MARY, OUR MOTHER

Friday, February 29, 2008

[MaryVitamin] Stations of the Cross with Mary V

Mary Vitamin for February 29th  

Topic:
Fifth Station of the Cross
Jesus meets Simon the Cyrene

Quote:
 "Judas was almost a dolor by himself. We learn, from the revelations of the saints, how she had striven in prayer for that wretched soul. She had lavished all manner of kindness of him, as if he had been more to her than either Peter or John."
 Father Faber,  At the Foot of the Cross, (Tan Books: 1978), 218.

Meditation:
Is Our Lady reminded of Judas when she sees Simon's compliance? Couldn't Judas have borne the weight?
"This was her first lesson in the loss of souls. If we were more like saints, we should know something of what it meant. The Passion began by losing an apostle's soul, and ended by saving the soul of a poor outcast thief. Such are the ways in which God takes His compensations."
Father Faber,  At the Foot of the Cross, (Tan Books: 1978), 219.

Resolution:
Today, I will pray for the conversion of sinners with the heart of Mary.

Marian Vow:
St. Katharine Drexel
"O Mary, make me endeavor, by all means in my power, to extend the kingdom of the Divine Son and offer incessantly my prayers for the conversion of those who are yet in darkness or estranged from the fold of Your Divine Son."
Praying with Mother Katharine Drexel, 14

I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.





SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #144

And it came to pass, that when the multitudes pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth. (Luke 5:1)

LISTENING TO THE WORD OF GOD: The way that the crowd pressed round Jesus to hear Him is an example to us of the zeal with which we should listen to God's word.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]

(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

MARK MALLETT
-SPIRITUAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT-

On Prayer

Mark Mallett will be in concert Friday, February 29th in Edmonton, Alberta. Mark will also be in Toronto, Ontaria giving three evening parish missions next week which are open to the public. To see his full schedule, click here.


AS
the body needs food for energy, so too does the soul need spiritual food to climb the Mountain of Faith. Food is as important to the body as is breath. But what about the soul?

SPIRITUAL FOOD

From the Catechism:

Prayer is the life of the new heart. —CCC, n.2697

If prayer is the life of the new heart, then the death of the new heart is no prayer—just as lack of food starves the body. This explains why so many of us Catholics are not ascending the Mountain, not growing in holiness and virtue. We come to Mass every Sunday, drop two bucks in the basket, and forget about God the rest of the week. The soul, lacking spiritual nourishment, begins to die.

The Father desires a personal relationship with us, His children. But a personal relationship is much more than just asking God into your heart…

…prayer is the living relationship of the children of God with their Father… CCC, n.2565

Prayer IS the personal relationship with God! No prayer? No relationship.

THE ENCOUNTER WITH LOVE

All too often, we see prayer as a chore, or at most, a necessary ritual. It is far, far more.

Prayer is the encounter of God’s thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him. –CCC, n. 2560

God is thirsting for your love! Even the angels bow before this mystery, the mystery of an infinite God in love with His finite creation. Prayer then is putting into words what our soul thirsts for: love… Love! God is love! We are thirsting for God too, whether we know it or not. Once I discover that He loves me with His very life and won’t take back that love, then I can begin to talk to Him because I don’t have to fear Him. This trust changes the language of prayer (hence it is called the "Mountain of Faith"). It is no longer a matter of repeating dry words or reciting poetic texts… it becomes a movement of the heart, a uniting of hearts, thirst satiating thirst.

Yes, God wants you to pray with the heart. Talk to Him as you would to a friend. This is His invitation:

I have called you friends… you are no longer a slave, but a child. (John 15:15; Gal 4:7)

Prayer, says St. Teresa of Avila,

…is a close sharing between two friends. It means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who loves us.

PRAYER FROM THE HEART

When you pray from the heart, you are opening yourself up to the Holy Spirit who is the Love of God for whom you hunger and thirst. Just as you cannot eat food without first opening your mouth, you must open your heart in order to receive the power and graces of the Holy Spirit necessary to ascend the Mountain of Faith:

Prayer attends to the grace we need…CCC, n.2010

Can you see now the importance to become a soul of prayer? Pray from the heart, and you are praying the right way. Pray often, and you will learn to pray always.

So what are you waiting for? Shut your computer off, go to your inner room, and pray.

He, who is Love, is waiting.

MESSAGES OF OUR LADY OF AMERICA #34 [LAST POST]




Sister Mary Ephrem continues:
 
December 20, 1959
Our Lady came to me again on December 20, 1959. These were her words to me as I understood them:

"O my child, tell your spiritual father that I come again to warn and to plead. Oh, penance, penance! How little my children understand it! They give me many words, but sacrifice themselves they will not. It is not me they love but themselves. Oh, what blindness, sweet child, what blindness! How it pierces my heart!

"See, I weep, but my children show me no compassion. They behold the sword in my heart but will make no move to withdraw it. I give them love; they give me only ingratitude.

"Weep, then, dear child, weep with your Mother over the sins of men. Intercede with me before the throne of mercy, for sin is
overwhelming the world and punishment is not far away."
________________________

(Note: Except on a few occasions, as one when she showed herself as Our Lady of the Divine Indwelling, Our Lady always came in the manner in which she appeared on September 26, 1956, namely, as Our Lady of America.)


Nihil Obstat: Daniel Pilarczyk, S.T.D .
Imprimatur: †Paul F. Leibold, V.G.
Cincinnati, OH – January 25, 1963

[MaryVitamin] Stations of the Cross with Mary IV

Mary Vitamin for February 28th
Topic: Fourth Station – Jesus Meets His Mother

Quote:
"She is going up to Calvary, in brave tranquility, to help to slay the Babe of Bethlehem."
Father Faber,  At the Foot of the Cross, (Tan Books: 1978), 211.

Meditation:
 "The fourth dolor contains within itself the whole science and mystery of cross-bearing. This is the wisdom we learn from the picture while we gaze on Mary in the streets of the cruel Jerusalem. The eye of her soul sees the fair-haired Boy in the temple, whom she sought more than twenty years ago, while her bodily eye is fixed on the pale and bleeding and earth-stained Man, going with sound of trumpet and the chorus of earth's curses to His doom. And shall we, who gave Him that heavy cross to bear, and kept weighting it after we had given it, if our cruelty were not satisfied, refuse to bear the sweet grace giving crosses which He binds on us, so little too as, when we have borne them for a while, we are forced to confess they are? Oh, no! let us do now as Mary did them –look at Him who is on the road before us, and see how the beauty of the Sacred Heart sits with meek majesty and attractive love on the woe-worn disfigured Countenance."
Father Faber,  At the Foot of the Cross, (Tan Books: 1978 , 239.

Resolution:
Is my suffering any greater than Mary's who helped "to slay the Babe of Bethlehem?" I will try to be grateful for the small crosses which come my way.

Marian vow:
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
"You must constantly carry the cross which He lays on you, be it interior or exterior."
The Thoughts and Saying of Saint Margaret Mary, (Tan Books: 1986), 81.

I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MaryVitamin/



__,_._,___


SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #143

And it came to pass, that when the multitudes pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them and were washing their nets. And going into one of the ships that was Simon's, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting, he taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught." And Simon answering said to him: "Master, we have laboured all the night and have taken nothing: but at thy word I will let down the net." And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes: and their net broke. (Luke 5:1-6)

THE OBJECT OF THIS MIRACLE which Jesus worked solely for Peter and the other disciples was twofold: 1. Like all the other miracles it was meant to increase and confirm the faith of the disciples; 2. it was meant to prepare the disciples, and especially St. Peter, for the apostolic office, which was typified by this miracle. Through it Jesus meant to say to His disciples: "Even as just now you put out to sea and cast in your nets, at my bidding, and captured this extraordinary draught, so in the future shall you fish for the souls of men in the sea of this world; and you will have as great a success in that office as you have had just now with your nets, and will bring thousands of souls into the kingdom of God, i. e. the Church." Thus the miraculous draught of fish typifies the apostolic work of the Church of Jesus Christ. The sea is the world; the fish are the men living in the world. The bark is the Church; the helmsman is Peter (and his successors). He steers the bark, and with the help of his companions (the Apostles, and after them the Bishops), casts his net by preaching the doctrine of Christ, and by holy Baptism receives into the Church those who will believe. Our Lord Jesus Christ is in the bark of Peter, i. e. in the holy Catholic Church, teaching men, and bringing them to salvation through her. The danger of sinking which threatened Peter's little ship, signifies that the Church will be beset by many perils and persecutions. The rent in the net, through which so many of the fish escaped, means that many souls will be lost to the Church by schism and heresy. The first "draught of fish" (i. e. of souls) which Peter made on the day of Pentecost, was an extraordinary one, 3000 being baptized. And after his second discourse, when he had cured the lame man, the number of those baptized amounted to 5000. The conversion of the world by ignorant fishermen is one of God's greatest miracles. To this very day the Pope, St. Peter's successor, keeps sending forth his fishermen into all parts of the world, in as much as he alone gives real power and jurisdiction to bishops, priests, and missionaries to teach the truth of Jesus Christ and to sanctify souls by His Sacraments.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

MESSAGES OF OUR LADY OF AMERICA #33





Sister Mary Ephrem continues:
 
July 18, 1959
"Oh, the pride of souls! How they resist my grace! O My priests, My religious, what would I not do for you if you would only let me? I come daily laden with graces which you daily refuse.

"What am I to say of you, my best beloved? How long will you resist My love? It is from you I expect everything, and you give
Me but the husks of your affections.

"How long will I bear with you, O My chosen ones? How long will you spurn My approaches?

"My little white dove, it was this ingratitude on the part of My priests and My religious that caused Me so much sorrow in my
passion.

"Oh, how they resist My grace! How they fight against My love! So fearful are they that I will deprive them of their tawdry trinkets that they turn their backs lest they see the reproach in My eyes."

Nihil Obstat: Daniel Pilarczyk, S.T.D .
Imprimatur: †Paul F. Leibold, V.G.
Cincinnati, OH – January 25, 1963

[To be continued]


[MaryVitamin] Stations of the Cross with Mary III

Mary Vitamin for February 27th  
Topic: The Third Station: The First Fall

Quote:
Fr. Faber
"He is her Babe of Bethlehem. She is helpless. She cannot get near. Omnipotence held her heart fast. In a peace far beyond man's understanding, she followed slowly on to Calvary, Magdalen and John beside themselves with grief, but feeling as if grace went out from her blue mantle enabling them also to live with broken hearts."
 Foot of the Cross, (Tan Books:1978), 208.

Meditation:
John Paul II
"Mary shares our human condition, but in complete openness to the grace of God. Not having known sin, she is able to have compassion on every kind of weakness. She understands sinful man and loves him with a Mother's love. Precisely for this reason she is on the side of truth and shares the Church's burden in recalling always and to everyone the demands of morality. Nor does she permit sinful man to be deceived by those who claim to love him by justifying his sin, for she knows that the sacrifice of Christ her Son would thus be emptied of its power. No absolution offered by beguiling doctrines, even in the areas of philosophy and theology, can make man truly happy: only the Cross and the glory of the Risen Christ can grant peace to his conscience and salvation to his life."
 
Resolution:
In my failings as well as my victories this Lent Our Lady will keep me company and give me the strength of her blue mantle and permit no "beguiling doctrines"  to deceive me.  I will turn to Our Lady for wisdom and strength.
 
Marian Vow:
St. Katharine Drexel
"O holy Mother of God, behold your child! I am not worthy but Jesus gave me to you. I am part of His legacy, teach me to behave that a child of Mary ought to behave."
Praying With Mother Katharine Drexel, 14

I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.




SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #142

And it came to pass, that when the multitudes pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Genesareth, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them and were washing their nets. And going into one of the ships that was Simon's, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting, he taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: "Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught." And Simon answering said to him: "Master, we have laboured all the night and have taken nothing: but at thy word I will let down the net." And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes: and their net broke. (Luke 5:1-6)

THE DIVINITY OF OUR LORD: Jesus, by the miraculous draught of fish which He procured for His disciples, showed that He was Lord over nature. The fish of the sea obeyed His will and gathered together in the place where the disciples cast in their nets.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

MESSAGES OF OUR LADY OF AMERICA #32






Sister Mary Ephrem continues:
 
February 1959
On February 23, 1959, Our Lady came to me and admonished me to work on the "message'' as soon as possible so that it might be placed in the hands of the Bishops who would be responsible for its fulfillment.

In a very serious manner Our Lady warned me that I must not delay any longer to do this, as the time is now.


Nihil Obstat: Daniel Pilarczyk, S.T.D .
Imprimatur: †Paul F. Leibold, V.G.
Cincinnati, OH – January 25, 1963

[To be continued]


[MaryVitamin] Stations of the Cross with Mary II

Mary Vitamin for February 26th
Topic: Second Station - Jesus Accepts the Cross
 
Quote:
Venerable  Mary of Agreda
"The image of [Mary's] divine Son, thus wounded, defiled and bound, remained so firmly fixed and imprinted in the soul of our Queen, that during her life it was never effaced, and remained in her mind as distinctly, as if She were continually beholding Him with her own eyes."
Mystical City of God, Volume III  (Tan Books: 2006), 573.

Meditation:
Pontius Pilate,
"Behold the Man!"
 
Father Faber
"[V]erily there was need that some one should testify that He was man, who, if He had been only Man could never have survived the crushing of the winepress which the threefold pressure –of His Father, of demons, and of men—had inflicted upon Him. Then rose over the crowded piazza that wild yell of blasphemous rejection by His own people, which still rings in our ears, still echoes in history, still dwells even in the savage frightfulness of its reality."
The Foot of the Cross, (Tan Books: 1978), 206.

Resolution:
One time today, when presented with a difficulty or with my Lenten resolution, I will try to be like Our Lady who silently and courageously accepted the Cross of Her Son and united Her heart to it.
 
Marian Vow:
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
"No other grace can be compared with that of carrying the cross out of love for our Lord."
The Thoughts and Saying of Saint Margaret Mary, (Tan Books: 1986), 79.

I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MaryVitamin/


SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #141

And when the sun was down, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them to him. But he, laying his hands on every one of them, healed them. And devils went out from many, crying out and saying: "Thou art the son of God." And rebuking them he suffered them not to speak; for they knew that he was Christ. (Luke 4:40-41)

JESUS THE PHYSICIAN OF OUR SOULS: We too are sick of a fever--the fever of anger, ambition, covetousness, gluttony, and all other passions, which incite us to evil and keep us from what is good. Jesus alone can cure us. He can give us grace to overcome our evil inclinations, if only we will ask Him for it; and He will cool the ardor of our passions by His Presence, if we worthily receive Him in Holy Communion.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Medjugorje Message of February 25, 2008


Message of February  25, 2008

"Dear children!  In this time of grace, I call you anew to prayer and renunciation. May your day be interwoven with little ardent prayers for all those who have not come to know God´s love.  Thank you for having responded to my call."




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[MaryVitamin] Stations of the Cross with Mary I

Mary Vitamin for February 25th
 
Topic: The First Station 
 
Quote:
"What is truth?"
 
