Posts Tagged Meditation

31 Meditations for Advent and Christmas: Day Fifteen

13 December 2016

“The King Who is to come; O come let us adore Him.”


mary in rose bower
We are all bound to serve our King and fight against His enemies, but this obligation we are too prone to forget, and our King therefore has issued an appeal to all who recognize His sovereignty, and has called upon them to come and fight with Him. The object of His campaign is to drive back the host of enemies who are seeking to rob Him of His sovereignty, and to corrupt and destroy His subjects, and to bring destruction on all who are fighting in His cause. The campaign may be a long one, but our King can absolutely promise ultimate victory to every one who will serve Him faithfully. Who would not be anxious to serve a King who could make such a promise as this?

SourceL Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals

But our King does far more than this. He offers to share with His soldiers all the hardships of the campaign, all the sufferings, all the weariness, all the physical exhaustion and all the mental anxiety and pain. He does more; He offers to undergo (and has actually undergone) all these hardships and sufferings in a far worse form and a far more acute degree than that which will be imposed on any of His soldiers. He further promises that in every danger and suffering He will be at their side to help and comfort them, and enable them to be victorious in every struggle.

He also promises that His faithful soldiers, one and all, shall share in all the fruits of the victory. His glory will be their glory. His joy their joy. His happiness their happiness. They shall come and join with Him in His triumph, and shall dwell with Him forever. What shall we say of one who does not accept such an offer as this, or who is careless and disloyal in such a service?

31 Meditations for Advent and Christmas: Day Twelve

9 December 2016


“The King Who is to come; O come let us adore Him.”


The just and holy God cannot allow a single act of rebellion against Jesus Christ our King to go unpunished. Even if the rebel submits, some punishment must be inflicted. But what if he does not submit?

The sentence passed upon every such rebel is perpetual banishment from the presence of the King–“Depart from Me, ye cursed.” This sentence implies misery through all eternity, for to be deprived of God, when we have once appreciated, even in the faintest degree, His infinite beauty, will fill the heart of the exile with such a continual longing after Him, that the consciousness that this longing will never be satisfied, will fill him with remorse, dismay, terror, self-reproach, hopelessness, despair. O my God, grant that I may never be separated from Thee!

To the sentence of banishment is added the King’s anathema–“ye cursed.” The curse of God carries with it every possible misfortune. It blights a man’s whole being. All his faculties are to him sources of pain instead of pleasure. The senses, instead of admitting to his soul that which causes it satisfaction, will only admit what is a cause of pain. The memory will call up all that is horrible –the intellect will be deprived of truth; and the heart of peace, of love, while hatred, hatred of all the world, hatred of self will take its place. May I, through God’s mercy, never fall under the curse of our King.

Besides all this, the body will suffer its own punishment, and that punishment will be the pain of burning, of all pains the one that we most dread. “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.” May this thought help me to have a whole- some fear of any sort of rebellion, and of all that leads to it.

31 Meditations for Advent and Christmas: Day Eleven

8 December 2016


“The King Who is to come; O come let us adore Him.”


Rebellion consists in any willful disobedience to the express commands of our King in order to gratify our own will, or promote what seems to us to be our interest. Let us see what such disobedience involves.

It involves a preference of ourselves to God our King, of our supposed advantage to His glory. It thus reverses the order of Divine Providence. The disobedient man places himself, so to speak, above his King, and, instead of serving his King, seeks to make his King serve him. He who is Lord of Heaven and earth is set aside for a miserable worm, made of the dust of the earth, who is of no account and nothing. What insolence could be greater than this?

Every act of disobedience treats as of no account the Passion and Death of our King. It deliberately adds to His suffering, and if it is a serious act of disobedience it in some way shares the malice and cruelty of those who scourged and mocked Christ, and put Him to death. St. Paul tells us that when, after swearing allegiance to Him, we afterwards join the ranks of His enemies, we “crucify the Son of God afresh, and put Him to open shame.” What is not deserved by those who are guilty of such infamy?

