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!

Blessed Be God Forever!

It’s an understatement to say that these are trying times. One sure way to pull ourselves up from our doldrums is to take a few moments and pray the following prayer.  For me, it is the “grown-up” counterpart of the little treasure bag I used to carry in my pocket as a child. When unhappy, I liked to take out a small bag that held a Miraculous Medal, a small but perfect sea shell with a rainbow side, a pretty, smooth stone, and an iridescent feather. The Miraculous Medal of course, was the image of my true “Mama” who never failed to love me, and the other  “treasures” reminded me of our Good God, our Father and His glorious Heaven. In the following prayer, in addition to giving praise to God and His Angels and Saints, we also remind ourselves how blessed we are to have such friends “in high places”.

†  †  †

The following is a very personal prayer that I call the Blessed Be’s. Although based on the Divine Praises, it has grown over time to include additional praises and petitions. The Divine Praises, or in this case, the Blessed Be’s, are an excellent way to give glory to God and invigorate our resolve to offer all for the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Oh, and it also drives the devil away!

This prayer can be personalized to include particular family members or other petitions.

 

Blessed Be
Blessed be God
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the Most Holy Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be Jesus, my Lord, my God and my All.
Blessed be the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the Most Holy Trinity, Father Son and Holy Ghost.
Blessed be God forever.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy.
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.
Blessed be her Glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be Mary, most glorious Queen of Heaven, Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of my heart, be Queen of our family!
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste Spouse.
Blessed be St. Joseph, Foster Father of Our Lord, be Foster Father of our family!
Blessed be St. Joseph, protector of the Church, protect our priests, seminarians and altar boys.
Blessed be St. Joseph, terror of demons, drive satan from our midst, every single one of us!
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.
Blessed be St. Michael the Archangel.
Blessed be St. John the Baptist.
Blessed be the holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, protect our Church, protect our Pope, confound the evildoers!
Blessed be our Guardian Angels.
Blessed be Sister Lúcia of Fatima.
Blessed be Francisco, Jacinta and all the saints of Fatima.
Please pray for me to the Lord our God, that He have mercy on me, forgive me my sins
and bring me to life everlasting.
Blessed be God forever!
May the Heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, be praised, adored and loved with grateful affection at every moment in all the tabernacles of the world even unto the end of time.
Blessed be God Forever!

Sister Josefa Menendez was accustomed to praying the Divine Praises in order to guard against satan, and it stands to reason that hearing us fervently praise God would be unbearable to that most hateful of creatures!

Remember, pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

Blessed be God forever!

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

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin, give me strength against thine enemies.

The Divine Conspiracy

 

We offer today for the grand feast of Pentecost a new post. For our accustomed post see here.

To most, conspiracy means roughly, a plot, or plan, usually with nefarious intent. But if we consider the Latin roots, we see that “conspiratio” is basically a breathing with, that is, breathing in unison. Solange Hertz, explains that the original conspiracy, “derives from that ineffable cooperation of divine persons in the Most Holy Trinity, where the Father and the Son act as one in the bond of the Holy Ghost. Through the mediation of the Son made man, the trinitarian cooperations have been projected into, nay, actually joined with those of mankind.”

‘”A mystical transubstantiation of human society, as it were, not only became possible, but actually began. Human society would be changed, not in its form, which remains the same, but in its substance. This plan of heaven’s to take over the world by supernaturalizing its inhabitants may properly be called the Holy Ghost’s Conspiracy. Like the devil’s, it is something only faith can explain. Unlike the devil’s, however, it will succeed, and it will have no end. It began with natural creation, when as yet “the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep,” when “the spirit of God moved over the waters.” (Gen. 1:2). This life giving breath of the Father and the Son, which produced everything that exists, has never ceased its divine action and is at work even now. The first natural creation in the beginning was merely a foundation for the transcendent supernatural creation which was to follow and is still in progress. The Psalmist, foreseeing the “mighty wind coming” which would reach a climax with the birth of the Church at the first Pentecost, uttered in prophecy the verse (the church) would pray ever after, all over the world, for the commemoration of this feast: Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur, et renovabis faciem terrae! “Send forth Thy spirit, and they shall be created: and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth!” (Ps. 103:30).

