Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Joy of Wonder

From iBenedictines:
For me that mystery is expressed in the line about the Church being filled with wonder at the nearness of her God. Wonder is not fashionable. It has no street cred. It is the reverse of ‘cool’, yet wonder is one of the most generous and joyful of emotions. We are surprised with wonder at the unexpected or even the familiar seen or heard as for the first time. It is not dependent on our circumstances. I remember once being moved almost to tears by the luminous beauty of a raindrop slowly coursing down a window-pane. At the time, I was busy with many things, distracted and irritable, but my attention was suddenly held and a rainy day transformed by that glimpse of loveliness. Christmas Day is a little like that. At one level, it is a day like any other; at another, it is a day out of time, a day that allows us a glimpse of eternity and of God himself. 
Today we are invited to wonder at the miracle of God made man, the mighty Word reduced to a baby’s wail. This we can celebrate no matter where we are or the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Too much family or too little, feasting or forced to fast, our God is near to us. All glory, honour and praise be to Him for ever and ever! (Read more.)

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Purity of Mary

Lately I have had any number of discussions with various friends and acquaintances about the Blessed Virgin Mary in regards to the concupiscence of the flesh. Let us begin with the definition of concupiscence as given in the Catholic Encyclopedia:
In its widest acceptation, concupiscence is any yearning of the soul for good; in its strict and specific acceptation, a desire of the lower appetite contrary to reason. To understand how the sensuous and the rational appetite can be opposed, it should be borne in mind that their natural objects are altogether different. The object of the former is the gratification of the senses; the object of the latter is the good of the entire human nature and consists in the subordination of reason to God, its supreme good and ultimate end. But the lower appetite is of itself unrestrained, so as to pursue sensuous gratifications independently of the understanding and without regard to the good of the higher faculties. Hence desires contrary to the real good and order of reason may, and often do, rise in it, previous to the attention of the mind, and once risen, dispose the bodily organs to the pursuit and solicit the will to consent, while they more or less hinder reason from considering their lawfulness or unlawfulness. This is concupiscence in its strict and specific sense. As long, however, as deliberation is not completely impeded, the rational will is able to resist such desires and withhold consent, though it be not capable of crushing the effects they produce in the body, and though its freedom and dominion be to some extent diminished. If, in fact, thewill resists, a struggle ensues, the sensuous appetite rebelliously demanding its gratification, reason, on the contrary, clinging to its own spiritual interests and asserting it control. 'The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.'
According to Fr. John Hardon, S.J. in his classic work The Catholic Catechism: "From the time of her conception, Mary was freed from all concupiscence and also (on attaining the use of reason) free from every personal sin during the whole of her life." (The Catholic Catechism, p.158) In The Glories of Mary, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church, writes of Mary:
Mary certainly could not be tormented at death by any remorse of conscience, for she was always pure, and always free from the least shade of actual or original sin, so much so, that of her it was said: 'Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee.' From the moment that she had the use of reason, that is, from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception, in the womb of Saint Anne, she began to love God with all her strength, and continued to do so, always advancing more and more, throughout her whole life, in love and perfection. All her thoughts, desires, and affections were of and for God alone: she never uttered a word, made a movement, cast a glance, or breathed, but for God and His glory; and never departed a step, or detached herself for a single moment, from the Divine love. (The Glories of Mary, p. 351)
Here are excerpts of what the Fathers wrote of Mary and her purity (one gets the distinct impression that they did not view her as a typical teenage girl):

