Saint Teresa of Jesus, wisdom and strength for today

 

“Do Thou, Lord, calm this sea, and no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest.
Save us, my Lord, for we perish.”

It is a great temptation to believe that we are alone today, abandoned as we are by our own Pope and hierarchy. But we have Angels and we have saints, among them the mighty Carmelite, Teresa of Jesus, who is an especially great help for us now when we need her the most. Let’s seek her aid today on her feast day.

St. Teresa of Avila is one of the greatest saints, and yet, like St. Joseph to whom she was devoted, one of the most approachable saints. Like all our greatest saints,we often find in her writings and life practical wisdom to help us understand the challenges we face in these times; though centuries pass, her words ring just as clear today, her wisdom fresh and appropriate as always.

"Lord, calm this sea, no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us O Lord, for we perish!"
“Lord, calm this sea, no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us O Lord, for we perish!”

 

In her work, “The Way of Perfection”, she discusses the ‘Our Father’, Our Lord’s own prayer. She especially recommends it as part of thanksgiving after Communion. In Chapter 35, St. Teresa remarks on the evils of the protestant attacks on the Blessed Sacrament and the Mass that were even then occurring. One portion of this strikes us as most appropriate to these times in which we suffer with Christ the Passion of His Church. St. Teresa, remarking of the Lord’s Prayer,

“Let us rely on Our Lord’s command to us to pray to Him, and in fulfillment of our obedience to Him, let us beseech His Majesty, in the name of the good Jesus, … that He prevent Him from being so ill-treated. Since His Holy Son has given us this excellent way in which we can offer Him up frequently as a sacrifice, let’s make use of this precious gift so that it may stay the advance of such terrible evil and irreverence as is paid in many places to this Most Holy Sacrament.

“For as those Lutherans seem to want to drive Him out of the world again: they destroy churches, cause the loss of many priests and abolish the sacraments. And there is something of this even among Christians, who sometimes go to church meaning to offend Him rather than to worship Him.”

She then goes on to importune the Heavenly Father to spare Our Lord the offenses He suffers against His Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, begging Him, although she is unworthy,

“indeed, it may perhaps be for my sins, and because I have so greatly offended Thee, that so many evils come. What then can I do, my Creator, but present to Thee this most Holy Bread which, though Thou gavest it to us, I return to Thee, beseeching Thee, by the merits of Thy Son, to grant me this favor, which on so many counts, He has merited. Do Thou, Lord, calm this sea, and no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us, my Lord, for we perish.” (Way of Perfection, p. 234-236).

In today’s Gospel, taken from St. Matthew 25, 1-13, the Church in her timeless wisom recalls the parable of the five wise virgins and the five foolish ones. The foolish ones did not take oil for their lamps and after they belatedly obtained the oil, the time for them to enter the feast had passed, When they begged, “Lord, Lord, open to us”; Our Lord tells us that the Master responds, “Amen, I know you not.” He then warns us, “Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day or the hour.”

Thus we receive many merciful warnings. 

More than ever, in this year of Our Lord, 2018, we need to recall the prayer of the great Saint Teresa of Avila:  “Do Thou, Lord, calm this sea, and no longer allow this ship, which is Thy Church, to endure so great a tempest. Save us, my Lord, for we perish.”

~ ~ ~

Here in closing, is a treasured poem of hers:

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!
Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.
O sovereign Lord, of majesty supreme!
O Wisdom, that existed from all time!
Bounty, showing pity on my soul!
God, one sole Being, merciful, sublime.

Behold this basest of created things.
As thus, with hardihood its love it sings.
And tell me, Lord, what Thou dost ask of me!
Lo, I am Thine ! Thou hast created me.
And I am Thine, Thou hast redeemed me.
And I am Thine, for Thou dost bear with me.
And Thine, for Thou hast called me to Thee,
And Thine, Who dost preserve me at Thy cost,
Nor leavest me to perish ‘mid the lost.

Say what it is, Lord, Thou dost will of me.
Declare what dost decree, O Master kind!
If serf so vile have any fitting task,
And tell what office by Thy will ordained
Is work that from so base a slave dost ask!
Behold, sweet Love, I wait for Thy command,
Behold me. Lord, before Whose face I stand!
Do Thou reveal what Thou dost will of me?

Behold my heart, which here I bring, and in
Thine hand as glad entire free-offering lay,
Together with my body, life, and soul,
The love, the longings that my being sway!
To Thee, Redeemer and most gentle Spouse,
In willing holocaust I pledge my vows.
What is there. Lord, that I may do for Thee?

Bestow long life, or straightway bid me die;
Let health be mine, or pain and sickness send,
With honour or dishonour ; be my path
Beset by war, or peaceful till the end.
My strength or weakness be as Thou shalt choose.
For naught Thou askest shall I e’er refuse,
I only wish what Thou wilt have of me.

Assign me riches, keep in poverty,
And let me cherished or neglected dwell,
In joy or mourning as Thou wilt, upraised
To highest heaven, or hurled down to hell!
Whether the sky be bright, from cloudlets free,
It matters not, I leave the choice to Thee,
What lot, Lord, wilt Thou decide for me?

Give contemplation if Thou wilt, or let
My lonely soul in dryness ever pine;
Abundance and devotion be the gift
Thou choosest, or a sterile soul be mine!
Majesty supreme, in naught apart
From Thy decree can I find peace of heart!
Say what it is, Lord, Thou dost wish of me?

Lord, give me wisdom, or, if love demand.
Leave me in ignorance ; it matters naught
If mine be years of plenty, or beset
With famine direful and with parching drought!
Be darkness over all or daylight clear.
Despatch me hither, keep me stationed here,
Say what it is, Lord, Thou wilt have of me?

If Thou shouldst destine me for happiness,
For Love’s sake, joy and happiness I greet;
Bid me endure and labour till I die.
Resigned, in work and pain my death I’ll meet,
Reveal the how, the where, the when; for this
Is the sole boon, O Love, I crave of Thee,
That thou declare what Thou wouldst have of me!

Let Calvary or Thabor be my fate,
A desert or a fertile land of rest;
Like Job, in sorrow let me mourning weep,
Or lie, like John, in peace upon Thy breast;
Bear fruit and flourish, or, a withered vine
I’ll perish fruitless, so the choice be Thine!
Reveal, O Lord, what Thou dost ask of me!

Like Joseph as he lay in shackles bound.
Or holding over Egypt first command;
David chastised, atoning for his sins,
Or David crowned as ruler o’er the land;
With Jonas struggling, ‘mid the raging sea
Submerged, or set from ills and tempests free
Declare, O Lord, what Thou wilt have of me!

Then bid me speak or bid me silence keep,
Make me a fecund or a barren land;
Expose my wounds by the stern Law’s decree
Or comfort me by Gospel message bland.
Let me in torture lie or comfort give,
I crave alone that Thou within me live,
And shouldst reveal what Thou wilt have of me!

Lord, I am Thine, for I was born for Thee!
Reveal what is it Thou dost ask of me.

by St. Teresa of Avila

(I am indebted for this poem to Rorate Caeli)

To the inevitable criticism that I am ignoring the horridly scandalous canonization of the destructive Pope Paul VI, for those who read carefully, I have been commenting on just these things…

  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. Teresa of Avila, pray for us! Pray for the Pope!

 Remember, pray the Rosary and confound satan and all who serve him.

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

 

October 13, 1917, the Message and the Promise

This post updated 10:13, see in red below.

101 years ago today, Heaven came to earth. Here is the Message and the Promise for us today.

Today we mark the 101st  anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun during Our Lady’s Sixth Visit to Fatima.  In order to understand the Message of Our Lady of Fatima,  we will briefly review the historical account of the event considering three aspects, the words of Our Lady, the Visions seen by the children and then the Miracle of the Sun witnessed by the spectators. For our detailed account of the October 13 visit, please see: The Sixth Visit, October 13, 1917.

The Message

On this sixth and last visit, Our Lady’s words to Jacinta, Francisco and Lúcia were, “I want a chapel to be built here in my honor. I am Our Lady of the Rosary. Continue to say the Rosary every day. …. People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins.” Then, growing sadder, “They must not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended.”

I want a chapel to be built in my honor

This refers back to the visit of June 13 when Our Lady told Lúcia, Jesus wishes to make use of you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it …” In this, she states clearly that it is Jesus Christ Our Lord who wants to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart. Note the word, “establish”:  For it is only by the authority of the Vicar of Christ that devotions are “established”.  Thus, Our Lady and Our Lord ask for the obedience of the Pope. She is asking the Holy Father to lead his flock to devotion to her Immaculate Heart as a sure remedy in the coming trials.

Our Lady of the Rosary

These are fighting words! By identifying herself as Our Lady of the Rosary, the Blessed Virgin indicates her intention to do as she has done before, conquer heresy and drive it out by means of her Rosary. As with the Albigenses, who disdained her and predictably disdained life as well, so it will be with the modernists who infest the Holy Church now.  As it was at Lepanto, so it will be soon, those who seek to destroy Christian civilization will be vanquished. We have her word on this!.