Scripture tells us the promised renewal began in Jerusalem, only ten days after our Lord’s Ascension, when the sound of a gale blowing from heaven ‘filled the whole house.’ Dispatching this mighty gust to the earth was our Lord’s first official exercise of the royal power He assumed when He mounted His throne in heaven. The Vulgate calls it a spiritus vehemens, a spiration so violent and fiery, that all who breathed it began prophesying on the spot, being ‘filled with the Holy Ghost.’ And with that the Christian Conspiracy was underway. Under the headship of St. Peter, God’s one, holy, universal and apostolically stable world government was inaugurated on earth. It is indefectible and will continue eternally, for it is the Church. The satanic forces have every reason to tremble before its advance, for the business of the Church is not confined to piety in the private sector. Nor is it exclusively spiritual. It threatens the princedom of this world with dissolution down to its roots, materially, visibly, really, politically…”

Hertz reminds us that, “History is the record of an apocalyptic struggle between those two primordial kingdoms – that of God and that of the devil.”  And so,

“The devil likewise seeks adoptive progeny among those allowing themselves to be led by his inspirations into conspiring with his breath. Today the Holy Ghost’s Conspiracy seems actually to be withering under (Satan’s) assaults, some of its key positions occupied by hell’s henchmen. Obviously the trouble cannot lie with the high command in heaven and must be looked for in the lower echelons. There, as with all conspiracies, the causes of recreance are pretty much always the same: breakdowns in communication, relaxation of discipline, supply failures or outright insubordination and defection.

Supernaturally, these translate easily enough into insufficient prayer and mortification, neglect of Mass and the Sacraments, and flouting the commandments and counsels of God or His Church. Deficiencies in any of these areas are sufficient to explain corporate loss of morale, social failures ultimately resting as they do on those of individuals. There can be no conversion of society where men do not conform their wills to God’s.”

Satan tirelessly labors to build his earthly kingdom by man-made democracies and then, by socialist tyrannies independent of God. Ever the master pitchman, he sells licentiousness as liberty, and enslavement as freedom. But against this sham of satan’s earthly kingdom, the Holy Ghost continues even in the darkest times to breathe forth His vivifying Spirit…pursuing His eternal work. Hertz quotes an Indian saying, “A tree falling makes more noise than a forest growing.” Indeed, today, once mighty trees are falling and we tend to allow that calamitous racket to obscure the beautiful forest which grows silently, for God’s mighty kingdom proceeds by sacrifice even to martyrdom and there abides this silent but powerful growth amidst the confusion and despair of the kingdom of the deceiver.

Hertz notes of these tress falling, ,”(These) failures serve only to clear the way for the living wood. Amid the din of crashes, the Holy Ghost’s Christian Conspiracy pursues its eternal work. Without Him who established the very heavens “by the breath of His mouth” (Ps.32:6), no organized endeavor comes to fruition. With Him, no endeavor can fail.”

She continues,

Propelled by that gentle zephyr with hurricane force we call the Spirit of God, the Conspiracy spread over the earth like wildfire as soon as it was loosed among men. Beginning with the Roman Empire, it effected exactly what conspiracies are supposed to effect: a world takeover. Transforming every obstacle in its path, it eventually left Byzantium to its errors and established in the west upon the Rock of Peter that incomparable new world order known as Christendom. As an empire it was not perfect, but it disseminated the seeds of the divine Conspiracy everywhere, even discovering on its way another whole hemisphere in America for future operations. At that first Pentecost “the multitude of believers had but one heart and one soul” (Acts. 4:32), who drew the divine breath in common, and despite all appearances to the contrary, they still do.

