Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Gates Of Eternity Swing

WAKE, O my heart, to what music
Glad Easter in nature stirs;
Lift to the risen Redeemer .
A song that can rival hers.
From the East lo I the day god in triumph
Rides forth from the realms of night,
And proclaims to souls seated in sadness
The birth of eternity's light.
Soft as the dew on rose petals,
This air on the spirit falls; Flower floss sprinkles the meadows,
Or peeps from the crannied walls; And the peals of a glad resurrection
Make melody mingled with hope; We are mariners after a tempest,
All eyes for morn's russeting slope.
Life in this tomb is a shadow
Of life that awaits us still;
Death is the doorway to ages
Of years on eternity's hill.
For the seedlet and we, to awaken.
Must sleep for a space in the earth;
Die to-day, and we greet on the morrow
Our second and realler birth.
Peace can consort still with sorrow,
And light from the Christ's grave burst,
Streamed o'er a neighboring gibbet,
To finger its cross-beam first.
God is peace, and His saints do but image
Eternity's calm in their lives;
Half suppressed is the mirth of God's servants,
With penance for gaoler and gyves.
Exiles, with faces set homeward,
By Babylon's river brink,
Seated, we weep at remembrance
Of Zion and pensive think;
On the willows our instruments hanging,
No song breaks the stillness around;
But a music unheard teems with rapture,
Our hearts are not bowed to the ground.
Soldiers, we follow a Captain,
Who never yet knew defeat;
Life is His slave and death conquered
Is tied to His chariot seat.
Let the earth lift Hosannas to Heaven,
Creation with miracle ring!
Christ is God, and wide open to receive Him
The gates of eternity swing.

Link (here)

Holy Week And Easter Break

I am taking a little time off,  
I will return to active blogging on Divine Mercy Sunday April 11th. 

These are a few Jesuit sites of note


A Battle Against Nature And Our Own Will.

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many." 

 The Narrow Gate.

" Enter ye in at the nnrrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat."

The narrow way is that of labour and suffering. It is the path in which one must be humbled, that we may become great, and die that we may live. Each step there in is a battle against nature and our own will. It is rough and steep, but there is no other way to eternal life.

"And few there be that find it." Our Lord seems to say these words sadly.
We forget that it requires a great effort to be a saint; but remember St. Paul's words, "I can do all things in Him that strengtheneth me."
We must struggle against self. Have patience and perseverance, and we shall go through that gate which is so low and narrow that none but little ones, that is, the humble, can pass it.

"Not every one that saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doth the will of My Father."
Prayer without works is barren, nor will any works not according to the will of God be accepted by Him.
Always consult that adorable will, and give your preference to the employments that are uninteresting and painful. Follow Him who did on earth His Father's will, and offer Him in your communions the daily duties that you like the least.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Symbolum Apostolorum

1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
5. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again.
6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
10. the forgiveness of sins,
11. the resurrection of the body,
12. and life everlasting.
It is a very common mistake to suppose that the Apostles were transformed in an instant, on the Day of Pentecost, from ignorant Jewish fishermen into Saints and Doctors of the Church, or at all events that, with the exception of the necessary influence of our Lord's companionship, they were untaught in the things of God previously to the Resurrection. Against this error the very title of Father Coleridge's work on the Public Life of our Lord is an implicit protest. He calls the volumes of which the one just issued is the third, The Training of the Apostles—implying that this was the object most prominent, or at all events very prominent, in the mind of our Lord. 
During the portion of His Life treated of in the present volume this is more especially the case, and Father Coleridge gives the reason for it Hitherto our Lord had been rejected, indeed, and persecuted by His own, but now they go to further lengths. They invent the detestable calumny that all His works are done through the agency of the prince of the devils, and thus they draw away many of the people from Him, and render it desirable that He should in His Divine Wisdom retire more into private and devote.
Himself more immediately to preparing His twelve Apostles for their future work. His public teaching, both by miracle and parable and undisguised warning, at this time of His partial withdrawal from the eye and notice of the people and their rulers, turns mainly on the danger of resisting the known Truth and the almost unpardonable sin involved in turning away the hearts of the ignorant from the Light by declaring the Divine Teacher inspired by the Evil One.
Link (here) to the portion of the essay entitled The Training of the Apostles

