Latest

Sacred Sounds -The Angelus Bird

The bells might be silent all over the world,
  The toll of the Angelus never be heard;
Yet nature, the banner of Christ holds unfurl’d,
And her Mother is blessed by the “Angelus Bird.”

When traveling in the forests of Guinea and Paraguay it is not uncommon to meet with a bird whose music greatly resembles that of an Angelus bell when heard from a distance.

The Spaniards call this singular bird a bell ringer, though it may be still more appropriately designated as the Angelus bird, for, like the Angelus bell, it is heard three times a day, morning, noon, and night.

Its song, which defies all description, consists of sounds like the strokes of a bell, succeeding one another every two or three minutes, so clearly and in such a resonant manner, that the listener, if a stranger, imagines himself to be near a chapel or convent.

But it turns out that the forest is the chapel, and the bell a bird. The beauty of the Angelus bird is equal to his talent; he is as large as a jay, and as white as snow, besides being graceful in form and swift in motion. Whenever the Angelus bird begins to discourse his sweet music, the monkeys protest like evil spirits, and rend the air with their shrill chattering as they scamper up the trees to escape from the unwelcome sound.

THE ANGELUS BIRD

In the woods of Guinea there hovers a bird
Whose plumage is gorgeous and notes are sublime;
Thrice daily its carol is distinctly heard,
Like the sweet, solemn toll of the Angelus chime,
At morning it wakens the echoes around
With the ring of it magical, sacred notes;
At noon can be heard its thrice-uttered sound,
And at eve, tho the forest, its soft measure floats.

‘Tis the “Angelus Bird” of Paraguay s coast,
That chants the grand key of the holiest prayer;
Its altars, the forest- the day god, its host-
The heaven, its vault -what temple so fair!

‘Twould seem that when darkness o’ershadow’d the land
And the light of the Christian was yet to be seen,
That the God of Creation created this grand
Living bell, to intone the pure hymn o’er the scene!

From the moment ‘twas said that the Mother should be
“Hailed Blessed,” all over the earth, by the Word;
E’en the savage afar, by that Southern Sea,
Could hear her true praise in the “Angelus Bird.”

While temples were torn by iconoclast hands,
And the Faith of Redemption shone only in blood,
When the praise of the Virgin, in civilized lands,
Was hushed -it was heard in Paraguay s wood.

The bells might be silent all over the world,
The toll of the Angelus never be heard;
Yet nature, the banner of Christ holds unfurl’d,
And her Mother is blessed by the “Angelus Bird.“

Grant, Mother of God, that a lesson we take,
From this creature so strange, so truly sublime;
Let us honor the bird that such music can make,
May silence ne’er muffle its Angelus chime.   Dr. J. K. Foran

THE APPARITIONS AND SHRINES OF HEAVEN S BRIGHT QUEEN
In Legend, Poetry and History
William J. Walsh

His Last Great Work -Raphael

 Among the paintings of the Gallery of the Vatican is the Transfiguration, the last painting of Raphael. (1483 – 1520)

An almost divine power seemed to have inspired him as he portrayed the history of human suffering, and of the soul’s bright faith of a beautiful home above. Perhaps, as he toiled on, the portals of that home were open to his vision, and the voices of the blessed were stealing around him.

Hence the heavenly radiance which beams from the face, and lingers around the figure of our Holy Saviour. As Raphael eagerly painted and triumphantly gazed upon the realization of his wondrous conception, death snatched him away at the early age of thirty-seven.

Often had I read those touching lines of Rogers, wherein he describes the mournful scene when the dead body was placed beneath that last great painting, whose colors were yet moist from the artist’s brush. All Rome loved him, and Rome poured forth her noblest people to gaze upon the angelic face. The glory around the head of Christ seemed reflected upon the lifeless form. All wept.

“And when all beheld him where he lay, how changed from yesterday—him in that hour cut off, and at his head his last great work;
When, entering in, they looked.
Now on the dead, then on that masterpiece —
Now on his face, lifeless and colorless.
Then on those forms divine that lived and breathed. And would live on for ages—all were moved.
And sighs burst forth and loudest lamentations.” -Samuel Rogers

The intention of the painter is to produce a work, in which the calamities of life should lead the afflicted to look to Heaven for comfort and relief. In the upper part of the composition is Mount Tabor; the three apostles are lying on the ground, unable to bear the supernatural light proceeding from the divinity of Christ, who is floating in the air, accompanied by Moses and Elijah, as a personification of the power of the Lord and the source of Christian consolation.

