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Featured Books

General Works of the Saints
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References
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Featured Books



* St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier - Conferences and Instructions
'As so many bees you fly from flower to flower, bringing your harvest to the common store. This is as the mysterious work of a hive, where each occupies herself for the general good, without reserving anything for herself. Those who are beginners now in religion find their little cells already built, the stores already prepared, and it will come to pass that thousands and thousands of souls will come here after us to enjoy the delights and the rest of the Lord, working in their turn to prepare a place for those who will succeed them.'

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* Ven. Mary of Agreda - The Admirable Life of the Glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph
'St. Joseph, having been chosen by God to be His image towards His only Son, was not marked out for any public function in the Church of God, but merely to be the expression of His purity and the incomparable sanctity which separates Him from every visible creature; and hence he is the patron of hidden and unknown souls. Far different are the functions of St. Peter in the Church, from the operations of St. Joseph within it. St. Peter is established to control its exterior in its government and administrations, to preserve its doctrines, and to direct its prelates and ministers. St. Joseph, on the contrary, who is a saint hidden, and without external functions, is appointed to communicate interiorly the super-eminent life which he receives from the Father, and which afterwards flows through Jesus Christ upon us.'

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* Ven. Mary of Agreda - The Mystical City of God - Vol. I - The Conception
'The vow of chastity includes purity of body and soul; this is easily lost, and it is difficult, sometimes, according to the manner of losing it, even impossible to repair. This great treasure is deposited in a castle, which has many portals and openings, and if these are not all well guarded and defended, the treasure is without security. My daughter, in order to preserve perfectly this vow, it is necessary to make an inviolable pact with thy senses, not to use them, except for what is according to the dictates of reason and for the glory of the Creator.'

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* Ven. Mary of Agreda - The Mystical City of God - Vol. II - The Incarnation
'I do not say that thou must do away with all sensible feeling, for that is not naturally possible to the creature; but whenever thou meetest adverse happenings, or when thou art deprived of what is useful, necessary or agreeable thou must bear it with joyful resignation and give praise to the Lord, because his will is being fulfilled in thy regard. By seeking only his pleasure, and considering all else as of passing moment, thou wilt gain a quick and easy victory over thyself, and thou wilt seek all occasions to humiliate thyself under the mighty hand of the Lord (I Pet. 5, 6).'

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* Ven. Mary of Agreda - The Mystical City of God - Vol. III - The Transfixion
'My daughter, since in recounting to thee the works of my most holy Son I so often remind thee how thankfully I appreciated them, thou canst understand how pleasing to the Most High is the faithful correspondence on thy part, and the great mysteries of his blessings connected with it. Thou art poor in the house of the Lord, a sinner, insignificant and useless as dust; yet I ask thee to assume the duty of rendering ceaseless thanks for all that the incarnate Word has done for the sons of Adam and for establishing the holy and immaculate, the powerful and perfect law for their salvation. Especially shouldst thou be thankful for the institution of Baptism by which He frees men from the tyranny of the devil, fills them with grace, clothes them with justice and assists them to sin no more. This is indeed a duty incumbent upon all men in common; but since creatures neglect it almost entirely, I enjoin thee to give thanks for all of them, as if thou alone wert responsible for them.'

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* Ven. Mary of Agreda - The Mystical City of God - Vol. IV - The Coronation
'These words of the most blessed Mother tore the heart of saint John, and, unable to restrain his sorrow and his tears, he answered: "My Mother and my Lady, thy will and that of the Most High I am bound to obey in whatever Thou commandest, although my merits are far below what they ought to be and what I desired. But do Thou, most loving Lady and Mother, help thy poor child, who is to be left an orphan, deprived of thy most desirable company."'

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General Works of the Saints



St. Albert the Great - On Cleaving to God - De Adhaerendo Deo - Latin & English Edition
'I have had the idea of writing something for myself on and about the state of complete and full abstraction from everything and of cleaving freely, confidently, nakedly and firmly to God alone, so as to describe it fully (in so far as it is possible in this abode of exile and pilgrimage), especially since the goal of Christian perfection is the love by which we cleave to God. . . Cogitavi mihi aliquid ultimate (in quantum possibile est in hujus exsilii et peregrinationis immoratione) depingere, scriptando de et super ab omnibus plena et possibili abstractione, et cum solo Domino Deo expedita, secura, et nuda firmaque adhaesione: praesertim cum ipsius Christianae perfectionis finis sit charitas, qua Domino Deo adhaeretur.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - The Divine Office
'Some, no doubt, will say to me that it is useless to explain the psalms after so many illustrious interpreters have done so. I declare, however, that it has not been useless as far as I myself am concerned; since, in consequence of this work, I recite my breviary with much more attention than formerly when there were many passages that I did not understand; I hope that the same may happen to many other persons.'

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+ St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - The Glories of Mary
'It was, then, not without reason that St. Germanus called the most Blessed Virgin the breath of Christians; for as the body cannot live without breathing, so the soul cannot live without having recourse to and recommending itself to Mary, by whose means we certainly acquire and preserve the life of divine grace within our souls. But I will quote the saint's own words: "As breathing is not only a sign but even a cause of life, so the name of Mary, which is constantly found on the lips of God's servants, both proves that they are truly alive, and at the same time causes and preserves their life, and gives them every succor."'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - The History of Heresies and Their Refutation
'Photius promised everything, and was accordingly consecrated, but by the very same Gregory, and took possession of the See. Six months had not yet passed over, since his consecration, and he had broken all his oaths and promises; he persecuted St. Ignatius, and all the ecclesiastics who adhered to him; he even got some of them flogged, and by promises and threats induced several to sign documents, intended for the ruin of his sainted predecessors. Not being able to accomplish his design, he laid a plot, with the assistance of Bardas, that the Emperor should send persons to take information, to prove that St. Ignatius was privately conspiring against the state.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - The Holy Eucharist
'Purity of intention is called the heavenly alchemy by which iron is turned into gold; that is to say, the most trivial actions (such as to work, to take one's meals, to take recreation or repose), when done for God, become the gold of holy love. Wherefore St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi believes for certain that those who do all with a pure intention, go straight to Paradise, without passing through purgatory. It is related that it was the custom of a pious hermit, before setting about any work, to pause a little, and lift his eyes to heaven; on being questioned why he did so, he replied, "I am taking my aim."'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - The Holy Mass
'The priest's vestments, namely, the amice, alb, cincture, maniple, stole, and chasuble should be in a good condition and have been blessed by the bishop or by an authorized priest. It is certainly a mortal sin to celebrate Mass without a chasuble, or with a chasuble not blessed; the same thing holds good in regard to the alb. Theologians agree more or less in saying the same thing in regard to the other vestments.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - The Incarnation, Birth, and Infancy of Jesus Christ
'"Ah, beautiful Infant! tell me whose child art Thou?" He replies: "My Mother is this pure and lovely Virgin who is standing by me." And who is thy Father? "My Father" he says, "is God." How is this? Thou art the Son of God, and art so poor; and why? Who will acknowledge Thee in such a condition? Who will respect Thee? "No," replies Jesus, "holy faith will make known who I am, and will make me loved by those souls whom I came to redeem and to inflame with my love."'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Letters
'If you answer me that it is possible for me to be deceived, I would then say to you that it will no longer be necessary for you to write to me; seek another director in whom you have confidence, come to an understanding with him, and let there be no question about me. I command you, moreover, in a formal manner, never, never, never to confess these temptations, even if you believe to have consented to them. I say this and take it on my conscience. Do not do so even if you were at the point of death; for there is no sin in all that, as far as you are concerned. The sentiments of which you speak are apprehensions, fears; but they are not sins.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Letters II
'You are not the only one whom Jesus Christ treats thus: how many penitents have I not had whom the Lord has treated in this way nearly to the day of their death! One of them was continually tempted to hate God; another said without intermission that she had been condemned never to be able to love God, etc.; nevertheless they all died a happy death. And as for you, of what are you afraid? If you had not this cross of desolation, you would not have any cross in this world; and without a cross we cannot come to God. Besides, the pain that you feel on account of not being able to love God, is a proof that you love him; for if you did not love him you would not feel this pain. Those persons that do not love God feel no pain in thinking that they do not love him.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Letters III
'During the time of the missions, of novenas, and of other exercises, visits should not be paid to women, even under the pretext of God's glory, unless the visit is paid to the principal lady of the place; she may be visited by the Superior in company with another Father. Our confessors must not speak with women outside of the confessional, unless this be done in answering a question in a few words; but especially should they never speak with them alone in their houses. Should it be necessary to converse with any one of them, it must be done in the church with all the modesty and decorum that our holy state demands.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Letters IV
'I must tell you, your edition of the Moral is excellent; the paper is good, and the printing exquisite. I understand many have procured a copy, and many more are asking for one. The Prolegomena of Father Zaccaria in particular is very beautiful, as learned as it is useful. This good Father has honored me very much by the dedicatory letter prefacing his work. I must needs thank him for this, but as I know not to what address I should send my letter, I ask you to see that it reaches him. This will be an easy matter for you.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Letters V
'In their sermons, let them attend chiefly to the following points: 1. Frequently to speak upon the eternal truths, as the consideration of them is most powerful in bringing sinners back to God. 2. The loss of innumerable souls who go to perdition, on account of sins concealed in confession through shame. And here let us again recommend to the pastors to have a strange confessor in their churches once a month. 3. To inveigh against parents who allow young men to visit their houses who may be to their daughters an occasion of sin. They shall admonish such parents that, failing in this respect, they fall under the reserved case to which excommunication is attached.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Miscellany
'With regard to corporal penances, they shall fast on all the vigils of the feasts of the Blessed Virgin; they shall abstain from flesh-meat during Advent and the Novena of the Holy Ghost; but the refection in the evening shall be more abundant than on the fasting days of the Church. On two days of every week on Wednesdays and Fridays all shall take the discipline in common. They shall sleep on straw; woollen pillows and sheets of ordinary linen are, however, allowed. The beds, as a rule, shall be seven palms in length by three and a half in breadth.'

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+ St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - The Passion and the Death of Jesus Christ
'And so it is related by Josephus, the Jew, who lived shortly after our Lord, that Jesus was torn in his scourging to such a degree that the bones of his ribs were laid bare; as it was also revealed by the most Holy Virgin to St. Bridget, in these words: "I, who was standing by, saw his body scourged to the very ribs, so that his ribs themselves might be seen. And what was even yet more bitter still, when the scourges were drawn back, his flesh was furrowed by them." To St. Teresa, Jesus revealed himself in his scourging; so that the saint wished to have him painted exactly as she had seen him, and told the painter to represent a large piece of flesh torn off, and hanging down from the left elbow; but when the painter inquired as to the shape in which he ought to paint it, he found, on turning round again to his picture, the piece of flesh already drawn.'

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+ St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Preparation for Death
'"Consider that thou art dust, and unto dust thou must return." The day will come when thou must die, and be placed in a grave where "the worms" shall "cover thee." (Isa. xiv. n.) The same fate awaits all, both nobles and plebeians, both princes and vassals. Directly the soul shall leave the body, with the last gasp, it will go into eternity, and the body will return to its dust. "When Thou takest away their breath they die, and are turned again to their dust." (Ps. civ. 29.)'

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+ St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - The True Spouse of Jesus Christ
'Virgins who have the happiness of dedicating them selves to the love of Jesus Christ by consecrating to him the lily of their purity, are, in the first place, as dear to God as his angels. . . a certain virgin, called Georgia, was at the point of death a great multitude of doves was seen hovering about her; that when her body was brought to the church they flew to that part of the roof which corresponded to the place where the corpse had been put, and remained there till after the interment. By all who saw them, these doves were regarded as angels paying respect and homage to the body of the virgin.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Uniformity with God's Will
'By uniting themselves to the divine will, the saints have enjoyed paradise by anticipation in this life. Accustoming themselves to receive all things from the hands of God, says Saint Dorotheus, the men of old maintained continual serenity of soul. Saint Mary Magdalene of Pazzi derived such consolation at hearing the words "will of God," that she usually fell into an ecstasy of love. The instances of jangling irritation that are bound to arise will not fail to make surface impact on the senses. This however will be experienced only in the inferior part of the soul; in the superior part will reign peace and tranquillity as long as our will remains united with God's.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Victories of the Martyrs
'St. Cyril was born at Caesarea, and, while yet a child became a Christian, in consequence of which he was maltreated, and finally turned out of doors by his idolatrous father. Information to this effect having been given to the judge, he caused Cyril to be brought before him; and, being told that the child frequently invoked the name of Jesus, he promised him that he would effect a reconciliation with his father, on condition that he would never more pronounce that name. The holy child replied: "I am content to be turned out of my father's house, because I shall receive a more spacious mansion in heaven; nor do I fear death, because by it I shall acquire a better life."'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - The Way of Salvation and Perfection
'Our most important affair is that of our eternal salvation; upon it depends our happiness or misery for ever. This affair will come to an end in eternity, and will decide whether we shall be saved or lost forever; whether we shall have acquired an eternity of delights, or an eternity of torments; whether we shall live forever happy, or forever miserable.'

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St. Ambrose of Milan - Concerning Virginity
'And what is virginal chastity but purity free from stain? And whom can we judge to be its author but the immaculate Son of God, Whose flesh saw no corruption, Whose Godhead experienced no infection? Consider, then, how great are the merits of virginity. Christ was before the Virgin, Christ was of the Virgin. Begotten indeed of the Father before the ages, but born of the Virgin for the ages. The former was of His own nature, the latter is for our benefit. The former always was, the latter He willed.'

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St. Anselm of Canterbury - The Devotions of
'Awake, my soul, awake! show thy spirit, arouse thy senses, shake off the sluggishness of that deadly heaviness that is upon thee, begin to take care for thy salvation. Let the idleness of vain imaginations be put to flight, let go of sloth, hold fast to diligence. Be instant in holy meditations, cleave to the good things which are of God: leaving that which is temporal, give heed to that which is eternal. Now in this godly employment of thy mind, to what canst thou turn thy thoughts more wholesomely and profitably than to the sweet contemplations of thy Creatorís immeasurable benefits toward thee.'

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St. Anselm of Canterbury - Proslogium and Monologium
'I pray, O God, to know thee, to love thee, that I may rejoice in thee. And if I cannot attain to full joy in this life may I at least advance from day to day, until that joy shall come to the full. Let the knowledge of thee advance in me here, and there be made full. Let the love of thee increase, and there let it be full, that here my joy may be great in hope, and there full in truth. Lord, through thy Son thou dost command, nay, thou dost counsel us to ask; and thou dost promise that we shall receive, that our joy may be full. I ask, O Lord, as thou dost counsel through our wonderful Counselor. I will receive what thou dost promise by virtue of thy truth, that my joy may be full.'

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+ St. Anselm of Canterbury - Why God Became Man - Cur Deus Homo
'If you should find yourself in the sight of God, and one said to you: "Look thither;" and God, on the other hand, should say: "It is not my will that you should look;" ask your own heart what there is in all existing things which would make it right for you to give that look contrary to the will of God.'

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St. Anthony Mary Claret - Autobiography
'I was terrified then and I still am as I write, although it all happened some six years ago. Fear seems to make my blood run cold even now, and of all the labors and sorrows that have come my way I can remember none that does not fade into nothingness in comparison, and I think that our complaints are largely without foundation. Again I say that this was one of God's greatest mercies toward me. I have benefited greatly from it, both by losing the fear of this life's trials and contradictions, and by gaining the strength to bear them and thank the Lord who freed me, as I now see it, from such endless and terrible evils. Since then, as I have said, everything here seems easy in comparison with just a moment of suffering there.'

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St. Augustine - Enchiridion on Faith, Hope, and Love
'Through this involvement they were led, through divers errors and sufferings (along with the rebel angels, their corruptors and possessors and companions), to that final stage of punishment without end. "Thus by one man, sin entered into the world and death through sin; and thus death came upon all men, since all men have sinned." By "the world" in this passage the apostle is, of course, referring to the whole human race. This, then, was the situation: the whole mass of the human race stood condemned, lying ruined and wallowing in evil, being plunged from evil into evil and, having joined causes with the angels who had sinned, it was paying the fully deserved penalty for impious desertion.'

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* St. Benedict - The Rule of - Latin and English Edition
'Every age and understanding ought to have a measure of government suitable to it. As often therefore as children, or those under age, commit faults, and are incapable of understanding the greatness of the punishment of excommunication, let them be punished by rigorous fasting, or sharp stripes, that so they may be corrected.'

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St. Bernard of Clairvaux - On Loving God
'It is natural for a man to desire what he reckons better than that which he has already, and be satisfied with nothing which lacks that special quality which he misses. Thus, if it is for her beauty that he loves his wife, he will cast longing eyes after a fairer woman. If he is clad in a rich garment, he will covet a costlier one; and no matter how rich he may be he will envy a man richer than himself. Do we not see people every day, endowed with vast estates, who keep on joining field to field, dreaming of wider boundaries for their lands? Those who dwell in palaces are ever adding house to house, continually building up and tearing down, remodeling and changing. Men in high places are driven by insatiable ambition to clutch at still greater prizes. And nowhere is there any final satisfaction, because nothing there can be defined as absolutely the best or highest. . . It is so that these impious ones wander in a circle, longing after something to gratify their yearnings, yet madly rejecting that which alone can bring them to their desired end, not by exhaustion but by attainment.'

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St. Bonaventure - Life of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
'What is more beautiful than that chastity which renders clean the being conceived from uncleanness, changes enmity into friendship, and men into angels? The angel and the chaste man differ indeed in point of felicity, but not of virtue. For if the chastity of the one be happier, that of the other is stronger. It is chastity alone which in this mortal state, represents a kind of immortality. That alone, which, amidst the nuptial solemnities, imitates the method of that blessed and heavenly region, where they neither marry nor are married, giving us an imperfect relish of the divine and heavenly conversation there enjoyed among the blessed. This frail vessel which here we carry with us, and in which we are in danger, chastity sanctifies, not unlike the sweet scented balsams wherewith dead bodies are embalmed and preserved from corruption. It curbs the senses, restrains the faculties of the body, and preserves the whole man from the contamination and loose desires attending idleness.'

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+ St. Bonaventure - Life of St. Francis of Assisi
'And as all the brethren surrounded him, he extended his hands over them in the form of a cross, crossing his arms in the form of that sign which he had ever loved; and so he blessed all the brethren, whether present or absent, in the name and in the power of the Crucified. Then he added: "Farewell, my children, abide in the fear of the Lord, and ever persevere therein. And when any temptation or trouble approaches you say: Blessed are they who persevere in those things which they have begun. And now I go to God, to whose grace I commend you all."'

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St. Bonaventure - The Mind's Road to God
'Therefore the symbol of the six-winged Seraph signifies the six stages of illumination, which begin with God's creatures and lead up to God, to Whom no one can enter properly save through the Crucified. For he who does not enter by the door but otherwise, he is a thief and a robber [John, 10, 1]. But if anyone does enter by this door, he shall go in and go out and shall find pastures [John, 9]. Because of this John says in his Apocalypse [22, 14], "Blessed are they that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb, that they may have a right to the Tree of Life and may enter in by the gates into the City"; as if he were to say that one cannot enter into the heavenly Jerusalem through contemplation unless one enter through the blood of the Lamb as through a gate.'

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St. Bonaventure - Mirror of the Blessed Virgin Mary
'Of this flower consider, first, in Mary the flower of precious virginity, which is virginity itself. Of this it is said in Isaias: "The desert shall rejoice and shall flower as a lily." Mary can fittingly be said to be a desert, who was so willing to be alone, who was in her voluntary solitude visited by an angel. Therefore St. Ambrose well says: "Alone in the inner part of her house, she whom no man could see, he found her alone without a companion, alone without a witness." In what manner this desert, the Virgin Mary, should rejoice, let her say herself: "And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior." This desert of earth flowered like a lily by virginity. O angelical lily! O heavenly flower! O truly heavenly flower!'

