January Holy Name of Jesus February Passion of Our Lord March St. Joseph April Holy Eucharist May Blessed Virgin mary June Sacred Heart July Precious Blood August Immaculate Heart of Mary September Our Lady of Sorrows October The Holy Rosary November The Holy Souls December The Divine Infancy Sunday Holy Trinity Monday Holy Ghost Tuesday Angels Wednesday St. Joseph Thursday Jesus in the Holy Eucharist Friday Sacred Heart Saturday Blessed Virgin Mary ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Tremendous Value of Holy Mass At the hour of death the Holy Masses you have heard devoutly will be your greatest consolation. Every Mass will go with you to judgment and will plead for pardon for you. By every Mass you can diminish the temporal punishment due to your sins, more or less, according to your fervor. By devoutly assisting at Holy Mass you render the greatest homage possible to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord. Through the Holy Sacrifice, Our Lord Jesus Christ supplies for many of your negligences and omissions. He forgives you all your venial sins which you are determined to avo- id. He forgives you all your unknown sins which you never confessed. The power of Satan over you is diminished. By piously hearing Holy Mass you afford the souls in Purgatory the greatest pssible relief. One Holy Mass heard during your life wil be of more benefit to you than many heard for you after your death. Through Holy Mass you are preserved from many dangers and misfortunes which would otherwise have befallen you. You shorten your Purgatory by every Mass. During Holy Mass you kneel amid a multitude of holy Angels, who are present at the Adorable Sacrifice with reverential awe. Through the Holy Mass you are blessed in your temporal goods and aff- airs. When you hear Holy Mass devoutly, offering it to Almighty God in hon- or of any particular Saint or Angel, thanking God for the favors be- stowed on him, etc. etc. you afford that Saint or Angel a new degree of honor, joy, and happiness, and draw his special love and protect- ion on yourself. Every time you assist at Holy Mass, besides other intentions, you should offer it in honor of the Saint of the day. PRAYERS WHICH MAY BE SAID AT THE OFFERTORY (When the priest offers the Host) I place upon the paten my heart: the hearts of all those near and dear to me, especially the hearts of my relatives; the hearts of all those for whom I have promised to pray; the hearts of all those who have injured me; the hearts of all those whom I may have injured; the hearts of all agonizing. Jesus, when Thou changest the bread and wine into Thy Body and Blood, change our hearts into hearts pleasing to Thee. (When the priest offers the Chalice) I place within the chalice the souls of all my relatives for whom I should pray; the souls of those for whom I may have forgotten to pray; the sould most devout to the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Virgin; the souls of the most abandoned. Jesus, when Thou changest the wine into Thy Precious Blood, change these poor souls from their place of suffe- ring into Eternal Happiness. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. Mother of sorrows! Mother of Christ! You had influence with your Divine Son when on earth, you have the same influence now in Heaven, pray for me,obtain from your Divine Son my request, if it be His Holy Will. Amen. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- LENT The Lenten discipline consists of three seperate parts: 1. Corporal or External Fast, including the abstinence from certain foods, drinks, and amusements, i.e. music, and parties during Lent. These points of fast should be stressed today especially with the mania of entertainment besetting our society; 2. Spiritual or Internal Fast which consists of abstinence from "all evil"--sin. Saint John Chrysostom taught that the "value of fasting consists not so much in abstinence from food but rather in withdrawl from sinful practices." And Saint Basil the great explains: "Turning away from all wickedness means keeping our tongue in check, restrai- ning our anger, suppressing evil desires, and avoiding all gossip, lying and swearing. To abstain from these things--herein lies the true value of the fast."; 3. Spiritual change achieved by the practice of virtues and good works must be the main objective of our fasting. The Fathers of the Church insisted that during Lent the faithful attend the Lenten Church ser- vices and daily Mass. In the course of the centuries, our fasting discipline has undergone numerous and radical changes. Today, unfortunately, the observance of the Lent is but mere formalism, reduced to abstinence on certain days and without any stress on one's spiritual growth or the amending of one's life style. It is urgent that we return to the pristine spirit of the Great Fast which is so badly needed in our materialistic world. Listed below are suggested practices that may be used along with your usual Lenten family traditions of sacrifices and penances. Corporal or External Practices 1. Take less of what you like and more of what you dislike at meals today. 2. Take nothing to drink between meals. 3. Do not use seasoning on your food today. 4. Do not use any sweeteners with your food or drinks today. 5. Avoid all listening to the radio at all today. 6. Take nothing to eat between meals today. 7. Avoid any T.V. or videos; instead read the Passion of Christ in your Bible or missal. 8. Take only one helping of each item at meals today. 9. Say an extra Rosary Spiritual or Internal Fast Practices 1. Don't do any unnecessary talking; instead, say little ejaculations (short prayers) throughout the day. 2. Exercise your patience today in all things. 3. Don't make any complaints today. 