Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 2019

 

“I desire very ardently the propagation of the cult and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, because this Heart is the magnet which draws souls to Me, the fire which makes the rays of My light and My love beam out over the earth, and the inexhaustible well causing the living water of My mercy to pour forth over the earth.”
(Communication of Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Lúcia, as reported to Bp. Gurza May 27, 1943)

 

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Today, on the octave of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we honor Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, in obedience to the will of Christ Himself. Why does Our Lord so desire that we honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

The Church tells us that Mary conceived the Word of God in her pure heart before she conceived Him in her womb. Indeed, it is with this beautiful truth that we open our rosaries each day! It was in Mary’s pure and perfect heart that our salvation began. And it is through her heart, please God, we will enter heaven. By offering us the Immaculate Heart of His Virgin Mother, Our Lord is tenderly offering us the sure way to be united with Him forever in heaven. Now we should know that, as St. John of the Cross assures us, with whatever love we have attained to here on earth by the moment of our deaths, that is the love we shall have for all eternity. Think on that a moment, and then, with all your heart and soul, turn gratefully to Mary, she to whom it is given in these days, to lead us to grow in love for Jesus, her beloved Son!

When Lúcia, speaking for the little shepherds, asked Our Lady to take them to Heaven, Our Lady replied,

“Yes, Jacinta and Francisco, I will take them soon, but you shall remain here for a certain time. Jesus wishes to use you to make me known and loved. He wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” Then, to Lúcia’s plaintive plea, “Am I to be left here all alone?”, she responded with a solemn promise, “No, my daughter, you suffer a great deal. Do not be discouraged, I will never abandon you! My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge, and the way which will lead you to God.”

Over twenty years later, Lúcia confided in her confessor, Father Aparicio that Our Lady’s promise had indeed been her consolation.

“The Immaculate Heart of Mary is my refuge, especially in the most difficult hours. There, I am always secure. It is the heart of the best of mothers; it is always attentive and it watches over the least of its children. How this certainty encourages and strengthens me! In her I find strength and consolation. This Immaculate Heart is the channel by which God makes the multitude of His graces pour into my soul. Help me to be grateful to her and to correspond to such great mercies.”

These two most loving Hearts knew that for Our Lady to enter into the foul arena of world events would mean most certain insults and scorn. And yet, her two overpowering loves drove her to this extreme; love for her divine Son, and love for her children, purchased at such great price.

In Pontevedra, on December 10, 1925, Sister Lúcia was favored with a visit from our Blessed Mother and the Child Jesus. First, the Child Jesus spoke,

“Have pity on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother. It is covered with the thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment and there is no one to remove them with an act of reparation.”

Then, our Blessed Mother extended her hand in which she held her heart surrounded with thorns and said,

“Behold, my daughter, my heart encircled with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Do you at least try to console me and announce in my name that I promise to assist at the hour of death with the graces necessary for salvation all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months confess, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary and keep me company for 15 minutes meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me.”

Thus, Our Lady of Fatima came to request the devotion of the First Saturdays of Reparation years before she asked for the Consecration of Russia, indicating the need to prepare spiritually for such a monumental task. The Pope in 1925 was Pius XI and he could easily have instituted this devotion. Bishops all over the world, even a vast movement of faithful could have driven this devotion to an overwhelming tide of penitential support for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Sadly, this never happened.

In 1930, Sister Lúcia asked Our Lord Jesus Christ why five First Saturdays instead of any other number. Sister Lúcia said that Our Lord explained that there are five offenses against the Immaculate Heart of His Mother which require reparation. They are:

  • Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception;
  • Blasphemies against Her Perpetual Virginity;
  • Blasphemies against Her Divine Maternity, in refusing at the same time to recognize Her as the Mother of men.
  • Blasphemies of those who publicly seek to sow in the hearts of children indifference or scorn, or even hatred of our Immaculate Mother;
  • The offenses of those who outrage Her directly in Her holy images.

Today, we will speak of only one of the offenses. We discussed them all in our post: Reparation for Blasphemy Against Mary. For blasphemies against her Maternity, one of the best examples is the way the Second Vatican Council scorned the proposed schema on the Blessed Virgin Mary in favor of a watered down, ambiguously worded tribute. This complex issue is covered very well in Dr. Roberto de Mattei’s, The Second Vatican Council, an unwritten story“. Dr. de Mattei provides examples of the expressed intentions of the Council Fathers to minimize the role of Mary in order to promote ecumenism. He references Congar, Rahner, Laurentin, Frings and others, but perhaps the most telling quote was the one from Pope John XXIII when he was Patriarch of Venice. In a letter of 22 April, 1954, the pontiff wrote of Mary,

“Jesus dying said to John: Behold your Mother – this is sufficient for the faith and for the liturgy. The rest may be edifying (and it is mostly) and for many pious and devout souls, moving; but for many, many more, even if they are well-inclined towards the Catholic Church – it is irritating – and as we say these days – counter-productive”.

Amazing. Devotion to Mary is “irritating”? Really? And Pope Francis must agree with Roncalli, since he canonized him! By the way, have we ever seen Pope Francis lead a Rosary Procession? Or honor her in any way? Oh, now I remember – he placed a beach ball and a soccer jersey on the high altar of Sta. Maria Maggiore. And so, from John XXIII to Francis, we see how well the modernists honor our Immaculate Mother.

Father Stehlin noted,

“When humanity evades the influence of the Immaculata, this sets up an obstacle to God’s work in the world. And since God allows man to exercise free will and does not impose His agenda, God’s action in the world through Mary (the work of salvation through the Son and the Holy Ghost) is impeded the moment her greatness is obscured or people separate themselves from her. Keeping one’s distance from Mary in the name of ecumenism is one of the worst possible affronts to God. In times like these, all Christians have the duty of remaining loyal to their Mother. . . .” (“Who are you, O Immaculata?”, by Father Karl Stehlin, Loreto Publications, www.loretopubs.org)

Ever since Luther’s revolt, disdain for the Immaculate Mother of God has been gathering force. This hatred for the Blessed Virgin is a common denominator of Protestantism, Modernism, Freemasonry, and Marxism, and all of these are now waging war against the Mother of God from within the Church itself, at the highest levels.

The hierarchy are not able or willing to lead us, and so it falls to faithful Catholics to answer Our Lady’s plea at Fatima.  Dear Readers, today you have a choice before you, and like all choices, it brings with it consequences:

If we answer her call as her loving children, she will bring peace and restore the Church, to refuse is to refuse of God Himself, whose messenger she is, and the consequences have been foretold in Sacred Scripture, by Our Lady herself, and by many prophecies. Yet in the end, this purgation will result in the same peace and restoration, reflecting the triumph of the Immaculata and the glory and grandeur of God. But the choice we each make is the difference between heaven and hell for all eternity, not only for ourselves but for countless others, 

You have heaven within your grasp here! Simply to love this sweet and pure Mother our dying Savior entrusted to us from His Cross. She will guide us through the coming trials – I will not mislead you – they will be the most severe that any generation has known. She is our safe and certain path even as the very earth and sea and sky revolt against the filth and evil of this current generation. And now, for some more spiritual ammo:

 

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 it; 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, the supreme 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.

 

On this her feast day, she is always especially generous to her true children, those who are consecrated to her Immaculate Heart. Ask her boldly for the graces you need to advance in her service! You will be amazed at her generosity!

