Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Souls Day (Goffine's Devout Instructions)



November 2

ALL SOULS' DAY is the annual commemoration of all those souls who departed this life in the grace and favor of God but who are still detained in purgatory. Purgatory is that third place in the other world in which the souls of the departed suffer the temporal punishment of those sins for which in life they have not sufficiently atoned, and in which they are purified until they are worthy to appear in the presence of God.
Is there a purgatory?
Yes; it is a doctrine of our faith. 1. Even under the Old Law the Jews held to this belief, and accordingly Judas Machabeus sent twelve thousand silver drachmas to Jerusalem to procure the offering of sacrifices for the dead. 2. Under the New Law Jesus Christ seems to point to such a place (Matthew 5:26, 12:32). The apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians:
"The fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is. If any man's work abide, which he hath built thereupon [upon Christ], he shall receive a reward; if any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss [by the fire of purgatory], but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire." (1st Corinthians 3:13-15)
A fire from which a man may be saved cannot be the fire of hell; for from hell there is no redemption. The words of Saint Paul, therefore, can only be understood of purgatory.
What souls are they that go to purgatory?
The souls of all those who, though dying in the grace of God, have yet something to atone for. Those persons dying in the grace of God are still friends of God, and certainly God does not cast those who are His friends into hell. It is, therefore, as suitable to the idea of God's mercy as it is consonant to reason that such souls should be first purified in purgatory.
How can we assist the souls suffering in purgatory?
1. By our prayers. The Holy Scripture says: "It is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." (2nd Machabees 12:46) The Catholic Church has therefore always taught that the prayer of the faithful for the departed is holy and wholesome. 2. By the holy sacrifice of the Mass, the fruits of which are most beneficial to the souls in purgatory. For this reason holy Church has always, from the time of the apostles, remembered the dead in the holy Mass. 3. By gaining indulgences, and other good works, by which we supplicate God to show mercy to the souls of the suffering, to accept what is performed by us in satisfaction for the punishment to be endured by them, and to bring them into the kingdom of everlasting peace and light. (Ecclesiasticus 7:37)
When and how was this yearly commemoration of the departed introduced?
The time of the introduction of this commemoration cannot be determined; for as early as the time of Tertullian he mentions that the Christians of his day held a yearly commemoration of the dead. Towards the end of the tenth century Saint Odo, abbot of the Benedictines, at Cluny, directed this feast to be celebrated yearly, on the 2d of November, in all the convents of his Order, which usage was afterwards enjoined upon the whole Christian world by Pope John XVI. The feast of this day was probably established in order that, after having one day before rejoiced over the glory of the saints in heaven, we should this day remember in love those who are sighing in purgatory for deliverance.
Prayer

O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that, by our pious supplications, they may obtain the pardon which they have always desired. Who livest and reignest, now and forever, Amen.

Epistle: I Corinthians 15:51-57

Brethren: Behold I tell you a mystery: we shall all indeed rise again, but we shall not all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall rise again incorruptible; and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. And when this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, Who hath given us the victory through Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel: John 5:25-29

At that time Jesus said to the multitude of the Jews: Amen, amen, I say unto you, that the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in Himself, so He hath given to the Son also to have life in Himself, and He hath giveth Him power to do judgment, because He is the Son of man. Wonder not at this, for the hour cometh wherein all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that have done good things shall come forth unto the resurrection of life, but they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.


--Goffine's Devout Instructions

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Feast of All Saints Day (Goffine's Devout Instructions)

November 1
Why has the Church appointed this feast?
  1. To honor God in His saints, in whom He has shown Himself so wonderful, and to thank Him, as the author of all sanctity, for the benefits He has bestowed upon them.
  2. To put us in lively remembrance of the communion of saints; that is, of all true children of the Church, whether they belong to the Church militant on earth, to the Church suffering in purgatory, or to the Church triumphant in heaven; but more particularly to cause us to consider, with earnestness, the communion of the saints in heaven with us, who are yet combating on earth.
  3. To encourage us to strive for the like sanctity with them, and to teach us that it is by no means impossible; for if thousands of men could become saints, why should not we, who can do all things through Him Who strengthens us, and has sent the Holy Ghost for our sanctification?
  4. To pay honor to those saints to whom no particular day in the year is dedicated.
  5. That, in consideration of so many intercessors, God may grant us perfect reconciliation, may give us a share in their merits, and may grant us the grace of one day sharing in their joy in heaven.

