Man’s Interior Conflict

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Man’s Interior Conflict


MY CHILD, when I created the first man and woman, I gave them many gifts to make their earthly life as easy and peaceful as possible. They were free from pain, labor, sickness, and death. They immediately knew the answers to whatever problems came along. They had complete command over the appetites and desires of body and soul. Over and above these gifts, they were given grace to live a supernatural life. Dwelling within their souls, I gave more than natural light to their minds, and more than natural strength to their wills.

2. None of these gifts really belonged to human beings. I added them over and above the gift of human life along with the natural human powers of body and soul. At any time I could take away these extra gifts, and man would still have all that naturally belonged to
him. I left it up to Adam to decide whether he and his children were to keep these extra gifts forever. As the representative of the human race, Adam was to make one intelligent and free act, an act of obedience to My Will. By this act he would be acknowledging the supreme truth of his existence-that he is a creature completely dependent on Me, his Creator.

3. In disobeying My command in the Garden of Eden, Adam refused to acknowledge the supreme truth. The external act of eating the fruit was a small act, but the interior rebellion against My Will was a serious matter. Adam wanted to be equal to Me, as the rebel angels did in Paradise. As a result of Adam’s disobedience, I took away My extra gifts. Man was left without the aid of My extra gifts, except that he might still obtain grace to earn Heaven.

4. Man now has to bear an inner conflict, a conflict quite natural to him. His animal appetites now go after their wants without regard for his better judgment and free will. Even when man wishes to follow his intelligence and strive after better things, he has to fight for control of his unreasoning appetites and blind desires. He no longer has infused knowledge, but must learn the answers to his daily problems by labor and experience.

5. So often this interior conflict brings confusion to the mind and indecision to the will. Yet man’s natural reason is still able to judge good and evil, still able to distinguish truth from falsehood. To save you from all serious doubts, I have given you My Church to guide your mind and strengthen your will.

6. As long as you have a human body on earth, you cannot be entirely free from venial sins, nor can you live without some sorrow and weariness. Yet you must do your best with patience and determination, regardless of failures. All too soon this present state of disorder will pass away. Then will your earthly life melt away into the perfect life which I have promised to those who keep My commandments. Adam passed on to his descendants the human nature which he himself possessed-a nature that was weakened by his disobedience. A large part of man’s weakness ties in this, that after the Fall, man’s animal nature retained its normal strength and appetites, but was no longer under the perfect control of man’s higher power of reason and freewill. God, however, made up for this weakness by giving us His grace. By the use of God’s grace, man can avoid fully deliberate sins, and thus become once more the master of his life.

My God, I am glad to have Your law guide me through life. With Your help, I want to correct the evil in my life and avoid, as far as possible, those temptations which will face me in the future. True, I often follow the law of sin, obeying my feelings instead of my reason. I want what is good, but I do not always know how to achieve it. Time and again, I make good resolution, but in my weakness I quickly fall back and give up after a feeble resistance. At times, I know what I should be doing, but I simply fail to rise up and do it. With Your help I shall begin to act I want to do all I can to live a life of loyalty to Your holy Will. Amen.

The Victory of Lepanto and the Most Holy Rosary

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The Victory of Lepanto and the Most Holy Rosary

by Rev. J.A. Rooney, O.P., 1892

Let us listen to the Angels of the Rosary. What do they say to us? “Take into your hands on this singular feast the joy-inspiring harp of the Rosary; play upon this harp to your Mother a new canticle; extol her power on earth and in Heaven, and repeat again and again the wonders of your loving helper (Responsory of the First lesson of the Rosary Office).” But why are the Angels of the Rosary so eager that we should play on the harp of Mary on this particular feast? Because this feast commemorates one of the grandest victories ever given by Heaven to the Church, and emphatically declares that it was achieved by the great Captain of God’s armies, Mary the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary. We do not intend to give a detailed account of the battle of Lepanto; we shall content ourselves with the bare narration of the main facts that called into existence this glorious feast of the Destroyer of all heresies, Mary the Mother of God.

For about a century before the battle of Lepanto the Turks had been spreading dismay all over Christendom, and the year 1571 seemed to them to be the most opportune time to deal out death to Christianity. At that time most of the Christian nations were divided by conflicting interests and weakened by protestantism, whose motto was “the Turks in preference to the Papists.” Yes, protestantism, the greatest curse of modern times, the drag-chain on the wheels of Christian progress, did much to embolden the Turks to menace Christendom with indescribable woes. Continue reading

Our Lady of Pompeii

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Our Lady of Pompeii

In 1875 a humble painting of Our Lady was set up in a chapel near the ancient city of Pompeii, Italy, to encourage devotion to the Rosary. Invocation of Mary at this shrine resulted in many remarkable cures and conversions; the modest chapel was raised to basilica rank and is now one of the most famous sanctuaries of Our Lady.

