St. Joseph, Too

“… Christ was promised to Abraham as man, to David as his successor in his kingdom, but to Joseph under the name of Saviour;  in order that we may be persuaded that, although Joseph had no share in the formation of the Body of Jesus neither did he place the crown upon His head, he nevertheless contributed to making Him the Saviour of all men, journeying and labouring and toiling along with Him, and supporting Him by the fruit of his toils for so many years. And thus (he says) he was the last of the Patriarchs to whom the Messias was promised, but in a more excellent manner than all.” (The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, Edward Healy Thompson, Aeterna Press, Kindle)

Thou salt call His name Jesus

Since St. Joseph is silent in the Scriptures, regrettably many erroneous impressions have been given of him. He was not, as some assert, a decrepit old man when he and the Blessed Virgin were betrothed, but was fair-haired and in his prime, about 33 years old. He had no other children, for he was a virgin, having made his vow to that effect at the age of 12. Joseph and Mary both knew of each others’ vow of chastity. For to marry under Hebrew Law without advising each other of that vow would have  been deceitful. And so, when Matthew 1, 18 tells us, “She was found with child, of the Holy Ghost”, it was Joseph himself who realized this, for he and the Blessed Virgin were aware of the sacred vows each had made, to offer their virginity to God as a sacred oblation. Most of the following is from the book cited above, with my comments.

St. Joseph did not ever, for one instant, doubt Our Lady, but simply sought God’s will. In his profound humility, he was abashed to think that the Lord God would choose him for the spouse and consort of the Mother of the Savior. When the Blessed Virgin saw that Joseph was perplexed, she prayed to God to enlighten him; a prayer which was heard by God most promptly. Thompson tells us that according to Eastern legend, not a night passed before Joseph was delivered from his uncertainty. As scripture tells us,

“But while he thought on these things, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins”.

There is much insight available on this passage, but many writers do not make use of it and prefer instead to weave misleading fables about how Joseph was “afraid”, doubted God, doubted Mary and so on. Note that the angel called Joseph by his name, and added the honorific, “Son of David”. Thus showing him deference which would not have been indicated were he to have doubted God or the Blessed Virgin. We have already seen how Zachary was reproved for his doubts! Although many suppose that the angel’s words were an instruction to Joseph to wed the Virgin, the angel was actually telling him to remain with her.

According to Pope Benedict XIV, quoted by Edward Healy Thompson:

“The word of the angel by which he bade him not to fear to take unto him Mary for his wife is a Hebrew mode of expression, which does not signify the commencement of an act, but the continuation of an act already begun. The meaning of his mandate is this: ‘Retain and keep the wife you have taken, and do not forsake her’; and such is the interpretation of those who are adepts in the Hebrew idiom.”

The angel does not tell Joseph to discard his suspicions, for he has none. But the angel does tell Joseph, “thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins”. Now, note the wording here: the angel does not say, “His name shall be Jesus”, but says, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus”, which was also said to Mary, thus acknowledging Joseph’s rights and dignity as the foster father of Our Lord.

With this knowledge, St. Joseph’s soul was flooded with a superabundance of grace, for only by a special favor of God was he able to approach this true “Ark of the Covenant”, this most sacred “Temple of the Trinity”. In her Revelations, St. Bridget tells us that when Joseph beheld her with Child by the Holy Ghost, he feared exceedingly, suspecting no evil of her, but, remembering the words of the prophet which foretold how the Son of God would be born of a virgin, reputed himself unworthy to serve such a mother, until the angel in sleep bade him not to fear, but to minister to her with charity. And our Lady added: “From that moment Joseph never ceased to serve me as his sovereign and I humbled myself to the lowest offices to show him my submission.” (Thompson, op. cit.)

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The Centenary of Fatima and the Passion of the Church

Father Malachi Martin was bound, unfairly he believed, but nevertheless bound by an oath against revealing the Third Secret, or more properly, the third portion of the Secret of Fatima. But this chafed him so that he increasingly indicated insights into the secret’s meaning as time went by and the devil’s own chaos increased in the Church. It must have been a terrible burden to know that if only he were able to speak out, so many souls might have repented and been saved! But Father took solace in obedience, knowing as he did that it was by way of the arrogant disobedience of Popes that this assault from hell came about.

