• On the Royal Road of the Holy Cross: [XIII]

    From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Mon Aug 1 23:51:25 2022
    On the Royal Road of the Holy Cross: [XIII]

    Man is not by nature inclined to carry the cross, to love the cross,
    to chasten the body, and bring it into subjection; (I Cor. 9:27) to
    refuse honors, to submit to insults with goodwill, to despise himself
    and welcome disparagement; to bear all adversity and loss, and to
    desire no kind of prosperity in this world. And if you trust in your
    own strength, you will be unable to achieve any of these things. But
    if you trust in the Lord, you will be given strength from Heaven, and
    the world and the flesh will become subject to your will. Neither will
    you fear your enemy the Devil, if you are armed with faith and signed
    with the Cross of Christ.
    --Thomas à Kempis--Imitation of Christ Bk 2, Ch 12

    August 2nd - Bl. Joan of Aza

    d. 1190
    Matron praise is due in her own right; to beauty of soul she added
    beauty of body, and both were handed on to the greatest of her sons

    The mother of St. Dominic is said to have been born in the castle of
    Aza, near Aranda in Old Castile; nothing is known of her childhood,
    but doubtless her marriage took place when she was very young,
    according to the custom of the time and country. Her husband was
    Felix, perhaps de Guzman, who was warden of the small town of
    Calaruega in the province of Burgos, of which Dante writes in speaking
    of St. Dominic: "Happy Calaroga I there where the gentle breeze
    whispers and wanders among the young flowers that bloom over the
    garden of Europe, near that shore where the waves break and behind
    which the great sun sinks at evening."

    Here they lived and here were born to them four children, Antony, who
    became a canon of St. James and sold all that he had that he might
    serve the poor and sick in a hospital; Bl. Mannes, who followed his
    younger brother, Dominic; and an unknown daughter, whose two sons
    became preaching friars.

    The greatest of these children was a child of promise, for when Antony
    and Mannes were already grown up and clerics, Joan wished for another
    son and prayed to that end in the abbey-church of Silos; and a vision
    of St. Dominic of Silos is said to have appeared to her in sleep,
    telling her that a son would be born to her and that he would be a
    shining light to the Church: and she in thankfulness determined that
    he should be baptized Dominic.

    While the child was yet unborn Bl. Joan dreamed "that she bore a dog
    in her womb and that it broke away from her with a burning torch in
    its mouth wherewith it set the world aflame"; this dog became a symbol
    of the Dominican Order and in later ages gave rise to the pun Domini
    canes, "the watch-dogs of the Lord".

    His godmother at his baptism (or, as some say, Bl. Joan again)
    likewise had a dream in which the babe appeared with a shining star
    upon his forehead, enlightening the world: wherefore is a star often
    shown upon images of the saint. Dominic remained under the care of his
    mother till he was seven years old, and then was sent to school with
    his uncle, the parish priest of Gumiel d'Izan. Other stories are
    told, but by later writers, about the saint's infancy.

    It has not been given to many mothers of saints to be themselves
    beatified, and Joan achieved this distinction by her own virtues and
    not by those of her children: it is not unusual for hagiographers to
    praise the parents of their heroes, but the mother of St. Dominic such
    praise is due in her own right; to beauty of soul she added beauty of
    body, and both were handed on to the greatest of her sons.

    Her cultus dates from the moment of her death; a hermitage at Uclés,
    where she would go to visit the commandery of the Knights of St.
    James, was called after her, and likewise a chapel in the cemetery at Calaruega. At the request of King Ferdinand VII this cultus was
    confirmed in 1828.

    It is to be feared that the little we are told concerning Bl. Joan
    does not rest upon a very sound basis of evidence. See, however,
    Ganay, Les Bienheureuses Dominicaines, pp. 13 seq. R. Castano,
    Monografia de Santa Joanna (1900); Procter, Dominican Saints, pp.
    215-219 and the standard lives of St. Dominic .

    Saint Quote:
    There are in truth three states of the converted: the beginning, the
    middle, and the perfection. In the beginning, they experience the
    charms of sweetness; in the middle, the contests of temptation; and in
    the end, the fullness of perfection.
    --Pope St. Gregory the Great

    Bible Quote:
    If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love. (John 15:10)

    Meditation for troubled times:

    Turn out all thoughts of doubt and fear and resentment. Never
    tolerate them if you can help it. Bar the windows and doors of your
    mind against them, as you would bar your home against a thief who
    would steal in to take away your treasures. What greater treasures can
    you have than faith and courage and love? All these are stolen from
    you by doubt and fear and resentment. Face each day with peace and
    hope. They are results of true faith in God. Faith gives you a feeling
    of protection and safety that you can get in no other way.
    -- From Twenty-Four Hours a Day

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