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St. Bridget of Sweden - Prophecies and Revelations
'But now I shall tell you God's will in this matter; for I gave birth to God himself. . . that if some pope concedes to priests a license to contract carnal marriage, God will condemn him to a sentence as great, in a spiritual way, as that which the law justly inflicts in a corporeal way on a man who has transgressed so gravely that he must have his eyes gouged out, his tongue and lips, nose and ears cut off, his hands and feet amputated, all his body's blood spilled out to grow completely cold, and finally, his whole bloodless corpse cast out to be devoured by dogs and other wild beasts. Similar things would truly happen in a spiritual way to that pope who were to go against the aforementioned preordinance and will of God and concede to priests such a license to contract marriage. For that same pope would be totally deprived by God of his spiritual sight and hearing, and of his spiritual words and deeds. All his spiritual wisdom would grow completely cold; and finally, after his death, his soul would be cast out to be tortured eternally in hell so that there it might become the food of demons everlastingly and without end. Yes, even if Saint Gregory the Pope had made this statute, in the aforesaid sentence he would never have obtained mercy from God if he had not humbly revoked his statute before his death.'

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St. Catherine of Bologna - The Seven Spiritual Weapons
'Hence, as the priest was saying the preface and reached the recitation of the "Holy, Holy," at that point, she heard those words sung in the angelic choir which proceed in the presence of so divine and most excellent a sacrament. That angelic song was of such a gentle and sweet melody that, at the moment she began to hear it, her soul suddenly began to leave her body, but she did not cease to hear the words of the Sanctus, although she was completely abstracted from everything. After this, she maintained such a victory over sleep that for a long time she was not bothered by it and could keep awake without forcing herself whenever she wished.'

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St. Catherine of Genoa - Life and Doctrine
'This holy Soul was so regulated by God, that in all that was necessary and reasonable she satisfied every one; and although she was entirely employed in serving her sweet Love, yet she was never willing to displease her neighbor either in word or deed, but on the contrary always assisted him as far as she was able. She said, however, to her Lord: "Thou hast commanded me to love my neighbor, and I am unable to love any one but thee, or to admit any partner with thee: how then shall I obey thee?" And interiorly he responded thus: "He who loves me loves also all whom I love. It suffices that for the welfare of the neighbor thou shouldst do all that is necessary for his soul and body. Such a love as this is sure to be without passion; because it is not in himself but in God that the neighbor should be loved."'

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St. Catherine of Siena - The Dialogue of the Seraphic Virgin
'Some there are who have become faithful servants, serving Me with fidelity without servile fear of punishment, but rather with love. This very love, however, if they serve Me with a view to their own profit, or the delight and pleasure which they find in Me, is imperfect. Do you know what proves the imperfection of this love? The withdrawal of the consolations which they found in Me, and the insufficiency and short duration of their love for their neighbor, which grows weak by degrees, and oftentimes disappears. Towards Me their love grows weak when, on occasion, in order to exercise them in virtue and raise them above their imperfection, I withdraw from their minds My consolation and allow them to fall into battles and perplexities. This I do so that, coming to perfect self-knowledge, they may know that of themselves they are nothing and have no grace, and accordingly in time of battle fly to Me, as their Benefactor, seeking Me alone, with true humility, for which purpose I treat them thus, without drawing from them consolation indeed, but not grace. At such a time these weak ones, of whom I speak, relax their energy, impatiently turning backwards, and sometimes abandon, under color of virtue, many of their exercises, saying to themselves, "This labor does not profit me." All this they do, because they feel themselves deprived of mental consolation. Such a soul acts imperfectly, for she has not yet unwound the bandage of spiritual self-love, for, had she unwound it she would see that, in truth, everything proceeds from Me, that no leaf of a tree falls to the ground without My providence, and that what I give and promise to My creatures, I give and promise to them for their sanctification, which is the good and the end for which I created them.'

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St. Elizabeth of Toss - The Revelations of
'Once on the Vigil of the Nativity of Our Lord while praying with great concentration, she was reciting the Hail Mary in a loud voice, with much devotion and shedding of tears. The Blessed Virgin appeared to her in visible form and said to her, "I have come to teach you the prayer which I made as a young girl when I was still living in the Temple. I resolutely decided in my heart that I wished to have God as father and I made up my mind to do whatever would please him, so that I might find favour in his sight. I made myself learn his law and all the commandments contained in it. In particular I committed to memory three commandments, being eager to keep them with the greatest care and with all my might. These are: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Love your neighbour as yourself (Dt 6:5). Love your friend and hate your enemy' (Lv 19:18 and Mt 5: 3). For I understood that man and angel were good, and my enemy was the devil and, insofar as he is evil, the evil man. From that love of God and neighbour, and from the fear and hatred of the enemy (that is, of the devil and sin), every fulness of grace and virtue has descended to me. That love cannot take root in the human heart unless there is there hatred of the enemy, that is, of the devil and sin. If therefore you wish to obtain that love, do as I did in the Temple in my earliest youth. For I would rise in the middle of the night and, standing before the altar with complete concentration of mind, I would ask the Lord for his grace by which I might be able to keep these commandments I have mentioned, and I would make seven petitions, one after the other, in prayer before the altar."'

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St. Francis de Sales - The Consoling Thoughts of
'Often in spirit kiss the crosses which Our Lord Himself lays upon your shoulders. Do not look to see whether they are made of a precious or a perfumed wood; they better deserve the name of crosses when they are made of mean, common, worm-eaten wood. I assure you this thought is ever returning to my mind, and I know only this refrain; undoubtedly it is the canticle of the Lamb; it is a little sad, but it is melodious and beautiful: "My Father, not as I will, but as thou wilt."'

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St. Francis de Sales - Introduction to the Devout Life
'If you have carefully stored up the fruits of past consolations, you will receive more; to him that hath yet more shall be given, but from him who has not kept that which he had, who has lost it through carelessness, that which he hath shall be taken away, in other words, he will not receive the grace destined for him. Rain refreshes living plants, but it only brings rottenness and decay to those which are already dead. There are many such causes whereby we lose the consolations of religion, and fall into dryness and deadness of spirit, so that it is well to examine our conscience, and see if we can trace any of these or similar faults. But always remember that this examination must not be made anxiously, or in an over-exacting spirit. Thus if, after an honest investigation of our own conduct, we find the cause of our wrongdoing, we must thank God, for an evil is half cured when we have found out its cause. But if, on the contrary, you do not find any particular thing which has led to this dryness, do not trifle away your time in a further uneasy search, but, without more ado, and in all simplicity, do as follows: 1. Humble yourself profoundly before God, acknowledging your nothingness and misery. Alas, what am I when left to myself! no better, Lord, than a parched ground, whose cracks and crevices on every side testify its need of the gracious rain of Heaven, while, nevertheless, the world's blasts wither it more and more to dust.'

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St. Francis de Sales - Mystical Flora or the Christian Life under the Emblem of Plants
'Come, let us trudge on through these lowly valleys of humble little virtues, and we shall find the rose amongst thorns, charity which shines forth in the midst of afflictions from within and without, the lily of purity, the violet of mortification, and many more than I can tell. But, above all, I love these three little virtues sweetness of heart, poverty of spirit, and simplicity of life; and these great exercises of charity visiting the sick, helping the poor, consoling the afflicted; but all without flurry, and with true liberty. Our arms, as yet, are not long enough to reach to the cedars of Lebanon; let us content ourselves with the hyssop of the valley.'

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St. Francis de Sales - Treastise on the Love of God
'When I see my Saviour on the Mount of Olives with his "soul sorrowful even unto death": -- Ah! Lord Jesus, say I, what can have brought the sorrows of death into the soul of life except love, which, exciting commiseration, drew thereby our miseries into thy sovereign heart? Now a devout soul, seeing this abyss of heaviness and distress in this divine lover, how can she be without a holily loving sorrow? But considering, on the other hand, that all the afflictions of her well-beloved proceed from no imperfection or want of strength, but from the greatness of his dearest love, she cannot but melt away with a holy sorrowful love. So that she cries: "I am black" with sorrow by compassion, but beautiful with love by complacency; the anguish of my well-beloved "has changed my colour": for how could a faithful lover behold such torments in him whom she loves more than her life, without swooning away and becoming all wan and wasted with grief.'

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St. Francis of Assisi - Works of the Seraphic Father
'These are the weapons by which the chaste soul is overcome: looks, speeches, touches, embraces. . . He who retires into the desert avoids three combats: seeing, hearing, and detraction. . . Fly from the world, if thou wilt be pure. If thou art pure, the world does not delight thee.'

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St. Gertrude the Great - The Exercises
'Thou art the glorious mirror of the Most Holy Trinity, into which the eyes of the clean of heart may gaze, here only darkly, but there face to face. Come, sprinkle me over with Thy purity, and I shall be cleansed. Touch the secret places of my heart with Thy cleanness, and I shall be made whiter than snow. Let Thy charity, I beseech Thee, prevail by its greatness, and let Thy merits infold me with their abundant holiness, lest I be held back from Thy beauty by my unlikeness. Tu es praeclarum sanctae Trinitatis speculum, quod ibi facie ad faciem, hic autem in aenigmate solum, licet intueri per mundi cordis oculum. Eia resperge me tĀE puritate et mundabor. Tange tua munditia cordis mei intima, et super nivem dealbabor. Praevaleat quaeso tuae charitatis magnitudo, et involvat me meritorum tuorum copiosa sanctitudo, ne impediat me a te meae venustatis dissimilitudo.'

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* St. Gertrude the Great - The Life and Revelations of
'"Ah!" exclaimed Gertrude, "teach me, O best of teachers, how to perform even one action perfectly in memory of Thy Passion." Our Lord replied: "When you are praying, extend your arms to represent the manner in which I extended Mine to God My Father in My Passion and do this for the salvation of every member of the Church, in union with the love with which I stretched out My arms upon the cross." "If I do this," she replied, "I must hide myself in a corner, for it is far from being customary." Our Lord replied: "If any one prays thus with his hands extended, without fear of contradiction, he pays Me the same honour as one would do who solemnly enthroned a king."'

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St. Gertrude the Great - The Love of the Heart of Jesus to His Creatures
"Alas! what fruit can I obtain from this exercise, when I am so unstable?" But our Lord, who could not endure to behold the affliction of His servant, with His own hands presented her with His Divine Heart, under the figure of a burning lamp, saying to her: "Behold, I present to the eyes of your soul My loving Heart, which is the organ of the most Holy Trinity, that it may accomplish all that you cannot accomplish yourself, and thus all will seem perfect in you to My eyes; for even as a faithful servant is always ready to execute the commands of his master, so, from henceforth, my Heart will be always ready, at any moment, to repair your defects and negligences."'

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St. Ignatius of Loyola - The Autobiography of
'In the meantime the divine mercy was at work substituting for these thoughts others suggested by his recent readings. While perusing the life of Our Lord and the saints, he began to reflect, saying to himself: "What if I should do what Saint Francis did?" "What if I should act like Saint Dominic?" He pondered over these things in his mind, and kept continually proposing to himself serious and difficult things. He seemed to feel a certain readiness for doing them, with no other reason except this thought: "Saint Dominic did this; I, too, will do it." "Saint Francis did this; therefore I will do it." These heroic resolutions remained for a time, and then other vain and worldly thoughts followed. This succession of thoughts occupied him for a long while, those about God alternating with those about the world. But in these thoughts there was this difference. When he thought of worldly things it gave him great pleasure, but afterward he found himself dry and sad. But when he thought of journeying to Jerusalem, and of living only on herbs, and practising austerities, he found pleasure not only while thinking of them, but also when he had ceased. This difference he did not notice or value, until one day the eyes of his soul were opened and he began to inquire the reason of the difference.'

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St. Ignatius of Loyola - Letters and Instructions
'It is to be noted, that if one be of a choleric temperament, and should converse with another who is choleric, if they be not in everything of the same mind, there is a great danger of their conversation becoming heated. Consequently, one who knows that he is of a choleric temperament must go strongly armed, even in regard to the smallest details about to be discussed with others, with examen and other precautions, to endure and not to lose his temper with the other party, especially if he knows that other to be weak in self-control. In conversing with phlegmatic or melancholic persons there is less danger of discord through heated words.'

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St. Ignatius of Loyola - The Spiritual Exercises
'It is likewise to be remarked that, as, in the time of consolation, it is easy and not irksome to be in contemplation the full hour, so it is very hard in the time of desolation to fill it out. For this reason, the person who is exercising himself, in order to act against the desolation and conquer the temptations, ought always to stay somewhat more than the full hour; so as to accustom himself not only to resist the adversary, but even to overthrow him.'

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St. Ignatius of Loyola - A Thought from for Each Day of the Year
'Adversity is such, that it is really advantageous to the just man, for it causes him a profitable loss; just as a shower of precious stones might break the leaves of the vine, but would replace them by the most beautiful treasures.'

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St. John of Avila - The Letters of
'What else was the happiness you felt at having freed yourself from the miseries of this world, and at having received the pledge of love from the celestial King, but a sign that your change of plans proceeded, not from your own inconstancy, but from God, Who had put the desire into your heart. The happiness came from him as a testimony and pledge of the many great and pure joys He will give you if you prove faithful to Him. The least or these is incomparably better than husband, children, riches, or anything else this world can give. Would that you knew by experience how sweet God is to those who forsake created things to gaze on their Creator! How tenderly the Divine Spouse cherishes those who cast away all transitory joys. They are like the chaste turtle doves which refuse all earthly comfort and long only for the love of their Lord in Heaven, and like the dove which returned from her flight from the ark to her master's hand as pure as when she left him, undefiled by having touched any dead body even with her feet. Is anything the world contains of less account than a corpse full of corruption? Why unite ourselves with what will only contaminate us? For the bitterness its joys leave behind is a thousand times greater than any pleasure they give us. Return heartfelt thanks to Christ for the light to distinguish between the priceless and the worthless, between eternal and temporal things, between God and a mortal man.'

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St. John Bosco - The Life of St. Dominic Savio
'He wished at least to do without breakfast, but consideration for his health made it prudent to forbid that also. What then was he to do to satisfy his desire for some bodily mortifications. As he was forbidden to do anything that affected his food, he began to afflict his body in other ways. He put some some sharp things into his bed, so that he might not be able to repose in comfort: he wanted a kind of hair shirt; but all these things were soon prohibited. He thought of something else. During the autumn and winter he managed to escape having extra blankets for his bed, so that during the cold of January he had only the summer coverings on his bed. This was discovered, because, one morning he was unwell, and had to remain in bed; and when the Director came to see him, he saw at once that he had insufficient covering for that severe weather. "Why did you do this?" the Director asked, "did you want to die of cold?" "Oh, I shall not die of cold," he answered. "When in the stable at Bethlehem, or hanging on the Cross, Our Lord had less to cover Him than I have now."'

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St. John of the Cross - Ascent of Mount Carmel
'We here describe as night the privation of every kind of pleasure which belongs to the desire; for, even as night is naught but the privation of light, and, consequently, of all objects that can be seen by means of light, whereby the visual faculty remains unoccupied and in darkness, even so likewise the mortification of desire may be called night to the soul. For, when the soul is deprived of the pleasure of its desire in all things, it remains, as it were, unoccupied and in darkness. For even as the visual faculty, by means of light, is nourished and fed by objects which can be seen, and which, when the light is quenched, are not seen, even so, by means of the desire, the soul is nourished and fed by all things wherein it can take pleasure according to its faculties; and, when this also is quenched, or rather, mortified, the soul ceases to feed upon the pleasure of all things, and thus, with respect to its desire, it remains unoccupied and in darkness. . . The reason for which it is necessary for the soul, in order to attain to Divine union with God, to pass through this dark night of mortification of the desires and denial of pleasures in all things, is because all the affections which it has for creatures are pure darkness in the eyes of God, and, when the soul is clothed in these affections, it has no capacity for being enlightened and possessed by the pure and simple light of God, if it first cast them not from it; for light cannot agree with darkness; since, as Saint John says: Tenebroe eam non comprehenderunt. That is: The darkness could not receive the light.'

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+ St. John of the Cross - Dark Night of the Soul
'On a dark night, kindled in love with yearnings-oh, happy chance!- I went forth without being observed, my house being now at rest. In darkness and secure, by the secret ladder, disguised-oh, happy chance!- In darkness and in concealment, my house being now at rest. In the happy night, In secret, when none saw me, nor I beheld aught, without light or guide, save that which burned in my heart. This light guided me more surely than the light of noonday to the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me- A place where none appeared. Oh, night that guided me, oh, night more lovely than the dawn, oh, night that joined Beloved with lover, Lover transformed in the Beloved!' . . . Begins the exposition of the stanzas which treat of the way and manner which the soul follows upon the road of the union of love with God.'

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St. John of the Cross - The Living Flame of Love
'The death of such persons is very gentle and very sweet, sweeter and more gentle than was their whole spiritual life on earth. For they die with the most sublime impulses and delightful encounters of love, resembling the swan whose song is much sweeter at the moment of death. Accordingly, David affirmed that the death of the saints is precious in the sight of the Lord [Ps. 116:15]. The soul's riches gather together here, and its rivers of love move on to enter the sea, for these rivers, because they are blocked, become so vast that they themselves resemble seas. The just one's first treasures, and last, are heaped together as company for the departure and going off to the kingdom, while praises are heard from the ends of the earth, which, as Isaiah says, are the glory of the just one [Is. 24:16].'

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St. John of the Cross - A Spiritual Canticle of the Soul
"The silent music." In this silence and tranquillity of the night, and in this knowledge of the divine light, the soul discerns a marvelous arrangement and disposition of Godís wisdom in the diversities of His creatures and operations. All these, and each one of them, have a certain correspondence with God, whereby each, by a voice peculiar to itself, proclaims what there is in itself of God, so as to form a concert of sublimest melody, transcending all the harmonies of the world. This is the silent music, because it is knowledge tranquil and calm, without audible voice; and thus the sweetness of music and the repose of silence are enjoyed in it. The soul says that the Beloved is silent music, because this harmony of spiritual music is in Him understood and felt. He is not this only, He is also --"The murmuring solitude."'

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St. Leonard of Port Maurice - The Hidden Treasure or the Immense Excellence of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
'Some there are who seem astonished when they fancy that our good God has, in a certain sense, changed His mode of governing the world since the ancient times: for, in the latter He was wont to be called the God of armies, and He used to speak to the people out of clouds with bolts of thunder in His hands; for indeed, He punished crime with all the rigor of His justice. For one single adultery He put five-and-twenty thousand of the tribe of Benjamin to the sword. For an act of vainglory committed by David in making a census of his kingdom, He sent a terrible plague, which in a very short time swept off seventy thousand of the population. For one irreverent and incautious glance He slew fifty thousand of the Betsamites. And in these our times He tolerates not only vanities and frivolities, but adulteries the most sordid, scandals the most barefaced, nay, and the most frightful blasphemies which many Christians cast on His most holy Name. How then do we account for all this? Why this difference in His mode of governing? . . . The holy sacrifice of the Mass is the true and sole reason for such stupendous clemency, for in it we offer to the eternal father the great victim, Jesus Christ.'

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+ St. Leonard of Port Maurice - The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved
'What did Our Lord answer the curious man in the Gospel who asked Him, "Lord, is it only a few to be saved?" Did He keep silence? Did He answer haltingly? Did He conceal His thought for fear of frightening the crowd? No. Questioned by only one, He addresses all of those present. He says to them: "You ask Me if there are only few who are saved?" Here is My answer: "Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able." Who is speaking here? It is the Son of God, Eternal Truth, who on another occasion says even more clearly, "Many are called, but few are chosen." He does not say that all are called and that out of all men, few are chosen, but that many are called; which means, as Saint Gregory explains, that out of all men, many are called to the True Faith, but out of them few are saved. Brothers, these are the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Are they clear? They are true. Tell me now if it is possible for you to have faith in your heart and not tremble.'

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Ven Louis de Granada, & Various Authors - Life of Dom Bartholomew of the Martyrs
'The Bishops of France are arrived, and with them the Cardinal of Lorraine, who, speaking to the Council in the name of the whole country, described the excesses and malice of the heretics to be such as I cannot think of without horror. Frenchmen persecute Frenchmen, profane the holiest places, break the sacred images, throw down the altars, and burn with fire the most sacred objects of our faith, and the more they strive to put down these heretics, the more they seem to increase. I assure you I am getting alarmed, lest a spark of this abominable fire should reach even to Braga. For I am persuaded, by what I hear and see around me, that a Christian who lives according to the maxims of this world, and forgetful of his own salvation, is not less susceptible of this contagious heresy than dry wood is of fire, because it is an open door for every species of licence and libertinage. It is by this bait to the corruption of our poor human nature that the preachers of these unhappy doctrines tempt so many of their disciples, because they teach that every Christian, no matter whether in holy orders or not, should embrace the state of matrimony, and they exempt every one from the laws of the Church, as regards fasting, abstinence or confession. Therefore, there is no doubt that if the smallest entrance be given to these false prophets, they will speedily gain innumerable disciples.'

