New Insights on the Gospels

March for Life 2012

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thoughts about the poor by St. Vincent de Paul

“The street will be long and unfriendly, the stairs and the poor often ungrateful. You will soon find charity a heavy burden, heavier than the jug of soup or the full basket. But you will still be pleasant and smile. Distributing soup and bread is not everything. The rich can do that. The poor are your masters and you will find them terribly exacting masters. So the more unattractive and dirty they are, the more rude and unfair they are, the more you must lavish your love upon them. It is only by feeling your love that the poor will forgive you your gifts of bread. “

St. Vincent de Paul

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Miracles of the Rosary

While St. Dominic was preaching the Rosary in Carcassone, a heretic made fun of his miracles and the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, and this prevented other heretics from being converted. As a punishment God allowed fifteen thousand devils to enter the man's body.

His parents took him to Father Dominic to be delivered from the evil spirits. He started to pray and he begged everyone who was there to say the Rosary out loud with him, and at each Hail Mary our Lady drove a hundred devils out of the man, and they came out in the form of red-hot coals.

After he had been delivered, he abjured his former errors, was converted and joined the Rosary Confraternity. Several of his associates did the same, having been greatly moved by his punishment and by the power of the Rosary.

The learned Franciscan, Carthagena, as well as several other authors, says that an extraordinary event took place in 1482. The venerable Fr. James Sprenger and the religious of his order were zealously working to re-establish devotion to the Rosary and its Confraternity in the city of Cologne. Unfortunately, two priests who were famous for their preaching ability were jealous of the great influence they were exerting through preaching the Rosary.

These two Fathers spoke against this devotion whenever they had a chance, and as they were very eloquent and had a great reputation, they persuaded many people not to join the Confraternity. One of them, the better to achieve his wicked end, wrote a special sermon against the Rosary and planned to give it the following Sunday. But when the time came for the sermon he did not appear and, after a certain amount of waiting, someone went to fetch him. He was found to be dead, and he had evidently died without anyone to help him.

After persuading himself that this death was due to natural causes, the other priest decided to carry out his friend's plan and give a similar sermon on another day, hoping to put an end to the Confraternity of the Rosary. However, when the day came for him to preach and it was time to give the sermon, God punished him by striking him down with paralysis which deprived him of the use of his limbs and of his power of speech.

At last he admitted his fault and that of his friend and in his heart he silently besought our Lady to help him. He promised that if only she would cure him, he would preach the Rosary with as much zeal as that with which he had formerly fought against it. For this end he implored her to restore his health and his speech, which she did, and finding himself instantaneously cured he rose up like another Saul, a persecutor turned defender of the holy Rosary. He publicly acknowledged his former error and ever afterwards preached the wonders of the Rosary with great zeal and eloquence.

I am quite sure that freethinkers and ultra-critical people of today will question the truth of the stories in this little book, as they question most things, but all I have done has been to copy them from very good contemporary authors and, in part, from a book written a short time ago, The Mystical Rose-tree, by Fr. Antonin Thomas, O.P.

Everyone knows that there are three different kinds of faith by which we believe different kinds of stories. To stories from Holy Scripture we owe divine faith; to stories on non-religious subjects which are not against common sense and are written by trustworthy authors, we pay the tribute of human faith; and to stories about holy subjects which are told by good authors and are not in any way contrary to reason, to faith or to morals (even though they may sometimes deal with happenings which are above the ordinary), we pay the tribute of a pious faith.

I agree that we must be neither too credulous nor too critical, and that we should keep a happy medium in all things in order to find just where truth and virtue lie. But on the other hand, I know equally well that charity easily leads us to believe all that is not contrary to faith or morals: "Charity believes all things" (1 Cor. 13:7), in the same way as pride induces us to doubt even well authenticated stories on the plea that they are not to be found in Holy Scripture.

This is one of the devil's traps; heretics of the past who denied tradition have fallen into it, and over-critical people of today are falling into it too, without even realizing it. People of this kind refuse to believe what they do not understand or what is not to their liking, simply because of their own spirit of pride and independence.

The above is from the book

The Secret of the Rosary, by St. Louis de Montfort

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Act of Consecration to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

O Virgin Mother of God,
Mary Immaculate,
we dedicate and consecrate ourselves to you
under the title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.
May this Medal be for each one of us
a sure sign of your affection for us
and a constant reminder of our duties towards you.
Ever while wearing it,
may we be blessed by your loving protection
and preserved in the grace of your Son.
O most powerful Virgin,
Mother of our Saviour,
keep us close to you every moment of our lives.
Obtain for us,
your children,
the grace of a happy death;
so that, in union with you,
we may enjoy the bliss of heaven forever.


O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.

