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Title: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 24, 2011, 09:02:08 PM
GOD AND HIS PERFECTIONS

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LISTEN TO THE WORDS OF LIFE.

1. ONE day St. Antony was preaching in a town called Rimini. The people would not listen to him; so he came down from the pulpit, went out of the church, and walked till he came to the sea. He stood on the sand of the seashore, and cried out to the fishes these words: "Fishes of the sea and of the rivers, listen to me. I wanted to preach to the people, but they would not listen to me; so I am going to preach to you." When he had said these words an immense number of fishes, of all sizes, came round him, covering all the sea. The little fishes came first, behind them the middle-sized fishes, and then the great fishes. They were all in good order and very quiet, with their heads out of the water, turned towards the preacher. Then St. Antony spoke to them these words: "Fishes, my little brethren, you ought to thank your Creator for all the good things he has given you. First, there is the beautiful water in which you live, the sea water as well as the fresh water, whichever you like best. Then there are the holes and caves in the rocks, where you can go when a storm troubles the water. God has made you able to swim, and given you all that you eat to preserve your lives. In the great deluge, when it rained on the earth for forty days and forty nights, all the other animals were drowned, and you only were kept alive. When the prophet Jonas was thrown into the sea, God gave him to you to keep him alive for three days. When the people came to Jesus, and asked to pay the tribute, you helped him to pay it. You were the food of Jesus Christ the Son of God, before and after his resurrection. Now, when you remember all these great favors you have received from God, you ought to bless him and thank him even more than other creatures." When the fishes heard these words they opened their mouths, and bowed their heads, and showed how great was their desire to thank God. Then St. Antony, full of joy, cried out: "Blessed be the great God, because the fishes praise him when men refuse to praise him." And now when the people heard what a wonderful thing had happened to the fishes, they all went out to see it, and, kneeling down before St. Antony, they asked him to pardon them, which he did. Then the Saint turned round, gave his blessing to the fishes and sent them all away. So Almighty God worked a miracle, to let us see how much he desires that we should listen to his holy word which is full of power -- Ecc. viii. Little children, be at least as good as the fishes, and listen to the words of life which Almighty God speaks to you.

2. Sometimes children will attend to any little trifle, instead of listening to an instruction. There was a great town called Athens. The soldiers were on their way to this town. They were coming to destroy it. The people of the town were in great fear; and they met together to consult what should be down to save the town. Amongst them was one very wise man, called Demosthenes, who stood up and began to speak to them. The people would not listen to him. They talked, and made a great noise, so that he could not be heard. Demosthenes therefore gave over speaking, and was silent for a few minutes; then he cried out to the people that he had a story to tell them. When they heard that he was going to tell them a story, they became very quiet, silent, and attentive. He began his story, "There were two men," he said, "travelling with one another. One of them had hired an ass from the other. In the middle of the day they stopped. He who had hired the ass, got off it; and as the sun was very hot, he sat down in the shadow of the ass. 'No', said the other; 'you hired my ass, but you did not hire its shadow.' When Demosthenes had said this, he gave over speaking. The people called out to him to go on. Then he said to them: "My good people, when I speak to you about the shadow of an ass, you listen to me; but when I speak to you about the safety of the town, you will not listen." So a little child will let itself be distracted by the shadow of a fly or any trifle, instead of listening to the Word of God.

FIRST COMMUNIONS, MISSIONS, RETREATS

If you are getting ready for the day of your first communion, the greatest day of your life, or if you are making a retreat, or at a mission, I will tell you what to do;

1. Be sure that God sends down most wonderful graces and blessings on missions and retreats. God will give to you in particular such graces as you never received before, and your heart will be entirely changed. You may not feel this during the first day or two, but have patience and it will come.

2. To the mission, or retreat, or instruction for first communion, ask others to go. James v., "He who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins."

3. Come to every instruction. If you lose one instruction, it is like losing a link the middle of a chain, an perhaps you lose the most important instruction, and the very one which would do you most good.

4. From the beginning of the mission or retreat do not commit any more the sins you were accustomed to commit, cut yourself off from them as you cut a stick in two with a knife.

5. From the beginning of the mission say your morning and night prayers, and practice the other devotions recommended, daily Mass, grace before and after meals, spiritual reading, rosary, evening examination of conscience; also accustom yourself to make each day a meditation which you may continue during the rest of your life.

6. Avoid not only bad, but all company as much as possible. Jesus Christ went into the desert for forty days to avoid the company of others. Osee ii., "I will lead her into the wilderness and speak to her heart."

7. Keep silence and talk as little as possible. Eccles. v., "Let thy words be few." The more silent your tongue is, the more the voice of God will speak to your heart. The greatest thing you have to do at a mission or retreat is to make a good confession: it is well to make a general confession, or, at least, a confession of the sins since your last general confession. If any one has concealed a mortal sin in confession, he will confess it during the retreat or mission, at least let him say at confession, "Please, Father, there is something I am afraid to tell." If you doubt about anything, say, "Father, I have a doubt."

8. Write, if you can, on paper your good resolutions and a Rule of Life for yourself, that is, what prayers you will say, what good things you will do every day. Keep this paper in your room, and read it very often. A little girl at school, during a retreat, wrote her good resolutions and rule of life on a paper. When she left school she forgot her duty to God for several years. One day she happened to go into a room. She opened a drawer, and saw in it a paper. She opened the paper, and behold, it was the very paper on which she had written her good resolutions and rule of life during the retreat at school! Her hand trembled while she was reading that rule of life, which she had forgotten long since. When she remember how happy she had been in that retreat, she burst into tears. The reading of that paper changed her heart. On that spot, and with that paper in her hand and with her eyes lifted up to God, she determined to be good again, and keep her rule of life, and be happy again as she was before.

9. Pray very much during the retreat or mission. If you pray much, and well, and from your heart, you are sure to make a good retreat. If you do not pray fervently, you are sure not to make a good retreat.

10. A mission or retreat is a good time to find out the will of God about your vocation.

11. In a mission or retreat, you can if you like, read these books to help you to meditate on the instructions you hear.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 26, 2011, 03:41:11 AM
SERMONS, INSTRUCTIONS, CATECHISMS, SPIRITUAL READING

I will tell you what you should do when you hear the Word of God in a sermon, or instruction, or a catechism, or when you read it in a good book.

1. Your dinner does you very little good, unless you have an appetite for it; so hearing God's word will do you very little good, unless you have an appetite for it, and a desire to hear it. If you do not feel this desire, at least wish for it, and pray for it, and it will be given to you; for it is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, called the gift of "understanding."

2. Do not go to an instruction through mere curiosity, for example to hear how somebody preaches, nor only because you are obliged to go, and you would be scolded if you were absent. Go to hear God's word, because it is able to save your soul -- James i. 21.

3. What you hear in an instruction is not the word of a man, but it is the Word of God. "You receive my word," says St. Paul, "not as the word of man, but, as it is indeed, the word of God." 1. Thess. So say in your heart: "My God, I believe that you yourself will speak to me in this instruction."

4. Listen with attention. The sin of Adam has made our minds very weak, and we cannot always keep our attention fixed; but do not be willfully inattentive.

5. In almost every instruction you hear something recommended which you feel in your heart just suits you. This is a particular light which God sends from Heaven into your heart. Say then to yourself, now I will begin this very day to do that thing. "Be ye doers of the word of God, and not hearers only." James i.

6. When a little bird comes to the river to drink, it does not keep its beak in the water all the time; but it lifts up sometimes, to let the water go down its throat. So when you are reading a good book, stop sometimes to let what you read, and especially what you feel most, go into your heart.

7. When you have eaten your dinner, you keep the food in your stomach, to feed your body. So when you have heard an instruction keep some of it in your mind, to think about afterwards, and feed your soul with it. In the stable of Bethlehem there were the infant Jesus, Mary his mother, and Joseph and the shepherds. When the shepherds were gone away, Mary, who was full of Divine Wisdom, kept the words of these poor ignorant shepherds in her heart, and thought of them, and meditated on them. Luke ii.

If you will not listen to the words of his life see what may happen to you. St. Francis once gave a great mission in the town of Naples. Several nights before the mission began, he went round through the streets to every house. He knocked at each door as we went along, and when it was opened, he said: "Please, for the love of God, to come to the mission." In a certain house in one of the streets there was living a very wicked woman; her name was Catherine. St. Francis came to the door of Catherine's house, and when it was opened, he said: "Please, for the love of God, to come to the mission." Catherine answered, "No, I will not come to the mission." St. Francis left the house, and went on his way. The next evening St. Francis came again to Catherine's house, and knocked on the door. The door was opened, "How is Catherine?" said St. Francis, "Catherine!" a voice answered -- "Catherine is dead!" "Then," said St. Francis, let us go up stairs and see the dead body." They all walked up stairs and went into a room where a dead body was laid on a bed. It was the dead body of the wicked Catherine, who only the night before had said: "I will not go to the mission." They stood round the dead body. St. Francis stood in front of it, and looked at the pale body, which had no life in it; then he said with a loud voice: "Oh! Catherine, Catherine, tell me, in the name of God I command you to tell me, where are you -- where is your soul?" A moment passed, and that cold dead body opened its mouth, and the dead tongue moved in the inside of the mouth, and that dead tongue answered the question of St. Francis, and said in a frightful voice: "I am in Hell." Poor Catherine! you lived many years and committed many dreadful mortal sins; still the good God did not send you to Hell. Then St. Francis came to you from God, and he asked you to listen to him, and be converted, and you answered: "No, I will not listen." Then the just God sent you to Hell. In a like manner, if there be any child who will not listen to the instructions which are given to it, let that child tremble, because perhaps it is near to Hell as Catherine was.

Listen, then, to the first instruction, and you will hear of "God and his perfections."

THE GREATNESS OF ALMIGHTY GOD

"Who shall understand the ways of God?" -- Ecc. xvi. 21. One day St. Augustine, the great bishop, was walking on the sea-shore. He was thinking about the greatness of Almighty God. As he went along he saw a little child sitting close to the sea. This child had a small spoon in its hand, and was dipping the spoon into the sea. St. Augustine went to the child and said, "My little child, why are you dipping that spoon into the water?" The child answered: "I want to empty all the water out of the sea." "But," said St. Augustine, "it is of no use for you to try to empty the great sea with that little spoon; if you were to work forever you could not do it." The child then said: "I am an angel from Heaven; and God has sent me to tell you that it would be easier for me to empty the sea with this little spoon, than for you to understand all about the greatness of God." Who hath known the mind of the Lord (Rom. ii. 30) -- the greatness of God? [/i]Still, you may know something of God.

GOD IS ETERNAL

1. God always was. Before the sun shone on the earth, before a grain of sand was made, God was. Before the millions of millions of years which are passed away, God was; for he never had a beginning. This book which you are reading was made -- somebody made the paper for it, and somebody printed it; but God was not made by anybody -- he always was of himself.

2. God will never have an end: "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever." -- Heb. i. 8. All creatures perish and die, but God will never die; "They shall perish, but thou shalt continue." -- Heb. i. 11. The hard stones are worn away by the winds and the rains; the grass dies; the flowers fade away; the leaves drop off the trees. The birds of the air, and the fishes of the sea, breath out their last breath; the beasts perish in the fields; empires, and kingdoms, and nations, pass away; our bodies go into dust, because God has said: "Thou art dust, and into dust thou shalt return." The stars will fall from Heaven: the Heavens and the Earth will pass away; and last of all death, which destroys all other things, will itself be destroyed: and when the Heavens and the Earth shall have passed away, God will make a new and more beautiful Heavens and Earth (Apoc. 21); and from the dust of the body in the grave he will make a more beautiful body, shining like the sun in its brightness. So all things perish and die; only God lives for ever and ever.

3. All eternity is present before God. Look at the clock -- it is just one minute past twelve o'clock. That one minute is present to us; but the minute before it, and the minute after it, are not present to us. It is not so with god. Job x. 7. "Are thy days, O God, as the days of man?" All the years that are past, and all the years that are to come, are present before God just as much as this present minute. You cannot understand this. Take then, a very long stick, and put it close before your eyes. You see the middle of it quite well, but you cannot see the ends of it so well; because your eye is too weak. But the all-seeing eye of God can see not only the middle, but also the beginning and the end of all things. Jer. xxii. 23. "Am I, think ye, a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off." So all things, past and to come, are always present before God.

Where, then, is this great God? what place is he in?


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 31, 2011, 05:30:20 AM
GOD IS EVERYWHERE

1. "Of his greatness there is no end." -- Ps. cxliv. 3.

He is in Heaven, in the blue skies, in the air which you breath, in the rain, and in the sunshine. God is on the earth, and on all the length and breadth of it; he is in the deep waters of the sea. God is in the green fields where you walk, in the streets through which you pass; he is in the house in which you live -- in the room where you sit down. God is in the school where you learn your lessons -- in the chapel where you say your prayers. He is in the shop where you work -- he is in the town full of people, in the sandy desert where no foot of man ever trod. God fills you more than water fills a sponge. God is in your heart, and he sees all your thoughts; he is with you, and he hears all your words. "No thought escapeth him, no word can hide itself from him." -- Ecclus. 42. You are in God as a bird is in the air, or a fish in the water. If you stir your hand or your foot, God is there to help you. God is in the light and in the dark; the light and the dark are the same to him; he sees in the light as he sees in the dark -- the dark is not dark to God. -- Ps. cxxxviii.

2. How is God present everywhere?

How are you present yourself anywhere? Your hand is present in one place, your foot in another place, so that your hand is not where your foot is. but it is not so with God. God is a pure spirit, without a body. It is not as if part of God was in one place and part of him in another place. God is all everywhere. For example, God is in your heart with his whole self. The three persons of the Blessed Trinity are whole and entire in your heart, with all their wisdom , and power, and greatness. So God is in your heart just the same as he is on his throne in heaven, where all the angels fall down before him and adore him, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come." Apoc. iv. In the same manner, God is present everywhere, his whole self, in every atom of the air, in every speck of the universe. And there is but one God, who is all and entire everywhere, and all and entire in every part of everywhere. Will you then let a frightful mortal sin go into your heart, where all God's sanctity is, where all his almighty power is, which can cast both your body and soul into hell?

3. A little boy wanted to do a very wicked thing. He said to himself, now I should be ashamed for anybody to see me doing this wicked thing, so I know what I will do: at night, when it is dark, I will shut myself up in a room, and lock the door, and then when I am alone by myself in the dark room, and nobody sees me, then I will do the wicked thing. That foolish boy knew not that the great Almighty God was in the dark room, and that he sees in the dark as he sees in the light -- that "in him we live, move, and have our being." -- Acts. xvii. 28.

4. In a town, the name of which is not known, there lived a woman called Thias. She led a very wicked life; for her mother, instead of teaching her what was good, had taught her all that was bad. The scandal which Thais gave was known throughout the whole country, and all good people lamented her bad example, and the injury which it did to souls redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Still, in the midst of her wicked deeds there was one good thing; she had never forgot a lesson which she had learned in her childhood, that "there is a God who will reward the just and punish the wicked." Perhaps it was because she thought sometimes about this great truth, which she had learned in the catechism, that God was so good to her. God wished to save her from Hell, so he put it into the heart of a holy monk, called Paphnucius to go and speak to her, and try to convert her. Paphnucius knew that if he went dressed like a monk, she would not speak to him, so he put on another dress, took some money, and set off on horseback. His journey was a long one.

When he came near the house of Thais, she was standing at the window, and when she saw that he wanted to speak to her, she made a sign for him to come in. Paphnucius therefore god off his horse, and went into the room where Thais was alone by herself. "What is that you want?" said Thais. "What have you come to speak to me about?" Paphnucius said: "It is a very important thing that I have to say to you, but I do not want anybody to hear it except you." "But," said Thais, "we are alone now; there is nobody in this room except you and me." "Yes," said Paphnucius, "there is some one else here." "Who is it?" said Thais, "for I see no one." Then Paphnucius answered: "There is the great God present here -- that God who sees all your grievous sins, the scandals you have committed, the souls you have ruined -- that God who can cast both your body and soul into Hell, is present here, he sees you, he is looking at you now at this moment." These words, "God is present," struck the heart of Thais, and the grace of God went into her heart.

She turned pale, and trembled, and fell on her knees, and the tears ran down from her eyes. "O father!" she said, "pray for me, that God may have mercy on my poor soul. Lay upon me any penance you please, and I will do it. I ask only three hours, and then I will do any thing you bid me." She spent the three hours well. About one hour after she had been talking with Paphnucius, there was a large fire burning in the market-place, and the crowds of people were standing round in wonder. Thais had taken all the beautiful things in her house, and all her fine dresses, which had so often been the occasion of sin; she had them all put in a heap in the middle of the market-place; then she took a light, and set fire to them.

While they were burning, she cried out to the people who stood round: "Let those who have followed me in my sins follow me in my repentance." Nothing remained but a heap of black ashes. The crowds went away. Then Thais went back to Paphnucius, ready to do whatever he should bid her for the salvation of her soul. He led her therefore, to a convent, put her into a small room, and put a seal on the door, that nobody might go in to disturb her. There was a small window in the room, through which he desire the sisters to give her every day a little bread and water.

When Paphnucius was going away, she said to him: "Father, tell me how I must pray to God." "You are not worthy," he said, "to have God's holy name on your lips, or to lift up to him your hands with which you have committed so many sins. You shall say only one prayer, and this shall be your prayer: "O thou who didst create me, have mercy on me.'" Three years passed, and the sisters heard her always, night and day, weeping and crying out: "O thou who didst create me, have mercy on me." At the end of three years, St. Paul, a holy monk, prayed to God to know if her sins were pardoned.

Almighty God showed to him a seat in Heaven of wonderful beauty, and told him that this seat was prepared for Thais. Then Paphnucius came back to the convent, took the seal off the door, and told her that she might come out and be with the sisters. Two weeks after this Thais was no more. She died the death of a saint. How great then are these words: God is present; he sees me; he hears me. In a  minute they changed one of the reatest sinners into a saint. In this manner, then, my child, shall you sometimes speak to Almighty God. (Ps. cxxxviii.) "Whither, O God, shall I go from thy spirit, or wither shall I fly from thy face? If I ascend into Heaven, thou art there. If I descend into Hell, thou art there. If I take wings early in the morning, and fly to the furthers parts of the sea, even there also will thy hand lead me. And I said, perhaps darkness shall cover me, and the night shall hide me. But darkness shall not be dark to thee, and night shell be light as the day. The darkness thereof, and the light thereof, are alike to thee."

5. It is a blessed thing to remember that God is present as often as you can.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 31, 2011, 07:48:27 AM
How are people enjoying this one by the way? I hope as much as I am. It is provoked a good deal of thought.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on January 31, 2011, 08:23:03 AM
This makes excellent reading, Shin. Thanks. :)


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 31, 2011, 08:27:03 AM
This makes excellent reading, Shin. Thanks. :)

Thanks Patricia! God is kind to give us Fr. Furniss.

Good morning!  :flower:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on January 31, 2011, 08:31:59 AM
Good morning!  :littlewings:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on January 31, 2011, 05:46:21 PM
That is a beautiful story about Thais. How the Good Shepherd using his servent Paphnucius set out after the one lost sheep and brought it home, and what penance she did while sometimes we imagine that a good confession absolves us from making due reparation.

Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
Have mercy on me a sinner.  :+:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 01, 2011, 10:11:27 AM
I know it's easy to get confused at this point, about the presence of God.

There's His omnipresence, and His real presence, but when we speak of the former -- just because He is -everywhere-, does not mean He is -everything-. The latter is pantheism, not Christianity.

In other words, as the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX says, the following propositions are condemned:

"There is no supreme, all-wise and all-provident Divine Being distinct from the universe; God is one with nature and therefore subject to change; He becomes God in man and the world; all things are God and have His substance; God is identical with the world, spirit with matter, necessity with freedom, truth with falsity, good with evil, justice with injustice"



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 01, 2011, 10:16:29 AM
5. It is a blessed thing to remember that God is present as often as you can.

There is a certain religious order of nuns. These good nuns have a beautiful way of remembering the presence of God, even when they are talking with one another, which is commonly the time when people think least of the presence of God. In the midst of there conversation, there is a moment of silence, and one of the nuns speaks these words: "My dear sisters, I remind you that God is present."

Blessed is the man who in his mind shall think of the all-seeing eye of God. Ecclus. 14.

6. I will tell you then what to do about the presence of God.

1. Always remember that God, your good Father is present everywhere, in the room where you are, in the road where you walk, in the place where you work, in your heart. He is always looking at you, in your work, in your sleep, in your pains, temptations, troubles, when things do not go well with you. When you walk in the sunshine, you remember that the sun is shining; so, since you walk in God, remember God. You do not see God; but if you are with a person in the dark, you know that he is there, although you do not see him. Sometimes you can simply remember that God is present; sometimes you can make an act of faith, and say, "My God, I believe that you are present." Every thing you see ought to make you think of God. The light of the sun tells you of the grace of God, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. -- John i.

The beautiful flowers tell you of God's beauty; the green grass and autumn fruits of the earth speak of God's providence; the hard rocks which seem never to wear out, tell you of God's eternity. In the people whom you meet there is the image and likeness of God. Fire,  and storms, and war, and fever, and famine, and death, speak of God's justice. When things we see thus remind us of God, it is one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, called the gift of "knowledge." St. Paul speaks of this when he says that "the unseen things of God from the creatures of the world are clearly seen." Rom. i.

2. Remembering that God is present, say often some nice little short prayer to him, such as, "My God, I believe that thou art present -- I adore thee -- I hope in thee -- I love thee with all my heart; or, "Thy will be done." Fix on some short little prayer that you love and say it very often. These short prayers are called aspirations or breathings and ejaculations or darts. As they are very short, the devil has not time to come and distract you. They do not take you off from your employments, for you have not to go and fetch a prayer-book or kneel down.

3. Remember that God is present and looking at you, offer to him each of your thoughts, words, and actions, with those of Jesus Christ, saying: "My Jesus, I do this for the love of you" But do your actions well and without sin. The saints became saints, because they did all their actions in the presence of God. When Saint Rose, of Lima, was twelve years old, she never forgot the presence of God for one single moment all the day long. When she was praying, or working, or eating, or walking, or speaking, she always remembered the presence of God. This is what the saints do in Heaven; they always see God. "Walk before me, and be perfect." Gen. xvii. "I have kept thy commandments, because all my ways are in thy sight" Ps. cxviii.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on February 01, 2011, 10:44:42 AM
Quote
2. Remembering that God is present, say often some nice little short prayer to him, such as, "My God, I believe that thou art present -- I adore thee -- I hope in thee -- I love thee with all my heart; or, "Thy will be done." Fix on some short little prayer that you love and say it very often. These short prayers are called aspirations or breathings and ejaculations or darts. As they are very short, the devil has not time to come and distract you. They do not take you off from your employments, for you have not to go and fetch a prayer-book or kneel down.

Here are some ejaculatory prayers of St. Claret which he advised others to make their own and which he recited everyday. Truly efficacious.

Who is like unto God?
Who is like unto Jesus Christ?
Who is like Mary Immaculate, Most Holy Virgin and Mother of God?
Who are like the angels of Heaven?
Who are like the saints in glory?
Who are like the just on earth?
Long live Jesus !  Long live Mary Most Holy !
Long live the holy commandments of God !
Long live the holy evangelical counsels !
Long live the holy Sacraments of the Church !
Long live the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass !
Long live the the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar !
Long live the Holy Rosary of the Mother of God !
Long live the grace of God!
Long live Christian virtues !
Long live the Works of Mercy !
Away with vice, guilt and sin !


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 02, 2011, 01:29:32 PM
Thank you Patricia.. someday I'll have these all collected into a little booklet!

It reminds me a fellow asked me to have some old English prayers on the Saints' Prayers site in the revised prayerbook.. It's been on my mind.. well, step by step.

Little arrows to Heaven!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 02, 2011, 01:32:56 PM
7. One word more on the presence of God. The room where you sleep -- what is it?

It is a little Chapel.

There is the pretty little white Altar, with its white altar-cloth and candlesticks, which you made for the glory of God, and the protection of the house. On the altar, betwixt the candlesticks, there is the Cross, the image of Jesus Christ crucified. There is also the Picture or the image of Mary your sweet mother, like a star shining upon you. Before the blessed Mary you perhaps put a light on Saturdays or on her festivals; and when the flowers are in the fields, you bring a fresh flower and place it at her feet; perhaps, as in Catholic countries, you keep a lamp burning day and night before Mary.

Near the altar there is the Holy water to send away the evil spirits from the house. There is your Rule of Life hung up, so that you always known how to lead the life of a Christian. Before the altar there is a Lamp which burns, and Incense which rises up. The lamp is your heart burning with the love of God. The incense is your prayer, which rises up like incense in the sight of God. When you are alone in this little chapel, there are always five persons with you, who you do not see. There is God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; there is your angel guardian to watch over you; and the Devil is there to tempt you.

What, then, are the things which you do in this little chapel?

You go in there and having shut the door, you pray in secret to God, who is your Father. There you say your morning and night prayers, you make your meditation, and you read good books, you strike your breast, you kiss the ground, you look up at the cross and think of the sufferings of Jesus, you place yourself near the dear mother Mary, and say your beads to her, there you get ready for confession and the holy communion.  In temptation you fly to your little chapel, and there you call on "Jesus and Mary to help you." If you have a difficult work to do, you go to your little chapel and ask Almighty God how it is to be done. If you ever feel sad and sorrowful, you go to your chapel and tell God that you are sorrowful; then a ray of light comes down from Heaven and makes you happy again. Every day when you cannot go to the great chapel where the blessed Sacrament is kept, you go into your own little chapel, you say a prayer to the blessed Sacrament.

Each day also you offer a sacrifice on your little altar.

The sacrifice is the thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings of the day, and you offer them to Jesus, saying: "My Jesus, I do all for the love of you." There also you make a retreat every year. Such is your room, a Heaven on Earth, a Paradise in the world, where you live with Almighty God and the angels. Such ought to be the room of every Christian. If you have not a chapel or an altar in your house, make one: so your house will become the house of God.

"The Lord stirred up the spirit of the people to build his house." Ag. i. St. Theresa when a child, made her chapel in the garden. When you are in your little chapel, see how God knows your heart.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 02, 2011, 01:56:49 PM
GOD IS ALMIGHTY

1. There was a time when there was nothing except God himself; no sun, no stars, no Earth, nothing but God.

All was darkness; but God spoke the word, and then the sun shone in the heavens, and the stars sparkled in the blue skies, the mountains rose up out of the Earth, the rivers flowed into the great sea, the green grass grew over the Earth, the beautiful flowers covered the fields, the trees spread out their branches. At his voice the fishes were swimming in the waters, the birds flying in the air, and the beasts were on the face of the Earth. Then God took some of the dust of the Earth, and made out of it a body, and he breathed into it the breath of life, a living soul, and there was Adam, our first father. So God made all things, and the words of God are perfect. Deut. xxxii. Al little girl once made a pocket-handkerchief, but she had something beforehand to make it of -- she had plenty of linen and thread, besides pins and needles and scissors. When God made all things, he made them out of nothing. If God had made the world out of one little grain of sand, this would have been a wonderful thing, but he made it out of nothing -- nothing! A carpenter had to make a chair, but it cost him a great deal of labor and trouble and time to make it. He had to get wood, and saw it and cut it, and hammer and nail it. To make all things was not the least trouble or labor to Almighty God. It is as easy for God to make the whole world, as to make one little grain of sand. "He spoke, and at his word all things were made."

2. The great God, who made all things, rules over all things.

All creatures in Heaven, on earth, and everywhere, obey him. "For who resisteth his will?" Rom. ix. 19. Every grain of sand, every leaf, every flower, every insect, every beast on the Earth, every fish in the water, every bird in the air, all obey God and do his will. Why does the sun rise and set, and the stars go forward in their path? Because God tells them. Why do the winds blow, and the trees blossom and give their fruits? Why do the rivers go on without stopping, and the swelling waves of the sea -- why do they not break in upon the Earth and drown it? why does the thunder shake the Earth, and the lightning strike the high trees? Because God commands them. In the things which are done in this world, men think they are doing only their own wills, and yet all the while they are doing the will of the great God. Kingdoms and empires rise and fall. The great towns and cities, capitals of empires, become a ruin and crumble into dust, where they are swept away by the winds. The very place where they stood is not known, and their name is to be found only in histories. All these things are done because it is God's will. "Shall there be evil in the city which the Lord hath not done?" Amos. iii. the great and the wise men of Earth take counsel; and the nations of the world make wars, one against the other, and they do it to please themselves, and they know not that they are in the hand of a workman. "So God does according to his will with all, and there is none that can resist him and say to him, why hast thou done it?" Dan. v. 32. Therefore let us adore the great Almighty God, the Creator and Ruler of all things, saying: "Great and wonderful are thy works, O Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, O King of Ages: who shall not fear thee and magnify thy holy name?" Apoc. xv. "Be ye humbled under the mighty hand of God." 1 Pet.

It is wonderful to see the power of God when he rewards the good and punishes the wicked.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Brigid on February 02, 2011, 02:02:28 PM
Quote
In other words, as the Syllabus of Pope Pius IX says, the following propositions are condemned:

"There is no supreme, all-wise and all-provident Divine Being distinct from the universe; God is one with nature and therefore subject to change; He becomes God in man and the world; all things are God and have His substance; God is identical with the world, spirit with matter, necessity with freedom, truth with falsity, good with evil, justice with injustice"


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 02, 2011, 02:07:46 PM
 :+: God bless the soul of Fr. Furniss.

Perhaps he is a hidden saint. He certainly was given to write like one.

Fr. Furniss, ora pro nobis.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on February 02, 2011, 02:16:36 PM
Quote
If you have not a chapel or an altar in your house, make one: so your house will become the house of God.

I have made a little altar on my dresser in my bedroom. I have Our Lady's statue, a crucifix, St. Philomena's picture, a little oil lamp, rosary beads, holy water etc.  I would go by Fr. Furniss's suggestions and do what he has recommended.  Very good .


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 02, 2011, 02:19:55 PM
Quote
If you have not a chapel or an altar in your house, make one: so your house will become the house of God.

I have made a little altar on my dresser in my bedroom. I have Our Lady's statue, a crucifix, St. Philomena's picture, a little oil lamp, rosary beads, holy water etc.  I would go by Fr. Furniss's suggestions and do what he has recommended.  Very good .

Happy and beautiful in grace St. Philomena! :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 04, 2011, 11:17:24 AM
GOD IS JUST

1. "God will render to every man according to his works." Matt. xvi.

He rewards the just even for the least little good work they do for his sake.

In the Temple of Jerusalem there was a box. When the people went into the temple, many of them put money into this box for the use of the temple. Some put a pound in the box, some a shilling, some six pence or less. One day there came into the temple an old woman, who was a widow and very poor. She was so poor that all in the world she had but one farthing. When she passed the box, she took out of her pocket her one only farthing, and for the love of God she put it into the box. Now what do you think was the value of this poor little farthing work in the sight of God? Its value was so great that you could not reckon it, even if you covered all the Earth over with figures. If you go to Heaven, you will see there that farthing work shining like the sun, and the reward which that widow will get for it will last for ever. Then, my child, first have no mortal sin on your conscience. Secondly, do your works to please God, saying always, "My Jesus, I do this for the love of you." Then every little thing you do will shine like the sun before God. Eccus. xvii.; and for every work you will have a reward such as the "eye hath not seen, the ear hath not heard, nor the heart of man understood." Cor. ii.

2. God punishes the wicked.

He cannot bear to see a sin; it looks frightful to his eyes. (II Peter ii.) "The sinner brings upon himself swift destruction."

For one willful mortal sin, which lasts but for the twinkling of an eye, he is burnt for ever and ever in the fire of Hell. it is just that it should be so, because the wicked sinner dares, in the presence of God and before his eyes to break his commandments. When the sinner commits a mortal sin, he, as it were, thrusts a black, frightful sin, as frightful as the Devil, and as terrible as Hell, into the very midst of the Sanctity of God, which dwells in his heart.

It is doing the same as that wicked man did, who dared to lift up his hand, and to give Jesus Christ, the Son of God, a blow on the face. Besides, the sinner knows very well, God has told him beforehand, that if he commits that mortal sin, he must go to Hell. So the sinner "makes a covenant with Hell," ii Is. xxviii. -- and puts himself into Hell by his own free will. For the least little sin, an idle word, Matt. xii., you must burn for a long time in Purgatory. We cannot now understand the judgements of God. Sometimes "a wicked man liveth a long time in his wickedness," -- Ecc. vii., -- committing thousands and thousands of mortal sins; sometimes a sinner is cut off "in the midst of his days," and sent to Hell directly after his first mortal sin.

There was a little child, says St. Gregory. The father of this child was taking a walk with it in his arms. Suddenly this child began to blaspheme God. As soon as the blasphemy had come out of its mouth, the Devil came and snatched the child out of the father's arms and carried it down to Hell, to burn there for ever and ever for this one blasphemy. But God is always good to his creatures. Perhaps he saw that if this child had lived longer, it would have committed many more sins, and he would have had to punish it more in Hell, "Yea, O Lord, just and true are thy judgements." Apoc. xvi. 7. Sometimes when a man has spent all his life in good works and serving God, when he grows old, he commits a mortal sin, and he dies in it, and is lost forever in Hell.

There was a certain man in Egypt who had led the life of a saint for many years. his days were spent in prayer and fasting and all kinds of good works. in his old age he fell into a mortal sin, instead of repenting, he went directly and threw himself down a precipice and was killed. "How unsearchable are God's judgements." Rom. ii. 33. Sometimes, but very seldom, it happens that a man who has passed all his life in committing sins, at the end of his life is converted and is saved. The poor thief who was crucified along with Jesus, had been a great sinner; but a few minutes before he died, he repented and became a friend of Jesus, and the same day his soul was in Paradise. We cannot understand these things now; but we shall understand them all at the day of judgement, and then we shall say: "Thou art just, O Lord, and all thy judgements are just." All we can do is live all our days in the fear of God -- to fear him who can cast both body and soul into Hell, and to try to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. Say also sometimes, "My God, may I never, never commit a mortal sin; may I die rather than commit a mortal sin." Pray often for those who are in mortal sin. It grieves God to have to punish his creatures; but there is one thing he loves to do.

GOD IS MERCIFUL

1. Almighty God loves to have pity on his poor creatures, and his tender mercies are over all his works. Ps. cxliv. 9. So the Son of God took a body and soul and a heart like ours. Then he let all the pains and sorrows of every one of his poor creatures come into his own heart, that he might know them, and feel how hard it is to bear them. Never was there any heart so full of sorrows and miseries as the heart of Jesus Christ. He took into his heart all the pains, labors, and fatigues and wearinesses, and disgusts, and anxieties, and heart-breakings, of every afflicted creature that shall have lived from the days of Adam till the end of the world, and he made them all his own. Every sigh of distress, every groan of misery that has been, or shall be, went into the heart of Jesus Christ. "So he bore our infirmities, and carried our sorrows." -- Isais liii. When Jesus was on the Cross, he looked and saw all the pains and sorrows of his creatures, and he felt them all, and they pressed on the sacred heart of Jesus like a great heavy weight, and the strong heart of Jesus Christ could not bear the sight of them any longer, and he died of grief. So now if you have a pain or a suffering, you can go to Jesus and say: "My dear Jesus, I have a heavy pain to bear, and you know how hard it is to bear it, because you felt this very pain yourself; so, my sweet Jesus, give me patience." When you are on the bed of sickness, or when you are hungry or cold, and you cry for it, Jesus looks on you so kindly and sorrowfully, and he cries along with you. When the pain goes away, an you are glad, Jesus is glad with you.



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on February 04, 2011, 11:33:44 AM
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Every sigh of distress, every groan of misery that has been, or shall be, went into the heart of Jesus Christ. "So he bore our infiermities, and carried our sorrows." -- Isais liii. When Jesus was on the Cross, he looked and saw all the pains and sorrows of his creatures, and he felt them all, and they pressed on the sacred heart of Jesus like a great heavy weight, and the strong heart of Jesus Christ could not bear the sight of them any longer, and he died of grief. So now if you have a pain or a suffering, you can go to Jesus and say: "My dear Jesus, I have a heavy pain to bear, and you know how hard it is to bear it, because you felt this very pain yourself; so, my sweet Jesus, give me patience." When you are on the bed of sickness, or when you are hungry or cold, and you cry for it, Jesus looks on you so kindly and sorrowfully, and he cries along with you. When the pain goes away, an you are glad, Jesus is glad with you.

Comforting words . He feels my pain.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Brigid on February 04, 2011, 03:56:37 PM
And whenever you have pain that is hard, due to gender, to understand that He felt, look to Mary.
Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix.


Quote
Almighty God loves to have pity on his poor creatures, and his tender mercies are over all his works. Ps. cxliv. 9. So the Son of God took a body and soul and a heart like ours. Then he let all the pains and sorrows of every one of his poor creatures come into his own heart, that he might know them, and feel how hard it is to bear them.


Benedicamus Patrem, et Filium, cum Sancto spiritu: laudemus et superexaltemus eum in saecula.







Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 04, 2011, 04:00:39 PM
Amen! May the Holy Trinity be praised and exalted forever and ever!  :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 05, 2011, 04:41:33 PM
2. But above all, God has great pity on poor sinners, "neither will he have a soul to perish," -- II Kings xiv. 14: and he tries so much to convert them.

He knocks at the door of a sinner's heart, and says: "Poor sinner, why will you go to Hell? Be converted to me and by my friend. I am your Creator. I cannot tell how much I love you. Do you not remember that I died on the cross to save you? So change your life, and be good. you will find it so easy to be good; and you will be so happy; and after you have been good for a little time, I will come and take you to Heaven. For as I live, says Almighty God, I desire not the death of a sinner, but that he should be converted and live."

Then the wicked sinners says, "No, Almighty God, I do not want to be converted; Go away from me." Then God does not get angry with the sinner, and send him to Hell as he deserves; but he is very sorry for the poor sinner, and says: "I must have patience with this poor creature, for he is very blind, and does not know what is for his good; so I will go away now and after some time I will come back again."

Then the Almighty God goes away, and after a time he comes back again, and he whispers into the sinner's heart, and says: "My dear sinner, have pity on your poor soul. The time of your death is drawing very near. You are standing on the brink of Hell. I cannot bear to think of your losing your soul forever. I should be so sorry. It breaks my heart to think that after a little time, all must be over for you, and I shall never be able to love you any more." So God comes to the sinner again, and again, and again. Then God says, "This poor sinner will not listen to me, although he knows that I love him so much: so I will try some other way. I will send him some pain, and perhaps then he will be converted; or I will send his angel guardian to put good thoughts into his heart; or, I will send the priest to talk to him. I will bid every creature to speak to his heart to convert him. The thunder, and lightning, and wars, and famines, and earthquakes, and disease, and death, and pains, and sorrows, shall tell him of the torments of Hell. The trees of the Earth, and the beasts of the fields, and the birds of the air, which do my will, shall give him an example that he may do my will. His hands and feet, which serve him, shall teach him to serve me. Sometimes when he is talking with others, he shall hear words that are not meant for him; but I mean them for him, to strike into his heart and awaken him out of the sleep of death."

When God sees that the sinner is always obstinate, and that he is obliged to call him out of the world without repenting, it is more bitter to him than if he had to die on the cross again. So God has mercy and pity on his poor creatures. II Esdras x. 17. "Thou art a forgiving God, gracious, and merciful, long-suffering and full of compassion."

It is wonderful to see what care God takes of his creatures. Will a mother forget her own dear little child? If she does, God will not forget you.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 05, 2011, 05:02:41 PM
When I think of the poor sinner in this passage, I think about blindness and I think about the relationship between sin and death.

'The sleep of death'

God is so merciful! Even when we do not wish to turn away from sin.. He returns and returns, urging us to do so.. Knocking, knocking..

'The time has come: you must wake up now.'

Romans 13:11

No more vice, but instead virtue.. No more self, but instead, the service of God..


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Brigid on February 05, 2011, 05:42:52 PM
Quote
No more vice, but instead virtue.. No more self, but instead, the service of God..


Yes, if we truly love Him.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on February 06, 2011, 12:17:22 PM
How merciful God is and ever patient with our follies . He calls out to the sinner as long as he is alive and there is a chance of repentance.  :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 06, 2011, 03:58:12 PM
THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD

1. Nobody knows how God loves his creatures. "God has loved you with an everlasting love." Jer. xxxi. 3. He loves you before the world was made. he loved you before you were born, and when you were born. He loved you all your life. You love your parents, but you are not loving them every moment; for example, when you are asleep you are not thinking of them, so you are not loving them. Through all the great eternity, which never had a beginning, God never stopped loving and thinking about you for one single moment, just the same as if he had nobody else to think about and love except you; so God's love for you is "above all understanding." Eph. iii. 19. If God loves you, be sure that he will take care of you.

2. A little boy had a garden, with rose-trees in it. You would have been surprised to see how diligent this boy was in taking care of the garden. He dug up the earth all around the rose-trees. When the weather was dry he fetched water from the well, a long way off, and poured it over the rose-trees. If a sharp frosty wind was blowing, he set up boards to make a shelter. If he saw a caterpillar eating the leaves, he killed it. He was always watching till the rose came into flower; and when the rosebuds began to open, he went every morning to see how much they had opened during the night. but how great was his joy when the roses were become large, beautiful flowers, with colors as bright as the rainbow! Why, then, did this boy take so much care of his roses, for many other people passed the garden, and they cared nothing at all about the roses, and did not even look at them? Because they were his own roses, he loved them, and took care of them. This little boy had sense enough to take care of his own; and the all-wise God has he not wisdom enough to take care of his creatures, the work of his hands? This little boy had something in his heart which made him love his own roses: and do you think that God, who loved you from all eternity, now, when the time for you to live is come, loves you no longer?

3. Oh! If you only knew how God loves and takes care of all, even of his least little creatures, and he "rejoices to do good to them all." Jer. xxxii.  God does not forget the very stones of the earth; but he watches over them, and gives to them their strength and hardness. The little flower in the woods, which perhaps nobody ever saw, God loves it, and gives to it colors so beautiful, that no king in all his glory was ever so beautiful. The birds which fly in the air do not work or labor, and yet they eat every day as much as they like; and who is it that takes care to feed them? It is Almighty God, who scatters grains about the Earth for them to eat. The little gnat which flies in the air, and is so small that you can scarcely see it, is not forgotten by God: but he takes care of it, and gives it wings to fly with: and he loves to see it happy and flying in the sunshine. The poor worm which creeps in the earth, God takes care of it and feeds it. Does God then take so much care of the stones, and the flies, and the grass, -- and you, my child, God's greatest work, his very image and likeness, will he take no care of you?

