To be perfected in God’s grace

The Commemoration of All Souls

Today the Church prays for the souls being purified in Purgatory. As we remember our deceased loved ones, let us also pray in a special way for the assistance of today’s “holy innocents,” those whose lives were ended — in their mothers’ wombs — through the sin of abortion, and who in their innocence bypass Purgatory. Through their union with God, may they pray for us and assist us in building a culture of life in America and throughout the world.

Quotes of the Day

No one is barred from heaven. Whoever wants to enter heaven may do so because God is all-merciful. Our Lord will welcome us into glory with his arms wide open. The Almighty is so pure, however, that if a person is conscious of the least trace of imperfection and at the same time understands that Purgatory is ordained to do away with such impediments, the soul enters this place of purification glad to accept so great a mercy of God. The worst suffering of these suffering souls is to have sinned against divine Goodness and not to have been purified in this life.

— Saint Catherine of Genoa, Treatise of Purgatory, 12

How sweet will death be for the person who has fully repented of all personal sins and can leap over Purgatory. — Saint Teresa of Avila, Way of Perfection

Do not ever forget that after death you are going to be welcomed by Love itself. Within the love of God you will find implicit all the noble human loves on earth as well. Our Lord has arranged for us to spend this brief day of our earthly existence working, and like his only-begotten Son, ‘doing good.’ Meanwhile we have to be on our guard and alert to the call St Ignatius of Antioch felt within his soul as the hour of his martyrdom approached: ‘Draw close to your Father. Come to him who is so desirous of your company.’

— St Josemaria Escriva, Friends of God, 221

Catechism of the Day: I believe in life everlasting

1030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come. (St Gregory the Great)

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: “Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.” From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them. (St John Chrysostom)

Scriptures of the Day

Old Testament: Wisdom 3:1–9

The souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
they shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the LORD shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial Psalm: 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
with your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. Though I walk in the valley of darkness, I fear no evil, for you are with me.

New Testament Epistle: Romans 5:5–13

Brothers and sisters:
Hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For Christ, while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.
Indeed, only with difficulty does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person
one might even find courage to die.
But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
How much more then, since we are now justified by his Blood,
will we be saved through him from the wrath.
Indeed, if, while we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son,
how much more, once reconciled,
will we be saved by his life.
Not only that,
but we also boast of God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Gospel: John 6:37–40

Jesus said to the crowds:
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”

Prayer of the Day
Saint Gertrude the Great’s Prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

More

Song of the Day: Danny Boy performed by Eva Cassidy (d. Nov. 2, 1996)
Say an Ave for me

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New Christian Constellations

Feast of All Saints

The only real sadness,
the only real failure,
the only great tragedy in life,
is not to become a saint.
— Leon Bloy, La Femme Pauvre

When you look out on a November evening,
and see the sky all studded with stars,
think of those innumerable saints in heaven,
all ready to help you.
Ronald A Knox, sermon, 1 November 1950

Scriptures of the Day

New Testament: Revelation 7:2–4, 9–14

I, John, saw another angel come up from the East,
holding the seal of the living God.
He cried out in a loud voice to the four angels
who were given power to damage the land and the sea,
“Do not damage the land or the sea or the trees
until we put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”
I heard the number of those who had been marked with the seal,
one hundred and forty-four thousand marked
from every tribe of the children of Israel.

After this I had a vision of a great multitude,
which no one could count,
from every nation, race, people, and tongue.
They stood before the throne and before the Lamb,
wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
They cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne,
and from the Lamb.”

All the angels stood around the throne
and around the elders and the four living creatures.
They prostrated themselves before the throne,
worshiped God, and exclaimed:

“Amen. Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might
be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”

Then one of the elders spoke up and said to me,
“Who are these wearing white robes, and where did they come from?”
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.”
He said to me,
“These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress;
they have washed their robes
and made them white in the Blood of the Lamb.”

New Testament: 1 John 3:1–3

Beloved:
See what love the Father has bestowed on us
that we may be called the children of God.
Yet so we are.
The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now;
what we shall be has not yet been revealed.
We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.
Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure,
as he is pure.