4. Restrain any anger, and go out of your way to be kind to the pers- on who caused your anger. 5. Don't be distracted with someone else's business. 6. Avoid any gossip today, instead say an extra Rosary to overcome this great fault. 7. When asked to do something extra do so with a joyful and pleasant attitude today. 8. Speak in a pleasant tone to everyone today. 9. Avoid using the phone today. 10. Tell the truth in all your dealings today. 11. Avoid any vanity or self-seeking today. Spiritual Practices (virtues and good works) 1. Practice humility today in all your actions. 2. Be generous today; help someone in need. 3. Look for ways to be helpful throughout the day. 4. Do a job that needs to be done without being asked. 5. Be courageous: walk away from any impure situations today. 6. Don't be at all idle today. Always be doing something for others or for your spiritual growth. 7. Go out of your way today to help or talk to someone who is usually difficult. 8. Volunteer for an extra job today. 9. Say an extra Rosary today for the conversion of a sinner. 10. Visit someone who is sick or lonesome today. Offer to say the Ros- ary with them. Taken from a pamphlet published by: Mancipia Press Saint Benedict Center 282 Still River Road * P.O. Box 1000 Still River, MA 01467 (978) 456-8296 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Abstract of the Virtues treated of in this Work, to be practiced by him who Loves Jesus Christ. I. We must opatiently endure the tribulations of this life - ill-health, sorrows, poverty, losses, bereavement of kindred, affronts, persecu- tions, and all that is disagreeable. Let us invariably look on the trials of this world as signs of God's love toward us, and of his de- sire to save us in the world to come. And let us, moreover, be fully persuaded that the involuntary mortifications which God Himself sends us are far more pleasing to Him than those which are the fruit of our own choice. In sickness let us endeavor to resign ourselves entirely to the will of God; no devout exercise is more acceptable to Him than this. If at such times we are unable to meditate, let us fix our eyes on our cruc- ified Lord, and offer Him our sufferings in union with all that He en- dured for us upon the Cross. And when we are told that we are about to die, let us accept the tidings with tranquility and in the spirit of sacrifice; that is, with the desire to die, in order to give pleasure to Jesus Christ: it was the like desire that gave all the merit to the death of the martyrs. We should then say: O Lord, behold me here with no other will but Thine own blessed Will; I am willing to suffer as Thou pleasest; I wish to die whenever Thou wilt. Nor should we then wish to have our life prolonged, in order to do penance for our sins; to accept death with perfect resignation outweighs all other penance. We must likewise practice conformity to the will of God in bearing poverty and the various inconveniences which accompany it: cold, hun- ger, fatigue, contempt, and scorn. Nor should we be less resigned to losses, whether of property or of relatives and friends, on whom our ease and happiness depended. Let us acquire the good habit of saying in every adversity: God hath so will- ed it, and so I will it likewise. And at the death of our relatives, instead of wasting time in fruitless tears, let us employ it in pray- ing for their souls; and offer to Jesus Christ, in their behalf, the pain of our bereavement. Let us, moreover, force ourselves to endure scorn and insult with patience and tranquility. Let us answer terms of outrage and injury with words of gentleness; but as long as we feel ourselves disturbed, the best plan is to keep silence, till the mind grows tranquil. Mean- while let us not be fretfully speaking to others of the affront we have received, but in silence offer it to Jesus Christ who endured so much for us. II. Behave kindly to all, to Superiors and inferiors, to the high-born and peasant, to relatives and strangers; but more especially to the poor and infirm, and, above all, to those who regard us with an evil eye. Gentleness in the correction of faults is more efficacious than any other means or reasons that may be employed. Be therefore on your guard against correcting in a fit of passion; for then harshness is sure to be mingled with it, either in word or action. Beware likewise of correcting the person in fault while he is excited; for in like cases the result is exasperation instead of improvement. III. Envy not the great ones of this world their riches, honors, digni- ties, or applause given them by men; but envy rather those who most love Jesus Christ, who undoubtedly enjoy greater happiness than the first monarchs of the earth. Rethurn thanks to the Lord for enlight- ening you to discover the vanity of all worldly things, for the sake of which so many unhappily perish. IV. In all our actions and thoughts let us seek only the pleasure of Al- mighty God, and not our private satisfaction; and let us therefore lay aside all disquietude when our efforts are attended with failure. And when we succeed, let us be no less cautious against seeking the thanks and approbation of men; should they murmur against us, let us pay no attention to this; our consolation will be be to have striven to ple- ase God, and not men. V. The chief means of perfection are: 1. To avoid all deliberate sin, however small. Should we, however, happen unfortunately to commit a fault, let us refrain from becoming angry and impatient with ourselves: we must, on such occasions, quiet- ly repent of it; and while we make an act of love to Jesus Christ, and beg his help, we must promise Him not to repeat the fault. 