And so, even though bound by his oath, Father allowed certain insights. If we review all the hints he gave us in his books and interviews, they fall into a pattern roughly consisting of three portions,

  1. A physical chastisement
  2. A spiritual chastisement
  3. The action of Russia in both chastisements.

Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité  also believed that Russia was the key player in both the physical and spiritual events of the chastisement. Additionally,  Frère Michel stressed that the physical chastisements began with the Second World War and since Russia has not been consecrated properly – and thus cannot be exorcised of Satanic control – the ongoing war will only continue, eventually enveloping the entire world with one horrific conflagration of intense terror. The force behind this will of course, be Russia, or more precisely, satanic marxism.

Satanic marxism is also behind the spiritual chastisement which continues apace until the Church is eventually reduced to a very small  and seemingly impotent remnant. There should be little doubt that Pope Francis is a satanic marxist and is the Pope that Father Malachi Martin alluded to as the last pope of this era and who would be under the control of Satan. It has been said before that the Age of Apostasy began with Martin Luther and will end with Luther’s own Pope. That would appear to be Francis.  St. Hildegard has told us what to expect of this pope and Blessed Elizabeth Canori Mora has also warned us of what is to come.

In a previous post we quoted Antonio Socci’s account of Pope Benedict’s revelation at Fatima in 2010:

But a resounding explicit confirmation came from Benedict XVI himself, who, during an unexpected pilgrimage to Fatima on May 13, 2010, affirmed: “He deceives himself who thinks that the prophetic mission of Fatima is concluded.”

He added: “there are indicated future realities of the Church which little by little are manifesting themselves… and therefore it is the sufferings of the Church which are announced.”

But could such prophecies be found in that text [of the vision]?

These two phrases of the Pope in that discourse at Fatima prompt reflection:

“Man has the power to unleash a cycle of death and terror, but he is not able to stop it.” And then: “The faith in vast regions of the earth risks being extinguished, like a flame without fuel.”

From these words of Pope Benedict one discerns, therefore, that there is truly something else in the Third Secret and that it is dramatic for the world and the Church. The volume in fact draws from the letters of Sister Lucia and from the unpublished diary “My Way.” Impressive among things previously unpublished, is the account of how Sister Lucy overcame the terror that prevented her from writing down the Third Secret.

The Unpublished Account

At around 4 p.m. on January 3, 1944, in the chapel of the convent, before the Tabernacle, Lucia asked Jesus to make known His will: “I then felt a friendly hand, maternal and affectionate, touch my shoulder.”

And the Mother of God said to her: “be at peace, and write what I have commanded you, but not, however, that which has been given to you to understand its meaning,” intending to allude to the meaning of the vision which the Virgin herself had revealed.

Immediately afterward, said Sister Lucia, “I felt my spirit inundated by a mystery of light that is God and in Him I saw and heard: the point of a lance like a flame that is detached, touches the axis of the earth, and it trembles: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, the rivers, the clouds, exceed their boundaries, inundating and dragging with them, in a vortex, houses and people in a number that cannot be counted. It is the purification of the world from the sin in which it is immersed. Hatred, ambition, provoke the destructive war.

After I felt my racing heart, in my spirit a soft voice said: ‘In time, one faith, one baptism, one Church, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic. In eternity, Heaven!’ This word ‘Heaven’ filled my heart with peace and happiness in such a way that, almost without being aware of it, I kept repeating to myself for a long time: Heaven, Heaven.” (Antonio Socci)

From this came the strength to write the Third Secret. …

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St. Catherine and the Message of Fatima

The Dialogue of the Seraphic Virgin, St. Catherine of Siena has much to avail us in this current conflict:

How finite works are not sufficient for punishment or recompense without the perpetual affection of love.
Leave all to Him, let go of yourself.
Lose yourself on the cross, and you will find yourself entirely.

