Wednesday, December 2, 2020
December: Month of the Immaculate Conception
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In the Church, each of the twelve months in the year is dedicated to a particular facet of the Catholic Faith. However, the particular focus assigned to each month is not a dogmatic matter which has been defined by the Church’s solemn authority. Rather, these devotions have been practiced by the faithful and grown as popular piety. They have varied according to region and local custom. Thus, it is not uncommon for one to find lists that differ somewhat. However, December is in most lists dedicated to both the Nativity of our Lord as well as the Immaculate Conception.

It is understandable why so many dedicate December to the Immaculate Conception if you consider the Traditional Catholic Calendar that had been in place up until the changes in 1955. December 8th is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is often preceded by a nine-day novena in preparation for this Holy Day of Obligation. Before the changes, December 7th was kept as the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception which was a mandatory day of fasting.

And until the changes made by Pope Pius XII reduced the number of Octaves to only three, December 9th through the 15th was part of the Octave of the Immaculate Conception. December 15th was the Octave Day of the Immaculate Conception. And only 10 days later we celebrate the birth of our Lord in Bethlehem. Our Lord after all prepared the body and soul of the Blessed Virgin to be immaculate and sinless from the first instance of her conception by applying the future merits won on the Cross to her so that she could bear and give birth to the Incarnate and Almighty God. Thus, we have half the month dedicated to either preparing for or celebrating the Immaculate Conception before immediately turning to the birth of Our Lord by the Virgin, whose Immaculate Conception served as immediate preparation for His incarnation and birth.

By honoring our Blessed Virgin this month as Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, may we win many souls for Her Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer to the Immaculate Virgin Mary:

O Virgin Immaculate, who wast pleasing in the Lord's sight and didst become His Mother, look graciously upon the wretched who implore thy mighty patronage. The wicked serpent, against whom the primal curse was hurled, continues nonetheless to wage war and to lay snares for the unhappy children of Eve. Ah, do thou, our blessed Mother, our Queen and Advocate, who from the first instant of thy conception didst crush the head of our enemy, receive the prayers that we unite single-heartedly to thine and conjure thee to offer at the throne of God, that we may never fall into the snares that are laid for us, in such wise that we may all come to the haven of salvation; and in the midst of so many dangers may holy Church and the fellowship of Christians everywhere sing once more the hymn of deliverance, victory, and peace. Amen.

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Sunday, November 29, 2020
Comm. of St. Saturninus
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 29

Today is the Vigil of St. Andrew the Apostle, traditionally a day of fasting on years when November 29th does not fall on a Sunday. In centuries past when today was a fasting day, the fast would have been anticipated on Saturday.

Today is also the Commemoration of St. Saturninus who is said to have been a priest who came to Rome from Carthage. At an advanced age, he was arrested for the Catholic Faith. After suffering long imprisonment and barbarous tortures, he was beheaded in the year 309 AD. Along with him, his deacon Saint Sisinius suffered martyrdom.

Writing on the two martyrs, the Monks of Ramsgate write in their Book of Saints the following brief account:

Roman Martyrs in the persecution under Diocletian and Maximian (about A.D. 303). They are associated with Pope Saint Marcellus and with Saints Cyriacus, Largus and Smaragdus. They were both very aged; but were not on that account spared the torture before execution. Saint Sisinnius was a deacon.

Father Francis Xavier Weninger in his Lives of the Saints includes the following reflections for St. Saturnine, as he spells his name:

Saint Saturnine accepted the hard work allotted to him with cheerfulness, and performed it as well as he could, without manifesting sadness or impatience; he even praised the Almighty while he labored. God, who has created man for work, has also ordained that each station should have its own task. He graciously promises to recompense this work in the other world, if it is done rightly. Those do very wrong, who neglect what their station requires of them, and who are slaves to idleness. Those also do wrong, who become impatient with their work or even curse it. They lose their merit and the reward which they would have earned, had they performed their work with due patience. Should your task be burdensome, cheer yourself, after the example of Saint Saturnine, and call on God for aid.

St. Saturinus's feastday has the distinction of being the first saint entry in the Proper of the Saints in the Missal, since November 29th is often around the beginning of Advent, when the Church's new liturgical year begins.