Rebellion and disobedience to our King are also the most frightful ingratitude. Nothing is more hateful than to return evil for good. When we think of the most generous sacrifice of Himself that our King made of His life for us, what can be more shamelessly base and ungrateful than to insult and outrage Him in return. Yet this, (alas!) is what I have too often done.

Source: Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals

31 Meditations for #Advent and #Christmas 8th Day: HIS SOLDIERS’ ARMOR

5 December 2016

“The King Who is to come; O come let us adore Him.”


To the soldiers of our King the shield of Faith is indispensable. Without Faith it is impossible to please God, and without Faith no one can be a true soldier of Jesus Christ. It is the Faith of the Christian that overcomes the world and puts the devil to flight. The Faith of the martyrs won them their crown; the Faith of confessors enabled them to work miracles; it is this Faith which is dear to every true Catholic beyond all else. And this Faith must be a living Faith, if it is to avail us against the foe. It must be actuated by charity; it must comprise firm confidence in God and dependence on Him. With such a Faith we are secure against all the assaults of the King’s enemies.

christian soldierThe Christian soldier must also have the sword of the Spirit, which is the “Word of God,” and which consists in obedience to all those holy inspirations that God puts into our minds, and all the holy lessons that we learn from Holy Scripture, the sermons we hear, the pious books we read, and the example of others. These holy inspirations are chiefly gained in prayer, and without prayer we shall never be safe. Without prayer we never shall be able to put the devil to flight, and to withstand the seductive influence of the world, and the temptations of the flesh.

The Christian soldier must also be clothed with the breastplates of justice. Justice is the virtue which makes us give to each his due, and primarily which makes us give God His due. To God we owe everything we have; nothing is really our own. Yet how grudging we are in giving to God His due in our worship, in our alms, in our remembrance of Him, and our dependence upon Him.


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

23 March 2016

“Spy Wednesday”
Wednesday in Holy Week
16 April 2014 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

Wednesday in Holy Week

Three things are symbolised by the washing of the Feet

He putteth “water into a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded–(John xiii. 5).

There are three things which this can be taken to symbolise. 1. The pouring of the water into the basin is a symbol of the pouring out of His blood upon the earth. Since the blood of Jesus has a power of cleansing it may in a sense be called water. The reason why water, as well as blood, came out of His side, was to show that this blood could wash away sin.

Again we might take the water as a figure of Christ’s Passion. He putteth water into a basin, that is, by faith and devotion He stamped into the minds of faithful followers the memory of His Passion. Remember my poverty, and transgression, the wormwood and the gall (Lam. iii. 19).

2. By the words and began to wash it is human imperfection that is symbolised. For the Apostles, after their living with Christ, were certainly more perfect, and yet they needed to be washed, there were still stains upon them. We are here made to understand that no matter what is the degree of any man’s perfection he still needs to be made more perfect still; He is still contracting uncleanness of some kind to some extent. So in the Book of Proverbs we read, Who can say My heart is clean I am pure from sin (Prov. xx. 9).

Nevertheless the Apostles and the just have this kind of uncleanness only in their feet.

There are however others who are infected, not only in their feet, but wholly and entirely. Those who make their bed upon the soiling attractions of the world are made wholly unclean thereby. Those who wholly, that is to say, with their senses and with their wills, cleave to their desire of earthly things, these are wholly unclean.

But they who do not thus lie down, they who stand, that is, they who, in mind and in desire, are tending towards heavenly things, contract this uncleanness in their feet. Whoever stands must, necessarily, touch the earth at least with his feet. And we, too, in this life, where we must, to maintain life, make use of earthly things, cannot but contract a certain uncleanness, at least as far as those desires and inclinations are concerned which begin in our senses.

Therefore Our Lord commanded His disciples to shake off the dust from their feet. The text says, “He began to wash,” because this washing away on earth of the affection for earthly things is only a beginning. It is only in the life to come that it will be really complete.

Thus by putting water into the basin, the pouring out of His blood is signified, and by His beginning to wash the feet of His disciples the washing away of our sins.