2. To have earnest desire to acquire the perfection of the saints, and to suffer all things to please Jesus Christ; and if we have not this desire, to beseech Jesus Christ, through His bounty, to grant it to us; since, as long as we do not feel a sincere desire of becoming saints, we shall never make one step forward in the way of perfect- ion. 3. To have a firm resolution of arriving at perfection: whoever is wanting in this resolution, works but languidly, and in the occasion does not overcome his repugnances; whereas a resolute soul, by the divine aid, which never fails her, surmounts every obstacle. 4. To make daily two hours' or at least one hour's mental prayer; and except in case of urgent necessity, never to relinquish it for the sake of any weariness, dryness, or trouble that we may experience. 5. To frequent Holy Communion several times a week, it is well to seek the counsel of our director, "in order that the practice may be carried out with greater prudence and more abundant merit." The same rule holds good with regard to external mortifications, such as fast- ing, wearing the cilice, taking the discipline, and the rest; mortif- ications of this kind, when practiced without obedience to our spirit- ual director, will either destroy health or produce vainglory. Hence it is necessary for each one to have his own director, so that all may be regulated in obedience to him. 6. To pray continually, by having recourse to Jesus Christ in all our necessities, by invoking likewise the intercession of our Guardian Angel, of our Holy Patrons, and most particularly of the Mother of God through whose hands Almighty God bestows all graces upon us. We must especially not pass a day without begging God to grant us the gift of perseverance in His grace; whoever asks for this perseverance obtains it, but he that does not ask for it obtains it not, and is damned: we must pray, too, that Jesus Christ may grant us His holy love and per- fect conformity with His Divine Will. Neither should we forget to pray for every grace throught the merits of Jesus Christ. We must first make these prayers when we rise in the morning, and afterwards repeat them in our meditation, at Holy Communion, at the visit to the Bless- ed Sacrament, and again in the evening at the examination of consci- ence. We must particularly cry to God for help in the time of tempt- ation, and more especially in temptations against purity, when we should not cease to call for succor on the holy names of Jesus and Mary. He that prays, conquers; he that prays not, is conquered. VI. With respect to humility, not to pride ourselves on riches, honors, high birth, talents, or any other natural advantage, and still less on any spiritual gift, reflecting that all are gifts of God. To consider ourselves the worst of all, and consequently to delight in being des- pised by others; and not to act as some do, who declare themselves the worst of men, and at the same time wish to be treated as the best. Moreover, to receive corrections humbly, and without attempts to ex- cuse ourselves, and this even though blamed wrongfully; except when to defend ourselves would be necessary in order to prevent others being scandalized. Much more ought we to banish all desire of appearing in public, and of being honored by the world. The maxim of St. Francis should never be out of sight: "We are just what we are before God." It would be still worse for a religious to covet posts of honor and superiority in his community. The true honor of a religious is to be the most humble of all; and he is the humblest of all who most joyfully embraces humi- liations. VII. Detach your heart from all creatures. Whoever continues bound by the slightest fondness to things of earth can never rise to a perfect uni- on with God. To detach ourselves especially from an undue affection for our relat- ives. It was said by St. Philip Neri, that "whatever affection we be- stow on creatures is so much taken from God." In deciding on a state of life, we must be quite unbiased by the advice of parents, who gen- erally keep their own interests in view, rather than our real welfare. Cast away all considerations of human respect, and of the vain esteem of men; and, above all, be detached from self-will. We must leave all, in order to gain all. "All for all," writes Thomas Aa Kempis. VIII. Not to give way to anger, whatever happens; but if perchance the sparks of passion are suddenly lighted in our breasts, let us call on God, and refrain from acting or speaking till we are sure that our anger is appeased. We shall find it of great service to arm ourselves in prayer against every chance of irritation that may befall us, in order not then to give way to culpable resentment; we should always remember that saying of St. Francis de Sales: "I never remember to have been angry without afterwards regretting it." IX. All sanctity consists in loving God, and all love of God consists in doing His blessed will. We must, therefore, bow with resignation to all the dispositions of Divine Providence without reserve; and so cheerfukky submit to the adversity as well as prosperity which God sends, to the state of life in which God places us, to the sort of health which god bestows on us: and this should be the grand aim of all our prayers, namely that God would enable us to fulfill His Holy Will in all things. And in order to be certain of the Divine Will, the religious must depend on obedience to his Superior, and those who are in the world to their confessor; for nothing is more certain than that saying of St. Philip Neri: "We shall have no account to render to God of what is done through obedience." Which is to be understood, of course, as long as there is no evident sin in the command. X. There are two remedies against temptations: resignation and prayer. Resignation, for though temptations do not come from God, yet He per- mits them for our good. Wherefore beware of yielding