Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Passion of the Infant Christ

I love Caryll Houselander's book, The Passion of the Infant Christ. From Fr. Mark:
Houselander understood that nothing of the paschal mystery of Christ is locked in an irretrievable past. The liturgy is the passion of the Infant Christ made present to us and for us, here and now, in all its fullness. Are you in Egypt, “groaning under bondage” (Ex 2:23), learning to pray in suffering? Are you wandering in a desert waste, tortured by hunger and thirst, a prey to temptations and terrors of the night? Have you crossed over into that good and broad land where milk and honey flow? Through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass the Infant Christ is with you, his prayer in yours, and yours in his: a prayer that says “Yes” to the wood of the cradle, to the wood of the Cross, and to everything that lies in between.

Caryll Houselander, a woman of our own times, a woman “acquainted with grief” (Is 53:3) can, I think, help us understand something of the mystery of the Innocent Christ, something of the mystery of suffering innocence in each of us. “The Divine Infancy in us,” she wrote, “is the logical answer to the peculiar sufferings of our age and the only solution to its problems. If the Infant Christ is fostered in us, no life is trivial. No life is impotent before suffering, no suffering is too trifling to heal the world, too little to redeem, to be the point at which the world’s healing begins.” (Read more.)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Virgin of Guadalupe

Women's Guild explores the symbols hidden in the miraculous image, saying:
Clothing is often so much more than a few pretty things to wear, as the iconography of Our Lady of Guadalupe shows. It is important to bear in mind her status as the most important Mexican religious and cultural symbol, from her apparition to an indigenous Mexican, Juan Diego, during a period of conversion to Christianity from the Aztec religion, to her role as a symbol of national unity during the War of Independence.

Sun and moon: as in Revelation 12:1, "arrayed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars". However in this case the stars are on the cloak and there are far more than twelve. Another interpretation is of an image of triumph over the Aztec sun and moon deities -in fact the little squashed figure underneath may be a winged moon god.

Cloak: Blue and green were Aztec colours of divinity. I have seen detailed argument that the arrangement of stars is that which appeared in the night sky on the date of the apparition, although to my untrained eye they do seem quite regularly spaced.

Dress: Rose coloured, as one might expect given that the apparition story involves the production of Castilian roses from a Mexican hill. Interpretations of the pattern range from more roses, to a contour map of Mexico.

Belt: A black belt was an Aztec symbol of pregnancy.

Brooch: On the original icon, and some detailed reproductions, it is possible to see a cross shaped brooch at her neck. Despite the indigenous influences, she is definitely a Christian figure.

So, the clothing of one relatively simple and well known image of Our Lady can lead to many interesting discoveries -more of her political and social implications as a Mexican national symbol are discussed in this essay.
 More HERE.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

History of Advent

 We must look upon Advent in two different lights: first, as a time of preparation, properly so called, for the birth of our Saviour, by works of penance; and secondly, as a series of ecclesiastical Offices drawn up for the same purpose. We find, as far back as the fifth century, the custom of giving exhortations to the people in order to prepare them for the feast of Christmas. We have two sermons of Saint Maximus of Turin on this subject, not to speak of several others which were formerly attributed to St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, but which were probably written by St. Cesarius of Aries. If these documents do not tell us what was the duration and what the exercises of this holy season, they at least show us how ancient was the practice of distinguishing the time of Advent by special sermons. Saint Ivo of Chartres, St. Bernard, and several other doctors of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, have left us set sermons de Adventu Domini, quite distinct from their Sunday homilies on the Gospels of that season. In the capitularia of Charles the Bald, in 846, the bishops admonish that prince not to call them away from their Churches during Lent or Advent, under pretext of affairs of the State or the necessities of war, seeing that they have special duties to fulfill, and particularly that of preaching during those sacred times.
The oldest document in which we find the length and exercises of Advent mentioned with anything like clearness, is a passage in the second book of the History of the Franks by St. Gregory of Tours, where he says that St. Perpetuus, one of his predecessors, who held that see about the year 480, had decreed a fast three times a week, from the feast of St. Martin until Christmas. It would be impossible to decide whether St. Perpetuus, by his regulations, established a new custom, or merely enforced an already existing law. Let us, however, note this interval of forty, or rather of forty-three days, so expressly mentioned, and consecrated to penance, as though it were a second Lent, though less strict and severe than that which precedes Easter.
~from Dom Gueranger's The Liturgical Year, Vol. I

Saturday, November 25, 2017

St. Catherine of Alexandria

Today is traditionally the feast of the virgin martyr St. Catherine of Alexandria, one of the saints who spoke to St. Joan of Arc.
From the tenth century onwards veneration for St. Catherine of Alexandria has been widespread in the Church of the East, and from the time of the Crusades this saint has been popular in the West, where many churches have been dedicated to her and her feast day kept with great solemnity, sometimes as a holy-day of obligation. She is listed as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers of mankind among the saints in Heaven; she is the patroness of young women, philosophers, preachers, theologians, wheelwrights, millers, and other workingmen. She was said to have appeared with Our Lady to St. Dominic and to Blessed Reginald of Orleans; the Dominicans adopted her as their special protectress. Hers was one of the heavenly voices heard by St. Joan of Arc. Artists have painted her with her chief emblem, the wheel, on which by tradition she was tortured; other emblems are a lamb and a sword. Her name continues to be cherished today by the young unmarried women of Paris.
Fr. Mark has a magnificent post about this great saint, who was removed from the Roman Calendar but has been put back again. To quote:
Saint Catherine of Alexandria vanished from the reformed Roman Calendar in the reform of 1969 and, Deo gratias, reappeared in 2002. Why? Part of the answer can be found, I think, by comparing the lovely old Collect for Saint Catherine with the one newly composed for the 2002 edition of the Roman Missal. In the traditional liturgy, which we celebrate here at Silverstream Priory, on November 25th the Church prays:

O God Who gavest the Law to Moses on the summit of Mount Sinai,
and didst miraculously place the body of Thy blessed virgin-martyr Catherine in the selfsame spot by the ministry of Thy holy angels,
grant, we beseech Thee, that her merits and pleadings
may enable us to reach the mountain which is Christ.


