The Precious Blood A Lesson of Charity 

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Meditation on the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

The Precious Blood A Lesson of Charity

“He loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own Blood” (Apoc. i. 5). St. John, the Apostle of Love, mentions this as the primary mark of the love of Jesus for us. He proved His love by saving those He loved from that which would have separated them for ever from Him; and this although the loss was theirs,¬†not His, and though it was one that they richly deserved to incur. Here is a model for us, when others wrong us and return ill-will for our love.

This reconciliation He effected at the cost of His own Blood. We read sometimes of a child who sheds his blood for father or mother, or a husband who sheds his blood for his beloved spouse. We admire exceedingly such noble and generous self-sacrifice. But who ever heard of one who shed his blood in order to reconcile to himself, and restore peace and happiness to, enemies who had wilfully and deliberately insulted him? Love so wonderful as this was possible only to the Son of God.

Yet if we are really to learn of Him to follow in His footsteps, we must imitate Him in this love for enemies. He Himself commands it: “Love your enemies.” “If you love them that love you, what reward shall you have?” The precept seems impossible, and becomes possible only when we contemplate Him Who shed the last drop of His Blood for those who hated Him. Looking at Thee, O Lord, I not only will forgive those who have offended me, but I will seek to do them good, that I may have the happiness of doing to them as Thou hast done to me!

Prophet Elias

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Elias

The loftiest and most wonderful prophet of the Old Testament. What we know of his public life is sketched in a few popular narratives enshrined, for the most part, in the First (Third) Book of Kings. These narratives, which bear the stamp of an almost contemporary age, very likely took shape in Northern Israel, and are full of the most graphic and interesting details. Every part of the prophet’s life therein narrated bears out the description of the writer of Ecclesiasticus: He was “as a fire, and his word burnt like a torch” (48:1). The times called for such a prophet. Under the baneful influence of his Tyrian wife Jezabel, Achab, though perhaps not intending to forsake altogether Yahveh’s worship, had nevertheless erected in Samaria a temple to the Tyrian Baal (1 Kings 16:32) and introduced a multitude of foreign priests (xviii 19); doubtless he had occasionally offered sacrifices to the pagan deity, and, most of all, hallowed a bloody persecution of the prophets of Yahveh. Continue reading

St. Margaret

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St. Margaret, Virgin and Martyr

St. Margaret, a chaste virgin and glorious Martyr of our Lord Jesus Christ, was born at Antioch, in Pisidia. Her parents were rich and noble, but heathens, and her mother died while she was still an infant. Hence her father, whose name was Edesius, gave her to a nurse who lived in a neighboring village. This nurse was a Christian, and she endeavored to bring up Margaret with love for the Christian faith. God decreed that Edesius should leave his daughter for several years with her nurse, who having thus time and opportunity, instructed her in the doctrines of the true faith, and early awakened in her heart the desire to give her life for Christ’s sake, by relating to her the tortures that so many Christians had suffered, for the love they bore to their Saviour. When Margaret had come to the age of discretion, she not only desired to be baptized, but soon afterwards consecrated her virginity to the Almighty, desiring nothing more ardently than to be numbered among the martyrs.
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St. Jerome Emiliani

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St. Jerome Emiliani, Confessor

Sprung from the powerful aristocracy which won for Venice twelve centuries of splendour, Jerome came into the world when that city had reached the height of its glory. At fifteen years of age he became a soldier; and was one of the heroes in that formidable struggle wherein his country withstood the united powers of almost all Europe in the League of Cambrai. The golden city, crushed for a moment, but soon restored to her former condition, offered her honours to the defender of Castelnovo, who like herself had fallen bravely and risen again. But our Lady of Tarviso had delivered him from his German prison, only to make him her own captive; she brought him back to the city of St. Mark, there to fulfil a higher mission than the proud Republic could have entrusted to him. The descendant of the Emiliani, captivated, as was Lawrence Justinian a century before, by Eternal Beauty, would now live only for the humility which leads to heaven, and for the lofty deeds of charity. His title of nobility will be derived from the obscure village of Somascha, where he will gather his newly recruited army; and his conquests will be the bringing of little children to God. He will no more frequent the palaces of his patrician friends, for he now belongs to a higher rank: they serve the world, he serves heaven; his rivals are the Angels, whose ambition, like his own, is to preserve unsullied for the Father the service of those innocent souls whom the greatest in heaven must resemble. Continue reading