March 28, 2014

Marriage, Fairy Tales and the Happiness Factor

As the victim of an wanted and unsolicited divorce and annulment, and still Faithful to my vows and the Mother of my children, I have told my kids - all teens and older - many of the same things that are related in the article below, almost word for word. After four years, I believe I have made some small advancement in the understanding of some that are still estranged from me and who still hold that all the marital woes are mine to own. Leticia Adams has given validity to the Truth - the Catholic Truth - of my counsels to the kids to the contrary and in the process supported this Father in catechizing his kids. Enough so that I have sent them emails and copied this article for their hopeful edification and understanding. 

I wrote them that if they are not prepared for what I, Mrs. Adams and countless others have done and are doing - namely, defending our marriages and our spouses and sanctifying each other in the process  - then they had better not ever pronounce an "I Do" before Christ and spouse until they are. 

Leticia Adams has hit a very broad nail head I've been fighting since day one with the kids - the "Happiness Factor". I've always said you can't debate emotions, you can't discuss anything where emotions predominate, and you will never change minds or opinions deeply rooted in an emotional position, which is all the "Happiness Factor" is - emotions. Reason must take hold first and - balanced by emotions to a degree - only then can some gain be made to steer those in error back to True North. I am hopeful this article starts that process with my kids. I have been too long away from some and still miss them dearly...

Simcha Fisher's referenced article is also an extremely valuable companion to what Leticia Adams has written and well worth the time it takes to read both. These two writers speak with much needed in-the-trench marital wisdom. Thank you both...


MARRIAGE IS NOT A FAIRY TALE

 | 03-26-AD2014 [14]
Leticia AdamsI read this piece by Simcha Fisher that was a response to this piece by Emma Smith on Catholic Exchange. I thought I would add my piece. I feel like I have a different point of view than both Simcha Fisher and Emma Smith, but I agree with Simcha when she says that marriage is “a tangled ball of good intentions and bad habits, unhealed wounds and unfounded desires.” These words should be written on the top of every single sheet of paper handed to a couple preparing for marriage, in or out of the Catholic Church.
My life experience includes having a child out of wedlock at seventeen, being in an invalid marriage with a drug addict and being married in the Church to the love of my life, thinking that God would protect me from ever being hurt by my husband simply because we were in a valid Catholic marriage. Having been where I’ve been, I think that the root problem is that many people think that marriage is an escape from the hurts of the world. I don’t really know if it comes from the fairy tales or romantic movies, but I do know that in a society like ours that is creating wounded human beings because of divorce and broken homes, and people just want relief. Relief from pain, being unloved, the heartache that comes with living in a broken home and a loss of sense of self.
We are generations deep in the broken home norm, and these generations are also the furthest away from any kind of faith. They are the “nones” as people like to say. They don’t believe in God and they have no religious affiliation. Yet they are the ones in the most pain. They are left looking for love. Their parents didn’t do it and they have no clue who God is so they can’t have faith in Him to do it.  They are left wandering the world looking for that one person who will love them, validate them, and keep them safe. And that is a huge mistake.
Read the rest at Catholic Stand. The link to the article is here...

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

FOURTH WEEK IN LENT

                                      Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine's
                                              
                                  The Church's Year


Photo: America Needs Fatima

              FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT 
                                 
                                   (LAETARE)

INTROIT Rejoice, O Jerusalem, and come together all you that love her; rejoice with joy you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your consolation. (Isai: LXVI. 10. 11.) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord. (Ps. CXXI. 1.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

EPISTLE (Gat. IV. 22-31.) Brethren, it is written that Abraham had two sons; the one by a bond-woman and the other by a free-woman. But he who was of the bond-woman was born according to the flesh; but he of the free-woman was by promise: which things are said by an allegory. For these are the two testaments. The one from Mount Sina, engendering unto bondage, which is Agar: for Sina is a mountain in Arabia, which hath affinity to that Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But that Jerusalem which is above is free, which is our mother. For it is written: Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for many are the children of the desolate, more than of her that hath a husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born according to the flesh persecuted him that was after the spirit, so also it is now. But what saith the scripture? Cast out the bond-woman and her son: for the son of the bond-woman shall not be heir with the son of the free-woman. So, then, brethren, we are not the children of the bond-woman, but of the free: by the freedom wherewith Christ hath made us free.

