The value of little souls

 

“It is God’s Will that in this world souls shall dispense to each other, by prayer, the treasures of Heaven” (Saint Thérèse)

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux has such down-to-earth and practical advice for us; and her simple clarity is a welcome remedy for the jarring cacophony of voices clamoring to be heard. One of the many dangers of this time is that the devil foments discord among us. But Saint Thérèse, the Little Flower of Carmel shows us how to foil satan and turn criticism and other causes of dissension into channels of grace.

From The Autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux

The Imperfect Soul

“…That you should be found imperfect is just what is best. Here is your harvest. . . . Should earthly creatures think you devoid of holiness, they rob you of nothing, and you are none the poorer: it is they who lose. For is there anything more sweet than the inward joy of thinking well of our neighbor? . . . “As for myself I am glad and rejoice, not only when I am looked upon as imperfect, but above all when I feel that it is true. Compliments, on the contrary, do but displease me.” . . . “Honors are always dangerous. What poisonous food is served daily to those in high positions! What deadly fumes of incense! A soul must be well detached from herself to pass unscathed through it all.”

Continue reading “The value of little souls”

St. Francis de Sales, Lent 2019

 

From our archives, for Lent:

I was won over to St. Francis de Sales when I obtained a battered paperback copy of his “Introduction to the Devout Life” for 25 cents in the parish church thrift shop many  years ago, and recently have been reading an ebook of his as part of my Lenten reading.  “The Saint Francis de Sales Collection, 16 Books”, by Catholic Way)

Here are some excerpts from this great Saint:

A Time of Fear
What words can oppose the flood of thoughts troubling your heart? Do not attempt to stop them; that will only make the pain worse. Do not try to conquer the temptations; the effort will only make them stronger. Disdain them, and do not dwell on them. Bring to mind an image of Jesus Christ crucified and say, “Here is my hope; here is the flowing fountain of my happiness. Here is the heart of my soul and the soul of my heart.” Hear our Lord say to Abraham and to you: “Be not afraid; I am your protector” (cf. Gen. 15:1). What is it that you seek upon the earth other than your God? And you already possess Him.

Be firm in your resolutions. Stay in the boat. Let the storm come. While Jesus lives, you will not die. He is sleeping, but He will awaken to calm the storm at the right time (Matt. 8:24-26). St. Peter, the Scriptures tell us, saw the great storm and was afraid, and as soon as he was afraid, he began to sink and drown. Whereupon he cried out, “O Lord, save me!” And our Lord took him by the hand and said to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14:29-31). See this great apostle: he walked with dry feet upon the water, protected from wind and wave, but the fear of the wind and the wave would have killed him had not his Master relieved him.

(In that way) Fear is a greater evil than evil itself. O you of little faith: what is it you fear? Do not be afraid. You are walking on water, amid wind and wave, but you are with Jesus. What is there to fear? If fear takes hold of you, cry out strongly, “O Lord, save me!” He will hold out a hand to you. Hold on tight, and go forward with joy.

† .  † .  †

Means to Preserve Peace of Soul in Time of Trial
Nothing disturbs us so much as self-love and self-esteem. If our heart does not overflow with tender emotions, if our mind does not teem with sublime sentiments, if our soul is not inundated with exquisite sweetness, we are sad; if anything difficult is to be done, if any obstacle opposes our just designs, behold us in a state of precipitation to have it overcome, and we are overcome ourselves by the precipitation.

Why is this so? Undoubtedly, because we are too much attached to our comfort, our ease, our convenience. We would wish to say our prayers in a region of eau de cologne, and practice heroic virtue eating sugar cake; but we do not consider the meek Jesus, prostrate on the earth, sweating blood, through the dreadful combat that rages in His interior, between the feelings of the inferior part of His soul and the resolutions of the superior part.

Hence it happens that when we fall into any fault or sin, we are astonished, troubled, and impatient. We only desire consolations, and are unwilling to put a finger on our misery, our weakness, or our nothingness.  .  . Distrust over-anxious desires for good; they are full of self-love and of impatience to be something  . . .  In order to obtain the remission of light faults, it is better, after having acknowledged them, to turn humbly and lovingly towards God, than to preserve a sad remembrance of them and to remain a long time in fear. Whether your prevarications be serious or trivial, remain in pious sentiments of confidence towards the Lord, casting your sins into the abyss of His mercy, that they may be forever lost there; for there is no damnation to those who are in Jesus.

Peace
Were we to do a few things, we should find peace: let us have a pure intention to seek on all occasions the honour and glory of God; let us perform the little we can for this object, according to the advice of our spiritual father, and leave the rest to God. Why should he who has God for the object of his intentions, and who does what he can, torment himself? What has he to fear?

No, no, God is not so terrible to those who love Him; He is content with a little, for He knows that we have not much. And know that Our Lord is called in Scripture the Prince of Peace, and hence, wherever He is absolute Master, He preserves peace.

And War
It is nevertheless true, that, before establishing peace in any place, He first makes war there, separating the heart and soul from their dearest and most intimate affections, such as immoderate love of oneself, confidence and complacency in oneself, and other like evils. When Our Lord separates us from these cherished and favourite passions, it seems as if He excoriated our living heart, and we are filled with the most bitter sentiments; we can hardly prevent our whole soul from discussing its misfortune, so sensible is this separation.

But all this disputation of mind is not inconsistent with peace, when, though almost submerged by desolation, we still keep our will resigned to that of Our Lord, nailed to His divine good pleasure, and cease not from the performance of our duties, but fulfill them courageously.

Of which Our Lord gives us an example in the Garden; for, overwhelmed with interior and exterior affliction, He resigned His heart sweetly into His Father’s will, saying: “Not my will, but Thine be done,” and ceased not, great as was His anguish, to visit and admonish His disciples. To preserve peace in the midst of war, and sweetness in the midst of bitterness, is indeed worthy of the Prince of Peace.

