From Liverpool to Lourdes and back – A Miracle

 

Monday, the 11th, we honor the first apparition of the Immaculate Conception to Bernadette of Lourdes. I may not be able to post again for a while so offer today the following narrative of a remarkable cure at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes;  it’s a favorite of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren and I hope you’ll like it too!

IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR

The first world war broke out in 1914, and Jack Traynor was mobilized with the Royal Naval Reserve, to which he belonged. He was in the naval brigade that took part in the unsuccessful Antwerp expedition of October, 1914, and was in the last battalion to retreat. He was carrying one of his officers to safety, when he was hit on the head by shrapnel. He did not regain consciousness until five weeks later, when he woke up after an operation in a marine hospital in England. He recovered rapidly and went back into service.

In 1915, Traynor was lent to the 1st Dublin Fusiliers as physical instructor, and was a member of the expeditionary force sent to Egypt and the Dardanelles. On April 25th, 1915, he took part in the landing from the steamship River Clyde at Gallipoli. He was in charge of the first boat to leave the ship and was one of the few to reach the shore that day. From their positions in the steep banks above the beach the Turks raked the Clyde and the boats with deadly gunfire. The casualties were so heavy that the operation was suspended until nightfall.

Meanwhile all the officers in the landing parties had been killed, and Traynor found himself in charge of about 100 men, who took cover in a shallow trench. A Catholic chaplain, Father Finn, was killed in the second boat, from which he fell. Traynor dragged him from under the barbed wire and later he and his comrades buried him on shore. After dusk more officers and men landed, and the small force began to fight its way, with severe losses, up to the sand hills. For days the bitter fighting continued. Traynor took part, without injury, until May 8th, when he was hit by machine gun fire during a bayonet charge.

He seems to have been literally sprayed with bullets. He was wounded in the head and chest, while a bullet tore through the inner side of his upper right arm and lodged under the collar-bone. Medical corps men brought him back, dazed and suffering, to the beach, and he was shipped to the base hospital at Alexandria, Egypt. Now began his long years as an invalid and as the patient of unsuccessful operations. A well-known English surgeon, Sir Frederick Treves, operated on him in Alexandria, in an attempt to sew together the severed nerves in the upper arm, which the bullet wound had left paralysed and useless.

The attempt failed, and so did another, made by another surgeon, on the hospital ship that brought Traynor from Alexandria to England. In September, 1915, in the Haslar naval hospital, England. a third operation was performed with the same object-and the same result. While on the hospital ship Traynor suffered his first epileptic attack. These attacks became frequent.

INCURABLE

The surgeon-general of the navy now advised amputation of the paralysed arm, as there seemed to be no hope of ever joining the torn and shrunken nerves. Traynor would not consent. In November, 1916, another doctor tried to suture the nerves, bringing the number of unsuccessful operations up to four. By this time Traynor had been discharged from the service, first on 80 per cent pension, then on 100 per cent, as being permanently and completely disabled. He had to spend months in various hospitals as an epileptic patient.

Continue reading “From Liverpool to Lourdes and back – A Miracle”

The Purification of the the Blessed Virgin 2019

 

The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the oldest in the Church and this year it falls on a First Saturday of Reparation. For those who have not begun making their First Saturdays, now is a great opportunity to start.

The feast of the Purification of Mary is also the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple, and both rites were observed in order to fulfill Mosaic Law; that is to say, this venerable old feast is all about obedience! The obedience of Mary, the most pure and perfect example of God’s creation humbly submitting to the ancient Mosaic Law of purification, and the Divine Infant, truly God as well as truly man, submitting in utmost humility to the Mosaic Law, consecrating God to God as it were.

As we consider the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Divine Child in the Temple, we note that it is in their actions, that is to say, in their choices, that we learn the essential truths of our faith and begin to grasp the significance of the choices we ourselves are required to make. For humility demands obedience, and wherever we see true obedience, there is humility in action.

It was a common sight in those days to see proud young fathers and mothers present their first born sons in the great Temple of Jerusalem. There was perhaps, little to distinguish the Holy Family as they brought in their infant Son, wending their way through the throng of devout Jews. However, in stark contrast to the other women  offering their sons, Mary’s consecration of Jesus under the Old Law was to be consummated on the altar of the Cross, the turning point in salvation history, fulfilling the Old Law and beginning the New Law. Thus, Mary’s offering was, on this day, nothing less than the obedient acceptance of the complete oblation of the Sacred Victim, her beloved Son.

