LENTEN THOUGHTS (1873)

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Message  Javier le Jeu 07 Mar 2019, 5:07 am

LENTEN THOUGHTS

DRAWN FROM THE GOSPEL FOR EACH DAY OF LENT.

BY THE BISHOP OF NORTHAMPTON.

LONDON:
R. WASHBOURNE, 18, PATERNOSTER ROW.
1873.




INTRODUCTION.

I HAVE often heard a wish expressed that
there existed some small book which might
supply matter for meditation during Lent,
and a further desire that such matter might
be drawn from the portions of the Gospels
which occur in the Mass during that season.
I have endeavoured, however inadequately,
to supply the want of such a book.
I do not pretend to have written anything
new or complete, and my endeavour has
simply been to bring together such thoughts
as naturally arise from the contemplation of
the subjects, and which may be rather
suggestive than exhaustive.

The little book has been written chiefly
for the use of those who require some aid
to meditation, and who find it difficult,
without some such help, to concentrate their
thoughts upon a spiritual subject. It does
not pretend to be a regular course of
meditations, but, as will be seen, it is of a
desultory nature, containing some repetition,
and perhaps even what may appear redundant
Such as it is, and with whatever
defects it may have, I give it to the public,
with the hope and prayer that it may help
some souls to love Jesus Christ more, and
for His sake, to endeavour to sanctify
themselves.

►+ Francis Kerril Aucherst.
Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Northampton, England.

TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Jeu 07 Mar 2019, 5:23 am

MEDITATION
TAKEN FROM THE GOSPEL FOR ASH WEDNESDAY.—
Matt. vi. 1 6—21.

PICTURE to yourself our Blessed Lord
sitting upon the Mount; His disciples near
Him, listening eagerly to Him, and directing
the attention of others to Him. See
also the multitude of people who had followed
Him from various parts, earnestly
drinking in His heavenly teaching ; and
listen to His words in spirit, trying to feel
as if you were there. " When you fast, be
not as the hypocrites, sad."
—Matt. vi. 16.

I.

How sweet it is to hear our Dear Lord
encouraging us to cheerfulness, even in the
performance of a penitential act ! We
may be quite sure that He does not
recommend a worldly gaiety ; for let us look
upon His dear face, and there we shall see
no signs of it ; but in place of it a sweet
heavenly serenity, captivating even to the
senses, and how much more so to the pure
heart that enters, or tries to enter, into His
feelings.

II.

May we never be sad ? We may, but
not on account of the performance of any
act of Religion. True Christian sadness
proceeds only from the contemplation of
our sins, and is to be distinguished from
that grief which arises from wounded
affections, or from sympathy with others.

Jesus wept when Lazarus died ; but He
was truly sad in the Garden of Gethsemane,
when the sins of the whole world came like
spectres before His sight, and were heaped
upon His sacred and pure soul, and seemed
as if they were His own.


III.

Sadness in Religion is opposed to the
Spirit of God.
" Serve ye the Lord with
joy." " Come in before His presence with
exceeding great joy."


It is equally opposed to the spirit of the
Catholic Church, and is detestable when
united with hypocrisy. The Saints were
cheerful and serene.


Do we accept the command to fast without sadness ?
Do we not grumble and complain of its hardness ?
Are we truly sad at the sight and thought of our sins ?
And do we not let all sorts of little miseries
make us sad, even so much so as to prevent us from
doing our duty properly ? If we find any fault in these respects
in ourselves, let us now resolve to amend, and to
spend this Lent as we would do if we
were in the visible company of Our Lord.
Jesus, aid me by Thy grace. Pater, Ave,
Gloria.


TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Jeu 07 Mar 2019, 5:37 am

THURSDAY BEFORE FIRST SUNDAY OF
LENT.—Matt. viii. 5—13.


Follow in spirit our Blessed Lord in His
descent from the Mount, and enter among
the crowd that surrounds Him. Keep in
His company from place to place. Look
at Him ; listen to Him ; and see His
reception of the centurion who comes to beg
for the restoration of his servant to health.

I.

No sooner does the centurion make his
petition than Jesus answers, "I will come and
heal him,"
v. 7. How sweet is this readiness
of our Dear Lord ! And to show the
greatness of His charity, He proposes to do
more than is required, namely, to go to the
centurion's house, when a word, or mere
act of His will might accomplish the cure.
In fact, he anticipates the petition, for the
centurion had simply stated the grievous
affliction which had fallen upon his servant,
when Jesus says, " I will go." Oh ! Dear
Jesus ! how kind, how loving Thou art !

II.

The Centurion was very humble. "Lord, "
he said, "I am not worthy that thou
shouldst enter under my roof; but only
say the word, and my servant shall be
healed,"
v. 8. He thought it too great an
honour for a sinner that Jesus, so good, so
holy, should cross his threshold.


III.

He had great charity, as we see by his
eagerness to secure a great benefit for his
servant ; for we find (Luke vii.) that he
had already sent two messages to our
Lord, who was approaching his house,
before he himself made his request. And
he had great faith in the power and
goodness of Jesus, who said to him, " Go, and
as thou hast believed, so be it done to
thee " (Matt. viii. 13);
and He had already
said that He had " not found so great faith
in Israel," v. 10.


Faith ; Charity ; Humility. Have we
such faith that we always habitually turn
to God -in all our distresses ? Do we not
rather, as a custom, turn to worldly sources
of consolation ? Let us amend this.


Have we great eagerness in our charity
to our neighbour ? In the centurion it
almost amounted to impatience. When
are we impatient ? When our neighbour
requires aid, does every lost moment
appear to us of immense importance ? Are
we not rather impatient that his trials
should trouble us ? And how impatient
we are under our own trials !

Do we, like Jesus, act at once, when
charity calls us ? Or again, are we
inclined, like Him, to do more than is
absolutely asked of us ? Dear Jesus, increase
our charity.


Do we reflect sufficiently on the immeasurable
distance in worthiness that there is
between us and God ? Or do we not
rather accept all His gifts and graces as if
they were our due ? We have enough to
make us humble if we would but think of
all our natural and spiritual defects. Let
us pray for an increase of Faith, Charity,
and Humility. Jesus, aid me by Thy
grace.
Pater, Ave, Gloria.

TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Ven 08 Mar 2019, 7:06 am

FRIDAY BEFORE FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT.
Matt. v. 43—48. ; vi. 1—4.


Our Blessed Lord is preaching on the
Mount, as described in the gospel of this
day ; represent Him then to yourself as
preaching to you, and think that you are
hearing His voice, while you contemplate
His perfections as God and Man, and
while He tells you to be " perfect as also
your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matt,
v. 48.)


I.

We have been chosen by Almighty God
to be members of His church, and therefore
to be His faithful followers, His friends,
His children, and His heirs. It is His
great mercy and love for us that have
brought us to this position, the most noble
that we can conceive on earth. We therefore
ought to endeavour to imitate the
holiness and perfection of our heavenly
Father. Jesus especially draws our attention
to one way in which we ought to strive
to attain perfection, namely by loving our
enemies, and in this to distinguish ourselves
from the heathens. " I say to you,
Love your enemies ; do good to them that
hate you ; and pray for them that persecute
and calumniate you," v. 44.


II.

Although He alludes particularly to one
way of being perfect, nevertheless His
words are of general application, and we
must seek after perfection in all virtues,
otherwise we shall not be perfect as our
heavenly Father is perfect. Perfection is
both of command and of counsel, that is
there is a perfection which we are obliged
to seek after, and a perfection which we
are advised to endeavour to attain.
We
are all obliged to seek after perfection in
Christianity, and in the state in which we
are placed, and to love our enemies, and
observe perfectly all the other commands
of God. We are advised to aim at perfection
by the adoption of the evangelical
counsels of voluntary poverty, perpetual
chastity, and religious obedience. Happy
those souls which receive a direct call from
God to the religious state !


III.

An excellent and most efficacious means
of arriving at perfection is to examine carefully
and impartially into the state of our
soul, and to discover the predominant passion,
the principal vice from which our
other vices proceed, and to endeavour, with
all our power, to root it out. Think what
is your chief vice, what is the one that
leads you into so much mischief, and induces
you to commit so many sins. Is it
pride ? Vanity ? Laziness ? Falsehood ?
Disobedience ? Love of pleasure ? Impurity ?
Neglect of duty ? Of the Sacraments ?
Human respect ? Or is it any
other vice ? Find it out, and resolve to
avoid it.


Do I love my enemies for God's sake as
I love my friends ? Is my love extended
to all ? or only to those whom my natural
inclinations lead me to love, or perhaps
from whom I expect something ?  Do I
try to do all my actions, to speak my
words, and entertain my thoughts with a
view to perfection ?


Let me remember in my choice of a state
of life that it is my dear Divine Saviour who
advises me to observe the evangelical
counsels. Can I have a better adviser ? Will
the world advise me so well ? Will my
own bad inclinations advise so well as He
does ?


Have I ever properly set to work in real
earnest to discover the source of my evil
actions ; and to endeavour, day by day, to
weaken my chief vice by falling into the
sins, to which it leads me, less and less,
often ? I will begin now from this moment.
Jesus, aid me by Thy grace.
Pater,
Ave, Gloria.


TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Sam 09 Mar 2019, 5:14 am

SATURDAY BEFORE FIRST SUNDAY OF
LENT.—Mark vi. 47—56.

Picture to yourself the Apostles rowing
in their boat across the Lake of Genesareth.
The wind is against them ; the
boat labours in the heavy sea, when Jesus
walks forth from the shore upon the waters,
and seems as if He would pass them by.
They think it is a spectre, and cry out with
fear, when His voice comes to them over
the raging waves, bidding them have
courage, for it is He.

I.

The space of our life is like a sea which
we must pass over in order to reach the
happy shores of Heaven. We have many
obstacles to contend against in our voyage,
which may be summed up in the words,
the World, the Devil, and the Flesh. The
opinions and prejudices of men ; their ridicule,
their persecution, their unkindness,
their very praises oppose us. Human respect
singularly impedes us, we care so
much about what men think and say. The
Devil raises storms against our salvation
by his evil suggestions and temptations,
and the Flesh by the rebellion of our corrupt nature.
If we truly wish and try to
serve God we are sure to meet with these
storms, we must expect them, and resolve
to overcome them ; if we do not care about
His service, all may seem to go on smoothly
for a time, but in a moment we shall be
lost for ever.


II.

In the storms and trials of life ; that is
in our afflictions, in our temptations, in our
sins even, Jesus comes towards us to save
us, very often in such ways that, like the
disciples, we do not recognise Him. Our
hearts are blinded, and so we do not receive
into them the inspirations of His grace.
We do not see the use of mortification, of
patience under trials, of bearing injuries
and insults calmly, of submitting to all the
wise and useful discipline provided for us
by the Church. This is our own fault, and
we must correct it.


III.

What sweet encouragement is in those
words, " It is I, fear ye not." But we must
deserve that they should be addressed to
us by making use of the means at our
disposal for drawing Jesus to our side. Those
means are prayer, and the worthy reception
of the Sacraments, combined with an
exact observance of the commandments,
and of the laws of the Church.

Do I ever neglect a duty, or commit a
wrong action out of fear of the blame, or
ridicule, or impertinent conduct of my fellow-creatures ?
Am I ever ashamed of my religion,
or of any religious practices, because
they are contrary to the notions of
those that I may meet, or who are about
me ? Do I ever do good actions in order
to acquire praise ? Do I, in fact, put the
praise or blame of men above the praise or
blame of God ?


Do I ever mortify myself voluntarily ?
Do I receive involuntary mortifications in
the spirit of penance ? And do I comply
willingly with all that the Church enjoins
for the proper discipline of my soul ? Am
I fasting and abstaining during this Lent,
in a true Catholic spirit ? At all events, I
will do so now, and I will correct all the
faults that have come to my mind during
this meditation. Jesus, aid me by Thy
grace. Pater, Ave, Gloria.


TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Dim 10 Mar 2019, 6:21 am

FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT.
GOSPEL.—Matt. iv. I — II.

Our Dear Lord has just come forth from
the waters of Jordan, where He had been
baptized by S. John the Baptist ; the heavens
had been opened to Him ; He had
seen the Spirit of God descending as a
dove, and coming upon Him, and had
heard a voice from Heaven saying : 'This is
My Beloved Son in whom I am well
pleased.' Matt. iii. 16, 17.
And at once
He is led by the Spirit into the desert, to
be tempted by the devil. See Him urged
by the Spirit, and hastening to the desert,
and follow Him with your heart in this
momentous journey.

I.

It was not the evil spirit, which afterwards
tempted Him, that led Jesus into
the desert, but the Spirit of God, the Spirit
of holiness and truth, with which He was
filled. Not a moment was lost after His
baptism, but He must begin at once His
career as an example to men. He is driven
on by the burning ardour which the Holy
Ghost enkindled in His heart, and hastens
to the awful humiliation of a personal interview
with the devil. Consider Him alone
upon the side of that distant and barren
mountain to which He fled, and in His
deep solitariness fasting for forty days and
forty nights. See His attitude expressive
of sublime resignation to His Father's will.
Hear His sighs and prayers for the men
whom He had come to save. Try to enter
into the unspeakable beauty of the thoughts
that fill His Sacred Heart as He contemplates
the infinite glory of His Eternal
Father. Praying, watching, and fasting, for
forty days and nights, He is alone in sublime
solitude.


II.

But, suddenly, He is no more alone.
There stands another, in visible presence
before Him. All wickedness is confronted
with all holiness, all hatred with the ineffable
love of God made man, the hideous
monstrosity of sin with the calm beauty of
the embodiment of heavenly virtue. Oh !
daring crime of Satan ! Oh ! wondrous
humiliation of Jesus ! He does not fly, and
so escape the torture of that odious presence.
He stays, and meets the tempter
face to face. Contemplate the calm, majestic
dignity with which He answers Satan,
striking and scathing him with the simple
word of God, until the conquered tempter
leaves Him.


III.

But He is not now alone. See how from
Heaven come streaming down bright lines
of angels. See how they cluster about
Him ; how in attitudes of adoration they
minister to Him as their Creator and their
Lord. Join with those angelic bands in
sentiments of congratulation, love, and
adoration.

Oh ! How I love Thee, my Jesus, for the
humiliation of this temptation undergone for
my sake! How I admire Thee! Yet how
often do I not forget the example Thou hast
shown me ! Do I never listen, with only a
half-will of resisting, to the tempter? Let me
think only of yesterday. Had I any temptations ?
What did I do when they came
to me ? I am ashamed when I think
of my conduct, and contrast it with
Thine.


Again, so far from imitating my Lord,
have I never rather followed the example
of the devil, and dared to remain in the
presence of God when my soul has been
hideous to Him through mortal sin ? I
cannot fly from His presence, but- I can
cleanse my soul if I will, and make it pleasing
in His sight, by a good confession.
Jesus, aid me by Thy grace.
Pater, Ave,
Gloria.


TBC....

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Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Lun 11 Mar 2019, 3:39 pm

MONDAY IN THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT.
GOSPEL.—Matt. xxv. 31—46.

Let us represent to ourselves the Son of
Man as our Dear Lord loves to call Himself,
coming in His Majesty, and all the angels
with Him, and seating Himself upon His
throne of judgment. Then let us see all
the nations of the earth : men who have
been dead for thousands of years, and those
who have only just been consigned to the
tomb, trooping in countless multitudes towards
the judgment seat.

I.

We must not look upon this scene as if
we were mere spectators at a distance. We
shall most certainly be among those who
shall awaken at the sound of the trumpet
of the Archangel. Our bodies will once
more be united to our souls ; those very
bodies and souls which we now possess ; and
we shall arise from our graves, from the sea,
from places where our bones may have been
scattered, and shall be urged by an irresistible
force to go before the face of the Judge.
It will be in vain to try to hide ourselves,
and so escape the terrible scrutiny and exposure
of that day. We shall be no longer
our own masters. The exercise of free
will will be at an end ; and whether we will
or not, we must be judged.


II.

See how our Lord divides the good from
the bad, even as a shepherd separates the
sheep from the goats on the hill-side. On
which side am I ? On which side do I
now deserve to be ? On the right with the
good, or on the left with those who are
hurled to everlasting torments, and the loss
of God and all good ? Let me think seriously
on the state of my soul as it is now,
and consider with what face I could appear
before the all-seeing scrutiny of the eyes of
Jesus. I may die in a moment, as so many
thousands have done who thought their
chances of life as good as I now think
mine. And if I die in mortal sin, I must
be judged in mortal sin.


III.

Consider the law of love as the foundation
of the judgment. How wondrous it
is to see God's judgment and His love
brought into such close contact, and seem
to have been made one ! And love for the
least of human kind ! " Amen I say to
you, as long as you did it to one of these
My least brethren you did it to Me."
How
sweetly He identifies himself with His
creatures ! And in what alluring colours
is not the judgment depicted to us, when,
without this, its terrors would have been
increased in an almost infinite degree. It
is Love that judges upon that throne of
majesty.

I am confounded when I look into the
state of my soul, and see how unfit I am
to pass this great judgment of love. As I
am, I dare not brave "the wrath of the
Lamb."
O Jesus ! I will " sweep my soul "
as holy David says ; I will be charitable ;
I will let Thy love be supreme in my heart ;
and, for Thy sake, I will love my neighbour
as myself. In all my transactions with men,
I will consider that I am dealing with Thee.
Jesus, aid me by Thy grace. Pater, Ave,
Gloria.


TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Mar 12 Mar 2019, 10:58 am

TUESDAY IN THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT.
GOSPEL.—Matt. xxi. 10— 17.


See our Dear Lord passing through the
inquiring crowds who hastened about Him
in the streets of Jerusalem, all in commotion
asking one another, " Who is this ?"
Regardless of their clamour, and of their
questions and answers concerning Him, He
goes straight on to the Temple, and entering
it, finds men there who bought and sold,
and thus desecrated the holy precincts. In
His zeal for His Father's glory, He cast
them out, overturning their tables and
benches, and bitterly reproaching them.

I.

The zeal which Jesus had for His
Father's honour and glory, was proportioned
to the intimate knowledge which He
had of what that honour demanded, and of
how it was assailed by the unworthy conduct
of these men. Since that knowledge
was perfect and most exact, we can form
some distant idea of how great His indignation
was, and how His Sacred Heart was
pained when He saw that men forgot the
holiness of His Father's house, and turned
that sacred temple into a common market
place. His indignation is a holy indignation,
without one particle of fault in it. Contemplate
it, and consider how detestable to
Him is any profanation of holy things.


II.

The Temple of Jerusalem was the type
of the Christian soul, which by Baptism is
made the temple of the Holy Ghost, and
by the Holy Communion becomes the
dwelling place of Jesus in the Blessed
Sacrament. If the anger of Jesus was so
great when He saw the material Temple
profaned, what must be the pain of His
Sacred Heart when He beholds an immortal
soul in mortal sin?—when He is forced, as
it were, to enter into such a soul, a defiled
temple, when he is unworthily received in
the Communion?
Such a soul is to Him a
den of thieves ; nay worse, a den of devils.
Into what fearful company the unworthy
receiver forces the pure Lamb of God!
How terrible is the wrath of that Lamb,
and the punishment which awaits such
a soul!


III.

