Saturday, June 25, 2011

St. Philip Neri and His devotion to God......

The fervor of his devotion at the time of his prayers was so great, that he tore his garments from his breast, the better to breathe, or laid himself with open breast upon the ground to cool the inward fire-of his love to God. "Oh! my God!" exclaimed he at such times, "O my God, my love! Thou art mine and I am wholly thine. O most adorable God! Thou who hast commanded that I should love Thee; why hast thou given me only one and so narrow a heart?" He was so filled with spiritual comfort, that he often exclaimed: "Leave me, O my Lord, leave me; for human weakness cannot bear such heavenly joys!"

On Pentecost, he prayed most devoutly that the Holy Ghost would kindle in his heart the fire of Divine love. During his prayers, his heart was so filled with the ardor of his love, that through its emotion and expansion, two ribs were broken and raised above the others, as was seen with great astonishment after his death. He very seldom said Holy Mass without shedding many tears. He frequently stood for hours before the Altar in raptures, transported out of himself. This happened also to him at other times, and he was seen, while at prayers, raised from the ground and surrounded by a brilliant light. To pass whole nights in prayer was his supreme delight.

Diary of St. Faustina...on the Power of Pure Love and Adversaries..

Jesus gave me to know of how everything is dependent on His will, thus giving me profound peace as regards the security of His work.

Listen, My daughter, although all the works that come into being by My will are exposed to great sufferings, consider whether any of them has been subject to greater difficulties than that work which is directly Mine – the work of Redemption. You should not worry too much about adversaries. The world is not as powerful as it seems to be; its strength is strictly limited. Know, My daughter, that if your soul is filled with the fire of My pure Love, then all difficulties dissipate like fog before the sun’s rays and dare not touch the soul. All adversaries are afraid to start a quarrel with such a soul, because they sense that it is stronger than the whole world…

Thursday, June 23, 2011

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque on the Heart of Jesus..

"I need nothing but God, and to lose myself in the heart of Jesus."

"What a weakness it is to love Jesus Christ only when He caresses us, and to be cold immediately once He afflicts us. This is not true love. Those who love thus, love themselves too much to love God with all their heart."

"The Divine Heart is an ocean full of all good things, wherein poor souls can cast all their needs; it is an ocean full of joy to drown all our sadness, an ocean of humility to drown our folly, an ocean of mercy to those in distress, an ocean of love in which to submerge our poverty."

"Let every knee bend before Thee, O greatness of my God, so supremely humbled in the Sacred Host. May every heart love Thee, every spirit adore Thee and every will be subject to Thee!"

"One cannot love without suffering. He [Jesus] showed us this very clearly upon the cross, where He was consumed for love of us. And it is still the same every day in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar... Since love makes lovers one in likeness, if we love, let us model our lives on His."

"Love keeps Him there [in the Blessed Sacrament] as a victim completely and perpetually delivered over to sacrifice for the glory of the Father and for our salvation. Unite yourself with Him, then, in all that you do. Refer everything to His glory. Set up your abode in this loving Heart of Jesus and you will there find lasting peace and the strength both to bring to fruition all the good desires He inspires in you, and to avoid every deliberate fault. Place in this Heart all your sufferings and difficulties. Everything that comes from the Sacred Heart is sweet. He changes everything into love."

Diary of St. Faustina ...on the Merciful Heart of Jesus

My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls and especially for poor sinners.... I desire to bestow my graces upon souls [from the tabernacle] but they do not want to accept them. You, at least, come to Me as often as you can and take these graces they do not want to accept. In this way you will console my Heart (Diary, 367).

My daughter, do not tire of proclaiming My mercy. In this way you will refresh this Heart of Mine, which burns with a flame of pity for sinners.... The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness. You always console Me when you pray for sinners (Diary, 1521 and 1397).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Prayer from the Lover of Poverty...St. Francis

Let us desire nothing else
let us wish for nothing else
let nothing else please us and cause us delight
except our Creator and Redeemer and Saviour,
the One True God, Who is the Fullness of Good,
all good, every good, the true and supreme Good;
Let nothing hinder us,
nothing separate us or nothing come between us.

