for He who is mighty has done great things for me'" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 66).

50. "And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation": "At the very moment of the Incarnation, these words open up a new perspective of salvation history. After the Resurrection of Christ, this perspective is new on both the historical and the eschatological level. From that time onwards there is a succession of new generations of individuals in the immense human family, in ever-increasing dimensions; there is also a succession of new generations of the people of God, marked with the sign of the Cross and of the Resurrection and `sealed' with the sign of the paschal mystery of Christ, the absolute revelation of the mercy that Mary proclaimed on the threshold of her kinswoman's house: "His mercy is [...] from generation to generation' [...].

"Mary, then, is the one who has the "deepest knowledge of the mystery of God's mercy". She knows its price, she knows how great it is. In this sense, we call her the "Mother of Mercy": Our Lady of Mercy, or Mother of Divine Mercy; in each one of these titles there is a deep theological meaning, for they express the special preparation of her soul, of her whole personality, so that she was able to perceive, through the complex events, first of Israel, then of every individual and of the whole of humanity, that mercy of which `from generation to generation' people become sharers according to the eternal design of the Most Holy Trinity" (John Paul II, "Dives In Misericordia", 9).

51. "The proud": those who want to be regarded as superior to others, whom they look down on. This also refers to those who, in their arrogance, seek to organize society without reference to, or in opposition to, God's law. Even if they seem to do so successfully, the words of our Lady's canticle will ultimately come true, for God will scatter them as He did those who tried to build the Tower of Babel, thinking that they could reach as high as Heaven (cf. Genesis 11:4).

"When pride takes hold of a soul, it is no surprise to find it bringing along with it a whole string of other vices--greed, self-indulgence, envy, injustice. The proud man is always vainly striving to dethrone God, who is merciful to all His creatures, so as to make room for himself and his ever cruel ways.

"We should beg God not to let us fall into this temptation. Pride is the worst sin of all, and the most ridiculous.... Pride is unpleasant, even from a human point of view. The person who rates himself better than everyone and everything is constantly studying himself and looking down on other people, who in turn react by ridiculing his foolish vanity" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 100).

53. This form of divine providence has been experienced countless times over the course of history. For example, God nourished the people of Israel with manna during their forty years in the wilderness (Exodus 16:4-35); similarly His angel brought food to Elijah (1 Kings 19:5-8), and to Daniel in the lions' den (Daniel 14:31-40); and the widow of Sarepta was given a supply of oil which miraculously never ran out (1 Kings 17:8ff). So, too, the Blessed Virgin's yearning for holiness was fulfilled by the incarnation of the Word.

God nourished the chosen people with His Law and the preaching of His prophets, but the rest of mankind was left hungry for His word, a hunger now satisfied by the Incarnation. This gift of God will be accepted by the humble; the self-sufficient, having no desire for the good things of God, will not partake of them (cf. St. Basil, "In Psalmos Homilae", on Psalm 33).

54. God led the people of Israel as He would a child whom He loved tenderly: "the Lord your God bore you, as a man bears his son, in all the way that you went" (Deuteronomy 1:31). He did so many times, using Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, etc., and now He gives them a definitive leader by sending the Messiah--moved by His great mercy which takes pity on the wretchedness of Israel and of all mankind.

55. God promised the patriarchs of old that He would have mercy on mankind. This promise He made to Adam (Genesis 3:15), Abraham (Genesis 22:18), David (2 Samuel 7:12), etc. From all eternity God had planned and decreed that the Word should become incarnate for the salvation of all mankind. As Christ Himself put it, "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 14

Continued from yesterday...

Chapter 3. The Wonderful Things Gos Has Done for Us

Our Angel Guardian

One of the most marvelous dispensations of God's Providence is the fact that He has given to each one of us a special Angel to watch over him.

At the moment of our birth God calls one of His glorious Princes, one of His mighty Angels, and bids this Angel guard and guide, defend and protect us.

From that moment, this mighty Angel gives us all his loving care. He never leaves us night or day. His duty after loving God is to love us. He devotes all his intelligence, all his strength, all his care to shield us from hurt and harm.

We can form no idea of the evils and dangers he saves us from, the countless great favors he has done us and is doing us every day.

Not content to use all his own power to help us, he is constantly praying for us to God.

Reading the story of St. Raphael in the Sacred Scriptures, we marvel at the infinite goodness of God in sending this great Angel to accompany the young Tobias on his long journey. The Angel proved to be a trusty friend. He not only accompanied him on his journey, protecting him from every danger, but he also obtained for him a most happy marriage and abundant wealth. He brought him home safely, to the delight of his parents, who were anxiously awaiting his return. As a final gift, he cured Tobias's old father, who had been blind.

