Thought for the day:

"Give me grace to amend my life, and to have an eye to mine end, without grudge of death, which to them that die in thee,
good Lord, is the gate of a wealthy life."
St. Thomas More

THREE THINGS

"Three things are necessary for the salvation of man; to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do."
St. Thomas Aquinas

Rights of Man?

"The people have heard quite enough about what are called the 'rights of man'. Let them hear about the rights of God for once". Pope Leo XIII Tamesti future, Encyclical

Eternity

All souls owe their eternity to Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, many have turned their back to him.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

DEER SEASON


 

GOOD LUCK DEER HUNTERS.  BE SAFE!

St. Albert the Great



St. Albert the Great was born in the region of Ausgbourg, of parents rich in the goods of fortune. From the time he was a child, he manifested in his studies an unusual aptitude for the exact sciences. While he was still a boy, he had himself let down the side of a cliff to examine at close range an eagle's nest which interested him. At the age of fifteen he was already a student of the natural sciences and the humanities at Bologna; Saint Dominic had died in that city the preceding year, 1221, and was buried in the Dominican Convent. Their house, in a suburban area of Bologna, was closely associated with the activities at the University, and students in large numbers were requesting admission to the Order.

Blessed Reginald of Orleans, Dominican, a former professor in Paris, came to preach there in the streets. The second Dominican General, Blessed Jordan of Saxony, a compatriot of Albert and a very eloquent preacher, was in Padua, and when the students of Bologna were transferred there Albert heard him at the Padua Dominican Church. He had already desired to enter the Order, but his uncle opposed to that plan a very vigorous opposition, and Albert was still very young. He dreamed one night that he had become a Dominican but left the Order soon afterwards. The same day he heard Master Jordan preach, and the Dominican General spoke of how the demon attempts to turn aside those who want to enter into religion, knowing that he will suffer great losses from their career in the Church; he persuades them in dreams that they will leave it, or else they see themselves on horseback, or clothed in purple, or as solitaries in the desert, or surrounded by cordial friends; thus he makes them fear entering because they would not be able to persevere. This was precisely Albert's great concern, faced as he was with his uncle's opposition. Afterwards the young student, amazed, went to Blessed Jordan, saying: "Master, who revealed my heart to you?" And he lost no time then in entering the Order at the age of sixteen, in 1223, having heard the same preacher remark to him personally that he should consider what a pity it would be if his excellent youthful qualities became the prey of eternal fires.

When he had earned the title of Doctor in theology, he was sent to Cologne, where for a long time his reputation attracted many illustrious disciples. The humble Albert, filled with the love of God, taught also in Padua and Bologna, in Saxony, at Fribourg, Ratisbonne and Strasbourg, and when Blessed Jordan of Saxony died in 1237, he occupied his place and fulfilled his functions until 1238, when the election of his successor was held. He returned then to Cologne, where he would encounter a disciple who alone among all of them would suffice for his glory -- St. Thomas Aquinas. This young religious, already steeped in the highest theological studies, was silent among the others, to the point of being called by his fellow students "the Mute Ox of Sicily." But Albert silenced them, saying, "The bellowings of this ox will resound throughout the entire world."  (Imagine, he taught Thomas Aquinas!)

From Cologne, Saint Albert was called to the University of Paris, with his dear disciple. There his genius appeared in all its brilliance, and there he composed a large number of his writings. Later, obedience took him back to Germany as Provincial of his Order. Without a murmur, he said farewell to his cell, his books, and his numerous disciples, and as Provincial thereafter journeyed with no money, always on foot, visiting the numerous monasteries under his jurisdiction, throughout an immense territory in which were included Austria, Bavaria, Saxony, and other regions even to Holland.

He was no longer young when he had to submit to the formal order of the Pope and accept, in difficult circumstances, the episcopal see of Ratisbonne; there his indefatigable zeal was rewarded only by harsh trials, in the midst of which his virtue was perfected. When, in response to his persevering requests to be relieved of the responsibilities of a large see, Pope Urban IV restored to him the conventual peace of his Order, he was nonetheless obliged to take up his apostolic journeyings again. Finally he could enter into a definitive retreat, to prepare for death. One is astonished that amid so many labors, journeys and works of zeal, Albert could find the time to write on the natural sciences, on philosophy and theology, works which form from twenty-one to thirty-eight volumes, depending on the edition -- and one may ask in which of his titles he most excelled, that of scholar, of Saint, or of Apostle.

He died, apparently of fatigue, at the age of seventy-three, on November 15, 1280, and his body was buried in Cologne in the Dominican church. He had to wait until December 16, 1931 for the honors of canonization and the extension of his cult to the universal Church. Proclaiming his holiness, Pope Pius XI added the glorious title, so well merited, of Doctor of the Church. From time immemorial, he has been known as Albert the Great. (Truly someone who deserves to be called 'great'.



Sermon of St. Albert the Great on the Feast of All Saints

After portraying their beatitude, St. Albert explains this passage of the Apocalypse: "The Lamb which is in the midst of the Throne shall rule them, and shall lead them to the fountains of the waters of life" (vii. 17).