Pray the Rosary Every Day

At every visit, from May 13 onwards, Our Lady stressed the necessity of the daily Rosary.  She did not spend time on pleasantries, did not thank the children for being there (as in false apparitions), did not even get into the finer details of how we are to pray the Rosary. Simply, Pray the Rosary every day! Therefore, we conclude that it is impossible to  comply with Our Lady’s Message if we fail this small but essential step. When people tell me, “I am not interested in the Rosary”, I try to help them see that this is the reason they absolutely must pray the Rosary! Our Lady told Blessed Alan de la Roche, “Know, my son, that a probable and proximate sign of eternal damnation is aversion for, lukewarmness and carelessness in saying the Angelic Salutation…”  Distaste for her Rosary is an indication of danger, a warning that a soul is drifting from the true path.

Repent Your Sins and Make Reparation

The Message of Fatima is clear on  this point: God’s justice is deeply offended by our sins. While He is infinitely merciful to those who sincerely repent, His Justice demands that His children confess their sins and repent them.  It is a great tragedy that those deepest in sin lose their awareness of their plight. They become so inured in their sins that they are unable to repent,  and thus, the most Merciful Virgin calls to us, her children to pray the Rosary and offer reparation, beseeching  her Divine Son,  Who will come to be ourJudge, to grant us the graces to repent our sins.  We must do this!

Our Lady’s request for the First Saturdays of Reparation and for the Consecration of Russia are logically included in this repentance and reparation. For when we have strayed, the remedy is always by way of humble and contrite obedience. I tell you, we will not get the humble, contrite and obedient Pope and Bishops we need until we ourselves become humble, contrite and obedient by adhering to the Message of Fatima!

Do Not Offend Our Lord Any More!

In this visit, Our Lady’s parting words were, “They must not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended.”

In her Memoirs,  Sister Lúcia recounted,  “The words most deeply engraved upon my heart are those of the request made by our Heavenly Mother: ‘Do not offend Our Lord and God any more, for He is already so much offended’. How loving a complaint, how tender a request! Who will grant me to make it echo through the whole world, so that all the children of Our Mother in Heaven may hear the sound of Her voice! “(Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, “The Whole Truth about Fatima – Vol I”).

Our Lady’s final words on this visit bear repeating: “They must not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended.”  Almost immediately after this Sixth Visit, just as Our Lady predicted, Russia did fall to satanic control by way of the marxist revolution. Because the Popes had become worldly, they did not fight this danger with the spiritual means they had been given, but chose to respond with worldly measures, thus fighting fire with gasoline. Never a very helpful measure! And so, from the time of Pope Pius XI on,  the spiritual darkness of the Vatican increased, by small measures at first but accelerating  more and more, until the avalanche set off by Pope John XXIII’s shocking disobedience.

Although we say “shocking” now, at the time, Pope John’s refusal to obey the Blessed Mother was little noted and did not bring about any criticism. The only effect it had was to accelerate the suppression of the message.  I was a young adult at the time and can verify that most people, myself included began to take less interest in Fatima. For if the “Holy Father” does not think it appropriate for our needs, then it must not be good to pursue it, or so the general impression went.

And so, the spoken Message of this Sixth Visit was to re-emphasise  the absolute necessity of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary,  the requirement for at a minimum, five decades of the Rosary a day, combined with heartfelt desire to amend our lives, to make reparation for sins, and to seek the conversion of sinners.

If this portion of Our Lady’s request had been heeded, especially by the Pope who was informed of Our Lady’s words at this visit, that is, if the Pope (at this time the elderly Benedict XV and then Pius XI) had taken this up and begun the institution of Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as Our Lady asked for, the rest of Our Lady’s Message, that is, the three-part Secret, would have easily been  accepted. As  we look back at the very beginnings of the Church’s response to Our Lady at Fatima, we see that the seeds of dissent were there almost from the start.

The Vision Seen by the Children

In her Fourth memoir, Sister Lúcia recounted, “We beheld St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady robed in white with a blue mantle, beside the sun. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands.” “When, a little later, this apparition disappeared, I saw Our Lord and Our Lady; it seemed to me that it was Our Lady of Sorrows. Our Lord appeared to bless the world in the same manner as St. Joseph had done.” “This apparition also vanished, and I saw Our Lady once more, this time resembling Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.” (Sister Maria Lúcia of the Immaculate Heart. Fatima in Lúcia’s Own Words: The Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, the Last Fatima Visionary,  KIC. Kindle Edition).

In this quick series of visions, we see again the emphasis on the Rosary. The first stage of the vision shows the Holy Family and represents the Joyful Mysteries. In the second stage, we see Our Lord and Our Lady portrayed as Our Lady of Sorrows. This vision represents the Sorrowful Mysteries and emphasises  Our Lady’s role in these mysteries.  This is essential and we will discuss this more thoroughly soon. The last stage of the children’s vision represents the Glorious Mysteries, with Our Lady robed in the habit of Carmel and extending a brown scapular to them. To any faithful child of Mary, it is clearly a request for us to take up the scapular, her “little habit” in order to save our souls.

After this Sixth Visit, the children took up the requests of Our Lady in this vision: Francisco specialised in the consoling, contemplative path, Jacinta took the Apostolate of self-sacrifice, applying her sufferings joyfully to save sinners from hell, as had the Little Flower of Carmel, St. Therese, before her. While Lúcia herself took both parts, entering Carmel, consoling Our Lord, and offering adoration while suffering greatly for love of the Sacred Hearts and the salvation of souls. We have been prevented from knowing the richness of her beautiful life by the ancient enemy which for the moment controls the narrative, but if you are attentive in your rosary, it is possible to learn much. We do well to invite St. Lúcia into our devotions, for she loves to teach.

The Great Miracle of the Sun

As Our Lady took leave of the children and rose, she spread her hands, which emitted brilliant rays of light. As she pointed towards the sun, the light from her hands brightened the very sun itself. At this precise moment, the crowds gathered there were astonished to see the dark clouds dispersed and the sky clear. And then the sun, which appeared as a brightly polished mother of pearl disc, began to spin, zig-zag and throw off brilliant flashes of light, blue and violet and golden yellow. Then it suddenly began hurtling towards the earth, while the crowds screamed and fell to their knees in  terror. Just as suddenly as it started, it was over and the sun resumed its place. As people sighed with relief and thanked God, all were amazed that the muddy field was dry and their own shoes and clothes were dry and clean.

The Sun Obeys the Mother of God, Why Not the Pope?

By her stunning Miracle of the Sun, Our Lady of the Rosary  graciously provided our weak and doubtful natures a clear and vivid proof of her power over the forces of nature.  In this astounding feat, she proved that she is more brilliant than the sun and that the sun obeys her will.

The lesson for our day is even more astounding, but was not much noted at the time. The field of the Cova had been ploughed and then had gotten utterly drenched in a steady downpour. Thousands of people and their horses and donkeys had packed into it, sinking into the ankle-deep mud. Everyone was literally soaked to the bone and their shoes and clothes caked with the mire. it was not possible to be in that place, at that time and not become befouled by the mud of the pasture mixed with the filth of animal waste.

Yet after Our Lady’s Miracle, the multitudes found themselves and the muddy Cova now dry, with no mud on them.

The Sun, a Figure of the Church
Cardinal Danneels, Patron of Children ?

In prophecy, the sun is a figure of the Church. The sun, like the Church is something we were accustomed to as a certainty, unfailingly dependable. In the Fatima miracle, the sun began exhibiting all the colors of the rainbow. Now, the rainbow is a Divine sign, given to us by a loving Father. Yet today this beautiful sign – the rainbow – has been co-opted by  the forces of satan to corrupt the Church, thus offending God even more. When Our Lady performed this stunning miracle, she was affirming her control over these pernicious forces. She knew that the significance of the rainbow colors would be overlooked by Catholics at that time, but it is obviously a sign to us as we watch the ilk of Danneels prance about in their rainbow vestments while they seek to entrench their perversions in the practice of the faith.

The Nativity Scene of the Bergoglian Church

The sun, always so dependable, like the stalwart, trustworthy Church, suddenly broke free of its moorings and hurtled towards the crowd. Even faithless unbelievers who had come to scoff, were heard praying devoutly at that terrifying moment. That was a very clear warning that the Church, once secure in the faith, would become unmoored if it disobeyed the Queen of Heaven.

Prophecies and visions are rarely understood at the time they occur, but become clearer at the appropriate time.  As we see, the time for
“this prophecy is upon us.

 

The Immaculata, Mother of Mercy, spared the crowd and in the flash of an instant, restored the sun and eradicated all of the mud and filth. And she stands ready now to remedy all the errors that plague the Church. She alone can restore the Church to its rightful place and cast the filth from the Church, restoring all things in Christ, the King.

 

“This kind can go out by nothing but by prayer and fasting.”