For God so loved His creation that in order to save men from their sins, He spared not even His own beloved Son but delivered Him up to save us all, as St. Paul reminds us. God’s justice demanded that the Blessed Virgin Mary know in full every aspect of the sacrifice that was demanded of her innocent Son. This was, as St. Francis de Sales reminds us, so that “together with the sacrifice of the life of the Son, the heart of the mother might be sacrificed also. … although Mary, from the moment she was made mother of Jesus, gave her consent to His death, yet the Lord wished her on this day to make in the Temple a solemn sacrifice of herself, by offering solemnly her Son, and sacrificing to the divine justice His precious life.”

Continue reading “The Purification of the the Blessed Virgin 2019”

Novena for the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

We offer this Novena today to begin  it tomorrow, January 24 and finish on the Vigil of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, for those of us who would like to renew our Consecrations on her feastday.

Please note that each day’s prayers conclude with the God the Shepherd Prayer for the Pope. This is because we really do need to pray for this benighted man. Saint Jacinta of Fatima stressed the need for us to pray for the Pope and I believe that when we pray for this poor man, it pleases Our Lady so much. I hope you will consider it.

Each day, we begin with:

Come, Holy Ghost
Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost; grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may always truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

First Day:

Most holy Mary, bright Mirror of all virtues, the forty days after thy delivery were no sooner past than thou, though the purest of all virgins, didst will to be presented in the Temple to be purified according to the Law; Grant that we by imitating thee, may keep our hearts unstained by sin, that so we too may be made worthy one day to be presented to our God in Heaven.

Ave Maria

Litany of Loreto
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, 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 Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of Virgins, pray for us.
Mother of Christ, pray for us.
Mother of Divine Grace, pray for us.
Mother most Pure, pray for us.
Mother most Chaste, pray for us.
Mother Inviolate, pray for us.
Mother Undefiled, pray for us.
Mother most Amiable, pray for us.
Mother most Admirable, pray for us.
Mother of good Counsel, pray for us.
Mother of our Creator, pray for us.
Mother of our Savior, pray for us.
Virgin most Prudent, pray for us.
Virgin most Venerable, pray for us.
Virgin most Renowned, pray for us.
Virgin most Powerful, pray for us.
Virgin most Merciful, pray for us.
Virgin most Faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of Justice, pray for us.
Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.
Cause of our Joy, pray for us.
Spiritual Vessel, pray for us.
Vessel of Honor, pray for us.
Singular Vessel of Devotion, pray for us.
Mystical Rose, pray for us.
Tower of David, pray for us.
Tower of Ivory, pray for us.
House of Gold, pray for us.
Ark of the Covenant, pray for us.
Gate of Heaven, pray for us.
Morning Star, pray for us.
Health of the Sick, pray for us.
Refuge of Sinners, pray for us.
Comforter of the Afflicted, pray for us.
Help of Christians, pray for us.
Queen of Angels, pray for us.
Queen of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Queen of Prophets, pray for us.
Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.
Queen of Confessors, pray for us.
Queen of Virgins, pray for us.
Queen of all Saints, pray for us.
Queen conceived without Original Sin, pray for us.
Queen assumed into Heaven, pray for us.
Queen of the most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
Queen of the Family, pray for us.
Queen of Peace, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
Grant, we beg Thee, O Lord God, that we Thy servants, may enjoy lasting health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, be delivered from present sorrow and enter into the joy of eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

V. Thou gavest birth without loss of thy virginity.
R. Intercede for us, O holy Mother of God.
Let us pray.
O God, by the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary, Thou hast bestowed upon the human race the rewards of eternal salvation; grant, we beg Thee, that we may know the effects of her intercession, through whom we have been made worthy to receive the Author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who livest and reignest with Thee forever and ever. R. Amen.

God the Shepherd
O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, graciously look down upon Thy servant Pope Francis, whom Thou hast chosen to be the pastor of Thy Church; and grant him, we beseech Thee, both by word and example, so to direct those over whom Thou hast placed him, that, together with the flock entrusted to his care, he may attain eternal life. O God, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all holiness, hear the prayers of Thy Church, and grant that what we ask in faith we may effectually obtain. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Second Day:

Come, Holy Ghost, as above.

Virgin most obedient, at thy Presentation in the Temple, thou didst willingly offer the customary sacrifice of women; enable us so to follow thine example, that we may become a living sacrifice to God, by practising every virtue.

Ave Maria.

Litany of Loreto

God, the Shepherd

 

Third Day:

Come, Holy Ghost

Virgin most pure, thou didst despise the reproach of men whilst observing the precept of the Law; intercede for us that we may always to keep our hearts pure, despite what the world may think of us.

Ave Maria.

Litany of Loreto

God, the Shepherd

 

Fourth Day:

Come, Holy Ghost

Virgin most holy, by offering thy Son, the Divine Word, to His Eternal Father, thou didst gladden the Court of Heaven; present our poor hearts to God, that by His grace they may always be kept free from mortal sin.

