Saint 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 “Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque”

Father Davide Pagliarani Interview

 

Recent interview with SSPX Superior General, Very Reverend Father Davide Pagliarani, from FSSPX News. (Link)

The following is merely a sampling from the interview which is well worth taking the time to read!

Q.: How do you regard the Society of Saint Pius X which you will have to supervise for twelve years?

The Society holds a treasure in its hands. Some have emphasized repeatedly that this treasure belongs to the Church, but I think that we can say that it belongs to us also by full right. It belongs to us, and this is why the Society is perfectly a work of the Church. Even now!

Tradition is a treasure, but in order to preserve it faithfully we must be aware that we are vessels of clay. The key to our future is found here: in the awareness of our weakness and of the need to watch over ourselves vigilantly. It is not enough to profess the faith in its entirety, if our lives do not express this integral faith regularly and concretely. To live Tradition means to defend it, to struggle for it, to fight so that it triumphs first in ourselves and in our families, so that then it can triumph throughout the whole Church.

Our fondest wish is that the official Church will stop considering Tradition as a burden or a set of outmoded old things, but rather as the only possible way to regenerate herself. However, major doctrinal discussions will not be enough to bring this work to completion: first we have to have souls ready for all sorts of sacrifices. This is true both for consecrated persons and for the lay faithful.

We ourselves must always renew our view of Tradition, not in a purely theoretical way, but in a truly supernatural manner, in light of the sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross. This will protect us from two contrasting dangers that often reinforce each other, namely: a pessimistic or defeatist lethargy and a kind of arid intellectualism.

I am convinced that we have here the key with which to confront the various difficulties that we may encounter.

Q.: Including the major problem of the crisis in the Church?

What are the important topics today? Vocations, the sanctification of priests, the care of souls. The tragic situation in the Church must not have such a great psychological impact on our minds that we are no longer capable of performing our duties. Our clear-sightedness must not paralyze us; if it does, it turns into darkness. Considering the crisis in the light of the Cross allows us to keep our serenity and to stand back, since serenity and objectivity are both indispensable if we are to have a sure judgment.

The present situation of the Church is a state of tragic decline: a sharp decrease in vocations, in the number of priests, in the practice of the faith, the disappearance of Christian customs, of the most elementary sense of God, which are manifested today—alas!— in the destruction of natural morality….

Now the Society has all the necessary means to lead the movement of the return to Tradition. More precisely, we have to confront two demands:

– on the one hand, to preserve our identity by recalling the truth and denouncing error: “Praedica verbum: insta opportune, importune: argue, obsecra, increpa.” “Preach the word: be instant [persistent] in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke” (2 Tim 4:2);

– on the other hand: “in omni patientia, et doctrina,” “in all patience and doctrine” (ibid.): attract to Tradition those who are walking in that direction, encourage them, introduce them little by little to the battle and to an increasingly courageous attitude. There still are authentically Catholic souls who thirst for the truth, and we have no right to refuse them the cup of cold water that is the Gospel by an indifferent or haughty attitude. These souls often end up encouraging us by their own courage and determination.

These two demands are complementary: we cannot separate one from the other, by focusing exclusively either on the denunciation of the errors resulting from Vatican II, or on the assistance that we owe to those who are becoming aware of the crisis and need to be enlightened. This twofold demand is profoundly one, since it is the manifestation of the sole charity of truth.

Q.: How does this aid to souls thirsting for the truth take concrete form?

I think that we must not set limits on Providence, which will give us on a case-by-case basis the means suited to the different situations. Each soul is a world in herself, she has a personal journey behind her, and it is necessary to know the soul individually so as to be in a position to come to her aid effectively. This is all about a fundamental attitude that we must cultivate in ourselves, a prior disposition to come to the aid of others, and not about an illusory concern with establishing the universal user’s manual that would apply to everyone.

To give some concrete examples, our seminaries presently are welcoming several priests from outside of the Society—three in Zaitzkofen and two in La Reja—who want to see clearly in the situation of the Church and who above all wish to live out their priesthood in its entirety.

The influence of the priesthood is the sole means by which the Church will be brought back to Tradition. We categorically must revive this conviction. The Society of Saint Pius X will soon be forty-eight years old. By God’s grace, it has experienced a prodigious expansion throughout the whole world; it has works that are growing everywhere, numerous priests, districts, priories, schools…. The downside of this expansion is that the spirit of initial conquest has inevitably weakened. Without meaning to be, we are increasingly absorbed by the management of everyday problems resulting from this development; the apostolic spirit can pale as a result; the risk is that the great ideals will fade away. We are in the third generation of priests since the foundation of the Society in 1970…. It is necessary to rediscover the missionary fervor that our founder inspired in us.

 

On Our Relations with Rome

Q.: Concerning our relations with Rome, what are the real facts?

Ever since the doctrinal discussions with the Roman theologians, you can say that we are confronted with two sources of communication, two types of relations that are established on levels that must be carefully distinguished:

  1. one public, official, clear source, which still imposes on us statements with essentially the same doctrinal contents;
  2. the other one that emanates from one or another member of the Curia, with interesting private exchanges containing new elements about the relative value of the Council, about this or that point of doctrine…. These are new and interesting discussions, which certainly should be pursued, yet nevertheless remain informal, unofficial, private discussions, whereas on the official level—despite a certain evolution of language—the same demands are always repeated.

Certainly we carefully note what is said positively in private, but here it is not really Rome speaking; these are well-meaning, timid Nicodemuses, and they are not the official hierarchy. Therefore it is necessary to stick strictly to the official documents, and to explain why we cannot accept them.

The latest official documents—for example, the letter from Cardinal Müller dated June 2017—always express the same demand: the Council must be accepted as a precondition, and after that it will be possible to keep discussing what is not clear to the Society; in doing so, they reduce our objections to a subjective difficulty in reading and comprehension, and they promise to help us to understand correctly what the Council really meant. The Roman authorities turn this prior acceptance into a question of faith and of principle; they say this explicitly. Their demands today are the same as they were thirty years ago. The Second Vatican Council must be accepted in the continuity of ecclesial Tradition, as a part to be integrated into that Tradition. They concede our point that there may be reservations on the part of the Society that deserve explanations, but in no case a rejection of the teachings of the Council as such: [for them] this is purely and simply Magisterial teaching!

