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Header VOJ 19

The glory of the world, wherewith one man deludes the
other, is false and short lived: but the glory of My
service is true, and shall endure forever.

Statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

O most sweet Jesus! What is there for me outside of
Thee, or what do I desire upon earth beside Thee?

God of my heart, Thou art my life, Thou my
blessedness, Thou my portion forever.

 

1. The Voice of Jesus
Come, My Child, take up My yoke upon thee; for My yoke is sweet, and My burden light.

My service, Child, is not that of a tyrant, nor of a harsh master; but of a most loving Father, who is near His children, who are submissive to Him, that He may help and entertain them.

Love is the spirit of My service: and love finds all things easy.

My commands are not heavy; and to those that love, they are exceedingly light and sweet.

Try and taste, My Child, how pleasant it is to serve Me; how delightful, to enjoy My sweetness; how good, to gain possession of the very fountain of all good things.

 

2. If thou seekest delights, thou shalt find the true ones, in My service alone.

All the pleasures of the world, are either empty or pernicious. But My consolations surpass, beyond comparison, all the delights of earth: they ravish hearts by their purity, they satiate them by their truth.

Yea, betimes, they so overwhelm man, that they give him a certain foretaste of those heavenly delights, wherewith the Blessed in Paradise are inebriated.

 

3. He that serves Me, is not as the slave of the world, who toils to gather for himself treasures on earth, and in the end, finds his hands empty.

But he lays up for himself treasures in heaven, where neither the rust, nor the moth, can destroy; where thieves cannot dig them up, nor carry away.

All the wealth of earth, compared with the treasures of heaven, is only dust and nothingness.

 

4. If thou aimest to be honored, behold! What greater honor can be desired, than to be with Me, to be approved and distinguished by Me?

The glory of the world, wherewith one man deludes the other, is false and short lived: but the glory of My service is true, and shall endure forever.

Greater is the least of My servants, than the lord of a kingdom in the world.

 

5. Was there ever found a man, who, at the hour of death, repented that he had served Me? Yet, at that last moment, how exceedingly do worldlings regret to have been in the service of the world! Or, if they bewail it not, how much more wretched are they!

Truthful is the saying, My Child, that he, who serves Me faithfully during life, possesses two heavens, the one in time, the other in eternity: and that he, who spends his life in the service of the wicked world, endures two hells, one now, another hereafter.

 

6. Courage! then, My Child; bend thyself beneath the yoke, which is borne by the Angels in heaven, and the Elect on earth; and beneath which they enjoy true bliss.

Take it up joyously, and bear it cheerfully. Thou servest the same Lord, that is served by the Blessed in heaven. Whilst thou imitatest them in their service, imitate them also in their cheerfulness.

Let the slaves of sin, and of the world, be sad: joy and exultation are the portion of My servants.

Serve Me, then, but serve Me with gladness: let thy heart, for joy, cheer up thy countenance; and, by thy holy gayety, teach the world, what blessedness there is in serving Me.

 

7. The Voice of the Disciple

To serve Thee, O most benign Jesus, is truly sweet for me: what then must it be for those that love Thee! What for those that have centered their heart’s affection in Thee!

If I, who only begin to love, find so great a sweetness in Thee; in what sweetness do they delight, who, fondly devoted to Thee, with a generous heart, have long lived for Thee alone; are admitted into the innermost of Thy Heart, and partake of all Thy bliss most plentifully!

O Jesus, unutterable sweetness! What is man that Thou exaltest him thus? Or the son of man, that Thou settest Thy Heart upon him?

 

8. Behold! To live for Thee, to comply with Thy Will, is not to serve, but to reign. In Thy service, no one is a servant, every one is a King, is a Lord: for Thou art the King of kings, and the Lord of lords.
In Thy service, no one is a menial, no one is miserable: each one is noble, each one is fortunate; for Thou art the King of glory; honors and riches abound in Thy house.

In Thy service, no one is wicked; and, therefore, no one is unhappy: but all are good, happy all: for Thou art the King of virtues, the peace and joy of hearts.

Blessed, therefore, are the undefiled, who walk in Thy law! Their blessedness is ever enduring: for Thy kingdom is the kingdom of all ages.

O most sweet Jesus! What is there for me outside of Thee, or what do I desire upon earth beside Thee? God of my heart, Thou art my life, Thou my blessedness, Thou my portion forever.

 


“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 November 23, 2020

The purer are your words and your glances, the more pleasing...

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November 23

 

The purer are your words and your
glances,
the more pleasing will you be to the
Blessed Virgin. And
the greater will be the
graces that she will obtain for you
from her Divine Son.


St. John Bosco


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Columban

He struggled with purity, and desperate to dedicate himself...

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St. Columban

Columban was born about the year 543 in County Meath, in the Irish province of Leinster, to respectable parents. He was well-educated in grammar, rhetoric, geometry, and the Holy Scriptures. The young Columban resolved early to embrace monastic asceticism and dedicate himself to a strict and disciplined life, abstaining from many of the pleasures of the world. However, he struggled with purity, and desperate to dedicate himself wholly to God, asked the advice of a religious woman who had lived as a hermit for many years.

His mother tried her utmost to deter him from the course of action proposed by the saintly hermit, but Columban took the holy woman’s advice and left Leinster to become a cloistered monk at the monastery of Bangor in County Down. He remained there a number of years before gaining permission from his superior, St. Congall, to evangelize in foreign lands. With twelve companions he traveled to Gaul and set about preaching and teaching the Gospel.

