Our last post for the month of May in honor of our Heavenly Mother and a coloring picture can be found here. It has been so nice honoring Holy Mary every day during this month. O Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, pray for us!
From the book "The Wondrous Childhood" by St. John Eudus
Several grave authors relate that St. Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, used to say daily seven Hail Marys in honor of the seven joys of the Blessed Virgin on earth. Mary admonished the holy prelate to honor also the seven joys she possesses in heaven, assuring him that this devotion was very pleasing to her, and that she would assist at the hour of death all those who had practiced it, and fill their hearts with consolation, receiving their souls at the supreme moment and presenting them herself to her Divine Son.
If, then, you would please this most Holy Virgin, offer her every day the seven joys she had on earth and those she now has in heaven, reciting for this intention, seven Hail Marys or a decade of the rosary. Offer her also the seven special joys she has in heaven in recompense for those seven swords of sorrow that transpierced her heart here on earth, repeating for the same purpose seven Hail Marys or another decade of the rosary.
And since this most sacred Virgin is the cause of our joy and, after her Son, the source and origin of all true and holy joys on earth, offer once more all these joys, with a great desire and strong resolution to argument them by loving and serving her Son with greater fervor and fidelity than you have hitherto done.
Seven Joys of the Blessed Mother on earth:
1. The salutation of the angel Gabriel
2. Her visit to her cousin, Elizabeth.
3. Her divine maternity.
4. The adoration of the holy Kings.
5. Finding her Divine Son among the Doctors, after having lost Him for three days.
6. Her Son's first visit to her after His resurrection.
7. His mounting up to heaven, His sending thence the Holy Ghost upon His Church, and her assumption in to Paradise. For I place these three joys together to make the seventh.
Seven Joys of the Blessed Mother in Heaven
1. Her elevation so near to the throne of the Most Holy Trinity
2. The crown of her virginity alone is more rich and precious than all the other crowns of the heavenly citizens.
3. She is, as it were, the second sun of Paradise, replenishing with joy the hearts of Angels and Saints.
4. All the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem honor and praise her incessantly as their Queen, their Mother, and the Mother of their Redeemer.
5. God gives her, too, absolute power in heaven and on earth over all creatures.
6. She has, moreover, a very special power to bless, favor and protect all those who have particular devotion to her.
7. Mary's crowning joy is the knowledge that all these delights will never diminish, but will, on the contrary, increase continually until the day of judgement and will be eternal.
Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Mother
1. When holy Simeon told her in the Temple that a sword should pierce her heart.
2. When, to escape the fury of Herod, she and St. Joseph were obliged to flee with the Divine Child into Egypt.
3. When she lost this beloved Child and was deprived of His sweet presence for the space of three days.
4. When she met Him carrying His cross to Calvary.
5. When she beheld Him crucified.
6. When she received Him into her arms from the cross.
7. In her extreme desolation during the time that intervened between the death of Jesus and His resurrection.
We have shared a wonderful post on the Religious Training of children. You can read it on the 'For Moms' blog. We will on occasion post other chapters from this book.
A very nice explanation of the Blessed Mother, how she loves us and what she has suffered because of that love. From a lovely old Catholic children's book. A great read-aloud to the little ones. You can find it and a coloring picture here.
The meaning of the Our Mother of Perpetual Help picture as well as a coloring picture for the kids is available here.
Our post and a coloring picture for the 28th day of May can be found here.
This Catholic menu planner was created in hopes that it would help keep our household menu planning more organized and functional. We wanted to share it with you all in hopes that perhaps it would help do the same. Over time it seems that by planning and knowing what is on our menu makes our week run more smoothly and also helps to keep our grocery budget inline with the rest of our budget. One of the ways this menu planner helps with that is by taking it to the store when we do our shopping so our plan is always easily accessible. The convenient 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 size makes it easy to fit into most purses or bags, it doesn't take up too much space and isn't as easily lost as a small weekly grocery list may be.
The Menu planner contains:
- 52 weeks of menu planning pages complete with grocery lists.
- An Individual page to record your menu for each Holyday of Obligation
- Extra menu planning pages so you can plan ahead for nameday feasts or any other special occasion you may have.
