St. Francis de Sales tells us about Mary

Today, we offer some thoughts from Saint Francis de Sales on the Immaculata

Prayer for the Immaculate Conception
by Saint Francis de Sales

O Mary! Immaculate Lily of Purity, I rejoice with you that you have been filled with grace and have loved God more than the Seraphim from the first instant of your Immaculate Conception. May the most Holy Trinity be eternally thanked and adored for so many and such rare privileges bestowed upon you. I humble myself profoundly before you, seeing that I am so devoid of graces and poor in merits. O my most loving Mother, make me a partaker of the graces which you have received so abundantly, that I also may be able to love God ardently during life, and not be separated from Him in death. Amen. 

 

On the Immaculate Conception of Mary

The wonderful variety which is observable in the works of nature gives us a very high idea of the immeasurable riches of the Almighty Creator. And yet He manifests His power still more in the super natural order, and the wonderful diversity of the works of grace preaches more loudly the munificence of His mercy. God, in the excess of His goodness, did not merely grant a general redemption to men, sufficient for the salvation of each one, but He diversified and multiplied the super natural gifts which accompany this redemption with infinite liberality and wonderful variety. But His highest favors were lavished upon the most holy Virgin.

From all eternity the Heavenly Father had ordained in His love to form her heart to the perfection of charity, that she might love His Divine Son with the most perfect maternal love—as He had loved Him from all eternity with the most perfect paternal love. The Son of God cast His eyes upon this Virgin, and chose her for His Mother, and co-operator in the great work of the world’s redemption, a merciful Mother, a most powerful advocate of mankind—the most amiable, the most loving, and the most beloved of all creatures. It is the opinion of many theologians that our Lord sanctified St. John the Baptist in the womb of St. Elizabeth, by a ray of His light and grace, and gave him the use of reason together with the gift of faith, so that he knew his God, hidden in the immaculate womb of Mary, adored Him, and consecrated himself to His service.

If such a grace were granted by Our Lord to His precursor, who can doubt for a moment that He should have granted not only a similar, but a much greater privilege to her whom He Himself had chosen for His Mother, and that He should not only have sanctified her in the womb of her mother, St. Anne, but should have, moreover, raised her from the very first instant of her conception to a state of purity and sanctity? The adorable Redeemer of the human race, the eternal object of the love of His Heavenly Father, considered His Mother from that first moment, as a delicious garden which was to produce the fruit of eternal life, and He cultivated this garden in order that every kind of perfection should flourish therein.

He adorned her with the gold of charity and with a wondrous variety of virtues, that she might be able to sit at His side as a Queen—that is to say, occupy the first place amongst the elect, and, in this manner, enjoy the delights that are found at the right hand of the Eternal God. This Divine Mother was redeemed, therefore, in a manner becoming the dignity of the Son, for Whom she was created. Hence she was preserved from reprobation and from all danger of it, because she was enriched with the perfection of grace and with everything necessary for its preservation. Well is she compared to a beautiful aurora, or dawn, which, from its very beginning, went on increasing until it reached its perfect day.

O first-fruit of the Redemption! O masterpiece of the Redeemer! It is just, indeed, O my Divine Saviour, that as a Son full of love and devotion towards Thy Mother, in preventing her with the blessings of Heaven, Thou shouldest have preserved her, not only from sin like the Angels, but even from every danger of sinning, and shouldest, moreover, have removed from her path all that could hinder or even retard her in the exercise of Thy holy love. It was written in Thy eternal decrees that Thou wouldest at one day prefer her to all rational creatures who were dear to Thy Divine Heart, and that Thou wouldest call her the beloved object of Thy predilection, Thy dove, Thy spotless and beautiful one, perfect beyond compare.

A special privilege was reserved for Mary, worthy of a Son Who loved her with an infinite love, and Who, being infinitely good, wise and perfect, was to choose for Himself a Mother, and form her according to His own heart. He willed then that the grace of Redemption should be applied to her as a preservative remedy. Like the waters of the Jordan that, in the days of Josue, interrupted their course through respect for the Ark of the Covenant, so the stream of original corruption stayed its course at the feet of Mary, at the conception of this living tabernacle of the Eternal Covenant.

From the first instant of her conception, Mary knew her God, and loved Him sovereignly; from that moment she became impeccable, through the special assistance of the divine protection, and through the continual inflow of efficacious and preventing graces, to which she never offered the slightest resistance. God not only adorned her with the most abundant habitual grace, but He preserved it in her, keeping her always free from every evil inclination, every idle thought, and every feeling in the slightest degree contrary to the most perfect sanctity.

As to her body, we may believe it was endowed with singular perfections. St. Joachim and St. Anne received her from God through a particular, and we may say, even a miraculous grace, so that she was one of the most excellent works of the Holy Ghost, and breathed only sanctity and purity. This Queen loved, then, her virginal body, not only because it was docile, humble, pure and obedient to Divine Love, but still more because from it was formed the Body of her Saviour. Truly has this Holy Virgin been called elect as the sun, because as the sun shines resplendent above all the stars, through the excellence of its prerogatives, so there is no one amongst all the Saints who has obtained, or can ever obtain, graces superior to those bestowed upon Mary.

There are Saints who have received signal graces from our Lord, and these, compared with the rest of the world, are like queens crowned with charity, and occupy a distinguished position in the love of our Divine Saviour. But His most blessed Mother is the Queen of all Queens, for she is not only crowned with charity, but with the perfection of charity, and to use an expression of the Holy Spirit, Who says that the Son is the crown of the Father; her crown is in truth her Son; that is to say, the sovereign object of charity, the Eternal Love, forms her crown.

Spiritual Flowers

How lovely is the rose and yet it causes great sadness in my soul. It reminds me of my sin, on account of which the earth was condemned to produce thorns.—St. Basil.

Mary, conceived without sin, is compared to the incorruptible cedar, the scent of which puts serpents to flight.—St. Alphonsus Liguori.

How great will be our happiness in heaven, where we shall be able to contemplate Mary, to love her and be loved by her; for she alone forms a paradise of delights. Mary is truly, after God, all that is beautiful, sweet, glorious and amiable in that celestial realm; all is in Mary, all through Mary, all, in fine, is hers.—St. Bonaventure.

Nothing is of greater service to our soul, nor more sustains and strengthens it, than the frequent thought of Mary.—St. Teresa.

 

(Saint Francis de Sales. “The Saint Francis de Sales Collection” [16 Books] Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle Edition)

†  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.

On the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

As we prepare for Our Lady’s great feast of the Immaculate Conception, we offer today some thoughts from Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange as an aid in our preparation.

The definition of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception made by Pius IX on December 8th, 1854, reads as follows: “We declare, announce, and define that the doctrine which states that the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of God Omnipotent and because of the merits of Jesus Christ the Saviour of the human race, free from all stain of original sin, is revealed by God and must therefore be believed firmly and with constancy by all the faithful” (Denz. 1641).

This definition contains three especially important points:

1st—It affirms that the Blessed Virgin was preserved from all stain of original sin from the first instant of her conception. The definition states also that the Immaculate Conception is a special privilege and an altogether singular grace, the work of divine omnipotence. Mary was not preserved free from every stain of original sin otherwise than by receiving sanctifying grace into her soul from the first instant of her conception. Thus she was conceived in that state of justice and holiness which is the effect of the divine friendship as opposed to the divine malediction, and in consequence she was withdrawn from the slavery of the devil and subjection to the law of concupiscence.

2nd—It is affirmed in the definition, as it was already affirmed in 1661 by Alexander VIII (Denz. 1100) that it was through the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, that Mary was preserved from original sin.  According to the Bull Ineffabilis Deus, Mary was redeemed by the merits of her Son in a most perfect way, by a redemption which did not free her from a stain already contracted, but which preserved her from contracting one.  The liturgy had already made this point in the prayer proper to the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which was approved by Sixtus IV (1476): “Thou hast preserved her (Mary) from all stain through the foreseen death of this same Son.” The Blessed Virgin was preserved from original sin by the future death of her Son, that is to say, by the merits of Christ dying for us on the Cross.

3rd—The definition proposes the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception as revealed, that is, as contained at least implicitly in the deposit of Revelation—in Scripture and Tradition, or in one at least of those two sources.

