The Immaculate Conception of Mary 2018

Today we are blessed to celebrate the great feastday of Our Lady, the feast  of her Immaculate Conception, the highlight of the Marian year and the time for us to renew our Consecrations. This year it is much more important than any previous year for us to continue on, earnestly living out each day our consecration to the Blessed Virgin as we prepare for the Rosary to the Interior, for the Purification of the Church on Feb 2, 2019. This year, significantly, February 2 falls on a First Saturday, thus emphasizing the importance of First Saturdays of Reparation.

To honor Our Lady on her great feastday, we offer this sermon by Archbishop Lefebvre on her Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8,1972..

My dear friends, my dear brethren,

As the whole liturgy of today shows us, God, in His wisdom, had long ago prepared for us the most Blessed Virgin Mary. It was not just at the moment of her birth on earth that God decreed to exempt her from all sin, and to make her the Immaculate Conception but already in eternity, which preceded the creation of the world.

The epistle today recalls this fact, applying to the Most Holy Virgin the words of the eternal Wisdom; already the Holy Virgin was in the mind of God: “Iam concepta eram—I was already conceived”—yes, conceived in the mind of God, and thus already in the divine plan God was thinking of the Virgin Mary. Already He wished to fill her with all His graces, and to give her this extraordinary privilege of the Immaculate Conception, exempting her from all sin: “Tota pulchra es, Maria, et macula originalis non est in te—Thou art all fair, O Mary, and there is no stain of original sin in thee.”

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

So already in eternity, before the creation of the world, God was thinking of this admirable creature, the first of His creatures after our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. All during the course of history which preceded the birth of the Blessed Virgin, during the whole history of humanity, God was thinking of the Blessed Virgin. We see it during the entire history of the Old Testament—already, immediately after the sin of Adam and Eve, God said to Adam and Eve, “I will place an enmity between thee and the woman: She shall crush thy head.” So already the Virgin Mary had been foreseen by the Spirit of God and her preparation, the preparation for her Immaculate Conception, was becoming more and more precise the whole time.

The image of the Blessed Virgin Mary can also be found in the holy women of the Old Testament. Think of the account of Sarah, the wife of Tobias, on whose behalf an angel bound up the demon and cast him far into the desert. She is an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, “before whom the devil must flee, and whom the devil fears.” The Virgin Mary was not under the empire of Satan for an instant, a single instant.

The story of Judith also illustrates the role of the most Holy Virgin Mary. She delivered the people of Israel from the hands of Holofernes. In cutting off the head of Holofernes Judith saved Israel, and in like manner the Blessed Virgin, by cutting off the head of the devil in a certain sense, saved the people of God.

Thus during the whole course of history God wished that we be reminded of the most Holy Virgin; the Blessed Virgin Mary was always present to God and in the plan of God and thus from her birth the Blessed Virgin Mary was exempt from all sin. At the moment of her birth she was filled with the Holy Ghost, and yet again even more so—if such be possible—at the moment when the Angel Gabriel came to announce that she would be the Mother of the Savior. Behold what the Angel said to the Blessed Virgin: “Thou art full of grace, overflowing with grace, and the Holy Ghost shall descend upon thee and overshadow thee.”

How could the Holy Ghost be present with the devil in the soul of the most Holy Virgin? There could be no stain in the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary; already God had decided that. And from the beginning of the Blessed Virgin’s existence, we see that, in fact, the Blessed Virgin is wholly filled with the Holy Ghost. She is shown to us as a contemplative, and living in the presence of God, speaking little, reflecting on all the words which Our Lord said. At times she deemed it right to discreetly intervene, as at the marriage feast of Cana, and this was to teach us her whole gospel: “Do whatever He shall tell you.” This is the gospel of our Holy Virgin Mary.

Again, she was present at Calvary as the Mother of the Eternal Priest, at the offering of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for she also was crucified with Our Lord. If St. Paul could say, “Confixus sure cruci—I am nailed to the Cross with Christ,” how much more could the Blessed Virgin Mary say it!

Again, she was also present at the moment of Pentecost, when the Apostles received the Holy Ghost—she who was already filled with the Holy Ghost, she did not need to receive Him again but through her mediation, the Apostles received Him.

