Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sunday, March 3, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Philanthropy, Exodus 3:1-15, Psalms 103:1-11, Luke 13:1-9, St Katherine Drexel, Mystical City of God Book 6:1, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 The Creeds Chapter 3:4 The Spirit of Christ in the Fullness of Time

Sunday, March 3, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Philanthropy, Exodus 3:1-15, Psalms 103:1-11, Luke 13:1-9, St Katherine Drexel, Mystical City of God Book 6:1, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 The Creeds Chapter 3:4 The Spirit of Christ in the Fullness of Time

Good Day Bloggers!  Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our Spirit...it's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012

Heed the Solemnity of Lent! This Lent instead of "Giving Up" something, why not "Give" by volunteering time to a worthy cause, or extending a simple act of kindness! This blog is an act of giving, simply "opening a door" to all to learn about God, the history and cultures of humanity, the geography of our biosphere, the catechism of the Catholic Church and more; its you choice of "free will" to walk through this blog with an open mind, to learn, to evaluate, to contemplate,.  Start by familiarizing yourself with the Beatitudes, they are universal to all mankind, of which one is the gift of knowledge, utilize.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’(Matthew 25:34-40)


Prayers for Today: Sunday in Lent


 Prayer For the Holy Election of Our New Pope

Sadly Pope Benedict XVI has announced his retirement on the Feast Day of our Lady of Lourdes. We must pray together for Pope Benedict XVI retirement and our New Pope, yet to be elected, as well as all of Gods Shepherds.

May the Lord preserve the sanctity of the enclave as they embark on electing our new Holy Father, give him life, and make him blessed upon earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.

O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, in Thy mercy look down upon Thy servant, (Our New Pope), whom Thou will appoint to preside over Thy Church, and grant we beseech Thee that both by word and example he may edify those who are under his charge; so that, with the flock entrusted to him, he may attain life everlasting. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


March 2, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
 “Dear children; Anew, in a motherly way, I am calling you not to be of a hard heart. Do not shut your eyes to the warnings which the Heavenly Father sends to you out of love. Do you love Him above all else? Do you repent for having often forgotten that the Heavenly Father, out of His great love, sent His Son to redeem us by the Cross? Do you repent for not having accepted the message? My children, do not resist the love of my Son. Do not resist hope and peace. Along with your prayers and fasting, by His Cross, my Son will cast away the darkness that wants to surround you and come to rule over you. He will give you the strength for a new life. Living it according to my Son, you will be a blessing and a hope to all those sinners who wander in the darkness of sin. My children, keep vigil. I, as a mother, am keeping vigil with you. I am especially praying and watching over those whom my Son called to be light-bearers and carriers of hope for you – for your shepherds. Thank you.”

February 25, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
“Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. Sin is pulling you towards worldly things and I have come to lead you towards holiness and the things of God, but you are struggling and spending your energies in the battle with the good and the evil that are in you. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray until prayer becomes a joy for you and your life will become a simple walk towards God. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

 February 2, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
"Dear children, love is bringing me to you - the love which I desire to teach you also - real love; the love which my Son showed you when He died on the Cross out of love for you; the love which is always ready to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. How great is your love? My motherly heart is sorrowful as it searches for love in your hearts. You are not ready to submit your will to God's will out of love. You cannot help me to have those who have not come to know God's love to come to know it, because you do not have real love. Consecrate your hearts to me and I will lead you. I will teach you to forgive, to love your enemies and to live according to my Son. Do not be afraid for yourselves. In afflictions my Son does not forget those who love. I will be beside you. I will implore the Heavenly Father for the light of eternal truth and love to illuminate you. Pray for your shepherds so that through your fasting and prayer they can lead you in love. Thank you."



Today's Word:  philanthropy   phi·lan·thro·py  [fi-lan-thruh-pee]

Origin: 1600–10;  earlier philanthropia  < Late Latin  < Greek philanthrōpía  love for mankind. See phil-, anthropo-, -y3

noun, plural phi·lan·thro·pies.
1. altruistic concern for human welfare and advancement, usually manifested by donations of money, property, or work to needy persons, by endowment of institutions of learning and hospitals, and by generosity to other socially useful purposes.
2. the activity of donating to such persons or purposes in this way: to devote one's later years to philanthropy.
3. a particular act, form, or instance of this activity: The art museum was their favorite philanthropy.
4. an organization devoted to helping needy persons or to other socially useful purposes.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 103:1-11

1 [Of David] Bless Yahweh, my soul, from the depths of my being, his holy name;
2 bless Yahweh, my soul, never forget all his acts of kindness.
3 He forgives all your offences, cures all your diseases,
4 he redeems your life from the abyss, crowns you with faithful love and tenderness;
6 Yahweh acts with uprightness, with justice to all who are oppressed;
7 he revealed to Moses his ways, his great deeds to the children of Israel.
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger and rich in faithful love;
11 As the height of heaven above earth, so strong is his faithful love for those who fear him


Today's Epistle -  Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15

1 Moses was looking after the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led it to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.
2 The angel of Yahweh appeared to him in a flame blazing from the middle of a bush. Moses looked; there was the bush blazing, but the bush was not being burnt up.
3 Moses said, 'I must go across and see this strange sight, and why the bush is not being burnt up.'
4 When Yahweh saw him going across to look, God called to him from the middle of the bush. 'Moses, Moses!' he said. 'Here I am,' he answered.
5 'Come no nearer,' he said. 'Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.
6 I am the God of your ancestors,' he said, 'the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.' At this Moses covered his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
7 Yahweh then said, 'I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying for help on account of their taskmasters. Yes, I am well aware of their sufferings.
8 And I have come down to rescue them from the clutches of the Egyptians and bring them up out of that country, to a country rich and broad, to a country flowing with milk and honey, to the home of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites.
13 Moses then said to God, 'Look, if I go to the Israelites and say to them, "The God of your ancestors has sent me to you," and they say to me, "What is his name?" what am I to tell them?'
14 God said to Moses, 'I am he who is.' And he said, 'This is what you are to say to the Israelites, "I am has sent me to you." '
15 God further said to Moses, 'You are to tell the Israelites, "Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you." This is my name for all time, and thus I am to be invoked for all generations to come.


Today's Gospel Reading Luke 13:1-9

Jesus comments on the events of the day
How to interpret the signs of the times
Luke 13:1-9

1. Opening prayer

Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind that you read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, you helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of your sentence and death. Thus, the cross that seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the source of life and of resurrection.

Create in us silence so that we may listen to your voice in Creation and in the Scriptures, in events and in people, above all in the poor and suffering. May your word guide us so that we too, like the two disciples from Emmaus, may experience the force of your resurrection and witness to others that you are alive in our midst as source of fraternity, justice and peace. We ask this of you, Jesus, son of Mary, who revealed to us the Father and sent us your Spirit. Amen.

