From the Franciscan Minims
Mexico • Vergel ------- May • June 2003 ------- No. 5–6
Christ the Good Shepherd.
The Holy Eucharist
Our Cover: Christ the Good Shepherd
I AM the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me. As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold; them also I must bring. And they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. -- John 10, 14-16.
"Son of man, prophesy concerning the shepherds of Israel: prophesy, and say to the shepherds: Thus saith the Lord God: Woe to the shepherds of Israel that fed themselves! Should not the flocks be fed by the shepherds? And my sheep were scattered because there was no shepherd: and they became the prey of all the beasts of the field and were scattered. My sheep have wandered in every mountain and in every high hill; and my flocks were scattered upon the face of the earth. And there was none that sought them: there was none, I say that sought them.
"For thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I myself will seek my sheep and will visit them. As the shepherd visiteth his flock in the day when he shall be in the midst of his sheep that were scattered, so will I visit my sheep and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples and will gather them out of the countries and will bring them to their own land: and I will feed them in the mountains of Israel, by the rivers and in all the habitations of the land.
"I will feed them in the most fruitful pastures, and their pastures shall be in the high mountains of Israel. There shall they rest on the green grass and be fed in fat pastures upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my sheep and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost: and that which was driven away I will bring again. And I will bind up that which was broken and I will strengthen that which was weak, and that which was fat and strong I will preserve: And I will feed them in judgment. (continued on p. 18)
Why is Your Apparel Red?
"Who is this that comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bosra? This beautiful one in his robe, walking in the greatness of his strength. I, that speak justice, and am a defender to save. Why then is your apparel red, and your garments like theirs that tread in the winepress?
THE Greeks had three words for love: eros, philia, and agape. The New Testament writers used the latter word more than 250 times. Agape means divine, sacrificial love, a love so great that one lays down his life for the beloved. In the verse, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten son, etc.," the word used is agapein, the verb form of agape.
St. Paul wrote: (Eph. 5, 25): "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it." How did Christ deliver himself up for the church? By shedding all his blood and dying. His passion and death were the maximum expression of his love for humanity, for the church, for all those who were to be redeemed.
Centuries before Christ, the Prophet Isaias saw him, and said of him: "Who is this that comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bosra?" whom he calls "this beautiful one in his robe." And the prophet then asks: "Why is your garment red?"
When Pontius Pilate presented Christ to the people on Good Friday, he fulfilled this prophecy: the king of Israel came to his people, wearing a robe stained with red, and wearing a crown of red. At the end of his life, Christ's body was entirely covered with the royal purple of his own blood.
Even in Bethlehem his robe was stained with blood: it was only a few drops, but was a sign of what was going to happen afterwards. The circumcision of Christ was the first act in a drama of salvation, the maximum expression of love that can exist between God and a creature: "He loved me, and delivered himself up for me."
The evangelist unfolds the picture which the Prophet Isaiah had in mind, and at the same time verifies his prophecy when he tells us that He "came forth."
Who is this that came forth? The King of kings and the Lord of lords, Who looks upon the earth and causes it to tremble; the fountain of sanctity, before Whom the angels are not pure; the sun of eternal splendor, Who dwells in light inaccessible; the Desire of the eternal hills; the Expected of the Nations, for Whom all Israel sighed for over four thousand years.
Where does He come forth? In the city of Jerusalem, the capital of Judea, and at a time when the chosen people of God were gathered together from all parts of the world to celebrate their greatest feast. He came forth before the high council and chiefs of the whole Jewish race. He came forth before the representative of the great Roman Empire.
How did He come forth in this wonderful and dramatic setting? The long awaited Messiah did not come forth in the gorgeous habiliments of an oriental potentate. He did not come forth like Moses from the mountain in dazzling light, striking terror into the hearts of the people. He did not come forth in the fiery chariot of an Elias. "Jesus came forth," writes the beloved disciple, "bearing the crown of thorns, and the purple garment." He came forth, His body mangled and covered with blood from head to foot. This is the vision the prophet had when he exclaimed: Who is this that comes with dyed garments, and he expressly calls Him beautiful, just as He is beautiful in this royal robe of His own Precious Blood, to all the lovers and followers of the Crucified.
Why then is your apparel red? Because red is the color of blood, and because it speaks of royalty and divine love. Purple de-notes beauty, splendor, preciousness. "My beloved is white and ruddy." (Cant. V, 10). His entire body is crimsoned with His own blood, because in the language of the disciple whom Jesus loved, "God so loved the world." Because He wanted to set His inexpressible love in everlasting rubrics. Because Jesus was pouring out His heart's blood, to prove that no man has greater love, than he who lays down his life for his friends. Because He loved me, and delivered Himself up for me, as St. Paul reminds us. In this apparel, then, He came forth, and although trembling with pain, He is walking through the streets of Jerusalem to Mount Calvary "in the greatness of His strength"-- which is His love.
Once during the public life of Our Lord, when the good people wanted to make Him their king, He fled. But now that He is wearing the Crown of Thorns, beset with the ruby gems of His Divine Blood, and wearing the purple mantle, which has taken on the hue of the "dyed garments from Bosra," by contact with His bleeding body, He proclaims Himself King.
It is in this prophetic livery that Pilate unconsciously wants us to see the vision of Isaiah, when he presents Jesus to the people with the words, "behold the man," "behold your king." These words coming down the centuries should reecho in our souls, until our sinful passions are hushed; until the bite of the fiery serpent is healed; until our hearts are all aflame with love for "this beautiful one in his robe." During His Passion Our Divine Savior is silent. But the Blood dripping from many wounds gives a heartrending utterance to His speechless love.
No feast day can so grip the hearts of the faithful and cause the hot tears of love and compunction to well up in their eyes, as does Good Friday, when Our Blessed Redeemer appears in the vision of Isaiah, in the vesture of His Blood, which manifests Him in the greatest ardor of His incomprehensibly and ineffably tender and compassionate love, and when the faithful in a loving embrace imprint a kiss upon the feet of the Divine Victim--the only communion permitted on that day.
They who cannot envision Jesus eye to eye with the inspired writers and do not feel drawn rather than repelled by the bloody sight of their Savior in His Passion, cannot claim that they are faithful followers of Christ. They are woefully ignorant of the divine unction that flows from the Redeemer's bleeding wounds. "But now in Christ Jesus, you, who sometimes were afar off, are made close, by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2, 13).
