Saturday, June 18, 2011

To Become Holy Friends of God....Pope Benedict XVI

But how can we become holy, friends of God? We can first give a negative answer to this question: to be a Saint requires neither extraordinary actions or works nor the possession of exceptional charisms. Then comes the positive reply: it is necessary first of all to listen to Jesus and then to follow him without losing heart when faced by difficulties. "If anyone serves me", he warns us, "he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honour him" (Jn 12: 26).

Like the grain of wheat buried in the earth, those who trust him and love him sincerely accept dying to themselves. Indeed, he knows that whoever seeks to keep his life for himself loses it, and whoever gives himself, loses himself, and in this very way finds life (cf. Jn 12: 24-25).

The Church's experience shows that every form of holiness, even if it follows different paths, always passes through the Way of the Cross, the way of self-denial. The Saints' biographies describe men and women who, docile to the divine plan, sometimes faced unspeakable trials and suffering, persecution and martyrdom. They persevered in their commitment: "they... have come out of the great tribulation", one reads in Revelation, "they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rv 7: 14). Their names are written in the book of life (cf. Rv 20: 12) and Heaven is their eternal dwelling-place.

The example of the Saints encourages us to follow in their same footsteps and to experience the joy of those who trust in God, for the one true cause of sorrow and unhappiness for men and women is to live far from him.

Above paragraphs taken from...


Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Full homily at:

St. Faustina...on Chosen Souls......

On a certain occasion. The Lord said to me, I am more deeply wounded by the small imperfections of chosen souls than by the sins of those living in the world. It made me very sad that chosen souls make Jesus suffer, and Jesus told me, these little imperfections are not all. I will reveal to you a secret of My Heart: what I suffer from chosen souls. Ingratitude in return for so many graces is My Heart’s constant food, on the part of [such] a chosen soul. Their love is lukewarm, and My Heart cannot bear it; these souls force Me to reject them. Others distrust My goodness and have no desire to experience that sweet intimacy in their own hearts, but go in search of Me, off in the distance, and do not find Me. This distrust of My goodness hurts Me very much.

If My death has not convinced you of My love, what will? Often a soul wounds Me mortally, and then no one can comfort Me. They use My graces to offend Me. There are souls who despise My graces as well as all the proofs of My love. They do not wish to hear My call, but proceed into the abyss of hell. The loss of these souls plunges Me into deadly sorrow. God though I am, I cannot help such a soul because it scorns Me; having a free will, it can spurn Me or love Me. You, who are the dispenser of My mercy, tell all the world about My goodness, and thus you will comfort My Heart. It will tell you when you converse with Me in the depths of your heart. Here, no one can disturb My actions. Here, I rest as in a garden enclosed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Diary of St. Faustina...on her meeting with St. Barbara.

August 22. This morning Saint Barbara, Virgin, visited me and recommended that I offer Holy Communion for nine days on behalf of my country and thus appease God’s anger. This virgin was wearing a crown made of stars and was holding a sword in her hand. The brilliance of the crown was the same as that of the sword. With her white dress and her flowing hair, she was so beautiful that if I had not already know the Virgin Mary I would have thought that it was She. Now I understand that each virgin has a special beauty all her own; a distinct beauty radiates from each of them.

St. Barbara..

According to the hagiographies, St. Barbara, the daughter of a rich pagan named Dioscorus, was carefully guarded by her father who kept her shut up in a tower in order to preserve her from the outside world. Having secretly become a Christian, she rejected an offer of marriage that she received through him. Before going on a journey, he commanded that a private bath-house be erected for her use near her dwelling, and during his absence, Barbara had three windows put in it, as a symbol of the Holy Trinity, instead of the two originally intended. When her father returned, she acknowledged herself to be a Christian; upon this he drew his sword to kill her, but her prayers created an opening in the tower wall and she was miraculously transported to a mountain gorge, where two shepherds watched their flocks.

