Apocalypse Chapters 1-3

 

We return to the beginning to discover a surprise – the letters to the Churches, written millenia ago, provide valuable insight for just these days. Of course, each century of the Church’s history has been able to say that to some extent, but as we read the first three chapters, we do see a rather astonishing array of lessons for the Church in this most troubled time. Our readings are taken today from Apocalypse 1-3, Catholic Bible Online.

When St. John the beloved Apostle set down the words revealed to him in the Apocalypse, he began with:

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to make known to His servants the things which must shortly come to pass: and signified, sending by His angel to His servant John, who hath given testimony to the word of God, and the testimony of Jesus Christ, what things soever he hath seen. Blessed is he, that readeth and heareth the words of this prophecy; and keepeth those things which are written in it; for the time is at hand.”

The first thing we notice is the phrase, “must shortly come to pass” which is then repeated for emphasis in the end, “For the time is at hand”. And when was this written? So you see that the timeframe expressed in sacred scripture is vastly different from our timeframe. An instructor once remarked on this timeframe that ours is, “like a mayfly’s”.

Continuing in Chapter 1, we see,

“I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying: What thou seest, write in a book, and send to the seven churches which are in Asia, to Ephesus, and to Smyrna, and to Pergamus, and to Thyatira, and to Sardis, and to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea.”

 

Ephesus

In Chapter 2, John reveals the Lord’s message to these churches which represent His message to all Catholic churches in all ages, but with especial relevance for the latter times of the great tribulation. The first church is that of Ephesus, which Christ chides,

“Thou hast left thy first charity. Be mindful therefore from whence thou art fallen: and do penance, and do the first works. Or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou do penance. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaites, which I also hate.

Note the emphatic way in which, Our Lord asserts the need for hatred of sinful deeds. These letters set the tone for understanding God’s will for us in troubled times. In His message to the Bishop of the Church at Ephesus, Christ warns him – and us – of losing our charity, He urges us to do penance and “to do the first works”, that is, the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.  But the gist of the message may be found in Our Lord’s hatred for the deeds of the Nicolaites and His commendation for the Ephesians for hating these sinful deeds as well.

The Nicolaites were guilty of a casuistry, that is, the use of complex reasoning to justify moral laxity, similar to that of the present pontiff, in that they managed to find a way to laxity in the law. This false tolerance allowed Christians to eat meats sacrificed to idols (that is, allowing participation in satanic rituals) and even allowing that “whoever should have committed fornication might receive peace on the eighth day.” (The Book of Destiny, Fr. H. B. Kramer) Fr. Kramer further notes that early writings indicate that the Nicolaites tactics were akin to the Balaamites and Gnostics. The sin of Balaam was to allow sexual depravity to lure Israelite men into sin and so weaken them.

As we consider this passage, it appears that the error hated by Our Lord is precisely that tolerance of mortal sin that we see vaunted today in the false mercy and false ecumenism of the neo-modernists now in power in the Church. Understood correctly, this message is a warning against the tolerance for sin which has so infected the Church over the past century. The result has been a stupefying indifference towards the most grievous errors and inability to counteract them.

 

Smyrna

The second church addressed is the Church of Smyrna,

“These things saith the First and the Last, who was dead, and is alive: I know thy tribulation and thy poverty, but thou art rich: and thou art blasphemed by them that say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. Behold, the devil will cast some of you into prison that you may be tried: and you shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful until death: and I will give thee the crown of life.”

This message is a warning of martyrdom and great suffering and a reminder of the even greater reward for those who remain faithful. And it applies to these times most precisely. By the term, “was dead and is alive”, it also counteracts the modernist heresy condemned by Pope St. Pius X in Pascendi Domenici Gregis, 16,  In #16, St. Pius X condemns the following, “. ..if it be objected that in the visible world there are some things which appertain to faith, such as the human life of Christ, the Modernists reply by denying this.”  In Apocalypse 2, 8, Christ asserts that He is, “the First and the Last, who was dead, and is alive”  thus confirming His actual bodily death and actual bodily Resurrection.

The term Synagogue of Satan refers to the enemies of Christ and in these sad times, these enemies are within the very heart of the Church. Jesus encourages us to fear them not. He warns that we shall have tribulation for “ten days”, thus comforting us that this too, shall pass. Fr. Kramer notes that ten is the perfect number of the world, while twelve is the perfect number of God. Thus we understand that the world’s idea of completion is surpassed by God and that what appears a persecution in the eyes of the worldly is in point of fact, an opportunity for greater glory in heaven with God and His saints forever.

The message to Smyrna ends with the emphatic, “He, that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: He that shall overcome, shall not be hurt by the second death.” In this warning of the coming martyrdom, there is the promise that those who overcome, that is to say, those who give their life for Christ, will not suffer the eternal death of the damned. A salutary rebuttal to the heresies promoted today by the Synagogue of Satan, true enemies of Christ who control the church at present. We shall meet them again in the message to the Church at Philadelphia.

 

Pergamus

The third message is to the church of Pergamus:

“These things, saith He, that hath the sharp two edged sword: I know where thou dwellest, where the seat of Satan is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith. . . . thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat, and to commit fornication: So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaites.”

Now Pergamus means citadel and Jesus here asserts that this citadel has become the seat of Satan. He commends those in Pergamus, where the seat of Satan is, yet who still hold fast His name and have not denied the faith. By the term “the stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat and to commit fornication” we understand the tactic of Balaam who used pagan women to lure the Israelite men into base sensuality, tempting them into feasting on food sacrificed to idols (that refers to participating in Satanic rituals), and into fornication with them. Now fornication has the dual meaning, referring to heresy and apostasy as well as lust. Additionally, we note Christ’s anger at those whose false mercy allows those grievous sinners to then receive the Blessed Sacrament. By this passage, we may understand the stumbling-blocks placed in the path of the faithful by the new theology of Pope Francis and his crew of modernists, These men use false mercy to condone unrepentant sinners receiving the sacraments unworthily and allow impure unrepentant priests and bishops to continue in office despite their scandalous sins.

He also again warns against the sins of the fasle doctrines of Balaam and the Nicolaites. This repetition of the injunction against the deeds of the Nicolaites, reinforced with the injunction against the doctrine of Balaam, gives an additional gravity to the warnings against laxity in moral teaching. Jesus Christ closes this message with,

“In like manner do penance: if not, I will come to thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He, that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches: To him that overcometh, I will give the hidden manna, and will give him a white counter, and in the counter, a new name written, which no man knoweth, but he that receiveth it.”

