Blog Post - June 16th

Ember Days of Summer| 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

Choosing Eternal Life:

There is a popular misconception that God "sends us to hell." In reality, sin is our rejection of God's invitation to heaven. God honors our free will when we reject His love, and allows us to live eternally without Him (Hell) just as we sought to live without Him on earth.

Quote by S. Padre Pio:

When assailed by pride, say to yourself: What good is there in myself that I have not received?

Divine Mercy Reflection

Reflections on Notebook Two: 112-188


We now enter into Notebook Two of the six notebooks that make up the Diary of Saint Faustina. The reason for having more than one notebook is simply that when one notebook was filled by Saint Faustina she began with a new one. Therefore, there is nothing particularly different from one notebook to the other. However, for the purpose of this current book of daily reflections, each reflection will begin to be lengthened, starting here with Notebook Two, so as to help you, the reader, enter more deeply into the beautiful mysteries of faith and our shared spiritual life that have been revealed in these writings of Saint Faustina.


You are invited once again to take one reflection each day and to ponder it throughout the day. Try to pray the prayer for each reflection each morning, noon and evening. Allow each mystery reflected upon to become a source of wisdom and understanding for you.


Reflection 167: Desiring the Lord to the Greatest Degree


When you pray, and when you pray long and hard, the Lord will enter in. He will commune with you and unite His Heart to yours. You will experience these effects in various ways. One common effect is that the closer you are drawn into union with Christ, the more you will desire this union. And the more you desire this union, the more you will be drawn into union. Your prayer has a cyclical effect upon your union and your desire. This is good to be aware of so as to allow our Lord to use your desires to be drawn into greater holiness of life (See Diary #867).


What do you desire the most in life? What is the treasure you seek? This is an important reflection to make in an honest and sincere way. “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Mt. 6:21). If the Lord is your greatest treasure in life, then your heart will be drawn to Him in a powerful way. You will desire intimacy with Him and that desire will draw you close. Reflect, honestly, upon what you desire and allow the insight you gain to reorder the priorities you have.


Lord, please help me to make You the central Treasure of my life and to seek You and to desire You with all my heart. As I am drawn to You, increase my desire, and as You increase my desire, draw me closer. Lord, I pray that every aspect of my life may ultimately become consumed with a longing to serve You and Your holy Will. Jesus, I trust in You.

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