Return to the Garden, 2020

 

Sacrilege, Outrage and Indifference

In her revelations, Anne Catherine Emmerich spoke poignantly of the suffering of Our Lord during His agony in the Garden. She witnessed the enemies of Christ attacking Him, heaping upon Him  “the most fearful outrages, cursing, striking, wounding, and tearing Him in pieces.and then explained that “these apparitions were all those persons who in divers ways insult and outrage Jesus, really and truly present in the Holy Sacrament.”

“I recognised among them all those who in any way profane the Blessed Eucharist . . . by neglect, irreverence, and omission of what was due to Him; by open contempt, abuse, and the most awful sacrileges; by the worship of worldly idols; by spiritual darkness and false knowledge; or finally, by error, incredulity, fanaticism, hatred, and open persecution.

Among these, she saw even children, “who were led astray by following parents and teachers filled with the love of the world and forgetfulness of God, who were fed on earthly luxuries, drunk with false wisdom, and loathing all that pertained to religion. Among the latter, the sight of whom grieved me especially, because Jesus so loved children, I saw many irreverent, ill-behaved acolytes, who did not honour our Lord in the holy ceremonies . . . many priests, some of whom even fancied themselves full of faith and piety, also outraged Jesus in the Adorable Sacrament. I saw many who believed and taught the doctrine of the Real Presence, but did not sufficiently take it to heart, for they forgot and neglected the palace, throne, and seat of the Living God, that is to say, the church, the altar, the tabernacle, the chalice, the monstrance,. . . in one word, all that is used in His worship, or to adorn His house.

Egotism and spiritual death

Entire neglect reigned everywhere, all things were left to moulder away in dust and filth, and the worship of God was, if not inwardly profaned, at least outwardly dishonoured. Nor did this arise from real poverty, but from indifference, sloth, preoccupation of mind about vain earthly concerns, and often also from egotism and spiritual death; for I saw neglect of this kind in churches the pastors and congregations of which were rich, or at least tolerably well off. I saw many others in which worldly, tasteless, unsuitable ornaments had replaced the magnificent adornments of a more pious age.

I saw that often the poorest of men were better lodged in their cottages than the Master of heaven and earth in His churches. Ah, how deeply did the inhospitality of men grieve Jesus, Who had given Himself to them to be their Food! Truly, there is no need to be rich in order to receive Him who rewards a hundredfold the glass of cold water given to the thirsty; but how shameful is not our conduct when in giving drink to the Divine Lord, who thirst for our souls, we give Him corrupted water in a filthy glass! In consequence of all this neglect, I saw the weak scandalised, the Adorable Sacrament profaned, the churches deserted, and the priests despised.

This state of impurity and negligence extended even to the souls of the faithful, who left the tabernacle of their hearts unprepared and uncleansed when Jesus was about to enter them, exactly the same as they left His tabernacle on the altar. Were I to speak for an entire year, I would never detail all the insults offered to Jesus in the Adorable Sacrament which were made known to me in this way.

I saw their authors assault Jesus in bands, and strike Him with different arms, corresponding to their various offenses. I saw irreverent Christians of all ages, careless or sacrilegious priests, crowds of tepid and unworthy communicants, wicked soldiers profaning the sacred vessels, and servants of the devil making use of the Holy Eucharist in the frightful mysteries of hellish worship.

“Torn in a thousand pieces”

Among these bands I saw a great number of theologians, who had been drawn into heresy by their sins, attacking Jesus in the Holy Sacrament of His Church, and snatching out of His Heart, by their seductive words and promises, a number of souls for whom He had shed His blood. Ah! it was indeed an awful sight, for I saw the Church as the body of Christ; and all these bands of men, who were separating themselves from the Church, mangled and tore off whole pieces of His living flesh. Alas! He looked at them in the most touching manner, and lamented that they should thus cause their own eternal loss.

He had given His own divine Self to us for our Food in the Holy Sacrament, in order to unite in one body—that of the Church, His Spouse—men who were to an infinite extent divided and separated from each other; and now He beheld Himself torn and rent in twain in that very body; for His principal work of love, the Holy Communion, in which men should have been made wholly one, was become, by the malice of false teachers, the subject of separation.

I beheld whole nations thus snatched out of His bosom, and deprived of any participation in the treasure of graces left to the Church. Finally, I saw all who were separated from the Church plunged into the depths of infidelity, superstition, heresy, and false worldly philosophy; and they gave vent to their fierce rage by joining together in large bodies to attack the Church, being urged on by the serpent which was disporting itself in the midst of them. Alas! it was as though Jesus Himself had been torn in a thousand pieces!

So great was my horror and terror, that my Heavenly Spouse appeared to me, and mercifully placed His hand upon my heart, saying: ‘No one has yet seen all these things, and thy heart would burst with sorrow if I did not give thee strength.’ ” (End quote)

(Anne Catherine Emmerich. “The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary & The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ” , Classic Century Works. Kindle Edition.)

