The Transfiguration

Today, August 6th, the Church recalls to us the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is also the subject for the Second Sunday in Lent. However, now in the heat of August, there is a slight difference. Today’s epistle is from St. Peter, the first Vicar of Christ. Despite his deep flaws, Our Lord chose him to lead His fledgling Church. What does St. Peter tell us in today’s epistle?

“Dearly beloved, we have not followed artificial fables, when we made known to you the power and presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ; but having been made eyewitnesses of His greatness. For He received from God the Father honour and glory; this voice coming down to Him from the excellent glory: ‘This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased, Hear ye Him.’ And this voice we heard brought from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mount. And we have the more firm prophetical word, whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star rise in your hearts.” (II Peter, 1, 16-19)

Thus, today’s epistle reminds us that the Word of God is no fantastic fable, it is a true history of actual historical occurrences. As our first Pontiff reminds us, we “do well to attend, as to a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day-star rise in (our) hearts.”

And so, we move to the glorious moment of the Transfiguration itself. Jesus took Peter, James and John up on Mount Tabor and revealed to them the very slightest bit of His infinite glory for a few brief moments in order to confirm their faith; knowing as He did, that the events of His passion were to shake their faith utterly.

“His face did shine as the sun and His garments became white as snow.” (Matthew 17, 2) In this vision the Apostles saw Moses and Elias speaking with Jesus. St. Luke tells us that, “they spoke of His decease that He should accomplish in Jerusalem”. (Luke 9, 31) By placing the Transfiguration narrative in this timeframe, the Church wishes to illustrate the close connection between the Transfiguration and the Passion and Death of Jesus. By revealing this brief glimpse of His glory, Jesus was showing His Apostles that it was impossible for Him as well as for them to reach the full glory of the Transfiguration without passing through suffering. After the Resurrection, He would confirm that lesson as He met them at Emmaus, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and so to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24, 26).

Peter, ever the impetuous one, became so caught up in the rapture of the moment, that he cried out, “It is good for us to be here!”. And then he offered to make three tabernacles, one each for Jesus, Moses and Elias, but as he was speaking the Lord God interrupted him peremptorily, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye Him!”

There is much to learn from this gospel. Peter was understandably impressed with the splendor of the moment and strongly desired to remain right there, in such a spiritually satisfying place. But that would have been to miss the whole point of it, which was to prepare them for the immense scandal of the Passion, the terrible spectacle of their Master humbled even to the lowest imaginable specter of a common criminal, mocked and spit upon, stripped of all dignity and nailed to a cross to die in ignominy.

And so, God by His reply told Peter in no uncertain terms to listen to Jesus and follow Him. if Peter was to lead the Church, he must learn to follow Christ all the way to Golgotha, up to the place of the skull. In time, he must even follow Him to his own crucifixion. Father Gabriel in his meditations on the Transfiguration assures us, “God does not console us for our entertainment but rather for our encouragement, for our strengthening, for the increase in our generosity in suffering for love of Him.” (Divine Intimacy)

Abruptly, the glorious vision ended, “And they lifting up their eyes saw no one but only Jesus.” In the Vulgate, “Levantes autem oculos suos, neminem viderunt, nisi solum Jesum.” (Matthew 17, 8). Nisi solum Jesum, with Jesus alone, they came down from the mountain. Nisi solum Jesum, Jesus alone is sufficient for us. Everything else, even friends, family, encouragement, approval, may be stripped away; yet Jesus alone remains. If He in His wisdom withdraws all else, yet He abides with us, even when we “know Him not”. And we must affirm this, even though He choose for us to follow Him through His suffering, being faithful even unto the awful moment when we cry out in our soul’s desolation, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”

Not as the world gives, does Jesus give. When it seems to the soul that He has withdrawn His love, withdrawn all consolation, it is only so that we follow Him with love and absolute trust as He endures the darkness of His Passion in order that He may bring about the glory of His true and lasting Transfiguration and share His glory with us eternally. This is as true for the Church as it is for us personally.

We are now less than two months away from the final Synod Against the Family and the Eucharist. We know that no matter what the media, even the supposedly traditional Catholic media report, the Bergoglio/Kasper agenda for the Synod is hell-bent on achieving irreversible change in the practice of the faith. But we know without a doubt that Our Lord Jesus Christ has reassured us that He will not forsake His Church. Let us hold firm to the faith, “the light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star rise in our hearts.”

Just as the Transfiguration was only a momentary glimpse of His glory, so too the passion and death of Our Lord in His Mystical Body the Church, are destined to pass and yield to His glorious Resurrection. Let us keep our perspective then, even in these chaotic times, and abide “with Jesus alone”, accepting all that is given to us from His wounded hands, trusting in Jesus alone.