to vexation, however annoying the temptations may be; be resigned to the will of God, who allows them; and take up the arms of prayer which are the most powerful and the most certain to overcome our enemies. Bad thou- ghts, however filthy and abominable, are not sins; it is only the con- senting to them which makes the sin. We shall never be overcome as long as we call on the holy names of Jesus and Mary. During the assa- ults of temptation, it is of service to renew our resolution to suffer death rather than to offend God; it is also a good practice repeatedly to sign our selves with the sign of the cross, and with holy water; it is of great help, too, to discover the temptation to the confessor. But prayer is the most necessary remedy, and continual cries for help to Jesus and Mary. XI. Then as to spiritual desolations, there are two acts in which we ought principally to exercise ourselves: 1st, to humble ourselves, with the sincere avowal that we deserve no better treatment; 2nd, to resign ourselves to the will of God, and to abandon ourselves into the arms of His Divine Goodness. When God favors us with consolations, let us prepare ourselves for coming trials, which generally follow conso- lations. If it please God to leave us in desolation, let us be humble and fully resigned to His Divine Will, and we shall thus reap far greater advantage from desolations than from consolations. XII. In order to live always well, we must store up deeplyin our minds certain general maxims of eternal life, such as the following: All passes away in this life, whether it be joy or sorrow; but in eternity nothing passes away. What good is all the greatness of this world at the hour of death? All that comes from God, whether it be adverse or prosperous, all is good, and is for our welfare. We must leave all, to gain all. There is no peace to be found without God. To love God and save one's soul is the one thing needful. We need only be afraid of sin. If God be lost, all is lost. He that desires nothing in this world is master of the whole world. He that prays is saved, and he that prays not is damned. Let me die, and give God pleasure. God is cheap at any cost. Every pain is slight to him that has deserved Hell. He bears all who looks on Jesus crucified. Everything becomes a pain that is not done for God. Whoever wishes for God alone is rich in every good. Happy the man who can say: "My Jesus, I desire Thee alone, and noth- ing more!" He that loves God, finds pleasure in everything; he that loves not God, finds no true pleasure in anything.
The wisdom of the ancient world, enshrined in Greek and Roman liter- ature, and the truly memorable teaching of ancient peoples, served, surely, to herald the dawn of that gospel which God's Son...proclaimed on earth. Such, at any rate, was the view of the Church's Fathers and Doctors. In these outstanding literary monuments of antiquity they recognized man's spiritual preparation for the supernatural riches which Jesus Christ communicated to mankind...Thus the inauguration of Christianity did not mean the obliteration of man's past achievements. Nothing was lost that was in any way true, right, noble, and beautiful. The Church...values especially the Greek and Latin languages, in which wisdom itself is cloaked, as it were, in a vesture of gold... bearing constant witness to the living voice of antiquity... Of its very nature Latin is most suitable for promoting every form of culture among peoples. It gives rise to no jealousies. It does not favor any one nation, but presents itself with equal impartiality to all, and is equally acceptable to all. Nor must we overlook the characteristic nobility of Latin's formal structure. Its "concise, varied, and harmonious style, full of majesty and dignity" (Pius XI, AAS XIV, pp.452-3), makes for singular clarity and impressiveness of expression. For these reasons the Apostolic See has always been at pains to pre- serve Latin, deeming it worthy of being used in the exercise of her teaching authority "as the splendid vesture of her heavenly doctrine and laws" (ibid). She further requires her sacred ministers to use it, for by so doing they are better able, wherever they may be, to acquaint themselves with the mind of the Holy See on any matter, and communicate more easily with Rome and with one another. Thus the knowledge and use of this language, so intimately bound up with the Church's life, "is important not so much on cultural or liter- ary grounds as for religious reasons...For the Church, precisely because it embraces all nations and is destined to endure until the end of time...of its very nature requires a language which is universal, immu- table, and non-vernacular" (ibid). We also, impelled by the weightiest of reasons...are fully determined to restore this language to its position of honor and to do all We can to promote its study and use... We now, in the full consciousness of Our office and in virtue of Our authority, decree and command the following: Bishops and superiors-general of religious orders shall be at pains to ensure that in their seminaries, and in their schools where adolescents are trained for the priesthood, all shall studiously observe the Apost- olic See's decision in this manner and obey these Our prescriptions most carefully. In the exercise of their paternal care they shall be on their guard lest anyone under their jurisdiction, being eager for innovation, writes against the use of Latin in the teaching of the higher sacred studies or in the liturgy, or through prejudice makes light of the Holy See's will in this regard or interprets it falsely... Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, on the feast of St. Peter's throne, on the 22nd of February, in the year 1962, the fourth of Our Pontificate. John PP. XXIII