2. Reading
a) A key to the reading:
The text of the third Sunday of Lent puts before us two different but related facts: Jesus comments on the events of the day and he narrates a parable. Luke 13:1-5: At the people’s request, Jesus comments on the events of the day: the massacre of pilgrims by Pilate and the massacre at the tower of Siloam where eighteen persons were killed. Luke 13:-9: Jesus tells a parable about the fig tree that bore no fruit.
As you read, it is good to note two things: (i) see how Jesus contradicts the popular interpretation of what is happening (ii) see whether there is a connection between the parable and the comment on the events of the day.

b) A division of the text to help with the reading:
Luke 13:1: The people tell Jesus about the massacre of the Galileans
Luke 13:2-3: Jesus comments on the massacre and draws a lesson from there for the people
Luke 13:4-5: To support his thinking, Jesus comments on another event
Luke 13:6-9: The parable of the fig tree that did not bear fruit

c) Text:
1 It was just about this time that some people arrived and told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, 2 'Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than any others, that this should have happened to them? 3 They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell, killing them all? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? 5 They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.' 6 He told this parable, 'A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. 7 He said to his vinedresser, "For three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?" 8 "Sir," the man replied, "leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: 9 it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down." '

3. A moment of prayerful silenceso that the Word of God may penetrate and enlighten our life.

4. Some questions
to help us in our personal reflection.
a) What struck or pleased you most in this text? Why?
b) What was the popular interpretation of these two events?
c) How does Jesus disagree with the popular interpretation of the events?
d) What is the meaning of the parable? Is there a connection between the parable and the comments on the events?
e) What is this text’s message for us who have to interpret the signs of the times today?

5. For those who wish to go deeper into the theme
a) The literary and historical context of then and now:
Luke writes his Gospel about 85 A.D. for the Christian communities in Greece. Generally, he follows the narrative in Mark’s Gospel. Here and there he introduces some minor differences or changes some words so as to adapt the narrative to his purpose. Apart from Mark’s Gospel, Luke also consults other books and has access to other sources: eye witnesses and ministers of the Word (Lk 1:2). All the material that is not found in Mark, Luke organizes into a literary form: Jesus on a long journey from Galilee to Jerusalem. There is a description of the journey in Luke 9:51 to 19:28 and this includes ten chapters or one third of the Gospel!

In these chapters, Luke constantly reminds his readers that Jesus is on a journey. He rarely tells us where Jesus is, but he lets us know clearly that Jesus is travelling and that the end of the journey is Jerusalem where he will die in accordance with what the prophets had foretold (Lk 9:51.53.57; 10:1.38; 11:1; 13:22.33; 14:25; 17:11; 18:31. 35; 19:1.11.28). And even after Jesus reaches Jerusalem, Luke goes on talking of a journey to the centre (Lk 19:29.41.45; 20:1). Just before the journey begins, on the occasion of the transfiguration with Moses and Elijah on the mountain, the going to Jerusalem is considered as an exodus for Jesus (Lk 9:31) and as an ascension or climbing up to heaven (Lk 9:51). In the Old Testament, Moses had led the first exodus liberating people from Pharaoh’s oppression (Ex 3:10-12) and the prophet Elijah went up to heaven (2 Kings 2:11). Jesus is the new Moses who comes to liberate people from the oppression of the Law. He is the new Elijah who comes to prepare the coming of the Kingdom.

The description of Jesus’ long journey to Jerusalem is not just a literary device to introduce the material proper to Luke. It also reflects the long and arduous journey that the communities in Greece were going through in their daily lives in Luke’s time: passing from a rural world in Palestine to a cosmopolitan environment in the Greek culture at the edges of the great cities of Asia and Europe. This passage or inculturation was marked by a strong tension between the Christians from Judaism and the new converts who came from other ethnic and cultural groups. Indeed, the description of the long journey to Jerusalem reflects the painful process of conversion that people connected to Judaism had to make: to leave the world of the observance of the law that accused and condemned them, to go towards a world of the gratuitous love of God to all peoples, to the certainty that in Christ all peoples meld into one before God; to leave the closed world of a race to go towards the universal territory of humanity. This is also the journey of our lives. Are we capable of transforming the crosses of life into an exodus of liberation?

b) A commentary on the text:
Luke 13:1:The people inform Jesus of the massacre of the Galileans
Like today, the people pass comments on the events that happen and want to hear comments from those who can form public opinion. That is why some people went to Jesus to tell him of the massacre of some Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. It was probably the assassination that took place on Mount Gerazim, which was still a place of pilgrimage and where people were wont to offer sacrifices. This event underlines the ferocity and stupidity of some Roman rulers in Palestine who provoked the religious sensibility of the Jews through irrational actions such as this.

Luke 13:2-3: Jesus comments on the massacre and draws a lesson for the people
Asked to give an opinion, Jesus asks: “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than any others, that this should happen to them?” Jesus’ question reflects the popular interpretation common then: suffering and violent death are a punishment from God for some sin committed by that person. Jesus’ reaction is categorical: “They were not I tell you. No!” He denies the popular interpretation and transforms the event into an examination of conscience: “unless you repent you will all perish as they did”. In other words, unless there is a real and proper change, the same massacre will overtake all. Later history confirmed Jesus’ foresight. The change did not take place. They were not converted and forty years later, in 70, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. Many people were massacred. Jesus saw the gravity of the political situation of his country. On the one hand, there was the ever heavier and unbearable Roman domination. On the other, there was the official religion, which was growing more and more alienated without understanding the importance of the faith in Yahweh in the lives of the people.

Luke 13:4-5: In support of his thinking, Jesus comments on more than one event
Jesus takes the initiative of commenting on another event. A blizzard causes the tower of Siloam to crumble and eighteen people are crushed by the stones. People thought that it was “a punishment from God!” Jesus’ comment is: “No, I tell you, but unless you repent you will all perish as they did”. His concern is to interpret events in such a way that God’s call to change and conversion becomes transparent. Jesus is a mystic, a contemplative. He reads events in a different way. He can read and interpret the signs of the times. For him, the world is transparent, revealing the presence and call of God.

Luke 13:6-9: The parable of the fig tree that bears no fruit
Jesus then tells the parable of the fig tree that bears no fruit. A man had planted a fig tree in his vineyard. For three years the tree bore no fruit. So he says to his vinedresser: “Cut it down”. But the vinedresser replies: “Leave it one more year….it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down”. We do not know whether Jesus told this parable immediately after his comments on the massacre and the crumbling of the tower of Siloam. It was probably Luke who placed this parable here, because Luke sees a connection between the comments on the events and the parable of the fig tree. Luke does not say what this connection is. He leaves us to discover this. What meaning does Luke see? I shall dare to give an opinion. You may discover another meaning. The owner of the vineyard and of the fig tree is God. The fig tree represents the people. Jesus is the vinedresser. The owner of the vineyard has grown tired of looking for fruit from the fig tree and finding none. He decides to uproot the tree. Thus there will be more room for another plant that may bear fruit. The chosen people were not producing the fruit that God expected. He wants to pass on the Good News to the pagans. Jesus is the vinedresser who asks that the fig tree be spared a little longer. He will redouble his efforts to obtain a change and a conversion. Later in the Gospel, Jesus recognizes that his redoubled efforts have borne no result. They will not be converted. Jesus mourns the lack of conversion and weeps over the city of Jerusalem. (Lk 19:41-44).

c) Further information:
A short history of the popular resistance against the Romans in Jesus’ time
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Luke makes clear allusions to the repression of the Roman legions against the popular resistance of the Galileans. Hence we give a schematic overview of the popular resistance of Judeans against the Roman domination. Over the years this resistance grew deeper and took root in the faith of the people. Here is an outline that runs parallel with Jesus’ life:

i) From 63 to 37 before Christ: A popular revolt without any clear direction. In 63 before Christ, the Roman Empire invaded Palestine and imposed a peasant tribute. From 57 to 37, in just 20 years, six rebellions broke out in Galilee! The people, aimless, followed anyone who promised to liberate them from the Roman tribute.