“I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” (Gen. 3:15)

The pronoun we translate as “she” in “she shall crush thy head” is masculine in the Hebrew text, and stands for the posterity or seed of the woman; this is true also of the Septuagint and the Syraic versions. The Vulgate however has the feminine pronoun “ipsa,” referring the prophecy directly to the woman herself. However there is no essential difference of meaning between the two readings since the woman is to be associated with the victory of Him Who will be the great representative of her posterity in their conflict with Satan throughout the ages. The Christian tradition sees in that promise—it has been termed the protoevangelium—the first sketch of the Messiah and His victory over the spirit of evil. For Jesus is pre-eminently the posterity of the woman in conflict with the posterity of the serpent.

But if Jesus is termed the posterity of the woman,… it is because of His connection with Mary, in whose womb He took a stainless humanity. As Fr. F. X. le Bachelet says, “We do not find in Eve the principle of that enmity which God will put between the race of the woman and the race of the serpent; for Eve, like Adam, is herself fallen a victim to the serpent.

It is only between Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, that enmity ultimately exists. Hence the person of Mary is included, though in a veiled manner, in the protoevangelium, and the Vulgate reading “ipsa” (she) expresses something really implied in the sacred text, since the victory of the Redeemer is morally, but really, the victory of His Mother.” For that reason early Christianity never ceased to contrast Eve who shared in Adam’s sin by yielding to the serpent’s suggestion with Mary who shared in the redemptive work of Christ by believing the words of the angel on the morning of the Annunciation.

The promise of Genesis speaks of a victory that will be complete: “She shall crush thy head.” And since the victory over Satan will be complete, so also the victory over sin which makes the soul slave and the devil master. But as Pius IX teaches in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus, the victory over Satan would not be complete if Mary had not been preserved from original sin by the merits of her Son: “De ipso (serpente) plenissime triumphans, illius caput immaculato pede (Maria) contrivit.”

The Immaculate Conception is contained therefore in the promise of Genesis as the oak is contained in the acorn. A person who had never seen an oak could never guess the value of the acorn, nor its final stage of development. But we who have seen the oak know for what the acorn is destined, and that it does not yield an elm nor a poplar. The same law of evolution obtains in the order of progressive divine revelation. (Garrigou-Lagrange O.P., Reverend Reginald. “The Mother of the Saviour: And Our Interior Life” Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle Edition.). I cannot locate this book on the Catholic Way site. A paperback version is available from TAN.

  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.
  O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ 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!

 

 

The Miraculous Medal of the Immaculate Conception

The beautiful feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be here in just 11 days, and this year, it has been in my thoughts so much! On this day in 1830, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Sister Catherine Labouré in the convent Chapel at 140 rue du Bac, Paris to reveal her desire to have a medal struck and distributed in order to establish devotion to her Immaculate Conception.

Devotion to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin was not a novelty, It has been in the church, although in somewhat inchoate form, from Genesis on.  By the eighteenth century, Pope Clement XI prescribed the feast of the Immaculate Conception for the whole church in 1708, to be celebrated on Dec. 8.

But it was given to Sister Catherine Labouré to actually kneel at the Blessed Virgin’s feet, with arms folded on her Mistress’ knees while she confided in her the plans for establishing devotion to the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God. It happened like this . . .

“The 27th of November, 1830, which was a Saturday and eve of the first Sunday in Advent, whilst making my meditation in profound silence, at half-past five in the evening, I seemed to hear on the right hand side of the sanctuary something like the rustling of a silk dress, and, glancing in that direction, I perceived the Blessed Virgin standing near St. Joseph’s picture; her height was medium, and her countenance so beautiful that it would be impossible for me to describe it. She was standing, clothed in a robe the color of auroral light, the style that is usually called à la vierge— that is, high neck and plain sleeves. Her head was covered with a white veil, which descended on each side to her feet. Her hair was smooth on the forehead, and above was a coif ornamented with a little lace and fitting close to the head. Her face was only partially covered, and her feet rested upon a globe, or rather a hemisphere (at least, I saw but half a globe). Her hands were raised about as high as her waist, and she held in a graceful attitude another globe (a figure of the universe). Her eyes were lifted up to Heaven, and her countenance was radiant as she offered the globe to Our Lord.

“Suddenly, her fingers were filled with rings and most beautiful precious stones; the rays gleaming forth and reflected on all sides, enveloped her in such dazzling light that I could see neither her feet nor her robe. The stones were of different sizes, and the rays emanating from them were more or less brilliant in proportion to the size.

“I could not express what I felt, nor what I learned, in these few moments. “Whilst occupied contemplating this vision, the Blessed Virgin cast her eyes upon me, and a voice said in the depths of my heart: ‘The globe that you see represents the entire world, and particularly France, and each person in particular.’ “I would not know how to express the beauty and brilliancy of these rays. And the Blessed Virgin added: ‘Behold the symbol of the graces I shed upon those who ask me for them,’ thus making me understand how generous she is to all who implore her intercession…. How many favors she grants to those who ask.

At this moment I was not myself, I was in raptures! There now formed around the Blessed Virgin a frame slightly oval, upon which appeared, in golden letters, these words: ‘O Mary! conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!’ “Then I heard a voice which said: ‘Have a medal struck upon this model, persons who wear it indulgenced, will receive great graces, especially if they wear it around the neck; graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.’ “Suddenly,” says the Sister, “the picture seemed to turn,” and she saw the reverse, such as has already been described in the previous account of the investigation.

indeed, in the course of December, she was favored with another vision, similar to that of November 27th, and occurring at the same time, during evening meditation. But there was a striking difference between this and the previous one, the Blessed Virgin, instead of stopping at St. Joseph’s picture, passed on, and rested above the tabernacle, a little behind it, and precisely in the place the statue now occupies. The Blessed Virgin appeared to be about forty years of age, according to the Sister’s judgment. The apparition was, as it were, framed from the hands in the invocation: “O Mary! Conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!” traced in golden letters.

The reverse presented the monogram of the Blessed Virgin, surmounted by a cross, and beneath were the divine hearts of Jesus and Mary. Sister Labouré was again directed to have a medal struck upon this model. She terminates her account in these words: “To tell you what I understood at the moment the Blessed Virgin offered the globe to Our Lord, would be impossible, or what my feelings were whilst gazing on her! A voice in the depths of my heart said to me: ‘These rays are symbolic of the graces the Blessed Virgin obtains for those who ask for them.'” These few lines, according to her, should be inscribed at the base of the Blessed Virgin’s statue.

On this occasion, contrary to her usual custom, she could not refrain from an exclamation of joy at the thought of the homages which would be rendered Mary! “Oh! how delightful to hear it said: ‘Mary is Queen of the Universe, and particularly of France!’ The children will proclaim it, ‘She is Queen of each soul!'”

When Sister Labouré related the third apparition of the medal, Father Aladel, her confessor asked her if she had seen anything written on the reverse. The Sister answered that she had not. “Ah!” said the Father, “ask the Blessed Virgin what to put there.” The young Sister obeyed; and after having prayed a long time, one day during meditation, she seemed to hear a voice saying: “The M and the two hearts express enough.”

In her revelations to Sister Labouré, Our Lady confided,

“At a certain time the danger will be great indeed, it will seem as if all were lost, but do not fear, I shall be with you; you will acknowledge my visit, the protection of God and that of St. Vincent upon the two Communities. Have confidence, do not be discouraged, you are in my especial keeping. “‘ There will be victims in other Communities.’ (Tears were in the Blessed Virgin’s eyes as she said this.)

‘Among the clergy of Paris there will be victims, Mgr. the Archbishop will die.’ (At these words her tears flowed anew.) ‘My child, the cross will be despised, it will be trampled under foot, our Lord’s side will be opened anew, the streets will flow with blood, the entire world will be in tribulation.'” (Here the Blessed Virgin could no longer speak, grief was depicted in her countenance.) …

“I will be with you myself, I will always keep my eye upon you, and I will enrich you with many graces.” The Sister adds: “Graces will be bestowed, particularly upon all who ask for them, but they must pray, they must pray.—— “I could not tell,” continues the Sister, “how long I remained with the Blessed Virgin; all I can say is that, after talking with me a long time, she disappeared like a shadow that vanishes.” Her Guardian Angel then said: “She has gone,” and, all resplendent with light as before, he stationed himself anew at her left hand, and conducted her back to the dormitory by the same paths as they had come. (“The Miraculous Medal – Its Origin, History, Circulation, Results” by M. Jean Marie Aladel, C.M. accessed from archive.org)

.

