From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Thu Jun 15 00:58:33 2023
God Makes Me Good
"Before any good merits of mine, the mercy of God came to me. Even
though he had found no good in me, he himself made me good.
It is God who justifies those who turn to him and admonishes those
who are still far away that they be converted."
--St. Augustine--Commentary on Psalm 58 (2), 2
Prayer: Lord, our Mediator, God above us, human for our sake, I
acknowledge your mercy. In your love for us you chose to be greatly
troubled. Now you can much console the members of your body who by
their weakness are compelled to be troubled and to keep them from
perishing in despair.
--St. Augustine--Sermon on John 52, 2
June 15th - Alice of Schaerbeek, O.Cist.
(or Adelaide or Aleydis)
The life of St. Aleydis (Alice) is so simple and charming that it
might have come from the pen of a devout writer of fiction.
Nonetheless, hers is a real story, recorded probably by her spiritual
Alice of Schaerbeek, O.Cist. (or Adelaide or Aleydis) (Dutch: Sint
Aleydis, French: Sainte Alix), (1204–1250) was a Cistercian laysister
who is venerated as the patron saint of the blind and paralyzed
Born in Schaerbeck, a suburb of Brussels, Belgium, Aleydis was a frail
child but had a winning personality. When she was (at her own
request, it seems) she was sent to be boarded and raised by the
Cistercian nuns of a vicinity convent named “Camera Sanctae Marie” (“Chamber of St. Mary”). Although the monastery is long since gone,
its name is still preserved in the lovely park southeast of Brussels
called “Bois de la Chambre” (“Chamber Woods”).
From the day she went there, the convent became her permanent home.
The sisters educated her not only intellectually, but spiritually, and
she proved a good student in both aspects. In due time, she asked to
be admitted to the Cistercians. The quiet seclusion of the monastery
was well suited to her naturally shy, retiring disposition. Yet her
very humility motivated her to serve the needs of her sisters in every
way possible. They, in turn, admired her piety, and treasured the
memory of the small miracles attributed to her. One of these was the re-lighting of a candle. Once a lighted candle fell to the ground and
went out. Through her prayerful intervention, it is said, the candle spontaneously relit itself.
Leprosy was fairly widespread in medieval Europe. Unfortunately,
Sister Aleydis contracted this hideous disease while still young. To
the grief of the rest of the nuns she had to be isolated from the
community. Medieval science had not yet discovered that leprosy was
caused by the communicable germ mycobacillus leprae: but experience
had long since proved it to be contagious, and prescribed quarantine
to prevent its spread.
Aleydis, herself, even welcomed segregation in that it enabled her to
plunge with still less interruption into her favorite subject of
contemplation, the sufferings of Jesus. Where it hurt most, however,
was that hygiene forbade her to receive from the chalice (still a
general practice, in that time) when she went to Holy Communion.
Our Lord himself, we are told, consoled her by stating that one who communicated in the consecrated bread alone still received the blood
as well as the body of Jesus, for “Where there is part, there also is
On June 11, 1249, Sister Alice became very ill indeed, and was
anointed. It was soon revealed to her that she had 12 months more on
Her sufferings increased during those last months. She became blind,
perhaps as a result of the ravages of leprosy. But she lost no
opportunity to offer her additional sufferings for the souls in
purgatory. Despite her pains, she was comforted by still more
ecstasies and revelations. On June 10, 1250, she was again anointed,
and in the dawn of St. Bamabas’ Day, as predicted, she went to her
Today, Holy Communion under both forms is again available, but Jesus’
answer to St. Aleydis is still valid: when we receive the Host alone
we receive sacramentally the whole Christ, body and blood. Today,
also, the offering of prayers and sacrifices for the poor souls seems
to have declined. St. Alice’s prayers and sacrifices for them were nevertheless perfectly in keeping with the doctrine of sharing that
the Church has always taught, between the faithful on earth, in heaven
and in purgatory, that “waiting room” of heaven. Vatican II spoke once again of this “living communion that exists between us and our
brothers who are in the glory of heaven or who are yet being purified
after their death. (“Lumen Gentium.” 51). We call this bond the
Communion of Saints.
By decree of July 1, 1702 Pope Clement XI granted to the monks of the Congregation of St. Bernard Fuliensi the faculty to celebrate the
cultus of Alice. Devotion to Alice as a saint was approved in 1907 by
Pope Pius X.
"[The devil] dreads fasting, prayer, humility, and good works: He is
not able even to stop my mouth who speak against him. The illusions of
the devil soon vanish, especially if a man arms himself with the Sign
of the Cross. The devils tremble at the Sign of the Cross of our Lord,
by which He triumphed over and disarmed them."
--Saint Antony Abbot.
Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vain glory: but in
humility, let each esteem others better than themselves: (Philippians
Supplication to Our Lady
to obtain the Favour of her Patronage till Death.
The more exalted she is, the greater her clemency
and sweetness towards penitent sinners."--St. Gregory.
Sweet Mother! turn those gentle eyes
Of pity down on me;
Oh! hear thy suppliant's tearful cries,
My humble prayer do not despise,
Star of the pathless sea!
In dark temptation's dreary hour,
To thee, bright Queen, we flee;
Oh! then exert a mother's power,
When storms are rough and tempests lower;
Star of the raging sea!
Through all my joys and cares, sweet Maid,
May I still look on thee,
Who bore the Price our ransom paid,
And ne'er the suppliant's cry hath stayed;
Star of the azure sea!
And when my last expiring sigh,
My soul from earth shall free,
Do thou, bright Queen of Saints, stand by,
And bear it up to God on high,
Star of the boundless sea! June 2014