Fr. H. B. Kramer notes here, “Christ will fight the evil-doers with the two-edged sword of His word, which will separate the good from the bad, bring bloodshed and grief and tears of repentance. Those who repent will be saved but will first die in martyrdom. That God is a man of war, appears first in Exodus (XV. 3). If the bishop excommunicates the heretics by enforcing the apostolic decrees, the church will be spared the intervention of Christ and will remain under His protection. My only comment here is that it appears we today are so unfortunate as to see the alternative, the Bergoglian revolution asserting error and persecuting the faithful. This will hasten the intervention of Christ. The hidden manna is a promise to restore once again the precious gift of the Holy Sacrifice and the Eucharist, the “counter” is the ever-present offer of forgiveness and re-instatement for those who repent, for as Jesus reminded us through Sister Lucia, It is never too late to repent and return to Jesus and Mary.

 

Thyatira

The fourth message, to the Church at Thyatira, Christ says, “These things saith the Son of God, who hath His eyes like to a flame of fire, and His feet like to fine brass.” The reference to His eyes like a flame of fire repeats Chapter 1, verses 14 and 15, wherein, “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and His feet like unto fine brass, as in a burning furnace.” Fr. Kramer notes here that this intimates, “His Omniscience. It alludes to Ezechiel (VIII. 2) and the abominations of idolatry (satanism) secretly practiced in the Temple, where God also appeared to the prophet’s eyes in the likeness of fire. God will penetrate the secret recesses in which Jezabel practices her abominations and will sound the “depths of Satan” (II. 24).”

The term Jezabel may be applied to those impure and effeminate clerics who serve satan and not Christ in the very heart of the Church, the so-called Lavender/St. Gallen Mafia who placed Pope Francis on the throne. Fr. Kramer notes that King Achab permitted a woman named Jezabel to teach her evil heresies in the church and to establish worship of Baal, that is to say, Satan. Once again, we see the injunction against eating meats sacrificed to idols, i.e., to satanic ritual. This triple warning against sins of impurity is ignored at our own peril. Father Kramer warns, “the plague shall strike the spiritual progeny of this new Jesabel. It will be a manifest punishment like the judgments upon the followers of the Beast (XV.), and the attribute of the “eyes like to a flame of fire” will become manifest to all the churches.”

The reference to the depths of Satan” points to the Gnostic sects and is applicable today but we will not discuss it at this time. The message to the Church at Thyatira closes with an especially comforting and prophetic note:

After urging them to, “Hold fast till I come. And he that shall overcome, and keep my works unto the end, I will give him power over the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron, and as the vessel of a potter they shall be broken, As I also have received of my Father: and I will give him the morning star. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.” We note the prophetic reference to the “Rod of iron”.

 

Sardis

Next, we go to Chapter 3 for the message to the Church at Sardis, bearing in mind that this message, as the others, is for all the church at all times but most especially it is for the latter times, when the combat shall be most intense. Our Lord Jesus Christ here says,

“I know thy works, that thou hast the name of being alive: and thou art dead. Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die. For I find not thy works full before my God. Have in mind therefore in what manner thou hast received and heard: and observe, and do penance. If then thou shalt not watch, I will come to thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know at what hour I will come to thee.”

The Bishop (Angel) to whom this message is addressed has sinned against the Holy Ghost, has cultivated worldly “virtues” of tolerance, expediency and diplomacy, that is, has become a hypocrite tolerant of impurities in doctrine and morals, and diplomatically ignores false teachings and even blasphemies in the name of mercy and ecumenism. He is the epitome of the hypocritical, modernist CEO Bishops of today’s Bergoglian church.

 

Philadelphia

The next message is to the Angel (Bishop) of the Church at Philadelphia.

“These things saith the Holy One and the true one, He that hath the key of David; He that openeth, and no man shutteth; shutteth, and no man openeth: I know thy works. Behold, I have given before thee a door opened, which no man can shut: because thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will bring of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie. Behold, I will make them to come and adore before thy feet. And they shall know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon the whole world to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”

This is an encouragement to the faithful Remnant, as prophesied by Blessed Elizabeth Canori-Mora. If this congregation continues steadfast in the faith, growing more in grace with each passing phase of the persecutions, they will be rewarded by receiving the conversion of not only the Jews but those who have followed the second beast and have now repented. This remnant congregation knows that they are weak and therefore depend totally on Jesus and she whom He sends – the Immaculata.  Thus, to them is given the grace to stand fast in the faith. It would seem that this passage indicates that the institutional church, so long suffering the eclipse of the faith, will return to the faith by acknowledging the community of the faithful remnant.  The conversions of those Prelates who have at last rejected the false doctrines of the faction of Jezabel are the reward for the remnant’s steadfast refusal to compromise with the spirit of the world.

 

Laodicea

The final message is to the Church at Laodicea, which we have mentioned in previous posts.  To this Church, as to us all at this time, He warns,

“These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, who is the beginning of the creation of God: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would thou wert cold, or hot. But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.

“Because thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of nothing: and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold fire tried, that thou mayest be made rich; and mayest be clothed in white garments, and that the shame of thy nakedness may not appear; and anoint thy eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

“Such as I love, I rebuke and chastise. Be zealous therefore, and do penance. Behold, I stand at the gate, and knock. If any man shall hear my voice, and open to me the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that shall overcome, I will give to sit with me in my throne: as I also have overcome, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.”

We note with a poignant regret the relevance to our sad time under the blight of this pontiff and his wrecking crew, who make an unholy mess of the Temple of God. But we might also take heart in the promises offered to us in these first three chapters of the Apocalypse which reveal a restoration of the faith when at last those who have fallen into the error of following the Second Beast repent and return to the true faith, that is the traditional faith of all time, which has been preserved for them by the small and weak remnant represented by the Church at Philadelphia.

 

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!

