The CAPG's Blog
March 20: St. Cuthbert
So devout and zealous was he in his desire after heavenly things, that when saying Mass, he could never come to the conclusion thereof without a plentiful shedding of tears. When celebrating the mysteries of our Lord's Passion, he would, very appropriately, imitate the action that he was performing, ie. in contrition of heart he would sacrifice himself to the Lord; and he exhorted those present to "lift up their hears," and " to give thanks to the Lord," more by raising up his heart than his voice, and more by his groans then his singing.
A Prayer to Saint Cuthbert
Hail, father of thy country! hail, man of renown! hail, thou who often bestowest upon the miserable the comforts of health! hail, lovely glory! hail, great hope of thy servants! Farewell merit of our own! do thou act, thou man of piety! To thee be praise! to thee let worthy honour, to thee let thanks be given! who frequently bestowest blessings upon me, undeserving though I be. Thou art my mighty help; often hast thou been my glory. Always dost thou cherish me with thy sweetly-flowing love. Oh from how many evils, from what enemies and dangers, my father, hast thou rescued me, and still nourishest thou me in prosperity! What worthy return can I make to thee, my father? Oh thou pious Bishop! Oh father! Oh merciful Pastor! give me thy aid. As it pleases thee, O father, and as thou knowest my wants, give help to thy petitioner. I pray thee to remember me, thou sweet friend of God.
Blessed Catherine of Racconigi (The Catholic Church during epidemics)
When any public calamity befell the town, the faithful of all classes, even from distant districts, repaired in pilgrimage to this sanctified center of devotion in Racconigi, where they heard Mass, presented offerings, petitioned for favors or returned thanks for favors received through her intercession. IN 1835, when an epidemic of cholera brought death and desolation in its train, they carried her image in procession, promising to fast for twenty years on the eve of her feast and present a rich chalice of gold and silver, whereupon the epidemic ceased. In gratitude they erected a church, dedicated under her invocation, in the vicinity of her birth place.
Day 25 – March 20 - On Temptations
We are all inclined to sin, my children; we are idle, greedy, sensual, given to the pleasures of the flesh. We want to know everything, to learn everything, to see everything; we must watch over our mind, over our heart, and over our senses, for these are the gates by which the devil penetrates. See, he prowls round us incessantly; his only occupation in this world is to seek companions for himself. All our life he will lay snares for us, he will try to make us yield to temptations; we must, on our side, do all we can to defeat and resist him. We can do nothing by ourselves, my children; but we can do everything with the help of the good God; let us pray Him to deliver us from this enemy of our salvation, or to give strength to fight against him. With the Name of Jesus we shall overthrow the demons; we shall put them to flight. With this Name, if they sometimes dare to attack us, our battles will be victories, and our victories will be crowns for Heaven, all brilliant with precious stones.
See, my children, the good God refuses nothing to those who pray to Him from the bottom of their heart. St. Teresa, being one day in prayer, and desiring to see the good God, Jesus Christ showed to the eyes of her soul His Divine hands; then, another day, when she was again in prayer, He showed her His face. Lastly, some days after, He showed her the whole of His Sacred Humanity. The good God who granted the desire of St. Teresa will also grant our prayers. If we ask of Him the grace to resist temptations, He will grant it to us; for He wishes to save us all, He shed His Blood for us all, He died for us all, He is waiting for us all in Heaven. We are two or three hundred here: shall we all be saved, shall we all go to Heaven? Alas! my children, we know nothing about it; but I tremble when I see so many souls lost in these days.
See, they fall into Hell as the leaves fall from the trees at the approach of winter. We shall fall like the rest, my children, if we do not avoid temptations, if, when we cannot avoid them, we do not fight generously, with the help of the good God – if we do not invoke His Name during the strife, like St. Antony in the desert.
This saint having retired into an old sepulcher, the devil came to attack him; he tried at first to terrify him with a horrible noise; he even beat him so cruelly that he left him half dead and covered with wounds. "Well," said St. Antony, "here I am, ready to fight again; no, you shall not be able to separate me from Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God." The spirits of darkness redoubled their efforts, and uttered frightful cries. St. Antony remained unmoved, because he put all his confidence in God. After the example of this saint, my children, let us be always ready for the combat; let us put our confidence in God; let us fast and pray; and the devil will not be able to separate us from Jesus Christ, either in this world or the next.
Source: Lenten Reading plan: Daily readings from St. John Vianney, Patron of Parish Priests, by Fr. Bryan W. Jerabek