Patristic writings on Mary's purity abound.
  • The Fathers call Mary the tabernacle exempt from defilement and corruption (Hippolytus, "Ontt. in illud, Dominus pascit me");
  • Origen calls her worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, most complete sanctity, perfect justice, neither deceived by the persuasion of the serpent, nor infected with his poisonous breathings ("Hom. i in diversa");
  • Ambrose says she is incorrupt, a virgin immune through grace from every stain of sin ("Sermo xxii in Ps. cxviii);
  • Maximus of Turin calls her a dwelling fit for Christ, not because of her habit of body, but because of original grace ("Nom. viii de Natali Domini");
  • Theodotus of Ancyra terms her a virgin innocent, without spot, void of culpability, holy in body and in soul, a lily springing among thorns, untaught the ills of Eve, nor was there any communion in her of light with darkness, and, when not yet born, she was consecrated to God ("Orat. in S. Dei Genitr.").
  • In refuting Pelagius St. Augustine declares that all the just have truly known of sin "except the Holy Virgin Mary, of whom, for the honour of the Lord, I will have no question whatever where sin is concerned" (On Nature and Grace 36).
  • Mary was pledged to Christ (Peter Chrysologus, "Sermo cxl de Annunt. B.M.V.");
  • it is evident and notorious that she was pure from eternity, exempt from every defect (Typicon S. Sabae);
  • she was formed without any stain (St. Proclus, "Laudatio in S. Dei Gen. ort.", I, 3);
  • she was created in a condition more sublime and glorious than all other natures (Theodorus of Jerusalem in Mansi, XII, 1140);
  • when the Virgin Mother of God was to be born of Anne, nature did not dare to anticipate the germ of grace, but remained devoid of fruit (John Damascene, "Hom. i in B. V. Nativ.", ii).
  • The Syrian Fathers never tire of extolling the sinlessness of Mary. St. Ephraem considers no terms of eulogy too high to describe the excellence of Mary's grace and sanctity: "Most holy Lady, Mother of God, alone most pure in soul and body, alone exceeding all perfection of purity ...., alone made in thy entirety the home of all the graces of the Most Holy Spirit, and hence exceeding beyond all compare even the angelic virtues in purity and sanctity of soul and body . . . . my Lady most holy, all-pure, all-immaculate, all-stainless, all-undefiled, all-incorrupt, all-inviolate spotless robe of Him Who clothes Himself with light as with a garment . . . flower unfading, purple woven by God, alone most immaculate" ("Precationes ad Deiparam" in Opp. Graec. Lat., III, 524-37).
  • To St. Ephraem she was as innocent as Eve before her fall, a virgin most estranged from every stain of sin, more holy than the Seraphim, the sealed fountain of the Holy Ghost, the pure seed of God, ever in body and in mind intact and immaculate ("Carmina Nisibena").
  • Jacob of Sarug says that "the very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary; if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary". It seems, however, that Jacob of Sarug, if he had any clear idea of the doctrine of sin, held that Mary was perfectly pure from original sin ("the sentence against Adam and Eve") at the Annunciation.
Paul Haffner in his book The Mystery of Mary offers a brilliant discussion about Mary and concupiscence which I recommend reading in full. Haffner says: "Not only was Our Lady freed from original and actual sin, but also from concupiscence....The Angelic Doctor offers the various opinions of absence of concupiscence in Mary....Either that concupiscence was entirely taken away from her by her first sanctification or it was fettered." (The Mystery of Mary, pp 93-94)

As for the relationship of Our Lady and St. Joseph, St. Augustine of Hippo (who was not the first Calvinist as some people seem to think, but a Father, Doctor, Bishop and Saint of the Church) remarks that theirs was a true marriage, albeit unconsummated according to the flesh. To quote St. Augustine (I know, he would not be popular on the preaching circuit today):
The entire good, therefore, of the nuptial institution was effected in the case of these parents of Christ: there was offspring, there was faithfulness, there was the bond. As offspring, we recognise the Lord Jesus Himself; the fidelity, in that there was no adultery; the bond, because there was no divorce. [XII.] Only there was no nuptial cohabitation; because He who was to be without sin, and was sent not in sinful flesh, but in the likeness of sinful flesh, Romans 8:3 could not possibly have been made in sinful flesh itself without that shameful lust of the flesh which comes from sin, and without which He willed to be born, in order that He might teach us, that every one who is born of sexual intercourse is in fact sinful flesh, since that alone which was not born of such intercourse was not sinful flesh. Nevertheless conjugal intercourse is not in itself sin, when it is had with the intention of producing children; because the mind's good-will leads the ensuing bodily pleasure, instead of following its lead; and the human choice is not distracted by the yoke of sin pressing upon it, inasmuch as the blow of the sin is rightly brought back to the purposes of procreation. This blow has a certain prurient activity which plays the king in the foul indulgences of adultery, and fornication, and lasciviousness, and uncleanness; while in the indispensable duties of the marriage state, it exhibits the docility of the slave. In the one case it is condemned as the shameless effrontery of so violent a master; in the other, it gets modest praise as the honest service of so submissive an attendant. This lust, then, is not in itself the good of the nuptial institution; but it is obscenity in sinful men, a necessity in procreant parents, the fire of lascivious indulgences, the shame of nuptial pleasures. Wherefore, then, may not persons remain man and wife when they cease by mutual consent from cohabitation; seeing that Joseph and Mary continued such, though they never even began to cohabit?
St Alphonsus Liguori has a more poetic approach (which is why I long ago took him for my spiritual father) especially when discussing anything to do with the Most Holy Virgin. Of Our Lady's marriage to St. Joseph he says:
By reason of her purity, the Blessed Virgin was also declared by the Holy Ghost to be beautiful as the turtledove : 'Thy cheeks are beautiful as the turtle-dove's.'7 'Mary,' says Aponius, 'was a most pure turtle-dove.'8 For the same reason she was also called a lily : 'As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters.' 9 On this passage Denis the Carthusian remarks, that Mary was compared to a lily amongst thorns, because all other virgins were thorns, either to themselves or to others ; but that the Blessed Virgin was so neither to herself nor to others, for she inspired all who looked at her with chaste thoughts. This is confirmed by Saint Thomas, who says, that the beauty of the Blessed Virgin was an incentive to chastity in all who beheld her. Saint Jerome declared that it was his opinion, that Saint Joseph remained a virgin by living with Mary ; for, writing against the heretic Helvidius, who denied Mary's virginity, he says, ' Thou sayest that Mary did not remain a Virgin. I say, that not only she remained a Virgin, but even that Joseph preserved his virginity through Mary.'3 An author says, that so much did the Blessed Virgin love this virtue, that to preserve it, she would have been willing to have renounced even the dignity of Mother of God. This we may conclude from her answer to the archangel: 'How shall this be done, because I know not man ?'3 and from the words she afterwards added: 'Be it done to me according to thy word,'4 signifying that she gave her consent on the condition that, as the angel had assured her, she should become a Mother, only by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. (The Glories of Mary, pp. 457-458)
I think we are safe in assuming that the love Our Lady and St. Joseph had for each other was the love of true spouses but the love which spouses share in heaven. Because of Mary and Joseph's unique mission as parents of the Son of God, they began to live the life of Heaven even amid the many perils, trials, and sufferings of earth.