3. There is symbolised finally Our Lord’s taking upon Him the punishment due to our sins. Not only did He wash away our sins but He also took upon Himself the punishment that they had earned. For our pains and our penances would not suffice were they not founded in the merit and the power of the Passion of Christ. And this is shown in His wiping the feet of the disciples with the linen towel, that is the towel which is His body.

Meditations for Each Day of Lent by Saint Thomas Aquinas – Tuesday After First Sunday of Lent

16 February 2016

From the website, Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals

Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Santi de Tito 1593

by St. Thomas Aquinas

Tuesday After First Sunday of Lent

Christ underwent every kind of suffering

Why have the Gentiles raged; and the people devised vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together against the Lord and against his Christ (Ps. ii. i, 2).

“Every kind of suffering.” The things men suffer may be understood in two ways. By “kind” we may mean a particular, individual suffering, and in this sense there was no reason why Christ should suffer every kind of suffering, for many kinds of suffering are contrary the one to the other, as for example, to be burnt and to be drowned. We are of course speaking of Our Lord as suffering from causes outside himself, for to suffer the suffering effected by internal causes, such as bodily sickness, would not have become him. But if by “kind” we mean the class, then Our Lord did suffer by every kind of suffering, as we can show in three ways:

1. By considering the men through whom He suffered. For He suffered something at the hands of Gentiles and of Jews, of men and even of women as the story of the servant girl who accused St. Peter goes to show. He suffered, again, at the hands of rulers, of their ministers, and of the people, as was prophesied, Why have the Gentiles raged; and the people devised vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together against the Lord and against his Christ (Ps. ii. i, 2).

He suffered, too, from His friends, the men He knew best, for Peter denied Him and Judas betrayed Him.

2. If we consider the things through which suffering is possible. Christ suffered in the friends who deserted Him, and in His good name through the blasphemies uttered against Him. He suffered in the respect, in the glory, due to Him through the derision and contempt bestowed upon Him. He suffered in things, for He was stripped even of His clothing; in His soul, through sadness, through weariness and through fear; in His body through wounds and the scourging.

3. If we consider what He underwent in His various parts. His head suffered through the crown of piercing thorns, His hands and feet through the nails driven through them, His face from the blows and the defiling spittle, and His whole body through the scourging.

He suffered in every sense of His body. Touch was afflicted by the scourging and the nailing, taste by the vinegar and gall, smell by the stench of corpses as He hung on the cross in that place of the dead which is called Calvary. His hearing was torn with the voices of mockers and blasphemers, and He saw the tears of His mother and of the disciple whom He loved. If we only consider the amount of suffering required, it is true that one suffering alone, the least indeed of all, would have sufficed to redeem the human race from all its sins. But if we look at the fitness of the matter, it had to be that Christ should suffer in all the kinds of sufferings.

Meditations for Each Day of Lent by Saint Thomas Aquinas – Monday After First Sunday of Lent

15 February 2016

From the website, Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals

Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Santi de Tito 1593

by St. Thomas Aquinas

Christ had to be tempted in the desert

He was in the desert forty days and forty nights: and was tempted by Satan. Mark i. 13.

He was in the desert forty days and forty nights: and was tempted by Satan. Mark i. 13.

1. It was by Christ’s own will that He was exposed to the temptation by the devil, as it was also by His own will that He was exposed to be slain by the limbs of the devil. Had He not so willed, the devil would never have dared to approach Him.

The devil is always more disposed to attack those who are alone, because, as is said in Sacred Scripture, If a man shall prevail against one, two shall with stand him easily (Eccles. iv. 12). That is why Christ went out into the desert, as one going out to a battle-ground, that there He might be tempted by the devil. Whereupon St. Ambrose says that Christ went into the desert for the express purpose of provoking the devil. For unless the devil had fought, Christ would never have overcome him for me.

St. Ambrose gives other reasons too. He says that Christ chose the desert as the place to be tempted for a hidden reason, namely that he might free from His exile Adam who, from Paradise, was driven into the desert; and again that He did it for a reason in which there is no mystery, namely to show us that the devil envies those who are tending towards a better life.

