Tag Archives: Saint quotes

If He were not God

 

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Paragraph 15 from “Sermon on the Transfiguration of our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ” by St. Ephraim the Syrian.  A beautiful reflection.

“The facts themselves bear witness and His divine acts of power teach those who doubt that He is true God, and His sufferings show that He is true man. And if those who are feeble in understanding are not fully assured, they will pay the penalty on His dread day.

If He were not flesh, why was Mary introduced at all?
And if He were not God, whom was Gabriel calling Lord?

If He were not flesh, who was lying in the manger?
And if He were not God, whom did the Angels come down and glorify?

If He were not flesh, who was wrapped in swaddling clothes?
And if He were not God, whom did the shepherds worship?

If He were not flesh, whom did Joseph circumcise?
And if He were not God, in whose honor did the star speed through the heavens?

If He were not flesh, whom did Mary suckle?
And if He were not God, to whom did the Magi offer gifts?

If He were not flesh, whom did Simeon carry in his arms?
And if He were not God, to whom did he say, “Let me depart in peace”?

If He were not flesh, whom did Joseph take and flee into Egypt?
And if He were not God, in whom were words “Out of Egypt I have called My Son” fulfilled?

If He were not flesh, whom did John baptize?
And if He were not God, to whom did the Father from heaven say, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well-pleased”?

If He were not flesh, who fasted and hungered in the desert?
And if He were not God, whom did the Angels come down and serve?

If He were not flesh, who was invited to the wedding in Cana of Galilee?
And if He were not God, who turned the water into wine?

If He were not flesh, in whose hands were the loaves?
And if He were not God, who satisfied crowds and thousands in the desert, not counting women and children, from five loaves and two fishes?

If He were not flesh, who fell asleep in the boat?
And if He were not God, who rebuked the winds and the sea?

If He were not flesh, with whom did Simon the Pharisee eat?
And if He were not God, who pardoned the offenses of the sinful woman?

If He were not flesh, who sat by the well, worn out by the journey?
And if He were not God, who gave living water to the woman of Samaria and reprehended her because she had had five husbands?

If He were not flesh, who wore human garments?
And if He were not God, who did acts of power and wonders?

If He were not flesh, who spat on the ground and made clay?
And if He were not God, who through the clay compelled the eyes to see?

If He were not flesh, who wept at Lazarus’ grave?
And if He were not God, who by His command brought out one four days dead?

If He were not flesh, who sat on the foal?
And if He were not God, whom did the crowds go out to meet with glory?

If He were not flesh, whom did the Jews arrest?
And if He were not God, who gave an order to the earth and threw them onto their faces?

If He were not flesh, who was struck with a blow?
And if He were not God, who cured the ear that had been cut off by Peter and restored it to its place?

If He were not flesh, who received spittings on His face?
And if He were not God, who breathed the Holy Spirit into the faces of His Apostles?

If He were not flesh, who stood before Pilate at the judgement seat?
And if He were not God, who made Pilate’s wife afraid by a dream?

If He were not flesh, whose garments did the soldiers strip off and divide?
And if He were not God, how was the sun darkened at the cross?

If He were not flesh, who was hung on the cross?
And if He were not God, who shook the earth from its foundations?

If He were not flesh, whose hands and feet were transfixed by nails?
And if He were not God, how was the veil of the temple rent, the rocks broken and the graves opened?

If He were not flesh, who cried out, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned Me”?
And if He were not God, who said “Father, forgive them”?

If He were not flesh, who was hung on a cross with the thieves?
And if He were not God, how did He say to the thief, “Today you will be with Me in Paradise”?

If He were not flesh, to whom did they offer vinegar and gall?
And if He were not God, on hearing whose voice did Hades tremble?

If He were not flesh, whose side did the lance pierce, and blood and water came out?
And if He were not God, who smashed to gates of Hades and tear apart it bonds? And at whose command did the imprisoned dead come out?

If He were not flesh, whom did the Apostles see in the upper room?
And if He were not God, how did He enter when the doors were shut?

If He were not flesh, the marks of the nails and the lance in whose hands and side did Thomas handle?
And if He were not God, to whom did He cry out, “My Lord and my God”?

If He were not flesh, who ate by the sea of Tiberias?
And if He were not God, at whose command was the net filled?

If He were not flesh, whom did the Apostles and Angels see being taken up into heaven?
And if He were not God, to whom was heaven opened, whom did the Powers worship in fear and whom did the Father invite to “Sit at my right hand”. As David said, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, etc.”

If He were not God and man, our salvation is a lie, and the words of the Prophets are lies.”

