The Feast of the Visitation, 2019

 

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

The Magnificat of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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

Our Lady’s Hymn of Praise

Luke’s Gospel tells us that:

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

Blessed is the fruit of thy womb …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading “The Feast of the Visitation, 2019”

The Price of Our Salvation

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading “The Price of Our Salvation”

For Love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2019

 

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

 

True Devotion and the Image of the Sacred Heart

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

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

From Saint Margaret Mary herself:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flames Issuing from the Heart of Jesus

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

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

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

The Heart of Jesus Encircled With the Crown of Thorns

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

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

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

The Heart of Jesus Surmounted by a Cross

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

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

The Wound in the Heart of Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pray the Rosary!

The Little Book of Infinite Love

 

This article was originally scheduled for tomorrow, but I must post it today, I simply cannot wait any longer, for my beloved granddaughters, little Maria Lúcia, who just made her First Holy Communion on Corpus Christi Sunday, and for lovely Irene and for sweet Carmen.

“Always be sure that whatever you do is done in love, for God our Father created us by love, and God the Son, our Savior, redeemed us by love, and God the Holy Ghost sustains us by love. And they have given us their love, the Immaculate Virgin Mary, to be our own dear Mother, to help us live this love in all that we do.”

“The Book of Infinite Love” is a little-known treatise written by a French Visitation nun in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. As we approach the end of the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I thought you might like the following small essay from Mother Louise Margaret Claret, whose mission was to teach that the infinite love of God is manifested through the prodigious overflowing love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus through His priests.

.  .  . The religion of the Sacred Heart is not a simple devotion of sentiment; it is not even a special isolated dogma, it is the synthesis of all Catholic doctrine, of the whole Catholic moral law summed up in the love of Jesus Christ for us and of our love for Jesus Christ. There is then for us a theology of the Sacred Heart. This theology, according to St. Augustine and Bossuet, from the consideration that God is the eternal Heart, (“Deus est caritas” I John, IV, 8) finds in this Charity the purpose if not the explanation of the whole series of Christian mysteries.

. God loves: to love is to give. God has given us everything, and has given Himself to us. He commenced by giving existence to us and to all beings: that is creation!

. God loves: to love is to speak, to make oneself heard by the person who is loved, and that is Revelation, the Sacred Scriptures, God’s law!

. God loves: to love is to make oneself like the person loved; that is the Incarnation.

. God loves: to love is to save the person loved, cost what it may; to die for the person loved: that is the Redemption!

. To love is to wish to be perpetually present to the person loved: that is the Blessed Eucharist, the real presence, the altar!

. To love is to give oneself to each of those whom one loves; that is Holy Communion, the Last Supper!

. Finally, to love is to wish to make happy with oneself for ever all those whom one has loved; that is the eternal happiness of Heaven!—A vast synthesis of love, which is also a synthesis of our faith!

“As for us,” cries St. John, “we believe in the love which God has for us” (I John IV, 16). Everything is included in that. St. Francis de Sales was right when he said:  “In the Church of Jesus Christ everything belongs to love, everything is founded on love and everything is love. God, who has created man after His own image, wishes that in man, as in God, everything be regulated by love and for love.”

The devotion to the Blessed Eucharist and the devotion to the Sacred Heart are not only two sister devotions; in reality, they are only one and the same devotion. They complete each other and develop each other; they blend so perfectly together that one cannot stand without the other, and their union is absolute. Not only can one of these devotions not be prejudicial to the other but, because they complete each other and perfect each other, they also reciprocally increase each other. If we have devotion to the Sacred Heart, we will wish to find It, to adore It, to love It, to offer It our reparation and praise, and where shall we look for It but in the Blessed Eucharist where It is found eternally living?

If we love this adorable Heart, we will wish to unite ourselves to It, for love seeks union, we will wish to warm our hearts by the ardour of this divine fire, but to reach the Sacred Heart, to take hold of It, to put It in contact with our own, what shall we do? Shall we scale heaven to bear away the Heart of Jesus Who reigns triumphant in glory? There is no need to do so. We will go to the Blessed Eucharist, we will go to the tabernacle, we will take the white Host, and when we have enclosed it in our breast, we will feel the divine Heart truly beating beside our own.

