Posted in LENT, Morning Prayers

LENTEN REFLECTION – The First Week of Lent – 4 MARCH

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LENTEN REFLECTION – 4 MARCH

Redeemed by His Blood
by Bernard of Clairvaux

To redeem a servant, the Father spares not His own Son, and the Son delivers Himself up most willingly.   Both send the Holy Spirit and the Spirit Himself interceded for us with unspeakable groaning (Romans 8:26).

O hard, and hardened, and hard-hearted children of Adam!   How can you remain unmoved by such great kindness, such blazing fire, so prodigious a flame of love and so ardent a lover, who paid such an extravagant price for a worthless piece of goods!

“Not with perishable things like gold and silver” did Jesus redeem us, but with his own “precious blood” (1 Peter 1:18-19) which flowed out liberally from the five parts of Jesus’ body.

What more should He have done that He did not do? He enlightened the blind, brought back the stragglers, reconciled the guilty and justified the ungodly.

Thirty-three years He was seen on earth.   He lived among humans, He died for humans, He spoke concerning the Cherubim and Seraphim and all the angelic powers and they came to be (Psalm 33:9).    When He wills it, all power is there with him (Wisdom 12:18).

What then does He who sought you with such concern now seek from you, if not that you walk mindfully with your God (Micah 6:8)?   No one but the Holy Spirit enables us to this.

It is He who probes the depth of our hearts (1 Corinthians 2:10), He who discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

He does not allow the slightest amount of chaff to settle inside the dwelling of a heart which He possesses but consumes it in an instant with a fire of the most minute scrutiny.

He is the sweet and gentle Spirit who bends our will, or rather straightens and directs it more fully toward his own so that we may be able to understand His will truly, love it fervently, and fulfill it effectively.

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Posted in Purgatory

HOW TO AVOID PURGATORY By Fr. Paul O’Sullivan O.P.

HOW TO AVOID PURGATORY By Fr. Paul O’Sullivan O.P.

For those who have not read this little book and to refresh myself, I will be posting the entire book in daily doses.  (To read later find in the Purgatory Category).

Chapter 14

HOW WE CAN HELP THE HOLY SOULS

I. The first means is by joining the Association of the Holy Souls. The
conditions are easy.

ASSOCIATION OF THE HOLY SOULS

Approved by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, June, 1936

1. The members are asked to send their full name and address to:
Association of the Holy Souls, Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary, Pius
XII Monastery, Rua do Rosario 1, 2495 Fatima, Portugal.

2. The members must offer up a Mass once a week for the Holy Souls
(Sunday’s Mass can fulfil this obligation).

3. The members pray for and promote devotion to the Holy Souls. (We
recommend the booklets Read Me or Rue It and How to Avoid Purgatory.)

4. The members are asked to contribute a yearly alms to the Mass Fund. The
alms is used to have Masses said for the Holy Souls every month.

II. A second means of helping the Holy Souls is having Masses offered for
them. This is certainly the most efficacious way of relieving them.

III. Those who cannot get many Masses offered, owing to want of means,
ought to assist at as many Masses as possible for this intention.

A young man who was earning a very modest salary told the writer: “My wife
died a few years ago. I got 10 Masses said for her. I could not possibly do
more but heard 1,000 for her dear soul ”

IV. The recital of the Rosary (with its great indulgences) and the Way of
the Cross (which is also richly indulgenced) are excellent means of helping
the Holy Souls.

St. John Massias, as we saw, released from Purgatory more than a million
souls, chiefly by reciting the Rosary and offering its great indulgences
for them.

V. Another easy and efficacious way is by the constant repetition of short
indulgenced prayers, offering up the indulgences for the Souls in
Purgatory. Many people have the custom of saying 500 or 1,000 times each
day the little ejaculation, “Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in
Thee” or the one word, “Jesus” These are most consoling devotions and bring
oceans of graces to those who practice them and give immense relief to the
Holy Souls.

