Volume 11 No. 4 OF THE CHURCH OF MAN WITH GOD May 1 , 2000 A.D.
Letters - none
The History Of Joseph The Carpenter 1b
Humor - Automobiles 20
Bible History 10a
The Division Of The One Holy Catholic And Apostolic Church Must End; The Church Must Be Reunited (Abp. Paul) 1a
Exorcisms Teach Us To Receive Sacramental Absolution 1c
A good summary of the Schism of 1054 A.D. is at
Imitation Of Christ 12
The Confessions Of Saint Augustine 14
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~ THE DIVISION OF THE ONE HOLY CATHOLIC AND APOSTOLIC CHURCH MUST END; THE CHURCH MUST BE REUNITED ~
From + Paul, S.S.B.
To the flock entrusted into my care:
What are the effects of the divisions within the True Church? Take a good spiritual look around
you and many of the effects will be evident.
Organizations which claim to proclaim the Word of God are too numerous to catalog without
computer assistance. Most of these are false Christian religions which attack the True Church,
by leading masses to believe the True Church is an abomination. Most of these false religions
teach dogma of convenience, dogma with a kernel of truth on a cob of error wrapped in leaves of
permissiveness. Their dogma changes to meet the desires of those whom they wish to gain as
adherents. Their number is so legion that the factionated Church is ineffective in countering the
attacks of the false religions, and ineffective in waging spiritual warfare for the souls of those
whom these religions corrupt.
It is only with a unified effort, a common front which can wheel to meet the flanking attacks of
the false Christians, that the True Church can adequately defend itself against these religions. It
is only with common trust in and amongst the human administrators of the True Church, that
spiritual warfare can be successfully waged. If Ukrane is concerned about Russia, how can
Ukrane counter Protestants? If Russia is worried about Rome, how can Russia counter
Protestants? If Greece has to intervene to correct Russia, how can there exist the continuity and
mutual trust and respect required for a common effort
If Rome does not teach the part of the flock under its care about the Orthodox, how can there be a
union of effort and mutual respect within the entire flock?
If Orthodox reject certain matters as dogma simply because Rome declared them to be dogma
(and note, the filioque clause was, to the best of our knowledge, never declared dogma), even
though before Rome made the declaration the matters were considered to be dogma, then, by
definition, Orthodox no longer is Orthodox.
Love, Charity, the substance of the foundation of God's relationship with His creatures,
especially the Angels and Man, is being ignored not by the Patriarchs and Popes, but by the
Bishops and their Clergy who are teaching the Laity to ignore this foundation. How? Examples
Numerous Orthodox Priests and Bishops have publicly stated their belief that Rome has no
validity and that therefore their Sacraments are not valid. They have then said and written that
were a Roman Priest who was making a sick call, accidentally drop "one of his poker chips on
the sidewalk, I would stomp on it until it was ground into nothingness, just to prove it is not the
Body of Christ." Obviously, "poker chips" refers to the Host. These clergy ignore the findings of
the Russian Synod, that Rome is valid. They ignore the declarations of the Patriarchs of
Constantinople, that Rome is valid. And, even if Rome had not been examined and declared to
be valid, even if it had, instead, been proven that Rome was not valid, where is the simple respect
due each man for each other man? where is the Christian Love in "stomping those poker chips
into the ground" ? Those same clerics who demean Rome would never even fleetingly think of
ridiculing a Hindu or a Buddhist. Where is Christ in their lives?
When the Uniates fled the Communist, the Roman Bishops in America refused to allow those
Priests to function as Priests unless the Priests quit their marriages, abandoned their families, and
became celibates. The Bishops imposed this requirement because they feared their own Western
Rite Priests would become dissatisfied with their imposed celibacy. What kind of Christian tells
a Priest of his own Communion that he has to abandon his wife and children if he wishes to
continue to function as a Priest? The Roman bishops did not make that requirement of
Methodist, Anglicans, Lutherans, or ministers of any other Protestant religion, who wished to
convert to Roman Catholicism and become a Priest. They only made that horrible requirement of
Would these things and the numerous other horrible actions ever taken place, or continue to take
place, if the Church were not in Schism with itself? No!
But instead of fighting the Good fight to save souls and bring all mankind into the True Church,
Roman Bishops in Central America attack the validity of Orthodox Bishops and Priests in letters
read before their congregations, and in newspaper and television advertisements and reports. At
the same time as they attack Orthodoxy, these Roman Bishops are losing their flocks to the fake
miracle worker, superstition promoting, simony "evangelists" from the USA who are flooding the
architecturally oriented areas of the globe.
Rome is legalistic in its approach to the Sacraments. Orthodoxy is philosophical in its approach.
The differences in approach have lead to Rome being impressed by miracles, by the Spiritual,
and Orthodoxy accepting miracles as that which normally happens when God is "operating", in
an acceptance of the operations and manifestations of the Holy Spirit as being a normal part of
Christian life. The differences in approach have lead to a tension which once was a healthy
tension, each "side" tugging on the other making both sides strong in the Faith in an acceptance
of the other's strength and learning and benefiting from the other's strength. But that tension no
longer exists. Since the Schism of 1054 A.D., the tension has turned into opposition.
The Church needs that tension, that healthy tugging which seeks not to unseat but rather seeks to
strengthen each side.
So, will the ones who can reunite The Church do it, and do it NOW, or will they continue to allow the fake dogma religions to flourish?
+ Paul, S.S.B.
A good summary of the Schism of 1054 A.D. is at
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THE HISTORY OF JOSEPH THE CARPENTER
(The following is taken from those documents generally called Patrology, from writings attributed to various of the early Fathers of the Church. While this is not part of Sacred Scripture, is not dogmatic, and it is not necessary one believe what is written herein actually transpired as written, this writing does contain many traditions which are generally held as true. We present it not as containing matters in which belief is necessary for salvation; rather, we present it as a means of "filling in the gaps" to answers of some questions for which members of The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, true Christians, seek answers. It's primary benefit to us today is its pesentation of concepts common in the early days of the Church.)
IN the name of God, of one essence and three persons. The History of the death of our father, the
holy old man, Joseph the carpenter. May his blessings and prayers preserve us all, O brethren!
Amen. His whole life was one hundred and eleven years, and his departure from this world
happened on the twenty-sixth of the month Abib, which answers to the month Ab. May his
prayer preserve us! Amen. And, indeed, it was our Lord Jesus Christ Himself who related this
history to His holy disciples on the Mount of Olives, and all Joseph's labour, and the end of his
days. And the holy apostles have preserved this conversation, and have left it written down in the
library at Jerusalem. May their prayers preserve us! Amen.
It happened one day, when the Saviour, our Master, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ, was sitting
along with His disciples, and they were all assembled on the Mount of Olives, that He said to
them: O my brethren and friends, sons of the Father who has chosen you from all men, you know
that I have often told you that I must be crucified, and must die for the salvation of Adam and his
posterity, and that I shall rise from the dead. Now I shall commit to you the doctrine of the holy
gospel formerly announced to you, that you may declare it throughout the whole world. And I
shall endow you with power from on high, and fill you with the Holy Spirit. And you shall
declare to all nations repentance and remission of sins. For a single cup of water, if a man shall
find it in the world to come, is greater and better than all the wealth of this whole world. And as
much ground as one foot can occupy in the house of my Father, is greater and more excellent
than all the riches of the earth. Yea, a single hour in the joyful dwelling of the pious is more
blessed and more precious than a thousand years among sinners: inasmuch as their weeping and
lamentation shall not come to an end, and their tears shall not cease, nor shall they find for
themselves consolation and repose at any time for ever. And now, O my honoured members, go
declare to all nations, tell them, and say to them: Verily the Saviour diligently inquires into the
inheritance which is due, and is the administrator of justice. And the angels will cast down their
enemies, and will fight for them in the day of conflict. And He will examine every single foolish
and idle word which men speak, and they shall give an account of it. For as no one shall escape
death, so also the works of every man shall be laid open on the day of judgment, whether they
have been good or evil. Tell them also this word which I have said to you to-day: Let not the
strong man glory in his strength, nor the rich man in his riches; but let him who wishes to glory,
glory in the Lord.