The devotion to the divine Heart infallibly brings souls to the Blessed Eucharist, and faith in and devotion to the Blessed Eucharist necessarily lead souls to discover the mysteries of Infinite Love of which the divine Heart is the organ and the symbol. If we believe in the Blessed Eucharist, we believe in Love. It is the mystery of Love. But in itself love is immaterial and imperceptible; to fix our minds and our senses, we seek an outward form for love.

The Love of His Heart

This form, this sensible manifestation, is the divine Heart. The Sacred Heart, the Blessed Eucharist, Love are one and the same thing. In the tabernacle we find the Host; in the Host Jesus; in Jesus His Heart; in His Heart, Love, Infinite Love, divine Charity, God, the principle of life, living and life-giving. But still more: The ineffable mystery of the Eucharist can only be explained by Love. By the love of God, yes, but by the Love of Jesus, God and man. Now the love of Jesus is the love of His Heart; to sum up all in one word, it is His Heart; therefore the Blessed Eucharist is explained only by the Sacred Heart. The Blessed Eucharist is the sublime completion of the love of Jesus for man; it is the highest, the last expression; the paroxysm, if I may so express myself, of this incomprehensible love.

Nevertheless, without the Blessed Eucharist we could have believed in love; the Incarnation would have sufficed for that; a single drop of the bitter chalice of Passion would have been more than superabundant to prove to us that love. We would have been able to love the Heart of Jesus, we would have been under the obligation of loving It, of believing that it is sovereignly good, even if It had not gone to this divine excess of the Blessed Eucharist. But, because It has invented this marvel, how we should love this Sacred Heart so divinely tender, so inexpressibly delicate and liberal; so—shall I dare to say it—so madly and so passionately fond of Its creatures!

Yes, the Blessed Eucharist augments and inflames our love for the divine Heart. But because we know that we shall find this Sacred Heart only in the Blessed Eucharist, because we are thirsty for union with this Heart so tender and so ardent, we go to the Blessed Eucharist, we prostrate ourselves before the Blessed Sacrament, we adore the Host radiating its influence from the monstrance. We go to the Holy Table with ardent avidity; we lovingly kiss the consecrated paten on which the divine Host reposes each day. We surround with honour, respect and magnificence the tabernacle in which Jesus, living and loving, makes His dwelling.

Oh! it is impious to say that the worship of the Sacred Heart can injure devotion to the Blessed Eucharist. What! will the knowledge of Him Who gives the gift, make us despise the gift? No, the more we love the divine Heart, the truer our worship of It is, the more extensive and enlightened it is, the more also will our worship and our love for the divine Eucharist develop and grow strong.

Mother Louise Margaret Claret, October 16, 1902.

The Book of Infinite Love: The Needs of Our Time – A Little Treatise of Infinite Love (Kindle Locations 1248-1296). TAN Books. Kindle Edition.

Now, readers, this is why the ancient enemy is filled with such determination to destroy the sacred priesthood, destroy the Holy Sacrifice and replace them with pagan superstitions. He will not succeed but this will bring on a time of great suffering. Dear ones, we know the answer to this satanic assault!

Please, Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!

† . 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!

Designs of Mercy — Francisco Marto

 

There is so much we can learn from considering Saint Francisco’s short life, consumed as it was with love for our Eucharistic Lord and the desire to console His Sacred Heart. Francisco’s devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has proven to be a secure way to counter tepidity in our devotions to Our Lord. From the time of the last apparition in October, 1917 until he was taken to heaven was just 18 months, but in that time, what a whirlwind of spiritual energy and grace. Today we will review a few instances that show his beautiful soul’s love for Our Lord.

In an interesting passage in Volume I, Frère Michel describes Francisco’s excitement as he looked forward to the October apparition.

Francisco was filled with joy because Our Lady had said that on October 13 Our Lord would also come:

“Oh, how good He is! I’ve only seen Him twice,  and I love Him so much!” From time to time, he asked: “Are there many days left till the 13th? I’m longing for that day to come, so that I can see Our Lord again.” Then he thought for a moment, and added: “But listen! Will He still be so sad? I am so sorry to see Him sad like that! I offer Him all the sacrifices I can think of. Sometimes, I don’t even run away from all those people, just in order to make sacrifices!”

