Saturday, September 22, 2018

Novena to the Little Flower

It begins today. Here are some lovely recommended prayers:
O Little Therese of the Child Jesus,
Please pick a rose for me
From the heavenly gardens
And send it to me
As a message of love.
O little flower of Jesus,
Ask God today to grant the favors
I now place with confidence
In your hands.
(Mention your specific requests)
St. Therese, help me to always believe, As you did, In God's great love for me, so that I might imitate your "Little Way" each day. Amen


O Glorious St. Therese, whom Almighty God has raised up to aid and inspire mankind, I implore your Miraculous Intercession. You are so powerful in obtaining every need of body and spirit from the Heart of God. Holy Mother Church proclaims you 'Prodigy of Miracles... the Greatest Saint of Modern Times.' Now I fervently beseech you to answer my petition (mention here) and to carry out your promises of spending Heaven doing good on earth...of letting fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses. Little Flower, give me your childlike faith, to see the Face of God in the people and experiences of my life, and to love God with full confidence. St. Therese, my Carmelite Sister, I will fulfill your plea 'to be made known everywhere' and I will continue to lead others to Jesus through you. Amen

Friday, September 21, 2018

Novena to St. Michael

Let us unite in praying together the Novena to St. Michael the Archangel for Judge Kavanaugh.
Saint Michael the Archangel, loyal champion of God and His people, I turn to you with confidence and seek your powerful intercession. For the love of God, Who made you so glorious in grace and power, and for the love of the Mother of Jesus, the Queen of the Angels, be pleased to hear my prayer. You know the value of my soul in the eyes of God. May no stain of evil ever disfigure its beauty. Help me to conquer the evil spirit who tempts me. I desire to imitate your loyalty to God and Holy Mother Church and your great love for God and people. And since you are God's messenger for the care of His people, I entrust to you this special request: (Mention your request).
Saint Michael, since you are, by the Will of the Creator, the powerful intercessor of Christians, I have great confidence in your prayers. I earnestly trust that if it is God's holy will my petition will be granted.
Pray for me, Saint Michael, and also for those I love. Protect us in all dangers of body and soul. Help us in our daily needs. Through your powerful intercession, may we live a holy life, die a happy death, and reach heaven where we may praise and love God with you forever.
Amen.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Our Lady of La Salette

Our Lady wept at La Salette on September 19, 1846. It was roughly two years before another wave of revolutions would sweep across Europe, breaking down the structures what was left of Christendom. Once again, France was the site chosen by heaven for messages of supreme importance for the world. Taking God's name in vain and violating the Lord's day were not regarded as small matters by the Mother of Jesus. The Blessed Virgin spoke to two peasant children in the Dauphiné province in terms that they could understand, as the following shows:
'If my people do not obey, I shall be compelled to loose my Son's arm. It is so heavy I can no longer restrain it. How long have I suffered for you! If my Son is not to abandon you, I am obliged to entreat Him without ceasing. But you take no heed of that. No matter how well you pray in the future, no matter how well you act, you will never be able to make up to me what I have endured on your behalf. I have given you six days to work. The seventh I have reserved for myself, yet no one will give it to me. This is what causes the weight of my Son's arm to be so crushing. The cart drivers cannot swear without bringing in my Son's name. These are the two things which make my Son's arm so heavy.'
The Lady then went on to speak about the coming punishments for these sins of Sabbath breaking and blasphemy, including crop blights and famine, at one point switching from French, which the children did not understand perfectly, to the local patois. Then she spoke to Maximin alone, imparting a secret to him which Mélanie could not hear, before turning to her to give a secret that Maximin likewise could not hear. Presently she again spoke to both saying that if the people were to be converted then the fields would produce self-sown potatoes and the stones become wheat.
She then asked a significant question: 'Do you say your prayers well, my children?' They replied that they hardly prayed, and she told them they should say at least their morning and night prayers, before continuing: 'Only a few rather old women go to Mass in the summer. Everyone else works every Sunday all summer long. And in the winter, when they don't know what else to do, they go to Mass only to scoff at religion. During Lent, they go to the butcher shops like dogs.'
She then asked the children if they had ever seen spoiled wheat and when both replied that they had not, the Lady reminded Maximin that he had once seen it when on a visit to a nearby hamlet with his father; he then remembered that what she had said was true. Finally the Lady spoke to them in French: 'Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people,' before moving forward between them. She went on a few yards and then re-emphasized her message to them without turning around: 'Now, my children, be sure to make this known to all my people.'
Sources: Jaouen, A Grace called La Salette; Beevers, The Sun Her Mantle.
Here is a book about La Salette in which Louis XVII is mentioned since one of the pretenders approached Maximin, hoping for validation.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

