cropped-Fear-in-Rome.jpg

The Annunciation, 2017

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, in which Our Lord introduces to us His Mother, and shows us her loveliness, her excellent virtues and her unique stature before the Holy Trinity. Thus, He shows us the model for our lives; “Here is My Mother”, He says, “see, we shall have the same Mother. She will teach you the virtues necessary to advance toward union with Me, so that we may rejoice together in heaven.”

Nestled within the feast of the Annunciation is the feast of the Incarnation of our Savior. The Annunciation carries within it the humility and obedience of Jesus and Mary, Who are our models for perfect, loving obedience, even unto death. And this obedience begins with the humble obedience of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.

“Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.”

In the Gospel of St Luke, the Holy Spirit reveals the unique importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary in God’s plan of Salvation for us. Let’s see what He tells us:

Luke, Chapter 1, 26-35. “And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.

Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of His kingdom there shall be no end.” And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?” And the angel answering, said to her: “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.”

In this Gospel, God Himself is introducing to us the delightful creature He loves above all others, this Mary whom He chose from all time to be the most pure and holy Mother of His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. God used as His messenger the Angel Gabriel whose name means Power of God. By this name He emphasizes that all of this, the Annunciation, the Incarnation which began our salvation, all of this is by and through the power of God.

And what does God tell us about Mary? Gabriel salutes Mary most respectfully, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women”. You can search the Bible cover to cover and never find a more respectful message from any angelic messenger. This is because, as the Gospel tells us, Mary is truly filled with grace, exempt from even original sin, and full of God’s sanctifying grace.

Note that the very first words of Mary, recorded in this Gospel are, How shall this be done, because I know not man?”  Why these words? Could it be that God wishes to emphasize to us the importance of Mary’s generous sacrifice to live her life in the utmost chastity and purity, foregoing the honors and pleasures of children? At that time, Jewish women were honored to be mothers of many children and to forego children was a tremendous sacrifice. Unlike today, in those times to be a “barren woman” was a reproach. Thus we know that Mary’s generous and sacrificial heart was most pleasing to Our Father. Her words also exemplify her great prudence. Today, prudence is a virtue held in low esteem by most Catholic leaders, who feel compelled to burst forth with every banal thought that crosses their minds. This Blessed Virgin, in contrast, first assured that Gabriel understood that she was and always will be, a virgin consecrated to God alone.

Whereas Eve, the first “Woman”, withdrew herself from her Creator in order to seek what she perceived to be her own good, Mary, the “Woman” of the New Testament, yielded herself totally to God, allowing Him to fill her with His life, thus she is “full of grace”. The virtues shown by these simple verses illustrate Mary’s perfect love of God, her total consecration to Him, her purity and her perseverance in keeping her vow.

Mary’s prudent question brought forth Gabriel’s reply, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which will be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Mary’s response was immediate, “Behold the Handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word.” With these words, the Most Blessed Virgin shows us humility and obedience, the two virtues so essential to combat the vices passed on to us of Eve’s pride and disobedience. In another post, I described these virtues as the “working virtues” because they are so necessary in our everyday struggle to live our lives in constant union with the Holy Family.

Sister Lucia of Fatima assures us that Jesus is the very best of Sons, and loves her and those who honor her. Today is an excellent time to renew our Total Consecration to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By the way, do you know who made the first consecration to Mary? Was it St. Louis de Montfort? St. Dominic? No. Think harder.

Give up?

It was our Lord Jesus Christ Himself Who chose Mary for His Mother. From this humble virgin of Nazareth He took the flesh and blood of His mortal life, the very body and blood with which He wrought our salvation. The body of Christ scourged for our sins, pierced for our transgressions, the precious blood poured out for us on Calvary’s cross, He took from Mary. To her He entrusted His earthly life, living within her virginal womb, beneath her immaculate heart. Through her, He consecrated St. John the Baptist; through her He performed His first miracle.  And with His dying words, He entrusted us to her, commanding Her to be our Mother and us to be her children.

It is fitting that the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary begins with the beautiful Mystery of the Annunciation, for with it began our salvation. Mary’s generous “Yes!”, opened the portal through which Our Lord wrought our salvation. Thus, her obedience preceded His most perfect obedience. And so, the Annunciation and the Incarnation are inseparable, as are Jesus and Mary, those two hearts forever united!