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Ven. Louis of Granada - A Memorial of a Christian Life
'We put in the twelfth place solitude, which is the surest guardian of innocence. Nothing so powerfully preserves it, and it is this which all at once cuts off the occasion of all sins, since it banishes from our eyes and our senses all the objects which may give them birth. This remedy is so certain, that heaven sent no other to the blessed Arsenius, when he heard that voice which said to him, "Arsenius, fly, keep silence, and be quiet." If you will then become true servants of God, endeavour to retire into yourselves, do all that possibly you can to free yourselves from all visits, compliments, and worldly conversations. For what can you hear in companies, but detractions, lies, or flatteries? Or, if they are exempt from these things that are sins, which rarely happens, they are not from abundance of others less criminal indeed, yet such as will render your souls void of devotion, and so fill them with the images and remembrance of what you shall have seen and heard, that will never fail to present itself before you at the time of prayer, and hinder it from being so free and pure as it ought to be. But if you are looked on as uncourteous, and if worldly men take it ill that you pay them not these civilities, trouble not yourselves about it, for it is far less in convenient that men should complain of you, than that you should displease God; cast your eyes on the martyrs, and so many other saints who have done so great, and suffered so terrible things to obtain heaven.'

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Ven. Louis of Granada - The Sinner's Guide
'"Now are gathered together on one side the horrible assemblage of devils, on the other, the glorious company of Angels. And the man begins to discern which of these two parties will carry off the spoil. For if works of piety and virtue are found in him, he is immediately comforted with the feast and banquet of the Angels. But if his vile demerits and wicked life forbid this, he shudders with intolerable fear and terror; he is cast down headlong, seized, torn from his wretched flesh, and carried away into everlasting torments." All this is from S. Peter Damiani. This is true, and this must be. Can any one possessed of reason require more to show how miserable the lot of the wicked is and how careful he must be to avoid it, seeing that so wretched and disastrous an end awaits them?'

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St. Louis Marie de Montfort - Letter to the Friends of the Cross
'Do you clearly distinguish the voice of God and his grace from that of the world and of human nature? Do you listen to the voice of God, our heavenly Father, pronouncing his three-fold malediction on all who follow the desires of the world: "Woe, woe, woe to all the people on earth;" the Father who stretches out his arms to you in loving appeal, "Come out, my chosen people," dear friends of my Son's Cross, away from worldlings, who have been cursed by myself, rejected by my Son, and condemned by my Holy Spirit? Beware of following their counsels, of sitting in their company, or even lingering on the road they take. Hasten away from the infamous Babylon. Listen only to the voice of my beloved Son and follow only him, whom I have given you to be your way, your truth, your life, and your model. (Ipsum audite.) "Listen to him." Do you listen to the voice of Jesus who, burdened with his Cross, calls out to you, "Come after me; anyone who follows me will not be walking in the dark; be brave; I have conquered the world."?'

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St. Louis Marie de Montfort - The Secret of Mary
'The essential practice of this devotion is to perform all our actions with Mary. This means that we must take her as the accomplished model for all we have to do. Before undertaking anything, we must forget self and abandon our own views. We must consider ourselves as a mere nothing before God, as being personally incapable of doing anything supernaturally worthwhile or anything conducive to our salvation. We must have habitual recourse to our Lady, becoming one with her and adopting her intentions, even though they are unknown to us. Through Mary we must adopt the intentions of Jesus. In other words, we must become an instrument in Mary's hands for her to act in us and do with us what she pleases, for the greater glory of her Son; and through Jesus for the greater glory of the Father. In this way, we pursue our interior life and make spiritual progress only in dependence on Mary.'

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St. Louis Marie de Montfort - The Secret of the Rosary
'So we ought to love our heavenly Father and say to him over and over again: "Our Father who art in heaven" - Thou who dost fill heaven and earth with the immensity of thy being, Thou who art present everywhere: Thou who art in the saints by thy glory, in the damned by thy justice, n the good by thy grace, in sinners by the patience with which thou dost tolerate them, grant that we may always remember that we come from thee; grant that we may live as thy true children; that we may direct our course towards thee alone with all the ardour of our soul.'

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St. Louis Marie de Montfort - True Devotion to Mary
'She is so full of love that no one who asks for her intercession is rejected, no matter how sinful he may be. The saints say that it has never been known since the world began that anyone had recourse to our Blessed Lady, with trust and perseverance, and was rejected. Her power is so great that her prayers are never refused. She has but to appear in prayer before her Son and he at once welcomes her and grants her requests. He is always lovingly conquered by the prayers of the dear Mother who bore him and nourished him.'

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St. Margaret Mary Alacoque - Letters
'Oh, how happy I am that you love Him and want to belong entirely to Him! You ask for a short prayer that will express your love for Him. I myself know no other, nor do I find any better, than this love itself. For everything speaks when one loves. Even the most engrossing occupations are proofs of our love. So, as Saint Augustine says, love, and then do what you will. And since we cannot love without suffering, let us both love and suffer and not lose a moment of this. For every cross is so precious to a heart that loves its God and wants to be loved by Him. Let us strive, then, to make ourselves true copies of our crucified Love.'

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* Ven. Mary of Agreda - The Admirable Life of the Glorious Patriarch Saint Joseph
'St. Joseph, having been chosen by God to be His image towards His only Son, was not marked out for any public function in the Church of God, but merely to be the expression of His purity and the incomparable sanctity which separates Him from every visible creature; and hence he is the patron of hidden and unknown souls. Far different are the functions of St. Peter in the Church, from the operations of St. Joseph within it. St. Peter is established to control its exterior in its government and administrations, to preserve its doctrines, and to direct its prelates and ministers. St. Joseph, on the contrary, who is a saint hidden, and without external functions, is appointed to communicate interiorly the super-eminent life which he receives from the Father, and which afterwards flows through Jesus Christ upon us.'

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* Ven. Mary of Agreda - The Mystical City of God - Vol. I - The Conception
'The vow of chastity includes purity of body and soul; this is easily lost, and it is difficult, sometimes, according to the manner of losing it, even impossible to repair. This great treasure is deposited in a castle, which has many portals and openings, and if these are not all well guarded and defended, the treasure is without security. My daughter, in order to preserve perfectly this vow, it is necessary to make an inviolable pact with thy senses, not to use them, except for what is according to the dictates of reason and for the glory of the Creator.'

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* Ven. Mary of Agreda - The Mystical City of God - Vol. II - The Incarnation
'I do not say that thou must do away with all sensible feeling, for that is not naturally possible to the creature; but whenever thou meetest adverse happenings, or when thou art deprived of what is useful, necessary or agreeable thou must bear it with joyful resignation and give praise to the Lord, because his will is being fulfilled in thy regard. By seeking only his pleasure, and considering all else as of passing moment, thou wilt gain a quick and easy victory over thyself, and thou wilt seek all occasions to humiliate thyself under the mighty hand of the Lord (I Pet. 5, 6).'

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* Ven. Mary of Agreda - The Mystical City of God - Vol. III - The Transfixion
'My daughter, since in recounting to thee the works of my most holy Son I so often remind thee how thankfully I appreciated them, thou canst understand how pleasing to the Most High is the faithful correspondence on thy part, and the great mysteries of his blessings connected with it. Thou art poor in the house of the Lord, a sinner, insignificant and useless as dust; yet I ask thee to assume the duty of rendering ceaseless thanks for all that the incarnate Word has done for the sons of Adam and for establishing the holy and immaculate, the powerful and perfect law for their salvation. Especially shouldst thou be thankful for the institution of Baptism by which He frees men from the tyranny of the devil, fills them with grace, clothes them with justice and assists them to sin no more. This is indeed a duty incumbent upon all men in common; but since creatures neglect it almost entirely, I enjoin thee to give thanks for all of them, as if thou alone wert responsible for them.'

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* Ven. Mary of Agreda - The Mystical City of God - Vol. IV - The Coronation
'These words of the most blessed Mother tore the heart of saint John, and, unable to restrain his sorrow and his tears, he answered: "My Mother and my Lady, thy will and that of the Most High I am bound to obey in whatever Thou commandest, although my merits are far below what they ought to be and what I desired. But do Thou, most loving Lady and Mother, help thy poor child, who is to be left an orphan, deprived of thy most desirable company."'

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* St. Mary Euphrasia Pelletier - Conferences and Instructions
'As so many bees you fly from flower to flower, bringing your harvest to the common store. This is as the mysterious work of a hive, where each occupies herself for the general good, without reserving anything for herself. Those who are beginners now in religion find their little cells already built, the stores already prepared, and it will come to pass that thousands and thousands of souls will come here after us to enjoy the delights and the rest of the Lord, working in their turn to prepare a place for those who will succeed them.'

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St. Peter Julian Eymard - The Divine Eucharist
'God has loved us from all eternity. This is a truth upon which we ought to meditate all our life. We have always existed in the love of the good God, always been present to the thought of the Holy Trinity. The Father thought of His creature, the Son of those that He was to redeem, the Holy Spirit of those that He was to sanctify.'

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Bl. Raymund of Capua - The Life of St. Catherine of Siena
'Her father, who was better than the others, examined her conduct in silence, and comprehended daily more and more that she was doing the will of God, and not following the fancies of a capricious maiden. One day, while the servant of Jesus Christ was praying fervently in her brother's room, the door being open, because her parents had forbidden her to shut it, her father entered to take something that he needed in the absence of his son. While looking about, he saw his daughter who was kneeling in one corner of the chamber, and having a snow-white dove reposing on her head; at his approach it fled, and seemed to disappear through the window. He enquired of his daughter what dove that was that just flew away; she replied that she had not seen a dove or any other bird in her room. This occurrence filled him with astonishment, and awakened serious reflections in his mind.'

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St. Robert Bellarmine - The Art of Dying Well
'He therefore who wishes to examine his conscience well, and to make a good confession, must first read some useful book on the method of making a proper confession, or at least consult some pious and learned confessor. Then let him enter into the chamber of his heart, and not hastily, but accurately and seriously examine his conscience, his thoughts, desires, words, and actions, as well as his omissions; afterwards he should lay open his conscience to his director, and humbly implore absolution from him, being ready to perform whatever "penance" may be imposed upon him.'

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* St. Teresa of Avila - A Few Sweet Flowers Collected from the Writings of
'The life above, the life on high, alone is life in verity; Nor can we life at all enjoy, till this poor life is o'er; Then, O sweet Death! no longer fly, from me, who, ere my time to die, am dying evermore; for evermore I weep and die, dying because I do not die.'

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St. Teresa of Avila - The Interior Castle or The Mansions - Including Some of Her More Interesting Letters
'What rest can the poor little butterfly find, with all the trials I have told you of and many more? They serve to make her desire the Bride-groom more ardently. His Majesty, well aware of our weakness, fortifies her by these and other means in order that she may obtain courage for union with a Lord so great and may take Him for her Spouse. Perhaps you will laugh and think I am talking foolishly: there can be no call for courage here; there is no woman, however low her class, who would not dare to wed a king. So I think, were he an earthly monarch, but there is need of more fortitude than you suppose in order to espouse the King of heaven. Our nature appears too timid and base for anything so high; without doubt, unless God gave us the grace it would be impossible for us, however much we might appreciate its benefits. You will learn how His Majesty ratifies these espousals; probably this is done when He ravishes the soul by ecstasies, thus depriving it of its faculties; if the use of these were retained, I think the sight of its close vicinity to so mighty a Sovereign would probably deprive the body of life. I am speaking of genuine raptures, not fancies that come from women's weakness -- which so often occur nowadays -- making them imagine everything to be a rapture or an ecstasy. As I think I said, some are so feebly constituted as to die of a single prayer of quiet.'

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St. Teresa of Avila - The Life of by Herself
'Let us now return to our orchard, or flower-garden, and behold now how the trees begin to fill with sap for the bringing forth of the blossoms, and then of the fruit -- the flowers and the plants, also, their fragrance. This illustration pleases me; for very often, when I was beginning -- and our Lord grant that I have really begun to serve His Majesty -- I mean, begun in relation to what I have to say of my life, -- it was to me a great joy to consider my soul as a garden, and our Lord as walking in it. I used to beseech Him to increase the fragrance of the little flowers of virtues -- which were beginning, as it seemed to bud -- and preserve them, that they might be to His glory; for I desired nothing for myself. I prayed Him to cut those He liked, because I already knew that they would grow the better.'

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St. Teresa of Avila - The Way of Perfection
'The first thing, then, that we have to do, and that at once, is to rid ourselves of love for this body of ours -- and some of us pamper our natures so much that this will cause us no little labour, while others are so concerned about their health that the trouble these things give us (this is especially so of poor nuns, but it applies to others as well) is amazing. Some of us, however, seem to think that we embraced the religious life for no other reason than to keep ourselves alive and each nun does all she can to that end. In this house, as a matter of fact, there is very little chance for us to act on such a principle, but I should be sorry if we even wanted to. Resolve, sisters, that it is to die for Christ, and not to practise self-indulgence for Christ, that you have come here. The devil tells us that self-indulgence is necessary if we are to carry out and keep the Rule of our Order, and so many of us, forsooth, try to keep our Rule by looking after our health that we die without having kept it for as long as a month -- perhaps even for a day. I really do not know what we are coming to.'

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St. Teresa of Avila - Works & History of Journeys and Foundations
'My mother also was a woman of great goodness, and her life was spent in great infirmities. She was singularly pure in all her ways. Though possessing great beauty, yet was it never known that she gave reason to suspect that she made any account whatever of it; for, though she was only three-and-thirty years of age when she died, her apparel was already that of a woman advanced in years. She was very calm, and had great sense. The sufferings she went through during her life were grievous, her death most Christian. We were three sisters and nine brothers. All, by the mercy of God, resembled their parents in goodness except myself, though I was the most cherished of my father. And, before I began to offend God, I think he had some reason, for I am filled with sorrow whenever I think of the good desires with which our Lord inspired me, and what a wretched use I made of them.'

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St. Thomas Aquinas - The Summa Contra Gentiles - Of God and His Creatures
'If then the final happiness of man does not consist in those exterior advantages which are called goods of fortune, nor in goods of the body, nor in goods of the soul in its sentient part, nor in the intellectual part in respect of the moral virtues, nor in the virtues of the practical intellect, called art and prudence, it remains that the final happiness of man consists in the contemplation of truth. This act alone in man is proper to him, and is in no way shared by any other being in this world. This is sought for its own sake, and is directed to no other end beyond itself.'

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Meditation



Anonymous - Considerations and Devout Meditations for Every Day During the Holy Season of Lent
'There is nothing more united and less united than the soul and body. When one advances, the other recoils; when one rises, the other descends; when one is in health, the other is sick; when one is strong, the other is weak. It is necessary, then, in order to strengthen and give health to the soul, to bring the body under subjection, and weaken its evil propensities by penance and mortification. I am not a man if I obey my passions; I am not a Christian if I do not combat with and overcome my passions; I am not a true penitent if I do not mortify my passions. Since my body is polluted by sin, it ought to be purified by pain; and since it has part in the pleasures of the soul, it ought to glory in sharing its sorrows.'

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Anonymous - Flowers of Mary
'Lonely and forsaken, wandering on the mountains, fain would I be taken, to the living fountains; Where the gushing waters, in the soothing music flow, and my heart could never, never more feel woe. A bark upon the ocean, when the storms are raging high, ever in restless motion; So, alas, am I! Care and trouble cease not; Whither shall I flee? O Redeemer, Saviour, I will come to Thee! Keep me, then, oh keep me, while roaming on earth's mountains, until Thou dost take me, to the living fountains.'

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Anonymous - Meditations for Advent and Easter
'Oh, what a holy, beautiful, peaceful light is the light of the Infant Heart of Jesus! How it longs to come forth and manifest itself to all, to console, to instruct, to illuminate! Are we, also, longing to receive this light? Are we praying with our whole hearts that it may come to us, and that we may be prepared to receive it? However great our spiritual enlightenment may be, we are still, in some measure, "sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death." But the light is coming; already we can see the dawn upon the mountain. When Mary was born, the first ray of light tinged the eastern sky; when Jesus was born, the light of this mystic moon was as the light of the true sun, because of her perfect union with Him; and the light of the sun was sevenfold, as the light of seven days. The light was sevenfold; that is, the light was perfect, for it was the light of God.'

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Rev. John Wyse - Devout Exercises - Meditations and Visits to the Sanctuaries of the Blessed Virgin
'Today, therefore, let us begin by considering the end for which we were created. In the first place we must recall to our memory, that "man was created to praise, reverence, and serve his God, and by this means to save his soul." And, we may ask ourselves, who was it that created us but God, Whose majesty and goodness are infinite? He need not have created us: for He was perfect without us. We are therefore the work of His pure mercy; and hence, as His bondsmen and slaves, we are obliged, whether we like it or not, to love and serve Him, and obey Him in this life. But Almighty God, in His endless love for man, has added besides a supreme reward in the next world, to be gained by those who obey Him in this. Thus, not only is it our duty to serve God here; but, having served Him, it is our privilege to be happy with Him for ever hereafter.'

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* St. Anselm of Canterbury - Meditations and Prayers
'For the singing of the new song to God is this, to crush the desires of the old man, and with thy whole heart's endeavour, and with a sole desire of eternal life, to walk the ways of the new man which have been pointed out to the world by the Son of God. And he sings a hymn to God who treasures in pure mind's recollection the joys of that heavenly home and strives to reach them, supported by the consciousness of a holy life, and relying on the gift of supernatural grace.'

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St. Peter Julian Eymard - Month of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament
'If, then, we desire to be the children of this loving Mother, we must clothe our selves with her modesty. Let us make it the ordinary subject of our meditation, for it is the heritage left us by Mary. Let her modesty be the rule of our virtues. Let her simplicity, which forgets itself to see only God, which inclines to duty rather than to pleasure, to God rather than to His consolation, to love for love, be our portion, the aim of our efforts, and the seal of our life.'

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* St. Thomas Aquinas - Meditations for Lent
'The Pope, St. Leo the Great, says that the thieves were crucified, one on either side of him, so that in the very appearance of the scene of his suffering there might be set forth that distinction which should be made in the judgment of each one of us. St. Augustine has the same thought. "The cross itself," he says, "was a tribunal. In the centre was the judge. To the one side a man who believed and was set free, to the other side a scoffer and he was condemned." Already there was made clear the final fate of the living and the dead, the one class placed at his right, the other on his left.'

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Popes & Saints




Pope Bl. Pius IX - Apostolic Constitution - Ineffabilis Deus - The Immaculate Conception
'Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith, and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own: "We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful." Hence, if anyone shall dare -- which God forbid! -- to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should dare to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he think in his heart.'

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Pope Bl. Pius IX - Encyclical - Cum Nuper - On Care for Clerics
'Also, with special concern and charity look after virgins sacred to God. They are the choice part of your flocks, the flower of the ecclesiastical plant, the ornament of spiritual grace. Afford them assistance, so that mindful of their holy vocation by which they have dedicated themselves to God, they may avert their eyes from human things and raise them always to heavenly ones. Then daily advancing from virtue to virtue, they may strive to diffuse the spirit of Christ everywhere.'

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* Pope Bl. Pius IX - Encyclical - Etsi Multa - On the Church in Italy, Germany, and Switzerland
'Some of you may perchance wonder that the war against the Catholic Church extends so widely. Indeed each of you knows well the nature, zeal, and intention of sects, whether called Masonic or some other name. When he compares them with the nature, purpose, and amplitude of the conflict waged nearly everywhere against the Church, he cannot doubt but that the present calamity must be attributed to their deceits and machinations for the most part. For from these the synagogue of Satan is formed which draws up its forces, advances its standards, and joins battle against the Church of Christ.'