 

 

Christianity without compromise

     

“A Christianity which keeps a grip on itself, refuses every compromise with the world, takes the commands of God and the Church seriously, preserves its love of God and of men in all its freshness, such a Christianity can be, and will be, a model and a guide to a world which is sick to death and clamors for directions, unless it be condemned to a catastrophe that would baffle the imagination.”  ~Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge

“There never was a time, Venerable Brethren, when the salvation of souls did not impose on all the duty of associating their sufferings with the torments of our Divine Redeemer. But today that duty is more clear than ever, when a gigantic conflict has set almost the whole world on fire and leaves in its wake so much death, so much misery, so much hardship; in the same way today, in a special manner, it is the duty of all to fly from vice, the attraction of the world, the unrestrained pleasures of the body, and also from worldly frivolity and vanity which contribute nothing to the Christian training of the soul nor to the gaining of Heaven.”   ~Pope Pius XII Mystici Corporis, June 29, 1943

As the Church goes, so does the world.  When the Church is restored, society will enjoy peace, the true peace that comes from the love of Christ and the practice of the Catholic Faith.

~Damsel of the Faith

Pray without ceasing

Pray.  If you want to become saints, pray. The Saints themselves have taught as much. They became saints by fostering prayer, placing Our Lord above all things. The Church fosters this in her spiritual and devotional life, especially through the Sacraments. Scripture attests to the power and efficiency of prayer, even saying that we should pray without ceasing.  A thought: If we do not spend time with Our Lord here on this earth and enjoy His company, how can we be happy in Heaven for eternity? A lack of prayer is the primary reason for why a desire for eternity has been all but lost, since not much thought is given to Christ on this earth.  Without prayer, we cannot be holy or live a good Christian life in accordance with the laws and Commandments laid down for us by Christ for our eternal salvation.

There is a crisis in the Church because prayer has been lost, the Sacraments have been relegated to the unimportant and the Church in our day has placed the salvation of souls as secondary to social justice issues, while attempting to justify what has been held as sin for 2,000 years.

The prayer life among Catholics, especially the clergy is abysmal.  There was a report back in April that nearly half of German priests don’t pray or go to Confession.  42% of priests don’t go to Confession while 54% only go to Confession yearly.

http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/nearly-half-of-german-priests-dont-pray-or-go-to-confession

I’m reminded of a quote from St. John Vianney: “If the parish priest is a Saint, his people will be holy; If the priest is holy, but not yet a Saint, his people will be good; If he is good, his people will be lukewarm, and if he is lukewarm, his parishioners will be bad. And if the priest himself is bad, his people will go to Hell.”

Some quotes from the Saints on prayer and persevering in it:

“There is no duty which Christ and His Apostles more emphatically urged by both precept and example than that of prayer and supplication to Almighty God. The Fathers and Doctors in subsequent times have taught that this is a matter of such grave necessity, that if men neglect it they hope in vain for eternal salvation.”   ~Pope Leo XIII, “Fidentem Piumque Animum”, 1896

“Those who do not pray, are lost.”  ~St. Padre Pio

“Those who pray are certainly saved; those who do not pray are certainly damned.”  ~St. Alphonsus Liguori

“I consider that it is obvious to everyone that it is impossible to live virtuously without the aid of prayer”   ~St. John Chrysostom

“There is, in fact, such a necessary link between holiness and prayer that the one cannot exist without the other.”   ~Pope St. Pius X, “Haerent Animo”, 1908

“All the saints are in heaven because they have prayed much. They would be less holy if they had prayed less, and they would not have been there at all, if they had not prayed.” ~St. Alphonsus

“There can be no solid achievement, nothing of lasting benefit, in the absence of the heavenly dew which is brought down in abundance by the prayer of the man who humbles himself.”   ~Pope St. Pius X, “Haerent Animo”, 1908

“It is morally impossible for him who neglects mediation to live without sin.”   ~St. Teresa of Avila

“Never give up prayer, and should you find dryness and difficulty, persevere in it for this very reason. God often desires to see what love your soul has, and love is not tried by ease and satisfaction.”   ~St. John of the Cross

“These words of the Lord show us how great is the power of perseverance and persistence in prayer: ‘It is necessary to pray always without ceasing’. In that constancy and perseverance, let us wait for the majesty of God if there is a delay: it will appear and will not deceive us because it comes gradually.”   ~Pope Clement XIII, “A Quo Die”, 1758 A.D.