O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who have recourse to you.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ave Maria Stella

Hail, thou Star of ocean,
Portal of the sky !
Ever Virgin Mother
Of the Lord most high !

Oh ! by Gabriel's Ave,
Uttered long ago,
Eva's name reversing,
Stablish peace below.

Break the captive's fetters ;
Light on blindness pour ;
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.

Show thyself a Mother ;
Offer Him our sighs,
Who for us Incarnate
Did not thee despise.

Virgin of all virgins !
To thy shelter take us :
Gentlest of the gentle !
Chaste and gentle make us.

Still, as on we journey,
Help our weak endeavor ;
Till with thee and Jesus
We rejoice forever.

Through the highest heaven,
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son, and Spirit,
One same glory be. &nbspAmen.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The descent of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the Apostles - Mons João Clá Dias

This is a meditation By Mons João Clá Dias on Pentecost. The original is in Portugese and I have used Google transalte to convert it to Enlgish. I have tried to the best of my ability to correct some of the transalation issues. I hope that you will enjoy this meditation.

The descent of the Holy Spirit on Mary and the Apostles

"The Spirit of the Lord filled the entire universe, he holds together all things and knows all Alleluia! - (Sb 1, 7)


For three years our Lord had prepared the apostles and disciples, for the great mission to spread the gospel throughout the world. Imagine the largest and most renowned teachers, the wisest and most capable that history has known, does not compare with Jesus Christ, who besides being the Master Teacher, God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the incarnate Word of God, the God-man, he is the very Wisdom Incarnate.

The Divine Master had given them the doctrine, the power to forgive sins, the power to perform miracles; therefore they had all the elements to fulfill the great mission, however, they felt insecure, because it is not proportionate to that thought. So waiting for the special assistance that had been promised by our Lord: "you will receive power of the Holy Spirit has come in you and are witnesses to the ends of the earth: (Acts 1:8). We then gathered before our eyes, gathered in prayer in the Cenacle, the Virgin Mary, Holy Mother of God, the 12 Apostles, over 120 students waiting for the Counselor for excellence and dispenser of heavenly gifts.

Prayer Starter:

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love! O Holy Spirit descended into the upper room on the apostles and their disciples, operating on them the most wonderful transformation, come on us with the abundance of your gifts and fruits ... Purify our hearts from everything that separates us from Thee.

Oh! Blessed Mother, Queen of Apostles, Virgin and Spouse of the Holy Spirit we will begin this meditation to make reparation to your Immaculate Heart, in the certainty of its complete triumph. We beg you, Madam, give us a spark of your love to meditate on this mystery of Pentecost.


I - The origin of the feast of Pentecost.

It is originally a Jewish feast that was celebrated fifty days after Easter.

This feast was established by Moses, to remember the liberation of the Jewish people from bondage in Egypt. On this occasion, God told the Hebrews to sacrifice a lamb, from Egypt toward the promise land... It was a pre-figure of the Lamb of God - Jesus Christ - commemorated in the New Law, which would free men from the bondage of sin. On the fiftieth day after Easter, the party offering the first fruits of harvest - Pentecost - gave up the descent of the Holy Spirit.

Andon the day of Pentecost, they were all together in one place and suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a rushing wind blowing, and filled the whole house where they were.

Some appeared to them divided tongues of fire like which rested on each one. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak several languages as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2, 1-4)

This coming of the Holy Spirit, brought to the church an extraordinary event. It has lent strength to the Church of Christ to overcome the obstacles by which they had to pass: The Apostles had to face death, would face lack of human respect, would have to bear witness to Jesus Christ in the midst of the greatest persecution, the greatest repulsions, suffer horrors of all kinds and therefore needed strength.

The Church as a tender baby ... The Church was born, it was forming, it was still like a baby, it had not yet reached adulthood. It correlates with what is happening at the Sacrament of Confirmation. When we receive the baptism, we begin to participate in the divine life we receive graces and gifts that are infused into our souls. However we do not have sufficient fortitude, temperance and so many other gifts and virtues to face adversity. And so that is how it was the early Church, gathered around the Cenacle of Our Lady, the Apostles were extremely fearful.

We must remember that when Jesus was resurrected and appeared in the Upper Room, He found the doors and windows locked because of the fear that something bad might happen to them (the apostles). Our Risen Lord said three times: Peace be with you! This peace that only reaches its fullness coma descent of the Holy Spirit.

II-The signs of the descent of the Holy Spirit

The effects of the descent of the Holy Spirit are impressive: It is heard as a strange noise, coming from the
sky, like that of a rushing mighty wind, while on the head of each apostle rested a tongue of fire.

The noise that comes from heaven, a mighty wind, signifies the fullness of the gifts that He would bring, such fullness, making the apostles suitable for the works of God. They receive the impetus of love and at the same time is manifest the greatness of God.