ii) From 37 to 4 before Christ: Repression and dislocation. This is the time of the government of Herod, called The Great. He is the one who killed the innocents in Bethlehem (Mt 2:16). Brutal repression prevented any kind of popular manifestation. Herod thus promoted the so-called Pax Romana. This peace gave the Empire a certain economic stability, but for the oppressed people it was the peace of a cemetery.

iii) From 4 to 6 after Christ: Messianic revolutions. This is the period of Archelaus’ government in Judea. On the day he took power, he massacred 3000 persons in the Temple square. The revolution exploded all over the country, but it was aimless. The popular leaders at this time were seeking for motives connected with ancient tradition and presented themselves as messianic kings. The Roman repression destroyed Seforis, the capital of Galilee. Violence was the mark of Jesus’ childhood. In the ten years of Archelaus’ government, he saw Palestine go through one of the most violent periods of its history.

iv) From 6 to 27: Zeal for the law: A time for revision. In the year 6, Romolus deposed Archelaus and transformed Judea into a Roman Province, decreeing a census so as to make sure that the tribute was paid. The census produced a strong popular reaction inspired by Zeal for the Law. This Zeal (hence the term zealots) urged people to boycott and not pay the tribute. This was a new form of resistance, a kind of civil disobedience that spread like a repressed fire under embers. However, Zeal had a limited vision. The "zealots" ran the danger of reducing the observance of the Law to opposition to the Romans. It was precisely during this period that Jesus grew in awareness of his mission.

v) From 27 to 69: The prophets reappear. After these 20 years, from 6 to 26, the revision of the aim of the journey appears with the preaching of the prophets who represented a step forward in the popular movement. The prophets called the people together and invited them to conversion and change. They wanted to reform history from its origins. They gathered the people in the desert (Mk 1:4), to begin a new exodus, proclaimed by Isaiah (Is 43:16-21). The first was John the Baptist (Mt 11:9; 14:5; Lk 1:76), who drew many people (Mt 3:5-7). Soon after, Jesus came on the scene and was considered by the people to be a prophet (Mt 16:14; 21:11.46; Lk 7:16). Jesus, like Moses, proclaimed the New Law on the Mountain (Mt 5:1) and nourished the people in the desert (Mk 6:30-44). Like the fall of the walls of Jericho towards the end of the forty years in the desert (Is 6: 20), so also Jesus proclaimed the fall of the walls of Jerusalem (Lk 19: 44; Mt 24:2). Like the prophets of old, Jesus proclaimed the liberation of the oppressed and the beginning of a new jubilee year (Lk 4:18-19), and asked for a change in the way of life (Mk 1:15; Lk 13:3.5).

There are other prophets after Jesus. That is why revolution, messianism and zeal continue to exist simultaneously. The authorities of the time, Romans and Herodians, as also priests, scribes and Pharisees, all concerned with the security of the Temple and the Nation (Jn 11:48) and with the observance of the Law (Mt 23:1-23), could see the difference between prophets and other popular leaders. For them they were all the same. They mistook Jesus for a messianic king (Lk 23:2.5). Gamaliel, the great doctor of the law, for instance, compared Jesus with Judas, leader of the revolutionaries (Acts 5:35-37). Flavius Josephus himself, the historian, mistook the prophets for "thieves and impostors". Today we would say that they were all "good for nothing"!

6. Praying Psalm 82 (81)
God warns human authorities
God takes his stand in the divine assembly,
surrounded by the gods he gives judgement.
'How much longer will you give unjust judgements
and uphold the prestige of the wicked?
Let the weak and the orphan have justice,
be fair to the wretched and the destitute.
'Rescue the weak and the needy,
save them from the clutches of the wicked.
'Ignorant and uncomprehending,
they wander in darkness,
while the foundations of the world are tottering.
I had thought, "Are you gods,
are all of you sons of the Most High?"
No! you will die as human beings do,
as one man, princes, you will fall.'
Arise, God,
judge the world,
for all nations belong to you.

7. Final Prayer
Lord Jesus, we thank for the word that has enabled us to understand better the will of the Father. May your Spirit enlighten our actions and grant us the strength to practice that which your Word has revealed to us. May we, like Mary, your mother, not only listen to but also practice the Word. You who live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites, www.ocarm.org.


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Katherine Drexel

Feast DayMarch 3

Patron Saint:  philanthropists, racial justice


St Katharine Drexel
Saint Katharine Drexel, S.B.S., (November 26, 1858 – March 3, 1955) was an American religious sister, heiress, philanthropist and educator, later canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. Her feast day is observed on March 3.


Katharine Drexel was born Catherine Marie Drexel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 26, 1858, the second child of investment banker Francis Anthony Drexel and Hannah Langstroth. Her family owned a considerable fortune, and her uncle Anthony Joseph Drexel was the founder of Drexel University in Philadelphia. Hannah died five weeks after her baby's birth. For two years Katharine and her sister, Elizabeth, were cared for by their aunt and uncle, Ellen and Anthony Drexel. When Francis married Emma Bouvier in 1860 he brought his two daughters home. A third daughter, Louise, was born in 1863. The girls were educated at home by tutors. They had the added advantage of touring parts of the United States and Europe with their parents [1] Twice a week, the Drexels distributed food, clothing and rent assistance from their family home at 1503 Walnut Street in Philadelphia. When widows or lonely single women were too proud to come to the Drexels for assistance, the family sought them out, but always quietly. As Emma Drexel taught her daughters, “Kindness may be unkind if it leaves a sting behind.” [2]

As a wealthy young woman, she made her social debut in 1879. But when she nursed her stepmother through a three-year terminal cancer, she saw that all the Drexel money could not buy safety from pain or death, and her life took a profound turn. She had always been interested in the plight of the Indians, having been appalled by what she read in Helen Hunt Jackson’s A Century of Dishonor.[3]

When the family took a trip to the Western part of the United States in 1884, Catharine saw the plight and destitution of the native Indian-Americans. This experience aroused her desire to do something specific to help alleviate their condition. This was the beginning of her lifelong personal and financial support of numerous missions and missionaries in the United States. After her father’s death in 1885, she and her sisters contributed money to help the St. Francis Mission on South Dakota’s Rosebud Reservation. For many years Kate took spiritual direction from a longtime family friend, Father James O’Connor, a Philadelphia priest who later was appointed vicar apostolic of Nebraska. When Kate wrote him of her desire to join a contemplative order, Bishop O’Connor suggested, “Wait a while longer. Wait and pray.” [2]

Catherine and her sisters were still recovering their father's death when they went to Europe in 1886. In January 1887 during a private audience with Pope Leo XIII, and asking him for missionaries to staff some of the Indian missions that she as a lay person was financing, she was surprised to hear the Pope suggest that she become a missionary herself. She could easily have married, but after consultation with her spiritual director, Bishop James O'Connor, she made the decision to give herself to God, along with her inheritance, through service to American Indians and Afro-Americans.[4] Her uncle, Anthony Drexel, tried to dissuade her from entering religious life, but in May 1889 she entered the Sisters of Mercy Convent in Pittsburgh to begin her six-month postulancy. Her decision rocked Philadelphia social circles. The Philadelphia Public Ledger carried a banner headline: “Miss Drexel Enters a Catholic Convent—Gives Up Seven Million".[2][3]

When her father died in 1885, the high-powered banker left behind a $15.5 million estate that was divided among his three daughters—Elizabeth, Catherine, and Louise. About $1.5 million went to several charities, leaving the girls to share in the income produced by $14 million—about $1,000 a day for each woman. In current dollars, the estate would be worth about $250 million.[2]

In 1935 Mother Katharine suffered a heart attack, and in 1937 she relinquished the office of superior general. Though gradually becoming more infirm, she was able to devote her last years to Eucharistic adoration, and so fulfil her life’s desire. She died at the age of 96 at Cornwell Heights, Pennsylvania, on 3 March 1955.[5] where she is buried.

Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament

St. Benedict the Moor School, 
St. Augustine (c.1898), 
paid for by St. Katharine Drexel
On February 12, 1891, she professed her first vows as a religious, dedicating herself to work among the American Indians and Afro-Americans in the western and southwestern United States.[4] She took the name Mother Katharine, and joined by thirteen other women, she established a religious congregation, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. A few months later, Archbishop Ryan blessed the cornerstone of the new motherhouse under construction in Bensalem. In the first of many incidents that indicated her convictions for social justice were not shared by others, a stick of dynamite was discovered near the site.[2] Two saints met when Katharine was advised by Mother Cabrini about the “politics” of getting her Order’s Rule approved in Rome.[3]

Knowing that many Afro-Americans were far from free, still living in substandard conditions as sharecroppers or underpaid menials, denied education and constitutional rights enjoyed by others, she felt a compassionate urgency to help change racial attitudes in the United States.[4] In 1913, the Georgia Legislature, hoping to stop the Blessed Sacrament Sisters from teaching at a Macon school, tried to pass a law that would have prohibited white teachers from teaching black students.[2]

Requests for help reached Mother Katharine from various parts of the United States. After three and a half years of training, she and her first band of nuns opened a boarding school in Santa Fe. By 1942 she had a system of black Catholic schools in 13 states, plus 40 mission centers and 23 rural schools. Segregationists harassed her work, even burning a school in Pennsylvania. In all, she established 50 missions for Indians in 16 states.[3] The most famous foundation was made in 1915; it was Xavier University, New Orleans, the first such institution for Black people in the United States.[5][6] When Mother Katharine purchased an abandoned university building to open Xavier Preparatory School in New Orleans, vandals smashed every window.[2]

In 1922 in Beaumont, Texas, a sign was posted by local Klansmen on the door of a church where the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament had opened a school. “We want an end of services here, ... Suppress it in one week or flogging with tar and feathers will follow.” A few days later, a violent thunderstorm ripped through Beaumont, destroying a building that served as the Klan’s headquarters.[2]

Over the course of 60 years—up to her death in 1955 at age 96—Mother Katharine spent about $20 million in support of her work, building schools and churches and paying the salaries of teachers in rural schools for blacks and Indians.[2]

Francis Drexel crafted his will to prevent his daughters from falling prey to “fortune hunters.” His daughters controlled the income from the estate, and upon their deaths, the Drexel inheritance would flow to their children. Neither Elizabeth nor Louise, however, had children, and the will stipulated that if that were to happen, upon his daughters’ deaths, the money would be distributed to several religious orders and charities—the Society of Jesus, the Christian Brothers, the Religious of the Sacred Heart, a Lutheran hospital and others. Thus, after 1955, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament no longer had the Drexel fortune available to support their ministries.[2]


Her cause for beatification was introduced in 1966; she was declared Venerable by Pope John Paul II on 26 January 1987, and beatified on 20 November 1988.[5] Mother Drexel was canonized on October 1, 2000, one of only a few American saints and the second American-born saint (Elizabeth Ann Seton was first, as a natural-born US citizen, born in New York City in 1774 and canonized in 1975).

In 1988, the Vatican concluded that Robert Gutherman was miraculously cured of deafness in 1974 after his family prayed for Mother Drexel's intercession and subsequently determined that two-year-old Amy Wall had been miraculously healed of nerve deafness in both ears through Katharine Drexel's intercession in 1994.[2]


A second-class relic of St. Katharine Drexel can be found inside the altar of the Mary chapel at St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, and in the Day Chapel of Saint Katharine Drexel Parish in Sugar Grove, Illinois.


The Vatican cited a fourfold legacy of Drexel:
  • A love of the Eucharist and perspective on the unity of all peoples;
  • courage and initiative in addressing social inequality among minorities - one hundred years before such concern aroused public interest in the United States;
  • her belief in quality education for all and efforts to achieve it;
  • and selfless service, including the donation of her inheritance, for the victims of injustice.[4]
The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament pursue their original apostolate of working with African-Americans and Native Americans in 21 states and Haiti.

In 1897, Mother Dresel asked the friars of St. John the Baptist Province in Cincinnati, Ohio, to begin a mission among the Navajos in Arizona and New Mexico on a 160-acre tract of land she had purchsed two years earlier. Mother Katharine Drexel stretched the Cincinnati friars apostolically since most of them previously had worked in predominantly German-American parishes. A few years later, she also helped finance the work of the friars among the Pueblo Native Americans in New Mexico.In 1910, she financed the printing of 500 copies of A Navaho-English Catechism of Christian Doctrine for the Use of Navaho Children, written by Fathers Anselm, Juvenal, Berard and Leopold Osterman. About a hundred friars from St. John the Baptist Province started Our Lady of Guadalupe Province in 1985. Headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that province works on the Navajo reservation with the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament.[7]

St. Katharine Drexel Mission Center and Shrine

Drexel Mission Center, Bensalem Pennylvania
The Saint Katharine Drexel Mission Center and National Shrine[8] is located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. The Mission Center offers retreat programs, historic site tours, days of prayer, presentations about Saint Katharine Drexel, as well as lectures and seminars related to her legacy. Furniture, photo displays, and other artifacts tell the story of St. Katharine Drexel, the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, and the accomplishments of Black and Native American people.

St. Elizabeth's Convent
St. Elizabeth's Convent, formerly known as the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People and now the home to Saint Katharine Drexel Mission Center and National Shrine, is a historic Roman Catholic convent located at 1663 Bristol Pike in Cornwells Heights, Bensalem Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The complex was built in 1892, and consists of three contributing buildings. They are built of gray stone with smooth brown columns and red tile roofs in the Spanish-French Mission style. The main building is the convent. It has an attached chapel, which features a bell tower and large semicircular window. The other contributing buildings are the utility building and 2 1/2-story laundry building. It served as the national headquarters and motherhouse for the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People, founded by Saint Katharine Drexel. Saint Katherine is entombed there in a crypt in the chapel. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.


    1. ^ "Katherine Drexel", Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament
    2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Finney Jr., Peter, "The Legacy of Saint Katherine Drexel", St. Anthony Messenger
    3. ^ a b c d Foley OFM, Leonard, "St. Katherine Drexel", Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons, and Feast, (revised by Pat McCloskey OFM) Franciscan Media, ISBN 978-0-86716-887-7
    4. ^ a b c d "Katherine Drexel: 1858-1955), Vatican News Service
    5. ^ a b c "Saint Katherine Drexel", L'Osservatore Romano, p.2, 21 November 1988
    6. ^ "XU Quick Facts". Xavier University of Louisiana. http://www.xula.edu/mediarelations/quickfacts.php. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
    7. ^ McCloskey OFM, Pat, "Mother Drexel and the Cincinnati Friars", St. Anthony Messenger
    8. ^ National Shrine of Saint Katharine Drexel
    9. ^ Saint Elizabeth Chapel, National Shrine of Saint Katharine Drexel
    10. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html.
    11. ^ St.Kstherine Drexel Parish, Cape Coral, FL
    12. ^ SKD Parish Beaver Dam, WI
    13. ^ Pope, John. "Xavier University chapel will 'create an air of beauty and mystery'". Times Picayune. http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2011/07/xavier_university_chapel_will.html. Retrieved 11 August 2012.


