Wednesday, May 31, 2006



Dear Mother of Conciliation –
Grant that every heart and soul that looks to you and The Holy Trinity May be touched with God’s everlasting grace and mercy. Amen. And, Oh God of ALL creation – God of light and God of truth Through the intercession of Our Lady of Conciliation May You gather all races and cultures from every land and every nation that we may be one in peace as Your Son, JESUS, prayed before He died. Amen. Finally, dearest Mother, in your returning tearful gaze, look especially on your Son’s chosen ones, THE HOLY PRIESTHOOD, and obtain for them the grace to grow in sanctity and love in bringing us The Eucharist as they stand at the foot of the Cross with Thee. Amen.

Nihil Obstat: Reverend Thomas W. Buckley, S.T.D., S.S.L.
Imprimatur: Sean Patrick O’Malley, OFM, Cap. Archbishop of Boston Date: October 25, 2005


OUR LADY OF CONCILIATION first came to light in early spring 2003 amidst the torments of the sex scandal in the Catholic Church and indeed all society!
You will notice The Holy Trinity; The Father (Hand in Blessing), The Holy Spirit (Dove in flight to Enlighten) and Jesus, The Eucharist (Holding Our Lady’s Heart – pierced!). But She is also pregnant carrying Our Saviour to us and embracing all mankind to present all - to God of All Creation! The Seraphic Angels (top left) represent Heaven. The three crosses (top right) represent the hill of Calvary - the large cross Our Risen Lord, the left – the good thief and the right one reserved for you if you so choose. OFFER UP YOUR CROSSES! Our Blessed Mother stands on the world stepping on the evil one who is ready to devour all – but the Great Pope John Paul II stands strongly representing the Holy Priesthood and the entire Church faithful ones. Brother Anthony (Little Brothers of St. Francis) stands on the left representing all male religious and a black nun on the right – all female religious. Lay people are represented in the black, caucasian, yellow and brown race from around the world. Representing other faiths, including Moslems, are shown under a starry night. Study this ICON. What is The Holy Trinity or Our Lady revealing to you in your sorrows? GIVE THEM TO OUR MOTHER! Our Lady, Queen of the World, and all mankind, is looking directly at the viewers eyes. You must look closely to notice one tiny tear falling lovingly from her left eye. She is conciliating for us – pleading or mediating for us - her hands held in a manner ready to present us or set us free on our own. A conciliator comes unselfishly in peace, harmony and love bringing wounded or otherwise forces together. The Crucifix at the top is the great Amen!


I (your name) pledge to pray or do whatever JESUS or Our Lady asks of me to bring peace, harmony and love that we may be one as JESUS prayed before He died.




St Francis, wishing to mortify Brother Masseo, that pride should not enter his soul, because of the many graces and gifts he had received from God, and also that, through the grace of humility, he should advance from virtue to virtue, once when he was residing in a solitary convent with his first companions, who were all examples of holiness, of which number Brother Masseo was one, he said unto the latter, before all the brethren: “O Brother Messeo, all these thy companions have the grace of contemplation and of prayer; but thou hast the grace of preaching the word of God and of pleasing the people. I will therefore, in order that they may give themselves to contemplation, that thou fill the office of porter, of almoner and of cook, and that, when the other monks shall be at their meals, thou alone shalt eat outside the convent-gate, so as to be ready to say a few godly words to such as come to the convent, before they knock at the gate, and so that none other shall be obliged to go out but thee; this thou shalt accomplish, through the virtue of holy obedience.” Then Brother Masseo put down his hood, bowed his head, and meekly received and executed this order; filling for some days the offices of porter, of almoner and of cook. At this his companions, who were all men enlightened by the Spirit of God, seeing him thus employed, began to feel in their hearts great remorse, considering how Brother Masseo had reached a greater state of perfection than any of them, and how all the work of the convent fell to his share, and none to theirs. Then went they all to St Francis, begging him to divide among them those charges, since they could not in conscience allow Brother Masseo to bear all the burden of the convent. At this St Francis, heeding their request, granted what they asked, and calling Brother Masseo, said unto him: “Brother Masseo, thy brethren wish to share the charges I have given thee, wherefore I will that the charges be divided among you all.” Said Brother Masseo, with great humility and patience: “Father, whatever charge thou puttest upon me, be it small or be it great, I accept it as ordained by the Lord.” Then St Francis, seeing the charity of the brethren and the humility of Brother Masseo, made them a most wonderful sermon on holy humility, teaching them that, the greater the gifts and graces we receive from God, so much greater must be our humility; for without humility no virtue can be acceptable to him. Then, having finished his sermon, he distributed the charges among them with great charity.

[Public Domain.]

Tuesday, May 30, 2006




One day, as St Francis was travelling with Brother Masseo, who was walking in front, they arrived at a spot where three roads met, one leading to Florence, one to Siena, and one to Arezzo, and Brother Masseo asked of St Francis which road they should take. “The one which God wills,” answered St Francis. Said brother Masseo: “And how are we to know the will of God?” “By the sign I shall show thee,” answered St Francis; “I order thee, by the merit of holy obedience, on the spot where now thou art, to turn round and round, as children do in play, and not to stop or rest until I bid thee.” On this Brother Masseo began to turn round and round, until his head became dizzy, as is wont to happen from such turning, and he fell down several times. But, as St Francis did not bid him to stop, he went on, out of obedience, till at last St Francis said: “Stand still, and move not; but tell me towards which of the three roads thou art turned?” “Towards that which leadeth to Siena,” answered Brother Masseo. “That is the road,” said St Francis, “which it pleaseth God we should take.” As he went on his way, Brother Masseo wondered to himself why St Francis had made him turn round like a child, in the presence of all those who passed that way, but out of reverence to the saint he did not dare ask him. As they reached Siena, the people of that city, having heard that the saint was approaching, went, out of devotion, to meet him, and taking him and Brother Masseo on their shoulders, carried them to the Bishop’s palace, so that their feet touched not the ground. In that same hour some of the inhabitants of Siena were fighting among themselves, and two of them had been killed. Then St Francis, hurrying to the spot, spoke to them so devoutly and in such holy words, that he constrained them all to make peace and give over quarrelling. The Bishop, having heard tell of the holy action of St Francis, invited him to his house, and received him with great honour, retaining him with him all that day and the following night. The next morning, St Francis, who in all his acts sought only the glory of God, rose very early with his companion, and went his way, without even taking leave of the Bishop; at which Brother Masseo murmured within himself, saying, as he went, “What is this that this good man has done? He has made me turn round and round like a child, and he leaves the Bishop, who has received him with such honour, without saying a word, or even thanking him”; for it seemed to Brother Masseo that St Francis had acted indiscreetly; but, inwardly checked by a divine inspiration, he thus reproached himself for indulging in such thoughts: “Thou art too proud who darest to judge the operation of divine grace; thine indiscreet pride makes thee worthy of hell; for Brother Francis yesterday performed such holy actions, that they could not be more wonderful had they been accomplished by an angel of God: so that even were he to order thee to throw stones, thou shouldst do so out of obedience; for that which he has done at Siena is the work of God, as the result proveth, for had he not pacified the men who were fighting together, not only would many have fallen victims, but the devil would have drawn many souls to hell. It is thy folly and thy pride which make thee to murmur at that which preceeds so manifestly from the will of God.” Now all these things which Brother Masseo said in his heart were revealed to St Francis, who, coming up to him, said: “Hold fast the things which thou art thinking of at this moment, for they are good and useful, and inspired by God; but thy murmurings, which preceded them, were blind and vain and full of pride, being sent into thy soul by the devil.” Then Brother Masseo clearly saw that St Francis knew the secrets of his heart, and understood of a certainty how the spirit of divine wisdom directed all the actions of his holy father.