In footnote 499 of Volume I, Frère Michel explains,

“Here Francisco is undoubtedly alluding to the apparitions of June 13 and July 13: when Our Lady directed towards them the reflections of the Divine Light which shone from Her hands, the three seers felt as though they were absorbed in God; and then, in a mysterious vision, it was also given to them to contemplate Our Lord and His immense sadness because of the sins of the world.”

It is this sadness of Our Lord at our sins that was to set our little shepherd saint on the road to such heroic sanctity that within 18 months his soul would fly to the waiting arms of the “Hidden Jesus” he loved so much.

For today, let’s take a look at the accounts of Francisco given in The Whole Truth About Fatima, Volumes I and II .

Continue reading “Designs of Mercy — Francisco Marto”

Francisco and Jacinta, Designs of Mercy

 

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

Saints Jacinta and Francisco Marto of Fatima

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

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

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

That Great Light Which Is God

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

Lift up your hearts!

 

Two readers forwarded the following from the newsletter of the Society of St. Pius X. “You may find in this some encouragement” one remarked. And so I have. Many of us have prayed ardently for. someone strong to take up the banner for the Immaculata and lead us in a renewed devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is so encouraging to find this occurring just as we have prayed so ardently for leadership to arise!

Dear members of the Society, dear readers,

With joy we inaugurate a new spiritual practice that will be dedicated especially to the Blessed Virgin. We will do this on May 13, the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady in Fatima, and during this year when we will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the consecration of the Society of Saint Pius X to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, which Abp. Marcel Lefebvre performed in Ecône on December 8, 1984. This twofold commemoration, however must not remain a pious memory, a bit sentimental and pleasant, of course, but without any effect on our spiritual life.

The reason for the existence of this new practice is to reawaken our souls, to rekindle our fervor, and to remind us vividly of the total dependence of the Society of Saint Pius X on Our Lady.

I wish to encourage you to read and to meditate on this consecration. The words pronounced by our founder were well-aimed and still have a burning relevance: the errors denounced in them certainly have not disappeared. On the contrary, they have grown and multiplied like cancer cells; they have gained ground and seem to have invaded the whole public square. My intention is not to make a negative, discouraging observation, as though everything that has been done was of no use. No, the battle continues as long as it has not been won; the struggle to drive out the sickness continues as long as there is any life. And we will fight as long as it takes, with the same weapons: recourse to the Virgin Mary, especially to her Immaculate Heart, the refuge of sinners and of combatants. Continue reading “Lift up your hearts!”

St. Joseph the Worker, 2019

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

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

Return to Fatima, 2019

 

The most useful message we can offer during this reign of the enemies of Christ is to  return to the true message of Fatima. Now, when the Church is being assaulted by those within its highest ranks, even the vulgar man occupying the See of Peter,  it seems that those who are faithful to tradition and devoted to Our Lady of Fatima are less in unity than ever before.  

Today, we have a leadership void and the temptation arises for various persons to “step into the breach” as it were and set themselves up as leader. As you look around the web, everyone, it seems has become an instant expert, opining on canon law, Thomistic theology and deep questions about the practice of the faith. It can be confusing, even overwhelming to those of us simply trying to hold fast to the faith against such odds. My goal is  only to call readers to return to the message of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, from the Angel’s message on through the six appearances of Our Lady to the shepherd children and on through the locutions Sister Lùcia received and to help my readers practice the devotions requested by Our Lady of Fatima.

Right now, there is a “fog of war”, or perhaps, a “diabolical disorientation” which makes us uncertain and dispirited. As I talk with readers from various countries, I have yet to hear anyone report that they are energized by this crisis. All of us are severely challenged right now. How to proceed? Return to the simple things, for that is why Our Mother gave us her Rosary. She stole my heart when she asked Sister Lùcia for us to simply spend some time with her. Imagine! The great Mother of Our Saviour asking for a bit of our time! We are so  blessed!