"In God's kingdom, there are five fountains, to which the Lamb will lead His elect. The first is the source of consolation; there the Lord shall wipe away their tears. The second is the fountain of repose; for after having dried up their tears, the Spirit, that is the Holy Trinity, will say: 'Henceforth they shall rest from their labours.' The third is the source of refreshment; for they who are at rest shall be refreshed and inebriated with the superabundance of God's house. The fourth is the source of joy. The elect, by reason of the heavenly consolations, the sweets of repose and the most agreeable refreshment, shall be in jubilation. They shall sing their salutations with gladness in the courts of the predestined. The fifth is the fountain of love. How ardently will they not love Him, Who consoles them, Who gives them rest and loads them with every good? Isaias, speaking of this fountain, says: 'You shall draw water with joy from the fountain of the Lord.'"

"On the other hand, in hell there are, five fountains, to which the infernal dragon thrusts the souls of the reprobate, that they may drink thereof. The first is called Styx. When souls drink of those waters, they conceive a mutual hatred of each other. The second is named Phlegethon. The property of its waters is to enkindle the rage of the damned, first against themselves, then against those through whose fault they are lost. The name of the third is Lethe: scarcely have the reprobate tasted of it than they lose the knowledge and recollection of past joys and pleasures. The fourth is Acheron. The damned on applying their lips to it immediately sink into indescribable sadness. The fifth bears the name of Gocytus. The effects of those waters are such that they who drink of them weep without ever experiencing the least consolation."




Lesson from the second letter of St Paul the Apostle to Timothy (I like this, that's why it's here)

2 Tim. 4:1-8 (Today's Epistle reading)


Beloved: I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus, Who will judge the living and the dead by His coming and by His kingdom, preach the word, be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, entreat, rebuke with all patience and teaching. For there will come a time when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but having itching ears, will heap up to themselves teachers according to their lusts, and they will turn away their hearing from the truth and turn aside rather to fables. But be watchful in all things, bear with tribulation patiently, work as a preacher of the Gospel, fulfill your ministry. As for me, I am already being poured out in sacrifice, and the time of my deliverance is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. For the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just Judge, will give to me in that day; yet not to me only, but also to those who love His coming.



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

St. Josaphat, Bishop/Martyr




St. Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
from the Liturgical Year, 1901


Josaphat Kuncewicz, contemporary with St. Francis de Sales and St. Vincent de Paul, might have been taken for a Greek monk of the eleventh century, or an ascetic of the Thebaid. A stranger to the intellectual culture of the West, he knew only the liturgical books and sacred texts used in his own church; as a priest, an archimandrite, a reformer of his Order of St. Basil, and lastly as Archbishop, he combated all his life against the consequences of the schism of Photius, and closed the struggle by culling the palm of martyrdom.

Immediately after the Mongolian invasions, Poland received into her arms, rather than conquered, the Ruthenian nation, that is to say the Slavs of the Greek rite from the Dnieper and the Dwina, who had formed around their capital and religious metropolis, Kiev, the nucleus of the power now known as Russia. The union of the new-comers with the Roman Pontiff, which a little more political insight and religious zeal might have brought about in the fourteenth century, was not concluded until 1595. This was the union of Brzesc. By the compact signed in this little town of Lithuania, the metropolitan of Kiev and the other Greek bishops declared that they returned to the communion of the holy Apostolic See. Being the spiritual superiors of half the nation, they thus completed the union of the three peoples, Ruthenian, Lithuanian, and Polish, then subject to Sigismund III. Now, a religious reform, even if decreed by a council, does not become a reality until men of God, true apostles, and if need be martyrs, come forward to consummate it. This was the vocation of St. Josaphat, the apostle and martyr of the Union of Brzesc. What he did not himself carry out was completed by his disciples. A century of glory was secured to the nation, and its political ruin was delayed for two hundred years.

But Poland left in a state of humiliating inferiority the clergy and people of the Graeco-Slavonic rite, who had taken shelter in her bosom; her politicians never admitted practically that Christians of the Greek rite could be true Catholics, on an equality with their Latin brethren. Soon, however, the Latin Poles were engaged in deadly combat with the Muscovites, and we know how the former were vanquished. Historians lay down the causes of Poland's defeat; but they usually forget the principal one, which rendered it irremediable, viz: the almost total destruction of the Union of Brzeso, the forced return to schism of the immense majority of the Ruthenians whom St. Josaphat had brought into the Catholic Church. The consummation of this execrable work contributed, far more than political circumstances or military triumphs, to establish Russia's victory. Poland, reduced to nine or ten million Latins, could no longer struggle against her former rival now become her stern ruler.

The power of the Slavs separated from Catholic unity is on the increase. Young nations, emancipated from the Mussulman yoke, have formed in the Balkan Peninsula. Fidelity to the Gaseco-Slavonian rite, identified in their eyes with their nationality and with Christianity, was alone able to save these peoples from being stamped out by the Turkish forces. Victorious over the universal enemy, they cannot forget whence came their safety: the moral and religious direction of these resuscitated nations belongs accordingly to Russia. Profiting of these advantages with consummate skill and energy, she continues to develop her influence in the East. In Asia her progress is still more prodigious. The Czar, who at the end of the eighteenth century ruled over thirty million men, now governs one hundred and twenty-five millions; and by the normal increase of an exceptionally prolific population, the Empire, within another half century, will reckon more than two hundred millions of subjects.

