Novena for the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary 2020

We offer this Novena today to begin  it tomorrow, January 24 and finish on the Vigil of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for those of us who would like to renew our Consecrations on Our Lady’s Feast day.

Please note that each day’s prayers conclude with the God the Shepherd Prayer for the Pope. This is because we really do need to pray for this benighted man. Saint Jacinta of Fatima stressed the need for us to pray for the Pope and I believe that when we pray for this poor man, it pleases Our Lady so much. I hope you will consider it.

Each day, we begin with:

Come, Holy Ghost
Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost; grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may always truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

First Day:

Most holy Mary, bright Mirror of all virtues, the forty days after thy delivery were no sooner past than thou, though the purest of all virgins, didst will to be presented in the Temple to be purified according to the Law; Grant that we by imitating thee, may keep our hearts unstained by sin, that so we too may be made worthy one day to be presented to our God in Heaven.

Continue reading “Novena for the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary 2020”

Effective Catholic Action

“The only hope for civilization in its present crisis is that Catholics succeed in leavening society. Their success in doing so depends primarily not on their organization but on their interior life and personal love of God.” (Dom Eugene Boylan, ‘This Tremendous Lover’, 1951)

Dom Boylan continues,

Once Catholic Action puts the emphasis on the “Action” and forgets the real meaning of “Catholic” – which, in its essence is the result of union with Christ, – then the failure of Catholic Action has begun. And if we Catholics have not had the influence on society . . . the reason is to be found in our lack of the interior life. All Catholicity – individual, social, secular, or regular – must begin and end in interior union with Christ. “For there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved.” (Acts, 4. 12)

Happily, there is a shortcut to that union with Christ for the individual and for society. For as (Saint) Pius X taught, “They are miserable and unfortunate who, under the pretext of honoring Christ neglect Mary, for they do not know that the Child cannot be found except with His Mother.” And the same Holy Father quotes the text of the Apocalypse:

“And a great sign appeared in heaven. A Woman clothed with the sun and the moon under Her feet and on Her head a crown of twelve stars. And being with child, She cried, travailing in birth and was in pain to be delivered.” (Apoc. 12, 1,2)

and (Pope St. Pius X) applies it to Our Lady, who, though blessed in heaven, is still laboring in a mysterious birth. “Whose birth?” asks the Holy Father:

“Clearly ours, who are still detained in exile and have yet to be brought forth to the perfect charity of God and eternal happiness.” (Ad diem illum, 1904)

The part played by Our Lady in our sanctification is so important that it calls for a book in itself. . .

Father Boylan wrote the above December 8, 1945, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the Introduction to his beautiful, “This Tremendous Lover”. I use it today as the hopeful introduction to a series of articles aimed at renewing our focus on the importance of this most  glorious creature of God, created in perfect sinlessness, filled with all grace and love of God, in order to be the very Spouse of God the Holy Spirit, and the Mother of God the Son, Saviour of mankind, and thus, the Mother of all who are of His Mystical Body.

Dom Boylan summed up the essentials of the spiritual life very simply, in just five points: faith, hope, charity, humility, and a generous acceptance of God’s will. It has always been my intention, in all that I share with you, to emphasise these points as well. If we but look around, we may easily discern how the dearth of these virtues has impoverished the Faith today.

With Dom Boylan, I am convinced that the way to restore the spiritual life – indeed, the only way – is through devotion to the Mother of God. From my readers, it has become clear that we need to return to some very fundamental aspects, returning to the very meaning and context of the prayers of the Holy Rosary. I hope that by doing so, we can revitalize our Rosaries. For we are engaged, whether we acknowledge it or not, in a life or death spiritual combat. This was brought home to me very recently, when a prominent group of lay Catholic leaders gathered in Munich:

“An international coalition of lay Catholics mobilized in Munich today to silently pray in “firm protest against the German Episcopal Conference and its President” Cardinal Marx on account of the prelates’ plan to embark on a “synodal path” that critics say would create a “new church” that departs from Catholic teaching on priestly celibacy, contraception, homosexuality, and fornication.” (Lifesite News)

Quoting from the article,

Called Acies ordinata, the international coalition derives its name from a title reserved for Our Lady who assembles an army of the faithful to defeat her enemies. The Latin phrase “terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinate” is applied to Mary in battle and is taken from the Old Testament Song of Songs canticle (6:3, 6:10).”

The citation above, correctly taken is: from Solomon’s Canticle of Canticles. The link allows you to read the Vulgate alongside the Douay version.

