Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Czech Republic Remembers the Martyrs of Communism

Almost two years had passed since the “Prague coup” of February 25, 1948, which saw the Communist Party seize power in Czechoslovakia. While the whole country fell into the hands of Joseph Stalin’s agents, another Joseph, a Catholic priest, celebrated Mass on December 11, 1949 in his church in Cihost, a village located 100 kilometers southeast of Prague.

During Fr. Joseph Toufar’s sermon, the 20 or so faithful present saw the crucifix on the main altar move several times. The priest, who was not aware of this unusual event high above the pulpit, was informed of it by the parishioners at the end of the Mass. He recommended that they remain silent. Despite everything, the news spread and reached the ears of the sinister Statni Bezpecnost (StB), the political police charged with carrying out the base works of the Communist party.

For the StB, it could only be a false miracle, fabricated by the priest in order to encourage the gullible to oppose the regime in place. Fr. Toufar was imprisoned at the end of January 1950. He was tortured many times and died of his wounds on February 25, 1950. (Read more.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Imploring the Intercession of St. Michael

From Church Militant:
Saint Michael is believed to have made multiple appearances in the mountain town beginning in late A.D. 400, when a bishop, hesitant at first about who he was seeing, acquiecsed to the veracity of his visons after fasting and prayer. The cave-church was built following St. Michael's request and is believed to be the only building of worship in the Catholic Church consecrated by the archangel, earning its title of Celestial Basilica. Saint Michael makes his presence felt in another powerful way in Gargano: the Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo rests in the middle of a mysterious ley line that links seven sacred sites — all connected to the archangel — from Ireland to Israel. The line cuts a perfectly straight swath for over 2,000 km across the heart of Europe. According to tradition, "The Sword of Saint Michael" represents the blow with which St. Michael sends the devil to Hell.   
The seven holy sites, each with stories of St. Michael to tell, include 
  • Skellig Michael in Ireland, where the archangel appeared to St. Patrick, helping him drive the evil creatures in the 400s
  • Saint Michael's Mount in England, where he appeared to a group of fishermen in A.D. 495
  • Mont Saint Michel in France, where he appeared to St. Aubert urging him to build a church in the rock in the 700s
  • Sacra di San Michele near Turin, Italy, where St. Michael appeared to San Lorenzo Maiorano in the 5th and 6th centuries
  • Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo, Gargano, Italy, where St. Michael appeared and interceded multiple times 
  • Panormitis Monastery in Symi, Greece, which houses one of the largest statues of St. Michael in the world
  • Stella Maris Monastery on Mount Carmel in Israel, where, according to folk legend, St. Michael gave Elijah the thunder he wrested from Satan
Archbishop Viganò's call to bishops and priests worldwide "to fight the common enemy of the whole human race" also represents a return to St. Michael many faithful had forgotten and is now being resurrected. "Since the early days of the Church, the archangel has been venerated as the defender of God's rights, helping Christians to be steadfast in their fidelity to God in times of trial," Abp. Viganò said. 
During the troubled times of the Wuhan virus — when the "common enemy" seems to have won many battles — the faithful are turning to St. Michael for protection, as they prepare for the victory of Easter and ponder these words from the Apocalypse: "And there was a great battle in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels. And they prevailed not ... ." (12:7–8).(Read more.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

For Such A Time As This

Esther Before Ahasuerus by Felix Joseph Barrias
A meditation called "Carmelites Are Called for Such a Time As This" by Carmen J. Norkiewicz, OCDS.
“Who knows-perhaps it was for a time like this that you became queen?” Mordecai to Queen Esther (Esther 4:14)
Who knows - perhaps it was for such a time as this that you became a Carmelite?
While the world outside your Avila walls
rushes about in pandemic pandemonium, oblivious to the safety and needs of others Carmelites retreat interiorly,
seeking the face of God in all the distressing situations of this graced period of time, praying for the salvation of souls lost to the world’s contagion of vice and pleasure and for those poor lost souls, who must die on their own, in hospital wards.

Your prayers, fasting, and sacrificing
ascend to the heavens as delightful incense to the Lord our God in reparation for the offenses of those who continue to turn their faces towards the cultures of death and self- idolatry,
resolutely refusing the Mercy of the Loving Abba’s embrace.