- There is even a place to record your favorite meals and space to plan Christmas Baking.
-This meal planner is left undated so that it may be loved and reloved many times.
-Convenient 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inch size.
You can view and purchase it here.
Our post on the Blessed Virgin Mary as well as a coloring picture for this 27th day of May can be found here.
THIS festival is celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost, because as soon as the apostles were instructed and consoled by the Holy Ghost, they began to preach openly that which Christ had taught them.
Why do we celebrate this festival?
That we may openly profess our faith in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which is the first of Christian truths, the foundation of the Christian religion, and the most sublime of all mysteries; and that we may render thanks to the Father for having created us, to the Son for having redeemed us, and to the Holy Ghost for having sanctified us. In praise and honor of the most Holy Trinity, the Church sings at the Introit of this day's Mass: Blessed be the holy Trinity and undivided Unity: we will give glory to him, because he hath shown his mercy to us. (Tob. xii.) O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is thy name in all the earth! (Ps. viii. i.) Glory be to the Father, &c.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. Almighty, everlasting God, who hast granted to Thy servants, in the confession of the true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of Thy majesty, to adore the Unity: grant that, by steadfastness in the same faith, we may ever be defended from all adversities. Thro'.
EPISTLE. (Rom. xi. 33-36.) O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him? For of him, and by him, and in him, are
all things: to him be glory forever. Amen.
EXPLANATION. St. Paul's exclamations, in this epistle, are caused by the inscrutable judgment of God in rejecting the Jews and calling the Gentiles. The Church makes use of these words to express her admiration for the incomprehensible mystery of the most Holy Trinity, which surpasses our understanding, and yet is the worthy object of our faith, hope and love. Although neither angels nor men can fathom this mystery, it cannot be difficult for the sound human intellect to believe it, since it is indubitably and evidently revealed by God, and we, in many natural and human things, accept for true and certain much that we cannot comprehend. Let us submit our intellect, therefore, and yield ourselves up to faith; as there was indeed a time when men were martyred, when even persons of all ages and conditions preferred to die rather than to abandon this faith, so let us rather wait until our faith is changed to contemplation, until we see the Triune God, face to face, as He is, and in the sight of that countenance become eternally happy. Thither should all our hopes, wishes, and desires be directed, and we should cease all fruitless investigations, endeavoring by humble faith and active love, to prove worthy of the beatific vision; for if we do not love Him who is our all, our last end and aim, and lovingly desire Him, we will have no hope of one day possessing Him.
ASPIRATION. O incomprehensible, Triune God! O Abyss of wisdom, power, and goodness! To Thee all glory and adoration! In Thee I lose myself; I cannot contain Thee, do Thou contain me. I believe in Thee, though I cannot comprehend Thee; do Thou increase my faith; I hope in Thee, for Thou art the source of all good; do Thou enliven my hope; I love Thee, because Thou art worthy of all love; do Thou inflame ever more my love, that in Thy love I may live and die. Amen.
GOSPEL. (Matt, xxviii. 18 20.) AT THAT TIME, Jesus said to His disciples: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going, therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.
EXPLANATION. Christ being God had from all eternity the same power that His Father had; being man, He had this same power by the union of His divinity with His humanity, and on account of the infinite merits of His passion. In virtue of this power, He said to His apostles, before the ascension, that, as His Heavenly Father had sent Him, even so He sent them to all nations, without exception, to teach all that He had commanded, and to receive
them, by means of baptism, into the Church; at the same time He promised to be with them to the end of the world, that is, that He would console them in suffering, strengthen them in persecution, preserve them from error, and always protect them and their successors, the bishops and priests, even unto the consummation of the world.
[See Instruction on the doctrine of the infallibility of the Church for the first Sunday after Easter."]
