Mary Immaculate, Flower of Carmel

O Mary Immaculate, Beauty of Carmel, you offer us your scapular, the very garment of your grace. By it, grant us graces to be your true children and grow in humility, obedience, holiness and purity.

Immaculate Mother of God, Flower of Carmel, pray for us, pray for the Church!
Immaculate Mother of God, Flower of Carmel, pray for us, pray for the Church!

Today, 16 July, we honor Our Blessed Mother under her title, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It is a title particularly pleasing to her, as she appeared at Fatima on 13 October, 1917 wearing the Carmelite habit and holding the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel as if offering it to mankind. To her children, Mary’s suggestions are her commands and we would have expected that this apparition alone caused all devout Catholics worldwide to subsequently become enrolled in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. There should have been a vast movement of priests preaching this devotion, with Pope and Bishops leading the way. However, we all know that nothing of the sort happened.

In his wonderful book, Divine Intimacy, Father Gabriel tells us,
“The Blessed Virgin is a Mother who clothes us with grace and takes our supernatural life under her protection, in order to bring it to its full flowering in eternal life….The Scapular, the little habit, that Our Lady of Mount Carmel offers us, is only the external symbol of her unceasing, maternal care: the symbol, but also the sign, the pledge of eternal salvation. ‘My beloved son’, Mary said to St. Simon Stock, ‘Take this scapular…whoever dies clothed in it will not suffer eternal fire’. The Blessed Virgin gives the assurance of the supreme grace of final perseverance to all who wear worthily her little habit.”(Divine Intimacy, p. 1146, published by TAN Books.)

In Isaiah 32, verses 16-18, we read, “And judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and justice shall sit in Carmel. And the work of justice shall be peace, and the service of justice quietness, and security for ever. And my people shall sit in the beauty of peace, and in the tabernacles of confidence, and in wealthy rest.” Now, by the “wealthy rest” is not meant the protestant gospel of prosperity, which makes a virtue of usurious materialism, but the spiritual wealth accruing from a firm commitment to the sanctification of our souls by following Christ in justice. Carmel signifies Garden and Mary’s Immaculate Heart is truly a Garden of virtues to which she welcomes her children, those who wear her habit, even the little habit of her Brown Scapular.

It was such a delight to discover that Carmel means garden in Hebrew, because I have always pictured interiorly the Annunciation as occurring in Mary’s garden in Nazareth. In my heart, I visit her there each day to begin my Rosary with her First Joyful Mystery. Of course, the Mysteries of the Rosary being so interlinked with significance, that first mystery always leads one to Our Lord’s Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, which is the First Sorrowful Mystery. And thus Mary’s sweet, obedient, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”  is irrevocably linked to Our Lord’s obedience in, “Yet not My will, but Thine be done, Father.” And then of course, we note the Resurrection of Our Lord and His meeting with Magdalene, also in the Garden!

Continue reading “Mary Immaculate, Flower of Carmel”

July 13, 1918, the Third Visit, Part II

 

Part II

Previously, in The Third Visit, Part I, we discussed that the Message of Our Lady at Fatima on her third visit,  July 13, 1917 was a watershed moment. The previous apparitions, including the Angel’s visits, prepared for this one and this apparition is essential for understanding the subsequent ones. For it was on this day, as Lúcia relates, that ‘Our Lady deigned to reveal to us the Secret’. (“The Whole Secret of Fatima, Vol. 1, available free from www.archive.org.) The following are excerpts with commentary from that volume.
“So true is this that the message of July 13 appears to us very clearly divided into two parts:
First, there are the words which were divulged immediately,
Second, the long text of the secret which the seers carefully kept hidden. However, what is important is that the two parts of the message are very closely connected.”

In today’s post we will look at the text, or meaning, behind the bare words themselves.

From Frère Michel de la Trinité:

THE OBSESSIVE FEAR FOR THE SALVATION OF SOULS, which is the other key of the secret, with its terrible first part, the gripping vision of hell, was clearly manifested at the very moment of the apparition, inscribed on the faces of the seers. All the witnesses in fact noticed the great sorrow which suddenly overwhelmed them. Those who were very near were very much moved by the sudden cry which fell from the lips of Lúcia. ‘At this moment’, says Ti Marto, ‘Lúcia took a deep breath, went as pale as death, and we heard her cry out in terror to Our Lady, calling Her by name.’

