All posts by Alexandra Reis

Alexandra Reis is a 16-year-old cradle Catholic. Her passions consist of learning and writing about the Faith and trying to spread it. She is drawn to the traditional Latin Mass. She is also interested in poetry, art, playing the piano, and acquiring wisdom at a young age. She hopes to become a writer and professional public speaker in the future in order to save souls for the greater glory of God.

Series on the Sacraments Part 4 – Penance

 Confession is one of the greatest proofs of God’s love for us. Even though we crucified Him, denied Him, and didn’t follow His laws, He still waits for us every day in the confessional box, waiting for us to repent in order to show us His mercy. He takes into great penanceconsideration the fact that we are so weak, and is always willing to bestow mercy upon us. How truly kind Our Lord is to forgive us so many times, even when we willingly fall into sin. I heard one story that will make a good comparison of this: There was a young man who had committed many many crimes, and was put on trial. His father was the judge, and he was proven guilty. The father said to the son, “Out of justice you have been sentenced to death, but because I love you so much, I will take your place and die for your crimes.” So also has Our Blessed Lord taken upon Himself the sins of the world in order that we may be saved and one day enter into the Eternal Kingdom. Let’s see what the saints have to say about this wonderful sacrament:


“The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.”
–St. Augustine

“Go to your confessor; open your heart to him; display to him all the recesses of your soul; take the advice that he will give you with the utmost humility and simplicity. For God, Who has an infinite love for obedience, frequently renders profitable the counsels we take from others, but especially from those who are the guides of our souls.”
–St. Francis de Sales

“In failing to confess, Lord, I would only hide You from myself, not myself from You.”
–Saint Augustine

“Confession is like a bridle that keeps the soul which reflects on it from committing sin, but anything left unconfessed we continue to do without fear as if in the dark.”
–Saint John Climacus

“To do penance is to bewail the evil we have done, and to do no evil to bewail.”
–Pope St. Gregory the Great

“In the life of the body a man is sometimes sick, and unless he takes medicine, he will die. Even so in the spiritual life a man is sick on account of sin. For that reason he needs medicine so that he may be restored to health; and this grace is bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance.”
–St. Thomas Aquinas

“Three conditions are necessary for Penance: contrition, which is sorrow for sin, together with a purpose of amendment; confession of sins without any omission; and satisfaction by means of good works.”
–St. Thomas Aquinas

“Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin, all hope consists in confession; in confession there is a chance for mercy.”
–St. Isidore of Seville

“Our Lord Himself I saw in this venerable Sacrament  . . . I felt as if my chains fell, as those of St. Peter at the touch of the Divine messenger. My God, what new scenes for my soul!”
–St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

“A humble confession displeases Satan and, if he could, he would make you omit Holy Communion.”
–Imitation of Christ

 

There are also five effects to this sacrament:

 

a. The restoration or increase of sanctifying grace;

b. The forgiveness of sins;

c. The remission of the eternal punishment, if necessary, and also of part, at least, of the temporal punishment, due to our sins;

d. The help to avoid sin in the future;

e. The restoration of the merits of our good works if they have been lost by mortal sin.

 

 Not only do we receive sanctifying grace back, have our sins forgiven, and receive remission of hell, but God is so kind as to give us the strength not to sin again and give us back all the merits of our good works before our sin! How truly good God is to us! Let us then frequently go to confession, stay away from all sin, grow in virtue, and become great saints! God bless!

Series on the Sacraments Part 3 – Holy Eucharist

The third sacrament is the most Holy Eucharist. The Holy Eucharist is the most admirable sacrament, simply because it is Our Lord Himself. Jesus always wanted to be with us, so He gave us the Eucharist. Even in these times when many don’t even believe He truly is in the Eucharist, He waits day in and day out for people to visit, to give the opportunity to console His heart, to free us of our burdens, HolyEucharist1to give us the graces to be great saints.


