“The longer we remain without confessing, the worse it is for us, the more entangled we become in the bonds of sin, and therefore the more difficult it is to give an account.”
“He who is accustomed to give account of his life at confession here will not fear to give an answer at the terrible judgment-seat of Christ. It is for this purpose that the mild tribunal of penitence was here initiated, in order that we, being cleansed and amended through penitence here below, may give an answer without shame at the terrible judgment-seat of Christ.”
St John of Kronstadt
My Life in Christ: Part II, Holy Trinity Monastery pg.280 10:04:49 AM
Francis mandates wide changes for contemplative women religious, requests revision of all constitutions Francis mandates wide changes for contemplative women religious, requests revision of all constitutions
In a new apostolic constitution titled Vultum Dei Quaerere (“Seek the Face of God”) and addressed to Catholic women religious in contemplative communities, the Pope calls for changes to be implemented in 12 diverse areas from prayer life to work habits. Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo says contemplative men’s communities have not been considered in such a manner by the Pope and that the document replaces the 1999 instruction Verbi sponsa
Nuns during a moment of prayer.
Pope Francis has issued a new wide-ranging set of guidelines for how the tens of thousands of Catholic women religious living in contemplative communities around the world should regulate their lifestyles, calling on them to implement changes in 12 diverse areas from prayer life to work habits.
The Pontiff has also mandated that each of the global communities of contemplative women religious will need to adapt their various governing constitutions or rules to the new changes and send new versions of their documents to the Vatican for approval.
Francis makes the changes in a new apostolic constitution released Friday titled Vultum Dei Quaerere (“Seek the Face of God.”) The document is addressed only to Catholic women religious in contemplative communities, such as those that live in cloisters or whose lives are marked by a lifestyle devoted mainly to prayer instead of evangelical outreach or work.
While the Pontiff uses the new document to issue effusive praise for such women -- especially lauding their ability to serve as an example of stability in a contemporary world often marked by temporary commitments -- he also calls for them to begin to institute changes particularly in their prayer lives.
In one example, the Pope mandates that all contemplative women religious communities should practice Eucharistic adoration. He also stresses the use of Lectio divina, the traditional Benedictine practice of scripture reading, meditation, and prayer.
Addressing his reason for writing to the women with the new norms at this time, Francis states: “In these past decades, we have seen rapid historical changes that call for dialogue. At the same time, the foundational values of contemplative life need to be maintained.”
“Through these values -- silence, attentive listening, the call to an interior life, stability -- contemplative life can and must challenge the contemporary mindset,” the pope continues.
The Pontiff then calls on the women worldwide to implement changes after reflecting upon 12 aspects of the monastic tradition: Formation, prayer, the word of God, the sacraments of the Eucharist and reconciliation, fraternal life in community, autonomy, federations, the cloister, work, silence, the communications media and asceticism.
The Pope ends the document with 14 articles establishing new canonical norms for how contemplative women religious should live, saying he is setting aside any canons from the Code of Canon Law that “directly contradict any article of the present Constitution.”
Among the most direct changes are orders that every contemplative community:
Review its prayer life “to see if it is centered on the Lord” and “set aside appropriate times for Eucharistic adoration, also inviting the faithful of the local Church to take part;”
Be a part of some sort of federation with other communities, unless obtaining Vatican permission to not do so;
Request Vatican approval “whenever a different form of cloister from the present one is called for;”
Disallow "recruitment of candidates from other countries solely for the sake of ensuring the survival of a monastery," stating it should be "absolutely avoided;
"Wait for further instruction from the Vatican’s congregation for religious life on how to implement changes in the 12 specified areas of life and “once they have been adapted to the new regulations, the articles of the constitutions or rules of individual institutes are to be submitted for approval by the Holy See.”
Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, said at a press conference presenting the new document Friday that his office would now be working on drafting a new instruction to specify how communities are to make the changes in their lifestyles.