In order to dispel some confusion, here is more from the Lifesite article, FYI:

About the name of the organization: “Called Acies ordinata, the international coalition derives its name from a title reserved for Our Lady who assembles an army of the faithful to defeat her enemies. The Latin phrase “terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinate” is applied to Mary in battle and is taken from the Old Testament Song of Songs canticle (6:3, 6:10).” Direct quote.

NOTE: That quote is: Quæ est ista quæ progreditur quasi aurora consurgens, pulchra ut luna, electa ut sol, terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata?  (Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?) By the way, it is verse 9, not verse 10.

“The hour of silent prayer and meditation ended with the collective singing of the Creed, during which, to express their love for the Church, the participants raised their voices to sing the words Et unam Sanctam Catholicam Ecclesiam (one holy Catholic Church) #AciesOrdinata pic.twitter.com/0Mb0JugifC”. Direct quote.

LINK to above quotes: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholic-laityprotest-cdl-marx-call-him-to-repent-for-leading-german-church-down-schismatic-synodal-path

Now readers, who among you believes that “Our Lady’s army in battle array” just stands around silently, unarmed, refusing to use the weapon she gives us – that is, her rosary?

What struck me is that an organization of the most prominent lay Catholic leaders  have staged a protest in the name of Mary that was silent. That did not publically recite her Rosary? Think of that. Silent.

That is, they chose to forego the true traditional Catholic protest of respectfully reciting the Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary in public; a practice that goes back so many centuries and is so richly indulgenced that it would have brought down floods of grace and strengthened the participants while weakening and driving out the ancient enemy. In place of the Rosary of the Mother of God – which she has continuously asked us for – they decided to stand in silent protest, not united in the one effective prayer that is actually the weapon of Our Lady, but instead in the silent interior of each one “praying in their own way” as is the way of the worldly today. A way that is perfectly acceptable to the false ecumenists of the neo-modernist, neo-paganist church of the man they propose to protest, Cardinal Marx. How he must have laughed at their impotent “protest”.

We seem to have reached a new low, when prominent lay Catholic leaders form themselves into an army of Our Lady while eschewing her own weapons in order to adopt the stance of the freemasonic enemy. Just think a moment of the many triumphs of Our Lady of the Rosary – and see the futility of this silly posing.

The Message of Fatima is that she herself desires that we call her, Our Lady of the Rosary. 

Return to Fatima!

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

 

 

Heaven in Three Hail Marys, 2020

 

A note for readers who have asked why I have not posted on the ongoing drama of the two popes – i.e., what is wrong, am a sick again, and what do I think of this or that post from various blogs. First, I do not read those blogs, no matter how many times you send them to my inbox, for I am practicing what I “preach” and making reparation. Our Lord Jesus Christ is offended and has begun chastising us. We have been given a brief period of mercy, a last chance for reparation, before the culmination. A period of unimaginable misery is upon us and many will find themselves caught up in hell on earth.

Why should you listen to me? As someone challenged, “What gives you the right to tell me to repent?, who do you think you are?”  Certainly, I am not worthy, me, least of all! – that you should listen to me, but I have passed on to you as faithfully as I am able to do, the words of Our Lord, of Our Blessed Mother, and of the saints who are approved by the true magisterium. Please do not be led astray! Hold fast to the truth, hold fast to our Queen and Mother, who will not leave us orphans.

St. Alphonsus of Liguori assures us that: “A devout servant of Mary shall never perish.” That is why it is regrettable  to see Catholics  today fall away from true devotion to our Blessed Mother. One simple but very effective little devotion to Our Lady is the venerable old practice of the Three Hail Marys. This is a long-established practice which has been promoted by some of the greatest saints, such as St. Anthony, St. Mechtilde, St. Gertrude, St. Leonard of Port Maurice and was blessed by Pope St. Pius X.

In brief, the devotion consists of the following:

Continue reading “Heaven in Three Hail Marys, 2020”

“This Tremendous Lover” – Union with Christ

“Our humility and obedience are but the exercise of our love and desire for Jesus, they are but means of giving ourself completely to Him, as He does to us . . .” Dom Eugene Boylan, “This Tremendous Lover”.

The following essay is based on Dom Eugene Boylan’s book primarily Chapter XVII, “Union with Christ through Humility”.  I had begun this post a couple years back, but set it aside. Recent events, of no particular interest to anyone but myself, caused me to take it up again. To be brief, I am learning (painfully slowly!) to accept the humiliations that Providence hands me. For He doesn’t “reward our goodness” with the praise of others – quite the opposite – the applause of others tends to draw us away from God, while the humbling we get from those who despise us are often the greatest help to our true growth. It is after all, from the Cross that we learn the most essential lessons.

