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To Mary, Temple of the Trinity, 2017

The time of this Novena has been an especially painful one for me as I have watched in increasing perplexity the unfolding drama of the “regularization” dialogue with apostate Rome. Our Heavenly Father, in His wisdom, in place of a brilliant mind, gave me instead a heart filled with love for Him. With my limitations, this situation presents itself to me in very simple, clear terms:

Does Pope Francis, in any way, show us his love of, reverence for, Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Church he founded? Does he show us, teach us his flock, love for, reverence for, Our Lord’s Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary?

If Pope Francis does not, then he is no friend, no follower of Jesus Christ, our Savior and the true Head of the One True Church founded by Him.  If therefore, Pope Francis is no friend of Our Lord Jesus Christ, why is Bishop Fellay associating himself with him? We are not to associate ourselves with those who betray Christ, are we? 

In my pain, I tend to forget, and so I remind myself, and you too, that when we have prayed so profoundly to Our Most Blessed Mother, we must then let go of our burden and trust in her love for us, her children. For it would be an insult to her to continue to be in anguish once we have entrusted our cares to her. And so, let us end our Novena of the Annunciation with this meditative poem celebrating the grandeur of the Word made flesh, that dwells among us and comes to us daily through the consecrated hands of our beloved priests.

†  †  †

Today, the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation, we conclude our Novena. And again we offer the popular poem for the Annunciation shared with us by Peregrine, a reader/contributor.

“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

 

                 Annunciation

Hail Mary, Temple of the Trinity!

        Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,

Art thou astonished at His deference?

Fear not, for thou hast found grace with God.
             Thou shalt conceive … and bring forth a Son
                               Thou shalt call His name Jesus.

How shall it be?
          (Mindful of thy chastity)

And yet . . . it is thy purity draws Him down
Captivated by thy pure and humble love
                Thy Creator awaits at the door of thy will,

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee
          . . .  the most High shall overshadow thee . . .
                        the Holy born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

His will is clear
          . . . moved by His will alone . . .

Behold the handmaid of the Lord
Be it done unto me…

The Architect of earth and heaven
                    Thus closed Himself in thy pure frame.
At thy “fiat” the Almighty Word
               leapt down from heaven
                              The Sword of Truth wrought death to death,
Obedient, He vanquished disobedient pride.

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,

peregrine, March 25, 2004

Let us hold fast to the truth: we are her children after all!

  Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, crush satan’s head and drive him from the Church!

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

  St. Joseph, protect our families, protect our priests!

  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

  Pray the Rosary and confound the devil and those who serve him!

~ posted by evensong with love the Sorrowful and 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!

Please note: This post, and the poem, are property of peregrine, a friend of Fatima. Please respect her wishes and do not copy her work elsewhere without permission. Thank you.

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St. Pilate and the Man

Pilate is the Patron Saint of these weak and modernist Bishops and Cardinals, the “Excellencies” and “Eminences” so mindful of their vain titles …

Behold, the Man

From the Passion Narratives of Saints Matthew and John:

From Matt. 27, 16-25: 

And (Pilate) had then a notorious prisoner, that was called Barabbas. They therefore being gathered together, Pilate said: “Whom will you that I release to you, Barabbas, or Jesus that is called Christ?”  For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.  And as he was sitting in the place of judgment, his wife sent to him, saying: “Have thou nothing to do with that just man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of Him.”  But the chief priests and ancients persuaded the people, that they should ask for Barabbas, and take Jesus away.

And the governor answering, said to them: “Whether will you of the two to be released unto you?” But they said, “Barabbas”.  Pilate saith to them: “What shall I do then with Jesus that is called Christ?” They say all: “Let Him be crucified”. The governor said to them: “Why, what evil hath He done?” But they cried out the more, saying: “Let Him be crucified”. And Pilate seeing that he prevailed nothing, but that rather a tumult was made; taking water washed his hands before the people, saying: “I am innocent of the blood of this just man; look you to it”.  And the whole people answering, said: “His blood be upon us and our children”.