Ave Maria.

Litany of Loreto

God, the Shepherd

 

Fifth Day:

Come, Holy Ghost

Virgin most humble, by placing thy Son Jesus in the arms of holy old Simeon, thou didst fill His soul with heavenly joy; place our hearts in God’s loving care, that He may fill them with Holy Ghost.

Ave Maria.

Litany of Loreto

God, the Shepherd

 

Sixth Day:

Come, Holy Ghost

Virgin most diligent, in ransoming thy Son Jesus according the Law, thou didst cooperate in the salvation of the world; ransom now our poor hearts from the slavery of sin, that they may be ever pure before the sight of God.

Ave Maria.

Litany of Loreto

God, the Shepherd

 

Seventh Day:

Come, Holy Ghost

Virgin most meek, on hearing the prophecy of Simeon foretelling thy woes, thou didst humbly resign thyself to the good pleasure of God; make us always resigned to the dispositions of His Providence, and enable us to bear all troubles with patience.

Ave Maria.

Litany of Loreto

God, the Shepherd

 

Eighth Day:

Come, Holy Ghost

Virgin most compassionate, when through thy divine Son thou didst fill the soul of Anna the prophetess with light, thou didst make her magnify the mercies of God by recognizing Jesus as the Redeemer of the world: enrich our souls with heavenly grace, that we may share the fruit of the divine redemption.

Ave Maria.

Litany of Loreto

God, the Shepherd

 

Ninth Day:

Come, Holy Ghost

Virgin most resigned, although thou didst feel thine own soul transfixed with sorrow, foreseeing all the bitter Passion of thy Son, yet knowing the grief of Joseph thy Spouse for all thy sufferings, thou didst console him with holy words; pierce through and through our souls with true sorrow for our sins, that we may one day come to rejoice with thee in everlasting bliss.

Ave Maria.

Litany of Loreto

God, the Shepherd

V. Simeon received an answer from the Holy Spirit.
R. That he should not see death until he had seen the Christ of the Lord.

Let us pray:

Almighty, everlasting God, we pray Thy majesty, that as Thine only begotten Son was presented in the temple in the substance of our flesh, so Thou wouldst enable us to present ourselves before Thee with clean hearts. Amen

†  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!

~ 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!

Thank you for reading. Please continue to pray for our priests!

Archbishop Lefebvre a Conciliarist?

Recently, I came across yet another charge that Archbishop Lefebvre was guilty of the heresy of “conciliarism”. It seems that we traditionalists cannot ever get past this sort of wrangling, which appears to indicate the persistence of the diabolical disorientation Sister Lucia warned of.

To be precise, in the article at issue the quote came at the end of a discussion on the heresy of conciliarism, In the discussion, the author rightly condemned conciliarism:

“It is equally important to understand that when we confront such proposals as the superiority of a General Council over the Pope, or as having the power to judge a Pope or declare him deposed, we are in reality dealing with the same democratic principle in regard to the affairs of the Church – in the words of Pope Pius X, “power ascending from below, rather than from above”. In other words, Concilliarism is simply another form of thinly-disguised democracy in application to the Divine Constitution of the Church.”

Then, speaking of the Great Western Schism and the scandals of the anti-popes, we read,

“All during this time, however, the heresy of Concilliarism (and worse) cultured and grew in the minds and hearts of Catholics. In 1381, a work was published by Heinrich von Langenstein titled Proposition of Peace for the Union and Reformation of the Church by a General Council. Its proposals are summarized by (Dr. Ludwig) Von Pastor:

“. . .Henceforward this most dangerous doctrine of the natural right of necessity was the instrument used in all efforts to put an end to the Schism.” (Dr. Ludwig Von Pastor, p. 183-185).

So far, so good. But then the author inserts the following:

“It is worth noting, in regard to recent Church history, that it was precisely this principle – “necessity breaks the law” – which, in Archbishop Lefebvre’s mind, provided the justification for his ordaining four bishops expressly against a Papal mandate not to do so.”

This insertion is followed immediately by the author’s continued remarks on conciliarism:

“During this period leading up to the Council of Constance, these sort of tracts proliferated. The celebrated Canonist Zabarella, who afterwards became a Cardinal, wrote a treatise which, according to Von Pastor brought to fullness the Concilliarist heresy. In regard to the Pope, Zabarella wrote, “Should he err, the Church must set him right; should he fall into heresy, or be an obstinate schismatic, or commit a notorious crime, the Council may depose him.” (p. 187).”

