Saint Catherine of Genoa on Purgatory

There have always been two views of purgatory prevailing in the Church, not contradictory the one of the other, but rather expressive of the mind and devotion of those who have embraced them. (Fr. Faber)

A repost on purgatory from evensong’s archives.

Today we offer an excerpt from Father Faber’s  essay on Purgatory, (LINK) which draws in good part from the revelations of St. Catherine of Genoa, often considered the saint of Purgatory.

Two Views of Purgatory

Father Faber begins his essay by stating that “There have always been two views of purgatory prevailing in the Church, not contradictory the one of the other, but rather expressive of the mind and devotion of those who have embraced them.”

The first view, he tells us “… loves to represent purgatory as a hell which is not eternal. Violence, confusion, wailing, horror, preside over its descriptions. It dwells, and truly, on the terribleness of the pain of sense which the soul is mysteriously permitted to endure. The fire is the same fire as that of hell, created for the single and express purpose of giving torture.”  The second view is based on the teachings of St. Catherine of Genoa, and it is on these that we will turn our attention today.

Father continues, “The second view of purgatory does not deny any one of the features of the preceding view, but it almost puts them out of sight by the other considerations which it brings more prominently forward.

Of the soul after the particular judgement, Father Faber says, “The moment that in His sight it perceives its own unfitness for heaven, it wings its voluntary flight to purgatory, like a dove to her proper nest in the shadows of the forest. There need be no Angels to convey it thither. It is its own free worship of the purity of God.

“In that moment the soul loves God most tenderly, and in return is most tenderly loved by Him. The soul is in punishment, true; but it is in unbroken union with God. ― ‘It has no remembrance,’ says St. Catherine of Genoa most positively, ― ‘no remembrance at all of its past sins or of earth.’ Its sweet prison, its holy sepulchre, is in the adorable will of its heavenly Father, and there it abides the term of its purification with the most perfect contentment and the most unutterable love.

Ed. Note: It seems to me that Saint Catherine here is describing the state of Saint Therese, Saint Margaret Mary, or Saint Jacinta who achieved such a passionate love for for Our Lord and His Mother that their immense suffering was not only endurable but actually sweet because of the intensity of the flame of love which consumed them.

“As it is not teased by any vision of self or sin, so neither is it harassed by an atom of fear, or by a single doubt of its own imperturbable security. It is impeccable; and there was a time on earth when that gift alone seemed as if it would contain all heaven in itself. It cannot commit the slightest imperfection. It cannot have the least movement of impatience. It can do nothing whatever which will in the least displease God. It loves God above everything, and it loves Him with a pure and disinterested love.

(… )

“No sooner has a soul, with the guilt of no mortal sin upon it, but owing to God a debt of temporal punishment, issued from the world, and been judged, than it perceives itself to be confirmed in grace and charity (according to St. Catherine). It is incapable either of sinning or of meriting any more; and it is destined by an eternal and immutable decree to enter one day as a queen into the kingdom of the blessed, to see, to love, and to enjoy God, the perpetual fountain of all felicity.

“In that instant all the sins of its past are represented to the soul, whether mortal or venial, even though they have been remitted in lifetime by Contrition and the Sacrament of Penance. But after this transitory and instantaneous view of them, the soul remembers nothing more about them. The Saints’ words are:

‘The cause of purgatory, which these souls have in themselves, they see once for all, in passing out of this life, and never afterwards.’ The reason of this exhibition of sins is, she teaches us, to enable the soul in that moment, by an act, no longer indeed meritorious, but nevertheless a real act of the will, to detest all its sins afresh, and especially those venial sins for which it had not contrition in lifetime, either through the weakness of an imperfect heart, or through the accident of a sudden death, that so it may be strictly true, that no sin whatever is pardoned unless the sinner makes an act of detestation of it.

“After this momentary view of sins and formal detestation of them, the soul perceives in itself ‘their evil consequences and malignant legacies’, and these form what the Saint calls ‘the impediment of seeing God.’  ‘The rust of sin,’ she says,  ‘is the impediment, and the fire keeps consuming the rust; and as a thing which is covered cannot correspond to the reverberation of the sun’s rays, so, if the covering be consumed, the thing is at length laid open to the sun.

“As soon as the soul perceives itself to be acceptable to God, and constituted heir of paradise, but unable, because of this impediment, to take immediate possession of its inheritance, it conceives an intense desire to be rid of this hindrance, this double obligation of guilt and punishment. But knowing that purgatory alone can consume these two obligations, and that it is for that very end God condemns the soul to fire, it desires itself to endure the punishment.

‘The soul separated from the body’ (these are the Saint’s words), ‘not finding in itself this impediment which cannot be taken away except by purgatory, at once throws itself into it with right good will.’

‘Nay, if it did not find this ordinance of purgatory aptly contrived for the removal of this hindrance, there would instantaneously be generated in it a hell far worse than purgatory, inasmuch as it would see that because of this impediment it could not unite itself to God Who is its end. Wherefore, if the soul could find another purgatory fiercer than this, in which it could the sooner get rid of this impediment, it would speedily plunge itself therein, through the impetuosity of the love it bears to God.’

“But this is not all. The Saint goes on to teach that if the soul, labouring under this impediment, were free to choose between ascending at once, as it is, to paradise, and descending to suffer in purgatory, it would choose to suffer, although the sufferings be almost as dreadful as those of hell.

“These are her words:  ‘Of how much importance purgatory is no tongue can tell, no mind conceive. So much I see, that its pain is almost as if it were that of hell; and yet I see also that the soul which perceives in itself the slightest flaw or mote of imperfection, would rather throw itself into a thousand hells, than find itself in the presence of the divine Majesty with that defect upon it; and, therefore, seeing purgatory to be ordained for the very taking away of these flaws, forthwith it plunges into it, and it seems by its bearing, as I see, to conceive that it finds there an invention of no little mercy, simply in the being able to get rid of this impediment.’

The Suffering of Purgatory

“When the righteous soul has thus arrived in purgatory, losing sight of everything else, it sees before it only two objects: the extremity of suffering, and the extremity of joys. A most tremendous pain is caused by knowing that God loves it with an infinite love, that He is the Chief Good, that He regards the soul as His daughter, and that He has predestined it to enjoy Him for ever in company with the Blessed: and hence the soul loves Him with a pure and most perfect charity.

“At the same time it perceives that it cannot see Him or enjoy Him yet, though it so intensely yearns to do so; and this afflicts it so much the more, as it is quite uncertain when the term of its penal exile, away from its Lord and paradise, will be fulfilled. This is the pain of loss in purgatory, of which the Saint says that it is ― ‘a pain so extreme, that no tongue can tell it, no understanding grasp the least portion of it. Though God in His favour showed me a little spark thereof, yet can I not in any way express it with my tongue.’

The Joy of Purgatory

“Now let us examine the other object, the extremity of joy. As it loves God with the purest affection, and knows its sufferings to be the will of God in order to procure its purification, it conforms itself perfectly to the divine decree. While in purgatory, it sees nothing but that this pleases God; it takes in no idea but that of His will; it apprehends nothing so clearly as the suitableness of this purification, in order to present it all fair and lovely to so great a majesty.

“Thus, the Saint says:  ‘If a soul, having still something left to be cleansed away, were presented to the Vision of God, it would be worse than that of ten purgatories; for it would be quite unable to endure that excessive goodness and that exquisite justice.’ Hence it is that the suffering soul is entirely resigned to the will of its Creator. It loves its very pains, and rejoices in them because they are a holy ordinance of God. . .

” ‘I do not believe,’ says the Saint,  ‘that it is possible to find a contentment to compare with that of the souls in purgatory, unless it be the contentment of the Saints in paradise. This contentment increases daily through the influx of God into those souls, and this influx increases in proportion as the impediment is consumed and worn away.

“Indeed, so far as the will is concerned, we can hardly say that the pains are pains at all, so contentedly do the souls rest in the ordinance of God, to whose will pure love unites them.’ In another place, St. Catherine says that this inexplicable jubilee of the soul, while it is undergoing purgatory springs from the strength and purity of its love of God.

‘This love gives to the soul such a contentment as cannot be expressed. But this contentment does not take away one iota from the pain; nay, it is the retarding of love from the possession of its object which causes the pain; and the pain is greater according to the greater perfection of love of which God has made the soul capable. Thus the souls in purgatory have at once the greatest contentment and the greatest suffering; and the one in no way hinders the other.’

“As to prayers, alms, and Masses, she asserts that the souls experience great consolation from them; but that in these, as in other matters, their principal solicitude is that everything should be ‘weighed in the most equitable scales of the Divine Will, leaving God to take His own course in everything, and to pay Himself and His justice in the way His own infinite goodness chooses to select.’