The rule in all this is always the rule of love.  motivated by devotion to the glory of God, the honor of the Immaculata and the salvation of souls. If you do not discern those qualities in a writer, it is best to look elsewhere. Today, more than ever satan deceives so many by vain curiosity, and by promoting devotions which detract from the true devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Included in those essential devotions is  devotion to Our Lady’s Miraculous Medal, which honors her Immaculate Conception and is a most potent sacramental.

The first resource and clearest summary is the three volumes by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, The Whole Truth About Fatima, (Vol 1, Vol 2, Vol 3) which are still available online through archive.org. That site is rapidly removing true Catholic classics.

Often today there is criticism of those who emphasise  “prayer and reparation” over the need for action. There should be a balance between them. To rush into action before obtaining a sound foundation in spiritual practice is to be defeated before starting. The true Message of Fatima is a call to the faithful to return to obedience and reparation. This obedience is required of each of us personally, and it requires humility, which is perhaps the most unpopular virtue today, even more disliked than purity.

Sin entered into the world through pride and disobedience. The Blessed Virgin Mary crushes the head of satan by her humble obedience to God’s will. In these latter days our loving  Father sends her, His most precious creature, to offer devotion to her Immaculate Heart as our secure path back to Him. It is from Mary, from her purity, humility and obedience, that we learn how best to understand what God wills for us in these confusing times.

Once we have that strong foundation under us, then we are able to discern the appropriate actions to take. But it can only lead to disaster if we jump into hastily taken actions without being spiritually prepared, for this is a spiritual combat first of all. It is pride that makes us want to seek out action before we have humbled ourselves by penance and mental prayer. . When we children of Mary are sufficient in numbers, we will have a leader, for Our Lady always provides for her own. Our first task is obedient devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the way she requested, that is Rosary, First Saturdays, make of everything a reparation, and so on as we have often discussed. If we sacrifice and pray for her requests to be obeyed, we shall see her will, and we will obtain all that we pray for and more.

Much of today’s confusion comes from a severe lack of trust in the most Blessed Virgin. Like a drowning man who refuses the life preserver in order to flail uselessly until his strength is gone, many souls are in great danger because they cannot trust Mary — Mary who offers such simple things as the Rosary —  for in this proud modern age we yearn to do “great things” for her. Paradoxically, the greatest things are often the smallest! And so, we kneel and pray, and trust her, and in that humility and obedience, especially that self-denial — yes, especially that! — there is much merit and we shall someday see how many souls are helped merely by spending a little time with her.

For the true way to conquer satan, look to this Immaculate Heart,  think now, what makes it Immaculate? It is Immaculate  because in that most pure heart, she never made any room at all for sin, she is eternally “full of grace”!  Her Immaculate Heart alone among all creation has never had satan’s mark, sin. Therefore it alone has the fulness of grace and perfect obedience. Our Lord Himself gave her to us for our Mother as He was dying for love of us. She is our abiding evidence of His loving care for us. He is waiting until we learn to trust her to teach us, to lead us to Him. My task here is to remind that He is still waiting for us to discover the true message of Fatima,  to examine the facts as they were revealed, that is, in the order which they were revealed.

To begin with the first:

The Angel of Peace

We show our obedience by heeding the requests of the Angel of Peace and Our Lady of the Rosary. From the beginning, the Angel’s instruction was:

Pray, pray a great deal! The Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of mercy for you! Offer unceasingly to the Most High prayers and sacrifices!”

Lucia then asked the Angel how they were to sacrifice themselves. “Offer up everything within your power as a sacrifice to the Lord in an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended; and of supplication for the conversion of sinners….Above all, accept and bear with submission the sufferings that the Lord may send you.”

So, in our action plan, the first steps are to, “Offer unceasingly to the Most High prayers and sacrifices”, and to “accept and bear with submission the sufferings that the Lord may send” us.

Readers, no other action you may choose to take will be of any avail without obeying this command. We cannot allow ourselves to get distracted by other devotions or the search for ever more knowledge. Although the ongoing trainwreck of this papacy is certainly fascinating we must maintain our focus on obedience to Our Lady’s requests. That, in itself is a very good sacrifice!

