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St Lawrence, MartyrA Meditation for the Feast of S. Laurence
By a monk of the Cistercian Abbey of Sept-fonts

I. Point.

“He was full of faith and of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts VI, 3.)

The Church honors two holy levites, one at Jerusalem, the other at Rome, between whom there is found so marvelous a resemblance in courage, in virtue and holiness, that the eulogy of the one may be justly applied to the other. St. Laurence truly appeared “full of faith and of the Holy Ghost,” by his ardent love for Jesus Christ. This fulness of faith and of the Holy Ghost was his peculiar characteristic. By his love and his faith, animated by the secret inspiration of the Holy Ghost, he stripped himself of all the goods of this world; by his love, stronger than death, he despised tortures; by the sacred fire of the Holy Ghost, with which he was filled, he seemed insensible to the flames that burned his body; finally, he aspired only to Jesus Christ, he sighed only for Him. O divine fire which burned St. Laurence more intensely within, than the flames by which he was surrounded burned him without! O fire of the Holy Ghost, more powerful than that which was kindled by the executioners! O Divine Spirit! Burn, inflame, consume my heart with the fire of Thy holy love; extinguish the flames of my vices, as Thou didst enable St. Laurence to conquer those of the material fire. Continue Reading »

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Transfiguration of Our LordA sermon for the Transfiguration
by the Rev. John Mason Neale, D.D.

Our Lord, taking with Him Peter, James, and John, brought ‘them up into an high Mountain apart, and was transfigured before them.’ ‘And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him.’ S. Peter, transported with the glory of this Vision, cried out, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here: if Thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for Thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.’  Continue Reading »

For Lammas Day, or S. Peter’s Chains.
From a sermon by the Rev. John Mason Neale, D.D.

Compare these two texts. We read in S. Matthew’s Gospel, ‘Jesus answered, and said unto Peter, I will give unto thee the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven.’ And in the Acts of the Apostles we are told that ‘Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains.’ Very different from each other, at first sight, these two statements seem: S. Peter having the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven given to him; and S. Peter bound with two chains, and sleeping between two keepers. ‘Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven,’ says our Lord in the one passage; and, in the other, Peter is bound himself, in the power of his enemies,—about, on the next day, to be led forth and put to death.  Continue Reading »

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

A meditation by S. Alphonsus Liguori for the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The faithfulness of the Heart of Jesus gives us confidence to hope for all things although we deserve nothing. God is faithful, says St. Paul. Oh, how faithful is the beautiful Heart of Jesus towards those He calls to His love! Continue Reading »

For the Feast of Corpus Christi
From a meditation of S. Alphonsus Liguori

Our holy Faith teaches us, and we are bound to believe that in the consecrated Host Jesus Christ is really present under the species of bread. But we must also understand that He is thus present on our altars as on a throne of love and mercy, to dispense graces and to show us the love He bears us, in wishing thus to dwell night and day hidden in our midst. Continue Reading »

Corpus ChristFor the Feast of Corpus Christi
From a meditation of S. Alphonsus Liguori

The Most Holy Sacrament is the Gift of God’s pure love. Jesus had already given Himself to us in many ways; as our Companion, our Master, our Father, our Light, our Example, our Victim. “It was the last effort of love when He gave Himself to be our Food.”—(St. Bernardine).

Let us consider the great love Jesus has shown us in giving us Himself in the Holy Eucharist. The Most Holy Sacrament is the Gift of pure love. According to the Divine decree it was necessary that our Redeemer should die in order to save us, and should by the sacrifice of His life, satisfy the Divine justice for our sins; but what necessity was there that Jesus Christ, after dying for us, should leave us Himself to be our Food? Yet, thus His love willed. St. Laurence Justinian says His excessive charity alone led Him to institute the Most Holy Sacrament, only to make us understand the immense love He bears us; and this is precisely what St. John writes: Jesus, knowing that his hour was come that he should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end—(Jo. xiii. 1). Knowing that the time had come for Him to quit this world, Jesus would leave us the greatest possible proof of His love, which was this Gift of the Most Blessed Sacrament, as we are taught in these words, He loved them unto the end; that is, “with extreme love He loved them to the utmost,” as Theophylact and St. Chrysostom explain it. Continue Reading »

The Descent of the Holy Ghost

“And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”—Gen. ix. 16.

A Sermon of John Mason Neale for Whitsun Day.

Now that we have come to the feast of Him Who gives their grace and virtue to all sacraments, it will not be unfit that I should speak to you of the first sacrament. The rainbow that was given to Noah as a sign—for till then rainbows had never been seen—was indeed a sacra­ment. It was an outward visible sign of a promise then made; that the earth should never more be destroyed by water,—that as long as the world should last, cold and heat, day and night, winter and summer, should never cease. And now see how this rainbow itself, then appearing for the first time in heaven, was a type of that Holy Ghost, Who, as on this most holy day, for the first time descended from heaven on His Church. “the bow shall be in the cloud.” And to the eleven Apostles, those ten days between the promise of the sending, and the sending of the promise, must have been days of gloominess and doubt and distress; not­withstanding that the faith of the disciples, Continue Reading »