The new document will replace the congregation’s 1999 instruction Verbi sponsa and will regulate the “formation, autonomy and seclusion” of contemplative communities, Rodriguez said.
The archbishop also said that contemplative men’s communities had not been considered in such a manner by the Pope or the religious congregation at the moment, adding that the types of religious life lived by Catholic men and women are different.
Francis begins his news document with praise for the contemplative communities, stating: “The Church greatly esteems your life of complete self-giving.”
“The Church counts on your prayers and on your self-sacrifice to bring today’s men and women to the good news of the Gospel,” the pope states. “The Church needs you!”
“The world needs you every bit as much as a sailor on the high seas needs a beacon to guide him to a safe haven,” he continues. “Be beacons to those near to you and, above all, to those far away. Be torches to guide men and women along their journey through the dark night of time.”
The pontiff then addresses each of the 12 aspects the communities are to reflect on in order, focusing especially on formation for younger nuns and the role of prayer in the nuns' daily lives.
On formation, Francis states that communities “need to pay great attention to vocational and spiritual discernment, without yielding to the temptation to think in terms of numbers and efficiency.”
For prayer, the Pope uses an evocative image of Moses raising his arms in prayer to God to implore help for his people.
“It strikes me that this is a most eloquent image of the power and efficacy of your own prayer on behalf of all humanity and the Church, especially of the vulnerable and those in need,” states the pontiff. “Now, as then, we can conclude that the fate of humanity is decided by the prayerful hearts and uplifted hands of contemplative women.”
Francis then asks the contemplative communities to see their cloisters or convents as places to show the wider world how people can live together in community and fellowship.
“You who have embraced the monastic life must never forget that today’s men and women expect you to bear witness to an authentic fraternal communion that, in a society marked by divisions and inequality, clearly demonstrates that life in common is both possible and fulfilling, despite differences of age, education and even culture,” states the Pope.
“Your communities ought to be credible signs that these differences, far from being an obstacle to fraternal life, actually enrich it,” he continues. “Remember that unity and communion are not the same as uniformity, and are nourished by dialogue, sharing, mutual assistance and profound compassion, especially towards the most frail and needy.”
But Francis also warns the contemplatives from becoming too isolated in their own autonomy from others.
“Autonomy favors the stability of life and internal unity of each community, ensuring the best conditions for contemplation,” states the Pope. “But autonomy ought not to mean independence or isolation, especially from the other monasteries of the same Order or the same charismatic family.”
“Take care to avoid ‘the disease of self-absorption’ and to preserve the value of communion between different monasteries as a path of openness towards the future and a means of updating and giving expression to the enduring and codified values of your autonomy,” he exhorts.
Francis ends that portion of the document with a call for the contemplatives “to be beacons of light for the journey of the men and women of our time.”
“This should be your prophetic witness,” states the Pontiff. “You have chosen not to flee the world out of fear, as some might think, but to remain in the world, while not being of the world.”
Citing the Second Vatican Council document Gaudium et spes, he continues: “Although you live apart from the world, through the signs of your belonging to Christ, you tirelessly intercede for mankind, presenting to the Lord its fears and hopes, its joys and sufferings.”
Concluding with a citation of his own apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, the Pope calls on the contemplatives to “hear the cry of your brothers and sisters who are victims of the throwaway culture” and to “practice the art of listening ‘which is more than simply hearing.’”
[Joshua J. McElwee is Vatican Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.] 10:26:24 AM
“If anyone wants to go to confession, I’m available before Mass!”
I was in Nicaragua traveling up to Guatemala when I heard this rushed invitation yelled in Spanish from a church sanctuary... 10:18:55 AM
Samedi le 9 juillet 2016
John Cassian - on Contemplation'You will note that the Lord establishes as the prime good contemplation, that is the gaze turned in the direction of the things of God. Hence we say that the other virtues, however useful and good we may say they are, must nevertheless be put on a secondary level, since they are all practiced for the sake of this one. "You are full of worry and are upset over many things when actually it should be over a few or even one." In saying this the Lord locates the primary good not in activity, however praiseworthy, however abundantly fruitful, but in the truly simple and unified contemplation of Himself.' St. John Cassian 9:42:07 AM
Our current approach to marriage preparation is failing catastrophically
The Pope’s recent comments on marriage, which have raised a few eyebrows, do at least contain one statement with which I wholeheartedly agree. It is this: “Marriage is the most difficult area of pastoral work.”