Before leaving the now happy family, he revealed himself to them as one of the seven great Angels who stand before the throne of God and bade them bless and thank the Good God who had sent him to them.

This is certainly one of the most consoling and wonderful stories in the Bible, revealing to us the infinite sweetness and goodness of God.

Yet each one of us has a glorious Prince of Heaven with us, not for weeks or months but for all the long years of our lives, loving us most affectionately, defending us from countless evils and snatching us from dangers that we do not even see.

This dear Angel came to us at the moment of our birth and has been with us ever since. He will console us in Purgatory if we go there and will then accompany us to Heaven, where he will be with us forever and forever.

We marvel when reading this story of Raphael, but it is a much greater marvel that we have a glorious Angel ever at our sides and yet know and love him so little. Have we ever even thanked God for this astounding proof of His goodness?

The culpable neglect of our dear Angel is one of the most lamentable and shameful faults of our life.

Read, dear readers, without fail the beautiful book, "All about the Angels" by E.D.M.

[Continued tomorrow]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949

Friday, August 13, 2010

Gay Marriage and the End of Christian Civilization

From Fr Thomas J. Euteneuer of HLI:
Back in the 90s when Fr. Paul Marx, founder of HLI, was asked his opinion about the efforts to legalize "same-sex unions" he commented in his usual forthright fashion, "When they do that," he said, "it's the end." He meant "the end" of the Christian civilization whose values used to form the basis of American common life. Fr. Marx, in a prophetic sense, saw rightly that a society cannot survive the perverse manipulation of the very structure of reality that God Himself has revealed to us, one very fundamental element of which is the institution of marriage. When we allow that to be changed-"It's the end."

In 2009, 52% of the voting population in California endorsed Proposition 8 which ratified the constitutional protection of marriage as between a man and a woman. One might argue that even 52% was shockingly low on something so important, but the people won that battle despite the veritable war of the homosexual militants to sink that Proposition. In fact, Christian decency won and the structure of reality stayed intact, at least in this aspect of law in California, until this week when a single judge just nullified 7 million votes and the will of the people and lifted the "ban" on gay marriage. There was rejoicing in Sodom on the Bay, but how sad for our nation and even for our poor, misguided world that will weaken in its opposition to the homosexual lifestyle as a result of this decision.

So why, you ask, is gay marriage wrong? Let me count the ways.
Continued here

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 13

Continued from yesterday...

Chapter 3. The Wonderful Things Gos Has Done for Us

God Watches Over Us

Nothing perhaps manifests so clearly God's personal love for each one of us as His Divine Providence, which is watching over us every moment and in every event of our lives.

God has never taken His eyes off us since the moment of our creation, but is ever watching over us with loving care. Nothing happens to us that He does not see and permit. Not even a hair falls from our heads without His consent. Every moment of our lives is a new creation; our preservation is, as it were, a continual series of creations. Did God forget us or take His hand off us for a single moment, we should not only die, but fall back into our former nothingness. He takes care of the beasts that roam in the forests, of the little birds that fly in the air, He clothes the lilies of the field in a garb more beautiful than that of Solomon in all his glory. He sees every movement of the little fishes in the ocean, of the insects which are hidden in the earth. With far greater reason, He tells us, does He watch over us who are His dear children, so that all that happens to us is for our welfare and happiness, as St. Paul tells us: "All things work together unto good." (Rom. 8:28).

Nothing is so touching as the care a mother takes of her little one who is playing at her side. She is apparently intent on her sewing or knitting, but not for an instant does she lose sight of the child. At the first sign of danger, throwing aside what she has in hand, she rushes toward the little one and snatches it from the peril that threatened it.

This is exactly how God watches over us. His eyes are ever on us. Though we may think that our troubles come from an enemy or from some other cause or by chance, we may be sure that nothing happens to us that God does not will.

What is lacking is our want of confidence. If we only ran to God in all our troubles, our lot in life would be very different from what it is, very much happier...