“I have the happiness of suffering more for the love of You, O my God, and for the conversion of sinners.’

Is it not this same fright, distorting their faces, which is still visible on the photograph of the three seers taken by Mario Godinho, a few minutes after the apparition?

It was also on July 13 that Our Lady revealed the only two prayers She taught the children, the one just before the secret, to invite them to sacrifice, and the other right after, to complete each decade of the Rosary. These are two very brief formulas, which show once again the humility and also the great pedagogy of the Virgin Mary. They are almost ejaculatory prayers which can easily come unceasingly to our lips. They are two precious pearls which, in a few words, synthesize the whole essence of Her message…

AN URGENT SUPPLICATION FOR THE SALVATION OF SOULS.

Right after the end of the secret, Our Lady continued: ‘When you say the Rosary, say after each mystery:

‘O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need.’

O MY JESUS

The two prayers taught by Our Lady are addressed to Her Son, to Jesus Christ our Savior. This alone suffices to destroy the calumnies of the reformists opposed to Fatima under the fallacious pretext that Her message is not Christocentric enough! What an error! At Fatima, Our Lady willed to add to the Rosary, the great prayer in Her honour this short invocation addressed to Jesus the Savior. Inserted between the Gloria Patri to the Holy Trinity, the Our Fathers and the Aves, which supplicate God our Father and our Blessed Mother in Heaven, this little prayer enlarges the divine horizon of our Rosary.

FORGIVE US!

The thought of our sin, this sin so profoundly rooted in us and which threatens to cause our ruin, is present everywhere in the message of Fatima. There is not one of the nine apparitions of the Angel and the most Blessed Virgin which does not make some allusion to sin. Each of the four prayers taught to us, brief as they are, all make some mention of it. This prayer, which is no exception, echoes the litany of Paters and Aves: Forgive us our trespasses (from the Our Father), and pray for us sinners (from the Hail Mary).

DELIVER US FROM THE FIRE OF HELL!

Continue reading “July 13, 1918, the Third Visit, Part II”

Our Mother of Perpetual Help

 

Hapless are they who neglect Mary under pretext of the honor to be paid to Jesus Christ! As if the Child could be found elsewhere than with the Mother!”  (Pope St. Pius X, Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum, 1904)
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
“There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”

 

Today we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary under her title, our Mother of Perpetual Help. In the image above, the Christ Child confronted with the Archangels Gabriel (on His left) and Michael (on His right) carrying the instruments of the Crucifixion, has turned to His most Blessed Mother for solace.

But the most poignant detail in the image is the loosened sandal dangling from the Christ Child’s foot — the image invites us to “complete it” by considering the Blessed Mother tenderly fastening her Divine Son’s sandal, ever attending to His needs. The instruments of Our Lord’s Crucifixion also call to mind that at His Crucifixion Christ gave her to us to be our Mother, a role that she displays in this richly complex image, Mother of Perpetual Help.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help stands ready to help us still, but few there are who turn to her in these dark times. Thus, we, her children must bear the responsibility for all those so steeped in sin they no longer even realize the danger. It falls to us to pray and offer reparation for them, trusting in Our Blessed Mother of Perpetual Help to come their aid, even though they are unable to ask it for themselves.

 

LITANY  OF  OUR  LADY  OF  PERPETUAL  HELP

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, 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.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.
Mother of Christ, pray for us.
Queen conceived without the stain of Original Sin, pray for us.
Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us.
Queen of the most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
O Mother of Perpetual Help, whose very name inspires confidence, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may love God with all my heart, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may in all things conform my will to that of thy Divine Son, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may always shun sin, the only real evil, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may always remember my last end, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may often and devoutly receive the Sacraments, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may avoid every proximate occasion of sin, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may never neglect prayer, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may ever remember to invoke thee, particularly in time of temptation, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may always be victorious in the hour of temptation, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may generously pardon my enemies, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may arise quickly, should I have the misfortune of falling into mortal sin, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may courageously resist the seductions of evil companions, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may be strong against my own inconstancy, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may not delay my conversion from day to day, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may labor zealously to eradicate my evil habits, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may ever love to serve thee, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may lead others to love and serve thee, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
That I may live and die in the friendship of God, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
In all necessities of body and soul, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
In sickness and pain, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
In poverty and distress, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
In persecution and abandonment, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
In grief and dereliction of mind, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
In time of war, famine and contagion, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
In every danger of sin, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When assailed by the evil spirits, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When tempted by the allurements of a deceitful world, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When struggling against the inclinations of my corrupt nature, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When tempted against the holy virtue of purity, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When death is nigh, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When the loss of my senses shall warn me that my earthly career is at an end, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When the thought of my approaching dissolution shall fill me with fear and terror, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When at the decisive hour of death, the evil spirit will endeavor to plunge my soul into despair, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When the priest of God shall give me his last absolution and his last blessing, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When my friends and relations, surrounding my bed, moved with compassion, shall invoke thy clemency on my behalf, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When the world will vanish from my sight, and my heart will cease to beat, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When I shall yield my soul into the hands of its Creator, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When my soul will appear before its Sovereign Judge, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When the irrevocable sentence will be pronounced, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.
When I will be suffering in Purgatory, and sighing for the vision of God, Come to my aid, O loving Mother.

