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

15 April 2017

“Holy Saturday”

From the website, Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals

Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Santi de Tito 1593

by St. Thomas Aquinas

Holy Saturday

Why our Lord went down to Limbo

From the descent of Christ to hell we may learn, for our instruction, four things:

1. Firm hope in God. No matter what the trouble in which a man finds himself, he should always put trust in God’s help and rely on it. There is no trouble greater than to find oneself in hell. If then Christ freed those who were in hell, any man who is a friend of God cannot but have great confidence that he too shall be freed from what-ever anxiety holds him. Wisdom forsook not the just when he was sold, but delivered him from sinners; she went down with him into the pit and in bands she left him not (Wis. x. 13-14). And since to His servants God gives a special assistance, he who serves God should have still greater confidence. He that fear eth the Lord shall tremble at nothing and shall not be afraid: for he is his hope (Ecclus. xxxiv. 16).

2. We ought to conceive fear and to rid our selves of presumption. For although Christ suffered for sinners, and went down into hell to set them free, he did not set all sinners free, but only those who were free of mortal sin. Those who had died in mortal sin He left there. Wherefore for those who have gone down to hell in mortal sin there remains no hope of pardon. They shall be in hell as the holy Fathers are in heaven, that is for ever.

3. We ought to be full of care. Christ went down into hell for our salvation, and we should be careful frequently to go down there too, turning over in our minds hell’s pain and penalties, as did the holy king Ezechias as we read in the prophecy of Isaias, I said : In the midst of my days I shall go to the gates of hell (Isaias xxxviii. 10).< ?blockquote>


Meditations for Each Day of Lent by Saint Thomas Aquinas – Good Friday

14 April 2017

“Good Friday”
14 April 2017 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

Good Friday

The Death of Christ

That Christ should die was expedient.

1. To make our redemption complete. For, although any suffering of Christ had an infinite value, because of its union with His divinity, it was not by no matter which of His sufferings that the redemption of mankind was made complete, but only by His death. So the Holy Spirit declared speaking through the mouth of Caiaphas, It is expedient for you that one man shall die for the people (John xi. 50). Whence St. Augustine says, “Let us stand in wonder, rejoice, be glad, love, praise, and adore since it is by the death of our Redeemer, that we have been called from death to life, from exile to our own land, from mourning to joy.”

2. To increase our faith, our hope and our charity. With regard to faith the Psalm says (Ps. cxl. 10), I am alone until I pass from this world, that is, to the Father. When I shall have passed to the Father, then shall I be multiplied. Unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die itself remaineth alone (John xii. 24).

As to the increase of hope St, Paul writes, He that spared not even his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how hath he not also, with him, given us all things? (Rom. viii. 32). God cannot deny us this, for to give us all things is less than to give His own Son to death for us. St. Bernard says, “Who is not carried away to hope and confidence in prayer, when he looks on the crucifix and sees how Our Lord hangs there, the head bent as though to kiss, the arms outstretched in an embrace, the hands pierced to give, the side opened to love, the feet nailed to remain with us.”

Come, my dove, in the clefts of the rock (Cant. ii. 14). It is in the wounds of Christ the Church builds its nest and waits, for it is in the Passion of Our Lord that she places her hope of salvation, and thereby trusts to be protected from the craft of the falcon, that is, of the devil.

With regard to the increase of charity, Holy Scripture says, At noon he burneth the earth (Ecclus. xliii. 3), that is to say, in the fervour of His Passion He burns up all mankind with His love. So St. Bernard says, “The chalice thou didst drink, O good Jesus, maketh thee lovable above all things.” The work of our redemption easily, brushing aside all hindrances, calls out in return the whole of our love. This it is which more gently draws out our devotion, builds it up more straightly, guards it more closely, and fires it with greater ardour.


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

9 April 2017

Holy Week Begins: Palm Sunday
11April 2017 Anno Domini

From the website, Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals

Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Santi de Tito 1593

by St. Thomas Aquinas


Holy Week: Palm Sunday

 

Christ’s Passion Serves us as an Example

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Meditations for #Lent by Saint Thomas Aquinas – Passion Sunday

2 April 2017

From the website, Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals

Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Santi de Tito 1593

by St. Thomas Aquinas

Passion Sunday

The Passion of Christ

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert so must the Son of Man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish; but may have life everlasting.–John iii. 14, 15

We may note here three things. 1. The Figure of the Passion. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert. When the Jews said, Our soul now loatheth this very light food (Num. xxi. 5), the Lord sent serpents in punishment, and afterwards, for a remedy, He commanded the brazen serpent to be made–as a remedy against the serpents and also as a figure of the Passion. It is the nature of a serpent to be poisonous, but the brazen serpent had no poison. It was but the figure of a poisonous serpent. So also Christ had no sin, which is the poison, but He had the likeness of sin. God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and of sin (Rom. viii. 3). Therefore Christ had the effect of the serpent against the movements of our blazing desires.