We close with this lovely hymn:

Hymn at Matins
The Lord whom earth and sea and sky
With one adoring voice proclaim
Who rules them all in majesty
Enclosed Himself in Mary’s frame.

Lo! In a humble Virgin’s womb
O’ershadowed by almighty power
He whom the stars and sun and moon
Each serve in their appointed hour.

O Mother blest! To whom was given
Within your body to contain
The architect of earth and heaven
Whose hands the universe sustain.

To thee was sent an angel down,
In thee the Spirit was enshrined,
Of thee was born that mighty One,
The long desired of all mankind.

O Jesus! Born of Virgin bright
To Thee immortal glory be!
Praise to the Father Infinite,
And Holy Ghost eternally!
Amen.

Please, don’t forget your Consecration! See in sidebar.

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

 

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.

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

cropped-Fear-in-Rome.jpg

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”

cropped-Fear-in-Rome.jpg

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”

cropped-Fear-in-Rome.jpg

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”

cropped-Fear-in-Rome.jpg

Cold Comfort in the Time of Dry Wood

Comfort?

A reader remarked to me recently that he finds little comfort today, and that it seems to be most lacking in the Church. As we commiserated over the situation, I recalled a post from long ago, “Cold Comfort at Calvary”. I looked up it up, it was from Fall, 2014 when we were all stunned nearly speechless under the blows of this Most Merciful® Pope and reread:

“There is simply no way that this can be happening if the Pope and his Prelates practiced the Faith. If they prayed the Rosary daily as Our Lady asked, even only a 5 decade rosary, … It is impossible to pray those mysteries and not grow in the love of Jesus, impossible not to grasp His suffering at our sins, especially at our indifference to His sweet and merciful love for us. It is impossible to avoid feeling a deep contrition for our sins and a deep commitment to reforming our lives and making reparation for our sins and the sins of others. …

All of this miserable mess of Pope Francis’ making could have been averted had only Our Lady of Fatima’s commands been heeded. And this will not end until we do, one way or another, learn to obey and turn from our complacency to repentance.”

Reality?

What we were only just discovering in 2014 has by 2017 become a dreary litany of sleazy tributes to fornicators, adulterers, sodomites, abortionists, terrorists and heretics. This man who picks his nose in public, speaks of coprophagia, and never misses an opportunity to attack faithful Catholics has no discernible faith. What shall we do? We do as all true Catholics have always done. Hold fast the faith, and now, at this time, we look to the Immaculata, the Woman who stands unwavering at the foot of His Cross.

Knowing our weakness, we turn to her for comfort, for strength. Where do we seek her? According to many devout Catholics today, she is to be found in a plethora of devotions, many of them innocuous in themselves, but all of them distracting from this Woman who came to call us to her, to take comfort in the strength of her perfect purity, unflinching obedience, unfailing love.  Today, she walks the bloody stones of Calvary’s path, never taking her eyes off Him, except to gaze pleadingly at her children, “Come, abide with Us, here is true mercy. This is what mercy really looks like. Come, be still, and know.”

Crucify Him! His blood be upon us!

Dry Wood

And so, we see Him; He struggles painfully to regain His footing. See He has fallen again. The women weep and watch. His blood-dimmed eyes meet theirs; He says,

“Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains: Fall upon us; and to the hills: Cover us. For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry?” (Luke 23, 28-31)

Indeed, what shall be done in this time of utterly dead, dry wood? We look to the Apocalypse, when the stars fall from heaven and the winter figs are shaken from the tree, “they say to the mountains and the rocks: Fall upon us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits upon the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of their wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?” (Apoc. 6)

Where are we to seek comfort at this time, the time of the dry wood? There is no other place – although He falls, and we fall with Him, we must be here, now, in this place, struggling to stand with this cross. At times, we must first regain our footing by kneeling. It is in the Rosary that we draw strength from the Immaculate. The entire grace, strength and life of the most Holy Trinity pours forth from her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, through this Rosary. Here. Now. We are so blessed to realize we have no words, we are mute in this roaring silence that ‘whelms us over, washes us in this most pure and perfect tide. “Full of grace … the Lord … with thee  … blessed art thou … blessed is the fruit …. Jesus … pray for us …. death “.

