Five Principles in Time of Crisis

The following is in response to the requests of our readers.  Several readers have expressed their distress over the lack of a leader to confront the errors in the church.   And so, let us begin with the five principles explicated by Father Stehlin. That will be the basis for subsequent discussions. The emphasis is ours and there is no commentary for now.

From SSPX: News and Events,

Fr. Karl Stehlin’s letter to Rev. Fr. Antoine, Rev. Fr. Jean, and the whole community of Reverend Capuchin Fathers:[1]

Warsaw, February 6, 2014
Rev. Fr. Jean,

I just received your sermon from the Third Sunday after the Epiphany, and I must tell you that it deeply moved me. It reminded me of those days when I had the honor of receiving you into the Militia Immaculatae [M.I.], and of your visit to Poland to participate in our great pilgrimage to Czestochowa. What is more, you know how attached I am to you Capuchin Fathers, especially since it is through you that the M.I. spread in France, forming knights of the Immaculate willing to work for the conversion of souls. Finally, what a joy it has been for me to see Polish postulants enter your monastery and the convent of the Poor Clares.

All this to say that I read your sermon with the utmost attention, all the more so since you Fathers rarely speak “ad extra”.

How right you are to insist that we must be men of principle, and that our principles must be inflexible, with no possible compromise. I admit that I have been thinking about this very point for a long time, and wishing to be a man of principle after the example of a Cardinal Pie and an Archbishop Lefebvre, I have tried to gather together the main principles (I found five) and place them before my conscience in order to examine whether I strive to put them into practice. Allow me to expose them to you, not in hierarchical order, but as they come to mind.

First principle: the good of obedience

Reading your words as a son of St. Francis and of our beloved St. Maximilian Kolbe, I thought first of all of how much the latter insisted on supernatural obedience. You know his famous texts and you know better than I that for St. Maximilian, the only sure mark of the voice of the Immaculate is the voice of one’s superiors. This saint practiced this obedience to the point of heroism and that is the profound reason for his influence and the success of the Immaculate. I have always admired the Capuchin Fathers for being champions of the practice of this great principle. And St. Maximilian (and St. Thomas before him) tells again that only if superiors ask of us something immoral or against the Faith must we respect the greater obedience towards God and therefore refuse to obey His human instruments. Thanks to this principle, which is the essence of obedience, we have chosen the superior obedience towards God over obedience to His instruments who ask us to do or accept things against Faith and morals.

But if I am in front of a legitimate superior (see the second principle), I owe him total obedience, through which I accomplish the will of the Immaculate in perfect safety. And St. Maximilian insists that this obedience is thus supernatural because of our love for God and our submission to Him.

I admit that it is sometimes hard. And I can still hear Fr. Antoine saying during a retreat: “you have to hold on tight” to persevere on the path of obedience. And I am so happy and grateful to my superiors who not only have never asked of me (nor of anyone I know) anything bad, but on the contrary: how many times have their orders saved me, although at the time I didn’t understand, and I thought that humanly speaking such order seemed to make little sense. But the principle is formal: as long as there is no act, order, or demand against Faith and morals, complete and total obedience! How I wish the sons of St. Francis and of St. Maximilian Kolbe would remind us of this principle that is the source of all sanctity and apostolic fecundity. All of us priests ordained in Tradition made a solemn promise at the moment of our priestly ordination, and in the light of this, how painful it is to read the declaration of the priests that call themselves “the Resistance”.[2]

Second principle: authority

Another principle linked to the first is the principle of authority in se, which alone can save us from the Protestant free inquiry. All of Tradition holds together through this principle, without which everything would fall apart, for the duty to refuse the ordinary authority in order to safeguard the Faith implies the duty to submit to the authority of extraordinary supplied jurisdiction. Tradition has survived because Providence provided this supplied jurisdiction through the founding of the SSPX to which were attached friendly communities.[3]

The minute we reject this authority, we endorse terrible consequences:

Without it there is no unity. Look at the 20 sedevacantist sects, look at “the Resistance” after less than two years: no principle of unity except that of fighting against the SSPX. Among them there are already a good number of formal sedevacantists,[4] one preaches that today a priest has to be a bit of an anarchist, etc. Look at your sermon and your tract:[5] it is your interpretation, it is your point of view, and you have no way of giving any other credit to your text besides the arguments you offer. You quote the bishops of the Society, criticizing them for each having a different point of view on the situation. Look at your own beautiful monastery: perhaps one priest has another vision of things, and yet another comes to a sedevacantist conclusion. And then what will become of the Father Guardian?[6] For in the name of safeguarding the Faith, all the Fathers will “put their priesthood at the faithful’s disposition” and do what they want. Please, Father, by refusing legitimate authority one destroys one’s own authority. At this point I would like to draw your attention to Bishop Williamson. You know well that we have been trying for years to prepare the conversion of a good number of Protestant pastors. Well, their testimony is interesting. They say that in reading Bishop Williamson’s Kyrie Eleison,[7] they are strangely reminded of the “prophets of the 19th century” in the Lutheran church, who shared their apocalyptic interpretations, always with the conclusion that the world is going to end and it is all over. All there is left to do is wait for the last day. Each one believed he held the true Gospel according to the principle: objectivity is me!

