Although the biblical text of the Decalogue reads “you shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14), the Tradition of the Church comprehensively follows the moral teachings of the Old and New Testaments and considers the sixth commandment as encompassing all sins against chastity.
Further reading: CCC 2336
494. What is the responsibility of civil authority in regard to chastity?
Insofar as it is bound to promote respect for the dignity of the person, civil authority should seek to create an environment conducive to the practice of chastity. It should also enact suitable legislation to prevent the spread of the grave offenses against chastity mentioned above, especially in order to protect minors and those who are the weakest members of society.
Further reading: CCC 2354
The readings below are taken from today’s http://www.divineoffice.org Office of Readings. First is the Apostle St. Paul’s letter to Timothy which appears in our Bibles – New Testament Scripture. Timothy came under the tutelage of St. Paul as his beloved “son”. Timothy was ordained bishop.
The second reading does not appear in Scripture but comes from one of my favorite saints and an early Christian father, St, Ignatius of Antioch. Antioch is in Syria and was the first town the early followers of Jesus were called Christians. This letter was written around the year 100 AD.
Read both carefully and prayerfully in the spirit of Lectio Divino, and allow God to speak to your heart and mind through it!
From the first letter of the apostle Paul to Timothy
Concerning the ministers of the Church
You can depend on this: whoever wants to be a bishop aspires to a noble task. A bishop must be irreproachable, married only once, of even temper, self-controlled, modest, and hospitable. He should be a good teacher. He must not be addicted to drink. He ought not to be contentious but, rather, gentle, a man of peace. Nor can he be someone who loves money. He must be a good manager of his own household, keeping his children under control without sacrificing his dignity; for if a man does not know how to manage his own house, how can he take care of the church of God? He should not be a new convert, lest he become conceited and thus incur the punishment once meted out to the devil. He must also be well thought of by those outside the church, to ensure that he does not fall into disgrace and the devil’s trap.
In the same way, deacons must be serious, straightforward, and truthful. They may not overindulge in drink or give in to greed. They must hold fast to the divinely revealed faith with a clear conscience. They should be put on probation first; then, if there is nothing against them, they may serve as deacons. The women, similarly, should be serious, not slanderous gossips. They should be temperate and entirely trustworthy. Deacons may be married but once and must be good managers of their children and their households. Those who serve well as deacons gain a worthy place for themselves and much assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
Although I hope to visit you soon, I am writing you about these matters so that if I should be delayed you will know what kind of conduct befits a member of God’s household, the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of truth. Wonderful, indeed, is the mystery of our faith, as we say in professing it:
“He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated in the Spirit;
Seen by the angels;
preached among the Gentiles,
Believed in throughout the world,
taken up into glory.”
RESPONSORY See Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 4:2
You must have at heart every member of the flock, for the Holy Spirit has made you their shepherds.
— You must rule over the Church of God which he has made his own through the blood of his Son.
The great quality of a steward is to be faithful to his duty.
— You must rule over the Church of God which he has made his own through the blood of his Son.
From the beginning of a letter to the Trallians by Saint Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr
I wish to forewarn you, for you are my dearest children
Ignatius, also called Theophorus, to the holy church at Tralles in the province of Asia, dear to God the Father of Jesus Christ, elect and worthy of God, enjoying peace in body and in the Spirit through the passion of Jesus Christ, who is our hope through our resurrection when we rise to him. In the manner of the apostles, I too send greetings to you with the fullness of grace and extend my every best wish.
Reports of your splendid character have reached me: how you are beyond reproach and ever unshaken in your patient endurance—qualities that you have not acquired but are yours by nature. My informant was your own bishop Polybius, who by the will of God and Jesus Christ visited me here in Smyrna. He so fully entered into my joy at being in chains for Christ that I came to see your whole community embodied in him. Moreover, when I learned from him of your God-given kindliness toward me, I broke out in words of praise for God. It is on him, I discovered, that you pattern your lives.
Your submission to your bishop, who is in the place of Jesus Christ, shows me that you are not living as men usually do but in the manner of Jesus himself, who died for us that you might escape death by belief in his death. Thus one thing is necessary, and you already observe it, that you do nothing without your bishop; indeed, be subject to the clergy as well, seeing in them the apostles of Jesus Christ our hope, for if we live in him we shall be found in him.
