Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle

St. Andrew, pray for us.

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Centenary of the Miracle of the Sun

I won’t attempt to give a better account than those already widely available on the Internet.

I will only encourage you to pray the Rosary and carry out the Five First Saturdays devotion in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

St Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

‘Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.’

‘There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.’

Faith is to believe what we do not see and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.

‘God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.’

‘If you believe what you like in the Gospels and reject what you do not like, it is not the Gospels you believe, but yourself.’

If you are struggling with habitual sin, errant children, or a lack of motivation to repent of your sins, pray to St Augustine (and to his mother, St Monica).

St Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, pray for us.

St Monica, the mother of Augustine

St Monica’s patronage includes alcoholics, mothers, wives, difficult marriages, disappointing children, victims of unfaithfulness and verbal abuse, and the conversion of relatives.

In the face of the deaths of loved ones, her joy was ultimately greater than her sorrow, knowing that they had come to love God and that she would see them again.

She died shortly after her son’s conversion, having wept many years for his soul.

St Monica is as familiar as any of us with great suffering, and is a great intercessor.

She is also the saint I took as my patron at my Confirmation.

 

St Monica, model of Christian mothers, pray for us.

St Bartholomew, Apostle

According to tradition, St Bartholomew’s missionary work was based largely in India and then, accompanied by St Jude, in Armenia.

Accounts of his death vary, with events including beheading, upside-down crucifixion, drowning after being beaten unconscious, and the most popular version being that he was flayed alive.

St Bartholomew, pray for us.

Book Review: The Noonday Devil

Full title: The Noonday Devil: Acedia, the Unnamed Evil of our Times

Author: Jean-Charles Nault, O.S.B., Abbot of Saint-Wandrille

Acedia, sometimes known as sloth, is the lack of desire for good, the avoidance of doing what we should, to which we are especially prone at midday.

The ‘afternoon slump’ most people experience is often due, at least in part, to this spiritual oppression. In the same way, the ‘midlife crisis’ from which many suffer (at the midday of life), in which we sometimes abandon our duties and seek happiness in activities that are ultimately pointless and harmful, is an extreme manifestation of this evil.

Abbot Nault explores how this sin has been understood throughout the history of the Church, and how to our detriment, we often forget about it. In this book we also find  solutions, tried and tested by the saints. At the end of the book, the Abbot gives a sobering explanation of how acedia affects people in various states of life: monastic life, priesthood, married life, and single life.

The part of the book covering St Thomas Aquinas requires more energy to read than the other parts, simply because it is densely packed with theology and abstract concepts. If you’re slow and dim like me, you’ll just have to underline everything, but it’s well worth reading.

This book will change the way you look at your life and your daily activities. Give it a go!

Also pray to St Anthony of the Desert, who was plagued by this devil for a long time.

The Magnificat

‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’