November 28, 2012
November 25, 2012
Blurry Camera alert :(
All the grandchildren.
Cute table settings
November 22, 2012
And don't forget to count your blessings, it's so easy to get caught up in the drudge of life, this is a wonderful day to remember our blessings. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the biggest blessing (next to God Himself of course:) followed by Confession, other Sacraments, priests, family, friends, food on the table, roofs over our heads, jobs, GRACE, Faith, etc., etc., etc...!
Have a most blessed Thanksgiving
I love The Golden Legend, you can enjoy her story HERE.
November 21, 2012
We should all consecrate ourselves to God... and we should most definitely consecrate our children to God! Religious parents never fail by devout prayer to consecrate their children to the divine service and love, both before and after their birth. (Butler) If you have never done this, it is time. Offer your children born and unborn to the service of God. They aren't ours anyway, they are His, we are merely weak instruments to train up our children in the Love of God. And we will be ridiculed for it. It never ceases to amaze me how far the spirit of the world and the spirit of the anti-family has penetrated in our society.
Consecration of ourselves to God is a total giving of ourselves in the service of God. This does not by any means mean that we are able to spend our lives in the church building on our knees but actually, that every act we do is either in the service of God.... or not. We are either totally in love with God... or not. We are either living for Him... or not. Turning our backs on God starts with the little things. Starts with each act of "I will not serve". In raising children this is an ever constant battle. And when we let our diligence down, the ever-prevelant nature of the beast is right there. It's right there waiting to devour. Devour our children. I see it constantly every day.
We must first have at least a simple yet real prayer life. I always laugh that our prayers center around food. We say our Morning Offering and Spiritual Communion before we say Grace at meals. We say the Angelus for Purity before we say Grace at meals. We say our Rosary and Night Prayers right after dinner/clean-up. I can tell it is getting near Advent, a time of penance because little practices have gotten a little sloppy. Taking time in meditation, family spiritual reading, personal spiritual reading just getting missed a bit here and there. Each little bit of sloppiness is turning ourselves bit-by-bit away from God. Holy Mother Church in her great Wisdom knew we needed these times of penance to tighten up the belt a bit. As I have been reading from Purgatory and from Hell for November I just can't get over how easy it is to get to Hell and how hard it is to get even into Purgatory. And don't be the fool who aims for Purgatory, aim only for Heaven and then be grateful if you get to Purgatory. It's not so easy. These souls in Purgatory are suffering intense pain for mere faults... others for sloppy venial sins, others for deliberate venial sins. We can never do too much to purify ourselves on this earth and do penance. Pray for compunction.
But that these may be accepted by him, we must first prepare the present he requires of us, that is, our hearts. They must be washed and cleansed in the sacred laver of Christ's adorable blood, by means of sincere compunction and penance; and all inordinate affections must be pared away by our perfectly renouncing in spirit, honours, riches, and pleasures, and being perfectly disengaged from creatures, and ready to do and suffer all for God, that we may be entirely his, and that neither the world nor pride, nor any irregular passion may have any place in us. (Butler)
It is here that I would like to mention the Consecration of Jesus Through Mary by St. Louis de Montefort. I would like you to seriously consider taking this consecration. But first be sure to read the book True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary by St. Louis de Montfort. If you truly want to purge yourself and purify yourself, this is, as St. Louis said, the "easy" way. And believe me you will learn more about yourself than you ever could have imagined and my, will you begin to be purged. The term I love best in this devotion is "Holy Slavery" or "Slave of Love". But do take it seriously, it takes on the form similar to a vow, a sacred promise to God. One line in St. Louis' book that really stuck out at me was the line where he talks about rare are the people who actually stick to this devotion. He sure knew how to tap into my pride! :D
I will write more about this at a later date. For today, let's consecrate all our little acts to the Lord, as Our Lady did, that even in the little things we will never turn our backs on the Lord.
November 18, 2012
From the Revelations of St. Gertrude:
"What! my daughter," [Gertrude] said to her, "do you not retire when our Lord calls you? You, that have desired Jesus during your whole life, withdraw now that He opens His arms to receive you!"
"Ah! my dear Mother," replied the soul, "I am not worthy to appear before the Immaculate Lamb. I have still some stains which I contracted upon earth. To approach the Sun of Justice, one must be as pure as a ray of light. I have not yet that degree of purity which He requires of His saints. Know, that if the door of Heaven were to be opened to me, I should not dare to cross the threshold before being entirely purified from all stain. It seems to me that the choir of virgins who follow the Lamb would repulse me with horror."
"And yes," continued the Abbess, "I see you surrounded with light and glory!"
"What you see," replied the soul, "is but the border of the garment of glory. To wear this celestial robe we must not retain even the shadow of sin."
As St. Catherine of Genoa states: "the Divine Essence is of such purity that the soul, unless she be absolutely immaculate, cannot bear the sight."
Befriend the Holy Souls. They are helpless. Those souls you help release from Purgatory, you can be sure, will help bring you to Heaven.
On another note, this year I have also been reading from the book entitled Hell. Hell is purely and simply the place of the damned where there is no return. And I marvel that people desire to go there. Count me out. To quote from the souls damned for all Eternity. "There is a Hell! I now know that there is a Hell for I am there!" *shudder*
There is a story of Juliette who mocked religion and hurled insults and blasphemy at religion (sounds like the world around us!) "Juliette," someone said to her one day, "this will end badly. God will be tired of your blasphemies, and you shall be punished."
"Bah," she answered insolently, "it gives me very little trouble. Who has returned from the other world to relate what passes there?" Less than 8 days after, she was found in her room, giving no sign of life, and already cold. As there was no doubt that she was dead, she was put in a coffin and buried. The following day, the gravedigger, digging a new grave beside that of the unhappy Juliette, heard some noise; it seemed to him that there was a knocking in the adjoining coffin. At once, he put his ear to the ground and in fact heard a smothered voice, crying out: "Help! Help! The authories were summoned; by their orders, the grave was opened, the coffin taken up and unnailed. The shroud was removed; there was no further doubt, Juliette had been buried alive. Her hair, her shroud were in disorder, her face was streaming with blood. While they were releasing her and feeling her heart to be assured that it was still beating, she heaved a sigh, like a person for a long time deprived of air; then she opened her eyes, made an effort to lift herself up, and said, "My God, I thank Thee." Afterward, when she had got her senses well back and, by the aid of some food, recovered her strength, she added, "When I regained consciousness in the grave and recognized the frightful reality of my burial, when after having uttered shrieks, I endeavored to break my coffin, and struck my forehead against the boards, I saw that all was useless; death appeared to me with all its horrors; it was less the bodily than the eternal death that frightened me. I saw I was going to be damned. My God, I had but too well deserved it! Then I prayed, I shouted for help, I lost consciousness again, until I awoke above ground. Oh, the goodness of my God!" she said again shedding tears. "I had despised the truths of Faith; Thou hast punished me, but in Thy mercy, I am converted and repentant."
Not many of us will have a chance like that. Let's amend our lives so that we will meet in Heaven.
Labels: Holy Souls
November 16, 2012
I'm still hoping to find out whether my friend Cecilia in Italy is part of the restoration process of this exhibit.