From John 19, 4-16:

Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith to them: “Behold, I bring Him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in Him”. Jesus therefore came forth, bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment. And he saith to them: “Behold the Man.”

When the chief priests, therefore, and the servants, had seen Him, they cried out, saying: “Crucify Him, crucify Him. Pilate saith to them: “Take Him you, and crucify Him: for I find no cause in Him.”

The Jews answered him:  “We have a law; and according to the law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” When Pilate therefore had heard this saying, he feared the more.

And he entered into the hall again, and he said to Jesus: “Whence art Thou?” But Jesus gave him no answer.  Pilate therefore saith to Him: “Speakest Thou not to me? Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and I have power to release Thee?”

Jesus answered: “Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin. And from henceforth Pilate sought to release Him.

But the Jews cried out, saying:  “If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar’ s friend. For whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar.” Now when Pilate had heard these words, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha.

And it was the parasceve of the pasch, about the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews:  “Behold your king.” But they cried out:  “Away with Him; away with Him; crucify Him.” Pilate saith to them:  “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered:  “We have no king but Caesar.”

Then therefore he delivered Him to them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led Him forth.

As we read the Passion narrative above, we cannot help but wonder at Pilate, who after having concluded that Jesus was innocent, and even after having been warned by his wife, yet still handed Jesus over to his most brutal thugs to be tortured almost to death, spit upon and slapped around with a diabolical hatred. As we re-read it, a few insights emerge into Pilate’s nature: ambitious, cynical and even superstitious; actually, the quintessential “progressive” functionary of the Church today. Pilate makes a show of washing his hands of the “blood of this just man”, but is not able to free himself from the blood of our Savior.

Father Groenings writes,  “These words of Pilate contain a fearful self-condemnation. How could he, as a just judge be swayed by human motives against his own better knowledge and allow such an excessive wrong to be done to an innocent man?”

Although many writers imply that Pilate was a merciful man,  I demur, thinking of Pilate’s ironic remark, “What is truth”, even as he turned away from Truth Himself, and refused to look Him in the eye or grant Him the dignity of hearing His reply. Pilate was acutely aware of his own power:  As Jesus stood before him, beaten and bound with chains, Pilate arrogantly reminded Him that, “I have power to crucify Thee, and I have power to release Thee”.
The passage calls to mind the humble words of the current occupant of the See of Peter at the close of the disastrous Synod, when he proclaimed that he is,  ” – by the will of Christ Himself – the ‘supreme Pastor and Teacher of all the faithful’ (who enjoys) “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church”.

But who is Pilate today?

The easy answer is Bergoglio, but I believe that we see Pilate in every craven prelate who values his career more than the souls he shepherds; in every Bishop who artfully evades taking a stand against this brutal violence being done to the Church, the pure and holy Bride of Christ.
Continue reading “St. Pilate and the Man”

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Crowning the King of Martyrs

Then the soldiers of the governor taking Jesus into the hall, gathered together unto Him the whole band; And stripping Him, they put a scarlet cloak about him. And platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head, and a reed in His right hand. And bowing the knee before Him, they mocked Him, saying: Hail, king of the Jews.  And spitting upon Him, they took the reed, and struck His head.  And bowing their knees, they adored Him.

Behold the Man, your King!

Even the pagan soldiers knew that a King must be invested with the symbols of his royalty, that is, draped with a royal mantle, crowned, and finally, given a scepter as a sign of his power and rule. And so the soldiers obliged this strange King, who had said “but now My kingdom is not from hence”. And so, what royal insignia might they find fitting?

The soldiers soon found a discarded scarlet rag of large enough size and after first ripping off His outer garment, they draped His now freshly bleeding shoulders in this dirty mockery of a robe. As we think on the vivid symbolism in this scene compare it to our Pontiff’s words and actions – what homage does he offer to the King of Kings? A royal robe?

Now, the Roman soldiers clearly understood the necessity of the Crowning, for their gods were always crowned, Apollo with laurel, Bacchus with grape vines, Jupiter with gold. And so a crown fit for this King must be found.

And the Jews too, understood that their high priest wore a tiara when he offered the sacrifice. And did not their bridegroom according to their custom, wear a diadem at his wedding?

