New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Friday, May 7, 2010

Confession: manifestation of God's mercy - St. Catherine of Siena

Today is first Friday, If you get a chance to go for Holy Hour, Mass and Benedition, please also try to go for Confession. Let us now read this document by St. Catherine of Siena on Confession

Confession: manifestation of God's mercy

"The soul also receives Baptism in another way, speaking in figurative terms, by special providence of my divine love. I was well aware of human fragility and weakness, that leads human beings to offend me. Persons are not constrained by this nor by any other thing to commit the fault, if they do not wish, but being weak they commit mortal sins, thus losing the grace they received in holy baptism by virtue of the Blood. For this reason it was necessary that Divine Love should make available a continual baptism of the Blood. This baptism comes about through a contrite heart and through confession of sins to a priest, when possible, for they have the keys of the Blood, the Blood the priest pours upon the soul when he absolves the person. If some one is unable to confess, contrition of heart is sufficient. Then my mercy bestows on you the fruit of this precious Blood, but if you can confess I want you to do so, and whoever being able does not confess, will remain deprived of the benefit of the Blood. However, it is true that whoever, at the moment of death wants to confess and is unable to do it, he likewise shall receive the fruit of the Blood. But let nobody be so foolish at life's end, hoping to set his soul in order, because it is not certain that I, due to his obstinacy, may say in consonance with my divine justice: "You did not remember me during your life, when you had time. I do not remember you now at the point of death!"

Let no one procrastinate it, but even if there should be somebody who has wilfully done so, he ought not omit baptizing himself with hope in the Blood even if it were the last day. You see then how this baptism is continual and the soul must be baptized in it until life's end, as I have indicated. Through this baptism you can understand that the torment of the cross ended, but the fruit of this torment, which you received from me is infinite. This is due to my infinite divine nature, united to finite human nature. This human nature suffered in me, Word, clothed with your humanity. Since one nature is joined and kneaded with the other, the eternal divinity brought upon itself the torment which I bore with such ardent love.

That is why this my action can be said to be infinite, not because the torment suffered bodily is infinite, nor the torment of my desire of accomplishing your redemption, which really finished and came to an end on the cross when the soul was separated from the body. But the fruit that sprang from that torment and the desire for your salvation are infinite. That is the reason why you can unsparingly receive this fruit. If it had not been infinite then humanity would not have been redeemed: people of the past, the present and the future. It would not have been possible for persons who sin to be purified from their sins, if this baptism of blood had not been offered without measure, because the fruit of the Blood is infinite.

I showed you this in my open side, where you discover the secret of my heart: namely, that I love you much more than what I could show you with the finite torment. I have shown you that my love is infinite. In what way? With the baptism of the Blood, joined to the fire of my charity, that out of love was poured out; and through baptism, understood in the common sense, given to Christians, to whoever wishes to receive it, baptism of water joined to blood and to fire, in which the soul is kneaded with my blood. To show you all this I wanted blood and water to flow forth from my side. Now I have answered your request."


St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church: The Dialogue LXXV


Prayer:

Oh God, You showed St. Catharine the infinite love which burns in Your Heart for all Your human creatures. She generously shared this revelation and imitated its consequences to a heroic degree. Grant that we may follow her example, trusting in Your promises and increasing our faith in Your presence in every sacrament, especially in the sacrament of Your forgiveness. We ask this through Christ, Our Lord...... Amen.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Why the Miraculous Medal Is So Important to Catholics

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal was the first great step toward the re-Marianization of the nineteenth century, preparing the great movement of souls that culminated with the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

On November 27, 1830, Our Lady appeared to Saint Catherine Labouré in Paris and revealed to her the design of the Miraculous Medal. Its first great miracle was the deathbed conversion of a bishop who had sworn allegiance to the French Revolution.

The Miraculous Medal shows an image of Our Lady of Grace with her hands emitting rays of light, just as she appeared to Saint Catherine. This devotion to Our Lady of Grace on the medal marked a true renewal of devotion to Our Lady in Europe.

Devotion to Our Lady had been deeply eroded by Jansenism, which, although in great decline at the time, was replaced with more radical forms of Revolution, so that devotion to Our Lady left much to be desired. We can say that the Miraculous Medal was the first major step toward the ‘re-Marianization’ of the nineteenth century, preparing the great movement of souls that would culminate with the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

With the use of the Miraculous Medal, extraordinary graces spread throughout the Church. It became a common custom to wear a Miraculous Medal around one’s neck or to place it on the chest of an impenitent patient while making the novenas and prayers prescribed by Our Lady. It seemed almost certain that the person would convert as a result. Through this devotion, Our Lady began to dispense many other graces to the world.