By the time the engaged couple present themselves, saying they want to get married in Church, it is already too late to start preparation. Preparation for marriage needs to start before the couple have met; it needs to start in childhood, or even, to be on the safe side, at birth. After all, whom you marry is the most important decision you will ever make.
Young children need to be educated in such a way that, when they grow up, they will make good choices of future spouses. They need to be educated to spot moral worth in other people, and to have a reasoned, balanced and healthy appreciation of sexuality and a proper understanding of what marriage is about, and, in particular, that it is designed for the raising of children. 9:28:46 AM
En complément au Chapelet de la Miséricorde Divine; le Rosaire de notre Confiance en Jésus, c'est notre Rosaire habituel, mais auquel à la fin de chaque Je vous Salue Marie…, nous ajouterons toujours les paroles : " Jésus j'ai confiance en toi " en union filiale avec Marie qui intercède alors pour nous... 10:17:40 AM
'Very few men can accurately recognize all their own faults; indeed,
only those can do this whose intellect is never torn away from the
remembrance of God. Our bodily eyes, when healthy, can see everything,
even gnats and mosquitoes flying about in the air; but when they are
clouded by some discharge, they see large objects only indistinctly and
small things not at all. Similarly if the soul, through attentiveness,
reduces the blindness caused by the love of this world, it will
consider its slightest faults to be very grave and will continually
shed tears with deep thankfulness. For it is written, "The righteous
shall give thanks unto Thy name" (Ps. 140:13). But if the soul persists
in its worldly disposition, even though it commits a murder or some
other act deserving severe punishment, it takes little notice; and it is
quite unable to discern its other faults, often considering them to be
signs of progress, and in its wretchedness it is not ashamed to defend
La prochaine Marche du pardon Nord-Sud de Montréal se tiendra le Vendredi Saint 25 mars 2016, à compter de 07:30 le matin et débutera à la Cathédrale St-Maron, 1001, boulevard Henri-Bourassa Est, Montréal, H2C 1G3, tout près de la station de métro Henri-Bourassa (ligne orange).
Dépliant informatif (2016). Le parcours et l’horaire sont en ligne, ainsi qu’un texte de réflexion du Pape François à l’occasion de l’Année de la Miséricorde. Consultation et téléchargement possibles (feuille 8 1/2-11) en cliquant
Si vous ne pouvez être des nôtres pour la marche du pardon, nous vous invitons à nous suivre en direct sur le web, vendredi Saint, à partir de 07:30 en cliquant
Cette neuvaine s'effectue du Vendredi Saint au Dimanche de la Miséricorde (dimanche suivant Pâques). Elle a été demandée par Jésus à Soeur Faustine. On peut la dire en tout temps.
Le Chapelet de la Miséricorde Divine
Le 14 septembre 1935, Soeur Faustine entend les mots suivants : " Dis toujours le chapelet que je t'ai appris. Celui qui le dit fera l'expérience de ma Miséricorde, sa vie durant, et surtout à l'heure de sa mort."
Au début : Notre Père... Je vous salue Marie... Je crois en Dieu...