Today, more than ever, the Cross is being trampled under foot, as Our Lady told Saint Catherine so long ago. And Our Lady is still sorrowfully beseeching her children,  “I will enrich you with many graces … Graces will be bestowed, particularly upon all who ask for them, but they must pray, they must pray!”

In these next few days before Our Lady’s feastday, please consider beginning a new Rosary Crusade under the protection of the Immaculata, to continue on through to the Feast of the Purification, February 2, 2019. We could add to it our Novenas. perhaps Litanies as well and of course, a program of fasting and sacrifices for penances. I will try to post more on this, maybe just a bit each day, if you would like. Please share your thoughts on this, especially any particular prayers you find helpful.

My goal in this is twofold: Firstly, to honor Our Lady and make reparation as she has asked, but also important, to support with our penances and prayers those all too numerous Catholics who have rushed into battle ill-prepared.  I hope we will all help them with what we do best: our total Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. For we know that the purification of the Church can only come about by the internal purification of each of us faithful. As Mary’s children, we can never forget that we are our brothers’ keepers after all!

Please, pray the Rosary for the Purification!

†  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.

†  O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
†  Sweet Heart of Mary, by thy holy and Immaculate Conception, save Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.
†  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ 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!

 

 

A Headless Thing

 

Thought for today

“The day that a sizable body of Roman Catholics, clergy and laity, become convinced—rightly or wrongly—that the then occupant of the apostolic throne of Peter is not, perhaps never was, a validly elected pope, that day the presently continuous piece-by-piece deterioration of the organizational structure will be quickened into a muffled collapse of the entire organization. The already schism-split and heresy-ridden Roman Catholic body will then be a headless thing, a complicated machine exploding in all directions into fragments, because its secure casing and capstone cover were shattered.

“For the only tangible guarantee Roman Catholics have that a man has truly become Pope is the legal guarantee of valid election in a legal Conclave of legal cardinals. Their faith then assures them that through this man and his predecessors they are in historical relationship with Jesus Christ, who founded the Church, and in supernatural relationship with Christ as he now is in the Heaven of God’s glory. The legality—or validity, to use the ecclesiastical term—of a papal election depends on the exact observance, in the presence of witnesses, of the various visible and controllable procedures laid down in the rules for papal elections.

“The final outcome of the election—a validly elected pope—is attained only with the freely pronounced Accepto of the Pope-elect. This is why Cardinal Laurenti, who became Pope-elect at the Conclave of February 1922, could never be regarded as Pope: He did freely decline to accept the pontificate, having been validly elected by the due majority. No one has to accept the Petrine Office. A pope-elect who refuses to accept is not obliged to explain why he has refused it, just as a pope who resigns the office is not obliged to explain why he has resigned.

“What does the term “freely” mean when we say that the Pope-elect must freely accept or reject his election to the pontificate? Take, for example, the Conclave of 1903, which produced as Pope Pius X Giuseppe Melchiorre Cardinal Sarto. But Sarto was not the prime choice of those sixty-two Cardinal Electors. After one voting session and scrutiny of the votes, on August 1, the first day of the Conclave, it was clear that the required majority (twenty-nine in this instance; Sarto got only five votes in that session) went to Italian-born Mariano Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro. Rampolla, if allowed, would have pronounced the required Accepto, would therefore have become Pope automatically. But he was not allowed to accept the pontificate.

“At that time, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria had the privilege from the Vatican of vetoing any pope-elect he did not fancy. Rampolla he did not fancy—but the majority of Cardinal Electors never found out in their lifetime why it was so. The ostensible reason given for the Emperor’s veto was Rampolla’s record of political opposition to Austria and his support of France. So, on August 2, the Polish-born Jan Cardinal Puzyna of Austria-Hungary stood up in the Conclave and announced the Emperor’s veto on Rampolla. Rampolla and the other Cardinal Electors bowed to the Austrian veto, because he and all the cardinals knew exactly what damage the persnickety Franz Joseph could cause the Churchmen in Central Europe, where the domains of the Austro-Hungarian empire stretched.

“In that sense, Rampolla’s Non accepto was free. He and the other cardinals freely accepted the existence of that veto. But insofar as the Emperor’s veto impeded the cardinals’ having the pope they freely chose, and impeded Rampolla from acceding to their overwhelming wish, neither they nor he was free. Yet no one then or since would hold that Rampolla was the real Pope, that Sarto-—the Pope-elect produced by a later session of voting and scrutiny—was not validly Pope.

“It was only in subsequent years that the true motive for Franz Joseph’s veto was revealed. The Emperor was privy to a very closely held secret: Cardinal Rampolla had joined the Lodge of Freemasons. Without any doubt, the Emperor had the right to veto a papal candidate he did not fancy. Rampolla and the Electors bowed to the exercise of that privilege.

“But an entirely different situation would arise if a pope-elect were prevented from accepting the papacy by someone who had no right to do so, someone who threatened ruin and death to a pope-elect’s reputation and family and person if he accepted his election as pope. Such a threat would be unjust, would be an undue limitation on the freedom of the Cardinal Electors. In that instance, the Pope-Elect would be in no way free. Unjust force and pressure would rob him of his freedom and would rob the Church of its validly elected Pope.

“But very tortuous questions can thus arise. Nowadays, for instance, there is no state power or individual to whom the Holy See has granted a formal veto power on popes-elect. There is, however, a different category of persons outside the Conclave that the Holy See recognizes as having a legitimate interest in the actual identity of the new Pope. The Cardinal Electors entering a Conclave today are aware of which papal candidate is persona non grata to which interested outside party. Veto it is not, in the old formal sense; yet the likes and dislikes of such outside parties are certainly taken into account. And, therefore, at least theoretically, the situation can arise in which a duly elected candidate for the pontificate is vetoed.

“In such a case—and it is not as theoretical as it would sound—very puzzling questions would emerge concerning the election of a second pope-elect in the same Conclave. Those questionings could blossom into a persuasion that the second election was invalid, that indeed the freedom of the Electors had been unduly manacled, and that the Church had been hoodwinked, and that the valid Pope-Elect had been sidetracked. If such a persuasion was shared by a sizable body of Roman Catholics, the consequences could be dire for Church unity.

“The same catastrophe of disintegration would desolate the Roman Catholic institutional organization—this is the second dreadful possibility—if a sizable body of Roman Catholic clergy and laity became convinced, rightly or wrongly, that the then occupant of the Throne of Peter was elected quite validly but over time had become heretical, and was actually collaborating, actively or passively, in the piece-by-piece dismemberment of the sacred Petrine Office and its ministerial organization. For a pope who became a heretic would cease to be pope. In such a situation, the principal cause of disintegration would be the lack of any authoritative voice in the Church structure by which Catholics would be assured authoritatively that their Pope had or had not fallen into heresy.

“For there is no official mechanism within the structure of the Church that is authorized to pass judgment on pope and papacy.  Indeed, the Church’s official code of ecclesiastical law, canon law, expressly denies to anyone the right or duty of passing official judgment on pope or papacy.

“Only once so far in this century did a situation arise when a pope, Paul VI, did contemplate and take the first steps along a course of action that some of his closest advisers throught would have entailed certain heresy. This arose because of the way in which Paul VI originally proposed to change the age-old and all-important ceremony of the Roman Mass. His first version of a new Mass ceremony, those advisers argued, if ever it had been imposed and enforced throughout the Church Universal, would effectively have done away with those elements of the ceremony that were and still today are dogmatically essential to the successful confection of the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of His death.

“At least two cardinals, Ottaviani and Bacci, made it clear privately to Pope Paul VI and publicly to third parties that if he went ahead with his plans for the new Mass ceremony, they would not hesitate to denounce him publicly to the whole Church as a heretic and as deposed from the Throne of Peter. They were prepared to denounce his new Mass ceremony as reeking of heresy. The faithful would thereby have been released from all allegiance and obedience to Pope Paul VI. He would have ceased to be pope.