Collect:

O God, who fills us with joy at the celebration of Your martyr Saturninus' heavenly birthday, grant that the merits of this saint may help us. Through Our Lord . . .

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Thursday, November 26, 2020
St. Peter of Alexandria
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Pope St. Clement I and St. Peter of Alexandria. Photo from SalveRegina.info

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 26

Along with St. Sylvester the Abbot and St. Leonard of Port Maurice, today we commemorate St. Peter of Alexandria. St. Peter, the Patriarch of Alexandria, was martyred because of his adherence to the orthodox and unchangeable teachings of the Catholic Faith in 310 AD. Eusebius wrote that St. Peter of Alexandria was "a divine model of the Christian teacher."

The Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894] provides the following brief account:

St. Peter governed the Church of Alexandria during the persecution of Diocletian. The sentence of excommunication that he was the first to pronounce against the schismatics, Melitius and Arius, and which, despite the united efforts of powerful partisans, he strenuously upheld, proves that he possessed as much sagacity as zeal and firmness. But his most constant care was employed in guarding his flocks from the dangers arising out of persecution. He never ceased repeating to them that, in order not to fear death, it was needful to begin by dying to self, renouncing our will, and detaching ourselves from all things. St. Peter gave an example of such detachment by undergoing martyrdom in the year 311.

Reflection.—"How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!" says Our Saviour; because they are bound to earth by the strong ties of their riches.

 The Monks of Ramsgate in the Book of Saints, 1921 similarly write:

A learned and holy Prelate who governed the great Church of Alexandria in Egypt for twelve years in very troubled times. He had to face the dangerous schism of Meletius among his own clergy at the very time when the comforting and guiding of Christians in peril of death at the hands of heathen persecutors called for the exercise of all his energies. He seems to have been the first to detect the incipient heresy of Arius. Saint Peter was put to death by order of the Caesar Maximin Daza, together with other Christians (A.D. 311), and was succeeded by Saint Alexander, the predecessor of the great Saint Athanasius.

The Genuine Acts Of Peter, Bishop Of Alexandria, And Martyr, From The Latin Version By Anastasius Bibliothecarius may be read on EWTN.

Collect:

Almighty God, look upon our weakness and the heavy burden we carry because of our own deeds. Let the prayers of Your blessed martyr bishop Peter, in heaven, be our protection. Through our Lord . . .

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Does the Turkey Indult Exist?
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Turkey Indult for Catholics

No "turkey indult" exists in the form many believe, even though many Catholics attached to the 1962 Missal claim a dispensation from meat on the Friday after Thanksgiving, citing Pope Pius XII as the source of the dispensation. The dispensation from meat on the day after Thanksgiving was granted in 1957 in the form of quinquennial faculties given to local ordinaries to dispense from abstinence on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, as stated by Bouscaren in the Canon Law Digest. The quinquennial faculties last 5 years and must be renewed. In 1962 they were renewed but not afterward because there was no need to because of Paenitemini and more importantly because of the November 1966 decree by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), which made abstinence on all Fridays throughout the year "especially recommended" but not obligatory.

Before 1962, the Bishops in the United States did not generally dispense from Friday abstinence on the Friday after Thanksgiving. After the renewal in 1962, more Bishops began to exercise this. In 1963 the Bishop of Little Rock, Arkansas made use of these privileges and dispensed the faithful from meat on the Friday after Thanksgiving:
"By reason of special faculties, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Bishop, grants herewith the following dispensations: from the Law of Fast on the Feast of St. Joseph, Tuesday, March 19; from the Law of Abstinence on Friday, November 29, (day after Thanksgiving) and from the Laws of Fast and Abstinence on Saturday, December 7, Vigil of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception."
Such a dispensation from the law of abstinence was not permanently part of Church law by virtue of it being the Friday after Thanksgiving. While bishops or priests will today dispense from meat on the Friday after Thanksgiving, Pope Pius XII did not permanently dispense meat on that day as many allege. The research of Romanitas Press confirms this. 


Conclusion: Should Catholics eat meat on the Friday after Thanksgiving without the dispensation of a bishop or a priest? No.

Read more on The History of Traditional Catholic Fasting
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St. Chrysogonus
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 24

St. Chrysogonus, a Greek Christian, was martyred under Emperor Diocletian at Aquileia at the beginning of the fourth century. He is one of the saints mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass: "...Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian..."