Unhappily for Russia and for the Church, this power is guided at present by blind prejudice. Not only is Russia separated from Catholic unity, but political interest and the recollection of ancient strifes, convince her that her greatness depends upon the triumph of what she calls orthodoxy, which is simply the Photian schism. Yet the Roman Church, ever devoted and generous, opens wide her arms to welcome back her wandering daughter; forgetting the injuries she has received, she asks but to be greeted with the name of mother. Let this word be uttered, and a whole sad past will be effaced, Russia becoming Catholic would mean an end to Islamism, and the definitive triumph of the Cross upon the Bosphorus, without any danger to Europe; the Christian empire in the East restored with a glory and a power hitherto unknown; Asia evangelized, not by a few poor isolated priests, but with the help of an authority greater than that of Charlemagne; and lastly, the Slavonic race brought into unity of faith and aspirations, for its own greater glory. This transformation will be the greatest event of the century that shall see its accomplishment; it will change the face of the world.

Is there any foundation for such hopes? Come what may, St. Josaphat will always be the patron and model of future apostles of the Union in Russia, and in the whole Graeco-Slavonic world. By his birth, education, and studies, by the bent of his piety and all his habits of life, he resembled far more the Russian monks of the present day, than the Latin prelates of his own time. He always desired the ancient Liturgy of his Church to be preserved entire; and even to his last breath he carried it out lovingly, without the least alteration or diminution, just as the first apostles of the Christian faith had brought it from Constantinople to Kiev. May prejudices born of ignorance be obliterated; and then, despised though his name now is in Russia, St. Josaphat will no sooner be known, than he will be loved and invoked by the Russians themselves. Our Graeco-Slavonian brethren cannot much longer turn a deaf ear to the invitations of the Sovereign Pontiff. Let us hope, then, that the day will come, and that before very long, when the wall of separation will crumble away for ever, and the same hymn of thanksgiving will echo at once under the dome of 'St. Peter's and the cupolas of Kiev and of St. Petersburg'.



We cannot presume to add anything to these authoritative words;
the details will be filled up by the liturgical Legend.


When a child, as he was listening to his mother telling him about the Passion of Christ, a dart issued from the image of Jesus crucified and wounded him in the heart. Set on fire with the love of God, he began to devote himself with such zeal to prayer and other works of piety, that he was the admiration and the model of his older companions. At the age of twenty he became a monk under the Rule of St. Basil, and made wonderful progress in evangelical perfection. He went barefoot even in the severe winter of that country; he never ate meat, drank wine only when obliged by obedience, and wore a rough hair-shirt until his death. The flower of his chastity, which he had vowed in early youth to the Virgin Mother of God, he preserved unspotted. He soon became so renowned for virtue and learning, that in spite of his youth he was made superior of the monastery of Byten; soon afterwards he became archimandrite of Vilna; and lastly, much against his will, but to the great joy of Catholics, he was chosen Archbishop of Polock.

In this dignity he relaxed nothing of his former manner of life; and had nothing so much at heart as the divine service and the salvation of the sheep entrusted to him. He energetically defended Catholic faith and unity, and labored to the utmost of his power to bring back schismatics and heretics to communion with the See of blessed Peter. The Sovereign Pontiff and the plenitude of his power he never ceased to defend, both by preaching, and by writings full of piety and learning, against the most shameless calumnies and errors of the wicked. He vindicated episcopal rights, and restored ecclesiastical possessions which had been seized by laymen. Incredible was the number of heretics he won back to the bosom of Mother Church; and the words of the Popes bear witness how greatly he promoted the union of the Greek and Latin churches. His revenues were entirely expended in restoring the beauty of God's house, in building dwellings for consecrated virgins, and in other pious works. So bountiful was he to the poor, that, on one occasion having nothing wherewith to supply the needs of a certain widow, he ordered his Omophorion or episcopal palium to be pawned.

The great progress made by the Catholic faith so stirred, up the hatred of wicked men against the soldier of Christ, that they determined to put him to death. He knew what was threatening him; and foretold it when preaching to the people. As he was making his pastoral visitation at Vitebsk, the murderers broke into his house, striking and wounding all whom they found. Josaphat meekly went to meet them, and accosted them kindly, saying: "My little children, why do you strike my servants? If you have any complaint against me, here I am". Hereupon they rushed on him, overwhelmed him with blows, pierced him with their spears, and at length dispatched him with an axe and threw his body into the river. This took place on the twelfth of November 1623, in the forty-third year of his age. His body surrounded with a miraculous light was rescued from the waters. The martyr's blood won a blessing first of all for his murderers; for, being condemned to death, they nearly all abjured their schism and repented of their crime. As the death of this great bishop was followed by many miracles, Pope Urban VIII. granted him the honors of beatification. On the third of the Calends of July, 1867, when celebrating the centenary of the Princes of the Apostles, Pope Pius IX. in the basilica, in presence of the College of Cardinals, and of about five hundred Patri, Metropolitans, and Bishops of every rite bled from all parts of the world, solemnly enrolled among the Saints this great defender of the Church's unity, who was the first Oriental to be thus honored. Pope Leo XIII. extended his Mass and Office to the universal Church.