There was a man whose name was Joseph, sprung from a family of Bethlehem, a town of Judah,
and the city of King David. This same man, being well furnished with wisdom and learning, was
made a priest in the temple of the Lord. He was, besides. skilful in his trade, which was that of a
carpenter; and after the manner of all men, he married a wife. Moreover, he begot for himself
sons and daughters, four sons, namely, and two daughters. Now these are their names--Judas,
Justus, James, and Simon. The names of the two daughters were Assia and Lydia. At length the
wife of righteous Joseph, a woman intent on the divine glory in all her works, departed this life.
But Joseph, that righteous man, my father after the flesh, and the spouse of my mother Mary,
went away with his sons to his trade, practising the art of a carpenter.
Now when righteous Joseph became a widower, my mother Mary, blessed, holy, and pure, was
already twelve years old. For her parents offered her in the temple when she was three years of
age, and she remained in the temple of the Lord nine years. Then when the priests saw that the
virgin, holy and God-fearing, was growing up, they spoke to each other, saying: Let us search out
a man, righteous and pious, to whom Mary may be entrusted until the time of her marriage; lest,
if she remain in the temple, it happen to her as is wont to happen to women, and lest on that
account we sin, and God be angry with us.
Therefore they immediately sent out, and assembled twelve old men of the tribe of Judah. And
they wrote down the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. And the lot fell upon the pious old man,
righteous Joseph. Then the priests answered, and said to my blessed mother: Go with Joseph, and
be with him till the time of your marriage. Righteous Joseph therefore received my mother, and
led her away to his own house. And Mary found James the Less in his father's house,
broken-hearted and sad on account of the loss of his mother, and she brought him up. Hence
Mary was called the mother of James. Thereafter Joseph left her at home, and went away to the
shop where he wrought at his trade of a carpenter. And after the holy virgin had spent two years
in his house her age was exactly fourteen years, including the time at which he received her.
And I chose her of my own will, with the concurrence of my Father, and the counsel of the Holy
Spirit. And I was made flesh of her, by a mystery which transcends the grasp of created reason.
And three months after her conception the righteous man Joseph returned from the place where
he worked at his trade; and when he found my virgin mother pregnant, he was greatly perplexed,
and thought of sending her away secretly. But from fear, and sorrow, and the anguish of his heart,
he could endure neither to eat nor drink that day.
But at mid-day there appeared to him in a dream the prince of the angels, the holy Gabriel,
furnished with a command from my Father; and he said to him: Joseph, son of David, fear not to
take Mary as thy wife: for she has conceived of the Holy Spirit; and she will bring forth a son,
whose name shall be called Jesus. He it is who shall rule all nations with a rod of iron. Having
thus spoken, the angel departed from him. And Joseph rose from his sleep, and did as the angel
of the Lord had said to him; and Mary abode with him.
Some time after that, there came forth an order from Augustus Caesar the king, that all the
habitable world should be enrolled, each man in his own city. The old man therefore, righteous
Joseph, rose up and took the virgin Mary and came to Bethlehem, because the time of her
bringing forth was at hand. Joseph then inscribed his name in the list; for Joseph the son of
David, whose spouse Mary was, was of the tribe of Judah. And indeed Mary, my mother, brought
me forth in Bethlehem, in a cave near the tomb of Rachel the wife of the patriarch Jacob, the
mother of Joseph and Benjamin.
But Satan went and told this to Herod the Great, the father of Archelaus. And it was this same
Herod who ordered my friend and relative John to be beheaded. Accordingly he searched for me
diligently, thinking that my kingdom was to be of this world. But Joseph, that pious old man, was
warned of this by a dream. Therefore he rose and took Mary my mother, and I lay in her bosom.
Salome also was their fellow-traveller. Having therefore set out from home, he retired into Egypt,
and remained there the space of one whole year, until the hatred of Herod passed away.
Now Herod died by the worst form of death, atoning for the shedding of the blood of the children
whom he wickedly cut off, though there was no sin in them. And that impious tyrant Herod being
dead, they returned into the land of Israel, and lived in a city of Galilee which is called Nazareth.
And Joseph, going back to his trade of a carpenter, earned his living by the work of his hands;
for, as the law of Moses had commanded, he never sought to live for nothing by another's labour.
At length, by increasing years, the old man arrived at a very advanced age. He did not, however,
labour under any bodily weakness, nor had his sight failed, nor had any tooth perished from his
mouth. In mind also, for the whole time of his life, he never wandered; but like a boy he always
in his business displayed youthful vigour, and his limbs remained unimpaired, and free from all
pain. His life, then, in all, amounted to one hundred and eleven years, his old age being
prolonged to the utmost limit.
Now Justus and Simeon, the eider sons of Joseph, were married, and had families of their own.
Both the daughters were likewise married, and lived in their own houses. So there remained in
Joseph's house, Judas and James the Less, and my virgin mother. I moreover dwelt along with
them, not otherwise than if I had been one of his sons. But I passed all my life without fault.
Mary I called my mother, and Joseph father, and I obeyed them in all that they said; nor did I ever
contend against them, but complied with their commands, as other men whom earth produces are
wont to do; nor did I at any time arouse their anger, or give any word or answer in opposition to
them. On the contrary, I cherished them with great love, like the pupil of my eye.
It came to pass, after these things, that the death of that old man, the pious Joseph, and his
departure from this world, were approaching, as happens to other men who owe their origin to
this earth. And as his body was verging on dissolution, an angel of the Lord informed him that
his death was now close at hand. Therefore fear and great perplexity came upon him. So he rose
up and went to Jerusalem; and going into the temple of the Lord, he poured out his prayers there
before the sanctuary, and said:
O God! author of all consolation, God of all compassion, and Lord of the whole human race; God
of my soul, body, and spirit; with supplications I reverence thee, O Lord and my God. If now my
days are ended, and the time draws near when I must leave this world, send me, I beseech Thee,
the great Michael, the prince of Thy holy angels: let him remain with me, that my wretched soul
may depart from this afflicted body without trouble, without terror and impatience. For great fear
and intense sadness take hold of all bodies on the day of their death, whether it be man or
woman, beast wild or tame, or whatever creeps on the ground or flies in the air. At the last all
creatures under heaven in whom is the breath of life are struck with horror, and their souls depart
from their bodies with strong fear and great depression. Now therefore, O Lord and my God, let
Thy holy angel be present with his help to my soul and body, until they shall be dissevered from
each other. And let not the face of the angel, appointed my guardian from the day of my birth, be
turned away from me; but may he be the companion of my journey even until he bring me to
Thee: let his countenance be pleasant and gladsome to me, and let him accompany me in peace.
And let not demons of frightful aspect come near me in the way in which I am to go, until I come
to Thee in bliss. And let not the doorkeepers hinder my soul from entering paradise. And do not
uncover my sins, and expose me to condemnation before Thy terrible tribunal. Let not the lions
rush in upon me; nor let the waves of the sea of fire overwhelm my soul--for this must every soul
pass through--before I have seen the glory of Thy Godhead. O God, most righteous Judge, who in
justice and equity wilt judge mankind, and wilt render unto each one according to his works, O
Lord and my God, I beseech Thee, be present to me in Thy compassion, and enlighten my path
that I may come to Thee; for Thou art a fountain overflowing with all good things, and with glory
for evermore. Amen.
It came to pass thereafter, when he returned to his own house in the city of Nazareth, that he was
seized by disease, and had to keep his bed. And it was at this time that he died, according to the
destiny of all mankind. For this disease was very heavy upon him, and he had never been ill, as
he now was, from the day of his birth. And thus assuredly it pleased Christ to order the destiny
of righteous Joseph. He lived forty years unmarried; thereafter his wife remained under his care
forty-nine years, and then died. And a year after her death, my mother, the blessed Mary, was
entrusted to him by the priests, that he should keep her until the time of her marriage. She spent
two years in his house; and in the third year of her stay with Joseph, in the fifteenth year of her
age, she brought me forth on earth by a mystery which no creature can penetrate or understand,
except myself, and my Father and the Holy Spirit, constituting one essence with myself.