“In the event, Pope Paul, under such a dire threat from two prestigious cardinals, retreated from his original proposal; and the Church was spared a harrowing experience. But it is to be noted that neither Ottaviani nor Bacci nor any of the other Churchmen involved had any juridical right to make the threat or to carry it out. The mere threat frightened Paul VI into retreat; by modifying his first version of the new Mass in order to eliminate the most glaringly offensive elements of his original text, and by counterthreatening Cardinal Ottaviani with deprivation of the Sacraments, he escaped official censure at the hands of his Vatican colleagues. That 1967 crisis was kept under Vatican wraps.

“Thus a great searing and divisive rift could split Church members, some siding with the Pope, others declaring him invalidated by his alleged heresy. Inevitably, at least two Church bodies would emerge, each contesting the other, each claiming to be orthodox. Whether an attempt to elect a new (and supposedly orthodox) pope would be made by those who believed the original Pope to be heretical, or whether solid segments of the Catholic body would detach themselves from obedience to the accused Pope, the effect—disintegration—would be a wholesale loss of faith in the papacy, resulting in abandonment of Catholic religious practice and observance of Catholic moral precepts, which would be followed by the adoption of the “cafeteria” religion John Paul II has derided, the “pick-and-choose” Catholicism of many millions of Catholics today in North America and throughout the Western world.

“There is one other possible development within the Roman Catholic body that, if unchecked, could shatter its unity of structure. Briefly, this is the Conclave election of a papal candidate whose policy would be to dissolve the unity and change the structure of the Roman Catholic Church by simply abandoning the exercise of the Petrine Office and privilege on which the structural unity of the Church is built as a visible body and by disassociating the approximately four thousand bishops of the Church from their collegial submission to the papacy—the principle on which they have been, up to now, structured. All this would mean a new function for the Bishop of Rome, and not the traditional one; it would also entail a new relationship of all bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, to each other.”

The above quote was written by Father Malachi Martin in the late 1980’s and published in his book, The Keys of this Blood in 1990. I post it today as a reminder that the speculation which is now causing such an uproar is ignoring several basic facts of our situation and I believe, is playing right into this pope’s hands.  Consider carefully:

“For there is no official mechanism within the structure of the Church that is authorized to pass judgment on pope and papacy.  Indeed, the Church’s official code of ecclesiastical law, canon law, expressly denies to anyone the right or duty of passing official judgment on pope or papacy.”

If the persons now so busily stirring up the faithful succeed in their efforts, and get a good groundswell of public opinion going, and the faithful rise up and demand “something must be done” like the good revolutionaries they are becoming, what do you think will happen? Is there anyone today who has prayerfully considered what Our Lord Jesus Christ would think of this?

The error in all this stems from not recognising that this crisis is the spiritual chastisement Our Lady came to warn us of. She gave us the remedy, which I have spoken of often. But her message is treated with indifference, even by those who repeat it as their justification for their own plans, which in no way resemble what Our Lady of the Rosary requested.

Once again, no matter how many times you shout that Benedict’s resignation was forced, that the St. Gallen/Lavender Mafia rigged the election, that Bergoglio is a heretic, all these hysterics will achieve is to play into the destroyer pope’s hands. He wants to change the church irreversibly as he and his supporteers have stated numerous times.

We have been given the most simple and effective means for countering this pope’s destructive intentions. But who will follow Our Lady? To be clear: I am not proposing that we engage in a form of catacombism, that is, of withdrawing to a pacifism or ghettoism.

Not at all. I am only reminding traditional Catholics that this is a spiritual battle first and foremost. And the victory has already been given to the Immaculata. By her, we will win. Obeying her, we shall not fail.

At this point, I am so thoroughly disgusted with so-called traditional Catholics, so heartbroken.  This is truly the power of darkness.

And this chastisement will not pass until sufficient reparation is made. Do what you will, you cannot correct arrogant disobedience with anything other than humility and obedience, a humble and contrite heart. We must make reparation, not seek our own wills.

Return to Fatima. Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him.

†  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.

~ 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!

The Greatest Treason

“The last temptation is the greatest treason:
To do the right deed for the wrong reason.”

( “Murder in the Cathedral”, T. S. Eliot)

In the eleventh century, Saint Peter Damien wrote that, “The popes had politicized the papacy by appropriating its spiritual functions for secular ends.”

In the twentieth century, Father Malachi Martin wrote the following about recent popes, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II,

“Marking the pontificates of each of those men was one fatal error, the use of their spiritual office to obtain leverage in the political, and diplomatic, and civic, and cultural worlds; and then using that leverage instead of the spiritual power and moral authority that was uniquely theirs.”

“And here, Your Eminences, we are at the root cause of our pain, our struggle, and our own deathly peril: our failure and the failure of our popes, to use the Church’s spiritual power to exercise its moral authority.”

This error that Father Malachi Martin and St. Peter Damien refers to, that is, politicizing the papacy by appropriating its spiritual functions for secular ends has been evident in virtually every single act of the current papacy. Its corollary is evident not only in the pope and hierarchy but throughout almost the entirety of the responses of the laity. I refer to the indifference to using the Church’s spiritual power to exercise its moral authority.

Bishops’ Remarks Bring Hope?

In a recent article at Lifesite News, five Bishops were featured for their comments on the sex abuse crisis. It was stated that the remarks of the five bishops brought hope. Bishop Paprocki: ” I think we do have a responsibility to take care of our sheep,”  “Our Holy Father has called us to accompany our sheep. Our people are crying out for some action.” So from Bishop Paprocki we get vague platitudes about “accompanyoing our sheep”. Sorry, but no hope here.

Bishop Cozzens was quoted as saying he also “dreams of a day ‘when we as brothers are strong enough to say to another brother in our region, ‘We think you should resign,’ even if he’s not ready to hear that. ‘We think that in fact these things are serious enough that you should resign.’ ’”  Perhaps it is time for Bishop Cozzens to wake up and smell Bishop Paprocki’s sheep. No hope here.

Bishop Shawn McKnight, stressed “the necessity of the laity in helping us get out of this mess.” McKnight also “echoed the thought voiced earlier in the meeting by St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop Bernard Hebda in a homily ‘that we need to study the root causes of the abuse of power by U.S. hierarchy.’ ” That is to say, form more committees and study the wrong problems while assiduously avoiding the real problem. Perhaps he should read the excellent report from Randy Engel wherein she notes Msgr. Hebda’s complicity.  No hope at all.

Bishop Joseph Strickland was closest to an actual Catholic response in his remarks. “It’s part of our deposit of faith that we believe homosexual activity is immoral,” he said. “The people, those that we label homosexual, are children of God, and they need our great care,” Bishop Strickland continued. “But to me that real care comes from acknowledging the sin, and the reality that all of us are sinners called from sin to virtue.” Now, we are getting somewhere. Homosexual actions are immoral and have no place in the sacred priesthood. He is cause for hope.

We saved the best for last. Bishop Thomas Daly, wondered if  the sex abuse may possibly have occurred “because we have certain bishops or priests who don’t see anything wrong with consensual sex between adults?” Do you think? Really? Bishop Daly, talk with Bishop Strickland. Please.

So, of the five, there was one flicker of hope.

NOTE as of 24 November, (Link)  the Pope is proving consistent in his response to the crisis: In order to assure an authentic Catholic response, he has named Cardinal Cupich to organize the Vatican’s February Summit on clerical sexual abuse. May Jesus have mercy on us all.

 

Since the Bishops – and Pope – seem to have lost their sensus fidei, I offer this help once again: It is my post, “Lamentation“:

A new penitential psalm for the Episcopacy of the United States of America.

O all ye faithful! Weep over us, miserable souls given over to the dregs of impurity; we are to be lamented with a whole fountain of tears.

We mourn the noble souls, made in the image and likeness of God and united with the most precious blood of Christ, more glorious than many episcopal mansions and vast tax-free properties. Therefore we lament the fall of our “Excellent” and “Eminent” souls and the destruction of so many immortal souls of our trusting flock.

May our eyes fail from weeping, may they pour out abundant streams of tears, and may they water sad and mournful expressions with continuous crying. May our eyes spring forth tears with the prophet day and night, and may they not cease because the Church, the beautiful Bride of Christ has been crushed with the worst of blows, the holy Church has been cruelly injured with the dart of impurity by the enemy of the human race, and she is now seen lying rigid and swollen in the sulfurous embers of Gomorrah, pestilently corrupted by the poison of unnatural lust.