ASPIRATION. Be with us, O Lord, for without Thee our pastors cannot produce fruit, nor their hearers profit anything from their words. Be with us always, for we always need Thy help.- All power is given to Thee, Thou hast then the right to command, and we are bound to obey Thy commands which by Thy Church Thou hast made known to us. This we have promised in baptism, and now before Thee we renew those vows. Grant now that those promises which without Thee we could not have made, and without Thee cannot keep, may be fulfilled in our actions. . Leave us not to ourselves, but be Thou with us, and make us obedient to Thee, that by cheerful submission to Thee we may receive happiness.
INSTRUCTION ON THE HOLY SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM.
Going, therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Matt, xxviii. 19.)
Is baptism a Sacrament?
YES, because in it the baptized person receives the grace of God by means of an external sign, instituted by Christ.
What is this external sign?
The immersion, or the pouring of water, accompanied by the words: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
What does the baptismal grace effect?
It removes original and actual sin, causing man to be spiritually born again, made a new creature, a child of God, and joint heir with Christ.
How many kinds of baptism are there?
There are three kinds: The baptism of desire, which consists in a heartfelt desire for the baptism of water, joined with a perfect love of God, or a perfect sorrow for sins committed, and with the purpose to obey all God's commands; the baptism of blood, which is received by those who suffer martyrdom for the true faith, without having received the baptism of water; the baptism of water, which is the Sacrament of Baptism.
What do the different ceremonies of this Sacrament signify?
They are the external signs of the effects which baptism produces inwardly upon the soul, and should impress us with deep reverence for this Sacrament.
Why is it customary to have a godfather or godmother?
That there may be a witness that the child has received baptism; that in case of the death of the parents, the sponsors may assume their place , and have the child instructed in the truths of religion. St. Augustine speaking of the duties of sponsors, very beautifully says: "They should use all care, often to admonish in true love their godchildren that they may strive to lead a pure life; they should warn them against all detraction, all improper songs, and keep them from pride, envy, anger, and revenge; they should watch over them that they may preserve the Catholic faith, attend the church services, listen to the word of God, and obey their parents and their pastors." Sponsors must therefore be true believers, and of unquestionable morality. No one, unless a Catholic can be chosen for a sponsor, because one who is not a Catholic would not instruct the child in the Catholic faith, or see that others do it, but would be more likely, as experience shows, to draw the child over to error.
What results from this sponsorship?
In baptism, as in confirmation, a spiritual affinity originates between the sponsors, the one who baptizes or confirms, with the one baptized or confirmed, and with the parents, so that, by a decision of the Church, a godfather or godmother cannot contract marriage with any of these parties, unless the impediment is removed by dispensation, that is, by a special permission received from a spiritual superior. But the sponsors have no spiritual relationship to each other.
Why has the Church instituted this spiritual relation?
From reverence for these holy Sacraments, and that by this spiritual bond the sponsors may be more closely connected with their godchildren, and be incited earnestly to discharge their obligation.
Why must the person to be baptized wait at the entrance of the church?
To indicate that until he has thrown off the yoke of sin, and submitted to Christ, and His authority, he is unworthy to enter, because baptism is the door of God's grace, to the kingdom of heaven, and the communion of saints.
Why does the person receive a saint's name?
That by this name he may be enrolled, through baptism, into the number of Christians whom St. Paul calls saints; that he may have a patron and intercessor, and that the saint, whose name he bears, may be his model and example, by which he may regulate his own life.
Why does the priest breathe in the face of the one to be baptized?
In imitation of Christ who breathed on His apostles when He gave them the Holy Ghost. (John xx. 22.) St. Chrysostom says that in baptism supernatural life is given to the soul as God imparted natural life to Adam by breathing on him.
Why does the priest impose his hand so many times upon the head of the person to be baptized?
To show that he is now the property of God and is under His protection.
What do the many exorcisms signify?
That the evil spirit who previous to baptism holds the person in bondage is now commanded in the name of God to depart, that a dwelling-place may be prepared for
the Holy Ghost.
Why is the person so often signed with the sign of the cross?
To signify that through the power of Christ's merits and of His death on the cross, baptism washes away original sin; that the person is to be henceforth a follower of Christ the Crucified, and as such must fight valiantly under the banner of the cross, against the enemies of his salvation, and must follow Christ on the way of the cross, even unto death.