I am not qualified to debate such respected commentators as the author we are discussing, who has chosen anonymity as I also have. I am, by my own account not particularly adept at the sort of intellectual disputation that makes the traditional Catholic commentariat such a contentious place. But as I have read of this conciliarist heresy, it appears to me to be, as quoted above, and in the words of Canonist, then Cardinal Zabarella, that should the pope err, “the Church must set him right, should he fall into heresy, or be an obstinate schismatic or commit a notorious crime, the Council may depose him.” ”

In none of that do I recognise anything ever espoused by Archbishop Lefebvre. In fact, here are some excerpts from Archbishop Lefebvre’s “Guide to Confused Catholics”

Obedience is a serious matter; to remain united to the Church’s Magisterium and particularly to the Supreme Pontiff is one of the conditions of salvation. We are deeply aware of this and nobody is more attached to the present reigning successor of Peter, or has been more attached to his predecessors, than we are. I am speaking here of myself and of the many faithful driven out of the churches, and also of the priests who are obliged to celebrate Mass in barns as in the French Revolution, and to organize alternative catechism classes in town and country.

We are attached to the Pope for as long as he echoes the apostolic traditions and the teachings of all his predecessors. It is the very definition of the successor of Peter that he is the keeper of this deposit. Pius IX teaches us in Pastor Aeternus: “The Holy Ghost has not in fact been promised to the successors of Peter to permit them to proclaim new doctrine according to His revelations, but to keep strictly and to expound faithfully, with His help, the revelations transmitted by the Apostles, in other words the Deposit of Faith.”

The authority delegated by Our Lord to the Pope, the Bishops and the priesthood in general is for the service of faith. To make use of law, institutions and authority to annihilate the Catholic Faith and no longer to transmit life, is to practise spiritual abortion or contraception.

This is why we are submissive and ready to accept everything that is in conformity with our Catholic Faith, as it has been taught for two thousand years, but we reject everything that is opposed to it.

For the fact is that a grave problem confronted the conscience and the faith of all Catholics during the pontificate of Paul VI. How could a Pope, true successor of Peter, assured of the assistance of the Holy Ghost, preside over the most vast and extensive destruction of the Church in her history within so short a space of time, something that no heresiarch has ever succeeded in doing? One day this question will have to be answered.

In the first half of the Fifth Century, St. Vincent of Lérins, who was a soldier before consecrating himself to God and acknowledged having been “tossed for a long time on the sea of the world before finding shelter in the harbor of faith,” spoke thus about the development of dogma: “Will there be no religious advances in Christ’s Church? Yes, certainly, there will be some very important ones, of such a sort as to constitute progress in the faith and not change. What matters is that in the course of ages knowledge, understanding and wisdom grow in abundance and in depth, in each and every individual as in the churches; provided always that there is identity of dogma and continuity of thought.” Vincent, who had experienced the shock of heresies, gives a rule of conduct which still holds good after fifteen hundred years: “What should the Catholic Christian therefore do if some part of the Church arrives at the point of detaching itself from the universal communion and the universal faith? What else can he do but prefer the general body which is healthy to the gangrenous and corrupted limb? And if some new contagion strives to poison, not just a small part of the Church but the whole Church at once, then again his great concern will be to attach himself to Antiquity which obviously cannot any more be seduced by any deceptive novelty.” (. . .)

“What is suggested to us, what we are expressly invited to do, what we are persecuted for not doing, is to choose an appearance of obedience. But even the Holy Father cannot ask us to abandon our faith.

We therefore choose to keep it and we cannot be mistaken in clinging to what the Church has taught for two thousand years. The crisis is profound, cleverly organized and directed, and by this token one can truly believe that the master mind is not a man but Satan himself. For it is a master-stroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience.

A typical example is furnished by the “aggiornamento” of the religious societies. By obedience, monks and nuns are made to disobey the laws and constitutions of their founders, which they swore to observe when they made their profession. Obedience in this case should have been a categorical refusal. Even legitimate authority cannot command a reprehensible and evil act. Nobody can oblige anyone to change his monastic vows into simple promises, just as nobody can make us become Protestants or modernists. St. Thomas Aquinas, to whom we must always refer, goes so far in the Summa Theologica as to ask whether the “fraternal correction” prescribed by Our Lord can be exercised towards our superiors. After having made all the appropriate distinctions he replies: “One can exercise fraternal correction towards superiors when it is a matter of faith.”

The entirety of Archbishop Lefebvre’s article is to be found in our sidebar; just click on his picture.

In summary, Archbishop Lefebvre, as I have said on several occasions, was attempting to preserve the sacred priesthood and the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is nothing less than the immense channel of God’s grace to this poor, satanically oppressed world. I am ashamed to be so poor a defender of him! But if you are in doubt on this, please do these two important things: First, pray Our Lady’s rosary for her guidance; she will never fail you! Second, please read his own writings, his own words, prayerfully. At one time, I too, sided with his detractors, but then, I read his works and was drawn to the Society’s Masses. The very first Mass I attended began with a sublimely beautiful benediction service, followed by a high Mass. I began sobbing during Benediction of the most Blessed Sacrament and occasionally sobbed silently through Mass, overwhelmed by the feelings of devotion flooding back after over forty years of horrid liturgical abuses that had left me spiritually numb. I have never looked back and thank God every day and throughout every day for so generously renewing the great gift of faith.