O Lord, have mercy on us! For we have become a lethal wound festering in the body of the church!

The iniquity of the hierarchy of the Church is made greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment. Indeed, the evil of our consecrated souls surpasses the sin of the Sodomites, because it has spurned the sacred priesthood to which it is solemnly consecrated and is thereby vehemently reprimanded by its own knowledge of the divine law and its indifference to the profusion of graces offered by our loving and merciful Savior.

Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we are weak: heal us, O Lord, for our souls are troubled exceedingly: but Thou, O Lord, how long?

Consider our wretchedness, how much the darkness oppresses our souls. Take note how densely the fog of blindness envelops us. We have become the prey of demons, the plunder of the cruel, the booty of the impious. For we have turned a blind eye to the sins of our priests which we were obliged to correct and our silence has granted them permission to sin against innocent children entrusted to them.

Our sores are become putrified and corrupted, because of our foolishness and iniquities.

Our vice has been the death of bodies, the destruction of souls; it has polluted the flesh, extinguished the light of the intellect, and has expelled the Holy Ghost from the temple of the hearts of our victims, and has sought to remove the truth completely from the minds it has deceived.

We are become miserable, and bowed down even to the end: We walk in  sorrows all the day long. For our loins are filled with illusions; and there is no health in our flesh.

The plague of our iniquities has removed the foundation of faith, enervated the strength of hope, broken the tie of charity, and it has destroyed justice, undermined fortitude, banished temperance, and introduced every barbarity of vice.

We are ready for scourges: and our sorrows are continually before us. Therefore we will declare our iniquity: and will think on our sins.

We have fallen into this abyss of most extreme perdition, we deserve to be exiled from the heavenly homeland, separated from the body of Christ, confounded by the authority of the whole Church, condemned by the judgment of all of the holy Fathers, despised among men on earth, and rejected from the fellowship of heavenly citizenry.

Forsake us not, O Lord our God: do not Thou depart from us. Attend unto our help, O Lord, the God of our salvation. Turn away Thy face from our sins, and blot out all our iniquities.

Deeply aware of our unhappy state, we now come before Thee, Lord to implore Thy pardon. O Sweet Savior, look not on our sins but see our great need of Thy mercy! We trust in Thy mercy, O Lord, let us not be confounded forever!

By the help of Thy grace, we promise to repent of our past ingratitude and infidelity every day and firmly resolve never to offend Thee again, and to avoid the occasions of sin. Through the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary we will from henceforth make reparation for our sins, and the sins of the Church, and unfailingly beg the conversion of all poor sinners that the reign of Thy Sacred Heart through the Immaculate Heart of Mary be established throughout the Church and the world. Amen.

 

Our Bishops must repent! We ourselves must repent! Let us all show these poor, lost men how to turn back to God, seek His mercy, learn to rely on His graces, guided by the one He has sent us, His own most pure Mother and her Rosary. It has been given to her alone to purify the Church and this begins with each of us, in our hearts, in our souls in the love of our Mother.

Until our own hearts and souls are purified, we can not hope to restore the Church. Quoting from Rosary to the Interior, for the Purification of the Church:

“The Church has now been penetrated by a darkness greater than at any time in its history – not only the darkness of sexual sins and other moral “filth”, but that which consists of every conceivable form of error masking itself as truth, and of darkness masquerading as light. The task of unmasking these “thoughts”, and thus paving the way to the Triumph of the Truth of Christ, has been entrusted to Mary. Most specifically, it has been entrusted to Our Lady of the Rosary. St. Paul writes, “The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.” The Rosary, as revealed in the messages of Our Lady of Fatima, is this armor of light possessing the power from God to cast off the works of darkness which now pervade the Church, the world, and especially the minds and hearts of individual Catholics.”

To be as succinct as possible: The shocking state of the Church today demands that we faithful humble ourselves and seek to follow the commands of Our Lady at Fatima. When you have lost your way, return to the last place you knew was the right place. That is Fatima. Return to Fatima. Seek to serve God as He wills and put away your own vain plans and actions. Note: Please don’t forget your preparation for reconsecration to the Immaculata on her great feast day, December 8.

Now is the time to arm ourselves spiritually for this great battle which rages ever more intensely with each new affront, each new offense to Our Lord, “Who is already so much offended.” The hour is indeed late.

Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!

  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.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ 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!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

The Presentation of Mary in the Temple

 

Today, we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary on the feast day of her Presentation in the Temple, when her parents, Joachim and Anne, who had consecrated her to the Lord God, brought her to the Temple of Jerusalem.

"Hearken O Daughter and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father's house. And so shall the King desire thy beauty, for He is the Lord thy God."
“Hearken O Daughter and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house. And so shall the King desire thy beauty, for He is the Lord thy God.”

 

We don’t expect that Pope Francis will honor Our Lady on her feast day today, so it is up to us, her children to honor our Mother today.  Although modernists disparage this feast for what they perceive as a “lack of historicity”, for those who are consecrated to her Immaculate Heart, this beautiful feast teaches volumes about Mary’s devotion to the most Holy Trinity. According to Venerable Maria de Agreda,  this beautiful mystery is a lesson of the importance of humility. Thus, it is a worthwhile meditation for our preparation for observing our Total Consecration December 8.

The Hebrew Ark of the Covenant was but a foreshadowing of the true Ark which is the most Blessed Virgin Mary herself; she who was foreordained to bear our Lord Jesus Christ, Savior. As our Little Office proclaims, “Thou wast the Mother of Him Who made thee, and thou remainest a Virgin forever”. And so, Joachim and Anne brought the true Royal Ark of the Covenant to the Temple, but to all appearances they were merely ordinary pious Jews of their time  bringing yet another consecrated child to the Temple.

Mother Maria de Agreda tells us of Mary, that God  “ordained in her regard that she receive no honor or recognition at that time, so that she (would) be the shining example of humility, of retirement, of contempt and horror for the dreadful vanity of the world, of love for sufferings … and dishonors inflicted by creatures. All holiness is adverse and contrary to the applause, honors and estimation of the world.”

“In ascending the fifteen stairs the Child brought to fulfillment, that, which Jacob saw happening in sleep; for here too were angels ascending and descending: the ones accompanying, the others meeting their Queen as She hastened up; whereas at the top God was waiting in order to welcome Her as his Daughter and Spouse.” (Ven. Agreda, “The Mystical City of God”)

What a fruitful scene for our meditations!  Firstly, we note that the Temple is stated to have 15 steps – which leads us to consider the 15 decades of the  Rosary by which we approach the Living Temple of the Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Think now, of this – the bittersweet moment of leave-taking for Joachim and Anne, who had prayed for many years for God to send them a child, only to be called to surrender her at the tender age of three! Then think of the Blessed Virgin responding to Our Father’s call. Psalm 44 speaks to us of this moment of surrender,

“Hearken O Daughter and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house. And so shall the King desire thy beauty, for He is the Lord thy God.” (Psalm 44, 11,12) . 

Think too, that this is actually the first time that the Blessed Virgin meets Simeon and Anna, for it was Simeon who received her as she ascended the stairs and he brought her to Anna, who brought her up as her own. And so we see that this moment foreshadows the fateful moment when Our Lady brought her own Divine Son to the Temple, and handed Him to Simeon and Anna.

Tradition tells us that she danced on the steps, on her way to her life of consecration to the Lord. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen tells us that this total consecration is a matter of detaching the affections, of seclusion from the world. Not always a material seclusion but it is absolutely essential that it be a matter of being “in the world, but not of the world”. He continues,

Corresponding to complete separation is oblation, total consecration. Mary gave herself wholly to God, unreservedly, forever.

“Lord, in the simplicity of my heart I offer myself to Thee this day as Thy servant forevermore, for Thy homage and for a sacrifice of perpetual praise.” (Imitation of Christ, IV, 9,1).

Mary gave herself wholly to God, allowing Him to exercise over her all His rights as Sovereign, Lord, and Master. She made no objections nor did she marvel that her immolation should reach such proportions; had she not offered herself without reserve? And when her offering was consummated she did nothing but repeat: “Fiat! Ecce ancilla Domini!”

