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Now on SpiritualDirection.com

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Dan Burke from SpiritualDirection.com has invited me to write a series on “Mysticism and Magisterium.”  The first installment is up:  “Thinking with the Church.”

It is currently linked to on New Advent, and has been noted by Mark Shea and Terry Nelson.

I am grateful for this opportunity.  Thanks to Dan and Liz over at SpiritualDirection.com.

I will get back to my own series on the same subject.  I have not forgotten.  No, really.

Filed under: Catholicism, Holy Father, Religion, Spirituality Tagged: Dan Burke, Mysticism and Magisterium, Spiritual Direction
From MaryVictrix.com

Desire to be a Saint

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Ave Maria Meditations

holiness1-3[1]On the Desire to be a Saint:

“When I spoke of you as a “chosen soul”, or words to that effect, I did not mean to imply that you were a saint–you have a long way to go yet. What I intended to imply was that I thought God had special designs on your soul and very great graces in store for you if only you will co-operate with Him in the work of your sanctification.
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With the record of much want of courage and generosity there is running through your life an undercurrent of earnest desire to be a saint. Not that desires alone will do the work: barren desires are most dangerous to a soul, making one content with intentions only; yet without a big ardent desire nothing will be done.
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“If thou wilt be perfect,” Our Lord once said, implying that sanctification is largely a question of good will. This, then, is the first grace you must pray for: the desire to be a saint.”
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Fr. Willie Doyle (1917)

 

Tolkien and Kevin O’brien on Chivalric Love

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Read the whole thing. It is well worth it.

They speak of “shipwrecks” and “guiding stars.”  Men tend to look at women as guiding stars and women tend to think they can turn the men they love into knights in shining armor.  In reality, both men and women are “companions in shipwreck.”  Kevin points out that Tolkien’s view is both brutally realistic and at the same time wholly fair and charitable.

Here is Tolkien and Kevin (in bold):

Its centre was not God, but imaginary Deities, Love and the Lady. It still tends to make the Lady a kind of guiding star or divinity – of the old-fashioned ‘his divinity’ = the woman he loves – the object or reason of noble conduct. This is, of course, false and at best make-believe. The woman is another fallen human-being with a soul in peril. But combined and harmonized with religion (as long ago it was, producing much of that beautiful devotion to Our Lady that has been God’s way of refining so much our gross manly natures and emotions, and also of warming and colouring our hard, bitter, religion) it can be very noble. Then it produces what I suppose is still felt, among those who retain even vestigiary Christianity, to be the highest ideal of love between man and woman. Yet I still think it has dangers. It is not wholly true, and it is not perfectly ‘theocentric’. It takes, or at any rate has in the past taken, the young man’s eye off women as they are, as companions in shipwreck not guiding stars. (One result is for observation of the actual to make the young man turn cynical.) To forget their desires, needs and temptations. It inculcates exaggerated notions of ‘true love’, as a fire from without, a permanent exaltation, unrelated to age, childbearing, and plain life, and unrelated to will and purpose. (One result of that is to make young folk look for a ‘love’ that will keep them always nice and warm in a cold world, without any effort of theirs; and the incurably romantic go on looking even in the squalor of the divorce courts).

This is one of the most stunning and beautiful paragraphs Tolkien ever wrote.  In it, he manages to criticize the romantic notion of “The Lady” in a way that is so fair and comprehensive that one marvels at the wisdom and perspective of this man.  The chivalric tradition of “The Lady” and the romantic quest she moves us to, can both inspire a man to a nobility of love, and also fool him and hurt him (and others) badly.  For we poets tend to forget that women are “companions in shipwreck and not guiding stars“.  This can lead to cynicism on the one hand (there’s nothing more ugly and angry than a disappointed lover, whose ideals have proven to be bubbles that have popped) or to “the squalor of the divorce courts” on the other.  “My wife is not My Lady!  My Lady calls to me from afar!  My Lady is hot and sexy and understands me!  My wife is dumpy and crabby and knows me too well to adore me like her knight in shining armor that I long to be!  But my secretary understands me – or my dental hygenist does – or that young thing over there does!  Oh, stars!  Oh, fate!  Why do I have a wife and not My Lady!” (picks up phone, dials 1-800-DIVORCE).