“When she looked at herself with the light of supernatural illumination, she saw that God had set her up in the Church as an express and living image of purgatory. She says:

” ‘This form of purification, which I behold in the souls in purgatory, I perceive in my own soul now. I see that my soul dwells in its body as in a purgatory altogether conformable to the true purgatory, only in such measure as my body can bear without dying. Nevertheless, it is always increasing by little and little, until it reaches the point when it will really die.’

“Her death was indeed most wonderful, and has always been considered as a martyrdom of Divine Love. So truly from the first has her position been appreciated, as the great doctor of purgatory, that in the old life of her, ― the ‘vita antica’, examined by theologians in 1670, and approved in the Roman process of her canonisation, and which was composed by Marabotto, her confessor, and Vernaza, her spiritual son, it is said: ― ‘Verily it seems that God set up this His creature as a mirror and an example of the pains of the other life, which souls suffer in purgatory.”

“It is just as if He had placed her upon a high wall, dividing this life from the life to come; so that, seeing what is suffered in that life beyond, she might manifest to us, even in this life, what we are to expect when we have passed the boundary.’ This is a mere epitome of her wonderful and exquisitely beautiful treatise, which has given St. Catherine a rank among the theologians of the Church.” [End quote]

One  thing more:  As we noted in an earlier post, Each day that we pray for the poor souls in November, the Church offers generous indulgences for the Poor Souls and there are many ways of obtaining plenary indulgences for them as well. There is a little saying among the worldly that “No good deed goes unpunished.” But with God our Father, it is just the opposite and our good intentions for the Poor Souls are rewarded most generously. God, our Loving and merciful Father is so very pleased when we, His children, love and care for each other! So let’s be mindful of our fellow faithful Catholics who can no longer help themselves but will earnestly intercede for us once they reach heaven. One thing especially you might want to request from “your” poor souls (those with whom you have formed a bond of prayers) You may do well to ask them to help you attain the knowledge of your most ingrained sins and a sincere hatred for them. This is a most efficacious intention!

Thank you so much for reading and please let me know if you notice any errors in my postings.

Pray the Rosary, many souls depend on it!

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

  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!

 

November 2019 – The Month of Poor Souls

 

I’d hoped to have an All Saints Day article, but have not been able to finish that.  And so we offer our traditional Poor Souls post to conclude our Novena for the Holy Souls in Purgatory which we began on October 24. Today is a good time to begin our Nine Days of Prayer for the Poor Souls which we have added to this post, in the red section below.

In November, we focus on the Poor Souls and on our own mortality as well. The chill wind blowing the flaming leaves about recalls to us thoughts of purgatory and its cleansing fires, bringing to mind loved ones gone before us and our own mortality.

Although these days, the very concept of Purgatory is an affront to the sensibilities of modern Catholics,  it can be a comforting concept to those familiar with the true teachings of the faith. Like the dogma of the sacrificial nature of the Mass, Purgatory is a reminder of the loving justice of God.

If we were to make full use of all the opportunities presented to us every day for offering up our trials and sacrifices for the remission of our sins and for the sins of others, we could conceivably assist many poor souls to heaven as well as shorten our own stay in purgatory’s cleansing fires. The fact that we do not do this, that is, do not make full use of these opportunities for sacrifice, is perhaps due to our not wearing our scapular mindfully, or not maintaining our Consecration to Our Lady as we should. November is a great time to correct this.

According to a pamphlet issued many years ago by the Confraternity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, “The faithful who devoutly offer prayers for the Poor Souls with the intention of doing so for nine (9) successive days may obtain an indulgence of three (3) years each day, or five (5) years each day if in November, and a plenary indulgence at the completion of the nine days of prayer for the Poor Souls. An excellent prayer for them is Psalm 129, the De Profundis:

Out of the depths have I cried to thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice. Let thine ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication.
If Thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall abide it?
For with Thee is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord.
My soul hath relied on His word:
My soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord.
Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with Him plentiful redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Readers who pray the Little Office already recite the De Profundis during Compline;  just be sure to form the intention for the indulgence for the Poor Souls.

Wearing our scapular mindfully, realizing that it is “our Mother’s Apron” so to speak, helps us understand that this apron, as I call it, is a working item. We put on an apron when we will be working on something, and all our life is a work of love, honoring our Queen and Mother, giving glory to God in all things. To this end, we remind ourselves often of our total dependence on her and our complete consecration, which we live, moment by moment, in the small choices of our lives. Now, no one knows of these things, nor should they, for they are part of the intimate secrets shared between a Mother and her child. Treasure them in your heart as Mary herself did.

To help us understand the beneficial nature of purgatory, Father Schouppe’s classic, “Purgatory explained by the lives and legends of the Saints”, is helpful. Fr. Schouppe has many good stories from the lives of the saints to illustrate various aspects of Purgatory, and the following one is a good example.

From the Revelations of St. Gertrude, Father tells us that a young religious in St. Gertrude’s convent was much admired because of her great piety. After her death, St. Gertrude was fervently praying for the soul of the young nun when she was rapt in ecstasy and had a vision of the deceased sister standing before the throne of God, eyes downcast, she seemed to be ashamed. St. Gertrude then beseeched Our Lord, “Most Sweet Jesus, why does not Your infinite goodness invite Your spouse to approach You and enter into the joy of her Lord?”

At this, Our Lord smiled with tender love and beckoned to the reluctant soul to draw near Him, but she, troubled and trembling withdrew from Him. St. Gertrude then addressed her dear sister, “Do you retire when our Lord calls you? You that have desired Jesus during your whole life, withdraw now that He opens His arms to you?” “Ah, my dear Mother, I am not worthy to appear before the Immaculate Lamb. I still have some stains which I contracted upon earth. To approach the Sun of Justice, one must be as pure as a ray of light. I have not yet that degree of purity which He requires of His saints. Know that, if the door of Heaven were to be opened to me, I should not dare to cross the threshold before being entirely purified from all stain.”

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque on Purgatory

In #98 of her Autobiography, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque tells us:

On one occasion when I was praying before the Blessed Sacrament on the Feast of Corpus Christi, a person suddenly appeared before me all enveloped in flames, the heat of which penetrated me so powerfully that I believed myself to be burning as well. The pitiable condition in which I beheld him caused me to shed an abundance of tears. He told me that he was that Benedictine monk to whom I once went to Confession, and who had ordered me to receive Holy Communion, and that, as a reward for this, God had allowed him to have recourse to me that he might obtain some alleviation in his sufferings. He asked me to apply to his soul all that I should do and suffer for three months, which I promised with the consent of my Superiors. He then went on to say that the cause of his suffering was his preferring his own interests to the glory of God, through too great attachment to his own reputation; secondly, a want of charity towards his brethren; and finally, too natural an affection for creatures, many proofs of which he had manifested in his spiritual dealings with them, thereby greatly displeasing God.

But it would be difficult for me to express what I had to suffer during those three months. For he never left me, and on the side on which he stood, I seemed to be all on fire; this caused me such intense suffering that my tears and groans were continual. My Superior, being moved with compassion, ordered me to perform severe penances, and in particular to take the discipline, because the bodily pains and sufferings, imposed upon me through charity, greatly relieved those which this Sanctity of love inflicted upon me as a slight sample of what It causes those poor souls to endure. At the end of three months he appeared to me in a very different state; he was bathed in joy and glory, and about to be admitted into eternal bliss. He thanked me and promised to be my protector before God. I had fallen ill at the time, but as my suffering ceased with his, I soon recovered. (“The Autobiography of Saint Margaret Mary“, TAN Books. Kindle Edition.)

St. Catherine of Genoa on Purgatory

Father Schouppe also has this quote  from St. Catherine of Genoa’s Treatise on Purgatory, which reinforces the concept.

“The Lord is all merciful. He stands before us, His arms extended in order to receive us into His glory. But I see also that the Divine Essence is of such purity that the soul, unless she be absolutely immaculate, cannot bear the sight. If she finds in herself the least atom of imperfection, rather than dwell with a stain in the presence of the Divine Majesty, she would plunge herself into the depths of Hell. Finding in Purgatory a means to blot out her stains, she casts herself into it. She esteems herself happy that, by the effects of a great mercy, a place is given her where she can free herself from the obstacles to supreme happiness.”

And so we see that even in His justice, Our Lord Jesus Christ is a most merciful God! When we pray for these Holy Souls, we are fulfilling Our Dear Lord’s request that we love one another. “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15, 12) Every day we must offer our prayers and some sacrifice for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. The De Profundis, which is part of the Little Office, is a good prayer, as are the Sorrowful Mysteries. One practice is to pray the Indulgenced Prayer Before a Crucifix after you have received Holy Communion. When you have complied with the usual requirements you gain a plenary indulgence which you can ask Our Lord to apply to the Poor Souls. The requirements are to be in a state of grace, receive Confession, Holy Communion and pray for the intentions of the Pope.