Finally the Blessed Virgin Mary went up to heaven, not only in her soul but also in her body, and thus was this extraordinary life of hers completed; a life unique in the history of humanity, but foreseen by God from all eternity.

The influence of the Blessed Virgin Mary has not ceased. Even now in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary continues to be the Mother of the Mystical Body of Our Lord, the Mother of the Church, the Mother of our souls. She shows it, she proves it, she proves it in every one of us, but she also proves it in her apparitions. Is it not admirable to think that after the Sovereign Pontiff Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as a revealed truth, that the Blessed Virgin Mary was Immaculate from her Conception—already four years later on March 21, 1858, the Blessed Virgin herself said to little Bernadette, the little shepherdess, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Remember that Bernadette was incapable of understanding, she could not understand what these words meant, and she left the grotto on her way to her pastor’s house repeating these words which she did not understand, to make sure she would not forget them. The history of the life of Bernadette tells us that it was at that moment that the parish priest of Lourdes, Fr. Pomian, was truly convinced by the apparitions at Lourdes. He realized that the poor little shepherdess was incapable of inventing this herself, and that the dogma had been proclaimed four years before by the Sovereign Pontiff. Thus it was confirmed by the Blessed Virgin herself that she was the Immaculate Conception.

What lesson, then, must we draw from this history of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Immaculate Conception? For all of us who have been baptized, we who in a certain sense have received more than others because of the offices we may occupy in Holy Church—all of us: If the Blessed Virgin Mary was Immaculate in her Conception it is because she was to be the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, because she had to carry within herself Our Lord, the Son of God, because she was charged with giving Him to the world, because she was to live in proximity with Him, to be His Mother.

We Christians, who receive Holy Communion, do we not receive the same Jesus Christ, the same Body, which was conceived by the Blessed Virgin Mary? We receive Him in us, in our bodies, in our souls. If it was decreed that the Blessed Virgin Mary was to be immaculate in her conception, so that she might receive the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ, His soul, His divinity, must we not also be pure? Not that we can be immaculate in our conception, but may our souls be immaculate, by our prayers, by our dispositions, by our efforts, by the grace of God… to win this privilege that the Blessed Virgin had by the gift of Our Lord Jesus Christ, may we by our prayers and by the grace of God obtain the grace of having immaculate souls to receive Our Lord Jesus Christ.

We must! We must live without sin, we must struggle against anything that might tarnish our souls, so that it can be said of our souls: “Tota pulchra est, et macula non est in te—Thou art all fair, and there is no stain in thee.” Let there be no stain in our souls so that we may worthily receive Our Lord Jesus Christ.

And if that is true for Christians, true for the faithful, true for every person, every soul receiving Our Lord Jesus Christ, how much more, dear brethren, is it true of you—you who are destined in a singular way to consecrate yourselves to God, to offer yourselves to God, and particularly those who offer themselves to God in the priesthood, who, in this world, call down Our Lord Jesus Christ upon the altar and, like the Blessed Virgin, touch Him with their hands, and give Him to others; how much more must your souls be immaculate!

With what joy, therefore, do we receive today the oblations of those who desire to offer their lives, offer their souls, for the service of God, the service of the altar. Let us ask in a special way of the Blessed Virgin to transmit, in a certain degree, this privilege she had, the graces which are necessary to keep our souls immaculate.

She is the creature that was created, designed by God to destroy sin. Thus there is no creature more free of sin than the Blessed Virgin Mary.

She has crushed the head of the serpent. Therefore with the Blessed Virgin there is no compromise, no compromise with sin, no compromise with error; she is completely true, completely holy. She cannot bear error, or sin, or vice. Let us then ask the Blessed Virgin that we ourselves have this horror of sin, this horror of vice—but love for sinners, because it was for sinners that she was created, to save sinners. May we have this immense desire, this flame which must consume us, the desire to save souls from sin, to snatch them from the clutches of the devil, the clutches of the world, and the scandals of it.

