January 1, 2020 Mary, the Mother of God

“Call me and my image the Perfect Virgin Mary, Holy Mother of God, the one who crushes the serpent.” Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego

Much of the Church celebrates today as the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and it seems appropriate to offer a small portion of Holy Church’s immense treasury of Marian writings to counter-act this horrid pope’s barrage of denigrating statements against the most holy Mother of God.

By focusing our devout attention on what is exalted and holy and beautiful, we hope to make worthy reparation for the unkind words and actions of the unfortunate man who has usurped the See of Peter. Pope Francis uses his power as the Vicar of Christ to attack Christ’s own Mother! Ah, but we know how this must end, don’t we? And so we watch and pray.

Much of the following is taken from the writings of Saint John Eudes, particularly “The Admirable Heart of Mary”  available from KIC,( Link) or may be downloaded free from Archive.org, (Link)

As I write this, it is very late on New Year’s Eve, and all around us, the worldly celebrate with fireworks and of course, the occasional gunshot and ambulances scream urgently. The world around me isn’t exactly in “solemn stillness” this night, and I must admit, my heart is also not in stillness but wrenched to its core as I think on the hideous talk given by Pope Francis on the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In her revelations to us through St. Juan Diego, Our Most Blessed Mother taught us, “Call me and my image the Perfect Virgin Mary, Holy Mother of God, the one who crushes the serpent.” In that brief statement, she affirms her Immaculate Conception (perfect), her Perpetual Virginity and her most august title, Mother of God. For the Pope to manipulate this occasion with snide remarks is beyond all tolerance. No faithful Catholic is comfortable with criticising the Pope, but this pope forces us if we are to remain in a state of grace. For it is impossible to agree with his statements!  Indeed, there should have been a strong response against the Pope’s insults from every Bishop throughout the Church. But how few have done this!  And so the faithful are disheartened and left in confusion, and the ancient enemy of Our Lady rejoices.

And here we begin to see the root of Bergoglio’s problem with the most Blessed Virgin; his need to insist she is, “a normal girl”, Pope Francis is reported to have said, “She never wanted for herself something that was of her son,” … “She never introduced herself as co-redemptrix. No. Disciple,” … “Mary woman, Mary mother, without any other essential title,” It seems that he cannot help himself from showing disdain for her. But why? Is it perhaps that he hates Our Dear Lord so much? Let us think on the relation between the hearts of Jesus and Mary. St. John Eudes will be our guide in this.

Jesus Christ, the Heart of the Eternal Father, is the Heart of His Holy Mother. Is not the heart the principle of life? And what is the Son of God to His dear Mother? He always was and will be forever the heart of her heart, the soul of her soul, the spirit of her spirit, and the sole principle of all the movements, uses and functions of her most holy life. St. Paul tells us that it is not himself who lives but Jesus Christ who lives in him (Gal. 2, 20). Our Lord is the life of all Christians (Col. 3, 4) so who could doubt that He abides in His holy Mother, and that He is the life of her life, the heart of her heart, in a union incomparably more excellent even than with St. Paul and the other faithful saints?

Let us listen to what Our Lady revealed to St Brigid: “My Son was truly my Heart to me. When He left my bosom to be born, it seemed as though half of my Heart were going forth from me. When He suffered, I felt His pain as though my Heart endured the identical sorrows and torments that He endured. When my Son was being scourged and torn with whips, my Heart was scourged and whipped with Him. When He looked at me from the Cross, and I at Him, two streams of tears gushed from my eyes; and when He saw me oppressed with sorrow, He experienced such violent anguish at my desolation that the pain caused by His sorrow was my sorrow as His Heart was my Heart. Because Adam and Eve together betrayed the world for one, single forbidden fruit, so did my beloved Son wish that I should cooperate with Him in redeeming it with one Heart…”

Saint John Eudes continues, “… her Heart mirrors His Sacred Heart. So it is that Jesus is the principle of life in His most holy Mother. So it is that He is the Heart of her Heart and the life of her life. St. Brigid once heard her say: “Every homage rendered to my Son is likewise rendered to me, and whoever dishonors Him dishonors me. We have always had such perfect mutual love that we seemed to have as it were but one Heart for both…”

St. John Eudes relates that Our Lord revealed these thoughts to St. Mechtilde in 1300, that He wishes her (and us) to honor His Mother’s Heart as an ocean of grace and a treasure of blessings, as the humblest heart of any creature, asserting that it was her humility which drew Him from His Father’s bosom and rendered her worthy to conceive in her chaste womb of the Holy Ghost. He further explained that Mary should be honored as most prudent and wise for keeping in her Heart “the memory of each event of My childhood, youth and adult life” and making holy use of this remembrance. Our Lord also urged that we honor the heart of His most beloved Mother as the most faithful, “for she not only consented to permit Me, her only Son, to be sacrificed, but she also offered Me to my Eternal Father as a sacrifice for the redemption of the world.”