To see blood flow from a human body excites in us repulsive feelings, but the sight moves us likewise to sympathy and com-passion. The blood of our corrupt nature has the taint and smell of sin, but the Blood of Christ coming from the most pure source, the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary, and by its hypostatic union with the Godhead being divine, has an odor of sweetness, and while it does remind us in the Passion that a life is ebbing out, it assures that this redeeming Blood is in fact imparting to us a more abundant life--a divine life by transfusion in the Sacraments.
The first part of this book sets forth Our Divine Redeemer in the red apparel of His own Blood. "Red is the color of the most glaring light--of fire." "I am come to cast fire on the earth: and what will I, but that it be kindled?" (Luke 12, 40). All aflame with the wounds of His love, He enters the combat. This is the way the Seer of Patmos sees Him in the triumph of His love. "He was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood." (Rev. 19, 13).
The fiery furnace in which the three young men sang their canticle of praise was heated seven times more than ordinary. But the divine furnace of Christ's Sacred Heart was heated infinitely more, by the fire of His love, when Jesus poured out His Blood seven times for us. The flames from this "fiery furnace" are ever issuing forth, setting millions of hearts on fire to sing their canticle of praise to "Jesus Who with His Blood has saved us."
After this divine love-flame has set our hearts on fire with this sacrificial love, we will no longer shrink from the mangled body of Our Savior in His Passion, but will find in it a most prolific source of divine comfort and strength. Blood of Christ, inebriate me. Make me drunk with your love, with the unutterable love of your Sacred Heart. Blood of Christ, inebriate me with the love of your Sorrowful Mother, with the love of your martyrs and saints.
The world is drunk with power; intoxicated with its own conceit; maddened with the urge to quaff from the muddy streams of mundane pleasures. Blood of Christ, be a tonic to my soul, that it may become strong to turn away from the flesh pots of Egypt and the cup of Babylon, and thirst after the torrents of your delights, so that it may realize that without suffering there is no love, and that without love there is no zeal. Hence our devotion must turn to a practical purpose.
St. Paul speaks of the "voice" of the Precious Blood, which will plead for us at the throne of God, and this voice will plead with trumpet tones in the holy Sacrifice of the Mass and with the same efficacy ("clamore valido") as it did when it dripped from the Sacred Wounds of the Crucified.
Christ stands before us today, as He did in the vision of Isaiah, as He stood in the tribunal of Pilate, in the red apparel of His love, challenging us to choose between Him and Barabbas.
"We have a God to love and the King of kings to fight for. The whole mentality of the world is in opposition to the Kingdom of Christ." But that pitiful figure dripping with Blood has the power to annihilate His enemies, as well as the power to inflame the hearts of His followers with a personal love so strong, as to fight for Him unto martyrdom, as the history of the Church amply testifies. As we gaze upon His bleeding form, we profess with tears of gratitude that He so loved us unto death. St. John furnishes the slogan for the combat and assures us of victory in the words: "And they overcame him, by the blood of the Lamb." (Rev. 12, 11).
Our reward for following "this beautiful one in his robe," will be the Beatific Vision in Heaven. "After this I saw great multitudes that no man could number. These are they who came out of the great tribulations, and have washed their robes, and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb." (Rev. 7, 14). The "dyed garments from Bosra" will secure for us the white "Wedding Garment," that we will wear at the everlasting Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Jesus is come to save His people from their sins; "without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin." He is come to conquer sin and death; and this is why "His garment is sprinkled with Blood" from first to last---from swaddling clothes to shroud. The purpose of His coming is to take away the sins of the world; it is declared on January 1st, when His name is called Jesus, and it is made all the more evident when that most Holy Name is steeped in His Precious Blood, enriched with those ruby drops. He is come to save sinners; and so from the first He puts on the form of a sinner, will be treated as one, and therefore fulfills all justice by this baptism of Blood--as later on He will receive John's baptism of water. Therefore, the child is circumcised; that is, the sinless Savior submits to the appointed rite, whereby the forgiveness of original sin is conveyed to the souls of His people, until His new rite and more perfect Sacrament of Baptism shall displace it. "When He cometh into the world, He says: 'Sacrifice and oblation you would not; but a body you have given me.' Then I said, 'Behold, I come to do your will, o God.'" But how does He say this? Does this Infant speak? Ah, no. Those lovely lips utter no word, and though the Babe is the Word of God, He is unheard. Still, the Infant says the predicted words: for He speaks with "the voice of Blood," and the Blood of the Babe of Bethlehem, "speaks better things than the blood of Abel." He knows that He actually lies on the straw of the stable's manger, and like a little lamb, He will offer these Blood-drops of the Circumcision, as a pledge of the total shedding of his Blood, when He shall come to die on Calvary.
Love of Christ! Who shall measure thee? Impatient to begin the Bloodsheddings, reluctant to leave off! The first and the last unnecessary for our redemption, yet necessary to your prodigal generosity!
Two of the soldiers place themselves on either side of Jesus; the crowd falls back to give them room; the garments, whose very fringe gives health, are trampled under foot; the hands that have bestowed blessings, and alms, and absolutions are bound; and the shoulders of the Good Shepherd, where His lost sheep will be laid so lovingly, and carried so gently, await the first stroke of the scourge.
In an instant the rods are raised; there is a shrill sound as the air is cut; then a sharp, loud report, as though something cracks or breaks. Alas! It is the first blow on the shoulders of Christ, as the red Blood springs out to testify. The frame of Jesus quivers, for it is exquisitely sensitive; but His face remains unchanged. Again and again they strike, more and more recklessly, maddened by the patient calmness of that uplifted countenance. "I have been scourged all the day," (Psalm 72, 14). "The wicked have wrought upon my back, they have prolonged their iniquity." (Ps. 128, 3). "For I am ready for scourges, and my sorrow is continually before me" --His sorrow for our sins. So, with a new sound, that startles the ears of His horrified Mother, the whistling cords sweep from right to left, from left to right, to be embedded in mangled flesh. Blood pours from the widening wounds. Sometimes it falls heavily and slowly on the pavement, like the big drops of rain before thunder; some-times, it is heard fast-dripping and trickling like the shower from the eaves of houses, or the water from the roofs of rocky caves. There lie the long white whips of steel-like sinews-- these are seized. The Victim is paler, His lips are parched and cracked, and parted to breathe the hot air. His tongue is swollen-- He nerves and steadies Himself for what is to come. Still more rejoicingly does the dear Blood of God leap forth. He looks like one flayed alive, whose flesh is cut to shreds. Finally, the fastenings are severed, and Jesus falls into a pool of His own Blood, then slowly rises to His knees, and with excruciating suffering draws the seamless tunic over His mangled flesh, and conceals the fearful evidence of their cruelty and of His own brave, generous love.