Grace to the Humble

Abandonment to Divine Providence is but the outward expression of that virtue of humility which is the foundation of the whole spiritual life. We have already referred to humility as that by which the obstacles to the outpourings of God’s goodness are removed, for “God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble.”

If one asks, “How am I to become humble?” the immediate answer is “By the grace of God” and that is indeed the truth. Only the grace of God can give us that insight into our own condition and the realization of His exaltation that make for humility. But even though it be a grace, it is a grace with which we must co-operate. The first thing to do is to ask in prayer for the grace of humility, and to ask sincerely. The second thing is to accept humiliations when they come our way; but never forget that there is an enormous difference between being humble and being humiliated. The next thing is to accept as lovingly as we can, our own limitations, our own defects, our own lowliness; and even to be resigned – if we cannot be glad – when these shortcomings become known to others. Human nature being what it is, this is not easy; in fact, without confidence in God, it is morally impossible.

Confidence and humility always go together. One of the reasons why men are so anxious to exalt themselves – to overestimate their own value and their own powers – to resent anything that would tend to lower themselves in their own esteem or in that of others – is because they see no other hope for their happiness save in themselves. That is why they are so “touchy” so resentful of criticism, so impatient of opposition, so insistent on getting their own way, so eager to be known, so anxious for praise, so determined on ruling their surroundings. They clutch at themselves like drowning men clutch at a straw. And as life goes on, still far from being satisfied; their attitude borders on the feverish and hysterical; whatever they may have got, they are certainly far from having found peace.

The attitude of the man who has true Christian humility is just the opposite. Since his hope is placed in God instead of himself, he has no worries about getting his own way. Insofar as he trusts in God, he can accept whatever outcome, in the knowledge that God can perfectly well turn any outcome into serving His glory. Now, this attitude of working our best, but relying on God to determine the outcome, is not passivity and it does not require constant self-deprecation.

Humility is not so much self-deprecation as self-forgetfulness. It is a return to the simplicity of childhood based upon a realization of the Fatherhood of God. It is to realize that our sanctification is the work of God, and that we are rather an obstacle to His work than otherwise. It is a realization and a glad acceptance of the fact that we have nothing which we have not received. That is, we frankly acknowledge that whatever skills and abilities we have are gifts of God, generously offered to us in order to allow us to partner with Him.

The truly humble never desire to appear before God as workers who have accomplished all their tasks perfectly and who therefore expect their full wages as their due. Such workers, of course, will receive their just reward; if we appeal to God’s justice, he will be just with us. But which of us dare stand in such confidence before the judgement seat of God and put our hope in His just retribution? Such an attitude is the height of folly. The wise man closes his eyes to any good he may have done and goes to God as his Saviour, relying on God’s mercy and upon his own poverty. For that is the claim to the kingdom of Heaven recognized by Our Lord Himself. “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.”

The truth is that we do not understand the value of our own weakness. We want to be conscious of our strength, and we want others to be conscious of it also; we want to do great things – for God, as we like to say – and we want others to know that we have done them: we want to acquire a store of merit and an armoury of virtues so that we can feel secure in our spiritual riches; and we want good to be done – but we want to have the doing of it ourselves so that we may be rich in what we think are good works. Thus, we forget what the Holy Spirit writes:

“There is an inactive man that wanteth help, is very weak in ability, and full of poverty: yet the eye of god hath looked upon him for good, and hath lifteth him up from his low estate, and hath exalteth his head . . . trust in God and stay in thy place. For it is easy in the eyes of God on a sudden to make the poor man rich. The blessing of God maketh haste to reward the just, and in a swift hour His blessing beareth fruit.” (Ecclesiasticus 21, 12)

Emptiness

Dom Eugene Boylan reminds us here of a quote from Father Clerissac, “it is our emptiness and thirst that God needs, not our plenitude.” …

It is far better for us to be conscious of our own weakness, to accept others’ perception of our faults and shortcomings, so that God Himself is seen as the author of good works. We serve God greatly in doing whatever He puts before us, the humble tasks as well as the greater ones. We should be indifferent to what others may think of our achievements – or the lack of them. Rather than seeking on our own to store up spiritual riches, merits and virtues for ourselves, we much more effectively amass them by maintaining our focus on serving God, minute by tedious minute in the course. of our daily duties, for it is by accepting their tedium and the constant pricks to our ego provided by our little failings that true spiritual riches are given generously to us by our loving Father who always sees our good intentions in such a way as to overlook our mishaps.

And so, we place our entire confidence in His mercy and infinite love for us. Our zeal for God’s glory drives us with a keen desire to serve Him with good works, and our humility leads us to trust in Him as to the outcome. We know that all belongs to Him, and the value of all our works has already been consecrated to Him through the Immaculate Heart of Mary;  we are her children, after all.