    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane



    Today's Snippet I: The Mystical City of God, The Divine History and Life of The Virgin Mother of God

    Book 6, Chapter 1

    The Marriage at Cana; How Most Holy Mary Accompanied the Redeemer of the World in His Preaching: the Humility shown by the Heavenly Queen in regard to the Miracles Wrought by Her Divine Son; The Transfiguration of the Lord; His Entrance into Jerusalem; His Passion and Death; His Triumph over Lucifer and his Demons by His Death on the Cross; the Most Sacred Resurrection of the Savior and His Wonderful Ascension into Heaven

    It would not be foreign to the purpose of this history to describe the miracles and the heroic works of Christ, our Redeemer and Master; for in almost all of them his most blessed and holy Mother concurred and took a part. But I cannot presume to undertake a work so arduous and so far above human strength and capacity. For the Evangelist saint John, after having described many miracles of Christ, says at the end of his Gospel, that Jesus did many other things, which, if they were all described, could not be contained in all the books of the world (John 21, 25). If such a task seemed so impossible to the Evangelist, how much more to an ignorant woman, more useless than the dust of the earth? All that is necessary and proper, and abundantly sufficient for founding and preserving the Church has been written by the four Evangelists; it is not necessary to repeat it in this history. Yet in order to compose this history and in order not to pass over in silence so many great works of the exalted Queen, which have not been mentioned, it is necessary to touch on a few particulars. Moreover, I think that to write of them and thus fasten them in my memory will be both consoling and useful for my advancement. The others, which the Evangelists recorded in their Gospels and of which I have not been commanded to write, are better preserved for the beatific vision, where the saints shall see them manifested to them by the Lord and where they will eternally praise Him for such magnificent works.

    From Cana in Galilee Christ, the Redeemer, walked to Capernaum, a large and populous city near the sea of Tiberias. Here, according to saint John (John 2, 12), He remained some days, though not many; for as the time of the Pasch was approaching, He gradually drew nigh to Jerusalem in order to celebrate this feast on the fourteenth of the moon of March. His most blessed Mother, having rid Herself of her house in Nazareth, accompanied Him thenceforth in his tours of preaching and of teaching to the very foot of the Cross. She was absent from Him only a few times, as when the Lord absented Himself on Mount Tabor (Matth. 17, 1), or on some particular conversions, as for instance that of the Samaritan woman, or when the heavenly Lady herself remained behind with certain persons in order to instruct and catechize them. But always after a short time, She returned to her Lord and Master, following the Sun of justice until it sank into the abyss of Death. During these journeys the Queen of heaven proceeded on foot, just as her divine Son. If even the Lord was fatigued on the way, as saint John says (John 43 61), how much more fatigued was this purest Lady? What hardships did She not endure on such arduous journeys in all sorts of weather? Such is the rigorous treatment accorded by the Mother of mercy to her most delicate body! What She endured in labors alone is so great that not all the mortals together can ever satisfy their obligations to Her in this regard. Sometimes by permission of the Lord, She suffered such great weakness and pains that He was constrained to relieve Her miraculously. At other times He commanded Her to rest Herself at some stopping-place for a few days; while again on certain occasions, He gave such lightness to her body, that She could move about without difficulty as if on wings.

    As I have already mentioned, the heavenly Lady had the whole doctrine of the evangelical law written in her heart. Nevertheless She was as solicitous and attentive as a new disciple to the preaching and doctrine of her divine Son, and She had instructed her angels to report to Her, if necessary, the sermons of the Master whenever She was absent. To the sermons of her Son She always listened on her knees, thus according to the utmost of her powers showing the reverence and worship due to his Person and doctrine. As She was aware each moment, of the interior operations of the Soul of Christ, and of his continual prayers to the eternal Father for the proper disposition of the hearts of his hearers and for the growth of the seed of his doctrine into eternal life, the most loving Mother joined the divine Master in his petitions and prayers and in securing for them the blessings of her most ardent and tearful charity. By her attention and reverence She taught and moved others to appreciate duly the teaching and instructions of the Savior of the world. She also knew the interior of those that listened to the preaching of the Lord, their state of grace or sin, their vices and virtues. This various and hidden knowledge, so far above the capacity of men, caused in the heavenly Mother many wonderful effects of highest charity and other virtues; it inflamed Her with zeal for the Honor of the Lord and with ardent desires, that the fruits of the Redemption be not lost to the souls, while at the same time, the danger of their loss to the souls through sin moved Her to exert Herself in the most fervent prayer for their welfare. She felt in her heart a piercing and cruel sorrow, that God should not be known, adored and served by all his creatures: and this sorrow was in proportion to the unequaled knowledge and understanding She had of all these mysteries. For the souls, that would not give entrance to divine grace and virtue, She sorrowed with ineffable grief, and was wont to shed tears of blood at the thought of their misfortune. What the great Queen suffered in this her solicitude and in her labors exceeds beyond all measure the pains endured by all the martyrs of the world.

    All the followers of the Savior, and whomever He received into his ministry, She treated with incomparable prudence and wisdom, especially those whom She held in such high veneration and esteem as the Apostles of Christ. As a Mother She took care of all, and as a powerful Queen She procured necessaries for their bodily nourishment and comforts. Sometimes when She had no other resources, She commanded the holy angels to bring provisions for them and for the women in their company. In order to assist them toward advancing in the spiritual life, the great Queen labored beyond possibility of human understanding; not only by her continual and fervent prayers for them but by her precious example and by her counsels, with which She nourished and strengthened them as a most prudent Mother and Teacher. When the Apostles or disciples were assailed by any doubts, which frequently happened in the beginning, or when they were attacked by some secret temptation, the great Lady immediately hastened to their assistance in order to enlighten and encourage them by the peerless light and charity shining forth in her; and by the sweetness of her words they were exquisitely consoled and rejoiced. They were enlightened by her wisdom, chastened by her humility, quieted by her modesty, enriched by all the blessings that flowed from this storehouse of all the gifts of the holy Ghost. For all these benefits, for the calling of the disciples, for the conversion and perseverance of the just, and for all the works of grace and virtue, She made a proper return to God, celebrating these events in festive hymns.

    As the Evangelists tell us, some of the women of Galilee followed Christ the Redeemer on his journeys. Saint Matthew, saint Mark and saint Luke tell us that some of those whom He had cured of demoniacal possession and of other infirmities, accompanied and served Him (Matth. 27; Mark 15; Luke 8); for the Master of eternal life excluded no sex from his following, imitation and doctrine. Hence some of the women attended upon Him and served him from the very beginning of his preaching. The divine wisdom so ordered it for certain purposes, among which was also the desire to provide proper companions for his blessed Mother during these travels. Our Queen interested Herself in a special manner in these pious and holy women, gathering them around Her, teaching and catechising them and bringing them as listeners to the sermons of her divine Son. Although She herself was fully enlightened and instructed in the evangelical doctrine and abundantly able to teach them the way of eternal life, nevertheless, partly in order to conceal this secret of her heart, She always availed Herself of the sayings of Christ in his public preaching as a text for her instructions and exhortations, whenever She taught these and many other women who came to Her either before or after hearing the Savior of the world.

