Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2019/02/02/live-perpetual-adoration/
Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2016/10/20/st-padre-pio-sees-two-mothers-before-he-dies-mary-and-luisa-jesus-two-mamas/
The Call of St. Matthew
the Tax Collector
This excerpt from a homily on the call of Saint Matthew, the Tax Collector, by Saint Bede the Venerable (Hom. 21: CCL 122, 149-151) is used in the Roman Catholic Office of Readings for the Feast of St. Matthew, apostle and evangelist on September 21 (observed on this day at least from the 8th century). Matthew, originally called Levi and the son of Alpheus, was, as a publican, excommunicated from the life of the synagogue and shunned in Jewish society. The fathers of the Church find a figure of the four evangleists in the four living creatures mentioned by Ezechiel and in the New Testament book of Revelation, and Matthew is seen symbolized by the man, since he begins his gospel with the human genealogy of Jesus. St. Bede the Venerable was one of the earliest and most important Christian writers from Britain. This homily on the gospel story of St. Matthew the Tax Collector become apostle (Matthew 9:9-13), was first given by St. Bede in the early 8th century.
Jesus saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office, and he said to him: Follow me. Jesus saw Matthew, not merely in the usual sense, but more significantly with his merciful understanding of men.
He saw the tax collector and, because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him, he said to him: Follow me. This following meant imitating the pattern of his life – not just walking after him. St. John tells us: Whoever says he abides in Christ ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
And he rose and followed him. There is no reason for surprise that the tax collector abandoned earthly wealth as soon as the Lord commanded him. Nor should one be amazed that neglecting his wealth, he joined a band of men whose leader had, on Matthew’s assessment, no riches at all. Our Lord summoned Matthew by speaking to him in words. By an invisible, interior impulse flooding his mind with the light of grace, he instructed him to walk in his footsteps. In this way Matthew could understand that Christ, who was summoning him away from earthly possessions, had incorruptible treasures of heaven in his gift.
As he sat at table in the house, behold many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. This conversion of one tax collector gave many men, those from his own profession and other sinners, an example of repentance and pardon. Notice also the happy and true anticipation of his future status as apostle and teacher of the nations. No sooner was he converted than Matthew drew after him a whole crowd of sinners along the same road to salvation. He took up his appointed duties while still taking his first steps in the faith, and from that hour he fulfilled his obligation and thus grew in merit. To see a deeper understanding of the great celebration Matthew held at his house, we must realise that he not only gave a banquet for the Lord at his earthly residence, but far more pleasing was the banquet set in his own heart which he provided through faith and love. Our Savior attests to this: Behold I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
On hearing Christ’s voice, we open the door to receive him, as it were, when we freely assent to his promptings and when we give ourselves over to doing what must be done. Christ, since he dwells in the hearts of his chosen ones through the grace of his love, enters so that he might eat with us and we with him. He ever refreshes us by the light of his presence insofar as we progress in our devotion to and longing for the things of heaven. He himself is delighted by such a pleasing banquet.
FROM THE BOOK OF HEAVEN
V35 – 12.14.37 – “How beautiful is the beginning of the Day of one who Lives in Our Fiat. It is the enchantment of all the Heaven. If the Celestial Court were subject to envy, It would envy the one who is so fortunate as to possess, within her soul—while still living in time—the beginning of the Eternal Day—the precious Day in which God begins to Live His Life together with the creature.
“Now, as soon as she begins the second act in the Divine Volition, the Sun of My Eternal Will Rises. The Fullness of Its Light is such as to Invest the whole of earth, visiting all hearts and bringing the ‘good morning’ of Light and New Joys to all the Celestial Court. This Light is crammed with Love, Adoration, Thanksgiving, Gratitude, Glory and Benediction—but whom do these belong to? To the creature who, with her act in My Will, made the Sun Rise that shines over all, so that all may find the one who loved God for them—the one who adored Him, thanked Him, blessed Him and glorified Him. Everyone finds the thing that he was supposed to do for God. She compensates for everyone. One Act in My Will must enclose everything. It has the Power and the Capacity to make up for everyone and to do Good to all; otherwise It could not be called ‘Act, done in My Will.’ These Acts are full of Unheard-of Prodigies, Worthy of Our Creative Work.