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Virgin Mary in the Writings of Our Holy Mother St. Teresa

Here is an article which pulls it all together.
St Teresa's whole Marian experience is found scattered throughout her writings, from which we can put together a lovely mosaic of Mary. We will make use of three important traits of Teresian doctrine. a) Devotion to Mary and Marian mystical experience  From the first page of Teresa's writings the Virgin Mary appears among the most important memories of her childhood. She recalls the devotion taught her by her mother Beatriz, which found expression in the recitation of the Rosary(8). The episode of her prayer to Our Lady after the loss of her mother at the age of 13 is very moving: "in my affliction I went to an image of our Lady and begged her with many tears to be a mother to me. It seems to me that though I did this in simplicity, it has been of much help to me; for I know that I have always found favour with this sovereign lady when I have commended myself to her and in the end, she has drawn me to herself"(9). Teresa then attributes to the Virgin the grace of a constant protection and in a special way the grace of her conversion: "She has drawn me to herself." Other texts from the autobiography reveal to us the permanence of the devotion to Mary: when she turns to the Virgin in her sufferings(10), when she remembers her feasts of the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception(11) or the Holy Family(12) or her devotion to the Rosary(13). 
Very quickly the devotion to the Virgin, like other aspects of the Saint's life, passed into an experience of her mysteries, when God made Teresa enter into contact with the mystery of Christ and all that pertains to it. In Teresa's mystical experience of the mystery of Our Lady there is, as it were, a progressive penetration into the most important moments of the Virgin's life, as we find it in the Gospels. Thus, for example, we have an intuition of the mystery of the overshadowing of the Virgin and of her humble and wise attitude at the Annunciation(14). We know of at least two mystical experiences Teresa enjoyed connected with the first words of Mary's canticle, the Magnificat(15) which, according to the testimony of Mary of St Joseph, Teresa used to repeat frequently "softly, in Castilian"(16). 
She contemplates with amazement the mystery of the Incarnation: "The Lord wills to enter into the womb of his most holy Mother. Such is the Lord, he brings liberty with him, and thus he loves to make himself like us"(17). She contemplates the presentation of Jesus in the temple and finds the meaning of Simeon's words to the Virgin(18): "Do not think that when you see my Mother holding me in her arms, she enjoyed this happiness without grave torment. From the time that Simeon spoke these words to her, My Father gave her clear light whereby to see what I would have to suffer"(19). She thinks about the flight into Egypt and the hidden life of the Holy Family(20). 
She had a special intuition of the presence of Mary in the paschal mystery of her Son, on the pain of her desolation and the joy in the Lord's resurrection. Teresa loved to contemplate Mary's fortitude and her communion with Christ at the foot of the Cross(21). In Concepts of the Love of God she describes the Virgin's attitude: "She was up, and not sleeping, but suffering in her most holy soul, dying a cruel death"(22). She had entered mystically into the sorrow of the Virgin when the Lord was placed in her arms "as it is portrayed in the fifth sorrow"(23) and had experience at Easter in Salamanca in 1571 of desolation and anguish (a dark night of the spirit) which made her remember the loneliness of the Virgin at the foot of the Cross(24). On this same occasion the Lord said to her, "On my resurrection I went to our Lady who was in great need.... and I stayed long with her for she was in very great need of consolation"(25). 
On various occasions it was given to her to contemplate the glorification of the Virgin on the feast of her Assumption(26). She was conscious that the Virgin always accompanied the community at prayer with her constant intercession, as happened at St Joseph's in Avila(27) and at the Incarnation(28). 
When it was given to her to know the mystery of the Trinity she perceived the closeness of the Virgin to this mystery, and the fact that the Virgin, along with Christ and the Holy Spirit, are the ineffable gifts of the Father: "I have given you my Son and the Holy Spirit and this Virgin. What can you give to me?"(29) It can be stated that the Holy Mother had a profound mystical experience of Mary, that she enjoyed her presence. Teresa also experienced the mysteries of Mary's life. Consequently in Teresa's doctrine there runs a deep conviction that the mysteries of the Humanity of Christ and those of his Virgin Mother form part of the mystical experience of those tending to perfection(30). (Read More)

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Are You Ready For When the Lord Shall Come?