"This Little While"

 I support Archbishop Vigano and his attempt to bring some clarity to a terrible situation, while weeping for the infamy heaped upon the Chair of St. Peter. Emmett O'Regan views the calamity in the light of Sacred Scripture, the writings of the Fathers, and approved apparitions. From Unveiling the Apocalypse:
It is no coincidence that Christ's discourse on the binding of the "strong man" occurred in the immediate context of the appearance of the "Sign of Jonah" in Matt 12 (which originally took the form of a total solar eclipse over ancient Nineveh just before Jonah's arrival into the city). Or that the start of the First World War at the beginning of the period of Satan's greater power coincided with the appearance of yet another solar eclipse crossing the site of ancient Nineveh on the feast day of Our Lady of Knock, on 21st August, 1914. The fact that the end of the Sabbath Millennium discussed by the Early Church Fathers was preceded by a century of genocide foretold in the vision of Pope Leo XIII leaves us with little room for doubt that the siege of the camp of the saints at the end of the thousand years mentioned in Rev 20 began to unfold at the opening of the 20th century.
The current age of apostasy we are enduring is the fruit of Satan's unbinding at the end of the thousand years, during which he has managed to blind the minds of unbelievers to the truth of the Gospel (2Cor 4:4), and the love of many had grown cold because of the increase of evil (Matt 24:12). This evil has manifested itself most prevalently within the Church itself in the form of the clerical sexual abuse scandal, which has turned baptised Catholics away from the pews en masse, and sullied the wedding gown of the Bride of Christ.
Now just over a year on from another total solar eclipse which took crossed America on the feast day of Our Lady of Knock, on 21st August 2017 - the centenary year of Our Lady of Fatima, one of the most shocking accusations against a reigning pontiff by a high-ranking prelate in the Catholic Church took place at the site of the Knock apparition - which represents the Divine Throne Room seen in Zech 3. This accusation has rocked the Catholic Church in America, and is symptomatic of the wider rebellion that is being plotted against the Holy Father by many high-ranking officials in the Church hierarchy. Just as the sullied robes of the Jewish High Priest are removed and replaced with fresh linen after Satan makes his accusation against him, we can only hope and pray that we are on the cusp of the purification of the Church which is promised to take place before the coming of the Antichrist. (Read more.)

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Novena to Our Lady of Mercy

I ask whoever is able to join me in this novena to Our Lady of Mercy, also known as Our Lady of Ransom, for the women and girls who are enslaved throughout the Middle East, and for all victims of human trafficking. The novena begins today and ends on September 23. September 24 is the feast of Our Lady of Ransom, a feast especially dedicated to the deliverance of the enslaved and unjustly imprisoned.
Blessed be Thou, O Mary, the honor and the joy of Thy people! On the day of Thy glorious Assumption, Thou didst take possession of Thy queenly dignity for our sake; and the annals of the human race are a record of Thy merciful interventions. The captives whose chains Thou hast broken, and whom Thou hast set free from the degrading yoke of the Saracens, may be reckoned in the millions. We are still rejoicing in the recollection of Thy dear Birthday; and Thy smile is sufficient to dry our tears and chase away the clouds of grief. And yet, what sorrows there are still upon the earth, where Thou Thyself didst drink such long draughts from the cup of suffering! Thou alone, O Mary, canst break the inextricable chains, in which the cunning prince of darkness entangles the dupes he has deceived by the high-sounding names of equality and liberty. Show thyself a Queen, by coming to the rescue. The whole earth, the entire human race, cries out to Thee, in the words of Mordochai: “Speak to the King for us, and deliver us from death!” (Esther 15: 3)
(State your request here)
Let us Pray. O God, Who through the most glorious Mother of Thy Son wast pleased to give new children to Thy Church for the deliverance of Christ's faithful from the power of the heathen, grant, we pray Thee, that we who affectionately honor her as the Foundress of so great a work, may, by her merits and intercession, be delivered from the slavery of sin and the eternal flames of Hell. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the Unity of the Holy Ghost, One God, forever, unto ages of ages. Amen.
(Source)

UPDATE: It is good to pray or sing the Ave Maris Stella during this novena.
Hail, You Star of Ocean
Hail, you Star of Ocean!
Portal of the sky,
Ever Virgin Mother,
Of the Lord most high.


