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Thursday, July 14, 2011
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
PDF Pg. 138 (real pg. 262) of A Spiritual Retreat for one day (by Fr. Jean Croiset)
OF THE FRUITS
FIRST POINT. Penance is necessary for all sorts of men.
SECOND POINT. What the Fruits of that Penance ought to be.
Consider that mortification and penance is the only way to heaven; Jesus Christ showed us no other way; and the saints who from their infancy were confirmed in grace, knew no other. 'Tis an error to imagine that penance is necessary only for great sinners, and no less an error to think that mortification is the virtue only of the perfect; if we be sinners we must do penance to endeavor to appease the wrath of God, and to obtain mercy and pardon; if we are so happy as not to have lost our innocence, penance is necessary for us to preserve that precious treasure; we have sinned, we may sin again, two powerful motives to do penance.
Since we all confess that men sin more frequently in the world, and that they are more exposed to the danger of offending God than in a cloister, can we reasonably believe that penance belongs only to monasteries, and that none but religious are obliged to mortifications? Do we consider that many of those religious whom we think indispensably obliged to do penance, never lost their innocence; & shall we who own ourselves guilty of many sins, and who are in danger of committing more every moment, shall we think to persuade ourselves that mortification and penance do not belong to us?
If we had nothing but our own passions to overcome could we reasonably hope to conquer them without the exercise of penance? and who can reasonably hope to be saved without subduing his passions?
It is an article of faith that none enter into heaven but those who do violence to themselves; and yet we pretend to enter there without mortification. The life of man upon the earth is a perpetual warfare, for S. Paul tells us that the desires of the flesh are contrary to the desires of the spirit, and the desires of the spirit are contrary to those of the flesh; how then can we hope to be victorious without the practice of penance?
We please our sensual appetites in everything, we are careful of our bodies even to excess, we follow blindly our natural inclinations, and in this condition we live without fear in the midst of the world where we are exposed to the greatest dangers. Certainly either we are of a different nature from the rest of mankind, or the devil stands in awe of us and respects us, or we are confirmed in grace, or else we are in danger (which is much more probable) to die in our sins: does heaven cost the most fervent and generous souls so much, and can we expect that the lazy and imperfect should gain it with less pains?
Saint Paul chastised his body, he joined a continual penance to the cruel persecutions he suffered, for fear of being perverted himself while he converted others: And shall men who dare not pretend to be anything near as perfect as S. Paul, imagine that they have no need to practice mortification?
Were the saints more frail than we? Did they expect another recompense? Did they follow another guide? or serve another master? Their lives were a continual mortification, are ours like them? And can we call ourselves the disciples of Christ while we neglect to do penance? Our Savior says, if any man will come after me let him deny himself and bear his cross daily.
True mortification is inseparable from true piety, not only because no virtue can subsist long without a constant an generous mortification, but also because no virtue is real that is not attended with it.
We have great reason to distrust our exercises of piety, our good works; everything is to be suspected in those whose passions are strong, & who are unmortified.
It does not seem that we are afraid of the difficulty, we dislike the motive, for what do we not suffer in the service of the world? Alas! if God required of his servants, all that the world exacts of those who serve it, I am afraid he would have but few servants.
How do we constrain ourselves everyday to please those whom our interest requires us to manage? what mortification so severe and so continual as a courtiers, a merchant's intent upon his trade, a soldier's, or a scholar's? Yet they are not discouraged, they seem satisfied amidst all their sufferings; but when God calls upon us to constrain ourselves a little, everything is uneasy, we find his yoke heavy, virtue frights us, we are disgusted, and the sole thought of mortification makes us lose courage.
But oh! we shall have other thoughts on a death bed; when the image of Jesus-Christ crucified is presented to us, will not the sight of it have a quite contrary effect? It will upbraid our delicacy and increase our regret for having lead so lazy, so sensual a life, for having neglected penance and mortification.
They present a crucifix to the dying, but my God! do all the dying find much comfort in contemplating a crucifix at their death? is it possible, my dear Jesus that the mortification which thou hast rendered so easy, should seem hard and insupportable only when we are to practice it in conformity to thy example, and for love of thee?
