An Examination of the Soul’s Condition~St.Francis de Sales

 

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1. What is the aspect of your heart with respect to mortal sin? Are you firmly resolved never to commit it, let come what may? And have you kept that resolution from the time you first made it? Therein lies the foundation of the spiritual life.

2. What is your position with respect to the Commandments of God? Are they acceptable, light and easy to you? He who has a good digestion and healthy appetite likes good food, and turns away from that which is bad.

3. How do you stand as regards venial sins? No one can help committing some such occasionally; but are there none to which you have any special tendency, or worse still, any actual liking and clinging?

4. With respect to spiritual exercises—do you like and value them? or do they weary and vex you? To which do you feel most or least disposed, hearing or reading God’s Word, meditating upon it, calling upon God, Confession, preparing for Communion and communicating, controlling your inclinations, etc.? What of all these is most repugnant to you? And if you find that your heart is not disposed to any of these things, examine into the cause, find out whence the disinclination comes.

5. With respect to God Himself—does your heart delight in thinking of God, does it crave after the sweetness thereof? “I remembered Thine everlasting judgments, O Lord, and received comfort,” says David. Do you feel a certain readiness to love Him, and a definite inclination to enjoy His Love? Do you take pleasure in dwelling upon the Immensity, the Goodness, the Tenderness of God? When you are immersed in the occupations and vanities of this world, does the thought of God come across you as a welcome thing? do you accept it gladly, and yield yourself up to it, and your heart turn with a sort of yearning to Him? There are souls that do so.

6. If a wife has been long separated from her husband, so soon as she sees him returning, and hears his voice, however cumbered she may be with business, or forcibly hindered by the pressure of circumstances, her heart knows no restraint, but turns at once from all else to think upon him she loves. So it is with souls which really love God, however engrossed they may be; when the thought of Him is brought before them, they forget all else for joy at feeling. His Dear Presence nigh, and this is a very good sign.

7. With respect to Jesus Christ as God and Man—how does your heart draw to Him? Honey bees seek their delight in their honey, but wasps hover over stinking carrion. Even so pious souls draw all their joy from Jesus Christ, and love Him with an exceeding sweet Love, but those who are careless find their pleasure in worldly vanities.

8. With respect to Our Lady, the Saints, and your Guardian Angel—do you love them well? Do you rejoice in the sense of their guardianship? Do you take pleasure in their lives, their pictures, their memories?

9. As to your tongue—how do you speak of God? Do you take pleasure in speaking His Praise, and singing His Glory in psalms and hymns?

10. As to actions—have you God’s visible glory at heart, and do you delight in doing whatever you can to honour Him? Those who love God will love to adorn and beautify His House. Are you conscious of having ever given up anything you liked, or of renouncing anything for God’s Sake? for it is a good sign when we deprive ourselves of something we care for on behalf of those we love. What have you ever given up for the Love of God?

The Power of Praying for Others 


The Devil ‘ s Rage Over St Gemma Galgani Prayers for Others

The Devil once said to St Gemma Galgani “You can pray for yourself, but if you pray for others, I will make you pay dearly for it”. And on another occasion the devil said to this great Saint, “While acting for yourself, do as you please, but listen well, do nothing for the conversion of sinners; if you attempt it, I shall make you pay dearly for it.” The devil appeared to affirm for St Gemma Galgani that our Prayers for other are seemingly more fruitful then when we Pray for our wants when he tried a new tactic to get St. Gemma to consider her own soul rather than only others when he exclaimed “How and where comes such presumption? You are laden with sins, and all the years of thy life would not suffice to bewail and expiate them, and yet you lose time about the sins of others? Do you not see that your own soul is in danger? A strange gain, that of think­ing for others and neglecting thyself.” Through all this she was brutally beaten and never stopped praying for others letting herself be a victim for the human race as her Lord and Savior did on His Cross know that no servant Is greater than their Master. The devil seemed to be in a personal war with St. Gemma Galgani who at one point during one of his attacks started horribly cursing God and shouting “War! War against you and your spiritual director!”. This continued on a nightly bases with the devil mocking her and her prayers for others in the chance she would give up praying for others and which she took with the true patience of a saint. The devil caused her the most pains by blaspheming her True Love Jesus Christ continuously even one day he telling her “What are you doing” he said, “how stupid you are to pray to that malefactor. Look at the harm He does thee, keeping thee nailed to the Cross with Himself. How then can you care for Him, for Him whom you don’t even know, who makes all who love Him suffer? Through all these continued promises of earthly happiness and even acknowledging t her she may pray for herself just not others she persevered the devils attacks and eventually winning a great victory for mankind and guaranteed herself an exalted place in Heaven along with all Christ Saints.

The devils to Padre Pio: “You bother us more than Saint Michael.” “If you don’t snatch souls from us we will not bother you.”

