Saint Catherine of Genoa on Purgatory

There have always been two views of purgatory prevailing in the Church, not contradictory the one of the other, but rather expressive of the mind and devotion of those who have embraced them. (Fr. Faber)

A repost on purgatory from evensong’s archives.

Today we offer an excerpt from Father Faber’s  essay on Purgatory, (LINK) which draws in good part from the revelations of St. Catherine of Genoa, often considered the saint of Purgatory.

Two Views of Purgatory

Father Faber begins his essay by stating that “There have always been two views of purgatory prevailing in the Church, not contradictory the one of the other, but rather expressive of the mind and devotion of those who have embraced them.”

The first view, he tells us “… loves to represent purgatory as a hell which is not eternal. Violence, confusion, wailing, horror, preside over its descriptions. It dwells, and truly, on the terribleness of the pain of sense which the soul is mysteriously permitted to endure. The fire is the same fire as that of hell, created for the single and express purpose of giving torture.”  The second view is based on the teachings of St. Catherine of Genoa, and it is on these that we will turn our attention today.

Father continues, “The second view of purgatory does not deny any one of the features of the preceding view, but it almost puts them out of sight by the other considerations which it brings more prominently forward.

Of the soul after the particular judgement, Father Faber says, “The moment that in His sight it perceives its own unfitness for heaven, it wings its voluntary flight to purgatory, like a dove to her proper nest in the shadows of the forest. There need be no Angels to convey it thither. It is its own free worship of the purity of God.

“In that moment the soul loves God most tenderly, and in return is most tenderly loved by Him. The soul is in punishment, true; but it is in unbroken union with God. ― ‘It has no remembrance,’ says St. Catherine of Genoa most positively, ― ‘no remembrance at all of its past sins or of earth.’ Its sweet prison, its holy sepulchre, is in the adorable will of its heavenly Father, and there it abides the term of its purification with the most perfect contentment and the most unutterable love.

Ed. Note: It seems to me that Saint Catherine here is describing the state of Saint Therese, Saint Margaret Mary, or Saint Jacinta who achieved such a passionate love for for Our Lord and His Mother that their immense suffering was not only endurable but actually sweet because of the intensity of the flame of love which consumed them.

“As it is not teased by any vision of self or sin, so neither is it harassed by an atom of fear, or by a single doubt of its own imperturbable security. It is impeccable; and there was a time on earth when that gift alone seemed as if it would contain all heaven in itself. It cannot commit the slightest imperfection. It cannot have the least movement of impatience. It can do nothing whatever which will in the least displease God. It loves God above everything, and it loves Him with a pure and disinterested love.

(… )

“No sooner has a soul, with the guilt of no mortal sin upon it, but owing to God a debt of temporal punishment, issued from the world, and been judged, than it perceives itself to be confirmed in grace and charity (according to St. Catherine). It is incapable either of sinning or of meriting any more; and it is destined by an eternal and immutable decree to enter one day as a queen into the kingdom of the blessed, to see, to love, and to enjoy God, the perpetual fountain of all felicity.

“In that instant all the sins of its past are represented to the soul, whether mortal or venial, even though they have been remitted in lifetime by Contrition and the Sacrament of Penance. But after this transitory and instantaneous view of them, the soul remembers nothing more about them. The Saints’ words are:

‘The cause of purgatory, which these souls have in themselves, they see once for all, in passing out of this life, and never afterwards.’ The reason of this exhibition of sins is, she teaches us, to enable the soul in that moment, by an act, no longer indeed meritorious, but nevertheless a real act of the will, to detest all its sins afresh, and especially those venial sins for which it had not contrition in lifetime, either through the weakness of an imperfect heart, or through the accident of a sudden death, that so it may be strictly true, that no sin whatever is pardoned unless the sinner makes an act of detestation of it.

“After this momentary view of sins and formal detestation of them, the soul perceives in itself ‘their evil consequences and malignant legacies’, and these form what the Saint calls ‘the impediment of seeing God.’  ‘The rust of sin,’ she says,  ‘is the impediment, and the fire keeps consuming the rust; and as a thing which is covered cannot correspond to the reverberation of the sun’s rays, so, if the covering be consumed, the thing is at length laid open to the sun.

