Keep your eyes open!...


September 17, 2014  

(Psa 139:14-16) I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know. My bones are not hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me unformed; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be.

CRISIS MAGAZINE: Scientism Cannot Explain Away the Grandeur of God

PETER KREEFT: Spiritual History 101: How Did We Get to the Edge?


My old philosophical mentor, Eric Mascall, used to say that, in our time, all the goods are in the store-window and there’s very little under the counter. He was commenting on empiricism as a philosophy and how it was slowly robbing daily life of its mystery and depth. Sadly, that comment made years ago, rings true today at a different level.

Our world has become obsessed with appearance, with image, with persona, with what’s in the store-window, with how we’re perceived. Today it’s more important to look good than to be good, more important to look healthy than to be healthy, and more important to have a good- looking surface than to have much in the way of integrity and depth underneath.

We see this everywhere, in our obsession for the perfect physical appearance, in the cult around image, in our mania for celebrity, in the imperialism of fashion, and in our not-so-disguised efforts to be perceived as connected to all the right things.

For example, typically, more and more Universities are handing out honorary degrees to two types of people, celebrities and highly recognized justice advocates. I’m not sure that many of those institutions actually care about the poor or intellectually endorse what the entertainment and sports industry (which produce most of our celebrities) are doing, but a Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Meryl Streep, Jodi Foster, Wayne Gretsky, or David Beckham looks mighty good on a University’s public face: “Just look how caring, beautiful, and energetic we are!”

In the end, and I hope I’m not being cynical, it seems it’s not so important what an institution believes in or how it treats its employees and students, it’s only important how it’s seen and perceived from the outside. Giving a doctorate to a Mother Theresa doesn’t do much for the poor in India, but it does a fair amount for the institution that’s honouring her.

The same is true in politics. Image has triumphed over substance. We tend to care less about policy than about appearance and we elect people to political offices more on the basis of their persona than anything else. To be elected to a public office today, it’s more important to have the right image than to have political substance and the character.

But we shouldn’t be too hard on the triumph of appearance over substance in public life because this simply mirrors what’s happening in our private lives: More and more, appearance is the first thing, the whole thing, and the only thing. It’s not important to be good, only to look good.

Cosmetics is becoming the biggest industry in the world and concern for how we look, for the perfect body, is now a crucifying anxiety that’s leaving more and more of us, especially young people, dissatisfied with our own bodies and sadly restless within our own lives. The prevalence of anorexia, among other eating disorders, more than bears this out. Too often we’re dieting, not to be healthy, but to try to attain and maintain an impossible appearance. Everything is about how we look and so we exercise more, diet more strictly, and spend yet more money on fashionable clothing in an attempt to look right, even as we remain chronically disenchanted with how we look and know deep down that we’re fighting a losing battle as our bodies age and society’s standards grow ever more unattainable. Worse still, we tend now to make value judgements based on physical appearance alone. Our worth lies in looking good.

Not that all of this bad, mind you. Concern for physical appearance is a good thing in itself, as are concerns for exercise and diet. We are meant to look good and to feel good. Neither bodily health nor healthy aesthetics about our appearance should ever be denigrated in the name of morality, depth, or religion. Indeed lack of concern for one’s physical appearance is a telltale sign of depression or even some deeper illness of soul. Our concern for appearance is a good thing, but, today, it’s a good thing taken too far.

Concern for appearance should never replace a concern for substance, depth, and integrity of soul, just as, conversely, concern for substance and depth may never be an excuse for shoddiness and sloppy appearance. Still, today, we’ve lost the proper balance and it’s hurting us in more ways than we imagine.

Faith is built on the blood of martyrs and the institutions that bind a society together (marriage, family, church, politics) are sustained largely on the basis of self-sacrifice. But ninety-nine percent of that martyrdom and self-sacrifice remains hidden, silent, anonymous, unnoticed, unglamorous, blood shed in secret, love given for reasons beyond appearance.

If this is true, and it is, then the prognosis for the future leaves me uneasy. When appearance is everything, we soon stop focusing on deeper things and then slowly, imperceptibly, appearance begin to look like character, celebrity begins to replace nobility of soul, and looking good becomes more important than being good.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion 

60. He also said, 'The will of man is a wall of brass, and a stone barrier between himself and God. If he puts it aside, he can say the words of the psalm, "By the help of my God I shall leap over the wall" and, "as for my God his way is undefiled" (Ps. 18:29-30). If good conduct helps the will, then a man will do good.