What souls we can convert by our prayers. The one who saves a soul from hell saves this soul and his own as well.’ ~St. John Vianney 

Repent while you still have time~A meditation by St.Leonard of Port Maurice 

Sinners, the advice I want to give you will no doubt seem strange to you; but if you understand it well, it is, on the contrary, inspired by tender compassion toward you. I implore you on my knees, by the blood of Christ and by the Heart of Mary, change your life, come back to the road that leads to heaven, and do all you can to belong to the little number of those who are saved. If, instead of this, you want to continue walking on the road that leads to hell, at least find a way to erase your baptism. Woe to you if you take the Holy Name of Jesus Christ and the sacred character of the Christian engraved upon your soul into hell! Your chastisement will be all the greater. So do what I advise you to do: if you do not want to convert, go this very day and ask your pastor to erase your name from the baptismal register, so that there may not remain any remembrance of your ever having been a Christian; implore your Guardian Angel to erase from his book of graces the inspirations and aids he has given you on orders from God, for woe to you if he recalls them! Tell Our Lord to take back His faith, His baptism, His sacraments.

You are horror-struck at such a thought? Well then, cast yourself at the feet of Jesus Christ and say to Him, with tearful eyes and contrite heart: “Lord, I confess that up till now I have not lived as a Christian. I am not worthy to be numbered among Your elect. I recognize that I deserve to be damned; but Your mercy is great and, full of confidence in Your grace, I say to You that I want to save my soul, even if I have to sacrifice my fortune, my honor, my very life, as long as I am saved. If I have been unfaithful up to now, I repent, I deplore, I detest my infidelity, I ask You humbly to forgive me for it. Forgive me, good Jesus, and strengthen me also, that I may be saved. I ask You not for wealth, honor or prosperity; I ask you for one thing only, to save my soul.”

And You, O Jesus! What do You say? O Good Shepherd, see the stray sheep who returns to You; embrace this repentant sinner, bless his sighs and tears, or rather bless these people who are so well disposed and who want nothing but their salvation. Brothers, at the feet of Our Lord, let us protest that we want to save our soul, cost what it may. Let us all say to Him with tearful eyes, “Good Jesus, I want to save my soul,” O blessed tears, O blessed sighs!
~Saint Leonard of Port Maurice from a sermon

A Conversation between Jesus and the devil~A Vision of Marie Julie Jahenny 


Marie-Julie Jahenny might very well be the greatest mystic and stigmatist woman in the history of the Catholic Church. Marie-Julie Jahenny, the mystic and Stigmatist of La Fraudais, was born on the 12th of February, 1850, in a little village in Brittany (in the West of France), called Blain. The eldest of five children, she was brought up by her simple, good parents in that lively faith for which Bretons are renowned.

Our Lord favored her with many graces from the time of her First Holy Communion, graces to which she corresponded with ever increasing devotion. She joined the Franciscan Lay Third Order when in her early twenties, to help to sanctify herself in the world. In 1873, she received from Heaven that most remarkable mystic gift, the Stigmata. From the age of twenty-three until her death, some sixty years later, she bore in her body the Wounds of Our Lord to a more visible degree than had any other stigmatist in the Church’s history. In addition to the Five Wounds of the Sacred Hands, Feet and Side, Marie-Julie suffered the Wounds inflicted by the Crown of Thorns and the Cross on Our Lord’s Sacred Head and Shoulder respectively, the Wounds of His Scourging, those caused by the ropes with which He was bound, as well as other Wounds of a more mystic nature. Henceforth, Marie-Julie lived her life of co-redemptive suffering (as a victim soul) in a little cottage in the hamlet of La Fraudais, near Blain. She thus fulfilled Our Blessed Lord’s desire for her to make reparation for the sins of France and the world. She was favored with frequent visions of Jesus and Mary, as well as many prophetic lights. The truth of the Heavenly warnings of which she was to be the humble messenger was vindicated by her characteristic simplicity and honesty, her exemplary obedience to her spiritual directors and her Bishop, and of course, by the fulfillment of all she prophesied during her long life. With unfailing accuracy she foretold the two World Wars, the election of Pope Saint Pius X, the various persecutions of the Church, the chastisements and the fate of apostate France. Much remains to unfold. Her warnings for the Last Times should be read by all “who have ears.”

Marie-Julie was the wonder of the many scientists who examined her continually, the scorn of unbelievers and the proud, the admiration of her lifelong friend, Monsignor Fourier, Bishop of Nantes, and of the devoted circle of those who made the diffusion of her messages to an ungrateful and unheeding world their life’s work. She went to her Heavenly reward on March 4, 1941. Blind, deaf, dumb and crippled, she had subsisted miraculously on the Blessed Sacrament alone, for the last many years of her life. Surely then, we will not pass over lightly what God has confided to her for the benefit of our own sad days.

Marie-Julie Jahenny Witnesses a Conversation Between Jesus and the devil

The Lord tells Satan: “Prostrate at My feet, and adore My will.”

“I will bend my knee, says Satan with authority, but on one condition… Leave me free to make use, after Your example and according to my fancy, of the power over death, to be master thereof.” 

Our Lord replies: “I leave you the power of inducing temptations upon men, to cause them suffering up to a certain limit… but I will be present.”

Satan also begs for the power of performing wonders. The Lord does not grant it to him entirely, but gives something of it, so that, by that means, we may acquire greater merits.