A Priest Of Vicious Life And Scandalous Conduct, Is The Greatest Enemy To God

The faithless priest grows to he who surrenders himself to the spirit of wickedness and unhappily becomes his bondsman.
A priest of this character, a priest of vicious life and scandalous conduct, is the greatest enemy to God, the greatest enemy to the Church, aye, the greatest enemy to himself. He is an enemy to God, because, instead of glorifying Him, he dishonors Him ; he is an enemy to the Church, because, instead of edifying her, he lays her waste and destroys her; he is an enemy to himself, because, instead of the reward which awaited him, he is preparing for himself a life of dishonor, a death of terror, a tremendous judgment and an unspeakable eternity.
We had gone this far in drawing out this terrible picture when we ourselves were frightened at it, and we could not bring ourselves to go on and lay it in full before our readers. For who will read our book ? Good priests or those who wish to become such. Why should they be saddened by a picture which has no application to them ? Those to whom it would apply will not read the book : The wicked man when he is come into the depth of sins contemneth.
When a wicked priest, if there be such, becomes a scourge who destroys and a wolf who murders the souls of the flock whose salvation is entrusted to him, then is verified the saying, corruptio optimi pessima.  
Such a priest, let us hope, is an exception. For the most part priests are good men, and even their enemies admit that in no age have they given less cause for censure than in the present.

Link (here) to the portion mentioned in the book entitled, Jesus Living in the Priest by Fr. Jacques Nicolas Thomas Millet, S.J.
Engraving by Gustave Dore entitled The Kiss of Judas 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Will Serve Under The Banner Of Jesus Christ

This is the Christian battle cry, it is the simple decision one must choose at every crossroad of ones life. Jesuit Deacon Kevin Dyer, S.J. (has posted on St. Ignatius' spiritual exercise, The Two Standards. Here is an excerpt from Deacon Kevin's post. 
St. Ignatius—the former soldier—was particularly sensitive to the constant battle being waged within the world between the God who created us with dignity and the forces of evil which look to pervert that dignity to selfish ends.  Human beings either praise, reverence, and serve God—thus becoming who they were created to be—or they follow a lie and begin to break themselves down in the core of their being.  In this meditation we imagine these opposed paths of life as two armies encamped against each other, led by Christ on one hand, and Satan, the prince of lies, on the other.  The grace we are seeking is first, a knowledge of Satan’s ways so that we can guard against them, and second, a knowledge of Christ’s so that we can more easily follow His path.
Link (here) to read the full post at The Spiritual Exercises Blog.
Painting of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ by Meister von Meßkirch

That Long, Bleak, And Barren Moor

It was among a handful of simple and primitive fisher-folk, in the village of Cove, near Aberdeen, that Father Humphrey began his professional career. The Cove is a fishing village, situated in a nook of the rock-bound coast of Kincardineshire, four miles south of Aberdeen. It stands, our author tells as, ' on the verge of that long, bleak, and barren moor of Drumthwacket,' which Sir Walter Scott has made familiar to novel-readers as the 'fair patrimony' of Captain Dugald Dalgetty, who is the source of so much genial merriment in the 'Legend of Montrose'
Link (here) to the biographical story of Episcopal convert Fr. William Humphrey, S.J., entitled Priestly Recollections, published in Literary World. Photo (source)

Our Saviour Loved His Cross And Bore It

However, the mortifications which we impose upon ourselves, as well as those which God sends us, should serve to subjugate the spirit, rather than the flesh; the passions, rather than the body. For if a victory over both is necessary, the victory over the spirit is necessary at all times and for all, whereas the victory over the flesh may come later, to each according to his disposition. 
What will it avail to weaken the body by fasting and to lash it with the scourge if the spirit is stubborn and the will rebellious ? What is the good of humbling yourself before God in secret if you cannot bear the slightest mortification in public ? if you love to be admired and praised ? if you are a slave to the opinions of men ? 
The Church does not want in Her army soldiers who are so cowardly that they fear human respect and are ruled by it. Our Saviour loved His Cross and bore it, not alone at Nazareth and under the eye of His Mother, but also through the streets of Jerusalem and out beyond its gates before all the multitude that had gathered there.
According to the Fathers every Christian must be a fearless follower of the Cross and bear this standard on high before the world. Whoso loves not Jesus Crucified is anathema, and whoso shrinks abashed at the humiliations of the Cross is not of Jesus ; he must seek another leader. The leader of all holy priests is Jesus poor and humble and suffering.
The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world,1 says St. Paul. In these words the great Apostle lays bare the wonderful secrets of his heart, and reveals the 1 Galat. vi. 14. source whence, during the long and harassing struggle of his apostolate, he sought strength and victory. He was enabled to endure labors so incredible, to run a course so glorious and to save innumerable souls by dying to the world, to himself, to his inclinations, to his desires, and to everything that is not God. And what he did has been done in every age since by those apostolic men and great Saints who have labored so earnestly and so successfully in extending the Kingdom of God.