    One of the great miracles of divine omnipotence and a wonder of wonders was the conduct of the most holy Mary toward the Apostles and disciples of her Son and Savior Christ, A full account of her wisdom is impossible to human tongue, and if I would wish to describe no more than what I have been made to understand concerning this matter, I would be obliged to write a large volume. I will touch upon it in this chapter and as occasion requires in the rest of this history. All that I can say is very little, yet from it the faithful can infer enough for their instruction. All those whom the Savior received into his divine school, were to see and treat familiarly his most blessed Mother. Hence He infused into their hearts an especial reverence and devotion toward that blessed Lady. But though this infused reverence was common to all, it was not equal in all the disciples; for the Lord distributed his gifts according to his free will in reference to their dispositions and in accordance with the duties and offices for which each one was destined. By conversation and regular interaction with their great Queen and Lady their reverential love and devotion was to grow and increase; for the blessed Lady spoke to all, loved them, consoled them, instructed and assisted them in their necessities, without ever permitting them to leave Her conversation and presence unreplenished by interior joy and consolation greater than they had asked for. Yet the measure of good fruit derived from them was dependent upon the disposition of the heart of those that received these favors.

    They were all enabled to begin their interaction with the Mother of God in high admiration of her prudence, wisdom, purity, holiness and great majesty, and made sensible of a sweetness in Her inexpressibly humble and pleasing. This was so ordained by the Most High, because as I have said in the fifth book, twenty-second, it was not yet time to reveal this mystic Ark of the new Testament to the world. Thus, just as the Lord, however much He wished to break forth in her praise, could not manifest it in words and concentrated it within his heart; so the holy Apostles, sweetly constrained into silence, found a vent for their fervent feelings in a so much the more intense love of most holy Mary and praise of her Maker. As the great Lady, on account of her peerless insight knew the natural disposition of each of the disciples, his measure of grace, his present condition and future office, She proceeded according to this knowledge in her petitions and prayers, in her instructions and conversings with them, and in the favors She obtained for each in support of his vocation. Such a loving zeal in the conduct of a mere Creature so entirely pleasing to the wishes of his Lord, excited a new and boundless admiration in the holy angels. Of no less admiration was the hidden providence of the Almighty by which the Apostles were made to correspond to the blessings and favors received by them at the intercession of the most holy Mother. All this caused a divine harmony of action, hidden to men and manifest only to the heavenly spirits.

    Especially signalized for the reception of these sacramental favors were saint Peter and saint John; the former because he was destined to be the vicar of Christ and head of the militant Church and because he therefore deserved the special reverence and love of the holy Mother; the latter because he was to take the place of the Lord after his Passion in attending upon and conversing with the heavenly Lady upon earth. As therefore the government and custody of the mystic Church namely of Mary immaculate and of the visible militant Church, namely the faithful on earth, was to be divided between these two Apostles, it was no wonder, that they should be singularly favored by the great Queen of the world. But as saint John was chosen to serve Mary and attain the dignity of an adopted son of the Mistress of heaven, he at once began to experience special urgings of grace and signalize himself in the service of the most holy Mary. Although all the Apostles excelled in devotion to the Queen beyond our power of understanding or conception the evangelist saint John penetrated deeper into the mysteries of this City of God and received through Her such divine enlightenment as to excel all the other Apostles. This is also evident from his Gospel (John 21, 20); all the divine insight therein manifested he received through the Queen of heaven, and the distinction of being called the beloved disciple of Jesus, he gained by his love toward the most blessed Mother. As this love was reciprocated by the heavenly Lady, he became the most beloved disciple both of Jesus and Mary.

    The Evangelist besides chastity and virginal purity, possessed some other virtues which were especially pleasing to the Queen; among then, were a dovelike simplicity, as is manifest from his writings, and a great gentleness and humility, which made him most meek and tractable. The heavenly Mother always looked upon the peaceful and the humble as the most faithful imitators of her divine Son. On this account the blessed Queen favored saint John above all the other Apostles and he himself became more and more anxious to serve Her with ever increasing reverential love and affection. From the very first moment of his vocation saint John commenced to excel all the rest in piety toward the Mother and to fulfill the least of her wishes as her most humble slave. He attended upon Her more assiduously than the rest; and whenever it was possible he sought to be in her company and take upon himself some of the bodily labors connected with her present life. Sometimes it happened that the fortunate Apostle competed with the angels in his zeal for thus assisting the great Queen; while She still more eagerly sought to perform these works of humility Herself; for in this virtue She triumphed over all other creatures and none of them could ever hope in the least to surpass or equal Her in acts of humility. The beloved disciple was very diligent in reporting to the heavenly Lady the works and miracles wrought by the Savior, whenever She herself could not be present, and in informing Her of the new disciples converted by his teaching. He was constantly alert and studious to serve Her in the least of her wishes, fulfilling each one of them with a loving eagerness.

    I will, however, say something of that which has been made known to me concerning the wicked Apostle Judas; for it belongs to this history and less is known of him. It will at the same time be a warning to the obstinate and an admonition for those little devoted to the most blessed Mary; for it is a sad truth that there should be any mortals who entertain little love toward a Creature so lovable, and One whom the infinite God himself loves without bound or measure; whom angels love with all their heavenly powers, the Apostles and saints from their inmost souls, whom all creatures should eagerly strive to love, and who never can be loved according to her merits. Yet this unhappy Apostle strayed from the royal road of divine love and its blessings. The understanding, which has been given me concerning this defection for the purpose of making it known in this history, is contained in the following paragraphs.

    Judas was attracted to the school of Christ our Teacher by his forceful doctrines, and was filled the same good intentions which moved the others. Powerfully drawn by these motives, he asked the Savior to admit him among his disciples, and the Savior receive him with the bowels of a loving Father, who rejects none that come to Him in search of truth. In the beginning Judas merited special favors and forged ahead of some of the other disciples, deserving to be numbered among the twelve Apostles; for the Savior loved his soul according to its present state of grace and his good works, just as He did the others. The Mother of grace and mercy observed the same course with him, although by her infused knowledge She immediately became aware of the perfidious treachery with which he was to end his apostolate. She did not, on this account, deny him her intercession and maternal love; but she applied Herself even more zealously to justify as far as possible the cause of her divine Son against this perfidious and unfortunate man, in order that his wickedness, as soon as it should be put into action, might not have the shadow of an excuse before men. Well knowing that such a character as his could not be overcome by rigor, but would only be driven by it to so much the greater obstinacy, the most prudent Lady took care, that none of the wants or the comforts of Judas should be ignored and She began to treat him, speak and listen to him more gently and lovingly than to all the rest. This She carried so far, that Judas, when the disciples once disputed among themselves concerning their standing with the Queen (as, according to the Evangelist [Luke 22, 24], it happened also concerning the Redeemer), never experienced the jealousy or doubt in this matter; for the blessed Lady in the beginning always distinguished him by tokens of special love and he, at that time, also showed himself thankful for these favors.