“In the beginning, says the Lord, you will not perform that many wonders, just a few. They will serve you for evildoing.” Satan protests that the sharing is unjust.

“A time will come, very far distant, replies the Lord, when you will be in possession of such a large crowd in the world, as for your portion will exceed Mine. You will become Great Conqueror for a length which will last for too long, yet will nevertheless be quite short. While you will be realizing the conquest of multitudes, I will perform striking wonders and cause an earthquake to happen, at the moment when the world will be nearing its destruction, at the time when you will be reporting triumph with a victory out of measure… when almost all parts of the world, and the whole of Europe will arise, the ones against the others… During the darkness a large number of conversions will take place; many stray individuals will come back to Me in repentance”.

When they were about to depart, each one to return in his own kingdom, Satan begs for the power of assuming all shapes or appearances, in order to be able to pass through any place.

“I grant you permission to seduce My people, the Lord replies, but I will never allow you to assume divine semblance nor any likeness of true figures.”

Satan ventures to give the Lord the thee-and-thou.

“Be respectful to Me, in the Name of My Eternal Power.”

“Yes, replies Satan, one day, far distant from the day on which we are, when you seemingly will tell me that I am a mighty conqueror. You will set not limits to the devastations, the desire for which is already devouring me.”

Marie-Julie questions the Holy Ghost about whether the period has already been fixed when Satan is to reign as such a great master. The Holy Ghost replies that it is already fixed in the Lord’s designs, and that the demon has a presentiment of this moment without knowing it with precision. “This is the one in which you are at present time, children of God,” says the Holy Ghost.

Satan goes on: “At the beginning of that period, he says, I will make use of every blasphemous word and of everything unjust in view of the destruction of Your Kingdom… I will transform everything into a work tool, against You. First of all, I will dig out that place where the larger number inhabit.”

“I will dig out that place upon which you shall make thunder lightning fall down… you will destroy first, after I myself will get through with it; I will accomplish such a devastation as never existed the like.”

“I will cover My own,” says the Lord, “with a protection of tenderness.”

“I will establish a rebellion between Your own and mine” replies Satan: “I will uprise all kings; I will establish such a division leading to a civil war throughout the whole universe.”

“On My part, the Lord goes on, I will send My Justice out: punishments, miracles, deaths, scourges, pest, unknown diseases.”

“I will overthrow the temple of Your prayers,” Satan cries out: “in which I will establish idols which they will adore. Everything which, in time of peace, is in residence in Your temples, will be broken down, dragged out of them and reduced to dust by my own.”

“I will show forth,” the Lord asserts, “that I am the Eternal King. I will crush down, under the lightning of Heaven, all those who will have given themselves over to Hell. I will restore My people: I will protect them against scourges; rebuild ruined buildings. I will cast you headlong into the abyss, but only after you have made use of the powers I leave with you for the time being.”

The flame says that sorrow is about to enter the hearts and Hell is ready to intone the great canticle of his victory.

February 11, 1881

The careful shepherd watches over Christ’s flock~St.Boniface

A letter by St Boniface
In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course.

  The ancient fathers showed us how we should carry out this duty: Clement, Cornelius and many others in the city of Rome, Cyprian at Carthage, Athanasius at Alexandria. They all lived under emperors who were pagans; they all steered Christ’s ship – or rather his most dear spouse, the Church. This they did by teaching and defending her, by their labours and sufferings, even to the shedding of blood.

  I am terrified when I think of all this. Fear and trembling came upon me and the darkness of my sins almost covered me. I would gladly give up the task of guiding the Church which I have accepted if I could find such an action warranted by the example of the fathers or by holy Scripture.

  Since this is the case, and since the truth can be assaulted but never defeated or falsified, with our tired mind let us turn to the words of Solomon: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own prudence. Think on him in all your ways, and he will guide your steps. In another place he says: The name of the Lord is an impregnable tower. The just man seeks refuge in it and he will be saved.

  Let us stand fast in what is right and prepare our souls for trial. Let us wait upon God’s strengthening aid and say to him: O Lord, you have been our refuge in all generations.

  Let us trust in him who has placed this burden upon us. What we ourselves cannot bear let us bear with the help of Christ. For he is all-powerful and he tells us: My yoke is easy and my burden is light.

  Let us continue the fight on the day of the Lord. The days of anguish and of tribulation have overtaken us; if God so wills, let us die for the holy laws of our fathers, so that we may deserve to obtain an eternal inheritance with them.

  Let us be neither dogs that do not bark nor silent onlookers nor paid servants who run away before the wolf. Instead let us be careful shepherds watching over Christ’s flock. Let us preach the whole of God’s plan to the powerful and to the humble, to rich and to poor, to men of every rank and age, as far as God gives us the strength, in season and out of season, as Saint Gregory writes in his book of Pastoral Instruction.

On False Spiritual Peace~St.Dorotheus


The man who finds fault with himself accepts all things cheerfully – misfortune, loss, disgrace, dishonour and any other kind of adversity. He believes that he is deserving of all these things and nothing can disturb him. No one could be more at peace than this man.

  But perhaps you will offer me this objection: “Suppose my brother injures me, and on examining myself I find that I have not given him any cause. Why should I blame myself?”

