Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Essential Happiness of Heaven

26 September 2014

Heaven pic

The Essential Happiness of Heaven

We shall see Him as He is. (1 St. John iii. 2.)

The one central source of Heaven’s happiness will be the Vision of God. We shall see Him face to face in all His Divine beauty; everything will be swallowed up in the absorbing delight of gazing on the majesty of the Most High. From this fount of joy all other joys will spring. This will in itself be Heaven. If the lost in Hell could see God for a single instant. Hell would at once become Heaven to them.

Why is this? Because in God are united every perfection and every beauty and every joy and every delight that exist or can exist, and all in an infinite degree. Every other joy is but a shadow as compared with the substance, a grain of dust compared with the loftiest mountains, a drop of water compared with the ocean. O my God, help me to despise the passing joys of earth when I think of the joy of seeing Thee!

The Beatific Vision will not convey the same degree of happiness to all who gaze upon it. It will depend upon our union with God on earth, on our faithfulness to grace, on our personal sanctity. One star differs from another star in glory. All will be happy in Heaven, but the happiness of some will be incomparably greater than that of others. What folly then if we let slip any of the eternal reward for the sake of some perishable trifle or miss any opportunity of adding to our of heavenly delight!

Pray that you may appreciate your heavenly treasure and strive continually to add to it.

Source: CatholicHarborofFaithandMorals.com

Who Am I To Judge? Read this if you dare.

24 September 2014

Editor’s Note:
The explanation of “Who am I to judge?” is explained in the proper context by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in the context of his office at the time in the Sunday Angelus. Quite different then sparring with atheistic “journalists” who want to twist everything said coming out of a Pope. In my very humble opinion, I think Pope Francis is figuring out that you have to explain the whole thing and not just spar in repartee with people who really want to destroy what you believe in. Now, I said it. Come on Catholics, make sure you chastise me for daring to suggest that perhaps Pope Francis made a human mistake by not preparing his remarks in advance.

Someone smarter than me said to me recently,”Pope Francis is trying to change the Papacy but he doesn’t yet understand the Papacy changes YOU”. Anyone can comment in my combox, it doesn’t mean I will approve it. After all, I pay for every expense on this blog so I consider myself the owner and I alone have the right to decide who and what is said in my combox. Sorry for the attitude, just a little beat up lately.

Read below if you truly want to learn something:

benedict with candle

BENEDICT XVI

ANGELUS

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The biblical Readings of Mass this Sunday converge on the theme of brotherly love in the community of believers whose source lies in the communion of the Trinity. The Apostle Paul says that the whole Law of God finds fullness in love, so that in our relationships with others the Ten Commandments and every other precept are summed up in these words: “Love your neighbour as yourself” (cf. Rom 13:8-10).

The Gospel text from chapter 18 of Matthew on the life of the Christian community tells us that brotherly love also involves a sense of mutual responsibility. For this reason if my brother commits a sin against me I must treat him charitably and first of all, speak to him privately, pointing out that what he has said or done is wrong. This approach is known as “fraternal correction”: it is not a reaction to the offence suffered but is motivated by love for one’s brethren.

St Augustine comments: “Whoever has offended you, in offending you, has inflicted a serious injury upon himself; and would you not care for a brother’s injury?… You must forget the offence you have received but not the injury of one of your brethren (Discourse 82, 7).

And what if my brother does not listen to me? In today’s Gospel Jesus points to a gradual approach: first, speak to him again with two or three others, the better to help him realize what he has done; if, in spite of this, he still refuses to listen, it is necessary to tell the community; and if he refuses to listen even to the community, he must be made to perceive that he has cut himself off by separating himself from the communion of the Church.

All this demonstrates that we are responsible for each other in the journey of Christian life; each person, aware of his own limitations and shortcomings, is called to accept fraternal correction and to help others with this specific service.

Another fruit of love in the community is unanimous prayer. Jesus said: “If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in Heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt 18:19-20). Personal prayer is of course important, indeed indispensable, but the Lord guarantees his presence to the community — even if it is very small — which is united and in agreement, because this reflects the very reality of the Triune God, perfect communion of love. Origen says “we should practise this symphony” (Commentary on the Gospel according to Matthew, 14,1), in other words this harmony within the Christian community. We should practise both fraternal correction — which demands deep humility and simplicity of heart — and prayer so that it may rise to God from a community truly united in Christ.

Let us ask all this through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, Mother of the Church and of St Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor, whom we commemorated in the liturgy yesterday.


The Kraken Unleashed: Are We Ready to Fight the Beast? by Fr. Richard Heilman

21 September 2014

Crossposted from the new blog, One Peter Five, a must read for faithful Catholics.

