Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in Aeternum! Amen.
Cor Iesu Sacratissimum,
The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Busy day today. Went to Mass (I ❤ solemnities!) and then began the trek to GRap to get the nephew. Once we got there, we had our own set of issues with which to deal that are much too detailed to recall now. Let me just say that if certain individuals were Pinocchio, their noses would be longer than a redwood is tall. Needless to say, the nephew is here with us and he is playing over at great-grandma and grandpa. I am exhausted from the ordeal and the car ride. Whodathunk that explaining basic logic to one with the mental capacities of a mudpost and a dead conscience apparently (and that’s being charitable) would be so arduous?
When my brother and I stopped for lunch, I realized, “It’s a solemnity! I can eat meat!” Needless to say, I took advantage of that. How can one be penitential on a day as joyful as the day we honor the Heart of Jesus from whence our salvation came when it was pierced with a lance on the Cross? The Church was born out of the pierced side of Christ’s Heart. When the blood and water gushed forth, the Church was born and blessed as His Bride to His Bridegroom. It is through the Heart of Jesus that mercy flows along with infinite graces.
There’s a young adult TLM tonight for the Solemnity but since we have the nephew, I sadly had to by pass on it this month. *sad child of God* I am sure it will be quite splendid. It’s the TLM, how could it not? It would be nice to don the mantilla again in a liturgical setting. *le sigh*
All right, I am actually surprised that I am getting to this BEFORE 11pm. It’s a miracle. Mostly because I want to make sure I get it posted before we take the nephew out tonight and before I take my powernap in a bit. I am exhaustado.
Let’s have at day three of our novena to Saint Aloysius. Today, we’ll cover his religious life or at least a bit of it.
First, we pray our novena prayer:
O Holy Mary, my Mistress,
into thy blessed trust and special keeping,
into the bosom of thy tender mercy,
this day, everyday of my life and at the hour of my death,
I commend my soul and body;
to thee I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life,
that through thy most holy intercession and thy merits,
all my actions may be ordered and disposed according to thy will and that of thy divine Son.
Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, pray for us!
After a long battle with his father, family, and friends, Aloysius was finally allowed to renounce his status as heir to the Marquisate of Castiligione in November of 1585. Mind you, doing this was not just a matter of filling out a few forms and waiting for confirmation. Aloysius had to request permission from many people because of all the different connections the family had in other places and the fact that they reported to persons higher than them. This alone took time so by the time he got his father’s permission, it would take a bit of time longer for everything to be formally done and his inheritance passed onto his younger brother Rudolfo.
He went to Rome and because of his noble blood, was allowed an audience with Pope Sixtus V. He then stayed at the home of his cousin Cardinal Scipione Gonzaga, the Palazzo Aragona Gonzaga. He stayed with his Cardinal-cousin because though he had been allowed to doff all to enter the Jesuits, it was still a very troubled time for him and his cousin was supportive of him in his decision.
He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Rome on 25 November 1585.
As part of the conditions for his entrance, his superiors ordered him to moderate his asceticism (remember he slept on straw mats and whipped himself til he bleed) and to be more social with his fellow novices (he tended to be withdrawn). Having been asked to be more social with others, he chose to spend time with the lay brothers (who typically did the domestic tasks of the house) in order to grow in humility since all his life he had been surrounded by and spent time with members of the nobility and royalty.
Poor Aloysius, the Lord gave him many penances in his life, though maybe “poor” is not the right term. Perhaps “blessed” is a more accurate term. In addition to his kidney disease, he suffered from other ailments including: a skin disease, insomnia, and chronic headaches. These definitely gave him things to offer for the salvation of souls. A good example for us to follow: take every cross, no matter how small or large, and offer it to God Who knows how to take it and make it bring about the most grace.
He was sent to Milan for his studies but his health was in such poor condition that soon after, he was sent back to Rome to study there (how dreadful, right? And I am not discounting his suffering).
On 25 November 1587, he professed his three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. Then in February and March of 1588, he received the minor orders (porter, lector, exorcist, and acolyte) and then began to study theology in preparation for ordination. He was finally on the way to doing what he always felt God was calling him to do.
In 1589, Aloysius was called to Mantua to mediate a conflict that had formed between his brother Rudolfo and the Duke of Mantua. After that was resolved, he returned to Rome in May of 1590 and resumed studies.
Later that year, he had a vision of Saint Gabriel the Archangel who told him that he would die within a year.
Tomorrow, we will cover the events that led to his death at the age of 23.
Saint Aloysius is the patron saint of Catholic youth because he serves as an exemplar to them of how to dedicate one’s whole life to God. Not one aspect of Aloysius’ life was not centered on God. Having God at the center allowed him to live the life of heroic virtue that he lived. He avoided any occasion of sin and never committed any sinful act or uttered any unkind word. He was humble and modest, which is evident by his always looking down at the ground, wearing at times threadbare clothes, and never spending time alone with women (let alone making eye contact).
Now some of the things he did would not be quite so “acceptable” today (Not looking at women might give you more trouble than it’s worth. Custody of the eyes has many different ways of being practiced). But there are still ways you can follow his example. Aloysius was unassuming. Aloysius was kind to every person he met from the highest noble to the lowest commoner. To Aloysius, every person was Christ even if they had not treated him like Christ. Aloysius led a life of penance and self denial. It’s kinda hard to find a discipline nowadays but there are other ways to mortify the flesh by means of giving up even the smallest pleasure with love for God.
Aloysius was single-minded in his dedication to his vocation. His family and others were angry that he was giving up all the power and prestige that the Marquisate would give him and urged him to at the very least become a secular priest so that he could still have that power and potential for promotion. But Aloysius knew that that was not to what God was calling him and he remained virtuously stubborn (not an oxymoron in this situation). We can follow his example by being open to whatever vocation God may be calling us and to dedicate ourselves to living that vocation to the best of our ability with the help and grace of God. That can be incredibly hard at time but it pays even greater dividends in eternity. All earthly suffering is nothing for the glory it earns in Heaven when it is embraced and offered to God.
All right, time for a powernap before supper. Have a blessed Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus!