Friday, September 2, 2016

Revelation, Chapter 18, Verse 11-18
11 The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn for her, because there will be no more markets for their cargo: 12 their cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls; fine linen, purple silk, and scarlet cloth; fragrant wood of every kind, all articles of ivory and all articles of the most expensive wood, bronze, iron, and marble; 13 cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, and frankincense; wine, olive oil, fine flour, and wheat; cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and slaves, that is, human beings. 14“The fruit you craved has left you. All your luxury and splendor are gone; never again will one find them.”15 The merchants who deal in these goods, who grew rich from her, will keep their distance for fear of the torment inflicted on her. Weeping and mourning, 16 they cry out: “Alas, alas, great city, wearing fine linen, purple and scarlet, adorned [in] gold, precious stones, and pearls. 17 In one hour this great wealth has been ruined.” Every captain of a ship, every traveler at sea, sailors, and seafaring merchants stood at a distance 18 and cried out when they saw the smoke of her pyre, “What city could compare with the great city?”

The world is mourning Babylon’s fall in these verses. After watching this year’s MTV awards show I am convinced that we morally are much closer to a Babylonian culture than we are to the original vision of the founders of this great nation of “A city on the hill” and a shining light to the world. Is America the new Babylon or that shining city on the hill? Yet for those who are united in Christ there is hope. Don’t worry the victory is for those who are in the risen one.

Behold my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom I delight; I shall place my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope. (Matthew 12:18-21)

You cannot receive if you do not ask. Let us ask for God’s mercy and count on it, to deliver our soul from death and keep us alive through this earthly famine for ourselves and others. In fact one pious work we could do this week is a Novena to the Divine Mercy. In the novena Christ asks us to pray each day for a certain group of people.

1.      All Sinners
2.      Priests and Religious
3.      Devout Souls
4.      Unbelievers
5.      Departed brethren
6.      Children
7.      Saints
8.      Those in purgatory
9.      And the Lukewarm

A good time to pray the novena is the hour of Christ’s death. “At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy…”

Nature and function of the Angels[1]

Angels are often represented in art as having wings which attest to their ability to transcend time and space. In fact angels true nature is in reality more like that of a mirror reflecting the infinite perfections of the Triune God. Just like men no two angels are alike. No two men, no two women are identical. Yet, with angels the difference between them is vast and complete and every species of angel is incredibly lovely and they are perfect having no shadows of imperfection or defect. It is of paramount importance for us to realize and ask these holy beings to assist us in our pursuit of happiness for they wish in every way to share with us God’s love. Their generosity knows no bounds and to receive their assistance we have only to ask. Unfortunately, we limit their efforts for our welfare and constantly impede them by our sins and imperfections. Yet they love men even as imperfect as they are because of the love of God that flows through them. It is an indescribable delight for them when they are certain that the merits of the redemption through the Divine Blood of Christ will not be lost on the souls committed to their care.

[1] St. Michael and the Angels, Tan Books, 1983.


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