By whom was this feast instituted?
By Pope Boniface IV, who, in the year 610, appropriated the Pantheon (that is, the temple of all gods) to the divine service of Christians, dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin and an saints, and commanded this feast in honor of all saints to be celebrated at Rome every year. Gregory IV, in the year 840, extended this feast to the whole Church, and transferred it to the 1st of November.

Prayer

O Almighty God, Who hast granted us to venerate in one, solemnity the merits of an Thy saints, we beseech Thee that, as our intercessors are multiplied, Thou wouldst bestow upon us the desired abundance of mercy. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Epistle: Apocalypse 7:2-12

In those days: Behold I John saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying: Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them that were signed, an hundred forty-four thousand were signed, of every tribe of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Juda, were twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Ruben, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Gad, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Aser, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Nephthali, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Manasses, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Issachar, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Zabulon, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand signed. Of the tribe of Benjamin, twelve thousand signed. After this, I saw a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cried with a loud voice, saying: Salvation to our God, Who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the ancients, and the four living creatures; and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God, saying: Amen. Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honor, and power, and strength to our God forever and ever. Amen.


Gospel: Matthew 5:1-12

At that time: Jesus seeing the multitudes, went up into a mountain, and when He was set down, His disciples came unto Him. And opening His mouth, He taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for My sake; be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. This gospel is read to-day because it is by practising what it contains that the saints have gained the eternal kingdom.

Explanation of the Eight Beatitudes
  1. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The poor in spirit are:
    1. Those who, like the apostles, readily forsake all earthly things, and for Christ's sake become poor.
    2. Those who, happening to Jose their property by misfortune or in justice, suffer the Joss patiently, in resignation to the will of God.
    3. Those who, like Jesus (Matthew 8:20), are content with theiE poor and humble position, seek no higher or happier one, and would rather suffer want than enrich themselves by unlawful acts, by fraud or theft.
    4. The rich and noble who set not their hearts upon the riches and greatness of the world (Psalm 61:11; I Corinthians 7:30), but who use their riches and influence to relieve the misery of the needy and oppressed.
    5. Finally, the truly humble, who, convinced of their weakness, their helplessness and misery, think lowly of themselves, and regard themselves but as beggars, who are always in need of the grace of God.