And finally, He tells us of her excellence, that she is “the most vigilant and most zealous for the interests of the nascent Church, for the care she took to pray unceasingly could not be disregarded” and also, that we should, “glorify her Heart as raised to the highest degree of uninterrupted contemplation, for no tongue can worthily speak of the graces and favors that men owe to the power of her intercession.”

There are just a few more quotes we should include here if we are to use these thoughts in our reparation to our Most Beloved Mother. Saint John Eudes rhetorically quotes Jesus thus,

…As her Heart is the first object of the love of my Heart, after the Eternal Father, it is likewise, after God, the first object of your most tender and holy affection.Therefore have I given it to you to be an inexhaustible fountain of blessings in your midst.”

“I have given the Heart of my incomparable Mother to you as a holy Rule that will enable you to become saints, if you faithfully observe it. It is the rule of the divine life you should lead, of the high qualities and habits you must assume, of the evangelical teachings you are to follow. By this rule you must measure the holiness that should permeate all your actions, the sentiments and affections that should fill your hearts. It is the rule of the love and hatred, the joy and sorrow, the desires and fears that must be yours, if you are to please me and sanctify yourselves.

“I have given her Heart to you as a vast ocean of graces of every kind, from which you must draw the graces you need at every hour, every moment, every place and every occasion, to avoid the manifold snares of Satan, which cover the entire earth, and to be able to serve God in justice and holiness all the days of your lives.

“In order to make this come true, you must renounce entirely your own heart, that is, your mind, your will and your love of self. Strive, therefore, to rid yourself of your earthly heart that is depraved and wicked, and you shall receive an entirely heavenly, holy and divine Heart.

“I have finally given this marvelous Heart as an inestimable treasure containing every possible blessing. It is for you, beloved children, to engrave in your hearts a high esteem, a profound respect and a particular affection for so rich a treasure, and to preserve it jealously by the continuation and increase of your veneration for a Heart so holy and amiable. “It is to encourage you to do so that I have said these things. Set down my words in your hearts and practice them faithfully. In this way, you will become the true children of my holy Mother’s Heart, and you will live according to my own.

My eyes and my Heart shall ever watch over your necessities. I will carry you in my innermost Heart. You will yourselves be my Heart, my joy and my delight. I will love you as my own Heart, and I will prepare a glorious habitation for you throughout eternity in my Heart and in the Heart of my blessed Mother, which is one with my own. You shall abide forever in our Hearts, and live by their life, you shall possess all the treasures enclosed in our Hearts, and be immersed and buried in their joys.

Our Hearts shall be your paradise, the life of your life, the Heart of your heart. “In the love of these Hearts, or rather, this one Heart, you will eternally love, bless and glorify my holy Mother and the Sovereign monarch of all hearts, which is the adorable Heart of the most Holy Trinity. May It be forever praised, adored, and loved by all the hearts of angels and of men!”

In closing, Saint John Eudes wrote this prayer which I dare to make my own for you dear readers, on this first day of the year 2020: Offered with love and many prayers, always,

O most holy Mary, Thy divine Son, Jesus, hath created thy Heart, and He alone knows the great treasures He has hidden therein. He it was who lit the fire burning in this furnace, and none but He can measure the heights reached by the flames which leap from its abyss. He alone can measure the vast perfections with which He has enriched the masterpiece of His all-powerful goodness, or count the innumerable graces He has poured into this ocean of grace: “He created her in the Holy Ghost, and saw her, and numbered her, and measured her” (Eccles. 1, 9).

And now I beseech thee, O most Blessed Virgin Mary, through thy Heart and for the honor of that very Heart, to offer me to thy beloved Son and to pray that He may annihilate my personality and set Himself in the place of my nothingness, so that not my voice but His may be heard. May Jesus Christ be the author of this book, and I but the instrument of His surpassing love for thee and of the zeal with which He watches over the honor of thy most worthy Heart.

May He inspire the thoughts He wishes to see expressed in (these writings) and the very words He desires I should use. May His blessing rest in fullest measure on the readers of (these writings), and may He transform all its words into bright and ardent coals, so that their hearts may be purified, enlightened and inflamed with the sacred fire of His love. In a word, may they become worthy to live according to God’s Heart and to be numbered among the children of the maternal Heart of God’s own Mother.

Sources for the above are two of Marianna Bartold’s publications, Guadalupe: Secrets of the Image and  The Admirable Heart of Maryby St. John Eudes, ed. Marianna Bartold.

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

  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, protect us, 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!