The whole age of my father, therefore, that righteous old man, was one hundred and eleven years, my Father in heaven having so decreed. And the day on which his soul left his body was the twenty-sixth of the month Abib. For now the fine gold began to lose its splendour, and the silver to be worn down by use--I mean his understanding and his wisdom. He also loathed food and drink, and lost all his skill in his trade of carpentry, nor
did he any more pay attention to it. It came to pass, then, in the early dawn of the twenty-sixth day of Abib, that Joseph, that righteous old man, lying in his bed, was giving up his unquiet soul. Wherefore he opened his mouth with many sighs, and struck his hands one against the other, and with a loud voice cried out, and spoke after the
Woe to the day on which I was born into the world! Woe to the womb which bare me! Woe to
the bowels which admitted me! Woe to the breasts which suckled me! Woe to the feet upon
which I sat and rested! Woe to the hands which carried me and reared me until I grew up! For I
was conceived in iniquity, and in sins did my mother desire me. Woe to my tongue and my lips,
which have brought forth and spoken vanity, detraction, falsehood, ignorance, derision, idle tales,
craft, and hypocrisy! Woe to mine eyes, which have looked upon scandalous things! Woe to mine
ears, which have delighted in the words of slanderers! Woe to my hands, which have seized what
did not of right belong to them! Woe to my belly and my bowels, which have lusted after food
unlawful to be eaten! Woe to my throat, which like a fire has consumed all that it found! Woe to
my feet, which have too often walked in ways displeasing to God! Woe to my body; and woe to
my miserable soul, which has already turned aside from God its Maker! What shall I do when I
arrive at that place where I must stand before the most righteous Judge, and when He shall call
me to account for the works which I have heaped up in my youth? Woe to every man dying in his
sins! Assuredly that same dreadful hour, which came upon my father Jacob, when his soul was
flying forth from his body, is now, behold, near at hand for me. Oh! how wretched I am this day,
and worthy of lamentation! But God alone is the disposer of my soul and body; He also will deal
with them after His own good pleasure.
These are the words spoken by Joseph, that righteous old man. And I, going in beside him, found
his soul exceedingly troubled, for he was placed in great perplexity. And I said to him: Hail! my
father Joseph, thou righteous man; how is it with thee? And he answered me: All hail! my
well-beloved son. Indeed, the agony and fear of death have already environed me; but as soon as
I heard Thy voice, my soul was at rest. O Jesus of Nazareth! Jesus, my Saviour! Jesus, the
deliverer of my soul! Jesus, my protector! Jesus! O sweetest name in my mouth, and in the mouth
of all those that love it! O eye which seest, and ear which hearest, hear me! I am Thy servant; this
day I most humbly reverence Thee, and before Thy face I pour out my tears. Thou art altogether
my God; Thou art my Lord, as the angel has told me times without number, and especially on
that day when my soul was driven about with perverse thoughts about the pure and blessed Mary,
who was carrying Thee in her womb, and whom I was thinking of secretly sending away. And
while I was thus meditating, behold, there appeared to me in my rest angels of the Lord, saying to
me in a wonderful mystery: O Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take Mary as thy wife; and
do not grieve thy soul, nor speak unbecoming words of her conception, because she is with child
of the Holy Spirit, and shall bring forth a son, whose name shall be called Jesus, for He shall save
His people from their sins. Do not for this cause wish me evil, O Lord! for I was ignorant of the
mystery of Thy birth. I call to mind also, my Lord, that day when the boy died of the bite of the
serpent. And his relations wished to deliver Thee to Herod, saying that Thou hadst killed him;
but Thou didst raise him from the dead, and restore him to them. Then I went up to Thee, and
took hold of Thy hand, saying: My son, take care of thyself. But Thou didst say to me in reply:
Art thou not my father after the flesh? I shall teach thee who I am. Now therefore, O Lord and my
God, do not be angry with me, or condemn me on account of that hour. I am Thy servant, and the
son of Thine handmaiden; but Thou art my Lord, my God and Saviour, most surely the Son of
When my father Joseph had thus spoken, he was unable to weep more. And I saw that death now
had dominion over him. And my mother, virgin undefiled, rose and came to me, saying: O my
beloved son, this pious old man Joseph is now dying. And I answered: Oh my dearest mother,
assuredly upon all creatures produced in this world the same necessity of death lies; for death
holds sway over the whole human race. Even thou, O my virgin mother, must look for the same
end of life as other mortals. And yet thy death, as also the death of this pious man, is not death,
but life enduring to eternity. Nay more, even I must die, as concerns the body which I have
received from thee. But rise, O my venerable mother, and go in to Joseph, that blessed old man,
in order that thou mayst see what will happen as his soul ascends from his body.
My undefiled mother Mary, therefore, went and entered the place where Joseph was. And I was
sitting at his feet looking at him, for the signs of death already appeared in his countenance. And
that blessed old man raised his head, and kept his eyes fixed on my face; but he had no power of
speaking to me, on account of the agonies of death, which held him in their grasp. But he kept
fetching many sighs. And I held his hands for a whole hour; and he turned his face to me, and
made signs for me not to leave him. Thereafter I put my hand upon his breast, and perceived his
soul now near his throat, preparing to depart from its receptacle.
And when my virgin mother saw me touching his body, she also touched his feet. And finding
them already dead and destitute of heat, she said to me: O my beloved son, assuredly his feet are
already beginning to stiffen, and they are as cold as snow. Accordingly she summoned his sons
and daughters, and said to them: Come, as many as there are of you, and go to your father; for
assuredly he is now at the very point of death. And Assia, his daughter, answered and said: Woe's
me, O my brothers, this is certainly the same disease that my beloved mother died of. And she
lamented and shed tears; and all Joseph's other children mourned along with her. I also, and my
mother Mary, wept along with them.
And turning my eyes towards the region of the south, I saw Death already approaching, and all
Gehenna with him, closely attended by his army and his satellites; and their clothes, their faces,
and their mouths poured forth flames. And when my father Joseph saw them coming straight to
him, his eyes dissolved in tears, and at the same time he groaned after a strange manner.
Accordingly, when I saw the vehemence of his sighs, I drove back Death and all the host of
servants which accompanied him. And I called upon my good Father, saying:--
O Father of all mercy, eye which seest, and ear which hearest, hearken to my prayers and
supplications in behalf of the old man Joseph; and send Michael, the prince of Thine angels, and
Gabriel, the herald of light, and all the light of Thine angels, and let their whole array walk with
the soul of my father Joseph, until they shall have conducted it to Thee. This is the hour in which
my father has need of compassion. And I say unto you, that all the saints, yea, as many men as
are born in the world, whether they be just or whether they be perverse, must of necessity taste of
Therefore Michael and Gabriel came to the soul of my father Joseph, and took it, and wrapped it
in a shining wrapper. Thus he committed his spirit into the hands of my good Father, and He
bestowed upon him peace. But as yet none of his children knew that he had fallen asleep. And the
angels preserved his soul from the demons of darkness which were in the way, and praised God
even until they conducted it into the dwelling-place of the pious.
Now his body was lying prostrate and bloodless; wherefore I reached forth my hand, and put
right his eyes and shut his mouth, and said to the virgin Mary: O my mother, where is the skill
which he showed in all the time that he lived in this world? Lo! it has perished, as if it had never
existed. And when his children heard me speaking with my mother, the pure virgin, they knew
that he had already breathed his last, and they shed tears, and lamented. But I said to them:
Assuredly the death of your father is not death, but life everlasting: for he has been freed from the
troubles of this life, and has passed to perpetual and everlasting rest. When they heard these
words, they rent their clothes, and wept.
And, indeed, the inhabitants of Nazareth and of Galilee, having heard of their lamentation,
flocked to them, and wept from the third hour even to the ninth. And at the ninth hour they all
went together to Joseph's bed. And they lifted his body, after they had anointed it with costly
unguents. But I entreated my Father in the prayer of the celestials--that same prayer which with
any own hand I made before I was carried in the womb of the virgin Mary, my mother. And as
soon as I had finished it, and pronounced the amen, a great multitude of angels came up; and I
ordered two of them to stretch out their shining garments, and to wrap in them the body of
Joseph, the blessed old man.
