Category Archives: Defending the Faith

St. Francis de Sales: Friendly neighborhood Gentleman

Live Jesus!

That was Saint Francis de Sales’ motto. It’s his feast day today. Priest. Bishop. Counter-reformation Saint. Doctor of the Church.

Live Jesus…literally. St. Francis did just that, by living humility and charity. He gave great spiritual advice and helped to convert many Protestants (Calvinists) and he was effective because he radiated Christ. Because he was humble and charitable in all his dealings with others. A spiritual warrior of kindness who was also humble and charitable with himself. St. Francis encouraged those he directed, to exercise patience with themselves and to humbly correct their faults without becoming agitated over them.

I had begun to read the spiritual classic he wrote, Introduction to the Devout Life…great advice especially for lay people to be devout…I hope to get back to reading it. Today i was just thinking—how can i be charitable with others if i am not charitable with myself? Then I felt the Lord say how can you love if you don’t spend time to be loved by me?

Consider all the past as nothing, and say, like David: Now I begin to love my God.

I love the Immaculate Conception!

In honor of the Immaculate Conception, God’s Masterpiece and the Cause of our joy:

As I kneel before you,
As I bow my head in prayer,
Take this day, make it yours
and fill me with your love.

Ave Maria,
Gratia plena,
Dominus tecum,
Benedicta tu.

All I have I give you,
Every dream and wish are yours,
Mother of Christ,
Mother of mine, present them to my Lord.

As I kneel before you,
And I see your smiling face,
Ev’ry thought, ev’ry word
Is lost in your embrace.

Words: Maria Parkinson

—-

Edit: 12/10

Those are words which remind me of Lourdes every time i hear them. That song is what i felt before her. In Lourdes, she revealed her identity to St. Bernadette as Immaculate Conception… and that’s how she revealed herself to me.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee

My mom taught my sister and i this prayer . But it was shortly before Lourdes that i began to grasp the meaning.

Mary is perfect, created without spot or wrinkle, pure and all-holy. At the moment of her conception in her mother’s womb, God preserved Mary from a lack of sanctifying grace (the lack is known as original sin), in anticipation of the atoning merits of Jesus Christ on the Cross. She was redeemed in advance so that she could be a worthy dwelling place of the Most High—to be the one in whom the Word would take Flesh.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is all beautiful inside and out–Immaculate. My encounter with this purity, with purity personified, made it unthinkable for me to willfully and intentionally commit mortal sin.

The Immaculate Conception is the dawn of hope–the advent–forth from whom rises the Sun of Justice, Christ our God!

Praise to the LORD for His Masterpiece–His Mother!

St. Albert Magnus!

Who says that science disproves religion? Or that the Church is opposed to science? They obviously don’t know who St. Albert the Great is.

St. Albert, one of the first natural scientists, wrote extensively on astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, geography, geology, metaphysics, physics and physiology (human and animal). That’s a lot of science! He used the empirical method of collecting data from observing nature.

Teaching theology was something he loved especially.

All of what St. Albert learned and taught was at the service of the Church. He took the philosophy of Aristotle and utilized it to teach Christian truths. He showed that faith and reason are perfectly complimentary (as did his student St. Thomas Aquinas). This is the Middle Ages we’re talking about!

The greatest scientist—a Catholic Saint! St Albert, a Dominican priest and later a bishop, is a Doctor of the Church.

St. Albert Magnus, pray for us!

 

So the stronger and the more vehement our faith in God is, and the more reverently and persistently it is offered up to God, the more surely, the more abundantly and the quicker what we hoped for will be accomplished and obtained.

 

The Assumption of the Ark

In Exodus 25, God instructed Moses to construct the Ark of the Covenant. If you’ve seen Raiders of the Lost Ark you know what it may have looked like. Made with worthy materials, acacia wood overlaid with pure gold, the Ark was the sign of God’s presence dwelling among His people.

Later on in the Old Testament, King David assembles all the people and the Ark is processed into Jerusalem with great joy and solemnity.

When Jerusalem was destroyed by the armies of Babylon, the prophet Jeremiah brought the Ark to a hidden place.

Since that time no one has seen the Ark. But then in the New Testament St. John says he saw the Ark of the Covenant… in Heaven!

“God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.”

– Revelation 11:19

Huh? St. John goes on to describe this Ark:

“And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;

she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery.”

– Revelation 12:1-2

The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Woman clothed with the Sun, is the Ark of the New Covenant. God created Her without spot or stain—pure, Immaculate, that She might be a worthy God-bearer. In her Virginal Womb, the Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us!