Fridays for Reparation

From our draft archives:

Today’s meditation:

After Our Lord fed the multitude with five loaves and two fishes, He proclaimed to them this truth:  “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; for he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall save it.”, (Luke 9, 23-24)

And St. Paul also reminds us, “For the word of the cross, to them indeed that perish, is foolishness; but to them that are saved, that is, to us, it is the power of God. . . . But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness: But unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinth. 18-25)

The three little shepherds of Fatima represented the three calls to respond to the  message of Our Lady of Fatima, that is, Francisco, the mystic, consoled Our Lord and Our Lady in penitence and prayer, Jacinta’s reponse was to save souls by her sacrifices, penances and prayers, and Lucia reponded by propagating the message of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, and by her penances and prayers. The scarlet thread that runs throughout these three calls and unites them is  penance and prayer.

Perhaps we could try to make Fridays a special day of penance and prayer for this awful pope and the scandal and confusion he is spreading throughout the Church. Perhaps also, we could make reparation for the flaccid mass of indifferent (c)atholics who choose to ignore it all. The following prayer is a favorite, hope you like it too!

Litany for Penitents

Have mercy on us, O God, according to Thy great mercy, and according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies, blot out our iniquity. (Psalm 50:3)

Behold the Man, your King!

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on 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, Perfecter of the elect, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
O God, Who by the voice of Thy prophets and Apostles dost call upon us incessantly to be converted and to abandon our evil ways, have mercy on us.
O Divine Savior, Jesus Christ, Who didst Thyself come on earth to call sinners to repentance, have mercy on us.
O Jesus, the Good Shepherd, Who didst come among us to seek and to save the lost sheep, have mercy on us.
O Jesus, Who hast declared that unless we do penance, we shall perish everlastingly, have mercy on us.
O Jesus, Who desires not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live, have mercy on us.
O Jesus, Who has assured us that there shall be joy in Heaven over one sinner that is converted and does penance, have mercy on us.
O Jesus, Who, in the example of the prodigal son returning home to the bosom of his father, hast inspired us with confidence in Thy tenderness, have mercy on us.
O Jesus, Who for the sake and salvation of sinners was pleased to undergo so many hardships and labors, have mercy on us.
O Jesus, Who didst not refuse to receive sinners, in order to draw them to repentance, have mercy on us.
O Jesus, Who calls upon us to be converted to Thee with all our hearts, have mercy on us.
Continue reading “Fridays for Reparation”

The Sacred Priesthood and the Holy Sacrifice

In 1916, the Angel of Fatima came to impress upon us the the coming scandal of the abuses of the Eucharist and of the assaults on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It was a severe warning and was accompanied by vehement commands for reparation, sacrifice, and prayer from the children. The vital importance of the Mass and the Sacred Priesthood cannot be overstated; it is especially pertinent now. Today, we offer an earlier post which should be re-examined in this light.

The power of Christ’s priesthood is sublime in its scope, ruling the souls of men and its jurisdiction pervades the entire temporal world as well, as representative of Jesus Christ Who is the King of Kings. (Fr. Kramer, The Book of Destiny)

In today’s post, we consider the Fifth Chapter of St. John’s Apocalypse, which foretells the triumph of our Lord Jesus Christ through His loving gift of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist. Amid all the speculation on the dire warnings about the events of the Chastisement and the “Last Times”, not much attention is given to the Eucharistic victory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Consider if you will, the beautiful passage below:

The Little Lamb of God

[6] And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing as it were slain, having seven horns and seven eyes: which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth. [7] And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat on the throne. [8] And when He had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints: [9] And they sung a new canticle, saying: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; because Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God, in thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. [10] And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.

[11] And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the living creatures, and the ancients; and the number of them was thousands of thousands, [12] Saying with a loud voice: The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction. [13] And every creature, which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them: I heard all saying: To Him that sitteth on the throne, and to the Lamb, benediction, and honour, and glory, and power, for ever and ever. [14] And the four living creatures said: Amen. And the four and twenty ancients fell down on their faces, and adored Him that liveth for ever and ever.” (Apocalypse Ch. 5, 6-14)

The word for Lamb used here is different than the word St. John used in the Gospels, and is best translated, according to Father H. B. Kramer as “Little Lamb”. He stands in the position of a priest offering a sacrifice and since it is stated that He is “standing as it were slain”, and thus is both Victim and Priest. This passage calls to mind Psalm 109, v. 4-5: “The Lord hath sworn, and He will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. The Lord at Thy right hand hath broken kings in the day of His wrath.” Psalm 109 (link) therefore links the victory of Christ over His enemies with His Eucharistic priesthood. Thus, the Lamb is the Eucharistic Christ.

After Our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Sacred Mystery at the Last Supper, He announced that the judgment upon the “prince of this world” is pronounced. Satan was judged in Heaven as the leader of rebellion and was condemned, but as prince of the world Satan was not judged until the Holy Sacrifice was offered by Christ at the Last Supper and the power to continue it conferred upon His Apostles. When Christ instituted the Sacred Mystery, the judgment on the prince of this world was pronounced although the execution of the decree was not carried out until Christ died on the Cross.

Jesus Christ dethroned Satan when He died. Yet the empire of satan still existed. The judgment of Satan as prince of the world was to be completed throughout the world and down through the ages by the destruction of his empire. Christ’s death on the Cross was not to be a mere memory or history, as heretics would have it, but a living reality constantly manifested through the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Mass. Thus, the “Little Lamb” – that is, Jesus in the Eucharist – will continue the destruction of Satan’s empire of evil through the centuries.

Christ’s judgment will strike all who refuse to accept this Eucharistic Mystery, those who choose the empire of Satan, the prince of the world. The Lamb has seven eyes and seven horns. In this symbolism, the eyes refer to the seven spirits, seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, and represent the union of the Holy Ghost with the Lamb, thus revealing the Holy Ghost proceeding from the Father and the Son. This symbol also represents Christ’s omniscience, searching out souls than can be saved and drawing them gently to Him, to be nourished by His Body and Blood in the Holy Sacrifice.

The seven horns of the Lamb are signs of power, and here represent the power of the seven sacraments, powerful weapons in the battle against evil. They are the glory of the Church; through them souls are cleansed, saints are sanctified and made glorious with grace.

Because Christ offered Himself in a bloody manner on the Cross as a complete satisfaction to God for all the sins of men, the sacrifice of the Eucharist and the Real Presence are possible. The Mass is an unceasing renewal and re-presentation of the sacrifice of the Cross. In the Mass Christ is “as it were slain”. Through this mystic sacrifice He exercises the power merited in His bloody sacrifice on Calvary to destroy the empire of Satan. All worship of the Church is centered around the Mass; from it flow all saving effects of His bloody death; and the power to administer the sacraments is transmitted in and through this sacrifice.

