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”

For Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

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

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

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

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

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

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

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

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

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

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

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

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

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

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

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

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

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

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

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

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

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

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

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

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

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

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

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

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

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

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

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

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

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

AN ACT OF OBLATION AS A VICTIM OF DIVINE LOVE 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A MORNING PRAYER

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

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

PRAYER  TO  OBTAIN  HUMILITY
(Written for a Novice)

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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For St. Pio on his feastday

 

For thanksgiving for a favor.

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

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

Litany of St. Pio of Pietrelcina

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

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

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

St. Pio’s Prayer to the Immaculata

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That the Church May Regain Her Splendor

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And Ask That the Church may Regain Her Splendor

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

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

† .  † .  †

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

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

Please, Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

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

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

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

The Birth of Mary, Dawn of Our Redemption

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Look now on her who most resembles Christ”

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer to Mary, Star of the Sea

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

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

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

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

Remember, Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

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

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

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