 Through this sacrament, we possess none other than the Author of grace within us! Through this sacrament we can become saints, we can ask and receive all we need! Let us hear the great quotes of the saints in order to express the greatness of this sacrament:


‘One of the most admirable effects of Holy Communion is to preserve the soul from sin, and to help those who fall through weakness to rise again. It is much more profitable, then, to approach this divine Sacrament with love, respect, and confidence, than to remain away through an excess of fear and scrupulosity.’
–St. Ignatius of Loyola

If it is “daily bread,” why do you take it once a year? . . . Take daily what is to profit you daily. Live in such a way that you may deserve to receive it daily. He who does not deserve to receive it daily, does not deserve to receive it once a year.
–St. Ambrose of Milan

“When the bee has gathered the dew of heaven and the earth’s sweetest nectar from the flowers, it turns it into honey, then hastens to its hive. In the same way, the priest, having taken from the altar the Son of God (who is as the dew from heaven, and true son of Mary, flower of our humanity), gives him to you as delicious food.”
–St. Francis de Sales

If someone knows from experience that daily Communion increases fervor without lessening reverence, then let him go every day. But if someone finds that reverence is lessened and devotion not much increased, then let him sometimes abstain, so as to draw near afterwards with better dispositions.
–St. Thomas Aquinas

“With all the strength of my soul I urge you young people to approach the Communion table as often as you can. Feed on this bread of angels whence you will draw all the energy you need to fight inner battles. Because true happiness, dear friends, does not consist in the pleasures of the world or in earthly things, but in peace of conscience, which we have only if we are pure in heart and mind.”
–Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati


“Always remain close to the Catholic Church, because it alone can give you true peace, since it alone possesses Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the true Prince of Peace.”
–St. Padre Pio

Every morning during meditation, I prepare myself for the whole day’s struggle. Holy Communion assures me that I will win the victory; and so it is. I fear the day when I do not receive Holy Communion. This bread of the Strong gives me all the strength I need to carry on my mission and the courage to do whatever the Lord asks of me. The courage and strength that are in me are not of me, but of Him who lives in me – it is the Eucharist.
–St. Faustina

“All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison for it is but the sacrifice of man to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man.”
–St. John Vianney, Cure d’Ars


 Let us then always stay close to the most Holy Eucharist! It is Our Lord Himself, heaven on earth hidden with a veil, the key to happiness! May Our Lord replenish you all with His most holy flesh and make you all great saints. God bless!

Series on the Sacraments Part 2 – Confirmation

One of the greatest sacraments for perseverance and strength in the spiritual life is Confirmation. By definition in the Baltimore Catechism, “Confirmation is a Sacrament through which we receive the Holy Ghost to make us strong and perfect Christians and soldiers of Jesus Christ.” The Catholic Encyclopedia explains it’s effects and necessities:

“Confirmation imparts:

  • an increase of sanctifying grace which makes the recipient a “perfect Christian”;
  • special sacramental grace consisting in the sevdownloaden gifts of the Holy Ghost and notably in the strength and courage to confess boldly the name of Christ;
  • an indelible character by reason of which the sacrament cannot be received again by the same person.

Necessities:

Regarding the obligation of receiving the sacrament, it is admitted that confirmation is not necessary as an indispensable means of salvation(necessitate medii).

On the other hand, its reception is obligatory (necessitate præcepti) “for all those who are able to understand and fulfill the Commandments of God and of the Church. This is especially true of those who suffer persecution on account of their religion or are exposed to grievous temptations against faith or are in danger of death. The more serious the danger so much greater is the need of protecting oneself”. (Conc. Plen. Balt. II, n. 250.) As to the gravity of the obligation, opinions differ, some theologians holding that an unconfirmed person would commit mortal sin if he refused the sacrament, others that the sin would be at most venial unless the refusal implied contempt for the sacrament. Apart, however, from such controversies the importance of Confirmation as a means of grace is so obvious that no earnest Christian will neglect it, and in particular that Christian parents will not fail to see that their children are confirmed.”

Through Confirmation we are armed with grace, we are shielded with the protection of the Holy Ghost, and we are confirmed in Jesus Christ. This sacrament was given to us in order that we may be perfected in God’s grace and become saints. We are all called to be great saints, so why not receive this sacrament? It’s never too late to receive it, and the benefits are of infinite value. Let us then cherish and love this sacrament, and that God that He has given it to us. God bless you all!

Series on the Sacraments Part 1 – Baptism

A few days ago, I placed a poll on the side of my blog asking what series of articles to do first. The winner was “The Sacraments,” and in second was “Devotions to Our Lord,” and “Marian Apparitions” coming in as a tie. Therefore I will write an article on each sacrament each Thursday for my series. I hope you will stay tuned!