The anger of Jesus did not take possession
of Him so far as to make him forget
His mission of love and mercy, for we find
that, while still in the Temple, the blind
and the lame came clustering about Him,
and He cured them. Contemplate our
Lord in these acts of goodness, and imagine
you hear Him speaking kind and encouraging
words to these poor people, and
see Him restoring to them their lost faculties.
The hard-hearted and profane He
casts away; but the poor, the helpless, and
afflicted, He gathers to His Sacred Heart.


Am I ever indignant? Yes, truly, very
frequently. Is it because God is offended,
and out of a pure zeal for His honour?
No; it is because I am offended. It is
when I am insulted ; when men undervalue
me, when they prefer others to me; when
they question or deny my claims to their
consideration. Let me amend this.


Have I such great claims to the esteem
of men when I have so often forfeited that
of God by my sins ? Perhaps even I have
gone the length of profaning the Sacraments,
of making a bad confession and Communion,
I will examine my conscience upon these
points, and I will apply a remedy if I find
anything wrong.

Again ; I know that, as a Catholic, I have
sometimes been indignant at words and
acts which insulted the religion I profess.
Has it been simply an indignation on account
of God ? And has it ever made me
forget the duty of charity? Has it ever so
far upset my mind that I have been distracted
through it, and allowed myself to
be led by it into any fault? I will search
into this, and correct myself. Jesus, aid
me by Thy grace. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Mer 13 Mar 2019, 9:42 am

EMBER WEDNESDAY.
GOSPEL.—Malt. xii. 38—SO.

Imagine our Blessed Lord surrounded
by Scribes and Pharisees who try to tease
and annoy Him by asking Him to perform
a miracle for them. Admire His patience ;
and at the same time the outspoken and
unflinching way in which He tells them
that their generation is an evil one, and in
which He proclaims His superiority to
Jonas and to Solomon.

I.

Patience and truth were most conspicuous
in the conduct of Jesus. And, after His
example, they have been very observable
in the lives of His Saints.
Patience means suffering, or waiting with
calmness and resignation; and what Jesus
had to suffer in the scene here recorded,
was the importunate impertinence of malicious
and hypocritical men. How trying
this must have been to one who saw into
the depths of their hearts, and who knew
the motives which urged them to make
their request!

II.

Notwithstanding that He knew and
measured their malice and hypocrisy, He
does not disdain to give them instruction,
but speaks out the truth plainly to them,
telling them that the men of Ninive and the
Queen of the South should rise up in
judgment against them.

III.

The men of Ninive did penance on the
preaching of Jonas, and the Queen of the
South came from very distant lands to hear
the wisdom of Solomon ; and, although
they were Pagans, our Dear Lord speaks in
praise of them for what they had done well.
It was their correspondence with a super
natural inspiration that called forth His
praises. He is continually calling us to
penance by the voice of His Church, and
especially at this time of Lent ; and He
would ever have us seek after the wisdom
of Himself, who is greater than Solomon,
the wisdom of seeking after His love and
His law before all things on earth, and our
eternal salvation in the next life. What is
all worldly wisdom when compared with
that which the Saints sought and found in
the study of His Sacred Heart ?


Am I patient habitually in all my dealings
with God, and with my fellow men ?
If I desire to love God above all things,
am I not impatient when I find that I do
not succeed at once ? And does not this
impatience show itself by a sort of petulant
despair, so that I am tempted to give up
trying to be virtuous or perfect ? Have I
ever yielded to this ?

But if I am so imperfect as not even to
have arrived at the sincere wish to serve
God perfectly, how many things excite my
impatience ! I cannot stand the slightest
impertinence. I cannot bear that men
should expect me to give any proofs of
my truth, etc, etc. And the insolence of
men, very often perhaps, even deters me
from announcing to them the truth, and
makes me silent when in duty I ought to
speak.

Let me take heed lest the very Pagans,
and those who are not Catholics, who have
done their duty as far as they know how,
rise up in judgment against me who have
had so many graces, so many opportunities
and chances of doing good. O Jesus ! I
will do penance in time, and I will accept
this Lent as coming from Thee, through
Thy Church, for the due correction of my
soul. Jesus, aid me by Thy grace. Pater,
Ave, Gloria.


TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Ven 15 Mar 2019, 8:58 am

THURSDAY IN THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT.
GOSPEL.—Matt. xV. 21—28.

Imagine in your mind Jesus walking
with His disciples along the sea-coast of
Phoenicia, near those ancient towns of Tyre
and Sidon,and see the Cananean woman who
comes full of faith in His miraculous powers,
to invoke His aid for the cure of her
daughter.

I.

Jesus did not answer a word to her first
supplication ; He seemed to turn a deaf
ear to her entreaty. In my case, would
not this be enough to repel me altogether ?
Should I not feel that my pride was
wounded, and that I was made of no
consideration ? How often has it not happened
to me that I have prayed for favours, and
have been discouraged, or even disgusted
at their not being granted at once ? I will
look upon the dear face of Jesus, and study
His Sacred Heart, and I shall find that, all
the while, He is full of sweetness and mercy,
that His heart is yearning for me, that if
there be any fault, it is all my own, and
that the only thing to disgust me should
be my own pride and impatience.

II.

When the disciples asked Jesus to send
her away because she was crying after
them, His reply was that He was only sent
to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
This answer, as excluding the Cananean
from His mission, would seem to be a terrible
rebuff, but it appears only to have induced
her to approach nearer, to adore
Him, and to beseech Him piteously, "0
Lord, help me."
Admire the strength of
Her desire that her petition should be complied
with ; and also the hidden motive of
our Dear Lord, who wished to make a trial
of, and to manifest publicly, her perseverance
and her faith.

III.
The second answer of Jesus would be
still more repelling to a soul of less hu-
mility, for He said to her : " It is not good
to take the bread of the children and cast
it to dogs."
How would it be with me in
such a case ? But with her, humility and
earnestness gained the day. She said,
" Yea, Lord ; for even the whelps eat of
the crumbs that fall from the table of their
masters."
And she deserved to hear that
other answer, which crowned her happiness,
and sent her away rejoicing : " O woman,
great is thy faith ; be it done unto thee as
thou wishest."


The petition of this woman had all the
conditions of supplicatory prayer. It was
earnest ; for her whole conduct shows how
her heart was absorbed in the wish for its
accomplishment. It was devout; for she
adored Jesus. It was humble ; for she did
not hesitate under what we might consider
to be rude repulses ; nor did she shrink
from likening herself to the dumb creatures
which are content to pick up the crumbs
beneath the table. It was persevering ; for
she would not desist in spite of all. It was
full of faith ; for she must have firmly be
lieved in His power, not only to have per-
severed, but to deserve from Him those
words, " great is thy faith."


I will imitate this woman in my prayer.
I will endeavour to give my prayers all the
conditions which can make them good.
Many times I have been tempted to think
that God forgot me, that He would take no
heed of me, because all did not turn out at
once as I wished and prayed. But now I
know that all His conduct to me has been
for my greater and more lasting good. I
will never doubt Thee, O my Jesus ! My
heart shall rest in Thee ; and I will always
be sure that whatever Thou dost to me, or
for me, is the best that could befall me.
Jesus, aid me by Thy grace.
Pater, Ave,
Gloria.


TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Ven 15 Mar 2019, 5:48 pm

EMBER FRIDAY.
GOSPEL.—Johnv. I— 15.

Picture to your mind the pool of Bethsaida,
a small pond just within one of the
gates of Jerusalem, and see the multitude
of sick persons lying in the porches which
gave entrance to it. See our Blessed Lord
passing by, and attracted by the sight of
one severely afflicted, and make vivid to
yourself the whole scene related in the
gospel.

I

The Venerable Bede says, that the blind
represent those who have not the light of
sacred knowledge ; the lame, those who
have not moral strength to carry out what
they see and know to be right ; the withered,
those who have not the unction of
divine love.

Now let me consider if I have taken
pains to acquire the knowledge of sacred
things, of my religion, of its doctrines and
practices. I certainly have had opportunities
enough ; have I taken advantage of
those opportunities ? Or have I not rather
felt weariness and disgust when I have
heard the word of God preached ; and
have I not preferred any light and amusing
reading to giving up even a small portion
of my time each day to studying the science
of the saints, and how to be perfect ?

II.

Supposing that I have tried to illuminate
my mind with sacred knowledge, and particularly
with the knowledge of what God
requires of me especially and individually,
what use have I made of that knowledge
when it has been made manifest to me,
either by the inspirations of divine grace,
or by the ordinary, practical way of gaining
it, namely, by the advice and direction of
my confessor ? Have I consulted my director
when I have been in uncertainty
about God's will in my regard ? And if he
has told me what I ought to do, and so
given me knowledge on the point, have I
complied with his directions ? This consideration
is of the highest importance in
the choice of a state of life, which does not
mean what profession or mode of living in
the world we shall pursue, but what is our
vocation. Does God call us to serve Him
in the priesthood, or in religion ; or does
He will that we should save our souls by
marrying and settling in the world ? Have
I ever allowed any earthly consideration to
interfere with what I have learnt to be, or
what I have solid grounds to believe to be
my vocation ? If I have, I have taken an
awful responsibility on myself ; namely,
that of choosing for myself in opposition to
God's will.

III.

My whole soul, and all that I do, will be
withered and dry if I have not the unction
of divine love. I must endeavour to obtain
it, then, by observing the commandments
in every particular ; by prayer, and
a frequent approach to the Sacraments of
Penance and the Holy Eucharist. Particular
devotions also will help me to progress
in divine love ; not only such as are
expressive of love to God and His Saints,
and which give us a sensible satisfaction,
but also those which cost us a greater exercise
of charity, such as praying for the
dead, and devoutly performing spiritual and
corporal works of mercy. Let me examine
myself on these points, and see if I have
made the acquisition of divine love the
great object of my life.