“As soon as the soul perceives itself to be acceptable to God, and constituted heir of paradise, but unable, because of this impediment, to take immediate possession of its inheritance, it conceives an intense desire to be rid of this hindrance, this double obligation of guilt and punishment. But knowing that purgatory alone can consume these two obligations, and that it is for that very end God condemns the soul to fire, it desires itself to endure the punishment.

‘The soul separated from the body’ (these are the Saint’s words), ‘not finding in itself this impediment which cannot be taken away except by purgatory, at once throws itself into it with right good will.’

‘Nay, if it did not find this ordinance of purgatory aptly contrived for the removal of this hindrance, there would instantaneously be generated in it a hell far worse than purgatory, inasmuch as it would see that because of this impediment it could not unite itself to God Who is its end. Wherefore, if the soul could find another purgatory fiercer than this, in which it could the sooner get rid of this impediment, it would speedily plunge itself therein, through the impetuosity of the love it bears to God.’

“But this is not all. The Saint goes on to teach that if the soul, labouring under this impediment, were free to choose between ascending at once, as it is, to paradise, and descending to suffer in purgatory, it would choose to suffer, although the sufferings be almost as dreadful as those of hell.

“These are her words:  ‘Of how much importance purgatory is no tongue can tell, no mind conceive. So much I see, that its pain is almost as if it were that of hell; and yet I see also that the soul which perceives in itself the slightest flaw or mote of imperfection, would rather throw itself into a thousand hells, than find itself in the presence of the divine Majesty with that defect upon it; and, therefore, seeing purgatory to be ordained for the very taking away of these flaws, forthwith it plunges into it, and it seems by its bearing, as I see, to conceive that it finds there an invention of no little mercy, simply in the being able to get rid of this impediment.’

The Suffering of Purgatory

“When the righteous soul has thus arrived in purgatory, losing sight of everything else, it sees before it only two objects: the extremity of suffering, and the extremity of joys. A most tremendous pain is caused by knowing that God loves it with an infinite love, that He is the Chief Good, that He regards the soul as His daughter, and that He has predestined it to enjoy Him for ever in company with the Blessed: and hence the soul loves Him with a pure and most perfect charity.

“At the same time it perceives that it cannot see Him or enjoy Him yet, though it so intensely yearns to do so; and this afflicts it so much the more, as it is quite uncertain when the term of its penal exile, away from its Lord and paradise, will be fulfilled. This is the pain of loss in purgatory, of which the Saint says that it is ― ‘a pain so extreme, that no tongue can tell it, no understanding grasp the least portion of it. Though God in His favour showed me a little spark thereof, yet can I not in any way express it with my tongue.’

The Joy of Purgatory

“Now let us examine the other object, the extremity of joy. As it loves God with the purest affection, and knows its sufferings to be the will of God in order to procure its purification, it conforms itself perfectly to the divine decree. While in purgatory, it sees nothing but that this pleases God; it takes in no idea but that of His will; it apprehends nothing so clearly as the suitableness of this purification, in order to present it all fair and lovely to so great a majesty.

“Thus, the Saint says:  ‘If a soul, having still something left to be cleansed away, were presented to the Vision of God, it would be worse than that of ten purgatories; for it would be quite unable to endure that excessive goodness and that exquisite justice.’ Hence it is that the suffering soul is entirely resigned to the will of its Creator. It loves its very pains, and rejoices in them because they are a holy ordinance of God. . .

” ‘I do not believe,’ says the Saint,  ‘that it is possible to find a contentment to compare with that of the souls in purgatory, unless it be the contentment of the Saints in paradise. This contentment increases daily through the influx of God into those souls, and this influx increases in proportion as the impediment is consumed and worn away.

“Indeed, so far as the will is concerned, we can hardly say that the pains are pains at all, so contentedly do the souls rest in the ordinance of God, to whose will pure love unites them.’ In another place, St. Catherine says that this inexplicable jubilee of the soul, while it is undergoing purgatory springs from the strength and purity of its love of God.

‘This love gives to the soul such a contentment as cannot be expressed. But this contentment does not take away one iota from the pain; nay, it is the retarding of love from the possession of its object which causes the pain; and the pain is greater according to the greater perfection of love of which God has made the soul capable. Thus the souls in purgatory have at once the greatest contentment and the greatest suffering; and the one in no way hinders the other.’