PRAYER


"Stir up, O Lord, we beseech thee, in thy Church "the Spirit wherewith the blessed Josaphat thy Martyr and Pontiff was filled." Thus prays our Mother today; and the Gospel likewise points to her desire of obtaining pastors like to thee, O holy Bishop! The sacred text speaks of the false shepherd, who flees at first sight of the wolf; but the homily, which explains it in the Night Office, brands equally with the title of hireling the keeper who, though he does not flee, suffers the enemy unresisted to work havoc in the fold. May the divine Shepherd, whom thou didst imitate unto the end, even unto laying down thy life for the sheep, live again in all those whom he calls, like Peter, to exercise a greater love.

Apostle of unity, second the designs of the Sovereign Pontiff, calling back his scattered sheep to the one fold. The Guardian Angels of the Slavonic race applauded thy combats: thy blood ought to produce other heroes; the graces won by the shedding of that blood still uphold the admirable population of the humble and the poor of Ruthenia, in resisting the all-powerful schism; while, on the confines of that land of martyrs, hope springs up anew with the revival of the great Basilian Order, of which thou wast the glory. May these graces overflow upon the children of the persecutors; may the present state of peace be the prelude to a full development of the light, and lead them back, in their turn, to that Rome which holds for them the promises both of time and of eternity.





St. Josaphat and the Unity
of the Catholic Church
(from the 1877 Miniature Lives of the Saints)


Saint Josaphat teaches us that all outside the one fold; schismatics, heretics, or infidels, are deadly enemies of Christ's Church; and that intimacy with them is most dangerous to our souls.

'The Apostles and their disciples had such a horror of heresy, that they would not speak one single word to those who had corrupted the truth.'--St. Ireneaus.

 'If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into the house, nor say to him, God speed you.'--2 John i. 10.

Among the conversions wrought by the martyrdom of St. Josaphat none is so wonderful as that of Meletius Smotricki. After long wavering he joined the schism, was consecrated archbishop by another systematical prelate, and, filled with fanatical hate, took part in the martyrdom of the Saint. After this he fled to the East; disgusted however with all he saw, he returned to Poland, and secretly made his submission to the Holy See. In an unguarded moment he was betrayed into signing a recantation; but he was speedily reconciled, and the penitential zeal of his remaining years testified to the sincerity of his conversion and his filial love of the Catholic Roman Church. He died A.D. 1633.




Hymn: Deus, tuorum militum

O God, of those that fought Thy fight,
Portion, and prize, and crown of light,
Break every bond of sin and shame
As now we praise Thy Martyr's name.

He recked not of the world's allure,
But sin and pomp of sin forswore:
Knew all their gall, and passed them by,
And reached the throne prepared on high.

Bravely the course of pain he ran,
And bare his torments as a man:
For love of Thee his blood outpoured,
And thus obtained the great reward.

With humble voice and suppliant word
We pray Thee therefore, holy Lord,
While we thy Martyr's feast-day keep,
Forgive Thy loved and erring sheep.

All honor, laud, and glory be,
O Jesu, Virgin-born, to Thee,
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen


(Roman Breviary)

Maybe we should implore his prayers in getting Russia consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary correctly as she asked at Fatima.       

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

St. Frances Xavier Cabrini


 
St. Frances Xavier Cabrini,
Virgin, Francesca Saverio Cabrini; (July 15, 1850 – December 22, 1917)

St. Frances was born in Lombardi, Italy in 1850, one of thirteen children. Small and weak as a child, born two months premature, she remained in delicate health throughout her life. At eighteen, however, she desired to become a Nun, but poor health stood in her way. She helped her parents until their death, and then worked on a farm with her brothers and sisters.

One day a priest asked her to teach in a girls' school and she stayed for six years.
Refused admission to the religious order which had educated her to be a teacher, she began charitable work at the House of Providence Orphanage in Cadogno, Italy. In September 1877, she made her vows there and took the religious habit.

At the request of her Bishop, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, to care for poor children in schools and hospitals. When the bishop closed the orphanage in 1880, he named Frances prioress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Seven young women from the orphanage joined her. Then at the urging of Pope Leo XIII she came to the United States with six nuns in 1889 to work among the Italian immigrants.

Filled with a deep trust in God and endowed with a wonderful administrative ability, this remarkable woman soon founded schools, hospitals, and orphanages in this strange land and saw them flourish in the aid of Italian immigrants and children. At the time of her death, at Chicago, Illinois on December 22, 1917, her institute numbered houses in England, France, Spain, the United States, and South America.

In 1946, she became the first American citizen to be canonized when she was elevated to sainthood by Pope Pius XII. Her deep trust in the loving care of her God gave her the strength to be a valiant woman doing the work of Christ.


Since her early childhood in Italy, Frances had wanted to be a missionary in China but, at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, Frances went west instead of east. As you now know, she traveled with six sisters to New York City to work with the thousands of Italian immigrants living there.

She found disappointment and difficulties with every step. When she arrived in New York, the house intended to be her first orphanage in the United States was not available. The Archbishop advised her to return to Italy. But Frances, truly a valiant woman, departed from the Archbishop’s residence all the more determined to establish that orphanage. And she did.