2. The Mode of the Passion. So must the Son of Man be lifted up. This refers to His being raised upon the cross. He willed to die lifted up, (i) To purify the air: already He had purified the earth by the holiness of His living there, it still remained for Him to purify, by His dying there, the air; (ii) To triumph over the devils, who in the air, make their preparations to war on us; (iii) To draw our hearts to His heart, I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all things to myself (John xii. 32). Since in the death of the cross He was exalted, and since it was there that He overcame His enemies, we say that He was exalted rather than that He died. He shall drink of the torrent by the way side; therefore shall Hie lift up His head (Ps. cix. 7).

The cross was the cause of His exaltation. He became obedient unto death even to the death of the cross, wherefore God hath exalted Him (Phil. ii. 8).

3. The Fruit of the Passion. The fruit is eternal life. Whence Our Lord says Himself, Whosoever believeth in Him, doing good works, may not perish, but may have life everlasting (John iii. 16).

And this fruit corresponds to the fruit of the serpent that foreshadowed Him. For whoever looked upon the brazen serpent was delivered from the poison and his life was preserved. Now the man who looks upon the Son of Man lifted up is the man who believes in Christ crucified, and it is in this way that he is delivered from the poison that is sin and preserved for the life that is eternal.


31 Meditations for Advent and Christmas Day 22

20 December 2016

livonian_knights

The King Who is to come; O come let us adore Him
22nd Day: THE OFFICERS OF OUR KING

Our King, in dealing with His subjects, does not issue all His commands Himself. He follows the method of all human government, and has officers who give their orders in His name and with His authority. Who are these officers?

They are the Bishops and Priests of the Church that He has founded who remain faithful to Him and His teachings. To these He expressly says, “He who hears you, hears Me.” They bear His Divine authority. They are one and all, in their several degrees, the successors of His Apostles.

But there are other officers of my King who hold their commission from Him. Every lawful government in the civil order is a power appointed by Him, and every kind of natural authority, whether of parents, teachers, or other superiors, marks those who hold it as delegates of our King. Do I remember this when I am tempted to show disobedience or disrespect to my superiors, or to speak slightingly of them?

But if we are thus most strictly bound to obey the King’s officers, we must also remember that there are very few of us who are not in some way officers in our turn, and that the influence we have with others, and the right we have to command others, makes our position a very responsible one. We shall be more severely judged for our own words and actions if, through our fault, our subordinates fall away.

Source: CatholicHarborofFaithandMorals.com


31 Meditations for Advent and Christmas Day Twenty One

19 December 2016

angels

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

21st Day:   THE KING’S MESSENGERS

Our King has a countless number of messengers, angels, whom He employs to carry His messages to His soldiers on earth, to execute His orders, and to bring back to Him a report of their welfare and their doings. What are the tidings that they have to carry to and fro?

Sometimes they carry words of comfort and encouragement to the servants of God, consoling them in distress and in anguish, as the Angel of the Passion consoled our King Himself. Sometimes, too, they exhort and reprove, speaking in the name of our King Himself. “Do not think him one to be condemned,” says Holy Scripture, “for My name is in him; and if thou wilt hear his voice, I will be an enemy to thy enemies, and will afflict them, who afflict thee.” Am I obedient to the message of my King, when it is whispered in my ears?

Sometimes these holy messengers are sent to do works of mercy or of vengeance. How often has one of them turned aside from bodily or spiritual harm some servant of our King! How often through their means have the servants of our King triumphed over their foes! I think far too little of these invisible messengers and of all that they have done for me. If I realized how much they have done for me I should be more constant in honoring them.

These messengers also carry before the throne of our King the story of the struggle between His soldiers and their foes. Sometimes they carry the glad report of some victory won by a servant of God over his passions; sometimes they cry for vengeance on those who have given scandal; sometimes they offer to God our prayers. What sort of reports do they carry about me to my King?


31 Meditations for Advent and Christmas: Day Eighteen

16 December 2016

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

18th Day: THE EXAMPLE OF OUR KING

letusadorehimnativity1How can we poor, weak and sinful men ever hope to conform ourselves to the example of our King and God, the Spotless Lamb of God? Is not the task an impossible one? No, it is possible, and within our reach, for–

The prevailing feature of His life was unselfishness, and we all can be unselfish if we choose, and love unselfishness, and wish to be ourselves unselfish. To call anyone selfish, is to brand him at once as one whom we cannot love, or even esteem; as a despicable character, and as one whom we shall do well to avoid. On the other hand, a thoroughly unselfish man cannot fail to be loved; there is something very attractive about him; we rejoice in his society; we wish to be like him. And unselfishness is, besides, within everyone’s reach. Hence our King, in giving us a pattern of unselfishness, gives us a pattern of the most attractive of all qualities, and one within everyone’s reach.