Who was St. Chrysogonus? The Catholic Encyclopedia summarizes:

"According to this legend, Chrysogonus, at first a functionary of the vicarius Urbis, was the Christian teacher of Anastasia, the daughter of the noble Roman Praetextatus. Being thrown into prison during the persecution of Diocletian, he comforted by his letters the severely afflicted Anastasia. By order of Diocletian, Chrysogonus was brought before the emperor at Aquileia, condemned to death, and beheaded. His corpse, thrown into the sea, was washed ashore and buried by the aged priest, Zoilus. In the legend the death of the saint is placed on the 23rd of November. In the actual Roman martyrology his feast is celebrated on 24 November; by the Greeks on 16 April."

Collect:

O Lord, hear our humble prayers. May the intercession of Your blessed martyr Chrysogonus free us from the guilt of sin which troubles us. Through Our Lord . . .

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Monday, November 23, 2020
Com. of St. Felicitas
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 23

On July 10th, we celebrate the Feast of the Seven Holy Brothers and remember the children of St. Felicitas who were all martyred. Today on November 23rd, we commemorate their saintly mother, St. Felicitas who was also martyred for the Catholic Faith.

Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger in 1876 wrote the following practical considerations for the Seven Holy Brothers. They are worth repeating:

I. How happy a Mother was St. Felicitas who gave to heaven as many martyrs as she had sons! Her careful instructions in the true faith, her exhortations highly to venerate it, her encouragement to endure suffering and torments, her pious discourses of the great reward which the martyrs receive in heaven, made her children holy, and opened the gates of heaven to them. If she had lived and spoken as many mothers do at the present time, she would surely have brought up more than one to eternal misery.

Christian Parents! on your conduct, on your instructions, on your discourses, depends mostly the salvation or the damnation of your children. If they see that your conduct is not according to the laws of God and the Church, if they hear from your mouth nothing but lies, slander, unchaste or blasphemous words, if you speak to them more of dresses, dancing, gambling, theatres and other worldly pleasures, than of God and of virtue; how shall they become acquainted with the true spirit of Christianity, how shall they learn how to save their souls? Oh! be watchful of your conduct and your discourse, if you wish to bring up your children as servants of the Most High, as future inhabitants of heaven.

II. How happy were the sons who possessed so holy a mother! But what would have availed their mother's sanctity to them, if they had not followed her admonitions and commands?

Christian children! if God has blessed you with parents who are solicitous for your salvation, give thanks to Him. Pray for them, and receive their instructions and reproofs willingly and obediently, that one day, you may rejoice with them for all eternity in heaven. The seven holy martyrs rejoice now with their mother in heaven, and doubtless give her ceaseless thanks for the careful instruction she imparted to them; while she is not less happy that they followed her advice How many children may there be in hell who ceaselessly curse their parents for having allowed them too much liberty, for not having punished their faults, for not having kept them in the right path, or who even misled them to do evil by their discourse and example, and thus became the cause of their eternal ruin. Likewise there are parents who curse the disobedience, wickedness, and obstinacy of their children. If you, father or mother, desire not to be counted among these unhappy ones, follow the example of St. Felicitas and remember the admonition of the Holy Ghost : "Instruct thy son, by word and example and he shall refresh thee, and shall give delight to thy soul."(Prov. xxix.) And again: "Hast thou children? Instruct them, and bow down their neck from their youth." (Eccl, vii.) And you, my child, if you will not suffer during all eternity in hell, be obedient to the command of God, which is as follows: "My son "--my daughter--hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother." (Prov. i.)

Collect:

O Almighty God, may the merits and prayers of Your blessed Martyr Felicitas, whose feast we celebrate today, be our protection. Through Our Lord . . .

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Thursday, November 19, 2020
All Saints of the Order of Malta
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Today the Order of Malta keeps their Feast of All Saints of their Order, a feastday known as "All Saints of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta." This feast, like the various feasts of All Saints for other religious orders, commemorates both the known and the unknown saints of their Order who now possess the beatific vision in Heaven. 

Let us pray to some of these holy intercessors today ranging from Blessed Gerard, Founder and First Grand Master of the Order, St. Toscana, St. Nicasius, St. Nuno Alvarez Pereira, Blessed Charles of Austria, Blessed Alfredo Schuster of Milan, and all others with connections to this venerable order.

