March 29 – Fifth Sunday of Lent

The Passion Continues in His Members

The Spirit of Christ enlivens two bodies, that is, his mortal body and his mystical body. From this source derives his earthly historical life.

With death he ceased living only in his own body, and he began to live in his mystical body.

Since he could not further suffer and merit in his own person, he wished his passion and merits to continue in his mystical members and so to glorify the Father through the holy actions of their longsuffering lives until the consummation of time.

However, the life of the Christian properly speaking is none other than the expression and the continuation of the life of Christ, which in a    certain sense is not yet completed, but is being completed daily in the lives of the saints who follow his example, and will be completed at the end of the world.

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March 22 – Fourth Sunday of Lent: The Incarnation

What more has the Lord done to persuade me to believe that which he teaches me and to practice the Law? After having sent the Patriarchs and the Prophets, he came himself in person, visibly, making himself one of us, and making himself our Associate in the Incarnation, our Teacher in Preaching, our exemplar in the whole course of his life. And to precede us he also provided the example of so many fragile others like ourselves, who practice the virtue that he has proposed to us, so that it is inexcusable if we do not also practice the same virtue ourselves, taking up the resolution of St. Augustine, and saying “That which this man is doing, and that man, why am I not also doing it?” and saying to the Lord “I will follow you wherever you go.”

In the past, have I comported myself according to this truth? Examine the many occasions you have had, and neglected; seek the cause for such failures, especially the deliberate ones, feel displeasure for them, and ask pardon for them.

March 15 – Third Sunday of Lent: Growing in Virtue

Is it easy to grow in virtue and holiness? It is easier than is commonly believed because only that one is not in a state of mortal sin is he in the grace of God. He consequently possesses sanctifying grace, which is the gift of habitual charity, which is a special participation in divine will and divine love. This sanctifying grace is also a special participation in the divine nature, for which he is not only dear to God, friend of God, but is even the son of God, so that God lives in him and he lives in God. He is so united to God that the Spirit of God is that which vivifies him and holds him up to make his day fully blessed. So it follows that God gives a special loving protection to the just, whom the Lord treats as friends and beloved sons. He gives them his graces more abundantly so that they can achieve heavenly bliss with greater security and ease; for this effect God instills many more lights to the mind and more affections to the heart, and with more particular assistance he directs them in the execution of good intentions. He guards him from so many dangers both spiritual and corporal. God also provides many other external graces such as the opportunity to listen to the word of God, of approaching the holy sacraments, of much good example and the like, as well as participating in the Communion of Saints. Hence it is evident that one who is attentive to the internal voice of his celestial Father, and solicitous to obey his Spirit, cannot fail to grow in virtue and holiness.

March 8 – Second Sunday of Lent: Petitions to God

God, as a loving Father, does not listen to the prayers of his children who are ignorant of the things of the world, and of his holy will. Perhaps you think of asking him for bread, but you really ask him for a rock. Do you want him to grant it? You think of asking him for a fish, and instead ask him for a scorpion. Will you complain if he denies it to you? He is an all-knowing father, we are blind children. He is a vigilant doctor, we are often sick and senseless, in need of his prescriptions.

Let us listen to God, who responds to our lamentations by saying to us, “You will see one day that I have heard you, and you will thank me.” St. Augustine said, “I rejoice that you are not heard as to what you desire, but rather as to your salvation.” In order not to be heard, it is not necessary that what we ask for may be harmful for us; it is enough that it is useless for our salvation (and that is the case when we ask for purely temporal graces). If we ask uselessly for things that are useless, that is not according to the order established by God, nor in relation to the end that he has established.

March 1 – First Sunday of Lent: The Two Ways

Consider to which you want to give up and declare yourself. Think that Christ is all goodness, who seeks only your own good; who seeks only that you live according to reason. His yoke is sweet and  He is attentive to help you, yes to help you. It is very easy to satisfy Him; he accepts even your good will when the work cannot be done well. Jesus then promises rewards from God. His followers are those who live as reasonable people, and who live among true friends, children of God, heirs of paradise. They are the ones who take up the works that please God, which are counted to eternal merit, and who participate in all the good of the saints. They enjoy great peace and tranquility, the beginning of that eternal peace and tranquility that they will enjoy in eternal life.

Consider the opposite that the devil is an evil spirit intent on having you be lost. The devil’s commands seems easy, they seems sweet, but in truth they are hard. He seems to promise a lot, but in truth it is little, i.e., low, vile and momentary pleasures.

February 23 – Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Way of Perfection

Study well the difference between the sensual and the rational appetite; divide well the self distinctly into two persons, who are two irreconcilable enemies. Thus great light is gained for combating successfully, for discovering the face of the enemy. Know the purely spiritual acts, without giving weight to those of sense, since these are unstable. And with this much ignorance, many interior troubles and times of sadness cease, as we thought ourselves in a bad state spiritually because we did not experience sensible devotion.


