Saturday, February 6, 2016

7. THE SIXTH DAY


Iowa Farm Boy - June, 1947


It is Your Duty

The cretaceous beds average one thousand feet in thickness; they consist of the shells and skeletons of myriads of generations of minute animalcule deposited on the bed of the ocean. 


The length of these periods is beyond our computation: we only know that it was enormous.Thus did God carefully, slowly, with enormous power and wisdom, prepare this world during millions of years to be your habitation.  

It is your duty to sum up the offices of all creatures by rendering praise and glory for them all to their Creator, and by recognizing the perfections that He manifests in them, His immensity, omnipotence, wisdom, beauty and love.

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6. THE FIFTH DAY


New York Public Library - 1944


Wonder at it and Worship God

There more mysteries in God's words and works than you can fathom. You see only the surface.  Pray God for full intelligence. You cannot attain to it by your natural powers.  

How wonderful is the harmony of revelation and nature, of God's words and His works! Let there be a similar harmony between your words and works, between your faith and your life.

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5. THE FOURTH DAY


Buckrus Boys Telescope, 1955

Wonder at it and Worship God

Our telescopes cannot penetrate to the ends of the starry world; yet perhaps this is only one corner of the whole of Creation; and all creation is no more than the ante-chamber of the divine infinity. God is greater and farm beyond all this.  

How wonderful will be the sight of Him face to face as He is! We can never adore Him and humble ourselves enough before Him. How can creatures dare to disobey, despise, insult, deny such a God! How much will they lose by that folly and sin!

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4. THE THIRD DAY


Half Wild Pigs, Jamaica, 1952

Records of Geology

The waters that were under heaven were gathered together so that the dry land appeared, and the earth brought forth the green herb(Gen. i. 9-12)

All was foreseen, all was decreed, and all came about in due course through the action of the irresistible will of God. Do not dare to oppose that calm, eternal, universal, overwhelming force.

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3. THE SECOND DAY


Maintaining a Roadside Shrine, Quebec, 1942

Contrivances of Nature

Admire the wonderful and gigantic contrivances of nature, i.e., of the Author of nature, by which He brings about His purposes. Equally wonderful, though more hidden, are the spiritual contrivances by which He leads you to salvation.

In the words of the Scriptures call on the winds and rains, the heat and cold, to bless the name of the Lord by carrying out His will and manifesting His perfections.

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2. THE FIRST DAY


Play: "Child Of The Morning" by C.B. Luce - Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt
















Glimmer of Grace

"And God said, Be light made" (ib.).  This was the first step in the evolution of the earth and represents the first glimmer of grace in our souls. By fidelity to this, "the path of the just, as a shining light, goeth forwards and increaseth even to perfect day" (Prov. iv. 18).


Pray God for light, and be careful to follow it.

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TREATISE IV - CREATION, THE WORLD & MAN


Coronado Park, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, 2014 - Photo by My Mother Mary 


The Creation of The World

Every creature asks the question, Whence did the universe come?  Men have forgotten the truth, or perverted it, or overlaid it with their speculations.  God, therefore, proclaims to us as the first truth of the natural order and the moral order; "In the beginning God created heaven and earth" (Gen. i.1). The deepest gratitude is due for these brief words.  They save us from fatal errors; they are the dawn of spiritual light.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

25. THE HONOUR DUE TO THE ANGELS


Priests carrying the Eucharist to a dying child.  Note two brothers and a sister keeling at the roadside - Quebec, 1942


The Honor Due To The Angels

Recur to the angels on all occasions as being your best friends, you natural protectors, advisers, advocates, assigned to you by God.
     We should also nourish a particular devotion to St. Michael. He is one of the very few whose name has been revealed to us; and he is associated with us as the supreme guardian of the Catholic Church, its protector against the rage of hell, the warrior of the Lord, and the prince of the hosts of heaven.

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24. ANGELS AND MEN COMPARED


Priests carrying the Eucharist to a dying child, 1942..  Note kneeling girl at end of walk.  Photo by John Phillips


Angels And Men Compared

Rejoice in the greatness of these noble beings, without envying them or despising your condition. Look up to them as to elder brethren. Venerate them for their nearness to God and the likeness they bear to Him.
Be contented with your lot, and take courage, considering the reward. Before long you will take you place among the choirs of angels.

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23. THE GUARDIAN ANGELS


German prisoner of war attending Mass, France, 1946 - Photo by David E Scheman


The Functions of The Angels

Every human being, however degraded and wicked, has an angel as his guardian and companion all through life.  Learn hence to esteem every soul without exception as being the recipient of so high a favor from God.  Like their angels, never fail in hope and in prayer for their salvation.  Learn the same lesson as St. Peter: "God hath showed me not to call any man common or unclean" (Acts x. 28).  

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22. BE MINDFUL OF YOUR COMPANION ANGELS


Playground, Indiana, USA, 1950 - Photo by Francis Miller


The Functions of The Angels

The universal sense of the Christian people has always clung to the beautiful idea of Guardian Angels being appointed by God to every individual child of Adam, to protect them, pray for them, move them to good, and in every way to promote their salvation.  
Pay homage to the angels of such places as you live in or of churches that you visit.  