The Collect focuses on the image of Mount Sinai, the sacred mountain which prefigures Christ himself. The first phrase of the prayer takes up Exodus 31:18, the inspiration of the Great O Antiphon that we will be singing on December 18th:
O ADONAI, and Ruler of the House of Israel, who appeared unto Moses in the burning bush and gave him the Law on the summit of Sinai: come to redeem us with an outstretched arm!
(Read more.)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

In Thanksgiving to God

From a homily by Fr. Mark:
   The Mayflower Puritans, you will remember, fled Europe to put far behind them, once and for all, altar and priest, chalice and paten, saints, feast-days, and every Popish trapping and Romish invention.  The Puritans of Plymouth and of New Haven deemed the Mass an abomination.  They judged even the Protestantized Communion Service of the Church of England by far too Catholic.  The Puritans grasped the link between thanksgiving and fruitfulness but, having rejected the Mass, they had no way to express it sacramentally.  The Thanksgiving festival emerged in a Eucharistic void, in a culture bereft of altar and of priest.  The Puritans of Plymouth and of the New Haven Colony would be horrified to see their “Thanksgiving” observed today in a Papist nunnery with the Romish Sacrifice of the Mass!

     For our part, being incurably Papist and given to everything Romish, Thanksgiving Day falls within the greater Catholic rhythm of a life measured by thy Holy Sacrifice.  We live from Mass to Mass, from one Great Thanksgiving to another.  To be Catholic is “always and everywhere to give thanks.”  To be Catholic is to live eucharistically, drawn into the prayer of Christ to the Father and the fruitfulness that comes from the Holy Spirit.

     The Eucharistic life is a ceaseless thanksgiving; it is thanksgiving, semper et ubique, always and everywhere.  Saint Benedict teaches us the same thing: to bless always giving primacy to the praise of God, to forswear grumbling and murmuring, so as to enter, day after day, into the thanksgiving of Christ to the Father.

     We go the altar today, as we did yesterday and as we will tomorrow: to enter into the Great Thanksgiving of Christ our Eternal High Priest.  We go to the altar because there is no other way for us to be fruitful, no other way to bear “fruit that will abide” (Jn 15:16).  May he take us to himself, and draw us after him, beyond the veil (cf. Heb 6:19), into the presence of the Father.  There it is always Thanksgiving; there is made ready for us a feasting that “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived” (1 Cor 2:9), the wedding feast of the Lamb (cf. Rev 19:9). (Read entire homily.)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

St. Margaret of Scotland

St. Margaret (1045-1092) was a royal Saxon princess. From a dethroned and exiled family, riches and power meant nothing to her, for she saw how quickly such things can pass away. Consequently, she was deeply drawn to the monastic life. However, the Scottish King Malcolm Canmore sought her hand in marriage, so attracted was he by her beauty and virtue. They were married. Malcolm was on the wild side, but he and Margaret loved each other completely, and died three days apart.

As Queen of Scots, St. Margaret bore eight children, was devoted to the poor, and helped to reform the liturgy. As one article states:

Under Queen Margaret's leadership Church councils promoted Easter communion and, much to joy of the working-class, abstinence from servile work on a Sunday. Margaret founded churches, monasteries and pilgrimage hostels and established the Royal Mausoleum at Dunfermline Abbey with monks from Canterbury. She was especially fond of Scottish saints and instigated the Queen's Ferry over the Forth so that pilgrims could more easily reach the Shrine of St. Andrew.
Mass was changed from the many dialects of Gaelic spoken throughout Scotland to the unifying Latin. By adopting Latin to celebrate the Mass she believed that all Scots could worship together in unity, along with the other Christians of Western Europe. Many people believe that in doing this, it was not only Queen Margaret's goals to unite the Scots, but also Scotland and England in an attempt to end the bloody warfare between the two countries.
In setting the agenda for the church in Scotland Queen Margaret also ensured the dominance of the Roman Church over the native Celtic Church in the north of the country.
It is interesting how St Margaret championed the practices of the Roman rite over the Celtic traditions, although I have no doubt that the Celtic liturgy and devotions were quite beautiful. St. Margaret, however, saw the importance of harmony of worship for the people of her country, especially after the upheavals of their century.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Martinmas

It is the feast of St. Martin of Tours, the great thaumaturge who converted large parts of France. The cloak of St Martin was one of the most precious relics of France, borne before her armies, hence the word chape gave rise to our English words "chaplain" and "chapel." St. Martin spoke out against capital punishment for heretics. The shrine of St. Martin at Tours was one of the holiest of French pilgrimage sites; he is considered one of the patrons of the Holy Face devotion which also originated there. According to New Advent:
The Church of France has always considered Martin one of her greatest saints, and hagiographers have recorded a great number of miracles due to his intercession while he was living and after his death. His cult was very popular throughout the Middle Ages, a multitude of churches and chapels were dedicated to him, and a great number of places have been called by his name. His body, taken to Tours, was enclosed in a stone sarcophagus, above which his successors, St. Britius and St. Perpetuus, built first a simple chapel, and later a basilica (470). St. Euphronius, Bishop of Autun and a friend of St. Perpetuus, sent a sculptured tablet of marble to cover the tomb. A larger basilica was constructed in 1014 which was burned down in 1230 to be rebuilt soon on a still larger scale This sanctuary was the centre of great national pilgrimages until 1562, the fatal year when the Protestants sacked it from top to bottom, destroying the sepulchre and the relics of the great wonder-worker, the object of their hatred. The ill-fated collegiate church was restored by its canons, but a new and more terrible misfortune awaited it. The revolutionary hammer of 1793 was to subject it to a last devastation. It was entirely demolished with the exception of the two towers which are still standing and, so that its reconstruction might be impossible, the atheistic municipality caused two streets to be opened up on its site. In December, 1860, skilfully executed excavations located the site of St. Martin's tomb, of which some fragments were discovered. These precious remains are at present sheltered in a basilica built by Mgr Meignan, Archbishop of Tours which is unfortunately of very small dimensions and recalls only faintly the ancient and magnificent cloister of St. Martin. On 11 November each year the feast of St. Martin is solemnly celebrated in this church in the presence of a large number of the faithful of Tours and other cities and villages of the diocese.

