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Friday, February 28, 2014
Reflections and Prayers for Quinquagesima
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Note: This is taken from the SSPX Article entitled "Getting Ready for Lent"

What lessons does Fr. Goffine give us for this last Sunday before Lent? The connection of good works with charity and living the Faith, an explanation of the Gospel's narrative of Our Lord healing the blind man, and a short instruction on Lent.

Fr. Goffine provides us again with another important spiritual lesson from the sacred liturgy in The Church's Year concerning Quinquagesima Sunday, the last preparatory Sunday before the start of Lent (on Ash Wednesday, March 5).
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In addition to commenting about the Quinquagesima Sunday propers, Fr. Goffine also gives an instruction about the forthcoming Lenten Season in preparation for the great feast of our redemption, Easter. To aid this penitential period, Angelus Press has compiled a list of suggested Lenten selections.

Pastor's Corner for Quinquagesima 

The Introit of this day's Mass is the sigh of an afflicted soul confiding in God:

INTROIT Be thou unto me a God, a protector, and a place of refuge, to save me: for thou art my strength and my refuge: and for thy name's sake thou wilt be my leader, and wilt nourish me. (Ps. 30:3, 4) In thee, O Lord, I have hoped, let me never be confounded: deliver me in thy justice, and set me free. (Ps. 30:2)

COLLECT O Lord, we beseech Thee, graciously hear our prayers, and unloosing the bonds of our sins, guard us from all adversity. Through our Lord, etc.

EPISTLE (I Cor. 13:1-13) Brethren, if I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not; dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; is not ambitious; seeketh not her own; is not provoked to anger; thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part: but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.

EXPLANATION In this epistle St. Paul speaks of the necessity, the excellence and the nature of true charity. He says that all natural and supernatural gifts, all good works, even martyrdom, cannot save us if we have not charity; because love alone can render our works pleasing to God. Without charity, therefore, though ever so many prayers be recited, fasts observed, and good deeds performed, nothing will be acceptable to God, or merit eternal life. Strive then, O Christian soul, to lead a pious life in love, and to remain always in the state of grace.

Can faith alone, as the so-called Reformers assert, render man just and save him?
Faith alone, however strong, though it could move mountains, without love, that is, without good works performed for love of God and our neighbor, can never justify or save us. For, when St. Paul says, that man is justified by faith without works, (Rom. 3:28; 11:6; Eph. 2:8, 9) he means to refer to those works which were performed by command of the law of Moses, and which, as they were external and without true charity, were of no avail; he did not refer to those works which are performed in a state of grace with a lively, love-inspired faith.

Therefore the same Apostle writes to the Galatians: (Gal. 5:6) Faith only availeth which worketh by charity; to Titus: (Tit. 3:8) It is a faithful saying: and these things I will have thee affirm constantly: that they who believe in God, may be careful to excel in good works. These things are good and profitable unto men; and he exhorts the Colossians (Colos. 1:10) to be fruitful in every good work.

St. James confirms the same by saying: (James 2:17-24) So faith if it have not works, is dead in itself; by works man is justified and not by faith only. That this is the true doctrine of Christ is evident from His own words, when He says: "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down and shall be cast into the fire." (Matt. 7:19) At the day of judgment Christ will demand good works from all men, (Matt. 25:35) and will not judge them only according to their faith, but by their good works, which true faith must always produce. (Apoc. 20:12)

Would Christ and His apostles demand good works, if faith alone be sufficient? "The devil's also believe and tremble," (James 2:19) they believe, but they are not saved, and their faith but increases their torments. Therefore, the assertion that faith without good works is sufficient for justification and salvation, is plainly against the doctrine of Christ and His Church, and must of necessity lead man to vice and misery, as shown by the history of the unhappy separation of the sixteenth century

Are good works available which are performed in the state of mortal sin?
Good works performed while in a state of mortal sin avail nothing in regard to eternal life, writes St. Lawrence Justinian, but aid in moderating the punishment imposed for disobedience and the transgression of God's commandments. They bring temporal goods, such as honor, long life, health, earthly happiness, etc.; they prevent us from falling deeper into sin, and prepare the heart for the reception of grace; so the pious person writes: "Do as much good as you can, even though in the state of mortal sin, that God may give light to your heart."

