St.Teresa on The Value of Holy Water 

HOW ST. TERESA VALUED HOLY WATER.


If you wish to inquire the value of some precious jewel or gold ornament, you do not ask the next best man in the street, a hawker or the baker‟s boy. You take it to an expert, a jeweller or a goldsmith. Similarly you do not go to ignorant or indifferent Catholics, to the scoffer or the recreant, to inquire the value of the things of religion. In this case, also, you have to go to experts. Where are these to be found? They are God‟s saints. These have a true, expert knowledge and large experience of things appertaining to religion. They possess supernatural knowledge, minds rendered keen by faith and a delicate sense of the things of God. These can give us a true idea of the value of holy water, and many have given testimony to its efficacy.
St. Teresa, one of the greatest women saints of all times, one in whom were combined perfection in virtue and an extraordinary keenness of intellect and wisdom.
One of St. Teresa‟s companions in religion, the reverend Sister Anna of Jesus, relates the following: “Our holy mother (Teresa) never permitted us to travel without holy water. Seeing on several occasions that we had forgotten to take some with us, she had two little gourd bottles fastened to our girdles. It almost always happened that we had to bring one or other to be replenished from hers, while she would remark: „ You do not know how refreshing it feels to be sprinkled with holy water. What an advantage to be able to apply to ourselves so easily the Sacred Blood of Jesus Christ!‟ Each time that we prayed during the journey we had to take holy water.” (Letters of St. Teresa).
Regarding the power of holy water over Satan, St. Teresa relates the following from her own experience: “ One time while I was in the oratory, the devil appeared in a horrible shape on my left. While he was speaking to me I noticed his horrible mouth. A large flame of fire, very bright and without shadow, surrounded his body. In a terrible voice he told me I had escaped from his hands, but he would obtain possession of me again. I was terribly afraid, and I made the sign of the cross as well as I could. Then he disappeared, but came back twice. I did not know what to do until at last it occurred to me to sprinkle holy water towards the spot where he stood. He disappeared and did not return.”
On another occasion, during an illness, she was again tormented by the devil, this time in the form of a negro. She relates: “The worst was the restlessness of mind I felt which was so intense that I could not recover peace in any way. I did not wish the sisters to notice what was happening lest they should be frightened, and so I did not venture to ask for holy water. I have often experienced that nothing was so effective as holy water for driving away evil spirits finally. They flee before the cross, but return again. Therefore the power of holy water must indeed be great. I have myself felt an extraordinary consolation when I have used it. It is certain that I have felt a great joy and inner peace which I cannot describe, a joy with which my soul was quite refreshed. This is not merely an effect of the imagination, nor a rare occurrence. I have experienced it frequently and paid special attention to it. On these occasions I feel like one who, suffering intense thirst, takes a glass of water and is quite refreshed. From this we can see how important everything instituted by the Church is; it comforts me to see the great power which her blessing imparts to water, so great is the difference between blessed and unblessed water. As the evil spirit continued to torment me, I told the sisters at length that I should like some holy water, only they must not laugh at me. They brought it and sprinkled me with it, but in vain. Then I sprinkled it in the direction of the hideous black figure and he disappeared immediately.
The saint wrote to her brother who was tormented by great fear that she attributed his suffering to the evil spirit, and she advised him as follows: Always have holy water near you; for there is nothing the devil fears more than this. I have found this remedy of great service to me in many cases when I was tortured, not only by fear, but in other ways. I am telling this to you alone. But unless the holy water reaches him he will not flee; therefore you must sprinkle it around.”
Her brother, asking her to enlighten him further, she wrote back: “I have no other foundation for what I have said regarding the power of holy water except my own experience. I have discussed the matter with learned men and met with no disagreement. For us it is enough that, as they said, the Church sanctions the use of holy water.”
This is the opinion of a true expert concerning the value of holy water and its power. This testimony of the great enlightened saint has its true foundation in the example of the holy Church. St. Teresa merely states what the Catholic Church teaches in her prayers and practice. The Church was St. Teresa‟s guide; it should also be ours. We should regard with her eyes all ecclesiastical means of grace, and hence also the sacramentals, which include holy water; we should treasure them with her judgment and love them as she loved them. How happy is the Catholic who always feels that he is a child of the Church, always looking on her as his mother, always in harmony with her views! He will always be preserved from error, doubt and restlessness, and will share abundantly in the graces imparted by the Church.
Let us be even such good and happy children of the Catholic Church. Let us prove this by frequent, devout use of holy water. Once again, let our watchword be: “ I will imitate my mother the Catholic Church.”