Inevitably the universal kingdom under Christ the King for which their conspiracy was forged will succeed. They can be certain of this, for God promised it to His Mother. Before the King was born she was told:”He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of David His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob forever. And of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-3).

Mrs. Hertz wrote the above a generation ago, and since her time, many traditional Catholics have watched with an increasing feeling of helplessness as the situation in the Church has gone into ever deeper apostasy and darkness deepens over us all. But even as the Passion of Christ’s Bride, the Church, continues to its bitter end, and we continue with her, we await the coming of the Spirit – beyond the bitter end – the infinitely tender, infinitely loving Spirit. (Much of above thanks to Hertz, Utopia Nowhere, Kindle Edition here.)

And all shall be well, and
All manner of thing shall be well
By the purification of the motive
In the ground of our beseeching

The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre–
To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
We only live, only suspire
Consumed by fire or fire.
        (T. S. Eliot, Little Gidding)

My apologies for springing the poetry on you, but only poetry can jump the vast chasm at times like these. All things are rushing to a precipitous conclusion. In the beginning there was darkness “upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters.” Again, “from the sixth hour there was darkness over the whole earth, until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? that is, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

After the darkness and the dark cold tomb, a burst of intolerable light and then, in due time, the mighty wind and tongues of flame. What shall we see? What think you?

Pray the Rosary!

The First Novena, 2019

 

And so we close the month of Mary. We began with the beautiful post – do you remember it? “The Canticle of Mary, Spouse of God“. In it, we celebrated our Immaculate Mother, Spouse of the Holy Ghost, whose perfect and pure obedience brought us our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The wisdom of the Liturgy places the Queenship of Mary at the close of May, to serve as a reminder that she truly reigns over the Church, despite the current apostasy.

Today, however, we also anticipate the coming of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee…”  In the same way that Christ chose to enter into humanity through Mary, He chose her to preside over the coming of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost.  And so we see these two, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity and His Spouse, the Immaculate Virgin Mary are again united in a great work, the sanctification of the Church. As was before, so shall it be.

It is fitting that the very first Novena of the Church should be the Novena to the Holy Ghost which was initiated by Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ, Mother of the Church as she gathered the Apostles and Disciples in the Cenacle to prepare for the coming of the Paraclete as Jesus had promised. For Mary is not only Mother of the Savior, she is the Spouse of the Holy Ghost, And so we see that the Church is born of the love which God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost have for Man and this great love is the Holy Church, for we are born in love and it is by this great love that we are sustained.

Satan rejoices at our bitterness and dissension in these dark times. We do well to turn from all of it and renew our souls in the beauty of this great love of the Most Holy Trinity for the Blessed Mother and all her children, the Church. And so we offer this beautiful, loving meditation, this Novena of Love, Novena of the Holy Ghost.

At the Ascension of Our Lord, think how Mary felt, watching her beloved Son and Savior vanish from sight and knowing the long hard task before her. The “Mother of the Church” is not some hollow honorific, but has been earned in suffering which surpasses all telling. As she waited, with the Apostles and Disciples, for the promised  coming of the Holy Ghost, her thoughts returned to the start, and she heard again the Angel’s message,

“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Luke 1, 35)

And now, she, our true Mother, Mother of the Church, invites us to watch and pray with her for the coming of the Holy Ghost, the Love of God which prepares us to endure this last most intensive attack on the Church not only from enemies outside the Church but those most treacherous disciples of Judas occupying the seats of power within the Church.  Continue reading “The First Novena, 2019”

He Goes Before Us

 

“I go to prepare a place for you. And if I shall go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am, you also may be.” (John, 14, 2, 3)

 

Our reading for today, the Feast of the Ascension of Christ into Heaven is taken from Archbishop Fulton Sheen, in his “Life of Christ”.

O Jesus, my treasure, Thou art ascended to Heaven and taken my heart with Thee!