[Public Domain.]

Monday, May 29, 2006




St Francis once was living at the Convent of the Portiuncula, with Brother Masseo of Marignano, a man of great sanctity and great discernment, who held frequent converse with God; for which reason St Francis loved him much. One day, as St Francis was returning from the forest, where he had been in prayer, the said Brother Masseo, wishing to test the humility of the saint, went forth to meet him exclaiming: “Why after thee? Why after thee?” To which St Francis made answer: “What is this? What meanest thou?” Brother Masseo answered: “I mean, why is it that all the world goeth after thee; why do all men wish to see thee, to hear thee, and to obey thy word? For thou art neither comely nor learned, nor art thou of noble birth. How is it, then, that all the world goeth after thee?” St Francis, hearing these words, rejoiced greatly in spirit, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, remained for a long space with his mind rapt in God; then, coming to himself, he knelt down, returning thanks to God with great fervour of spirit, and addressing Brother Messeo, said to him: “Wouldst thou know why all men come after me? Know that it is because the Lord, who is in heaven, who sees the evil and the good in all places - because, I say, his holy eyes have found among men no one more wicked, more imperfect, or a greater sinner than I am; and to accomplish the wonderful work which he intends to do, he has found no creature more vile than I am on earth; for which reason he has chosen me, to confound all strength, beauty, greatness, noble birth, and all the science of the world, that men may learn that every virtue and every good gift cometh from him, and not from any creature, that none may glory before him; but if any one glory, let him glory in the Lord, to whom belongeth all glory in eternity.” Then Brother Masseo, at such a humble answer, given with so much fervour, was greatly impressed, and learned of a certainty that St Francis was well grounded in humility.

[Public Domain.]

Sunday, May 28, 2006




Once, as the beginning of the Order, St Francis was with Brother Leo in a convent where they had no books wherewith to say divine office. So, when the hour of Matins arrived, St Francis said to Brother Leo: “My beloved brother, we have no Breviary wherewith to say Matins, but in order to employ the time in praising God, I will speak, and thou shalt answer me as I shall teach thee; and beware thou change not the words I shall bid thee say. Thus will I begin: ‘O Brother Francis, thou hast done so much evil, and hast committed so many sins in the world, that thou art only worthy of hell’; and thou, Brother Leo, shalt answer: ‘It is very true thou art worthy of the nethermost hell.’” And Brother Leo said, with the simplicity of a dove, “Right willingly, Father; begin, then, in the name of God.” St Francis therefore began thus: O Brother Francis, thou hast done so much evil, and hast committed so many sins in the world, that thou art worthy of hell.” And Brother Leo made answer: “God will work so much good through thee, that thou wilt certainly go to heaven”. Do not speak thus, “Brother Leo,” said St Francis; “but when I say, ‘Brother Francis, thou hast committed so many iniquities against God, that thou art worthy to be cursed by him,’ thou shalt make answer: ‘Yes, indeed, thou art worthy to be numbered among the cursed.’” And Brother Leo answered: “Most willingly, O my Father.” Then St Francis, with many tears and sighs, striking his breast, cried with a loud voice: “O Lord of heaven and earth, I have committed against thee so many sins and so great iniquities, that I deserve to be cursed by thee.” And Brother Leo answered: “O Brother Francis, among all the blessed the Lord will cause thee to be singularly blessed.” And St Francis, much surprised that Brother Leo answered quite the contrary to what he had ordered him, reproved him for it, saying: “Why answereth thou not as I taught thee? I command thee, under holy obedience, so to do. When I say, ‘O wicked Brother Francis, dost thou think God will have mercy on thee, when thou hast so sinned against the Father of mercies that thou art not worthy of finding mercy,’ then thou, Brother Leo, my little lamb, shalt answer: ‘Thou art not worthy of finding mercy.’” But when St Francis began to repeat, “O wicked Brother Francis,” and so on, Brother Leo answered: “God the Father, whose mercy in infinitely greater than thy sin, will show great mercy upon thee, and will grant thee likewise many graces.” At this answer St Francis, being meekly angry, and patiently impatient, said to Brother Leo: “How canst thou presume to act against obedience? Why hast thou so often answered the contrary to what I ordered thee?” With great humility and respect Brother Leo answered: “God knows, my Father, that I had resolved in my heart each time to answer as thou didst command me, but the Lord made me to speak as it pleased him, and not as it pleased me.” Then St Francis, being greatly astonished, said to Brother Leo: “I entreat thee, beloved, this time to answer as I command thee.” And Brother Leo said: “Speak, in the name of God; for this time most certainly I will answer thee as thou desirest.” And St Francis, weeping, said: “O wicked Brother Francis, dost thou think that God will have mercy on thee?” And Brother Leo answered: “Not only will he have mercy on thee, but thou shalt receive from him especial graces: he will exalt thee and glorify thee to all eternity, for he that humbleth himself shall be exalted; and I cannot speak otherwise, because it is God that speaketh by my lips.” After this in humble contest, they watched till morning in many tears and much spiritual consolation.

[Public Domain.]