Humility is the sticking point in our relationship with the world. It is the bone of contention. Indeed, personal achievement, “self-esteem”, “self-confidence”, those are the core of modern values. This is virulent neopagan pride and it infects Catholics, even traditional Catholics, almost as pervasively as it has infected the vast secular majority today. Until this pride and its progeny, liberty and tolerance, are defeated, the spiritual chastisement must intensify.

Dom Boylan notes that “cultivation of humility should commence in the interior. It will be learned by keeping good company and the best company is that of Jesus and Mary. If we but read the life of Our Lord as that of a friend, we cannot help being influenced by His constant example. Frequent meditation on the Passion will bring us more quickly to humility than anything else; and while humility is dependent upon true self-knowledge, such knowledge is better obtained by studying what God is than what we ourselves are. The continual remembrance of God is one of the best ways of ensuring humility, for humility is really reverence for God and advance in humility means advance in reverence for God.”

“Here again, we find that the Christian life is but a continuation of the Mass. In the Mass we offer Sacrifice to assure God that we are nothing and that He is all, to offer Him our adoration and our reverence. If we are sincere in our protestation, we shall maintain that attitude of humility of heart during the rest of the day.” . . .

It is only by humility that our love for Our Lord will fully take flight. As the Holy Spirit teaches us, God is a jealous God; this divine jealousy is not the vain self-love of original sin, but the jealousy of the Divine Lover, what Dom Boylan refers to as the Tremendous Lover who knows that He, and He alone, can give happiness to His beloved. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and thy whole soul, with all thy mind and all thy strength.”

St. Thomas a Kempis puts these words on Our Lord’s lips:

“What more do I ask of thee than to give thyself up entirely to Me? Whatever thy givest besides thyself is nothing to Me. I seek not thy gift but thyself! Just as thou couldst not be content without Me, though thou possessest everything else, so nothing thou offerest can please Me unless thou offerest Me thyself! Behold, I offered My whole self to the Father for thee, and I have given My whole Body and Blood for thy food, that I might be all thine, and thou might be all and always Mine. But if thou wilt stand upon thy own strength, and wilt not offer thyself freely to My will, thy offering is not perfect, nor will there be an entire union between us.” (Imitation of Christ, 4,8) [Note: This is Dom Boylan’s citation, I cannot locate this quote in my copies of the Imitation.]

 

Love and Desire

Dom Boylan: Our humility and obedience are but the exercise of our love and desire for Jesus, they are but means of giving ourself completely to Him, as He does to us in the Mass, and that is what, by our Communion and assistance at Mass, we signify our readiness to do. For that is the whole spiritual life – a love-union with Jesus, in which each of the lovers, the Divine and the human, give themselves completely to one another. It is not so much an acquisition of virtue, of performing heroic deeds, of amassing merit, of bearing fruit in the Church; these things are excellent , especially in so far as they come from love. But nothing less than our very self in its entirety will satisfy the Heart of Jesus, and all He asks is that we give Him our whole self in poverty and nothingness. The great way to do that is the way shown by Jesus and Mary – by love through humility and abandonment.

(I obtained my copy of “This Tremendous Lover” from AbeBooks.com, but I was told that Baronius Press now offers a reprint of this book.)

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

Feast of the Holy Family, 2020

 

Today, the first Sunday after Epiphany, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family, which is the last time in the liturgical year in which we honor the hidden life of Jesus. It is also the best time for the Consecration of the Family to the Holy Family and the Enthronement of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts in our homes.

Thus, it is fitting that in the Gospel today, we read of the event which comprises the Fifth Joyful Mystery, the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. In this, we commemorate the first words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel, “How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

St. Luke then tells us that Jesus returned to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph “and was subject to them.” In this brief account, we have several important lessons: First, Jesus establishes His mission in His first recorded words,  “I must be about My Father’s business.” And second, Jesus was subject to Mary and Joseph. The Son of God first asserts the primacy of God, by stating that His mission is to serve the Father in all things, then Jesus affirms the importance of family, “He was subject to them.” On the firm bedrock of total obedience to God in all things, we can most perfectly live out our love of God within our families, whether they be our personal families or our religious communities. If love of God comes first, what follows cannot fail to serve Him.