From what I have just said, I desire you to draw three conclusions:

  • That we often imagine peace to be lost, because we are in pain, while it is not lost, as may easily be known by the fact that we still wish to renounce ourselves, to depend on the good pleasure of God, and to fulfill the duties of our state;
  • That we must of necessity endure interior pain, while God tears away the last remnant of the old man, to renovate us in the new man who is created according to God, and therefore we should not be troubled, or suppose that we have fallen into disgrace with Our Lord;
  • That all those thoughts which cause vexation and agitation of mind cannot proceed from God, who is the Prince of Peace, but are temptations of the enemy, and therefore to be rejected and disregarded.

In the draft post there was a note which appears a paraphrase and it seems to fit here:

To a nun who asked how to avoid distractions withdrawing the soul from God, the saint replied:

Distraction cannot withdraw your soul from God, since nothing withdraws us from God but sin, and the resolution we make in the morning to keep our soul united to God, and attentive to His presence, has the effect of preserving us thus always, even when we sleep, since we do all in the name of God, and according to His most holy will.

Even venial sins are not capable of turning us aside from the way which conducts to God; they undoubtedly retard us a little on our course, but they do not turn us aside: much less simple distractions. So far as prayer is concerned, it is not less useful, or less agreeable to God, when accompanied with many distractions; on the contrary, it may be more useful than if we had many consolations, because it is more laborious: provided, however, that we have the wish to withdraw from those distractions, and do not allow our mind to dwell on them willingly.

The very same observation applies to the difficulty which, during the day, we feel to fix our mind on God, and on heavenly things: provided we endeavor to keep our thoughts from running after trifles, and learn patience, by not growing weary of our labor, which is suffered for the love of God. For,

We must distinguish between God and a perception of God, between faith and a feeling of faith. A person about to suffer martyrdom for God does not always think of God at that time; and though he has no feeling of faith, yet he does not cease to merit, or to perform an act of the greatest love.

I recall reading St. Maximilian Kolbe to that same effect; having consecrated ourselves and all our works and intentions to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we may confidently proceed without scrupulosity. For it is not about our sensibilities but about surrendering our will to God. Humility. Obedience.

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

St. Joseph II, 2019

 

 

“… 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)

Thou salt call His name Jesus

Since St. Joseph is silent in the Scriptures, regrettably many erroneous impressions have been given of him. He was not, as some assert, a decrepit old man when he and the Blessed Virgin were betrothed, but was fair-haired and in his prime, about 33 years old. He had no other children, for he was a virgin, having made his vow to that effect at the age of 12. Joseph and Mary both knew of each others’ vow of chastity. For to marry under Hebrew Law without advising each other of that vow would have  been deceitful. And so, when Matthew 1, 18 tells us, “She was found with child, of the Holy Ghost”, it was Joseph himself who realized this, for he and the Blessed Virgin were aware of the sacred vows each had made, to offer their virginity to God as a sacred oblation. Most of the following is from the book cited above, with my comments.

St. Joseph did not ever, for one instant, doubt Our Lady, but simply sought God’s will. In his profound humility, he was abashed to think that the Lord God would choose him for the spouse and consort of the Mother of the Savior. When the Blessed Virgin saw that Joseph was perplexed, she prayed to God to enlighten him; a prayer which was heard by God most promptly. Thompson tells us that according to Eastern legend, not a night passed before Joseph was delivered from his uncertainty. As scripture tells us,

“But while he thought on these things, behold the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins”.

There is much insight available on this passage, but many writers do not make use of it and prefer instead to weave misleading fables about how Joseph was “afraid”, doubted God, doubted Mary and so on. Note that the angel called Joseph by his name, and added the honorific, “Son of David”. Thus showing him deference which would not have been indicated were he to have doubted God or the Blessed Virgin. We have already seen how Zachary was reproved for his doubts! Although many suppose that the angel’s words were an instruction to Joseph to wed the Virgin, the angel was actually telling him to remain with her.

According to Pope Benedict XIV, quoted by Edward Healy Thompson:

“The word of the angel by which he bade him not to fear to take unto him Mary for his wife is a Hebrew mode of expression, which does not signify the commencement of an act, but the continuation of an act already begun. The meaning of his mandate is this: ‘Retain and keep the wife you have taken, and do not forsake her’; and such is the interpretation of those who are adepts in the Hebrew idiom.”

The angel does not tell Joseph to discard his suspicions, for he has none. But the angel does tell Joseph, “thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins”. Now, note the wording here: the angel does not say, “His name shall be Jesus”, but says, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus”, which was also said to Mary, thus acknowledging Joseph’s rights and dignity as the foster father of Our Lord.

With this knowledge, St. Joseph’s soul was flooded with a superabundance of grace, for only by a special favor of God was he able to approach this true “Ark of the Covenant”, this most sacred “Temple of the Trinity”. In her Revelations, St. Bridget tells us that when Joseph beheld her with Child by the Holy Ghost, he feared exceedingly, suspecting no evil of her, but, remembering the words of the prophet which foretold how the Son of God would be born of a virgin, reputed himself unworthy to serve such a mother, until the angel in sleep bade him not to fear, but to minister to her with charity. And our Lady added: “From that moment Joseph never ceased to serve me as his sovereign and I humbled myself to the lowest offices to show him my submission.” (Thompson, op. cit.)

Continue reading “St. Joseph II, 2019”

St. Joseph’s Day 2019

 

This year more than ever before in history, we need the guidance and protection of St. Joseph. Today, we take a moment to consider at the greatest threats facing the faithful on this feast day of St. Joseph, March, 2019 and the wonderful guardian we have in Saint Joseph.