And I spoke to Joseph, and said: The smell or corruption of death shall not have dominion over
thee, nor shall a worm ever come forth from thy body. Not a single limb of it shall be broken, nor
shall any hair on thy head be changed. Nothing of thy body shall perish, O my father Joseph, but
it will remain entire and uncorrupted even until the banquet of the thousand years. And
whosoever shall make an offering on the day of thy remembrance, him will I bless and
recompense in the congregation of the virgins; and whosoever shall give food to the wretched,
the poor, the widows, and orphans from the work of his hands, on the day on which thy memory
shall be celebrated, and in thy name, shall not be in want of good things all the days of his life.
And whosoever shall have given a cup of water, or of wine, to drink to the widow or orphan in
thy name, I will give him to thee, that thou mayst go in with him to the banquet of the thousand
years. And every man who shall present an offering on the day of thy commemoration will I bless
and recompense in the church of the virgins: for one I will render unto him thirty, sixty, and a
hundred. And whosover shall write the history of thy life, of thy labour, and thy departure from
this world, and this narrative that has issued from my mouth, him shall I commit to thy keeping
as long as he shall have to do with this life. And when his soul departs from the body, and when
he must leave this world, I will bum the book of his sins, nor will I torment him with any
punishment in the day of judgment; but he shall cross the sea of flames, and shall go through it
without trouble or pain. And upon every poor man who can give none of those things which I
have mentioned this is incumbent: viz., if a son is born to him, he shall call his name Joseph. So
there shall not take place in that house either poverty or any sudden death for ever.
Thereafter the chief men of the city came together to the place where the body of the blessed old man Joseph had been laid, bringing with them burial-clothes; and they wished to wrap it up in them after the manner in which the Jews are wont to arrange their dead bodies. And they perceived that he kept his shroud fast; for it adhered to the body in such a way, that when they wished to take it off, it was found to be like iron--impossible
to be moved or loosened. Nor could they find any ends in that piece of linen, which struck them
with the greatest astonishment. At length they carried him out to a place where there was a cave,
and opened the gate, that they might bury his body beside the bodies of his fathers. Then there
came into my mind the day on which he walked with me into Egypt, and that extreme trouble
which he endured on my account. Accordingly, I bewailed his death for a long time; and lying
upon his body, I said:--
O Death! who makest all knowledge to vanish away, and raisest so many tears and lamentations,
surely it is God my Father Himself who hath granted thee this power. For men die for the
transgression of Adam and his wife Eve, and Death spares not so much as one. Nevertheless,
nothing happens to any one, or is brought upon him, without the command of my Father. There
have certainly been men who have prolonged their life even to nine hundred years; but they died.
Yea, though some of them have lived longer, they have, notwithstanding, succumbed to the same
fate; nor has any one of them ever said: I have not tasted death. For the Lord never sends the
same punishment more than once, since it hath pleased my Father to bring it upon men. And at
the very moment when it, going forth, beholds the command descending to it from heaven, it
says: I will go forth against that man, and will greatly move him. Then, without delay, it makes
an onset on the soul, and obtains the mastery of it, doing with it whatever it will. For, because
Adam did not the will of my Father, but transgressed His commandment, the wrath of my Father
was kindled against him, and He doomed him to death; and thus it was that death came into the
world. But if Adam had observed my Father's precepts, death would never have fallen to his lot.
Think you that I can ask my good Father to send me a chariot of fire, which may take up the body
of my father Joseph, and convey it to the place of rest, in order that it may dwell with the spirits?
But on account of the transgression of Adam, that trouble and violence of death has descended
upon all the human race. And it is for this cause that I must die according to the flesh, for my
work which I have created, that they may obtain grace.
Having thus spoken, I embraced the body of my father Joseph, and wept over it; and they opened
the door of the tomb, and placed his body in it, near the body of his father Jacob. And at the time
when he fell asleep he had fulfilled a hundred and eleven years. Never did a tooth in his mouth
hurt him, nor was his eyesight rendered less sharp, nor his body bent, nor his strength impaired;
but he worked at his trade of a carpenter to the very last day of his life; and that was the
six-and-twentieth of the month Abib.
And we apostles, when we heard these things from our Saviour, rose up joyfully, and prostrated
ourselves in honour of Him, and said: O our Saviour, show us Thy grace. Now indeed we have
heard the word of life: nevertheless we wonder, O our Saviour, at the fate of Enoch and Elias,
inasmuch as they had not to undergo death. For truly they dwell in the habitation of the righteous
even to the present day, nor have their bodies seen corruption. Yet that old man Joseph the
carpenter was, nevertheless, Thy father after the flesh. And Thou hast ordered us to go into all the
world and preach the holy Gospel; and Thou hast said: Relate to them the death of my father
Joseph, and celebrate to him with annual solemnity a festival and sacred day. And whosoever
shall take anything away from this narrative, or add anything to it, commits sin. We wonder
especially that Joseph, even from that day on which Thou wast born in Bethlehem, called Thee
his son after the flesh. Wherefore, then, didst Thou not make him immortal as well as them, and
Thou sayest that he was righteous and chosen?
And our Saviour answered and said: Indeed, the prophecy of my Father upon Adam, for his disobedience, has now been fulfilled. And all things are arranged according to the will and pleasure of my Father. For if a man rejects the commandment of God, and follows the works of the devil by committing sin, his life is prolonged; for be is preserved in order that he may perhaps repent, and reflect that he must be delivered into the hands of death. But if any one has been zealous of good works, his life also is prolonged, that, as the fame of his old age increases, upright men may imitate him. But when you see a man whose mind is prone to anger, assuredly his days are shortened; for it is these that are taken away in the flower of their age. Every prophecy, therefore, which my Father has pronounced concerning the sons of men, must be fulfilled in every particular. But with reference to Enoch and Elias, and how they remain alive to this day, keeping the same bodies with which they were born; and as to what concerns my father Joseph, who has not been allowed as well as they to remain in the body: indeed, though a man live in the world many myriads of years, nevertheless at some time or other he is compelled to exchange life for death. And I say to you, O my brethren, that they also, Enoch and Elias, must towards the end of time return into the world and die--in the day, namely, of commotion, of terror, of perplexity, and affliction. For Antichrist will slay four bodies, and will pour out their blood like water, because
of the reproach to which they shall expose him, and the ignominy with which they, in their
lifetime, shall brand him when they reveal his impiety.
And we said: O our Lord, our God and Saviour, who are those four whom Thou hast said
Antichrist will cut off from the reproach they bring upon him? The Lord answered: They are
Enoch, Elias, Schila, and Tabitha. When we heard this from our Saviour, we rejoiced and
exulted; and we offered all glory and thanksgiving to the Lord God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
He it is to whom is due glory, honour, dignity, dominion, power, and praise, as well as to the
good Father with Him, and to the Holy Spirit that giveth life, henceforth and in all time for
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EXORCISMS TEACH US TO
[An Exorcists' Sins Are Revealed In The Exorcism, But Satan Can Not See Sins Which
Have Been Confessed and Absolved in Sacramental Confession]
Saint Paul teaches us, that ". . . no fornicator or unclean or covetous person (which is a serving
of idols) hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain
words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye
not therefore partakers with them. For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord.
Walk then as children of the light. For the fruit of the light is in all goodness and justice and
But deception is used every day by covetous persons who feign holiness and spiritual authority
where they have neither. One of the most common practices of these unholy people is pretending
to cast out demons and devils. Most of these charlatans expose their deceit in the very manner in
which they pretend to cast out devils, in their lack of understanding and belief in there being a
difference between God and man.
When you see a preacher shout, "I command you Satan in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to
leave this person," and the supposedly possessed person shudders a few times, then is amazingly
free from demonic possession, you can be virtually assured you have just witnessed a sham. If
the supposed exorcism is followed by a plea for you to send money to continue the support of the
preacher's ministry, then you can be assured that that plea for money is the only honest thing you
have witnessed, because that preacher's ministry is his ministry and not God's, and the only one
that preacher intends to minister to is himself..
True demoniacal possession can occasionally be exorcised with nominal effort, but such
situations are rare. True demoniacal possession is always accompanied by some evidence which
can not be attributed to mental and physical processes. A true exorcism almost always involves a
very real fight between the Exorcists, who usually work in teams, and the devil, who often has a
team of other devils with him.
