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Have Confidence in God

Header-Have Confidence I have Overcome


Our God is not a weak God. Our Father is not a wimpy Father. 

He is, rather, an awesome God, a strong God, a loving Father who creates, gives and bestows without measure. Indeed He is a Father of tender goodness and mercy, but not a God of “handouts”. 

Our God tests our faith, proves our wills and our loyalty; and it was so from the beginning. 

Once the mighty stone rolled over the entrance of Jesus’ tomb, the silence of the small group that witnessed His interment mirrored that of the corpse within. Indeed, He was truly dead.

He who had restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, movement to the lame, and life to the dead, was now Himself dead. 

After a gruesome passion and crucifixion, He had cried out: 

“Father! Into Thy hands I commend my spirit!” 

And as He breathed forth His divine/human soul, His bruised head fell heavily on His sunken chest.

PietaThe corpse that was lovingly lowered from the cross, and laid in Mary’s arms was scarred beyond recognition, and ghastly pale, the last drops of blood spilled when His side was pierced. 

He had given all. And now He was dead. 

Back when He had first predicted that He would die, Peter, just constituted first Pope, was badly shaken. He tried to dissuade the Son from the Father’s will, only to receive the scathing rebuke, “Get behind me Satan! You are a scandal to Me because you understand not the things of God, but the things of men.” Matthew 16:23.

Peter was thinking along human lines, hoping for an earthly kingdom in which Jesus would be universally acclaimed. He hadn’t fully understood that integrity such as his Master’s is never permanently crowned on this earth of sin and compromise. He hadn’t learned to trust God’s decrees even when they spell apparent death for, in the end, they always give life. He hadn’t fully understood that this life’s test is the test of confidence in the divine, not the human. 

And now, His Master was dead. 

Doubt flickered in all but one heart, a heart that knew not the shadow of sin, the heart of Mary. She who so penetrated God’s higher reasons that she had stood by the cross, alone knew that He would rise again as He had said. 

As Jesus’ corpse lay in the cold sepulcher, the fullness of faith was reduced to one heart. 

All was quiet that Sunday dawn. Mary prayed, and the apostles gathered behind closed doors.

As Mary Magdalen and other holy women visited the tomb, they found the stone rolled, and an angel who showed them the empty place where His body had been, and announced to them that He had risen!

Our Lord the ConsolatorAnd all those that had seen Him dead and buried, saw Him alive. Thomas even placed his doubting finger in the Lord’s open side. And one after the other, the apostles and first disciples, testified to His resurrection; and one after the other of the twelve, excepting John, sealed their witness with their blood by later dying as martyrs. 

Indeed Christ’s resurrection is the divine stamp on all He said and did.

And his bride, the church, born of His pierced side, and confirmed at Pentecost came forth to conquer the pagan world. Hers would be fierce battles against persecution, heresy, and the very gates of hell, as her Bridegroom predicted: “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt.16:18.

And so it is. Through the ages, like Him, at times seemingly buried, the church always bursts forth in the splendor of her Truth. She is like the moon that only wanes to come back to full glory time and time again. 

In these days of seeming triumph of so much evil and flaunting immorality, in these times when chaos and confusion have infiltrated even the bride, let us stay with Mary, and our faith will not flicker.

At the apparitions of Fatima in 1917, as Our Lady of the Rosary, she predicted war, chaos, calamities and persecutions, but also said, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph”. 

Let us pray and meditate on her Rosary, and we will not faint or fear, for Her Son’s word endures through the ages, “Have confidence. I have overcome!” John, 16:33.

 


By M. Taylor
Photo Attributions: 
Pieta - Michelangelo's Pietà in St. Peter's Basilica.
Christ the Consolator - New York City Productions

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for May 18, 2021

Our Lord loves you and loves you tenderly; and if He does no...

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May 18

 

Our Lord loves you
and loves you tenderly; and
if He does not let you feel the sweetness of His love,
it is to make you more humble and abject in your own eyes.

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Eric IX of Sweden

The king’s zeal for the faith was far from pleasing to his...

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St. Eric IX of Sweden

Eric the Holy or Erik the Saint was acknowledged king in most provinces of Sweden in 1150, and his family line subsisted for a hundred years. He did much to establish Christianity in Upper Sweden and built or completed at Old Uppsala the first large church to be erected in the country. It is said that all the ancient laws and constitutions of the kingdom were, by his orders, collected into one volume, which came to be known as King Eric’s Law or The Code of Uppland.

The king soon had to take up arms against the heathen Finns. He vanquished them in battle, and at his desire, St. Henry, Bishop of Uppsala, who had accompanied him on the expedition, remained in Finland to evangelize the people.