    But as Judas found little support in his natural disposition, and as the disciples, not being as yet confirmed in virtue and not as yet even in grace, were guilty of some human failings, the imprudent man began to compliment himself on his perfection and to take notice more of the faults of his brethren than of his own (Luke 4, 41). He permitted himself thus to be deceived, making no effort to amend or repent, he allowed the beam in his own eyes to grow while watching the splinters in the eyes of others. Complaining of their little faults and seeking, with more presumption than zeal, to the weaknesses of his brethren, he committed greater sins himself. Among the other Apostles he singled out saint John, looking upon him as an intermeddler and accusing him in his heart of ingratiating himself with the Master and his blessed Mother. The fact that he received so many special favors from Them was of no avail to deter him from this false assumption. Yet so far Judas had committed only venial sins and had not lost sanctifying grace. But they argued a very bad disposition, in which he willfully persevered. He had freely entertained a certain vain complacency in himself; this at once called into existence a certain amount of envy, which brought on a calumnious spirit and harshness in judging of the faults of his brethren. These sins opened the way for greater sins; for immediately the fervor of his devotion decreased, his charity toward God and men grew cold, and his interior light was lost and extinguished; he began to look upon the Apostles and upon the most holy Mother with a certain disgust and find little pleasure in their interactions and their heavenly activity.

    The most prudent Lady perceived the growth of this defection in Judas. Eagerly seeking his recovery and salvation before he should cast himself entirely into the death of sin, She spoke to him and exhorted him as her beloved child and with extreme sweetness and force of reasoning. Although at times this storm of tormenting thoughts, which had begun to rise in the breast of Judas, was allayed; yet it was only for a short time, and soon it arose and disturbed him anew. Giving entrance to the devil into his; heart, he permitted a furious rage against the most meek Dove to take possession of him. With insidious hypocrisy he sought to deny his sins or palliate them by alleging other reasons for his conduct: as if he could ever deceive Jesus and Mary and hide from Them the secrets of his heart. Thereby he lost his interior reverence for the Mother of mercy, despising exhortations and openly reproaching Her for her gentle words and reasonings. This ungrateful presumption threw him from the state of grace, the Lord was highly incensed and deservedly left him to his own evil counsels. By thus designedly rejecting the kindness and the intercession of most holy Mary, he closed against himself the gates of mercy and of his only salvation. His disgust with the sweetest Mother soon engendered in him an abhorrence of his Master; he grew dissatisfied with his doctrines and began to look upon the life of an Apostle and intercourse with the disciples as too burdensome.

    Nevertheless divine Providence did not abandon him immediately, but continued to send him interior assistance, although in comparison with former helps they were of a kind more common and ordinary. They were, however, in themselves sufficient for his salvation, if he would have made use of them. To these graces were added the gentle exhortations of the kindest Mistress, urging him to restrain himself and to humble himself and ask pardon of his divine Master. She offered him mercy in his name and her own kind assistance in obtaining it, promising to do penance for him, if he would consent to be sorry for his sins and amend his life. All these advances did the Mother of grace make in order to prevent the fall of Judas. She was well aware, that not seeking to arise from a fall and to persevere in sin was a much greater evil than to have fallen. The conscience of this proud disciple could not but reproach him with his wickedness; but becoming hardened in his heart, he began to dread the humiliation, which would have been to his credit, and he fell into still greater sins. In his pride he rejected the salutary counsels of the Mother of Christ and chose rather to deny his guilt, protesting with a lying tongue, that he loved his Master and all the rest, that there was no occasion for amending his conscience in this regard.

    In order that I may not incur the blame of concealing what belongs to this chapter, I will mention another cause of the ruin of Judas. When the number of the Apostles and disciples increased, the Lord resolved to appoint one of them to take charge of the alms received; thus to supply the common needs and pay the imperial tribute. Jesus made known his wishes to all indiscriminately without addressing Himself to any one in particular. While all of them feared such an office and sought to evade it, Judas immediately strove obtain it. In order to secure his appointment he humbled himself so far as to ask saint John to speak to the holy Queen and induce Her to arrange this matter for him with her Son. Saint John yielded to the request of Judas and spoke to the most prudent Mother; but She, knowing that this request of Judas was not proper or just, but proceeded from ambition and avarice, did not wish to propose it to the divine Master. The same kind of influence Judas sought to bring into play through saint Peter and the other Apostles, without success; for the Lord in his goodness wished to stay his ruin, and justify his cause before men, if He should grant the request. At this resistance the heart of Judas, already corrupted by avarice, instead of quietly yielding, was consumed with unhappy desires for the office, and the devil stirred up thoughts of vilest ambition, such as would have been most improper and wicked in any one, and hence were much more culpable in Judas, who had been a disciple in the school of highest perfection and who had lived in the light of the Sun of justice and its beautiful Moon Mary! Neither in the day of abundant graces, when the Sun Jesus lighted his paths, nor in the night of temptations, when the Moon Mary disclosed to him the wiles of the poisonous serpent, could he have failed to become aware of the wickedness of such suggestions. But, as he flew from the light and cast himself willfully into darkness, he presumed to ask most holy Mary in a direct manner for her influence in obtaining his object. He had lost all fear and hid his avarice in the cloak of virtue. Approaching Her, he said that he had made his request through saint Peter and saint John, with the sole desire of diligently serving Her and his divine Master, since not all would attend to the duties of this office with proper solicitude; and that, therefore, he now asked to obtain the position of purser for him from the Master.

    The great Lady answered him with extreme gentleness: "Consider well, my dearest, what thou askest, and examine whether thy intentions are upright. Ponder well, whether it is good for thee to seek which all thy brethren fear and refuse to accept, unless they shall be compelled thereto by the command of their Lord and Master. He loves thee more than thou lovest thyself and without doubt knows what will benefit thee; resign thyself to his most holy will, change thy purpose, and seek to grow rich in humility and poverty. Rise from thy fall, for I will extend thee a helpful hand and my Son will show thee his loving mercy." Who would not have yielded to these sweetest words and such urgent advice, spoken by such an amiable and heavenly Creature as was most holy Mary? But this fierce and adamantine heart was not softened or moved. On the contrary, the soul of Judas was offended and enraged against the heavenly Lady for thus offering him a means of escaping from his dreadful danger. Boundless ambition and avarice roused his fury against Her who seemed to hinder him in his projects and he considered her well-meant advice as an insult. But the meek and loving Dove pretended not to notice his obstinacy and said nothing more to him at that time.

    After his interview with most holy Mary, the avarice of Judas would not allow him to rest; casting of all modesty and natural shame (and the least spark of faith), Judas now resolved to apply to his divine Master and Savior. Clothing himself like a consummate hypocrite in the garb of a sheep, he went to his Master and said: "Master, I wish to fulfill thy wishes and serve Thee as thy purser and as the dispenser of alms which we receive; I will look to the interests of the poor, fulfilling thy doctrine that we should do unto others as we wish them to do unto us, and I will see to it that alms are distributed according to thy wishes, more profitably and orderly than hitherto." Such reasoning the specious hypocrite boldly used, committing many enormous sins in one and the same act. For, first of all he lied, concealing his real intention. Then, being ambitious of an honor which he did not merit, he neither wished to appear in his true light nor did he wish to be in truth what he merely pretended to be. He also blamed his brethren, discrediting them and praising himself: the ordinary course of those who are ambitious. What is especially to be noticed in this conduct of Judas is that he showed his loss of infused faith; for he attempted to deceive Christ, his divine Master, by wearing the cloak of hypocrisy. For, if he had firmly believe that Christ was true God and man who penetrated into the secrets of the heart, he could not have hoped to able to deceive Him; nor would he have attempted such double dealing, not only because he would have known Christ as the omniscient God, but because he would not have hoped to impose upon the infused and beatific science of Christ as man. Hence Judas had lost belief in all these prerogatives, and to his other sins, added the sin of heresy.