Sur les grains du Notre Père, on récite les paroles suivantes :
V. Père éternel je t'offre le Corps et le Sang, l'Âme et la Divinité de ton Fils Bien-Aimé, Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ;
R. En réparation de nos péchés et de ceux du monde entier.
Sur les grains du "Je vous salue Marie", on récite les paroles suivantes :
V. Par sa douloureuse Passion,
R. Sois miséricordieux pour nous et pour le monde entier.
Pour conclure, on dit trois fois :
V. Dieu Saint, Dieu Fort, Dieu Éternel,
R. Prends pitié de nous et du monde entier.
In the context of the Year of the Consecrated Life, the award-winning French daily "La Croix" a rare interview with the General Prior of the Grande Chartreuse, the mother-house of the Carthusian Order. Translation -
"This was from me" is a famous letter written by saint Seraphim of Vyritsa that he sent to his spiritual child, a bishop who was in a Soviet prison at that time; this homily "This was from me" is written as a consolation and counsel to the bishop to let him know that God the Creator addresses to the soul of man.
Text of the letter
Have you ever thought that everything that concerns you, concerns Me, also? You are precious in my eyes and I love you; for this reason, it is a special joy for Me to train you. When temptations and the opponent [the Evil One] come upon you like a river, I want you to know that This was from Me.
I want you to know that your weakness has need of My strength, and your safety lies in allowing Me to protect you. I want you to know that when you are in difficult conditions, among people who do not understand you, and cast you away, This was from Me.
I am your God, the circumstances of your life are in My hands; you did not end up in your position by chance; this is precisely the position I have appointed for you. Weren't you asking Me to teach you humility? And there - I placed you precisely in the "school" where they teach this lesson. Your environment, and those who are around you, are performing My will. Do you have financial difficulties and can just barely survive? Know that This was from Me.
I want you to know that I dispose of your money, so take refuge in Me and depend upon Me. I want you to know that My storehouses are inexhaustible, and I am faithful in My promises. Let it never happen that they tell you in your need, "Do not believe in your Lord and God." Have you ever spent the night in suffering? Are you separated from your relatives, from those you love? I allowed this that you would turn to Me, and in Me find consolation and comfort. Did your friend or someone to whom you opened your heart, deceive you? This was from Me.
I allowed this frustration to touch you so that you would learn that your best friend is the Lord. I want you to bring everything to Me and tell Me everything. Did someone slander you? Leave it to Me; be attached to Me so that you can hide from the "contradiction of the nations." I will make your righteousness shine like light and your life like midday noon. Your plans were destroyed? Your soul yielded and you are exhausted? This was from Me.
You made plans and have your own goals; you brought them to Me to bless them. But I want you to leave it all to Me, to direct and guide the circumstances of your life by My hand, because you are the orphan, not the protagonist. Unexpected failures found you and despair overcame your heart, but know That this was from Me.
With tiredness and anxiety I am testing how strong your faith is in My promises and your boldness in prayer for your relatives. Why is it not you who entrusted their cares to My providential love? You must leave them to the protection of My All Pure Mother. Serious illness found you, which may be healed or may be incurable, and has nailed you to your bed. This was from Me.
Because I want you to know Me more deeply, through physical ailment, do not murmur against this trial I have sent you. And do not try to understand My plans for the salvation of people's souls, but unmurmuringly and humbly bow your head before My goodness. You were dreaming about doing something special for Me and, instead of doing it, you fell into a bed of pain. This was from Me.
Because then you were sunk in your own works and plans and I wouldn't have been able to draw your thoughts to Me. But I want to teach you the most deep thoughts and My lessons, so that you may serve Me. I want to teach you that you are nothing without Me. Some of my best children are those who, cut off from an active life, learn to use the weapon of ceaseless prayer. You were called unexpectedly to undertake a difficult and responsible position, supported by Me. I have given you these difficulties and as the Lord God I will bless all your works, in all your paths. In everything I, your Lord, will be your guide and teacher. Remember always that every difficulty you come across, every offensive word, every slander and criticism, every obstacle to your works, which could cause frustration and disappointment, This is from Me.
