July's issue of our gazette will be available on our download page in a day or two. Trying to get the finishing touches put on it now. We are sorry it's a little late . . . and thank you for your patience. The Willsons
We are going to put our chapter books on hold until September and school starts again. We just can't keep up through the summer. My brood is getting older and a couple now have jobs so I've lost some of my web helpers.
I hope to be able to keep posting the Children's Sunday Sermons and new chapters from "Popular Instructions on the Bringing up of Children."
Please keep our family in your prayers.
When Zachary sang his canticle in praise of his son John he said that many would rejoice in his birth, and that John would "enlighten them that sit in darkness."
The Baptist's day, midsummer day, was a general holiday, when everyone did indeed rejoice, a day full of games and sports and dancing. On the eve of the feast everyone's door "decorated with birch leaves, St. John's wort and white lilies and such-like, garnished upon with garlands of beautiful flowers, had also lamps of glass, with oil burning in them all the night.... Some hung out branches of iron, curiously wrought, containing hundreds of lamps lighted at once." On the
day itself, no sooner had the sun sunk than fires were lighted all over the hillsides, fires long known in the west country as blessing fires. To celebrate the Baptist with lights and flames was fitting enough, since it was John whom Christ himself described as "a burning and a shining light" in which the people were to rejoice.
These bonfires, often of immense height, were blessed by the priest, and often it was he who set light to them. While the fires blazed people danced and made joyful processions, holding burning torches in their hands; they sang together and played games by the light of the fire.
St. John's day might be the signal for a festive outdoor evening in a family or club. A bonfire can be lighted, there can be games and sports, while someone can tell briefly the story of the origin of St. John's fires.
The coming of the Baptist had been the sign that the Old Law was done away with. This abolition was symbolized, certainly somewhat crudely, by burning on the bonfires all rubbish and all unnecessary, useless and unwanted things in the house. For the many people who are terrified to dispose of anything in case they should ever need it in the future this would be an excellent custom to revive! In any case, in all homes rubbish of one sort or another accumulates, so why should we not dispose of it on a definite day, and in a ceremonial manner?
Source: A Candle is Lighted, Imprimatur 1945
In the days of Old England, when the Faith was alive and well we find the following:
This custom was still observed in Yorkshire as recently as 1826, when it was described as being of great antiquity. On St. John's eve every family who had come to live in the parish within the last year would put a table outside their houses, place on it bread and cheese and beer and offer this to anyone who passed by. Any of the parish might help themselves, and if the fortunes of the family ran to it, would be invited indoors for a further supper and a festive evening spent in the family circle. By this means the newcomers to the parish made many acquaintances and friends, and were helped to see themselves as having a definite place in the local community. One cannot advocate the setting up of tables full of food in the streets nowadays, but the chance need not be
missed of helping newcomers to make friends. There are far more lonely people, often converts, in every parish than one might think.
On St. John's eve it could be possible to arrange an open house among the youth groups, or the different sodalities, or even in various families, to which all the newcomers in the parish could be invited, this with the definite idea of making them feel at home and part of the parish community.
Source: A Candle is Lighted, Imprimatur 1945
AT the Introit implore God's assistance, and say, with the priest: Hear, O Lord, my voice with which I have cried to thee: be thou my helper, forsake me not, nor do Thou despise me, O God, my Saviour. (Ps. xxvi.) The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? Glory be to the Father, &c.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. O God, who hast prepared invisible good things for those that love Thee: pour into our hearts such a sense of Thy love, that we, loving Thee in all, and above all, may obtain Thy promises, which exceed all our desire. Through &c.
EPISTLE, (III Peter in. 8 - 15.) DEARLY BELOVED, Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, being lovers of the brotherhood, merciful, modest, humble: not rendering evil for evil, nor railing for railing, but contrariwise, blessing: for unto this you are called, that you may inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile. Let him decline from evil; and do good : let him seek after peace, and pursue it : because the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and his ears unto their prayers : but the countenance of the Lord upon them that do evil things. And who is he that can hurt you, if you be zealous of good? But if also you suffer any thing for justice' sake, blessed are ye. And be not afraid of their fear, and be not troubled : but sanctify the Lord Christ, in your hearts.