O my dear Lord Jesus, how often hast
Thou said to me interiorly, " Wilt thou be
made whole ?"
And have I not neglected
Thy most gracious mercy ? Have I not
preferred to remain spiritually blind, and
lame, and withered ? I see my misery,
and I will no longer refuse Thy aid. Help
me, dear Jesus ; help me, that I may know
Thy will in my regard, that I may accomplish
it perfectly, and that I may acquire
the perfection of Divine Love. Pater,
Ave, Gloria.


TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Sam 16 Mar 2019, 7:45 am

EMBER SATURDAY.
GOSPEL.—Matt. xvii. i—9.

Imagine, as far as you are able, the glorious
vision which was shown to the eyes
of the disciples Peter, James, and John.
See our Dear Lord on the summit of
Mount Thabor suddenly transfigured ; His
face shining as the sun, and His garments
becoming white as snow. Look upon the
beautiful face of Jesus all lighted up by
the brightness of His Divinity which
glowed through the veil of His Humanity,
and be content, with Peter, to remain there
gazing upon His beauty.

I.

" It is good for us to be here." These
are the words of St. Peter, who would have
remained for ever in the presence of Jesus,
contemplating His beauty in silent adoration.
It is always good to be with Jesus.
Others talk of being with Him, and of
going to Him,
but none can point out the
way to Him, nor tell us how to remain
with Him, but the Catholic Church.
How
can I ever love my Church too much which
teaches me so much ?
I know what she
teaches me in order that I may be with
Him. Do I always make use of the means
which she places within my reach ? Am I
as fond as I ought to be of being with Him
in the most Blessed Sacrament, by receiving
Him into my heart, or by visiting
Him in the tabernacle ?

II.

In the Blessed Sacrament, when I visit
it, I can contemplate Jesus in whatever
aspect I may choose. I can look upon
Him as the little child of Bethlehem, weeping
and wailing, and speaking to His Blessed
and Immaculate Mother that language of
babes which has no words, but which mothers
can so well understand. I can look
upon Him as transfigured with all the
wondrous beauty of Thabor ; or as the outcast
in the garden of Gethsemane, and in
all the unspeakable woe of His most bitter
dying. It is good for me thus to visit and
contemplate Him, for I cannot do so without
feeling my heart warm to Him more
and more, and without increasing my love
for Him. And this, after all, is what I most
wish for on earth. Why am I then so cold
and so negligent with respect to the Blessed
Sacrament ?

III.

St. Peter was content to remain there,
and was perfectly unselfish in his satisfaction.
He said : " Let us make here three
tabernacles, one for Thee, and one for
Moses, and one for Elias."
He did not
think of himself further than that he wished
for the continuous sight of the bright vision
then before him. He would have remained
there, far from his home and his friends ;
without care for his food or his raiment ;
without shelter from the cold dews of that
mountain top by night, and the terrible
heat of the Syrian sun by day. He only
thought of his Lord, and after Him, of
those friends of His who accompanied Him
during the transfiguration. What a contrast
my conduct presents to that of St.
Peter ! How many trifling causes prevent
me from going to Jesus, and being with
Him in the Blessed Sacrament ! How
many distractions I have when there !
Worldly cares, and all sorts of little inconveniences
come to disturb my thoughts,
and to take them away from the
contemplation of my Lord.

My Jesus, it shall no longer be so. I
will look upon the possession of Thee and
Thy grace as my greatest treasure, to which
no earthly treasure can be for one moment
compared. I will seek Thee in all things
;
and especially will I seek Thee by a worthy
and devout reception of Thee in the Blessed
Eucharist, and by cultivating in my soul a
more intense love of Thee in that Holy
Sacrament. Jesus aid me by thy grace,
Pater, Ave, Gloria.

TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Dim 17 Mar 2019, 6:17 am

SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT.
GOSPEL.—Same as Yesterday.

Imagine yourself on Thabor, and gazing
with the Apostles on the glorious vision of
Christ transfigured. What thoughts would
fill your mind if you were there, and beheld
Jesus in His Sacred Humanity before
you?

I.

The sight of Jesus in such glory would
raise in your soul thoughts of profound
adoration. You would fall down before
Him, overcome with the splendour of
eternal light which shone around Him for
the time. He is still, and for ever, the
same Jesus; and He beholds you, although
you do not see Him. His Sacred Humanity
in Heaven is resplendent with an
infinitely more glorious light than that
which shone on Thabor. You know this by
faith. Behold Him then with the eyes of
faith, and let all the powers of your soul
bow before Him in supreme adoration.
Offer to Him the homage of your whole
being, and promise Him that you will
never, with the help of His grace, do any
thing unworthy of His Divine Presence.


II.

During the Transfiguration a bright cloud
overshadowed Him and the Apostles, and
a voice was heard from the cloud, saying,
"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am
well pleased ; hear ye Him."
And the
Apostles were afraid. You would have
been afraid also at this manifestation of
God. And now that your mind is absorbed
in the contemplation of Him, are
you not afraid when you think of your
unworthiness? When you reflect that if it
were not for His mercy, you would have
died when you were in your first mortal
sin; in your second; your third; your
hundredth? Are you in mortal sin at this
moment? Promise Him that you will
make yourself fit for His presence by a
good confession, and that you will do so at
the first opportunity, without any putting
off. Make an act of contrition now. You
would do so if suddenly you were to see
Him before you, or if you were to hear,
with your mortal ears, the awful voice of
God. You know that God is present here
and now as much as if you saw Him.


III.

Again; were you on Thabor and beheld
the face of Jesus; how your heart would
be inflamed with love of Him! with the
desire of being with Him, and never being
separated from Him for all eternity ! You
would tell Him how much you loved Him,
or at least how truly you desired and longed
to love Him, that you might gain His love.
Do so now; and excite your heart to a
great, burning desire of the love of God.
Think how little anything but what is God,
or in God, and for God, is worthy of the
love of an immortal soul.


Do I give Thee, O Jesus! all the adoration
and love of which I am capable? I
know the answer which Thou must give
me. I can adore Thee and love Thee
more than I do now.
I can reflect more
upon Thy Divinity and Thy Humanity
than I do. Oh! help me with Thy grace.

Increase my faith in Thy adorable presence,
and let me never forget it. Prostrate in
adoration and love at Thy dear feet, I
hide my face and grieve from my heart
that I have ever offended Thy awful but
loving Majesty. Jesus, aid me by Thy
grace. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Lun 18 Mar 2019, 5:01 pm

MONDAY IN THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT.
GOSPEL.—John viii. 21—29.

Jesus was probably in the Temple when
He delivered the sermon contained in the
words of this day's gospel; imagine Him
then there surrounded by Scribes, Pharisees,
and a number of other Jews. See with
what calm dignity Jesus bears Himself in
the midst of His captious and cunning
enemies, and how, in spite of their hostility,
He proclaims the Truth.

I.

Jesus does not fear opposition, nor even
malice. He knows that what He has to
say is true, and though the whole world
were ranged against Him in enmity or
ridicule, He would still proclaim the Truth.

Has a false fear of the world any influence
over me ? Do I fear, or care for what men
may say of me on account of my maintaining
Catholic truth? Have I ever shrunk
from an open profession of my faith, when
God's honour, and my neighbour's good
may have required it, on account of any
fear of the world ? Have I ever felt ashamed
of any Catholic doctrine or practice; or of
taking decidedly the side of truth and of
virtue in the face of the injuries or sneers
of others? What a noble figure Jesus
makes when He encounters hostility, compromising
nothing, yielding in nothing, but
keeping the straightforward line of duty in
spite of all.

II.

Jesus not merely announced to the Jews
the eternal truths, but He said many hard
things of them when occasion required.
He did not conceal, nor attempt to conceal
their faults from them, but told them of
their obstinate resistance to God's grace,
and to what this would lead them, viz., that
they should die in their sins. It is the part
of a true friend to tell another, in all charity,
of his faults and errors, and to what
they will lead if they are not corrected.
Jesus is our true friend, and by His word,
by His Church, and by the voice of our
own consciences, He is always telling us of
our transgressions.
And if the Church
sometimes tells us hard truths about ourselves,
or demands from us some slight
denial to our natural inclinations, shall we
refuse to acknowledge the friendly character
of all this ? When the Church speaks,
let us hear Jesus speaking by her mouth,
and let us listen to Him with all meekness
and docility, so that we may not incur the
punishment of the Jews.


III.

Let us reflect, that Jesus knew, all the
while, that the men to whom He was
speaking would seek His life for His plain,
outspoken condemnation of their conduct.
By His Divine knowledge, He knew not
only every thought that was there and then
passing through their minds, but He also
foresaw all that would come of it; how
they would hate Him, thirst for His blood,
and hunt Him to death. Let us adore the
patience and the inflexible holiness of our
Lord, and let us try to warm up our hearts
to a true and most sincere sympathy with
Him.

When I examine myself, have I not
reason to be ashamed that my conduct so
little resembles that of Jesus ? If there are
any whom I love with a worldly love, am I
not too ready to cover up their faults even
from their own eyes ? And if, on the other
hand, I have an ill-feeling towards any one,
I am too apt to exaggerate their failings.
Truth, without diminution or exaggeration,
is what I ought to learn from Jesus. O
my Dear Lord ! let me never shrink from
the truth, however disagreeable it may be
to me, or to those to whom I speak. With
Thy grace, I resolve that I never will.
Hear my resolution, and bless it.
Pater,
Ave, Gloria.


TBC....
Javier
Javier

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Message  Javier le Mar 19 Mar 2019, 8:59 am

TUESDAY IN THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT.
GOSPEL.—Matt, xxiii. 1— 12.

See our Dear Lord still surrounded by
Scribes, Pharisees, and multitudes of persons
besides His disciples ; look upon His
face ; and hear His words as if they were
addressed to you.

I.