Continue reading “Five Principles in Time of Crisis”

Politics and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2018

 

Today we consider a neglected aspect of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that is, its political aspect.  For this essay, I am indebted to a favorite author, Solange Hertz.  In her book, “Utopia Nowhere“,  Solange Hertz proves the importance of the political aspect in a most elegant manner, beginning with her assertion that devotion to the Sacred Heart was established on Golgotha when the Roman Centurion Longinus plunged his lance into the Heart of Jesus, the Heart of “The King of the Jews”, as Pilate’s notice proclaimed.

Longinus, the official representative of the ruling power, thereby performed a political act which stands to this day as a necessary reminder of the battle between the dark powers that rule this world and the power of Christ the King:

Devotion to His Sacred Heart is therefore no sentimental devotion to be pursued only in private. Essentially, it is a political commitment. The Sacred Heart of Christ the King is source and center of the Christian state, human manifestation of the divine Monarchy from which all monarchy takes its name. Its temporal dimensions extend into eternity. Only when viewed from this perspective can the true purpose of Sacred Heart devotion be discerned. Otherwise it is simply a super-excellent practice among many others designed by God to bring the individual into greater intimacy with Him.

Sacred Heart devotion does this, to be sure, but its objective is ultimately and fundamentally political in the real sense of the word politics. It was forged by the divine Wisdom to bring not only the individual, but whole nations into intimacy with God. [“Utopia Nowhere”].

Although devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was evident throughout the long history of the Church, and especially in the lives of many of the mystics of the Church in the Middle Ages, it was not until Our Lord’s revelations to the Visitation nun, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1689 that we began to see the vigorous political thrust of the Sacred Heart.  From Hertz:

The substance of our Lord’s message had been conveyed in six letters written by St. Margaret Mary, five of them to her former Superior, Mother de Saumaise, and the last one to her Jesuit spiritual director, Fr. Croiset. The second letter, dated June 17, 1689, begins by speaking of some great political designs of our Lord:

Behold this Heart which has so loved men…

… which can be executed only by His almighty power … It seems to me He wishes to enter with pomp and magnificence into the homes of princes and kings so as to be honored there to the same degree that He was outraged, despised and humiliated in His Passion, and to receive as much pleasure on seeing the world’s great ones reduced and humbled before Him as He felt bitterness on seeing Himself reduced to nothing at their feet.

And here are the words I heard regarding our King: ‘Inform the eldest son of My Sacred Heart that … he will secure his birth into grace and glory by the consecration he will make of himself to My adorable Heart … and through his mediation, that of the great ones of the earth. He (the Sacred Heart) wishes to reign in his palace, to be painted on his standards and to be graven on his arms to render them victorious over all his enemies, by bringing these proud, arrogant heads under his heel and effect his triumph over all the enemies of the Church.’

There were other requests. In the saint’s fifth letter, dated August 28 of the same year, she says our Lord desired a building to be erected in which would be displayed an image of the divine Heart, to which the King and his entire court would formally consecrate themselves. The King, furthermore, chosen by our Lord as “His faithful friend,” was to ensure that a special Mass in His honor would be authorized by the Holy See and a formal cultus established.

In return the King was promised divine protection against his “enemies, both visible and invisible.” It is now known that these invisible enemies were the occult forces of Freemasonry set into motion by the “merchants of light.” Already they had crossed the Channel from England and were gathering strength in France. And speaking of channels, our Lord made it clear that the Jesuit Fr. de la Chaize, Louis XIV’s confessor, had been chosen by God to see to the execution of His designs.

The Role of the Jesuits

St Margaret Mary explained, “By virtue of the power He had given him [Father de la Chaize], over the heart of our great King, the success of the matter depended on him.” And yet, incredibly, even Jesuit scholars have determined that Fr. de la Chaize never relayed Our Lord’s message to the King.  Hertz suggests that it was Jesuit obedience that withheld him, as it is known that the Father General, Fr. Thyrsus Gonzalez de Santalla was hostile to devotion to the Sacred Heart, as it is documented that he censured and banished  Father Croiset, St. Margaret Mary’s devout confessor for having written an account of the revelations.

To what can we describe such a thing? It seems another instance of the workings of the mystery of iniquity. Thus, the devotion so dear to Our Lord was allowed to languish, and the cause was simply obedience to disobedience. This has worked so well for the ancient enemy, sad to say.

Hertz affirms that the tradition of the French Visitation nuns holds it for certain that Louis XIV did nevertheless learn of the desires of the Sacred Heart through other sources. We know that Louis XIV was already privately practicing the devotion as preached by St. John Eudes, to whom he had allocated 2000 pounds for France’s first chapel to be dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Hertz is certain that the King would have, as piety dictated, submitted St. Margaret Mary’s requests to his spiritual director for approval, with a view to acting on them, but it is clear that no approval was given. Once again, obedience to those who are disobedient to Christ.

