Octave of the Immaculate Conception

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Octave of the Immaculate Conception

“Thou art terrible as an army set in array.”–Cant. vi.

The Holy Ghost assures us that the life of man is a warfare. It began at the fall of our first parents, and rested upon all of Adam’s descendants, excepting her, whose Immaculate Conception. Yes, it is a severe struggle which we have to maintain against the powers of darkness; against Lucifer and his allies, the fallen angels; against the world and the flesh, which, enrolled under the standard of the fallen prince of angels, and swayed by his influence and direction, oppose us as the enemies of our salvation.

The name of the Church upon earth, whose children we are, reminds us of this. We call it the “Church militant,” and this it really is. But for this very reason is she destined to be for all eternity the “Church triumphant.” If one day we desire to join her in the cry of victory, then must we also, like faithful children, combat and triumph with her. It is certain that we have a powerful enemy in Lucifer and his allies; still we have no reason to be discouraged on this account, since Christ, the victor over death and hell, has provided us with so many weapons with which, assisted by His grace, we can ably defend ourselves. He appointed His own mother, Mary, to be, in particular, the guardian of His Church and of His children. Continue reading

St. Spiridion

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St. Spiridion, Bishop and Confessor

A.D. 348.

SPIRIDION, or SPIRIDON, was a native of Cyprus, was married, and had a daughter named Irene, who lived always a virgin. His employment was that of keeping sheep, which in the patriarchal times even kings thought not beneath their dignity. In this retired state simplicity and innocence of heart engaged the Almighty to furnish him with extraordinary lights in the paths of virtue, which it was the more easy for him safely to pursue, as he shunned the company of those whose example and false maxims might have induced him to take the same liberties they did, and fall into a worldly course of life. For there is no more dangerous snare to our souls than the conversation of that world which is condemned by the gospel; that is to say, that society and commerce of men who are animated with the spirit of irregular self-love, and that corruption of the heart which all men inherit from their first birth from Adam, and by which they live who have not vanquished it by grace, and put on the spirit of Christ. It is not enough for a Christian to guard himself against this contagious air abroad: he has an enemy at home, a fund of corruption within his own heart, which he must resist and purge himself of; and this not in part only, but entirely. They deceive themselves, who desire to be saved through Christ, without taking pains to put on perfectly the spirit of Christ; they who are willing to give alms, fast, and spend much time in prayer, but with all this are for reserving and sparing this or that favorite passion, this vanity, this pleasure, or this spirit of revenge. Spiridion made such use of the advantages which his state afforded him for virtue, as to seem to rival the Macariuses in their deserts: and he was honoured with the gift of miracles. 1 Continue reading