Kraken-1-1024x490

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads; and on its horns were ten diadems, and on its heads were blasphemous names. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And the dragon gave it his power and his throne and great authority. One of its heads seemed to have received a death-blow, but its mortal wound had been healed. In amazement the whole earth followed the beast. They worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it? – Revelation 13:1-10

In the 2010 film, Clash of the Titans, there is a scene in which Zeus, angry with the humans, is persuaded by Hades to visit vengeance upon the mortals in the form of the Kraken, a giant monster from the depths of the sea. The visual of this great evil being unleashed is something to behold:

If this scene is evocative, perhaps it is because it’s familiar. Like a Kraken released, we have a colossal problem in our world today. There are few who are not stunned by the growing specter of evil; a darkness more profound and spreading more quickly across the globe than any civilized human being could have ever imagined. Many of those I speak with have admitted that they now abstain completely from watching the news: “It’s just too much,” they say. “It’s just so horrifying!”

For the past two years I have been confiding to close friends my own growing sense that something is happening, that something unholy is stirring. I have spoken with others who have admitted the same suspicion. The way I have tried to describe it in the past is like the rumblings felt just before a volcano explodes.

Now, I find myself wondering if the eruption is upon us.

Who could ever conceive of atrocities like those we are seeing executed in the name of religion? Where once we might see coverage of a tragic conflict far away, we now face an evil that is not confined to some distant corner of the planet. With the always-on, near-instant spread of information in our digital age, your next door neighbor can be radicalized from the comfort of their living room.

What we are facing is, first and foremost, a form of spiritual warfare. In a time where violence is rampant and the innocent are threatened, it is true that we must be ready to physically engage the malefactors. But if we deny the spiritual nature of this surge of evil we are facing, we will have no hope of victory.

For the rest of the post, please click HERE!
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fr HeilmanFr. Richard M. Heilman is a priest of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin. He is a regular guest host on Relevant Radio’s The Inner Life, and is the founder of the Knights of Divine Mercy, which is an apostolate for Catholic men’s faith formation. He is the author of the Church Militant Field Manual and companion website, Churchmilitant.com, dedicated to helping Catholics understand and train for their role in the mission of combating evil and rescuing the souls of our loved ones who have lost the precious gift of faith.


AlwaysCatholic wishes “Ad Multos Annos” to Our Shepherd, Bishop Robert Morlino

21 September 2014

21 September 2014 A.D.

For many years I have not had the luxury of a Bishop who was clear about Catholic Teaching, cared about his flock and had a backbone. I know this may sound a little on the snarky side but Truth is Truth. Finally a few years ago I had an opportunity to move to the great state of Wisconsin.

The reasons I decided to move here were varied but the deciding factor was the Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, WI. Not a stranger to criticism from the secular world and of course, Catholics who think they know more than the Church Herself, His Escellency Robert C. Morlino is the type of Bishop all Roman Catholics really need.

I have had the pleasure of meeting our Bishop quite spontaneously on several occasions, and he took the time to have a wonderful conversation with me. He is like an Uncle or a family friend who truly enjoys your company. A great listener, he never acts like he doesn’t have time to speak to the least of us.

The portrayal of this kind and generous man in the press is as if they are speaking about someone else. That is because he will not back down on teaching the Truth as he always does in Charity.

He calls himself a teacher and that is exactly what he has done here in Madison. Madison, Wisconsin probably battles San Francisco as the most progressive city in the country. The wisdom of Holy Mother Church provided, as we have one of the most orthodox Catholic Bishops in the world here, where he is needed most.

The thing I truly love about Bishop Morlino is how he is not afraid to teach us Truth and also how that in itself that IS love. His Jesuit training has not been a source of pride as with many Jesuits I have known, but is the source of his humility. Truly a son of Ignatius of Loyola in the truest sense.

His love of the understanding of aesthetics is what makes him him truly understand the sacredness of beauty in the Church and in particular, the Holy Mass. His love of the Extraordinary Form wrankles those who don’t allow their minds to this understanding.

A bishop like Robert Morlino will be persecuted because he is a man of Truth and of courage. His fearlessness ironically brings out fear in others. There are those whom either don’t believe in God, in Truth or take a simplistic view of God and a democratic notion of what the Church is supposed to do. Moral relativists cringe at the thought of a man, a priest, a bishop like ours. Their only answer is to personally attack.

morlino offering Latin MassHere is where Bishop Morlino truly serves God and his flock. He never personally attacks. He never speaks in negatives. He battles on in joy and in love. He is the father some of us wished we have had. He is the type of man, who is a spiritual head of his family, like most wives wished their husbands were. He is the family member we all would be proud to call family. By Our Lord calling him to a priestly vocation, Bishop Morlino can love all of us altruistically and lead us (if we are willing) to our place among the Saints.

This is a vocation fully lived. This is what doing God’s Will means. No excuses, full of joy. Fearless.

Someone once said to me about the priesthood and Religious Life concerning chastity and celibacy this statement,
“You know, all that Catholic celibacy and chastity stuff is not natural.” I said, “You are correct, it isn’t.” Shocked, the person looked at me quizzically and I responded, “It’s supernatural, a gift of the Holy Spirit. It’s love at its’ truest form, fraternal love. The giving of one life for others.” The person shook their head and walked away.