 My Father's business
My Father’s business

 

As we open our minds and our hearts, lifting them to God in this, the Fifth Joyful Mystery, we consider Saint Joseph leading his Holy Family back home from the Temple. The blessed peace that surrounds them draws us in too, and we are nourished with the truths of this holy mystery. By His actions, Our Lord teaches us humility and obedience in His submission to His Father’s will and through that, because of that, His submission to Mary and Joseph. By our consecrations we submit to them too, and so we learn humility and obedience. We also learn poverty; now, in the first beatitude,  Our Lord makes us a promise for this virtue:  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.”

The Fatima Connection

On the fifth visit, September 13, 1917, Our Lady told the children, “In October … Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to give peace to  the world.” And in Sister Lucia’s accounts of the Sixth Visit, she related that this is precisely what occurred. You may ask, “Where then is this peace”? The answer, if you will hear it yet again, is, “Your peace is dependent upon your obedience!” As an infant receives the graces of baptism, we, the faithful have been given unimaginable graces in great profusion, awaiting only our cooperation. If we but seek them, turning to Jesus and Mary – and Joseph too!) and seeking them in humility and obedience, we shall see miracles as never before seen in this tired old world, making all things new, restoring the faith.

Continue reading “Feast of the Holy Family, 2020”

On Meditation, Contemplation and Perseverance

 

Some readers have told me of their difficulty with Ignatian spirituality and one reader reported that the Ignatian retreat she attended was helpful but that the method itself did not seem to be a good fit for her. I agreed that I had the same experience and would have profited more during my retreat from spiritual reading and hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Dom  Boylan’s practical approach helped me immensely and so I offer it to readers, for those who may find it useful. In coming weeks, I hope to write also on St. Teresa’s advice in the matter, as well, from her “Way of Perfection” and from Father Frasinetti’s “Treatise on Prayer with St. Teresa’s Pater Noster”.

Today’s offering is from the conclusion of “Difficulties in Mental Prayer”.  I am presenting this portion, which is out of sequence, because it seems indicated by several questions I received from readers lately, who advise me that they truly have nowhere  else to turn to for assistance. Although this writing is primarily aimed at the religious life, Dom Boylan states that it is also meant to be beneficial for laity who seek perfection, as we all should.

† . † . †

In the conclusion of his book, Dom Boylan offers a quote from St. John of the Cross, the authority par excellence on the subject of mental prayer.  In “The Living Flame of Love”, when treating of the development of the prayer of meditation, he writes:

“The state of beginners… is one of meditation and of acts of reflection. It is necessary to furnish the soul in this state with matter for meditation, that it may make reflections and interior acts, and avail itself of the sensible spiritual heat and fervor, for this is necessary in order to accustom the senses and desires to good things, that, being satisfied by the sweetness thereof, they may be detached from the world.

“When this is in some degree effected, God begins at once to introduce the soul into the state of contemplation, and that very quickly, especially in the case of religious, because these, having renounced the world, quickly fashion their senses and desires according to God; they have, therefore, to pass at once from meditation to contemplation.”

“This passage, then, takes place when the discursive acts and meditation fail, when sensible sweetness and first fervors cease, when the soul cannot make reflections as before, nor find any sensible comfort, but is fallen into aridity, because the chief matter is changed into the spirit, and the spirit is not cognizable by sense. As all the natural operations of the soul, which are within its control, depend on the senses only, it follows that God is now working in a special manner in this state, that it is He that infuses and teaches, that the soul is the recipient on which He bestows spiritual blessings by contemplation, the knowledge and the love of Himself together; that is, He gives it loving knowledge without the instrumentality of its discursive acts, because it is no longer able to form them as before.

“At this time, then, the direction of the soul must be wholly different from what it was at first. If formerly it was supplied with matter for meditation and it did meditate, now that matter must be withheld and meditation must cease, because, as I have said, it cannot meditate, do what it will, and distractions are the result.

“If before it looked for fervor and sweetness and found them, let it look for them no more nor desire them; and if it attempt to seek them, not only will it not find them, but it will meet with aridity, because it turns away from the peaceful and tranquil good secretly bestowed upon it, when it attempts to fall back on the operations of sense. In this way it loses the latter without gaining the former, because the senses have ceased to be the channel of spiritual good.”

The primary purpose in quoting this long passage is to draw attention to the words in which the Saint indicates for us the fundamental disposition for the passage to contemplation, namely: that one has fashioned one’s senses and desires according to God, which disposition, with its result, He expects to find quickly reached in the case of religious. But the whole passage has been quoted because it sums up in pregnant language, weighted with all the authority of the Church’s Doctor of Prayer, all that these pages have been trying to say.

Continue reading “On Meditation, Contemplation and Perseverance”

The Prayer of Anna Maria Taigi

 

Today, we offer a prayer which comes from Edward Healy Thompson, “The Venerable Anna Maria Taigi”, Burns, Oates & Co., 1874. I offer it for those readers who have requested good prayers and devotions to help combat the toxins of this apostate age.