Deacons, too, who are ministers of the mysteries of Jesus should in all things be pleasing to all men. For they are not mere servants with food and drink, but emissaries of God’s Church; hence they should guard themselves against anything deserving reproach as they would against fire.
Similarly, all should respect the deacons as Jesus Christ, just as all should regard the bishop as the image of the Father, and the clergy as God’s senate and the college of the apostles. Without these three orders you cannot begin to speak of a church. I am confident that you share my feelings in this matter, for I have had an example of your love in the person of your bishop who is with me now. His whole bearing is a great lesson, and his very gentleness wields a mighty influence.
By God’s grace there are many things I understand, but I keep well within my limitations for fear that boasting should be my undoing. At the moment, then, I must be more apprehensive than ever and pay no attention at all to those who flatter me; their praise is as a scourge. For though I have a fierce desire to suffer martyrdom, I know not whether I am worthy of it. Most people are unaware of my passionate longing, but it assails me with increasing intensity. My present need, then, is for that humility by which the prince of this world is overthrown.
And so I strongly urge you, not I so much as the love of Jesus Christ, to be nourished exclusively on Christian fare, abstaining from the alien food that is heresy. And this you will do if you are neither arrogant nor cut off from God, from Jesus Christ, and from the bishop and the teachings of the apostles. Whoever is within the sanctuary is pure; but whoever is not is unclean. That is to say, whoever acts apart from the bishop and the clergy and the deacons is not pure in his conscience. In writing this, it is not that I am aware of anything of the sort among you; I only wish to forewarn you, for you are my dearest children.
RESPONSORY Ephesians 4:3-6; 1 Corinthians 3:11
Make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit through a peace that binds you together. There is but one body, one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope when you were called.
— There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
No one can lay a foundation other than the one which has been laid, that is, Christ Jesus.
— There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
Almighty ever-living God,
who in the abundance of your kindness
surpass the merits and the desires
of those who entreat you,
pour out your mercy upon us
to pardon what conscience dreads
and to give what prayer does not dare to ask.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
ACCLAMATION (only added when praying in community)
Let us praise the Lord.
— And give him thanks.
Happy Birthday MOM! Love you!!!
Our foes are really our own distorted thoughts and selfish habits, which wreak more damage than we often imagine.
“We have sinned, been wicked and done evil; we have rebelled and departed from your commandments and your laws. But yours, O Lord, our God, are compassion and forgiveness!” – Daniel 9:5,9.
Gracious and merciful is God! (cf. Jl 2:13)
Let us pray for ourselves and for all sinners:
R/ O Lord, hear! O Lord, pardon! (Dn 9:19)
Forgive us our pride: R/
Forgive us our stubbornness of heart: R/
Forgive us our anger against one another: R/
Forgive us our greed in all its forms: R/
Forgive us our mercilessness: R/
Forgive us the harm we have done: R/
Personal Intentions: R/
God of mercy and compassion, you hold out to us the hand of your mercy to raise us up from the misery our selfish sinfulness has brought upon us and upon those whose lives we touch. Teach us to weep where we have caused weeping, to mourn where we have caused mourning, and to lift up what we have brought low. In hope and trust, we turn to you for healing, through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The above prayers are taken from Magnificat, October 2017, Vol. 19, No. 8.
OREMUS COMMUNICATIONS OCTOBER 2017 NEWSLETTER
Oremus Communications continues to pray for a number of important petitions including the victims of
numerous natural disasters. For example, Hurricane Harvey and its destruction in the Caribbean and in TexasLouisiana
area. Then Hurricane Irma hit many of the same areas as did Hurricane Harvey, especially, Puerto Rico
and Florida with even more destruction then the first Hurricane. The earthquake of Mexico City left great
destruction in Mexico city. We will continue to pray for the victims and their families long after the news media
has left these area because the road to recovery will be long and arduous.
We also continue to honor Our Lady of Fatima on the 100th Anniversary of her 6 visits to the 3 children Lucia,
Jacinto and Francisco. Her final visit was on October 13, 1917 when she appeared to the children for the last time
in what has been called the “MIIRACLE of the SUN”. As before in our recent newsletters, we refer to the book,
“Fatima: The Full Story” by Fr. John De Marchi, I.M.C. and, specifically, pages 134, 135 and 136.
A misty cloud like incense enveloped the little group as the Our Blessed Mother began by saying “I
want a chapel to be built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue to say the Rosary every
day. The war will soon end and the soldiers will return to their homes.”