How wonderfully painful and repulsive it
must have been to Jesus to see the malice
and hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees,
to know it all most perfectly, and to appreciate
with a most full understanding all the
wickedness which reigned in their hearts.
He could not bear the presence of sin in
any way, or in any shape, and yet out of
His love for man, and a desire to spread
His Father's truth, He submitted to be
constantly in the midst of sin and of sinners.
Learn to love Jesus for this sign of His
love for you individually ; and consider
your own conduct with regard to Him.
Have you, like Him, an intense hatred of
sin ? And yet a great patience with sinners ?
Do you willingly submit to be placed in
awkward or unpleasant situations
for His sake ? Nothing can, by any possibility,
be so repulsive to us as sin was to
Him, who was all purity and holiness, and
yet we are very fastidious about any circumstances
that are not quite agreeable
to us, particularly when the performance
of our duty brings us into contact with
them. Is it generally sin that excites our
disgust ? Let us amend our conduct.

II.

The disgust which filled the Sacred
Heart of Jesus at the sight of the wickedness
of the Pharisees, was very much
heightened by their hypocrisy. He knew
the utter hollowness of their pretensions to
virtue, while He, in common with others,
saw their sanctimonious ostentation of good
works, and the arrogance with which they
asserted their spiritual superiority. How
infinitely repulsive this must have been to
Him whose whole conduct was so noble
and upright, and in whom there could be
nothing mean or pretentious ! What dost
Thou see in me, my Jesus ? Are my outward
acts always indications of what really
exists in my heart ? Do I always speak
simply that which I feel ? Art Thou never
shocked by observing in me talk and show
of great, noble, and virtuous feelings which
really have no root in my soul ? Do I
never try to appear to men to be better
than what I know I must be to Thy allseeing
eye ?

III.

The horror of Jesus was heightened not
alone by the hypocrisy of the Pharisees,
but also by their want of charity and consideration
for others. They bound, as He
said, "heavy and insupportable burdens,
and lay them on men's shoulders ; but
with a finger of their own they will not
move them."
Pretension with regard to
virtue is sure to be accompanied by uncharitableness.
If we make great outward
professions of virtue, we are certain to look
down upon our neighbours, and to demand
more from them than we are willing to do
ourselves. Let us examine ourselves upon
this head, and see if we are not often censorious
about our neighbour's conduct with
regard to the very things in which we are
signally deficient. We think our neighbour
vain, conceited, haughty, negligent, given
to unkind conversation, or what not ; or
perhaps accuse him in our own minds of
greater crimes, while, if we looked at ourselves,
what should we find ? Is there anything
in us to warrant our being so exacting
with respect to our neighbour ?

Dear Lord Jesus, I will, with Thy grace,
be patient with others ; I will try to know
myself thoroughly. How many graces
Thou hast given me ! How long Thou
hast borne with me ! And shall I, sinner
as I am, be supercilious to my neighbour,
or think myself in any way better than he
is ? I will hate hypocrisy in my own conduct,
because it is most detestable in itself,
and most offensive to Thee. I will examine
as to my past, and do all in my
power to amend. Jesus, aid me by Thy
grace. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

TBC....

LENTEN THOUGHTS (1873) The-Lord-Jesus-Rebukes-the-Pharisees
Javier
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Message  Javier le Mer 20 Mar 2019, 3:40 pm

WEDNESDAY IN THE SECOND WEEK OF
LENT. GOSPEL.—Matt. Xx. 1 7—28.

Picture to yourself Jesus on His way
to Jerusalem, surrounded by a number
of disciples, and other persons attracted
towards Him by various motives. See
Him take his twelve chosen Apostles aside,
and hear Him communicate to them the
solemn history of what was to befall Him.
Listen to His words; take them into your
heart, and ponder on them.

I.

Consider how Jesus delights to call Himself
The Son of Man in His humility.
There was a singular appropriateness in
His doing so on this occasion, because as
simply the Son of God, begotten of the
Father from all eternity, He was incapable
of suffering. But to redeem us, and out of
pure love to us, He chose to become man,
and to be born of the Immaculate Virgin
Mary, that so He might be able to suffer
for us. No man, nay, not all the pure
angels who ever adore before the throne
of God, could have thought of such a
means for man's redemption. It was only
the eternal and infinite love of God that
could have conceived the thought, that
God should become man, for this very purpose,
that He might be able to suffer.
Oh! what love God has had for us from the
very beginning! What love for us burned
in the Sacred Heart of Jesus!


II.

He goes on to tell those wonder-stricken
Apostles that He shall be betrayed. It was
not enough for the love of Jesus towards
us that His enemies should obtain possession
of Him by any means. Treachery
was to do the work. We have heard of
princes being betrayed by those whom they
had loaded with favours, of friends being
betrayed by those whom they had trusted
with entire confidence, and our hearts have
burned with a most natural and honest
indignation. We hate the name of traitor
or betrayer. We would rather be called
almost anything than traitor. There is
such an instinctive horror of treachery implanted
in the human breast. What then
must have been the sense of horror which
Jesus, the Son of God, and the Son of
man, had in His Sacred Heart of the dastardly
crime by which He was to be betrayed ?
He had all the hatred of God for
sin, and all the detestation of man for this
peculiar one of betrayal. And He knew
and felt that treachery was hanging over
Him like a dark cloud; and, worst of all!
that this treachery was to come from a
friend, from one of His chosen Apostles,
from one whom He had loaded with favours,
and taken into His most intimate confidence.
Oh! fearful weight of woe and
sadness that oppressed His dear Sacred
Heart!


III.

Consider how Jesus calmly narrated to
His Apostles the details of His coming
sufferings; that He should be betrayed to
the priests and the scribes, men whose very
position should have ranged them on His
side; that they should condemn Him, the
Lord of life, to death; that they should
deliver Him to pagans to be mocked, and
scourged, and crucified. Look upon His
face, while He tells these things, and try to
enter into the feelings of His Sacred Heart
at the prospect of all that is to come upon
Him. The fact of His being God intensifies
it all to Him! for He sees it all most exactly
and most perfectly. Moreover, His Divine
will chose that He should suffer. He therefore
chose suffering with an intensity of
which we can form no conception, and the
prospect of His agony was in proportion
to the actual severity of it when it really
came upon Him. And yet He speaks of
it all so calmly that when the mother of
the sons of Zebedee comes to Him, He is
ready to listen to her, and to enter into
conversation with her. Admire the quiet
dignity of Jesus, and urge your heart to
love Him more and more.


O Jesus! I resolve to love Thee more and
more, and to make Thee a suitable return
by never doing anything to offend Thee,
and by doing all that I know Thou wouldst
wish me to do. Do Thou aid me by Thy
grace. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

TBC....

LENTEN THOUGHTS (1873) AWAAQAHQ-P827300
Javier
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Message  Javier le Jeu 21 Mar 2019, 6:22 pm

THURSDAY IN THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT.
GOSPEL. —Luke xvi. 19—31.

Sit at the feet of our Dear Lord, and
drink in His words as a draught of heavenly
wisdom. Do not think of the Pharisees,
nor of any one but of Jesus and thyself.

I

Jesus, in the parable of Lazarus and the
rich man, wishes to impress upon us the
vanity of all earthly good things ; that is,
their emptiness, and uselessness for the
acquirement of eternal happiness, unless
they be employed as God wishes us to
employ them. All the temporal goods
which we possess are given to us by Almighty
God in trust. We are the trustees
and dispensers of them, and shall have to
give an account to Him of the use we have
made of them. The use to which He wills
that we should put them, is to make them
conduce to the everlasting salvation of our
souls. This is the case with everything
that we have.
All that God gives us is
good in itself; and if we come to harm
through it, it is all our own doing. Lawfully
acquired riches are good in themselves,
but they become mere vanities if we simply
use them for our own gratification ; things
that will pass away when the breath leaves
our bodies, and leave behind only remorse
and suffering.


II

We may make a good use of riches and
other temporal things, and thus lay up
treasures in Heaven, where no rust will
consume them, and no thieves will break
in and steal.
The use which Jesus inculcates
in the Gospel of today is that by
which we alleviate the sufferings and poverty
of our needy brethren. Do we reflect sufficiently
upon this duty of Christian charity?
We may say that we have very little for
ourselves, and, consequently, cannot spare
anything for others; but would it not be
better for us to deprive ourselves sometimes
of some little extra pleasure, some little
delicacy, some trifling piece of finery, in
order that we may have something to bestow
in alms ?
The alms of the poor, which
involve a real sacrifice, are very pleasing to
God, and very dear to the Sacred Heart of
Jesus.
It will be a good exercise during
Lent, to see what we can lay by for the
poor, and to bestow it for the love of Him
who so greatly loves the poor.


III

Jesus Christ chose for Himself a life of
poverty. He more nearly resembled Lazarus
than the rich man. Yet He could, as the
Lord and Master of all things, to whom
belonged the earth and the fulness thereof,
have surrounded Himself with prosperity,
affluence, and every luxury, if He had so
willed. He who could command legions of
angels, could have summoned all the riches
of the world to His feet; yet He chose
poverty, to teach us how we should be
detached from the things of the world
; and
to manifest His love for the poor, who are
emphatically called by the Church, the
poor of Christ. Poverty is no disgrace
under the Christian dispensation. It has
been dignified by the life and the practice
of Jesus ; and, in imitation of Him, by the
practice of His saints.

Let me consider what I have done with
what God has given me. Supposing me to
be rich ; have I remembered that my riches
were only given to me in trust ? And have
I, out of my abundance, been ready to
assist those who need my aid, to the utmost
of my ability ? Supposing that I have
but moderate means, or that I am in actual
poverty ; have I still had no way in which
I could show that I am a true Catholic, by
making some little sacrifice for the benefit,
however apparently slight, of those still
poorer than myself? I will seriously think
of these things, and for Thy sake, O loving
Jesus, I will amend my conduct, lest I
share in the condemnation of the rich man.
Rather let me be poor as Lazarus and enjoy
Heaven, than be abounding in worldly affluence
and lost for ever.
Jesus, aid me by
Thy grace. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

TBC....