So many today are really caught up in disputations, and more intent on making divisive distinctions than finding ways to work together to obey Our Lady of Fatima’s Message. They are no longer willing to simply let themselves be led by the Immaculata, as Father Stehlin so aptly recommends. For the Society founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre is under her protection. Their priests are her devoted children and know that a Mother such as she will not allow her sons to go astray.

For those who doubt the Society, pray the Rosary and let yourselves be led by the Immaculate Mother of God!

The above article is only my attempt to defend Archbishop Lefebvre from yet another attack on him. I do wish that those who cast aspersions on him would simply note the beautiful fruits yielded by his works! Indeed, I am certain that the restored Church, after the evil ones are cast out, will promptly and unanimously recognize the holy Archbishop for his sanctity and valor in defense of the 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!

~ 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 Holy Family 2019

 

Today, the first Sunday after Epiphany, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family, which is the last time in the liturgical year in which we honor the hidden life of Jesus.

Thus, it is fitting that in the Gospel today, we read of the event which comprises the Fifth Joyful Mystery, the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. In this, we commemorate the first words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel, “How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

St. Luke then tells us that Jesus returned to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph “and was subject to them.” In this brief account, we have several important lessons: First, Jesus establishes His mission in His first recorded words,  “I must be about My Father’s business.” And second, Jesus was subject to Mary and Joseph. The Son of God first asserts the primacy of God, by stating that His mission is to serve the Father in all things, then Jesus affirms the importance of family, “He was subject to them.” On the firm bedrock of total obedience to God in all things, we can most perfectly live out our love of God within our families, whether they be our personal families or our religious communities. If love of God comes first, what follows cannot fail to serve Him.

 My Father's business
My Father’s business

 

As we open our minds and our hearts, lifting them to God in this, the Fifth Joyful Mystery, we consider Saint Joseph leading his Holy Family back home from the Temple. The blessed peace that surrounds them draws us in too, and we are nourished with the truths of this holy mystery. By His actions, Our Lord teaches us humility and obedience in His submission to His Father’s will and through that, because of that, His submission to Mary and Joseph. By our consecrations we submit to them too, and so we learn humility and obedience. We also learn poverty; now, in the first beatitude,  Our Lord makes us a promise for this virtue:  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” In later posts, we hope to show the application of this excellent virtue for these particular times of trial.

The Fatima Connection

On the fifth visit, September 13, 1917, Our Lady told the children, “In October … Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to give peace to  the world.” And in Sister Lucia’s accounts of the Sixth Visit, she related that this is precisely what occurred. You may ask, “Where then is this peace”? The answer, if you will hear it yet again, is, “Your peace is dependent upon your obedience!” As an infant receives the graces of baptism, we, the faithful have been given unimaginable graces in great profusion, awaiting only our cooperation. If we but seek them, turning to Jesus and Mary (and Joseph too!) and seeking them in humility and obedience, we shall see miracles as never before seen in this tired old world, making all things new, restoring the faith.

Continue reading “The Holy Family 2019”

Epiphany 2019, of wise men and fools

Among the obstacles faced by the Magi, perhaps the greatest was the sheer indifference of the Israelites themselves. And yet, the Magi persisted, seeking this new born King. Our essay is based on a sermon from St. Jean Marie Vianney.

Let us consider what degree the persistence of the Wise men attained. On their arrival at Jerusalem, the star which had guided them on the journey disappeared. They imagined without doubt that they had reached the place where our Saviour was born, and so they expected that the whole of Jerusalem would be filled with joy at the birth of its Redeemer.

What astonishment was theirs to see that Jerusalem showed no signs of joy whatever and in fact, did not even know its Redeemer is born at all! The Jews are so surprised to see how the Wise men came to worship the Messiah, that the Wise men began to wonder why the event was announced to them at all. Instead of bolstering their hopes, it seemed to them that their faith was being tested.  Was it not rather calculated to deter them from their journey, and to tempt them to return home secretly, for fear that they might become the laughing stock of Jerusalem?

Continue reading “Epiphany 2019, of wise men and fools”

Unfortunately

 

Unfortunately, from the email I receive, it seems that more than a few readers continue to be distracted by other concerns, wandering off on tangential issues and increasingly disheartened. Let’s refocus.