UPDATE: This morning’s Lifesite News provides yet more evidence that the evil forces in control of the Vatican are determined to continue to wallow in the mire. Read, if you will, the articles, “How a global ‘LGBT’ coalition is trying to lobby the Vatican Youth Synod“, “Francis’ glowing send-off of Wuerl signals he’s ‘not the Pope to clean out the stables’: scholar“,  “Chicago cathedral hosts gay ‘meet-up’ group led by ‘gay’ priest-masseur” . “Source: Vatican cardinal was at drug-fueled homosexual party, and Pope knows it“,  

Now, there is much more to include, but that last one about the infamous Cocopalmerio, is accompanied by news that instead of defrocking Cocopalmerio, the Pope has assigned him to represent the Vatican at an ecumenical gathering (LINK). And there is further information at the same site (Lifesite News) that Archbishop Hebda actually invited another infamous promoter of priestly perversion, Bishop Lynch of Florida to speak at a conference in his diocese and only withdrew the invitation after the faithful complained. The ancient enemy is thus firmly entrenched in the Vatican, but we have the means to crush his hateful head!

These corrupt and deceitful prelates prefer filth to the purity of the faith and they believe that they are unmoveable. Yet,  as foretold in the Apocalypse of Babylon, 

“Because she saith in her heart, “A queen I sit, no widow am I, and mourning I shall not see”; therefore in one day her plagues shall come, death and mourning and famine, and with fire she shall be consumed; for the Lord God is strong, who judgeth her.’ ” (Apoc. 18)

Pray the Rosary!

  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!

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Twelve Points of the Humility of Mary

Note: Yet another hurricane is threatening, this time it is the Gulf Coast of Florida, but likely coming up to the Carolinas with a great deal of rainfall. Please pray for those in the path of the storm. We offer again our Family Prayer for Protection in Storms.

† . † . † 

In this precious month of the Holy Rosary, we offer this brief snippet from a very worthwhile book, “The Admirable Heart of Mary“, in the hope that thinking on these aspects of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will aid your Rosary meditations. I am not able to write more as I would have preferred to do, but hope that by now, you readers will “fill in the blanks” possibly better than I could!

Abyss of Humility

Deep calleth upon deep,
Thy billows are passed o’er me.

In the abyss of my heart,
nothingness beckons to Thee, my love
Look upon my nothingness
And fill my darkness with Thy Light.

The following is from Part 8, Chapter 5

The Humility of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Consider the words of the Holy Ghost: “Deep calleth on deep” (Ps. 41, 8). What do they mean? They mean that the Holy Ghost sets before us the image of a twofold or dual abyss.

The first is the humble heart immersed by profound humility in the realization of its own nothingness, an abyss that engulfs the humble man, preventing him from seeing in himself anything but nothingness and making him love the lowliness and abjection of such nothingness.

The second is the abyss of graces and celestial blessings that every, where surround and accompany the truly humble heart. The first depth calls for the second: “Deep called on deep,” because the prayer of the humble heart has such power with God, that it is always heard. Divine Goodness can refuse it nothing.

It is the profundity that summons and attracts all the graces of Heaven; God showers them into the lowly soul with open hand and without reserve. Humility is the guardian of all other graces and virtues, and they are safe where it abides, according to the words of St. Basil: “Humility is the safe treasury of all virtues.”

All the greatness of the Blessed Virgin was accomplished by the humility of her most holy Heart. From the first to the last moment of her life, her humility never ceased to invoke and draw upon her grace after grace, perfection after perfection, holiness upon holiness, until it brought her to the summit of the grace and holiness that next to that of Christ ever was or shall be greatest among men.

Humility is our Savior’s own spiritual virtue, which He constantly preached by His example and earnestly recommended with the words: “Learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart” (Matt. 11, 29), so can we say that humility is also the most beloved virtue of His dearest Mother. She urges us to practice it by her example.

On its twelve principal manifestations.

The first manifestation was the complete self-annihilation with which she adored God from the very beginning of her life as her Creator and Sovereign Lord.

The second manifestation … was the uneasiness she felt on hearing the salutation of the Angel Gabriel.
“She was troubled at his saying” (Luke 1, 29), because he greeted her as full of grace, as one having the Lord with her in a special manner, and as being blessed among all women. That salutation is what troubles her most humble Heart, which cannot listen to such exalted praises without trembling. (Eudes quotes St. Thomas Aquinas)

The third effect … was that, after hearing St. Gabriel’s proclamation, she answered: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” Instead of taking pride, she humbled herself, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.”

St. Bonaventure exclaims: “How wonderfully deep is Mary’s humility! An archangel salutes her; she is called full of grace; she is told the Holy Ghost will overshadow her; she becomes the Mother of God Himself; she is raised above all creatures; she is appointed sovereign Lady of Heaven and earth; and yet instead of becoming filled with pride, she humbles herself most deeply, saying, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord.’

The fourth manifestation of her humility: Her stupendous silence at the Incarnation of the Son of God within her immaculate womb. After she had conceived the Only-begotten Son of God in her blessed womb, she revealed to no one, not even to her spouse St. Joseph, the tremendous mystery which exalted her to the highest pinnacle.

Then, quoting St. Thomas of Villanova, St. John Eudes writes: “The greatest mystery, the most incomparable marvel, has been wrought in thee by the divine power, and thou dost tell no one. No human being knows the vital miracle, so jealously dost thou guard thy secret! Thou dost remain in profound silence, until, in the house of thy cousin Elizabeth, beholding that God Himself has revealed this miracle of miracles, then only dost thou breathe thy blessed silence, and raise to Heaven the sublime canticle of praise and adoration for the author of all these marvels: “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” (Luke 1, 46)

The fifth effect of Mary’s humility was accomplished during her visit to her cousin St. Elizabeth, concerning SL John the Baptist. (Note: This fifth effect seems to have been glossed over by St. John Eudes, but when we consider his words here, immediately following the fourth point, seems to indicate not the Magnificat, which was covered in point four, but the Holy Virgin’s excellent submission to the will of God as she brought Our Lord to St. John, each of them enclosed within their Mothers’ wombs, thus allowing Our Lord to baptize the baptizer himself!  In this action Mary demonstrates the action of the priest who allows himself to be the vehicle for Christ’s saving grace as he administers the sacraments.

The sixth effect was manifested in her relationship with St. Joseph, whom she regarded and honored as her husband, not disdaining to serve him, and be subject to his will. What exalts her humility above all admiration is that she prefers to endure an unspeakable humiliation rather than reveal to Joseph the admirable mystery wrought in her by God, and her newly received rank of Mother of the promised Messias.

The seventh effect of the humility of the royal Heart of Mary was revealed at the birth of Her Divine Son in a stable at Bethlehem. . . . being turned away from every house, was obliged to seek the lowly abode of animals. There she brought forth the only Son of God the Father, the King of Glory, the sovereign Lord of all things. And she sustained these humiliations without a complaint and with most perfect humility.

The eighth effect of the admirable humility of the Mother of God became apparent when she subjected herself to the Hebrew law of Purification. (Note: again, St. John Eudes is rather terse, which leaves space for us to turn to Our Lady herself to tell us the rest by means of her Holy Rosary. I also recommend the excellent writings available at The Rosary to the Interior; for the Purification of the Church. I also have written of the Mystery of the Purification in these pages.)

The ninth effect of the humility of the blessed Heart of Our Savior’s Mother was the virtue she practiced during the forty days’ penance of her Divine Son in the desert. Remember what we have said above; namely, that our Savior’s incomparable love for His Blessed Mother made Him desire her to resemble Him as closely as possible, and caused Him to engrave in her Heart a perfect image of all the states and mysteries of His most holy life.

The tenth effect of the humility of Mary’s all-pure Heart became manifest at the wedding of Cana in Galilee, where she obtained from her beloved Son the miracle whereby He changed water into wine. But how did she induce Him to perform that miracle? Was it by exerting her authority as His Mother? By no means. . .  she did not even presume to entreat Him, but merely made plain to Him, with the greatest modesty and humility, the need for additional wine. Mary left it entirely to His divine will to act as He thought best.

The eleventh effect of the humility of the admirable Heart of the Mother of Jesus was that she suffered with her beloved Son all the contempt and insults He endured during His public ministry from His enemies. . . She likewise endured with her Son all the indignities and ignominies of His passion when He was treated as a criminal, bound and throttled like a thief, torn with whips, crowned with thorns, reviled by the shocking preference of the mob for Barabbas, and nailed to a Cross between two bandits.

Yes, my Jesus, Thy most worthy Mother bore with Thee all this shame and humiliation! As Thy glory is now her glory, so were Thy ignominies her very own, which she bore with such humility that she never uttered a complaint to God or man. 0 prodigious humility! Most humble Mary, pray to thy dear Son that He may grant us the grace to learn from Himself and from thee how to suffer insults and humiliations patiently and with humility, and never to complain.

The twelfth effect of the humility of the Admirable Heart of Mary is recorded in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles where it is written that, after the Ascension of Christ into Heaven, St. Peter, St. John and the other disciples withdrew to the Cenacle of Jerusalem.