Baptism:

baptism of the lord

The most essential sacrament of the seven is baptism. The reason for this is that without it we cannot receive any of the other sacraments, nor enter the kingdom of God. “That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit.” (John 3:6) Without baptism, there is no hope to enter heaven. Without baptism, the soul is stained with original sin and cannot receive sanctifying grace. Without baptism, the soul cannot be saved.

Through Baptism, the soul is purified from original sin passed down from Adam and Eve, and is made completely pure. Once someone is baptised, he enters into the state of grace which can only be lost through mortal sin. Through his state, he can enter into eternal happiness with God forever! Why delay or reject that? Maybe we have a choice not to baptise our child, but we certainly don’t have the right.

“But maybe it should be up to the person to be baptised or not… we don’t want to decide for them to be Catholic.” This is often heard when it comes to Baptism, and to be honest, it isn’t true at all. There is just one true religion to believe, one chance to get to heaven, and one crucial moment that will determine whether that persons gets there, baptism. It isn’t a choice of if he is going to be baptised and what he is going to believe. At the end of the day the choice is either heaven or hell, where do you want your child to go? It’s a parent’s obligation to love their children, and in loving them, wanting them to go to heaven. The only way to get them there is taking them to a priest to be baptised and starting their journey to the eternal kingdom.

Not only this, but the risks for not baptizing a baby are quite serious. A child cannot sin before the age of reason and does not deserve the punishments of hell. However, without baptism there is no grace and if the child dies goes to a place called Limbo. It is a place of natural happiness, but not supernatural happiness with God. They cannot enter heaven because they don’t have that state of grace, so why take the risk of them going to that place? “Let the little children come to me!” Our Lord said this for a reason. He thinks of each of us individually, when He said this He was thinking of you and your child.

Baptism is the entrance to the narrow path of salvation! There isn’t anything more beautiful than a pure soul ready to enter heaven, to see the everlastingly beautiful face of God, to be infinitely happy! Therefore treasure and appreciate this sacrament, it’s one of the greatest gifts God has given us! Thank you dear Lord!

War on Syria – A Way to Open Our Eyes

 In our world today, Syria is the focus of everyone’s attention. The thought of war escalating strikes fear in our eyes, and we pray for mercy… but maybe that’s what we need. 

 SYRIA SOLDIER DAMASCUS --- USED 11-02-13When we face the prospect of war, we are likely to become more fervent. We pray more, we look to heaven and sometimes even prepare for death. God often allows the evil of war to wake up a sleeping world, and to offer the opportunity for repentance to sinful souls. Here’s an example: We all remember the Miracle of the Sun, when Our Lady appeared in Fatima to the children and gave them a sign. Not only did the sun dance in the sky, but it began to fall! It began to fall and all the people fell on their knees and begged for mercy. “It’s the end of the world!” “Save us oh Lord!” All this could be heard, sinners repented and begged for mercy… and the sun stopped falling. Our Lord allowed this in order that those in Fatima would repent; it brought out a greater good.

 God works in a similar way today. Our world has gone so far, people have fallen so hard, God has been shut out for so long, that perhaps this is our last chance. Maybe there will be war, maybe not, who knows. All we know is that there is a chance, and that we should repent now! In fact, we should repent nonetheless because we could die today! But some people don’t see death before their eyes, so the threat of war sometimes is the only way God can their eyes. 

 Therefore pray! God is trying His hardest to wake us up and rescue us from everlasting flames. If we don’t listen now, it’s likely we will have a chastisement, perhaps a war. We’ve gone too far, all we have now is God’s mercy. We’ve chosen to serve ourselves, not God, and now it’s time to turn back before it’s too late. May God watch over us and protect us. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

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Sins, Despair, and the Love of God

Sacred Heart_stained glass2“For love of souls, I instituted the Sacrament of Penance, that I might forgive them, not once or twice, but as often as they need it to recover grace. There I wait for them, longing to wash away their sins, not in water, but in My Blood. How often in the course of the ages have I, in one way or another, made known My love for men: I have shown them how ardently I desire their salvation. I have revealed My Heart to them. This devotion has been as light cast over the whole earth, and today by its means those who labour to gain souls to My service have been enabled to do so.” – Our Lord’s words to Sister Josepha Menéndez.

If our heart isn’t in the right place in the 21st century, the world can suck us in an instant, causing us to commit innumerable sins that add up, and in this pressured society, this can lead to the sin of despair.