How can and how should we sanctify the Lord in our hearts?
By practising those virtues which Peter here recommends, and which he so exactly describes; for thereby we become true disciples of Christ, honor Him and edify others, who by our good example are led to admire Christianity, and to become His followers. Moreover, we thus render ourselves more worthy of God's grace and protection, so that if for justice' sake we are persecuted by wicked men, we need not fear, because God is for us and will reward us with eternal happiness.
ASPIRATION. O good Saviour, Jesus Christ, grant that I may make Thy virtues my own, especially Thy humility, patience, mercy, and love; grant that I may practise them diligently, that I may glorify Thee, sanctify myself, and thus become worthy of Thy protection.
GOSPEL. (Matt. v. 20 24.) AT THAT TIME, Jesus said to his disciples: Except your justice abound more than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill: and whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. If therefore, thou bring thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath anything against thee, leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming, thou shalt offer thy gift.
In what did the justice of the Pharisees consist?
In external works of piety, in the avoidance of such gross vices as could not be concealed, and would have brought them to shame and disgrace. But in their hearts these Pharisees cherished evil, corrupt inclinations and desires, pride, envy, avarice, and studied malice and vengeance. Jesus, therefore, called them hypocrites, whitened sepulchres, and St. John calls them a brood of vipers. True justice consists not only in external works of piety, that is, devotional works, but especially in a pure, sincere, self-sacrificing feeling towards God and man; without this all works, however good, are only a shell without a kernel.
How are we to understand that which Christ here says of anger and abusive words?
The meaning of Christ's words are: You have heard that murder was forbidden to your fathers in the desert, and that the murderer had to be given up to justice: but I say to you, whoever becomes angry with his neighbor, shall be in danger of divine judgment, and he who with abusive words, such as Raca, Villain, gives vent to his anger, using expressions of contempt and insult, as fool, scoundrel, profligate, wretch, is more liable to punishment. These degrees of anger are punished in different ways by God.
Is anger always sinful?
No, anger is sinful only when we wish or actually inflict some evil to the body, property, or honor of our neighbor; when we make use of such insulting and abusive words as injure his character, provoke and irritate him. If we become angry at the vices and crimes of others, when our office or the duties of our station demand that we watch over the conduct of those under our care, to punish and correct them, (as in the case of parents, teachers, and superiors) then anger is no sin. When one through pure love of God, becomes irritated at the sins and vices of his fellow-men, like King David, or if one urged to wrong, repels the tempter with indignation, this is even a holy anger. Thus St. Gregory says; "It is to be understood that anger created by impatience is a very different thing from anger produced by a zeal for justice. The one is caused by vice, the other by virtue." He, then, who becomes angry for justice' sake, commits no sin, but his conduct is holy and praiseworthy, for even our Lord was angry at those who bought and sold in the temple, (John II. 15.) Paul at the magician Elymas, (Acts XIII. 8.) and Peter at the deceit of Ananias and Saphira. (Acts v. 3.) Anger, then, to be without sin, must proceed from true zeal for God's honor and nthe salvation of souls, by which we seek to prevent others from sin, and to make them 'better. Even in this respect, we must be careful to allow our anger no control over our reason, but to use it merely as a means of doing good, for we are often apt to take the sting of anger for holy zeal, when it is really nothing but egotism and ambition.
Why must we first be reconciled with our neighbor before bringing an offering to God, or undertaking any good work?
Because no offering- or other good work can be pleasing to God, while we live in enmity, hatred, and strife with our neighbor; for by living thus we act altogether contrary to God's will. This should be remembered by all Christians, who go to confession and holy Communion, without forgiving those who have offended them, and asking pardon of those whom they have injured. These must know that instead of receiving absolution for their sins, they by an invalid confession are guilty of another sin, and eat their own judgment in holy Communion.
How should reconciliation be made with our neighbor?