Be stalwart! Do not falter in your sacred mission! Press on with your gifts of prayer and contemplation for the salvation of the world! Our hope abides in Christ and our strength is His mighty word;
the mighty sword of the Rosary is our most powerful weapon. Do not be disturbed or let fear possess your thoughts. This pandemic shall, in God’s good time, pass away. Rely on God alone and our Blessed Mother.

We know ---we were made for such a time as this!

Monday, April 13, 2020

Silence in Heaven

Studying prophecies help some of us to make sense of what is going on. But ultimately we all live in the darkness of faith. No one knows the future except God; no one knows exactly how it is all going to play out. It is usually only after the fact that prophecies become clear. In the meanwhile we live in the night of faith with hope and charity as lampsFrom Unveiling the Apocalypse:
Even though we are still in its early stages, the year 2020 has turned out to be one of the most memorable in living memory. It has also brought about a unprecedented change in the praxis of the Roman Catholic religion.  For the first time in the history of Christianity, churches have fallen into silence worldwide. While the Mass continues to be celebrated by the world's priests and bishops in unison with the Pope, the churches have been robbed of the physical presence of the laity, who comprise the bulk of the worship offered towards the Most Holy Trinity, in keeping with the observance of the Sabbath.  This will be the first Easter since the Resurrection of Christ that the lay faithful will not be able to share in full communion with the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, which is one of the precepts of the Catholic Church.

As long time readers of this blog will already be aware, I had noted that this year stood out as being of some major prophetic importance in my book Unveiling the Apocalypse: The Final Passover of the Church.  This was chiefly because this year marks the end of a 120 year countdown associated with the vision of Pope Leo XIII, which began at the turn of the 20th century. While it was long thought that the period of Satan's greater power would only last for the duration of a century, Kevin Symonds has recently unearthed the real historical facts behind this vision in his book Pope Leo XIII and the Prayer to St. Michael

A fresh batch of information has been brought to light thanks to Symond's research, including additional material emanating from the eyewitness testimony provided by Fr. Pechenino, and a homily on Pope Leo's vision attributed to Cardinal Pedro Segura y Saenz. Among these new findings we find the surprising fact that the earliest accounts of this vision records that Satan had actually requested a period of 50-60 years in which to destroy the Church, rather than 75-100 years.  This closely corresponds to the visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, who was also shown that Satan would be unchained from the Abyss 50-60 years before the year 2000.  In my book, I put forward the hypothesis that while this period of 50-60 years had began around the year 1900, it needs to be doubled, given the fact that this vision is directly based on the trials of Job, and that Satan had been granted two separate attempts in which he was allowed to test God's prophet, in the hope he would eventually deny Him.  You can view a podcast below, where I attempt to give a brief sketch of this theory to Fr. Richard Heilman and Doug Barry, which was coincidentally timed to correspond with the very beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak at the end of 2019. It is definitely worth re-watching in light of current events: (Read more.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

More About "The Warning"

Go, my people, enter into thy chambers, shut thy doors upon thee, hide thyself a little for a moment, until the indignation pass away. ~Isaias 26:20
After my post on The Warning and the Illumination of Conscience, I have researched the topic a bit more. May the reader keep in mind that there is a jumble of information out there from various mystics, apparitions and seers. If I link to a particular site, it does not mean I agree with everything on that site. It only means I have found something that may be of interest. As in everything, I submit to the magisterial teaching of the Catholic, Roman and Apostolic Church. Here is a description of The Warning from Catholic Prophecy:
The Warning is a great act of God´s Mercy, on such a big scale that nothing compares to it in all mankind´s history, bar The Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. However, its nature has nothing to do with the noiseless, lonely, humiliating, brutal and loving death of the Lamb of God; but it´s more like an universal smack, a sort of pulling down the world out of its motorbike, the same way Saint Paul was unhorsed, in order to make see the whole world at the same time the blurred figures we have had mocked about previously.

Which information do we have? Here it is:

It will be seen in the sky all over the world and immediately transmitted to the inside of our souls.