We pray especially for an end to the controversies that engulf the Order now, including the illegal prohibition of the Tridentine Mass a few years ago by the Master of the Order at that time. May they also be unwavering in fidelity to the Teachings of the Church on the impossibility of artificial contraception, especially in light of the scandal from a few years ago.

All You Holy Saints of the Order of Malta, pray for us!

Collect:

God, the source of all holiness and of varying forms of it that endow your Church and build up the Body of Christ, give us the grace to follow the saints of our Order in living for you alone by meditating on your law and by perfect self-denial so that we may come with them to the bliss of eternal life. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

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Monday, November 16, 2020
All Saints of the Servite Order
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November 16th is the Feast of All Saints of the Servite Order. While not as well known as the Dominicans, Jesuits, or Carmelites, the Servite Order is illustrious in its own right. The Order of Servites is the fifth mendicant order, founded in 1223, and its primary ends are "sanctification of its members, preaching the Gospel, and the propagation of devotion to the Mother of God, with special reference to her sorrows."

St. Juliana Falconieri, St. Philip Benizi, St. Anthony Pucci, and others are canonized members of the Servite Order. The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order are remembered together with their Feast on the Universal Calendar on February 17th.

Today, besides calling to mind all of all Servites saints, we pray for their intercession for all of us on this earth but especially for the members of their Order. Today is also a good day to learn more about the Black Scapular, which comes from the Servite Order which began in 1255 and was sanctioned by Pope Alexander IV. This scapular honors the Seven Sorrows of Mary. It is one of 17 approved Scapulars in the Church.

All You Holy Servite Saints, pray for us!

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Saturday, November 14, 2020
All Saints of the Carmelite Order
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Continuing the trend of various All Saint Days for religious orders, November 14th is the Feast of All Saints of the Carmelite Order. Like other major religious orders, the Carmelite Order is blessed with many saints and blessed. It is thanks to the Carmelite Order that we have the Brown Scapular.

Who are the Carmelite Saints? The Order of Carmelites answers:

They are hermits of Mount Carmel who “lived in small cells, similar to the cells of a beehive, they lived as God’s bees, gathering the divine honey of spiritual consolation.” They are mendicants of the first medieval communities, who discovered the presence of God in the events of ordinary daily life and especially seeing God in his brothers and sisters. They are teachers and preachers, missionaries and martyrs who searched for the face of God among the people. They are nuns who have contributed to the growth of God's people by their mystical experience and especially through their fervent prayer and contemplative life. They are religious, who showed us the face of Christ through their apostolate in hospitals or schools, especially in the mission lands. They are laity, who were able to embody the spirit of Carmel and lived that spirit in the midst of the people. Simon Stock, Andrew Corsini, Albert of Trapani, John of Cross, Teresa of Ávila, Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Edith Stein, Titus Brandsma, Angelo Paoli and countless saints and blesseds of Carmel together with Mary, the Mother of Carmel, are now singing a song of praise to the Father in Heaven.

St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Jesus, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, and many others have reached Heaven through the Carmelite Order. 

Today, besides calling to mind all of these saints, we pray for the intercession of all Carmelites - known and unknown - that they especially intercede for all Carmelites on this earth. May everyone in the Carmelite Order - including the many Carmelite Third Order members - grow in sanctity, stay true to the authentic Catholic Faith, and persevere to the end.

Litany of Carmelite Saints:

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.

God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.

God, the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us,

Holy Mary, Pray for us. (* denotes to repeat Pray for us)

Queen of All Saints, *

Mother, Ornament of Carmel, *

Saint Joseph, Protector of Our Order, *

Our Holy Father, the Prophet Elias, who by thy prayer and contemplation laid the foundation of our Order on Carmel,*

Saint Eliseus, who through thy disciples didst preserve the spirit of Elias on Carmel, *

St. Telesphorus, watchful guardian of the Church, *

St. Anastasius, invincible amid the most fearful torments, *

St. Gerard, who didst die a glorious martyr’s death for the spread of the Faith, *

St. Angelus, glorified with the triple crown of Confessor, Virgin and Martyr, *

St. Peter Thomas, great servant and imitator of Mary, who adorned thee with all virtue, and strengthened thee in martyrdom, *