With promptness, because the apostle says: Let not the sun go down upon your anger. (Eph. iv. 26.) But if the person you have offended is absent, says St. Augustine, and you cannot easily meet him, you are bound to be reconciled to him interiorly, that is, to humble yourself before God, and ask His forgiveness, making the firm resolution to be reconciled to your enemy as soon as possible. If he is accessible, go to him, and ask his forgiveness; if he has offended you, forgive him from your heart. The reconciliation should be sincere, for God sees into the heart; it should also be permanent, for if it is not lasting, it may be questioned if it was ever sincere. On account of this command of Christ to be reconciled to our enemies before bringing sacrifice, it was the custom in ancient times that the faithful gave the kiss of peace to one another at the sacrifice of Mass, before Communion, as even to this day do the priests and deacons, by which those who are present, are admonished to love one another with holy love, and to be' perfectly reconciled with their enemies, before Communion-
ASPIRATION. O God, strike me not with the blindness of the Pharisees that, like them, I may seek to please man by my works, and thus be deprived of eternal reward. Banish from my heart all sinful anger, and give me a holy zeal in charity that I may be anxious only for Thy honor and for the salvation of my neighbor. Grant me also that I may offend no one, and willingly forgive those who have offended me, thus practicing true Christian justice, and become agreeable to Thee.
MEANS OF PREVENTING ANGER.
THE first and most effectual preventive is humility; for as among the proud there are always quarrels and contentions, (Prov. xiii. 10.) so among the humble reign peace, meekness and patience. To be humble, meek, and patient, we must frequently bring before our minds the example of Christ who did not sin, neither was guile found in His mouth, (I Peter II. 22.) yet suffered great contradictions, many persecutions, scoffs and sneers from sinners, without threatening vengeance to any one for all He suffered; He says to us in truth: Learn of me, because I am meek and humble of heart. (Matt. xi. 29.) A very good preventive of anger is to think over in the morning what causes will be likely to draw us into anger at any time during the day, and to arm ourselves against it by a firm resolution to bear all with patience and silence, and when afterwards anything unpleasant occurs, let us think, "What will I effect by my anger? Can I thereby make things better? Will I not even make myself ridiculous and injure my health?" (for experience as well as holy Scripture teaches, that anger shortens life.) (Ecclus. xxx. 26.) Finally, the most necessary preventive of anger is fervent prayer to God for the grace of meekness and patience, for although it seems difficult and almost impossible to our nature to be patient, by the grace of God it becomes not only possible, but even easy.
INSTRUCTION ON SACRIFICE.
Offer thy gift. (Matt. v. 24.)
IN its wider and more universal sense sacrifice comprehends all religious actions by which a rational being presents himself to God, to be united with Him; and in this sense prayer, praising God, a contrite heart, charity to others, every good work, and observance of God's commandments is a sacrifice. Thus the Holy Scriptures say: Offer up the sacrifice of justice and trust in the Lord. (Ps. iv. 6.) Offer to God the sacrifice of praise. (Ps. xlix. 14.) Sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit; a contrite and humble heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Ps. 1. 19.) It is a wholesome sacrifice to take heed to the commandments, and to depart from all iniquity. (Ecclus. xxxv. 2.) "Therefore," says St. Augustine, "every good work which is united in sanctity with God, is a true sacrifice, because it refers to the end of all good, to God, by whom we can be truly happy."
As often, then, as you humble yourself in prayer before the majesty of God, when you give yourself up to God, and when you make your will subject to His divine will, you bring a sacrifice to God; as often as you punish your body by continency, and your senses by mortification, you bring a sacrifice to God, because you offer them as instruments of justice; (Rom. vi. 13.) as often as you subdue the evil concupiscence of the flesh, the perverted inclinations of your soul, deny yourself any worldly pleasure for the love of God, you bring a sacrifice to God. Such sacrifices you should daily offer to God; without which all others have no value and do not please God, such as these you can make every moment, when you think, speak, and act all for the love of God. Strive then, Christian soul, to offer these pleasing sacrifices to God, the supreme Lord, and as you thus glorify Him, so will He one day reward you with unutterable glory.
St. Alban's death came to him through the hospitality he gave to a stranger, so he is surely the model of hosts and an inspiration of hospitality.
When he was still a pagan Alban gave shelter to a priest who was being hunted by pagan persecutors. It was not long before Alban was converted by his guest, and when the soldiers ultimately arrived at his house in search of the priest it was Alban, disguised in his guest's clothes, who gave himself up to them, and who was beheaded at what is now St. Alban's in 303.