Therefore let us all ask today that our Society be a sign, a sign of truth, a sign of holiness, a sign of flight from sin, and all the scandals of the world, and a sign of the presence of the Virgin Mary. We will truly be children of the Church, children of Mary, on this condition. But if, unhappily, we also become like the people who are drawn by the world and who want compromises with things of the world, with error—then we will no longer be worthy children of Mary, worthy children of Our Lord.

That is what we ask, for all those who are present at this Holy Mass, for all those who are present here, and particularly for those who, in a moment, will pronounce their oblation and their engagements in the Society.

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Thank you for reading!

  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!

Divine Love and Purgatory

 

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

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

For November, we offer a few excerpts from a true saint for our times, Sister Josefa Menendez, the author of  “The Way of Divine Love”, a treasure of a book that I love dearly. These few quotes give a quite an insight into purgatory. There is much to think on in them.

In Lent 1922, God put Sister Josefa  in touch with an abyss of woe, Purgatory. Many souls came to solicit her suffrages and sacrifices in terms of very great humility. At first she was frightened, but by degrees she became accustomed to their confidences. She listened to them, asked them their names, encouraged them, and very humbly recommended herself to their intercession. The lessons they inculcated are worth remembering. One of them came to announce her deliverance and said: “The important thing is not entrance into religion, but entrance into the next world.” “If religious souls but realized the heavy price to be paid for concessions to the body …” said another, while asking for prayers.

“My exile is at an end and I am going to my eternal home….” A priest-soul said to her: “How great is the mercy of God, when He deigns to make use of the sufferings of other souls to repair our infidelities; what a degree of glory I might have acquired had my life been different.” A nun who, on her entrance into Heaven, confided to Josefa: “How different the things of earth appear when one passes into eternity. What are charges and offices in the sight of God? All He counts is the purity of our intention when exercising them, even in the smallest acts. How little is the earth and all it contains, and yet, how loved…. Ah, what comparison is there between life, however prolonged, and eternity! If only it were realized how in Purgatory the soul is wearied and consumed with desire to see God.”

There were also some poor souls, who having escaped through God’s mercy from a still greater peril, came to beg Josefa to hasten their deliverance. “I am here by God’s great mercy,” one of them said, “for my excessive pride had brought me to the gates of Hell. I influenced a great number of other people, and now I would gladly throw myself at the feet of the most abject pauper. “Have compassion on me and do acts of humility to make reparation for my pride, thus you will be able to deliver me from this abyss.”

“I spent seven years in mortal sin,” another confessed, “and three years ill in bed, and I always refused to go to Confession. I was ripe for hell-fire and would have fallen into it if by your present sufferings you had not obtained for me the grace of repentance. I am now in Purgatory, and I entreat you, since you were able to save me … draw me out of this dreary prison.” “I am in Purgatory because of my infidelity, for I would not correspond with God’s call,” said another. “For twelve years I held out against my vocation and was in the greatest peril of damnation, because in order to stifle my conscience I gave myself up to a life of sin. Thanks to the divine goodness, which deigned to make use of your sufferings, I took courage to come back to God … and now, of your charity, get me out of this gloomy prison.”

THE TEACHINGS OF PURGATORY

Josefa never went down into Purgatory, but she saw and spoke with a number of souls who came to solicit her prayers, and some told her that, thanks to her sufferings, they had escaped Hell. These souls, as a rule, humbly accused themselves of the faults for which they were in Purgatory (see Ch. V. of Biography). A few facts are here added. “ … I had a vocation, but lost it by reading bad books; I also had discarded my scapular, out of contempt” (July 27th, 1921).

“ … I was given up to a great deal of vanity and on the point of marrying. Our Lord made use of very severe measures to prevent my falling into Hell.” (April 10th, 1921). “My religious life was wanting in fervor….” “I had a long religious life, but I spent my last years rather in taking care of my health than in loving Our Lord. Thanks to the merits of a sacrifice you made, I was able to make a fervent death, and I owe it to you that I escaped the long years in Purgatory I had deserved. The important thing is not so much entrance into religion … as entrance into eternity.” (April 7th, 1922).