ASPIRATION O God of love, pour the spirit of true charity into my heart that, according to the spirit of St. Paul, I may endeavor to be always in a state of grace; that all my works may be pleasing to Thee, and meritorious for me.

GOSPEL (Luke 18:31-43) At that time, Jesus took unto him the twelve, and said to them Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man. For he shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and scourged, and spit upon; and after they have scourged him, they will put him to death; and the third day he shall rise again. And they understood none of these things, and this word was hid from them, and they understood not the things that were said.

Now it came to pass, when he drew nigh to Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the wayside, begging. And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying: Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me. And they that went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace. But he cried out much more: Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought unto him. And when he was come near, he asked him, saying: What wilt thou that I do to thee? But he said: Lord, that I may see. And Jesus said to him: Receive thy sight; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he saw, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

Why did Christ so often foretell His passion to His disciples?

Because He wanted to show how great was His desire to suffer for us, for we speak often of that which we crave; and because He wished His disciples when they should see Him treated as a criminal and martyred, not to think evil of Him, or imagine themselves deceived, but remember that He had foretold all minutely that all happened of His own will.

Did not the disciples understand anything of what He predicted in regard to His future sufferings?

They may, certainly, have well understood He was to suffer, for which reason Peter tried to dissuade Him from it; (Matt. 16:22) but they did not comprehend why or for what He would suffer, or how He would rise again. All this the Holy Ghost gave them to understand, after it had come to pass. (John 14:26) The light of the Holy Ghost is of so much value, that without it even the clearest doctrines of faith are not understood.

Why does Christ so often call Himself the Son of Man?

He wished to show, in the Jewish way of speaking, He was also man, a descendant of Adam, and that we should be humble, and not seek or desire high titles.

Why did the blind man call Christ the Son of David?

Because, like all the Jews, he believed that the Messiah, according to humanity, would be of the house of David, as was promised. (Ps. 131:11)

Why did Christ ask the blind man: What wilt thou that I do to thee?

This He asked, not because He was unaware of the blind man's wish, but to enable him the better to prove his faith and hope that through Christ he would receive his sight; and to teach us how willing He is to help us, and how it pleases Him if we confidingly place our wants before Him. We should learn from this blind man, who would not be restrained by the passing crowd in his ardent and reiterated request, not to pay attention, in the work we have commenced, to human respect, or human judgment, but to persevere, and not allow ourselves to be led astray by the world's mockery or contempt. We should also learn to be grateful to God, and faithfully cling to Him, if He has once opened the eyes of our mind, and healed our spiritual blindness, which is far more deplorable than physical blindness, for nothing can be more miserable than not to see and understand God, not to know what is necessary for our salvation, and what is pernicious.

Why is this gospel read on this Sunday?

The Church wishes to remind us of the painful passion and death of Jesus, and to move us by the contemplation of those mysteries to avoid and despise the wicked, heathenish amusements of carnival, sinful pleasures which she has always condemned, because they come from dark paganism, and, to avert the people from them, commands that during the three days of carnival the Blessed Sacrament shall be exposed for public adoration, sermons given, and the faithful exhorted to have recourse at this time to the Sacraments of Penance and the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, with the reception of which Pope Clement XIII. (Breve, June 23, 1765) connected a plenary indulgence. A true Catholic will conform to the desire of his holy Church, considering the words which St. Augustine spoke, at this time, to the faithful:

The heathens (as also the worldly people of our days) shout songs of love and merriment, but you should delight in the preaching of the word of God; they rush to the dramatic plays, but you should hasten to Church; they are intoxicated, but you should fast and be sober.