 

Then, the Eternal Truth seized and drew more strongly to Himself her desire, doing as He did in the Old Testament, for when the sacrifice was offered to God, a fire descended and drew to Him the sacrifice that was acceptable to Him; so did the sweet Truth to that soul, in sending down the fire of the clemency of the Holy Spirit, seizing the sacrifice of desire that she made of herself, saying:

“Do you not know, dear daughter, that all the sufferings, which the soul endures, or can endure, in this life, are insufficient to punish one smallest fault, because the offense, being done to Me, who am the Infinite Good, calls for an infinite satisfaction? However, I wish that you should know, that not all the pains that are given to men in this life are given as punishments, but as corrections, in order to chastise a son when he offends; though it is true that both the guilt and the penalty can be expiated by the desire of the soul, that is, by true contrition, not through the finite pain endured, but through the infinite desire; because God, who is infinite, wishes for infinite love and infinite grief. Infinite grief I wish from My creature in two ways:

in one way, through her sorrow for her own sins, which she has committed against Me her Creator;

in the other way, through her sorrow for the sins which she sees her neighbors commit against Me.

Of such as these, inasmuch as they have infinite desire, that is, are joined to Me by an affection of love, and therefore grieve when they offend Me, or see Me offended, their every pain, whether spiritual or corporeal, from wherever it may come, receives infinite merit, and satisfies for a guilt which deserved an infinite penalty, although their works are finite and done in finite time; but, inasmuch as they possess the virtue of desire, and sustain their suffering with desire, and contrition, and infinite displeasure against their guilt, their pain is held worthy. Paul explained this when he said: If I had the tongues of angels, and if I knew the things of the future and gave my body to be burned, and have not love, it would be worth nothing to me. The glorious Apostle thus shows that finite works are not valid, either as punishment or recompense, without the condiment of the affection of love.

How desire and contrition of heart satisfies, both for the guilt and the penalty in oneself and in others; and how sometimes it satisfies for the guilt only, and not the penalty.

“I have shown you, dearest daughter, that the guilt is not punished in this finite time by any pain which is sustained purely as such. And I say, that the guilt is punished by the pain which is endured through the desire, love, and contrition of the heart; not by virtue of the pain, but by virtue of the desire of the soul; inasmuch as desire and every virtue is of value, and has life in itself, through Christ crucified, My only begotten Son, in so far as the soul has drawn her love from Him, and virtuously follows His virtues, that is, His Footprints.

In this way, and in no other, are virtues of value, and in this way, pains satisfy for the fault, by the sweet and intimate love acquired in the knowledge of My goodness, and in the bitterness and contrition of heart acquired by knowledge of one’s self and one’s own thoughts. And this knowledge generates a hatred and displeasure against sin, and against the soul’s own sensuality, through which, she deems herself worthy of pains and unworthy of reward.”

The sweet Truth continued:
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Devotion to the Child Jesus

We recently posted on the tragic fact that the grace of God is being withdrawn from the Church and the world due to the disobedience of the popes and their hierarchy to the clear commands of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. With each disobedient act, the popes have caused a further loss of grace. As grace recedes, sin, darkness and suffering increase. In a similar way, each time we ignore the daily opportunities for sacrifice, for reparation, we lose the graces which we could have attained, essential graces necessary for our salvation.

With the loss of grace, and the ever-strengthening malignancy of satan, even those Catholics striving to hold firm to the faith begin to find themselves beset by doubts and distractions in their devotions and at times, the lethargy and heavy sense of foreboding and gloom seem to become overpowering. This is the devil’s work and it is only counteracted and driven out by the Mother of God. We access this help by the practice of our spiritual childhood in devotion to Mary our Mother. There is no other way.

In the revelations of Fatima, we find Our Lord appearing to Sister Lucia as the Child Jesus on three occasions. In two of them, He asked for compassion and reparation for “the Heart of your Most Holy Mother”.  Thus, Our Lord indicates His desire that we turn to Mary as our Mother and make loving reparation to her. This salutary devotion is something that will never appeal to the modernists, and is even spurned by many unfortunate traditional Catholics. But it is an essential devotion.

In a small series of posts, we will try to trace out this devotion, beginning with devotions to the Child Jesus from around the world. Then, in a later post, we hope to show how devotion to the Child Jesus is included in the Message of Fatima and finally, we will examine the example of spiritual childhood given us by the children of Fatima: Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia.

Devotion to the Holy Infant is complementary to that of Fatima. Both call us to mortification, true humility and perfect obedience. And devotion to the Divine Infant is a necessary part of the devotion recommended by St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, the beloved Little Flower.