  1. The Church is under attack from her enemies both from outside and within her very inner sanctum. The enemy of Christ has usurped control of the leadership. In this crisis,  we turn to Saint Joseph, the protector of the Church.
  2. The ancient enemy of the Church, having established the satanic sacrament of abortion throughout the world, even in once-Catholic Ireland is now turning to establish “palliative care”  (a pseudonym for euthanasia) as a way to attack the life of the elderly and disabled. And so we turn to Saint Joseph, the Patron of the dying.
  3. In the battle to save Christian families, we have perhaps, lost the most ground with the ideology of “gay marriage” and “gender fluidity” being pushed by the same enemies of Christ and His Church   And we turn to Saint Joseph, Patron of Families.
  4. Also, remember that Saint Joseph is the Patron of our priests – think on the beautiful, mystical vision of Knock!
  5. There is yet one more way in which each of us should be turning to St. Joseph – he is the Terror of demons.  Now, this is something I can personally affirm; St. Joseph is a strong protector against the dark powers that are so strong today.

St. Teresa of Avila, the great Carmelite reformer, mystic and doctor of the Church was especially devoted to St. Joseph. From her Autobiography we read of St. Joseph, “I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him.”

At the last apparition of Fatima, on October 13, 1917, St. Joseph appeared holding the Child Jesus, who blessed the crowds. This was an emphatic indication of the importance of St. Joseph in these turbulent times.

St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!

Venerable Maria de Agreda, in “The Mystical City of God”, recounts the special privileges which make St. Joseph a most powerful intercessor on behalf of his children.

  • Attaining purity and overcoming sensuality.
  • Escaping sin and returning to the faith.
  • Increasing love and devotion to his spouse, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • Securing the grace of a happy death and defending the soul against the devil’s wiles at that crucial time.
  • St. Joseph is the terror of demons and they flee at his name.
  • St. Joseph is a great intercessor for all our needs, especially helpful for our families and health.

Venerable Maria de Agreda quoted Our Lady’s words to her, “That which my spouse asks of the Lord in heaven is granted upon the earth and on his intercession depend many and extraordinary favors for men if they do not make themselves unworthy of receiving them.” Indeed, trusting in St. Joseph as the foster father of our family has brought us closer to living our consecrations to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In speaking of St. Joseph, it is difficult to adequately express his tender love for us, his willingness to protect us, even from ourselves and obtain for us the graces we need to live our consecrations.

The following is an especially appropriate prayer to St. Joseph composed by Pope Leo XIII, called Ad te Beate Joseph. It seems especially appropriate in this time of crisis of the faith in the Church and in our families, who seem to be betrayed by the very Church which should defend and nourish them. It is said before Mass by those attending Chapels of the Society of St. Pius X and Bishop Fellay is especially devoted to St. Joseph.

Ad te Beate Joseph

To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we have recourse in our tribulation, and having implored the help of thy thrice holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. By that charity wherewith thou wast united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, and by that fatherly affection with which thou didst embrace the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray, that thou wouldst look graciously upon the inheritance which Jesus Christ hath purchased by His Blood, and assist us in our needs by thy power and strength.

Most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, protect the chosen people of Jesus Christ; keep far from us, most loving father, all blight of error and corruption: mercifully assist us from heaven, most mighty defender, in this our conflict with the powers of darkness; and, even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the supreme peril of His life, so now defend God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; keep us one and all under thy continual protection, that we may be supported by thine example and thine assistance, may be enabled to lead a holy life, die a happy death and come at last to the possession of everlasting blessedness in heaven. Amen.
— A partial indulgence is attached to this prayer

Another favorite prayer of mine is this

Consecration to St. Joseph

Beloved St. Joseph, adopt me as thy child, take care of my salvation, watch over me day and night, preserve me from all occasion of sin, obtain for me purity of body and soul! Through thy intercession with Jesus grant me a spirit of sacrifice, of humility, self-denial, a burning love for Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and a sweet, tender love for Mary, my Mother. St. Joseph, be with me living, be with me dying and obtain for me a favorable judgement from Jesus, my merciful Savior. Amen

St. Joseph has brought me through so many perils to my faith and continues to protect even those of my children who are lapsed from the faith. He is a most compassionate and loving protector to all who turn to him.

It is especially beneficial to pray to St. Joseph for our good Catholic priests – In fact, St. Joseph has never let me down when I have asked him to help a specific priest and I have recently had good reason to believe that priests, in particular are very dear to his heart.

For more on St. Joseph, we offer the following:

St. Joseph Too

Fatima, St. Joseph and the family

St. Joseph, Remedy for Error

  St. Joseph, foster Father to our Lord, be foster father to our family!

  St. Joseph, protector of the Church, protect our priests!

  St. Joseph, terror of demons, cast out satan from our homes, from our families, and from the Church!

  St. Joseph intercede for us now and at the hour of our death.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the most Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.

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

© All Content Copyright 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

St. Patrick’s Prophecy and the Beast from the Sea

Updated for 2019 with a fresh look at St. Patrick’s prophecy:

This year has been an especially grim one for the faithful of Ireland but they may yet surprise us all and cleanse Ireland of the rot the has crept in this past year. Pray for Ireland!

 

St. Patrick and Sister Lucia of Fatima, Two Prophecies

Let’s ignore, if possible, the discouraging aspects of the secular desecrations of great Saint Patrick’s Feast Day, and focus instead on his prophecy and how it may fit in with that of Fatima, and the Chastisement which pertains to us today.

Saint Patrick, Patron of Ireland
Saint Patrick, Patron of Ireland

 

St. Patrick is reputed by some accounts to have lived 120 years and to have raised no less than 33 people back to life, many of whom had been dead years. His penances, sacrifices, miracles and conversions were astounding and there are also a couple of prophecies attributed to him. The first is not of good provenance, but relates that the faith he brought to Ireland will blaze throughout the island for a period of time, then gradually dim and eventually appear to be almost extinguished, with but a few glowing embers; but then will gradually resurge, beginning in the north and eventually returning throughout Ireland. Although that might be of some comfort to faithful Catholics in Ireland, today we will consider another prophecy of the great saint of Ireland.