4. Little child, I will show you what care the good God takes of you. "All things are yours." - I Cor. iii. 22. He has made the Earth for you to walk on; he has made the winds and the air that you might have breath to breathe, He made the sun, and the moon, and the stars, to shine upon you, -- and he makes their light to come to your eyes, so that you may see; he makes the sound comes to your ears, that you may hear. He made the stones and clay of the Earth, that you might have a house to live in: and the beasts, that you might have clothes to wear and keep you warm. He made the plants, and the things which grow on the Earth, that you might have food to eat. So "all things work together for your good." Rom. viii. Every time you move your hand or your foot, God is there to help you, putting strength into your arm every time you lift it. If God forgot for only one moment to help you, in that moment you would become nothing. The Lord must direct your steps. Prov. xvi. It is God who puts thoughts into your mind; and if he did not, you would become a fool and an idiot. "So God is kind to all, even to the unthankful." Luke vi. 35.

5. Near the river Jordan, and about a mile or so from Jericho, there was a monastery in which St. Gerasimus lived. One day this saint, being out of the monastery, saw a large lion on the road. He was surprised to see that it walked only with three of its legs -- the other leg did not touch the ground: it seemed to be lame. When the lion saw St. Gerasimus, it came quickly up to him, and lifted up one of its legs, and roared aloud, as if it wanted to let him know that it was in great pain. St. Gerasimus took hold of the lion's foot, and looking at it saw that a large thorn had gone into it, and that it was bleeding. He was very sorry to see the poor lion's foot bleeding; so he took hold of the thorn, and drew it out of the flesh; then he wiped away all the blood and matter, and washed it with water, and taking a nice piece of clean linen, he tied it round the lion's foot. When he had done the lion this service, he went on his way, thinking no more about it; but, happening to turn round, he saw that the lion was following him. When he came home he shut the door. The lion did not go away, but stopped at the door; and form that moment it never went away, and it became as tame as a cat or dog. It never made anybody afraid, but learnt to do a great many things for the service of the house, like the other tame beasts. Whenever the saint went out, it always followed him, and never left him for a moment. After five years St. Gerasimus died; then the lion looked very sorrowful, and went and lay down on his grave; and there it stopped for three days and three nights, during which it would neither eat nor drink. After the three days the poor lion died. So grateful was the lion to the saint, because he had taken the thorn out of its foot.

6. Learn from this lion to be grateful to him who takes away sickness from you.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Brigid on February 06, 2011, 04:05:08 PM
 
Quote
God never stopped loving and thinking about you for one single moment, just the same as if he had nobody else to think about and love except you;


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 06, 2011, 04:09:48 PM
Quote
God never stopped loving and thinking about you for one single moment, just the same as if he had nobody else to think about and love except you;

 :tinyangel:

I love the story of the lion.  :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Brigid on February 06, 2011, 04:12:43 PM
I thought that the first part was part of Aesop's Fables, I guess not. :-[


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 06, 2011, 04:24:32 PM
I thought that the first part was part of Aesop's Fables, I guess not. :-[

There's a similar story in Aesop's too!  :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on February 07, 2011, 08:02:18 AM
Quote
You love your parents, but you are not loving them every moment; for example, when you are asleep you are not thinking of them, so you are not loving them. Through all the great eternity, which never had a beginning, God never stopped loving and thinking about you for one single moment, just the same as if he had nobody else to think about and love except you; so God's love for you is "above all understanding." Eph. iii. 19. If God loves you, be sure that he will take care of you.

I must repeat this everyday. God will take care of you.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Brigid on February 07, 2011, 11:18:38 AM
Quote
You love your parents, but you are not loving them every moment; for example, when you are asleep you are not thinking of them, so you are not loving them. Through all the great eternity, which never had a beginning, God never stopped loving and thinking about you for one single moment, just the same as if he had nobody else to think about and love except you; so God's love for you is "above all understanding." Eph. iii. 19. If God loves you, be sure that he will take care of you.

I must repeat this everyday. God will take care of you.


I need to do this too!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on February 07, 2011, 04:45:01 PM
Quote
1. Almighty God loves to have pity on his poor creatures, and his tender mercies are over all his works. Ps. cxliv. 9. So the Son of God took a body and soul and a heart like ours. Then he let all the pains and sorrows of every one of his poor creatures come into his own heart, that he might know them, and feel how hard it is to bear them. Never was there any heart so full of sorrows and miseries as the heart of Jesus Christ. He took into his heart all the pains, labors, and fatigues and wearinesses, and disgusts, and anxieties, and heart-breakings, of every afflicted creature that shall have lived from the days of Adam till the end of the world, and he made them all his own. Every sigh of distress, every groan of misery that has been, or shall be, went into the heart of Jesus Christ. "So he bore our infirmities, and carried our sorrows." -- Isais liii.

If we believed this with all our heart, how could we ever complain?
And it is all so true.

      There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
       He is despised and rejected by men,
      A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
      And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
      He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.

      Surely He has borne our griefs
      And carried our sorrows;
      Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
      Smitten by God, and afflicted.
      Yet He was pierced through for our faults,
      crushed for our sins;
      On Him lies the punishment that brings us peace,
      And through His wounds we are healed.
     
      Isaiah 53: 2-5



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on February 08, 2011, 07:56:33 AM
Quote
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

Now we desire Him because there is no one or nothing as desirable as Him! Where else would we go if not to the Lord?  :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 21, 2011, 06:54:28 AM
6. Learn from this lion to be grateful to him who takes away sickness from you. Remember that it is God who sends you sickness, and it is his hand alone which takes it away again. Do not say then: "Oh, it was the medicine which cured me, or the doctor who cured me;" for it is God who makes the doctor and the medicine cure you. Say rather: "My God, I thank you, because I was sick, and you have healed me. 'Thou who redeemest my life from destruction, and healest all my diseases.' - Ps. cii. Blessed be your name, O great God."

7. See now what God has done for your soul.

Let us go into the chapel, where you hear mass on Sundays. Look, there is the font where you were christened. The priest at this moment is baptizing a baby. He pours a little water on its head. Into those few drops of water God puts his almighty power, to wash from the soul of the baby the dark stain of original sin and to make its soul bright and as beautiful as the spirit of an angel. "God hath loved us, and washed us from our sins." Apoc. i.

8. Look at those rails where you knelt when the bishop gave you the sacrament of Confirmation. The bishop annointed your forehead with a drop of oil, and into that little drop of oil God put the power and virtue of the Holy Ghost, to make your soul strong with the strength of the Holy Ghost. So that, after your confirmation, if anybody had come to you and said: "Little child, if you do not deny the faith of Jesus, you shall be killed," the Holy Ghost would have put into your heart this answer: "I will not deny the faith of Jesus. I am ready to die for the faith of Jesus." Then indeed "you were made partakers of the Holy Ghost." Heb. vi.

9. There is the confessional. The priest sits there holding in his hands the almighty power of Jesus Christ -- and for what? You may have committed a mortal sin -- then your soul is in chains, and these infernal chains were made by the devils in Hell, and they go round and round your poor soul as the ivy goes round a tree. You go to that confessional with sorrow in your heart, and the absolving words of the priest, as if they were the very breath of Jesus Christ, which "he breathed on the apostles" (John xx.), strike those chains, and they are broken in pieces; your soul is set free, free as an angel of God.

10. See that sparkling light which always hangs before the altar, in front of the tabernacle; it tells you that the flesh and blood of Jesus is always in the tabernacle, to fed your poor hungry soul: "My flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." John vi. God has scattered the stars in the skies, in every country, an in every kingdom, God has left the body and blood of his Son Jesus to feed those dear souls which he loves so much.

11. In every part of the world God has also placed bishops and priests, and blessed and consecrated them, that they might help you to save your soul. In Heaven he has created countless millions of bright angels to watch over your soul, and keep you in all your ways, lest any evil should come near you. Psalm xc.

12. He spoke to the blessed Virgin Mary, his mother, about you, and said to her: "Mary, my dear mother, look at that little child; I love it very much; I want you to be its mother: be very kind to it, and take care of it, as you took care of me when I was a little child."

13. Many other things God made for your soul -- crosses, that you might remember that Jesus was crucified for you; beads, that you might speak to your dear mother, Mary; holy water, to send away the Devil from your soul, medals, that you might be blessed in the hour of your death; and scapulars, that, by the prayers of Mary, your soul might come soon out of Purgatory. You have seen a great shower of rain falling from the clouds. The large drops came down quickly one after another, and covered the earth with water. So quickly, and without stopping for a moment, the blessings of the providence of God are always, night and day, coming down on your body and your soul. So "all things are yours." 1 Cor. iii.

14. But if God loves his creatures and takes so much care of them, why do we see so many poor people without bread to eat, without clothes to put on, without a house to shelter them? Others are blind, or deaf, or lame; others without their senses -- they are idiots and lunatics. remember "nothing on Earth is done without a cause, and sorrow doth not spring out of the ground." Job v. My dear child, be sure that whatever God does is always for the best. We do not always know why he does these things; but we shall know at the end of the world, when he will tell us why he did every thing. John xiii. 7.; but even now we can often see that these misfortunes are really the greatest blessings.

15. The Patriarch Jacob had twelve sons; one of them, called Joseph, who was a good boy, told his father of some very wicked thing which his brothers had done. They were very angry because Joseph had done his duty in telling of them, and determined to take revenge. One day when they were minding the sheep in the country, Joseph came to see them. When they saw Joseph coming, they said to one another, "Let us kill him." While they were thinking of killing him, some merchants happened to pass by: so they thought they would sell their brother Joseph to the merchants. When Joseph found that his brothers were going to sell him, he cried and sobbed and asked them to have pity on him, and not to sell him; but they had no pity for their poor brother. So they sold him to the merchants for twenty pieces of silver.

The merchants went on their journey, and carried poor Joseph far away into the land of Egypt. What a misfortune, a little child would say, for Joseph to be sold, to leave his father and brothers, and never to hope to see them again, to be carried away into a strange country where he knew nobody. But it is the providence of God that the greatest blessings come int he shape of the greatest misfortunes. Some years had passed, and a frightful famine was come on the land where Joseph's father and brothers were living. They heard that corn was sold in Egypt, so they took sacks and went there to buy it. When they came into Egypt, they went to the house of the ruler, because all the corn belonged to him, and, behold they found that the ruler was their own brother Joseph, whom they had sold! Joseph wept through joy to see his brothers again, he gave them plenty of corn and told them not to be afraid for having sold him, for it had been God's will that he should be sold to go into Egypt to provide corn for them in the famine. So Joseph's misfortune saved himself and his father and brothers from dying of hunger in the famine. Thus it is the providence of God that the greatest blessings should come in the shape of the greatest misfortunes.



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 21, 2011, 06:58:27 AM
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You have seen a great shower of rain falling from the clouds. The large drops came down quickly one after another, and covered the earth with water. So quickly, and without stopping for a moment, the blessings of the providence of God are always, night and day, coming down on your body and your soul. So "all things are yours." 1 Cor. iii.

So "all things are yours."

Truly makes for thought.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on February 21, 2011, 08:26:46 AM
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Many other things God made for your soul -- crosses, that you might remember that Jesus was crucified for you; beads, that you might speak to your dear mother, Mary; holy water, to send away the Devil from your soul, medals, that you might be blessed in the hour of your death; and scapulars, that, by the prayers of Mary, your soul might come soon out of Purgatory.

He has provided us with many weapons for spiritual combat.  How sad if we did not use them gratefully for our soul's safety.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on February 21, 2011, 02:25:28 PM
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6. Learn from this lion to be grateful to him who takes away sickness from you. Remember that it is God who sends you sickness, and it is his hand alone which takes it away again. Do not say then: "Oh, it was the medicine which cured me, or the doctor who cured me;" for it is God who makes the doctor and the medicine cure you. Say rather: "My God, I thank you, because I was sick, and you have healed me. 'Thou who redeemest my life from destruction, and healest all my diseases.' - Ps. cii. Blessed be your name, O great God."

Thanks and praise be to God from whom all good things come.  :angelbell:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 22, 2011, 08:37:12 AM
16. One day there was great crying in the town of Bethlehem. Many hundred of poor babies had been killed. A cruel king, called Herod, wanted to kill the Infant Jesus, but he did not know which of the babies was the Infant Jesus. So he commanded the soldiers to kill all the babies. Then there was a great weeping and lamentation in Bethlehem. The mothers would not be consoled, because their babies had been killed. But in the misfortune which Providence sends there is a blessing. Those mothers were very sorrowful when they saw their babies dead, for they knew not that death was a blessing for those babies. Because they died for the sake of the Infant Jesus, they are happy forever with Jesus in Heaven.

17. St. Francis of Sales was in a town called Ancona. He wanted to sail across the sea to Venice. Seeing a boat he went to the captain and paid the price of a place in the boat. Then he went on board and sat down, waiting for the boat to set off. While he was sitting there, a person came and told him that he could not have a place, because all the boat had been hired by some one else. Francis begged that he might be allowed to stay, because he would take up very little room, and he was in a great hurry to go. However, he was not listened to, so he was obliged to take his things and go out of the boat. He thought it a great misfortune that he had lost such an opportunity of going on his journey. He stood for a while on the land, watching the boat as it set off. A favorable wind filled the sails, and carried the boat quickly over the water. The sun was bright, and the weather calm; but when the boat was far out at sea, the weather began to change. Dark clouds covered the sky, and thunders roared, and the lightnings flashed around the boat, which was tossed about by the fierce winds. For a while the sailors struggled against the storm, but the waves of the sea dashed over them, and, at last St. Francis saw the boat sink down into the sea, and everybody in the boat was drowned. St. Francis then saw that the loss of his place was a great blessing, and he learnt ever afterwards to believe that the losses and sufferings which Providence sent him were for his greater good.

18. Learn, then this great lesson: as in the bitter medicine which the doctor sends, there is health, so in the misfortunes which Providence sends you, there are blessings. The greatest blessings come in the shape of the greatest misfortunes. Therefore, in losses, in sickness, in pain, in hunger, when somebody is cruel to you, when your parents or your friends die, in the hour of your own death, do nto say "what a pity this is, what a misfortune," but say, "I believe that God has sent this loss or suffering to me, and I am sure that in some way or other it will be for my greater good. I do not see now how it will be out for my greater good, but that, in the end it will turn out for my greater advantage, I am quite certain." All things work together unto good for the just. Rom. viii.

19. You must always wish for God's will to be done. First. -- God is almighty, and he rules the world and every thing that is in it. So that from the days of creation, till the lat day of the world, every thing, even the least little thing, will have been only because it was the will of God that it should be. "Good things and evil, life and death, riches and poverty, come from God." Eccus. xi. What we call accidents, are accidents only to us, but not to God. A man once sent two servants by different roads, wishing them to meet one another. When they met they thought it was accidental, but it was not an accident to the man who sent them. So all the accidents which happen to you come because God sends them. One thing, however, God does not wish, and that is, sin, which is in the heart of the sinner. "God hates sin." Ps. liv. But if you suffer any thing from the sin of another, God wishes you to have that suffering: for example, if you lose something because it is stolen, God wishes you to have that loss. "Shall there by evil in the city which the Lord hath not done?" Amos. iii.

Secondly. -- Every thing which happens to you is sent by God, because he sees that it is just the very best thing for you at that moment. "All things work together unto the good for the just." Rom. viii. "No evil shall come to them." Ps. xc.

20. Now, the greatest of all virtues is to be content with whatever happens to you, because it is the will of God; and to have in your heart the spirit of that prayer, "Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven." Matt. vi. A man threw a stone at a dog. The dog did not look at the man, but ran at the stone, and barked at it, and bit it. Do not then be like the dog, and get vexed at the pain you suffer, instead of remembering that God sent it. If you take a stick into your hand, the stick never says, "I will not be in your hand." If you lay the stick on the ground, it never says, "I will not be laid on the ground." Little child, learn to be like the stick, and to be where Almighty God puts you. So if you have to live with people who are cross to you, be content, because it is the will of God. A bricklayer was making some bricks. He took some soft clay, and turned it about in his hand up and down, first on one side and then on the other. The clay was very quiet, and let the man do as he liked with it. In like manner, my child, let God do as he pleases with you. "Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God." Ps. cxlii.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 22, 2011, 08:59:47 AM
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Secondly. -- Every thing which happens to you is sent by God, because he sees that it is just the very best thing for you at that moment. "All things work together unto the good for the just." Rom. viii. "No evil shall come to them." Ps. xc.

The Lord is laying the bricks that build our souls up. :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on February 24, 2011, 04:29:28 PM
What excellent reading from Fr. Furniss!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 25, 2011, 03:44:38 AM
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But if you suffer any thing from the sin of another, God wishes you to have that suffering: for example, if you lose something because it is stolen, God wishes you to have that loss. "Shall there by evil in the city which the Lord hath not done?" Amos. iii.

A friend I know was burglarized of all his possessions.

Later on, he talked about the relief of it all -- his life had improved spiritually in a large way.

I think there are many, many, many people for whom this happening would be to the benefit more than the detriment. :D There's so much antagonism against poverty today..


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on February 25, 2011, 05:06:53 PM
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I think there are many, many, many people for whom this happening would be to the benefit more than the detriment. Cheesy There's so much antagonism against poverty today..

There seems to be two ways to achieve the virtue of poverty.
Either we become poor voluntarily or the Lord will take control and do it for us.  :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 25, 2011, 05:11:24 PM
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I think there are many, many, many people for whom this happening would be to the benefit more than the detriment. Cheesy There's so much antagonism against poverty today..

There seems to be two ways to achieve the virtue of poverty.
Either we become poor voluntarily or the Lord will take control and do it for us.  :D

When I think about people voluntarily living spartan simple lives, it's really a beautiful thought.

Makes me think of country cottages in Ireland. :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on February 25, 2011, 05:28:56 PM
Quote
When I think about people voluntarily living spartan simple lives, it's really a beautiful thought.

Makes me think of country cottages in Ireland. Cheesy

There's a little place in Donegal that I've been to quite a few times.
It's run by a family who turned their property and land into a visitor centre. It's all reconstructed to show what life was like during the famine times. They call it the "Famine Village."
One of the things that really hit home was when the tour guide said. "If you have a roof over your head at night and you can go to a cupboard in your home and find some food, then you are privileged, because you are one of the top 18 percent of the worlds wealthiest people. The other 82 percent can't do this.

Puts thing into perspective.  :irishwisdom:



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on February 25, 2011, 06:09:20 PM
Also when our health is taken away this is God's will and the best thing for our soul (or He wouldn't permit it).

I'm reading St. Teresa of Avila's book about her life and she says that though we think we can serve God better with good health it is best for us to have whatever health God desires for us.  St. Ignatius of Loyola even says we shouldn't pray for health.  Whatever God gives us is what is best for us.  Now when people ask me to pray for a healing I ask God to heal them in accordance with His will, and only in accordance with His will because I only want what God wants for them because He knows what is best for their souls.

A saint once asked God for a healing for herself and so she was healed.  Then she prayed that if it is best for her soul that she be sick that her illness return.  God then gave her the sickness back.  He knew what was best for her and it was illness.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 01, 2011, 08:39:53 PM
Also when our health is taken away this is God's will and the best thing for our soul (or He wouldn't permit it).

I'm reading St. Teresa of Avila's book about her life and she says that though we think we can serve God better with good health it is best for us to have whatever health God desires for us.  St. Ignatius of Loyola even says we shouldn't pray for health.  Whatever God gives us is what is best for us.  Now when people ask me to pray for a healing I ask God to heal them in accordance with His will, and only in accordance with His will because I only want what God wants for them because He knows what is best for their souls.

A saint once asked God for a healing for herself and so she was healed.  Then she prayed that if it is best for her soul that she be sick that her illness return.  God then gave her the sickness back.  He knew what was best for her and it was illness.

"There is no such thing as bad weather. All weather is good because it is God's." - St. Teresa of Jesus.

Yes, whatever God gives us is best for us. This reminds me of how during the golden age of the Faith, we hear about how medical arts were not advanced as it is in these times. All in God's plan. . . People bore their pains, and for these they did not suffer in vain. . . 



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 01, 2011, 08:43:42 PM
There was a learned man who wished to save his soul.

For eight long years he prayed to God that he might find somebody who could teach him the best way of saving his soul.  

It happened one morning that he was praying more fervently than usual, and he heard a voice, which said "Go to the door of the church, and you will find someone standing there who will teach you which is the best way to serve me." He knew that this voice came from God, so he set off to the church to find the person who was to teach him how to serve God. When he came to the door of the church, he found no one there except a poor old beggar, who was very dirty and covered with sores. All the clothes the beggar had on were not worth three farthings. He spoke kindly to the beggar, wishing him good morning. The beggar answered: "I do not remember that I ever had a bad morning." "God prosper you." said the learned man. The beggar answered: "God always prospers me."

"But," said the learned man, "I cannot understand you: What do you mean?" "I will tell you what I mean," said the beggar. "You wished me good morning; and I answered, that I had never had a bad morning, as you will see. If I am hungry, and can get nothing to eat, I say: 'My God, may your holy will be done.' If I am cold, and there is no fire, I say: 'My God, may your will be done.' If I am sick, or suffer a pain, I say: 'My God, may your will be done.' If someone injures me, I say: 'My God, may your will be done.' So I am always content, and never have a bad day. I said that God always prospered me, because, whatever God sends me, whether it be joyful or painful, sweet or bitter, I know it is for the best. So I am always prosperous and happy."

Little child, go and do in like manner. Therefore, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, in life and in death, let your prayer be: "My God, may your will be done." There is another beautiful prayer: "May the most just, the most high, and the most amiable will of God be done, praised and eternally exalted, in all things." If you say this prayer once every day, you can gain each day an indulgence of one hundred days, and also a plenary indulgence once a month, and a plenary indulgence when you die.

21. Put your Trust in the Providence of God. -- "Be not solicitous for your life, what yous hall eat; nor for your body, what you shall put on. Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns, -- and yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them; and are not you of much more value than they? Seek, therefore, the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added to you." -- Matthew vi.

22. There was a very rich person who had a little child which he loved very much. He took the greatest care of this child, and never let it want for any thing. He gave it plenty to eat, and always what was best for it; its breakfast, and dinner, and supper, were always ready at the proper time. He had very good clothes made for it, of the best cloth -- clothes for summer, and warm clothes for winter. He had a fine, large house; and this child slept in one of the best rooms in the house. He sent the child to the best school he could find. If the child was sick, he sent for the most skilful doctors to cure it. The father was always thinking, day and night, how he could do good for his dear child.

But the child was very foolish. It was always saying to itself: "Oh! perhaps my father will forget to give me my dinner; or perhaps he will leave me without clothes; or perhaps, if I am sick, he will not send for the doctor." So the foolish child was always fretting itself, and behaving very ill to its good father, making long faces, and looking cross, and giving back answers. Although it remembered that all its life its father had never once forgotten it, still it was always afraid, and it was very unhappy.

The good father is Almighty God; and you are the fretful child. God made you; and he loves you so much, that nobody can tell how much he loves you. He is very wise, and knows what is best for you. He is very rich, for of his riches there is no end; and if he gives away any thing, he is not any poorer; so he is able to give to you what is best for you. He has made you a great promise, that he will every moment of your life give you what is best for you. Very often something happened to you which you thought was not for the best; and yet you found out afterwards that it was really the best for you, or at least you will find out when you are dead. Yet still you are unhappy, often thinking in yourself and saying: "Oh! I am afraid! What am I to do? Perhaps such a thing will happen! -- perhaps it will not be the best for me!" My little child, learn a lesson at least from the birds which fly in the air: they do not trouble themselves about what may come; they expect to have food to eat -- and God always feeds them. So, my dear child, "cast your care on God, for he hath care of you," II Peter v.; and let your daily prayer to Almighty God be: "Give us this day our daily bread." Expect and feel sure, that God will, in every thing, do what is best for you. Psalm ciii. 28. "All expect of thee, O God, food in season: Thou openest thy hand and fillest every living creature with blessings."


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 02, 2011, 07:29:46 AM

Yes, whatever God gives us is best for us. This reminds me of how during the golden age of the Faith, we hear about how medical arts were not advanced as it is in these times. All in God's plan. . . People bore their pains, and for these they did not suffer in vain. . . 



Exactly, their suffering made them capable of great merit.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on March 02, 2011, 09:55:42 AM
Put your Trust in the Providence of God.

I need to remember these words every morning and be like the beggar who was cheerful despite his circumstances. :)


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 02, 2011, 06:47:30 PM
Put your Trust in the Providence of God.

I need to remember these words every morning and be like the beggar who was cheerful despite his circumstances. :)

Yes. :)


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on March 03, 2011, 05:10:09 PM
Fr Furnis is so inspiring.
I need to remeber this quote always.  :angelbell:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 03, 2011, 06:08:21 PM
I agree that Fr. Furniss is so inspiring.  Is he still alive?  Who is he?


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 03, 2011, 06:38:17 PM
I agree that Fr. Furniss is so inspiring.  Is he still alive?  Who is he?

He's a Redemptorist priest, a children's missioner, the missions to whom he devoted his life. He would go from parish to parish delivering 3 week missions of for the boys and girls. He always riveted the attention of the children, being a wonderful story teller, and would move them deeply, often to tears. He was born in England near Sheffield, and very popular with the Irish and Irish immigrants to America, who took many of his tracts with them. He was born June 19th 1809 and died in the year of Our Lord, 1865 on September 16th.  :D

He wrote a number of books, most for children. So far the list of his works I have discovered is: Almighty God, God Loves Little Children, The Great Question, The Great Evil, Stumbling Blocks, The House of Death, The Book of the Dying, The Terrible Judgment and The Bad Child, The Sight of Hell, Holy Communion, Schools in which Children Lose their Holy Faith, How to Teach at Catechism, What Every Christian Must Know and Do, God and His Creatures, The Book of Young Persons, Confession, Companion to How to Teach at Catechism How to Teach at Catechism - Hymns, 'Tracts for Spiritual Reading, Designed for First Communion, Retreats, Missions', The Sunday School or Catechism, and Hand-book for Sunday School Teacher.

So far I have managed to acquire a compilation of his works from the list above from the start up to 'What Every Christian Must Know and Do', the rest I have not yet found. They are very rare and hard to find. I had to search antiquarian book sellers to find what I have, I want to acquire and preserve them all, some can be found in university libraries.

This despite the fact more than four million of his booklets were produced.

His works remind me of the wonder writing of Fr. Paul O'Sullivan, O.P., though I think I like Fr. Furniss's writing even better.

You can see how much he loves God and children and all people. A Catholic Encyclopedia article on him says his maxim was "Suffer the little children to come to me." I believe he's a hidden saint. :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 03, 2011, 06:57:17 PM
Looking at the compilation volume, we appear to have just finished 'God and His Perfections'.

The next piece is 'Almighty God Loves Little Children'.   :D



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 03, 2011, 07:11:13 PM
ALMIGHTY GOD LOVES LITTLE CHILDREN

1. God loves little children so much that he wanted to be like them, so he became a little child in the arms of Mary his mother. Jesus used to lay his hands on children and bless them. "They brought infants to Jesus that he might touch them." Luke xviii. He was very angry with those who would not suffer little children to come to him, and with those who scandalize them. Jesus says, "He that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depths of the sea." Matt. xviii.

2. When the blessed Lucy of Narni was a very little child, her mother gave her a Rosary beads, with an image of the infant Jesus. She made an altar in her room, and put the infant on it. She loved to be in her room along with the image of the little infant.

When she got into any trouble, she would go to her altar, and cry there, and sometimes the image of the infant Jesus, by a miracle would lift up its little hand, and wipe away her tears.

One day her mother took her to the chapel, and she saw there a fine large image of a lady, with an infant in her arms, made of stone. When her mother saw her looking at this image, she said: "Lucy, that beautiful lady is the blessed Virgin Mary, and the infant is the little Jesus, her son. If you like, you may come here sometimes and say your Rosary before the blessed Virgin Mary."

Lucy was delighted, and whenever she could get away from home, she came with her beads, and said the Rosary. One day she thought that she would like very much to hold the infant in her arms, like she held her baby brother sometimes, so she spoke to the image and said: "Mary, my dear mother, I want very much to hold the infant Jesus in my arms."

When she had said this prayer, the image of Mary stooped down, and put the infant really into her arms; but she found that instead of a baby made of stone, it was a living baby -- the real child Jesus. Full of joy, she got up off her knees, and went home as fast as she could with the infant Jesus in her arms. She went into the room where her altar was, and for three days and nights she held the infant in her arms, without eating or sleeping. At the end of the three days she fell asleep and when she awoke, the infant Jesus was gone away. She cried bitterly when she found that the infant was gone, so her mother took her to the church, where they found the little child of stone in the arms of Mary again, although for three days it had not been seen there.

3. Do not wonder that Jesus gave himself to the little Lucy, for he loves to hear children speak to him in prayer, because out of the mouths of infants comes forth perfect praise of God. Psalm viii. The prayer of a little child goes up to heaven quicker than the prayer of anybody else.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 03, 2011, 07:18:56 PM
These last passages put a gleam in my eye.  :)


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 03, 2011, 07:24:33 PM
Thanks, Shin, for Fr. Furniss' background.  :)

What a beautiful story about Lucy and the infant Jesus!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 04, 2011, 05:55:57 PM
There was a town called Bethulia. One time a great many thousand soldiers came round this town. They wanted to get into the inside of it to kill the people and destroy the town. But there was something stronger than the soldiers, and see what it was!

The little children were made to come into the chapel, and kneel down to the ground, and to pray to Almighty God to save the town. The prayers of the little children went up to Heaven, those cruel soldiers were obliged to go away, and many of them were killed. Judith iv. 8.

4. Heaven is for children only, if they are good, or those who become like little children, simple meek and humble.

One day Jesus took a little child by the hand, and showed it to all the people, and told them that they could not go into Heaven unless they became like that little child, that is, simple, meek, and  humble.

Children were the first martyrs of Jesus Christ. Before anybody else had died for Jesus -- Even before St. Stephen, who is called the first martyr, had been stoned -- a great many babies were killed in Bethlehem for the faith of Jesus Christ, and they are called the Holy Innocents, and the blood of those dear babies told the world that the infant Jesus was the Son of God.

A little while before Jesus died, the children were crying out his praises in the Temple of Jerusalem.

5. God loves to speak to children, he has often spoken words to children which he would not speak to anybody else.

There was a very old priest, and a good child, who lived with the priest. Almighty God wanted to say something to the priest, but he liked better to say it to do the child, and let the child tell the priest. So one night when the child was asleep, God called the child by his name, Samuel. 

The child awoke, and heard somebody calling his name, but he did not know that it was God who called him. he thought in himself, perhaps it is the priest who calls me. He got up directly and wen to the priest, and said: "Please your reverence, I heard somebody calling my name, and I thought perhaps it was your reverence who called me." Then the priest said: "No, my child, I did not call you; go back again and sleep." So the obedient child went back to sleep. But after a little while the child heard the same voice calling him again and again. Each time he went to the priest, and at last the priest said, "Perhaps, my child, it is the voice of God which calls you, so, if you hear it again, say: 'Speak, O Lord, for thy servant heareth.'"

Then God spoke to the child, and commanded him to tell the priest what he had heard. So God loves to speak to good children; and as God spoke to the the child Samuel, he will speak to you also, my child, if you will only let him. You will not hear his voice with your ears, as the child Samuel did, but you will hear it in your heart.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 10, 2011, 08:40:47 AM
Quote
One day Jesus took a little child by the hand, and showed it to all the people, and told them that they could not go into Heaven unless they became like that little child, that is, simple, meek, and  humble.

Simple, meek, and humble. :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 10, 2011, 09:57:18 AM
We can work on being simple, meek and humble this Lent.  We could even pray daily to be simple, meek, and humble.  The prayer "Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours" (or "like unto thine") would be a good prayer to pray every day.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Brigid on March 10, 2011, 05:27:44 PM
I like that idea, Therese.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 10, 2011, 06:56:31 PM
I like that idea, Therese.

Brigid, I'm also going to try to frequently pray the prayer "Jesus, Mary, I love you.  Save souls."  I'd love to use more ejaculations/acts of love this Lent.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Brigid on March 10, 2011, 07:54:18 PM
I like that idea, Therese.

Brigid, I'm also going to try to frequently pray the prayer "Jesus, Mary, I love you.  Save souls."  I'd love to use more ejaculations/acts of love this Lent.


!!!! ;)


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 10, 2011, 07:55:30 PM
We can work on being simple, meek and humble this Lent.  We could even pray daily to be simple, meek, and humble.  The prayer "Jesus, meek and humbe of heart, make my heart like yours" (or "like unto thine") would be a good prayer to pray every day.

Yes, I will say this and "Jesus, Mary, I love you. Save souls." too. :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on March 10, 2011, 08:10:24 PM
Quote
"Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours" (or "like unto thine") would be a good prayer to pray every day.

Yes... I will say this prayer too. Thank you Theresa.

When offering a little penance or some inconvenience I often say, "All for Thee O Sacred Heart of Jesus, All for Thee."
I hope to be able to say it more often during Lent.  :-[


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 10, 2011, 08:31:58 PM
Quote
"Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours" (or "like unto thine") would be a good prayer to pray every day.

Yes... I will say this prayer too. Thank you Theresa.

When offering a little penance or some inconvenience I often say, "All for Thee O Sacred Heart of Jesus, All for Thee."
I hope to be able to say it more often during Lent.  :-[

I'd like to pray this prayer too!  Thanks, Martin! :)


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 10, 2011, 08:44:49 PM
Yes, I will say this and "Jesus, Mary, I love you. Save souls." too. :D

Great!  Sr. Consolata Betrone is the mystic/victim soul who Jesus inspired to repeat this prayer over and over all day in a continual act of love.  I read Jesus is most pleased by this continual act of love.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 02, 2011, 04:37:34 AM
6. There was a great town called Milan; the bishop of this town became sick and died. As soon as the bishop was buried, all the people met together, and began to quarrel and dispute among themselves who should be the next bishop. Among the crowd were some little children, and all at once one of those children cried out: "Ambrose, bishop." As soon as the people heard the little child say those words, they felt in their hearts that these words of the child came from God, and so they all began to cry out along with the little child: "Ambrose, bishop." Ambrose was made bishop, and he became one of the greatest bishops of the Church. Thus you see that when God wishes to do some great and wonderful thing, he sometimes makes use of a poor, weak little child to do it, because everybody sees that a weak little child could not do any great thing of itself, but that it is the almighty power of God in the child which does it. Besides, when the great, wise people see that God chooses a little child rather than themselves, they learn to be humble, "The foolish things of this world hath God chosen to confound the wise.' 1 Cor. i.

7. About one hundred years since there was living in Rome a poor beggar. His clothes were rags, his dinner an old dry crust. He had made himself poor for the love of Jesus. He was a very holy man, and when he died, his death was precious in the sight of God. He died the death of a saint. Scarcely anybody knew that he was a saint, for when he was alive he had concealed all his good works as much as he could. But when people try to make themselves little in the eyes of others, God tries to make them great, for "he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." Matt. xxiii. So God wished that the hidden sanctity of this good man should be known by all the world. If it had pleased God, he might have employed the bishops of his Church to make known his sanctity; but it pleased him rather that the tongues of little children should make it known to the world. The morning after he died some children happened to come to the street where he had lived, and all at once they began to cry out: "The saint is dead, the saint is dead." These children scarcely knew why they were crying out these words, but it was God who put this cry into their hearts. The cry of these little children went from street to street, from town to town; and so by the tongues of little children the world knew that there was another saint in Heaven. The name of this blessed man was Benedict Joseph Labre.

8. A few years since a wonderful thing happened in France. Many people in that country used to blaspheme the holy name of God; and they did not keep the Sunday holy. One day the dear blessed Virgin Mary, our Lady, the Mother of Jesus Christ, was seen on the hills of that country. The light of Heaven shone around her. She came, with tears in her eyes, to tell the people that if they did not repent of their sins, the hand of her son Jesus would strike them; and to whom, do you think, the blessed Virgin Mary spoke? "Perhaps to some great, some wise, some learned man." No. God wished rather that she should speak to children. So she spoke the message of the Almighty to two little children of the country, and she bade them take the message to the people. How true, then, are the words of the Holy Scripture: "Though hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones." Matt. xi. The place where the blessed Virgin spoke to these children is called La Salette.

9. God often makes children little apostles for the conversion of others.

A person in Paris gave the following account of his conversion: "I had been brought up," he said, "in ignorance of the truth, with no respect for religion, and hating the Catholic Church. I had a little child, which was wild, passionate, and stupid. I was cross and severe to this child. Sometimes my wife used to say to me: 'Wait a little, the child will be better when it makes its first communion.'

I did not believe it. however, the child began to go to Catechism, and from that time it became obedient, respectful, and affectionate. I thought I would go myself to hear the instructions on the Catechism, which had made such a wonderful change in the child. I went, and I heard truths which I had never heard before.

My feelings towards the child changed. It was not so much love as respect I began to feel for the child. I was inferior to it, it was better and wiser than I was. The week for the first communion was come: there were but five or six days remaining. One morning the child returned from Mass, and came into the room where I was alone. 'Father,' said the child, 'the day of my first communion is coming, and I cannot go to the altar without asking your blessing and forgiveness for all the faults I have committed and the pain I have often given you. Think well of my faults, and scold me for them all, that I may commit them no more.' 'My child,' I answered, 'a father forgives every thing.' The child looked at me with tears in its eyes and threw its arms around my neck. 'Father,' said the child again, 'I have something else to ask you.'

I knew well, my conscience told me, what the child was going to ask. I was afraid, and said, 'go away now, you can ask me to-morrow.' The poor child did not know what to say, so it left me, and went sorrowfully into its own little room, where it had an altar with an image of the Blessed Virgin upon it. I felt sorry for what I had said; so I got up, and walked softly on the tips of my feet to the room door of my child. The door was a little open; I looked at the child, it was on its knees before the Blessed Virgin, praying with all its heart for its father. Truly, at the moment, I knew what one must feel at the sight of an angel. I went back to my room, and leaned my head on my hands, I was ready to cry. I heard a slight sound, and raised my eyes -- my child was standing before me, on its face there was fear, with firmness and love. 'Father,' said the child, 'I cannot put off till to-morrow what I have to ask you -- I ask you, on the day of my first Communion, to come to the holy Communion along with mamma and me.' I burst into tears, and threw my arms round the child's neck, and said, 'Yes, my child, yes this very day you shall take me by the hand and lead me to your confessor, and say, 'Here is Father.'"

So this child converted its father. Little child, if you have parents who do not lead a good life, God looks to you for their conversion. But what can you do? The good example of a child speaks to the heart of a parent. Then there is prayer -- will God turn a deaf ear to the prayer of a child, praying for the conversion of its father or mother? No; the Hail Mary, which you say every day for their conversion, the prayer you say for them each time you hear Mass, the holy Communions you offer for them, the sighs of your heart, all rise up before God, and are not forgotten by him; and the day will come when God will send down from Heaven the grace of conversion into the heart of your parents.

10. Then, my child, give your first years, your early years, to Almighty God. All first things and early things, are beautiful before God and men. The first rays of the sun, when it rises over the mountain tops -- the first white lily which is seen in early spring, when the snows are melting away -- the beautiful colors of the rosebud when it first opens -- but, above all, the early years of childhood -- please God. The infancy of Jesus is the glory and delight of the Christian Church. Mary, the mother of Jesus, consecrated her first years to God. Many hundreds and thousands of children there have been in this world who gave the years of their childhood to Almighty God. Many children there have been, who, pleasing God in their childhood, were taken out of the world into Heaven, because God foresaw that if they had lived to be older, perhaps malice would creep into their hearts, and they would not love him any more. Then, my child, "remember the Creator in the days of thy youth." Eccles. xii. Give the years of your childhood to God, who loves the years of childhood more than he loves any other years, and who gives joy to those who love him when they are little. Ps. xlii. 4. Be not wicked in your childhood: if you are wicked when you are young, you will be wicked when you grow old: for it is a proverb: "A young man according to his way, even when he is old, he will not depart from it" -- Prov. xxii. : and then "his bones will sleep with him in the dust." Job xx. These years are passing away; hasten, then, and offer them to God -- say: "My God, I give you the years of my childhood. May they be as the years of the childhood of Jesus!"

Then my dear child, Almighty God is your Creator, and why did he create you? A bird is made to fly, a fish to swim, what are you made for yourself?

-- This question will be answered in the second book.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 02, 2011, 04:38:15 AM
Almighty God loves little children.  :)  :'(


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on April 02, 2011, 06:05:56 AM


In the thick of the crowd stood a man somber, glowering, rage stamped on every feature: Near him was his wife with an infant in her arms, still at the breast. The man was devoured by a frenzy of jealousy. Brother Vincent saw him, saw what fire burned in him, and preached upon Jealousy. Suddenly he turned to the man.

"You doubt your wife's faithfulness, do you not? You think this child is not yours? Well, watch!" Then he cried in a great voice to the child: "Embrace your father!" The infant stirred, stood upright, turned towards the man and held out its arms. And thus was the man cured and the family peace restored.

Extract from stories of St Vincent Ferrer


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 02, 2011, 06:18:58 AM
That was strikingly moving.  :+:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on April 02, 2011, 08:12:47 AM
How grateful the wife must have been to St. Ferrer! :cherubim:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 10, 2011, 01:30:41 PM
Now we have proceeded through Almighty God and His Perfections, and Almighty God Loves Little Children. . .

The next book is 'The Great Question' . .

Between these works of Fr. Furniss's, is a little 'Rule of Life' he has for children.

Here follows the 'Rule of Life'. I think it is a good sort of thing to hang on one's wall or write in one's notebook.




Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 10, 2011, 01:30:56 PM
KEEP THE RULE OF LIFE

I. In the morning before you get up, make the sign of the cross and say: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul. For this you get 100 days' indulgence. Get up at a fixed time, remembering that God sees you.

II. Morning Prayers. When you are dressed, kneel down and say:

1. The prayers, Our Father, Hail Mary, and the Apostles' Creed, or I believe.

(A Meditation)

2. The Morning Offering. (Say to yourself, "What shall I have to do from now till the evening?" Think for a moment what, and you will do each action well -- prayers, meals, school-duties, work, conversations, etc.) Then say, "O my God, I believe that you are present and I offer to you the thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings of this day, with those of Jesus Christ."

3. Examination about the sins of the day. (Say to yourself, "What is the greatest sin I commit, or what do I commit oftenest?" Think for a moment what sin is it, and how you will avoid it), then say, "O my God, keep me to-day from that sin. Amen."

III. Meal Prayers. Before and after meals, make the sign of the cross, and say grace.

IV. Night Prayers.

1. Say Our Father, Hail Mary, I believe.
2. Examine your conscience for a moment. (Say, "Did I miss my prayers or commit any sin to-day?" Think for a moment what sin), then say, "O God, be merciful to me a sinner."

V. When in bed, put your arms in the form of a cross, and say, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.

VI. Daily Virtues.

1. Give every thing you do to Jesus. If you pray, eat, sleep, dress yourself, talk, sing, walk, sit down, take a message, light a candle, go to school, read, write, sew, work, in every action, little or great, say, at the beginning, or middle, or end of it, My Jesus, I do this for the love of you, or, All for you my Jesus.
2. If any thing happens to you which you do not like, say, My God, may your holy will be done.
3. Be kind to everybody.
4. Forgive those who offend you, and speak kindly to them.
5. Love, respect and obey your parents and masters.