I should add that what is said here can be applied to priests and their relationship with the Church.  Priest’s imaginations can be preoccupied with ladies other than their real bride, whether these fantasies are of an idealized Church, or a substitute for the Church.  Which reminds me of Pope Francis’ statement to priests:

If you don’t want Mary as a mother, she will become your mother-in-law.

Now that is something to think about.

Filed under: Blessed Virgin Mary, Chivalry, Church, Husbands, Marian Chivalry, Marriage, Tolkien, Wives Tagged: Courtly, Kevin O’brien, Love, Romance
From MaryVictrix.com

Jul 25 – Homily – Fr Dominic: St. James the Apostle

Friday, July 25th, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140725 ( 07min) Play - Father preaches on St. James the Apostle and how Our Lord used him to teach us humility.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. James – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 2co 4:7-15
Resp: psa 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
Gsp: mat 20:20-28

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 25 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Are You Ready to be a Martyr?

Friday, July 25th, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140725n ( 08min) Play -The first of the Apostles to be martyred was St. James the Greater whom we celebrate today. Fr. Maximilian reflects on a question his mother asked him as he was preparing to enter religious life: Are you ready to be a martyr? While St. James won the crown of a red (a.k.a. bloody) martyrdom, all Christians are called to be martyrs, which means witnesses, and can take the form of the daily “white martyrdom.” A primary way this martyrdom is lived, and which the Holy Father  lives it and is calling us to live it, is selfless service to those around us, especially those under us, for when we lower ourselves, we draw close to Jesus who came to serve and not to be served.
P.S. Let us keep in prayer our brothers in the Middle East as they face the red martyrdom as well.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. James – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: 2co 4:7-15
Resp: psa 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
Gsp: mat 20:20-28

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 23 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: Greatest Sign of Love

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140723n ( 06min) Play – Father Maximilian comments on the life of St. Bridget of Sweden, and focuses on her intense meditations on the passion of Jesus. He asks why we give so much focus on what looks like a altogether unfortunate event? The answer is that the Sufferings of Jesus are the greatest sign of Love offered to us by God, and that  by meditating on the sorrows of Jesus, we learn how to accept and benefit from our own sufferings which Father compares to the plowing which prepares the soil of our souls for the grace of God. Let us welcome the action of God in our lives as He prepares and purifies us for eternity.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Birgitta – Opt Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Wednesday in the 16th Week in Ordinary Time
1st: jer 1:1, 4-10
Resp: psa 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
Gsp: mat 13:1-9

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 22 – Homily – Fr Matthias: The Penitent of the Gospel

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140722n ( 06min) Play – Today is the Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene, the penitent of the Gospels. Father Matthias goes over with us the meaning of penance with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and encourages us to do penance for both our sins and for the sins of others, especially those are depending on us and our penance for the grace to save their souls.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Mary Magdalene – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Tuesday in the 16th Week in Ordinary Time
1st: mic 7:14-15, 18-20
Resp: psa 85:2-4, 5-6, 7-8
Gsp: mat 12:46-50

Audio (MP3)

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Reparation

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

jesus-mary-magdalene[1]Ave Maria Meditations

It is easy to understand that we must make reparation for our own sins, but sometimes we do not see as clearly that reparation should also aim at consoling the Heart of Jesus. “But indeed, can acts of expiation console Christ who now reigns happily in heaven?” asks Pius XI. “‘Give me a lover and he will understand what I say’”, replies the great Pope in the words of St Augustine.

In fact, a soul who lovingly penetrates the mystery of Jesus will realize that when, in Gethsamane, He saw all our sins, He also saw the good works we would do in order to comfort Him. What we do today with this intention consoled Him then in reality. This thought spurs us on to further acts of reparation, so that Jesus finds no reason to complain sorrowfully to us: “My Heart hath expected reproach and misery … I looked for one that would comfort Me, and I found none” (Mass of the Sacred Heart).

