Humility Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

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Humility Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

1. Mary, Mother of God, humility is the virtue you especially practised from childhood. The saints tell me that it is the foundation and guard of all virtues, since without humility a soul can possess no other virtue. Your loving Son came to teach this virtue to mankind by His example, and He desired that we should especially strive to imitate Him, for He said,“Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your souls” (Matt. 11, 29). As you were the first and most perfect disciple of Jesus in all the virtues, you were the first and most perfect disciple also in humility. First of all, because of your humility you merited to be exalted above all creatures.

The first characteristic of humility of heart is a humble opinion of oneself. You always had so lowly an opinion of yourself that, although you realized how many more graces and favors were bestowed upon you than upon others, you still preferred all others before yourself. Of course, you never thought of yourself as a sinner for humility is truth, and you knew that you had never offended God.

Mary, My Mother, you did acknowledge having received greater graces from God than had any other creature, for a humble heart always acknowledges the special favors of God that it may humble itself the more. But by the greater light you possessed for recognizing the infinite greatness and goodness of God, you recognized also your own littleness, and, therefore, you humbled yourself more than all others: you ever had before your eyes the majesty of God against your nothingness as His creature. The more you beheld yourself enriched, the more humble did you become, remembering that all came to you from the infinite generosity of your Maker. No creature in the world has been more exalted than you, because no creature in the world has ever humbled himself more. Continue reading

Flos Carmeli

Flos Carmeli was used by the Carmelites as the sequence for the Feast of St. Simon Stock, and, since 1663, for the Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel. It also appears in an ancient metrical office of Carmel as an antiphon and responsory. Its composition is ascribed to St. Simon Stock himself (ca 1165 – 1265).
FLOS Carmeli,
vitis florigera,
splendor caeli,
virgo puerpera
singularis.
FLOWER of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendor of heaven,
Childbearing yet maiden.
None equals thee.
Mater mitis
sed viri nescia
Carmelitis
esto propitia
stella maris.
Mother so tender,
Who no man didst know,
On Carmel’s children
Thy favors bestow.
Star of the Sea.
Radix Iesse
germinans flosculum
nos ad esse
tecum in saeculum
patiaris.
Strong stem of Jesse,
Who bore one bright flower,
Be ever near us
And guard us each hour,
who serve thee here.
Inter spinas
quae crescis lilium
serva puras
mentes fragilium
tutelaris.
Purest of lilies,
That flowers among thorns,
Bring help to the true heart
That in weakness turns
and trusts in thee.
Armatura
fortis pugnantium
furunt bella
tende praesidium
scapularis.
Strongest of armor,
We trust in thy might:
Under thy mantle,
Hard press’d in the fight,
we call to thee.
Per incerta
prudens consilium
per adversa
iuge solatium
largiaris.
Our way uncertain,
Surrounded by foes,
Unfailing counsel
You give to those
who turn to thee.
Mater dulcis
Carmeli domina,
plebem tuam
reple laetitia
qua bearis.
O gentle Mother
Who in Carmel reigns,
Share with your servants
That gladness you gained
and now enjoy.
Paradisi
clavis et ianua,
fac nos duci
quo, Mater, gloria
coronaris. Amen
Hail, Gate of Heaven,
With glory now crowned,
Bring us to safety
Where thy Son is found,
true joy to see.

The Feast of Our Lady of Mount of Carmel

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The Feast of Our Lady of Mount of Carmel

Carmel is a mountain, lying between Judea and Syria, of which one part belonged to the tribe of Manasses, the other to the tribe of Aser. The prophet Elias wrought, on Mount Carmel, the great miracle which is circumstantially related in the third Book of Kings, 18th chapter, when he, to prove that the God of Israel, whom he worshipped, was the true God,called down fire from heaven to consume his sacrifice. Upon this mountain, according to the Breviary, some pious nun, who had been converted to Christianity, built a church or chapel, dedicated to the Most Pure Virgin, in which they frequently assembled for prayer; and they were called “Brothers of our Lady of Mount Carmel.” There exists, at the present day, in the Catholic Church, a celebrated religious Order, whose members take their name from this mount, and hence are called “Carmelites,” or “Brothers of our Lady of Mount Carmel.” This religious Order was spread many centuries ago, not only in the Holy Land, but also in other countries. Among other things we read that St. Louis of France, on his return from Syria, brought some of these religious with him into his kingdom, and assigned them a dwelling near Marseilles. The Holy Mother who was especially honored by these religious, imparted also especial graces to them, and protected them miraculously in the greatest need and danger.  Continue reading

St. Henry II

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St. Henry II., Emperor

A.D. 1024.

ST. HENRY, surnamed the Pious and the Lame, was son of Henry, duke of Bavaria, and of Gisella, daughter of Conrad, king of Burgundy, and was born in 972. He was descended from Henry, duke of Bavaria, son of the emperor Henry the Fowler, and brother of Otho the Great, consequently our saint was near akin to the three first emperors who bore the name of Otho. St. Wolfgang, the bishop of Ratisbon, being a prelate the most eminent in all Germany for learning, piety, and zeal, our young prince was put under his tuition, and by his excellent instructions and example he made from his infancy wonderful progress in learning and in the most perfect practice of Christian virtue. The death of his dear master and spiritual guide, which happened in 994, was to him a most sensible affliction. In the following year he succeeded his father in the dutchy of Bavaria, and in 1002, upon the death of his cousin Otho III., he was chosen emperor. 1 He was the same year crowned king of Germany at Mentz, by the archbishop of that city. He had always before his eyes the extreme dangers to which they are exposed who move on the precipice of power, and that all human things are like edifices of sand, which every breath of time threatens to overturn or deface; he studied the extent and importance of the obligations which attended his dignity; and by the assiduous practice of humiliations, prayer, and pious meditation, he maintained in his heart the necessary spirit of humility and holy fear, and was enabled to bear the tide of prosperity and honour with a constant evenness of temper. Sensible of the end for which alone he was exalted by God to the highest temporal dignity, he exerted his most strenuous endeavours to promote in all things the divine honour, the exaltation of the church, and the peace and happiness of his people. 1 Continue reading

Sanctification by the Precious Blood 

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Meditation on the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

Sanctification by the Precious Blood

The Precious Blood does more than wash away the sins of men and restore them to friendship with God. This is but the commencement of its work of love and mercy. It has in it unlimited power to carry them on to the heights of sanctity, to engender in them every virtue, to implant in their souls all the gifts of the Holy Ghost. So we read in the Apocalypse that the Lamb of God has not only washed us from our sins in His own Blood, but also made us to be kings and priests to God. Through the Precious Blood, then, are bestowed on me not only cleanness from my past sins, but graces to make me beautiful in the sight of God.

How does the Precious Blood win these graces for us? It appeals to the love of God, and reminds Him that, as He has given us the surpassing gift of His own Son to be sacrificed for us. He must with Him also freely give us all things. In that one gift all else is contained, and we have a sort of claim to whatever we want from the hands of God.

The Precious Blood of Christ also obtains our sanctification by the merits that it won for us. Each drop that was shed was enough, and more than enough, to purchase graces without limit or end. All the actions of our Lord had an infinite value by reason of His infinite dignity. How much more the shedding of that Blood, which, in itself, calls for the highest adoration, inasmuch as It was the Blood of God Himself, and He had communicated to It the glory of His Divinity by reason of the Hypostatic Union.