#Meditations for Each Day of #Lent by St Thomas #Aquinas: #HolyWeek #PalmSunday

29 March 2015

Holy Week Begins: Palm Sunday
29 March 2015 Anno Domini

From the website, Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals

Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Santi de Tito 1593

by St. Thomas Aquinas


Holy Week: Palm Sunday

 

Christ’s Passion Serves us as an Example

The Passion of Christ is by itself sufficient to form us in every virtue. For whoever wishes to live perfectly, need do no more than scorn what Christ scorned on the cross, and desire what He there desired. There is no virtue of which, from the cross, Christ does not give us an example.

If you seek an example of charity, Greater love than this no man hath, than that a man lay down His life for his friends (John xv. 13), and this Christ did on the cross. And since it was for us that He gave his life, it should not be burdensome to bear for Him whatever evils come our way. What shall I render to the Lord, for all the things that He hath rendered to me (Ps. cxv. 12).

If you seek an example of patience, in the cross you find the best of all. Great patience shows itself in two ways. Either when a man suffers great evils patiently, or when he suffers what he could avoid and forbears to avoid. Now Christ on the cross suffered great evils. O all ye that pass by the way, attend and see, if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow (Lam. i. 12). And He suffered them patiently, for, when he suffered He threatened not (i Pet. ii. 23) but led as a sheep to the slaughter, He was dumb as a lamb before His shearer (Isaias liii. 7).

Also it was in His power to avoid the suffering and He did not avoid it. Thinkest thou that I cannot ask my Father, and He will give Me presently more than twelve legions of angels? (Matt. xxvi. 53). The patience of Christ, then, on the cross was the greatest patience ever shown. Let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us: looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame (Heb xii. i, 2).

If you seek an example of humility, look at the crucified. For it is God who wills to be judged and to die at the will of Pontius Pilate. Thy cause hath been judged as that of the wicked (Job xxxvi. 17). Truly as that of the wicked, for Let us condemn him to a most shameful death (Wis. ii. 20). The Lord willed to die for the slave, the life of the angels for man.

If you seek an example of obedience, follow Him who became obedient unto death (Phil. ii. 8), for as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners; so also by the obedience of one, many shall be made just (Rom. v. 19).

If you seek an example in the scorning of the things of this world, follow Him who is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom. Lo! on the cross He hangs naked, fooled, spit upon, beaten, crowned with thorns, sated with gall and vinegar, and dead. My garments they parted among them; and upon my vesture they cast lots (Ps. xxi. 19).

Error to crave for honours, for He was exposed to blows and to mockery. Error to seek titles and decorations for platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in his right hand. And bowing the knee before him, they mocked him, saying Hail, king of the Jews (Matt, xxvii. 29).

Error to cling to pleasures and comfort for they gave me gall for my food, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink (Ps. Ixviii. 22).


14 Day Lenten Series: Day 11: St Hilarion’s Miracles and Combat with Devils as Written by St. Jerome

29 March 2015

St. Hilarion: from his life written by St. Jerome
by Bishop Challoner, 1841

Part11Hilarion was born at a village called Thabatha, five miles from the city of Gaza in Palestine, of infidel parents, who sent him, when very young, to study at Alexandria, where he gave proofs of an excellent genius for his age, and of his good dispositions to virtue. Here he embraced the faith of Christ, and young as he was, could find no pleasure either in theatrical shows, incentives to lust, or any other wordly diversions, but delighted only in frequenting the church, and in religious exercises. Hearing of the fame of St. Antony, he went to visit him in the desert, and put off his secular habit, in order to embrace the same institute. He remained with the Saint about two months, making it his study to observe and learn perfectly the whole order and method of his life;–his continual prayer–his humility–his charity–his mortification–and all his other virtues. Then returning into his own country with some other religious men, and finding that his parents were dead, he distributed his whole substance between his brethren and the poor, without reserving any thing for himself, bearing in mind that saying of our Lord: He that doth not renounce all that he possesseth, cannot be my disciple, Luke xiv. 33. Thus stript of the world, and armed with Christ, being only in his sixteenth year, he took the resolution of retiring into the wilderness (which lies on the left of the road that leads from Gaza into Egypt), without apprehending the dangers which his worldly friends objected, from the robberies and murders for which that place was infamous; but rather despising a temporal death, that he might escape that which is eternal nor regarding the tenderness of his own constitution, which made him very sensible of cold, heat, and other injuries of the weather, and of the hardships and austerities that are incident to that kind of life which he was going to undertake.

On going into the desert, he took on other clothing with him than the frock of a peasant, a sackcloth and hair-cloth, with a leathern habit to wear over it, which St. Antony had given him. Here he built himself a little hut, covered with sedges and rushes, to modify the inclemency of the weather, which served him from the sixteenth to the twentieth year of his age, and afterwards in a cell, which, according to St. Jerome’s account, who had seen it, was but four feet wide, five feet high, and in length but a little longer than his body, so that as he could not stand in it upright, it seemed rather a tomb for a dead corpse, than a dwelling for a living man. Here his diet was suitable to his lodging; his food for the first years being but fifteen dry figs in the day, and that not till after sunset. Afterwards, from the twenty-first to the twenty-seventh year of his age, he took only about eight or ten ounces of lentiles, steeped in cold water, or a little dry bread, with salt and water. For the space of three or four years more, he lived upon nothing but the wild herbs, or roots of the shrubs of the wilderness. From the thirty-first till the thirty-fifth year of his age he confined himself to six ounces of barley bread per day, and a few pot-herbs without oil; which rule he continued to observe to his sixty-third year, when he began to allow himself a little oil with his herbs, but tasted nothing else, either of fruit or of pulse, or of any other kind of food. From that time, as he now supposed that by course of nature he could not have long to live, instead of relaxing in his austerities, he redoubled them; so that from the sixty-fourth year of his age till his death, that is, till he was eighty years old, he totally abstained from bread, and eat nothing, during the four and twenty hours, but a kind of mess composed of meal and herbs, which served him both for meat and drink: and this in so small a quantity, that his whole daily sustenance did not weigh above five ounces. Such was his austerity, with respect to his food, that, throughout these different periods of his life, he ever observed it as a constant rule, never to eat or drink till after sun-set, how weak soever his health might be, not even on the greatest solemnities.

Hilarion had no sooner, in imitation of his great model and master St. Antony, entered upon this course of life, in a vast and frightful desert, where no man before had ventured to dwell, and, like him, applied himself incessantly to God in prayer, than the devil, not bearing to see himself thus trodden under foot by a young man, began to assault him with violent temptations of the flesh, filling his mind with impure imaginations, and inciting him by sensual allurements, to carnal pleasures, of which before he had no conception. The chaste youth perfectly abhorred himself,
St. Hilarion as written by St. Jerome 01He struck his breast, as if he meant by this exterior violence to put those lewd suggestions to flight: he condemned himself to longer, and still more rigorous fasts and hard labour, saying thus to himself: “thou little jack-ass, I will teach thee to kick; instead of corn thou shalt feed only on straw;–I will tame thy courage with hunger and thirst: I will lay heavy burthens upon thee:–I will make thee work both in summer and winter, that instead of wanton pleasures thou mayest think of thy meat.” The Saint was steadfast in his resolution: fasting without intermission, sometimes for three or four days together, and then taking only a little juice of herbs and a few figs for his meal: incessantly praying, singing psalms, and working at the same time, either in digging the earth or in making baskets, till at length, by these exercises, he reduced his body to a mere skeleton. Wherefore the enemy perceiving he could not prevail this way, began to trouble him with fantastic apparitions and other temptations.

One night he was on a sudden surprised with hearing the crying as it were of children, the bleating of sheep, the bellowing of oxen, the lamentations of women, the roaring of lions, and the confused noise of an army of barbarians, with strange and frightful voices. Suspecting them to be nothing but diabolical illusions, he armed himself with the sign of the cross, and with a lively faith, cast himself down upon the ground, to be the better enabled, in this humble posture, to encounter the proud enemy. Then looking forward, it being a clear moon-light night, he perceived, as it were, a coach, drawn by furious horses, coming with a violent gallop towards him: at the sight of which he called upon the name of Jesus, when behold on a sudden the whole fantastic scene sunk down into the earth before his eyes: upon which he burst forth the praises of his Deliverer. At several other times this indefatigable enemy sought various ways, both by day and night, to molest him: either by exhibiting naked figures to excite him to concupiscence, or by seeking to interrupt his devotion and distract him at prayer by a variety of either comic or tragic scenes: but none of these, or any other of his attempts, were able to shake the resolution of the servant of God, or prevent his perpetual application to the love and service of his Maker. One day whilst he was praying with his head fixed on the ground, it happened that his mind wandered on some other thoughts, the watchful enemy, taking advantage of this distraction, jumped upon his back, as if to ride upon him; and whipping and spurring, cried out: “What, art thou asleep? Thou a saint! come shall I give thee some provender?” But this, like the rest of his vain efforts, only served to excite the Saint to still more vigilance and fervor.

About the eighteenth year of his age, the robbers that frequented the desert, took it in their heads to pay him a visit; expecting either to find something in his hut to take away, or looking upon it as a rash attempt in a single boy to venture to dwell alone in their dominions and not be afraid of them. They therefore began their search after him in the evening, and continued it till the sunrising, without being able to find his lodging: but meeting him at day-light, they asked him as it were in jest, “what he would do if he were visited by robbers?” “Oh!” said he, “he that has nothing to lose fears no robbers.” “But,” said they, “perhaps they may kill thee.” “True,” said he, “but I do not dread death: and therefore am not afraid of them, because I am prepared to die.” Amazed at his constancy and faith, they acknowledged that having sought him during the night, they were so blinded as not to be able to find him; and so deeply were they affected with his words, that they promised to amend their lives.

Hilarion had now spent twenty-two years in perfect solitude in the wilderness, conversing only with God and his angels, and only known to the world by the fame of his sanctity, which was spread over all Palestine, when a certain woman of the city of Eleutheropolis, who had lived fifteen years in the state of wedlock without bearing a child, finding herself despised by her husband on account of her barrenness, ventured to break in upon his solitude; and coming unexpectedly upon him, cast herself upon her knees before him, saying: “Pardon my boldness; pity my distress: why do you turn away your eyes from me? Why do you flee from your petitioner? Do not look at me as a woman, but as a distressed fellow-creature. Remember that a woman brought forth the Savior of the world, those that are well stand not in need of a physician, but they that are ill.” At these words he stood still; and having learnt of her, the first woman he had seen since his retiring into the desert, the cause of her grie£, he lifted up his eyes towards heaven, bid her be of good heart, and weeping for her, sent her away; but behold within a twelvemonth she returned, bringing her son with her to visit him. This, his first miracle, was followed by a greater.

When Aristeneta, the wife of Elpidius, a Christian nobleman (who was afterwards advanced to one of the first posts in the empire), was on her return from Egypt, where she had been with her husband and her three sons, to see St . Antony, she stopped at Gaza on account of the illness of her children, who were all seized by a semitertian fever, and brought so low that their lives were despaired of by the physicians. The disconsolate mother, hearing of the sanctity of Hilarion, whose wilderness was not far distant from Gaza, went in haste to visit him, accompanied by some of her servants, and thus addressed herself to him: “I beg of thee for God’s sake: for the sake of Jesus our most merciful God; through His cross and His blood; that thou wouldst vouchsafe to come and restore health to my three sons, that the name of the Lord our Savior may be glorified in that pagan city: that when His servant comes into Gaza, Marnas (the idol which they there worship) may fall to the ground.” The man of God excused himself, alleging, that he never went out of his cell, not so much as into any village, much less into a populous city; but she, casting herself down upon the ground, ceased not to importune him with many tears; often crying out,” O Hilarion! thou blessed servant of God, restore to me my sons: Antony has laid his hands upon them in Egypt, but do thou save their lives in Syria.” Her earnest entreaties at length obliged him to promise her that he would come to Gaza after sun-set. No sooner had he arrived at their lodgings, and seen them confined to their beds in burning fevers, bereft of sense, than he called upon our Lord Jesus, when immediately a copious sweat, issuing as it were from three fountains, followed his prayer, and in the space of an hour they took their meat, knew their mournful mother, blessed God, and kissed the hands of the Saint.

No sooner was his miracle published abroad, than multitudes of the inhabitants of both Syria and Egypt began to visit him. Many infidels were by his mean converted to the faith of Christ, and many also, by his example, embraced a monastic life; for, before his time, there were neither monks nor monasteries in Palestine or Syria: he must therefore be considered the father, founder and first teacher of the monastic institute in those provinces. And now it was that he began to be joined by many disciples, whom he trained: up to religious perfection, who were witnesses of the wonderful miracles that God wrought by him. St. Jerome, as one perfectly well informed, has recorded several of the most remarkable, with all their circumstances. A woman of the neighborhood of Rhinocorura, (a city on the confines of Egypt,) who had been blind for ten years, was brought to the Saint to be healed: after having told him that she had, expended her whole substance on physicians, “you had done better (said he) if you had given it to the poor; you would then have given it to Jesus Christ, the true physician, who would have healed you.” She earnestly begged that he would have pity on her; and he, with spitting on her eyes, restored her to her sight. A charioteer of Gaza was also brought to him on his bed, struck in such a manner by the devil, that he could not stir any of the members of his body except his tongue, with which he besought the servant of God to heal him. The Saint told him, that if he desired to be healed, he must first believe in Jesus Christ, and promise to renounce a profession which exposed him to the immediate occasion of sin. To these conditions he agreed, and having received his cure, he returned home, rejoicing more for the health of his soul, than for that of his body.

Marsitas, a young man of the territory of Jerusalem of an extraordinary bulk and strength, who had been possessed by an evil spirit, and done much mischief to many, was dragged? by ropes to the cell of the servant of God, like a mad bull bound in chains. The brethren at the very sight of him were affrighted, but the saint bid the people bring him up and let him loose; which when they had done, he commanded him to bend down his head and come to him. The poor man trembling bent his neck, when laying aside all his fierceness, and falling down he licked the feet of the man of God; and after seven days’ exorcisms was entirely cured. Another man, named Orion, a principal citizen of Aila, a city near the Red Sea, who was possessed by a whole legion of devils, was brought in like manner loaded with chains to the Saint, who happened at that time to be walking with his disciples, and interpreting to them some passages of the Scripture: when behold the possessed man broke loose from those that held him, and running up to the man of God, whose back was turned towards him, lifted him up from the ground on high in his arms: at which all that were present cried out, apprehending that he would do the Saint some mischief; but Hilarion said smiling, “suffer me to wrestle with my antagonist.” Then putting back his hand, he laid hold on the hair of Orion, and bringing him before his feet, kept him down howling, and turning back his neck, so as to touch the ground with the top of his head. Then praying, he said: “O Lord Jesus, I am a poor wretch; do thou release this captive; thou canst as easily overcome many as one.” On this occasion they were all astonished to hear so many different voices issuing from the mouth of the possessed person, and a confused out-cry, as it were of a whole people: but their wonder ceased when they saw the multitude of wicked spirits that was expelled from him by the prayers of the humble servant of God. Orion came shortly afterwards with his wife and children to return thanks to the Saint, and brought him large presents out of gratitude, which he absolutely refused to accept: but when he besought him with tears to take at least what he had brought, and to give it to the poor, he answered; “thou canst better distribute thyself what thou wouldst have to be given to the poor; for thou frequentest cities, and knowest the poor; why should I, who have left my own, covet the goods of others? Many have been imposed upon by avarice, under the name of the poor. Do not make thyself uneasy; it is for both thy sake and mine I refuse thy presents: for if I should accept of them, I should offend God, and the legion of devils would return to thee.”

One Italicus, a Christian of Maiuma, the haven of Gaza, who bred horses for the public races that were to be exhibited at Gaza, came to the Saint to beg his prayers against the enchantments wherewith his pagan antagonist, one of the magistrates of the city, had bewitched his horses. Hilarion, who disliked all these pubhe games, was unwilling to employ his prayers on so vain an occasion. But the other representing to him that it was not by his own choice, but by his office, he was obliged to do what he did; and that the honor of God and religion was here at stake, because the men of Gaza, who, for the most part, were infidels, would take occasion, from his being worsted, to insult, not so much over him as over the church of Christ: the Saint, at the request of the brethren, ordered his earthen pot, in which he used to drink, to be filled with water, and given to him. Italicus took the water, and with it sprinkled his stable, his horses, his chariot, and his drivers, in the sight of the pagans, who made a jest of it, whilst the Christians, confiding in the prayers of the Saint, made no doubt of success. Wherefore, as soon as the signal was given, the horses of Italicus sprung forth-with incredible speed, whilst those of his adversary were presently distanced, and could scarce keep within sight of them that were gone before. Upon this a loud cry of all the people was immediately raised, and even the very adversaries cried out, that Marnas, the God of Gaza, was worsted by Christ. This miracle gave occasion to the conversion of many.

