Monthly Archives: March 2015

Meditations for Each Day of Lent by Saint Thomas Aquinas – Tuesday in Holy Week

31 March 2015

Tuesday in Holy Week
31 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

Tuesday in Holy Week

Christ preparing to wash the Apostle’s feet

He riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments, and having taken a towel, girded himself.–(John xiii. 4).

1. Christ, in His lowly office, shows Himself truly to be a servant, in keeping with His own words, The Son of Man is not come to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give His life a redemption for many (Matt. xx. 28).

Three things are looked for in a good servant or minister:

(i) That he should be careful to keep before him the numerous details in which his serving may so easily fall short. Now for a servant to sit or to lie down during his service is to make this necessary supervision impossible. Hence it is that servants stand. And therefore the gospel says of Our Lord, He riseth from supper. Our Lord himself also asks us, For which is greater, he that sitteth at table or he that serveth? (Luke xxii. 27).

(ii) That he should show dexterity in doing at the right time all the things his particular office calls for. Now elaborate dress is a hindrance to this. Therefore Our Lord layeth aside his garments. And this was foreshadowed in the Old Testament when Abraham chose servants who were well appointed (Gen. xiv. 14).

(iii) That he should be prompt, having ready to hand all the things he needs. St. Luke (x. 40) says of Martha that she was busy about much serving. This is why Our Lord, having taken a towel, girded himself. Thus he was ready not only to wash the feet, but also to dry them. So He (who came from God and goeth to God–John xiii. 3), as He washes their feet, crushes down forever our swollen, human self-importance.

2. After that, he putteth water into a basin, and began to wash (John xiii. 5).

We are given for our consideration this service of Christ; and in three ways his humility is set for our example.

(i) The kind of service this was, for it was the lowest kind of service of all! The Lord of all majesty bending to wash the feet of his slaves.

(ii) The number of services it contained, for, we are told, he put water into a basin, he washed their feet, he dried them and so forth.

(iii) The method of doing the service, for He did not do it through others, nor even with others helping him. He did the service Himself. The greater thou art, the more humble thyself in all things (Ecclus. iii. 20).


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.


#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).


#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.

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

26 March 2015

26 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 Thursday

Which is the greatest sign of His love our Lord has given us?

It would seem that Christ gave us a greater sign of His love by giving us His body as our food than by suffering for us. For the love that will be in the life to come is a more perfect thing than the love that is in this life. And the benefit that Christ bestows on us by giving us His body as food is more like to the love of the life to come in which we shall fully enjoy God. The Passion that Christ underwent for us is, on the other hand, more like to the love that is of this life, in which we, too, are to suffer for Christ. Therefore it is a greater sign of Christ’s love for us that He delivered His body to us as our food, than that He suffered for us.

Nevertheless, it is an argument against this that in St. John’s gospel Our Lord himself says, Greater love than this no man hath that a man lay down His life for his friends (John xv. 13).

The strongest of human loves is the love with which a man loves himself. Therefore this love must be the measure, by comparison with which we estimate the love by which a man loves others than himself. Now the extent of a man’s love for another is shown by the extent of good desired for himself that he forgoes for his friend. As Holy Scripture says, He that neglecteth a loss for the sake of a friend is just (Prov. xii. 26). Now a man wishes well to himself as to three things, namely, his soul, his body, and things outside himself.

It is then already a sign of love that, for another, a man is willing to suffer loss of things outside himself.

It is a greater sign if he is also willing to suffer loss in his body for another, that is, by bearing the burden of work or undergoing punishment.

It is the greatest of all signs of love if a man is willing, by dying for his friend, to lay down his very life.

Therefore, that Christ, in suffering for us, laid down His life was the greatest of all signs that He loved us. That He has given us His body for our food in the sacrament does not entail for Him any loss. It follows then that the first is the greater sign. Also this sacrament is a kind of memorial and figure of the Passion of Christ. But the truth is always greater than that which figures it, the thing is always greater than the memorial that recalls it.