In 35 years Frances Xavier Cabrini founded 67 institutions dedicated to caring for the poor, the abandoned, the uneducated and the sick. Seeing great need among Italian immigrants who were losing their faith, she organized schools and adult education classes.

As a child, she was always frightened of water, unable to overcome her fear of drowning. Yet, despite this fear, she traveled across the Atlantic Ocean more than 30 times. She died of malaria in her own Columbus Hospital in Chicago.



The compassion and dedication of Mother Cabrini is still seen in hundreds of thousands of her fellow citizens, not yet canonized, who care for the sick in hospitals, nursing homes and state institutions. We complain of increased medical costs in an affluent society, but the daily news shows us millions who have little or no medical care, and who are calling for new Mother Cabrinis to become citizen-servants of their land.


Veneration


In 1931, her body was exhumed as part of the canonization process. At that time, her head was removed and is preserved in the chapel of the congregation's international motherhouse in Rome. An arm is at the national shrine in Chicago, while most of the rest of her body is at the shrine in New York.

Cabrini was beatified on November 13, 1938, by Pope Pius XI, and canonized on July 7, 1946, by Pope Pius XII. Her beatification miracle involved the restoration of sight to a child who had been blinded by excess silver nitrate in the child's eyes. Her canonization miracle involved the healing of a terminally ill member of her congregation. When she was canonized, 120,000 people from all over the area filled Soldier Field for a Mass of thanksgiving.

Mother Cabrini's feast day is November 13, the day of her beatification. In the pre-1970 calendar, still used by some, the date was December 22, the day of her birth into heaven, the day normally chosen for a saint's feast day.

At her canonization on July 7, 1946, Pope Pius XII said, "Although her constitution was very frail, her spirit was endowed with such singular strength that, knowing the will of God in her regard, she permitted nothing to impede her from accomplishing what seemed beyond the strength of a woman."


Patron Saint of:

Hospital administrators
Immigrants
Impossible causes


Quotes of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini:

 We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone.

I will go anywhere and do anything in order to communicate the love of Jesus to those who do not know Him or have forgotten Him.

Did a Magdalene, a Paul, a Constantine, an Augustine become mountains of ice after their conversion? Quite the contrary. We should never have had these prodigies of conversion and marvelous holiness if they had not changed the flames of human passion into volcanoes of immense love of God.

Prayer is powerful! It fills the earth with mercy, it makes the Divine clemency pass from generation to generation; right along the course of the centuries wonderful works have been achieved through prayer.

The world is poisoned with erroneous theories, and needs to be taught sane doctrines, but it is difficult to straighten what has become crooked.

They who pray with faith have fervour and fervour is the fire of prayer. This mysterious fire has the power of consuming all our faults and imperfections, and of giving to our actions, vitality, beauty and merit.

Monday, November 12, 2018

St. Martin, Pope/Martyr


SAINT MARTIN I
Pope and Martyr
(†655)


Pope Martin I (Latin: Martinus I; born between 590 and 600, died 16 September 655) reigned from 21 July 649 to his death in 655. He succeeded Pope Theodore I on 5 July 649. He was the only pope during the Byzantine Papacy whose election was not approved by a iussio from Constantinople. Martin I was abducted by Emperor Constans II and died at Cherson. He is considered a saint and martyr by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.

 

Apokrisiariat (Legate)

He was born near Todi, Umbria, in the place now named after him (Pian di San Martino). According to his biographer Theodore, Martin was of noble birth, of commanding intelligence, and of great charity to the poor. Piazza states that he belonged to the order of St. Basil. He had acted as papal apocrisiarius or legate at Constantinople, and was held in high repute for his learning and virtue.
Martin I was the last Constantinopolitan apocrisiarius to be elected pope. Other envoys under the title nuncio have been elected since then, like Pius XII.

In 641, Pope John IV sent the abbot Martin into Dalmatia and Istria with large sums of money to alleviate the distress of the inhabitants, and redeem captives seized during the invasion of the Slavs. As the ruined churches could not be rebuilt, the relics of some of the more important Dalmatian saints were brought to Rome, where John then erected an oratory in their honour.
 

Papacy (649–653)

At that time Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine empire and the patriarch of Constantinople was the most influential Church leader in the eastern Christian world. After his election, Martin had himself consecrated without waiting for the imperial confirmation. One of his first official acts was to summon the Lateran Council of 649 to deal with the Monothelites, whom the Church considered heretical. The Council met in the church of St. John Lateran. It was attended by 105 bishops (chiefly from Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia, with a few from Africa and other quarters), held five sessions or secretarii from 5 October to 31 October 649, and in twenty canons condemned Monothelitism, its authors, and the writings by which Monothelitism had been promulgated. In this condemnation were included not only the Ecthesis (the exposition of faith of the Patriarch Sergius for which the emperor Heraclius had stood sponsor), but also the typus of Paul, the successor of Sergius, which had the support of the reigning Emperor (Constans II).
 

Abduction and exile (653–655)

Martin was very energetic in publishing the decrees of the Lateran Council of 649 in an encyclical, and Constans replied by enjoining his exarch (governor) in Italy to arrest the pope should he persist in this line of conduct and send Martin as a prisoner from Rome to Constantinople. He was also accused by Constans of unauthorised contact and collaboration with the Muslims of the Rashidun Caliphate - allegations which he was unable to convince the infuriated imperial authorities to drop.