The devil usually includes as part of his early attacks against the Exorcist, an enumeration of the
Exorcist's sins in excruciating detail with embellishments that make the sins even more of an
embarrassment to the Exorcist.
Yet there is something very interesting in this litany of sins which the devil recites for all to hear.
It only includes sins which the Exorcist has not confessed and for which he has not received
Sacramental absolution. If the Exorcist is someone who has focused his life on being holy, then
most of the sins the devil recites are sins which the Exorcist committed in his youth and which
were neglected in confession. Apparently the devil can not see those sins of a person which have
been confessed and for which Sacramental absolution has been received.
This is extremely important to know: Satan does not appear to be able to see, to know, what sins
you have problems with if you have confessed those particular and individual sins and received
Sacramental absolution for them. That means that after you have made a good and thorough
Confession, Satan no longer knows what your particular sinful weaknesses are. Before you go to
Confession, Satan knows all your sinful weak points, but after a good Confession he does not.
That is why after you make a good Confession and have received the Sacred Body and Blood of
our Lord, Satan attacks you on all fronts. He floods you with attacks and temptations of every
nature so he can learn again what your sinful weak points are, and get you to again sin in those
areas, so he can continue to build up sins on your soul and thus regain control over you.
That is why frequent Confession is so important. That is why frequent Confession is so
effective. That is why Protestants and fake Charismatics and fallen away members of the True
Church keep heaping more and more moral errors and sins into their false dogmas. That is why
Satan does not want you to go to Confession. That is why Satan tells you to confess your sins to
God and that you do not need to confess your sins to any man - because Satan knows that without
Sacramental Confession to and Absolution from a Priest, the odds are that he will continue to
know what your sinful weaknesses are and that he will be able to eventually have you willingly
sin your way to hell.
So take some advice from the people who physically battle Satan in ways you really never want
to experience. Take some advice from the Exorcists. Go to confession frequently: if not
weekly, then at least monthly.
Put Satan in the dark about what your sin weaknesses are. You will be attacked by Satan before
and after every time you go to Confession, but each time you go to Confession you will be
stronger and stronger against Satan, and you with God and God's Angels and Saints will give
Satan a sound thrashing.
(Ref: Ephes 5:1-9; Luke 11:14-28; Exorcism in Earling, Iowa, USA, 1928)
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10. John the Baptist, Precursor of Jesus, Preaches and Baptizes
THE time was now drawing near when Jesus should manifest Himself to the world. Then John
began to preach and baptize in the country about the river Jordan. He said: "Do penance, for the
kingdom of God is at hand."
2. John was clothed in a garment of camel's hair, and wore a leather girdle round his loins. His
food was wild honey and locusts. The inhabitants of Jerusalem, and of the whole land of Judea,
came to the river to John. They were baptized, and confessed their sins.
3. Now, many people thought that he was the promised Redeemer. John said, therefore: "I am not
Christ, but after me there will come He, who is more powerful than I. I baptize in water, but He
will baptize you in the Holy Spirit."
1. When did John begin to preach?
2. How was John clothed?
What did the inhabitants of Jerusalem do?
3. What did many people think of John?
11. Jesus is Baptized by John
AT that time Jesus came from Nazareth to the river Jordan, in order to be baptized by John.
At first John would not baptize Him, but said: "I ought to be baptized by Thee, and comest Thou
to me?" But Jesus said to him: "Suffer it now; God so willeth it." Then John did as he was
2. When Jesus was baptized, He came out of the water and prayed. And, behold! the heavens
opened, and the Holy Ghost came down upon Him in the shape of a dove. Moreover, a voice
from heaven was heard, saying: "This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased."
1. What did John say when Jesus wished to be baptized?
2. What occurred after Christ was baptized?
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LESSON SECOND: On God and His Perfections
Q. 174. Can God do all things?
A. God can do all things, and nothing is hard or impossible to Him.
Q. 175. When is a thing said to be "impossible"?
A. A thing is said to be "impossible" when it cannot be done. Many things that are impossible for
creatures are possible for God.
Q. 176. Is God just, holy, and merciful?
A. God is all just, all holy, all merciful, as He is infinitely perfect.
Q. 177. Why must God be "just" as well as "merciful"?
A. God must be just as well as merciful because He must fulfill His promise to punish those who
merit punishment, and because He cannot be infinite in one perfection without being infinite in
Q. 178. Into what sins will the forgetfulness of God's justice lead us?
A. The forgetfulness of God's justice will lead us into sins of presumption.
Q 179. Into what sins will the forgetfulness of God's mercy lead us?
A. The forgetfulness of God's mercy will lead us into sins of despair.
LESSON THIRD: On the Unity and Trinity of God
Q. 180. What does "unity," and what does "trinity" mean?
A. "Unity" means being one, and "trinity" means three-fold or three in one.
Q. 181. Can we find an example to fully illustrate the mystery of the Blessed Trinity?
A. We cannot find an example to fully illustrate the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, because the
mysteries of our holy religion are beyond comparison.
Q. 182. Is there but one God?
A. Yes; there is but one God.
Q. 183. Why can there be but one God?
A. There can be but one God because God, being supreme and infinite, cannot have an equal.
Q. 184. What does "supreme" mean?
A. "Supreme" means the highest in authority; also the most excellent or greatest possible in
anything. Thus in all things God is supreme. The Church speaks for God on earth and is taught
by the Holy Spirit and proclaims the truths God teaches in the Great Ecumenical Councils of the
Church. The Bishops teach these truths to everyone.
Q. 185. When are two persons said to be equal?
A. Two persons are said to be equal when one is in no way greater than or inferior to the other.
Q. 186. How many persons are there in God?
A. In God there are three Divine persons, really distinct, and equal in all things --the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Q. 187. What do "divine" and "distinct" mean?
A. "Divine" means pertaining to God, and "distinct" means separate; that is, not confounded or
mixed with any other thing.
Q. 188. Is the Father God?
A. The Father is God and the first Person of the Blessed Trinity.
Q. 189. Is the Son God?
A. The Son is God and the second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
Q. 190. Is the Holy Spirit God?
A. The Holy Spirit is God and the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.
Q. 191. Do "first," "second," and "third" with regard to the persons of the Blessed Trinity mean that one person existed before the other or that one is greater than the other?
A. "First," "second," and "third" with regard to the persons of the Blessed Trinity do not mean
that one person was before the other or that one is greater than the other; for all the persons of the
Trinity are eternal and equal in every respect. These numbers are used to mark the distinction
between the persons. They do not show order of procession as some people think, for the Father
does not proceed from anyone, the Son is eternally begotten, and the Holy Spirit proceeds from
Q. 192. What do you mean by the Blessed Trinity?
A. By the Blessed Trinity I mean one God in three Divine Persons.
Q. 193. Are the three Divine Persons equal in all things?
A. The three Divine Persons are equal in all things.
Q. 194. Are the three Divine Persons one and the same God?
A. The three Divine Persons are one and the same God, having one and the same Divine nature
Q. 195. What do we mean by the "nature" and "substance" of a thing?
A. By the "nature" of a thing we mean the combination of all the qualities that make the thing
what it is. By the "substance" of a thing we mean the part that never changes, and which cannot
be changed without destroying the nature of the thing.
Q. 196. Can we fully understand how the three Divine Persons are one and the same God?
A. We cannot fully understand how the three Divine Persons are one and the same God, because
this is a mystery.
Q. 197. What is a mystery?
A. A mystery is a truth which we cannot fully understand.
Q. 198. Is every truth which we cannot understand a mystery?
A. Every truth which we cannot understand is not a mystery; but every revealed truth which no
one can understand is a mystery.
Q. 199. Should we believe truths which we cannot understand?
A. We should and often do believe truths which we cannot understand when we have proof of
Q. 200. Give an example of truths which all believe, though many do not understand them.
A. All believe that the earth is round and moving, though many do not understand it. All believe
that a seed planted in the ground will produce a flower or tree often with more than a thousand
other seeds equal to itself, though many cannot understand how this is done.
