Whatever curious and interesting subject strikes my fancy, be it silly or serious, gets posted for your reading pleasure.

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Now Available! "The Month of the Precious Blood"


 Hi everyone! Yes, the next Traditional Catholic classic by Fr. Marin de Boylesve translated into English for the first time is now available!

 

"The MONTH of the PRECIOUS BLOOD"


"Now, more than ever, it is opportune to tell people at what price our souls were redeemed. We must let it be known how the Blood of Christ cleanses souls and sanctifies them, particularly by means of the sacraments.” 

                                                                                ~ St. Gasper del Bufalo (1786-1837).


Answering this call, Fr. Marin de Boylesve, S.J. (1813-1892) composed an inspirational devotion booklet consisting of a trinity of novenas for each day in July, the month dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ. 

Through the short daily meditations of the novenas he shows how the shedding of Christ's Blood was necessary for the redemption of the human race, beginning with the Blood of Jesus prefigured in the Old Testament, continuing with Its manifestation in the New Testament, and concluding with the Precious Blood present in the sacraments of the Catholic Church.


Included from the original edition are pious devotions to the Precious Blood, also in this new English edition a biography of the author is included, additional prayers, indulgenced prayers, and twenty-seven illustrations.  This book will prove to be a treasure not just for July but also excellent spiritual reading material for Lent and for all times of the year.


About the Author: Fr. Marin de Boylesve is best remembered in France for spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart with his writings thereby promoting the cause for the construction of the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris.

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 Book details: 

Paperback

Batalha Publishers

Publication date: March 25, 2022

156 pages

5 x 8 inches

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WHERE TO ORDER:

  Click the store links below!

 

* Amazon (+ ships internationally) 

 *  Barnes and Noble (USA + ships internationally)

* Amazon UK (ships to Europe)

* Waterstones UK (also ships to Ireland)

* Amazon (Canada)

 

~~ You can also order your copy at your local brick and mortar book store! 

 

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See past blog posts, TABLE OF CONTENTS, click here.

 

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 If you like this, you will LOVE my other books, click here to visit my book site!

 

 

 

Saturday, 5 March 2022

Now Available! The "Month of Saint Michael" and "The Sacred Heart of Jesus"

At last these two beautiful Traditional Catholic classics 

by Fr. Marin de Boylesve S.J. (1813-1892) 

 are now available for the first time in English!

 


"The Month of Saint Michael:

Saint Michael According to the Bible  and According to Tradition"

 

“Who is like unto God?” 

 

 To this day St. Michael the Archangel burns with the same fiery zeal for the glory of God as when he thrust Satan from the heights of Heaven. The defender of God's people, this mighty prince is always ready to come to the assistance of those who call upon him. If you are devoted to this great saint, wish to increase your devotion, or in need of spiritual encouragement in these dark times “The Month of Saint Michael” is for you.



Written by Fr. Marin de Boylesve, S.J. (1813-1892), 'The Month of Saint Michael' features short inspiring and encouraging meditations drawn from the Bible for every day for the month of September in honour of the great commander of the Heavenly hosts, as well as passages recounting the graces, apparitions and interventions of the Archangel according to holy Tradition and history. 

This new, first ever English edition of Fr. de Boylesve's text contains additional traditional prayers of protection and devotions, forty-two sacred illustrations, a biography of the author and informative annotations. A spiritual gem for any time of the year, not just September!

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Book details:

Batalha Publishers

PAPERBACK

Size: 5" x 8"

 Pages: 232

 ISBN: 978-989-96844-92

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Where to order, click the store links below!

* Amazon (USA + International Shipping)

* Barnes and Noble (USA + International Shipping) 

* Books-a-Million (USA only)

* Amazon (UK - also ships to Ireland) 

* Waterstones (UK - also ships to Ireland)

* Amazon (Canada)

 

* McNally Robinson (Canada)

 


"The Sacred Heart of Jesus"

Behold the Heart that has so loved men and desires to be loved in return,

yet, we cannot come to love what we do not know or understand.