Now, sometimes  people complain about praying for the intentions of the Pope, especially lately. But all that is necessary is to pray, and be assured that Our Lord will never allow harm to come on account of honest prayers! I often tell Our Lord, “I’m praying out of obedience and I trust that You will help our Pope to be obedient, too!”

Another plenary indulgence you can easily earn for the Poor Souls is the one from St. Pius X for adoring Our Lord at the elevation of the Host and of the Chalice at Mass. Don’t look away or close your eyes, but look and adore! That is what the elevation is for! Pray with all your heart, “My Lord and My God” and you will gain a plenary indulgence. (with the usual conditions). In November especially, we do this for Poor Souls, but also for those at the hour of their death, especially since so many Catholics do not understand the extent of their insult to God’s justice until their private judgement and then it is already too late. How horribly overwhelmed they must be! But we trust all to the infinite mercy of God, who will bless those who need it most.

Prayer for the Poor Souls in Purgatory
by St. Gertrude the Great

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most precious blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus Christ, in union with the holy Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Poor Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, for those in my own home and in my family. Amen.

Above all, though, offering Masses for the Poor Souls is the very best benefit you can give them. So don’t forget to have Masses said for their relief.

I didn’t realize it was this late–the day here began gloomy and overcast and now suddenly after an entire day of feeling like it was evening, it really is nightfall. That may be an allegory for our life… We become so accustomed to attending the funerals of others, praying for them. And so our thoughts on death become ingrained that death is what happens to others. Now is the time to make friends for ourselves with the souls of Purgatory who have learned what we must learn and will be with us when we face our own judgement. They will remember our kindness to them. We do not know how soon we may need them!

There has never been a better time to  Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

RememberOur Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

  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 Synod of Darkness and the Mystical City of God

 

A commenter, Brian, has submitted a quote from Venerable Maria de Agreda’s Mystical City of God, Vol. I. I posted the comment, but it warrants a post of its own:

The quotation from Agreda’s Mystical City of God is taken from her Chapter XVIII,

SEQUEL OF THE MYSTERY OF THE CONCEPTION OF THE MOST HOLY MARY AS DESCRIBED IN THE SECOND PART OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CHAPTER OF THE APOCALYPSE.

(Venerable Maria de Agreda. “The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations”  Veritatis Splendor Publications. Kindle Edition.)

The angels of which the Evangelist speaks in this place, are seven of those who attend in a special manner at the throne of God and who have received commission and power to punish some of the sins of men. This vengeance of the wrath of the Omnipotent (Apoc. 15, 1) will happen in the last ages of the world; but it shall be a new punishment, greater than which neither before nor after is possible during mortal existence.

ED. NOTE: Agreda here refers to Apocalypse Ch.15,1: “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and wonderful: seven angels having the seven last plagues. For in them is filled up the wrath of God.” We return to Agreda again:

“But since these mysteries are deeply hidden and since not all have been revealed to me, nor concern this history, I do not consider it proper to expatiate upon them, but I will pass on to what more closely concerns my task.

“This angel, of which St. John speaks, is the one through whom God will avenge with an especial and dreadful chastisement the injuries committed against his most holy Mother ; for the insane daring, with which they have despised Her, has roused the indignation of his Omnipotence. As the most holy Trinity has pledged Itself to honor and exalt this Queen of heaven above all human creatures and above the angels, placing Her in this world as a Mirror of the Divinity and as the special Mediatrix of mortals, God has taken it in a particular manner upon Himself to avenge the heresies, errors, outrages, and all injuries committed against Her, since thereby men have not glorified, acknowledged and adored Him in this tabernacle and have not made use of this incomparable mercy.

“These punishments are prophesied to the holy Church. Although the mysterious words of the Apocalypse enshroud in obscurity the rigor of this punishment, yet woe to the unhappy ones, that shall be overtaken by it! Woe to me, who have offended a God so strong and powerful to chastise! I am overwhelmed in the expectation of the great calamity here threatened.” (end of Brian’s quote from Agreda)

The commenter Brian’s quote from the Mystical City of God is from that portion of Ven. Agreda’s work which explains her work’s title; Mystical City of God is the Most Blessed Virgin herself. And she refers extensively to her mystical revelations of the Apocalypse to explain Mary’s exalted role in the Eternal Father’s plan for our salvation. I regret that I am unable to do more than simply provide you with a few brief excerpts from this work, but trust that they will enrich your Rosary meditations and fortify you for our ongoing and ever deepening spiritual battle. To continue with Agreda:

“267. The angel spoke to the Evangelist saying: “Come, and I will show thee the bride, the wife of the Lamb,” etc. The angel declares in this passage, that the holy city of Jerusalem, which he showed to him, is the espoused wife of the Lamb, referring by this metaphor (as I have already said No. 248) to the most holy Mary, whom St. John saw both as a Mother, or Woman, and as a Spouse of the Lamb, that is Christ. The Queen held and fulfilled in divine manner both offices.

“She was the Spouse of the Divinity, the only One (Cant. 6, 8) and incomparable on account of the unequalled faith and love, with which the espousals were entered into and accomplished; and She was the Mother of the same Lord incarnate, giving Him his mortal substance and flesh, nourishing and sustaining Him in his existence as man, which He derived from Her. In order to see and understand such high mysteries the Evangelist was exalted in spirit to a great height of sanctity and light; for without going out of himself and being raised above human weakness, he could not understand them; just as we, imperfect, earthly and abject creatures, cannot encompass them for the same reason.

“Then elevated thus high, he says: “He showed me the holy city of Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven,” for Mary was built up and formed, not on earth, where She was like a pilgrim and a stranger, but in heaven, where the common, earthly material was excluded. For though the material of her being was taken from the earth, it was at the same time so elevated in heavenly perfection as to be fit for the building up of that mystical City in a celestial and angelic, yet divine manner, effulgent with the Divinity. 268. Therefore he adds: “Having the glory of God,” for the most holy soul of Mary was favored with such a participation of the Divinity and of its attributes and perfections, that if it were possible to see Her in her own essence, She would appear as if illumined with the eternal splendor of God Himself.

“Great and glorious things are said in the Catholic church of this City of God, and of the splendor, which She has received from that same Lord; but all of it is insignificant, and all human words fall short of the truth.

I’ll include a few more quotes regarding this most precious and beloved City of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary:

“Above all We shall give to Her dominion and power over the dragon, our enemy, and over all his allied demons. Let them fear her presence and her name and in it, let their deceits be crushed and annihilated. Let all the mortals that fly to this City of refuge, find in it a sure and certain protection, free from all the dread of the demons and their snares.” . . .

“The blessed Trinity made known to Her that before his most just tribunal nothing would ever be denied to Her; that She should command the devil and that She should have power, by virtue of her commands, to keep him away from souls, since She would have at her disposal the arm of the Almighty.

“In saying that this City was surrounded by a great and high wall St. John refers to this God-given prerogative of his Mother, that She was to be the secret refuge: protection and defense of all men, wherein they would find all the security of a city of refuge and of a strong fortress against their enemies.

“He says that the walls are very high, for the power of the most pure Mary to overcome the demon and to raise the souls to grace is so great that it is inferior only to that of God himself. So well armed for all this and so well defended and secure for Herself and for all those, who seek her protection, is this City, that not all the forces created by God outside of Her can overthrow or surmount its walls.

“I desire to mention that the measure of the dignity, the merits and graces of most holy Mary, was none other than the humanity of her most blessed Son, united to the divine Word.

“The Evangelist calls the humanity of Christ a “reed” because He assumed the frailty of our weak and carnal nature, and “of gold,” on account of his Divinity. In accordance with the dignity of the true Godman, Christ, and correspondingly with the gifts and merits of the incarnate God,

“280. From all this can be estimated the greatness of that City of God, the most holy Mary.

I have been struggling for such a long time to bring you, dear readers, to a deeper understanding of the importance of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary to help you enrich your own consecrations to her. Let us leave the hateful darkness of the Synod and walk in the light of faith, in devotion to the Immaculate Heart of our beloved Saviour’s Mother, who has taken us for her own children. How blessed we are!

Thank you for reading. I pray for you all, always!

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

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

Novena for Holy Souls in Purgatory, 2019

No matter what diabolical events occur in Bergoglio’s Pachamama Church of Apostasy, the Poor Souls in Purgatory need our prayers and now we must prepare to begin our annual Novena for them.

The Feast of All Souls is coming up soon, and so, we offer today the Novena for the Poor Souls in Purgatory, thanks to Sancta Trinitas.

If we begin the Novena tomorrow, Thursday, October 24, we will complete it on the eve of All Souls, that is, on All Saints Day. This year, I have added the date of the month below each day, to help us keep track.