There can be no better way of marking St. Alban's day than by imitating his hospitality. One of the things that Christ will say to his followers at the last judgment is: "I was a stranger and you took me in," and when he is asked what he means he will explain that giving hospitality to anyone is giving hospitality to him.
On St. Alban's day everyone could deliberately go out of their way to invite some lonely person to their home, and that day could give them all the attention and care and affection possible, doing it all in the honor of St. Alban, who was willing to give even his life for the man who was his guest.
Source: A Candle is Lighted, Imprimatur 1945
I've decided to share this book in its entirety it's so very good. So you shall find the Preface and Chapter I on our Mom's page. Some of the chapters were put there previously. We are also working on having this book reprinted for those of you who would like a hard copy.
The Children's Sermons for this Sunday can be found here.
Thank you my dear sister for sharing this with me:) I love you!
“One day St. Rose was full of sadness as she thought that she might not persevere to the end, and that one day she might be condemned to hell for ever. In her distress Jesus appeared to her, and said: ‘My daughter, what makes you so sad, and why do you allow these thoughts to trouble you? Do you not know that I will never condemn to hell any but those who wish to be condemned?’ as if to say: If a person is condemned it is his own fault, for if he had only asked Me for the grace of perseverance he would have obtained it.”
—Fr. Charles J. Callan, O.P.
We had a request from one of our readers for two school certificates for Kindergarten and Preschool. You can find them on our download page.
This weeks Sermons will be the last we post until the week of June 16th. We will not post any more chapter books until then either. We have much work to do around here and my hubby is on vacation. God bless you all, The Willson Family
INTROIT: The Lord became my protector, and He brought me forth into a large place: He saved me, because he was well pleased with me. (Ps. xvii.) I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength: the Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer. Glory &c.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. Make us, O Lord, to have a perpetual fear and love of Thy holy name; for Thou never failest to help and govern those whom Thou dost establish in Thy steadfast love. Thro'.
EPISTLE, (I John III. 13-18.) DEARLY BELOVED, Wonder not if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not, abideth in death; whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself. In this we have known the charity of God, because he hath laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shut up his bowels from him, how doth the charity of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
EXPLANATION. People who are really pious have always something to suffer from the wicked world, as Jesus foretold, but they do not cease to love their persecutors as their best friends, and are ready, if necessary, to give their life for their enemies, as Christ did. Thus should all Christians act; for the love of our neighbor and even of our enemies is a universal command, a law that binds all; it is the life of the soul. Hatred deprives the soul of this life and makes man a murderer, because hatred is the beginning of murder, and often ends in homicide. By love we know the true Christians. (John. xiii. 35.) St. John even considers love the certain sign of being chosen for eternal life, when he says: We know, we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. Alas! how few will be chosen from among the Christians of today, because there is so little love among them!
Empty compliments, assurances of friendship, love appears only in words, only on the tongue, and such idle, ephemeral, worthless love is found everywhere in this world; but that which is love in truth and reality, which shows charity to the suffering, how rare it is! and yet only to this love is promised eternal life, because it alone rests on the love of God.
GOSPEL. (Luke xiv. 16 -24.) AT THAT TIME, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees this parable: A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servant, at the hour of supper, to say to them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things are ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him: I have bought a farm, and I must needs go out, and see it; I pray thee hold me excused. And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to try them; I pray thee hold me excused. And another said: I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. And the servant returning, told these things to his lord.
Then the master of the house being angry, said to his servant: Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, arid the feeble, and the blind, and the lame. And the servant said: Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said to the servant: Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. But I say unto you, that none of these men that were invited shall taste of my supper.
What ts to be understood by this great supper?
The Church of Christ on> earth, in which His doctrine and His most precious Flesh and Blood are given as food to those who belong" to her; also the Church triumphant in heaven, in which God Himself, in the beatific vision, is the nourishment. This supper is called great, because God Himself has founded the Church ; because the Church embraces
heaven and earth, hence many belong and will belong to her; and because having ended the contest on earth, she will last forever in heaven. There the saints of God will enjoy the Highest Good for all eternity, and will have nothing to wish for, since all their desires will there be realized. O, what happiness it is that we are invited to His supper, and as guests are nourished by the teachings of Christ, and by His most sacred Flesh and Blood.
