Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Winner of the Poll - St. Anthony

If the reader doesn't know about St. Anthony's life, please go here: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=24. But what St. Anthony is known for is his pure love for God, and how he helps us find thing. But why do we pray to him to find something lost? Here's the story: 


"The reason for invoking St. Anthony’s help in finding lost or stolen things is traced back to an incident in his own life. As the story goes, Anthony had a book of psalms that was very important to him. Besides the value of any book before the invention of printing, the psalter had the notes and comments he had made to use in teaching students in his Franciscan Order. A novice who had already grown tired of living religious life decided to depart the community. Besides going AWOL he also took Anthony’s psalter! Upon realizing his psalter was missing, Anthony prayed it would be found or returned to him. And after his prayer the thieving novice was moved to return the psalter to Anthony and to return to the Order, which accepted him back. Legend has embroidered this story a bit. It has the novice stopped in his flight by a horrible devil, brandishing an ax and threatening to trample him underfoot if he did not immediately return the book. Obviously a devil would hardly command anyone to do something good. But the core of the story would seem to be true. And the stolen book is said to be preserved in the Franciscan friary in Bologna."
(from: http://www.stanthony.org/index.php/faqs/)

 But St. Anthony isn't just for lost things, he gives us an amazing example on how to live a Catholic life and how to become holy. Let us then read some of his helpful quotes:


"Attribute to God every good that you have received. If you take credit for something that does not belong to you, you will be guilty of theft."


"The spirit of humility is sweeter than honey, and those who nourish themselves with this honey produce sweet fruit."


"The saints are like the stars. In his providence Christ conceals them in a hidden place that they may not shine before others when they might wish to do so. Yet they are always ready to exchange the quiet of contemplation for the works of mercy as soon as they perceive in their heart the invitation of Christ."


“Earthly riches are like the reed. Its roots are sunk in the swamp, and its exterior is fair to behold; but inside it is hollow. If a man leans on such a reed, it will snap off and pierce his soul.”


"The Lord manifests Himself to those who stop for some time in peace and humility of heart. If you look in murky and turbulent waters, you cannot see the reflection of your face. If you want to see the face of Christ, stop and collect your thoughts in silence, and close the door of your soul to the noise of external things."


 St. Anthony shows us that growing in God's holiness consists in giving all to Christ, shutting the door to worldly things, and embracing the virtue of poverty and charity. He gives us a beautiful example of humility, purity, and a burning love for God. Let us then follow in his footsteps and give ourselves completely to Christ. Pax Tecum!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Letter to the Rebellious Teen

This article is written for rebellious teens and young girls going into that phase. If you are not a rebellious teen, please let your son or daughter read this, or some young person you know at least.
 Dear Rebellious Teen,
 Now, you might think this is just another Catholic article your parents want you to read, but this time it’s different. This is coming from a sixteen year old who understands what you’re going through, what you’re feeling, and why you’re rebellious. But before you make stupid teenage decisions that you will regret for the rest of your life, please hear me out on these few points:

Your parents are actually right! When they talk about the dumb things they did when they were teenagers and that they now try to stop you from making the same mistakes, actually listen to them! Wouldn’t it be amazing to live a good Catholic life while learning from others’ mistakes without doing them? Unfortunately you don’t know everything, but you can learn from people’s experiences and mistakes and grow in wisdom! I bet this is sounding ‘uncool,’ isn’t it? But in the end, do you want to regret your teenage years living in sin? By all means, enjoy life!  But follow the advice of others, through them you can avoid plenty of mistakes.

Don’t listen to your rebellious peers! Once you start listening to your parents and following God’s law, your peers will probably think you’ve lost a few brain cells. But why listen to your parents? They’re just dragging you down and keeping you from sanctifying your soul. “What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world but suffer the loss of his soul?” You have to decide now whether you want to be everlastingly happy with Our Lord, or be somewhat happy for a few moments then suffer eternal pain in hell. Our Lord was alone on the Cross to give you an example. Follow Him and Him alone. People’s opinions and comments about you don’t matter; they don’t decide your eternity.

If you start sanctifying your soul at this young age, you have so much time to become a great saint! God isn’t trying to wake you up right now for no reason. He wants you to be holy! Maybe it isn’t fun or pleasurable like - as you might think - Justin Bieber, but what really matters? You’re meant to have a life full of true happiness, and this is only found when the soul finds God, “A soul is restless until it rests in Thee.” The Source of happiness is God, and the only way to be happy is to live for Him, by Him, and in Him.

“It’s too hard...there are too many rules...” I thought so too, but what’s really hard is having to constantly deal with our vices, human respect, and being controlled by the media. That is what I call slavery to the world. But isn’t a person more free when he gives his life to Christ, abandoning all vices and replacing them with virtue?  Aren’t we free when we set aside all human respect and live for the goodness of God, and serve our one true Father in heaven? Don’t let the world tell you otherwise, freedom lies in the straight and narrow path, go find it.