It will be an astronomic phenomenon, similar to a bang of stars with a lot of light and noise, but it won´t fall over us.

It will be like fire, but it won´t burn our bodies, though it will be felt physically and internally.

It will last a very short time, but its effects on the world will be huge.

We should not be afraid of death if we are not quaking with fear or, in some special cases, due to God´s Mercy.

Everyone will see in a short period of time how their souls are before the light of God, and will know that He exists, and that He has been present at every single sin of theirs.

It will be like a trial in miniature.

God hopes that, through this act of His Mercy, we amend our lives, and turn away from the wrong path.

Those who already know and love God, will be closer to Him.

Many will be converted, but still many will keep on denying God, denying the One Who is, in an act of supreme hypocrisy. (Read more.)
More HERE and HERE.

Meanwhile, the Jewish site Breaking Israel News has an interesting post about the Paschal moon of this week, which astronomically also happens to be a supermoon, tying it in with the coronavirus:
On Wednesday night, Jews around the world will be gathering at home for the Passover seder ceremony first performed  3,332 years ago on the night before the Israelites left Egypt. One part of the ceremony requires opening the front door and inviting all who are hungry to enter. When this is done, a glance to the heavens will reveal an astronomical spectacle: the year’s largest supermoon.

A supermoon occurs when the full moon coincides with the perigee — the closest that the Moon comes to the Earth in its elliptic orbit — resulting in a larger-than-usual apparent size of the lunar disk as viewed from Earth. A full moon at perigee appears roughly 14% larger in diameter than at apogee and appears up to 30 percent brighter. Supermoons usually appear 3-4 times each year.

This will be the second month in a row that features a supermoon. Last month, a supermoon appeared on the holiday of Purim. This is not unexpected as both Purim and Passover occur in the middle of the Hebrew month, Purim on the 14th of Adar and Passover on the 14th of Nisan. The Hebrew calendar is lunar with the month beginning with the appearance of the new moon. Therefore, the full moon will always appear in the middle of the month. 

The supermoon on Passover will be the fourth of the year and the largest, appearing when the moon is at a distance of 221,772 miles from the earth, the closest it will be all year. 

“The supermoon on Passover is not happenstance,” Rabbi Berger, the rabbi of King David’s Tomb on Mount Zion, told Breaking Israel News. “God brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt on a specific day, a day that from the beginning of creation was imbued with special powers of redemption. The Midrash (homiletic teachings) say that the first redemption of Israel took place on this night and the final redemption will as well.”

“These primal powers of redemption reemerge every year on the Seder night,” Rabbi Berger said. “They are there, waiting for us to access them. It is a night that miracles are waiting to be revealed.”
The rabbi cited a verse in Micha to illustrate his point.
I will show him wondrous deeds As in the days when You sallied forth from the land of Egypt. Micah 7:15
“Seder has always been a time of ingathering,” Rabbi Berger noted. “Except for the first Passover held on the night before leaving Egypt. On that night, families huddled inside will the Angel of Death roamed the streets. This year is like that since the tenth plague was referred to as an epidemic.”
Rabbi Berger referred to the word in the Bible describing the plague of the First Born as a נֶגֶף (negef: disease). (Read more.)
 More from Breaking Israel News, HERE and HERE.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Isolation: An Amazing Grace

From Elijah's Breeze:
Here, the spiritual tradition of Carmel comes to our rescue! Through the means of monastic enclosure, it could help us to experience this crisis not only as a problem but also as an opportunity, as an amazing grace that we can receive. In the 16th century, St. Teresa of Avila founded her first monastery of Discalced Carmelite nuns living in a strict enclosure. Why? So as to create a free space protected from outside intrusions in order to lead a life centered on the presence of God. Here we are: condemned during this period of confinement to live the life of Carmelite nuns in spite of ourselves… We may as well do it with a bit of intelligence!