September 14, 2014  

(1Co 1:17-18) For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of speech, lest the cross of Christ should be made void. For the word of the cross, to them indeed that perish, is foolishness: but to them that are saved, that is, to us, it is the power of God.

POPE FRANCIS HOMILY: War is "madness" which brings destruction

Visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to the Military Cemetery of Redipuglia (13 September 2014) 

After experiencing the beauty of travelling throughout this region, where men and women work and raise their families, where children play and the elderly dream… I now find myself here, in this place, able to say only one thing: War is madness.

Whereas God carries forward the work of creation, and we men and women are called to participate in his work, war destroys.  It also ruins the most beautiful work of his hands: human beings.  War ruins everything, even the bonds between brothers.  War is irrational; its only plan is to bring destruction: it seeks to grow by destroying.

Greed, intolerance, the lust for power…. These motives underlie the decision to go to war, and they are too often justified by an ideology; but first there is a distorted passion or impulse.  Ideology is presented as a justification and when there is no ideology, there is the response of Cain: “What does it matter to me?  Am I my brother’s keeper?” (cf. Gen 4:9).  War does not look directly at anyone, be they elderly, children, mothers, fathers…. “What does it matter to me?”

Above the entrance to this cemetery, there hangs in the air those ironic words of war, “What does it matter to me?”  Each one of the dead buried here had their own plans, their own dreams… but their lives were cut short.  Humanity said, “What does it matter to me?”

Even today, after the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction…

In all honesty, the front page of newspapers ought to carry the headline, “What does it matter to me?”  Cain would say, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

This attitude is the exact opposite of what Jesus asks of us in the Gospel.  We have heard: he is in the least of his brothers; he, the King, the Judge of the world, he is the one who hungers, who thirsts, he is the stranger, the one who is sick, the prisoner… The one who cares for his brother or sister enters into the joy of the Lord; the one who does not do so, however, who by his omissions says, “What does it matter to me?”, remains excluded.

Here lie many victims.  Today, we remember them.  There are tears, there is sadness.  From this place we remember all the victims of every war.

Today, too, the victims are many…  How is this possible?  It is so because in today’s world, behind the scenes, there are interests, geopolitical strategies, lust for money and power, and there is the manufacture and sale of arms, which seem to be so important!

And these plotters of terrorism, these schemers of conflicts, just like arms dealers, have engraved in their hearts, “What does it matter to me?”

It is the task of the wise to recognize errors, to feel pain, to repent, to beg for pardon and to cry.       

With this “What does it matter to me?” in their hearts, the merchants of war perhaps have made a great deal of money, but their corrupted hearts have lost the capacity to cry.  That “What does it matter to me?” prevents the tears.  Cain did not cry.  The shadow of Cain hangs over us today in this cemetery.  It is seen here.  It is seen from 1914 right up to our own time.  It is seen even in the present.

With the heart of a son, a brother, a father, I ask each of you, indeed for all of us, to have a conversion of heart: to move on from “What does it matter to me?”, to tears: for each one of the fallen of this “senseless massacre”, for all the victims of the mindless wars, in every age.  Humanity needs to weep, and this is the time to weep.

ALETEIA: Why does God Allow all the Violence and Suffering Today?

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion 

59. Poemen related a saying of Ammon, 'One man kept an axe with him all his life but did not know how to cut down a tree; another knew how to use an axe, and could cut down a tree with a few strokes. 'He used to say that the axe was discretion.

September 12, 2014  

(Luk 6:40) The disciple is not above his master: but every one shall be perfect, if he be as his master.

CHURCHPOP: 11 Of the Best Things Jesus Never Said

CRISIS MAGAZINE: “When Will the Catholic Church Come into the 21st Century?”