Meditation
 Ven Mary of Agreda communicates the words of Our Lady:
"In order to crush the head of Lucifer and overcome pride and arrogance, my Son observed this patient silence in his Passion, permitting Himself to be treated as an ignorant and foolish criminal. As the Teacher of this philosophy and as the Physcian of the sickness of sin, He would not deny the charges nor defend or justify Himself, nor refute those who accused Him, showing us by his own living example, how to oppose and counteract the intentions of the serpent.
 
... But do thou, my daughter, prerserve the doctrine of my divine Son and that which comes from me. Abhor human ostentation, suffer in silence and let the world consider thee ignorant; for it does not know where true wisdom dwells."
The Mystical City of God, Volume III (Tan Books: 2006), 582. 
 
Resolution:
Wisdom and truth are embraced by accepting the Lord and His Cross. Our Lady will help me to do "Whatever He says." I will look for an obedience today.
 
Marian Vow:
John Paul II
"This Wisdom is Jesus Christ himself, the Eternal Word of God, who perfectly reveals and accomplishes the will of the Father (cf.Heb 10:5-10). Mary invites everyone to accept this Wisdom. To us too she addresses the command she gave to the servants at Cana in Galilee during the marriage feast: "Do whatever he tells you" (Jn 2:5).
Veritatis Splendor, August 6, 1993. #119
 
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
 
Thanks be to God for graces received.




SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #140

And in the synagogue there was a man who had an unclean devil: and he cried out with a loud voice, Saying: "Let us alone. What have we to do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the holy one of God." And Jesus rebuked him, saying: "Hold thy peace and go out of him." And when the devil had thrown him into the midst, he went out of him and hurt him not at all. (Luke 4:33-35)

THE CRUELTY OF THE DEVIL: Jesus allowed the devil to throw down the possessed man and rend him, to show us from how cruel an enemy He has delivered us; and to put us on our guard, lest we should allow ourselves to be subjected to his everlasting rage.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

MESSAGES OF OUR LADY OF AMERICA #31




Sister Mary Ephrem continues:

June 1958
In June 1958, several weeks after I had entered the Cloister, I was walking in the enclosure courtyard before going to prayer. I felt overwhelmed with a sense of frustration and heaviness of heart. As I gazed towards the heavens, Our Lady suddenly appeared to me as she had done on September 26, 1956.

She said to me:

"Do not be afraid. I will keep my promise. Everything will be all right. Do not fear."

These words consoled me very much, and I went to prayer with a peaceful heart.


Nihil Obstat: Daniel Pilarczyk, S.T.D .
Imprimatur: †Paul F. Leibold, V.G.
Cincinnati, OH – January 25, 1963

[To be continued]

SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #139

And they were all amazed insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying: "What thing is this? What is this new doctrine? For with power he commandeth even the unclean spirits: and they obey him." (Mark 1:27)

EXORCISMS: Cases of possession still occur: but the Church, by exorcisms, drives away the evil spirit in the name of Jesus.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

MESSAGES OF OUR LADY OF AMERICA #30





Sister Mary Ephrem continues:
 
March 30, 1958
As he had promised, St. Joseph came again on March 30. His requests were similar to those of Our Lady and the First Saturday.
The Sacred Hearts of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph have been chosen by the Most Holy Trinity to bring peace to the world; hence, their request for special love and honor, also, in particular, reparation and imitation.

These are the words of St. Joseph as recorded on March 30:
"I am the protector of the Church and the home, as I was the protector of Christ and His Mother while I lived upon earth. Jesus and Mary desire that my pure heart, so long hidden and unknown, be now honored in a special way. Let my children honor my most pure heart in a special manner on the First Wednesday of the month by reciting the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary in memory of my life with Jesus and Mary and the love I bore them, the sorrow I suffered with them. Let them receive Holy Communion in union with the love with which I received the Savior for the first time and each time I held Him in my arms.

"Those who honor me in this way will be consoled by my presence at their death, and I myself will conduct them safely into the presence of Jesus and Mary.

"I will come again, little child of my most pure heart. Until then, continue in patience and humility, which is so pleasing to God."

As St. Joseph had promised, Jesus and Mary also came on March 30. Jesus had the appearance of a boy about fifteen or sixteen year old. He spoke to me first. It was about the sanctification of the family and other matters. He said it would not be required of me to write it at this time, as He would ask this of me at a later date. Our Lady and St. Joseph also spoke to me concerning the same subject and also about the Divine Indwelling.


Nihil Obstat: Daniel Pilarczyk, S.T.D .
Imprimatur: †Paul F. Leibold, V.G.
Cincinnati, OH – January 25, 1963

[To be continued]


MARK MALLETT -SPIRITUAL FOOD FOR THOUGHT-

The Mountain of Faith

 

 

Mark Mallett is presently giving two parish missions on Vancouver Island, Canada. For more information, see his events calendar here

 

PERHAPS you are overwhelmed by the plethora of spiritual paths you've heard and read about. Is growing in holiness really that complicated?

Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matt18:3)

If Jesus commands us to be like children, then the path to Heaven must be reachable by a child.  It must be attainable in the simplest of ways.

It is.

Jesus said that we are to abide in Him as a branch abides on the vine, for without Him, we can do nothing. How does the branch abide on the vine?