    To encourage devotion to the Heart of Jesus, Fr. Marin de Boylesve provides short reflections based on the Scriptures showing how everything God planned came from His Love: that this most Loving Heart is present throughout the Gospels, how the actions of the Blessed Trinity are completely connected with the Heart of Christ, and that the most perfect prayer, the Our Father, springs from the font of the Sacred Heart. Fr. de Boylesve also explains how the Sacraments of the Church come forth from this Furnace of Love, and how the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit are united with the Sacred Heart. 

 If you desire to understand and increase your love for the Heart of Jesus, this book is a must-have for your spiritual library.  Included are a biography of the author, additional prayers and sixteen illustrations.

 

 Book details:

Paperback. 132 pages.

Batalha Publishers 

Size: 5" x 8"

ISBN: 978-989-33-2807-1

 

Where to order your copy, click the stores links below:

 

* Amazon.com (USA-International shipping available depending on country)

* Barnes and Noble (USA+ worldwide shipping)

* Books-a-Million  (USA only)

* Amazon.co.uk  (UK, also ships to Ireland)

* Waterstones (UK, also ships to Ireland)

* Amazon.ca  (Canada)

* McNally Robinson (Canada)

 

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These books can also be ordered from regular brick and mortar bookstores!

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Previous Blog Posts - Table of Contents, click here. 





Thursday, 27 January 2022

Art and Design – Does Heaven Care?

 


Most of us have heard the expression 'art is in the eye of the beholder', I've even expanded this in my novel Brushstrokes of a Gadfly:


Art is in the eye of the beholder, and everyone will have their own interpretation.”



    It is human nature, we can't help but interpret what we see depending on our personal experiences and tastes. Often the artist means to depict one thing, and the viewing public sees something completely different!




(Is it just me, or does a  bowl of spaghetti has more 'art' to it than this?)


I for one cannot help but shake my head at the modern monstrosities creators in the art world are producing, (and I bet most of you out there do too!) 

 

What happened to honest-to-goodness skill and artistry?

Like this? Beautiful! Dashing! Dramatic!

 


(Image: Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David, 1803)

 

 

Or this? Impressionism is beautiful too!

 

(Monet's famous 'Poppies')


But now we've come to this?  Seriously?

 

 


 Uggggh.

Do modern artists of today truly think what gobbledygook they are producing is really 'beautiful'?



(Picaso's first and last self portraits. 

 I can't help but say he did not think much of himself later in life.)


    Again, it just feels like a scam market at times, galleries and art dealers wowing would-be investors with stories of how 'this is the latest collectible trend', pumping up a market that sells nothing more than splotches on a canvases , a 'hot-air balloon' system which one of my characters in the same novel also notices:

 

They lived off each other's hypocrisy, fueling a worthless market of trash.”

 

    Then, more importantly, they seem to forget to ask the question:  does Heaven care about what we draw, paint or design?


    As Our Lord said Himself noted: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Luke 6:45)

 

     If spoken words display what is in the heart of a person, what does a picture show if indeed one picture is worth a thousand words?

 

I've come across several examples that show yes, Heaven does care.

 

    The first is an account of an artist who came back from the dead to warn the owner of a beautiful but scandalous painting he produced for him:


    “A painter of great skill and otherwise exemplary life had once made a painting not at all conformable to the strict rules Christian modesty. It was one of those paintings which under the pretext of being 'works of art' are found in the best families, and the sight of which causes the loss of so many souls. (…) The artist of whom we speak had allowed himself to be misled to this point by bad example.

    Soon however, renouncing this pernicious style, he confined himself to the production of religious pictures, or at least of those which were perfectly irreproachable. Finally, he was painting a large picture in the convent of the discalced Carmelites, when he was attacked by a mortal malady. Feeling he was about to die, he asked the Prior to allow him to be interred in the church of the monastery, and he bequeathed to the community his earnings, which amounted to a considerable sum of money, charging them to have Masses said for the repose of his soul. He died in pious sentiments, and a few days passed, when a Religious who had stayed in the choir after Matins saw him appear in the midst of flames and sighing piteously.

    “What!” said the religious, “have you to endure such pain, after leading so good a life and dying so holy a death?” “Alas!” replied he, “it is on account of the immodest picture that I painted some years ago. When I appeared before the tribunal of the Sovereign Judge, a crowd of accusers came to give evidence against me. They declared that they had been excited to improper thoughts and evil desires by a picture, the work of my hand. In consequence of those bad thoughts some were in Purgatory, others in Hell. The latter cried for vengeance, saying that, having been the cause of their eternal perdition, I deserved at least the same punishment. Then the Blessed Virgin and the saints whom I had glorified by my pictures took up my defense. They represented to the Judge that that unfortunate painting had been the work of youth, and of which I had repented that I had repaired it afterwards by religious objects which had been a source of edification to souls.”