* * *

May the power of your love O Lord, fiery and sweet as honey,
wean my heart from all that is under heaven,
so that I may die for love of your love,
You who were so good as to die for love of my love. Amen

Diary of St. Faustina ....on Poverty

When I was by myself, I began to reflect on the spirit of poverty, I clearly saw that Jesus, although He is Lord of all things, possessed nothing. From a borrowed manger He went through life doing good to all, but himself having no place to lay His Head. And on the Cross, I see the summit of His poverty, for He does not even have a garment on himself. O Jesus, through You’re solemn vow of poverty I desire to become like You; poverty will be my mother. As exteriorly we should possess nothing and have nothing to dispose of as our own, so interiorly we should desire nothing. And in the Most Blessed Sacrament, how great is Your poverty! Has there ever been a soul as abandoned as You were on the Cross, Jesus? Chastity. There is no need to explain that this vow forbids all those things prohibited by the sixth and ninth commandments: deeds, thoughts, words, feelings… I understand that a solemn vow differs from a simple vow; I understand this in all its implications. While reflecting upon this, I heard these words in my soul: You are my spouse forever; your chastity should be greater than that of the Angels, for I call no angel to such intimacy as I do you. The smallest act of My spouse is of infinite value. A pure soul has inconceivable power before God.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Saints who suffered within the Church...

St. John of the Cross

After John joined the Carmelite order, Saint Teresa of Avila asked him to help her reform movement. John supported her belief that the order should return to its life of prayer. But many Carmelites felt threatened by this reform, and some members of John's own order kidnapped him. He was locked in a cell six feet by ten feet and beaten three times a week by the monks. There was only one tiny window high up near the ceiling. Yet in that unbearable dark, cold, and desolation, his love and faith were like fire and light. He had nothing left but God -- and God brought John his greatest joys in that tiny cell.

After nine months, John escaped by unscrewing the lock on his door and creeping past the guard. Taking only the mystical poetry he had written in his cell, he climbed out a window using a rope made of strips of blankets. With no idea where he was, he followed a dog to civilization. He hid from pursuers in a convent infirmary where he read his poetry to the nuns. From then on his life was devoted to sharing and explaining his experience of God's love.

His life of poverty and persecution could have produced a bitter cynic. Instead it gave birth to a compassionate mystic, who lived by the beliefs that "Who has ever seen people persuaded to love God by harshness?" and "Where there is no love, put love -- and you will find love."

St. Padre Pio (silenced for eleven years by the Church)
Section From the Vatican website:

The virtue of fortitude shone in him. He understood very early in life that his would be the way of the Cross, and he accepted it at once with courage and out of love. For many years, he experienced spiritual sufferings. For years he endured the pains of his wounds with admirable serenity.

When he had to submit to investigations and restrictions in his priestly ministry, he accepted everything with profound humility and resignation. In the face of unjust accusations and calumnies he remained silent, trusting always in the judgement of God, of his immediate superiors and of his own conscience.

He habitually practised mortification in order to gain the virtue of temperance, in keeping with the Franciscan style. He was temperate in his attitude and in his way of life.

Conscious of the commitments which he had undertaken when he entered the consecrated life, he observed with generosity the vows he had professed. He was obedient in all things to the commands of his Superiors, even when they were burdensome. His obedience was supernatural in intention, universal in its scope and complete in its execution. He lived the spirit of poverty with total detachment from self, from earthly goods, from his own comfort and from honours. He always had a great love for the virtue of chastity. His behaviour was modest in all situations and with all people.

He sincerely thought of himself as useless, unworthy of God's gifts, full of weakness and infirmity, and at the same time blessed with divine favours. Amid so much admiration around him, he would say: “I only want to be a poor friar who prays”.

Jesus to St. Faustina on the Importance and Power of Obedience for Religious Souls..

Jesus told her “I was obedient to my parents, my executioners and now I am obedient to my priests”. St Faustina said the devil can imitate humility but not OBEDIENCE.