Then Lucia stated “I have many petitions, will you grant them?”
Our Blessed Mother responded “Some, yes; others, no. People must amend their lives and ask
pardon for their sins. They must not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended.”
“Do you want anything more?”
And the Lady of the Rosary took her last leave of her three little friends. She opened her hands which
were reflecting the solar rays, and while she rose her light was thrown back to the sun so that she was
more brilliant than the sun itself. Lucia fixing her eyes on the radiant vision, cried out to the people:
“There she goes, there she goes! Look at the sun!”
“Look at the sun,” Lucia had cried to the people. What was happening in the miraculous skies of
Fatima during those incredible moments? The answer is a miracle, a stupendous miracle, such as no one
had dared to imagine. The sun began to zigzag all over the sky and cast off radiant colors throughout the
landscape. The children saw a series of tremendous visions: first St. Joseph with the Holy Child and Our
Lady – the Holy Family. St. Joseph, robed in white, seemed to lean from the clouds, half hidden , holding
the Child which was fully visible and dressed in red, upon his arm. Our Lady on the right of the sun wore a
blue mantle which covered her head and fell loosely round her. St. Joseph traced the sign of the Cross
three times over the vast kneeling crowd and then the vision faded to give place to another of Jesus
Christ, vested in red and HIs Mother under her symbolism of Our Lady of Dolours. The Redeemer also
gave HIs blessing to the people. As this vision faded it was succeeded by yet another seen by Lucia alone,
of Our Lady of Mount Carmel with something falling from her hand.
Yes, the miracle had taken place and it was seen not only by the simple and humble but by the whole
multitude (some 70,000 people), believers and non-believers, many of whom have given testimony of this
Our lineup for guest co-host on OCFRP includes the following: Father Leonard Lewandowski pastor of St. Titus
Parish on Tuesday, October 10;
Carl Malburg, of the travelling pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima on Tuesday, October 17,
and on Friday, October 20, Mr. Charles DeFeo, O.P. will be joining us to discuss the various events and festivities occurring in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima.
We certainly hope that you and others can join us in prayer on these special dates as well as on other
occasions throughout the weeks, as we continue to strive to make a spiritual difference.
p.s. Visit our website at http://www.oremuscomms.com for details including how to “listen live” to our programs, and
how to access the archived copies of each program.
I tell my children to stand for something or you will fall for anything.
We live in a culture of half truths, don’t judge me and stay quiet in your beliefs and this is wrong thinking and living and damaging to society.
You are either all in or all out, there is no halfway!
I am all in!
Cafeteria Catholicism and Cafeteria Christianity has caused our country great damage!
When you say or believe I agree with this but don’t agree with that because it’s too hard you are done!
You follow the Church teaching all the way or you don’t but please don’t halfway it.
The Church teaching makes perfect sense in doctrine – for instance, the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and all the Sacraments, The perpetual Virginity of Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mother of God, The Sacraments (God’s grace in us), the Priest as In Persona Christi, Marriage and Human Sexuality!
When all this is believed and practiced peace and order reign in society , when it’s thrown out the window, we have chaos as we are witnessing now.
The Church is the moral voice of God!
Virtue means highest moral good! We need more men and women of virtue! Being a so called good person is not enough! What does that even mean and who or what defines what or who is good?! Does anyone want to be called bad for crying out loud!?
We are called to something more than “good”! We are called to live lives of heroic virtue! All of us! Everyone!
Just like I trust my mechanic to take care of my car, and my doctor in medicine and my lawyer in law and my TV or computer repairman to fix my TV or computer,
I trust my Magisterium or Church Heirarchy in Moral matters.
Are priests sinners? Yes, have some perpetrated evil? Yes. Are mechanics, doctors, lawyers, repairmen sinners? Yes, have some perpetrated evil? Yes.
It doesn’t mean these sinful people suddenly don’t know mechanics or medicine or law or how to fix a product.
The priest being a sinner does not change the institution or doctrine of Church and allow you to separate from Church or Church teaching.
The Teaching is sound! Read Humana Vitae for instance. It’s very sound and truthful.
So, to leave the Catholic Church because a priest molested a child is not sound! Why would you leave the Eucharist and everything else GOOD about Catholicism?! The only way I can see you doing so is because you never really believed in the TRUE PRESENCE in the first place and you never really believed the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the first place. So, leaving is a cop out or excuse.