Let us ask Mary, presented in the Temple, to take our poor offering into her immaculate hands, to purify and complete it by her offering, so pure, so perfect; to include it and hide it in hers, and being thus purified and renewed, may it be agreeable to God.

St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Prayer for the Presentation:

“O dearly Beloved of God, most amiable Child Mary, would that today I could offer to you the first years of my life and consecrate myself to your service, my blessed and sweet Lady, as you presented and consecrated yourself in the Temple for the honor and glory of God … but time has slipped away and so many years have been spent in serving the world and my own caprice, forgetful of you and of God. Woe to the time when I did not love you! But better late than never. Behold, O Mary, I present myself to you this day, offering myself entirely to your service for the number of days, be they few or many, that are left to me on earth. I renounce all creatures as you did and vow myself entirely to the love of my Creator.

“I consecrate to you  my Queen, my intellect that it may always think upon the love that you deserve, my tongue that it may praise you, my heart that it may love you. Accept Most Holy Virgin, the offering which this wretched sinner presents to you; accept it, I beg, by the consolation your heart felt when you gave yourself to God in the Temple. And if I am late in putting myself at your service, it is but fitting that I redeem the time lost by redoubling my devotions and my love for thee.

“O Mother of Mercy, help my weakness by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your Son Jesus, the strength to be faithful to you until death. Grant that after having served you in this life I may go to praise you eternally in Paradise. Amen.”

We must always understand that our turning from creatures does not at all mean that we love them less, but that by loving them through God, that is for love of Him, we love them much more beneficently than when we loved them for our own satisfaction. Our Lord taught us, in His Beatitudes, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt. 5,3) As always, Mary leads the way, making her first vows at the age of three, she left all to become poor in spirit. We are her children after all!

 

  O Immaculate Queen of our hearts, make our hearts like unto thine!

  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.

 Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!

  St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, 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!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

A Tale of Two Videos

 

Readers send me a variety of links, posts, writings and videos. Most of the time, I have to ignore them, as there simply isn’t enough time to research them out and be certain that they are suitable. However, the past few days, two long-term subscribers have sent me videos. I have not thoroughly read about them, but was assured by my readers that these are credible, and from listening to the videos (I was unable to watch them) I think they are useful. The one on Poland is really good, and from the best I can tell, the second video, on the caravan, is factual and I believe it may help readers understand that this caravan of “poor immigrants” is actually a major escalation in the war destabilize the United States

 

 

 

The following video is sent by a reader who asked me if it also might be relevant to my posts on the invasion by warriors under the guise of helping “poor immigrants”. Short answer is yes. This will be clear possibly before the year is up, I believe.

 

 

Thank you for reading, or in this case, watching.

Divine Providence Part 2

We are in the midst of the greatest spiritual chastisement in all of salvation history and tragically, most Catholics are not in any way making use of it. If we waste these graces we shall be swept up in the wreckage and perhaps into perdition.

And so, we continue from yesterday’s post regarding the Will of God in all things

Saint-Jure likens the evil-doers to leeches employed by a physician in order to purify and bring about a recovery. For us to focus on the repulsiveness of the leeches, only distracts us from our task of cooperating with the will of God, for the trials we are experiencing are, in the hands of the Divine Physician, merely tools for our salvation. Speaking of the evil-doers, Saint-Jure says,

Whatever their particular views may be, in regard to us they are only instruments of well being, guided by the hand of an all-good, all-wise, all-powerful God who will allow them to act on us only in so far as is of use to us. It is in our interest to welcome instead of trying to repel their assaults, as in very truth they come from God. [Note: Welcome as Christ welcomed His Passion and Death, with humble obedience to God’s will.] And it is the same with all creatures of whatever kind. Not one of them could act upon us unless the power were given it from above. This truth has always been familiar to the minds of those truly enlightened by God. We have a celebrated example in Job. He loses his children and his possessions; he falls from the height of fortune to the depths of poverty. And he says ‘The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. As it hath pleased the Lord, so is it done. Blessed be the name of the Lord.’

St. Augustine notes,  “Job does not say ‘The Lord gave and the devil hath taken away’ but says, wise that he is, ‘The Lord gave me my children and my possessions, and it is He who has taken them away; it has been done as it has pleased the Lord.’ ”

The example of Joseph is no less instructive. His brothers had sold him into slavery from malice and for a wicked purpose, and nevertheless the holy patriarch insists on attributing all to God’s providence. ‘God sent me’, he says, ‘before you into Egypt to save life… God sent me before you to preserve a remnant for you in the land, and to deliver you in striking way. Not you but God sent me here, and made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his house, and ruler over the land of Egypt.’

Shall I not drink the cup?

Let us now listen to Our Savior Himself who came down from heaven to teach us by His word and example. In an excess of zeal Peter tries to turn Him aside from His purpose of submitting to His passion and prevent the soldiers laying their hands on Him. But Jesus said to him: ‘Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?’ In fact He attributed the suffering and ignominy of His passion not to the Jews who accused him, not to Judas who betrayed Him, nor to Pilate who condemned Him, nor to the soldiers who ill-treated and crucified Him, nor to the devil who incited them all, though they were the immediate causes of His sufferings, but to God, and to God not considered as a strict judge but as a loving and beloved Father.

Let us never then attribute our losses, our disappointments, our afflictions, our humiliations to the devil or to men, but to God as their real source. “To act otherwise” says St. Dorothy, “would be to do the same as a dog who vents his anger on the stone instead of putting the blame on the hand that threw it at him.” So let us be careful not to say ‘So-and-so is the cause of my misfortune.’ Your misfortunes are the work not of this or that person but of God. And what should give you reassurance is that God, the sovereign good, is guided in all His actions by His most profound wisdom for holy and supernatural purposes. [End quote]

The point of this is simply to refocus on our task at this time. It is a most grave error to abandon the Church in the midst of satan’s assault on it. All this putrid filth coming to light is purging the Church! Now, the work of the evil-doers is becoming exposed before the eyes of the whole world. Yes, it is shameful, and we are properly shocked and revolted. But this poisonous filth has been in the roots and veins, indeed, in the very heart of the church for centuries. It must come out. If it takes these thoroughly repulsive leeches of the “Gay Lobby” to finally shock the remaining remnant into making reparation, so be it.

You must know this – it will only be those who remain, bowed beneath this onerous burden, this cross of affliction laid on their contrite shoulders, only to these will be the victory. Those who walk away are lost, perhaps forever.

We are Catholics. We are children of Mary, consecrated to her Immaculate Heart, and through her to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He did not disdain the ignominy of the Cross and she did not disdain to stand there with Him, despite the scurrilous attacks of the worldly, who pretended to be “shocked” while rejoicing to see perfect purity so betrayed. We are Catholics. We know full well how the first Passion and Death of Christ went. And so, we should not be dismayed by the tragic betrayal of the Bride of Christ by today’s pope and hierarchy. Our task now is to obey in loving obedience, making of everything a sacrifice of reparation, to console Him, and to pray for the conversion of sinners, especially those most in need of His mercy.

NOTE: The suggested links at the bottom are computer generated and are not related to this post.

For the related posts, I suggest:

Previous post: “The Will of Divine Providence”

“The Passion of Christ and His Bride” 

“The Figure of a Woman, anticipating 2017”

Thank you for reading. Please, pray for our priests.

Please, pray the Rosary! Stand with the Woman at the Cross. Now is the time!

  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.

~ 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!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

The Will of Divine Providence

 

These days, the most difficult thing I do each day is to take a quick tour around the web to face the latest kick in the gut delivered by our “Excellencies”, “Eminences” and especially our “Holy Father”. There is excellent reporting of the events which constitute this assault on the faith from the apostates in charge.  Mr. George Newmayr is doing a great job, (here and here) and so is Lifesite, here. And there are many others, all striving to bring us the truth about the events of this tragic papacy.