Link (here) to the portion of the book entitled, Jesus Living in the Priest by Fr. Jacques Nicolas Thomas Millet. S.J.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Fresh Pleading For Divine Grace

The late Padre Galluzzi, S.J., used to say that every new life of a saint or servant of God was in itself a fresh pleading for divine grace, and demonstrated that divine beneficence is not exhausted, but that every state of life, every nation, and every period of time is capable of producing the fruits of sanctity. If it be so as regards one such biography, what shall be said of the magnificent monument erected in the Acta to the power of the cross of Christ, by one religious society, and as a single.
Link (here) to the The Bollodanist Acta Sanctorum in the Catholic World

Full Of Irish

In 1699 Father Garganel, S. J., superior of the Island of Martinique, asked for one or two Irish Fathers for that and the neighboring islands, which were "full of Irish;" for he continues, "every year ship loads of men, boys, and girls, partly crimped, partly carried off by main force for purposes of slave trade, are conveyed by the English from Ireland.

Drawing of a slave market in Martinique

Scotia Which Is Also Called Ireland, Is An Island

Nicholas Serarius, a Jesuit, in his historical notes on the Acts of Saint Kilian, while commenting on the words of the ancient text, wherein it is said ; "Scotia which is also called Ireland, is an island " in the ocean; thus observeth in the margin ;—  Truly it is to be observed, that although the northern part of Britain is now properly called Scotland, yet by that name was Ireland formerly known; this sheweth the venerable Bede when be sayeth that the Picts came from Scythia into Ireland, and there found the nation of the Scots.—Then goeth he through entire pages, confirming this with the divers authorities which we above have cited ; and at length he contendeth thus:—Ireland claimed to herself the name of Scotia; and as out of that Ireland a portion of  the Scots went forth and settled in those parts of Britain which the Picts then possessed ; afterwards they expelled the Picts themselves, and occupying all the northern territory, gave unto  it the name of their original country—Whence it appeareth, that there was one only people of the Scots, but two places which bore the name of Scotland;—one, ancient and proper, in Ireland, another, modern and adopted, in North-Britain;—and from which-ever the preachers of the, Divine word came, they were all termed Scots.—Thus far Serarius.—

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lights And Graces Of Sincere Sanctity

In supernatural imaginative vision an agent superior to man acts directly either on the imagination itself or on certain forces calculated to stir the imagination. The sign that these images come from God lies, apart from their particular vividness, in the lights and graces of sincere sanctity which accompany them, and in the fact that the subject is powerless to define or fix the elements of the vision. Such efforts most frequently result in the cessation or the abridgement of the vision. 
Imaginative apparitions are ordinarily of short duration, either because the human organism is unable to endure for a long time the violence done to it, or imaginative visions soon give place to intellectual visions. This kind of vision occurs most frequently during sleep; 
such were the dreams of Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar (Genesis 41; Daniel 2). Cardinal Bona gives several reasons of expediency for this frequency: during sleep the soul is less divided by multiplicity of thoughts, it is more passive, more inclined to accept, and less inclined to dispute; in the silence of the senses the images make a more vivid impression.
It is often difficult to decide whether the vision is corporeal or imaginative. It is certainly corporeal (or extrinsic) if it produces external effects, such as the burnt marks left on an object by the passing of the Devil. It is imaginative if, for example, the image persists after one has closed one's eyes, or if there are no traces of the external effects which ought to have been produced, such as when a ball of fire appears above a person's head without injuring it. 
The time most conducive to these visions is a state of ecstasy, when the exercise of the external senses is suspended. However, although the question has been discussed among mystics, it seems that they may also be produced outside of this state. This is the opinion of  the Jesuit Alvarez de Paz (here) , (here) , (here) (De grad. contemp., 1., V, pt. III, cii, t. 6) and of Benedict XIV (De servorum Dei beatif., 1. III, c. i, n. 1). 
Imaginative vision may be either representative or symbolic. It is representative when it presents an image of the very object to be made known: such may have been the apparition to St. Joan of Arc of St. Catherine and St. Margaret, if it was not (which is more probable) a luminous vision. It is symbolic when it indicates the object by means of a sign: such as the apparition of a ladder to Jacob, the apparition of the Sun, Moon, and stars to the patriarch Joseph, as were also numerous prophetic visions.

Link (here) to the full article Visions and Apparitions found in the Catholic Encyclopedia, copyright © 1913 by the Encyclopedia Press, Inc.