Devotion to the Infant Jesus originated in Spain and then spread to many countries in a variety of manifestations. Many saints have been favored with this devotion, notably St. Anthony of Padua/Lisbon, St. Teresa of Avila and St. St Thérèse of Lisieux and Sister Lucia of Fatima. Notably, the Child Jesus appeared to Sister Lucia three times between November, 1925 and February, 1926.

Here’s a bit of background on just a few of the numerous devotions to the Holy Infant Jesus:

Santo Niño de Atocha

According to tradition, devotion to the Santo Niño de Atocha originated in devotion to Our Lady of Antioch and her Divine Child and “Atocha” derived from “Antioch” over many centuries. The original statue is said to have been sculpted by St. Luke the Evangelist and so dates to very early times. By 1162, the devotion had spread to Spain and became immensely popular. The following story is taken from the site El Santo Nino de Atocha:

Santo Nino de Atocha, save our families!
Santo Nino de Atocha, save our families!

The pious legend of the wonder working little Santo Niño is set in Spain.
In Atocha, a suburb of Madrid, many men were imprisoned by the Moors (Muslims) who terrorized the Christians there because of their faith. The prisoners were not fed by their jailers, so food was taken to them by their families. The caliph issued an order that no one except children twelve years old and younger would be permitted to bring food to the prisoners. Those with young children would manage to keep their relatives alive, but what of the others?

The women of the town appealed to Our Lady, begging her to help them find a way to feed their husbands, sons, and brothers. Soon the children came home from the prison with a strange story. Those prisoners who had no young children to feed them were being visited and fed by a young boy. None of the children knew who He was, but the little water gourd He carried was never empty, and there was always plenty of bread in His basket to feed all the hapless prisoners without children of their own to bring them their food. He came at night, slipping past the sleeping guards or smiling politely at those who were alert.

Those who had asked the Virgin of Atocha for a miracle began to suspect the identity of the little boy. As if in confirmation, the shoes on the statue of the child Jesus were worn down and dusty. When they replaced the shoes with new ones, those too were quickly worn out. After Ferdinand and Isabella drove the Moors from Spain in 1492, the people continued to invoke the aid of Our Lady of the Atocha and her Holy Child.

And so we see in the foregoing the miraculous intervention of the Holy Virgin and Child to assist Catholics against muslim persecution. Perhaps a useful devotion for our present times, isn’t it?

Santo Niño de Atocha in Mexico and New Mexico

In Mexico, the devotion to  was brought by the Spanish and carries on the tradition of devotion to the little pilgrim Child Jesus. A major shrine is in the state of Zacatecas in Fresnillo/Plateros, where many miracles were attributed to the Holy Infant Who miraculously saved miners who had been trapped in an explosion in the Fresnillo silver mine. In New Mexico, the Shrine is near the Sanctuary of Chimayo. Among the many veterans of World War II, were the brave New Mexicans who survived Corregidor, the Bataan Death March and internment in Japanese prison camps. When they returned, some 2,000 made a pilgrimage to the Holy Infant of Atocha at Chimayo, many walking barefoot.

The Holy Child Jesus is believed to travel through the countryside, seeking poor sinners to heal and help. In some areas, He is thought to be absent from the church at night, due to His peregrinations in search if souls to save.

Santo Niño de Cebú

In the Philippines, devotion to the Holy Infant Jesus known as  “Santo Niño” was brought by the Spanish to Cebu in about 1521 when

Santo Nino de Cebu

a member of Magellan’s crew gave the local queen a statue of the Santo Niño as a baptismal gift. The little statue has a wonderful, miraculous history and has been known to survive many calamities, as far back as 1565, when, after a battle in which the then-village of Cebu burned to the ground, soldiers found the wooden box containing the sacred statue unscathed amongst the ruins.

And again, during World War II, when the Santo Niño Church was bombed,  the statue of Santo Niño de Cebú was found to be completely undamaged. There are many other such miracles both for the statue and for the devout Filipinos  who treasure devotion to the Holy Infant Jesus of Cebú.  Devotion to the Holy Infant is an excellent example of humility, and is the basis for the practice of spiritual childhood .

In the Philippines, according to site, SantoNinodeCebu.org, the Feast day of El Santo Niño is celebrated on the third Sunday of every year and many Cebuanos and Filipinos in general, do not consider the Christmas season over until the Feast of the beloved  Santo Niño.