    “In consideration of these and other reasons, the Sovereign Judge declared that, on account of my repentance and my good works, I should be exempt from damnation but at the same time, He condemned me to these flames (Purgatory) until that picture should be burned, so that it could no longer scandalize anyone.”

    Then the poor sufferer implored the Religious to take measures to have the painting destroyed. “I beg of you,” he added, “go in my name to such a person, proprietor of the picture; tell him in what a condition I am for having yielded to his entreaties to paint it, and conjure him to make a sacrifice of it. If he refuses, woe to him! To prove that this is not an illusion, and to punish him for his own fault, tell him that before long he will lose his two children. Should he refuse to obey Him Who has created us both, he will pay for it by a premature death.”

    The religious delayed not to do what the poor soul asked of him, and went to the owner of the picture. The latter, on hearing these things seized the painting and cast it into the fire. Nevertheless, according to the words of the deceased, he lost his two children in less than a month. The remainder of his days he passed in penance, for having ordered and kept that immodest picture in his house.” (Source “Purgatory: Explained by the Lives and Legends of theSaints” by Fr. F.X. Schouppe, original edition 1893, reprint TAN,1986.)


    Here is one example Heaven will judge on artist on the damage their work will do – for their art could be a means causing the edification and salvation of many, or, bring about grave scandal and the eternal loss of souls.


Immodesty is a big no-no.


    I found another example of the danger of immodesty in a picture, this time with regards to sacred art, with Satan making an attempt to trip up and trap a holy priest, the humble Pére Lamy (1853-1931), who received many visits from Our Lord, Our Lady and the Angels.   (Yes, he is an approved mystic.)




    As usual with mystics whose spiritual gifts are extraordinary like his were, which included the discernment of souls, his fame as a visionary quickly spread.  Naturally people asked him what Our Lady and Our Lord looked like. Not many people get to see Christ and His Mother! In some instances, Pére Lamy tried to give examples of what Our Lady was like, no statue or painting made by human hands was good enough, but he indicated a couple of statues he thought looked the closest to her manner of bearing and expression.


    One day in 1915, however, he was brought to see a newly built church, Saint Michel de Batignolles in Paris, where they were pleased to show off a sculpture of the Madonna and Child that apparently had won the prestigious 'Prix de Rome'.  

     While everyone was proud of the prize-winning sculpture and the purity of the marble used, Pére Lamy had a different reaction, especially with the depiction of the Christ Child Who was depicted "completely naked", according to the words of Père Lamy, Our Lady holding the Child with a mere piece of cloth, but only as an artistic effect, not a proper covering.  Père Lamy said he found this 'disconcerting' and even made a furious glare at it.

    To confirm his feelings, The Madonna appeared to him right then holding the Christ Child in front of the statue, and, he noted with satisfaction the Child was fully and properly dressed in his little brown wool tunic. Then Our Lady warned Père Lamy:

 “Take care, Lucifer is after you like a dog tracking down a hare.”

    He noted this was her way of showing her displeasure with the statue. She then warned him to be very careful of his words regarding it, no doubt this was due to the fact that any indication of an approval coming from him would imply the statue was accurate when it in fact displeased Our Lady, and of course, and would end up giving bad example. So, he carefully replied that the statue “did not answer the great dignity of the Mother of God and that the statue did not please me.”

 

  There you have it.  

 Nakedness in art for "art's sake" is not approved of by Heaven.


    Fr. F.X. Schouppe explains what true art is when giving his example of the artist who came back from Purgatory to demand his immodest picture be burned:


    “True art is an inspiration from Heaven, which elevates the soul to God; profane art, which appeals to the senses only, which presents to the eye nothing but the beauties of the flesh and blood, is but an inspiration of the evil spirit; his works, brilliant though they may be, are not works of art, and the name is falsely attributed to them. They are the infamous productions of a corrupt imagination.” (Purgatory: Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints)

  As we have seen with Satan attempting to trip up Pére Lamy, this point is indeed the case.