“As to prayers, alms, and Masses, she asserts that the souls experience great consolation from them; but that in these, as in other matters, their principal solicitude is that everything should be ‘weighed in the most equitable scales of the Divine Will, leaving God to take His own course in everything, and to pay Himself and His justice in the way His own infinite goodness chooses to select.’

“When she looked at herself with the light of supernatural illumination, she saw that God had set her up in the Church as an express and living image of purgatory. She says:

” ‘This form of purification, which I behold in the souls in purgatory, I perceive in my own soul now. I see that my soul dwells in its body as in a purgatory altogether conformable to the true purgatory, only in such measure as my body can bear without dying. Nevertheless, it is always increasing by little and little, until it reaches the point when it will really die.’

“Her death was indeed most wonderful, and has always been considered as a martyrdom of Divine Love. So truly from the first has her position been appreciated, as the great doctor of purgatory, that in the old life of her, ― the ‘vita antica’, examined by theologians in 1670, and approved in the Roman process of her canonisation, and which was composed by Marabotto, her confessor, and Vernaza, her spiritual son, it is said: ― ‘Verily it seems that God set up this His creature as a mirror and an example of the pains of the other life, which souls suffer in purgatory.”

“It is just as if He had placed her upon a high wall, dividing this life from the life to come; so that, seeing what is suffered in that life beyond, she might manifest to us, even in this life, what we are to expect when we have passed the boundary.’ This is a mere epitome of her wonderful and exquisitely beautiful treatise, which has given St. Catherine a rank among the theologians of the Church.” [End quote]

One  thing more:  As we noted in an earlier post, Each day that we pray for the poor souls in November, the Church offers generous indulgences for the Poor Souls and there are many ways of obtaining plenary indulgences for them as well. There is a little saying among the worldly that “No good deed goes unpunished.” But with God our Father, it is just the opposite and our good intentions for the Poor Souls are rewarded most generously. God, our Loving and merciful Father is so very pleased when we, His children, love and care for each other! So let’s be mindful of our fellow faithful Catholics who can no longer help themselves but will earnestly intercede for us once they reach heaven. One thing especially you might want to request from “your” poor souls (those with whom you have formed a bond of prayers) You may do well to ask them to help you attain the knowledge of your most ingrained sins and a sincere hatred for them. This is a most efficacious intention!

Thank you so much for reading and please let me know if you notice any errors in my postings.

Pray the Rosary, many souls depend on it!

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!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  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!

 

Prayers of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

 

Today, we honor Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, beloved Spouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by sharing with you some of her own beautiful prayers and devotions, many of which originated in her colloquies with Our Lord Jesus Christ. By now, no doubt you have noticed that the common thread running throughout the lives of those privileged to converse intimately with Our Lord is their humility, obedience and generosity in carrying the Cross. These qualities shine through in St. Margaret Mary’s  prayers, simple, unpretentious and to the point.

For those who miss our previous posts for this feast day, we offer these links:  here and here.

PRAYER OF ST. MARGARET MARY

My God, I offer Thee Thy well-beloved Son, in thanksgiving for all the benefits I have received from Thee. I offer Him as my adoration, my petition, my oblation and my resolutions; I offer Him as my love and my all. Receive, O Eternal Father, this offering for whatever Thou willest of me, since I have nothing to offer which is not unworthy of Thee, except Jesus, my Saviour, Whom Thou hast given me with so much love. Amen.

Note the similarity to Saint Bridget’s Evening Prayer of Offering of the Sacred Heart:

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with His love, His sufferings and His merits; first, in reparation for all the sins I have committed during this day, and during all my life. Second, to purify the good I have done badly this day and during all my life. Third, to supply for the good which I ought to have done this day and during all my life, and which I have neglected. Amen.

 

CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
(Composed by St. Margaret Mary.)

O Sacred Heart of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.

I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O most merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited.

I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee. I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite goodness, grant that my name be engraved on Thee, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and die as one of Thy devoted servants. Amen

PRAYER TO ST. MARGARET MARY

O St. Margaret Mary, permitted by the Sacred Heart of Jesus to become partaker of Its divine treasures, obtain for us, we beseech thee, from that adorable Heart, the graces that we need. We ask for them with boundless confidence; may the divine Heart be willing to grant them to us through thine intercession, so that once again It may, through thee, be glorified and loved. Amen.