VII. Good practices. Every day hear mass, visit the blessed sacrament, and some image or picture of the blessed Virgin, say the Rosary, at least one decade, read some good book, say the Angelus, morning, noon, and night, be in some pious confraternity, make a retreat every year, read their rule of life every Sunday.

VIII. Temptation.

1. If a temptation comes, turn away from it and say, Jesus and Mary, help me, or say the Hail Mary till it goes away.
2. Put a bad thought out of your heart quickly as you would shake a burning spark off your hand.
3. Keep your eyes, ears, tongue, and hands from what is bad.
4. Keep away from bad company, public houses, and whiskey-shops, bad dancing and singing houses, gambling-houses, theaters, bad wakes, bad books, novels, and romances.

IX. Sins to avoid. Missing your prayers, going to fortune-tellers, cursing, bad oaths, losing Mass on Sunday by your own neglect, bad conduct to parents, etc. hatred, drunkenness, immodest thoughts, words, actions, stealing, speaking ill of others, breaking the abstinence or fast, neglecting your Easter duties.

X. Sins committed. "He that loveth sin, hateth his own soul." Ps. x. 1. If you commit a mortal sin, make an act of contrition directly (see No. XIII.), and go to confession as soon as you can. 2. For a venial sin, strike your breast and be sorry.

XI. The Sacraments. Go to confession and holy communion at Easter, and at least once every month. Do not wilfully conceal a sin in confession.

XII. Prayer before and after holy communion, also for a spiritual communion at holy Mass, and for a visit to the blessed sacrament.

O Jesus, God the Son made man, I believe that thou art present in the blessed sacrament. I adore thee, I love thee. Sweet Jesus, come into my poor soul, and give me thy flesh to eat, and thy blood to drink. Amen. Blessed be Jesus in the most holy sacrament of the altar.

XIII. Death. Live every day as if you were to die that day. When you are dying, be sure to make an act of contrition, say, O my God, I am very sorry for having sinned against thee, because thou art so good, and I will not sin again. An act of contrition will save your soul if there is no priest to hear your confession when dying.

PRAISED BE JESUS AND MARY.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 10, 2011, 01:34:19 PM
Here again is the Angelus. (http://saintsworks.net/forums/index.php?topic=712.0)

A child or an adult can be very helped by a rule of life. One can take this, as the foundation, and work with it perhaps with one's Confessor if one has a good one, or one's father or mother, and follow it each day to become holier.

Every day one can arise, saying one's prayers and read the Rule of Life to refresh it in your mind, thankful for the holiness and goodness given to you by God through it.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on April 10, 2011, 07:56:35 PM
That's a great rule of life! 


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 13, 2011, 07:34:02 PM
THE GREAT QUESTION.

---

CHAPTER I.

GOD HAS GIVEN YOU A BODY.

"The Lord God formed man out of the slime of the Earth." GEN. ii. 7.

WHAT is your body made of? The body is made of the slime and dust of the earth, and yet the body is one of the greatest works of God. St. Augustine says that people wonder at the rivers, and the mountains, but they ought rather to wonder at themselves. It is good, then, for a child to know what a wonderful thing the body is, that it may learn to thank God for giving it a body. (See the note below.*) "Your bodies are members of Christ, and temples of the Holy Ghost." 1 Cor. vi.

If the body is wonderful now, it will be far more wonderful at the general resurrection, at the end of the world. Then, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trumpet, by an archangel -- 1 Thes. i. 4. -- the dead shall rise again out of their graves. See what will happen then to the bodies of those who have served God in this life! First, death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow, for the former things are passed away -- Apoc. xxi. 4. Secondly, the body which is buried in corruption and frightful to look at, shall rise in glory, and shine like the sun in the kingdom of God -- 1 Cor. xv.; Matt. xiii. Thirdly, the body, like a spirit, will be able to pass through solid things, through the earth, stones, and doors -- Cor. xv. -- As Christ came into the room where the Apostles were, the doors being shut; John xx. Fourthly, the body will be able to pass from one place to another, however distant -- from the highest Heaven to the Earth in a moment, for it will become a spiritual body. Cor. xx. So "God will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of his glory, according to the operation whereby also he is able to subdue all things unto himself." Phil. iii. Such is the wonderful body which God has created for you out of the slime and dust of the earth.

CHAPTER II

BE THANKFUL TO GOD FOR GIVING YOU A BODY

1. THERE are few people who ever thank God for their body, for the eyes they see with, for the feet they walk with; Acts iii.

It was the year in which Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven.

One day there was a poor man sitting at one of the gates of the temple of Jerusalem. He was lame; he had never been able to walk since the day of his birth. Each morning his people carried him in their arms, and set him down at this gate. There he sat all the day long, from morning till night. When the people went through the gate into the temple, he asked them to give him something. The people, seeing that he was lame, and not able to walk, had pity on him, and gave him sometimes a half-penny, sometimes a penny -- so the poor cripple was able to buy bread and live. One afternoon, about three o'clock, while he was sitting at this gate, there came two of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. St. Peter and St. John.

They were going into the temple to say their prayers. As they passed, the lame man saw them, and asked them to give him something. St. Peter looked at him, and said: "My good man, I have neither gold nor silver, but what I have, I give you. Therefore, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk." The people who stood near heard the words of St. Peter, and they looked at the lame man to see if he would be cured. The name of Jesus is a name of power and strength. Scarcely had the great name gone out of the mouth of St. Peter, when quick as a flash of lightning, life came into the dead feet of the poor man. He rose up, and with the new life which the name of Jesus enlivened his feet, he walked, following the Apostles into the temple of God.

His heart was filled with joy and thankfulness because he had got the use of his feet. With a loud voice he cried out, and thanked God, and all the people of the temple heard him praising and blessing God. Such was the thankfulness of this man, when he had only yet had the use of his feet for a few moments. You, my child, have had the use of your feet for years -- did you ever once thank God for it? Then, for the many blessings you received when God gave you a body, say sometimes: "My God, I thank you, because you gave me a tongue to speak with, and praise your holy name. I thank you, because you gave me ears to hear with, and listen to your blessed word. I thank you, because you gave me hands to work with, and do good works." God has given you a wonderful body, but he has also given you something else, a great deal more wonderful than the body.


* 1. THE BONES -- In the body are hard bones on which the body rests, like a house rests on pillars and props, and would fall down if they were taken away. There are in the body many bones of different sizes and shapes. If the hand, for example, was only one bone, you could not bend your fingers, or take hold of any thing; so in each hand there are 27 bones, beautifully joined together by gristle.

2. BREATHING. -- The air which you breath goes through the mouth and the nose into the throat; then it goes down the windpipe till it comes to the lungs, which are like bellows for breathing with. But what is the air for? Why do we breath? The air we breath mixes with the food which comes from the stomach into the heart, and turns it into blood. The air which your body breathes should remind you how God breathes into the soul the breath of life: Gen. ii.

3. THE VOICE. -- What is the voice? How do we speak and sing? The air we breath back again out of the lungs, goes up the windpipe in the throat. When the breath comes near the top of the windpipe, it strikes against two little strings of flesh less than an inch long. The striking of the breath against these two strings makes a sound, and that sound is the voice. The vowels, a e i o u, are made simply by the breath striking against these strings. The constants b c d t, &c, are not made till the breath gets into the mouth, and then they are made with the help of the tongue, teeth, and roof of the mouth, and the nose. For example, the letter t is made by breathing and putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. Singing also is nothing but the sound which comes from the breath striking against the two little strings at the top of the windpipe. In singing, there may be 240 changes of the voice or tones, and in changing from one tone to another the breath passes over only 1-1200th part of an inch. So wonderful, and yet simple is the voice by which we can make known to others our secret thoughts. The thoughts of our heart are so secret that no creature on earth, no spirit in hell or heaven, except God himself, can know them. Ps. cxxxviii. "Thou has understood my thoughts afar off." So wonderful then is the voice of the body. But there is another voice much more wonderful -- it is the voice of the soul we speak to God. The voice of the soul is prayer. We say, "Our father, who art in heaven." and God listens to us.

4. FOOD. -- Why do we eat? The food becomes blood. Let us see how this is done. First -- Your hand puts the food on your tongue, which is flat like a plate, to hold it. The tongue can also tell the different tastes of food, that we may not eat what is bad for us. When you have put a slice of bread on your tongue, you want to divide what is inside of the mouth from what is outside; so in front of the mouth are twelve sharp teeth which, like a knife, cut a piece off the slice, and so you get a mouthful. But you could not swallow the mouthful, for it would be too large to go down the throat. Therefore, on each side of the mouth are ten teeth with flat tops. These flat teeth crush the food and grind it into powder, like millstones crush wheat and grind it into flour. But a dry powder would not go down the throat, so there are three wells of spittle or saliva in the mouth, two under the tongue and one on teh side of the right ear. While the teeth are grinding the food into powder, the spittle comes out of the three wells, mixes with the powder, and turns it into paste; so if a hungry man comes near a good dinner, they say his mouth waters. At a single meal six ounces of saliva are thus swallowed. When the food has been made into paste, the tongue pushes it backwards, and sends it into the throat. At the top of the throat is an opening, which is the windpipe, through which we breath. Now the food must pass over the windpipe, and yet if any of the food falls down into the windpipe we are choked. How then is the food to get over the windpipe? The providence of God has beautifully arranged it. Over the top of the windpipe is a lid or little door, and while the food passes, the lid shuts down, and so the food passes over it. The food then gets into the stomach, and in the stomach it is changed by digestion. Then the food goes into the heart, and mixing with the breath from the lungs, is changed into blood, and the blood feeds the body, which is always wearing out, and so we live. "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all for the glory of God." 1 Cor. x. You say in the Lord's prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread." When therefore, you eat the bread which is for the life of the body, think also of the bread which is the life of the soul. What is the bread for the life of the soul? Jesus Christ tells us, John vi."The bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world."

6. THE EYES. -- The eyes are in the head, the highest part of the body, that we may see things far off. The eye is a round white ball. In the middle of this ball is an opening, called the pupil of the eye, for light to pass through. Round this opening is a beautiful net or curtain, called the iris. When the light is too strong, this net becomes larger to let in less light. When there is little light, the curtain becomes smaller to let in more light. This net is black, or brown, or blue, or gray. So we say that a person has black, or brown eyes, &c. How, then, does the eye see things? You must, first of all, know that light travels 200,000 miles every second. The earth is 24,000 miles round, so that the light would go round the earth eight times in a second. The light then comes form a tree, or a house, or anything you are looking at, and brings on it a picture of the thing you are looking at. It passes through the opening or pupil of the eye, and leaves the picture on the back of the eye. The picture goes from the back of the eye to the brain, and from the brain it goes to the soul. In one moment you can see millions of things all at once, trees, leaves, men, houses, towns, &c. And the pictures of these millions of things are all at the same time on the space of half an inch at the back of the eye; and yet they do not get in one another's way. If a man had to paint a million pictures on half an inch of paper it would be all confusion; but the eye is the work of God; Ps. cxxii. "To thee have I lifted up my eyes, who dwellest in Heaven. Behold, as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters, so are our eyes unto the Lord our God until he have mercy on us."

6. THE SOUL AND THE BODY. -- If a word comes to your ear, the soul knows it directly; if you see any thing, if you take hold of any thing, if something strikes your foot, or you have a pain, your soul knows all these things instantly. How is this? From the eyes, and the ears, and the hands, and the feet, and from every part of the body, fleshy strings called nerves, go up to the brain; and whatever comes to the eyes, ears, or body, passes along the nerves up to the brain, and there by some means, which we cannot understand, it is made known to the soul. You move your hand; or you move your foot and walk -- how is this done? The soul wills or determines to walk. This will of the soul is made known to the brain. From the brain, this will or determination of the soul passes quicker than lightning to the foot. The foot obeys and walks. Thus God has given your soul a wonderful power over your body. Your soul commands your foot to walk, and the foot obeys. There is no power on the face of the earth, except your soul, which could make your foot move of itself.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 13, 2011, 07:35:35 PM
Quote
His heart was filled with joy and thankfulness because he had got the use of his feet. With a loud voice he cried out, and thanked God, and all the people of the temple heard him praising and blessing God. Such was the thankfulness of this man, when he had only yet had the use of his feet for a few moments. You, my child, have had the use of your feet for years -- did you ever once thank God for it? Then, for the many blessings you received when God gave you a body, say sometimes: "My God, I thank you, because you gave me a tongue to speak with, and praise your holy name. I thank you, because you gave me ears to hear with, and listen to your blessed word. I thank you, because you gave me hands to work with, and do good works." God has given you a wonderful body, but he has also given you something else, a great deal more wonderful than the body.

It's like the conclusion of the movement of a symphony, that he has been building up to.  :D

How unthankful we are for things that matter so much, that are so important to our daily lives.. and yet, we take them for granted.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on April 15, 2011, 06:55:02 PM
How much we take for granted.  ::)
I could do with reading those two chapters everyday. Truly without the Lord we are nothing.  :crucifix:

Lord, give us thankful hearts.  :+:
 


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 26, 2011, 08:15:09 PM
CHAPTER III

GOD HAS GIVEN TO YOU A SOUL, AND YOUR SOUL IS A SPIRIT

"The Lord God breathed into the face of man the breath of life, and man became a living soul." GEN. ii. 7

1. A SOUL! How wonderful the soul is! There is something in the soul which strikes fear and dread into the beasts of the earth and the fowls of the air; Gen. ix. 2. The soul is the very image and likeness of God himself. The soul is a spirit like God. The soul, like God, is one; yet there are three great powers in the soul -- will, memory, and understanding -- as there are three persons in God -- Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Your soul does not wear away like the rocks, which are the foundations of the earth. Your soul does not fade away like a flower, or as the leaves drop off the trees in the autumn, or as the colors of the rainbow melt away from our sight. Your soul will not be nailed down in a coffin, or buried in the grave; when the body dies, the soul will not die, but it will go out of this world to the God who gave it; Ecc. xiii.

There was a girl about twelve years of age, who died; she was the daughter of Jairus. St. Luke tells us that Jesus Christ raised her dead body to life again, but he does not say that Jesus raised her soul to life again; but he says that her soul returned, that is, came back from the other world; Luke viii. Your soul, like God himself, will live forever and ever, through the endless eternity of the everlasting years. Your soul then is immortal.

Your soul has a memory, which can remember things which are gone away, so that the things which are dead live, as it were, in the memory of the soul. The soul has a will, and, like God, it can say, "I will, or I will not." If a child plays truant, and stops away from school, the child gets a beating, because the child was not obliged to stop away -- it could stop away or not, as it liked; it has free-will. But if a stone drops out of your hand, you do not beat the stone, because the stone could not help it; it has not a will. Your soul thinks -- the thoughts of the soul can pass in a moment up to Heaven and down to Hell, through the length and breadth of the earth, and down to the lowest parts of it. Your thoughts can call back the years that are gone away, and can reach to things to come in the far future, when the last day of this world shall be over, and Eternity shall have begun.

2. The soul is not like those things which can be seen by the eye. You say sometimes, I saw a stone, or I saw a cow, or I saw my foot; but nobody ever said, I saw my soul; because the soul is a spirit, and cannot be seen by the eyes of the body. If you said that your soul was blue, or red, or gray, or that you had round thoughts, or square thoughts; or if you said that your memory weighed a pound, or that you would divide your soul into four quarters, people would laugh at you. We differ from the beasts, because the beasts have no soul or reason. Nobody ever heard of a cow building a house, neither did you ever hear anybody reading a book to a horse or to a cat, because these creatures have no soul or understanding. If a horse breaks through a fence, nobody says, that horse has committed a sin, because a horse has no reason. Your soul is not like your body. Your soul thinks; but nobody ever says, "My hand thinks, or my food remembers." You never heard any one say that his soul had a cough or the measles, or that his soul was getting wrinkles, like an old man.

You have, then, a soul, which is the image and likeness of God; a soul, which can call before it in its thoughts the past, the present, and the future; a soul, which can think and reason; a soul, which can will and choose whether it will do good or evil; a soul, which will live forever in joy or in pain, according as it has will to do good or to do evil. "Before man is life and death, good and evil; that which he shall choose shall be given him." Eccus. xv.

CHAPTER IV

THE SOUL IS BEAUTIFUL ABOVE ALL THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS OF THIS WORLD.

1. St. Catherine lived in the town of Sienna, in Italy. There was living at the same time, in the same town, a certain woman called Bridget. Bridget was wicked: her life as so scandalous, that the people would not let her live in the town; so she lived in a little cottage out of the town. St. Catherine loved to do works of mercy; and one of the greatest works of mercy is to pray for the conversion of sinners. Thus Moses prayed: "Forgive, O God, the sins of this people according to the greatness of thy mercy. God answered: I have forgiven, according to thy word." Numb. xiv.

One day St. Catherine was in the chapel, on her knees before the B. Sacrament, praying. Her prayers was for the conversion of a poor sinner. You will be glad to hear what sort of prayer a saint prayed for the conversion of a sinner; and when you know it, you will pray sometimes for the poor sinners. This was the prayer:

"My sweet Jesus," she said, "remember the poor Bridget, and have pity on her. You labored and you toiled for thirty-three years to save that soul; you bled on the cross, and died a bitter death, to save that soul; and now, when you are able to save it, will you not save it? Why should that poor soul not be saved? Are its sins so great that your Divine blood is not able to wash them away? O Jesus, be kind to that poor creature -- have pity on her -- speak to her heart, and she will be saved."

The prayer of St. Catherine was finished, when, behold, she heard a voice come out of the Tabernacle, where Jesus was in the B. Sacrament. That voice was the voice of Jesus Christ, and thus Jesus spoke to St. Catherine: "My dear Catherine," Jesus said, "I have heard your prayer. I am glad. I thank you for praying for the poor Bridget, because it is my providence, that when anybody prays for sinners, then I have pity on them and convert them. It is well that you have prayed for Bridget, for she will soon die; and, if you had not prayed for her, she would have died in her sins, and gone to Hell. But now, since you have prayed for her, I will have mercy on her, and convert her."

God said he would destroy the people of Israel, if Moses had not stood before him to turn away his wrath. Ps. cv. The following day Bridget was walking along one of the streets. Her mind, as usual, was on vain and evil things. "The way of a man is not his own," Jer. x.; for, behold, suddenly, a thought, a light from Heaven, came into her soul. "Thou, O Lord, enlightenest wonderfully." Ps. lxxv. She remembered her past sins, and the light of God showed her the frightfully terrible state of her soul. "All its beauty is departed. It is become vile. It is covered in darkness." Lam. ii. 3. She remembered how great and how good God is, and she saw what a dreadful thing it is for a creature to dare, in the presence of its Creator, to break his commandments; to blaspheme him with that breath which he puts into the mouth, to use against him the power and force which he puts into the hands and feet. "Hear, O ye Heavens, and give ear, O Earth, for my people have despised me." Is. vii.

When Bridget thought of these things, her heart was filled with bitter sorrow; she burst into tears. "My God," she said, "what a wicked creature I have been! How could I offend you? What harm did you ever do to me? How kind and good you have always been to me, even when I was offending you. You were my Creator; you died for love of me. O my God, I am very, very sorry for sinning against you, for you are so good. Never, O my God, will I sin against you any more -- no, never again."

Soon after, Bridget was in the chapel, getting ready for Confession. She carefully examined her conscience about all her mortal sins; how many times she had committed them each day, or week, or month, or year. She then made the most fervent acts of contrition and good resolutions to keep away from the persons and places where she had sinned before. She went to Confession, and accused herself sorrowfully of her sins. She felt ashamed to tell some of them, but she did not mind the shame -- she told them all. Then she humbly asked the priest to give her absolution and pardon through the precious blood of Jesus Christ, who had died for her.

Then came the priest's absolution: "By the authority of Jesus Christ, I absolve thee from thy sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

In that moment the virtue and the power of the blood of Jesus came into her soul, and her sins went away as darkness goes away when the light comes. "Whose sins ye shall forgive, they are forgiven them." John xx.

She carefully remembered the penance given to her by the priest and performed it. Soon afterwards Bridget died. St. Catherine was again in the chapel, and she heard the voice of Jesus Christ from the Tabernacle. "My dear Catherine," Jesus said, "the poor Bridget for whom you prayed is dead; she made a good confession; her sins were forgiven, and now her soul is in Purgatory. You shall go down with your angel-guardian to Purgatory, and see her soul."


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on April 26, 2011, 09:31:56 PM
This passage gives me much greater confidence in my prayers for the conversion of certain people I know.  Thanks for sharing this, Shin!

I loved reading the other passage about the body.  I see that I should thank the Lord for my body too.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 26, 2011, 09:48:38 PM
Truly I think the best way to keep something that God has given you is to be thankful for it. :D

Thank you Therese, it's so good to hear about the good these writings do!  ;D It certainly does inspire for prayers for conversion!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on April 26, 2011, 09:54:24 PM
Truly I think the best way to keep something that God has given you is to be thankful for it. :D

Thank you Therese, it's so good to hear about the good these writings do!  ;D It certainly does inspire for prayers for conversion!

Yes indeed!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on May 11, 2011, 06:06:10 PM
Quote
Truly I think the best way to keep something that God has given you is to be thankful for it. Cheesy

Being thankful to God has been a prominent thought with me of late. How much we have to thank Him for; I've been invoking the holy Cherubim to help me do this and make up for my lack of gratitude. We are all under his providence even when we can't see it so clearly at times.

Deo gratias  :angelbell: :principalities: :harp:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on June 01, 2011, 06:07:58 PM
THE SOUL IN PURGATORY

2. ABOUT Purgatory we read many things in the Holy Scriptures, and other things in books written by holy men. Purgatory is a prison of fire; Matt. v.; 1 Cor. iii. Nothing defiled with sin can enter into Heaven; Apoc. xiv. Those who die with any, even the least venial sin in their soul, must have it forgiven in the world to come; Matt. xii. 32. Therefore -- First, those who die with venial sins in their soul, burn in Purgatory until they are cleansed, and so they are loosed from their sin; 2. Mach. xii. Secondly, those who have their mortal sins forgiven, but have not satisfied the justice of God, and done enough penance for their sins, remain in Purgatory until they have paid the last farthing of the debt they owe to God's jusice, Matt. v.; And thus they are saved, yet so as by fire. 1 Cor. iii.

When the doors of Purgatory were opened to St. Catherine and the angel, the first thing she saw was fire! Never before had she seen such a dreadful, raging, piercing, tormenting fire -- a fire which penetrated and burnt the inmost soul. It seemed as if the flames of Hell could not burn more fiercely than the flames of Purgatory. "The arrows of the Lord are in me, and the rage of them drinketh up my spirit." Job vi.

She saw many, countless multitudes, thick as the leaves of the forest, burning in the flames of Purgatory. She saw there even some who had led most holy lives in the world. There are few, very few, who go to Heaven without first going to Purgatory, "For if the stars are not pure in His sight, how much less the soul of mortal man." Job. xxv. All these souls looked very patient in their sufferings, and resigned to the will of God. Their prayer was ever: "O God, may thy will be done." Matt. vi.They seemed even to rejoice in their sufferings, which bring them each moment nearer to Heaven. "God is compassionate, and will forgive sins in the day of tribulation." Eccus. ii. So, like St. Paul, they say: "I abound with joy in tribulation," 2. Cor. vii.; and often they would say: "Thy rod, O God, has comforted me." Ps. xxii. She saw that in the midst of their sufferings they had many other consolations. They knew that God loved them, and was with them. "I will fear no evils, for thou art with me." Ps. xxii. They knew that their sufferings would sometime come to an end. Many times they were gladdened by the visits of the dear angels of Heaven, who refreshed them as the dews of the night refresh the thirsty plant, or as, when Jesus was in an agony of suffering in the Garden of Gethsemani, and his sweat became as drops of blood trickling down upon the ground, then there appeared to him an angel form Heaven, giving him strength, Luke xxii.; or as, when Jesus himself, after his death on the cross, went and spoke kind words to his dear souls in Purgatory, 1 Pet. iii.

It seems that many souls went to Heaven before the time fixed for their punishment was ended. "God delivered them out of their distresses." Ps. cv. Of these she found that some had themselves, when alive, prayed much for the souls in Purgatory. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." Matt. v. She saw that the time of punishement for these souls was very much shortened by the prayers offered for them on earth. She perceived that they rejoiced, especially when the Holy Mass was said for them, and the precious blood of Jesus Christ offered for them on  the altar. When they saw day by day souls taken from the midst of them, out of this terrible prison, and going to Heaven on account of that Holy Sacrifice, they knew well the force of those words of the Prophet: "Thou also, O Christ, by the Blood of Thy Testament, hast sent forth the prisoners out of the pit in which there was no water." Zach. ix.

She saw also that great numbers of souls were delivered from Purgatory, because somebody on earth had gone round the Stations, or the Way of the Cross for them, and had prayed that the precious blood of Jesus Christ spilt on that sorrowful way might be instead of the sufferings of the poor souls in Purgatory. "The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John i. She saw that the prayers for which the Church has given Indulgences for the souls in Purgatory, did wonderful things. "Whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, shall be loosed in heaven." Matt. xviii. For example, the prayer, "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul," for which there are one hundred days of Indulgence for the souls in Purgatory.

Sometimes a little child on earth offered some good work for the souls in Purgatory. One child would say, "My Jesus, for the love of you I am going to learn my school lessons, and I offer this for the souls in Purgatory." Another child would say, "My Jesus, for the love of you, I am going to sew, or to take a walk, and I offer this for the souls in Purgatory." Another child would do an act of self-mortification. It would say, "My Jesus, for the love of you I will not eat this sweet thing, and I offer this for the souls in Purgatory." As St. Paul said, "I rejoice in my sufferings for the Church." 1 Col. i. If the children only knew how, when they do so, they take away the sufferings of the poor souls in Purgatory, they would always be offering all their good works for the souls in Purgatory. Sometime a prayer which had been said, or a good work which had been done for some particular soul, was not given to that soul. Perhaps that soul was already gone out of Purgatory, or for some other reason known to God. But still that prayer was not lost, for it was given to some other soul according as it pleased God.

When anybody on earth was praying for the souls in Purgatory, Almighty God seemed very much pleased and grateful to that person for praying for the dear souls in Purgatory. But nothing could equal the thankfulness of these poor souls themselves when they felt that somebody was praying for them in the world. The spirits which are in the other world know things which are done on this earth. "The angels of God know and rejoice when a sinner on earth does penance." Luke xv. Long and fervently did the souls in Purgatory pray for those who on earth prayed for them. How God listens to the prayers of his dear souls in Purgatory, St. Catherine of Bologna tells us. She says that she obtained, by the prayers of the souls in Purgatory, many things for which she had prayed to the saints in Heaven, and had not received them.

Sometimes in Purgatory there was heard a lamentation -- a sorrowful cry. It was not like a cry of impatience, but a gentle complaint. What could be the reason? Why did these souls complain? Was it because they could no longer bear the fierce burning of that terrible fire? No, that was not the reason; for still these souls looked patient and even glad that the fire burnt fiercely and purified them from their sins. What they could it be? St. Catherine listened to their complaints, and she heard them complaining that people in the world had forgotten to pray for them.   


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on June 02, 2011, 05:14:51 PM
More inspiration from dear Fr John Furniss.

I place my trust in the Lord, I am certain of His word.
Out of the depth I cry to Thee O Lord, Lord hear my voice.
O let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of my pleading.
If You O Lord should mark our guilt, Lord who would survive?
But with you is found mercy; For this we revere Thee.
My soul is waiting for the Lord more than a watchman for daybreak.
Let the watchman count on daybreak and Israel on the Lord.
Israel indeed He will redeem from all her iniquity.

Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto, sicut erat in principio, et nunc et'semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on June 03, 2011, 06:27:08 AM
May we all pray as much as possible for the holy souls of purgatory.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on June 28, 2011, 06:57:56 PM
Some had given orders for masses to be said for them, and those masses had not been said. There were also parents in Purgatory, for whom their children living on the earth had forgotten to pray. There were children forgotten by parents. Brothers and sisters who had forgotten to pray for each other. Many also had been very kind and good to people on earth when alive on the earth, and the had hoped people would pray for them after death; but they had been forgotten. Then these souls in Purgatory would say, sorrowfully, "I am forgotten as one dead from the heart." Ps. xxx. "Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you, my friends, for the hand of the Lord hath touched me." Job xix. It was most beautiful to see how these souls left Purgatory and went to Heaven. Suddenly an angel from Heaven, enlightened with the glory of God, would come into Purgatory, and he would say that there was a soul whose sufferings were ended, and God wished it to come to Heaven. Then each soul would hope that, perhaps, itself might be that happy soul. Now the angel makes known which is the soul to be delivered out of Purgatory. "Blessed soul," he says, "many years more of torments waited for you, but some one on earth prayed for you; and now, by the command of our merciful God, you are free." "Arise my beloved one, make haste; the winter is past." Cant. ii. 2. "God has turned thy mourning into joy, and compassed thee with gladness." Ps. cxxix. "Rejoice, for we are going into the House of the Lord." Ps. cxxi. "Come in before his presence with exceeding joy." Ps. cxix. Instantly the chains which held the soul bound in the flames drop off it. It is out of the fire: no more fire, no more pain, no more tears. Now the angel leads the blessed soul on its way to Heaven. It is going out from the midst of the suffering souls. They look at it with delight, they salute it as it passes. Farewell! they say; farewell, happy soul! when you shall come before the throne of God do not forget us. Speak dear words from us to our Blessed Lady, the Mother of God, to St. Joseph, to our Angel Guardians and Patron Saints, and to all the Angels and Saints. Ask them to pray for us. Farewell, happy soul! we shall see you in Heaven. Now the soul is out of Purgatory -- it is surrounded with choirs of angels. But the soul cannot go into the presence of the Majesty of God, "who dwelleth in light inaccessible," John i., until it is clothed with the light of glory. See, the angel clothes the happy soul with the white robes of the Saints, the stole of glory, the crown of precious stones. "His glory is great in thy salvation: glory and great beauty shalt thou lay upon him." Ps. xx. Oh, beautiful soul! its brightness eclipses the sun, and puts out the light of the stars. It is a the door of Heaven. All Heaven rejoices to see it. "Who is it," they say in Heaven, "that cometh up to us as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun?" Cant. viii. Then there is one more word in the mouth of all the Blessed in Heaven: "Who," they say, "took that soul out of Purgatory by his prayers, and sent it to Heaven? May all the blessings of God come upon him, who by his prayers has sent this sister spirit to give us joy."

Now the soul is before the throne of the Blessed Trinity, "It sees the face of God." Matt. xviii. "It sees God in his glory." Ps. ci. It offers up its first prayer in Heaven to God!

Heaven is silent! Whom does it pray for? Listen! -- "My God," it says, "have mercy on him who, by his prayers, took my soul out of the flames of Purgatory. O God! do not let his soul go into the flames of Hell." All Heaven listens, and God does not turn a deaf ear to the first prayer of the blessed spirit when it has just entered into the kingdom of Heaven -- that soul which, by your prayers or good works, you have sent from the flames of Purgatory to Heaven, will never forget you day or night. When you are in trouble, in distress, in temptation, in the agony of death, it will pray for you.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on June 28, 2011, 07:01:59 PM
I want to say this all is just incredibly moving. The story of a soul entering into Heaven. . .


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on June 28, 2011, 09:35:37 PM
I'm glad I made the "heroic act" for the poor souls of purgatory because they suffer so much there.  Has anyone else been inspired to make this "heroic act?"


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 02, 2012, 01:36:08 PM
And now St. Catherine saw another wonderful sight in Purgatory. Suddenly the Angel lifted up his hand and pointed to one of the souls in the flames. Look, he said, Catherine, look! there is the soul of Bridget, who led a wicked life, but made a good confession, and died. St. Catherine had been so taken up with the wonderful things in Purgatory, that she had scarcely looked at any of the souls attentively.

Now, she looks attentively at the soul of Bridget. Till then she knew not how wonderful a soul is. She was astonished at the beauty of that soul. It is true, there were some dark spots and stains in it which the fire was burning away, as people can sometimes see dark spots on the bright sun. But still that soul was beautiful beyond all the beautiful things that were ever seen in the world. What could she compare it to?

She thought of the sweet light of the morning and of the beautiful colors of the rainbow: but that soul was far more beautiful. She remembered the dazzling beams of the noonday sun; but the light which beamed from that soul was far brighter. It seemed as if the sunlight, in comparison to the light of that soul, was but a dark shadow. She thought of the glittering stars in the blue skies; but that soul was far more glittering. She remembered the pure whiteness of the Spring lily, and of the fresh snow; but that was only an earthly whiteness. In Bridget's soul it was the whiteness of Heaven, "such as there is not on earth." Mark. ix. Catherine had often trembled with fear when she heard the thunders rolling in the dark clouds, and saw the flashes of forked lightning; but there was something more awful in the beauty of that soul -- a majesty before which she stood with fear and delight. So, Moses and Elias were seen in majesty with Jesus Christ on Mount Thabor, Luke ix.; she would have been glad to stop there for ever, wondering and loving the beauty of that soul. That soul, she thought, must have been made a partaker of the Divine nature; 2 Pet. i. She asked the Angel what made that soul so beautiful? and he answered, that it was the image and likeness of God in that soul, and the Divine grace, which made it so beautiful.

So, my child, you have in your soul the image and likeness of God; and if his grace be in your soul, and you love and serve him, then your soul is also beautiful above all the beautiful things of this world. But still you cannot know what a great thing it is to have received a soul from God, unless you know the price paid for your soul.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 02, 2012, 01:36:58 PM
After a break here we are back again with the conclusion of Fr. Furniss's chapter on the souls in Purgatory.

The next chapter is entitled 'The Price of the Soul'.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 02, 2012, 01:39:19 PM
Oh and Therese, if I recall correctly we discussed the heroic act on another thread. Ah here it is. (http://saintsworks.net/forums/index.php?topic=375.0)

It's funny but I don't remember if I ever did the heroic act. I might have, after I read about it a very long time ago, but I no longer recall.  :D

Whatever God wills!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on January 02, 2012, 01:55:36 PM
Thanks for responding, Shin.  I look forward to your next post!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 17, 2012, 07:43:07 PM
THE PRICE OF THE SOUL

1. What is meant by the price or cost of any thing? A little girl wanted to buy some thread. She went to a shop where thread was sold, and said, "Please, I want to buy some thread." The people of the shop showed her some thread. She took as much as she wanted. Then she said, "What is the price of this thread -- what does it cost?" The people looked at the thread and said, "The thread costs a penny." So a penny was the price of the thread.

My dear child, your soul was bought by Almighty God as much as the thread was bought by this girl. "You are bought with a great price." 1 Cor. vi. So now we must try to find out what was the price which God paid for your soul, for every soul, for the soul of a little baby, for the soul of an idiot who has not his senses.

Did God, then, buy your soul with gold and silver, as you buy a house or a field? No. All the gold and silver in the mines of Australia and California -- all the gold and silver on the earth, and under the earth -- all the rich and beautiful things in all the shops in the world; the rick silks, and velvets, and diamonds, and pearls, and precious stones -- all the riches of the world ptu together in one vast heap, could not buy the soul of one baby which has no sense. "You were not redeemed with corruptible things, as gold and silver." 1 Pet. i. Did God buy your soul with the bright sun and sparkling stars? No. Neither the sun, nor the stars, nor the world, nor ten millions of suns, and stars, and worlds, could buy one soul. There is nothing in this world equal to the soul.

Let us then lift up our thoughts to Heaven. There are in Heaven riches very different from the riches of the Earth. Such riches as are in Heaven "the eye hath not seen, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to know them." 1 Cor. ii. Did God, then, buy your soul with the riches of Heaven? No. All the riches of Heaven, even the Throne of Glory itself, the seat of the Most Blessed Trinity, -- "that Throne which is for ever and ever," Heb. i. -- could not buy the soul of one poor idiot who was no sense.

What then was the price which God paid for a soul? Oh! the price of a soul! "Man knoweth not the price thereof." Job. What tongue can tell it? What then was the price which God paid for your soul? Listen! -- Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. His going out is from the ways of Eternity, and He lives for ever and ever. By Him the world was made, and at his word Heaven and Earth will pass.

Now lift up your eyes and look -- at the Cross! One that cross hangs Jesus the Son of God! He has taken a body and soul like ours, and He is nailed to the cross! From His hands and His feet four streams of blood go down upon the earth, and all the earth round the cross on Calvary is red with the Divine blood. There -- the Son of God hangs between Heaven and Earth, on four great hooks, bleeding! Look again at Jesus, his head is bowed down, it has sunk on his breast -- his soul is gone away! Jesus Christ the Son of God hangs dead on the cross!

The people who lived in those days saw the God who created them nailed to the wooden cross on Calvary -- they saw him bleeding in cruel pain -- they heard his sorrowful sighs -- they saw him breath out his last breath and die. Then the sun became dark, and the earth was torn with earthquakes, and the graves opened and the dead arose! Now let a little child come and kneel before the cross and pray, because Jesus is glad when the little children speak to him. "My sweet Jesus," the little child says, "I see you bleeding and dying on the cross. Oh the wonderful sight. Tell me, my Jesus, how can it be? why is it that you -- God, the Creator, should hang dead on a cross? Why did you let your creatures, to whom you gave life, take away your own life?" The child has spoken. It is silent.

Jesus answers: "My dear child, your soul is very beautiful and precious. I wanted to have it -- to buy it. I looked through all my works in Heaven and on Earth to see if there was any thing I could buy it with, and there was nothing. Then I knew that I could not buy your soul except with my blood and my own life! I thought what a terrible thing it would be for me, the Creator, to die; but I remembered that if I died I should have your soul, and then I was content to bleed and to die."

Now, my child, I can tell you the price of a soul. The price of a soul is -- the Blood and Life of Jesus Christ, the Son of God! I get a pair of scales. I put as it were into one scale the precious Blood and the Life of the Son of God. I put into the other scale a soul. Oh, wonderful the balance stands equal -- the soul is equal to the Blood and Life of the Son of God! Surely when you meet any creature which has a soul, you would look and bow down with reverence before a soul bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

See that poor orphan child in rags, without shoes, without bread to eat, homeless and friendless. Poor child, as you wander through the streets, you say to yourself, "Nobody cares for me, nobody takes any notice of me." You know not, O orphan child, that the light of Heaven is shining on your soul; you know not that God and his angels have their eyes fixed on you -- that God is speaking to the angels about you and is saying, "Oh, the blessed soul of that little child! I would give Heaven and Earth, I would give the Divine Blood of my Son Jesus to have the soul of that poor little child."

Now turn away your eyes from the cross and look over the four quarters of the earth -- Europe, Asia, Africa, America. What do you see? You see countless millions of souls for which Christ died. They lie scattered about the earth, and neglected like stones and sticks, and the bones of dead beasts; or as old rags or bits of rusty iron; or as an old shoe thrown away, which nobody will pick up. Yet each one of these souls is precious before God, and dear to him as the blood of his only Son Jesus Christ.

And Jesus Christ, seated in Heaven, with a sorrowful heart, looks down on the earth because there are few who help him to save these dear souls which He bought with His own blood.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on January 17, 2012, 08:46:20 PM
Good post.  I see how important it is for me to help save souls.

How did you learn about Fr. Furniss, Shin?  I enjoy his work very much.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 17, 2012, 09:03:05 PM
I first encountered his famous work 'The Sight of Hell'. Then I read up more about who he was, his work as a children's missioner, and found he had written a great deal more than that work. I noticed how good a writer he was, and how good a missioner, how virtuous, and the attacks against him, which I took for a good sign -- so I decided I wished to read more of his work, to see if it was also good, and if so to then make it available.

I found that his works had not been recorded by any e-text archive, and that they were hard to get ahold of. They had gone, it seems, a good deal to Irish, and Irish immigrants coming to this country, and yet not reprinted in a long time, were much lost.

So I prayed and kept my eyes open and looked. There were a few libraries, out of state, that were potential places to photocopy some of his work still preserved. And an expensive copy available through a used book site. The price was high, so I put it off, though sometimes returning to look at it, and in time it disappeared.

It was after this I looked for it in libraries. But after a year or so I found a major used book outlet offering the major compilation of his works that I had been looking for -- it is not all of his work, I have a list of what I know of, but it is a large portion of it. The price was not so high. I thanked God and acquired it.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 17, 2012, 09:10:21 PM
This is the list of Fr. Furniss's works that I so far know of:

* Almighty God and His Perfections
* God Loves Little Children
* The Great Question
* The Great Evil; or, Mortal sin.
* Stumbling Blocks
* The House of Death
* The Book of the Dying
* The Terrible Judgment and The Bad Child
* The Sight of Hell
* Holy Communion
* Schools in which Children Lose their Holy Faith
* How to Teach at Catechism
* What Every Christian Must Know and Do
* The Book of Young Persons
* Confession
God and His Creatures
Companion to How to Teach at Catechism
How to Teach at Catechism - Hymns
Tracts for Spiritual Reading, Designed for First Communion, Retreats, Missions
The Sunday School or Catechism
Hand-book for Sunday School Teacher [extracted from a larger work 'The Sunday School']

The starred books are in the compilation volume. Some are longer, some are shorter. I don't think I've over looked 'God and His Creatures' in the compilation volume, it doesn't appear to be there, and the book is delicate and shedding paper so I have to be careful sorting through it. The 'Hymns' book might also be included, there are some hymns. Not having the single volumes to examine I can't say if it is the same or not.

I'm should like to find the other works.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on January 17, 2012, 10:30:33 PM
Do we have all these books on Saintsbooks? I looked for them.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 17, 2012, 11:36:12 PM
Haha! Only three of them.. Since we are now doing 'The Great Question' that one should appear next I am thinking.

It is a good thing I took that typing course in school!

But I know others who are faster than me at typing things up!  ;D  :tinyangel:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on January 18, 2012, 01:04:48 PM
Thanks, Shin, for the info about Fr. Furniss.  I'm glad you post his works on your forums.  I haven't visited Saintsbooks yet.  Peace!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 19, 2012, 11:44:44 PM
There's so much reading material on Saints' Books (http://saintsbooks.net)! I know you'll enjoy it.

There're also some good riddles that need solving (http://saintsworks.net/forums/index.php?topic=1876.msg20716#new), if you're in the mood for them!

Quote
I see how important it is for me to help save souls.


Salvation is what it is all about! :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 19, 2012, 11:46:42 PM
Chapter VI.

THE VOICE OF CREATURES TO THE SOUL.

Look at the bright sun in the heavens, the sparkling stars, the green grass, the flowers, the fruits on the trees, the seas, the rivers, the beasts in the fields, the fishes in the sea, the birds in the air, the day and the night, the storm and the sunshine, the drops of rain, the dew on the grass. These creatures have a tongue, a voice which speaks to your soul. "There are no speeches nor languages where their voices are not heard. Their sound hath gone forth into all the earth, and their words unto the end of the world." Ps. xviii. Oh, creatures of God, what have you to say for us? Speak, for the Creature has bid you to speak to us. What then is that voice? what those words which the Creator has commanded you to say to us?