Responsorial Psalm: 24

The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
One whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Gospel: Beatitudes

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Meditation and a Prayer
from In Conversation With God, Vol. 7

Throughout our life we are called to the fullness of Love. A struggle against our passions and inordinate tendencies is necessary. We have to make a constant effort to improve, since sanctity does not depend on one’s state in life — single, married, widower, or priest — but on our personal correspondence with the grace God grants each one of us. (Pope Saint John Paul II, Chrstifideles laici, 1988) The Church reminds everyone that both the worker who takes up his trade or profession each morning and the mother of a family committed to the daily running of the home should sanctify themselves by faithfully fulfilling their duties.

It is consoling to realize that people with whom we had dealings a short time ago are now contemplating the face of God. We continue to be united to them by profound friendship and affection through the Communion of Saints. They lend us assistance from heaven and we remember them with joy and seek their intercession as well. Today we make St Teresa’s prayer to the Blessed in heaven our own. She too will be among those to hear our prayer: O holy ones who knew how to prepare so delightful an inheritance, help us now that you are so near the fount of all holiness. Draw water for those of us who are perishing from thirst. (Saint Teresa of Avila, SELRES_6342c0ba-f8d5-4d60-abf0-47651d9d3d60SELRES_36b79d75-a174-4087-bce6-d68e9706229cSELRES_bad820ea-cd18-4028-b174-6f2988155b1eExclamations of the Soul to God)SELRES_bad820ea-cd18-4028-b174-6f2988155b1eSELRES_36b79d75-a174-4087-bce6-d68e9706229cSELRES_6342c0ba-f8d5-4d60-abf0-47651d9d3d60

Quotes of the Day

Pope Benedict on reflecting the beauty of Christ

One might say that the Saints are, so to speak, new Christian constellations, in which the richness of God’s goodness is reflected.  Their light, coming from God, enables us to know better the interior richness of God’s great light which we cannot comprehend in the refulgence of its glory.

— “The Saints as Constellations,” The Spirit of the Liturgy, Ignatius Press, 2000

Nothing can bring us into close contact with the beauty of Christ himself other than the world of beauty created by faith and light that shines out from the faces of the saints, through whom his own light becomes visible.

— Cardinal Ratzinger, 2002 message on contemplating beauty

Pope Benedict: What God wants most of all

What God wants most of all for each one of you is that you should become holy. He loves you much more than you could ever begin to imagine, and he wants the very best for you. And by far the best thing for you is to grow in holiness.

Perhaps some of you have never thought about this before. Perhaps some of you think being a saint is not for you. Let me explain what I mean. When we are young, we can usually think of people that we look up to, people we admire, people we want to be like. It could be someone we meet in our daily lives that we hold in great esteem. Or it could be someone famous. We live in a celebrity culture, and young people are often encouraged to model themselves on figures from the world of sport or entertainment. My question for you is this: what are the qualities you see in others that you would most like to have yourselves? What kind of person would you really like to be?

When I invite you to become saints, I am asking you not to be content with second best. I am asking you not to pursue one limited goal and ignore all the others. Having money makes it possible to be generous and to do good in the world, but on its own, it is not enough to make us happy. Being highly skilled in some activity or profession is good, but it will not satisfy us unless we aim for something greater still. It might make us famous, but it will not make us happy. Happiness is something we all want, but one of the great tragedies in this world is that so many people never find it, because they look for it in the wrong places. The key to it is very simple – true happiness is to be found in God. We need to have the courage to place our deepest hopes in God alone, not in money, in a career, in worldly success, or in our relationships with others, but in God. Only he can satisfy the deepest needs of our hearts.

Not only does God love us with a depth and an intensity that we can scarcely begin to comprehend, but he invites us to respond to that love. You all know what it is like when you meet someone interesting and attractive, and you want to be that person’s friend. You always hope they will find you interesting and attractive, and want to be your friend. God wants your friendship. And once you enter into friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change. As you come to know him better, you find you want to reflect something of his infinite goodness in your own life. You are attracted to the practice of virtue. You begin to see greed and selfishness and all the other sins for what they really are, destructive and dangerous tendencies that cause deep suffering and do great damage, and you want to avoid falling into that trap yourselves. You begin to feel compassion for people in difficulties and you are eager to do something to help them. You want to come to the aid of the poor and the hungry, you want to comfort the sorrowful, you want to be kind and generous. And once these things begin to matter to you, you are well on the way to becoming saints.