May it be for the glory of God
The Vergel of the Immaculate Virgin of Guadalupe
April 20, 2003 --- Easter Sunday
X X XU X X X
A Magazine for the Latter Times
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The Trial on Mount Carmel
JEHOSHAPHAT was a pious man, unaggressive, a deep believer in the Lord God. Even though his weaker kingdom had much to fear from Ahab in the north, Jehoshaphat suggested that first the Lord God be consulted about going against Ramoth. And Ahab, always all things to all men, assented.
So it was that some four hundred prophets of the upper kingdom were convoked into a general session at Ahab's palace. What servants of the Lord they were, too-- a subservient lot of self-styled prophets who grinned from ear to ear when Ahab smiled. They encouraged the king's campaign just as he wanted them to do, and they predicted his certain triumph.
But Jehoshaphat was not so naive as to be convinced by these timeservers. At his request another prophet, Micaiah, was brought forward to have his say, much to Ahab's disgust. For, as he told his brother king, this gloomy Micaiah seemed never to see anything but evil ahead.
Seated on thrones, the kings of Israel and Judah had listened for hours to all the ingratiating palaver of four hundred prophets who, as one man, prophesied the triumph of Ahab in battle. Now Micaiah arose and told his vision:
"I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd. Behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord has spoken evil concerning thee."
Desperate forecast! Ahab stamped his royal foot and screamed in a tantrum. Through expecting pessimism from Micaiah, he had never dreamed of such dire effrontery as this. As for the four hundred prophets, they hissed the man who would set their united word at naught.
"Take Micaiah! Put him in prison! Keep him on bread and water until I return the victor," cried Ahab, glowering.
"If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me," replied Micaiah, standing his ground.
• • •
No more delay now; it was decided at once to attack the coveted city of Ramoth. Hearing of the plans from his own spies, the Syrian king gave curious orders. The Syrian bowmen and hunters must keep Ahab as their chief objective; he did not fear the Israelite people, but he knew Ahab to be the enemy of Syrians and his own people as well. Ahab did not know that he had been singled out, but he was always a careful fellow and so, on the day of battle, remembering Micaiah's warning which he had seemed to despise, he nevertheless disguised himself in common clothes. Not so King Jehoshaphat. That man of God went forth to battle in his royal robes, and once Jehoshaphat was almost mistaken for Ahab by the Syrian bowmen and missed capture by a hair.
As it turned out, "a certain man drew a bow at a venture," he let loose his arrow at an inconspicuous figure, as the troops met, and his target proved to be Ahab, pierced through, blood flowing all over his chariot. He died at evening.
So ended the battle of Ramoth in Gilead. The dying king was brought back to Samaria, where he was buried. His chariot was washed in the pool, and the dogs licked up his blood, just as Elijah had foretold in the vineyard of Naboth.
And there was still an unfulfilled prophecy about the widow Jezebel.
That wronghearted female, capable of anything, now took all the reins into her own hands. So they had lost the battle! What of that? She refused to see in the defeat the exposure of the false prophets and the vindication of Micaiah's word. She sneered when she heard about how stricken King Jehoshaphat was, because of what he conceived to be God's displeasure.
King Jehoshaphat returned to Judah, where Jehu, the son of Hanani the seer, met him with reproach for his weakness, his lack of spiritual courage in giving assistance to the ungodly. But the king returned no answer. Deep thoughts deepened within him as he continued his quiet way. For the rest of his life he spent most of his time penitently endeavoring to stamp out the worship of false gods, and because of his repentance the land of Judah prospered under him, even though, in high places, the worship of Baal still persisted, and people burned incense to the idols.
• • •
Come what may, the widowed queen Jezebel had made up her mind to be the ruling power in Israel. Her young son Ahaziah took the throne. For two years the young king walked exactly as Mother told him to, listening to Jezebel and serving her Baal.
One day in Samaria, King Ahaziah was idly looking through the lattice in an upper story of the palace and suddenly, overcome with dizziness, toppled out of his chamber window. Taken up badly injured and put in his bed, he said to his messenger:
"Go, inquire of Beelzebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this hurt."
And the God of the young man's people heard what he said.
Anyone who had studied the history of these tribes would know that wickedness would thrive for only a little while, and then God would take notice. So, now, an angel of the Lord appeared once more to Elijah the Tishbite, saying:
"Arise! And meet the messengers of the sick king." The prophet was fully instructed as to what he must say. So, to the emissaries of Ahaziah, when finally the hairy old hermit met them, he duly delivered the message: because Ahaziah had sent messengers to Baal instead of the Lord God, "he shall not leave his bed, but surely die."
These messengers, servants of the old faith of Israel who believed the prophet's word, hurried back to the badly injured king. But Ahaziah was furious. Why had they not done as he directed? He had told them to ask of Beelzebub. He didn't care what some stranger had to say. He wanted to know why they had failed to go on to Ekron for knowledge. And what manner of man had he been that intercepted them?
"He was a hairy man, girt with a girdle of leather about his loins," they replied.
"It is Elijah!" exclaimed the sick king, falling back in dismay. At once he sent a captain and his fifty men to fetch the impudent prophet. The searchers spied the old man on a hilltop and the sight of him made them quake, for they had heard tales of what the prophet of the Lord could do in high places. Their worst fears were realized immediately, for Elijah called down fire from heaven upon them, and they were consumed where they stood. Likewise, a second fifty, sent to capture the prophet, were burned alive. But a third fifty, set to the same task, were spared the fire, and Elijah came with them of his free will to the bedside of Ahaziah.
A deathly fear glowed faintly in the eyes of the young king, mutely asking the great question. Before Elijah had repeated his word the prophecy was out, the prediction fulfilled, the king was dead.
Poor little puppet kingling, his youth had been graceful and he had made many friends, who now were overcome by his death. No so his mother; not Jezebel. The old queen acted with promptness, as usual, and picked another son, Jehoram, to succeed to the throne, since Ahaziah had left no child of his own to inherit the crown. With her new puppet Jehoram in power, Jezebel still held full sway.
It was time for Elijah to leave the court again. Joining his young disciple Elisha, he led the way from Gilgal. But as they trudged along from town to town Elijah would urge his young companion to linger behind; people could hear his message, while the older man plodded on. Always Elisha refused to remain; he was obstinate at Bethel and stubborn at Jericho where they rested.