What does the salt signify which is put into the person's mouth?
It is an emblem of Christian wisdom and of preservation from the corruption- of sin.
Why are his ears and nose touched with spittle?
That as Christ put spittle on the eyes of the man born blind, thus restoring his sight, so by baptism, the spiritual blindness of the soul is removed, and his mind receives light to behold heavenly wisdom. Also, as St. Ambrose says, the candidate is thus instructed to open his ears to priestly admonitions, and become a sweet odor ol Christ.
Why does the priest ask: "Dost thou renounce the devil, and all his works, and all his pomps?"
That the Christian may know that his vocation requires him to renounce and combat the devil, his works, suggestions and pomps. Thus St. Ambrose very beautifully addresses a person just baptized: When the priest asked: "Dost thou renounce the devil and all his works?" what didst thou reply? "I renounce them." "Dost thou renounce the world, its lusts and its pomps?" "I renounce them." Think of these promises, and let them never depart from thy mind. Thou hast given thy hand-writing to the priest, who stands for Christ; when thou hast given thy note to a man, thou art bound to him. Now thy word is not on earth, but preserved in heaven; say not thou knowest nothing of this promise; this exculpates thee no better than the excuse of a soldier who in time of battle should say he knew not that by becoming a soldier he would have to fight."
Why is the person anointed on the shoulder and breast with holy oil?
As Sts. Ambrose and Chrysostom explain, this is done to strengthen him to fight bravely for Christ; as the combatants of old anointed themselves with oil before they entered the arena, so is he anointed, on the breast, that he may gain courage and force, bravely to combat the world, the flesh, and the devil, and on the shoulder, that he may be strong to bear constantly and untiringly the yoke of Christ's commands, and persue the toil some course of life in unwavering fidelity to God and His holy law.
Why are the Lord's Prayer, and the Apostles' Creed said at baptism?
That, when the child is a grown person an acknowledgment of faith may by this means be made in the face of the Church ; when children are baptized, these prayers are said by the sponsors who are thus reminded to see that their godchildren are well instructed in these as in all other Christian truths.
Why does the priest expressly ask the person if he will be baptized?
Because as man, through Adam, of his own free will obeyed the devil, so now when he would be received among the number of Christ's children, he must, to obtain salvation, of his own free will obey the precepts of God.
Why is water poured three times upon the person's head?
This is done, as St. Gregory the Great writes, in token that man after this thrice-repeated ablution rises from the death of sin, as Christ, after His three days' burial, rose from the dead. (Rom. vi. 4. 5.) In early times the candidate for baptism was immersed three times in the water. For many reasons this custom has been abolished.
Why is the person anointed on the top of the head with chrism?
This anointing is, so to speak, the crown of the young Christian. As in the Old Law the kings were anointed, (i Kings x. i.) as Jesus is the Anointed One, and as the Apostle St. Peter calls the Christians a chosen race, a kingly priesthood, a holy people, (i Peter ii. 9.) so the baptized by means of this unction is embodied in Christ, the Anointed One, and participates in His priesthood and kingly dignity. What an exalted position is the Christian's? He is the anointed one of the Lord, and in a spiritual sense a priest, because he constantly brings himself to the Lord God as a pleasing- sacrifice in prayer, mortification, &c. He is king when he rules over his inclinations, submits them to reason, and reason to the Lord. Besides this he is king by the claims which, through baptism, he possesses to the kingdom of heaven. Through the chrism he becomes the blessed temple of the Holy Ghost, the sacred vessel which in time, through communion, will contain the precious body and blood of Christ. How does he desecrate this temple, when, by grievous sin, he tramples this exalted dignity under his feet and stains the temple of the Holy Ghost, his soul!
What does the white robe signify?
The holy Fathers teach that this represents the glory to which by baptism we are born again; the purity and beauty with which the soul, having been washed from sin in the Sacrament of baptism, is adorned, and the innocence which the baptized should preserve through his whole life.
Why is a lighted candle placed in his hand?