Once, someone said that I “have an unfortunate way with words”  I am painfully aware of that verdict now as I struggle to write this post;  the same post I have been writing since beginning over six years ago. Despite this, like Eliot’s Sweeney, “I’ve gotta use words when I talk to you.”

And so, unfortunately, we will  try this again.  I have no illusions about this. Far better writers have not succeeded. So, on this  hopeful note, we begin.

The Message of Fatima is first of all about devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is the basis. No other attempt to aid the Church will be successful without this basis.  Now,  from the very beginning, the Lord God said:

“I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.” (Genesis 3, 15)

Keeping this in mind, we can better understand the essential urgency of Our Lady’s words at Fatima:

Continue reading “Unfortunately”

First Blood 2019

 

“Contemplating Him, we shall learn that deeds are better than words, that the greater the sacrifices they require, the greater the proof they give of real love. Furthermore, every undertaking must receive its baptism of blood in order to be fruitful.” (Divine Intimacy)

He has not yet spoken; the world does not yet know Him; but He is already shedding His blood for the salvation of mankind.
He has not yet spoken; the world does not yet know Him; but He is already shedding His blood for the salvation of mankind.

 

Today, the Octave of Christmas is the day we commemorate the first shedding of the precious blood of our Saviour, at His Circumcision.  It is fitting that we start off  the year with this commemoration of the first sacrifice of the Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is His vivid lesson in humility and obedience, always necessary virtues.

From Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. we read:

The Magnificat antiphon of First Vespers of the Feast sums up perfectly the spirit of this day, ‘For His great love, wherewith He loved us, He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh.’ This liturgical solemnity unites to the consideration of God’s immense charity, which illumines and dominates all the feasts of the Christmas cycle, this vision of the Incarnate Son of God in the likeness of sinful man. In order to transform us from sinners into children of God, the only Son of the Father willed to be clothed in human nature, thereby putting on our sinful flesh and submitting to all its most humiliating consequences. The law of circumcision could in no way affect Jesus, the Son of God, the Most Holy One; but Jesus willed to submit to it as the least of the sons of Abraham, for as St. Paul says, ‘It behooved Him in all things to be made like unto His brethren … that He might be a propitiation for the sins of the people’ (Heb. 2, 17). The rite … caused the first drops of the Precious Blood to be shed from the immaculate flesh of Jesus. Thus, eight days after His birth, He is beginning His redemptive mission. He has not yet spoken; the world does not yet know Him; but He is already shedding His blood for the salvation of mankind.

Contemplating Him, we shall learn that deeds are better than words, that the greater the sacrifices they require, the greater the proof they give of real love. Furthermore, every undertaking must receive its baptism of blood in order to be fruitful. “

Father reminds us that this first shedding of the Blood of Our Savior marks the beginning of the civil year, consecrating it , making it truly the “year of Our Lord”, since time itself belongs to God. Our life too, belongs to God; it has been redeemed and sanctified by the Blood of Christ.

Quoting St. Ambrose, Father Gabriel points out that circumcision represents purification from sins and that we too, can “become new creatures, purified in the Blood of Christ, vivified and nourished by His grace, so that it may no longer be we who live, but Christ Who lives in us. A new year! A new life! The new year which begins today will acquire value only if lived in this light.” Continue reading “First Blood 2019”

If today you hear His voice . . .

“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” (Psalm 94, v8), (Heb. 3,15)

Wherein we reiterate that the requests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary still remain to be fulfilled. Indeed, they are more pressing now than ever.

The devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Christ the King, and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary are inseparable, They are in no way disparate, nor are they contradictory. And these are inseparable as well from the Mass and most especially, the Holy Eucharist.  Furthermore, the requests, demands really, of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, as relayed by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1689, still stand today, more than three centuries after they were made known. Once God has uttered a request, it does not cease to be simply because centuries pass while Catholics turn an indifferent ear to them.

What I had hoped to accomplish in earlier posts was to demonstrate the reason why Christ Our Lord made His request of the King of France. It was because of the importance of the French Monarchy, as a worldly force established by the will of God for the glory and protection of Christ’s Church. I refer readers to the writings of Solange Hertz as previously cited.

St. Pius X tells us in Vehementer, “The Creator of mankind is also the Founder of human societies, and He preserves them just as He maintains individuals in existence.”  God sent Joan of Arc to make this clear. Her mission was precisely to establish the fact that France was a nation constituted by God under a king who was Jesus Christ’s designated lieutenant. Thus, we see that God first sent St. Joan to aid France, then sent St. Margaret Mary with a message from His Sacred Heart. The engineer of destruction for the latter message was the deceitful Jesuit superior who refused to comply. I will not expand on this now, but it is documented by Hertz in Utopia Nowhere.