Dioscorus, in pursuit of his daughter, was rebuffed by the first shepherd, but the second betrayed her and was turned to stone and his flock changed to locusts. Dragged before the prefect of the province, Martinianus, who had her cruelly tortured, Barbara held true to her faith. During the night, the dark prison was bathed in light and new miracles occurred. Every morning her wounds were healed. Torches that were to be used to burn her went out as soon as they came near her. Finally she was condemned to death by beheading. Her father himself carried out the death-sentence. However, as punishment for this, he was struck by lightning on the way home and his body was consumed by flame. Barbara was buried by a Christian, Valentinus, and her tomb became the site of miracles.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

St. Padre Pio ....on Visitation of Holy Soul from Purgatory

Padre Pio told this story to padre Anastasio. “One evening, while I was alone in choir to pray, I heard the rustle of a suit and I saw a young monk that stirred next to the High altar. It seemed that the young monk was dusting the candelabra and straightening the flower vases. I thought he was Padre Leone rearranging the altar, and, since it was supper time, I went to him and I told him: “Padre Leone, go to dine, this is not the time to dust and to straighten the altar”. But a voice, that was not Father Leone’s answered me”: “I am not Padre Leone”, “and who are you? “, I asked him. “I am a brother of yours that made the noviciate here. I was ordered to clean the altar during the year of the noviciate.

Unfortunately many times I didn’t reverence Jesus while passing in front of the altar, thus causing the Holy Sacrament that was preserved in the tabernacle to be disrespected. For this serious carelessness, I am still in Purgatory. Now, God, with his endless goodness, sent me here so that you may quicken the time I will enjoy Paradise. Take care of me.” I believed to be generous to that suffering soul, so I exclaimed: “you will be in Paradise tomorrow morning, when I will celebrate Holy Mass”. That soul cried: “Cruel!” Then he wept and disappeared. That complaint produced in me a wound to the heart that I have felt and I will feel my whole life. In fact I would have been able to immediately send that soul to Heaven but I condemned him to remain another night in the flames of Purgatory.”

Diary of St. Faustina...Praying for a Dying soul..

This evening, a certain young man was dying; he was suffering terribly. For his intention, I began to say the chaplet which the Lord had taught me. I said it all, but the agony continued. I wanted to start the Litany of the Saints, but suddenly I heard the words, "Say the Chaplet". I understood that the soul needed the special help of prayers and great mercy. And so I locked myself in my room and fell prostrate before God and begged for mercy upon that soul. Then I felt the great majesty of God and His great Justice. I trembled with fear, but did not stop begging the Lord's mercy for that soul. Then I took the cross of my breast, the crucifix I had received when making my vows, and I put it on the breast of the dying man and said to the Lord, "Jesus, look on this soul with the same love with which You looked on my holocaust on the day of my perpetual vows, and by the power of the promise which You made to me in respect to the dying and those who would invoke Your mercy on them (grant this man the grace of a happy death)". His suffering then ceased, and he died peacefully. Oh how much we should pray for the dying! Let us take advantage of mercy while there is still time for mercy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI on the Sacrament of Confession....

"In the gesture of absolution, uttered in the name and on account of the Church, the confessor becomes the conscious means of a wonderful event of grace," the Holy Father said in his address.

"On adhering with docility to the magisterium of the Church, he becomes minister of the consoling mercy of God, makes the reality of sin manifest and at the same time the boundless renewing power of divine love, a love that gives life again," the Pontiff added.

Thus confession becomes "a spiritual rebirth, which transforms the penitent into a new creature," he stated.

"Only God can realize this miracle of grace, and he does so through the words and gestures of the priest. On experiencing the Lord's tenderness and forgiveness, the penitent more easily acknowledges the gravity of sin and reinforces his decision to avoid it and to remain and grow in his renewed friendship with him.

"In virtue of presbyterial ordination, the confessor carries out a particular service 'in persona Christi.'"

"Given such a lofty responsibility, human strength is undoubtedly inadequate."