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The Holy Family in the Year of Fatima

The Feast of the Holy Family, 2017

Today, the first Sunday after Epiphany, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family, which is the last time in the liturgical year in which we honor the hidden life of Jesus.

Thus, it is fitting that in the Gospel today, we read of the event which comprises the Fifth Joyful Mystery, the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. In this, we commemorate the first words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel, “How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

St. Luke then tells us that Jesus returned to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph “and was subject to them.” In this brief account, we have several important lessons: First, Jesus establishes His mission in His first recorded words,  “I must be about My Father’s business.” And second, Jesus was subject to Mary and Joseph. The Son of God first asserts the primacy of God, by stating that His mission is to serve the Father in all things, then Jesus affirms the importance of family, “He was subject to them.” On the firm bedrock of total obedience to God in all things, we can most perfectly live out our love of God within our families, whether they be our personal families or our religious communities. If love of God comes first, what follows cannot fail to serve Him.

 My Father's business
My Father’s business

As we open our minds and our hearts, lifting them to God in this, the Fifth Joyful Mystery, we consider Saint Joseph leading his Holy Family back home from the Temple. The blessed peace that surrounds them draws us in too, and we are nourished with the truths of this holy mystery. By His actions, Our Lord teaches us humility and obedience in His submission to His Father’s will and through that, because of that, His submission to Mary and Joseph. By our consecrations we submit to them too, and thus we learn humility and obedience. We also learn poverty; now, in the first beatitude,  Our Lord makes us a promise for this virtue:  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” In later posts, we hope to show the application of this excellent virtue for these particular times of trial.

The Fatima Connection

On the fifth visit, September 13, 1917, Our Lady told the children, “In October … Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to give peace to  the world.” And in Sister Lucia’s accounts of the Sixth Visit, she related that this is precisely what occurred. You may ask, “Where then is this peace”? The answer, if you will hear it yet again, is, “Your peace is dependent upon your obedience!” As an infant receives the graces of baptism, we, the faithful have been given unimaginable graces in great profusion, awaiting only our cooperation. If we but seek them, turning to Jesus and Mary (and Joseph too!) and seeking them in humility and obedience, we shall see miracles as never before seen in this tired old world, making all things new, restoring the faith.

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Epiphany, 2017

Today, January 6, is the Feast of the Epiphany, the Manifestation of God. “And the gentiles shall walk in Thy light, and Kings in the brightness of Thy rising … all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord.”

“…They found the child with Mary His mother, and falling down they adored Him.”

Journey of the Magi

by T. S. Eliot

‘A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sorefooted, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
and running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

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First Blood, 2017

“Contemplating Him, we shall learn that deeds are better than words, that the greater the sacrifices they require, the greater the proof they give of real love. Furthermore, every undertaking must receive its baptism of blood in order to be fruitful. “
He has not yet spoken; the world does not yet know Him; but He is already shedding His blood for the salvation of mankind.
He has not yet spoken; the world does not yet know Him; but He is already shedding His blood for the salvation of mankind.

Today, the Octave of Christmas is the day we commemorate the first shedding of the precious blood of our Saviour, at His Circumcision.  It is fitting that we start off 2017 with this commemoration of the first sacrifice of the Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is His vivid lesson in humility and obedience, the requisite virtues for 2017, the year of Fatima.

From Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. we read:

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Evensong, 2016

[If you are searching for information about the post author, “evensong”, it is on our  “About” page.]

“O Mother who came to smile on me in the morn of my life, come once again and smile, dear Mother, for now it is eventide!”

(Prayer of St. Thérèse, the Little Flower)

Advent was a time of retreat and prayerful introspection and I took as my guide, St. Thérèse, the Little Flower. Her little way of spiritual childhood offers so much to us in the upheaval and uncertainty caused by this poor benighted pope. Today’s post is an old one, which I’ve updated – I hope you find it useful.

†  †  †

Time ill spent is lost forever and what degree of love we have achieved at the time of our death is what we shall have throughout eternity.

This tumultuous year draws to a close and it is natural for us to consider our gains and losses over this past year as we look towards the new year …

In this twilight of our Christian era, the darkness gathers. Eventually it will bring a purifying chastisement and a rebirth of the Faith. How long shall we endure the crass arrogance of the Humble Pope of Surprises? What will the long-awaited justice of God, when it appears, mean to us, to our loved ones?