2. We say with St. Chrysostom that Christ exposed Himself to the temptation because the devil most of all tempts those whom he sees alone. So in the very beginning of things he tempted the woman, when he found her away from her husband. It does not however follow from this that a man ought to throw himself into any occasion of temptation that presents itself.

Occasions of temptation are of two kinds. One kind arises from man’s own action, when, for example, man himself goes near to sin, not avoiding the occasion of sin. That such occasions are to be avoided we know, and Holy Scripture reminds us of it. Stay not in any part of the country round about Sodom (Gen. xix. 17). The second kind of occasion arises from the devil’s constant envy of those who are tending to better things, as St. Ambrose says, and this occasion of temptation is not one we must avoid. So, according to St. John Chrysostom, not only Christ was led into the desert by the Holy Ghost, but all the children of God who possess the Holy Ghost are led in like manner. For God’s children are never content to sit down with idle hands, but the Holy Ghost ever urges them to undertake for God some great work. And this, as far as the devil is concerned, is to go into the desert, for in the desert there is none of that wickedness which is the devil’s delight. Every good work is as it were a desert to the eye of the world and of our flesh, for good works are contrary to the desire of the world and of our flesh.

To give the devil such an opportunity of temptation as this is not dangerous, for it is much more the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, who is the promoter of every perfect work, that prompts us than the working of the devil who hates them all.

Meditations for Each Day of Lent by Saint Thomas Aquinas – The Third Sunday of Lent

8 March 2015

8 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

Third Sunday of Lent

It is the Passion of Christ that has freed us from sin

He hath loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.–Apoc. 1. 5.

The Passion of Christ is the proper cause of the remission of our sins, and that in three ways

1.Because it provokes us to love God. St. Paul says, God commendeth his charity towards us; because when as yet we were sinners Christ died for us (Rom. v. 8).

Through charity we obtain forgiveness for sin, as it says in the gospel, Many sins are forgiven her because she hath loved much (Luke vii. 47).

2.The Passion of Christ is the cause of the forgiveness of sins because it is an act of redemption. Since Christ is Himself our head, He has, by His own Passion undertaken from love and obedience delivered us His members from our sins, as it were at the price of His Passion. Just as a man might by some act of goodness done with his hands buy himself off for a wrong thing he had done with his feet. For as man’s natural body is a unity, made up of different limbs, so the whole Church, which is the mystical body of Christ, is reckoned as a single person with its own head, and this head is Christ.

3.The Passion of Christ was a thing equal to its task. For the human nature through which Christ suffered His Passion is the instrument of His divine nature. Whence all the actions and all the sufferings of that human nature wrought to drive out sin, are wrought by a power that is divine.

Christ, in His Passion, delivered us from our sins in a causal way, that is to say, He set up for us a thing which would be a cause of our emancipation, a thing whereby any sin might at any time be remitted, whether committed now, or in times gone by, or in time to come: much as a physician might make a medicine from which all who are sick may be healed, even those sick in the years yet to come.

But since what gives the Passion of Christ its excellence is the fact that it is the universal cause of the forgiveness of sins, it is necessary that we each of us ourselves make use of it for the forgiveness of our own particular sins. This is done through Baptism, Penance and the other sacraments, whose power derives from the Passion of Christ.

By faith also we make use of the Passion of Christ, in order to receive its fruits, as St. Paul says, Christ Jesus, whom God hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in His blood (Rom. iii 25). But the faith by which we are cleansed from sin is not that faith which can exist side by side with sin–the faith called formless–but faith formed, that is to say, faith made alive by charity. So that the Passion of Christ is not through faith applied merely to our understanding but also to our will. Again, it is from the power of the Passion of Christ that the sins are forgiven which are forgiven by faith in this way.

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

7 March 2015

7 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 Second Sunday of Lent

The Passion of Christ wrought our salvation by redeeming us

St. Peter says, You were not redeemed with corruptible things as gold or silver, from your vain conversation of the tradition of your fathers: but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb unspotted and undefiled (I Pet. 1. 18).

St. Paul says, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us (Gal. iii. 13). He is said to be accursed in our place inasmuch as it was for us that He suffered on the cross. Therefore by His Passion He redeemed us.