[Continued tomorrow]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Reminder: Liberalism is a Sin

Another reminder which is necessary to be more fully understood, especially in these time in which we live [from Our Lady's Warriors]:
In 1886 there appeared in Spain a little work under the title El Liberalismo es Pecado, "Liberalism Is a Sin," by Don Felix Sarda y Salvany, a priest of Barcelona and editor of a journal called La Revista Popular. The book excited considerable commotion. It was vigorously assailed by the Liberals. A Spanish Bishop of a Liberal turn instigated an answer to Dr. Sarda's work by way of another Spanish priest. Both books were sent to Rome, praying the Sacred Congregation of the Index to put Dr. Sarda's work under the ban. The following letter, under date of January 10, 1887, from the Sacred Congregation itself, explains the result of its consideration of the two volumes:

Most Excellent Sir:

The Sacred Congregation of the Index has received the denunciation of the little work bearing the title El Liberalismo es Pecado by Don Felix Sarda y Salvany, a priest of your diocese; the denunciation was accompanied at the same time by another little work, entitled El Proceso del Integrismo, that is, "A refutation of the errors contained in the little work El Liberalismo es Pecado." The author of the second work is D. de Pazos, a canon of the diocese of Vich.

Whereupon, the Sacred Congregation has carefully examined both works and decided as follows:

In the first, not only is nothing found contrary to sound doctrine, but its author, D. Felix Sarda, merits great praise for his exposition and defense of the sound doctrine therein set forth with solidity, order and lucidity, and without personal offense to anyone.

The same judgment, however, cannot be passed on the other work, that by D. de Pazos, for in matter it needs corrections. Moreover, his injurious manner of speaking cannot be approved, for he inveighs rather against the person of D. Sarda than against the latter's supposed errors.

Therefore, the Sacred Congregation has commanded D. de Pazos, admonished by his own Bishop, to withdraw his book, as far as he can, from circulation, and in the future, if any discussion of the subject should arise, to abstain from all expressions personally injurious, according to the precept of true Christian charity; and this all the more since Our Holy Father, Leo XIII, whereas he urgently recommends castigation of error, neither desires nor approves expressions personally injurious, especially when directed against those who are eminent for their doctrine and their piety.

In communicating to you this order of the Sacred Congregation of the Index, that you may be able to make it known to the illustrious priest of your diocese, D. Sarda, for his peace of mind, I pray God to grant you all happiness and prosperity, and subscribe myself with great respect,

Your most obedient servant,

Secretary of the Sacred Congregation Of the Index.
"Liberalism is the dogmatic affirmation of the absolute independence of the individual and of the social reason. Catholicity is the dogma of the absolute subjection of the individual and of the social order to the revealed law of God. One doctrine is the exact antithesis of the other. They are opposites in direct conflict." (Ch. 6).
"Protestantism is now a dead dog; Liberalism a living lion going about seeking whom be may devour. Its dreadful doctrine is permeating society to the core; it has become the modern political creed and threatens us with a second revolution, to turn the world over once again to paganism." (Page 74).
Read all about it here & bookmark it! What was written over a hundred years ago is just as applicable today!

Gospel for Friday, 19th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: St Pontian, Pope and St Hippolytus, Priest, Martyrs

From: Matthew 19:3-12

Marriage and Virginity
[3] And Pharisees came up to Him (Jesus) and tested Him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" [4] He answered, "Have you not read that He who made them from the beginning made them male and female, [5] and said, `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one'? [6] So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder." [7] They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?" [8] He said to them, "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. [9] And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."

[10] The disciples said to Him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry." [11] But He said to them, "Not all men can receive this precept, but only those to whom it is given. [12] For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it."

4-5. "Marriage and married love are by nature ordered to the procreation and education of children. Indeed children are the supreme gift of marriage and greatly contribute to the good of the parents themselves. God Himself said: `It is not good that man should be alone' (Genesis 2:18), and `from the beginning (He) made them male and female' (Matthew 19:4); wishing to associate them in a special way with his own creative work, God blessed man and woman with the words: `Be fruitful and multiply' (Genesis 1:28). Without intending to underestimate the other ends of marriage, it must be said that true married life and the whole structure of family life which results from it is directed to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and enrich His family from day to day" (Vatican II, "Gaudium Et Spes", 50).

9. Our Lord's teaching on the unity and indissolubility of marriage is the main theme of this passage, apropos of which St. John Chrysostom comments that marriage is a lifelong union of man and woman (cf. "Hom. on St. Matthew", 62). On the meaning of "except for unchastity", see the note on Matthew 5:31-32).

11. "Not all men can receive this precept": our Lord is fully aware that the demands involved in His teaching on marriage and His recommendation of celibacy practised out of love of God run counter to human selfishness. That is why He says that acceptance of this teaching is a gift from God.