But there is always hope in the darkest of situations. No matter what you did Our Lord still died for you, is still thinking of you, and will always be on fire for love of you. Let us then speak of His love for sinners, since this is the best way to increase our hope.
1) His love for individuals. Although Our Lord died for the whole human race, and loves the human race as a whole, He loves you singularly. As St. Augustine said, If you were the only person on earth, Christ would have still suffered and died for you.” When He was in Agony in the Garden of Olives, He was thinking of you, when He was being whipped, He persevered for love of you, when He was nailed to the Cross, He asked His Father to forgive you! Not only that, but He thinks of you every moment of every day, making sure you have everything you need, protecting you and strengthening you against the devil. Look at His Sacred Heart! There’s a reason it’s on fire, it burns for YOU.

2) His tenderness towards sinners. “But my sins are too horrible…” Guess what, He knew you were going to say that, so He was thinking of you when He spoke of the Prodigal Son. He didn’t say the father of the sinful son cast him away, rather He threw a party because he was so happy! Yes you made a mistake, just go and confess it! There’s a reason there’s a confessional waiting for you, just go do it. Ashamed? Mary Magdalene was too – did Jesus not forgive her? Our Lord is especially tender to the repentant sinner, just like the sheep that went astray. He said it Himself that the good shepherd looks for his one sheep out of ninety nine – He was saying that for a reason…. He was thinking of you!

3) His never ending hope. Not only is His love infinite, but He waits every second of every day for you to think of Him once more so he can inspire you to turn back. Although humans change, God never changes, Truth never changes, and His mercy never changes. He said in the Bible that He didn’t come for the just, but the sinner! Do you think he wouldn’t forgive you because of what you’ve done? Don’t forget His Blood was poured out for you in hope that one day you would return.

Therefore fight the temptation to give up and fall into the easy world. Just imagine on your deathbed – would you be happy with giving up, or would you regret not turning back when you had the chance? So turn back! He’s waiting for you! Peace be to all of you, and may Our Lord’s guiding light find you from the dark tunnels of the world.

Letter to the Rebellious Teen

This article is written for rebellious teens and young girls going into that phase. If you are not a rebellious teen, please let your son or daughter read this, or some young person you know at least.

Dear Rebellious Teen,

imagesNow, you might think this is just another Catholic article your parents want you to read, but this time it’s different. This is coming from a sixteen year old who understands what you’re going through, what you’re feeling, and why you’re rebellious. But before you make stupid teenage decisions that you will regret for the rest of your life, please hear me out on these few points:

Your parents are actually right! When they talk about the dumb things they did when they were teenagers and that they now try to stop you from making the same mistakes, actually listen to them! Wouldn’t it be amazing to live a good Catholic life while learning from others’ mistakes without doing them? Unfortunately you don’t know everything, but you can learn from people’s experiences and mistakes and grow in wisdom! I bet this is sounding ‘uncool,’ isn’t it? But in the end, do you want to regret your teenage years living in sin? By all means, enjoy life!  But follow the advice of others, through them you can avoid plenty of mistakes.

Don’t listen to your rebellious peers! Once you start listening to your parents and following God’s law, your peers will probably think you’ve lost a few brain cells. But in listening to your parents and following God’s law, you will save your soul! “What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world but suffer the loss of his soul?” You have to decide now whether you want to be everlastingly happy with Our Lord, or be somewhat happy for a few moments then suffer eternal pain in hell. Our Lord was alone on the Cross to give you an example. Follow Him and Him alone. People’s opinions and comments about you don’t matter; they don’t decide your eternity.

If you start sanctifying your soul at this young age, you have so much time to become a great saint! God isn’t trying to wake you up right now for no reason. He wants you to be holy! Maybe it isn’t fun or pleasurable like – as you might think – Justin Bieber, but what really matters? You’re meant to have a life full of true happiness, and this is only found when the soul finds God, “A soul is restless until it rests in Thee.” The Source of happiness is God, and the only way to be happy is to live for Him, by Him, and in Him.

“It’s too hard…there are too many rules…” I thought so too, but what’s really hard is having to constantly deal with our vices, human respect, and being controlled by the media. That is what I call slavery to the world. But isn’t a person more free when he gives his life to Christ, abandoning all vices and replacing them with virtue?  Aren’t we free when we set aside all human respect and live for the goodness of God, and serve our one true Father in heaven? Don’t let the world tell you otherwise, freedom lies in the straight and narrow path, go find it.