Who is it that prepares the supper?
It is Christ, the God-Man, who for our benefit has not only instituted His Church to which He has entrusted His doctrine and the Sacrament of His Flesh and Blood , but has gained eternal salvation for us by His passion and death, and who has invited us first by the prophets, who foretold Him and His divine kingdom, and afterwards by His apostles, and their successors to His great supper.
Who are they who excuse themselves?
They are principally the Jews who bound by pride and avarice to earthly possessions, and blinded by the pleasures of the world, did not recognize Jesus, and remained outside of His church. By him who said he had bought a farm are understood those who by constant anxieties about the possession of earthly goods, and the riches of this world, become indifferent to eternal salvation. By him who had bought five yoke of oxen, is to be understood that sort of busy men who are so burdened with worldly affairs that they find no time to work for heaven, for they even appropriate Sundays and festivals to their worldly affairs.
By him who had taken a wife, and could not come, are represented the carnal, impure men who have rendered themselves by their lusts incapable of spiritual and heavenly joys. Since these different classes of people do not wish to have part in the heavenly banquet, God has excluded them and called others.
Who are meant by the poor, the feeble, the blind and the lame?
The humble and submissive Jews, the publicans, also the Samaritans and the Gentiles, who did not reject Jesus and His doctrine as did the proud, high-minded, carnal Scribes and Pharisees to whom Jesus spoke this parable. The former faithfully received Him, entered His Church, and became participators in eternal happiness. This is daily repeated, because God excludes from the kingdom of heaven those proud, avaricious, and carnal Christians who are ever invited by His servants, the priests, to the enjoyment of holy Communion, but who reject the invitation. On the contrary God welcomes the poor, despised people, the penitent sinners, by separating them from the love of the world by the inspiration of His grace, and by the adversities which He sends them. Thus, in a measure, He forces them to take part in the spiritual joys of a sincerely pious life in His Church on earth, and in the heavenly bliss of His Church in heaven.
SUPPLICATION. I thank Thee, O most merciful Jesus that Thou hast called me into Thy Church, permitting me so often to share in the banquet of Thy love, and that by Thy sufferings and death Thou hast obtained the joys of heaven for me. Urge me as seems pleasing to Thee, compel me by temporal trials that by the use of these graces I may obtain the place which Thou hast prepared for me in heaven.
MORAL LESSONS CONCERNING THE VICE OF IMPURITY.
I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. (Luke xiv. 29.)
FROM this foolish excuse it would seem as if married life were an obstacle to arriving at the heavenly banquet, whereas lawful, chaste, Christian marriage is, on the contrary, a means of eternal salvation for those to whom the gift of continency is not given. The excuse of this married man was not grounded on his station in life, but on his inordinate inclination for carnal pleasures which render the one who gives way to it, unfit for spiritual or heavenly things, for the sensual man perceiveth not the things that are of the Spirit of God. (I Cor. II. 14.) Unfortunate indeed are they who suffer themselves to be carried away by their sensual lusts, who give away the priceless jewel of chastity and purity of heart which makes man equal to the angels, (Matt. xxii. 30.) who for a momentary enjoyment of sinful pleasure lose that white and precious garment in which chaste souls will shine for ever in heaven before the face of God!
What benefit does the impure man derive from the gratification of vile lust?
He gains the anger and contempt of God; intolerable disgust when the sin is consummated; the torment of a remorseful conscience, and unless he repent, the eternal torments of hell, for the apostle says: Do not err: neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate shall possess the kingdom of God. (I Cor. VI. 9, 10.) It is seen from the examples of the Old Law, how much God hates and abominates the sins of impurity.
Why did God regret having created man? (Gen. vi. 6.)
Why did He destroy all except a very few, by a universal deluge? (Gen. vi. 17.)
Why did He lay the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha in ashes by pouring upon them fire and brimstone? (Gen. xix.)
Why did He punish the two brothers Her and Onan, by a sudden death? (Gen. xxxviii. 7. 10.)
Why did He permit the whole tribe of Benjamin to be extirpated? (Judges xx.) Because
of their detestable sins of impurity.