Elisha also well knew what lay in the near future; already he had received within his own consciousness, and spiritually, a message that his leader, his ideal of manhood, was about to be taken from him. Elijah's days were numbered, and Elisha felt impelled to stay close by his side.
Perhaps that was why Elijah performed the miracle of the Jordan.
When they came to the bank of the river old Elijah folded his mantle and smote the water, and the turbulent stream parted, as in the days of old, and the two of them could walk on dry land to the other side. There Elijah laid his hand on Elisha's shoulder and said:
"Ask what I shall do for you, before I be taken away from you."
"I pray you that a double portion of your spirit be upon me," said the tremulous Elisha.
"A hard thing," sighed Elijah. "But if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so unto you; but if not, it shall not be so."
"If you see me------"
What could that possibly mean? How could the young man actually see a soul taking wing from the earth? How could anyone see death?
The question was answered soon enough:
"And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more; and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces."
The end of Elijah had been a fitting completion of a strange life-- a career whose beginnings no one knows, but which blazed forth in sudden light, full of melodrama, at a time when he was needed. For Elijah raised from the dead the son of a poor widow; he fought what is perhaps the strangest duel in history, a duel of stones and fire and water, and triumphed over the priests of Baal; he heard the still small Voice on Mount Horeb, and when he was hungry he was fed by the ravens. Fitting climax, indeed, was his departure from this earth-- riding in a chariot of fire and wrapped in a whirlwind.
Ever since that fiery day and all down through history his fame has grown. When John the Baptist preached by the river Jordan the Judeans asked if he were Elijah, whose return to earth had been prophesied. Jesus Himself was asked the same question. Man of fire and passion, he consecrated body, mind and soul to the God of his fathers. The world is always waiting for another Elijah, whose name meant "The Lord is God."
His successor, Elisha, was another kind of person.
The Strange Career of Elisha
WHEN Elijah rode up and off in his chariot of flame, he left behind him not only his protégé but also his mortal enemy, that bloodthirsty heathen woman, Queen Jezebel. The new prophet realized that he had inherited a bitter feud. He knew, too, that the old Tishbite, Elijah, had opposed the infernal cunning of that royal female demon with the powers of grace that God, the one and the true, had furnished him with. In these struggles that he must now carry on, would Elisha be able to summon up equally miraculous powers? (To be continued)
Following His Footsteps
by Anselmo del Álamo
Chapter 7. Mortification, Suffering
30. Be assured that I dwell in a pure soul, as in a paradise of delights, and therefore I cannot tolerate its putting its affection and trust in any thing of this world, nor that it be inclined to harmful pleasures; but I sow its path with thorns, and whether it wants it or not, I close off its paths with adversity, so that it will not escape my hands; I cover all its footsteps with affliction, so that it will not put the love of its heart in anything except in me. Our Lord to Blessed Henry Suso
31. I find only one joy: that of suffering for Jesus; and this joy that is not felt, is above every other joy. St. Therese of Lisieux
32. The tribulations of this life are most excellent gifts of God, and there is no other certain sign that one is among the predestined, than to suffer adversities with humility and with a resigned soul, for the love of God. Venerable Blosius
33. Love of sufferings and afflictions for the love of God is the highest point of charity, for in this there is nothing lovable, except the divine will. St. Francis de Sales
34. Oh, if it were possible to weigh in a balance both time and eternity! Truly, you would prefer to be burned a hundred years in an oven, rather than to see yourself deprived of the smallest reward reserved in heaven for the most insignificant tribulation, for suffering will one day end, and the recompense will endure forever. Our Lord to Blessed Henry Suso
35. Affliction and trials are despised by the world, but I hold them in great esteem: they placate my anger, they gain my grace and my friendship, they make men pleasing and amiable, making them conformable and similar to me. Earthly affliction turns a man into a heavenly being, and into my domestic; all this, certainly decreases the number of my friends, but it increases my grace, and it is a secure and most rapid way to go to heaven. Our Lord to Blessed Henry Suso
r r r r r r r
The Testament of Christ
Made on the Cross
From the Mystical City of God,
by Mary of Agreda
WHEN the holy wood of the Cross had been raised on mount Calvary, bearing aloft with it the incarnate Word crucified, before speaking any of the seven words, Christ prayed interiorly to his heavenly Father and said: "My Father and eternal God, I confess and magnify Thee from this tree of the Cross, and I offer Thee a sacrifice of praise in my Passion and Death; for, by the hypostatic union with the divine nature, Thou hast raised my humanity to the highest dignity, that of Christ, the Godman, anointed with thy own Divinity. I confess Thee on account of the plenitude of the highest possible graces and glory, which from the first instant of my Incarnation thou hast communicated to my humanity, and because from all eternity up to the present hour Thou hast consigned to me full dominion of the universe both in the order of grace and of nature. Thou hast made Me the Lord of the heavens and of the elements, of the sun, the moon and the stars; of fire and air, of the earth and the sea, of all the animate and inanimate creatures therein; Thou hast made Me the Disposer of the seasons, of the days and nights, with full lordship and possession according to my free will, and Thou hast set Me as the Head, the King and Lord of all angels and men, to govern and command them, to punish the wicked and to reward the good; Thou hast given Me the dominion and power of disposing all things from highest heavens to deepest abysses of hell (Apoc. 20, 1). Thou hast placed in my hands the eternal justification of men, the empires, kingdoms and principalities, the great and the little, the rich and the poor; and of all that are capable of thy grace and glory, Thou hast made Me the Justifier, the Redeemer and Glorifier, the universal Lord of all the human race, of life and death, of the holy Church, its treasures, laws and blessings of grace: all hast Thou, my Father, consigned to my hands, subjected to my will and my decrees, and for this I confess, exalt and magnify thy holy name."
"Now, at this moment, My Lord and eternal Father, when I am returning from this world to thy right hand through this death on the Cross, by which I completed the task of the Redemption of men assigned to Me, I desire that this same Cross shall be the tribunal of our justice and mercy. Nailed to it, I desire to judge those for whom I give my life. Having justified my cause, I wish to dispense the treasures of my coming into the world and of my Passion and Death to the just and the reprobate, according as each one merits by his works of love or hatred. I have sought to gain all mortals and invited them to partake of my friendship and grace; from the first moment of my Incarnation I have ceaselessly labored for them; I have borne inconveniences, fatigues, insults, ignominies, reproaches, scourges, a crown of thorns, and now suffer the bitter death of the Cross; I have implored thy vast kindness upon all of them; I have watched in prayer, fasted and wandered about teaching them the way of eternal life. As far as in Me lay I have sought to secure eternal happiness for all men, just as I merited it for all, without excluding any one. I have established and built up the law of grace and have firmly and forever established the Church in which all human beings can be saved."
