Essential Things, 2017

The following is an updated  repost of an earlier article. The issue it addresses continues to arise…

Today, we’ll take time out to answer some questions that come up frequently.  I’ve been taking quite a bit of time trying to answer these individually, but perhaps doing it as a blog entry will be more effective.

Let’s consider two versions of the question: One form: How can we know what we are to believe of the documents of the post-conciliar popes?

Put another way: What are we to do when a (Post- Vatican II) magisterial document contradicts other current or previous teachings and one does not have any more authoritative weight than the other?

When that question comes to me, the inquirer sometimes refers to an article from another blog to illustrate their perplexity. At times, the examples have been long, thoroughly researched and documented scholarly works citing numerous Canon laws, and quoting extensively from illustrious Church Fathers. Impressive. I am not in any way qualified to jump in on that level. I must add that neither are most of the current self-appointed “experts” qualified to pontificate as they do, but that fact does not even slow them down, does it?

Our Lady used me like a broom, and then she put me back.

 

But here’s something to think about, if you have the time and patience to stay with me a bit. Let’s consider a moment the greatest saints God gave us in the century or so prior to the time of Vatican II. For God is a loving Father and He provides for us according to our needs. Consider for a moment: St. Therese the Little Flower, St Padre Pio, St. Bernadette Soubirous, Saints Jacinta, Francisco and Lúcia of Fatima and St. Maximilian Kolbe.

God alone, God before all else, above all else, beyond all else. Nisi Solum Jesum.

What is God’s intention in giving us these glorious souls to emulate? Were they learned theologians? Respected professors? Great intellectual giants of their time? What was the one, overwhelming quality they all shared? I believe the quality they all exhibited is:  A simple, obedient faith, a generous, sacrificial heart. Those qualities are found together.

Each of these souls flew straight up to God in Heaven on the wings of a clear, simple faith. Each was totally consumed and driven by their single-minded desire: God alone, God before all else, above all else, beyond all else. Nisi Solum Jesum.

Even St. Maximilian Kolbe, who was the most educated and used modern means of communication in order to advance Marian devotion, maintained a simple, childlike devotion to Our Lady and often advised his priests of the need to be Mary’s children, slaves of love to her, and cautioned against much questioning and analyzing.In several of his talks, he referred tenderly to Our Lady as “Mamusia”, that is, “Mama”. That tender love of a son for his Mother permeated and motivated every thought, word and action of his! Thus, his message was essentially the same as St. Therese or St. Pio, or for that matter, Sister Lúcia.

By their words and their example, these saints showed us the way through these confusing days, when intellects are darkened by sin and perversions of doctrine. Our culture makes us think we need to constantly surf for the latest “news” and we oftentimes get overwhelmed by the surfeit of information, much of which is contradictory or simply misleading.

How to simplify? I suggest two things.

  1. Bear in mind that nowhere is it indicated that you must be a theologian. Neither your state in life, nor the salvation of your soul hinges on parsing Pope Francis’ “Amoris laetitia”  or his other insults to the doctrine of the faith. The reason this is so is that the doctrine of the faith cannot change. The truths of the faith are not in dispute here. Anything this pope or that prelate says contrary to what the Church has always clearly taught is simply beside the point. That being the case, there is not really any pressing need to read them. You know your faith. It’s simple. Keep it simple. Keep it Catholic. Pray and trust the rest to God.
  2. The second is make all that you do, every day, every moment, be for the glory of God, the honor of Mary and the salvation of souls, first your own and then every single one entrusted to you. Before you go online, be sure of your goal, your task at hand. If your actions are not serving Jesus, you must ask yourself, are they perhaps feeding idle curiosity, or even worse, a taste for gossip? We do not have a moment to waste! Right here and now, we have to make use of our time to save every single soul we can.

Since it is impossible to explain anything in a way that cannot be disputed by another, I can hear the responses. “But, but, but, what if others ask me questions about the faith that I am unable to answer? Don’t I need to know these points of faith to be able to explain them, to defend it?” I then ask, who expects this of you? Does God have this unrealistic expectation that you should know how to defend and explain complex theological issues which are still being debated by qualified people today?

You ask me, “Well, how do you handle it?” My response: When Our Lord sends me someone seeking to return to the faith, I listen to them prayerfully and then offer what I have. I am very blessed in that people instinctively know not to expect great intelligence nor any sophistication at all from me. (Perhaps it is the bovine look of complacency on my plain face) But I try to help them spiritually with the rosary, scapular and helpful books and so on. If they are drawn by Our Lady, they will take it from there.

Sometimes, the person is not satisfied with anything I can offer, and at that point, I do not try to give them what is beyond my ability. I offer to put them in touch with a good, holy priest. Notice I said holy. That is so much more important than the so-called knowledge. And I can still pray and offer up for them.

Sometimes, however, the inquirer then turns from asking my advice to,  “But, if you took your own advice, you would not have a blog.”  My response is simply that we must all do the best we can with the task we are given, and that is all we can do. I do what is put before me as prayerfully as possible. Perhaps I fail at some or even all, but succeeding or failing is not my concern.