NOVENA FOR THE HOLY SOULS IN PURGATORY
(Daniel A Lord, SJ)

FIRST DAY 
Thursday, October 24
Sin is the one thing that holds back the progress of men and women. True progress is man’s ascent to God. Only sin blocks his path. Vice and crime throw human beings back to animal levels when they should be mounting toward the angels.

Death in mortal sin means the complete failure that is hell. It flings a man, who is destined for eternal happiness, into eternal loss and pain. Death in venial sin or with the punishment due to sin still on the soul means a halt in the progress toward heaven. The poor soul – poor indeed in his eagerness to reach God and the tedious, painful delay that keeps him from God – must linger in God’s prison-house. This is the sad land of purgatory. It is a place of anxious, almost impatient waiting. Since there are in purgatory relatives we loved and friends we knew and thousands of others who call to us for help, we pause and say:

THE PRAYER FOR THE HOLY SOULS
O God, the creator and redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of thy servants and handmaids departed, the remission of all their sins; that through pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN TO OBTAIN A GOOD DEATH
Oh Mary, sweet refuge of miserable sinners, at the moment when my soul departs from this world, my sweetest mother, by the grief that thou didst endure when thou wast present at the death of thy Son upon the cross, then assist me with thy mercy. Keep far from me my infernal enemies, and come thyself to take my soul and present it to my eternal Judge. Do not abandon me, oh my queen. Thou, next to Jesus, must be my comfort in that dreadful moment. Entreat thy Son that in His goodness, He will grant me the favor to die clasping thy feet, and to breathe out my soul in His sacred wounds, saying, Jesus and Mary, I give you my heart and my soul. Amen.

SECOND DAY
Friday, October 25
Nothing else is humanly harder to bear than painful waiting. All the souls in purgatory are sure one day to reach heaven. They know how wonderful heaven is and how desirable is God. But they cannot follow the violent impulse that drives them toward their happiness. They must hunger for God and still be withheld from the possession of Him. In hell there is only bleak and hopeless despair.

In purgatory there is hope and certainty and love and eagerness – and long periods of waiting .… waiting …. waiting …. There is suffering too in purgatory, the suffering that washes away in flame the stains of guilt and cleanses as with fire the soul that will eventually enter into the presence of the spotless God. But the real pain of purgatory is that awful eagerness for God who is just out of reach, and that longing to go home to heaven, which is almost seen but as yet unattainable.

Nothing defiled can enter heaven; that we know. So purgatory is the place where defilement is removed, where the souls that are destined for glory are prepared by punishment and tedious delay for their glorious home-coming with God. For the love we bear our friends in purgatory we pray:

THE PRAYER FOR THE HOLY SOULS
O God, the creator and redeemer of all the faithful, grant to the souls of thy servants and handmaids departed, the remission of all their sins; that through pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN TO OBTAIN A GOOD DEATH
Oh Mary, sweet refuge of miserable sinners, at the moment when my soul departs from this world, my sweetest mother, by the grief that thou didst endure when thou wast present at the death of thy Son upon the cross, then assist me with thy mercy. Keep far from me my infernal enemies, and come thyself to take my soul and present it to my eternal Judge. Do not abandon me, oh my queen. Thou, next to Jesus, must be my comfort in that dreadful moment. Entreat thy Son that in His goodness, He will grant me the favor to die clasping thy feet, and to breathe out my soul in His sacred wounds, saying, Jesus and Mary, I give you my heart and my soul. Amen.

Continue reading “Novena for Holy Souls in Purgatory, 2019”

Prayers of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

 

Today, we honor Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, beloved Spouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by sharing with you some of her own beautiful prayers and devotions, many of which originated in her colloquies with Our Lord Jesus Christ. By now, no doubt you have noticed that the common thread running throughout the lives of those privileged to converse intimately with Our Lord is their humility, obedience and generosity in carrying the Cross. These qualities shine through in St. Margaret Mary’s  prayers, simple, unpretentious and to the point.

For those who miss our previous posts for this feast day, we offer these links:  here and here.

PRAYER OF ST. MARGARET MARY

My God, I offer Thee Thy well-beloved Son, in thanksgiving for all the benefits I have received from Thee. I offer Him as my adoration, my petition, my oblation and my resolutions; I offer Him as my love and my all. Receive, O Eternal Father, this offering for whatever Thou willest of me, since I have nothing to offer which is not unworthy of Thee, except Jesus, my Saviour, Whom Thou hast given me with so much love. Amen.

Note the similarity to Saint Bridget’s Evening Prayer of Offering of the Sacred Heart:

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with His love, His sufferings and His merits; first, in reparation for all the sins I have committed during this day, and during all my life. Second, to purify the good I have done badly this day and during all my life. Third, to supply for the good which I ought to have done this day and during all my life, and which I have neglected. Amen.

 

CONSECRATION TO THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
(Composed by St. Margaret Mary.)

O Sacred Heart of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.

I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O most merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited.

I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee. I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite goodness, grant that my name be engraved on Thee, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and die as one of Thy devoted servants. Amen

PRAYER TO ST. MARGARET MARY

O St. Margaret Mary, permitted by the Sacred Heart of Jesus to become partaker of Its divine treasures, obtain for us, we beseech thee, from that adorable Heart, the graces that we need. We ask for them with boundless confidence; may the divine Heart be willing to grant them to us through thine intercession, so that once again It may, through thee, be glorified and loved. Amen.

 

THIRTY-THREE VISITS TO OUR LORD ON THE CROSS
(To be made on Fridays.)

This devotion was taught by our Saviour Himself to St. Margaret Mary, with a view to the conversion of sinners and was to be made on Fridays.

This is what the saint wrote about it:

“One Friday, during holy Mass, I felt a great desire to honor the sufferings of my crucified Spouse. He told me lovingly that He desired me, every Friday, to adore Him thirty-three times upon the Cross, the throne of His mercy.

“I was to prostrate myself humbly at His feet, and try to remain there in the dispositions of the Blessed Virgin during His Passion. I was to offer these acts of adoration to the Eternal Father together with the sufferings of her divine Son, to beg of Him the conversion of all hardened and faithless hearts who resist the impulse of His grace. He told me, moreover, that at the hour of death He will be favorable to those who have been faithful to this practice.

“These thirty-three acts of adoration of our Lord on the Cross may be made anywhere on Fridays, and even while attending to one’s ordinary work. They require no special attitude, formula or vocal prayer. A simple look of love and contrition, coming from the depths of our heart and sent up to our crucified Lord is sufficient to express our adoration and our gratitude to Him. It is also an appeal to the Blessed Virgin to intercede with the Heavenly Father for the conversion of sinners.”

The efficacy of this devotion is proved by the consoling conversions which it obtains and by the holy deaths which are its fruit. We venture to say that it becomes a source of graces to all those who practice it, for never in vain does one approach Jesus Christ Crucified.

NOTE: For those of us who are unable to visit the most Blessed Sacrament on most Fridays, the saint advises that this visit may be made anywhere, even while we are working. I have always taken this to mean that the prostrations may be interior, as most of us work in circumstances that do not allow us much privacy. Even for those retirees like myself, it is often impossible to have much private time, but I have found that it is still possible to count off my acts of adoration on my Rosary, by simply using a brass safety pin to mark the beads off.

I have also found it helpful to simply recite the Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, making an act of adoration with each petition to the Sacred Heart of Jesus – did you know there just happens to be 33 of them?!

LITANY OF THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS
(For public or private use.)

Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Formed by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mother, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Substantially united to the Word of God, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Of Infinite Majesty, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Holy Temple of God, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Tabernacle of the Most High, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, House of God and Gate of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Burning Furnace of charity, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Vessel of Justice and love, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Full of goodness and love, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Abyss of all virtues, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Most worthy of all praises, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, King and center of all hearts, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, In Whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, In Whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Divinity, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in Whom the Father is well pleased, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Of Whose fullness we have all received, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Desire of the everlasting hills, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Patient and abounding in mercy, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Rich unto all who call upon Thee, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Fountain of life and holiness, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Atonement for our sins, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Filled with reproaches, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Bruised for our offenses, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Made obedient unto death, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Pierced with a lance, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Source of all consolation, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Our Life and Resurrection, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Our Peace and Reconciliation, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Victim for our sins, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Salvation of those who hope in Thee, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Hope of those who die in Thee, Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Delight of all the Saints, Have mercy on us.
Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

V. Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
R. Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.

Almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of Thy most-beloved Son, and upon the praises and satisfaction He offers Thee in the name of sinners; and appeased by worthy homage, pardon those who implore Thy mercy, in Thy Great Goodness in the name of the same Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

From: Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. “The Autobiography of Saint Margaret Mary”, TAN Books.