There was also in the same town of Maiuma, a virgin dedicated to God, with whom a young man in the neighborhood was vehemently in love. After having employed, without success, flattering speeches, idle jokes, and other freedoms, which too often pave the way to greater crimes, he went to Memphis in Egypt, to seek a remedy for his wound from the priests of Esculapius. They furnished him with certain magical spells and monstrous figures, graven upon a plate of copper, which he buried under the threshold of the house where the maid dwelt, when behold immediately (in punishment of her having laid herself too open to the enemy, by not flying, as she ought, or not resisting former freedoms) the maid ran mad with love, tearing off her head clothes, whirling about her hair, gnashing with her teeth, and calling upon the name of the young man. Her parents, therefore, took her to St. Hilarion, when presently it appeared how the case stood; for the devil began to howl within her, and to cry out: “I was forced in hither; I was brought from Memphis against my will: where I succeeded well, in deluding men with dreams. But, oh! what torments dost thou make me suffer here! Thou compellest me to depart, but behold I am bound fast, and kept in by the thread and plate that lie under the threshold. I cannot go out till the young man who keeps me here, lets me go.” “Thou art very strong indeed!” said the Saint, “if thou art held by a thread and a plate. But tell me, how didst thou dare to enter into a maid dedicated to God!” “It was,” said he, “to preserve her virginity.” “What! thou preserve her virginity,” said the Saint, “who art the mortal enemy of chastity. Why didst thou not rather enter into him that sent thee?” “Oh,” said the devil, “there was no necessity for my entering into him, who was already possessed by my comrade, the demon of wanton love.” The Saint would hear no more, nor send for the young man, not order the things mentioned to be taken away, to show the little regard that is to be had to the devil’s speeches or signs, but instantly delivered the maid from her wicked guest, and sent her away perfectly cured, after severely reprehending her for admitting of those liberties which had given the devil the power to possess her.

It would be endless to recount all the other miracles that God wrought by this Saint, which rendered his name illustrious, even in the most remote provinces. St. Antony himself, hearing of his life and conversation, wrote to him, and gladly received letters from him; and when any diseased came to him for their cure from any part of Syria, he blamed them for giving themselves the trouble to come so far, since you have, said he, in those parts my son Hilarion. His bright example attracted great numbers to the service of God, so that now there were innumerable monasteries, or cells of religious, throughout Palestine, who all looked upon him as their father, and resorted to him for their direction. These he exhorted to attend to their spiritual progress; ever reminding them, “that the figure of this world passeth away, and that eternal life can only be purchased by parting with the pleasures and affections of this life.” He visited all their monasteries once a year for their instruction and edification: and such was his diligence and charity on these occasions, that he would not pass by the cell of the least or meanest of the brethren without calling in to instruct and console him, insomuch that he went as far as the desert of Kadesh, on purpose to visit one single monk who dwelt there. In this journey he was accompanied by a great number of his disciples into the city of Elusa, on the confines of the Saracens, on a festival day, when the people were all assembled in the temple of Venus, who was there worshipped by the Saracens on account of the star that bears her name. No sooner had they heard that Hilarion, of whose sanctity and miracles they had been previously informed by several of their nation whom he had delivered from evil spirits, was passing by, but all the men, women, and children ran out in crowds to meet him and to beg his blessing. The Saint received them all with the utmost tenderness and humility, and begged that they would henceforth worship the living God, rather than stocks and stones: shedding at the same time many tears, and looking up towards heaven, he promised, if they would believe in Christ, that he would frequently come to see them. So wonderful was the grace that accompanied the words and prayers of the man of God, that they would not suffer him to quit their city, till he had first marked out a plot of ground for the building of a church; nay, their very priest had received the sign of the cross of Christ, in order to his baptism.

Another year, when the Saint was making his visitation, a little before the time of the vintage, he came with all his companions to the monastery of one of the brethren, who was remarkable for being a niggardly miser. This man had a vineyard, and apprehending lest the multitude of the monks that accompanied the Saint should eat up his grapes, he set several men to keep them off with stones and clods in slings, and would not so much as let them taste of them. The servant of God smiled at the treatment they had met with, but taking no notice of it to the niggard, he went on the next day to another monastery, where he and his whole company were kindly received by a monk named Sabas, who kindly invited them (it being the Lord’s day,) to go and feast themselves in his vineyard. The Saint ordered that they should first take the food of their souls, by applying themselves to their religious exercises of prayer, singing psalms, and paying their duty to God: and then after giving them his blessing, he sent the whole multitude of his disciples to the vineyard to take their corporal refection. The blessing of the man of God was attended with so miraculous an effect, that whereas the vineyard of Sabas was not before thought capable of yielding more than a hundred gallons of wine, it yielded that year three hundred, whilst the vineyard of the niggard yielded much less than usual, and the little that it produced turned into vinegar, a circumstance which the man of God had foretold. Hilarion could never endure in religious men any thing that looked like covetousness, or too great an affection to any of those things that pass away with this transitory world: he was moreover endowed by God with the gift of discovering who were addicted to this, that, or any other kind of vice, by the stench that proceeded from their bodies or garments.

And now the Saint, seeing that his hermitage was converted into a great monastery; and that the wilderness about him was continually crowded with the people who resorted thither, bringing their diseased, or such as were possessed with unclean spirits, and that not only the common sort of people from all the neighboring provinces, but even the gentry,–ladies of the first rank,–clerks, monks, priests, and bishops, were daily visiting him, and interrupting his devotions, he bitterly regretted the loss of his former solitude, perpetually lamenting, weeping, and saying, that since he had returned back into the world, he apprehended he should have his reward in this life, because all Palestine and the neighboring provinces took him to be somebody, &c. nor did he cease to mourn and bewail his condition, till he took a fixed resolution to quit his monastery, and retire into some place where he might be unknown, and more freely enjoy his God without the interruption of so many visits. In the mean time, whilst he was meditating upon his flight, the lady Aristeneta, whose three sons he had cured, came to see him, acquainting him with her design of returning into Egypt, to make a second visit to St. Antony. He replied, with tears in his eyes, that he could have wished to have taken the same journey, if he were not kept prisoner in his monastery, but that it was now too late to find Antony alive; for, said he, two days ago the world was deprived of so great a father. Having believed him, she did not proceed in her journey, and, behold, after some days the news of his death was brought from Egypt.

When it was known abroad that the man of God was upon the point of quitting Palestine, the whole province took the alarm, and no less than ten thousand people, of all degrees and conditions, were gathered together, in order to stop and detain him. But his resolution was not to be altered; and as he had learnt by revelation the havoc that the infidels of Gaza were about to make in his monastery, and all through that neighborhood, under the reign of Julian the Apostate, he gave them broad hints of this his fore-knowledge, saying, that he could not call in question the truth of what God had said; nor could he endure to see the churches destroyed, the altars of Christ trodden under foot, and his children massacred. In short, he assured them he would neither eat nor drink till they let him go. And thus, after he had fasted seven days, they were contented at last to suffer him depart, accompanied by about forty of his monks. With these he made the best of his way to Pelusium, (now called Darmietta) in Egypt, and after visiting the holy solitaries who lived in the neighboring deserts, he waited upon Dracontius and Philo; two illustrious confessors of Christ, of the number of those catholic prelates who had been banished from their sees by the fury of the Arians, under the emperor Constantius. After paying these visits, he hastened to keep the anniversary day of the happy decease of St. Antony in the place where he died: and being conducted by the deacon Baisanes upon dromedaries, three days’ journey through that vast and dreary wilderness, he arrived at length at the mountain of the Saint. Here he found his two disciples, who showed him all the places where their master had been accustomed to sing psalms–to pray–to work–and sit down to rest himself, after being wearied with his labour; as also the garden he had cultivated–the trees he had planted–the instrument with which he had dug the earth–the private cells to which he often retired towards the top of the mountain, &c. and then agreeably entertained him with divers particulars of the acts of the latter part of St. Antony’s life. Hilarion was much moved to devotion with the sight and recital of all this; and after watching in prayer the whole night of the anniversary of the Saint, he returned the same way he came, through the dreary wilderness to the neighborhood of the town called Aphroditon. Here in an adjoining desert, with two of his disciples whom he kept with him, he led so abstemious, abstracted, and silent a life, that on feeling the fervor he now found within himself, he seemed never to have before begun to serve Christ in earnest.

He had not been above two years in this wilderness, when the fame of his sanctity brought all the people of the neighboring country to him, to beg his prayers for rain. For from the time of the death of St. Antony, no rain had fallen upon their land, for the space of three whole years, so that being afflicted with a great famine, they resorted to him, whom they considered as the successor of St. Antony, for a redress of their misery. Moved to pity by the sight of their distress, he lifted up his hands and eyes to heaven to pray for them, and his prayer was immediately followed by plentiful rains. But the rains, whilst they fertilized the earth, having, in falling on the dry hot sand, also produced an incredible multitude of venomous reptiles and insects, with which innumerable persons were struck, they were again forced to have recourse to the Saint, who gave them some oil which he had blessed, with which they were cured. But now finding himself after these miracles greatly honored, he would stay no longer in this place, but departed in order to go and hide himself in the desert of Oasis. In his way thither he passed through Alexandria: and as he made it a rule never to lodge in any city, he went on to a place in the neighbourhood, called Bruchium, where there was a monastery of the servants of God. From hence, when night drew on, he hastened away, telling the brethren, who were greatly afflicted, that they should soon know the reason of his sudden departure. Accordingly, on the next day their monastery was searched by the Gazites, accompanied by officers sent from the governor of Alexandria to apprehend Hilarion, of whose arrival there they had received intelligence. For the infidels of Gaza, who bore a mortal hatred to the Saint, as soon as Julian came to the empire, destroyed his monastery, and obtained an edict from the tyrant, that both he, and his disciple Hesychius, should be sought for and put to death wherever they were found. Of this the Saint had a fore-knowledge by prophetic light, and thereupon withdrew himself: so that the infidels, who had thought themselves, certain of seizing their priest, finding he was gone, departed, saying to each other, that now they were sure he was a magician, and had a foresight of things to come.

He had not been a year in the wilderness of Oasis, before he found that fame had also followed him thither; and therefore now despairing to be able to conceal himself upon the continent, he formed a resolution of seeking out a place in some of the islands of the Mediterranean, where he might hide himself. In order to this he embarked with one only disciple, at Paretonium, a haven on the coast of Lybia, on board a vessel bound for Sicily; hoping that henceforward no one should know him, or become troublesome to him in his retirement. When, behold, in the midst of the voyage the son of the master of the ship, or rather the devil by his mouth, cried out: “Hilarion, thou servant of God, let me alone, at least till we come to land; how comes it to pass, that even at sea thou art still persecuting us.” The Saint would have disguised the grace which God had given him, fearing lest the sailors and passengers should publish his fame when they came to land, and therefore mildly replied: “If my God permits thee to stay, stay if thou wilt; but if he cast thee out, what hast thou do do to complain of me, who am but a poor beggar and a sinful man.” However, upon the solemn promise of the father, and of all the rest, that they would not discover him, he cast the devil out of the boy. When they arrived at Pachynum (now Capo Passaro), he would have paid for the passage of himself and his companion, by giving the captain the book of the gospels, which was all his wealth, but he, seeing their poverty, would not receive it. Wherefore the Saint leaving the sea-coast, withdrew himself into a little kind of wilderness, about twenty miles within the land, and there fixed his abode; living upon what little he could get, by making up faggots, which his companion carried to a neighboring village, bringing from thence in exchange what they stood need of for their food.

But the Saint could not long he concealed here; for soon after his arrival, a man possessed with an evil spirit, being under the exorcisms of the church at St. Peter’s in Rome, the devil cried out thus by his mouth: “Hilarion, the servant of Chiiet, is some days since come into Sicily, where no man knows him, and he thinks himself secret: but I will go and discover him.” This man therefore taking some of his servants with him, and going on board a ship sailed immediately for Sicily; and after coming to shore, being conducted by the devil, he went straight to the hut of the servant of God, and there casting himself at his feet, was perfectly cured. This being noised abroad, great multitudes, who labored under various corporeal diseases, resorted to him to obtain their cure; whilst numbers also of devout and religious people applied to him for their spiritual profit. Amongst the rest, he cured upon the spot one of the principal men of the island, who was swollen up with the dropsy, and who on the same day, returned home in perfect health. This man offered to make him considerable presents, which the Saint absolutely refused, alleging the precept of our Savior, Matt. x. 8. Freely have you received, freely give: which rule he invariably observed in all the other innumerable miracles which he wrought, whether in Sicily or elsewhere, for, he never would receive any thing, no not so much as a morsel of bread from any one of those on whom he had wrought those miracles.

And now his beloved disciple Hesychius, after having sought after him in vain through many different regions came at length to Sicily, upon the report he had heard at Modon in Greece, from a Jewish pedlar, that a Christian prophet had appeared in Sicily, who wrought all kinds of wonderful miracles. No sooner had he found him than the Saint gave him to understand, that he wanted to depart from Sicily into some strange country where he might be utterly unknown. Wherefore, in compliance with his desire, he conveyed him away by a ship to the coast of Dalmatia, where for a short time he led a solitary life, not far from the city of Epidaurus, now called Ragusa. But neither here could he remain long concealed, his miracles every where betraying him. There was at that time, in the neighborhood of Epidaurus, a monstrous serpent, of that species named boas, which did great mischief in destroying both men and cattle; the Saint, to put a stop to this calamity ordered the country people to heap up a pile of wood, and after addressing a prayer to Christ he called the serpent out of his den, and commanded him to go on the top of the pile of wood, and then setting fire to it, he burnt the monster in sight of a great multitude of people. This miracle was followed by another still greater. About this time, viz. the second year of the reign of Valentinian the first, there happened so remarkable an earthquake that, according to Amianus, a cotemporary historian, its like was never recorded, either in authentic or fabulous history. On this occasion, the swelling seas, in several places, broke in and overflowed the land in such a manner as to threaten the earth with a second deluge, and in some places the waves ran so high as to carry the ships along with them, and leave them hanging on the cliffs. The Epidaurians perceiving the danger in which their city as well as many others were in of being destroyed, had recourse to Hilarion, and opposed him to the mountains of water that were just upon the point of overwhelming them. No sooner had the Saint made three crosses on the sand, and lifted Up his arms to heaven, than the swelling waves, though they raged, foamed, and rose up to an incredible height, not able to advance, gradually returned back again and subsided. This wonder, says St. Jerome, who was then a boy in the same province, the city of Epidaurus, as well as the whole country, recount to this day–the mothers relate it to their children, in order to transmit the memory of it to posterity.

The applause that followed these miracles would not suffer the humble servant of Christ to remain any longer in Dalmatia; therefore taking boat privately by night he fled away, and within two days found a ship departing for Cyprus, on which he embarked. In this voyage his ship being pursued by some pirates in two light vessels, there appeared no hopes of escaping them. The ship’s crew being in the utmost consternation, the Saint turning to his disciples said: “Why are you afraid, O ye of little faith?” And when the pirates were now come within a stone’s cast of the ship, he stood on the foredeck, and stretching out his hand to them, he said: “You have come far enough when behold immediately their vessels fell back, and the more they, tugged and rowed, in order to push forward towards their expected prey, the more rapidly were they carried away from it. The Saint landed at Paphos, a noted city of Cyprus, and chose himself a dwelling place about two miles from thence; being now wonderfully pleased that he had found rest, at least for a short time, in this solitude; but scarcely had twenty days elapsed when the devils in different parts of the island published his arrival by the mouths of those that were possessed; and several of these, both men and women, hastened to him and were delivered. Here he remained about two years meditating upon some private place of retirement.

In the mean time he sent Hesychius into Palestine, to salute the brethren there, and to visit the ashes of his monastery; and upon his return proposed that they should sail into Egypt, and advance a great way into the country, to some place inhabited only by pagans. But Hesychius opposed this; and after a long search, discovered a place in the island about twelve miles distant from the sea, amongst mountains and woods that were almost inaccessible, which proved quite to his mind. In this solitude, to which no one could arrive in several places but by creeping, on hands and knees, they found springs of water on the sides of the hills,–a little garden within, with several fruit trees, of which however the Saint would never eat, and near the garden the ruins of an ancient temple, from whence, as both he and his disciples related, were often heard, both night and day, a great noise, like the voices of a whole army of devils. In this solitary abode the man of God dwelt for the last five years of his mortal life, seldom visited by any one but Hesychius, on account of the difficulty of coming at his dwelling, as also because the people were persuaded that the neighborhood was haunted with a multitude of demons. However, there were some that ventured to come to him for the cure of their maladies; their necessities overcoming all difficulties, especially after it was known, that he had cured upon the spot, the bailiff of the place of a palsy, which had deprived him of the use of his limbs, by only stretching out his hand to him, and lifting him up with these words: In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, rise up and walk.

But now the time arrived which was to put a period to all the labors of his mortal pilgrimage, and unite him eternally to his God, when being now eighty years old he was seized with his last illness. Although Hesychius was then absent, he nevertheless bequeathed to him by will all he had, viz. his book of the gospels, his sackcloth, cowl, and habit. Many religious men from Paphos came to attend him in his sickness, who had heard of his having said, “that he was now going to our Lord;” and with them a holy woman named Constantia, whose daughter and son-in-law he had delivered from death by anointing them with oil. And now he was drawing near his end, when in the very agony of death he distinctly spoke these words: “Go forth my soul: what art thou afraid of? Go forth, why art thou at a stand? Thou hast served Christ almost seventy years, and art thou afraid to die?” and with these words he gave up the ghost. He was immediately buried as he had desired, in the same place: where the devout lady Constantia frequently passed whole nights in prayer at his sepulcher, speaking with him as if he were alive, and desiring the assistance of his prayers. His disciple Hesychius, after ten months, privately conveyed his body away to Palestine, where it was solemnly interred in his own monastery; at which time it was found entirely incorrupt, and sending forth a most fragrant odor. Many great miracles were daily wrought through his intercession, even to the time when St. Jerome published his life, as well at his sepulcher in Palestine, as at the place where he was first buried in Cyprus.