You have a right to boycott or protest a priest who has committed serious sin, but even he must be forgiven if he truly repents, assuming he is truly guilty. You have a right to boycott or protest Church Heirarchy who cover up any wrongdoing and work for reform and demand it even! You are allowed to email your local Bishop you know or your local pastor and discuss your concerns and encourage transparency but for goodness sake,
Please do not give up The Eucharist and Sacrament of Reconciliation! It’s God’s life in us!
The overwhelming number of many priests are GOOD!
It takes discipline, effort, obedience, submission of our wills to the will of God and the teachings of the Church but it’s worth it and the right thing.
Nothing worth anything in life comes easy and I for one, will walk over burning coals so as not to be separated from The Eucharist, it’s Holy Communion with Jesus! And by the grace of God, I dare not ever receive Holy Communion unworthily! If I do, or even think I have, I run to the Sacrament of Confession and tell it to the In persona Christi man who stands In the person of Christ! I hope and pray you do same!
Please click on link below to read the prayer before mass written by St. Thomas Aquinas and after you read it scroll down and click on the link to the right – prayer of thanksgiving after mass.
Never despair, never lose hope, never lose faith and keep on loving in the holy name of Jesus!
THE DOMINICAN SOUL
Fr. M. M. Philipon, OP
A DOMINICAN SOUL is a soul of light whose rapt gaze dwells in the
inaccessible splendor wherein God conceals Himself. It lives with Him by faith, is in
the company of the Three Divine Persons; a true child of God, adopted through grace
into the very Family of the Trinity. The invisible world becomes familiar to it; it
pursues its way on earth in intimacy with Christ, the Blessed Mother and the saints. It
perceives everything in the radiance of God.
But it does not jealously guard its faith for itself. It longs to bear the torch of
faith everywhere on land and sea, in every country, to the ends of the earth. This soul
belongs to that race of apostles who have been prophetically designated by the Church
from their earliest days as champions of the faith and true lights of the world:
“Pugiles fidei et vera mundi lumina.” We have here the key to the whole Dominican
vocation: to live, defend and propagate the faith in the atmosphere of the Church.
The Dominican soul, looking beyond the activity of secondary causes, judges men and
things only in the light of God.
To realize this sublime mission, the Dominican soul must be a soul of silence.
According to the traditional axiom, the word Preacher must flow from a soul of
silence: Silentium, pater Praedicatorum. A Dominican soul which does not love long
hours of solitude and recollection deceives itself about the spiritual fruits of its action.
It must mix with the crowd to act, but it must know how to separate itself from it for
thought and prayer. St. Dominic was a man of tremendous silence. St. Thomas
Aquinas’ fellow-pupils called him the “dumb ox of Sicily.” Pere Lacordaire prepared
his brilliant conferences for Notre Dame in Paris with long vigils of reflection and
intimate union with God. The spiritual depth of a soul is measured by its capacity for
A Dominican soul is a virginal soul, detached from all evil. It dwells in
complete union with God. All our Dominican carry a lily in their hands. They are
virgins, pure, free from inordinate affections. They walk in the midst of people in
accord with St. Dominic’s deathbed admonition; in the conquering raiment of their
translucent purity. Purity is a characteristic note of the Order of light and truth.
A DOMINICAN SOUL in its sublimest activity is a contemplative soul. It
dwells on the heights in the unalloyed splendor of God. Its gaze becomes identified
through the light to the Word with the wisdom of God. Solitude, penance, prayer, a
life of study, of silence, of action, all contribute to the formation of a sense of the
divine reality, of the”one thing necessary” from which nothing, absolutely nothing,
should distract it, much less deter it. Its purpose is to direct everything straight to
God as quickly and as completely as possible. Its existence among men should be
nothing else than a prolonged gaze of long toward God alone. It is in contemplative
silence that a Dominican soul finds the fulness of God.