In her essay, Hertz stresses an important point, “The divine communications had been directed to Louis XIV’s person [as Monarch], but not to him as an individual. Had this been the case the extraordinary means used would have been entirely disproportionate. It was Louis as King who was addressed.” What we are to understand from this is that God made a request of the French Monarch, not a personal request to one single person, King Louis XIV, but to the French Monarchy to re-establish the ancient and sacred compact between the French Monarchy and the Church. instituted by King Clovis. Let’s delve a bit deeper here, for this has significance for us today.

Fr. Bainvel, theologian of the Sacred Heart, writes:

“The three objects of the message [of the Sacred Heart]: the church, the consecration, the flag are by their very nature national, durable and perpetual; the triumph over the enemies of God and the Church resulting from the accomplishment of the message is even more national, inasmuch as it involves the whole future of France and her providential Catholic mission, her vocation and her raison d’ être.”

In the person of the King all his successors and the nation itself are addressed. The entire court was to take part in the consecration. God’s gifts being without repentance, no time limit was set, and presumably God still waits. Thus, we see that Our Lord Jesus Christ still awaits the obedience of the French Monarch to His demands, as He awaits the obedience of the Pope and Bishops to the demands of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, His most Beloved Mother.

Why the King of France?

Continue reading “Politics and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2018”

For Love of His Sacred Heart

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus are inseparable, although the modernist church certainly does try! For today, let’s revisit this fine old essay by the incomparable Solange Hertz.

For love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we offer this essay of Solange Hertz, from her book (highly recommended!), The Thought of Their Heart, on Devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Holy Rosary”.

The Open Heart

by Solange Strong Hertz

“I will reveal My love to them more and more …”

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 “For Love of His Sacred Heart”

Doldrums

“The soul must never be discouraged by the fruitlessness of its repeated efforts. It seems to be laws of the spiritual life that, since all progress ultimately depends on God, He lets us first learn our complete helplessness by long and weary efforts that come to naught. But we have His word: ‘I Myself will come and save you!’ ” (Dom Eugene Boylan)

Today’s post was requested by several readers who have asked for more articles to help with their practice of prayer.  Many are noticing a spiritual lassitude and an unaccustomed resistance to their devotions. A book that has helped me is Dom Boylan’s “Difficulties in Mental Prayer” which I obtained a long time ago second hand. It is now quite expensive through Amazon but Abe Books has it reasonably priced. If you find this helpful and would like more posts in this line, let me know.

One quick note before we get into this, please help the brave and wonderful faithful of Ireland with their 40 Days of Prayer and Penance. See the article on Lifesite News and please, wherever you are, make it a priority to support this wonderful effort. Many of us owe the faith we have today to the unflagging efforts and greatness of soul of the Irish priests, nuns and brothers who brought the faith to our families many generations ago. My own family was brought back to the faith by a fiery Irish priest who shamed my mother into returning to the faith and getting her heathen children catechised. And Matt Talbot is amighty warrior for those of us who battle alchoholism on behalf of our poor family members too weak to defend themselves.  So, please, let’s help the Irish who have helped the Church so much!

† . † . †

Prayer develops just as human intimacy develops, and, like it, has its seasons and its variations. If, therefore, our way of praying is not adapted to the particular state of our intimacy with God, there is bound to be difficulty.

If, for example, one is ready and fitted for affective prayer, meditation–that is, discursive prayer–becomes a profitless burden; if, perhaps, one act or one type of act is sufficient to keep the soul occupied at prayer, then any striving to multiply these acts will be found most difficult and disturbing. If the heart wants to speak to God without words, any attempt to force it to make a series of distinct acts may destroy the prayer.

Again, if God gives His grace to the will alone, and wishes us to unite ourselves to Him in naked faith, any effort to set the mind or the imagination to work will only be a distraction, and is really a resistance to grace. Then, too, souls who have once reached a high degree of prayer and then fallen into some serious infidelity, cannot resume their former manner of praying without repairing the fault; and though they will not have to climb up the whole of the ladder again, yet their restoration has its own problems. Thus, each degree of intimacy with Our Lord has its proper manner of prayer, and difficulties can arise from failure to choose the right one.

But the greatest difficulties in prayer, and the greatest obstacles to its progress, have their roots outside prayer in the general condition of our spiritual life. On the sincerity of our purpose, the truth of our loyalty, the genuineness of our love–on such things does our prayer greatly depend. Everything that can make or mar friendship and its intimacy will make or mar prayer. We have already noted how the familiarity with God and His teaching that comes from spiritual reading is essential to prayer, and can be a great help for its progress; this, however, is by no means sufficient.

The fundamental dispositions from which prayer flows, and on which its progress depends, are humility, confidence, and a thirst and need for God which shows itself in seeking Him in prayer and, in fact, at all times by doing His Divine will. Any defect in these dispositions will be reflected in a corresponding failure in prayer.