Fr. Diego Alvarez de Paz, S.J. : One Of The Last Representatives Of The Ancient Schools Of Mysticism

On the day of the Jesuit, Fr. James Alvarez de Paz 's death 100,000 men in the silver mines of Potosi stopped work to assist at his obsequies. He is said to have had the gift of prophecy, and it is reported that after his death his body remained incorrupt. Hunter says of the three folio volumes of his works: "Summi aestimantur; rara et cara sunt". His first treatise is "De viât spirituali ejusque perfectione" (1608); his second, "De exterminatione mali et promotione boni: (1613); his third, "De inquisitione pacis, sive de studio orationis" (1611). The work has been widely used in compendiums, extracts, and translations. In the opinion of a recognized authority on mysticism, Father Poulain, S.J., writing in Vacant, "his bent is not so much to observe patiently, as to philosophize and display much erudition. He is the first to use the expression oratio affectiva, implying a species of contemplation meditation in which the affections dominate. He does not appear to have read St. Teresa, whose works were just published, and he may be regarded as one of the last representatives of the ancient schools of mysticism."
Link (here)  to The Catholic Encyclopedia. 
Engraving is of 17th Century Potosi in present day Venezuela the place were Fr. Diego Alvarez de Paz, S.J. labored and died.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Since Ecstasies And Stigmata And Levitation And Such Like Rarer Phenomena

The nearest approach to this ideal is perhaps Fr. Emile Lamballe's Mystical Contemplation? Here the author's aim is to avoid all controversy on disputed questions—a purpose which in the main is kept steadily in view—and to make the reader familiar with what is thought by some to be not uncommon in the lives of God's children. The writer's teaching is explicitly not his own; it is that of the Masters of the science of prayer and these he cites copiously and to the point. A careful reading of some such book would well repay the labor, as it results in an accurate grasp of a complete system. There is another effect which ought not to be lightly passed over; it is the stimulus to the practice of real generosity and humility—the essential prerequisites for all spirituality; for it seems to be the clear teaching of the saints that we ordinary mortals may desire and pray for the gift of prayer. 
The standard classic however is the Jesuit Fr. Augustin Poulain's The Graces of Interior Prayer It is a colossal work, scientific to a degree, and traversing the whole range of mysticism; it has moreover this advantage that for the most part the examples where possible are from modern history and the author has a wide and exhaustive knowledge garnered from the experience of a lifetime. The book is absolutely safe, having a warm approbation from the Pope, from the Congregation of the Inquisition, from various bishops, as well as a very commendatory introduction written by a Jesuit Master of Novices for the translation of the sixth edition. 
The first six chapters are really enough for the average director; since ecstasies and stigmata and levitation and such like rarer phenomena are in a class apart from what is of not infrequent occurrence. This portion of the magnum opus has been published separately in English under the title The Prayer of Simplicity. 
Link (here) to the portion Fr. H.B. Loughan, S.J. his essay The Study of Mysticism is found in the book entitled, The Ecclesiastical review, Volume 65 By Catholic University of America

Things Spiritual Were More Real Than The Visible

In appearance Francis Xavier was neither Spanish nor Basque. He had blue or grey eyes, and fair hair and beard, which turned white through the hardships he endured in Japan. 
That he was of short stature is proved by the length of the coffin in which his body is still preserved, less than 5 ft. i in. (Fonseca, op. cit. p. 296). 
Many miracles have been ascribed to him; an official list of these, said to have been attested by eyewitnesses, was drawn up by the auditors of the Rota when the processes for his canonization were formed, and is preserved in manuscript in the Vatican library. The contention that Xavier should be regarded as the greatest of Christian missionaries since the first century A.d. rests upon more tangible evidence. 
His Jesuit biographers attribute to him the conversion of more than 700,000 persons in less than ten years; and though these figures are absurd, the work which Xavier accomplished was enormous. 
He inaugurated new missionary enterprises from Hormuz to Japan and the Malay Archipelago, leaving an organized Christian community wherever he preached; he directed by correspondence the ecclesiastical policy of John III. and his viceroy in India; he established and controlled the Society of Jesus in the East. 
Himself an ascetic and a mystic, to whom things spiritual were more real than the visible world, he had the strong common sense which distinguished the other Spanish mystics, St Theresa, Luis de Leon or Raimon Lull. 
This quality is nowhere better exemplified than in his letters to Caspar Baertz (Barzaeus), the Flemish Jesuit whom he sent to Hormuz, or in his suggestions for the establishment of a Portuguese staple in Japan. Supreme as an organizer, he seems also to have had a singularly attractive personality, which won  him the friendship even of the pirates and bravos with whom he was forced to consort on his voyages. Modern critics of his work note that he made no attempt to understand the oriental religions which he attacked, and censure him for invoking the aid of the Inquisition and sanctioning persecution of the Nestorians in Malabar. 
He strove, with a success disastrous to the Portuguese empire, to convert the government in Goa into a proselytizing agency. 
Throughout his life he remained in close touch with Ignatius of Loyola, who is said to have selected Xavier as his own successor at the head of the Society of Jesus. Within a few weeks of Xavier's death, indeed, Ignatius sent letters recalling him to Europe with that end in view.

