Blog Post - December 18th

Ember Days of Winter| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection

The Ember Days - Days of Fasting, Prayer and Thanksgiving within the Four Seasons


All the days of the earth, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, night and day, shall not cease. Genesis 8:22



The Ember Days


From The Golden Legend, Volume 1; compiled by Jacobus de Voragine (1230-1299), Archbishop of Genoa, 1275


The fasting of the Quatretemps, called in English Ember days, the Pope Calixtus ordained them. And this fast is kept four times in the year, and for divers reasons. For the first time, which is in March, is hot and moist. The second, in summer, is hot and dry. The third, in harvest, is cold and dry. The fourth in winter is cold and moist. Then let us fast in March which is printemps for to repress the heat of the flesh boiling, and to quench luxury or to temper it. In summer we ought to fast to the end that we chastise the burning and ardour of avarice. In harvest for to repress the drought of pride, and in winter for to chastise the coldness of untruth and of malice.


The second reason why we fast four times; for these fastings here begin in March in the first week of the Lent, to the end that vices wax dry in us, for they may not all be quenched; or because that we cast them away, and the boughs and herbs of virtues may grow in us. And in summer also, in the Whitsun week, for then cometh the Holy Ghost, and therefore we ought to be fervent and esprised in the love of the Holy Ghost. They be fasted also in September tofore Michaelmas, and these be the third fastings, because that in this time the fruits be gathered and we should render to God the fruits of good works. In December they be also, and they be the fourth fastings, and in this time the herbs die, and we ought to be mortified to the world.


The third reason is for to ensue the Jews. For the Jews fasted four times in the year, that is to wit, tofore Easter, tofore Whitsunside, tofore the setting of the tabernacle in the temple in September, and tofore the dedication of the temple in December.


The fourth reason is because the man is composed of four elements touching the body, and of three virtues or powers in his soul: that is to wit, the understanding, the will, and the mind. To this then that this fasting may attemper in us four times in the year, at each time we fast three days, to the end that the number of four may be reported to the body, and the number of three to the soul. These be the reasons of Master [John] Beleth.


The fifth reason, as saith John Damascenus: in March and in printemps the blood groweth and augmenteth, and in summer coler, in September melancholy, and in winter phlegm. Then we fast in March for to attemper and depress the blood of concupiscence disordinate, for sanguine of his nature is full of fleshly concupiscence. In summer we fast because that coler should be lessened and refrained, of which cometh wrath. And then is he full naturally of ire. In harvest we fast for to refrain melancholy. The melancholious man naturally is cold, covetous and heavy. In winter we fast for to daunt and to make feeble the phlegm of lightness and forgetting, for such is he that is phlegmatic.


The sixth reason is for the printemps is likened to the air, the summer to fire, harvest to the earth, and the winter to water. Then we fast in March to the end that the air of pride be attempered to us. In summer the fire of concupiscence and of avarice. In September the earth of coldness and of the darkness of ignorance. In winter the water of lightness and inconstancy.


The seventh reason is because that March is reported to infancy, summer to youth, September to steadfast age and virtuous, and winter to ancienty or old age. We fast then in March that we may be in the infancy of innocency. In summer for to be young by virtue and constancy. In harvest that we may be ripe by attemperance. In winter that we may be ancient and old by prudence and honest life, or at least that we may be satisfied to God of that which in these four seasons we have offended him.


The eighth reason is of Master William of Auxerre. We fast, saith he, in these four times of the year to the end that we make amends for all that we have failed in all these four times, and they be done in three days each time, to the end that we satisfy in one day that which we have failed in a month; and that which is the fourth day, that is Wednesday, is the day in which our Lord was betrayed of Judas; and the Friday because our Lord was crucified; and the Saturday because he lay in the sepulchre, and the apostles were sore of heart and in great sorrow.


Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3: 1-8

From The Douay-Rheims Bible


[1] All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven.

[2] A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.

[3] A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time to build.

[4] A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance.

[5] A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.

[6] A time to get, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to cast away.

[7] A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.

[8] A time of love, and a time of hatred. A time of war, and a time of peace.




Daily Meditation

The Living Body:

Like the living body that it is, the Catholic Church will continue to grow and learn. But it will always be the same Catholic Church, always true to itself, and always faithful to the teachings of the apostles. Yours is this Church.

Quote By S. Padre Pio:

Do not be upset if it seems to you that at times you are moving (in the spiritual life) too slowly.

Divine Mercy Reflection


Reflections on Notebook Six: 327-365


We enter, now, the last of the six notebooks that Saint Faustina filled with revelations from our Lord about His unfathomable and perfect Mercy. At this point, the Message of Mercy should be clear and evoking of a deep trust in the incomprehensible love of God. All that has been shared to this point reveals that God is relentless in His pursuit of you, seeking only to love you unconditionally and to draw you into His glorious life for all eternity.


The greatest obstacle to this call to holiness is sin. But it is abundantly clear that sin is no match for the Mercy of God. His Mercy dispels your sin in an instant, disposing of your past errors forever. God’s only desire is the present moment, for in this present moment He comes to you, descending from the heights of Heaven, entering into the inner core of your soul so as to form a perfect communion with you, lifting you up to share in His divine life.


This final notebook will be reflected upon as a summary of all that has been reflected upon thus far. Just like the reflections on the first notebook, the reflections for this notebook will be short and to the point. Once you finish this chapter you are invited to return to it often as a way of quickly and easily reminding yourself of the abundant Mercy of God. The Lord’s love is perfect in every way. Allow Him to speak this truth to you with clarity and conviction.


Reflection 352: Chastisement and Guilt


It may not be pleasant to consider the chastisement of God. But it must be understood that His chastisements are real and are an act of His abundant Mercy. When souls turn from God and refuse His Mercy, this deeply wounds His Heart. As a result, God becomes more “passionate” so to speak in His tireless pursuit. One way He seeks to open their hearts is through chastisements. Think of the Pharisees, for example. They were filled with pride and egotism and the Lord rebuked them harshly. But He did so to win them back as an act of great Mercy. It worked for some, for others it did not (See Diary #1703).


Are you aware of the chastisements of God? For example, have you felt the pain of extreme guilt for your sins? If so, pay attention to this. Know that if you have gone astray, especially through pride, the Lord will pour down judgment upon you. If you persist, He will pour it down with a vengeance. And when a soul remains obstinate, God’s Mercy cannot enter. But when these chastisements produce a sense of holy guilt, this means that the conscience is working and is in a position to change. Do not hold onto guilt and do not ignore it. Run to the Mercy of God so that He can free you from your sin and return His peace to your heart.


Lord, please give me the grace I need to turn to You in all things. May I never be in need of the fierce chastisements of Your Mercy. But if I am in need of this grace, please help me to respond with conversion from my sins. Jesus, I trust in You.

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