Those who say the ejaculations 1,000 times a day gain 300,000 days
Indulgence! What a multitude of souls they can thus relieve! What will it
not be at the end of a month, a year–or 50 years? And if they do not say
the ejaculations, what an immense number of graces and favours they shall
have lost. It is quite possible and even easy to say these ejaculations
1,000 times a day. But if one does not say them 1,000 times, let him say
them 500 or 200 times.

VI. Still another powerful prayer is:

“Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, with all
the Masses being said all over the world this day, for the Souls in
Purgatory.”

Our Lord showed St. Gertrude a vast number of souls leaving Purgatory and
going to Heaven as a result of this prayer which the Saint was accustomed
to say frequently during the day.

VII. The Heroic Act consists in offering to God in favour of the Souls in
Purgatory all the works of satisfaction we practice during life and all the
suffrages that will be offered for us after death. If God rewards so
abundantly the most trifling alms given to a poor man in His name, what an
immense reward will He not give to those who offer all their works of
satisfaction in life and death for the souls He loves so dearly.

This Act does not prevent priests from offering Mass for the intentions
they wish, or lay people from praying for any persons or other intentions
they desire. We counsel everyone to make this act.

ALMS HELP THE HOLY SOULS

St. Martin gave half of his cloak to a poor beggar, only to find out
afterwards that it was to Christ he had given it. Our Lord appeared to him
and thanked him.

Blessed Jordan of the Dominican Order could never refuse an alms when it
was asked in the name of God. One day he had forgotten his purse. A poor
man implored an alms for the love of God. Rather than refuse him, Jordan,
who was then a student, gave him a most precious belt or cincture which he
prized dearly. Shortly afterwards, he entered a church and found his
cincture encircling the waist of an image of Christ Crucified. He, too, had
given his alms to Christ. We all give our alms to Christ.

RESOLUTION

a) Let us give all the alms we can afford; b) Let us have said all the
Masses in our power; c) Let us hear as many more as is possible; d) Let us
offer all our pains and sufferings for the relief of the Holy Souls.

We shall thus deliver countless souls from Purgatory, who will repay us ten
thousand times over.

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Posted in Morning Prayers, Saint of the Day

Thought for the Day – 4 March

Thought for the Day – 4 March

The calendar of the saints is studded with young saints:  Agnes, Aloysius, Doiminic Savio, Maria Goretti……many more and today’s saint, Casimir.   They chose to be different, independent and very bold during the times they lived.   They chose to stand out from the crowd (almost the complete opposite of the desire of most of the young) and because of this choice, they had to walk a very singular path to sanctity.   Casimir and Aloysius, both were princes but chose devotion to God above all, at a very early age.   Youth too, needs its. saints and God sends them to us!

St Casimir pray for us especially for our youth!

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Posted in Morning Prayers, Quotes of the Saints, Saint of the Day

Quote of the Day – 4 March

Quote of the Day – 4 March

““(St Casimir’s) life of purity and prayer
beckons you to practice your faith
with courage and zeal,
to reject the deceptive attractions
of modern permissive society
and to live your convictions
with fearless confidence and joy.”

St John Paul in 1984, to Lithuanian pilgrims, on the 500th anniversary of St Casimir’s death

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Posted in Morning Prayers, Quotes of the Saints, Saint of the Day, The Word

One Minute Reflection – 4 March

One Minute Reflection – 4 March

Over all these virtues put on love, which binds the rest together and makes them perfect…………..Col 33:14

REFLECTION – “By the power of the Holy Spirit, Casimir burned with a sincere and unpretentious love for almighty God that was almost unbelievable in its strength. So rich was his love and so abundantly did it fill his heart, that it flowed out from his inner spirit toward his fellow men. As a result nothing was more pleasant, nothing more desirable for him, than to share his belongings and even to dedicate and give his entire self to Christ’s poor, to strangers, to the sick, to those in captivity and all who suffer. To widows, orphans and the afflicted, he was not only a guardian and patron but a father, son and brother.” (From the Biography of Saint Casimir, written by a contemporary)

PRAYER – Loving Father, pour out Your divine love into my heart and soul. Let me co-operate with that love and in this way strive for perfection in all virtues. St Casimir, you are a shining example to us all of how love should look, of how love should behave, please pray that we may too become beacons and hearts burning with love for all! Amen.