Viva Cristo Rey!
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

The Angel of Fatima’s Prayer

We have just 73 days until the final Synod Against Marriage and the Eucharist. The Bergoglio/Kasper Agenda is nothing less than to initiate irreversible change in these two sacraments, which are the bedrock of our faith. The Angel’s prayer, what we often call here the Forgotten Prayer of Fatima is a most valuable remedy for the affront to Our Lord in His Sacrament of Love.

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

Recall, 

The children, while praying, looked up to see St. Michael holding a chalice in his left hand, with the Sacred Host suspended above it, from which some drops of Blood fell into the chalice.

Leaving the Chalice and the Host suspended in the air, the Angel knelt down beside them and had them repeat three times:

“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ present in all the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages, and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”

Then, rising, he took the Chalice and the Host in his hands. He gave the Sacred Host to Lucia, and shared the Blood from the Chalice between Jacinta and Francisco, saying as he did so:

“Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men! Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.”

Once again, he prostrated on the ground and repeated with them, three times more, the same Eucharistic prayer, “Most Holy Trinity…”, and then disappeared.

This happened in 1916. “Make reparation for the horrible outrages of ungrateful men upon the Lord Our God!”  How much more appropriate is that to today’s Church 99 years later! How all the angels and saints in Heaven must grieve over the arrogant indifference, the outrages perpetrated on the Most Blessed Sacrament today.

Continue reading “The Angel of Fatima’s Prayer”

Slouching Towards the Final Synod

There is yet more evidence that the Bergoglio/Kasper agenda is proceeding apace with its plans to irreversibly change the doctrine and practice of the Church on marriage and the Holy Eucharist.

Sandro Magister has published a paper by that wretched man, Guido Innocenzo Gargano, a Camaldolese monk, former prior of the Roman monastery of San Gregorio al Celio, professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Pontifical Urbaniana University. In it, Gargano uses the typical modernist sophisms in an attempt to convince us that if Jesus were a synod Father, He would grant divorce “for hardness of heart” as Moses did, for Jesus said, “I have not come to abolish the law [of Moses] but to fulfill it.”

What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder
What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder

 

Magister praises Gargano’s essay as brilliant and describes him as a “famous biblicist and patrologist”, but in his attempts to subvert the clear and equivocal word of God, he seems more like a run-of-the-mill modernist revolutionary, bent on corrupting the faith of Catholics.

Gargano states that when Jesus was asked, “Is it licit or illicit?”, regarding a man divorcing his wife, “Jesus responds serenely, according to the gospel of Matthew: “What is written in the book of Genesis?” From this point, Gargano proceeds by tortuous reasoning which eventually arranges to conclude that: Continue reading “Slouching Towards the Final Synod”

A Mother Knows Her Child

UPDATE: Father Serafino Lanzetta has a new radio apostolate, “Radio Immaculata”. The link is in the sidebar on the right. Please check it out, you will not be disappointed. Thank you.

Some wonderfully encouraging news. Father Serafino Lanzetta has been appointed by Bishop Egan of Portsmouth, England to the Church of St. Mary of Gosport. He brings with him seven seminarians and a group of Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate. Very brave of Bishop Egan but cannot help but feel it is a beautiful sign that Our Blessed Mother is looking our for her own son. After all, he is being welcomed into St. Mary’s Church!.

In happier times, before their order was suppressed by Pope Francis, Father Lanzetta remarked of Mary’s meaning for priests,  “Mary is always present in the life of the priest; she guides him in the midst of his trials, of the difficulties and the joys of his ministry. Begetting every priest in the Son, Mary re-clothes them with her perpetual virginity. (Missio Immaculatae, May/June 2010).

The answer to the “serene theology” of the Bergoglio/Kasper agenda is more and more priests like Father Lanzetta, who are solidly orthodox and totally devoted to the Immaculate Mother. For too many years now, the modernist post-conciliar church has portrayed Marian purity as a negative; even more so under the baleful gaze of Pope Francis, who uses his false mercy to bludgeon fidelity to the faith. But it is the active purity of the Immaculata that will triumph. Despite all attempts to suppress the Franciscans of the Immaculate, Our Lady will see them through. They know that their strength is in her Immaculate Heart and she will not fail them.

There is a lesson for us all in this. Mother of God, and Mother of Priests, Mary is the perfect model of motherhood. She will not fail her children, in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us, pray for the Church!