Let one enter with a firm resolution to serve God regardless of the favorable or ill disposition which nature may feel; otherwise either our time is wasted or we will not persevere. Our flesh is slothful and reluctant to move toward what is good. It is ready and disposed to counter, with all its strength, the light, and the liberty of the soul. Thus it rarely turns willingly and in a well-disciplined fashion toward works of virtue, and much less so toward those of mortification, which are contrary to it.

February 16 – Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time: On Following the Lord’s Commands

What more has the Lord done to persuade me to believe that which he teaches me, and to practice the Law? After having sent the Patriarchs and the Prophets, he came himself in person, visibly, making himself one of us, and making himself our Associate in the Incarnation, our Teacher in Preaching, our exemplar in the whole course of his life. And to
precede us he also provided the example of so many fragile others like ourselves, who practice the virtue that he has proposed to us, so that it is inexcusable if we do not also practice the same virtue ourselves, taking up the resolution of St. Augustine, and saying “That which this man is doing, and that man, why am I not also doing it?” And saying to the Lord “I will follow you wherever you go.”

In the past, have I comported myself according to this truth? Examine the many occasions you have had, and neglected; seek the cause for such failures, especially the deliberate ones, feel displeasure for them, and ask pardon for them.

February 9 – Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Imitation of Christ

The Spirit of Christ enlivens two bodies, that is, his mortal body and his mystical body. From this source   derives his earthly historical life.

With death he ceased living in his own body, and he began to live in his mystical body. Since he could not further suffer and merit in his own person, he wished his passion and merits to continue in his mystical   members and so to glorify the Father through the   holy actions of their longsuffering lives until the consummation of time.

However, the life of the Christian properly speaking is none other than the expression and the continuation of the life of Christ, which in a    certain sense is not yet completed, but is being completed daily in the lives of the saints who follow his example, and will be completed at the end of the world.

February 2 – The Presentation of the Lord in the Temple: Candlemas

I am created by God for this end alone, that I might praise him and serve him and consequently be saved. And not only that I should praise him and serve him in any state of life, but in that state which he desires and has destined for me. Like a candle I must long to burn and be consumed by God, but where he wishes and how he wants.

My heart must belong totally to God and to my spouse, [if married], not only through natural   inclination, but also as a result of my covenant with God himself.

January 26 – Sunday of the Word of God: The Actions of God

Every good action comes from God as from a good and noble father.

God ordinarily makes use of lowly things in order to accomplish great things, as with the ass of Balaam, or simply its jawbone. He made use of ignoble and unlearned apostles in order to show that the work was his doing alone.

The truths which have persuaded me are those which persuaded the saints; they are, and will always be, the same. Neither time nor lack of reflection will make them lose their force; hence just as these truths move me once, so, with the help of God, they must always move me. Follow always and generously the will of God once recognized, and make conscious note of the times when you transgress it. Do not give importance except to faults which are certain and deliberate, since we do not have to give an account to God except of that which we know we ought to have done, and did not do.

January 19 – Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: The Will of God

Esteem, therefore, and love the will of God in all things, and above all things, and bring yourself with high ardor to accomplishing it. Detest having not done it in the past, and ask pardon of God for it humbly and with faith. Decide to want to do it in every way in the future.

Observe that which could impede the execution of the will of God, or diminish fervor for it, that is: The temptations of the Devil, and human respect; The allurements of the flesh and of worldly goods; The fear of losing some worldly goods; The fear of inconveniencing the body.

Scorn similar impediments. Observe that love must be as strong as death, that it breaks down every obstacle, and that no one tribulation must diminish it. Say with St. Paul: “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” etc., rousing oneself to heroic acts like the Saints.

Reflect on how you might think, speak, work, if you would truly love God: “Truly love is never idle, for it is busy with great things, if it is love. If however it refuses to labor, it is not love.”

January 12 – The Baptism of the Lord: Baptism and Prayer

In the order of divine providence, the more necessary the means to salvation, the more God renders it easy to practice. Thus among the sacraments, there is nothing easier than Baptism; the matter is simply water, the minister any person, and it can be administered at any place, time, or age. So too one can pray in any place, at home, while traveling, in bed, at any time during the day or night, without sublimity of thought or elegance of style. Rather “He hath had regard to the prayer of the humble, and he hath not despised their petition” (Ps 101:18).

It is not necessary to wait for an audience, to seek out mediators, to study expressions. We ourselves are the temple of God. The heart is the altar where prayers reside and are welcome, without this welcoming other influences disturb us and close us off to the Word of God.