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Pope Bl. Pius IX - Encyclical - Incredibili - On Persecution in New Granada
'All properties of the Church have been confiscated and sold. Thus, with their own property having been yielded up, parishes, religious communities of both men-and women, the clergy, hospitals, houses of refuge, religious brotherhoods, benefices, and chaplaincies are despoiled, even of the right of patronage. These same unjust laws and decrees attack the legitimate right of the Church to acquire and possess property. They also declare liberty for non-Catholic sects. Furthermore, all the religious communities of both men and women have been banished from the territory of New Granada and their very existence interdicted. Forbidden also is the promulgation of all letters and every papal rescript. If any refuse to obey these ordinances, the penalty for all clergy is exile, for the laity, imprisonment without trial.'

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* Pope Bl. Pius IX - Encyclical - Nostis et Nobiscum - On the Church in the Pontifical States
'As regards this teaching and these theories, it is now generally known that the special goal of their proponents is to introduce to the people the pernicious fictions of Socialism and Communism by misapplying the terms "liberty" and "equality." The final goal shared by these teachings, whether of Communism or Socialism, even if approached differently, is to excite by continuous disturbances workers and others, especially those of the lower class, whom they have deceived by their lies and deluded by the promise of a happier condition. They are preparing them for plundering, stealing, and usurping first the Church's and then everyone's property. After this they will profane all law, human and divine, to destroy divine worship and to subvert the entire ordering of civil societies. In this critical period for Italy, it is your duty, venerable brothers, to help the faithful realize that if they let themselves be deceived by such perverted doctrines and theories, these theories will cause their temporal and their eternal destruction.'

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Pope Bl. Pius IX - Encyclical - Quanta Cura - Condemning Current Errors
'For you well know, venerable brethren, that at this time men are found not a few who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of "naturalism," as they call it, dare to teach that "the best constitution of public society and (also) civil progress altogether require that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones." And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that "that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require." From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity," viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way." But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching "liberty of perdition;" and that "if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling."'

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Pope Bl. Pius IX - Syllabus - The Syllabus of Errors
'Venerable Brothers, it is surprising that in our time such a great war is being waged against the Catholic Church. But anyone who knows the nature, desires and intentions of the sects, whether they be called masonic or bear another name, and compares them with the nature the systems and the vastness of the obstacles by which the Church has been assailed almost everywhere, cannot doubt that the present misfortune must mainly be imputed to the frauds and machinations of these sects. It is from them that the synagogue of Satan, which gathers its troops against the Church of Christ, takes its strength. In the past Our predecessors, vigilant even from the beginning in Israel, had already denounced them to the kings and the nations, and had condemned them time and time again, and even We have not failed in this duty. If those who would have been able to avert such a deadly scourge had only had more faith in the supreme Pastors of the Church! But this scourge, winding through sinuous caverns, . . . deceiving many with astute frauds, finally has arrived at the point where it comes forth impetuously from its hiding places and triumphs as a powerful master. Since the throng of its propagandists has grown enormously, these wicked groups think that they have already become masters of the world and that they have almost reached their pre-established goal. Having sometimes obtained what they desired, and that is power, in several countries, they boldly turn the help of powers and authorities which they have secured to trying to submit the Church of God to the most cruel servitude, to undermine the foundations on which it rests, to contaminate its splendid qualities; and, moreover, to strike it with frequent blows, to shake it, to overthrow it, and, if possible, to make it disappear completely from the earth. Things being thus, Venerable Brothers, make every effort to defend the faithful which are entrusted to you against the insidious contagion of these sects and to save from perdition those who unfortunately have inscribed themselves in such sects.'

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Pope St. Gregory the Great - Dialogues
'When the time was come, in which God determined to reward this his great patience: the pain of his body strook inwardly to his heart, which he feeling, and knowing as his last hour was not far off, called for all such strangers as lodged in his house, desiring them to sing hymns with him, for his last farewell and departure out of this life: and as he was himself singing with them, all on a sudden he cried out aloud, and bad them be silent, saying: "Do ye not hear the great and wonderful musick which is in heaven?" and so whiles he lay giving of ear within himself to that divine harmony, his holy soul departed this mortal life: at which time, all that were there present felt a most pleasant and fragrant smell, whereby they perceived how true it was that Servulus said.'

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Pope St. Gregory the Great - Homily - On the Pastoral Office
'Hence each of us, to the best of his ability, and according to the needs of his flock, ought to strive to make them understand the terrors of the Last Judgment, and the joys of the Kingdom to come. And if the pastor cannot reach all by a discourse addressed to all in common, he ought as far as in him lies to instruct them individually, to edify them by private discourses, and by familiar exhortation strive to produce fruit in the hearts of his people.'

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Pope St. Gregory the Great - Life of Our Most Holy Father St. Benedict
'Benedict having now left the schools resolved to betake himself to the desert, accompanied only by his nurse who most tenderly loved him. Coming therefore to a place called Affile, and remaining for some time in the Church of St. Peter by the charitable Invitement of many virtuous people who lived there for devotion, so it chanced that his nurse borrowed of a neighbour a sieve to cleanse wheat, which being left carelessly upon the table was found broken in two pieces. Therefore on her return finding it broke, she began to weep bitterly because it was only lent her. But the religious and pious boy, Benedict, seeing his nurse lament was moved with compassion, and taking with him the two pieces of the broken sieve, with tears he gave himself to prayer, which no sooner ended, but he found the sieve whole, and found not any sign that it had been broken.'

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Pope St. Pius X - Allocution - For the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception
'As you yourselves know, an air of independence which is fatal for souls is widely diffused in the world, and has found its way even within the sanctuary; it shows itself not only in relation to authority but also in regard to doctrine. Because of it, some of our young clerics, animated by that spirit of unbridled criticism which holds sway at the present day, have come to lose all respect for the learning which comes from our great teachers, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the interpreters of revealed doctrine. If ever you have in your seminary one of those new-style savants, get rid of him without delay; on no account impose hands upon him. You will always regret having ordained even one such person: never will you regret having excluded him.'

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Pope St. Pius X - Apostolic Exhortation - Haerent Animo - To the Catholic Clergy on Priestly Sanctity
'A point of capital importance is that a certain time should be given daily to meditation on the eternal truths. No priest can neglect this practice without incurring a grave charge of negligence and without detriment to his soul. The saintly abbot, Bernard, when writing to Eugene III, his former pupil who had become Roman Pontiff, frankly and emphatically admonished him never to omit daily divine meditation; he would not admit as an excusing cause even the many weighty cares which the supreme pontificate involves. In justification of this advice he enumerated with great prudence the benefits of the practice of meditation: "Meditation purifies the source from which it comes, the mind. It controls affections, guides our acts, corrects excesses, rules our conduct, introduces order and dignity into our lives; it bestows understanding of things divine and human. It brings clarity where there is confusion, binds what is torn apart, gathers what is scattered, investigates what is hidden, seeks out the truth, weighs what has the appearance of truth, and shows up what is pretense and falsehood. It plans future action and reviews the past, so that nothing remains in the mind that has not been corrected or that stands in need of correction. When affairs are prospering it anticipates the onset of adversity, and when adversity comes it seems not to feel it, in this it displays in turn prudence and fortitude."'

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Pope St. Pius X - Apostolic Letter - Notre Charge Apostolique - Our Apostolic Mandate
'No, Venerable Brethren, We must repeat with the utmost energy in these times of social and intellectual anarchy when everyone takes it upon himself to teach as a teacher and lawmaker - the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be setup unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants.'

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Pope St. Pius X - Encyclical - E Supremi - On the Restoration of All Things in Christ
'For in truth, "The nations have raged and the peoples imagined vain things" (Ps. ii., 1.) against their Creator, so frequent is the cry of the enemies of God: "Depart from us" (Job. xxi., 14). And as might be expected we find extinguished among the majority of men all respect for the Eternal God, and no regard paid in the manifestations of public and private life to the Supreme Will -- nay, every effort and every artifice is used to destroy utterly the memory and the knowledge of God. 5. When all this is considered there is good reason to fear lest this great perversity may be as it were a foretaste, and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the last days; and that there may be already in the world the "Son of Perdition" of whom the Apostle speaks (II. Thess. ii., 3). Such, in truth, is the audacity and the wrath employed everywhere in persecuting religion, in combating the dogmas of the faith, in brazen effort to uproot and destroy all relations between man and the Divinity!'

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Pope St. Pius X - Encyclical - Editae Saepe - On St. Charles Borromeo
'They tried to reform faith and discipline according to their own whims. Venerable Brethren, it is no better understood by those whom We must withstand today. These moderns, forever prattling about culture and civilization, are undermining the Church's doctrine, laws, and practices. They are not concerned very much about culture and civilization. By using such high-sounding words they think they can conceal the wickedness of their schemes. All of you know their purpose, subterfuges, and methods. On Our part We have denounced and condemned their scheming. They are proposing a universal apostasy even worse than the one that threatened the age of Charles. It is worse, We say, because it stealthily creeps into the very veins of the Church, hides there, and cunningly pushes erroneous principles to their ultimate conclusions. Both these heresies are fathered by the "enemy" who "sowed weeds among the wheat" in order to bring about the downfall of mankind. Both revolts go about in the hidden ways of darkness, develop along the same line, and come to an end in the same fatal way.'

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Pope St. Pius X - Encyclical - Iamdudum - On the Law of Separation in Portugal
'We have seen religious communities evicted from their homes, and most of them driven beyond the Portuguese frontiers. We have seen, arising out of an obstinate determination to secularize every civil organization and to leave no trace of religion in the acts of common life, the deletion of the feast days of the Church from the number of public festivals, the abolition of religious oaths, the hasty establishment of the law of divorce and religious instruction banished from the public schools. And then, to pass over in silence other enormities which would take too long to enumerate, the Bishops have been savagely attacked, and two of the most prominent of them, the Bishops of Oporto and Beia, men who are illustrious by the integrity of their lives and by their great services to their country and the Church, have been driven out of their sees and stripped of their honors.'

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Pope St. Pius X - Encyclical - Pascendi Dominici Gregis - On the Doctrine of the Modernists
'Nor indeed will he err in accounting them the most pernicious of all the adversaries of the Church. For as We have said, they put their designs for her ruin into operation not from without but from within; hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain, the more intimate is their knowledge of her. Moreover they lay the axe not to the branches and shoots, but to the very root, that is, to the faith and its deepest fires. And having struck at this root of immortality, they proceed to disseminate poison through the whole tree, so that there is no part of Catholic truth from which they hold their hand, none that they do not strive to corrupt. Further, none is more skilful, none more astute than they, in the employment of a thousand noxious arts; for they double the parts of rationalist and Catholic, and this so craftily that they easily lead the unwary into error; and since audacity is their chief characteristic, there is no conclusion of any kind from which they shrink or which they do not thrust forward with pertinacity and assurance. To this must be added the fact, which indeed is well calculated to deceive souls, that they lead a life of the greatest activity, of assiduous and ardent application to every branch of learning, and that they possess, as a rule, a reputation for the strictest morality. Finally, and this almost destroys all hope of cure, their very doctrines have given such a bent to their minds, that they disdain all authority and brook no restraint; and relying upon a false conscience, they attempt to ascribe to a love of truth that which is in reality the result of pride and obstinacy.'

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Pope St. Pius X - Encyclical - Pieni L'animo - On the Clergy in Italy
'Our soul is fearful of the strict rendering that We shall one day be called upon to make to Jesus Christ, the Prince of Pastors, concerning the flock He entrusted to Our care. We pass each day with great solicitude in preserving as much as possible the faithful from the dangerous evils that afflict society at the present time. Therefore, We consider addressed to Us the words of the Prophet: "Cry, cease not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet." Accordingly, sometimes by speech and sometimes by letter We constantly warn, beseech, and censure, arousing, above all, the zeal of Our Brethren in the Episcopate so that each one of them will exercise the most solicitous vigilance in that portion of the flock over which the Holy Spirit has placed him.'

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Pope St. Pius X - Encyclical - Vehementor Nos - On the French Law of Separation
'That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. Besides, this thesis is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political societies; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this is foreign to it) with their ultimate object which is man's eternal happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the conquest of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this conquest, but must aid us in effecting it.'

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Pope St. Pius X - Motu Proprio - Tra le Sollecitudini - Instruction on Sacred Music
'For the devout psalmody of the clergy, in which the people also used to join, there have been substituted interminable musical compositions on the words of the psalms, all of them modeled on old theatrical works, and most of them of such meager artistic value that they would not be tolerated for a moment even in our second-rate concerts. It is certain that Christian piety and devotion are not promoted by them; the curiosity of some of the less intelligent is fed, but the majority, disgusted and scandalized, wonder how it is that such an abuse can still survive. We therefore wish the cause to be completely extirpated. . .'

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Pope St. Pius X - Syllabus - Lamentabili Sane - Condemning the Errors of the Modernists
'Therefore, after a very diligent investigation and consultation with the Reverend Consultors, the Most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, the General Inquisitors in matters of faith and morals have judged the following propositions to be condemned and proscribed. In fact, by this general decree, they are condemned and proscribed.'

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Pope St. Pius X - Oath Against Modernism
'Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion.'

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Priests' Manuals & Works of Instruction



+ Canon Arvisenet - An Epitome of the Priestly Life
'What is man, my son, and for what purpose was he created? Was it not that he should fear God, keep his commandments, adore him and serve him alone? What art thou, my son? Why wast thou made a priest? Surely for this purpose, that in this most excellent work thou shouldst be placed over men to lead them to fear, adore and worship me. grand dignity! sublime ministry! I am in heaven, my son; men are upon earth; and thou art midway between me and them that thou mayst direct them in my name, that they may obey you, as they would me. I am God, the Creator; men are my creatures; thou art placed over them that thou mayst induce them to render to me the things that are mine. I am the Father of Lights; men are in darkness; thou art a candle set in the midst that through thee the true light may enlighten them.'

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Cardinal Manning - The Eternal Priesthood
'All that has hitherto been said has raised the priest to so high a state that the next thought must be of his dangers. If he should fall, how great that fall would be. To stand upon the pinnacle of the Temple needs a supernatural poise and fidelity not to fall. It is well -- it is even necessary -- that we should both number and measure the dangers which beset us. We can all, perhaps, remember with what a sense of holy fear we prepared for our ordination; with what joy and hope we received the indelible character of priesthood; with what disappointment at ourselves we woke up the next morning, or soon after, to find ourselves the same men we were before. This meeting of devout and hopeful aspiration with the cold hard reality of our conscious state came like a sharp withering wind over the first blossoms of a fruit-tree. But the effect of this was wholesome. It roused and warned us even with fear. We then better understood such words as these: "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman to the house of Israel; and thou shalt hear the word out of My mouth, and shall tell it them from Me. If, when I say to the wicked, 'Thou shalt surely die,' thou declare it not to him, nor speak to him that he may be converted from his wicked way and live, the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but I will require his blood at thy hand. But if thou give warning to the wicked, and he be not converted from his wickedness and from his evil way, he indeed shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul."'

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Cardinal Manning - The Vatican Council and its Definitions - A Pastoral Letter to the Clergy
'Cardinal Pallavicini, after relating the contests and jealousies of the Orators of Catholic States assembled in the Council of Trent, goes on to say that to convoke a General Council, except when absolutely demanded by necessity, is to tempt God. I well remember, at the time of the centenary of St. Peter's Martyrdom, when the Holy Father first announced his intention to convene the General Council, one of the oldest and most experienced of the foreign diplomatists expressed to me his great alarm. . . For three hundred years, the Church dispersed throughout the world has been in contact with the corrupt civilizations of old Catholic countries, and with anti-Catholic civilization of countries in open schism. The intellectual traditions of nearly all nations have been departing steadily from the unity of the Faith and of the Church. In most countries, public opinion has become formally hostile to the Catholic religion. The minds of Catholics have been much affected by the atmosphere in which they live. It was to be feared and expected that the Bishops of all the world, differing so widely in race, political institutions, and intellectual habits, might have imported into the Council elements of divergence, if not irreconcilable division. . . but in the midst of this variety there reigned a perfect identity of faith.'

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Fr. Joseph Frassinetti - The New Parish Priest's Practical Manual
'In the third place, there is required in a Parish Priest a spirit of sacrifice, so that he be ready to renounce his personal convenience, habits, tastes, and inclinations, whenever the good of his flock may demand it. And here I do not speak of those cases in which a pastor may be bound even to lay down his life for his flock, since such cases are extraordinary, and of rare occurrence. I speak of ordinary cases only, in which there is a question, as has been said, of sacrificing merely one's convenience, habits, tastes and inclinations. The priest who does not feel himself daily disposed to submit to sacrifices and privations of this kind, ought not to aspire to the charge of a parish. I say "daily disposed," because it may easily happen that a Parish Priest be called upon to make such sacrifices every day.'

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+ Prof. Caspar E. Schieler, D.D. - Theory and Practice of the Confessional
'The declaration of the number of sins is another feature completing the Sacrament. The penitent must give the number of his mortal sins so far as he can; if he knows exactly how often he has fallen into a mortal sin, he must state that number of times, neither increasing nor diminishing; if, despite careful examination and reflection he cannot arrive at the real number, he must give it as near as possible, adding the words "about" or "at least"; in so doing he fulfills his obligation, for he has done what he could, which is sufficient to enable a judgment to be pronounced humano modo. Should the penitent, after having thus confessed in all good faith, discover later on a more accurate number than that confessed, he is not obliged to make another confession to supply this number; nor should he disquiet himself, for the round numbers given in the first confession included everything; it is only when the newly discovered number is considerably greater than the vague estimate of his first confession that he is obliged to confess again, because the number, and, in consequence, the sin, was not perfectly confessed, since a far greater number cannot be considered as included in his former round estimate.'

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+ St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Dignity and Duties of a Priest
'For eleven centuries, all that fell into mortal sin after baptism were excluded from the priesthood. This we learn from the Council of Nice, from the Council of Toledo, from the Council of Elvira, and from the Fourth Council of Carthage. And if a priest after his ordination had fallen into sin, he was deposed, and shut up in a monastery, as may be observed from several canons. In the sixth canon, the following reason is assigned: "Above all, what the Church wishes is perfect innocence. Those that are not holy should not touch holy things." And in the several canons we read: "Since the clerics have taken the Lord for their inheritance, let them not have intercourse with the world." The Council of Trent declared, "Wherefore clerics called to have the Lord for their portion ought by all means so to regulate their whole life and conversation as that in their dress, comportment, gait, discourse, and all things else, nothing appear but what is grave, regulated, and replete with religiousness." In ecclesiastics the Council requires sanctity in dress as well as in conduct, language, and every action. St. John Chrysostom says, that priests should be so holy that all may look to them as models of sanctity; because God has placed them on earth that they may live like angels, and be luminaries and teachers of virtue to all others.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Preaching
'On the other hand, St. John Chrysostom affirms that the ruin of the Church is the great eagerness of sacred orators, not to move their hearers to compunction, but to please them with fine words; as if they came to hear a singer chant a piece of sacred music in the pulpit. "Such preachers," continues the saint, "act like a father who gives to his sick child what it wants. Such a one, however, does not deserve the name of father. This happens every time that one seeks flowery language, not to inspire compunction, but to win vain praise." Yes, reverend Sir, there are many sacred orators who delight their auditory by their elegant and pompous diction, and attract crowds to their sermons. But I would wish to know how many of those who are so highly pleased with their discourses, full of elegance and ornament, leave the church with a contrite heart, and afterwards amend their lives.'

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St. Bonaventure - The Virtues of a Religious Superior
'First of all he shall have to render an account to God for his negligence in omitting to do that to which his office obliged him. "Because being ministers of his kingdom, you have not judged rightly, nor kept the law of justice, nor walked according to the will of God. Horribly and speedily will he appear to you: for a most severe judgement shall be for them that bear rule." Secondly, all the sins of his subjects, which he could and ought to have corrected, are imputed to him. "If thou dost not speak to warn the wicked man from his ways, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but I shall require his blood at thy hand." In the third place, he shall be responsible for the abuse of the dignity and power that was given to him, having turned it to his own honor and pleasure and not to the purpose for which it was conferred upon him. "Take ye away . . . the talent from him . . . and the unprofitable servant cast ye out into the exterior darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."'

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References



The Baltimore Catechism #1
'Q. Who made the world? A. God made the world. Q. Who is God? A. God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things. Q. What is man? A. Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God. Q. Why did God make you? A. God me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next. Q. What must we do to save our souls? A. To save our souls, we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity; that is, we must believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him with all our heart.'