From Guadalupe to Fatima, 2019

 

Hail, O Virgin of Guadalupe, Empress of America!
Keep forever under thy powerful patronage the purity and integrity of Our Holy Faith on the entire American continent. Amen. (Pope Pius XII)

Pope Pius XII is reported to have said of Our Lady of Guadalupe, “For we are certain, that as long as you are recognized as Queen and Mother, Mexico and America will be safe.” Think about that as you survey the horrid wreckage of the faith and Christian culture throughout the countries of the entire Americas today. And then, consider how simply we could restore the glory of Holy Church by following the request of Our Lord Jesus Christ to return to His Sacred Heart by means of the sure path He has given us, devotion to the Immaculata, the Woman Clothed with the Sun.

The Age of Apostasy

The Age of Apostasy began with the disobedience of Luther, who was Lucifer’s own priest, and whose revolt ripped through Christendom in the sixteenth century and left in its wake an orphan people, bereft of grace, endlessly prating about the dignity of man while assiduously destroying any sign of man’s true dignity which is to be found  only  in the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. For our sole dignity is in Our Lord Jesus Christ who has first loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood. (Apoc. 1,5)

Continue reading “From Guadalupe to Fatima, 2019”

The Fifth Glorious Mystery from Rosary to the Interior, Part II

 

† . † . †

Today we present the final part of the beautiful meditation on the Fifth Glorious Mystery by Rosary to the Interior.

The other half of this mystery, however, is that Mary has been present in the mind and will of God as the Mother of God and the Mother of all men for all eternity, and that all of this became “incarnate” on this earth from the first moment of her own Immaculate Conception within the womb of her mother Anne. On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (in the Old Missal), The Church applies to Mary the following verses from Proverbs: “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His ways, before He made anything, from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old, before the earth was made. The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived….I was with Him, forming all things, and was delighted every day, playing before Him at all times, playing in the world: and my delight was to be with the children of men (Prov. 8:23-35).” God’s time, in other words, is not our time. Just as for all eternity Mary was “pre-redeemed” from original sin approximately 45 years before the redemptive sacrifice of Her Son, so Our Lord’s Incarnation and all that followed was present in the Mystery of Mary’s Immaculate Conception.

Our Lady appears “clothed with the sun.” The Indians worshipped the sun, and this would certainly show them that her dignity was far superior to that of the physical sun. However, the rays of this sun do not radiate outwardly as do those of the physical sun. Rather, they project and expand inwardly, touching, enfolding and embracing Mary. It would therefore seem much more appropriate to view this “sun” as an image of the Holy Spirit (the “Ray of Heavenly Light”, as in the Litany of the Holy Ghost) overshadowing and surrounding Mary at the very moment of the Incarnation. We may see in this, in other words, the fulfillment of the Angel Gabriel’s words to Mary, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy One which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

Further, this Ray of Heavenly Light gives forth the powerful image of fruitfulness. It has the appearance of the pith of a fruit which surrounds, sustains, and nourishes the growth of what is within. And within this “space” are both Mary who was Immaculately Conceived, and the child Jesus who has been conceived within her womb. The Image therefore shows forth both mysteries at once: of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, and Mary conceiving – both through the power and spousal love of the Holy Spirit.

Equally significant is the fact that the mantle which enshrouds Mary is covered with stars. As was the case in my boyhood imagination, this starry cloak can best be seen as a symbol for the entire universe which, in the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, is no longer seen as a vast and impersonal place, but as a beautiful garment of God’s immense love clothing the manifold mysteries of His plan for our salvation and final union with Him.

Most astounding to all who gaze on this image is the face of Mary. There is no image in the world that is as beautiful as this, for there is none other that so captures the soul’s intimate and total union with God in interior prayer and communion. The Indians, of course, immediately knew that she was not God. Her hands are pressed in profound prayer, and gods or goddesses do not pray. It was her face, however, which showed everything and attracted everyone. It was the face of an infinitely tender Mother, as expressed in her own words: “Listen and understand well my son, smallest of all, that you have no cause to be frightened and worried. Let your heart be troubled no longer, have no fear of that sickness, nor of any other sickness or sorrow. Is this not your mother here next to you? Are you not here in the shelter of my loving shadow? Am I not your health? Are you not safe here within my loving bosom? What else has thou need of?” This face showed that, despite recent appearances and history, the universe in which these people lived was one of light and not darkness, love rather than hate, beauty and not chaos – a world in which an Infinitely Good God and His Mother were the victors over the Evil Serpent (Our Lady is, in fact, pictured standing triumphantly on a burnt-out crescent moon – an image of the Serpent). Most important, it was a world in which man was not called just to witness, adore, and sacrifice to this God and His Goodness, but to be drawn into and fully participate in this abundant Life. This was a face of love, of tenderness, of fullness of life, of rest and peace, of Divine participation and knowledge. It was, in other words, the face of Wisdom:

“Wisdom shall praise her own self, and shall be honoured in God, and shall glory in the midst of her people…..