EXPLANATION  It was the common custom, in the days of the patriarchs, for a man to have more than one wife. This was permitted by God, partly because they and their descendants would hardly have been satisfied with one marriage, (Matt. XIX. 8.) partly because bigamy was a means of promoting the increase of the people of Israel, typical of the future increase of the children of God. Thus Abraham had two wives, who had each a son; of these Ismael was born to Abraham from his bond-woman Agar, in the natural way; the other, Isaac, the son of the free wife Sara, was born in a supernatural manner according to the promise, (Gen. XVIII. 11. 14. ) that she by the grace of God, although aged, would give birth to a son. These two women with their sons were types, as St. Paul says, of the two Testaments: Agar the bond-woman typified the Old, Sara, the free-woman, the New Testament; the son of Agar, the Jews, the son of Sara, the Christians; for the Jews, like Ismael, are descendants of Abraham by natural descent, but the Christians, like Isaac, by grace. The Old Testament gave birth only to servants; for the Jews obeyed the commandments of God through fear of punishment, and in hope of temporal reward; the New Testament, the Jerusalem from above. that is, the Christian Church, gives birth to children who willingly and through love obey the commandments of God. Although the Christian Church, the New Jerusalem, chosen from heathenism, was in the beginning barren, as was Sara, she gives birth, by the grace of God and through His apostles, to more children than the Jewish Church, which was so long the Church of God, that is, more were converted to Christianity from the Gentiles than from the  Jews. The latter even hated and persecuted the Christians, as did Ismael his brother Isaac. For their hardness of heart they were cast out by God, like Agar and her son; that is, after the destruction of Jerusalem the Jews were dispersed to all parts of the world. Let us, therefore, give thanks to God, that through Jesus we have become the free children of our heavenly Father, who through love fulfil His holy will by which we shall be saved.

ASPIRATION Give me the grace, O Jesus, that by prayer and fasting, and patience in all adversities and persecutions, I may be made less unworthy of Thy passion; that I may not, one day, be cast out by Thee, but become worthy of Thy divine promise and Thy eternal consolation in the heavenly Jerusalem.




Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved






March 23, 2014

Topeka Airsoft Group

James, Stephen and their friend Brian got their first experience with Airsoft this past Saturday at Shawnee North Community Center, Topeka, KS. Stephen had purchased his first Airsoft rifle a week before... James and Brian rented theirs. They had a blast, as did all involved, including me. I am hopeful we can continue...they talked about it for hours after we left!
Topeka Airsoft is a great group and open to all....no experience necessary and safety is a priority for all and age specific.

Stephen is front row left; James is front row right and their friend Brian is next to Stephen.

For those interested and in the Topeka KS area, Topeka AirSoft's Facebook Page is:







Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

The Other Woman...

The Catholic Gentleman has posted an article that, embarrassingly so, I have thought of writing, but just have never gotten around to doing so. That being said, I have no doubt that he has done a better job than I ever could have (and probably in fewer words).

It is a truth, however, that without Her Maternal assistance and intercession, I would have long ago regressed into a pile of gelatin, lapped up by a passing dog. It is that reality that keeps me firmly within Her shadow. 

Kudos to Sam Guzman...