Spiritual Warfare Meditation Minute 


Using Sacramentals As Weapons In Spiritual Warfare 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes Sacramentals as Sacred signs that bear a resemblance to the sacraments.They signify effects especially of a spiritual kind,that are obtained through the Church’s intercession.Through Sacramentals,we are disposed to receive the primary effects of the sacraments,and they make holy various ocassions in life.(CCC 1667)

Sacramentals include certain actions,such as the sign of the cross and other blessings,as well as objects that have been blessed,such as holy water,salt,candles,incense,rosaries,crucifixes,Scapulars,and religious images.Sacramentals don’t confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way the sacraments do,but through the prayers of the church associated with them,their actions and objects prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it.

The Sign of the Cross.St.Athanasius wrote that before the coming of Christ,demonic powers used to deceive the pagans into worshipping them  and obeying their oracles.But now he observed in the 4th century,”since the divine appearance of the Word(Christ)all this deception has come to an end.For by the Sign of the Cross,if a man will only use it,their deceptions are driven out.

In one of his sermons,St.John Vianney preached:”The sign of the cross is the most terrible weapon of the devil.For this reason the church displays images of the cross so that we can have it continually in front of our minds to recall to us just what our souls are worth and what they cost Jesus Christ.For the same reason the church wants us to make the Sign of the Cross ourselves at every juncture of our day:when we go to bed,when we awaken during the night,when we get up,when we begin any action,and above all when we are tempted.Fill your children,my dear brethren,with the greatest respect for the Cross,and always have a blessed cross on yourselves.Resoect for the Cross will protect you against the Devil,from the vengeance of heaven,and from all danger”.

Blessings and blessed objects.Both the blessings that are given by the clergy and the blessings spoken by lay people as part of their daily lives(such as table grace)are important Sacramentals.They can sanctify our thoughts,our actions,and our surroundings in a way that repels the enemy.We see their power most clearly when used to remedy the demonic infestation of a building or object through a priestly blessing with holy water.

Throughout the centuries,the testimony of many Christians,including a number of saints,confirms that objects Blessed by a priest,through the power of the Church’s intercession,can repel demonic powers.Again and again evil spirits have recoiled in dread,not just from the Sign of the Cross,but also from holy water and Blessed oil,crosses,crucifixes,medals,candles,or salt.

These can be used by priests in exorcisms as well as by lay Christians in everyday life.So the faithful sometimes keep such Sacramentals in their homes.The home itself (as well as other buildings) can be blessed by a priest as well.

St.Benedict medals in particular are known as “devil chasing medals”,in part because St.Benedict was known to be a champion in spiritual warfare.These medals typically have on their reverse side the initial letters of the Latin words in an ancient prayer against the evil one which begins,Vade retro satana:”Get back,Satan!”This command is similar to Jesus’ exclamation “Get behind me,Satan”(Matthew 16:23).The rest of the prayer says,”Never tempt me with your vanities!What you offer me is evil.Drink the poison yourself!”

Blessed objects may also be worn or carried,especially rosaries,Scapulars,crucifixes,and medals.Given Our Lady’s Power against the devil,we should be regularly praying the Rosary as well,not just carrying it around!

~Excerpts from “Manual of Spiritual Warfare”

Saved From The Sea Through The Brown Scapular 


A Scapular miracle took place in 1845. In the late summer of that year, the English ship, “King of the Ocean”, on its way to Australia, not far from Cape Hope, found itself in the middle of a hurricane. As wind and sea mercilessly lashed the ship, a Protestant minister, with his wife and children and other passengers, struggled to the deck to pray for mercy and forgiveness, as the end seemed at hand. Among the crew was a young Irishman, John McAuliffe. On seeing the urgency of the situation, the youth opened his shirt, took off his Scapular, and, making the Sign of the Cross with it over the raging waves, tossed it into the ocean. At that very moment, the wind calmed. Only one more wave washed the deck, bringing with it the Scapular which came to rest at the young man’s feet. All the while the minister (a Mr. Fisher) had been carefully observing McAuliffe’s actions and the miraculous effect of those actions. Upon questioning the young man, he was told about the Holy Virgin and Her Scapular. Mr. Fisher and his family became determined to enter the Catholic Church as soon as possible, and thereby enjoy the same protection of Our Lady’s Scapular. This they did shortly after landing in Australia.

The Scapular of Our Lady and the Dying Man 


A priest relates that one day in a town near Chicago he was called to the bedside of a man who had been away from the Sacraments for many years. “The man did not want to see me: he would not talk. Then I asked him to look at the little Scapular I was holding. ‘Will you wear this if I put it on you? I ask nothing more.’ He agreed to wear it, and within the hour he wanted to go to Confession and make his peace with God. This did not surprise me, because for over 700 years Our Lady has been working in this way through Her Scapular.”
On the very day that Our Lady gave the Scapular to Saint Simon Stock, he was hurriedly called by Lord Peter of Linton: “Come quickly, Father, my brother is dying in despair!” Saint Simon Stock left at once for the bedside of the dying man. Upon arrival, he placed his large Scapular over the man, asking Our Blessed Mother to keep Her promise. Immediately the man repented, and died in the grace of God. That night the dead man appeared to his brother and said, “I have been saved through the most powerful Queen and the habit of that man as a shield.”