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Posted in Morning Prayers

Our Morning Offering – 4 March

Our Morning Offering – 4 March

Prince Casimir chose a life of celibacy and asceticism. He died at the age of twenty-six from tuberculosis, on March 4, 1484. He was buried in the cathedral at Vilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania). When in 1604 his tomb was opened for translation to the church that Sigismund III built in his name, his body was found to be fresh and whole. He was holding this prayer to the Virgin in his hands

Every day, O my soul, pay your respects to Mary,
Make her feasts solemn and celebrate her brilliant virtues;
Contemplate and admire her elevation;
Proclaim her blessedness both as Mother and Virgin;
Honour her so that she delivers you
from the weight of your sins;
Invoke her so as not to be driven by the torrent of passion;
I do know if anybody can honour Our Lady worthily
Yet he who keeps silent in her praises is senseless;
Everyone should exalt and love her in a special way,
And never cease to cherish and pray to her;
O Mary, the honour and glory of all women,
You who God has raised above all creatures;
O Virgin of Mercy, hear the prayers of those
who never stop praising you;
Purify those who are guilty and make them worthy of heaven;
Hail, O holy Virgin, through whom the gates of heaven
were opened to undeserving souls
You, who, the old serpent’s snares never managed to seduce;
You repair and console despairing souls
Preserve us from the evils that will fall on the wicked;
Obtain perpetual peace for me,
And save me from the misfortune of the flames of Gehenna;
Obtain for me to be chaste and modest,
gentle, kind, sober, pious, prudent, upright
and the enemy of all falsehood;
Grant me meekness, love of harmony and purity;
Make me strong and constant on the path of righteousness.
Amen

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Posted in Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day – 4 March – St Casimir

Saint of the Day – 4 March – St Casimir- (1458-1484 -aged 25) Prince, Celibate, Apostle of Prayer, Apostle of Charity and Mercy, Marian Devotee, Eucharistic Adorer, Confessor – Patron against plague, bachelors, kings, princes, single laymen, Lithuania (proclaimed by Pope Urban VIII in 1636, Poland, Grodno, Belarus, diocese of, youth.

Casimir Jagiellon was born in 1458, the third of thirteen children born to Poland’s King Casimir IV and his wife Elizabeth of Austria.   He and several of his brothers studied with the priest and historian John Dlugosz, whose deep piety and political expertise influenced Casimir in his upbringing.

The young prince had a distaste for the luxury of courtly life and instead chose the way of asceticism and devotion.   He wore plain clothes with a hair shirt beneath them, slept frequently on the ground and would spend much of the night in prayer and meditation on the suffering and death of Christ.

Casimir showed his love for God through these exercises of devotion and also through his material charity to the poor.   He was known as a deeply compassionate young man who felt others’ pains acutely.

The young prince was only 13 years old when his father was asked by the Hungarians to offer his son as their new king. Casimir was eager to aid the Hungarians in their defense against the Turks and went to be crowned.   This plan was unsuccessful, however, and he was forced to return to Poland.

After his return Casimir resumed his studies with Dlugosz, while developing a canny grasp of politics by observing his father’s rule.   In 1479 the king left Poland to attend to state business in Lithuania, leaving Prince Casimir in charge of the realm between 1481 and 1483.

Advisers to the prince joined his father in trying to convince Casimir to marry.   But he preferred to remain single, focusing his life on the service of God and the good of his people.

After experiencing symptoms of tuberculosis, Casimir foresaw his death and prepared for it by deepening his devotion to God.   He died en route to Lithuania on March 4, 1484 and was buried with a copy of a Marian hymn he frequently recited. Pope Adrian VI canonized him in 1522.   After a lapse of one hundred and twenty years, his body was taken up, and found without the slightest sign of corruption.

Five centuries after his death, Pope John Paul II recalled how St. Casimir “embraced a life of celibacy, submitted himself humbly to God’s will in all things, devoted himself with tender love to the Blessed Virgin Mary and developed a fervent practice of adoring Christ present in the Blessed Sacrament.”