12. Our Lord speaks figuratively here, referring to those who, out of love for Him, renounce marriage and offer their lives completely to Him. Virginity embraced for the love of God is one of the Church's most precious charisms (cf. 1 Corinthians 7); the lives of those who practise virginity evoke the state of the blessed in Heaven, who are like the angels (cf. Matthew 22:30). This is why the Church's Magisterium teaches that the state of virginity for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven is higher than the married state (cf. Council of Trent, "De Sacram. Matr.", can. 10; cf. also Pius XII, "Sacra Virginitas"). On virginity and celibacy the Second Vatican Council teaches: "The Church's holiness is also fostered in a special way by the manifold counsels which the Lord proposes to His disciples in the Gospel for them to observe. Towering among these counsels is that precious gift of divine grace given to some by the Father (cf. Matthew 19:11; 1 Corinthians 7:7) to devote themselves to God alone more easily in virginity or celibacy [...]. This perfect continence for love of the Kingdom of Heaven has always been held in high esteem by the Church as a sign and stimulus of love, and as a singular source of spiritual fertility in the world" ("Lumen Gentium", 42; cf. "Perfectae Caritatis", 12). And, on celibacy specifically, see Vatican II's "Presbyterorum Ordinis", 16 and "Optatam Totius", 10.

However, both virginity and marriage are necessary for the growth of the Church, and both imply a specific calling from God: "Celibacy is precisely a gift of the Spirit. A similar though different gift is contained in the vocation to true and faithful married love, directed towards procreation according to the flesh, in the very lofty context of the sacrament of Matrimony. It is obvious that this gift is fundamental for the building up of the great community of the Church, the people of God. But if this community wishes to respond fully to its vocation in Jesus Christ, there will also have to be realized in it, in the correct proportion, that other gift, the gift of celibacy `for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven'" (John Paul II, "Letter To All Priests", 1979).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Another bishop speaks out on Prop. 8 ruling, says decision puts culture’s sanity at risk

(CNA/EWTN News) -- Weighing in on what he called the “misguided” ruling by a federal judge who struck down California's Proposition 8 last week, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona, declared on Tuesday evening that what “is at stake here is cultural sanity and viability.”...

In a statement released on the Diocese of Phoenix's website on Tuesday, Bishop Olmsted wrote that the “misguided decision of Judge Vaughn Walker, striking down as unconstitutional the California Marriage Law called Proposition 8, cannot be passed over in silence.”

“Labeling homosexual 'marriage' as 'a right' is not an enlightened idea of the 21st century,” the bishop asserted. “It is a novel form of a resurrected falsehood from more than 2000 years ago. It will not stand the test of time, just as it cannot withstand popular opinion now....
Read more here.

Battling for America’s Soul: How Homosexual "Marriage" Threatens Our Nation and Faith

Time to revisit this article by The American TFP:
Battling for America’s Soul

How Homosexual “Marriage” Threatens Our Nation and Faith — the TFP Urges Lawful and Conscientious Resistance

Within the perspective of the nation’s Cultural War, Americans felt the full force of two actions favoring the homosexual movement in May 2008. Same-sex “marriage” is now being imposed upon the nation by government fiat.

On May 15, 2008, California’s Supreme Court declared the unconstitutionality of Proposition 22—ignoring the voices of 61% of California voters who approved the measure in 2000—and all other California statutes restricting marriage to the union of one man and one woman and imposed homosexual “marriage” on the Golden State.

Concomitantly, New York Governor David Patterson unilaterally ordered all government agencies to revamp their rules, procedures, and regulations so as to show legal recognition to same-sex “marriages” contracted outside the state.
* * *

A. The Acceptance of Same-Sex “Marriage” Is Incompatible with Christianity...

B. The Catholic Church’s Perennial and Immutable Moral Doctrine Condemns Homosexual Practice...

C. Same-Sex “Marriage” Harms the Common Good...

D. TFP Calls for Lawful, Conscientious Resistance to Same-Sex “Marriage” and the Homosexual Movement...

E. We Are Opposing the Homosexual “Moral Revolution”...

Complete article can be read here.

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 12

Continued from yesterday...

Chapter 3. The Wonderful Things Gos Has Done for Us

The Gift of Divine Grace

Scarcely had we been born when our parents took us to the Baptismal Font. We had come into the world covered with a hideous leprosy, the filth and corruption of Original Sin, which we inherited from our First Parents.

The Baptismal water was poured on our heads; we were bathed in the Precious Blood of Jesus, the same that was shed for us on Calvary.

These saving waters cleansed our souls from this hideous leprosy, leaving them as pure as the Angels in Heaven, while God, by an infinitely Divine act of love, clothed our souls with a dazzling mantle taken from His own shoulders, viz., with the robe of Divine Grace. This is a real participation in His Own Divine nature, as St. Peter assures us.

Did we see our soul clad in this Divine mantle, we should be inclined to fall down and adore it. Nothing on this Earth can give us even a faint idea of a soul in grace, an image of God, radiant, resplendent with divine beauty.