Now the problem is right here, always at the same place, and we cannot shift it to somewhere else: what is the dogmatic authority of a Council that intended to be pastoral? What is the value of these new principles taught by the Council, which have been applied systematically, consistently and in perfect continuity with what had been taught by the hierarchy that was responsible both for the Council and for the post-conciliar period? This real Council is the Council of religious liberty, or collegiality, of ecumenism, of the “living tradition”…, and unfortunately it is not the result of a wrong interpretation. The proof of this is that this real Council has never been rectified or corrected by the competent authority. It conveys a spirit, a teaching, a way of thinking about the Church which are an obstacle to the sanctification of souls, and its tragic results are right before the eyes of all intellectually honest men, of all people of good will. This real Council corresponds at the same time to a doctrinal teaching and a lived-out practice that have been imposed on the “People of God”; we refuse to accept this as just another council like the others. This is why we discuss its authority, but always in a spirit of charity, for we want nothing but the good of the Church and the salvation of souls. Our discussion is not a mere theological joust and, in fact, it has bearing on subjects that are not “debatable”: the life of the Church is at stake here, indubitably. And that is what God will judge us on.

This, then, is the perspective in which we stick to the official documents from Rome, with respect but also with realism; it is not about being on the right or the left, hard-line or lax: it is simply about being realistic.

Q.: What should be done while waiting?

I can answer only by mentioning a few priorities. First, trust in Providence, which cannot abandon us and which has always given us signs of its protection and its benevolence. To doubt, to hesitate, to ask for other guarantees from Providence would constitute a serious lack of gratitude. Our stability and strength depend on our trust in God: I think that all of us ought to examine our conscience on their subject.

Moreover, it is necessary to rediscover each day the treasure that we hold in our hands, to remember that this treasure comes to us from Our Lord Himself and that it cost Him His Blood. By regularly placing ourselves again in the presence of these sublime realities in all their grandeur, our souls will habitually remain in adoration and will be strengthened as needed for the day of trial.

We must also have a growing concern for the education of children. It is necessary to keep clearly in mind the goal that we wish to achieve and not be afraid to speak to them about the Cross, about the passion of Our Lord, about His love for the little ones, about sacrifice. It is absolutely necessary for the souls of children to be captured already at a very tender age by the love of Our Lord, before the spirit of the world can seduce and ravish them. This question absolutely has priority, and if we do not manage to transmit what we have received, that is the sign that we are not sufficiently convinced of it.

Finally, we must struggle against a certain intellectual laziness: doctrine indeed is what gives our battle for the Church and for souls its reason for being. It is necessary to make an effort to update our analysis of major current events, in the light of the perennial doctrine, without being content with the lazy “copy-and-paste” which the Internet—again—unfortunately promotes. Wisdom sets and resets things in order, at every moment, and each thing finds its exact place.

The Mass Crusade Archbishop Lefebvre

Q.: What can the faithful do, more particularly?

At Mass, the faithful discover the echo of the ephpheta, “be opened”, pronounced by the priest at Baptism. Their soul is opened once more to the grace of the Holy Sacrifice. Even when they are very little, children who attend Mass are sensitive to the sacred meaning that the Traditional liturgy expresses. Above all, attending Mass makes fruitful the life of married couples, with all its trials, and gives it a profoundly supernatural meaning, for the graces of the Sacrament of Matrimony flow from Our Lord’s sacrifice. Attending Mass is what reminds them that God wants to make use of them as cooperators in the most beautiful of His works: sanctifying and protecting the souls of their children.

During his jubilee in 1979, Abp. Lefebvre had invited us to a Mass crusade, for God wants to renew the priesthood and, through it, the family, which is attacked today from every side. His vision then was prophetic; nowadays it has become an observation that anyone can make. What he foresaw, we now have before our eyes:

“What is left, then, for us to do, my dear brethren? If we deepen our understanding of the great mystery which is the Mass, I think I can say that we should have a crusade, emphasizing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ; emphasizing that invincible rock and that inexhaustible source of grace which is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And we see this every day. You are here because you love the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. These young seminarians who are studying in Ecône, the United States and Germany, came to our seminaries for the Holy Mass, the Mass of All Time, which is the source of graces, the source of the Holy Ghost, the source of Christian civilization. That is what the priest is. Well, then, we must make a crusade, a crusade that emphasizes this idea of immutability, of sacrifice, in order to recreate Christendom, to re-establish a Christendom such as the Church desired, such as she has always done, with the same principles, the same Sacrifice of the Mass, the same sacraments, the same catechism, the same Sacred Scripture” (Sermon of Abp. Lefebvre on the occasion of his priestly jubilee, September 23, 1979, in Paris, Porte de Versailles).

This Christendom must be remade in everyday life, through the faithful performance of the duties of our state in life, right where the good Lord has placed us. Some rightly deplore the fact that the Church and the Society are not what they ought to be. They forget that they have the means to remedy this defect, in their place, through their personal sanctification. There, everyone is Superior General…. No need for a Chapter in order to be elected; each day it is necessary to sanctify that portion of the Church of which one is the absolute master: his soul!

Abp. Lefebvre continued: “We must recreate this Christendom, and you, my dear brethren, you are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Mt 5:13-14); you are the ones whom Our Lord Jesus Christ addressed when He said to you: ‘Do not waste the spiritual fruit of My Blood, do not abandon My Calvary, do not abandon My Sacrifice.’ And the Virgin Mary who stands beneath the Cross, tells you this as well; She, whose heart is pierced, full of sufferings and sorrows, yet at the same time filled with the joy of uniting herself to the Sacrifice of her Divine Son, tells you this as well: ‘Let us be Christians, let us be Catholics!’ Let us not be carried away by all these worldly ideas, by all these currents of thought in the world which draw us to sin and to hell. If we want to go to Heaven, we must follow Our Lord Jesus Christ; we must carry our cross and follow Our Lord Jesus Christ, imitating Him in His Cross, in His suffering, and in His Sacrifice.”