Our Lady of Mt Carmel~Patroness of the Carmelite Order 

This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title “Commemoratio B. Marif Virg”to celebrate the victory of their order over its enemies on obtaining the approbation of its name and constitution from Honorius III on 30 Jan., 1226 The feast was assigned to 16 July, because on that date in 1251, according to Carmelite traditions, the scapular was given by the Blessed Virgin to St. Simon Stock ; it was first approved by Sixtus V in 1587. After Cardinal Bellarmine had examined the Carmelite traditions in 1609, it was declared the patronal feast of the order, and is now celebrated in the Carmelite calendar as a major double of the first class with a vigil and a privileged octave (like the octave of Epiphany, admitting only a double of the first class) under the title “Commemoratio solemnis B.V.M. de Monte Carmelo”. By a privilege given by Clement X in 1672, some Carmelite monasteries keep the feast on the Sunday after 16 July, or on some other Sunday in July. In the seventeenth century the feast was adopted by several dioceses in the south of Italy, although its celebration, outside of Carmelite churches, was prohibited in 1628 by a decree contra abusus . On 21 Nov., 1674, however, it was first granted by Clement X to Spain and its colonies, in 1675 to Austria, in 1679 to Portugal and its colonies, and in 1725 to the Papal States of the Church, on 24 Sept., 1726, it was extended to the entire Latin Church by Benedict XIII. The lessons contain the legend of the scapular ; the promise of the Sabbatine privilege was inserted into the lessons by Paul V about 1614. The Greeks of southern Italy and the Catholic Chaldeans have adopted this feast of the “Vestment of the Blessed Virgin Mary “. The object of the feast is the special predilection of Mary for those who profess themselves her servants by wearing her scapular 

Quote of the Day 

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The Medal of St.Benedict

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St. Benedict of Nursia, Italy (A.D. 480-543), the twin brother of St. Scholastica, is considered to be the Father of Western monasticism, and his “Rule of St. Benedict” came to be the basis of organization for many religious orders (his own Order has its cradle at Monte Cassino, Italy, about 80 miles South of Rome).

At any rate, in order to understand the symbolism of the Medal, you must know of this event in St. Benedict’s life: he’d been living as a hermit in a cave for three years, famous for his holiness, when a religious community came to him after the death of their abbot and asked Benedict to take over. Some of the “monks” didn’t like this plan and attempted to kill him with poisoned bread and wine. Just as St. John the Divine was miraculously saved from being poisoned, when St. Benedict made the sign of the Cross over these things, he came to know they were poisoned, so he toppled the cup and commanded a raven to carry off the bread.

 

It is unknown when the Medal of St. Benedict originated. During a trial for witchcraft at Natternberg near the Abbey of Metten in Bavaria in the year 1647, the accused women testified that they had no power over Metten, which was under the protection of the cross. Upon investigation, a number of painted crosses, surrounded by the letters which are now found on Benedictine medals, were found on the walls of the abbey, but their meaning had been forgotten.

Finally, in an old manuscript, written in 1415, was found a picture representing St. Benedict holding in one hand a staff which ends in a cross, and a scroll in the other. On the staff and scroll were written in full the words of which the mysterious letters were the initials. Medals bearing the image of St. Benedict, a cross, and these letters began now to be struck in Germany, and soon spread over Europe. They were first approved by Benedict XIV in his briefs of 23 December, 1741, and 12 March, 1742.

 

The Medal

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FRONT One side of the medal bears an image of St. Benedict, holding a cross in the right hand and the Holy Rule in the left. On the one side of the image is a cup, on the other a raven, and above the cup and the raven are inscribed the words: “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” (Cross of the Holy Father Benedict). Round the margin of the medal stands the legend “Ejus in obitu nostro praesentia muniamus” (May we at our death be fortified by his presence).

BACK The reverse of the medal bears a cross with the initial letters of the words: “Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux” (The Holy Cross be my light), written downward on the perpendicular bar; the initial letters of the words, “Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux” (Let not the dragon be my guide), on the horizontal bar; and the initial letters of “Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti” in the angles of the cross. Round the margin stand the initial letters of the distich: “Vade Retro Satana, Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana — Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas” (Begone, Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities — evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison). At the top of the cross usually stands the word Pax (peace) or the monogram I H S (Jesus).