His Excellency understands what I am saying, for sure.

God love you Your Excellency, on this great day of your Anniversary. Ad Multos Annos!


Cardinal Dolan vs the Saints, the Catechism and the Papal Theologian on ‘Gay’ Identity via @CatholicLisa

20 September 2014

Thank you to Lisa Graas for writing the Catholic and reasoned response to the “situation” in NY. I let my emotions get in the way and couldn’t respond in charity. She also can write and for the future I will be crossing posting from other blogs concerning tough topics in the Church.

I will only post the ones that I know from my education in our Faith are faithful to Our Lord and His Church’s Teachings. I do have a good command of theology, Church Teaching, etc. but not the writing skills to be able to teach what now must be taught. Writers like Lisa and others do have that ability. I defer to those who I know speak Truth.

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Posted at her blog, LisaGraas.com
19 September 2014 A.D.

our_lady_of_sorrows

In order to become a saint in the Catholic Church, we are called to “die to self” wherein we empty ourselves of all that is not of God’s will so that we can become what He made us to be. No one is exempt from putting God’s will above his/her own will. This “dying to self” theology is central to Catholic teaching on the Cross of Christ, that we must unite ourselves with Him in it. It is what causes Catholics to give up their “self”-ish wants and desires and go and serve the poor and the otherwise marginalized. They “die to self” and go do God’s will. But now, Cardinal Dolan is preaching the opposite of this message in saying that one does not have to “die to self” anymore. He does this through promotion of the “gay identity” which is specifically contradicted by every saint who has ever written on homosexuality, not to mention the catechism and the papal theologian.
Cardinal Dolan writes in regard to his decision to be Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade which will include groups who identify as “gay”:

  • Catholic teaching is clear: “being Gay” is not a sin, nor contrary to God’s revealed morals.

and…

  • So, while actions are immoral, identity is not!

That is false. First, let’s look at the catechism, which no Catholic may knowingly preach against, most especially our bishops.

  • CCC 2333: Everyone, man and woman, should acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity, needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out.

Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which all Catholics are bound also, in discipline, not to preach against:

  • The human person, made in the image and likeness of God, can hardly be adequately described by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation. Every one living on the face of the earth has personal problems and difficulties, but challenges to growth, strengths, talents and gifts as well. Today, the Church provides a needed context for the care of the human person when she refuses to consider the person as a “heterosexual” or a “homosexual” and insists that every person has a fundamental Identity: the creature of God, and by grace, his child and heir to eternal life.

Rev. Wojciech Giertych is the papal theologian. As such, his job is to “review the texts given to the Pope for his speeches for theological accuracy.” This is what he says about “gay” identity in an interview with LifeSiteNews:

  • “…in the American language you have a distinction between the word ‘homosexual’ and ‘gay’. A homosexual is a person who has, to some extent, this homosexual condition. Somebody may have this difficulty, and his friends, his neighbors will not know about this. He’s dealing with this in cooperation with the grace of God and may come out of this difficulty and come back to normal human relationships. Sometimes adolescents, at the moment when their sexual sensibility is appearing, if they have been distorted by others they go through a phase of difficulty in this field. But as they mature they will grow out of it. Whereas a ‘gay’ is somebody who says, ‘I am like this, I will be like this, I want to be treated like this, and I want special privileges because I am like this.’ Now if somebody is not only homosexual, but a gay, declaring, ‘This is how I am, and I want this to be respected legally, socially and so on’ – such a person will never come out of the difficulty.”

For the rest of this post, I ask you to please click HERE


Happy Birthday to ACBlog’s favorite nun: @Sr_Lisa ! We offer our prayers today Sr Lisa for your special intentions…

20 September 2014

Today we celebrate the birthday of our favorite nun on the Internet and IN REAL LIFE, Sister Lisa Marie Doty. Sister has been a supporter of ACBlog and prays for all of us here. We love you Sister Lisa, this tough world out here is a better place because our Father in Heaven brought us to you. We are so grateful for your prayers and your loyalty. Please accept our prayers and sacrifices today for your special intentions.
In the love of Christ Jesus and His most Blessed Mother we keep you in our prayers daily.
Grazie Mille!

Sofia and Company!

Here is a wonderful blogpost by Sister Lisa written awhile back, but something we should bookmark and share with others. We ask you to read the introduction here and then click over to her blog to finish the post. We then ask you to go to her combox and leave a great big birthday wish!

Marian Devotion Points Us to Christ

posted by Sister Lisa Marie Doty at her blog, “Nunspeak

“All generations will call me blessed”

– Luke 1:48

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 971) teaches:

The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship (Paul VI, MC 56). The Church rightly honors “the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of ‘Mother of God,’ to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs…

Read the rest of Sister Lisa’s post by clicking HERE…Don’t forget to wish her Happy Birthday!