This divine grace is not only a robe of beauty, it is a divine force, a new life which raises up our natures, giving them a new dignity. It penetrates into our faculties, illuminates our intellects and strengthens our will.

With it we can see and do what would be otherwise utterly impossible to our poor human nature.

How little do we understand the wonders God has done for us!

Foolish, ignorant parents are so blind that they sometimes leave their children for days without Baptism. The life of the newly born babe is so fragile that it may die at any moment, and then! That dear soul will never see God, through the culpable neglect of those who should love it most.

And even if the child does not die, why leave it wallowing in the corruption and filth of original sin?

Fathers and mothers strive to save their children from the least bodily defect, yet owing to crass ignorance, they allow them to remain so long under the curse and malediction of sin. Sad, woeful ignorance!

[Continued tomorrow]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949

Cardinal Pell Says Green Party Like Watermelons: Green Outside, Red Inside

SYDNEY, August 11, 2010 ( - A row has erupted after Cardinal George Pell of the Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia criticized the Green Party, which supports abortion, euthanasia, and same-sex "marriage," as "sweet camouflaged poison" that represents an "anti-Christian" point of view. The archdiocese stood strongly by the comments after Green leader Robert Brown implied that Pell lied about the party's position, and claimed to be more in touch with Catholic and Christian sentiment than the Cardinal...
Continued here

"Green outside, red inside" - like the current White Hut occupant/usurper - no experience (green) and red (communist) inside...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gospel for Thursday, 19th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: St Jane Frances de Chantal, Religious

From: Matthew 18:21-19:1

Forgiveness of Injuries. The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
[21] Then Peter came up and said to Him (Jesus), "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" [22] Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

[23] "Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. [24] When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; [25] and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. [26] So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' [27] And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. [28] But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, `Pay what you owe.' [29] So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' [30] He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay his debt. [31] When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. [32] Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; [33] and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' [34] And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. [35] So also My Heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

[1] Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, He went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.

21-35. Peter's question and particularly Jesus' reply prescribe the spirit of understanding and mercy which should govern Christians' behavior.

In Hebrew the figure of seventy times seven means the same as "always" (cf. Genesis 4:24): "Therefore, our Lord did not limit forgiveness to a fixed number, but declared that it must be continuous and forever" (Chrysostom, "Hom. on St. Matthew", 6). Here also we can see the contrast between the man's ungenerous, calculating approach to forgiveness, and God's infinite mercy. The parable also clearly shows that we are totally in God's debt. A talent was the equivalent of six thousand denarii, and a denarius a working man's daily wage. Ten thousand talents, an enormous sum, gives us an idea of the immense value attaching to the pardon we receive from God. Overall, the parable teaches that we must always forgive our brothers, and must do so wholeheartedly.

"Force yourself, if necessary, always to forgive those who offend you, from the very first moment. For the greatest injury or offense that you can suffer from them is nothing compared to what God has pardoned you" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 452).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 11

Continued from yesterday...

Chapter 3. The Wonderful Things Gos Has Done for Us

Our creation

God made us. How little we understand these words. Many have never heard a worthy explanation of them.

Who made us is one of the first questions in the Catechism. The brief answer is "God made us." Satisfied with these few words, Catholics go on living all their long lives hopelessly ignorant of the immense truth, joy and consolation hidden in them. As a result, they never even think of pouring out their most grateful thanks to the Almighty for this first infinite proof of love which He has given them.

They take the gift of their creation for granted and have not the faintest idea of how much they owe to God for bringing them out of nothing and giving them a glorious existence, an existence which will never cease.

Why did God create me? Simply because He loved me.

He saw me with all my poor weaknesses and defects. Yet He loved me that first moment with an infinite, personal love.

He could have just as easily created an Angel like St. Michael or a Saint like St. Paul. But no, He created me, and since that moment He has never ceased loving me and will never cease to love me, unless I outrage and offend Him. Even then He will take me back to His friendship, if I repent and ask His pardon. We can understand the wonderful love a mother feels when her first-born baby is placed in her arms. The love of all the mothers who ever lived is not equal to the tenderness and love of God when He holds us in His arms.

He not only created us, but He created us from an infinite love.

How did He create us?

He created us with His Own Divine hands. He did not depute an Angel to bring us into being, but employed in making us all His Omnipotent Power, His Divine Wisdom, His most tender love.

How perfect a thing we must be, and we do not know it!

All the famous painters, before beginning their great masterpieces, sought with the utmost diligence to find a suitable model so that their work might be perfect. Then they labored assiduously, using the minutest care in the execution of the picture. Almighty God, when creating us, also chose a model, the most perfect that even He could choose. That model was Himself. He made us to His Own image and likeness! He made us like Himself!

