Essential Things, 2017

The following is an updated  repost of an earlier article. The issue it addresses continues to arise…

Today, we’ll take time out to answer some questions that come up frequently.  I’ve been taking quite a bit of time trying to answer these individually, but perhaps doing it as a blog entry will be more effective.

Let’s consider two versions of the question: One form: How can we know what we are to believe of the documents of the post-conciliar popes?

Put another way: What are we to do when a (Post- Vatican II) magisterial document contradicts other current or previous teachings and one does not have any more authoritative weight than the other?

When that question comes to me, the inquirer sometimes refers to an article from another blog to illustrate their perplexity. At times, the examples have been long, thoroughly researched and documented scholarly works citing numerous Canon laws, and quoting extensively from illustrious Church Fathers. Impressive. I am not in any way qualified to jump in on that level. I must add that neither are most of the current self-appointed “experts” qualified to pontificate as they do, but that fact does not even slow them down, does it?

Our Lady used me like a broom, and then she put me back.


But here’s something to think about, if you have the time and patience to stay with me a bit. Let’s consider a moment the greatest saints God gave us in the century or so prior to the time of Vatican II. For God is a loving Father and He provides for us according to our needs. Consider for a moment: St. Therese the Little Flower, St Padre Pio, St. Bernadette Soubirous, Saints Jacinta, Francisco and Lúcia of Fatima and St. Maximilian Kolbe.

God alone, God before all else, above all else, beyond all else. Nisi Solum Jesum.

What is God’s intention in giving us these glorious souls to emulate? Were they learned theologians? Respected professors? Great intellectual giants of their time? What was the one, overwhelming quality they all shared? I believe the quality they all exhibited is:  A simple, obedient faith, a generous, sacrificial heart. Those qualities are found together.

Each of these souls flew straight up to God in Heaven on the wings of a clear, simple faith. Each was totally consumed and driven by their single-minded desire: God alone, God before all else, above all else, beyond all else. Nisi Solum Jesum.

Even St. Maximilian Kolbe, who was the most educated and used modern means of communication in order to advance Marian devotion, maintained a simple, childlike devotion to Our Lady and often advised his priests of the need to be Mary’s children, slaves of love to her, and cautioned against much questioning and analyzing.In several of his talks, he referred tenderly to Our Lady as “Mamusia”, that is, “Mama”. That tender love of a son for his Mother permeated and motivated every thought, word and action of his! Thus, his message was essentially the same as St. Therese or St. Pio, or for that matter, Sister Lúcia.

By their words and their example, these saints showed us the way through these confusing days, when intellects are darkened by sin and perversions of doctrine. Our culture makes us think we need to constantly surf for the latest “news” and we oftentimes get overwhelmed by the surfeit of information, much of which is contradictory or simply misleading.

How to simplify? I suggest two things.

  1. Bear in mind that nowhere is it indicated that you must be a theologian. Neither your state in life, nor the salvation of your soul hinges on parsing Pope Francis’ “Amoris laetitia”  or his other insults to the doctrine of the faith. The reason this is so is that the doctrine of the faith cannot change. The truths of the faith are not in dispute here. Anything this pope or that prelate says contrary to what the Church has always clearly taught is simply beside the point. That being the case, there is not really any pressing need to read them. You know your faith. It’s simple. Keep it simple. Keep it Catholic. Pray and trust the rest to God.
  2. The second is make all that you do, every day, every moment, be for the glory of God, the honor of Mary and the salvation of souls, first your own and then every single one entrusted to you. Before you go online, be sure of your goal, your task at hand. If your actions are not serving Jesus, you must ask yourself, are they perhaps feeding idle curiosity, or even worse, a taste for gossip? We do not have a moment to waste! Right here and now, we have to make use of our time to save every single soul we can.

Since it is impossible to explain anything in a way that cannot be disputed by another, I can hear the responses. “But, but, but, what if others ask me questions about the faith that I am unable to answer? Don’t I need to know these points of faith to be able to explain them, to defend it?” I then ask, who expects this of you? Does God have this unrealistic expectation that you should know how to defend and explain complex theological issues which are still being debated by qualified people today?