Below is a representation of the sufferings of humanity: on one side are nine apostles; on the other a crowd of people are bringing to them a boy possessed of a devil. His limbs are fearfully convulsed, and every countenance wears an expression of terror. Two of the apostles point upwards to indicate the only Power by whom he can be cured.

“In the fury of the possessed, in the steady faith of the father, in the affliction of a beautiful and interesting female, and the compassion evinced by the apostles, he has depicted the most pathetic story he ever conceived.” (Luigi Lanzi, Italian art historian -1732-1810)

And yet even all this does not excite our admiration so much as the primary subject on the Mount. There the figures of the two prophets and the three disciples are truly admirable; but still more admirable is that of the Saviour, in which we seem to behold that effulgence of eternal glory, that spiritual lightness, that air of divinity, which will one day bless the eyes of the elect. In the head of the Saviour, on which he lavished all his powers of majesty and beauty, we see at once the last perfection of art and the last work of Raphael.

The Ave Maria
A Journal devoted to the Honor of the Blessed Virgin
1883

“Watch Ye, and Pray”

Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani. And he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray.
And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to grow sorrowful and to be sad.
Then he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death. Stay you here and watch with me.
And going a little further, he fell upon his face, praying and saying: My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wilt.
And he cometh to his disciples and findeth them asleep. And he saith to Peter: What? Could you not watch one hour with me?
Watch ye: and pray that ye enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
(Mt:26:36-41)

I had been reading the Passion according to St. Matthew, and as I pondered over the sad words, my whole soul went forth in reproaches against the apostles, Peter, James and John; the three beloved of Christ, upon whom He had lavished blessings innumerable, and whom He had loved with a love surpassing any to be found from the foundation to the consummation of the world.

Oh! how I wished that I had been there, to comfort the Man-God in His misery and sorrow I How sweet would it have been to wait, and watch, and pray, with One who was about to lay down His adorable life for the sins of the world. I thought of Him, as, returning in search of human sympathy to the place where He had left the three — He found them sleeping!

Oh! The unutterable agony of that moment! The utter friendlessness of Christ, alone in the gloom and stillness of that awful night! Nature herself was awed; and the stars trembled beneath their covering of inky clouds. But man alone heeded not. In the distance gleamed the lights in the homes of Jerusalem, but in Gethsemane all was dark.

The bush of death was upon the place, and only once was the silence broken, when the sighing wind bore aloft the immortal plea: ”My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass away. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” And the softly flowing Cedron caught the echo of the prayer, and swept it down the stream of life to the unborn generations of the children of men. Still the three slept!

I feared; and asked myself, how could this have been? Oh, the frailty of the flesh! the base ingratitude—to desert their Creator—to leave Him comfortless in. His affliction—to sleep while He was in agony! Surely I would not have been as these three; of me would it have been written, ‘one was faithful;’

Even while I sat in meditation, sleep overcame me, as it had done unto those whom I had been condemning. The Testament fell unheeded from my hands; and I dreamt. I was in a church, before the high altar of which burnt a brilliant light, the symbol of that Light, the Light of the world, shut within the tabernacle. But where were the worshippers? the watchers? The church was empty! With a start I awoke, the lesson of my vision branded upon my heart.

Never until now had I realized the meaning of those words of Christ: “Watch ye, and pray.” At last I saw their true significance. Not for the three alone had He intended the divine command; not for those few hours of that night long past; but for all upon whom the light of Christianity would shine: and for as long as there was a Christian soul upon this earth.

Was not Christ here in our world, upon our altars, waiting, longing, entreating for acts of love? And I blushed with shame as I thought of the many times I had passed His church without a thought or care for the patient God within. Christians! Catholics! We need not long to have been in Gethsemani to show our love, nor on Golgotha to show our faith. ‘Tis the present which requires our courage. Our everyday life is full of crosses and trials. May we bear them bravely and visit our Lord in the Sacrament of the Blessed Eucharist. We will never blame Peter, James and John for what we have often done, but what with God’s help, we will do no more.