O Virgin immaculate and Queen of the Rosary, in these days of dead faith and triumphant impiety, thou hast been pleased to establish thy throne as Queen and Mother in the ancient land of Pompeii, once the home of paganism. From that place, where men of old worshipped idols and evil spirits, do thou this day, as the Mother of divine graces, scatter far and wide the treasures of heaven’s mercy. Ah, from that throne where thou reignest in mercy, turn, dear Mother, thine eyes of pity even upon me and be gracious unto me who have so great need of thine assistance. Show thyself to me, even as thou hast shown thyself to so many others, a true Mother of mercy: “Monstra te esse Matrem” (show thyself a Mother); while with all my heart I salute thee and invoke thee as my sovereign Lady and Queen of the Most Holy Rosary.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our Life, our Sweetness, and our Hope. To Thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To Thee do we send up our sighs mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, Thine Eyes of Mercy toward us, and after this our exile show unto us the Blessed Fruit of thy Womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us O Holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

(Indulgence of 300 days. [404])

On the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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On the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Dom Prosper Guéranger, O.S.B.[1] The Liturgical Year, Vol XIV, pp. 296-298

In its present form, the rosary was made known to the world by St. Dominic at the time of the struggles with the Albigensians, that social war of such ill-omen for the Church. The rosary was then of more avail than armed forces against the power of Satan; it is now the Church’s last resource. It would seem that, the ancient forms of social prayer being no longer relished by the people, the Holy Ghost has willed by this easy and ready summary of the liturgy to maintain, in the isolated devotion of these unhappy times, the essential of that life of prayer, faith, and Christian virtue, which the public celebration of the Divine Office formerly kept up among the nations. Before the thirteenth century, popular piety was already familiar with what was called the psalter of the laity, that is the angelical salutation repeated one hundred and fifty times; it was the distribution of these Hail Marys into decades, each devoted to the consideration of a particular mystery, that constituted the rosary. Such was the divine expedient, simple as the eternal Wisdom that conceived it, and far reaching in its effects; for while it led wandering man to the Queen of Mercy, it obviated ignorance which is the food of heresy, and taught him to find once more “the paths consecrated by the Blood of the Man-God, and by the tears of His Mother.” (Leo XIII, Magnæ Dei Matris, 8 September 1892) Continue reading

Our Lady of the Rosary

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Our Lady of the Rosary

(Commemorating the Victory of Lepanto)

In thanksgiving for the victory of Lepanto, an ancient stronghold of Greece and a modern port of that nation, Saint Pius V in 1571 instituted an annual feast in honor of Our Lady of Victory. Two years later, Gregory XIII changed this title to Our Lady of the Rosary; in 1740, Clement XII extended the feast to the universal Church.

We have related in the life of Saint Pius V the victory of Lepanto; here we will speak of the Rosary itself, granted to Saint Dominic by Our Lady Herself in the thirteenth century, with promises of the greatest blessings for those who recite it well. The Rosary of fifteen decades affords a simple means of meditation on the principal mysteries of our holy Religion, and a means of drawing closer to the Saviour through the intercession of the One to whom He never refuses anything. One can also say the chaplet of five decades, since the fifteen are divided into three groups of five: The Joyful, the Sorrowful, and the Glorious Mysteries of the life of Christ.

On the crucifix, one recites the Credo or Apostles’ Creed, which the Apostles themselves composed at the first Council of Jerusalem, before their definitive separation, thereby resolving the question of what exactly should be taught to the neophytes. By it we honor the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity and express our faith in the Church established by God; in the Communion of the faithful, whether living or deceased; in the pardon of sins, the general resurrection at the end of the world, and eternal life.

Before each decade, the Pater or Our Father, taught by our Saviour Himself when His Apostles asked how they should pray, includes three petitions for the glory of God in heaven: May His Name be sanctified, rendered holy in the sight of all nations; may His Kingdom come — the interior reign of God which renders Him the Sovereign governing every heart and mind by His love — this, while we await Christ’s own final return as visible King of His Church and all creation; thirdly, may His Will be accomplished on earth, to perfection, as it is in heaven. There follow four petitions for ourselves and our salvation. We ask, under the general term of our daily bread, that God provide for all our needs, both spiritual and material; we beg His forgiveness for our sins, in the same measure we have forgiven our neighbor’s offenses, real or imaginary. And we implore to be spared temptation or to be delivered from succumbing to it and all other evils that would separate us from God.

In the Ave Maria or Hail Mary, we repeat the words of the Angel Gabriel to Mary (Luke 1:18), repeated and augmented by Saint Elizabeth at the Visitation (Luke 1:42), adding the invocation of the Church for Her aid at the present moment and at the formidable hour of our death.

After each decade, we add the Gloria Patri or Doxology, to honor the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity.

The Joyful Mysteries: The Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity of Jesus, the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, the Finding of Jesus in the Temple.

The Sorrowful Mysteries: The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Scourging at the Pillar, the Crowning with Thorns, the Carrying of the Cross, the Crucifixion and Death of Jesus.

The Glorious Mysteries: The Resurrection, the Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, the Assumption of Mary, the Crowning of the Blessed Virgin in Heaven.

Can one imagine a more perfect prayer than the Holy Rosary of the Queen of Heaven, the Blessed Virgin and Mother Mary? It would require large volumes or even an entire library to narrate the graces and miracles that have been obtained by its humble recitation.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 12; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).