Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The Angel of the Seven Thunders

The Angel of Revelation by William Blake
Author Emmett O'Regan analyzes the Book of Revelation in the light of the writings of St. Bonaventure, as well as Scripture and history. To quote:
St. Bonaventure's contention that the "time of great peace" which takes place at the start of the seventh age would be marked with the shout of the seven thunders is noteworthy in the fact that the sound produced by the angel here is described as being like a "roaring lion". In the earlier post The Third Secret of Fatima and the Angel with the Flaming Sword, we have already discussed how the prophecy of the angel of the seven thunders can be connected to the terrible events of 9/11. We shall discuss this in some more detail shortly below. The link between the shout of the angel of the seven thunders and the attacks on the World Trade Centre recalls some remarkable private revelations given to Venezuelan mystic Maria Esperanza (1928-2004), who was proclaimed a Servant of God by Bishop Paul Bootkoski in 2010. (Read more.)

Saturday, September 24, 2022

An Icon of Our Lady of Walsingham

It is the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham. From The Catholic Herald:
In her painting of Our Lady of Walsingham (detail pictured above), the Virgin Mary is depicted dressed in Anglo-Saxon attire and holding up the Child Jesus. The image includes the coat of arms of St Edward the Confessor, a patron saint of England, and it depicts Lady Richeldis, who built a replica of the “holy house” of Nazareth following an apparition. The image also shows a frog in the place of the serpent, following a traditional Old English telling of Genesis in art. 
The icon measures 75cm by 40.5cm (30in by 16in) and is made in a traditional way. It is painted with egg tempera on gesso mounted on a birch panel, before varnish was added for protection. The value of iconography over other art forms, according to Mrs de Pulford, is the clarity of the message the painter seeks to convey. 
“Symbolism occurs in many art forms, and iconography is no exception,” she says. “But you don’t have to be able to unpick the symbolism to understand the painting because the imagery is so clear. It’s clear what is going on, it’s clear who the people are, and if you contemplate for long enough the meaning will become clear.” 
She adds: “What I hope is that for those who see it the icon will inspire a renewed sense of the overwhelming generous love which inspired God to give Himself to the world, and Our Lady to reciprocate that love with her willing cooperation.” 
Richard II’s dedication of England was carried out amid great political turmoil, with the intention that the country and her people would be set aside for the guidance and protection of Our Lady. The dedication coincided with the growth of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham into one of the four great pilgrimage destinations of medieval Europe. 
The shrine was destroyed during the Reformation and the original statute is believed to have been burned at Chelsea by Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s henchman. But it was re-established in the 19th century and the English bishops decided in 2017 that a re-dedication was desirable. 
The National Day of Dedication involves Catholics making a personal “Angelus promise” to God in union with the “yes” of Mary at the Annunciation. Communal acts of entrustment will be made in cathedrals at noon, renewing the vows of dedication made by Richard II. Schools are invited to join the re-dedication on Monday, March 30. (Read more.)

Friday, September 23, 2022

Novena to Our Guardian Angels

Here is the novena to our Angel Guardians in preparation for their feast on October 2:
O holy angels, whom God, by the effect of His goodness and His tender regard for my welfare, has charged with the care of my conduct, and who assists me in all my wants and comforts me in all my afflictions, who supports me when I am discouraged and continually obtains for me new favors, I return thee profound thanks, and I earnestly beseech thee, O most amiable protector, to continue thy charitable care and defense of me against the malignant attacks of all my enemies. Keep me away from all occasions of sin. Obtain for me the grace of listening attentively to thy holy inspirations and of faithfully putting them into practice. In particular, I implore thee to obtain for me the favor which I ask for by this novena. [Here mention your need(s).] Protect me in all the temptations and trials of this life, but more especially at the hour of my death, and do not leave me until thou hast conducted me into the presence of my Creator in the mansions of everlasting happiness. Amen.
Artwork: Juan Antonio Escalante, An Angel Awakens the Prophet Elijah (c. 1667)

Friday, September 16, 2022

Preparing for Mass

 From The Missive:

In the passage just quoted, Pius XII explains that to pray the Mass well, the faithful should have the same intentions and dispositions as Christ Himself, namely, “praise, impetration, expiation and thanksgiving.” These indicate what are commonly called the four ends of prayer: adoration (“praise”), thanksgiving, contrition (“expiation”), and petition (“impetration”). The acronym of ACTS is used as a way to remember these ends (Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication [petition]). While this is helpful, it should be noted that the four ends are not listed in this acronym according to their order of importance.

The first reason one should go to prayer is to give God the honor which is due to Him as the Supreme and Perfect Being for everything outside of God was created for this end. The giving of this honor belongs to adoration. Next, one should express thanksgiving for all things which God has granted. God has created and maintains in existence, from moment to moment, each individual and all of the goods which each possesses. This gives rise to a seemingly infinite debt which each creature owes to God – a debt which is repaid by acts of thanksgiving. Sin is an offense against God, which the sinner appeases by acts of penance (expiation) which flow from internal sorrow (contrition). In the last place, one can petition God for necessities and desires, both spiritual and material. When one goes to prayer, this hierarchy of the ends of prayer should be kept in mind and the time given to each should be proportional to where that type of prayer falls in the hierarchy. It would be improper, therefore, for one to spend the majority of one’s time asking God for things (petition) while only spending a small amount of time, if any, adoring God for His perfections.

As the Mass is a prayer – indeed the greatest of prayers – these four ends can be applied to the Mass as well, as Pius XII indicated. It is recommended, then, that before the start of Mass, one prepare by going over the four ends of prayer and indicating the various reasons one is praying and participating in this particular Mass. (Read more.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

The Children of Fatima and the Fifth Apparition

Today is the 105th anniversary of the fifth apparition of Our Lady at Fatima. Our Lady said: "In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe." Here is an account from the EWTN website about the three visionaries:
There Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta were born and raised in homes where the catechism was their daily bread, stories from the Bible their recreation, and the word of the village priest was law. Lucia de Jesus Santos was born, the youngest of seven children, to Antonio and Maria Rosa Santos, on 22 March 1907. She was a plain child with sparkling eyes and a magnetic personality, a natural leader to whom other children looked with confident affection. Blessed with an excellent memory, Lucia was able to learn her catechism, and make her First Communion and Confession, at age six. She herself became a catechist at nine. Lucia would be the constant guide and companion to her first cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, through the trials that accompanied the apparitions of the Blessed Mother. (Read more.)
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