The Rosary Magazine, Volume 26
January-June
1905

Reflections on The Living Rosary

Rosary Madonna “Do you never tire of saying your rosary?”

“Never. It is such a comfort to me. I am always finding some new beauty in it. The thought came to me today that the rosary is very like our lives.”

“It is divided into three parts: Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries. Do they not correspond to youth, maturity and old age? In youth all things are bright and full of promise: here we have the Annunciation, the Visitation and the Nativity. The first foreboding of sorrow may be found in the Presentation—the prophecy of Simeon—and in losing the Holy Child on the return from Jerusalem; yet when He is found in the temple, the joy far outweighs the pain of loss. So it is in youth; trouble is short lived and is quickly forgotten when the cloud has passed away.”

“The Sorrowful mysteries correspond to the years of maturity, when the cares of life press heavily upon us. Who has not knelt in Gethsemane and cried, with our dear Lord: ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me!’ And how few of us have the grace to add: ‘Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.’ And how often are we scourged. First by our passions, which are so hard to conquer; by ill-health, by disagreeable companions or uncongenial surroundings. We have all to wear the thorny crown of adversity, when our best, our most prayerful efforts fail to stem the tide which has set in against us. Do we not all have a daily cross, whether some great sorrow or an accumulation of petty trifles it matters not. We struggle on more or less bravely and many times fall beneath its weight. Ah! If we but fasten our sins to the cross and offer our hearts to our crucified Saviour, we will not have lived through the Sorrowful mysteries in vain.”

“The last of the three are the Glorious mysteries. They correspond to old age. The soul that has lived down its passions, thrown off its sinful garment and risen above its human frailties, experiences the sublime grandeur of the Resurrection. Once free and untrammeled, the soul can ascend high enough to receive worthily the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Then may our souls, like the body of our Blessed Mother, be ‘assumed into heaven’ and then —“our crown.”

Extract from The Living Rosary
The Rosary Magazine, Volume 26
January-June 1905

Ave Maria, Gratia Plena

“O Amor Mei Nomen Matris Dei”
“Oh name of the Mother of God, thou art my love.”-St. Anselm

We always see the more a man is for God, the more he appreciates and loves the Hail Mary. I do not know how it is, nor why, but nevertheless I well know that it is true; nor have I any better secret of knowing whether a person is for God than to examine if he loves to say the Hail Mary and the Rosary. I say, “if he loves”, for it can happen that a person for some reason may be unable to say the Rosary, but this does not prevent him from loving it and inspiring others to say it.

O predestinate souls! Slaves of Jesus in Mary! Learn that the Hail Mary is the most beautiful of all prayers after the Our Father. , It is the most perfect compliment which you can make to Mary, because it is the compliment which the Most High sent her by an archangel, in order to gain her heart; and it was so powerful over her heart by the secret charms of which it is so full, that in spite of her profound humility, she gave her consent to the Incarnation of the Word. It is by this compliment also that you will infallibly gain her heart, if you say it as you ought.

The Hail Mary well said, that is, with attention, devotion, and modesty, is, according to the Saints, the enemy of the devil, which puts him to flight, and the hammer which crushes him. It is the sanctification of the soul, the joy of Angels, the melody of the predestinate, the canticle of the New Testament, the pleasure of Mary, and the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. The Hail Mary is a heavenly dew which fertilizes the soul. It is the chaste and loving kiss which we give to Mary. It is a vermilion rose which we present to her; a precious pearl we offer her; a chalice of divine ambrosial nectar which we hold to her. All these are comparisons of the Saints.

I pray you urgently, by the love I bear you in Jesus and Mary, not to content yourselves with saying the Little Corona of the Blessed Virgin, but a whole Chaplet; or even, if you have time, the whole Rosary every day. At the moment of your death, you will bless the day and hour in which you have followed my advice. Having thus sown in the benedictions of Jesus and Mary, you will reap eternal benedictions in heaven: qui seminat in benedictionibus, de benedictionibus et metet.

THE TRUE DEVOTION THE BLESSED VIRGIN.
BY THE VENERABLE SERVANT OF GOD,
ST. LOUIS-MARIE DE MONTFORT
1712

In danger, in difficulty, or in doubt, think on Mary, call on Mary. Let her not be away from thy mouth or from thine heart, and that thou mayest not lack the succor of her prayers, turn not aside from the example of her conversation.