Exaltation of the Holy Cross – In Exaltatione Sanctae crucis – Missa ‘Nos Autem Gloriari’- Livestream Mass & Propers 10:30am EST

14 September 2014

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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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Exaltation of the Holy Cross
In Exaltatione Sanctae crucis
Missa ‘Nos Autem Gloriari’
2nd Class
Red
[Gloria & Creed; Preface of the Holy Cross; (No Commemoration of the 14th Sunday after Pentecost); 2nd Vespers of the Holy Cross]

Chosroes, king of Persia, carried away the relic of the True Cross to Persia; but Heraclius, ascending to the throne of Judea, defeated Chosroes and himself carried the Cross to the Basilica on Calvary A.D. 629.

INTROIT ¤ Gal. 6. 14
Nos autem gloriari oportet in Cruce Domini nostri Iesu Christi: in quo est salus, vita, et resurrectio nostra: per quem salus, vita, et resurrectio nostra: per quem salvati, et liberati sumus. — Deus misereatur nostri, et benedicat nobis: illuminet vultum suum super nos, et misereatur nostri. V.: Gloria Patri . . . — Nos autem gloriari . . . But it behooves us to glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ: in whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection: by whom we are saved, and delivered. — (Ps. 66. 2). May God have mercy on us and bless us: may He cause the light of His countenance to shine upon us, and may He have mercy on us. V.: Glory be to the Father . . . — But it behooves us to glory . . .

COLLECT
Deus, qui nos hodierna die Exaltationis sanctae Crucis annua solemnitate laetificas: praesta quaesumus; ut cuius mysterium in terra cognovimus, eius redemptionis praemia in caelo mereamur. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, filium tuum . . . O God, Who on this day dost gladden us by the yearly feast of the Exaltation of the holy Cross: grant, we beseech Thee, that we, who on earth, acknowledge the Mystery of Redemption wrought upon it, may be found worthy to enjoy the rewards of that same Redemption in heaven. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .

EPISTLE ¤ Phil. 2. 5-11
Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Philippians.
Lectio Epistolae beati Paulo 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: [Here all genuflect.] ut in nomine Iesu omne genu flectatur celestium, 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 ¤ Phil. 2. 8, 9
Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis. V.: Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum, et dedit illi Nomen, quod est super omne nomen.
Alleluia, alleluia. V.: Dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulcea ferens pondera: quae sola fuisti digna sustinere Regem coelorum, et Dominum. Alleluia. Christ became obedient for us unto death: even the death of the cross. V.: Wherefore God also hath exalted Him, and hath given a Name which is above every name.
Alleluia, alleluia. V.: Sweet the wood, sweet the nails, sweet the load that hangs on thee: thou only wast worthy to bear up the King and Lord of heaven. Alleluia.

GOSPEL ¤ John 12. 31-36
† Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. John.
† Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Ioannum.
[The Son of Man must be lifted up.]

In illo tempore: Dixit Iesus turbis Iudaeorum: Nunc iudicium est mundi: nunc princeps huius mundi eiicietur foras. Et ego si exaltatus fuero a terra, omnia traham ad meipsum. (Hoc autem dicebat, significans qua morte esset moriturus.) Respondit ei turba: Nos audivimus ex lege, quia Christus manet in aeternum: et quomodo tu dicis: Oportet exaltari Filium hominis? quis est iste Filius hominis? Dixit ergo eis Iesus: Adhuc modicum lumen in vobis est. Ambulate dum lucem habetis, ut non vos tenebrae comprehendant; et qui ambulat in tenebris, nescit quo vadat. Dum lucem habetis, credite in lucem, ut filii lucis sitis. At that time: Jesus said to the multitudes of the Jews, Now is the judgement of the world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things to Myself. (Now this He said, signifying what death He should die.) The multitude answered Him, We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth forever: and how sayest Thou, The Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is the Son of Man? Jesus therefore said to them, Yet a little while, the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, that the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. Whilst you have the light, believe in the light; that you may be the children of light.

OFFERTORY
Protege, Domine, plebem tuam per signum sanctae Crucis, ab insidiis inimicorum omnium: ut tibi gratam exhibeamus servitutem, et acceptabile fiat sacrificium nostrum. Alleluia. By the sign of the holy Cross, O Lord, protect Thy people from the wiles of all our enemies that we may be able to do Thee worthy service, and that our sacrifice may be well-pleasing in Thy sight. Alleluia.

SECRET
Iesu Christi Domini nostri corpore et sanguine saginandi, per quem Crucis est sanctificatum vexillum: quaesumus Domine Deus noster; ut, sicut illud adorare meruimus, ita perenniter eius gloriae salutaris potiamur effectu. Per eumdem Dominum . . . We who are about to feed on the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, by whom the banner of the holy Cross was sanctified, beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that since we have been found worthy to venerate that same holy sign, it may be ours to enjoy forevermore the salvation secured for us by its triumph. Though the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .

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 is 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
Per signum Crucis de inimicis nostris libera nos, Deus noster. By the sign of the Cross, deliver us from our enemies, O Thou our God.

POSTCOMMUNION
Adesto nobis, Domine Deus noster, et quos sanctae Crucis laetari facis honore, eius quoque perpetuis defende subsidiis. Per Dominum nostrum . . . Be present with us, O Lord our God, and do Thou, who makest us to rejoice in honor of the holy Cross, defend us evermore by its help. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .


Exaltation of the Holy Cross: Devotions and Writings

13 September 2014

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Cross, whereon the Lamb of God was offered for the sins of the world,
Deliver and save us.

Hope of Christians,
Save us, O Holy Cross*

Pledge of the resurrection from the dead,*
Shelter of persecuted innocence,*
Guide of the blind,*
Way of those who have gone astray,*
Staff of the lame,*
Consolation of the poor,*
Restraint of the powerful,*
Destruction of the proud,*
Refuge of sinners,*
Trophy of victory over hell,*
Terror of demons,*
Mistress of youth,*
Succor of the distressed,*
Hope of the hopeless,*
Star of the mariner,*
Harbor of the wrecked,*
Rampart of the besieged,*
Father of orphans,*
Defense of widows,*
Counsel of the just,*
Judge of the wicked,*
Rest of the afflicted,*
Safeguard of childhood,*
Strength of manhood,*
Last hope of the aged,*
Light of those who sit in darkness,*
Splendor of kings,*
Civilizer of the world,*
Buckler impenetrable,*
Wisdom of the foolish,*
Liberty of slaves,*
Knowledge of the ignorant,*
Sure rule of life,*
Heralded by prophets,*
Preached by apostles,*
Glory of martyrs,*
Study of anchorites,*
Chastity of virgins,*
Joy of priests,*
Foundation of the Church,*
Salvation of the world,*
Destruction of idolatry,*
Stumbling-block of the Jews,*
Condemnation of the ungodly,*
Support of the weak,*
Medicine of the sick,*
Health of the leprous,*
Strength of the paralytic,*
Bread of the hungry,*
Fountain of those that thirst,*
Clothing of the naked,*

Lamb of God, Who wast offered on the cross for the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who wast offered on the cross for the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who wast offered on the cross for the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

V. We adore the, O Christ, and we bless Thee.
R. Because through Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Let us Pray:

O God, Who, for the redemption of the world, wast pleased to be born in a stable, and to die upon a cross; O Lord Jesus Christ, by Thy holy Sufferings, which we, Thy unworthy servants, devoutly call to mind, by Thy holy Cross, and by Thy Death, deliver us from the pains of hell, and vouchsafe to conduct us whither thou didst conduct the thief who was crucified with Thee. Who livest and reignest eternally in heaven. Amen.

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The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
by Father Francis Xavier Weninger, 1876

This festival was instituted in commemoration of the day on which the holy Cross of Christ, was, with great solemnities, brought back to Jerusalem. Chosroes, king of Persia, had invaded Syria with a powerful army, and had conquered Jerusalem, the capital. He caused the massacre of eighty thousand men, and also took many prisoners away with him, among whom was the Patriarch Zachary. But more painful than all this to the Christians was, that he carried away the holy, Cross of our Saviour, which, after great pains, had been discovered by the holy empress, St. Helena. The pagan king carried it with him to Persia, adorned it magnificently with pearls and precious stones, and placed it upon the top of his royal throne of pure gold. Thus was the holy Cross held in higher honor by the heathen king, than Martin Luther would have manifested; for, in one of his sermons, he says of it: “If a piece of the holy Cross were given to me and I had it in my hand, I would soon put it where the sun would never shine on it.”

Heraclius, the pious emperor, was greatly distressed at this misfortune, and as he had not an army sufficiently large to meet so powerful an enemy, he made propositions for peace. Chosroes, inflated by many victories, refused at first to listen to the emperor’s proposal, but at length consented, on condition that Heraclius should forsake the faith of Christ and worship the Sun, the god of the Persians. Indignant at so wicked a request, the emperor, seeing that it was a question of religion, concerning the honor of the Most High, broke off all negotiation with his impious enemy. Taking refuge in prayer, he assembled all the Christian soldiers of his dominions, and commanded all his subjects to appease the wrath of the Almighty, and ask for His assistance, by fasting, praying, giving alms and other good works. He himself gave them the example. After this, he went courageously, with his comparatively small army, to meet the haughty Chosroes, having given strict orders that his soldiers, besides abstaining from other vices, should avoid all plundering and blaspheming, that they might prove themselves worthy of the divine assistance.