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, O Lord.

V. Pray for us, O Mother of perpetual Help,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray:
O Almighty and Merciful God, Who, in order to succor the human race, hast willed the Blessed Virgin Mary to become the Mother of Thy only-begotten Son, grant, we beseech Thee, that by her intercession we may avoid the contagion of sin and serve Thee with a pure heart, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

  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.
  Remember, pray the Rosary and confound satan and all who serve him!
  Mother of Perpetual Help, Immaculate Mother of God, pray for us and for the Pope.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.

~ 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 Novena for Our Lady of Perpetual Help

 

As we prepare to honor Our Mother of perpetual Help, we offer two Novenas, one long and one short. If we begin today, we complete it on the vigil of her feast, which we commemorate on June 27th.

 

NOVENA  PRAYER  TO  OUR  MOTHER  OF  PERPETUAL  HELP

(The long version.)

“There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”

Behold at thy feet, O Mother of Perpetual Help, a wretched sinner who has recourse to thee and confides in thee. O Mother of mercy, have pity on me! I hear thee called by all, the Refuge and the Hope of sinners, be then, my refuge and my hope. Assist me for the love of Jesus Christ. Stretch forth thy hand to a miserable fallen creature, who recommends himself to thee snd who devotes himself to thy service forever. I bless and thank Almighty God, Who in His mercy has given me this confidence in thee, which I hold to be a pledge of my eternal salvation.

It is true, dearest Mother, that in the past I have fallen miserably into sin, because I had not recourse to thee. I know that with thy help, I shall conquer. I know too, that thou wilt assist me if I recommend myself to thee, but I fear, dear Mother, that in time of danger, I may neglect to call on thee, and thus, may lose my soul. This grace then, I ask of thee, and this I beg, with all the fervor of my soul, that in all the attacks of hell, I may ever have recourse to thee.

O Mary, help me! O Mother of Perpetual Help, never let me lose my God!

Nine Hail Marys

O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying. O Purest May! O Sweetest Mary! Let thy name be ever on my lips. Delay not O Blessed lady, to help me when I call on thee, for in all my temptations, in all my needs, I shall never cease to call on thee, ever repeating thy sacred name, Mary, Mary! O, what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence fills my soul when I utter thy name or think of thee! I thank the Lord for having given thee for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely uttering thy name, let my love for thee prompt me ever to hail thee,  my Mother of Perpetual Help!

Nine Hail Marys

O Mother of Perpetual help, thou art the dispenser of all the gifts which God grants to miserable sinners, and for this end, He has made thee so powerful, so rich in mercy, so bountiful in order that thou may help us in our adversity. Thou art the advocate of wretched and abandoned sinners who have recourse to thee. Come to my aid, dearest Mother. In thy hands I place my eternal salvation and to thee I entrust my soul.  Count me among thy most devoted servants and take me under thy protection. For if thou protect me, dear Mother, I shall fear nothing; not from my sins because thou wilt obtain for me pardon from them;  nor from devils, because thou art more powerful than all hell, nor even from Jesus, my Just Judge, because by one prayer from thee, He will be appeased.

Only one thing do I fear, that in the hour of temptation, I may through negligence fail to have recourse to thee and thus perish miserably. Obtain for me therefore, the  pardon of my sins, the love for Jesus, final perseverance, and the grace to have recourse to thee, O Mother of Perpetual Help.

