Friday, April 22, 2011


We are now in the season of Lent, and fasting is one of the very important elements of its observance.  But what is the true essence of fasting?  The saints knew very well the real meaning of fasting, saints such as St. Maximus of Turin and St. Francis de Sales just to name a few.  Let's learn from what these saints taught about fasting.

Excerpts from St. Maximus of Turin's Sermo. 35 on Fasting.

1.  By fasting we control the passions of the body; by prayer we nourish the soul.
2.  There is a useless and empty fast that empties the stomach and the intestines but does not empty the mind of worldliness and the heart of wickedness.
3.  What's the use of abstaining from food while the soul is indulging in sin.  The body is weakened by fasting while the soul grows stronger in wickedness. The body refrains from strong wine while the thoughts wallow in the wine of avarice.  Such fasting weakens the body but does not save the soul.
4.  True fasting is to fast from sin, from food and even from the good things in life.  The body abstain from food so that the soul may abstain from vices.
5.  True fasting is meant to draw God's pity on us.  The only fasting pleasing to God is when we chastise our bodies with abstinence while clothing our souls with humility.

And some words of wisdom from St. Francis de Sales about fasting, he said:

"A man given to fasting thinks himself very devout if he fasts, although his heart may be filled with hatred.  Much concerned with sobriety, he does not dare to wet his tongue with wine or even water but won't hesitate to drink deep of his neighbor's blood by detraction and calumny."

St. Maximus of Turin, pray for us.
St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Name:  Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger
Birthday:  April 16, 1927
Birthplace:  Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, Germany
Father:  Joseph Ratzinger, Sr.
Mother:  Maria Peintner
Siblings:  Older brother Georg and 
              older sister Maria who died in 1991
Priestly ordination:  June 29, 1951

cc photo by Sergey Gabdurakhmanov on flickr
- He obtained his doctorate in Theology with a thesis entitled "People and House of God in St. Augustine's Doctrine of the Church" in 1953.

- Appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising in March of 1977 by Pope Paul VI.

- Received episcopal ordination on May 28, 1977.

- Made Cardinal by Pope Paul VI on June 27, 1977.

- Appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and President of the Pontifical Biblical Commission and of the International Theological Commission on November 25, 1981 by Pope John Paul II.

- Elected Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals on November 6, 1998.

- Elected Dean of the College of Cardinals on November 30, 2002.

- Elected Pope on April 19, 2005.

- Announced his resignation as Pontiff on February 11, 2013.

- Pope Benedict XVI step down as Pope on February 28, 2013.

cc photo by Catholicus Fluminensis  on flickr

Reckon up the priests from the days that Peter sat, and in their ancestral ranks, note who succeeded whom; for that is the rock over which the gates of hell shall never prevail.

                      -St. Augustine


- Time, May 2, 2005, Vol. 165, No. 17

Friday, April 8, 2011


Werner, the famous German poet, was born and reared a Protestant. Later he became a convert to Catholicism.  A member of the royal household criticized him for doing so:  "I do not like those who change their religion.  I think they are doing something wrong." "Prince," answered Werner, "I am also of your Majesty's opinion.  I think that Luther, in changing his religion, did what was indeed very wrong, and for that reason I have returned to the religion he left."

                                                           - Anecdotes of the Great
                                                                Compiled by J. Maurus

Source:  Kerygma, Issue Seventy Seven, September 1996

Friday, April 1, 2011


Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

I had wondered for a long time why God had preferences and why all souls did not receive an equal amount of grace.  I was astonished to see how He showered extraordinary favors on saints who had sinned against Him, saints such as St. Paul and St. Augustine.  He forced them, as it were, to accept His graces. I was just as astonished when I read the lives of saints to see that Our Lord cherished certain favored souls from the cradle to the grave and never allowed any kind of obstacle to check their flight towards Him.  He bestowed such favors on them that they were unable to tarnish the spotless splendor of their baptismal robe.  I also wondered why such vast numbers of poor savages died before they had even heard the name of God.

Jesus saw fit to enlighten me about this mystery.  He set the book of nature before me and I saw that all the flowers He has created are lovely. The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm.  I realized that if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wild flowers to make the meadows gray.

It's just the same in the world of souls which is the garden of Jesus. He has created the great saints who are like the lilies and the roses, but He has also created much lesser saints and they must be content to be the daisies or the violets which rejoice His eyes whenever He glances down. Perfection consists in doing His will, in being that which He wants us to be.  I also understood that God's love shows itself just as well in the simplest soul which puts up no resistance to His grace as it does in the loftiest soul.

- Source:  Marian Messenger, Volume 2, Issue No. 5