Taking a crucifix in his hand, he animated his soldiers by pointing towards it, saying they should consider for whose honor they were fighting, and that there was nothing more glorious than to meet death for the honor of God and His holy religion. Thus strengthened, the Christian army marched against the enemy. Three times were they attacked by three divisions of the Persian army, each one led by an experienced general; and three times they repulsed the enemy, so that Chosroes himself had at last to flee. His eldest son, Siroes, whom he had excluded from the succession to the throne, seized the opportunity, and not only assassinated his own father, but also his brother, Medarses, who had been chosen by Chosroes as his associate and successor. To secure the crown which he had thus forcibly seized, Siroes offered peace to Heraclius, restored to him the conquered provinces, and also sent back the holy Cross, the patriarch Zachary, and all the other prisoners of war. Heraclius, in great joy, hastened with the priceless wood to Jerusalem, to offer due thanks to the Almighty for the victory, and to restore the holy Cross, which the Persians had kept in their possession during fourteen years, to its former place.

All the inhabitants of the city, the clergy and laity, came to meet the pious emperor. The latter had resolved to carry the Cross to Mount Calvary, to the church fitted up for its reception. A solemn procession was formed, in which the Patriarch, the courtiers and an immense multitude of people took part. The clergy preceded, and the emperor, arrayed in sumptuous robes of state, carried the holy Cross upon his shoulder. Having thus passed through the city, they came to the gate that leads to Calvary, when suddenly the emperor stood still and could not move from the spot. At this miracle, all became frightened, not knowing what to think of it. Only to St. Zachary did God reveal the truth. Turning to the emperor the patriarch said: “Christ was not arrayed in splendor when He bore His Cross through this gate. His brow was not adorned with a golden crown, but with one made of thorns. Perhaps, O emperor, your magnificent robe is the cause of your detention.”

The pious Heraclius humbly gave ear to the words of the patriarch, divested himself of his imperial purple, and put on poor apparel, he took the crown from his head and the shoes from his feet. Having done this, the sacred treasure was again laid on his shoulder: when, behold! nothing detained him, and he carried it to the place of its destination. The holy patriarch then deposited the Cross in its former place, and duly venerated it with all who were present. God manifested how much He was pleased with the honor they had paid to the holy Cross of Christ, by many miracles wrought on the same day. A dead man was restored to life by being touched by the sacred wood; four paralytic persons obtained the use of their limbs; fifteen who were blind received sight; many sick recovered their health; and several possessed were freed from the devil by devoutly touching it.

PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS

I. The Cross on which Christ had died was raised and greatly honored by all the faithful. I suppose that if you possessed a particle of the true Cross, you would greatly honor and cherish it. But why do you not love and honor that cross, those trials which God sends you? They are, in a spiritual sense, a particle of the Cross of Christ, which will be most beneficial to you, if you bear it patiently. Christ, the Lord, called His crucifixion an exaltation, saying: “The Son of Man must be exalted; “because by it He was exalted in heaven and on earth, as He bore His sufferings and His death out of love for His heavenly Father and for the salvation of men. You also will be exalted in heaven, if, in carrying your cross, you follow the example of Christ. Many carry their crosses, like the thief on the left of Christ, with murmuring and impatience, others, like the one on His right, with patience and resignation, knowing that they deserve them. Jesus carried His Cross not only with patience, but, according to the words of the Apostle, with joy, although He was innocent. With whom do you carry yours? With whom will you carry it in future? If you carry it with the first, you will not be exalted, but precipitated into the depth of hell.

Devotions to the Holy Cross

 

By the sign of the holy Cross, deliver us from our enemies, O our God.
(Indulgence of 3 years)

The Cross is my sure salvation.
The Cross it is that I worship evermore.
The Cross of our Lord is with me.
The Cross is my refuge.

Saint Thomas Aquinas
(Indulgence of 300 days)

“Take Up Thy Cross”

“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and follow Me.”

Charge not thyself with the weight of a year,
Child of the Master, faithful and dear;
Choose not the cross for the coming week,
For that is more than He bids thee seek.

Bend not thine arms for tomorrow’s load;
Thou may’st leave that to thy gracious God.
Daily only He said to thee,
“Take up thy cross and follow Me.”

 

The Cross Our Badge

We Catholics have a great share in this Exaltation of the Cross. It is our special trust, our badge, our glory. Like the first Christians, it is ours to honor, to use, to be known by. Those who have fallen from the true faith have laid it aside as childish and not fit for the mature. But the Gospel was preached to the childlike, and the Kingdom of Heaven reserved for them. So we will keep our childlike ways, and loyally use the sacred sign. We will make it with reverence, with confidence, with joy. And the day will come when we who are signed with the Sign of the Cross upon our foreheads will go forth to meet our Redeemer, and He will acknowledge us to be His own. Like Constantine, by that sign we shall conquer.

