Thursday, September 30, 2010


Obedience is the virtue that grants one the willingness to submit to lawful authority. When one obeys, one is "hearing" (from the Latin audire -to hear) and one is accepting the authority. Christ, Himself, is our model, as He subjected His life to His Father's authority.

"By his loving obedience to the Father, 'unto death, even death on a cross' (Phil 2:8), Jesus fulfills the atoning mission (cf. Isa 53:10) of the suffering servant, who will 'make many righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities'(Isa 53:11; cf. Rom 5:19). " CCC 623

We realize that we must practice the virtue of obedience in the natural order: in the family milieu as children subject to our parents, in the educational environment as students subject to teachers, in the business world as employees subject to employers, and in the civil society as citizens subject to legitimate laws and leaders. In the spiritual order we owe obedience as members of Christ's Mystical Body to His Vicar on earth, our bishops, and our priests. Religious also owe obedience to their superiors.

We are provided with the Decalogue, Holy Scriptures, and Tradition as foundations for our observance of obedience.

"Indirectly, obedience also imposes obligations on those who hold authority to direct and command others. There is a right use of authority and a wrong use; it can be neglected or abused to the detriment of subjects. Therefore, every form of obedience involves obligations on the part of those in command." by Rev. Donald F. Miller, C.SS.R.

Apostle of Divine Mercy

1905 -1938
Feast Day: October 5 

Helena Kowalska  was born  on August 25, 1905 in Glogowiec, Poland to humble and devout parents. She exemplified the virtue of obedience from her childhood and throughout her life as a Sister in the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.

"From a very tender age she stood out because of her love of prayer, work, obedience, and also her sensitivity to the poor. At the age of nine she made her first Holy Communion living this moment very profoundly in her awareness of the presence of the Divine Guest within her soul."  (1)  In her teen years, she truly desired to become a religious but was obedient to her parents who did not approve.  Maria attended school for 3 years and at 16 years worked  as a housekeeper. 

After a vision of the Suffering Christ, she did enter the convent at age 20 and took the name Sister Mary Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament.  Sister Faustina lived a quiet and obedient life at several convents in Poland where she served as a cook, a gardner, and porter. Her unobtrusive life exteriorly "hid a deeply mystical inner life."  (2) 

"Externally nothing revealed her rich mystical interior life. She zealously performed her tasks and faithfully observed the rule of religious life. She was recollected and at the same time very natural, serene and full of kindness and disinterested love for her neighbor. Although her life was apparently insignificant, monotonous and dull, she hid within herself an extraordinary union with God."  (3) 

The Lord called her to be His Secretary. Here again she was obedient to Jesus and to her confessors who instructed her to record her visions, revelations, and the words of the Lord.  She wrote in her 700 page Divine Mercy in My Soul  (Diary 1693) that the Lord had called her to be his Secretary for His "most profound mystery."  (4)

"The Lord Jesus chose Sr. Mary Faustina as the Apostle and "Secretary" of His Mercy, so that she could tell the world about His great message. In the Old Covenant — He said to her —I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart (Diary 1588). (5)  

"The mission of Sister Mary Faustina consists in 3 tasks:

– reminding the world of the truth of our faith revealed in the Holy Scripture about the merciful love of God toward every human being.

– Entreating God's mercy for the whole world and particularly for sinners, among others through the practice of new forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy presented by the Lord Jesus, such as: the veneration of the image of the Divine Mercy with the inscription: Jesus, I Trust in You, the feast of the Divine Mercy celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter, chaplet to the Divine Mercy and prayer at the Hour of Mercy (3 p.m.). The Lord Jesus attached great promises to the above forms of devotion, provided one entrusted one's life to God and practiced active love of one's neighbor.

