And Elias, the prophet, stood up, as a fire, and his word burnt like a torch (Ecclesiasticus. 48.1, DRV)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fifth Day of Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel


Consideration: Jesus Christ, The Ideal of True Christian Virtue

There are very few Christians, even amongst those who are especially consecrated to God, who have a right idea of what true virtue is. Amongst all of them imagine it to consist in a certain routine of piety and in fidelity to certain exterior exercises. If with this they have at intervals some emotion of sensible devotion, without taking care to discern whether these emotions come from God or from their own efforts, they at once conclude that they are really virtuous.

Nevertheless, they are subject to a thousand faults and imperfection, of which they take no heed to themselves, and which any one else would try in vain to make them conscious of. They are narrow-minded, scrupulously exact in their practices of devotion, full of esteem for themselves, extremely sensitive and touchy, obstinate in holding their own opinions, puffed up with self-love, constrained and affected in their manners; nothing true, nothing simple, nothing natural about them. In their own hearts they prefer themselves to all others, and often they despise, they condemn, they persecute really holy persons, and true piety, of which they know nothing. Nothing is more common in Christianity than this false and pharisaical virtue. Those who are really good have no greater enemies; and if we wish to describe them in a few words we may say, it was pretended holy persons who crucified Our Lord Jesus Christ, and they still crucify Him every day in His most perfect imitators. As soon as any one really gives himself to God and begins to lead an inner life, he is sure to draw upon himself, first of all jealousy and criticism, and then persecutions and calumnies of every king, from these devout Pharisees.

If we wish to understand what true virtue is, we must contemplate it in Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and Him Crucified [1 Cor 2.2]: He is our one great Example; He gave Himself to us for that reason; He was made Man that holiness might be sensible and palpable to us. All sanctity which is not formed and modelled on His sanctity is false; it is displeasing to God; it may perhaps deceive men, but it is useless for Heaven....

Our Lord Jesus Christ sought Himself in nothing; never had He in view of His own interests, either temporal or spiritual; never did He perform one single action for the sake of pleasing men, neither did He ever abstain from any good action for fear of displeasing them. God alone [“Solo Dios basta!” says St. Teresa of Jesus], God’s glory [God’s great goodness acknowledged by His creatures], was the sole object of His thoughts and feelings, the sole rule of His conduct. He sacrificed all, without reserve, to the interests of His Father.

Jesus Christ made piety to consist in our interior dispositions, the religion of the heart [but based on truth]; not in vain and fleeting feelings [as Luther erroneously imagined it to be], but in sincere and efficacious resolutions, always followed by execution; a disposition of an entire devotion to God, a continual annihilation of self, and a boundless charity towards others. Every instant of His life was consecrated to the accomplishment of these three interior dispositions. He neglected no observance of the Law; but, at the same time, he declared, both by word and example, that this observance was only of value when it proceeded from an inner principle of charity, and that the practice of the letter of the law alone, without the interior spirit, made slaves, and not children of God.

Jesus Christ always looked upon this present life as passing; as a pilgrimage, a time of trial, simply designed to test our love for God. The things which are eternal were His constant occupation. He gave to nature what was absolutely necessary, without going beyond. Although he possessed nothing, and was always dependent on Providence for His simple bodily wants, He was never uneasy about the morrow, and His delight was to experience the effects of poverty.

Jesus Christ embraced by His own free choice that which men accept with the greatest difficulty, and to which they only submit from necessity. He did not absolutely condemn riches, but He preferred poverty. He did not condemn the rank and marks of honor which God Himself has established amongst men, but He taught us that an obscure condition, bereft of every kind of consideration, is more pleasing to God, and more favorable to salvation; and that to think one’s self better than others because one is born great, noble, or powerful, or in a position of authority, is an error and the source of countless sins. With the exception of the simple natural pleasure, especially those which men seek with the greatest eagerness, and as far as He Himself was concerned, He renounced even the most innocent pleasure. Hard work, apostolic labour, prayer, and the instruction of His disciples and the multitude filled up every moment of His life.

Jesus was simplicity itself; always the same, without affectation in His speech or actions. He taught, with the authority of God made Man, the most sublime truths, and things which had before been unknown. But He propounded His doctrine in a simple, familiar manner, without any pomp of human eloquence, and so that all minds could understand Him. His miracles, divine in themselves, are still more divine from the way in which He wrought them. He wished that the account of the Evangelists should agree with the  perfect simplicity of His own life. It is impossible to give in a more simple manner than they have done the account of a life,, and of words and actions, which bear on them they very impress of Divinity.