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The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
from the Liturgical Year, 1903

“Through thee the precious Cross is honoured and worshipped throughout the world (Cyrill, Alex. Hom. iv. Ephesi habits.).” Thus did St. Cyril of Alexandria apostrophize our Lady on the morrow of that great day, which saw her divine maternity vindicated at Ephesus. Eternal Wisdom has willed that the Octave of Mary’s birth should he honoured by the celebration of this Feast of the triumph of the holy Cross. The Cross indeed is the standard of God’s armies, whereof Mary is the Queen; it is by the Cross that she crushes the serpent’s head, and wins so many victories over error, and over the enemies of the Christian name.

By this sign thou shalt conquer. Satan had been suffered to try his strength against the Church by persecution and tortures; but his time was drawing to an end. By the edict of Sardica, which emancipated the Christians, Galerius, when about to die, acknowledged the powerlessness of hell. Now was the time for Christ to take the offensive, and for his Cross to prevail. Towards the close of the year 311, a Roman army lay at the foot of the Alps, preparing to pass from Gaul into Italy. Constantine, its commander, thought only of revenging himself for an injury received from Maxentius, his political rival; but his soldiers, as unsuspecting as their chief, already belonged henceforward to the Lord of hosts. The Son of the Most High, having become, as Son of Mary, king of this world, was about to reveal himself to his first lieutenant, and, at the same time, to discover to his first army the standard that was to go before it. Above the legions, in a cloudless sky, the Cross, proscribed for three long centuries, suddenly shone forth; all eyes beheld it, making the Western sun, as it were, its footstool, and surrounded with these words in characters of fire: IN HOC VINCE : by this be thou conqueror! A few months later, 27th October 312, all the idols of Rome stood aghast to behold, approaching along the Flaminian Way, beyond the Bridge Milvius, the Labarum with its sacred monogram, now become the standard of the imperial armies. On the morrow was fought the decisive battle, which opened the gates of the Eternal City to Christ, the only God, the everlasting King.

“Hail, O Cross, formidable to all enemies, bulwark of the Church, strength of princes; hail in thy triumph! The sacred Wood still lay hidden in the earth, yet it appeared in the heavens announcing victory; and an emperor, become Christian, raised it up from the bowels of the earth (Ap. Graec. Menae. in profesto Exaltationis).” Thus sang the Greek Church yesterday, in preparation for the joys of today; for the East, which has not our peculiar Feast of the 3rd of May, celebrates on this one solemnity both the overthrow of idolatry by the sign of salvation revealed to Constantine and his army, and the discovery of the holy Cross a few years later in the cistern of Golgotha.

But another celebration, the memory of which is fixed by the Menology on the 13th September, was added in the year 335 to the happy recollections of this day; namely, the dedication of the basilicas raised by Constantine on Mount Calvary and over the holy Sepulchre, after the precious discoveries made by his mother St. Helena. In the very same century that witnessed all these events, a pious pilgrim, thought to be St. Silvia, sister of Rufinus the minister of Theodosius and Arcadius, attested that the anniversary of this dedication was celebrated with the same solemnity as Easter and the Epiphany. There was an immense concourse of Bishops, clerics, monks, and seculars of both sexes, from every province ; and the reason, she says, is that the Cross was found on this day; which motive had led to the choice of the same day for the primitive consecration, so that the two joys might be united in one.

Through not being aware of the nearness of the dedication of the Anastasia, or Church of the Resurrection, to the feast of the holy Cross, many have misunderstood the discourse pronounced on this feast by Sophronius, the holy patriarch of Jerusalem. “It is the feast of the Cross; who would not exult? It is the triumph of the Resurrection; who would not be full of joy? Formerly, the Cross led to the Resurreotion; now it is the Resurreotion that introduces us to the Cross. Resurrection and Cross: trophies of our salvation (Sophron. in Exaltat. venerandae Crucis)!” And the Pontiff then developed the instructions resulting from this connection.

It appears to have been about the same time that the West also began to unite in a certain manner these two great mysteries; leaving to the 14th September the other memories of the Holy Cross, the Latin Churches introduced into Paschal Time a special feast of the finding of the Wood of Redemption. In compensation, the present solemnity acquired a new lustre to its character of triumph by the contemporaneous events which, as we shall see, form the principal subject of the historical Legend in the Roman Liturgy.

About the end of the reign of the Emperor Phocas, Chosroes king of the Persians invaded Egypt and Africa. He then took possession of Jerusalem; and after massacring there many thousand Christians, he carried away into Persia the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, which Helena had placed upon Mount Calvary. Phocas was succeeded in the empire by Heraclius; who, after enduring many losses and misfortunes in the course of the war, sued for peace, but was unable to obtain it even upon disadvantageous terms, so elated was Chosroes by his victories. In this perilous situation he applied himself to prayer and fasting, and earnestly implored God’s assistance. Then, admonished from heaven, he raised an army, marched against the enemy, and defeated three of Chosroes’ generals with their armies.

