• A mind closed to God's wisdom

    From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Thu Feb 18 23:26:21 2021
    A mind closed to God's wisdom

    Jesus goes on to warn his disciples about the problem of the "closed
    mind" that refuses to learn new things. Jesus used an image familiar
    to his audience--new and old wine skins. In Jesus' times, wine was
    stored in wine skins, not bottles. New wine poured into skins was
    still fermenting. The gases exerted gave pressure. New wine skins were
    elastic enough to take the pressure, but old wine skins easily burst
    because they became hard as they aged. What did Jesus mean by this
    --The unity of the new and the old  Luke 5:33-39

    February 19th – Bl. Alvarez of Cordova

    THE birthplace of Bl. Alvarez is uncertain: some authorities give it
    as Lisbon and others Cordova, where the greater part of his life was
    spent. He entered the Dominican convent of St Paul there in 1368. He
    became a wonderful preacher and laboured with great success first in
    Andalusia and afterwards in Italy. On the death of King Henry II of
    Castile, Alvarez became confessor and adviser of the Queen-mother
    Catherine (who was the daughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster),
    and directed the early training of the young King John II. He
    completely reformed the court, but when, owing to political
    dissensions, the regency was divided he withdrew from court and
    resumed his former work as a preacher.

    Bl. Alvarez had long formed the design, which he proceeded to carry
    out, of founding a Dominican house which, in accord with the reform
    already begun by Bl. Raymund of Capua, should follow strictly the rule
    of St. Dominic. He chose a mountainous region not far from Cordova,
    and there he erected the Escalaceli, Ladder of Heaven, which became a
    centre of piety and learning, to which men flocked from all parts of

    Alvarez exercised a great influence in resisting the papal claimant
    “Benedict XIII”, Peter de Luna, and in bringing the people and--what
    was much more difficult--the grandees, to acknowledge the legitimate

    In spite of advancing age Bl. Alvarez continued his work of
    catechizing, teaching and preaching: he would spend his whole day in
    such tasks, and when he returned at night to his monastery he would
    devote nearly all the night to prayer. He and his brethren depended
    upon alms for their food, and sometimes he went to the market-place in
    Cordova and addressed the people, ending up by saying, “My dear
    brethren, the poor friars of St. Dominic in the mountain recommend
    themselves to your charity”. His practices of penance grew ever more
    severe; he crawled on his knees to a chapel dedicated to our Lady of
    Pity, taking the discipline as he went, and a picture still at Cordova represents him thus kneeling, his shoulders covered with blood and
    accompanied by angels, some of whom are clearing away little rocks
    from his path. He built several chapels in the monastery grounds, each
    one representing a “station” or scene of our Lord’s passion, doubtless suggested to him by his experiences as a pilgrim in Jerusalem. It was
    told that one night when he had been praying in one of these, a
    violent storm made the brook which separated it from the monastery
    quite impassable. When the bell rang for Matins the holy man lifted
    his eyes to God, took off his black cloak, spread it on the water and
    walked safely across to dry land; he retrieved his cloak and returned
    to his place in choir as usual. The cultus of Bl. Alvarez was
    confirmed in 1741.

    See Touron, Les Hommes illustres de l’Ordre de St Dominique, vol. iii,
    pp. 98-110 Procter, Dominican Saints, pp. 42-44; Mortier, Maîtres
    Généraux OP., vol. iv, pp. 210-214. Mortier points out that the date
    1420 usually assigned for the death of Alvarez cannot possibly be
    correct, for documentary evidence shows that he was living in 1423.
    The same historian seems to claim for Bl. Alvarez that he was the
    originator in the West of the devotion of the Stations of the Cross.
    But the idea of a series of such shrines may be traced as far back as
    St. Petronius of Bologna in the fifth century, and the Augustinians,
    Peter and John da Fabriano, erected similar stations shortly before
    the time of Alvarez. The idea at this period was becoming very

    Saint Quote:
    "Love sinners, but hate their works, and do not despise them for their
    faults, lest you be tempted by the same. Remember that you share the
    earthly nature of Adam and that you are clothed with his infirmity."
    --St. Isaac the Syrian.

    Bible Quote:
    And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength
    is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory
    in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  (2
    Corinthians 12:9) DRB

    Rise, glorious Victor, rise
    Into Thy native skies,--
    Assume Thy right;
    And where in many a fold
    The clouds are backward rolled,
    Pass through those gates of gold,
    And reign in light.

    Enter, Incarnate God;
    No feet but Thine have trod
    The serpent down;
    The full-voiced trumpets blow,
    Wider the portals throw;
    Saviour, triumphant go,
    And take Thy crown.

    O Lord, ascend Thy throne;
    For Thou shalt rule alone,
    Beside Thy Sire
    And blessed Paraclete,
    The Three in One complete,
    Before Whose awful feet
    All foes expire.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
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