                        *************************


MARY

The Other Woman 

in My Life

Men, I have a confession to make: There’s another woman in my life. She’s beautiful, faithful, holy and strong, and I love her more all the time. Don’t worry, you don’t have to tell my wife— she already knows. I’m talking about the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Brothers, despite what you may think, you need to be devoted to Our Lady. If you want to progress in holiness, if you want to imitate Jesus Christ, if you want to overcome temptation, if you want to be strong in sufferings, if you want to make it safely to heaven, there is no better way than being a faithful son of Mary.
our-lady-of-guadalupe
Devotion to Mary is hands down one of the most masculine devotions, and of the great saints who have been most devoted to Mary, the majority are men. Men like St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Cyril of Alexandria, St. John Eudes, St. John Damascene, St. Peter Canisius, St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe— and the list goes on.
You may still be skeptical, but that’s alright. I’m going to give you 5 reasons to love Mary, but know that there are countless others.
1. She is the refuge and hope of sinners - The saints constantly tell us that no one, no matter how great a sinner, will be condemned if they are truly devoted to Mary. Let’s face it, falling into sin can be discouraging. When we fall, we fear God’s punishment, displeasure, and discipline. We wonder if we will ever be saved, or if there is any hope for us. The answer is yes, especially if we fly to Mary.
One of Mary’s most beautiful titles is Refugium Peccatorum, ”the refuge of sinners.” In the Old Testament, God instituted cities of refuge, and these cities were safe havens for criminals. If you committed a terrible crime, a crime worthy of death, the only way you could avoid punishment was to run as fast as you could to a city of refuge. Only there would you be safe.
In the New Covenant, Mary is the city of refuge, the safe haven for sinners. When you fall into sin, run as fast as you can to Mary and she will obtain mercy and pardon for you from her Divine Son.
2. She helps us be pure - In the Middle Ages, women were vulnerable. Any brigand could disrespect or even assault a woman and probably get away with it. But that’s not the end of the story. A movement of men began to rise up and commit themselves to chastely protecting and honoring the dignity of women. This movement was known as chivalry, and chivalry was direct byproduct of devotion to Mary.
Living in the modern world is like living through one long temptation to impurity. It is relentless. More than this, women are constantly disrespected and objectified. It’s time for a new movement of chivalry. The more we love Mary, the more she will help us be pure in an evil world. And our devotion to her will instill in us a deep respect for femininity that will cause us to protect women in a world that wants to abuse them and use them.
3. She strengthens us in sufferings - When Jesus was in agony on the cross, the one small consolation he was allowed was the presence of his mother. Think about it, when you were a little boy and you hurt yourself, who did you run to? Your mom. I see my little boy do it all the time with my wife. A mother’s presence is enough to comfort us, even if it doesn’t take away the pain.
Mary is the ultimate comforter, and she helps us carry our crosses as we follow Jesus. When we are hurt physically or emotionally, her presence helps us bear the pain.
4. She crushes demons - Demons are real, and the want to make sure you never make it to heaven. They will send temptation after temptation your way to ensure you fall into sin— temptations to pride, greed, lust, gluttony, sloth, anger, hatred, and unforgiveness.
How can you possibly survive such powerful spiritual enemies? You guessed it, through Mary. After the fall of man, God promised Satan that one day, his head would be crushed by a woman— and that woman is Mary. Satan hates Mary with every fiber of his being, because he knows that she will be the instrument God uses to defeat him.
There’s a deep theological reason for this, and maybe I’ll write on it another time, but for now, know that the devil is powerless against Mary. When you feel yourself overwhelmed by temptation, call on Mary and the demons will flee.
5. Jesus loved her - As Catholic men, our mission to imitate Jesus Christ in every respect. And what did Jesus do? He gave himself totally to Mary. He shared her flesh and blood and she formed him in her womb. He trusted her, he obeyed her even though he was her Lord. As a child, he ran to her when he was hurt or frightened, as is depicted in the beautiful icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. On the cross, her presence comforted him in his agony. In short, Jesus loved Mary intensely and depended on her completely, even though he had no need of doing so.
If we want to be true men in imitation of our Divine Captain, we must likewise submit ourselves humbly and lovingly to Mary. Just as she formed Jesus in her womb, she can form us in a similar manner through grace. Jesus came to us through Mary, and all the graces of God come to us through her. We should go to God the same way he came to us— through Mary. The closer we are to her, the more we will be like Jesus, and if we are like Jesus, we will be the best and truest of men.