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love… You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:9-10, 14)

 

THE MOUNTAIN OF FAITH 

The Desert Path is really one that begins to wind up a mountain, the Mountain of Faith.

What do you notice about mountain roads as they go higher and higher? There are guardrails. These guardrails are God's commandments. What are they there for but to protect you from falling over the edge as you ascend the mountain! There is also the opposite edge of the path, or perhaps it is a dotted line in the middle. This is the duty of the moment. The soul, then, is guided up the Mountain of Faith between God's commandments and the duty of the moment, both of them constituting His will for you, which is the path to freedom and life in God. 

 

MORTAL PLUNGE

The lie of Satan is that these guardrails are there to restrict your freedom. They are there to keep you from flying like gods over the valley below! Indeed, many people today refuse to obey the commandments of God, refuting them as old-fashioned, out-dated, out-moded. They steer their lives straight toward the guardrails, bursting through the protective barrier. For a moment, they appear to be free, flying high above their conscience! But then, the law of gravity kicks in—that spiritual law which says "you reap what you sow"… the "wages of sin is death"… and suddenly, the gravity of one's mortal sin pulls the soul helplessly toward the abyss of the valley below, and all the destruction the fall brings. 

Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), n. 1861

Thanks be to Christ, there is always a way back onto the Mountain. It is called Confession. Confession is the Great Gateway back into God's grace, back onto the path of holiness which leads to eternal life, even for the most depraved sinner.

 

DAILY BUMPS

Venial sin, however, is like "bumping" one's life into the guardrail. It is not enough to break through and fall from Grace because this is not the soul's desire. However, out of human weakness and rebellion, the soul still flirts with the illusion of "flying," and therefore begins to be worn down each time it rubs against God's commandments. This does not stop the journey toward the Summit, but impedes it. And if one takes his venial sins lightly, he may end up eventually breaking through the barrier…

Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin…

While he is in the flesh, man cannot help but have at least some light sins. But do not despise these sins which we call "light": if you take them for light when you weigh them, tremble when you count them. A number of light objects makes a great mass; a number of drops fills a river; a number of grains makes a heap. What then is our hope? Above all, Confession. —CCC, n1863 (St. Augustine; 1458)

Confession and the Holy Eucharist, then, become like divine Oases on our journey to the Summit which is Union with God. They are places of refuge and refreshment, healing and forgiveness—the Endless Spring of beginning again. When we lean over their merciful waters, looking back at us is not our own sinful reflection, but the face of Christ saying, "I have walked this Mountain, and I will ascend it with you, My little lamb."

 

LET NOTHING TROUBLE YOU

The truth is, most of us are venial sinners. Few of us complete the day without having committed some fault, some transgression. This reality can lead us to discouragement such that we can even give up. Or we believe the lie that since we struggle constantly with a particular sin, it's part of who we are, and therefore excusable or unbeatable… and thus, we begin to backslide. But this is why it is called the "Mountain of Faith"! Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. Do not let Satan define you, accuse you, or put you down, child of God. Pick up the Sword of the Word, raise the shield of Faith, resolve to avoid sin and the near occasion of it, and begin to walk up this road again, one step at a time, trusting completely in the free gift of God's mercy.

For this is the truth which you must hold up in the face of the enemy's lies:

Venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God's grace it is humanly reparable. Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness. —CCC, n1863

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1 Jn 1:9)

Thank you Jesus! Despite my faults and even venial sins, I am still on the Mountain, still in your grace on this simple little path of keeping your commandments. How much more then do I wish to be rid of these "little" sins that I may speedily ascend higher and higher toward the Summit of your generous Sacred Heart, where I will burst into living flames of Love for all eternity! 

 

 

Published in: DAILY JOURNAL, SPIRITUALITY | on February 23rd, 2008 |


All Mark's writings can be found at:  Spiritual Food For Thought

Listen to Mark's music on his official website:  www.markmallett.com




SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #138

And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying: "What have we to do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know who thou art, the Holy One of God." And Jesus threatened him, saying: "Speak no more, and go out of the man." And the unclean spirit, tearing him and crying out with a loud voice, went out of him. (Mark 1:23-26)

THE HATRED AND POWER OF THE DEVIL: The devil hates and envies man, and does all he can to injure him. Before our Lord came, the devil had obtained a great power over men, especially over idolators; and when our Blessed Redeemer came to conquer Satan, the latter made a last and desperate effort to maintain his supremacy. This is why, during our Lord's sojourn on earth, there were so many cases of possession. They were by the eternal counsel of God permitted, in order that the object of our Lord's mission as well as His power and glory might be manifest.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Friday, February 22, 2008

From Mark Mallett: -Spiritual Journey-

The Desert Path

 

THE desert of the soul is that place where consolation has dried up, the flowers of delightful prayer have wilted, and the oasis of God's presence seems but a mirage. At these times, you may feel as though God no longer approves of you, that you are falling away, lost in the vast wilderness of human weakness. When you try to pray, the sands of distraction fill your eyes, and you may feel utterly lost, completely abandoned… helpless. 