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IMITATION OF CHRIST
By Thomas a Kempis
THOUGHTS HELPFUL IN THE LIFE OF THE SOUL
The First Chapter
Imitating Christ and Despising All Vanities on Earth
He who follows Me, walks not in darkness," says the Lord. By these words of Christ we are advised to imitate His life and habits, if we wish to be truly enlightened and free from all blindness of
heart. Let our chief effort, therefore, be to study the life of Jesus Christ.
The teaching of Christ is more excellent than all the advice of thesaints, and he who has His
spirit will find in it a hidden manna. Now, there are many who hear the Gospel often but care
little for it because they have not the spirit of Christ. Yet whoever wishes to understand fully the
words of Christ must try to pattern his whole life on that of Christ.
What good does it do to speak learnedly about the Trinity if, lacking humility, you displease the
Trinity? Indeed it is not learning that makes a man holy and just, but a virtuous life makes him
pleasing to God. I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it. For what would it
profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers if we live
without grace and the love of God? Vanity of vanities and all is vanity, except to love God and
serve Him alone.
This is the greatest wisdom -- to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world. It is
vanity, therefore, to seek and trust in riches that perish. It is vanity also to court honor and to be
puffed up with pride. It is vanity to follow the lusts of the body and to desire things for which
severe punishment later must come. It is vanity to wish for long life and to care little about a
well-spent life. It is vanity to be concerned with the present only and not to make provision for
things to come. It is vanity to love what passes quickly and not to look ahead where eternal joy
Often recall the proverb: "The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor the ear filled with hearing."
Try, moreover, to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things
invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace
 John 8:12.
 Eccles. 1:8.
The Second Chapter
Having a Humble Opinion of Self
Every man naturally desires knowledge; but what good is knowledge without fear of God?
Indeed a humble rustic who serves God is better than a proud intellectual who neglects his soul to
study the course of the stars. He who knows himself well becomes mean in his own eyes and is
not happy when praised by men.
If I knew all things in the world and had not charity, what would it profit me before God Who
will judge me by my deeds?
Shun too great a desire for knowledge, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Intellectuals
like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which
does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself about other things than those
which lead to salvation is very unwise.
Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience
inspires great trust in God.
The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you. If you think you know many things and understand them well enough, realize at the same time that there is much you do not know. Hence, do not affect wisdom, but admit your ignorance. Why prefer yourself to anyone else when many are more
learned, more cultured than you?
If you wish to learn and appreciate something worth while, then love to be unknown and considered as nothing. Truly to know and despise self is the best and most perfect counsel. To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best
and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do
not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All
men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself.
The Third Chapter
The Doctrine of Truth
Happy is he to whom truth manifests itself, not in signs and words that fade, but as it actually is.
Our opinions, our senses often deceive us and we discern very little.
What good is much discussion of involved and obscure matters when our ignorance of them will
not be held against us on Judgment Day? Neglect of things which are profitable and necessary
and undue concern with those which are irrelevant and harmful, are great folly.
We have eyes and do not see.
What, therefore, have we to do with questions of philosophy? He to whom the Eternal Word
speaks is free from theorizing. For from this Word are all things and of Him all things speak --
the Beginning Who also speaks to us. Without this Word no man understands or judges aright.
He to whom it becomes everything, who traces all things to it and who sees all things in it, may
ease his heart and remain at peace with God.
O God, You Who are the truth, make me one with You in love everlasting. I am often wearied by
the many things I hear and read, but in You is all that I long for. Let the learned be still, let all
creatures be silent before You; You alone speak to me.
The more recollected a man is, and the more simple of heart he becomes, the easier he
understands sublime things, for he receives the light of knowledge from above. The pure, simple,
and steadfast spirit is not distracted by many labors, for he does them all for the honor of God.
And since he enjoys interior peace he seeks no selfish end in anything. What, indeed, gives more
trouble and affliction than uncontrolled desires of the heart?
A good and devout man arranges in his mind the things he has to do, not according to the whims
of evil inclination but according to the dictates of right reason. Who is forced to struggle more
than he who tries to master himself? This ought to be our purpose, then: to conquer self, to
become stronger each day, to advance in virtue.
Every perfection in this life has some imperfection mixed with it and no learning of ours is
without some darkness. Humble knowledge of self is a surer path to God than the ardent pursuit
of learning. Not that learning is to be considered evil, or knowledge, which is good in itself and
so ordained by God; but a clean conscience and virtuous life ought always to be preferred. Many
often err and accomplish little or nothing because they try to become learned rather than to live
If men used as much care in uprooting vices and implanting virtues as they do in discussing problems, there would not be so much evil and scandal in the world, or such laxity in religious organizations. On the day of judgment, surely, we shall not be asked what we have read
but what we have done; not how well we have spoken but how well we have lived.
Tell me, where now are all the masters and teachers whom you knew so well in life and who were famous for their learning? Others have already taken their places and I know not whether they ever think of their predecessors. During life they seemed to be something; now they
are seldom remembered. How quickly the glory of the world passes away! If only their lives had
kept pace with their learning, then their study and reading would have been worth while.
How many there are who perish because of vain worldly knowledge and too little care for serving
God. They became vain in their own conceits because they chose to be great rather than humble.
He is truly great who has great charity. He is truly great who is little in his own eyes and makes
nothing of the highest honor. He is truly wise who looks upon all earthly things as folly that he
may gain Christ. He who does God's will and renounces his own is truly very learned.
The Fourth Chapter
Prudence in Action
Do not yield to every impulse and suggestion but consider things carefully and patiently in the
light of God's will. For very often, sad to say, we are so weak that we believe and speak evil of
others rather than good. Perfect men, however, do not readily believe every talebearer, because
they know that human frailty is prone to evil and is likely to appear in speech.
Not to act rashly or to cling obstinately to one's opinion, not to believe everything people say or
to spread abroad the gossip one has heard, is great wisdom.
Take counsel with a wise and conscientious man. Seek the advice of your betters in preference to
following your own inclinations.
A good life makes a man wise according to God and gives him experience in many things, for the more humble he is and the more subject to God, the wiser and the more at peace he will be in all
The Fifth Chapter
Reading the Holy Scripture
Truth, not eloquence, is to be sought in reading the Holy Scriptures; and every part must be read
in the spirit in which it was written. For in the Scriptures we ought to seek profit rather than
Likewise we ought to read simple and devout books as willingly as learned and profound ones. We ought not to be swayed by the authority of the writer, whether he be a great literary light or an
insignificant person, but by the love of simple truth. We ought not to ask who is speaking, but
mark what is said. Men pass away, but the truth of the Lord remains forever. God speaks to us in
many ways without regard for persons.
Our curiosity often impedes our reading of the Scriptures, when we wish to understand and mull
over what we ought simply to read and pass by.
If you would profit from it, therefore, read with humility, simplicity, and faith, and never seek a
reputation for being learned. Seek willingly and listen attentively to the words of the saints; do
not be displeased with the sayings of the ancients, for they were not made without purpose.
The Sixth Chapter
When a man desires a thing too much, he at once becomes ill at ease. A proud and avaricious man never rests, whereas he who is poor and humble of heart lives in a world of peace. An unmortified man is
quickly tempted and overcome in small, trifling evils; his spirit is weak, in a measure carnal and
inclined to sensual things; he can hardly abstain from earthly desires. Hence it makes him sad to
forego them; he is quick to anger if reproved. Yet if he satisfies his desires, remorse of
conscience overwhelms him because he followed his passions and they did not lead to the peace
True peace of heart, then, is found in resisting passions, not in satisfying them. There is no peace in the carnal man, in the man given to vain attractions, but there is peace in the fervent and spiritual
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The Confessions of Saint Augustine
In God's searching presence, Augustine undertakes to plumb the depths of his memory to trace the mysterious pilgrimage of grace which his life has been -- and to praise God for his constant and omnipotent grace. In a mood of sustained prayer, he recalls what he can of his infancy, his learning to speak, and his childhood experiences in school. He concludes with a paean of
grateful praise to God.
1. "Great art thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is thy power, and infinite is thy
wisdom." And man desires to praise thee, for he is a part of thy creation; he bears his mortality
about with him and carries the evidence of his sin and the proof that thou dost resist the proud.
