Author: Shirley Aaron

Saints Of The Day – Gertrude The Great And Margaret Of Scotland 

Saints Of The Day – Gertrude The Great And Margaret Of Scotland 


O God, who made Saint Margaret of Scotland wonderful in her outstanding charity towards the poor, grant that through her intercession and example we may reflect among all humanity the image of your divine goodness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

O God, who prepared a delightful dwelling for yourself in the heart of the Virgin Saint Gertrude, graciously bring light, through her intercession, to the darkness of our hearts, that we may joyfully experience you present and at work within us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Almighty and merciful God, graciously keep from us all adversity, so that, unhindered in mind and body alike, we may pursue in freedom of heart the things that are yours. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. 

St. Margaret (c. 1045-1093) was the great-niece of St. Edward the Confessor. She was a Saxon princess, raised in Hungary in exile. Returning to England, she had to flee once again after the Battle of Hastings, to the court of Malcolm, the King of Scotland, whom she married shortly thereafter. She proved to be a model mother and exemplary queen who brought up her eight children in an atmosphere of great devotion and worked hard to improve the morality of her subjects.

St. Gertrude, a Benedictine nun of the monastery of Helfta, in Saxony, is one of the great mystics of the Middle Ages. She was favored by visions of our Savior and has left a marvelous account of them in a book which she called Revelations. St. Gertrude introduced the devotion to the Sacred Heart which, four centuries later, St. Margaret Mary spread throughout the Church. She died at the beginning of the thirteenth century.

St. Margaret of Scotland
She was born in Hungary (1046), where her father was living in exile, and likewise spent her childhood there as an unusually devout and pious girl. In the course of time she went to England, when her father was called to high office in his fatherland by his uncle, King St. Edward III. Fortune, however, soon reversed itself again (Margaret’s father died suddenly in 1057), and upon leaving England a mighty storm — or better, divine Providence — brought her to the shores of Scotland. Upon instructions from her mother, Margaret married Malcolm III, king of Scotland, in 1069. The country was blessed by her holy life and by her deeds of charity for the next thirty years. Her eight children she zealously trained in the practice of Christian virtues.

In the midst of royal splendor Margaret chastised her flesh by mortification and vigils and passed the greater part of the night in devout prayer. Her most remarkable virtue was love of neighbor, particularly love toward the poor. Her alms supported countless unfortunates; daily she provided food for three hundred and shared in the work of serving them personally, washing their feet and kissing their wounds.

—Excerpted from the Roman Breviary

Queen Margaret of Scotland is the secondary patroness of Scotland. Margaret’s copy of the Gospels is preserved in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.

Patron: Death of children; large families; learning; queens; Scotland; widows.

Symbols: Black cross; sceptre and book; hospital.

Often portrayed as: queen, often carrying a black cross, dispensing gifts to the poor.

Things to Do:

  • Read more about this wonderful wife and mother: Life of St. Margaret of ScotlandCatholic Encyclopedia entry, and David McRoberts’ essay.

  • Give special attention to the virtue of charity today by performing some service for the poor, i.e., send alms, buy baby things for a local crisis pregnancy center, take a food donation to a food pantry.

  • Offer your support (even if it is just a little morale) to a mother with young children who is trying to raise her children to love God.

  • If you are a mother with young children, pray to St. Margaret to help you imitate her zeal in training her children.

  • If you are a mother and need a little boost, read Cardinal Mindszenty’s book, The Mother.

  • Today it might be fun to cook a pot of Scottish soup in honor of St. Margaret who probably cooked many pots of soup herself.

  • For nameday celebrations of St. Margaret, a crown cake, denoting her rank would be appropriate; a book cake would recall the love she had for Sacred Scripture. Chocolate “coins” wrapped in gold foil could be distributed to guests in memory of her generosity.

St. Gertrude
St. Gertrude the Great, a Cistercian nun, is one of the most lovable German saints from medieval times, and through her writings she will remain for all ages a guide to the interior life. She was born in 1256 at Eisleben and at the age of five taken to the convent at Rossdorf, where Gertrude of Hackeborn was abbess. Similarity in name has often occasioned confusion between the two Gertrudes. Our St. Gertrude never functioned as superior.

In spite of much ill-health, Gertrude used her exceptional natural talents well, knew Latin fluently. When she was twenty-five years old (1281), Christ began to appear to her and to disclose to her the secrets of mystical union. Obeying a divine wish, she put into writing the favors of grace bestowed upon her. Her most important work, Legatus Divinae Pietatis, “The Herald of Divine Love,” is distinguished for theological profundity, sublime poetry, and unusual clarity. How it stimulates love of God can be felt only by reading it; Abbot Blosius is said to have read it twelve times each year. St. Gertrude died in 1302, more consumed by the fire of God’s love than by fever.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

Patron: Nuns; travellers; West Indies.

Symbols: Crown; lily; taper; seven rings; heart with IHS; heart.

Things to Do:

Heaven Begins Right Here, Right Now.

Heaven Begins Right Here, Right Now.

*🎤Heaven Begins Right Here, Right Now.🎤*

Homily for Thursday 15th November 2018.

_“The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” *Luke 17:20-21*_

For those who wanted to know when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus simply answered: “It is already in your midst.” What is this kingdom of God that is already in our midst? Remember this song:

The time to be happy is now!

The place to be happy is here!

The way to be happy is to make Someone Happy!