Our likeness to God does not consist in a mere external resemblance, such as a photograph is of the person it represents. We are like to God in the very presence of our nature. Our souls are spiritual, like God; they are immortal, like God; they will live as long as God lives, for ever and for ever. They are beautiful, like God. How could they be otherwise since He, the Divine Artist, made them after the most perfect model.

We have two great faculties like those of God, our intellect and free will. He planted, too, in our inmost being, a craving for Him that nothing else can satisfy, so jealous is He of our love.

And for what destiny did He create us?

He made us for the highest destiny that was possible; He made us for Himself. He made us not to be His servants, but to be His Own children, to be seated on thrones amidst the Angels, in His presence, sharing His infinite and eternal happiness.

How wonderful is the story of our creation! How is it possible that, knowing all this, we do not love God.

O, dear reader, think about and meditate on the infinite love of God in creating you. Weigh well every word that you have just read, for in every word you will find cause for joy and consolation....

[Continued tomorrow]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gospel for August 11, Memorial: St Clare, Virgin

Wednesday, 19th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Matthew 18:15-20

Fraternal Correction. The Apostles' Authority
(Jesus said to His disciples), [15] "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. [16] But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. [17] If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the Church; and if he refuses to listen even to the Church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. [18] Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven. [19] Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it shall be done for them by My Father in Heaven. [20] For where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them."

15-17. Here our Lord calls on us to work with Him for the sanctification of others by means of fraternal correction, which is one of the ways we can do so. He speaks as sternly about the sin of omission as He did about that of scandal (cf. Chrysostom, "Hom. on St. Matthew", 61).

There is an obligation on us to correct others. Our Lord identifies three stages in correction: 1) alone; 2) in the presence of one or two witnesses; and 3) before the Church. The first stage refers to giving scandal and to secret or private sins; here correction should be given privately, just to the person himself, to avoid unnecessarily publicizing a private matter and also to avoid hurting the person and to make it easier for him to mend his ways. If this correction does not have the desired effect, and the matter is a serious one, resort should be had to the second stage--looking for one or two friends, in case they have more influence on him. The last stage is formal judicial correction by reference to the Church authorities. If a sinner does not accept this correction, he should be excommunicated that is, separated from communion with the Church and Sacraments.

18. This verse needs to be understood in connection with the authority previously promised to Peter (cf. Matthew 16:13-19): it is the hierarchy of the Church that exercises this power given by Christ to Peter, to the Apostles and their lawful successors--the Pope and the Bishops.

19-20. "Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est: where charity and love resides, there God is", the Holy Thursday liturgy intones, drawing its inspiration from the sacred text of 1 John 4:12. For it is true that love is inconceivable if there is only one person: it implies the presence of two or more (cf. Aquinas, "Commentary on St. Matthew", 18:19-20). And so it is that when Christians meet together in the name of Christ for the purpose of prayer, our Lord is present among them, pleased to listen to the unanimous prayer of His disciples: "All those with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus" (Acts 1:14). This is why the Church from the very beginning has practiced communal prayer (cf. Acts 12:5). There are religious practices--few, short, daily "that have always been lived in Christian families and which I think are marvelous--grace at meals, morning and night prayers, the family rosary (even though nowadays this devotion to our Lady has been criticized by some people). Customs vary from place to place, but I think one should always encourage some acts of piety which the family can do together in a simple and natural fashion" ([St] J. Escriva, "Conversations", 103).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Dr Edward Peters: Musings on the next Consistory

Dr Peters writes:
In the mood for some completely personal musings on an important topic that none of us have the slightest control over?

Okay, how about papal elections?

Setting aside a few variations in their modern structure, Consistories are chiefly important in that new cardinals are formally named thereat, and it's cardinals (under the age of 80) who elect popes. If Benedict XVI wants to impact the direction of the College of Cardinals, my guess is, he will do so at his next opportunity.
See why here.

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 10

Continued from yesterday...

Chapter 2. How to Love God

In a Word

To love God is to be a Saint, and the more we love God, the greater Saints we shall be.

There is nothing easier than to love the God of infinite goodness and sweetness, the God Who loves us with a personal, intimate, infinite love.

We shall most certainly love God if in all our prayers we ask Him for His blessed love.

If we know God, we must love Him. Therefore, we must do all we can to know God and fully to understand all the wonderful things that He has done for us.