The Angel’s Message, Part II

The Angel appeared again in the Fall of the year 1916. We reviewed that visit in a previous post. The message this time was an extraordinary vision of the Most Blessed Sacrament with which the Angel demonstrated to the children the importance of offering adoration and reparation to the Most Holy Trinity.

The vision, and the actions and words of the Angel make a stunning affirmation of the foundational doctrines of our faith:

  • The Angel affirms the doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
  • The Real presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the most Blessed Sacrament,
  • The absolute requirement for reparation to God for sacrileges, outrages and indifference which offend God,
  • The Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary are united; that is,  devotions to both Hearts is essential.
  • Lastly, the Angel affirms again that Jesus Christ is outraged by the ungratefulness of men towards His Precious, saving gift of His Body and Blood and we are called to make reparation for these crimes and console Him.

God willing, there will be two more summary  installments; the next on Our Lady of the Rosary’s six visits between May 13 and October 13, 1917, to be followed by a summary of the apparitions to Sister Maria Lúcia.  I hope they will provide a succinct, clear resource for you.

In closing, note please that the sequence is important. In short, the Angel’s visits set a context, warned of the problem: sacrilege,  and prepared for Our Lady’s message. Note also that the reparative devotion of the First Saturdays is essential to obtaining the necessary grace for a humbled, contrite pope and bishops to consecrate Russia to the Immaculata as Our Lady requires. 

Thank you for reading and for your prayers and encouragement. To those who have attempted to spread the message by sharing Return to Fatima with others, please do not feel disheartened. We must always give Our Good Lord thanks in all things!

God bless you all and Mary keep you close to her Immaculate Heart!

Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!

. 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.

 

French laws no longer recognize the Creator . . .

“French laws no longer recognize the Creator, but the Creator will make Himself recognized and will visit her thrice with the rod of His wrath.”

Thank you all for your kind Easter thoughts and prayers. I hope your Easter was happy and very blessed! Readers ask for answers about the torching of Notre Dame and the prophecies we sometimes discuss here, especially that of St. John Bosco. A review:

Now, St. John Bosco’s prophecy about France, especially Paris, is a particularly helpful one, not just for Paris, or France, but for for the entire Bergoglian Reformed Church, which sadly no longer recognizes the Creator..

“War comes from the south, peace from the north. French laws no longer recognize the Creator, but the Creator will make Himself recognized and will visit her thrice with the rod of His wrath. In the first visit He breaks her pride by conquest, plundering ruined harvest and butchery of men and beasts.

“In the second visit the great Prostitute of Babylon, which makes decent people sigh and call it the Brothel of Europe, will be left without a leader and will be a victim of disorder. “Paris! Paris! Instead of arming yourself in the name of the Lord, you fortify yourself with Houses of Immorality. They will be destroyed by you yourself. Your idol, The Pantheon, will be burnt to ashes in order that this may come true: ‘violence uttereth lies against me.’ Your enemies will reduce you to want, to hunger, to fear, and will make you the abomination of the nations. Ah, woe to you, if you do not recognize the hand that strikes you! I want to punish immorality, the despising of and the contempt for My law, says the Lord. …

“In the third visit you will fall into the hands of foreigners. Your enemies standing afar off will behold your palaces in flames. Your homes will become a heap of ruins bathed with the blood of your heroes who are no more. But there will come a great warrior from the North carrying a banner and on the right hand that supports it is written: ‘The Irresistible Hand of the Lord. The days fly by, your years will reach the destined number; but the great Queen (Mary) will ever be your help, and as in times past so in the future She will always be the exceeding great fortress of the Church.” (. . . )

“The enemy of the good does not stand idle one moment…He will raise up enemies amongst my children. The powers of the world will belch forth fire,  (. . . ) Wherever you go, continue and bring to an end the work entrusted to you. The days fly by, your years will reach the destined number; but the great Queen (Blessed Virgin Mary) will ever be your help, and as in times past so in the future She will always be the exceeding great fortress of the Church.”  (From “The Prophets and Our Times“, by Rev. Gerald Culleton, by KIC, Kindle Edition.)  

