Blog Post - March 20th
Ember Days of Spring| 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
 All things have their season, and in their times all things pass under heaven.
 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.
 A time to kill, and a time to heal. A time to destroy, and a time to build.
 A time to weep, and a time to laugh. A time to mourn, and a time to dance.
 A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather. A time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
 A time to get, and a time to lose. A time to keep, and a time to cast away.
 A time to rend, and a time to sew. A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.
 A time of love, and a time of hatred. A time of war, and a time of peace.
Suffering is not something we need from or walk away from; rather we can embrace it. When we are able to do that, we find Jesus showering us with His love from the Cross. Amazing!!!
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
In order to avoid praise by others we prefer secret and hidden fasts...silence to eloquent speaking, we prefer to be despised...we prefer contempt to honor.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook One: 11-111
This first notebook of Saint Faustina begins her private revelations given from the Heart of Jesus to her. She writes in a beautiful and simple way. Though, as mentioned in the introduction to this book, her actual words are not quoted in these reflections that follow, the messages that she received and articulated are presented.
In truth, her messages are those contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Tradition of our Church. And if you were to read through the lives and teachings of the saints, you would find the same revelations. God has always spoken to us throughout the ages. He speaks the one Message of Truth, and He reveals that Message in love. The revelations to Saint Faustina are one new way that God continues to speak and reveal Himself to us, His sons and daughters.
The reflections in this first chapter, based on the first notebook, are intentionally short and focused. They are a way for you, the reader, to slowly and carefully listen to the Heart of God spoken to this great saint. Read these reflections slowly and prayerfully. Ponder them throughout the day and allow the Lord to speak to You the message He wants to give.
Reflection 79: Our Blessed Mother of Sorrows
Mother Mary endured so much in life. She endured suspicion and ridicule at the miraculous conception of her Savior. She watched with a perfect motherly love as her Divine Son was rejected and misunderstood. And she stood by Him in His agony and death. And through it all, her motherly love was perfect and powerful. She stands by us, also, in all that we endure in life. And she gives us a perfect witness of love and compassion through her tender heart (See Diary #315).
Ponder the heart of the Mother of God this day. Ponder your Blessed Mother, the true mother of Jesus, as she loved her Son throughout His life. Imagine the sword of sorrow that pierced her heart countless times. And strive to understand the perfect and tender love with which she loved both her Son and those who treated Him so cruelly. Seek her prayers, this day, to imitate her love and ask her to shower that love upon you. She will not let you down.
Dearest Mother, my Queen, please pray for me and help me to know your motherly care. Help me to turn to you in all things so that I may receive the abundance of Mercy flowing from your pure heart. Give me the grace to imitate your kindness and tenderness and to stand by all those who are in need. Mother Mary, pray for us. Jesus, I trust in You.