If thou follow her, thou wilt never go astray. If thou pray to her, thou wilt never have need to despair. If thou keep her in mind, thou wilt never wander. If she hold thee, thou wilt never fall. If she lead thee, thou wilt never be weary. If she help thee, thou wilt reach home safe at the last—and so thou wilt prove in thyself how meetly it is said: “And the virgin’s name was Mary.” (St Bernard)

Excerpt from The Roman Breviary for the Feast of the Holy Name of The Blessed Virgin Mary
(Sept. 12)

Disappearance of Men

“Is not ours an age of mislived lives, of unmanned men? Why?… Because Jesus Christ has disappeared. Wherever the people are true Christians, there are men to be found in large numbers, but everywhere and always, if Christianity wilts, the men wilt. Look closely, they are no longer men but shadows of men. Thus, what do you hear on all sides today? The world is dwindling away, for lack of men; the nations are perishing for scarcity of men, for the rareness of men…

“I believe: there are no men where there is no character; there is no character where there are no principles, doctrines, stands taken; there are no stands taken, no doctrines, no principles, where there is no religious faith and, consequently, no religion of society. Do what you will: only from God you will get men.” (Cardinal Louis-Edouard Pie, Bishop of Poitiers, Homily for Christmas 1871)

We are living in the age of wilted men. Men today are bereft of faith and reason, virtue and character, honor and dignity. Men are empty vessels because the enemy has emptied them of the Catholic Faith. Progressivism has cultivated limp daffodils where once were virile men. It has replaced man with a curious species whose voice has been reduced to whimpers and sobs, a character more fitted to caricature than living and fighting against a world surrendering to Satan.

The heroic Bishop of Poitiers, Card. Pie, said that we have “unmanned men” because Jesus Christ has disappeared. Christ has disappeared because He has been shown the door in our society and the Conciliar Church, the wicked institution that claims Catholicity but is instead the diabolical deception resulting from the evils of Vatican II and the progressivist assault preceding it.

C.S. Lewis wrote The Abolition of Man in 1943 during the slaughter of the Second War against Western Civilization. In the chapter, ‘Men without Chests,’ he presciently wrote this, still pertinent today:

“And all the time – such is the tragi-comedy of our situation – we continue to clamor for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity, we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

With this brilliant text, C.S. Lewis met his peer Card. Pie.

In his work Revolution and Counter-Revolution, Prof. Plinio de Correa Oliveira said, “In times of great crisis there are two types of men: those who are overwhelmed by the crisis and those who rise up to resist the trend of events and so change the course of History.”

Our times call for manned men, men with chests, and those who rise to resist events to change the course of History. The Church needs men, the revitalized Church Militant on the move to resist and fight the enemies in the world. Instead, that revolutionary Conciliar Church promotes the Church Groveling, men overwhelmed by crisis, men who promote the crisis. It is a “church” of darkness, a “church” of unmanned men. We need the army of Church Militant to rise against the enemy’s occupation of our Church and society.

But before we return to this matter, let’s look at how we have descended to such a state where men are no longer men.

Feminism vs. patriarchal society

In the 1962 pamphlet What’s Become of Father? Catholic scholar John O’Brien reports that the “problem” of the father and his role was troublesome even then. We mistakenly think of the ‘50s and ‘60s nostalgically as “good” times for the Church, the family and men. He is wrong. The assault against all three was already in full swing.

O’Brien wrote: “Time was when father was the revered head of the household, to whom the children turned for guidance in all important decisions; he was respected for his wisdom and experience, and loved for his devotion to his family. No event in the home was complete without his presence.” Such a vaunted position in the natural order of the family drove the fringe element of feminism into a ravening rage.

These harridans screamed in the streets, sharpening their tongues and knives, then went after men with a vengeance. They hated the “patriarchal” society. They vowed to destroy it. With millions of dollars pumped into academic programs called “Women’s Studies” in the nation’s colleges and universities, feminists rose to dominance. These “studies” were funded in great measure by the Rockefeller Foundation.