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Palm Sunday Sermon – by Fr. Prosper Gueranger 1870 A.D.

29 March 2015

Entry Into Jerusalem by Pedro Orrente c. 1620
And the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.–St. Matt 21: 9

Palm Sunday popup Title
(by Fr. Prosper Gueranger 1870)

Today, if ye shall hear the voice of the Lord, harden not your hearts.

Early in the morning of this day, Jesus sets out for Jerusalem, leaving Mary His Mother, and the two sisters Martha and Mary Magdalene, and Lazarus, at Bethania. The Mother of sorrows trembles at seeing her Son thus expose Himself to danger, for His enemies are bent upon His destruction; but it is not death, it is triumph, that Jesus is to receive today in Jerusalem. The Messias, before being nailed to the cross, is to be proclaimed King by the people of the great city; the little children are to make her streets echo with their Hosannas to the Son of David; and this in presence of the soldiers of Rome’s emperor, and of the high priests and pharisees: the first standing under the banner of their eagles; the second, dumb with rage.

The prophet Zachary had foretold this triumph which the Son of Man was to receive a few days before His Passion, and which had been prepared for Him from all eternity. ‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion! Shout for joy, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold thy King will come to thee; the Just and the Saviour. He is poor, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass.’ [Zach. ix. 9]. Jesus, knowing that the hour has come for the fulfilment of this prophecy, singles out two from the rest of His disciples, and bids them lead to Him an ass and her colt, which they would find not far off. He has reached Bethphage, on Mount Olivet. The two disciples lose no time in executing the order given them by their divine Master; and the ass and the colt are soon brought to the place where He stands.

The holy fathers have explained to us the mystery of these two animals. The ass represents the Jewish people, which had been long under the yoke of the Law; the colt, upon which, as the evangelist says, no man yet hath sat [St. Mark xi. 2], is a figure of the Gentile world, which no one had ever yet brought into subjection. The future of these two peoples is to be decided a few days hence: the Jews will be rejected, for having refused to acknowledge Jesus as the Messias; the Gentiles will take their place, to be adopted as God’s people, and become docile and faithful.

The disciples spread their garments upon the colt; and our Saviour, that the prophetic figure might be fulfilled, sits upon him [Ibid. 7, and St. Luke xix. 35.], and advances towards Jerusalem. As soon as it is known that Jesus is near the city, the holy Spirit works in the hearts of those Jews, who have come from all parts to celebrate the feast of the Passover. They go out to meet our Lord, holding palm branches in their hands, and loudly proclaiming Him to be King [St. Luke xix. 38]. They that have accompanied Jesus from Bethania, join the enthusiastic crowd. Whilst some spread their garments on the way, others cut down boughs from the palm-trees, and strew them along the road. Hosanna is the triumphant cry, proclaiming to the whole city that Jesus, the Son of David, has made His entrance as her King.

Thus did God, in His power over men’s hearts, procure a triumph for His Son, and in the very city which, a few days later, was to clamour for His Blood. This day was one of glory to our Jesus, and the holy Church would have us renew, each year, the memory of this triumph of the Man-God. Shortly after the birth of our Emmanuel, we saw the Magi coming from the extreme east, and looking in Jerusalem for the King of the Jews, to whom they intended offering their gifts and their adorations: but it is Jerusalem herself that now goes forth to meet this King. Each of these events is an acknowledgment of the kingship of Jesus; the first, from the Gentiles; the second, from the Jews. Both were to pay Him this regal homage, before He suffered His Passion. The inscription to be put upon the cross, by Pilate’s order, will express the kingly character of the Crucified: Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. Pilate, the Roman governor, the pagan, the base coward, has been unwittingly the fulfiller of a prophecy; and when the enemies of Jesus insist on the inscription being altered, Pilate will not deign to give them any answer but this: ‘What I have written, I have written.’ Today, it is the Jews themselves that proclaim Jesus to be their King: they will soon be dispersed, in punishment for their revolt against the Son of David; but Jesus is King, and will be so for ever. Thus were literally verified the words spoken by the Archangel to Mary, when he announced to her the glories of the Child that was to be born of her: ‘The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David, His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.’ [St. Luke i. 32]. Jesus begins His reign upon the earth this very day; and though the first Israel is soon to disclaim His rule, a new Israel, formed from the faithful few of the old, shall rise up in every nation of the earth, and become the kingdom of Christ, a kingdom such as no mere earthly monarch ever coveted in his wildest fancies of ambition.

This is the glorious mystery which ushers in the great week, the week of dolours. Holy Church would have us give this momentary consolation to our heart, and hail our Jesus as our King. She has so arranged the service of today, that it should express both joy and sorrow; joy, by uniting herself with the loyal hosannas of the city of David; and sorrow, by compassionating the Passion of her divine Spouse. The whole function is divided into three parts, which we will now proceed to explain.

The first is the blessing of the palms; and we may have an idea of its importance from the solemnity used by the Church in this sacred rite. One would suppose that the holy Sacrifice has begun, and is going to be offered up in honour of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Introit, Collect, Epistle, Gradual, Gospel, even a Preface, are said, as though we were, as usual, preparing for the immolation of the spotless Lamb; but, after the triple Sanctus! Sanctus! Sanctus! the Church suspends these sacrificial formulas, and turns to the blessing of the palms. The prayers she uses for this blessing are eloquent and full of instruction; and, together with the sprinkling with holy water and the incensation, impart a virtue to these branches, which elevates them to the supernatural order, and makes them means for the sanctification of our souls and the protection of our persons and dwellings. The faithful should hold these palms in their hands during the procession, and during the reading of the Passion at Mass, and keep them in their homes as an outward expression of their faith, and as a pledge of God’s watchful love.

It is scarcely necessary to tell our reader that the palms or olive branches, thus blessed, are carried in memory of those wherewith the people of Jerusalem strewed the road, as our Saviour made His triumphant entry; but a word on the antiquity of our ceremony will not be superfluous. It began very early in the east. It is probable that, as far as Jerusalem itself is concerned, the custom was established immediately after the ages of persecution. St. Cyril, who was bishop of that city in the fourth century, tells us that the palm-tree, from which the people cut the branches when they went out to meet our Saviour, was still to be seen in the vale of Cedron [Cateches. x. versus fin.] Such a circumstance would naturally suggest an annual commemoration of the great event. In the following century, we find this ceremony established, not only in the churches of the east, but also in the monasteries of Egypt and Syria. At the beginning of Lent, many of the holy monks obtained permission from their abbots to retire into the desert, that they might spend the sacred season in strict seclusion; but they were obliged to return to their monasteries for Palm Sunday, as we learn from the life of Saint Euthymius, written by his disciple Cyril [Act. SS. Jan. 2O]. In the west, the introduction of this ceremony was more gradual; the first trace we find of it is in the sacramentary of St. Gregory, that is, at the end of the sixth, or the beginning of the seventh, century. When the faith had penetrated into the north, it was not possible to have palms or olive branches; they were supplied by branches from other trees. The beautiful prayers used in the blessing, and based on the mysteries expressed by the palm and olive trees, are still employed in the blessing of our willow, box, or other branches; and rightly, for these represent the symbolical ones which nature has denied us.

The second of today’s ceremonies is the procession, which comes immediately after the blessing of the palms. It represents our Saviour’s journey to Jerusalem, and His entry into the city. To make it the more expressive, the branches that have just been blessed are held in the hand during it. With the Jews, to hold a branch in one’s hand was a sign of joy. The divine law had sanctioned this practice, as we read in the following passage from Leviticus, where God commands His people to keep the feast of tabernacles: And you shall take to you, on the first day, the fruits of the fairest tree, and branches of palm-trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God [Lev. xxiii. 4O]. It was, therefore, to testify their delight at seeing Jesus enter within their walls, that the inhabitants, even the little children, of Jerusalem, went forth to meet Him with palms in their hands. Let us, also, go before our King, singing our hosannas to Him as the conqueror of death, and the liberator of His people.

During the middle ages, it was the custom, in many churches, to carry the book of the holy Gospels in this procession. The Gospel contains the words of Jesus Christ, and was considered to represent Him. The procession halted at an appointed place, or station: the deacon then opened the sacred volume, and sang from it the passage which describes our Lord’s entry into Jerusalem. This done, the cross which, up to this moment, was veiled, was uncovered; each of the clergy advanced towards it, venerated it, and placed at its foot a small portion of the palm he held in his hand. The procession then returned, preceded by the cross, which was left unveiled until all had re-entered the church. In England and Normandy, as far back as the eleventh century, there was practised a holy ceremony which represented, even more vividly than the one we have just been describing, the scene that was witnessed on this day at Jerusalem: the blessed Sacrament was carried in procession. The heresy of Berengarius, against the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, had been broached about that time; and the tribute of triumphant joy here shown to the sacred Host was a distant preparation for the feast and procession which were to be instituted at a later period.

A touching ceremony was also practised in Jerusalem during today’s procession, and, like those just mentioned, was intended to commemorate the event related by the Gospel. The whole community of the Franciscans (to whose keeping the holy places are entrusted) went in the morning to Bethphage. There, the father guardian of the holy Land, being vested in pontifical robes, mounted upon an ass, on which garments were laid. Accompanied by the friars and the Catholics of Jerusalem, all holding palms in their hands, he entered the city, and alighted at the church of the holy sepulchre where Mass was celebrated with all possible solemnity.

This beautiful ceremony, which dated from the period of the Latin kingdom in Jerusalem, has been forbidden, for now almost two hundred years, by the Turkish authorities of the city.

We have mentioned these different usages, as we have done others on similar occasions, in order to aid the faithful to the better understanding of the several mysteries of the liturgy. In the present instance, they will learn that, in today’s procession, the Church wishes us to honour Jesus Christ as though He were really among us, and were receiving the humble tribute of our loyalty. Let us lovingly go forth to meet this our King, our Saviour, who comes to visit the daughter of Sion, as the prophet has just told us. He is in our midst; it is to Him that we pay honour with our palms: let us give Him our hearts too. He comes that He may be our King; let us welcome Him as such, and fervently cry out to Him: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’

At the close of the procession a ceremony takes place, which is full of the sublimest symbolism. On returning to the church, the doors are found to be shut. The triumphant procession is stopped; but the songs of joy are continued. A hymn in honour of Christ our King is sung with its joyous chorus; and at length the subdeacon strikes the door with the staff of the cross; the door opens, and the people, preceded by the clergy, enter the church, proclaiming the praise of Him, who is our resurrection and our life.

This ceremony is intended to represent the entry of Jesus into that Jerusalem of which the earthly one was but the figure – the Jerusalem of heaven, which has been opened for us by our Saviour. The sin of our first parents had shut it against us; but Jesus, the King of glory, opened its gates by His cross, to which every resistance yields. Let us, then, continue to follow in the footsteps of the Son of David, for He is also the Son of God, and He invites us to share His kingdom with Him. Thus, by the procession, which is commemorative of what happened on this day, the Church raises up our thoughts to the glorious mystery of the Ascension, whereby heaven was made the close of Jesus’ mission on earth. Alas! the interval between these two triumphs of our Redeemer are not all days of joy; and no sooner is our procession over, than the Church, who had laid aside for a moment the weight of her grief, falls back into sorrow and mourning.

The third part of today’s service is the offering of the holy Sacrifice. The portions that are sung by the choir are expressive of the deepest desolation; and the history of our Lord’s Passion, which is now to be read by anticipation, gives to the rest of the day that character of sacred gloom, which we all know so well. For the last five or six centuries, the Church has adopted a special chant for this narrative of the holy Gospel. The historian, or the evangelist, relates the events in a tone that is at once grave and pathetic; the words of our Saviour are sung to a solemn yet sweet melody, which strikingly contrasts with the high dominant of the several other interlocutors and the Jewish populace. During the singing of the Passion, the faithful should hold their palms in their hands, and, by this emblem of triumph, protest against the insults offered to Jesus by His enemies. As we listen to each humiliation and suffering, all of which were endured out of love for us, let us offer Him our palm as to our dearest Lord and King. When should we be more adoring, than when He is most suffering?

These are the leading features of this great day. According to our usual plan, we will add to the prayers and lessons any instructions that seem to be needed.

This Sunday, besides its liturgical and popular appellation of Palm Sunday, has had several other names. Thus it was called Hosanna Sunday, in allusion to the acclamation wherewith the Jews greeted Jesus on His entry into Jerusalem. Our forefathers used also to call it Pascha Floridum, because the feast of the Pasch (or Easter), which is but eight days off, is today in bud, so to speak, and the faithful could begin from this Sunday to fulfil the precept of Easter Communion. It was in allusion to this name, that the Spaniards, having on the Palm Sunday of 1513, discovered the peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico, called it Florida. We also find the name of Capililavium given to this Sunday, because, during those times when it was the custom to defer till Holy Saturday the baptism of infants born during the preceding months (where such a delay entailed no danger), the parents used, on this day, to wash the heads of these children, out of respect to the holy chrism wherewith they were to be anointed. Later on, this Sunday was, at least in some churches, called the Pasch of the competents, that is, of the catechumens, who were admitted to Baptism; they assembled today in the church, and received a special instruction on the symbol, which had been given to them in the previous scrutiny. In the Gothic Church of Spain, the symbol was not given till today. The Greeks call this Sunday Baphoros, that is, Palm-bearing.

Let us pray:

O almighty and eternal God, who wouldst have our Saviour become man, and suffer on a cross, to give mankind an example of humility; mercifully grant that we may improve by the example of his patience, and partake of his resurrection. Through the same, &c.

Let us now go over in our minds the other events which happened to our divine Lord on this day of His solemn entry into Jerusalem. St. Luke tells us that it was on His approach to the city, that Jesus wept over it, and spoke these touching words: ‘If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace! But now they are hidden from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee; and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone; because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.’ [St. Luke xix. 42-44].

A few days ago, we were reading in the holy Gospel how Jesus wept over the tomb of Lazarus; today He sheds tears over Jerusalem. At Bethania His weeping was caused by the sight of bodily death, the consequence and punishment of sin; but this death is not irremediable: Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and he that believeth in Him shall live [St. John xi. 25]. Whereas, the state of the unfaithful Jerusalem is a figure of the death of the soul, and from this there is no resurrection, unless the soul, while time is given to her, return to the Author of life. Hence it is, that the tears shed by Jesus over Jerusalem are so bitter. Amidst the acclamations which greet His entry into the city of David, His heart is sad; for He sees that many of her inhabitants will not profit of the time of her visitation. Let us console the Heart of our Jesus, and be to Him a faithful Jerusalem.

The sacred historian tells us that Jesus, immediately upon His entrance into the city, went to the temple, and cast out all them that sold and bought there [St. Matt. xxi. 12]. This was the second time that He had shown His authority in His Father’s house, and no one had dared to resist Him. The chief priests and pharisees found fault with Him, and accused Him to His face, of causing confusion by His entry into the city; but our Lord confounded them by the reply He made. It is thus that in after ages, when it has pleased God to glorify His Son and the Church of His Son, the enemies of both have given vent to their rage; they protested against the triumph, but they could not stop it. But when God, in the unsearchable ways of His wisdom, allowed persecution and trial to follow these periods of triumph, then did these bitter enemies redouble their efforts to induce the very people, that had cried Hosanna to the Son of David, to clamour for His being delivered up and crucified. They succeeded in fomenting persecution, but not in destroying the kingdom of Christ and His Church. The kingdom seemed, at times, to be interrupted in its progress; but the time for another triumph came. Thus will it be to the end; and then, after all these changes from glory to humiliation, and from humiliation to glory, the kingdom of Jesus and of His bride will gain the last and eternal triumph over this world, which would not know the time of its visitation.

We learn from St. Matthew [St. Matt. xxi. 17] that our Saviour spent the remainder of this day at Bethania. His blessed Mother and the house of Lazarus were comforted by His return. There was not a single offer of hospitality made to Him in Jerusalem, at least there is no mention in the Gospel of any such offer. We cannot help making the reflection, as we meditate upon this event of our Lord’s life:- an enthusiastic reception is given to Him in the morning, He is proclaimed by the people as their King; but when the evening of that day comes on, there is not one of all those thousands to offer Him food or lodging. In the Carmelite monasteries of St. Teresa’s reform, there is a custom, which has been suggested by this thought, and is intended as a reparation for this ingratitude shown to our Redeemer. A table is placed in the middle of the refectory; and after the community have finished their dinner, the food which was placed upon that table is distributed among the poor, and Jesus is honoured in them.

HYMN: (In Dominica Palmarum)

Lo! the God that sitteth, in the highest heavens, upon the Cherubim, and looketh down on lowly things, cometh in glory and power, all creatures are full of His divine praise. Peace upon Israel, and salvation to the Gentiles!

The souls of the just cried out with joy: Now is prepared a new Covenant for the world, and mankind is renewed by the sprinkling of the divine Blood!

The people fell upon their knees, and, rejoicing with the disciples, sang, with palms in their hands: Hosanna to the Son of David! Praiseworthy and blessed art thou, O Lord God of our fathers!

The simple-hearted people, yea, and little children, (the fittest to adore God) praised Him as King of Israel and of the angels: Praiseworthy and blessed art thou, O Lord God of our fathers!

O Sion! there came to thee Christ, thy King. seated on a young colt: for He came that he might loose mankind from the senseless error of idolatry, and tame the wild passions of all nations; that thus they might praise Thee, singing: Bless the Lord, all ye His works, and extol Him above all for ever!