"But in our knowledge and foresight, We are aware, my God and Father, that on account of their malice and rebellious obstinacy not all men desire to accept our eternal salvation, nor avail themselves of our mercy and of the way I have opened to them by my labors, life and death; but that many will prefer to follow their sinful ways unto perdition. Thou art just, my Lord and Father, and most equitable are thy judgments; and therefore it is right, since Thou hast made Me the Judge of the living and the dead, of the good and the bad, that I give to the good the reward of having served and followed Me, and to sinners the chastisement of their perverse obstinacy; that the just should share in my goods, and the wicked be deprived of the inheritance, which they refuse to accept. Now then, my eternal Father, in my and thy name and for thy glorification, I make my last bequest according to my human will, which is conformable to thy eternal and divine will." (Here he mentioned the inheritance given to his Mother, and to the good angels and the evil angels being disinherited).
"From the multitudes of men, in the fullness of my good will, I call, select and separate all the just and the predestined, who through my grace save themselves by imitating Me, doing my will and obeying my holy law. These, next to my most pure Mother, I appoint as the inheritors of all my mysteries, my blessings, my sacramental treasures, of the mysteries concealed in the holy Scriptures: of my humility, meekness of heart; of the virtues of faith, hope, and charity; of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance; of my divine gifts and favors; of my Cross, labors, contempt, poverty and nakedness. This shall be their portion and inheritance in this present and mortal life. Since they must choose these in order to labor profitably, I assign to them the trials I have chosen for myself in this life, as a pledge of my friendship, in order that they may undergo them with joy. I offer them my protection and defense, my holy inspirations, my favors and powerful assistance, my blessings and my justification, according to each one's disposition and degree of love. I promise to be to them a Father, a Brother and a Friend, and they shall be my chosen and beloved children, and as such I appoint them as the inheritors of all my merits and treasures without limitation. I desire that all who dispose themselves shall partake of the goods of my holy Church and of the Sacraments; that, if they should lose my friendship, they shall be able to restore themselves and recover my graces and blessings through my cleansing blood. For all of them shall be open the intercession of my Mother and of the saints, and She shall recognize them as her children, shielding them and holding them as her own. My angels shall defend them, guide them, protect them and bear them up in their hands lest thy stumble, and if they fall, they shall help them to rise."
"Likewise it is my will that my just and chosen ones shall stand high above all the reprobate and the demons, that they shall be feared and obeyed by my enemies; that all the rational and irrational creatures shall serve them; that all the influences of the heavens, the planets and the stars shall favor them and give them life; that the earth, its elements and animals, shall sustain them; all the creatures, that are mine and serve Me, shall be theirs, and shall serve also them as my children and friends; and their blessing shall be in the dew of heaven and in the fruits of the earth. I wish to hold with them my delights, communicate to them my secrets, converse with them intimately and live with them in the militant Church in the species of bread and wine, as an earnest and an infallible pledge of the eternal happiness and glory promised to them; of it, I make them partakers and heirs, in order that they may enjoy it with Me in heaven by perpetual right and in unfailing beatitude."
"I consent that the foreknown and reprobate (though they were created for another and much higher end), shall be permitted to possess as their portion and inheritance the concupiscence of the flesh and the eyes, pride in all its effects; that they eat and be satisfied with the dust of the earth, namely, with riches; with the fumes and the corruption of the flesh and its delights, and with the vanity and presumption of the world. For such possessions have they labored, and applied all the diligence of their mind and body; in such occupations have they consumed their powers, their gifts and blessings bestowed upon them by Us, and they have of their own free will chosen deceit, despising the truth I have taught them in the holy law. They have rejected the law which I have written in their hearts and the one inspired by my grace; they have despised my teaching and my blessings, and listened to my and their own enemies; they have accepted their deceits, have loved vanity, wrought injustice, followed their ambitions, sought their delight in vengeance, persecuted the poor, humiliated the just, mocked the simple and the innocent, strove to exalt themselves and desired to be raised above all the cedars of Lebanon in following the laws of injustice."
"Since they have done all this in opposition to our divine goodness and remained obstinate in their malice, and since they have renounced the rights of sonship merited for them by Me, I disinherit them of my friend-ship and glory. Just as Abraham separated the children of the slave, setting aside some possessions for them and reserving the principal heritage for Isaac, the son of the freedwoman Sarah, thus I set aside their claims on my inheritance, by giving them the transitory goods, which they themselves have chosen. Separating them from our company and from that of my Mother, of the angels and saints, I condemn them to the eternal dungeons and the fire of hell in the company of Lucifer and his demons, whom they have freely served, I deprive them forever of all hope of relief. This is, O my Father, the sentence which I pronounce as the Head and the judge of men and angels, and this is the testament made at my Death, this is the effect of my Redemption, whereby each one is rewarded with that which he has justly merited according to his works, and according to thy incomprehensible wisdom in the equity of thy strictest justice." Such was the prayer of Christ our Savior on the Cross to his eternal Father. It was sealed and deposited in the heart of the most holy Mary as the mysterious and sacramental testament, in order that through her intercession and solicitous care it might at its time and even from that moment, be executed in the Church, just as it had before this time been prepared and perfected by the wise providence of God, in whom all the past and the future is always one with the present.
Comment by Franciscan Minims.We are living in times in which each person will soon have to make his decision: to receive the inheritance that Christ has prepared for him, or to reject his inheritance. Then will be fulfilled what St. Paul wrote in Galatians, ch. 6: that each soul will reap what it has sown: the just, everlasting life, the reprobate, corruption.
The shortened version of the Mystical City of God is available on-line at: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Ithaca/7194 --The complete set of four volumes of the Mystical City of God is available from: Ave María Institute, Washington, New Jersey 07882. Write for more details.
