Thursday, June 25, 2009

St. Anthony of Padua

A new book by Joseph A. Keller has been added to Saints' Books, called 'The Miracles of St. Anthony of Padua'. It's good reading, and has been especially edited and formatted for Saints' Books, to improve its readibility.

St. Anthony is well known for helping people everywhere to find what they have lost. . . In the book are recounted the original 'lost' miracle, and a miracle involving St. Anthony finding a truly precious belonging. . . 'faith' for a man who had lost it.

It is well worth reading and the kind of book that is a joy to have on Saints' Books, not only because of the contents -- it is also of a very small size, being in RTF form instead of PDF. The ideal books for download are in either a small sized, reformatted PDF, or RTF (rich text) format.

There are a number of very large sized PDF files in their original scans, that need to be reformatted so there is more space for more books.

This is the kind of help that is truly needed. If you have OCR software, and the time, think about it.

'Consider every day that you are then for the first time beginning; and always act with the same fervor as on the first day you began.'

St. Anthony of Padua

'Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak. We are full of words but empty of actions, and therefore are cursed by the Lord, since he himself cursed the fig tree when he found no fruit but only leaves. It is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge of the law if he undermines its teaching by his actions. But the apostles "spoke as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech." Happy the man whose words issue from the Holy Spirit and not from himself! We should speak, then, as the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of speech. Our humble and sincere request to the Spirit for ourselves should be that we may bring the day of Pentecost to fulfillment, insofar as he infuses us with his grace, by using our bodily senses in a perfect manner by keeping the commandments. Likewise we shall request that we may be filled with a keen sense of sorrow and with fiery tongues for confessing the faith so our deserved reward may be to stand in the blazing splendor of the saints and to look upon the triune God.'

St. Anthony of Padua

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Horror... of Suffering

On Fr. Chad Ripperger, Ph.D.'s website are two audio talks on the subject of 'the Horror of Suffering'. (under #6 and #8)

My vague and unfortunate impression is that some readers will react to the title of the above thinking it will be a series on how terribly some people have suffered and how we should be horrified about it.

On the contrary, it is a truly Catholic talk, and the horror of suffering it describes is the internal defect in mankind since the fall, that makes our bodies and selves recoil in horror at the thought of suffering, and how this horror can imperil our eternal salvation and sanctity.

'The horror of suffering is a great impediment to sanctification.'

... We have over two thousand one hundred saints' quotes now on Saints' Quotes, with new additions and new saints such as St. Lawrence Justinian, St. Margaret of Cortona, and St. Gregory the Wonderworker.

I intend to, shortly, to publish an appeal for aid for the translation of saints' quotations to other languages. Have you ever considered how many languages people do not have many works of the saints' translated into? And how great a catechesis this could be? In fact the catechesis par excellence?

There is a great need for this to be done, and through donations and volunteer work it can be done. The rewards outstrip by far what comparatively small effort must be done.

So, even before the main appeal is published, consider if you are of a capacity to help.

The Saints' Prayers website will be receiving a major update soon, and its 'under construction' notification will disappear not long after that.

Returning to the 'horror of suffering', we are very much an effeminate society in which any suffering or natural evil, is seen as a moral evil. But all Christians have to embrace the cross. So we see already the direct conflict between the world and Christianity. And how easily this conflict can be one where the victory is the world, the flesh, and the devil, because all three will inspire us with a horror of suffering, and justify it with many arguments.

But Christ has told us that we must bear our cross. In fact we must embrace it. So we must pray to overcome the horror of suffering and instead have a thirst to bear these pains, knowing the great rewards that come from it, and the great necessity of it for the salvation of our own soul.

But how can one suffer properly? In such a way that it does not disorder one's interior life rather than improve it?

There are ways to approach suffering which are good and ones which are not. . .

So introspection and prayer, and taking on of suffering for the sake of God purely are the starting points for a proper approach to suffering.

The saints prefer suffering to pleasure. When our wills are too turned this way, then we can be the more hopeful of our home in Heaven.

As long as they are not we should tremble. . . how unlike Christ we are.

'It was my desire to be silent, and not to make a public display of the rustic rudeness of my tongue. For silence is a matter of great consequence when one's speech is mean. And to refrain from utterance is indeed an admirable thing, where there is lack of training; and verily he is the highest philosopher who knows how to cover his ignorance by abstinence from public address.'