Hearken, my child, those creatures speak. They say to us: "O immortal souls, created in the image and likeness of God, we are not as you; we have not a soul to understand, neither did our Creator die for us; and yet, we ever do the will of our Creator, and serve Him." Oh, immortal souls, do the will of God who created you; oh, this very day begin to do His will, for you known not if you will live till to-morrow. The day of your life is passing, and the night of death is coming; Job. ix. "Ask the beasts and they shall teach thee, and the birds of the air and they shall tell thee; speak to the earth and it shall answer thee."


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 20, 2012, 04:22:58 AM
I've been reading Fr. Furniss and he's helped me understand more how all Creation was created for the sake of leading man to God.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 20, 2012, 04:24:45 AM
CHAPTER VII.

THE GREAT QUESTION.

THERE is a great thought -- a great question. It is the greatest of all questions -- the question of questions.

Listen to the great question. This, then is the Great Question: "Almighty God has created you. He has given you a body and an immortal soul, redeemed with the blood of Jesus Christ. You live in the world for a few short years, then you pass away, and nobody sees you any more. Why, then, did God create you? Why did he put you in this world? What are you for? What is the great thing you have to do here? What is your great affair? your great business in this world?" Behold, then, the Great Question: "Why did God create you?"

Very few people ever think about the great question. But those who are wise often ask themselves the great question.

Hear what the monks do. At midday they go into the chapel, and, kneeling down they ask themselves the great question. "Why," they say, "did God create me? have I this morning been doing what God created me for?" The night comes, and again, on their knees in the chapel, they ask themselves the great question: "Why did God create me? did I this afternoon do what God created me for?" Once every month there is one whole day, and all that day they do nothing but ask themselves the great question:  "Why did God create me? have I this month been doing what God created me for?" Once every year there are ten whole days. During those ten days they are silent, they preach not, they hear no confessions, they speak not to any human creature. They spend the whole ten days in asking themselves the great question: "Why did God create me? have I this year been doing what God created me for?" This question, "Why did God create me?" is a question which all wise men put often to themselves. So, if they read, if they eat, if they walk, during the works of the day, during the silence of the night, the great thought comes before them -- "Why did God create me?" Let us, then, my child, try to find the answer to this question -- "Why did God create you?"


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on January 20, 2012, 02:31:28 PM
Truly the greatest of questions and if we know the answer we would not want to waste any more time wandering away from God.  :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on January 20, 2012, 02:38:28 PM
Quote
But I know others who are faster than me at typing things up!  Grin  tiny angel

 ;D

Quote
They say to us: "O immortal souls, created in the image and likeness of God, we are not as you; we have not a soul to understand, neither did our Creator die for us; and yet, we ever do the will of our Creator, and serve Him." Oh, immortal souls, do the will of God who created you; oh, this very day begin to do His will, for you known not if you will live till to-morrow. The day of your life is passing, and the night of death is coming; Job. ix. "Ask the beasts and they shall teach thee, and the birds of the air and they shall tell thee; speak to the earth and it shall answer thee."

Let's not waste time doing his Will!  :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on January 20, 2012, 03:06:09 PM
I like Saints Books, Shin.  You created it didn't you?


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 21, 2012, 04:57:15 AM
I'm a tiny part of the manual labor.  :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 21, 2012, 04:57:27 AM
CHAPTER VIII.

DID GOD CREATE YOU TO BE RICH, TO GET MONEY?

I GO into a great town, Dublin or London. I see many people walking about everywhere. There is something in their faces which shows that they are not idle, that they have some great business, some great affair on their hands. There seems to be something which takes up their thoughts, and fills their whole soul. I stop one of these people and speak to him. "My good man," I say to him, "tell me what is it? what is the great business, the great affair which fills all your thoughts and takes up all your time?" My great affair, he answers, the great thing I have to do, is -- to get money, to be rich. I go on further, I see a little boy running along the street. I say to him, stop a moment, my boy, what is the matter? what are you running for? I am running on an errand, the boy answers. And why do you run on an errand? The boy answers: I want to get money. I pass on, and walk into a shop. I see there a man, very busy from morning till night; his whole time is filled up; he has scarcely a moment to get any thing to eat. I say to him: Why do you work so hard all the days of your life? what is it for? what is to be the end of it? what do you want? He answers; I want to get money, and to be rich. So the will, and the memory, and the understanding, and the thoughts, and the desires of men, are always turning on money, as the earth is always turning on its axis. So it is with all, young and old, rich and poor, everywhere, in every place, from the rising of the sun to the going down thereof. I stop, then, for a moment, and again I ask myself the great question: "Why did God create us? what is the great thing we have to do on this earth?" And when I see all men spending all their time, and breath, and strength, and health, and life, in trying to get money, I say to myself: Perhaps this is what God created us for -- the great thing we have to do -- to get money, to be rich. Is it so? Let us see.

In the city of Jerusalem, where Jesus died on the cross, there once lived a very rich man. He had such an abundance of riches, that he scarcely knew himself all he possessed. He had gold and silver, lands and possessions, without end. He lived in a splendid house. Those who travel now to Jerusalem see the place where his house once stood. The remembrance of that fine house has come down from father to son, and so the people living there still show the traveler where it once was. They say -- here stood the house of the rich man. The grand house stood close to the Sorrowful Way, near the fourth station, where Jesus met his blessed Mother as he went on his sorrowful journey, carrying the cross, from the house of Pilate to Calvary. The rooms of this splendid house were most beautiful. They were filled with the most costly furniture. There were chairs and tables made of the richest woods, of the cedar of Lebanus, and of the palm tree of Gades. There you would see the brightest marbles of every color; carpets from Persia, and curtains of rich velvet; precious stones, and sparkling gems; the whitest ivory, glasses, and pictures so costly that nobody could tell the price of them. When the rich man went abroad, there was a long train of beautiful carriages, drawn by the finest horses in the world. If the rich man walked in the streets of Jerusalem, every eye was fixed upon him, for he was clothed in purple and fine linen, white as the snow. There was great feasting in that grand house. Every day that rich man feasted sumptuously. The most expensive wines, the most delicate and rich meats which money could buy, were on his table. The people called the rich man happy. Often, when they passed his grand house, they looked up at it, and said: How happy that man must be, because he is so rich; I wish I was as rich as he is. "They have called the people happy that hath these things." Ps. cxliii.

One day the rich man was very ill, for sickness comes to the rich man as well as to the poor man. The doctor was sent for in haste to cure him. The doctor comes without loss of time; he enters the room where the rich man was lying sick, and walks up to the bed-side. The doctor looks at him, feels his pulse, examines his tongue. He is silent for a few moments, then he says: "I think, sir, you are very ill, but I will send you a bottle of medicine, and I hope that in a few days you will be well." Then the rich man was happy again, for he thought that he would soon be cured. The bottle of medicine was brought to the house of the rich man. He drank the medicine, and a few days after, this rich man -- died! Then his body lay on a fine bed, pale, breathless, lifeless, cold, even as the dead body of a poor man lies dead in a lowly cabin. But his soul! What became of his soul? The very instant in which the rich man breathed out his last breath, his soul was buried forever in Hell, buried in the fire of Hell. Even as you bury a body in earth, so the rich man's soul was buried in fire. Then there was mourning in that grand house, because the rich man was dead; the great man was gone -- he was no more! If on that day, you had walked into the rich man's house, you would have seen a large, beautiful room. It was a wonderful thing to see that room. There was something strange in it. It was midday, and the sun was shining brightly and beautifully, as it shines in those countries; but into that large room no sun-light came. The white blinds were down, and the shutters of the windows were fast shut. Yet that room was not dark, it was lighted with many hundreds of lights; but the darkness of the walls, covered with black cloth, seemed to draw away the very brightness of the light, leaving only a deathlike mournful light. The persons who were in that roomed moved about slowly and sadly. If they spoke, it was only in a low whisper, which could scarcely be heard, so that you would have thought perhaps the dead man was only asleep, and they were afraid to awaken him. Yes, he had slept his last sleep, from which he will never awaken again. But turn your eyes to the upper end of that large room, where there are many lights. Every eye seems to be looking there. What is it? There is a rich and splendid coffin. That coffin is made of cedar, the richest of all woods. It is covered with folds of black silk velvet. Amidst the rich velvet you can see gold and silver sparkling, and almost blazing in the lights which hang above it and round it. The inside of that coffin is lined with satin, and silk, with a fringe of gold. But what is that coffin for? In that grand coffin is lying -- the dead body of the rich man! But down in Hell the soul of the rich man is lying in a coffin of fire! Around the coffin in that room stood the people of the world, the friends of the rich man. They talked together; they spoke of the coffin -- How beautiful it was , they said, what a fine coffin! But in Hell, the devils were standing round the coffin of fire, and they talked also, and said -- What a hot coffin, what a burning coffin this is! How terrible to be shut up in this coffin of fire for ever and ever, and never to come out of it again! Such was the end of the rich man. He lived in riches, and he died, and he was buried in the fire of Hell. But why did that rich man go to Hell? what was the reason? The reason was, because the rich man did not know the great thing he had to do while he lived. He made a great mistake. He thought the great thing of all was -- to be rich; and he was rich, and he went to Hell.

Perhaps some little boy who reads this book, when he grows up to be a man, may work hard and become rich. Now I ask that boy a question. My dear boy, when you shall come to lie on your death-bed, will you say to yourself, "I have laboured hard in my lifetime, and worked much, and now I am rich? I am going to die, and because I am rich I die contented and happy?" My boy, I will answer the question for you -- "The rich man died, and he was buried in Hell."

What is a needle? A little child answers: "A needle is a thing to sew with, having a little hole at one end called the eye of the needle; and this little hole is so small that you can only just get one single thread through it." Very well, my little child, now tell me what a camel is? "A camel is a great large beast, much larger than a horse; it can bear thirst for a long time, so when travelers go through sandy deserts where there is no water, they go on camels." Very well. I am now going to talk to you about a needle and a camel. Let us go to the camel. Pluck one single hair, only one hair, from the camel's back, and try to put it through the eye of the needle. There, the hair goes through the eye of the needle quite easily. Now, another thing, take up into your hands the great, large, broad foot of the camel, and try to put it through the little eye of the needle. You cannot. Now, something else. Put a rope round the great camel's neck, and lead it up to the needle, and try to make it pass, with all its great body through the little eye of the needle. It is impossible. Jesus Christ says that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to go into Heaven; Luke xviii. Therefore, to get money, and to be rich, is not the great thing you have to do in this world. It was not for this that God created you. Did God create man for that which ruins him? Without doubt it is possible for a rich man to be saved. For even among the saints are to be found those who are rich. But they made a good use of their riches; they used it in the service of God; they were kind to the poor, they led good lives. But why is it so difficult for a rich man to go to Heaven? Is there something bad in gold and silver. Were not gold and silver created by God like the stones and the trees? Gold and silver are not bad in themselves, but people generally make a bad use of them, and commit sins because they have riches, or want too much to get them. Therefore, Jesus Christ says: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven;" Matt. v. But it is not only those who have money whom God accounts as rich. At the day of judgment many of the poor will be condemned as rich. But how can a poor man be called rich? He has no money in his pocket, his chest is empty. It is true he has no money; but it is true also that he has in his heart a great strong desire of money. This great desire of money leads people into many sins. For example, there are many poor men whose thoughts are all about money. Then they forget God, and think no more about going to Mass and the Sacraments. A man is out at work, he loses his wages, he becomes impatient, and blasphemes God. Another man takes a false oath in order to get what does not belong to him. Here is a man who loves to drink in the public-house, so he steals and robs, and cheats, that he may have money to spend in the public-house. There are people who were friends; they had a quarrel about money, and now they have a deadly hatred against one another. So it is money, money, money! and then -- blasphemes, false oaths, stealing, cheating, drunkenness, neglect of God and the soul, and then -- Hell! Therefore, St. Paul says, 1 Tim. vi.; "They that will become rich fall into temptation and the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction and perdition. For the desire of money is the root of all evil."

God, then, did not create us to get money, to be rich. Therefore, those people are mistaken who live in this world as if the one great thing they have to do is to get money and be rich. Death will come, and then their money will pass away from them like a dream. In one moment they will go down into Hell, and, when they are buried in Hell, they will find out their mistake when it is too late. "What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world, if he lose his own soul?" Matt. xvi.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 21, 2012, 04:58:33 AM
I love the great question and wonder how many people actually do think about it. And what they do think when they do.

Fr. Furniss certainly puts wealth in its place.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on January 21, 2012, 01:10:02 PM
I'm a tiny part of the manual labor.  :crucifix:


 :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on January 22, 2012, 04:47:15 AM
"Time is money", so the saying goes.
I am reminded of a college mate who was overheard talking to herself in her room. She reportedly said: "money is so important, the day I get my money....!" followed by some corresponding exclamation  ;D
Fr. Furniss is so right. So many of us are so busy running after money, we neglect God and we neglect our famillies.
We need to stop and reflect where it is all leading us.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 22, 2012, 04:50:43 AM
'Time is money' you're reminding me of another phrase odhiambo!

'Killing time'. It makes me how on occasion people do things to 'kill time', and how I've done so.

Now I'm shaking my head thinking about it.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 22, 2012, 11:25:46 AM
CHAPTER IX.
DID GOD CREATE US TO EAT AND DRINK AND ENJOY OURSELVES?

MANY people think that the great thing in this life is to eat and drink and enjoy themselves. "Their God is their belly; their end is destruction." Phil. iii. There was once a man who spoke thus to himself. Luke xii.: "My soul," he said, "we have much goods laud up for many years, let us eat and drink and enjoy ourselves." When it was night, Almighty God came to that man and said to him: You fool, you fool, because you thought that you were made to eat and drink and enjoy yourself -- you fool, because you did not know what you were created for -- you fool, this night you will die! and those goods which you have laid up for many years, whose shall they be? Luke xii. The number of fools is infinite; Eccus. i. Then God did not create you to get money. He did not create you to eat and drink and enjoy yourself. Then why did God create you? Why did he give you a body and soul? Why did he put you in this world? What was it for? What are you for? You know very well what other things are for. Your hat you know is for your head; your shoes for your feet; a spade to dig with; a spoon to drink with. No child is so ignorant as to drink with a spade and dig with a spoon. You know what other things are for. Thus what are you for yourself? Why did God create you? This great question shall now be answered.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on January 23, 2012, 07:27:44 AM
'Time is money' you're reminding me of another phrase odhiambo!

'Killing time'. It makes me how on occasion people do things to 'kill time', and how I've done so.

Now I'm shaking my head thinking about it.


I did kill time too and now I wonder whether I will ever have enough time to read and really understand the Bible :(


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on January 23, 2012, 10:54:03 AM

DID GOD CREATE US TO EAT AND DRINK AND ENJOY OURSELVES?

I recall reading in the newspaper, not very long ago about a man who beat his wife silly because the portion of the one kilo of meat he had bought for the family dinner was reportedly too little.
And again a mother who burned the hands of her seven year old son to teach him a lesson for reportedly eating fish meant for the whole family.
There are indeed people who behave as if they live to eat rather than eat to live.
Lord have mercy on us all.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 23, 2012, 11:46:21 AM
CHAPTER X.

THE ANSWER TO THE GREAT QUESTION.

THERE is a little book. You have seen this book sometime in your life. Perhaps it is long since you saw it, and you no longer remember it. The book is called, the Catechism. One of the first questions in the Catechism is this. Who made you? The answer to this question is: God made me. Then comes the next question: Why did God make you? The answer: God made me to know him, and love him, and serve him in this life, and to be happy with him forever in the next life. Behold, then, the answer to the great question: God made you to serve him. This is the one great thing you have to do while you live, "the one thing necessary," Luke x., to serve God! To serve God with your body -- to serve God with your eyes, with your tongue, with your hands, with your feet -- to serve God with your soul -- to serve God by day and by night, in the light and in the dark -- to serve God with every breath that you breathe -- to serve God in holiness and justice before Him all your days, Luc. i., till you breathe out your last breath! A fish is made to swim, a bird to fly; but you are made to serve God. The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve, Matt. v. To serve God, St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi says, is to be a king. If you serve God, you will be happy for ever in Heaven; if you will not serve God, you will burn for ever in Hell.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on January 23, 2012, 06:06:51 PM
That brings to mind the first great commandment; to love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
To love God with the soul through prayer and reception of the sacraments;
To love God with the mind through contemplation and study of holy literature,
and with all ones strength through manual labor and mortification of the body.

I don't have references but I got this once as an aid in examination of conscience with a view to eradicating recurring sins by spotting the weak areas in my love of God.

The second great commandment -Love your neighbor as yourself- can sometimes become a substitute for the first (as in, if I just do good to my neighbor all will be well) but can we really love our neighbor if we neglect the love of God?
We are commanded to love God above our very selves but commanded to love our neighbor in a lesser way (as ourselves). Love our neighbor for the sake of our love for God.

Getting things the right way round and putting God first is an important lesson I'm learning and I don't have unlimited time to get it right but one must start somewhere  :-\
Ah... Thanks be to God for the saints who help us.  O:)










Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 26, 2012, 03:41:56 PM
It's such a necessary lesson  Martin.. Everything for the sake of God.. !


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 26, 2012, 03:50:00 PM
CHAPTER XI.

TO SERVE GOD -- WHAT IS IT?


A CHILD says: I would be very glad to serve God, but I do not know how to serve God. What does that mean -- to serve God? Listen, my child, and I will tell you what it is to serve God.

To commit no sin against the commandments of God -- that is to serve God; for thou, O God, hast commanded thy commandments to be kept most diligently; Ps. cxviii. Not to consult fortune-tellers, for the Lord abhorreth these things; Deut. xviii. Not to tempt the Lord thy God by despair or presumption; Matt. iv. Not to behave ill to what is holy; for every man that approacheth sinfully to what is holy shall perish before the Lord; Levit. xxii. Not to blaspheme the name of God, for his name is holy and terrible; Ps. cx. Not to curse your neighbor: Bless, and curse not; Rom. xiv. Not to swear either by the name of God or by any of his creatures, but let your speech be yea, yea, and no, no; Matt. v. Not to refuse to your parents love, honor, and obedience: He that honoreth his father shall be a comfort to his mother; Eccus. iii. And you, parents, bring up your children in the discipline and correction of the Lord; Ephes. vi. Not to keep spite in your heart, nor to render to any man evil for evil, nor to revenge yourself; but, if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he be thirsty, give him to drink; Rom. xii. Not to scandalize or ruin any soul for which Christ died -- For woe to that man by whom scandal cometh; Matt. xviii. Nor yet to follow bad example; but be even as Tobias, who, when all went to adore the golden calves, he alone fled the company of all; Tob. i. Not to get drunk -- For drunkards shall not obtain the kingdom of heaven; Gal. v. To do no immodest thing -- "Put away evil from thy flesh;" Eccus. xi. "With all watchfulness keep thy heart;" Prov. iv. "Turn away thy eyes that they behold not vanity;" Ps. cxviii. "Make a covenant with thy eyes not to think of what is evil;" Job xxxi. "Hedge in thy ears with thorns that they hear not a wicked tongue, and make doors and bars to thy own mouth;" Eccus. xxviii. Not to go into bad company -- "Go not into the way of ruin;" Eccus xxii. "Flee from it, and save your life;" Jer. xiviii. Not to steal -- "Thou shalt not steal;" Exod. xx. "Goods unjustly gotten shall not profit thee;" Eccus. v. Not to detract, or calumniate, or slander, or backbite your neighbor -- "Speak evil of no man;" Tit. iii. "The tongue is an unquiet evil, full of deadly poison;" James iii. Not to tell lies -- "Speak ye the truth every man with his neighbor;" Ephes. iv. Not to commit any of these sins IS -- to serve God. To keep the commandments of the Church, and not to break the abstinence or the fast -- that is to serve God. "For he who will not hear the Church is as a heathen and publican;" Matt. xviii. To say your morning and night prayers -- to go to Mass on Sundays -- to go every month to the Sacrament -- to do all, whatsoever you do, in word or in work, for the glory of God; Col. iii. Bring to the Lord glory and honor, Ps. xxviii,; and be not as the heathens, who, when they knew God, have not glorified him as God, and, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools; wherefore God gave them up to a reprobate sense; Rom. i.

You shall know now what it is to serve God. "Do this, and thou shalt live," Luke x. Do you want to know what it is to serve God? See that servant -- she is in place, in a situation, in the service of her mistress. She takes care, first of all, never to do any thing which she knows will displease her mistress. From the morning till night she does the will of her mistress. Whatever her mistress bids her to do she does it. Does her mistress bid her to go to the market -- she goes to the market. Does her mistress bid her to stop at home -- she stops at home. Does her mistress bid her to get the food ready for the household -- she gets it read. Does her mistress bid her to wash or sew -- she washes or sews. Even as the centurion said to Jesus Christ: "I say to this one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it;" Matt. viii. That servant, moreover, watches carefully to see that nobody does any harm to the goods of her mistress. Why does that servant work so hard in the service of her mistress? In order to get a small monthly wage. Do you work as hard in the service of God as that servant in the service of her mistress, and you will not get a small monthly wage, but an everlasting reward in the Kingdom of Heaven -- life everlasting; Matt. xix.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 26, 2012, 03:54:32 PM
Quote
"but let your speech be yea, yea, and no, no;"

How complicated and ambiguous are the moral instructions we are told these days!

Quote
Not to behave ill to what is holy; for every man that approacheth sinfully to what is holy shall perish before the Lord; Levit. xxii.

A dreadful indictment for all...

Quote
Not to commit any of these sins IS -- to serve God.

Many memorable statements..


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on January 26, 2012, 06:22:49 PM

"For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
To love God with the soul through prayer and reception of the sacraments;
To love God with the mind through contemplation and study of holy literature,
and with all ones strength through manual labor and mortification of the body.

Yes!  This is how we are to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.  I will remember this passage.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 29, 2012, 09:20:06 PM
CHAPTER XII.

DO PEOPLE SERVE GOD.

1. GOD has created men to serve him. Do they serve him? Look at the world. See the little children. How many are there of them, seven or eight years of age, never going to Mass on Sundays? How many, ten or twelve years of age, who never went to Confession? See that child, it never says its morning prayers, and seldom its night prayers. On Monday morning it is sent to school with its school wages. It stops away from school, and steals the school wages. Watch it when it is at home; you will see it putting its hand into its mother's pocket, and stealing the pennies. It is sent to the shop, and gets too much money in change, and this it steals. What does the child do with the money it steals? Does it give it to the poor? No such thing; it spends the money in buying taffy and sweet things. The child is sent on an errand; it begins to cry, or it says, "I shan't go, I won't go." Would you believe that this child has a habit of telling lies? The child is corrected by its mother; it gets sulky, or it gives back answers, or it looks cross. The child has run out of the house. Where is it? They seek it, and find it playing about the streets with naughty companions. Is this serving God?

Now, let us go to persons from the age of ten or twelve to the age of twenty. A great many of them are working in the factories and mills. Do they serve God? See that factory boy. I will tell you his history. He left school when he was about nine years of age; he was then a half-timer. Now he is older, about eighteen, in full work. What is his life? It is a week-day morning. He sleeps till it is time to go to the factory; he sets off to the factory in a hurry, without one word of prayer to God, who has preserved him during the night. Now, he is coming into the factory. Does he offer his work to God? or does he pray to God to take care of him, or say a Hail Mary lest he should be catched by some rope or strap, and lose one of his limbs, or, perhaps, even his life? No he never thinks of it. At the first trifle which vexes him, he says some scandalous curse. Does he watch over his eyes or his thoughts for fear of temptation? No; but you will hear from his mouth continually bad, shameful words, such as St. Paul forbids to be even named amongst Christians. But there is something worse than this. He does in the factory wicked actions, and he has been known, when he left the factory, to lie in wait in the streets -- what for? To ruin souls for which Christ died. He comes home to his meals, perhaps they are not ready; again you will hear him cursing in his impatience. In the evening you will not find him at home. Where is he? In the dancing-house, or he is keeping company out of the sight of his parents. It is Saturday evening. He has received his wages. He keeps back part of them. What does he do with the money? Look at him; he is walking through the street which leads to the public house, or the whiskey-shop. Sunday morning has come. The last Mass is over at the chapel. The factory boy is still in bed. At last he is risen, and had his breakfast, and sets off. Where does he go to? is it to the chapel to pray? No, he sets off to join some idle company, and he spends in gambling, in pitch-and-toss, what he stole of his wages, while his little brothers and sisters have no shoes on their feet, and are crying for bread. Is he found at the Sunday School? Go there, and you will see that his place is empty. It is Sunday evening.

Where is the factory girl? Is she at chapel? No; she is walking the dark streets, or on a lonesome road; keeping company, without the knowledge of her parents, or against their will, or against her own conscience. There is another factory boy. He lives no longer with his father and mother; he left them. He got 10s. a week. One night he came home late, for which his father scolded him. The boy said to himself: I will not be scolded by my father any more. So he went away from his father, and took lodgings for himself. So it is with many factory boys and girls; and so it is with many boys and girls who work in shops, or at the docks, or in the fields, or who polish shoes, or carry baskets. There are other children to whom God gives the blessings of a good education in a house where they hear Mass every day, and can go often to the Sacraments, where they do not meet with the temptations which come upon the children of the poor; where they are trained to good habits by the discipline of wise rules for their conduct. God has given these advantages for this, and this only -- that they may learn to serve Him. To whom much is given, of him much will be required; Luke xii. Yet, what is the fruit of these advantages in some of those who possess them? That boy who, in his youth, is indifferent about Mass, and careless about the Sacraments, is it wonderful if, in his manhood, he gives scandal by an irreligious life? If, in a house where it is almost impossible to meet with bad company, he sought the company of those who gave the least edification, are you surprised if, when he is gone into the world, he is to be found in the company of those whose ways are evil, and who ruin him?


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 06, 2012, 06:55:22 PM
2. It is bad company which most frequently draws people from the service of God. "Evil communications corrupt good manners;" 1 Cor. xv. Bad company is an evil thing in childhood, although it is commonly a worse thing in youth. You shall hear the history of a little girl who went into bad company, mentioned by St. Alphonsus. This little girl lived in a certain town, and went every day to learn her lessons at the Convent school, taught by the nuns. One morning, after breakfast, she took the little bag in which she carried her books, opened the street door, and set off to the Convent school. She was going along the street which leads to the Convent, when it happened that a wicked boy met her. He stopped her and said: Little girl, where are you going? The girl answered: I am going to the Convent school. But, said the boy, look what a fine day it is, how brightly the sun shines! You had better come along with me, and we will go and play in the fields. Nobody will know any thing about it. Very well, said the little foolish little girl, I will go along with you, and we will play in the fields. Now she has got into bad company! They set off, walked out of the town, and went into the fields. They stayed in the fields all the morning. In the middle of that morning they did a very wicked thing -- they committed a mortal sin. It is not said what the mortal sin was. They knew that it was a mortal sin, and that they deserved to go to Hell for it. The morning was over. They went back to the town. The boy went away. The little girl never saw him any more. She went home. The child did not tell its parents where it had been, nor what it had been doing. She sat down and ate her dinner as usual. In the evening the little girl felt very poorly, and was put to bed. Next morning, she was much worse. It happened that a woman, one of the neighbors, came into the house. As soon as the woman had seen the child, she said to the mother: "For God's sake, send directly for the priest, your child is dying." One of the brothers was sent off in haste to call the priest. When the boy came to the priest's house, he found the priest was not at home; he had gone a long way off to see somebody else who was sick, and so the priest was not able to come before the poor child died.

Now you will hear how this child, who went into bad company, died. Already the paleness of death was on the child's face. Death was coming on it fast. It might be about a quarter of an hour before it died. The mother was standing at the window, looking out anxiously to see was the priest coming. Suddenly the mother heard the little child scream. She ran to the bedside, and found the child sitting up in the bed. My poor child, said the mother, what is the matter, why did you scream? The little girl lifted up her finger and pointed to one side of the bed, and said: Look there, mother, do you not see them? No, said the mother, I do not see any thing. Then the child pointed again and said: "There mother, there they are, the black people, they are standing close to me." Again the child screamed. Then the mother said: My poor child, do not mind the black people; the priest will soon come, and he will send the black people away. Then the mother gently laid the little child's head down on the pillow. Be quiet, my dear child, she said, all will be right when the priest comes. The mother went back to the window to watch for the priest. She had been there only a few minutes when there was another most frightful scream. The mother ran quickly to the bed-side. It was frightful to see the poor thing. She was sitting up as before, but she did not look into her mother's face any more. Her eyes, which seemed like two fireballs, were fixed fast on something she was looking at near the bed-side. The mother laid her hand on the forehead of the child. She could feel the blood beating against it in the inside. Still the child did not look at its mother. It neither stirred nor spoke. The mother knew not what to think, she remained silent.  Suddenly the little child turned its head round, and looking up into its mother's face screamed out: "Oh, mother! the black people have come back again; they are -- they speak to me -- they tell me that they are the devils, that that they are come to fetch my poor soul to Hell!" As soon as the little girl had said these words, she fell back on her pillow. Her mother looked at her -- she was dead, and the devils had carried her soul to Hell to burn there for ever and ever!

Understand how this was. God had created this child to serve him, and the child knew that it ought to serve God. Then there came a moment in the life of that child. In that moment, the devil brought a temptation to lead the child away from the service of God. Then the child thought to itself: Shall I go on serving God, or shall I consent to this temptation and serve God no longer? I know that this is a mortal sin, and that if I consent to it, I shall deserve to go to Hell for it. Then the child knowingly and willingly consented to the temptation. Therefore the devils came when the child was dying and took the soul to Hell. Poor child, you died without confession, you died without contrition; you were frightened when the devils came to you; but that was not enough; you ought to have been sorry for your sin. If, with a sincere heart, you had said when you were dying, "Oh, my God! I am very sorry that I have sinned against thee, because thou art so good, and I will not sin again," then God would have forgiven your sin, although the priest could not come to you. But you died without contrition, and therefore you must burn forever in Hell! Poor child, we would pray for you, if by praying we could get you out of Hell. But the time for praying for you is passed -- you are fixed forever in Hell because you would not serve God.

Poor little child, we can almost hear your voice. Yes, we hear you crying out to the other little children who are still living in the world: "Ah! little children," you say, "you who are still alive in this world, take warning from me; remember my sad example. Keep out of bad company, for it is bad company which takes people away from the service of God, and makes them come into Hell."

Farewell then, poor little child, farewell! We shall only see you once more at the day of judgement, and after that we shall never see you again. Great God, have mercy on the souls of the poor children! Remember that they often sin through ignorance, and scarce know any better. Forget not that Jesus died also for the little children. Then be very merciful and kind to these poor creatures; and, at least in their dying moments, put into their hearts sorrow, and an act of contrition for their sins, which may save their souls.

My dear child, serve God while yet you are a little child, and then God will not forsake you when you grow old.

There was a man who was a servant of the King of England. He was a good and faithful servant of the king, his master. He served him in health and in sickness, by day and by night, for many long years. When that servant became old, and his hair was gray, the king sent him away from his service. Then the old man's heart was broken, because the king had forsaken him in his old age. He went to lie down on his bed and die. When he was dying he said: "If I had served God as I have served my king, he would not have forsaken me in my gray hairs." Be wise, then, my child, and serve the great and good God who never forsakes those who serve him.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 06, 2012, 06:59:27 PM
How important it is for those who are dying to have perfect contrition..

How important it is for children to be kept out of bad company..

How important it is to be afraid of sin. . .




Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on February 07, 2012, 08:26:45 AM
Definitely getting my little girls to read this....Who talks about the consequences of mortal sin anymore? 


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 07, 2012, 08:34:10 PM
Fr. Furniss has been a great help to me, helping me to properly be scared of sin  :speachless:, instead of reacting like a dull lump!  :shrug:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on February 12, 2012, 02:18:54 PM
Protecting our children from bad company in these days is very difficult. We must pray constantly for their protection while doing what we can ourselves by advice and restrictions. Not to harp on about it, but I think the worst company a child can keep today is television. How subtly it works on their minds (even in adults minds) that one can barely recognise the damage being done.

It's good to be reminded of the value of a good act of contrition.
"A humble and contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise" (Psalm 51: 17)


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 16, 2012, 01:16:07 PM
CHAPTER XIII.

TWO THINGS TO BE REMEMBERED.


1. TELL me, does a child not listen to the word of its father? Does a servant not listen to the word of her mistress? Does a senseless beast not hear the word of its keeper? You, my child, will you not listen to the word which God your Creator speaks to you? What is that word? This is the word which God speaks: The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve; Matt. iv. God has written this word on the pages of his holy book, and there you may read it -- The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve. Oftentimes God himself puts into your heart that word -- The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve. The angels whisper in your soul -- The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve. The sound of that word goes down even into the deep places of the conscience of the sinner. The curse of God is upon him who forgets the word -- The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve; and God's blessing is upon him who remembers it. In the early morning, then, remember -- The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve. When the sun has gone down, and it is night, forget not -- The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve. In the silence of the night let your heart dwell upon those words -- The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve. In all your ways, and in all your works, in school, in the factory, in the street, remember -- The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve. If bad companions come to tempt you to leave the service of God, and serve your passions and the evil, say in your heart -- The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve. In all the various things and changes of this life, its joys and its ills, its ups and its downs, fix your eyes on some bright star which may lead you safely to heaven. That star, what shall it be? It shall be that blessed word -- The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve.

2. You know that you were made to serve God. But the other created things -- the sun, moon, stars, flowers, beasts, sickness, pains, works, and actions of all kinds -- what were they made for? They were not made to serve God, as you are, for they have neither sense, nor will, nor memory, nor understanding to serve God. Then, what were they made for? They were made for one thing and that was to help you to serve God. But the creatures and things which are around you do not always help you to serve God. When these things shall help you to serve God, then make use of them. When they shall draw you away from the service of God, then leave them; go away from them. A beautiful flower helps you to think of the power and goodness of God. It is good; make use of the flower. But you are at Mass, and a beautiful flower distracts you from your prayers. The flower draws you from the service of God -- leave it. The food you take helps you to live, and do your duties to God and your neighbor. Then make use of the food. But you eat or drink too much, or what does not belong to you, then the food draws you away from the service of God -- leave it. You dress according to your state of life and condition. It is good, such is the will of God. But there is a girl who dresses herself through vain glory, that others may look at her and admire her -- she spends on dress money which should buy bread for her little brothers and sisters. This fine dressing that draws that girl away from the service of God -- she must give it up. You work in a shop or a factory. It is good. God has said: "In the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread, till thou return to the earth out of which thou wast taken;" Gen. iii. But you work in a shop or a factory, where there is a person who has often led you into mortal sin. Many good resolutions you have made not to consent to the temptation any more. You have been often to the Sacraments to strengthen yourself  against the temptation. You have put in practice the advice which your Confessor gave you about it. Still you find that you are so weak that, after all this, you still often consent to the temptation. Then you must leave the shop or factory where that person is who tempts you, and get work elsewhere, because that place turns you from the service of God, and ruins your soul. "If thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out." Matt. v. You take up a book to read. It is a good book, which helps you to serve God. It is well -- read it. You meet another book; it is a bad book; it will lead you from the service of God -- cast it away. In fine, if you are rich or poor, or your friend dies, or you lose something, or whatsoever affliction comes upon you, be ready to make use of these things by being patient when they come, because they help you to serve God; and, therefore, remember -- 1st. That you were made to serve God. 2nd. That all other things were made to help you serve God. 3rd. That among the things you meet with, some help you to serve God, but some of them draw you away from God's service. 4th. Be ready always to make use of those things, which help you in God's service; leave -- go away from those things which draw you away from God' s service. "If any man will be my disciple let him deny himself;" Matt. xvi.

Now, you have a rule by which you may know what to do about any thing you meet with in life. You will say to yourself: "I care not about one thing more than another. I wish only -- to serve God. What am I going to do, or make use of, will it help me to serve God, or will it draw me away from his service? If it helps me to serve God, I will make use of it; if it will draw me away from God's service, I will live it." Should it happen that you cannot tell whether something is for the service of God or not, ask your Confessor.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 16, 2012, 01:33:54 PM
The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve

Fr. Furniss has just done Our Lord, the angels, and the saints a service by helping us to hear and remember these words.

So that we do not forget them, and they come into our mind throughout our lives and throughout our days.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on February 16, 2012, 04:37:00 PM
What a simple but most effective rule that almost anyone could adopt.
A real practical way of putting God first above every created thing.
Thank be to God for Fr Furniss and the wonderful teachings he has left us.  :principalities:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on February 16, 2012, 06:43:30 PM
I just finished reading Fr. Furniss' last two chapters.  Very powerful writing!  I have heard and read in Marian books that we may adore the Blessed Virgin Mary, though in a very different way than we adore God.  Latria is owed to God and only hyperdulia to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  I was told that we may not offer sacrifice to Mary as she is not God, but that we may adore her, though not in the same way we adore the Almighty.  I wonder if it is okay to adore Jesus living in His saintly people as well?  A priest once gave a sermon that repeated something I came across in some pious Marian literature: that we may worship the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints, but not in the same way we worship God (we may not offer sacrifices to Mary and the Saints as we do in our worship of God).  I hope nobody thinks that these Marian books and priests are speaking contrary to what Fr. Furniss, the Scriptures and the First Commandment says.  Should you think this I'm afraid you do not understand what they are trying to say about worship/adoration in relation to latria, hyperdulia and dulia.  Any comments?


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 29, 2012, 02:54:06 AM
I've seen some older works use the term 'worship' more broadly than you see it today commonly, and read about the difference between latria and dulia, and hyper dulia in the past, I shall have to read about them again and try to understand them better.

In practise I adore Jesus where I see Him directly.. I should like to read a work about the different ways Our Lord is present and the different ways we worship or love Him.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 29, 2012, 02:55:29 AM
CHAPTER XIV.
CONCLUSION.


MY dear child, in the evening, when the sun is going down, if a traveler finds that he has gone astray out of the right road, and got into a wrong path, what does he do? He goes back again as quickly as he can into the right road. Do the same. Look into your past life, and perhaps you will see that not once only, but many times, you have gone astray from the service of God. Perhaps, even at this moment you are not serving God. What must you do? Go back to the service of God, and, with a sorrowful heart, beg his pardon, because you left his service.

PRAYER.

MY God, you are my Creator. You gave me a body and a soul. You commanded me to serve you, and you told me that if I would not serve you, I must burn forever in the fire of hell. My God, I know it, I confess it, that I have not served you. For my sins, I deserve to go to hell. From my early childhood I have broken your commandments in thought, in word, and in work. But, O merciful God, you have pity on little children who confess that they have done wrong, remembering that Jesus died also for the little children. Then, my God, not for any good thing that I have done, but for the sake of the sweet Jesus who died for the love of me, a little child, have pity on me, and forgive my sins. Too late have I known you, my blessed God; too late have I loved you. But now, my God, with your help, I will begin to serve you. I will serve you with my body, with my soul; I will serve you by day and by night, in sickness and in health; yes, I will serve you, my God, with every breath that I breathe, till, for the love of you, my God, I breathe out my last breath. Amen.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.

The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve.

He who commits a "mortal sin" refuses to serve God, as you will read in the Third Book.

PRAISED BE JESUS AND MARY.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 29, 2012, 02:58:14 AM
And thus we have come to the end of Fr. Furniss's 'The Great Question'.

The next book in the series of 'Spiritual Readings' is 'The Great Evil', which is about mortal sin. In the compilation volume there is a short tract called 'Hymns for Children' inbetween which we won't treat here, buy you can read on your own (http://www.saintsbooks.net/books/Fr.%20John%20Furniss%20-%20Hymns%20for%20Children.html).

Thanks be to Our Lord and all His people for these good writings. Thank you Lord for Fr. Furniss.  :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 29, 2012, 02:58:55 AM
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul.

The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 29, 2012, 03:02:16 AM
THE GREAT EVIL

CHAPTER I.

WHAT IS THE GREAT EVIL?

SOME children were learning their Catechism; the teacher asked them this question: "What is the worst thing in the world?" A little child put up its hand and said, Please, may I answer? Yes, said the teacher. Then, said the child, I think the worst thing in the world is a great pain. The child did not give the right answer. No doubt it is frightful to see any one burnt up with fever, or cramped with cholera, or to see death tearing away the soul from the body. It is a sad thing to say the last "good bye" to those whom we love. These things make tears run down from the eye and draw sighs out of the heart. But there is something which burns more than fever, and cramps more than cholera. There is a last parting more sorrowful than the last parting with father, mother, brother, or sister.

What, then, is the great bad thing? The greatest of all evils -- the evil of evils -- what is it? The greatest of all evils is -- Mortal sin. Mortal sin is so great an evil that no man living will be able to understand how great an evil it is. Ps. xviii. "Who shall understand sins?"


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on February 29, 2012, 03:03:17 AM
How many people today would answer as the little child did in the first chapter we have here.. and be incorrect.



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on February 29, 2012, 08:25:33 AM
How many people today would answer as the little child did in the first chapter we have here.. and be incorrect.

99.9% of those asked :(


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 03, 2012, 02:58:18 AM
In the following chapters I think Fr. Furniss is going to do a fine job of convincing us of the reality of the correct answer.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 03, 2012, 03:01:32 AM
CHAPTER II.

WHY IS MORTAL SIN THE GREAT EVIL?

"To thee only have I sinned." Ps. i.

"Thou hast broken my yoke and burst my bonds, thou hast said, I will not serve." Jer. ii. A child was bid by its father to go on an errand; the child answered, "I shan't go, I won't go." Everybody who heard this answer was shocked. How shocking, then, must it be when any one says to Almighty God, the God who has in his hands thy breath and all thy ways, who can cast a body and soul into hell, "Oh, God! I shall not, I will not do what you bid me!" Mal. iii.: "Shall a man afflict God?" It is Sunday, and you know well that God commands you to hear Mass. You could go to Mass if you liked, there is nothing to hinder you. You refuse to go to Mass; you stop away by your own fault, and commit a mortal sin. It is as if you spoke thus to God: "O Almighty God! I know that you are my Creator, and I am your creature; I know that I ought to obey you and keep your commandments; I know that if I break your commandments, I deserve to go to hell for it. And now I tell you, O God, that I will not keep your commandments. You command me to go to Mass to-day, and I tell you that I will not go to Mass; I will not do your will, but my own will; I know that I deserve to go to hell for it, but I do not care for that." Wicked child! "you know not what you do," when you thus break the commandments of God; Luc. xxiii. 34. God wonders that his own creatures, whose body and soul he can cast into hell, should dare thus to despise him. Thus he speaks, Is. i.: "Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, for my people have despised me." He must have a hardened heart who dares thus to despise the majesty of God.

CHAPTER III.

THE HARDNESS OF MORTAL SIN.