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The Baltimore Catechism #2
'Q. When is our Confession sincere? A. Our Confession is sincere, when we tell our sins honestly and truthfully, neither exaggerating nor excusing them. Q. When is our Confession entire? A. Our Confession is entire, when we tell the number and kinds of our sins and the circumstances which change their nature. Q. What should we do if we cannot remember the number of our sins? A. If we cannot remember the number of our sins, we should tell the number as nearly as possible, and say how often we may have sinned in a day, a week, or a month, and how long the habit or practice has lasted. Q. Is our Confession worthy if, without our fault, we forget to confess a mortal sin? A. If without our fault we forget to confess a mortal sin, our Confession is worthy, and the sin is forgiven; but it must be told in Confession if it again comes to our mind. Q. Is it a grievous offense wilfully to conceal a mortal sin in Confession? A. It is a grievous offense wilfully to conceal a mortal sin in Confession, because we thereby tell a lie to the Holy Ghost, and make our Confession worthless. Q. What must he do who has wilfully concealed a mortal sin in Confession? A. He who has wilfully concealed a mortal sin in Confession must not only confess it, but must also repeat all the sins he has committed since his last worthy Confession.'

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The Baltimore Catechism #3
'Q. What is forbidden by the third Commandment? A. The third Commandment forbids all unnecessary servile work and whatever else may hinder the due observance of the Lord's day. Q. What are servile works? A. Servile works are those which require labor rather of body than of mind. Q. From what do servile works derive their name? A. Servile works derive their name from the fact that such works were formerly done by slaves. Therefore, reading, writing, studying and, in general, all works that slaves did not perform are not considered servile works. Q. Are servile works on Sunday ever lawful? A. Servile works are lawful on Sundays when the honor of God, the good of our neighbor, or necessity requires them. Q. Give some examples of when the honor of God, the good of our neighbor or necessity may require servile works on Sunday. A. The honor of God, the good of our neighbor or necessity may require servile works on Sunday, in such cases as the preparation of a place for Holy Mass, the saving of property in storms or accidents, the cooking of meals and similar works.'

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The Baltimore Catechism #4
'Think, then, what a terrible crime it is to willfully allow anyone to die without Baptism, or to deprive a little child of life before it can be baptized! Suppose all the members of a family but one little infant have been baptized; when the Day of Judgment comes, while all the other members of a family -- father, mother, and children -- may go into Heaven, that little one will have to remain out; that little brother or sister will be separated from its family forever, and never, never see God or Heaven. How heartless and cruel, then, must a person be who would deprive that little infant of happiness for all eternity -- just that its mother or someone else might have a little less trouble or suffering here upon earth.'

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The Catechetical Instructions of St. Thomas Aquinas
'If you seek an example of contempt for earthly things, imitate Him who is the King of kings, the Lord of rulers, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom; but on the Cross He was stripped naked, ridiculed, spat upon, bruised, crowned with thorns, given to drink of vinegar and gall, and finally put to death. How falsely, therefore, is one attached to riches and raiment, for: "They parted My garments amongst them; and upon My vesture they cast lots."'

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The Catechism of the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas
'Are there any human beings who at the moment of death are not judged? Yes. All children who die before attaining the age of reason, or those who though adults never had the use of reason. Is there any allotment at all as regards infants and those who have not had the use of reason? Yes, but this is not by reason of their merits or demerits; and it is not made by way of judgment. It comes about by the fact that some have received baptism and others have not. Those that have received baptism immediately go to heaven; whereas those who have not received this sacrament go to a place reserved for them which is called Limbo.'

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The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X
'Q. In what in general does a sacrifice consist? A. In general a sacrifice consists in the offering of some sensible thing to God and in some way destroying it as an acknowledgment of His Supreme Dominion over us and over all things. Q. What is this Sacrifice of the New Law called? A. This Sacrifice of the New Law is called the Holy Mass. Q. What, then, is the Holy Mass? A. The Holy Mass is the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ offered on our altars under the appearances of bread and wine, in commemoration of the Sacrifice of the Cross. . . Q. For what ends then is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered? A. The Sacrifice of the Mass is offered to God for four ends: (1) To honour Him properly, and hence it is called Latreutical; (2) To thank Him for His favours, and hence it is called Eucharistical; (3) To appease Him, make Him due satisfaction for our sins, and to help the souls in Purgatory, and hence it is called Propitiatory; (4) To obtain all the graces necessary for us, and hence it is called Impetratory.'

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The Clementine Vulgate [Latin]
'In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram. Terra autem erat inanis et vacua, et tenebrae erant super faciem abyssi: et spiritus Dei ferebatur super aquas. Dixitque Deus: Fiat lux. Et facta est lux. Et vidit Deus lucem quod esset bona: et divisit lucem a tenebris. Appellavitque lucem Diem, et tenebras Noctem: factumque est vespere et mane, dies unus. Dixit quoque Deus: Fiat firmamentum in medio aquarum: et dividat aquas ab aquis. Et fecit Deus firmamentum, divisitque aquas, quae erant sub firmamento, ab his, quae erant super firmamentum. Et factum est ita. Vocavitque Deus firmamentum, Caelum: et factum est vespere et mane, dies secundus. Dixit vero Deus: Congregentur aquae, quae sub caelo sunt, in locum unum: et appareat arida. Et factum est ita. Et vocavit Deus aridam Terram, congregationesque aquarum appellavit Maria. Et vidit Deus quod esset bonum.'

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The Douay Catechism of 1649
'How many are the sins against the Holy Ghost? A. Six: despair of salvation, presumption of God's mercy, to impugn the known truth, envy at another's spiritual good, obstinacy in sin, and final impenitence. Q. What is despair of salvation? A. It is a diffidence in the mercies and power of God as also, in the merits of Jesus Christ, as if they were not of force enough to save us. This was the sin of Cain, when he said, "My sin is greater than I can deserve pardon." And of Judas, "when casting down the silver pieces in the temple, he went and hanged himself." Q. What is the presumption of God's mercy? A. A foolish confidence of salvation, without leading a good life, or any care to keep the commandments; such as they entertain who think they will be saved by faith only, without good works. Q. What is it to impugn the known truth? A. To argue obstinately against known points of faith, or to prevent the way of our Lord by forging lies and slander, as Heretics do, when they teach the ignorant people, that Catholics worship images as God, and give Angels and Saints the honour which is due to God; or that the Pope for money gives us pardon to commit what sins we please; that all which, greater falsehoods cannot be invented. Q. What is the envy to another's spiritual good? A. A sadness or repining at another's growth in virtue and perfection; such as sectaries seem to have when they scoff and are troubled at the frequent fasts, prayers, feasts, pilgrimages, alms-deeds, vows, and religious orders of the Catholic Church, calling them superstitious and fooleries, because they have not in their churches any such practices of piety. Q. What is obstinacy in sin? A. A wilful persisting in wickedness, and running on from sin to sin, after sufficient instructions and admonition.'

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+ The Original Douai-Rheims Bible
'In the beginning God created heauen and earth. And the earth was voide & vacant, and darkenes was vpon the face of the deapth: and the Spirite of God moued ouer the waters. And God said: Be light made. And light was made. And God saw the light that it was good: & he diuided the light from the darkenes. And he called the light, Day, and the darkenes, Night: and there was euening & morning, that made one day. God also said: be a firmanent made amidst the waters: and let it diuide betwene waters & waters. And God made a firmament, and diuided the waters, that were vnder the firmanent, from those, that were aboue the firmanent. And it was so done. And God called the firmanent, Heauen and there was euening & morning that made the second day. God also said: Let the waters that are vnder the heauen, be gathered together into one place: and let the drie land appeare. And it was so done. And God called the drie land, Earth: and the gathering of waters together, he called Seas. And God sawe that it was good.'

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The Raccolta
'St. Michael de Saint. 300 days, once a day. . . Glorious Michael, Seraph inflamed with burning love of Jesus in the most holy Sacrament; thou who, passing days and nights in his Royal Presence, didst find there those dear delights which, inundating not thy heart alone but thy whole body with surpassing sweetness, threw thee into an ecstasy of joy; and who, rapt in thy God, didst feel thyself faint for love, being unable to support the torrent of consolations; vouchsafe, I pray thee, powerful advocate, to obtain for me lively faith, firm hope, and burning- charity towards this priceless treasure, the precious pledge of everlasting glory; so that by thy intercession I may, through the whole course of my life, be numbered amongst the true worshippers of Jesus in the Holy Sacrament, and with thee hereafter enjoy Him face to face in an eternity of bliss. Amen. Pater, Ave, Gloria.'

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The Roman Catechism (or the Catechism of the Council of Trent, or the Catechism of St. Pius V)
'Contrition Is A Detestation Of Sin. From this definition, therefore, the faithful will perceive that the efficacy of contrition does not simply consist in ceasing to sin, or in resolving to begin, or having actually begun a new life; it supposes first of all a hatred of one's ill-spent life and a desire of atoning for past transgressions. This is especially confirmed by those cries of the holy Fathers, which we so frequently meet with in Holy Scripture. I have laboured in my groaning, says David; every night I will wash my bed; and again, The Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping. I will recount to thee all my years, says another, in the bitterness of my soul. These and many like expressions were called forth by an intense hatred and a lively detestation of past transgressions.'

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* The Roman Martyrology (1914)
'At Smyrna, the birthday of St. Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle St. John, who consecrated him bishop of that city and Primate of all Asia. Afterwards, under Marcus Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus, whilst the proconsul was sitting in judgement, and all the people in the amphitheatre were clamoring against him, he was condemned to the flames. But as he received no injury from them, he was transpierced with a sword, and thus received the crown of martyrdom.'

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The Roman Ritual (Rituale Romanum) [Latin] (1853 A.D.)
'Sacerdos, sive quivis alius legitimus Ecclesia minister, vexatos a demone exorcizaturus, ea qua par est pietate, prudentia, ac vitae integritate praeditus esse debet, qua non sua, sed divina fretus virtute, ab omni rerum humanarum cupiditate alienus, tam pium opus ex charitate constanter et humiliter exequatur. Hunc praeterea maturae, aetatis esse decet, et nou solum officie, sed etiam merum gravitate reverendum. Ut igitur suo munere recte fungatur, cum alia multa sibi utilia documenta, quae brevitatis gratia hoc loco praetermittuntur, ex probatis Auctoribus, et ex usu noscere studeat, tum haec pauca magis necessaria diligenter observabit.'

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Scripture Commentary



Bishop Friedrich Knecht - A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture
'Our Lord has given us the 'Our Father' as a model prayer, and has expressly commanded us to use it. It is the most excellent and comprehensive of prayers: and in it we pray for all that is best, and for deliverance from evil. But, let it be remarked, the good things we ask for are spiritual, and the deliverance we pray for is from spiritual evils. We pray for both a temporal and spiritual benefit only in the fourth petition, when we ask for the daily necessities of life. This ought to teach us to pray chiefly for spiritual blessings, such as grace, pardon, virtue, etc. and not only for such temporal benefits as health, a good harvest, etc.'

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Cornelius a Lapide - The Great Commentary - 1 - St. Matthew's Gospel - Chapters 1-9
'Moreover, repentance is not only amendment of manners, and the beginning of a new life, as the heretics say, but it is a detestation, chastisement, and destruction of the old sinful life, for the new life cannot effectually be begun, unless the old life be cast away. Whence the Interlinear Gloss thus expounds: "Let every man punish the evils of his former life, because salvation shall come nigh, and the opportunity of returning thither from whence we have fallen." S. Augustine (lib. de Poeniten.) says, "He cannot begin the new life who does not repent of the old." To repent is to weep over sins past, and not to commit what has been wept over. He who truly repents, chastises in himself his past errors, and lifts up his mind to heavenly things. And this virtue is born of holy fear, and is called poenitentia, penance, from the Latin puniendo, punishing." - Gloss.'

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Cornelius a Lapide - The Great Commentary - 2 - St. Matthew's Gospel - Chapters 10-21
'Mystically: a mountain is severe temptation, especially to ambition and pride, as S. Jerome teaches. Such a temptation is best overcome by faith and hope. Wherefore S. Francis, being troubled by a dreadful temptation in spirit, betaking himself to prayer, with tears, heard a voice from Heaven, saying, "Francis, if thou shalt have faith as a grain of mustard seed, thou shalt command this mountain to pass away, and it shall pass away." He, not knowing what was the meaning of the oracle, cried out, "Lord, what is this mountain?" The answer came, "The mountain is temptation." Then Francis added, with many tears, "O Lord, be it unto me according to Thy word." And immediately all the temptation was removed, and he obtained perfect tranquillity.'

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Cornelius a Lapide - The Great Commentary - 3 - St. Matthew's Gospel - Chapters 22-28 and St. Mark's Gospel
'"And they shall see the Son, etc." 1st. That the clouds may temper the exceeding brightness of the Body of Christ, which otherwise would blind the eyes of the reprobate. 2nd. Because a cloud is the symbol of the hidden Deity. 3rd. Because the cloud is the seat, as well as the vehicle and covert, of Christ's glory. Hence, constantly in the Old Testament, God appeared to Moses and the Prophets in a cloud. (See Ezek. i. 4, and Ex. xix. 9-18.) There is an allusion to Daniel (vii. 13), "And lo, one like unto the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven."'

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Cornelius a Lapide - The Great Commentary - 4 - St. Luke's Gospel
'"Whosoever shall be ashamed of Me." Whosoever, from false shame or from fear of others, shall deny his faith in Me or refuse to obey My commandments, or fear the reproach of the Cross and a crucified Saviour, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, i.e. him will Christ pass over, and make of no account when He comes in that glory which He has acquired by the humiliation of His passion. For the Cross of Christ seemed to many a shame and a reproach, for Christ crucified was "unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness," i Cor. i. 23. Many, therefore, from shame or fear, did not dare to profess their belief in the Cross, much less to preach Christ crucified. In opposition to whom S. Paul boldly declares, " I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that beiieveth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek," Rom. i. 16.'

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Cornelius a Lapide - The Great Commentary - 5 - St. John's Gospel - Chapters 1 to 11
'John has a style peculiar to himself, entirely different from that of the other Evangelists and sacred writers. For as an eagle at one time he raises himself above all, at another time he stoops down to the earth, as it were for his prey, that with the rusticity of his style he may capture the simple. At one time he is as wise as the cherubim, at another time he burns as do the seraphim. The reason is because John was most like Christ, and most dear to Him; and he in turn loved Christ supremely. Therefore at His Last Supper he reclined upon His breast. From this source, therefore, he sucked in, as it were, the mind, the wisdom, and the burning love of Christ. Wherefore, when thou readest and hearest John, think that thou readest and hearest Christ. For Christ hath transfused His own spirit and His own love into S. John.'

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Cornelius a Lapide - The Great Commentary - 6 - St. John's Gospel - Chapters 12-21 and Epistles 1-3
"Love not the world." "There are two loves," says S. Augustine (in. loc), "the love of God and the love of the world. If the love of the world occupy the heart, there is no room for the love of God to enter. Let the love of the world retire, let the love of God enter in; let the better have its own place. Thou lovedst the world: love it no more. When thou hast drained out the love of the world from thy heart, thou shalt drink in love divine, and then shall charity begin to dwell in thee, from whence nothing evil can proceed." "It is," he proceeds, "as clearing a field before planting fresh trees."'

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Cornelius a Lapide - The Great Commentary - 7 - 1 Corinthians
'"To deliver such an one to Satan." . . . Observe that the ancients understood this passage of the power and act of excommunicating which is lodged in the prelates of the Church. So Chrysostom, Anselm, Augustine, and others, quoted by Baronius, p. 448, a.d. 57. 2. The excommunicate are said to be delivered over to Satan, because being ejected from the fellowship of Christ and His Church, and being deprived of all its benefits, its prayers, suffrages, sacrifices, and Sacraments, of the protection of God, and of the care of pastors, they are exposed to the tyranny and assaults of the devil, whose rule is outside the Church, and who goes about against them more than before, and impels them to every kind of evil. Cf. Ambrose, Augustine (lib. iii. Ep. contra Parnicn. c. 2), Jerome (Ep. I ad Heliod.), Innocent (apud S. Aug. Ep. 51). "For the destruction of the flesh," i. That the devil may harass him with bodily sickness, wounds, and diseases; that his flesh may be brought low and its vigour be destroyed; that being thus humiliated he may learn wisdom. So say Theodoret, Chrysostom, Theophylact, OEcumenius, Anselm.'

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Cornelius a Lapide - The Great Commentary - 8 - 2 Corinthians and Galatians
'"Whether in the body or out of the body I cannot tell." S. Athanasius (Serm. 4 contra Arian.) thinks that Paul knew the mode in which he was caught up, yet says: "I do not know," or, "I cannot tell;" because he could not reveal it to others, in the same way that Christ, in S. Mark xiii. 32, says that He did not know the day of judgment. For though in himself he knew, yet as far as others were concerned he did not know, for he could not explain it. But others do better in understanding him simply to mean: "I do not know," and his simple recital of the event seems to require this.'

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Fr. George Leo Haydock - Old Testament Commentary
'Ver. 25. "Who shall pray for him." By these words Heli would have his sons understand, that by their wicked abuse of sacred things, and of the very sacrifices which were appointed to appease the Lord, they deprived themselves of the ordinary means of reconciliation with God; which was by sacrifices. The more, because as they were the chief priests, whose business it was to intercede for all others, they had no other to offer sacrifice and make atonement for them.'

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Fr. George Leo Haydock - New Testament Commentary
'This bark is the Catholic Church. The sea denotes the world, the winds and tempests shew the attempts of the wicked spirits to overturn the Church. The Lord seems to sleep, when he permits his Church to suffer persecution and other trials, which he permits, that he may prove her faith, and reward her virtue and merits. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxiii. in Mat. viii.) The apostles had followed their divine Master. They were with him, and executing his orders, and it is under these circumstances they are overtaken with a storm. If their obedience to Jesus Christ, if his presence did not free them from danger, to what frightful storms do those persons expose themselves, who undertake the voyage of the present life without him? What can they expect but to be tossed to and fro for a time, and at last miserably to founder? Faithful souls ought, from the example here offered them, to rise superior to every storm and tempest, by invoking the all-powerful and ever ready assistance of heaven, and by always calling in God to their help before they undertake any thing of moment.'

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St. Thomas Aquinas - Catena Aurea - 1 - The Gospel of Matthew - A Commentary on the Gospel
'From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, "Repent: for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Pseudo-Chrys.: Christ's Gospel should be preached by him who can control his appetites, who contemns the goods of this life, and desires not empty honours. "From this time began Jesus to preach," that is, after having been tempted, He had overcome hunger in the desert, despised covetousness on the mountain, rejected ambitious desires in the temple. Or from the time that John was delivered up; for had He begun to preach while John was yet preaching, He would have made John be lightly accounted of, and John's preaching would have been though superfluous by the side of Christ's teaching; as when the sun rises at the same time with the morning star, the star's brightness is hid. Chrys.: For another cause also He did not preach till John was in prison, that the multitude might not be split into two parties; or as John did no miracle, all men would have been drawn to Christ by His miracles. Rabanus: In this He further teaches that none should despise the words of a person inferior to Him; as also the Apostle, "If any thing be revealed to him that sits, let the first hold his peace." [1 Cor 14:30]'

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St. Thomas Aquinas - Catena Aurea - 2 - The Gospel of Mark - A Commentary on the Gospel
'Bede: The Lord shews how Jerusalem and the province of Judaea merited the infliction of such calamities, in the following words: "But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten." For the greatest cause of destruction to the Jewish people was, that after slaying the Saviour, they also tormented the heralds of His name and faith with wicked cruelty. Theophylact: Fitly also did He premise a recital of those things which concerned the Apostles, that in their own tribulations they might find some consolation in the community of troubles and sufferings. There follows: "And ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony against them."'

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St. Thomas Aquinas - Catena Aurea - 3 - The Gospel of Luke - A Commentary on the Gospel
'Ambrose; May you then like Mary be influenced by the desire of wisdom. For this is the greater, this the more perfect work. Nor let the care of ministering to others turn thy mind from the knowledge of the heavenly word, nor reprove or think indolent those whom thou seest seeking after wisdom.'