“By obedience you give great glory to Me and gain merit for yourself”. (28)

However, in all these sufferings and struggles, [Saint Faustina was undergoing intense spiritual trials] I was not omitting Holy Communion. When it seemed to me that I should not communicate, I went, before Holy Communion, to the Directress and told her that I could not approach the Sacrament, because it seemed to me that I should not do so. But she would not permit me to omit Holy Communion, so I went, and I understand now, that it was only obedience that saved me. The Directress told me later that my trials had passed quickly, “and this solely because you were obedient, Sister: and it was through the power of obedience that you struggled through this so bravely.” It is true that it was the Lord himself who brought me out of this torment, but my fidelity to obedience did please him. (105)

As I was talking to a certain person who was to paint the image but, for certain reasons, was not painting it, I heard this voice in my soul: “I want her to be more obedient”. I understood that our efforts, no matter how great, are not pleasing to God if they do not bear the seal of obedience; I am speaking about a religious soul. O God, how easy it is to know Your will in the convent! (354)

When I left the confessional and started to recite my penance, I heard these words. “I have granted the grace you asked for on behalf of that soul, but not because of the mortification you chose for yourself. Rather, it was because of your act of complete obedience to My representative that I granted this grace to that soul for whom you interceded and begged mercy. Know that when you mortify your own self-will, then Mine reigns within you.” (365)

“Yes.. when you are obedient I take away your weakness and replace it with My strength. I am very surprised that souls do not want to make that exchange with Me.” I said to the Lord, “Jesus, enlighten my heart, or else I, too, will not understand much from these words.” (381)

“My daughter, know that you give Me greater glory by a single act of obedience than by long prayers and mortifications.” (894)

I felt worse today, and I went to Mother Superior intending to ask her for permission to go to bed. However, before I could ask for permission, Mother Superior said to me, “Sister, you must somehow manage by yourself at the gate, because I am taking the girl to work at the cabbage, since there is no one else for the cabbage.” I said – good, and left the room. When I got to the gate, I felt unusually strong, and I was at my post all day and felt well. I experienced the power of holy obedience. (1378)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Diary of St. Faustina...Prayer for Healing.

On April 14, I felt so bad that I barely managed to get up to assist at Holy Mass. I felt much worse than I did at the time they sent me for treatment. There was wheezing, and there was rattling noises in my lungs and strange pains. When I received Holy Communion, I don't know why, but it was as if something were urging me to this prayer, and I began to pray in this manner: "Jesus, may Your pure and healthy blood circulate in my ailing organism, and may Your pure and healthy body transform my weak body, and may a healthy and vigorous life life throb within me, if it is truly Your holy will that I should set about the work in question; and this will be a clear sign of Your holy will for me".

As I was praying in this way, I suddenly felt as if something were jolting my whole organism and, in an instant, I felt completely well. My breath is clear, as if there had never been anything the matter with my lungs, and I feel no pain, and this is a sign for me that I should set about this work.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Prayer of Trust in Gods Mercy...St. Pio of Pietrelcina

A Prayer for Trust and Confidence in God's Mercy

by St. Pio of Pietrelcina

O Lord, we ask for a boundless confidence
and trust in Your divine mercy,
and the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings
which bring immense goodness to our souls and that of Your Church.

Help us to love You with a pure and contrite heart,
and to humble ourselves beneath Your cross,
as we climb the mountain of holiness,
carrying our cross that leads to heavenly glory.

May we receive You with great faith and love in Holy Communion,
and allow You to act in us as You desire for your greater glory.
O Jesus, most adorable Heart
and eternal fountain of Divine Love,
may our prayer find favor before
the Divine Majesty of Your heavenly Father.

Diary of St. Faustina...on Resolution to become a Saint

O Lord, You who penetrate my whole being and the most secret depths of my soul, You see that I desire You alone and long only for the fulfillment of Your holy will, paying no heed to difficulties or sufferings or humiliations or to what others might think.

This firm resolution to become a saint is extremely pleasing to Me. I bless your efforts and will give you opportunities to sanctify yourself. Be watchful that you lost no opportunity that My providence offers you for sanctification. If you do not succeed in taking advantage of an opportunity, do not lose your peace, but humble yourself profoundly before Me and, with great trust, immerse yourself completely in My mercy. In this way, you gain more than you have lost, because more favor is granted to a humble soul than the soul itself asks for it…