Purity of Conscience

Prayer will not develop unless the soul is advancing towards the fourfold purity of conscience, of heart, of mind, and of action. As to the first of these, prayer is a loving intimacy with God. Now, this is impossible if the conscience is stained with a deliberate habit of sin, for that is a direct denial of love to God and a definite withdrawal of part of our heart and our life from Him. Even an habitual infringement of a rule, in which we deliberately persist after we have adverted to it, makes it impossible for us to try to look God in the face, so to speak, to go into His presence with that readiness of heart for His service, which is the secret of all true devotion and prayer.

That is why it is so important that every priest or religious, and every soul who wishes to advance, should try to look God in the face, in all reverence, at least once every day, without rushing into some form of vocal prayer.

In its perfection, purity of conscience consists in a firm disposition of the will never to consent deliberately to any offence against God or to any departure from His holy will, and is such that as soon as any act is seen to be opposed to the will of God, it is immediately retracted. Faults of frailty and thoughtlessness will always occur, but we must try more and more to prevent all deliberate faults; and as often as they occur, even be it seventy times seven times in the day, we must so often immediately renounce them and seek God’s pardon by a glance of contrition and confidence in His mercy.

In this way we shall gain more in humility than we have lost by our fault, and the confident return to God can give Him more honor than the offence has denied to Him. It is, therefore, an illusion to hope to become a man of prayer while one comes to terms with the enemy. Human weakness and bad habits will cause many a defeat, but the war must be kept up with unceasing courage, and with a grim determination to keep the conscience clean of all that can offend God.

Purity of heart

Purity of heart consists in keeping all the affections of the heart for God alone. It is not enough to rule out all sinful attachments, for if our heart is divided by any inordinate attachment, even to lawful recreations, to our work, to persons, or to anything else, we cannot say we love God with our whole heart. There always will be attachments in the human heart, but they must be subordinate to God and to His will, so that they can never usurp His place as the mainspring of our actions.

The spiritual life is a love affair with Jesus; He has given us His whole Heart, pouring out for US’ the last drop of His Blood in the agonizing death of the Cross; He demands the whole of our heart, and we cannot refuse to want, at least, to give it all to Him. Without this willingness it is impossible to remain in loving silence before Our Lord.

Nothing so darkens our gaze on God, nothing so weakens our desire for God, nothing so lessens our striving for God, nothing so deafens our hearing for God, as a single inordinate attachment. That is the great source of many difficulties in prayer. Nor are the baneful effects of such attachments confined to this simplified prayer of silence. The very first “act” we try to make at prayer rings hollow and false in our own ears, as soon as we are conscious that we are dividing our heart between God and His creatures. And we cannot be intimate with God for long before He points out to us some of those attachments that cause rapine in the holocaust; for God is a jealous God–He is a consuming fire.

Purity of mind

Under purity of mind we include the careful and constant control of our thoughts and memories, by prudently excluding all that is unnecessary, frivolous and vain, and by gradually building up a continual recollection of God and His works. This is also one of the most important of all mortifications for those who would progress in the spiritual life, and far more effective than the most penitential macerations of the flesh. In fact, without it, corporal penance is almost useless. This internal mortification should be extended to the control of our emotions, especially those of anger, fear, hope, sorrow and joy.

The man whose hope, love and trust are fixed in God does not give way to anger when God sends him trials or when people try his patience to its limits, nor does he vainly fear God’s loving Providence, which he knows covers every single detail of his life. Nor, again, does sorrow at his material losses enter deeply into his heart when it is set on the riches of God; and the joys of this life seem trivial, aye, unworthy even, to one who knows the delight of God’s love.

Purity of action

Purity of action, which is often called purity of intention, consists in a continual watch over the motives which animate our actions, and in a constant effort to act only for the love of God and according to His will. It demands a relentless war on that self–love that is always seeking to inspire all our deeds.

When a religious has settled down in the religious life, and has become faithful in his observance of the rule, further progress is to be sought for, not in violent efforts to do extraordinary actions, but in an ever–increasing purity of intention in the ordinary works of everyday life. This is the surest way, in fact–apart from very special cases–it is the only way, to fulfill that law of Christian perfection, which St. John the Baptist so well laid down: “He must increase–I must decrease.”

All search for our own honor, for our own undue ease, all self–seeking, however much it be cloaked by the plea of altruistic motives, or the search of higher sanctity, is directly opposed to that great rule given us by Christ of denying ourselves and following Him. This, perhaps, may seem too hard, and might lead only to discouragement. But perfection of this fourfold purity is not required for progress in prayer, for such perfection is synonymous with sanctity; we must, however, continually strive towards these dispositions of purity. We must desire this purity, we must pray for it, we must make earnest efforts to acquire it.