And the founder of the Society of Saint Pius X launched a crusade for young people, for Christian families, for heads of families, for priests. He insisted with an eloquence that moves us today, forty years later, for we see how much this remedy applies to the present evils:

“The inheritance which Jesus Christ gave to us is His sacrifice, it is His Blood, it is His Cross. And that is the leaven of all Christian civilization and of all that is supposed to bring us to Heaven…. Keep this testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Keep the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Keep the Mass of All time! And you will see Christian civilization flourish again.”

Forty years later we cannot shirk the responsibility of this crusade: it requires an even more demanding ardor and an even more enthusiastic service to the Church and to souls. As I said at the beginning of this interview, Tradition is ours, completely, but this honor creates a serious responsibility: we will be judged by our fidelity in transmitting what we have received.

Q.: Father General, before concluding, allow us to ask a more personal question. Didn’t the responsibility that fell on your shoulders on July 11 of this year frighten you?

Yes, I must admit that I was somewhat afraid, and I even hesitated in my heart before accepting it. We are all vessels of clay, and that is true also of the man who is elected Superior General: even though it is a somewhat more visible and somewhat larger vessel, it is nonetheless fragile.

The thought of the Most Blessed Virgin is the only thing that enabled me to overcome the fear: I place my trust in her alone, and I do so totally. She is not made of clay because she is of ivory; she is not a fragile vessel because she is an impregnable tower: turris eburnea [as it says in the Litany of Loreto]. She is like an army set in battle array, terribilis ut castrorum acies ordinata [Canticle of Canticles 6:3], which knows in advance that victory is the only possible outcome of all its battles: “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

Abiding Sorrow for Sin

This morning, I found myself even more disheartened than usual. The scandalous torrent of filth in the Church seems to be gathering strength and there appears to be no end in sight. I know you must be disheartened too but we must remind ourselves to make good use of the sorrow that this unfortunate pope (and his unchaste prelates) deals out to us every day.

Love Crucified

No one at all is more practical than Our Lord Jesus Christ. He was not engaging in mere sentimentalism when He said that He wished to place devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary alongside of devotion to His Most Sacred Heart. Far from it! He was giving us the simplest, easiest and surest path to Him!  We know that love requires an act of the will towards the good, and who better exemplifies this that the Blessed Virgin Mary, who taught us by her example the way of true love.  She will teach us in the school of her Immaculate Heart.

And one of the first lessons she teaches us is abiding sorrow for sin. For we stand today at the foot of the Cross, attending the Crucifixion of Love. As we respond to the call of love, we cannot but have sorrow for our sins and for the horrendous sins of the leadership of the Church. This unfortunate person who purports to be the very Vicar of Christ on earth denies or obfuscates concepts such as sin, hell and God’s righteous wrath in favor of the “progressive” concepts of “accompanying” and “dialogue” and being  “non-judgemental”.  Therefore, as an antidote to this error (for it is a deadly error) we offer a few excerpts from the essay by Father Faber, “Abiding Sorrow for Sin”. As we read it, we note that we make the most acceptable reparation for the sins of the hierarchy when we have first resolved to make reparations for our own sins.

From Father Faber’s Essay:

All penances come to nought which do not rest on Christ, just as all good works crumble away which do not rest upon Our Saviour,-so in like manner all holiness has lost its principle of growth if it is separated from abiding sorrow for sin. For the principle of growth is not love only, but forgiven love.

Father Faber in his essay, notes that the Blessed Virgin Mary and Our Lord Jesus Christ, although perfectly sinless were nevertheless filled with an abiding sorrow for sin.

“Their life of penance consisted in some measure in an abiding sorrow from first to last. The first moment of conception was the full use and complete energy of reason. But reason dawned upon a wonderful, deep, and fixed sorrow.

“From that instant till the moment of death the sorrow abided with them. It put itself in harmony with every kind of feeling. It adapted itself to all circumstances. It never darkened into gloom. It never melted into light. It lived on the present, and the clear view of the future was part of its present, and it never let go its hold of the past. It was keen and distinct in the soul of Mary, while she magnified God in the exultation of her Divine Maternity. In the ever-blessed soul of Jesus it dwelt amid the fires of the Beatific Vision, and was not consumed.

“It was a beautiful mystery of perennial sorrow. The characteristics of this sorrow were that it was life-long quiet, supernatural, and a fountain of love. These features of if are very much to be weighed and observed. For when we come to look at ourselves, whether it be the rare few who have preserved their baptismal innocence and whose souls are only charged with venial sins, or the great apostles, unrivalled amidst the Saints, confirmed in grace, and whose grace was superabundant, or the mass of men, whose best estate is that of repentant and returning sinners,-we shall see that no sorrow is possible to us which shall unite these four characteristics except the abiding sorrow for sin. It is as much life-long with us as anything can be. It Is a prominent part of our first turning to God, and there Is no height of holiness in which it will leave us.

Our Guardian Angel in Our Souls

“It is the interior representation of our Guardian Angel in our souls, and the disposition and demeanour he would fain should be constant and persevering in us. It is quiet. Indeed, it rather tranquillizes a troubled soul than perturbs a contented one. It hushes the noises of the world, and rebukes the loquacity of the human spirit. It softens asperities, subdues exaggerations, and constrains everything with a sweet and gracious spell which nothing else can equal. It is supernatural. It is all from God, and all for God.

“It is forgiven sin for which we mourn, and not sin which perils self. And this very fact makes it also a fountain of love. We love because much has been forgiven, and we always remember how much it was. We love because the forgiveness has abated fear. We love because we wonder at the compassion that could so visit such unworthiness. We love because the softness of sorrow is akin to the filial confidence of love. Thus abiding sorrow for sin is the only possible parallel in our souls to the mysterious life-long sorrow of Jesus and Mary; and the fact that sorrow clung to them characteristically in spite of their sinlessness seems to show how much of the secret life of Christian holiness is hidden in its gentle supernatural melancholy.