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21. THEY WILL PRAY FOR YOU


Evening Prayer, Quebec, Canada, 1942 - Photo by John Phillips


The Intercommunion of The Angels

As a member of the Church you have come consciously into the company of the angels (Heb. xiii, 22).  That implies active communication: you will honor them, they will pray for you.   

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20. IF WE DO OUR BEST


Girl Scouts, February, 1952 - Photo by Edward Clark


The Temptations of the Evil Spirits

If we do our best, however little that be, we secure the omnipotence of God on our side, and our weakness becomes stronger than all the craft and violence of Satan whether exercised through men or devils.   

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19. ONE FALSE STEP


Vogue Magazine - Photo by Nina Leen, 1950


The Punishment of the Bad Angels

One false step leads to others. Then death comes; the soul is fixed in the evil it has chosen; all else drops away, and sin stands revealed in all its horror and cruelty as the condition of the soul for eternity.  
Beware how you admit sin into your heart.  It comes under the guise of pleasure or gain or false honor. It seems harmless, for its evil effects are known as yet only by faith.  

18. THE AWARD OF THE JUDGE


Monte Cassino Abbey, Monte Cassino, Italy, 1947.  Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt

Thus was evil overthrown once in its conflict with good.  So it will be again, and its next overthrow will be final. Do not be discouraged at the temporary preeminence of evil. Right and Truth are stronger and must prevail.

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17. SPECULATIONS ON THE SIN OF THE ANGELS



Jesuit novices, Sacred Heart Novitiate Cemetery, San Jose, CA, 1953 - Photo by Margaret Bourke- White

Humble yourself before Jesus. Confess Him and glorify Him in the Gospel history, in the Church, in the Most Holy Sacrament.  Under these three manifestations the Incarnation is at this day the great object of Satan's hatred, and of the attacks of fallen spirits angelic and human.

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16. THE SIN OF THE ANGELS



High school drop outs hanging out, New York City, 1960 - Photo by Paul Schutzer

Pride is the destruction of all virtue; it is an abomination before God. It attacks all, and its work is secret, swift and fatal.  Guard carefully against it.


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15. THE TRIAL AND CONFLICT OF THE ANGELS



Cub Scouts Camp, USA, 1957 - Photo by Yale Joel

"There was a great battle in heaven" (Apoc. xii.7). Such is the universal law of life.
     This struggle must have been gigantic and fearful, carried on as it was between forces full of such immense energies; it was the first engagement of the great war in which we are now involved.  It is not sufficient for you to choose good and do it quietly; you must further fight the good fight for it.  Because of this many fail.  Trust in the force of Right and Truth, and in their ultimate victory; but remember that the victory depends on your exertions and will cost dearly.


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14. THE THIRD HIERARCHY




Sweeping manure for fertilization, Deleitosa, Spain, 1950 - Photo by W. Eugene Smith

The virtues that most strike us in them are their humility in undertaking lowly tasks, such as the guardianship of vile beings so inferior to themselves;  their contentment with such duties; their devotion towards their Master, which makes them feel that nothing done for His sake can be ignoble; and the perfection and exactness with which they carry out His smallest commands.  How pleasing to God is such service, and how glorious.  Endeavour to serve Him in the same spirit.

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13. THE SECOND HIERARCHY


Praying for Pope Pius XII at Castel Gandolfo shortly before his death.
 Rome, 1958, Photo by Mark Kauffman


"Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land" (Matt. v. 4).  It is exhibited notably in the Church, which is always oppressed and always victorious;  which does not take the sword of the flesh for her defense, and therefore cannot perish by the sword; and which finds that the blood of her martyrs is the seed of abounding harvests. 

Quiet effort united with prayer is the most efficient and lasting force.

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12. THE FIRST HIERARCHY


Detroit Catholic Pre-Schools, 1964 - Photo by Robert W. Kelley


God sums up all His perfections for us in His love; and He desires above all things our love in return.  Join yourself with the Seraphim, and ask them to bring a burning coal from the celestial altar to enkindle your frozen heart. 


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11. THE SPECIAL ENDOWMENTS OF THE ANGELS


Men's Jesuit Retreat, California woods, 1953 - Photo by Margaret Bourke-White


The angels are arranged in different orders and choirs, and this involves differences of dignity, activity and glory.  Be content with God's arrangements for you, and strive to do the best with such graces as you have.  


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10. THE GENERAL ENDOWMENTS OF THE ANGELS


Ivy Baldwin (age 82) walking over S. Boulder Canyon, Colorado, 1948 - Photo by John Florea

The good angels corresponded to grace from the first and persevered to the end. Be faithful to every call or grace from God.  One step leads on to another.  A small initial divergency from the straight line may continue till it becomes a gulf over which no man can pass.


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9. THE CREATION OF THE ANGELS


Catholic School, USA, 1959 - Photo by Nina Leen

The greatness of God and His goodness merit that He should be adored and glorified by innumerable creatures; and this service rendered to Him constitutes Angels perfection and happiness.  You too have been made for this noble object. Take care not to fall short of it.  Every negligence towards God is so much loss to yourself.