Oh! my God! what should I do, if thou hadst required of thy servants, if I were bound to do and suffer as much for salvation, as I do and suffer to ruin myself, thou requires less than the world does, less than I do and suffer in its service, and shall I refuse to do and suffer what is absolutely necessary for salvation, what I have deserved by my offenses, and what all the blessed spirits in heaven have done and suffered that they might imitate thee?
God forbid that I should glory in anything but in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world.
Consider that by the fruits of penance is meant not only macerating our bodies, but chiefly the mortification of our passions, and the reformation of our lives; these are indeed the fruits which God expects from our contrition and penance; by these marks we may know whether we have made good use of the sacraments, and whether we be truly sorry for our sins, and faithful to the grace of God.
The exercises of devotion, the frequentation of the sacraments, and the practice of good works are powerful means of perfection; but while we retain our former passions with these powerful means, while we are as proud, and impatient, as peevish, as envious, as difficult to be pleased, as choleric, as unmortified, as full of self-love as before, can we reasonably rely no these pretended exercises of piety?
Mortification of the body is an exercise of penance, but that penance must have its fruit, which consists in suppressing our passions, in regulating our inclinations, and in repairing the disorders of self-love.
To what purpose do we confess so often, if in a whole years time we have not perhaps reformed any one of the faults that we confess? It is not enough for us to detest our sins, we must resolve to commit them no more, and how can that resolution be sincere if we do not likewise resolve to avoid the least occasion of sin? The execution of this resolution is properly the fruit of penance. In good earnest if we know the efficacy of this sacrament of penance only by the fruits we find of it in ourselves, should we have an high idea of it? It is much to be feared that our using ourselves by an unaccountable carelessness, and especially by want of contrition to reap no profit by the sacrament, will render our disease incurable.
A religious life as a continual penance, but is there no danger of its being unfruitful? What a miserable thing would it be for a religious to have done penance so long without any fruit? And what fruit can an unmortified religious who is of a worldly spirit, lukewarm and careless receive from all his penance? He is very much in the wrong who bears the cross, and will not taste the fruits of it? He would not suffer more, nay he would suffer much less, for those fruits are full of true sweetness.
It is certain that everybody has very much to suffer in this life; we shall meet with crosses everywhere, they who live most at their ease are not exempted: let us at least bear them patiently, let us unite our sufferings with the sufferings of Christ, this will not augment them, but it will make us reap fruit by them.
Another fruit of penance is a constant practice of mortification: My God! what fruit may we not gather from this practice? Everything in the world may give us an opportunity to curb our inclinations, there is no place, no time improper for it without deviating from the rules of good sense. Let him who loves Jesus Christ truly make a good use of these little occasions; have we a great desire to see any object, or to speak in some particular occasion? we may reap great benefit by casting down our eyes and holding our thoughts. If we have an opportunity to gain applause by saying something very seasonably, or by some witty piece of rallery, we have also an opportunity of making a great sacrifice. There is scarce an hour where in some subject of mortification does not present itself are we sitting or standing, we may choose an uneasy seat, or a painful posture without seeming to affect it. In fine, the inconveniences of the place, of the season, the disagreeableness of the company, born so that we seem not to mind them, are indeed little occasions of mortification, but the mortification itself is not little, in these small occasions. It is very meritorious, and I may say that the greatest graces and the most sublime holiness commonly depend upon a generous constant mortification in these small matters. A punctual performance of the duties of our community, an exact observation of our rule, a conformity to the common way of living in everything, without any regard to our age, are precious fruits of a mortification so much the more considerable as it is less subject to vanity, and more conformed to the spirit of Christ.
These are the true fruits of penance, what hinders our beating abundance of them? But there is another fruit of penance yet more necessary, and without which all the rest will avail us little for eternity; and that is the reformation of our manners, the victory over our domineering passion; let us observe what passion is most powerful, which habit is strongest, to what sin we are most subject, which is in some manner the source of all the rest, and of all the false maxims we frame to ourselves, in matter of conscience. All other sins may be strangers to us, but the domineering passion is our proper character, the fruit of a true conversion in to retrench our reigning vice, to conceive an holy destestation of that imperious passion, to fight against it without ceasing. The victory over this sin alone will deliver us from the strongest temptations: but we willingly attack our other sins and commonly spare this: and this is the true cause of our receiving so little benefit by our penance.