“Now, as she turns to her third act in Our Will, the Full Afternoon of Our Eternal Sun is formed within the creature. Do you know what she gives Us with this Full Afternoon? She prepares a banquet for Us. And do you know what she gives Us for food? The Love We have given to her—Our Divine Qualities. Everything carries the mark of Our Beauty and of Our Chaste and Pure Perfumes. We like it so much that We eat Our fill; and even if something may be missing for Our Status, since the creature is in Our Will, she is the owner of all Our Goods; she takes from Our Treasure whatever is needed, and prepares for Us the most beautiful banquet, Worthy of Our Supreme Majesty. And We invite all the Angels and the Saints to sit at this Celestial banquet, so that they may take and eat with Us, of the Love that We received from the creature who Lives in Our Will. Now, after We’ve banqueted together, the other acts that she does in Our Will serve—some to form for Us Celestial melodies, some Loving chants, some the most Beautiful scenes; some others repeat Our Works, which are always in action. In sum, she keeps Us always busy. And when she has given course to all her actions in Our Will, We give her rest, resting together with her. After the rest, We begin the Work, starting another Day, and so forth.
“Many times, this loyal daughter of Ours—since true loyalty consists in Living in Our Divine Will—seeing that her brothers and sisters are about to be struck by the deserved chastisements for their sins, doesn’t close her Day, but prays and suffers to beseech Graces for their souls as well as for their bodies. The Life of one who Lives in My Divine Will is New Joy and Glory for Heaven, and Help and Graces for the earth.”
Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2015/09/21/feast-of-st-matthew-banquet-of-love/
ST. PADRE PIO
A collection of memories of the Servant of God
BERNARDINO GIUSEPPE BUCCI, O.F.M.
Blessed Padre Pio, Luisa Piccarreta and Rosaria Bucci
Luisa Piccarreta and Blessed Padre Pio of Pietrelcina knew one another for some time without ever having met, for Luisa was always confined to the bed where she sat, while Padre Pio was enclosed in the friary of the Capuchin Fathers of San Giovanni Rotondo.5
One question naturally arises, how did they come to know one another?
This is difficult to discover, yet one thing is certain, that the two did know and esteem one another.
My aunt recounts how Luisa would speak with respect and veneration of the blessed father, describing him as a “true man of God“, who still had great suffering to face for the good of souls.
In about 1930, a well-known figure arrived at Luisa’s house, sent personally by Padre Pio. He was Federico Abresch, a convert of Padre Pio. Federico spoke at length with Luisa. What they said we are not given to know; but one thing is certain. Federico Abresch became an apostle of the Divine Will and regularly visited Luisa, with whom he always had long conversations.
When his little son received his first communion from Padre Pio’s hands, he was also immediately taken to see Luisa who, according to the story, foretold that he would become a priest.
The small boy of that time is now a priest and works at the Congregation for Bishops in Rome; he is known by the name of Mgr. Pio Abresch.
When Luisa was condemned by the Holy Office and her works put on the Index, Padre Pio sent her this message though Federico Abresch: “Dear Luisa, saints serve for the good of souls, but their suffering knows no bounds“. At that time Padre Pio was also in very great difficulties.
Blessed Padre Pio sent many people to Luisa Piccarreta and would say to the people of Corato who went to San Giovanni Rotondo: “What have you come here for? You have Luisa, go to her“.
Padre Pio recommended to certain of his faithful (including Federico Abresch) that they open a spirituality center at San Giovanni Rotondo, inspired by the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta.
Miss Adriana Pallotti (a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio) is currently an heir to Padre Pio’s wishes. She has opened a House of the Divine Will at San Giovanni Rotondo, keeping alive the torch lit by Padre Pio with Federico Abresch. Miss Adriana Pallotti says that it was Blessed Padre Pio who encouraged her to spread Luisa Piccarreta’s spirituality in San Giovanni Rotondo and to help disseminate the Divine Will throughout the world, as Padre Pio desired.
Aunt Rosaria went regularly to San Giovanni Rotondo, especially after Luisa’s death. Padre Pio knew her very well, and when Luisa was still alive he would ask Aunt Rosaria when he saw her: “Rosa’, how is Luisa?“.
Aunt Rosaria would answer him: “She is well!“.
After Luisa’s death, Aunt Rosaria increased her visits to San Giovanni Rotondo, in order to receive enlightenment and advice from Padre Pio.