A ROCK is hard, but a drop of water always falling upon a rock will wear it away. Iron is hard, but fire will burn it away. One only thing there is which no fire, not even the fire of hell, can burn away -- and that one thing is mortal sin. See first the difference betwist the fire of Earth and the fire of Hell. Take a spark out of the kitchen fire, drop it in a river, and it will go out directly. But the fire of hell is "kindled in God's wrath." Deut. xxxii. Take, then, one very little spark out of the fire of hell, less in size than a pin's head -- cast that spark of hell into the waters of the ocean. Would it go out? No, it would blaze out in the waters, and set them on fire, and in one moment the whole earth would be in a blaze and burnt to ashes. The fire of hell then is strong, but there is something stronger than the fire of hell, and that is mortal sin. Put a mortal sin into the very midst of the raging flames of hell. These flames burn above and below and on every side, and in the midst of mortal sin. Do these fierce flames burn it away? No; when the mortal sin shall have been in the midst of the burning flames for millions and millions of years, it will be just as hard, heavy, and black as it was at the beginning. What does this mean? I will tell you. A man dies, and there is in his dying heart the malice and the wilful intention of not going to Mass on Sunday, or of doing some immodest action. He is dead, and condemned to hell. In hell this evil intention remains in his heart just as on earth, and he would not give it up even to get out of the flames of hell. There is no repentance in hell. O sinner, there is a just and terrible God, who repays sin forthwith, with the blast of the spirit of his wrath; Ps. xvii. 7.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 03, 2012, 09:21:45 PM
Quote
He must have a hardened heart who dares thus to despise the majesty of God.

May God help our hardened hearts to melt!

Quote
the child answered, "I shan't go, I won't go." Everybody who heard this answer was shocked.

This reminds me again of Ven. Anne de Guigne and other saintly and sainted children. How 'Obedience is the sanctity of children.'



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 06, 2012, 04:12:14 PM
I've seen some older works use the term 'worship' more broadly than you see it today commonly, and read about the difference between latria and dulia, and hyper dulia in the past, I shall have to read about them again and try to understand them better.

In practise I adore Jesus where I see Him directly.. I should like to read a work about the different ways Our Lord is present and the different ways we worship or love Him.


Thanks for the feedback, Shin. :)  I, too, have seen the use of the word "worship" more broadly used in the older works.  Regarding my question about adoring our Lord in others here's a quote from St. Margaret Mary that helps me understand things a little better.
"I adore Thee and I love Thee, O divine Heart of Jesus, living in the heart of Mary; I beseech Thee to love and reign in all hearts and to perfect them in Thy pure love."  Also, just recently I heard that the the Missionaries of Charity sing a song about adoring Jesus in the poor.  It makes me feel like it is okay to adore Jesus in others.  Peace and God bless!



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on March 06, 2012, 06:01:24 PM
Could it be that the way we adore Jesus in others is simply by doing unto others as we would have them do unto us?
The story of St. Christopher always stays with me ever since I learnt it as a Child. When St Christopher continued to cary the child across the river despite the great weight he felt on his shoulders, he discovered later that in carrying out that good action for that little child he had in reality served Christ.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on March 06, 2012, 06:09:49 PM
Quote
He is dead, and condemned to hell. In hell this evil intention remains in his heart just as on earth, and he would not give it up even to get out of the flames of hel

How important it is that we don't put off to another day our obligation to repent of our sins, and how much we must pray for the grace of a happy and holy death while we still have time here on earth to do it.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 07, 2012, 02:20:15 PM
Yes, I think that could be one way we adore Jesus in others.  Thanks for the feedback, martin. :)
Could it be that the way we adore Jesus in others is simply by doing unto others as we would have them do unto us?
The story of St. Christopher always stays with me ever since I learnt it as a Child. When St Christopher continued to cary the child across the river despite the great weight he felt on his shoulders, he discovered later that in carrying out that good action for that little child he had in reality served Christ.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 07, 2012, 02:24:39 PM
Quote
He is dead, and condemned to hell. In hell this evil intention remains in his heart just as on earth, and he would not give it up even to get out of the flames of hel

How important it is that we don't put off to another day our obligation to repent of our sins, and how much we must pray for the grace of a happy and holy death while we still have time here on earth to do it.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.
Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Jesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

Every day I pray for final perseverance and perfect contrition, though I think I may already have perfect contrition.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on March 08, 2012, 03:44:07 AM
That Chapter III, The Hardness of Mortal Sin has just scared me to death.
I keep thinking is there any sin I have forgotten? Sometimes I really wish the confessors were all given the gift of discerning our sins so rhat they can nudge us to remember every sin ever commited. Would that not make for good and fruitful confessions.
I am so affected, I am going to start a thread for Prayer for Final Perseverence right now.
Lord have mercy on us! :crucifix:



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 08, 2012, 04:03:30 AM
I've read that it's a duty to pray daily for final perseverance or a 'happy death'!



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 08, 2012, 04:04:47 AM
CHAPTER IV.

THE SENTENCE AGAINST MORTAL SIN.


GOD said to Adam, "In whatsoever day thou shalt eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt die the death." Gen. ii. To every creature the same words are said. In whatever day thou shalt break the commandments of God, thou shalt die. Therefore, if on Sunday, you stop from Mass by your own fault, or if you do some immodest thing, there is the sentence: "Thou shalt die the death." Dan. v. : Baltassar was king of Babylon. Babylon was a great city, 60 miles round; the streets were 15 miles long; the king's palace 7 miles round. Baltasaar made a feast for a thousand of his nobles. They sang songs, and drank wine till they were drunk. Drunkenness brings with it many other sins. When the king was drunk he said, Bring in the vessels which have been used in the service of God, and we will drink out of them. It was a sacrilege to show this disrespect to vessels used in God's service. Then at the king's command the holy vessels were brought in, and the king and his nobles drank out of them. They sang hymns to their false gods made of metal and stone. In the midst of their songs suddenly there was a dead silence -- what was the matter? the king had looked up, and he had seen the fingers, as it were, of a hand at the wall over against the great candlestick. Those fingers were writing letters on the wall, but they were letters such as no eye had ever seen before. Then the face of the king was changed with fear. He turned pale, and his knees struck one against the other. He cried out for the wise men to come, that they might tell him the meaning of those words which had been written. The wise men came, but when they had seen the letters, they said they could neither read the letters nor tell the meaning of them. And now it came to the ears of the queen, how fingers, as it were, of a hand, had been writing on the wall letters which nobody could read. The queen came in haste, and stood before the king, and spoke to him thus: "O king," she said, "do not be troubled. There is in your kingdom one whose name is Daniel, a prophet of the true God. In the days of your father, knowledge and wisdom were found in him. Let him be sent for." The prophet Daniel was sent for. "O Daniel," said the king to him, "I have heard that you have the spirit of wisdom and knowledge, that you can tell the meaning of hidden things. Now, then, if you are able to read that writing, and tell the meaning of it, you shall be clothed in purple, and have a chain of gold about your neck, and you shall be the third prince in my kingdom." Then Daniel answered the king and said: "O king, keep your rewards for others, but the writing I will read, and tell you the meaning of it. O king, the most high God gave to Nabuchodnosor, your father, a kingdom, and greatness, and honor, and glory. All people, and tribes, and languages trembled before him. His heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened with pride. Then he was put down from the throne of his kingdom, and his glory was taken way. He was driven out from the sons of men, and his heart was made like the heart of beasts, and his dwelling was with wild asses, and he did eat grass like an ox. His body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he knew that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and sets over it whomsoever it shall please him. Thou also, his son, O King Baltassar, hast not humbled thy heart. When thou knewest all these things, thou hast lifted up thyself against the God of Heaven. The holy vessels have been brought in before thee, and thou and thy nobles have dunk out of them. Thou hast praised the gods made of gold, and silver, and of stone, and wood, which neither see, nor hear, nor feel. But the God who has in his hands thy breath and all thy ways thou hast not glorified. Therefore, God has sent that hand to write what is written. This, then, is the writing: Mane, Thekel, Phares. And this is the meaning of the words: Mane -- God hath numbered thy kingdom. Thekel -- thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting. Phares -- Thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians." Then, by the king's command, Daniel was clothed in purple, and a chain of gold was put about his neck, and it was proclaimed that he had power as the third man in the kingdom. The same night King Baltassar was killed, and the Medes and Persians took possession of his kingdom.

Little child, when you commit a mortal sin, you also lift yourselves up against the God of Heaven, for you refuse to obey him; you sacrilegiously profane your soul, which is the holy and precious vessel of God, and his dwelling place, and you give glory to the devil, who is the enemy of God. In that moment, when you thus commit a mortal sin, there is a hand writing dark letters, the letters of death, on your soul; and this is the writing: Thou shalt die the death. The handwriting is written on your understanding, for you know you are dead before God; it is written on your memory, and the remembrance of the death sentence will haunt your memory; it is written on your will, because of your own free will you have chosen death rather than life. Nobody on earth can see those words of death which are written on your soul, neither your father, your mother, or brothers, or sisters. But God sees them, and the angels see them. But what is the meaning of those fearful words, Thou shalt die the death? The meaning of them you shall know, for God has said, "As I have spoken, so will I do to the wicked." Numbers xiv.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on March 08, 2012, 04:54:59 AM
I've read that it's a duty to pray daily for final perseverance or a 'happy death'!

All I can say Shin is that I am thankful for this Forum.
I do not think that praying for a happy death was ever in the fore front of my mind. Now it is.
Thank you.  :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 08, 2012, 05:24:25 PM
Regarding the issue of Worship/Adoration:

I was just reading in a book about Mary that said that:

Some schools of theology use the term "worship" to introduce both adoration and veneration.  They would distinguish between "worship of adoration" and "worship of veneration."  The word "worship" (in the same way the theological term "cult" is traditionally used) in these classical definitions was not at all synonymous with adoration, but could be used to introduce either adoration or veneration.  Hence Catholic writers will sometimes use the term "worship" not to indicate adoration, but only the worship of veneration given to Mary and the saints.  Confusion over the use of the term worship has led to the misunderstanding by some that Catholics offer adoration to Mary in a type of "Mariolatry," or Marian idolatry.  Adoration to Mary has never been and never will be part of authentic Catholic doctrine and devotional life.

- Mark Miravalle, S.T.D (taken from Introduction to Mary).


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 09, 2012, 03:41:52 AM
Hmm I wonder at the details of the different schools.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 09, 2012, 03:42:24 AM
I wonder how many people didn't remember or know the source for the phrase 'the writing on the wall'?


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 09, 2012, 02:53:59 PM
It appears to me that different people mean different things when they use the term adore.  A very orthodox priest, Fr. Emile Neubert, M.I., S.T.D. in his book Devotion to Mary (I believe it was) mentioned that we worship God but adore Mary.  I knew, however, that he didn't mean we adore Mary the same way we adore God the Almighty.  A priest in his homily said we could worship Mary and the Saints, but not in the same way we worship God, i.e. by offering sacrifices. The subject gets a little complicated when I hear conflicting ideas about adoration and worship.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 09, 2012, 03:02:33 PM
Hmm I wonder at the details of the different schools.

Dear Shin,

I couldn't find your other post on this thread (only in my Inbox), but I agree with it.  I think what I had quoted was an apologetc against Protestantism, as well.  Peace!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 09, 2012, 03:06:57 PM
Ah that was because of quick editing! I thought I might make a different comment!

I forgot how some people receive whole posts in their emails! :D




Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 09, 2012, 03:09:50 PM
I've read that Mark Miravalle is well known for writing Mariology books, but at the same time he promotes Medjugorje which because of its serious problems would be a cause of concern for me about his writings.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 09, 2012, 03:28:59 PM
Quote
Thou hast praised the gods made of gold, and silver, and of stone, and wood, which neither see, nor hear, nor feel.

I should like to see a concordance on idols one of these days! There's a good deal of meaning to what are called 'idols', and what is worship of them in God's eyes.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on March 09, 2012, 11:19:03 PM
Quote
Thou hast praised the gods made of gold, and silver, and of stone, and wood, which neither see, nor hear, nor feel.

I should like to see a concordance on idols one of these days! There's a good deal of meaning to what are called 'idols', and what is worship of them in God's eyes.

That is true.
Today's number one idol is money. :(


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 09, 2012, 11:31:18 PM
. . . made of 'gold'. . .


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 09, 2012, 11:34:23 PM
CHAPTER V.

HOW HE DIES WHO COMMITS A MORTAL SIN.


1. Thou shalt die the death. Gen. ii. You have committed a mortal sin. Then, you are dead; "for the wages of sin is death." Rom. vi. Yes, O sinner, you are dead! But how can you be dead? Your face is not pale as the face of the dead; you are not cast down on the earth a corpse; no coffin is brought to you, no grave is dug for you. Who would say that you are dead? You breath, you eat, you talk, you laugh, just as you did before the hour when the mortal sin was committed. Can it be true, then, that you are dead? Yes, O sinner, it is most true that you are dead. As sure as the God of Heaven has said, "Thou shalt die the death," so surely are you dead, and "you belong to him who has the empire of death, that is, the devil." Heb. ii.

What, then, is that death which has stricken you? "Your body is not slain by the sword, nor dead in battle." Is. xxii. Listen, then, O sinner, and I will tell you how death has stricken you. "The soul that sinneth," says the prophet, "the same shall die." Ezech. xviii. The mortal sin which you committed, quick as a flash of lightning struck your soul dead. Is. xxix. "It shall be in an instant, suddenly."

But how does all this happen? Listen: It is the moment of temptation; the soul is tempted to break the commandments of God, and commit a mortal sin. Oh, the terrible moment for the soul. Ps. xvii.: "The sorrows of death surround it." There is silence in heaven; the angels speak not; God is looking at the soul to see what will it do. Will it consent to the temptation or not? All is over; the soul has consented to the temptation, and committed the mortal sin. Oh, the crash, the breaking, the ruin! Is it an earthquake which has torn the earth in pieces, or the sun darkened, or the moon turned red as blood, or the stars falling from heaven? No; none of these things. It is something more frightful. A thunderbolt from hell has broken in pieces God's greatest work -- a soul is ruined. O God, that immortal soul, which was created in your image and likeness, and redeemed with the blood of Jesus Christ, is crushed and ruined! The wailings of the angels are not heard from heaven, neither do the blasphemies of the devils in hell come to the ear. All has been done in silence, and that soul is lying a silent ruin on the face of God's earth. O sinner, after the mortal sin you go into your house, and the stone does not cry out from the wall against your dead soul; you pass through the country, and the beasts in the field do not roar out because a dead soul is passing in the midst of them; you go along the street, and the people you meet do not run away from your dead soul. But there is One who sees your dead soul. There is a God in heaven who sees your dead soul, and hates the sight of it. Wisd. xiv. "The wicked and his wickedness are alike hateful to God."

Oh, the day of mortal sin! Oh, that day, that terrible day, when a soul died which had once breathed the breath of life! Oh, the day of mortal sin; "the day of death;" that day is a day of wrath, a day of tribulation and distress, a day of calamity and misery; Soph. ii. "Let that day be turned into darkness; let not God regard it from above; let not the light shine upon it; let the darkness and shadow of death cover it." Job. ii.

2. They shall mourn over him. Ezech. xxvii. A boy dies. His little sister goes to her mother, and says: Please, mother, may I put on mourning for my brother who is dead? The mother answers, Yes, my child, you shall put on mourning for your poor brother. The black clothes come; and the child is dressed in a black frock, black bonnet, black shawl, black gloves. Thus the body, which was not created to the image and likeness of God, dies, and for a dead body there is mourning. Nay, even a senseless beast sinks down in the fields and dies, and for a dead beast there is sorrow; but a soul created to the image and likeness of God dies by mortal sin, and for a dead soul no cry is heard, no tear is shed. He who once was just perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart, Is. lvii.; as if God had not said: "They shall mourn over him and be girded with sackcloth." Ezech. xxviii.

3. They shall cry bitterly over thee. Ezech. xvii. Some years have now passed since a missioner was giving a mission to the children in one of those small squares in London called courts. It was winter time. The children received an instruction in the morning, and again in the evening, and made their confessions. One evening the instruction went on as usual. Suddenly there was an interruption, the missioner stopped in the midst of his instruction; what was the matter? A noise was heard at the door, and in a few minutes the door was burst open with violence; a woman rushed in, and walking with haste through the midst of the children, she came up to the platform where the missioner was, and there she stood for a moment, speechless and breathless. What is the matter, my good woman? said the missioner. Oh, father, she said, make haste and come quick, my husband has fallen on the floor, and he is dying! The missioner followed the woman in haste. Going up a narrow staircase, he entered the room where the dying man was. The poor man lay on the floor; large drops of sweat ran down his pale face; his eyes were rolling in their sockets, his breathing short and difficult, and the death-rattle in his throat. It was a fearful sight to see the man in the agony of death, while his soul was passing out of this world to the judgement-seat of God. But there was another sight still more sorrowful. Around the dying father knelt his five little children, and well they knew what the matter was -- they knew that their poor father was dying. Oh! the sorrow, the grief of those poor children! They were crying, and wailing, and sobbing over their poor father in the agony of death. Little child, it may be that death has been in your house as well as in the house of which I speak. Perhaps in your house it was a more frightful death -- the death of the soul by mortal sin. How was it that death came into your house? Perhaps it was Sunday, and your brother lost Mass by his own fault; then he came home to you with a dead soul in him, killed by mortal sin. When, then, he opened the door, and brought a dead soul into the midst of you, did you all, brothers and sisters, come round and cry, and sob, and wail, and scream for his poor dead soul? Did you say: O brother, your poor soul is dead? Poor soul! we cry for you brother, and the tears run down from our eyes because your soul is dead? Ezech. xxvii.: "They shall mourn over thee with a loud voice and cry bitterly; they shall weep for thee with bitterness of soul, and with most bitter weeping."

4. They died for fear. Wis. xvii. O sinner, it may be that your eye sees something that brings death to your remembrance. It is, perhaps, the waving plume of a dark hearse which is carrying a dead body to its last home, or perhaps it is the pale face of a corpse. Then fear strikes your heart; for the remembrance of thee, O death, is bitter; Eccus. xli. O sinner, you carry death within you -- you have a dead soul within you, and you are not afraid. There was a little child which had never seen a dead body in its life. It happened that some one died in the house where the child was living. In the evening the child was taken up-stairs to the room where the dead body was laid on a bed. By the pale light of a candle this child, for the first time in its life, saw a dead body! The poor child trembled when it saw the strange paleness of the dead face -- the eyes fixed, the lips which breathed no more, the hands which moved not, and the wonderful stillness and quiet of that dead body. The people said to the child: You shall stop here all night, in the dark, without any light, alone by yourself with the dead body. Then they all went out, leaving the child alone with the dead body. They remained standing outside, wishing to see if the child would be frightened. A few moments passed and they heard a frightful scream, and immediately afterwards the sound, as it were, of something falling heavily on the floor. They opened the door, and saw that the child was lying on the floor. They went to lift it up, and found that it was dead! the fright of being left alone in the dark with the dead body had killed the poor child. O sinner, in the darkness of the night you are alone, not with a dead body, but with a dead soul! and you are not afraid; but if God opened your eyes to see that frightful, hideous monster of a dead soul which is in you, you would never rise again from your bed. The sight of that fearful, terrible dead soul in you, would take away your breath, and your sense, and your life.

5. There shall be a reproach among the dead forever. Wis. iv. The fifth commandment says: "Thou shalt not kill." By the old law of England, the dead body of any man who had murdered himself was laid on a board. In the dead of the night the body was taken out of the house lying on the board. Then it was borne away out of the town, and carried along the lonesome country roads, till it was brought to a place where there were four cross-roads. The dead body was set down there. By the light of a lantern they dug a deep hole with pickaxes and spades. Then the dead body was lifted up and thrown down to the bottom of this hole. Then the hole was filled up again; and so he who murdered himself was buried as a dog is buried. Then the people said: Here are four roads crossing one another, and many people pass this way; let, then, every foot trample on the grave of the man who murdered himself. Wicked sinner, self-murderer! when you committed that mortal sin, you did not murder your mortal body, but you murdered your own immortal soul, into which God had breathed the breath of life; and you sought to have been buried with the burial of a dog. Jer. xxii. "He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, rotten and cast forth." Oh, soul! murdered, slain, receiving the death wound from your own hand -- how ghastly, how frightful you are!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 10, 2012, 10:50:09 AM
Quote
When, then, he opened the door, and brought a dead soul into the midst of you, did you all, brothers and sisters, come round and cry, and sob, and wail, and scream for his poor dead soul? Did you say: O brother, your poor soul is dead? Poor soul! we cry for you brother, and the tears run down from our eyes because your soul is dead?

Quote
Oh, the crash, the breaking, the ruin! Is it an earthquake which has torn the earth in pieces, or the sun darkened, or the moon turned red as blood, or the stars falling from heaven? No; none of these things. It is something more frightful. A thunderbolt from hell has broken in pieces God's greatest work -- a soul is ruined. O God, that immortal soul, which was created in your image and likeness, and redeemed with the blood of Jesus Christ, is crushed and ruined! The wailings of the angels are not heard from heaven, neither do the blasphemies of the devils in hell come to the ear. All has been done in silence, and that soul is lying a silent ruin on the face of God's earth.





Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 10, 2012, 02:34:13 PM
I've read that Mark Miravalle is well known for writing Mariology books, but at the same time he promotes Medjugorje which because of its serious problems would be a cause of concern for me about his writings.


I had the same concern when I read in his book that there is a chapter devoted to Medjugorje.  I'll read his book with a grain of salt for sure.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 10, 2012, 04:27:10 PM
I think we need to realize that mortal sin is the greatest evil there is. And that to realize this is part of being a Christian.

And if we but did, then, sin would not come so easily to us. As easily as it came to Adam and Eve, in the Garden, who committed the first mortal sins.

The next passages should help us realize this the more. Rather than all the things we think of and react of commonly to as evil -- what is truly the great evil will become more clear to us in our hearts.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Therese on March 10, 2012, 09:30:44 PM
I've read that Mark Miravalle is well known for writing Mariology books, but at the same time he promotes Medjugorje which because of its serious problems would be a cause of concern for me about his writings.


Dear Shin,

I only borrowed the book because it was about Mary and it had an Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat.  I never heard of the author before, but I wasn't that happy that he included a chapter on Medjugoje.  Still I got the book because of the Imptimatur and Nihil Obstat.  I am also reading The City of God by Ven. Mary of Agreda.  I am on the second volume (of four) and I am absolutely loving the book.  Here is a line that struck me (it is of Zacharias giving his blessing to Mary):  "...let the nations serve Thee and let the generations worship Thee, since Thou art the tabernacle of God." Maybe he meant "worship of veneration" like Mark Miravalle denotes.  Fr. Emile Neubert S.M., S.T.D., who is a very orthodox Marilogist mentions worshiping God and adoring Mary.  Zacharias seems to indicate such adoration here.  Peace!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 11, 2012, 08:26:48 AM
CHAPTER VI.

THE FRIGHTFULNESS OF A SOUL IN MORTAL SIN.


1. For what shall I strike you any more? The whole head is sick, the whole heart is sad. From the sole of the foot to the top of the head there is no soundness therein, but wounds and bruises, and swelling ulcers. Is. i. If you look into a looking-glass you see your face in it. Poor child in mortal sin, let me put before you a looking-glass, that you may see a little the frightfulness of your soul. There is a miserable body -- all its bones are broken in pieces -- the skull is broken, the back-bone broken, the arms broken, the legs broken, the bones in the hands and feet broken, all the flesh and skin is torn in pieces and stripes. Every disease in the world is in that body; there is typus fever, yellow-fever, scarlet-fever, cholera, and plague. There is consumption in the lungs, jaundice in the liver, disease in the heart, blindness in the eyes, deafness in the ears, toothache, and every pain that comes upon men. O sinner, your soul is a million times worse. When you committed that mortal sin, "the vial of God's wrath was poured upon you, and a sore and grievous would fell upon your soul." Apoc. xvi. O soul, O soul in mortal sin, stricken with that sore and grievous wound -- a death's wound. Apoc. xiii. Whence came that wound, that incurable wound in your soul? Did it, like the sickness of the body, come by some accident; from a little damp, or from a change in the air? No; that wound in your soul came not from any change in the air, but from a change of the Almighty Spirit to you. He who once was your Father, has poured out the vial of his anger and indignation on your soul, and stricken it with a sore and grievous wound; and the stroke which made that wound in your soul, was such as the hand of Almighty God, in his anger, alone could strike.

2. Sepulchres, full of dead men's bones and all filthiness. Mat. xxiii. In the neighborhood of a certain town there is a large burial-ground, in which there are three hundred and sixty-five large vaults or graves, each of them large enough to hold hundreds of dead bodies; these graves are not filled up with earth, but over the top is placed a large, heavy, square stone; each day of the year one of these vaults is opened, and all the dead who have to be buried on that day are buried in the one vault. It is the custom for the dead bodies to be thrown in the vault without any coffin. It happened that one day a person went and lifted the large stone which covered one of these vaults. Oh, what a sight! there you might see death. There were hundreds of dead bodies; some lay on the ground with their faces looking upwards, others with their faces turned to the earth; some of the dead bodies were leaning against the wall, some with their white skeleton hands stretched out as if pointing; there were eyes dropping out of their sockets, ears falling off, teeth away from the jaw, hair scattered on the ground; arms and feet separated from their bodies; bones piercing through the skin. This immense mass of livid and rotting flesh was of every color from pale to black. In some the flesh was hard; in others, dissolved like water. There were thousands and thousands of reptiles feeding on the dead flesh. The smell of the corrupting flesh of these bodies was insufferable, so that if he who lifted up the stone had not quickly put it down again, he would have fallen down dead into the midst of the dead bodies in the vault. O sinner, give ear to the words of Jesus Christ, for he calls you "a sepulchre, full of dead men's bones and all filthiness." Mat. xxiii. O soul in mortal sin! you are, then, like a deep grave filled with corruption; not the corruption of flesh, or of blood, but with the corruption of spirit, corruption of thoughts and desires, of words and actions. Now, if the corruption of the body is bad, the corruption of the soul must be a great deal worse, because the better a thing is, the worse its corruption is. O soul in mortal sin! you are a grave filled with diabolic corruption, with infernal corruption; still you are a grave closed up, a sealed monument; no eye can look in. On the outside it may appear that you are beautiful with satins and silks, with ornaments of gold and silver. But there will come a day when the sound of the last trumpet will break the seal and burst open the grave, then every eye shall see your soul as it is -- the most horrible, frightful, abominable sight that can be. Is. lxvi. "They shall go out and see the carcases of the men that have sinned against me, a loathsome sight to all flesh."

3. For my iniquities are gone over my head, and as a heavy burden are become heavy upon me. Ps. xxxvii. O sinner, when you carry about with you a soul dead in mortal sin, do you know what a terrible and frightful load you are carrying? There was a certain man condemned to suffer an extraordinary punishment. It happened long since; it was in the times of the Pagans, before the Christian religion was on earth. There was a dead body, black, as if it had died of the black cholera. This black body was fastened to the body of the criminal, and it was so fastened that it was impossible for him to get free from it. The wretched man trembled and shook with terror when he saw the terrible load coming which he was to carry. When he felt the weight of it pressing upon him, the feeling of death pierced his very bones. This was only the beginning of his misery. The dreadful load was always pressing upon him; in the light of the day he saw with his eyes the frightful load of black death which he carried, in the darkness of night the dead body was his only companion; the smell of that horrible dead body was most fearful. From the corruption of death worms began to come, and they crept into his mouth, and eyes, and ears, and nostrils. Never was there such an awful sight. The people who saw this man at a distance shrieked with fright and ran away; the very beasts fled away when he passed. The unfortunate man himself howled with terror and pain; he bit his tongue, and dashed himself against the stones. At length he lost his senses, and fell down dead under the terrible load which he carried. Unhappy sinner! you go about, day by day, bound up with death -- not the black cholera death, or the death of flesh and blood -- but the real death, the death of the spirit, that death which came out of hell. Poor sinner! shall you then be left to perish under this crushing load? Must you go about howling with fright, biting your tongue in despair, and dashing yourself against stones, losing your senses, and at last falling down into the flames of hell? Is your wound incurable? Jer. viii. "Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician?" Poor sinner? think not so. You shall, if you wish it, be delivered from this body of death. But who shall deliver you? The grace of God by Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. viii.

But you have not heard the worst of mortal sin -- the worst is yet to come. Is. vi. "God's anger is not yet turned away, his hand is stretched out still."


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 11, 2012, 08:36:27 AM
St. Christina the Astonishing, who died and came to life again, lived an expiatory life.

"During her funeral Mass, she suddenly recovered, and levitated to the roof of the church. Ordered down by the priest, she landed on the altar and stated that she had been to hell, purgatory, and heaven, and had been returned to earth with a ministry to pray for souls in purgatory.

Her life from that point became a series of strange incidents cataloged by a Thomas de Cantimpré, Dominican professor of theology at Louvain who was a contemporary who recorded his information by interviewing witnesses, and by Cardinal Jacques de Vitny who knew her personally. She exhibited both unusual traits and abilities. For example, she could not stand the odor of other people because she could smell the sin in them, and would climb trees or buildings, hide in ovens or cupboards, or simply levitate to avoid contact. She lived in a way that was considered poverty even in the 13th century, sleeping on rocks, wearing rags, begging, and eating what came to hand. She would roll in fire or handle it without harm, stand in freezing water in the winter for hours, spend long periods in tombs, or allow herself to be dragged under water by a mill wheel, though she never sustained injury. Given to ecstasies during which she led the souls of the recently dead to purgatory, and those in purgatory to paradise.

People who knew her were divided in their opinions: she was a holy woman, touched of God, and that her actions and torments were simulations of the experiences of the souls in purgatory; she was suffering the torments of devils – or she was flatly insane. However, the prioress of Saint Catherine’s convent testified that no matter how bizarre or excessive Christina’s reported actions, she was always completely obedient to the orders of the prioresses of the convent. Christina was a friend of Louis, Count of Looz, whose castle she visited, and whose actions she rebuked. Blessed Marie of Oignies thought well of her, and Saint Lutgardis sought her advice."

- PSI

The last chapter makes me think of St. Christina who could see clearly, and who could not bear the souls of sinners because of the foul stench. And this the fact despite that she could bear all sorts of penances beyond natural human endurance and did so...

How blind we are on this earth.. as to what is true and real..

I sometimes think about how, in the general sense, when speaking or writing of the afterlife, everything that is not considered Heaven is sometimes spoken of as Hell. All who lack the beatific vision, are considered, in the general sense, in Hell.

And how on this earth, we too lack the beatific vision, and if we saw clearly and understood this. . . how we would truly feel.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 12, 2012, 08:41:23 AM
CHAPTER VII.

LOSS.


1. THE LOSS OF GOD, OR THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. -- The Lord has departed from thee! Kings xxviii. Poor sinner, you do not yet know what is that most terrible thing in the death of the soul! If you were ever in a death chamber just the moment after the soul has left the body, you would notice what a wonderful frightful lonesomeness there is about the body, how desolate it looks when the soul has just left it. O sinner, if the body be lonesome when the soul has departed from it, how lonesome must the soul be, when God its Creator has left it in the moment of mortal sin? The death of the body is the soul going away from it, but the death of the soul is when God leaves and abandons the soul on account of mortal sin -- for "the breath of our mouth Christ the Lord is taken away in our sin," Lam. iv.; and "the Holy Spirit will not abide when iniquity cometh in." Wisd. i. Know then, O sinner, and see that it is an evil and a bitter thing for thee to have left the Lord thy God. Jer. ii.

2. Did you ever think about the word to leave, to go away. From the west of Ireland the ships sail to America. One day a ship stood near the sea-coast ready to set off with emigrants for America. It was time for the ship to set sail, but still it waited. Some one who was to sail in that ship had not yet come. In a few moments some persons were seen coming out of the country on their way to the ship. They were father, mother, brothers, and sisters. One of the sisters was going to leave her family and sail to America. They had come to the seaside, and it was time for them to part and say good-bye -- farewell to their sister who was going to leave them. If you had seen how they cried and sobbed, if you had heard their screams at this last parting, you would have said their hearts were breaking. And now the ship had set off, and their sister had left them, and still the screams, and howlings of the desolate brothers and sisters come over the waters to the ship, piercing through the sound of the waves of the sea. Poor sinner, when God, who was more to you than father, mother, brother, or sister, was leaving you in the moment of mortal sin, did you scream, did you howl? No, sinner; look back, and you will remember that in that first moment of terrible and frightful lonesomeness without God, not a sigh, not a breathing of sadness, came from your heart.

3. My dear child, if you could go down into hell, and listen but for one single moment to the cry -- the shriek -- the howling of a damned soul -- not because it burns in the unquenchable fire -- but because it knows there what it is to lose God, then there would be no need for you to read in this book about losing God.

4. "When," says Jesus Christ, "you shall see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place." Mat. xxiii. O sinner, you have seen that abomination of desolation standing in the holy place. Think of the day, the hour, the moment of your mortal sin; for in that moment the abomination of desolation began in your soul, which had been once the holy place of God, the temple of the Holy Ghost. If the sun was plucked out of the skies, and all the world was left in darkness, the world would be desolate, but the abomination of desolation would not be there, but in your soul, for it has lost not the sun, but the Creator of the sun. A river was cut off from its fountain head. The people mourned because the bed of their river was dried up. They had no water to drink, and they were desolate and died of thirst. But it is not the loss of the water of the earth which brings the abomination of desolation, for that is to be found only in the soul which has committed a mortal sin and lost Almighty God, the fountain head of justice. Oh, the dry and withered and parched up soul! Jer. ii. "They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water." It would be a cruel sight to see the eyes plucked out from the head, and nothing left but two bleeding holes. The poor creature would feel desolate, in his blindness; but this would not be the abomination desolation and lonesomeness, no, that is to be found only in the soul which has committed mortal sin and lost the eye of God's providence. Oh, the abomination of desolation in the soul, great and deep as God himself, because the soul has lost God himself! A little child has lost a pin, and it cries for the loss of its pin. True, a pin is but a trifle, but still it is a loss, and that child shows that it knows what is meant by a loss. But you, O dull, stupid, ignorant sinner, surely you know not what is meant by a loss; for you have lost not a pin, but Almighty God, and you cry not. A traveller was going along the road and he met a little child crying bitterly. What is the matter? he said to the poor little creature; why do you cry? The child's voice was choked with sobs, and it could not answer. At length the child lifted up its hand and pointed to the ground. The traveller looked, and behold, he saw lying on the ground a little bottle, worth about a penny, broken. This child had, by accident, let the bottle fall, and it broke into pieces. O sinner, that child will be your condemnation at the judgement seat of Jesus Christ. It will say, O Christ, I cried and sobbed for this loss of a miserable bottle, and that sinner committed a mortal sin, and lost you, and he never shed one tear for losing you. Weep, then, O sinner ; "let your eyes run down with tears, because the Comforter, the relief of your soul, is gone." Lam. i.

5. THE LOSS OF GOD'S IMAGE AND LIKENESS. -- Let us make man in our image and likeness. Gen. i. 26. There was a gentleman who had a most beautiful picture. This picture was the wonder of the world; it was above all price. People came from all parts of the world to see it. It happened one day that an evil minded man came also to see the famous picture. Being alone in the room, he took a knife out of his pocket, and maliciously cut the picture into a thousand pieces. Great was the anger of the owner of the picture. He would rather have lost his whole fortune than lose that picture. The destruction of the famous picture was soon known over the whole world; every newspaper in Europe gave an account of it. Every one said that the destruction of the picture was a most malicious, a most unpardonable action. They said that the man must be mad. The picture was but the work of the hand of man. You, O sinner, had in your soul a picture done by the hand of God; it was a picture of God himself, the image and likeness of God was in your soul. The angels wondered to see in your soul a picture of God so perfect and beautiful. "You were the seal of resemblance, perfect in beauty." Ezech. xxviii. Then came the fatal day, the day of mortal sin, and you, like a madman, by your mortal sin, broke in pieces the image and likeness of God, in your soul, and it was sen there no more, but in place of it, the horrible image and likeness of the devil. Weep, then, O sinner, weep for your loss, "let tears run down, like a torrent, night and day." Lam. ii. 18.

6. LOSS OF GRACE. -- You are fallen from grace. Gal. v. 4. O sinner, God once breathed into your soul the breath of life. His justifying grace made it bright as the sun, beautiful as an angel of God. "The fame of thy beauty went forth through heaven and earth." Ezech. xvi. Then came the mortal sin, and the devils stripped you of the garments of salvation. They robbed you of the armor of God, which made you able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect; they took away from you the breastplate of justice and the helmet of salvation; Eph. vi. Oh, stupid sinner, you lose your old threadbare coat, made of a bit of cloth, the work of men's hands, and you are anxious and troubled and seek it everywhere. You have lost the grace of God, the garments of salvation, so precious and beautiful that even the angels could not make them, and you cared nothing about it. Poor sinner, God has done to you what he said, Ezech. xvi. 17. : "Behold, I will stretch out my hand and take away thy justification." Weep, then, now at least, O sinner. "Let tears run down, like a torrent, night and day." Lam. ii.

7. LOSS OF GOD'S LIGHT. -- "He shall drive him out of light into darkness." Job xviii. Ps. vi. : "Light is risen to the just." This light of heaven shines in the heart of the children of God, that they may see the path which is to lead them to heaven through this dark and sinful world. When you became the child of God, he called you also out of darkness into his admirable light, 1 Pet. ii., and you rejoiced in that light. But suddenly this light was put out in your soul, it was extinguished by mortal sin. Then, in your soul, you were a man who walks on the earth at midnight, when there are neither moon, nor stars, but only thick darkness. He loses his way, and he stumbles and he falls into ditches and pits, and he bruises himself, and he has no hope until the light returns.

In the city of Rome, under the ground, there are narrow passages many miles in length. They are long and winding, and crossing one another in every direction. These passages under ground are called the catacombs. The early Christians in times of persecution concealed themselves in these places; and even now one often meets there with little chapels, where the Christians worshipped God in secret when the persecutors would not suffer them to do it openly. People, now-a-days, often go down and visit these places; but then it is necessary that they should have a guide with them who knows the way, otherwise they would be lost amidst so many passages, turning and winding and crossing one another. The guide also carries a light before them, because these places, being under ground are dark as midnight. One day some German students went into the catacombs with a guide and a light. They went in, but they never came out again. People were sent to seek them, but they could never be found. It is thought that by some accident their light went out -- that in the darkness it was impossible to find their way out again -- and so they died of hunger, or perhaps they fell into some deep pit and perished. Poor sinner, the light of God is gone out in your soul! Now you are going forward in the dark. Lam. iii. 6. : "He hath set me in dark places." Stop, then, O sinner, stop, I beseech you, for perhaps the very next step you take you will drop into the pit of hell. A man is reading by the light of a candle, suddenly that light is put out, and he is in the dark -- he starts with surprise. Oh, sinner, in the moment of mortal sin, the light of God was suddenly put out in your soul, and you did not start with surprise, you took no notice of it.

Forget not, then, that you are sitting in darkness, and in the shadow of death; Luc. i. What death is that in whose shadow you are sitting? Is it the death which at the end of life will set your soul free from your body? No, it is not that death -- it is another death -- it is called the second death; Apoc. xx. This death is in hell, and it does not itself come out of hell; but it sends its shadow up to you, and you sit in the shadow of death, as if you sat under the shade of a tree or a house. Lift up your eyes, O sinner, and look at that shadow of death which rears itself up and hangs over you. Yes, there it is; it rises up by your side. Oh, what a dark shadow it is -- what a gloomy shadow it is! see how fierce it looks -- how it threatens you. Hasten, then, O sinner, rush away out of that shadow of death, and fly to God who is always ready to enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death; Luke i.

8. LOSS OF GOOD WORKS. -- Aggeus ii. 18 : I struck all the works of your hand with the mildew. There have been many unfortunate people who have lost their all, lost all they had in the world by fire, or by shipwreck, or by robbery, or by failing in business, and other ways. Kings have lost their crowns and thrones, rich men have lost their estates, soldiers have lost a battle, children have lost their parents, and parents their children. There have been some who could not bear their loss. They fell into a deep melancholy, or they lost their senses and were shut up in a mad-house; nay, even some have killed themselves. O sinner, you are the great loser; to you only the great loss came. You were rich beyond measure. During all those years that you were a child of God, He kept an account of every one of your thoughts, words, and actions done for his sake; and for each of them there was a reward ready for you in heaven, such as no eye hath seen, nor ear hath heard; 2 Cor. ii. Then came the mortal sin and God struck out of the Book of Life all the works of your hands. You had laid up for yourself treasures in heaven, crowns, and thrones, and kingdoms. But the hour of mortal sin came, and the thieves, and the devils, broke through and stole all your treasures.

A man works for his master; he keeps a book, and he always writes int he book how many days in the week, how many hours in the day, he works for his master. A year has passed, and he goes to his master and shows him the account of all the days and the hours he has worked for him, then he asks to be paid for all his work. The master answers, "For all the works you have done for me, I pay you nothing." Thus God does to the sinner. The sinner says to God: I have kept your commandments, I have fasted and prayed, and given alms, what reward shall I have? God answers: For all the prayers, and fasts, and good works you have done, I shall give you no reward at all. Why not, asks the sinner? Because, God answers, because you have committed a mortal sin, and the promise, the covenant I made to reward you, is made void. Zach. xi. 11.

"Thou fool;" Luke xii. A man breaks in pieces his chairs and tables; he sets his house on fire, and burns it down; he throws all his money into the river. The people cry out that he has lost his senses, he is mad. They come and seize hold of him, and bind him, and carry him away to the mad-house, and shut him up in the mad-house. Why do they say that he is mad? Because he wilfully destroyed his own property. You, O sinner! did you not wilfully commit that mortal sin, and did you not know that by mortal sin you cast away heaven and all its treasures? Then you are the madman and the fool, and your end will be shut up in hell, the great mad-house for the fools who wilfully throw away heaven and its treasures, bought for them with the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

Wisd. xv. 17 : "He formed a dead thing with his wicked hands." Your past good works then are lost. But, perhaps, you will make up your loss by your future good works. No, sinner, so long as you remain in mortal sin, an enemy of God, there will be no reward in heaven for any good works you may do. The covenant of God to reward you is made void; Zach. xi. Your hand is withered and can no more work for the works of God. Do you know what is meant by "a man being out of work?" He may work as he pleases, but he gets no pay for it. The factory has stopped, there are no more wages. Poor, sinner, you are out of the work of God, you can get no more wages in heaven. But although the good works you do in a state of mortal sin will not be rewarded in heaven, still it is good to do them, because they will, perhaps, move God to give you the peace of repentance, and then you will get back again your good works now lost. Dan. iv. : "Redeem thy sins with alms, and thy iniquities with works of mercy to the poor, and perhaps God will forgive thy offences."