Note: Paul VI changed the date for this Feast day, but we keep the traditional calendar in which her feast day is on the octave of the Assumption, as originally set by Pope Pius XII.

And now, for those who were unable to renew their Consecrations on the Feast of the Assumption, we offer:
Act of Consecration to Jesus through Mary

O Eternal and incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and true man, only Son of the Eternal Father, and of Mary, always virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine incarnation.

I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee for that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But, alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare not come by myself before Thy most holy and august Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of wisdom.

Hail, then, O immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men! Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God. Hail, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to thee.

I, ________________, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.

Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity; in homage to the power which both of you have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honor and to obey thee in all things.

O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by thee He may receive me! O Mother of mercy, grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God; and for that end receive me among those whom thou lovest and teachest, whom thou leadest, nourishest and protectest as thy children and thy slaves.

O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and by thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen.

Or, if you prefer, St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Consecration is in the sidebar on the right.

For the Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: “The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary“.

For more like this post, please see, The Supply Chain.

Perhaps you might also like this similar post: On Mother’s Day, to 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.

  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!

At Valinhos, August 19, 1917

 

August 19, 1917

The six apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima all occurred on the 13th of each month, except for this one in August. This was because the Administrator of the district of Ourem, a Mason, kidnapped the children, as we discussed in our earlier post, “The Day the Masons Promoted Fatima.”

Even though the little shepherds were unable to keep their assignation with Our Lady, between 3 and 5 thousand people did come. Here is a brief account:

First, there was a thunderclap, “then came the flash of lightning, and then we began to see a little cloud, very delicate, very white, which stopped for a few moments over the tree and then rose in the air and disappeared. As we looked around us, we noticed the strange thing which we had seen before and were to see in the following months; our faces were reflecting all the colours of the rainbow, pink, red, blue… The trees seemed to be made not of leaves but of flowers; they seemed to be laden with flowers, each leaf seemed to be a flower. The ground came out in colours and so did our clothes. The lanterns fixed to the arch looked like gold.”

At Valinhos

On Sunday, August 19, in the early afternoon, the children brought their flocks to a pasture in Valinhos. Lúcia began to get the premonition that Our Lady was about to appear, and since Jacinta was not with them, she sent Jacinta’s older brother to fetch her. It is an especially touching detail that Our Lady waited until Jacinta arrived before appearing.

In this visit, Our Lady again reiterated that she wanted them to continue coming to the Cova da Iria on the 13th of the month, and continue to pray the Rosary every day. “In the last month, I will work a miracle so that all may believe. If you had not been taken away to the City, the miracle would have been even greater. Saint Joseph will come with the Child Jesus, to give peace to the world. Our Lord will come to bless the people. Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will also come.”

Then looking sad, Our Lady said:

“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”

This message is such an important part of the Message of Fatima. In this, Our Lady repeats what she has said earlier, emphasising the urgency. We must take this to heart!

From Frère Michel:

“But what an astonishing affirmation! The eternal salvation of many souls really depends on our prayers and sacrifices? It is so stupefying that many theologians try to interpret in their own way these disturbing words, to diminish their significance.

“As for ourselves, let us be content to show how this doctrine is in perfect conformity with the purest Catholic tradition. Pope Pius XII firmly recalls this truth in Mystici Corporis:

There is an awesome mystery that we can never sufficiently meditate on: the salvation of many souls depends on the prayers and voluntary penances of the members of the Body of Christ. It is an unfathomable but also admirable mystery that such a close communion associates all the members of the human family with one another, for their salvation or for their loss.

An oracle of Deuteronomy already expresses this will of God in all its force: For I am the Lord thy God, a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon their children unto the third and fourth generation, to them that hate me, And shewing mercy unto many thousands, to them that love me, and keep my commandments. (Deut. 5, 9-10)

“Although the terrible part of this oracle was mitigated by the words of Ezekiel, who without denying family responsibility makes clear the role of individual responsibility, the second part, on the contrary, was reinforced by the message of the Gospel and the Pauline doctrine of the co-redemption:

‘Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake’, he writes to his dear Colossians, ‘and in my flesh I complete what is lacking of the sufferings of Christ for His body, which is the Church.’ (Col. 1:24)

And this co-redemptive power conferred by Christ on the members of His body in favor of their brothers, who are also redeemed has no other measure than unbounded Love and the infinite price of the Blood of Jesus, our only and beloved Saviour:

“One just soul can obtain pardon for a thousand criminals”
(Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary)

“Rather than making unending calculations, vainly seeking to fathom the mysteries of divine predestination and human liberty, to reconcile the role of personal merit and the communion of saints, it is better to imitate the wisdom of the three little seers, who believed in all candor the words of Our Lady: Yes, many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them. And they set themselves courageously to draw out all the consequences that flow from this fact.

The first consequence is that the opposite is also true: Many souls can go to Heaven, thanks to our prayers and sacrifices. Here is an immense field of the apostolate open to every generous soul. Who can say henceforth that his life is useless, ruined, sterile, when the most beautiful, the most useful and the only important supernatural work is proposed to everybody by Our Lady, and with what insistence! (From Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité,  “The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volume III”.)

And so, in the seclusion of Valinhos, without the crowds, Our Blessed Mother patiently waited for little Jacinta, so that all three children could share this important message. They then heroically followed her requests perfectly, to:

“Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”

What a terrible scandal that these small children promptly obeyed and yet, after one hundred years, so few Catholics have actually obeyed Our Lady’s simple requests.  But doesn’t it always seem to be the way these things work? After centuries of prophecies, only a small handful of the Chosen People actually obeyed and followed Christ their Savior.  But look what those few  accomplished!

We, too can accomplish great things, simply by obeying the Angel of Fatima, who instructed us: “Make of everything a sacrifice!” And by obeying Our Blessed Mother, who asked us for Rosaries and Reparation. With these Rosaries and with our daily sacrifices of reparation, we can obtain our good Lord’s graces for the Church to be restored at last. Let’s prepare today to renew our Total Consecrations to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Feast of the Immaculate heart of Mary on the 22nd, this Wednesday. 

What a blessing to be here right now, with this opportunity to comfort Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord and make such a difference in the eternal lives of so many souls. The Church is being renewed right now, do not doubt it, for Our Lord does His best work when the devil thinks he is winning.

Think back over Our Lord’s Passion and Death for just a moment.  See how horribly He suffered and all the humiliation. See the utter hopelessness of it, by the world’s standards, the tragic finality as Our Lady held  her Divine Son’s  body in her arms at the foot of the Cross.

And yet we know that this great tragedy was the means by which satan’s reign was  ended.  By this Death, we are born to eternal life, and by Satan’s attacks on  the Church now, he is being vanquished. Our Lord defeats Satan by His suffering obedience and  we shall do the same!  We are called not just to penance and prayer, but to joyful penance and prayer, and this joy comes from trust in Our Lady,  Indeed, from the very beginning of Sacred Scripture God has revealed the outcome, ” She shall crush thy head and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”

Father Gabriel Amorth, the Vatican exorcist, told us: “We venerate Mary with all the impetus of our hearts, of our affections, of our desires. This is how He wants it, He who established that we receive everything by means of Mary. This is the experience that all exorcists learn first-hand.” To protect ourselves and those entrusted to us, we must be consecrated to Our Lady, wear our scapulars and of course, pray our rosaries with simple faith that this most perfect Mother, given to us by Our Lord Himself, will save us from the demonic infestation of these tragic days. 