With the rise of feminism and women in the workplace, many women lost their natural loving instincts. Consequently, the family fell into disarray, morals declined and birth rates plummeted.” O’Brien suggests this is the case because, even in 1962, “the child’s chief, if not his only parent, is the mother, while the father is relegated to the position of a mere breadwinner.” Since then the father has ceased even to be the breadwinner and has become merely an inconsequential oaf, as countless advertising spots remind us.

Already in the early 1960s, commentators remarked on the father’s haplessness. Dr. O’Brien cites research affirming how modern culture set the woman up as a beautiful powerhouse of sex appeal and dynamic capability, relegating the male to a position of ridicule as an awkward and hapless galoot.

Reflecting the feminist vision of the male, the popular soap operas of that time pictured men as “simple-minded, easily-bamboozled and fairly expendable oafs.” In the halcyon days of television sit coms in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, the trend toward oafishness began with Dick van Dyke’s character of Rob Petrie in The Dick van Dyke Show.

As society continued its unabated descent into filth and despair, more “fathers” appeared on the television horizon. Some fathers were still portrayed as adequate, The Andy Griffith Show and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father being two examples of note. But families were changing significantly with wives as co-breadwinners, usually in high powered jobs, like Claire Huxtable in The Cosby Show, where she was an attorney and he, Cliff Huxtable, a pediatrician working from the basement in his home.

The descent of the father continued with Home Improvement, showcasing Tim Allen as a ridiculous handy man wannabee who ran an unsuccessful cable network show. Allen was saved continually by his wife. If it were not for her, the show implied, Taylor and his three sons would be living in filth, reeking of perpetual body odor, wearing cardboard boxes for shoes and garbage bags as clothes.

In Home Improvement the mother’s true role as her husband’s helpmate and “sun of the family” has become a caricature. Men are seen as pigs that need women to clean them up and boss them around. That reinforces the twisted feminized view.

Anyone who watches sit coms today can see that this early tendency to present men as big boys and fools has continued and exacerbated without restraints.

There is no doubt that the great majority of modern men have been hermetically sealed in the baggie of feminism. Nearly all are too timid and fretful to break free to demand their natural authority as men and as heads of households.

Abandoning comforts and entering the battle

For the Church, true men are vital for her restoration. Sadly, even traditional Catholic men have been too inculturated by the filth of Progressivism. Men have become weak and ineffectual.

We must remember the words of Job, (7.i), “the life of man upon earth is a warfare.” We are seduced by comfort and consumption, beset by economic woes and the vagaries of antichrists in politics.

This is not the hour to abandon the Mystical Body of Christ to its enemies and run off to some solitary forest to avoid personal inconveniences. This is the hour to enter the battle with increased vigor, to re-conquer every inch of soil the enemies took and rebuild in that place the same sacred institution more militant, pure and glorious than ever, so that the Church will be ready to face, under the protection of Our Lady, all other possible enemies until the end times.

St. Bernard roused the men of his time to enlist in the Second Crusade with stirring words: “All you who hear me, make haste to calm the wrath of Heaven! Leave off imploring His goodness with futile lamentations or mortifying yourself with disciplines, but rather take up your invincible shields. The clamor of arms, the dangers, difficulties and fatigues of war, these are the penances that God imposes on you.”

We should pay heed to them in our continuing crusade to storm the captured citadel and free the imprisoned Truth. We Catholics can still be the great men needed for our times. We must go into the world, in all domains, to battle for Holy Church and her dignity. We must recapture that which has been taken, defend those assaulted, and restore to God His rights.

What a horrible thing it would be if we, as Catholic men, dropped our arms and fled the battlefield. Then, to end with the words of the heroic Card. Pie, “What a disappointment for mothers to realize that the male they gave birth to is not a man, and will never deserve to be called a man!” We are Catholic men or we are nothing.

http://www.traditioninaction.org/Cultural/B010cpMen.htm

Mater Dolorosa — Weep ’til Death and Weep with Thee

“O all ye that pass by the way, attend, and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow. (Lamentations 1:12)

A dutiful child is never unmindful of the sorrows of his mother. Her sighs and labors are ever deeply imprinted on his memory, and he is bent on fulfilling that sacred command of Heaven which venerable Tobias gave to his faithful son: — ” Thou must- be mindful what and how great were the perils which thy mother suffered for thee;” and which Ecclesiasticus, inspired by the Holy Ghost, gives to all mankind, in these words: “Forget not the groanings of thy mother.”