Of course, this isn’t easy and you have to learn how to do it, especially when you haven’t chosen it, unlike the nuns. It takes time to get used to this limited space. Moreover, we don’t have equal opportunities in our stay-at-home, quarantined, or isolated, lockdown living situations. However, St. Teresa can help us in her writings by showing us the importance of recollection: to choose to turn toward the interior of ourselves; to discover there the presence of God hidden in our hearts; to experience that where we are, we can live with God. God is even found in the middle of the pots and pans, as Our Holy Mother testifies! The challenge is to accept the need to master our interiority. This will be done differently depending on whether we live alone or in a restless house, but for each one, a pathway is possible! So let’s try to turn the constraints of confinement into an opportunity for growth in contemplation. We will grow through this ordeal. (Read more.)

Sunday, April 5, 2020

The Warning and the Illumination of Conscience

Conversion of St. Paul by Murillo
Yesterday on this blog I mentioned the prophecy of the "Three Days Darkness," a time when the forces of hell will be unleashed and the faithful are bidden to stay in their homes with plenty of sacramentals and unceasing prayer. It reminded me about a prophecy concerning a "warning" and an "illumination of conscience" being offered to the faithful in preparation for a the coming of God's justice upon the world. I wonder if the present circumstances, where almost the entire world is stilled and confined to home, could be part of the fulfillment of that prophecy. From Mark Mallett:
Mystic and stigmatist, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, who was revered by popes for the accuracy of her prophecies, referred to it as an “illumination of conscience.” St. Edmund Campion referred to it as “the day of change” when “the terrible Judge should reveal all men’s consciences.” Conchita, an alleged visionary in Garabandal, called it a “warning.” The late Fr. Gobbi called it a “judgment in miniature,” while Servant of God, Maria Esperanza, called it a “great day of light” when the consciences of all will be shaken”—the “hour of decision for mankind.” [1]

St. Faustina, who proclaimed to the world that we are living in a prolonged “time of mercy” based on revelations given to her directly by Jesus, may have witnessed in a vision the actual event:
Before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Savior were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day.  —Diary of Divine Mercy, n. 83
Could we not say that the illumination of the Church has indeed already begun? Haven’t the forty years since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (the “charismatic renewal”) [4]  and release of the documents of Vatican II led the Church through a profound season of pruning, purification, and trial leading up to 2008, “the year of the unfolding“, [5] forty years later? Hasn’t there been a prophetic awakening, led chiefly by the Mother of God, as to the threshold that we now stand upon?
Surely the Lord God does nothing, without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
Did not Blessed John Paul II, leading up to the new millennium, make a deep examination of conscience of the entire Church, apologizing to the nations for her past sins? [6]
For a long time we had been preparing ourselves for this examination of conscience, aware that the Church, embracing sinners in her bosom, “is at once holy and always in need of being purified”This “purification of memory” has strengthened our steps for the journey towards the future… —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Novo Millenio Inuente, n. 6
And are we not seeing come to light before us the once hidden and grave scandals that have taken the form of sexual abuse among clergy? [7] Are not the religious orders that have abandoned the true faith now dying out in their apostasy? Have we not been sent many prophets and seers to call us back to true life in God? [8] Is the Church not clearly being given the very warning that St. John penned in his apocalyptic scroll? (Read more.)
More HERE and HERE.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

A Time of Increased Spiritual Warfare

It is a time of increased spiritual warfare. But there is a lot more going on besides the coronavirus that we may not all be aware of. And it is Passiontide, which always sees an increase of spiritual warfare. I am reminded of my Irish ancestors who were forced to go without the regular life of the church for 300 years when their religion was outlawed. They lost all their civil rights for being Catholic. But they persevered.