My God! what do we stay for to become fruitful? thou hast cultivate us with so much care, we are planted in a ground watered with thy tears and precious blood; how long shall we be unfruitful? what do we get by bringing forth only thorns? we feel their points, but we receive no benefit by our pain, because we fly from the cross. I am resolved my dear Savior to neglect nothing that I may not live such a barren life: I can do nothing without thy grace, I can do all things with it, since thou gives me this time for penance, suffer me not to abuse it anymore; my God I am resolved to begin this moment to bring forth fruits worthy of penance.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
|The directorium asceticum = or, Guide to the spiritual life (Volume 1) - Scaramelli, Giovanni Battista, 1687-1752|
Keywords: Asceticism -- Catholic authors
|The directorium asceticum = or, Guide to the spiritual life (Volume 2) - Scaramelli, Giovanni Battista, 1687-1752|
Includes bibliographical references and index
Keywords: Asceticism -- Catholic Church
|The directorium asceticum = or, Guide to the spiritual life (Volume 3) - Scaramelli, Giovanni Battista, 1687-1752|
Keywords: Asceticism -- Catholic authors
|The directorium asceticum = or, Guide to the spiritual life (Volume 4) - Scaramelli, Giovanni Battista, 1687-1752|
Keywords: Asceticism -- Catholic authors
Friday, April 2, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Stabat Mater dolorosa
The grieving Mother stood
Cuius animam gementem
Through her weeping soul,
O quam tristis et afflicta
O how sad and afflicted
Quae maerebat et dolebat
Who mourned and grieved,
Quis est homo qui non fleret,
Who is the man who would not weep
Quis non posset contristari,
Who would not be have compassion
Pro peccatis suae gentis
For the sins of His people
Vidit suum dulcem Natum
She saw her sweet Son
Eia Mater, fons amoris,
O Mother, fountain of love,
Fac ut ardeat cor meum
Grant that my heart may burn
Sancta mater, istud agas,
Holy Mother, grant this of yours,
Tui Nati vulnerati
Grant that the punishment of your wounded Son,
Fac me tecum pie flere
Let me sincerely weep with you,
Iuxta crucem tecum stare
To stand beside the cross with you,
Virgo virginum praeclara,
Chosen Virgin of virgins,
Fac ut portem Christi mortem,
Grant that I may bear the death of Christ,
Fac me plagis vulnerari,
Let me be wounded with distress,
Flammis urar ne succensus,
Lest I be destroyed by fire, set alight,
Fac me cruce custodiri,
Let me be guarded by the cross,
Quando corpus morietur,
Quando corpus morietur,
When my body dies,
When my body dies,
Saturday, March 13, 2010
This is the beautiful freedom of the sons of God, and it is worth vastly more than all the rank and distinction of blood and birth, more than all the kingdoms in the world. This is the abiding peace which, in the experience of the saints, "surpasseth all understanding. It surpasses all pleasures rising from gratification of the senses, from social gatherings, banquets and other worldly amusements; vain and deceiving as they are, they captivate the senses for the time being, but bring no lasting contentment; rather they afflict man in the depth of his soul where alone true peace can reside.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
1. Mater patris et filia,
Stella maris eximia.
Audi nostra suspiria.
2. Regina poli curiae,
In hac valle miseriae
Sis reis porta veniae.
3. Maria, propter filium
Confer nobis praesidium;
Bone fili, prece matris
Dona tuis regnum patris.
Mother of your Father, and daughter, delight of women, wondrous star of the sea, hear our sighing. Queen of the seat of the pole, Mother of mercy, in this valley of woe, Mary, for the sake of your Son bring us healing; Good Jesu, Son of God, hear our prayers, and by our prayers grant us healing. Amen.
Ergo maris Stella,
Verbi Dei cella
Et solis aurora;
Per quam lux est orta,
Natum tuum ora:
Ut nos solvat a peccatis
Et in regno claritatis
Quo lux lucet sedula
Collocet per secula.
Therefore, Star of the Sea,
Chamber of the Divine Word
And dawning of the Sun,
Gateway to Paradise,
Through which light ariseth,
Entreat thy Son on our behalf:
That he may deliver us from sin,
And set us for ever
In the realm of splendour,
Where light everlasting shineth forth.
AVE Maria, gratia plena,
Dominus tecum, virgo serena !
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Que peperisti pacem hominibus,
Et angelis gloriam.
Et benedictus fructus ventris tui
Qui cohaeredes ut essemus sui
Nos fecit per gratiam.