…Luisa said to my aunt: “You will be my witness” and one day Padre Pio told her point-blank in his Benevento dialect: “Rosa’, va nanz, va nanz ca Luisa iè gran e u munn sarà chin di Luisa” (Rosaria, go ahead, go ahead for Luisa is great and the world will be full of Luisa). My aunt often recounted this episode, but things were not going well: everything indicated that Luisa would soon be forgotten.
After the venerated Padre Pio’s death, my aunt said one day: “Padre Pio prophesied that Luisa would be known throughout the world“. And she repeated the phrase Padre Pio had said in his dialect.
I answered that there would be no easy solution to the case of Luisa Piccarreta Indeed nothing further was said of it in Corato either, and Padre Pio’s words could have been considered merely a comforting remark. But Aunt Rosaria retorted: “No! During my confession Padre Pio told me that Luisa is not a human factor, she is a work of God and he himself will make her emerge. The world will be astounded at her greatness; not many years will pass before this happens. The new millennium will see Luisa’s light“.
Excerpts from the Letters of the Servant of God Luisa Piccareta
Letter #74 – To Mrs. Caterina Valentino, from S. Giovanni Rotondo, Foggia:
…I commend myself to your prayers. Tell Padre Pio to pray very much for us, as the storm shows no sign of ceasing; we are always under lightening and thunders, which seem to want to burn us up. Fiat! Let us remain always in the Divine Will. With heartfelt obsequies I say,
the little daughter of the Divine Will.
Corato, April 27, 1939
Letter #89 – To Frederico Abresch:
Dearest son in the Divine Volition, since you are near holy Padre Pio, talk to him about our things, that he may talk about them with the Lord; and if the Lord wants, let him tell you something. Entrust me to his prayers, for I need them very much. Kiss his hands for me.
Most affectionately yours,
the little daughter of the Divine Will.
Corato, August 5, 1940
Letter #132 – To Frederico Abresch:
Most esteemed son in the Divine Volitio,
I answer to your dear letter. To hear that you speak of the Divine Will and that you want to know more about It is a great joy for me, knowing how content Jesus is to find a soul who wants to live of Divine Will. This creature is His Triumph and His Victory. And even if in the past He was wounded by this creature, He looks at these wounds, smiles and says: “I have conquered her; she is My victory,” and He shows her around to all of Heaven to make feast. And as fulfillment of His Victory, He centralizes all His Goods in her: the Goods of Creation and of Redemption, and gives her the right over everything. And the, wanting to know a Good means wanting to possess it; it is like the appetite for food.
I am sorry for Padre Pio, if he makes a dark face. We do not speak of what the Church has prohibited, but of what the Church Herself does not yet know. And the day will come when the Church will know and appreciate, with Triumph and Victory. Nor can there be true Peace or true Triumph if the Divine Will is not known. Our Lord will make the greatest miracles to make His Will reign upon earth. Therefore, let us pray that the time will be shortened and that everything will be changed into Will of God.
I commend myself to your prayers. Kiss the hands of Padre Pio for me. And leaving you all in the Sea of the Divine Will, that you may all Live from Its Sanctity, Love and Light, to be able to embrace everything and everyone, and to do Good to all, with the Love of Its Fiat, I send my regards to all,
The little daughter of the Divine Will.
Corato, November 27, 1944
Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2013/09/23/st-padre-pio/
Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2020/09/08/archbishop-vigano-leads-launch-rosary-of-54-day-rosary-crusade-u-s-election-novena/
THE BIG GUNS
Fight, Church Militant. Fight.
September 4, 2020
Given the times we live in at this moment — and, to be clear, the times you were specifically created for by Almighty God — a look back at the happenings of the wedding feast at Cana can be instructive.
It was a pretty big wedding, with important people (whoever they were). There were lots of guests, which is why there were servants. And there was a captain of the feast, so this was a big-deal wedding. Of course, Our Blessed Lord and some of His disciples were with Him, along with Our Lady.
She asks Him to perform His first miracle (and thus to reveal His divinity). He complies. But it’s what He does and how He does it that is our point of reflection. He doesn’t just change water into wine. He does something else first. A big-deal wedding always had a series of water jars for Jewish ceremonial rules and so forth.
Our Lord could have instantly filled them with wine, but He didn’t. He first told the servants to fill them with water. Now consider that — a big wedding, lots of jars, much water, no plumbing, a lot of work.
