I cannot mistrust the grace of God

Sir Thomas More and his Daughter 1844, exhibited 1844 John Rogers Herbert 1810-1890 Presented by Robert Vernon 1847

And, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world.  Nothing can come but what God wills.  And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.            -St. Thomas More

Today’s feast of the martyrs Saints John Fisher and Thomas More was the perfect day to have Padre Martin Scott join us on the radio.  His religious community, Siervos de la Divina Misericordia, is dedicated to the Divine Mercy, and he spoke with us today about learning to love God and trust in His mercy and forgiveness by being merciful and forgiving ourselves. It was a great show, and we encourage you to listen here on iTunes.  We never tire of talking with Padre!

As we talked about in the beginning of the show, this second reading from today’s Office of Readings (for today’s optional feast), is a beautiful lesson in trust, taken from a letter St. Thomas More wrote to his daughter Meg from prison. (The English Works of Sir Thomas More, London, 1557, p. 1454)

Although I know well, Margaret, that because of my past wickedness I deserve to be abandoned by God, I cannot but trust in his merciful goodness.  His grace has strengthened me until now and made me content to lose goods, land, and life as well, rather than to swear against my conscience.  God’s grace has given the king a gracious frame of mind toward me, so that as yet he has taken from me nothing but my liberty.  In doing this His Majesty has done me such great good with respect to spiritual profit that I trust that among all the great benefits he has heaped so abundantly upon me I count my imprisonment the very greatest.  I cannot, therefore, mistrust the grace of God.  Either he shall keep the king in that gracious frame of mind to continue to do me no harm, or else, if it be his pleasure that for my other sins I suffer in this case as I shall not deserve, then his grace shall give me the strength to bear it patiently, and perhaps even gladly.

By the merits of his bitter passion joined to mine and far surpassing in merit for me all that I can suffer myself, his bounteous goodness shall release me from the pains of purgatory and shall increase my reward in heaven besides.

I will not mistrust him, Meg, though I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear.  I shall remember how Saint Peter at a blast of wind began to sink because of his lack of faith, and I shall do as he did: call upon Christ and pray to him for help.  And then I trust he shall place his holy hand on me and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning.
And if he permits me to play Saint Peter further and to fall to the ground and to swear and forswear, may God our Lord in his tender mercy keep me from this, and let me lose if it so happen, and never win thereby!  Still, if this should happen, afterward I trust that in his goodness he will look on me with pity as he did upon Saint Peter, and make me stand up again and confess the truth of my conscience afresh and endure here the shame and harm of my own fault.

And finally, Margaret, I know this well: that without my fault he will not let me be lost.  I shall, therefore, with good hope commit myself wholly to him.  And if he permits me to perish for my faults, then I shall serve as praise for his justice.  But in good faith, Meg, I trust that his tender pity shall keep my poor soul safe and make me commend his mercy.

And, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let your mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world.  Nothing can come but what God wills.  And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.

Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, pray for us

Through These Wounds

Quote

manofsorrows-memling-ca1490 copyThrough these wounds, as in a light-filled opening, we can see the entire mystery of Christ and of God: his Passion, his earthly life – filled with compassion for the weak and the sick – his incarnation in the womb of Mary.  And we can retrace the whole history of salvation: the prophecies – especially about the Servant of the Lord, the Psalms, the Law and the Covenant; to the liberation from Egypt, to the first Passover and to the blood of the slaughtered lambs; and again from the Patriarchs to Abraham, and then all the way back to Abel, whose blood cried out from the earth.  All of this we can see in the wounds of Jesus, crucified and risen; with Mary, in her Magnificat, we can perceive that, “His mercy extends from generation to generation” (cf. Lk 1:50).

-Pope Francis, homily for Divine Mercy Sunday 2015

The Stigmata of St. Francis

tumblr_maierrjNZG1rrutr7o1_400In the year 1224 St. Francis of Assisi was given a gift of grace which no one could have imagined: the sacred stigmata.  St. Francis, the ardent lover of Christ crucified, now bore in his own body the wounds of the Passion.  On this day all Franciscans celebrate the Feast of the Stigmata of Our Holy Father Francis, which was first instituted by Pope Benedict XI.  Below is the second reading from today’s office of readings

From the Legenda Minor of Saint Bonaventure

Two years before Francis, the faithful servant of Christ, gave his soul back to God, he was alone on the top of Mt. Alverna.  There he had begun a fast of forty days in honor of the archangel Michael and was immersed more deeply than usual in the delights of heavenly contemplation.  His soul became aglow with the ardor of fervent longing for heaven as he experienced within himself the operations of grace.

As he was drawn aloft through ardent longing for God one morning near the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, and was praying on the mountainside, he saw what appeared as a seraph with six bright wings gleaming like a fire descending from the heights of heaven.  As this figure approached in swift flight and came near the man of God it appeared not only winged but also crucified.  The sight of it amazed Francis and his soul experienced joy mingled with pain.  He was delighted with the sight of Christ appearing to him so graciously and intimately and yet the awe-inspiring vision of Christ nailed to the cross aroused in his soul a joy of compassionate love. Continue reading

Show Notes – A Good Habit 5/21/14

A Good Habit Show NotesGood morning, everyone! I’m trying to be super diligent and get these Show Notes posted since I’ve slacked off on posting the last ones.

On yesterday’s show we were joined by Dr. David Delaney, doctor of systematic theology and director of the Mother of the Americas Institute.  Our topic was everyone’s not-so-favorite subject: persecution and suffering.  But not just that, because the two essentials for enduring any kind of suffering are joy and hope.  The focus was on Robert P. George’s address at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast last week.  You can find the full text of the address here, or the video here (his address begins at 15:10 in the video).  These are weighty words that deserve to be read and taken to heart.

Also, on a previous episode we promised to give you the link for listening to MP3s of Fr. Mitch Pacwa’s talks on Divine Mercy which he gave here in San Antonio during the Divine Mercy SA Weekend.  Those talks will be available here.  Although I did not see them yet, there are lots of other great talks by Father you should check out.

Show Notes – A Good Habit 4/9/14

A Good Habit Show NotesOn Wednesday’s show we encouraged everyone in the San Antonio area to make plans to see Fr. Mitch Pacwa at the Divine Mercy Weekend April 25-27.  Go to www.divinemercyweekendsa.org for more information on the event and to get tickets.

Sr. Grace Marie talked about a blog post by Matthew Warner, (reprinted in the National Catholic Register): Seven Steps to a Holier Life from Mother Theresa.  The post can be found here.

Some of you had some great questions about the Easter Triduum and when Lent officially ends.  Properly speaking, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends the evening of Holy Thursday before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  That doesn’t mean you can haul out the chocolate and steak yet, though, because the fast continues through Holy Saturday, which is the 40th day of the Lenten fast (it’s technically the 46th day, but all Sundays are a celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection, thus they are not days of penance and fasting and don’t make up part of the 40 day count).

The Easter Triduum, or Paschal Triduum, is part of the 40 days of Lent, but it is its own liturgical season.  From the USCCB’s website: The summit of the Liturgical Year is the Easter Triduum—from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday. Though chronologically three days, they are liturgically one day unfolding for us the unity of Christ’s Paschal Mystery.

The single celebration of the Triduum marks the end of the Lenten season, and leads to the Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord at the Easter Vigil.

The liturgical services that take place during the Triduum are:

  • Mass of the Lord’s Supper
  • Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion
  • Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord

Lastly, the quote Sr. Grace Marie read from one of her favorite saints (whom she quotes a lot):

Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
-St. Francis de Sales

That’s good advice as we near the end of our Lenten journey through the desert.