(Artwork from The Western Confucian)

Friday, November 3, 2017

Contemplatives and Social Media

Written for Benedictines but applicable to Carmelites. From Vultus Christi:
The computer, like the tongue, can be used to praise God and bless men. It can also be misused, even to the point of sin. The oblate seated in front of his or her computer screen must be vigilant, practicing restraint. At the click of a key, words can be disseminated over the face of the earth. Ill–considered words can cause irreparable harm, wound charity, foment division, and give scandal. Saint Benedict’s injunction that one “ought at times to refrain even from good words for the sake of silence” must be applied to the use of the internet and social media. The oblate will take care never to use wounding sarcasm or indulge in deprecating humour. (Read more.)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

St. Raphael the Archangel


When thou didst pray with tears, and didst bury the dead, and didst leave thy dinner, and hide the dead by day in thy house, and bury them by night, I offered thy prayer to the Lord. And because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee. And now the Lord hath sent me to heal thee, and to deliver Sara thy son's wife from the devil. For I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord. ~Tobias 12:11-15
He is one of the mysterious seven who stand before God. More HERE. The late Fr. John Hardon wrote an essay on the on-going mission of St. Raphael in our lives, saying:
Thank God for the trials in your lives. Express your gratitude for the hardships and trials He gives us. Quoting the archangel Raphael, God sometimes enables us who love Him to love Him more through trials. How we need to hear this. God’s graces can be pleasant and enjoyable, but the graces can also be difficult and painful. Never deceive yourself that what is pleasing to us is displeasing to God. Raphael talked to Tobias’ son and is teaching us this.
Finally, Raphael told father and son to be at peace. As we have seen on Christmas morning, again not just one angel, but a host of angels tell us “Peace on earth to men of Good will”. Whatever else we should learn but from not only Raphael, but from God speaking through His angels, is that we should not just be at peace but cultivate peace in our minds and in our hearts. What is peace of mind? Peace of mind is the experience of knowing the truth. Behind that statement stands years of experience. One allegedly developed country after another has tried everything that this world can offer, but are not at peace. Why not? Because we are only as much at peace in our minds as our minds possess the truth. That is why when God became man, He identified Himself as, “I am the truth.”
What is the truth? Truth is our minds corresponding with reality. Yet, millions are living in a dream world of unreality. They do not posses the truth, and the truth, I repeat, is the agreement of the mind with reality. I keep telling one audience after another, statisticians tells us that ninety percent of reading American read is fiction. How we need to guard our minds from reading bewitched by the untruth.
How do we acquire the truth? We acquire it, of course, from God’s revelation. But it is one thing to say posses the truth-such as there are three persons in one God, or I know that God became man in the person of Jesus Christ, and that Jesus Christ, the living God-man is present here on earth in the Holy Eucharist. But if we are to grow in this peace of mind, we are to grow in our understanding of the truth that God has revealed.
That is the main purpose of meditation. By prayerfully reflecting on God’s revealed truth we grow in our grasp and understanding of what God has revealed. And our minds grow in this blessed gift of peace of mind. But, as Raphael told father and son and is telling us, we are to have also peace of heart. A synonym for peace of heart is peace of will.
What is peace of heart? Peace of heart is the experience of doing God’s will. And that is the only true source and foundation of joy in this valley of tears. We shall have peace of heart only in the measure that we are doing God’s will. Ah, what an examination of conscience we must all make. How faithful to God’s will am I? How ready am I to accept the cross He sends me? How willing am I to share with others what God has so generously given me? How much attention do I give to prayer in my life? So the litany goes on. Peace of heart is the experience of doing the will of God, and that experience is the happiness of spirit. Know God’s will with the mind and doing it with the will.
As Christ later on will tell us, we are to be peace makers. We shall bring peace to others only if we are at peace ourselves. We will bring peace to others by sharing with them the truth which we believe. We shall bring peace to others only in the degree that we ourselves are generous, loyal and doing the will of God. All of this and far more is locked up in the most detailed and deepest revelation of an angel sent by God to teach us how we are to live our lives here on earth in anticipation of joining the choirs of angels in a heavenly eternity.
Lord of the angels, we thank you for providing for our needs by sending your angels to help us. Your angel Raphael’s name means “God heals,” send us your angels to heal us from such bodily infirmity as you wish us to have removed. But, dear Lord, heal us especially in our spirit from the sickness of soul so that healthy in mind and body we may bless you, the Lord of the angels, and that we may grow in our love for you, healed by you through your angels here on earth and that we may reach you and join you for all eternity.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The North American Martyrs

The bravest of the brave. One of the best online accounts I could find was here:
Members of the Society of Jesus who dedicated themselves to the conversion of the American Indians took Christ’s words very literally. They journeyed from Renaissance France to the frontiers of North America that they might preach and baptize. After pouring the saving waters of Baptism on a dying Indian child, Saint John de Brebeuf, the great pioneer of this mission, exclaimed with joy, “For this one single occasion I would travel all the way from France; I would cross the great ocean to win one little soul for Our Lord!” And so pleased was God with the genuine zeal and the extraordinary sacrifices of these Jesuit apostles that He bestowed upon Father Brebeuf and seven of his fellow missionaries the glorious crown of martyrdom. The following is the incredible tale of the Eight North American Martyrs.

The Society of Jesus had been founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola during the turbulent times following the Protestant Revolution. By the dawning of the seventeenth century the Jesuits had won renown as zealous missionaries and ardent defenders of the Catholic Faith.

The Order was still at the peak of its power, prestige, and holiness when a new mission field began to unfold. France, eldest daughter of the Church, was beginning to colonize North America, and the vast untamed regions of the New World were inhabited by pagan natives who had never before been evangelized. (Read entire post.)

Friday, October 13, 2017

Our Lady's Words on October 13, 1917

From TFP:
As on the other occasions, the seers first saw a bright light, and then they saw Our Lady over the holm oak.
Lúcia: What does Your Grace wish of me?
Our Lady: I wish to tell you that I want a chapel built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue to pray the Rosary everyday. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.
Lúcia: I have many things to ask you: if you would cure some sick persons, and if you would convert some sinners….1
Our Lady: Some yes, others no. They must amend their lives and ask forgiveness for their sins.
“Becoming sadder, she added, ‘Let them offend Our Lord no more, for He is already much offended.’
“Then, opening her hands, Our Lady shone the light issuing from them onto the sun, and as she rose, her own radiance continued to be cast onto the sun.”
At that moment, Lúcia cried, “Look at the sun!”
Once Our Lady had disappeared in the expanse of the firmament, three scenes followed in succession, symbolizing first the joyful mysteries of the Rosary, then the sorrowful mysteries, and, finally, the glorious mysteries. Lúcia alone saw the three scenes; Francisco and Jacinta saw only the first. (Read more.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mary, Tabernacle of God

In honor of the ancient feast of the Maternity of Mary. From Catholic Scot:
Which brings me to Mary and the Tabernacle of the Lord. The Tabernacle was that structure sitting at the heart of the nation of Israel where God dwelt among His people in a special manner. It first took shape as the Tent of Meeting at the time of Moses and later became the Temple of Solomon. There is no doubt that God dwelt in a special way too in Mary, the mother of the Son of God. I would suggest that the principles which underlay the construction of the first Tabernacle, made by human hands, also underlay the creation of Mary in the womb of her mother St Ann by the hand of God.