“… I have been a year and three months in Purgatory, and were it not for your little acts I should have remained there long years. A woman of the world has less responsibility than a religious, for how great are the graces the latter receives, and what liabilities she incurs if she does not profit by them…. How little nuns suspect the way their faults are expiated here … a tongue horribly tortured expiates faults against silence … a dried-up throat, those against charity … and the constraints of this prison, the repugnance in obeying! In my Order, pleasures were few and comforts still fewer, but one can always manage to secure some … and the smallest immortifications have to be expiated here. To restrain one’s eyes, to refuse oneself the gratification of a little curiosity may at times cost a big effort … and here … the eyes are tormented by the impossibility of seeing God.” (April 10th, 1922).

“Another nun accused herself of failings against charity, and of having murmured at the election of one of her Superiors.” (April 12th, 1922). “… I have been in Purgatory till now … because during my religious life I talked a great deal and with little prudence. I often communicated my impressions and complaints, and these indiscretions were the cause of faults against charity which my Sisters then committed.”

“Let all learn from this,” commented Our Lady, who was present at the apparition, “for many souls fall into this danger.” Our Lord stressed this grave warning by these words: “That soul is in Purgatory because of her faults against silence, for this kind of fault leads to many others: first, the Rule is broken; secondly, there often occur in such failings sins against charity or religious spirit, personal satisfaction, outpourings of heart that are ill-placed among religious, and all this, without a feeling of responsibility not only for oneself but for one or many others who are led into the same faults. That is why this soul is in Purgatory, and burning with desire to see My face.” (February 22nd, 1923).

“I am in Purgatory because I did not care enough about the souls confided to me, and because I did not sufficiently realize their value and the devotedness called for by so precious a charge.” (August 1922). … I was in Purgatory a little under an hour and a half to expiate a certain want of confidence in God. True, I always loved Him very much, but not without fear. It is true also that the judgments of religious are severe and rigorous, for we are judged not by our Spouse, but by our God. Nevertheless, during life our confidence in His mercy ought to be boundless, and we should trust His goodness. How many graces are lost by religious who have not enough trust in God.” (September 1922).

“… I am in Purgatory because I did not treat the souls that Jesus entrusted to me with the care they deserved…. I allowed myself to be influenced by human motives and natural likes, not seeing in them God, as I should have, and as all Superiors must. For if it is true that all religious should see in their Superior the Person of God Our Lord, the Superior also ought to see Him in her daughters….” “Thanks be to you who have helped to free me from Purgatory…. O! if nuns realized how far they can be led by unruly feelings … how vigorously they would strive to conquer themselves and master their nature and passions.” (April 1923).

“My Purgatory will be a long one, for I did not accept God’s Will for me, nor make the sacrifice of my life generously enough during my illness. Illness is a great grace of purification, it is true, but unless one is careful, it may cause one to stray away from religious spirit … to forget that one has made vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, and that one is consecrated to God as a victim. Our Lord is all love, certainly, but also all justice.” (November 1923). (Menendez, Sr. Josefa. The Way of Divine Love (with Supplemental Reading: Devotion to the Sacred Heart)  TAN Books. Kindle Edition.)

Note: Dear readers, in response to those who have asked, my health seems fairly stable at present considering all things, but I have been unable to write much lately mostly because I am heartsick over this never-ending rot in the Church. Like many of you, my heart aches for our dear Lord and His Mother. What terrible times these are! I know we have discussed all this, and we have sacrificed and prayed and offered Masses, but there is nothing that could have prepared us for this unrelenting deluge of filth and cynical, narcissistic hubris. Oh, I don’t have words adequate for this! Well, I will continue to pray for you, all of you and I am very grateful for your prayers for me. And so we will continue, praying for the Church, the Immaculate Bride of Christ, and for her priests; adoring our Beloved Lord and Savior and supporting each other in prayer.

As I was reading Sister Josefa yesterday, the following passage struck me most poignantly. It occurred when Josefa made her vows:

A few hours later Josefa, still deep in glad recollection, noted, so that she might never forget it, what Our Lord had been pleased to do for her.