It is this second prophecy that interests us, and it is brief, just a few words. It crops up on several blogs but I wanted to present the original source here, which is supposed to be The Book of Armagh. That book can be found online at “Liber Ardmachanus: the Book of Armagh” available through Archive.org.

These are the three prayers of Patrick, as they were delivered to us by the Hibernians, entreating that all should be received on the day of judgment, if we should repent even in the last days of our life.

  • That he should not be shut up in hell
  • That barbarian nations should never have the rule over us.
  • That no one shall conquer us, that is the Scots (meaning Irish), before seven years previous to the day of judgment, because seven years before the judgment we shall be destroyed in the sea; this is the third.

In an earlier post, (see here) I reported on Antonio Socci’s article revealing a previously unpublished account of a vision Sister Lucia of Fatima had when she was struggling to write down the Third Secret. From Socci:

The Unpublished Account
At around 4 p.m. on January 3, 1944, in the chapel of the convent, before the Tabernacle, Lucia asked Jesus to make known His will: I then felt a friendly hand, maternal and affectionate, touch my shoulder.

And the Mother of God said to her: “be at peace, and write what I have commanded you, but not, however, that which has been given to you to understand its meaning,” intending to allude to the meaning of the vision which the Virgin herself had revealed.

Immediately afterward, said Sister Lucia, “I felt my spirit inundated by a mystery of light that is God and in Him I saw and heard: the point of a lance like a flame that is detached, touches the axis of the earth, and it trembles: mountains, cities, towns and villages with their inhabitants are buried. The sea, the rivers, the clouds, exceed their boundaries, inundating and dragging with them, in a vortex, houses and people in a number that cannot be counted. It is the purification of the world from the sin in which it is immersed. Hatred, ambition, provoke the destructive war. After I felt my racing heart, in my spirit a soft voice said: ‘In time, one faith, one baptism, one Church, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic. In eternity, Heaven!’ This word ‘Heaven’ filled my heart with peace and happiness in such a way that, almost without being aware of it, I kept repeating to myself for a long time: Heaven, Heaven.”

From this came the strength to write the Third Secret. …

As time passes, concerns grow that perhaps we shall soon see  the fulfillment of St. Patrick’s prophesy and that which was spoken of by Sister Lucia.  Many have noted the increasing activity of the earth’s crust lately.

But these are speculations. In the end, the truth we must hold to is that of Fatima, in which it is prophesied, according to Pope John Paul II at Fulda, “the oceans will flood whole areas of the earth, and that from one moment to the next millions of people will perish”. (Eponymous Flower)

In earlier posts, we asked, “As Pope Francis continues his spiritual chastisement of the Church, attacking the dogma of the faith and faithful traditional Catholics, can the material portion of the Chastisement be far away?”  Now, in the year of Our Lord 2019, the agenda to eradicate all signs of Christianity from society is accelerating even more. The pope has led the descent, celebrating this past Christmas by insinuating that Mary was just “a normal girl” and denying her Immaculate Conception (here). Add to this his betrayal of millions of faithful Catholics in communist China (here), and his public refutation of the Catholic faith (here). 

Ireland, so precious and unique among Christian nations is perhaps suffering the greatest onslaught from the enemies of Christ.

The Corpus Christi Procession in France, shown in our header for this post, was once common in Ireland and all Catholic countries. And now, Ireland has legalized abortion, attaining the distinction of being the first country to voluntarily choose the “right” for the mothers to kill their unborn children. Such a tragic fall from their ancestors who once chose starvation rather than attend a protestant “worship service” in exchange for a warm bowl of soup.

All of this seems  to indicate that we are approaching that which Our Lord spoke of in Matthew 24:

“From the fig tree learn a parable: When the branch thereof is now tender, and the leaves come forth, you know that summer is nigh. So you also, when you shall see all these things, know ye that it is nigh, even at the doors.”

And this in turn, leads us to the overwhelming question, How long? How long O Lord, will You delay? Undoubtedly, the longer the delay, the greater the outrage to God’s Justice. In fact, as more time passes, even many traditionals become more jaded, cynicism and indifference increase. This is to be expected in this time of winnowing.

In an earlier post we quoted Cardinal Manning regarding this time of winnowing (here):

“These are times of sifting. Our Divine Lord is standing in the Church: “His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His (own) and He will gather the grain into His barn, and will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” It is a time of trial, when “some of the learned shall fall,” and those only shall be saved who are steadfast to the end.”

 

Note the upside down cross and marxist fist above it. Pure evil.

 

Sacred scripture teaches us that even Sodom and Gomorrah could have been saved were there only a handful of faithful. It is entirely possible to save Ireland through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and her Rosary.

However, if not, that is, if there is not sufficient reparation made, it is possible that St. Patrick’s prophecy, that Ireland be destroyed by the sea, may be fulfilled in the apocalyptic sense. That is to say, “the surging sea of unchristian humanity” * from whence the Anti-Christ arises. In that context, it could indicate that Ireland, instead of being conquered, succumbs voluntarily to the spirit of the world… and the Anti-Christ.

“Have in mind therefore in what manner thou hast received and heard: and observe, and do penance. If then thou shalt not watch, I will come to thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know at what hour I will come to thee.”

 

Quote from Fr. Herman Bernard Kramer, Book of Destiny, in his discussion of Chapter 13’s Beast from the Sea.

Ed. note: I regret the error in the previous link we had posted regarding John Paul II’s words at Fulda. The link to the Fatima Center is defunct. The new link to Eponymous Flower should work.