Then the creator of all things commanded, and said to me: and he that made me, rested in my tabernacle” (Ecclus 24:1, 12 – Douay-Rheims).

We are now in a position to understand with great simplicity and clarity Mary’s role as Mediatrix of All Graces. In the spiritual marriage between Mary and the Holy Spirit, which has existed in the mind of God for all eternity, we must recognize that whatever graces and life come through the Holy Spirit must also come through Mary. And since, as Maximillian Kolbe said, “all graces come from the Father through the Son and by the Holy Spirit,” they must also therefore come by way of Mary, and attain to fruition only through her motherly care.

Consequently, the purpose of Mary’s becoming The Immaculate Conception is twofold: the humanization of God (“the Word became flesh”) and the divinization of man. In gazing upon the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we are pre-eminently made aware of the transcendent destiny of the human person: we see, as St. Louis De Montfort says, “the divine Mary.” The divinization of all the predestined therefore comes about through a full sharing, as spiritual children within Her Immaculate Heart, of the spousal love between God and Mary which has existed for all eternity.

The Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe also presents us with an image of the Triumph of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth over Satan. When we think about Our Lady’s Triumph we are tempted to picture this in terms of star-war like battles on a cosmic scale. The Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe offers a very different view. The burnt-out crescent moon upon which Our Lady stands in Triumph is a pathetic thing. Satan, with all his rage and rebellion, and all the rebellion and blasphemies of all men down through the ages, are nothing before the infinite power and majesty of God. The true Triumph and Crowning of Mary is most aptly depicted, therefore, not in grandiose battles, but in the smallness of a human soul which, in the depths of its humility and poverty, has surrendered itself in Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. It is this which is the final message and call of Our Lady.

Finally, we must realize that the message and Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe calls us to intense love of the Church for the realization of Her Triumph over the hearts of all her children. Immediately after identifying herself to Juan Diego as the “Mother of the True God through Whom everything lives, the Lord of all things near and far, Master of heaven and earth”, she declares, “I wish and intensely desire that in this place my sanctuary be erected. Here I will demonstrate, I will exhibit, I will give all my love, my compassion, my help, and my protection to the people. I am your merciful mother”. Juan Diego became the custodian of this chapel which Bishop Zumárraga ordered to be constructed, and this became the source from which radiated the conversion of millions of souls during the following few years. The aftermath of the appearances of Our Lady of Guadalupe represents the greatest and most “intense” (in terms of the shortness of time involved) mass conversion of souls in the history of the Church – and this among a people who just 10 years previously had lived under the yoke of a regime and culture which was arguably the most Satanic, and the most given to human sacrifice, of any civilization in the history of the world. We therefore have no excuse now for despair, or for cowering in the caves of a private and bitter faith in fear of the apostasy and degradation which surrounds us.

Our Lord guaranteed that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church. And yet Satan now appears to be hammering away at every door and window of that Church, and seeking the ruin of every soul within. It is amply clear that the purification of the Church has been entrusted by Christ to His Mother, and it would seem equally clear that she awaits our militant response in cooperation with the graces which Christ has entrusted to her care for the accomplishment of Her Triumph. It would also seem that the Feast most appropriate for this purification is the double Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple on February 2. As explained in our Original Proposal, it is this Feast which most aptly embodies the mystery of the spiritual life that the Light of Christ can only be made to radiate from the Church for the mass conversion of souls through the suffering love of Mary and the interior purification of all her children.

We therefore ask all those who are Mary’s children to join us on February 2, 2019 in praying the Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church. We ask you, with the humility and perseverance of Juan Diego, to contact your priest and bishop in order to persuade them to implement this event in their churches (see our homepage for links to resources). We suggest that if your church is locked on this date that you pray outside, or that you pray it at home. We ask that this be done in all nations throughout the world. And finally, we ask that you print off copies of the one-page Handout concerning this event, and distribute them at all Catholic events and venues between now and February 2. We especially recommend this be done in the United States at the March for Life in Washington, D.C, and in other Pro-Life Marches throughout the country.

If we do not unite, we will almost certainly be driven back into the caves of our own private faith. We will descend further into our own personal and partial agendas, and into the desperation, failure, and bitterness which is the usual fruit of such isolation. In unity there is hope. In unity there are extraordinary graces. In unity there is the seamless and pure Heart of Mary which seeks that we be One in Her Love, Protection, and Power for the conversion of souls.

Please spread the word about the Rosary!