Blessed Dionysius of the Nativity, invincible soldier of Christ and His holy martyr, *

Bl. Redemptus of the Cross, who through thy holy zeal hast earned the martyr’s crown, *

St. Dionysius, zealous believer in the Mystery of the Holy Trinity and the defender thereof, *

St. Serapion, renowned for thy virtue and sanctity, and for thy wisdom and knowledge, *

St. Spiridion, great lover of evangelical simplicity, *

St. Cyril of Alexandria, vigilant defender of Mary, Mother of God, *

St. Albert, our most wise lawgiver and director, *

St. Andrew Corsini, wonderful peacemaker and despiser of worldly honors, *

St. Hilarion, admirable for thy life of prayer and mortification in solitude, and for thy power over evil spirits, *

St. Berthold, who didst unite the dwellers on Carmel into one ecclesiastical Order of Mary, *

St. Brocard, great zealot for the observance of religious discipline, *

St. Cyril of Constantinople, eminent for virtue, wisdom and learning, *

St. Simon Stock, privileged servant of Mary, *

St. Albert of Sicily, exalted model of unspotted purity, *

St. Avertanus, example of perfect obedience, *

St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church, and sure guide in the mystical life, *

Bl. Franco Lippi, outstanding for severe mortification and holy silence, *

Bl. Romaeus, model of humble monastic virtue, *

Bl. Angelus Augustine, marvel of eloquence in preaching the Word of God, *

Bl. John Soreth, burning with love of the primitive observance, *

Bl. Aloysius Rabatha, model of holy and severe penance, *

Bl. Jacobinus, renowned for thy profound meekness and great humility, *

Bl. Bartholomew Fanti, burning with love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, *

Bl. Nonius Pereira, loyal servant and devotee of Mary, *

St. Euphrasia, perfect example of obedience, *

St. Euphrosina, wonderful lover of purity, *

St. Teresa, illustrious reformer of Carmel, full of heavenly wisdom, *

St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, victim of crucified love, *

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, teacher of the “Little Way” and Patroness of the Missions, *

Bl. Frances of Amboise, noble by birth, but nobler in virtue and steadfast confidence in God, *

Bl. Jane Scopelli, perfect model of prayer and mortification, *

Bl. Archangela, most tender in thy love for Jesus and Mary, *

Bl. Mary of the Incarnation, lover of real meekness, *

Bl. Anne of Saint Bartholomew, one with Teresa in the reform of Carmel, *

Bl. Mary of the Angels, like to the angels in innocence and purity, *

Bl. Jane of Toulouse, admirable for love of solitude and prayer, *

Bl. Therese and Companions, martyrs for Christ in the French Revolution, *

St. Teresa Margaret, great venerator and humble disciple of the Sacred Heart,*

All ye holy Virgins and Matrons of Carmel,*

All ye holy men and women who by thy virtues have given glory to Carmel, *

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, all ye Saints of Carmel: R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Almighty and merciful God, Who dost rejoice us by the memory of all the Saints of the Carmelite Order: grant that, inspired by their example and merits, we may live for Thee alone in the continual observance of Thy law and in the perfect abnegation of self, and that we may attain to perfect happiness with them in heaven. Through Christ Our Lord.  Amen

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Friday, November 13, 2020
The Spirit of St. Dominic by Fr. Humbert Clerissac Notes
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This past week I finished reading through The Spirit of St. Dominic. This book is a collection of retreat conferences preached by Fr. Clerissac to his Dominican brethren in England in 1908. While Father Clerissac passed from this life to the next in 1914, his deep theological insights are still relevant to today's Dominicans and any theologian. As Father Thomas Joseph White, O.P. writes in his Introduction to the book, “a great work of theology has a perennial relevance.” And while this is a more theological work that would be over the head of some, there are still nuggets of wisdom that anyone could appreciate and learn from.

Here are some of my takeaways from this work:

The Dominican Apostolate

The Dominican Order was founded for the salvation of souls.

Dominicans are champions and not mere foot soldiers for the Faith.

While some great apostles converted whole peoples and nations, the mission of St. Dominic was universal and as all-encompassing as that of St. Paul.

Thus, the Dominican Apostolate is distinguished by both its quality and extension from other orders.