— Pope Benedict address to Catholic Students during visit to the UK, September 17, 2010

Pope Francis: The goal is Paradise!

The Feast of All Saints that we are celebrating today reminds us that the goal of our existence is not death, it is Paradise! The Apostle John writes: “it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (1 Jn 3:2). The Saints — who are the friends of God — assure us of this promise which does not disappoint. During their earthly existence they lived in profound communion with God. In the faces of the humblest and least of our brothers, the smallest and most despised brothers, they saw the face of God, and now they contemplate him face to face in his glorious beauty.

The Saints are not supermen, nor were they born perfect. They are like us, like each one of us. They are people who, before reaching the glory of heaven, lived normal lives with joys and sorrows, struggles and hopes. What changed their lives? When they recognized God’s love, they followed it with all their heart without reserve or hypocrisy. They spent their lives serving others, they endured suffering and adversity without hatred and responded to evil with good, spreading joy and peace. This is the life of a Saint. Saints are people who for love of God did not put conditions on him in their life; they were not hypocrites; they spent their lives at the service of others. They suffered much adversity but without hate. The Saints never hated. Understand this well: love is of God, then from whom does hatred come? Hatred does not come from God but from the devil! And the Saints removed themselves from the devil; the Saints are men and women who have joy in their hearts and they spread it to others. Never hate but serve others, the most needy; pray and live in joy. This is the way of holiness!

Being holy is not a privilege for the few, as if someone had a large inheritance; in Baptism we all have an inheritance to be able to become saints. Holiness is a vocation for everyone. Thus we are all called to walk on the path of holiness, and this path has a name and a face: the face of Jesus Christ. He teaches us to become saints. In the Gospel he shows us the way, the way of the Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:1-12). In fact, the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who do not place their security in material things but in love for God, for those who have a simple, humble heart that does not presume to be just and does not judge others, for those who know how to suffer with those who suffer and how to rejoice when others rejoice. They are not violent but merciful and strive to be instruments for reconciliation and peace. Saints, whether men or women, are instruments for reconciliation and peace; they are always helping people to become reconciled and helping to bring about peace. Thus holiness is beautiful, it is a beautiful path!

— Pope Francis, Feast of All Saints 2013

Slackness snaps the soul

Feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus

Quotes of the Day

From Saint Ignatius’ letter on Perfection
to the fathers and brothers studying at Coimbra, May 7, 1547 

The Advantages of Fervor

Therefore, give serious thought to your vocation so that you can give much thanks to God for so great a favor and ask Him for the special help needed to correspond to it with courage and diligence. Both of these you must have in large measure if you are to attain the end you have in view. Sloth, tepidity, weariness in study and in the other exercises which you have undertaken for the love of our Lord you must recognize as the sworn enemies of your vocation.

For his encouragement each one should keep before his eyes, not those who he thinks will accomplish less, but rather those who are active and energetic. Never permit the children of this world to show greater care and interest in the things of time than you show for those of eternity. It should bring a blush to your cheek to see them run to death more enthusiastically than you to life. Hold yourselves as worth little if a courtier serves with greater dedication to gain the favor of an earthly prince than you do for the favor of the King of Heaven, or if a soldier battles with greater courage for the glory of victory and hope of spoils, than you fight for victory and triumph over the world, the devil, and yourselves, all for a heavenly kingdom and eternal glory.

For the love of God, therefore, be neither careless nor tepid. For if tautness snaps the bow, slackness snaps the soul; while on the contrary, according to Solomon, the soul of them that work shall be richly supplied [Prov. 13:4]. Try to maintain a holy and discreet fervor in your work and in the pursuit of learning as well as virtue. With both alike, one energetic act is worth a thousand that are listless, and what a lazy man cannot accomplish in many years an energetic man can usually achieve quickly.