PRAYER O most benign Jesus! who didst so desire to suffer for us, grant, that we may willingly suffer for love of Thee; that we may hate and flee from the detestable pleasures of the world and the flesh, and practice penance and mortification, that by so doing we may merit to be released from our spiritual blindness to love Thee more and more ardently, and finally possess Thee forever.

Instruction on Lent

Who instituted Lent?
According to the fathers of the Church, Justin and Irenaeus, the fast before Easter was instituted and sanctified by Christ Himself; according to the saints Leo and Jerome, the holy apostles ordained it given by Jesus.

Why has the Church instituted this fast forty days before Easter?

To imitate Christ who fasted forty days; to participate in His merits and sufferings; to subject our flesh by voluntary mortification to the spirit, and to mortify our evil desires as did St. Paul; (Col. 1:24) to enable us to lead a pure life, and thus prepare for the holy festival of Easter, and the reception of the divine Lamb, Jesus: and, finally, to render God satisfaction for our sins, and do penance, as Pope Gregory says, for the sins of one whole year by one short fast, lasting only the tenth part of a year.

Was the fast of Lent observed in early times as in the present?

Yes, but more strictly; for the people of the early ages not only abstained from meat, but also from all that which is connected with it, such as eggs, butter, cheese, etc., even from wine and fish, although this was not the general command of the Church; they fasted all day, and only ate in the evening after vespers, in remembrance of which, vespers are now said before dinner time, because the Church, as a kind mother, now permits the supper to be changed into a dinner, and also allows something to be taken in the evening, that the body may not be too much weakened, and become unfit for labor.

How much does this ancient custom put to shame the Christians of today who think the fast in our times too severe! "But," asks St. Ambrose, "what sort of Christians are they? Christ, who never sinned fasted for our sins, and we will not fast for our own great and numerous offences?"

How should the holy season of Lent be spent?

As according to the teaching of St. Leo, the main thing in fasting is not that the body be deprived of food, but that the mind at the same time be withdrawn from wickedness, we should endeavor during Lent, not only to be temperate in eating and drinking, but especially to lead a modest life, sanctifying the days by persevering prayer and devoutly attending church.

Prayer at the beginning of Lent

Almighty God! I unite myself at the beginning of this holy season of penance with the Church militant, endeavoring to make these days of real sorrow for my sins and crucifixion of the sensual man. O Lord Jesus! in union with Thy fasting and passion, I offer Thee my fasting in obedience to the Church, for Thy honor, and in thanksgiving for the many favors I have received, in satisfaction for my sins and the sins of others, and that I may receive the grace to avoid such and such a sin, N. N. and to practice such and such a virtue, N. N.
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Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Book Review: This Sainted Queen (Revisiting History)
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The most contentious period of British History has always been that of the Protestant Reformation, imposed by sword and gibbet upon the ancient Catholic country by the Tudors, aided by abuses of Parliament and the history books of their followers. Among the worst of the earlier histories were the notorious quasi-propaganda narratives of John Foxe, Gilbert Burnet and David Hume. Of their collective accounts of Mary Tudor, William Cobbett remarked that ‘Her reign our deceivers have taught us to call the reign of ‘Bloody Queen Mary” while they have taught us to call that of her sister “Good Queen Bess.”’

In 2008, Bella d’Abrera began a modern objective restoration of the true historical balance of that period. Her first volume, The King with a Pope in His Belly dealt with Henry VIII himself. That work was followed in 2010 with Papists, Spaniards & Other Strangers, which concerned itself with the death of Henry, the brief reign of his son Edward VI, and the triumphant ascent to the throne of Mary Tudor in 1553

This third volume, This Sainted Queen (Revisiting History), continues by providing an unvarnished account of the enormously difficult task faced by Mary as she found herself obliged as the rightful Queen of England and Ireland, to restore the ancient faith and the social and governmental institutions that had slowly developed over a millennium and a half, in what was always Catholic England. It was now Mary’s turn to shine, and in this volume the author has attempted to return to the highest standards of objective historiographical method by striking the right balance in reporting equally both the villains and the saints of the tale. Indeed, the overwhelming evidence she cites against Cranmer et al, for example, is essential in redressing the balance of Reformation history for so long stacked in his and their favour.