The place of God in my soul is blank. There is no God in me. When the pain of longing is so great—I just long & long for God… and then it is that I feel He does not want me—He is not there—God does not want me.  —Mother Teresa, Come By My Light, Brian Kolodiejchuk, M.C.; pg. 2

How does one find peace and joy in this state? I tell you, there is a way, a path through this desert.

 

SURE STEPS

At these times, when the Sun seems obscured by the sand storms, lower your eyes, look down at your feet, for there you will find the next step.

Jesus said:

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.
(John 15:10-11)

How do you know you are abiding with God and God with you? If you keep His commandments. The way through the desert should never be judged by feelings or a sense of anointing. Feelings are phantoms which come and go. What is concrete? God's will for your life—His commandments, the duty of the moment—that which is required of you according to your vocation as a mother, father, child, bishop, priest, nun, or single person.

My food is to do the will of the one who sent me… (John 4:34)

When you feel the rush of the Spirit, thank God for this grace. When you encounter His presence, bless Him. When your senses tingle with His anointing, praise Him. But when you feel nothing but the dryness of the desert, do not think the path has been pulled out from beneath you. It is as sure as ever:

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. (John 13:15; 15:10)

When you are washing the dishes, you are abiding in God, whether you feel a thing or not. This is the "yoke which is easy and burden which is light". Why look for grandiose methods to be spiritually transformed when you have been given the most simple and sure road to holiness? The way of love…

For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3)

 

THE WAY OF LOVE

This way through the desert is summed up in one sentence:

This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. (John15:12)

The greatest temptation we face in the desert is discouragement, which can lead to anger, bitterness, a hardened heart, and even to total despair. In this condition, we might even fulfill God's commandments, but in a way that injures our neighbour through grumbling, complaining, impatience, and anger. No, we must always do these little things, the duty of the moment, with great love. 

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things… (1 Cor 13:4-7)

Without love, says St. Paul, I gain nothing. If you fail in this, you need only ask for the grace to turn your heart back again, with the firm resolve to love under all circumstances.

Begin again

 

THE NARROW ROAD

The word to "abide" or "remain" in Jesus derives from the Greek, "hupomeno" which means to remain under or endure adversities, persecutions, or provocations with faith and patience. Yes, you must persevere on this path, the "narrow and difficult road." It is such because it involves a battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil. It is "easy" because His commandments are not too great; it is "difficult" because of the resistance and temptation you will feel. Thus, you must become moment by moment like a little child, constantly humbling yourself before Him with all your failures and mis-steps. Here is strong faith: to trust in His mercy when you least deserve it.

This Desert Path can only be tread by the humble of heart… but God is near the humble and broken-hearted! (Psalm 34:19) So do not be afraid, even of your failure. Get up! Walk  with me!  I am near, Jesus says. I have walked this road of human frailty Myself, and will walk it again with you, My lamb.

Quiet your mind, ignore your emotions, and look at the present moment, asking, "What is my duty right now?" That is the next step on your journey deeper into God, a journey which, despite your emotions, leads to freedom and joy. Trust in His Word, not your emotions, and you will find peace: 

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:10-11)  

In reality, holiness consists of one thing only: complete loyalty to God's will…. You are seeking for secret ways of belonging to God, but there is only one: making use of whatever he offers you…. The great and firm foundation of the spiritual life is the offering of ourselves to God and being subject to His will in all things…. God truly helps us however much we may feel we have lost His support.  —Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence

Vatican: Celebration of St. Joseph's Day Moved for 2008


St. Joseph

.- The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has transferred the celebration of the Solemnity of St. Joseph to March 15, since the traditional date of observance—March 19—coincides with Wednesday of Holy Week.

The universal norms of the Liturgical year and Calendar stipulate that the celebrations of Holy Week, including Wednesday, have priority over any other celebration, feast day or solemnity.  If the feast of St. Joseph had not been moved this year, it would have been completely omitted, as the week after is the Octave of Easter, which also trumps any other feast day or solemnity.

For this same reason, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, which is normally observed on March 25, has been moved to March 31, the first Monday after the Easter Octave.


SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #137

And Jesus rising up out of the synagogue, went into Simon's house. And Simon's wife's mother was taken with a great fever: and they besought him for her. And standing over her, he commanded the fever: and it left her. And immediately rising, she ministered to them. (Luke 4:38-39)

THE POWER OF INTERCESSION: Our Lord yielded to the intercession of His disciples for Peter's mother-in-law. To pray for the living and the dead is a work of mercy and a duty of brotherly love. "Pray for one another that you may be saved," writes St. James (5:16).

