|Love of the Saints for the Church & hatred of the world
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|Author:||Admin [ Thu Apr 19, 2007 11:13 am ]|
|Post subject:||Love of the Saints for the Church & hatred of the world|
More from Fr. Kearney, You are The Body of Christ pp. 41-47.
§ 3—THE CONSEQUENCES THAT FLOW FROM CHRIST’S CARE OF THE CHURCH
A. Love of the Saints for the Church:
The loving care of Christ for His Body which is the Church has this special consequence—the love for, and the devotion to, the Church of Christ which we find in all the Saints. In this they are imitators of their Lord and Saviour. Consider the following examples:
1° St. Thomas á Becket is often presented by historians as an ambitious Churchman. Centuries after his martyrdom he was hated by the Reformers. We can still see how his Mass was scraped out of the missal preserved in Trinity College, Dublin. His real mind is seen from his letters. Take for instance the following, written to the Bishop of London, who tried to persuade him to yield to the King in his usurpation of the rights of the Church: “In this matter I will neither spare you nor anyone else, no, not even an angel from heaven; but the moment I hear any such advice I will give this answer: Get thee behind me, Satan, thou dost not relish the things of God. Far from me be this folly, may God keep me from the madness of ever being persuaded by any argument to negotiate the bartering of the body of Christ. For thus I would be like to Judas who sold Christ, and my Lord the King would be like the Jews who bought Him” (Ep. 130.)
2° Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas to Our Lady: “I entreat thee, thou who art my only mother, thou Gate of Heaven, and advocate of sinners, that at the end of life, thou wouldst not suffer me, thy unworthy servant, to turn aside from the holy Catholic Faith.”
3° St. Catherine of Siena’s love of the Church, which she calls the Sweet Spouse of Christ. St. Catherine wrote to her confessor, Blessed Raymond of Capua: “I had desired with a desire which grew beyond all measure (without indeed having merited it) the honour of God, the salvation of souls, the reform and advancement of the Holy Church. But my desire to give my life for the Truth and for the sweet Spouse of Christ was not satisfied. The multitude of my sins have prevented my blood from giving life, from bringing light to blinded souls, from cementing one stone in the Mystic Body of the Church. Ah, how happy I should have been, if I had given my blood for the sweet Spouse and the salvation of souls.”
Again, she wrote to Blessed Raymond:
“This is not the time for sleeping, but for shaking off the slumber of negligence, for dissipating the blindness of ignorance, for announcing the Truth, without ever soiling it by fear, for spreading it bountifully, for being ready to give your life if need be, intoxicated, as you shall be, with the Blood of the spotless Lamb, drawn from the bosom of the holy Spouse, the Church.”
The Blessed Raymond had escaped, miraculously as he himself thought, the snares of Queen Joan of Naples, who wished to prevent the embassy of the true Pope from telling the King of France the real state of affairs as regarded the Schism. Catherine, urged by her continual desire of martyrdom, answered the letter of Blessed Raymond:
“God has, in this affair, wished to show you your own imperfection, and He has allowed you to see that you are as yet only a child, not a man. You have rejoiced in a grace which He granted your weakness. Ah, my poor little Father, what a happiness it would have been for your soul and mine, if with your blood, for love of the blood of Christ, you had cemented one stone of the Holy Church! Truly, we have reason to weep that your slight virtue has deprived us of so great a blessing.”
The last thirteen years of her life were a ceaseless self-immolation: to reform existing evils in the Church by rousing the Holy Father to attend to them, then to end the wars against the Holy See, to settle the wretched Schism against Urban VI, and finally to promote the Crusade.
To Catherine the Holy Father is always, “the sweet Christ on earth.” She gave years of her life to bring him back to Rome from Avignon. Last of all, she offered her life for the triumph of the true Pope: “O Eternal God,” she prayed, “accept the sacrifice of my life for the Mystic Body of the Church. I can give Thee only what Thou Thyself hast given. Take my heart and bruise it over the countenance of the Spouse.”
God took her at her word. According to the contemporary account, her body was literally bruised: it was possible to count her very bones, while her soul was at the same time crushed with a mystical burden of sin.
As the end drew near, the Saint prayed most especially for the Church, for which, she said, she gave her life. She interceded, likewise, for Urban VI, whom she recognised as the lawful Pope, and pledged her spiritual sons to sacrifice their lives, if need be, for this truth.
St. Catherine’s love of the Church is especially to be seen in her prayers. The magnanimity of her prayer is one of the most remarkable features of her soul: she was wholly occupied with the salvation of the entire world.
The consuming thought of her life was the fearful wave of sin that invaded “the Garden of the Church.” God had assured her that He was ready to pardon the world by means of His faithful servants; therefore she ceased not to urge her disciples to arise as mediators in the Mystic Body of Christ. Other Saints in their prayers ask for the pardon of their own sins, for the increase of the Kingdom of God in their own souls. But he who would pray with Catherine must enlarge his heart: his prayer must become universal, truly catholic, vast as the Church, as the world.
“O Trinity, Eternal, Infinite, to Thee I hasten despite my littleness, and beseech Thee in union with the Mystic Body of the holy Church, to purify by Thy grace all stain in my soul.
“O Divine and Eternal Charity, I implore Thee to have mercy on Thy people. I will not leave Thy presence until I see Thee show them mercy. Ah, what would it profit me to have life, if Thy people be in death, if darkness overhang Thy Spouse....
“O Trinity, O Fire that burneth always without extinction, enlarge my heart for the salvation of the world: not that I can produce any fruit of myself but by virtue of Thy Charity, the principle of every good.
“Punish on me, O God, the sin of my sister, whatever it may be, it is I who am the cause of her misfortune, it is I who ought to be punished, not she. O Lord, I will not leave this place alive, whilst Thou wilt not have granted to my sister the pardon which I ask.”
B. The hatred of the world for the Church, the Body of Christ. As the saints imitate Our Lord in love for the Church, so the world imitates the demon in hatred for the Mystic Body. Christ Himself prophesied this: “You shall be hated by all men for My name’s sake.” There is no need to establish this truth, it was always evident through the centuries and it is evident to-day. In our time, the martyrs are more numerous than at any time in the Church’s history; the hatred of the church’s enemies is more diabolical and facility of communication has made it more universal and more subtle.— But Christ is ever with her.
From the facts of this persecution there follows, for the members of the Mystic Body, the serious obligation of doing all they can against this spirit of hostility to the Church, to her Bishops and her priests. And the fact of the persecution should compel the lovers of the Church to do something in the way of reparation for the damage done to the Mystic Body—the damage is done to Christ Himself. This work of reparation we can do by resisting the attraction of pleasure and by radiating the Christian spirit in our lives.
Grant to Thy Church, we beseech Thee, O merciful God, that having been formed by the Holy Spirit, it may not be troubled by any hostile attacks. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
|Author:||Vince Sheridan [ Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:22 pm ]|
Pax Christi !
Contrast this with the novus ordo " church", it love of novelty, its love of " cults" of man. Does Mr. Duddy really think the novus ordo is " Catholic" ?
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