“There is only the fight to recover what has been lost.
And found and lost again and again: and now under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.”
T.S.E., East Coker.

Dear readers, I have included this example of a common question/answer session in hopes it will

1) answer a frequently asked type of question and

2)  encourage you to ask questions if needed. As you can see, I only ever have one answer, and it is simply, Go to Jesus by way of Mary. I know nothing, but that’s a good thing, because she knows the way!

Since this was first written, one more thing needs to be noted. I believe that my primary duty is to offer prayer and reparation for all of us, those who seek to serve Our Lord and those who seek to serve the ancient enemy. For we are called right now, at this time above all other times, to pray and sacrifice for sinners. Maintaining this blog is a very small part of what I do.  My job is to love you, to sacrifice and pray for you all. If this blog is a hindrance to that, it is no longer essential.  If it does matter to you, please take the time to kneel and pray, begging Our Lady to show you how to help comfort Our Lord and save sinners.

For He suffers so greatly today at the hands of those who have the most reason to love Him, but will not. And you must know that sinners, – especially those who are most despicable! – those, most of all, need your prayers, need your reparation.

It is regrettable that my remarks on this little blog have been taken as spiritual direction by some readers. My intention was only to offer commentary on current events in the Church in the light of the Message of Fatima and other approved prophecies of the Church. I try to answer all questions submitted by email (or at times by phone and in person) to the best of my ability, but I am not in any way qualified to offer spiritual direction. In fact, it is very dangerous for your soul to seek spiritual direction from anyone but a solidly orthodox Catholic priest.

These times are so dark and evil, and the Faith is threatened by the very ones who should be proclaiming it clearly for all. At Return to Fatima, we try to aid Catholics to see this is all foretold and by staying close to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our true Mother, we will weather this storm and come to our safe haven with Jesus. It’s a simple message, not complex. I cannot – nor do I attempt to – analyze complex documents from the Magisterium, nor speak on matters above me. I can only point to our Queen and our Mother, she who crushes the head of satan and will defeat all heresies and restore the Faith. 

Please, pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

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

  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come, Viva Cristo Rey!

  St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, protect our families, protect our priests!

  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017  ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

A Miracle for Thomas

[NOTE: As of 8:00 am, This post has been updated with material inadvertently omitted in the previous version.]

Flesh and Blood, truly risen, Alleluia!

“Bring hither thy hand and put it into My side, and be not faithless, but believing.”

 

In today’s Gospel, we read of “Doubting Thomas”. When Jesus rose from the tomb, He passed through the great stone which had been placed before it. Only afterward was the stone rolled back by the Angel  in order that His followers might see the truth – that the Lord is truly risen! That evening, Jesus passed through the doors of the Upper Room and appeared in the midst of the Apostles. demonstrating to them that He was truly risen in living flesh, showing them His hands and feet.

Now Thomas was not present at this remarkable event and doubted very much.  “Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And so here we are, eight days later, in the same Upper Room, doors again closed “for fear of the Jews”, but this time, Thomas is with them.

Again, Jesus passed through the closed doors and appeared in their midst.  After bidding them “Peace”, Our Lord generously said to the Doubter,  “Put in thy finger hither, and see My hands, and bring hither thy hand and put it into My side, and be not faithless, but believing.”  Thomas answered, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus replied, “Because thou hast seen Me, Thomas, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen and have believed.”

Thus, we celebrate today  the Octave of the Resurrection, the fact of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ in living flesh and blood. This fact of the living flesh of Jesus Christ is a stumbling block to the Modernists who now occupy the Church.  To these usurpers of the faith and those who blindly stumble after them, we offer the following words of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque regarding devotion to the  fact of the Resurrected Body and Blood of Christ, that is devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Continue reading “A Miracle for Thomas”

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.

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

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.

A Novena for the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2017

On March 25 we will honor Our Lady’s Feast of the Annunciation. To prepare, we offer this lovely Novena. If you start it tomorrow, March 16th, you will finish on March 24, the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We post it today to give you time to diary it. We will be praying it for the repentance and re-conversion of those who have fallen from the faith and are in persistent sin, and for the intentions of the ongoing Rosary and Reparation Crusade to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  May our Most Merciful Mother hear our supplications and offer them to her Son in the chalice of her Immaculate Heart.

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.

Novena for the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin, Mother of God, Throne of Grace, miracle of Almighty Power! I greet you, Sanctuary of the Most Holy Trinity and Queen of the Universe, Mother of Mercy and refuge of sinners!

Most loving Mother, attracted by your beauty and sweetness, and by your tender compassion, I confidently turn to you, miserable as I am, and beg of you to obtain for me from your dear Son the favor I request in this novena:

(mention your request).

Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven, the most lively contrition for my many sins and the grace to imitate closely those virtues which you practiced so faithfully, especially humility, purity and obedience. Above all, I beg you to be my Mother and Protectress, to receive me into the number of your devoted children, and to guide me from your high throne of glory.

Do not reject my petitions, Mother of Mercy! Have pity on me, and do not abandon me during life or at the moment of my death. Amen.