Conclusion

When I was converting to Catholicism, Marian devotion was one of the hardest things for me to understand. But the more I learned about Mary, the more I grew to love her. She is truly the most beautiful of women, and I can’t imagine my spiritual life without her.
Men, I challenge you to learn to love this Lady. Start by study the great saints who have loved Mary the most. Learn about their heroic lives and read their writings. Then, immerse yourself in the Marian teachings of the church. They aren’t random, there is a very good reason for each of them. In short, find Mary and you will find Jesus.
Prayer:
Holy Spirit, give me great devotion to Mary, Your faithful spouse; give me great confidence in her maternal heart and an abiding refuge in her mercy, so that by her, You may truly form in me Jesus Christ, great and mighty, unto the fullness of His perfect age. Amen.

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

Rorate Caeli: Katholische Jugendbewegung (KJB)

From a Rorate Caeli recent post:

Tradition and the Young: Christ makes all things new



A beautiful video (press on CC or captions for subtitles in English) produced by the German District of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX): the wine of Tradition is always permanent and always new, it is always ready to fill new wineskins with love for Christ and His Church.

May Christ bring all traditional-minded Catholics together: the true Way of the Cross (Kreuzweg)* is filled with joy and hope.
_______________
*The video is a response to a newly-released anti-Catholic German motion picture with this title (Kreuzweg).






 Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

March 22, 2014

Statistics

I have always found the all-time stats fascinating regarding this blog. I'm grateful most assuredly, but still fascinated about the rankings. Someday, I will have someone explain to me any significance it may have, other than all but the last two being mostly-predominate Catholic countries now or in the past.




Entry                    Pageviews
United States                         1871
Germany                                   83
Russia                                       56
United Kingdom                        43
China                                        29
Ukraine                                     18
Ireland                                      16
Canada                                     15
Indonesia                                  14
Malaysia                                     8


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

More on Divorced and Re-Married Catholics...

Jeff Culbreath at New Sherwood has an older post from July 2013 I came across while reading his latest, commenting on the latest from Zippy Catholic

His older post Brace yourselves for another attack on marriage mirrors much of my thinking, some of my writing and a lot of my Parental counseling to my children over the past three years or so. In that span of time, I've learned that: you can't debate emotions; Passions have subdued Reason; our children's future happiness is tied directly to one Parent's present Happiness; indifference to violations of moral and secular principles neuters years of Catholic Religious instruction. 

There is simply no defense to be had against "The Happiness Factor". None. 

Please click over to New Sherwood and read his post (and follow him - he is a very good blogger!), and to which I posted the below comment (excuse my grammatical errors only seen after the posting):

"RE: your comments on Canon 1060:

 "This safeguard is necessary for obvious reasons. Persons who are unhappily married, and who may therefore be subject to intense emotions, are dangerously susceptible to rationalizing their own specious grounds for annulment. Without the Church’s legal presumption of validity many would act on their own authority and do further damage to a marriage that may, in fact, be completely valid – perhaps making reconciliation all but impossible."

This is preciously the battle I have waged for over three years - emotions! Emotions have subdued Reason - against Catholic Teaching - and the "Happiness" factor reigns supreme. A "happy" marriage is now the criteria many of our kids believe ensures a successful Catholic Marriage. No conflicts, no strife, no need to sanctify the Soul of the other spouse, no need to pray for the other spouse - all is good in the land of "Happy". It doesn't matter how many moral and secular principles were violated while walking the Happiness" road - and many were - it only matters that if Mom is happy, then our kids think their happy, and all is happy in the marital Modern, Catholic world. 

Your comment about the lack of Catechisis these past 50 years is also right on the mark and is something I've commented on and written on in the past, especially with our kids. It is precisely the lack of proper pre-Cana instruction and more emphasis on the DSM-5 manual that is responsible for much of the destruction of the nuclear Catholic family and you need to look no further than the most recent Statistical Manual of the Church. What Robert Vasoli wrote of in 1998 concerning annulments is still valid today - only the timelines have changed. 