  Certainly if someone examines himself carefully and with fear of God, he will never find himself completely innocent. He will see that he has given some provocation by an action, a word or by his manner. If he does find that he is not guilty in any of these ways, certainly he must have injured that brother somehow at some other time. Or perhaps he has been a source of annoyance to some other brother. For this reason he deserves to endure the injury because of many other sins that he has committed on other occasions.

  Someone else asks why he should accuse himself when he was sitting peacefully and quietly when a brother came upon him with an unkind or insulting word. He cannot tolerate it, and so he thinks that his anger is justified. If that brother had not approached him and said those words and upset him, he never would have sinned.

  This kind of thinking is surely ridiculous and has no rational basis. For the fact that he has said anything at all in this situation breaks the cover on the passionate anger within him, which is all the more exposed by his excessive anxiety. If he wished, he would do penance. He has become like a clean, shiny grain of wheat that, when broken, is full of dirt inside.

  The man who thinks that he is quiet and peaceful has within him a passion that he does not see. A brother comes up, utters some unkind word and immediately all the venom and mire that lie hidden within him are spewed out. If he wishes mercy, he must do penance, purify himself and strive to become perfect. He will see that he should have returned thanks to his brother instead of returning the injury, because his brother has proven to be an occasion of profit to him. It will not be long before he will no longer be bothered by these temptations. The more perfect he grows, the less these temptations will affect him. For the more the soul advances, the stronger and more powerful it becomes in bearing the difficulties that it meets.

The Pious Woman and the Rosary 


St. Louis de Montfort writes of a pious but self-willed lady who lived in Rome. She was so devout that she put many a religious to shame:
One day, hearing of the holiness of St. Dominic, great apostle of the Rosary, she decided to make her confession to him. For penance the saint told her to say a Rosary and advised her to make it’s recitation her daily practice.

“But, Father, “ she protested, “I already say so many prayers and practice so many exercises…I walk the Stations of Rome every day, I wear sack-cloth and a hair-shirt, I scourge myself several times a week, and often fast…”

St. Dominic insistently advised that she adopt the recitation of the Rosary, but she would not hear it. Moreover, she left the confessional horrified at the methods of this new spiritual director who wanted to impose on her a devotion for which she had no taste.

One day, when she was saying her prayers, she was shown a vision. In this vision she saw her soul appear before the Supreme Judge. She also saw St. Michael holding the scale of her life. On one side he placed all her prayers and penances, and on the other all her sins and imperfections. Down went the scale on the side of sins and imperfections, outweighing all her good works.

Wide eyed, the good lady cried out for mercy, and turned to Our Lady imploring her help. Our Lady then gently set down on the tray of her good works the only Rosary she had ever said, which was the one St. Dominic had imposed on her as a penance.

This one Rosary was so heavy that it outweighed all her sins as well as good works.

Our Lady then reproved her for having refused to follow the counsel of her son Dominic and for refusing to adopt the practice of the daily recitation of the Rosary.

When the lady came to, she rushed to St. Dominic and casting herself down at his feet, told him what had happened. She begged forgiveness for her unbelief, and promised to say the Rosary faithfully every day. By this means she grew in holiness, and finally attained the glory of eternal life.

Thus says St. Louis de Montfort, “You who are people of prayer, learn from this the power, the value and the importance of this devotion of the holy Rosary when it is said with meditation on the mysteries.”

-THE SECRET OF THE ROSARY

St. Louis de Monfort 

The Five First Saturdays Devotion

The Five First Saturdays devotion is one of the principal points of the Fatima message. It centers on the urgent need for mankind to offer reparation and expiate for the many injuries that the Immaculate Heart of Mary suffers from the hands of both impious and indifferent men.

On the First Saturday during 5 Consecutive Months, the Devotion consists of:

1. Going to Confession

2. Receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion

3. Saying five decades of the Rosary

4. Meditating for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary

All this offered in REPARATION for the sins of blasphemy and ingratitude committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary

History

During the third apparition on July 13, 1917, Our Lady revealed that she would come to ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and for the Communion of Reparation of the Five First Saturdays. Consequently, she asked for the devotion in 1925 and the consecration in 1929.

While staying at the House of the Dorothean Sister in Pontevedra, Portugal, Sister Lucia received a vision on December 10, 1925 where the Blessed Mother appeared alongside a Boy who stood over a luminous cloud. Our Lady rested one hand on the Boy’s shoulder while she held on the other hand a heart pierced with thorns around it.


Sister Lucia heard the Boy say, “Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother which is covered with thorns with which ingrate men pierce it at every moment with no one to make an act of reparation to pull them out.”

Our Lady expressed her request in the following words,

“See, my daughter, My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ingrates pierce me at every moment with blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, make sure to console me and announce that all those who for five months, on the first Saturdays, go to confession, receive Communion, say five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for 15 minutes meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, with the purpose of making reparation to Me, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls.” 

A few days afterward, Sister Lucia detailed this vision in a letter addressed to Monsignor Manuel Pereira Lopes, her confessor when she resided in the Asylum of Vilar in the city of Oporto, Portugal.