“Moreover, it was impossible not to perceive that under a variety of names, – sorrow, repentance, fear, and the like,- Scripture speaks of an abiding penance, of fearing always, of fearing forgiven sin, of passing the time of our sojourning in fear, of the sorrow which is unto life. It never contemplates the possibility of the dispositions of repentance ceasing; for the single passage of St. John about love casting out fear, is hardly to be understood of this life. So that there seems to be a precept of always sorrowing for sin analogous to the precept of always praying, and subject to the same kind of difficulties in its interpretation.

“Now what does this abiding sorrow of Scripture mean? Certainly not austerities; for they are occasional and intermitting. Certainly not sadness, which is sorrow with self in it and where God should be. Certainly not human melancholy, which is either a consequence of sin or a fruit of idleness or a disease of a deranged bodily system. (…)

In an interesting observation appropriate to our time, although I’m sure that Father Faber would never have imagined these tragic events, he notes that some sins haunt our imagination, “making it often, to use the forcible words of Scripture, like a cage of unclean birds”. . . “It consists also in a growing hatred of sin,- an increase of the spirit of Gethsemane in our souls, a communication from that solitary mystery beneath the olive trees, when even apostles slept.

“It is the Sacred Heart touching our hearts, and leaving faint stigmata of His own lifelong sorrow upon them.

“It consists in a growing sensitiveness of conscience as to what is sin. Ineffably bright as is the sanctity of God and His refulgent glory, to gaze upon it strengthens our soul’s eye (the) unworthy and dishonourable in actions. We discern the complication and mixture of motives more distinctly. And entangled in a confusion of infirmities, a very inevitability of imperfections, where self-love can find no single resting-place for the sole of its foot, we grow in a divine sadness which humility and faith will not allow to be disquietude.

“With all this, and in the way of consequence, our personal love of Our Most Blessed Lord increases, and love of Him as our actual Saviour from sin. It is our joy to “call His Name Jesus, because He saveth His people from their sins.”

Sweetness

It “inclines to prayer, brings pleasure in prayer, and though a sorrow, is itself a sweetness. It is very confident, and its confidence rests solely upon God. It lives by the fountains of the Saviour’s Blood, weeps silent tears like one who is continually hearing good news, and is hopeful. This affectionate sorrow delivers us from many spiritual dangers. It throws a tenderness into our whole character, and makes us deep and pliant. It brings with it the unction of that special gift of the Holy Ghost which is named “piety.”

“It also saves us from making light of venial sins, and is always stopping (even when we know it not) little untruths, teasing jealousies, wounded conceits, and sins of the tongue. For it is the sorrow which was the Lord’s mantle. We are holding the sacred fringe, and virtue goes out of Him into us, and the issue of the bleeding soul is stayed. The fruits which it produces in us are of equal importance with the dangers from which it preserves us. It makes us charitable towards the falls of others, and this reacts upon ourselves in the way of an increase of humility.

“It involves a continual renewal of our good resolutions, additional reality and fortitude in our wish to do more for God, and an increasing power of perseverance, with more stability and less effort. It blessedly diminishes our taste for the world and its pleasures. It flings the charm of heaven around us, and disenchants all other spells. It leads to a more fruitful, because a more reverent, humble, and hungry use of the Sacraments; and no grace that comes to us is wasted while this sorrow possesses our souls.

“There is nothing which makes our endurance of crosses more patient or more graceful,- nothing which gives us so calm and fertile a pertinacity in works of mercy to others. We are always flooded with inward tenderness, so that there is not an ache or a pain in one of Christ’s members which does not awake our sympathy and find its account in our sensibility.

We obtain this healthy and necessary sorrow for sin by our quiet prayers with Our Lord considering His Sacred Passion. To this end, praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of Our Dear Mother’s Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament when possible, or if not, before a Crucifix, is most helpful.

“Devotion to Our Lord’s Passion is meant for the daily bread of Christian thought, and it keeps fresh and new in this sorrow as in a genial atmosphere. Our perceptions of the invisible world become finer and keener; we are more liable to be excited by spiritual interests, and more alive to the soul’s wants and dangers; and there is about us a liveliness of thanksgiving which only shows the copiousness of the hidden joy in this apparent sorrow. . .

In closing, Father Faber reminds us, “I am confident no vocation to perfection will be frustrated by a soul in which there is this abiding sorrow for sin. It is the quintessence of devotion to the Sacred Heart, and it is there that we must seek it.”

Now, regarding the above, don’t let me catch you cringeing from the exhortation to become perfect, you know full well that it is Our Lord Himself who has so called us. And never before has there been such dire need of souls determined to become perfect by their total consecrations to the Immaculate Mother who unites us securely with her Divine Son. She is our secure path through this; she, the Mother of Sorrows!

I hope that some of this essay has been profitable for you, for I like you, dear readers, am sorely in need of God’s grace and wisdom to deal with this terrible trial. But let us help each other in prayers, in penances, in all things trusting in His mercy and in the love of our Mother most merciful, Lady of the Rosary.

Thank you for reading, I pray for you always!

My reference for this essay is from the Kindle Book, “The Catholic Collection” provided by Catholic Way Publishing. It contains 734 Catholic essays and costs only $2.99

September 3, Honoring St. Pius X

UPDATE: 9:30 a.m.: With thanks to a reader, who has given permission to post his prayer.

Prayer to Saint Pius X for Our Pope

Glorious Pope of the Eucharist, Saint Pius X, you sought “to restore all things in Christ.” Obtain for our Pope a true love of Jesus and zeal for His eternal truths. Help him to acquire a fervent devotion to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist, sacrament of His Love.

Blessed model of the sacred priesthood, obtain for our Holy Father a fervent desire for the restoration of the sacred priesthood, the grace to make public reparations for the corruption of the priesthood and a firm desire to restore the Sacrifice of the Mass, and holy sacraments.

In order to restore all things in Christ, we beg your intercession that God may endow him with the grace to imitate your tender love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and that he may thus attain humble obedience to her commands, and institute the First Saturdays of Reparation throughout the Church and the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Amen.