    But, what is even more unnerving, I've hunted down a picture of the statue that caused Our Lady's displeasure. According to the person telling this story they heard from Père Lamy, the statue was carved c. 1920 by Arthur-Joseph Gueniot (1866 – 1951).

 

The statue does not look immodest to our standards at all!


("Mater Dei" in Saint Michel des Batignolles by Arthur-Joseph Gueniot.)


    Our Lady looks perfectly clothed, her neckline does not seem open or that low at all to our eyes, and while the Christ Child is wrapped in a cloth, He is not 'completely' nude from the waist down like many other pieces as the text seem to have suggested!

Oh. 

If this piece displeased Our Lady, what does Heaven consider to be improper 'nudity'?

The answer can be found in the book of Genesis.

    When Adam and Eve fell, already they had become blinded by their sin and did not even know how to fully clothe themselves. They took fig leaves and made simple aprons, but God let them know this was not enough – He had to make them tunics of skins after they confessed their misdeed.

    A tunic or robe-like garment covers the whole upper half of the body, over the shoulders, and slightly below the knees. Having an uncovered chest and torso was still considered nakedness by God. But also observe: to make the skin-tunics, something had to be sacrificed and shed its blood to make them proper garments, a symbol of the Great Sacrifice the Lamb of God would offer to cover the whole human race with His Precious Redemptive Blood.   Those re-clothed in grace with the Blood of the Lamb at the end of time are given full white robes as we see in the Apocalypse.  Pére Lamy noted the Christ Child in the vision with Our Lady was fully dressed in a tunic when He appeared


Wow, it makes you take stock of how bad most of our Renaissance and Classical art must look like to Heaven!

Père Lamy also noted the Mother of God's “tastes are very artistic”.

  

    In one instance he tells the story of a little plaster statue of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal he once had as a child and that he had daubed up with his paints.   He said the thought he was doing something wonderful in painting it, but agreed with the wisdom of hindsight gained from his adult years that his childish attempt at statue-painting was a real mess!


    He had painted her white, apparently he had painted her hands and face white, her cloak blue, and her veil white, but then gave her a yellow girdle, which clashed with the whole white and blue ensemble. However, the statue was lost when the family home burned down. One day in a vision Our Lady commented on the statue he had painted when a child, declaring, “He thought to give me a yellow girdle: it was very very ugly!” She then laughed heartily, and said “but I liked the intention.”

Yes, Père Lamy noted Our Lady does laugh at times!

    

    And, we see the Queen of Heaven and Earth, the Mother of Wisdom and Truth, has no qualms in saying when something is ugly. We can hazard a guess she still liked the messy statue because she could see he had painted it with love even if it had not been aesthetically perfect, just like any charitable mother would who goes ahead and tapes up their child's finger painting on the front of the refrigerator as though it belonged in a gallery.  Those childish gifts are well meant, splotchy though they may be!


    Pére Lamy confirmed this again when he noted Our Lady does not find many of her statues good to look at, but still, she loves them for they “are signs of the affection people have for her”, and therefore the ugliness of the statues does not hinder her from using them as channels of grace. (Source for the information and quotes on Père Lamy: “Père Lamy: 1855-1931”, by Comte Paul Biver, TAN,1973.)


    In all, Heaven will make concessions for some 'ugly' pieces of art, but we have to ask: if Heaven will punish those artists who create scandalous pictures, and Satan could attempt to trap a very holy priest with an immodest statue, not to mention Our Lady has very high artistic tastes, then what does Heaven think of modern art?


The Holy Souls from Purgatory give the answer to this.


    Maria Simma (1915 -2004) from Sonntag, Austria, had been chosen as a victim soul to receive visits from the Holy Souls in Purgatory and aid their release. (Note: her case is still under investigation by the Church, but there has been no negative rulings on her as yet, and, she was permitted to speak of her experiences by her local bishop. I personally have not seen anything contrary to Church teachings in her visions.)