Applying even to the tertiaries, the predominance in us of an apostolic intention is our first conformity to the mind and soul of our Lord.

We must remember that the primitive constitution laid down by God stated of Dominicans to “speak only of or to God.” This was St. Dominic’s way of life.

Veritas

We are bound, in virtue of our doctrinal mission, to present every object of our teaching as true. Our own lives out to be governed by the influence of the true.

The idea of the Dominican Order can be summed up as fidelity to the absolute.

The faith of which we are champions is the faith that sees all things as if through the eyes of God. As St. Thomas said, we see everything as if through God’s eyes, if through faith we adhere to the supreme truth for its own sake.

The end of our study and contemplation is to enable us to get a glimpse of absolute truth.

Doctrinal Apostolate

The Apostolate of the Order is necessarily a doctrinal apostolate.

For the Dominican, preaching has always referred to teaching the Faith and all things connected to the Faith.

There can be no exception to study in the life of a Dominican of at least 4 hours a day.

Study in its most comprehensive sense is an essential preparation for our doctrinal mission.

In our study and teaching, we must let our hearts and our wills follow the impulse of our mind for God.

All truth comes from God and returns to Him; our study must always bring us back to Him.

There is nothing wrong with studying the pagan philosophers. Whatsoever is true comes from the One True God. These pagan studies were allowed in Blessed Jordan’s Primitive Constitutions.

Study

There are 2 tendencies with study: study only for a purpose of spiritual utility or study in the Dominican and Aristotelian sense. This latter sense bases study on the right of revealed truth and considers all provinces of science as “tributaries of truth.”

Liturgical Prayer

The official prayers of the Church should lead to divine contemplation.

Canonical life helps the two great Dominican duties: study and teaching.

For those who throw themselves wholeheartedly into liturgical prayer, it cannot fail to take possession of you in both body and soul.

Liturgical prayer transcends all personal considerations. The prayer of the Church is bigger than anyone engaged in it. No greater sign of devotion to Our Lord and His Church can be given than the surrender of our personal interests and their absorption in the universal interests of God.

The spirit of prayer in the Church is the very breadth of Christ’s soul. The daily practice of liturgical prayer is the ideal way to preserve in us the precious power of the divine influence, even after the Eucharistic elements which we have received in Holy Communion cease to be present in us. 

Through liturgical prayer we truly fulfill the words of Scripture: “I pray, now not I, but Christ prayeth in me.”

Other Notes

The two distinguishing qualities of the Order are nobility and keenness. 

The “two dangers that threaten our moral character are cynicism and vanity.” 

“We should try not only to elicit acts of virtue but also to reach before we die the firmness, joy, and constancy of their habitus. Our vows themselves are only means to this end: the vow is practically for nothing but that.”

Penance is one of the distinctive marks of the Order of St. Dominic. And contrition is the first source of penance – it is nowhere deeper and more efficacious than in the Sacrament of Penance. The purgative, illuminative, and unitive life all derive their force from this Sacrament.

Spiritual pride is extremely subtle; the most terrifying form of form is the refusal to aspire after progress in the supernatural life. There is no better place to crush our pride than in the Sacrament of Confession.

“The revelation of our vocation to participate in Eternal Life constitutes the most striking characteristic of the Gospel and its unparalleled greatness.”

Some of the greatest of saints (e.g. St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas) felt that never “were they so much masters of themselves, and never did they use their energy so generously, as when they gave to God the homage of all their human activity.”

“Our devotion, then, to Our Lord is devotion to the God-Christ, devotion to the Eternal Truth, to the Divine Word, living and personally united in the Sacred Humanity of Jesus.”

The Sacred Humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ is “the instrumental cause of grace for the justification, sanctification, and salvation of all souls.” The Sacred Humanity is the channel of Divine Grace. We “turn frequently to His adorable Humanity to derive force and strength from that mysterious and continuous intercession exercised by Him in heaven.”

There are three chief benefits of the Eucharist: the application of the Redemption to each of us in particular (i.e. the renewal of pardon and its extension to all our daily sins), the pledge of life eternal, and the increase of the supernatural life in us, by the growth of Faith, Hope, and Charity.

The austerities of the Dominican Order are inspired chiefly by the motive of protecting its purity.

Purity is an indispensable condition for carrying out the purpose of the Dominican Order.

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