The prayer above is a private one and has no ecclesiatical approval, although it comes from a reputable source. If I have erred in posting it, I will accept correction.

Today we honor the last truly saintly Pope, one who rightly deserved the title “Great”, Saint Pius X. Many other sites have excellent biographies of him, but I thought that reading again his “Lamentabili” would be something we could savor together with him; a little like the way we feel closer to Our Lady in the evening when we pray her “Magnificat”. As we read Lamentabili, please pray to St. Pius to intercede for our pope(s) and clergy to repent their sins, be converted and return the Church to fidelity to Christ Jesus Our Lord.

Lamentabili Sane
Pope Pius X – 1907

SYLLABUS CONDEMNING THE ERRORS OF THE MODERNISTS

With truly lamentable results, our age, casting aside all restraint in its search for the ultimate causes of things, frequently pursues novelties so ardently that it rejects the legacy of the human race. Thus it falls into very serious errors, which are even more serious when they concern sacred authority, the interpretation of Sacred Scripture, and the principal mysteries of Faith. The fact that many Catholic writers also go beyond the limits determined by the Fathers and the Church herself is extremely regrettable. In the name of higher knowledge and historical research (they say), they are looking for that progress of dogmas which is, in reality, nothing but the corruption of dogmas.

These errors are being daily spread among the faithful. Lest they captivate the faithful’s minds and corrupt the purity of their faith, His Holiness, Pius X, by Divine Providence, Pope, has decided that the chief errors should be noted and condemned by the Office of this Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition.

Therefore, after a very diligent investigation and consultation with the Reverend Consultors, the Most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, the General Inquisitors in matters of faith and morals have judged the following propositions to be condemned and proscribed. In fact, by this general decree, they are condemned and proscribed.

1. The ecclesiastical law which prescribes that books concerning the Divine Scriptures are subject to previous examination does not apply to critical scholars and students of scientific exegesis of the Old and New Testament.

2. The Church’s interpretation of the Sacred Books is by no means to be rejected; nevertheless, it is subject to the more accurate judgment and correction of the exegetes.

3. From the ecclesiastical judgments and censures passed against free and more scientific exegesis, one can conclude that the Faith the Church proposes contradicts history and that Catholic teaching cannot really be reconciled with the true origins of the Christian religion.

4. Even by dogmatic definitions the Church’s magisterium cannot determine the genuine sense of the Sacred Scriptures.

5. Since the deposit of Faith contains only revealed truths, the Church has no right to pass judgment on the assertions of the human sciences.

6. The “Church learning” and the “Church teaching” collaborate in such a way in defining truths that it only remains for the “Church teaching” to sanction the opinions of the “Church learning.”

7. In proscribing errors, the Church cannot demand any internal assent from the faithful by which the judgments she issues are to be embraced.

8. They are free from all blame who treat lightly the condemnations passed by the Sacred Congregation of the Index or by the Roman Congregations.

9. They display excessive simplicity or ignorance who believe that God is really the author of the Sacred Scriptures.

10. The inspiration of the books of the Old Testament consists in this: The Israelite writers handed down religious doctrines under a peculiar aspect which was either little or not at all known to the Gentiles.

11. Divine inspiration does not extend to all of Sacred Scriptures so that it renders its parts, each and every one, free from every error.

12. If he wishes to apply himself usefully to Biblical studies, the exegete must first put aside all preconceived opinions about the supernatural origin of Sacred Scripture and interpret it the same as any other merely human document.

13. The Evangelists themselves, as well as the Christians of the second and third generation, artificially arranged the evangelical parables. In such a way they explained the scanty fruit of the preaching of Christ among the Jews.

14. In many narrations the Evangelists recorded, not so much things that are true, as things which, even though false, they judged to be more profitable for their readers.

15. Until the time the canon was defined and constituted, the Gospels were increased by additions and corrections. Therefore there remained in them only a faint and uncertain trace of the doctrine of Christ.

16. The narrations of John are not properly history, but a mystical contemplation of the Gospel. The discourses contained in his Gospel are theological meditations, lacking historical truth concerning the mystery of salvation.

17. The fourth Gospel exaggerated miracles not only in order that the extraordinary might stand out but also in order that it might become more suitable for showing forth the work and glory of the Word lncarnate.

18. John claims for himself the quality of witness concerning Christ. In reality, however, he is only a distinguished witness of the Christian life, or of the life of Christ in the Church at the close of the first century.

19. Heterodox exegetes have expressed the true sense of the Scriptures more faithfully than Catholic exegetes.

20. Revelation could be nothing else than the consciousness man acquired of his revelation to God.

21. Revelation, constituting the object of the Catholic faith, was not completed with the Apostles.

22. The dogmas the Church holds out as revealed are not truths which have fallen from heaven. They are an interpretation of religious facts which the human mind has acquired by laborious effort.

23. Opposition may, and actually does, exist between the facts narrated in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s dogmas which rest on them. Thus the critic may reject as false facts the Church holds as most certain.

24. The exegete who constructs premises from which it follows that dogmas are historically false or doubtful is not to be reproved as long as he does not directly deny the dogmas themselves .

25. The assent of faith ultimately rests on a mass of probabilities .

26. The dogmas of the Faith are to be held only according to their practical sense; that is to say, as preceptive norms of conduct and not as norms of believing.

27. The divinity of Jesus Christ is not proved from the Gospels. It is a dogma which the Christian conscience has derived from the notion of the Messias.

28. While He was exercising His ministry, Jesus did not speak with the object of teaching He was the Messias, nor did His miracles tend to prove it.

29. It is permissible to grant that the Christ of history is far inferior to the Christ Who is the object of faith.

30 In all the evangelical texts the name “Son of God” is equivalent only to that of “Messias.” It does not in the least way signify that Christ is the true and natural Son of God.

31. The doctrine concerning Christ taught by Paul, John, and the Councils of Nicea, Ephesus and Chalcedon is not that which Jesus taught but that which the Christian conscience conceived concerning Jesus.