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St. Thomas Aquinas - Catena Aurea - 4 - The Gospel of John - A Commentary on the Gospel
'And the Jews having rejected Christ, it was a fit punishment on them, that they should receive Antichrist, and believe a lie, as they would not believe the Truth. Aug. Hear John, As ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many Antichrists. But what dost thou dread in Antichrist, except that he will exalt his own name, and despise the name of the Lord?'

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Sermons & Material for Sermons



* St. Bernardine of Siena - Sermons
'Go to one who hath both knowledge and conscience, one of those who know excellently how to discern that which ought to be done. . . Choose one who is good, not anyone, whatever he may be, no! For sometimes thou wilt go to one who hath a carnal mind, and is not instructed, and who will say to thee; it is permitted thee for the sake of pleasure to thy husband to beautify thyself and to deck thyself out with ornaments. Out upon him! for he is a beast; do as I say to thee: go to a man of conscience and learning, and who is good.'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - The Christian State of Life
'To speak plainly of the matter, my dear brethren, even amongst men, the first fruits are the most pleasing and acceptable. According to the general opinion, the first fruits that a tree bears are the best of the season. The first fruits even of common vegetables, such as potatoes, turnips, peas and beans, may be set before the greatest lords, because they are the first fruits; although when these things grow older and larger they could not be served at table. A single handful of cherries, in the first of the season, is of more value, in reality and imagination, than a basketful at other times. What trouble do not flower gardeners give themselves, and how they boast, if they succeed in having the first of any kind of flowers! From this, my dear brethren, you will easily see my meaning, and how it is that God, although our whole lives belong to Him as to our last end, so that not a moment should pass without being devoted to His service, yet commands and requires of us, in a most special manner, to devote the time of our youth, from childhood upwards, to His love and honor. For, what are the years of youth but the beginning and first fruits of human life? They are the flower of life, as St. Augustine says, speaking to young people: "To you my words are addressed, oh, young people, who are in the bloom of life."'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - The Christian State of Life - II
'Now, tell me, my dear brethren, what time or place for convenient entrance do the divine inspirations and graces find, in the hearts of people who are too much occupied with the world? When they are asleep at night wearied with their work? No, because their reason is then asleep too. When they are hearing Mass on Sundays? No, for though their bodies are present in the Church, their hearts, as we have seen already, are busied else where with a thousand distracting cares. Perhaps during the day, in the midst of their schemes and plans and undertakings, grace may find its way to them. No, because they are not then engaged in heavenly things, and their hearts are not prepared or disposed to receive supernatural lights and graces. The only opportunity they might give to the divine goodness of enlightening their hearts and bringing them to a knowledge of themselves, would be in the sermons on Sundays and holy-days, they seldom or never come to hear a sermon, because they have some business to attend to at the time. Or else they may now and then hear a part of a sermon, which can make no impression on them.'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - The Bad Christian
'How, you a hunter? said the prince; and what do you hunt? In this quiet solitude, answered the hermit, I hunt after and seek my God; my hunting horn are the psalms that I sing, by which I call out after Him, my dog is the constant prayer and meditation with which I cry to Him. "I hunt for God, and I will not cease until I have caught him." Happy the hunting of that pious hermit, who sought and desired nothing but God! We read these words of St. Cajetan in the Divine Office: "He labored most assiduously for the salvation of his neighbor, so that he was called a hunter of souls."'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - The Bad Christian - II
'The third and last class of those who let the seed of the Word of God fall by the wayside, and be eaten by the birds, consists of who those Christians who are lazy and slothful in the divine service. They listen to the sermon and listen to it with great eagerness and attention; nor are they indifferent to the truths preached to have heard. which they understand very well, so that they can offer no objections against them; frequently, too, their understandings are enlightened and their wills impelled to change their lives and to amend their faults; they find consolation in difficulties, and encouragement to be zealous in the service of God; but it all lasts only till the end of the sermon; when the preacher leaves the pulpit, they forget all he has said; they are just as quick in forgetting, as they were in learning, so that, if they were asked on the same evening, or on the following day, whether they remembered anything of the sermon, or learned anything from it, they would have to answer that they knew nothing more about it.'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - The Penitent Christian
'Hear, sinner; such an undutiful child have you been, when ever you committed a mortal sin. Instead of obeying your heavenly Father with child-like submission you have rebelled against Him, and said by your actions: I will not do as Thou commandest me. In place of the filial reverence you owe Him, you have kicked against Him like a stubborn horse, and have trampled His law and His inspirations under foot, thus showing that you did not care anything for Him, and that His threats and commands were alike disregarded by you. Instead of loving Him, as a child should, you have planted as many daggers in His fatherly heart as you have committed sins; and you have torn to pieces before His very face the beautiful robe that He gave you in baptism, as a sign that He wished to adopt you as His child; and thus yon gave Him to understand plainly enough that you did not desire to be His child.'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - The Good Christian
'And now, what am I to think of the works of most Christians? What reward do you think we have to expect from God for our many devout actions that are in themselves holy and pleasing to Him? Are those actions always enlivened by true devotion, spirit, and zeal? Let each one enter into himself and examine his daily actions, and see whether the most of them are not performed in a sleepy, careless, distracted manner, through mere routine, without heart, without preparation, without recollection of spirit, without a supernatural intention, without any affection or love for God, nay, as a mere pastime, as it were. This fault is, alas! only too common, even amongst people who have the name of being holy.'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - The Good Christian - II
'Did none of the many guests who were invited notice that this poor man was not clad in a seemly fashion? Truly, some of them must have remarked it. Why, then, did no one take the trouble of reminding him in a friendly manner, and warning him to change before the king should come in? If that had been done, the wretched man would have had time to go home and put on something better, if he had it; and thus he would have avoided the great misfortune of being cast into the exterior darkness. But this is only a parable, my dear brethren, and not history; if the thing had happened in reality, who knows how the guests would have behaved? Oh, how many there are who daily lose by their sins and vices the precious wedding-garment of sanctifying grace! How many are cast into the exterior darkness of hell who would have amended their evil ways, and escaped those eternal flames, if only they had had some zealous lovers of souls to give them a friendly warning and admonish them fraternally to amend their lives!'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - Sermons - Adapted to All Sundays - Our Lord, the Blessed Mother and the Saints
'When St. Gregory was about to write of the penitent sinner Magdalene, he began with these words: "When I think of the repentance of Mary Magdalene, I am more inclined to weep than to say anything." "For whose heart, even if made of stone, would not be softened by the tears of that sinner?" Ah, my dear brethren, what are the tears of a Magdalene compared to the tragedy offered to our consideration by this great day of sorrow? A God doing penance in the garb of a sinner! A God shedding, not only tears, but blood! A God sorrowful even to death, and, as it were, drowned in a sweat of blood!'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - Sermons - Adapted to All Sundays - Our Lord, the Blessed Mother and the Saints - II
'There, among the enemies of Christ, Sebastian reached the summit of Christian perfection, and, what is still more surprising, he was in the same place raised above others in a profession, a state of life that brought him constantly under the emperor s eyes, so that he had to hide his faith and conceal his virtues from his imperial master; for he was appointed captain of the imperial guards, according to the words of St. Ambrose: "The soldiers reverenced him as a father, and all the chief men of the palace held him in the highest esteem."'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - Sermons - Adapted to All Sundays - Penance
'What this culpable ignorance is, how common it is amongst men, and how inexcusable it is before God. Such is the subject of the present instruction. That we may avoid this ignorance, and keep Thy law in truth, give us, Holy Ghost, Thy light and Thy grace, without which we can do nothing; this we ask of Thee through the intercession of Mary and of our holy guardian angels. The ignorance of which we speak consists in this, that one would often refrain from doing, thinking, or saying certain things, if he were aware of certain circumstances connected with them; if he knew that those thoughts, words, or actions were unlawful and offensive to God, or else that he would not omit certain things if he knew for certain that he was in duty bound to do them under pain of sin; all which circumstances, how ever, he could and should know. And what is the meaning of that? He could and should know? Now pray be attentive to what I am going to say.'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - Sermons - Adapted to All Sundays - The Christian Virtues
'When yon rise in the morning, thank God for having preserved you during the night. When you are going to rest, thank Him for having saved you from many a danger during the day. When you are studying or working, thank God for having given you an understanding or bodily strength. When you look up to heaven, or see the gardens, fields, and forests that are on the earth, thank God for having made such beautiful things for you. This was the meaning of the fire that God commanded Moses to keep always burning on the altar: "And the fire on the altar shall always burn, and the priest shall feed it, putting wood on it every day in the morning. This is the perpetual fire which shall never go out on the altar." There you have a figure representing what our gratitude to God should be, as the learned Philo explains; for, as the gifts and graces of God never cease descending on us day and night, so should the flame of our gratitude be always fed, that it may never be extinguished. Hence comes that holy custom in most religious communities of the members using, instead of the usual greeting, the words, Deo gratias, thanks be to God, and being answered in the same terms. That custom, according to the opinion of St. Jerome and St. Bonaventure, owes its origin to the Blessed Virgin. It was observed by the martyrs in the midst of their torments, for they kept on crying out to the last moment of their lives, thanks be to God! thanks be to Christ, our God!'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - Sermons - Adapted to All Sundays - The Christian Virtues - II
'And the King of kings, the Lord of hosts, the great God worthy of all love, before whom all the potentates of earth must bend the knee, cannot find servants zealous enough for His honor, or jealous enough of the respect due to Him, to correct those who wound His honor and infinite majesty in their presence, and to recall them by a few words to a sense of duty! God is offended; God is dishonored; God is murdered, as it were, by sin; can any true servant of God, who loves his Master, sit still and look on calmly? Could he be such a coward as not to admonish the delinquent, if possible, to prevent his crime and to make him amend his ways? Especially what should we think of a son who looks on while his father being maltreated by some wicked fellow, and stands there quietly while he is being kicked and buffeted, and does not make the least effort to help him, although he could easily do so?'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - Sermons - Adapted to All Sundays - The Different States in Life
'What a countless number of sins arise from this discord, to increase the torments of the eternal hell, when this temporal hell is at an end! I could weep tears of blood when I think of it, partly through pity for so many souls who are thus ruined forever, partly through sorrow at the many insults that are thus daily offered to God. For, from this discord comes distraction, inasmuch as the wife speaks ill of the husband, and the husband of the wife, through hatred and desire of revenge, and they try to ruin each other's character amongst neighbors, friends, and acquaintances, by their constant complaints and fault-finding. Hence arises the danger of adultery and other shameless crimes. Hence comes the secret joy and satisfaction at the misfortunes of another, as well as the deliberate desire with which one wishes the death of the other, and even the desperate resolve that suggests suicide as the best means of putting an end to a misery that makes the unfortunate people curse the day on which they were born, and the day on which they entered the married state. When this discord rules supreme, housekeeping is neglected, the husband tries to forget his sorrow by frequenting drinking houses, and spending the little he has left in gambling and debauchery; the wife, through revenge or desperation, sits idly at home and allows everything to go to ruin, or takes to gambling and drinking to be revenged on her husband. What a fearful number of sins are thus committed!'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - Sermons - Adapted to All Sundays - The Different States in Life - II
'And he adds: "They hold their meetings before the rising sun, and sing hymns to Christ and God." How our Mother, the holy Catholic Church, endeavors to encourage us her children to this practice! All the hymns that priests recite in the divine Office are full of invitations of this kind: "Now that the day has dawned, let us adore God and pray to Him." "Away with sleep; let us rise quickly and seek God in the night, as the Prophet says," "Come, Holy Ghost, and enlighten our senses with Thy light, that our first words may be spoken to Thee, and our mouths may be opened in Thy praise." "To Thee, God, our voices shall first sing, that all our works may begin with Thee." And many more of the same kind; all loving efforts that the Catholic Church makes to exhort and encourage her children to consecrate the first part of the day to prayer and the praises of God. So that, my clear Christians, we must acknowledge and confess that according to the law of justice, to the end of our creation, to the very instinct of nature itself, to the command and will of God, to the example of Jesus Christ and of all true servants of God, to the exhortations of the holy Fathers and to the invitation of our Mother, the holy Catholic Church, we are bound to spend the best and most excellent part of the day, the early morning, in praising God, who is infinitely worthy of all praise and honor.'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - Sermons - Adapted to All Sundays - The Four Last Things
'. . . the same Son of God who has said to the just, "You shall lament and weep," says immediately after: "But your sorrow shall be turned into joy. . . I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice: and your joy no man shall take from you." The same Son of God who has said to the just, "You shall weep," says also: "Blessed are ye that weep now, for you shall laugh." The same Son of God who says, "You shall be hated by all men for My name's sake," says also: "Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Be glad in that day and rejoice: for behold, your reward is great in heaven." Now the Son of God is in all cases infallible, and as His prophecy concerning the trials of the just is true, so also must be that regarding the eternal joys reserved for them.'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - Sermons - Adapted to All Sundays - The Four Last Things - II
'The sole refuge and protection of the Israelites was the ark of the covenant, a figure of our blessed Lady; and yet, in the very presence of the ark, thirty thousand of them bit the dust. "There was an exceeding great slaughter, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen." And why should we wonder at this, asks Theodoret, for although they honored the ark, they were steeped in sin?'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - Sermons - Adapted to All Sundays - The Seven Deadly Sins
'True metal, according to the proverb, is known by its ring, a bird by its song, a tree by its fruit, a man by his works. To begin without further delay, I will only remind you, my dear brethren, that I have already shown that the proud man, who seeks honor from the world, loses honor with God and man. I have also proved that it is great folly to give way to pride, and that we mortals have the most powerful reasons to be little and lowly in our own eyes. But, in what does pride consist? What constitutes humility? . . . Most humble Virgin Mary, and you, holy guardian angels, help me to speak in a humble manner of humility, so that the grace which is always given to the humble may have the greater influence on our minds.'

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Fr. Francis Hunolt - Sermons - Adapted to All Sundays - The Seven Deadly Sins - II
'But, alas, how far differently we act! we cannot bear the least word that is said against us; we must give vent to the displeasure it causes us, and return sarcasm for sarcasm, and so the quarrel never comes to an end. We act something like that brave Portuguese soldier, of whom Bidermann writes. During a siege he had shot away all his bullets at the enemy, and could not get a fresh supply; so he pulled out his teeth one by one, loaded his musket with them, and shot them off at the enemy. In the same way, but sinfully, we spare ourselves no trouble nor discomfort in order to have satisfaction for the sarcasms flung at us. Christ cannot be present during such uncharitable conversation, for He is a lover of peace, charity, and fraternal unity.'

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Rev. F.X. Schouppe, S.J. - Pulpit Themes
'1. Those parents are guilty of sin who neglect to give their children moral and Christian instruction. Of the children of such parents it is commonly said, they know everything except what relates to faith and morals. 2. Also such parents as send their children, no matter what the pretext, to bad or dangerous schools. 3. Likewise those who bring them to theatres, or other dangerous places with the aim of teaching them to know the world . . 4. Those who permit them to read bad or suggestive books, or to associate with companions who are not strangers to vice. 5. Above all those who (a rare case to be sure, but not altogether unknown) openly teach their children to lie, to steal, to speak ill of others, to blaspheme. . . 6. Those who less openly, but none the less truly, cooperate in banishing the Christian spirit from their children's minds, by teaching them that the one great source of happiness consists in amassing a goodly fortune, in acquiring a lucrative position, in pride and worldly splendour. All those sins must be avoided; a good Christian education must be given, and must be looked upon as a very grave paternal duty. With a view to this it will be helpful and encouraging to keep the reward in mind: "They that instruct many to justice shall shine as stars for all eternity." Daniel xii. 3.'

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Rev. F.X. Schouppe, S.J. - Short Sermons
'His soul, endowed as ours with intelligence and a free will, was susceptible of joy, pain, and grief, but was not subject to ignorance or sin. On the contrary, it was enriched with all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, of grace and sanctity; in a word with the plenitude of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. Of this plenitude or fulness of spiritual life we should all partake. Let us then go to Jesus by prayer, by the Sacraments, to receive of Him Christian life, an abundance of life.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Abridged Sermons for All Sundays of the Year
'There is nothing shorter than time, but there is nothing more valuable. There is nothing shorter than time; because the past is no more, the future is uncertain, and the present is but a moment. This is what Jesus Christ meant when he said: "A little while, and now you shall not see Me." We may say the same of our life, which, according to St. James, is but a vapor, which is soon scattered forever. "For what is your life? It is a vapor which appeareth for a little while." But the time of this life is as precious as it is short; for in every moment, if we spend it well, we can acquire treasures of merits for heaven; but, if we employ time badly, we may in each moment commit sin, and merit hell. I mean this day to show you how precious is every moment of the time which God gives us, not to lose it, and much less to commit sin, but to perform good works and to save our souls. Thus saith the Lord: In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in the day of salvation I have helped thee.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Sermons for All Sundays of the Year
'Above all, in order to avoid bad thoughts, men must abstain from looking at women, and females must be careful not to look at men. I repeat the words of Job which I have frequently quoted: "I made a covenant with my eyes, that I should not so much as think upon a virgin." (Job xxxi. 1.) He says that he made a covenant with his eyes that he would not think. What have the eyes to do with thinking? The eyes do not think; the mind alone thinks. But he had just reason to say that he made a covenant with his eyes that he would not think on women; for St. Bernard says, that through the eyes the darts of impure love, which kills the soul, enter into the mind. "Per oculos intrat in mentem sagitta impuri amoris."; Hence the Holy Ghost says: "Turn away thy face from a woman dressed up." (Eccl. ix. 8.) It is always dangerous to look at young persons elegantly dressed; and to look at them purposely, and without a just cause, is, at least, a venial sin.'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Sermons Upon Various Subjects
'Chrysostom says, that sin is the only cause of all our sufferings and chastisements: "Ubi est fons peccati, illic est plaga supplicii." Commenting upon these words in Genesis which the Lord spoke after the deluge: "I will place my bow in the clouds." St. Ambrose remarks taht God does not say, "I will place my arrow, but my bow, in the clouds; giving us thereby to understand that it is always the sinner who fixes the arrow in the bow of God by provoking him to chastisement. If we wish to be pleasing to the Lord, we must remove the cause of his anger, which is sin.'

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St. Thomas Aquinas - Homilies for the Sundays
'This word Day is to be taken in a fourfold sense - "The Day is at hand;" the day of mercy, the day of grace, the day of justice, the day of glory. That Sun makes this a fourfold day, whose advent holy Church now celebrates. The day of mercy is the birthday of the Lord, in whom the Sun of Righteousness arises upon us; or more truly He Who made that day so glorious. The day of grace is the time of grace; the day of justice is the day of judgement; the day of glory is the day of eternity.'

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Vocations



A Vincentian Father - Vocations Explained
'Q. Are we obliged to follow the vocation which God gives us? A. Yes; if we should wilfully neglect to follow our vocation we would be in danger of losing our souls. Q. Why so? A. Because God attaches to our vocation special graces to help us to resist temptations and to discharge our duties properly. Hence, if we neglect God's call, we lose also His special graces; we then easily fall into temptation, and thus we are more liable to lose our souls. Q. Can you quote reliable authority for this doctrine? A. St. Alphonsus Liguori says: "In the choice of a state of life, if we wish to secure our eternal salvation, we must embrace that state to which God calls us, in which only God prepares for us the efficacious means necessary to salvation." St. Cyprian says: "The grace of the Holy Ghost is given according to the order of God, and not according to our own will." Q. What does St. Vincent de Paul say on this point? A. St. Vincent de Paul says: "It is very difficult, not to say impossible, to save one's self in a state of life in which God does not wish one to be."'

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St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori - Vocation to the Religious State
'The lights which God gives are transient, not permanent gifts. Wherefore St. Thomas says that the vocation of God to a more perfect life ought to be followed as promptly as possible. In his summary he proposes the question, whether it is praiseworthy to enter religion without having asked the counsel of many, and without long deliberation? He answers in the affirmative saying that counsel and deliberation are necessary in doubtful things, but not in this matter which is certainly good. Jesus Christ has counselled it in the Gospel, for the religious state comprehends most of the counsels of Christ. How singular it is that when there is question of leading a more perfect life, free from the dangers of the world, people say they must deliberate a long time in order to find out whether the vocation comes from God or the devil. But how differently they talk and act when there is an opportunity to gain some earthly honor or preferment.'