 

THIRTY-THREE VISITS TO OUR LORD ON THE CROSS
(To be made on Fridays.)

This devotion was taught by our Saviour Himself to St. Margaret Mary, with a view to the conversion of sinners and was to be made on Fridays.

This is what the saint wrote about it:

“One Friday, during holy Mass, I felt a great desire to honor the sufferings of my crucified Spouse. He told me lovingly that He desired me, every Friday, to adore Him thirty-three times upon the Cross, the throne of His mercy.

“I was to prostrate myself humbly at His feet, and try to remain there in the dispositions of the Blessed Virgin during His Passion. I was to offer these acts of adoration to the Eternal Father together with the sufferings of her divine Son, to beg of Him the conversion of all hardened and faithless hearts who resist the impulse of His grace. He told me, moreover, that at the hour of death He will be favorable to those who have been faithful to this practice.

“These thirty-three acts of adoration of our Lord on the Cross may be made anywhere on Fridays, and even while attending to one’s ordinary work. They require no special attitude, formula or vocal prayer. A simple look of love and contrition, coming from the depths of our heart and sent up to our crucified Lord is sufficient to express our adoration and our gratitude to Him. It is also an appeal to the Blessed Virgin to intercede with the Heavenly Father for the conversion of sinners.”

The efficacy of this devotion is proved by the consoling conversions which it obtains and by the holy deaths which are its fruit. We venture to say that it becomes a source of graces to all those who practice it, for never in vain does one approach Jesus Christ Crucified.

NOTE: For those of us who are unable to visit the most Blessed Sacrament on most Fridays, the saint advises that this visit may be made anywhere, even while we are working. I have always taken this to mean that the prostrations may be interior, as most of us work in circumstances that do not allow us much privacy. Even for those retirees like myself, it is often impossible to have much private time, but I have found that it is still possible to count off my acts of adoration on my Rosary, by simply using a brass safety pin to mark the beads off.

I have also found it helpful to simply recite the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, making an act of adoration with each petition to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – did you know there just happens to be 33 of them?!

LITANY OF THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS
(For public or private use.)

Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Formed by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mother, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Substantially united to the Word of God, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Of Infinite Majesty, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Holy Temple of God, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Tabernacle of the Most High, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, House of God and Gate of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Burning Furnace of charity, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Vessel of Justice and love, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Full of goodness and love, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Abyss of all virtues, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Most worthy of all praises, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, King and center of all hearts, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, In Whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, In Whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Divinity, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in Whom the Father is well pleased, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Of Whose fullness we have all received, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Desire of the everlasting hills, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Patient and abounding in mercy, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Rich unto all who call upon Thee, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Fountain of life and holiness, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Atonement for our sins, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Filled with reproaches, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Bruised for our offenses, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Made obedient unto death, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Pierced with a lance, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Source of all consolation, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Our Life and Resurrection, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Our Peace and Reconciliation, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Victim for our sins, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Salvation of those who hope in Thee, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Hope of those who die in Thee, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Delight of all the Saints, Have mercy on us.
Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.

Almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of Thy most-beloved Son, and upon the praises and satisfaction He offers Thee in the name of sinners; and appeased by worthy homage, pardon those who implore Thy mercy, in Thy Great Goodness in the name of the same Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

From: Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. “The Autobiography of Saint Margaret Mary”, TAN Books.

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!

 

A Vision

 

Today’s opening of Pope Francis’s Pan-Amazon Synod comes after so many months of dreadful news of the Instrumentum Laboris, that we are nearly numb from all the discussion. I wonder if that was by design…So let’s take a look at another aspect, this time from Emmerich’s visions.

Saint Michael

“December 30th— Again I saw St. Peter’s with its lofty cupola on whose top stood Michael shining with light. He wore a blood-red robe, a great banner in his hand. A desperate struggle was going on below—green and blue combatants against white, and over the latter, who seemed to be worsted, appeared a fiery red sword. None knew why they fought. The church was all red like the angel, and I was told that it would be bathed in blood. The longer the combat lasted, the paler grew the color of the church, the more transparent it became.

“Then the angel descended and approached the white troops. I saw him several times in front of them. Their courage was wonderfully aroused, they knew not why or how, and the angel struck right and left among the enemy who fled in all directions. Then the fiery sword over the victorious whites disappeared. During the engagement the enemy’s troops kept constantly deserting to the other side; once they went in great numbers.