What were these principles? The details for the Tent of Meeting were laid out at some length in two passages of the Book of Exodus. Chapters 25-31 contain the plans outlined by the Lord to Moses on Mount Sinai and Chapters 35-40 describe its actual construction. Significantly the final verses of the final chapter of Exodus (40) concern themselves with God inhabiting the Tabernacle. It would take up to much space to go through every point here but there are some key aspects to highlight
  • Moses was not just told how to build the Tent but was shown its divine blueprint "Look well, and make everything in due accord with the pattern which has been shewn to thee on the mountain." (Exodus 25:40) Which means that before it existed on earth it was fully formed in God's mind i.e. it existed from eternity.
  • It was to be constructed of the best of all possible materials available, gold, silver, jewels, linen, wools and so on. " Provide thyself with spices, a stone of the best and choicest myrrh, and half a stone of cinnamon, and half a stone of scented cane, a stone, too, of cassia" (Exodus 30:23-24)
  • The most skilled craftsmen (and women) were to be employed on this work and the Lord would fill them with wisdom to complete their tasks. "And now the Lord said to Moses, Here is the name of the man I have singled out to help thee, Beseleel, son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Juda. I have filled him with my divine spirit, making him wise, adroit, and skilful in every kind of craftsmanship...and I have inspired the hearts of all the craftsmen with skill to carry out the commands which I have given thee." (Exodus 30:1-6)
(Read more.)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Three Exorcism Prayers

From Aleteia:
Father Gabriele Amorth, former chief exorcist of Rome, recommends in his book An Exorcist Tells His Story several prayers to combat any form of evil that may be oppressing an individual. He notes, however, that while these prayers are powerful, they are always to be joined with the sacrament of Confession and the frequent reception of Holy Communion.nIt should also be stressed that the individual who prays these prayers should do so with humility, recognizing the fact that God is the one who expels evil from our midst. We do not have any power over Satan; only the Lord of Heaven and Earth possesses such authority. (Read more.)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Prayer Against Storms

Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in Peace. +
God became man, + and the Word was made flesh. +
Christ was born of a Virgin.+
Christ suffered.+
Christ was crucified.+
Christ died.+
Christ rose from the dead.+
Christ ascended into Heaven. +
Christ conquers. +
Christ reigns. +
Christ orders. +

May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning.+
Christ went through their midst in Peace, +
and the Word was made flesh. +
Christ is with us with Mary. +
Flee you enemy spirits because the Lion of the
Generation of Judah, the Root of David, has won. +

Holy God! + Holy Powerful God! + Holy Immortal God! +
Have mercy on us. Amen.

(*NOTE: + means to make the Sign of the Cross. Blessed candles and holy water are a good idea as well.)

(Source)

(Image)

Novena to Our Lady of Sorrows

My brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray for all who suffer because of the ongoing natural disasters.
V. O God, hasten to my aid.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
V. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
1. I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of thy tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by thy heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the Gift of the holy Fear of God.
2. I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of thy most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and thy sojourn there. Dear Mother, by thy heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the Gift of Piety.
3. I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried thy troubled heart at the loss of thy dear Jesus in the Temple. Dear Mother, by thy heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the Gift of Knowledge.
4. I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of thy heart at meeting Jesus as He carried His Cross. Dear Mother, by thy heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience and the Gift of Fortitude.
5. I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which thy generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in His agony on the Cross. Dear Mother, by thy afflicted heart, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the Gift of Counsel.
6. I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of thy compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was pierced by a lance before His Body was removed from the Cross. Dear Mother, by thy heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the Gift of Understanding.
7. I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, for the pangs that wrenched thy most loving heart at the burial of Jesus. Dear Mother, by thy heart sunk in the bitterness of desolation, obtain for me the virtue of diligence and the Gift of Wisdom.
Let us pray.
Let intercession be made for us, we beseech Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, by the throne of Thy mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow in the hour of Thy bitter Passion, through Thee, O Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Three Things Vatican II Did Not Teach

From Roman Catholic Man:
If the Pope wants to solidify Sacrosanctum Concilium, than let’s – FINALLY – get at what this document said, EXACTLY. And, what it DID NOT SAY. It’s interesting that, in today’s Gospel, the only criteria Jesus points to when choosing Barnabas is “no duplicity.” The dictionary defines duplicity as deceitfulness in speech or conduct, as byspeaking or acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same matter; double-dealing.” Hasn’t this “double-speak” or “ambiguity” to please everyone been the hallmark of the modern era? Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe a pope can invoke “magisterial authority” over poor interpretations of a council document. But, possibly, he can with the document itself. That being said, let’s look at 3 things Sacrosanctum Concilium DID NOT say …(Read more.)

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Pierced Heart

Today on the Carmelite calendar it is the feast of the Transverberation of the Heart of St. Teresa of Avila. Although the Holy Mother claimed the experience was purely mystical, it was found after her death that her heart had indeed been physically pierced. A priest once told me that such a phenomenon was a stigmata, although not the same stigmata that saints like St. Pio and St Francis of Assisi experienced. Those saints bore the five wounds of Christ; St Teresa bore a single wound in her heart. In this she resembled the Sorrowful Mother, transpierced at the foot of the Cross. St. Teresa, and those who wish to follow her in the Carmelite way, are to model the Blessed Virgin Mary, faithful in the greatest moment of darkness which was the crucifixion. It was also the moment of redemption, in which Mary became the Mother of the Church. Through our own sufferings and heartaches, we can participate in the redemption of the world.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The American Eclipse

A Solar Eclipse
From Roman Catholic Man:
I’m in the camp that believes we are in the last few days of Satan’s 100 year unbinding. That’s why he is throwing everything at us, right now. Have you noticed? For instance, everyone is irritable. Knowing what he is doing (recon) is half the battle. I find it interesting that the darkness of this Great American Eclipse is cutting right through the center of our country. Could it be emblematic of the division Satan is causing during these final days of his unbinding? I wrote about it HERE.