BLOG: Post-Christian and Secular: The Loss of Pudor


Once upon a time there was a church founded on God’s entering into human history in order to give humanity a path to eternal life and happiness with him. The Savior that God sent, his only-begotten Son, did not write a book but founded a community, a church, upon the witness and ministry of twelve apostles. He sent this church the gift of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of love between Father and Son, the Spirit of the truth that God had revealed about himself and humanity by breaking into the history of human sinfulness.

This church, a hierarchical communion, continued through history, living among different peoples and cultures, filled with sinners, but always guided in the essentials of her life and teaching by the Holy Spirit. She called herself “Catholic” because her purpose was to preach a universal faith and a universal morality, encompassing all peoples and cultures. This claim often invited conflict with the ruling classes of many countries. About 1,800 years into her often stormy history, this church found herself as a very small group in a new country in Eastern North America that promised to respect all religions because the State would not be confessional; it would not try to play the role of a religion.

This church knew that it was far from socially acceptable in this new country. One of the reasons the country was established was to protest the king of England’s permitting the public celebration of the Catholic Mass on the soil of the British Empire in the newly conquered Catholic territories of Canada. He had betrayed his coronation oath to combat Catholicism, defined as “America’s greatest enemy,” and protect Protestantism, bringing the pure religion of the colonists into danger and giving them the moral right to revolt and reject his rule.

Nonetheless, many Catholics in the American colonies thought their life might be better in the new country than under a regime whose ruling class had penalized and persecuted them since the mid-16th century. They made this new country their own and served her loyally. The social history was often contentious, but the State basically kept its promise to protect all religions and not become a rival to them, a fake church. Until recent years.

There was always a quasi-religious element in the public creed of the country. It lived off the myth of human progress, which had little place for dependence on divine providence. It tended to exploit the religiosity of the ordinary people by using religious language to co-opt them into the purposes of the ruling class. Forms of anti-Catholicism were part of its social DNA. It had encouraged its citizens to think of themselves as the creators of world history and the managers of nature, so that no source of truth outside of themselves needed to be consulted to check their collective purposes and desires. But it had never explicitly taken upon itself the mantle of a religion and officially told its citizens what they must personally think or what “values” they must personalize in order to deserve to be part of the country. Until recent years.

In recent years, society has brought social and legislative approval to all types of sexual relationships that used to be considered “sinful.” Since the biblical vision of what it means to be human tells us that not every friendship or love can be expressed in sexual relations, the church’s teaching on these issues is now evidence of intolerance for what the civil law upholds and even imposes. What was once a request to live and let live has now become a demand for approval. The “ruling class,” those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone. We are told that, even in marriage itself, there is no difference between men and women, although nature and our very bodies clearly evidence that men and women are not interchangeable at will in forming a family. Nevertheless, those who do not conform to the official religion, we are warned, place their citizenship in danger.

When the recent case about religious objection to one provision of the Health Care Act was decided against the State religion, the Huffington Post (June 30, 2014) raised “concerns about the compatibility between being a Catholic and being a good citizen.” This is not the voice of the nativists who first fought against Catholic immigration in the 1830s. Nor is it the voice of those who burned convents and churches in Boston and Philadelphia a decade later. Neither is it the voice of the Know-Nothing Party of the 1840s and 1850s, nor of the Ku Klux Klan, which burned crosses before Catholic churches in the Midwest after the civil war. It is a voice more sophisticated than that of the American Protective Association, whose members promised never to vote for a Catholic for public office. This is, rather, the selfrighteous voice of some members of the American establishment today who regard themselves as “progressive” and “enlightened.”

The inevitable result is a crisis of belief for many Catholics. Throughout history, when Catholics and other believers in revealed religion have been forced to choose between being taught by God or instructed by politicians, professors, editors of major newspapers and entertainers, many have opted to go along with the powers that be. This reduces a great tension in their lives, although it also brings with it the worship of a false god. It takes no moral courage to conform to government and social pressure. It takes a deep faith to “swim against the tide,” as Pope Francis recently encouraged young people to do at last summer’s World Youth Day.

Swimming against the tide means limiting one’s access to positions of prestige and power in society. It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers. Nor will their children, who will also be suspect. Since all public institutions, no matter who owns or operates them, will be agents of the government and conform their activities to the demands of the official religion, the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics. It already means in some States that those who run businesses must conform their activities to the official religion or be fined, as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.