32. It is impossible to reconcile the natural sense of the Gospel texts with the sense taught by our theologians concerning the conscience and the infallible knowledge of Jesus Christ.

33 Everyone who is not led by preconceived opinions can readily see that either Jesus professed an error concerning the immediate Messianic coming or the greater part of His doctrine as contained in the Gospels is destitute of authenticity.

34. The critics can ascribe to Christ a knowledge without limits only on a hypothesis which cannot be historically conceived and which is repugnant to the moral sense. That hypothesis is that Christ as man possessed the knowledge of God and yet was unwilling to communicate the knowledge of a great many things to His disciples and posterity.

35. Christ did not always possess the consciousness of His Messianic dignity.

36. The Resurrection of the Savior is not properly a fact of the historical order. It is a fact of merely the supernatural order (neither demonstrated nor demonstrable) which the Christian conscience gradually derived from other facts.

37. In the beginning, faith in the Resurrection of Christ was not so much in the fact itself of the Resurrection as in the immortal life of Christ with God.

38. The doctrine of the expiatory death of Christ is Pauline and not evangelical.

39. The opinions concerning the origin of the Sacraments which the Fathers of Trent held and which certainly influenced their dogmatic canons are very different from those which now rightly exist among historians who examine Christianity .

40. The Sacraments have their origin in the fact that the Apostles and their successors, swayed and moved by circumstances and events, interpreted some idea and intention of Christ.

41. The Sacraments are intended merely to recall to man’s mind the ever-beneficent presence of the Creator.

42. The Christian community imposed the necessity of Baptism, adopted it as a necessary rite, and added to it the obligation of the Christian profession.

43. The practice of administering Baptism to infants was a disciplinary evolution, which became one of the causes why the Sacrament was divided into two, namely, Baptism and Penance.

44. There is nothing to prove that the rite of the Sacrament of Confirmation was employed by the Apostles. The formal distinction of the two Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation does not pertain to the history of primitive Christianity.

45. Not everything which Paul narrates concerning the institution of the Eucharist (I Cor. 11:23-25) is to be taken historically.

46. In the primitive Church the concept of the Christian sinner reconciled by the authority of the Church did not exist. Only very slowly did the Church accustom herself to this concept. As a matter of fact, even after Penance was recognized as an institution of the Church, it was not called a Sacrament since it would be held as a disgraceful Sacrament.

47. The words of the Lord, “Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23), in no way refer to the Sacrament of Penance, in spite of what it pleased the Fathers of Trent to say.

48. In his Epistle (Ch. 5:14-15) James did not intend to promulgate a Sacrament of Christ but only commend a pious custom. If in this custom he happens to distinguish a means of grace, it is not in that rigorous manner in which it was taken by the theologians who laid down the notion and number of the Sacraments.

49. When the Christian supper gradually assumed the nature of a liturgical action those who customarily presided over the supper acquired the sacerdotal character.

50. The elders who fulfilled the office of watching over the gatherings of the faithful were instituted by the Apostles as priests or bishops to provide for the necessary ordering of the increasing communities and not properly for the perpetuation of the Apostolic mission and power.

51. It is impossible that Matrimony could have become a Sacrament of the new law until later in the Church since it was necessary that a full theological explication of the doctrine of grace and the Sacraments should first take place before Matrimony should be held as a Sacrament.

52. It was far from the mind of Christ to found a Church as a society which would continue on earth for a long course of centuries. On the contrary, in the mind of Christ the kingdom of heaven together with the end of the world was about to come immediately.

53. The organic constitution of the Church is not immutable. Like human society, Christian society is subject to a perpetual evolution.

54. Dogmas, Sacraments and hierarchy, both their notion and reality, are only interpretations and evolutions of the Christian intelligence which have increased and perfected by an external series of additions the little germ latent in the Gospel.

55. Simon Peter never even suspected that Christ entrusted the primacy in the Church to him.

56. The Roman Church became the head of all the churches, not through the ordinance of Divine Providence, but merely through political conditions.

57. The Church has shown that she is hostile to the progress of the natural and theological sciences.

58. Truth is no more immutable than man himself, since it evolved with him, in him, and through him.

59. Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable to all times and all men, but rather inaugurated a religious movement adapted or to be adapted to different times and places.

60. Christian Doctrine was originally Judaic. Through successive evolutions it became first Pauline, then Joannine, finally Hellenic and universal.

61. It may be said without paradox that there is no chapter of Scripture, from the first of Genesis to the last of the Apocalypse, which contains a doctrine absolutely identical with that which the Church teaches on the same matter. For the same reason, therefore, no chapter of Scripture has the same sense for the critic and the theologian.

62. The chief articles of the Apostles’ Creed did not have the same sense for the Christians of the first ages as they have for the Christians of our time.

63. The Church shows that she is incapable of effectively maintaining evangelical ethics since she obstinately clings to immutable doctrines which cannot be reconciled with modern progress.

64. Scientific progress demands that the concepts of Christian doctrine concerning God, creation, revelation, the Person of the Incarnate Word, and Redemption be re-adjusted.

65. Modern Catholicism can be reconciled with true science only if it is transformed into a non-dogmatic Christianity; that is to say, into a broad and liberal Protestantism.

The following Thursday, the fourth day of the same month and year, all these matters were accurately reported to our Most Holy Lord, Pope Pius X. His Holiness approved and confirmed the decree of the Most Eminent Fathers and ordered that each and every one of the above-listed propositions be held by all as condemned and proscribed.

PETER PALOMBELLI, Notary of the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition

And when the Immaculata at last clears out the rot infesting the Church, perhaps we shall see the restoration of that fine old institution, the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition!

  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.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ 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!

September 1, 2018

 

Let’s begin September by celebrating Pope Francis! 

Yes, it is time that we honor the man, his deep and merciful thoughts and his actions by which it is said a man may best be known. On this day 108 years ago, in his Oath Against Modernism, Pope St. Pius X foretold this man, Pope Francis, our first truly humble and merciful pope, and wrote of him. Indeed, his great encyclical Pascendi Domenici Gregis, written in September, 1907 is filled with prophecies about our little Argentinian treasure – reading the words of St. Pius X, it is hard to believe that he did not have our beloved Bergoglio’s illustrious words on Love, “Amoris Laetitia” in mind as he wrote it.