A reasonable interpretation, in light of what we know now, would be:

The Saint refers to France in terms that might be used by the Old Testament prophets castigating the unfaithful of Israel, calling her “the great Prostitute of Babylon”  and “the Brothel of Europe”, both references to France unfaithful to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and become cold and indifferent to the faith.

“Instead of arming yourself in the name of the Lord, you fortify yourself with Houses of Immorality.”  That is, instead of arming themselves with the weapons given by Our Lady of Fatima, the faithless shepherds chose the treasonous path of surrender before the secular agenda of the Rulers of the World, the enemies of Christ and His Church.

St. John Bosco calls the churches of France, “Houses of Immorality”, and he warns that they, will be destroyed by you yourself. Your idol, The Pantheon, will be burnt to ashes in order that this may come true: ‘violence uttereth lies against me.’ Your enemies will reduce you to want, to hunger, to fear, and will make you the abomination of the nations.”  Refers to replacing the true evangelic mission of the Church with idolatrous liberalism, pantheistic ecumenism and sexual depravity. The Churchmen of France have allowed her churches to become stripped of their sacred character and become complicit in their prostitution as tourist traps debased to the leve of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. “They will be destroyed by you yourself” is obvious. Long before the terrorist torching of Notre Dame, the Bishops themselves destroyed the structures of the faith they have abandoned.

“Ah, woe to you, if you do not recognize the hand that strikes you!”  Yes, woe to the cowardly Bishops who follow their pontiff, agreeing to “speak not a word” about the true enemies of Christ who continue to smite the Bride of Christ.

The” third visit” is self-explanatory,  you will fall into the hands of foreigners … the enemy will raise up enemies from amongst my children . . . the powers of the world will belch forth fire”At the end, Our Lady, as the Holy Ghost keeps reminding us, “will ever be your help, and as in times past so in the future She will always be the exceeding great fortress of the Church.”

 

There is another interesting prophecy, oddly enough, by a Jesuit from the 18th century, Father Nectou:

“When those things come to pass which will bring on the triumph of the Church, then will such confusion reign on earth that people will think God has permitted them to have their own contrary will and that the providence of God is not concerned about the world. The confusion will be so general that mankind will not be able to think aright, as if God had entirely withheld His providence from mankind, and that, during the worst crisis, the best that can be done would be to remain where God has placed us, and persevere in fervent prayer.

“Two parties will be formed in France which shall fight unto death. The party of evil will at first be stronger; the good side shall be weaker. At that time there shall be such a terrible crisis that people, frightened by events, shall believe that the end of the world is come. Blood shall flow in several large cities. The very elements shall be convulsed. It will be like a little general judgment. A great multitude of persons shall perish in these calamitous times.

“But the wicked shall never prevail. They indeed shall conspire for the destruction of the Church; but time shall not be allowed them, because this frightful crisis shall be of a short duration. When all will be considered lost, all shall be found safe. During this revolution, which shall very likely be general, and not confined to France, Paris shall be destroyed so completely that, twenty years afterwards, fathers walking over its ruins with their children, these will inquire what place that was. To whom they will answer: “My child, this was formerly a great city, which God has destroyed on account of her crimes.”

“Paris shall certainly be destroyed, but before this occurs, such signs and portents shall be observed, that all good people will be induced to fly away from it. After this most terrible event, everything shall return to order; justice shall reign in the world, and the counter-revolution shall be accomplished. The triumph of the Church will then be so complete that nothing like it shall ever be seen, for this will be the last victory of the Church upon earth. Those persons who shall behold this last revolution will thank God for having preserved them to witness this glorious triumph of the Church.” (This prophecy as well is from the book cited above.)

Note that Father Nectou foresees a confusion that “will be so general that mankind will not be able to think aright, as if God had entirely withheld His providence from mankind,”  That reminds me of what Father Malachi Martin said to us about the Third Secret.

The most intriguing portion of Father Nectou’s prophecy is the little vignette he offers, of a father telling his son about the the devastated city of Paris, My child, this was formerly a great city, which God has destroyed on account of her crimes.”

This need not be! Whether she is honored as Our Lady of Paris, or Our Lady of Fatima, she will bring the victory for she is truly, “the exceeding great fortress of the Church.”

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