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

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

 

Thoughts on St. Teresa of Jesus

 

For our beloved Spiritual Mother, Saint Teresa of Jesus on her Feast day, we offer (belatedly) some excerpts from the little devotional book, “St. Teresa’s Bookmark, a meditative commentary” by Blessed  Father Lucas de San Jose, 1919.

 

Saint Teresa’s Bookmark

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience endurance
attains all things,
Who God possesses,
In nothing is wanting
Alone God suffices.

This is one of the sweetest and most sublime songs that has ever resounded in this vale of sighs and tears, a canticle supremely beautiful and profoundly wise; it combines the greatest theological truths, the most lofty thoughts of philosophy, and the sweetest delights of poetry. It is the language of an angelic mind, the song of a soul who feels like a poet, prays like a Christian and loves like a Saint; and who weeps, moans and sighs as one exiled from heaven.

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;

Even though there rise up against thee, my soul, the powers of earth and of darkness, the hatred of men and the fury of hell, whilst the insane passions of the multitudes clamor with rage, and kingdoms plot vengeance against thee, although thou feelest violently the agitation of the senses whose temptations cause the very innocence of thy heart to shudder in terror, yet,

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;

For thy will, although seemingly so frail, is omnipotent and invincible because nothing nor anyone can overpower it, if it does not willfully allow itself to be conquered. Although thou art the plaything of thine own heart, which at one time feels with sublimest melancholy of the majesty of heaven, and yet soon is smirched by the petty things of earth; which now on the wings of its fairy dreams seems to swing over the confines of time into eternity, and now in adversity dashes itself against the dull, hard rocks of sadness,

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;

For God has been pleased to fashion the human heart in a very singular and noble manner; so small that a tiny flower delights it and so large that only the infinite can fill it; so frail that a single word perplexes it and a smile of love captivates it, and so powerful that neither the angels of heaven with their wisdom, nor men with their cunning, nor the demons with their artfulness, can penetrate its sanctuary nor read its thoughts, nor change its inclinations, if it does not of itself freely consent. God alone knows the secret of its strength.

If the seas become violently agitated, enveloping with their great waves the utmost limits of the earth and raising against the very heavens the foam of their billows, filling the abyss with the roar of their turbulent commotions; if empires fall and kingdoms perish and the moral, religious and political world becomes wrapped in the violent whirlwind of human passions that seem to drag in their wake all that is most sacred on earth: the innocence of the upright heart, the sanctity of marriage and the hearth, and threaten even to destroy God’s Holy Church and her sublime doctrine, yet,

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;

For all that happens in heaven and upon earth, the mutations of the physical world as well as the disturbances of men’s moral nature, the wreck of cities and the ruin of nations, all are foreseen by God, permitted or ordained by an all-wise Providence, Who knows how to direct all things to His greater honor and glory and to the welfare of His chosen ones.

And if individuals and nations possessed by an insane giddiness rush blindly on towards the precipice, carried, as it were, on the wings of frightful fatalism, yet,

Let nothing disturb thee,
Nothing affright thee;

Because men and nations are carried in the arms of a provident God, Who is all justice, love and wisdom. As God is love, He directs all to the welfare of His elect and to show the splendor of His glory. As God is justice, He allows nations to be frequently bathed in blood so that they may be purified from their apostasies and rise afterwards rejuvenated and turn to the enjoyment of days full of peace and prosperity. As wisdom, God brings forth good from evil, order and harmony from chaos and confusion; He makes light to shine from darkness and from the depths of corruption He causes to spring forth great and heroic virtues.

My copy of this book is from the internet at archive.org., LINK.

If you would like to, we will post the remaining stanzas and commentary, which I’ve found pertinent to our sad times.

A biographical note on Blessed Father Lucas, a Discalced Carmelite: He was orphaned at an early age and entered the Carmel of Las Palma in 1890, made his solemn vows at the hands of his older brother, Father Ludovico in 1894 and was ordained a priest in 1899. He spent several years as a missionary in Mexico during the anti-Catholic Masonic upheaval of the early 20th century and then returned to Barcelona where he was elected provincial of the Catalonian province in 1924. During the Civil War, Father gave shelter in his monastery to anti-communist forces, turning the monastery into an infirmary. Father Lucas was martyred by the marxist forces, by being beaten with rifle butts and then shot in the back. His body was left in the street for hours until 8 in the evening when a Red Cross ambulance retrieved his body. 

For those of you who downloaded his little book from archive.org, you will note the beautiful, tender devotion which Father Lucas has for Saint Teresa. Some quotes from Blessed Father Lucas in his Prologue:

Of Saint Teresa:  “As the Saint is a poetess, not only on account of the divine love that inflamed her heart, but also because of the divine truth that so fully illumined her soul in contemplation and revealed to her infinite secrets so is she in all her writings no less tender than profound. In any of her pages might be found material enough to unfold most beautiful idyls of tenderness and for highest meditations on the most sublime of moral and religious truths. She speaks always no more to the understanding than to the heart.”

I am writing this note to clarify unfounded criticism I’ve received against Blessed Fr. Lucas, which charged him of making a mockery of St. Teresa. I wrote the post for my long-time readers who will recognise the value in the following quote:

“Because men and nations are carried in the arms of a provident God, Who is all justice, love and wisdom. As God is love, He directs all to the welfare of His elect and to show the splendor of His glory. As God is justice, He allows nations to be frequently bathed in blood so that they may be purified from their apostasies and rise afterwards rejuvenated and turn to the enjoyment of days full of peace and prosperity. As wisdom, God brings forth good from evil, order and harmony from chaos and confusion; He makes light to shine from darkness and from the depths of corruption He causes to spring forth great and heroic virtues.”

Father Lucas experienced the full hatred of the Masonic/Marxist forces in Mexico and in Spain and he wrote of St. Teresa,

“During days of trial and sadness, I sought (and found) solace for my spirit, and comfort for my soul, in meditation upon a celebrated poem of our Mother. According to authentic tradition, the saintly Mother carried it as a bookmark in her Breviary, no doubt frequently to comfort her spirit by reading it.”

Thus, his devotion to her was the cause of his little book, not an attempt to mock her. 

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

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

The Merits of the Dolours of Mary

 

Something special for today, in honor of the Sorrowful Heart of Mary, from the writings of Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., “The Mother of the Saviour: And Our Interior Life”.

 

The Cause of her Sorrows

What was the profound cause of Mary’s sorrows on Calvary? Every Christian soul for whom practice has made the Stations of the Cross familiar will answer: the cause of Mary’s sorrows, as of those of Jesus, was sin. Happy the souls for whom that answer is a vital truth, who experience true sorrow at the thought of their own sins—a sorrow that only grace can produce in them.

We understand but little of the sorrows of Mary, for little grieves us except what wounds our bodies, our self-love, our vanity, or our pride. We suffer too from men’s ingratitude, from the afflictions of our family or our native land. But sin grieves us but little. We have but little sorrow for our faults considered as offenses against God.

In theory, we admit that sin is the greatest of evils since it affects the soul itself and its faculties, and since it is the cause of the disorders which we deplore in society; it is only too evidently the cause of the enmity between classes and nations. But in spite of that we do not experience any great sorrow for the faults whereby we contribute more or less ourselves to the general disorder.

 

Sin and our superficiality

Our superficiality and our inconstancy prevent us from seeing what an evil sin is; precisely because it strikes so deep it cannot be known by those who look only at the surface. In its manner of ravaging souls and society, sin is like one of those diseases which affect vital but hidden organs, and which the sufferer is ignorant of even while they near a crisis.

To experience salutary grief, grief for sin, it is necessary truly to love God whom sin offends and sinners whom it destroys. The saints suffered from sin in the degree in which they loved God and souls. St. Catherine of Siena recognized souls in the state of mortal sin by the insupportable odor which they exhaled.

But to know just how far grief for sin can go, one must turn to the heart of Mary. Her grief sprang from an unequalled love for God, for Jesus crucified, and for souls—a love which surpassed that of the greatest saints, and even of all the saints united, a love which had never ceased to grow, a love which had never been restrained by the slightest fault or imperfection. If such was Mary’s love, what must her grief have been!

Unlike us who are so superficial, she saw with piercing clarity what it was that caused the loss of so many souls” the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, the pride of life. All sins combined to add to her grief; all revolts against God, all outbursts of sacrilegious rage, such as that which reached its paroxysm in the cry “Crucify Him” and in utter hatred of Him who is the Light Divine and the Author of Salvation.

Mary’s grief was deep as was her love, both natural and supernatural, of her Son. She loved Him with a virginal love, most pure and tender; loved Him as her only Son, miraculously conceived, and as her God. To understand Mary’s dolours, one would need to have received, as did the stigmatics, the impression of the wounds of the Saviour; one would need to have relived with the mystics His physical and moral sufferings, and to have shared with Him the hours of His Passion and Death.