“After the sermon, I went up to the altar rails to receive my crucifix of vows and black veil. Then suddenly I saw Our Lady present, O! so ravishingly lovely, all bathed in light. She held a veil in her hands, and when I returned to my prie-dieu, she herself put it on my head. All round her and framing her person were a number of radiant little faces which looked like those of tiny children, lit up with joy. With ineffable sweetness she said to me: ‘While you, beloved daughter, were suffering, these souls were weaving this veil for you. All those you prayed for have left Purgatory and are safe in Heaven for all eternity.  There they will protect you.’ “

Do you see? We do suffer greatly now, but we should thank Our Lord for this opportunity to gain much merit for poor souls and for consolation for Him whom we love!

All things are passing…God never changes…Patient endurance attains all things…Alone God suffices.

Please pray the Rosary for poor souls!

The Secret of St. Patrick’s Prayer

Some thoughts on prayer from Dom Eugene Boylan for today . . .

Jesus knows well our horror of penance; He understands perfectly our dislike of suffering; nay, more, He sympathizes with us in these difficulties. True, He wishes us to help Him to carry His cross, but He also wishes to help us to do so. So sweet is His aid, so enthralling His companionship, that St. Teresa found that it was only the first of her crosses that was really hard; once she had embraced the nettle of her cross she found herself in close union with Jesus.

There is no joy in this life to equal that of sharing the cross with Jesus. It needs courage, it needs grace, it needs perhaps a special call; but the truth is that this path of suffering and of penance – penance, be it well understood, undertaken or accepted according to God’s will and not our own – is the road of highest joy, and the sure path to the heights of prayer. The importance of mortification is not so much that it hurts us, but that it gives Jesus a new life in us; we only put ourselves to death – that is what “mortification” means – in order to clear the way for Christ. That is at once the motive of mortification and its measure. If it only serves to make us more self–satisfied and proud, then it is no longer mortification of self; it is rather the mortification of Jesus.

The true principle of mortification was laid down by St. John the Baptist when he said: “He must increase, I must decrease.” Perhaps a somewhat far–fetched comparison may help to put this process in its true light. The bread and wine that are changed into the Body and Blood of Our Lord at Mass once graced the earth in a glory of purple and gold; they were cut down, beaten and bruised, ground and pressed out of all recognition. Not until many changes had been made in them could the priest say over them the words that would make them the Flesh and Blood of Christ.

Now, in so far as the Mass is a changing of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus – it is, of course, much more than that; it might be said that Our Lord says Mass with us and our lives as the bread and wine, but it is a Mass in which the grinding of the wheat and the pressing of the grape, the baking of the bread and the maturing of the wine, the offering of the Host and the oblation of the Chalice, the consecration of both and their conversion into the living Body and Blood of Christ, are all going on at the same time.

Every time that we deny ourselves in any way and to that extent offer ourselves to Jesus, He comes and takes possession of us to that same extent, and says: “This is My Body.” More than that: He takes compassion on our cowardice, and sends us trials and humiliations that grind us and press us and make us into suitable bread and wine to become part of Himself. “My meat,” He said, “is to do the will of Him that sent Me. So it is that everything done in accordance with the Divine will gives new life to Jesus in our souls, for He feeds on the doing of His Father’s will.

Every action we do, every suffering we undergo, whatever it be, as long as it is according to the will of God, is an act of communion with Jesus, an act that is no mere desire, but a positive advance in our union with Him; it gives Him new matter over which He can pronounce the saving words: “This is My Body.”

The significance of such a concept for a life of prayer is obvious. Prayer is no longer a matter of some few minutes spent on our knees, struggling to find something to say. It becomes a more or less continual awareness of Jesus living in us, of Jesus growing in us, of Jesus molding us by His providence to His Heart’s desire; our co–operation, our companionship, our submission, our smile of surrender as we continually give up our own way in order to let Him have His way – all these are our prayer.

Continue reading “The Secret of St. Patrick’s Prayer”

He Is Not Sleeping!

“And when He entered into the boat, His disciples followed Him: And behold a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves, but He was asleep. And they came to Him, and awaked Him, saying: ‘Lord, save us, we perish.’ And Jesus saith to them: ‘Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith?’ Then rising up He commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm. But the men wondered, saying: ‘What manner of man is this, for the winds and the sea obey Him?’ “  (Matt. 8, 23-27)

He is not sleeping! He is chastening us! This is the spiritual chastisement which will deepen until we obey.