But without a special help from God, it is unlikely that we should achieve a sufficient measure of it. There is, however, no limit to God’s goodness, and it is at this stage that He is accustomed to intervene, taking compassion on our infirmities; after we have been toiling all night and caught little or nothing, He acts through His special Providence, and in a short time He has advanced us beyond all expectation. But He demands that we do our part that we keep on putting out to sea, so to speak, and persevere in our attempts to make ourselves pleasing to Him, and to pray to Him, no matter how fruitless they appear.

The perfect picture that St. Therese of Lisieux has drawn of the spiritual life will help to give us courage. She sees it as a stairway to be climbed, at the top of which God is waiting, looking down in Fatherly love at His child’s efforts to surmount the first step. The child, who represents ourselves, fails to manage to climb even the first step; it can only keep on lifting up its tiny little foot. Sooner or later God takes pity on it, and comes down and sweeps the child right up to the top in His arms; but–and St. Therese insists on this as much as she insists on God’s loving kindness–we must keep on lifting up our foot.

The soul must never be discouraged by the fruitlessness of its repeated efforts. It seems to be laws of the spiritual life that, since all progress ultimately depends on God, He lets us first learn our complete helplessness by long and weary efforts that come to naught. But we have His word: “I Myself will come and save you!”

† . † . †

NOTES:

“The greatest difficulties in prayer, and the greatest obstacles to its progress, have their roots outside prayer in the general condition of our spiritual life.” Our Lord told Sister Lucia that the reparation He desires is that we fulfill the duties of our state in life in a faithful manner. This is a call to humble obedience in the little, but demanding, trying tasks that humble and exasperate us day by day.

“Try to look God in the face, in all reverence, at least once every day, without rushing into some form of vocal prayer.”  This is precisely what my confessor told me some time ago. “You must begin by kneeling before the Crucifix and do not talk. Be silent before Him and allow Him to speak to your heart.”

“All search for our own honor, for our own undue ease, all self–seeking, however much it be cloaked by the plea of altruistic motives, or the search of higher sanctity, is directly opposed to that great rule given us by Christ of denying ourselves and following Him.” This is sometimes a very humbling and hard lesson. It is only when we realize how little and utterly helpless we are and surrender ourselves to Him with humble resignation that He lifts us up.  And often that takes a bit of time. Patience.

“I Myself will come and save you!”

Please, Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!

†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.

What John Saw and What Lúcia Saw 2018

 

By request for today:

Today we speak of beginnings and endings

A long, long time ago, John was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, as he tells us. And he heard a loud voice as of the sound of many waters, “I am the Alpha and the Omega …” . And John was given visions, the like of which no man has ever seen since until the night of June 13, 1929 in a small chapel.

Sister Lúcia described the vision:

“Suddenly the whole chapel became bright with a supernatural light and above the altar appeared a luminous cross that extended to the ceiling. In an even brighter light appeared above the cross the face of a Man with His body down to the waist. In front of His chest was a Dove, also made entirely of light, and nailed to the cross was the Body of another Man. A little below His hips appeared a chalice floating in the air and a large host, upon which fell the drops of blood that streamed from the face of the Crucified, and from His wounded side. They flowed down upon the host, and from there they fell into the chalice.

Beneath the cross and to the right was Our Lady with her Immaculate Heart in her hand (it was Our Lady of Fatima with her Immaculate Heart, which she held in her left hand, without a sword or roses, but rather, surrounded with a crown of thorns and all aflame).

Beneath the cross on the left appeared large letters, as though made of crystal-clear water, that flowed from the hand of the Crucified down upon the altar and formed the following words, Grace and Mercy.

I understood that the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity was being shown to me, …”

The Blessed Virgin’s message was succinct:

“The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, and to order that in union with Him and at the same time, all the Bishops of the world make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to convert it because of this day of prayer and worldwide reparation.”

This vision is so deep and rich in meaning; in it we see encapsulated the mysteries of the Immaculate Conception, the Most Blessed Trinity, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Eucharist and so much more. It is the counterpart to John’s visions on Patmos and bears a similar warning and promise for us.

Yet not one Pope has ever spoken of this vision. Not. one. A stunning indifference.

An insight from St. Maximilian Kolbe

Continue reading “What John Saw and What Lúcia Saw 2018”

Another Look at the Angel’s Prayer

A commenter recently corrected us regarding the “Most Holy Trinity” Prayer taught by the Angel of Fatima.

The commenter stated:

“This is the correct version of the Prayer of the Angel:

“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ, present in *all* the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the *outrages, sacrileges,* and indifferences by which He Himself is offended.  And by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg *of Thee* the conversion of poor sinners.

* words that were omitted or reversed in the version originally posted”

I wish I was possessed of the confidence of that commenter! I have dozens of books on Fatima and there are many  variations in that prayer.  On the page which  the commenter cited, I had inadvertently omitted the phrase,  “of Thee”,  leaving the last sentence to read “I beg the forgiveness of poor sinners.” So, I  corrected that mistake in the one instance in which it appeared.

Three Versions

There are several variations on the Angel’s Prayer. Here are three examples  from authoritative sources. I have others.

“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ, present in the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages, and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. And by the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of sinners.”