In the matter of learning, the difference between the earnest and the careless student stands out clearly. The same holds true in the mastering of passion and the weaknesses to which our nature is subject, as in the acquiring of virtue. It is certain that, because the negligent do not struggle against self, they never achieve peace of soul or do so tardily, and never possess any virtue in its fullness, while the energetic and industrious make notable advances on both fronts.

Experience proves that in this life peace and satisfaction are had, not by the listless but by those who are fervent in God’s service. And rightly so. For in their effort to overcome themselves and to rid themselves of self-love, they rid themselves of the roots of all passion and unrest. And by acquiring habits of virtue, they naturally succeed in acting with ease and cheerfulness in accordance with these same virtues.

By this means they dispose themselves to receive the holy consolation of God our faithful consoler, for to him who conquers I will give the hidden manna [Rev. 2:17]. On the other hand, tepidity is the cause of a lifetime of uneasiness, for we never uproot its cause, self-love, nor do we ever deserve God’s help. Therefore you should rouse yourselves to work earnestly at your praiseworthy tasks, since even in this life you will perceive the advantages of holy fervor, not only in the growth of perfection in your souls but even in the peace of mind it grants you in this present life.

But if you look to the eternal reward, as you often should, Saint Paul will easily convince you that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that shall be revealed in us [Rom. 8:18], because this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal measure of glory beyond all comparison [2 Cor. 4:17].

From Saint Ignatius’ letter on maturing spiritually
to the scholastics at Alcala, 1543 

  1. We should be careful to preserve great purity of heart in the love of God, loving nothing but Him, and desiring to converse with Him alone, and with the neighbor for love of Him and not for our own pleasure and delight.
  2. We should speak only with necessity, and for the edification of ourselves or others, and leave aside those things which do not profit the soul, such as the desire for news and worldly affairs. We should try always to treat of matters connected with humility and mortification of the will, and not of things that give occasion for laughter or murmuring.
  3. Let no one seek to be considered a wit, or to affect elegance or prudence or eloquence, but look upon Christ, who made nothing at all of these things and chose to be humbled and despised by men for our sake rather than to be honored and respected.
  4. We should not wish to see or do anything which could not be done in the presence of God and His creatures, and we shall thus imagine that we are always in His presence.
  5. We should not dispute stubbornly with anyone; rather we should patiently give our reasons with the purpose of declaring the truth lest our neighbor remain in error, and not that we should have the upper hand.
  6. One of the things which we must be very firm about, if we are to please our Lord, is to cast far from us everything that could remove us from the love of our brethren. We should make every effort to love them with a tender charity, for Supreme Truth has said: This is how all will know you are my disciples, etc. [John 13:35].
  7. Should anyone do anything that is disedifying, and it seems that as a result he should be held in less esteem than he was held before, let him not be so discouraged as to wish to give up, but let him humble himself and ask forgiveness of those who might have been scandalized by his bad example and a penance from his superior. He should thank God, who has permitted him to be humbled, so that he can be known by all for what he is. He should not wish to appear better in the eyes of men than he is in the eyes of God. The brethren who behold him should think that they could fall into even greater weakness, and should ask God to strengthen them.
  8. In our superiors we should always behold the person of Christ, whom they represent, and have recourse to them in our doubts and hold it as certain that our Lord will direct us through them.
  9. We should not conceal our temptations, nor even our good thoughts, but make them known to our confessor or superior, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light [2 Cor. 11:14]. We should always act according to the judgment and counsel of our spiritual father rather than our own, which we should always regard rather with suspicion.
  10. In dealing with others we should bear ourselves modestly, and try not to appear sad or too serious, nor, on the other hand, overcheerful and gay, but as the Apostle says: Everyone should see how modest you are [Phil. 4:5].
  11. We should never postpone a good work, no matter how small it may be, with the thought of later doing something greater. It is a very common temptation of the enemy to be always placing before us the perfection of things to come and bring us to make little of the present.
  12. Let us all persevere in the vocation to which God calls us, and not make our first loyalty an empty word. For the enemy is wont to tempt those in the desert with thoughts of dealing with the neighbor and improving him, and to those who are helping the neighbor he will propose the great perfection of the desert and solitary life. Thus he lays hold of what is far off to prevent us from taking advantage of what is at hand.