Opening Prayer

Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy  faithful, and
kindle in them the fire of Thine love. Send forth Thy
Spirit, and they shall be created; and Thou shall renew the
face of the earth.

O God, you instructed the hearts of the faithful by the
light of the Holy Spirit. Grant us by the same Spirit to be
truly wise and ever to rejoice in His consolation, through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Novena Prayer
“Flos Carmeli” by St. Simon Stock

Flos Carmeli Flower of Carmel
Vitis florigera Vine blossom-laden
Splendor Coeli Splendor of Heaven
Virgo puerpera Child-bearing Virgin
Singularis! None equals thee

Mater mitis Mother benign
Sed viri nescia Who no man didst know
Carmelitis On Carmel’s children
Da privilegia Thy favors bestow
Stella Maris! Star of the Sea

(Mention your petitions here.)

Concluding Prayers

Blessed Mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity.
There are none that can withstand Your power.
Sweet Mother, I place this cause into you hands.
Show us herein that you are our Mother.

O Mother of Fair Love, through your goodness we are not only your children but persons called to live in the spirit of Carmel.

Help us to live in charity with one another, prayerful as the Prophet Elias of old, and mindful of our divine call.

O Mary, conceived without original sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
O Mary, conceived without original sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
O Mary, conceived without original sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Our Father..., Hail Mary..., Glory be...

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us.

The Litany of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world...
God the Holy Ghost...
Holy Trinity, One God...

Holy Mary, pray for us sinners.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Queen of heaven...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Vanquisher of Satan...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Most Dutiful Daughter...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Most Pure Virgin...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Most Devoted Spouse...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Most Tender Mother...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Perfect Model of Virtue...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Sure Anchor of Hope...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Refuge in affliction...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Dispensatrix of God's gifts...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Tower of strength against our foes...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our aid in danger...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Road leading to Jesus...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our light in darkness...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our consolation at the hour of death...
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Advocate of the most abandoned sinners...

For those hardened in vice,
with confidence we come to thee O Lady of Mount Carmel.
For those who grieve thy Son...
For those who neglect to pray...
For those who are in their agony...
For those who delay their conversion...
For those suffering in Purgatory...
For those who know thee not...

Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Hope of the Despairing
Intercede for us with thy Divine Son.

(Let Us Pray)

O God, who has honored the Order of Carmel with the
special title of thy Blessed Mother Mary, ever Virgin,
grant in thy mercy that we who keep her memory this day
may be shielded by her protection and be found worthy
to attain unto joy eternal. Who livest and reignest with
God the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God,
world without end. Amen.

Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our Mother, penetrated with the most lively
confidence in your all-powerful and never failing
intercession, manifested so often through the Scapular, we
your loving and trustful children implore you to obtain
for us the graces and favors we ask during this Novena, if
they be beneficial to our immortal soul, and the souls
which we pray.

You know, O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, our Immaculate Mother
and Queen of Carmel, how often our souls have been the
sanctuaries of your Son Who disdains iniquity. Obtain for
us then a deep hatred of sin and that purity of heart which
will attach us to God alone so that our every thought,
word, and deed, may tend to his greater glory.

Obtain for us also a spirit of prayer and self-denial that we
may recover by penance what we have lost by sin and at
length attain to that blessed abode where you are Queen of
angels and of people. Amen.

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Salvation is in the "Blood of the Lamb"

Apocalypse XIV now unfolding (cf., our posts "The Wine of the Wrath of God" and "After Pope Benedict XVI, the 'Last' Roman Pontiff?"). The divine chastisement of world-wide conflagration (Lk. 17.29-30, cf., our post "Our Lady, Vatican II Disorientation, and the Annihilation of Many Nations") to annihilate the 'super-power' and cities and nations drunk with the wine of its immodesty, impurity, fornication, homosexuality, and blasphemies (Apoc. 14.8) is imminent - the close of our end-times period (distinct from the consummation of the world, Mt. 28.20).

They... have made them white in the Blood of the Lamb
(Apoc. 7.14) ... All things... are cleansed with Blood: and without shedding of Blood there is no remission (Heb. 9.22).

The Blood of the [Divine] Lamb can be availed of in the traditional Rite of the Sacrament of Penance (cf., our post "On Concealing Sins in Confession") and of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist (the Traditional Latin Mass). Go to our traditional Catholic Mass Centers (links on the left-side bar of this site). Flee to the mountains... (Mt. 24.16).

See also the Messages and Appeals (on the upper right-side bar) of the Apocalyptic Woman in her title of Our Lady of Fatima.