Posts Tagged ‘catholic’

Catholic forces mobilise

1 Bealtaine, 2008
Issue: 25 – May 2008
Catholic forces mobilise
For months now pro-life Catholic Nationalist activists have been quietly mobilising in preparation for the Lisbon Treaty Referendum.
Groups such as Éire go Brách and CIR have been organising throughout the Twenty-Six Counties since late last year and they are now in full campaign mode.

In addition to holding meetings aimed at informing the public about the serious dangers Lisbon poses for the Irish Nation and our Catholic culture, several organisations have been engaged in door-to-door canvassing and thousands of households, particularly in Munster, have already received highly informative campaign literature on the Treaty.

Well placed activists have told The Hibernian that the overwhelming majority of those canvassed have come out categorically in favour of the No side. Campaigners are eagerly awaiting the announcement of an official date for the referendum so that they can swing fully into action for the occasion.

At the beginning of last year, The Hibernian predicted that Ireland would witness the rise of Catholic Nationalism throughout the Thirty-Two Counties; and this has been the case. Among the successes to date have been preventing the extension of the 1967 British Abortion Act to the Six-Counties and the halting of legislation promoting homosexual marriage in the South. The next target is Lisbon. May God Bless the work of Catholic Irish Nationalists in this great endeavour.



Saint Dymphna – A Role Model for our Youth

1 Bealtaine, 2008
Author: Martina Caffrey
Issue: 25 – May 2008

Saint Dymphna – A Role Model for our Youth
Ireland was once known as the Land of Saints and Scholars.

Our Catholic faith was strong and kept alive through all difficulties over the centuries through the faith of the people. It is a source of national pride for us as Irish people to know that our country was seen as such a devoted and spiritual place for so long. Ireland spread the Good News to so many different countries bringing our Catholic faith with us wherever we went and succeeding in bringing countless numbers to the True Faith. It is true that in recent years this devotion has faded. The Ireland we live in today is but a shadow of what it once was. What a fitting time then for us to turn to those saints, those heroic Catholic martyrs and teachers who once spread the True Faith to the world and ask for their intercession and help in bringing the Catholic religion back into Ireland. We all know the more famous Irish saints such as Saint Patrick and Saint Brigid. They are our primary patron saints and we should turn to them in prayer for our country more often. However there are hundreds of other saints who are not so well known and who we should consider in our prayers. I have to admit that when I tried to think of the names of some of the other Irish saints, I struggled. We need all the help we can get in this battle to keep the Catholic faith alive in Ireland, so some knowledge and some thought towards our lesser known Irish saints might inspire and remind us just how many saints we Irish have in Heaven who are all eager to help us if we just ask them.

Saint Dymphna is one of those lesser known Irish saints. Her feast day of May 15th makes it fitting to mention her now. There are many prayers and devotions to this virgin martyr and many people will probably know or recognise her name. Saint Dymphna is the patron saint of people afflicted with nervous or mental disturbances. This makes her a fitting saint to pray to in these times as she may be able to help those in our country who are suffering the emotional or mental problems that are spreading more widely in our society. We have seen the levels of alcohol, drugs, suicide and mental health problems rise in recent times here in Ireland. By interceding with Saint Dymphna for those troubled with these problems we may be able to bring some healing to our youth and to those in need of our help. Saint Dymphna is also an example to the youth on the virtue of purity and how important it is to try and keep this virtue no matter how difficult the circumstance. She was born in the seventh century. Her father was a pagan chieftain and her mother was a very beautiful and devout Christian. Dymphna mirrored her mothers beauty and all throughout the land commented on how beautiful she was. When she was only fourteen, her mother died and her father was so heart-broken that he became inconsolable. This grief led to him suffering a mental collapse. His advisers suggested that he should find himself a second wife. The king agreed to this but only on the condition that his second wife look exactly the same as his first wife. Messengers were sent all over Ireland to try and find a noble woman who looked like the former queen. These attempts were fruitless as none could be found. It was then that his advisers had the idea that he should marry his own daughter as it was widely known that she was a living likeness of her mother. At first the king resisted but then his mental turmoil and his need for a wife drove him to agree to this scheme. He brought the subject up with Dymphna who was appalled and disgusted with the very idea. She refused and chastised him for even suggesting such an idea. She told him that she was a Christian and that she would not give in to his pagan beliefs. The king tried everything from flattery to pleading to threats to try and make her change her mind but she was firm in her faith and would not be tempted.