“Another necessary condition of prayer is constancy. The great efficacy of perseverance, the Son of God exemplifies by the conduct of the judge, who, while he feared not God, no regarded man, yet, overcome by the persistence and importunity of the widow, yielded to her entreaties. In our prayers to God we should, therefore, be persevering. We must not imitate the example of those who become tired of praying, if, after having prayed once or twice, they succeed not in obtaining the object of their prayers. We should never be weary of the duty of prayer, as we are taught by the authority of Christ the Lord and of the Apostle. And should the will at any time fail us, we should beg of God by prayer the strength to persevere.”   ~Catechism of the Council of Trent

“Prayer is man’s richest boon. It is his light, his nourishment, and his very life, for it brings him into communication with God, who is light, nourishment, and life.”   ~Dom Gueranger

“Reflect what great happiness is bestowed upon you, what glory is given to you, namely, to converse in your prayers with God, to join in colloquy with Christ, and to beg for what you wish or desire.”  ~St. John Chrysostom

“Our meditation in this present life should be in the praise of God; for the external exultation of our life hereafter will be the praise of God; and none can become fit for the future life who has not practiced himself for it now.”   ~St. Augustine

“The air which we breath, the bread which we eat, the heart which throbs in our bosoms, are not more necessary for man that he may live as a human being, than is prayer for the Christian that he may live as a Christian.”   ~St. John Eudes

Finally, priests and faithful alike learn to know, love and serve God through prayer.  Let a resurgence of true prayer be restored, bringing a Catholic restoration and renaissance, for the honor and glory of God and the salvation of souls!

~Damsel of the Faith

The Church never fails

With the deep crisis that the Church finds herself in, we always need some words of encouragement from the Popes and the Saints of past ages.  The Church will always come out victorious in the end because the gates of hell will not prevail against her and in our current times, we have the assurance that the Immaculate Heart of Christ’s Mother will triumph. The Church can never be conquered because good prevails over evil and Our Lord is God and as God, he is all powerful and almighty.  One word from him could send the enemies of the Church fleeing, yet Our Lord allows the Church to endure this crisis, as a test of faithfulness.  Who believes in the Catholic Faith and will keep it uncompromised, no matter the cost?

“History, the light of truth, and the witness of the ages, if only it be rightly discerned and diligently examined, teaches us that the divine promise of Jesus Christ: “I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world” (Matthew xxviii, 20), has never failed the Church His Bride, and therefore that it will never fail her in time to come. Nay, further, the more turbulent the waves by which the divine bark of Peter is tossed, in the course of ages, the more present and powerful is her experience of the help of heavenly grace. This happened more especially in the first age of the Church, not only when the Christian name was regarded as an execrable crime, to be punished by death, but also when the genuine faith of Christ, confounded by the perfidy of the heretics who were spreading, chiefly in the eastern regions, was placed in grave jeopardy. For even as the persecutors of the Catholic name, one after another, perished miserably, and the Roman Empire itself came to ruin, so all the heretics, as withered branches (cf. John xv, 6) torn from the divine vine, could neither drink the sap of life nor bring forth fruit.

The Church of God, on the contrary, in the midst of so many storms and the vicissitudes of things that perish, trusting in God alone, has ever gone on her way, with firm, secure steps, and has never ceased from her strenuous defence of the integrity of the sacred deposit of Gospel truth, entrusted to her by her Founder.

~Pope Pius XI, Lux Veritatis (On the Council of Ephesus, Encyclical, 1931

The SSPX continues to be the guiding beacon of hope:

“As these ages sped, the Church of God, though afflicted by many a disaster and social upheaval, torn by many a heresy and schism, anguished by the treason of her followers and by the disloyalty of her sons, nevertheless, trusting in the promises of her Founder, while human institutions of varying origin that surrounded her fell in ruins, not only stood safe and unharmed, but also in every age glowed with brighter beauty in noble lives of holiness and devotion, while in many Christians she made the fire of charity burn with growing heat. Moreover, thanks to her missionaries and martyrs she brought into her Fold fresh nations, among whom the pristine glory of virginity renews its bloom and the rank of priest and Bishop keeps its vigor. In fine, so deeply has she imbued all peoples with her spirit of charity and justice, that the very men who treat her with indifference or hostility, cannot refrain from borrowing her way of speaking and acting.”   ~Pope Pius XI, “Ad Salutem”, 1930

~Damsel of the Faith

 

How much has changed in 200 years!

To hear these words spoken again by a holy Pope, with much more zeal and concern for the salvation of souls in this 21st century, a century full of heresy, apostasy and Modernism that has overrun the Catholic Church, is the hope of every Catholic that truly loves the Church.

“If ever those in charge of the Lord’s vineyard should be concerned about the salvation of souls, they must be so in this age especially. For many ideas aimed at weakening religion arise almost daily. When men are enticed by novelty and led on by an eagerness for alien knowledge, they come together more eagerly for this very purpose and more willingly embrace it. Wherefore, We lament that the destruction of souls is propagated more widely each day.