The showing forth of the body of Christ in the sacrament has about it, it is true, a certain figure of the love with which God loves us in the life to come. But Christ’s Passion is associated with that love itself, by which God calls us from perdition to the life to come. The love of God, however, is not greater in the life to come than it is in this present life.


“Flannery O’Connor… who, next to the BVM, is the greatest woman who ever lived.”

25 March 2015

Feast of the Annunciation
25 March 2015 Anno Domini

The Anniversary of the Birth of Flannery O’Connor:1925-2015

peacock

“Dear God, I cannot love Thee the way I want to. You are the slim crescent of a moon that I see and my self is the earth’s shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon . . . “I do not know you God because I a m in the way. Please help me to push myself aside . . . “I do not mean to deny the traditional prayers I have said all my life; but I have been saying them and not feeling them. My attention is always very fugitive. This way I have it every instant. I can feel a warmth of love heating me when I think & write this to You.” —from A Prayer Journal

“The Porch”

by Jack Keithley at his blog,

The Glad Night

 

treesThe sight and deep smell of the pines greeted me at the campsite in Georgia. I drove down from a home visit in Louisville. The air was damp but not hot. I set up my tent and other things and plopped in a chair for the better part of forty-eight hours and read, ate, dozed, swigged some Yuengling and stared above at the canopy and beyond at the lake. In that time I don’t think I spoke more than fifty words aloud, but words were swirling around me and memories, stories and friendships. I was alone but I was not lonely. The campsite was a stopover en route to Milledgeville, Georgia. I was driving down to see Flannery O’Connor.

I called it a pilgrimage. It was a road trip, a wacky idea to satiate a wacky preoccupation with a woman who died fifty years ago. I was off to set foot on her property, poke around the farmhouse and sit on the screened-in porch. I was off to take in the peacocks, smell the country, stand on the front brick steps. I was off to take flowers to her grave, the apex of the pilgrimage, to be near the flat stone marking her physical remains and share a few stories of my own with her.

Getting off the interstate southeast of Atlanta, I was immersed at once into her stories: the farms and woods along the country highway, a woman smacking the hell out of her husband as he veered the old pickup truck ahead of me; it was altogether familiar, that foreign place.

T.S. Eliot was right: “…the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

The closer I got to Milledgeville, the more worried I was that this was a fool’s errand. Why come all this way? What’s the point? Won’t it ruin what you have worked out in your mind about her? Turn back! The anxiety increased until I passed through the intersection of one Friendship Lane. It was almost too hilarious to notice the point of it. I shuddered. Buckle up. “The Life You Save May Be Your Own.” I continued forward.

churchI arrived too early. Andalusia didn’t open for visitors until ten, so I did a haphazard drive through town. I stopped in her church, a little brick structure made from the remains of an old hotel. It had all the signs of a Catholic place but was understated as if it didn’t want to draw too much attention. Most of the votive candles remained unlit. The windows were clear glass, perhaps to calm the wild imaginations of suspicious Protestant passersby. This is where she went to Mass nearly everyday.

I went down the street and ventured into the visitor’s center, where the lady running the place was quick to point out that Sherman, in his crazed firestorm through the South, spared the town thanks to the begging and pleading of its inhabitants (he had already torched Atlanta so what was the point, they argued – he agreed but burned down government buildings for good measure). When I told her why I was there, she said she thought the peachicks had just hatched at Andalusia. Perfect timing.

Jack Keithley is probably one of the unheralded experts on the writings of Flannery O’Connor.Today Jack’s essay was reviewed by the esteemed, “Dappled Things.org”. The headline on this blogpost is Jack;s favorite line when describing Flannery O’Connor and her writing. Lofty compliment, but we who read O’Connor truly understand his observation. Truly a devout Catholic, Flannery is considered one of the greatest writers in American literature.

We are grateful to know Jack and so we posted his essay here today as well. We ask you to finish reading this exquisite piece over at his blog. Please comment if you are a fan of Flannery or just appreciate great writing. Thank you. Please continue HERE.