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

MESSAGES OF OUR LADY OF AMERICA #29




Sister Mary Ephrem continues:
 
On the evening of the next day, March 19, 1958, St. Joseph again appeared to me as he had promised and addressed me in these words:

"My child, I desire a day to be set aside to honor my fatherhood.
"The privilege of being chosen by God to be the Virgin-Father of His Son was mine alone, and no honor, excluding that bestowed upon my Holy Spouse, was ever, or will ever, be as sublime or as high as this.
"'The Holy Trinity desires thus to honor me that in my unique fatherhood all fatherhood might be blessed.
"Dear child, I was king in the little home of Nazareth, for I sheltered within it the Prince of Peace and the Queen of Heaven. To me they looked for protection and sustenance, and I did not fail them.
"I received from them the deepest love and reverence, for in me they saw Him Whose place I took over them.
"So the head of the family must be loved, obeyed, and respected, and in return be a true father and protector to those under his care.
"In honoring in a special way my fatherhood, you also honor Jesus and Mary. The Divine Trinity has placed into our keeping the peace of the world.
"The imitation of the Holy Family, my child, of the virtues we practiced in our little home at Nazareth is the way for all souls to that peace which comes from God alone and which none other can give"

Then suddenly, as he ceased speaking, I was favored with a unique and marvelous vision of the glorious St. Joseph.
He seemed suspended, as it were, a short distance above what had the appearance of a large globe with clouds moving about it. His head was slightly raised, the eyes gazing upward as if in ecstasy. The hands were in a position similar to that of the priest during the celebration of Holy Mass, only they extended upward somewhat more. The color of his hair as also of his rather small and slightly forked beard seemed a very dark brown. His eyes resembled in color the hair and beard. He was clothed in a white robe that reached to his ankles. Over this he wore a sort of cloak which did not come together at the throat, but covering the shoulders and draped gracefully over each arm, reached to the hem of the robe.
The cloak at times had, or seemed to have, the appearance of a brown, sometimes a purple, hue, or perhaps a slight blending of the two. The belt about his waist was of a gold color, as were his sandals.
His appearance, though quite youthful, gave at the same time the impression of rare maturity combined with great strength. He seemed a bit taller than medium height. The lines of his face appeared strong and purposeful, softened somewhat by a gentle serenity. I also saw his most pure heart at this time, Moreover, I saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove hovering above his head.
Standing sideways, facing each other, were two angels, one on the right, the other on the left. Each carried what appeared to be a small pillow in a satin covering, the pillow on the right bearing a gold crown, the one on the left, a gold scepter. The angels were all white, ever their faces and hair. It was a beautiful whiteness that reminded me of the stainlessness of heaven.
Then I heard these words:

"Thus should he be honored whom the King desires to honor."

When the vision ended, St. Joseph before taking leave spoke to me in the following manner:

"The Holy Father need have no fear, for I have been appointed his special protector. As God chose me to be the special guardian of His Son, so has He chosen me as the special guardian of him who in Christ's Name is head of the Mystical Body of that same Son on earth.
"My special protection of the Holy Father and the Church should he made known to him. God wishes to make this known to him that he may receive thereby renewed consolation and encouragement.
"During the war, little daughter, it was I who saved him from death at the hands of his enemies. Continually I watch over him and the Church, and I desire this to be acknowledged for the greater glory of God and the good of souls.
"Lovely child, precious to the heart of your spiritual father, I will come again on the last Sunday of this month. Jesus and Mary will come also in a special visit. Receive my blessing."

As I knelt down to receive it I felt his hands on my head and heard the words:

"May Jesus and Mary through my hands bestow upon you eternal peace."


Nihil Obstat: Daniel Pilarczyk, S.T.D .
Imprimatur: †Paul F. Leibold, V.G.
Cincinnati, OH – January 25, 1963

[To be continued]



SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #136

And in the synagogue there was a man who had an unclean devil: and he cried out with a loud voice, Saying: "Let us alone. What have we to do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth? Art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the holy one of God." And Jesus rebuked him, saying: "Hold thy peace and go out of him." And when the devil had thrown him into the midst, he went out of him and hurt him not at all. (Luke 4:33-35)


DEAD FAITH: "The devils also believe and tremble," writes St. James (2:19). These words are confirmed by the story we have just read, which relates that the devil confessed: "Thou art the Holy One of God." There is a faith which does not avail to salvation -- a dead faith, which is not a free act of obedience and love.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]

(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MESSAGES OF OUR LADY OF AMERICA #28




Sister Mary Ephrem continues:
 
ST. JOSEPH
On March 11, 1958, Our Lady said to me: "St. Joseph will come on the eve of his feast. Prepare yourself well. There will be a special message. My holy spouse has an important part to play in bringing peace to the world."

St. Joseph came as was promised, and these are the words he spoke at this time:
"Kneel down, my daughter, for what you will hear and what you will write will bring countless souls to a new way of life.

"Through you, small one, the Trinity desires to make known to souls Its desire to be adored, honored, and loved within the kingdom, the interior kingdom of their hearts.

"I bring to souls the purity of my life and the obedience that crowned it.

"All fatherhood is blest in me whom the Eternal Father chose as His representative on earth, the Virgin-Father of His own Divine Son. Through me the Heavenly Father has blessed all fatherhood, and through me He continues and will continue to do so till the end of time.

"My spiritual fatherhood extends to all God's children, and together with my Virgin Spouse I watch over them with great love and solicitude.

"Fathers must come to me, small one, to learn obedience to authority: to the Church always, as the mouthpiece of God, to the laws of the country in which they live, insofar as these do not go against God and their neighbor.

"Mine was perfect obedience to the Divine Will, as it was shown and made known to me by the Jewish law and religion. To be careless in this is most displeasing to God and will be severely punished in the next world.