There are different ways to watch and wait. There is the passive watching and waiting such as one might do when waiting for a bus to come, but there are other more active ways such as a waiter might exhibit as he hovers in the background anticipating the needs of the diners. It is this watchful and waiting spirit that the Lord has in mind here. If we have invited guests to our home, we prepare our house and make sure everything is in order as we await their arrival. In a less literal sense, to set our house in order is to sweep clean our soul of sin and all unrighteousness, by God’s grace, and to remove the clutter of worldliness. Regular confession and daily repentance sweep clean the house of our soul; simplifying our life and minimizing worldly attachments de-clutters the house of our soul. Have you prepared the house of your soul for the Lord’s arrival? If you haven’t, the Lord says that you may experience him as a thief; He is not really a thief, though, because everything belongs to Him. If we have not renounced our worldliness and greed, if we have not de-cluttered our lives worldly attachments, the Lord will come to take back what is His; He will seem a thief to us because we think it is ours. It’s never a good idea to call God, the Lord and owner of all, a thief! (Read more.)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Third Secret: The Centenary of Fatima and the Sign of Jonah

From Unveiling the Apocalypse:
The radical turnaround from the North Korean Nuclear Missile Crisis, with President Trump's meeting with Kim Jong-un in June 2018, appears to indicate that some form of divine intercession has been at play during the centenary of Fatima. It would thus seem safe to attribute the remarkable nature of this climbdown to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, since the prevention of nuclear war was clearly foretold in the Third Secret of Fatima. The fact that the feast of Michaelmas on the 29th September 2017 was highlighted by the 40-day countdown from the solar eclipse gives a further indication of the threat of judgement from the angel with the flaming sword. It is interesting to note that Michaelmas had overlapped the Jewish Day of Atonement on this particular year. A feast day which is also alluded to in the Third Secret of Fatima, with the two angels sprinkling the blood of the martyrs making their journey towards heaven. The theme of the sprinkling of blood alludes to the actions of the Jewish High Priest on the Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur, who sprinkled the blood of sacrifice on the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant for the forgiveness of the sins of Israel; and the Ark was itself adorned with the two cherubim represented in the Third Secret. We can only hope and pray that the Church will soon be restored as the "little while" given to Satan finally draws to a close. The appearance of the "sign of Jonah" is intimately connected with the binding and unbinding of the "strong man" of Matt 12, which according to St. Augustine of Hippo, occurs at the end of the Sabbath Millennium discussed by the Early Church Fathers. (Read more.)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A Prayer for America on Election Day

A psalm for David. Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man. For thou art God my strength: why hast thou cast me off? and why do I go sorrowful whilst the enemy afflicteth me? Send forth thy light and thy truth: they have conducted me, and brought me unto thy holy hill, and into thy tabernacles. And I will go in to the altar of God: to God who giveth joy to my youth. To thee, O God my God, I will give praise upon the harp: why art thou sad, O my soul? and why dost thou disquiet me? Hope in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God. —Psalm 42 (The Vulgate)

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Novena for Election Day


Let us pray a novena in honor of the Immaculate Conception, patroness of the United States of America, for our country on election day.
  Ave Maris Stella

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.

In Latin:

Ave, maris stella,
Dei mater alma,
atque semper virgo,
felix cœli porta.

Sumens illud «Ave»
Gabrielis ore,
funda nos in pace,
mutans Evæ nomen.

Solve vincla reis,
profer lumen cæcis,
mala nostra pelle,
bona cuncta posce.

Monstra te esse matrem,
sumat per te precem
qui pro nobis natus
tulit esse tuus.

Virgo singularis,
inter omnes mitis,
nos culpis solutos
mites fac et castos.

Vitam præsta puram,
iter para tutum,
ut videntes Jesum
semper collætemur.

Sit laus Deo Patri,
summo Christo decus,
Spiritui Sancto
tribus honor unus. Amen
 Music, HERE.

Tota Pulchra Es
 You are fair, O Mary: the original stain is not in you. You are the glory of Jerusalem. You are the joy of Israel. You are the great honor of our people. You are the advocate of sinners. O Mary, O Mary, Virgin most prudent, Mother most merciful, pray for us. Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
And here is an excerpt from the Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, much of which is based on Sacred Scripture:
Holy Mary, Mother of God, I firmly believe in thy Immaculate Conception. I bless God for having granted thee this glorious privilege. I thank Him a thousand times for having taught it to me by the infallible voice of the Church. Receive my heart, O Immaculate Virgin; I give it to thee without reserve; purify it; guard it; never give it back to me, preserve it in thy love and in the love of Jesus during time and eternity. AMEN.

V. Thy name, O Mary, is as oil poured out.
R. Thy servants have loved thee exceedingly.

Let us pray.
O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, did prepare a worthy habitation for Thy Son: we beseech Thee, that as in view of the death of that Son, Thou didst preserve her from all stain of sin, so Thou wouldst enable us, being made pure by her intercession, to come unto Thee. Through the same Christ Our Lord. AMEN.