Accordingly you must work all the harder and exercise diligence and authority to repel this audacity and insanity which stalks even divine and most holy matters. Be confident that you will accomplish this by simplicity of sound doctrine and by the word of God which penetrates more than any two-edged sword. You will easily be able to contain the attack of enemies and blunt their weapons when in all your sermons you preach and present Jesus Christ crucified. By His own laws and institutions He founded and reenforced this holy city which is His Church. To it he entrusted, as it were, the deposit of faith in Him to be preserved piously and without contamination. He wished it to be the bulwark of His teaching and truth against which the gates of hell would never prevail.

We, therefore, the overseers and guardians of this holy city, must preserve the magnificent heritage of Our laws and faith which has been passed down intact to Us; We must transmit it pure and sound to our successors. If We direct all our actions to this norm found in sacred scripture and moreover cling to the footsteps of our ancestors, We will be best equipped to avoid whatever could weaken and destroy the faith of the Christian people and loosen in any way the unity of the Church.”

~Pope Clement XIV, Cum Summi (Proclaiming a Universal Jubilee, Encyclical, 1769

 

~Damsel of the Faith

St. Louis de Montfort on the Blessed Virgin

 

During this Month of Mary, Our Most Blessed Lady, here is a meditation, the Introduction to the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin by St. Louis de Montfort:

1. It was through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus came into the world, and it is also through her that he must reign in the world.

2. Because Mary remained hidden during her life she is called by the Holy Spirit and the Church “Alma Mater”, Mother hidden and unknown. So great was her humility that she desired nothing more upon earth than to remain unknown to herself and to others, and to be known only to God.

3. In answer to her prayers to remain hidden, poor and lowly, God was pleased to conceal her from nearly every other human creature in her conception, her birth, her life, her mysteries, her resurrection and assumption. Her own parents did not really know her; and the angels would often ask one another, “Who can she possibly be?”, for God had hidden her from them, or if he did reveal anything to them, it was nothing compared with what he withheld.

4. God the Father willed that she should perform no miracle during her life, at least no public one, although he had given her the power to do so. God the Son willed that she should speak very little although he had imparted his wisdom to her.

Even though Mary was his faithful spouse, God the Holy Spirit willed that his apostles and evangelists should say very little about her and then only as much as was necessary to make Jesus known.

5. Mary is the supreme masterpiece of Almighty God and he has reserved the knowledge and possession of her for himself. She is the glorious Mother of God the Son who chose to humble and conceal her during her lifetime in order to foster her humility. He called her “Woman” as if she were a stranger, although in his heart he esteemed and loved her above all men and angels. Mary is the sealed fountain and the faithful spouse of the Holy Spirit where only he may enter. She is the sanctuary and resting-place of the Blessed Trinity where God dwells in greater and more divine splendour than anywhere else in the universe, not excluding his dwelling above the cherubim and seraphim. No creature, however pure, may enter there without being specially privileged.

6. I declare with the saints: Mary is the earthly paradise of Jesus Christ the new Adam, where he became man by the power of the Holy Spirit, in order to accomplish in her wonders beyond our understanding. She is the vast and divine world of God where unutterable marvels and beauties are to be found. She is the magnificence of the Almighty where he hid his only Son, as in his own bosom, and with him everything that is most excellent and precious. What great and hidden things the all-powerful God has done for this wonderful creature, as she herself had to confess in spite of her great humility, “The Almighty has done great things for me.” The world does not know these things because it is incapable and unworthy of knowing them.

7. The saints have said wonderful things of Mary, the holy City of God, and, as they themselves admit, they were never more eloquent and more pleased than when they spoke of her. And yet they maintain that the height of her merits rising up to the throne of the Godhead cannot be perceived; the breadth of her love which is wider than the earth cannot be measured; the greatness of the power which she wields over one who is God cannot be conceived; and the depths of her profound humility and all her virtues and graces cannot be sounded. What incomprehensible height! What indescribable breadth! What immeasurable greatness! What an impenetrable abyss!

8. Every day, from one end of the earth to the other, in the highest heaven and in the lowest abyss, all things preach, all things proclaim the wondrous Virgin Mary. The nine choirs of angels, men and women of every age, rank and religion, both good and evil, even the very devils themselves are compelled by the force of truth, willingly or unwillingly, to call her blessed.