It is an interesting article, although I could have done without the nasty comment about a "self-sanctified" Marie-Antoinette. If Marie-Antoinette was sanctified, it was because she practiced her holy Catholic faith. From Life Site:
I called another priest. “A great heaviness has entered into my priesthood. This time has been the biggest test of my priesthood, and I guess of my life,” said the priest, known for his cheerfulness, work ethic and devotion to Our Lady. “I do think the Evil One is hitting the priests hardest now. His number one tool is his spirit of discouragement. His M.O. is to make it seem like we’re accomplishing nothing as a priest. Why pray? Why sit by the window [for outdoor confessions] when no one comes. Why make another [senseless] video on the need for prayer during COVID-19 when no one watches? It’s like his voice says, ‘You’re worthless now as a priest - you’re detached from your people, and they aren’t praying or paying attention anyway’.
“But I know it’s a big lie and it’s the voice of the devil. And when the oppression really comes, I just keep going back to the tabernacle, where everything becomes clear. I am a mediator between God and man, My prayers, Holy Hours and spiritual work must be exercised now. The work of a mediator is a beautiful offering in this dry period because not only does it give me something to offer my parishioners - the rosary, visits to Blessed Sacrament, the reading of scripture, fasting - but everything I do now becomes essential in this spiritually dry period.
“During these dry times, in a sense, I need to become even more active, With my folks cut off, I need to be in the trenches for them now. And the Christ that lives in me puts me in this battle. This is a time for a priest to shine. He shines because he fights the oppression against himself and against the parishioners that he’s become separated from.”
I phoned an exorcist in Washington D.C. I asked if demonic activity had increased since the Eucharist had been held back and many church doors had been locked. “Exorcists and those gifted individuals with insights into the spiritual realm have seen more intense demonic activity now. There has been a definite uptick,” he said, “Satan’s taken advantage of this crisis to meet his own ends, It seems demons have been given a free hand now.”
I called a layperson active in the deliverance ministry, who wished to remain anonymous. “The intensity of the suffering has increased. It’s the spirit and voice of condescension that speaks loudly now,” the individual said. “At the same time, the call to prayer is like a tsunami now. I feel like I don’t need to sleep. I just want to pray throughout the night - this seems to be the same experience of the priests I’ve been working with. 
“There is a ferocity and intensity about what they are seeing now in the spiritual realm.” (Read more.)

Lately, I have been recalling the prophecy of the "Three Days Darkness," a time when the forces of hell will be unleashed and the faithful are bidden to stay in their homes with plenty of sacramentals and unceasing prayer. Here is Emmett O'Regan's article from seven years ago in 2013 in Unveiling the Apocalypse:
It thus appears that the prophecies of the Three Days of Darkness refer to the long night-time of the Great Apostasy, which must take place before the dawn of the Second Pentecost. And there can be little doubt that we are currently enduring a spiritual dark age, with millions of baptised Catholics deliberately forsaking their faith, in order to engage in the current hedonistic excesses that are being sponsored by the consumer-driven mass media.

Three days of darkness before a time of enlightenment is a recurring theme in the Bible, which all directly points to the three days of Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection. Starting with the Agony in the Garden, Jesus had to endure terrible suffering before His death on the Cross on Good Friday. On Holy Saturday, He even descended into Sheol itself in order to free the captives that were imprisoned there (1Pet 3:19-20; 4:6). But with His glorious Resurrection on the third day, he gave us the light of eternal life.   

We all know that Jonah being in the belly of a great fish for three days and three nights (Jon 1:17) prefigured the Resurrection of Christ. But we can find some other biblical references to three days of darkness. The Book of Acts tells us that Saul was without sight for three days before starting his new life in Christ (Acts 9:9). The Apocalypse tells us that the Two Witnesses lie dead on the streets of Jerusalem for three and a half days before they are restored to life:

For three and a half days some from the peoples and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and refuse to let them be placed in a tomb, and those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and make merry and exchange presents, because these two prophets had been a torment to those who dwell on the earth. But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood up on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them.
(Rev 11:9-11)

And to borrow from the "Finding in the Temple" analogy once again, it is interesting to note that the boy Jesus was found in the Temple after three days:

Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the group they went a day's journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
(Luke 2:41-47)

The recurring theme of "three days" in Scripture therefore almost universally focuses on a new and glorious dawn after a time of great spiritual darkness. Much like the "Dark Night of the Soul" experienced by St. John of the Cross and various other mystics, it seems that in order to attain spiritual perfection, we must endure a long night of darkness before seeing the light of union with the Creator.  As St. Paul states above in 2Cor 3:4-6, the light of of the knowledge of the glory of God will eventually shine out of the darkness, just as the light of Creation was brought forth through the Eternal Logos after the Spirit moved on the face of the deep:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.
(Gen 1:1-4)