And we’ll have a little heaven down here!

The essence of being in heaven is happiness. We experience heaven each time we are able to smile with joy from the depths of our hearts. We experience heaven each time we make someone happy. We experience heaven each time we forgive sincerely from our hearts.

Our first reading today captures the essence of Paul’s letter to Philemon. Onesimus is a slave who ran away from Philemon his master for probably doing something wrong but ended up in Prison where he met St. Paul. Writing to Philemon Paul pleads for forgiveness over Onesimus in these words:

“Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful both to you and to me… welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.” Philemon 1:11-18.

This is heaven, this is God’s kingdom – loving our neighbours as ourselves. This is God’s kingdom – forgiving one another as many as seventy times seven without counting the cost. This is God’s kingdom – seeing the face of Jesus in the people who have offended you like Onesimus.

This is God’s kingdom – putting smiles on people’s faces regardless of how we feel inside. This is heaven – welcoming the earth’s rejected, the sick, the imprisoned, the orphans, giving to these little ones as much as a cup of water without expecting anything in return.

There is no point panicking and running after false prophets. The end of the world will not come in observable signs. Jesus said it will be like a flash of light. For now, let us focus on the heaven that is already in our midst. Let us work towards making the world a better place for everyone we meet.

Today, we remember St. Albert the Great. He was a scientist, philosopher, astrologer, theologian, spiritual writer, ecumenist, and diplomat. In short, Albert is one of the great intellectuals in the history of the Church. To his name are many eminent works of doctrine and natural science. As a Bishop, St. Albert made great efforts to secure peace between peoples and between cities. Albert was beatified in 1622. He was canonized and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on December 16, 1931, by Pope Pius XI and the patron saint of natural scientists in 1941

*Let us pray: Lord Jesus, use me to bring heaven to this world by forgiving and bringing joy to all I meet. Amen.*

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. 

Thursday of the 32n Week in Ordinary Time. 

*Bible Study: Philemon 7-20, Psalm 146:6-10 and Luke 17:20-25*.

-Fr. Evaristus Abu🎷

What Is The Highest Punishment Of Purgatory? And How Does It Differ From Hell? 

What Is The Highest Punishment Of Purgatory? And How Does It Differ From Hell? 

Separation From God Is The Chief Punishment Of Purgatory.

How Purgatory differs from Hell.

All the pains of Purgatory arise from original or actual sin. God created the soul pure, simple and clean of all stain of sin, with a certain beatific instinct towards Himself whence original sin, which the soul finds in itself, draws it away, and when actual sin is added to original sin, the soul is drawn yet further away. The further it departs from its beatific instinct, the more malignant it becomes because it corresponds less to God.

There can be no good save by participation in God, who meets the needs of irrational creatures as He wills and has ordained, never failing them, and answers to a rational soul in the measure in which He finds it cleansed of sin’s hindrance. When therefore a soul has come near to the pure and clear state in which it was created, its beatific instinct discovers itself and grows unceasingly, so impetuously and with such fierce charity (drawing it to its last end) that any hindrance seems to this soul a thing past bearing. The more it sees, the more extreme is its pain. Because the souls in Purgatory are without the guilt of sin, there is no hindrance between them and God except their pain, which holds them back so that they cannot reach perfection.

Clearly they see the grievousness of every least hindrance in their way, and see too that their instinct is hindered by a necessity of justice: thence is born a raging fire, like that of Hell save that guilt is lacking to it. Guilt it is which makes the will of the damned in Hell malignant, on whom God does not bestow His goodness and who remain therefore in desperate ill will, opposed to the will of God.


Treatise Of Purgatory By St. Catherine of Genoa.

What Is The Joy Of The Souls In Purgatory? How The Holy Souls ‘See’ God Ever More.

What Is The Joy Of The Souls In Purgatory? How The Holy Souls ‘See’ God Ever More.

St. Catherine Of Genoa

What is the joy of the souls in Purgatory? A comparison to show how they see God ever more and more. The difficulty of speaking of this state.

I believe no happiness can be found worthy to be compared with that of a soul in Purgatory except that of the saints in Paradise and day by day this happiness grows as God flows into these souls, more and more as the hindrance to His entrance is consumed.

Sin’s rust is the hindrance, and the fire burns the rust away so that more and more the soul opens itself up to the divine inflowing. A thing which is covered cannot respond to the sun’s rays, not because of any defect in the sun, which is shining all the time, but because the cover is an obstacle. If the cover be burnt away, this thing is open to the sun more and more as the cover is consumed, do does it respond to the rays of the sun.

It is in this way that rust, which is sin, covers souls, and in Purgatory is burnt away by fire; the more it is consumed, the more do the souls respond to God, the true sun. As the rust lessens and the soul is opened up to the divine ray, happiness grows until the time is accomplished, the one wanes and the other waxes. Pain however does not lessen but only the time for which pain is endured.

As for will: never can the souls say these pains are pains, so contented are they with God’s ordaining with which, in pure charity, their will is united.

But, on the other hand, they endure a pain so extreme that no tongue can be found to tell it, nor could the mind understand its least pang if God by special grace did not show so much. Which least pang, out of God’s grace showed to this Soul, but with her tongue she cannot say what it is.

This sight which the Lord revealed to me has never since left my mind and I will tell what I can of it. They will understand whose mind God deigns to open.

-St. Catherine of Genoa from the book Treatise Of Purgatory.

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