Link (here) to the short but thoroughly secular biography in an old edition number 28 of the Encyclopedia Britanica of St. Francis Xavier, S.J.  

Painting is entitled The Vision of St. Francis Xavier, S.J. by Baciccio

Sunday, March 14, 2010

D'Artagnan, Aramis And The Jesuit

Pointing to D'Artagnan with his hand, and addressing the two ecclesiastics.
" Give God praise, monsieur," replied they, bowing.
" I have not failed to do so, your reverences," replied the young man, returning their salutation.
" You arrive very apropos, D'Artagnan," said Aramis, "and by taking part in our discussion, may assist us with your intelligence. M. Ic Principal of Amiens, M. le Curd of Montdidier, and I, are arguing upon certain theological questions, with which we have been much interested ; I shall be delighted to have your opinion."
" The opinion of the man of the sword can have very little weight," replied D'Artagnan, who began to get uneasy at the turn things were taking, " and you had better be satisfied, believe me, with the knowledge of these gentlemen."
The two men in black bowed in their turn.
" On the contrary," replied Aramis, " your opinion will be very valuable ; the question is this : Monsieur le Principal thinks that my thesis ought to be dogmatic and didactic."
"Your thesis ! are you then making a thesis?"
" Without doubt," replied the Jesuit : " in the examination which precedes ordination, a thesis is always requisite."
" Ordination !" cried D'Artagnan, who could not believe what the hostess and Bazin had successively told him ; and he gazed, half stupefied, upon the three persons before him.
" Now," continued Aramis, taking the same graceful position in his easy chair that he would have assumed in a rttelle, and complacently examining his hand, which was as white and plump as that of a woman, and which he held in the air to cause the blood to descend from it, " now, as you have heard, D'Artagnan, M. le Principal is desirous that my thesis should be dogmatic, whilst 1, for my part, would rather it should be ideal. This is the reason why M. le Principal has proposed to me the following subject, which has not yet been treated upon, and in which I perceive there is matter for magnificent developments :— ' Utraque manus in benedicendo chricis inferioribus nccessaria est.'"
D'Artagnan, whose erudition we are well acquainted with, evinced no more interest on hearing this quotation, than he had of that of M. dc TreVille, in allusion to the presents he fancied he had received from the Duke of Buckingham.
" Which means," resumed Aramis, that he might perfectly understand the matter ; "' The two hands are indispensable for priests of the inferior orders, when they bestow the benediction.' "
" An admirable subject!" cried the Jesuit.
"Admirable and dogmatic!" repeated the curate, who, about was strong as D'Artagnan with respect to Latin, carefully watched the Jesuit, in order to keep step with him, and repeated his words like an echo.
As to D'Artagnan, he remained perfectly insensible to the enthusiasm of the two men in black.
" Yes, admirable ! promts acimirabile ! " continued Aramis ; " but which requires a profound study of both the Scriptures and the Fathers. Now, I have confessed to these learned ecclesiastics, and that in all humility, that the duties of mounting guard and the service of the king have caused me to neglect study a little. I should find myself therefore, more at my ease, facilius natans, in a subject of my own choice, which would be to these hard theological questions what morals are to metaphysics in philosophy."
D'Artagnan began to be tired, and so did the curt.
" See what an exordium !" cried the Jesuit
" Exordium," repeated the curt, for the sake of saying something. " Quemadmodum inter caloruin iminensilatem."
Aramis cast a glance upon D'Artagnan, to see what effect all this produced ; and found his friend gaping enough to split his jaws.
" Let us speak French, worthy father," said he to the Jesuit, " M. D'Artagnan will enjoy our conversation the more."
" Yes," replied D'Artagnan ; " I am fatigued with riding, and all this Latin confuses me."
" Certainly," replied the Jesuit, a little thrown out, whilst the curt greatly delighted, turned upon D'Artagnan a look full of gratitude : " well, let us see what is to be derived from this gloss."
" Moses, the servant of God—he was but a servant, please to understand ! Moses blessed with the hands ; he held out both his arms, whilst the Hebrews beat their enemies, and then he blessed them with his two hands. Besides, what does the gospel say : ' Imponite manus,' and not 'manum .•" place the hands and not the hand."
" Place the hands," repeated the curt, with the proper gesture.
" St. Peter, on the contrary, of whom the popes are the successors," continued the Jesuit: " ' Porrige digitos ' present the fingers. Do you see that, now ?'
" Certes," replied Aramis, in a pleased tone, " but the thing is subtle."
" The fingers !" resumed the Jesuit, " St. Peter blessed with the fingers. The pope, therefore, blesses with the fingers. And with how many fingers does he bless ? With three fingers, to be sure, one for the Father, one for the Son, and one for the Holy Ghost."
All crossed themselves ; D'Artagnan thought it was proper to follow this example.
" The pope is the successor of St. Peter, and represents the three divine powers ; the rest, ordines infcriores, of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, bless in the name of the holy archangels and angels. The most humble clerks, such as our deacons and sacristans, bless with goitpillons (brushes for sprinkling holy water), which resemble an infinite number of blessing fingers. There is the subject simplified. Argumentum omni denudatum ornamento. I could make of that subject two volumes of the size of this " and, in his enthusiasm, he struck a St. Chrysostom in folio, which made the table bend beneath its weight
D'Artagnan trembled

