Watch and learn. I didn’t get it right myself.
Does it seem odd to you? This century is not very old but the number of Christians losing their lives because of their faith is growing.
Here’s some resources on this trend:
Martyrdom in the XXI Century
O, you are truly sweet, Virgin Mary! For has there ever been anyone who, filled with bitterness, called upon you, the Sweetest One, and left without being comforted? Has there ever been anyone who, heartbroken and filled with grief, approached you and was not immediately strengthened? Has there been anyone who, tormented by vexing temptations, did not experience the sweetness of your heart? You comfort, strengthen, support, and uplift all those who are oppressed, crying, tempted, and depressed. You are sweet to all, gracious to all. I wish I could express how sweet you are as well as I understand that you are sweet! For even though the entire Christian world experiences and tastes your sweetness, it is not able to express it.
Inspectio Cordis — Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski
Here follows a quote by Kevin O’Brien (Theater of the Word)
My friends, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. We are the most literate culture in history, and thousands of volumes of the greatest works of literature can be carried in a cell phone in your pocket. The Bible has never been more accessible to more people at any time ever.
And yet we are stunningly illiterate.
Well, nobody said that having access to vast amounts of information would make you knowledgeable.
We are all in the process of being formed–formed to have certain attitudes, philosophies, etc. They are often from the media we take in.
But, what if the menu contains 1,000,000,000 items? (actually more…) What do we choose? Who do we listen to?
In the end, the most important person to listen to is the one who meets you on the other side, when this life is over, the “Judge of the living and the dead.”
But still, it’s important to have historical and cultural literacy too. We do not live in a vacuum. Knowing what was said in the past can help prevent one from falling for a scheme in the present that is doomed to fail. Also, when you know how old many ideas are, they seem less “novel” more more “ancient.” Some people talk about the Bible being an old book, but do they know their ancient Greek philosophy? Many allegedly “new ideas” were thought about back then. The most important ideas are the eternal ones, of course.
You might say “knowledge is power,” or perhaps, “knowledge can keep you from being gullible.” Either way, there is a need for literacy of the classics.
There are many classic Mariological works online, and some of them are even in English!
This one is a defense written about 12 years prior to the Dogma, defending the teaching of the Immaculate Conception. This English translation is from 1855, one year after the dogma was declared.
A Polemical Treatise on the Immaculate Conception by Luigi Lambruschini. You can download the book as a PDF file by clicking on the gear icon.
Do you want to hear a brief (15 minutes) radio drama about him? Click below:
Hour of St. Francis: God and the Gambler
This book could be called “True Devotion before De Montfort’s True Devotion.” It actually has a section called “The Motives Which May Help Us To Obtain True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
A brief example: If then I can shew, that the love, with which Almighty God regards the Blessed Virgin Mary, is inconceivably great, I shall prove, at the same time, that she deserves to be loved by us beyond all that can be expressed.
Why didn’t somebody tell me?
Well, somebody has now, and I have discovered a rather important find in the world of books on the Spiritual Life. In fact, it’s such a classic that the whole thing is out on the Internet:
The Three Ages of the Interior Life by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.
Now, the title is not all that catchy, and some other things I’ve read by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange are not necessarily the most exciting. Here, however, he is in his element, and this is incredibly useful reading.
He starts with something very simple:
I. The One Thing Necessary
As everyone can easily understand, the interior life is an elevated form of intimate conversation which everyone has with himself as soon as he is alone, even in the tumult of a great city. From the moment he ceases to converse with his fellow men, man converses interiorly with himself about what preoccupies him most. This conversation varies greatly according to the different ages of life; that of an old man is not that of a youth. It also varies greatly according as a man is good or bad.
So that’s what the interior life is. But, it can change into something different…
The interior life of a just man who tends toward God and who already lives by Him is indeed the one thing necessary. To be a saint, neither intellectual culture nor great exterior activity is a requisite; it suffices that we live profoundly by God. This truth is evident in the saints of the early Church; several of those saints were poor people, even slaves. It is evident also in St. Francis, St. Benedict Joseph Labre, in the Cure of Ars, and many others. They all had a deep understanding of these words of our Savior: “For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?” If people sacrifice so many things to save the life of the body, which must ultimately die, what should we not sacrifice to save the life of our soul, which is to last forever?
This is just the beginning, but one thing is clear. The Interior Life makes all the difference.
This is a rather unusual movie, telling of the complete loss of religious freedom during the French Revolution (i.e. the State suppresses the Church), and some Frenchmen who would not stand for it.
The movie is unusual in that all the parts are played by young people under the age of 21.
This doesn’t necessarily take away from the intensity of the movie, however. Take a look at the trailer: The War of the Vendee.
There are many more movies from various parts of history (especially the 20th century) that could be made on this topic. Will we start to see more now?
Fr. Z’s review explains more about the unusual casting.
World War II to Woodstock: 24 years
Woodstock to now: 43 years
World War II was ancient history to the kids at Woodstock.
The heady days of “Post-Vatican II” experimentation, to the current younger generation, would be the equivalent of 1926 (43 years before) to the Woodstock generation.
And the liberal communities (stuck in the ’60s) wonder why they aren’t getting many vocations….
Remember the flappers? They seemed rather progressive in 1926.
I’m already praying to this deceased lady. She, like St. Gianna Molla, gave her life for the life of her son. You can almost see her saying, “If one of us has to go, I’ll go.”
She died about a year after the birth of her son, Francisco. Perhaps she could have been able to beat the cancer if she had taken treatment sooner, but she knew it would not allow Francisco a chance. The treatments after Francisco’s birth didn’t work.