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The Church’s Year
Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine’s

Because of the joyous Resurrection of Christ, and the graces flowing to us on account of it, the Church sings at the Introit of the Mass:

INTROIT The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord, alleluia; by the word of the Lord the heavens were established, alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright. (Ps. XXII.) Glory be to the Father, &c.

COLLECT O God, who in the humility of Thy Son hast raised up a fallen world; grant to Thy faithful a perpetual joyfulness; that whereas Thou bast rescued them from the perils of eternal death, Thou mayest bring them to the fruition of everlasting joy. Through &c.

EPISTLE (I Pet II. 21‑25.) Dearly beloved, Christ suffered for us, leaving you an example that you should follow his steps. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Who, when he was reviled, did not revile; when he suffered, he threatened not; but delivered himself to him that judged him unjustly; who his own self bore our sins in his body upon the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live to justice: by whose stripes you were healed. For you were as sheep going astray: but you are now converted to the shepherd and bishop of your souls.

EXPLANATION St. Peter teaches the Christians patience in misery and afflictions, even in unjust persecution, and for this purpose places before them the example of Christ who, though most innocent, suffered most terribly and most patiently. Are we true sheep of the good Shepherd if at the smallest cross, at every word, we become angry and impatient? Continue reading

Novena to Saint Catherine of Siena

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Novena to Saint Catherine of Siena

1. Catherine, fairest and most glorious of the daughters of St. Dominic, by that spirit of prayer, which was your delight from your infancy, obtain for us the love and practice of prayer, and the grace so to converse with God as to become daily more pleasing to Him.

Glory be, etc.

2. By that especial love which you, O great saint, bore to the virtue of purity, consecrating yourself at eight years of age to the Lord by an irrevocable vow, and afterwards by rejecting the most honorable offers of marriage: obtain for us, we pray you, the grace to be always pure in mind and heart, and to detest and abhor everything which could offend in the smallest degree against a virtue so sublime that it raises men to the rank of angels, and makes them most beloved by God.

Glory be, etc.

3. By that spirit of retirement which made you, O great saint, desire to behold no one but your Jesus, Who when you were distracted by continual employment in your family, taught you to build a solitude in your heart and keep it at all times filled with thoughts of heaven: obtain for us, we pray, the grace so to love solitude and retirement, however the world may invite us to share its pleasures and its pomps, that our hearts may always turn to God amidst the most dissipating cares which may come upon us in our state of life.

Glory be, etc.

4. By the spirit of penance which taught you to inflict upon yourself, even in your earliest years, the most painful mortifications: obtain for us the grace to bear with patience whatever afflictions God may be pleased to order for our good, and to mortify voluntarily all the perverse inclinations of our hearts, and all the unruly desires of our senses, that we may become, in some measure, like our crucified model, Jesus.

Glory be, etc.

5. By that heroic charity which led you, O great saint, to attend and minister with your own hands to the poor sick who had been abandoned by all others in disgust, and for which you were repaid only by insult, rudeness, and persecution: obtain of the Lord for us the grace to be, at all times, equally ready to assist our neighbor in his necessities, and to pardon him generously when he returns only insults for the benefits we confer on him, that we may merit the blessedness promised in this life and the next to meekness and true mercy.

Glory be, etc.

6. By that supernatural light with which you, O great saint, were miraculously enabled to counsel the Roman Pontiff, who came in person to consult you, when you obtained for him a reconciliation with his adversaries, and his return to Rome: obtain for us of the Lord the grace to know, in all our doubts, that which is most conformable to the will of God, and most conducive to the salvation of souls, that in all our actions we may promote the honor of God and the welfare of our neighbor.

Glory be, etc.

7. By that especial devotion which you, 0 great saint, had to Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, Who sometimes communicated you with His own hands: obtain for us, we pray you, the grace to feel toward the Blessed Sacrament the most fervent devotion, that we may rejoice to converse with Jesus and receive Him into our bosoms to His honor and glory, and for the salvation of our souls.

Glory be, etc.