So you see, the potency of the sacraments springs from the Sacrifice of the Mass, diminish the sacrifice, you deplete the sacraments. Pope Paul VI spoke several times in apocalyptic phrases, such as “I am about to blow the seven trumpets of the Apocalypse”, and “from some crack, the smoke of satan has entered the temple of God”. (The Fifth Trumpet)).

In verses 9 and 10, the priests sing a ‘new canticle’, praising the Lamb, because He has ordained them priests, not as in the Old Covenant, but in the new, endowed with the power to rule, disposing to them a kingdom, so that they share in working out His redemption of souls, ruling His followers in His place. Fr. Kramer affirms, “Their internal dignity is the priesthood and their office in the world is to rule. This is a clear definition of the meaning of the word presbyteros, which was adopted by the Apostles to distinguish their priesthood from the barren priesthood of the Old Covenant.”

The power of Christ’s priesthood is sublime in its scope, ruling the souls of men and its jurisdiction pervades the entire temporal world as well, as representative of Jesus Christ Who is the King of Kings.

These are the reasons for the acknowledgment Christ receives in His eucharistic presence from the episcopate and priesthood of the Church, the angels in Heaven and all creatures. [Note: Fr. Kramer wrote this long before the ravages of the modernist revolution in Vatican II] In the preface of the Mass, before the sacrificial act is performed, the priest sings the praises of God and Christ and joins his canticle with the choirs of angels in language very similar to that spoken by the elders. All creatures, except the reprobates, join with the priesthood of the Church in adoring the Eucharistic Lamb. [Is it any wonder that the forces of Satan have fought so mightily within the Church to destroy the true Sacrifice of the Mass and the most Holy Eucharist?]

In “The Book of Destiny”, Father H B Kramer writes of Satan that,

“… in trying to destroy Christ and His work, he brought the greatest defeat and humiliation of all upon himself and lost everything he had apparently gained in Paradise (with the temptation of Adam and Eve). With man redeemed and heaven re-opened, Satan’s kingdom in the world has been dismembered ever more and more, not so much by an almighty act of God or by an almighty word of the God-man, as by the words of mere man pronounced at the Consecration of the Mass. Man is here empowered to overthrow the kingdom of Satan and drive him out of the world. Christ is now triumphant over Satan in the humble and lifeless appearance of the eucharistic species.”

Readers, even though it may not seem so at present, the fact is, this is the last phase of the final and hopeless defeat and utmost humiliation of the archenemy of God and man. In the Apocalypse, St. John describes in epic splendors this last act of the grand drama of Redemption with its series of victories for Jesus Christ and mankind and its consequent defeats for Satan. Christ entrusted the power to renew His bloody death on the Cross in an unbloody mystic manner to the priests of His Church elevating man thereby to God-likeness and defeating forever the designs of Satan with the utmost humiliation to him. So much has man been exalted and Satan’s pride humiliated, that he who was far lower than the angels in natural gifts now rises in the power of grace to defeat his enemy and stand forth triumphant. [With so much granted to priests comes an awesome responsibility, that is why satan works to destroy them and we for our part, must support them with prayer and penances.]

The judgments executed by the Eucharistic Lamb upon Satan shall involve the whole world not to destroy but to chasten it and wrest it from the hands of Satan liberating the human race from his sordid servitude.

The firm belief of the faithful of the Church in this sacred mystery, in the Reality of the Great Presence, in the truth and effectiveness of Christ’s words at the Last Supper, just as the Church has explained and believed it through all ages, undoes the unbelief of the head of the human race in Paradise (the original sin of Adam). This is the “victory that overcomes the world” and the empire of Satan with all its earthly and unearthly forces, this firm faith. In and through the Eucharistic Mystery, the power with which Christ endowed His priesthood, distinguishing it thereby from all other priesthoods of history, and the unshakable belief in the words of Christ by the faithful of the Church, Paradise will be regained, and the honor refused God by Adam through the intrigue and deception of Satan will be restored to Him.

The Apocalypse clearly shows that the triumph of Christ will be a Eucharistic triumph. That is why the Message of Fatima actually began in 1916 with the Angel’s visits and prayers. The last Joyful Mystery shows us Our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph leading us back to the Temple to find Jesus there. Meditate on this mystery and learn from it. The Blessed Virgin Mary only ever leads us to her beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Devotion to the Immaculata is not meant ever to be separated from devotion to the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. That is another reason why the First Saturdays of Reparation are vital. Without them, the Pope will not be able to repent and Consecrate Russia.

In the end, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will triumph, and it will be through the most Holy Eucharist, through the resurgence of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and that means, through our Royal Priesthood. Please pray and offer reparation for all  of our priests and prelates  – and our Pope – to repent, be converted and saved.

Note: the above interpretation of the Apocalypse is largely from Father Herman Bernard Kramer’s “Book of Destiny”, which is cited above. However, in the years after Father Kramer penned his revelation of Revelation, we have experienced a considerable unfolding of the Apocalypse and much now becomes clear that in Father’s time was shadowy. We shall soon see how central the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and our Royal Priesthood are to be in coming events.

 

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 Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, Give me strength against thy enemies!

Chastisement

When we scan the distance, we may be misled by mirages, and when we attempt to predict the future we can be misled as well. In attempting to correlate various insights from well-informed priests, private revelations along with Holy Scripture and more recent revelations such as Our Lady’s apparitions to LaSalette, Fatima and Akita, much danger of error enters in. I offer my thoughts with that warning. I may be wrong in my opinion that Pope Francis is an apostate pope who is basically a marxist seeking to destroy the Church. I believe that his appearance and his actions here at this time represent an important step in the progression of the spiritual chastisement that has come about as a result of the disobedience of the Popes.

To my mind, the entire reason that the most Blessed Virgin Mary appeared at Fatima was because she was serving God, sent by God to call His children back from their proud and disobedient ways.  For it was disobedience, driven by pride that drove Lucifer from heaven. And it was disobedience, driven by pride, that drove Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. In His loving providence, Our Father sent us His only Begotten Son to save us by sacrificing His life for us. It was His will that the very Body and Blood of our redemption was from the Blessed Virgin Mary, and so it came to pass that Mary’s humble obedience made our redemption possible.