So please, listen to the advice given to you, give your life to God, and find true happiness. Although there might be pleasures in the world, it never lasts. There is a choice between eternal happiness and eternal pain, which will you choose? The Truth will set you free, embrace It. God bless you all!

 

 

Happy Feast of the Assumption!

 Hail and blessed be this day! Today is the day in which Our Lady was taken body and soul into heaven, a day to be remembered and commemorated. The purest of God’s creatures looks down upon us, waiting for us to remember her, pray to her, and thank her for our lady of assumptionall that she does for us. Let us then speak about who she is, and what role she plays in the Church and our own lives.

Purest of creatures: Our Lady was conceived without original sin and is then free from any stain of sin. Our Lord, when coming to earth, wanted the purest of mothers in order to become man, and so He created her without original sin. Nonetheless, she was human and knows exactly how hard it is to live in this world. In fact, during the Passion of Jesus, she was there as well, sharing the pain for us because of the burning love she shares with her Son for us. And now from the clouds of heaven she tenderly watches us, waiting for us to enter Paradise. Mother most pure, pray for us!

Her tender protection: “When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.” (John 19 – 26-27) Not only is she the Mother of God, but she is our mother! She protects us and offers us the strength to avoid any kind of sin, and leads us to the straight and narrow path. How happy we can be to know that as long as we follow God’s laws and use Mary’s inspirations, we can become saints! Let us then not ignore her protection, and listen to St. Louis de Montfort,”As in the natural life a child must have a father and a mother, so in the supernatural life of grace a true child of the Church must have God for his Father and Mary for his mother. If he prides himself on having God for his Father but does not give to Mary the tender affection of a true child, he is an impostor and his father is the devil.” Mother most kind, pray for us!

Her purifying heart: Through her most blessed heart, we can offer up our prayers through her to God in order that they may be purified and offered up with the greatest of human love. St. Louis de Montfort explains again, “Dear friend, what a difference there is between a soul brought up in the ordinary way to resemble Jesus Christ by people who, like sculptors, rely on their own skill and industry, and a soul thoroughly tractable, entirely detached, most ready to be moulded in her by the working of the Holy Spirit. What blemishes and defects, what shadows and distortions, what natural and human imperfections are found in the first soul, and what a faithful and divine likeness to Jesus is found in the second!” Immaculate heart of Mary, pray for us!

But one may ask, are we loving her too much? If I love her too much I could be accused of worshipping her! This is completely false. To the Catholic, it couldn’t be more obvious that we are not worshipping her. We are honouring her and venerating her as the Mother of the Most High, the faithful handmaiden who gave her life for Our Lord, and who guides us to His heart. How great will be the fruits! Let me end with the fitting words of St. Louis de Montfort:” Chosen soul, provided you thus carefully cultivate the Tree of Life, which has been freshly planted in your soul by the Holy Spirit, I can assure you that in a short time it will grow so tall that the birds of the air will make their home in it. It will become such a good tree that it will yield in due season the sweet and adorable Fruit of honour and grace, which is Jesus, who has always been and will always be the only fruit of Mary. Happy is that soul in which Mary, the Tree of Life, is planted. Happier still is the soul in which she has been able to grow and blossom. Happier again is the soul in which she brings forth her fruit. But happiest of all is the soul which savours the sweetness of Mary’s fruit and preserves it up till death and then beyond to all eternity. Amen. Let him who possesses it, hold fast to it.”

Our Lady of the Assumption, pray for us.

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Want more? Read St. Louis de Montfort’s work, “The Secret of Mary” http://www.ewtn.com/library/Montfort/secret.htmhttps://www.google.ca/search?

So . . . What Do I Pray For?

Everyone knows it’s easy to pray for material things. Cars, houses, money, you name it, it’s been prayed for. But when it comes down to praying for grace to help with the spiritual life, what do we really need and what should we pray for?

rosary-prayer

Humility: Humility is one of the most important graces, because it reveals who we really are compared to God. If we sincerely ask God for an increase in humility, He’s going to see that we aren’t prancing around like a prideful Pharisee preaching on how good we are, but actually turning to Him for the help only He can give. Through humility we can give God the glory He deserves, progress through the spiritual life, love our neighbour more rather than thinking we’re better than them, and set ourselves free from the bonds of pride.