According to St. Bonaventure, all the angels in heaven unceasingly call out to her: “Holy, holy, holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God.” They greet her countless times each day with the angelic greeting, “Hail, Mary”, while prostrating themselves before her, begging her as a favour to honour them with one of her requests. According to St. Augustine, even St. Michael, though prince of all the heavenly court, is the most eager of all the angels to honour her and lead others to honour her. At all times he awaits the privilege of going at her word to the aid of one of her servants.

9. The whole world is filled with her glory, and this is especially true of Christian peoples, who have chosen her as guardian and protectress of kingdoms, provinces, dioceses, and towns. Many cathedrals are consecrated to God in her name. There is no church without an altar dedicated to her, no country or region without at least one of her miraculous images where all kinds of afflictions are cured and all sorts of benefits received. Many are the confraternities and associations honouring her as patron; many are the orders under her name and protection; many are the members of sodalities and religious of all congregations who voice her praises and make known her compassion. There is not a child who does not praise her by lisping a Hail Mary. There is scarcely a sinner, however hardened, who does not possess some spark of confidence in her. The very devils in hell, while fearing her, show her respect.

10. And yet in truth we must still say with the saints: De Maria numquam satis : We have still not praised, exalted, honoured, loved and served Mary adequately. She is worthy of even more praise, respect, love and service.

11. Moreover, we should repeat after the Holy Spirit, “All the glory of the king’s daughter is within”, meaning that all the external glory which heaven and earth vie with each other to give her is nothing compared to what she has received interiorly from her Creator, namely, a glory unknown to insignificant creatures like us, who cannot penetrate into the secrets of the king.

12. Finally, we must say in the words of the apostle Paul, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has the heart of man understood” the beauty, the grandeur, the excellence of Mary, who is indeed a miracle of miracles of grace, nature and glory. “If you wish to understand the Mother,” says a saint, “then understand the Son. She is a worthy Mother of God.” Hic taceat omnis lingua : Here let every tongue be silent.

13. My heart has dictated with special joy all that I have written to show that Mary has been unknown up till now, and that that is one of the reasons why Jesus Christ is not known as he should be.

If then, as is certain, the knowledge and the kingdom of Jesus Christ must come into the world, it can only be as a necessary consequence of the knowledge and reign of Mary. She who first gave him to the world will establish his kingdom in the world.

The Cross – our hope and salvation

Remember that the Crucifixion of Christ bought our salvation. Remember that there is no Resurrection without a Good Friday.

“Let no one, my brethren, blush at those sacred and adorable marks of our redemption. The cross of Jesus Christ is the source of every blessing; it is through that we live, through that, we are what we are. Let us carry the cross of Jesus, and adorn ourselves with so glorious a crown. It is the zeal and fulfillment of everything which appertains to our salvation. If we are regenerated in the waters of baptism, the cross is there present; if we approach the table of the Lord to receive His holy Body, it there appears; if we receive the imposition of hands to consecrate us as ministers of God, it is still there; in fact, we see in everything that adorable sign which is, at once, the cause and emblem of our victory. We have it in our houses, we hang it and paint it on our walls, we engrave it on our doors, and we should ever carry it in our hearts; for the cross is a sacred monument which recalls to memory the work of our salvation, the regaining of our ancient freedom, and the infinite mercy of Jesus Christ. When, then, you make the sign of the cross on the forehead, arm yourself with a saintly boldness, and reinstall your soul in its old liberty; for you are not ignorant that the cross is a prize beyond all price. Consider what is the price given for your ransom, and you will never more be slave to any man on earth. This reward and ransom is the cross. You should not, then, carelessly make the sign of the forehead, but you should impress it on your heart with the love of a fervent faith! Nothing impure will dare to molest you on seeing the weapon which overcometh all things. Be not, then, ashamed of the cross, in order that Jesus Christ be not ashamed of you, when He will come, clothed in the Majesty of His glory, accompanied by this sign of our redemption, which will then, shine more brilliant than the sun. Engrave it in your heart; lovingly embrace that which procured the salvation of our souls; for it is the cross which has saved and converted all the world is that which has banished heresy and unbelief, which has reestablished truth, which has made a heaven on earth, and which has transformed men into angels. It is by means of the cross that the devils have ceased to appear formidable, and are now only to be despised; it is through that, that death is now no longer death, but only a long sleep. In fine, it is through the cross that all our enemies have been conquered. If you find, then, any one who says, ‘What! you worship the cross?’ answer him with a tone of voice that betokens firmness, Yes, I do worship it, and shall never cease to do so. If he laugh at you, pity him, and shed tears for his blindness; and say boldly, We protest before heaven and earth that our glory is in the cross, that it is the source of all our blessings, our every hope, and that it is that which has crowned every saint.”   ~St. John Chrysostom