Know and remember always, no matter where you are, That whatsoever hurts will be dulled as soon as you learn In all things, to look at Me. Everything has been sent to you by Me, for the perfection of your soul. All these things were from Me. 10:09:46 AM
During this Lenten season we are called to examine our lives more closely in light of our relationship with Christ and His Church. Fasting, prayer, and almsgiving bring us deeper into the mysteries of Christ and our own journey to holiness. Lent is also a time to draw closer to the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance, also known as Reconciliation or Confession. The Eucharist unites us to Christ’s body, blood, soul, and divinity while Penance drives us to seek healing and forgiveness for the ways we sin and fail in our daily lives. Penance is not only a Sacrament for mortal sin, it is meant for all sin which weighs us down over time.
In the Encyclical Letter, Redemptor Hominis, Saint John Paul II discusses the connection between these two great Sacraments of the Church... 3:54:45 PM
Au-delà des murs
Un regard sur la vie consacrée au Québec
Dimanche 24 avril 2016 - Visites guidées à 13h30 et à 15h00
Pour une deuxième année, des communautés religieuses et des
instituts séculiers ouvriront leurs portes le dimanche 24 avril
2016 pour accueillir tous ceux et celles qui sont
intéressé(e)s à voir « au-delà des murs ». Que sont devenues ces
communautés? Comment vivent ces femmes et ces hommes
aujourd’hui? Qui est à l’origine de ces institutions? Est-ce qu’il y
a encore des personnes qui répondent oui à la vie consacrée?
Cette année, 30 institutions vous accueilleront dans 8 régions du
Québec pour répondre à toutes vos questions: Bas St-Laurent,
Côte-Nord, Estrie, Gaspésie, Laval, Montréal, Québec et
Saguenay Lac St-Jean.
Saisissez cette chance d’aller à la rencontre de ces personnes qui
répondent « oui » à la vie consacrée et de comprendre ce qui
Allez-y seul(e), en groupe ou en famille ! Visite guidée à 13h30 et à 15h00 et c’est tout à fait
1340 Boul. St-Joseph Est
In 1991, Patrick Latta, a successful businessman and car dealer in Canada, and his wife Nancy, a commercial lawyer, received a great grace of conversion through the messages of Our Lady of Medjugorje. Leaving behind everything they had created in their material world, they moved to Medjugorje in 1993, during the height of the war. With Fr. Slavko Barbaric, OFM as their spiritual guide and confessor until his death in Nov. of 2000. Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Retreat House was born, with a specific desire to support, renew, and foster vocations to the priesthood and regligious life. Streams of pilgrims from around the world come to Our Lady's Retreat House to honor her as the Queen of Peace.
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Also Stresses There’s “Direct Continuity” Between Message of “Unconditional Openness to Forgiveness,” Characterizing Pope Francis’ Pontificate, and Benedict’s 1st Encyclical... 10:19:08 AM
Saint Faustina’s full religious name was Sister Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Her profound love and devotion to the Eucharist was the center of her life. Eucharistic love motivated her every action. Almost every page of her spiritual diary makes reference to the Eucharist. To a friend she said, “The most solemn moment of my life is the moment when I receive Holy Communion and for every Holy Communion I give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity” (Diary of St. Faustina, 1804). Another time she recorded, “…All my strength is in You, O Living Bread. It would be difficult for me to live through the day if I did not receive Holy Communion. It is my shield; without You, Jesus, I know not how to live” (Diary of St. Faustina, 814). 7:15:31 PM
The Orthodox Way emphasizes silence. Of Mother Gabrielia in the collection of anecdotes from her life compiled by her spiritual children it was said that in the late evening, just about the time when the sun goes down, the “apogeuma” in Greek, the day winds itself into a tight spool and people gather together in clumps around sitting chairs to gossip and socialize, she would tell her companion to sit on a stool on the balcony of their apartment near Koliatsou Square in Athens “gia na siopasoune”–that is, to silence themselves. Instead of chit-chatting as is wont around that time of day, she would embrace silence and turn her attention inward all the while reciting the Jesus Prayer in her heart. 2:27:02 PM
Ce sont les saints qui nous choisissent plus que nous ne les choisissons. La tradition consiste à invoquer le Saint-Esprit par un hymne ou une prière spontanée, et à demander à Dieu de nous bénir par la puissante intercession des saints. Ceux qui le désirent peuvent alors tirer le nom d'un saint qui sera son compagnon.