 

†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
†  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!

The Fifth Glorious Mystery from Rosary to the Interior

We are happy to present another meditation from Rosary to the Interior. This one is the last in the series of Rosary meditations, the Fifth Glorious Mystery.

This article and indeed, the entire series of meditations produced by the Rosary to the Interior, is an effort to encourage people to participate in the second annual Rosary to the Interior: For the Purification of the Church event this coming February 2. It is especially timely in the face of the Synod on Abuse which is to be held in Rome February 21-24, involving Pope Francis and all the Presidents of the Bishop’s Episcopal Conferences.  Catholics must understand that this is a spiritual battle above all and this Rosary campaign is our best weapon!

 

The Fifth Glorious Mystery

The Crowning of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth

Part I

Glory be to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

It is probably the tendency for most of us who pray the Rosary to rattle off the “Glory Be” rather quickly and without much thought. If so, we miss something most profound.

That God is eternally changeless, that what “He was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be”, and that all that has ever existed or will exist is within His infinite knowledge, will, power, and causation for all eternity, is an extraordinary concept. To those who approach this truth with minds and hearts immersed in this world, it calls forth images of that which is static, rigid, restricting to our free will, uninteresting, un-stimulating, and banal. To those who see it with a Catholic heart and mind, however, it reverberates with all that is perfect intelligence and love, immersed in a never-ending and inexhaustible richness of freedom, delight, and peace.

To see reality with the Heart of Christ is, if we may be permitted to use the expression, to begin with eternity. There never was a time when God did not know that He was going to create man “in His Image”; that man, in the full freedom of his will, would sin and fall from grace; that as a result of this first sin, the earth would for millennia be polluted with a vast array and quantity of sins; that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, in order to atone for all this evil and merit the salvation of all men, would incarnate as man, suffer crucifixion, and rise again; and that for the fulfillment of Our Lord’s Incarnation He would create a Woman who would be His perfect Mother, and whose Immaculate Heart would be the portal through which God desires each one of us to pass in order to be able to see and love as does He.

All of this requires that we virtually acquire another dimension to our thinking. I remember as a boy staring at the stars with my mind caught up in what seemed then to be an unsolvable puzzle. Since this starry cosmos, despite its apparent immensity, was composed entirely of finite things, there had to be an end somewhere out there. And yet there could be no end, because there surely had to be something beyond. It took me until I was sixty years old to solve this riddle – to figure out the simple fact that all that has been created is truly finite and has no independent existence outside of the creative action and power of God, and that therefore outside or beyond this starry universe and all that it contains is simply the Infinite Being of God. And further, and most important, none of it is in reality outside or beyond God at all. As St. Paul wrote:

“For in Him [Christ] were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and in Him.

The world is now drowning in an ocean of thought and action which views everything in terms of evolutionary Becoming. It is immersed in a philosophical and pseudo-scientific conceit which, with messianic fervor, is at total war with the concepts of the unchangeable Being of God and the substantial being and “fixed” nature of man (see The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns). Nowhere is this worldview more succinctly expressed than in Joseph Ratzinger’s statement that “Being is time; it does not merely have” time. Only in becoming does it exist and unfold into itself.” And, of course, it is also aptly expressed in Pope Francis formula, which he has often used, that “Time is greater than space” (Francis clearly uses the word “space” to refer to fixed dogma and moral truths). In such a world, all that is truly human is subjected to the violence and viciousness of endless evolutionary “progress”. There is no absolute certainty, no peace, no God Who is “in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end”. And because of this poison which has penetrated everywhere, the world now descends into violence, chaos, the darkness of ignorance, and satanic moral depravity.

But the world possesses a completely miraculous Image in which all of this darkness is refuted – an Icon reflecting the Eternal Plan and Being of God, and containing, for those who have the good will to see, all the essential Truths necessary for the conversion and peace of the human heart. It was impressed by God upon the tilma of a humble native in Mexico in the year 1531. It is the sacred Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In eight years it accomplished the conversion of seven million pagan souls to the Beauty and Truth of Christianity, and it now radiates out to the modern world as a vision of Final Truth and Hope.

Our Lady of Guadalupe and The Immaculate Conception

Our Lady’s first appearance to Juan Diego occurred on December 9 (1531), the original date on which the Feast of the Immaculate Conception was informally celebrated within the Church (now celebrated officially on Dec 8). All of Our Lady’s appearances occurred during the octave of this Feast. What is surprising in all this is that the image imprinted on the tilma of Juan Diego by God’s miraculous power does not at first sight appear to have much to do with the Immaculate Conception. Mary appears as a young woman wearing a black sash around her waist, a custom which immediately revealed to the Indians that she was with child. She also identified herself to Juan Diego as “the ever Virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the true God from Whom all life has come.” The Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the day on which Mary was conceived without sin in the womb of her mother Anne, which according to Catholic tradition would have been 14-15 years previous to the conception of Jesus. At first sight, therefore, it does not appear to make much sense that she should make her appearance as the Mother of God on this date.