And we who watch this scene, we also recall that in those days a conqueror was often crowned to celebrate his victory; how much more so then, this King who by His death and resurrection will conquer sin and death!

What crown for this Son of Man, who told Pilate, “Thou sayest that I am a King.”

What crown for this Priest, who sacrifices His own Body and Blood for the salvation of those He loves.

What crown for this Divine Bridegroom, about to redeem His Bride with His own Blood, giving His life for her that she may live.

Father Groenings tells us that no other mantle was befitting for the Redeemer of the world. He was the picture of the world’s sins, which were red as scarlet, but through Him were to become white as snow. The mantle should be red as a sign that His kingdom, founded in blood, was to be spread by means of blood, that is, by the blood of the apostles and of the martyrs. It was ragged and torn in token that, in imitation of Christ, His ministers would redeem the souls of men and subject them to Christ, not by means of gold and silver, but through the hardships of poverty.

Ed. comment: Today, I would add that the Lavender Mafia headed by Pope Francis has given a new meaning to the foul and ragged mantle with which the pagan soldiers humiliated our Lord Jesus Christ. For they have befouled His Church and humiliated this lovely Bride of Christ as never before in history. See here for a Lifesite News article on one example of Pope Francis’s choice of prelates. There are many others. Thus, the pope makes a mockery of the true King of Kings!

Continue reading “Crowning the King of Martyrs”

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Lent 2017 – Nisi solum Jesum

Lent should be an especially fruitful season for us who are blessed to attend the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in His Mystical Body, the Church. The Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent is from St. Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration. In it, Jesus took Peter, James and John up on Mount Tabor and revealed to them the very slightest bit of His infinite glory for a few brief moments in order to confirm their faith; knowing as He did, that the events of His passion were to shake their faith utterly.

Nisi solum Jesum

“His face did shine as the sun and His garments became white as snow.” (Matthew 17, 2) In this vision the Apostles saw Moses and Elias speaking with Jesus. St. Luke tells us that, “they spoke of His decease that He should accomplish in Jerusalem”. (Luke 9, 31) By placing the Transfiguration narrative in this timeframe, the Church wishes to illustrate the close connection between the Transfiguration and the Passion and Death of Jesus. By revealing this brief glimpse of His glory, Jesus was showing His Apostles that it was impossible for Him as well as for them to reach the full glory of the Resurrection without passing through suffering. After the Resurrection, He would confirm that lesson as He met them at Emmaus, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and so to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24, 26).

Peter, ever the impetuous one, became so caught up in the rapture of the moment, that he cried out, “It is good for us to be here!”. And then he offered to make three tabernacles, one each for Jesus, Moses and Elias, but as he was speaking the Lord God interrupted him peremptorily, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye Him!”

There is much to learn from this gospel. Peter was understandably impressed with the splendor of the moment and strongly desired to remain right there, in such a spiritually satisfying place. But that would have been to miss the whole point of it, which was to prepare them for the immense scandal of the Passion, the terrible spectacle of their Master humbled even to the lowest imaginable specter of a common criminal, mocked and spit upon, stripped of all dignity and nailed to a cross to die in ignominy.

And so, God by His reply told Peter in no uncertain terms to listen to Jesus and follow Him. if Peter was to lead the Church, he must learn to follow Christ all the way to Golgotha, up to the place of the skull. In time, he must even follow Him to his own crucifixion. Father Gabriel in his meditations on the Transfiguration assures us, “God does not console us for our entertainment but rather for our encouragement, for our strengthening, for the increase in our generosity in suffering for love of Him.” (Divine Intimacy, TAN)

Abruptly, the glorious vision ended, “And they lifting up their eyes saw no one but only Jesus.” In the Vulgate, “Levantes autem oculos suos, neminem viderunt, nisi solum Jesum.” (Matthew 17, 8). Nisi solum Jesum, with Jesus alone, they came down from the mountain. Nisi solum Jesum, Jesus alone is sufficient for us. Everything else, even friends, family, encouragement, approval, may be stripped away; yet Jesus alone remains. If He in His wisdom withdraws all else, yet He abides with us, even when we “know Him not”. And we must affirm this, even though He choose for us to follow Him through His suffering, being faithful even unto the awful moment when we cry out in our soul’s desolation, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”

Not as the world gives, does Jesus give. When it seems to the soul that He has withdrawn His love, withdrawn all consolation, it is only so that we follow Him with love and absolute trust as He endures the darkness of His Passion in order that He may bring about the glory of His true and lasting Transfiguration and share His glory with us eternally. This is as true for the Church as it is for us personally.