    To all these, therefore, in whose hearts the world has no place, there is assured, as their inheritance, the kingdom of heaven; here the kingdom of grace, there the kingdom of glory.
  2. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land." That man is meek who does not murmur against God for sending afflictions upon him, who is not angry at men who do him injury, but who rather suppresses impatience, anger, envy, and revenge, nay, who seeks to recompense the evil done him by his neighbor with good. Such a one is greater than he who takes by storm fortified cities (Proverbs 16:32); he possesses an unfailing fountain of peace, quiet, and cheerfulness; by his meekness prevails over the most hostile minds, is by such means truly a ruler upon earth, and will one day, for his portion, obtain heaven, the land of the living, there to enjoy eternal peace.
  3. "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." By them that mourn we are not to understand such as grieve and lament over a death, a misfortune, a loss of worldly goods, or the like; but those who are grieved that God should be in so many ways offended by themselves and by others that His Church should be so heavily oppressed, and thereby so many souls lost that have been redeemed with the precious blood of Christ. The only evil really to be grieved for is sin, and the tears shed on account of sin are the only tears that are profitable, for they shall be recompensed with everlasting joy.
  4. "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall have their fill." Hunger and thirst denote the most ardent longing after those virtues which constitute Christian perfection; such as humility, meekness, the love of God and of our neighbor, penance. Whoever longs for these virtues as the hungry man does for food and drink, and prays to God for them with perseverance and earnestness, shall have his fill; that is, he shall be enriched with them, and one day shall be satisfied with eternal happiness.
  5. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." The merciful here spoken of are: 1. Those who willingly forgive the injuries done to them. 2. Those who have compassion on their poor neighbors, and, according to their ability, sustain them by alms. These shall obtain mercy; that is, God will forgive them their sins and endow them abundantly with the goods of this world and of the world to come. Thus God deals with us as we deal with others. (Matthew 7:2)
  6. "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God." The clean of heart are those who preserve with care the innocence with which they are invested at holy Baptism, or seek to regain it, when lost, by penance; those who keep their hearts and consciences unspotted from all sinful thoughts, particularly from all unchaste thoughts, desires, words, and acts, and who endeavor in all things to have a pure intention directed to God alone. They shall see God, that is, they shall know Him even here upon earth, for as the eye that is to see must be clean, so only souls that are pure and unstained can behold God. But further, our knowledge is like our hearts; the purer the heart the clearer and greater is the knowledge of God. But in the world above they shall see, know, and possess Him as He is. What blessedness! Strive, therefore, to keep your heart clean.
  7. "Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God." By peace-makers we are to understand those who have peace with themselves, that is, a quiet conscience, and who endeavor to maintain peace among others, or to restore it when broken. Such are called the children of God, because they follow God, Who is a God of peace (Romans 15:33), and Who even gave His only Son to reconcile the world with Him (Romans 5:10), and to bring down upon earth that peace which the world itself could not give (Luke 2:14; John 14:27).
  8. "Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Hereby all those are declared blessed who, on account of the true faith, of virtue, of the fear of God, of purity, are persecuted, calumniated, and even put to death, and who bear all this with Christian patience and constancy, nay, with joy. Thus have the saints done, and thereby they have gained the heavenly crown. Do we desire to be crowned with them, we must also suffer with them. And in truth, if we would apply ourselves zealously to virtue, occasions will not be wanting to us, for all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (II Timothy 3:12)

Prayer

How lovely, O God, are Thy tabernacles! My soul longeth and fainteth for Thy courts, O living God, Who art the crown and reward of the saints, and repayest their sufferings and sorrows in this world with eternal joy. How blessed are all they who, in this life, have served Thee faithfully! They behold Thee and the Lamb of God face to face; they bear Thy name on their foreheads, and reign with Thee forever. We therefore beseech Thee, O God, through their intercessor, to grant us Thy grace to serve Thee after their example, in sanctity and justice; to follow them in poverty, humility, meekness, repentance, in ardent longing for all virtues, in peace-making and patience, and one day, like them, to share in the joys of heaven. Amen.


--Goffine's Devout Instructions

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Feast of the Holy Apostles Simon and Jude (From Goffine's Devout Instructions)

October 28

SAINT SIMON and SAINT JUDE were probably brothers; the former received the surname Canaanite, to distinguish him from Simon Peter, either because he was a native of Cana, or because of his zeal for Christ (Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). Judas was surnamed Thaddeus, or Lebbeus, to distinguish him from Judas Iscariot. Both were chosen apostles by Christ, and were constant witnesses of His life and deeds. It is related of them in the Martyrology that the light of faith was communicated to Egypt and other countries of Africa by Simon, and to Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Greater Armenia by Thaddeus. Meeting in Persia, and propagating the Christian faith there by their preaching and miracles, they both gained the crown of martyrdom. There is extant an epistle of Saint Jude which the Church has incorporated into the Holy Scriptures. From these two apostles learn to have zeal for the glory of God, for your own salvation and for that of your neighbor.

Prayer

O God, Who, by means of Thy blessed apostles Simon and Jude, hast granted us to come to the knowledge of Thy name, grant that we may celebrate their eternal glory by making progress in virtue and improve by this celebration. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Epistle: Ephesians 4:7-13

Brethren: To everyone of us is given grace according to the measure of the giving of Christ. Wherefore He saith: Ascending on high He led captivity captive; He gave gifts to men. Now that He ascended, what is it, but because He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. And He gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, until we all meet into the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ.
Gospel: John 15:17-25
At that time Jesus said to His disciples: These things command you, that you love one another. If the world hate you, know ye that it hath hated Me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own, but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember My word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake; because they know not Him that sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. He that hateth Me, hateth My Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated both Me and My Father. But that the word may be fulfilled which is written in their law: They hated Me without cause.