    According to the book My Personal Experiences with the Poor Souls” (Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago,1979, p. 61), she one day received a message from the Blessed Mother via the visit of a Holy Soul requesting that a chapel be built in Sonntag. Maria's spiritual director agreed with the request, because he realized the exact spot where the chapel to be built according to the Holy Soul's directions once had a wayside shrine there long ago dedicated to the Blessed Mother, but it was removed during roadworks. The villagers had promised to put it back up, but the promise was forgotten, and as the years passed, only the older generations barely remembered it. So, Our Lady obviously wanted the promise kept, but now wanted a chapel big enough to where Mass could be said.


    When the chapel was finished, a new request came from the Blessed Mother via the visit of a Holy Soul: Our Lady desired a picture be painted and hung in the chapel depicting her as “Mother of Mercy for the Poor Souls”, but, the request also demanded “it should be a picture of natural beauty, not a contorted work of modern art.”

Wow.

 Heaven considers modern art a 'contortion', with no 'natural beauty'.


Basically, that it is twisted and therefore grotesque!


    Maria Simma would later give another example, I believe it is in the book 'Get Us Out of Here!”, by Niki Eltz. Unfortunately I only borrowed that copy and gave it back to its owner, so I don't have it on hand and will have to paraphrase what I recall. When asked about art and what the Holy Souls had to say about modern art, I believe it was about sacred art, she said the Holy Souls have told her Heaven does not approve of it as it is a mockery of what it represents.


Uh oh. Modern 'sacred art' of today therefore is more than just a mere fashion.

Heaven calls out modern “sacred art” for what it is -- a contorted, twisted, mocking sacrilege.

Heaven has also extended its disapproval to modern church designs.


    In the prophecies of the mystic Ven. Sister Domenica of Paradise (1473-1553) Our Lord warned that nearer the end of time a dark period was coming when the faith would drastically wane, one of the signs would be when church buildings would resemble caverns:


    My bride, pray and weep for My faithful, there will come a time when My faith, declining, will be missed in many and few (faithful) will remain, when souls fall into the hands of My enemy for the scarcity and lack of the Word God, (i.e. when the Word of God will not be taught or preached, the word 'lack' also means it may not be preached properly as it should) and when the temples of the Christians will resemble caverns than churches, then the night of blindness will reign, and the day and the sun of cognisance will be extinguished, and amid so much darkness few will know those who can exercise virtue, and employ themselves in the worship of My faith (...)” (For more info, click here.)


    Therefore, modern art and architecture are displaying the corrupt nature of the times and the loss of faith.

Interesting how everything seemed to take a nose-dive after Vatican II. By their fruits, you will know them.


All one has to look at is the infamous “church” that has been dubbed “Our Lady of Minas Morgul” built in the 1960s. 

 


 (Real name: "St. Francis de Sales", Muskegon, Michigan, USA)

   

     The dark joke is not far off: I can't help but imagine a hoard of Sauron's orcs from Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' conducting a black mass here.   Yikes.

The times are growing dark indeed.

    Fr. Schouppe observed: “If such is the consequence of an immodest picture, what then, will be the punishment of the still more disastrous scandals resulting from bad books, bad papers, bad schools, and bad conversations?”

The loss of Faith.

    Being a writer today is a daunting occupation knowing what you do may affect the eternal condition of a reader's soul … but that is for another post!


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Past Blog Posts: TABLE OF CONTENTS, click here.

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If you like my blog, you will LOVE my books!

Click here to check them out!

 


 


Friday, 17 December 2021

I am an Apostle, I Don't Wait on Tables!

 


Yep, you read the title right. Around the feast of St. Stephen, this always struck a chord with me, that the Apostles still had a lot of figuring out to do, even though they spoke with Our Lord directly while He was on earth, and also received the Holy Spirit who gave them wisdom and knowledge. You think they might have caught on right away on how Christ wanted His Church to run!


For instance, God had to prepare Peter to welcome the Roman centurion Cornelius and his whole family into the Church. Our Lord had already told the Apostles and disciples to go preach to all nations. The Gospel was not for the Jews alone. Still, God had to remind him yet again what His Church is all about, and to do this, He presented to him in a dream a group of animals that were considered unclean in the Jewish faith and was a sin to eat, and told Peter to kill and eat them. St. Peter was horrified, saying to the Lord he had never eaten anything unclean, but the Lord reminded St. Peter “That which God hath cleansed, do not thou call common,” this happened three times, and Peter then saw all the animals drawn up to Heaven. Peter wondered what this meant until the Spirit told him to meet the men had had just sent him, and Peter was brought to Cornelius and his family. Peter then realized the vision represented the once 'unclean' Gentile nations that were now cleansed by the Passion and Blood of Christ and were now to be part of the Church, Christ came for all mankind who accepted His Word, not just for the Jews!