Your light must shine before others

Feast of Saint Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony is invoked most frequently for lost items, but he ought to be invoked for lost people.

Scriptures of the Day

Epistle: 2 Corinthians 1:18–2

Brothers and sisters:
As God is faithful, our word to you is not “yes” and “no.”
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was proclaimed to you by us,
Silvanus and Timothy and me,
was not “yes” and “no,” but “yes” has been in him.
For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him;
therefore, the Amen from us also goes through him to God for glory.
But the one who gives us security with you in Christ
and who anointed us is God;
he has also put his seal upon us
and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.

Psalm: 119:129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135

Wonderful are your decrees;
therefore I observe them.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
The revelation of your words sheds light,
gives understanding to the simple.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
I gasp with open mouth
in my yearning for your commands.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
Turn to me in pity
as you turn to those who love your name.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
Steady my footsteps according to your promise,
and let no iniquity rule over me.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.
Let your countenance shine upon your servant,
and teach me your statutes.
R. Lord, let your face shine on me.

Gospel: Matthew 5:13–16

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”

Saint Anthony’s Teaching on the Four Lamps
from the first clause of his sermon for the Twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost

First lamp:  God’s word

The word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my paths. — Psalm 119:105
Note that it speaks of “feet” first, and then “paths,” because when we hear the Word of God, we are first made to shine in heart, and then we walk with straight steps.

Second lamp:  Good works

Let your loins be girt and lamps burning in your hands. — Luke 12:35
We hold lamps burning in our hands when we show good works to our neighbors.

Third lamp: intention, which gives light to the whole collection of good works

The light of your body [your work] is your eye [your intention]. If your eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome. — Matthew 6:22

Fourth lamp: the humanity of Jesus Christ

What woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it?  — Luke 15:8

Let the Lord say “in the time of judgment I will search Jerusalem,” that is, each and every Christian. I will search with lamps:

  • Does he hear the word of preaching and amend his life?
  • Does he show the light of good example to others?
  • Does he do his works with a right intention?
  • Does he shape his life by the example of the poverty and humility of Jesus Christ?

Then he will visit upon people (those who trust in their own strength) who are settled in their filth, their iniquities.

Quote of the Day

In Jesus there is no ‘no’: always ‘yes,’ for the glory of the Father. But we too share this ‘Yes’ of Jesus, because He has given us the anointing, he has imprinted on us the Seal, has given us the ‘security deposit’ of the Spirit. We participate because we are united, sealed, and have in our hand that security – the security deposit of the Spirit – the Spirit that will bring us to the definitive ‘Yes,’ and also to our own fullness. Also, that same Spirit that will help us to become light and salt, that is to say, it is the Spirit that leads us to give Christian witness. — Pope Francis homily for June 13, 2017

She will live the life of God

Feast of Saint John of the Cross
Poem of the Day

From the Romance on the Incarnation 

3. On creation

“My Son, I wish to give you
a bride who will love you.
Because of you she will deserve
to share our company,
and eat at our table,
the same bread I eat,
that she may know the good
I have in such a Son;
and rejoice with me
in your grace and fullness.”

“I am very grateful,”
the Son answered;
“I will show my brightness
to the bride you give me,
so that by it she may see
how great my Father is,
and how I have received
my being from your being.

I will hold her in my arms
and she will burn with your love,
and with eternal delight
she will exalt your goodness”.

4. Continues

“Let it be done, then,” said the Father,
for your love has deserved it.

And by these words
the world was created,
a palace for the bride
made with great wisdom
and divided into rooms,
one above, the other below.

The lower was furnished
with infinite variety,
while the higher was made
beautiful
with marvelous jewels,
that the bride might know
the Bridegroom she had.

The orders of angels
were placed in the higher,
but humanity was given
the lower place,
for it was, in its being,
a lesser thing.