I am adding this prayer to St. Joseph to the novena:
O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.  
O Saint Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, so that, having engaged here below your heavenly power I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. O Saint Joseph, I never weary in contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath.  Saint Joseph, patron of departing souls - pray for me. Amen

The Miserere (Psalm 50, The Vulgate) is a good idea, too.
1] Unto the end, a psalm of David, [2] When Nathan the prophet came to him after he had sinned with Bethsabee. [3] Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy. And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my iniquity. [4] Wash me yet more from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. [5] For I know my iniquity, and my sin is always before me.
[6] To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee: that thou mayst be justified in thy words and mayst overcome when thou art judged. [7] For behold I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my mother conceive me. [8] For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me. [9] Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. [10] To my hearing thou shalt give joy and gladness: and the bones that have been humbled shall rejoice.
[11] Turn away thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. [12] Create a clean heart in me, O God: and renew a right spirit within my bowels. [13] Cast me not away from thy face; and take not thy holy spirit from me. [14] Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and strengthen me with a perfect spirit. [15] I will teach the unjust thy ways: and the wicked shall be converted to thee.
[16] Deliver me from blood, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall extol thy justice. [17] O Lord, thou wilt open my lips: and my mouth shall declare thy praise. [18] For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would indeed have given it: with burnt offerings thou wilt not be delighted. [19] A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit: a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. [20] Deal favourably, O Lord, in thy good will with Sion; that the walls of Jerusalem may be built up.
[21] Then shalt thou accept the sacrifice of justice, oblations and whole burnt offerings: then shall they lay calves upon thy altar.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

A Very Great Silence

Anne of Austria doing penance with Mother Mectilde and the nuns
From Fr Mark:
Catherine–Mectilde de Bar (1614 –1698) lived in times no less troubled and troubling than our own. The life of the Church in her day was marked by worldliness; lust for power; shameful compromises with Mammon; scandals among the clergy and in cloisters; desecrations of the Most Blessed Sacrament; and not a little dabbling in the occult. At the same time, the Church was blossoming prodigiously; a true spiritual springtime followed the Council of Trent. Immense graces were in evidence everywhere: the reform of priestly life; zeal for missionary labours; the institution of good seminaries; the reform of ancient Orders; the foundation of new ones; and underlying it all, a wonderful application to prayer by people in every state of life.

Monasteries have always been listening posts. One might imagine that, given the monastic enclosure — a real and effective separation from the world — and the investment of so many hours of the day in divine worship, work, study, and solitary prayer, little of what generates controversy in the wider Church would impinge upon the silence of the cloister. Not so, not so. Clergy and layfolk alike learned centuries ago that monks are good listeners. Although we monks have neither television nor newspapers, although we have rigorous norms with regard to the use of the internet, and exercise discretion and prudence in such things as reading blogs and frequenting the hubs of the “Catholic” internet, we often find ourselves in the awkward position of being well informed! What then? We choose silence over discourse, prayer over debate, and praise and adoration over what the psalmist calls, “the contradiction of tongues” (Psalm 30:21). Still we “hear tell of wars, and rumours of war” (Matthew 24:6) even within the Church. What is our response? (Read more.)

Do it as you can and as God will permit you to do it.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Rosary: Our Greatest Weapon

From U Catholic:
Amid this dark persecution, Pope Saint Pius V reminisced about King David who raised his eyes, weeping but full of hope, to the Lord of refuge:

“A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1-2).

And so, Pope Pius urged all Christians across Europe to invoke Our Lady’s intercession through the rosary: Following the example of our predecessors, seeing that the Church militant, which God has placed in our hands, in these our times is tossed this way and that by so many heresies, and is grievously troubled and afflicted by so many wars, and by the depraved morals of men, we also raise our eyes, weeping but full of hope, unto that same mountain, whence every aid comes forth… (Pope Saint Pius V, Consueverunt Romani Pontifices, 17 September 1569).

He also called upon all the Christian princes of Europe to unite against this imminent threat and form the Holy League – to be commanded by the 24-year-old Don John of Austria. But on October 7, 1571, the morning of the Battle of Lepanto, the odds were stacked against the Holy League. Not only were they severely outnumbered by the Ottoman army, but the wind was against them. Clinging to their last glimmer of hope, Don John and his army turned to prayer. Suddenly, by the end of the day, the wind shifted in favor of the Holy League who defeated the Ottomans and liberated the 12,000 Christian slaves.

The powerful weapon of the rosary saved Christendom from the clutches of the Ottoman invaders. And so, Pope Pius V established that October 7 would be the feast day in honor of Our Lady of Victory as their triumph was attributed to the Virgin Mary’s intercession.

Our Lady’s powerful role in fighting the battles of the Lord and conquering evil through fortitude and patience is beautifully depicted in the private revelations of Venerable Mary of Agreda (1602-1665), a Spanish Franciscan nun. After Jesus’ death, Our Lady, accompanied by St John, was on her way to the Council of Apostles. During the voyage from Ephesus to Jerusalem, Mary of Agreda saw how Satan and his terrifying army of demons appeared before Our Lady to threaten her. But she defeated them.
“Lucifer and his demons with increasing fury threatened the powerful Queen by telling her that she would perish in this sea and not escape alive. But these and other threats were but spent arrows and the most prudent Mother despised them, not even listening to them, or looking upon the demons, or speaking to them a single word. They themselves, on the other hand, could not bear even to glance at her face on account of the virtue of the Most High shining from it. And the more they strove to overcome this virtue, the weaker they became and the more were they tormented by those offensive weapons, with which the Lord had clothed his most holy Mother” (Mystical City of God, Book 8, Chapter 2).