The Crucified

“Numbers of saints hovered in the air over the combatants, pointing out what was to be done, making signs with the hand, etc., all different, but impelled by one spirit. When the angel had descended, I beheld above him a great shining cross in the heavens.

“On it hung the Saviour from whose wounds shot brilliant rays over the whole earth. Those glorious wounds were red like resplendent doorways, their center golden-yellow like the sun. He wore no crown of thorns, but from all the wounds of His head streamed rays. Those from His hands, feet, and side were fine as hair and shone with rainbow colors; sometimes they all united and fell upon villages, cities, and houses throughout the world. I saw them here and there, far and near, falling upon the dying, and the soul entering by the colored rays into the Saviour’s wounds.

The Immaculate Heart

“The rays from the side spread over the Church like a mighty current lighting up every part of it; and I saw that the greater number of souls enter into the Lord by these glittering streams. I saw also a shining red heart floating in the air. From one side flowed a current of white light to the Wound of the Sacred Side, and from the other a second current fell upon the Church in many regions; its rays attracted numerous souls who, by the Heart and the current of light, entered into the side of Jesus. I was told that this was the Heart of Mary.” (Very Rev. K. E. Schmoger,  “Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich Volume 1″ (with Supplemental Reading: A Brief Life of Christ) [Illustrated] . TAN Books. Kindle Edition.”

Of Interest is the mention of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Over St. Peter’s.

Today’s Mass was the third day in a row that we have made our Mass, Holy Hour and Rosary of Reparation for the Synod and hope that at least some of you were able to do so as well.

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.

The Nativity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary

 

“The birth of Mary is the dawn of our redemption.”

“The Mother proclaims the Son, making it known that He is about to come, that the divine promises, made so many centuries before, are to be fulfilled. The birth of Mary is the dawn of our redemption. Her appearance projects a new light over all the human race: a light of innocence, of purity, of grace, a resplendent presage of the great light which will inundate the world when Christ, “Lux mundi”, the Light of the World”  appears. Mary, preserved from sin in anticipation of Christ’s merits, not only announces that the Redemption is at hand, but she bears the first fruits of it within herself; she is the first one redeemed by her divine Son. (Divine Intimacy)

We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth. Ave Maria!

 

“From the beginning and before all ages God selected and prepared for His only Son the Mother from whom, having taken flesh, He would be born in the blessed fullness of time; He loved her by herself more than all creatures, and with such a love as to find His delight in a singular way in her.” (“Ineffabilis Deus”, Pope Pius IX)

In the dialogues of Venerable Maria de Agreda,  we learn a bit more about the nativity and naming of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

I saw a great and mysterious sign in heaven; I saw a Woman, a most beautiful Lady and Queen, crowned with the stars, clothed with the sun, and the moon was at her feet (Apoc. 12, 1). The holy angels spoke to me: ‘This is that blessed Woman, whom Saint John saw in the Apocalypse, and in whom are enclosed, deposited and sealed up the wonderful mysteries of the Redemption. So much has the most high and powerful God favored this Creature, that we, His angelic spirits, are full of astonishment.’

After describing briefly the birth of Our Lady, she tells us that “The guardian angels of the sweet Child with others in great multitudes showed their veneration and worship to Mary as She rested in the arms of her mother: they joined in heavenly music.”

Mother Maria de Agreda then describes how the Eternal Father sent His angels to bear the holy infant Mary up to heaven: The holy princes, … receiving the child Mary from the arms of her holy mother Anne, bore the true Ark of the Covenant heavenward with incomparable songs of great joy. … At this time, His Majesty wished to give a name to the Child Queen and impose it first in Heaven. He thereby made known to the angels that the Three Divine persons had decreed and formed the sweet names of Jesus and Mary for the Son and Mother from the beginning, before all ages and that Their delight was in these precious names.

The angels heard a voice from the throne speaking in the person of the Father: “Our chosen One shall be called MARY, and this name is to be powerful and magnificent. Those that shall invoke it with devout affection shall receive most abundant graces; those that shall honor it and pronounce it with reverence shall be consoled and vivified, and will find in it the remedy of their evils, the treasures for their enrichment, the light which shall guide them to heaven. It shall be terrible against the power of hell, it shall crush the head of the serpent and it shall win glorious victories over the princes of hell.”