That is the version published in the booklet, “The True Story of Fatima” by Father John de Marchi, published by the Fatima Center. It is found on page 7 and again in  “The Seven Fatima Prayers” on page 96. You’ll notice that the order of the reparations, that is “sacrilges, outrages and indifferences” is the same as we have used consistently here. Father Gruner was the Director at the time this booklet was published.

Next, from Frere Michel de la Sainte Trinite. The Whole Truth about Fatima – Vol I :

Continue reading “Another Look at the Angel’s Prayer”

St. Hermenegild and Modernist Ploys

NOTE: To be clear: I do not intend ever, to support the “resistance” movement.  I offer these thoughts, always with love and the utmost filial respect and obedience.

We repost last year’s tribute to a little known but relevant saint for our times.

You are a slave of the devil because you have a false faith, you’re not Catholic! And I will not receive Holy Communion from sacrilegious hands!”

The Triumph of St. Hermenegild, Martyr for the Faith
The Triumph of St. Hermenegild, Martyr for the Faith

 

Today, April 13, is the feast of day of St. Hermenegild and so we offer an updated tribute to this young saint who stood up against heresy, even the heresy of his own father. His example teaches us much about the current crisis.

St. Hermenegild was a Visigoth Prince martyred for the faith in 585. He was put to death by his own father, the Arian King Leovigild for holding firm to the Catholic faith. His father cast him into a dungeon and after several months, sent an Arian Bishop to him on Easter Sunday to offer him a pardon if he would accept Communion from him. By his firm refusal to yield his faith to heresy, even to his father’s heresy, he earned a martyr’s crown. His story has a particular relevance to this unique and tragic time in the Church.

A few years ago, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais gave a sermon on St. Hermenegild:

Continue reading “St. Hermenegild and Modernist Ploys”

Rest for the weary

It has become necessary for me to take a time of rest. There are several scheduled articles but posting will be sparse. I hope to update my status in a week or so.  Until then, we repost this in the hopes that some who come across it will find it useful.

A milestone has been passed. All of us should have taken to heart the message Our Lady of the Rosary left us with in her sixth visit at Fatima, October 13, 1917: Continue to say the Rosary every day. …. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins.” Then, growing sadder, “They must not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended.”

Also, remember that Our Lady told Blessed Alan de la Roche, “Know, my son, that a probable and proximate sign of eternal damnation is aversion for, lukewarmness and carelessness in saying the Angelic Salutation…”  Distaste for her Rosary is an indication of danger, a warning that a soul is drifting from the true path.

We have been pointing out that Pope Francis does indeed, appear to fit the prophecy of the Second Beast. Perhaps he is not that beast, but merely a foreshadowing, in the way that Nero was not the Antichrist, but merely one of the many antichrists of history. Of Bergoglio’s similarity to the Second Beast, we wrote:

What is certain is that outwardly this false prophet will act as one exercising authority in the name of God and in His service, while in reality it will be completely in the service of the Beast.  It will use fire from Heaven, which is the Word of God, the anathema, to disarm its enemies and conquer Christians. This is because the Lamb, that is, the False Prophet will then condemn what is holy and consecrate what comes from the Evil One.

In several previous posts I have warned,

Continue reading “Rest for the weary”

The Judas Pope

On Maundy Thursday, Pope Francis confirmed his devotion to St. Judas by confiding to his marxist friend Eugenio Scalfari that there is no Hell.  As faithful Catholics all over the world were beginning  the holiest time of the year, the Triduum, Here are his words to Scalfari, the ancient atheist who is the Humble Pope’s® dear friend:

“Those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls.”

Pope Francis, who claims he is  “by the will of Christ Himself – the supreme Pastor and Teacher of all the faithful”; and that he enjoys, “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church”, thus effectively betrayed Christ Himself and two thousand years of Catholic teaching.

“Son of perdition”
Some of the more perceptive commenters have noted the coincidence (?) – the Passion of Christ began with the betrayal of Jesus by Judas on Maundy Thursday and now this unfortunate Pope, another “son of perdition”, sows confusion among the faithful on, of all days, Maundy Thursday. The Church, Mystical Body of Christ is thus betrayed by her earthly Shepherd, beginning the deepest stage of the Passion of the Church. Note Christ’s words in this regard:

“Holy Father, keep them in Thy name whom Thou has given me; that they may be one, as we also are.  While I was with them, I kept them in Thy name. Those whom Thou gavest me have I kept; and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture may be fulfilled.   (John 17)

All over the world, forces are aligning for this momentous battle and we will discuss this in more detail soon, God willing. But to get us prepared, please  review this particular post; for it gives some indispensable background for what is to follow.