And in the same way, Our Lady is a powerful intercessor for us, especially when we invoke her protection through the Holy Rosary. How did this ancient weapon come to be? (Read more.)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Venimus, Vidimus, Deus Vicit!

From Roman Catholic Man:
By the grace of God, and the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, evil sees its power diminishing and, as a result, we are seeing a gigantic temper tantrum from every force of evil. While tens of thousands prayed the 54 Day Rosary Novena from August 15 (Feast of the Assumption) to October 7 (Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary), more and more evil was being revealed. On the eve of Day One (August 15) of the 54 Day Rosary Novena, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on Catholic Church sex abuse went public. Seven days later, on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, Archbishop Vigano penned his explosive 11-page letter exposing cover-up of sexual abuse in the Church at the highest levels.

It was during the final 9-days of the 54 Day Rosary Novena that we were exposed to some of the worst of evils. Radical secular forces were willing to destroy a man’s life – Judge Kavanaugh – in order to preserve their great sacrament of baby killing. It was during this time that we all called upon St. Michael and his army of angels, by way of the very powerful Chaplet of St. Michael. As horrifically evil this attack was, truth and goodness won out.

On October 6, the First Saturday of the month, Vice President Pence made it official – Senate vote in favor of Judge Kavanaugh – at precisely 3:00pm CST. Also, this was “exactly” 24 hours, to the minute, before the Worldwide Rosary. This is monumental, as it is possibly the most conservative constitutional Supreme Court since 1934. This means that, for a generation to come, radical secular forces will not be able to abuse the Supreme Court to implement their evil anti-God agenda. (Read more.)

Monday, October 1, 2018

Pray Psalm 40 for the Kavanaugh Family



Please pray Psalm 40 (or Psalm 39 in the Vulgate) for the Kavanaugh family.
... [1] Unto the end, a psalm for David himself. ... [2] With expectation I have waited for the Lord, and he was attentive to me. ... [3] And he heard my prayers, and brought me out of the pit of misery and the mire of dregs. And he set my feet upon a rock, and directed my steps. ... [4] And he put a new canticle into my mouth, a song to our God. Many shall see, and shall fear: and they shall hope in the Lord. ... [5] Blessed is the man whose trust is in the name of the Lord; and who hath not had regard to vanities, and lying follies.... [6] Thou hast multiplied thy wonderful works, O Lord my God: and in thy thoughts there is no one like to thee. I have declared and I have spoken they are multiplied above number. ... [7] Sacrifice and oblation thou didst not desire; but thou hast pierced ears for me. Burnt offering and sin offering thou didst not require: ... [8] Then said I, Behold I come. In the head of the book it is written of me ... [9] That I should do thy will: O my God, I have desired it, and thy law in the midst of my heart. ... [10] I have declared thy justice in a great church, lo, I will not restrain my lips: O Lord, thou knowest it.... [11] I have not hid thy justice within my heart: I have declared thy truth and thy salvation. I have not concealed thy mercy and thy truth from a great council. ... [12] Withhold not thou, O Lord, thy tender mercies from me: thy mercy and thy truth have always upheld me. ... [13] For evils without number have surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I was not able to see. They are multiplied above the hairs of my head: and my heart hath forsaken me. ... [14] Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me, look down, O Lord, to help me. ... [15] Let them be confounded and ashamed together, that seek after my soul to take it away. Let them be turned backward and be ashamed that desire evils to me. [16] Let them immediately bear their confusion, that say to me: Tis well, tis well. ... [17] Let all that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say always: The Lord be magnified. ... [18] But I am a beggar and poor: the Lord is careful for me. Thou art my helper and my protector: O my God, be not slack.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Our Lady, Undoer of Knots

Today is the feast of Our Lady, Undoer of Knots, a very old and traditional devotion. Here is a novena for Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation and in preparation for the feast of Our Lady of Victory on October 7.
Prayer to Mary, Undoer of Knots. 
Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exist in your heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exists in my life. You know very well how desperate I am, my pain, and how I am bound by these knots. Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life. No one, not even the evil one himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone. Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot. (Mention your requests here - especially for Judge Kavanaugh to be confirmed to the Supreme Court) I beg you to undo it for the glory of God, once for all. You are my hope. O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution, and, with Christ, the freedom from my chains. Hear my plea. Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge! Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for me. Amen.

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.

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.)

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, August 30, 2018

The Confraternity of Priest Adorers of the Eucharistic Face of Jesus

From Fr. Mark:
The crisis that continues to shake the Church and to burden the hearts of priests with sorrow and uncertainty, requires a powerful spiritual antidote. Our Lord is calling His priests to tarry in His presence. He invites them to abide in the radiance of His Eucharistic Face, close to His Heart. There they will recover the joy of their youth and the certainty of being loved by Christ with an everlasting love.