Saint Dymphna turned to her priest for advice and he told her that it would be best to flee from the castle. This she did along with her priest, Fr. Gerebern, and two friends. They found loyal sailors who rowed them across the sea to Antwerp in modern Belgium. The small group then settled in Gheel which was a little village near a shrine dedicated to Saint Martin de Tours. Over the next three months, Dymphna soon endeared herself to the local people through her kindness and acts of mercy. She was seen by them as an angel of mercy. Soon however spies from her fathers kingdom arrived in Gheel and as they used the same coins which Dymphna used in the local inn, the inn keeper innocently revealed to them where Dymphna lived. The king was informed and he immediately set out for Gheel. Again he pleaded and tried to coax Dymphna into agreeing to a marriage with him with the promises of riches and power and then turned to threats but it was still to no avail. She told him that she would rather die than to break the vow of virginity which she had made with her confessors guidance. In his mental affliction, an idea formed in his head that if the priest was killed, Dymphna would no longer have him there as a moral support. The king gave orders for Fr. Gerebern to be beheaded. This plan did not work as he had intended however and Dymphna remained steadfast in her faith telling her father that Nothing will induce me to offend Jesus Christ. The king had to admit defeat but he had promised vengeance if she refused him and so he carried this out. He ordered his men to kill her but they refused. They loved their princess for her gentleness of mind and heart and could not bring themselves to harm her. The king was furious and jumping up he took hold of his sword and beheaded his daughter. Saint Dymphna along with her confessor Fr. Gerebern were martyred in the year 620 when Dymphna had just turned fifteen. They were buried side by side in Gheel and over the centuries their graves have become a shrine and a place of pilgrimage for those who wish to seek Saint Dymphnas intercession for a loved one who is mentally afflicted.

Saint Dymphnas steadfastness in the face of temptation and danger should inspire us in our lives. We are often told to turn to the example of the saints for guidance in our daily lives and Saint Dymphnas story is one of those which should be used to inspire young people in their attempts to live a good Catholic life. Young people have so many distractions and temptations all clamouring for their attention and it is easy to lose their way. If we take some of our saints and use them as role models for our young people, we can give them the inspiration they need in times of trial. Saint Dymphna did not give up her beliefs and did not forsake her vow of virginity even in the face of death. How many more role models could we find if we took some time to read the life stories of our other Irish saints?

Mary our model

1 Bealtaine, 2008
Author: Cathal Broin
Issue: 25 – May 2008

Mary our model
The modern world needs to look less to pop stars and fashion models and more to true role models model people people who truly set the standard of how a person ought to be. Our Catholic Faith teaches us that we were created to know, love and serve God. To be reasonably happy in this life and perfectly happy in the next.

Our models are the saints, and to whom could we better look to as a model person (after Christ of course), than to Mary, the Mother of God. All of humanity can find in her the measure of what it is to be a perfect person. Whether they be man or woman, rich or poor, married, religious or single, all peoples of all ages can find in Mary more wisdom than a thousand books. She is a constant source of inspiration to those who pray to her and meditate on her life. In her we find hope. For she is our heavenly hero, a mother of mercy for all who turn to her. As she waits, with her maternal heart, watching over the world, she is forever ready to impart extraordinary graces to all those who seek her intercession.
Sometimes it is easy to forget that saints are people too. If they are different to others it is only that in life they loved God as He ought to be loved. Mary was created in Gods plan to be the Mother of Christ, and so was given the special privilege of an Immaculate Heart. But she still had to live. It wasnt all simply predestination. She had to choose. She had to struggle – even though we know that she never sinned. Do you think that she did not have to suffer any temptations? Of course she did, but it was how she responded that mattered. The Angel Gabriel saluted her as being full of grace. Her heart was full of love of God, and so, had no room in it for worldly attachments. It is love of ourselves and love of the world that can easily pull us down in the time of temptation. If we are truly full of the love of God, then no temptation, no matter how violent or persistent, can have power over us.

Everybody suffers temptations. They should not be a cause of shame or worry to us. They are simply the promptings of hell, trying to lure us from our heavenly destiny, to ensnare us in sin. It is only how we respond that matters.