Pray the Rosary for the conversion and repentance of the Pope and hierarchy!

  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 Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2019

 

“A great sign appeared in heaven: a Woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Sing ye to the Lord a new canticle: because He has done wonderful things…” (from the introit for today’s Mass.)

 

“Through thee redeemed to endless life, thy praise let all the nations sing.”
“Mary was taken up into heaven, the angels rejoice, and with praises, bless the Lord.” (Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Prime)

 

On this her feast day, we celebrate  “that which has been realized in her, the total glorification of our humanity, will be realized for us at the end of time. This privilege is very fitting for her; for she is all-pure, all-holy, whose body was never touched by any slightest shadow of sin, but was always the temple of the Holy Spirit, the Ark of the Covenant, the very Tabernacle of the Son of God. … Mary has been taken up into Heaven because she is the Mother of God. This is the greatest of her privileges., the root of all others and the reason for themMary’s Assumption thus confirms us in this great and beautiful truth: we are created and called to union with God. (Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, Divine Intimacy,).

Another reason exists for the Assumption of Mary; it is a quite practical one and can be proved scientifically. There are some truths that simply cannot, indeed, will not be denied. As such, the beautiful Eucharistic miracles which prove that the Consecrated Host is truly the body and blood (Type AB no less!) of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

And we now have scientific documentation of a process called microchimerism, which refers to the process of transfer of the maternal and infant cells during pregnancy. In other words, scientists now know that it is likely that the Blessed Virgin Mary and Our Lord Jesus Christ each harbor each other’s cells in their bodies. Therefore it is even more credible that Christ Our Lord brought His Mother, body and soul to be with Him in Heaven. (For more on microchimerism, see here,  here, and here.)

The presence of her Divine Son’s cells in her body is ample reason for her body not being confined to the grave. And think, her own cells are present in His Sacred Body for all time. Truly, Heart of His Sacred Heart, eternally.

Since Mary was perfectly preserved from original sin, there was never a need for her to die. Yet she did agree to die in justice since her Divine Son and Savior chose to die, she could do no less. Our Most Blessed Mother did die for love of Him, Who was her All. And tenderly, with infinite love, He came to her and with His Angels, brought her up into eternal glory with Him.

“Hence,  Mary’s death appears as a holocaust of love. The sacrifice, made under the cross in the greatest spiritual sorrow, was thereby outwardly completed in a sweet and loving manner as in a slumber of love.” (Rev. M. J. Scheeben, Mariology, Vol. II.)

“A slumber of love.” The ancient Church knew well that the death of the Mother of God was a singular event, and they referred to this “slumber of love” as her Dormition, her “falling asleep,” a clear indication that the close of the Virgin’s earthly life was peaceful, unaccompanied by any anxiety or pain. On earth, Mary lived for Jesus and for Him only. When her earthly race was run, Mary’s burning desire to be reunited forever with her Son found its fulfillment. “Now, since it is certain that the Son died of love and that the Mother died of the death of the Son,” wrote St. Francis de Sales (+1622), “we must not doubt that the Mother died of love.” (Source)

Continue reading “The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2019”

The Curé d’Ars on True Repentance

“Je te montrerai le chemin du ciel.” I will show you the path to Heaven!
St. Jean Marie Vianney

 

St. Jean VianneyToday, August 8, we honor one of the greatest saints – Saint Jean Marie Vianney. He is great because he is humble. That is a rare quality today in the new barbarity of extreme individualism. In these dark days, it is commonplace to see the most degrading and perverse sins celebrated under the banner of “PRIDE!”  That should be a grave warning, but tragically, it is not. And so, we offer the thoughts of Saint Jean-Baptiste- Marie Vianney, the Curé d’Ars as a salutary remedy.

 

REPENTANCE

“Woe is me, for I have sinned so much during my life.”

Thus spoke St. Augustine, when he thought over his past life, which he had spent incessantly in the abominable vice of impurity. As often as the thought occurred to him, his heart was torn and devoured by repentance. “Oh, my Lord,” he exclaimed, “I have lived without loving Thee; oh, my Lord, how many precious years have I lost! Deign, O Lord, I implore Thee, to efface from Thy memory my past faults!”

Oh, precious tears, O salutary contrition, which made of such a great sinner so great a saint! Oh, how quickly does a really contrite heart regain the friendship of God! Ah, would to God that every time we let our sins pass before our mind’s eye, we could say with the repentant St. Augustine: “Ah, woe is me. I have sinned much during my life; have mercy on me, O Lord! ” How soon would we alter our mode of living!

Yes, my brethren, let us all who are here present, confess with the same fervent repentance and sincerity, that we are great sinners who deserve to experience the full wrath of God. And let us praise God’s infinite mercy, who gives us abundantly of His treasures to solace us in our misery. If our sins have been ever so great, and our life has been ever so dissolute, we are sure of His pardon, if we follow the example of the prodigal son and throw ourselves with a contrite heart at the feet of the best of fathers.

 

SINCERE HATRED FOR SIN

Now let me show to you, my Christian friends, that our repentance must have this quality before it can procure for us pardon for our sins: The sinner must, in consequence of his repentance, hate his sins sincerely, and detest them. To make you fully understand what is meant by repentance, that is, the pain which our sins should cause our conscience− I would have to show you on the one hand the abhorrence which the Lord has for them, and the torments which He had to suffer to gain pardon for them from God the Father and, on the other hand, the blessings we lose by committing sin, and the evils which we bring down upon ourselves in the next world; but no man will ever be able to understand this fully.

But you may ask, “What does this word ‘repentance’ mean, and how can we tell whether we have it or not?” . . . Now, if you ask me what repentance is, I tell you that it is an anguish of the soul, and a detestation for past sin, and a firm resolve never to sin again. Yes, my brethren, this is the foremost of all conditions which God makes before pardoning our sins, and it can never be dispensed with.

Without (repentance), it is impossible, absolutely impossible, to obtain forgiveness. Yes, my brethren, I must say with deep regret that the want of repentance is the cause of a great number of sacrilegious Confessions and Communions, and what is still more to be regretted is the circumstance that many do not realize what a sad state they are in, and live and die in it.

Now, my friends, if we had the misfortune to conceal a sin in Confession, this sin is constantly before our eyes like a monster which threatens to devour us, and it causes us to soon go to Confession again, so as to free ourselves from it.

But it is different with repentance; we confess, but our heart does not take part in the accusation which we make against ourselves. We approach the Holy Sacrament with as cold, unfeeling, and indifferent a heart as if performing an indifferent act of no consequence. Thus we live from day to day, from year to year, until we approach death, when we expect to find that we have done something to our credit, only to discover nothing but sacrileges, which we have committed by our Confessions and Communions.

Oh, my God, how many Christians there are who will discover at the hour of their death nothing but invalid Confessions!

But I will not go further into this matter, for fear that I may frighten you, and yet you ought really to be brought to the verge of despair, so that you may stop immediately, and improve your condition right now, instead of waiting until that moment when you will recognize your condition, and when it will be too late to improve it.