THE DOMINICAN SOUL is a soul of prayer and praise. The spirit of prayer is
the normal climate, the completely divine atmosphere in which the contemplative soul
breathes. it sees nothing but God. No matter how distracting surrounding creatures
become, it rises above them, invulnerable to their empty fascination, impervious to
their tempting and seductive appeal. But it does hear their cries of distress, their
desperate pleas; then, silent with profound compassion, it turns, suppliant, toward the
God of all light and goodness, to obtain the truth which sets men free and the pardon
which brings salvation. Following the example of St. Dominic, whose loud cries used
to startle the brethren at night, the ardent and apostolic prayer of the Dominican soul
must become a redemptive cry, accompanied, as was that of Jesus Gethsemani, by
tears, and sweat of blood. Here lies hidden the real secret of the many fruitful lives of
our missionaries, of our contemplative nuns, of the many Dominican vocations in the
cloister and in the world, silent and crucified, but infinitely powerful in behalf of
Christ’s Mystical Body. dominican prayer, the daughter of redemptive charity, is
lifted toward the God of the Order night and day. O, LORD, WHAT IS TO BECOME
OF THESE POOR SINNERS. Following the example of Christ crucified, a Dominican
soul saves more souls by its contemplative and co-redeeming prayer than by words or
by dint of action. All our saints were people of continual prayer and immolation.
Prayer was the all-powerful lever which helped them lift the universe to God.
But in Dominican prayer, the first place belongs to praise. “Praise God, exalt
Him, bless Him and preach Him everywhere,”; this is the purpose of the Order and its
unique ambition: Laudare, benedicere, praedicare. The Dominican soul is
theocentric; in everything it aims at the primacy of God:
the primacy of the First Cause in all the attainments of our spiritual lives;
the primacy of honor and of effective direction for theological wisdom over the study
of profane sciences;
the primacy of choral life, of the Opus Dei, in the hierarchy of monastic observances
and among our means of sanctification;
the primacy of the Word of God over human rhetoric in an office of preaching which
must always be essentially evangelical and supernatural;
the primacy of God in all things.
The Dominican soul finds its joy in proclaiming and singing the supreme grandeur of
Him alone Who is.
A DOMINICAN SOUL is an apostolic soul which is hindered by nothing when
the glory of God and the spiritual good of souls is at stake. The vows of religion,
monastic observances, study, prayer and community life all converge to give the
Dominican life the maximum of apostolic efficacy. Setting aside secondary tasks and
material preoccupations, the Friar Preacher dedicated himself wholly and directly to
the salvation of souls, following the example of the first Apostles who left behind
absorbing economic cares to consecrate themselves to “prayer and the Word of God.”
Whatever is doctrinal is ours; when the faith is endangered, the Dominican soul is
aroused and enters the fray for Christ. Not without reasons did St. Peter and St. Paul
appear to St. Dominic. In the history of the Church, the redemptive mission of the
order is a prolongation of the vocation of those two great Apostles of Christ:
announcing to all men the Gospel of salvation. All the means of spreading divine
Truth must become ours; press, radio, films, television. The Order is present in full
vigor at these command posts of the human universe, to pursue its mission of truth. A
Dominican soul is not regimented, it is not disturbed by progress, nor does it find new
techniques disconcerting; rather, it marshals these into the service of the liberating
truth which is Love. So it is that the Order through centuries has preserved its youth
and its creative spirit, ready to answer redemption’s every appeal.
The Dominican soul is strong, with the very power of God. Because it is certain
of the redemptive power of the Cross, it has the initiative in the midst of a confused
and despairing world to undertake great enterprises, the genius to create institutions
capable of adapting themselves to meet the demands of an ecclesiastical apostolate
which is constantly being renewed and adjusted. With faith and tenacity, it
relentlessly perseveres in its works of salvation. “The desperate hours are the hours of
God,” and often, in a moment, Providence miraculously intervenes and saves all. The
Dominican soul advances in the midst of the difficulties of life, serene and confident,
buoyed up by the Immutable Force of God.