O! by Gabriel's Ave,
Uttered long ago,
Eva's name reversing,
Establish peace below.


Break the captive's fetters;
Light on blindness pour;
All our ills expelling,
Every bliss implore.


Show yourself a mother;
Offer him our sighs,
Who for us Incarnate
Did not you despise.


Virgin of all virgins!
To your shelter take us;
Gentlest of the gentle!
Chaste and gentle make us.


Still as on we journey,
Help our weak endeavor,
Till with you and Jesus
We rejoice forever.


Through the highest heaven,
To the Almighty Three,
Father, Son, and Spirit,
One same glory be. AMEN.

Our Lady of Sorrows


"Holy Mother, pierce me through;
In my heart each wound renew
Of my Saviour, crucified."
~ Stabat Mater

How well do the words of the Stabat Mater reflect the words of Simeon to Our Lady: "Thy own soul a sword shall pierce." (Luke 2:35) According to many saints, the Blessed Virgin suffered throughout her life, knowing that her Son was to undergo a cruel death. Her sufferings reached their climax at the foot of the Cross. As Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity wrote: "O Queen of Virgins, you are also the Queen of Martyrs; but it was written within your heart that the sword transpierced you, for with you everything took place within your soul."

Few are called to physical martyrdom, but all Christians are called to compassionate the Saviour at the foot of the Cross. Like the heart of Mary, the heart of the Holy Mother St. Teresa was also mystically pierced. We can apply to her, in a much lesser degree, of course, the Responsory from the Vespers of Our Lady of Sorrows: "Happy is she who without dying has won the martyr's crown." (Roman Breviary)

(Art courtesy of Vultus Christi)

Friday, September 14, 2018

Holy Cross Day

Today we celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. We are marked by the sign of the cross at our baptism. For the Christian, there is no escaping the cross. We elude one cross only to find another. And yet with God's help we can bear it with joy, for the cross is the ladder to paradise. If we have been given a few "light" crosses, than it is so that we have the strength to pray for those whose crosses are unbearable.

Here is the "Litany of the True Cross" (For Private Recitation Only).

Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Children of Fatima and the Fifth Apparition

Today is the 101st anniversary of the fifth apparition of Our Lady at Fatima. Our Lady said: "In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe." Here is an account from the EWTN website about the three visionaries:
There Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta were born and raised in homes where the catechism was their daily bread, stories from the Bible their recreation, and the word of the village priest was law. Lucia de Jesus Santos was born, the youngest of seven children, to Antonio and Maria Rosa Santos, on 22 March 1907. She was a plain child with sparkling eyes and a magnetic personality, a natural leader to whom other children looked with confident affection. Blessed with an excellent memory, Lucia was able to learn her catechism, and make her First Communion and Confession, at age six. She herself became a catechist at nine. Lucia would be the constant guide and companion to her first cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, through the trials that accompanied the apparitions of the Blessed Mother. (Read more.)

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Finding a Safe Harbor

From Speramus:
We need life jackets to persevere and ride out the raging storm. God gave us many warnings of the current crisis we are passing through. Warnings with instructions on how to successfully pass over the raging waters. The first warnings were given in scriptures, the most relevant is the book of Jude. It is the shortest book of the Bible aptly depicting the current crisis we are living in. Read and pray over the book to see how God wants us to live through these days.

Also recall the visions of St John Bosco in the 1840s.  Remember the 2 Columns and the ship, representing the church. It was traveling in a fierce storm other ships were bombing it with canons and it almost capsized. Finally seeing two columns in the distance it made its way towards them and found safety and anchored between them. The first column was the Eucharist and the second was Our Lady.  Placing its anchor here the storm could no longer toss them about in this safe harbor. Let each one of us find that safe harbor!

We must continually work on our own faults and deepen our personal union with Jesus. Taking the speck from our own eyes first so we can see clearly how to help our brethren. Our strength will come from the Eucharist and Our Lady! 