There they remained until the coming of the Holy Ghost, united in prayer with the holy women and Mary, Mother of Jesus, whom St. Luke the Evangelist mentions last, not only after the holy Apostles, but even after the sinner from whom our Savior had driven seven devils. How can it be that she who is the first in dignity, in merit, and in sanctity should be put in the last place?

It is that her most profound humility compelled her scribe, St. Luke, to name her thus in the last place, according to the lowliness of her self- estimation, considering and treating herself as the least and most unworthy of creatures. What peerless humility!  (. . . )

0 Queen of the humble, thou seest how remote we are from the practice of true and perfect humility. Obtain from thy beloved Son the pardon of all the sins we have committed against this great virtue; offer to Him thy very humble Heart in reparation and satisfaction for our misdeeds; and entreat Our Lord to grant us the graces we need to enable us to imitate carefully and faithfully the most holy humility of the amiable Heart of Jesus and Mary.

Eudes, St. John. The Admirable Heart of Mary. KIC. Kindle Edition.

  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!

Dom Eugene Boylan on Prayer 101

 

Today, a brief article from a favorite author of mine, Dom Eugene Boylan, titled, “Difficulties in Mental Prayer”.

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer will not develop unless the soul is advancing towards the fourfold purity of conscience, of heart, of mind, and of action.

Purity of Conscience

As to the first of these, prayer is a loving intimacy with God. Now, this is impossible if the conscience is stained with a deliberate habit of sin, for that is a direct denial of love to God and a definite withdrawal of part of our heart and our life from Him. Even an habitual infringement of a rule, in which we deliberately persist after we have adverted to it, makes it impossible for us to try to look God in the face, so to speak, to go into His presence with that readiness of heart for His service, which is the secret of all true devotion and prayer.

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

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

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

Purity of heart

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

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

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

Purity of mind

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

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

Purity of action

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dom Eugene Boylan. Difficulties in Mental Prayer (pp. 47-52). Catholic Way Publishing.

†  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!

For Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Today, to honor Saint Thérèse of Lisieux on her feast day, we offer some quotes and prayers of hers, with which we hope to gain insight into her spirituality.

Among my treasures is a small book called “Thoughts of the Servant of God Thérèse of the Child Jesus”.  The little book may still be available through archive.org, but they are quickly purging the most truly Catholic works from their archives. It seems they find a problem with the content and so must remove them. Hmmm …

And so, today we offer a bit of beauty and wisdom from the Little Flower.

On Faith
He whose Heart ever watches, taught me that while for a soul whose faith equals but a tiny grain of mustard seed, He works miracles, in order that this faith which is so weak may be fortified; yet for His intimate friends, for His Mother, He did not work miracles until He had put their faith to the test.

Did He not let Lazarus die though Martha and Mary had sent to tell Him that he was sick? At the marriage at Cana, the Blessed Virgin having asked Him to come to the assistance of the Master of the house, did He not reply that His hour was not yet come?  But after the trial, what a recompense! Water changed to wine, Lazarus restored to life. . . (Hist. d’une ame, Ch. VI)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

The Lowest Place
The only thing not subject to be envied is the lowest place. It is therefore this lowest place alone which is without vanity and affliction of spirit. Still, the way of a man is not always in his power and sometimes we are surprised by a desire for that which glitters.  Then, let us take our place humbly amongst the imperfect, deeming ourselves little souls whom the good God must sustain at each moment.

As soon as He sees us truly convinced of our nothingness and we say to Him:  ‘My foot hath slipped: Thy mercy, O Lord, hath held me up.’ He stretches out His Hand to us; but if we will attempt to do something grand, even under pretext of zeal, He leaves us alone. It is enough therefore that we humble ourselves, and bear our imperfections with sweetness: there, for us, lies true sanctity.  (Counsels and Reminiscences)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

In a Strange Land
Life is passing, eternity draws nigh; soon shall we live the very life of God.  After having drunk deep at the fount of bitterness, our thirst will be quenched at the very source of all sweetness.

Yes, the figure of this world passes away,  soon shall we see new heavens; a more radiant sun will brighten with its splendours ethereal seas and infinite horizons …  We shall no longer be prisoners in a land of exile;  all will be at an end and with our Heavenly Spouse we shall sail o’er boundless waters: now our harps are hung upon the willows that border the rivers of Babylon,  but in the day of our deliverance what harmonies will then be heard!  With what joy shall we not make every chord of our instruments to vibrate!  Today, we weep remembering Sion . . . how shall we sing the songs of the Lord in a strange land?  (V Letter to her sister Celine)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

Of Humility, a Peach
The most eloquent discourses would be incapable of inspiring one act of love without the grace that moves the heart.

See a beautiful, rose-tinted peach, of so sweet a savour that no craft of confectioner could produce nectar like it. Is it for the peach itself that God has created this lovely colour and delicate velvety surface?  Is it for the sake of the peach that He has given it so delicious a flavour? No, it is for us; what alone belongs to it and forms the essence of its existence is its stone. It possesses nothing more.

Thus is Jesus pleased to lavish His gifts on some of His creatures, that through them,  He may draw to Himself other souls. But in His mercy He humiliates them interiorly, and gently constrains them to recognize their nothingness and His Omnipotence. These sentiments form in them, as it were,  a kernel of grace, which Jesus hastens to develop for that blessed day when clothed with a beauty immortal, imperishable, they shall without danger have place at the Celestial banquet. (xvi Letter to her sister Celine.)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

We have taken nothing
The Apostles, without Jesus, laboured long– a whole night– without taking any fish.  Their toil was pleasing to Him but He wished to show that He alone can give anything. He asked only an act of humility:  “Children, have you any meat?   And St. Peter confesses his helplessness:  “Lord we have laboured all night and have taken nothing.”

It is enough! The Heart of Jesus is touched. … Perhaps if the Apostle had taken a few little fishes the Divine Master would not have worked a miracle; but he had nothing, and so through God’s power and goodness his nets were soon filled with great fishes. That is just our Lord’s way.  He gives as God, but He will have humility of heart.  (XVII Letter to her sister Celine)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

Discouragement
A novice confided to her that she made no progress and felt quite discouraged.
“Till the age of fourteen,” said Thérèse, “I practised virtue without feeling its sweetness. I wished for suffering but had no thought of finding my joy therein; that is a grace which has been granted me later. My soul was like a beautiful tree whose blossoms no sooner opened than they fell.

“Offer to the good God the sacrifice of never gathering the fruits of your labours. If He so will that during your whole life you feel a repugnance to suffer and to be humiliated, if He permit that all the flowers of your desires and of your good-will fall to earth without fruit, be not troubled.  At the moment of your death. He will know well how to bring to perfection,  in the twinkling of an eye, beautiful fruits on the tree of your soul.

“We read in the Book of Ecclesiasticus: “There is an inactive man that wanteth help, is very weak in ability, and full of poverty: yet the eye of God hath looked upon him for good, and hath lifted him up from his low estate,  and hath exalted his head;  and many have wondered at him and have glorified God.  Trust in God, and stay in thy place. For it is easy in the eyes of God, on a sudden to make the poor man rich. The blessing of God maketh haste to reward the just, and in a swift hour His blessing beareth fruit!”  (Counsels and Reminiscences.)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

On Pride
“To avoid this calamity I have but to say humbly from the depths of my heart: ‘O my God, I implore of Thee, suffer me not to be unfaithful!’

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

On Humility – The Valley
“Oh when I think of all I have to acquire!” exclaimed a novice.
“Say, rather, ‘to lose’. Jesus it is who charges Himself with the care of filling your soul according as you free it from its imperfections. I plainly see that you are taking the wrong road; you will never arrive at the end of your journey.

You wish to scale a mountain and the good God wants to make you descend: He is waiting for you down in the fertile valley of humility.” (Counsels and Reminiscences).

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

Of Criticism and Praise
In a moment of temptation and combat a novice received this note (from St. Thérèse :  “The just man shall correct me in mercy and reprove me; but let not the oil of the sinner anoint my head.” I cannot be corrected or tried except by the just, inasmuch as all my Sisters are pleasing to God. It is less bitter to be reproved by a sinner than by the just; but through compassion for sinners, to obtain their conversion, I pray Thee, O my God, that I may be bruised by the just souls who are roundabout me.

Again, I beg that the oil of praise, so sweet to nature, anoint not my head, that is to say, enervate not my mind, by making me believe that I possess virtues which I have only with difficulty practised several times.

“O my Jesus! Thy Name is as oil poured out, it is in this divine perfume that I wish to be wholly bathed, far away from the notice of creatures.”  (Counsels and Reminiscences)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

The following prayer of Oblation was found in the copy of the Gospels which she carried always close to her heart. We have included a few other of her personal prayers.  The citation for the source is at the end of the post.