Just as the Holy Family were forced to flee into Egypt to escape King Herod's slaughter of the innocents, the Book of Revelation tells us that the Woman Adorned with the Sun (who also represents the Church) would have to flee into the wilderness for "a time, times and half a time" to evade the pursuit of the Dragon:

And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.
(Rev 12:13-14)

The above passage is also partially based on the wilderness wanderings of the Israelites led by Moses, who spent forty years in the desert before they could enter the Promised Land. Because of their apostasy in fashioning the Golden Calf, it was only after a period of trial, testing, and purification, that the Israelites would be allowed to enter the Holy Land. And the Holy Family were only able to return to Nazareth in Galilee after their own dark period of wandering in the wilderness, upon the death of King Herod.

But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;

those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
(Isa 9:1-2)

We are told that the Woman was able to escape from the river sent forth from the Dragon, because not only did the earth open its mouth to swallow the flood, but she was given the two wings of the great eagle. These two "wings" represent the Two Witnesses, who are the two healing wings of the sun of righteousness rising at the new dawn, described in the Book of Malachi:

But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts. 

 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
(Malachi 4:2-6)

As well as being the two olive trees that stand before the Lord of all the earth in Rev 4:11 and Zech 4:11-14, the Two Witnesses are also represented by the two trees of life in Rev 22 - whose leaves are for "the healing of the nations". In the Heavenly Jerusalem, the Tree of Life is divided into two (one of which replaces the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil spoiled by the Serpent), and it now stands as two trees on each side of the river of life, which flows forth from the throne of God and the Lamb:

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
(Rev 22:1-2)

A precursor to the Church as the Bark of St. Peter can also be found in Noah's Ark, which withstood the flood lasting forty days and nights. Seeking to find out if the waters had receded, Noah sent forth a dove, which came back with an olive leaf in its mouth:

And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.
(Gen 8:11)

And as Dr. Taylor Marshall points out
here, Christ's own "Dark Night of the Soul" took place amongst the olive trees of Gethsemane, during the Agony in the Garden.

As well as being intimately connected to the introduction of the new "slaughter of the innocents" that is abortion, the apparitions of Our Lady at Zeitoun between 1968-1971 also appear to have symbolised that the Church was about to endure its very own "flight into Egypt", at the beginning of the Great Apostasy. And it is noteworthy that the Arabic name zeitoun means "olives" - so this can be literally translated as "Our Lady of the Olives". There is no doubt that the wholesale collapse of Mass attendance began during this very time period (see
here for example). This is almost certainly related to not only the impact of the sexual revolution of the 1960's, but also to the growth of the influence of television - which allowed Christian families to be constantly bombarded with Masonic-inspired secular values. Being immersed in this culture, which is directly transmitted into our living spaces, has gradually chipped away at the Christian faith. Could this be related to Bl. Anna Maria Taigi's prophecy concerning the Three Days of Darkness, that the "air shall be infected by demons who will appear under all sorts of hideous forms"?

It seems almost certain that the prophecies of the Three Days of Darkness are chiefly concerned with a new dawn after a long, dark night of the soul for Christian culture. The superlative form in Hebrew is emphasised by a threefold repetition. So there being "three days" of darkness communicates the fact that we would have to endure the very darkest night before the dawn of the New Springtime. (Read more.)

And Fr. Heilman begs us to pray for an Easter Miracle, HERE.

Jesus Wept

"If thou hadst known, in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace!" Luke 19:42.

Friday, April 3, 2020

The Passion of the Church

As we suffer with Christ, we also suffer with His Church. Father Angelo offers a magnificent commentary on why liturgy is not magic and how we must die with Christ in order to live.
The sacred liturgy offers us an opportunity, in this most holy of weeks, to enter into the history of our Lord’s suffering, death and resurrection.  Our presence at the Sacred Triduum is a proclamation of our faith in that the Christ of History and the Christ of Faith are one and the same.  Some scripture scholars have the tendency to demythologize the gospel accounts, and, inversely, some commentators on the liturgy have the tendency to mythologize the Easter liturgy.  In fact, the gospels are historical and the liturgy brings us into contact with that sacred and sacramental history.