Nine Hail Marys

Pray for us, O Mother of Perpetual Help.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ who didst give us Thy Mother Mary, whose renowned image we venerate, to be a Mother always ready to help us, grant we beseech Thee, that we who constantly implore her maternal aid may merit to enjoy perpetually the fruits of Thy redemption,  who livest and reignest forever and ever. Amen.

Novena Prayer to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Short Version

Mother of Perpetual help, dispenser of every grace that God grants us in our misery; Mother so powerful and yet so merciful, thou art the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners, and so I come to thee, mindful that thy own dear Son, when dying for my sins, entrusted me to thee.

In thy pure hands I place my eternal salvation; I trust my soul and all my needs to thee. If thou wilt take me under thy protection, I shall fear no evil, trusting thy promise: thou wilt not forsake me and thy Immaculate Heart will be my refuge and sure way to Jesus.

I beg thee, most dear Mother, obtain for me an ever greater love for Jesus, the grace of true contrition, forgiveness of my sins, final perseverance, and the favor that I now request, _________.  Mother of Perpetual Help, I give thee thanks for answering my prayer and will proclaim always thy goodness and mercy. Amen.

Thank you for reading, I pray for you always!

Please, 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!

Song of the Soul

Something lovely for you today. It had been intended for an earlier date but got overlooked. This is a fine translation by Roy Campbell of St. John’s mystical poem, a favorite of mine. I do hope you like it

 

Song of the soul that is glad to know God by faith
by Saint John of the Cross

 

How well I know that fountain’s rushing flow
Although by night

Its deathless spring is hidden. Even so
Full well I guess from whence its sources flow
Though it be night

Its origin (since it has none) none knows:
But that all origin from it arose
Although by night.

I know there is no other thing  so fair
And earth and heaven drink refreshment there
Although by night.

Its clarity unclouded still shall be:
Out of it comes the light by which we see
Though it be night.

Flush with its banks the stream so proudly swells:
I know it waters nations, heavens and hells
Though it be night.

The current that is nourished by this source
I know to be omnipotent in force
Although by night

From source and current a new current swells
Which neither of the other twain excels
Though it be night.

The eternal source hides in the  Living Bread
That we with life eternal may be fed
Though it be night.

Here to all creatures it is crying, hark!
That they should drink their fill though in the dark,
For it is night.

This living fount which is to me so dear
Within the bread of life I see it clear
Though it be night.

 

If there is an interest, I will also post E. Allison Peers’ version of the poem.

Please, 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!

~  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 Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2018

“Embrace the cross lovingly, whenever it comes, as the most precious token of love I can give you in this life.”
(Our Lord Jesus Christ to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque)

Today, the Third Friday after Pentecost and nine days after the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Church honors the Sacred Heart of Jesus. At this time, we should have completed the reparative Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which we began on June 15th, Corpus Christi. Today is an excellent time to renew our Family Consecrations to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Reparation and Penance, Signs of Love

The themes of reparation and penance are prominent in Our Lord’s revelations to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and those of His Blessed Mother to Sister Lucia and the little shepherds of Fatima. It’s worth noting that while Our Lord’s messages to St. Margaret Mary were so tender, personal and appealing, those of St. Michael the Angel of Fatima and of Our Lady of Fatima stressed the impending Justice of God in an appeal for reparation.

“I will reveal My love to them more and more …”

Centuries have passed; the Sacred Heart of Jesus and now the Immaculate Heart of Mary in union with Him, have alike been spurned, even by Catholics.  Although Catholics are at least somewhat familiar with the Promises of the Sacred Heart, few take note of a most important passage contained in Our Lord’s  words to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. This overlooked passage is His Promise of the Cross.

St. Margaret Mary wrote the following in a letter to her former Superior, Mother Grayfie,

“It seems to me that our Lord made me see several names written in His Sacred Heart owing to their desire to cause It to be honored … But He does not say say that His friends would have nothing to suffer because He wishes that they make all their happiness consist in tasting His sorrows… Our Lord has never given us stronger proofs that He loves us than by making us share in His sufferings.”

And In a letter to Mother de Saumaise she wrote that Our Lord had explained to her, “Embrace the cross lovingly, whenever it comes, as the most precious token of love I can give you in this life.”  (“The Promises of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary“, by Father Paul Wenisch, S. J., Tamil Nadu, India).