In the United States, according to those who work in exorcism ministry, there is an alarming increase in demonic activity (see HERE). In the culture, we are seeing an overreach of evil never witnessed before. It is important to understand Satan’s names: “diabolos”means “he who places division or separation,”and “daio,” the root of “demon,” means “to divide.” In these final days of Satan’s unbinding, we have all seen how these outrageous demonic activities have caused great division in our families, our communities, and even in our Church.

Recall the Gospel story (Last Sunday) when Peter was able to walk on water, as long as he kept his gaze upon the Lord. Once he took his gaze off of Christ and, instead, noticed the storm raging around him, Peter began to sink. We need to keep our gaze fixed upon our Lord during these stormy times. During these last days of Satan’s unbinding, as he seems to be throwing a major temper tantrum, consider following the old tradition of St. Michael’s Lent (St. Francis of Assisi received the stigmata while he was offering himself during St. Michael’s Lent). It is exactly 40 days from the Great American Eclipse to the Feast of St. Michael’s on September 29.

I am starting St. Michael’s Lent by offering Adoration at St. Mary of Pine Bluff during the Great American Eclipse: Monday, August 21 from Noon to 3:00pm.

Stay strong. Go to Confession even more frequently. Talk to God and Our Lady all day, every day. Pray and offer penances that will make you physically and spiritually stronger.

And, if you aren’t joined up yet with over 45,000 people praying together in these final days of Satan’s unbinding, join here: novenaforournation.com (Read more.)
 More on the 40 days of repentance from Unveiling the Apocalypse.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Women and Silence


Let women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted them to speak, but to be subject, as also the law saith. But if they would learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is a shame for a woman to speak in the church. ~I Corinthians 14: 34
This elusive verse, when not totally ignored, is a matter of controversy, as scholars and theologians try to explain it away. St. Paul, not caring a fig for political correctness, past or present, wanted it to be clear that women were not to usurp the functions of priests at the altar. On another level, the spiritual director at our Secular Carmelite meeting said that the verse is not to be seen as a negation of women but as a call, a call to silence, both interior and exterior. It is in the deep silence of the soul that spiritual warfare on behalf of the Church, her ministers and her people, is best waged. Many women have sought a life of prayer and have become prayer warriors, from the earliest days of the Church, when Our Lady prayed in the cenacle for the Holy Spirit to descend. Women have sought the contemplative life in great numbers, building monasteries that became centers of learning and culture, where kings and bishops went for advice. Sometimes it harder to fight a long hidden battle, a battle with no glory or outward appreciation, yet it is such battles that win graces for the multitudes. As Dr. Alice von Hildebrand writes:
Because a woman by her very nature is maternal -- for every woman, whether married or unmarried, is called upon to be a biological, psychological or spiritual mother -- she knows intuitively that to give, to nurture, to care for others, to suffer with and for them -- for maternity implies suffering -- is infinitely more valuable in God's sight than to conquer nations and fly to the moon.
When one reads the life of St. Teresa of Avila or St. Thérèse of Lisieux, one is struck by the fact that they constantly refer to their "weakness." The lives of these heroic women -- and there are many -- teach us that an awareness and acceptance of one's weakness, coupled with a boundless confidence in God's love and power, grant these privileged souls a strength that is so great because it is supernatural.
Natural strength cannot compete with supernatural strength. This is why Mary, the blessed one, is "strong as an army ready for battle." And yet, she is called "clemens, pia, dulcis Virgo Maria." This supernatural strength explains -- as mentioned by Dom Prosper Gueranger in "The Liturgical Year" -- that the devil fears this humble virgin more than God because her supernatural strength that crushes his head is more humiliating for him than God's strength.
This is why the Evil One is today launching the worst attack on femininity that has ever taken place in the history of the world. For coming closer to the end of time, and knowing that his final defeat is coming, he redoubles his efforts to attack his one great enemy: the woman. It says in Genesis 3:15: "I will put enmity between you and the woman." The final victory is hers, as seen in the woman crowned with the sun.
Women like St. Teresa of Avila and St. Thérèse of Lisieux, who embraced a lifestyle of silence, are both regarded as Doctors of the Church, with St. Thérèse hailed as Patroness of the Missions. Thus the Church acknowledges that the struggle to seek and find God in silence is a struggle with far-reaching consequences for the entire world. St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein) describes the redemptive suffering of spiritual motherhood:
The difficult struggle for existence is allocated primarily to man and the hardship of childbirth to woman. But a promise of redemption is present inasmuch as the woman is charged with the battle against evil;; the male sex is to be exalted by the coming of the Son of God. The redemption will restore the original order. The pre-eminence of man is disclosed by the Savior's coming to earth in the form of man. The feminine sex is ennobled by virtue of the Savior's being born of a human mother; a woman was the gateway through which God found entrance to mankind....A woman should honor the image of Christ in her husband by free and loving subordination; she herself is to be the image of God's mother; but that also means she is to be in Christ's image. (Essays on Woman, ICS Publications, 1985, p.69)
I hope that someday silence will again be seen as grace-filled and life-giving rather than as oppressive. Strength and power can be found in acknowledging one's weakness and helplessness before God. Women can have great influence, not in sharing the ministerial duties traditionally given to men but in the battlefield of the spirit, where all real battles are fought.