AN ACT OF OBLATION AS A VICTIM OF DIVINE LOVE 

O my God, O Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to love Thee and to make Thee loved–to labour for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls here upon earth and by delivering those suffering in Purgatory. I desire to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, and to reach the degree of glory Thou hast prepared for me in Thy Kingdom. In a word, I wish to be holy, but, knowing how helpless I am, I beseech Thee, my God, to be Thyself my holiness.

Since Thou hast loved me so much as to give me Thy Only-Begotten Son to be my Saviour and my Spouse, the infinite treasures of His merits are mine. Gladly do I offer them to Thee, and I beg of Thee to behold me only through the Eyes of Jesus, and in His Heart aflame with love. Moreover, I offer Thee all the merits of the Saints both of Heaven and of earth, together with their acts of love, and those of the holy Angels. Lastly, I offer Thee, O Blessed Trinity, the love and the merits of the Blessed Virgin, my dearest Mother–to her I commit this Oblation, praying her to present it to Thee.

During the days of His life on earth her Divine Son, my sweet Spouse, spake these words: “If you ask the Father anything in My Name, He will give it you.” Therefore I am certain Thou wilt fulfill my longing. O my God, I know that the more Thou wishest to bestow, the more Thou dost make us desire. In my heart I feel boundless desires, and I confidently beseech Thee to take possession of my soul. I cannot receive Thee in Holy Communion as often as I should wish; but, O Lord, art Thou not all powerful?

Abide in me as Thou dost in the Tabernacle–never abandon Thy Little Victim. I long to console Thee for ungrateful sinners, and I implore Thee to take from me all liberty to sin. If through weakness I should chance to fall, may a glance from Thine Eyes straightway cleanse my soul, and consume all my imperfections–as fire transforms all things into itself. I thank Thee, O my God, for all the graces Thou hast granted me: especially for having purified me in the crucible of suffering.

At the Day of Judgment I shall gaze on Thee with joy, as Thou bearest Thy sceptre of the Cross. And since Thou hast deigned to give me this precious Cross as my portion, I hope to be like unto Thee in Paradise and to behold the Sacred Wounds of Thy Passion shine on my glorified body.

After earth’s exile I trust to possess Thee in the Home of our Father; but I do not seek to lay up treasures in Heaven. I wish to labour for Thy Love alone–with the sole aim of pleasing Thee, of consoling Thy Sacred Heart, and of saving souls who will love Thee through eternity. When comes the evening of life, I shall stand before Thee with empty hands, because I do not ask Thee, my God, to take account of my works. All our works of justice are blemished in Thine Eyes. I wish therefore to be robed with Thine own Justice, and to receive from Thy Love the everlasting gift of Thyself. I desire no other Throne, no other Crown but Thee, O my Beloved! In Thy sight time is naught – “one day is a thousand years.”

Thou canst in a single instant prepare me to appear before Thee. In order that my life may be one Act of perfect Love, I offer myself as a Victim of Holocaust to Thy Merciful Love, imploring Thee to consume me unceasingly, and to allow the floods of infinite tenderness gathered up in Thee to overflow into my soul, that so I may become a very martyr of Thy Love, O my God!

May this martyrdom, after having prepared me to appear in Thy Presence, free me from this life at the last, and may my soul take its flight without delay into the eternal embrace of Thy Merciful Love! O my Beloved, I desire at every beat of my heart to renew this Oblation an infinite number of times, “till the shadows retire,” and everlastingly I can tell Thee my love face to face. Amen.

A MORNING PRAYER

O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.

O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in Heaven for all Eternity. Amen.

PRAYER  TO  OBTAIN  HUMILITY
(Written for a Novice)

O JESUS! When Thou wast a wayfarer upon earth, Thou didst say:–“Learn of Me, for I am Meek and Humble of Heart, and you shall find rest to your souls.” O Almighty King of Heaven! my soul indeed finds rest in seeing Thee condescend to wash the feet of Thy Apostles – “having taken the form of a slave.”

I recall the words Thou didst utter to teach me the practice of humility: “I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also. The servant is not greater than his Lord. If you know these things, you shall be blessed if you do them.” I understand, dear Lord, these words which come from Thy Meek and Humble Heart, and I wish to put them in practice with the help of Thy grace. I desire to humble myself in all sincerity, and to submit my will to that of my Sisters, without ever contradicting them, and without questioning whether they have the right to command.

No one, O my Beloved! had that right over Thee, and yet Thou didst obey not only the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph, but even Thy executioners. And now, in the Holy Eucharist, I see Thee complete Thy self-abasement. O Divine King of Glory, with wondrous humility, Thou dost submit Thyself to all Thy Priests, without any distinction between those who love Thee and those who, alas! are lukewarm or cold in Thy service. They may advance or delay the hour of the Holy Sacrifice: Thou art always ready to come down from Heaven at their call.

O my Beloved, under the white Eucharistic Veil Thou dost indeed appear to me Meek and Humble of Heart! To teach me humility, Thou canst not further abase Thyself, and so I wish to respond to Thy Love, by putting myself in the lowest place, by sharing Thy humiliations, so that I may “have part with Thee” in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I implore Thee, dear Jesus, to send me a humiliation whensoever I try to set myself above others. And yet, dear Lord, Thou knowest my weakness. Each morning I resolve to be humble, and in the evening I recognise that I have often been guilty of pride. The sight of these faults tempts me to discouragement; yet I know that discouragement is itself but a form of pride. I wish, therefore, O my God, to build all my trust upon Thee. As Thou canst do all things, deign to implant in my soul this virtue which I desire, and to obtain it from Thy Infinite Mercy, I will often say to Thee: “Jesus, Meek and Humble of Heart, make my heart like unto Thine.” Amen.

(Saint Thérèse de Lisieux. The Story of a Soul (L’Histoire d’une Âme): The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux (Link)

 

. 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!

 

 

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For St. Pio on his feastday

 

For thanksgiving for a favor.

St. Pio’s feast day is today, September 23, I am not able to post at present but in appreciation for his gracious attention to my prayers, offer his Litany.

St. Pio is known to be  helpful in removing spiritual obstacles which hinder our progress.  If you are at an impasse in your spiritual life, I recommend Padre Pio, who is never too busy. He is so kind and generous and I know he will help you too, if you ask him!

Litany of St. Pio of Pietrelcina

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World,have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Virgin Immaculate, pray for us.
St. Pio of Pietrelcina, pray for us.
Beloved of God, pray for us.
Imitator of Jesus Christ, pray for us.
Good shepherd of the people, pray for us.
Model for priests, pray for us.
Light of the Church, pray for us.
Adorer of the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.
Faithful son of St. Francis, pray for us.
Marked with the stigmata of Jesus, pray for us.
Patient in suffering, pray for us.
Helper of the dying, pray for us.
Director of souls, pray for us.
Heart of gold, pray for us.
Apostle of mercy, pray for us.
Worker of miracles, pray for us.
Consoler of the afflicted, pray for us.
Lover of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
Helper of souls in doubt and darkness, pray for us.
Comforter of the sick, pray for us.
Example of humility, pray for us.
Source of wisdom, pray for us.
Mirror of the divine life, pray for us.
Lover of Jesus Crucified, pray for us.
Resigned to the will of God, pray for us.
Doing good upon earth, pray for us.
Filled with the spirit of self-sacrifice, pray for us.
Our help and hope in all our needs, pray for us.
Vessel of the Holy Spirit, pray for us.
Leading us to Christ, pray for us.
Our spiritual father and advocate, pray for us.
Crowned with glory in Heaven, pray for us.

God our Father, You helped St. Pio of Pietrelcina to reflect the image of Christ through a life of charity and self-sacrifice. May we follow your Son by walking in the footsteps of St. Pio and by imitating his selfless love. Amen

St. Pio’s Prayer to the Immaculata

My most pure Mother, my soul so poor, all stained with wretchedness and sin cries out to thy maternal heart. In thy goodness deign, I beseech thee, to pour out on me at least a little of the grace that flowed into thee with such infinite profusion from the Heart of God. Strengthened and supported by this grace, may I succeed in better loving and serving Almighty God Who filled thy heart completely, and Who created the temple of thy body from the moment of thine Immaculate Conception.

Oh, my Mother, how ashamed I feel in thy presence, weighed down as I am with faults! Thou art most pure and immaculate from the moment of thy conception, indeed, from the moment in eternity when thou wert conceived in the mind of God.

Have pity on me! May one compassionate look of thine eyes revive me, purify me and lift me up to God; raising me from the filth of this world so that I may go to Him Who created me, Who regenerated me in Holy Baptism, giving me back my white robe of innocence that original sin had so defiled. Dear Mother, make me love Him! Pour into my heart that love which burns in thine for Him. Even though I be clothed in misery, I revere the mystery of thine Immaculate Conception, and I ardently wish that through it, thou may purify my heart so that I may love thy God and my God. Cleanse my mind that it may reach up to Him and contemplate Him and adore Him in spirit and in truth. Purify my body that I too may be a tabernacle for Him and be less unworthy of possessing Him when He deigns to come to me in Holy Communion. Amen.

Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, pray for our priests! Pray for the Church!
And please, Saint Pio, Pray for me!

†  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!

That the Church May Regain Her Splendor

Soon, we shall see another year’s commemoration of the sixth visit of Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. There remains one final visit of Our Lady to come, but there are still several events yet to occur before that fateful day. For today, we focus on the words of a saintly prelate who devoted his life to counteracting the forces of revolution set loose in the Church as a result of the refusal of the shepherds of the Church to heed Our Lady’s message.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre set an example for all priests in his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in particular, to Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima. Today, we recall his pilgrimage to her shrine at Fatima on August 22, 1987.

 

Sermon by Archbishop Lefebvre in Fatima, August 22, 1987
Let us ask the Blessed Virgin then to unravel this mystery for us; it is a martyrdom for all who live in this era…

Let us give thanks to God and to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary for having gathered us today, on this feast of her Immaculate Heart, to sing her praises and to try for a few moments, for a few days, to live out our faith. For if the Virgin Mary wished to come to this land of Portugal, to Fatima, if She wished to appear to these few children to give them a message for the world, it is surely because She desired that our souls be lifted up toward heaven.

Let us try, then, my dear brothers and sisters, to place ourselves in the setting in which these little shepherds found themselves, like the persons who came to accompany them on the 13th of each month of that year 1917, until the month of October, when that extraordinary miracle took place, right here. Right here because, they say, this miracle was seen within a 40-kilometer [25-mile] radius of Fatima, and consequently, if we had been present on that day, October 13, 1917, we would have seen that extraordinary phenomenon of the spinning sun, shooting out lights of all colors, drenching the entire region with its magnificent colors. And it did this for thrice ten minutes! Finally, we would have seen the sun descending as it were from heaven to draw near to the faithful who were present, to manifest the truth of the apparition of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to these children of Fatima.

So That Our Souls May be Saved
Once again, why this apparition of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary? It was so that our souls may be saved, it was so that our souls may go to join her one day in heaven. In a few extraordinary pictures, She manifested to these children of Fatima the whole reality of our faith. Indeed, the children admired Her and admired Her in such a way that they were as if in ecstasy, rapt, carried away, not knowing how to express the beauty of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. However much anyone might have tried to provide them with comparisons, no comparison could be made in the sight of the beauty of the Virgin Mary whom they had seen.

And then the Virgin Mary was not the only one who was manifested. She wished to manifest something of heaven to them: Saint Joseph carrying Our Lord in his arms and blessing the world. She wished to appear also under the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of Sorrows, and generally She appeared as Our Lady of the Rosary. This was because She wished to inculcate in the children the necessity of praying the Rosary, the necessity of suffering with Our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Lady of Sorrows. Thus She wished to manifest her interior sentiments so as to communicate them to these children, so that these children in turn might communicate these sentiments to all those who will have the opportunity to hear their message. Then the Archangel Michael appeared to them.

Our Lady spoke to them also about the souls in purgatory, when Lucia questioned her to find out where such-and-such a soul was, where a particular dead person was—“Was she in heaven? In purgatory?”—She sometimes told them: “No, that lady is not yet in heaven, she is in purgatory.” She wished also to show them the reality of hell. It is therefore right here, in this vicinity, that the Most Blessed Virgin wished to show what hell was to these horrified children, so as to encourage them to do penance, so as to encourage them to pray to save souls, thus showing that the Immaculate Heart of Mary is altogether directed toward the glory of Her Divine Son and toward the salvation of souls. To save souls is to cause them to go to heaven. Therefore it is our entire catechism in a way that these children saw in an image, and this happened through the grace of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.

Prayer and Penance
Let us try then to put ourselves into this setting today too, because what happened in 1917 is still true today, and perhaps even more than at that time, because the situation in the world is even worse now than it was in 1917. The faith is disappearing, atheism is advancing everywhere, and the Most Blessed Virgin Herself announced it. For although She wished to show us a vision of heaven, She also wished to speak about the earth. She told these children essentially:

It is necessary to pray, it is necessary to do penance so as to stop the devastating effects of this terrible error, Communism, which will dominate the world if people do not do penance and if they do not pray and if they do not carry out my will.”

Her will was to broadcast the secrets that she had given to Lucia.
Alas, we are in fact obliged to note that since these secrets have not been broadcast, the error of Communism is spreading everywhere! Let us strive, then, my dear brothers and sisters, to put ourselves into this setting, in these dispositions so as to share the convictions of these children, so as to unite ourselves to the Heart of Mary, so that our hearts may burn with the desires that were in the Heart of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and that still are there today, desires for the reign of her Son.

What else can She wish but to see Her Divine Son reign over the whole earth, over souls, over families, and over societies, as He reigns in heaven? This is why She comes down to earth, to beg us, every one of us: “It is necessary for Jesus to reign over you.” She wishes it, She desires it, and She gives us the means.

The first means is prayer. “It is necessary to pray.” The Blessed Virgin unceasingly repeated this to Lucia, because Lucia asked her the question each time: “O Lady, what do you want of me? What do you want me to do?” A fine question! There can be no better dispositions. Is this our disposition also? Mary! What do you want us to do? Then Mary said:

“It is necessary to pray, take your rosary, recite the rosary every day to sanctify yourselves and to save souls, to save the souls of sinners.”

She repeated this every time She came. She also encouraged Holy Communion, receiving the Holy Eucharist, since She even enabled the angel to come and give Communion to these children. Can Mary wish anything else but to give us Her Son, to give us Jesus in our hearts?

That We Might Keep the Faith and Grace in our Souls
Next: why these secrets? The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, in Her love for us, in Her gracious condescension toward us, wished to warn us. She wished to announce future events to us, so as to enable us to keep our faith, to keep grace in our souls. This is why She gave us Her secrets. The Most Blessed Virgin asked Lucia to broadcast the third secret as of 1960—and that this secret be broadcast by the Pope—and not without reason: it was because she knew that after 1960 the Church would have to go through the crisis of these very serious events in its history. She wished to warn us, and She wished to warn the authorities of the Church so as to avoid these misfortunes, so as to avoid the loss of faith and the perdition of souls. Thus we are warned, we know that after 1960 some serious events in Church history would cause a crisis, and particularly with regard to those who lead the Church. Unfortunately, this is probably why the leaders of Holy Church did not wish to broadcast the secret. They thought that it was not opportune to make it public. A great mystery, my dear brothers and sisters, a great mystery!

So you see, then, if the Most Blessed Virgin Mary wishes us to have in our souls dispositions of the love for God, dispositions of prayer, a readiness to unite ourselves to Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, a willingness to sacrifice ourselves for the sinners of this world, well, then, let us ask for this grace today.

The Mystery of the Situation of Rome Today
Here you are, gathered around the Virgin Mary in Fatima, having in your hearts the dispositions of these little children who welcomed the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and saw Her: ask, let us ask the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to unravel this mystery, that She may come to our aid. The great mystery of Rome, the great mystery of the situation in the papacy today.

They often tell us: do not rend the Church, do not divide the Church, do not cause a schism; yet, my dear brothers and sisters, tell me: where is the unity of the Church? What causes the unity of the Church? Open all the theology books, open all the books by the saints, open all the books by the doctors and theologians: what causes the unity of the Church is the unity of faith. When someone no longer has the Catholic Faith, he separates himself from the Church. There you have it! And every person invested with authority in the Church since Our Lord founded it, every person who has some authority in the Church and particularly all the clergy, and particularly the bishops, and especially the Pope, all of them are at the service of this unity, they are at the service of this faith: “Go teach the Gospel,” not some other Gospel and not just any Gospel: “Go teach the Gospel.” Be at the service of this message that I have given you, but you must not change the message.

Well, then, we keep and cherish the whole faith; not for anything in the world would we want to remove one iota, the least bit of our faith; we want to keep it intact, absolutely intact. And it is because we want to keep this unity of faith that those who are losing it persecute us. This is the true current situation in which we find ourselves, a mysterious situation, probably announced by Our Lady of Fatima in Her third secret, saying that those who want to remain Catholics will be persecuted by those who, while having authority in the Church, stray from the faith; and since they stray from the Faith, they would like to drag us along with them. Because we disobey them by our unwillingness to lose the faith with them, they persecute us. But Our Lord said it, He predicted that there would be bad shepherds and said that we must not follow the bad shepherds; we must follow the good shepherds. This is the mystery that we are living through today.

Let us ask the Blessed Virgin then to unravel this mystery for us; it is a martyrdom for you, for us, for all who live in this era, a true moral martyrdom, perhaps worse than the martyrdom of blood, to see that those who ought to preach and defend the Catholic faith for the unity of the Church are abandoning this Catholic faith and seeking to get along with the world, with modern principles, with the principles of this society that is guided more by Satan than by the Good Lord.

Ask for the Grace of Fidelity
Let us make the resolution, here at the feet of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and let us ask her for the grace to keep the faith, to remain Catholics until the end of our days, to have this grace of final perseverance in the Catholic faith. Why did all the martyrs shed their blood? In order to keep the faith. If we must be martyrs, if we must be not martyrs by blood but martyrs in our souls, in our hearts, in our minds, well, then, we will be martyrs, and we will be the heirs of those who shed their blood so as not to deny their faith.