Gallons and gallons of water would need to have been hauled from the town well: Servants schlepping back and forth in the heat of the day like a kind of bucket brigade. Why? Because Divinity desires that humanity be intimately involved in the work of salvation.
Our Lord could have, but He didn’t. He chose to have men first exhaust themselves in the work proper to them — physical toiling in the material world. And St. John specifically records for us that they filled the jars with water to the brim, meaning they could not do one more thing.
They had done everything they could possibly do. They left it all on the field, to use the expression from sports. Then and only then does God say, “Thank you. Now step back and behold.” It is the utmost grace to be chosen to participate with Christ in His salvation.
No, He does not need you, but He wants you. We must do everything we can do so Our Blessed Lord can involve us in what is always His work. As the psalmist says, “For it is you who have accomplished all we have done.” So what precisely is it we are to do in this time and space, given the particulars of our day?
First, we must recognize the reality on the ground. Just as Our Blessed Mother saw there was no wine, we must see and understand that authentic spirituality has been drained from the culture. America is, in many ways, a moral wasteland — laid waste by a Marxist push beginning with the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s.
That revolution had as its goal the destruction of the fabric of society — the family — and most importantly, the canceling of masculinity and paternity. With the natural order of society thus destroyed, the unnatural order could be imposed by the State.
And since the natural order flows from God (God as in Father), the unnatural order flows from the demonic, from Hell, which is kind of evident when you look at various cities in America today. They look like “little Hells.” However imperfectly, there is a recognition on the part of Trump that this is a battle whose most important dimension is spiritual.
For the record, the other side essentially told God to take a hike. So here we are, faced with two visions of America — two courses, two roads to take with everything on the line. In the lead-up to the election, faithful Catholics (meaning you and us) must do everything we can to fill the jars with water to the brim — electioneering, talking, getting involved in the battle. No stone can be left unturned. We must fill the jars to the absolute brim.
What we are fighting for is the survival of a culture that allows a space for religion, for God. And while that would become a whole different battle as we advance the one true Faith (which should have been done decades ago), that simply will not be possible if the other side wins.
Marxist atheism must be dealt a fatal blow — right here, now, at this moment of history. This far and no farther. Now, to that end (with all we have to do in the material world), we are not just corporeal beings. We are a composite of spirit and body — material and immaterial. So we have a duty in both areas, in each realm.
This requires, demands actually, just as intense an effort on the spiritual plane. Church Militant is announcing its own 54-day Rosary Novena on behalf of the Church and the nation beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 8, the feast day of the birth of Our Blessed Mother.
As many of you know, the entire staff gathers together each weekday morning in our chapel at 8 a.m. ET to pray the Liturgy of the Hours and the Holy Rosary. Many of you join us for that. Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 8, we will be offering the Rosary first, straight-up, at 8 a.m. ET, for the following 54 days.
The Rosary is an especially powerful weapon against Satan because of precisely where your thoughts are directed — to the life of Our Blessed Lord, the Savior, and His mission to open up the path to salvation as recorded for us in the gospels.
These meditations occur against the backdrop of the scriptural honor to the Queen of Heaven, who, as Scripture tells us, crushes his head. The Woman of Genesis was the instigator, as it were, of Christ’s first miracle and is our source of appeal for more miracles.
And notice the use of the term “weapon.” It is a weapon. It’s like a spiritual Gatling gun reeling off bullet after bullet against the Devil. You know this already. What Church Militant is doing is trying to inspire you to join us, to take the pledge today to sign up and commend the life of the Church and the nation to the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven.
We sent out a small advance notice of this a couple days ago, and, in just a short period, 3,000 people made the pledge to pray with us every day, starting Tuesday, Sept. 8. So now we are making the invitation official and more far-reaching: Please click on the provided link and take the pledge!
Of course, not everyone will be able to pray with us live at 8 a.m. ET every weekday, but those of you who can are strongly encouraged to. But whether you pray with us live or on your own, please join with us spiritually. We are the Church Militant — that dynamic of the Church still engaged in the battle, and this battle is ferocious.
No matter how much water the servants brought to the jars at the wedding feast, only Heaven could make the water become wine. So we need to do both the material and the spiritual. Time for the big guns.