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Javier
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Message  Javier le Ven 22 Mar 2019, 8:00 am

FRIDAY IN THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT.
gospel.—Matt. xxi. 33—46.

Imagine yourself standing with the crowd
around Jesus ; look upon Him, and hear
His words.

1.

The vineyard spoken of by Jesus to the
Jews, signifies the Synagogue ; and Jesus
tells them how the vineyard shall be taken
from them, that is, how the Gentiles shall
be brought together to be the possessors of
the covenant, the Church, and how they
shall be deprived of their inheritance on
account of their ill-treatment of the prophets,
and of their awful crime in putting
to death the only Son of God, the master
of the vineyard. In a spiritual sense, the
words of Jesus may apply to the grace
which God gives to each Christian soul,
which is the vineyard intrusted to each
one's care. This grace has to be cultivated
with extreme assiduity and watchfulness,
and the Master of the vineyard will expect
a return in proportion to the amount of
grace given.
How many graces have I not
received from God ! I cannot count them.
Have I put them to the best advantage,
and cultivated them so as to make a suitable
and proportionate return to my Master?


II.

On the contrary; have I not terribly
neglected the grace which He has given
me ? Have I not, by my sins and my
spiritual sloth, turned His gifts to nought,
nay, even against the very giver of them,
so as, if it were possible, to make Him a
loser by His generosity ? Again ; I feel
that I have shut the ears of my heart to
the admonitions of my conscience, to the
teaching of the Church by her pastors, to
the counsels of my director, to the advice
or commands of my parents or other superiors,
and to the warnings of my truest
friends. And thus I have ill-treated and
driven away the messengers sent to me by
my Master. Nay, I have spurned His only
Son, and as far as lay in my power, I have
put Him to death again, by making His
death and His merits of no use to me. I
have despised Him, and have preferred to
take my own way to following Him who is
" the Way, the Truth, and the Life." The
vineyard of my soul has thus, by my fault,
been laid desolate, the wild beast of sin has
devoured it, and in place of the fruits of
virtue, I have nothing to show but the
briars and thorns of vice. Is this really my
case ; or can I conscientiously say that it
is not ?


III.

If it be my case, what am I to expect if
I do not instantly set to work in earnest to
repair the past, and to make good the
future ? I can only look for the judgment
pronounced against those wicked husband
men in the Gospel. God's grace will be
withdrawn from me altogether, and given
to others who will cultivate it well.
Perhaps
I feel that I am not so fervent as I
once was ; that I do not relish spiritual
things as I once did ; that my soul is becoming
lukewarm and negligent, and is not
all this a sign of the withdrawal of God's
grace ? It is a terrible thing to find, as we
are advancing in age, that we are not so
good as we used to be. God grant that
this may not be my case. Let me carefully
examine whether it be so or not,
and if I find that it is, I will seek for the
cause, and root it out as a noxious weed
that impedes the growth of God's grace in
my soul, and will bring me to destruction.


O Jesus ! Thou knowest what I am, and
what I am worth in Thy sight. I cannot
conceal my real state from Thee, however
much I may veil my baseness from others
by hypocrisy, and from myself by a wilful
blindness. I will really examine my conscience ;
I will make a good confession,
and with Thy helping grace, try to make
my soul worthy of a visit from Thee.
Pater,
Ave, Gloria.


TBC....
Javier
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Message  Javier le Sam 23 Mar 2019, 7:27 am

SATURDAY IN THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT.
gospel.—Luke xv. 11—32.

Imagine Jesus Christ as a father whom
you have offended, and whose home you
have left ; and then think of yourself as an
outcast, miserable, poor, and forlorn, with
the thoughts of the old home just rising in
your heart.

I.

Consider the miserable state of the prodigal
son ; far away from his own home,
and that by his own fault. All his means
are squandered in debauchery and excess ;
he has not a friend now that he is no longer
rich ; he is very hungry, and is sent to feed
swine, and would fain satisfy himself -with
husks, but there is no one who will give
him any. What a picture of desolation
this presents to us ! He who had been so
delicately nurtured has fallen into such
utter woe ! See him starving, with death
staring from his hollow eyes, and envying
the very hogs. Sad as this picture is, it is
but a most faint likeness of a soul that has
quitted its Father's house through sin. It
has wandered away from God, and has
sought to satisfy itself with forbidden delights,
but has found them empty and hollow.
Nothing can make up for the loss of
the quiet and holy joys of its Father's
house. All that was worth having is gone.
It is weary, desolate, hungry, almost despairing.

O my soul! art thou in this
state ? If thou art not, it is only by the
mercy of God ; and let the thought of such
desolation keep thee ever in thy Father's
home, that is, in God's grace.


II.

At last the thought of home came to the
poor prodigal's heart. He thought of the
old days of innocence and peace. Thought
how, even now, the hired servants at home
were abounding in bread, while he was
starving. He makes no delay, but says at
once that he will go home to his father and
confess his fault. Far from urging any
claim, he will tell his father that he is not
worthy to be called his son. What a beautiful
picture of a repenting soul ! First
there is regret for the good that is lost,
and a sense of the present actual misery
of sin; then the determination to return
to God with love for Him, and confidence
in Him ; a deep sense of unworthiness,
and a sincere sorrow for the past, combined
with a resolution, such as we may
be sure existed in the prodigal's heart,
of never again offending.


III.

How ready the father was to forgive and
receive his penitent child ! Doubtless, he
was watching eagerly for his return, for he
sees him from afar, " a long way off," and
running to him falls upon his neck, and
kisses him. Not content with this, he
clothes him with the best robe, puts a ring
on his finger, and shoes upon his feet, and
makes a great banquet to celebrate his return.
If such be the love and goodness of
an earthly parent, what is the love of the
great loving heart of Jesus to a repentant
soul !
We cannot fathom or measure it, it
is so immense and so intense. What an
encouragement this ought to be to us to
arise at once from our misery, and to return
to Him ! He is watching for us, and will
come to meet us. What does this mean ?
It means that He has established a holy
Sacrament to which His Church is ever
calling us, the Sacrament of Penance, where
He sits looking for us and expecting us.
The wish and intention of reconciling ourselves
with Him by its means will draw
Him towards us by His grace, and will
bring grace to us. Then with contrition,
confession, and satisfaction joined with the
holy absolution, we shall be embraced to
His heart, clothed with grace, and loaded
with divine favours.

Oh ! how can I ever deliberately and
intentionally neglect to reconcile myself
with God ? The state of my soul in sin
is a condition of utter misery, which is
only a prelude to the eternal woe, if I
do not repent. I will do so, O my
Jesus! I will go home. I will seek
again the ways of innocence and peace ;
and with Thy grace, I will never, never
more desert them and Thee.
Pater, Ave,
Gloria.


TBC....
Javier
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Message  Javier le Dim 24 Mar 2019, 5:54 am

THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT.
GOSPEL.—Luke xi. 14—28.

Imagine you see Jesus exercising all the
majesty of His power over the evil spirit,
and expelling him perhaps by a word, a
touch, a gesture, a glance, or a mere effort
of His will, but without any display or
ostentation.

I.

St. Matthew tells us, xii. 22, that this
possessed person was blind as well as dumb ;
and his condition well represents the state
of a soul in mortal and obstinate sin. A
soul in mortal sin is in the possession of
the devil, for the grace of God is not there,
the devil can see in it a counterpart of himself,
and if the person were to die in that
state, the soul would be the property of the
devil, and would share his damnation for all
eternity. It is also in the devil's possession,
because in wilfully falling into mortal sin,
or deliberately remaining in that state, the
soul makes itself a slave of the devil
; it
does the devil's will instead of God's will.
For a free man to be made by force a slave
to an earthly master, is considered rightly
to be one of the greatest misfortunes that
could possibly befall him. What then
must it be to be a slave of the devil ! For
a man willingly to enslave himself bodily
to another, unless through some motive of
divine charity, would be thought an inconceivable
degradation. And if a man so gives up his freedom
of spirit to another, that he will perform
at his bidding the basest and most dishonourable actions, he
is justly looked upon as one of the lowest
of mankind. And yet this is just what the
soul does when it falls into, or remains in
mortal sin. The only difference is that it
surrenders itself to the devil instead of to
a man.

II.

When thus in the devil's possession, it
becomes blind, like the man in the gospel ;
blind to the goodness of God and the
beauty of virtue ; blind to the frightful
state in which it is, as well as to the terrible
consequences of being in that state. It is
blind also as to the enormity of sin, and
the horrible havoc which sin creates in it ;
blind to its utter deformity ; blind to all
its true interests ; blind to the attractions
of God's grace. And there is danger of
this blindness deepening and darkening, so
that the soul may be utterly shut out from
the influence of God's grace, and go forth to
eternity in final impenitence.
Let me examine
my soul in time to cure it of spiritual
blindness, if such exist in it.

III.

It is also dumb. It cannot pray ; prayer
has become distasteful and wearisome, and
all the faithful, and confiding, and affectionate
expressions it once made use of towards
Almighty God, have died away from its
lips. And the longer it remains in mortal
sin, the more will it forget prayer. It is
dumb also for asking advice from those competent
to afford it on spiritual matters. It
takes its own way, without asking whether
it be the right way or not, and indeed without caring.
It is dumb with regard to confession, either not approaching the
Sacrament of Penance, or worse still, making
bad sacrilegeous confessions. It is dumb
with respect to giving good advice to
others, or speaking for the honour and
glory of God and the salvation of souls.