In 590, news of these monks reached Guntramnus, the King of Burgundy, who was so inspired by the holy men that he gave the Irish monk and his companions the ancient Roman castle of Annegray, in the region’s Vosges Mountains, in which to establish a monastery. Within a few years, the increasing number of followers obliged Columban to expand and, with the help of one of the King’s ministers, he obtained from the King another ancient Roman fortification named Luxeuil, on the site of some ancient Roman baths. A third monastery soon followed to house the growing number of disciples. The monks followed a harsh discipline similar to the unusual characteristics of Celtic Christianity: they carried out penances for every transgression, no matter how small, fasted, performed bodily mortifications and prayed at length.

Twenty years after his first monastic foundation, Columban and his fellow Irishmen were expelled from the country. Brunhilda, the wicked and corrupt queen regent, disliked the holy man for his reproach of the immoral ways of her court and ultimately exiled him in 610.

Columban and his monks traveled to Italy where they were welcomed by Agilulf, King of the Lombards. Agilulf gave the monks a dilapidated church at Bobbio to reestablish themselves. Columban himself did much of the repairs in spite of his seventy years of age.

He died at Bobbio in 615 having spent the last few years of his life praying and preparing for death. His followers established monasteries all over Europe.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared stan...

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The Conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne

Born in 1814, Alphonse Ratisbonne was from a family of wealthy, well-known Jewish bankers in Strasbourg, France. In 1827, Alphonse’s older brother, Thèodore, converted to Catholicism and entered the priesthood, thus breaking with his anti-Catholic family whose hopes now lay in the young Alphonse. At 27, Alphonse was intelligent and well mannered. He had already finished his law degree, and decided to travel to Italy before marrying and assuming his responsibilities in the family business. However, God had other plans for him.

While in Rome, Alphonse visited works of art, and strictly out of cultural curiosity, a few Catholic churches. These visits hardened his anti-Catholic stance, and nourished his profound hatred for the Church. He also called on an old schoolmate and close friend, Gustave de Bussières.

Gustave was a Protestant and several times had tried, in vain, to win Alphonse over to his religious convictions. Alphonse was introduced to Gustave’s brother, Baron de Bussières, who had recently converted to Catholicism and become a close friend of Father Thèodore Ratisbonne. Because of the Baron’s Catholicism and closeness with his turncoat brother, Alphonse greatly disliked him.

On the eve of his departure, Alphonse reluctantly fulfilled his social obligation to leave his calling card at the Baron’s house as a farewell gesture.

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Hoping to avoid a meeting, Alphonse intended to leave his card discreetly and depart straight away, but was instead shown into the house. The Baron greeted the young Jew warmly, and before long, had persuaded him to remain a few more days in Rome. Inspired by grace, the Baron insisted Alphonse accept a Miraculous Medal and copy down a beautiful prayer: the Memorare. Alphonse could hardly contain his anger at his host’s boldness of proposing these things to him, but decided to take everything good-heartedly, planning to later describe the Baron as an eccentric.

During Alphonse’s stay, the Baron’s close friend, Count de La Ferronays, former French ambassador to the Holy See and a man of great virtue and piety, died quite suddenly. On the eve of his death, the Baron had asked the Count to pray the Memorare one hundred times for Alphonse’s conversion. It is possible that he offered his life to God for the conversion of the young Jewish banker.

A few days later, the Baron went to the church of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte to arrange for his friend’s funeral. Alphonse reluctantly went with him, all the while making violent criticisms of the Church and mocking Catholic practices. When they arrived, the Baron entered the sacristy to arrange the funeral while Alphonse remained in the church.

When the Baron returned just a few minutes later, the young man was gone. He searched the church, and soon discovered his young friend kneeling close to an altar, weeping.  Alphonse himself tells us what happened in those few minutes he waited for the Baron: “I had only been in the church a short while when, all of a sudden, I felt totally uneasy for no apparent reason. I raised my eyes and saw that the whole building had disappeared. Only one side chapel had, so to say, gathered all the light. In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar. She was grandiose, brilliant, full of majesty and sweetness, just as she is in the Miraculous Medal. An irresistible force attracted me to her. The Virgin made a gesture with her hand indicating I was to kneel.”

When de Bussières talked to Alphonse, he no longer found a Jew, but a convert who ardently desired baptism. The news of such an unexpected conversion immediately spread and caused a great commotion throughout Europe, and Pope Gregory XVI received the young convert, paternally. He ordered a detailed investigation with the rigor required by canon law, and concluded that the occurrence was a truly authentic miracle. 

Alphonse took the name Maria Alphonse at baptism, and, wishing to become a priest, was ordained a Jesuit in 1847. After some time, and at the suggestion of Pope Pius IX, he left the Jesuits and joined his brother Thèodore in founding the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, dedicated to the conversion of the Jews. Father Theodore spread his congregation throughout France and England, while Father Maria Alphonse went to the Holy Land. In Jerusalem, he established a house of the congregation on the plot of land where the praetorium of Pilate had formerly stood.

The two brothers died in 1884, both famed and well-loved for their exceptional virtues.  

By Armando Santos  

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In the midst of this splendor, the Virgin Mary appeared standing on the altar"

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