Sunday, June 28, 2009
For as St. Gregory avers, the goods of this life are irksome to all spiritual men, because they know they are a clog to their inward desires ; "our soul," he says, "can never be without some delight; for either it pleaseth itself in base and unworthy things, or in things high and worthy; and the more earnest it is in the prosecution of high delights, the more it loatheth the inferior; and the hotter it is upon the desire of the inferior, the more damnable is the cold tepidity, with which it goeth about the higher. These two loves cannot dwell in one heart: the corn of supernal charity cannot grow, where the thorns of base delight choke it."
pg. 112 of Origin and progress of religious orders, and Happiness of a religious state by Fr. Platus, S.J.
Thus, by talking to God throughout the day, we see that Gemma kept herself continually united with God.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Spiritual Bouquet: Everyone who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother or wife, or children, or lands, for My Name's sake and for the Gospel's sake, shall receive now in the present time a hundredfold -- along with persecutions, and in the age to come life everlasting. St. Matthew 19:29/St. Mark 10:29-30
SAINT JULIANA FALCONIERI
Saint Juliana Falconieri was born in 1270, in answer to prayer. Her father was the builder of the splendid church of the Annunziata in Florence, while her uncle, Saint Alexis Falconieri, became one of the seven Founders of the Servite Order. Under his surveillance Juliana grew up “more like an angel than a human being,” as he said. Her great modesty was remarkable; never during her entire lifetime did she look at her reflection in a mirror. The mere mention of sin made her shudder and tremble, and once, on hearing of a scandal, she fainted.
[Similar example of St. Gemma Galgani: As she advanced in years, her love of the angelic virtue of purity and her desire to preserve it without spot grew with her. This was a special object of her mortifications, penances and the custody of her senses. It seemed to her that any liberty, however innocent and insignificant it may be, might discolor this beautiful flower, and so as to avoid this she took every precaution. She never went near a mirror, not even to do her hair or wipe away the stains of blood that flowed from her forehead when crowned with mystic thorns, or to wipe the blood from her eyes during her dolorous contemplation. And when during impulses of Divine love, her heart took fire and burned the corresponding exterior part of her skin, and when by a dart of fire from the side of Jesus Crucified she felt a large wound open in her side; and when her heart itself by its mysterious throbbings greatly distorted and curved three of her ribs, although ignoring at first what such phenomena meant, she refrained from looking at or touching herself, and never did so on the frequent renewal of these various wonders. http://www.stgemmagalgani.com/2009/04/st-gemmas-heroic-chastity-and-purity.html ]
Her devotion to the sorrows of Our Lady drew her to the Servants of Mary or Servite Order, and at the age of fourteen, after refusing an offer of marriage, she received the habit from Saint Philip Benizi, General of the Order. Her sanctity attracted many novices, for whose direction she was bidden to draw up a rule, and thus she became foundress of the Mantellate.
She was the servant of her Sisters rather than their mistress, while outside her convent she led a life of apostolic charity, converting sinners, reconciling enemies, and healing the sick. She was sometimes rapt for whole days in ecstasy, and her prayers saved the Servite Order when it was in danger of being suppressed.
Saint Juliana in her old age suffered various painful illnesses. She was wasting away through a disease of the stomach which prevented her taking food, and bore her silent agony with constant cheerfulness, grieving only for the privation of Holy Communion. At last, when in her seventieth year she was at the point of death, she begged to be allowed once more to see and adore the Blessed Sacrament. It was brought to her cell and reverently laid on a corporal, which was placed over her heart. At this moment she expired, and the Sacred Host disappeared. After her death the form of the Host was found stamped upon her heart, at the exact spot over which the Blessed Sacrament had been placed. Saint Juliana died in her convent in Florence in 1340. Miracles have been frequently effected through her intercession.
Reflection. “Meditate often,” says Saint Paul of the Cross, “on the sorrows of the Blessed Mother, sorrows inseparable from those of Her beloved Son. If you seek the Cross, there you will find the Mother; and where the Mother is, there also is the Son.”
Source: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).