…………………………………………………………………………………….
flanneryFlannery O’Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1925. When she died at the age of thirty-nine, America lost one of its most gifted writers at the height of her powers. O’Connor wrote two novels, Wise Blood (1952) and The Violent Bear It Away (1960), and two story collections, A Good Man Is Hard to Find (1955) and Everything That Rises Must Converge (1964). Her Complete Stories, published posthumously in 1972, won the National Book Award that year, and in a 2009 online poll it was

Peacock a symbol of immortality in Catholic Sacred Art pictured here with the Blessed Virgin and the Christ Child

Peacock a symbol of immortality in Catholic Sacred Art pictured here with the Blessed Virgin and the Christ Child

voted as the best book to have won the award in the contest’s 60-year history. Her essays were published in Mystery and Manners (1969) and her letters in The Habit of Being (1979). In 1988 the Library of America published her Collected Works; she was the first postwar writer to be so honored. O’Connor was educated at the Georgia State College for Women, studied writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and wrote much of Wise Blood at the Yaddo artists’ colony in upstate New York. She lived most of her adult life on her family’s ancestral farm, Andalusia, outside Milledgeville, Georgia.


Meditations for Each Day of Lent by Saint Thomas Aquinas – Passion Wednesday

25 March 2015

25 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 Wednesday

On Being Buried Spiritually

The sepulchre is a figure by which is signified the contemplation of heavenly things. So, St. Gregory, commenting on the words of Job (iii. 22), They rejoice exceedingly when they have found the grave, says, “As in the grave the body is hidden away when dead, so in divine contemplation there lies concealed the soul, dead to the world. There, at rest from the world’s clamour, it lies, in a three days burial through, as it were, its triple immersion in baptism. Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy face from the disturbance of men (Ps. xxx. 21). Those in great trouble, tormented with the hates of men, enter in spirit the presence of God and they are at rest.”

Three things are required for this spiritual burial in God, namely, that the mind be perfected by the virtues, that the mind be all bright and shining with purity, and that it be wholly dead to this world. All these things are shown figuratively in the burial of Christ.

The first is shown in St. Mark s Gospel where we read how Mary Magdalen anointed Our Lord for His burial by anticipation, as it were. She hath done what she could: she is come beforehand to anoint my body for the burial (Mark xiv. 8). The ointment of precious spikenard (ibid, iii) stands for the virtues, for it is a thing very precious, and in this life nothing is more precious than the virtues. The soul that wishes to be holy and to be buried in divine contemplation, must first, then, anoint itself by the exercise of the virtues. Job (v. 26) says, Thou shalt enter into the grave in abundance–and the Gloss explains the grave as meaning here, “divine contemplation”–as a heap of wheat is brought in its season, and the explanation given in the Gloss is that eternal contemplation is the prize of a life of action, and therefore it must be that the perfect, first of all, exercise their souls in the virtues and then, afterwards, bury them in the barn where all quiet is gathered.

The second of the three things required is also noted in St. Mark, where we read (xv. 46) that Joseph bought a winding sheet, that is, a sheet of fine linen, which is only brought to its dazzling whiteness with great labour. Hence it signifies that brightness of the soul, which also is not perfectly attained except with great labour. He that is just let him be justified still (Apoc. xxii. 11). Let us walk in newness of life (Rom. vi. 4), going from good to better, through the justice inaugurated by faith to the glory for which we hope. Therefore it is that men, bright with a spotless interior life, should be buried in the sepulchre of divine contemplation. St. Jerome, commenting on the words, Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God (Matt. v. 8), says, ” The clean Lord is seen by the clean of heart.”

The third point for consideration is given by St. John where, in his gospel (xix. 30), he writes, Nicodemus also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. This hundred pounds weight of myrrh and aloes, brought to preserve the dead body, symbolises that perfect mortification of the external senses, the means by which the spirit, dead to the world, is preserved from the vices that would corrupt it. Though our outward man is corrupted, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (2 Cor. iv. 16), which is as much as to say the inward man is most thoroughly purified from vices by the fire of tribulation.