We shall try once more to speak of this matter when considering Mary as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix, and the reparation which she offered with, and by, and in her Son. Mary’s love in her dolours was meritorious for us and for her also. By her sufferings she grew in charity as well as in faith, and hope, and religion; she grew in fact in all the virtues—those of humility, and meekness, and supernatural courage suggesting themselves especially to the mind. Her virtue in suffering was heroic in the highest degree.

Thereby she became Queen of Martyrs. On the hill of Calvary, grace and charity overflowed from the Heart of Jesus to the heart of His mother. He it was who sustained her, just as it was she who sustained St. John. Jesus offered up her martyrdom as well as His own, and she offered herself with her Son, who was more dear to her than her own life. If the least of the acts of Nazareth increased Mary’s charity, what must have been the effect of her participation in the Cross of Jesus!

 

Merit and Pain

A meritorious work becomes satisfactory (or one of reparation and expiation) when there is something painful about it. Hence, in offering His life in the midst of the greatest physical and moral sufferings, Jesus offered satisfaction of an infinite and superabundant value to His Father. He alone could make satisfaction in strict justice since the value of satisfaction like that of merit comes from the person, and the Person of Jesus, being divine, was of infinite dignity

Mary offered God a satisfaction which it was becoming that He should accept: Jesus satisfied for us in strict justice. As Mother of the Redeemer, Mary was closely united to Jesus by perfect conformity of will, by humility, by poverty, by suffering—and most particularly by her compassion on Calvary. That is what is meant when it is said that she offered satisfaction along with Him. Her satisfaction derives its value from her dignity as Mother of God, from her great charity, from the fact that there was no fault in herself which needed to be expiated, and from the intensity of her sufferings.

The Fathers treat of this when they speak of Mary “standing” at the foot of the Cross, as St. John says. (John 19:25). They recall the words of Simeon, “Thy own soul a sword shall pierce,” and they show that Mary suffered in proportion to her love for her crucified Son; in proportion also to the cruelty of His executioners, and the atrocity of the torments inflicted on Him Who was Innocence itself.

The liturgy also has taught many generations of the faithful that Mary merited the title of Queen of Martyrs by her most painful martyrdom of heart. That is the lesson of the Feasts of the Compassion of the Blessed Virgin and of the Seven Dolours, as well as of the Stabat Mater. Leo XIII summed up this doctrine in the statement that Mary was associated with Jesus in the painful work of the redemption of mankind.

Pope St. Pius X calls her “the repairer of the fallen world” and continues to show how she was united to the priesthood of her Son: “Not only because she consented to become the mother of the only Son of God so as to make sacrifice for the salvation of men possible, but also in the fact that she accepted the mission of protecting and nourishing the Lamb of sacrifice, and when the time came led Him to the altar of immolation – in this also must we find Mary’s glory.  Mary’s community of life and sufferings with her Son was never broken off.

Mary’s sufferings have the character of satisfaction from the fact that like Jesus and in union with Him, she suffered because of sin or of the offence it offers to God. This suffering of hers was measured by her love of God Whom sin offended, by her love of Jesus crucified for our sins, and by her love of us whom sin had brought to spiritual ruin. In other words, it was measured by her fulness of grace, which had never ceased to increase from the time of the Immaculate Conception.

NOTE: By meditating on her Sorrowful Mysteries, we, as her children, learn to share in our beloved Mother’s suffering for sin – in fact, we are called to do so. In further point of fact, it is only by this means. by her Rosary, that we shall be able to make the essential reparation for sin! Think on this! Then, you may see why I am so strident in this regard. We do not need more self-important people bustling about, full of their own importance, proclaiming “truths”  of their own devising. No, we need to humble ourselves to the anonymous work of offering the loving reparation that  the Sacred Heart of Jesus and His Immaculate Mother have so patiently been pleading for.

 

Mary’s Greater Love

Already Mary had merited more by the easiest acts than the martyrs in their torments because of her greater love. What must have been the value of her sufferings at the foot of the Cross, granted the understanding she then had of the mystery of the Redemption! In the spiritual light which then flooded her soul, Mary saw that all souls are called to sing the glory of God. Every soul is called to be as it were a ray of the divinity, a spiritual ray of knowledge and love, for our minds are made to know God and our wills to love Him.

But though the heavens tell God’s glory unfailingly, thousands of souls turn from their Creator. Instead of that divine radiation, instead of God’s exterior glory and His Kingdom, there are found in countless souls the three wounds called by St. John —  the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life — living as if there were no desirable love except carnal love, no glory except that of fame and honor, and no Lord and Master, no end, except man himself. Mary saw all that evil, all those wounds in souls, just as we see the evils and wounds of bodies.

Her fulness of grace had given her an immense capacity to suffer from the greatest of evils, sin. She suffered as much as she loved God and souls: God offended by sin and souls whom it rendered worthy of eternal damnation. Most of all did Mary see the crime of deicide prepared in hearts and brought to execution: she saw the terrible paroxysm of hatred of Him who is the Light and the Author of salvation.

To understand her sufferings, we must think too of her love, both natural and supernatural, of her only Son Whom she not only loved but, in the literal sense of the term, adored since He was her God. She had conceived Him miraculously. She loved Him with the love of a virgin—the purest, richest and most tender charity that has ever been a mother’s. Nor was her grief diminished by ignorance of anything that might make it more acute. She knew the reason for the crucifixion.

 

All for sinners

She knew the hatred of the Jews, His chosen people—her people. She knew that it was all for sinners. From the moment when Simeon foretold the Passion—already so clearly prophesied by Isaias—and her compassion, she offered and did not cease to offer Him Who would be Priest and Victim, and herself in union with Him. This painful oblation was renewed over years. Of old, an angel had descended to prevent Abraham’s immolation of his son Isaac. But no angel came to prevent the immolation of Jesus.

In his sermon on the Compassion of our Lady, we read the following magnificent words of Bossuet:

“It is the will of the Eternal Father that Mary should not only be immolated with the Innocent Victim and nailed to the Cross by the nails that pierce Him, but should as well be associated with the mystery which is accomplished by His death. . .  Three things occur in the sacrifice of Our Saviour and constitute its perfection. There are the sufferings by which His humanity was crushed. There is His resignation to the will of His Father by which He humbly offered Himself. There is the fruitfulness by which He brings us to the life of grace by dying Himself. He suffers as a victim who must be bruised and destroyed. He submits as a priest who sacrifices freely; voluntarie sacrificabo tibi. (Ps. 53:8). Finally He brings us to life by His sufferings as the Father of a new people. . . .

“Mary stands near the Cross. With what eyes she contemplates her Son all covered with blood, all covered with wounds, in form now hardly a man! The sight is enough to cause her death. If she draws near to that altar, it is to be immolated there: and there, in fact, does she feel Simeon’s sword pierce her heart. . . . “But did her dolors overcome her, did her grief cast her to the ground? Stabat juxta crucem: she stood by the Cross. The sword pierced her heart but did not take away her strength of soul: her constancy equals her affliction, and her face is the face of one no less resigned than afflicted.

“What remains then but that Jesus who sees her feel His sufferings and imitate His resignation should have given her a share in His fruitfulness. It is with that thought that He gave her John to be her son: Woman, behold thy son. Woman, who suffer with me, be fruitful with me, be the mother of my children whom I give you unreservedly in the person of this disciple; I give them life by my sufferings, and sharing in the bitterness that is mine your affliction will make you fruitful.”

“(Mary) is the Eve of the New Testament and the mother of all the faithful; but that is to be at the price of her Firstborn. United to the Eternal Father she must offer His Son and hers to death. It is for that purpose that providence has brought her to the foot of the Cross. She is there to immolate her Son that men may have life. . . . She becomes mother of Christians at the cost of an immeasurable grief . . . We should never forget what we have cost Mary. The thought will lead to true contrition for our sins. The regeneration of our souls has cost Jesus and Mary more than we can ever think.

Mary the Co-Redemptrix has given us birth at the foot of the Cross by the greatest act of faith, hope and love that was possible to her on such an occasion. One may even say that her act of faith was the greatest ever elicited, since Jesus had not the virtue of faith but the beatific vision. In that dark hour when the faith of the Apostles themselves seemed to waver, when Jesus seemed vanquished and His work annihilated, Mary did not cease for an instant to believe that her Son was the Saviour of mankind, and that in three days He would rise again as He had foretold. When He uttered His last words “It is consummated” Mary understood in the fulness of her faith that the work of salvation had been accomplished by His most painful immolation.

 

Consoler of the Afflicted

Mary’s heart suffered in sympathy with all the agony of the Sacred Heart to such a point that she would have died of the experience had she not been especially strengthened. Thereby she became the consoler of the afflicted, for she had suffered more than all, and patroness of a happy death. We have no idea how fruitful these sufferings of hers have been during twenty centuries.