Saturday, May 27, 2006




One day in winter, as St Francis was going with Brother Leo from Perugia to St Mary of the Angels, and was suffering greatly from the cold, he called to Brother Leo, who was walking on before him, and said to him: “Brother Leo, if it were to please God that the Friars Minor should give, in all lands, a great example of holiness and edification, write down, and note carefully, that this would not be perfect joy.” A little further on, St Francis called to him a second time: “O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor were to make the lame to walk, if they should make straight the crooked, chase away demons, give sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, and, what is even a far greater work, if they should raise the dead after four days, write that this would not be perfect joy.” Shortly after, he cried out again: “O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor knew all languages; if they were versed in all science; if they could explain all Scripture; if they had the gift of prophecy, and could reveal, not only all future things, but likewise the secrets of all consciences and all souls, write that this would not be perfect joy.” After proceeding a few steps farther, he cried out again with a loud voice: “O Brother Leo, thou little lamb of God! if the Friars Minor could speak with the tongues of angels; if they could explain the course of the stars; if they knew the virtues of all plants; if all the treasures of the earth were revealed to them; if they were acquainted with the various qualities of all birds, of all fish, of all animals, of men, of trees, of stones, of roots, and of waters - write that this would not be perfect joy.” Shortly after, he cried out again: “O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor had the gift of preaching so as to convert all infidels to the faith of Christ, write that this would not be perfect joy.” Now when this manner of discourse had lasted for the space of two miles, Brother Leo wondered much within himself; and, questioning the saint, he said: “Father, I pray thee teach me wherein is perfect joy.” St Francis answered: “If, when we shall arrive at St Mary of the Angels, all drenched with rain and trembling with cold, all covered with mud and exhausted from hunger; if, when we knock at the convent-gate, the porter should come angrily and ask us who we are; if, after we have told him, ‘We are two of the brethren’, he should answer angrily, ‘What ye say is not the truth; ye are but two impostors going about to deceive the world, and take away the alms of the poor; begone I say’; if then he refuse to open to us, and leave us outside, exposed to the snow and rain, suffering from cold and hunger till nightfall - then, if we accept such injustice, such cruelty and such contempt with patience, without being ruffled and without murmuring, believing with humility and charity that the porter really knows us, and that it is God who maketh him to speak thus against us, write down, O Brother Leo, that this is perfect joy. And if we knock again, and the porter come out in anger to drive us away with oaths and blows, as if we were vile impostors, saying, ‘Begone, miserable robbers! to to the hospital, for here you shall neither eat nor sleep!’ - and if we accept all this with patience, with joy, and with charity, O Brother Leo, write that this indeed is perfect joy. And if, urged by cold and hunger, we knock again, calling to the porter and entreating him with many tears to open to us and give us shelter, for the love of God, and if he come out more angry than before, exclaiming, ‘These are but importunate rascals, I will deal with them as they deserve’; and taking a knotted stick, he seize us by the hood, throwing us on the ground, rolling us in the snow, and shall beat and wound us with the knots in the stick - if we bear all these injuries with patience and joy, thinking of the sufferings of our Blessed Lord, which we would share out of love for him, write, O Brother Leo, that here, finally, is perfect joy. And now, brother, listen to the conclusion. Above all the graces and all the gifts of the Holy Spirit which Christ grants to his friends, is the grace of overcoming oneself, and accepting willingly, out of love for Christ, all suffering, injury, discomfort and contempt; for in all other gifts of God we cannot glory, seeing they proceed not from ourselves but from God, according to the words of the Apostle, ‘What hast thou that thou hast not received from God? and if thou hast received it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?’ But in the cross of tribulation and affliction we may glory, because, as the Apostle says again, ‘I will not glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Amen.”

[Public Domain.]

Friday, May 26, 2006




The true servant of Christ, St Francis, was in certain things like unto a second Christ given to the world for the salvation of souls. Wherefore God the Father willed that in many points he should be conformed to his Son, Jesus Christ, as we have already explained in the calling of his twelve companions, as also in the mystery of the holy stigmata, and in a fast of forty days which he made in the manner following:

St Francis, one day of the Carnival, was near the Lake of Perugia, in the house of one of his devout children, with whom he had spent the night, when he was inspired by God to go and pass the time of Lent in an island on the lake. Wherefore St Francis begged his friend, for the love of God, to convey him in his boat to an island uninhabited by man: the which he should do during the night of Ash-Wednesday, so that none might know where he was; and the friend, because of the great devotion he bore to St Francis, agreed to his request, and conveyed him to the said island, St Francis taking with him naught but two small loaves. When they had reached the island, his friend left him and returned home; the saint earnestly entreating him to reveal to no one where he was, and not to come and fetch him before Holy Thursday; to which he consented. St Francis being left alone, and there being no dwelling in the island in which he could take shelter, entered into a thick part of the wood all overgrown with brambles and other creeping plants, and forming as it were a kind of hut, there he began to pray and enter into the contemplation of divine things. And there he passed the whole of Lent without drinking or eating save half of one of the small loaves he had taken with him, as we learned from his friend who, going to fetch him on Holy Thursday, found one of the loaves untouched and the other only half consumed. It is believed that St Francis ate this half out of reverence for our Blessed Lord, who fasted forty days and forty nights without taking any material food; for by eating this bit of bread he put aside the temptation to vainglory, and yet fasted forty days and forty nights in imitation of the Saviour. In later times God worked many miracles, through the merits of the saint, on the spot where St Francis had fasted so wonderfully, on which account people began to build houses and dwell there, and little by little a town rose up, with a convent called the Convent of the Isle; and to this day the inhabitants of that town hold in great respect and great devotion the spot in which St Francis passed the time of Lent.

[Public Domain.]

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Holiday Dove
Message of May 25, 2006

“Dear children! Also today I call you to put into practice and to live my messages that I am giving you. Decide for holiness, little children, and think of heaven. Only in this way, will you have peace in your heart that no one will be able to destroy. Peace is a gift, which God gives you in prayer. Little children, seek and work with all your strength for peace to win in your hearts and in the world. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Children Of Medjugorje, Inc.


People sometimes ask me what they can do to counter the negative effects of our decadent society. My answer always comes down to two things: be truly Catholic and be Marian. This is the formula for transforming our world, and when these commitments are fully in place, everything else follows. There are many ways to be a good foot soldier of Mary and the Church, but let me give you one excellent example.

On the morning of May 13th of 1981 the world waited with baited breath to see if Pope John Paul II would survive the assassination attempt on his life by a crazed Turkish gunman operating under orders from Communists. It was the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, and in gratitude for saving his life, the Holy Father went to Fatima the following year on her feast day to re-consecrate himself and his papacy to her Immaculate Heart. Something in John Paul's experience of being targeted by a murderer, surviving miraculously and re-consecrating his life to Mary is paradigmatic for all of us: it symbolizes the triumph of Mary's Immaculate Heart over the culture of death. John Paul will be known in history for his brilliant defense of the sanctity of human life and for his immense love of Mary. In fact, he showed us that consecration to Mary and dedication to life are synonymous realities.