As Christians, we are all children of Mary. She became our Mother amidst unutterable anguish and pain. She was solemnly declared our Mother when standing at the foot of the Cross, whilst the blood flowed in streams from the wounds of her dying Jesus.

For our loving Redeemer, being about to leave this world, and pitying our orphan state, addressed every Christian, in the person of St. John, his beloved disciple — ” Behold thy Mother : ” then, turning his bleeding head towards the Blessed Virgin, He said, as the same Evangelist testifies — “Woman behold thy Son.” We, therefore, are the children of Mary: Jesus has declared us such.

“As Christ has begotten us,” says St. Antonius,” to a spiritual life, in the word of truth, by suffering on the cross, so, likewise, Mary has begotten us, and brought us forth in the midst of most acute pains, by sharing in the sufferings of the crucifixion of her Son.” Ah, then, never let us forget her sighs and groans —her bitter pains and sorrows. Deeply should we fix them in our memory, and day after day call them to mind.

“Forget not the groanings of thy Mother, and be mindful what and how great were the perils which she suffered for thee.” Meditate often on the sorrows of Mary and you will imitate her virtues, share in her merits, and obtain her special protection.

But that you may be still more encouraged to think of the Seven Dolours, be reminded of some other advantages which you will gain from this most beautiful and consoling devotion.

It was revealed to St. Elizabeth, a Benedictine nun, that our Lord will bestow four graces on those who are devout to the sorrows of the Blessed Virgin. First, that whoever invokes her by her Dolours, shall obtain the grace of true repentance. Secondly, that she will console such in all their tribulations, and especially at the hour of death. Thirdly, that the Lord will imprint on their minds a remembrance of his Passion, and inspire them with great devotion to it. Lastly, that He has empowered Mary to obtain for them whatever blessings she pleases.

Of this we are certain, that in proportion as we, the servants of Mary, compassionate her sufferings and meditate on her great sorrows, while thus our love for her grows daily “more and more,” so also will our love for Jesus crucified still more continually increase.

Private devotions will multiply, public offices will be more regularly and more devoutly attended, and, as we confidently believe, Mary will show us a grateful love, and, with her own most marvelous blessing, will bless those who, by compassionating her Sorrows, show themselves the most truly to be her children, and give the sweetest consolation to her afflicted heart.

First Dolour
Prophecy of Simeon

“Tuam ipsius animam pertransibit gladius.” “And thy own soul a sword shall pierce.”  —St. Luke ii.

Second Dolour
The Flight into Egypt

“Surge, et accipe Puerum, et matrem Ejus; et fuge in Aegyptum.” “Arise, and take the Child and His mother, and fly into Egypt.” —St. Matt. ii.

Third Dolour
The Loss of Jesus in the Temple

“Fili, quid fecisti nobis sic? Ecce pater Tuus et ego dolentes qucerebamus Te.” “Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold, Thy Father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.”— St. Luke ii.

Fourth Dolour
The Meeting with Our Lord on Calvary

“Sequebatur autem Ilium multa turba populi, et mulierum quae plangebant et lamentabantur eum.”
“And there followed Him a great multitude of people and of women who bewailed and lamented Him.”—St. Luke xxiii. .

 Fifth Dolour
The Crucifixion

“Ibi crucifixerunt Eum.” …” Stabat autem juxta Crucem Jesu Mater Ejus.” . . . “Where they crucified Him.”…” Now there stood by the Cross of Jesus, His Mother.”— St. John xix,, 18, 25

Sixth Dolor
Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

“Et accepto Corpore, Joseph involvit Illud in sindone munda” …” And Joseph, taking the Body, wrapt it up in a clean linen cloth.”—St. Matt, xxvii.

Seventh Dolour
Jesus is Laid in the Sepulchre

“Involvit sindone el posuit Eum in monumento.” ...” And Joseph wrapped him up in the fine linen, and laid Him in a sepulchre.” —St. Mark xv.