At the risk of oversimplifying, I will just state that if Pope Pius XI had only obeyed the commands of the Immaculate Mother of God at Fatima, instead of separating that requested devotion from devotion to the Sacred Heart and Christ the King, he would have been able to fulfill both the demands of the Immaculate Heart and the demands of her Son. Instead of the ever-expanding reign of the evils of satanic marxism, we could have had the glorious reign of Christ the King, through the Immaculata, as Our Lord Himself had so desired.

And what are we to think of France?  The Kingdom of France, established by King Clovis was consecrated by him to  Christ’s Kingship forever by constitutional law. The document’s preamble begins with, “The illustrious Nation of the Franks, having God for Founder,” and closes by praying that, “the Lord Jesus Christ direct those who govern in the way of piety.”  When France’s king failed to submit to the request of its true ruler, Christ the King, it fell to apostasy. Of this, Pope St. Pius X prophesied: “she who had made an alliance with God,” would one day repent and “bear My Name before all peoples and all the kings of the earth.” God’s gifts being without repentance, we may believe that the return to natural law will begin with the conversion of regicide France. (Solange Hertz, “Utopia Nowhere“, loc 1101-1105)

Hertz believed strongly that France would return to the faith:

She will begin by restoring the kingdom of France, and by God’s grace, the rest of the nations will rise and follow France back to their Lord and ruler Jesus Christ. In a discourse to the French cardinals in 1911, St. Pius X predicted: “The nation which made an alliance with God at the baptismal fonts of Reims will repent and return to her first vocation.” (op cit, loc 1667-1669)

At this point, I must emphasise these facts: God’s requests still stand: France must be consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Russia must be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  These two are inseparable, Divine requests and until they are obeyed, suffering will continue to gather in violent intensity throughout the world. Our Lord has assured us, through St. Margaret Mary that He will reign despite all opposition and in the same manner, Our Lady and Our Lord have both asserted to Sister Lucia that in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

That said, how will this happen?  Since devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is Eucharistic, let us see what the Apocalypse tells us of the victory of the Eucharistic Lamb – that is, the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The judgments executed by the Eucharistic Lamb upon Satan shall involve the whole world not to destroy but to chasten it and wrest it from the hands of Satan liberating the human race from his sordid servitude.

From an earlier post,The Eucharistic Vision of Our Lady of Knock:  The Holy Eucharist makes every church a temple and every tabernacle a throne of God. Thus, the vision of Knock points us to Apocalypse, Chapter 5, v. 5, which in turn points us to Isaias 11, 1-5, all of which emphasize the importance of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Eucharistic Reign of Jesus, symbolized for us by devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Prisoner of Love in the Eucharist.

From Father Herman Bernard Kramer:

“The temple of Christ is every Catholic Church, where He dwells in the Eucharistic Mystery. The Sacrifice of the Mass is the sacred mystery, in which Christ is “as if sacrificed”, is truly and mystically slain or immolated. The sacrifice is inseparably united with the bloody sacrifice of the Cross, because it represents and renews it. Through the Sacrifice of the Mass, Christ becomes present, establishes His throne in the Church and extends the effects of His death on the Cross and carries the purposes of God to completion. To outward appearance He is dead in the Eucharist, so there He rests “as if immolated”. But the Holy Eucharist is the throne of God through the inseparable union of Christ with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  …

Fr. Kramer tells us, “The Real Presence of Christ has been …  the standard for the armies of Christ. His soldiers, the martyrs, confessors and virgins have ever fought and bled for the altar and the cross.” And we know that Christ the King demands that the standards of the French King bear the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Thus we understand that Christ intends to reign through Eucharistic devotion, through the true sacrifice of the Mass.

Thus, to be as clear as possible, this battle is over the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It is over the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist.  The revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary concern the most Holy Eucharist. And do take note of the fact that the message of Fatima was introduced by St. Michael in a very triumphant tableau of – what? What was St. Michael telling us? He was stating the grounds of the battle: the Mass, the Eucharist and urging the weapons for the laity: Make of everything a sacrifice! Pray and sacrifice!

The silent tableau of Knock took place in inclement weather just outside the Church, thus pointing to the institutional Church forcing the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass outside. The apparition of Knock displayed on a desolate night thus foretold a period in which the conciliar Church would attempt to stifle the true Sacrifice of the Mass and replace it with a protestantised fellowship service, to serve ecumenism and the prince of this world. This is the agenda of the present occupant as we shall see before the year ends.

At Knock, the Little Lamb on the altar stood with two powerful representatives of the priesthood, St. Joseph, chaste guardian of the Holy Family and Patron of the Church, and St. John the Beloved, to whom Christ entrusted His Mother and to whom the Holy Spirit revealed the mysteries of the Apocalypse. St. John pointed to the Scriptures, begging the question, “To which scriptures?” The vision itself answers:  The Lamb on the altar indicates Apocalypse 5. The two patrons of the priesthood, St. Joseph and St. John, indicate the importance of priests in these times. Our Lady of Knock, in this vision, never took her eyes from heaven, never wavered in her intercession for the Church.