I have been honored to receive an advanced copy of the book and can personally vouce for the great amount of scholarship in this work.  It is, while retaining a great degree of historical acuracy and scholarship, a simply wonderful and pleasant read. I'm happy to wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone wanting the true story of Queen Mary.

Rank: 5 out of 5.
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Monday, February 24, 2014
An Act of Consecration of Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
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Immaculate Heart of Mary, purest of Hearts, overflowing with love, overflowing with grace. I Beg of thee to take The Nation of Ukraine under thy special patronage at this dire moment in its history. Save the dying in this land torn by strife, claim it as a dowery and work in it a miracle to foreshadow the Consecration and Conversion of Russia. 

To thee of Mary Immaculate dedicate and Consecrate the Nation, People, Culture, land, history and politics of Ukraine. Bring this nation to the true faith and give it peace. Do NOT permit that violence should happen on Ukrainian soil. 

Put into the Hearts of the leaders and protesters of Ukraine a spirit of Contrition and humility that they may turn to thee O Mother of God and bring about forgiveness and peace in this land that has been defiled by Bloodshed. 

Immaculate Heart of Mary, reign in the Hearts of all Ukrainian people. May the people of Ukraine be thy devoted and loyal slaves and never more grieve thee. For this cause and out of Love of The Holy Hearts do we Dedicate and Consecrate Ukraine and the Ukrainian People unto thee O Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Hail Mary 3 times...
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Thursday, February 20, 2014
Lent at Ephesus debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Classical Overall Music Chart
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Atlanta, GA, Feb. 20, 2014 – LENT AT EPHESUS from the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles debuted at No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s Classical Overall Music Chart and Classical Traditional Music Chart this week. The album also earned the No. 49 spot on Billboard’s Top 200 Chart, the No. 2 spot on the Contemporary Christian Chart and the No. 3 spot on the Christian Gospel and Internet charts.

The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles bested albums from prominent classical music articles such as Andrea Bocelli, the Piano Guys and Il Divo, among others.

The Sisters’ second album, ANGELS AND SAINTS AT EPHESUS, skyrocketed back up the Billboard charts,  earning the No. 4 spot on the Classical Overall Chart, the No. 23 spot on the Contemporary Christian and Christian Gospel charts, and the No. 35 spot on the Internet chart.

“We are amazed and humbled by the undeniable role of Divine Providence in the success story behind the ethereal music from the monastic Benedictines of Mary,” said Monica Fitzgibbons, co-founder of De Montfort Music. “Even more remarkable is the sentiment which resounds throughout their faithful life which is this: It is wonderful to do great things for God but even more wonderful to be something great for God. We congratulate the Sisters on their collective FIAT and extend our gratitude to all who have made possible this uplifting chart-topping success!”


LENT AT EPHESUS is a stunning compilation of poignant chants, elaborate harmonies and inspiring hymns of glory and redemption produced by Grammy Award-winning classical producer Blanton Alspaugh.

Founded in 1995, The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles are a young, monastic order of Sisters. The Sisters sing together eight times a day as they chant the Divine Office in Latin.

For ordering information and samples, please click here.
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014
FREE E-Book in PDF to Reviewers: How to Create a Catholic Blog
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My first e-book entitled How to Create a Catholic Blog was released back in 2012.  At the time it received some great reviewers (see below).  I am presently looking for more people to review the book.  If you are willing to review it and post the review on your blog/website, please contact me to receive a free copy.  