With the passage of centuries, faith grew cold and disobedience sprang up in the Church; pride corrupted many from laity to priests and even Bishops, Cardinals and Popes. God’s providence sent the Blessed Virgin Mary to teach us again to be humble and to obey. This was her message at Fatima.

Yes, you know all this already. but have you fully appreciated that God, through Our Lady of Fatima, is calling the Church to return to this humility, this obedience?

In a recently discarded post, I attempted to recap the three visits of the Angel and the six visits of Our Lady of Fatima in order to show that the message began with the Angel’s urging to pray and offer sacrifices and culminated in the astounding, profound Eucharistic Vision and Eucharistic Prayer of Reparation. This series of apparitions was to form the basis for the visits of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Third Visit of Our Lady of Fatima, on July 13, 1917 was the central one, the others are either prefatory or emphasise it. The last visit, the Miracle of the Sun is to help us believe the message of the Third Visit.

When we consider the entire nine visits, certain points become clear. They are:

Offer prayer and sacrifice, making of everything an opprtunity for offering reparation to God for sins and for the conversion of sinners.

Accept and bear with submission the sufferings God will send you.

Pray the Rosary daily.

The importance of making reparation for the sacrilege and outrage to the Holy Eucharist, and the indifference shown to these abuses to the Sacrifice of the Mass and the most Blessed Sacrament.

Persistence and patience in visiting our Blessed Mother.

Sacrifice yourself for sinners, “O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary’ “.

Hell exists and many, many go there. To save them, God wants the Church to establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

If we obey her, many souls will be saved, peace will come, Russia will be converted and there will be peace, this is repeated for emphasis.

If she is not obeyed and people continue to offend God, a worse war will break out in the reign of Pius XI, God will punish the world for its crimes by means of war, famines and persecutions against the Church and the Holy Father, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world causing wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.

To prevent the chastisements, she will come to ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.

“In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a certain period of peace will be granted to the world.”

Another portion of the message contained the famous lines, “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved, etc. [This marks the third part of the secret, not yet not revealed]  Do not tell this to anybody.”

The reason for the above summary is so that we can have a ready reference to the essential themes. Even a child easily understands the simple messages, the call for prayer, sacrifice, the need to console God for these horrible sacrileges, outrages and the crass indifference to them. Anyone should be able to see the importance of fulfilling the simple requests  to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the First Saturdays of Reparation, which she promises to reward so richly. Much has been made of the difficulty in making the Consecration of Russia. But had the previous requests been obeyed, there would have been such a profusion of graces and miracles that the Consecration would easily have been accomplished.

Now something important must be noted here. The war spoken of in the reign of Pius XI, that is, World War II ocurred as Our Lady told us, because people won’t stop offending God. Now, that worst offense is for the Pope to refuse to obey the Mother of God. Our Lady of Fatima warned that war is punishment for sin. The offenses trigger the war, which is part of the material chastisement of war, famine and persecutions. We must not forget that the chastisements continue until obedience is either given or extracted by the ongoing miseries.

The missing portion, (the “etc.”) contains, as we have gathered form those who know, the spiritual chastisement, that is, the massive apostasy from the faith which “begins at the top”, which is why I ventured the hotly contested claim that the current occupant may be an apostate.

The reason I have taken the time to reiterate all this is that at this time, some well-respected Catholics much more knowledgeable that I have made some remarkably erroneous statements. And many commenters approve of them enthusiastically.

Points in conclusion:

The chastisement is increasing in magnitude and it is both material and spiritual. Those who do not repent and consecrate themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary will find it nearly impossible to withstand the satanic onslaught.

There will be a war such as not previously been seen nor imagined and natural disasters of great magnitude.

Russia has indeed been the source of the errors which beset us. Communism is defined by Josef Stalin as Marxism/Leninism, which is further defined as dialectical and historical materialism. It is satanic and atheistic and Jorge Mario Bergoglio has consistently displayed his acceptance of it as have many, many priests and prelates.

Indeed, Western society, such as it is, is suffused with dialectical materialism. It has not been Christian for some time, although most Catholics refuse to believe this.

I apologize for the intesity of this and my previous post.

I am not bitter, I am eager that the truth be told, that issues be brought before you clearly. Satanic marxism reigns in the Church and in Europe and Asia and the countries of the West.  It will triumph at least in appearance and we will be scattered and defeated. In the Church satan seeks to first attack the Blessed Sacrament with sacrilege, and then destroy it altogether. To this end he has corrupted the clergy, especially the hierarchy. Yes, the battle over the family is important, but the battle began with satan’s attack on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist. That is essential to keep in mind and make reparation for. The same prelates have been oblivious to the decades of massive abuse of the Holy Sacrifice, of the Body and Blodd of Christ. They have not obeyed the message of Fatima.

Please, return to the beginning,and re-read or better still reread my posts on the Angel’s message. Then please, pray, sacrifice, adore Him and make of everything you can a reparation. Now is the time to redouble our efforts to obey.

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”

Precious Blood of our Salvation

 

Today, the first Sunday of July, we honor the most Precious Blood of Jesus; a day rich in beautiful reminders of God’s gracious providence for us, even though we do not deserve such generosity. Our reference today is  Father Faber’s tender tribute to the Precious Blood of Our Lord.

Most Precious Blood of Jesus, save us, save our priests, save our Church!

 

Father Faber’s beautiful essay, The Precious Blood, or the price of our Salvation“, remarks that the Angels wonder in awe as they adore this Precious Blood.

“Their superior intelligence ministers more abundant matter to their love. From the very first God invited the angels to adore It. He made their adoration a double exercise of humility,—of humility toward Himself, and of humility toward us their inferior fellow-creatures. It was the test to which He put their loyalty. He showed them His beloved Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, in His Sacred Humanity, united to a lower nature than their own, and in that lower nature crowned their King and Head, to be worshipped by them with absolute and unconditional adoration. The Son of a human Mother was to be their Head, and that Daughter of Eve to be herself their Queen. …

The Precious Blood belongs in an especial manner to men. Much more, therefore, does God invite them to come to Its heavenly baths, and receive therein, not only the cleansing of their souls, but the power of a new and amazing life. Every  doctrine in theology is a call to the Precious Blood. Every ceremony in the Church tells of it. Every sermon that is preached is an exhortation to the use of it. Every Sacrament is a communication of it. Every supernatural act is a growth of it. Every thing that is holy on the earth is either leaf, bud, blossom, or fruit of the Blood of Jesus.