Let us renew our dedication to Christ and the Church offering our prayers and  sufferings for all the bad priests bishops cardinals who failed us. Commend them to Our Lord asking God to give them the grace to repent.
(Read more.)

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Nativity of Our Lady


"One is my love, my perfect one...she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her."
~Canticle of Canticles 6: 8
 The month of September, the month of Our Lady of Sorrows, brings us the sacred day when the daughter of St. Joachim and St. Anne, conceived "full of grace," was born into this earth of sin and sorrow. Her birth was the dawn of salvation for all humanity, longing for the coming of the Redeemer. Few persons were aware that in the Child Mary, free from all stain of original sin, God had begun His work of the new creation.
Truly a better paradise than the first is given us at this hour. Eden, fear no more that man will endeavor to enter thee; thy Cherubim may leave the gates and return to heaven. What are thy beautiful fruits to us, since we cannot touch them without dying? Death is now for those who will not eat of the fruit so soon to appear amid the flowers of the virgin earth to which our God has led us." (Dom Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Vol XIV)
 The child whose birth we celebrate on the eighth of September would one day be crowned Queen of the Universe by the Most Blessed Trinity. The earthly life of our Queen was characterized by poverty, by manual labor, exile, suffering and humiliation. The greatest, most important woman who ever lived spent her days busy with the thousand mundane, dreary tasks of an ordinary housewife in a backwater town, member of a despised people, living in a conquered nation. Although she was of the Davidic line, her royal descent, and that of her spouse St. Joseph, was seemingly forgotten.

Nevertheless, by reason of her Immaculate Conception, in the least action of the Blessed Virgin Mary there was an unfathomable glory, a treasury of merit which all the collective merits of all the angels and saints could not begin to equal. How contrary to the ways of the world, that such sublimity was veiled from the eyes of men.

In the words of Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD:
Our Lady's origin is wrapped in silence, as was her whole life. Thus, her birth speaks to us of humility. The more we desire to grow in God's eyes, the more we should hide ourselves from the eyes of creatures. The more we wish to do great things for God, the more we should labor in silence and obscurity. (Divine Intimacy, 1964)
 "And the virgin's name was Mary." (Luke 1: 27) Let the holy name of Mary, along with that of her divine Son, be an antidote to the poison of vainglory, a light for the darkness of sin and the moral ambiguities which so obstruct the paths of those striving for Christian perfection. May the humility and littleness of the Child Mary be the mark of her children. "O Mary my Mother, teach me to live hidden with you in the shadow of God." (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen's Divine Intimacy)

Friday, September 7, 2018

A Warning from the Lord

From Monsignor Charles Pope:
We rightly speak of the Church as indefectible, for Christ said to Peter, And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:18-19).

Be careful, though: The indefectibility of the Church does not pertain to land, building, power, or glamor.

Consider, by contrast, the Church at her most victorious moment: Good Friday on an ugly hillside called Golgotha. Only one clergyman, St. John the Apostle, and four women were there with Christ. The Church was very small at that moment. There were no marble altars, no stone churches or basilicas, no papal estates or gold-embroidered vestments. It was just Jesus, the head of the body, and a few of his members. The rest of the clergy and disciples, even Peter, were hiding in fear, disavowing knowledge of him and standing a safe distance away. Yet this small gathering of the Church saw the greatest victory of all: By dying, Christ destroyed death and broke Satan’s power.

Yes, sometimes the Church gets small and seems quite powerless. Sometimes the Gospel is preached from a jail cell or at an execution site. The blood of martyrs is seed for the Church. So, we ought not to imagine the indefectibility of the Church as something rooted in external glories such as power, land, buildings, titles, golden chalices or elaborate vestments. The Liturgy of the Hours has been warning us of the possibility of disaster if we do not repent. If you think St. Peter’s Basilica could never be taken or the pope exiled from Rome (or even killed), think again. Of the first 33 popes, 30 died as martyrs. Two others died in exile. Only one died in his own bed. The Church had no basilicas or land until A.D. 313. Popes were exiled numerous times during the Middle Ages. They also took refuge in Avignon for far too long a time. If you think St. Peter’s will always be there, consider that the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, a basilica arguably as glorious as St. Peter’s, became a mosque and is now a secular museum.