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Misc. Works



+ Abbe Henri-Louis Hulot - Balls and Dancing Parties Condemned by the Scriptures, Holy Fathers, Holy Councils and Most Reknowned Theologians of the Church
'"I know," said St. John Chrysostom, "'I know, that by condemning dances, and wishing to abolish them, I will appear ridiculous to many, and that I will be accused of want of spirit and sense; nevertheless, I cannot keep silence, for all that. Perhaps that if all do not profit by what I believe myself obliged to say, at least some will be converted, and will prefer to be mocked at with us than to mock and laugh at us with a laugh worthy of eternal punishments, and to be punished by tears in hell. I will suffer then to be the object of the raillery of many, if my discourse may be fruitful to a few.'

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* Abbe Maynard - Virtues and Spiritual Doctrine of St. Vincent de Paul
'He did not look on beautiful landscapes, or at magnificent buildings. He never plucked a flower. To their perfume he preferred the fetid odor of hospitals, or of the sick room. Notwithstanding his sensibility to extreme temperatures he never took any precaution against cold or heat; he never wore gloves in winter, and his hands, like his limbs, were swollen and chapped.'

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Andre Pradel - St. Vincent Ferrer, His Life, Spiritual Teaching, and Practical Devotion
'At the moment when the pure soul of our Saint was leaving his body, the windows of the room in which he expired suddenly opened of themselves, and a flock of small birds were seen to enter; they were not larger than butterflies, very beautiful, and whiter than snow; they filled not only the chamber, but the whole house. When the Saint drew his last breath these little birds disappeared, but left the place scented with a delicious perfume. All were of the opinion that these were the angels, who had come in that form to meet the Saint, and conduct his soul in triumph to Paradise.'

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+ Anonymous - Life and Miracles of St. Philomena
'My dear sister, it was the tenth of the month of August that I died in order to live, and that I entered triumphantly into heaven, where my divine Spouse put me in possession of those everlasting joys which cannot be comprehended by the understanding of man. Thus, it was for this reason that his admirable wisdom so disposed the circumstances of my translation to Mugnano that, despite of the plans arranged by the priest who had obtained my mortal remains, I arrived in that town, not on the fifth, as it had been intended, but on the tenth of August; and not to be placed with little public solemnity in the oratory of his house, as he also wished, but in the church, where they venerate me, and in the midst of universal acclamations of joy, accompanied by miraculous circumstances which made the day of my martyrdom a true day of triumph.'

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* Anonymous - Manual of the Arch-Confraternity of the Holy Family
'The object of the Arch-confraternity is, with God's assistance, to elevate and sanctify the family, and thereby to elevate and sanctify society. The devil and his agents have inoculated modern society with principles the most dangerous and infernal principles which may in truth be called the gates of hell, since through them so many souls are led into eternal perdition.'

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Anonymous - The Golden Manual
'O dearest of all that is dear to me, grant that I may be wholly thine, and that thou mayest continue mine forever. So join, so fasten me to thyself, that I can never be separated from thee; so yield, so impart thyself to me, that filled with the sweetness of thy peace, I may find my chaste delight for evermore in thee. O light, serene and peaceful, irradiate my soul with thy bright beams! Draw me closer to thee, O thou glowing Sun, that, at thy powerful heat, the soil of my heart may bring forth the flowers and fruits of holy love!'

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Anonymous - The Life of St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
'The spirit of penance and mortification was equally conspicuous in our saint; he unceasingly offered himself to God as an expiatory victim for the sins of his people. Every day he disciplined himself to blood. A Dominican prior who had come to his house on account of the examinations, occupied a room near the bishop's, and as he was leaving, the very day they were over, being entreated to remain longer, he said, "I would return home were it midnight, for I have not the heart to listen any longer to the flagellations of this poor old man."'

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* Anonymous - The Scapular
'This joyful news of our approaching Redemption was by divine Revelation made known to some of the religious followers of Elias and Eliseus, then living in the solitude of Mount Carmel, who, above all others, did most earnestly desire, and expect the nativity of that sacred Virgin, which was to be the mother of the Messias, as they had been instructed by the holy patriarch Elias; and it was kept as a certain tradition amongst them, that their Order was founded in honour and imitation of the most pure and immaculate Virgin, who was to be the sovereign princess, advocate, and protectress of it; so that they had great reason to aspire after the time of her birth.'

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Benzinger Brothers - Catalogue of Vestments, Banners and Regalia
'Our New York Manufactures representing rich examples of: gold and silversmith's ART IN CHALICES, OSTENSORIUMS, ETC. ECCLESIASTICAL METAL WORK, AS CANDELABRAS, LAMPS, ETC., AND EMBROIDERIES, BANNERS WITH FIGURES IN FINE NEEDLE-WORK.'

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Bishop George Hay - The Sincere Christian - Vol. 1
'Q. 27. Do we find that the servants of God practised fasting? A. Through the whole history of religion we find that all the servants of God have been most assiduous in the practice of this holy virtue. The forty days' fasts of Moses and Elias are well known to all. The royal prophet assures us that " his knees were weak with fasting, and that he mingled ashes with his bread, and tears with his drink." Daniel prayed to God "in fasting, sackcloth, and ashes," Dan. ix. 3. Judith was remarkable for her constant fasting. Anna the prophetess is commended in the Gospel, because she "served God night and day in fasting and prayer," Luke, ii. 37. St. Paul tells us that his life was spent "in hunger and thirst, and often fasting," 2 Cor. xi. 27. The apostles "ministered to the Lord, and fasted," Acts, xiii. 2. And "when they had ordained priests in every church, they prayed with fasting," Acts, xiv. 22. All which shows that they considered fasting as a necessary duty, which God required from His servants. To this practice we are also encouraged by the example of Christ our Lord, Who fasted forty days and forty nights in the desert, without tasting bread or drinking water.'

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Bishop George Hay - The Sincere Christian - Vol. 2
'Q. 23. What does the Christian religion teach us concerning our angel guardians? A. That particular angels are appointed and commanded by God to watch over and protect us, and bestow many benefits upon us, is thus declared in Scripture, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?" Heb. i. 14. To minister, is to serve, to guard, to help us. Again, "He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways," Ps. xc. ii. Hence our Saviour says, "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven," Mat. xviii. 10. And when St Peter was delivered out of prison, and came and knocked at the door where the others were gathered together, they, hearing his voice, could not believe it was himself, and said, "It is his angel," Acts, xii. 15.'

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Bishop George Hay - The Devout Christian - Vol. 3
'Another pernicious consequence of worldly prosperity always accompanying pride and the forgetfulness of God, is hardness of heart, and an insensibility to the ordinary means which Divine Providence uses for our conversion. "I spoke to thee," says Almighty God, "in thy prosperity, and thou saidst, I will not hear; this hath been thy way from thy youth, because thou hast not heard My voice," Jer. xxii. 21. Job beautifully describes this sad effect of prosperity, and the miserable end to which it conducts souls, in these words: "Their houses are secure and peaceable, and the rod of God is not upon them. Their cattle have conceived, and failed not; their cow hath calved, and is not deprived of her fruit. Their little ones go out like a flock, and their children dance and play. They take the timbrel and the harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ." But where does all this end? He immediately adds, "They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to hell." And the reason of this fatal end of worldly prosperity he subjoins : "Who have said to God, Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways. Who is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? and what doth it profit us if we pray to Him?" Job, xxi. 9.'

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Bishop George Hay - The Devout Christian - Vol. 4
'The third class of duties regards the wife, and requires that she should behave to her husband with respect, obedience, and deference. If it be the husband's duty not to exceed the bounds of his authority, but to exercise it with lenity and discretion, it is no less the duty of the wife to respect his authority, and submit to it with cheerful obedience. This the very nature of subordination requires, and the model proposed to wives for the exercise of this duty is the Church of Christ; that therefore they should consider their husband's authority as coming from God Himself, and behave with submission to him on that account, as to the Lord. "Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord; ... as the Church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things," Eph. v. 22.'

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Bishop George Hay - The Pious Christian - Vol. 5
'A profound humility and reverential fear of approaching to receive Him. This is a natural consequence of the former. When Moses approached to the burning bush he was commanded to take off his shoes from his feet, in reverence to the heavenly being Who was there present. The same command was given to Joshua by the angel who appeared to him in the fields. How much more respect is due to the King of angels, Who is present with us in the holy Eucharist? The seraphim in heaven cover their faces with their wings when they approach to the throne of God; and the four-and-twenty elders cast down their crowns upon the ground, and prostrate themselves before, the Lamb. How much more ought we, miserable and sinful creatures, to prostrate ourselves in spirit, with profound humility, when we go to receive this adorable Lamb of God into our souls?'

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Bishop George Hay - On Miracles - Vol. 6
'That wicked spirits have power to tempt men to sin, both by external occasions and by exciting bad ideas, is, and always has been, a fundamental article of Christian faith clearly laid down in holy writ. As to external temptations, we find the devil, at the beginning, either taking upon himself the appearance of a serpent, or entering into that creature, and making use of its organs to converse with Eve, thereby tempting and seducing her to sin. In like manner, when our blessed Saviour was pleased for our instruction to submit to be tempted, the devil appeared visibly, spoke to Him, and carried Him up to a pinnacle of the temple, and to the top of a very high mountain; and St Paul, writing to the Thessalonians, says: " We could have come unto you (even I Paul) once and again, but Satan hindered us," i Thess. ii. 18. And on another occasion he tells us that "an angel of Satan was given to buffet him." With regard to his internal temptations, the Scripture tells us, "That he taketh away the word of God out of our hearts," Luke, viii. 12. "That he blinds the minds of them that believe not," 2 Cor. iv. 4. "That he transforms himself into an angel of light," 2 Cor. xi. 14, in order to deceive us. "That he goes about like a roaring lion, seeking to devour us," i Pet. v. 8. "That he is the old serpent, who is called the devil, and Satan who seduces the whole earth," Rev. xii. 9. These texts require no comment, as they clearly show how great is the strength of wicked spirits to act upon our organs, both external and internal, and even upon our whole persons.'

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Bishop George Hay - On Miracles - Vol. 7
'Men of this kind the devil stirs up from among the children of the Church, who, as the same great apostle tells us, "Depart from the true faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their consciences seared as with a hot iron," i Tim. iv. Having corrupted their faith, and hardened them in his service, he uses them to spread his doctrines among others, to seduce the faithful by false doctrines, and, if possible, to make lies and falsehood triumph over the truths of Jesus. But in vain; the same divine power which protected the spouse of Christ from open force, will, we are assured, equally defend her from these secret snares. Through the unsearchable judgments of God these dangerous attempts shall prevail with many, but, when they have come to the length permitted by divine providence, we are assured, by the same great apostle, that then "they shall proceed no further, for their folly shall be made manifest to all men," i Tim. iii. 9.'

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+ Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B. - The Medal or Cross of St. Benedict
'V.R.S.N.S.M.V. S.M.Q.L.I.V.B. These intials stand for the two following verses: -- VADE RETRO, SATANA; NUNQUAM SUADE MIHI VANA. SUNT MALA QUAE LIBAS; IPSE VENENA BIBAS; in English: Begone, Satan! and suggest not to me thy vain things: the cup thou profferest me is evil; drink thou thy poison. These words are supposed to be uttered by St. Benedict; those of the first verse when he was suffering the temptation in his cave, and which he overcame by the sign of the cross; and those of the second verse, at the moment of his enemies offering him the draught of death, which he discovered by making over the poisoned cup the sign of life.'

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+ Dr. Don Felix Sarda Y. Salvany - Liberalism is a Sin
'Liberalism, whether in the doctrinal or practical order, is a sin. In the doctrinal order, it is heresy, and consequently a mortal sin against faith. In the practical order, it is a sin against the commandments of God and of the Church, for it virtually transgresses all commandments. To be more precise: in the doctrinal order, Liberalism strikes at the very foundations of faith; it is heresy radical and universal, because within it are comprehended all heresies. In the practical order it is a radical and universal infraction of the divine law, since it sanctions and authorizes all infractions of that law. Liberalism is a heresy in the doctrinal order because heresy is the formal and obstinate denial of all Christian dogmas in general. It repudiates dogma altogether and substitutes opinion, whether that opinion be doctrinal or the negation of doctrine. Consequently, it denies every doctrine in particular. If we were to examine in detail all the doctrines or dogmas which, within the range of Liberalism, have been denied, we would find every Christian dogma in one way or another rejected-from the dogma of the Incarnation to that of Infallibility.'

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Edward H. Thompson - The Life and Glories of St. Joseph
'Alone, ignorant of the way; exposed to danger from wild beasts and robbers; in the winter season; unprovided with means; to have to pass into foreign lands, not knowing what reception they would meet with; - all this might have prompted much anxious enquiry. But Joseph was silent. He had heard, and that sufficed. So he arose, and did as the angel had bidden him: he took the Child and His mother by night, and fled into Egypt. St. Peter Chrysologus says that this journey was so arduous that the very angels were struck with wonder when they beheld the Saviour required to make it.'

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Edward H. Thompson - The Life of St. Stanislas Kostka
'The Virgin Mother, seconding the desires of the holy youth, parted with her Treasure, and deposited Jesus in his arms, that He and Stanislas might exchange mutual caresses. It is a marvellous thought that men should have been allowed to look on God in human flesh, to hear His voice, to breathe the same air with Him, to be conscious of His near Presence.'

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Fr. F.X. Lasance - Blessed Sacrament Book
'O Jesus, Who in Thy bitter passion didst become the reproach of men and the man of sorrows, I venerate Thy sacred face, on which shone the grace and sweetness of the Divinity, now for my sake changed unto the likeness of a leper. But under this deformity, I perceive Thy infinite love, and I am overwhelmed with the desire of loving Thee and making Thee beloved by all men. The tears which stream from Thy eyes seem as precious pearls, which I love to gather up, in order to purchase with their infinite value the souls of poor sinners.'

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+ Fr. F.X. Lasance - The Catholic Girl's Guide
'Like Noe's dove, she is a messenger of peace to the quarrelsome and discontented; she reconciles those who are at enmity; she bears with the exacting and eccentric, and if her efforts to placate them are of no avail she puts up with everything in silence, never allowing herself to wrangle, or to indulge in open complaints.'

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Fr. F.X. Lasance - Prayer Book for Religious
'Prayer, which the Blessed Virgin herself taught St. Gertrude. O most chaste Virgin Mary, T beseech thee by that unspotted purity wherewith thou didst prepare for the Son of God a dwelling of delights in thy virginal womb, that by thy intercession I may be cleansed from every stain. O most humble Virgin Mary, I beseech thee by that most profound humility whereby thou didst merit to be raised high above all the choirs of angels and of saints, that by thy intercession all my negligences may be expiated. O most amiable Virgin Mary I beseech thee, by that ineffable love which united thee so closely and so in separably to God, that by thy intercession I may obtain an abundance of all merits. Amen.'

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Fr. F.X. Lasance - Thoughts on the Religious Life
'Some, perhaps, will feel repelled at the notion that the intercession of others may gain for them what they themselves have not prayed well enough to obtain. But such a notion should startle none who are accustomed to think of Christianity as a mediatorial religion; least of all nowadays, when the newly roused sense of human solidarity forcibly inclines men toward that idea of atonement fundamental in the Catholic interpretation of revealed truth. For truly the principle of vicarious substitution gains new breadth and grandeur when the cloister is looked upon as a divinely efficacious element in the warfare against evil and in the building up of the kingdom of God.'

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Fr. F.X. Lasance - Visits to Jesus in the Tabernacle
'A soul that desires to take advantage of all her trials in order to console the afflicted Heart of Jesus, must take care to be present in spirit at some scene in Our Lord's sacred Passion, choosing the one that usually inspires her with the greatest tenderness and devotion. Fixing her eyes with reverence and affection upon the Holy Face, let her think He casts a glance of love upon her which speaks with an eloquence above all language.'

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Fr. F.X. Lasance - With God - A Book of Prayers & Reflections
'Good Jesus! O most tender Jesus! O most sweet Jesus! O Jesus, Son of Mary the Virgin, full of mercy and kindness! O sweet Jesus, according to Thy great mercy, have pity on me! O most merciful Jesus, I entreat Thee by that precious blood of Thine which Thou didst will to pour forth for sinners, to wash away all my iniquities, and to look upon me, poor and unworthy as I am, asking humbly pardon of Thee, and invoking this holy name of Jesus. O name of Jesus, sweet name! Name of Jesus, name of joy!'

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* Fr. J.B. Lemius - Catechism on Modernism
'It is a pleasure to me to have to address to you, in the Sovereign Pontiff's name, high praise and the expression of his most lively satisfaction on the occasion of my presenting to him your splendid little work entitled Catechism on Modernism, according to the Encyclical "Pascendi Dominici Gregis." . . . His Holiness rejoices at the talented and fruitful labour you have accomplished, and, commending you also on the further ground of keeping close to the very letter of the Encyclical, he expresses the hope that the result of your most opportune study will be widely diffused, and he heartily grants you the Apostolic Benediction. . . - R. CARD. MERRY DEL VAL.'

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Fr. Jean-Baptiste Saint-Jure - A Treatise on the Knowledge and Love of Our Lord Jesus Christ - II
'Father Gaspard Barze, an indefatigable laborer in the vineyard of Our Lord, made a vow never to refuse any succor for soul or body to those who sought his assistance, if it was in his power to accord what they required. St. Francis Xavier ordered him not to quit Goa, but to exercise there all his zeal, and limit his labors to this one post; whereupon this truly apostolic man wrote to St. Ignatius: "The greatest desire I had in this world was to sacrifice my life in Japan, and consume myself entirely for the conversion of its poor infidel people; but I submit to the will of those who govern me, for I have always thought that the most agreeable sacrifice we can make to God is that of obedience and submission to His will."'

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Fr. Jean-Baptiste Saint-Jure - A Treatise on the Vows and Virtues of the Religious State
'The fifth motive to induce us to embrace poverty is its utility the wonderful advantages it procures; but to give some light thereupon, I say, first, that voluntary poverty, in its renunciation of the goods of earth, is the very plenitude of all riches an immense treasure; hence, there should be applied to it these words of St. Paul: "That having nothing, it possesses all things."'

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Fr. Jean-Baptiste Saint-Jure - A Treatise on the Vows and Virtues of the Religious State - II
'St. Basil, forming a man to the social life, tells him: To render yourself fit for this kind of life, persuade yourself that you are the most miserable and the vilest of men; that you are loaded with imperfections and sullied with sin; and it is alone the goodness of others that opened to you the door of the monastery, and but by the purest mercy were they moved to receive you into their midst. Seek in truth to become the least one, and the servant of all.'

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Fr. Jean-Baptiste Saint-Jure - The Spiritual Life Reduced to its First Principles
'As regards the image of God engraven on the soul of man with such glorious majesty, David says: "Lord, the rays of Thy countenance enlighten us, and carry to us Thy divine lineaments." Hence St. Ambrose exclaims: "See, O man what thou art. O human soul! enter into the knowledge of thyself, and learn that thou are not made of dust like thy body, but of the breath of God, which created thee a living spirit. How rich and magnificent must thy soul be which is formed by the breath of God! Learn hence, O man! wherein thy nobility consists. If the clay of which thou art framed renders thee vile, the image of the Divinity impressed on thy soul makes thee truly great. What can be more rich and precious than the living image of God?"'

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+ Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure & St. Claude de la Colombiere - Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence
'It is one of the most firmly established and most consoling of the truths that have been revealed to us that (apart from sin) nothing happens to us in life unless God wills it so. Wealth and poverty alike come from Him. If we fall ill, God is the cause of our illness; if we get well, our recovery is due to God. We owe our lives entirely to Him, and when death comes to put an end to life, His will be the hand that deals the blow. But should we attribute it to God when we are unjustly persecuted? Yes, He is the only person you can charge with the wrong you suffer. He is not the cause of the sin the person commits by ill-treating you, but He is the cause of the suffering that person inflicts on you while sinning. God did not inspire your enemy with the will to harm you, but He gave him the power to do so. If you receive a wound, do not doubt but that it is God Himself who has wounded you.'

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Fr. Jean Pierre de Caussade, S.J. - Abandonment to Divine Providence
'God speaks to-day as He spoke to our fathers, when directors were not so numerous, nor methods of direction so well defined. All their spirituality consisted in simple fidelity to the order of God; but it was not reduced to a science which explained it so sublimely or minutely, or contained so many precepts, so many maxims, so much instruction. Our present wants, no doubt, require this explanation. It was not so in the first ages of the Church, when men were more simple and upright. Each moment brought a duty to be faithfully fulfilled: this was sufficient for interior souls of the day.'