– The third task in Sr. Mary Faustina's mission consists in initiating the apostolic movement of the Divine Mercy which undertakes the task of proclaiming and entreating God's mercy for the world and strives for Christian perfection, following the precepts laid down by the Blessed Sr. Mary Faustina. The precepts in question require the faithful to display an attitude of child-like trust in God which expresses itself in fulfilling His will, as well as in the attitude of mercy toward one's neighbors. Today, this movement within the Church involves millions of people throughout the world; it comprises religious congregations, lay institutes, religious, brotherhoods, associations, various communities of apostles of the Divine Mercy, as well as individual people who take up the tasks which the Lord Jesus communicated to them through Sr. Mary Faustina." (6)

Sister Mary Faustina suffered from tuberculosis and from  innumerable sufferings which she accepted as a voluntary sacrifice for sinners.  She died in Krakow at the 33 years on October 5, 1938 with a reputation for spiritual maturity and a mystical union with God. The reputation of the holiness of her life grew as did the cult to the Divine Mercy and the graces she obtained from God through her intercession.On April 18, 1993 our Holy Father John Paul II raised Sister Faustina to the glory of the altars.  (7)


As Jesus told St. Faustina:

My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners…[I]t is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy. (Diary, 367)  (8)

As St. Faustina instructs us:

"Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God."  (Diary 1107)  (9) 

Jesus, I trust in You!
All for Thee, most Sacred Heart of Jesus. (300 days indulgence)


O Jesus, eternal Truth, our Life, I call upon You and I beg your mercy for poor sinners.
O sweetest Heart of my Lord, full of pity and unfathomable mercy, I plead with you for poor sinners.
O Most Sacred Heart, Fount of Mercy from which gush forth rays of inconceivable graces upon the entire human race, I beg of You light for poor sinners.
O Jesus, be mindful of Your own bitter passion and do not permit the loss of souls redeemed at so dear a price of Your most precious Blood. 

St. Maria Faustina  (10)


"It is not those who say to me, 'Lord, Lord' who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven." (Mt.7:21)


2. Ordinary People and Extraordinary Works  - Group 6, Card 65
4. Ordinary People, op cit.
6. op cit.
7.    op cit.
9. op cit.
10.Ordinary People, op cit.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010



"Temperance Restrains our Passions and the Attractions of Sense Pleasure. The Gift of Fear perfects this Virtue by making us more Generous in Mortifying our Senses and Passions. Impelled by this Holy Fear, we become more vigilant than ever . . . eager to renounce anything rather than Displease our Heavenly Father.”
(St. Jermone -From Divine Intimacy -299)

"When we speak of virtues — not only these cardinal ones, but all of them, every virtue — we must always have in mind the real man, the actual man. Virtue is not something abstract, detached from life, but, on the contrary, it has deep "roots" in life itself, it springs from the latter and forms it. Virtue has an impact on man's life, on his actions and behavior. It follows that, in all these reflections of ours, we are speaking not so much of the virtue as of man living and acting 'virtuously'; we are speaking of the prudent, just and courageous man, and finally, precisely today, we are speaking of the 'temperate' (or 'sober') man.

" Let us add at once that all these attributes, or rather attitudes of man, coming from the single cardinal virtues, are connected with one another. So it is not possible to be a really prudent, man, or an authentically just one, or a truly strong one, unless one also has the virtue of temperance. It can be said that this virtue indirectly conditions all other virtues, but it must also be said that all the other virtues are indispensable for man to be 'temperate' (or 'sober')." 
(John Paul II General Address entitled  "Virtue of Temperance" - 11/22/78)

Feastday: September 30
Patron of Librarians and Scholars
St. Jerome spent four years in the  Syrian desert area and wilderness outside of Antioch fasting and wrestling with his earthly desires.  He is a model of resisting the temptations, both from flesh and spirit.  He practiced severe austerities and focused on studying Hebrew and mastered it providing him with the expertise to later translate the Bible into Latin.
He was born in 347 in Dalmatia to a rich and Christian family. He was a good scholar, studied the classics in Rome, and was baptized in Rome at 18.  He became well-educated in Latin and Greek, traveled to Gaul, then Italy, and then Syria. He decided to become a monk.  Following a vision in which he beheld Christ, he redirected his studies to scripture and not secular writings.  Thus he could more completely be a follower of Christ, not of Cicero and pagan writers.  He wrote to a friend that in his vision Christ was a judge and said, "Thou art a Ciceronian. Where thy treasure is, there thy heart is also." (1)