Still he desires to praise thee, this man who is only a small part of thy creation. Thou hast
prompted him, that he should delight to praise thee, for thou hast made us for thyself and restless
is our heart until it comes to rest in thee. Grant me, O Lord, to know and understand whether
first to invoke thee or to praise thee; whether first to know thee or call upon thee. But who can
invoke thee, knowing thee not? For he who knows thee not may invoke thee as another than thou
art. It may be that we should invoke thee in order that we may come to know thee. But "how
shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe without a
preacher?" Now, "they shall praise the Lord who seek him,"for "those who seek shall find him,"
and, finding him, shall praise him. I will seek thee, O Lord, and call upon thee. I call upon thee,
O Lord, in my faith which thou hast given me, which thou hast inspired in me through the
humanity of thy Son, and through the ministry of thy preacher.
2. And how shall I call upon my God -- my God and my Lord? For when I call on him I ask
him to come into me. And what place is there in me into which my God can come? How could
God, the God who made both heaven and earth, come into me? Is there anything in me, O Lord
my God, that can contain thee? Do even the heaven and the earth, which thou hast made, and in
which thou didst make me, contain thee? Is it possible that, since without thee nothing would be
which does exist, thou didst make it so that whatever exists has some capacity to receive thee?
Why, then, do I ask thee to come into me, since I also am and could not be if thou wert not in
me? For I am not, after all, in hell -- and yet thou art there too, for "if I go down into hell, thou
art there."Therefore I would not exist -- I would simply not be at all -- unless I exist in thee, from
whom and by whom and in whom all things are. Even so, Lord; even so. Where do I call thee
to, when I am already in thee? Or from whence wouldst thou come into me? Where, beyond
heaven and earth, could I go that there my God might come to me -- he who hath said, "I fill
heaven and earth"?
3. Since, then, thou dost fill the heaven and earth, do they contain thee? Or, dost thou fill and overflow them, because they cannot contain thee? And where dost thou pour out what remains of thee after heaven and earth are full? Or, indeed, is there no need that thou, who dost contain all things, shouldst be contained by any, since those things which thou dost fill thou fillest by containing them? For the vessels which thou dost fill do not confine thee, since even if they were broken, thou wouldst not be poured out. And, when thou art poured out on us, thou art not thereby brought down; rather, we are uplifted. Thou art not scattered; rather, thou dost gather us together. But when thou dost fill all things, dost thou fill them with thy whole being? Or, since not even all things together could contain thee altogether, does any one thing contain a single part, and do all things contain that same part at the same time? Do singulars contain thee singly? Do greater things contain more of thee, and
smaller things less? Or, is it not rather that thou art wholly present everywhere, yet in such a way
that nothing contains thee wholly?
4. What, therefore, is my God? What, I ask, but the Lord God? "For who is Lord but the Lord
himself, or who is God besides our God?" Most high, most excellent, most potent, most
omnipotent; most merciful and most just; most secret and most truly present; most beautiful and
most strong; stable, yet not supported; unchangeable, yet changing all things; never new, never
old; making all things new, yet bringing old age upon the proud, and they know it not; always
working, ever at rest; gathering, yet needing nothing; sustaining, pervading, and protecting;
creating, nourishing, and developing; seeking, and yet possessing all things. Thou dost love, but
without passion; art jealous, yet free from care; dost repent without remorse; art angry, yet
remainest serene. Thou changest thy ways, leaving thy plans unchanged; thou recoverest what
thou hast never really lost. Thou art never in need but still thou dost rejoice at thy gains; art
never greedy, yet demandest dividends. Men pay more than is required so that thou dost become
a debtor; yet who can possess anything at all which is not already thine? Thou owest men
nothing, yet payest out to them as if in debt to thy creature, and when thou dost cancel debts thou
losest nothing thereby. Yet, O my God, my life, my holy Joy, what is this that I have said? What
can any man say when he speaks of thee? But woe to them that keep silence -- since even those
who say most are dumb.
5. Who shall bring me to rest in thee? Who will send thee into my heart so to overwhelm it that my sins shall be blotted out and I may embrace thee, my only good? What art thou to me? Have
mercy that I may speak. What am I to thee that thou shouldst command me to love thee, and if I do it not, art angry and
threatenest vast misery? Is it, then, a trifling sorrow not to love thee? It is not so to me. Tell me,
by thy mercy, O Lord, my God, what thou art to me. "Say to my soul, I am your salvation." So
speak that I may hear. Behold, the ears of my heart are before thee, O Lord; open them and "say
to my soul, I am your salvation." I will hasten after that voice, and I will lay hold upon thee.
Hide not thy face from me. Even if I die, let me see thy face lest I die.
6. The house of my soul is too narrow for thee to come in to me; let it be enlarged by thee. It is in ruins; do thou restore it. There is much about it which must offend thy eyes; I confess and know it. But who will cleanse it? Or, to whom shall I cry but to thee? "Cleanse thou me from my secret faults," O Lord,
"and keep back thy servant from strange sins." "I believe, and therefore do I speak." But thou, O Lord, thou knowest.
Have I not confessed my transgressions unto thee, O my God; and hast thou not put away the
iniquity of my heart? I do not contend in judgment with thee, who art truth itself; and I would
not deceive myself, lest my iniquity lie even to itself. I do not, therefore, contend in judgment
with thee, for "if thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?"
7. Still, dust and ashes as I am, allow me to speak before thy mercy. Allow me to speak, for,
behold, it is to thy mercy that I speak and not to a man who scorns me. Yet perhaps even thou
mightest scorn me; but when thou dost turn and attend to me, thou wilt have mercy upon me.
For what do I wish to say, O Lord my God, but that I know not whence I came hither into this
life-in-death. Or should I call it death-in-life? I do not know. And yet the consolations of thy
mercy have sustained me from the very beginning, as I have heard from my fleshly parents, from
whom and in whom thou didst form me in time -- for I cannot myself remember. Thus even
though they sustained me by the consolation of woman's milk, neither my mother nor my nurses
filled their own breasts but thou, through them, didst give me the food of infancy according to
thy ordinance and thy bounty which underlie all things. For it was thou who didst cause me not
to want more than thou gavest and it was thou who gavest to those who nourished me the will to
give me what thou didst give them. And they, by an instinctive affection, were willing to give
me what thou hadst supplied abundantly. It was, indeed, good for them that my good should
come through them, though, in truth, it was not from them but by them. For it is from thee, O
God, that all good things come -- and from my God is all my health. This is what I have since
learned, as thou hast made it abundantly clear by all that I have seen thee give, both to me and to
those around me. For even at the very first I knew how to suck, to lie quiet when I was full, and
to cry when in pain -- nothing more.
8. Afterward I began to laugh -- at first in my sleep, then when waking. For this I have been
told about myself and I believe it -- though I cannot remember it -- for I see the same things in
other infants. Then, little by little, I realized where I was and wished to tell my wishes to those
who might satisfy them, but I could not! For my wants were inside me, and they were outside,
and they could not by any power of theirs come into my soul. And so I would fling my arms and
legs about and cry, making the few and feeble gestures that I could, though indeed the signs were
not much like what I inwardly desired and when I was not satisfied -- either from not being
understood or because what I got was not good for me -- I grew indignant that my elders were not
subject to me and that those on whom I actually had no claim did not wait on me as slaves -- and
I avenged myself on them by crying. That infants are like this, I have myself been able to learn
by watching them; and they, though they knew me not, have shown me better what I was like
than my own nurses who knew me.