Perseverance: No matter how far we’ve gotten in the spiritual life, it doesn’t matter if we give up later on and go back to our old ways. Praying for the grace to persevere everyday will help us to get through even the most difficult trials, and bring us to eternal happiness.

Love of Neighbour: The second most important commandment from Our Lord is to love our neighbour, so it’s quite obvious that we should pray to love them. Always keep in mind that you must love everyone and wish them to get to heaven, even the most annoying of your enemies, forgive them if they’ve done any injustice towards you, and not speak unkindly about them. Hard to do? Well… that’s why you’re praying for it!

Patience and Long Suffering: Praying for patience should always be on our list because we get annoyed very easily. Not only do we get annoyed easily, but we find it hard to suffer for a long time patiently. Therefore beg Our Lord for the patience He had when He was enduring the three hours of agony on the Cross. I know sometimes it seems like life is too difficult to bear, but give it to Christ and ask Him to take over!  Ask Him to do all things you think impossible, as there’s nothing He cannot do.

Love of God: Since this is at the bottom, it must be pointed out that this must be the foundation of all the rest. We need a reason to have these virtues and to live in the spiritual life. Asking for an increase of the love of God will always be given, in fact, whatever is good for the soul will be given! A burning love for Our Lord will continuously give us the strength to humble ourselves, continue to the end, love all, and bear all through Him and His Blessed Mother.

God always wants to help you with anything you need. He is constantly waiting for you in the tabernacle! So go! Ask and it will be given you! God bless you all!

Freaking Out and the End of the World

We’ve all heard someone speaking about the end of the world. “When is it going to be??” “It’s coming soon for sure!” ‘We need to prepare for the Last Judgment!” Yes, the end of the world will come. Yes we can watch the signs of the times as Our Lord suggested. But there can be many dangers:

Anxiety –  When we consider the end times to be any day now, and dwell on what’s going to happen when it comes, your whole spiritual life becomes cluttered with fearful distraction and unnecessary anxiety. We have no control of the future, and if we are in the state of grace, why worry? God is in control of the future, and all we have is the present, so why waste it on useless worrying?

Different Opinion of God – Another danger would be to begin having a different view of God. Thinking always about doom and gloom makes us begin to think that God perhaps isn’t as loving and merciful as we thought. Of course we can keep ourselves updated on what wars are going on and such, but worryingly waiting for the atomic bombs to go off for WWIII isn’t going to benefit your soul. Your mind will never be able to grow through the thoughts and inspirations from God, it will just be worrying and forgetting the goodness of God.

Wasting Time – One doesn’t realize how much time one loses when it comes to worrying. Minutes, hours, and days can be lost when we’re worrying about everything! God doesn’t want us to worry about anything, and just as Saint Pio said, “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.” Especially in these times, we can easily fall into anxiety, but how much easier will life be if we just trust God and go on perfecting our souls.

images (8)So what now? Well, we can definitely watch what’s going on, and yes it will be gloomy, but keep your head up! God will always be in control and will always be loving and thinking about you! The end times will come, and since the anti-Christ has to come before, lets only start to think of worrying after he comes. God bless and Our Lady protect you all!

Reflections on Nature

All you have to do is step outside to see it. Almost everyone is glued to his phone, either texting, emailing, tweeting, facebook….ing, and then I thought, they’re missing out on so much! Nature is something that is being put aside in our world today, yet it is one of the most beautiful ways to see God while we’re here on earth. Jesus even hinted to this, if we look deep into Scripture, He is almost giving us a nudge so we can begin to reflect on how to find Him in nature. He says that the wind blows where it wills. He tells us to look at the birds of the air and the lilies of the fields. Read Romans 1:20: ” For the invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; His eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.”

Perhaps there is something much deeper, much more metaphoric and symbolic within nature. Maybe that’s why our world wants to shut it out so badly with the use of technology. Let us then venture into the magnificent beauty of nature, and one way to do this is to go to this website: http://htwins.net/scale2. This website will show you everything from the smallest to biggest creations in our universe. We, as humans, are incapable of even seeing a fraction of God’s creation, just look at space! It makes you think of infinity and the supreme wisdom of God when you think of how complex nature is!