† . † . †

April 16, 2016
The Judas Complex and Pope Francis

Odd, isn’t it that Pope Francis has such a tender spot for Judas the betrayer of Christ?  In Monday’s (April  11, 2016) homily at Msgr. Ricca’s residence, Pope Francis opined, “It hurts when I read that small passage from the Gospel of Matthew, when Judas, who has repented, goes to the priests and says: ‘I have sinned’ and wants to give … and gives them the coins. ‘Who cares! – they say to him: it’s none of our business!’ They closed their hearts before this poor, repentant man, who did not know what to do. And he went and hanged himself.” (Vatican Radio) [Note: Pope Francis really did call Judas a “poor, repentant man” !]

Continue reading “The Judas Pope”

Now everyone is in the dark

When I read the following, it called to mind the prophecy of St. John Bosco that begins with, “It was a dark night…” St. John Bosco continued, if I recall, with, “ they all realized that they were no longer in Rome.”  

From  Rorate Caeli comes this insightful article by Antonio Socci:

Socci: Do the hierarchies in the Church still have the Catholic Faith?
Antonio Socci
“Libero”
March 10, 2018

The parish priest of Cisterna in Latina, Don Livio Fabiani caused a bit of sensation with his words at the funeral of the two children killed by their father.

Yet perhaps – for Catholics – the homily of Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence, at the funeral of the Fiorentina’s Captain, Davide Astori, who died two Sundays ago of a heart attack, ought to be a source of more amazement.

These two tragedies have made us face sudden death, the eruption of evil and the suffering of the innocents. We are all dumbstruck. The words “waste and void” repeated by Thomas S. Eliot in his poem (Choruses fromThe Rock)  describe our hearts in these situations.
For Christians, however, there was and always has been a voice that knows the mystery of all things, that knows how to make friendship even with “sister death” and for centuries has had the mission of illuminating man’s path: The Church.

Again Eliot recalls that She was seen for centuries as the One who: “who will perhaps answer our doubtings. The Watcher, who sees what is to happen. The Witness. The God-shaken, in whom is the truth inborn.” (also from Choruses from The Rock) The poet continues: “She tells them of Life and Death, and of all that they would forget./She is tender where they would be hard, and hard where they/like to be soft./ She tells them of Evil and Sin, and other unpleasant facts.”

CHRISTIAN WORDS
For this [reason] the parish priest from Latina in the heartrending Mass for the two murdered children, asked for prayer “even for the father” who had committed suicide after killing his own children and wounding his wife. The Corriere della Sera reported “that someone from the pews contested the priest’s words but that he said, after a moment of silence and commotion. “ Pardon me, but the family have forgiven”. In the homily the priest recalled: “I baptized Alessia, gave her First Communion and next May 6th she would have received the Sacrament of Confirmation and Martina would have begun attending catechism classes in the parish.”

Then he emphasized that “we brought Alessia and Martina here, not to a stadium or sports hall. We brought them here, to church where they first began their steps in Christianity ” because “it is here that we find the answers, in our faith in Jesus.” Simple but vertiginous, Christian words. They should extinguish the rancor that we have seen elsewhere. ANSA reports that at Secondigliano the body of Luigi Capasso (the father) was greeted with “with shouts and insults” but “was blessed at the Neapolitan cemetery of Poggioreale.”

Even when anger prevails among the people, the Church never fails in Her compassionate prayer for everyone, by taking the example from Jesus, Who, nailed to the Cross, prayed even for his executioners: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
The Church is where one goes to seek the prayer we all are in need of and where we find consolation in suffering or when confronted with death.

The Church is the She – who, like a mother who loves – tells Her children even the uncomfortable truths they don’t want to hear. Starting with the necessity and duty of prayer for everyone. A mother doesn’t seek the approval of men, since she wants only the salvation of her children.

BEWILDERMENT
For this reason, the words of the Archbishop of Florence, Cardinal Betori at Davide Astori’s funeral Mass leave us somewhat bewildered.

Actually, there is not even one reference to prayer in his entire discourse: not for the young footballer’s soul and his eternal salvation, nor for his family and relatives who are grief-stricken.

This is astonishing since a churchman should make it clear that the bond with the dear departed doesn’t end with death, but we can and must continue helping each other with prayers for our salvation and eternal bliss. Prayers for those who have died convey that death is only a momentary exit from the field of vision, that “life has not been taken away, but rather transformed” . Thus Christians may cry out: “ Death where is thy victory?” .

Prayer for dear ones who have previously been called by God is a great act of love and reminds us that we have an immortal soul. As Chiara Corbella used to say: “we were born and we won’t die anymore.” These were the eternal words of the Church that thousands of people in Florence had wanted to hear.

The tragedy of Davide Astori has cast a chill on everyone as the sudden death of a 30 year old man is like a punch in the face and confronts us with the terrible fragility of life. Even when one is in the prime and vigor of his youth. It carries us to the brink of the abyss and the mystery of life. And it is above all at these times, that our gaze is directed to that place which promises “words of eternal life”. In fact, the Church of Santa Croce in Florence was filled to overflowing as was the piazza in front of it.