It is eminently true to say that the Heart of Jesus was opened to bring us life.

But the Promise of the Cross does not mean that we will be forsaken, far from it! Taste and see the goodness of the Lord! St. Augustine, commenting on today’s Gospel (John 19, 31-37) notes that “The Evangelist says, ‘opened’ to show us  that thereby the door of life was thrown open, through which the Sacraments of the Church flow forth.”  And Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene adds, “And it is through these Sacraments that we receive the life of grace.”
Continue reading “The Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2018”

The Feast of Corpus Christi, 2018

 

“For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world.”

They said therefore to Him: Lord, give us always this bread.  And Jesus said to them: “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst.” (John 6, 33-35)

Today, the Thursday following Trinity Sunday, we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Sacred Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Gospel of John we read:

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is My flesh for the life of the world.” The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us His flesh to eat?
Continue reading “The Feast of Corpus Christi, 2018”

For Mary, Queen of Our Hearts

Tomorrow, May 31, is our accustomed feast of the Queenship of Mary. But this year, it is the Feast of Corpus Christi, which takes precedence. So today, we post our honor for Mary, Queen of our Hearts!

In her litany of Loreto, she is honored with the title of Queen 13 times, but following the disobedience of John XXIII, true devotion to Mary as Queen gradually ebbed away.

Dr. Roberto de Mattei’s, “The Second Vatican Council, an unwritten story” has many well documented examples of the expressed intentions of the Council Fathers to minimize the role of Mary in order to promote ecumenism. He references Congar, Rahner, Laurentin, Frings and others, but perhaps the most telling quote was the one from Pope John XXIII when he was Patriarch of Venice.

In a letter of 22 April, 1954, he wrote of Mary,

“Jesus dying said to John: Behold your Mother – this is sufficient for the faith and for the liturgy. The rest may be edifying (and it is mostly) and for many pious and devout souls, moving; but for many, many more, even if they are well-inclined towards the Catholic Church – it is irritating – and as we say these days – counter-productive”.

Amazing. Devotion to Mary is “irritating”? Really? And Pope Francis must agree with Roncalli, since he canonized him!

Father Dominic Bourmand’s One Hundred Years of Modernism explains that much of the downgrading of devotion to Mary was at the instigation of one theologian, Fr. Karl Rahner, who was the personal theologian of German Cardinal Konig. Rahner had already run afoul of the Holy Office by protesting the Assumption of Mary and even the Virginal Maternity! But poor Pope John XXIII, in the darkness of his disobedience, overrode all opposition and approved Rahner’s participation along with other questionable “experts” such as Congar. Schillebeeckz, Kung, Ratzinger and Chenu.

After the Council, Pope John Paul II who is always glorified in “conservative” Catholic circles as “The Marian Pope”, even had a hand in dethroning Mary. On May 29, 1996, Pope John Paul II, citing Genesis 3,15 said,  Continue reading “For Mary, Queen of Our Hearts”

Trinity Sunday, 2018

 

This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation.

Each year on Trinity Sunday, we post  the Athanasian Creed, as a useful antidote  in these times of false ecumenism. The Athanasian Creed arose at a time of bitter confusion and discord in the Catholic Church, much like today actually. The Creed arose from the Council of Alexandria in or about the year 361 which was presided over by St. Athanasius.

The Athanasian Creed is a perfect example of how the Holy Spirit inspires the Church to strengthen and clarify, but not to change its teachings in response to the various heresies that challenge the faith from time to time. The Arian heresy had nearly destroyed the Church and Athanasius was persecuted and even treated like a heretic for simply holding to the truth. But eventually, God purified His Church and the truth prevailed. The Athanasian Creed is thus a clarification of the eternal, unchanging dogma of the Faith.

We do well to remind ourselves that God has promised us that the Church will at last be purified through the Immaculate Virgin Mary, she will triumph!

THE ATHANASIAN CREED

Whoever wills to be in a state of salvation, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith, which except everyone shall have kept whole and undefiled without doubt he will perish eternally.

This is the Catholic Faith

Now the Catholic Faith is that we worship One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; the Father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

And yet not three eternals but one eternal, as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet not three almighties but one almighty. So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; and yet not three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; and yet not three Lords but one Lord.

For like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding.

So there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and one Holy Spirit not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less, but the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped. He therefore who wills to be in a state of salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity.