Link (here) to the referenced portion of Alexandre Dumas's classic The Three Musketeeers.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Everything About Him

Jesus Christ is the model for all of us.  Everything about Him, everything He does is a lesson for us in how we may be complete as human beings and as subjects to the Divine King.  Just as Mary kept Jesus’ words and deeds as material for a holy pondering in her heart, we too are to do the same.  While we are often mesmerized by the greatest of His deeds recounted in the four Gospels, perhaps the most instructive for our everyday lives are those everyday deeds that Jesus took upon Himself as a model of perfect humanity.  We must let this hidden life of our King impress upon our hearts deeply those lessons which we so often forget in the hustle and bustle of our lives.  Too often we are centered on something other than living as a child of God.
Link (here) to read the post of John Brown, S.J., John is a scholastic of the New Orleans Province you will find his post at the Jesuit group blog entitled the Spiritual Exercises blog.

Jesuit Was Beaten To Death With Sticks By The Puritans

Father Robert Netterville, S.J., was beaten to death by the Puritans, whereas Father Nicholas Netterville, a Jesuit, is said to have been a great friend of Oliver Cromwell's, at whose table he often dined, and from whom he had leave to say Mass every day in Dublin. Being accused of saying Mass by Captain Nathaniel Foulkes, Father Netterville said: " I am a priest, and my Lord General knows it, and tell all the town of it, and that I will say Mass here every day". He was a great scholar and musician, speaker and divine, took a leading part in the debates about the Remonstrance, and used to go about Dublin disguised as a cavalier, and was chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant, Duke of Tyrconnell. His brother, Father Christopher Netterville, S.J., was at one time very near falling a victim to Puritan fury, and had to remain hiding for twelve months in the vault of his father, Viscount Netterville. Apropos of Father Netterville's relation with Cromwell, we may say that the Rev. Sir Francis Slingsby, S.J., was a first cousin of the cruel Sir Charles Coote. Fathers Robert and Nicholas Nugent were near relatives of Elizabeth, 
Countess of Kildare, who was a second mother to the Jesuit mission, and they are called by Dr. Oliver, uncles of the infamous Earl of Inchiquin, who killed Father Boyton, S.J., in the rock of Cashel  
Father Christopher Holywood, S.J., of Ashwood, near Dublin, who was imprisoned in the tower of London for five years, was a near relative of the zealous Protestant Lord Dunsany; and Father Fitzsimon, S.J, of Dublin, tells a damaging story of  " Adam Loftus, an apostate priest, and Lord Primate, who exalted his plentiful brood to knighthood, noble alliance, and lofty estates", and ends by saying: " Let me be believed on the word of a religious man, that not private hate nor any desire to gravel Adam's issue, part whereof is linked to me in kindred, but truth and the glory of God, nave occasioned me to narrate the fact, of which I was a witness". Primate Usher's uncle and first cousin, were Jesuits. Father George Dillon, a distinguished theologian and writer, of the Society of Jesus, died a martyr of charity in Waterford in 1650, invoking the sweet name of Jesus; he was a holy, hard-working man, a cousin of Primates Plunket and Talbot, and a son of Robert, the second Earl of Roscommon. The same year, according to our Arthur MSS., J. Dillon, Earl of Roscommon, his brother, fell down twelve steps of stairs in Limerick, and died four days afterwards. 
In presence of death, he renounced Protestantism, 
and received the last sacraments, and most probably he owed this grace to the prayers of his brother?