Prayer of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, pray for us!

Prostrate at thy holy feet, great Queen of Heaven, I venerate thee with profoundest reverence, and acknowledge thee as the Daughter of God the Father, the Mother of the Divine Word, and the Spouse of the Holy Ghost. Thou art the treasurer and the distributor of Their mercies. It is because of thy most pure heart, so full of charity, sweetness, and tenderness for sinners, that I call thee mother of divine compassion. Wherefore I present myself to thee with great confidence, my most loving mother; I am in affliction and filled with anguish, and I pray thee to make me taste the truth of thy love by granting me the grace I ask of thee, if it be conformable to the Divine Will and good for my soul. I entreat thee to turn thy most pure eyes upon me and all belonging to me, especially those who have recommended themselves to my prayers.

Behold the terrible war which the devil, the world, and the flesh wage against our souls, and how many of these souls perish. Remember, O most tender mother that we are all thy children, bought by the Precious Blood of thine only Son. Deign most ardently to pray the Blessed Trinity to grant me the grace always to vanquish the devil, the world, and all my bad passions, that grace by which the just are sanctified yet more, sinners reclaimed, heresies destroyed, infidels enlightened, Jews converted.

Ask, most loving mother, this grace through the infinite goodness of the Most High God, by the merits of thy Most Holy Son, by the milk with which thou didst nourish Him, by the devotedness with which thou didst serve Him, by the love wherewith thou didst love Him, by the tears which thou didst shed, by the sorrow thou didst experience in His most Sacred Passion. Obtain for me this great gift, that the whole world may form one only people and one only Church, which may render glory, honor, and thanksgiving to the Blessed Trinity and to thee who art the mediatrix.

May this grace be accorded to me by the power of the Father, the wisdom of the Son, and the virtue of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Mother, behold the extreme peril of thy children. Mother, who canst do all things, have pity on us. Virgo potens, ora pro nobis.

Three Ave Marias.

Eternal Father, increase ever more in the hearts of the faithful devotion to Mary, Thy Daughter.
Eternal Son, increase ever more in the hearts of the faithful devotion to Mary, Thy Mother.
Eternal Spirit, increase ever more in the hearts of the faithful devotion to Mary, Thy Spouse.
Gloria Patri.

Thank you for your prayers, my latest tests are much improved and I am filled with renewed hope!

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

Of Wise Men and Fools, 2020

 

Among the obstacles faced by the Magi, perhaps the greatest was the sheer indifference of the Israelites themselves. And yet, the Magi persisted, seeking this new born King. Our essay is based on a sermon from St. Jean Marie Vianney.

Let us consider to what degree the persistence of the Wise men attained. On their arrival at Jerusalem, the star which had guided them on the journey disappeared. They imagined without doubt that they had reached the place where our Saviour was born, and so they expected that the whole of Jerusalem would be filled with joy at the birth of its Redeemer.

What astonishment was theirs to see that Jerusalem showed no signs of joy whatever and in fact, did not even know its Redeemer is born at all! The Jews are so surprised to see how the Wise men came to worship the Messiah, that the Wise men began to wonder why the event was announced to them at all. Instead of bolstering their hopes, it seemed to them that their faith was being tested.  Was it not rather calculated to deter them from their journey, and to tempt them to return home secretly, for fear that they might become the laughing stock of Jerusalem?

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Slash and Burn, Reboot 2020

Slash and burn, reboot
Fresh, new growth springs from the ashes.

Slash and burn agriculture is the process of cutting down the vegetation in a particular plot of land, setting fire to the remaining foliage, and using the ashes to provide nutrients to the soil for the use of planting food crops.

Recently, a kind and gentle reader remarked, “it is not surprising that we see the ground being prepared, tilled so to speak, in order to receive the seed of the consecration.”

I’ve taken some time to consider this reader’s thoughtful comment and concluded that the ground will be prepared by a slightly different method.

In the slash and burn method, as detailed above, what is hindering the restoration of the faith and the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the glut of arrogant, disobedient and indifferent catholics who now occupy the Church, as laity and above all, as consecrated leaders, who conspire against her and serve the lord of this world.  By His usual effective methods, I believe that God will clear away the debris, and in these ashes, by the humility and obedience of the survivors, and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Church will rise again. A chastened Pope will consecrate Russia, and a chastened Russia will welcome this.