A reader of the tale of two churches, an outside observer, might note that American civil law has done much to weaken and destroy what is the basic unit of every human society, the family. With the weakening of the internal restraints that healthy family life teaches, the State will need to impose more and more external restraints on everyone’s activities. An outside observer might also note that the official religion’s imposing whatever its proponents currently desire on all citizens and even on the world at large inevitably generates resentment. An outside observer might point out that class plays a large role in determining the tenets of the official State religion. “Same-sex marriage,” as a case in point, is not an issue for the poor or those on the margins of society.

How does the tale end? We don’t know. The actual situation is, of course, far more complex than a story plot, and there are many actors and characters, even among the ruling class, who do not want their beloved country to transform itself into a fake church. It would be wrong to lose hope, since there are so many good and faithful people.

Catholics do know, with the certainty of faith, that, when Christ returns in glory to judge the living and the dead, the church, in some recognizable shape or form that is both Catholic and Apostolic, will be there to meet him. There is no such divine guarantee for any country, culture or society of this or any age.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion 

58. A brother said to Poemen, 'If I see something wrong do you want me to tell you about it? 'He said to him, 'It is written, "If a man answers before he has heard, it is foolishness to him and discredit" (Ecclesiasticus 11:8). If you are asked, speak; if not, say nothing.

September 8, 2014  

(Joh 2:5) His mother saith to the waiters: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.

POPE FRANCIS:  “The model of motherhood for the Church is the Blessed Virgin Mary, who in the fullness of time conceived through the Holy Spirit and gave birth to the Son of God.”

ALETEIA: What's a Christian to Do as the World Sinks into Chaos?

A Moment With Mary: Today, September 8, 2014, the Virgin Mary will be proclaimed Queen of Corsica

Today, Bishop de Germay will renew the consecration of Corsica to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In his own words: “On October 13th of last year, Pope Francis consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary, thus renewing the previous acts of consecration already made by his predecessors Pius XII in 1942, and John Paul II in 1984, in conformity with the requests of Our Lady of Fatima.

My wish is that we too could join in this act of the Holy Father, by renewing the consecration of Corsica to the Immaculate Virgin, like my predecessor, Bishop Rodiť, did in 1935… Thus, together, we will be able to entrust the Island of Corsica and her population to Mary's intercession and protection."

The renewal of this consecration will be officially pronounced by the bishop in three places: in the night of September 7th in Lavasina, at 8 o’clock in the morning in Casamaccioli, and in the afternoon in Ajaccio.

The same consecration is also being made in the different parishes of the diocese, by the wish of the pastors. A common prayer was distributed for this

VIA DIOCESE WEBSITE: Mary, Queen of Corsica

What is the meaning of such a consecration?

Christ came into the world to bring him back to the Father after removal due to sin. Why he wants to make all men disciples, men and women who are consecrated in truth (cf. Jn 17:19), a people for God (cf. 1P 2.9). This mission, Christ realizes over time through his Church. So we are as members of the Church, together with the work of salvation.

Jesus, who himself is our salvation, we came by a woman (Gal 4.4), the Virgin Mary. Today, it takes flesh in our lives through spiritual motherhood of the Mother of the Church. Before dying in fact, as a testament, Jesus gave it to us to make it our Mother (cf. Jn 19:27). Thus, it "cooperates in the birth and education of the son and daughters of the Church" (John Paul II).

Therefore, as members of the Church in Corsica, in a "lively sharing in Mary's faith" (John Paul II), we wish to entrust to her Immaculate Heart our island and all its inhabitants, and through it, to renew our own baptismal consecration.


VIA *The Birth of Mary* (Divine Office)

Thy birth, O Virgin Mother of God, heralded joy to all the world.
For from thou hast risen the Sun of justice, Christ our God.

Destroying the curse, He gave blessing; and damning death, He bestowed on us life everlasting.

Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
For from thou hast risen of Sun of justice, Christ our God.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion

57. Poemen also said, 'If a thought about your bodily needs comes to you, and you put it aside; and then it comes again, and you put it aside, what will happen? If it comes a third time, you will not notice it, and it will do you no harm.'