“We must give every moment its full amount of love, and make each passing moment eternal, by giving it value for eternity.”
“We must give every moment its full amount of love, and make each passing moment eternal, by giving it value for eternity.”

Twilight is always a thoughtful, prayerful time for me, and so, “Evensong” is a hymn/prayer that accompanies me in this, the eventide of my life.

Sweet Savior, bless us ‘ere we go
Thy word into our hearts instill.
And make our lukewarm hearts to glow
With lowly love and fervent will.
Through life’s long day
And death’s dark night
O gentle Jesus, be our light.

My daily readings are from Divine Intimacy“, by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. In his reading titled, ”Let Us Make Good Use of Time.” Father Gabriel reminds us that time ill spent is lost forever and that what degree of love we have achieved at the time of our death is what we shall have throughout eternity.

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Follow the Child

“Christmas is the moment in which the Redeemer of humanity presents Himself to us in a crib, asking us to adore Him as King and Lord of the universe. The Nativity, under this aspect, is one of the central mysteries of our faith, the door that permits us to enter into all the mysteries of Christ.”

“…They found the child with Mary His mother, and falling down they adored Him.”

Thus does Dr. Roberto de Mattei introduce us to the mystery of Christmas in his classic essay, “Christmas, hour of faith in darkness of the world”, (Rorate Caeli, 23 Dec. 2015). The Christ Child was adored by poor unlearned shepherds and by some of the wisest men of that time, the Magi. Both shepherds and Magi gave the best they had to give, From Mattei:

They gave to the Holy Child, their eyes, their ears, their mouths, their hearts, their entire life; in a word, they consecrated their bodies and souls to Incarnate Wisdom, and they did so through the hands of Mary and Joseph, in the presence of the entire Heavenly Court. In this they imitated perfect submission to the Will of God of the Child Jesus, Who from God-Word, annihilated Himself in the form of a servant to the Divine Will, and then allowed Himself to be led through all the phases, up to His death on the Cross and glory: He didn’t choose His phases, but allowed Himself to be led, moment by moment through the inspiration of Grace – as a mystic of the XVII century wrote (Jean-Baptiste Sainte-Jure, Vita di Gaston de Renty, (The Life of Gaston de Renty) tr. it., Glossa, Milan 2007, p. 254). [Emphasis mine.]

Devotion to the Holy Child is a devotion in which one experiences a radical abandonment to Divine Providence, since that Child wrapped in swaddling clothes is the Man-God, Who annihilated His will in order to do His Father’s, Who is in Heaven, and He would do this by submitting Himself to two sublime creatures – to Him submitted: The Most Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph.

Holy Christmas is the day of extreme abandonment to Divine Providence, but also of immense trust in the mysterious plans of God. It is the day, St. Leo the Great writes again, in which “The Son of God came to destroy the work of the devil (1 John, 3, 8)”

Notice, this essay, the shepherds and the Magi  gave all their being to the Holy Child “through the hands of Mary and Joseph”. This points us to the path of devotion we must take to the Divine Infant, through the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, that is, to spiritual childhood through the Holy Family. This is the devotion recommended by Our Lady of Fatima through the visions given to Sister Lucia on October 13, 1917.

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus may be our guide here. When asked about her path of spiritual childhood, she explained, “It means that we acknowledge our nothingness; that we expect everything from the good Lord, as a child expects everything from its father; it means to worry about nothing, … it means to remain little, seeking only to gather flowers… of sacrifice, and to offer them to the good Lord for His pleasure. It also means not to attribute to ourselves the virtues we practice, not to believe that we are capable of anything, but to acknowledge that it is the good Lord Who has placed that treasure in the hand of His little child that He may use it when He needs it, but it remains always God’s own treasure. Finally, it means that we must not be discouraged by our faults, for children fall frequently.”

Note: This spiritual childhood is essential for this particular time, that is, for 2017.

As Dr. de Mattei reminds us, this Child comes to lead us from the darkness. Make no mistake, He will destroy the work of  the devil! He will restore His Bride. For us now, it is still the time to kneel before the creche and with the shepherds and the Magi, make our resolve to follow this Child!