Christ thy Lord hath reigned for ever. He, as it is written, the meek one, the Saviour, our just Redeemer, came riding on an ass’s colt, that He might destroy the pride of His enemies, who would not sing these words: Bless the Lord, all ye His works, and extol Him above all for ever!

The unjust and obstinate Sanhedrim, the usurpers of the holy temple, are put to flight; for they had made God’s house of prayer a den of thieves, and shut their hearts against the Redeemer, to whom we cry: Bless the Lord, all ye His works, and extol Him above all forever!

God is our Lord, he hath appeared unto us. Appoint a solemn feast, and come, let us rejoice and magnify the Christ, praising Him, with palms and branches in our hands: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord our Saviour!

Why, O ye Gentiles, have ye raged? Why, O ye scribes and priests, have ye devised vain things. saying: Who is this, unto whom children, with palms and branches in their hands, cry aloud this praise: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord our Saviour?

Why, O ye perverse of heart, have ye thrown stumbling-blocks in the way? Your feet are swift to shed the Blood of the Lord. But He will rise again, that He may save all that cry to Him: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord our Saviour!

Source: Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals


Dominican Cloistered Nuns, Seignadou Soaps & the Shroud?

29 March 2015

Reposted from Palm Sunday 2012 by request…

Soap-making nuns of New Jersey monastery combine the practical with the prophetic — and a mystery

by Lauren Green
Originally published April 01, 2012
| FoxNews.com

On any given morning, noon and evening, the dulcet tones of the Dominican Sisters waft through the corridors of Our Lady of the Rosary in Summit, N.J., as the nuns attend their daily devotions in chapel. It’s an example of their devout higher calling.

For a few morning hours during the week, the hum of the sisters’ soap-making operation shows a commitment to an earthly vocation.

 

“It’s become a business for us,” says Sister Mary Catharine Perry. “Of course it doesn’t totally support us, but it does help toward supporting us in our life, and it’s also compatible with our contemplative life.”

What began as gifts of soap for church volunteers became so popular the product line expanded. Now the sisters offer lip balm, hand lotion, room sprays and more. They’re all available online and at the monastery’s modest gift shop, Cloister Shoppe.

The business helps cover health insurance, utilities and other basic necessities.

But behind the monastery’s cloistered walls is not only the sisters’ soap-making business, but a mysterious object that’s part of their greater mission. An object that one researcher called the common denominator between science and religion.

A nearly 400-year-old replica of the Shroud of Turin, Jesus’ burial cloth, long stowed away, is now on public display in the monastery’s sanctuary. The shroud was a gift to the sisters from the Monastery of Monte Mario in Rome, as gratitude for their support during World War I.

The shroud replica was one of two commissioned in 1624 by Maria Maddalena of Austria, the wife of Cosimo de Medici. The replica was placed on the original shroud and as such is now treasured and venerated.

In 1987, scientists preparing to study the Shroud in Turin used the Summit replica for a dry run to test their equipment. What they discovered could be considered a miracle.

Sister Perry says, “What’s special about this one (Shroud replica) is when it was laid on the actual shroud, and they lifted it up where the stain of the side wound is on the actual shroud showed up on the replica.

How that happened is a bit of a mystery, even more so because, according to published reports, the replica’s ‘stain’ was never tested thoroughly. Sister Perry says she was told that the stain is human blood and that it matches the DNA of the original shroud.

How could this be? Sister Perry says, “I don’t know. God provides.”

Perry is more concerned about everyday matters of faith than the mystery of the shroud replica.

She’s satisfied that it gives some people a deeper understanding of God.

So as Holy Week begins, the sisters continue to pray for the soul of the world, knowing that their soap business and the shroud combine the practical ….with their prophetic message.

Sister Perry says, “it helps people to think about the passion and to think of what Christ suffered for us, and it helps people in their life of prayer, and that’s good.”

Lauren Green serves as a religion correspondent for FOX News Channel’s (FNC). Prior to this, Green served as a news anchor for “FOX & Friends,” where she provided daily news updates for the irreverent morning program.

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Help support the Dominicans Nuns of the Our Lady of the Rosary in Summit, N.J.

To purchase the BEST (without a doubt, I’m hooked!) soaps, lotions and room sprays ever, gift baskets (including a “Design your Own Custom Basket” …plus special Catholic items & books, please click on the graphic on the right side of Always Catholic Home Page for Seignadou Soaps and more at the Cloister Shoppe of the Dominican Nuns.


Palm Sunday – Missa ‘Domine Ne Longe’ – Link to 10:30 AM EST LIVE Mass & Propers

29 March 2015

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The Propers follow the link below for the Extraordinary Form Mass offered LIVE online by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter.

LIVE Link to the Palm Sunday Mass at Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, Sarasota, Florida: Please click HERE

“The LIVE Mass that streams to LIveMass.net is actively taking place in Sarasota, Florida. At all times the screen will remain blank until ten minutes before the scheduled Mass. Mass times are Sunday (Low Mass) at 8:30 a.m. EST. The High Mass is at 10:30 a.m. EST. All other times the screen will remain blank. The Daily Mass schedule is Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. EST and Tuesday and Friday evening an additional daily Mass at 6:30 p.m. EST. The Recollection of the Confraternity of Saint Peter takes place also on the 2nd Friday of the month at 6:30 P.M. EST.” from the website of livemass.net

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Palm_Sunday_003

Second Sunday of Passiontide

(Palm Sunday)

[Station at St. John Lateran]
Red/Purple

1stClass

Extract from the General Decree restoring the liturgy of Holy Week: “Let the faithful be invited to take part in the Procession of Palms in greater numbers, thus rendering Christ the King public witness of their love and gratitude.”

The Second Sunday in Passiontide would be in any case a great and holy day, as it commemorates the last triumph of Our Lord Jesus Christ on earth and opens Holy Week. On this day, the Church celebrates the triumphant entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem; when the multitude, going before and following after Him, cut off branches from the trees and strewed them in His way, shouting: “Hosanna [glory and praise] to the Son of David. Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.” It is in commemoration of this triumph that palms are blessed and borne in solemn procession.

In fact, this Palm Sunday triumph of Our Lord only led to His death. But we know that this death was not a failure. It was through His Passion and Death that He conquered the world and entered into His kingdom. “I, if I be lifted up . . . will draw all things to myself.” (John 12. 32). So the Church asks the faithful to join in the triumphal procession today as an act of homage and gratitude to Christ our King. This triumphal beginning to Holy Week is full of meaning. Although the purple Mass vestments and Gospel of the Passion remind us that the Cross lies ahead, we already know this is the means of victory. So the Church asks us to begin Holy Week by joyfully and publicly acknowledging Christ the King.

The principal ceremonies of the day are the blessing of the palms, the procession, the Mass with the reading of the Passion. The blessing of the palms follows a ritual similar to that of the Mass, — having an Epistle, a Gospel, a Preface, and a Sanctus. The Epistle refers to the murmuring of the Israelites in the desert, and their sighing for the flesh-pots of Egypt. The Gospel describes the triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The prayers which follow the Sanctus ask God to “bless the branches of palm . . . that whoever receives them may find protection of soul and body . . . that into whatever place they shall be brough, the inhabitants may obtain His blessing; that the devout faithful may understand the mystical meaning of the ceremony, that is, that the palms represent the triumph over the prince of death . . . and therefore, the use thereof declares both the greatness of the victory, and the riches of God’s mercy.”

These ceremonies are the remainder of the earthly custom of having two Masses on this day: one for the blessing of the palms, the other after the procession. The prayers of the blessing, the Antiphon of the procession and the hymn Gloria, laus make this one of the most impressive ceremonies of the Liturgical Year.

The Blessing of the Palms

The priest in red cope, with his ministers also vested in red, proceeds to the blessing of palms, or of branches of olive or other trees which are placed in front or on the epistle side of the altar.

ANTIPHON ¤ Matth. 21. 9.

Hosanna Filio David: benedictus qui venit in Nomini Domini. O Rex Israel: Hosanna in excelsis. Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord. O King of Israel: Hosanna in the highest!

Then the priest, standing on the epistle side, his hands joined, turning towards the faithful, sings:

 

V. Dominus tecum. V. The Lord be with you.

R. Et cum spiritu tuo. R. And with thy spirit.

Oremus. — Bene † dic, quaesumus, Domine, hos palmarum (seu olivarum seu aliarum arborum) ramos: et praesta; ut, quod populus tuus in tui venerationem hodierno die corporaliter agit, hoc spiritualiter summa devotione perficiat, de hoste victoriam reportando et opus misericordiae summopere diligendo. Per Christum Dominum nostrum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Let us pray. — Bless, † we beseech Thee, O Lord, these branches of palm (or olive or other trees): and grant that what Thy people today bodily perform for Thy honor, they may perfect spiritually with the utmost devotion, by gaining the victory over the enemy, and ardently loving every work of mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

R. Amen. R. Amen.

Here the celebrant puts incense into the thurible and sprinkles the palms thrice with holy water, then he incenses them thrice.:

In churches where the faithful hold palms in their hands from the beginning of the ceremony, these palms are sprinkled and incensed after those in the sanctuary.

The celebrant then distributes the palms, first to the clergy, and afterward to the laity, who all genuflect and kiss both the palm and the hand of the celebrant. Meanwhile, the choir sings the following Antiphons and Psalms.

Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

PSALM 23. 1-2, 7-10

Vulgate Psalter

Domini est terra, et plenitudo eius, * orbis terrarum et universi qui habitant in eo.

Quia ipse super maria fundavit eum, * et super flumina praeparavit eum.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Attolite portas, principes vestras: † et elevamini, portae aeternales: * et introibit rex gloriae.

Quis est iste rex gloriae? † Dominus fortis et potens: * Dominus potens in praelio

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Attolite portas, principes vestras: † et elevamini, portae aeternales: * et introibit rex gloriae.

Quis est iste rex gloriae? * Dominus virtutum ipse est rex gloriae.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. Cardinal Bea Psalter

Domini est terra et quae replent eam, * orbis terrarum et qui habitant in eo.

Nam ipse super maria fundavit eum, * et super flumina firmavit eum.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Attolite, portae, capita vestra, et attolite vos, fores antiquae, * ut ingrediatur rex gloriae!

Quis est iste rex gloriae? * Dominus fortis et potens, Dominus potens in praelio.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Attolite, portae, capita vestra, et attolite vos, fores antiquae, * ut ingrediatur rex gloriae!

Quis est iste rex gloriae? * Dominus exercituum: ipse est rex gloriae.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof: the world and all they that dwell therein.

For He hath founded it upon the seas: and hath prepared it upon the rivers.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in.

Who is this King of Glory? The Lord who is strong and mighty: the Lord mighty in battle.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in.

Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of Glory.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out, and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

PSALM 46

Vulgate Psalter

Omnes gentes, plaudite manibus, * iubilate Deo in voce exsultationis.

Quoniam Dominus excelsus, terribilis, * rex magnus super omnem terram.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Subiecit populos nobis: * et gentes sub pedibus nostris.

Elegit nobis hereditatem suam: * speciem Iacob, quam dilexit.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Ascendit Deus in iubilo: * et Dominus in voce tubae.

Psallite Deo nostro, psallite: * psallite regi nostro, psallite.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Quoniam rex omnes terrae Deus: * psallite sapienter.

Regnabit Deus super gentes: * Deus sedet super sedem sanctam suam.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Principes populorum congregati sunt cum Deo Abraham: * quoniam dii fortes terrae vehementer elevati sunt.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. Cardinal Bea Psalter

Omnes populi, plaudite manibus, * exsultate Deo voce laetitiae.

Quoniam Dominus excelsus, terribilis, * rex magnus super omnem terram.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Subicit populos nobis: * et nationes pedibus nostris.

Elegit nobis hereditatem nostram, * gloriam Iacob, quem diligit.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Ascendit Deus cum exsultatione, * Dominus cum voce tubae.

Psallite Deo, psallite; * psallite regi nostro, psallite.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Quoniam rex omnis terrae et Deus, * psallite hymnum.

Deus regnat super nationes, * Deus sedet super solium sanctum suum.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Principes populorum congregati sunt * cum populo Dei Abraham.

Nam Dei sunt proceres terrae: * excelsus est valde.

Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. O clap your hands, all ye nations: shout unto God with the voice of joy.

For the Lord is high, terrible: a great king over all the earth.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

He hath subdued the people under us: and the nations under our feet.

He hath chosen for us His inheritance: the beauty of Jacob which He hath loved.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

God is ascended with jubilee: and the Lord with the sound of trumpet.

Sing praises to our God, sing ye: sing praises to our king, sing ye.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

For God is the king of all the earth: sing ye wisely.

God shall reign over the nations: God sitteth on His holy throne.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

The princes of the people are gathered together: with the God of Abraham.

For the strong gods of the earth: are exceedingly exalted.

The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out, and saying, Hosanna in the highest.

When the palms have been distributed the deacon puts the gospel book on the altar and the priest puts incense into the thurible. The prayer Munda Cor is said as usual, and the Gospel is sung by the deacon with all the ceremonies usual at High Mass.

GOSPEL ¤ Matthew 21. 1-9.

† Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.

† Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Matthaeum.

[Triumphant entry of Our Lord Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.]

In illo tempore: Cum appropinquassent Ierosolymis, et venissent Bethphage ad montem Oliveti: tunc Iesus misit duos discipulos, dicens eis: Ite in castellum, quod contra vos est, et statim invenietis asinam alligatam, et pullum cum ea: solvite, et adducite mihi: et si quis vobis aliquid dixerit, dicite quia Dominus his opus habet: et confestim dimittet eos. Hoc autem totum factum est, ut adimpleretur quod dictum est per prophetam dicentem: Dicite filiae Sion: Ecce rex tuus venit tibi mansuetus, sedens super asinam, et pullum filium subiugalis. Euntes autem discipuli fecerunt sicut praecepit illis Iesus. Et adduxerunt asinam, et pullum: et imposuerunt super eos vestimenta sua, et eum desuper sedere fecerunt. Plurima autem turba straverunt vestimenta sua in via: alii autem caedebant ramos de arboribus, et sternebant in via: turbae autem, quae praecedebant, et quae sequebantur, clamabant, dicentes: Hosanna filio David: benedictus, qui venit in nomine Domini. At that time, when Jesus drew nigh to Jerusalem, and was come to Bethphage, unto Mount Olivet, then He sent two disciples, saying to them: Go ye into the village that is over against you, and immediately you shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them and bring them to Me. And if any man shall say anything to you, say ye, that the Lord hath need of them: and forthwith he will let them go. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: Tell ye the daughter of Sion: Behold thy King cometh to thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of her that is used to the yoke. And the disciples going, did as Jesus commanded them. And they brought the ass and the colt, and laid their garments upon them, and made him sit thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way: and others cut boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way, and the multitudes that went before and that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.

The Procession of Palms

 

The procession now takes place. When the priest places incense in the thurible, the deacon, turning toward the people, sings, the choir responding:

V. Procedamus in pace.

R. In nomine Christi. Amen. V. Let us go forth in peace.

R. In the name of Christ. Amen.

The thurifer precedes with the smoking censer, followed by the subdeacon, bearing the processional cross between two acolytes carrying lighted candles. Then follow the clergy in order of rank, then the celebrant with the deacon on his left. Where it is custom for the people to join the procession, they follow the celebrant. All carry palms, and all or some of them sing the following anthems, hymns, and Psalms, during the whole time the procession lasts.

Occurrent turbae cum floribus et palmis Redemptori obviam: et victori triumphanti digna dant obsequia: Filium Dei ore gentes praedicant: et in laudem Christi voces tonant per nubila: Hosanna in excelsis. The multitude goeth forth to meet our Redeemer with flowers and palms, and payeth the homage due to a triumphant Conqueror: the Gentiles proclaim the Son of God; and their voices thunder through the skies in praise of Christ: Hosanna in the highest!

Cum Angelis et pueris fideles inveniamur, triumphatori mortis clamantis: Hosanna in excelsis. Let the faithful join with the Angels and children singing to the Conqueror of death: Hosanna in the higest!

Turba multa, quae convenerat ad diem festum, clamabat Domino: Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini: Hosanna in excelsis. A great multitude that was met together at the festival cried out to the Lord: Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest!

Coeperunt omnes turbae descendentium gaudentes laudare Deum voce magna, super omnibus quas viderant virtutibus, dicentes: Benedictus qui venit Rex in nomine Domini: pax in terra, et gloria in excelsis. Near the descent the whole multitude began with joy to praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: Blessed be the King who cometh in the name of the Lord; peace on earth and glory on high.

HYMN TO CHRIST THE KING

Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium.

R. Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium.

Israel es tu Rex, Davidis et inclyta proles:

Nomine qui in Domini, Rex benedicte, venis.

R. Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium.

Coetus in excelsis te laudat coelicus omnis.

Et mortalis homo, et cuncta creata simul.

R. Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium.

Plebs Hebraea tibi cum palmis obvia venit:

Cum prece, voto, hymnis, adsumus ecce tibi.

R. Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium.

Hi tibi passuro solvebant munia laudis:

Nos tibi regnanti pangimus ecce melos.

R. Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium.

Hi placuere tibi, placeat devotio nostra:

Rex bone, Rex clemens, qui bona cuncta placent.

R. Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor: Cui puerile decus prompsit Hosanna pium. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

R. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

Hail, King of Israel! David’s Son of royal fame!

Who comest in the Name of the Lord, O blessed King.

R. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

The Angel host laud Thee on high,

On earth mankind, with all created things.

R. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

With palms the Jews went forth to meet Thee.

We greet Thee now with prayers and hymns.

R. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

On Thy way to die, they crowned Thee with praise.

We raise our song to Thee, now King on high.

R. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

Their poor homage pleased Thee, O gracious King!

O clement King, accept too ours, the best we can bring.

R. Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna’s song.

Ant. Omnes collaudant nomen tuum, et dicunt: Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. Omnes collaudant nomen tuum, et dicunt: Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. All praise Thy name highly and say: Blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

PSALM 147

Vulgate Psalter

Lauda, Ierusalem, Dominum: * lauda Deum tuum, Sion.

Quoniam confortavit seras portarum tuarum: * benedixit filiis tuis in te.

Qui posuit fines tuos pacem: * et adipe frumenti satiat te.

Qui emittit eloquium suum terrae: * velociter currit sermo eius.

Qui dat nivem sicut lanam: * nebulam sicut cinerem spargit.

Mittit crystallum suam sicut buccellas: * ante faciem frigoris eius quis sustinebit?

Emittet verbum suum, et liquefaciat ea: * flabit spiritus eius, et fluent aquae.

Qui annuntiat verbum suum Iacob: * iustitias et iudicia sua Israel.

Non fecit taliter omni nationi: * et iudicia sua non manifestavit eis.

Gloria Patri et Filio * et Spiritui Sancto.

Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, * et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. Cardinal Bea Psalter

Lauda, Ierusalem, Dominum, * lauda Deum tuum Sion,

Quod firmavit seras portarum tuarum, * benedixit filiis tuis in te.

Composuit fines tuos in pace, * medulla tritici satiat te.

Emittit eloquium suum in terram, * velociter currit verbum eius.

Dat nivem sicut lanam, * pruinam sicut cinerem spargit.

Proicit glaciem suam ut frustula panis; * coram frigore eius aquae rigescunt.

Emittit verbum suum et liquefacit eas; * flare iubet ventum suum et fluunt aquae.

Annuntiavit verbum suum Iacob, * statuta et praecepta sua Israel.

Non fecit ita ulli nationi: * praecepta sua non manifestavit eis.

Gloria Patri et Filio * et Spiritui Sancto.

Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, * et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem: praise thy God, O Sion.

Because He hath strengthened the bolts of thy gates: He hath blessed thy children within thee.

Who hath placed peace in thy borders: and filleth thee with the fat of corn.

Who sendeth forth His speech to the earth: His word runneth swiftly.

Who giveth snow like wool: scattereth mists like ashes.

He sendeth His crystal like morsels: Who shall stand before the face of His cold?

He shall send out His Word and shall melt them: His wind shall blow and the waters shall run.

Who declareth His word to Jacob: His justice and His judgements to Israel.

He hath not done in like manner to every nation: and His judgements He hath not made manifest to them.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Ant. Omnes collaudant nomen tuum, et dicunt: Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. Omnes collaudant nomen tuum, et dicunt: Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini: Hosanna in excelsis. Ant. All praise Thy name highly and say: Blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.

Fulgentibus palmis prosternimur advenienti Domino: huic omnes occurramus cum hymnis et canticis, glorificantes et dicentes: Benedictus Dominus. We are strewn with the shining palms before the Lord as He approacheth; let us all run to meet Him with hymns and songs, glorify Him and say: Blessed be the Lord!

Ave, Rex noster, Fili David, Redemptor mundi, quem prophetae praedixerunt Salvatorem domui Israel esse venturum. Te enim ad salutarem victimam Pater misit in mundum, quem exspectabant omnes sancti ab origine mundi, et nunc: Hosanna Filio David, Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis. Hail, our King, O Son of David, O world’s Redeemer, whom prophets did foretell as the Saviour to come of the house of Israel. For the Father sent Thee into the world as victim for salvation; from the beginning of the world all the saints awaited Thee: Hosanna now to the Son of David! Belssed be He who cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

If the procession has gone outside, it may be custom in some places for the subdeacon to knock thrice on the door of the church with the shaft of the processional cross. The door is opened, and the procession enters the church, singing:

RESPONSORY

Ingrediente Domino in sanctam civitatem, Hebraeorum pueri resurrectionem vitae pronuntiantes, * Cum ramis palmarum: Hosanna, clamabunt, in excelsis. V.: Cum audisset populus, quod Iesus veniret Ierosolymam, exierunt obviam ei. * Cum ramis palmarum: Hosanna, clamabunt, in excelsis. As our Lord entered the holy city, the Hebrew children, declaring the resurrection of life, * With palm branches, cried out: Hosanna in the highest. V.: When the people heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they went forth to meet Him: With palm branches, cried out: Hosanna in the highest.

The celebrant reaches the altar, turns to the people, and sings:

V. Dominus vobiscum.

R. Et cum spiritu tuo. V. The Lord be with you.

R. And with thy spirit.

Oremus. — Domine Iesu Christe, Rex ac Redemptor noster, in cuius honorem, hoc ramos gestantes, solemnes laudes decantavimus: concede propitius ut, quocumque hi rami deportati fuerint, ibi tuae benedictionis gratia descendat, et, quavis daemonum iniquitate vel illusione profligata, dextera tua protegat, quos redemit. Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. R. Amen. Let us pray. — O Lord Jesus Christ, our King and Redeemer, in whose honor we have borne these palms and gone on praising Thee with song and solemnity: mercifully grant that whithersoever these palms are taken, there the grace of Thy blessing may descend; may every wickedness and trick of the demons be frustrated; and may Thy right hand protect those it hath redeemed. Who livest and reignest for ever and ever. R. Amen.

The sacred Ministers now change from red to purple vestments for the Mass.

 

The Mass

There are no prayers at the foot of the altar; instead, the celebrant ascends the altar and begins the Introit at once. The Gloria Patri is not said.

INTROIT ¤ Ps. 21. 20, 22.

Domine, ne longe facias auxilium tuum a me, ad defensionem meam aspice: libera me de ore leonis, et a cornibus unicornium humilitatem meam. — Deus, Deus meus, respice in me: quare me dereliquisti? Longe a salute mea, verba delictorum meorum. — Domine, ne longe facias auxilium tuum a me, ad defensionem meam aspice: libera me de ore leonis, et a cornibus unicornium humilitatem meam. O Lord, keep not Thy help far from me; look to my defense; deliver me from the lion’s mouth, and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns. — (Ps. 21. 2.) O God, my God, look upon me; why hast Thou forsaken me? Far from my salvation are the words of my sins. –O Lord, keep not Thy help far from me; look to my defense; deliver me from the lion’s mouth, and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns.

COLLECT

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui humano generi, ad imitandum humilitatis exemplum, Salvatorem nostrum carnem sumere, et crucem subire fecisti: concede propitius: ut et patientiae ipsius habere documenta, et resurrectionis consortia mereamur. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. O almighty and everlasting God, who didst cause our Saviour to take upon Him our flesh, and to undergo the cross, for an example of humility to be imitated by mankind: mercifully grant that we may deserve to possess not only the lessons of His patience, but also the fellowship of His Resurrection. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

 

EPISTLE ¤ Philip. 2. 5-11.

Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Philippians.

Lectio Epistolae beati Pauli Apostoli ad Philippenses.

[The triumph of the Redeemer of the world, Our Lord Jesus Christ, must be preceded by “His humiliation unto death, even the death of the cross.”]

Fratres: Hoc enim sentite in vobis, quod et in Christo Iesu: qui cum in forma Dei esset, non rapinam arbitratus est esse se aequalem Deo: sed semetipsum exinanivit, formam servi accipiens, in similitudinem hominum factus, et habitu inventus ut homo. Humiliavit semetipsum factus obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis. Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum, et donavit illi nomen, quod est super omne nomen: (hic genuflectitur) ut in nomine Iesu omne genu flectatur caelestium, terrestrium et infernorum, et omnis lingua confiteatur, quia Dominus Iesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris. Brethren: let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted Him, and hath given Him a Name which is above all names: (here all genuflect) that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

GRADUAL ¤ Ps. 72. 24, 1-3.

Tenuisti manum dexteram meam: et in voluntate tua deduxisti me: et cum gloria assumpsisti me. V.: Quam bonus Israel Deus rectis corde! mei autem pene moti sunt pedes: pene effusi sunt gressus mei: quia zelavi in peccatoribus, pacem peccatorum videns. Thou hast held me by my right hand; and by Thy will Thou hast conducted me, and with Thy glory Thou hast received me. V.: How good is God to Israel, to those of an upright heart! but my feet were almost moved, my steps had well-nigh slipped, because I was jealous of sinners, seeing the prosperity of sinners.

 

TRACT ¤ Ps. 21. 2-9, 18, 19, 22, 24, 32.

Deus, Deus meus, respice in me: quare me dereliquisti? V.: Longe a salute mea verba derelictorum meorum. V.: Deus meus, clamabo per diem, nec exaudies: in nocte, et non ad insipientiam mihi. V.: Tu autem in sancto habitas, laus Israel. V.: In te speraverunt patres nostri: speraverunt, et liberasti eos. V.: At te clamaverunt, et salvi facti sunt: in te speraverunt, et non sunt confusi. V.: Ego autem sum vermis, et non homo: opprobrium hominum, et abiectio plebes. V.: Omnes qui videbant me, aspernabantur me: locuti sunt labiis, et moverunt caput. V.: Speravit in Domino, eripiat eum: salvum faciat eum quoniam vult eum. V.: Ipsi vero consideraverunt, et conspexerunt me: diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea, et super vestem meam miserunt sortem. V.: Libera me de ore leonis: et a cornibus unicornium humilitatem meam. V.: Qui timetis Dominum, laudate eum: universum semen Iacob, magnificate eum. V.: Annuntiabitur Domino generatio ventura: et annuntiabunt coeli iustitiam eius. V.: Populo, qui nascetur, quem fecit Dominus. O God, my God, look upon me; why hast Thou forsaken me? V.: Far from my salvation are the words of my sins. V.: O my God, I shall cry by day, and Thou wilt not hear; and by night, and it shall not be reputed as folly in me. V.: But Thou dwellest in the holy place, the praise of Israel. V.: In Thee have our fathers hoped; they have hoped, and Thou hast delivered them. V.: They cried to Thee, and they were saved; they trusted in Thee, and were not confounded. V.: But I am a worm, and no man: the reproach of men and the outcast of the people. V.: All they that saw Me have laughed Me to scorn; they have spoken with the lips and wagged the head. V.: He hoped in the Lord, let Him deliver Him; let Him save Him, seeing He delighteth in Him. V.: But they have looked and stared upon Me; they parted My garments amongst them, and upon My vesture they cast lots. V.: Deliver me from the lion’s mouth, and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns. V.: Ye that fear the Lord, praise Him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify Him. V.: There shall be declared to the Lord a generation to come; and the heavens shall show forth His justice. V.: To a people that shall be born, which the Lord hath made.

The Munda Cor is not said, neither is the book signed, but the Passion of Our Lord is sung without lights or incense. The deacon does not ask the blessing of the priest, and does not say Dominus vobiscum, nor is Gloria tibi, Domine sung after the title. — C. means Chronicler (Chronista), S. means Synagogue, the people, the Apostles, etc., † means Christ.

PASSION ¤ Matthew 26. 36-75 and 27. 1-60.

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew.

Passio Domini nostri Iesu Christi secundum Matthaeum.

In illo tempore: Venit Iesus cum discipulis suis in villam, quae dicitur Gethsemani, et dixit discipulis suis: † Sedete hic donec vadam illuc, et orem. C. Et assumpto Petro, et duobus filiis Zebedaei, coepit contristrari, et moestus esse. Tunc ait illis: † Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem: sustinete hic, et vigilate mecum. C. Et progressus pusillum, procidit in faciem suam, orans, et dicens: † Pater mi, si possibile est, transeat a me calix iste. Verumtamen non sicut ego volo, sed sicut tu. C. Et venit ad discipulos suos, et invenit eos dormientes: et dixit Petro † Sic non potuistis una hora vigilare mecum? Vigilate, et orate, ut non intretis in tentationem. Spiritus quidem promptus est, caro autem infirma. C. Iterum secundo abiit, et oravit, dicens: † Pater mi, si non potest hic calix transire, nisi bibam illum, fiat voluntas tua. C. Et venit iterum, et invenit eos dormientes: erant enim oculi eorum gravati. Et relictis illis, iterum abiit, et oravit tertio, eumdem sermonem dicens. Tunc venit ad discipulos suos, et dicit illis: † Dormite iam, et requiescite: ecce appropinquavit hora, et Filius hominis tradetur in manus peccatorum. Surgite, eamus: ecce appropinquavit qui me tradet.

C. Adhuc eo loquente, ecce Iudas unus de duodecim, et cum eo turba multa cum gladiis, et fustibus, missi a principibus sacerdotum, et senioribus populi. Qui autem tradidit eum, didit illis signum dicens: S. Quemcumque osculatus fuero, ipse est, tenete eum. C. Et confestim accedens ad Iesum, dixit: S. Ave, Rabbi. C. Et osculatus est eum. Dixitque illi Iesus: † Amice, ad quid venisti? C. Tunc accesserunt, et manus iniecerunt in Iesum, et tenuerunt eum. Et ecce unus ex his, qui erant cum Iesu, extendens manum, exemit gladium suum, et percutiens servum principis sacerdotum, amputavit auriculam eius. Tunc ait illi Iesus: † Converte gladium tuum in locum suum. Omnes enim, qui acceperint gladium, gladio peribunt. An putas, quia non possum rogare Patrem meum, et exhibebit mihi modo plus quam duodecim legiones Angelorum? Quomodo ergo implebuntur Scripturae, quia sic oportet fieri? C. In illa hora dixit Iesus turbis: † Tamquam ad latronem existis cum gladiis, et fustibus comprehendere me: quotidie apud vos sedebam docens in templo, et non me tenuistis. C. Hoc autem totum factum est, ut adimplerentur Scripturae prophetarum. Tunc discipuli omnes, relicto eo, fugerunt.

At illi tenentes ad Caipham principem sacerdotum, ubi scribae, et seniores convenerant. Petrus autem sequebatur eum a longe, usque in atrium principis sacerdotum. Et ingressus intro, sedebat cum ministris ut videret finem. Principes autem sacerdotum, et omne concilium, quaerebant falsum testimonium contra Iesum, ut eum morti traderent: et non invenerunt, cum multi falsi testes accessissent. Novissime autem venerunt duo falsi testes, et dixerunt: S. Hic dicit: Possum destruere templum Dei, et post triduum reaedificare illud. C. Et surgens princeps sacerdotum ait illi: S. Nihil respondes ad ea, quae isti adversum te testificantur? C. Iesus autem tacebat. Et princeps sacerdotum ait illi: S. Adiuro te per Deum vivum, ut dicas nobis, si tu es Christus Filius Dei. C. Dicit illi Iesus: † Tu dixisti. Verumtamen dico vobis, amodo videbitis Filium hominis sedentem a dextris virtutis Dei, et venientem in nubilibus caeli. C. Tunc princeps sacerdotum scidit vestimenta sua dicens: S. Blasphemavit: quid adhuc egemus testibus? Ecce nunc audistis blasphemiam: quid vobis videtur? C. At illi respondentes, dixerunt: S. Reus est mortis. C. Tunc exspuerunt in faciem eius, et colaphis eum ceciderunt, alii autem palmas in faciem eius dederunt, dicentes: S. Propetiza nobis, Christe, quis est qui te percussit?

C. Petrus vero sedebat foris in atrio: et accessit ad eum una ancilla, dicens: S. Et tu cum Iesu Galilaeo eras. C. At ille negavit coram omnibus, dicens: S. Nescio quid dicis. C. Exeunte autem illo ianuam, vidit eum alia ancila, et ait his, qui erant ibi: S. Et hic erat cum Iesu Nazareno. C. Et iterum negavit cum iuramento: Qui non novi hominem. Et post pusillum accesserunt qui stabant, et dixerunt Petro: S. Vere et tu ex illis es: nom et loquela tua manifestum te facit. C. Tunc coepit detestari, et iurare quia non novisset hominem. Et continuo gallus cantavit. Et recordatus est Petrus verbi Iesu, quod dixerat: Priusquam gallus cantet, ter me negabis. Et egressus foras, flevit amare. Mane autem facto, consilium inierunt omnes principes sacerdotum, et seniores populi adversus Iesum, ut eum morti traderent. Et vinctum adduxerunt eum, et tradiderunt Pontio Pilato praesidi.

Tunc videns Iudas, qui eum tradidit, quod damnatus esset, paenitentia ductus, retulit triginta argenteos principibus sacerdotum, et senioribus, dicens: S. Peccavi, tradens sanguinem iustum. C. At illi dixerunt: S. Quid ad nos? Tu videris. C. Et proiectis argenteis in templo, recessit: et abiens, laqueo se suspendit. Principes autem sacerdotum, acceptis argenteis, dixerunt: S. Non licit eos mittere in corbonam: quia pretium sanguinis est. C. Consilio autem inito, emerunt ex illis agrum figuli, in sepulturam peregrinorum. Propter hoc vocatus est ager ille, Haceldama, hoc est, ager sanguinis, usque in hodiernum diem. Tunc impletum, quod dictum est per Ieremiam prophetam, dicentem: Et acceperunt trigenta argenteos pretium appretiati, quem appretiaverunt a filiis Israel: et dederunt eos in agrum figuli, sicut constituit mihi Dominus.