September 5, 2014  

(1Th 5:15-17) See that none render evil for evil to any man: but ever follow that which is good towards each other and towards all men. Always rejoice. Pray without ceasing.

BLOG: Top Ten Secrets of Happiness: Catholic Version 

THE SHIELD OF FAITH: "Walk cheerfully!" Practical advice from St. Padre Pio

Almost everyone knows that "pray, hope, and don't worry" is attributed to St. Pio, but some of his other spiritual gems are not so well known:

Duty before everything else, even something holy.

Whenever necessary you must look without seeing, and see without thinking about it.

If Jesus reveals Himself, thank Him; if He hides Himself thank Him also.  All is a pleasantry of His love.

Always do a little work.  Work, therefore, and though you keep on advancing slowly, you will nevertheless go a long way.

When there is not time for both, meditation is to be preferred to vocal prayer, because it is more fruitful.

Despise your temptations and do not dwell on them.

Ahead! Courage!  In the spiritual life he who does not advance goes backward. 

Don't draw back, and worse still, don't stop going up the Calvary of life.  Jesus will extend His hand to steady you.

Walk in the way of the Lord with simplicity and do not torment your spirit.

Only one thing is necessary: to lift up your spirit and love God.

The time best spent is that which is spent for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

EXCERPT ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK: A Cure for Depression from St. Silouan the Athonite

In an interview I recently read, the Archimandrite Sophrony Sacharov, of blessed memory, at that time a younger monk, was asked by a visiting priest: “Fr. Sophrony, how will we be saved?” Fr. Sophrony prepared him a cup of tea, gave it to him, and told him, “Stand on the edge of the abyss of despair and when you feel that it is beyond your strength, break off and have a cup of tea.” Obviously this was a very odd answer, and the young priest was definitely confused. So off he went to St. Silouan the Athonite, who lived not far from there, and told him everything, asking for advice. Long story short, next day, St. Silouan came to the cell of Fr. Sophrony and the two started a conversation about salvation. The beautiful fruit of their conversation was an unforgettable phrase that I would like to also offer as the answer to our conversation today about depression: “Keep your mind in hell and despair not.”

At first glance, St. Silouan’s take on salvation is not less strange that Fr. Sophrony’s initial answer, but it actually makes great sense. In traditional Christianity, the difficulties of life, the hardships are assumed as part of our fallen existence. Our bodies and our minds suffer the torments, but this is nothing but a temporary stage. The ascetic Fathers considered them as tests on par with the athletic exercises, very useful in practicing and improving the powers of the soul like patience, kindness, hope, faith and so forth. We keep our mind in hell when we consciously assume the pain of living in a fallen world, when we learn from this passing agony to avoid the even greater torture of an eternity without Christ. But there is hope in this suffering because Christ himself has suffered them first and has opened for us a way out of despair, a way out of pain, a way out of death. Christ is the well of life, the bread of eternity, and the only Man we need.

So as Christians we keep our minds in hell and we despair not, but courageously give glory to God in all things, even in pain, hoping, always hoping, in our Savior, the only One who can take us out of the brink of despair and set us for a new life in Him. In Him we put our hope, in Him we find our purpose, and on Him we set our goal.

Through the intercessions of our Father among the Saints Silouan the Athonite, through the prayers of Fr. Sophrony of Essex, of all the ascetic Fathers and all the saints, O Lord of compassion and hope, have mercy on us and save us!

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion 

55. A brother came to Poemen and said to him, 'Many thoughts come into my mind and put me in danger.' He sent him out into the open air, and said, 'Open your lungs and do not breathe.' He replied, 'I can't do that.' Then he said to him: 'Just as you can't stop air coming into your lungs, so you can't stop thoughts coming into your mind. Your part is to resist them.

September 3, 2014  

(Gal 6:7-9) Be not deceived: God is not mocked. For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit of the spirit shall reap life everlasting. And in doing good, let us not fail. For in due time we shall reap, not failing.

ARCHBISHOP TOMASI: “In this tragic context of violence, the Church ‘s job is difficult but continuous.  The example of the Holy Father is clear: he continues to appeal to the international community and to all of us believers, to pray that the path to peace will be found, inviting everyone to negotiate and inviting the countries that are capable of stopping the aggressor - through the mechanisms of the United Nations -  (to take action).”