Three hundred and twenty seven years later, at Lourdes, France, Our Lady did something which would seem almost a perfect inversion of the above. In the year 1858, on March 24 (the day which anticipated the Feast of the Annunciation – the day on which Mary became the Mother of God), Our Lady announced to Bernadette Soubrious, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” This statement posed a dilemma for theologians. They certainly would have understood if she had said, “I was immaculately conceived” – Pope Pius IX had only four years earlier defined this as a dogma of the faith, and had set the date for universal celebration of this Feast on December 8. They could not, however, understand her definition of herself as The Immaculate Conception.

So, we are left with a double mystery. On the one hand, Mary identified herself to Juan Diego as the Mother of God on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. On the other hand, at Lourdes, she defines herself as The Immaculate Conception on the day which anticipated the Feast dedicated to that moment when Mary became the Mother of God

The clue to unraveling this double mystery lies in understanding that to say that Mary was immaculately conceived is not the same as saying that she is The Immaculate Conception. We know that there is a very profound connection, on the one hand, between the fact that Mary was immaculately conceived, and, on the other, the eternal choice of God by which she became the Mother of God. Simply put, Mary was immaculately conceived on December 8 (or the 9th, according to the older tradition) in order that she, in union with the Holy Spirit, might become the Mother of God approximately 15 years later on March 25. In becoming the Mother of God, however, she also became the Mother of all the Members of His Mystical Body, and therefore also Mother of the Church. In other words, when Mary said, “I am the Immaculate Conception”, she was identifying herself both as the Mother of Christ (immaculately conceived) and the Mother of all those who are immaculately conceived (“born again”) through the saving and regenerating waters of baptism. Mary is therefore properly called The Immaculate Conception because she is, in union with the Holy Spirit, and through Christ’s redemptive sacrifice, the source of all immaculate conception in the Church: “Blessed are the clean of heart for they shall see God.”(Mt. 5: 8). This is simply to say that she truly is both Mother of Christ and Mother of all the redeemed.

Please spread the word about the Rosary!

This is Part I. We will post the second part in a few days.

†  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!

She Who Crushes the Serpent

Hail, O Virgin of Guadalupe, Empress of America!
Keep forever under thy powerful patronage the purity and integrity of Our Holy Faith on the entire American continent. Amen.
(Pope Pius XII)

Pope Pius XII is reported to have said of Our Lady of Guadalupe, “For we are certain, that as long as you are recognized as Queen and Mother, Mexico and America will be safe.” Think about that as you survey the horrid wreckage of the faith and Christian culture throughout the countries of the entire Americas today. And then, consider how simply we could restore order by allowing ourselves to be led by this Immaculate Virgin.

The Age of Apostasy began with the disobedience of Luther, the apostate priest, whose revolt ripped through Christendom in the sixteenth century and left in its wake an orphan people, bereft of grace, endlessly prating about the dignity of man while assiduously destroying any sign of man’s true dignity which is to be found  only  in the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. (Apoc 1, 5)

In response to this monumental affront, He Who is love sent the world His love! That is to say, Our Lord granted to us His own most beloved  Mother. Even as the foul-mouthed Luther was delivering his scatological “sermons”, Our Lord sent the Blessed Virgin to her children in the New World to grant them the favor of her image, miraculously imprinted on Juan Diego’s cactus cloth tilma. This image displays Our Lady as the “Woman clothed with the Sun” of Apocalypse 12.  Thus, we see Our Lord counter the hateful disobedience of Luther  with loving obedience, to counter what is foul and ugly with what is pure and beautiful, and to counter deceit with Truth.

To this end, the magnificent work of the Mother of God began with her apparitions in Mexico in December, 1531, and followed in succession by her apparitions to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in the Conceptionist Convent in Quito, Ecuador in the early 17th century, the apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque of the Visitation Convent in Paray-le-Monial, France beginning  in December, 1673. These actions of the Divine Mercy were in turn followed by the apparitions at Rue du Bac, (1830) where Our Lady granted the Medal of the Immaculate Conception (Miraculous Medal) to her children through St. Catherine Laboure, a nun of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.  Our Lady’s appearance to Saint Catherine Laboure was quickly followed by three more  more divine interventions;  La Salette, (September, 1851), Lourdes from February until March 25, 1858 and at Knock (August, 1879).

“Call me and my image the Perfect Virgin Mary, Holy Mother of God, the one who crushes the serpent.”