But it is necessary to eternal salvation that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The right faith therefore is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man. He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and He is man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God, perfect man subsisting of a reasoning soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood. Who although He be God and Man yet He is not two but one Christ; one however not by conversion of the Godhead in the flesh, but by taking of the Manhood in God; one altogether not by confusion of substance but by unity of Person.

For as the reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire.

This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation.

†  †  †

Most copies of the Athanasian Creed today represent the term, “Catholic Faith” uncapitalized in order to imply that it refers to the universal Christian church. This is incorrect. There was no protestant “faith” at that time. There was only the one, holy Catholic Faith and that is a fact that is not open to dispute. Today, more than ever, we need to reaffirm the beautiful old creed of our Church.

Extra ecclesiam nulla salus. Outside the Church there is no salvation. This dogmatic statement is based on the closing statement in the above Athanasian Creed, “This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.” It is a good antidote to those voices stridently claiming that as long as one “does good”, they will be saved. In diverse places recently, some have opined that anyone who states that non-Catholics are not saved is lacking in charity. In the light of the Athanasian Creed, however, it is a serious lack of charity to deny the truth of the Faith. Unless we teach the fullness of the Faith, how can others accept it and be saved?

At this morning’s Mass for Trinity Sunday, our Gospel is from Matthew 28, 18-20:

“At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: All power is given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Going therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

Thus, with a minimum of words, Our Lord states some essential items of the faith:

  He clearly establishes His divinity: “All power is given to Me”.

  “Teach all nations”, that is, He establishes the teaching magisterium of the Church. Note that He is not instructing them to print Bibles and distribute them for each man to interpret themselves.

  “Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”. In this, He establishes the first and most essential sacrament and also states the foundation of our Catholic faith, belief in the triune God.

  “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” This reinforces the teaching authority of the Church, and also proof that faith alone is not sufficient for salvation.

  “I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” Christ will be with the Church through all ages. This is the basis for our hope, even in perilous times like these. He is with us and will never leave us.

Father Leonard Goffine, in his book, “The Church’s Year”, has this lovely prayer for Trinity Sunday;

O incomprehensible, Triune God! O abyss of wisdom, power, and goodness!
To Thee all glory and adoration! In Thee I lose myself;
I cannot contain Thee, do Thou contain me.
I believe in Thee, though I cannot comprehend Thee; do Thou increase my faith;
I hope in Thee, for Thou art the source of all good; do Thou enliven my hope;
I love Thee, because Thou art worthy, of all love; do Thou inflame ever more my love, that in Thy love I may live and die. Amen.

O Immaculata, most beloved daughter of the Eternal Father, most beloved Mother of the Savior Son and most beloved Spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for us thy children, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ present in all the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages, and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee 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.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculata
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

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Padre Pio and the Immaculata, 2018

Something beautiful for you today!

Update for 25 May: Today is St. Pio’s birthday- He is so generous that I bet if you prayed to him today, he will be very generous to intercede for you!

St. Pio of Pietrelcina’s loving meditation on the Immaculate Conception of Mary and his prayer to her:

“Cleanse my mind that it may reach up to Him and contemplate Him and adore Him in spirit and in truth.”

“From all eternity, Almighty God took delight in what was to be the most perfect work of His hands, and anticipated this wonderful plan with an outpouring of His grace. Man, created innocent, fell by disobeying Him; the mark of original sin remained engraved on his forehead and that of his progeny who will bear its consequences until the end of time.

A woman brought ruin, and a woman was to bring salvation. The one, being tempted by a serpent, stamped the mark of sin on the human race; the other was to rise, through grace, pure and immaculate. She would crush the head of the serpent who was helpless before her and who struggled in vain under her heel; for she was conceived without sin and through her came grace to mankind.

Protected by grace by Him Who was to be the Savior of mankind that had fallen into sin, she escaped all shadow of evil. She sprang from the mind of God as a pure ray of light, and will shine like a morning star over the human race that turns to her. She will be the sure guide who will direct our steps toward the Divine Sun which is Jesus Christ. He makes her radiant with divine splendor and points to her as our model of purity and sanctity. No creature surpasses her, but all creation defers to her through the grace of Him Who made her Immaculate. He Whom she was to carry in her womb was the Son of God participating with the Father and the Holy Ghost in the glory of her conception.

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