9. LOSS OF VIRTUES. -- Luke i. 53 : The rich he hath sent away empty. You were rich in all virtues while you were yet a child of God. But where are these virtues now since mortal sin -- where are they? A ship, filled with riches, was sailing over the ocean; the storms came, and the waves were dashed against the ship, and the winds blew it against the rocks, and it was broken in pieces. When the storm was over, the people came down to the sea-shore to see what there was of the ship. Behold, they could see only a few broken blanks floating on the water, the rest was sunk to the bottom of the sea. So it was with your virtues, O sinner, when your soul was shipwrecked by mortal sin. See that child which has lately committed a mortal sin; you can tell it by its very look. Is. ii. : "The show of their face hath answered them." It has lost all the power and strength of virtue; it hangs down its head: it is ashamed of itself, like Adam and Eve were ashamed of themselves after their sin, and went to hide themselves behind the trees in Paradise. It no longer loves to be in chapel and at its prayers, for it feels that God has no respect for is offerings; Gen. iv. 5. It is no longer cheerful in obeying its parents; it has become quite selfish, for "he that is evil to himself, to whom will he be good?" Eccus. xvi.

10. THE LOSS OF ALL. -- The whole world shall fight with him against the sinner. Wisd. v. O sinner! in those happy days before mortal sin, when God was with you, temptations and tribulations came upon you, but what harm could they do you? If God be for us, who is against us? Rom. viii. Yes, rather, by the most sweet providence of God all these things worked together for your good; Rom. viii. Poor sinner! look round the wide world, and you will see that you have not one friend. The sun sees you, and it hates to shine upon you, as it became dark, and would not shine on those who, like you, crucified Jesus Christ; Mark xv. I will make the lights of heaven to mourn over thee; Ezech. xxxii. Hearken! the winds sigh over you because you have become the enemy of Him, who breathed into your soul the breath of life. See the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air fly from you, because you are God's enemy; the earth hates to bear your footsteps, even as it trembled and shook under the feet of those who nailed Jesus to the cross; Matt. xxvii.

11. THE SORROWFUL ENDING. -- Luke xv. : He went abroad into a far country; and there came a mighty famine in that country, and he began to be in want. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks the swine did eat; and no man gave unto him. O sinners in mortal sin, listen to a sorrowful story. There was a certain wicked child, a little girl of about eight or nine years of age. She was very wicked; cursing and stealing, and going into all kinds of bad company. Often had her father spoken to her and told her not to offend God by her sins. She listened not to her father. One day he spoke thus to her, My little child, he said, you are leading a very wicked life, and you not only do harm to yourself, but you give bad example to your brothers and sisters. I give you two weeks, and if at the end of two weeks you are not better, I must send you away out of the house, lest your brothers and sisters should learn to follow your bad example. The two weeks passed; the child was no better, but worse. One morning her father led her to the street door, and opening it, he said: My child, I told you that unless you became better I should be obliged to send you away; and now you are no better, so you may go away out of this house till you are willing to be good. The child answered not a word to its father, but proudly and sullenly it walked away. It wandered about the streets all the day, and got nothing to eat. In the evening when it began to be dark, the child was faint with hunger, and weary and tired with walking about. It knew not where to go and lay its head down and sleep. At last it found a heap of stones at the corner of some street, and it laid its sorrowful head there and slept. Next morning the child rose up from its stones and began to wander again about the streets. Great was its hunger; and it said to itself, Perhaps when the people see me look so pale and hungry, they will have pity on me, and give me something to eat. As it went along it sometimes looked up into the faces of those who passed it, thinking they would be moved with pity, but nobody took the least notice of the child. The second evening was come, and the poor child had eaten nothing all the day. It was too proud to go back home, and say, Father I am very sorry that I have been so bad; but if you will let me come and be with my brothers and sisters again, I will try to be good. Weak with hunger, the poor child was ready to fall down; and with difficulty it crept back again to its stones to sleep. During the night the wind blew hard and the rain fell in torrents, and every rag that the child had on was soaked with rain. It was midnight, and the child felt a burning fever. The dark hours passed over its burning head. Next morning, when the light dawned, the child was not able to stand on its feet; and before the sun rose, the poor creature had breathed out its last breath, and lay dead on the stones. Some one passing by that way saw the dead body of a child lying on the stones, and soon a crowd of people gathered round it. Having found out where the father lived, they carried the dead body of the child to his home. When the father saw the dead body of his poor little child carried into his house, oh, the grief, the sorrow of the father! his heart was broken when he saw his poor little child dead before his eyes. He never thought that such a thing would have happened; he thought when the child felt hungry it would have come back again to its home. The brothers and sisters came down stairs, and when they saw their poor little sister dead, they shriek! Then they came near, and leaned over their dead sister -- their poor lost sister -- and bitter tears fell down from their eyes, on the pale face of their dead sister. Then they said: Oh, poor sister! poor little sister, you are dead and we shall never see you again. When the people of the town heard what had happened, they came and stood round the windows and doors o the house, and they cried out against the father for the death of the child.

Little child in mortal sin, you who are reading this book, know that the very same thing which happened to that child has happened also to you. When you committed that mortal sin, you left a kind and good Father: your Father who is in heaven, Almighty God, the Father who created you. Oh, the grief, the sorrow of Jesus when he saw that your soul was dead; that soul which he loved so much, and for which he had died on the cross. The spirits of heaven who stood round him, saw that his sorrow in losing you was so great, that they thought his heart was breaking. What wonder that Jesus, who stood by the grave of Lazarus and cried for the death of his body, should be broken-hearted for the death of your soul? The angels in heaven cried bitter tears for a sister spirit that was dead. Is. xxxiii. 7. "Behold the angels of peace shall weep bitterly." But what happened in hell when your soul died by mortal sin? All hell was stirred up, shouts of blasphemy went up from hell to heaven on account of your mortal sin.

Poor soul! how art thou fallen, thou who didst arise from the waters of Baptism bright as an angel of God. Thou who wast the Throne of the Most High, now thou art trampled under foot by the devils! "God will send wrath and trouble to you by his evil angels." Ps. lxxvii. "He will lift up a sign to them, and, behold they will come with speed swiftly." Is. v.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 13, 2012, 08:30:44 PM
Quote
A traveller was going along the road and he met a little child crying bitterly. What is the matter? he said to the poor little creature; why do you cry? The child's voice was choked with sobs, and it could not answer. At length the child lifted up its hand and pointed to the ground. The traveller looked, and behold, he saw lying on the ground a little bottle, worth about a penny, broken. This child had, by accident, let the bottle fall, and it broke into pieces. O sinner, that child will be your condemnation at the judgement seat of Jesus Christ. It will say, O Christ, I cried and sobbed for this loss of a miserable bottle, and that sinner committed a mortal sin, and lost you, and he never shed one tear for losing you. Weep, then, O sinner ; "let your eyes run down with tears, because the Comforter, the relief of your soul, is gone." Lam. i.

How often is there weeping for the sake of mortal sin in this life? How often is there weeping for the sake of, a tiny broken bottle?

Where are hearts?


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on March 17, 2012, 08:32:32 AM
Quote
For example, she could not stand the odor of other people because she could smell the sin in them, and would climb trees or buildings, hide in ovens or cupboards, or simply levitate to avoid contact.

I'm thinking, if that's the reaction that sin caused in St. Christina the Astonishing, what about our dear Lord when he was on earth and among sinners every day, and He was holiness itself. What must He have suffered in the presence of sin and yet rather than turn away He actually souight out the sinner. Little wonder the prophet Isaiah says of Him, "He was a man of sorrows and aquainted with grief."  :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 17, 2012, 12:55:01 PM
Quote
For example, she could not stand the odor of other people because she could smell the sin in them, and would climb trees or buildings, hide in ovens or cupboards, or simply levitate to avoid contact.

I'm thinking, if that's the reaction that sin caused in St. Christina the Astonishing, what about our dear Lord when he was on earth and among sinners every day, and He was holiness itself. What must He have suffered in the presence of sin and yet rather than turn away He actually souight out the sinner. Little wonder the prophet Isaiah says of Him, "He was a man of sorrows and aquainted with grief."  :crucifix:

Martin that sounds inspired. That will be something to add to meditation! Thanks be to Our Lord!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 21, 2012, 12:58:01 AM
I was looking up a hymn the other day and found that Fr. Furniss's middle name is Joseph, so a hymn compilation website says. So it would be Father John Joseph Furniss.  :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 21, 2012, 01:04:02 AM
CHAPTER VIII.
THE DEVILS.


1. "THE Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit troubled him." 1 Kings xvi. You have an old shoe, good for nothing at all; the sides of it are bursting -- the sole has fallen off. You do not want it any more. You throw it away. Then if anybody passes by that way and sees the old shoe, and picks it up, and wishes to have it, he has the right to have it, for it belongs to nobody, the owner threw it away. When the soul commits a mortal sin God hates it, and casts it away. Ps. lxxxviii. 9 : "Thou hast rejected it." Lam iii. : "Thou hast made him an outcast." Then the devil, when he sees that God is casting away a soul, goes quickly to it and seizes it as a hungry dog would seize a bone. So, '"the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit troubled him." 1 Kings xvi. So, when Judas received the body and blood of Christ unworthily, then "Satan entered into him." John xiii. -- It is not one devil only which comes into the soul, but many: "For their name was legion." Luke viii. Yes, O sinner, your soul "has fallen and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every unclean spirit." Apoc. xiii. "Demons and monsters shall meet there, and hairy ones shall cry out to one another." Is. xxxiv. Did you ever see a swarm of bees cluster round the branch of a tree? so the devils cluster round your soul, O sinner! Ps. cxvii. 12 : "They surrounded me like bees." They are in you as a brood of vipers; Matt. viii. When a dead body has been buried in the grave, the flesh is eaten up by worms; so a soul buried in the grave of mortal sin is devoured by the devils. Job xxx. 17 : "They that feed upon thee do not sleep." You would see all this clearly, if God showed you the sight which he showed to the prophet Ezechiel. "Son of man," said God to the prophet Ezechiel, "go in and see the wicked abominations. And I went in, and saw, and behold every form of creeping things and living creatures, the abominations." Ezech. viii. Would you be content to be thrown into a den full of lions, and tigers, and serpents, and adders, and asps, and scorpions, and toads, and spiders, and all kinds of venomous, stinging reptiles? Your soul itself, O sinner, is the den and the hole of the reptiles of hell. For your throat is an open sepulchre to them; Rom iii. There in your soul is that devil who goeth about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour; Pet. v. It is that same lion of which David said, "Save me, O Lord, lest he seize upon my soul like a lion, while there is none to save me." Ps. vii. You, O sinner, did not cry out to God to save you from mortal sin. Therefore, that lion has seized upon you and devours you; Apoc. xii. The great, frightful dragon is in your soul, crushing it like a millstone crushes that which it falls upon. Lam. iii. : "To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the land." That devil, exceeding fierce, is in your soul, who made you break in pieces the bonds and fetters of the law of God, and cast his yoke from you; Ps. ii. Those unclean spirits are in your soul, who, with great violence, carried two thousand swine headlong into the sea; Mark v. Poor soul, how swiftly they carry you. And wither do they carry you? To hell. There is in your soul that devil, who, while yet you walked in the ways of the Lord, seized you and threw you down into mortal sin; Mark ix. But see, what is that terrible form which winds and coils itself round and round your soul like ivy winds itself round a tree? O that terrible twisted creature! it is the form of a serpent. But what a serpent! We have heard of huge boa-constrictor serpents, which, from the trees of the forest, throw themselves upon wild beasts, upon elephants, and twisting themselves round and round those beasts, crush them to death. We have heard of rattle-snakes stinging people to death. But that serpent twisted round you, O sinner, is no boa-constrictor, no rattle-snake, it is not a serpent of the earth, but a serpent of hell! Oh, that terrible fierce serpent twined round your soul, how dark and slimy! how its twisted and poisonous folds rise and fall like the waves of the sea! Poor sinner, that serpent has gone round and round your whole soul, and round every faculty of it -- will, memory, and understanding. You exist only within the folds of that serpent. But see, the serpent has raised up its great, fierce, cruel head, and from its dark mouth it shoots out its forked and fiery tongue, hissing at you, biting at you. Jer. viii. 17 : "Behold I will send among you serpents, basilisks, against which there is no charm, they shall bite you, saith the Lord." See how he breathes into you his poisoned, fiery breath. Job. xli. 12 : "Flame cometh out of his mouth."

But see that sting, that sharp, subtle, penetrating, infernal diabolical sting. That sting is called "the sting of death." 1 Cor. xv. It is not as the sting of the wasp, or the sting of a scorpion, for these stings can sting only the flesh; but that diabolic sting stings the soul. But, thanks be to God, this infernal sting cannot pierce those who have the sign of God; Apoc. ix. But from you, O sinner, the sign of the living God was taken away at the moment of mortal sin, and now that stinging serpent-demon ceases not to thrust his infernal sting into your soul. This serpent is that same subtle serpent which went into Paradise to tempt Eve. But there is another devil in your soul, whose feet are swift to shed blood; Rom. iii. He is the murderer of your soul, hacking and cutting it in pieces. It is that devil who was a murderer from the beginning; John viii. See how "in his wrath he strikes your soul with an incurable wound, and persecutes it in a cruel manner." Is. xiv. But listen! that is that sound -- that word, that diabolical word spoken in your soul, O sinner? Surely that voice has been heard on the earth before. It sounds like the voice of him who once said, "No, you shall not die the death." Yes, it is the voice of the devil who is a liar and the father of lies; John viii. What does he say? He deals deceitfully with his tongue. Ps. v. He devours your soul, he crushes it in pieces, he stings it, he poisons it. Yet he says to you, "No, this cannot be true, because you feel nothing -- you feel no teeth, no stings, no poison." But one thing, O sinner, you forget. You forget that the soul which is in you is a dead soul! Now, tell me, the dead body which is lying in the grave, does it feel the worms that are eating it? The sheep, which has been slain, does it feel the sharp knife of the butcher which cuts it in pieces. The beast which lies dead on the field, does it feel the beaks of the wild birds which tear its flesh away from its bones? Yes, it is quite true that you do not feel these things, and that word "you do not feel" should break your heart, because it reminds you that your soul lives no more, that it is a dead thing cast away.

2. Oh, sinner, there is nobody on the earth who accuses you. There is nobody who cries out that you have committed a mortal sin. It seems as if heaven and earth were silent and your sin forgotten. But there is one who accuses you night and day before God. Apoc. xii. Your accusor is the devil. Would you know how the devil accuses you? There was a certain person who committed a mortal sin. God let one of his saints see what the devil did at that moment. The earth opened by the side of the sinner, and a black devil rose up out of hell. He was one of those devils "who are kept under darkness in everlasting chains unto the judgement of the great day." Jude 6. This devil held in his hand, a fiery chain, which he put round and round the dead soul of the sinner, till the whole soul, and every faculty of it, was fast bound with this fiery chain. "They shall keep fast hold of their prey." Is. v. Therefore this devil kept hold of fiery chain, and followed the sinner withersoever he went, although the sinner himself saw nothing and knew it not. He was one of those demons of whom it is said, "He goeth about." 1 Pet. v. If the man walked along the road, this noonday devil, Ps. xc., followed him, holding him by the chain. In his workshop the devil held him by the chain; at his meals the devil was by his side, holding him by the chain; even in the chapel of the devil, who can transform himself into an angel of light, 2 Cor. xi., held the man by the infernal chain. 2 Pet. ii. 4. In the night time the devil, "who walketh about in the dark," Ps. xc. stood at his bedside, holding him fettered with the bonds of darkness. Wisd. xvii. It seemed as if from time to time the devil lifted up his face to heaven and said some prayer to God. What could it be? how could the devil pray? Job i. That Satan, who on a certain day when the sons of God came to stand before the Lord, was also present among them to pray for evil on Job, prayed thus. "O God!" the devil said, "you sentence to the eternal flames of hell those who commit a mortal sin, and thou art a just God, and thy judgements are true and just. O God, that sinner whom thou hast commanded me to bind with the chains of hell has committed a mortal sin, he has not repented, and now he sleeps with that mortal sin in his soul. May this sleep be his last sleep! O God, let thy sentence against this sinner now be executed. Bid me to strike him and kill him, now while he sleeps, and carry his soul down to hell." Poor sinner, the devil is also at this moment at your side, holding you fast bound with his fiery chain, and praying to God night and day that he may carry you to hell. Thus does the devil bind in the chains of hell those who commit a mortal sin, in that bond with which all sinners are tied. Is. xxv.; even as that woman whom Satan had bound for eighteen years, so that she was bent double and could not look upwards. Luke xiii.

Thus, poor sinner, the Lord hath done that which he proposed; he hath fulfilled the word which he commanded in the days of old. Gen. ii. "He hath destroyed and hath not spared, he hath caused the enemy to rejoice over thee." Lam ii. 7.

CHAPTER IX.
MORTAL SIN WRITTEN IN CHARACTERS OF FIRE.


WHEN you committed that mortal sin, hell below was stirred up, and was in an uproar. Is. xiv. The black Book of Death, with the names of the damned written on its pages was opened; the crash of that terrible book when it was opened was as the sound of thunder. The wicked spirits in hell knew well the meaning of that sound. They knew that some poor creature on the earth had been committing a mortal sin, and that the name of that sinner was about to be written in the Book of Death. Then might be seen millions on millions of wicked spirits with spiteful joy gathering round the terrible book to see whose name it was. Then came the writing in letters of fire; your name, the sin you committed, the day, the hour, the moment of it, the place, the manner. After this came the terrible sentence, that you were from that moment a "child of hell." There was the sentence; and now, O sinner, you only wait the execution of that sentence.

Poor sinner, there is still One who has pity on you, and is sorrowful for you, and he wishes to speak to you. Listen to him.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 21, 2012, 01:53:37 AM
Well, we're coming to the close of this particular book, only a few more short chapters.

The end of Chapter VIII is particularly memorable...

And so to the first part, I have read of some people experiencing, though they might have attributed it to hallucinations.

I am wondering if this book has quite the same effect in book study as it has when read all at once, as a whole (http://www.saintsbooks.net/books/Fr.%20John%20Furniss%20-%20The%20Great%20Evil.html).



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on March 22, 2012, 06:42:37 AM
And so to the first part, I have read of some people experiencing, though they might have attributed it to hallucinations.
I am wondering if this book has quite the same effect in book study as it has when read all at once,

You have read of some people experiencing what?


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 22, 2012, 07:35:08 AM
Well this is rather frightening. . . but I will relate. .

Quote
They are in you as a brood of vipers; Matt. viii.


Or to quote from the book, Confession:

"A CERTAIN man used to carry about with him a bag full of poisonous, stinging, deadly serpents. One night he laid the bag of serpents down on the floor. He forgot to fasten it up, and went to bed. During the night all the serpents crept out of the bag. They went and twisted themselves round the man while he was asleep. In the middle of the night the man awoke. He was dreadfully frightened when he found the serpents twisted round his head, and arms, and legs, and feet, and all his body. What was he to do? If he stirred the least, these serpents would bite and sting him. The bite or sting of any one of those serpents was sure to be his death! So he lay as still as if he had been lying in the grave. He called out for somebody to get a pan of warm milk and set it down in the middle of the floor. This was done. The serpents soon smelt the warm milk. First one great serpent untwisted itself from his arm and went to the warm milk. Then another serpent followed, and then another. At last every one of the serpents untwisted itself from the man's body, and he was saved from death!

This man could not get away from the serpents of himself. He was obliged to ask somebody to help him. Every mortal sin is a serpent round the soul. The sinner cannot get away from these serpents of himself. But if he prays to God, God will make these serpents go away."

...

I have read in the past of people, deep into alcohol or drug addiction, complaining of the sensation of being surrounded by snakes. And I believe I quoted in the past.. where is it.. Ah-ha here is the 'Deaths of Sinners and Saints' (http://saintsworks.net/forums/index.php?topic=676.0) thread.. more quite frightening stories along with uplifting ones..

And then there are the battles (http://saintsworks.net/forums/index.php?topic=314.0) of someone holy too.




Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on March 22, 2012, 07:51:38 AM
You are right.
Scarry stuff, phew!
The comparison of mortal sins and deadly serpents really makes one realise how deadly mortal sins are.
Chapter VIII, scared me stiff. I hope and pray that God will keep us all safe. :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 22, 2012, 08:05:50 AM
May the Lord have mercy on us and keep us close.  :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 22, 2012, 08:08:13 AM
CHAPTER X.

THE VOICE OF GOD TO THE SINNER.


POOR sinner! God says to you: I loved you with an everlasting love. Jer. xxxi. I created you, and breathed into your soul the breath of life, and made you to be my child, beautiful as an angel of heaven. Then I could not bear to be absent from you, so I came myself to dwell in your soul, that I might always be with you, and love you, and take care of you. But, behold, there came to me a sorrowful moment; you cast me away from you, you would not have me for your Father any more. Poor sinner! why did you leave me? what was it for? what harm did I ever do to you? I created in your soul a light which should never fail, but you loved to have darkness rather than the light. John iii. I gave you life everlasting that you might live forever, John vi., but you chose to have death rather than life. I gave you peace and joy of heart, Gal. v. and you have chosen rather to have the thorn of anguish fastened in your heart. Ps. xxxi. I gave you the bread of life, and you have brought to me the poison of death -- mortal sin. I so loved you that I gave you my beloved Son, Jesus, and with him I gave you all things, and behold you have treated my sweet Son, Jesus, disgracefully, crucifying him again, trampling under foot his most precious blood, and choosing rather to have the devil for your master. Heb. vi.

O soul! created to my image and likeness, and redeemed by the blood of my Son, Jesus, and sanctified by my Holy Spirit, in what did I offend you that you should do thus to me? Poor soul, remembering the days of old when you were my child, and grieving to see that you are on the road to hell, I come to you now to ask you to return to me; it is not too late -- still there is time, but if you delay longer, perhaps it will be too late. Come back, then, to me, and be my child as you were before, for, as I live, I will not the death of a sinner, but that he be converted and lives. Ezech. xxxiii.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on March 23, 2012, 02:35:43 AM
This chapter X is very touching.
It is a prayer and a very good text for contemplation.
Who can help but take a hard , long look at their life after that? :(


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 23, 2012, 05:52:27 AM
The truth!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 23, 2012, 05:52:50 AM
CHAPTER XI.

MORTAL SIN WRITTEN IN CHARACTERS OF BLOOD.

"BALAAM of Bosor had a check of his madness, the dumb beast used to the yoke." 2 Pet. ii. St. Ambrose tells a story about a little dog. The dog was a beautiful creature. It loved its master; it would lick his hand and eat out of it, and follow him where ever he went. It was a faithful dog. In the night time if robbers came to the door, the dog would bark at them; when the robbers heard the dog barking they would say, We had better go away, for the dog is barking, and we shall be found out. One day the master of the dog went out of the house. When he came back his face was covered -- he had a mask on. He opened the door and walked in. The dog did not know him again because his face was covered. So it barked at him, jumped on him, and bit slightly the end of his finger, which began to bleed. Then the master uncovered his face, and the dog, looking up, saw that it had been biting its own master. Great was the sorrow of the little dog when it found that it had been biting its own master. It lay down on the floor with its head on the ground, and began to moan most sorrowfully. Then the master came to it, and patting it on the head, said, Never mind, my poor little dog, you did not mean to bite me; look up at me. But the poor dog did not look up, and it never looked up in its master's face again. The master did every thing he could to take away the distress of the poor dog; he brought it bones to eat, and water to drink; but no -- the poor dog would no more eat or drink. After a while the dog rose up and went down the steps which led to the cellar. When it came into the cellar it threw itself down into a deep hole. For three days and three nights the dog stopped in this hole, neither eating or drinking, but moaning most pitifully. Towards the end of the three days the moans became fainter and fainter, and at last its sorrowful moans were heard no more; the poor creature was dead. And this dog died of a broken heart -- broken with sorrow, because it had accidentally, without meaning it, done a little injury to its master.

O sinner, learn a lesson from the dumb creature. Look up at the cross. On the cross there hangs Jesus Christ, your Master. Come near then, O sinner, come near to the cross, and look up at the face of Jesus Christ your Master. Can you look up at his face and say that you never did him any injury? What? you never did any injury to Jesus Christ! See those sharp thorns which pierce his dying head! See those sharp nails which fasten his wounded hands and feet to the cross! See that blood which runs down, not drop by drop, but in streams from the cross! See, Jesus bows down his head, and he breathes out his last breath -- he is dead! Who as it that did all these injuries to Jesus Christ? O sinner, it is you who did all these cruel injuries to Jesus. Your mortal sin bruised his poor body and made him bleed. Your mortal sin was the hammer which nailed him to the cross "Crucifying again to yourself the Son of God." Heb. vi. Your mortal sin was the great heavy weight which wedged on the dying heart of Jesus, and broke it, and made him die of sorrow. Yes, he was wounded for your iniquities, and bruised for your sins; Is. liii. O sinner, look up again at the face of the dying Jesus! Perhaps you are afraid to look at him. You think that Jesus is angry at you for the injuries you have done him. O sinner, you know not the sweet Jesus. No; he cannot look angry. See, poor sinner, he wants you to look at him, he wants you to see that his last look before he dies is a look of mercy, of compassion, of love for your poor soul. Hearken, poor sinner, Jesus speaks to you.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 26, 2012, 04:17:47 PM
I think this story about the little dog is very memorable. I know I won't forget it.

Quote
O sinner, learn a lesson from the dumb creature. Look up at the cross.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on March 26, 2012, 04:50:22 PM
I think this story about the little dog is very memorable. I know I won't forget it.

Quote
O sinner, learn a lesson from the dumb creature. Look up at the cross.

If the dog was human, I 'd say his heart break was a 'violent' one; it destroyed him.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 26, 2012, 04:52:19 PM
I hadn't thought of it that way!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on March 26, 2012, 04:56:29 PM
I hadn't thought of it that way!

I understand, I just wanted to pull your leg  ;D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on March 26, 2012, 07:47:06 PM
A sincere act of contrition each night before we sleep could prevent us being carried off (like Fr. Furniss said) unexpectedly and unrepentant by the devil for we can never judge as to whether we are in a state of grace at any given time and it could be foolish to presume so. Sometimes I say a few extra acts of contrition and offer it through Our Lady for some poor soul who has been cast off by God that through her intercession the Lord will grant them the grace to repent.

Thanks be to God that even if the preachers don't preach anymore (as Fr. Furniss said) either because of their own sin or the sin of the people, the Lord has still provided a way to hear for those who want to hear by the recorded preachings of His saints.

Lord have mercy on us all and especially all poor souls in mortal sin who are blind as to their condition. Mary, refuge of sinners, pray for us.  :+:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 27, 2012, 02:16:44 PM
Consider my leg pulled odhiambo!  :rotflblue:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 27, 2012, 02:18:27 PM
A sincere act of contrition each night before we sleep could prevent us being carried off (like Fr. Furniss said) unexpectedly and unrepentant by the devil for we can never judge as to whether we are in a state of grace at any given time and it could be foolish to presume so. Sometimes I say a few extra acts of contrition and offer it through Our Lady for some poor soul who has been cast off by God that through her intercession the Lord will grant them the grace to repent.

Thanks be to God that even if the preachers don't preach anymore (as Fr. Furniss said) either because of their own sin or the sin of the people, the Lord has still provided a way to hear for those who want to hear by the recorded preachings of His saints.

Lord have mercy on us all and especially all poor souls in mortal sin who are blind as to their condition. Mary, refuge of sinners, pray for us.  :+:

That's a really good thought.. It's touching truly. I think I shall try it too. Thank you Martin!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on March 28, 2012, 11:58:27 PM
Consider my leg pulled odhiambo!  :rotflblue:

 ;D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on March 29, 2012, 12:02:22 AM
A sincere act of contrition each night before we sleep could prevent us being carried off (like Fr. Furniss said) unexpectedly and unrepentant by the devil for we can never judge as to whether we are in a state of grace at any given time and it could be foolish to presume so.

This is good advice martin, one I have already started to practice, thanks to you  :crucifix:
It can also contribute to dying a good death that us Catholics so yearn for. O:)


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on March 29, 2012, 03:34:09 AM
CHAPTER XII.

THE VOICE OF JESUS ON THE CROSS TO THE SINNER.

"POOR sinner," Jesus says, "you went away from me by mortal sin, and now I want you to come back to me and be again my child. When on the cross I cried out that word, 'I thirst," John xix., I was thirsting for the moment to come when you would return to me. O sinner, why will you not come to me again? why may I not love you again? See, my arms are stretched out to receive you -- my head is bowed down to give you the kiss of peace and forgiveness. The blood runs down from my body to wash away your sins. My heart is breaking with sorrow because you have left me. Come then to me, my dear sinner, I will make your repentance very easy -- I will suffer for you the punishment due to your sins. Come, then, poor sinner, come and dwell under the shadow of my cross, and be again as you were before, my child and my brother. I will love you again, and you will give glory to my Father in heaven, and joy to his holy angels."

O Jesus, you have spoken sweet and gracious words of love and forgiveness; listen then to the poor sinner, for he is kneeling at the foot of the cross, and he wants to speak to you.

CHAPTER XIII.

THE VOICE OF THE SINNER TO JESUS.


O JESUS, my God, my Creator, what you say is most true. I remember how you were nailed to the hard cross -- how your poor head was torn with the sharp thorns -- how the holy blood came from your blessed body. Sweet Jesus, your blessed heart has spoken to me, and told me that you died a bitter death on the cross, for the love of me, your poor child, to wash away my sins with your precious blood, and to save me from hell. Yes, it was my sins which nailed you to the cross and made you die. Oh, wicked sins, I hate and detest you. My good Jesus, I love you, and I am very sorry for offending you, and I promise you that I will never offend you any more -- no, never again. May I live for you and for you only, my sweet Saviour Jesus, and if you foresee that on any day of my future life I shall again offend you by mortal sin, may I not live to see that sorrowful day; in your sweet mercy take me out of this world before that day comes. Jesus, have pity on my poor soul! You did not turn away your face from those who struck it and spit upon it, will you turn away your face from a soul which wants to love you? O Jesus, think how much it cost you to save my soul. You bought it with your own blood -- yes, you died for it; and now, my Jesus, I do not ask you to die again for me; I only ask you to say to me the one word -- pardon, forgiveness. Do not refuse to save a soul which you died to save.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 07, 2012, 07:45:32 PM
CHAPTER XIV.
THE FUTURE.


I. How to keep out of mortal sin.

1. Keep away from what is likely to lead you into mortal sin. Keep away from bad company; keep away from those companions who have already led you into sin; keep away from those places where you know there is danger of mortal sin; keep away from those bad books which have done you so much harm. If you ask me why you must keep away from these dangers, my answer is the word of God: "He that loveth the danger, shall perish in it." Eccus. iii.

2. In time of temptation pray. Jesus Christ says, "Watch ye, and pray, that ye enter not into temptation." Matt. xxvi. 41. The reason why people commonly fall into mortal sins is, because when temptation comes, they neglect to pray, and then God does not help them, and so they fall. Therefore, when temptation shall come, whether it be some wicked thought in your heart from the devil, or evil words, or bad example, always be ready to say the beautiful prayer of St. Alphonsus: "Jesus and Mary, help me." Every day pray that God would never let you commit a mortal sin, saying that petition of the Our Father, "Lead us not into temptation." You may also pray thus: "My God, with your help I resolve never to commit a mortal sin; may I die rather than commit a mortal sin."

3. If you wish to keep out of mortal sin, go often to the Sacraments, at least once a month. St. Alphonsus says, that the best way to keep out of mortal sin is to go to confession and the Holy Communion once every week. John vi. : "He that eateth this bread shall live forever."

4. Carefully avoid willful venial sins, and then be sure that you will avoid mortal sins. Eccus. xix. : "He that despiseth small things, shall fall by little and little."

5. Therefore, remember three things. 1. Keep away from the temptation. 2. In time of temptation say: "Jesus and Mary, help me." 3. Go often to the Sacraments.

II. What you must do if you have the misfortune to fall into mortal sin.

Jer. viii. : "Shall not he that falleth rise again?" If you catch a fever, you get rid of it as soon as you can. If you break your arm, you get it mended as soon as you are able. Do at least as much for your soul as for your body. If you commit a mortal sin, and you die with that mortal sin in your soul, you go to hell for all eternity! Therefore, do not keep that horrible monster, mortal sin, in your soul for one moment. But you say, "What must I do? which is the way? how am I to get this sin forgiven?" Listen and you shall hear what you must do: Make an act of contrition directly, and go to confession as soon as you can. Remember these two things.

1. After mortal sin make an act of contrition directly. Do not delay for a day, an hour, a minute, a moment. Say any act of contrition; for example, the act of contrition of blessed Leonard: "O my God, I am very sorry that I have sinned against thee, because thou art so good, and I will not sin again." But you say, What is the use of making an act of contrition directly after a mortal sin? I know I can get my sin forgiven by going to confession, but what is the use of making an act of contrition until the time comes when I can go to confession. I will tell you the use of it. It may be some days, it may be a week, before you can get to confession. Do you think God wishes you to remain in mortal sin for a week, or until the time comes when you can go to confession? Certainly he does not. But you can get your sins forgiven before you go to confession? Certainly, you can. But how? Through the great mercy of God, at any moment of the day or night, whenever you will, if you make a sincere act of true contrition, with the intention of confessing it, at that moment God forgives the sin, and you become the child of God again. How good God is, that a sinner should not be obliged to remain in mortal sin, and a state of damnation, one moment longer than he wishes it himself! St. Thomas says: "However little the sorrow may be, if it is only true contrition, it takes away the sin." Q. 1, 2, 4. But you ask, what does St. Thomas mean when he says, "that this sorrow must be true contrition?" He means just this, that you must be sorry for offending God because he is so good, and resolve not to offend him again. St. Alphonsus says just the same; Die Poenit. iv.

In the lives of the Fathers of the Desert, we read of a holy man called St. Paul the Simple. He stood one Sunday at the church door while the people were going in to hear Mass. God let him see the state of their souls. Their angel guardians went along with them, showing great joy and contentment. But amongst them he saw one over whose head there was a dark cloud. His soul was black. The devil held him by a chain. His angel guardian followed at a distance, looking very sorrowful, with his eyes cast down on the ground. This man was in mortal sin. When the people came out again, St. Paul watched for the unfortunate man who was in mortal sin. At length he saw him; and, behold, the dark cloud which was over him had passed away -- the chain no longer bound him, and his soul was shining with brightness. The devil stood at a great distance from him; his angel guardian was at his side rejoicing. St. Paul then went up to the man, and asked him what had happened to him while he was at Mass. The man answered: When I went into the church, I was in mortal sin. While I was in the church I happened to hear some words from the prophet Isaias, in which God promises to pardon those who repent sincerely. Then I began to pray. I said: O my God, you came into the world to save sinners; save me, for I am a great sinner, and most unworthy of your pardon. I am very sorry that I have sinned against you, because you are so good, and I promise you, with a sincere heart, that, from this moment, I will not sin any more. I will serve you for the time to come with a sincere conscience. Pardon a sinner who begs of you to forgive his sins. When St. Paul heard this, he cried out: Oh, the unspeakable goodness of God; how great is his compassion and love for poor sinners? Learn, then, O sinner, that the good and merciful God is ever ready to forgive your sin, at any moment and in any place, if you only make a good and sincere act of contrition. Learn, also the blessing of going to Mass on Sundays. How can a sinner pray with a sincere heart before the Divine blood on the altar, which washes away the sins of the world, and not have his sins forgiven?

3. Besides making an act of contrition directly after mortal sin, you should also go to confession, and confess the sin as soon as you can. First, because you are obliged to confess every mortal sin. Jesus Christ has instituted the sacrament of Penance, to forgive all mortal sins to those who are contrite of heart, and confess them sincerely. John xx. : "Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them." Secondly, although you may hope that the mortal sin has been forgiven, if you made a sincere act of contrition, still you feel more secure about the forgiveness of it, after you have received absolution in the sacrament of Penance.

There is one great evil, and only one.
The one great evil is -- mortal sin.
From mortal sin, sweet Jesus, deliver us.
 



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 07, 2012, 07:46:10 PM
THE END

 :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on April 08, 2012, 06:49:05 AM
Very sound advise there on how to avoid mortal sin.
Avoiding, as far as possible, the near occasions of sin, can not be over emphasized.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 10, 2012, 09:20:34 AM
I think this is all so helpful! It's the basics put together in such a way if just followed -- success. One has to be pious and desirous of holiness and refusing sin enough to do it, but when one does it!

How instantly help comes when we say devoutly "Jesus and Mary, help me!"

All we have to do is softly say the words!

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph protect us!

Jesus Mary, and Joseph, save souls!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on April 10, 2012, 09:36:17 AM

Quote
In the lives of the Fathers of the Desert, we read of a holy man called St. Paul the Simple. He stood one Sunday at the church door while the people were going in to hear Mass. God let him see the state of their souls. Their angel guardians went along with them, showing great joy and contentment. But amongst them he saw one over whose head there was a dark cloud. His soul was black. The devil held him by a chain. His angel guardian followed at a distance, looking very sorrowful, with his eyes cast down on the ground. This man was in mortal sin. When the people came out again, St. Paul watched for the unfortunate man who was in mortal sin. At length he saw him; and, behold, the dark cloud which was over him had passed away -- the chain no longer bound him, and his soul was shining with brightness. The devil stood at a great distance from him; his angel guardian was at his side rejoicing. St. Paul then went up to the man, and asked him what had happened to him while he was at Mass. The man answered: When I went into the church, I was in mortal sin. While I was in the church I happened to hear some words from the prophet Isaias, in which God promises to pardon those who repent sincerely. Then I began to pray. I said: O my God, you came into the world to save sinners; save me, for I am a great sinner, and most unworthy of your pardon. I am very sorry that I have sinned against you, because you are so good, and I promise you, with a sincere heart, that, from this moment, I will not sin any more. I will serve you for the time to come with a sincere conscience. Pardon a sinner who begs of you to forgive his sins. When St. Paul heard this, he cried out: Oh, the unspeakable goodness of God;

This is a most beautiful story, so full of hope for us poor sinners. "Oh, the unspeakable goodness of God."  :angelbell:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on April 10, 2012, 04:06:46 PM
Yes, it is a beautiful story; it shows also that God never leaves us; we are the ones who leave Him by choosing to sin. Even after sinning, God stands ready to forgive us just as soon as we sincerely ask for His forgiveness and have genuine sorrow and repentance for our sins.
The imagery of the guardian angel following desolately from a distance and a dark cloud hovering over the head of the sinner is also a deterrent .


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 11, 2012, 06:32:42 AM
And so this book comes to an end. There's a great deal worth looking back over and reflecting on. Hesitantly, we turn to the next page.

The next book is, 'God Loves Little Children'.

 :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 11, 2012, 06:34:20 AM
GOD LOVES LITTLE CHILDREN

1. How Jesus Loves Little Children -- The Stable.

IN a little town in a far country there was a stable. If you had gone into this stable you would have seen two persons, one of them was called Mary and the other Joseph. There was also a manger, an ox, and an ass standing at the manger and eating hay out of it. In the manger there was a very little infant laid on the hay. This infant was -- God! He was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Go, little child, up to the manger and kneel down, and speak thus to Jesus: "O infant Jesus, I believe that you are God the Son, but tell me why did you become a little infant lying in the manger?" Jesus will answer you; he says: "My dear child, it is true I am God, but I loved the little children so much, that I wanted to be a little child like them myself. So you see me a little child in the manger."

II. How Jesus loved to be with the Little Children.

THE little children loved Jesus very much, for the knew that Jesus loved them. One day a great many little children were brought to Jesus that he might lay his hands on them and bless them. Some people who were there, were so foolish as to think that Jesus did not want the children to come to him. So they scolded those who brought the children, and they began to send the children away from Jesus. When Jesus saw that they were sending the children away from him, he was very angry! Then he said these words -- "Suffer the little children to come to me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God." Then he laid his hands on the children and blessed them. Mark x. One day Jesus took a little child by the hand, and showed it to the people, and he siad that they could not go into heaven unless they became simple, and meek, and humble like the little child. You will be glad to hear that a little while before Jesus died, when everybody was crying out against Jesus, the children were heard crying out his praises in the Temple of Jerusalem. Luke. It is the delight of Jesus to be with children.

III. The Child and the Lord.

WHEN the venerable B. Gerard was a child, he went into a church, where there was an image of the Blessed Virgin. The infant Jesus left the arms of the Blessed Virgin, and came to Gerard, and game him a beautiful loaf of white bread. Gerard carried the loaf home. His mother asked him where he got it. He answered that a child had given it to him. He went to this church many times, and each time the infant Jesus came and played with him, and gave him another loaf. When he was seven years old he saw other people going up to the altar to receive Holy Communion. When he came to the altar the priest told him to go back. This made him very sorrowful. The next night the great Archangel St. Michael came to him, and gave him Holy Communion. If God has a great love for children, he will take great care of them.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 22, 2012, 08:48:59 PM
IV. HOW GOD TAKES CARE OF CHILDREN.

The Boy not Crushed.

SAINT PHILIP one day, when a child, was standing in a yard near the house saw an ass standing there, and jumped on its back. The ass, along with Philip, fell down some steps into a cellar. He fell under the ass. Everybody thought that he was crushed to death. They took him away from under the ass, and found that by the Providence of God he was not at all hurt.

One day Philip was walking along the street. As he went on his way he dropped something made of gold. He stood still and said a prayer. He then went to look for it and found it directly. Another time he had let some things drop a long way off, but he prayed, and went back and found them again.

V. The Boy and the Wolf.

WHEN Blessed Sebastian was a little boy, there was a very dangerous sickness going about the country. Sebastian caught the sickness. There was fear lest others should catch the sickness from him. So he was not allowed to remain in the house. He was carried out into a part of the country where nobody was living, and he was left by himself in a poor little hut. Every day some bread was taken and left near the door of the hut, that he might come out and eat it. One day he felt as if he was dying. The sickness had made a swelling come on his head. This swelling gave him frightful pain. He was lying on the ground dying. The door of the hut was open. At this moment a great frightful wolf, which had come down from the mountains, walked in through the door. The wolf came up to little Sebastian, who thought he was going to be eaten up by the beast. But the wolf, instead of eating him up, lifted up its paw and scratched at the swelling on his head, and then went away. As soon as the swelling had been scratched by the wolf it began to bleed. The moment the swelling began to bleed, he felt better, and in a short time was quite well. How good God is to the poor little children. Other people leave them, but God never leaves them. There was nobody to cure that little boy, so God sent the wolf to cure him.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on April 23, 2012, 02:45:24 AM
GOD LOVES LITTLE CHILDREN

WHEN the venerable B. Gerard was a child, he went into a church, where there was an image of the Blessed Virgin. The infant Jesus left the arms of the Blessed Virgin, and came to Gerard, and game him a beautiful loaf of white bread. Gerard carried the loaf home. His mother asked him where he god it. He answered that a child had given it to him. He went to this church many times, and each time the infant Jesus came and played with him, and gave him another loaf. When he was seven years old he saw other people going up to the altar to receive Holy Communion. When he came to the altar the priest told him to go back. This made him very sorrowful. The next night the great Archangel St. Michael came to him, and gave him Holy Communion. If God has a great love for children, he will take great care of them.