BREAKING: Video Shows Beheading of Second U.S. Journalist; 'I'm Back, Obama'

DEBKA: Amid a trail of Al Qaeda atrocities, world leaders call on someone else "to stamp out the disease"

US Secretary of State John Kerry tried to turn attention away from President Barack Obama highly-criticized  admission Thursday, Aug. 28, "We don't have a strategy yet" for dealing with Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq” - with an article in the New York Times, calling for a “coalition of nations… to stamp out the disease of the Islamic state group.” Obama said only that the strategy under preparation won’t be ready before next month.

DEBKAfile’s counter-terrorism sources note that until then, and until Kerry’s coalition of nations comes together and decides what to do, Al Qaeda’s IS’s campaign of bloody atrocities and conquests will remain unchecked. And so will the spread of what the British Prime Minister David Cameron called, in a special news conference Friday, “the poisonous ideology of Islamist extremism.” Cameron warned that, while there was much talk about the threat to Europe of returning home-grown Islamists, “IS is already here.”

The return of at least 500 people from fighting in Syria and Iraq "for Islamic State extremists attempting to establish a caliphate” represented a "greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before.”
New laws, said the British premier, would make it easier to take passports away from people traveling abroad to join the conflict. Announcing the elevation of the UK terror threat from “substantial” to “severe,” Cameron cited the example of the British Islamist who took part in the beheading of the American journalist James Foley on Aug. 18.

MORE: Al Qaeda’s 9/11 anniversary attacks ready to go. New undetectable explosive may be used

BLOOMBERG OVERVIEW: A look at dangers posed by the Islamic State group

AINA NEWS: Timeline of ISIS in Iraq

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion 

54. He also said, ' A grumbler is not a monk. Anyone who gives evil for evil is not a monk. An irritable man is not a monk.

September 2, 2014  

(Luk 2:34-35) And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed.

COMMENTARY: Pope Francis and the ‘Borongan miracle’

FR. WILLIAM SAUNDERS: The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of the Rosary Library: A SOURCE OF GRACE AND CONSOLATION FOR ALL CHRISTIANS (from the booklet "Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother")

Devotion to the sorrows of Mary is a source of great graces because it is so pleasing to our Divine Lord. Many holy writers say that through her sufferings Mary placed an obligation, as it were upon her Son, which constrains Him to grant her whatever she asks of Him. As soon as we sympathize with the sorrows of His Mother, we draw our Saviour to ourselves. "He is," says St. Bernard, "at the disposal of those who devoutly meditate on the sufferings of His Mother." Our Lord once said to Bl. Veronica of Binasco: "My daughter, the tears which you shed in compassion for My sufferings are pleasing to Me, but bear in mind that on account of My excessive love for My Mother, the tears you shed in compassion for her sufferings are still more precious."

There are, indeed, few devotions for which our Saviour has made greater promises that for this one, and there are few that are more pleasing to Him.


Through her martyrdom, Mary has become in a special way the comforter of the afflicted. It was by her own experience of sorrow that she was taught the sympathy which enables her to comfort her children in all their afflictions. God gave her a mighty and a sympathetic heart for this great task.

For all God's children, the way to Heaven leads across the mount of Calvary -- the way of trial and suffering. In the company of our Sorrowful Mother, we walk more easily, fight more courageously, and suffer more patiently, perseveringly and joyfully; for she holds up before us not only the example of the sufferings and death of her Divine Son, but also the victory, the joy and the glory which He has won through His sufferings.

How often do we grow impatient, fainthearted, despondent and inconstant in suffering . . . how often without endurance, without resignation, full of complaints and murmurings! Oh, let us deeply engrave in our hearts the sorrows of Mary! May she, our Sorrowful Mother, ever be our model in suffering, in the patient endurance of trials, and in the humble acceptance of sorrows and afflictions. When the hand of God lays a heavy cross upon our shoulders, let us turn to Mary Sorrowing, and we shall obtain consolation and strength to carry the cross patiently and meritoriously.

The Desert Fathers: sayings of the Early Christian Monks: Discretion 

53. He also said, 'Evil cannot drive out evil. If anyone hurts you, do good to him and your good will destroy his evil.
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