Explanation

From the fact that Christ and His disciples were hated and persecuted by the world the greatest consolation and encouragement may be derived by those who are obliged to suffer mockery, contempt, and persecution because they are not of the world; that is, because they do not follow its foolish principles and sinful customs. But they who, to escape the derision and hatred of the world, side with it, rather than with Christ, may learn to be ashamed of their cowardice and baseness. For as it is an honor to the servant to be treated like his master, so it is a great disgrace to him to be treated better than his master; if, then, the master is pleased to submit to the hatred and persecution of the world, why do his servants refuse to do so?

When Christ says that the Jews could not excuse themselves on the ground that they did not know Him, but had hated and persecuted Him when it was easy for them to have known Him by His works, He teaches us that ignorance is not in every case an excuse for sin. Those Christians, therefore, are in the highest degree culpable who, like the Jews, might easily learn what they ought to believe and do, but who fail to do so either through maliciousness or neglect, and accordingly remain in ignorance by their own fault. Acting in this kind of ignorance, they become guilty of sin, and will be justly condemned forever. It is otherwise with men who, without any fault of theirs, hear nothing of Christ or of the true faith, on account of which they are not punishable, but who will be condemned for such sins as they commit against that natural law which is inscribed on the heart of every man.


Goffine's Devout Instructions

Friday, October 01, 2010

Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels

[]October 2

This feast was instituted:

  1. To thank God that to each one of us He has given a particular guardian angel to conduct him unharmed through the dangers of this world.

  2. To inspire us with gratitude to the angels who do us such great good, and to incite us to efforts to render ourselves worthy of their guardianship.
What is the office of a guardian angel?
To guard men against dangers of soul and body. The Psalmist says: "He hath given His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways; in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone" (Psalm 90:11); that is, that thou mayest neither fall into sin nor misfortune.
"Oh, what great regard for us," hereupon exclaims Saint Bernard, "what wonderful love! Who is it that has given charge? God. To whom has He given charge? The angels, those noble spirits, His own household. What charge has He given them? To guard and defend us, poor men. 'O Lord, what is man, that Thou art mindful of him'?"
Saint Paul calls the angels "ministering spirits" sent to minister to them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation (Hebrews 1:14). In innumerable other places in the Bible they are represented as friends of children, guides of youth, defenders of innocence, promoters of good deeds, monitors against evil, guardians of the pious, protectors against misfortune, comforters in need, deliverers in danger, helpers in combat, companions of the souls in everlasting joy.
What should we do every day, but particularly this day?
We should thank God for having given us guardians so holy and powerful, and our guardian angel himself for the help he has rendered us; should think of and call upon him often, especially in the hour of temptation; finally, we should promise fidelity and obedience to his admonitions. Whatever in this regard is at any time binding upon us should especially be done to-day.
Prayer

O God, Who by an unspeakable providence dost vouchsafe to send Thy angels to guard us, grant to Thy suppliants to be ever defended by their protection, and to rejoice eternally in their society. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Epistle: Exodus 23:20-23

Thus saith the Lord: Behold I will send My angel, who shall go before thee, and keep thee in thy journey, and bring thee into the place that I have prepared. Take notice of him, and hear his voice, and do not think him one to be contemned; for he will not forgive when thou hast sinned, and My name is in him. But if thou wilt hear his voice, and do all that I speak, I will be an enemy to thy enemies, and will afflict them that afflict thee. And My angel shall go before thee.

Gospel: Matthew 18:1-10

[]At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest Thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus calling unto Him a little child, set him in the midst of them, and said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. And he that shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me. But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come, but nevertheless, woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh. And if thy hand or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. See that you despise not one of these little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven.

Prayer to the Guardian Angel

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom His love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

(100 days' indulgence each time)
Goffine's Devout Instructions

Fundraiser for Cataract Surgery

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...