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8. THE MOVEMENTS OF THE ANGELS


Mountain Climbing, Canada, 1942 - Photo by Myron Davis


Endeavour to keep your soul on a higher spiritual level even though you have to live on the material plane.  Keep it removed as far as possible above the ordinary conditions of sensual, worldly, selfish, sinful life.  


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7. THE WILL AND LOVE IN THE ANGELS


Mexico Prison, 1950 - Photo by Frank Scherschel


You will not be fit for the kingdom of love unless you have practised it here.  If your neighbour does not deserve love for himself, love him for the sake of God.

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6. THINGS UNKNOWN TO THE ANGELS


Hotchkiss Prep School, Lakeville, CT, 1954 - Photo by Allan Grant

The angels cannot read the secrets of our hearts, and still less can the evil spirits do so.  He alone, the absolute Lord of all, has the power and right to penetrate into the secret recesses of our interior.  As God has allowed no other but Himself to penetrate into the domain of your thoughts, you in like manner should exercise your dominion by preventing any other from ruling there but God.  He has made it your sanctuary; do you make it also His.


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5. THE INTELLIGENCE OF THE ANGELS


Newburyport Free Library, Newburyport, MA, 1943 - Photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt

Endeavour to lead the life of the angels on earth, and you will acquire an insight into the things of God beyond what study can communicate.  

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4. THE NUMBERS AND ORDERS OF THE ANGELS


New Year's Eve, Time Square, 1956 - Photo by Walter Sanders

"In the multitude of people is the dignity of the king" (prov. xiv. 28).  God's magnificence is shown by the enormous multitude of the works of His hand.  Consider the thousand millions of men actually living on this planet, and the uncounted numbers who have lived or have yet to live.  

How wonderful the effect of the mere numbers of that spiritual world that surrounds the throne of God!  How thrilling the moment of your entrance among them!

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3. THE SPIRITUALITY OF THE ANGELS


FSA photographer Dorothea Lange came across Florence Thompson and her children in a pea pickers' camp in Pipomo, California, in March 1936.  It is one of the most haunting photographs of the 'Dust Bowl' landscape:  Courtesy of Library of Congress. 

You are the lowest of all spiritual beings, the feeblest of all that possess intellect and heart.  If you are so poor as compared with the angels, how inferior you are before the unapproachable spirituality of God.  Humble yourself before Him that you may be found worthy to be raised to His kingdom.


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Florence Thompson 1903 - 1983

2. THE EXISTENCE OF ANGELS


French actress Barbara Laage, Paris, 1946 - Photo by Nina Leen

Great as you are in the material creation, you are weak and miserable compared with the higher world.  Strive to raise yourself to it;  above all do not fall lower than your already lowly position. 

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TREATISE III - CREATION & THE ANGELS - 1. CREATION IN GENERAL


Preparing to take Carmelite vows, Bronx, New York, 1944 - Photo by Nina Leen


When you have exerted all your talents and done all that you can, you may say with most perfect truth, "I am an unprofitable servant."

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20. THE GLORY OF THE BLESSED TRINITY


Pablo Casels  & wife at Holy Mass, 1966, Puerto Rico - Photo by Gjon Mili

Even this world renders much glory to the Holy Trinity. Apart from the manifestation of God in the natural order and the praise given to Him on that account, there is the supernatural glory rendered by the great sacrifice which, from age to age, is offered unceasingly from the rising to the setting of the sun, in the presence of millions of devout worshippers.  

19. THE DIVINE PERSONS AS GIVEN TO US


Long Walk, United Kingdom, 1930 - Photographer unknown

In so many ways you are dependent on God; in so many ways He is useful to you, necessary to you. Without Him you can do nothing. Be careful never to lose that divine presence.  

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18. THE MISSION OF THE DIVINE PERSONS


Holy Mass, St. Pauls Cathedral, Munster, Germany, 1946 - Photographer unknown

You need always to watch with anxiety lest the human spirit, or the spirit of the world, or even the spirit of Satan, should intrude itself into you mind and become the motive power of your actions.  Humility, obedience, and the love of God will be your preservatives.

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17. THE MUTUAL INDWELLING OF THE DIVINE PERSONS


Young Catholic Boys, Medellin, Colombia, 1947 - Photo by Dmitri Kessel

Let nothing separate you from the love of God.  This completes your union with Him in this life and in the next.  
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16. THE EQUALITY OF THE DIVINE PERSONS


Pyrennes Sunset, France, 1952 - Photo by Dmitri Kessel



A ray of bright sunlight was long supposed to be a unity only: now it is proved to be a trinity of three rays, each having a different color and a different effect on vegetation.  These act as one principle.  They occur in a certain order, but one does not exist before the other nor apart from another.  Each is equally sunlight, and is equally necessary to constitute the glowing unity of the sunbeam and to maintain life on earth.  
   Attach great importance to right thinking about doctrines. But this requires right living and right worship. Each of this trinity is essential to make up the unity of full religiousness.  

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