Subdued by these disasters Chosroes took to flight; and, when about to cross the river Tigris, named his son Medarses his associate in the kingdom. But his eldest son Siroes, bitterly resenting this insult, plotted the murder of his father and brother. He soon afterwards overtook them in flight, and put them both to death. Siroes then had himself recognized as king by Heraclius, on certain conditions, the first of which was to restore the Cross of our Lord. Thus, fourteen years after it had fallen into the hands of the Persians, the Cross was recovered; and on his return to Jerusalem, Heraclius, with great pomp, bore it back on his own shoulders to the mountain whither our Saviour had carried it.

This event was signalized by a remarkable miracle. Heraclius, attired as he was in robes adorned with gold and precious stones, was forced to stand still at the gate which led to Mount Calvary. The more he endeavored to advance, the more he seemed fixed to the spot. Heraclius himself and all the people were astounded; but Zacharias, the bishop of Jerusalem said: Consider, O emperor, how little thou imitatest the poverty and humility of Jesus Christ, by carrying the Cross clad in triumphal robes. Heraclius thereupon laid aside his magnificent apparel, and barefoot, clothed in mean attire he easily completed the rest of the way, and replaced the Cross in the same place on Mount Calvary, whence it had been carried off by Persians. From this event, the feast of the Exaltation of the holy Cross, which was celebrated yearly on this day, gained fresh lustre, in memory of the Cross being replaced by Heraclius on the spot where it had first been set up for our Saviour.

Prayer:

The victory thus chronicled in the sacred books of the Church, was not, O Cross, thy last triumph; nor were the Persians thy latest enemies. At the very time of the defeat of these fire-worshippers, the prince of darkness was raising up a new standard, the Crescent. By the permission of God, whose ensign thou art, and who, having come on earth to struggle like us, flees not, before any foe, Islam also was about to try its strength against thee: a twofold power, the sword and the seduction of the passions. But here again, alike in the secret combats between the soul and Satan, as in the great battles recorded in history, the final success was due to the weakness and folly of Calvary.

Thou, O Cross, wert the rallying-standard of all Europe in those sacred expeditions which borrowed from thee their beautiful title of Crusades, and which exalted the Christian name in the East. While on the one hand thou wert thus warding off degradation and ruin, on the other thou wert preparing the conquest of new continents; so that it is by thee that our West remains at the head of nations. Through thee, the warriors in those glorious campaigns are inscribed on the first pages of the golden book of nobility. And now the new orders of chivalry, which claim to hold among their ranks the elite of the human race, look upon thee as the highest mark of merit and honour. It is the continuation of today’s mystery, the exaltation, even in our times of decadence, of the holy Cross, which in past ages was the standard of the legions, and glittered on the diadems of emperors and kings.

It is true, men have appeared in France, who have made it their aim to overthrow the sacred sign, wheresoever our fathers had honoured it. This invasion of the servants of Pilate into the country of the Crusaders was inexplicable, until it was discovered that they were in Jewish pay. These, as St Leo says of the Jews in today’s Office, see in the instrument of salvation nothing but their own crime (Homily of the 3rd Nocturn ex Leon. Serm. viii de Passione); and their guilty conscience makes them hire, to pull down the holy Cross, the very men whom they formerly paid to set it up. The coalition of such enemies is but one more homage to thee! O adorable Cross, our glory and our love here on earth, save us on the day when thou shalt appear in the heavens, when the Son of Man, seated in his majesty, is to judge the world!

Source: http://catholicharboroffaithandmorals.com


My Day in NYC – 9/11/2001 via Douglas Turnbull (@TurnbullDJTX)

11 September 2014

dougs testimony picGood friend and baby brother in Christ, Douglas Turnbull was working in NYC on September 11, 2001. Here is a video of his experience that day.
Please watch this as it gives a testimony to someone who was there and witnessed the events. It could have been you It could have been me. Never forget.


@ManwithBlackHat Reflects On The Morning Of 9/11

11 September 2014

Reprinted from 9/11/11 from David Alexander
at his blog, “Man with Black Hat”

Last Sunday, a lead editorial in the Washington Post lamented the attention given to what happened in New York City on September 11, 2001, at the expense of the tragic scene on the same day in Washington, as a jet plane crashed into the west wall of the Pentagon, claiming 184 victims.

In history books, documentaries and news accounts and across popular culture, the shift toward an almost exclusive focus on the New York part of the 9/11 story has been steady and relentless. Amid hundreds of hours of programming in this week’s many television tributes, there are only nominal mentions of the Pentagon attack.
………………………………………………………..

The rest of David’s story is HERE, where you can read about the morning of 9/11. I called him at work to alert him about the plane headed his way. We all know about that plane which was headed for the area of the White House. It wound up in a field in PA because of a group of American heroes. Not only was the White House spared, but my friend David was able to return home in one piece that night. Deo Gratias.

Thank you,

Sofia


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