Our Cover(continued) "I will save my flock and it shall be no more a spoil. And I will set up one shepherd over them; and he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I will make them a blessing round about my hill, and I will send down the rain in its season: there shall be showers of blessing. And they shall be no more for a spoil to the nations, neither shall the beasts of the earth devour them: but they shall dwell securely without any terror. And I will raise up for them a bud of renown: and they shall be no more consumed with famine in the land, neither shall they bear any more the reproach of the Gentiles. And they shall know that I the Lord their God am with them, and that they are my people, the house of Israel: saith the Lord God." —(Ez. 34)
The Unceasing Act of LoveRevealed to the Capuchin Nun
Sister Mary Consolata (1903-1946)
TO live a life of love means to see to it that love truly becomes the very life of the soul, that the heart, the mind, one's strength, everything, is always employed in loving the good God. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. " (Mark 12, 30). In other words, it means carrying into perfect execution that other precept of the divine Master: "As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in My love." (John 15, 9).
In practice, in the divine instructions given to Sister Consolata, this all amounts to an effort of the soul to transform her own life into an act of perfect love; not only to perform all actions with love, not only to gather and offer up with love the flowers of small sacrifices and small acts of virtue, but to make an effort to enliven every instant of this short, earthly journey with love.
What is perfect love? It is above all a pure love with which one loves God for his own sake. It is also actual love, that is undoubtedly more perfect than habitual love. It is a love, therefore, that embraces God and souls in the same heartbeat, for it is impossible to love God without loving one's neighbor.
The Convenience of a Formula
It is understandable that the majority of souls will require the aid of some practical, short formula to serve as an expression of their own love, and so facilitate an intimacy of love with Jesus.
Just as a mother will bend over her little child in an act of love and tell him over and over again that word, that phrase, that he should repeat in returning her affection, so did Jesus deign to bend down over a very tiny soul, Sister Consolata, in order to dictate to her and then require from her that unceasing act of love that was to constitute the very essence of her spiritual life.
The Formula for the Unceasing Act of Love
The act of love that Jesus dictated to Sister Consolata is worded as follows:
Jesus, Mary, I love You! Save souls!
It will be of benefit to souls to examine the intrinsic value of this act of love.
1. It would be impossible to formulate a more perfect act of love in fewer words, for it contains everything: love of Jesus, love of Mary, and love of souls.
2. This is an act of pure love, for by it one gives to God the most excellent gift of all: love and souls.
3. At the same time it is an act of perfect charity, for in it the love of one's neighbor finds its highest expression in an unceasing prayer for the benefit of souls; and it comprises all souls, including those in purgatory, and all their needs, as explained by Jesus Himself.
4. This act of love is, therefore, a synthesis of the two great commandments that are in turn the very essence of the Law.
5. Because this act is unceasing in the sense that we will explain now, it brings the soul to a literal and perfect fulfillment of the first commandment, that is, to love God with all one's heart; the act of love must spring from the heart, for it is the heart that loves with the greatest possible continuity and intensity; with the whole mind; the continuity of the act of love precludes of itself every useless voluntary thought; with the whole soul, that is, with all one's will; the unceasing act of love is sustained by the fervor of the will, not by sentiment, with one's whole strength, in order to attain the greatest possible continuity and intensity of love, it is necessary to concentrate all the soul's energies upon it.
6. The act of love is in itself and in the above formula also a prayer, in fact it is the most perfect of prayers, for it brings the soul to a literal and perfect execution of that other evangelical precept: "We ought always to pray, and not to faint." (Luke 18, 1).
7. Through this act of love the soul lives a supernatural life as intensely as possible for the glory of God, for her own sanctification, and for the salvation of souls.
8. Through it the soul lives an essentially mortified life, by excluding everything else in silent self-dedication. Thus it comes to join the ranks of the little victims of love.
The Divine Requests for the Act of Love
"From the time of my very first spiritual exercises among the Capuchin nuns, " writes Sister Consolata, "Jesus asked from my soul that which he later continued to demand from me: the unceasing act of love. He fixed the goal I was to attain, and he assured me that in the light of that love all obstacles, every passion, and every defect would be eradicated. Nothing must detach you from the continuous act of love, he told me during meditation on the day of my clothing. And later, during Holy Communion, I ask only this of you: a continuous act of love! At the beginning, it was, Jesus, I love Thee! Later he desired me to add: Jesus, Mary, I love You! And finally He wanted it completed thus: Jesus, Mary, I love You! Save souls!
From that moment on there were countless divine requests for the act of love. The first request was of March 15, 1934:
Love Me, Consolata; your act of love delights Me!
Jesus did not only recommend it, he required it. (Oct. 15, 1934):
Consolata, I have certain rights over you; therefore, I desire from you an unceasing 'Jesus, Mary, I love You! Save souls!' from the time you awaken in the morning to when you go to sleep in the evening! I require it!
The act of love was to become the vital nourishment for the soul:
As a little fish will die outside of water, so also will you, outside the act of love! (June 23, 1935).
She was to devote all her spiritual energies to this single purpose:
Consolata, in order not to lose time, you should renew all your promises every time you pronounce an act of love. If you have fallen, raise yourself up again; if you have forgotten, then start anew; an act of love is useful for everything, at any time, and under every condition!
(Dec. 3, 1935)
The Spiritual Fruitfulness of the Unceasing Act of Love
(to be continued)
Comment by Franciscan Minims. To offer acts of love unceasingly requires heroism and a special vocation. Very few souls have such a vocation, but these writings of Sister Consolata are useful to all souls. If we cannot offer acts of love unceasingly, we can offer them frequently, especially in the spare moments of each day, when we have free time. Our Lord revealed to Sister Consolata that he prefers an act of love to any other gift we might offer him. He also revealed to the Portavoz that he wants the Trisagion prayed often: "Holy God, holy strong One, holy immortal One, have mercy on us." And he revealed to Sister Martha Mary Chambon that he is pleased with prayers offered in honor of his holy wounds.
In regard to different kinds of prayer, there are no fixed rules. Whatever kind of prayer helps you to unite yourself to God, is the best prayer for you.
The Conversion of Protestants
"It is not dogmas that will lead Protestants back to the Church, it is the actions of the children of the Church. You are responsible for those whom you rob of the truth, when you scandalize them by your inconsistencies."
415. "Means have only the value of means, but they are very important.
"You cannot choose better than I did. I wish you to take the means I chose, to spread My doctrine and win souls."
"My Lord Jesus, tell me those means!"
"Truth and silence. Few words.
"To be exacting with oneself—to enforce nothing on others.
"To respect their liberty—to offer, to suggest, to ask...
"To obtain from God, through your generosity, the graces that your gentleness must enable others to receive.
"To overcome evil by good.
"When you use the means that I chose, souls will more easily find Me in My Church.
