Friday, October 07, 2005

The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
is today. There is information on it here.

Mary is the "Virgo Potens," the Powerful Virgin

This great universe, which we see by day and by night, or what is called the natural world, is ruled by fixed laws, which the Creator has imposed upon it, and by those wonderful laws is made secure against any substantial injury or loss. One portion of it may conflict with another, and there may be changes in it internally; but, viewed as a whole, it is adapted to stand for ever. Hence the Psalmist says, "He has established the world, which shall not be moved."

Such is the world of nature; but there is another and still more wonderful world. There is a power which avails to alter and subdue this visible world, and to suspend and counteract its laws; that is, the world of Angels and Saints, of Holy Church and her children; and the weapon by which they master its laws is the power of prayer.

By prayer all this may be done, which naturally is impossible. Noe prayed, and God said that there never again should be a flood to drown the race of man. Moses prayed, and ten grievous plagues fell upon the land of Egypt. Josue prayed, and the sun stood still. Samuel prayed, and thunder and rain came in wheat-harvest. Elias prayed, and brought down fire from heaven. Eliseus prayed, and the dead came to life. Ezechias prayed and the vast army of the Assyrians was smitten and perished.

This is why the Blessed Virgin is called Powerful—nay, sometimes, All-powerful, because she has, more than anyone else, more than all Angels and Saints, this great, prevailing gift of prayer. No one has access to the Almighty as His Mother has; none has merit such as hers. Her Son will deny her nothing that she asks; and herein lies her power. While she defends the Church, neither height nor depth, neither men nor evil spirits, neither great monarchs, nor craft of man, nor popular violence, can avail to harm us; for human life is short, but Mary reigns above, a Queen for ever.

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. Meditations and Devotions

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

by Venerable John Henry Newman

"But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish, from the
presence of the Lord."

Deep in his meditative bower,
The tranquil seer reclined;
Numbering the creepers of an hour,
The gourds which o'er him twined.

To note each plant, to rear each fruit
Which soothes the languid sense,
He deem'd a safe, refined pursuit,—
His Lord, an indolence.

The sudden voice was heard at length,
"Lift thou the prophet's rod!"
But sloth had sapp'd the prophet's strength,
He fear'd, and fled from God.

Next, by a fearful judgment tamed,
He threats the offending race;
God spares;—he murmurs, pride-inflamed,
His threat made void by grace.

What?—pride and sloth! man's worst of foes!
And can such guests invade
Our choicest bliss, the green repose
Of the sweet garden-shade?
The Feast of St. Luigi Scrosoppi, C.O., Priest and Founder
is today. There is information on him here. Prayers for all the Oratorians throughout the world, and for the Congregation of Sisters of Providence who venerate this saint as their founder, would be quite appropriate.
It is also the feast of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, C.SS.R., Priest, who worked in my own city for nearly a decade.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

From Sermons Preached on Various Occasions
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

We read in the Gospel of our Lord on one occasion "entering into a certain town," and being received and entertained "by a certain woman named Martha." There were two sisters, Martha and Mary; "Martha was busy about much serving;" but Mary sat at our Lord's feet, and heard His words. You recollect, my Brethren, His comparison of these two holy sisters, one with another. "Martha, Martha," He said, "thou art careful, and art troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary; Mary hath chosen the best part." Now Martha loved Him, and Mary loved Him; but Mary waited on Him too, and therefore had the promise of perseverance held up to her: "Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her."

They, then, watch and wait for their Lord, who are tender and sensitive in their devotion towards Him; who feed on the thought of Him, hang on His words; live in His smile, and thrive and grow under His hand. They are eager for His approval, quick in catching His meaning, jealous of His honour. They see Him in all things, expect Him in all events, and amid all the cares, the interests, and the pursuits of this life, still would feel an awful joy, not a disappointment, did they hear that He was on the point of coming. "By night I sought Him whom my soul loveth," says the inspired canticle; "I sought Him and found Him not. I will rise, and in the streets and broad places will I seek Him."
The Catholic Carnival
is up.
The Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Founder
is today. There is information on him here. A blessed feast day to all the Franciscans out there, and to all those who have il Poverello as a patron !