Iesus autem stetit ante praesidem: et interrogavit praeses, dicens: S. Tu es Rex Iudaeorum? C. Dicit illi Iesus: † Tu dicis. C. Et cum accusaretur a principibus sacerdotum, et senioribus, nihil respondit. Tunc dicit illi Pilatus: S. Non audis quanta adversum te dicunt testimonia? C. Et non respondit ei ad ullum verbum, ita ut miraretur praeses vehementer. Per diem autem solemnem consueverat praeses populo dimittere unum vinctum, quem voluissent. Habebat autem tunc vinctum insignem, qui dicebatur Barabbas. Congregatis ergo illis, dixit Pilatus: S. Quem vultis dimittam vobis: Barabbam, an Iesum, qui dicitur Christus? C. Sciebat enim quod per invidiam tradidissent eum. Sedente autem illo pro tribunali, misit ad eum uxor eius, dicens: S. Nihil tibi, et iusto illi: multa enim passa sum hodie per visum propter eum. C. Principes autem sacerdotum, et seniores persuaserunt populis ut peterent Barabbam, Iesum vero perderent. Respondens autem praeses, ait illis: S. Quem vultis vobis de duobus dimitti? C. At illi dixerunt: S. Barabbam. C. Dixit illis Pilatus: S. Quid igitur faciam de Iesu, qui dicitur Christus? C. Dicunt omnes: S. Crucifigatur. C. Ait illis praeses: S. Quid enim mali fecit? C. At illi magis clamabant, dicentes: S. Crucifigatur. C. Videns autem Pilatus quia nihil proficeret, sed magis tumultus fieret: accepta aqua, lavit manus coram populo, dicens: S. Innocens ego sum a sanguine iusti huius: vos videritis. C. Et respondens universus populus dixit: S. Sanguis eius super nos, et super filios nostros. C. Tunc dimisit illis Barabbam: Iesum autem flagellatum tradidit eis, ut crucifigeretur. Tunc milites praesidis suscipientes Iesum in praetorium, congregaverunt ad eum universam cohortem: et exuentes eum, chlamydem coccineam circumdederunt ei: et plectentes coronam de spinis posuerunt super caput eius et arundinem in dextera eius. Et genu flexo ante eum, illudebant ei, dicentes: S. Ave, Rex Iudaeorum. C. Et exspuentes in eum, acceperunt arundinem, et percutiebant caput eius. Et postquam illuserunt ei, exuerunt eum chlamyde, et induerunt eum vestimentis eius, et duxerunt eum ut crucifigerunt.

Exeuntes autem, invenerunt hominem Cyrenaeum, nomine Simonem: hunc angariaverunt ut tolleret crucem eius. Et venerunt in locum, qui dicitur Golgotha, quod est Calvariae locus. Et dederunt ei vinum bibere cum felle mixtum. Et cum gustasset, noluit bibere. Postquam autem crucifixerunt eum, diviserunt vestimenta eius, sortem mittentes: ut impleretur quod dictum est per Prophetam, dicentem: Diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea, et super vestem meam miserunt sortem. Et sedentes, servabant eum. Et imposuerunt super caput eius causam ipsius scriptam: Hic est Iesus Rex Iudaeorum. Tunc crucifixi sunt cum eo duo latrones: unus a dextris, et unus a sinistris. Praetereuntes autem blasphemabant eum, moventes capita sua, et dicentes: S. Vah, qui destruis templum Dei, et in triduo illud reaedificas: salva temetipsum. Si Filius Dei es, descende de cruce. C. Similiter et principes sacerdotum illudentes cum scribis et senioribus dicebant: S. Alios salvus fecit, seipsum non potest salvum facere: si Rex Israel est, descendat nunc de cruce, et credimus ei: confidit in eo: liberet nunc, si vult eum; dixit enim: Quia Filius Dei sum. C. Idipsum autem et latrones, qui crucifixi erant cum eo, improperabant ei. A sexta autem hora tenebrae facta sunt super universam terram usque ad horam nonam.

Et circa horam nonam clamavit Iesus voce magna, dicens: † Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? C. Hoc est: † Deus meus, Deus meus, ut qquid dereliquisti me? C. Quidam autem illic stantes, et audientes, dicebant: S. Eliam vocat iste. C. Et continuo currens unus ex eis, acceptam spongiam implevit aceto, et imposuit arundini, et dabat ei bibere. Ceteri vero dicebant: S. Sine, videamus an veniat Elias liberans eum. C. Iesus autem iterum clamans voce magna, emisit spiritum. At that time 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. C. 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. C. 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. C. 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. C. Again the second time, He went and prayed, saying: † My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, Thy will be done. C. And He cometh again, and findeth them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And leaving them, He went again and He prayed the third time, saying the self-same word. Then He cometh to His disciples, and saith to them: † Sleep ye now and take your rest; behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go; behold, he is at hand that will betray Me.

C. As He yet spoke, behold Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the ancients of the people. And he that betrayed Him gave them a sign, saying: S. Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is He; hold Him fast. C. And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: S. Hail, Rabbi. C. And he kissed Him. And Jesus said to him: † Friend, whereto art thou come? C. Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus, and held Him. And behold one of them that were with Jesus, stretching forth his hand, drew out his sword, and striking the servant of the high priest, cut off his ear. Then Jesus saith to him: † Put up again thy sword into its place; for all that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot ask My Father, and He will give Me presently more than twelve legions of Angels? How then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that so it must be done? C. In that same hour Jesus said to the multitudes: † You are come out, as it were to a robber, with swords and clubs to apprehend Me. I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you laid not hands on Me. C. Now all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then the disciples, all leaving Him, fled.

But they holding Jesus led Him to Caiphas the high priest, where the scribes and the ancients were assembled. And Peter followed Him afar off, even to the court of the high priest. And going in, he sat with the servants, that he might see the end. And the chief priests and the whole council sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put Him to death. And they found none, whereas many false witnesses had come in. And last of all there came two false witnesses; and they said: This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and after three days to rebuild it. And the high priest, rising up, said to Him: S. Answerest Thou nothing to the things which these witness against Thee? C. But Jesus held His peace. And the high priest said to Him: S. I adjure Thee by the living God, that Thou tell us if Thou be the Christ the Son of God. C. Jesus saith to him: † Thou hast said it. Nevertheless I say to you, hereafter you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven. C. Then the high priest rent his garments, saying: S. He hath blasphemed; what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy. What think you? C. But they answering, said: S. He is guilty of death. C. Then they did spit in His face and buffeted Him; and other struck his face with the palms of their hands, saying: S. Prophesy unto us, O Christ, who is he that struck Thee?

C. But Peter sat without in the court, and there came to him a servant maid, saying: S. Thou also wast with Jesus the Galilean. C. But he denied it before them all, saying: S. I know not what thou sayest. C. And as he went out of the gate, another maid saw him, and she saith to them that were there: S. This man also was with Jesus of Nazareth. C. And again he denied it with an oath: S. I know not the man. C. And after a little while, they came that stood by and said to Peter: S. Surely thou also art one of them; for even thy speech doth discover thee. C. Then he began to curse and to swear that he knew not the man; and immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus which He had said: Before the cock crow, thou wilt deny Me thrice. And going forth, he wept bitterly. And when morning was come, all the chief priests and ancients of the people took counsel against Jesus, that they might put Him to death. And they brought Him bound, and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

Then Judas, who betrayed Him, seeing that He was condemned, repenting himself, brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and ancients, saying: S. I have sinned in betraying innocent blood. C. But they said: S. What is that to us? Look thou to it. C. And casting down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed, and went and hanged himself with a halter. But the chief priests having taken the pieces of silver, said: S. It is not lawful to put them into the corbona, because it is the price of blood. C. And after they had consulted together, they bought with them the potter’s field, to be a burying-place for strangers. For this cause that field was called Haceldama, that is, the field of blood, even to this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him that was prized, whom they prized of the children of Israel: and they gave them unto the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed to me.

And Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked Him, saying: S. Art Thou the king of the Jews? C. Jesus saith to Him: † Thou sayest it. C. And when He was accused by the chief priests and ancients, He answered nothing. Then Pilate saith to Him: S. Dost not Thou hear how great testimonies they allege against Thee? C. And He answered to him never a word, so that the governor wondered exceedingly. Now upon the solemn day the governor was accustomed to release to the people one prisoner, whom they would. And he had then a notorious prisoner that was called Barabbas. They therefore being gathered together, Pilate said: S. Whom will you that I release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus that is called Christ? C. For he knew that for envy they had delivered Him. And as he was sitting in the place of judgment his wife sent to him, saying: S. Have thou nothing to do with that just man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of Him. C. But the chief priests and ancients persuaded the people that they should ask Barabbas, and make Jesus away. And the governor answering, said to them: S. Whither will you of the two to be released unto you? C. But they said: S. Barabbas. C. Pilate saith to them: S. What shall I do then with Jesus that is called Christ? C. They all call: S. Let Him be crucified. C. The governor sad to them: S. Why, what evil hath He done? C. But they cried out the more, saying: S. Let Him be crucified. C. And Pilate seeing that he prevailed nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, taking water washed his hands before the people, saying: S. I am innocent of the blood of this just man; look you to it. C. And the whole people answering, said: S. His blood be upon us and upon our children. C. Then he released to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered Him unto them to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor, taking Jesus into the hall, gathered together unto Him the whole band; and stripping Him they put a scarlet cloak about Him. And platting a crown of thorns they put it upon His head and a reed in His right hand. And bowing the knee before Him, they mocked Him, saying: S. Hail, King of the Jews. C. And spitting upon Him, they took the reed and struck His head. And after they had mocked Him, they took off the cloak from Him, and put on Him His own garments, and led Him away to crucify Him.

And going out, they found a man of Cyrene, named Simon; him they forced to take up His cross. And they came to the place that is called Golgotha, which is, the place of Calvary. And they gave Him wine to drink mingled with gall; and when He had tasted He would not drink. And after they had crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which is spoken by the prophet, saying: They divided My garments among them, and upon My vesture they cast lots. And they sat and watched Him. And they put over His head His cause written: This is Jesus the King of the Jews. Then were crucified with Him two thieves; one on the right hand and one on the left. And they that passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads, and saying: S. Vah, Thou that destroyest the temple of God and in three days dost rebuild it, save Thine own self. If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. C. In like manner also the chief priests with the scribes and ancients, mocking, said: S. He saved others, Himself He cannot save; if He be the king of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him; He trusted in God, let Him now deliver Him if He will have Him; for He said: I am the Son of God. C. And the self-same thing the thieves also that were crucified with Him reproached Him with. Now from the sixth hour there was a darkness over the whole earth, until the ninth hour.

And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying:† Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? C. That is: † My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? C. And some that stood there and heard said: S. This man calleth Elias. C. And immediately one of them running took a sponge and filled it with vinegar and and gave Him to drink. And the others said: S. Let be; let us see whether Elias will come to deliver Him. C. And Jesus again crying with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

Here all kneel and pause a few moments.

Et ecce velum templi scissum est in dua partes a summo usque deorsum: et terra mota est, et petrae scissae sunt, et monumenta aperta sunt: et multa corpora sanctorum, qui dormierant, surrexerunt. Et exeuntes de monumentis post resurrectionem eius, venerunt in sanctam civitatem, et apparuerunt multis. Centurio autem, et qui cum eo erant, custodientes Iesum, viso terraemotu, et his quae fiebant, timuerunt valde, dicentes: S. Vere Filius Dei erat iste. C. Erant autem ibi mulieres multae a longe, quae secutae erant Iesum a Galilaea, ministrantes ei: inter quas erat Maria Magdalene, et Maria Iacobi, et Ioseph mater, et mater filiorum Zebedaei.

Cum autem sero factum esset, venit quidam homo dives ab Arimathaea, nomine Ioseph, qui et ipse discipulus erat Iesu. Hic accessit ad Pilatum, et petiit corpus Iesu. Tunc Pilatus iussit reddi corpus. Et accepto corpore, Ioseph involvit illud in monumento suo novo, quod exciderat in petra. Et advolvit saxum magnum ad ostium monumenti, et abiit. And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from top even to the bottom; and the earth quaked and the rocks were rent; and the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose, and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many. Now the centurion and they that were with him watching Jesus, having seen the earthquake and the things that were done, were sore afraid, saying: S. Indeed this was the Son of God. C. And there were there many women afar off, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto Him: among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

And when it was evening, there came a certain rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded that the body should be delivered. And Joseph taking the body wrapt it up in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new monument, which he had hewed out in a rock. And he rolled a great stone to the door of the monument and went his way.

The Creed is said.

 

OFFERTORY ¤ Ps. 68. 21, 22.

Improperium exspectavit cor meum, et miseriam: et sustinui qui simul mecum contristaretur, et non fuit: consolantem me quaesivi, et non inveni: et dederunt in escam meam fel, et in siti mea potaverunt me aceto. My heart hath expected reproach and misery, and I looked for one that would grieve together with Me, but there was none: I sought for one that would comfort Me, and I found none: and they gave Me gall for My food, and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink.

 

SECRET

Concede, quaesumus, Domine: ut oculis tuae maiestatis munus oblatum, et gratiam nobis devotionis obtineat, et effectum beatae perennitatis acquirat. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that the gifts offered in the sight of Thy majesty, may procure us the grace of devotion and obtain for us the fruit of a blessed eternity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

 

PREFACE

Preface of the Holy Cross

Vere dignum et iustum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus. Qui salutem humani generis in ligno crucis constituisti: ut, unde mors oriebatur, inde vita resurgeret: et qui in ligno vincebat, in ligno quoque vinceretur, per Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem maiestatem tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates. Coeli, coelorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim, socia exsultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti iubeas, deprecamur, supplici confessione dicentes: It it truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God; Who didst establish the salvation of mankind on the tree of the Cross; that whence death came, thence also life might arise again, and that he, who overcame by the tree, by the tree also might be overcome: Through Christ our Lord. Through whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with these we entreat Thee that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted while we say with lowly praise:

 

COMMUNION ¤ Matth. 26. 42.

Pater, si non potest hic calix transire nisi bibam illum, fiat voluntas tua. Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, Thy will be done.

 

POSTCOMMUNION

Per huius, Domine, operationem mysterii: et vitia nostra purgentur, et iusta desideria compleantur. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. By the operation of this Mystery, O Lord, may our vices be cleansed, and our just desires fulfilled. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

The Last Gospel is omitted unless Mass is celebrated without the Blessing of the Palms, in which case the Gospel At that time of the Blessing of the Palms is said as the Last Gospel.

 

Thank you to the “Traditional Latin Mass in Maryland” for all the hard work throughout the Liturgical Year posting complete Latin Mass sources.

Source for Audio from ChristusRex.org

Holy Week Begins: Pueri Hebraeorum – Tomás Luis de Victoria for Palm Sunday

29 March 2015


#Meditations for Each Day of #Lent by St Thomas #Aquinas-Passion Saturday

28 March 2015

28 March 2015 Anno Domini

From the website, Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals

Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Santi de Tito 1593

by St. Thomas Aquinas


Passion Saturday


How we, each of us, should wash on another’s feet

If I then being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also out to wash one another’s feet–John xiii. 14

Our Lord wishes that His disciples shall imitate His example. He says therefore, If I, who am the greater, being your master and the Lord, have washed your feet, you also, all the more who are the less, who are disciples, slaves even, ought to wash one another s feet. Whosoever will be the greater among you, let him be your minister . . . . Even as the Son of Man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister (Matt. xx. 26-28).

St. Augustine says every man ought to wash the feet of his fellows, either actually or in spirit. And it is by far the best, and true beyond all controversy, that we should do it actually, lest Christians scorn to do what Christ did. For when a man bends his body to the feet of a brother, human feeling is stirred up in his very heart, or, if it be there already, it is strengthened. If we cannot actually wash his feet, at least we can do it in spirit. The washing of the feet signifies the washing away of stains. You therefore wash the feet of your brother when, as far as lies in your power, you wash away his stains. And this you may do in three ways:

(i) By forgiving the offences he has done to you. Forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also (Coloss. iii. 13).

(ii) By praying for the forgiveness of his sin, as St. James bids us, Pray for one another that you may be saved (James v. 16). This way of washing, like the first, is open to all the faithful.

(iii) The third way is for prelates, who should wash by forgiving sins through the authority of the keys, according to the gospel, Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whose sins you shall forgive , they are forgiven them (John xx. 23).

We can also say that in this one act Our Lord showed all the works of mercy. He who gives bread to the hungry, washes his feet, as also does the man who harbours the harbourless or he who clothes the naked.

Communicating to the necessities of the saints (Rom. xii. 13).


14 Day Lenten Series: Day Ten: St Teresa of Avila’s Combat with Satan and Encounter with Hell

28 March 2015

St Teresa of Avila

Exerpts from “The life of St. Teresa of Jesus

of the order of Our Lady of Carmel”, 1916
by Saint Teresa of Avila, Reverend Benedict Zimmerman O. C. D.

Divine Locutions. Discussions on that Subject

. . . . . I look upon it as a most certain truth, that the devil will never deceive, and that God will not suffer him to deceive, the soul which has no confidence whatever in itself; which is strong in faith, and resolved to undergo a thousand deaths for any one article of the creed; which in its love of the faith, infused of God once for all,–a faith living and strong,–always labors, seeking for further light on this side and on that, to mold itself on the teaching of the Church, as one already deeply grounded in the truth. No imaginable revelations, not even if it saw the heavens open, could make that soul swerve in any degree from the doctrine of the Church.