Joking aside, let’s take a look at a better time, when we had the brave and clear truths spoken by our truly Holy Father, one worthy of the name, Pope St. Pius X, who presciently warned of the false doctrines being promoted by just this pope.

“The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.” (Pope St. Pius X)

The last truly saintly Pope was Pius X, who promulgated the Oath Against Modernism on September 1, 1910, 108 years ago today. It is instructive to review this oath, which was abolished by Paul VI and is so widely scorned, reviled or simply ignored by those who currently occupy the visible Church today.

Saint Pius X, pray for us, pray for our priests!

With the death of this holy pope, the dark force of modernism was once again free to poison the faith, While ostensibly orthodox, Pope Benedict XV dismantled St. Pius’s Sodalitium Pianum, the network established to assure orthodoxy in the seminaries. Subsequent popes also contributed their efforts to undermining orthodoxy in sundry ways. Although these popes gave lip service to Our Lady’s message at Fatima, none actually went so far as to obey her. And so, modernism flourished under even those pre-Vatican II popes who appeared to be orthodox, until it burst into florid putrescence in the revolutionary Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

As you review the Oath Against Modernism that follows, bear in mind that every Conciliar Pope from John XXIII through Benedict XVI had originally sworn this solemn oath, which of course, was violated by those same popes during and after Vatican II. Every single pope until Francis, the quintessential modernist pope; the very apotheosis of Vatican II.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit, and the evil tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.” (Matt 7, 15-18)

In the re-presentation below, we have taken the liberty of numbering the points and emphasising some of the more pertinent. The original is available here.

 THE OATH AGAINST MODERNISM

To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

“I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day.

  1. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, His existence can also be demonstrated.
  2. Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time.
  3. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when He lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time.
  4. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely.
  5. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.
  6. Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas.
  7. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion.
  8. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful.
  9. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm.
  10. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.
  11. Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and His apostles.
  12. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles.

The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God.”

After Vatican II, Pope Paul VI (who had, himself, sworn this very Oath) abolished the Oath. The post-Conciliar Catholic Church then, is built on the shifting sands of Modernism, which is a heresy. 

This is the Age of Apostasy, and Pope Francis is bringing us to its calamitous close. The chastisement will only be ended by the Immaculate Mother of God, through a pope who is chastened, truly humble and obedient in performing the long-awaited  Consecration of Russia with the surviving Bishops. We the faithful, have an obligation to obey Our Lady of the Rosary and offer unceasing rosaries and sacrifices of reparation in order to obtain this. Return to the Message of Fatima. Return to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

 Please remember, pray the Rosary and confound satan and all his works and pomps.

  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!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ 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!

The Eucharistic Vision of Our Lady of Knock

NOTE: This post is quite long. In order to understand it, please consider saving it and referring to it when you can think on it. It is not light reading.

Today, we commemorate the eloquently silent apparition of Our Lady at Knock, Ireland, August 21, 1879. By her silence, Our Lady emphasised at once her displeasure that her message at La Salatte was being attacked, and as many believe, she was pointing to the silence recounted in chapter 8 of the Apocalypse.  But there is still another reason for the silence – it is a warning against silencing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and outrages against the Holy Eucharist and it beckons us with mysterious silence towards the visions of the Apocalypse.

The Holy Ghost inspired St. John’s vision in such a way that through it, God revealed to us a glimpse of His own vision, not a linear accounting of events, and each subsequent generation could learn from its warnings and be comforted in its victories. In addition to sacred scripture, Our Heavenly Father guides us by the revelations He grants us down the centuries. Knock is one of the major apparitions, which are: Our Lady of Good Success in Ecuador, The Sacred Heart of Jesus at Paray le Monial, France, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception at Rue du Bac, France, Our Lady of LaSalette, France, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Lourdes, France, Our Lady at Knock, Ireland, Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, Portugal,  and Our Lady of Akita, Japan.  Those apparitions provide a necessary complement to our understanding of the Apocalypse.

Although the revelations contained in the Apocalypse may be fruitfully applied to each generation, the various major apparitions help to draw us into St. John’s mystical scenario as appropriate for our own time. In 17th century Ecuador, Our Lady of Good Success gave us prophecies which remained largely silent until the 20th century, for which they were intended. Our Lord’s tender pleas to St. Margaret Mary, also in the 17th century, contained both promises of blessings for obedience and warnings of danger for disobedience to His requests to honor His Sacred Heart publically. This message was dishonored by the Jesuits to whom it was entrusted and betrayed by the French monarchs to their own destruction and that of France, but we could only see this, like the message of Good Success, centuries later, as the events of the Apocalypse unfolded. We must not forget however, that the demands of Our Lord for devotion to His Sacred Heart have never been rescinded and no amount of false devotion will satisfy the command for devotion to the image of His Most Sacred Heart.

Our Lady then intervened offering mercies to her children through devotion to her Immaculate Conception, that is through the Miraculous Medal and the miraculous spring at Lourdes. Both of those apparitions carried both warnings and blessings. Between these two, Rue du Bac and Lourdes, came Our Lady’s sad visit to La Salette wherein she warned of the increasing incursion of the ancient enemy, “Rome will lose the faith and become the seat of the Antichrist.” As proof of the strength which the enemy had gained in the Church, this message was opposed and silenced. To this day, Melanie Calvat’s legacy is obscured by the thick fabric of false accusations against her.

The mystical vision of Knock is essential to our understanding of the mystical vision given to  Sister Lucia at Tuy fifty years later; and through it, we are able to understand the pertinent passages of the Apocalypse for today.

“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven, as it were for half an hour.” (Apoc. 8, 1)
This verse appears to be indicated by the silence of Knock. But the mystical visions of the Apocalypse are much deeper and the vision of Knock also must be seen in relation to the earlier chapter 5, as we shall show.

First, we look at  Apocalypse 5, especially verse 5.