It is an emblem of the Christian doctrine which preserves the baptized from the darkness of error, ignorance, and sin, illumines his understanding, and leads him safely in the way of virtue; it represents the flame of love for God and our neighbor which the baptized should henceforth continually carry, like the five prudent virgins, (Matt. xxv. 13.) on the path to meet the Lord, that when his life is ended he may be admitted to the eternal wedding feast; it signifies also the light of good example which he should keep ever burning.
Who is the minister of this sacrament?
The ordinary minister is the priest of the Church; but in case of necessity any layman or woman, even the father or mother can baptize. Parents, however, should not baptize their own child unless no other Catholic can be procured. The reason why lay persons are permitted to baptize is that no one may be deprived of salvation.
What must be observed particularly in private baptism?
The person who baptizes must be careful to use only natural water, which must be poured on the child's head saying at the same time the words; I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; having at the same time the intention of baptizing as the Church does, in the manner required by Christ.
INSTRUCTION ON THE RENEWAL OF BAPTISMAL VOWS.
ALL the graces and dignities which we receive in baptism, God secures to us for the future, only on condition that we keep our baptismal vows. Every Christian in baptism makes a bond with God through the meditation of Christ who has sealed it with His blood. This bond consists, on man's part, in the promise to renounce forever the devil, all his works and all his pomps, that is, constantly to suppress the threefold lust of the eyes, the flesh and the pride of life, by which the devil leads us to sin, and to believe all that God has revealed, and all that His holy Church proposes to our belief, and diligently and properly to make use of all the means of salvation. On the part of God this bond consists in cleansing us from all sin, in bestowing the gifts of the Holy Ghost, in adopting us as His children, and in the assurance to the inheritance of heaven. This bond will never be broken by God who is infinitely true and faithful, but it is often violated by weak and fickle man. In compliance with the desire of the Church we should often reflect upon it, and from time to time renew it in the sight of God. This should be done particularly before receiving the holy Sacrament of Confirmation, before first Communion, on the vigils of Easter and Pentecost, at the blessing of baptismal water, on the anniversaries of our baptism and confirmation, before making any solemn vow, before entering into matrimony and when in danger of death.
This renewal of baptismal vows can be made in the following manner: Placing ourselves in the presence of God, we kneel down, fold our hands, and say with fervent devotion:
I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was born and suffered for us. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. I renounce the devil, all his works and all his pomps. Christ Jesus! With Thee I am united, to Thee alone I cling, Thee only will I follow, for Thee I desire to live and die. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
DOCTRINE ON THE HOLY TRINITY.
What is God?
is the most perfect being, the highest, best Good, who exists from all eternity , by whom heaven and earth are created, and from whom all things derive and hold life and existence, for of Him, and by Him, and in Him are all things. (Rom. xi. 36.)
What is the Blessed Trinity?
The Blessed Trinity is this one God who is one in nature and threefold in person, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Is each of these three persons God?
Yes, because each of them has the divine nature and substance.
Are they not three Gods?
No, because all three of these persons have one and the same divine nature and substance.
Is any one of these three persons older, mightier, or greater than the other?
By no means, they are all three from eternity entirely equal to each other in divine omnipotence, greatness and majesty, and must, therefore, be equally adored and venerated.
Ought one to give himself up to the investigation of the most Blessed Trinity?
No; "For," says the saintly Bishop Martin, "the mystery of the Trinity cannot be comprehended by the human intellect, no one however eloquent can exhaust it; if entire
books were written about it, so that the whole world were filled with them, yet the unspeakable wisdom of God would not be expressed. God who is indescribable, can in no
way be described. When the human mind ceases to speak of Him, then it but begins to speak." Therefore the true Christian throws his intellect under the feet of faith, not seeking to understand that which the human mind can as little comprehend, as a tiny hole in the sand can contain the immeasurable sea. An humble and active faith will make us worthy some day in the other world, to see with the greatest bliss this mystery as it is, for in this consists eternal life, that by a pious life we may glorify and know the only true God, Christ Jesus His Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Source: Goffine's Devout Instruction, Imprimatur 1880
A poem and a coloring page can be found here to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary on this 24th day of May.
The hymn Hail, Holy Queen is the post we have to share for this 23rd day of May. You can find it here.