9. And, behold, my infancy died long ago, but I am still living. But thou, O Lord, whose life is forever and in whom nothing dies -- since before the world was, indeed, before all that can be called "before," thou wast, and thou art the God and Lord of all thy creatures; and with thee abide all the stable causes of all unstable things, the unchanging sources of all changeable things, and the eternal reasons of all non-rational and temporal things -- tell me, thy suppliant, O God, tell me, O merciful One, in pity tell a pitiful creature whether my infancy
followed yet an earlier age of my life that had already passed away before it. Was it such another
age which I spent in my mother's womb? For something of that sort has been suggested to me,
and I have myself seen pregnant women. But what, O God, my Joy, preceded _that_ period of
life? Was I, indeed, anywhere, or anybody? No one can explain these things to me, neither
father nor mother, nor the experience of others, nor my own memory. Dost thou laugh at me for
asking such things? Or dost thou command me to praise and confess unto thee only what I
10. I give thanks to thee, O Lord of heaven and earth, giving praise to thee for that first being
and my infancy of which I have no memory. For thou hast granted to man that he should come to
self-knowledge through the knowledge of others, and that he should believe many things about
himself on the authority of the womenfolk. Now, clearly, I had life and being; and, as my
infancy closed, I was already learning signs by which my feelings could be communicated to
Whence could such a creature come but from thee, O Lord? Is any man skillful enough to have fashioned himself? Or is there any other source from which being and life could flow into us, save this, that thou, O Lord, hast made us -- thou with whom being and life are one, since thou thyself art supreme being and supreme
life both together. For thou art infinite and in thee there is no change, nor an end to this present
day -- although there is a sense in which it ends in thee since all things are in thee and there
would be no such thing as days passing away unless thou didst sustain them. And since "thy
years shall have no end,"thy years are an ever-present day. And how many of ours and our
fathers' days have passed through this thy day and have received from it what measure and
fashion of being they had? And all the days to come shall so receive and so pass away. "But
thou art the same"! And all the things of tomorrow and the days yet to come, and all of yesterday
and the days that are past, thou wilt gather into this thy day. What is it to me if someone does not
understand this? Let him still rejoice and continue to ask, "What is this?" Let him also rejoice
and prefer to seek thee, even if he fails to find an answer, rather than to seek an answer and not
11. "Hear me, O God! Woe to the sins of men!" When a man cries thus, thou showest him
mercy, for thou didst create the man but not the sin in him. Who brings to remembrance the sins
of my infancy? For in thy sight there is none free from sin, not even the infant who has lived but
a day upon this earth. Who brings this to my remembrance? Does not each little one, in whom I
now observe what I no longer remember of myself? In what ways, in that time, did I sin? Was it
that I cried for the breast? If I should now so cry -- not indeed for the breast, but for food suitable
to my condition -- I should be most justly laughed at and rebuked. What I did then deserved
rebuke but, since I could not understand those who rebuked me, neither custom nor common
sense permitted me to be rebuked. As we grow we root out and cast away from us such childish
habits. Yet I have not seen anyone who is wise who cast away the good when trying to purge the
bad. Nor was it good, even in that time, to strive to get by crying what, if it had been given me,
would have been hurtful; or to be bitterly indignant at those who, because they were older -- not
slaves, either, but free -- and wiser than I, would not indulge my capricious desires. Was it a
good thing for me to try, by struggling as hard as I could, to harm them for not obeying me, even
when it would have done me harm to have been obeyed? Thus, the infant's innocence lies in the
weakness of his body and not in the infant mind. I have myself observed a baby to be jealous,
though it could not speak; it was livid as it watched another infant at the breast.
Who is ignorant of this? Mothers and nurses tell us that they cure these things by I know not what remedies. But is this
innocence, when the fountain of milk is flowing fresh and abundant, that another who needs it
should not be allowed to share it, even though he requires such nourishment to sustain his life?
Yet we look leniently on such things, not because they are not faults, or even small faults, but
because they will vanish as the years pass. For, although we allow for such things in an infant,
the same things could not be tolerated patiently in an adult.
12. Therefore, O Lord my God, thou who gavest life to the infant, and a body which, as we see, thou hast furnished with senses, shaped with limbs, beautified with form, and endowed with all vital energies for its well-being and health -- thou dost command me to praise thee for these things, to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praise unto his name, O Most High. For thou art God, omnipotent and good, even if thou hadst done no more than these things, which no other but thou canst do -- thou alone who madest all things fair and didst order everything according to
I am loath to dwell on this part of my life of which, O Lord, I have no remembrance, about which
I must trust the word of others and what I can surmise from observing other infants, even if such
guesses are trustworthy. For it lies in the deep murk of my forgetfulness and thus is like the
period which I passed in my mother's womb. But if "I was conceived in iniquity, and in sin my
mother nourished me in her womb," where, I pray thee, O my God, where, O Lord, or when was
I, thy servant, ever innocent? But see now, I pass over that period, for what have I to do with a
time from which I can recall no memories?
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FOR SAFETY'S SAKE . . . Do not ride in automobiles: they cause 20% of all fatal accidents; do
not stay home: 17% of all accidents do occur in the home; do not walk on the streets or
sidewalks: 14% of all accidents occur to pedestrians; do not travel by air, rail, or water: 16% of
all accidents happen on these. But, only .001% of all deaths occur in worship services in church,
and these are related to previous physical disorders. Hence, the safest place for you to be at any
time is at church! Bible study is safe too. The percentage there is even less. Go to church! IT
COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE! Thanks Marc.
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Rev. Fr. Dcn. Peter Angasan
P.O. Box 70123
South Naknek, Alaska 99670-0123
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DIVINE LITURGY "MASS" CARDS
Commonly called "Mass Cards", these 4 1/4" by 5 1/2 " (folded) Icon cards feature the
above Icons, and open to reveal prayer intentions for the living and for those who have
Fallen Asleep in The Lord.
ICON # 4 ICON # 7 ICON # 11 ICON # 19 ICON # 26 SOUFANIEH
For those who have Fallen Asleep in The Lord, Icon # 19 graces the cover, with the following text (reduced here to fit in this column) inside:
General Intentions For the Living, for weddings, illnesses, general need, and for the sake of prayer itself, etc., cards, have Icons nos. 4, 7, 11, and 26, and a photograph of the Icon of Our Lady of Soufanieh showing the olive oil dripping from the bottom of the Icon's frame, are available on the covers. All the Icons are full color printed cards, except Our Lady of Soufanieh, which is a color photograph.
The text on the inside of the cards for the living is given above, again reduced here to fit inside the column.
These cards are very beautiful, light gray or bamboo in color, but they are only a product - something to induce you to make a donation which we use to support the various works we provide, including publication of REUNION.
To have a person included in our prayers and at Divine Liturgy, send us a note, or fill out the form in the right column of this page and send it to us. There is no fee for the prayers and Masses, that would be Simony. These cards are also available without prayer intentions, and can be used for regular note or religiously oriented note stationery.
Consider obtaining a small supply, and send the prayer request slip which accompanies the cards when you actually use the card.
Like Monasteries which obtain donations for their Icons, or sell Icons and other items, the donations we receive from these cards are of great use to us. Your help is always appreciated.
If you wish someone to be included in our payer and Divine Liturgy intentions, please just fill in the form below and send it to us - but do not send any money. Prayers are free, the cards cost money.
ITEM QUANTITY REQUESTED TOTAL
Mass Cards: Each
Icon # 4 _________ $2.00 $____________
Icon #7 _________ $2.00 $____________
Icon #11 _________ $2.00 $____________
Icon #19 (Deceased) _________ $2.00 $____________
Icon #26 _________ $2.00 $____________
Soufanieh _________ $3.00 $____________
Icon Stationery Cards: (same as Mass cards but without inside inscription, packs of 10
cards and 11 envelopes)
Icon #4 _________ $15.00 $____________
Icon #7 _________ $15.00 $____________
Icon #11 _________ $15.00 $____________
Icon #19 _________ $15.00 $____________
Icon #26 _________ $15.00 $____________
Soufanieh _________ $22.00 $____________
Liturgical Calendars: (may contain errors, we try to correct them as we receive notice)
General Calendar _________ $6.00 for one $____________
(55 pages +/-) _________ $2.00 for each $____________
at same time
For Year 2000 _________ $6.00 for one $____________
(49 pages +/-) _________ $2.00 for each $____________
at same time
Western Rite Divine Liturgy with rubrics:
Pew Size _________ $5.00 for one $____________
_________ $2.00 for each $____________
at same time
8 1/2" x 11 " pages _________ $9.00 for one $____________
_________ $4.00 for each $____________
at same time
PLEASE PRINT ! ! !
REQUEST PLACED BY:
There are no shipping charges. Propriety requires the total requested donation amount accompany your products request. Send product request with donation to:
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