The Holy Spirit descends with his gifts filling the apostles with comfort, excitement, they feel transformed. It was what, centuries later, St. Therese of Child Jesus said: "To love nothing is impossible!"

They were full of God's Love, they who were once fearful of the high mission which they had been given, are now full of eagerness, enthusiasm, or filled with God.

St. Cyril of Alexandria, says of the transformation that took place: "Easily the Spirit makes the move from love of earthly things to the hope of heavenly realities, and the fear and indecision to the strength of strong and generous soul. This was the case with the disciples, animated and strengthened by the spirit, never to be intimidated by Her pursuers, remaining inseparably united and faithful to the love of Christ.

1 - Mary, Queen of Apostles, Mother of the Church.

When the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced to her a dignity more sublime than all the grandeur created: to be the Mother of God, on this occasion the Blessed Virgin received the fullness of grace and unspeakable that demanded perfection. Mary received both the noble and difficult mission to contribute to the redemption of mankind, that guaranteed Him lights, gifts, privileges offered to this important vocation. Now, at the time that the Church was to be revealed to the world,
spreading the Gospel, etc.. It was essential that She also received a new fullness of the Holy Spirit to be the Mother of the Mystical Body of Christ.

2 - The tongues of fire!

The most characteristic is that it is appropriate to register the tongues of fire. They had to preach and it symbolizes that the facility would have to express, to explain the doctrine of Our Lord, the ability to proclaim, to illustrate, to point, to teach the way of salvation. We know the first preaching of St. Peter, a beautiful sermon, whose results were 3,000 people converted. The Church is born with three thousand baptized on this day of Pentecost.

3 - How was this fire!

In daily life, we know the fire produced by cooking gas, for firewood in the oven, etc.. And we feel that this is the fire that exists in hell fire and took this as a bad thing harmful, like a fire that scorches. It happens that the fire of hell has no fuel material, it is sustained by God Himself. The same happens with the fire of Purgatory. But the fire of the earth can be useful, because what would we be if we did not have the fire in our lives, how would we make our meals? For these reasons some believe that in heaven there is no fire.

According to some theologians, the heavenly paradise there is fire and that fire from heaven is all beautiful, beneficent, is rejuvenating a fire, a fire is extraordinarily charitable benefit to us, the fire in the sky is fragrant!
The fire, made of light and heat, was the best element to symbolize the burning itself to restoring and exciting action of the Holy Spirit. By hovering over the heads of Mary and the others present, the flames were presented in the form of tongues of fire. In them we see the flames symbolized that the preaching of those men would pose. Thus, these tongues of fire that descended upon the Apostles is fire from heaven, carrying highly charitable, they symbolize the gift of eloquence, charm, enthusiasm, fervor that they should have to convert all peoples.

4 - strong wind,

The "strong wind" can be seen as the arrival of the flood of grace which were being poured, flooding to flush the fire room of the Cenacle. Where effective and mystical graces overabundant that "invaded" the room, pointing to the fullness of faith and love which suited the heralds of the Word of God. In addition to auditory phenomenon, and perhaps sensitive, there have been some perfume? The idea seems plausible.

III-Send forth your Spirit Creator!

The modern world is in a stunning decline. Men seem to be deaf to the voice of the Holy Spirit and if ever fall deeper into sin and forgetfulness of God, we see so much evil, violence and horrors of all kinds making progress scary. Enough that we beseige Our Lord, the prayers of Mary, send the Spirit of Truth and Love on Earth to be reversed this situation and the complete defeat the powers of hell.

Therefore, the Church in the person of his faithful, pray for twenty centuries the prayer of the Psalmist:

"Send forth your Spirit and renew the face creator of the earth"

What wonders what could still come after this event? If in the first coming there were so many beauties of culture and civilization, and especially so many miracles of grace - witness the long cohort of martyrs, confessors, virgins and doctors who already enjoy in eternity - what would happen if there was a new lease of the Paraclete on earth?

That is why we beg, insist that the Holy Spirit to restore order and renew the face of the earth, to close this meditation in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Closing Prayer

Oh! Queen of Apostles, Queen of Peace, our heavenly Mother full of the love of God, we contemplate in this meditation the key role of this mystery of Pentecost, as Mediatrix of God which has been the coming of the Third Person of the Trinity so magnificent that transformed all the Apostles, the disciples and began the Holy Catholic Church. However, Madam, today we are in a worse situation than those times, all that Thou ask Thou received, now also ask, ask the Bride of the Holy Spirit and that He will come to convert sinful humanity so we can sing and proclaim rejoicing the song of your victory: your Immaculate Heart triumphed!