Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Rosary: Sign of Salvation

"If you presevere in reciting the Rosary, this will be the most probable sign of your eternal salvation."
~Blessed Alan de la Roche

Who can't appreciate "simple snippets from the saints"? Like one single line from Christ, their words possess incredible spiritual depths about which could be written volumes of books.

Perseverance in praying the Rosary, with its beautiful prayers and meditations, proves not that we have attained holiness but only that we are striving for it, despite our weak human nature.

-The Rosary helps us remember that God has lifted us from nature and that we must live supernatural lives.

-The Rosary allows us to meditate on and imitate the examples set by Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, asking them always for the graces we need.

-Each prayer in the Rosary is a lesson, too. The Apostle's Creed affirms what we believe is true because God revealed those truths. The Our Father is a perfect prayer, given to us by Christ Himself, summing up the Two Great Commandments and reminding us that we have the right to call God "Our Father." The Hail Mary is a liturgical prayer, based on the infallible Gospel, which is inspired by the Holy Ghost. And so it goes with the Glory Be, a prayer to the Holy Trinity. And then there is one and only addition to the Rosary, a short prayer which Our Lady of Fatima asked to be added at the end of each mystery: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those with the greatest need of Thy mercy.

The Rosary mysteries encourage us to imitate Our Lady and Our Lord, our perfect models in practicing all the virtues. When the wounds of our fallen nature remind us how weak we really are, praying and meditating on the Rosary will help us remember that ---

"It is not those who commit the least faults who are most holy, but those who have the greatest courage, the greatest generosity, the greatest love." (~St. Francis de Sales)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Spiritual Reading: A Quick Thought

You will not see anyone who is really striving after his advancement who is not given to spiritual reading. And as to him who neglects it, the fact will soon be observed by his progress.
~St. Athanasius

Thursday, May 7, 2009

To Jesus through Mary: A Thought to Make You Smile

After Our Lord, Jesus Christ, nobody can be as perfect in grace and merits as Our Immaculate Lady. The shortest way to sanctity is "To Jesus through Mary," because the Lady Mary always leads us to Her Divine Son. In imitating our dear Mother, we should every day offer to God all that we think, say and do but do so in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Then, safe under Our Lady's mantle, ponder this thought - which will also make you smile:

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, “Oh no - she's awake.”
~Author Unknown

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Secret of Grace and Merit

Be assured that we shall obtain more grace and merit in one day by suffering patiently the afflictions that come to us from God or from our neighbor than we would acquire in ten years by mortifications and other exercises that are of our own choice.
~St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Best Perfection

Beautiful counsel (from a saint) on one of my favorite themes (daily duty):

The best perfection is to do ordinary things in a perfect manner.
Constant fidelity in little things is a great and heroic virtue.

~St. Bonaventure (1221-1274)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Forgetting to Plan or Planning to Forget?

The days are flying by, the seasons change before we know it, and we make our plans, sometimes too easily forgetting to plan for (or perhaps planning to forget) Eternity and the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell. Oh, I know - those Four Last Things are serious subjects, and we like to think about nice things. Forgive the understatement, but isn't the hope of Heaven - one of the Four Last Things - a "nice" thing?

How easily we forget that even the longest life is brief; how quickly the truth slips from memory that our lives are not truly ours. Christ ransomed our souls with a great price and not one of us knows how much time we have. Will we cooperate today with the time God has given us to use His graces well and work out our salvation?

It is for us to become holy here and now, for we cannot be certain whether we will be here this evening.
~St. Maximillian Kolbe

All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.
~Gandalf, in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings

What else can possibly be said, when those two beautiful quotes say it all?

Friday, May 1, 2009

What Christ Grants to St. Joseph

Today is May 1, the first day of Our Lady's month as well as the Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker. This day shared between the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph is appropriate, for surely they who were joined on earth in the holiest of marriages worship God together in Heaven.

St. Joseph is patron of the Church, protector of virgins, patron of laborers, and patron of a happy death. St. Joseph's annual solemnity falls on March 19, but this date in May honors the faithful and humble labor of Christ's foster-father, who exemplified the meaning of "daily duty" to God and to one's state in life.

The Holy Trinity chose this just man, a son of David, as husband and chaste spouse of the Immaculate Virgin Mary and foster-father of Jesus, the Word Incarnate. In thinking of St. Joseph's blessed and unique role to Christ and Our Lady, we also consider his great privileges, granted by the Savior and the Mediatrix of all Graces.

"It seems to me that to other saints Our Lady has given power to help us in only one kind of necessity. But this glorious St. Joseph, I know by my own experience, assists us in all kinds of necessities. And Our Lady, it appears, wishes us to understand that as Christ was obedient to St. Joseph on earth, so now in heaven He now grants St. Joseph whatever he asks. This truth many others have also experienced, who have recommended themselves to him. Many now are devoted to him, and I myself have fresh experience of his power."
~St. Theresa of Avila