Friday, March 12, 2010

St. Joseph Des Champs

Such is the name of the first pilgrimage, which, So far as we can learn, was established in honor of St. Joseph. It owes its existence to a Jesuit Father, named Debrosse, a zealous servant of the saint. 0ne day, as the fervent religious was pondering the means best calculated to awaken his favorite devotion in the hearts of others, the thought came into his mind to establish this pilgrimage, and, aided by the benevolence of pious friends, he was enabled to carry out his idea. On the 19th of March, 1840, the elegant chapel, now to be seen on the road to Chateau Goutier, about a mile and a half from Laval, was blessed under the name of St. Joseph of the Fields. The altar, of peculiar beauty, is surmounted by a statue of St. Joseph holding the Infant Jesus in his arras. Two reliquaries have been placed in that holy spot, presented by the Marquis and Marchioness of Ambray on their return from Rome ; they contain a piece of the cloak of St. Joseph, and of the veil of the Blessed Virgin.
His Holiness Pope Gregory XVI., by his bulls, dated 1840 and 1842, deigned to grant numerous indulgences to those pilgrims who went thither. 0n Wednesdays, especially, the affluence of persons is so great that the chapel can hardly contain them. In order to further the devotion, some pious souls have founded Masses for all the Wednesdays throughout the year, which are always numerously attended.
St. Joseph has testified his pleasure by some striking favors, such as the following.
A trustworthy governess of the (this link makes a connection by a "thread of Grace" to St Faustina's order and the Divine Mercy) Community of Mercy at Laval was attacked with sudden illness, of which no one knew the cause, and was wasted by a slow fever which threatened her life. After three months of useless remedies, the physicians despaired of her cure. The invalid then had recourse to Heaven, was led to the (Chapelle St. Joseph des Champs) Chapel of St. Joseph of the Fields, and there prayed either for a complete cure, or the grace of a happy death. She heard Mass there and received communion, and found herself perfectly cured. The next day her strength was so completely restored that she was enabled to resume her ordinary occupations.

Link (here) to the portion of the book entitled Devotion to Saint Joseph, by Fr.Giuseppe Antonio Patrignani, S.J. 

As Being One With Our Lady

In the Commentaries of the New Testament the Fathers speak worthily of St. Joseph, still he was not much invoked (invocation itself, by the way, has grown immensely in the Church). It may be, as you say, that he was considered as being one with our Lady. More probably Providence kept him back that simple people might thoroughly take in the Incarnation, and not pay undue worship to St. Joseph. Gerson first roused the attention of the Church, and since his time God has in a way made it up to the holy Patriarch by the extraordinary devotion which has entered into the daily life of the whole Church, with so many blessings in the temporal and spiritual order. 
The devotion to St. Joseph stands out as a legitimate development of the faith in the Incarnation. Certainly in these days of waning charity and faith it has contributed to foster and extend the love of Jesus Christ and of His Church. 
To me it often occurs as one of the problems of our religion, how men have advanced so slowly in the comprehension of the Incarnation and its consequences. The faith of the Church has been constantly expanding, and there is every reason to believe that it will continue to expand to the end of time. The group of the Holy Family we see in a way completed in the minds of the faithful by the devotion to St. Joseph.

The First Foreign Missionary

St. Joseph was the first foreign missionary when, by order of an angel,
he " took the Child and his mother " and went to Africa,
thus becoming, in St. Hilary's words, " the type of all apostolic men."
Link (here) to the book entitled, The Life of Saint Peter Claver, S.J.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Martha and Mary, They Still Are Sisters, Not Enemies

It is universally known, that the Society of Jesus was founded by St. Ignatius, a descendant of a noble family in Spain. Having unreservedly dedicated himself to God, and spent many years in prayer and penance, he conceived the noble plan of establishing a religious order, or a perpetual succession of men, dedicated to God, who should be constantly and actively engaged in promoting his glory and the spiritual welfare of their neighbour: Part of them, to be employed in the education of youth, in piety and learning; part, in the general instruction of the faithful; part, in defending the catholic faith against error; and part, in propagating the faith of Christ among infidel nations.
" For this purpose," says Father Bouhours, his best biographer, " he placed before his eyes, the two different forms of active and contemplative life; the former of which, after the model of Martha, is wholly employed in the service of our neighbour, and the other, after that of Magdalen, is wholly absorbed in the repose of contemplation."
  He easily discerned, that the function? of these two states, taken separately, and in their whole extent, did not agree with his design : 
and that he ought to choose from both, that, which was best; and to mingle them so equally, that they should help, and not hinder one another: for, in the conclusion, however little may be the resemblance between Martha and Mary, they still are sisters, not enemies. 
He took, therefore, from contemplative life, mental prayer, the examinations of conscience, the reading of the holy scriptures, the frequentation of the sacraments, spiritual retirement, the exercises of the presence of God, and other similar practices of devotion. He took, from active life, all that might contribute to save and bring to perfection the souls of our neighbours; 
Link (here) to the portion of the book entitled, The Life of Fenelon, Archbishop of Cambray by Charles Butler

Painting is entitled Christ with Mary and Martha by Henryk Semiradsky

Prayer To Christ Our Lord, The Pattern Of Humility.