The arrest orders were found impossible to carry out for a considerable period of time, but at last Martin was arrested in the Lateran on 17 June 653 along with Maximus the Confessor. He was hurried out of Rome and conveyed first to Naxos, Greece, and subsequently to Constantinople, where he arrived on 17 September 653. He was saved from execution by the pleas of Paul, patriarch of Constantinople, who was himself gravely ill. After suffering an exhausting imprisonment and many alleged public indignities, he was ultimately banished to Chersonesus (present day Crimea region), where he arrived on 15 May 655 and died on 16 September of that year.  After a three month's voyage the ship anchored at the island of Naxos in the Aegean Sea, where the Pope was kept in confinement for a year, then finally brought in chains to the imperial city in 654, where he was imprisoned for three months. When he appeared before his judge he was unable to stand without support; but the pitiless magistrate heard his accusers and sentenced him to be chained and dragged through the streets of the city. He bade farewell to his companions in captivity before he left, banished to the present-day Crimea (the Chersonese in those days), saying to them when they wept: "Rejoice with me that I have been found worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus Christ." There, where a famine prevailed, he lingered on for four months, abandoned to sickness and starvation but maintaining perfect serenity, until God released him by death from his tribulations on the 12th of November, 655. In a letter he sent from there, which has been conserved, the Pope wrote: "For this miserable body, the Lord will have care; He is near. What is there to alarm me? I hope in His mercy, it will not be long before it terminates my career."
 

Place in the calendar of saints

Since the 1969 revision of the General Roman Calendar, the memorial of Saint Martin I, which earlier versions of the calendar place on 12 November, is on 13 April, the anniversary of his death.
 

Papal Reference

Pope Pius VII made an honourable reference to him in the encyclical Diu Satis (1800), '3. Indeed, the famous Martin who long ago won great praise for this See, commends faithfulness and fortitude to Us by his strengthening and defense of the truth and by the endurance of labors and pains. He was driven from his See and from the City, stripped of his rule, his rank, and his entire fortune. As soon as he arrived in any peaceful place, he was forced to move. Despite his advanced age and an illness which prevented his walking, he was banished to a remote land and repeatedly threatened with an even more painful exile. Without the assistance offered by the pious generosity of individuals, he would not have had food for himself and his few attendants. Although he was tempted daily in his weakened and lonely state, he never surrendered his integrity. No deceit could trick, no fear perturb, no promises conquer, no difficulties or dangers break him. His enemies could extract from him no sign which would not prove to all that Peter "until this time and forever lives in his successors and exercises judgment as is particularly clear in every age" as an excellent writer at the Council of Ephesus says. '

The breviary of the Orthodox Church states: “Glorious definer of the Orthodox Faith...sacred chief of divine dogmas, unstained by error...true reprover of heresy...foundation of bishops, pillar of the Orthodox faith, teacher of religion.... Thou didst adorn the divine see of Peter, and since from this divine Rock, thou didst immovably defend the Church, so now thou art glorified with him.”


There have been times in the history of Christianity when its truths have seemed on the verge of extinction. But there is a Church whose testimony has never failed - it is the Church of Saint Peter. Where Peter is, there also is the Church! When the Pope is unable to speak, his deeds speak more eloquently still. (And, remember, even if they can speak, their actions speak VOLUMES about their beliefs.  Look at the fruit that is being produced by them.  If it's not the fruit of the Apostles, it will be all wormy inside)


More on this saint, along with St. Maximus, from the Orthodox church:
 
St. Maximus the Confessor and St. Martin of Rome:

Saint Maximus, from an old aristocratic family of Constantinople, had been an imperial secretary to Emperor Heraclius before becoming a monk in 614. In western North Africa in 645, Maximus convinced the deposed and exiled Patriarch Pyrrhus of Constantinople of the error of Monothelitism. By the next year he was in Rome, where he so strongly convinced Pope Theodore (r. 642–649) of the error that the Pope broke communion with the Monothelite Patriarch Paul of Constantinople. And in 649, Maximus inspired the new Pope Saint Martin (r. 649–655) to hold a council in Rome which solemnly condemned both Monoenergism and Monothelitism.

What was wrong with Monothelitism? Saint Maximus and Saint Martin, together with their staunch supporters, insisted that both Christ’s divine nature and his human nature each have its own proper energy (or activity) and capability/power to will. Christ, in His divine nature, has the same fullness of the divine will, energy, action, operation, and power which the Father and the Holy Spirit also have. And in His human nature, Christ has the same fullness of the human will, energy, action, operation, and power which every other human being has. He must have this key element in human nature, or else, as Saint Gregory the Theologian said in refuting Apollinarianism, “What He has not assumed has not been healed (or saved).”

Christ has indeed healed and saved every aspect of human nature, including the natural human will, because He assumed every element/aspect of human nature when he became Incarnate. And it is through His genuinely human action, voluntarily submitting his natural human will to His divine will (the will of God), that Jesus Christ, as the new and final Adam, freely accepted crucifixion to liberate all of humanity from sin and death.