Eucharistic adoration is a wellspring of priestly happiness. It is by daily adoration that the priest begins to say, in all truth, with the psalmist: “To be near God is my happiness” (Psalm 72:28) and, “My happiness lies in Thee alone” (Psalm 15:2). There is a correlation between happiness and holiness. A priest faithful to his daily hour of adoration will, like Saint John the Baptist, be a friend of the Bridegroom, “rejoicing with joy” (John 3:29) because of the Bridegroom’s voice, and capable of winning souls for Christ.
The centrality of the Eucharist should be apparent not only in the worthy celebration of the Sacrifice, but also in the proper adoration of the Sacrament, so that the priest might be the model for the faithful also in devote attention and diligent meditation — whenever possible — done in the presence of our Lord in the tabernacle. It is hoped that the priests entrusted with the guidance of communities dedicate long periods of time for communal adoration and reserve the greatest attention and honour for the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar, also outside of Holy Mass, over any other rite or gesture. “Faith and love for the Eucharist will not allow Christ to remain alone in his presence in the tabernacle”. (Congregation for the Clergy, Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, 31 January 1994)
The 19th and early 20th centuries saw, in fact, the birth of a number of movements for the promotion of Eucharistic adoration, reparation, and priestly holiness. The best known of these is, without doubt, the Association of Priest-Adorers of the Blessed Sacrament, founded by Saint Peter Julian, and canonically erected in Rome on 16 June 1887.

The second half of the last century saw many of these fine movements fall into decline, leaving a void in the spiritual life of new generations of priests. The Year of the Eucharist proclaimed by Saint John Paul II in 2004, and the Year of the Priesthood proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 were an invitation to rediscover and refresh the benefits that accrue to priests who commit themselves to prayer for and with one another, and in particular, to Eucharistic adoration.

In his Encyclical Letter of Holy Thursday, 17 April 2003, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Saint John Paul II drew the eyes of the Church to the Face of Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist. He coined a new phrase, one not encountered before in his writings or in the teachings of his predecessors, “the Eucharistic Face of Christ.” Thus did Saint John Paul II share with the Church his own experience of seeking, finding, and adoring the Face of Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. The human face is a mysterious icon of the heart. It signifies, among other things, a personal presence open to relationship with another. In the Sacrament of His Love, the Face of Christ, the Human Face of God, is turned towards those who seek Him, ready to draw them into a healing and life-giving communion of love with His Sacred Heart. (Read more.)

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Passion of St. John the Baptist

From Nobility:
John, in his fetters, was attended by some of his disciples, who kept him in touch with the events of the day. He thus learned of the wonders wrought by Jesus. At this point it cannot be supposed that John’s faith wavered in the least. Some of his disciples, however, would not be convinced by his words that Jesus was the Messias. Accordingly, he sent them to Jesus, bidding them say: “John the Baptist hath sent us to thee, saying: Art thou he that art to come; or look we for another? (And in that same hour, he cured many of their [the people’s] diseases, and hurts, and evil spirits; and to many that were blind he gave sight.) And answering, he said to them: Go and relate to John what you have hard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, to the poor the gospel is preached: and blessed is he whosoever shall not be scandalized in me” (Luke, vii, 20-23; Matt., xi, 3-6). (Read more.)

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Little Arab


Today on the Carmelite calendar it is the feast of Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified, Miriam Baouardy, known as the "Little Arab." Miraculous phenomena surrounded her. Let us pray to her for Christians who are suffering persecution in Moslem countries. She said:

“Everything passes here on earth. What are we? Nothing but dust, nothingness, and God is so great, so beautiful, so lovable and He is not loved.”

More HERE.


At the Carmelite chapel in San Jose, CA

God, France, and Marguerite


Saint Louis IX, King of France, whose feast we celebrate today, is the epitome of the Christian knight, king and crusader. He is the patron saint of Franciscan tertiaries. In addition to his administrative duties as king, he prayed the daily Mass and Divine Office. His strong interior life aided him in being a competent ruler and a father to his people.

While still a teenager, St. Louis married a beautiful princess from the south of France, Marguerite de Provence. She was also pious, although not as devout as Louis. Inside his wedding ring, he had three words inscribed: "God, France, and Marguerite." They had eleven children. King Louis had a secret staircase built from his study to his wife's parlor above so that he could visit her during the day without his mother knowing it. Louis' mother, Queen Blanche, thought that Louis should concentrate solely upon his work. She also may have feared that Marguerite might gain too much political influence over Louis, and so tried to keep the young lovers/spouses apart as much as possible.

Blanche went to extremes by making young Louis leave Marguerite when she was suffering after a particularly difficult childbirth and wanted her husband to hold her hand. Blanche told Louis that it was not his place to be in the birthing room and Louis obeyed his mother. Marguerite was quite distressed although she forgave Louis.

Louis and Marguerite lost children to sickness and had their share of domestic misunderstandings. At one point, Louis thought Marguerite focused too much on her clothes, and later on Marguerite complained that Louis would not look at her. To his friend Jean de Joinville, Louis confided, "A man should not behold that which he can never fully possess." I assume it was soon before he left on his second crusade on which he would die; perhaps he was trying to detach himself from everything he loved in this world, especially his beloved wife.