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January 1, 2020 Mary, the Mother of God

“Call me and my image the Perfect Virgin Mary, Holy Mother of God, the one who crushes the serpent.” Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego

Much of the Church celebrates today as the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and it seems appropriate to offer a small portion of Holy Church’s immense treasury of Marian writings to counter-act this horrid pope’s barrage of denigrating statements against the most holy Mother of God.

By focusing our devout attention on what is exalted and holy and beautiful, we hope to make worthy reparation for the unkind words and actions of the unfortunate man who has usurped the See of Peter. Pope Francis uses his power as the Vicar of Christ to attack Christ’s own Mother! Ah, but we know how this must end, don’t we? And so we watch and pray.

Much of the following is taken from the writings of Saint John Eudes, particularly “The Admirable Heart of Mary”  available from KIC,( Link) or may be downloaded free from Archive.org, (Link)

As I write this, it is very late on New Year’s Eve, and all around us, the worldly celebrate with fireworks and of course, the occasional gunshot and ambulances scream urgently. The world around me isn’t exactly in “solemn stillness” this night, and I must admit, my heart is also not in stillness but wrenched to its core as I think on the hideous talk given by Pope Francis on the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In her revelations to us through St. Juan Diego, Our Most Blessed Mother taught us, “Call me and my image the Perfect Virgin Mary, Holy Mother of God, the one who crushes the serpent.” In that brief statement, she affirms her Immaculate Conception (perfect), her Perpetual Virginity and her most august title, Mother of God. For the Pope to manipulate this occasion with snide remarks is beyond all tolerance. No faithful Catholic is comfortable with criticising the Pope, but this pope forces us if we are to remain in a state of grace. For it is impossible to agree with his statements!  Indeed, there should have been a strong response against the Pope’s insults from every Bishop throughout the Church. But how few have done this!  And so the faithful are disheartened and left in confusion, and the ancient enemy of Our Lady rejoices.

And here we begin to see the root of Bergoglio’s problem with the most Blessed Virgin; his need to insist she is, “a normal girl”, Pope Francis is reported to have said, “She never wanted for herself something that was of her son,” … “She never introduced herself as co-redemptrix. No. Disciple,” … “Mary woman, Mary mother, without any other essential title,” It seems that he cannot help himself from showing disdain for her. But why? Is it perhaps that he hates Our Dear Lord so much? Let us think on the relation between the hearts of Jesus and Mary. St. John Eudes will be our guide in this.

Jesus Christ, the Heart of the Eternal Father, is the Heart of His Holy Mother. Is not the heart the principle of life? And what is the Son of God to His dear Mother? He always was and will be forever the heart of her heart, the soul of her soul, the spirit of her spirit, and the sole principle of all the movements, uses and functions of her most holy life. St. Paul tells us that it is not himself who lives but Jesus Christ who lives in him (Gal. 2, 20). Our Lord is the life of all Christians (Col. 3, 4) so who could doubt that He abides in His holy Mother, and that He is the life of her life, the heart of her heart, in a union incomparably more excellent even than with St. Paul and the other faithful saints?

Let us listen to what Our Lady revealed to St Brigid: “My Son was truly my Heart to me. When He left my bosom to be born, it seemed as though half of my Heart were going forth from me. When He suffered, I felt His pain as though my Heart endured the identical sorrows and torments that He endured. When my Son was being scourged and torn with whips, my Heart was scourged and whipped with Him. When He looked at me from the Cross, and I at Him, two streams of tears gushed from my eyes; and when He saw me oppressed with sorrow, He experienced such violent anguish at my desolation that the pain caused by His sorrow was my sorrow as His Heart was my Heart. Because Adam and Eve together betrayed the world for one, single forbidden fruit, so did my beloved Son wish that I should cooperate with Him in redeeming it with one Heart…”

Saint John Eudes continues, “… her Heart mirrors His Sacred Heart. So it is that Jesus is the principle of life in His most holy Mother. So it is that He is the Heart of her Heart and the life of her life. St. Brigid once heard her say: “Every homage rendered to my Son is likewise rendered to me, and whoever dishonors Him dishonors me. We have always had such perfect mutual love that we seemed to have as it were but one Heart for both…”

St. John Eudes relates that Our Lord revealed these thoughts to St. Mechtilde in 1300, that He wishes her (and us) to honor His Mother’s Heart as an ocean of grace and a treasure of blessings, as the humblest heart of any creature, asserting that it was her humility which drew Him from His Father’s bosom and rendered her worthy to conceive in her chaste womb of the Holy Ghost. He further explained that Mary should be honored as most prudent and wise for keeping in her Heart “the memory of each event of My childhood, youth and adult life” and making holy use of this remembrance. Our Lord also urged that we honor the heart of His most beloved Mother as the most faithful, “for she not only consented to permit Me, her only Son, to be sacrificed, but she also offered Me to my Eternal Father as a sacrifice for the redemption of the world.”