Christopher West, as I have mentioned many times before, has tended to sexualize the liturgy.  Most recently, he reposted his Easter commentary on St. Augustine’s reference to the Cross as a marriage bed.  Of course, the patristic analogy is fine.  It is the agenda with which I have a problem.   Inevitably liturgical eroticism connects Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with Hieros Gamos, which is Jungian and best and Wiccan at worst.  It is where myth meets alchemy and shamanism.

Gnostics, liturgical wreckers and liturgical reformers alike have treated the liturgy like magic: “Just do it like this and everything will get better.”  “Change it” or “Don’t you dare change it,” has only served to confirm, however wrongly, what our enemies have said all along, that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is hocus pocus.
Our liturgy is not a gnostic play, an allegorical wedding that symbolizes human life on a psychological, or on some universally valid “spiritual” or “mystical” level.  Our mysticism, our mystagogy is based on real history, otherwise we are of all men most miserable. (1 Cor 15:19).

The Sacraments are neither magic nor mythology.  Alchemy is a lousy metaphor for Christian transformation, but it is a good metaphor the reduction of spirituality to human manipulation. A “chymical wedding” is paradise calculated, prognosticated and resolved upon, and left unrealized.

Some of the liturgical magicians look to the Easter liturgy for an occult answer to even the misery of impurity. Liturgical eroticism is not the answer because sensuality and the imagination gives too free access to demonic.  The Angelic Doctor made distinctions.  The Demonic Doctor makes an infinite amount of distinctions.  His eros is never the impure kind:  “The lumen Christi takes care of that.  Just think sublimely, mystically.  Spiritual marriage is never impure.”  In fact, the Sacraments lead to bliss only by a harder road: the one Jesus took.

But Catholics should not be Roman Missal thumpers either, who think humanity’s problems will be solved simply by the black and red of missal older than 1962.  The Sacred Liturgy is not a wand to be waved over the post-conciliar Church, but a mystery to be assimilated.  The Tree of Life has not been transplanted from paradise.  The old tree points to the new, and the new is a bridal bed of pain.  Why should the liturgy not be painful?  We can be like teenagers who don’t like going to Mass because we don’t get anything out of it.
The Sacred Liturgy is not an academic exercise any more than it is mythological drama.  The unity of the Church depends in a very great part upon the liturgy, and the average Catholic has a real life to live.  He is not a monk.  He is not a scholar, liturgist or controversialist.  He just wants to go to Mass.  He has no agenda, and He probably is not visionary in his outlook.  He is just trying to make it through the week.  He needs to identify with Christ, not with the brocade on a dalmatic.

True mysticism passes by way of real, practical and concrete ascetism that bears down upon the will.   The saint is not an austere superman, but one who has broken his stubborn and recalcitrant will.  There is a big difference.  Liturgical precision and reverence should be a given.  Respect for tradition and an understanding that neither antiquarianism nor novelty are valid principles in liturgical reform must be presumed.  But the fastidious and academic preoccupation, the pained observations of everything than does not conform with the ideal resolved upon, is a sign of a will that is very much like that of the liturgical innovator.  Lest this assessment itself becomes excessively academic, I should just summarize by saying our hope should be that the liturgy break the selfish will.

Holy Week is the Way of the Cross and it is a hard road.  It resists euphemisms and cannot tolerate self-serving stupidity and effeminate mystagogery.  Our passion play is reality.  “Hosanna in the highest!” and “Crucify him!” come out of the same mouths.  It is supreme irony that we solemnize our fickleness, the fact that our piety so often misses the point.  It is a harsh reality we need to face:
I have given my body to the strikers, and my cheeks to them that plucked them: I have not turned away my face from them that rebuked me, and spit upon me. The Lord God is my helper, therefore am I not confounded: therefore have I set my face as a most hard rock, and I know that I shall not be confounded (Isaias 50:6-7).
 Our Lord was like a Lamb, silent before His sheerer (53:7).  Our face is set like flint when our mouths are closed and our hearts are open.  Christ is our High Priest and Victim, not a magician.  The grace is there for us even in the demystified, lowly Novus Ordo.  We should stop deflecting our attention from the real problem by indulging a magical way of thinking and set our face like flint against our selfish will.
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