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NEWMAN ON OUR LADY’S ASSUMPTION

“It is by the power of God’s grace that from this barren and desolate earth there have ever sprung up at all flowers of holiness and glory. And Mary is the Queen of them. She is the Queen of spiritual flowers; and therefore she is called the Rose, for the rose is fitly called of all flowers the most beautiful. But moreover, she is the Mystical, or hidden Rose; for mystical means hidden. How is she now “hidden” from us more than are other saints? What means this singular appellation, which we apply to her specially? The answer to this ...

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Transfiguration

TWO NATURES IN ONE PERSON

Many have tried to reduce the Person of Christ the God-man to something comprehensible. To try and render Him fully understandable is to try and make Him other than what He is. We must accept that the constitution of His unique Person is ultimately a mystery. The mystery of His two natures in one Person was revealed iconographically (so to speak) at His Transfiguration on the mountain. Then at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 a definitive doctrinal formulation was pronounced:     “We confess that one and the same Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son, must be acknowledged in two ...

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IHS-at-the-Gesu

SAINT IGNATIUS LOYOLA

Ignatius was born in 1491, the eleventh and last child of a Basque noble, the doyen of the castle at Loyola in Guipuzcoa, Northern Spain. His early life was at court and in the army. In 1521 a canon ball fractured his shin and thigh. The broken bones in his leg were wrongly set, so it was decided to break them again. That bodged surgery left Ignatius limping for the rest of his life. When convalescing he immersed himself in what we would now call books of military fiction. He found that war stories were exciting enough at the time ...

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Precious Blood

PRAISE THE PRECIOUS BLOOD

Our faith in the salvation which the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ offers mankind also imposes on us a grave responsibility to tell others about it. If we really believe what we say we believe, then we should want to shout it from the rooftops. The desire to tell others the truth about Christ the Redeemer should motivate us every day, whatever our state in life, whatever our role in the Church. As we pass through the crowds of people on the streets, we do well to remember that we are rubbing shoulders with a race of immortals; uniquely privileged ...

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Fisher and More

ST.JOHN FISHER AND ST.THOMAS MORE

In 1535 Bishop John Fisher and Chancellor Thomas More were put to death for their belief that the Catholic Church is the Church Christ founded. They died because they believed that no secular or royal power on earth can replace the authority given by God to the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome, over all national and local Churches, over each and every single one of the faithful. Down the ages, especially in the nineteenth and twentieth century, various dreamers and theoreticians have fantasized that the Catholic Church should accommodate itself to the secular world, by embracing and even marrying ...

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Sacred Heart (3)

ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine and Thine we wish to be; and to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy Sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee, grant that they may quickly return to their ...

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Christ preaching

SUNDAYS AFTER PENTECOST

The longest section of the Church’s liturgical year is the time from Trinity Sunday until Advent Sunday. On those green Sundays we celebrate the Mystery of Christ in its totality. That encompasses everything that we recalled from Advent until Pentecost: the hope of salvation, the coming of the Saviour, His hidden life, His public ministry, His saving Passion, His resurrection, His Kingship, His sending of the Holy Spirit. Week by week at Mass on the Sundays after Pentecost the Gospel presents us with various aspects of the content of general and public divine revelation. That extended green season is enriched ...

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Pentecost (2)

THE SOUL OF THE CHURCH

Pentecost is the Feast of God the Holy Spirit. In our devotion to the Holy Spirit we should be wary of equating His action with our own feelings. Such confusion is at the root of much of what is attributed to the Holy Spirit in certain types of prayer meetings. We do not say that the Holy Spirit is necessarily absent from such gatherings. We do say that in such gatherings much of what is claimed to be direct inspiration, personal revelation, prophetic utterance, is often simply a manifestation of various human emotional responses. Those human emotions are often triggered ...

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THOU ART GONE UP ON HIGH

Christ the King returns in triumph to the celestial glory, with our human nature conjoined to His divinity. Where He has gone we long to follow. We fix our hearts and minds on reaching that realm where we hope to be crowned, one day. We have to live in this material world always remembering that we were made for heaven. If we forget that heaven is our home we risk becoming earthbound, as though the Lord had not ascended, as though life here below were still a closed circle. The gates of heaven are thrown wide open to receive Christ ...

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THE CROWNING OF INNOCENCE AND SIMPLE FAITH

Two illiterate peasant children, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, were with their cousin Lucia dos Santos when “a Lady-Shining-More- Brightly-Than-The-Sun” appeared to them six times between 13th May and 13th October 1917. Francisco and Jacinta both died young of influenza, the so-called Spanish Flu. Francisco died when he was 10 years old (1919), Jacinta when she was 9 years old (1920). Both were beatified at Fatima in the year 2000 by Pope St. John Paul II. Both are to be canonized at Fatima on Saturday 13th May by Pope Francis. Sister Lucia died in her discalced Carmelite convent at Coimbra on ...

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