Jerome traveled then to the desert and took up the study of Hebrew. He suffered from illnesses while practicing severe penances.  His words describe his state:
"In the remotest part of a wild and stony desert," he wrote years afterwards to his friend Eustochium, "burnt up with the heat of the sun, so scorching that it frightens even the monks who live there, I seemed to myself to be in the midst of the delights and crowds of Rome.... In this exile and prison to which through fear of Hell I had voluntarily condemned myself, with no other company but scorpions and wild beasts, I many times imagined myself watching the dancing of Roman maidens as if I had been in the midst of them. My face was pallid with fasting, yet my will felt the assaults of desire. In my cold body and my parched flesh, which seemed dead before its death, passion was still able to live. Alone with the enemy, I threw myself in spirit at the feet of Jesus, watering them with my tears, and tamed my flesh by fasting whole weeks. I am not ashamed to disclose my temptations, though I grieve that I am not now what I then was." (2)
Eventually Jerome received Holy Orders in Antioch, studied in Constantinople, and returned to Rome in 382 where he acted as secretary to the council.  Then Pope Damasus requested his service as his secretary and asked him to prepare a revised Latin text of the Greek New Testament.  He acted in this capacity for three years and also directed a group of patrician women in spiritual activities. He worked at tempering his fleshly desires, but he was not so successful in tempering his need to speak the truth boldly and at all times.  His work with these women led to unfortunate rash judgements by others.  "The infamy of a false crime has been imputed to me, but it is not the judgments of men which open or shut the gates of heaven."  (3)
He found refuge in the land of his Lord and settled in Bethlehem where he could walk in the footsteps of Christ. One of the Roman women, Paula, built him a monastery  where he continued his work on translating the scriptures into Latin, wrote numerous works of histories, polemics, biographies, and exegesis.   When Christians were forced to leave Rome when Alaric the Goth sacked the city, Jerome gave many refuge in his monastery.
He opened a free school there and also a hospice for pilgrims, "So that," as Paula said, "should Mary and Joseph visit Bethlehem again, they would have a place to stay."  He himself lived in a cave near the birthplace of the Lord. (4)  He continued translating the books of scripture including the Old Testament from the Hebrew.
"What has made his name so famous was his critical labor on the text of the Scriptures. The Church regards him as the greatest of all the doctors in clarifying the Divine Word. He had the best available aids for such an undertaking, living where the remains of Biblical places, names, and customs all combined to give him a more vivid view than he could have had at a greater distance." (5)
He died peacefully on September 30, 420 after a life of penances and fasting.  His translations are known as the Vulgate Bible.  In the Sixteenth Century, the Council of Trent declared these books of the Bible to be the authentic and authoritative Latin text.
Be ever engaged, so that whenever the devil calls he may find you occupied. (Letter 125, to the priest Innocent)

Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ. (Jerome's Prologue to the “Commentary on Isaiah”: PL 24,17)

Show me, O Lord, your mercy an delight my heart with it.  let me find you whom I so longingly seek.  See!  here is the man whom the robgers seized, mishandled, and left half dead on the road to Jericho.  O kind hearted Sararitan, come to my aid!  I am the sheep who wandered into the wilderness - seek after me and bring me home again to your fold.  Do with me what you will that I may stay by you all the days of my life, and praise you with all those who are with you in heaven for all eternity.  (6)
St. Jerome was declared a Doctor of the Church.  Here is a passage from:
If you have trouble controlling your temper at times, being patient and staying calm interacting with others, then you are normal. Nearly everyone blows-up now and then. Grace and virtue can harness and tame you to some degree but unless you live in isolation you will most likely lose your cool occasionally. Our habits become ingrained in us. That's the most important reason why we should cultivate good habits, especially mental habits. Our thinking needs guidance because thoughts beget habits. Jerome can enlighten you. Implore him for assistance.

Perhaps because of his wide exposures to many people and travels, he developed a pugnacious and cantankerous disposition at times. His keen intellect could be contentious when his vision of truth differed from others. Jerome was a passionate lover of biblical, written expression. His ill-nature, that all creatures possess due to original sin, was forever attacking, challenging and defending his pursuit of scriptural expression.

Those involved in research, biblical studies, languages or translations of God's holy word have a sure friend and guide in Jerome. He had a razor-sharp mind and his pen expressed everything precisely.

3.  The Lives of  the Saints,  Omer Englebert, 1951
5.  op cit
6.  Ordinary People and Extradinary Lives, Group 6/6 Teaching and Sharing