Our King in proposing Himself for our example, puts forward another virtue, which we all can imitate, and which in us is but common sense. “Learn of Me,” He says “for I am meek and humble of heart.” Now humility in us is but the esteeming ourselves at our true value; in recognizing that we have nothing good of our own; and that we are therefore to be placed below others, not above them. This we can all practice, and must practice, if we are to be like to our King, who humbled Himself.

The third point in which we can easily imitate our King is obedience. He was obedient in every detail of His life to the will of His eternal Father. If we try in all the particulars of our life to do what God wills, not what we will, we cannot fail to become dear to our King.


31 Meditations for Advent and Christmas: Day Seventeen

15 December 2016

 

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

17th Day: OUR KING AS OUR TEACHER

adoreOur King is not only our Master and Ruler, but also our Teacher in all that is of the greatest importance to our welfare. He says of Himself: “For this I came into the world, that I might give testimony to the truth.” He is always ready to teach us, if we look to Him for instruction and guidance. We cannot go wrong, so long as we carry out His precepts, and conform our opinions to what He has revealed to us. All our errors arise either from our ignorance, or from our ears being dulled by the din of the world, or by self-will and self-love, which deafen our ears to His voice when He teaches us what is true and right.

But it is not safe to trust to what we think is His voice speaking within us. It is easy here to deceive ourselves and to fancy we hear His voice, when we really are listening to the echoes of our own prejudices, or our own self-will. He has therefore provided an external voice, whose teaching none can mistake. His Priests and Bishops execute His authority. “He who hears you,” He says, “hears Me.” Am I thoroughly loyal to the Church in all her teaching, accepting it with unquestioning faith as the voice of my King and Master, Jesus Christ?

Our King also teaches us through the pages of Holy Scripture, of which God is the Author, and especially by all the discourses and parables, as recorded by the Evangelists. All these we must treasure up in our hearts as jewels of truth, and faithfully obey as the commands of our King. When we are not certain of their meaning, we must seek an explanation from those who teach in our King’s name, and accept it in a loyal spirit of submission.

Source: Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals


31 Meditations for Advent and Christmas: Day Nine

6 December 2016

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

9th Day: WAYS AND MEANS

mary 2nd sunDuring the time of our warfare on earth we are surrounded with a number of persons and things, all of which are intended by our King to be means of gaining a complete victory over our enemies, and of rendering to Him the tribute of our faithful service. All our relations and friends, all those who love us and set us a good example, all who call forth our charity, or our zeal, or our devotion to our King, are in His design meant to further our welfare. And not these only, but also all those who cause us sorrow and pain, those who treat us unkindly, those who misunderstand us, all will help us in our warfare, if we try to use them as we know our King would desire.

All the circumstances of our life are also means provided by our King to promote our own happiness, and our success in His service, whether we have prosperity or adversity, whether we succeed or fail in our undertakings, whether we have good health or frequent sickness, whether we have great talents or are wanting in ability. Each is intended as a means to help us in our warfare. Do I seek to turn all the circumstances of my life to my own advantage in life’s warfare?

We may go still further and say that all our personal defects, our temptations, our evil tendencies, our frailties, our imperfections, are, in our “King’s design intended for our good. Even our past offenses, grievous though they may have been, and in themselves simply evil, through the mercy of our King may yet be turned to good, as was the case with many saints who had been great sinners. Do I thus avail myself of all my environment in the battle of life?

Source: CatholicHarborofFaithandMorals.com


31 Meditations for Advent and Christmas: Day Seven

4 December 2016

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

7th Day: OUR KING’S ENEMIES

Our King, in spite of His Divine perfections, in spite of His power. His claims to rule, and His unspeakable goodness and love, has nevertheless many and irreconcilable enemies.

God over LuciferHis first enemy is the devil, or rather the innumerable company of devils who make it their one object to insult and outrage Him with insatiable fierceness and hatred. They spare no pains, they neglect no means within their reach, to carry on a deadly war against Him and His soldiers. Nothing can satisfy their malice and their fury. Their one object is to destroy the happiness and ruin the souls of all those who are stamped with the image of our King. How is it that, knowing this, I so often listen to their suggestions?

His second enemy is the world around us, which acknowledges principles opposed to those by which our King desires that we should be guided. It is actuated by a covert selfishness, by self-love, by earthly ambition, by a desire to be highly esteemed by others, by the greed of gain. It seeks to explain away the precepts of our King, and it despises His counsels. It puts Him, as far as possible, in the background or out of sight. Do I not too often act on these worldly principles?

His third enemy is our own nature, tainted as it is with sin. Self-will is strong within us, defying God. Concupiscence bribes us by the promise of pleasures, which will make us enemies of our King, or at least will weaken our fidelity to Him. Pride urges us on to actual rebellion, in matters great or small. Do I fight manfully against these enemies of my King?


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