This was borne out by what happened just hours before the assassination attempt. On the morning of the day that he was felled by Ali Agca's bullet, Pope John Paul signed two documents formalizing the Virgin Mary's counter-attack on the culture of death. That morning he established both the Pontifical Council for the Family and the John Paul II Institutes for Marriage and the Family worldwide. It is hard to imagine two works of the Church that have done more to strengthen the divine institutions of marriage and the family than these. The Council has been a bastion of pastoral defense of the family like no other for the past twenty-five years, and the JP2 Institutes have literally transformed the Church's theology of marriage by propagating and deepening John Paul's "theology of the body" throughout the entire world. Many Catholics may not be aware of the work of these institutions, but certainly the Church as a whole has benefited immensely by their apostolates.

Consecration to Mary and defense of these sacred realities are intimately connected in the Church's fight against modern errors. I can think of no other period in history where Mary's messages have been so urgent in defense of life, marriage and family. Her Immaculate Heart cannot be neutral to the devil's shock and awe campaign against God's plan for us which, as John Paul said so often, passes through the family in a very tangible way. Mary has chosen to meet us there at the crossroads of the modern conflict with the prince of evil. Her battle plan is to involve us in a heroic effort to protect life, marriage and the family at a time when it is most under attack.

In practical terms, everyone who rejects the cultural poisons of contraception, abortion, sex education, euthanasia, and the myriad attacks on everything sacred is engaging in Mary's battle. Some do battle by coming out of the murky cultural darkness and producing the fruits of conversion for all to see. Others engage the enemy by deliberately teaching the abundance of Catholic truth on these subjects to the young. Many more will infuriate the devil simply by living their marriages and family lives according to Catholic teachings. There are many ways to be Mary's foot soldiers.

We all want to make this world better, indeed to transform it into the Kingdom of God. The way to do it is to be a faithful Marian Catholic. That is the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart—one heart at a time.

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Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer,
President, Human Life International

Copyright 2006 - Human Life International
Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.

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The holiness of Brother Bernard shone forth so brightly, that St Francis held him in great reverence, and often was heard to praise him. One day, as St Francis was in prayer, it was revealed to him by God that Brother Bernard, by divine permission, would sustain many painful combats with the devil. Now St Francis felt great compassion for Brother Bernard, whom he loved as a son; wherefore he wept for prayed for many days, imploring the Lord Jesus Christ to give him the victory over the evil one. As he was praying thus devoutly, the Lord answered his prayer, and said to him: “Fear not, Francis, for all the temptations which will assail Brother Bernard are permitted by God, to increase his virtue and win for him a crown of merit; for at length he will gain the victory over all his enemies, because he is one of the ministers of the kingdom of heaven.” This answer to prayer filled St Francis with joy; he thanked God; and from that moment, Brother Bernard became even dearer to St Francis than before, and many proofs of affection did he give him, not only during his life but more especially at the hour of his death. For when St Francis was about to leave this world, being surrounded like the holy prophet Jacob by his devoted sons, all grieving at the departure of so beloved a Father, he thus addressed them: “Where is my first-born son? let him come to me, that my soul may bless him before I die.” Then Brother Bernard said in a whisper to Brother Elias, who at that time was vicar of the Order: “Go to the right hand of the saint, that he may bless thee.” On this Brother Elias placed himself on the right side of St Francis - who had lost his sight through much weeping - and the saint, putting his right hand on the head of Brother Elias, said: “This is not the head of my first-born, Brother Bernard.” Then Brother Bernard placed himself on the left side of St Francis, who, crossing his arms in the form of a cross, put his right hand on the head of Brother Bernard and his left on that of Brother Elias. Then said he to Brother Bernard: “May God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, bless thee with every blessing, spiritual and celestial; for thou art my first-born son in God, chosen in this Order to set an example of every virtue, and to follow Christ in evangelical poverty; for not only didst thou give all thy possessions and distribute them freely and liberally to the poor, but thou didst likewise offer thyself to God in this Order as a sacrifice of love; blessed be thou, then, by our Saviour Jesus Christ and by me, his poor servant, with eternal blessings, when thou goest out and when thou comest in, when thou wakest and when thou sleepest, both living and dying; he that blesseth thee shall be blessed, he that curseth thee shall not remain unpunished. Thou shalt be at the head of all thy brethren, and all thy commands the brethren shall obey. I give thee power to receive into this Order whomsoever thou willest; no brother shall rule over thee. Thou art free to go where thou wilt, and to remain where it pleaseth thee best.” So, after the death of St Francis, the brethren loved and revered Brother Bernard as their father, and when it was his turn to die, many brethren came from all parts of the world to take leave of him; amongst them the angelic Brother Giles, who when he saw Brother Bernard exclaimed, with great joy, “Sursum corda! Brother Bernard, Sursum corda!” and Brother Bernard ordered secretly one of the brothers to prepare for Brother Giles a place meet for contemplation, which was done even as he ordered. Now when the last hour of Brother Bernard arrived, he begged to be raised in his bed, and thus addressed the brethren who surrounded him: “Beloved brethren, I have not many words to say to you; but I wish you to consider that, as the religious order which has been my choice has been yours also, the hour which is now come for me will also come for you; and this I find in my soul to tell you, that for a thousand worlds I would not have served another Lord than our Saviour Jesus Christ. Now I accuse myself before my Saviour and before you all of every offence I have committed; and I pray you, my dear brethren, to love one another.” And having said these words, and given other good advice, he lay down on his bed, his face radiant with joy and shining with celestial brightness, of which all the brethren were witnesses; and in that ecstasy of joy his holy soul, crowned with glory, passed from this present life to the blessed life of the angels.

[Public Domain.]