Should this travesty of the divorced-remarried-no-annulment crowd regaining the privilege of Holy Communion by being allowed to circumvent the moral rules the rest of us have to follow, then it will gut two-thirds of the marriage bonum and will be the death knell for the Sacrament of Matrimony. After all, if for pastoral reasons one living in sin can receive Communion without correcting the sin, then why would anyone even consider a need for a Catholic Marriage? If the former happens, then why not the latter by natural extension?

Personally, I believe the Holy Ghost would not and will not allow such a travesty to occur, whether or not He is invoked at the Synod, mainly because it neuters God's Laws and current Church Teaching. That is my prayer, anyway, as often as I can remember to invoke it. We'll have to see come October how clear and concise or how murky and muddled Catholic Marriage 101 and its Pastoral Care becomes." 

Pray the Holy Ghost descends upon this Synod and enlightens its members to uphold, defend and strengthen the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony and to impart the Immutable Truth to the divorced-remarried-no-annulment Catholics, despite the latter's reluctance to accept it. 


Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

March 21, 2014

Centurion and the Crucifixation


(Image From One of My Holy Cards)

Saint Longinus (Below From Wikipedia)


Longinus is the name given in medieval and some modern Christian traditions to the Roman soldier who pierced Jesus in his side with a lance, the "Holy Lance" (lancea, as related in the Latin Vulgate Bible) while he was on the Cross.[1] This act created the last of the Five Holy Wounds of Christ. The figure is unnamed in the gospels. The Longinus legend further identifies this soldier as the centurion present at the Crucifixion, who testified, "In truth this man was son of God."[2]Longinus' legend grew over the years to the point that he was said to have converted to Christianity after the Crucifixion, and he is traditionally venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church,Eastern Orthodox Church, and several other Christian communions.


No name for this soldier is given in the Gospels; the name Longinus is found in the pseudepigraphal Gospel of Nicodemusthat was appended to the apocryphal Acts of Pilate. Longinus did not start out as a saint. An early tradition, found in the 4th-century pseudepigraphal "Letter of Herod to Pilate," claims that Longinus suffered for having pierced Jesus, and that he was condemned to a cave where every night a lion came and mauled him until dawn, after which his body healed back to normal, in a pattern that would repeat till the end of time.[3] Later traditions turned him into a Christian convert, but asSabine Baring-Gould observed, "The name of Longinus was not known to the Greeks previous to the patriarch Germanus, in 715. It was introduced amongst the Westerns from the Apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus. There is no reliable authority for the Acts and martyrdom of this saint."[4] However, there is an old tradition linking the birthplace of Longinus with the small village of LancianoSamnite territory, in today'sAbruzzo region of Central Italy.[5][6]
The name is probably Latinized from Greek lonche (λόγχη), the word used for the lance mentioned in John19:34.[7] It first appears lettered on an illumination of the Crucifixion beside the figure of the soldier holding a spear, written, perhaps contemporaneously, in horizontal Greek letters, LOGINOS (ΛΟΓΙΝΟC), in the Syriacgospel manuscript illuminated by a certain Rabulas in the year 586, in the Laurentian Library, Florence. The spear used is known as the Holy Lance, more recently, especially in occult circles as the "Spear of Destiny", which was revered at Jerusalem by the sixth century, though neither the centurion nor the name "Longinus" were invoked in any surviving report. As the "Lance of Longinus", the spear figures in the legends of theHoly Grail.
In some medieval folklore, e.g., the Golden Legend,[8] the touch of Jesus's blood cures his blindness:
Christian legend has it that Longinus was a blind Roman centurion who thrust the spear into Christ’s side at the crucifixion. Some of Jesus’s blood fell upon his eyes and he was healed. Upon this miracle Longinus believed in Jesus.[9]
It is said that the body of Longinus was twice lost and that its second recovery was at Mantua in 1304, together with the Holy Sponge stained with Christ's blood, wherewith it was told—extending Longinus' role—that Longinus had assisted in cleansing Christ's body when it was taken down from the cross. The relic, corpules of alleged blood taken from the Holy Lance, enjoyed a revived cult in late thirteenth century Bologna under the combined impetus of the Grail romances, the local tradition of eucharistic miracles, the chapel consecrated to Longinus and the Holy Blood in the Benedictine monastery church of Sant'Andrea,[8] and the patronage of the Bonacolsi.[9] It is said that the relics were divided and were distributed to Prague and elsewhere, the body taken to the Basilica of Sant’Agostino in Rome. However, official guides of the Basilica do not mention the presence of any tomb associated with Saint Longinus. It is also said that the body of Longinus was found in Sardinia; Greek sources assert that he suffered martyrdom in Gabala, Cappadocia.