“Love it or hate it, the internet is a powerful tool which, in the rights hands, can be employed for the glory of God. I cannot but help think that having just launched myself into the blogosphere, the fact that a copy of ‘How to Create a Catholic Blog’ landed in my inbox was nothing but providential. This is a clearly written and highly informative ‘beginner’s guide’ to everything one needs to know, not just about creating a blog but how to make a successful and engaging blog. Matthew provides a wealth of information on maintaining it, marketing it, and even on how to make money on it. In 50 pages, he takes us by the hand and leads us through the desperately daunting digital world of the blog, makes sense of it and turns us into experts. The author patiently explains the meaning of such mysterious terms as RSS and Atom, which it seems, are not names of space shuttles, but two different types of web feeds. Matthew is both extremely knowledgeable and generous in the information which he has shared with us. This, I think, will be an invaluable source to anyone who has aspirations to join the fast growing network of Catholic bloggers.”

Dr. Bella D’Abrera, Catholic Author and Historian

“Mr. Plese walks us through very practical tips to successful blogging and creating a blog "from the ground up". The content is shared in a won't-make-you-fall-asleep format and with plenty of personality. Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of the book is the fact I know Matthew to be an avid blogger with multiple sites to his credit. Therefore, the tips that he shares all come from personal experiences and not from third party research. This ebook was a great help to me in helping me understand what it takes to create a successful blog and all of the behind the scenes work involved in blogging. I love that it is geared for the Catholic Blogger, so he gives you all of the tools and tips for blogging in general as well as creating a Catholic atmosphere to your blog. If you are thinking about blogging or have a blog that might need tweaking, this is the book for you!”

Erika Drain, President - Catholic Bloggers Network 

“From the first page Matthew informs and encourages potential bloggers…I highly recommend this book for evangelizing, and even as a possible mechanism for adding a bit of income where it might be needed. ‘Creating a Catholic Blog’ will be an interesting and effective book for anyone who wishes to blog or wants to improve their blogging skills.”

John Bowden, Administrator – St. Blog’s Directory
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014
St. Simeon, Bishop and Martyr
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Simple (1955 Calendar): February 18

Mention of St. Simeon often calls to mind the life of St. Simeon who was the high priest mentioned in the Gospel - i.e. the one who took the Christ Child into his arms.  Yet, there are more saints by this same name.  Today, February 18th, is the Feast of St. Simeon, Bishop and Martyr.

The following is Taken from the Lives of the Saints:
ST. SIMEON was the son of Cleophas, otherwise called Alpheus, brother to St. Joseph, and of Mary, sister to the Blessed Virgin. He was therefore nephew both to St. Joseph and to the Blessed Virgin, and cousin to Our Saviour. We cannot doubt but that he was ail early follower of Christ, and that he received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, with the Blessed Virgin and the apostles. When the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser, his brother Simeon reproached them for their atrocious cruelty. St. James, Bishop of Jerusalem, being put to death in the year 62, twenty-nine years after Our Saviour's Resurrection, the apostles and disciples met at Jerusalem to appoint him a successor. They unanimously chose St. Simeon, who had probably before assisted his brother in the government of that Church.

In the year 66, in which Sts. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome, the civil war began in Judea, by the seditions of the Jews against the Romans. The Christians in Jerusalem were warned by God of the impending destruction of that city. They therefore departed out of it the same year,—before Vespasian, Nero's general, and afterwards emperor, entered Judea,—and retired beyond Jordan to a small city called Pella, having St. Simeon at their head. After the taking and burning of Jerusalem they returned thither again, and settled themselves amidst its ruins, till Adrian afterwards entirely razed it. The Church here flourished, and multitudes of Jews were converted by the great number of prodigies and miracles wrought in it.

Vespasian and Domitian had commanded all to be put to death who were of the race of David. St. Simeon had escaped their searches; but, Trajan having given the same order, certain heretics and Jews accused the Saint, as being both of the race of David and a Christian, to Atticus, the Roman governor in Palestine. The holy bishop was condemned to be crucified. After having undergone the usual tortures during several days, which, though one hundred and twenty years old, he suffered with so much patience that he drew on him a universal admiration, and that of Atticus in particular, he died in 107. He must have governed the Church of Jerusalem about forty-three years.