Wednesday, May 24, 2006




St Francis and his companions, being called by God to carry the cross of Christ in their hearts, to practise it in their lives, and to preach it by their words, were truly crucified men both in their actions and in their works. They sought after shame and contempt, out of love for Christ, rather than the honours of the world, the respect and praise of men. They rejoiced to be despised, and were grieved when honoured. Thus they went about the world as pilgrims and strangers, carrying nothing with them but Christ crucified; and because they were of the true Vine, which is Christ, they produced great and good fruits in many souls which they gained to God. It happened that, in the beginning of the Order, St Francis sent Brother Bernard to Bologna, there to accomplish many good works, according to the grace which God had given him. So Brother Bernard, making the holy sign of the cross, in the name of holy obedience, set out for Bologna; but when he arrived in that city, the little children in the streets, seeing him dressed so strangely and so poorly, laughed and scoffed at him, taking him for a madman. All these trials Brother Bernard accepted for the love of Christ, with great patience and with great joy, and seeking to be despised yet more, he went to the market-place, where, having seated himself, a great number of children and men gathered round him, and taking hold of his hood pushed him here and there, some throwing stones at him and others dust. To all this Brother Bernard submitted in silence, his countenance bearing an expression of holy joy, and for several days he returned to the same spot to receive the same insults. Now, patience being a work of perfection and a proof of virtue, a learned doctor of the law, seeing such virtue and constancy in Brother Bernard, who had endured for so many days such contempt and such injuries without losing his temper, said within himself: “Without doubt this man must be a great saint”; and going up to him, he asked him who he was, and whence he came. Brother Bernard put his hand into his bosom, and taking out the Rule of St Francis, gave it to him to read. The doctor, having read the Rule, was struck with wonder and admiration at the sublime perfection therein prescribed, and turning to his friends, he said: “Truly this is the most perfect state of Religion I have ever heard of, and this man and his companions are the holiest men I have met with in all the world; guilty indeed are those who insult him; we ought, on the contrary, to honour him as a true friend of God.” And addressing Brother Bernard, he said to him: “If it is thy wish to found a convent in this town, in which thou mayest serve God according to thy heart’s desires, I will help thee most willingly, for the salvation of my soul.” Brother Bernard answered: “I believe that our Saviour Jesus Christ has inspired thee with this good intention, and most willingly do I accept thy offer, to the honour of Christ.” Then the doctor, with much joy and great charity, conducted Brother Bernard to his house, and soon after gave to him a place as he had promised, which he arranged and furnished at his own expense, and from that moment he became a father to Brother Bernard, and the special defender of the Friars Minor. Brother Bernard, through his holy conduct, began to be much honoured by the people, so much so that those who could see and touch him accounted themselves as most blessed; but he, like a true disciple of Christ and a son of the humble Francis, fearing lest the honours of the world should disturb his peace and endanger the salvation of his soul, set out one day and returned to St Francis, whom he thus addressed: “Father, the convent is founded at Bologna, send other brothers there to keep it up and reside there, as I can no longer be of any use; indeed, I fear that the too great honours I receive might make me lose more than I could gain.” Now St Francis, having heard, one after another, all the things which the Lord had wrought through Brother Bernard, rendered thanks to God, who thus began to spread abroad the poor disciples of the Cross; then sent he others of the brethren to Bologna, and to Lombardy, and these founded many convents in divers countries.

[Public Domain.]

Tuesday, May 23, 2006




In the first beginning of the Order, when there was as yet but few brothers and no convents established, St Francis went, out of devotion, to San Giacomo di Galicia, taking with him Brother Bernard and one or two other brothers. As they travelled on together, they met by the way a poor sick man. St Francis, moved with compassion at the sight of his sufferings, said to Brother Bernard: “My son, I will that thou stay here, and take care of this sick man.” And Brother Bernard, meekly falling on his knees, received the order of his revered father and remained behind, whilst St Francis and the others proceeded to San Giacomo. On arriving there, they spent the night in prayer in the Church of St James, and God revealed to St Francis how he would found many convents all over the world, and how his Order would increase and multiply into a great multitude of brethren. After this revelation St Francis began to found convents in that country. Then returning by the way he had come, and finding Brother Bernard with the sick man, who had quite recovered, he allowed him to go the following year to San Giacomo, whilst he himself returned to Val di Spoleto, and took up his abode in a desert place with Brother Masseo, Brother Elias, and others. All these were very careful never to interrupt St Francis in his devotions; and this they did out of the great reverence they bore him, and because they knew that God revealed to him great things in prayer. Now it chanced one day, as St Francis was praying in the forest, that a handsome young man, dressed for traveling, presented himself at the convent-gate, knocking thereat so loudly, so quickly, and so long, that the brothers marvelled greatly at a way of knocking so strange and unusual. Brother Masseo, who went and opened the gate, thus addressed the young man: “Whence comest thou, my son? for the strange manner in which thou knockest makes me to think thou hast never been here before.” At this the young man asked: “How then ought I to knock?” Brother Masseo answered: “Thou shouldst give three knocks, one after the other, and then wait time enough for a brother to say an ‘Our Father,’ and come and open to thee; should he not arrive by that time, then thou mayest knock again.” “I was in great haste,” replied the stranger; “for I have made a long journey, and am come to speak with St Francis, who at this hour is praying in the forest, wherefore I would not interrupt him. I pray thee; then, to call Brother Elias; for I wish to put a question to him, having heard that he is full of wisdom.” Then Brother Masseo going, called Brother Elias; but he, being angry, refused to go, so that Brother Masseo was at a loss what answer to make the stranger. For if he told him Brother Elias could not wait on him, he would say an untruth; while if he told how he spoke in anger, he feared to give scandal. Whilst Brother Masseo was hesitating how he should act, whether or no he should return with the message, the stranger knocked again as he had knocked before. On this Brother Masseo hastened back to the convent-gate, and said reproachfully: “Thou hast not observed what I said to thee as to how thou shouldst knock.” To this the young man made answer: “Since Brother Elias will not come to me, go, tell Brother Francis that I came here to speak with him; but, not wishing to interrupt his prayers, I beg him to order Brother Elias to come to me.” Then Brother Masseo went to St Francis, who was praying in the forest with his eyes lifted up to heaven, and gave him the message of the young man, with the answer of Brother Elias. Now the young man was the angel of God, under the form of a traveller. St Francis, without moving and still looking up to heaven, said to Brother Masseo: “Go, tell Brother Elias, in virtue of holy obedience, to go and speak with that young man.” So Brother Elias, having received the order of St Francis, went to the convent-gate in an angry mood, and opening it with violence, asked of the young man what he wanted with Him. The latter answered: “Beware of being angry, as thou appearest to be; for anger woundeth the soul, preventing it from discerning the truth.” Brother Elias said again: “Tell me what thou wantest with me.” “I wish to know,” answered the stranger, “if it be permitted to such as follow the Holy Gospel to eat whatever is served before them, according to the words of Christ to his disciples; and I wish to ask thee, likewise, if it be lawful for any man to teach a doctrine contrary to the liberty preached in the Gospel.” On this Brother Elias answered proudly: “I know what answer to make thee, but I am not inclined to give thee one. Be gone about thy business.” The young man replied: “I know better than thou dost what answer to make to these questions.” Then was Brother Elias much troubled; and, being very angry, he slammed to the door, and went his way. But afterwards, considering the questions which had been put to him, he doubted within himself whether he could answer them; for being Vicar of the Order, he had made a law which went beyond that of the Gospel, and passed the Rule of St Francis: to wit, that none of the brethren should eat flesh; so that the question was put expressly against himself. Not knowing in what way to clear his doubts, and being struck by the modest appearance of the young stranger, remembering also how he had said that he could answer the questions better than himself, he hurried back to the convent-gate in hopes of finding him. But he had disappeared, for the pride of Brother Elias made him unworthy to converse with an angel. In the meantime St Francis, to whom all had been revealed by God, returning from the forest, addressed himself reproachfully to Brother Elias, saying: “Thou doest wrong, proud Brother Elias; for thou hast sent away the holy angel of God, who came to instruct us. I tell thee that I greatly fear lest thy pride will make thee end thy days out of the Order.” And so it happened even as St Francis said, for he died out of the Order. The same day and the same hour at which the angel had disappeared from the convent-gate, he appeared to Brother Bernard, who was making his way homewards from San Giacomo, along the bank of a great river. The angel, clad in the same guise as a traveller, greeted him with the words, “God give thee peace, good brother.” Now Brother Bernard, considering the beauty of the young man, who with so sweet a look pronounced the salutation of peace, according to the custom of his own country, asked of him whence he came. “I come,” answered the angel, “from the convent where dwells St Francis. I went thither to speak with him, but to do so I was not able, for he was in the forest contemplating divine things, and I would not disturb him. In the same convent were Brother Giles, and Brother Elias, with Brother Masseo, who taught me how to knock at the convent-gate according to the custom of the brethren. Brother Elias would not answer the questions I put to him; but afterwards he repented, seeking to see and hear me; but it was too late.” After these words, the angel asked Brother Bernard why he did not cross the river. “Because,” answered Brother Bernard, “I fear to perish in the waters, which are very deep.” The angel said to him, “Let us cross together; fear naught.” And, taking him by the hand, in an instant they were both on the other side of the river. Then Brother Bernard knew him for the angel of God, and with great joy and great reverence he exclaimed: “Blessed angel of God, tell me thy name.” The angel answered: “Why dost thou ask my name, which is Wonderful?” Having said these words, he disappeared, leaving Brother Bernard greatly comforted; so that he ended his journey with much joy, noting the day and the hour when the angel had appeared. On arriving at the convent, where St Francis was with his favorite companions, he related to them word for word his adventure; and they knew with a certainty that it was the very angel who, on the same day and at the same hour, had appeared to them also.