And, on top of it all, after all the attacks against various images and statues of Our Blessed Mother during the communist-inspired attacks, what a lovely birthday present to give our Mother and Queen — a promise to pray for her to crush the Serpent’s head.
Remember, as all loyal sons and daughters of the Church know, Heaven is never outdone in generosity. Fight in both worlds — the material and the spiritual. Fight, Church Militant, fight.
Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2020/09/08/the-big-guns/
The origin of this miraculous image in Czestochowa, Poland is unknown for absolute certainty, but according to tradition the painting was a portrait of Our Lady done by St. John sometime after the Crucifixion of Our Lord and remained in the Holy Land until discovered by St. Helena of the Cross in the fourth century. The painting was taken to Constaninople, where St. Helena’s son, the Emperor Constantine, erected a church for its enthronement. This image was revered by the people of the city.
Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2020/08/26/our-lady-of-czestochowa/
Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2020/08/24/now-is-the-time-for-the-gospel-of-the-kingdom-of-the-divine-will/
Miracle of the Sun seen by some of the 100 participants below:
Drinking water from the source of the Spring
Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2020/08/24/august-15-weekend-retreat-in-rome-city-indiana/
Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2020/08/15/consecration-prayer-for-august-15-2020-through-the-intercession-of-the-servant-of-god-luisa-piccarreta/
Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2020/08/15/feast-of-the-assumption-of-the-blessed-virgin-mary-into-heaven-2/
Praying in the Divine Will through Luisa’s intercession in honor of Our Lady of America
Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2020/08/07/54-day-rosary-miracle-novena/
The Latin name of today’s feast in the Tridentine Missal and Breviary is “Sancti Petri ad Vincula”, which is translated literally as “the feast of St Peter at the chains”, not “the feast of St Peter’s chains” or “of St Peter in chains.” This title is found in the oldest liturgical books which attest to it, and even earlier, in the list of the station churches given by the lectionary of Wurzburg, from the mid-seventh century. (Stations are kept there on the Mondays of the first week of Lent and the Pentecost octave.)
The beginning of the calendar for August in the Echternach Sacramentary. (895 A.D.; Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Latin 9433) “On the Kalends of August, (the feast of) St Peter at the chains, and the birth of the seven Maccabee brothers with their mother.”
Like many specifically Roman feasts, it began as the dedication feast of a basilica, which in this case is located on the Esquiline hill, within sight of the Colosseum. When a city has more than one church dedicated to the same Saint, they are often distinguished from each other by nicknames; the appellation “at the chains” would therefore serve to distinguish it from the Vatican basilica. Its great antiquity is demonstrated by the fact that it was restored by Pope Sixtus III in the 430s; an inscription which records the restoration mentions that the building was already considered old, and that the Pope re-dedicated it to both Apostolic founders of the See of Rome.
The breviary refers very obliquely to a tradition stated more explicitly in the Golden Legend and elsewhere, namely, that the Romans dedicated the month of August to honoring the Emperor Augustus’ memory, and that this second feast of St Peter was created to supplant this holiday. It is true that the Latin names for the seventh and eighth months of the year were originally “Quintilis” and “Sextilis”, and that the Emperor Augustus renamed the former for his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, and the latter for himself. However, it is not likely that the cult of “the divine Augustus” was so vibrant in the mid-5th century as to require serious opposition from the Church. There are 32 days between June 29th, St Peter’s principal feast day, and August 1st; this perhaps suggests the tradition that Peter was bishop of Antioch for seven years, and bishop of Rome for twenty-five, a total of 32 as the visible head of the Church, one less than the 33 years of Our Lord’s earthly life.
The breviary lessons for the feast day also give the traditional story of the church’s famous relic. When the Empress Eudocia, the wife of Theodosius II, went to Jerusalem in the year 438, she received as a gift the chain by which St Peter was held in prison under King Herod, as narrated in the Epistle of the feast day, Acts 12, 1-11. She then sent it to her daughter Eudoxia in Rome, who in turn presented it to the Pope. When it was exposed for the veneration of the faithful together with the chain by which Peter had been held during his imprisonment in Rome under the Emperor Nero, the two chains were miraculously united, so as to appear to be a single chain.
Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2020/08/01/sancti-petri-ad-vincula-the-feast-of-st-peter-at-the-chains-august-1/
Permanent link to this article: https://bookofheaven.org/2020/07/30/bishop-fulton-j-sheen-patriotism/