To its fountains, God calls the sinner, that he may be lightened of his burdens. There is no remission for him in any thing else. Only there is his lost son-ship to be found. But the saints are no less called by God to these invigorating streams. It is out of the Precious Blood that men draw martyrdoms, vocations, celibacies, austerities, heroic charities, and all the magnificent graces of high sanctity. The secret nourishment of prayer is from those fountains. They purge the eye for sublime contemplations. They kindle the inward fires of self-sacrificing love. They bear a man safely, and even impetuously, over the seeming impossibilities of perseverance. It is by the Blood of Jesus that the soul becomes ever more and more radiant. It is the secret source of all mystical transformations of the soul into the likeness of its Crucified Spouse. …

All the new nature of the man, who is “renewed in Christ Jesus,” comes from this Blood, whether it be his love of suffering, his delight in shame, his grace of prayer, his unworldly tastes, his strange humility, his shy concealment, his zeal for souls, his venturous audacity, or his obstinate perseverance. Sinner, saint, and common Christian, all in their own ways, require the Precious Blood each moment of their lives; and, as the manna in the mouths of the Israelites had the savor which each man wished it to have, so is it with the sweetness, the variety, and the fitness of the graces of the Precious Blood.

Father Faber reminds us that Our Savior’s Precious Blood came  from Mary.

Mary’s blood was the material out of which the Holy Ghost, the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity, the artificer of the Sacred Humanity, fashioned the Blood of Jesus. Here we see how needful to the joy and gladness of our devotion is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Who could bear to think that the matter of the Precious Blood had ever been itself corrupted with the taint of sin, that it had once been part of the devil’s kingdom, that what was to supply the free price of our redemption was once enslaved to God’s darkest, foulest enemy?

Continue reading “Precious Blood of our Salvation”

The Crucified Child Jesus of Pichincha

By request. Please note there is an update at the end.

In the “Mystical City of God”, Blessed Maria de Jesus de Agreda recounts of the Child Jesus,

During prayer our Blessed Master sometimes assumed a kneeling posture, sometimes He was prostrate in the form of a cross, or at other times raised in the air in this same position which He loved so much. In the presence of His Mother He was wont to pray:

“O most blessed Cross! When shall thy arms receive mine, when shall I rest on thee and when shall my arms, nailed to thine, be spread to welcome all sinners? (Matt. 9, 13). But as I came from heaven for no other purpose than to invite them to imitate Me and associate with Me, they are even now and forever open to embrace and enrich all men. Come then, all ye that are blind, to the light. Come ye poor, to the treasures of my grace. Come, ye little ones, … Come, ye afflicted and worn out ones, … Come, ye just, … Come all ye children of Adam, for I call upon you all. I am the way, the truth and the life (13, 6), and I will deny nothing that you desire to receive. My eternal Father, they are the works of Thy hands, do not despise them; for I will offer Myself as a sacrifice on the Cross, in order to restore them to justice and freedom. If they be but willing I will lead them back to the bosom of Thy elect and to their heavenly kingdom, where Thy name shall be glorified.

At all these prayers the beloved Mother was present, and in her purest soul, as in the purest crystal, the light of the Onlybegotten was reflected. His interior and exterior prayers reechoed in Her, causing Her to imitate His petitions and prayers in the same postures. When the great Lady for the first time saw Him sweat blood, her maternal heart was transfixed with sorrow and filled with astonishment at the effects caused in Christ, our Lord, by the sins and ingratitudes committed by men, foreseen by the Lord and known to Her. In the anguish of her heart she turned to her fellow mortals and exclaimed: “O children of men! Little do ye understand how highly the Lord esteems His image and likeness in you! For, as the price of your salvation, He offers His own blood and deems it little to shed all of it for you. O could I but unite your wills with mine, in order that I might bring you to love and obey Him!” (The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations. Veritatis Splendor Publications. Kindle Edition)

Continue reading “The Crucified Child Jesus of Pichincha”

I will never forsake you!

We offer our traditional post for June 13, a day early because we have a special post for you for  tomorrow.

“Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

On the feast of St. Anthony, June 13, 1917, Francisco, Jacinta and Lúcia returned as they had promised the Lady. At this visit, Our Lady made three requests:

“I wish you to come here on the 13th of next month, to pray the Rosary each day, and to learn how to read. Later, I will tell you what I want.”

Lúcia then ventured to make a courageous request:  “I would like to ask you to take us to Heaven.”

“Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. But you are to stay here some time longer. Jesus wishes to make use of you to make Me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to My Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion I promise salvation; these souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by Me to adorn His throne.”

Lúcia:  “Am I to stay here alone?”

“No, My daughter. Do you suffer a great deal? Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.”

Lúcia then tells us,

“As Our Lady spoke these last words, She opened Her hands and for the second time, She communicated to us the rays of that immense light. We saw ourselves in this light, as it were, immersed in God. Jacinta and Francisco seemed to be in that part of the light which rose towards Heaven, and I in that which was poured out on the earth.

“In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity and seeking reparation.

Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité comments on this sublime vision:

” …  through the rays coming forth from the hands of Mary, they saw themselves submerged in God … and in the great light of God, it was given to them to contemplate the secret of Mary, to see Her pierced Heart. ‘In front of the palm of Our Lady’s right hand was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary, outraged by the sins of humanity, and seeking reparation.’ ”  Continue reading “I will never forsake you!”

For Love of His Sacred Heart

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus are inseparable, although the modernist church certainly does try! For today, let’s revisit this fine old essay by the incomparable Solange Hertz.

For love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we offer this essay of Solange Hertz, from her book (highly recommended!), The Thought of Their Heart, on Devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Holy Rosary”.

The Open Heart

by Solange Strong Hertz

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

The history of devotion to the Sacred Heart is in a very real sense a gradual revelation of the secret life of the Church. Its prologue, written in the heart of St. John as he reclined against the Lord’s breast at the Last Supper, broadcasts its first rhythms to the world, setting the tempo for the dramatic rending on Calvary. Veneration for the wound inflicted there seems to have been the initial form of the cult among the faithful. From this wound, the “door in the ark,” there gradually issued the proliferation of grace we now know as Sacred Heart devotion, ramifying and increasing through time, space and circumstance to fit all the needs and conditions of worshippers truly seeking intimacy with their Lord.

