• Listen to Him

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    Listen to Him

       "A voice from the cloud said, This is my beloved Son, with whom I
    am well pleased; listen to him. I am manifested through his preaching.
    I am glorified through his humility. So listen to him without
    hesitation. He is the truth and the life. He is my strength and
    wisdom. "Listen to him" whom the mysteries of the law foreshadowed, of
    whom the mouths of the prophets sang. "Listen to him" who by his blood
    redeemed the world, who binds the devil and seizes his vessels, who
    breaks the debt of sin and the bondage of iniquity. "Listen to him"
    who opens the way to heaven and by the pain of the cross prepares for
    you the steps of ascent into his kingdom."
     by Leo the Great (excerpt from Sermon 38,7)

    March 31st - Bl. Joan of Toulouse, Virgin
    4th Century

    As early as the year 1240 the Carmelite brothers from Palestine made a settlement at Toulouse. Twenty-five years later, when St Simon Stock
    was passing through Toulouse on his way to Bordeaux, he was approached
    by a woman called Joan, who begged him to affiliate her to his order,
    although she was living in her own home. The prior general consented,
    clothed her with the Carmelite habit, and allowed her to take a vow of perpetual chastity. As far as it was possible Joan followed strictly
    the rule of St. Albert of Jerusalem, and she was venerated not only as
    the first Carmelite tertiary, but as the founder of the Carmelite
    tertiary order. She daily frequented the fathers’ church, and combined penance with love, depriving herself almost of the necessaries of life
    to relieve the sick and poor. She used to also train young boys in the practices of holiness, with a view to preparing them to enter the
    Carmelite Order. It was her custom to carry about with her a picture
    of the crucified Redeemer, which she studied as though it had been a

    Bl. Joan was buried in the Carmelite church of Toulouse and her tomb
    was thronged by those who sought her aid. For 600 years she was
    honoured, and her body was re-enshrined several times--notably in
    1805, when a little book of manuscript prayers was found beside her.

    The above is a summary of the story of Bl. Joan (whose cultus was
    confirmed in 1895) as it is related in the lessons for her feast in
    the Carmelite supplement to the Breviary, but there has apparently
    been considerable confusion. It seems clear that she in fact lived at
    Toulouse towards the end of the fourteenth, not the 13th, century, and
    that she was not a tertiary but a recluse.

    See the Breviary lessons referred to above, and Fr. Bonifatius, Die
    sel. Johanna von Toulouse (1897) ; and Fr. B. Zimmerman’s Monumenta
    historica Carmelitana, p. 369, and Let saints deserts des Cannes
    déchaussés (1927), pp. 17-18, where the problem is examined.

    Saint Quote:
    I have endeavored to learn all doctrines; but I have acquiesced at
    last in the true doctrines, those namely of the Christians, even
    though they do not please those who hold false opinions.
    -- Saint Justin Martyr at his trial

    Bible Quote:
       "If you make a vow to God, discharge it without delay, for God has
    no love for fools, Discharge your vow.  Better a vow unmade than made
    and not discharged.  Do not allow your mouth to make a sinner of you,
    and do not say to the messenger that it was a mistake.  Why give God
    occasion to be angry with you and ruin all the work that you have
    done?" Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth) 5:3-5

    The Jews demand signs and Jesus gave them to them. I shall rebuild
    this temple in three days. They had not been listening to His message
    for the last three years. But his apostles could not grasp the meaning
    of these words either. When Christ reconciled with the father he made
    us temples of the Living God (1 Cor 6: 19-20) and filled us with the
    Holy Spirit. We have the advantage of hindsight but imagine how
    chagrined the Pharisees were to hear such news at the time.

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