“Manual of Devotions in Honour of the Seven Dolours of the Virgin Mary”
Father Sebastion
1868

For the Relief and Ransom of The Suffering Souls

It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins
(2 Mac 12:46)

Devout Christian, do you wish for favors from God? Be very compassionate to the souls in purgatory. That charity which you have shown to them, God will show much more to you.

Be compassionate to them, not in heart only, but by works, and by every sort of suffrage; by prayers, alms according to your power, by mortifications and pious exercises; above all, by the application of holy indulgences, and by hearing Mass, or getting it celebrated in relief of these poor and much afflicted souls.

Endeavour, O Christian, to suffragate them with generosity of heart; and then in your own necessities, spiritual and temporal too, you will obtain of God, your kind Father, whatever you wish. If you do so, beloved brother, be sure that you will be amply rewarded’ in this life, and much more in the life to come. St. Catherine of Bologna, when she wished for any favors, had recourse to the souls in purgatory, and forthwith she found her prayer heard.

Do you, then, succor these holy souls, and God will hear your prayers, and will be your help. Do, then, enter into this pious association, the whole business of which is to show compassion to these blessed souls, not in heart only, but also by good works, and every kind of suffrages. God, who loves them dearly, will abundantly reward your charity, and will bless you in life, and at the hour of death. The grace of the Lord be with you evermore!

Any one that has a mind to join this pious association has only to determine so to do with himself, and before God, without any form or external compact: it will be enough to form the intention of uniting in spirit in the works and prayers of all the other faithful who have joined it for the same object, if you fulfill the following obligations:

1. Let every associate endeavor, as much as in him lies, to find some one else who will enroll himself in his spiritual society; and this can be done either by word of mouth, or by getting copies of this sheet, in order to obtain a continually increasing number of people, who endeavor by good works and fervent prayers to give suffrages to the holy souls in purgatory. The associates may belong to either sex.

2. Every associate will recite every day, as a suffrage for these holy souls, a prayer of his own selection which has some indulgence annexed to it, or will hear a Mass, or do some other good work, as, for instance, an act of abnegation of his own will, or mortification of his appetite, or eyes, or by fleeing from some dangerous occasion, or by the practice of any other virtue.

3. Every month, too, each associate will go to confession and communion, praying for the dead who belonged to the society. The charity due to all the dead is much more due to those of the confraternity, who have passed into another life.

Purgatory Opened To The Piety of the Faithful:  or The Month of November Consecrated to the Relief of the Souls in Purgatory
1859

As a reminder of our duty to pray for the suffering faithful in Purgatory, the Church has dedicated the entire month of November to the Holy Souls. Every Catholic should make some extraordinary effort to join with the spirit of the Church this month to do what he can for the alleviation of the torments of purgatory.

Our intercession for the suffering now will enlist their intercession in our behalf from their place in heaven hereafter. Truly may we say that in a manner the souls in purgatory are our captives, for their release in a great measure devolves on us. We may liken them to Lazarus begging crumbs from the rich man’s table; they are imploring our aid, so let us in our generosity and from the charity of our hearts lend them every possible assistance.

Of the various forms of prayer, kinds of mortification, and acts of piety that may be performed for the atonement of the sins of the suffering, no prayer or deed can be more salutary, at once more simple or more effective, than the beautiful prayer adaptable to all necessities, the prayer of the Rosary.

Another exercise of charity would be to remember all of your family and loved ones that have died by enrolling them in The  Rorate Caeli Purgatorial Society. By doing this for them, you ensure that they will have 42 holy priests and numerous laymen saying Traditional Latin Masses, and countless prayers for the repose of their souls. No stipend is required for this act of charity, but you can always pay it forward by supporting  any good Christian cause. 

 

Suffer the Little Children to Come unto Me

All good men love little children. There is something in them that recalls the presence of God, a freshness and innocence which is the mark of His creative hand before sin has marred and almost obliterated it.

Our Lord more than once showed the love of His Sacred Heart for children. When a crowd of women came with their little ones begging Him to bless them, and the disciples tried to push them aside, Jesus interposed: “Suffer the little children to come to Me.” And then He called them one by one and blessed each one, and laid upon each His sacred Hands. What graces must have flowed into the hearts of those favored children! We should pray for all the little ones whom we love, that our Lord may in like manner bless them.