Considered in the context of the other Marian apparitions, Knock is a warning against the silencing of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the sacrilege of the Holy Eucharist, the corruption of the faith. Our Lady’s appearances at La Salette and Knock were followed by the revelation of Fatima. The Angel of Fatima, Michael, the great Archangel warrior who battles Satan gave us a warning about the abuses of the sacrifice of the Mass and desecration of the Eucharist. And now, 100 years later, the onslaught of sacrileges, outrages, and indifference  continues.

It is urgent that Catholics understand that Satan is at war with the Little Lamb, our Eucharistic Lord. Unfortunately, most Catholics are indifferent to this battle. But it is real. Satan knows that the Eucharist is Emmanuel, God with us. Although so many Catholics have forgotten this truth, or are indifferent, the devil knows that Christ the King reigns through the Eucharist. And that is why he is striving with all his immense power to extirpate the true Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to eliminate the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ on our altars. By their perversion of mercy, in giving the the Body of Christ to unrepentant sinners, modernists debase Our Lord’s sacrament of love and attempt to drive Jesus from His own Church.

La Salette, Knock, Fatima, and Akita, all warn us of this time. This is a spiritual battle of never before seen proportions. Although we know Who will win it, we cannot afford to lose any time, for with knowledge comes responsibility. We must live our Consecrations, moment by tedious moment. Just because our lives are ordinary does not mean that they are not very, very precious to Jesus.

From Our Lord’s words to Sister Josefa Menendez:

“I so much want souls to understand this! It is not the action itself which is of value; it is the intention with which it is done. … I have many hidden souls who in their humble labors are very useful workers in My vineyard, … My love goes so far that My souls can draw great treasure out of mere nothing. When as soon as they wake they unite themselves to Me and offer their whole day with a burning desire that My Heart may use it for the profit of souls … when with love they perform their duties, hour by hour and moment by moment … how great is the treasure they amass in one day!

“I will reveal My love to them more and more … it is inexhaustible, and how easy it is for a loving soul to let itself be guided by love.” (Sister Josefa Menendez and the Way of Divine Love.)

In these times, Our Lady has given us, through God’s immense, unfathomable mercy, a profusion of graces through her holy Rosary. Please pray your Rosary with confidence in our Mother’s providence for us.  Our Lady of Fatima will not fail.  Please pray the Rosary for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

†  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!

~ 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!

Dross into Gold, The Way of Divine Love

Today, December 29, we mark the 94th anniversary of the death of Sister Josefa Menendez, the humble nun who wrote “The Way of Divine Love”.  In paperback from TAN, or on Kindle. We’ve written about the beautiful Way of Divine Love before (here) and about Sister Josefa’s deep devotion to the Divine Infant (here). But now, we will focus on the most often overlooked or misunderstood concept in Josefa’s writings: true humility.

The writings of Sister Josefa echo in many ways the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and one can discern a hint of them in Sister Lucia’s writings as well. I strongly suspect that the true writings of Sister Lucia would bear even more resemblance to both of them were we to have access to them. This is because Our Lord Jesus Christ has been telling us in no uncertain terms, what is necessary to counter-act the arrogant self-centeredness which prevails in the world today.

Tragically, this selfishness has so captivated the souls of mankind that today among the vast majority of people, there is a rigid resistance to Our Lord’s plea for humility of heart. Mankind has developed a resistance to the grace of God much as some disease bacteria develop a resistance to antibiotics, and now they despise the “poor in spirit” as lacking in self esteem, and care not a whit for the “Kingdom of Heaven”.

It is true that the Message of Divine Love is Christ’s plea for our love but it is also a valuable reminder that we must become truly as a little child, poor in spirit, meek and pure of heart in order to be able to receive His love,  Otherwise we risk becoming the darkness that cannot grasp the light. The worldly are unable to grasp Our Lord’s words to St. Margaret Mary:

“If I had been able to find a creature more miserable than you,” He said to Saint Margaret Mary, “I should have chosen her….”

And to Sister Josefa:

“If I could have found a more wretched creature, I should have chosen her for my special love, and through her revealed the longings of My Heart. But I have not found one, and so I have chosen you.” (June 7th, 1923).

Like the followers of Christ who rejected His teaching on the Eucharist, many today reject these “hard sayings”.  But to those very few who have kept His grace in their hearts, we share the truth of the Way of Divine Love with you.

Continue reading “Dross into Gold, The Way of Divine Love”