But let us continue with our explanation, and you will soon learn, my brethren, whether you had the repentance in all your Confessions, which is so absolutely necessary for the forgiveness of sin. I said that repentance is an anguish of soul. It is absolutely necessary that a sinner weep over his sins either in this world or the next. In this world we can wipe out our sins by repentance, but not in the next. We should be very grateful to our dear Lord that the anguish of our soul is sufficient for Him to let it be followed by eternal joy, instead of making us suffer that eternal repentance and those awful tortures which would be our lot in the next life, that is, hell.

QUALITIES OF TRUE REPENTANCE

Heartfelt
It must come from the bottom of the heart. It need not necessarily show itself in tears; they are good and useful, but they are not essential. . . The anguish of soul which God demands of us is like the one of which the prophet says: “Rend your heart and not your garments. A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit; a contrite and humbled heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.”

Why does God require that our heart should feel this anguish? Because it is in the heart where we commit our sins. “It is the heart,” says the Lord, “where all bad thoughts, all sinful desires, originate.” Therefore, if our heart is guilty, the heart must suffer, or God will never forgive us.

Supernatural
It must be supernatural; that means, that the Holy Ghost and not natural causes must call it forth. To be troubled about a sin one has committed because it would exclude us from paradise and lead us into hell, is a supernatural motive, of which the Holy Ghost is the originator, and will lead to true repentance. But to be troubled about a sin because of the shame of which it will be the consequence, or the misfortune it will cause us, that is merely a natural sorrow, which does not merit pardon. It is perfectly plain, then, that the anguish of soul caused by our sins, must arise from our love of God and our fear of His chastisement.

Unlimited
It must be unlimited, that is, the anguish it calls forth must be greater than any other sorrow, as, for instance, at the loss of our parents, or our health, or in general at the loss of anything that is dearest to us in this life. The reason why our sorrow must be so great is because it must be equivalent to the loss it will cause us, and the misfortune it will bring us after our death. Imagine, then, how great an anguish ought to be ours over a sin which deprives us of all the glories of heaven, alienates our dear Lord from us, and casts us into hell, which is the greatest of all misfortunes.

Life-changing
But, you may ask, how are we to know whether we possess this true repentance? Nothing is easier. If you have real repentance, you will neither act, nor think, as you did before, and you will change your mode of life completely; you will hate what you have loved and you will love what you have despised and avoided.

Comprehensive
Repentance must be comprehensive. We see in the lives of the saints, in regard to the comprehensiveness of repentance, that we cannot receive pardon for one sin, even if we have properly repented the same, if we do not feel the same repentance for all our sins.

Lord, if it be possible, make the repentance over my sins equal to the offense which I have given you!

Examine yourselves and see how rare is such repentance. Alas, it is as scarce as a good Confession! Yes, my brethren, a Christian who has sinned and wishes to obtain pardon, must be so minded that he would rather suffer the most cruel tortures than fall back into the sin which he has just confessed. And this disposition is obtained by prayer—earnest, fervent prayer. “Create a clean heart in me, O God: and renew a right spirit within my bowels. Cast me not away from thy face, and take not thy holy spirit from me,” (Ps. 1. 12)

Joined to this repentance will naturally be a firm resolve not to commit the sin again; and this is the contrite and humbled heart which God will not despise, but receive again as His child, and restore to him all the privileges of a child of God, and heir to the Heavenly Kingdom which I wish you all. Amen.

The excerpts above are from the collection,Sermons of the  Curé of Ars: Sermons for all the Sundays and Feast Days of the Year”, published by KIC. Kindle Edition.  It is a treasure trove of wisdom from this amazing saint!

Pray the Rosary for the conversion and repentence of Pope Francis and the hierarchy!

Ed. Note: The epigram at top of page is thanks to Rorate Caeli.

.  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.

~ 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!

This post from evensong’s draft archives. Updated by peregrine.

The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, 2019

 

Today’s posting on the Transfiguration  is based on Archbishop Sheen’s “Life of Christ”.

Three lessons were given by Our Lord Jesus Christ from a mountain. In His Sermon on the Mount, He challenged the spirit of the world. From Mount Tabor, He gave Peter, James and John a glimpse of the glory that was to come after His Passion and Death. And from Mount Calvary, He taught us most eloquently from His Cross.

We know that Peter, James and John were the Apostles chosen, but why them? Peter was to be the first Pope, James was to be the first Apostle martyred for the faith and John was to be the visionary of the future glory of the Apocalypse. All three witnessed the miracle of Jesus raising Jairus’s daughter from the dead. Archbishop Fulton Sheen tells us that all three needed to witness the Transfiguration in order to rectify their false conceptions of the Messias and to understand the importance of the Cross. Not long before, Peter had protested strenuously against the Cross while James and John had shared the common misconception that the reign of the Savior would be an earthly one. Our Lord knew that He would need to help them see the future glory beyond the bloody mount of the skull.

A brief glimpse of glory

It was not the full manifestation of Divinity which no man of earth could see; nor was His body glorified, for He had not risen from the dead, but it possessed a quality of glory. His crib, His carpenter trade, His bearing opprobrium from enemies were a humiliation; fittingly there should also be epiphanies of glory, as the angels’ song at His birth and the voice of the Father during the baptism.

Now as He nears Calvary, a new glory surrounds Him. The voice again invests Him in the robes of the priesthood, to offer sacrifice. The glory that shone around Him as the Temple of God was not something with which He was outwardly invested, but rather a natural expression of the inherent loveliness of “Him who came down from heaven.”

The wonder was not this momentary radiance around Him; it was rather that at all other times it was repressed. As Moses, after communing with God, put a veil over his face to hide it from the people of Israel, so Christ had veiled His glory in humanity. But for this brief moment, He turned it aside so that men might see it; the outgoing of these rays was the transitory proclamation to every human eye of the Son of Righteousness.

As the Cross came nearer, His glory became greater. So it may be that the coming of the anti-Christ or the final crucifixion of the good will be preceded by an extraordinary glory of Christ in His members. In man, the body is a kind of a cage of the soul. In Christ, the Body was the Temple of Divinity.

In the Garden of Eden, we know that man and woman were naked but not ashamed. This is because the glory of the soul before sin shone through the body and became a kind of a raiment. Here too in the Transfiguration, the Divinity shone through humanity. This was probably much more natural than for Christ to be seen in any other pose, namely, without that glory. It took restraint to hide the Divinity that was in Him.

“And whilst He prayed, the shape of His countenance was altered, and His raiment became white and glittering. And behold two men were talking with Him. And they were Moses and Elias, Appearing in majesty. And they spoke of His decease that He should accomplish in Jerusalem.” (Luke 9:29-31).

The Old Testament was coming to meet the New. Moses the publisher of the Law, Elias the chief of the Prophets—both of them were seen shining in the Light of Christ Himself Who, as the Son of God, gave the Law and sent the Prophets. The subject of conversation of Moses, Elias and Christ was not what He had taught, but His sacrificial death; it was His duty as Mediator which fulfilled the Law, the Prophets and the Eternal Decrees.

Their work done, they pointed to Him to see the Redemption accomplished. Thus did He keep before Him the goal of being “numbered with the transgressors,” as Isaias had foretold. Even in this moment of glory, the Cross is the theme of the discourse with the celestial visitors. But it was death conquered, sin atoned and the grave despoiled.