We would most likely be shocked if we knew the assaults that Mary suffered. We can be very sure, as is the nature of good and evil that just as she was picked out by God to bring Goodness Himself into the world, so she was targeted, more than anyone else ever was, by the devil and his legions, to suffer, like no other mere human ever had to or ever will.

May is known as the Month of Mary. It is traditionally a time of special devotion to She who is the greatest of saints. There are of course many excellent things we can do. The Rosary, the Scapular, the Miraculous medal, etc., are all gifts from the Mother of God to help us to grow as Her spiritual children. We can be sure that we will gain extraordinary graces from all these things, to help us in our lives but it doesnt stop there. We must play our part we must try to imitate Her great virtues. We must be living children of Mary, living examples of Faith, hope and charity of chastity, humility and obedience.

The first act of disobedience came when the devils fell from Heaven, after Lucifer said non serviam to God I will not serve. Then came the fall of Adam and Eve, when they disobeyed a simple commandment given to them to test their loyalty to God. Through these prideful acts of disobedience, all evil was unleashed unto creation. How could anything be saved, one might wonder, after such defiance of the Creator?

Mary was the pivot, the gate of mercy. She brought to the world a second chance, one that it did not deserve. She became the second Eve, and Her words were the opposite of what had set the world and all of creation wrong. She said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord! Be it done unto me according to Thy word. She said that She was the handmaid, the servant, and with this spirit, She said yes! She gave herself entirely to God, so that He could do with her whatever He wished. We need to try to imitate this heroic self-giving. We need to try to surrender our will, our freedom completely to Our Creator. Rather than be slaves to the world, we should freely became servants of God, and who knows what He will accomplish in us. Where thy heart is, there also is thy treasure. If our treasure is in Heaven we shall have riches beyond measure!

So, Mary obeyed God She said yes in a life of total surrender. Obedience is born of, and lives with, humility. These two virtues must both go together. Obedience is essentially to act as a servant with the humility to know that God is first, that God is King. The devil said that he would not serve because he thought he knew better than God Himself. Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit because they wanted to be like unto Gods. They did not trust in God, but they trusted a serpent. How could they be so blind? Temptation brings distortion, and sin casts darkness on the mind and heart.

What use would it be to make a beautiful May altar if our hearts are ugly, consumed in worldliness? and , what good would it do to decorate such an altar with the choicest of roses, if our hearts are choked with weeds and thistles? All our devotion is shallow if we are not willing to amend our lives. Let our gift to Mary in this month of May be our hearts. Let us ask Her in humility to help us to become better people.

What would it cost us to meditate on the life of Mary during the month of May, even for five minutes a day, and to pray for her virtues? And what about a few acts of faith, of humility, of kindness in honour of the Blessed Virgin? We followers of Christ are supposed to be living witnesses to the goodness of God, but unfortunately, all too often, the only thing that the world sees from a so-called Christian is an impatient Pharisee sitting in judgement. This is not supposed to be so. We need our prayers as a means of sanctification, and we also need our neighbours. Every insult borne with patience, every fault ignored, every inconvenience swallowed when we accept the penance that comes from simply interacting with other people, we can show charity, acquire virtue and accumulate treasure in Heaven.

Little things do make a big difference. Take everyday situations. One could easily think why should I let that person go in front of me in the queue? or why should I give the nicer cream bun to my brother? I quite fancy the one on the right, it has more jam topping! What do we gain when we always seek to get our own way, when we always put ourselves first? We soon become like spoilt children, and every slight thing that goes against our wills becomes an excruciating torture. Then, the faade we have draped over our ego always seems to be slipping down, and we are always on the defensive, terrified that we might be seen as less than we suppose ourselves to be.

Modern pop-psychology teaches us to be confident in ourselves. True confidence can only be in found in Christ. What cause have I of confidence in my own goodness? It is like being confident in a horse without legs, to think that it can somehow win a race. We cannot be saints by our own. Without God with can do nothing.

Mary shows us the true way to success. It was not that She was clever, it was that She had Faith, for God alone occupied Her mind and heart it was not that She was self-confident, it was that She had Hope, for in Her humility She could see the Greatness of God and it wasnt that She was calculating, it was that She had Charity, for She listened for the voice of God and obeyed Him in everything.

Mary our model teach us how to be good.