The Pope continued: "We cannot preach forgiveness and reconciliation to others, if we are not personally penetrated by it.

"Christ has chosen us, dear priests, to be the only ones who can forgive sins in his name: Therefore, it is a specific ecclesial service to which we must give priority."

"How many people in difficulties seek the support and consolation of Christ!" Benedict XVI added. "How many penitents find the peace and joy in confession that they have been pursuing for a long time! How can we not acknowledge that also in our time, marked by so many religious and social challenges, this sacrament must be rediscovered and proposed again."

From Zenit, VATICAN CITY, FEB. 19, 2007

Diary of St. Faustina - On Confession...

Today, the Lord said to me, Daughter, when you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flow down upon your soul and ennobles it. Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that I myself am waiting there for you. I am only hidden by the priest, but I myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to My generosity. The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bl. Pope John Paul II speaks to those who have had an abortion.

Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), #99

I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance.

The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.

Diary of St. Faustina...suffering for the Aborted Souls....

September 16, 1937. I wanted very much to make a Holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament today. But God’s will was otherwise. At eight o’clock I was seized with such violent pains that I had to go to bed at once. I was convulsed with pain for three hours; that is, until eleven o’clock at night. No medicine had any effect on me, and whatever I swallowed I threw up. At times, the pains caused me to lose consciousness. Jesus had me realize that in this way I took part in His agony in the garden, and that He himself allowed these sufferings in order to offer reparation to God for the souls murdered in the wombs of their mothers. I have gone through these sufferings three times now. They always start at eight o’clock in the evening and last until eleven. No medicine can lessen these sufferings. When eleven o’clock comes, they cease by themselves, and I fall asleep at that moment. The following day, I feel very weak.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

St. Padre Pio and His Guardian Angel.........

After suffering another attack by demons, St. Padre Pio articulates the following about his Angel in one of his letters...

I shall not relate to you, therefore, in what manner they go about beating me, those reprobates. Sometimes I feel that I am close to death. Saturday, I thought they really wanted to put an end to me; I didn't know any more to which saint I should appeal; I turned to my angel and after making me wait for some while, he finally shows up, flying around me, and singing hymns to the Divine Majesty with his angelic voice. There followed one of those ordinary scenes: I shouted at him harshly for having made me wait so long, since I had not failed to call him to my aid. To punish him, I did not want to look him in the face, I wanted to hold my distance, I wanted to run away and hide from him. But he, poor fellow, approached me, nearly crying. He caught hold of me, so that raising my eyes, I might look into his face and find it wholly grieved.

And behold,.. "...I am always close to you, my beloved youth," he says, "I hover about you constantly with that affection which stimulated your gratitude towards the Beloved of your heart. My affection for you shall not ex-tinguish even with your life.I know that your generous heart beats always for our mutual Beloved. You would cross every mountain, every desert to find Him, to see Him again, to embrace Him anew in these extreme moments and to ask Him to break now those chains which hold you bound to the body,... that you can suffer no more to be far away from Him, that He take you with Him. To tell him that separated from Him you gather more sorrow than joy. You would like this very gift from Him, but do not grow weary,... for you must wait a bit more. For the present, He can give you nothing like the ray of a star, the perfume of a flower, the sigh of a harp, the caress of a wind. Yet do not cease to constantly ask Him for it, for His supreme pleasure is to have you with Him. And although at present He cannot satisfy your wish, because providence has willed that you be in exile a little longer, He will finally end up satisfying you, at least, in part,..."

Diary of St. Faustina on the Sin of the Angels...........

Second day. As I was meditating on the sin of the Angels and their immediate punishment, I asked Jesus why the Angels had been punished as soon as they had sinned. I heard a voice: Because of their profound knowledge of God. No person on earth, even though a great saint, has such knowledge of God as an Angel has. Nevertheless, to me who am so miserable, You have shown Your mercy, O God, and this, time and time again. You carry me in the bosom of Your mercy and forgive me every time that I ask Your forgiveness with a contrite heart.