Death and Life

Here is Death. A death like no other. We thought we knew life, thought we knew death. Yet in this profound Death, Life pours forth. As Eve was born from Adam’s side, the bride of Christ is born from the opening in Love’s side. And Love begets Love. He Who gives His Life for His Bride is begetting Her anew., even as it appears to the world that They both have been vanquished at last. For, “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

We are here, witnesses to the the sacrilege, witnesses to the outrage. Witnesses to the Love which surpasses all others. We will not turn aside.

Abide in His love. Return to Fatima.

Please, pray the Rosary and confound Satan and all who serve him!

~ by evensong at returntofatima.org for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

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

cropped-Fear-in-Rome.jpg

Grace has fled

Grace has fled from the Church and from the world. In his prophetic book, “The Vatican”, Father Malachi Martin tells us through his protagonist, Cardinal Lansing:

“Grace is the first fruit of the Spirit (that) Christ sent into the world. If grace has fled, it is because we have made its bearer unwelcome. Now, like John of the Cross, we must work in our very souls to make it welcome again – not as a visitor merely, but as chief resident in this Church. … Most of all, We must pray. And we must do penance. And then pray some more. And do still more penance. … Unless  we do that, then in all our strategies and plans to outwit our enemies we will be just as they are. And if that happens, there will be no reasons any longer to fight them. They will have won, no matter who ends up with the power.”

In “The Vatican”, under the guise of fiction, Fr. Martin reveals to us the way that the secret societies behind international banking gained control over the Church and nearly brought her to destruction.  The hero, Father Richard “Rico” Lansing, eventually becomes Cardinal, then in a dramatic turn of events, he is nominated for the papacy. He explains the “Bargain” which allows international freemasonry (described as the “International Assembly”) to control the Vatican finances.

Speaking to the Cardinals in conclave, Cardinal Lansing says,

“Our struggle is and always has been over one thing: power. Not the power of classes. Not ecclesiastical or social or political power. But the very same power St. Paul singled out at the very beginning of Rome’s history. The power of one brilliant fallen Archangel and his hordes. The power of darkness.

“And as that Apostle pointed out, our struggle with that power can be waged only with the weapons given to us by Christ, whose servants we are. Moral power is ours. Spiritual power is ours. That is all. And that is enough.” Lansing then reviewed the papacies of the past five popes of his time, fictional counterparts of Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II. He continued,

“Marking the pontificates of each of those men was one fatal error, the use of their spiritual office to obtain leverage in the political, and diplomatic, and civic, and cultural worlds; and then using that leverage instead of the spiritual power and moral authority that was uniquely theirs.”

“And here, Your Eminences, we are at the root cause of our pain, our struggle, and our own deathly peril: our failure and the failure of our popes, to use the Church’s spiritual power to exercise its moral authority.”

Father Martin, through the character Cardinal Lansing then makes the point that eleven pontiffs were given the Bargain to sign and all did so. “Each of these pontiffs mortgaged the power of Christ’s Church to the power of Mammon.”  …

“This Bargain is about power. … Under the Holy Spirit of Christ, you are here to decide only one thing: on whom that same Spirit should confer that plenitude of divine power which Christ conferred on Peter the Apostle, and has conferred on all of Peter’s successors in this diocese of Rome. Power to forgive. Power to obligate. Power to teach. Power to decide the right and the wrong of all human affairs. Power for the peace of God. Power to war on God’s enemies. Power despite weakness. Power in the absence of holiness.”

“If any one of our popes, if any of us, or those who came before us, had used our power, Christ’s power in us, with half the zeal and dedication as the Assembly had used its power, the entire history of the Church and the world in the twentieth century would have been different. … Once and for all, then, let us refuse to … strike yet another bargain … with the world. A bargain by which we obligate ourselves to make the Church as like as possible to the world around it. … Because in this whole cosmos there can be no bargain, even a temporary one, between God and Mammon, … between God’s Church and God’s enemies.”

Continue reading “Grace has fled”

cropped-Fear-in-Rome.jpg

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

“He told me that this Heart was to be honored under the form of a heart of flesh, the picture of which He wished to be exposed and worn by me on my heart, in order to impress its love upon my heart, and fill it with all the gifts with which His Heart is full …”

In honor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque on this, her feast day, we present a few excerpts from a delightful collection of essays by the late Solange Strong Hertz. It is available in Kindle Edition, and titled: “The Thought of Their Heart, on Devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Holy Rosary.

"I will reveal My love to them more and more."
“I will reveal My love to them more and more.”

The Open Heart

by Solange Strong Hertz

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 “St. Margaret Mary Alacoque”