Per hoc autem Ave
Mundo tam suave,
Contra carnis jura
Novum Stella solem
ALL to thee, Mary, richly grace-laden !
Heaven be with thee, beautiful maiden !
Blest indeed art thou 'mongst women, for 'tis thou
Who hast brought forth peace for men on earth below,
Glory for the Angel-race :
And blest too is the fruit thy womb hath given,
Who thus with Him to be co-heirs of heaven
Hath allowed us of His grace.
Through this salutation,
Sweet to all creation,
Thou, new Star ! hast given
'Gainst the law of nature
Birth to a new creature.
Ave mundi spes Maria, ave mitis, ave pia, ave plena gratia.
Ave virgo singularis, quæ per rubum designaris non passus incendia.
Ave rosa speciosa, ave Jesse virgula:
Cujus fructus nostri luctus relaxavit vincula.
Ave cujus viscera contra mortis foedera ediderunt filium.
Ave carens simili, mundo diu flebili reparasti gaudium.
Ave virginum lucerna, per quam fulsit lux superna his quos umbra tenuit.
Ave virgo de qua nasci, et de cujus lacte pasci res cælorum voluit.
Ave gemma coeli luminarium.
Ave Sancti Spiritus sacrarium.
Oh, quam mirabilis, et quam laudabilis hæc est virginitas!
In qua per spiritum facta paraclitum fulsit foecunditas.
Oh, quam sancta, quam serena, quam benigna, quam amoena esse virgo creditur!
Per quam servitus finitur, posta coeli aperitur, et libertas redditur.
Oh, castitatis lilium, tuum precare filium, qui salus est humilium:
Ne nos pro nostro vitio, in flebili judicio subjiciat supplicio.
Sed nos tua sancta prece mundans a peccati fæce collocet in lucis domo.
Amen dicat omnis homo.
Hail, hope of the world, Mary, hail, meek one, hail, loving one, hail, full of grace
Hail O singular virgin, who wast chosen to not suffer flames through brambles
Hail, beautiful rose, hail, staff of Jesse:
Whose fruit loosened the chains of our weeping
Hail whose womb bore a son against the law of death
Hail, O one lacking comparison, still tearfully renewing joy for the world
Hail, lamp of virgins, through whom the heavenly light shone on these whom shadow holds.
Hail, O virgin from whom a thing of heaven wished to be born, and from whose milk feed.
Hail, gem of the lamps of heaven
Hail, sanctuary of the Holy Ghost
O, how wonderful, and how praiseworthy is this virginity!
In whom, made through the spirit, the paraclete, shone fruitfulness.
O how holy, how serene, how kind, how pleasant the virgin is believed to be!
Through whom slavery is finished, a place of heaven is opened, and liberty is returned.
O, lily of chastity, pray to thy son, who is the salvation of the humble:
Lest we through our fault, in the tearful judgment suffer punishment.
But may she, by her holy prayer, purifying from the dregs of sin, place us in a home of light
Amen let every man say.
|Latin text||English version|
Credo in unum Deum
factórem cæli et terræ,
visibílium ómnium et invisibílium.
Et in unum Dóminum Iesum Christum,
Fílium Dei Unigénitum,
et ex Patre natum ante ómnia sæcula.
Deum de Deo, lumen de lúmine, Deum verum de Deo vero,
génitum, non factum, consubstantiálem Patri:
per quem ómnia facta sunt.
Qui propter nos hómines et propter nostram salútem
descéndit de cælis.
Et incarnátus est de Spíritu Sancto
ex María Vírgine, et homo factus est.
Crucifíxus étiam pro nobis sub Póntio Piláto;
passus, et sepúltus est,
et resurréxit tértia die, secúndum Scriptúras,
et ascéndit in cælum, sedet ad déxteram Patris.
Et íterum ventúrus est cum glória,
iudicáre vivos et mórtuos,
cuius regni non erit finis.
Et in Spíritum Sanctum, Dóminum et vivificántem:
qui ex Patre Filióque procédit.
Qui cum Patre et Fílio simul adorátur et conglorificátur:
qui locútus est per prophétas.
Et unam, sanctam, cathólicam et apostólicam Ecclésiam.
Confíteor unum baptísma in remissiónem peccatorum.
Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum,
et vitam ventúri sæculi. Amen.