And maybe nature can give us an insight into God’s mind. It’s as if you made a painting  – it reflects what you think. Just take a tree, arms always outstretched, patient and willing to be a home to whomever is willing to land upon its solid branches, symbolizing the kindness of God. Or maybe the rain, always falling to support the world, even when the human part has turned against Him, symbolizing His mercy. And just look at the mountains! They show only the beginning of a vast picture of the magnitude of God. But this article is only showing you the door to another world, a world that has been put away by our modern society. No one can show it to you, you have to go out there and find it. Nature is hinting at the next life to come, what will you do to find it? Just ask Our Lady – she’ll show you :).

There’s a whole other world out there… don’t let anything stop you from finding it.

 

Our Lady’s Seven Sorrows

One of my favourite devotions concerning Our Lady is “The Devotion of the Seven Sorrows.” Why is this? Firstly, because it is easier to bear suffering when one can relate to someone, it is a safe way to sanctification, and Our Lord and Our Lady want us to have this devotion. Our Lord told Blessed Veronica of Binasco, “My daughter, tears shed for My Passion are dear to Me; but as I loved My Mother Mary with an immense love, the meditation on the torments which She endured at My death is even more agreeable to Me.” Also, Our Lady said to St. Bridget, “I look around at all who are on earth, to see if by chance there are any who pity Me, and meditate upon My Sorrows; and I find that there are very few. Therefore, My daughter, though I am forgotten by many, at least do you not forget Me; consider My anguish, and imitate, as far as you can, My grief.” But what is the prayer?
 
 The prayer consists in meditating on the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady, while praying a Hail Mary for each. The Seven Sorrows are:
 
1. St. Simeon’s Prophecy
2. The Flight into Egypt
3. The Loss of Jesus in the Temple
4. The Meeting of Mary and Jesus on the Way to Calvary
5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus 
6. The Piercing of the Side of Jesus, and His Descent from the Cross
7. The Burial of Jesus.
 
There is a formula that can be used as well:
 
O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

1. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of your tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by your heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God. Hail Mary… 

 
2. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of your most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and your sojourn there. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety. Hail Mary…

3. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried your troubled heart at the loss of your dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge. Hail Mary…

4. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of your heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the gift of fortitude. Hail Mary…

5. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which your generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony. Dear Mother, by your afflicted heart obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel. Hail Mary…

6. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of your compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance before His Body was removed from the Cross. Dear Mother, by your heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding. Hail Mary…

7. I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched your most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the gift of wisdom. Hail Mary…
Let Us Pray:

Let intercession be made for us, we beseech You, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the throne of Your mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of Your bitter Passion. Through You, O Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

 
And according to St. Alphonsus, it was revealed to St. Elizabeth that by meditation on the Seven Sorrows, these promises were obtained from Our Lord by Our Lady :
 
1. That those who before death invoke the divine Mother in the 
name of Her Sorrows will obtain true repentance of all their sins;
2. That He will protect all who have this devotion in their tribulations, 
and will protect them especially at the hour of death;
3. That He will impress on their minds the remembrance of His 
Passion;
4. That He will place such devout servants in Mother Mary’s hands 
to do with them as She wishes and to obtain for them all the 
graces She desires.
 
And those who add the seven Hail Marys while meditating will receive these promises as well:
 
1. “I will grant peace to their families.”
2. “They will be enlightened about the divine Mysteries.”
3. “I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them 
in their work.”
4. “I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not 
oppose the adorable will of My divine Son or the sanctification 
of their souls.”
5. “I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal 
enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.”
6. “I will visibly help them at the moment of their death — they 
will see the face of their Mother.”
7. “I have obtained this grace from My divine Son, that those who 
propagate this devotion to My tears and sorrows will be taken 
directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness, since all their 
sins will be forgiven and My Son will be their eternal consolation 
and joy.”
 
It is also said that those who spread this devotion will not need to go to Purgatory because of the great graces which are obtained by this prayer. Yet let us not just pray it to get more “spiritual stuff,” but rather to console Our Blessed Mother in her sufferings. A very holy priest once told me that since there is no time with God, He can see our prayers now and use them to console Our Lady at the time of her suffering. What a great way to grow in the love for Our Lady, and save souls for God. Let us then pray with all our hearts for Our Blessed Mother to protect us and save souls for the greater glory of God. May God bless you and our Heavenly Mother protect you!
 
 
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