[Public Domain.]

Monday, May 22, 2006




St Francis, the devoted servant of the crucified Jesus, through constant weeping and penance, had become nearly blind, so that he could scarcely see. Wishing one day to speak with Brother Bernard on things divine, he left the place where he was and went to join him. Being told, upon arrival, that he was in the forest praying, St Francis proceeded thither, and, calling out, said; “Come, O Brother Bernard, and speak with this blind man.” But Brother Bernard did not make answer; for, his soul being rapt in divine contemplation, he did not hear him call; one of the special graces of Brother Bernard being that of holding converse with God Almighty, of which St Francis had often been a witness. The saint, therefore, since he wished specially to speak with him at that hour, called him again a second time and a third. Brother Bernard, not having heard him, neither answered nor went to him; at which St Francis went away somewhat saddened, and wondering in himself how it was that, having called him three times, Brother Bernard had not come to him. With this thought on his mind, when he had proceeded a little way, he bade his companion wait for him, and retiring to a solitary spot, fell on his knees, praying that God would reveal to him why Brother Bernard had not answered his call. As he prayed, a voice came from God, which said, “O poor little man, why art thou troubled? Is it meet for man to leave God for the creature? When thou didst call Brother Bernard he was with me, and could neither hear thee, nor go to thee; be not then surprised if he answered thee not, for he was rapt out of himself, nor did he hear aught of all thou saidst.” St Francis, having received this answer from God, went back with great haste to Brother Bernard, to accuse himself humbly of the thought he had allowed to enter his mind against him. Brother Bernard, seeing St Francis coming towards him, went to meet him, and threw himself at his feet. Then St Francis bade him rise, confessing most humbly what his thoughts has been and the answer which God had made him; and with these words he concluded: “I command thee, by virtue of holy obedience, to do whatsoever I shall order thee.” Brother Bernard, fearing St Francis would oblige him to inflict upon him some great punishment, as was his custom, would most willingly have avoided obeying him. “I am ready,” he answered, “to obey thee, father, if thou also wilt promise me to do whatsoever I shall command thee.” To this St Francis consented; and Brother Bernard then asked him what he wished him to do. “I command thee,” said St Francis, “under holy obedience, in order to punish my presumption and the evil thought of my heart, when I lie down on the ground to place one of thy feet on my neck, and the other on my mouth. And this shalt thou do thee! Be humbled, thou son of Peter Bernardoni, for thou art but a vile wretch; how camest thou to be so proud, thou miserable servant of sin!” On hearing this Brother Bernard was much grieved, but out of holy obedience he did what St Francis had ordered him, striving withal to acquit himself thereof as lightly as possible. Then St Francis, having promised obedience to Brother Bernard, asked what he wished him to do, whereto the latter answered: “I command thee, in virtue of holy obedience, that whenever we are together thou reprove and correct with great severity all my defects.” This order much surprised St Francis, for Brother Bernard was so holy that he held him in great reverence, and did not believe it possible to find in him any fault. From that time, therefore, the saint avoided being much with Brother Bernard, fearing lest, out of holy obedience, he might be obliged to reprove him; and when he was obliged to see or to speak with him, he parted from him as soon as possible. Most edifying it was to hear with what charity, what admiration and humility, St Francis, who was his superior, spoke of Brother Bernard, who was his first son in God - to the praise and glory of Jesus Christ and his poor servant Francis. Amen.

[Public Domain.]

Sunday, May 21, 2006




The first companion of St Francis was Brother Bernard of Assisi, who was converted in the following way: St Francis had not yet taken the religious habit, though he had renounced the world, and had so given himself to penance and mortification that many looked upon him as one out of his mind. He was scoffed at as a madman, was rejected and despised by his relations and by strangers, who threw stones and mud at him when he passed; yet he went on his way, accepting these insults as patiently as if he had been deaf and dumb. Then Bernard of Assisi, one of the richest and most learned nobles of the city, began to consider deeply the conduct of St Francis; how utterly he despised the world, how patiently he suffered injuries, and how his faith remained firm, though he had been for two years an object of contempt and rejected by all. He began to think and say within himself, “It is evident that this brother must have received great graces from God”; and so resolved to invite him to sup and to sleep in his house. St Francis having accepted the invitation, Bernard, who was resolved to contemplate the sanctity of his guest, ordered a bed to be prepared for him in his own room, where a lamp burned all night. Now St Francis, in order to conceal his sanctity, so soon as he entered the room, threw himself upon the bed, pretending to fall asleep. Bernard likewise soon after went to bed, and began to snore as if sleeping soundly. On this, St Francis, thinking that Bernard was really fast asleep, got up and began to pray. Raising his hands and eyes to heaven, he exclaimed with great devotion and fervour, “My God! my God!” at the same time weeping bitterly; and thus he remained on his knees all night, repeating with great love and fervour the words, “My God! my God!” and none others.