And finally, He tells us of her excellence, that she is “the most vigilant and most zealous for the interests of the nascent Church, for the care she took to pray unceasingly could not be disregarded” and also, that we should, “glorify her Heart as raised to the highest degree of uninterrupted contemplation, for no tongue can worthily speak of the graces and favors that men owe to the power of her intercession.”

There are just a few more quotes we should include here if we are to use these thoughts in our reparation to our Most Beloved Mother. Saint John Eudes rhetorically quotes Jesus thus,

…As her Heart is the first object of the love of my Heart, after the Eternal Father, it is likewise, after God, the first object of your most tender and holy affection.Therefore have I given it to you to be an inexhaustible fountain of blessings in your midst.”

“I have given the Heart of my incomparable Mother to you as a holy Rule that will enable you to become saints, if you faithfully observe it. It is the rule of the divine life you should lead, of the high qualities and habits you must assume, of the evangelical teachings you are to follow. By this rule you must measure the holiness that should permeate all your actions, the sentiments and affections that should fill your hearts. It is the rule of the love and hatred, the joy and sorrow, the desires and fears that must be yours, if you are to please me and sanctify yourselves.

“I have given her Heart to you as a vast ocean of graces of every kind, from which you must draw the graces you need at every hour, every moment, every place and every occasion, to avoid the manifold snares of Satan, which cover the entire earth, and to be able to serve God in justice and holiness all the days of your lives.

“In order to make this come true, you must renounce entirely your own heart, that is, your mind, your will and your love of self. Strive, therefore, to rid yourself of your earthly heart that is depraved and wicked, and you shall receive an entirely heavenly, holy and divine Heart.

“I have finally given this marvelous Heart as an inestimable treasure containing every possible blessing. It is for you, beloved children, to engrave in your hearts a high esteem, a profound respect and a particular affection for so rich a treasure, and to preserve it jealously by the continuation and increase of your veneration for a Heart so holy and amiable. “It is to encourage you to do so that I have said these things. Set down my words in your hearts and practice them faithfully. In this way, you will become the true children of my holy Mother’s Heart, and you will live according to my own.

My eyes and my Heart shall ever watch over your necessities. I will carry you in my innermost Heart. You will yourselves be my Heart, my joy and my delight. I will love you as my own Heart, and I will prepare a glorious habitation for you throughout eternity in my Heart and in the Heart of my blessed Mother, which is one with my own. You shall abide forever in our Hearts, and live by their life, you shall possess all the treasures enclosed in our Hearts, and be immersed and buried in their joys.

Our Hearts shall be your paradise, the life of your life, the Heart of your heart. “In the love of these Hearts, or rather, this one Heart, you will eternally love, bless and glorify my holy Mother and the Sovereign monarch of all hearts, which is the adorable Heart of the most Holy Trinity. May It be forever praised, adored, and loved by all the hearts of angels and of men!”

In closing, Saint John Eudes wrote this prayer which I dare to make my own for you dear readers, on this first day of the year 2020: Offered with love and many prayers, always,

O most holy Mary, Thy divine Son, Jesus, hath created thy Heart, and He alone knows the great treasures He has hidden therein. He it was who lit the fire burning in this furnace, and none but He can measure the heights reached by the flames which leap from its abyss. He alone can measure the vast perfections with which He has enriched the masterpiece of His all-powerful goodness, or count the innumerable graces He has poured into this ocean of grace: “He created her in the Holy Ghost, and saw her, and numbered her, and measured her” (Eccles. 1, 9).

And now I beseech thee, O most Blessed Virgin Mary, through thy Heart and for the honor of that very Heart, to offer me to thy beloved Son and to pray that He may annihilate my personality and set Himself in the place of my nothingness, so that not my voice but His may be heard. May Jesus Christ be the author of this book, and I but the instrument of His surpassing love for thee and of the zeal with which He watches over the honor of thy most worthy Heart.

May He inspire the thoughts He wishes to see expressed in (these writings) and the very words He desires I should use. May His blessing rest in fullest measure on the readers of (these writings), and may He transform all its words into bright and ardent coals, so that their hearts may be purified, enlightened and inflamed with the sacred fire of His love. In a word, may they become worthy to live according to God’s Heart and to be numbered among the children of the maternal Heart of God’s own Mother.

Sources for the above are two of Marianna Bartold’s publications, Guadalupe: Secrets of the Image and  The Admirable Heart of Maryby St. John Eudes, ed. Marianna Bartold.

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!