Why Five Saturdays?  

Sister Lucia’s confessor questioned her about the reason for the five Saturdays asking why not seven or nine. She answered him in a letter dated June 12, 1930. In it she related about a vision she had of Our Lord while staying in the convent chapel part of the night of the twenty-ninth to the thirtieth of the month of May, 1930. The reasons Our Lord gave were as follows:

The five first Saturdays correspond to the five kinds of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They are:

a. Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception

b. Blasphemies against her virginity

c. Blasphemies against her divine maternity, at the same time the refusal to accept her as the Mother of all men

d. Instilling , indifference, scorn and even hatred towards this Immaculate Mother in the hearts of children

e. Direct insults against Her sacred images

Let us keep the above reasons firmly in our minds. Devotions have intentions attached to them and knowing them adds merit and weight to the practice.

Modifications to the Five First Saturdays Devotion to facilitate its observation:

The original request of Our Lady asks one to confess and receive Communion on five consecutive first Saturdays; to say five decades of the Rosary; to meditate during 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary for the purpose of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in reparation for the sins of men.

In subsequent private visions and apparitions however, Sister Lucia presented to Our Lord the difficulties that devotees encountered in fulfilling some conditions. With loving condescension and solicitude, Our Lord deigned to relax the rules to make this devotion easy to observe:

Confession may be done on other days other than the First Saturdays so long as one receives Our Lord worthily and has the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Even if one forgets to make the intention, it may be done on the next confession, taking advantage of the first occasion to go to confession.

Sister Lucia also clarified that it is not necessary to meditate on ALL mysteries of the Rosary on each First Saturdays. One or several suffice.

With much latitude granted by Our Lord Himself, there is no reason for the faithful to hesitate or delay this pious practice in the spirit of reparation which the Immaculate Heart of Mary urgently asks.

This devotion is so necessary in our days.The culture of vice and sin remains unabated even as one reads this. Abortion, blasphemy, drug abuse, pornography, divorce and bad marriages, religious indifference, the advances of the homosexual agenda and others are just some of society’s many plagues that cut deeply into the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

We must console Our Lady amidst all these insults and injuries to her and her Divine Son. She asks for reparation, she pleads for our prayers, she hopes for our amendment of life. Let us listen to her maternal pleas and atone for the ingratitude of men.

The First Five Saturdays devotion stimulates the spirit of reparation; it instills a tender love for the Holy Sacraments of Confession and the Blessed Eucharist. It nurtures a holy affection for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Rosary. Above all, it is an excellent means to maintain one in the state of grace while immersed in the daily spiritual battles and prosaic existence in the neo-pagan world that we live in.

Let us not delay in observing this devotion for it too gives us hope for eternal salvation.

The Fiery Prayer for the Apostles of the Latter Times 

St. Louis composed this prayer asking for apostles of the latter times. These fiery words are certainly applicable to our days, when the need for these apostles is so urgent in face of the universal and profound affliction of Holy Mother Church. 


First Day: To Raise Up Men of Thy Right Hand


Remember, O Lord, remember Thy congregation which Thou did possess from the beginning and think of from all eternity. It was held in Thy Almighty hand when, by a word, Thou didst create the world out of nothing. It was hidden in Thy heart when Thy Divine Son, dying on the Cross, consecrated it by His death and confided it, as a precious treasure, to the care of His most dear Mother: Remember Thy congregation, which Thou hast possessed from the beginning (Ps. 73:2). 

Accomplish, O Lord, Thy merciful designs; raise up the men of Thy right hand, such men as Thou hast shown in prophetic vision to some of Thy greatest servants – to St. Francis of Paola, to St. Vincent Ferrer, to St. Catherine of Siena, and to many other noble souls during the last two centuries.

Remember, O Lord: O Almighty God, remember this Company, applying to it all the might of Thy arm, which has no limits, to create, to produce and to bring it to perfection. 

Great God, Thou Who out of the very stones can raise up children to Abraham, in the might of Thy Godhead say but one word to provide good laborers for Thy harvest and missionaries for Thy Church. 

Remember, O Lord: God of infinite goodness, remember Thy mercies of old and, through this mercy, remember this congregation. Remember Thy repeated promises that Thou has made to us by Thy Prophets and by Thine Own Son to grant us all our lawful requests. Remember the prayers that have been offered To Thee by Thy servants for this end for so many centuries. Let their wishes, their sighs, their tears, and the blood that they have shed for Thee come into Thy presence and earnestly implore Thy mercy. But, above all, remember Thy Dear Son: Look on the face of Thy Christ (Ps. 83:10). Contemplate His agony, His shame and confusion, His loving complaint in the Gar- den of Olives, when He said: What profit is there in My Blood?(Ps. 29:10). 

His cruel death, His Blood that poured forth cries out for mercy so that, by means of this congregation, His Kingdom may be established upon the ruins of that of His enemies. 