St. Paul said, “Having joy set before Him, He endured the Cross.” What the Apostles noticed as particularly beautiful and glorified were His face and His garments—the face which later would be splattered with blood flowing from a crown of thorns; and the garments, which would be a robe of scorn with which sneering Herod would dress Him. The gossamer of light which now surrounded Him would be exchanged for nakedness when He would be stripped on a hill.

While the Apostles were standing at what seemed to be the very vestibule of heaven, a cloud formed, overshadowing them:

“And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye Him.” (Matt. 17:5)

When God sets up a cloud it is a manifest sign that there are bonds which man dare not break. At His baptism, the heavens were opened; now at the Transfiguration they opened again to install Him in His office as Mediator, and to distinguish Him from Moses and the Prophets. It was heaven itself that was sending Him on His mission, not the perverse will of men.

At the baptism, the voice from heaven was for Jesus Himself; on the Hill of the Transfiguration, it was for the disciples. The shouts of “Crucify” would be too much for their ears if they did not know that it behooved the Son to suffer. It was not Moses nor Elias they were to hear, but Him who apparently would die like any other teacher, but was more than a prophet.

The voice testified to the unbroken and undivided union of Father and Son; it recalled also the words of Moses that in due time God would raise up from Israel One like Himself Whom they should hear. The Apostles, awakening at the brilliance of what they had seen, found their spokesman, as almost always, in Peter.

“And it came to pass, that as they were departing from him, Peter saith to Jesus: Master, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias; not knowing what he said.” (Luke 9:33)

A week before, Peter was trying to find a way to glory without the Cross. Now he thought the Transfiguration a good short cut to salvation by having a Mount of the Beatitudes or a Mount of the Transfiguration without the Mount of Calvary. It was Peter’s second attempt to dissuade Our Lord from going to Jerusalem to be crucified. Before Calvary he was the spokesman for all those who would enter into glory without purchasing it by self-denial and sacrifice. Peter in his impetuosity here felt that the glory which God brought down from the heavens, and of which the angels sang at Bethlehem, could be tabernacled among men without a war against sin. Peter forgot that as the dove rested his foot only after the deluge, so true peace comes only after the Crucifixion. Like a child, Peter tried to capitalize and make permanent this transient glory. To the Savior, it was an anticipation of what was reflected from the other side of the Cross; to Peter, it was a manifestation of an earthly Messianic glory that ought to be housed. The Lord Who called Peter “Satan” because he would have a crown without a Cross now ignored his noncrucial humanism, for He knew that “he spoke at random.” But after the Resurrection, Peter would know. Then he would recall the scene, saying:

“… we were eyewitnesses of His greatness. For He received from God the Father honour and glory: this voice coming down to Him from the excellent glory: ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. And this voice we heard brought from heaven, when we were with Him in the holy mount. And we have the more firm prophetical word: whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.”  (II Peter 1:16–20)

 

This destroyer Pope’s attack on the faith – and the faithful! – has accelerated but we have the indisputable word of Our Lord Jesus Christ that He will not forsake His Church. Let us hold firm to the faith, “the light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star rise in our hearts.”

Just as the Transfiguration was only a momentary glimpse of His glory, so too the passion and death of Our Lord in His Mystical Body the Church, are destined to pass and yield to His glorious Resurrection. Let us keep our perspective then, even in these chaotic times, and abide “with Jesus alone”“Nisi solum Jesum”accepting all that is given to us from His wounded hands, trusting in Jesus alone.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the most Holy Rosary, intercede for us!
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

~ by evensong, for love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

For our traditional posting on the Transfiguration, see: “The Transfiguration, Nisi Solum Jesum”.

evensong is currently unable to post and for the time being, most posts here will be repostings or drawn from her archive of draft posts. Thank you,

peregrine

Designs of Mercy – Jacinta – Part II, 2019

 

Today we offer the second part of our earlier post. We need to learn from these good children, for Our Lady chose them to lead us, and our failure to follow is bringing very difficult times on the whole world and particularly in the Church as we watch the destruction grow week by week.

Part II

In our previous post on Saint Jacinta, we spoke of Our Lady’s visit to Saints Francisco and Jacinta Marto  in January, 1919. In her Memoirs, Lúcia tells us,

“Our Lady came to see us”, Jacinta said. “She told us She would come to take Francisco to Heaven very soon, and She asked me if I still wanted to convert more sinners. I said I did. She told me I would be going to a hospital where I would suffer a great deal; and that I am to suffer for the conversion of sinners, in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for love of Jesus. I asked if you (Lúcia) would go with me. She said you wouldn’t, and that is what I find hardest. She said my mother would take me, and then I would have to stay there all alone!”

In Volume II, Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité speaks of Sister Lúcia’s impression of Jacinta:

Saint Jacinta Marto, pray for us, pray for the Pope.

“Jacinta was the one who received from Our Lady a greater abundance of grace, and a better knowledge of God and of virtue”

Although she was indeed the youngest of the three seers, it was she who appeared to enjoy the greatest intimacy with the Most Holy Virgin. When the cycle of the six great public apparitions was completed, Jacinta continued almost uninterruptedly to enjoy supernatural favors, right up until her death.

In our earlier post on Jacinta, we mentioned Frère Michel’s remark,

“It is indeed surprising to observe how much, after the apparition of July 13, the thought of the Holy Father kept constantly coming back to the minds of the three seers. This was one of their major preoccupations, along with solicitude for sinners, and the sight of the terrifying war to come. Why? Undoubtedly because the Pope plays a role of decisive importance in the great prophecy of the Secret: he is already named five times in the published part of the Secret; we may believe that he is mentioned again in the part which has not yet been published. Let us add that several supernatural communications Sister Lúcia was later favored with, concerning the role of the Holy Father in the great prophecy of the Secret, surely supply us with the context which sheds much light on the visions of Jacinta. “

In her memoirs, Lúcia recalled several prophetic visions given to little Jacinta.

“One day we spent our siesta down by my parents’ well. Jacinta sat on the stone slab on top of the well. Francisco and I climbed up a steep bank in search of wild honey among the brambles in a nearby thicket. After a little while, Jacinta called out to me: ‘Didn’t you see the Holy Father?’ ‘No.’

‘I don’t know how it was, but I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father, we must pray much for him.’

“I have already told you how, one day, two priests recommended that we pray for the Holy Father, and explained to us who the Pope was. Afterwards, Jacinta asked me:  ‘Is he the one I saw weeping, the one Our Lady told us about in the Secret?’  ‘Yes, he is,’  I answered. (And Jacinta, with childlike candour, went on:) ‘The Lady must surely have shown him also to those priests. You see, I wasn’t mistaken. We need to pray a lot for him.’

Continue reading “Designs of Mercy – Jacinta – Part II, 2019”

True Devotion to Saint Joseph, 2019

 

Well, it is time for us to break out the heavy armaments, don’t you think? Let’s renew our efforts to seek the help of our great friend and protector, Saint Joseph. There’s a very good prayer at the end I believe you may like, in case you do not have it already.

True devotion to Saint Joseph is an integral part of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and  Immaculate Heart of Mary. Indeed, the very reason for Saint Joseph’s appearance on Our Lady’s last visit to Fatima October 13, 1917 was to emphasize this devotion, which will save families in this crisis.

