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

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fourth Day of Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel


Consideration: The Truly Devout Christian (II)

The true devout man is a man of prayer, whose sole delight is to be with God, and to speak with Him, and who scarcely ever loses his sense of the presence of God. Not that he is always thinking of God – for that is impossible here below – but because he is always united to God in his heart, and is guided in everything by His Spirit... He prefers the prayer in which he gives much to God [for “prayer does not consist in thinking much but in loving much” (St. Teresa of Jesus) just as Our Lord has loved us to its summit on the Cross and continues to love us at the summit of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass – the Discalced Friars of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel] – in which he suffers for his Beloved to Whom he is devoted – the prayer in which self-love is undermined gradually until that same self-love can nothing to feed upon; in short, a simple prayer...

The true devout man seeks not himself or his own gratification in the service of God, and he endeavors to practice this maxim of the “Imitation of Christ:” Wherever you find self, renounce self.

The truly devout man studies to fulfil perfectly all the duties of his state [as a layman (single or married), a religious, or a cleric], and all his really necessary duties of kindness and courtesy to society. He is faithful to his devotional practices but he is not a slave to them; he interrupts them, he suspends them, he even gives them up altogether for a time, when any reason of necessity or of simple charity requires it. Provided he does not do his own will, he is always certain of doing the Will of God.

The truly devout man does not run about seeking for good works, but he waits until the occasion of doing good presents itself to him. He does what in him lies to ensure success; but he leaves the care of the success to God. He prefers those good works which are obscure and done in secret to those which are brilliant and gain general admiration; but he does not shrink from these latter ones when they are for the glory of God and the edification of his neighbor. The truly devout man does not burden himself with a great quantity of vocal prayers and practices which do not leave him time to breathe... He is neither scrupulous nor uneasy about himself; he goes on with simplicity and confidence.

He has made a determination, once for all, to refuse nothing to God, to grant nothing to self-love, and never to commit a voluntary fault; but he does not perplex himself; he goes on courageously; he is not too particular. If he falls into a fault, he does not agitate himself; he humbles himself at the sight of own weakness; he raises himself up, and thinks no more about it.

He is not astonished at his weaknesses, at his falls or his imperfections; he is never discouraged. He knows that he can do nothing, but that God can do everything. He does not rely upon his own good thoughts and resolution, but simply upon the grace and goodness of God. If he were to fall a hundred times a day, he would not despair; but he would stretch out his arms lovingly to God, and beg of Him to lift him up and to take pity on Him.

The truly devout man has a horror of evil, but he has a still greater love of good. He thinks more about practicing virtue than about avoiding vice. He is generous, large-hearted, and courageous; and when there is a question of exposing himself to danger for God’s sake, he does not fear wounds.

No one is so amiable in the ordinary intercourse of life as a really devout man. He is simple, straightforward, open as the day, unpretentious, gentle, solid, and true; his conversation is pleasing and interesting; he can enter into all innocent amusements; and he carries his condescending kindness and charity as far as possible, short of what is wrong. Whatever some persons may say, true devotion is never a melancholy thing, either for himself or for others. How should the man who continually enjoys the truest happiness, the only happiness, be ever sad? It is the inordinate passions of our [fallen and wounded] human nature which are sad – avarice, ambition, love which is not sanctified by God and has not God for its [chief goal and purpose]. And it is to divert themselves from the trouble and uneasiness which these passions cause the heart that men plunge themselves recklessly into pleasures and excesses, which they vary continually, but which weary the soul, without ever satisfying it.

Whoever really and in sincerity gives himself up to the service of God will experience the truth of that sentence: “To serve God, is to reign,” even if in poverty, in humiliation, and in suffering. All those who in this world seek their happiness in something that is not God, all, without exception, will verify the saying of St. Augustine: “Thou hast made us for Thyself and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee.”

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

When you gave us, Gracious Lady, the Scapular as our Habit, you called us to be not only servants, but also your own dear children.
We ask you to gain for us from your Son the grace to live as your children in joy, peace and charity. 

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.

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.