From The Apocalypse of St. John:

The Little Lamb of God

[1] And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne, a book written within and without, sealed with seven seals. [2] And I saw a strong angel, proclaiming with a loud voice: Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? [3] And no man was able, neither in heaven, nor on earth, nor under the earth, to open the book, nor to look on it. [4] And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open the book, nor to see it. [5] And one of the ancients said to me: Weep not; behold the lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

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

[11] And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the living creatures, and the ancients; and the number of them was thousands of thousands, [12] Saying with a loud voice: The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction.” (Apocalypse 5, 5)

Commentary:

Continue reading “The Eucharistic Vision of Our Lady of Knock”

St. Michael, St. John and Our Lady of Knock

Tomorrow we commemorate the Apparition of Our Lady of Knock. To prepare, we offer a guest post from Adrian Dulston considering the apparition in the context of Fatima, LaSalette and the Apocalypse.

When Our Lady’s message at La Salette  was silenced, she very eloquently replied with a silent apparition at Knock, and that apparition ties in nicely with the Angel’s message at Fatima  and the prophecies of the Apocalypse. Today’s post is from guest contributor,  Mr. Dulston of BVM Servant. I hope to have a follow up article or two on Our Lady of Knock soon.

Knock pilgrims 1880sSt. Michael the Archangel, The Beloved Disciple, and Ireland
December 27, 2015 by AD

Sunday overrides the Feast of St. John the Evangelist but as it’s coming up to the Fatima year of St. Michael the Archangel, that is, a hundred years since his often forgotten appearance to the Fatima children, I am reminded of other heavenly visits which warn of these precarious times.

On August 21st 1879 some Irish parishioners from the town of Knock, witnessed a vision on the back of their Church. In what is now a famous image we find Mary, Joseph, St. John the Evangelist and a Lamb on an altar with angels in flight. Many focus quite rightly on Mary in the vision but it is obvious that the scene is that of Holy Mass, and specifically the consecration of the bread into Our Lord’s Body, Who is offered as a Lamb to take away our sins, to God the Father.

Continue reading “St. Michael, St. John and Our Lady of Knock”

Apocalypse Chapters 1-3

 

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

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

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

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

Continuing in Chapter 1, we see,

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

Continue reading “Apocalypse Chapters 1-3”

The New Paganism

 

PETER or PAN

The story of the development of new paganism is the story of the Prodigal Son. The younger son in the parable is Western civilization, who in the sixteenth century goes to the spiritual father of Christendom and asks for a share of the substance garnered through the centuries. The spiritual father gives Western civilization a share of that capital in the shape of the necessity of a Church, the Divinity of Christ, the inspiration of Sacred Scriptures, the existence of God, and the necessity of religion.

In the course of the last four centuries, Western civilization has been prodigal of that patrimony. In the sixteenth century, it spent its belief in the Church, in the seventeenth, the inspiration of Sacred Scripture, in the eighteenth, the Divinity of Christ, in the nineteenth, the existence of God, and in the twentieth, the necessity of religion. At the present day, the capital is all gone and now it is feeding on husks, under the names of “New Thought” and “Progress.” It was not so long ago that the father of Christendom could depend upon those sects that called themselves Christian to help defend the great fundamental truths of Christianity such as the Divinity of Christ and the necessity of the salvation of the individual soul. That day is past.

Many of the best-known preachers are today teaching nothing but a glorified Humanism and there are but few who would dare to speak of divine justice or retribution. We are, therefore, practically forced to carry on the battle for Christian truth alone, and this is something new in the history of Christianity.

In our day the religion of Christ is facing a crisis such as it has not faced, probably, since Constantine.1 By that I mean that up to this time the Church has been engaged in a kind of civil war, in which a Christian idea has battled with a misunderstanding of a Christian idea or in which sect has fought with sect. None of the great heresies of the first sixteen hundred years of the Christian era denied the existence of God, but they had misconceived the notion of the Trinity, the nature of Christ, the nature of Divine Grace, and the mission of the Church. In the last four centuries the conflict was not so much of idea and idea as the conflict of sect and sect.

Today we are faced with something entirely novel. We are engaged now not so much in what might be called a civil war, but we are confronted with what Mr. Belloc2 has called “an invasion,” that is, a force of ideas that is as strange to traditional Christianity as Christianity was strange to Paganism. This new invading force is New Paganism.

New Paganism may be defined as an outlook on life that holds to the sufficiency of human science without faith, and the sufficiency of human power without grace. In other words, its two tenets are Scientism which is a deification of the experimental method, and Humanism, which is a glorification of a man who makes God to his own image and likeness.

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Notes on the Apocalypse Chapter 12

 

Today, we return to Chapter 12, verses 1-9 of St. John’s Apocalypse, to illustrate the Vatican’s deception with regards to the Third Secret – and also, we might hope, to prepare us for the coming events, as foretold by the same prophecies.

[1] And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: [2] And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. [3] And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems: [4] And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son. [5] And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to His throne.

[6] And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred sixty days. [7] And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels: [8] And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. [9] And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Sister Lucia is reported to have said that the Third Secret concerns the Apocalypse, particularly Chapters 8 through 13. This is confirmed by two of the Conciliar Popes, Paul VI and John Paul II, in their words at Fatima.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima, Pope Paul VI made a pilgrimage there where he delivered an address, “Signum Magnum” or Great Sign on May 13, 1967. In that address, he declared,

The great sign which the Apostle John saw in Heaven, “a woman clothed with the sun,” is interpreted by the sacred Liturgy, not without foundation, as referring to the most Blessed Mary, the mother of all men by the grace of Christ the Redeemer. … On the occasion of the religious ceremonies which are taking place at this time in honor of the Virgin Mother of God in Fatima, Portugal, where She is venerated by countless numbers of the faithful for Her motherly and compassionate heart, we wish to call the attention of all sons of the Church once more to the indissoluble link between the spiritual motherhood of Mary … and the duties of redeemed men toward Her, the Mother of the Church.” (Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Letter, “Signum Magnum”, that is, Great Sign)

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