St Gregory the Wonderworker

'Ask of God much suffering; in giving it to you, He will do you a great favor, for in this single gift are countless blessings.'

St. Ignatius of Loyola

'Whether we will or no, we must suffer. There are some who suffer like the good thief, and others like the bad thief.'

'The saints suffered everything with joy, patience, and perseverance, because they loved. As for us, we suffer with anger, vexation, and weariness, because we do not love. If we loved God, we should love crosses, we should wish for them, we should take pleasure in them. . . We should be happy to be able to suffer for the love of Him who lovingly suffered for us.'

St. Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, the Cure of Ars

'Brother, I am most grateful for the kindness you wished to do me. I appreciate it very highly; but, if God has given me the great sufferings I am enduring, why wish to soothe and lessen them by music? For the love of Our Lord, thank those gentlemen for the kindness they had wished to do me: I look upon it as having been done. Pay them, and send them away, for I wish to endure without any relief the gracious gifts which God sends me in order that, thanks to them, I may the better merit.'

St. John of the Cross

Monday, June 15, 2009

Today eighty four quotes from St. Theodore the Studite were added to the Saints' Quotes database.

Of a pleasant and joyful temperament throughout, his words should be an uplifting addition to the chorus of the Communion of saints.

Like St. Basil, one of my favorite quotes of his has to do with vegetables, but this like many of the other jewels have to be found on

Here follow some quotes by St. Theodore.

'Oh, what unfathomable goodness! And oh, what an incomparable gift! How then can we fail to love him? How fail to cherish him? How fail to cling to him unceasingly? So that if we were not so disposed, heaven would instantly cry out against us, earth would groan, the very stones would condemn our utter insensibility.'

St. Theodore the Studite

'But what are the things he commanded? According to the old covenant, to summarise, You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness. According to the new, things that are higher and more precise. For Scripture says, it was said to those of old, You shall not murder ; whoever commits murder will be liable to judgement. But I say to you, everyone who is angry with their brother without good cause will be liable to judgement. Again, it was said to those of old, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Again, it was said, You shall not commit perjury. But I say to you, you are not to swear at all. Again, it was said, You shall love your neighbour and hate you enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you. Do you see how great the difference is between the two covenants? The one forbids the acts themselves, while the other the impulses from which the acts come, so that sin may not put down roots from there. If then we are found to be living in accordance with neither law nor Gospel, but rather, as one might say, with paganism, what shall we suffer on that day? Do not be led astray, Scripture says, neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor Sodomites nor thieves nor extortioners nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.'

St. Theodore the Studite

'What are the fruits? Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-mastery [Gal. 5:22]. By these he is nourished, by these he is entertained. And blest the one who nourishes him, because he will be nourished by him with eternal good things; and blest the one who receives him as his guest, because he will be received by him as his guest in the kingdom of heaven! Indeed! So if someone is to receive a king as his house guest, he rejoices and is extremely glad; how much more then someone who receives the King of kings and Lord of lords as his house guest. That he is received is clear from what he himself has said: I and my Father will come and make our abode with him [John 14:23]. And again: One who has my commandments and keeps them, is the one who loves me; the one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I shall love him and manifest myself to him [John 14:21].'

St. Theodore the Studite

'Yes, I exhort, yes, I implore, my brothers, make my joy complete, as the Apostle again says, be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or vainglory; but in humility think of others as better than yourselves [Phil 2,2-3.]. Let us secure our senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, through them death enters. Let us bridle our mind not to be carried off to things it should not, not to step into the pitfall of unseemly things, not to picture to ourselves evil images nor to conceive sinful desires, from which we gain no profit or pleasure; on the contrary we are pained and crushed accomplishing nothing useful. There is one repose then and one pleasure, to cleanse the soul and to look towards dispassion. And let us not grow despondent when called to repose and the joy of dispassion, but let us hasten and press forward intently with diligence to right every defect; and God is our helper; for the Lord is near those who wait for him. And by living thus may we reach the kingdom of heaven in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and might with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.'

St. Theodore the Studite

'And so, my brothers, let us rejoice and be glad as we repudiate every pleasure. All flesh is grass, and all human glory like the flower of the grass. The grass withered and the flower faded, but the work of virtue endures for ever.'

St. Theodore the Studite