And this he did because, being enlightened by the Holy Spirit, he contemplated and admired the divine majesty of God, who deigned to take pity on the perishing world, and to save not only the soul of Francis, his poor little one, but those of many others also through his means. For, being enlightened by the Holy Ghost, he foresaw the great things which God would deign to accomplish through him and through his Order; and considering his insufficiency and unworthiness, he prayed and called upon the Lord, through his power and wisdom, to supply, help and accomplish that which of himself he could not do.

Then Bernard, seeing by the light of the lamp the devout actions of St Francis and the expression of his countenance, and devoutly considering the words he uttered, was touched by the Holy Spirit, and resolved to change his life. Next morning, therefore, he called St Francis, and thus addressed him: “Brother Francis, I am disposed in heart wholly to leave the world, and to obey thee in all things as thou shalt command me.” At these words, St Francis rejoiced in spirit and said, “Bernard, a resolution such as thou speakest of is so difficult and so great an act, that we must take counsel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and pray to him that he may be pleased to show us what is his will, and may teach us to follow it. Let us then go together to the Bishop’s palace, where we shall find a good priest who will say Mass for us. We will then remain in prayer till the third hour, imploring the Lord to point out to us the way he wishes us to select, and to this intent we will open the Missal three times.” And when Bernard answered that he was well pleased with this proposal, they set out together, heard Mass, and after they had remained in prayer till the time fixed, the priest, at the request of St Francis, took up Missal, then, having made the sign of the holy cross, he opened it three times, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The first place which he lit upon was at the answer of Christ to the young man who asked of him the way to perfection: If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell all that thou hast and give to the poor, and come, follow me. The second time he opened at the words which the Saviour addressed to the Apostles when he sent them forth to preach the Word of Truth: Take nothing with you for your journey: neither staff, nor scrip, nor bread, nor money; wishing to teach them thereby to commit the care of their lives to him, and give all their thoughts to the preaching of the Holy Gospel. When the Missal was opened a third time they came upon these words: If any one will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Then St Francis, turning to Bernard, said: “This is the advice that the Lord has given us; go and do as thou hast heard; and blessed be the Lord Jesus Christ who has pointed out to thee the way of his angelic life.” Upon this, Bernard went and sold all that he had. Now he was very rich, and with great joy he distributed his wealth to widows, to orphans, to prisoners, to monasteries, to hospitals, and to pilgrims, in all which St Francis assisted him with prudence and fidelity.

Now it happened that a man of the name of Silvester, seeing how St Francis gave so much money to the poor, being urged on by avarice, went to him and said: “Thou didst not pay me enough for the stones I sold thee to repair the church; now that thou hast money, pay me what thou owest.” St Francis, much surprised at such a demand, but, according to the precepts of the Scriptures, not wishing to dispute with him, gave it to Silvester, saying that, if he wanted more, he would give it to him. Silvester, being satisfied, returned home; but in the evening of the same day he reflected on his avarice, and on the holiness and the fervour of St Francis. That night also he saw St Francis in a vision, and it seemed to him as if a golden cross came out of his mouth, which reached up to heaven and extended to the extreme east and west. After this vision he gave all he possessed to the poor, for the love of God, and made himself a Brother Minor. He became so holy, and was favoured with such special graces, that he spake with the Lord as a friend speaks with a friend, of which St Francis was often a witness, as we shall see further on. Bernard likewise received from God many graces - he was ravished in contemplation, and St Francis said he was worthy of all reverence, and that he had founded the Order, because he was the first who had abandoned the world, giving all he possessed to the poor of Christ, keeping back nothing for himself; and practising evangelical poverty, placing himself naked in the arms of the Crucified, whom may we all bless eternally. Amen.

[Public Domain.]

Saturday, May 20, 2006









First let us consider how the life of the glorious St Francis was conformed in every act with that of our Blessed Lord. For as Christ, before he began to preach, made choice of twelve Apostles, teaching them to despise all the things of this world, to follow him in poverty and in the practice of all other virtues, so St Francis, on the first founding of his Order, chose twelve companions, all lovers of poverty. And even as one of the twelve Apostles, being reproved by Christ, hanged himself by the neck, so among the twelve companions of St Francis was one, called Brother John della Capella, who apostatised, and finally hanged himself by the neck. This should be for the elect a great example and cause of humility and fear, when they consider how no one is certain of persevering in the grace of God to the end. As the holy Apostles, being filled with the Spirit of God, shone forth mightily before the world in holiness and humility, so too did the companions of St Francis; for from the time of the Apostles till this present day the world had never seen men so wonderful and so holy.

On of them, Brother Giles, like St Paul, was raised to the third heaven; another, Brother Philip the Tall, like the prophet Isaiah, was touched upon the lips with a burning coal by an angel. Brother Silvester held converse with God, like one friend with another, as did Moses of old. Another, the most humble Brother Bernard, through the penetration of his intellect, reached the light of divine science, like the eagle - the emblem of St John the Evangelist - and explained all the deepest mysteries of Holy Scripture. One there was who was sanctified and canonised in heaven, whilst still living on earth; this was Brother Ruffino, a nobleman of Assisi. And thus all bore singular marks of sanctity, as we shall see hereafter.

[Public Domain.]

Friday, May 19, 2006

Jews were forced to wear this badge by Nazi's . . .

There's an unbelievable news story from about Iran passing a law requiring Jews and Christians to wear colored badges to denote them!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.

"This is reminiscent of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis."

Iran's roughly 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear blue cloth. "The world should not ignore this," said Rabbi Hier. "The world ignored Hitler for many years -- he was dismissed as a demagogue, they said he'd never come to power -- and we were all wrong."

As I said before: It's a sick world out there! What's next for Iran, concentration camps? Extermination? Their leaders already said they want to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Quess what, they won't stop there! They hate us too!