What a state for a man to reduce himself to willingly !
It would seem, at first sight, to be as hopeless
as the case of one corporally blind and dumb ; but as
in the latter case there was a means of
cure, so in the former we may find one if
we listen in time to the voice of our conscience,
and yield to the urging of God's grace.

O my God ! Preserve me from ever falling
into mortal sin, or if I should unhappily
fall, give me grace to rise again. But
what am I saying ? perhaps I am now in
that dreadful state. I will examine my
heart and my conscience, Dear Jesus ; I
will lose no time, and I will seek to be
delivered from my slavery, by hastening to
make a good confession. Jesus, aid me by
Thy grace.
Pater, Ave, Gloria.

TBC....

LENTEN THOUGHTS (1873) 011b
Javier
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Message  Javier le Lun 25 Mar 2019, 10:33 am

MONDAY IN THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT.
GOSPEL. —Luke iv. 23—30.

Imagine you see Jesus taken to the brow
of the hill to be cast down headlong, and so
killed ; but mysteriously passing through
the crowd, He goes His way.

I.

Reflect, by way of contemplation, on the
anger and hatred of the Pharisees against
our Dear Lord, and unite your heart in
sympathy with His Sacred Heart. The
Pharisees were like fierce wolves around
the Lamb of God, who, all meekness and
gentleness, stood so calmly in the midst of
them. If you observe Him well, you will
see no resentment in Him, no disturbance
of spirit, no eager haste to escape their
fury, no fear, no gestures indicative of impatience,
terror, or revenge. What a noble
yet sweet object of contemplation is Jesus,
so calm in the midst of the tempest of
anger that is raging around Him.
Not
one angry word escapes Him, not a prayer
to those men that they will not wreak their
vengeance upon Him. Look into His Sacred
Heart, and you will find it all on fire
with the love of those very men.

II.

See what a contrast there is between
Him and the Pharisees and others who fill
the synagogue. They are all enraged, and
filled with anger and hatred. Hear the
confused sound of their voices filling the
synagogue ; some clamouring for His death,
others mocking and deriding Him ; and not
one word of kindness, sympathy, or comfort
addressed to Him. Truly, all His sorrows
and pains of heart and mind were
not in His passion alone. This scene was,
in some measure, a foretaste of that most
bitter suffering to come. See their frantic
gestures, their menacing hands, their attitudes
of threat or of derision. And all
this continues till they actually seize upon
Him, and thrust Him out of His own city
of Nazareth with rudeness and with insult.
They take Him to the brow of the hill
whereon their city was built, and in a
tumultuous crowd hurry around Him with
the murderous intention of casting Him
headlong from the height. If you were in
that synagogue, and amid that crowd,
would you side with the Pharisees or with
Jesus ? You say unhesitatingly, with Jesus.
Your heart is struck with horror at the idea
of taking part with those ferocious beings,
rather wild beasts than men ; and yet in
your ordinary dealings with Jesus, how do
you behave ? When it comes to actually
taking sides ; your passions on one hand,
and Jesus on the other; do you always,
invariably join with Him ? Do you never,
for fear or love of anything or anyone else,
go against Him by committing sin ?


III.

Consider the simple, but most expressive
words of the Evangelist, who says that,
"He passing through the midst of them,
went His way."
There are few passages
of Holy Scripture more striking than this
description of Jesus passing through the
midst of that infuriated Jewish crowd.
He is in the midst of them, and suddenly
He is gone. Behold their stupefaction at
seeing Him no more there. They cannot
tell how He has gone, nor whither. They
look at each other in utter astonishment.
Hear their hesitating enquiries, and perhaps
their expressions of baffled rage.
His time was not yet come, and He knew
how to elude them by the exercise of
His divine power. The contemplation of
this scene should be to us a source of
great encouragement, especially in these
times, when the powers of the world are
exercising their unholy strength against
the Church of Christ. While so many
voices are clamouring for its destruction,
so many minds are set upon its ruin, let us
at least resolve to remain faithful, and
thank God for His Providence over it.


O Jesus ! I compassionate Thee in Thy
sufferings, and I desire to unite my heart
with Thine. Never will I take part with
Thy enemies ; never will I listen to the
suggestions of evil, or choose sin in preference
to Thy law. Though the whole world besides
should be against Thee and Thy Church,
I wish to proclaim my loyalty,
and to maintain it to my last breath. Give
me grace and strength to do so.
Pater,
Ave, Gloria.


TBC....
Javier
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Message  Javier le Mar 26 Mar 2019, 10:51 am

TUESDAY IN THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT.
GOSPEL.—Matt, xviii. 1 5—22.

Imagine Jesus to be visibly before you
and instructing you. How would you act
in such a case ? You would listen with
all possible reverence, attention and devotion.
He speaks to you by His written
word, so listen to Him, and gather fruit to
yourself.

I.

" If two of you shall consent upon earth
concerning anything whatsoever they shall
ask, it shall be done to them by my Father
who is in Heaven."
These words were addressed
by our Dear Lord to the Apostles,
but in their person they were spoken to all
the Faithful. How wonderfully consoling
they are! Take in their full meaning. "If
two of you shall consent."
This shows to
us how beautiful and efficacious in the
sight of God, is the concord of Christians.
He loves order and unity. Disorder and
discord are diametrically opposed to the
Religion of Christ, who loves to see an
union of Catholic hearts, because we are
all His Brethren ; we have the same faith,
the same hopes, and the same object of
love. We have similar trials and temptations,
and we look forward to the same
eternal enjoyment of Him. He would that
we were one even as He and the Father are
one. What charity then He wishes to see
amongst us ! And where it exists, how
pleasing it must be in His sight, since He
promises so great a reward to our concord.

Let us examine ourselves upon our feelings
towards others, and if we have any ill will
or uncharitableness, let us be reconciled, and
banish all rancour, that we may obtain the
objects of our prayers.


II.

Consider the efficaciousness of true
Christian concord, as shown to us by the
unlimited comprehensiveness of Christ's
promise. He says, " Whatsoever they shall
ask, it shall be done to them."
Of course
this means whatever good and lawful thing
they shall ask ; for God will never grant
prayers for things that are unlawful. Again,
our prayer must necessarily have the conditions
of good prayer, that is, we must
pray with faith, with hope, with humility,
with earnestness, and with perseverance.

We must also pray with all deference to
the will of God, and to His infinitely superior
wisdom ; for our own will is liable
to be wrong, and we may oftentimes be
mistaken as to what is best for us under
any given circumstances. This is particularly
the case with regard to temporal
goods, for with respect to spiritual ones in
general, we can scarcely go astray in our
judgment, though we may be mistaken in
asking for particular spiritual goods, since
what we pray for may possibly be not the
best for us under the circumstances.
Let
us then resolve not only to be in concord
and charity with others when we pray, but
also to ask for everything on condition that
it is according to the will of God.


III.

The special necessity for this consideration
will appear when we reflect how often
it happens that God does not seem to hear
our petitions, and that the immediate object
of our prayers is not granted to us. It
is not that God does not hear us, or that
He refuses to grant our prayers, but that
He sees that we do not ask for what is
best for us.
He hears our prayers most
graciously, and has regard to our sincerity,
and so gives us something that we may not
have asked for or expected, something that
may even seem repugnant to our wishes,
but still what He sees and knows to be
better for us, and more beneficial to us
than what we have prayed for. How
beautiful is entire submission to the will
of God ; perfect conformity of our own
will with His ! This makes us very like
our Divine Model, and renders us very
pleasing in the eyes of God.


Oh, my God ! give me perfect charity.
Give me grace to pluck out from my heart
every ill feeling towards any of my brethren.
Grant me also grace to conform my
will with Thine, that I may deserve to obtain
the immense reward which Thou hast
promised, even on earth, to those who pray
well. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

TBC....
Javier
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Message  Javier le Mer 27 Mar 2019, 9:23 am

WEDNESDAY IN THE THIRD WEEK OF
LENT.—GOSPEL.—Matt. XV. I—20.

Picture to your mind our Blessed Lord
near the Lake of Genesareth, and see the
Scribes and Pharisees coming to Him from
Jerusalem, to question Him about the
practices of His disciples.

I.

Contrast the malice and falseness of the
Scribes and Pharisees with the simplicity
and truth of Jesus. Look into His face,
and into theirs ; see their captiousness, and
eagerness to entrap Him ; and see how
meekly He listens to them, and with how
few simple, but telling words, He silences
them. The Scribes claimed for themselves
the criticism of new doctrines, and new
teachers ; while the Pharisees made a profession
of extraordinary sanctity, and most
exact observance of the Law. The former
were arrogant impostors, and the latter
were hypocritical and exacting. They
sent spies to listen to the teaching of Jesus,
and to watch the practice of His disciples.
Then they followed, and in their envy of
our Dear Lord, put questions to Him, and
took exception to His doctrine. Listen to
the talk of these busy men, who pretended
to know so much, and to be so very holy,
and by contrasting them with Him, learn
to love and admire Him more and more.

II.

How painful it must have been to Jesus
to be so frequently beset by these men !
He saw into their very hearts and consciences,
as He sees into mine at this moment.
He knew precisely what they were
worth, what they knew, and the exact
value of their pretended holiness. He saw
all the hollowness of their pretensions,
their real wickedness, their uncharitableness,
their ambition ; and moreover He
knew how all their malice and envy were
brought to bear upon Himself; how He
was the chief object of their hatred, and
how they were seeking for a pretext to
ruin Him. It is a part of His mission of
suffering that He is to be troubled and
tormented by them ; and so, He does not
shrink from meeting them. He suffers the
torture of their presence and of their impertinence,
sparing Himself no mental pain
for the sake of us poor creatures. How
painful and annoying it would be to me to
have about me men whom I knew I could
not trust, men whose falseness I had
proved ! And to be questioned by them,
and to have my conduct contrasted with
theirs, while I knew that they had no right
to trouble me! The pain of Jesus was infinitely
greater than any that I can feel,
not only on account of His infinite knowledge
of men's hearts, and of His infinite
hatred of sin and hypocrisy, but also on
account of the intensity of His will to
suffer. O, Jesus! what hast Thou not
gone through for me ? And how very
little in comparison I endure for Thy sweet
sake!