The old Ark contained the Ten Commandments, Manna, and the Rod of Aaron High Priest. The new Ark contained the One Who IS the Lawgiver, the Bread of Life, and the Eternal High Priest.

St. Luke also “saw” the Ark when he wrote the account of Mary’s Visitation in his Gospel. Check it out:

  • King David arose and went to a house on a hill of Judah, to bring the ark (2 Sam. 6:2-3). “Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah” (Luke 1:39-40)
  • David said “How can the ark of the LORD come to me?” (2 Sam. 6:9). Elizabeth said “why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:41-42)
  • The ark stayed in a house for three months before (2 Sam. 6:11). How long did Mary stay in Elizabeth’s house? Three months! (Luke 1:56).
  • King David danced and shouted with joy before the ark (cf. 2 Sam. 6:14-15). Elizabeth’s baby leapt and she exclaimed with a loud cry before Mother Mary:

“when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit

and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

-Luke 1:41-42

She’s the Ark of New Covenant and she is now in Heaven!

“We will go into his tabernacles: we will worship at his footstool. Arise, O LORD, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy strength.”

– Psalm 132:7-8

Just as King David brought the ark up to Jerusalem, Jesus brought His ark, Mary, up to the New and Eternal Jerusalem with great joy! That’s the Assumption! That’s why the Ark vision of St. John and the Visitation account were read at today’s Mass of the Assumption!

God preserved Her body from the decay of death. How could He not? He created Her without sin. She put flesh on Jesus by Her willing cooperation with God’s plan of Salvation. She was His dwelling place for 9 months! GOD is never outdone in generosity! After He Ascended into Heaven how could Jesus allow His Mother’s flesh to rot in the ground? So He assumed her body and soul into Heaven at the end of Her early life! That is Catholic Doctrine.

Thanks for reading!

The New Eve

 

The New Eve–She’s the one who reversed what Eve did; the one who did what Eve failed to do.

 

The First Eve was created a perfect woman but she disobeyed God. Eve’s sin led to Adam’s sin which actually brought about the Fall. If you don’t what the Fall is watch the news. Eve means mother of the living. More like the living dead.

 

But God is Mercy. He promised another perfect woman (Gen. 3:15) made for the New Adam. God intervened…She was conceived without any falleness (sin). Her obedience lead to the Redemption brought about by the obedience of the New Adam.

 

The New Adam is Jesus Christ. The New Eve is the Virgin Mary.

 

At this point i’ll let our man St. Irenaeus (in Greek: Εἰρηναῖος, 2nd Century, whose feastday is today) explain further:

 

The Lord, coming into his own creation in visible form, was sustained by his own creation which he himself sustains in being. His obedience on the tree of the cross reversed the disobedience at the tree in Eden; the good news of the truth announced by an angel to Mary, a virgin subject to a husband, undid the evil lie that seduced Eve, a virgin espoused to a husband.

 

As Eve was seduced by the word of an angel and so fled from God after disobeying his word, Mary in her turn was given the good news by the word of an angel, and bore God in obedience to his word. As Eve was seduced into disobedience to God, so Mary was persuaded into obedience to God; thus the Virgin Mary became the advocate of the virgin Eve.

 

Christ gathered all things into one, by gathering them into himself. He declared war against our enemy, crushed him who at the beginning had taken us captive in Adam, and trampled on his head, in accordance with God’s words to the serpent in Genesis: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall lie in wait for your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel.

 

The one lying in wait for the serpent’s head is the one who was born in the likeness of Adam from the woman, the Virgin. This is the seed spoken of by Paul in the letter to the Galatians: The law of works was in force until the seed should come to whom the- promise was made.

Mary Crushin the SerpentHe shows this even more clearly in the same letter when he says: When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman. The enemy would not have been defeated fairly if his vanquisher had not been born of a woman, because it was through a woman that he had gained mastery over man in the beginning, and set himself up as man’s adversary.

 

That is why the Lord proclaims himself the Son of Man, the one who renews in himself that first man from whom the race born of woman was formed; as by a man’s defeat our race fell into the bondage of death, so by a man’s victory we were to rise again to life.

 

 

Death through Eve, Life through Mary! Jesus is Life. Death has died. We have new life now and hope to live evermore!

 

Mary’s obedience untied the knot tied by Eve’s disobedience. “And so it was that the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by Mary’s obedience. For what the virgin Eve bound fast by her refusal to believe, this the Virgin Mary unbound by her belief.”

 

The New Eve is the Mother of all who live in Christ. She said yes to God. May we, through Mary’s intercession and example, do the same.

 

quotes from St. Ignatius, Against Heresies