23 March 2010

Of Loving Jesus Above All Things

Thirty-Second Day of the Preparation for Total Consecration
As taken from Thomas Kempis', Imitation of Christ, Book 2, Chapter 7

"Blessed is the man who knows what it is to love Jesus, and to despise himself for the sake of Jesus.  You must give up all other love for His, since He wishes to be loved alone above all.

Love of creatures is deceiving and constantly changing, but the love of Jesus is true and permanent.  If you hold on to creatures, you will fall with them; if you hold on to Jesus, you will remain firmly planted forever.

Love Him then keep Him as a friend.  He will not leave you as others do; nor will He permit you to suffer eternal death.  Separate yourself a little from everything, then.  Cling, therefore to Jesus in life and death; trust yourself to Him alone who can help you when all others fail you.

The nature of Christ's love is such that it will not admit a rival; He wants you for Himself alone.  He desires to sit on the throne of your heart as King; which is His right.  If you only knew how to free yourself of the love of creatures, how quickly would He come into your heart!"

22 March 2010

Miserere Mei Sung by St. Philippine Duchesne Choir at Blessed Sacrament

+Here (finally) is the video I made with music from my church choir. This recording is the Miserere Mei by G. Allegri, recorded following the Good Friday liturgy last year. (This was a mediation piece, sung sometime near midnight.) The words are from Psalm 50 (or 51, in newer, revised versions). We're a small, amateur choir with good direction, and a lot of heart.

13 March 2010

Can One be Called Truly Christian without Devotion to the Blessed Virgin?

If someone says that he is Christian, what is that he believes? Is it only that Jesus 'was a good guy'? Can one really profess and then hide that Jesus is truly his Lord and Redeemer? If he professes Jesus is Lord, God the 2nd Person of the Holy Trinity, and one professes obedience to him, then he must not put anything or anyone before him*. If he professes that Jesus is Redeemer, than from what has he been redeeded and AT WHAT COST? If this is not something to at least be excited about every day of one's life, than one is dead to sin, and/or hasn't examined his conscience. And by my saying this, it is not I who judges, but he who speaks of our Lord when it suits him out of human respect causes himself to be judged by our Lord.

*As a side note: Veneration to the Blessed Virgin Mother is not putting someone before Christ because in true devotion to Christ's mother, we are giving ourselves most fully to Christ.  It is not possible for us to give ourselves so unreservedly as to do so by not our own merits but by the merits of the Blessed Virgin.  When we truly devote and consecrate all our good actions -- interior and exterior, and goods to Jesus through Mary, we rely on her merits, and not our own. Thereby, we most expediently give ourselves entirely to Jesus, rather than to chip away --- if at all -- little by little, or little by nothing, of giving ourselves to Jesus. Even our most heroic efforts to give Jesus glory cannot be sufficient on their own to merit the graces the Holy Trinity has given to the Blessed Virgin Mother of Jesus Christ.

Anyone who boasts that he has no need of the Blessed Mother offends Jesus Christ. Such a person puts himself at a higher degree of sanctity than God the Son himself, "Who being in the form of God ... But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant." Yet such an impious person will not humble himself as a servant to the Virgin that conceived the Savior, nursed and raised him, and followed him on his way to Calvary and remained at his crucifixion. All the apostles except for St. John, to whom was given the Blessed Mother and she to him as his Mother, ran away to save their lives, while you without the smallest humility, run away to save your indifference to the one creature who God made the purest of all creatures -- the sacred tabernacle of God the Son. You run away to remain in sin, not to save your soul, but your (way of) life. But our Lord warns us, "He who saves his life will lose it".
Any person without true reverence and devotion to the Blessed Mother will practice disobedience. If they have any and all of the other virtues but this one, they are a living proof that they have the devil for a father and not the Lord, because the devil himself can immitate every virtue but obedience. And, he too, is in emnity with the Blessed Virgin ( "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.").
Who does not need the merits of the Blessed Virgin to approach Jesus Christ? She to whom the angels bow and the devils flee is the humblest of all God's creatures. Anyone who thinks most presumptiously that he can stand before Christ on his own merits has not examined himself, while even Mary, who did not sin, and was even conceived without sin, was in need of redemption. If anyone has any sense of truth and of that which is sacred, let him come prostrate himself interiorly and exteriorly before our Lord's True Presence and commit himself to Jesus as his Lord and Savior, through the merits of his Blessed Mother.+

04 March 2010

The Voice of Christ

MY CHILD, patience and humility in adversity are more pleasing to Me than much consolation and devotion when things are going well.

Why are you saddened by some little thing said againstyou?  Even if it had been more you ought not to have been affected.  But now let it pass.  It is not the first, nor is it anything new, and if you live long it will not be the last.

You are manly enough so long as you meet no opposition.  You give good advice to others, and you know how to strengthen them with words, but when unexpeted tribulation comes to your door, you fail both in counsel and in strength.  Consider your great weakness, then, which you experience so often in small matters.  Yet when these and like trials happen, they happen for your good.

The Imitation of Christ, Book 3, Chapter 57