  Pray the Rosary and save the faith – and the babies!-of Ireland!

  O my Jesus, forgive us our sins and save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy!

  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. Patrick pray for us, cast out the serpents in the Church!

  St. Michael the Archangel, defend  us in battle, save our priests!

†  St. Joseph, save our priests!

Originally posted in 2015.

~ 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!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2019 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

Insight from St. Bridget

 

Remember those good old days when we read the Rorate headline, “The Horror, the horror”, after Bergoglio’s election? Looking back, those were the good days, compared with the horrifying reality of the Bergoglian church. The following are a scattering of paraphrased quotes from St. Bridget’s revelations  I compiled in the first months after his election when I was preparing an e-book of prophecies that might pertain to the new Bergoglian papacy. The project had to be set aside but lately, reading them again, I was amazed how the words St. Bridget attributes to Our Lord when  read within the context of the Message of Fatima fit so perfectly.  Think of this, Our Lady of Fatima’s plea to us,  “People must amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins … They must not offend Our Lord any more for He is already too much offended.”

It makes me wonder what conversations Our Lord and His spouse have now, in these sad times? What could St. Bridget tell us today?

From The Prophecies and Revelations of Saint Bridget of Sweden

 

“The words of Christ to His bride about a false man, who is called an enemy of God, and about his hypocrisy and all his characteristics.

On the outside he appears to be decorated with good habits, wisdom and bravery in the service and honor of Me, but he is by no means like that. For if the helmet were removed from his head, that is, if it were shown to people how he really is spiritually in his soul, he would be uglier than all men.

His brain is bare because his foolish customs and frivolity clearly demonstrate to good men that he is unworthy of such an honor. For if My wisdom pleased him, he would understand how much his honor is greater than others, thereby clothing himself in the most rigorous of conduct and divine virtues as compared to others.

Instead of having the humility due to his high dignity in being a light for others to teach them good things, he only wants to hear about his own praise and glory, thereby becoming so prideful that he only wants to be called great and good by everyone.

All his thoughts are turned to the present instead of the eternal. He thinks about how to please men and about the requirements for the needs of the flesh, but not about how he may please me and benefit souls.

He has lost all rational discretion whereby he might distinguish between sin and virtue, between worldly honor and eternal honor, between worldly and eternal riches, between the short pleasures of the world and the eternal pleasures.

All the veneration he should have for me, with the beauty of the virtues whereby he might please me, are entirely dead in the service of me. The imitation of my works and the preaching of my words is totally fallen off from him so that nothing remains in him except his gluttonous, insatiable desire to be involved in worldly affairs.

His chest is full of worms, because in his chest, where the remembrance of my suffering and my commandments should be, there is only a care for the things of the world with the desire and greed of the world, which are like worms devouring his conscience so that he does not think of spiritual things.

In his heart, where I would wish to dwell and my love should be, there now sits the most evil scorpion with a stinging tail and an enticing face and tongue; because pleasing and reasonable words proceed from his mouth, but his heart is full of injustice and deceit, because he does not care if the church he is supervising gets destroyed, as long as he can follow his own will.

His arms are like two snakes, because in his malice he reaches out his arms to the simple-minded and calls them to himself with simplicity, but, when he gets a suitable opportunity, he causes them to fall pitifully. Like a snake, he coils himself into a ring, because he hides his malice and unrighteousness, so that barely anyone can understand his treacherous plans.

He is like the most vile snake in my sight, for just as the snake is more detestable than any other animal, so is he more ugly in my sight than any other man, since he counts my justice as nothing and holds me to be as a man who is unwilling to judge righteously.

His back should be like ivory since his deeds should be more mighty and pure than others in order to be able to better carry the weak through his patience and his example of a good life. But now he is like coal, because he is too impatient to endure a single word for my honor, unless he benefits from it. Yet he seems to be mighty to the world.

Therefore, when he thinks he stands, he will fall, since he is as hideous and lifeless as coal before me and my saints.

His intestines stink, because his thoughts and desires smell like rotting flesh before me with a stench that no one can tolerate. Neither can any of my saints tolerate him, but everyone turns his face away from him and demands a judgment over him.

His feet are dead. His two feet are his two dispositions towards me, that is, his will to make amends for the sins he has done and his will to do good deeds. But these feet are altogether dead in him, because all the marrow of love is consumed in him and nothing is left in him except the hardened bones. And in this way he stands before me.

However, as long as the soul is with the body, he can find my mercy.

Explanation:

Saint Lawrence appeared and said: “This bishop (of Rome?) tolerates and pretends not to notice the incontinence of the clergy, and he liberally distributes the goods of the Church to the rich and shows love only toward himself and his own friends. Therefore, I declare to him that the lightest cloud now has ascended into heaven, but dark smoke of fire overshadows it so that it cannot be seen by many. This cloud is the prayer of the Mother of God for the Holy Church. The fire of greed, ungodliness, and unrighteousness darken it so much that the mercy of the Mother of God cannot easily enter the hearts of the wretched.

Therefore, let the bishop quickly turn to the divine love by correcting himself and his subordinates, admonishing them with his good example and word, and leading them to a better life. Otherwise, he will feel the vengeance and justice of the Divine Judge, and his church will be purged by fire and the sword and afflicted by plundering and tribulation so that it will be a long time before anyone consoles her.”

The words of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Pope: O head of my Church, who sit on my seat which I gave to Peter and his successors to sit on with a threefold dignity and power: First, so that they would have the power of binding and loosing souls from their sins. Second, so that they would open Heaven for the penitent. Third, so that that they would close Heaven to the damned and to those who despise my Law.

But you, who should be healing souls and presenting them to me, you are in truth a murderer of souls. I appointed Peter as shepherd and guardian of my sheep. But you, however, scatter and wound them.