The Lord commanded the angelic spirits to announce this glorious name to saint Anne, so that what was decreed in heaven might be executed on earth. … The holy angels honored and acknowledged most holy Mary as the future Mother of the Word and as their Queen and Mistress enthroned at the right hand of her Son; they showed their veneration of her holy name, prostrating themselves as it proceeded from the throne in the voice of the eternal Father, especially those, who had it written on the devises over their breast. All of them gave forth canticles of praise for these great and hidden mysteries. …

On the eighth day after the birth of the great Queen multitudes of most beautiful angels in splendid array descended from on high bearing an escutcheon on which the name of MARY was engraved and shone forth in great brilliancy. Appearing to the blessed mother Anne, they told her that the name of her daughter was to be MARY, which name they had brought from heaven, and which divine Providence had selected and now ordained to be given to their child by Joachim and herself. … The more than happy father accepted the name with joy and devout affection… Thus was the divine Princess named by the holy Trinity: in heaven, on the day of her nativity, and on earth, after eight days.

“Look now on her who most resembles Christ”

If we could only look on the scene, see Mary as she must have looked!

When we think on this, the thought that  comes to mind is that expressed by Dante in Canto 32, 85-87, Paradiso, St. Bernard says of Mary,

“Riguarda omai ne la faccia che a Cristo
piu si somiglia, che la sua chiarezza
sola ti puo disporre a veder Cristo.

“Look now on her who most resembles Christ,
for only the great glory of her shining
can purify your eyes to look on Christ.”

In these few words, there is much distilled and concentrated wisdom about Our Lady! Indeed, our Savior, having no human Father, took all His physical aspect from the Blessed Virgin.  Dante refers to “the glory of her shining”  which recalls to us both Our Lady’s appearance at Fatima (“She was all of light” Sister Lùcia in her memoirs) and the “Woman Clothed with the Sun”  of the Apocalypse (“A Woman clothed with the Sun” Ch 12). Think on this, it is most profitable!

Prayer to Mary, Star of the Sea

“When I feel myself tossed about in the sea of this world amidst storms and tempests, I fix my eyes on thee, O Mary, shining star, lest I be swallowed up by the waves. When winds of temptation arise, when I dash against the reefs of tribulations, I raise my eyes to thee and call upon thee, O Mary, Star of the Sea. When I am agitated by the billows of pride, ambition, slander or jealousy, I look to thee and invoke thee, O Mary. When anger or avarice or the seductions of the flesh rock the fragile barque of my soul, may I always look to thee, O Mary. And if I am troubled in conscience by the enormity of my sins, and frightened at the severity of judgment, and if I should feel myself engulfed in sadness or drawn into the abyss of despair, again, I raise my eyes to thee, calling always to thee, O Mary, Mother of Mercy.

“In dangers, in difficulties and in doubts, may I always turn to thee, O Mary! May thy name, O Virgin Mary, be always on my lips and never leave my heart, that I may always obtain thy assistance. Following thee, O Mary, I shall not go astray; thinking of thee, I shall not err; with thy support, I shall not fail; with thy protection, I shall not fear; relying on thee, I shall not weary. Look upon me with mercy; with confidence in thee, I shall surely reach the port.” (after St. Bernard)

Purest, dearest heart of Mary, thou art the dawn of our redemption, bearing the true Sun, our Redeemer; be thou with us in the darkness and storms that beset us!

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

Remember, Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

  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!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  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!

originally written by evensong

 

A Russian Mystic on the Pan-Amazon Synod

 

Have you ever heard of Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov? Me neither, but Pope Benedict XVI invited Cardinal Giacomo Biffi to speak on Solovyov’s prophecies during a week long retreat at the Vatican back in 2007.

Came across an article from February, 2007 on Zenit which recounts a retreat preached at the Vatican for Pope Benedict XVI and the Curia by Cardinal Giacomo Biffi. On Tuesday of the week long retreat, the Cardinal based his meditations in part on the work of the Russian philosopher and mystic Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov, considered by many to be the greatest Russian philosopher.

