The world teaches its followers that happiness consists in the possession of riches, pleasures, and honours; but this deceitful world was condemned by the Son of God when He became Man. Now is the judgment of the world-(John xii. 31). This condemnation began in the Stable of Bethlehem. Jesus Christ wished to be born there in poverty, that through His poverty we might become rich, and from His Divine example pluck out of our hearts all affections for earthly possessions.
All things whatsoever you ask when you pray, believe you shall receive, and they shall come unto you-(Mark xi. 24). Many pray, but they do not obtain what they pray for, because they do not pray as they ought. You ask, says St. James, and receive not, because you ask amiss -(James iv. 3). To be heard by God we must ask with humility, confidence, and perseverance. And what prayers, O my God, wilt Thou ever hear, if Thou hearest not those which are made as Thou wishest them to be made?
The whole life of the Saints has been one of meditation and prayer; and all the graces by means of which they have become Saints have been received by them in answer to prayer. If therefore we are to be saved and become Saints, we should ever stand at the gates of Divine mercy and beg and pray, as for an alms, all that we stand in need of. Ask and you shall receive.
And here we must remark that we must not only perform good works, but we must perform them well. In order that our works may be good and perfect, they must be done with the sole end of pleasing God…
Carissimi: Today’s Mass; Our Lady on Saturday
As St. Jerome says, writing to the virgin Eustochia: “What a day of joy will that be for thee when Mary, the Mother of our Lord, accompanied by choirs and virgins, will go to meet thee!”
This Angelical Salutation is most pleasing to the ever¬blessed Virgin for whenever she hears it, it would seem as if the joy she experienced when St. Gabriel announced to her that she was the chosen Mother of God was renewed in her. For this reason we should often salute her: Ave Maria, gratia plena-Hail Mary, full of Grace!
St. Gregory explains this next characteristic of Charity in saying that, as Charity despises all earthly greatness, nothing in the world can possibly provoke her envy. “She envieth not, because as she desireth nothing in this world, she cannot envy earthly prosperity.”
Carissimi: Today’s Mass; St Bernardine of Siena, Confessor
The doctrine that all prayers and works performed in a state of sin are sins was condemned as heretical by the sacred Council of Trent. St. Bernard says that although prayer in the mouth of a sinner is devoid of beauty, as it is unaccompanied by charity, nevertheless it is useful and obtains grace to abandon sin…