Sin, in fact, had bound man with a double obligation.

(i) An obligation that made him sin’s slave. For Jesus said, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin (John viii. 34). A man is enslaved to whoever overcomes him. Therefore since the devil, in inducing man to sin, had overcome man, man was bound in servitude to the devil.

(ii) A further obligation existed, namely between man and the penalty due for the sin committed, and man was bound in this way in accord with the justice of God. This too was a kind of servitude, for to servitude or slavery it belongs that a man must suffer otherwise than he chooses, since the free man is the man who uses himself as he wills.

Since then the Passion of Christ made sufficient, and more than sufficient, satisfaction for the sins of all mankind and for the penalty due to them, the Passion was a kind of price through which we were free from both these obligations. For the satisfaction itself that by means of which one makes satisfaction, whether for oneself or for another is spoken of as a kind of price by which one redeems or buys back oneself or another from sin and from merited penalties. So in Holy Scripture it is said, Redeem thou thy sins with alms (Dan. iv. 24).

Christ made satisfaction not indeed by a gift of money or anything of that sort, but by a gift that was the greatest of all, by giving for us Himself. And thus it is that the Passion of Christ is called our redemption.

By sinning man bound himself not to God but to the devil. As far as concerns the guilt of what he did, he had offended God and had made himself subject to the devil, assenting to his will.

Hence he did not, by reason of the sin committed, bind himself to God, but rather, deserting God’s service, he had fallen under the yoke of the devil. And God, with justice if we remember the offence committed against Him, had not prevented this.

But, if we consider the matter of the punishment earned, it was chiefly and in the first place to God that man was bound, as to the supreme judge. Man was, in respect of punishment, bound to the devil only in a lesser sense, as to the torturer, as it says in the gospel, Lest the adversary deliver thee to the judge and the judge deliver thee to the officer (Matt. v. 25), that is, to the cruel minister of punishments.

Therefore, although the devil unjustly, as far as was in his power, held man whom by his lies he had deceived bound in slavery, held him bound both on account of the guilt and of the punishment due for it, it was nevertheless just that man should suffer in this way. The slavery which he suffered on account of the thing done God did not prevent, and the slavery he suffered as punishment God decreed.

Therefore it was in regard to God’s claims that justice called for man to be redeemed, and not in regard to the devil’s hold on us. And it was to God the price was paid and not to the devil.

Meditations for Each Day of Lent by Saint Thomas Aquinas – Friday after the Second Sunday of Lent

6 March 2015

6 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

Friday after the Second Sunday of Lent

Feast of the Holy Winding Sheet

Joseph taking the body, wrapped it up in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new monument.– Matt, xxvii. 59.

By this clean linen cloth three things are signified in a hidden way, namely:

(i) The pure body of Christ. For the cloth was made of linen which by much pressing is made white and in like manner it was after much pressure that the body of Christ came to the brightness of the resurrection. Thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise again from the dead the third day (Luke xxiv. 46).

(ii) The Church, which without spot or wrinkle (Eph. v. 27), is signified by this linen woven out of many threads.

(iii) A clear conscience, where Christ reposes.

And laid him in his own new monument. It was Joseph’s own grave and certainly it was some how appropriate that he who had died for the sins of others should be buried in another man’s grave.

Notice that it was a new grave. Had other bodies already been laid in it, there might have been a doubt which had arisen. There is another fitness in this circumstance, namely that he who was buried in this new grave, was He who was born of a virgin mother.

As Mary’s womb knew no child before Him nor after Him, so was it with this grave. Again we may understand that it is in a soul renewed that Christ is buried by faith, that Christ may dwell by faith in our hearts (Eph. iii. 17).

St. John’s Gospel adds, Now there was in the place where He was crucified, a garden ; and in the garden a new sepulchre (John xix. 41). Which recalls to us that as Christ was taken in a garden and suffered His agony in a garden, so in a garden was He buried, and thereby we are reminded that it was from the sin committed by Adam in the garden of delightfulness that, by the power of His Passion, Christ set us free, and also that through the Passion the Church was consecrated, the Church which again is as a garden closed.

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