Leaves one misty-eyed. :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: odhiambo on April 23, 2012, 03:34:26 AM
IV. HOW GOD TAKES CARE OF CHILDREN.
WHEN Blessed Sebastian was a little boy, there was a very dangerous sickness going about the country. Sebastian caught the sickness. There was fear lest others should catch the sickness from him. So he was not allowed to remain in the house. He was carried out into a part of the country where nobody was living, and he was left by himself in a poor little hut. Every day some bread was taken and left near the door of the hut, that he might come out and eat it. One day he felt as if he was dying. The sickness had made a swelling come on his head. This swelling gave him frightful pain. He was lying on the ground dying. The door of the hut was open. At this moment a great frightful wolf, which had come down from the mountains, walked in through the door. The wolf came up to little Sebastian, who thought he was going to be eaten up by the beast. But the wolf, instead of eating him up, lifted up its paw and scratched at the swelling on his head, and then went away. As soon as the swelling had been scratched by the wolf it began to bleed. The moment the swelling began to bleed, he felt better, and in a short time was quite well. How good God is to the poor little children. Other people leave them, but God never leaves them. There was nobody to cure that little boy, so God sent the wolf to cure him.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.[/b

Isaiah 55:8-9
I started to feel how frightened the little boy would have been;  all alone , sick and neglected as it were;  as if that was not enough, a  huge, wild  and frightening beast came a calling. That is why I posted the above post.
God's ways are certainly not our ways and many times we do not comprehend the reason behind His actions. We accept them because we know that He knows best  :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on May 10, 2012, 09:37:57 AM
It truly gives one a sense of the difference of God. Thanks odhiambo!



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on May 10, 2012, 09:41:50 AM
VI. HOW GOD TAKES CARE OF THE LITTLE CHILD'S SOUL.

The Child while a Baby.

THEY were going to build a new school near London. The son of the Queen of England, the Prince of Wales, came there to lay the first stone of the school. There were great crowds there that day. Many thousands of people came there to look at the son of the Queen of England.

But see, there is a baby. It has just been baptized. Now it is a son of God! It is a child of God who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Surely all the eight hundred millions of people who are on the earth ought to come round that infant; they ought to lift up their hands in wonder, and say, is it true? can it be that this infant is -- a son of God?

The poor baby is weak and helpless; it needs somebody to be kind to it and help it. God knows this, and he has sent his angels from heaven to be with it in all its ways. To one of the angels he said: "My dear angel, you shall be the angel guardian of that little child. Be with it always; never leave it; and pray for it day and night." Then the angel guardian came to the baby. He was so glad to see it, and he blessed it. He always stops with it, and takes such care of it.

Besides this, God spoke to his own Mother. He said: "Mary, my dear Mother, see that little baby. I want you to be a very kind mother to it, and love it, and take care of it, as you took care of me when I was a baby." And now Mary is taking care of this infant, just as she took care of the infant Jesus.

VII. The Child wants strength.

THE baby is older. It can understand things. But it wants strength against temptation. God has sent some one from heaven to strengthen it. Whom has God sent? is it an angel? No, God has sent some one greater than an angel. He has sent the Holy Ghost, the third Person of the Blessed Trinity, to strengthen the child and make it a strong and perfect Christian in the sacrament of confirmation.

The Child wants food.

The poor child wants food for its soul. God has looked through all the earth, but he cannot find any food which he thinks good enough for the child. Then he looks through heaven, and there he can only find one thing good enough for the child. But it is the most precious of all things, it is the most precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ himself. O, the wonder! while God and his angel were looking at ti, the child received at the altar the true Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, in the holy Eucharist.

The Child wants a Cure.

OH! what a misfortune has happened. The devil or some bad company came to the child and tempted it. The child did not go away from the temptation, nor say Jesus and Mary help me. It committed a sin. Its soul is hurt very much, perhaps it is even dead. God is sorry to see it. He loses no time. he has sent some one to cure it. The priest is ready. The child is sorry for offending God. It has confessed the sin. The priest has forgiven the sin. The child feels quite joyful again.

The Child Dies.

SICKNESS has come on the child. It is dying! It feels so sad and sorrowful. Every thing round it looks like darkness. But God has sent the priest to it. The priest has annointed it with the holy oil of Extreme Unction. The child feels quite changed. The sorrow is gone out of its heart. The darkness is changed into light. The child feels quite happy, and ready to die. It says, O my God, thy will be done. While the priest was annointing it, God told the angels that if it had been better for the child to live, the holy oil of Extreme Unction should have cured it. But perhaps God saw that if the child lived longer it would commit sin. So the child is dead.

VIII. -- The Child's Soul goes into Heaven.

THE child has been judged! and Jesus has said that it should go to heaven. Now the little child is standing at the gates of heaven. The gates are opened, and the little child has gone into that paradise of joys that never end. Happy child! The angels wonder when they see the child, it looks so very, very beautiful. They clothe it with a dress whiter than snow, and more shining and bright than the sun. Now the angel guardian has taken the little child by the hand, and led it through the choirs of bright angels, up to the throne of God. God looks so kindly on the little child, and he says, "My dear little child, I am so glad to see you, come and sit down on the beautiful throne where I sit myself." -- Apoc. iii. When the little child was seated on the throne of God, He spoke to it again and said, "My dear child, look at all that I have in heaven and on earth, I will give it all to you: all is yours." Then when God had given to the child all that he has, his greatness, and wisdom, and power, and every thing, the child seemed more than ever to be the very image and likeness of God. now the angels began to sing hymns of thanksgiving, because God had been so good to the little child. When the child heard the music of the angels, and saw all that God had given to it, and how good God is, and how beautiful, its heart was almost bursting with joy. Then its angel guardian came over to it, and whispered in its ear, and told it that it would have all this joy in heaven every day, for ever and ever!

The Child that was seen in Heaven.

MARINA DE ESCOBAR saw in a vision among the saints in heaven, Marina Hermandez, her niece, who had died in her fifth year. When Marina was dying, she had said with her last breath, "I am going to heaven to bless and praise God, in the choir of angels." When her aunt saw her in heaven she said, "Ah, my little darling, how well I know you." The little saint answered, "Dear aunt, I am doing in heaven what I said I should do when I died."

S. Aloysius died when he was young. After his death, S. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi saw him in heaven. She says that the glory and beauty of his soul in heaven were so great that she could not have thought that there was such great glory in heaven!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on May 10, 2012, 09:43:50 AM
"I am going to heaven to bless and praise God, in the choir of angels."


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on May 15, 2012, 03:22:10 AM
Quote
But see, there is a baby. It has just been baptized. Now it is a son of God! It is a child of God who is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Surely all the eight hundred millions of people who are on the earth ought to come round that infant; they ought to lift up their hands in wonder, and say, is it true? can it be that this infant is -- a son of God?

 :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on September 27, 2012, 10:41:19 AM
Quote
ave a soul to perish," -- II Kings xiv. 14: and he tries so much to convert them.

He knocks at the door of a sinner's heart, and says: "Poor sinner, why will you go to Hell? Be converted to me and by my friend. I am your Creator. I cannot tell how much I love you. Do you not remember that I died on the cross to save you? So change your life, and be good. you will find it so easy to be good; and you will be so happy; and after you have been good for a little time, I will come and take you to Heaven. For as I live, says Almighty God, I desire not the death of a sinner, but that he should be converted and live."

Then the wicked sinners says, "No, Almighty God, I do not want to be converted; Go away from me." Then God does not get angBut above all, God has great pity on poor sinners, "neither will he hry with the sinner, and send him to Hell as he deserves; but he is very sorry for the poor sinner, and says: "I must have patience with this poor creature, for he is very blind, and does not know what is for his good; so I will go away now and after some time I will come back again."

Then the Almighty God goes away, and after a time he comes back again, and he whispers into the sinner's heart, and says: "My dear sinner, have pity on your poor soul. The time of your death is drawing very near. You are standing on the brink of Hell. I cannot bear to think of your losing your soul forever. I should be so sorry. It breaks my heart to think that after a little time, all must be over for you, and I shall never be able to love you any more." So God comes to the sinner again, and again, and again. Then God says, "This poor sinner will not listen to me, although he knows that I love him so much: so I will try some other way. I will send him some pain, and perhaps then he will be converted; or I will send his angel guardian to put good thoughts into his heart; or, I will send the priest to talk to him. I will bid every creature to speak to his heart to convert him. The thunder, and lightning, and wars, and famines, and earthquakes, and disease, and death, and pains, and sorrows, shall tell him of the torments of Hell. The trees of the Earth, and the beasts of the fields, and the birds of the air, which do my will, shall give him an example that he may do my will. His hands and feet, which serve him, shall teach him to serve me. Sometimes when he is talking with others, he shall hear words that are not meant for him; but I mean them for him, to strike into his heart and awaken him out of the sleep of death."

When God sees that the sinner is always obstinate, and that he is obliged to call him out of the world without repenting, it is more bitter to him than if he had to die on the cross again. So God has mercy and pity on his poor creatures. II Esdras x. 17. "Thou art a forgiving God, gracious, and merciful, long-suffering and full of compassion."

It is wonderful to see what care God takes of his creatures. Will a mother forget her own dear little child? If she does, God will not forget you.

Reading this to my catechism class next wednesday! Pray for the children in Rel. Ed that their souls may receive graces listening to the beautiful writings of Fr. John Furniss.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: martin on September 27, 2012, 04:39:14 PM
Fr. Furniss writings are so simplistic that even the chidren will understand.
You should pray to Fr. Furniss before you read Patricia that his words will inspire their little hearts.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on September 28, 2012, 04:11:47 PM
IX. HOW GOD TELLS THINGS TO LITTLE CHILDREN.

How the Blessed Virgin speaks to Children.

IN the year 1846, two little children called Maximin and Melany, were minding some cows on the mountains of La Salette in France. About the middle of the day the saw near them a bright dazzling light. This light was far brighter than the sun, and of a different color. In the midst of the light they saw a lady. She had on a white dress, covered with pearls and roses. There was a small chain round her neck, on which hung a cross, and a crown of white roses on her head. Her shoes were white, with roses round them of all colors. Her face was so dazzling that they could not look at it long. She was crying: the tears ran down from her eyes, and went out like sparks in the air. This lady was the Blessed Virgin Mary. She rose up with her arms crossed, and spoke these words to the children: "Come near to me, my children, be not afraid; I am come here to tell you great news, and you will make it known to all my people. If they will not be good, I shall be forced to let go the hand of my Son Jesus, to punish them. His hand is so strong and so heavy that I cannot keep it back any longer. I am obliged to pray to him without stopping, that his punishments may not come upon the people. They do not keep the Sunday holy. They are always swearing by the name of my Son. These two things make the hand of my Son so heavy." She then said to the children, "You must be sure to say your morning and evening prayers well. When you cannot do better, at least say one Our Father and Hail Mary. But when you have time say more."

O, the wonderful love of Mary for the children! She had a message to send to the people. She did not choose Prophets, or Apostles, or Bishops to take this message, but she chose two poor little simple children, because she remembered that Jesus was once a child, and she knows how much he loves the children.

X. The Children find out the Saint.

ABOUT one hundred years since, there was living in Rome a poor beggar. His clothes were rags, his dinner an old dry crust. He had made himself poor for the love of Jesus. He was a very holy man, and when he died, his death was precious in the sight of God. He died the death of a saint. Scarcely anybody know that he was a saint, for when he was alive he had concealed all his good works as much as he could. but when people try to make themselves little in the eyes of others, God tries to make them great, for "he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." -- Matt. xxiii. So God wishes that the hidden sanctity of this good man should be known to all the world. If it had pleased God, he might have employed the bishops of his Church to make known his sanctity, but it pleased him rather that the tongues of little children should make it known to the world. The morning after he died some children happened to come into the street where he had lived, and all at once they began to cry out: "The saint is dead, the saint is dead." These children scarcely knew why they were crying out these words, but it was God who put this cry into their hearts. The cry of these little children went from street to street, and from town to town; and so by the tongues of little children the world knew that there was another saint in heaven. The name of this blessed man was Benedict Joseph Labre.

XI. The Three Stone Figures.

In the town of Barcelona, in one of the streets, there is a nurse and a child, and a man looking at the child. The nurse and the child and the man are all made of stone. Those who go through the street sometimes stop and look at them, and they wonder what is the meaning of it. In the year 1289, there was a man in this town who was doing great penances for his sins. He seldom went out of his house except to the church. He fasted every day and, said a great many prayers. When people try to be good and holy, they are almost sure to be teased. So it happened to this good man. They treated him as if he was a wild beast, and locked him up in a stable along with the horses. One day a little child opened the stable door and went in. He looked at the man, and knew that he was doing penance for his sins. The child, like an angel, had looked into his soul. So the people put up in the street the likeness in stone of the man and the child and its nurse. This likeness in stone has been standing there for more than six hundred years.

The Children Martyrs. -- The Babies of Bethlehem.

ONE day there was a great crying in the town of Bethlehem. Many hundreds of poor babies had been killed. A cruel king, called Herod, wanted to kill the infant Jesus, but he did not know which of the babies was the infant Jesus. So he commanded the soldiers to kill all the babies. Then there was great weeping and lamentation in Bethlehem. The mothers would not be consoled, because their babies had been killed. But in the misfortunes which Providence sends, there is a blessing. Those mothers were very sorrowful when they saw their babies dead, for they knew not that death was a blessing for those babies. Because they died for the sake of the infant Jesus, they are happy for ever with Jesus in Heaven.



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on September 28, 2012, 04:23:10 PM

Reading this to my catechism class next wednesday! Pray for the children in Rel. Ed that their souls may receive graces listening to the beautiful writings of Fr. John Furniss.

I'm so glad to hear about your catechism class benefiting from Fr. Furniss! :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on September 29, 2012, 07:04:54 PM
Quote
So God wishes that the hidden sanctity of this good man should be known to all the world. If it had pleased God, he might have employed the bishops of his Church to make known his sanctity, but it pleased him rather that the tongues of little children should make it known to the world. The morning after he died some children happened to come into the street where he had lived, and all at once they began to cry out: "The saint is dead, the saint is dead." These children scarcely knew why they were crying out these words, but it was God who put this cry into their hearts. The cry of these little children went from street to street, and from town to town; and so by the tongues of little children the world knew that there was another saint in heaven. The name of this blessed man was Benedict Joseph Labre.

I think about how the hearts of the children are simpler and so simpler to reach to speak such words, than ours, and so how often I think God must reach through our own built up encrusted hearts through the words of a child.

Child Jesus pray for us!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on October 11, 2012, 03:24:10 AM
XII. The Children and the Holy Cross.

THE real cross on which Jesus died was buried in the earth at Jerusalem by some bad people. Then nobody knew where the holy cross was. After one hundred and eighty years St. Helen went to Jerusalem and found out the place where the holy cross was buried. They took spades and dug very deep into the earth. After digging for a long time, at last they found three crosses. They found also the words Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, on a, board lying a little way off the crosses. When they found the three crosses they knew that one of them must be the cross of Jesus, another of the good thief, and another of the bad thief. But they could not tell which of the three was the cross of Jesus. At that time there was a woman in Jerusalem lying very sick. Macarius, the bishop, prayed to Almighty God to find out which was the true cross

When he took the crosses to the house of the sick woman he put one cross into her hand, but nothing happened. When he put another cross into her hand, still nothing happened. But the moment he put the third cross into her hand, she was cured of her sickness. Then they knew that this was the real cross on which Jesus died. St. Helen had a very grand church built. She put the holy cross in a silver case, and left it in this church. A great many years after this, some people, called the Saracens came to Jerusalem, and took away the holy cross from the Christians. When the people all over the world heard that the holy cross had been taken away, there was great sorrow and mourning. They said to one another, "Let us try to get back the Holy Cross." Many thousands of people went to Jerusalem to try and get back the holy cross. The children also loved the holy cross, and you will now hear how they also went to try to get back the holy cross.

The Children set off to seek the Holy Cross.

THERE was a little shepherd boy living in the village of Cloies, in France. He said that he had seen Jesus Christ, who told him to let the people know that they must try to get back the Holy Cross. He went through all the towns and villages singing these words: Lord Jesus, help us to get back the Holy Cross. These words pierced the hearts of those who heard him, as if they had been the words of God himself. Great numbers of children joined him. In Paris alone, fifteen thousand children not twelve years old, went along with him. As they went along on the journey, the people everywhere were very good and kind to these poor children. Pope Innocent heard about it, and he said: "These children make us ashamed of ourselves. While we sleep they set of with joy to get back the Holy Cross." After they had travelled a long way they came at last to a town on the sea-side. This town was called Marseilles. When they had come to this town, they went into ships, and went over the sea for more than two thousand miles, till they came to Jerusalem. As soon as they came there the bad people who had taken away the Holy Cross, got hold of a great many of the children. They told the children that if they did not deny their religion they should be killed. But the good children would not deny their religion, so they were killed and they died a very happy death, because they died for the love of Jesus.

XIII. Other Children set off to get back the Holy Cross.

In Germany twenty thousand children got ready to set off. Each of them had a cross on his shoulder, and carried in his hand a stick to walk with, and a bag to hold some bread in. A little boy called Nicolas, not yet ten years old, went at the head of them. On the road many died of hunger and cold. Some of them suffered many pains, and were obliged to turn back home. They were very sorry, not for the pains they had to suffer, but because they could not keep up with the others and go to Jerusalem and get back the Holy Cross. The others went on their journey, and when they came to the sea, they got into ships and set off to Jerusalem. Two ships full of these poor children sunk down in the water of the sea, and they were all drowned. Pope Gregory IX. heard of it, and he ordered the bodies of the drowned children to be taken out of the water. He had a church built called the Church of the New Holy Innocents. He ordered that the bodies of the children should be kept in this church like the relics of the martyrs, because they had given their lives for the faith of Jesus.

A Lesson for the Children.

THESE children took a long journey of three or four thousand miles to go to Jerusalem and get back the holy cross. Every child, as soon as it is born, must set off on a long journey, and his journey is not to Jerusalem, but to -- Heaven! And the road to heaven is, to be good and keep out of bad company, and say your prayers. The cross was very holy because Jesus had died on it. But still it was only wood, like any other wood. But you my little child are going to get, not the wood of the cross, but in the Holy Communion you will get the true and real body of Jesus that was nailed to the cross.



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on November 08, 2012, 06:49:17 PM
"Then, my little ones, pray every day to Almighty God, and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, that you may love God very much."

 :flower:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Patricia on November 09, 2012, 09:14:00 AM
Fr Furniss's writings will make excellent reading for my 7 and 9 year old girls.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 03, 2013, 09:44:24 AM
XVII. The Boy who forgot his Dinner.

WHEN St. Peter of Alcantara was a child, he loved very much to say his prayers. One day, it was dinner time, and the dinner was quite ready. The father and mother of Peter were at the dinner-table, and his brothers and sisters were there, only the little Peter himself was not there. The father said, "Where is Peter?" nobody could tell where he was; they searched all through the house, but they could not find the child anywhere; they thought that perhaps he might be playing outside of the house, so they went and looked for him, but they could not see him anywhere. At last, they thought perhaps he might be in the chapel, so they went to the chapel. There they found the good child on his knees, with his hands joined, looking up to heaven, and saying his prayers! He had forgotten his dinner, he was thinking only about his prayers, so he became a very great saint. Did you ever forget your dinner or your breakfast for your prayers? Perhaps you even thought so much about your breakfast that you eat it before you had had said any prayers at all!

XVIII. In the Chapel.

WHEN F. Sarnelli was a boy, he loved very much to be at his prayers in the church, so if anybody came to the house to ask tor him, the servant always answered, "you will find him in the chapel."

When F. Blasuoci was a little baby, not a day old, he was seen to lift up his little arms and fold them on his breast like a cross.

How many Prayers some Children said.

BLESSED Bonaventura, from the time that she was seven years old, said every day a hundred Our Fathers and a hundred Hail Marys, in honor of the Blessed Trinity, a hundred Our Fathers and Hail Marys in honor of the Angels, a hundred in honor of the Patriarchs, a hundred in honor of the Martyrs, a hundred in honor of the Confessors, a hundred in honor of the holy Virgins. Every day also she said a thousand Hail Marys in honor of the Blessed Virgin. She fasted three days in every week; when she was twelve years old, she put on sackcloth and wore it for six years and a half.

XIX. The Infant's first Words.

THE very first words that St. Rose of Viterbo learnt to say were the holy names Jesus, Mary, and the same of St. John the Baptist, whose picture was in the house. When she was only two years old, she used to go to the church of St. Francis; she would kneel down before Jesus in the blessed sacrament, and adore him. She listened to sermons and instructions, and said them by heart afterwards. When she was seven years old, she used to stop day and night praying in her little room, which was so small that it could hold only a bed and a little altar. She did not go out except to hear holy mass, at the next church, called Mary on the Hill.

XX. Meditation for Children.

WHEN Marina de Escobar was only three years old, people often heard her saying, "I love God more than my father and mother, and more than all things else." She used to hide herself in the house and in the fields. When they asked her why did she hide herself, she said, "I want to find God, who is my life." When she was a little girl, she said she did not know what was meant by meditation; but that she loved to think about what Jesus did for us. This was really meditation, so she used to make a, meditation - without knowing it. The children will find in this book a meditation which it will be very good for them to read every day.

XXI. Four years old.

WHEN St. Catherine Ricci was only four years old, she used often to go to some part of the house where she could be silent and quiet, and say her prayers. There she used to say the Our Father and Hail Mary, and think about the sufferings of Jesus Christ. When she was thinking on the death of Jesus on the cross, sho would stretch out her arms in the form of a cross. Many times she saw her Angel Guardian. He taught her how to pray, and especially how to say the Rosary. When she grew older she was sent to a convent. She never wished to give over praying; very often her aunt, who lived there, had to go and let her know is was bed-time or dinner-time.

The Child's Question.

VEN. MARGARET, when a little child, always felt great joy when she heard the word prayer. But it seemed to her that she did not know what prayer was. Sometimes she asked people to tell her what prayer was; they only laughed at her. Then she asked God to teach her how to pray. God made known to her that she must kneel before him with great respect, and be very sorry for her sins, and tell him all that she wanted, and think about Jesus dying on the cross. She made her first communion with great devotion when she was nine years old.

XXII. What are the Prayers of Children worth?

THE following words were preached by Monsgn. Dupanloup, Bishop of Orleans, in Paris, April 4, 1860: "What has saved the Church on earth? What has given the Church confidence in the midst of persecutions? lt is this: The Church has the little children on her side. She has with her millions of little children, stammering out their innocent prayers. Poor Church of Christ! thou hast for thy defenders, not a million of soldiers, but millions of little children, who lift up their innocent hands for thee!" If you want to be quite certain of the power there is in the prayer of a child, open the Holy Scripture, and read Psalm viii. -- Out of the mouths of infants thou hast perfected praise.



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 05, 2013, 03:31:54 AM
Doesn't the story of Ven. Marina de Escobar so touch the heart?

And Blessed Bonaventura she certainly is inspiring!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: George on January 05, 2013, 06:21:35 AM
Doesn't the story of Ven. Marina de Escobar so touch the heart?

And Blessed Bonaventura she certainly is inspiring!

I find these stories very inspirational. They make you want to pray even more.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on January 10, 2013, 06:21:17 PM
Quote
"I want to find God, who is my life."

I want to find God, who is my life! :D

 :flower: :flower:  :flower:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 19, 2013, 11:24:37 AM
The Boy Dying of Thirst.

GEN. XXI. -- Agar was wandering in the sandy deserts of Arabia with her little boy Ismael. She had with her a bottle of water for him to drink, for there was no other water in the deserts. When the water in the bottle was finished, she put the little boy under one of the trees and went a great way off from him, for she said, l will not see the boy die of thirst. Then she sat down and lifted up her voice, and began to cry for the poor, dying boy. Then an angel of God called to Agar from heaven and said: "What art thou doing, Agar? Fear not, for God hath heard the voice of the boy. Arise, take up the boy." and God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water, and went and filled the bottle, and gave the boy to drink. So God heard the voice, not of the mother, but of the child, and he gave them water to drink. So God hears the prayers of children.

XXIII. The Children Pray for the People.

THERE was a town called Bethulia. One day the chapel there was full of children. What was the matter? The soldiers were on their road to this town. They were coming to kill the people. The people knew that God hears the prayers of children, for they had read in the Holy Scriptures, "That out of the mouths of infants comes forth perfect praise of God." So they made all the children come into the chapel, and bow their heads down to the ground, and pray for the people. God heard the prayers of the children, and he made the cruel soldiers go away, and the people were saved by the prayers of the children.

XXIV. The Obedient Child.


THERE was a very old priest, called Eli, and a good child, called Samuel, who lived with the priest. Almighty God wanted to say something to the priest, but he liked better to say it to the child, and let the child tell the priest. So one night, when the child was asleep, God called the child by his name, Samuel. The child awoke, and heard somebody calling his name, but he did not know that it was God who called him. He thought to himself, perhaps it is the priest who calls me. He got up directly, and went to the priest, and said: "Please, your reverence, I heard somebody calling my name, and I thought perhaps it was your reverence who called me." Then the priest said: “No my child, I did not call you; go back again and sleep." So the obedient child went back to sleep. But after a little while the child heard the same voice calling him again and again. Each time he went to the priest, and at last the priest said: "Perhaps, my child, it is the voice of God which calls you, so, if you hear it again, say: "Speak, O Lord, for thy servant heareth." After a little while, when the child heard the voice again, he said as the priest had told him: "Speak, O Lord, for thy servant heareth." Then God spoke to the child and commanded him to tell the priest what he had heard. So God loves to speak to good children who are obedient; and as God spoke to the child Samuel, he will speak to you also, my child, if you are obedient. You will not hear his voice with your ears, as the child Samuel did, but you will hear it in your heart.

XXV. The Child that Converted its Father.

ABOUT four years since, there was a little boy six years old, living in a large town. He was very sickly. His father was a drunkard. One evening he was going home from the children's mission. When he came home he opened the door, and he saw his father sitting in a chair drunk! The little boy went over to his father and climbed up on his knees. He joined his hands together and said: "Father. I want to say something to you." The father said: "Well, what is it?" The child said: "Father, I feel very poorly, and I think I shall die soon. God is good. I think when I am dead he will take my soul into heaven." "Well," said the father, "what then?" "When I come into heaven," said the child," l shall be very sorry to do it, but I must go to Almighty God, and tell him that you go to the public house and ruin us all." God must have put these words on the tongue of the child! As soon as the child had spoken, the father did not answer one word, but he quietly took the child off his knees and set him down on the ground. The father walked out of the house -- he went in haste till he came to the chapel. Next morning he went down on his knees and made his confession. Front that day he never got drunk any more, nor did he ever put his foot in a public-house again. Besides being obedient to your parents or masters, you should try not to get angry with your companions if they do something which vexes you.

XXVI. The Boy who was Angry.

WHEN St. Philip Neri was a little boy he was reading to one of his sisters. While he was doing this, his eldest sister, Catherine, came up to him and tried to stop his reading, and tease him. Almost without thinking, he pushed her away. Afterwards, when he thought of it, he was very sorry, and cried for his fault. One of the worst faults children can commit is going into bad company.

Temptation. -- The Child and the Devil.

WHEN S. Joseph Calasanctius was a little boy five years old, he heard someone speaking about the devil, the enemy of God. He did not know who the devil was, but he thought the devil would look like a man. So he ran through all the rooms of the house to find him and drive him away. Another day he got together a good many children. They all got sticks in their hands, and went about looking for the devil to drive him out of the world. These sticks were only made of wood. The stick which really sends the devil away is the beautiful prayer, Jesus and Mary help me.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 19, 2013, 11:25:40 AM
Here we have another portion of Fr. Furniss's fine book, 'God Loves Little Children'. . .

Folks you can read and jump in at any time in this kind of book. If something inspires you, if you have a good thought worth sharing, feel free.  :tinyangel:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 19, 2013, 11:27:43 AM
Quote
XXV. The Child that Converted its Father.

ABOUT four years since, there was a little boy six years old, living in a large town. He was very sickly. His father was a drunkard. One evening he was going home from the children's mission. When he came home he opened the door, and he saw his father sitting in a chair drunk! The little boy went over to his father and climbed up on his knees. He joined his hands together and said: "Father. I want to say something to you." The father said: "Well, what is it?" The child said: "Father, I feel very poorly, and I think I shall die soon. God is good. I think when I am dead he will take my soul into heaven." "Well," said the father, "what then?" "When I come into heaven," said the child," l shall be very sorry to do it, but I must go to Almighty God, and tell him that you go to the public house and ruin us all." God must have put these words on the tongue of the child! As soon as the child had spoken, the father did not answer one word, but he quietly took the child off his knees and set him down on the ground. The father walked out of the house -- he went in haste till he came to the chapel. Next morning he went down on his knees and made his confession. Front that day he never got drunk any more, nor did he ever put his foot in a public-house again. Besides being obedient to your parents or masters, you should try not to get angry with your companions if they do something which vexes you.

The pubs... And nowadays there are similar addictions, that lead a man to ruin and so his poor family.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on May 26, 2013, 05:12:24 PM
XXVII. The Children and the Bad Sailor.

WHEN Blessed Leonard was nine years old, one day he was walking in the country with some other boys. As they went along a sailor came up to them. The sailor began by giving them some sugar sticks and some pennies. Then he asked them to do something very wicked. The very moment the sailor began to speak about such wicked things, Leonard and the others were shocked and ran away. The sailor ran after them to beat them. But they ran quicker than he did. They got back into the town. The first thing they did when they got into the town was to go to the church and thank Almighty God for taking care of them.

S. Jane Frances, when a little child, had at very bad nurse who wanted to teach her wicked things, but she would not listen to her. When S. Mary of Egypt was twelve years old, she ran away from her parents, and led a most wicked life for seventeen years.

When S. Aloysius went through the streets he always kept his eyes looking down on the ground for fear he should see anything bad.

When B. Margaret Alacoque was three years old, she was frightened if she heard anybody talk about sin.

The Two Good Boys.

WHEN S. Gregory and S. Basil were boys, they were great friends. They kept carefully out of bad company. They knew only two streets, the street which led to the church, and the street which led to the school.

Many little girls like to have a fine dress, and get proud and vain.

The Pin.

WHEN S. Rose of Lima was a little child, her mother used to dress her up very finely. But Rose did not like this, because she thought that it was not pleasing to Jesus Christ. One day they had put a wreath of white roses round her head. Rose was afraid that she would get proud. So she took a pin and stuck it in the skin of her head, that the pain of it might keep her from being proud. Somebody said to her one day, "What beautiful hands you have." She ran away directly and thrust her hands into some hot lime and said, "Never let my hands be a temptation to anybody." She fasted three days every week, and used to eat on purpose things that were very bitter.

When S. Catharine of Sienna, was five years old, her mother wanted to put on her a very rich dress. Catharine said these words to her mother: "The infant Jesus was very poor in the crib, he was dressed in very poor clothes." Blessed Benveuuta was a very good child. Sometimes her sister would come and curl her hair, and put flowers on her head and ask her to go to dances. But instead of going to dances, she took the flowers off her head and went into a wood where there was a chapel of the Blessed Virgin and prayed there.

XXVIII. Stealing, or the children that died on the sand.

IN the early times there was a holy monk living in Egypt. He was called the Abbot John. There was another monk, an old man, who was very sick, who lived a long way off. One day somebody gave the Abbot John some figs. John thought he would send the figs to the poor old man who was sick. He called to him two very little children, and put the figs into then hands, and told them to carry the figs to the sick old man. He bade them not to eat the figs. The children took the figs and set off. They had a long journey to make. The journey was across a sandy country where there were no roads or houses or trees. The children set off. Soon after they had begun their journey a very thick mist like a dark cloud came down on the country. The children could not see their way. So they wandered about day and night without knowing where they were going. The little children got very hungry and faint, and they had nothing with them to eat except the figs. But they remembered that the Abbot John had told them not to eat the figs. So they would not eat them.

Every hour they became more and more hungry and more and more faint. At last the poor little children could not go any further. All their strength was gone, they could scarcely breathe. Still they would not eat the figs. So at last, they knelt down on the sand and said their prayers and -- died! Some people went to seek the children. They knew which road they had gone by seeing their little footsteps on the sand. At last they came to the very place where they had died. They found the dead bodies of the two little children lying on the sand. The figs were lying close beside them, and on the sand where they had said their prayers, there were the marks of their knees. How good these two little children were. These children would not eat the figs for anything, not even to save their lives. It is true they made a mistake. It would not have been a sin to eat the figs when they were dying of hunger. They should have eaten them to save their lives, and Abbot John would have been very glad of it.

But the fear these children had to break the seventh commandment, which says, Thou shalt not steal, at least teaches a lesson to other children, who steal the sugar, and the butter, and the half-pennies. Neither should children tell lies. S. Francis of Sales in his childhood, would rather let himself be whipped than tell a lie. It is better to be punished for a fault and be patient rather than tell a lie.

What a Child did for the Love of Jesus., or Patience.

WHEN Blessed Paul of the cross was a little child, his mother used to comb his hair sometimes. The comb often scratched his head and gave him pain, and he would begin to cry. Then his mother would tell him to be patient and quiet for the love of Jesus. Then the little child became very quiet and cried no more. But it is not enough to be patient. You must do good to others.

XXIX. The Children who were good to others.

The Child that gave away its dinner.

WHEN St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi was yet not seven years old, she was sent to school twice a day; they put her dinner in a little basket, and she carried it to school. On her road there was the prison. When she went past the prison, she would take out her little dinner and give it to the poor prisoners. When her mother said to her, "Do this or do that," she always did it directly; when her mother went to Holy Communion they took notice that the little child used to get hold of her mother's clothes: they asked her why she did it? She answered, that she could feel when she touched her mother's clothes, something beautiful about them because she had received the Holy Communion. Before she made her first communion, she loved at least to see the priest give Holy Communion to others, and she would stop in the chapel tor three or four hours. One day she heard somebody say a bad word, she cried all the night after; they asked her why she cried, she said, because God had been offended. She used to get the poor little children of the country together, and teach them their prayers and give them clothes. They asked her why she did it, she answered "Because the little children remind me of the infant Jesus."




Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on May 28, 2013, 08:44:36 PM
I really love stories of children converting their parents.

They are a lesson to all of us.

There can be child saints!   :tinyangel:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on June 05, 2013, 02:54:12 PM
XXX. The Child that took care of the Sick.

WHEN the venerable Louis da Ponte was only a child, he knew what Jesus had said about visiting the sick "I was sick, and you visited me." So he used to go to the hospitals where the sick people were lying. He made their beds, swept the floor, and gave them water to drink, and was very kind to them. He read good books to them, and said prayers with them.

The Child that always gave something to the poor.

ST. FRANCIS of Assisi, when a child, had great pity for the poor. He determined to give something to every poor person who asked for the love of God. One day he was going along in a great hurry. On his road a poor man met him, and asked for something. Francis thought that he had no time to stop, so he went on without giving the poor man anything. After he had gone some distance he began to feel sorry for what he had done; so he turned back and ran after the poor man; he found him and gave him a great deal of money. Then he made a promise to God that he would never refuse to give something to any poor person who should ask it for the love of God.

XXXI. The Child that spoke for the poor.

WHEN St. Thomas of Villanova was eight years old, one day he was coming home from school. On his road he met a poor man who looked very sorrowful. He asked him what was the matter? The poor man said, I am going to see your father, he lent me some corn, and I have lost it all, and I shall never be able to pay it back. Little Thomas felt very sorry for the poor man's misfortune, he said to him, "Come along with me to my father's house." As soon as they reached his father's house, little Thomas went and knelt down before his father. He told his father about the poor man's loss, and asked him to forgive the debt. Thomas' father was very glad to find that his son was so good to the poor. He went straight to the door where the poor man was still waiting, and forgave him the debt and gave him more corn.

XXXII. The Salt.

FATHER JOHN BAPTIST when a little boy was very good to the poor. When he was six years old, he was sent by his mother one day to buy some salt in a shop. On his road he met a poor beggar, and gave him the money that was to pay for the salt. His mother did not get angry with him, because she knew he was good. Whenever a beggar came to the door, he always ran to his mother to get something to give away to the poor beggar, and when he gave it away he felt so glad. He used to get together little children like himself, and talk with them about holy things.

The Good Infant.

THE holy child Mary Teresa of Jesus, died in 1627, aged five years. She was a wonderfully holy child. She was in the Third Order of Our Lady of Mercy. The charity of this infant for the poor was so great, that she used to give them part of her own dinner. Her reverence in the church, her sweetness at home, her knowledge of holy things, were most wonderful. All good children love the Blessed Virgin Mary very much.

XXXIII. The Children who Loved the Blessed Virgin.

ST. TERESA was twelve years old when her mother died. As soon as her mother was dead, she went and knelt down before an image of the Blessed Virgin. She prayed to the Blessed Virgin with tears in her eyes, and asked her to be a mother to her. She says that this did her great good, and said, after this, whenever she prayed to the Blessed Virgin, she was always helped by her.

St. Andrew Corsini was at first a bad boy, till his parents told him that they had consecrated him to the Blessed Virgin, when he became good.

When St. Clare was about seven years old, she loved to say the Rosary. But she had no Rosary beads to count the Hail Marys, so she used to get a good many little stones, and count the Hail Marys with the stones. There never was a good child who did not love the Blessed Virgin Mary very much.



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on July 09, 2013, 11:16:32 PM
XXXIV. The Children who Learnt their Catechism.

WHEN the venerable Margaret was only four years old she began to learn the Catechism, and she loved to think about the things she had learned in the Catechism. After some time the Jesuit Fathers made him a teacher in the Sunday-school. When he was nine years old he made his First Communion.

The Child in School.

WHEN the venerable Benedict Joseph Labre was a little boy at school, sometimes the other boys beat him. He was always silent, and never said any thing about it. If the master found it out, and was going to punish any of the boys who beat him, he always asked pardon for them. When school was over he always waited till the last, and let all the others go out before him. The master asked him why he did this. He said the other boys liked to go out first, and besides, I shall get home as soon as they do. And so he did, for he did not stop about the streets to play, but went straight home. He was at that time only six years old! He always did what his school-fellows wanted him, if it was not wrong. So if they said: "Benedict, do this," he did it directly. When he was five years old he often went to confession. He was always the first at catechism and prayers. When he served at mass, he joined his little hands before his breast, kept his eyes looking on the ground, and he never turned his head to look at any thing.

XXXV. The Child taught by God.

WHEN St. Rose was a little child her mother wanted her to learn reading and writing. Rose did not like the trouble of learning. Her mother asked the Priest to scold her so Rose got a scolding. Next morning while Rose was saying her prayers, she asked God to teach her how to read and write. When she had finished her prayers she got up and went to her mother. A most wonderful thing had happened. The mother found that Rose was able now to read and write. God himself had taught her while she was praying! So when children are learning to read or write, or any thing, every day they should pray, and ask Almighty God to help them to learn.

XXXVI. The little Boy that was Stupid.

THERE was a little boy called Albert who was very stupid, and could learn nothing. He was so stupid in learning that his companions used to call him "the ass." The little boy was not idle, for he did his best to learn. Still he could not learn. He had been at school two years and learnt nothing. He was very vexed with himself be cause he found it so difficult to learn any thing. He thought it was no use trying any more to learn. He was going to run away. However, he had always loved the Blessed Virgin Mary very much, and he often prayed to her. At last the night came when he had fixed to run away. He was just setting off -- when he saw before him the Blessed Virgin. He knelt down before her and prayed that he might be able to learn. She said to him: "My child, you ask me for what often does people great harm. When people can read, they often read bad books. When they know a great deal they often become proud of their knowledge. However, I promise you, that after this, you shall be very quick in learning. But if your knowledge makes you proud, I will take it away from you." Next day the little boy Albert went to school. But he was wonderfully changed. He found that he could learn quicker than any other boy in the school. All the scholars wondered at this change, but they did not know how it came.

Albert learnt a great deal, and at last he knew so much, that everywhere people came in crowds to listen to him. People from all parts of the world sent to ask him difficult questions, and he was always able to answer them. He never felt proud of his knowledge. So he lived till he was eighty years old. Then one day he was preaching in a very large church at Cologne. The church was filled quite full with thousands of people. He preached so well that there was not the least noise in that great crowd. Everybody had their eyes fixed on him. Then, for the first time, he felt a temptation to be proud when he saw the people so still and glad to listen to him. Just at that moment he stopped. He gave over preaching -- he had forgotten all that he knew. The Blessed Virgin had told him that he should lose all his knowledge when he should begin to get proud. So at that moment he lost all the knowledge that he had, and he know no more than an infant.



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on July 09, 2013, 11:17:40 PM
"My child, you ask me for what often does people great harm."

...  :crucifix:


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: whiterockdove on April 09, 2015, 09:33:15 AM
This is an older thread but it is full of such nice things; such good advice. Thanks for posting it!


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 10, 2015, 11:05:10 PM
I always encourage reviving them!

Actually I had just taken out the Fr. Furniss book before you commented on it, and thought to myself, "I ought to sit down and transcribe some more of it."

It is quite an old rare book, little worn fragments of it fall off whenever I open it.

 :D



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 13, 2015, 06:03:39 AM
XXXVII. How the Child Jesus listened.

In Jerusalem there was a very large chapel; it was called the Temple. One day some priests were there; they were teaching the people what they ought to know about Almighty God. Amongst the people who were listening to the priest there was a child. This child was the child Jesus, the son of God, the second Person of the Blessed Trinity! He wanted to be an example to the children, that they might know how to do when they are at catechism, or at any instruction. What then did the child Jesus do? He was very quiet. He listened, and he listened attentively to what was said. He did not attend to other things, but only to what was said at the instruction. When the priest asked him a question, he gave the answer, to teach children to learn the answers of the catechism. He knew all things, and still he sometimes asked questions. He did this to show the children that if they do not understand something, they should ask the meaning of it. He spoke so that everybody wondered to hear his wisdom and his answers. How good it was of the child Jesus to show the children how to behave at catechism, and when they are instructed. Soon after Jesus was born, he was carried to the temple and offered to God. Since that time all good Christian parents offer their children to Almighty God.

XXXVIII. Children offered to God.


The Boy and the Goat.

AN old man one day came to the great church of Montserrat, in Spain. He brought with him his little boy and a kid. He wanted to offer them to God. An ignorant man who was standing at the door said: "We will take the kid, but we do not want the little boy." The Abbot heard of this; he was very angry with the man who had sent away the little boy. So he sent somebody after the old man to tell him that the little boy might come back. The little boy came back. The Abbot was very kind to him, and put him to school. When the little boy was nine years old, he began to wear the same dress as the monks. He was very good, and afterwards he became Abbot and built a new church. All this account about him may be read on his gravestone.

When St. Alphonsus was a baby, he was carried to St. Francis Jerome. St. Francis made the sign of the cross over him, and said he would live to be ninety years old, and be a bishop, and do great things for Almighty God. All this happened afterwards. The days of childhood are the days of God. The bees get the honey in the summer, that they may eat it in the winter. So you must learn to be holy when you are at little child, that you may be holy when you grow old. In all ages, says Digby, men observing and thoughtful, have been struck with the mysteries of childhood. How solemn a thing it is, says Faber, to be in company with little children, so lately come as it were from God's neighborhood. They are in that state in which we ourselves once were. But, alas, we did not understand until it had slipped away from us.