Today, we see in actuality what Sister Anne Emmerich beheld prophetically. We must kneel here, kneel now and make the reparation we were created and redeemed for.

For the love of God, please  let us return to Fatima, make the necessary reparation until we too, pour forth our last life’s blood for Him Who loves us all, loves us to the very end and beyond for all eternity.

†. 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!

~ 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!

Thank you for reading. I pray for you always.

 

The Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, 2020

 

Today is the double feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple and the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also called Candlemas.  We offer these thoughts on this feast day from Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange.

Presentation of Child Jesus
Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, … A light to enlighten the gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel.
THE PRESENTATION OF THE CHILD JESUS IN THE TEMPLE

Mary said her Fiat in peace and holy joy on the day of the Annunciation. There was sorrow too in her heart at the thought of the sufferings which Isaias had foretold would befall her Son. Still more light is thrown for her on the mystery of the Redemption when the holy old man Simeon speaks of the Child Jesus as the “Salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles.” Mary remains silent in wonder and thanksgiving.

Simeon continues:

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Saint John Bosco’s Feast Day, 2020

 

Today is the feast day of good Saint John Bosco, a favorite of mine and so we have a few of his prophecies which are quite apt for this especial time. To introduce them, another brief quote, this time from Apocalypse (Chapter 6, 9-14).

“When he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Lord (holy and true) dost thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
And white robes were given to every one of them one; and it was said to them, that they should rest for a little time, till their fellow servants, and their brethren, who are to be slain, even as they, should be filled up.
And I saw, when he had opened the sixth seal, and behold there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair: and the whole moon became as blood: And the stars from heaven fell upon the earth, as the fig tree casteth its green figs when it is shaken by a great wind: And the heaven departed as a book folded up: and every mountain, and the islands were moved out of their places.”

The above is just something to think about. And now for St. John Bosco; first, his Dream (vision) of the Two Pillars.

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Hard Lessons

 

Note: The picture above is some Catholics who have mustered the courage to proclaim the truth; we cannot escape the Cross if we are worthy to be called Christians.  And we cannot expect to combat the enemy in a safe place, free to express ourselves, with no risks. The first Pope learned this as did many of his successors.

“And He said to all: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9, 23)

Hard times teach us the hard lessons. Thanks be to God for hard lessons! What I’ve learned from the Munich debacle is that the public display of traditional Catholic devotion has now been replaced by the post-Christian “moment (or hour) of silence”.  And that this silencing of the true Catholic message is acceptable to traditional Catholics. As the full significance of this dawned on me, I began to see that traditional Catholicism is in danger today of losing its heart – the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

For more than a century now, the Church has betrayed Our Lady’s message at Fatima. Since we have been made aware that this devotion to the Immaculata is the last chance, and since leaders, even lay leaders are aware of what is at stake and still seem to believe that other considerations override the importance of the message of Fatima, we must redouble our efforts to bring grace into this situation by offering – and living! – our Consecrations and by offering ever more attentive prayers, especially Rosaries, and especially for our lay Catholic leaders, who need grace along with our priests, under such great stress today.

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Mission Impossible Munich 2020

A few days ago, I posted some thoughts about the state of Catholic Action in this time of the suffering Church. Using the term Catholic Action very loosely, my concern was how can we best defend the Faith against the overwhelming tide of destruction which comes from everywhere today?  Like many of my posts, it was too vague and even my most loyal readers weren’t interested. Of those who did read, several took exception and felt a need to defend the organizers who were being “attacked” by me.

This was expected, in this time of overly sensitive victimology. The disorientation and muddled thinking will continue until grace and light return to us. We are all struggling in this satanic fog of war. And we will continue to see loss after loss until we regain clarity through God’s grace. Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Immaculate Mother have given us the keys to victory but few will hear this.  Until they do, the losses will mount and the faithful will dwindle as foretold many times. The gathering in Munich (I cannot call it a protest) is just one in a dismal string of losses, with many more to come.

Update 1-25-2020: Several readers have noticed that other blogs and their commenters have covered the  Acies Ordinata event in Munich, but no one seemed to miss the Rosary. One noted that Dr. de Mattei’s interview on OnePeter 5 mentioned that they stand an hour in silence with rosary in hand, but evidently not praying it as a group, out loud. What is accomplished by displaying a rosary when not actually praying it? What does that mean?. Father John Zuhlsdorf had a witty take on the organizers  being so secretive. He pointed out that although much had been made of  Matt’s “Unite the Clans”, no one had even advised him of the silent gathering. He aptly referred to it as a “self-licking ice cream cone”. He made several very good points but also did not notice that this group of traditional Catholics appears to have moved beyond the traditional rosary for something more up-to-date.

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Effective Catholic Action

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

Dom Boylan continues,

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

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

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

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

Grace to the Humble

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

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On Meditation, Contemplation and Perseverance

 

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

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

† . † . †

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Of Wise Men and Fools, 2020

 

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

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

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

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Slash and Burn, Reboot 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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