Remember, O Lord: Remember, O Lord, this community in the effects of Thy justice. It is time, O Lord, to do: they have dissipated Thy law (Ps. 118:126). It is time to do what Thou has promised: Thy Divine Law is transgressed. Thy Gospel is ignored, Thy religion abandoned. Torrents of iniquity overwhelm the world, carrying away even Thy servants; the whole earth has become desolate; impiety is enthroned; Thy sanctuary is profaned, and abomination has reached even into the holy place.  

Will Thou suffer this any longer, just Lord, God of vengeance? Will the end of all be like that of Sodom and Gomorrah? Will Thou be forever silent? Must not Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven? Must not Thy Kingdom come? Hast Thou not given to some of Thy friends a prophetic glimpse of the future renovation of Thy Church? Are not the Jews to be converted to the Truth? Is not this what Thy Church is awaiting? Do not all the Saints in heaven cry out to Thee: Avenge Thyself? Do not all the just on earth say to Thee: Amen. Come, O Lord, for the time is at hand (Apoc. 22:20). Do not all creatures, even the most insensible, moan under the weight of the numberless sins of Babylon and call for Thy coming to reestablish all things? For we know that every creature groaneth (Rom. 8:22). 

Second Day: Detachment from all Earthly Things


Lord Jesus, Remember Thy congregation. Remember to give to Thy Mother a new company who, through Her, will renew all things and thus, through Mary, complete the years of grace just as, through Her, Thou did begin them. 

Give me children, otherwise I shall die (Gen. 30:1): Give to Thy Mother children, servants, or let me die. Give Thy Mother children. It is for Thy Mother’s sake that I pray to Thee. Remember that Thou did dwell within her womb, were nourished at Her breasts, and reject me not. Remember whose Son Thou art and hear me. Remember what She is to Thee and what Thou art to Her, and grant my request. What is it I am asking from Thee? Nothing for myself, all for Thy glory. What am I asking of Thee? What Thou can, and even, I dare say, what Thou should grant me, being as Thou art the true God to Whom all power has been given in heaven and on earth and the best of all children, for Thou loved Thy Mother with an infinite love. 

What am I asking of Thee? 

Children: Priests, free with Thy freedom, detached from all things, without father or mother, or brothers or sisters, without relations according to the world, without means, without worry, without cares, and even without any will of their own. 

Children: Slaves of Thy love and of Thy will: men according to Thy heart, who, without self-will to stain and hold them back, accomplish all Thy designs and crush all Thy enemies; other Davids, with the staff of the Cross and the sling of the holy Rosary in their hands. 

Children: souls raised above this earth like heavenly dew who, without impediment, fly hither and thither in accordance with the breath of the Holy Spirit. It was they, in part, Thy Prophets spoke of when they asked: Who are these that fly as clouds? (Is. 60:8). Wither the impulse of the Spirit was to go, there they went (Ez. 1:12). 

Children: Men ever at Thy hand, ever ready to obey Thee, like Samuel, at the voice of their Superiors: Presto sum: I am ready, every ready to run and suffer everything with Thee and for Thee, like the Apostles: Let us also go ,that we may die with Him(John 11:16). 

Children: True Children of Mary, Thy Holy Mother, who are begotten and concealed by Her charity, carried in Her bosom, fastened to Her breasts, nourished with Her milk, reared under Her care, upheld by Her arms, and enriched with Her graces. 

Children: True servants of the Blessed Virgin, who, like other Saint Dominics, would go everywhere carrying the bright and burning torch of the Holy Gospel in their mouths and the holy Rosary in their hands; barking, like faithful watchdogs, at the wolves who would fain tear to pieces the flock of Jesus Christ; burning like fires and lighting up the darkness of the World like other suns. Men who would, by means of a true devotion to Mary, that is to say, interior, not hypocritical; exterior, not critical; prudent, not ignorant; tender, not indifferent; constant, not unsteady; and holy, without presumption, crush wherever they go the head of the old serpent, in order that the curse Thou placed on him might be entirely fulfilled: I will put enmities between thee and the Woman and thy seed and Her seed: She shall crush thy head(Gen. 3:15). 

Third Day: In Combat with the Devil


It is true, great God, that as Thou has predicted, the world will lay mighty snares to entrap the heel of this mysterious woman, that is to say, the little company of her children who will emerge toward the end of the world, and that there will be a mighty enmity between this blessed posterity of Mary and the cursed race of Satan. But it is a divine enmity, and the only one of which Thou art the author: I will put enmities. But these combats and persecutions that the children of the race of Belial will inflict on Thy Blessed Mother’s race will only serve to show to greater advantage the power of Thy grace and the courage of their virtue and the authority of Thy Mother, since Thou hast given to Her, from the beginning of the world, the commission to curse this proud spirit by the humility of Her Heart: She shall crush thy head. 

If not this, then I shall die: Is it not better that I should die rather than see my God cruelly offended every day and myself in constant danger of being carried away by the unopposed and ever-increasing torrents of iniquity? Ah, death would be to me a thousand times preferable. Either send me help from heaven or take away my soul. Yes, if I did not hope that sooner or later Thou would, in the interest of Thy glory, hear his poor sinner as Thou has already heard so many others: This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him (Ps. 33:7), then I would pray to Thee just as the Prophet did: Take away my soul! (Kings 19:4) 

But the confidence that I have in Thy mercy makes me say with another Prophet: I shall not die, but live; and shall declare the works of the Lord (Ps. 117:17) until I can say with Simeon: Now Thou dost dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, in peace, because my eyes have seen Thy salvation (Luke 2:29). 