    But let us return to the answer given to Judas by the Master, whom he asked to make him purser. We shall see how hidden and terrible are the judgments of the Most High. The Redeemer wished to ward off from him the danger which lay behind this request and which threatened the avaricious Apostle with final perdition. In order that Judas might not excuse himself under plea of ignorance, the Lord answered him: "Dost thou know, Judas, what thou seekest and what thou askest? Be not so cruel toward thy own self as to solicit and seek to obtain the poison and the arms which may cause thy death." Judas replied: "Master I desire to serve Thee by employing my strength in the service of thy faithful followers and in this way I can do it better than in any other; for I offer to fulfill all the duties of this office without fail." This daring presumption of Judas in seeking and coveting danger, justified the cause of God in allowing him to enter and perish in the danger thus sought and coveted. He resisted the light (Eccli. 15, 17), and hardened himself against it, water and fire was shown him, life and death: he stretched forth his hand and chose perdition.

    WORDS OF THE QUEEN. (The Virgin Mary speaks to Sister Mary of Agreda, Spain.)
    My daughter, all that thou hast written in this chapter is a most important warning for all those that live in the flesh and in the imminent danger of losing eternal happiness. It should teach them to seek my most kind and powerful intercession and to fear the judgments of the Most High; for in this lies an efficacious means of salvation and of meriting higher reward for the Lord. I wish to remind thee once more, that among the secrets revealed to the beloved John at the last Supper, was also this, that he had become the beloved disciple of Christ on account of his love toward me, and that Judas fell because he despised the mercy and kindness which I had shown him. At that time, also, the evangelist understood other great mysteries communicated and wrought in me; that I should take part in the labor and suffering of the Passion and that he should have special charge of me. My dearest, the purity which I require of thee must be greater than that of an angel; and if thou strive after it thou wilt become my dearest child, as saint John, and a most beloved and favored spouse of my Son and Lord. His example and the ruin of Judas should continually serve thee as a stimulus and as a warning, to seek only after my love and to be sincerely thankful for the love shown thee without thy merit.


    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part One: Profession of Faith, Sect 2 The Creeds, Ch 3


    IV. The Spirit of Christ in the Fullness of Time

    John, precursor, prophet, and baptist
    717 "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John."Jn 1:6 John was "filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb"Lk 1:15 by Christ himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary's visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people.Lk 1:68

    718 John is "Elijah (who) must come."Mt 17:10-13 The fire of the Spirit dwells in him and makes him the forerunner of the coming Lord. In John, the precursor, the Holy Spirit completes the work of "[making] ready a people prepared for the Lord."Lk 1:17

    719 John the Baptist is "more than a prophet."Lk 7:26 In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah.Mt 11:13-14 He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the "voice" of the Consoler who is coming.Jn 1:23 As the Spirit of truth will also do, John "came to bear witness to the light."Jn 1:7 In John's sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels. 1 Pet 1:10-12 "He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. and I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.... Behold, the Lamb of God."Jn 1:33-36

    720 Finally, with John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit begins the restoration to man of "the divine likeness," prefiguring what he would achieve with and in Christ. John's baptism was for repentance; baptism in water and the Spirit will be a new birth.Jn 3:5

    "Rejoice, you who are full of grace"
    721 Mary, the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God, is the masterwork of the mission of the Son and the Spirit in the fullness of time. For the first time in the plan of salvation and because his Spirit had prepared her, the Father found the dwelling place where his Son and his Spirit could dwell among men. In this sense the Church's Tradition has often read the most beautiful texts on wisdom in relation to Mary.Prov 8:1 Mary is acclaimed and represented in the liturgy as the "Seat of Wisdom."

    In her, the "wonders of God" that the Spirit was to fulfill in Christ and the Church began to be manifested:
    722 The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily"Col 2:9 should herself be "full of grace." She was, by sheer grace, conceived without sin as the most humble of creatures, the most capable of welcoming the inexpressible gift of the Almighty. It was quite correct for the angel Gabriel to greet her as the "Daughter of Zion": "Rejoice."Zeph 3:14 It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle Lk 1:46-55 lifts up to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within her the eternal Son.

    723 In Mary, the Holy Spirit fulfills the plan of the Father's loving goodness. With and through the Holy Spirit, the Virgin conceives and gives birth to the Son of God. By the Holy Spirit's power and her faith, her virginity became uniquely fruitful.Lk 1:26-38

    724 In Mary, the Holy Spirit manifests the Son of the Father, now become the Son of the Virgin. She is the burning bush of the definitive theophany. Filled with the Holy Spirit she makes the Word visible in the humility of his flesh. It is to the poor and the first representatives of the gentiles that she makes him known.Lk 1:15-19

    725 Finally, through Mary, the Holy Spirit begins to bring men, the objects of God's merciful love,Lk 2:14 into communion with Christ. and the humble are always the first to accept him: shepherds, magi, Simeon and Anna, the bride and groom at Cana, and the first disciples.

    726 At the end of this mission of the Spirit, Mary became the Woman, the new Eve ("mother of the living"), the mother of the "whole Christ."Jn 19:25-27 As such, she was present with the Twelve, who "with one accord devoted themselves to prayer,"Acts 1:14 at the dawn of the "end time" which the Spirit was to inaugurate on the morning of Pentecost with the manifestation of the Church.

    Christ Jesus
    727 The entire mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit, in the fullness of time, is contained in this: that the Son is the one anointed by the Father's Spirit since his Incarnation - Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. Everything in the second chapter of the Creed is to be read in this light. Christ's whole work is in fact a joint mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Here, we shall mention only what has to do with Jesus' promise of the Holy Spirit and the gift of him by the glorified Lord.

    728 Jesus does not reveal the Holy Spirit fully, until he himself has been glorified through his Death and Resurrection. Nevertheless, little by little he alludes to him even in his teaching of the multitudes, as when he reveals that his own flesh will be food for the life of the world.Jn 6:27 He also alludes to the Spirit in speaking to Nicodemus,Jn 3:5-8 to the Samaritan woman, Jn 4:10 and to those who take part in the feast of Tabernacles.Jn 7:37-39 To his disciples he speaks openly of the Spirit in connection with prayerLk 11:13 and with the witness they will have to bear.Mt 10:19-20

    729 Only when the hour has arrived for his glorification does Jesus promise the coming of the Holy Spirit, since his Death and Resurrection will fulfill the promise made to the fathers.Jn 14:16-17 The Spirit of truth, the other Paraclete, will be given by the Father in answer to Jesus' prayer; he will be sent by the Father in Jesus' name; and Jesus will send him from the Father's side, since he comes from the Father. the Holy Spirit will come and we shall know him; he will be with us for ever; he will remain with us. the Spirit will teach us everything, remind us of all that Christ said to us and bear witness to him. the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth and will glorify Christ. He will prove the world wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment.

    730 At last Jesus' hour arrives:Jn 13:1 he commends his spirit into the Father's handsLk 23:46 at the very moment when by his death he conquers death, so that, "raised from the dead by the glory of the Father," Rom 6:4 he might immediately give the Holy Spirit by "breathing" on his disciples.Jn 20:22 From this hour onward, the mission of Christ and the Spirit becomes the mission of the Church: "As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." Jn 20:21