And is not this vice an object of the just wrath of God? By these sins an impure man disgraces his body which should be a member of Christ, a temple of the Holy Ghost; he disgraces his soul the image of God, purified and purchased by the precious blood of Christ; and lowers himself beneath the animal, which , void of intellect, follows its instinct; he weakens the power of his body and soul, and ruins his health; he loses the respect of the good, scandalizes his fellowmen, voluntarily separates himself from the communion of saints, deprives himself of the sanctifying grace of God and participation in the merits of Jesus and His saints, and, if he continues like an animal to wallow in this vice, he finally falls into such blindness and hardness of heart that eternal truths, death, judgment, hell, and eternity no longer make any impression upon him; the most abominable crimes of impurity he considers as trifles, as human weaknesses, no sin at all. He is therefore but seldom, if ever, converted, because the evil habit has become his second nature, which he can no longer overcome without an extraordinary grace from God. This God seldom gives, because the impure man generally despises ordinary means and graces, and therefore despairs and casts himself into the pool of eternal fire, where the worm dies not, and where with Satan and his angels the impure shall be for ever tormented.
Do not suffer yourself to be deceived, Christian soul, by the words "love and friendship", which is sought to cover this vice and make it appear a weakness clinging to man. This impure love is a fire which has its origin in hell, and there it will eternally torment the bodies in which it has prevailed. That which God so much detests and so severely punishes, certainly cannot be a trifle, a human weakness! Impress deeply on your heart that all impure thoughts, desires and looks, to which you consent, all impure words, songs, exposures, touches, jokes, and such things, are great sins which exclude you from the kingdom of heaven, into which nothing defiled can enter. Remember that he who looks at a woman with a lustful desire, has already, as Christ says, committed adultery in his heart. (Matt. v. 28.) We must, then, carefully guard against "such trifles", as the wicked world calls them, if we do not wish to expose ourselves to the greatest danger of losing our souls. Although it is difficult for an impure person to be converted, yet he should not despair. God does not cast away even the greatest sinner; Jesus forgave the adulteress in the temple, and forgave and received Mary Magdalen. But he who wishes to repent must make use of the proper means to regain the grace of God, and prevent a relapse. Those who have not defiled themselves by the sin of impurity can make use of the following means:
1. Constant prayer. Hence the admonition of the wise King; As I knew that I could not otherwise be continent, except God gave it, I went to the Lord and besought him. (Wisd. viii. 21.)
2. Mortification of the flesh by fasting and abstinence. Jesus says these impure spirits can in no other way be cast out but by prayer and fasting. (Matt. xvii. 20.)
3. The frequent meditation on the four last things, and on the bitter sufferings of our Lord; for there is, says St. Augustine, no means more powerful and effective against the heat of lust than reflection on the ignominious death of the Redeemer.
4. The quiet consideration of the temporal and eternal evils which follow from this vice, as already described.
5. The love and veneration of the Blessed Virgin who is the mother of beautiful love, the refuge of all sinners, of whom St. Bernard says: "No one has ever invoked her in his necessity without being heard."
6. The careful mortification of the eyes. The pious Job made a covenant with his eyes, that he would not so much as look upon a virgin. (Job xxxi. i.)
7. The avoidance of evil occasions, especially intercourse with persons of the other sex. "Remember," says St. Jerome, "that a woman drove out the inhabitants of paradise, and that you are not holier than David, stronger than Samson, wiser than Solomon, who all fell by evil intercourse."
8. The avoidance of idleness: for idleness, says the proverb, is the beginning of all evil.
9. The immediate banishing of all bad thoughts by often pronouncing the names of Jesus and Mary, which, as St. Alphonsus Ligouri says, have the special power of driving away impure thoughts.
10. The frequent use of the holy Sacraments of Penance and of the Altar. This last remedy in particular is a certain cure if we make known to our confessor our weaknesses, and use the remedies he prescribes. The Scripture says that frequent Communion is the seed from which virgins spring, and the table which God has prepared against all temptations that annoy us.
PRAYER OF THE CHURCH. Inflame, O Lord, our loins and hearts with the fire of Thy Holy Spirit,that we may serve Thee with pure bodies, and please Thee with clean hearts. Amen.
Holy Mother Church
has dedicated the month
of December to the
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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