Præfektura apostolica Poli arcici- The Polar Prefecture

Norway was partly converted to Christianity already in the 11th century, although the heathen believes continued to stay strong in certain regions of the country. In the 17th Century the nation was turned over to protestantism by force after the so called "Reformation" and a Lutheran "State Church" was imposed on everybody. For more than 2 Centuries it was forbidden to practise Catholicism in the region. But in 1855 the See of Rome was able to start a new mission in Norway and the Polar Region; the "Præfektura apostolica Poli arcici." And even though most Catholics abandoned their Catholic Traditions in order to be accepted by the Second Vatican Council sect, there are still Catholics left.. People who wish to stay faithful to the Teachings of the ancient, never changing Catholic Church, with it's Papacy, Doctrines and Traditions. People who reject heresies like modernism, freemasonry, false ecumenism and "salvation" in foreign religions. Regular Catholics in other words.


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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Great reading for the suffering!

This is a small section from a book I would like to promote, a book that made a vast impact on the spiritual life of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus. The book is called "The end of the present world and the mysteries of the life to come" and was written in 1881 by Charles Marie Antoine Arminjon and translated from French into English in 2010 by tradibooks.

MYSTERY OF SUFFERING, part III, page 248: 

Let us, then, rejoice in our tribulations, 
and let us measure our future greatness 
by our present affliction and by the severity of our trial. 

In order to mitigate our ills and lessen our trials in this vale of sorrow and misery, the merciful Saviour desired to give us a sure pledge of His tenderness, and to offer us a guarantee of the heavenly bliss which He is preparing for us. This guarantee, this real testimony of the Beatific Vision, which made the souls of the saints sigh with joy, is not the brilliant successes of this world, or temporal glory or happiness, but trials and sufferings.
           The saints did not aspire to any other goods, and wanted no other wages for their labours. If they met one of their friends they would say: "Come, brother; our dwelling-place is in the hollow of  rocks, where we sleep on wet ground and where there is no bed, we feed on wild herbs, and for our refreshment we have but the water of the springs; around our dwellings we hear the roars of wild beasts, which are however, less fearsome than inhuman tyrants and barbarians, whose hatred and implacable ferocity pursue us unremittingly; but come without fear, there are indiscribable joys and consolations, for there is indescribable suffering."
           At first sight, language of this kind does violence to reason, and throws all our human judgements into confusion.
           Yet the saints, living on these lofty heights of faith, saw the events of the present world and the destinies of mankind from a different vantage and perspective. They judged the things of time by their relationship with those of eternity and they understood the profound meaning of one of the most sublime sayings of Scripture: Trial worketh hope. (Romans 5:3,4) Without trial there is no hope..

For further reading
these pages (248-257) can be read online in a preview if you click here.
(If you only get the first page in the preview, you can google the first line: "IN order to mitigate our ills and lessen our trials in this vale of sorrows", then click on the first top-link and press "x" on the clear search to get all the pages.)

Because page 254 is missing in the preview, I have transcribed it for you below:
This pain, by crushing us in its grip, wrenches us away from love from present things; it is the sword which cuts through the clouds, and half-opens other prospects for us, by raising us up to higher hopes. In the fire of tribulation, all the wealth and all the goods for which we yearned so ardently appear as they really are, and become in our eyes mere smoke and empty shadows. Human life seems to us nothing more than a "moment" in the words of St. Paul. But that moment is a fruitful bud: watered by our tears, it will unfold into an immeasurable weight of glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
        Oh, let us, in short, cease to accuse the Creator of harshness and injustice. If God puts us to the test and removes what we hold dear, if He makes the bitter dregs of dissappointments and every heart-rending pain cascade down upon us, it is by no means in order to rob us, eo quo nolumus expoliari, the Apostle emphasizes, but in order the sooner and the more strikingly to reclothe us in immortality, as in an outer garment: sed supervestiri. (2 Corinthians 5:2)
          Let us take the case of a great artist who wants to make a statue. Beneath his hand he has a piece of coarse, shapeless marble; he takes up his chisel, strikes vigorously and mercilessly and chips away the fragments of stone until the idea which inspires him is reflected in the lines of the statue and pours out that grace and majesty which will be the admiration of the world.
          God does the same: holding in His paternal hand the chisel of mortification, He cuts into the quick of our affections. He lets Himself be moved neither by our groans nor by our cries. Mercilessly, He sunders those links, those friends, the health or reputation, which were as living parts of ourselves. In the fire of pain, He absorbs the attachments, the secret and invisible links which draw us into love of perishable , earthly things. He melts them down, violently eliminating all that remains in us of dross, human alloy and sensual affections, in order that our souls, thus spiritualized, may become like a well-prepared canvas, on which the rays of divine goodness will one day succeed in leaving their imprint; ut absorbeatur quod mortale est a vita - that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 

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