Therefore man’s soul must first, with Christ, become dead to this world, and then, afterwards, be buried with Him in the hiding place of divine contemplation. St. Paul says, You are dead with Christ, to the things that, are vain and fleeting, and your life is hid with Christ in God (Col. iii. 3).


Meditations for Each Day of Lent by Saint Thomas Aquinas – Passion Tuesday

24 March 2015

Passion Tuesday
24 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 Tuesday

The Burial of Christ

She hath wrought a good work upon Me. She in pouring this ointment upon Me hath done it for my burial.–Matt. xxvi. 10-12.>

It was right that Christ should be buried.

1. It proved that He had really died. No one is placed in the grave unless he is undeniably dead. And, as we read in St. Mark (ch. xv), Pilate, before he gave leave for Christ to be buried, made careful enquiry to assure himself that Christ was dead.

2. The very fact that Christ rose again from the grave gives a hope of rising again through Him to all others who lie in their graves. As it says in the gospel, All that are in the grave shall hear the voice of the Son of God. And they that hear shall live (John v. 28, 25).

3. It was an example for those who by the death of Christ are spiritually dead to sin, for those, that is, who are hidden away from the turmoil of human affairs. So St. Paul says, You are dead; and your life is hid with Christ in God (Col. iii. 3). So, too, those who are baptised, since by the death of Christ they die to sin, are as it were buried with Christ in their immersion, as St. Paul again says, We are buried together with Christ by baptism unto death (Rom. vi. 4).

As the death of Christ efficiently wrought our salvation, so too is His burial effective for us. St. Jerome, for example, says, “By the burial of Christ we all rise again,” and explaining the words of Isaias (liii. 9), He shall give the ungodly for His burial, the Gloss says, “This means He shall give to God and the Father the nations lacking in filial devotion: for through His death and burial He has obtained possession of them.”

The Psalm (Ps. Ixxxvii. 6) says, I am become as a man without help, free among the dead. Christ by being buried showed Himself free among the dead indeed, for His being enclosed in the tomb was not allowed to hinder His coming forth in the Resurrection.


Meditations for Each Day of Lent by Saint Thomas Aquinas – Passion Monday

23 March 2015

23 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 Monday

The Passion of Christ is a Remedy Against Sin

We find in the Passion of Christ a remedy against all the evils that we incur through sin. Now these evils are five in number. (i) We ourselves become unclean. When a man commits any sin he soils his soul, for just as virtue is the beauty of the soul, so sin is a stain upon it. How happeneih it, O Israel, that thou art in thy enemies land? Thou art grown old in a strange country, thou art defiled with the dead (Baruch iii. 10, 11).

The Passion of Christ takes away this stain. For Christ, by His Passion, made of His blood a bath wherein He might wash sinners. The soul is washed with the blood of Christ in Baptism, for it is from the blood of Christ that the sacrament draws its power of giving new life. When therefore one who is baptised soils himself again by sin, he insults Christ and sins more deeply than before.

(ii) We offend God. As the man who is fleshly-minded loves what is beautiful to the flesh, so God loves spiritual beauty, the beauty of the soul. When the soul’s beauty is defiled by sin God is offended, and holds the offender in hatred. But the Passion of Christ takes away this hatred, for it does what man himself could not possibly do, namely it makes full satisfaction to God for the sin. The love and obedience of Christ was greater than the sin and rebellion of Adam.

(iii) We ourselves are weakened. Man believes that, once he has committed the sin, he will be able to keep from sin for the future. Experience shows that what really happens is quite otherwise. The effect of the first sin is to weaken the sinner and make him still more inclined to sin. Sin dominates man more and more, and man left to himself, whatever his powers, places himself in such a state that he cannot rise from it. Like a man who has thrown himself into a well, there he must lie, unless he is drawn up by some divine power. After the sin of Adam, then, our human nature was weaker, it had lost its perfection and men were more prone to sinning.

But Christ, although He did not utterly make an end of this weakness, nevertheless greatly lessened it. Man is so strengthened by the Passion of Christ and the effect of Adam’s sin is so weakened that he is no longer dominated by it. Helped by the grace of God, given him in the sacraments, which derive their power from the Passion of Christ, man is now able to make an effort and so rise up from his sins. Before the Passion of Christ there were few who lived without mortal sin, but since the Passion many have lived and do live without it.

(iv) Liability to the punishment earned by sin. This the justice of God demanded, namely, that for each sin the sinner should be punished, the penalty to be measured according to the sin. Whence, since mortal sin is infinitely wicked, seeing that it is a sin against what is infinitely good, that is to say, God whose commands the sin despises, the punishment due to mortal sin is infinite too.

But by His Passion Christ took away from us this penalty, for He endured it Himself. Who His own self bore our sins, that is the punishment due to us for our sins, in his body upon the tree (i Pet. ii. 24).

So great was the power and value of the Passion of Christ that it was sufficient to expiate all the sins of all the world, reckoned by millions though they be. This is the reason why baptism frees the baptised from all their sins, and why the priest can forgive sin. This is why the man who more and more fashions his life in conformity with the Passion of Christ, and makes himself like to Christ in His Passion, attains an ever fuller pardon and ever greater graces.

(v) Banishment from the kingdom. Subjects who offend the king are sent into exile. So, too, man was expelled from Paradise. Adam, having sinned, was straightway thrown out and the gates barred against him.

But, by His Passion, Christ opened those gates, and called back the exiles from banishment. As the side of Christ opened to the soldier’s lance, the gates of heaven opened to man, and as Christ’s blood flowed, the stain was washed out, God was appeased, our weakness taken away, amends made for our sins, and the exiles were recalled. Thus it was that Our Lord said immediately to the repentant thief, This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise (Luke xxiii. 43). Such a thing was never before said to any man, not to Adam nor to Abraham, nor even to David. But This day, the day on which the gate is opened, the thief does but ask and he finds. Having confidence in the entering into the holies by the blood of Christ (Heb. x. 19).

Meditations for Each Day of Lent by Saint Thomas Aquinas – Saturday after the Fourth Sunday of Lent

21 March 2015

21 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

Saturday after the Fourth Sunday of Lent

There was not any more fitting way to free the Human Race than through the Passion of Christ

The suitability of any particular way for the attainment of a given end is reckoned according to the greater or less number of things useful to that end which the way in question brings about. The more things helpful to the end the method chosen brings about, the better and more suitable is that method or way. Now owing to the fact that it was through the Passion of Christ that man was delivered, many things, helpful to man’s salvation, came together in addition to his being freed from sin.

(i) Thanks to the fact that it was through the Passion that man was delivered, man learns how much God loves him, and is thereby stimulated to that love of God, in which is to be found the perfection of man’s salvation. God commendeth His charity towards us: because when as yet we were sinners Christ died for us (Rom. v. 8).

(ii) In the Passion He gave us an example of obedience, humility, constancy, justice and of other virtues also, all of which we must practise if we are to be saved. Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow His steps (i Pet. ii. 21).

(iii) Christ by His Passion not only delivered man from sin, but also merited for man the grace which makes him acceptable to God, and the glory of life with God for eternity.

(iv) The fact that it is through the Passion that man has been saved, brings home to man the need of keeping himself clear from sin. Man has only to realise that it was at the price of the blood of Christ that he was bought back from sin. You are bought with a great price. Glorify God and bear Him in your body (i Cor. vi. 20).

(v) The fact that the Passion was the way chosen heightens the dignity of human nature. As it was man that was deceived and conquered by the devil, so now it is man by whom the devil in turn is conquered. As it was man who once earned death, so it is man who, by dying, has overcome death. Thanks be to God who hath given us the victory through Our Lord Jesus Christ (i Cor. xv. 57).


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