(Garrigou-Lagrange O.P., Reverend Reginald. “The Mother of the Saviour: And Our Interior Life”.

Please pray the Rosary, make the First Saturdays of reparation and promote this devotion, so many souls depend on it.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  St. Joseph, 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 Seven Sorrows of Blessed Virgin Mary

 

“The Cross is suffering viewed in the supernatural light of faith as an instrument of salvation and sanctification, and therefore, as an instrument of love.”

Today, September 15, is the Commemoration of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

Crucifixion by Wilhelm Kotarbinski
“O you who pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow.”

 

Although Our Lord’s own chosen Apostles fled His Passion, no one could keep the Woman away. Unlike the sentimental pictures which sometimes show Mary fainting at the foot of the Cross, Mary stood there, intent on sharing every excruciating detail of the ignominy her beloved Son suffered. Just as she had freely chosen to become His Mother, she chose to behold Him tortured from head to foot and torn from her by the cruelest of deaths. She not only accepted this, she offered this; this sharing in His Passion, sharing even in His death, uniting Their hearts forever for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and in loving reparation for the sins of men, for our sins, for my sins.

Mary’s heart, like Christ’s whole crushed and bruised being , was transformed with anguish by the sins of mankind … Mary became the Queen of martyrs because, after Jesus, she has endured the greatest martyrdom of heart … her sufferings are fruitful for us in a way that we can scarcely suspect…(from Father Garrigou-Lagrange, “Mary, the Model of Reparation”).

Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen tells us,

“The sacrifice of Jesus became Mary’s sacrifice not only because Mary offered it together with Jesus, and in Him, offered her own Son, but also because by this offering she completed the most profound holocaust of herself, since Jesus was the center of her affections and of her whole life. God, Who had given her this Divine Son, asked on Calvary for a return of His gift, and Mary offered Jesus to the Father with all the love of her Immaculate Heart in complete adherence to the divine will.”  …

“Let us contemplate Mary’s sorrows, sympathise with her and ask her for the invaluable grace of sharing with her in the Passion of Jesus. Let us remember that this participation is not meant to be merely sentimental — even though this sentiment is good and holy — but it must lead us to real compassion, that is, to suffering with Jesus and Mary. The sufferings God sends us have no other purpose.

“The sight of Mary at the foot of the Cross makes the lesson of the Cross less hard and less bitter; her maternal example encourages us to suffer (with her) and makes the road to Calvary easier. Let us go then with Mary, to join Jesus on Golgotha; let us go with her to meet our own cross, and sustained by her, let us embrace it willingly, uniting it with her Son’s Cross.” (Divine Intimacy)

From Blessed Elizabeth of the Holy Trinity:

“You are there, O Mary, at the foot of the Cross, standing in strength and courage; and my Master says to me, ‘Ecce mater tua’. Behold your Mother. He gives you to me for my Mother! And now that He has returned to His Father, and has put me in His place on the Cross so that I may fill up in my flesh for His Body, which is the Church, you are still there, O Mary, to teach me to suffer as He did, to let me hear the last song of His soul which no one but you, O Mother, could overhear.”

It is only when we take His place, accepting the Cross, that we can share the thoughts of her sorrowful heart, and it is only from the Cross that we can see heaven. 

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing, All His bitter anguish bearing, Now at length the sword has passed.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword has passed.

 

The Seven Sorrows of Mary
Prophecy of Simeon And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord And behold there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was in him… And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this Child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed. (Luke 2, 25-35)

The Flight Into Egypt
…behold an angel of the Lord appeared in sleep to Joseph, saying: Arise, and take the Child and His mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the Child to destroy Him. Who arose, and took the Child and His mother by night, and retired into Egypt: and he was there until the death of Herod:  That it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: Out of Egypt have I called My Son. (Matt. 2, 13-15)

The Loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple
And not finding Him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking Him. And it came to pass, that, after three days, they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions….And His mother said to Him: Son, why hast Thou done so to us? Behold Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing. And He said to them: How is it that you sought Me? did you not know, that I must be about My Father’s business? And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them. And His mother kept all these words in her heart. (Luke 2, 45-51)

Mary Meets Her Son Jesus, Carrying His Cross
“Consider the meeting of the Son and the Mother which took place on this journey (Via Dolorosa). Jesus and Mary looked at each other, and their looks became as so many arrows to wound those Hearts which loved each other so tenderly.” (St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Way of the Cross).

The Crucifixion of Mary’s  Son, Jesus our Savior
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, His mother … When Jesus therefore had seen His mother and the disciple standing whom He loved, He saith to His mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, He saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother… (John 19, 25-27)

Mary Holds Her Son’s Body at the Foot of the Cross.
Our Lord having expired was taken from the cross by two of His disciples, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, who placed Him in the arms of His sorrowful Mother. (The Way of the Cross)

Jesus is Placed in the Tomb
And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking Him down, wrapped Him up in the fine linen, and laid Him in a sepulchre which was hewed out of a rock. And he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre. (Mark 15, 46).

Meditating on these Sorrows is a most fruitful spiritual practice. There is also a Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows, which consists of a rosary containing Seven sets of beads, each containing Seven Hail Marys. It is especially conducive to comforting our Blessed Mother who suffers so greatly from the blasphemies of anti-Catholics, especially the anti-Catholics within the Church, in these troubled times.

The Tears of Our Sorrowful Mother

Hail, countless and bitter tears from thy eyes, O Mary, tears of compassion for thy Son, our Savior crucified! May all thy children revere them, all sinners flee to them for refuge, for they spring from thy Sorrowful Heart.

O Mother of Sorrows! Merciful Mother! Even as His Precious Blood flowed, so did thy tears, made bitter by the indifference of thy children who spurn thy Son and Savior’s precious gift.

O burning tears, beautiful, loving tears, which move the angels to pity and touch the heart of the Eternal Father! Soften my hard heart and move it to true sorrow for my sins which cause thy tears!

Holy Tears, wash me! Bitter tears, purify me! Gentle tears, soften my heart! Burning tears inflame my heart! Merciful tears, rich in grace, heal and strengthen me with grace!

O most gentle, sorrowful Mother, sharing thy Son’s passion, mingling thy tears with His precious blood, I beseech thee, grant me the grace of tears and heartfelt contrition for my sins. Grant that I may shed repentant tears over my sins which cause Him such cruel suffering.

O most merciful Virgin, offer thy bitter tears to the Eternal Father in reparation for my tepidity and hardness of heart. Through their merit, obtain mercy for me and pardon for all my sins.

Grant, O dearest Mother, at the hour of death, just one of thy precious tears to cleanse my soul of sin. Amen.

And now, at this time, in this place, we stand with our Sorrowful Mother at the crucifixion of the Mystical Body of Christ. We are not here to faint away, overcome with despair! We will be strong as our Mother is strong. Although on our own we lack that strength, in her we find the grace and virtues we need.

For more on the Sorrowful Heart of Mary, including the Seven Sorrows Devotion, see Our Lady of Sorrows, 2014.

For similar posts, we suggest:

The Message of Fatima for the Post-Synodal Church

Mary’s Promise in the Chastisement

On Mother’s Day to Mary

Thank you for reading. I pray for you always!

   Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, obtain for us by your loving intercession the grace and courage to persevere in the coming trials of faith.

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

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

 St. Joseph, terror of demons, protect our families, protect our priests!

 St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

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

Honor the Holy Name of Mary!

 

Today, a re-post of evensong’s tribute to the Holy Name of Mary.

September is the month of the Sorrowful Heart of Mary.One of her greatest sorrows is the blasphemy heaped on her and on her Divine Son,Our Lord. Indeed, Our Lady loves Him so perfectly as to be united with Him in all of His trials, and shares every blasphemy against His most holy name. And so in this most blasphemous age when virtually no task, nor even any “entertainment” can be completed without blaspheming the most holy name of Jesus, it is not surprising to find the name of Mary so despised. The Pope, who always seeks to defend those he considers most helpless, such as the army of illegal aliens flooding into all the formerly Christian countries, has yet to defend Our Lady against the defamation of her holy name and her images, so shamefully defaced.

In fact, the indifference shown to the almost daily attacks against the holy names of Jesus and Mary, and the defacing of their sacred images, adds greatly to the disrespect that wells up among  the faithful for our faithless “shepherds”, who ignore the spiritual needs of their flock in order to function as secular NGO’s.

Today we honor the Holy Name of Mary, the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and by His infinite mercy, our Mother as well.  Our Lord has entrusted us to her Immaculate Heart. We honor her today and make reparation for those so unfortunate as to disdain her, especially those within the church. This is a good opportunity to make reparation for the blasphemy against her that is so offensive to Our Lord Jesus Christ.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux on the Holy Name of Mary

O man, whoever you are, if you realize that in the whirlwind of this world, far from walking on firm ground, you are driven hither and thither by storms and tempests, turn not your eyes from this bright Star, if you do not want to be swallowed up by the hurricane. If the winds of temptation are stirred up, if you encounter dangers and tribulations, look at the Star, and invoke Mary: “respice Stellam, voca Mariam”!