If, however, it should at any time find itself wavering even in thought on this point, or stopping to say to itself, If God says this to me, it may be true, as well as what He said to the Saints–the soul must not be sure of it. I do not mean that it so believes, only that Satan has taken the first step towards tempting it; and the giving way to the first movements of a thought like this is evidently most wrong. I believe, however, that these first movements will not take place if the soul is so strong in the matter–as that soul is to whom our Lord sends these graces–that it seems as if it could crush the evil spirits in defense of the very least of the truths which the Church holds.

If the soul does not discern this great strength in itself, and if the particular devotion or vision help it not onwards, then it must not look upon it as safe. For though at first the soul is conscious of no harm, great harm may by degrees ensue; because so far as I can see, and by experience understand, that which purports to come from God is received only in so far as it corresponds with the sacred writings; but if it varies therefrom ever so little, I am incomparably more convinced that it comes from Satan than I am now convinced it comes from God, however deep that conviction may be.

In this case, there is no need to ask for signs, nor from what spirit it proceeds, because this varying is so clear a sign of the devil’s presence, that if all the world were to assure me that it came from God, I would not believe it. The fact is, that all good seems to be lost out of sight, and to have fled from the soul, when the devil has spoken to it; the soul is thrown into a state of disgust, and is troubled, able to do no good thing whatever–for if it conceives good desires, they are not strong; its humility is fictitious, disturbed, and without sweetness. Any one who has ever tasted of the Spirit of God will, I think, understand it. Nevertheless, Satan has many devices; and so there is nothing more certain than that it is safer to be afraid, and always on our guard, under a learned director, from whom nothing is concealed.

____________________________________

St. Teresa speaks of some exterior temptations and apparitions of Satan,
and how he ill-treated her.

Now that I have described certain temptations and troubles, interior and secret, of which Satan was the cause, I will speak of others which he wrought almost in public, and in which his presence could not be ignored (2 Cor ii. II).

I was once in an oratory, when Satan, in an abominable shape, appeared on my left hand. I looked at his mouth in particular, because he spoke, and it was horrible. A huge flame seemed to issue out of his body, perfectly bright, without any shadow. He spoke in a fearful way, and said to me that, though I had escaped out of his hands, he would yet lay hold of me again. I was in great terror, made the sign of the cross as well as I could, and then the form vanished–but it reappeared instantly. This occurred twice. I did not know what to do; there was some holy water at hand; I took some, and threw it in the direction of the figure, and then Satan never returned.

On another occasion I was tortured for five hours with such terrible pains, such inward and outward sufferings, that it seemed to me as if I could not bear them. Those who were with me were frightened; they knew not what to do, and I could not help myself. I am in the habit, when these pains and my bodily suffering are most unendurable, to make interior acts as well as I can, imploring our Lord, if it be His will, to give me patience, and then to let me suffer on, even to the end of the world. So, when I found myself suffering so cruelly, I relieved myself by making those acts and resolutions, in order that I might be able to endure the pain. It pleased our Lord to let me understand that it was the work of Satan; for I saw close beside me a most frightful little negro, gnashing his teeth in despair at losing what he attempted to seize. When I saw him, I laughed, and had no fear; for there were some then present who were helpless, and knew of no means whereby so great a pain could be relieved. My body, head, and arms were violently shaken; I could not help myself: but the worst of all was the interior pain, for I could find no ease in any way. Nor did I dare to ask for holy water, lest those who were with me should be afraid, and find out what the matter really was.

I know by frequent experience that there is nothing which puts the devils to flight like holy water. They run away before the sign of the cross also, but they return immediately: great, then, must be the power of holy water. As for me, my soul is conscious of a special and most distinct consolation whenever I take it. Indeed, I feel almost always a certain refreshing, which I cannot describe, together with an inward joy, which comforts my whole soul. This is no fancy, nor a thing which has occurred once only; for it has happened very often, and I have watched it very carefully. I may compare what I feel with that which happens to a person in great heat, and very thirsty, drinking a cup of cold water–his whole being is refreshed. I consider that everything ordained by the Church is very important; and I have a joy in reflecting that the words of the Church are so mighty, that they endow water with power, so that there shall be so great a difference between holy water and water that has never been blessed. Then, as my pains did not cease, I told them, if they would not laugh, I would ask for some holy water. They brought me some, and sprinkled me with it; but I was no better. I then threw some myself in the direction of the negro, when he fled in a moment. All my sufferings ceased, just as if some one had taken them from me with his hand; only I was wearied, as if I had been beaten with many blows. It was of great service to me to learn that if, by our Lord’s permission, Satan can do so much evil to a soul and body not in his power, he can do much more when he has them in his possession. It gave me a renewed desire to be delivered from a fellowship so dangerous.

Another time, and not long ago, the same thing happened to me, though it did not last so long, and I was alone at the moment. I asked for holy water; and they who came in after the devil had gone away,–they were two nuns, worthy of all credit, and would not tell a lie for anything,–perceived a most offensive smell, like that of brimstone. I smelt nothing myself; but the odour lasted long enough to become sensible to them.

On another occasion I was in choir when, in a moment, I became profoundly recollected. I went out in order that the sisters might know nothing of it; yet those who were near heard the sound of heavy blows where I was, and I heard voices myself, as of persons in consultation, but I did not hear what they said: I was so absorbed in prayer that I understood nothing, neither was I at all afraid. This took place almost always when our Lord was pleased that some soul or other, persuaded by me, advanced in the spiritual life. Certainly, what I am now about to describe happened to me once; there are witnesses to testify to it, particularly my present confessor (Either Fr. Dominic Banez or Fr. Garcia de Toledo), for he saw the account in a letter. I did not tell him from whom the letter came, but he knew perfectly who the person was.

There came to me a person who, for two years and a half, had been living in mortal sin of the most abominable nature I ever heard. During the whole of that time he neither confessed it nor ceased from it; and yet he said Mass. He confessed his other sins; but of this one he used to say, How can I confess so foul a sin? He wished to give it up, but he could not prevail on himself to do so. I was very sorry for him, and it was a great grief to me to see God offended in such a way. I promised him that I would pray to God for his amendment, and get others who were better than I to do the same. I wrote to one person, and the priest undertook to get the letter delivered. It came to pass that he made a full confession at the first opportunity; for our Lord was pleased, on account of the prayers of those most holy persons to whom I had recommended him, to have pity on this soul. I, too, wretched as I am, did all I could for the same end.

He wrote to me, and said that he was so far improved that he had not for some days repeated his sin; but he was so tormented by the temptation that it seemed to him as if he were in hell already, so great were his sufferings. He asked me to pray to God for him. I recommended him to my sisters, through whose prayers I must have obtained this mercy from our Lord; for they took the matter greatly to heart; and he was a person whom no one could find out. I implored His Majesty to put an end to these torments and temptations, and to let the evil spirits torment me instead, provided I did not offend our Lord. Thus it was that for one month I was most grievously tormented; and then it was that these two assaults of Satan, of which I have just spoken, took place.

Our Lord was pleased to deliver him out of this temptation, so I was informed; for I told him what happened to myself that month. His soul gained strength, and he continued free; he could never give thanks enough to our Lord and to me as if I had been of any service–unless it be that the belief he had that our Lord granted me such graces was of some advantage to him. He said that, when he saw himself in great straits, he would read my letters, and then the temptation left him. He was very much astonished at my sufferings, and at the manner of his own deliverance: even I myself am astonished, and I would suffer as much for many years for the deliverance of that soul. May our Lord be praised for ever! for the prayers of those who serve Him can do great things; and I believe the sisters of this house do serve Him. The devils must have been more angry with me only because I asked them to pray, and because our Lord permitted it on account of my sins. At that time, too, I thought the evil spirits would have suffocated me one night, and when the sisters threw much holy water about I saw a great troop of them rush away as if tumbling over a precipice. These cursed spirits have tormented me so often, and I am now so little afraid of them,–because I see they cannot stir without our Lord’s permission,–that I should weary both you, my father, and myself, if I were to speak of these things in detail.

May this I have written be of use to the true servant of God, who ought to despise these terrors, which Satan sends only to make him afraid! Let him understand that each time we despise these terrors, their force is lessened, and the soul gains power over them. There is always some great good obtained; but I will not speak of it, that I may not be too diffuse. I will speak, however, of what happened to me once on the night of All Souls. I was in an oratory, and, having said one Nocturn, was saying some very devotional prayers at the end of our Breviary, when Satan put himself on the book before me, to prevent my finishing my prayer. I made the sign of the cross, and he went away. I then returned to my prayer, and he, too, came back; he did so, I believe, three times, and I was not able to finish the prayer without throwing holy water at him. I saw certain souls at that moment come forth out of purgatory–they must have been near their deliverance, and I thought that Satan might in this way have been trying to hinder their release. It is very rarely that I saw Satan assume a bodily form; I know of his presence through the vision I have spoken of before, the vision wherein no form is seen.

I wish also to relate what follows, for I was greatly alarmed at it: on Trinity Sunday, in the choir of a certain monastery, and in a trance, I saw a great fight between evil spirits and the angels. I could not make out what the vision meant. In less than a fortnight it was explained clearly enough by the dispute that took place between persons given to prayer and many who were not, which did great harm to that house; for it was a dispute that lasted long and caused much trouble. On another occasion I saw a great multitude of evil spirits round about me, and, at the same time, a great light, in which I was enveloped, which kept them from coming near me. I understood it to mean that God was watching over me, that they might not approach me so as to make me offend Him. I knew the vision was real by what I saw occasionally in myself. The fact is, I know now how little power the evil spirits have, provided I am not out of the grace of God; I have scarcely any fear of them at all, for their strength is as nothing, if they do not find the souls they assail give up the contest and become cowards; it is in this case that they show their power.

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Our Lord shows St. Teresa the place which she had by her sins deserved in hell. The Torments there. She narrates how it pleased God to put her in spirit in that place of hell she had deserved by her sins. She tells a little compared with what there was besides of what she saw there.

Some considerable time after our Lord had bestowed upon me the graces I have been describing, and others also of a higher nature, I was one day in prayer when I found myself in a moment, without knowing how, plunged apparently into hell. I understood that it was our Lord’s will I should see the place which the devils kept in readiness for me, and which I had deserved by my sins (1). It was but a moment, but it seems to me impossible I should ever forget it, even if I were to live many years.

The entrance seemed to be by a long narrow pass, like a furnace, very low, dark, and close. The ground seemed to be saturated with water, mere mud, exceedingly foul, sending forth pestilential odors, and covered with loathsome vermin. At the end was a hollow place in the wall, like a closet, and in that I saw myself confined. All this was even pleasant to behold in comparison with what I felt there. There is no exaggeration in what I am saying.

St. Teresa of Avila Book 01

But as to what I then felt, I do not know where to begin, if I were to describe it; it is utterly inexplicable. I felt a fire in my soul. I cannot see how it is possible to describe it. My bodily sufferings were unendurable. I have undergone most painful sufferings in this life, and, as the physicians say, the greatest that can be borne, such as the contraction of my sinews when I was paralyzed, without speaking of others of different kinds, yea, even those of which I have also spoken, inflicted on me by Satan; yet all these were as nothing in comparison with what I felt then, especially when I saw that there would be no intermission, nor any end to them.

These sufferings were nothing in comparison with the anguish of my soul, a sense of oppression, of stifling, and of pain so keen, accompanied by so hopeless and cruel an infliction, that I know not how to speak of it. If I said that the soul is continually being torn from the body it would be nothing,–for that implies the destruction of life by the hands of another; but here it is the soul itself that is tearing itself in pieces. I cannot describe that inward fire or that despair, surpassing all torments and all pain. I did not see who it was that tormented me, but I felt myself on fire, and torn to pieces, as it seemed to me; and, I repeat it, this inward fire and despair are the greatest torments of all.

Left in that pestilential place, and utterly without the power to hope for comfort, I could neither sit nor lie down: there was no room. I was placed as it were in a hole in the wall; and those walls, terrible to look on of themselves, hemmed me in on every side. I could not breathe. There was no light, but all was thick darkness. I do not understand how it is; though there was no light, yet everything that can give pain by being seen was visible.

Our Lord at that time would not let me see more of hell. Afterwards I had another most fearful vision, in which I saw the punishment of certain sins. They were most horrible to look at; but, because I felt none of the pain, my terror was not so great. In the former vision our Lord made me really feel those torments, and that anguish of spirit, just as if I had been suffering them in the body there. I know not how it was, but I understood distinctly that it was a great mercy that our Lord would have me see with mine own eyes the very place from which His compassion saved me. I have listened to people speaking of these things, and I have at other times dwelt on the various torments of hell, though not often, because my soul made no progress by the way of fear; and I have read of the diverse tortures, and how the devils tear the flesh with red-hot pincers. But all is as nothing before this; it is a wholly different matter. In short, the one is a reality, the other a picture; and all burning here in this life is as nothing in comparison with the fire that is there.

I was so terrified by that vision,–and that terror is on me even now while I am writing,–that though it took place nearly six years ago, the natural warmth of my body is chilled by fear even now when I think of it. And so, amid all the pain and suffering which I may have had to bear, I remember no time in which I do not think that all we have to suffer in this world is as nothing. It seems to me that we complain without reason. I repeat it, this vision was one of the grandest mercies of our Lord. It has been to me of the greatest service, because it has destroyed my fear of trouble and of the contradiction of the world, and because it has made me strong enough to bear up against them, and to give thanks to our Lord, who has been my Deliverer, as it now seems to me, from such fearful and everlasting pains.

Ever since that time, as I was saying, everything seems endurable in comparison with one instant of suffering such as those I had then to bear in hell. I am filled with fear when I see that, after frequently reading books which describe in some manner the pains of hell, I was not afraid of them, nor made any account of them. Where was I? How could I possibly take any pleasure in those things which led me directly to so dreadful a place? Blessed for ever be Thou, O my God! and, oh, how manifest is it that Thou didst love me much more than I did love Thee! How often, O Lord, didst Thou save me from that fearful prison! and how I used to get back to it contrary to Thy will.

It was that vision that filled me with the very great distress which I feel at the sight of so many lost souls, especially of the Lutherans,–for they were once members of the Church by baptism,–and also gave me the most vehement desires for the salvation of souls; for certainly I believe that, to save even one from those overwhelming torments, I would most willingly endure many deaths. If here on earth we see one whom we specially love in great trouble or pain, our very nature seems to bid us compassionate him; and if those pains be great, we are troubled ourselves. What, then, must it be to see a soul in danger of pain, the most grievous of all pains, for ever? Who can endure it? It is a thought no heart can bear without great anguish. Here we know that pain ends with life at last, and that there are limits to it; yet the sight of it moves our compassion so greatly. That other pain has no ending; and I know not how we can be calm, when we see Satan carry so many souls daily away.

This also makes me wish that, in a matter which concerns us so much, we did not rest satisfied with doing less than we can do on our part,–that we left nothing undone. May our Lord vouchsafe to give us His grace for that end! When I consider that, notwithstanding my very great wickedness, I took some pains to please God, and abstained from certain things which I know the world makes light of,–that, in short, I suffered grievous infirmities, and with great patience, which our Lord gave me; that I was not inclined to murmur or to speak ill of anybody; that I could not–I believe so–wish harm to any one; that I was not, to the best of my recollection, either avaricious or envious, so as to be grievously offensive in the sight of God; and that I was free from many other faults,–for, though so wicked, I had lived constantly in the fear of God,–I had to look at the very place which the devils kept ready for me. It is true that, considering my faults, I had deserved a still heavier chastisement; but for all that, I repeat it, the torment was fearful, and we run a great risk whenever we please ourselves. No soul should take either rest or pleasure that is liable to fall every moment into mortal sin. Let us, then, for the love of God, avoid all occasions of sin, and our Lord will help us, as He has helped me. May it please His Majesty never to let me out of His hands, lest I should turn back and fall, now that I have seen the place where I must dwell if I do. I entreat our Lord, for His Majesty’s sake, never to permit it. Amen.

When I had seen this vision, and had learned other great and hidden things which our Lord, of His goodness, was pleased to show me,–namely, the joy of the blessed and the torment of the wicked,–I longed for the way and the means of doing penance for the great evil I had done, and of meriting in some degree, so that I might gain so great a good; and therefore I wished to avoid all society, and to withdraw myself utterly from the world. I was in spirit restless, yet my restlessness was not harassing, but rather pleasant. I saw clearly that it was the work of God, and that His Majesty had furnished my soul with fervor, so that I might be able to digest other and stronger food than I had been accustomed to eat. I tried to think what I could do for God, and thought that the first thing was to follow my vocation to a religious life, which His Majesty had given me, by keeping my rule in the greatest perfection possible.

(1) Way of Perfection, ch. xiii. 2.–As Ribera remarks, it does not follow from this passage that St. Teresa had ever committed a mortal sin–and thereby deserved hell–as there is abundant evidence even from her own words that she never had such a misfortune, but only that she would have fallen into grievous sins if she had not mended her life.

Source: Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals

14 Day Lenten Series: Day Nine: St Francis and His Confrontation with devils

27 March 2015

St. Francis of Assisi and the Devil 01

St. Francis expelling devils from Arezzo, by Benozzo Gozzoli

The below related account is from the Manual of the Third Order of St. Francis, 1884

One of the favourite wiles of Satan is to irritate men against one another, as in the following instance, related by St. Bonaventure: One day the blessed Patriarch Francis went to Arezzo. That city, which had long been a prey to civil dissensions, was verging on its ruin. Francis beheld the demons dancing with joy on the walls of the city, and exciting in the hearts of its people the fire of hatred against each other. Calling to him Brother Sylvester, a man of dove-like simplicity, he said, “Go to the gate of the city, and in the name of Almighty God command the devils, in virtue of holy obedience, to depart immediately.”