So please, listen to the advice given to you, give your life to God, and find true happiness. Although there might be pleasures in the world, it never lasts. There is a choice between eternal happiness and eternal pain, which will you choose? The Truth will set you free, embrace It. God bless you all!

----------------------------------------------------
Please vote on my new poll on the right hand side, "What series of articles should I write next?"  Thank you!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Happy Feast of the Assumption!

Hail and blessed be this day! Today is the day in which Our Lady was taken body and soul into heaven, a day to be remembered and commemorated. The purest of God's creatures looks down upon us, waiting for us to remember her, pray to her, and thank her for all that she does for us. Let us then speak about who she is, and what role she plays in the Church and our own lives.

 Purest of creatures: Our Lady was conceived without original sin and is then free from any stain of sin. Our Lord, when coming to earth, wanted the purest of mothers in order to become man, and so He created her without original sin. Nonetheless, she was human and knows exactly how hard it is to live in this world. In fact, during the Passion of Jesus, she was there as well, sharing the pain for us because of the burning love she shares with her Son for us. And now from the clouds of heaven she tenderly watches us, waiting for us to enter Paradise. Mother most pure, pray for us!


Her tender protection: "When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own." (John 19 - 26-27) Not only is she the Mother of God, but she is our mother! She protects us and offers us the strength to avoid any kind of sin, and leads us to the straight and narrow path. How happy we can be to know that as long as we follow God's laws and use Mary's inspirations, we can become saints! Let us then not ignore her protection, and listen to St. Louis de Montfort,"As in the natural life a child must have a father and a mother, so in the supernatural life of grace a true child of the Church must have God for his Father and Mary for his mother. If he prides himself on having God for his Father but does not give to Mary the tender affection of a true child, he is an impostor and his father is the devil." Mother most kind, pray for us!


Her purifying heart: Through her most blessed heart, we can offer up our prayers through her to God in order that they may be purified and offered up with the greatest of human love. St. Louis de Montfort explains again, "Dear friend, what a difference there is between a soul brought up in the ordinary way to resemble Jesus Christ by people who, like sculptors, rely on their own skill and industry, and a soul thoroughly tractable, entirely detached, most ready to be moulded in her by the working of the Holy Spirit. What blemishes and defects, what shadows and distortions, what natural and human imperfections are found in the first soul, and what a faithful and divine likeness to Jesus is found in the second!" Immaculate heart of Mary, pray for us!


But one may ask, are we loving her too much? If I love her too much I could be accused of worshipping her! This is completely false. To the Catholic, it couldn't be more obvious that we are not worshipping her. We are honouring her and venerating her as the Mother of the Most High, the faithful handmaiden who gave her life for Our Lord, and who guides us to His heart. How great will be the fruits! Let me end with the fitting words of St. Louis de Montfort:" Chosen soul, provided you thus carefully cultivate the Tree of Life, which has been freshly planted in your soul by the Holy Spirit, I can assure you that in a short time it will grow so tall that the birds of the air will make their home in it. It will become such a good tree that it will yield in due season the sweet and adorable Fruit of honour and grace, which is Jesus, who has always been and will always be the only fruit of Mary. Happy is that soul in which Mary, the Tree of Life, is planted. Happier still is the soul in which she has been able to grow and blossom. Happier again is the soul in which she brings forth her fruit. But happiest of all is the soul which savours the sweetness of Mary's fruit and preserves it up till death and then beyond to all eternity. Amen. Let him who possesses it, hold fast to it."


Our Lady of the Assumption, pray for us.


----------------------------------------------------------------
Want more? Read St. Louis de Montfort's work, "The Secret of Mary" http://www.ewtn.com/library/Montfort/secret.htm

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Thoughts on One Direction and Classical Music

Have you ever been asked the question, “What do you think of One Direction? How about Justin Bieber?” I know I have many times, but is that the real question? I think we should be asking what is its effect on the person and the soul, and if we should be listening to it.
 Firstly, I am not condemning anyone and telling you that you will sin grievously if you are listening to them. No, but this is a strong opinion of mine. I consider all these bands and artists to be like overly sugared candy. You can listen and listen, dance like a maniac and enjoy yourself, but you do not really gain anything from their music. It is almost like their music pushes anything of substance from out of your soul in order to move the sugary stuff in. 
 So I performed an experiment. I started getting rid of pop music and listening to classical music and traditional Catholic hymns. At first, to be honest, it was not easy, and I just wanted the sugar back. It was almost as if my soul did not want richness or substance. It preferred the sugar. But when the soul cannot even accept this wholesome music, how is it supposed to accept anything else that is good? I was determined to get off my musical sugar addiction, and I found another world! I am so happy I did, because now I can share with my readers that I found the next path in that "other world" I keep mentioning. Beauty was the beginning, nature was the drawing force, and this new and rich music the hidden path. All of these things popular culture wants to shut out; don't let them! Beautiful music opens the soul and inspires it to the thoughts of God. Music can let you taste what is next in heaven. Music can heal, rejuvenate, and lead the mind far from this fading world.
 Can One Direction do that? I think it does the opposite. You may argue it is fine, for maybe sugar does have its place. However, I would like you to try to go a few weeks without pop music. Yes, it may be painful, but I promise in the end that the results will be beautiful. What music, you may ask, can replace this pop music? Here are some things I am listening to now which may help:
 Celtic Music: 
Chopin's Nocturnes:
Gregorian Chant: 
Passion of the Christ Soundtrack:
Thomas Newman:

 Go explore the music world, there's so much out there waiting for you! May Our Lord and Our Lady watch over and protect you all!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Going to Mass

Sometimes going to Mass can just seem like the same thing over and over... sit in the pew, stand, sit, kneel, and that's about it. But why do we go to Mass? What are the benefits? Why does God want us to go in the first place? Hopefully we can get all these questions answered.