You are worse than Lucifer. for you do not only kill me by driving me off from yourself by your bad deeds, but you also kill souls by your bad example. I redeemed the souls with my blood and entrusted them to you as to a faithful friend, but you deliver them back again to the enemy from whom I redeemed them.

You are more unrighteous than Pilate. for you not only judge me as if I were a powerless lord and worthy of no good thing, no, you also judge and condemn the souls of the innocent and let the guilty go free without any rebuke.

You are more cruel than Judas for you not only sell me, but also the souls of my chosen men for your own shameful profit and vain name’s sake.

Then our Lord said to him: “The sword of my severity will go into your body; it shall enter at the top of your head and penetrate you so deeply and violently that it can never be drawn out. Your chair will sink like a heavy stone and never stop before it comes to the lowest of depths. Your fingers, that is, your assistants and advisers, will burn in the inextinguishable sulfurous fire.

Your arms, that is, your office-holders, who should have reached out for the help and benefit of souls but instead reached out for worldly honor and profit, will be judged to the torment and suffering of which David speaks: ‘His sons shall be fatherless and his wife a widow and others shall take his property.’ Who is ‘his wife’ if not the soul which shall be excluded from the glory of Heaven and be widowed and lose God? ‘His sons’, that is, the virtues they appeared to have, and my simple and humble men who were under them, shall be separated from them. Their honor and property will be given to others, and they will inherit eternal shame instead of their dignity and glory.

Their headgear will sink down into the filth of hell, and they will never be able to get up out of it. Just as they rose above others through their honor and pride, so in hell they will sink so much deeper than others so that it will be impossible for them to ever stand up again. Their limbs, that is, all the priests who followed and helped them in wickedness, will be cut off from them and severed just like the wall that is torn down where not a single stone is left upon another stone and the cement no longer adheres to the stones.

No mercy will come to them, for my love will never warm them nor restore or build them up into an eternal house in Heaven, but instead they shall be excluded from all good and endlessly tormented with their headmen and leaders.

In the following passage, St. Bridget describes a dialogue between God the Father and the Son and the Blessed Virgin and Angels over the fate of the Church occupied by the foul man described above..

“God the Father’s words before the host of the kingdom of Heaven, and the answer of the Son and Mother to the Father asking for mercy for the daughter, that is, the Church.God the Father spoke while the whole host of heaven was listening, and said: “Before you all, I complain over giving my daughter to a man who tortures her greatly and without measure, crushing her feet in the stocks so severely that all the marrow has gone out of her feet.

”The Son answered Him: “Father, she is the one I redeemed with my blood and espoused to myself, but now she has been brutally violated.

”Then the Mother of God spoke and said: “You are my God and my Lord, and Your blessed Son’s limbs were enclosed within my body; He is Your true Son and my true Son. I refused you nothing on earth. Have mercy on Your daughter for the sake of my prayers.

”Thereafter the angels spoke, saying:  “We all rejoiced when your daughter went forth from you, but now we are rightly sad, because she has been given into the hands of the worst man who insults her with all kinds of mocking and abuse. Have mercy on her for the sake of Your great mercy, for her misery is very great, and there is no one to console and save her but You Lord, God Almighty.

”Then God the Father answered the Son, saying: “O my Son, your grievance is my grievance, your word is my word, your deeds are my deeds. You are in me and I am in you inseparably. Your will be done!”Then He said to the Mother of the Son: “Since you did not refuse me anything on earth, I will not refuse you anything in heaven, and your will shall be fulfilled.”And then He said to the angels: “You are my friends, and the flame of your love burns in my heart. Therefore, I shall have mercy on my daughter (the Church) for the sake of your prayers.”

Taken from “The Prophecies and Revelations of St. Bridget of Sweden”, Chapters 23, 24, 41. No longer available from archive.org. Many good Catholic books are being removed from Archive. A similar version is available from Amazon.

The vivid language which Saint Bridget attributes to Christ is probably a shock to some today, but it is an indication of Our Lord’s extreme displeasure at the behavior of those who are so brutally violating the Holy Bride of Christ.

And God the Father of mercy will at last have mercy on His daughter the Church.

  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!

† St. Joseph, protect our families, protect our priests!

Pray the Rosary – so many souls depend on it!

Beginning Lent 2019

 

 

We begin our Lent this Ash Wednesday with this classic from The Dialogues of Saint Catherine of Siena. 

How finite works are not sufficient for punishment or recompense without the perpetual affection of love.

Then, the Eternal Truth seized and drew more strongly to Himself her desire, doing as He did in the Old Testament, for when the sacrifice was offered to God, a fire descended and drew to Him the sacrifice that was acceptable to Him; so did the sweet Truth to that soul, in sending down the fire of the clemency of the Holy Spirit, seizing the sacrifice of desire that she made of herself, saying:

“Do you not know, dear daughter, that all the sufferings, which the soul endures, or can endure, in this life, are insufficient to punish one smallest fault, because the offense, being done to Me, who am the Infinite Good, calls for an infinite satisfaction? However, I wish that you should know, that not all the pains that are given to men in this life are given as punishments, but as corrections, in order to chastise a son when he offends; though it is true that both the guilt and the penalty can be expiated by the desire of the soul, that is, by true contrition, not through the finite pain endured, but through the infinite desire; because God, who is infinite, wishes for infinite love and infinite grief. Infinite grief I wish from My creature in two ways:

• in one way, through her sorrow for her own sins, which she has committed against Me her Creator;
• in the other way, through her sorrow for the sins which she sees her neighbors commit against Me.