[Continued tomorrow]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949

Monday, August 09, 2010

Gospel for August 10, Feast: St. Lawrence, Deacon & Martyr

Monday, 19th Week in Ordinary Time

From: John 12:24-26

Jesus Foretells His Glorification (Continuation)
(Jesus said to his disciples,) [24] "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. [25] He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. [26] If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him."

24-25. There is an apparent paradox here between Christ's humiliation and his glorification. Thus, "it was appropriate that the loftiness of his glorification should be preceded by the lowliness of his passion" (St Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 51, 8).

This is the same idea we find in St Paul, when he says that Christ humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross, and that therefore God the Father exalted him above all created things (cf. Phil 2:8-9). This is a lesson and an encouragement to the Christian, who should see every type of suffering and contradiction as a sharing in Christ's cross, which redeems us and exalts us. To be supernaturally effective, a person has to die to himself, forgetting his comfort and shedding his selfishness. "If the grain of wheat does not die, it remains unfruitful. Don't you want to be a grain of wheat, to die through mortification, and to yield a rich harvest? May Jesus bless your wheatfield!" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 199).

26. Our Lord has spoken about his sacrifice being a condition of his entering into glory. And what holds good for the Master also applies to his disciples (cf. Mt 10:24; Lk 6:40). Jesus wants each of us to be of service to him. It is a mystery of God's plan that he--who is all, who has all and who needs nothing and nobody--should choose to need our help to ensure that his teaching and the salvation wrought by him reaches all men.

"To follow Christ: that is the secret. We must accompany him so closely that we come to live with him, like the first Twelve did; so closely, that we become identified with him. Soon we will be able to say, provided we have not put obstacles in the way of grace, that we have put on, have clothed ourselves with our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Rom 13:14). [...]

"I have distinguished as it were four stages in our effort to identify ourselves with Christ--seeking him, finding him, getting to know him, loving him. It may seem clear to you that you are only at the first stage. Seek him then, hungrily; seek him within yourselves with all your strength. If you act with determination, I am ready to guarantee that you have already found him, and have begun to get to know him and to love him, and to hold your conversation in heaven (cf. Phil 3:20)" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 299-300).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 9

Continued from yesterday...

Chapter 2. How to Love God

God loves us

There is still something more thrilling that should fill us to overflowing with love for God, viz. that God loves us with a personal, intimate, unbounded love. This glorious truth escapes many otherwise good Catholics. Either they do not know it or they do not grasp it. The certainty that the great God of Heaven and Earth loves me with a tender, affectionate love fills my soul with delight.

A husband finds immense happiness in the love of his dear wife. A friend prizes most highly the friendship of a true friend. Were a powerful prince or king to offer us his friendship and esteem, we should look on ourselves as very fortunate. But the Omnipotent God offers us His friendship and love, and we do not seem to accept it! What blindness, what appalling ignorance!

Our Lord offered Peter and John and Paul His love and friendship, and they accepted it. What happiness was not theirs! They became His great Apostles. He is offering it to us every day in the most pressing way. Why do we not accept it? What happiness are we not losing!

Let us convince ourselves that God is our dearest Friend, our most loving Father. Let us try to bring home to ourselves this wonderful truth. Has He not commanded us to call Him every day, "Our Father"? He means it. He asks for our love. He does not wait to love us in Heaven; He loves us now on Earth and wishes to be loved in return by us...

[Continued tomorrow]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Gospel for Monday, 19th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Virgin and Martyr

From: Matthew 17:22-27

Second Prophecy of the Passion; the Temple Tax
[22] As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, [23] and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day." And they were greatly distressed.

[24] When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the half-shekel tax went up to Peter and said, "Does not your Teacher pay the tax?" 25] He said, "Yes." And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from others?" [26] And when he said, "From others," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free. [27] However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook, and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel; take that and give to them for Me and for yourself."

24-27. "Half-shekel", or "didrachma": a coin equal in value to the annual contribution every Jew had to make for the upkeep of the temple--a day's wage of a laborer. The shekel or stater which our Lord refers to in verse 27 was a Greek coin worth two didrachmas.

Jesus uses things great and small to get His teaching across to His disciples. Peter, who is to be the rock on which He will found His Church (Matthew 16:18-19), He prepares by letting him see His dramatic Transfiguration (17:1-8); now He gives Peter another inkling of His divinity through an apparently unimportant miracle. We should take note of Jesus' teaching method: after His second announcement of His passion, His disciples are downhearted (Matthew 17:22-23); here He lifts Peter's spirits with this friendly little miracle.

26. This shows how conscientiously our Lord fulfilled His civic duties. Although the half-shekel tax had to do with religion, given the theocratic structure of Israel at the time, payment of this tax also constituted a civic obligation.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

An Easy Way to Become a Saint - August 8

Continued from yesterday...

