Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Monday, September 01, 2014
From The Catholic Encyclopedia:
An Abbot, said to have been born of illustrious Athenian parentage about the middle of the seventh century. Early in life he devoted himself exclusively to spiritual things, but, finding his noble birth and high repute for sanctity in his native land an obstacle to his perfection, he passed over to Gaul, where he established himself first in a wilderness near the mouth of the Rhone and later by the River Gard. But here again the fame of his sanctity drew multitudes to him, so he withdrew to a dense forest near Nîmes, where in the greatest solitude he spent many years, his sole companion being a hind. This last retreat was finally discovered by the king's hunters, who had pursued the hind to its place of refuge. The king [who according to the legend was Wamba (or Flavius?), King of the Visigoths, but who must have been a Frank, since the Franks had expelled the Visigoths from the neighbourhood of Nîmes almost a century and a half earlier] conceived a high esteem for solitary, and would have heaped every honour upon him; but the humility of the saint was proof against all temptations. He consented, however, to receive thenceforth some disciples, and built a monastery in his valley, which he placed under the rule of St. Benedict. Here he died in the early part of the eighth century, with the highest repute for sanctity and miracles.
His cult spread rapidly far and wide throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, as is witnessed by the numberless churches and monasteries dedicated to him in France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the British Isles; by the numerous manuscripts in prose and verse commemorating his virtues and miracles; and especially by the vast concourse of pilgrims who from all Europe flocked to his shrine. In 1562 the relics of the saint were secretly transferred to Toulouse to save them from the hideous excesses of the Huguenots who were then ravaging France, and the pilgrimage in consequence declined. With the restoration of a great part of the relics to the church of St. Giles in 1862, and the discovery of his former tomb there in 1865, the pilgrimages have recommenced. Besides the city of St-Gilles, which sprang up around the abbey, nineteen other cities bear his name, St-Gilles, Toulouse, and a multitude of French cities, Antwerp, Bridges, and Tournai in Belgium, Cologne and Bamberg, in Germany, Prague and Gran in Austria-Hungary, Rome and Bologna in Italy, possess celebrated relics of St. Giles. In medieval art he is a frequent subject, being always depicted with his symbol, the hind. His feast is kept on 1 September. On this day there are also commemorated another St. Giles, an Italian hermit of the tenth century (Acta SS., XLI, 305), and a Blessed Giles, d. about 1203, a Cistercian abbot of Castaneda in the Diocese of Astorga, Spain (op. cit. XLI, 308).
Saint Giles, please pray for us!
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Friday, August 29, 2014
This year, Summer began and ended with the Baptist. It was a cold Spring, and the weather did not become warm until just about the Nativity of the Baptist, what the Europeans call MidSummer Night. And it is quite cool thus morning as we enter the Labor Day weekend.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Saint Augustine by Sandro Botticelli, 1445
Here is what the Golden Legend has to say about Saint Augustine
Here is a short biography of this great doctor of the Church.
Saint Augustine's Threnus Prayer
It is sometimes called A Prayer For Those In Tribulation
This is one of the very best penitential prayers I have ever come across and it reflects a deep understanding of fallen human nature.
(based on the translation by Michael W. Martin of Thesaurus Preces Latinarum)
We would be wise to place before Thine eyes, O Lord,
Our misdeeds and the wounds we receive.
For if we do, the less we suffer
And the greater we merit.
We feel the punishment for sin,
Yet we do not shun our obstinacy in sinning.
Our fragile nature is shattered by Thy scourges,
Yet our evil ways remain unchanged.
The sick mind is wrenched,
Yet the stiff neck is not bent.
Life sighs in pain,
And yet, it does not amend itself.
If Thou waiteth, we do not reform,
If Thou punisheth, we do not last.
When accused, we admit what we have done,
Yet when punished, we forget.
If Thou punisheth, we make promises;
If Thou holdeth back the sword, we do not carry out our promises.
If Thou striketh us, we cry out that Thou might spare us;
If Thou sparest us, we again provoke Thee to strike us.
If difficulties come, we ask for a time for repentance.
If mercy comes to our aid, we abuse Thy patience which has spared us.
Even when our wounds are scarcely healed,
Our ungrateful mind forgets.
If Thou hearest us quickly, we become haughty from mercy.
If Thou art slow, we complain out of impatience.
We are willing to serve Thee because of what Thou hast done,
Yet we do not fear to neglect what Thou willst have us do.
Thou hast in Thy power, O Lord, we confessed sinners;
Be merciful, for Thou art kind and loving.
We have known that, unless Thou forgiveth us,
Thou shalt justly punish us.
But with Thee is much pity
And abundant forgiveness.
Grant, without any merit on our part, what we ask,
O Thou, who hast made from nothing those who ask Thee.
Have mercy on us crying out to Thee, O Lord.
May the voice of the faithful and of the tearful stir up Thy mercy.
May that forgiveness not consider that we sin,
While it reflects on the fact we ask.
Since it is a great misery that we are accused,
May the fact that we are miserable make Thy mercy be the greater.
We beg Thy help,
And before Thee we place the evils and sorrows of our crimes.
By our prayers we look for Thy mercy,
The very mercy which we have spurned by our sins.
Raise us up in Thy mercy, O Lord our God,
So that in the fellowship of salvation and the joy of charity,
While we long to be saved,
We may rejoice in the faith and peace of all the nations.
Through Christ our Lord Who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Just in time for the October synod of bishops.
Cardinal Burke, Cardinsl Mueller, and Cardinal Brandsmueller are among the authors. Cardinal Burke was fully expected to defend true doctrine. I must say that I had some misgivings when Pope Benedict appointed then Archbishop Mueller to the CDF. But he has allayed my fears and now find him trustworthy in defending the Church's doctrine!
Why not others? Well, too many cooks spoil the soup. My understanding is that there is wide and deep opposition to Kasper's proposals among the Cardinals in general. And with good reason! Good to see 2 German Cardinals countering the influence of Kasper in the Getman bishops' conference.
I wish this book a wide readership and acceptance, for the good of the Church!
Monday, August 25, 2014
Saint Louis, please pray for us!