III.

The Scribes and Pharisees accused the
disciples of the breach of a mere ceremonial
observance, while, as Jesus showed
them, they were guilty of a breach of one
of the commandments, setting it at nought
for a tradition of their own. Similar conduct
is characteristic of those who are fond
of finding fault with their neighbours.
Let us examine ourselves upon this point,
and see what our conduct is. Are we
much given to talking about our neighbours,
and to criticising their words and
actions ? If so ; is what we say or think
generally to their advantage, and in their
favour ? Or is it usually against them ? In
this sort of talk, have we not a lurking
wish to contrast their conduct with ours, in
a sense favourable to ourselves, and to impress
our hearers with an idea of our superiority either
in knowledge or in goodness ?
And if we were to pursue this examination
farther, and sincerely search into our own
souls, should we not often, even generally,
find that we have failings ourselves which
are greater than those we blame ? Nay,
that we are worse than our neighbour in
the very vices or defects which we reprobate in him ?
Let us learn a lesson of
charity from observing its opposite in the
conduct of the Scribes and Pharisees as
related in the Gospel.


I compassionate Thee, my Jesus, in enduring
the torment of having sinners and
hypocrites about Thee, and still more in
the pain that I have given Thy loving
heart by all my proud, pretentious, and
uncharitable conversation. I humble myself
before Thee, and pray with all the
fervour of which I am capable, that I may
take Thee for my pattern, that I may be
cautious in my language, and never offend
Thy Sacred Heart by my uncharitableness.
I resolve, with Thy grace, to amend.

Pater, Ave, Gloria.

TBC....
Javier
Javier

Nombre de messages : 2986
Localisation : Ilici Augusta (Hispania)
Date d'inscription : 26/02/2009

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Message  Javier le Jeu 28 Mar 2019, 5:15 pm

THURSDAY IN THE THIRD WEEK OF
LENT.—GOSPEL.—Luke iv. 38—44.

Look upon Jesus Christ as the heavenly
physician who comes to cure your soul of
its infirmities, and imagine that you are
presenting yourself to Him as a sick person
who wishes to be healed.

I.

Jesus Christ, as God, has entire power
over everything ; not only over the tangible
things of His creation, but over the conditions
under which those things exist. In
His hands, and subject to His power, are
distress and prosperity, sickness and
health, and all the other states of being.

In the examples placed before us in the
Gospel of this day, we see Him exercising
His right over all things as one having
power. Picture Him to your mind as being
besought by St. Peter's friends that He
would cure his mother-in-law of the great
fever which oppressed her; and then standing
over her with unspeakable meekness,
and, making no display of His majestic
power, commanding the fever as if it were
a reasoning being, and an obedient subject
of His authority. "He commanded the
fever, and it left her."
Short, and simple,
and to the purpose, are these wonderful
words. There is a mere command, accompanied
by a touch of the hand, as St.
Matthew tells us (viii. 15); and the fever
is gone. So instantaneously is the cure
effected, that " immediately rising, she
ministered to them."
Admire the power
of our Dear Lord, and endeavour to arouse
in your heart a higher appreciation of Him.
Admire also His loving kindness which
listened at once to the request for this
cure ; and the comprehensiveness of His
love, which did not stop here, but went on
to heal " everyone " of those brought to
Him, sick of divers diseases.


II.

Jesus was not only the heavenly physician
of those who had the privilege of
beholding Him on earth ; He is also our
physician, and His especial province is to
cure the diseases of our souls. God knows
under how many diseases they suffer ; and
it becomes our duty, if we would have our
souls cured, to examine into their state,
and find out their maladies. Our passions
are a true fever of the soul.
They torture
and torment us, and allow us no rest. We
desire to love and serve God, we even try
to do so, but our life is a warfare with our
passions, which are always upon us, agitating
our souls, causing distress of mind,
scruples, and what not.
As the fever of
the body is often caused by cold, so the
fever of the soul frequently springs from
slackness and negligence in the service of
God.
Relaxation of duty, and neglect of
prayer, good works, and the sacraments,
give strength to the passions, and make it
more and more difficult for us to overcome
them. We should not willingly do any
thing that we apprehended would give us a
fever ; and ordinarily we omit no precaution
to ward off from us so great a calamity.
And yet we are so careless about
our soul's health ! We do so many things
calculated to give strength and vigour to
our passions, and are so little cautious
about guarding against their influence !
Let us examine ourselves as to our conduct.


III.

Jesus is ever ready to cure us if we will
but apply to Him. He can give us a
remedy to counteract the unwholesome influence
of our passions. He places this
remedy within our reach, and with all the
tenderness of His love invites and urges us
to make use of it. By the voice of His
Church He is ever calling us to it. This
remedy is nothing less than Himself; His
own most precious body and blood in the
adorable Sacrament of the altar. He
Himself is a virgin, and the Son of a
virgin ; and His virginal flesh will subdue
the burning of concupiscence. For His
dear sake, let us hasten to apply this
blessed remedy ; and let us now, at this
moment, resolve to approach the holy table
as often as we can, and our director may
think fit for us.

O, my Jesus ! while I admire Thy goodness
and Thy might, I am confused at the
sight of my own soul which responds so
little to Thy mercy, and makes so little
use of Thy power. By Thy grace this
shall be so no longer. I know how many
passions beset me, and will ruin me eternally,
if I do not take the remedy which
Thou offerest for the subduing of them. I
will make use of this remedy. I will not
neglect my duties of prayer, good works,
and especially of receiving Thee in the
most Blessed Sacrament. Jesus, aid me
by Thy grace. Pater, Ave, Gloria.

TBC....
Javier
Javier

Nombre de messages : 2986
Localisation : Ilici Augusta (Hispania)
Date d'inscription : 26/02/2009

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Message  Javier le Ven 29 Mar 2019, 8:33 am

FRIDAY IN THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT.
GOSPEL.—John iv. 5—41.

Behold Jesus seated at the well ; listen
to His conversation with the Samaritan
woman, and see what you can draw from
His conduct to induce you to love Him
more.

I

How touching are those words about our
Dear Lord that tell us that Jesus was
" wearied with His journey." Imagine
some true-hearted friend of yours, or perhaps
some dear and near relative whose
affectionate heart loves you very dearly,
and think of such a one far from home,,
wandering through the country on foot,
bearing the cold and the heat, hunger and
thirst ; footsore and weary he sits by a
roadside fountain, and begs a drop of
water, for pity's sake, from the first comer.
His journey is undertaken as an errand of
kindness, and goodness, and charity, and
no labour or fatigue is too great for his
love. If you were to think of this your
heart would be moved, and you would
probably shed tears of sympathy and affection.
But how much greater would
your admiration be, when you came to
know that he was undergoing all this painful
journey and suffering for persons whom
he knew would insult and reject him, and
would even put him to death ? But there
is yet another degree of pitying love at
which you would arrive, when you thought
that all this laborious travelling and painful
endurance was for you ; and then, that you
have so often forgotten it all, and have
treated him as some one quite indifferent to
you, as one who did not care for you, and
for whom you had no concern. In a moment
of better thoughts, would not your
heaving heart send up the bitter tears of
remorse to your eyes ? And if you could
see that friend would you not clasp him
to your heart, and pour out protestations
of gratitude and of undying love ? Would
you not wish that you could make some
great sacrifice in order to express the intensity
of your feelings ? Shall it be
otherwise with Jesus ?


II.

Jesus did and suffered all this for you.
You who read this page, and I who write
it, were in His mind and in His heart all
the while, clearly and distinctly ; and He
did all for each one of us, just as much as
if each one existed alone in the world.
Is
it possible that the Son of God should be
wearied and wayworn for my sake? That
for me He should have to beg for a draught
of water? Yes, He is the faithful friend who
never spared Himself for my sake ; who
loves me with an eternal love ; who on that
particular journey, and during that particular
weariness, thought of me, not as mixed
up with the mass of mankind, and forming
but an atom in the multitude, but of me
individually and personally. Oh! my Jesus
I have no friend like Thee. Oh! that I
could be as faithful to Thee as Thou hast
been to me!


" Quaerens me sedisti lassus,
Redemisti crucem passus ;
Tantus labor non sit cassus !

Thou hast sat weary seeking me,
Redeemed me dying on the Tree ;
Let not such labour fruitless be."


III.

Consider the kindness and condescension
of Jesus. He knew that the woman who
came to the well was a Samaritan, and, as
such, that she would not speak to Him, a
Jew. And therefore He, breaking through
the custom and prejudice of His nation,
spoke to her first. He also knew that she
was a sinner, living even then in a sinful
state, and yet, in His desire for her conversion,
He did not disdain to converse
with her. His gentleness won her to God.
She confessed her sin, and believed in Him,
and induced others to go to Him who
afterwards believed also. See the good
effects of gentleness and kindness for poor
sinners. Those who sincerely desire to
convert others to the Truth or to virtue,
will imitate our Dear Lord, and will remember
that every unkind or bitter word
is but putting another obstacle in the way
of their coming to God.


The more I think of Thee, and study
Thee, O Jesus! the more I feel my heart
impelled to love Thee. I really and truly
desire to love Thee with my whole heart
and soul; do Thou give me grace that so
my desire may be crowned. Pater, Ave,
Gloria.


TBC....
Javier
Javier

Nombre de messages : 2986
Localisation : Ilici Augusta (Hispania)
Date d'inscription : 26/02/2009

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