The legend of Saint Longinus has been told via contemporary media. InIrving Pichel's 1939 film The Great Commandment Albert Dekker portrays him as the commanding officer of a Roman army company escorting a tax collector about Judea. Subsequently, he is converted to Christianity through the kindness of Joel bar Lamech and by his own experiences at Golgotha. In the George Stevens's 1965 film The Greatest Story Ever Told Longinus is identified with the centurion who professed, "Truly this man was the Son of God" on Golgotha (portrayed by John Wayne in a cameo role).[12][13] The character Casca Rufio Longinus of the "Casca" adventure novel series originated by Barry Sadler is loosely based on the Longinus legend. St. Longinus is also portrayed prominently in two novels by Louis de WohlThe Spearand The Glorious Folly. In the film, The Seventh Sign, Longinus is a priest who is sent by the Vatican around the world to verify whether the End Times prophecies are coming true. He is responsible for the death of the last martyr in an attempt to bring about the end of the world to end his own life which was cursed with immortality for beating Jesus.


Longinus is venerated, generally as a martyr, in the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Armenian Apostolic Church. In the Roman Martyrology he is mentioned, without any indication of martyrdom, in the following terms: "At Jerusalem, commemoration of Saint Longinus, who is venerated as the soldier opening the side of the crucified Lord with a lance".[10] His Feast Day is 15 March. In the Armenian Apostolic Church, his feast is commemorated on October 22.[11]
The statue of Saint Longinus (illustration), one of four in the niches of the crossing in the Basilica di San Pietro, Rome, was sculpted by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The spearpoint fragment from the Holy Lance is conserved in the Basilica of St. Peter.



Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

March 16, 2014

STABAT MATER DOLOROSA

STABAT MATER
Stabat mater dolorosa
juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.
Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.
O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
mater Unigeniti!
Quae mœrebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati pœnas inclyti.
Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?
Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?
Pro peccatis suæ gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.
Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.
Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.
Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.
Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.
Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
pœnas mecum divide.
Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.
Juxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.
Virgo virginum præclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.
Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.
Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.
Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.
Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriæ.
Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animæ donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.
At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her Son to the last.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.
O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.
Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.
Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?
For the sins of His own nation,
She saw Jesus wracked with torment,
All with scourges rent:
She beheld her tender Child,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.
O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:
Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.
Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:
Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.
Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:
By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.
Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;
Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.
Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.
Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
be Thy Mother my defense,
be Thy Cross my victory;
While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.
Translation by Edward Caswall
Lyra Catholica (1849)
Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved

March 14, 2014

" Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sin of the world."


...If you carry the cross willingly, it will carry and lead you to the desired goal where indeed there shall be no more suffering, but here there shall be. If you carry it unwillingly, you create a burden for yourself and increase the load, though still you have to bear it. If you cast away one cross, you will find another and perhaps a heavier one. Do you expect to escape what no mortal man can ever avoid? Which of the saints was without a cross or trial on this earth? Not even Jesus Christ, our Lord, Whose every hour on earth knew the pain of His passion." (my emphasis)

(Book II, The Twelfth Chapter of The Imitation of Christ)

Copyright 2014 David Heath - All Rights Reserved