“We saw, beside the sun, Saint Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady clothed in white with a blue mantle. Saint Joseph and the Child Jesus seemed to bless the world with gestures which they made with their hands in the form of a cross.”
(Sister Lucia of Fatima)

St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!
St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!

 

This little noted event tells us so much! Even as the miracle of the sun is occurring, St. Joseph appears, holding the Child Jesus and both bless the world. This reminds us that God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, entrusted the Child Jesus to St. Joseph. Indeed, God’s wisdom entrusted the Holy Family to the quiet man, and now, at Fatima, he is revealed to us, to bless us in this time prefigured by the miracle of the sun.

At the miracle of the sun, the earth stood firm while the sun moved erratically. How can this be? And yet it happened. How can the Church, established by Christ become so erratic as it is today, under Pope Francis? How do we reconcile that the gates of hell will not prevail and the Holy Ghost will always guide her, with what we now see? St. Joseph solved a similar conundrum and he stands ready to help us now.

Matthew 1, 18-25 tells of Joseph’s dilemma and its resolution. His example of humility and steadfastness is precisely the example for us today. Faithful Catholics are torn today between the temptation to abandon the church, or to go along with the errors of the Neo-pagan agenda of Pope Francis.

What did Joseph do when faced with an unsolvable dilemma? He turned to God in prayer and stayed with it until God gave him light. He didn’t become his own God, or in today’s terms, his own pope. Neither did he accept the unthinkable option that somehow Mary had broken her vow, but that false mercy was required on his part to simply accept unfaithfulness. That would be the spiritual sloth of today’s catholics, who simply go along to get along, and welcome unrepentant vice into the church. “Who am I to judge?”

If the Lord God entrusted the Ark of the Covenant to the keeping of St. Joseph, can we not also turn in confidence to him, secure in the knowledge that he will teach us the humility and patience to stand firm in the faith until these erratic and uncertain times are over and the Blessed Virgin clears the smoke of Satan from the Church?

In the Bible, we see that in obedience to God, St. Joseph took the child Jesus and the Blessed Virgin to Egypt in order to save them from murderous Herod. Now, Egypt was a country similar in many ways to our modern post-Christian societies, very much in the control of the Lord of the World. And yet St. Joseph kept them safe. And now he stands ready to help faithful priests guard their flocks. He helps Catholic fathers protect their families.

In 2008, Cardinal Caffara related a correspondence he had with Sister Lucia of Fatima. In her letter she said that, “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.” “Don’t be afraid”, she added, because “anyone who works for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be fought and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue.” And then she concluded:  “however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.”

Certainly, the Fatima vision of St. Joseph and the Child Jesus blessing us, in conjunction with Sister Lucia’s remarks to Cardinal Caffara, should give us consolation today. There is another bit of information on this subject. Solange Hertz, in her book, The Sixth Trumpet, tells us that Sister Lucia, when asked about the Third Secret confirmed that it is about Apocalypse Chapter 12. Mrs. Hertz posits that Apocalypse 12:14 may apply to us in these times.

“And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” In the mystical language of St. John in the Apocalypse, “the woman” refers to the Church, but also to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Mary is inseparably bound to the Church and St. Joseph is the Guardian of both. In Hertz’ view, the Holy Family’s sojourn in Egypt prefigures this passage, and indicates that St. Joseph is given to us in these dire times to strengthen and defend us, and to bring us safely home again.

Whatever outrage occurs at October’s Pan-Amazon Synod, we know that the Immaculate Virgin Mary has already crushed satan’s head, and in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph. Our job is to stand firm in the faith, and St. Joseph is our sure unfailing defender. He never has — and never will — ask us for a special day of honor for him, or a special title. He simply called us, and stands ready to help us, live our consecrations to the Immaculata and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. If we devote ourselves to the Sacred Hearts, Saint Joseph will guard and defend us and our families even as he kept the Holy Family safe so long ago.

Here is my favorite prayer of Consecration to Saint Joseph:

O my beloved Saint Joseph, adopt me as thy child, take care of my salvation, watch over me day and night, preserve me from the occasion of sin, obtain for me purity of soul and body! Through thy intercession with Jesus, rant me a spirit of sacrifice, of humility, and of self-denial, a burning love for Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament and a sweet tender love for Mary, my Mother.
St. Joseph, be with me living, be with me dying and obtain for me a favorable judgement from Jesus, my merciful Saviour. Amen.

St. Joseph defender of the family, defender of the faith, we entrust our families and our faith to thee!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, intercede for us!

 

The Feast of the Visitation, 2019

 

Today, July 2nd, we commemorate Our Lady’s Visitation in which our Lord Jesus and His Mother performed His first miracle, to free John the Baptist from original sin by baptizing him while he was yet unborn. This beautiful feast invites us to enter into the intimate life of our Savior, healing and sanctifying souls almost immediately after the Incarnation. It also is the testimony of the Holy Ghost to the sanctity of life from the moment of conception. So much to savor in this delightful scene from Holy Scripture!

The Magnificat of the Blessed Virgin Mary

“And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid;
For behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is His name.
And His mercy is from generation unto generations to them that fear Him.
He hath shewed might in His arm:
He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat,
And hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away.
He hath helped Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy:
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.” [Luke 1, 46-55]

Our Lady’s Hymn of Praise

Luke’s Gospel tells us that:

When Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.” [Luke 1, 41-45].

Blessed is the fruit of thy womb …

Now, this remarkable event was the occasion of the very first miracle wrought by Our Lord Jesus Christ and it tells us a couple of important things:

First, Jesus worked this miracle before He was born on the as yet unborn infant son of Elizabeth, John.

Second, Jesus worked this miracle through the Blessed Virgin Mary. The fact that Jesus thus effected His first two miracles through His most Holy Mother is significant, although little noted in the conciliar Church today.

Note that Elizabeth “was filled with the Holy Ghost” when she said, “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” This means that Elizabeth’s praise of Mary was inspired by the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit, referred to earlier in Luke 1, 35, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee.”

To understand the Magnificat, consider that even as Elizabeth praised Mary, Mary responded with a hymn of praise to God. Mary, as the creature most perfect, most beloved of God, acknowledges that she is nothing without God. This perfect humility in Mary, this perfect obedience to God’s will in all things is what makes our devotion to Mary so beneficial. Mary is our quickest, surest way to the Heart of her beloved Son.

“My soul doth magnify the Lord.” How can a mere mortal “magnify” the Divine Lord? In the pure, clear soul of the Immaculata, God’s glory is reflected back as a mirror reflects back the brightness of the blazing sun. This image alone is such a rich source of contemplation, it would take volumes to begin to express properly.

Mary then proclaims, “my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid.”  In this, she confirms that she is only the servant of God, her Saviour. When, in the Magnificat Mary refers to herself as “His handmaid”, it is the second time she has done so. The first was when she said at the Annunciation, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” By this repetition, Mary is emphasizing the importance of her humble obedience. Mary’s entire role in the salvation of mankind is based on humility and obedience.

The following verse, “behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed”, is overlooked by those who reject devotion to Mary. Our Blessed Mother quickly adds to that verse, “Because He that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is His name”. Thus, we see that Mary always keeps the divine order, and never fails to attribute her every blessing to God alone. It is impossible to be truly devoted to Mary and not at the same time adore the most Holy Trinity; Mary is the most beloved Daughter of God the Father, the most pure Mother of God the Son and the most glorious Spouse of God the Holy Spirit. Thus, Mary’s entire worth is in her perfect reflection of God.