So Peter still needed a little prompting to be shown what to do, the 'old Jew' was still too much ingrained in him, even after receiving the Holy Spirit.

 

Now, I could be wrong how I read this, someone who is more knowledgeable in theology can perhaps point out I may have made a mistake here, but I can't help but see another 'boo boo' when the fault of favouritism started to arise in the early Church.


In the beginning, anyone who joined the Church had to sell what they owned and deliver it to the Apostles as everyone lived a complete community life together similar to a monastery today. Nobody privately owned anything and the whole proceeds of everyone's donation upon entering the Church was distributed to all the believers according to their needs, so no one was left wanting according to Acts 4 (32, 34). No doubt this was how they interpreted Christ's words of giving up everything to follow Him, and of course, as He once asked them, they were not found to be in want.


But then, the Greek Jews noticed things were not getting distributed fairly: their widows were not getting their fair share to live on. Now, this is not just widows who lost their husbands, but also women who wished to live a single life for Christ. The term consecrated virgins had not been introduced yet as far as I know, or 'nun' for that matter! So single women living in chastity were considered as a 'widow', a woman with no husband, even if the had never been married. You can see this when St Paul says it is better to accept the older widows than the younger ones as the older ones are more constant in keeping to a life of chastity, while the younger ones are tempted to break their vow of chastity and marry. (1 Tim. 5: 9-12)



I don't mean to digress, the point is, the Christian Greek Jews were not getting the same treatment in the Church as the Christian Jews born in Israel. Their widows and consecrated women were getting neglected in the daily administration, so how long did this go on before someone had to say, 'Hey, we're getting hungry here and could use some help?' Oopsie.


Now, the Apostles came up with an idea – they couldn't manage everything themselves. The Church was growing, the Gospel needed to be spread, it was their duty, and, the daily mundane stuff like clothes and food needed administering on top of it. So, with the agreement of the members of the Church, they decided that the disciples should look for and appoint seven holy and wise men to become deacons to see to the daily administration of the Church's goods.


Great idea! God obviously had no problem with that as the fruits that blossomed later after this decision shows: the Word continued to spread and the discipleship grew after that we are told in the Acts. So yes, the necessity of forming an administration procedure was bound to make itself felt as the numbers of believers grew.


But, this is where the kicker comes in. When the Apostles were first approached with the problem that the Greek widows were getting neglected in the daily administration and something needed to be done, they responded:


“It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.” (Acts 6:2)


Oh. Ouch.


Waiting on tables was considered a demeaning task in those days, given to servants and often slaves.


The Douay-Rheims Bible says this occurred in the year 33 AD, so the Church was not even a full year old when this happened, therefore, this happened not long after Our Lord Himself had given the example of washing the feet of the Apostles at the Last Supper. The act of washing the feet was one of the most hateful and lowliest tasks a household servant could do, and was usually delegated to the most insignificant slave, which is why St. Peter nearly had a conniption fit when he saw the Son of God down on His knees willing to wash his feet like a slave!

 



Yes, this was symbolic of Christ's completely emptying of Himself to save us. He Himself also said He came to serve, not be served, and gave us the example, saying they were to do this for one another, and yet now the Apostles refuse to 'wait on tables', which was a step higher than washing someone's feet?


Again, oh, ouch!


God however gently showed them again in one of the very deacons chosen that it was possible to do both, one was just as important as the other.





St. Stephen was shown to be not only a holy and wise youth who could do the administrative tasks of distributing the goods justly, but was also noted for his excellent preaching of the Gospel, and, was given the grace of signs and wonders among the people. His preaching was so wise and sound he angered the Jews of the Libertine synagogue, the Cyrenian synagogue, the Alexandrian Jews, also those of Cilicia and Asia. They were, “unable to resist the wisdom and the spirit that spoke,” through Steven. (Act Acts 6:10) Wow, his preaching reached all those Jews. That is some reach! Despite all this, he did not balk when asked to administer the daily goods. He no doubt he happily and humbly did his task as ordered.