Monday, July 31, 2017

On Worship

The other day I was having my hair done in a local salon. A lady came in whose daughter was getting married. She said that the problem was that although the daughter had been reared as a Catholic, she wanted to be married in her boyfriend's Protestant church. One of the (many) reasons was that she (the bride) did not get anything out of Mass. In spite of 12 years at Catholic school, the young lady is obviously ignorant as to what Mass is. Mass is the unbloody sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, the central act of worship offered to our Creator. When you receive Holy Communion you receive God into yourself. But if that is not enough for you, then think of it this way: the Omnipotent Almighty Eternal God, Who keeps the universe in existence, has invited you to His table. He owes us nothing; we owe Him all of our love and adoration. When we assist at Mass, it is to worship God and ask for forgiveness of our sins and the sins of the world, not to be filled with warm fuzzy feelings.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Liturgical Obedience, the Imitation of Christ, and the Seductions of Autonomy

From Vultus Christi:
Given what I have said about liturgy as inherently hierarchical, otherworldly, ecstatic, and absolute in its demands over us, it is entirely in keeping with the devil’s strategy to destabilize, democratize, secularize, and relativize the liturgy here on earth. He seeks to loosen our bond with a fixed and efficacious tradition. He seeks to smudge in our perceptions, and, eventually, to obliterate in our minds, the distinction between sacred and profane, formal and informal, fitting and unfitting.  He seeks to darken or blot out the manifestation of the heavenly hierarchy in the earthly distinctions of sacred ministers and their complementary but non-interchangeable roles.  He seeks to persuade us — particularly the clergy — that the liturgy is not the font and apex of the Christian life, but only one means among many for advancing a “Christian agenda.”
The devil knows he cannot prevent some advancement of the Christian faith, but he is well aware that nothing comes close to the liturgy’s power for hallowing the Name of God and establishing His kingdom in our midst, giving us our daily nourishment, and moving us to the forgiveness of sins and the avoidance of sins. In truth, liturgy is an end in itself because it is God’s peculiar possession and makes us His peculiar possession. If the devil can convince us that liturgy is not an end in itself, but rather, that it is a helpful tool we should manipulate for ulterior ends, then he has already won half the battle for souls. He has shaken our fundamental orientation to the heavenly Jerusalem and the kingdom that will have no end.
One of the great strengths of the traditional Latin liturgy is that it leaves nothing to the will or imagination of the priest (and the same may be said of every minister in the sanctuary). It choreographs his moves, dictates his words, shapes his mind and heart to itself, to make it utterly clear that it is Christ who is acting in and through him.  In the words of the Psalmist: “Know ye that the Lord he is God: he made us, and not we ourselves. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture” (Psa 99:3). Sheep are to follow the lead of their shepherd. The clergy is not and will never be the first principle of the liturgy; as St. Thomas Aquinas says with sobering humility, the priest or other cleric is an “animate instrument” of the Eternal High Priest: “Holy orders does not constitute a principal agent, but a minister and a certain instrument of divine operation.” Ministers are like rational hammers or chisels or saws, by which a greater artisan will accomplish His work of sanctification, while conferring on them the immense dignity of resting in His hand and partaking of His action.
[…] The clergy are privileged tools, to be sure, but they are still tools; and the liturgy remains the work of Christ, the High Craftsman, the carpenter of the ark of the covenant, the architect of the heavenly Jerusalem, the New Song and its cantor. In its external form, in text and music and ceremonial, the liturgy should luminously proclaim that it is the work of Christ and His Church, not the product of a charismatic individual or a grassroots community.
[S]ince free choice is antithetical to liturgy as a fixed ritual received from our forebears and handed down faithfully to our successors, choice tends rather to be a principle of distraction, dilution, or dissolution in the liturgy than of its well-being. The same critique may be given of all of the ways in which the new liturgy permits the celebrant an indeterminate freedom of speech, bodily bearing, and movement. Such voluntarism strikes at the very essence of liturgy, which is a public, objective, formal, solemn, and common prayer, in which all Christians are equally participants, even when they are performing irreducibly distinct acts. The prayer of Christians belongs to everyone in common, which means it cannot belong to anyone in particular. The moment a priest invents something that is not common, he sets himself up as a clerical overlord vis-à-vis the people, who must now submit not to a rule of Christ and the Church, but to the arbitrary rule of this individual.
Go to this link to listen to or download the audio of the entire lecture. (Read more.)

Friday, July 21, 2017

St. Michael's Lent

From Unveiling the Apocalypse:
According to the biblical chronology established by St. Bede the Venerable (who was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1899), we can determine that this period of the unbinding of Satan occurred at the end of the Sabbath Millennium discussed by the Early Church Fathers - which consisted of a prophetic week of millennia beginning from the biblical date of Creation. So Pope Leo XIII's vision of the convergence of a host of demons upon the Eternal City of Rome directly parallels the armies of Satan surrounding the camp of the saints at the end of the thousand years described in Rev 20:

When the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, in order to gather them for battle; they are as numerous as the sands of the sea. (Rev 20:7-8)

(For a more in-depth analysis, see the recent posts The Sign of Jonah and the Binding of Satan, Pope Leo XIII and the Unbinding of Satan, and Our Lady of Knock and the Opening of the Sealed Book.)

We have already noted how the 2017 solar eclipse occurs 40 days before the Jewish feast of Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), on 29th/30th September, 2017. According to Jewish tradition, the month of Elul marks a 40-day period of repentance before the feast of Yom Kippur, and was the time during which Moses spent 40 days on Mount Sinai after the incident of the Golden Calf, in order to prepare for the reception of the second set of tablets containing the Decalogue.

Given the fact that the date of Yom Kippur this year falls on the feast of St. Michael and the Archangels (Michaelmas), there is yet another disparate period of 40 days of repentance coming into play around the time of the solar eclipse, this time rooted in a long-standing Catholic tradition. Although it is not widely celebrated today, there is a custom in Catholicism dating back to the Middle Ages known as St. Michael's Lent, which was a 40-day period of fasting in preparation for the feast of Michaelmas, lasting from the Solemnity of the Assumption on 15th August to Michaelmas on 29th September. We should note that while the period of St. Michael's Lent actually extends to 45 days, it is still held to be a symbolic 40-day fast in keeping with Lent itself. If we are to count 40 days back from Yom Kippur/Michaelmas on 29th-30th September this year, we arrive at the date of the solar eclipse itself on the Feast of Our Lady of Knock, 21st August, 2017, rather than the Solemnity of the Assumption.