It elicited tears of repentance, prompted praise, encouraged confident petition and proffered earth’s reparation to heaven for its sins against Love. For centuries the movement developed quietly in the privacy of religious houses and the souls of gifted individuals until it permeated the whole Church in ranks both clerical and lay. In addition to the saints already mentioned, among its devotees must be numbered St. Anselm, St. Frances of Rome, St. Lawrence Justinian, St. Bernardine of Siena, St. Joan of Valois, St. Peter of Alcantara, St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, St. Antoninus, St. Peter Canisius, St. Francis de Sales— to list but a few of those canonized. Others who spread its benefits are legion. Carthusians, Franciscans, Benedictines, Dominicans, each produced its particular “school” of spirituality based on affection for the wounded Heart of the Savior. The wealth of art, literature, and liturgy both canonical and popular which has come down to us on the subject attests to its vigor and sanctifying power.

Not surprisingly, it was St. John Eudes, the apostle of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who was instrumental in directing modern piety towards the Heart of her Son. Called by Pope St. Pius X “initiator, teacher and apostle of the liturgical cult of the Sacred Heart,” he had begun by drawing heavily on the writings of the old Cologne Carthusians so as to establish the cult on solid theological ground. By 1672 he had succeeded in obtaining ecclesiastical approval for a Mass of the Sacred Heart to be celebrated in the communities of his own Order, the Congregation of Jesus and Mary.

The very next year, on the feast of St. John the Apostle, December 27, 1673, the torrents of private revelations converged explosively in the Visitation convent at Paray-le-Monial in France. It was there that our Lord, appearing to the humble young nun, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, chose to set the seal of divine approval on what had until then been a most salutary practice in the Church, but which nevertheless remained a private affair— a kind of “inside track” for fleeter spirits. Our Lord had once told St. Gertrude:

“Whenever you desire to obtain anything from Me, offer Me My Heart, which I have so often given you as a token of our mutual friendship, in union with the love which made Me become man for the salvation of men; and I give you this special mark of friendship, … “

After four great apparitions in Paray from 1673 to 1675, … devotion to the Sacred Heart was soon to be enjoined upon all. If we are to believe the words of St. John the Apostle and the ancient prophets concerning the Heart of God, we who are living three hundred years later must be about to witness nothing less than the last moments of the world. “In the latter days you shall understand these things,” promised Jeremiah. “The THOUGHTS of HIS HEART to all generations: to deliver their souls from death and feed them in famine” (Introit, Mass of the Sacred Heart).

Continue reading “For Love of His Sacred Heart”

Doldrums

“The soul must never be discouraged by the fruitlessness of its repeated efforts. It seems to be laws of the spiritual life that, since all progress ultimately depends on God, He lets us first learn our complete helplessness by long and weary efforts that come to naught. But we have His word: ‘I Myself will come and save you!’ ” (Dom Eugene Boylan)

Today’s post was requested by several readers who have asked for more articles to help with their practice of prayer.  Many are noticing a spiritual lassitude and an unaccustomed resistance to their devotions. A book that has helped me is Dom Boylan’s “Difficulties in Mental Prayer” which I obtained a long time ago second hand. It is now quite expensive through Amazon but Abe Books has it reasonably priced. If you find this helpful and would like more posts in this line, let me know.

One quick note before we get into this, please help the brave and wonderful faithful of Ireland with their 40 Days of Prayer and Penance. See the article on Lifesite News and please, wherever you are, make it a priority to support this wonderful effort. Many of us owe the faith we have today to the unflagging efforts and greatness of soul of the Irish priests, nuns and brothers who brought the faith to our families many generations ago. My own family was brought back to the faith by a fiery Irish priest who shamed my mother into returning to the faith and getting her heathen children catechised. And Matt Talbot is amighty warrior for those of us who battle alchoholism on behalf of our poor family members too weak to defend themselves.  So, please, let’s help the Irish who have helped the Church so much!

† . † . †

Prayer develops just as human intimacy develops, and, like it, has its seasons and its variations. If, therefore, our way of praying is not adapted to the particular state of our intimacy with God, there is bound to be difficulty.

If, for example, one is ready and fitted for affective prayer, meditation–that is, discursive prayer–becomes a profitless burden; if, perhaps, one act or one type of act is sufficient to keep the soul occupied at prayer, then any striving to multiply these acts will be found most difficult and disturbing. If the heart wants to speak to God without words, any attempt to force it to make a series of distinct acts may destroy the prayer.

Again, if God gives His grace to the will alone, and wishes us to unite ourselves to Him in naked faith, any effort to set the mind or the imagination to work will only be a distraction, and is really a resistance to grace. Then, too, souls who have once reached a high degree of prayer and then fallen into some serious infidelity, cannot resume their former manner of praying without repairing the fault; and though they will not have to climb up the whole of the ladder again, yet their restoration has its own problems. Thus, each degree of intimacy with Our Lord has its proper manner of prayer, and difficulties can arise from failure to choose the right one.

But the greatest difficulties in prayer, and the greatest obstacles to its progress, have their roots outside prayer in the general condition of our spiritual life. On the sincerity of our purpose, the truth of our loyalty, the genuineness of our love–on such things does our prayer greatly depend. Everything that can make or mar friendship and its intimacy will make or mar prayer. We have already noted how the familiarity with God and His teaching that comes from spiritual reading is essential to prayer, and can be a great help for its progress; this, however, is by no means sufficient.

The fundamental dispositions from which prayer flows, and on which its progress depends, are humility, confidence, and a thirst and need for God which shows itself in seeking Him in prayer and, in fact, at all times by doing His Divine will. Any defect in these dispositions will be reflected in a corresponding failure in prayer.

Purity of Conscience

Prayer will not develop unless the soul is advancing towards the fourfold purity of conscience, of heart, of mind, and of action. As to the first of these, prayer is a loving intimacy with God. Now, this is impossible if the conscience is stained with a deliberate habit of sin, for that is a direct denial of love to God and a definite withdrawal of part of our heart and our life from Him. Even an habitual infringement of a rule, in which we deliberately persist after we have adverted to it, makes it impossible for us to try to look God in the face, so to speak, to go into His presence with that readiness of heart for His service, which is the secret of all true devotion and prayer.

That is why it is so important that every priest or religious, and every soul who wishes to advance, should try to look God in the face, in all reverence, at least once every day, without rushing into some form of vocal prayer.