If you are shaken by waves of pride, ambition, criticism or jealousy, look at the Star and invoke Mary! If anger, avarice, or the seductions of the flesh stir up a storm in your soul, cast a glance towards Mary, “respice ad Mariam”. If troubled by the enormity of your crimes, confused by the weight of the sins on your conscience, you feel yourself slipping into the whirlpool of sadness and the abyss of despair, then think of Mary, “cogita Mariam”. In perils, in anguish, in perplexity, think of Mary, invoke Mary. Let Her name be constantly on your lips, let it never leave your heart…

In 1930, Our Lord explained to Sister Lúcia that the reason for Five First Saturdays of Reparation was there are five offenses to the Blessed Virgin; among these blasphemies against her are most prevalent today. In addition to our First Saturdays devotion, the Litany to the Holy Name of Mary is a good way to make reparation.

Prayer of Reparation for Blasphemy Against the Blessed Virgin Mary

Most glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, turn thine eyes in pity upon us, miserable sinners; we are sorely afflicted by the many evils that surround us in this life, but especially do we feel our hearts break within us upon hearing the dreadful insults and blasphemies uttered against thee, O Virgin Immaculate.

O how these impious sayings offend the infinite Majesty of God and of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ! How they provoke His indignation and give us cause to fear the terrible effects of His vengeance! Would that the sacrifice of our lives might avail to put an end to such outrages and blasphemies! Were it so, how gladly we should make that sacrifice; for we desire, O most holy Mother, to love thee and to honor thee with all our hearts, since this is the will of God. And because we love thee, we will do all that is in our power to make thee honored and loved by all men.

In the meantime do thou, our merciful Mother, comforter of the afflicted, accept this our act of reparation which we offer thee for ourselves and for all our families, as well as for all who impiously blaspheme thee, not knowing what they say. Do thou obtain for them from Almighty God the grace of conversion, and thus render more manifest and more glorious thy kindness, thy power and thy great mercy. May they join with us in proclaiming thee blessed among women, the Immaculate Virgin and most compassionate Mother of God. Amen.

The Name of Mary at the Hour of Death

O Mary, my tender Mother, imprint thy Name, with that of Jesus, upon the inmost recesses of my heart. Obtain for me of God, in my last hour, to utter thy blessed Name and that of thy Son, with lively faith and ardent love, in order that by the virtue of these holy Names, the enemies of my salvation may be put to flight, and I may resign my soul into the hands of my Heavenly Father. Amen.

Continue reading “Honor the Holy Name of Mary!”

The Nativity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary

 

“The birth of Mary is the dawn of our redemption.”

“The Mother proclaims the Son, making it known that He is about to come, that the divine promises, made so many centuries before, are to be fulfilled. The birth of Mary is the dawn of our redemption. Her appearance projects a new light over all the human race: a light of innocence, of purity, of grace, a resplendent presage of the great light which will inundate the world when Christ, “Lux mundi”, the Light of the World”  appears. Mary, preserved from sin in anticipation of Christ’s merits, not only announces that the Redemption is at hand, but she bears the first fruits of it within herself; she is the first one redeemed by her divine Son. (Divine Intimacy)

We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth. Ave Maria!

 

“From the beginning and before all ages God selected and prepared for His only Son the Mother from whom, having taken flesh, He would be born in the blessed fullness of time; He loved her by herself more than all creatures, and with such a love as to find His delight in a singular way in her.” (“Ineffabilis Deus”, Pope Pius IX)

In the dialogues of Venerable Maria de Agreda,  we learn a bit more about the nativity and naming of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

I saw a great and mysterious sign in heaven; I saw a Woman, a most beautiful Lady and Queen, crowned with the stars, clothed with the sun, and the moon was at her feet (Apoc. 12, 1). The holy angels spoke to me: ‘This is that blessed Woman, whom Saint John saw in the Apocalypse, and in whom are enclosed, deposited and sealed up the wonderful mysteries of the Redemption. So much has the most high and powerful God favored this Creature, that we, His angelic spirits, are full of astonishment.’

After describing briefly the birth of Our Lady, she tells us that “The guardian angels of the sweet Child with others in great multitudes showed their veneration and worship to Mary as She rested in the arms of her mother: they joined in heavenly music.”

Mother Maria de Agreda then describes how the Eternal Father sent His angels to bear the holy infant Mary up to heaven: The holy princes, … receiving the child Mary from the arms of her holy mother Anne, bore the true Ark of the Covenant heavenward with incomparable songs of great joy. … At this time, His Majesty wished to give a name to the Child Queen and impose it first in Heaven. He thereby made known to the angels that the Three Divine persons had decreed and formed the sweet names of Jesus and Mary for the Son and Mother from the beginning, before all ages and that Their delight was in these precious names.

The angels heard a voice from the throne speaking in the person of the Father: “Our chosen One shall be called MARY, and this name is to be powerful and magnificent. Those that shall invoke it with devout affection shall receive most abundant graces; those that shall honor it and pronounce it with reverence shall be consoled and vivified, and will find in it the remedy of their evils, the treasures for their enrichment, the light which shall guide them to heaven. It shall be terrible against the power of hell, it shall crush the head of the serpent and it shall win glorious victories over the princes of hell.”

The Lord commanded the angelic spirits to announce this glorious name to saint Anne, so that what was decreed in heaven might be executed on earth. … The holy angels honored and acknowledged most holy Mary as the future Mother of the Word and as their Queen and Mistress enthroned at the right hand of her Son; they showed their veneration of her holy name, prostrating themselves as it proceeded from the throne in the voice of the eternal Father, especially those, who had it written on the devises over their breast. All of them gave forth canticles of praise for these great and hidden mysteries. …

On the eighth day after the birth of the great Queen multitudes of most beautiful angels in splendid array descended from on high bearing an escutcheon on which the name of MARY was engraved and shone forth in great brilliancy. Appearing to the blessed mother Anne, they told her that the name of her daughter was to be MARY, which name they had brought from heaven, and which divine Providence had selected and now ordained to be given to their child by Joachim and herself. … The more than happy father accepted the name with joy and devout affection… Thus was the divine Princess named by the holy Trinity: in heaven, on the day of her nativity, and on earth, after eight days.

“Look now on her who most resembles Christ”

If we could only look on the scene, see Mary as she must have looked!

When we think on this, the thought that  comes to mind is that expressed by Dante in Canto 32, 85-87, Paradiso, St. Bernard says of Mary,

“Riguarda omai ne la faccia che a Cristo
piu si somiglia, che la sua chiarezza
sola ti puo disporre a veder Cristo.

“Look now on her who most resembles Christ,
for only the great glory of her shining
can purify your eyes to look on Christ.”

In these few words, there is much distilled and concentrated wisdom about Our Lady! Indeed, our Savior, having no human Father, took all His physical aspect from the Blessed Virgin.  Dante refers to “the glory of her shining”  which recalls to us both Our Lady’s appearance at Fatima (“She was all of light” Sister Lùcia in her memoirs) and the “Woman Clothed with the Sun”  of the Apocalypse (“A Woman clothed with the Sun” Ch 12). Think on this, it is most profitable!

Prayer to Mary, Star of the Sea

“When I feel myself tossed about in the sea of this world amidst storms and tempests, I fix my eyes on thee, O Mary, shining star, lest I be swallowed up by the waves. When winds of temptation arise, when I dash against the reefs of tribulations, I raise my eyes to thee and call upon thee, O Mary, Star of the Sea. When I am agitated by the billows of pride, ambition, slander or jealousy, I look to thee and invoke thee, O Mary. When anger or avarice or the seductions of the flesh rock the fragile barque of my soul, may I always look to thee, O Mary. And if I am troubled in conscience by the enormity of my sins, and frightened at the severity of judgment, and if I should feel myself engulfed in sadness or drawn into the abyss of despair, again, I raise my eyes to thee, calling always to thee, O Mary, Mother of Mercy.

“In dangers, in difficulties and in doubts, may I always turn to thee, O Mary! May thy name, O Virgin Mary, be always on my lips and never leave my heart, that I may always obtain thy assistance. Following thee, O Mary, I shall not go astray; thinking of thee, I shall not err; with thy support, I shall not fail; with thy protection, I shall not fear; relying on thee, I shall not weary. Look upon me with mercy; with confidence in thee, I shall surely reach the port.” (after St. Bernard)

Purest, dearest heart of Mary, thou art the dawn of our redemption, bearing the true Sun, our Redeemer; be thou with us in the darkness and storms that beset us!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Remember, Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

  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!

originally written by evensong