While the practice of St. Michael's Lent has largely fallen out of use today (being kept only by a few Franciscan groups), it was vastly more popular in medieval times. The most famous adherent of St. Michael's Lent was St. Francis of Assisi, who practised this custom annually. Indeed, St. Francis received his stigmata while he was on spiritual retreat to observe St. Michael's Lent on Mount La Verna (Alverna) with three of his Franciscan brothers. The Stigmatization of St. Francis occurred when he received a vision of a crucified seraph, and although the exact date was not stipulated by his earliest chroniclers, it was said to have taken place around the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on 14th September, 1224, just two years before his death. The Stigmatization of St. Francis was commemorated in a feast day of its own on 17th September, before being removed from the General Calendar in 1969. However, as we shall see, there is good reason to believe that St. Francis actually received the stigmata on the 15th of September - the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (which commemorates when the Blessed Virgin partook of the suffering of her Son). (Read more.)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

'Highest of all Kings'

From A Clerk of Oxford:
The idea that gods dwell in the heights, in the sky and on the mountains, is one of the most ancient religious impulses. It's hardly difficult to see a connection between that and Christ's Ascension, and going on about 'rockets, haha!' feels like a deliberate attempt not to see it. Those silly people of the olden days found poetry in the feast rather more easily than their clever modern descendants do: in Ascension Day folklore there was 'a strong connection between the day and all things pertaining to the sky, such as clouds, rain, and birds' (Roud). Rain which fell on Ascension Day was said to be blessed - 'neither eaves' drip nor tree-drip, but straight from the sky'. The day was connected with holy water in other ways, including the custom of well-dressing and visiting sacred springs. This expresses a sense that the heavens and the earth are interconnected at the most essential level - as of course they are, whether you think of that power as physical or spiritual or both. The kind of preacher who apologises for Ascension Day is likely to call that faith superstitious, but it's infinitely grander, really, than a worldview which finds no wonder in the heavens. We are earthbound, tied to this sublunary world and its many sorrows - but this is one day when the imagination can soar to the sky. (Read more.)

Monday, May 22, 2017

54 Day Holy Face Novena for Our President

From Fr. Richard Heilman:
I am convinced we are in the throes of the greatest spiritual war of all times (I wrote about it here). While much of it is played out in the political theatre, it goes to the heart of everything we Christians hold near and dear to us, because it is a battle fought for Deus Vult (The will of God). The enemy, just as it was in the Crusades, is seeking to seize ground by force and unjust tactics, while we are trying to protect this ground or even reclaim surrendered ground. Daniel Greenfield writes
A civil war has begun.

This civil war is very different than the last one. There are no cannons or cavalry charges. The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule. Political conflicts become civil wars when one side refuses to accept the existing authority. The left has rejected all forms of authority that it doesn’t control.
 Our President and his administration are experiencing an unprecedented full-on assault. They are using the classic Saul Alinsky “Rules for Radicals,” Rule #12:
“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.“ Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”
A civil war, yes, but, without a doubt, a spiritual war. Even the witches are coming out and joining forces to seize power for the radical secular – anti-God – left (read HERE).

But, we have the supernatural power of God on our side. Of the many spiritual weapons at our disposal, the Chaplet of the Holy Face remains one of the most powerful. The Chaplet of the Holy Face of Jesus is a favorite of Cardinal Burke’s, especially in times of intense spiritual warfare, which we all understand we face at this moment in time.

Saint Athanasius relates that the devils on being asked what verse in the Scriptures they feared the most, replied: “That with which the 67th Psalm commences: Let God arise, and let His Enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Him flee from before His face!” They added that this verse always compelled them to take flight.

While we are all gearing up for Novena for Our Nation, beginning August 15 to October 7 (please mark your calendar), many feel we need to stay in the battle “right now.”

So, here is what we are going to do …
54 Day Holy Face Novena
Beginning Wednesday, May 24, we are asking as many as possible to join ranks in this spiritual combat to ask protection for the President and his administration. May 24th “happens” to be a day the witches are doing their “spells thing” and May 24th “happens” to be the day the President is meeting with Pope Francis. This will conclude 54 days later on July 16, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Those who enlist in this 54 Day Holy Face Novena, will be asked to offer three things each day
  1. Pray the Chaplet of the Holy Face (the “how to” can be found HERE)
  2. Pray St. Patrick’s Lorica Prayer for the President (found HERE)
  3. Add a daily penance (see March to Mount Carmel) (Read more.)
**********************************************************************************
May 24 is the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, a good day to begin the 54 days of prayer. I have never heard of the "March to Mount Carmel" penance suggested but if Fr. Richard recommends it then no doubt it is worthwhile. I do not know what became of my Holy Face Chaplet, if I ever had one, although I seem to have every other imaginable chaplet. So I will be substituting the Holy Face novena prayer and litany (below) for the chaplet.

The image above is the drawing of the imprint of Our Lord's face on the Veronica veil, as it is venerated in the Carmelite Order, and propagated by Sister Marie de Saint Pierre and Venerable Leo Dupont. It was a devotion spread to protect the people from Communism, which had begun to manifest itself as a political movement in 1848.

Here is the prayer of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux to the Holy Face:
O Jesus, who in Thy bitter Passion didst become "the most abject of men, a man of sorrows," I venerate Thy Sacred Face whereon there once did shine the beauty and sweetness of the Godhead; but now it has become for me as if it were the face of a leper! Nevertheless, under those disfigured features, I recognize Thy infinite Love and I am consumed with the desire to love Thee and make Thee loved by all men. The tears which well up abundantly in Thy sacred eyes appear to me as so many precious pearls that I love to gather up, in order to purchase the souls of poor sinners by means of their infinite value. O Jesus, whose adorable Face ravishes my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy divine image and to set me on fire with Thy Love, that I may be found worthy to come to the contemplation of Thy glorious Face in Heaven. Amen.
Another site with everything about the Holy Face devotion is HERE.