Hopefully, Almighty God will soon intervene with the Warning (see my web site) and everyone on earth will know their sins and an era of peace will be given to the world. Please God!

The Eighteenth Chapter (Final)

Man Should Not Scrutinize This Sacrament in Curiosity, But Humbly Imitate Christ and Submit Reason to Holy Faith

The Voice of Christ:

BEWARE of curious and vain examination of this most profound Sacrament, if you do not wish to be plunged into the depths of doubt. "He who scrutinizes its majesty too closely will be overwhelmed by its glory." [Prov. 25:27]

God can do more than man can understand. A pious and humble search for truth He will allow, a search that is ever ready to learn and that seeks to walk in the reasonable doctrine of the fathers.

Blest is the simplicity that leaves the difficult way of dispute and goes forward on the level, firm path of God’s commandments. Many have lost devotion because they wished to search into things beyond them.

Faith is required of you, and a sincere life, not a lofty intellect nor a delving into the mysteries of God. If you neither know nor understand things beneath you, how can you comprehend what is above you?

Submit yourself to God and humble reason to faith, and the light of understanding will be given you so far as it is good and necessary for you. Some are gravely tempted concerning faith and the Sacrament but this disturbance is not laid to them but to the enemy.

Be not disturbed, dispute not in your mind, answer not the doubts sent by the devil, but believe the words of God, believe His saints and prophets and the evil enemy will flee from you. [James 4:7] It is often very profitable for the servant of God to suffer such things. For Satan does not tempt unbelievers and sinners whom he already holds securely, but in many ways he does tempt and trouble the faithful servant.

Go forward, then, with sincere and unflinching faith, and with humble reverence approach this Sacrament. Whatever you cannot understand commit to the security of the all-powerful God, Who does not deceive you. The man, however, who trusts in himself is deceived. God walks with sincere men, reveals Himself to humble men, enlightens the understanding of pure minds, and hides His grace from the curious and the proud.

Human reason is weak and can be deceived. True faith, however, cannot be deceived. All reason and natural science ought to come after faith, not go before it, nor oppose it. For in this most holy and supremely excellent Sacrament, faith and love take precedence and work in a hidden manner.

God, eternal, incomprehensible, and infinitely powerful, does great and inscrutable things in heaven and on earth, and there is no searching into His marvelous works. If all the works of God were such that human reason could easily grasp them, they would not be called wonderful or beyond the power of words to tell.

[Imitation of Christ, Book Four. Thomas a' Kempis (1379-1471). Public Domain.]

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Seventeenth Chapter

The Burning Love and Strong Desire to Receive Christ

The Disciple:

WITH greatest devotion and ardent love, with all affection and fervor of heart I wish to receive You, O Lord, as many saints and devout persons, most pleasing to You in their holiness of life and most fervent in devotion, desired You in Holy Communion.

O my God, everlasting love, my final good, my happiness unending, I long to receive You with as strong a desire and as worthy a reverence as any of the saints ever had or could have felt, and though I am not worthy to have all these sentiments of devotion, still I offer You the full affection of my heart as if I alone had all those most pleasing and ardent desires.

Yet, whatever a God-fearing mind can conceive and desire, I offer in its entirety to You with the greatest reverence and inward affection. I wish to keep nothing for self but to offer to You, willingly and most freely, myself and all that is mine.

O Lord God, my Creator and my Redeemer, I long to receive You this day with such reverence, praise, and honor, with such gratitude, worthiness and love, with such faith, hope, and purity as that with which Your most holy Mother, the glorious Virgin Mary, longed for and received You when she humbly and devoutly answered the angel who announced to her the mystery of the Incarnation: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” [Luke 1:38]

Likewise as Your blessed precursor, the most excellent of saints, John the Baptist, gladdened by Your presence, exulted in the Holy Ghost while yet enclosed in the womb of his mother, and afterward seeing Jesus walking among men, humbled himself and with devout love declared: “The friend of the bridegroom, who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth with joy because of the bridegroom’s voice,” [John 3:29] even so I long to be inflamed with great and holy desires and to give myself to You with all my heart.

Therefore I offer and present to You the gladness of all devout hearts, their ardent affection, their mental raptures, their supernatural illuminations and heavenly visions together with all the virtues and praises which have been or shall be celebrated by all creatures in heaven and on earth, for myself and all commended to my prayers, that You may be worthily praised and glorified forever.

Accept, O Lord my God, my promises and desires of giving You infinite praise and boundless benediction, which in the vastness of Your ineffable greatness are justly due You.

This I render and desire to render every day and every moment of time, and in my loving prayers I invite and entreat all celestial spirits and all the faithful to join me in giving You praise and thanks.

Let all people, races, and tongues praise You and with the greatest joy and most ardent devotion magnify Your sweet and holy name. [Dan. 7:14] And let all who reverently and devoutly celebrate this most great Sacrament and receive it in the fullness of faith, find kindness and mercy in You and humbly pray for me, a sinner.

And when they have received the longed-for devotion and blissful union, and, well consoled and wonderfully refreshed, have retired from Your holy, Your celestial table, may they deign to remember my poor soul.

[Imitation of Christ, Book Four. Public Domain.]

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Sixteenth Chapter

We Should Show Our Needs to Christ and Ask His Grace

The Disciple:

O MOST kind, most loving Lord, Whom I now desire to receive with devotion, You know the weakness and the necessity which I suffer, in what great evils and vices I am involved, how often I am depressed, tempted, defiled, and troubled.

To You I come for help, to You I pray for comfort and relief. I speak to Him Who knows all things, to Whom my whole inner life is manifest, and Who alone can perfectly comfort and help me.

You know what good things I am most in need of and how poor I am in virtue. Behold I stand before You, poor and naked, asking Your grace and imploring Your mercy.

Feed Your hungry beggar. Inflame my coldness with the fire of Your love. Enlighten my blindness with the brightness of Your presence. Turn all earthly things to bitterness for me, all grievance and adversity to patience, all lowly creation to contempt and oblivion. Raise my heart to You in heaven and suffer me not to wander on earth.

From this moment to all eternity do You alone grow sweet to me, for You alone are my food and drink, my love and my joy, my sweetness and my total good.

Let Your presence wholly inflame me, consume and transform me into Yourself, that I may become one spirit with You by the grace of inward union and by the melting power of Your ardent love.

Suffer me not to go from You fasting and thirsty, but deal with me mercifully as You have so often and so wonderfully dealt with Your saints.

What wonder if I were completely inflamed by You to die to myself, since You are the fire ever burning [Heb. 12:29] and never dying, a love purifying the heart and enlightening the understanding.

[Imitation of Christ, Book Four. Public Domain.]