Solovyov, who died in the year 1900 proposed the reunion of Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches under the Pope. He also foretold that the twentieth century would be a century of unparalleled horror and bloodshed. Cardianl Biffi quoted from Solovyov’s work “Three Dialogues on War, Progress and the End of History,” and  told his listeners, including Pope Benedict, that:

“the Antichrist presents himself as pacifist, ecologist and ecumenist.” …

“He will convoke an ecumenical council and will seek the consensus of all the Christian confessions, granting something to each one. The masses will follow him, with the exception of small groups of Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants,” he said. …

The Cardinal added that Solovyov says in that work: “Days will come in Christianity in which they will try to reduce the salvific event to a mere series of values.” …

Cardinal Biffi warned, “Today, in fact, we run the risk of having a Christianity which puts aside Jesus with His cross and resurrection.” …

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On the Life and Death of Saint John the Baptist

 

On this day, the Church in her wisdom commemorates the beheading of St. John the Baptist which occurred because he preached the truth about the adulterous King Herod; a truth so unwelcome that it cost him his life. This truth is one of many depicted in the sacred scriptures, truths  which have become unwelcome in this new Bergoglian Church.

RECALLING ST. JOHN’S BIRTH AND DEATH

In recalling to us  St. John’s birth, the Church implicitly emphasises original sin and baptism.

  • John was freed from original sin in his mother’s womb by Jesus, before either were born, through the Blessed Virgin Mary. This was the first miracle worked by our Lord Jesus Christ and was performed through the mediation of His Immaculate Mother.
  • Scripture tells us that John baptised in penance, thus we are called to consider the necessity of repentance and the need for baptism to free each of us from original sin.

Regarding St. John’s life and death,  we are reminded of the gravity of sin, of the necessity for penance and reparation and of the inviolability of marriage between one man and one woman. In Matthew we read this description:

John had his garment of camels’ hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins: and his meat was locusts and wild honey. And his words: Do penance: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. …And seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them: “Ye brood of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of penance …For now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doth not yield good fruit, shall be cut down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you in the water unto penance, but He that shall come after me, is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; He shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost and fire. Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Now what are we told of his end? Again, Matthew tells us:

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Hurricane Dorian – Prayer in Time of Storms

 

NOTE: 2 Sept. 2019: Due to the danger posed by Hurricane Dorian, we will keep this post at the top of the site and ask readers to please pray for the safety of those in the path, especially for their immortal souls. Whether people accept the truth or not, we all do have to face Our Lord Jesus Christ as our Judge. Those who have spurned His mercy, will nevertheless meet Him as Judge. That fearful thought should animate us to offer prayers and reparation for all those in the path of the storm.

Hurricane Dorian, 2019

According to the latest weather advisory, Florida appears to be right in the path of hurricane Dorian. and so we re-post our Family Prayers for Protection in Storms.

For those in the projected path, please consider enthroning images of the  Sacred and Immaculate Hearts in your home, and consecrating your family and yourself.  If you do not have an image of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, there are many good sites for them to download and print.  It has been given to Our Lady to defeat satan and to bring us safely to heaven, so consecrate your family to her and trust her. She never forsakes her children!

In our sidebar to the right, if you click on the image of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts, it takes you to our Family Consecration page and all the prayers are there for Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Joseph and so on. Even though the ideal is to prepare carefully for your consecration, in time of trial the important thing is do consecrate yourself and your family. Now, back to our prayers in the storms. Even if you are not in the path, please consider praying these for those who are.

 

Blessing in Tempests
O Lord Jesus Christ, most merciful Savior, save us from the wrath of storms, lightning and hurricanes. Amen.

℣.From lightning, hail and bad weather
℟. Safeguard us, O Lord Jesus Christ.
℣. Show us, Lord, Thy mercy.
℟. And grant us Thy healing.
℣. O Lord, hear my prayer.
℟. And let my cry come unto Thee.
℣. The Lord be with thee.
℟. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.
We beseech Thee, Almighty God, by the intercession of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, the Holy Angels, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, Confessors, Virgins, Widows and all thy Saints: that Thou wouldst grant us continual protection, send us clement weather, and pour out from heaven upon us sinners Thy protection against lightning and storms; that by the power of Thy right hand, Thou wouldst crush the powers of the air, which are ever envious of the human race. Through the same Christ our Lord.
℟. Amen.