This is what we must promise the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and try to make everyone around us understand so that they might not lose the Faith… lest, in losing their faith, they lose their souls. These, my dear brothers and sisters, are the resolutions that we must make today: to pray, to sacrifice ourselves, to make the sacrifice of our life, to offer our life for the redemption of the world, for the salvation of souls, for the salvation of our souls, the salvation of the souls of our families, of the members of our family.

And Ask That the Church may Regain Her Splendor

And finally ask for the renewal of the Holy Catholic Church: that the Church might regain her splendor, that the Church might regain her unity in the faith, that the Church might regain her thousands and thousands of religious vocations as before, that once again novitiates might be filled, that seminaries might be filled so as to keep the Catholic Faith, so as to live the Catholic Faith! This is what we are striving to do, my dear brothers and sisters, together with those whom you see present here, these young priests, these young seminarians. As soon as people want to keep the faith, as soon as people want to keep the Sacrifice of the Mass and the true Eucharist, as soon as people are devoted body and soul to the Church, there are vocations, because we are in the truth. Let us ask the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to bless our seminaries, to bless our young priests so that they might be apostles; to bless our religious, the Sisters of the Society, all the sisters who devote themselves to Tradition, the Carmelites, the Dominicans, the Benedictines…all these nuns who want to keep the Catholic faith and want to spread it.

And may the Virgin Mary deign to bless us so that we might continue courageously, despite the trials, to serve the kingdom of Her Divine Son. Adveniat regnum tuum, may Thy kingdom come, yes, O Lord Jesus, may Thy reign extend over persons, over families and over societies, so that this reign may continue in eternity!

† .  † .  †

The above sermon is from the August 18, 2017 edition of  FSSPX News.

I regret that I am not able to post new content at present and it is uncertain when I will be able to resume. Thank you for reading!

Please, Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

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

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

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

The Birth of Mary, Dawn of Our Redemption

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Look now on her who most resembles Christ”

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer to Mary, Star of the Sea

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

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

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

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

Remember, Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

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

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

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

 

 

September 3, Honoring St. Pius X

UPDATE: 9:30 a.m.: With thanks to a reader, who has given permission to post his prayer.

Prayer to Saint Pius X for Our Pope

Glorious Pope of the Eucharist, Saint Pius X, you sought “to restore all things in Christ.” Obtain for our Pope a true love of Jesus and zeal for His eternal truths. Help him to acquire a fervent devotion to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Holy Eucharist, sacrament of His Love.

Blessed model of the sacred priesthood, obtain for our Holy Father a fervent desire for the restoration of the sacred priesthood, the grace to make public reparations for the corruption of the priesthood and a firm desire to restore the Sacrifice of the Mass, and holy sacraments.

In order to restore all things in Christ, we beg your intercession that God may endow him with the grace to imitate your tender love for the Immaculate Heart of Mary and that he may thus attain humble obedience to her commands, and institute the First Saturdays of Reparation throughout the Church and the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Amen.

The prayer above is a private one and has no ecclesiatical approval, although it comes from a reputable source. If I have erred in posting it, I will accept correction.

Today we honor the last truly saintly Pope, one who rightly deserved the title “Great”, Saint Pius X. Many other sites have excellent biographies of him, but I thought that reading again his “Lamentabili” would be something we could savor together with him; a little like the way we feel closer to Our Lady in the evening when we pray her “Magnificat”. As we read Lamentabili, please pray to St. Pius to intercede for our pope(s) and clergy to repent their sins, be converted and return the Church to fidelity to Christ Jesus Our Lord.

Lamentabili Sane
Pope Pius X – 1907

SYLLABUS CONDEMNING THE ERRORS OF THE MODERNISTS

With truly lamentable results, our age, casting aside all restraint in its search for the ultimate causes of things, frequently pursues novelties so ardently that it rejects the legacy of the human race. Thus it falls into very serious errors, which are even more serious when they concern sacred authority, the interpretation of Sacred Scripture, and the principal mysteries of Faith. The fact that many Catholic writers also go beyond the limits determined by the Fathers and the Church herself is extremely regrettable. In the name of higher knowledge and historical research (they say), they are looking for that progress of dogmas which is, in reality, nothing but the corruption of dogmas.

These errors are being daily spread among the faithful. Lest they captivate the faithful’s minds and corrupt the purity of their faith, His Holiness, Pius X, by Divine Providence, Pope, has decided that the chief errors should be noted and condemned by the Office of this Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition.

Therefore, after a very diligent investigation and consultation with the Reverend Consultors, the Most Eminent and Reverend Lord Cardinals, the General Inquisitors in matters of faith and morals have judged the following propositions to be condemned and proscribed. In fact, by this general decree, they are condemned and proscribed.

1. The ecclesiastical law which prescribes that books concerning the Divine Scriptures are subject to previous examination does not apply to critical scholars and students of scientific exegesis of the Old and New Testament.

2. The Church’s interpretation of the Sacred Books is by no means to be rejected; nevertheless, it is subject to the more accurate judgment and correction of the exegetes.

3. From the ecclesiastical judgments and censures passed against free and more scientific exegesis, one can conclude that the Faith the Church proposes contradicts history and that Catholic teaching cannot really be reconciled with the true origins of the Christian religion.

4. Even by dogmatic definitions the Church’s magisterium cannot determine the genuine sense of the Sacred Scriptures.

5. Since the deposit of Faith contains only revealed truths, the Church has no right to pass judgment on the assertions of the human sciences.

6. The “Church learning” and the “Church teaching” collaborate in such a way in defining truths that it only remains for the “Church teaching” to sanction the opinions of the “Church learning.”

7. In proscribing errors, the Church cannot demand any internal assent from the faithful by which the judgments she issues are to be embraced.

8. They are free from all blame who treat lightly the condemnations passed by the Sacred Congregation of the Index or by the Roman Congregations.

9. They display excessive simplicity or ignorance who believe that God is really the author of the Sacred Scriptures.

10. The inspiration of the books of the Old Testament consists in this: The Israelite writers handed down religious doctrines under a peculiar aspect which was either little or not at all known to the Gentiles.

11. Divine inspiration does not extend to all of Sacred Scriptures so that it renders its parts, each and every one, free from every error.

12. If he wishes to apply himself usefully to Biblical studies, the exegete must first put aside all preconceived opinions about the supernatural origin of Sacred Scripture and interpret it the same as any other merely human document.

13. The Evangelists themselves, as well as the Christians of the second and third generation, artificially arranged the evangelical parables. In such a way they explained the scanty fruit of the preaching of Christ among the Jews.

14. In many narrations the Evangelists recorded, not so much things that are true, as things which, even though false, they judged to be more profitable for their readers.

15. Until the time the canon was defined and constituted, the Gospels were increased by additions and corrections. Therefore there remained in them only a faint and uncertain trace of the doctrine of Christ.

16. The narrations of John are not properly history, but a mystical contemplation of the Gospel. The discourses contained in his Gospel are theological meditations, lacking historical truth concerning the mystery of salvation.

17. The fourth Gospel exaggerated miracles not only in order that the extraordinary might stand out but also in order that it might become more suitable for showing forth the work and glory of the Word lncarnate.

18. John claims for himself the quality of witness concerning Christ. In reality, however, he is only a distinguished witness of the Christian life, or of the life of Christ in the Church at the close of the first century.

19. Heterodox exegetes have expressed the true sense of the Scriptures more faithfully than Catholic exegetes.

20. Revelation could be nothing else than the consciousness man acquired of his revelation to God.

21. Revelation, constituting the object of the Catholic faith, was not completed with the Apostles.

22. The dogmas the Church holds out as revealed are not truths which have fallen from heaven. They are an interpretation of religious facts which the human mind has acquired by laborious effort.

23. Opposition may, and actually does, exist between the facts narrated in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s dogmas which rest on them. Thus the critic may reject as false facts the Church holds as most certain.

24. The exegete who constructs premises from which it follows that dogmas are historically false or doubtful is not to be reproved as long as he does not directly deny the dogmas themselves .

25. The assent of faith ultimately rests on a mass of probabilities .

26. The dogmas of the Faith are to be held only according to their practical sense; that is to say, as preceptive norms of conduct and not as norms of believing.

27. The divinity of Jesus Christ is not proved from the Gospels. It is a dogma which the Christian conscience has derived from the notion of the Messias.

28. While He was exercising His ministry, Jesus did not speak with the object of teaching He was the Messias, nor did His miracles tend to prove it.

29. It is permissible to grant that the Christ of history is far inferior to the Christ Who is the object of faith.

30 In all the evangelical texts the name “Son of God” is equivalent only to that of “Messias.” It does not in the least way signify that Christ is the true and natural Son of God.