Saint Maximus and Saint Martin suffered greatly for opposing the Monothelite position. They were both arrested by the imperial authorities and brought to Constantinople, where they were tried on false charges, condemned, imprisoned, and exiled. Saint Maximus even had his right hand and his tongue cut off by the imperial powers (so hew couldn't write or speak), who were determined to force the Chalcedonians and the Non-Chalcedonians into theological agreement. Ironically, by then real reconciliation between the two sides had been made virtually impossible by the Arab conquests, which in effect sealed off Egypt, Palestine, and Syria from the Byzantine world, preventing the possibility of further theological discussion.

 

Sunday, November 11, 2018

VETERAN'S DAY




Today we honor all who serve in our armed forces, past and present. Thank you! Many don't appreciate what has been done and what is being done to protect our freedoms. To them I say: "WAKE UP!" And, wake up before it's too late; before our freedoms are taken away. Slowly, but surely, it is happening today. (Especially I'm targeting those who won't honor our great flag and what it stands for by NOT standing during the Star Spangled Banner at 'sporting' events)


Today on Veterans Day, with solemn pride, we, as a nation, remember and salute the heroic men and women who, through great personal sacrifice, have purchased for us the freedoms which we enjoy.


Veterans Day is a time to remember the sacrifices of every member of our Armed Forces throughout Our Nation’s history and to remember the heroic sacrifices our courageous men and women are making today.

Today, let us remember to take time to pray for our troops who have died in combat and for their loved ones who still mourn their loss. Let us also pray for our veterans who are suffering the wounds of combat, and for their families. It is the sacrifices of our veterans and their families that allow us to live freely, enjoying the abundances and splendor of America.

It is appropriate on this Veterans Day to remember the statement contained in a December 4, 1788 letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington. It is embossed over the staircase of the Jefferson Library at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

“The power of making war often prevents it and in our case would give efficacy to our desire for peace.”

God bless our veterans and God bless America.



THANKS AGAIN!!!!!     We will remember.

25th Sunday after Pentecost, 5th after Epiphany


 
Today is the 25th Sunday after Pentecost. However, we hear the readings from the 5th Sunday after Epiphany.

GOSPEL (Matt. XIII. 24-30,)'At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to the multitudes: "The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came, and oversowed cockle among the wheat, and went his way. And when the blade was sprung up, and had brought forth fruit, then appeared also the cockle. And the servants of the good man of the house coming, said to him: Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? whence, then, hath it cockle? And he said to them: An enemy bath done this. And the servants said to him: Wilt thou that we go and gather it up? And he said: No, lest perhaps, gathering up the cockle, you root up the wheat also together with it. Suffer both to grow until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers: Gather up first the cockle, and bind it into bundles to burn, but the wheat gather ye into my barn."

What is understood by the kingdom of heaven ?

The Church of God, or the collection of all orthodox Christians on earth, destined for heaven.

What is meant by the good seed, and by the cockle?

The good seed, as Christ Himself says, (Matt. XIII. 38.) signifies the children of the kingdom, that is, the true Christians, the living members of the Church, who being converted by the word of God sown into their hearts become children of God, and bring forth the fruit of good works. The cockle means the children of iniquity, of the devil, that is, those who do evil; also every wrong, false doctrine which leads men to evil.

Who sows the good seed, and by the cockle?

The good seed is sown by Jesus, the Son of Man not only directly, but through His apostles, and the priests, their successors; the evil seed is sown by the devil, or by wicked men whom he uses as his tools.

Who are the men who were asleep? This one is what we are seeing today, and have for at least the past 50+ years.

Those superiors in the Church; those bishops and pastors who have gotten lazy caring for their flock, and do not warn them against seduction, when the devil comes and by wicked men sows the cockle of erroneous doctrine and of crime; and those men who are careless and neglect to hear the word of God and the sacrifice of the Mass, who neglect to pray, and do not receive the Sacraments. ie., everyone goes to heaven, you can hold Christ Himself in your grubby hands, no need for sacrifice or old prayers and practices, etc. In the souls of such the devil sows the seeds of bad thoughts, evil imaginations and desires, from which spring, later, the cockle of pride, impurity, anger, envy, avarice, etc.

Why does not God allow the cockle, that is, the wicked people, to be rooted out and destroyed?

Because of His patience and long suffering towards the sinner to whom He gives time for repentance, and because of His love for the just from whom He would not, by weeding out the unjust, take away the occasion of practicing virtue and gathering up merits for themselves; for because of the unjust, the just have numerous opportunities to exercise patience, humility, etc.

When is the time of the harvest?

The day of the last judgment when the reapers, that is, the angels, will go out and separate the wicked from the just, and throw the wicked into the fiery furnace; while the just will be taken into everlasting joy. (Matt. XIII. 29.)


The enemy, who came to sow cockle whilst the men were asleep, reminds us of another of our Lord's sayings: "Watch ye and pray, that ye enter not into temptation" (Matt. 26: 41). Vigilance and prayer are the best means of resisting the enemy when he comes to tempt us; it behooves us especially to be on our guard against him.

In what frame of mind ought we to await the coming of temptation? In order that our foe may not assail us unawares, we must always remember that, as long as we live, we shall never be free from temptation. We are reminded of this in Holy Scripture, where we read: "Son, when thou comest to the service of God . . . pre­pare thy soul for temptation" (Eccl. 2: 1). All who have ever seriously resolved to serve God have been subject to many grievous temptations, as we see from the lives of the saints. St. John Chrysostom says: "Of those who have been dearest and most pleasing to God, there never was one without grievous temptations, although it might appear to us that this was not the case."