Yes, God’s warnings are as real today as ever. He is more interested in our souls than our buildings. Our museums and works of art are trinkets to Him compared to the holiness of our lives, which he seeks. We are too easily mesmerized by the worldly splendor of such things and think it can substitute for the holiness and truth to which it points. During this painful crisis of clergy sexual abuse, vague leadership, and lack of accountability, the call goes out with an urgency that rivals the greatest cries of biblical times: the Church must repent. This cry is addressed to all, from the laity and the lowliest of clergy to the Pope himself. Serious sins must be acknowledged and repented of. The Church must accept a deep purification that, though sure to be painful, is necessary.

For too long we have tolerated sin and toyed with compromise and heresy. Too many Catholics, even high-ranking bishops, have sought to excuse sin and have even tried to alter the very words of Christ. Some have stayed silent or turned a blind eye to sin and dissent. Still others have “majored in the minors,” focusing on matters of lesser importance.

Reform in the Church does not usually begin at the top. That is why it is so important for the hierarchy to listen, as never before, to the cries of the lay faithful, who plead with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Vatican to take reform seriously, reassert the truth of the Gospel with clarity, and rebuke dissent. While no one in the Church lives the gospel perfectly, the outright denial of central truths of our faith without any reproof from the Church hierarchy has been a source of great scandal and confusion. Silence from shepherds, who should be chasing the wolves away, is malpractice of the worst kind. There is simply no acceptable excuse for the deafening silence that has come from too many in the hierarchy in the face of dissent and even outright heresy. It is being taught routinely, openly, and ever more boldly by renegade theologians, wandering clerics, and even certain conferences of bishops. The faithful are bewildered, saddened, and justifiably angry. (Read more.)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

St. John Bosco’s Prophetic Vision of the Church During Times of Trial

From Aleteia:
 Very grave trials await the Church. What we have suffered so far is almost nothing compared to what is going to happen. The enemies of the Church are symbolised by the ships which strive their utmost to sink the flagship. Only two things can save us in such a grave hour: devotion to Mary and frequent Communion. Let us do our very best to use these two means and have others use them everywhere. (Read more.)


Sunday, September 2, 2018

September Martyrs of the French Revolution


Let us not forget the September Martyrs, including the murder of Madame de Lamballe.
Now the gang fell upon the first priests they met and cut them down. Then they called out, “The Archbishop of Arles!” Archbishop John du Lau of Arles was praying in the chapel. When summoned, he came out and he said, “I am he whom you seek.” Thereupon, they cracked his skull, stabbed him and trampled him underfoot. Then the leader set up a “tribunal” before which the imprisoned were herded and ordered to take the oath. All refused; so, as they passed down the stairway, they were hacked to pieces by the murderers. The bishop of Beauvais had earlier been wounded in the leg. When summoned, he answered, “I do not refuse to die with the others, but I cannot walk. I beg you to have the kindness to carry me where you wish me to go.” For a moment, his courtesy silenced the assassins. But, when he, too, refused the oath, he was killed like the rest. (Read more.)
More HERE.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

St. Theresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart of Jesus


One dawn at the Discalced Carmelite chapel in Florence, a lovely, fair-haired girl of seventeen, in white veil and bridal dress, walked slowly down the aisle, candle in her hand. Anna Maria Redi, the beloved eldest child of a noble Tuscan family, offered herself as spouse to the King of Heaven. In doing so, she exchanged wealth and comforts for poverty and humiliations. Joyfully, she gave up her silk dress for the rough brown habit of Our Lady, and undertook to serve Our Lady by adoring her Eucharistic Son.

Re-named "Theresa Margaret," she strove to console the Heart of Christ by performing many penances. One day at Vespers, the words Deus Caritas Est (God is love) sank deep into her soul. She realized that love (not hairshirts) was what counted most. "You know, my God," wrote St. Theresa Margaret, "that my one desire is to be a victim of your Sacred Heart, wholly consumed as a holocaust in the fire of your holy love...dispose of me according to your good pleasure...." she struggled to give up her own will, to be humble and obedient, even when it meant performing duties that were unpleasant, such as caring for a nun who had gone insane.

On March 7, 1770, at age 24, she died after 18 hours of agony due to a mysterious intestinal infection. The incorrupt body of St. Theresa Margaret lies in a glass coffin in the monastery chapel where she once entered as a bride.
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