Moreover, this devotion is linked to two other very important devotions, which the Jansenists had attempted to bury: the devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

This animosity was very evident in the case of Bishop Scipion de' Ricci of Prato and Pistoia, a man of the Enlightenment and Jansenist who combated devotion to the Sacred Heart and who also sought to bring about democratic reforms in the Church at the Synod of Pistoia (He was condemned by Pius VI in 1794). There was also the rejection of this devotion to the Sacred Heart by the House of Bourbon, which did not spread this devotion as it should have before the Revolution. On the back of the medal, Our Lady decided to place a letter M which stands for her holy name, and below this letter one sees the hearts of Jesus and Mary, linking these three highly significant devotions so hated by the Jansenists.

Not only did this devotion help defeat Jansenist sentiments, it also helped give rise to a colossal ultramontane movement in the philosophical, political and social fields. The results were a great nineteenth century movement devoted to Our Lady, the definition of papal infallibility, and the devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Indeed, this all gave rise to a Counter-Revolution led by Blessed Pius IX and continued by Saint Pius X.

Because of its important role in Church history, this devotion retains all its relevance for Catholics today. In view of these past graces and consolations, it should be cultivated with great fervor.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Sins That Cause Most Souls to go to Hell

The Sins That Cause Most Souls to go to Hell

Mother Godinho, who directed the Lisbon Orphanage where Blessed Jacinta Marto stayed shortly before dying at the hospital, carefully wrote down the holy girl’s words.

Two of her notes are outstandingly important today. The first says,“The sins [that] cause most souls to go to hell are the sins of the flesh.”

With a directly supernatural illumination, that innocent, barely ten year old girl repeats what Saint Alphonsus Liguori says—sins against chastity “fill hell with souls.”

When Mother Godinho asked Jacinta if she understood what it meant to be pure, she answered, “I do. To be pure in body is to keep chastity. To be pure in soul is not to commit sins, not to look at what one should not see . . . . “

The second, rather prophetic statement, is, “Fashions that will greatly offend Our Lord will appear.” It is good to recall that modesty is the outer defense of chastity, the walls defending the castle, as well as the gardens adorning the palace.

The correct question, when it comes to fashion, is not what is the extreme limit at which one is allowed to arrive, but how can one’s attire more clearly manifest love of modesty and of the virtue of purity.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Power of a Single Hail Mary - St. Louis De Montfort

One day, when Saint Mechtilde was praying and trying to think of some way in which she could express her love of the Blessed Mother better than she had done before, she fell into ecstasy.

Our Lady appeared to her with the Angelic Salutation in flaming letters of gold upon her bosom and said to the saint,“My daughter, I want you to know that no one can please me more than by saying the salutation, which the Most Adorable Trinity sent to me and by which He raised me to the dignity of Mother of God.“By the word Ave, which is the name for Eve, I learned that in His infinite power God had preserved me from all sin and its attendant misery that Eve had been subject to.

“The name Mary, which means ‘lady of light,’ shows that God has filled me with wisdom and light, like a shining star, to light up heaven and Earth. “The words full of grace remind me that the Holy Spirit has showered so many graces upon me that I am able to give these graces in abundance to those who ask for them through me as Mediatrix.

“When people say The Lord is with thee, they renew the indescribable joy that was mine when the Eternal Word became incarnate in my womb.“When you say to me blessed art thou among women, I praise Almighty God’s divine mercy, which lifted me to this exalted plane of happiness. “And at the words blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, the whole of heaven rejoices with me to see my Son Jesus Christ adored and glorified for having saved mankind.”

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Doalogue of St. Catherine of Siena

How a soul, elevated by desire of the honor of God, and of the salvation of her neighbors, exercising herself in humble prayer, after she had seen the union of the soul, through love, with God, asked of God four requests.

The soul, who is lifted by a very great and yearning desire for the honor of God and the salvation of souls, begins by exercising herself, for a certain space of time, in the ordinary virtues, remaining in the cell of self-knowledge, in order to know better the goodness of God towards her. This she does because knowledge must precede love, and only when she has attained love, can she strive to follow and to clothe herself with the truth. But, in no way, does the creature receive such a taste of the truth, or so brilliant a light therefrom, as by means of humble and continuous prayer, founded on knowledge of herself and of God; because prayer, exercising her in the above way, unites with God the soul that follows the footprints of Christ Crucified, and thus, by desire and affection, and union of love, makes her another Himself.