" O Eternal Word made flesh for love of us, I adore Thee in Thy great majesty, and I adore Thee no less in Thy humiliations.
For in Thy glory and in Thy humbleness Thou art always God, and as Thou hast exalted our nature in making it Divine by union with Thee, so hast Thou exalted our infirmities by taking them upon Thee and impressing upon them a stamp of supreme nobility. 
Thou wast not content to be master of humility without being a pattern of it also, and Thou wast pleased first to exhibit it in all Thy life before Thou taughtest it by Thy Word, that so Thou mightest prevent all excuse for my pride and force me to surrender to the truth, what excuse can I have left me to pretend to exalt myself? I, who am a miserable worm and vile sinner, when Thy Divine Majesty so stupendously humbles itself? Indeed, I have none and I make submission to the truth, I confess before heaven and earth that in me there is no good thing. All is Thine, the gift of Thy hands, and all is solely for Thy sake and given me for Thy glory. But though I confess all this for certain, still, alas, I return to the misery of my foolish vanity, I take complacency in what I do as though it were my own, forgetting all my innumerable defects as though they were not my own.
O, then, my most merciful Lord, my Truth, and my Light, illumine my eyes with my own clay, ' Lord make me that I may see.' Give me so great a knowledge of my own imperfections that it may overwhelm my pride, and that I may no more lift up my head to think myself any more than a mere nothing. 
 And since this is not enough, make me also consider and treat myself as such, and willingly be treated so by others for the love of Thee." 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Son Of Siro, "After The Manner Of The Nazarenes"

He observed that the prophet was rather tall and well proportioned, with a tendency to slimness. There was about him an air of serenity and command, attracting the love and reverence of the seriously-minded son of Siro. The hair was a rich golden-brown, long and falling down to the shoulders. It was parted on the forehead after the manner of the Nazarenes. The forehead was white, broad and high, giving its owner an indescribably noble appearance. Upon approaching nearer, Lazarus saw that the complexion was so marvelously clear as to resemble the purest alabaster, or Parian marble. The cheeks were faintly tinged with color; the lips had the redness of perfect health. The beard, a shade or two lighter than the hair, was not long, but thick and forked. The features which most impressed Lazarus were the eyes. They were clear, grey and piercing. At times they appeared almost blue, changing and deepening in color as they expressed the various emotions of the soul.

Link (here) to the mentioned portion of  The Son of Siro: A Story of Lazarus, by Fr. J.E. Copus, S.J.

When His Days Were Done And The Shadows Had Gathered

Once more we read that shortly before His Passion, when Martha and Mary sent Him word beyond the Jordan: " Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick." When He reached the eastern slope of Olivet, where Bethany nestled, Lazarus had been four days in the tomb. Standing before that marble slab behind which His friend was cold in death: " He cried with a loud voice: Lazarus, come forth. And presently he that had been dead came forth."  
But the life which had been requickened in that dead body was to die again, like the flame of a candle which has been relit.  
Lazarus was again, when his days were done and the shadows had gathered, to pass into the darkness of his grave. Not so, however, with our Risen Lord, for " Christ rising from the dead dieth no more. Death shall no more have dominion over Him." In His glorious quickening into new life sin has lost its victory, death its sting. He shall see the tomb no more, taste death never again, but shall live in joy unspeakable with the Father forevermore. Thus, too, He is the type of our spiritual renewing, our resurrection of the spirit. 
With this Easter we have risen to a new and a higher spiritual life, of which neither the raising of the widow's son, nor the daughter of Jairus, nor the resurrection of Lazarus, is the type; but the resurrection of our Blessed Lord. 
We rise to die no more. The old passions and inclinations shall no more have dominion over us. Their victory is gone, their sting lost. We shall live the new life with our Risen Lord before our eyes, and thus we shall meet Him face to face on the greater Easter in the Kingdom of His Father.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Everything We Prune


Day 30 of January of 2010,

the creation of the new one was carried out Jesuítica province “Argentinean-Uruguayan”. The same one is composed by old Provinces of Argentina and Uruguay. P. Provincial it is P. Alfonso Jose Go'mez SJ. In Encuentro that it gave rise to the creation of the new one Province, attended Jesuits of both countries.In addition, we counted on the presence of P. Echarte (Secretary of the Company of Jesus), like representative of P. General. We requested to them that they continue saying by the Jesuits of this new Province, so that in everything we pruned to love and to serve.

Link (here) to Student College Ignacianos