January 5 – The Epiphany of the Lord

The soul that loves its own good must throw itself into God, where all goods are found with infinite perfection. Those goods are eternal. They satisfy the heart. They make the soul blessed. Receiving these goods, the soul will save itself by loving. Like the thirsty deer, putting its mouth to the stream, so the soul rises to God. Throw yourself into that sea of goodness, and taste how sweet is the Lord. Give permission to your heart, that with the weight of your love you will let yourself fall into God, and although love might feel cold in its affections, it will strain to express some desires and fiery words to show itself in love with God. If you persevere in those demonstrations, words, and signs of love, and deal with God as a fervent lover, you will find in time that you truly love him. In this exercise if one has patience, even if the fire is not immediately lit, because the heart full of love of the world and of itself is like a green wood that with all the coals lit below, although it burns, it does not immediately light up. First it only makes smoke, then it makes smoke and flame, at last it makes a flame without smoke.

December 29 – The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph: Letters to Leopoldo Ricasoli

I rejoice highly to know that you are in Jesus full of good will, nor shall I neglect to ask insistently of the Holy Family for you have a holy perseverance in these more special days of blessing and grace; do not neglect in the meanwhile to nourish your piety with the usual daily exercises of prayer, of reading, and of frequenting the holy Sacraments. Thank the Lord for the stillness of your heart, which I hope you have enjoyed for a long time, nor could you choose a more efficacious means to conserve this peace than frequenting the holy Sacraments; add to this also in a stable manner every day a bit of meditation and of spiritual reading; and have no fear that the Lord will accord you all else that you desire. Rest assured that the difficulty of continuing with such a system is more in the apprehension than in the reality. Think that God deserves all effort, nor does he let himself be outdone in generosity.

December 22 – Fourth Sunday of Advent: A Time for Spiritual Joy

Let each of us be stable in all holy spiritual exercises, considering them of great importance. Let us be careful to avoid that tacit disdain for them found when one says it is of no importance if I omit spiritual reading, an examination of conscience, the rosary, holy Mass, etc. Sometimes we omit them in order to deal with other people, other times for some small occupation or because we feel indisposed. Once we become lazy about our spiritual devotions only with great difficulty can God, with all the strength of his dealings with our heart, subject that heart to himself. The demons know that if they do not cut away these locks of hair from the soul, they will never be able to bind this Samson. Hold in great esteem and be glad to value all the tender devotions which help in loving God. The saints made use of these devotions, and esteemed them highly, knowing that as the leaves of a tree protect its principal fruit, so tender motivations nourish solid virtue.

December 15 -Third Sunday of Advent: Spiritual Exercises in Advent

Know well what it is that God desires so as not to labor uselessly, spending one’s self for that which God does not require of us, and which therefore is not pleasing to him. That which God seeks is to uproot pride, to burn away desires for self-advancement, for being esteemed, for gratifying and giving pleasure to men; this hinders God from working in the soul, whence it is necessary to conceive a great hatred for it and make a conscious effort to eradicate it.

Resolve to never omit spiritual reading, the practice of union with God, the exam of this virtue, and the general exam of the day, and to do this every day. Also, if it is possible add a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, and go to confession every week.

December 8 – Second Sunday of Advent: Desert Prayer

Let each of us be stable in all holy spiritual exercises, considering them of great importance. Let us be careful to avoid that tacit disdain for them found when one says it is of no importance if I omit spiritual reading, an examination of conscience, the rosary, holy Mass, etc. Sometimes we omit them in order to deal with other people, other times for some small occupation or because we feel indisposed. Once we become lazy about our spiritual devotions only with great difficulty can God, with all the strength
of his dealings with our heart, subject that heart to himself. The demons know that if they do not cut away these locks of hair from the soul, they will never be able to bind this Samson. Hold in great esteem and be glad to value all the tender devotions which help in loving God. The saints made use of these devotions, and esteemed them highly, knowing that as the leaves of a tree protect its principal fruit, so tender motivations nourish solid virtue.

Enter into the way of prayer completely selfless with respect to God, without demanding graces, special illuminations, peaceful repose, revelations, etc. God’s way of proceeding with us is to pour out consolations and graces on the one who does not demand them of him; in this way we profit much, and we have always, in all our exercises, a pure and correct intention of pleasing God in them, whether in time of aridity or in time of
consolation.

When confronted with a variety of temptations, make use of the various passages of sacred scripture to fortify you. Make an express act of faith in the scripture passages, and have a complete trust in the holy, efficacious, omnipotent word of God, following the example of Jesus Christ tempted in the desert.

December 1 – First Sunday of Advent: Advent Exercises
Let each of us be stable in all holy spiritual exercises, considering them of great importance. Let us be careful to avoid that tacit disdain for them found when one says it is of no importance if I omit spiritual reading, an examination of conscience, the rosary, holy Mass, etc. Sometimes we omit them in order to deal with other people, other times for some small occupation or because we feel indisposed. Once we become lazy about our spiritual devotions only with great difficulty can God, with all the strength
of his dealings with our heart, subject that heart to himself. The demons know that if they do not cut away these locks of hair from the soul, they will never be able to bind this Samson. Hold in great esteem and be glad to value all the tender devotions which help in loving God. The saints made use of these devotions, and esteemed them highly, knowing that as the leaves of a tree protect its principal fruit, so tender motivations nourish solid virtue.