The Brother hastened to fulfil his orders, and cried out in a loud voice, “All you evil spirits who are gathered together in this place, I command you, in the name of Almighty God and of His servant Francis, depart hence.” No sooner had he uttered these words than the discordant voices were hushed, the people’s angry passions were calmed, the fratricidal feud ceased, and peace was restored to Arezzo. The pride and jealousy of the infernal spirits had threatened the ruin of the city, but the wisdom of the humble Francis saved it from destruction.

“Let all bitterness and anger, and indignation and clamour, be put away from you,” says the Apostle (Ephes. iv. 31). Listen to the touching commentary on this text by the prince of Christian eloquence:

“Bees will never enter into an unclean hive. Hence, those who rear them purify the hive for the new swarm by fumigation, perfumes, and spiced wines; otherwise the unpleasant odour would drive the bees away. It is the same with the Holy Spirit. Our soul is like a hive, which is fitted for receiving swarms of spiritual graces; but if it contains only gall and bitterness and anger, these holy swarms will take flight. Hence it is that this holy and wise Cultivator purifies our hive so carefully. He does not make use of any instrument of iron; but He invites us to receive the spiritual swarm, and in order to fit us for its reception He purifies us by prayer, labour, and other means. See how He cleanses our heart; He banishes falsehood and anger, and next He teaches us how to root out the evil entirely–that is, by keeping no bitterness in the soul. Hatred infects the whole soul, ruins it completely, and ends by hurling its victim into hell. We must subdue, or rather exterminate, this wild beast. Let us follow St. Paul’s admonition, ‘Let all bitterness be banished from amongst you'” (Hom, on Ephes. xv.).

May our congregations always be homes of peace, concord, and fraternal charity! This divine virtue is an assured pledge of all heavenly blessings, and an infallible guarantee of their duration.

“Charity is the mother of all other virtues. Let us spare no pains to plant it in our souls, and it will enrich us with every good. At all seasons we can gather its fruits, which grow unceasingly and never fail. Thus we shall obtain everlasting goods. May we all acquire them by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, belong glory, power, and honour, now and for evermore. Amen” (St. John Chrysostom, Hom. xxxi.).

The following exerpts are taken from
The Mirror of Perfection
by Brother Leo of Assisi

How he put the demons to flight by humble words

One time Blessed Francis went to the church of St. Peter of Bovara, near the village of Trevi, in the valley of Spoleto, and with him went Brother Pacificus, who in the world had been called the King of Verse, the noble and courteous Doctor of Song. This church was deserted, and Blessed Francis said to Blessed Pacificus, ” Do you return to the Leper Hospital, as this night I wish to remain here alone, and early in the morning come back to me.” And so he remained alone, and, having said Complin and other prayers, he desired to rest and sleep, but could not. And his soul began to fear and to feel diabolical suggestions, and going out of the church, making the sign of the cross, he said: “On the part of God Almighty I command you, O demons, to do to my body all the Lord Jesus Christ permits you to do. And since I have no more inveterate enemy than this body of mine, avenge me on this my adversary and worst enemy.” Instantly the temptation ceased, and going back to the place he had left, he slept peacefully.

The vision of Brother Pacificus, wherein he saw and heard
that the throne of Lucifer was reserved for the humble Francis

In the morning Brother Pacificus returned to him. Blessed Francis was standing before the altar in prayer, and Brother Pacificus remained outside the choir, also praying before the crucifix. And while he was absorbed in prayer he was lifted up in spirit and rapt into heaven, whether in the body or out of the body God alone knoweth; and he saw in heaven very many seats, and one amongst them was raised above the others, glorious to behold, adorned with splendour and many precious stones, so that he marvelled at its great beauty, and wondered whose seat this could be. And he heard a voice that said: “This was the seat of Lucifer, and in his place will be seated the humble Francis.”

When he had returned to his senses St. Francis suddenly came out to him, whereupon this friar fell at his feet, and stretching out his arms in the form of a cross, as if he already saw him on that throne in heaven, cried, “Father, grant me your forgiveness, and pray God to have mercy on me and condone my sins.” Taking his hand, Blessed Francis raised him up, knowing at once that he had seen some mysterious vision during his prayer, for he spoke to Blessed Francis not as if he were still in the body, but as if he were already an inhabitant of heaven. Afterwards, as he did not like to speak of it directly to Blessed Francis, he hinted at it, as it were, and while talking of other things, said, “What do you believe of yourself, Brother?” To which Blessed Francis answered, “It seems to me I am a greater sinner than any one else in the world.” At this instant Brother Pacificus heard an inner voice say: “By this may you know the truth of the vision revealed to you, since Lucifer for his pride was hurled from his seat, while Francis by his humility has merited to be exalted and gloriously enthroned!”

Of certain temptations permitted by the Lord to try him:
First, how the Devil entered a pillow he had under his head

When Blessed Francis remained in prayer at the Hermitage at Grecio, in the last cell beyond the large one, one night in the first sleep he called his companion who rested near him; and, rising, the companion came into the passage outside the cell where was Blessed Francis, who said to him: “Brother, I cannot sleep tonight, nor stand upright in prayer, because my legs tremble, and it seems to me as if I had eaten bread made of tares.” When his companion spoke to him compassionately, Blessed Francis said: “I verily believe the devil is in this pillow under my head.” For although he would never lie on a feather bed nor use a feather pillow, the friars, against his will, had constrained him to use this pillow of feathers because of the ailment in his eyes. He now threw it to his companion, who caught it in his right hand, and put it on his left shoulder, and as he was going along the passage to his cell, he lost his speech, and could neither let go nor move his arm, but remained standing erect and immovable, quite unconscious. When he had remained like this for some time, by the grace of God Blessed Francis called to him, and turning round he at once threw the pillow from him.

Returning to Blessed Francis he told him all that had happened to him, and the blessed Father said: “When I was saying Complin I felt the devil come into the cell, and now do I see how cunning is this devil. Seeing he cannot harm my soul he seeks to deprive my body of its needs, so that I cannot sleep nor stand up in prayer, and by this means he tries to prevent the devotion and gladness of my heart so that I may murmur at my ailments.”

Of a serious temptation he had more than two years

When he was dwelling in the Place of St. Mary he was severely tempted in the spirit for the profit of his soul. And by this was he so greatly afflicted both in body and soul that he would often withdraw from the company of the friars, being unable to show that cheerfulness he was wont to do. Notwithstanding, he mortified himself by abstaining from food and drink and speech, shedding abundant tears, and praying constantly that God might be pleased to deliver him from this affliction. When he had been thus tormented for more than two years, praying one day in the Church of St. Mary he heard in spirit the words of the Gospel: If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain remove from thence thither, and it shall remove.

Blessed Francis asked, “Lord, what is this mountain?” and it was said to him: “This mountain is thy temptation.” Then said Blessed Francis, “Lord, be it done to me as Thou hast said.” At once he was set perfectly free, so that it seemed to him as if he had never had the temptation.

In the same way on the holy Mount Alverna, at the time when he received the Stigmata of the Lord in his body, the temptations and tribulations inflicted on him by the demon caused him so much suffering that he could not be cheerful as was his custom. He said to his companion, “If the friars knew how and what grievous tribulations and sufferings the demons inflict on me they would be moved with pity and compassion towards me.”

Of the temptation he had through mice, and how the Lord
consoled him and assured him of His kingdom.

Two years before his death, when he was at St. Damian’s, in the cell that was made of straw mats, and he suffered so greatly from his eyes that for sixty days he could not bear the light of day nor even that of a fire, the Lord, in order to increase his merits by the increase of his sufferings, permitted a great number of mice to enter his cell, who, day and night, ran over and around him to prevent his praying or resting. And when he was eating they would climb on the table, and infested him in such numbers that both he and his companions saw it to be a diabolical temptation.

Blessed Francis finding himself so grievously afflicted was one night moved to pity for himself, and said internally: “Lord, come to my aid in my sufferings that I may bear them patiently.” And in spirit it was said to him: “Tell me, Brother, if for these thy sufferings a great and precious treasure were offered thee, one compared to which the whole world is as nothing, wouldst thou not greatly rejoice?” Blessed Francis replied: “Great, Lord, must be that treasure and precious beyond compare, and much to be admired and desired.” Then he again heard it said to him: “Therefore, Brother, rejoice and exult in thy infirmities and tribulations, and as for thy rest heed it not, but be as secure as if thou wert already in My kingdom.”

And rising in the morning he said to his companion: “If the Emperor bestowed on one of his servants a whole kingdom, would not that servant have great cause to rejoice? And if again he gave him his entire Empire would he not rejoice still more?” Then he added: “Therefore it is fitting I should support my ailments and tribulations with much gladness, and taking comfort in the Lord give thanks to God the Father, and His only Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, for all the grace given me by the Lord, since He has deigned to assure me, his unworthy servant, while still living in this world, of His kingdom. Therefore I desire in His praise, and for our consolation and the edification of our neighbour, to compose a new Praises of the Lords Creatures, which we use every day, and without which it would not be possible to live, and by which the human race often greatly offends the Creator. And continually are we ungrateful for so many graces and benefits, not praising the Lord Creator and Giver of all good as we are bound to do.” And seating himself he meditated for some time, and after said, “Most High Omnipotent Good Lord,” &c, composing a song thereof, and taught his companions to say and sing it.

So great was the sweetness and consolation of his spirit that he called for Brother Pacificus, whom the world entitled the King of Verse and Courteous Doctor of Song, and desired to send him with other friars to go together through the world, preaching and singing the Praises of the Lord. And he desired that he amongst them who was the best preacher should first preach to the people, and when the sermon was ended all the others should sing together the Praises of the Lord, as the Lord’s minstrels; and at the end he desired the preacher should say to the people, “We are the Lord’s minstrels, and the reward we ask of you is that you turn to true repentance.” And he added: “For what else are the Servants of the Lord but His minstrels to lift up the hearts of men and move them to spiritual gladness?”

And specially would he say that the Friars Minor were given to the people of God for their salvation.

How on being beaten by demons he knew it was more pleasing to God that he should stay in poor and humble places than with Cardinals

One time Blessed Francis went to Rome to visit my Lord of Ostia, and after remaining with him some days went thence to visit the Lord Cardinal Leo, who was greatly devoted to Blessed Francis. And as it was winter time and the roads were unfit for travelling, because of the cold and wind and rain, he begged him to remain a few days, as a poor man amongst the other poor he entertained daily at his table. This he said knowing that Blessed Francis ever wished to be received and treated as a poor man, although the Lord Pope and the Cardinals desired with much reverence and devotion to receive him as a guest, for they venerated him as a Saint. And the Cardinal added, “I will give you a good retired house, where you can pray and eat as it pleases you.”

Then Brother Angelo Tancredi, one of the first twelve friars, who was then living with this Cardinal, said to Blessed Francis: “Brother, there is close by a spacious tower and so retired you might well believe yourself in a hermitage.” When Blessed Francis saw the place it pleased him, and returning to the Lord Cardinal he said: “My lord, perchance I will remain with you for a few days.” Thereat was the Lord Cardinal pleased and glad. Then Brother Angelo went and prepared a place in the tower for Blessed Francis and his companion. And as Blessed Francis did not desire to come down from there while he remained with the Cardinal, nor that any one should come to him, Brother Angelo promised, and ordered that food should be brought there to him every day for himself and his companion. When Blessed Francis had gone there with his companion, on the first night, when he tried to sleep, demons came and beat him soundly. And calling his companion he said to him: “Brother, demons have beaten me soundly; stay near me, for I fear to be alone.” Therefore his companion remained near him all night, for Blessed Francis was trembling like a man in a fever, and they kept vigil all the night together.

Meanwhile Blessed Francis said to his companion, “Why have the demons beaten me, and why has the Lord given them power to hurt me?” Then he added: “The demons are the police of the Lord, and as the governor of a land sends his police to punish evildoers, so the Lord by His police, the demons who in this world are His ministers, corrects and chastises those He loves. Often even the perfect Religious does wrong in ignorance, and when he does not recognise his fault he is chastised by the devil, that he may diligently search and consider both within and outside himself in what he has offended. For in those who are truly loved of the Lord in this life He leaves nothing to be punished hereafter. By the mercy and grace of the Lord I am not conscious in myself of any offence that I have not confessed and made satisfaction for, yet by His grace the Lord has given me to know clearly when I please or displease Him.

Therefore, it may be He has chastised me by his police, because, though the Lord Cardinal has shown me compassion, and this refreshment is necessary for my body, my friars, who wander through the world, and other friars who live in hermitages and poor houses, when they hear I am staying with the Lord Cardinal, might have reason to murmur against me, saying, ‘We have to support every adversity while he has his own consolations.’ As I am ever bound to set them a good example, since for this reason I was given to them, it is more edifying to the friars when I dwell with them in poor places rather than elsewhere, and they are better able to bear their trials patiently when they know I have to bear the same.”

This was ever the whole and constant study of our Father in all things to set a good example and never to give the other friars occasion to complain of him. Hence, whether he were ill or well, so many and great were his sufferings that those friars who knew this, such as we who were with him to the day of his death, cannot read or recall these things without shedding tears, and bearing all tribulation and want with greater patience and joy.

In the morning Blessed Francis came down from the tower, and going to the Lord Cardinal, told him all that had happened to him, and of the conversation between himself and his companion, finally adding: “Men repute me to be a holy man and, behold, demons chase me from my retreat.”

The Lord Cardinal was greatly diverted with him, but knowing and venerating him for a Saint would not contradict him nor compel him to stay. Then Blessed Francis bade him farewell, and returned to the Hermitage of San Colombano near Rieti.

From the Works of the Seraphic Father
St. Francis of Assisi, 1882

Of the Value and Dignity of the Soul

The greatest care ought to be taken of the soul, for man has not many, but only one. If God had given us two souls, as He has given us two eyes, or two feet, then should one be lost or taken away, we might guard and save the other. But as we have received only one, very weak and languishing, assailed by three most powerful enemies, and exposed to the fiery darts of the world, the flesh, and the devil, it is not lawful for it to repose securely for one single day, but it must always be striving and fighting. The Apostle gives us to understand how continual this warfare must be, when he says: ‘Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers.’

In war, or in a battle, some time is granted to the soldiers to refresh their bodies, to lay aside their arms, to rest from their labours, and to recruit their strength; nor are they, during severe cold, compelled to rest at night exposed to the inclemency of the season, but are allowed to pass the winter in the city. But it is different with wrestlers; for then only can they be permitted to breathe, when one being overcome and thrown to the earth, the other goes away in triumph. The strife with our enemies can never cease, the time of fighting is the whole time of our life, the end of our life will be the beginning of rest; and only after death will the demonwrestler retire, after having endeavoured most strenuously to conquer us in death. Let us, therefore, most earnestly beseech Our Lord to protect us by His grace, and, in the midst of so many dangers, mercifully to defend us from our enemies. Nothing, alas! is more vile than the price for which we sell our precious souls. On the slightest occasion we cast it into hell, and for the smallest and most insignificant reward we deprive it of the inestimable treasure of Divine grace.

 

St. Francis of Assisi and the Devil 02

Source: Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals


#Meditations for Each Day of #Lent by St Thomas #Aquinas – Passion Friday

27 March 2015

27 March 2015 Anno Domini

From the website, Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals

Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Santi de Tito 1593

by St. Thomas Aquinas


Passion Friday


Our Lady’s Suffering in the Passion

Thy own soul a sword shall pierce– Luke ii. 35.

In these words there is noted for us the close association of Our Lady with the Passion of Christ. Four things especially made the Passion most bitter for her.

Firstly, the goodness of her Son, Who did no sin (i Pet. ii. 22).

Secondly, the cruelty of those who crucified Him, shown, for example, in this that as He lay dying they refused Him even water, nor would they allow His mother, who would most lovingly have given it, to help Him.

Thirdly, the disgrace of the punishment, Let us condemn him to a most shameful death (Wis. ii. 20).

Fourthly, the cruelty of the torment. O ye that pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow (Lam. i. 12).

The words of Simeon, Thy own soul a sword shall pierce, Origen, and other doctors with him, explain with reference to the pain felt by Our Lady in the Passion of Christ. St. Ambrose, however, says that by the sword is signified Our Lady’s prudence, thanks to which she was not without knowledge of the heavenly mystery. For the word of God is a living thing, strong and keener than the keenest sword (cf. Heb. iv. 12).

Other writers again, St. Augustine for example, understand by the sword the stupefaction that overcame Our Lady at the death of her Son, not the doubt that goes with lack of faith but a certain fluctuation of bewilderment, a staggering of the mind. St. Basil, too, says that as Our Lady stood by the cross with all the detail of the Passion before her, and in her mind the testimony of Gabriel, the message that words cannot tell of her divine conception, and all the vast array of miracles, her mind swayed, for she saw Him the victim of such vileness, and yet knew Him for the author of such wonders.

Although Our Lady knew by faith that it was God’s will that Christ should suffer, and although she brought her will into unity with God’s will in this matter, as the saints do, nevertheless, sadness filled her soul at the death of Christ. This was because her lower will revolted at the particular thing she had willed and this is not contrary to perfection.

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