Fourth Day: Formed by the Holy Spirit in Mary


Remember, O Lord, O Holy Spirit, remember to produce and to form children of God with Thy divine and faithful Spouse, Mary. Thou did form Jesus Christ, the Chief of the predestined, with Her and in Her. It is with Her and in Her that Thou should form all His members; Thou did beget no divine person in the Divinity; but it is Thou alone Who forms all holy persons out of the Divinity; and all the saints that have been or shall be until the end of the world are so many works of Thy love united with Mary. The special reign of God the Father lasted until the Deluge, and was concluded by a deluge of water. The reign of Jesus Christ was concluded by a deluge of Blood. But Thy reign, Spirit of the Father and of the Son, continues at the present time and will be concluded by deluge of fire, of love, of justice.

When shall it come, this deluge of fire and pure love, which Thou art to enkindle in all the earth with so much strength and sweetness that all nations, Turks, idolaters, even the Jews, will burn with it and be converted? And there is no one who can hide himself from his heat (Ps. 18:7). 

May it be enkindled: May this divine fire, which Jesus Christ came to bring the world be enkindled before that of Thy anger, which will reduce everything to ashes. Send forth Thy spirit and they shall be created; and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth (Ps. 103:30). Send forth the spirit of fire upon the earth to create priests all aflame, by whose ministry the face of the earth may be renewed and the Church reformed. 

Remember Thy congregation, O Lord: It is a congregation, an assembly, a choice selection of predestined souls, which Thou must make in the world and of the world: I have chosen you out of the world (John 15:19). It is a flock of peaceful sheep which Thou must collect from among the wolves; a company of chaste doves and royal eagles from among so many ravens; a swarm of honey bees from among so many wasps; a herd of fleet deer from among so many tortoises; a battalion of courageous lions from among so many timid hares. Ah! Lord: Gather us from among the nations (Ps. 105:47). Call us together, unite us, that we may render all glory to Thy holy and powerful name. 

Fifth Day: Complete trust in Providence


Thou did predict this illustrious company to Thy Prophets who spoke of it in inspired, although in very obscure and very secret, terms: 

Thou shall set aside for Thy inheritance a free rain, O God; and it was weakened, but Thou hast made it perfect. In it shall Thy animals dwell: in Thy sweetness, O God, Thou hast provided for the poor. The Lord shall give the word to them that preach good tidings with great power. The king of powers is of the beloved, of the beloved; and the beauty of the house shall divide spoils. If you sleep among the midst of lots, you shall be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and the hinder parts of her back with the paleness of gold. When He that is in heaven appointed kings over her, they shall be white with snow in Selmon. The mountain of God is a fat mountain. A curdled mountain, a fat mountain. Why suspect, ye curdled mountains? A mountain in which God is well pleased to swell: for there the Lord shall dwell unto the end (Ps. 67: 10-17).

What is this voluntary rain which Thou has separated and chosen for Thy weakened heritage if not these missionaries, these children of Mary, Thy Spouse, whom Thou art to assemble and to separate from the world for the good of Thy Church so afflicted and so weakened by the crimes of her children? 

What are these animals and these poor who will dwell in Thy heritage, to be there nourished with the heavenly sweetness that Thou has prepared for them, if not these poor missionaries trusting in Providence, who will be satiated with Thy divine joys; if not those mysterious animals of Ezekiel, having the humanity of man by their disinterest and beneficent charity toward their neighbor; the courage of the lion by their holy anger and their ardent, prudent zeal against the demons and the children of Babylon; and the strength of the ox by their apostolic labors and their mortification of the flesh, and finally, the swiftness of the eagle by their contemplation in God? 

These are the missionaries whom Thou wish to send to Thy Church. They shall have the eye of a man for their neighbor, the eye of a lion for Thy enemies, the eye of an ox for themselves, and the eye of an eagle for Thee. These imitators of the Apostles shall preach with a strength and a virtue so great and so striking that they will stir up all minds and all hearts, wheresover they will preach. It is to them that Thou wilt give Thy word: even Thy mouth and Thy wisdom: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist or gainsay(Luke 21: 15), which none of Thy enemies will be able to resist. 

It is among these well-beloved that Thou, Holy Spirit, as King of the virtues of Jesus Christ, the Well-Beloved, will take Thy delight. For in all their missions, they shall have no other end in view than that of giving to Thee all the glory of the spoils taken from Thy enemies: The king of powers is of the beloved, of the beloved, and the beauty of the house shall divide the spoils. 

By their trust in Providence and their devotion to Mary, they shall have the silvery wings of the dove: that is to say, a perfect charity toward their neighbors to bear with their defects, and a great love for Jesus Christ to carry His Cross. 