Marguerite shared her husband's sorrows and joys. When his mother died, she wept copiously. Joinville asked her in amazement how she could weep over someone who had caused her so much suffering. Marguerite replied that it was because her husband was so deeply grieved and she shared his grief.

Greatly devoted to Our Lady, St. Louis was responsible for bringing the Carmelite Order to France. While on a crusade in the Holy Land, King Louis’ ship ran into a violent storm within view of Mt. Carmel. The sound of the bells from the chapel of Our Lady on Mt. Carmel pierced the roar of the wind and the waves. The king, kneeling in prayer, begged Our Lady to save his ship, promising in return a pilgrimage to Carmel. The ship was saved. King Louis climbed the slopes of Carmel to visit the holy hermits who lived near the chapel. Greatly edified by their life of prayer and solitude, he asked several of them to come to France, where he established a monastery for them. This was a great help to the Carmelites, who were finding life in Palestine very difficult due to the hostility of the Moslems.

St. Louis of France had a busy schedule and a multitude of duties. Through the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony and devotion to Our Lady, he attained a life of union with God. Power and riches had no hold on his heart. Let us seek his intercession in this often disorienting time we live in.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

St. Helena the Empress


My patron saint. She discovered the True Cross. Don Marco says:
Saint Helena was not merely collecting relics for posterity. Her discovery of the True Cross saved the Orthodox Catholic faith from being submerged in a sea of speculative philosophies that denied the true Flesh and Blood of Christ. Saint Helena’s discovery points to the God who became man and suffered death on a real cross in a particular place at a precise moment in history. Mary Magdalene, the Apostle to the Apostles was the herald of Christ’s resurrection; Saint Helena became the herald of the mystery of the Cross. (Read more.)


Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Current Crisis in the Catholic Church

From Fr. Heilman:
On October 7, 2017, over one million Catholics in Poland rose up and grabbed their rosaries and, mainly on their borders, called out to God with the powerful intercession of Our Lady....This was a grassroots effort that was, in essence, saying, “The demonic secular forces of this world are not welcome on our soil!” While not immune to the infiltration of modernism in Poland’s Catholic Church, they remain one of the strongest on the planet. In St. Faustina’s diary, she relates how our Lord told her,
“I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming” (Diary, 1732)
Inspired by Poland — Ireland, the British Isles and Australia followed suit in praying for their respective countries with rosaries in hand (all “grassroots” efforts of the laity). The United States has been praying this way since 2016 (and the lead up to the Presidential election), with Novena for Our Nation, with over 40,000 USA Catholics praying the miraculous 54 Day Rosary Novena from August 15 (Feast of the Assumption) to October 7 (Our Lady of the Rosary). With the inspiration of Poland, we (USA) have reframed the concluding October 7 prayer campaign with the new title of “Rosary Coast to Coast” (Go to rosarycoasttocoast.com). Now, many nations have accepted the clarion call, and will be praying together on October 7, 2018 in what we now call the “Holy League of Nations” (Go to holyleagueofnations.com).
In the lead up to our launch of this 2018 enormous “Rosary Coast to Coast” nation-wide (now worldwide) prayer campaign (We launched on March 31, 2018), our planning team sought the support of all of the USA bishops. I warned the team that we would not get many to respond, much less support. And, as I predicted, only a handful responded and what support we received was timid (barring a few, including my own Bishop Morlino, Bishop Conley and Cardinal Burke). Why did I accurately predict this? Because I knew full well the “condition of our prelates in America.” I knew we would be received as more “dangerous” than “beneficial” to the Church in America. Why? Let me explain …
There was one reply, in particular, that still rings (stings) in my mind and heart, nearly on a daily basis, that, sadly, truly expressed this “condition of our prelates.” It came from a very prominent prelate who will remain nameless. Here was his reply …
“Father, I’m not fond of these national campaigns.  I don’t know that they accomplish a whole lot and because of that, I just haven’t been willing to offer endorsements.”
Yes, you read that correctly. Tens of thousands of people joined together in prayer to call out to God, through the powerful intercession of our Lady, to protect and heal our nation does not “accomplish a whole lot.” St. Louis de Montfort once wrote:
“When people say the Rosary together, it is far more formidable to the devil, than one said privately. Because in this public prayer, it is an army that is attacking him. He can often overcome the prayer of an individual, but if this prayer is joined to other Christians, the devil has much more trouble in getting the best of it.” -St Louis de Montfort.
You see? This is the “problem” … this is the “condition” of the vast majority of our prelates. To them, St. Louis de Montfort and all of those crazy saints were just that … “crazy.” You see? WE have arrived on the scene and, thank God, WE are here now to take the “crazy” out of Catholicism. No more of this silly hocus pocus superstitious nonsense, under our watch. No more of this ridiculous belief in the supernatural power of God and the power of prayer, as long as we are here. In fact, those who advocate “the supernatural” are to be considered “dangerous” in our Church. Also, anyone who would actually defend the teachings of the Church is to be considered “dangerous.”
(Read more.)
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