In its perfection, purity of conscience consists in a firm disposition of the will never to consent deliberately to any offence against God or to any departure from His holy will, and is such that as soon as any act is seen to be opposed to the will of God, it is immediately retracted. Faults of frailty and thoughtlessness will always occur, but we must try more and more to prevent all deliberate faults; and as often as they occur, even be it seventy times seven times in the day, we must so often immediately renounce them and seek God’s pardon by a glance of contrition and confidence in His mercy.

In this way we shall gain more in humility than we have lost by our fault, and the confident return to God can give Him more honor than the offence has denied to Him. It is, therefore, an illusion to hope to become a man of prayer while one comes to terms with the enemy. Human weakness and bad habits will cause many a defeat, but the war must be kept up with unceasing courage, and with a grim determination to keep the conscience clean of all that can offend God.

Purity of heart

Purity of heart consists in keeping all the affections of the heart for God alone. It is not enough to rule out all sinful attachments, for if our heart is divided by any inordinate attachment, even to lawful recreations, to our work, to persons, or to anything else, we cannot say we love God with our whole heart. There always will be attachments in the human heart, but they must be subordinate to God and to His will, so that they can never usurp His place as the mainspring of our actions.

The spiritual life is a love affair with Jesus; He has given us His whole Heart, pouring out for US’ the last drop of His Blood in the agonizing death of the Cross; He demands the whole of our heart, and we cannot refuse to want, at least, to give it all to Him. Without this willingness it is impossible to remain in loving silence before Our Lord.

Nothing so darkens our gaze on God, nothing so weakens our desire for God, nothing so lessens our striving for God, nothing so deafens our hearing for God, as a single inordinate attachment. That is the great source of many difficulties in prayer. Nor are the baneful effects of such attachments confined to this simplified prayer of silence. The very first “act” we try to make at prayer rings hollow and false in our own ears, as soon as we are conscious that we are dividing our heart between God and His creatures. And we cannot be intimate with God for long before He points out to us some of those attachments that cause rapine in the holocaust; for God is a jealous God–He is a consuming fire.

Purity of mind

Under purity of mind we include the careful and constant control of our thoughts and memories, by prudently excluding all that is unnecessary, frivolous and vain, and by gradually building up a continual recollection of God and His works. This is also one of the most important of all mortifications for those who would progress in the spiritual life, and far more effective than the most penitential macerations of the flesh. In fact, without it, corporal penance is almost useless. This internal mortification should be extended to the control of our emotions, especially those of anger, fear, hope, sorrow and joy.

The man whose hope, love and trust are fixed in God does not give way to anger when God sends him trials or when people try his patience to its limits, nor does he vainly fear God’s loving Providence, which he knows covers every single detail of his life. Nor, again, does sorrow at his material losses enter deeply into his heart when it is set on the riches of God; and the joys of this life seem trivial, aye, unworthy even, to one who knows the delight of God’s love.

Purity of action

Purity of action, which is often called purity of intention, consists in a continual watch over the motives which animate our actions, and in a constant effort to act only for the love of God and according to His will. It demands a relentless war on that self–love that is always seeking to inspire all our deeds.

When a religious has settled down in the religious life, and has become faithful in his observance of the rule, further progress is to be sought for, not in violent efforts to do extraordinary actions, but in an ever–increasing purity of intention in the ordinary works of everyday life. This is the surest way, in fact–apart from very special cases–it is the only way, to fulfill that law of Christian perfection, which St. John the Baptist so well laid down: “He must increase–I must decrease.”

All search for our own honor, for our own undue ease, all self–seeking, however much it be cloaked by the plea of altruistic motives, or the search of higher sanctity, is directly opposed to that great rule given us by Christ of denying ourselves and following Him. This, perhaps, may seem too hard, and might lead only to discouragement. But perfection of this fourfold purity is not required for progress in prayer, for such perfection is synonymous with sanctity; we must, however, continually strive towards these dispositions of purity. We must desire this purity, we must pray for it, we must make earnest efforts to acquire it.

But without a special help from God, it is unlikely that we should achieve a sufficient measure of it. There is, however, no limit to God’s goodness, and it is at this stage that He is accustomed to intervene, taking compassion on our infirmities; after we have been toiling all night and caught little or nothing, He acts through His special Providence, and in a short time He has advanced us beyond all expectation. But He demands that we do our part that we keep on putting out to sea, so to speak, and persevere in our attempts to make ourselves pleasing to Him, and to pray to Him, no matter how fruitless they appear.

The perfect picture that St. Therese of Lisieux has drawn of the spiritual life will help to give us courage. She sees it as a stairway to be climbed, at the top of which God is waiting, looking down in Fatherly love at His child’s efforts to surmount the first step. The child, who represents ourselves, fails to manage to climb even the first step; it can only keep on lifting up its tiny little foot. Sooner or later God takes pity on it, and comes down and sweeps the child right up to the top in His arms; but–and St. Therese insists on this as much as she insists on God’s loving kindness–we must keep on lifting up our foot.

The soul must never be discouraged by the fruitlessness of its repeated efforts. It seems to be laws of the spiritual life that, since all progress ultimately depends on God, He lets us first learn our complete helplessness by long and weary efforts that come to naught. But we have His word: “I Myself will come and save you!”

† . † . †

NOTES:

“The greatest difficulties in prayer, and the greatest obstacles to its progress, have their roots outside prayer in the general condition of our spiritual life.” Our Lord told Sister Lucia that the reparation He desires is that we fulfill the duties of our state in life in a faithful manner. This is a call to humble obedience in the little, but demanding, trying tasks that humble and exasperate us day by day.

“Try to look God in the face, in all reverence, at least once every day, without rushing into some form of vocal prayer.”  This is precisely what my confessor told me some time ago. “You must begin by kneeling before the Crucifix and do not talk. Be silent before Him and allow Him to speak to your heart.”

“All search for our own honor, for our own undue ease, all self–seeking, however much it be cloaked by the plea of altruistic motives, or the search of higher sanctity, is directly opposed to that great rule given us by Christ of denying ourselves and following Him.” This is sometimes a very humbling and hard lesson. It is only when we realize how little and utterly helpless we are and surrender ourselves to Him with humble resignation that He lifts us up.  And often that takes a bit of time. Patience.

“I Myself will come and save you!”

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.