Chapter 2. How to Love God

How can we acquire the love of God?

First of all by prayer. Let us ask God every day and in every prayer we ever say to make us love Him. Let us offer every good act we do that He may give us this, the greatest of all graces, His blessed love.

In our morning prayers and evening prayers, in our Rosary, at Mass, in our Communions, let it be our first, our most earnest petition, that we may love God. Let us never say any prayer in which this is not our outstanding wish and intention.

Our Lord has promised over and over again and in the clearest terms to hear our prayers. He cannot break His word.

There is nothing that God gives us so willingly, so generously as His love. He wishes to give us this great grace even more than we wish to receive it. All we have to do is ask for it constantly.

It is certain that if we do this, our hearts, no matter how cold they may be, will gradually grow to love Him and that, too, with all their strength. They will overflow with love. They will love Him in the fullest sense of the word.

Have we never thought of this before? Why have we not asked God for this greatest of all gifts and graces? We ask so often for trivial favors and forget the most important of all. We should have been Saints long ago had we done so.

Let us begin at once and ask God every day of our lives with unbounded confidence for His holy love.

The following incidents show how powerful prayer is in making us know and love God.

An American freethinker was eager to believe in God, but though he listened attentively to Cardinal Gibbons explaining the proofs of God's existence, he could not bring himself to believe. The Cardinal, seeing his good will, suggested that he should frequently say the following short prayer: "Oh, God, if You exist, make me know You."

This the freethinker did conscientiously for some time and received in return the gift of a lively and solid faith and with it the greatest happiness of his life.

Cardinal Newman had a similar experience. For many years he sought earnestly to discover the True Church by reading history, studying the works of the Fathers, discussing the subject with learned friends. In vain.

At last he exclaimed: "What have I been doing? I have sought by study and discussion to find the Truth, but I have not given sufficient time and attention to asking the gift of faith from God in prayer."

He at once changed his method and began to ask God earnestly to help him to find the True Church.

His prayers were speedily answered, and he not only saw the light himself but became a shining example to hundreds of others who, following his lead, joined the Catholic Church.

We too shall receive the gift and consolations of God's blessed love if we earnestly ask for it in our daily prayers.

Secondly, to love God we must know Him.

Many people have a completely false notion of God. Though they do not say it in so many words, they think of God as a hard, a stern God, a God of justice who punishes sinners. Frequently, the teachers of the young are to blame for this. With the best intentions in the world they instill into the minds of their charges an exaggerated fear of the Almighty in order to deter them from sinning. But they do not teach them to love God.

The result is that boys and girls grow up and live all their lives with a false concept of God; they adore a false God, a God of fear.

It is true, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom but it must not be only a servile fear, but mainly the filial fear of children who grieve to offend and displease their parents. We too must fear to outrage our loving God, fear to crucify Him again and make a mockery of Him.

Hardened sinners, of course, who obstinately persist in offending God, know full well that their crimes deserve punishment. They have reason to fear.

But for the ordinary Christian, the all-engrossing concept of God must be clearly a God of infinite sweetness, mercy and love, a God of compassion, Who wishes to lift us up and wipe away the stains of sin from our souls.

Above all, we must look on God as our most loving Father, our dearest Friend, a God in Whom we have unbounded confidence, to Whom we must go in all our troubles and whose help we can seek in all our needs.

We must serve God, not as servants, but as His dear children. We adore God, but with an adoration of love, like the Angels in Heaven, who are burning fires of love. The vision of God as He really is and as they see Him fills them with an ocean of joy and happiness.

Now this God, Whom the Angels and Saints see in Heaven, is the same God Whom we are asked to love. Did we see Him for one instant our souls would be so ravished with delight that they would tear themselves from our poor bodies and fly to Him.

Did the devil see God only for a moment, his whole being would be so inundated with happiness that never again could he feel the pains of Hell.

One may object: But we do not see God as the Angels do. That is true, but we know all about Him by our living faith, as surely as the Angels do by vision. We ought sometimes to place ourselves in spirit amidst the Angels and gaze on God, this especially when we are saying the Gloria Patri.

Soon, very soon, we shall see Him as they do, but for the moment let us use and enjoy our faith and thus anticipate the happiness of Heaven.

When one hears that he has inherited a great fortune, the news fills him at once with delight. He does not wait until the fortune is placed in his hands. Let us do likewise and begin to enjoy an anticipation of the immense, unbounded joys that await us in our Father's home....

[Continued tomorrow]
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
Lisbon, Portugal
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949