Of such as these, inasmuch as they have infinite desire, that is, are joined to Me by an affection of love, and therefore grieve when they offend Me, or see Me offended, their every pain, whether spiritual or corporeal, from wherever it may come, receives infinite merit, and satisfies for a guilt which deserved an infinite penalty, although their works are finite and done in finite time; but, inasmuch as they possess the virtue of desire, and sustain their suffering with desire, and contrition, and infinite displeasure against their guilt, their pain is held worthy. Paul explained this when he said: If I had the tongues of angels, and if I knew the things of the future and gave my body to be burned, and have not love, it would be worth nothing to me. The glorious Apostle thus shows that finite works are not valid, either as punishment or recompense, without the condiment of the affection of love.

How desire and contrition of heart satisfies, both for the guilt and the penalty in oneself and in others; and how sometimes it satisfies for the guilt only, and not the penalty.

“I have shown you, dearest daughter, that the guilt is not punished in this finite time by any pain which is sustained purely as such. And I say, that the guilt is punished by the pain which is endured through the desire, love, and contrition of the heart; not by virtue of the pain, but by virtue of the desire of the soul; inasmuch as desire and every virtue is of value, and has life in itself, through Christ crucified, My only begotten Son, in so far as the soul has drawn her love from Him, and virtuously follows His virtues, that is, His Footprints.

In this way, and in no other, are virtues of value, and in this way, pains satisfy for the fault, by the sweet and intimate love acquired in the knowledge of My goodness, and in the bitterness and contrition of heart acquired by knowledge of one’s self and one’s own thoughts. And this knowledge generates a hatred and displeasure against sin, and against the soul’s own sensuality, through which, she deems herself worthy of pains and unworthy of reward.”

The sweet Truth continued:
Continue reading “Beginning Lent 2019”

Quinquagesima, 2019

“The Cross is suffering viewed in the supernatural light of faith as an instrument of salvation and sanctification, and therefore, as an instrument of love.”

This year we have again the opportunity to suffer with Our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Lady of Sorrows as we all endure this increasingly poignant Passion of the Church. We offer again our post from years gone by with our prayers for a holy and fruitful Lent for you all.

Today, Quinquagesima Sunday, we prepare for the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday, March 6. As always, we look to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, our true Mother to inspire us and guide us this holy season of repentance.

The Passion of the Church

Although Our Lord’s own chosen Apostles fled His Passion, no one could keep the Woman away. Unlike the sentimental pictures which sometimes show Mary fainting at the foot of the Cross, Mary stood there, intent on sharing every excruciating detail of the ignominy her beloved Son suffered. Just as she had freely chosen to become His Mother, she chose to behold Him tortured from head to foot and torn from her by the cruelest of deaths. She not only accepted this, she offered this; this sharing in His Passion, sharing even in His death, uniting Their hearts forever for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and in loving reparation for the sins of men, for our sins, for my sins.

Mary’s heart, like Christ’s whole crushed and bruised being , was transformed with anguish by the sins of mankind … Mary became the Queen of martyrs because, after Jesus, she has endured the greatest martyrdom of heart … her sufferings are fruitful for us in a way that we can scarcely suspect…(from Father Garrigou-Lagrange, “Mary, the Model of Reparation”).

Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen tells us,

“The sacrifice of Jesus became Mary’s sacrifice not only because Mary offered it together with Jesus, and in Him, offered her own Son, but also because by this offering she completed the most profound holocaust of herself, since Jesus was the center of her affections and of her whole life. God, Who had given her this Divine Son, asked on Calvary for a return of His gift, and Mary offered Jesus to the Father with all the love of her Immaculate Heart in complete adherence to the divine will.”  …

“Let us contemplate Mary’s sorrows, sympathise with her and ask her for the invaluable grace of sharing with her in the Passion of Jesus. Let us remember that this participation is not meant to be merely sentimental — even though this sentiment is good and holy — but it must lead us to real compassion, that is, to suffering with Jesus and Mary. The sufferings God sends us have no other purpose.

“The sight of Mary at the foot of the Cross makes the lesson of the Cross less hard and less bitter; her maternal example encourages us to suffer (with her) and makes the road to Calvary easier. Let us go then with Mary, to join Jesus on Golgotha; let us go with her to meet our own cross, and sustained by her, let us embrace it willingly, uniting it with her Son’s Cross.” (Divine Intimacy)

From Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity:

“You are there, O Mary, at the foot of the Cross, standing in strength and courage; and my Master says to me, ‘Ecce mater tua’. Behold your Mother. He gives you to me for my Mother! And now that He has returned to His Father, and has put me in His place on the Cross so that I may fill up in my flesh for His Body, which is the Church, you are still there, O Mary, to teach me to suffer as He did, to let me hear the last song of His soul which no one but you, O Mother, could overhear.”

It is only when we take His place, accepting the Cross, that we can share the thoughts of her sorrowful heart, and it is from the Cross that we can see heaven. 

 

The Tears of Our Sorrowful Mother

Hail, countless and bitter tears from thy eyes, O Mary, tears of compassion for thy Son, our Savior crucified! May all thy children revere them, all sinners flee to them for refuge, for they spring from thy Sorrowful Heart.

O Mother of Sorrows! Merciful Mother! Even as His Precious Blood flowed, so did thy tears, made bitter by the indifference of thy children who spurn thy Son and Savior’s precious gift.

O burning tears, beautiful, loving tears, which move the angels to pity and touch the heart of the Eternal Father! Soften my hard heart and move it to true sorrow for my sins which cause thy tears!

Holy Tears, wash me! Bitter tears, purify me! Gentle tears, soften my heart! Burning tears inflame my heart! Merciful tears, rich in grace, heal and strengthen me with grace!

O most gentle, sorrowful Mother, sharing thy Son’s passion, mingling thy tears with His precious blood, I beseech thee, grant me the grace of tears and heartfelt contrition for my sins. Grant that I may shed repentant tears over my sins which cause Him such cruel suffering.

O most merciful Virgin, offer thy bitter tears to the Eternal Father in reparation for my tepidity and hardness of heart. Through their merit, obtain mercy for me and pardon for all my sins.