The king’s zeal for the Catholic Faith was far from pleasing to his nobles, and we are told that they entered into a conspiracy against him with Magnus, the son of the king of Denmark. King Eric was hearing Mass on the day after the feast of the Ascension when news was brought that a Danish army, swollen with Swedish rebels, was marching against him and was close at hand. With unwavering calm he answered, “Let us at least finish the sacrifice; the rest of the feast I shall keep elsewhere”. After Mass was over, he recommended his soul to God, and marched forth in advance of his guards. The conspirators rushed upon him, beat him down from his horse, and beheaded him. His death occurred on May 18 in 1161.

The relics of St. Eric IX of Sweden are preserved in the Cathedral of Uppsala, and the saintly king's effigy appears on the coat of arms of the city of Stockholm.

Pope St. John I

The king had the pontiff arrested at Ravenna and thrown into...

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Pope St. John I

St. John I was a native of Siena in Tuscany and was one of the seven deacons of Rome when he was elected to the papacy at the death of Pope Hormisdas in the year 523.

At the time, Theodoric the Great ruled over the Ostrogoths in Italy and Justin I was the Byzantine Emperor of Constantinople. King Theodoric supported the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ.

Justin I, the first Catholic on the throne of Constantinople in fifty years, published a severe edict against the Arians, requiring them to return to orthodox Catholics the churches they had taken from them. The said edict caused a commotion among eastern Arians, and spurred Theodoric to threaten war.

Ultimately, he opted for a diplomatic solution and named Pope John, much against his wishes, to head a delegation of five bishops and four senators to Justin.

Pope John, refused to comply with Theodoric’s wishes to influence Justin to reverse his policies. The only thing he did obtain from Justin was for him to mitigate his treatment of Arians, thus avoiding reprisals against Catholics in Italy.

After the delegation returned, Theodoric, disappointed with the result of the mission, and growing daily more suspicious at reports of the friendly relations between the Pope and Justin I, had the pontiff arrested at Ravenna.

Pope John I died in prison a short time later as a result of ill treatment.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life. Cathe...

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The Rosary & True Beauty

As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life.

Catherine was a young woman possessing great beauty. So much so, that she was known to those in Rome where she made her home as “Catherine the Beautiful.” Sadly, Catherine’s beauty went only skin deep, and she led a very sinful life.

One afternoon, strolling the streets of Rome, Catherine heard the voice of St. Dominic. This was the early 13th century and it was not unusual to cross paths with this great man of God.

On this particular day, he was preaching on the devotion to the Mother of God and the importance of praying her most holy Rosary. Caught up in the moment, Catherine had her name inscribed in the book of the confraternity and began to recite the Rosary. Though praying the Rosary gave her a sense of calmness she had not known before, Catherine did not abandon her sinful ways.

One evening, a youth, apparently a nobleman, came to her house. Catherine invited the handsome young man to stay to dine with her. When they were at supper, she saw drops of blood falling from his hands while he was breaking a piece of bread. Moments later, she observed, much to her discomfort, that all the food he took was tinged with blood.

Gathering up some courage to appease her curiosity, she asked him what that blood meant. With a firm but gentle look in his eyes, the youth replied that a Christian should take no food that was not tinged with the blood of Jesus Christ and sweetly seasoned with the memory of His passion.

Amazed at this reply, Catherine asked him who he was. "Soon," he answered, "I will show you." The rest of their meal passed uneventfully, yet always the drops of red catching Catherine’s eye, causing her to wonder about this man she supped with.

After dinner, when they had withdrawn into another room, the appearance of the youth changed. To Catherine’s stunned gaze, he showed himself crowned with thorns, his flesh torn and bleeding.

With the same firm but gentle gaze he said to her: “Do you wish to know who I am? Do you not know me? I am your Redeemer. Catherine, when will you cease to offend me? See how much I have suffered for you. You have grieved me enough, change your life."

Catherine began to weep bitterly, and Jesus, encouraging her, said: "Now begin to love me as much as you have offended me; and know that you have received this grace from me, on account of the Rosary you have been accustomed to recite in honor of my mother." And then he disappeared.

Catherine went in the morning to make her confession to St. Dominic, whose preaching on the Rosary had brought so marvelous a grace into her life. Giving to the poor all she possessed, from that day forward Catherine led so holy and joyful a life that she attained to great perfection.

It could now be said of her among the inhabitants of Rome that Catherine was indeed beautiful, but her beauty was no longer skin deep; her loveliness radiated from the depths of her soul.

The Most Holy Virgin often appeared to her; and Jesus himself revealed to St. Dominic, that this penitent had become very dear to him.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

As the century began anew, so did Catherine’s life. Catherine was a young woman possessing great beauty.

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