A suggestion is to unite the prayers of this Novena with prayers for the Holy Father and the hierarchy that they repent, do penance and return to the faith. The Annunciation reminds us of the necessity of purity, humility and obedience, all those virtues which are mocked, despised or simply treated with scornful indifference by the church leaders today.

Also, let’s use this Novena to help prepare for the renewal of our Consecrations on the Feast of the Annunciation.

  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!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

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.

Continue reading “The Holy Family in the Year of Fatima”

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.

Continue reading “Evensong, 2016”

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I remain on retreat; we offer from our archives, for Our Lady on her holy day. Note: I have added the Consecration at the end of this post.:

Today, December 8, we honor the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Savior and by His infinite goodness and mercy, our Mother, too.

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception is an affirmation of just how much God hates sin.

And so, it is an antidote for the heresy of modernism, the “faith” of Pope Francis. Last year, on Our Lady’s Feast, Pope Francis insulted her  as we reported in our post, “The Pope’s Gift to Mary on Her Feast Day”.

The previous year, in December, 2014, Pope Francis essentially rejected the dogma of the Immaculate Conception when he

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

remarked in a homily (see here) that perhaps Our Lady may have doubted the promise made at the Annunciation that “He shall reign forever” as she witnessed Our Lord’s crucifixion. Francis said that Mary may have thought, “lies, I was deceived”. This means that the Vicar of Christ speculated that Mary may have sinned against the Holy Spirit, by doubting the truth of God. Now, for the pope to sin personally is one thing, but to preach sin in a homily is quite another. The pope’s remark brings to mind what Our Lord Jesus Christ told Sister Lucia about the need for reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

On May 29, 1930, during Sister Lucia’s weekly Eucharistic Holy Hour, Our Lord told her that the reason He demanded the First Saturdays of Reparation was because of the five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the first of these was “Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception”.  (The True Story of Fatima, from Father Gruner’s Fatima Center.)

When I first read that revelation, it seemed that it referred to protestants who deny Mary’s Immaculate Conception; it never crossed my mind that our Holy Father, the Pope would blaspheme against Our Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Conception. But it helped me to understand why, so long ago, the Angel of Fatima was crying out, “Penance, penance, penance!”. Even though the pope’s blasphemy passed by unobserved by most mainstream commentators, true Catholics need to come to Our Lady’s defense. Pope Francis’s errors must be pointed out and reparation to Our Lady is of the utmost importance. Also, it helps us to defend Our Blessed Mother if we are well-informed and knowledgeable about basic Church doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception.
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Consecration to St. Joseph

We offer the following in response to a reader’s request. Consider that taking a bit of time to seek the strength and protection of St. Joseph, is far from a burden; Our Lady told Sister Lucia that St. Joseph will give us peace. Let’s seek his peace as we prepare for the birth of Our Lord this holy season!

In times of trial, go to St. Joseph!

https://www.returntofatima.org
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Holy Family, bless our family, bless our Church!

Dear readers, we know that the Sacred Hearts of our Lord Jesus Christ and His most pure and Immaculate Mother are inseparable. And we know that this self-same Mother is also the most pure and perfect Spouse of the Holy Ghost, and the most beloved and treasured child of the Eternal Father. We know as well that this loving Father entrusted these two most beloved beings, Jesus and Mary, to St. Joseph to guard and protect them from the evil and hostile powers of the Lord of the World and his minions. And now, in these dark and calamitous times when our families and our very faith are under attack from those who should protect and nurture it, we turn again to St. Joseph, to the Holy Family, inseparably united to the Most Holy Trinity, to keep us safe in the faith of all times.

Readers, do not be surprised if soon the few small certainties and comforts of the faith are soon taken from us, for as Cardinal Manning said,

These are times of sifting. Our Divine Lord is standing in the Church: “His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His (own) and He will gather the grain into His barn, and will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” It is a time of trial, when ‘some of the learned shall fall’, and those only shall be saved who are steadfast to the end. … Saint Alphonsus says: ‘Hence St. Bonaventure says that in the Mass God manifests to us all the love that He has borne us, and includes in it, as in a compendium, all His benefits. On this account the Devil has always endeavored to abolish the Mass throughout the world by means of heretics, making them the precursors of Antichrist who, before all things, will endeavor to abolish, and in fact will, in punishment for the sins of men, succeed in abolishing the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, according to the prediction of Daniel: ‘And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice because of sins.’

We must understand, and help others to understand, the importance of using the precious little time we have left to bond ourselves as securely as possible to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To this end, I have posted often on Total Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

And now, I hope that you will avail yourselves of an additional help to accomplish this, which is Consecration to St. Joseph, the faithful Guardian of Jesus and Mary, appointed by our loving Father Himself. At Fatima in 1917, Our Lady promised the little shepherds that in October, St. Joseph and the Child Jesus would come to bless us with peace. We need this peace! And while we struggle to live our Consecrations to Jesus through Mary, St. Joseph goes before us to lead us safely to our goal, so that we may be truly one holy family, now and always, in the glory of God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

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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.

Continue reading “Life Under the Banner of Love”