Relic of the Veronica Veil at St. Peter's Basilica

The Litany of the Holy Face of Jesus
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven,
R. Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world.
R. Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
R. Have mercy on us.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, radiant splendour of the Father,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, spotless mirror of the majesty of God and image of His goodness,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, where radiates the consuming fire of the Holy Spirit,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, joy of the Virgin Mary,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Who allowed Thyself to be embraced by little children,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, covered with sadness at the departure of the rich young man,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose gaze converted the sinful woman
and transformed the heart of Peter,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, sought by all those who love Thee,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, light of all the upright of heart,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose radiant beauty is veiled to the proud,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, in Whose light our misery lies open,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose compassionate gaze wants to take away our bitterness,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose meekness is so sweet that it transforms souls,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, on which we read Thine infinite Charity,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose look of mercy enfolds the whole world,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, which will never be sufficiently honoured,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, covered with a sweat of blood,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, touched by the infamous traitor’s kiss,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, crowned with thorns,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, insulted by hatred, negligence, and infidelities,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, buffeted by servants, struck by soldiers, and bruised abusively by the crowd,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, stained with spittle, dust, and blood,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, despised by the powerful of this world,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, trembling with sorrow upon meeting Mary,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, tenderly wiped by Veronica,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, on which we can read all the traces of our sins,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, hidden in the Holy Sacrament,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, which the Angels so greatly desired to see and before which they can only be silent and adore,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose brightness will one day be the reward of the just and the most burning punishment of sinners,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, before which the elect cast their crowns in everlasting praise,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose radiance is all the beauty of holy souls,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, which will transfigure us from glory to glory,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
V. Behold, O God our protector.
R. And look upon the Face of Thy Christ.
Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, glory of the Heavenly Father
and light of souls,
we beseech Thee with confidence that,
as we make our way amidst the shadows of this world,
the splendour of Thy Face may shine upon us,
that in the light of Thy Countenance,
we may at length merit to contemplate the eternal light
in which Thou livest and reignest with God the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
forever and ever.
R. Amen.
Psalm 67 is used in exorcisms.
Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered: and let them that hate him flee from before his face.
2As smoke vanisheth, so let them vanish away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
3And let the just feast, and rejoice before God: and be delighted with gladness.
4Sing ye to God, sing a psalm to his name, make a way for him who ascendeth upon the west: the Lord is his name. Rejoice ye before him: but the wicked shall be troubled at his presence,
5who is the father of orphans, and the judge of widows. God in his holy place:
6God who maketh men of one manner to dwell in a house: Who bringeth out them that were bound in strength; in like manner them that provoke, that dwell in sepulchres.
7O God, when thou didst go forth in the sight of thy people, when thou didst pass through the desert:
8The earth was moved, and the heavens dropped at the presence of the God of Sina, at the presence of the God of Israel.
9Thou shalt set aside for thy inheritance a free rain, O God: and it was weakened, but thou hast made it perfect.
10In it shall thy animals dwell; in thy sweetness, O God, thou hast provided for the poor.
11The Lord shall give the word to them that preach good tidings with great power.
12The king of powers is of the beloved, of the beloved; and the beauty of the house shall divide spoils.
13If you sleep among the midst of lots, you shall be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and the hinder parts of her back with the paleness of gold.
14When he that is in heaven appointeth kings over her, they shall be whited with snow in Selmon.
15The mountain of God is a fat mountain. A curdled mountain, a fat mountain.
16Why suspect, ye curdled mountains? A mountain in which God is well pleased to dwell: for there the Lord shall dwell unto the end.
17The chariot of God is attended by ten thousands; thousands of them that rejoice: the Lord is among them in Sina, in the holy place.
18Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts in men. Yea for those also that do not believe, the dwelling of the Lord God.
19Blessed be the Lord day by day: the God of our salvation will make our journey prosperous to us.
20Our God is the God of salvation: and of the Lord, of the Lord are the issues from death.
21But God shall break the heads of his enemies: the hairy crown of them that walk on in their sins.
22The Lord said: I will turn them from Basan, I will turn them into the depth of the sea:
23That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thy enemies; the tongue of thy dogs be red with the same.
24They have seen thy goings, O God, the goings of my God: of my king who is in his sanctuary.
25Princes went before joined with singers, in the midst of young damsels playing on timbrels.
26In the churches bless ye God the Lord, from the fountains of Israel.
27There is Benjamin a youth, in ecstasy of mind. The princes of Juda are their leaders: the princes of Zabulon, the princes of Nephthali.
28Command thy strength, O God: confirm, O God, what thou hast wrought in us.
29From thy temple in Jerusalem, kings shall offer presents to thee.
30Rebuke the wild beasts of the reeds, the congregation of bulls with the kine of the people; who seek to exclude them who are tried with silver. Scatter thou the nations that delight in wars:
31ambassadors shall come out of Egypt: Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to God.
32Sing to God, ye kingdoms of the earth: sing ye to the Lord: Sing ye to God,
33who mounteth above the heaven of heavens, to the east. Behold he will give to his voice the voice of power:
34give ye glory to God for Israel, his magnificence, and his power is in the clouds.
35God is wonderful in his saints: the God of Israel is he who will give power and strength to his people. Blessed be God.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Secret of Fatima and a New Evangelization

Cardinal Burke calls for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. From Voice of the Family:
I now return to the third part of the Secret or Message of Fatima. Without entering into a discussion regarding whether the third part of the Secret has been fully revealed, it seems clear from the most respected studies of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, that it has to do with the diabolical forces unleashed upon the world in our time and entering into the very life of the Church which lead souls away from the truth of the faith and, therefore, from the Divine Love flowing from the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus. Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, in his monumental study of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, writes the following regarding the third part of the Secret or what is often called the Third Secret:
In short, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary undoubtedly refers much more to the third Secret than even the second. For the recovery of peace will be a gift from Heaven, but it is not, properly speaking, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her victory is of another order, supernatural, and then temporal by addition. It will first be the victory of the Faith, which will put an end to the time of apostasy, and the great shortcomings of the Church’s pastors.[23]
 As horrible as are the physical chastisements associated with man’s disobedient rebellion before God, infinitely more horrible are the spiritual chastisements for they have to do with the fruit of grievous sin: eternal death. As is clear, only the Faith, which places man in the relationship of unity of heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the mediation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, can save man from the spiritual chastisements which rebellion against God necessarily brings upon its perpetrators and upon the whole of both society and the Church.

The teaching of the Faith in its integrity and with courage is the heart of the office of the Church’s pastors: the Roman Pontiff, the Bishops in communion with the See of Peter, and their principal co-workers, the priests. For that reason, the Third Secret is directed, with particular force, to those who exercise the pastoral office in the Church. Their failure to teach the faith, in fidelity to the Church’s constant teaching and practice, whether through a superficial, confused or even worldly approach, and their silence endangers mortally, in the deepest spiritual sense, the very souls for whom they have been consecrated to care spiritually. The poisonous fruits of the failure of the Church’s pastors is seen in a manner of worship, of teaching and of moral discipline which is not in accord with Divine Law. (Read more.)
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