Thou alone, as King of heaven and King of kings, shall set apart from the world these missionaries like so many kings, in order to make them whiter than the snow on the top of Mount Selmon, the mountain of God, the strong and fertile mountain in which God takes wonderful delight and in which He dwells and shall dwell until the end. 

Lord God of Truth, Who is this mysterious mountain of which Thou speakest such wonderful things if not Mary, Thy dear Spouse, whose foundation Thou has placed upon the tops of the highest mountains? The foundations thereof are in the holy mountains … the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared in the top of mountains (Ps. 86:1; Mich. 4:1). 

Happy, a thousand times happy, are the priests whom Thou has chosen and predestined to dwell with Thee upon this abundant and divine mountain, there to become the kings of eternity by their contempt of the world and their elevation in God; there to be made whiter than snow by their union with Mary, Thy spouse, all beautiful, all pure, all immaculate; there to be enriched with the dew of heaven and the riches of the land, with all the temporal and eternal blessings with which Mary is filled. 

It is from the top of this mountain that, like other Moses’, they shall direct the arrows of their ardent prayers against their enemies to crush or to convert them. It is upon this mountain that they shall learn, even from the lips of Jesus Christ, Who always dwells there, the meaning of His Eight Beatitudes. It is upon this mountain of God that they shall be transfigured with Him as upon Tabor, die with Him as upon Calvary, and ascend to heaven with Him as upon Mount Olivet. 

Sixth Day: That they may extinguish the fire in the House of God


Remember, O Lord, Thy congregation: It is Thy Grace alone that must form this company. If man touches it first, nothing will be done. If he interferes with Thy work, he will spoil all, overturn all. Thy congregation: It is Thy work, great God. Do Thy work: do Thy all-divine work; collect, call, gather together Thy elect from all places over which Thou has domination and make of them a strong army to defend Thy heritage against Thy enemies.

The battalions pay homage to the God of battles

Seest Thou, Lord, God of battles, seest Thou the captains who are forming full battalions, the potentates who are assembling whole fleets, the merchants gathering in large numbers at the markets and the fairs? Crowds of robbers, drunkards, libertines, impious men are uniting against Thee every day – and so easily and promptly. The sound of a whistle, the beat of a drum, the sight of a blunt sword-tip, the promise of a withered laurel wreath, the offer of a bit of gold or silver; in a word, a breath of fame and earthly interest, a vile pleasure for which they long can, in a moment, unite robbers as one, call forward soldiers, assemble battalions, bring together merchants, fill houses and market places and cover the earth and the sea with an innumerable multitude of the reprobate, who, although divided among themselves by the places whence they come, by the differences in their dispositions or by their personal interests, are nevertheless united as one man, until death, to fight against Thee under the banner and the leadership of the demon. 

And we, great God! Although there is so much glory and profit, so much sweetness and so many advantages to be gained by serving Thee, shall there be so few to take up Thy cause? Hardly any soldiers under Thy banner! Nary a St. Michael to proclaim among Thy brethren in zeal for Thy glory: Who is like unto God? 

Ah, let me cry out everywhere: Fire! Fire! Fire! Help! Help! Help! Fire even within the sanctuary! Help for our brother who is being murdered! Help for our children whose throats are being cut! Help for our Father Who is being stabbed! If any man be on the Lord’s side, let him join with me (Ex. 32:26). 

Let all good priests who are spread over the Christianworld, and those who are actually on the battlefield and those who have withdrawn from the combat to bury themselves in deserts and solitude, let them all come forward and unite with us — in unity there is strength — so that we may form, under the banner of the Cross, a well-regulated army in battle array, and together attack the enemies of God who have already sounded the alarm. They have shouted; they have raged; they have swelled their ranks. Let us break their bonds asunder; let us cast away their yoke from us. He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them (Ps. 2:3-4). Let the Lord arise, and let His enemies be dispersed. 

Arise, O Lord, why sleepest Thou? Arise: Arise, O Lord, why feignest Thou to sleep? Arise in Thy might, Thy mercy, and Thy justice, to form Thyself a chosen bodyguard to keep Thy house, to defend Thy glory, and to save the souls bought at the price of Thy Precious Blood, so that there may be but one fold and one shepherd, and that all may glorify Thee in Thy holy temple: And in His temple all shall proclaim His glory. Amen.

In time of temptation turn to Mary…

In temptations trust not to yourself, nor to all the good resolutions and promises which you have made, but rely solely on the divine assistance; and for this reason have immediate recourse to God and the Blessed Virgin. Especially in temptations against purity, the greatest care must be taken not to remain to dispute with the temptation. In such moments some are accustomed to set their will to make acts of the contrary virtue; but they run considerable risk. The best plan to adopt on these occasions is to renew the firm purpose rather to die than to offend God, and forthwith to make the sign of the cross without remonstrance, and to call on God and the divine Mother, making frequent invocations of the most holy names of Jesus and Mary, which have a wonderful efficacy against filthy suggestions, and should therefore be invoked continually till the temptations are over. Of ourselves we have not strength to overcome the attacks of the flesh, our most cruel enemy; but God readily supplies the strength to all who ask him; but he that fails to do so, almost invariably falls a prey to the enemy.

~St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Way of Salvation and Perfection