THIS holy woman was the daughter of pious parents, Antonio and Amata (Fersi) Mancini, and was born at Kocea Parena, near Cascia, in Umbria. She was their only child.
Four days after her birth, A.D. 1381, she was baptized in the parish church. An exquisite legend relates that the day after her baptism a swarm of beautiful snow-white bees—symbols of her purity and innocence, and of the irresistible sweetness of her words, which drew so many souls to God—was seen issuing from the child's mouth, where they had left behind them a comb filled with luscious honey.
Under the zealous and watchful care of her parents, she grew up in sanctity, and at an early age evinced a leaning, for a conventual life. Tenderly devoted to the Cross and to Our Blessed Lady, her early life was passed in works of piety and penance. Her aged parents, desiring to see her provided for before their death, constrained her to marry. In this they were grossly deceived, for, as it turned out, she had been committed to the keeping of a brutal savage.
For eighteen years she suffered persecution and outrage, but grew more exalted and spiritualized under the fierce pressure of affliction. But, like St. Monica, she had the supreme consolation of seeing him at the last hour, in answer to her prayers, die a death of fervent and sincere repentance.
At the age of thirty, having lost her two sons, she found death had severed the last tie that bound her to the world, and her pure heart, so long enchained, entered its true home, the convent. For forty-four years she passed a life of physical suffering, prayer, and penance within the convent walls. After nearly five hundred years, it is said, her body is today incorrupt without the aid of embalming or other human bar to dissolution. This saintly woman was beatified by Pope Urban VIII , July 16th, 1627. Blessed Rita was canonized May 24, 1900, by Pope Leo XIII.
Her picture shows her contemplating the crucifix with an angel hovering above her head lifting a crown of thorns, one of which can be seen pierced in her forehead.
O most compassionate Jesus! Thou alone art our salvation, our life, and our resurrection. We implore Thee, therefore, do not forsake us in our needs and our afflictions, but by the agony of Thy most Sacred Heart, and by the sorrows of Thy immaculate Mother, succor Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy most Precious Blood. Amen.
Source : The Faith That Never Dies, Imprimatur 1900
A coloring picture of St. Rita can be found below.
We have shared a wonderful poem and lovely picture of Our Lady for the 21st day of May and you can find it here.
The post and a coloring picture for the 20th day of month of Mary can be found here.
FROM Whitsun to Advent, in comparison with the long holiday of Eastertide, one enters a more sober time, though here and there the feasts of Mary, particularly the great feast of the Assumption (once called: our Lady in harvest-time) interrupt it. Again one cannot help but see on these days the perpetual inclination to mark all the feasts of our Lady with some sort of flower ceremony.
Saints' feasts and angels' feasts follow on each other; guardian angels, Michael, prince of angels, and Raphael, are all honored during this time. In parts of England Michaelmas was celebrated as a sort of general sports day in which one man would lead a gang of followers across country, through the roughest ways he could find, a crude symbolism, probably, of Michael leading the host of angels.
If all the angels have their festive day, so too do all the saints, on November 1st. The vigil of this day, once probably given to invoking one's patron saints, turned in later days into a superstitious festivity in which love-charms such as nuts, apples, and glowing embers were credulously invoked and fortunes told, and future lovers seen in vision.
If all the saints have their festive day during these days, so too have all the souls. Theirs is on November 2nd, on which day the bells used to be rung almost unceasingly as a reminder that the members of the Church-family who were yet in prison needed to be rescued. Thus by the first Sunday of Advent, the first day of the liturgical year, there is almost no type of person who has not been celebrated by the Church in one way or another.
Source: A Candle is Lighted, Imprimatur 1945
A story and coloring picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary for this 19th day of May can be found here.
This feast has been called the Pasch of Roses, because red roses are thought to be emblems of the tongues of fire that descended upon Mary and the apostles. It is for the same reason that red vestments are worn at the Whitsun Masses.
