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Header VOJ 18

Behold! life and death, good and evil are placed before
thee: whatever thou dost prefer, shall be given thee.

Photo of Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue

1. The Voice of Jesus

My Child, he that loves to serve the world, knows not the world.

The world is a true tyrant: and wretched slaves are they that serve it.

How many things, – what sacrifices does it not exact from its votaries, whom, for all their services, it repays with unceasing evils!

It demands, that its slaves become the base tools of their passions; that they sacrifice body and soul; that they damn themselves without complaint.

And, when it has completed their destruction, it forsakes them as useless wretches, fit only for hellfire.

 

2. Oh! at how great a cost do worldlings purchase their own ruin! If they did for Me the half of what they do for the world, how happy should they be, and what Saints!

How cruel is the world’s slavery! under it, how many interior sufferings must be undergone! what hardships endured! And all this for the hope of obtaining such things as, when once tasted, cause death; or such as will produce tortures, either at present, by the irksome possession of them, or after awhile, by a bitter separation.

Truly, it is an iron yoke which presses on the neck of worldlings, the weight of which no one does fully know, unless he either tried it, or considers it as he stands on the threshold of eternity.

 

3. Whoever desires to be saved must separate his heart from the world.

There are those who, by their mode of life, having outwardly bidden farewell to the world, inwardly captivated by the world, in most things, govern themselves by worldly sentiments.

There are others, whom their condition in life obliges to live exposed to the dangers of the world; who yet have so divested themselves of every affection for the world, that they never defile themselves with aught that is worldly.

It is, therefore, not the kind of life which he leads, nor the shape of the dress which he wears, that connects a man with the world, or estranges him from it; but the affection of the heart, the disposition of the soul.

Wherefore, he that is farthest separated in heart from the world, and most closely united to Me, he is dearest to My Heart, in whatever state of life he may live.

Wherever, then, My divine Will may have placed thee, there do thou serve Me in holiness. Since, in every state or condition of life, which is good in itself, thou canst live for Me, and sanctify thyself: although it remains true, that a state of life separated from the world, conduces most to secure salvation, and to reach perfection.

 

4. How many followers of the world there are, who, convinced of the world’s wickedness, see the necessity of renouncing it by a change of life; yet, dare not do so, too fearful lest the world may rail at them.

Is this your fortitude, ye friends of the world? Great souled, forsooth, ye are all, who, through fear of empty talk, dare not do what faith dictates, what reason approves, what your greatest interest demands.

What are words, but sounds passing through the air and disappearing? Can they stir so much as a hair of the head?

 

5. Shalt thou be so fainthearted, My Child, that, for the sake of such words, thou wouldst draw on thyself ruin in time and in eternity?

Choose, either to serve Me, to be blissful in My service, and to enjoy the enduring delights of heaven hereafter: or, to serve the world, to lead inwardly a wretched life, and, at last, to undergo torments never-ending.

Behold! life and death, good and evil are placed before thee: whatever thou dost prefer, shall be given thee.

 

6. The Voice of the Disciple

O, kind Jesus! how could I falter in my choice? Wretched me! how could I ever choose what was to render me so unhappy!

O infinite Goodness, O my God! Thou hast freed me from error, and hast taught me the truth.

Behold! Now I am wholly Thine forever, Jesus, my true beatitude!

Away with thee, deceitful world, most wicked seducer, enemy of God and of my salvation; thou foe of all that is good, thou defender of all that is evil; O, thou, the most cruel of all tyrants!

O World, thou minister of Satan! too late have I known thee: too long have I loved thee. From this hour, farewell to thee, farewell for evermore!

 


“Voice of Jesus” is taken from Arnoudt’s “Imitation of the Sacred Heart”, translated from the Latin of J.M. Fastre; Benziger Bros. Copyright 1866

 

 

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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