But Cardinal Betori didn’t embrace the suffering of all those people by inviting them to pray, thereby teaching them the faith and opening their hearts up to Christian hope. On the contrary, he said he was unable to give any consolation. Here is his astonishing preamble:

“The sense of many things in life escapes us, the “why” remains obscure. First of all death itself. We have no explanations to offer about death which could serve in giving consolation. Our suffering remains, especially when death takes away from us a person we love – a friend. It has happened now to us, with Davide Astori. Don’t ask me then for comprehensible reasons, for justifiable conclusions [or] motives to console [you]. I can only cry with you. And offer you something to think about.”

Certainly, during the homily he juxtaposed some quotations from the Gospel, nonetheless, always on the horizontal, social dimension (let’s help others) and without changing substantially that leaden, awful preamble.

But a Church that proclaims “we have no explanations to offer about death which could serve in giving consolation” and “don’t ask me then for comprehensible reasons, for justifiable conclusions [or] motives to console [you]. I can only cry with you.” , – I say – what’s the use of a Church like that?

It is completely useless. It is as desolating as an abandoned post office. A despairing Church cannot help us, we despairing creatures. This is the salt that has become insipid – as Jesus says in the Gospel – it is of no use for anything and is thrown away to be trampled on.
We cannot even attribute this to a blunder by a cardinal, since Betori here has echoed things said several times by Bergoglio on the subjects of suffering, evil and death.

The present Church – at the end of the day – has at present a colossal problem contained in this question: does Her hierarchies still have the faith? All the drama is in this, as Cardinal Sarah recently commented.

Without firm and luminous faith (and the hope of eternal life) there is only an earthly horizon where you go about seeking the approval of the world. As Bertori did, by delivering a long eulogy on the Fiorentina football player to his fans. In truth, in the past, the Church had prescribed that at funerals a eulogy on the deceased should not be done, but that the teaching of Christ on life, judgment, the resurrection and eternal life should be made clear.

Betori delivered a discourse which was directed at the “violet”* heart of the city, more than the Christian conscience of the people. He even made detours about football.

Today the Church seems to be undergoing a catastrophic spiritual collapse seeing as the hierarchies expect the flock of the faithful to follow their same way.

Perhaps someone will say that all this – even if enormous – only concerns believers. Except that when there is no longer a place where hope for eternal life resounds, it is a frightful impoverishment for everyone. They have switched off the light – now everyone is in the dark.

*the colour of the Fiorentina football jersey.

Translation: contributor Francesca Romana

NOTES:

For those who may find it useful, we include a few more quotes from Eliot’s Choruses from The Rock. (Of course, it is much better to simply read it all, and there is a link provided at the end.)

The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,
All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.
. . .

III
The Word of the Lord came unto me, saying:
O miserable cities of designing men,
O wretched generation of enlightened men,
Betrayed in the mazes of your ingenuities,
Sold by the proceeds of your proper inventions:
I have given you hands which you turn from worship,
I have given you speech, for endless palaver,
. . .
And the wind shall say:

“Here were decent godless people:
Their only monument the asphalt road
And a thousand lost golf balls.”
. . .
When the Stranger says: “What is the meaning of this city?
Do you huddle close together because you love each other?”
What will you answer?
“We all dwell together To make money from each other”?
or “This is a community”?
And the Stranger will depart and return to the desert.
.  . .
Though you forget the way to the Temple,
There is one who remembers the way to your door:
Life you may evade, but Death you shall not.
You shall not deny the Stranger.

V
Oh Lord deliver me from the man of
excellent intention and impure heart:
for the heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately wicked.
. . .

VI
Why should men love the Church?
Why should they love her laws?
She tells them of Life and Death, and of all that they would forget.
She is tender where they would be hard,
and hard where they like to be soft.
She tells them of Evil and Sin, and other unpleasant facts.
They constantly try to escape
From the darkness outside and within
By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.

But the man that is will shadow
The man that pretends to be.
And the Son of Man was not crucified once for all,
The blood of the martyrs not shed once for all,
The lives of the Saints not given once for all:
But the Son of Man is crucified always
And there shall be Martyrs and Saints.

VII
In the beginning God created the world.
Waste and void.
Waste and void.
And darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And when there were men, in their various ways,
they struggled in torment towards God
Blindly and vainly, for man is a vain thing,
and man without God is a seed upon  the wind:
driven this way and that,
and finding no place of lodgement and germination.
. . .
But it seems that something has happened that has never happened before:
though we know not just when, or why, or how, or where.

Men have left God not for other gods, they say, but for no god;
and this has never happened before
That men both deny gods and worship gods, professing first Reason,
And then Money, and Power, and what they call Life, or Race, or Dialectic.

The Church disowned, the tower overthrown, the bells upturned, what have we to do
But stand with empty hands and palms turned upwards
In an age which advances progressively backwards?
. . .
CHORUS:
Waste and void. Waste and void.
And darkness on the face of the deep.

Has the Church failed mankind, or has mankind failed the Church?
When the Church is no longer regarded, not even opposed, and men have forgotten
All gods except Usury, Lust and Power.

Eliot, T. S., Complete Poems and Plays, 1909-1950