While engaged in the difficult combats of the Church Militant, the Dominican
soul remains joyful. “The religion of the Father Dominic,” said God to St. Catherine of
Siena, “is joyful and lightsome.” Above the trials of redemption, joy pervades the
Dominican soul, the inadmissible joy of God. The secret of this Dominican joy lies in
the peaceful certitude that God is infinitely happy in the society of the Three Divine
Persons, even if men refuse to know Him and receive Him. At the summit of the souls
of the saints, joy always flourished together with an unalterable peace. God is God,
and what possible difference can anything else make? The joy of a soul is measured
by its love. The Apostles went away joyful because they had been judged worthy to
suffer for Christ, Whom they loved above everything else. On the roads Languedoc,
the sharper the rocks became, the more St. Dominic sang. Raised up by the same spirit
of heroic strength fortified with love, the Dominican soul remains fixed in an ever-
THE DOMINICAN SOUL is a daughter of the Church, always ready to obey the
Pope and the directives of the hierarchy, and to place itself at the service of the
Mystical Body of Christ. It cherishes the memory of the symbolic vision of Pope
Innocent III, who perceived St. Dominic supporting the columns of the Church of the
Lateran, the mother-church of Catholicism. “Thou are Peter and upon this rock, I will
build my Church.”; Who hears you, hears me; who spurns you, spurns me,” the Lord
Jesus had forcefully asserted. The Dominican soul does not hesitate. Who hears the
Pope, hears Christ; the authority of God speaks through the bishops and all religious
superiors, St. Catherine of Siena called the Pope the “gentle Christ of this earth.” Her
filial docility toward the hierarchy made her to an eminent degree a true daughter of
the Church and defender of the Papacy. Thus she became after her death the
secondary patron of Rome and by her protection shelters Catholic Action throughout
the world. A Dominican soul lives and dies for the Church of Christ.
THE DOMINICAN SOUL is an imitator of the Word, singularly solicitous for
the glory of the Father, eager to work for the redemption of the world, for the
“consummation of all men in the unity” of the Trinity. It is modeled, in all its interior
acts, on the intimate sentiments of the Soul of Christ, the adorer of the Father and the
Saviour of souls. Now the Word fulfills a twofold function:
within the Trinity, He is the divine light, “Lumen de Lumine,” the Image and Splendor
of the Father.
outside, as the Incarnate Word, He lives as the Incarnate Word, He lives as the Revealer
par excellence of the Father and of all the mysteries of God.
Similarly, the Dominican soul which receives by reason of its vocation the “office of
the Word” dwells within itself, in a profound, living contemplation of the pure Light
of God, keeping itself continually before the face of the Father, while by its apostolic
activity, it becomes manifestive of the Divine Truth; it walks on earth among men like
a mirror of God.
A DOMINICAN SOUL is divine with no desire but God: to know Him, love
Him, serve Him and to spend eternity with Him in order to exalt Him ceaselessly.
Everything is simple in the life of a Dominican soul faithful to its divine vocation. It is
not overcome by pitiful sights, nor by complicating details; it clearly sees:
only one horizon: God
only one motive power: Love
only one end: the forming of the whole Christ as ordained to the City of God.
Everything else fades from it sight. Nothing, apart from God, is worthy of attention. It
realized the ideal of St. Dominic: “To speak only with God or about God,” Cum Deo
vel de Deo. Dominican saints have hewed to this line of divine conduct: “My
daughter, think of Me,” God commanded St. Catherine of Siena, “and for My part, I
shall think of thee.” And at the twilight of his life of immense labor for Christ, St.
Thomas Aquinas wished for no other reward but God: Nothing save THEE. Nisi TE.
This is the fundamental attitude of every Dominican soul. GOD, GOD, GOD.
FINALLY, THE DOMINICAN SOUL is a Marian soul. The preface of the feast
of St. Dominic places in high relief the wonders of the spiritual fecundity attained
through this intimate friendship with Mary. Under the constant guidance of Mary,
our holy Father renewed the apostolic form of life in the Church, launched intrepid
champions of the faith into the world, and won thousands of souls for Christ. When
dying, he left as his legacy to the Church, the Rosary wherein his religious family
might find the proper form for its devotion to Mary. Where is the Dominican who
does not dream of living and dying with the Rosary in his or her hand? It is a
universal law of the economy of salvation: the more devoted a soul is to Mary the
more Christian it is. It is equally true to say that the more devoted a soul is to Mary
the more Dominican it is.
THUS THE DOMINICAN LIFE is a harmonious synthesis which the great light
of God illumines. Everything proceeds from faith and is ordered to His glory. Fixed
in God by love, the Dominican soul lives for this alone: united with Christ in each of
its acts, through Him, with Him and in Him, it thinks only of glorifying the Father by
continual adoration and of saving souls who will glorify Him eternally. It lives in the
Church, through the Church, for the Church, in a spirit of brotherhood with all men,
eager to communicate to them the Truth which is achieved in Love. Everything is light
in a Dominican soul, but a light which revolves on love. It mediates frequently on the
memorable words of St. Dominic to a cleric who was astonished at the power of his
apostolic preaching: “My son, I have studied in the books of charity more than in any
other; love teaches all.” Redeeming and illuminating charity is the key to Dominican
life. Not the love of knowledge, but the knowledge of love. The Dominican soul is
another Word which spirates love. Its favorite book is the Gospel, in which the
Eternal Word speaks.