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+ Fr. John Furniss - Almighty God Loves Little Children
'God loves little children so much that he wanted to be like them, so he became a little child in the arms of Mary his mother. Jesus used to lay his hands on children and bless them. "They brought infants to Jesus that he might touch them." Luke xviii. He was very angry with those who would not suffer little children to come to him, and with those who scandalize them. Jesus says, "He that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depths of the sea." Matt. xviii.'

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+ Fr. John Furniss - Confession
'Contrition must be sovereign. When we go to Confession must we be sorry for offending God? Yes. Must our sorrow for offending God be greater than our sorrow for anything else? Yes. A girl once was listening to a sermon. Amongst other things she heard the Priest say, "that if people want to make a good confession they must be more sorry for their sins than for anything else." When the sermon was over the people went away. The girl remained behind. She went to the Priest and said, "Please, Father, I think I made a bad confession." "Why do you think so?" answered the Priest. "I will tell you," said the girl. "You said in your sermon to-day that if we went to make a good confession our sorrow for sin must be greater than our sorrow for anything else. When I went to confession I remember that I did not cry for my sins. But when my poor mother died I remember that I cried very much. So I am afraid that my sorrow for my mother's death was greater than my sorrow for my sins." "Answer me one question," said the Priest. "Tell me, if you could bring your mother back to life again by committing a mortal sin, would you commit a mortal sin?" "On, no," said the girl, "I would not commit a mortal sin for anything." "Then," said the Priest, "do not be afraid. Although you cried for your mother's death and did not cry for your sins, yet you were really in your heart more sorry for your sins than for your mother's death."'

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+ Fr. John Furniss - God and His Perfections
'One day St. Antony was preaching in a town called Rimini. The people would not listen to him; so he came down from the pulpit, went out of the church, and walked till he came to the sea. He stood on the sand of the seashore, and cried out to the fishes these words: "Fishes of the sea and of the rivers, listen to me. I wanted to preach to the people, but they would not listen to me; so I am going to preach to you." When he had said these words an immense number of fishes, of all sizes, came round him, covering all the sea. The little fishes came first, behind them the middle-sized fishes, and then the great fishes. They were all in good order and very quiet, with their heads out of the water, turned towards the preacher.'

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+ Fr. John Furniss - Hymns for Children
'Sing the first two verses each to the first part of the air of St. Casimir's Hymn, or Daily, daily, sing to Mary; then sing them over again to the second part of the same air once repeated. So with all the other verses. The last of the four Truths will be joined with Baptism; a method is also given for singing the Prayers, Commandments, &c.'

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+ Fr. John Furniss - The Great Evil
'"What is the worst thing in the world?" A little child put up its hand and said, Please, may I answer? Yes, said the teacher. Then, said the child, I think the worst thing in the world is a great pain. The child did not give the right answer. No doubt it is frightful to see any one burnt up with fever, or cramped with cholera, or to see death tearing away the soul from the body. It is a sad thing to say the last "good bye" to those whom we love. These things make tears run down from the eye and draw sighs out of the heart. But there is something which burns more than fever, and cramps more than cholera. There is a last parting more sorrowful than the last parting with father, mother, brother, or sister. What, then, is the great bad thing? The greatest of all evils -- the evil of evils -- what is it? The greatest of all evils is -- Mortal sin. Mortal sin is so great an evil that no man living will be able to understand how great an evil it is.'

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+ Fr. John Furniss - The Great Question
'THERE is a great thought -- a great question. It is the greatest of all questions -- the question of questions. Listen to the great question. This, then is the Great Question: "Almighty God has created you. He has given you a body and an immortal soul, redeemed with the blood of Jesus Christ. You live in the world for a few short years, then you pass away, and nobody sees you any more. Why, then, did God create you? Why did he put you in this world? What are you for? What is the great thing you have to do here? What is your great affair? your great business in this world?" Behold, then, the Great Question: "Why did God create you?" Very few people ever think about the great question.'

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+ Fr. John Furniss - The Sight of Hell
'Job.xli. "He beholdeth every high thing, he is king over all the children of pride." As the devil is king of hell, he does two things. First, he gives his orders to the other devils about tempting people in the world. Without his leave, no one in hell can stir hand or foot. Millions and millions of devils are always round him, waiting for his orders. Every day he sends wicked spirits, whose numbers cannot be counted, into Europe, Asia, Africa, America, into every country, and town, and village, and house, and to every human creature. He sends them for temptation and the ruin of souls. He tells each devil whom he must tempt, what he must do, and when he must come back. St. Francis saw that when these devils came back, if they had not made people commit sin, they were cruelly beaten. When a child is tempted, how little it thinks that the temptation has been got ready in hell, that there is a devil at its side who has brought the temptation, and this devil is breathing the temptation into its heart, and trying to make it do what the bad company wants it to do.'

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* Fr. John Furniss - The Sunday School or Catechism
'The suggestions about Sunday School and learning Catechism which will be offered in this work are not theory. They are the result of hard labour in the Sunday Schools during several years, of watching children there, of seeing what is actually done, how anything might be done better, how anything useful might be done which is not now done. These suggestions have been tested by experiment and practice. They are in actual operation in a number of Sunday Schools and have been found most successful.'

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Fr. Henry Joseph Pflugbeil - St. Thomas Manual
'The holy Master had even as a child sought God alone, had been intent upon God alone; consequently, he found Him everywhere, and treated Him as worthily as a weak creature could treat his God. It would, indeed, have been a miracle if he had not found God, especially in that Mystery of Love, in which Jesus abides in order to be "Our God with us."'

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Fr. Martin Cochem - Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
'As Father Gobat says: "Holy Mass is for all those who hear it an expiatory sacrifice of such value that for the sake of it God grants them power to do all that is necessary to obtain pardon of the mortal sins they may have committed; that is, He gives them grace to acknowledge and bewail their sins, and to make a good confession." The words Our Lord addressed to St. Gertrude show how easily we may obtain remission of sin, through offering holy Mass to this end. It was one Holy Week, while the antiphon, "He is sacrificed because He Himself willed it," was being sung, that He said to her: "If thou believest that I am offered up to God the Father upon the cross because it was My will to be offered in this manner, believe also and doubt not that every day I desire, with the same love and strength of desire, to be sacrificed for every sinner upon the altar, as I sacrificed Myself upon the cross for the salvation of the world. Therefore there is no one, however heavy the weight of sin wherewith he is burdened, who may not hope for pardon, if he offers to the Father My sinless life and death, provided he believes that thereby he will obtain the blessed fruit of forgiveness."'

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Francis S. Betten, S.J. - The Roman Index of Forbidden Books
'Moreover, to be a trustworthy guide, the Church must state the truth clearly and unmistakably. The faithful are not guided by ambiguous circumlocutions, by terms that may be understood in two or perhaps more ways. Neither may she keep exclusively in the lofty heights of theory; but she must instruct with regard to the facts of everyday life. The dangers arising from books are concrete not abstract, and they must be met by concrete measures. This can be done effectively only by an energetic and unmistakable "thou shalt not" which makes men realize that they are "under authority." No one has ever stated the truth more clearly, more unmistakably than Christ our Lord. Was it not precisely for this very fact that "many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him"? (John 6, 67.)'

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Henri Marie Bouden - Devotion to the Nine Choirs of Holy Angels
'Before concluding this subject, I am desirous to point out a common but dangerous temptation, which renders almost all our actions either profitless or imperfect: it is that the devil labours to make us be occupied with anything but what we are about. If you are engaged in prayer, he will make you think of some good action you have to perform: when you are performing this action, he will occupy your mind with some other; and thus you are always thinking of something you are not doing, and only give half your thoughts to it. Now each moment has its special blessing; do well whatever you are doing; and that you may do it well, think of nothing else. The moment that is past is no longer yours; the future is not yet come; the present, therefore, is all you have. Here, then, is the devil's stratagem: by getting you not to attend to the present and keeping you always rehearsing, as it were, for the future, he leaves you no moment really your own.'

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Henri Marie Bouden - The Holy Ways of the Cross
'The mind seems to have gone all astray, and to be without light and without reason. The door is shut to everything that could be said towards making it sensible of the blessedness of this state. God retreats into the pure depth of the soul, and leaves the rest almost forsaken. It is like an earthen vessel which is filled with precious liquor, and yet neither feels nor tastes it.'

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J.K. Huysmans - St. Lydwine of Schiedam
'I myself have undergone your penance," replied Lydwine. "I only ask you for your mortification to pass one entire night without stirring on your back." The sinner smiled, thinking the punishment light and easy. In the evening he stretched himself in the position ordered, and resolved, as he had agreed with the Saint that he would not turn himself either to the right hand or to the left; but he could not sleep, and this immobility soon appeared to him insupportable. Then he reflected and thought: "I complain, and yet my bed is soft and I have not, like poor Lydwine, my shoulders resting on straw, and all sore as well. Moreover, she is innocent, whilst I!" Remorse, which had so tormented him, wrung him anew. He looked back on his life, bewailed his misdeeds, reproached himself for cowardice, and when the day began to break ran to confess himself to a priest; and this rogue was in future honest, this impious fellow became pious.'

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Joseph A. Keller - Miracles of St. Anthony of Padua
'Anxious to discover the cause of this, he drew near, and to his great surprise saw through the cracks of the door St. Anthony holding a beautiful child in his arms, whom he was lovingly caressing. His host was first at a loss to understand how this lovely infant had entered the apartment of his guest, but soon discovered, through his majestic bearing and the rapture of St. Anthony, that the child was no other than our divine Lord, who, under this form, had come to console, encourage and strengthen His faithful servant. The apparition lasted some time, then suddenly disappeared, leaving the room in total darkness. At once the saint rose from his prayers, and on going to his bedroom, knocked against his host in the dark. As if guilty of a crime, he entreated his friend not to betray his secret. During the lifetime of St. Anthony the Count faithfully kept his word, but after his death, with tears streaming down his face, he gave a minute account of everything that had taken place. The heavenly light, of a bluish color, issuing forth from the divine Child, although brighter and more beautiful than the sun, did not dazzle the eye, whilst at the same time the heart was filled with unutterable joy. He, moreover, declared that the holy Child Himself had informed the saint, by pointing to the door with His finger, that he was watched, but that St. Anthony appeared to pay no attention to this, as if anxious not to deprive his friend of this heavenly consolation. He furthermore added that the holy Child was standing on the breviary of the saint. This apparition has been so frequently mentioned by old historians that its veracity cannot be doubted. It is for this reason St. Anthony is usually represented with the holy Child standing on his breviary.'

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* M. L'Abbe Janvier, Director of the Priests of the Holy Face - Life of Sr. Mary of St. Peter, Carmelite of Tours - Autobiography of - The Golden Arrow
'I often desired to have, a little statue of the Infant Jesus, to render my homage to him during the day; but I hesitated to ask our reverend mother for it. One day, it seemed that the Divine Infant urged me to insist on having one; I obeyed the inspiration, and my petition was granted. I now had the Holy Infant with me in the parlor, and I was supremely happy; I offered him all my little labors and demanded souls as a recompense. This Divine Infant gave me, in such profusion, all the graces I needed to fulfil my employment, that it was not injurious to my spiritual application, nor did it prevent my union with God when at prayer. All day long I labored for the salvation of the sheep of the Holy Infant Jesus, and at prayer, he repaid me a hundredfold.'

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+ Pere Binet, S.J. - Divine Favors Granted to St. Joseph
'The most holy Virgin, as related above, revealed to St. Bridget, that St. Joseph frequently made use of these beautiful words: 'Heaven grant that I may live so as to accomplish the will of my God!' And she added: 'Therefore it is that the glory of Joseph is now so great.' These words at first sight are plain enough. But to understand them fully, we ought to remember how moderate, in her assertions, Our Lady was. Had she wished to point out an object most sublime, she would simply have said: 'It is great.' Thus when Elizabeth said to her, 'Blessed art thou that hast believed, because these things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord,' her reply was, 'The Lord hath done great things to me,' which means things quite ineffable. In the same way, when she says, 'The glory of my spouse is great,' we must understand that it surpasses all that can be imagined in this world.'

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Rev. Alexis M. Lepicier, O.S.M. - The Fairest Flower of Paradise
'St. Bernard, the great Doctor of the Church, and, as he is called, the last of the Fathers, was famous for the holiness of his life and the splendor of his doctrine. . . One year, on Christmas night, he was favored with a heavenly vision. The Divine Child appeared to him and deigned to instruct him in the glorious mystery of the Incarnation, which the Church celebrates at that time. From this vision there arose in him that tender devotion and ardent love for the Mother of God, which the Saint afterward transfused into the hearts of many, through the sermons he wrote in her honor. Our Lady failed not to correspond to this love of Bernard for her by showing a special predilection for her faithful servant. She granted him extraordinary favors. And so this devotion to the Queen of Heaven, which is the source of great fruit to souls, produced in the heart of St. Bernard this result: it made him realize the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God. So, at the age of twenty-two, he left his father's home and asked to be admitted into the Cistercian Order.'

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* Rev. Angelo Pastrovicchi, O.M.C. - St. Joseph of Copertino
'During his first stay in Rome he went with the Father General to pay homage to the Pope, Urban VIII. While kissing the feet of the Pontiff the saint, filled with reverence for Jesus Christ in the person of His Vicegerent, was enraptured and raised aloft till the Father General's command brought him back to his senses. The Pope marvelled much and said to the Father General if father Joseph were to die during his pontificate, he himself would bear witness to this occurrence. . . On another occasion Joseph terrified several painters, who remarked in his presence they meant to paint a picture of the Immaculate Conception in his little chapel. "What? The Conception of the Virgin Mary? The Immaculate Conception?" and then they saw him remain for more than half an hour deprived of the use of his senses and immovable with outspread arms and eyes lifted to heaven, enraptured in contemplation of the sublime mystery.'

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Rev. F.X. Schouppe, S.J. - An Easy Method of Meditation
'Ater these preparations, kneeling or sitting, according to the disposition of the body and the attraction of the soul, with eyes closed, or fixed on one spot, without letting them wander from side to side, we shall say the first word of the Pater Noster, and ponder on this word as long as we find significations, comparisons, relish, and interior consolation in the consideration of the word Father. We shall do the same on each word of the Lord's Prayer, or any other prayer on which we wish to meditate after this manner of praying.'

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+ Rev. F.X. Schouppe, S.J. - Purgatory
'She reappeared the next day in the same way, and, according to the order of the Prioress, Margaret said to her, "My dear Sister Gertrude, whence do you come, and what do you want?" "I come," she said, "to satisfy the Justice of God in this place where I have sinned. It was here, in this holy sanctuary, that I offended God by words, both useless and contrary to religious respect, by disedification to all, and by the scandal which I have given to you in particular. Oh, if you knew," she added, "what I suffer! I am devoured by flames, my tongue especially is dreadfully tormented." She then disappeared, after having asked for prayers.'

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Rev. F.X. Schouppe, S.J. - Hell
'The venerable Father Anthony Baldinucci, a celebrated missionary of the Company of Jesus, who died in the odor of sanctity in the year 1717, was preaching in the open air, because the church could not contain the faithful who came in crowds to hear him. Speaking of Hell, he said, "My brethren, would you know how great is the number of those who are damned? Look at that tree." All eyes were turned to a tree that was there, covered with leaves. At the same moment a gust of wind, rising, shook all the branches of the tree, and caused the leaves to fall so plentifully that there remained only a certain number of them, thinly scattered and easy to count. "See," went on the man of God, "what souls are lost, and what souls are saved. Take your precautions to be among the latter."'

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Rev. F.X. Schouppe, S.J. - Sodality Director's Manual
'Of all the means employed by the Church for the promotion of piety, particularly among youth, there are few more efficacious than sodalities or confraternities of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Happy are the parishes and educational houses which possess fervent and flourishing confraternities, asylums of perseverance, centres of piety, nurseries of good works and holy vocations. Now, the fervor and prosperity of a confraternity depend in a great measure on the pious instructions given at the meetings. If these instructions and conferences are well chosen, suited to the age, condition, and circumstances of the members; if they tend to inspire them with an enlightened and solid piety, which includes hatred of sin, love of labor, and the constant practice of strong Christian virtues, they cannot fail to produce admirable fruits. The end of this present volume is to facilitate this important task for those who are charged therewith.'

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Rev. J.B. Scheurer - Sermons on the Blessed Sacrament and Especially for the Forty Hours
'One can conclude whether a person likes to be with him or not by the length of time he remains. Yet he would more clearly reveal his desire if during his visit he had shown it by services to his friend.'

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Rev. Paschal Robinson - The Golden Sayings of the Blessed Brother Giles of Assisi
'Blessed is he who loveth and doth not therefore desire to be loved; blessed is he who feareth and doth not therefore desire to be feared; blessed is he who serveth and doth not therefore desire to be served; blessed is he who behaveth well toward others and doth not desire that others behave well toward him; and because these are great things the foolish do not rise to them. There are three things that are very great and useful which whosoever possesseth cannot fall into evil: the first is, if thou bearest in peace for God's sake, all tribulations that may befall thee; the second is, if thou humblest thyself the more in all thou dost and receiveth; the third is, if thou lovest faithfully those goods that cannot be seen with fleshly eyes.'

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The Count of Montelembert - Life of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
'"He is dead," repeated the mother. At these words Elizabeth turned pale, then quite red; let her arms fall upon her knees, and clasping her hands tightly together, she said in a stifled voice, "Oh! my divine Lord! my divine Lord! the whole world is now dead for me, the world and all that it contains of sweetness." Then rising in a distracted manner, she began running as hard as she could through the rooms and corridors of the castle, crying, "He is dead, dead, dead!"'

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* The Love of the Sacred Heart - Illustrated by St. Mechtilde
'Mechtilde asked our Lord to teach her how she could offer satisfaction to Him for the many members of the Church who at this time (it was Quinquagesima Sunday) showered so many insults on Him. Our Lord replied: "Say 350 times the anthem: 'Tibi laus, tibi gloria, tibi gratiarum actio, O beata Trinitas! -- To thee be praise, to thee glory, to thee thanksgiving, O blessed Trinity,' in reparation for all the indignities offered Me by those who are My members."'

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Thomas a Kempis - St. Lydwine of Schiedam
'In this virgin was accomplished what is read of blessed Job. "In the night my bone is pierced with sorrows; and they that feed upon me do not sleep: with the multitude of them my garment is consumed;" (Job xxx. 17). And so with the failure of medical arts and ofthe nourishment of food, her weakness daily grew worse. And the maiden pitiably afflicted lay upon a hard couch and was eaten by worms which, rising from her virginal body out of the putrefaction, consumed her flesh: and nevertheless no stench proceeded from them.'

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Thomas a Kempis - The Imitation of Christ
'The Voice of Christ. "I shall teach you those things which are right and pleasing to Me. Consider your sins with great displeasure and sorrow, and never think yourself to be someone because of your good works. You are truly a sinner. You are subject to many passions and entangled in them. Of yourself you always tend to nothing. You fall quickly, are quickly overcome, quickly troubled, and quickly undone. You have nothing in which you can glory, but you have many things for which you should think yourself vile, for you are much weaker than you can comprehend. Hence, let none of the things you do seem great to you. Let nothing seem important or precious or desirable except that which is everlasting. Let the eternal truth please you above all things, and let your extreme unworthiness always displease you. Fear nothing, abhor nothing, and fly nothing as you do your own vices and sins; these should be more unpleasant for you than any material losses."'

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Fr. Vincent Fitzgerald, O.F.M. - St. John Capistran (St. John of Capistrano)
'Before his departure from Austria, he had paid a last visit to his brethren in Vienna, at the friary of SS. Theobald and Bernardine which he had himself founded. After matins he began to discourse to them on the text of St. Paul (Heb. xii. 7.) "Persevere under discipline," exhorting them to the observance of their profession and rule. Morning dawned before he had ceased speaking. Like St. Paul at Miletus, he knew that they would see him no more; and like him, he gave them warning. "I know that after my death some men will come to you, bringing new doctrines, new constitutions, new ceremonies. Do not believe them." And he added: "If an angel from heaven should so come, let him be anathema". Then, kneeling, he kissed the feet of all, and so departed.'

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