For this reason we ought not to lose courage when we are tempted, nor fancy that God has forsaken us; on the contrary, temptations are a proof of His love, as He wishes to secure our salvation by means of them.

It is only when we are tempted that we can show plainly that we love God and goodness more than anything else. As Blosius says: "A pilot is seen to advantage when directing a ship, a hero on the field of battle, a brave man in adversity, and Christian virtue in time of temptation." Trees send their roots more deeply into the earth, the more they are shaken by storms, and, in the same way, virtue is made perfect in weakness. Our own weakness becomes very plain to us when we are tempted, and our recognition of it makes us humble, and leads us to distrust ourselves and trust solely in God. Humility lies at the root of all virtue, and whatever intensifies it, strengthens our spiritual life. Just as a seaman loads his ship with heavy ballast to keep it steady and prevent it from being dashed against the rocks by the waves, so God sends us temptations to steady us and keep us down, so that we may not be puffed up by any good qualities that we happen to possess, and so come to ruin.

St. Gregory Nazianzen remarks that God orders things in a wonderful way for us to be frequently tormented by temptations, since man might imagine himself strong in his own strength, unless in the depths of his heart he were conscious of his weakness. When temptation falls upon him, and he is tortured and, as it seems, excessively exhausted by it, he sees that humility is the only protection against it, and so the very thing that made him fear to fall causes him to begin to stand firm.

Temptation forces us to cling to God, and to have recourse to Him with confidence, knowing that He loves us. If we use it aright, it leads us to love Him more.

It increases also our charity toward our neighbor. Those who have not learned by personal experience of temptation how great human weakness is are apt to judge others too harshly and mercilessly. In spite of all his goodness and piety, a man who had never been tempted could not use due leniency and charity in judging is neighbour, and his severity and sternness, far from assisting the tempted and sinful, and bringing them back to God, would only plunge them yet deeper into sin. This is beautifully expressed in Holy Scripture in the words: "What doth he know that hath not been tried?" (Eccl. 3: 4 ─ 9).

It is only when we ourselves suffer temptation that we can advise and help others, partly that they may avoid what might imperil their Salvation, and partly that they may have recourse to the best means of overcoming their temptations.

We must not lose courage when we are tried, but fight bravely, and in this way alone we shall obtain the wisdom and strength necessary to enable us to be of service to others and help them to work out their Salvation.

Finally we ought not to forget that our struggles to resist temptation win for us a rich supply of merit. As St. Paul says: "He that striveth for the mastery, is not crowned except he strive lawfully" (2 Tim. 2: 5). The crown of everlasting life is composed of the merit won by resisting and overcoming temptation.

St. Ambrose gives us most encouraging advice, when he tells us not to fear temptations, but to rejoice in them and say: "If we are tempted, we are mighty, for then crowns of righteousness are being woven for us as conquerors." When you are tried, remember that your eternal reward is being prepared for you.

It is indispensable to our salvation that we should be tempted — in what frame of mind ought we therefore to await temptation? The answer can easily be supplied from what I have already said. It would be reckless folly to go out of one's way to look for temptations, but, on the other hand, if it assails us, it would be silly and harmful to lose courage and to fancy that God had forsaken us.

In times of trial let us remember St. John Chrysostom's words, '...temptation is good evidence of God's care for us. When it is present, God is not far away. Hence when it comes upon you, acknowledge calmly and without disturbance of mind your own weakness; look at the depths to which you might fall, if you were not upheld by God's almighty Hand; humble yourself before God in your heart, but at the same time call upon Him with childlike confidence to help you, and rely upon Him, trusting ab­solutely in Him. He is the Protector of all who trust in Him, and we need fear no defeat, as long as He is on our side. No matter how great or how violent a temptation may be.

Let us be firmly convinced that the devil has power over us only to the extent permitted by God, in order that we may be tried for our good.

Humble, but unwavering confidence in God, is the disposition with which we may fearlessly encounter temptation.

Let us always be ready to exclaim : "If I trust in the Lord, I shall not be overthrown. Even if armies in camp should stand together against me, my heart shall not fear; if a battle should rise up against me, in Him will I be confident" (Ps. 26: 3).

Nothing but true confidence in God can give us the courage necessary in our struggle against temptation, and this confidence we should awaken daily and hourly in our hearts.

No matter how often and how much we are tempted, let us never doubt God's willingness to help us. We have only to lift up our hearts to Him in childlike trust, and we shall be saved, and thus each time of temptation will be not a snare for our destruction, but one of those glorious moments when the crown of life everlasting is being prepared for us.

As St. Jerome says: "You are deceived if you think that a Christian can live without persecution. He suffers the greatest who lives under none. Nothing is more to be feared than too long a peace. A storm puts a man upon his guard, and obliges him to exert his utmost efforts to escape shipwreck."

 Let us pray

O Lord, we beseech thee to keep thy family continually in godliness, that they who do lean only upon the hope of thine heavenly grace, may evermore be defended by thy mighty power.

On an ending note, I say: "Don't let the cockle sowers get you down."