From that divine Light, under the gentle influence of the same Spirit of Love, all
the virtues diffuse themselves in the Dominican soul. Among these virtues, three
shine forth brilliantly in the luminous raiment of faith: the cross, purity, love; the
cross which raises us above the earth, purity which frees us from all that is not God,
love which fixes us in Him. This is the harmonious synthesis of the ideal Dominican:
the purity fo a virgin, the light of a doctor, and the soul of a martyr.
When evening comes, the Virgin of the “Salve” is there to gather the soul of the
faithful servant under her mantle. Initiated for all eternity into the splendors of the
beatific vision, which supplant the obscurities of faith, with Him, through Him, and in
Him, together with all the angels and saints, the Dominican soul in unison with the
Spirit of Love, chants the glory of the Father unto eternity.
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From the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus by Pope Pius XII
Your body is holy and excelling in splendor
In their homilies and sermons on this feast the holy fathers and great doctors spoke of the assumption of the Mother of God as something already familiar and accepted by the faithful. They gave it greater clarity in their preaching and used more profound arguments in setting out its nature and meaning. Above all, they brought out more clearly the fact that what is commemorated in this feast is not simply the total absence of corruption from the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary but also her triumph over death and her glorification in heaven, after the pattern set by her only Son, Jesus Christ.
Thus Saint John Damascene, preeminent as the great preacher of this truth of tradition, speaks with powerful eloquence when he relates the bodily assumption of the loving Mother of God to her other gifts and privileges: “It was necessary that she who had preserved her virginity inviolate in childbirth should also have her body kept free from all corruption after death. It was necessary that she who had carried the Creator as a child on her breast should dwell in the tabernacles of God. It was necessary that the bride espoused by the Father should make her home in the bridal chambers of heaven. It was necessary that she, who had gazed on her crucified Son and been pierced in the heart by the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in giving him birth, should contemplate him seated with the Father. It was necessary that the Mother of God should share the possessions of her Son, and be venerated by every creature as the Mother and handmaid of God.”
Saint Germanus of Constantinople considered that it was in keeping not only with her divine motherhood but also with the unique sanctity of her virginal body that it was incorrupt and carried up to heaven: “In the words of Scripture, you appear in beauty. Your virginal body is entirely holy, entirely chaste, entirely the house of God, so that for this reason also it is henceforth a stranger to decay: a body changed, because a human body, to a preeminent life of incorruptibility, but still a living body, excelling in splendor, a body inviolate and sharing in the perfection of life.”
Another early author declares: “Therefore, as the most glorious Mother of Christ, our God and Savior, giver of life and immortality, she is enlivened by him to share an eternal incorruptibility of body with him who raised her from the tomb and took her up to himself in a way he alone can tell.”
All these reasonings and considerations of the holy Fathers rest on Scripture as their ultimate foundation. Scripture portrays the loving Mother of God, almost before our very eyes, as most intimately united with her divine Son and always sharing in his destiny.
Above all, it must be noted that from the second century the holy Fathers present the Virgin Mary as the new Eve, most closely associated with the new Adam, though subject to him in the struggle against the enemy from the nether world. This struggle, as the first promise of a redeemer implies, was to end in perfect victory over sin and death, always linked together in the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles. Therefore, just as the glorious resurrection of Christ was an essential part of this victory and its final trophy, so the struggle shared by the Blessed Virgin and her Son was to end in glorification of her virginal body. As the same Apostle says: When this mortal body has clothed itself in immortality, then will be fulfilled the word of Scripture: Death is swallowed up in victory.
Hence, the august Mother of God, mysteriously united from all eternity with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a virgin inviolate in her divine motherhood, the wholehearted companion of the divine Redeemer who won complete victory over sin and its consequences, gained at last the supreme crown of her privileges—to be preserved immune from the corruption of the tomb, and, like her Son, when death had been conquered, to be carried up body and soul to the exalted glory of heaven, there to sit in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the ages.
This is the glorious day, on which the Virgin Mother of God was taken up to heaven; let us sing these words in her praise:
— Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
Happy are you, holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise, from your womb Christ the Sun of Justice has risen.
— Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the King of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you became man to set us free
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.
Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
— Govern and uphold them now and always.
Day by day we bless you.
— We praise your name for ever.
Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
— Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
Lord, show us your love and mercy,
— for we have put our trust in you.
In you, Lord, is our hope:
— And we shall never hope in vain.
O God, who,
looking on the lowliness of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
raised her to this grace,
that your Only Begotten Son was born of her according to the flesh
and that she was crowned this day with surpassing glory,
grant through her prayers,
that, saved by the mystery of your redemption,
we may merit to be exalted by you on high.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
From the Letters of Maximilian Mary Kolbe
Apostolic zeal for the salvation and sanctification of souls
The burning zeal for God’s glory that motivates you fills my heart with joy. It is sad for us to see in our own time that indifferentism in its many forms is spreading like an epidemic not only among the laity but also among religious. But God is worthy of glory beyond measure, and therefore it is of absolute and supreme importance to seek that glory with all the power of our feeble resources. Since we are mere creatures we can never return to him all that is his due. The most resplendent manifestation of God’s glory is the salvation of souls, whom Christ redeemed by shedding his blood. To work for the salvation and sanctification of as many souls as possible, therefore, is the preeminent purpose of the apostolic life. Let me, then, say a few words that may show the way toward achieving God’s glory and the sanctification of many souls.
God, who is all-knowing and all-wise, knows best what we should do to increase his glory. Through his representatives on earth he continually reveals his will to us; thus it is obedience and obedience alone that is the sure sign to us of the divine will. A superior may, it is true, make a mistake; but it is impossible for us to be mistaken in obeying a superior’s command. The only exception to this rule is the case of a superior commanding something that in even the slightest way would contravene God’s law. Such a superior would not be conveying God’s will.
God alone is infinitely wise, holy, merciful, our Lord, Creator, and Father; he is beginning and end, wisdom and power and love; he is all. Everything other than God has value to the degree that it is referred to him, the maker of all and our own redeemer, the final end of all things. It is he who, declaring his adorable will to us through his representatives on earth, draws us to himself and whose plan is to draw others to himself through us and to join us all to himself in an ever deepening love.
Look, then, at the high dignity that by God’s mercy belongs to our state in life. Obedience raises us beyond the limits of our littleness and puts us in harmony with God’s will. In boundless wisdom and care, his will guides us to act rightly. Holding fast to that will, which no creature can thwart, we are filled with unsurpassable strength.
Obedience is the one and the only way of wisdom and prudence for us to offer glory to God. If there were another, Christ would certainly have shown it to us by word and example. Scripture, however, summed up his entire life at Nazareth in the words: He was subject to them; Scripture set obedience as the theme of the rest of his life, repeatedly declaring that he came into the world to do his Father’s will. Let us love our loving Father with all our hearts. Let our obedience increase that love, above all when it requires us to surrender our own will. Jesus Christ crucified is our sublime guide toward growth in God’s love.
We will learn this lesson more quickly through the Immaculate Virgin, whom God has made the dispenser of his mercy. It is beyond all doubt that Mary’s will represents to us the will of God himself. By dedicating ourselves to her we become in her hands instruments of God’s mercy even as she was such an instrument in God’s hands. We should let ourselves be guided and led by Mary and rest quiet and secure in her hands. She will watch out for us, provide for us, answer our needs of body and spirit; she will dissolve all our difficulties and worries.
RESPONSORY Ephesians 5:1-2; 6:6
Be imitators of God as his dear children. Follow the way of love, even as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as an offering to God.
— A gift of pleasing fragrance.
Do God’s will with your whole heart as servants of Christ.
— A gift of pleasing fragrance.
who filled the Priest and Martyr Saint Maximilian Kolbe
with a burning love for the Immaculate Virgin Mary
and with zeal for souls and love of neighbor,
graciously grant, through his intercession,
that striving for your glory by eagerly serving others,
we may be conformed, even until death, to your Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Taken from http://www.divineoffice.org August 14, 2017; feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Also, see Fr. James E. McCurry, OFM Conv. booklet titled Maximilian Kolbe: Martyr of Charity.
The Militia of Mary Immaculate
Crusade of Mary Immaculate (In Latin, Militia Immaculatae)
Pro amore usque ad victimam (For love even unto victimhood) – that inscription was handwritten in Latin by Fr. Maximilian in the local Mass register.