The quote above was from the reading for yesterday’s Gospel, the 24th Sunday after Pentecost. This Gospel is often applied today to the situation we are suffering through with the current pope of affliction who appears to be determined to sink the Barque of Peter, imperilling all within it. The concept of Our Lord sleeping through the storm which threatens us is a popular one with many Catholic sites today. A dear reader sent me one such quote from a prominent blog which took that view. Now, before we discuss the quote, please understand that I am not attacking another Catholic writer, but simply offering a perspective which keeps getting overlooked by many influential writers.

Now, let’s take a look at the quote which was sent to me:

“How could we expect God to turn a blind eye to the sacrilege and heresy that is endemic to almost every Novus Ordo Mass offered on the planet for the last 49 years – while the entire Church sat in the silence of complicity, more concerned with worldly approval than the Sacred, Wounded Heart of Our Blessed Lord, and His Mother?

“So, yes, He is sleeping under the poop as the storm rages, but we must remember His admonition: Why are you fearful? have you not faith yet? He will rise up, and He will say, “Peace, be still.” And the Barque of Peter will be saved from these devils, and it will lower its nets and bring in a great harvest of souls. We know this. We CANNOT doubt this.

“So, while I, in my weakness, like everyone else, keep thinking, “Please wake up, please wake up, we’re dying, we’re dying”, -these very words are in today’s Gospel and repeated again as nothing less than the antiphon of the Magnificat at Vespers:Lord, save us: * we perish; give the word, O God, and let there be a great calm!I am just going to go back to the poop deck and kneel down next to Him, stare at His Holy Face and keep whispering: Wake up, wake up. Save us. We are perishing.See you on the poop deck! Wake up… wake up.”

The above quote was from Bishop Rene Gracida’s post, “For reasons known only to the Lord, He seems to be asleep on the Barque of Peter but we have confidence that when He ‘wakes’ He will calm the hurricane Bergoglia” , in which he was quoting Barnhardt’s post, “We Perish! And Yet He Snoozeth on the Poop Deck” here. Please do note that I am not intending to attack either writer, but to provide what I hope will be a helpful interpretation of the storm in the light of Our Lady’s message at Fatima.

Faith and Obedience

In the Gospel passage quoted, Our Lord was teaching the disciples to have faith in Him in the midst of catastrophic situations. We are all agreed on that. Now, as Catholics, we understand that it is precisely this faith that commands our obedience. Obedience cannot occur without humility. Without humility, we cannot see our way clear to obey. Without humility, we will always miss the mark. We will not give the true obedience that is called for. To obtain humility, we must make reparation, we must sacrifice, we must chasten our wills. Our task is to chasten our wills and learn to love as Jesus wills.

The reason that the diabolical storm continues to rage is not that Jesus is sleeping, and the reason is not a secret “known only to the Lord”. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and Sister Lucia of Fatima both knew the reason, and they did their best to tell us all. This diabolical storm of satan in the Church has been foretold in apparitions from Quito, Ecuador,  Our Lady of Buen Suceso of the Purification, and in the apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, here and here. And at La Salette, KnockFatima  and Akita and here.

Jesus Chastens Us

Once again, for emphasis. Jesus is not sleeping! Jesus is chastising us! Our Lady has warned us over and over again,

“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.” 

She spoke the above at her great Miracle of the Sun, here, which was a forewarning of the catastrophy we are enduring today. But still, prominent writers, instead of calling their readers to follow Our Lady’s request:

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 …”

Her program, once again is:

  • The daily recitation of the Rosary, “o terzo”, Portuguese for one third of the Rosary. This precludes Luminous Mysteries.
  • Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, i.e., Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart and including the Brown Scapular.
  • Practice of the devotion of First Saturdays of Reparation.
  • The consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
What steps are called for at this late hour? How can we return to the message of Fatima?
  • By our personal acts of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of His Mother, Our Lady.
  • By our daily rosary for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and through her, of Christ the King.
  • By our daily sacrifices in loving reparation for sins against the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Mary. Our Lord simply asks that we offer the daily duties of our state in life, lived in obedience to His commands, in a spirit of loving reparation.
  • By the wearing of Our Lady’s own Scapular of Mount Carmel.
  • By practicing the devotion of the First Saturdays of Reparation This devotion is an urgent necessity!
  • By promoting the entire Message of Fatima by example and by sharing the information regarding these devotions and the Message of Fatima with others.
  • By being informed and knowledgeable regarding the doctrines and practices of the Faith and the ways they are being threatened and undermined today by enemies within and without the Church.
  • Take every opportunity to read more about Fatima and its true message. Pray and sacrifice daily for the Consecration of Russia as requested by Our Lady of Fatima. 