The idea of reparation brings to mind that of “victim of reparation” well-known to lovers of the Sacred Heart, and officially recognized by the Church in the Encyclical of Pius XI on reparation. (more…)

Jul 22 – Homily – Fr Benedict: St. Mary Magdalene

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140722 ( 12min) Play - St. Mary Magdalene teaches us by the purity of her perfect contrition and love how we, too, may console the Heart of Jesus.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Mary Magdalene – Mem – Form: OF
Readings: Tuesday in the 16th Week in Ordinary Time
1st: mic 7:14-15, 18-20
Resp: psa 85:2-4, 5-6, 7-8
Gsp: mat 12:46-50

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 21 – Homily – Fr Maximilian W: A True Son of St. Francis

Monday, July 21st, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140721n ( 06min) Play – Father Maximilian speaks on today’s Franciscan saint, showing that St. Lawrence of Brindisi was a true son of Saint Francis. Let us imitate, if not his particular call, his generosity in answering God’s Call.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Lawrence of Brindisi – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: Monday in the 16th Week in Ordinary Time
1st: mic 6:1-4, 6-8
Resp: psa 50:5-6, 8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
Gsp: mat 12:38-42

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 21 – Homily – Fr Dominic: St. Lawrence of Brindisi

Monday, July 21st, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140721 ( 08min) Play - On the Franciscan Doctor of the Church whose love of God brought him great success as a preacher and scholar.
Ave Maria!
Mass: St. Lawrence of Brindisi – Feast – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: wis 8:9-16
Resp: psa 67:2, 3, 7-8
2nd: 2co 5:14-21
Gsp: luk 9:1-6

Audio (MP3)

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Jul 20 – Homily – Fr Mahan: The Wheat and The Weeds

Monday, July 21st, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140720j ( 21min) Play – A humble person does not think less of himself, but of himself less.

Let us consider the blessings of the Holy Eucharist and how humility triumphs over the sin of pride.

Ave Maria!
Mass: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: wis 12:13, 16-19
Resp: psa 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
2nd: rom 8:26-27
Gsp: mat 13:24-43

Audio (MP3)

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Video – Fra Solanus – Book Log #7: Devotion to Mary

Monday, July 21st, 2014
Click to Play Video


Book Log #7 - Friar Solanus promotes Devotion to Mary ( 07min) >>> Play

Ave Maria!

Friar Solanus reviews Devotion to Mary by Fr. Emile Neubert, S.M. This is the second in a series of Fr. Neubert books published by the Academy of the Immaculate. This book was intended by Fr. Neubert as a follow-up to My Ideal; Jesus, Son of Mary; it gives the reader a foundation of a sound Marian doctrine so he can develop a true devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Its popular style makes it accessible to all. Viewers will also enjoy the panoramic scene of the ocean near Perth.

Audio (MP3)

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Tolkien on Modernity, Part I

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Recently it was announced that an old reel-to-reel audio recording of a talk by J.R.R. Tolkien will be restored and released after having been kept from the public for many years. In 1958 Tolkien gave a speech at a dinner given in his honor in Rotterdam, which was attended by about two hundred enthusiasts of his mythology. The entire event was recorded and then forgotten about. Subsequently, the recording was found and then hoarded like part of Smaug’s treasure. Now it has been rescued from the clutches of the dragon and all are about to share in the fortune. It is a wonderful find, especially since it promises to reveal a few new insights about The Lord of the Rings.

It has long been known that a recording was made, but it was lost until 1993 when a collector named René van Rossenberg discovered it in a basement. Only now has he agreed to partner with several Tolkien fan sites to restore and release the recording.

What is extraordinary about the tape is that it contains (more…)

Jul 20 – Homily – Fr Matthias: The Art of Prayer

Sunday, July 20th, 2014
Click to Play

Homily #140720n ( 14min) Play – St. Paul speaks to us in the second reading about our weakness in prayer, and the Holy Spirit’s role in it. Father Matthias takes this theme up and gives an overview of the “Art of Christian Prayer”, pulling from the teachings of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the teachings of St. Alphonsus Ligouri. Firstly he speaks of prayer as a battle, secondly, of why some prayers are granted but others are not, thirdly, the necessity for true Christian meditation and what we should meditate upon (meanwhile differentiating between true Christian prayer and faddish forms of Eastern Meditation). He emphasizes with St. Alphonsus Ligouri, Doctor of the Church on Moral Theology, who teaches: “Those who pray will be saved and those who do not will be damned!”
Ave Maria!
Mass: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Form: OF
Readings: 
1st: wis 12:13, 16-19
Resp: psa 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
2nd: rom 8:26-27
Gsp: mat 13:24-43

Audio (MP3)

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