His sacrifice being completed, as He was about to ascend to His Heavenly throne, He raised His hands bearing the imprint of nails. That gesture would be one of the last recollections the Apostles would have, save one. The hands were raised first to heaven and then pulled downward to earth as if to draw down its blessings on men. Pierced hands best distribute benediction.

In the Book of Leviticus, after the reading of the prophetical promise of the Messias, there came the high priestly benediction; so too, after showing that all prophecies were fulfilled in Him, He prepared to enter the heavenly sanctuary. Hands that held the sceptre of authority in heaven and on earth now gave the final blessing:

“And even as He blessed them He parted from them, and was carried up into heaven…”  Luke 24:51   “And is seated now at the right Hand of God.” Mark 16:19 “So they bowed down to worship Him, And went back full of joy to Jerusalem, Where they spent their time continually In the temple, praising and blessing God.” Luke 24:52, 53

Had Christ remained on earth, sight would have taken the place of faith. In heaven, there will be no faith because His followers will see; there will be no hope, because they will possess; but there will be love for love endureth forever! His leave-taking of the earth combined the Cross and the Crown that governed the smallest detail of His life. The Ascension took place on Mount Olivet at the base of which is Bethany. He led His Apostles out through Bethany, which meant passing through Gethsemane and the very spot where He wept over Jerusalem.

Not as from a throne, but from a mountain elevated above the garden with the twisted olive trees crimsoned with His Blood, did He give the final manifestation of His Divine power! His heart was not embittered by His Cross, for the Ascension was the fruit of His Crucifixion. Continue reading “He Goes Before Us”

Francisco and Jacinta, Designs of Mercy

 

“The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you.”

Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto of Fatima

Today, we consider Francisco and Jacinta, the two youngest saints of Fatima. As we discussed in our earlier post, “The Promise”,

Francisco saw the Blessed Virgin perfectly, but did not hear Her words. He only understood the questions of Lúcia. As for Jacinta, who saw and heard everything, she never brought herself to speak to the apparition. Thus Lúcia was the only one to have the privilege of speaking with Her.” … “Young and quite small, the Queen of Heaven also came very close to (the) three children. For a pedestal She had chosen a little holm oak, about a metre high.  ‘We were so close’, writes Lúcia , ‘that we found ourselves in the light surrounding Her, or rather emanating from Her, about a metre and a half away, more or less.’ (from Sister Lúcia’s Fourth Memoir)

In 1916, St. Michael the Archangel, the Angel of Fatima had told the children, “The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy on you”, but it was not until Our Lady began to appear that they perceived the true meaning of “designs of mercy”.  By the time of Our Lady’s third visit,  July 13, 1917, it was becoming clearer, and by then, Francisco could say emphatically, “What I want is to go to Heaven!” This eagerness for Heaven recalls St. Bernadette of Lourdes, who said of Our Lady,  “She was so beautiful that after seeing Her once one would be willing to die to see Her again!”

That Great Light Which Is God

Although Francisco was never able to hear the words of Our Lady, he was very astute in recognising many essential aspects of the apparitions: Continue reading “Francisco and Jacinta, Designs of Mercy”

St. Joseph the Worker, 2019

Today, the first day of the Month of Mary, we honor St. Joseph the Worker. I’m anticipating the perfect opportunity this gives to the enemies of the Church to denigrate St. Joseph with the same old slurs and so will share with you some thoughts based on the work of of Edward Healy Thompson:

“… Christ was promised to Abraham as man, to David as his successor in his kingdom, but to Joseph under the name of Saviour;  in order that we may be persuaded that, although Joseph had no share in the formation of the Body of Jesus neither did he place the crown upon His head, he nevertheless contributed to making Him the Saviour of all men, journeying and labouring and toiling along with Him, and supporting Him by the fruit of his toils for so many years. And thus (he says) he was the last of the Patriarchs to whom the Messias was promised, but in a more excellent manner than all.” (The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, Edward Healy Thompson, Aeterna Press, Kindle)
Continue reading “St. Joseph the Worker, 2019”