Mary’s hymn reflects also her adoration of God’s most sacred name, “Holy is His name.” This, of course is our first duty and Mary’s hymn exemplifies this exquisitely. The Magnificat is a salutary prayer to remedy the all-pervasive blasphemy of these times.

Continue reading “The Feast of the Visitation, 2019”

The Price of Our Salvation

 

This meditation on the Precious Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ is one of my favorite readings for meditation, and I find it fruitful even after years.

Today, Monday, July 1st, is the Feast of the most Precious Blood of Jesus. The Church celebrates this Feast on the First Sunday of July, however, which will not be until July 7 this year, so although I am posting this article today, the actual feast will be next Sunday.

The Feast of the most Precious Blood of Jesus is rich in beautiful reminders of God’s gracious providence for us, even though we do not deserve such generosity. Our reference today is  Father Faber’s tender tribute to the Precious Blood of Our Lord.

Most Precious Blood of Jesus, save us, save our priests, save our Church!

 

Father Faber’s beautiful essay, The Precious Blood, or the price of our Salvation“, remarks that the Angels wonder in awe as they adore this Precious Blood.

“Their superior intelligence ministers more abundant matter to their love. From the very first God invited the angels to adore It. He made their adoration a double exercise of humility,—of humility toward Himself, and of humility toward us their inferior fellow-creatures. It was the test to which He put their loyalty. He showed them His beloved Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, in His Sacred Humanity, united to a lower nature than their own, and in that lower nature crowned their King and Head, to be worshipped by them with absolute and unconditional adoration. The Son of a human Mother was to be their Head, and that Daughter of Eve to be herself their Queen. …

The Precious Blood belongs in an especial manner to men. Much more, therefore, does God invite them to come to Its heavenly baths, and receive therein, not only the cleansing of their souls, but the power of a new and amazing life. Every  doctrine in theology is a call to the Precious Blood. Every ceremony in the Church tells of it. Every sermon that is preached is an exhortation to the use of it. Every Sacrament is a communication of it. Every supernatural act is a growth of it. Every thing that is holy on the earth is either leaf, bud, blossom, or fruit of the Blood of Jesus.

To its fountains, God calls the sinner, that he may be lightened of his burdens. There is no remission for him in any thing else. Only there is his lost son-ship to be found. But the saints are no less called by God to these invigorating streams. It is out of the Precious Blood that men draw martyrdoms, vocations, celibacies, austerities, heroic charities, and all the magnificent graces of high sanctity. The secret nourishment of prayer is from those fountains. They purge the eye for sublime contemplations. They kindle the inward fires of self-sacrificing love. They bear a man safely, and even impetuously, over the seeming impossibilities of perseverance. It is by the Blood of Jesus that the soul becomes ever more and more radiant. It is the secret source of all mystical transformations of the soul into the likeness of its Crucified Spouse. …

All the new nature of the man, who is “renewed in Christ Jesus,” comes from this Blood, whether it be his love of suffering, his delight in shame, his grace of prayer, his unworldly tastes, his strange humility, his shy concealment, his zeal for souls, his venturous audacity, or his obstinate perseverance. Sinner, saint, and common Christian, all in their own ways, require the Precious Blood each moment of their lives; and, as the manna in the mouths of the Israelites had the savor which each man wished it to have, so is it with the sweetness, the variety, and the fitness of the graces of the Precious Blood.

Father Faber reminds us that Our Savior’s Precious Blood came  from Mary.

Mary’s blood was the material out of which the Holy Ghost, the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity, the artificer of the Sacred Humanity, fashioned the Blood of Jesus. Here we see how needful to the joy and gladness of our devotion is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Who could bear to think that the matter of the Precious Blood had ever been itself corrupted with the taint of sin, that it had once been part of the devil’s kingdom, that what was to supply the free price of our redemption was once enslaved to God’s darkest, foulest enemy?

Continue reading “The Price of Our Salvation”

For Love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2019

 

Today, we have a new post to honor the most Sacred Heart of Jesus on this, His feast day.

 

True Devotion and the Image of the Sacred Heart

Our Lord gave us the image of His Sacred Heart in order to awaken in us the realization of His immense love and to arouse our love for Him in return. This became even more urgent as the errors of Protestantism began to drag so many souls to perdition. In Our Lord’s revelations to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, we see that veneration of the image of His Sacred Heart was an essential portion of His revelations.

Today, we will consider briefly the components of this veneration of the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

From Saint Margaret Mary herself:

“One day, on the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, after having received from my Divine Saviour a favor similar to that bestowed upon the Beloved Disciple, of reposing on the bosom of Our Lord, the Divine Heart was represented to me on a throne of fire and flames, shedding on every side rays brighter than the sun and transparent as crystal. The Wound which He had received upon the Cross appeared there visibly; a crown of thorns encircled the adorable Heart, and It was surmounted by a cross. “These instruments of His Passion signified, as my Divine Master gave me to understand, that it was His unbounded love for man which had been the source of all His sufferings.

From the first moment of His Incarnation all these torments had been planted in His Heart. From that moment He accepted all the pains and humiliations which His Sacred Humanity was to suffer during the whole course of His mortal life, and even the outrages to which His love for man would expose Him till the end of time in the Blessed Sacrament.

He revealed to me afterwards that it was the great desire of disclosing to mankind His Heart, and of giving them in these ‘latter times’ this last proof of His love, that induced Him to propose to them an object and a means so calculated to win their love. He opens to them His Sacred Heart with all the treasures of love, mercy and graces of sanctification and salvation which It contains.”

Promises to those who venerate the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

There is a widely circulated list of promises of Our Lord for those who venerate the image of His Sacred Heart. Since it is easily found, I will not copy it, but prefer to limit my words to that which I discern in the saint’s own writings.

According to St. Margaret Mary, “He promised to pour into the hearts of all who would venerate His image the fullness of gifts with which His Sacred Heart abounds, saying that wherever this image would be exposed for special veneration, it would draw down upon the place every kind of blessing.” Furthermore, He promised that all who would contribute to afford Him this joy would be blessed with graces of sanctification and salvation in superabundant measure. St. Margaret Mary wrote to a superior who caused the first picture of the Sacred Heart to be drawn: “For this service Our Lord will engrave your name in His Heart ineffaceably; the other rewards I am not permitted to reveal to you.”

The sentiments which a picture of the Sacred Heart should incite in our souls may easily be inferred from the symbols with which our blessed Lord Himself wished to surround this image.

Flames Issuing from the Heart of Jesus

First, the flames bursting forth and enveloping It show the vehement love with which It loves us. “Behold this Heart that has loved men so much!”  In order to conquer our indifference and to leave no excuse for ignorance, He discloses to us His Divine Heart, His strong desire being to inflame us with a grateful return of love. “Son, give Me thy heart!” He pleads to all. The love He demands is a practical, sacrificial love of complete devotion to Him. This burning love of His desires no less than to kindle fire of the same love in our own hearts.