Grant, O dearest Mother, at the hour of death, just one of thy precious tears to cleanse my soul of sin. Amen.

And now, at this time, in this place, we stand with our Sorrowful Mother at the crucifixion of the Mystical Body of Christ. We are not here to faint away, overcome with despair! We will be strong as our Mother is strong. Although on our own we lack that strength, in her we find the grace and virtues we need.

Perhaps you would like:

The Message of Fatima for the Post-Synodal Church

Mary’s Promise, 2017

Pray the Rosary – Many souls depend upon it!

   Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, obtain for us by your loving intercession the grace and courage to persevere in the coming trials of faith.
 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!
 St. Joseph, terror of demons, protect our priests!
 St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

For more on the Sorrowful Heart of Mary, including the Seven Sorrows Devotion, see our earlier post,  Our Lady of Sorrows, 2014.

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

© All Content Copyright 2013-2019 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Preparation for Consecration to Saint Joseph, 2019

 

Today, more than ever in the history of the Church, the sacred priesthood is under attack, as is the family and although little noted, the final battle we all must face, the battle for our immortal souls we face at the hour of death – in all these battles, we have been given according to the message of Fatima, a true protector and champion in good St. Joseph.

“Saint Joseph will come with the Child Jesus, to give peace to the world.”

This was the promise of Our Lady of the Rosary on August 19, 1917 in her fourth visit to the little saints of Fatima at Valinhos.  In this visit, we see Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother welcoming us into the safety and security of their own Holy Family. Let’s make use of this blessing!

It is very rare for me to have two posts in one day, but want to offer you this opportunity today to prepare for his feast day March 19.

The following 18 day program is to prepare for consecration, and I hope that even if you are unable to do all the exercises, perhaps you could do a small amount daily for the 18 days.  The main object is to give you the resources for a greater devotion to this immensely important saint. Our Lord Jesus Christ offers us, in these difficult times, a secure place in His own Holy Family; let’s not spurn His loving invitation.

March is the month of St. Joseph as well as the month of our Lent, and we offer again in his honor this program for Consecration to St. Joseph and the Holy Family. It is an 18 day program and so if we start today, we will complete it on Passion Sunday, which is the eve of St. Joseph’s Feast day, March 19th.   Many have told me that they are expecting this Lent to be a tough one for them, with all the upheaval of the current papacy. Let us then turn to St. Joseph as our guide!

Dear readers, I hope you will consider that taking a bit of time to seek the strength and protection of St. Joseph. It is far from a burden; Our Lady told Sister Lucia that St. Joseph will give us peace. Let’s seek his peace amid the trials and confusion in the Passion of the Church.

In times of trial, go to St. Joseph!

St. Joseph, defender of the faith, defender of families, pray for us!

Dear readers, we know that the Sacred Hearts of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Immaculate Mother are inseparable. And we know that this self-same Mother is also the most pure and perfect Spouse of the Holy Ghost, and the most beloved and treasured child of the Eternal Father. We know as well that this loving Father entrusted these two most beloved beings, Jesus and Mary, to St. Joseph to guard and protect them from the hostile powers of the Lord of the World and those who serve him. And now, in these dark and calamitous times when our families and our very faith are under attack from those who should protect and nurture it, we turn again to St. Joseph, to the Holy Family, inseparably united to the Most Holy Trinity, to keep us safe in the faith of all times.

Readers, do not be surprised if soon the few small certainties and comforts of the faith are taken from us, for as Cardinal Manning said,

These are times of sifting. Our Divine Lord is standing in the Church: “His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His (own) and He will gather the grain into His barn, and will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” It is a time of trial, when ‘some of the learned shall fall’, and those only shall be saved who are steadfast to the end. … Saint Alphonsus says: ‘Hence St. Bonaventure says that in the Mass God manifests to us all the love that He has borne us, and includes in it, as in a compendium, all His benefits. On this account the Devil has always endeavored to abolish the Mass throughout the world by means of heretics, making them the precursors of Antichrist who, before all things, will endeavor to abolish, and in fact will, in punishment for the sins of men, succeed in abolishing the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, according to the prediction of Daniel: ‘And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice because of sins.’

We must understand, and help others to understand, the importance of using the precious little time we have left to bond ourselves as securely as possible to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To this end, I have posted often on Total Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

And now, I hope that you will avail yourselves of an additional help to accomplish this, which is Consecration to St. Joseph, the faithful Guardian of Jesus and Mary, appointed by our loving Father Himself. At Fatima in 1917, Our Lady promised the little shepherds that in October, St. Joseph and the Child Jesus would come to “bless us with peace”. We need this peace! And while we struggle to live our Consecrations to Jesus through Mary, St. Joseph goes before us to lead us safely to our goal, so that we may be truly one holy family, now and always, in the glory of God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Continue reading “Preparation for Consecration to Saint Joseph, 2019”

Thoughts of the Little Flower for Lent

 

Among the beautiful works which have meant so much to me over the years are the writings of the great Carmelite saints. Last year, we offered the following from a small book called “Thoughts of the Servant of God Thérèse of the Child Jesus”, available through archive.org  (link).

 

On Faith

Life is passing, eternity draws nigh; soon shall we live the very life of God.

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)

~ ∞ ~ ∞ ~

We hope to have more writings from St. John of the Cross, and from St. Francis de Sales and others this Lent. Let’s make the most of this precious time given to us to prepare  our souls for our destiny and to draw graces for our brothers and sisters in the faith, especially for our priests who today are suffering so greatly. Satan wars against them most intensely,  but we have the assurance that our Immaculate Mother will refuse us nothing that we implore with her Rosary and so we pray for them with joyful confidence!

† . 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!

~ 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!

originally posted by evensong in February, 2018, reposted by admin Feb, 2019.