St. Francis Xavier

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St. Francis Xavier, Confessor of the Society of Jesus

St. Francis Xavier,–the great Apostle of the Indies, as he is called in the Bull of his canonization–the celebrated Thau maturgus of the 16th century, the irreproachable witness of the truth of our holy religion, the ornament of the Society of Jesus, and of the entire Catholic Church,–was of royal lineage, and was born of illustrious parents, at the Castle of Xavier, in the kingdom of Navarre. Having passed his childhood, he was sent to the University of Paris, to study the liberal arts, for which he evinced an especial inclination. He applied himself so diligently and made so much progress, that he was not only created Doctor of Philosophy, but also appointed to instruct others in that science. All his aim was to gain honors and to become great in the eyes of the world. His father intended to recall him home after some years, but his sister, who was Prioress in the Convent of the Poor Clares at Gandia, and had the reputation of being a Saint, knew by divine inspiration the great work for which her brother was destined by the Almighty, and persuaded her father not to insist on his return, saying, in a prophetic manner, that Francis was chosen to become the apostle of many nations.  Continue reading

Introitus: Ad te levávi

Dominica I Adventus ~ I. classis

Ps 24:1-3.

Ad te levávi ánimam meam: Deus meus, in te confíde, non erubéscam: neque irrídeant me inimíci mei: étenim univérsi, qui te exspéctant, non confundéntur.

To You I lift up my soul: in You, O my God, I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. No one who waits for You shall be put to shame.

Ps 24:4
Vias tuas, Dómine, demónstra mihi: et sémitas tuas édoce me.

Your ways, O Lord, make known to me; teach me Your paths.

V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculórum. Amen

V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Ad te levávi ánimam meam: Deus meus, in te confíde, non erubéscam: neque irrídeant me inimíci mei: étenim univérsi, qui te exspéctant, non confundéntur.

To You I lift up my soul: in You, O my God, I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. No one who waits for You shall be put to shame.


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

The first Sunday in Advent is the first day of the Church Year, and the beginning of the holy season of Advent. The Church commences on this day to contemplate the coming of the Redeemer, and with the

prophets to long for Him; during the entire season of Advent she unites her prayers with their sighs, in order to awaken in her children also the desire for the grace of the Redeemer; above all to move them to true penance for their sins, because these are the greatest obstacles in the path of that gracious Advent; therefore she prays at the Introit of the day’s Mass:

INTROIT To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: in Thee, O my God, I put my trust; let me not be ashamed: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded. Show me, O Lord, Thy ways, and teach me Thy paths (Ps. 24). Glory be to the Father.

COLLECT Raise up, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy power, and come; that by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins, and to be saved by Thy deliverance. Through our Lord. Continue reading

Blessed John Ruysbroeck

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Blessed John Ruysbroeck

Surnamed the Admirable Doctor, and the Divine Doctor, undoubtedly the foremost of the Flemish mystics, b. at Ruysbroeck, near Brussels, 1293; d. at Groenendael, 2 Dec., 1381. He was blessed with a devout mother, who trained him from infancy in the ways of piety and holiness. Of his father we know nothing; John’s only family name, van Ruysbroeck, is taken from his native hamlet. At the age of eleven he forsook his mother, departing without leave or warning, to place himself under the guidance and tuition of his uncle, John Hinckaert, a saintly priest and a canon of St. Gudule’s, Brussels, who with a fellow-canon of like mind, Francis van Coudenberg, was following a manner of life modelled on the simplicity and fervour of Apostolic days. This uncle provided for Ruysbroeck’s education with a view to the priesthood. In due course, Blessed John was presented with a prebend in St. Gudule’s, and ordained in 1317. His mother had followed him to Brussels, entered a Béguinage there, and made a happy end shortly before his ordination. For twenty-six years Ruysbroeck continued to lead, together with his uncle Hinckaert and van Coudenberg, a life of extreme austerity and retirement. At that time the Brethren of the Free Spirit were causing considerable trouble in the Netherlands, and one of them, a woman named Bloemardinne, was particularly active in Brussels, propagating her false tenets chiefly by means of popular pamphlets. In defence of the Faith Ruysbroeck responded with pamphlets also written in the native tongue. Nothing of these treatises remains; but the effect of the controversy was so far permanent with Ruysbroeck that his later writings bear constant reference, direct and indirect, to the heresies, especially the false mysticism, of the day, and he composed always in the idiom of the country, chiefly with a view to counteracting the mischief of the heretical writings scattered broadcast among the people in their own tongue.
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LXII. The Laity

“I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, even as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold. Them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:14-16). All those not baptized are sheep of Christ that have not yet heard His voice. They must also be brought into the Church. Protestants are sheep that have left the fold of Christ. They must return to the Church, if they would hear the voice of Christ, the Good Shepherd, Who lovingly calls them to His True Church.

Who are the laity of the Church? –The. laity of the Church are all its members who do not belong to the clerical or to the religious state.

All members of the Church, whether clerical, religious, or lay, are termed “the faithful.” After Baptism we join the ranks.

The laity must remember that they are part of the Church. They must understand that when anyone speaks of the “Church” they are included, as we include the heart and mind of a man with his soul when we speak of him. The Church is you and I.

The clerical state includes all priests and aspirants to the priesthood who have received tonsure. Students of seminaries are aspirants to the priesthood.

“Tonsure” is the rite by which a layman is initiated into the clerical state. The bishop, or any delegated prelate, cuts the candidate’s hair in some prescribed form, and invests him with a surplice.

The religious state includes those who are members of religious orders or congregations, bound by either temporary or perpetual vows of poverty, chastity, obedience.
Aspirants, postulants, and novices are preparing to embrace the religious state. Continue reading