When we see an image of the Sacred Heart, it beckons us to respond with an act of love,  “O my Jesus, I love Thee, I give Thee my heart; give me Thy holy love!” Just a simple act of love like this is of immense merit and gives our loving Savior so much consolation in this great Passion of the Church.

St. Aloysius Gonzaga, by interior acts of love, rose in a short time to an astonishing degree of sanctity. Nothing dispels Satan more quickly when he tempts us than an efficacious act of love. Hence, St. Francis de Sales advises us to make acts of love in time of temptation.

The Heart of Jesus Encircled With the Crown of Thorns

The crown of thorns encircling the Heart of Jesus typifies the injuries inflicted upon It by the ingratitude Our Lord receives in return for His love. Today, even so-called faithful Catholics are largely indifferent to the suffering of Jesus Christ in this Passion. They are far more concerned, often, for the humiliation they suffer at the hands of the apostates who have become the visible facade of the faith. There is no shortage of scandal and outrage over the auto-demolition of the church. But there is a great danger that we overlook whose Church this really is — we must not forget that this Church is the beautiful and pure Bride of Our Lord Jesus Christ! let us not lose sight of that! Let us promise that we, at least, will not place the thorns of indifference in Our Lord’s most Sacred Heart!

Jesus gave us the Sacrament of His love to be the food of our soul. But in this Blessed Sacrament, the most painful wounds are inflicted on His Sacred Heart! “Behold the Heart that has loved men so much that It has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming Itself, in order to testify to them Its love. But in return I receive from the greater part of mankind only ingratitude, by reason of the contempt, irreverence, sacrilege and coldness shown Me in this Sacrament of Love. And what I feel still more painfully is that hearts consecrated to Me treat Me thus!”

Our Lord revealed the devotion to His Sacred Heart especially to obtain reparation and atonement. For this reason He appeared in the Sacred Host to St. Margaret Mary and united this devotion most intimately with devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Those who venerate the Sacred Heart of Jesus should have great devotion to the Holy Eucharist. Our Lord desires especially the Communion of Reparation. Without reparation, devotion to His Sacred Heart would not be complete.

The Heart of Jesus Surmounted by a Cross

The Cross surmounting the Heart of Jesus is a further testimony of Our Lord’s love for us; it reminds us particularly of His bitter Passion and Death. Today, in this Passion of the Church, reverence for the Cross is essential as the token of His Passion. This cross, planted in His Sacred Heart beckons to us to come and do likewise: and so we take up our crosses allowing our hearts to be consumed with love for Him. Many saints are represented holding a crucifix in their hands as a sign of their special devotion to the sufferings of Christ. Holy Church numbers among her saints more than 60 persons who bore the sacred stigmata in their body.

Countless are the revelations of saints regarding the precious graces connected with devotion to the Passion of our Saviour. Our Lord once said to Blessed Angela of Foligno: “Those who seriously meditate on My Passion are in truth My children; the others are so in name only.” St. Augustine declares: “A single tear shed in remembrance of the sufferings of Christ is of more value than a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, or a year’s fasting on bread and water, if it be not performed with the same love.” On this account our Divine Saviour wishes the devotion to His Sacred Heart to be practiced especially on Fridays. On that day He gave the highest proof of His love, and we should make Him a return of love by patience in our sufferings. Love for the Cross is the fruit of true devotion to the Sacred Heart. The perfection of love consists in pure suffering for the Beloved.

The Wound in the Heart of Jesus

Devotion to the Heart of Jesus originated the moment when that Divine Heart was pierced with the lance. In this adorable Heart, sacred mysteries lie hidden, and in contemplating them, we grow in grace and devotion.

St. Margaret Mary understood this well, for when she drew the first little image of the Sacred Heart, she represented It with a gaping wound, in which she inscribed the word: “Caritas.” St. Frances of Rome relates that once she beheld the Wound of the Heart of Jesus, from which gushed forth a stream of living water. At the same time she heard these words: “I am Love crying aloud: ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.’ I will satiate those who follow My invitation; it is just for this reason that I permitted My Heart to be pierced, that I might be able to receive all therein as in a place of refuge.”

A remarkable passage of the Apocalypse which has been quoted as applicable to our times is “Behold, I have caused a door to be opened before thee, which no one can shut.” (Apoc. 3:8). The Wound of the Heart of Jesus is this wide-open door of salvation for the whole world, this secure place of refuge for repentant sinners.

This Wound is a fountain of immeasurable grace and consolation. To those who venerate His Sacred Heart, our Divine Saviour imparts the Precious Blood and water which issued from His side, that they may offer It unceasingly to the Heavenly Father in expiation for their sins and those of the whole world. Through this offering we can obtain numberless graces for ourselves and others. We should, every morning, place our sufferings, prayers and labors in the pierced Heart of Jesus; there everything will be purified and perfected. The Heart of Jesus Surrounded by Rays of Light Rays of light always envelop representations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These rays, which dart in every direction, signify the great graces and blessings which emanate from devotion to the Sacred Heart. Most liberal are the promises made by Our Lord to those who venerate His Divine Heart. “Announce it, and let it be announced to the whole world,” He revealed to St. Margaret Mary, “that I set neither limit nor measure to My gifts of grace for those who seek them in My Heart!” This Divine Heart is a superabundant treasure house of all graces necessary for true conversion and He opens up this Heart to all who seek conversion in humility and confidence in Him.

St. Margaret Mary writes: “I know of no devotion better suited to lead a soul in a short time to the summit of perfection.” The Heart of Jesus is the mine and treasure house of graces. However, Our Lord promised not only spiritual favors to those who venerate His Heart, but also aid and comfort in all sufferings. No soul, howsoever abandoned, will fail to find peace and consolation in the Divine Heart. No misfortune is so bitter and hopeless but that the Sacred Heart can change and direct it all for the best.

Our Lord made a very consoling promiser those who promote devotion to His Sacred Heart: “Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out. “  This is the promise of the grace of final perseverance, the grace of predilection. It promises to those who promote devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus eternal happiness.

The above thoughts are paraphrased from a very old brochure of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was issued anonymously as True Devotion to the Image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Dear Readers, if we wish to model our own hearts on this most generous and loving heart of our dear Jesus, we cannot set limits, but must open our own hearts up to a total oblation of love for His most Sacred Heart. And how is this done? We return to the words of Our Lord Himself: “Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen explains that it is only thus, by removing the self-love and pride from our heart that we open up our hearts.

By meekness, we understand the importance of conquering anger — now, this anger is all-pervasive in our culture at this time. This world fairly scintillates and shimmers with the diabolical flames of anger It is by meekness that we overcome the petty irritations that arise from the abrasive wounds to our “ego”. You see here, the close connection between meekness and humility.

It takes only a bit of pride, self-love or attachment to our own opinion to make us unable to withstand opposition. This is perfectly evident in others. We see it quite clearly! But in ourselves, it is a struggle to see, and a valuable gift we must beg Our Lord to help us attain. This is where the Immaculata helps us. We ask her for this grace especially, so that we may not be a burden on Our Dear Lord who suffers so greatly now, but may, by imitating her meek and humble love, offer Him a pleasing repose with us, Great Sacred Heart to little heart!

In closing, please never forget this: We can only lose by quitting! Let us resolve never to surrender, never to stop trying to offer all our heart, all our love to the Sacred heart of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Most Sacred heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come , Thy will be done!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

Pray the Rosary!