But all this news effects me in much the same way as I felt when I was 12 years old and two bullies took turns punching me in the stomach. Come to think of it, both bullies were Catholic “young ladies” for it was a Catholic boarding school. That feeling of sudden astonishment when when I realized that this sort of evil can happen just steps away from such a holy place as the Chapel, followed by the near-despair, I cried out in my prayers, “My God, where are You in all this? Father in heaven, why won’t you help me?” You see, in my young mind, I did not realize He was with me! I could not hear His sweet words, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

Many readers have expressed the same sentiments. We all need to recall that Our Lord won the victory against satan by appearing to lose it. He embraced the will of the Father and today, He calls us to follow Him. Much of the following essay is drawn from the fine old classic, “Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence” by Father Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure and Saint Claude la Colombière. Be warned beforehand; there are some very hard truths in this.

† . † . † 

God is the author of every single thing that occurs in this world. Nothing happens unless God Himself, Who alone is true and perfect goodness and justice, wills it.  Now is a very good time to pause and consider this. We must understand that God could stop this whole torrent of iniquity from washing over us. But He does not. Why?

God must be obeyed. He has not been obeyed. Therefore, we must offer reparation in the deepest humility, the purest obedience possible. This reparation must be offered in every single aspect of our lives. We say that we cannot pray because we cannot concentrate and get distracted. We get distracted because we hold back, wilfully, from surrendering our wills completely to God.

Today, everyone wants to point a finger at someone else and there is certainly more than enough blame to go around, but this blaming is only one more distraction from our true task which is making reparation.  As long as we are criticising others, we are not working on our own task which is to offer all the sufferings we endure in the small humiliations and aggravations, the little-noticed trials we are subjected to each day. The submission we are forced into by our bosses, superiors, even those who work with us or under our authority, but we must nevertheless endure them.  The untold sacrifices we make to live in a manner that befits a true follower of Christ, a true child of the Immaculata.

When we fail to do this, and we all fail to do this in one way or another, whether it is holding resentment in our hearts to those who continue to treat us unjustly, or the festering anger over the corruption in the clergy, of their betrayal of the faith.  There is much pride in our resentment over the insulting spectacle that Pope Francis is making of the Church – our Church! If we are honest, we admit that it is humiliating to have a pope like Pope Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

We often say when evil occurs that God allows it by granting us free will, but the fact is that, as Saint-Jure reminds us:

“Nothing happens in the universe without God willing and allowing it. This statement must be taken absolutely of everything with the exception of sin. ‘Nothing occurs by chance in the whole course of our lives’ is the unanimous teaching of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, ‘and God intervenes everywhere.’ “

“I am the Lord”, He tells us Himself by the mouth of the prophet Isaias, “and there is none else. I form light and create darkness; I make peace and create evil. I, the Lord, do all these things.16 It is I who bring both death and life, I who inflict wounds and heal them”, He said to Moses.

Now, the evil spoken of is that of what we customarily call the  evils of life, that is, disasters, suffering, loss and death, but not, of course, the great evil of sin, for sin arises from the free will of man, who chooses to disobey God’s will. Although God has granted man free will, He could easily prevent the harmful results to the innocent victims, but allows this (harm) for His own ends, which are known only to Him. These ends are never anything other than good for God is omnipotent in His absolute goodness.  

“The Lord killeth and maketh alive”, it is written in the Canticle of Anna, the mother of Samuel, “He bringeth down to the tomb and He bringeth back again; the Lord maketh poor and maketh rich, he humbleth and he exalteth”… “Shall there be evil (disaster, affliction) in a city which the Lord hath not done?” asks the prophet Amos: “Good things and evil, life and death, poverty and riches are from God”,  Solomon proclaims. And so on in numerous other passages of Scripture.

Perhaps you will say that while this is true of certain necessary effects, like sickness, death, cold and heat, and other accidents due to natural causes which have no liberty of action, the same cannot be said in the case of things that result from the free will of man. For if, you will object, someone slanders me, robs me, strikes me, persecutes me, how can I attribute his conduct to the will of God who far from wishing me to be treated in such a manner, expressly forbids it? So the blame, you will conclude, can only be laid on the will of man, on his ignorance or malice.

This is the defense behind which we try to shelter from God and excuse our lack of courage and submission. It is quite useless for us to try and take advantage of this way of reasoning as an excuse for not surrendering to Providence. God Himself has refuted it and we must believe on His word that in events of this kind as in all others, nothing occurs except by His order and permission.

Let us see what the Scriptures say. He wishes to punish the murder and adultery committed by David and He expresses Himself as follows by the mouth of the prophet Nathan:

“Why therefore hast thou despised the word of the Lord, to do evil in my sight? Thou hast killed Urias the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Therefore the sword shall never depart from thy house, because thou hast despised Me, and hast taken the wife of Urias the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thy own house, and I will take thy wives before thy eyes and give them to thy neighbor and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly, but I will do this thing in the sight of all all Israel, and in the sight of the sun”.21

Later when the Jews by their iniquities had grievously offended Him and provoked His wrath, He said: “The Assyrian is the rod and the staff of My anger, and My indignation is in his hands. I will send him to the deceitful nation, and I will give him charge against the people of my wrath, to take away the spoils, and to lay hold on the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.”22

Could God more openly declare Himself to be responsible for the evils that Absalom caused his father and the King of Assyria the Jews? It would be easy to find other instances but these are enough. Let us conclude then with St. Augustine:

“All that happens to us in this world against our will (whether due to men or to other causes) happens to us only by the will of God, by the disposal of Providence, by His orders and under His guidance; and if from the frailty of our understanding we cannot grasp the reason for some event, let us attribute it to divine Providence, show Him respect by accepting it from His hand, believe firmly that He does not send it us without cause.”

Replying to the murmurs and complaints of the Jews who attributed their captivity and sufferings to misfortune and causes other than the will of God, the prophet Jeremias says to them:

“Who is he that hath commanded a thing to be done, when the Lord commandeth it not? Do not both evil and good proceed out of the mouth of the Highest? Why doth a living man murmur, a man suffering for his sins? Let us search our ways, and seek, and return to the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts with our hands to the Lord in the heavens, saying, We have done wickedly and provoked Thee to wrath; therefore Thou art inexorable.”

Are not these words clear enough? We should take them to heart for our own good. Let us be careful to attribute everything to the will of God and believe that all is guided by His paternal hand.

HOW CAN GOD WILL OR ALLOW EVIL?

Saint-Jure explains that God’s motives are always and ufailingly both merciful and just and that the evils we experience in life are useful to bring us to a closer union with Him and purify us from the sins that prevent our progress towrds Him. He says, “God, as we have said, wishes to make you see your own faults, to humble you, deprive you of what you possess, in order to free you from vice and lead you to virtue; but this good and merciful design, which He could carry out in numerous other ways without any sin being involved, has nothing in common with the sin of the man who acts as His instrument. And in fact it is not this man’s evil intention or sin that causes you to suffer, humiliates or impoverishes you, but the loss of your well being, your good name or your possessions.

The sin harms only the person who is guilty of it. This is the way we ought to separate the good from the evil in events of this kind, and distinguish what God operates through men from what men add to the act by their own will.

The above excerpts are from the book, “Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence” by Father Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure and Saint Claude la Colombière. It is available in paperback from TAN Books here. Its is also available in Kindle by Catholic Way here.

Readers, we are being chastised by God. And this chastisement will intensify until we knuckle down and follow Our Lady’s requests for our own interior purification. It is humbling to think of the simple nature of her requests. Just rosaries said with love, doing our daily duties in a spirit of obedient reparation, small sacrifices, Masses of reparation. And one thing more, something I often overlook, she – and Our Lord Himself – want our love, both for them and for others. Not bitterness, not vituperation, certainly not hatred! You know very well, although I bet you, like me, often choose to overlook it: He demands that we love our enemies. If only we could accomplish that heroic act of the will to fervently pray for the conversion of our enemies, to pray for the grace of God to flood over them, for the Holy Ghost to enlighten their darkness that they may repent and be converted! How quickly the darkness and filth will disappear when this happens!

Part 2 of this series is: “Divine Providence, Part 2”

Related Posts: The Passion of Christ and His Bride” . and  The Figure of a Woman, anticipating 2017

Please, pray the Rosary – confound satan and those who serve him!

  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.

~ 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!

Divine Love and Purgatory

 

Prayer for the Poor Souls in Purgatory
by St. Gertrude the Great

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most precious blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus Christ, in union with the holy Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Poor Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, for those in my own home and in my family. Amen.