"Let fathers also imitate my great purity of life and the deep respect I held for my Immaculate Spouse. Let them be an example to their children and fellowmen, never willfully doing anything that would cause scandal among God's people.

"Fatherhood is from God, and it must take once again its rightful place among men."

As St. Joseph ceased speaking I saw his most pure heart. It seemed to be lying on a cross which was of brown color. It appeared to me that at the top of the heart, in the midst of the flames pouring out, was a pure white lily. Then I heard these words:
"Behold this pure heart so pleasing to Him Who made it."

St. Joseph then continued:
"The cross, my little one, upon which my heart rests is the cross of the passion, which was ever present before me, causing me intense suffering.

"I desire souls to come to my heart that they may learn true union with the Divine Will.

"It is enough, my child; I will come again tomorrow. Then I will make known to you how God wishes me to be honored in union with Jesus and Mary to obtain peace among men and nations. Good night, my little one."

Nihil Obstat: Daniel Pilarczyk, S.T.D .
Imprimatur: †Paul F. Leibold, V.G.
Cincinnati, OH – January 25, 1963

[To be continued]




Dear Followers of Our Lady,

We are living in dire times. The culture is as restless as the surface of a stormy sea. All the while, evil is brewing in the culture to impose its will upon the children of God. The movement of God, deep below the stormy sea, is getting stronger, mightier, and fiercer in its ability to resist the culture. When it surfaces, there will be a mighty clash within the culture, causing devastation and destruction to all ways that are pagan.

Our Lady has planted these seeds deep within the ocean of culture and once She lets it manifest into an earthquake, the shockwave will, as a mighty tsunami, sweep across all the lands and change the earth. As a tidal wave, with the power of great might, clears the land, these people with the seeds of the message cultivated in the heart as Our Lady's children, are destined to be on the tidal forefront of societal change. This might, based in love, will be instilled into Our Lady's children who accept Her call to the might of apostleship. Our Lady says:

June 27, 1988

"…I give you love; give this love to others… Help the others to change their lives. I give you might, dear children; with this might, you can bear everything. May this might make you strong in everything. You need it; that is why I give you might."


Be real with yourself and do not only read the following questions, but give an answer to the questions.

Do you understand who you are?

Do you understand what you are called to do?

Do you understand what the enemy wants to do?

Are you resisting being taken over by the cultures of evil?

"It" is moving, both good and evil. A great clash is brewing. The Christians 2000 years ago in the Coliseum and courts won.

Will you?

In the Love of Our Lady, A Friend of Medjugorje

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From Mark Mallett:

Video for Pope John Paul II

 
S O N G    F O R    K A R O L 

 
WHEN I met Pope Benedict in October of 2006,  I presented him a copy of Song For Karol which I had written the night Pope John Paul II died.

I recently finished a video tribute to the late Holy Father. Pope John Paul's words and life have laid the foundation for the times which we live in. They have often inspired my writings and preaching. I often sense his presence very near me in my ministry…

The final words of this song are more urgent now than ever. Here is my tribute to Papa…

 

CLICK ON THE COVER TO SEE THE VIDEO


[MaryVitamin] Bl. Jacinta and Francisco Marto

Mary Vitamin for February 20th
Topic: Bl. Jacinta & Francisco Marto
Fatima Visionaries
Feast February 20
 
Quote:
Our Lady on July 13, 1917
"Make sacrifices for sinners and say often, especially when you make some sacrifice, 'O my Jesus, this is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.' "
Father De Marchi, I.M.C.,  Fatima from the Beginning, (Edições: Missões Consolata: 1986), 78.
 
Meditation:
Blessed Jacinta took these words of Our Lady to her heart. Nothing was exempted from the little girl's asceticism as illustrated in these words:
 
"I was thirsty and I didn't drink and I offered it to Jesus for sinners. In the night I had pains and I offered Our Lord the sacrifice of not turning over in bed and so I didn't sleep at all." (190)  
 
Bl. Jacinta said this from her hospital bed suffering acutely  from tuberculosis and other complications. This brave girl  was nearing her tenth birthday at the time of her death.
Following Our Lady's words heroically seemed to result in Bl. Jacinta's ardent love for the Blessed Sacrament.  
"Lucia, have you been to holy Communion to-day? Then come close to me because you have hidden Jesus in your heart.  I don't know how it is, but I feel Our Lord inside me and I understand what He says though I can't see Him or hear Him, but I love to be with Him."(191)
"It's hidden Jesus, how I love Him. If only I could receive Him in the church. Can you go to Holy Communion in Heaven? If so, I shall go every day. If the angel could go to the hospital and take me Holy Communion how happy I should be…" (191)
 
Resolution:
Today, I will be mindful of Bl. Jacinta's example of following Our Lady's words. I will look for one sacrifice to make and say "For the Love of God, the conversion of sinners and sins against the Immaculate Heart of Mary." And then, I will make a Spiritual Communion.
 
Marian Vow:
"The FTI, therefore, must 'give a first class example – writes St. Maximilian – of how to love the Immaculate, to sacrifice ourselves without limit to Her"
Marian Seraphic Pathways #34
 
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
 
Thanks be to God for graces received.



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