Firstly, why do we go to Mass, and do we have to? The reason we go to Mass is because God wanted us to. The third commandment says, "Remember to keep the Lord's day holy." There's so many reasons for setting 
aside day for God. He's the whole reason we're living. He sent His beloved Son to make up for our sins, and all He asks for is one day for Him to be remembered, one day to fill us with grace, one single day to be spoken to.

 And the fact of the matter is, we NEED Mass. We need 
food for the body, and we need food for our soul, the Body and Blood of Our Lord. We go to Mass to ask Him for the grace we need, to beg for pardon for our sins, and to give thanks and glory to Him! 

Let's see what Cardinal Bacci has to say about this:

"
The sacrifice of the Mass is the noblest act of our religion. In it is renewed in a real but unbloody manner the Sacrifice of Calvary.

Jesus desired to remain with us throughout the centuries in the Blessed Eucharist as our friend, comforter, and spiritual food. Similarly, not being satisfied with having shed His precious Blood on the Cross for our redemption, it was His wish that this sacrificial action should be renewed daily in every corner of the world in such a way that everyone could participate in it and benefit from it. When we are present at Holy Mass, therefore, we should imagine that we are on Calvary at the foot of the Cross on which our divine Redeemer is voluntarily giving His life as an innocent victim for our sins. Let us see Him hanging between earth and sky, a holocaust of propitiation between God and men. Let us see Him imploring with His dying glance forgiveness for His executioners and for us sinners.

Let us imagine, moreover, His most holy Mother as she gazes sorrowfully upon her suffering Son. With love far greater than that of any other human creature, she offers herself in union with Jesus for our salvation. 

We should make a similar offering when we assist at the Sacrifice of the altar. We should sacrifice ourselves along with Jesus. If we are tormented by sufferings, let us offer them up along with those of Jesus. If we are troubled by passionate inclinations to sin, let us sacrifice these bravely along with Jesus for love of Him. If we are full of hatred and coldness towards others, let us sacrifice these feelings for love of Jesus, Who forgave everybody and prayed even for His executioners. 

Let us remember that the Sacrifice of the Mass should be our sacrifice also. It is not only the priest who offers it, but we offer it along with the priest and with Jesus. "Receive, O Holy Trinity, this oblation which we make to Thee." Let us unite the offering of our entire selves to the Sacrifice of Jesus and we shall obtain great spiritual benefits."



He has humbled Himself and waits for us in the tabernacle all week so He can see us on Sunday and come into our soul. His desire is so great, that if we don't go, the Church has made it a mortal sin. We must also make sure we are in the state of grace as well to receive Him. He's waiting for Sunday to see you, why stay away?

Thursday, 1 August 2013

A Soul in Hell - The Story of Annette

I wanted to post this story of a soul in Hell. It gives good food for thought an an insight into the thoughts of someone in Hell and the mercy of God.

A Letter From a Soul in Hell...

"In my youth, I had a friend, Anne, who lived near my house. That is to say, we were mutually attached as companions and co-workers in the same office. After Anne married, I never saw her again. We never had what can be called a real friendship, but rather an amiable relationship. For this reason, when she married well and moved to a better neighborhood far from my home, I didn’t really miss her that much.
In mid-September of 1937 I was vacationing at Lake Garda when my mother wrote me this bit of gossip: “Imagine, Anne N. died. She lost her life in an automobile accident. She was buried yesterday in M. cemetery.”
I was shocked by the news. I knew that Anne had never been very religious. Was she prepared when God called her suddenly from this life? The next morning I assisted at Mass in the chapel of the convent boarding house where I was rooming. I prayed fervently for the eternal rest of her soul and offered my Holy Communion for that intention.
Throughout the day I was unsettled, and that night I slept fitfully. Once, I awoke suddenly, hearing something that sounded like my door being opened. Startled, I turned on the light, noting that the time on the clock on my nightstand showed ten minutes after midnight. The house was quiet and I saw nothing unusual. The only sound was from the waves of Lake Garda breaking monotonously on the garden wall. There was no wind. Nonetheless, I thought I heard something else after the rattling of the door, a swooshing sound like something being dropped. It reminded me of when my former office manager was in a bad mood and dropped some problem papers on my desk for me to resolve."

To read the rest, click here: http://www.tldm.org,news6/hell2.htm