Sous le nom du saint (et la date de sa fête), on trouve aussi une parole typique de ce saint - ou un verset biblique approprié ou même dans le cas présent, un message de Medjugorje qui lui correspond bien - ainsi qu'une intention de prière pour l'année. En recevant ce billet, chacun prend à coeur de mieux connaître la vie de son protecteur et compagnon pour l'année, afin d'en tirer un profit spirituel et de développer une profonde amitié avec ce saint.
Le nom d'un saint peut être tiré aussi pour l'ensemble d'un apostolat, association, société, groupe de prière, paroisse. Si vous connaissez une personne malade ou isolée qui n'est pas en mesure de préparer les noms de saints à tirer, vous pouvez lui proposer de le faire pour elle. Quelle bénédiction d'être choisi par un saint chaque année afin d'avoir un exemple, un guide et un intercesseur. Notre "copain" du Ciel peut nous aider tout au long de l'année par sa puissance et son soutien.
Des saints reconnus par l'Eglise, des "bienheureux" ou "vénérables" ont été sélectionnés ici; mais parfois aussi des personnes dont les causes progressent à Rome, sans intention cependant de devancer le jugement de l'Église sur leur sainteté. 2:05:22 AM
'When passions dominate the intellect, they separate it from God, binding it to material things and preoccupying it with them. But when love of God dominates the intellect, it frees it from its bonds, persuading it to rise above not only sensible things but even this transitory life.' St. Maximos the Confessor 1:52:13 PM
Acte d’abandon total à la volonté de Dieu, volonté qui n’est pour moi qu’amour et miséricorde.
Jésus, Hostie que je viens à l’instant de recevoir en mon cœur, par cette union avec Toi, je m’offre au Père Céleste, en hostie expiatoire, m’abandonnant complètement et entièrement à la très miséricordieuse et sainte volonté de Dieu. A partir d’aujourd’hui, Ta volonté, Seigneur, est ma nourriture. Voici tout mon être, dispose de moi selon Tes divins désirs.
Peu importe ce que me donne Ta main paternelle, je le reçois avec soumission, calme et joie. Je ne crains rien quelle que soit la façon dont Tu me diriges, et j’accomplis à l’aide de Ta grâce tout ce que Tu exiges de moi.
Maintenant je ne crains plus aucune de Tes inspirations, ni n’examine avec inquiétude jusqu’où elles me mèneront. Guide-moi, ô Dieu, par les chemins qui Te plaisent; j’ai fait pleinement confiance à Ta volonté, qui n’est pour moi qu’amour et miséricorde.
Tu m’ordonnes de demeurer dans ce couvent, j’y resterai; Tu m’ordonnes de me mettre à l’œuvre, je m’y mets; Tu me laisseras jusqu’à la mort, dans l’incertitude quant à cette œuvre, - sois béni; Tu me donnas la mort, alors qu’humainement parlant, il semblerait que ma vie soit particulièrement nécessaire, - sois béni; Tu m’emporteras en pleine jeunesse, sois béni; Tu me feras atteindre un âge avancé, - sois béni; Tu me donneras santé et forces, - sois béni; Tu me cloueras sur un lit de douleur, même si c'est pour toute la vie, - sois béni; Tu ne me donneras dans la vie que déceptions et insuccès, - sois béni; Tu permettras que mes plus pures intentions soient condamnées, - sois béni; Tu donneras la lumière à mon esprit, - sois béni; Tu me laisseras dans l’obscurité et au milieu de toutes sortes de tourments, - sois béni.
Depuis ce moment, je vis dans la plus profonde tranquillité, car le Seigneur Lui-même me porte sur son bras. Il sait bien, le Seigneur de l’infinie miséricorde, que c’est Lui seul que je désire en tout, partout et toujours. (Soeur Faustine, Petit Journal, 1264) 2:59:02 AM