Most Holy Child Jesus, may Thy Kingdom come!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, and terrible as an army in battle array, do thou purify the Church!

St. Joseph protector of the Holy Family, protect the Church, protect our priests.

Remember, pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him.

~ this post by evensong for love of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Life Under the Banner of Love

 

“In the Holy Ghost’s union with (Mary), not only does Love join these two beings, but the first of the two (the Holy Ghost) is the entire Love of the Holy Trinity, while the second (Mary) is the entire love of creation; and thus in this union of heaven with all of earth, all uncreated love with created love; it is the summit of love.”

Soon, we will reach the date for our Consecration (or reconsecration) to the Immaculata on 8 December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.  Today, we make use of two wonderful books. From Loreto Publications, we have Father Karl Stehlin’s “Who are You, O Immaculata?” and from Angelus Press, we have St. Maximilian Kolbe’s little gem of a book, “Let Yourself be Led by the Immaculate”. Both are available in paperback or e-book/kindle.

The Immaculata, an unceasing declaration of war against the consequences of original sin.
The Immaculata, an unceasing declaration of war against the consequences of original sin.

 

Total Consecration to the Immaculata

By original sin, each of us is separated from God and it is our life’s work to strive to return to God. The first step toward reunion with God, that is, the first rung on the ladder to God, is to make a firm decision of the will toward Mary. This setting out on the way to God is total consecration to Mary. We give ourselves completely to Mary as our Mother and our Queen, as our way to the final destination which is our Lord Jesus Christ. Devotion to Mary is an essential component to the imitation of Christ.

Now, consecration is not simply a pious sentiment made on a whim, it is an agreement, a vow, to make the total gift of oneself. Living this vow requires that one dispossess oneself and no longer act as proprietor and master but rather as a willing slave, conforming to our Lady’s wishes in all things. To understand, let’s look at our model, the Immaculate Mother herself.

The Immaculate Conception

St. Maximilian Kolbe tells us that when Mary said, “I am the Immaculate Conception”, she is confirming that she no longer possesses her being for herself, but is “pure relation to God’, that is, being-for-God. Inasmuch as she is completely united with the Holy Ghost, her spouse, she is utterly, completely consecrated to Him in her inmost being. In just this way, we must divest ourselves, down to the depths of our being; the Immaculata must take our whole life in her hands and thus give us to God.

In the words of St. Maximilian, “Only if we uproot from ourselves everything that comes from self and allow the Immaculata to lead us fully and completely, will we reflect her completely in ourselves.” And so we choose to be as much her own as she is God’s own. And she belongs to God to such an extent that she became His own mother. Father Stehlin adds, “We will voluntarily allow no room to any thought, wish, desire or idea that the Immaculata would not consent to. Such an attitude can become a habit only if we renew this act of self-giving again and again and keep it in mind.”

Our Constant Focus: the Immaculata

In her Immaculate Conception, Mary, our Model, began the return of creation to God, and as her children, we return with her.  St. Maximilian tells us,

“In the Holy Ghost’s union with her, not only does Love join these two beings, but the first of the two (the Holy Ghost) is the entire Love of the Holy Trinity, while the second (Mary) is the entire love of creation; and thus in this union of heaven with all of earth, all uncreated love with created love; it is the summit of love.”

Fr. Stehlin notes, “The true foundation of the spiritual life consists precisely of this: entirely from God, entirely in God, and entirely to God! Now the Immaculata can convey this foundation to her children. In the words of St. Maximilian: “When God spoke about Himself, He said to Moses, ‘I am Who am.’ That is, it belongs to My essence that I always have My being from Myself, without beginning. In contrast, the Immaculate Virgin has her beginning in God, is a creation, is a conception. Nevertheless, she is the Immaculate Conception.”

Thus, to the extent that we devote ourselves to her, she forms in us that magnificent foundation that God formed in her, for we are her children, after all. Fr. Stehlin refers to her work in us as “an unceasing declaration of war against the consequences of original sin.” Now, as we proceed along this path with Our Immaculate Mother as guide, she calls to our attention how greatly we have allowed the toxins of the secular world, and even the poisons of the modernist church to affect us, how often we have been guided in our actions by our wounded human nature, and the traces of self-love in our thoughts, words and deeds.  We are then faced with the bitter, frustrating but very necessary battle over principles.

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