 

The sequence of the interventions reveals a significant development. By Our Lady’s appearance at Guadalupe in the image of the Immaculata, clothed with the Sun, “she who crushes the serpent’s head”, the challenge of Lucifer’s Luther was met by God’s Virgin Mother. This intervention countered Luther’s attack on souls with the Virgin’s offering of salvation to whole nations who had never known the true God. By it, many millions of souls were saved and a message of obedient trust in Mary was given for her children.

In those days, Satan had  ripped away 5,000,000 souls from the bosom of the faith but their numbers were more than replaced in a few years by the intervention of the Virgin of Guadalupe, which gained the Bride of Christ over 9,000,000 Aztec converts (out of 10 million).

In her image, we are led to consider the end times, specifically Apocalypse 12. In both images she stands on the new moon and this is significant for several reasons, but most relevant for the present time is its indication that she will come again to conquer the sect that has so persecuted Christians for centuries; and that this will usher in a period of peace.

The apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success in the next century gave us a comforting prophecy for our times, the times of an almost total corruption of society which is the beginning of the “Good Success” of the victory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. But that sign was not widely known in those days, for it was meant for these days. Then came Our Lord Himself in the 17th century, Who promised us great graces for honoring Him in the image of His most Sacred Heart.  Although this devotion was declined by the Kings of France, Our Lord’s command  remains in force and when at last it is obeyed we shall see great progress in the restoration.  The Sacred Heart of Jesus is united with the Immaculate Heart of His Mother and so the following century saw an increase in Marian apparitions  which emphasized the Immaculate Conception and called the faithful to pray for sinners, to repent and offer penance.

When Our Lady’s message to Melanie and Maximin was silenced by the powerful sect of satan both within and without the Church, she eloquently appeared in a silent tableau at Knock, Ireland to express the suppressed message. Her sorrowful tears at La Salette replaced by a cold, driving rain. La Salette’s  warning of the apostasy of the Church  enforced by the apocalyptic apparition occurring outside the church of a priest who refused to recognise it.  The altar at Knock was stripped bare, but the Sacrificial Lamb gives voice to the now suppressed Sacrifice.

In between those visits, Our Lady intervened at Lourdes to offer us another sign of her mercy. There, she confirms that she is the Immaculate Conception, and requests penance after granting the faithful a miraculous spring of healing waters. See the progression: growing emphasis on devotion to her Immaculate Conception, coupled with signs of grace such as the Miraculous Medal and the Holy Water of Lourdes. She nourishes us and defends us while she urges us to preserve the faith.

The divine interventions of the 19th century were capped by the Queen of apparitions, that of Fatima, Portugal in 1917, the year which saw the resurgence of the great red dragon in direct contradiction to the most Blessed Virgin and this bloody battle is quickly ascending to its terrifying climax. For the House of God has been almost thoroughly eclipsed by the one world church of man. Lucifer is enthroned in the Vatican and Luther appears to have supplanted the Blessed Virgin at the foot of the Cross.  For the Church is crucified today; it is the Passiontide of the Bride of Christ. During Our Lord’s Passion, it appeared that the foulness of the sinful world has covered His visage as now, the foulness of the ancient enemy appears to obscure the beauty of the Church. We shall soon see her true splendor!

Note that Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Immaculate Conception. In this sign, she shall crush the serpent’s head. It is good to honor her today, preferably with the Mass, but also, very urgently, to pray all 15 decades of her Rosary, for the intentions of her Immaculate Heart. And we treasure in our hearts always her words to Saint Juan Diego,

Hear me and understand well, my little son, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”

 

For a more complete exposition of the message of Guadalupe, we recommend Mariana Bartold’s Guadalupe, Secrets of the Image.

  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 Precious Blood of Jesus, save us, save our priests.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come – Viva Cristo Rey!
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
  Remember, pray the rosary and confound satan.

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

Our Lady of Guadalupe, clothed with the sun

Among the many unfinished posts in evensong’s archives, we found this one. Not sure why it was never posted, but we offer it today for the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. For a much more complete exposition of the message of Guadalupe, we recommend Mariana Bartold’s “Guadalupe, Secrets of the Image”.

“Call me and my image the Perfect Virgin Mary, Holy Mother of God, the one who crushes the serpent.”

 

The Age of Apostasy began with the disobedience of the apostate priest’s  revolt which ripped through Christendom in the sixteenth century and left in its wake an orphan people, bereft of grace, endlessly prating about the dignity of man while assiduously destroying any sign of man’s true dignity which is to be found in the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ. (Apoc 1, 5)

In response to this monumental affront, He Who is love sent the world His love! That is to say, Our Lord granted to us His own most beloved  Mother. Even as the foul-mouthed Luther was delivering his scatological “sermons”, Our Lord sent the Blessed Virgin to her children in the New World to grant them the favor of her image, miraculously imprinted on Juan Diego’s cactus cloth tilma. This image displays Our Lady as the “Woman clothed with the Sun” of Apocalypse 12.  Thus, we see Our Lord counter the hateful disobedience of Luther  with loving obedience, to counter what is foul and ugly with what is pure and beautiful, and to counter deceit with Truth.