517. "In difficulty, seek your comfort in Me alone. Ask to obtain the fruit of the trial without delay, so that it may cease.
"I am the Source. Come to the Source. It is inexhaustible."
"By what means?"
"By silence. Create silence around you and within you. Surrender your desires. Adopt My desires and My feelings—then My joy will visit you, even in the darkest gloom. Then you will see the Kingdom of God established in you and around you—and all the rest will be 'added unto you'..."
601. "Prayer will not do everything in bringing heretics back to the Church; it will be of no use if it does not help each of you to remedy in yourselves that with which heretics can rightfully reproach My Church."
"My Lord Jesus, with what can they rightfully reproach her?"
"The Truth, all revealed truth, is in the Church—does your life, in your actions and in your words, always conform to the truth? Ah, it is not by strangers that I am betrayed, it is by the members of My own family!
"When all the members of the Church live what they profess, those heretics who are souls of goodwill will understand, will come to us!"
Our Lord to Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity,
Poor Clare of Jerusalem (1901--1942)
The Greatest Deliverance
THE truth that eternity is eternal, is so hard to master. Yet all this is only what we mean when we pronounce the word salvation. How hideous the different of that first moment after death, if we had not been saved! It turns us cold to think of it. But oh, joy of joys! We have seen the face of Jesus; and the light in his eyes, and the smile upon his face, and the words upon his lips, were salvation.
But there are some who do not feel that sin is such a horror or captivity. They say it lays no weight upon their hearts. They say their lives are full of sunshine, and that time flows with them as the merry rivulet runs in summer with a soothing sound over its colored stones, and its waters glancing in the sun. They say it is so with them; and truly they should know best. Yet I hardly believe them. If they are happy, it is only by fits and starts; and then not with a complete happiness. There is ever an upbraiding voice within. An habitual sinner always has the look of a jaded and disappointed man. There is weariness in the very light of his eyes, vexation in the very sound of his voice. Why is he so cross with others, if he is so happy with himself? Then are there not also dreadful times, private times when no one but God sees him, when he is chilled through and through with fear, when he is weary of life because he is so miserable, when the past weighs upon him like a nightmare, and the future terrifies him like a coming wild beast? When death springs upon him, how will he die? When judgment comes, what will he answer? Yet even if the sinner could go through life with the happy indifference to which he pretends, he is not to be envied. It is only a sleep, a lethargy, or a madness—one or other of these according to his natural disposition. For there must be an awakening at last; and when and where will be it? They that walk in their sleep are sometimes wakened if they put their foot into cold water. What if the sinner's awakening should be from the first touch of the fire that burns beyond the grave?
But we claim no share in any foolish happiness of sin. We are on God's side. We belong to Jesus. Sin is our great enemy, as well as our great evil. We desire to break with it altogether. We are ashamed of our past subjection to it. We are uneasy under our present imperfect separation from it. Our uppermost thought—no! Not merely our uppermost thought, our only thought—is our salvation. We care for no science, but the science of redeeming grace. The cross of Christ is our single wisdom. Once we wished for many things, and aimed at many things. But we are changed now. Our lives are amazingly simplified, simplified by the fear of sin and by the love of God. Our anxiety now is, that all this may remain. We fear another change, especially a change back again. We can think calmly of no change except from little love to much love, and from much love to more love. The right of Jesus to our love, to our best love, to all our love, is becoming plainer and plainer to us. His exceeding loveliness is growing more and more attractive, because it is revealing itself to us every day like a new revelation. What depths there are in Jesus, and how wonderfully he lights them up with the splendors of his eternal love! Do we not feel every day more and more strongly, that we must be more for Jesus than we are, that of all growing things divine love is the most growing, that all idea of a limit to our love of Jesus, or of moderation in our service of him, is a folly as well as a disloyalty? He was the brightness of innumerable lives and the sweetness of innumerable sorrows, when he was but the expectation of longing Israel. What must he be now, when he has come, when he has lived, and shed his Blood, and died, and risen, and ascended, and then come back again in all the unutterable endearments of the Blessed Sacrament? Why are our hearts so cold? Why is our love so faithless, and our faith so unloving? We try, and still we do not love as we wish to love. We try again, and love more; and yet it is sadly short of the love we ought to have. We strive and strive, and still we only languish when we ought to burn. He longs for our love, sweet, covetous lover of souls as he is. He longs for our love; and we long for nothing so much as to love him. Surely there must be a time and a place, when both he and we shall be satisfied; but the place will be heaven, and the time nothing else than the great timeless eternity.
Salvation is through the Precious Blood. We will take that for our study of Jesus this time. When love is humble, it prays with David to be washed more and more from its iniquity. But there is no washing away of iniquity, except in the Precious Blood of our most dear Redeemer. When love is bold, it prays to be set on fire with the flames which Jesus came to kindle. But it is only the Precious Blood which makes our heart beat hotly with the love of him. So let us take the Precious Blood for our study now: and let us study it in a simple, loving way, not so much to become deep theologians, through deep theology is near of kin to heroic sanctity, but that our hearts may be more effectually set on fire with the love of Jesus Christ. There is so much to be said, that we cannot say it all, because we do not know it all. We must make a choice: and we will choose these six things: the Mystery of the Precious Blood, the Necessity of it, its Empire, its History, its Prodigality, and, last of all, the Devotion to it in the Church.
We must take a saint to guide us on our way. Let it be that great lover of Jesus, the Apostle St. Paul. His conversion was one of the chief glories of the Precious Blood. Redeeming grace was his favorite theme. He was forever magnifying and praising the Blood of Jesus. His heart was filled with it, and was enlarged by grace that it might hold yet more. After the Heart of Jesus, never was there a human heart like that of Paul, in which all other human hearts might beat as if it were their own, unless it be the other universal heart, the heart of King David, which has poured itself out for all mankind, in those varying strains of every changeful feeling, by means of its sweet psalms. St. Paul's heart feels for every one, makes every one's case its own, sorrows and rejoices with those who sorrow or rejoice, and becomes all things to all men, that it may save them all. Among the wonders of creation there are few to compare with that glorious apostolic heart. The vastness of its sympathies, the breadth of its charity, the unwearied hopefulness of its zeal, and delicacy of its considerateness, the irresistible attraction of its imperious love—all this was the work of the Precious Blood; and that heart is still alive even upon earth, still beating in his marvelous Epistles as part of the unquenchable life of the Church. It is impossible to help connecting these characteristics of St. Paul's heart with the manifest devotion to the Precious Blood. Let us take him then as our guide amidst the unsearchable riches of Christ and the superabounding graces of his redeeming Blood. As it was with the disciples as they walked to Emmaus with Jesus, so will it be with us as we go along with his servant Paul. Our hearts will burn within us by the way; and we ourselves shall grow hot from the heat of that magnificent heart of him who guides us.