Just as the Transfiguration was only a momentary glimpse of His glory, so too the passion and death of Our Lord are destined to pass and yield to His glorious Resurrection. Let us keep our perspective then, even in these chaotic times, and abide “with Jesus alone”, accepting all that is given to us from His wounded hands, trusting in Jesus alone.

  Queen of the most Holy Rosary, hasten the triumph of thine Immaculate Heart through the consecration of Russia.

  Most Precious Blood of Jesus, save us, save our priests.

  St. Joseph, Protector of the Church, protect our priests!

  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculata ~

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, give me strength against thine enemies!

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Obedience, the Rosary and the Passion of the Church

Rediscovering Obedience

“He was wounded for our iniquities … bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His bruises we are healed.”

Among the many things to love about the rosary, is the way the various mysteries interconnect and thereby reinforce and enrich each other. In general, the Joyful Mysteries emphasize the virtue of obedience. This obedience is reinforced by the Sorrowful Mysteries. Mary’s “Be it done unto me according to thy word”, in the Annunciation is echoed by Christ’s, “Yet not My will, but Thine be done.” in the Agony in the Garden. And then the Glorious Mysteries reveal the joyful glory of our heavenly reward, which follows this obedience and is eternal!

St. Augustine tells us, “And thus also it was that the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith” (Apology, Book II, Chapter XII).

Regarding obedience, St. John Bosco was given a horrible vision of Hell in which his guide told him that the most serious sin causing people to be damned in Hell is the sin of disobedience. He explained that while pride is the root of sin, its practical application is disobedience, in other words, prideful disobedience causes the most people to fall from grace and be doomed to Hell. And so  between St. Augustine and St. John Bosco, we see that a key to disobedience is the refusal of faith. Had Eve accepted the virtue of faith offered to her, she would not have disobeyed. There is a lesson here for disobedient prelates, but I digress…

St. John tells us in his First Epistle, Chapter Two, “For all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the will of God, abideth for ever.” Now, it has always been the teaching of the Church, from the earliest times that the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty and obedience counteract these sins.

Although these counsels are vowed by those in the consecrated life, we of the lay faithful are urged to practice them according to our state. The lust of the flesh can thereby be counteracted by modesty and faithfulness to one’s spouse, the lust of the eyes, that is greed and consumerism can be counteracted by moderation, humility and self-denial such as fasting and abstaining. But it is with our obedience, which defeats pride, that we progress the best, no matter our state in life. The very best teacher of obedience is Mary, Our Mother.

Continue reading “Obedience, the Rosary and the Passion of the Church”

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Words, just words

PART I

The Words of the Virgin

Let’s return for a moment to the words of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima. We’ll let this post be the start and reference for a discussion about what Our Lady actually said and meant at Fatima one hundred years ago. Today, not much comment, just the words Our Lady of the Rosary used in imparting her message one hundred years ago.

May 13, 1917

Our Lady to the three shepherd children, “Do not fear! I will do you no harm.”   Then, in reply to Lucia’s question: I am of Heaven.” Thus she recalls to us her prerogative as The Immaculate Conception, by which she is uniquely privileged to claim, “I am of Heaven“.

To Lucia’s question, Shall I go to Heaven too? “Yes, you will.” And Jacinta? “She will go also.” And Francisco? “He will go too, but he must say many rosaries.”

Lucia then asked if  two young girls she knew who had died recently had gone to heaven. The beautiful Lady answered of the first girl, Maria das Neves, Yes, she is.” But of the second, known to us only as Amelia, the Lady said, “She shall be in purgatory until the end of the world.”  [We will address this issue later.]