Let us pray.
O God, Who is served by all creatures and Who established these movements of the air to the worship of Thy majesty, grant us the peace of Thy mercy, and keep the terrors of the air subdued; that we may experience the tranquility of those elements whose wrath we fear. Through the same Christ our Lord.
℟. Amen.

 

℣. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.
℟. Now and forever.
℣. Our help is in the Name of the Lord.
℟. Who created heaven and earth.

May the Blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost come down upon us, this place and the fruits of the earth, and remain forever. ℟. Amen.

Family Prayer for Protection in the Storm

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Saint Padre Pio’s Prayer to the Immaculata

 

For the Pan-Amazon Synod

One of my favorite saints is Padre Pio, who is so accessible and like good Saint Joseph, never fails to come to my aid. Today let’s revisit his beautiful prayer to the Immaculata in order to make reparation to Our Lady for this upcoming Synod of Darkness and beg her intercession for the Church.

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

St. Pio’s Prayer to the Immaculata

My most pure Mother, my soul so poor, all stained with wretchedness and sin cries out to your maternal heart. In your goodness, deign, I beseech you, to pour out on me at least a little of the grace that flowed into you with such infinite profusion from the Heart of God. Strengthened and supported by this grace, may I succeed in better loving and serving Almighty God Who filled your heart completely, and Who created the temple of your body from the moment of your Immaculate Conception.

Oh, my Mother, how ashamed I feel in your presence, weighed down as I am with faults! You are most pure and immaculate from the moment of your conception, indeed, from the moment in eternity when you were conceived in the mind of God.

Have pity on me! May one compassionate look of yours revive me, purify me and lift me up to God; raising me from the filth of this world so that I may go to Him Who created me, Who regenerated me in Holy Baptism, giving me back my white stole of innocence that original sin had so defiled. Dear Mother, make me love Him! Pour into my heart that love which burned in yours for Him. Even though I be clothed in misery, I revere the mystery of your Immaculate Conception, and I ardently wish that through it, you may purify my heart so that I may love your God and my God. Cleanse my mind that it may reach up to Him and contemplate Him and adore Him in spirit and in truth. Purify my body that I too may be a tabernacle for Him and be less unworthy of possessing Him when He deigns to come to me in Holy Communion. Amen.

St.  Pio, pray for us and for the Church!

  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!
  O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse thee!
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray the Rosary! So many souls depend on it!

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 2019

 

“I desire very ardently the propagation of the cult and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, because this Heart is the magnet which draws souls to Me, the fire which makes the rays of My light and My love beam out over the earth, and the inexhaustible well causing the living water of My mercy to pour forth over the earth.”
(Communication of Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Lúcia, as reported to Bp. Gurza May 27, 1943)

 

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Today, on the octave of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we honor Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, in obedience to the will of Christ Himself. Why does Our Lord so desire that we honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

The Church tells us that Mary conceived the Word of God in her pure heart before she conceived Him in her womb. Indeed, it is with this beautiful truth that we open our rosaries each day! It was in Mary’s pure and perfect heart that our salvation began. And it is through her heart, please God, we will enter heaven. By offering us the Immaculate Heart of His Virgin Mother, Our Lord is tenderly offering us the sure way to be united with Him forever in heaven. Now we should know that, as St. John of the Cross assures us, with whatever love we have attained to here on earth by the moment of our deaths, that is the love we shall have for all eternity. Think on that a moment, and then, with all your heart and soul, turn gratefully to Mary, she to whom it is given in these days, to lead us to grow in love for Jesus, her beloved Son!

When Lúcia, speaking for the little shepherds, asked Our Lady to take them to Heaven, Our Lady replied,

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The Prophetic Silence of Knock

 

The crisis that Our Lady predicted in La Salette, in which Rome becomes the seat of the Antichrist and represents the eclipse of the Church, St. John also prophesied in the Apocalypse. It is this prophecy which is being fulfilled by  the present pope.

Today, we commemorate the eloquently silent apparition of Our Lady at Knock, Ireland, August 21, 1879. By her silence, Our Lady emphasised at once her displeasure that her message at La Salatte was being attacked, and as many believe, she was pointing to the silence recounted in chapter 8 of the Apocalypse.  But there is still another reason for the silence – it is a warning against silencing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and outrages against the Holy Eucharist and it beckons us with mysterious silence towards the visions of the Apocalypse.

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