Of course, since the Jews could not argue against him or acknowledge the wisdom given him, instead of joining Christianity, they sought to kill Steven, so they paid false witnesses to speak evil of him and rile up the people, hence he was dragged before the elders and put on trial. But, he then put them all to shame with his excellent preaching, speaking against his judges and placing them on trial before God, which literally fills up a whole chapter in the Acts, ending with a magnificent vision of Christ on the right hand of the Father.


So, the youth who humbly waited on tables was granted wisdom and eloquence, and, the grace to be the first to shed his blood for the Faith, which in turn would lead to the conversion of St. Paul the great Apostle of the Gentiles. It was as if the Lord was telling them the daily tasks done for Me out of love are no hindrance to spiritual greatness! As Christ told Peter he could have no part of Him if he did not allow Him to serve him this way, and, that we are to do this to one another, forgiveness of one another and humble service, so it stands to reason we cannot have any part with Christ if we refuse the humble daily tasks set before us.


If then I being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also. Amen, amen I say to you: The servant is not greater than his lord; neither is the apostle greater than he that sent him. If you know these things, you shall be blessed if you do them.” (John 13: 14-17)


This is the secret of many of the saints: doing their daily duties of their state in life well, like the 'little way' of the St. Theresa of the Child Jesus: if the daily tasks God sets before us to do are done for pure love of Him, no matter humble, even picking up a pin, it is just as pleasing to Him as if we had converted nations.


Therefore, don't forget to make a morning offering each day before starting your work, your whole work will become a prayer and a pleasing offering to God and will help save many souls. Nothing is insignificant before God when done out of love for Him and the desire to fulfill His will in our state in life, no matter what it may be.

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Thursday, 23 September 2021

A Thought for Each Day of the Year


  

Meditation, or contemplative prayer, is the practise of dwelling upon the truths of religion in order to awaken within the mind good resolutions to practise.  Together with vocal prayer, meditation aids the faithful to gain graces and to advance rapidly on the path to spiritual perfection. 

  In addition to daily vocal prayers, the Catholic Church recommends the practise of meditation for at least several minutes a day in order to progress in the spiritual life.


    But meditation is difficult you say?

  'I don't have the time!'   

'I don't know how to meditate!'  

'I don't know what to meditate on!'  

'How do I form a good resolution to practise?' 

 

Fr. Marin de Boylesve, S.J. (1813-1892) provided an easy way to overcome these seeming hurdles with his helpful and motivational spiritual guide book 'A Thought For Each Day of the Year', which has become a spiritual classic.


Featuring a short passage from the Gospel readings for each Sunday, a clear and concise reflection to meditate upon and a prayer inspired by the reflection is provided, followed by a resolution drawn from the passage that anyone can easily put into practise, 'A Thought For Each Day of the Year' will provide a simple and time effective way to help fulfil your daily meditations in union with the liturgical year of the Church.


About the author: Fr. Marin de Boylesve is best remembered in France for spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart with his writings thereby promoting the cause for the construction of the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris.

 

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Book details: 

5.5 x 8.5 inches

 PAPERBACK ONLY

336 pages

Batalha Publishers

ISBN:  9789893319956

 

NOW AVAILABLE  as of September 30, 2021!

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(NOTE: this new edition is only available in paperback.  The 'Look inside the Book" feature at Amazon is showing a completely different edition and not this new edition with crisp printing.)

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ORDER your copy now at:

 

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 QUOTE from the book ~ the Meditation for Easter Sunday:


Gospel Passage "Who shall roll us back the stone from the door of the sepulchre?" (Mark 16:3)


Thought How would it be if we were to know everything? Not only does an enormous stone close the entrance to the sepulchre, but this stone is sealed by the powerful enemies of Our Lord and is surrounded by soldiers. Go on in spite of all this; God asks of you only that which you are able to perform; He takes what seems impossible upon Himself. When you draw near, all these obstacles have disappeared. True, your sweet spices are of no service, but your wishes have been accomplished and even surpassed.


Prayer Jesus, if Thou triest Thy friends, it is but to surprise them with consolations which more than recompense for any sacrifice.


Practise Make progress in spite of obstacles.


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