We are then to consider, first of all, the Mystery of the Precious Blood. It was one of God's eternal thoughts. It was part of his wisdom, part of his glory, part of his own blessedness from all eternity. You know that creation, although exceedingly ancient, perhaps so ancient as to be beyond our calculations, is nevertheless not eternal. It could not be so. To be eternal is to be without beginning: and to be without beginning is to be independent of any cause or power. This is a true description of God. But creation had a time at which it began, and it was the independent act of God's most holy, most condescending will. Thus there was an eternity before creation, a vast, unimaginable, adorable life, not broken up into centuries and ages, not lapsing but always still, not passing but always stationary, a life which had no past and no future, because its whole self was always present to itself. This was the life of God before any creation, an unspeakably glorious life, which we can think of with love and adoration, but which it is quite impossible for us to understand. Some holy persons, like Mother Anne Seraphine Boulier of the Visitation at Dijon, have had such an exceeding devotion to this life of God prior to creation, that they have by God's order shaped their spirituality wholly upon it. Very often, when the troubles of life vex and ruffle us, or when we are downcast and distrustful, it would do us good to think of that ancient life of God. It would fill us with quiet awe. We should feel our own littleness more sensibly, and we should care less about the judgments of the world. The thought of it would be like a bed to lie down upon, when we are weary with work or fatigued with disappointment.
Nevertheless there is a sense in which creation was eternal. It was eternally in the mind of God. It was one of his eternal ideas, always before him; so that he never existed without this idea of creation in his all-wise mind and in his all-powerful intention. Moreover, it was always part of his intention that the Creator should become as it were part of his own creation, and that an Uncreated Person should really and truly assume a created nature and be born of a created mother. This is what we call the mystery of the Incarnation. It is this which makes creation so magnificent. It is not merely a beautiful thing which God made as an artificer, and which he set outside of himself, and kept at a distance from himself to look at, to admire, to pity, and to love. He always intended to be part of it himself in a very wonderful way. So that there would have been Jesus and Mary, even if there had never been any sin: only Jesus would not have been crucified, and Mary would not have had any dolors. But the sight of sin was also with God from the beginning, that is, through all his unbeginning eternity; and thus the Precious Blood also, as the ransom for sin, was with him from the beginning. It was one of his eternal thoughts. If we may dare to say so, it was an idea which made him more glorious, a thought which rendered him more blessed. That same dear Blood, the thought of which makes us so happy now, has been part of God's happiness forever. (To be continued)
"With respect to the life of perfection, it is just as you have grasped it this morning. Let people be guided by the book written by My very beloved son, Thomas a Kempis. He entitled his writings: The Imitation of Christ, by an order that I gave him, because he wrote these marvelous pages by the light of My spirit." — Our Lord to the Portavoz: Nov. 14, 1973
"Make it known that those apostolic sons (Thomas a Kempis, Anselmo del Alamo) are in an exalted heaven, for having written the truth to the face of the world." — Our Lord to the Portavoz: Nov. 8, 1975
His Years are Inestimable
GOD doth not cast away the mighty, whereas he himself also is mighty. But he saveth not the wicked: and he giveth judgment to the poor. He will not take away his eyes from the just; and he placeth kings on the throne for ever: and they are exalted. And if they shall be in chains, and be bound with the cords of poverty: he shall show them their works, and their wicked deeds, because they have been violent. He also shall open their ear, to correct them: and shall speak, that they may return from iniquity. If they shall hear and observe, they shall accomplish their days in good, and their years in glory.
But if they hear not, they shall pass by the sword: and shall be consumed in folly. Dissemblers and crafty men prove the wrath of God: neither shall they cry when they are bound. Their soul shall die in a storm, and their life among the effeminate.
He shall deliver the poor out of his distress, and shall open his ear in affliction. Therefore he shall set thee at large out of the narrow mouth, and which hath no foundation under it: and the rest of thy table shall be full of fatness. Thy cause hath been judged as that of the wicked. Cause and judgment thou shalt recover.
Therefore let not anger overcome thee to oppress any man: neither let multitude of gifts turn thee aside. Lay down thy greatness without tribulation, and all the mighty of strength. Prolong not the night, that people may come up for them. Beware thou turn not aside to iniquity: for this thou hast begun to follow after misery.
Behold, God is high in his strength: and none is like him among the law-givers. Who can search out his ways? Or who can say to him: Thou hast wrought iniquity? Remember that thou knowest not his work, concerning which men have sung. All men see him: every one beholdeth afar off.
Behold, God is great, exceeding our knowledge: the number of his years is inestimable. He lifteth up the drops of rain, and poureth out showers like floods: which flow from the clouds that cover all above. If he will spread out clouds as his tent, and lighten with his light from above, he shall cover also the ends of the sea. For by these he judgeth people, and giveth food to many mortals.
In his hands he hideth the light, and commandeth it to come again. He showeth his friend concerning it, that it is his possession, and that he may come up to it.
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Apt. F, Nacogdoches, TX 75961
MARIAN UNION OF BEAURAING: Daily spiritual obligations: pray 3 Hail Marys with the invocation: "Our Lady of Beauraing, convert sinners. You have promised us." Members are united to the prayers said daily at the shrine of Beauraing. For enrollment, please contact: Miss Doris Poisson, 22 Second Av., Lowell, MA 01854–2808
Traditional Catholic Address Labels for sale to use on your envelopes. Various saints, pictures of Our Lady, Jesus, and also secular pictures (such as flowers, Christmas, etc.) are available. Some labels available in "medium" size only and not small. Please send $2.00 for small color catalog of some available labels. If you are looking for something, please ask. Please make U.S. funds to: Miss Julie Arreguin, 309 E. Starr Ave., Apt. F, Nacogdoches, TX 75961. Note: Reasonable prices too! Discount for first orders if you order catalog. Free listing of saints available with no pictures!
Help Save the Souls of Priests. Write for free leaflet, "A Rosary for Priests." Center of Mary, 715 Upper St., Turner, ME 04282
OUR LADY BUILDS A STATUE. Story of Our Lady of the Rockies. $10.00 + 2.00 p & h. Leroy Lee, 2845 Nettie,
Butte, MT 59701
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