She who crushes the head of the serpent.

To this end, the magnificent work of the Mother of God began with her apparitions in Mexico in December, 1531, and followed in succession by her apparitions to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres in the Conceptionist Convent in Quito, Ecuador in the early 17th century, the apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque of the Visitation Convent in Paray-le-Monial, France beginning  in December, 1673. These actions of the Divine Mercy were in turn followed by the apparitions at Rue du Bac, (1830) where Our Lady granted the Medal of the Immaculate Conception (Miraculous Medal) to her children through St. Catherine Laboure, a nun of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.  Our Lady’s appearance to Saint Catherine Laboure was quickly followed by three more  more divine interventions;  La Salette, (September, 1851), Lourdes from February until March 25, 1858 and at Knock (August, 1879).

The sequence of the interventions reveals a significant development. By Our Lady’s appearance at Guadalupe in the image of the Immaculata, clothed with the Sun, “she who crushes the serpent’s head”, the challenge of Lucifer’s Luther was met by God’s Virgin Mother. This intervention countered Luther’s attack on souls with the Virgin’s offering of salvation to whole nations who had never known the true God. By it, many millions of souls were saved and a message of obedient trust in Mary was given for her children. In her image, we are led to consider the end times, specifically Apocalypse 12. In both images she stands on the new moon and this is significant for several reasons, but most relevant for the present time is its indication that she will come again to conquer the sect that has so persecuted Christians for centuries; and that this will usher in a period of peace.

The apparitions of Our Lady of Good Success in the next century gave us a comforting prophecy for our times, the times of an almost total corruption of society which is the beginning of the “Good Success” of the victory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. But that sign was not widely known in those days, for it was meant for these days. Then came Our Lord Himself in the 17th century, Who promised us great graces for honoring Him in the image of His most Sacred Heart.  Although this devotion was declined by the Kings of France, Our Lord’s command  remains in force and when at last it is obeyed we shall see great progress in the restoration.  The Sacred Heart of Jesus is united with the Immaculate Heart of His Mother and so the following century saw an increase in Marian apparitions  which emphasized the Immaculate Conception and called the faithful to pray for sinners, to repent and offer penance.

When Our Lady’s message to Melanie and Maximin was silenced by the powerful sect of satan both within and without the Church, she eloquently appeared in a silent tableau at Knock, Ireland to express the suppressed message. Her sorrowful tears at La Salette replaced by a cold, driving rain. La Salette’s  warning of the apostasy of the Church  enforced by the apocalyptic apparition occurring outside the church of a priest who refused to recognise it.  The altar at Knock was stripped bare, but the Sacrificial Lamb gives voice to the now suppressed Sacrifice.

In between those visits, Our Lady intervened at Lourdes to offer us another sign of her mercy. There, she confirms that she is the Immaculate Conception, and requests penance after granting the faithful a miraculous spring of healing waters. See the progression: growing emphasis on devotion to her Immaculate Conception, coupled with signs of grace such as the Miraculous Medal and the Holy Water of Lourdes. She nourishes us and defends us while she urges us to preserve the faith.

The divine interventions of the 19th century were capped by the Queen of apparitions, that of Fatima, Portugal in 1917, the year which saw the resurgence of the great red dragon in direct contradiction to the most Blessed Virgin and this bloody battle is quickly ascending to its terrifying climax. For the House of God has been almost thoroughly eclipsed by the one world church of man. Lucifer is enthroned in the Vatican and Luther appears to have supplanted the Blessed Virgin at the foot of the Cross.  For the Church is crucified today; it is the Passiontide of the Bride of Christ. During Our Lord’s Passion, it appeared that the foulness of the sinful world has covered His visage as now, the foulness of the ancient enemy appears to obscure the beauty of the Church. We shall soon see her true splendor!

Note that Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Immaculate Conception. In this sign, she shall crush the serpent’s head. It is good to honor her today, preferably with the Mass, but also, very urgently, to pray all 15 decades of her Rosary, for the intentions of her Immaculate Heart. And we treasure in our hearts always her words to Saint Juan Diego,

Hear me and understand well, my little son, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything.”

†  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 Precious Blood of Jesus, save us, save our priests.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come – Viva Cristo Rey!
†  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
†  Remember, pray the rosary and confound satan.

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

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