For November, we offer a few excerpts from a true saint for our times, Sister Josefa Menendez, the author of  “The Way of Divine Love”, a treasure of a book that I love dearly. These few quotes give a quite an insight into purgatory. There is much to think on in them.

In Lent 1922, God put Sister Josefa  in touch with an abyss of woe, Purgatory. Many souls came to solicit her suffrages and sacrifices in terms of very great humility. At first she was frightened, but by degrees she became accustomed to their confidences. She listened to them, asked them their names, encouraged them, and very humbly recommended herself to their intercession. The lessons they inculcated are worth remembering. One of them came to announce her deliverance and said: “The important thing is not entrance into religion, but entrance into the next world.” “If religious souls but realized the heavy price to be paid for concessions to the body …” said another, while asking for prayers.

“My exile is at an end and I am going to my eternal home….” A priest-soul said to her: “How great is the mercy of God, when He deigns to make use of the sufferings of other souls to repair our infidelities; what a degree of glory I might have acquired had my life been different.” A nun who, on her entrance into Heaven, confided to Josefa: “How different the things of earth appear when one passes into eternity. What are charges and offices in the sight of God? All He counts is the purity of our intention when exercising them, even in the smallest acts. How little is the earth and all it contains, and yet, how loved…. Ah, what comparison is there between life, however prolonged, and eternity! If only it were realized how in Purgatory the soul is wearied and consumed with desire to see God.”

There were also some poor souls, who having escaped through God’s mercy from a still greater peril, came to beg Josefa to hasten their deliverance. “I am here by God’s great mercy,” one of them said, “for my excessive pride had brought me to the gates of Hell. I influenced a great number of other people, and now I would gladly throw myself at the feet of the most abject pauper. “Have compassion on me and do acts of humility to make reparation for my pride, thus you will be able to deliver me from this abyss.”

“I spent seven years in mortal sin,” another confessed, “and three years ill in bed, and I always refused to go to Confession. I was ripe for hell-fire and would have fallen into it if by your present sufferings you had not obtained for me the grace of repentance. I am now in Purgatory, and I entreat you, since you were able to save me … draw me out of this dreary prison.” “I am in Purgatory because of my infidelity, for I would not correspond with God’s call,” said another. “For twelve years I held out against my vocation and was in the greatest peril of damnation, because in order to stifle my conscience I gave myself up to a life of sin. Thanks to the divine goodness, which deigned to make use of your sufferings, I took courage to come back to God … and now, of your charity, get me out of this gloomy prison.”

THE TEACHINGS OF PURGATORY

Josefa never went down into Purgatory, but she saw and spoke with a number of souls who came to solicit her prayers, and some told her that, thanks to her sufferings, they had escaped Hell. These souls, as a rule, humbly accused themselves of the faults for which they were in Purgatory (see Ch. V. of Biography). A few facts are here added. “ … I had a vocation, but lost it by reading bad books; I also had discarded my scapular, out of contempt” (July 27th, 1921).

“ … I was given up to a great deal of vanity and on the point of marrying. Our Lord made use of very severe measures to prevent my falling into Hell.” (April 10th, 1921). “My religious life was wanting in fervor….” “I had a long religious life, but I spent my last years rather in taking care of my health than in loving Our Lord. Thanks to the merits of a sacrifice you made, I was able to make a fervent death, and I owe it to you that I escaped the long years in Purgatory I had deserved. The important thing is not so much entrance into religion … as entrance into eternity.” (April 7th, 1922).

“… I have been a year and three months in Purgatory, and were it not for your little acts I should have remained there long years. A woman of the world has less responsibility than a religious, for how great are the graces the latter receives, and what liabilities she incurs if she does not profit by them…. How little nuns suspect the way their faults are expiated here … a tongue horribly tortured expiates faults against silence … a dried-up throat, those against charity … and the constraints of this prison, the repugnance in obeying! In my Order, pleasures were few and comforts still fewer, but one can always manage to secure some … and the smallest immortifications have to be expiated here. To restrain one’s eyes, to refuse oneself the gratification of a little curiosity may at times cost a big effort … and here … the eyes are tormented by the impossibility of seeing God.” (April 10th, 1922).

“Another nun accused herself of failings against charity, and of having murmured at the election of one of her Superiors.” (April 12th, 1922). “… I have been in Purgatory till now … because during my religious life I talked a great deal and with little prudence. I often communicated my impressions and complaints, and these indiscretions were the cause of faults against charity which my Sisters then committed.”

“Let all learn from this,” commented Our Lady, who was present at the apparition, “for many souls fall into this danger.” Our Lord stressed this grave warning by these words: “That soul is in Purgatory because of her faults against silence, for this kind of fault leads to many others: first, the Rule is broken; secondly, there often occur in such failings sins against charity or religious spirit, personal satisfaction, outpourings of heart that are ill-placed among religious, and all this, without a feeling of responsibility not only for oneself but for one or many others who are led into the same faults. That is why this soul is in Purgatory, and burning with desire to see My face.” (February 22nd, 1923).

“I am in Purgatory because I did not care enough about the souls confided to me, and because I did not sufficiently realize their value and the devotedness called for by so precious a charge.” (August 1922). … I was in Purgatory a little under an hour and a half to expiate a certain want of confidence in God. True, I always loved Him very much, but not without fear. It is true also that the judgments of religious are severe and rigorous, for we are judged not by our Spouse, but by our God. Nevertheless, during life our confidence in His mercy ought to be boundless, and we should trust His goodness. How many graces are lost by religious who have not enough trust in God.” (September 1922).

“… I am in Purgatory because I did not treat the souls that Jesus entrusted to me with the care they deserved…. I allowed myself to be influenced by human motives and natural likes, not seeing in them God, as I should have, and as all Superiors must. For if it is true that all religious should see in their Superior the Person of God Our Lord, the Superior also ought to see Him in her daughters….” “Thanks be to you who have helped to free me from Purgatory…. O! if nuns realized how far they can be led by unruly feelings … how vigorously they would strive to conquer themselves and master their nature and passions.” (April 1923).

“My Purgatory will be a long one, for I did not accept God’s Will for me, nor make the sacrifice of my life generously enough during my illness. Illness is a great grace of purification, it is true, but unless one is careful, it may cause one to stray away from religious spirit … to forget that one has made vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, and that one is consecrated to God as a victim. Our Lord is all love, certainly, but also all justice.” (November 1923). (Menendez, Sr. Josefa. The Way of Divine Love (with Supplemental Reading: Devotion to the Sacred Heart)  TAN Books. Kindle Edition.)

Note: Dear readers, in response to those who have asked, my health seems fairly stable at present considering all things, but I have been unable to write much lately mostly because I am heartsick over this never-ending rot in the Church. Like many of you, my heart aches for our dear Lord and His Mother. What terrible times these are! I know we have discussed all this, and we have sacrificed and prayed and offered Masses, but there is nothing that could have prepared us for this unrelenting deluge of filth and cynical, narcissistic hubris. Oh, I don’t have words adequate for this! Well, I will continue to pray for you, all of you and I am very grateful for your prayers for me. And so we will continue, praying for the Church, the Immaculate Bride of Christ, and for her priests; adoring our Beloved Lord and Savior and supporting each other in prayer.

As I was reading Sister Josefa yesterday, the following passage struck me most poignantly. It occurred when Josefa made her vows:

A few hours later Josefa, still deep in glad recollection, noted, so that she might never forget it, what Our Lord had been pleased to do for her.

“After the sermon, I went up to the altar rails to receive my crucifix of vows and black veil. Then suddenly I saw Our Lady present, O! so ravishingly lovely, all bathed in light. She held a veil in her hands, and when I returned to my prie-dieu, she herself put it on my head. All round her and framing her person were a number of radiant little faces which looked like those of tiny children, lit up with joy. With ineffable sweetness she said to me: ‘While you, beloved daughter, were suffering, these souls were weaving this veil for you. All those you prayed for have left Purgatory and are safe in Heaven for all eternity.  There they will protect you.’ “

Do you see? We do suffer greatly now, but we should thank Our Lord for this opportunity to gain much merit for poor souls and for consolation for Him whom we love!

All things are passing…God never changes…Patient endurance attains all things…Alone God suffices.

Please pray the Rosary for poor souls!