St. Catharine, pray for us, that we may obtain what we desire through this novena, if what we ask be pleasing to God and conducive to our eternal salvation. May the will of God be done. Amen

St. Catherine of Sienna

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St. Catherine of Sienna, Virgin

Sienna, in the Tuscan district, is the favored place where, in 1347, St. Catherine first saw the light of this world. Her life from her childhood, was a continual exercise of the choicest virtues, but at the same time, a perpetual communication of divine grace. When scarcely five years of age she was called “the little Saint” on account of her quietness and her love of prayer. Already at that time she greeted the Virgin Mother upon every step of the staircase with the words of the Angels: “Ave Maria!” When six years old, our Lord appeared to her with the Apostles Peter, Paul and John, together with St. Dominic, looked tenderly at her and gave His blessing. This was the beginning of many and extraordinary visions with which the holy virgin was graced until her death. Her heart from this time was filled with intense love of God. She read most carefully the lives of the Saints, and endeavored to follow their example. In her seventh year she consecrated her virginity to God. Her only pleasure was solitude, prayer, work and self-immolation. Persuaded by her sister, she once began to pay more attention to her dresses and to curl her hair after the prevailing fashion of the world. This lasted, however, only a short while, for she became aware during her prayers how much God was displeased with such vanities and how long her pious sister would have to suffer on account of it in purgatory: hence she refrained from it and repented of her folly as long as she lived. Her parents desired her to marry; but she replied: “I am already wedded to a most noble spouse and shall never bestow my love on a human being;” and cutting off her hair she covered her head with a veil. To drive all thoughts of entering a convent out of her mind, her parents burdened her with the entire care of the house, as well as the hardest work, so that no leisure was left her, either for prayer, or devotional reading. This was at first a sore trial to her, but she was told by Christ to build a cell in her heart, where, in the midst of her employments she might pray, namely, by offering her work to God and by pious ejaculations. Following these directions of Christ, her soul became filled with sweet consolation, and she manifested, under the greatest drudgery, a most extraordinary happiness. This caused her parents to change their resolution, and they permitted her to live according to her vocation. Hence, she now began to live in a more retired manner, and with more austerity than before.
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by Dom Prosper Gueranger 1870

V. In Thy resurrection, O Christ, alleluia.
R. Let heaven and earth rejoice, alleluia.

This Sunday goes under the name of the Good Shepherd Sunday, because, in the Mass, there is read the Gospel of St. John, wherein our Lord calls himself by this name. How very appropriate is this passage of the Gospel to this present Season, when our Divine Master began His work of establishing and consolidating the Church, by giving it the Pastor, or Shepherd, who was to govern it to the end of time!

In accordance with the eternal decree, the Man-God, on the fortieth day after His Resurrection, is to withdraw His visible presence from the world. He is not to be again seen upon the earth till the Last Day, when He will come again to judge the living and the dead. And yet, He could never abandon mankind, for which He offered himself on the Cross, and which He delivered from death and hell by rising triumphantly from the Grave. He will continue to be its Head after His Ascension into heaven: but what shall we have, on earth, to supply His place? We shall have the Church. It is to the Church that He will leave all His own authority to rule us; it is into the hands of the Church that He will intrust all the truths He has taught; it is the Church that He will make the dispenser of all those means of salvation, which He has destined for the world. Continue reading

MY CATHOLIC FAITH – The Hidden Life of Jesus Christ

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XXXII. The Hidden Life of Jesus Christ

After the finding in the Temple, Jesus returned with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth. There He lived with them, doing all He could to help His Mother and St. Joseph in their work. Jesus, God Himself, obeyed mortals because He wanted to set us an example. He lived a life of obedience, humility, and poverty in Nazareth till He was about thirty years old, This hidden life teaches us, among other things, the value in the eyes of God, of prayer, humility and obedience.

How may the life of Jesus Christ be divided? –The life of Jesus Christ may be divided into three parts: His childhood to the time when He was twelve years old; His hidden life, to the time when He started His teaching; and His public life, to the time of His death.

After the murder of the Holy Innocents, the Child Jesus lived in Egypt with His mother and St. Joseph until the death of Herod, then returned with them to the Holy Land.

An angel appeared to Joseph and said, “Arise, and take the Child and his Mother, and go into the land of Israel” (Matt. 2:20). Just as St. Joseph had obeyed without question when told to take the Child to Egypt, so now he obeyed, knowing that God Who watches over the birds of the air would watch over those given into his charge. Continue reading