Christ would seem to have meant this, when He said: To him who will love Me and will observe My commandment, will I manifest Myself; and he shall be one thing with Me and I with him. In several places we find similar words, by which we can see that it is, indeed, through the effect of love, that the soul becomes another Himself. That this may be seen more clearly, I will mention what I remember having heard from a handmaid of God, namely, that, when she was lifted up in prayer, with great elevation of mind, God was not wont to conceal, from the eye of her intellect, the love which He had for His servants, but rather to manifest it; and, that among other things, He used to say: "Open the eye of your intellect, and gaze into Me, and you shall see the beauty
of My rational creature. And look at those creatures who, among the beauties which I have given to the soul, creating her in My image and similitude, are clothed with the nuptial garment (that is, the garment of love), adorned with many virtues, by which they are united with Me
through love. And yet I tell you, if you should ask Me, who these are, I should reply" (said the sweet and amorous Word of God) "they are another Myself, inasmuch as they have lost and denied their own will, and are clothed with Mine, are united to Mine, are conformed to Mine."
It is therefore true, indeed, that the soul unites herself with God by the affection of love.

So, that soul, wishing to know and follow the truth more manfully, and lifting her desires first for herself--for she considered that a soul could not be of use, whether in doctrine, example, or prayer, to her neighbor, if she did not first profit herself, that is, if she did not acquire virtue in herself--addressed four requests to the Supreme and Eternal Father. The first was for herself; the second for the reformation of the Holy Church; the third a general prayer for the whole world, and in particular for the peace of Christians who rebel, with much lewdness and persecution, against the Holy Church; in the fourth and last, she besought the Divine Providence to provide for things in general, and in particular, for a certain case with which she was concerned.

The Month of Mary by Dr. Plinio Correa De Olivera


The Month of Mary by Dr. Plinio Correa De Olivera

During May, the month of Mary, we feel Our Lady’s special protection along with a unique joy that lights up our hearts. This joy is the expression of the Catholic certainty that never is our heavenly mother’s patronage more tender, loving and visible than in the month of May.


Provided we were attentive to the thirty one days dedicated to Our Lady, even after
May is passed, a remnant of this joyous feeling hangs in the air. We find that our devotion grew, our trust increased and our intimacy with Our Lady deepened. We now face life’s challenges with renewed confidence, knowing better how to pray to her with respectful insistence, invincible trust and humble gratitude for all the good she works in our behalf.

Our Lady is the Queen of Heaven and Earth and, at the same time, our mother. We enter May with this conviction, strengthening our faith and increasing our fortitude, and it becomes more deeply rooted in us when we leave it. May teaches us to love Mary Most Holy for the glory she rightly possesses and for all that she represents in the plans of Divine Providence. May also teaches us to be more constant in our filial union with Mary.

Children are never surer of their mothers’ loving vigilance than when they suffer. All of mankind suffers today in every conceivableway. Windstorms of impiety, skepticism and messianism sweep through minds and devastate them. Nebulous, confused and rash ideas filter into every milieu and mislead not only the wretched and the lukewarm, but sometimes even those of whom greater constancy in the Faith is expected. Those who are tenaciously faithful to the fulfillment of duty suffer from all the adversity they meet by their fidelity to the Law of Christ. Yet those who transgress the Law also suffer, for withoutChrist every pleasure is nothing but bitterness and every joy is nothing but a lie.

Hearts suffer, torn by the psychological warfare that is so intense in our days. Bodies suffer, overtaxed by work, undermined by illness and overwhelmed by all sorts of needs. The contemporary world could be likened to the time when

Our Lord was born in Bethlehem, when both the just and the evildoers groaned; the evildoers from the fact that they were removed from God, and the just from being tormented by the evildoers.

The more dire the circumstances and the more excruciating the pains, the more we should ask Our Lady to put an end to so much suffering—not merely for our own relief, but for the greater benefit of our souls. Sacred theology says that Our Lady’s prayers anticipated the moment of the world’s redemption by the Messias. At this anguished moment in history then, let us turn our eyes to Our Lady with confidence, asking her to hasten the great moment we all await, when a new Pentecost will kindle beacons of light and hope in this darkness and restore Our Lord Jesus Christ’s kingdom on Earth.


We should be like Daniel, whom Holy Scripture describes as the “desideriorum vir,” that is, a man full of great desires. Let us desire many great things for God’s glory. Let us always ask Our Lady for everything, and let us, above all, ask her for that which the Sacred Liturgy beseeches of God, “Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur, et renovabis faciem terrae” (Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created; and Thou shalt renew the face of the Earth). We should ask, through Our Lady’s mediation, that God once again send us the Holy Ghost with the plenitude of His gifts so that His kingdom may be created anew and be purified by a renewal of the face of the Earth. In the Divine Comedy, Dante wrote that praying without Our Lady’s patronage is like wanting to fly without wings. Let us then confide to Our Lady this heartfelt yearning and desire. Mary’s hands will be for our prayer a pair of pure wings that will carry it with certainty to God’s throne.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Hymns to Mother Mary

Growing up as a little boy back in India, I was fortunate to grow up in a Catholic Colony. Fine it was segregation but it had its fine points. One of them was that every May and october we said the rosary as a big community everyday outside by the cross which was in the yard. I loved the Marian Hymns we used to sing and thus this month of May I shall try to upload a few