 

 

On the Eve of the Visitation

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

The Magnificat, Our Lady’s Hymn of Praise
Considering Mary’s Magnificat, her beautiful hymn of praise to God, gives us insight into the Visitation, the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, which event the Church honors tomorrow. Luke’s Gospel tells us that:

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

Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Mary proclaims, “His mercy is from generation to generations, unto them that fear Him”, she is stating that God’s mercy is inextricably united with fearing Him. How long has it been since you heard a sermon on “fear of the Lord”? Unless you are as old as I am, or attend an SSPX Chapel, it is unlikely that you have ever heard any priest speak of this important virtue. Yet the Bible teaches, “Come, children, hearken to me: I will teach you fear of the Lord.” [Psalm 33, 12] Father Gabriel tells us that “this is the first lesson the Divine Paraclete teaches the soul” who is seeking closer union with God. (Divine Intimacy, Tan Publishers)

Fear of the Lord is such a tremendous love for God, such intimacy with Our Saviour, that we live in a holy fear of wounding Him in any way. If we truly love God as Mary teaches us, then we will always fear the loss of His love. Father Gabriel then says, “Captured by love for such a good father, the soul has but one desire, to return Him love for love, to give Him pleasure and to be united with Him forever.”

Mary goes on to proclaim God’s justice, which has, “scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart… put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away”. This reminder of God’s justice, following as it does the promise of His mercy “from generation to generations”, helps us understand the divine order. It is the remedy for the worldly false mercy of Bergoglio/Kasper. Our Blessed Mother, from Quito to Fatima has spoken of God’s mercy while warning of His justice. We must be mindful of the coming justice of God, even as the great mass of humanity continue to to be indifferent to His true mercy.

The closing verses return to the mercy of God, “He hath helped His servant Israel, being mindful of His mercy: As He spoke unto our fathers, to Abraham and his seed for ever.” Israel refers to the Church, founded by Christ to fulfill the law, enduring until He comes again. As we approach the final Synod, let us renew our prayers for the intercession of the Immaculate Mother God on behalf of our poor Church. And so we return to our Rosaries, renewed in our faith, encouraged by the promise of God’s mercy and justice, and inspired by our Most Blessed Mother to pray for the liberty and exaltation of our holy Mother the Church, seeking always the restoration of all things in Christ Jesus Our Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Pray the Rosary and confound the devil.

 

St. Hermenegild’s Message for the Synod

The Triumph of St. Hermenegild, A message for the Synod
The Triumph of St. Hermenegild, A message for the Synod

“You are a slave of the devil because you have a false faith, you’re not Catholic! And I will not receive Holy Communion from sacrilegious hands!”

St. Hermenegild was a Visigoth Prince matyred for the faith in 585. He was put to death by his father, the Arian King Leovigild for holding firm to the Catholic faith. His father cast him into a dungeon and after several months, sent an Arian Bishop to him on Easter Sunday to offer him a pardon if he would accept Communion from him. By his firm refusal to yield his faith to heresy, even to his father’s heresy, he earned a martyr’s crown.

A few years ago, Bishop Tissier de Mallerais gave a sermon on St. Hermenegild:

“I spoke this morning to the children about Saint Hermenegild. He was a young martyr, seventeen years old, who lived in the sixth century. He was Catholic, but his father was a heretic, an Arian. He was supposed to inherit the throne of Spain, but his father, furious that his son was a Catholic, forbade him the throne and sentenced him to prison.

“Hermenegild – whom we celebrate on April 13th, was in prison for several months as Easter approached. He wanted to receive Communion, Holy Communion for Easter. His father was thinking the same thing and sent him a bishop carrying Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament! What a joy for Hermenegild to be able to make his Easter communion! Except that when the bishop entered the prison cell, he presented himself thus: “I am the Bishop of Huesca, I am an Arian and I bring you Holy Communion!” “I am Arian,” that is to say “I am a heretic, I’m not Catholic.”

“It was a bishop who was not Catholic, dear faithful, who brought Holy Communion to Hermenegild. What did Hermenegild do? What would you have done in his place? Would you still have accepted to receive Holy Communion? In order to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, is it not worth making some compromises, receiving even from unworthy hands the Lord Jesus? This bishop celebrated Mass validly though he did not believe that Jesus is God, because that was the Arian religion. He did not even believe that Jesus was God! But we do think he could validly celebrate Mass and he was bringing Jesus in the Eucharist!