31. The doctrine concerning Christ taught by Paul, John, and the Councils of Nicea, Ephesus and Chalcedon is not that which Jesus taught but that which the Christian conscience conceived concerning Jesus.

32. It is impossible to reconcile the natural sense of the Gospel texts with the sense taught by our theologians concerning the conscience and the infallible knowledge of Jesus Christ.

33 Everyone who is not led by preconceived opinions can readily see that either Jesus professed an error concerning the immediate Messianic coming or the greater part of His doctrine as contained in the Gospels is destitute of authenticity.

34. The critics can ascribe to Christ a knowledge without limits only on a hypothesis which cannot be historically conceived and which is repugnant to the moral sense. That hypothesis is that Christ as man possessed the knowledge of God and yet was unwilling to communicate the knowledge of a great many things to His disciples and posterity.

35. Christ did not always possess the consciousness of His Messianic dignity.

36. The Resurrection of the Savior is not properly a fact of the historical order. It is a fact of merely the supernatural order (neither demonstrated nor demonstrable) which the Christian conscience gradually derived from other facts.

37. In the beginning, faith in the Resurrection of Christ was not so much in the fact itself of the Resurrection as in the immortal life of Christ with God.

38. The doctrine of the expiatory death of Christ is Pauline and not evangelical.

39. The opinions concerning the origin of the Sacraments which the Fathers of Trent held and which certainly influenced their dogmatic canons are very different from those which now rightly exist among historians who examine Christianity .

40. The Sacraments have their origin in the fact that the Apostles and their successors, swayed and moved by circumstances and events, interpreted some idea and intention of Christ.

41. The Sacraments are intended merely to recall to man’s mind the ever-beneficent presence of the Creator.

42. The Christian community imposed the necessity of Baptism, adopted it as a necessary rite, and added to it the obligation of the Christian profession.

43. The practice of administering Baptism to infants was a disciplinary evolution, which became one of the causes why the Sacrament was divided into two, namely, Baptism and Penance.

44. There is nothing to prove that the rite of the Sacrament of Confirmation was employed by the Apostles. The formal distinction of the two Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation does not pertain to the history of primitive Christianity.

45. Not everything which Paul narrates concerning the institution of the Eucharist (I Cor. 11:23-25) is to be taken historically.

46. In the primitive Church the concept of the Christian sinner reconciled by the authority of the Church did not exist. Only very slowly did the Church accustom herself to this concept. As a matter of fact, even after Penance was recognized as an institution of the Church, it was not called a Sacrament since it would be held as a disgraceful Sacrament.

47. The words of the Lord, “Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23), in no way refer to the Sacrament of Penance, in spite of what it pleased the Fathers of Trent to say.

48. In his Epistle (Ch. 5:14-15) James did not intend to promulgate a Sacrament of Christ but only commend a pious custom. If in this custom he happens to distinguish a means of grace, it is not in that rigorous manner in which it was taken by the theologians who laid down the notion and number of the Sacraments.

49. When the Christian supper gradually assumed the nature of a liturgical action those who customarily presided over the supper acquired the sacerdotal character.

50. The elders who fulfilled the office of watching over the gatherings of the faithful were instituted by the Apostles as priests or bishops to provide for the necessary ordering of the increasing communities and not properly for the perpetuation of the Apostolic mission and power.

51. It is impossible that Matrimony could have become a Sacrament of the new law until later in the Church since it was necessary that a full theological explication of the doctrine of grace and the Sacraments should first take place before Matrimony should be held as a Sacrament.

52. It was far from the mind of Christ to found a Church as a society which would continue on earth for a long course of centuries. On the contrary, in the mind of Christ the kingdom of heaven together with the end of the world was about to come immediately.

53. The organic constitution of the Church is not immutable. Like human society, Christian society is subject to a perpetual evolution.

54. Dogmas, Sacraments and hierarchy, both their notion and reality, are only interpretations and evolutions of the Christian intelligence which have increased and perfected by an external series of additions the little germ latent in the Gospel.

55. Simon Peter never even suspected that Christ entrusted the primacy in the Church to him.

56. The Roman Church became the head of all the churches, not through the ordinance of Divine Providence, but merely through political conditions.

57. The Church has shown that she is hostile to the progress of the natural and theological sciences.

58. Truth is no more immutable than man himself, since it evolved with him, in him, and through him.

59. Christ did not teach a determined body of doctrine applicable to all times and all men, but rather inaugurated a religious movement adapted or to be adapted to different times and places.

60. Christian Doctrine was originally Judaic. Through successive evolutions it became first Pauline, then Joannine, finally Hellenic and universal.

61. It may be said without paradox that there is no chapter of Scripture, from the first of Genesis to the last of the Apocalypse, which contains a doctrine absolutely identical with that which the Church teaches on the same matter. For the same reason, therefore, no chapter of Scripture has the same sense for the critic and the theologian.

62. The chief articles of the Apostles’ Creed did not have the same sense for the Christians of the first ages as they have for the Christians of our time.

63. The Church shows that she is incapable of effectively maintaining evangelical ethics since she obstinately clings to immutable doctrines which cannot be reconciled with modern progress.

64. Scientific progress demands that the concepts of Christian doctrine concerning God, creation, revelation, the Person of the Incarnate Word, and Redemption be re-adjusted.

65. Modern Catholicism can be reconciled with true science only if it is transformed into a non-dogmatic Christianity; that is to say, into a broad and liberal Protestantism.

The following Thursday, the fourth day of the same month and year, all these matters were accurately reported to our Most Holy Lord, Pope Pius X. His Holiness approved and confirmed the decree of the Most Eminent Fathers and ordered that each and every one of the above-listed propositions be held by all as condemned and proscribed.

PETER PALOMBELLI, Notary of the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition

And when the Immaculata at last clears out the rot infesting the Church, perhaps we shall see the restoration of that fine old institution, the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition!

  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.

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!

September 1, 2018

 

Let’s begin September by celebrating Pope Francis! 

Yes, it is time that we honor the man, his deep and merciful thoughts and his actions by which it is said a man may best be known. On this day 108 years ago, in his Oath Against Modernism, Pope St. Pius X foretold this man, Pope Francis, our first truly humble and merciful pope, and wrote of him. Indeed, his great encyclical Pascendi Domenici Gregis, written in September, 1907 is filled with prophecies about our little Argentinian treasure – reading the words of St. Pius X, it is hard to believe that he did not have our beloved Bergoglio’s illustrious words on Love, “Amoris Laetitia” in mind as he wrote it.

Joking aside, let’s take a look at a better time, when we had the brave and clear truths spoken by our truly Holy Father, one worthy of the name, Pope St. Pius X, who presciently warned of the false doctrines being promoted by just this pope.

“The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.” (Pope St. Pius X)

The last truly saintly Pope was Pius X, who promulgated the Oath Against Modernism on September 1, 1910, 108 years ago today. It is instructive to review this oath, which was abolished by Paul VI and is so widely scorned, reviled or simply ignored by those who currently occupy the visible Church today.

Saint Pius X, pray for us, pray for our priests!

With the death of this holy pope, the dark force of modernism was once again free to poison the faith, While ostensibly orthodox, Pope Benedict XV dismantled St. Pius’s Sodalitium Pianum, the network established to assure orthodoxy in the seminaries. Subsequent popes also contributed their efforts to undermining orthodoxy in sundry ways. Although these popes gave lip service to Our Lady’s message at Fatima, none actually went so far as to obey her. And so, modernism flourished under even those pre-Vatican II popes who appeared to be orthodox, until it burst into florid putrescence in the revolutionary Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

As you review the Oath Against Modernism that follows, bear in mind that every Conciliar Pope from John XXIII through Benedict XVI had originally sworn this solemn oath, which of course, was violated by those same popes during and after Vatican II. Every single pope until Francis, the quintessential modernist pope; the very apotheosis of Vatican II.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit, and the evil tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.” (Matt 7, 15-18)

In the re-presentation below, we have taken the liberty of numbering the points and emphasising some of the more pertinent. The original is available here.

 THE OATH AGAINST MODERNISM

To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

“I . . . . firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day.

  1. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, His existence can also be demonstrated.
  2. Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time.
  3. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when He lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time.
  4. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely.
  5. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.
  6. Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas.
  7. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion.
  8. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful.
  9. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm.
  10. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.
  11. Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and His apostles.
  12. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles.

The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God.”

After Vatican II, Pope Paul VI (who had, himself, sworn this very Oath) abolished the Oath. The post-Conciliar Catholic Church then, is built on the shifting sands of Modernism, which is a heresy. 

This is the Age of Apostasy, and Pope Francis is bringing us to its calamitous close. The chastisement will only be ended by the Immaculate Mother of God, through a pope who is chastened, truly humble and obedient in performing the long-awaited  Consecration of Russia with the surviving Bishops. We the faithful, have an obligation to obey Our Lady of the Rosary and offer unceasing rosaries and sacrifices of reparation in order to obtain this. Return to the Message of Fatima. Return to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

 Please remember, pray the Rosary and confound satan and all his works and pomps.

  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!