Reflection.—We bear the name of Christians, but are full of the spirit of worldlings, and our actions are infected with the poison of the world. We secretly seek ourselves, even when we flatter ourselves that God is our only aim; and whilst we undertake to convert the world, we suffer it to pervert us. When shall we begin to study to crucify our passions and die to ourselves, that we may lay a solid foundation of true virtue and establish its reign in our hearts?
Prayer:

Almighty God, look upon our weakness and the heavy burden we carry because of our own deeds. Let the prayers of Your blessed martyr bishop Simeon in Heaven be our protection. Through Our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal 
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Monday, February 10, 2014
St. Scholastica
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"Please do not leave me tonight; let us go on until morning talking about the delights of the spiritual life" --- Saint Scholastica to her twin brother Saint Benedict of Nursia

Today the Holy Church celebrates the life of St. Scholastica.  From the CNA:

On Feb. 10, the Catholic Church remembers St. Scholastica, a nun who was the twin sister of St. Benedict, the "father of monasticism" in Western Europe.The siblings were born around 480 to a Roman noble family in Nursia, Italy. Scholastica seems to have devoted herself to God from her earliest youth, as the account of Benedict's life by Pope Gregory the Great mentions that his sister was "dedicated from her infancy to Our Lord."

The twins' mother died at their birth. When Benedict was old enough he left home to study in Rome leaving Scholastica with her father to tend the Nursian estate. In time, Benedict left his studies to live first as a hermit, and then as the head of a community of monks in Italy. When Scholastica learned of her brother's total dedication to the Lord, she was determined to follow his example. It is not certain that she became a nun immediately, but it is generally supposed that she lived for some time in a community of pious virgins.  Some biographers believe she eventually founded a monastery of nuns there.

The brother and sister communities were about five miles apart. St. Benedict seems to have directed his sister and her nuns, most likely in the practice of the same rule by which his own monks lived. Unlike her brother, St. Scholastica was never the subject of a formal biography. As such, little is known of her life apart from her commitment to religious life which paralleled that of her brother. Pope Gregory wrote that Scholastica used to come once a year to visit Benedict, at a house situated halfway between the two communities.

St. Benedict's biographer recounted a story which is frequently told about the last such visit between the siblings. They passed the time as usual in prayer and pious conversation -- after which Scholastica begged her brother to remain for the night, but he refused. She then joined her hands together, laid them on the table and bowed her head upon them in supplication to God. When she lifted her head from the table, immediately there arose such a storm that neither Benedict nor his fellow monks could leave.

"Seeing that he could not return to his abbey because of such thunder and lightning and great abundance of rain," Pope Gregory wrote, "the man of God became sad and began to complain to his sister, saying, 'God forgive you, what have you done?'"

"'I wanted you to stay, and you wouldn't listen,' she answered. 'I have asked our good Lord, and He graciously granted my request, so if you can still depart, in God's name return to your monastery, and leave me here alone.'" St. Benedict had no choice but to stay and speak to his sister all night long about spiritual matters -- including the kingdom of heaven for which she would soon depart. Three days later in the year 543, in a vision Benedict saw the soul of his sister, departed from her body and in the likeness of a dove, ascend into heaven. He rejoiced with hymns and praise, giving thanks to God. His monks brought her body to his monastery and buried it in the grave that he had provided for himself. St. Benedict followed her soon after, and was buried in the same grave with his sister.

Prayer:

O God, you brought the soul of the blessed virgin Scholastica to heaven in the form of a dove in order to bring to our notice her life of innocence. Through the prayers and merits of Your saint may we live such a life that we too may attain everlasting happiness. Through Our Lord . . .

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal
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Sunday, February 9, 2014
Fifth Sunday after Epiphany Traditional Mass Proper
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INTROIT
Adore God, all you His Angels: Sion heard, and was glad: and the daughters of Juda rejoiced. Ps. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice: let many islands be glad. V. Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT - In Thine infinite goodness, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to watch over Thy household, that even as it relies solely upon the hope of Thy heavenly grace, so it may ever be defended by Thy protection. Through our Lord.