“Well, in the twinkling of an eye, inspired by one of the gifts of the Holy Ghost – whom we are celebrating today − the gift of Counsel, he said: “No. I will not receive communion from your sacrilegious hands! As for me, I am in chains but I am free to work my salvation. You, my lord, are free but you are a slave of the devil because you have a false faith, you’re not Catholic! And I will not receive Holy Communion from sacrilegious hands!”

“What an example for us, my dear faithful! All the beautiful gifts coming from Rome, we are not prepared to accept them without examination, without considering the circumstances in which this gift would be made. We demand to be able to maintain our public and entire profession of the Catholic Faith. We cannot receive poisoned gifts that would condemn us to compromise with Modernism. This is the example of Saint Hermenegild, inspired by the Holy Ghost.”

When the Arian heresy swept throughout Christendom, and nearly destroyed the Church, the remnant remained steadfast, even to martyrdom and their prayers and sacrifices eventually achieved the extirpation of the evil heresy of Arianism.

Modernism, the synthesis of all heresies is the current counterpart to the ancient evil of Arianism; and now under the grim assault of our arch-modernist pope, we are facing an even greater threat to the faith. Unlike past times, today’s Church is not only beset by a pernicious heresy, it is permeated with a debilitating corruption in both the laity and the consecrated life. Now, the Church is so constituted that those who are blessed with the faith are charged with helping those who are failing in their faith.

Therefore, we are responsible for our wayward priests, prelates and even our Pope. We owe them our prayers and penances, but we also owe them the truth. There is not time nor strength to cite all the appropriate texts in support of recalling to the faith those who have fallen into error.

But there is fast approaching a time, when after our prayers and penances, after our remonstrations, we must do as St. Hermenegild did. If October’s Synod results in debasement of the Holy Eucharist to reception for unrepentant sinners, thus corrupting the doctrine and practices of the faith, we may be called to leave our comfortable places in the institutional Church, we may yet have to say with Athanasius, “They have the churches, but we have the faith.” With the Holy Family, we may yet have to withdraw to the desert, to Egypt, until this onslaught of heresy plays out and God once again restores the Church.

St. Joseph had to leave the visible structure of his faith in order to save the faith. With his help, we must preserve the faithful remnant.

“[14] Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? [15] And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever?

[16] And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God saith: I will dwell in them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [17] Wherefore, Go out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: [18] And I will receive you; and I will be a Father to you; and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”(2 Cor, 6, 14-18)

Bergoglio/Kasper faction intend to change the Church irreversibly. Think on these things as the final Synod looms ever larger on the horizon.

NOTE: This post belongs to evensong at Return to Fatima.  I am not in any way associated with the person who takes my articles without permission.

Pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

Viva Cristo Rey!

Joined at the Hip

In yesterday’s post, we spoke of the video message Pope Francis made to a gathering of charismatic ecumenicals on Saturday, May 23. One thing was inadvertently omitted from that post and it directly pertains to today’s post. In his talk to the John17 group, Pope Francis said,

“Dear brothers and sisters, division is a wound in the body of the Church of Christ. And we do not want this wound to remain open. Division is the work of the Father of Lies, the Father of Discord, who does everything possible to keep us divided.”

That was on Saturday. The next day, Sunday, May 24, Cardinal Walter Kasper spoke to a theological gathering in Washington, D.C., and said the following,

“The unity of the church and the unity of humanity are fatefully interwoven today. Therefore, it is our sacred duty … that we do not accept the division between Christians. The divisions within the church are … structures of sin. They thwart God’s plan for salvation. They are deep wounds in the body of Christ and the blame lies … with all sides.”

Cardinal Tagle also spoke to the gathering and he dutifully carried out the Pope’s agenda of warning Catholics against looking at the pre-Vatican II church with nostalgia, and to embrace and live out the council’s sense of openness to the modern world.

“Many people want to witness to Christ in some idealized past that they long for with nostalgia,” he said. “No, we witness to Christ now, here, where we are in our world.”

Kasper called for,  “An ecumenism of love, of encounter, of listening and friendship”. In closing he recalled the remark of Karl Rahner that the council “was only the beginning of a beginning”, then, “With the current pontificate, a new phase of its reception has begun.”

All of the foregoing is simply business as usual, and my purpose in reporting it is to emphasize that the Bergoglio/Kasper Agenda is proceeding with a passionate intensity and speed as never before. We have just about 19 weeks or so and we should, each of us, during this time attempt to alert at least one other Catholic to the danger to our faith, and of course, continue our Fatima program of Rosary, reparation, First Saturdays, and living our total consecration. Each Catholic that you wake up will then add their prayers and reparation and ideally, warn others. If we truly love Our Lady, we can do no less!

Remember, Pray the Rosary and Confound the Devil!