XXXIX. How St. Peter of Alcantara, when a Boy, Spent the Day.


Every morning the little Peter got up very early. He prayed for several hours. Then he went to the church and heard mass. He often received Holy Communion. He got his lessons ready before he went to school. At school he was very attentive, and did his best to learn his lessons. He was very obedient to his masters. He said some little prayer very often, both in the school and as he walked along the streets. At his meals he took only water to and left some of his dinner on his plate for the love of God. In the afternoon, when school was over, he went to see sick people, and was very kind to them. Then he went and and made visit to the Blessed Sacrament. In the evening he said his night prayers, and made at good examination of conscience. While he was getting ready to go to bed, he said the De Profundis for his soul, as if he was already dead. Every day he read holy books. On Sunday he was in the church all the morning, and served at many masses. Whenever a poor man came to the door to beg, he always gave him something. He was so devout to the Blessed Virgin that one day he saw her with a great many angels round her. Every child should have a Rule of Life.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 13, 2015, 06:15:50 AM
RULE OF LIFE FOR CHILDREN.

I. IN THE MORNING, WHEN YOU WAKEN, make the Sign of the Cross, and say -- "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul."

II. MORNING PRAYERS. When you are dressed, kneel down, and say the Our Father, and Hail Mary, and the Apostles' Creed. Say at least Our Father, and Hail Mary, on your road or at your work. Then make a Meditation.

A Meditation.

1. The Morning offering. -- Think what you will have to do all the day, and how you will do each action well. Prayers, meals, school duties, employments, places you will go to, persons you will speak to, duties to parents or children -- Then say -- "O my God, to thee I offer all that I do this day, with what Jesus did to please thee."

2. Preparation against Temptation. -- Forewarned, Forearmed! Think what temptation you are likely to meet with to-day, and how you will avoid it. Then say -- "O my God, keep me this day from all sin."

III. BEFORE AND AFTER MEALS. Make the Sign of the Cross and say Grace. Before meals say -- Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts which we are going to receive from thy bounty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen. After meals say -- We give thee thanks, Almighty God, for all thy benefits, who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen. May the souls of the faithful, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

IV. NIGHT PRAYERS. 1. Say -- Our Father, Hail Mary, and Apostles' Creed. 2. Examine your conscience. Say -- "Did I miss my prayers, or commit any sin to-day?" Think for a moment, what sin, -- then say -- "O God, be merciful to me, a sinner." When in bed, put your arms in the form of a cross, and say -- "Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul." If you waken in the night, pray.

V. DAILY VIRTUES. 1. Good Intention. If you pray, eat, sleep, dress yourself, talk, sing, walk, sit down, take a message, light a candle, go to school, read, write, sew, work, in every action, little or great, say, -- at the beginning, or middle, or end of it -- "my Jesus, I do all for you." 2. If any thing happens to you which you do not like, say -- "O my God, thy will be done." 3. Be kind to everybody. 4. Forgive those who offend you, and speak kindly to them. 5. Parents, watch over and give good example to your children. 6. Children, love, respect, and obey your parents and masters, in all that is not sin.

VI. GOOD PRACTICES. Every day hear Mass -- visit the Blessed Sacrament and some image or picture of the Blessed Virgin -- say the Rosary, or at least one decade -- read some good book -- say the Angelus, morning, noon, and night -- be in some pious confraternity -- make a retreat every year -- read this Rule of Life every Sunday. Pray daily for Perseverance. Often say to yourself, "God sees me."

VII. TEMPTATION. 1. If a temptation comes, turn away from it and say, "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, help me," or say the Hail Mary till it goes away. 2. Put a bad thought out of your heart quickly, as you would shake a burning spark off your hand. 3. Keep your eyes, ears, tongue, and hands from what is bad. 4. Keep away from bad company, public-houses, whiskey shops, bad dancing and singing-houses, gambling-houses, theatres, bad wakes, do not read bad journals, bad books.

VIII. SINS COMMITTED. -- He that loveth sin, hateth his own soul. (Ps. x.) 1. If you commit a mortal sin make an Act of Contrition directly, and go to confession as soon as you can. 2. For a venial sin, be sorry and strike your breast.

IX. THE SACRAMENTS. Go to the confession and Holy Communion at Easter and at least once every month. Do not wilfully conceal a sin in confession. If you are afraid to tell a sin at confession, say to the priest, "Please, Father, help me to tell a sin." If you doubt whether something you do is right or wrong, say, "Please, Father, I have a doubt."

X. DEATH. 1. Settle your worldly affairs. 2. Get ready for confession, Holy Viaticum, Extreme Unction. 3. When you are dying be sure to make an Act of Contrition: say, "O my God, I am very sorry that I have sinned against thee, because thou art so good, and I will not sin again." A good Act of Contrition will save your soul, if there is no priest to hear your confession when dying. 4. Be willing to die because it is God's will. Say, "O my God, thy will be done."

Live every day as if you were to die that day.

Apoc. ii. "Be thou faithful until death, and I will give thee the Crown of Life."

Then, my child, give your first years, your early years, to Almighty God. All first things, and early things, are beautiful before God and man. The first rays of the sun, when it rises over the mountain tops, the first white lily which is seen in the early spring, when the snows are melting away, the beautiful colors of the rose-bud when it first opens -- but above all, the early years of childhood -- please God. The infancy of Jesus is the glory and delight of the Christian Church. Mary, the mother of Jesus, consecrated her first years to God. Many hundreds and thousands of children there were who gave the years of their childhood to Almighty God. Many children there have been, who, pleasing God in their childhood, were taken away out of this world into Heaven, because God foresaw that if they had lived to be older, perhaps malice would creep into their hearts, and they would not love him any more. Then, my child, "remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth." Eccles. xii. Give the years of your childhood to God, who loves the years of childhood more than he loves any other years, and who gives joy to those who love him when they are little. Ps. xlii. 4. Be not wicked in your childhood; if you are wicked when you are young, you will be wicked when you grow old; for it is a proverb: "A young man according to his way, even when he is old, he will not depart from it." Prov. xxii.: and then "his bones will be filled with the vices of his youth, and they will sleep with him in the dust. Job xx. These years are passing away, hasten then, and offer them to God, say: "My God, I give you the years of my childhood. May they be as the childhood of Jesus!"

A bird is made to fly, a fish to swim. In Book III., the little child will find what it is made for.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 15, 2015, 12:19:27 PM
I think this is a great Rule of Life to print out and keep ahold of.  :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: whiterockdove on April 16, 2015, 11:09:32 PM
I have tried a few times to write a rule for myself, it always turns into something over ambitious and unworkable.
This one is very nice!
Thank you!   


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 17, 2015, 09:40:30 AM
I know what you mean!  :D

I think I will make this Rule into a pamphlet for folks to easily print out at some point.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 17, 2015, 09:43:13 AM
A WORD TO PARENTS.

1. Parents will remember that the prayers of their children are of immense importance. The Holy Scripture says that the prayers of little children are perfect before God. Ps. viii. A great authority says, that it is the prayers of little children which save the Church of God in the midst of persecutions. Therefore the prayers of children are most precious. Parents then should be most particular in making and seeing their children say their prayers on their knees and well, night and morning. Parents should send their children to Mass on Sundays, to pray for them. One child only in a family not saying its prayers well, may be to that family the occasion of the loss of many blessings from God.

2. There are innumerable examples of children converting others, even their own parents. We read in the life of St. Francis Xavier, "that by means of the children, a great change of morals was worked throughout the great city of Goa. The modesty and devotion of the children became a tacit censure to the dissoluteness of persons of more advanced age. The children admonished their parents with a liberty surpassing their age."

3. In the order of Providence, children are designed to be the models of virtue to the world. Matt. xviii. Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven.

4. Let parents remember, that, when after death they stand before the judgement-seat, the Great Question put to them will be -- Did you bring up your children in the fear and love of God?

Parents! Let your children say their prayers well, and keep out of bad company, during their earliest infancy, or it will be too late. Lock the stable-door before ­the horse is stolen.

THE END.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 17, 2015, 09:43:53 AM
And with this ends the book study of Fr. John Furniss' book 'God Loves Little Children'.  :D

I know I enjoyed it immensely. I hope folks did too.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 26, 2015, 08:00:20 PM
STUMBLING-BLOCKS;
OR,
THE OCCASIONS OF SIN.


I. THE CHILD THAT FELL DOWN.

A child walking along the road happened to stumble and fall down. Somebody afterwards said to the child, "What was the occasion of your falling down?" "I think," answered the child, "that a stone which tripped me up was the occasion of my falling." Therefore when we talk about the occasion of sin, we mean -- that which makes us fall into the sin, like the stone made the child fall down on the ground.

There is some bad book which makes you commit sin; that book is the occasion of sin to you. A man goes into a public-house or whiskey-shop, and gets drunk there: this public-house is the occasion of sin to that man. You go into a certain person's company, and on this account you fall into sin: then the company of that person is the occasion of sin to you. Do you know, my dear child, how dangerous it is to put yourself willingly into the occasion of sin, that is, to go near it?

II. Eve near the Tree.

God gave Adam and Eve leave to eat the fruit of all the trees in paradise, except the fruit of one tree. That tree was the Tree of Knowledge. He told them that they should die if they ate of it. Eve happened to be standing near that tree. She lifted up her eyes and looked at it, and then she put out her hand and took the fruit, and ate it, and disobeyed God. Very likely if Eve had not been near that tree and had not seen it, she would not have eaten it.

When the devil tempted Jesus Christ, he did not show him the kingdoms of the world in a picture or no a map, or read their names from a geography: he took Him to the top of a high mountain, and let Him see these kingdoms with his eyes. So when the devil tempts a little child to steal the sugar, he tries to bring the child in sight of the cupboard or press where the sugar is kept. When we are near what is bad, and in sight of it, we always feel more tempted than when we are away from it.

Remember, then, that if you willfully and without necessity go where there is great danger of your falling into mortal sin, then -- you are sure to fall into sin. God himself says so. Eccus. iii. "He that loveth the danger shall perish in it." St. Bernard says, "To expose yourself to the danger of sinning, and not to sin, is a greater miracle than raising the dead to life." Besides, the experience of every day shows that boys and girls who do go into the danger of sin -- do commit sin. Prov. vi. Therefore, go not in the way of ruin. -- Eccus. xxxii.

THE THREE EXCUSES OF THOSE WHO GO INTO THE OCCASION OF SIN.

III. The First Excuse.

A BOY or girl says, Oh, do not fear. If I go again into the company of the person who led me into sin before, I will not commit the sin again. He is not so bad now, he will not tempt me any more. The temptation is no more, it is dead. You say the temptation is dead! What sort of death did the temptation die? Let us see.

How the Bears Die.

It is said that in Africa the bears hunt the monkeys, and when they catch them they kill them and eat them. So when the monkey sees the bear coming he runs away from him. The monkey has more sense than many Christians, who, instead of running away from the danger of sin, run into it. Where then do you think the monkey runs to, because the bear can run as quick as he can? He runs to a tree, and climbs up to the top of it, because he knows the great bear cannot follow him up to the top of the tree. When the bear comes to the foot of the tree, he looks up, and sees the monkey is out of his reach? What then does he do? He lies down close to the tree and pretends to be dead. Then the monkey looks down from the tree and is glad to see his enemy the bear lying on the ground and looking quite dead. The monkey knows that a dead bear cannot bite, so he comes down from the tree. When he has come down from the tree, he goes up to the dead bear and he looks at him. At that moment up jumps the dead bear, quite alive, catches the monkey in his paws, and kills him. No doubt your temptation is as dead as the dead bear; that is, it is dead till you go back to it, till you come again into that bad company, and then be sure the temptation will jump up again as much alive as ever. Your eyes and your ears and senses will be so taken with the temptation, that your good resolutions will go away, and you will throw yourself blindly into sin.



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 26, 2015, 08:01:09 PM
Here begins the next volume of Fr. Furniss' works.  :D


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on May 09, 2015, 02:21:53 AM
IV. The Second Excuse.

You say that, although the temptation may be strong, you have force, you have strength against it; you are not weak as you were before; you are now good. You have been to Confession, you have received Holy Communion, you have made a firm resolution not to consent to the sin again. So now you can trust yourself with that person who made you commit sin before. No doubt you are leading a very holy life, but did you never hear about David? He also led a most holy life, but he was cast into mortal sin by one look of his eye. Perhaps you are not more holy than St. Jerome. Now, let us see what he did. St. Jerome was a most holy man, a Doctor of the Church. He left the world, and went into the deserts of Palestine, where there was no human creature living, but only the wild beasts. He spent his days in fasting, prayer, and penance. Vigilantius, his friend, wrote a letter to him, to ask why he had left the world, why he did not live in a town like other persons. St. Jerome answered this letter and said, "I will tell you the reason why I have left the world. I fear the dangerous occasions of sin; I fear the temptations; I dare not trust myself; I fear lest my eye should be caught by some evil look -- by the eye of a woman." Did you never hear of a certain holy man who had his tongue plucked out during the time of persecution? By a miracle God gave back to him his speech. But this man having incautiously admitted into his house a young person who sought his advice, fell into sin, and lost his speech again. Say not, then, that you have received the grace of the Sacraments, and that, therefore, you may now go into the occasion of sin without harm. Take notice, the grace of the Sacraments is given to keep you away from the occasions of sin, and not to save you, if you wilfully go into these occasions.

V. The Third Excuse.

You say that if you go into the dangerous occasions of sin, God will help you, and keep you from sin. God says just the contrary. He says, Eccus. ii. "He that loveth danger shall perish in it." Will God help you do what he does not want you to do?

St. Paul Shipwrecked.

St. PAUL was shipwrecked int he sea, but God saved him from being drowned. But how did God save him? Did he send him wings and make him fly out of the water? No. Why not? Because St. Paul did not need wings; he was able to walk out of the water on his feet: so God did not send wings to St. Paul to save him.

Now if you wilfully go into bad company, will God send you help to save you from sin? No. Why not? Because you are able to save yourself by keeping away from bad company. So if you wilfully go into bad company, you are sure to fall into sin; for God does not help those who wilfully go into bad company. God says, "He that loveth danger shall perish in it." -- Eccus. ii. Therfore it is nonsense to say -- "I will go into bad company, but I will not commit sin." Tell me, if you want a dog not to bite you, what do you do? Do you keep away from him, or do you go up to his mouth? Then -- keep away from temptation. It is bad to commit sin yourself, but it is worse to lead others into sin.

VI. Leading others into Sin.

IT may happen that these lines may meet the eye of some boy, some young man, who has ruined the soul of another. Young man, I speak to you only. How could you dare to ruin a soul for which Christ died? What is your name? -- Your name is Thief. You robber -- you thief. You robbed Jesus Christ of a soul which he had bought with his own precious blood. Go back, young man, in your thoughts to the days when Jesus Christ was alive on this earth. Look at Him walking along the roads of Palestine. He is covered with dust, as one who is making a long and wearisome journey. His face is pale and bathed with sweat. He is hungry and thirsty. Wither is he going? What is he seeking? He seeks a soul which he had created. He has found that soul, and made it his own child. He has watched over it day and night, as a mother watches over her baby in the cradle. But you, young man, you have robbed Christ of that soul, and ruined it. He hangs on the Cross of Calvary. Listen to his sorrowful sighs. The last drop of His blood has run down on the rocks; his last sigh in this world is breathed. Young man, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is dead on the Cross. He has died to save that soul which you have lived to ruin. Woe to you, young man. Look up at the cross -- look up at the face of Jesus. He sees you, and -- He is silent; He speaks not. But He will not be silent forever. There will come a day -- the day of your death; and on that day He will speak to you in His anger; He will let you know what sort of a thing it is to ruin a soul for which He died. Poor young man, who shall speak for you at the tribunal of Jesus Christ on the terrible day of your judgment. Shall it be the Angel Guardian of the soul which you have ruined? Shall it be the saints, whose companion you have given to the devil? Shall it be the blood of Jesus, which you have wronged and trampled upon? No, young man, in the hour of your judgement there will be no voice to cry out to Jesus to have mercy on your soul.

VII. A Ruined Soul before the Judgment Seat

YOUNG man, perhap that person whom you ruined is dead! -- dead in that sin which you brought into her soul. The moment after her death, her soul went up before Jesus Christ to receive the everlasting sentence. When Jesus Christ saw that soul came before His tribunal, dark, hideous, blackened with that sin which you had made it commit, He spoke thus -- "Depart from me," He said: "Go down, O soul in mortal sin, and burn for ever in the unquenchable flames of hell." Then that girl fell down on her knees, and spoke thus to Jesus -- "O Jesus, my Creator, what you say is very true and just. I know it; I deserve to go to hell; it was my own fault: I did it with my own free will. But, O Christ, before I go down into hell, let me speak one word. Hear me, O Christ. O Jesus, I was a poor innocent girl, and there came to me a wicked boy, and be deceived me. O Christ, look at my poor soul redeemed by your precious blood; look at my poor murdered soul, murdered by that wicked boy. O Jesus, by your holy death on the cross, avenge me; let the blood of my murdered soul be on the head of that wicked boy." Then the girl went down into hell. Her place is beside the door of hell. She never leaves it for a moment day or night. Her eyes are always fixed on that door, without ever leaving it for the twinkling of an eye. Each time that terrible door is opened, in order that more souls may come into the flames of hell, she watches them, she fixes her eyes sharply on the face of each as he passes. But what is she looking for? She is looking for the cruel murderer of her soul; she is looking for you, O wicked boy, and the very first moment you set your foot in hell, she will fly at you and tear you in pieces, and let you know what it is to have ruined her soul.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on May 11, 2015, 01:52:52 AM
VIII. The Cries of Ruined Souls.

GEN. iv. "Cain said to his brother Abel, let us go forth abroad. When they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him. Then God came to Cain and said to him, where is thy brother? And Cain answered, I know not, am I my brother's keeper? Then God said to Cain, what hast thou done? thy brother's blood crieth to me from the earth. Now, therefore, cursed shalt thou be on the earth." If such be the cry of a murdered body, what shall be the cry of a murderered soul?

Apoc. vi. "I saw under the altar the souls of them who had been slain for the word of God, and they cried with a loud voice, saying, how long, O Lord dost thou not revenge our blood?"

Oh, the cries of ruined souls that will be heard on the last day of this world, rising up before Jesus Christ. How many souls will cry on that day, Revenge me, O Lord! "Revenge me, O Lord," will cry a youth; I was innocent, and there came to me one, and he taught me evil that I knew not. Revenge me, will cry another; I had listened to the words of the priest, who told me to repent, because you were a good and merciful God. I was going to confess my sins, when there came to me a wicked companion, and he laughed at the words of the priest, and the confession I was going to make, and he led me back into the sin, and I never rose out of it again. Revenge me, will cry a poor hired servant, led into sin by a heartless master. I was helpless, I knew not whither to go. It was not my desire to break your commandments, but I was weak and without help, and he drew me into his snares. Revenge me, will cry that son, that daughter; revenge me on my father, my mother; it was from them I learnt those curses, those immodest words; it was from their example I learned to become a drunkard. Revenge me, O Christ, will cry another; I was a poor forsaken orphan girl, and there came to me one and he promised me bread, and he promised me clothes, and he promised that he would never forsake me; and at last, by his deceits, I fell into sin. Revenge me, O Christ, revenge me.

IX. The Death Bed.

BERENGARIUS says blessed Leonard, denied the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, and he brought many other persons into his error. When he was on his death-bed, he was seized with a great fear. The priest who assisted him in his last passage, tried to encourage him. What was his answer? I am about, he said, to go before the judgment-seat of Jesus Christ; I will tell you, that for my own sins I hope for pardon; but for the sins I have made others commit, I fear I shall not be pardoned. I fear I shall be damned, for I do not know how to repair the damage I have done.
Read these words.

MATT. xviii. "He that shall scandalise one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals."


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on May 11, 2015, 02:14:14 AM
II. THE HEAVY CHAIN;
OR,
THE HABIT OF SIN.

X. What is Meant by the Habit of Sin.

YOU say that a person has a habit of cursing; this means that he curses very often, that he curses for the least thing, that he curses almost without thinking of it. In like manner, people sometimes have a habit, or custom, or practice of drunkenness, of impurity, &c.

The Old Tree.

A HOLY monk in Egypt took his disciples into a garden and showed them a young plant, just springing up out of the ground; when they had looked at it, he said, "Pull it up." One of them took hold of it and easily drew it out of the ground. He then showed them a young tree which had been growing there for some time, and desired them to pull it up. One of them set to work at the tree, and pulled very hard, but he could not get it out of the ground. Then two or three of the others came and helped him. They pulled at it with all their force and at last they drew it out of the earth. The monk then showed them an old tree which had been growing there for many years, the roots of which had struck deep into the earth. Pull up the old tree he said to them. They took hold of the tree, and pulled, and pulled, with all their force, but they could not get it out of the ground -- it was impossible. It had been growing there so long, the roots were gone so deep, and were so firmly fixed in the earth, that they were obliged to leave it. So it is with sin. At first it is easy to take a sin out of the soul, as it was easy to pull up the young plant out of the earth. You have the misfortune to commit a sin once -- it is an easy thing to confess it, and commit it no more. But when you go on committing this sin again, and again, day after day, week after week, for months, perhaps for years, then the habit of this sin will stick in your soul, almost as firmly as the old tree stuck in the earth. Each time you commit the sin, the roots of it go deeper and deeper into your soul.

XI. THE HEAVY CHAIN.

There was a man who had a dog. He put a strong heavy chain of iron round the neck of the dog. The iron chain rubbed against the dog's neck and made the skin come off it, and the dog's neck was very sore. The dog never dared to run away, because if it tried to get away, the man pulled the chain that was round its neck, and the dog felt very great pain. So the dog was always obliged to follow the man wherever he went. When any one has done a great sin very often, he soon begins to find out that this sin is tied round him like the heavy iron chain was tied around the dog's neck! Ps. xxvii. -- "For my sins, as a heavy burden, are become heavy upon me." Often he wishes to get free; but the chain is so heavy and so strong, that he does not know how to get free. So it often happens, that if a person has some bad habit of sin when he is young, this bad habit keeps hold of him when he is grown old, and even when he is dying, till he breathes out his last breath. You will see examples of this a little later. Prov. xxii. "It is a proverb: A young man according to his way, even when he is old he will not depart from it."

XII. STEALING BREAD.

THERE were some holy men living in a monastery in the desert. They lived far away from the temptations of the world, that they might be able to serve God more fervently. One day a certain young man came to the monastery. What did he want? He asked if he might live with them and become a monk. They consented and he stayed there. Unfortunately, this young man, before he came to the monastery, had a very bad habit of stealing. However, he had mad a good resolution to steal no more. after he had been living there for some time, the temptation to steal came back to him. The young man gave way to the temptation, and went and stole some bread. After he had stolen he felt sorry, and told it to one of his companions. His companions asked him why he had stolen. He answered that it was because he was hungry, and did not get enough to eat. Then, said his companion, you had better go let the Superior know you have been stealing, because you did not get enough to eat. The young man said he would be ashamed to go himself. "If you wish it," said his companion, "I will go and tell the Superior about it." The young man answered, "I shall be very glad if you will do so, for I should not like to do it myself." Accordingly, his companion went to the superior and told  him how the young man had been stealing because he was hungry and did not get enough to eat. The Superior answered, "Let him have as much bread as he asks for, then there will be no occasion for him to steal." After this, the young man always received as much bread as he asked for. Sometime afterwards this young man came to his companion and told him that he had been stealing bread again. "But how is that?" said his companion: "why did you steal? did you not get as much bread as you asked for?" "Yes," said the young man, "but I was ashamed to ask for as much as I wanted, so I stole." After this they took care that the young man should have as much bread as he wanted, without even asking for it. Now see how difficult it is to break off a bad habit. After some time the young man came again to say that he had been stealing! "How can this be," said his companion to him, "that you stole? did they refuse to give you bread?" "No." "Did you get as much bread as you wanted?" "Yes." "Then why did you steal? What was the reason?" "I cannot tell you." answered the young man. "I only know one thing, and that is, that I steal -- I do not want what I take, yet I steal it. I am sorry after I have stolen -- yet I go on stealing. I often cry because I have stolen, and wish that I had not stolen, and yet I always steal. I have so long had the habit of stealing, and this habit is so strong, that it seems to me as if I could not help laying my hands on the things I see, and stealing them, even when I do not want them." "Then," said his companion, "did you want the things you stole?" "No," answered the young man, "they were of no use to me." "Then what did you do with the stolen things?" "I threw some of them to the beasts," he said; "others I hid under my bed." The people of the house went and made a search, and they found, as the young man had said, some of the stolen things were thrown away, others hidden under his bed. Mich. i. "The wound is desperate." Be wise then; break off the habit of stealing at the beginning. If you let the habit go on and on and become strong, perhaps you will never break it off.



Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on June 06, 2015, 04:01:04 AM
XIII. The Shop Girl.

A CERTAIN girl got employment in a shop. he had not been there long before she began to steal. At first she stole trifling things -- bits of thread and bits of cloth. However, she let this habit of stealing things go on, and after a while she began to steal things of greater value. At last, some persons standing in the shop saw her stealing something, and charged her with it. She blushed, told a lie, and excused herself saying, that she did not mean to keep the thing. On another occasion a bit of stolen lace was seen hanging out of her pocket, and again she excused herself. After this, she found that she was watched. Would you believe it? still she went on stealing. She was not in want, she had good wages. Many of the things she stole were of no use to her; she knew that if she was found out she would lose her place and her character, and be punished; yet she went on stealing. She made many a resolution to steal no more; still it was always the same, she was always stealing. Mich. i. -- "The wound is desperate." The habit of stealing was so strong, that she often stole without thinking what she was about. At last, the people of the shop, who had missed a great many things, began to suspect that she was the thief. They went ot a large box she had, opened it, and found it full of stolen things. The poor girl lost her situation and character, and was put into prison.

XIV. Bridget and the Silver Cream Jug.

THOSE who have a habit of stealing are sure to be found out in the end. A lady had two servants, Emma and Bridget. Emma was about twelve years of age and Bridget might be about fifty. One day the lady's silver cream-jug was stolen out of the pantry. There was room for suspecting that it had been stolen by one of these servants. The lady, therefore, called the two servants into a room. She first asked Bridget if she knew anything about the silver cream-jug. Bridget answered, that she knew no more about it than a child unborn; then she said, that she had seen Emma go into the pantry the night before the jug was missed. Emma blushed when she heard this; but she said positively she had not stolen it. Then said her mistress, what did you go into the pantry for? Emma blushed again, and could scarcely give an answer, for at the moment, she could not remember why she had been in the pantry. It looked as if Emma had been stealing, so her mistress gave her notice, that she must quit next morning. Emma left the room in tears, but in her heart she said, "My God, may your holy will be done;" for she was innocent. The next morning she had to make up her things in a bundle and left the house. She went home to the house of her father, who was a poor, laboring man; she told him what had happened, and gave her solemn word she had not stolen the cream-jug. Half a year had passed, and the cream-jug and Emma were almost forgotten. One day, the lady told Bridget to go over to the butcher's and get some mutton chops; on her return her mistress asked her how many mutton chops had she bought? "I have bought four," said Bridget. "Then," said the lady, "get them ready for dinner." After dinner the lady went out of the house, and happening to pass by the butcher's shop, she thought she might as well pay the bill for the mutton chops. She went to the shop, and said to the butcher: "I sent my servant girl here this morning for some mutton chops." "Yes," answered the butcher, "she took six chops." "Six did you say," said the lady. "Yes, ma'am, six." The lady paid for the six chops, and returned home. She met Bridget at the foot of the staircase and said to her, "How many mutton chops did you bring from the butcher's shop this morning?" "Four ma'am," answered Bridget. "Do you say four?" "Yes, ma'am, four." At that moment there was a noise on the staircase. The dog bounced out of Bridget's room with a mutton chop in his mouth. "Oh!" aid the lady, "where did the dog get this mutton chop?" She then went into Bridget's room, and the first thing she saw was a paper, half open, with another mutton chop peeping out of it. The dog had smelt the two mutton chops, and stole one of them out of the paper. The lady saw a large box belonging to Bridget; she opened it, and found nothing there but some old clothes. She was just going to shut it again, when she saw a bit of paper sticking up in one corner; finding there was something heavy in the paper she drew it from the midst of the clothes, and behold -- the stolen silver cream-jug fell out of the paper. Bridget did not remain many hours in the house; indeed she was so ashamed, that she was glad to get away. The lady went over to the house where Emma lived, and begged her a thousand pardons for having wrongly judged her. She took her back again into her house, and gave her double the wages she had before. So the thief was found out and punished, and the innocent rewarded.

Do not then, get into a habit of stealing; if you steal little things, perhaps you will afterwards steal great things. Many who have stolen pounds, began by stealing pennies. A bad habit is like a fire, -- the more you feed it the greater it becomes.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 18, 2016, 10:31:43 AM
XV. The Gambler

A CERTAIN man became a gambler and played for money. He went on playing till he lost all his money, and ruined himself and his family. Why do you think he gambled? was it to amuse himself? At first, while it was new, it was an amusement, but the amusement of it soon wore away. He did not then gamble for pleasure, for he was always in a fever of vexation, and miserable while he gambled. Did he do it for gain? No; he lost by it. Did he gamble because others asked him? No; for he asked others to gamble. Did he gamble because he wished to gamble? No; for he used to curse his bad habit, and a thousand times he made up his mind to gamble no more. Then why did he go on gambling in spite of himself; this bad habit held him fast, like a strong chain, and he never could get free from it till he lost all that he had, and was ruined, and could gamble no more.

Eccus. xxii. -- "Go not in the way of ruin." Children and young people are recommended not to gamble and not to play at pitch and toss for money, &c. especially on Sundays. 2. Because those who do so, often stay away from Mass on Sundays. 2. Because they are sure to get into idle and bad company. 3. Because they spend money in gambling that should be spent on their poor brothers and sisters. 4. Because they get into a bad habit. Those who play for half-pennies and pennies will, perhaps, afterwards play for large sums and ruin themselves.

XVI. The Death of the Swearer

James iii. -- "The tongue is an unquiet evil full of deadly poison." When a person has a habit of cursing, or of committing any other sin, he often commits it without thinking. There was a man who had a great habit of swearing. It happened that for some crime he had committed he was condemned in a court of justice to be hung. He was already on the scaffold, ready for the rope to be put round his neck. By some accident he was thrown off the scaffold and fell down. Now, see how strong his habit of swearing was; at the very moment when he began to fall, he shouted out and swore. The next moment he was on the ground, and his neck was broken, and he was dead! Those who have a habit of cursing and swearing are recommended to strike their breast, or asay the Hail Mary each time they curse, that they may be cured.

XVII. The Child and the Wolf

EPHES. iv. -- "Put away lying." A certain child used to amuse itself with telling lies and deceiving people. One day, this child screamed out, "A wolf, a wolf is coming!" At the cry of the child, all the neighbors came running out of their houses; they heard a wolf was coming, and perhaps it might kill the child. When the child saw they were deceived, it only laughed at them. This child did the same thing several times; the people seeing that the child only wanted to deceive them, came out no more. One day it happened that a wolf really came; the child shouted out as loud as it could, "a wolf, a wolf!" but it was of no use, the people thought the child only wanted to deceive them as it did before. So they did not come, and the poor child was eaten by the wolf. Thus you see that nobody believes those who have a habit of telling lies.

XVIII. The Hardened Drunkard

THERE was a sober steady man. He was a good workman. He took great care of his children. He sent them to school, to holy mass, and to catechism. But a great change was coming for him! One day he met with some bad company, who went often to the public house. He went with them once or twice; after some time he began to go to the public house every night and get drunk! After a while his master turned him off, and he lost his work on account of his drunkenness -- still he continued to get drunk. His house was empty, all the furniture of it was sold to buy drink -- still he got drunk. His children were crying for bread, his wife was broken-hearted --  still he got drunk. His health began to give way on account of his drunkenness -- still he got drunk. The doctor told him to give up the habit of drinking, or he would kill himself --  still he got drunk. The priest came to him and told him to give up drinking, or he would lose his soul. What answer did you think the drunkard made? Did he say, I will give up drinking? No. Then what did he say? Listen, you young people who get wages, and already have begun to go to the public house, listen to the drunkard's answer. This, then was his answer. He did not say, I will not give up drinking, but he said, I cannot give up drinking, I am not able, the habit is too strong; there was a time when I could have given up drinking, but it is now -- too late.

The best way for a drunkard is 1. Never to go into a public house or whiskey shop. 2. To abstain altogether from drinking intoxicating liquors; or, at least, to limit himself to a small fixed quantity. Eccus. xxxii. -- "Go not into the way of ruin."


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 22, 2016, 02:22:47 AM
XX. The Englishman, or a Fine Day

THERE was an English nobleman, who died a few years since.  He was a well known sinner.  He had spent his days in committing sins against the sixth commandment.  A sinner sometimes goes on for a long time in his sins, and seeing that God does not punish him,  he thinks that He has forgotten his sins. But God does not forget sins.  He is patient; He wishes that a sinner should be converted; remembering that the sinner is His own creature -- the work of His hands and redeemed by the blood of His Son Jesus. So in His mercy he sometimes gives the sinner length of days in this world, that he might be converted.  But if the sinner does not repent, God's day comes at last, and then, "He speaks to the sinner in his anger." -- Ps. ii. The time of that nobleman's death was near at hand; he was lying on his death-bed. He was rich and wealthy. He lay on a grand bed, in a magnificent room, filled with the most beautiful furniture. The hour was come when his soul was to go out of this world, and give an account of his crimes to the terrible God who taketh away the spirit of princes. The agony of death had come upon him, the last struggle twixt life and death. Still no thoughts of repentance came into the heart of the dying sinner. There was a low whispering of voices round the death-bed. Were they the voices of those who sought his conversion? No. They were shameless voices, which spoke words which should not be even named amongst Christians, and words of blasphemy and mockery. They were the voices of those who for years past, had been the evil companions of that nobleman in his wickedness. And now he had desired that those evil companions should come in and be round his death-bed, while his spirit was departing out of this world. Suddenly the dying man turned his head a little towards one of the windows -- a curtain had been drawn before the window. "Draw aside the curtain," he said. Somebody drew the curtain aside. It was a bright, beautiful day, the sunshine streamed through the window into the room. "What a fine day it is," he said -- "What a fine day to go to hell!" Having said this he turned round and died. Thus the ruling passion was strong in death. The passion of impurity ruled over that unfortunate man in the days of his life, so on the last day of his life he died, at his own desire, in the midst of those who had been his companions in this passion.

XXII. The Great Chain

THIS sin is the great chain with which the devil binds people and they find it harder to break the chain of this sin than of any other. This sin lives in the senses, and the bones and marrow of the body. It is often as difficult to take away this sin from a sinner as to take the skin from his body. If you threaten him that he will go to hell, he is not frightened. If you cry for him, he is not softened by your tears. If he is punished for it, he becomes more hardened in his  bad habit, like a lump of iron becomes harder under every stroke of the hammer. B. Leonard says, that "the habit of committing sins of impurity after some time becomes a sort of necessity, then it becomes a sort of impossibility to avoid it, then the sinner goes to despair, and from despair to hell." St. Bernard says, "At first a man commits this sin for the pleasure of it; -- after a time he finds no pleasure in it, still he goes on ; -- at length he gets disgusted with it, still he goes on, because he thinks it a habit which he cannot break off."  Mich. i. -- "The wound is desperate." Impurity is a sin, which people often will not quiet even when they are dying. The Scripture says, Prov. xxii. -- "A young man according to his way, even when he is old he will not depart from it."

Of the sin of impurity, above all others, it may be said, "Break off this sin in the beginning, for if you get into a habit of it, it may be too late to break it off." It may be that if you do not break it off, you may become like a certain youth. Being near death, the priest told him to break off his bad habit. The young man answered with a sigh -- "Alas, I cannot; I wish I could, but it is too late, the habit has become too strong!" So do not feed the fire by committing fresh sins.

XXIII. Feeding the Fire

One day a fire was burning in the fire-place. What do you think the people did to it? Every minute almost they were feeding the fire, putting fresh coals on it. So every minute the fire became hotter. At last the fire became such a great, hot, burning fire, that the people could not stay in the house any longer, and they were obliged to go out! Every time you commit the same sin again, you are feeding a bad habit.

XXIV. Can the Habit of Sin be Cured?   

CERTAINLY a habit of sin, however strong it may be, can be cured. Jesus Christ died for the habitual sinner, as well as for other sinners. St. Augustine was once a habitual sinner; for many years he was in the habit of committing sins of impurity, yet he was cured. St. Mary Magdalen was an habitual sinner, and she was cured. They broke off their bad habits. What they did you can do. Ps. xiv. "He looseth them that are fettered."

What must the Habitual Sinner do to be Cured?

A CERTAIN MAN, named Lazarus, died; he was buried and he had been in the grave four days. Then Jesus Christ came to the side of the grave, and cried out, "Lazarus, come forth." The voice of Jesus, which is living and effectual, went down into the grave, and sounded in the ears of that body, which was cold and stiff with death. Then the spirit of life came into him who was dead, and he stood on his feet alive, and came forth out of the grave. But his hands and feet were tied with winding-bands. Then Jesus Christ said to the Apostles, "Loose him and let him go." The habitual sinner is dead in sin; he wants to be raised to life, and be loosed from his bad habit of sin. Let us see what must be done.

I. How he comes to Life again.

THE habitual sinner is dead -- he must come to life again. He will come to life again, if he makes a good and sincere confession; then his sins will be forgiven by the priest, to whom Jesus Christ has said, John xx. -- "whose sin you shall forgive, they are forgiven."

II. How he becomes Strong.

AFTER the sinner has been raised to life, he must be set free from the weakness which comes from his bad habits -- he must be loosed from the winding bands. Jesus Christ has also given to his priests the power of loosing from the weakness of a bad habit. John xx. -- Whatsoever you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven." The priest will tell the habitual sinner what he must do, in order to have his weakness quite cured, and whatsoever the priest bids him to do, that he must do most carefully, or he will not be cured. Besides, he must go often to confession; every week or fortnight, or month as he can. He must also go to confession at any time when he feels very much tempted to go back to his forever bad habits. Especially if he ever has the misfortune to fall into the old sin again, he must go instantly to confession. The habitual sinner will never get cured, unless he goes very often to confession. A perfect cure of the soul may be long and tedious, and troublesome, like the perfect cure of a bodily disease; but it is better to have a little trouble in this world than to burn in the flames of hell in the next world.

XXV. How the Devil Cheats You

BEWARE of a bad habit. The would is not yet desperate. Your years are but few, the habit of sin is not yet rooted in you. Do not let it take root. Do not allow yourself to get into the habit -- the custom of committing any mortal sin. The devil will try to cheat you. He will say to you "commit this mortal sin once -- only once." If you commit it once, then he will say, "might you not as well commit it twice? the priest can forgive two sins as easily as one." If you commit it twice, he will say, "You might as well go on committing this sin till your next confession." THe time for your next confession is come, the devil will say, "Put off your confession for a while." In the meantime you have formed a bad habit. Remember, it is easy to keep your hand out of a lion's mouth, but if you put your hand between the lion's teeth, it is difficult to take it  back again. So it is easy to keep out of a bad habit; but most difficult to get free from it, when you are once in it.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 22, 2016, 02:24:20 AM
III. THE SLIPPERY WAY; OR, RELAPSE INTO SIN.

Ps. lxxvii. -- They turned back and tempted God.

XXVI. THE MAN WHO GOT THE FEVER AGAIN.

A MAN had a fever; the doctor came to see him, and gave him some medicine. The man was getting well, but the fever unfortunately came back. Again the doctor gave him medicine; again he was cured. Again the fever came back; then the doctor said, "This is a very bad case, I am afraid for this man; he is worse now than he was before; I think it is all over with him." This is called relapsing into the fever, that is, falling into it again. A sinner goes to confession, and his sin is pardoned. Soon after confession he falls easily into the same sin. What the doctor said to the man who fell back into the fever after he had been cured, may be said of the sinner who falls again into the same sin after confession. His case is a very bad one. Matt. xii. -- "The last state of the man is made worse than the first." There is reason to be afraid for him, lest he should go on committing the sin all his life, and at last die in it. Nobody has pity on a man who gets the fever back again, because he eats something which he knows is bad for him, or which the doctor particularly told him not to eat; it is his own fault. You would pity much more a man who got ill again, without any fault of his own. It is so with people who fall again into the same mortal sin after confession: some are much more to be blamed than others. It generally happens that people fall again into sin in one or the other of the three ways which are going to be mentioned.


Title: Re: Readings from Fr. John Furniss
Post by: Shin on April 23, 2016, 02:06:52 PM
XXVII. THREE WAYS OF FALLING AGAIN INTO SIN.

I. He went again into bad Company.

Gal. iv. -- "How turn you again?" A boy went to confession. He went away, and soon after he fell into the same sin again. Why did he fall? Tell me why did the sick man get the fever again? Because he ate something which he knew would bring the fever back. So this boy fell into sin again because he did something which would make him fall -- he went into bad company again.

2. He did not do what the Priest told him.

ANOTHER boy in like manner, after confession, fell again soon into the same sin which he had confessed. Why did this boy fall again? Was it because he went again into some bad company? No, for the sin which he committed was when he was alone by himself. Then why did he fall? Because he neglected to do what the priest, at confession bid him do -- to pray, &c. ; like the sick man who did not do as the doctor told him, and so fell sick again.

3. He was very weak.

ANOTHER person also fell back into the sin which he had confessed. Why did he fall? Was it because he went into bad company? No. Was it because he neglected to do what the priest bid him? No; he did all the priest bid him. Then, why did he fall? He fell through his own great weakness; he wished most sincerely not to commit the sin again. When the devil tempted him, he prayed and struggled against the temptation; but in a moment of weakness, almost without thinking, he fell again into the sin. But he repented directly, and went to confession as soon as he could. Now, what is to be said of this sinner? is his case a bad one? No. This person was not like the two others mentioned before. Let him always when tempted, pray and struggle against the temptation. If, through human weakness he falls, let him repent directly, and go to confession as soon as he can. Jesus Christ sees his weakness and pities him; for "the bruised reed he will not break, and the smoking flax he will not extinguish;" sooner or later Jesus Christ will make this poor sinner victorious over his own weakness.

XXVIII. The Gaoler and his Prisoner

Is. viii. -- "They shall be ensnared and taken." The devil is like the gaoler. A gaoler had a prisoner shut up in his prison; on the door were iron bars and bolts and locks. One day, the gaoler forgot to lock the prison door. The prisoner, finding the door unlocked, opened it, walked out, and ran away. When the gaoler found that his prisoner was gone away, he went after him. After hunting for a long time he found him again, and had him brought back to prison. After this the gaoler took care never to leave the prison door unlocked again. Relapsing sinner! you have made a good confession, and you have got out of the devil's prison. Mind you do not commit that sin, and get into the devil's hands again. If you let him get hold of you again, perhaps he will keep such fast a hold of you, that you will never escape from him anymore.