You ask me, “Well, how do you handle it?” My response: When Our Lord sends me someone seeking to return to the faith, I listen to them prayerfully and then offer what I have. I am very blessed in that people instinctively know not to expect great intelligence nor any sophistication at all from me. (Perhaps it is the bovine look of complacency on my plain face) But I try to help them spiritually with the rosary, scapular and helpful books and so on. If they are drawn by Our Lady, they will take it from there.

Sometimes, the person is not satisfied with anything I can offer, and at that point, I do not try to give them what is beyond my ability. I offer to put them in touch with a good, holy priest. Notice I said holy. That is so much more important than the so-called knowledge. And I can still pray and offer up for them.

Sometimes, however, the inquirer then turns from asking my advice to,  “But, if you took your own advice, you would not have a blog.”  My response is simply that we must all do the best we can with the task we are given, and that is all we can do. I do what is put before me as prayerfully as possible. Perhaps I fail at some or even all, but succeeding or failing is not my concern.

“There is only the fight to recover what has been lost.
And found and lost again and again: and now under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.”
T.S.E., East Coker.

Dear readers, I have included this example of a common question/answer session in hopes it will

1) answer a frequently asked type of question and

2)  encourage you to ask questions if needed. As you can see, I only ever have one answer, and it is simply, Go to Jesus by way of Mary. I know nothing, but that’s a good thing, because she knows the way!

Since this was first written, one more thing needs to be noted. I believe that my primary duty is to offer prayer and reparation for all of us, those who seek to serve Our Lord and those who seek to serve the ancient enemy. For we are called right now, at this time above all other times, to pray and sacrifice for sinners. Maintaining this blog is a very small part of what I do.  My job is to love you, to sacrifice and pray for you all. If this blog is a hindrance to that, it is no longer essential.  If it does matter to you, please take the time to kneel and pray, begging Our Lady to show you how to help comfort Our Lord and save sinners.

For He suffers so greatly today at the hands of those who have the most reason to love Him, but will not. And you must know that sinners, – especially those who are most despicable! – those, most of all, need your prayers, need your reparation.

It is regrettable that my remarks on this little blog have been taken as spiritual direction by some readers. My intention was only to offer commentary on current events in the Church in the light of the Message of Fatima and other approved prophecies of the Church. I try to answer all questions submitted by email (or at times by phone and in person) to the best of my ability, but I am not in any way qualified to offer spiritual direction. In fact, it is very dangerous for your soul to seek spiritual direction from anyone but a solidly orthodox Catholic priest.

These times are so dark and evil, and the Faith is threatened by the very ones who should be proclaiming it clearly for all. At Return to Fatima, we try to aid Catholics to see this is all foretold and by staying close to the Blessed Virgin Mary, our true Mother, we will weather this storm and come to our safe haven with Jesus. It’s a simple message, not complex. I cannot – nor do I attempt to – analyze complex documents from the Magisterium, nor speak on matters above me. I can only point to our Queen and our Mother, she who crushes the head of satan and will defeat all heresies and restore the Faith. 

Please, pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

  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, guardian of the Holy Family, protect our families, protect our priests!

  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ 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 2013-2017 All Rights Reserved.

Nisi Solum Jesum 2016

Lent should be an especially fruitful season for us who are blessed to attend the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in His Mystical Body, the Church. The Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent is from St. Matthew’s account of the Transfiguration. In it, 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.

Nisi solum Jesum

“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 Resurrection 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, TAN)

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.

Just as the Transfiguration was only a momentary glimpse of His glory, so too the passion and death of Our Lord 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.

Queen of the most Holy Rosary, hasten the triumph of thy Immaculate Heart through the consecration of Russia.

Most Precious Blood of Jesus, save us, save our priests.

Viva Cristo Rey!


~ by evensong for love of the Immaculata ~