To Lucia’s inquiry, “What does Your Grace want of me?” The Lady replied,

“I have come to ask you to come here for six months in succession, on the 13th day, at this same hour. Later on, I will tell you who I am and what I want. Afterwards, I will return here yet a seventh time.”

“Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners?”

Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia answered, “Yes, we are willing!” Our Lady then told them, “Then you are going to have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.”

Lucia tells us that as Our Lady said those last words, she spread her hands communicating to us … a light so intense … its rays penetrated our hearts and the innermost depths of our souls making us see ourselves in God, Who was that Light.” The children then, moved by an inner impulse, knelt down and prayed, “O Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee!. My God, my God, I love Thee in the most Blessed Sacrament!”

The Lady then said, “Pray the Rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world, and the end of the war.”

 June 13, 1917

Lucia asked as she did the first time, “What does Your Grace want of me?”  The Lady replied,

“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.”

When Lucia asked her about curing a sick person, Our Lady answered, “If he is converted, he will be cured during the year.”

Lucia then bravely said, “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.”

“Am I to stay here alone?”

“No, my daughter. Are you suffering a great deal? Don’t lose heart. I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the path that leads you to God.”

Lucia explains that as Our Lady said this, she once again communicated that immense Light to them. Jacinta and Francisco were in the portion which went up to Heaven and Lucia remained in the portion spread out on earth. But this time, Our Lady extended her right hand and in front of her palm was a heart encircled by thorns which pierced it. In Lucia’s words, “We understood that this was the Immaculate Heart of Mary outraged by the sins of humanity and seeking reparation.”

Continue reading “Words, just words”

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In the Garden of Olives, a Prayer

“My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” (Matt. 26, 39)

“My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

Today, we will look at Our Lord’s Prayer in the Garden of Olives on that sad and beautiful night which began His Passion and saving death for us. Our basis for this is Father Groenings’ classic, “The Passion of Jesus and Its Hidden Meaning”, from TAN Books. It is available in Kindle and paperback.

As He left the Upper Room, Jesus led His disciples in a Passover hymn, the only time the scriptures record that He sang. When they reached the Garden of Gethsemani, He cautioned the disciples to “Watch, lest ye enter into temptation”. Taking Peter, James and John, He went a bit further and told them, “My soul is sorrowful even unto death. Stay you here and watch.” Going forward, He fell on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me. nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”

Twice, Jesus interrupted this prayer to return to His apostles, and after each disappointment, returned to this same prayer, “not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”  Luke then tells us, “And there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony, He prayed the longer. And His sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground.”

This passage of the Gospel is one of the richest troves of wisdom for meditation available to us, particularly for times of severest trial and at the hour of death. By working on this now, we prepare ourselves for these inevitable times to come. The first and most obvious thing we all notice is that Jesus is alone in His agony, His closest friends are sleeping, unaware of His great agony of spirit nor even noticing His precious blood being shed.

Think on this. Christ prayed while they slept, unaware of the danger. We too, arise at night and pray for our sleeping brethren, who close their eyes to the danger and sleep on, oblivious. But we who know, must arise and pray with Jesus, our Lord and God. Father Groenings tells us that, “in a family, a single member who knows how to pray well, is often the greatest blessing of the rest. But if those must pray who are among the sleeping, how much more those who are among the dead, i.e., among sinners.” Yes, exactly!

Finally, Christ prayed while His enemies were banding together to take Him prisoner and deliver Him to death on the Cross. In this instance, we are shown the wisdom of Christ, His lesson for us especially at this time. His enemies were uniting in one satanic focus, to destroy Him. His response was to pray! Thus, Our Lord Jesus Christ shows us by His eloquent example that prayer is the primary, the essential weapon when we are attacked or when the Church is attacked by the dark powers of this world. The attack came from within – Judas – and from without – the synagogue of satan. Just as today. Just as today. These things never change. And prayer is the weapon given to us by Our Savior Himself. Without prayer, our other actions cannot succeed.

Continue reading “In the Garden of Olives, a Prayer”