In the thirteenth century in some parts of Europe a dove was set free inside the church during the Mass, while pieces of lighted tow were dropped from the roof. Childish enough, one may say, but at least it attempted to drive home the reality of what happened on the first Whitsun. Doves and lighted rope are hardly possible nowadays, but there is a way of impressing the significance of Whitsun on ourselves. Just as we make a crib at Christmas and an Easter garden at Easter so we can make a cenacle at Whitsun. We shall need figures of eleven apostles and our Lady, while the Dove can hang over all of them and the tongues of fire radiate from the Dove. We can link up the cenacle with the old name for Whit Sunday by decorating it with red roses, the symbolism of which should be explained. Morning and evening during the octave of Whitsun this prayer to the Holy Spirit could be said near the cenacle:
"O Holy Spirit, soul of my soul, I adore thee: enlighten, guide, strengthen and console me. Tell me what I ought to do, and command me to do it. I promise to be submissive to everything that thou shalt ask and to accept all that thou permittest to happen to me; only show me what is thy will."
Source: A Candle is Lighted, Imprimatur 1945
A wonderful story about Our Lady and a coloring picture for this 18th day of May can be found here.
INSTRUCTION ON SCANDAL.
These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. (John xvi. i.)
How is scandal given?
By speaking, doing or omitting that which will be to others an occasion of sin. Scandal is given in different ways, for instance: if you dress improperly, speak improper words, or sing bad songs, by which you can see, that your neighbor will be tempted to think, desire, or act wrongly; or what is worse, if you act sinfully in the presence of others, or bring bad books, books against good morals, or against the holy faith, among people; if you incite others to anger, cursing, and' vengeance, or if you prevent them from attending church, the sermon, or catechetical instruction, &c. In all these things you become guilty of scandal, as well as of all the sins to which it gives rise.
If at the Last Judgment we will be unable to give an account of our own sins, how then can we answer for the innumerable sins caused by the scandal we have given? Therefore Christ pronounces a terrible woe upon those who give scandal. Woe to that man, He says, by whom the scandal cometh! It were better for him, that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matt, xviii.)
How do parents give scandal?
By giving their children bad example; by excessive anger, cursing and swearing; by avarice, injustice and cheating; by discord and quarrels; by gluttony in eating and drinking; by extravagance and vanity in dress; by sneering at religion, good morals, &c.; by not keeping their children from evil company, but sometimes even bringing them into it; by not punishing and endeavoring to eradicate their children's vices. How much parents sin through such scandals, cannot be expressed; at the Day of Judgment their children will be their accusers!
How do masters give scandal to their servants and those under their care?
In the same way as parents do to their children; bykeeping them away from, or not urging them by their own example or command to attend church on Sundays and holydays; by giving them meat on fast-days; by commanding them to do sinful things, such as stealing, injuring others, &c.
INSTRUCTION ON PREPARATION FOR PENTECOST
1. We should withdraw, after the example of the Blessed Virgin and the apostles, to some solitary place, or at least avoid, intercourse with others, as much as possible; speak but little, and apply ourselves to earnest and persevering prayer; for in solitude God speaks to man.
2. We should purify our conscience by a contrite confession, become reconciled to our neighbor, if we have lived in enmity; for the Holy Ghost, as a spirit of peace and purity, lives only in pure and peaceful souls. (Ps. LK.XV 3.)
3. We should give alms according to our means, for it is said in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts x.) of the Gentile centurion Cornelius, that by prayer and alms-deeds he made himself worthy of the gifts of the Holy Ghost.
4. We should fervently desire to receive the Holy Ghost, and should give expression to this longing by frequent aspirations to God, making use of the prayer: "Come. O Holy Ghost, &c."
- Goffine's Devout Instruction, Imprimatur 1888 -
A lovely song is our post for this 17th day of the month of Our Lady. You can find it here.
You can find our post of the day for Our Lady here.
Mighty Good Young People is the post for our Lady for the 15th of May and you can find it here.
A Little Candle to Mary is a short story about devotion to the Blessed Mother. You can find it and a coloring picture for the kiddos here.
We have a lovely song to the Blessed Virgin as well as a coloring page to share with you
today and you can find it here.
Holy Mother Church
dedicates the month of February to the Holy Family
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