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Author Topic: Readings from Fr. John Furniss  (Read 95028 times)
Shin
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« on: January 24, 2011, 09:02:08 PM »

GOD AND HIS PERFECTIONS

---

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.
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« Reply #1 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?
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« Reply #2 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.
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« Reply #3 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.
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« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2011, 08:23:03 AM »

This makes excellent reading, Shin. Thanks. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2011, 08:27:03 AM »

This makes excellent reading, Shin. Thanks. Smiley

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

Good morning!  flower
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2011, 08:31:59 AM »

Good morning!  littlewings
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« Reply #7 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.  cross prayer
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« Reply #8 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"

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« Reply #9 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.
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« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2011, 10:44:42 AM »

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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 !
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« Reply #11 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!
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« Reply #12 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.
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« Reply #13 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.
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« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2011, 02:02:28 PM »

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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"
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2011, 02:07:46 PM »

 cross prayer 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.
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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2011, 02:16:36 PM »

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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 .
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