On another occasion, when the children shouted to Him in childish glee: “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!” the Pharisees begged Him to silence them. But Jesus rebuked the objection almost sternly: “Have you never read, Out of the mouths of infants and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?”  (Mt:21:16) Perfected praise!  As if there was something in their innocent voices sweeter to Him than in any others of the mingled crowd.

But Jesus bestowed still higher praise on the sweet simplicity of children. He told His disciples that if they wish to enter the Kingdom of Heaven they must become like little children, docile, obedient, cheerful, submissive, and affectionate. (Mk:10:15)

Beautiful Pearls of Catholic Truth, Containing the Teachings of the Holy Catholic Church
Rev. Bernard O’Reilly
1897

Trials and Tribulations: Catholics Persevere in China

In all things we suffer tribulation: but are not distressed. We are straitened: but are not destitute.
We suffer persecution: but are not forsaken. We are cast down: but we perish not.
Always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies.
For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake: that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our mortal flesh. (2Cor:4:8-11)

Sixty-five years of Chinese communist rule should be mourned, not celebrated. Contrary to the media-fueled image of Mao as a gentle philosopher and great freedom fighter, he was actually a degenerate mass murderer who ruthlessly suppressed all human rights. In their remarkable biography, Mao: The Unknown Story, Jung Chang and Jon Halliday revealed that Mao grew up not as an oppressed hard working peasant dedicated to fighting injustice, but as a loafer who took a job as a Communist International Soviet agent to receive “a comfortable berth as a subsidized professional revolutionary.”

Mao enthusiastically adopted Lenin’s most violent terrorist techniques because he was a vile bloodthirsty thug. From 1920 to 1976 Mao murdered more people than Hitler and Stalin combined – 70-million Chinese. The “Great Famine” (1958-1961) in which 40-million perished was a direct result of Mao’s farm collectivization policies. To eliminate tens of millions of imagined enemies he ordered the “Great Leap Forward” (1958) and the “Cultural Revolution” (1966-1968) which he privately referred to as the “Great Purge.”

Mao attempted to control every form of social intercourse. Merely having a dinner party, use of humor or sarcasm could be – and were – deemed criminal activities that warranted the death penalty. And he was proud of these policies: Mao told his fellow gangsters at the 1958 party conference that they should welcome, not fear, party policies that cause people to die.

Mao ruthlessly suppressed centuries-old Catholic missions. His persecution of Catholics began long before he took over the government in 1949. In the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, Mao’s Red armies roamed through Chinese provinces torturing and murdering scores of priests and nuns. In 1947, for instance, eighteen Cistercian monks at Yang Kia Ping were jailed and their monastery was looted. All died from endless interrogations, beatings, and brainwashing.

The Red Chinese were not content with suppressing the Church. They dumped Catholics into re-education camps and used harsh psychological measures that included physical and mental torture to convert them to Marxism. If the education treatments failed, it was hoped that recalcitrant pupils would go mad or commit suicide.

In recent decades, the Communists continued to persecute China’s 5-million Catholics. After the 1989 anti-government demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, there were crackdowns on the underground Church. “House Churches” were destroyed and priests were arrested. Also, Catholic women were forced to have abortions or were sterilized to comply with China’s “one-child policy.”

In May 2007, Pope Benedict XVI released a letter to the Catholics of China which dealt with the relationship between Church and State. The pontiff reaffirmed there was only one Church which included both the unofficial underground one and the government-recognized Patriotic Catholic Church. He respectfully called for religious freedom and constructive dialogue to overcome disagreements.

The pope’s pleas appear to have fallen on deaf ears. Priests and bishops are still imprisoned and the faithful continue to be physically abused by government officials.

In May 2008, on the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, Pope Benedict held a worldwide day of prayer for the Church in China. However, Chinese Catholic pilgrims, who travelled to Mary Helper of Christians Shrine near Shanghai to participate in the day of prayer, were denied access to the consecrated grounds by the police.

America’s elitist intellectual and political classes have a distorted view of today’s China. Contrary to their revisionist claims, China’s people still lack basic freedoms and their state-run economic system is built on the graves of millions of victims of Mao’s depravity.

http://www.thecatholicthing.org/columns/2009/sixty-years-of-maoism.html

See More photos: On the road, the Catholic Church in China by Lu Nan