Special Graces and Indulgences Attached to the Medal

(1) All the indulgences that could be gained by visiting the basilica, crypt, and tower of St. Benedict at Monte Cassino (Pius IX, 31 December, 1877)

(2) A plenary indulgence on the feast of All Souls (from about two o’clock in the afternoon of 1 November to sunset of 2 November), as often as after confession and Holy Communion, he visits any church or public oratory, praying there according to the intention of the pope, provided that he is hindered from visiting a church or public oratory of the Benedictines by sickness, monastic enclosure or a distance of at least 1000 steps. (Decr. 27 February, 1907, in Acta S. Sedis, LX, 246.) Any priest may receive the faculties to bless these medals.

 

Medals Protections and Benefits

  1. To destroy witchcraft and all other diabolical and haunting influences
  2. To impart protection to persons tempted, deluded, or tormented by evil spirits
  3.  To obtain the conversion of sinners into the Catholic Church, especially when they are in danger of death
  4. To serve as an armor against temptation
  5.  To destroy the effects of poison
  6.  To secure a timely and healthy birth for children
  7. To afford protection against storms and lightning
  8. To serve as an efficacious remedy for bodily afflictions and a means of protection against contagious diseases.

 

How To Use The St.Benedict Medal

  1. On a chain around the neck
  2.  Attached to one’s rosary
  3. Kept in one’s pocket or purse
  4.  Placed in one’s car or home
  5.  Placed in the foundation of a building
  6. Placed in the center of a cross.
  7. Place or bury a St.Benedict Medal in the four corners of your home for protection against home invasion.

 

My personal Experience with the St Benedict Medal

My mom always placed a St. Benedict Medal above each of the entrances of our homes and in each of the four corners of our property.There was alot of crime where we lived for a few years and every single house around us and for 2 blocks on our street was broken into and robbed except for our house.The people in the neighborhood couldnt figure out why we were never robbed even when we went on vacation and my mom wasnt shy about telling anyone who would ask that she had the St.Benedict medal to thank for this.Some rolled their eyes….(my mom was known as a religious fanatic in the neighborhood because of our statue of Mary out front and the 20 religious bumper stickers on our van)but some asked for St.Benedict medals to protect their home too.

Special Plenary Indulgence for Pentecost 

There is a plenary indulgence today for anyone that recites “Veni Creator Spiritus,” the Hymn for Pentecost. This of course requires us to perform the Normal Conditions of an indulgence:

1. One is free from all attachment to sin

2. One receives the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist (within 20 days either before or after today)

3. One prays for the intentions of the Pope (An Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be)
Come Holy Spirit, Creator Blest (Veni, Creator Spiritus)
Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,

and in our souls take up Thy rest;

come with Thy grace and heavenly aid

to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

O comforter, to Thee we cry,

O heavenly gift of God Most High,

O fount of life and fire of love,

and sweet anointing from above.

Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;

Thou, finger of God’s hand we own;

Thou, promise of the Father, Thou

Who dost the tongue with power imbue.

Kindle our sense from above,

and make our hearts o’erflow with love;

with patience firm and virtue high

the weakness of our flesh supply.

Far from us drive the foe we dread,

and grant us Thy peace instead;

so shall we not, with Thee for guide,

turn from the path of life aside.

Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow

the Father and the Son to know;

and Thee, through endless times confessed,

of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Now to the Father and the Son,

Who rose from death, be glory given,

with Thou, O Holy Comforter,

henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.

St.Simon Stock 

Although little is known about Simon Stock’s early life, legend has it that the name Stock, meaning “tree trunk,” derives from the fact that, beginning at age twelve, he lived as a hermit in a hollow tree trunk of an oak tree. It is also believed that, as a young man, he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where he joined a group of Carmelites with whom he later returned to Europe. Simon Stock founded many Carmelite Communities, especially in University towns such as Cambridge, Oxford, Paris, and Bologna, and he helped to change the Carmelites from a hermit Order to one of mendicant friars. In 1254 he was elected Superior-General of his Order at London. Simon Stock’s lasting fame came from an apparition he had in Cambridge, England, on July 16, 1251, at a time when the Carmelite Order was being oppressed. In it the Virgin Mary appeared to him holding the brown scapular in one hand. Her words were: “Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favor, which I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel. He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from eternal fire. It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of danger, and a pledge of special peace and protection.” The scapular (from the Latin, scapula, meaning “shoulder blade”) consists of two pieces of cloth, one worn on the chest, and the other on the back, which were connected by straps or strings passing over the shoulders. In certain Orders, monks and nuns wear scapulars that reach from the shoulders almost to the ground as outer garments. Lay persons usually wear scapulars underneath their clothing; these consist of two pieces of material only a few inches square. There are elaborate rules governing the wearing of the scapular: although it may be worn by any Catholic, even an infant, the investiture must be done by a priest. And the scapular must be worn in the proper manner; if an individual neglects to wear it for a time, the benefits are forfeited. The Catholic Church has approved eighteen different kinds of scapulars of which the best known is the woolen brown scapular, or the Scapular of Mount Carmel, that the Virgin Mary bestowed on Simon Stock. His feast day is May 16