Until Catholics return in humility and obedience to Our Lady of the Rosary’s requests, there is nothing at all that we can do that will avail us. I am not finding fault with the proposed, “go back to the poop deck and kneel down next to Him, stare at His Holy Face and keep whispering: Wake up, wake up. Save us. We are perishing.”

 

A Pottage of Platitudes

But to assert that, and then ignore the message of Fatima is insufficient. it is to settle for much less than the whole truth. I recently pointed out another such quote, this time from Skojec:

“I don’t know if the full Third Secret will be revealed, if we’ll ever see the Great Monarch or the Angelic Pope, or whether the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart comes now or later. To be honest, it doesn’t even matter. It’s not our call how this goes down. Our job is to stay faithful and to trust.” LINK

We must not settle for a pottage, but claim our birthright as true children of the Blessed Virgin Mary and follow her, obey her. In this diabolical storm, Our Lord calls for faith. Faith demands our obedience. Our obedience in turn requires our humility. The three children of Fatima, Francisco, Jacinta and Lucia know the way of humility.

With my limitations, I am unable perhaps, to see what other writers see. But to me it is very simple, Our Lord Jesus Christ requested certain things at Paray-le-Monial. Centuries later, His requests remain unfulfilled. He sent us His most Blessed Mother. Her requests also were ignored. If you are unsure about this, just scroll back up, where I listed her requests. Blogs with thousands and thousands of avid readers will not remind the faithful of these simple requests. Nor will they tell their readers the truth about the cause of this crisis and the simple remedy offered by Our Lady. Why?

And so, I do not see how anything else, such as offering platitudes and half-truths, can be helpful until we do as we have been told.  Much more than staying faithful and trusting is required.  And even though kneeling at His feet like Mary Magdalen is most definitely required, we must not forget that she spent the remainder of her life in the most severe and abject penance possible – see here. In other words, she made reparation, obediently following Our Lord’s first words in His public ministry: “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say: ‘Do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ ” (Matt 4, 17)

Please readers, Our Lord is not sleeping! He has simply withdrawn in disgust at our offenses and in His own time, will amply illustrate to us what true reparation looks like. Many souls will see the truth then, but will it be in time to repent?

More than 100 years ago, Our Lady begged us,

“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.” 

 

To see a good example of obedience to the truth of Fatima, click on the link to Rosary to the Interior in our sidebar. Only when we ourselves change, will this situation improve.

Please heed her call, and help spread the truth.

  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.

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!

 

 

 

 

Father Faber on Purgatory

For the month of November, we hope to be able to offer frequent posts about Purgatory. Today we offer an excerpt from Father Faber’s  essay on Purgatory, (LINK) which draws in good part from the revelations of St. Catherine of Genoa, often considered the saint of Purgatory.

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading “Father Faber on Purgatory”

November, the Month of Poor Souls

 

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

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

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

NOTE: The following is added 4:00 pm: According to a pamphlet issued many years ago by the Confraternity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, “The faithful who devoutly offer prayers for the Poor Souls with the intention of doing so for nine (9) successive days may obtain an indulgence of three (3) years each day, or five (5) years each day if in November, and a plenary indulgence at the completion of the nine days of prayer for the Poor Souls. An excellent prayer for them is Psalm 129, the De Propfundis:

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

Continue reading “November, the Month of Poor Souls”

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!

Continue reading “October 13, 1917, the Message and the Promise”

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.

Continue reading “Twelve Points of the Humility of Mary”

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.

Continue reading “Dom Eugene Boylan on Prayer 101”