EPISTLE
Colossians 3. 12-17
Brethren: Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience: bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection: and let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by Jesus Christ our Lord.

GRADUAL
The Gentiles shall fear Thy name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth Thy glory. V. For the Lord hath built up Sion: and He shall be seen in His glory.

Alleluia, alleluia. V. The Lord hath reigned, let the earth rejoice: let many islands be glad. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
Matthew 13:31-35

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



OFFERTORY
Ps. 129:1-2
The right hand of the Lord hath wrought strength: the right hand of the Lord hath exalted me: I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.

SECRET We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the sacrifice of propitiation, that Thou mayest of Thy mercy, absolve us from our sins, and Thyself direct our inconstant hearts. Through our Lord.

COMMUNION
Luke 4. 22
All wondered at these things which proceeded from the mouth of God.

POST COMMUNION - We beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we may obtain the effect of that salvation, the pledge of which we have received in these mysteries. Through our Lord.


Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945
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Friday, February 7, 2014
A Step Towards Heaven - An Introduction to Religion
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http://www.lulu.com/shop/frances-spilman/a-step-towards-heaven-an-introduction-to-religion/paperback/product-22056069.html

CatechismClass.com is pleased to announce the publication of one of its newest Catholic education programs.  Entitled A Step Toward Heaven: An Introduction Religion, the course examines the most important aspect of our lives – our religious faith.  We discuss basic issues – why we need religion, the existence of God and why relativism is wrong.

After looking at various religions, the author shows why the Catholic Church is the one true religion.   There are lessons on why we need the Catholic Church, the use of philosophy and logic in understanding the authenticity of Catholicism, the Apostles’ Creed, the Bible and Tradition in the Church.  Every lesson opens and ends with Catholic prayers and there are extensive quotations from the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Compendium and the Catechism of the Council of Trent.   Every section includes beautiful pictures to illustrate the point of the text.

A Step Toward Heaven does indeed help us to get closer to Paradise as we learn more about the Catholic faith.  This is a book for those looking for faith and for those who want to follow the Catholic religion more faithfully and enthusiastically.

This book is written by Frances Spilman.  Frances is from a small town in Northern New Jersey and attended Catholic schools from 1st grade to graduate school.   She has been a church organist and pianist since the age of 13 and has volunteered as a CCD teacher for many years.  Frances is a Life Runner and has marched in the Right to Life Parades.

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For more information and for ordering options, please visit the online course (if you are interested in the online course on this) or here if you are interested in the paperback.
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February's First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart
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Today is the First Friday of January. Because today is the first Friday of the Month, many Catholic parishes will have special Masses today for the First Friday Devotion.

Beginning on December 27, 1673, through 1675, Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque asking her to receive Him in Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month and to meditate on His passion from 11:00 PM to 12:00 midnight each Thursday. He also revealed to her twelve promises for all who are devoted to His Sacred Heart; he asked for a Feast of the Sacred Heart to be instituted in the liturgical calendar of the Church. Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque with twelve promises for those devoted to His Most Sacred Heart.

Promises for those devoted to the Sacred Heart:

1. "I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life."
2. "I will establish peace in their homes."
3. "I will comfort them in their afflictions."
4. "I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death."
5. "I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings."
6. "Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy."
7. "Tepid souls shall grow fervent."
8. "Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection."
9. "I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored."
10. "I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts."
11. "Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out."
12. "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."

Prayer of Reparation:


O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore thee profoundly. I offer thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of thee the conversion of poor sinners. Amen.
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Saturday, February 1, 2014
SSPX Feb 2014 Nova & Vetera Newsletter
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The African Apostolate of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) summarizes its recent activities and writes extensively on the problems of Modernism in the New Church and how Pope Francis compares with the great Pope St. Pius X.


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