And though beings and places
were divided in this way,
yet all form one,
who is called the bride;
for love of the same Bridegroom
made one bride of them.

Those higher ones possessed
the Bridegroom in gladness;
the lower in hope, founded
on the faith that he infused in them,
telling them that one day
he would exalt them,
and that he would lift them
up from their lowness
so that no one
could mock it any more;
for he would make himself
wholly like them,
and he would come to them
and dwell with them;
and God would be man
and man would be God,
and he would walk with them
and eat and drink with them;
and he himself would be
with them continually
until the consummation
of this world,
when, joined, they would rejoice
in eternal song;
for he was the Head
of this bride of his
to whom all the members
of the just would be joined,
who form the body of the bride.

He would take her
tenderly in his arms
and there give her his love;
and when they were thus one,
he would lift her to the Father
where God’s very joy
would be her joy.

For as the Father and the Son
and he who proceeds from them
live in one another,
so it would be with the bride;
for, taken wholly into God,
she will live the life of God.

To be praises of glory

The very first
Feast of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

41. “We have been predestined by the decree of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, so that we may be the praise of His glory.

It is Saint Paul who tells us this, Saint Paul who was instructed by God Himself. How do we realize this great dream of the Heart of our God, this immutable will for our souls? In a word, how do we correspond to our vocation and become perfect Praises of Glory of the Most Holy Trinity?

42. “In Heaven” each soul is a praise of glory of the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, for each soul is established in pure love and “lives no longer its own life, but the life of God.” Then it knows Him, Saint Paul says, as it is known by Him. In other words “its intellect is the intellect of God, its will the will of God, its love the very love of God. In reality it is the Spirit of love and of strength who transforms the soul, for to Him it has been given to supply what is lacking to the soul,” as Saint Paul says again. “He works in it this glorious transformation.” Saint John of the Cross affirms that “the soul surrendered to love, through the strength of the Holy Spirit, is not far from being raised to the degree of which we have just spoken,” even here below! This is what I call a perfect praise of glory!

43. A praise of glory is a soul that lives in God, that loves Him with a pure and disinterested love, without seeking itself in the sweetness of this love; that loves Him beyond all His gifts and even though it would not have received anything from Him, it desires the good of the Object thus loved. Now how do we effectively desire and will good to God if not in accomplishing His will since this will orders everything for His greater glory? Thus the soul must surrender itself to this will completely, passionately, so as to will nothing else but what God wills.

A praise of glory is a soul of silence that remains like a lyre under the mysterious touch of the Holy Spirit so that He may draw from it divine harmonies; it knows that suffering is a string that produces still more beautiful sounds; so it loves to see this string on its instrument that it may more delightfully move the Heart of its God.

A praise of glory is a soul that gazes on God in faith and simplicity; it is a reflector of all that He is; it is like a bottomless abyss into which He can flow and expand; it is also like a crystal through which He can radiate and contemplate all His perfections and His own splendor. A soul which thus permits the divine Being to satisfy in itself His need to communicate “all that He is and all that He has,” is in reality the praise of glory of all His gifts.

Finally, a praise of glory is one who is always giving thanks. Each of her acts, her movements, her thoughts, her aspirations, at the same time that they are rooting her more deeply in love, are like an echo of the eternal Sanctus.

44. In the Heaven of glory the blessed have no rest “day or night, saying: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty….They fall down and worship Him who lives forever and ever….”

In the heaven of her soul, the praise of glory has already begun her work of eternity. Her song is uninterrupted, for she is under the action of the Holy Spirit who effects everything in her; and although she is not always aware of it, for the weakness of nature does not allow her to be established in God without distractions, she always sings, she always adores, for she has, so to speak, wholly passed into praise and love in her passion for the glory of her God. In the heave of our soul let us be praises of glory of the Holy Trinity, praises of love of our Immaculate Mother. One day the veil will fall, we will be introduced into the eternal courts, and there we will sing in the bosom of infinite Love. And God will give us “the new name promised to the Victor.” What will it be?

— Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, Heaven in Faith, Tenth Day, Second Prayer