Dross into Gold, The Way of Divine Love

Today, December 29, we mark the 94th anniversary of the death of Sister Josefa Menendez, the humble nun who wrote “The Way of Divine Love”.  In paperback from TAN, or on Kindle. We’ve written about the beautiful Way of Divine Love before (here) and about Sister Josefa’s deep devotion to the Divine Infant (here). But now, we will focus on the most often overlooked or misunderstood concept in Josefa’s writings: true humility.

The writings of Sister Josefa echo in many ways the writings of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and one can discern a hint of them in Sister Lucia’s writings as well. I strongly suspect that the true writings of Sister Lucia would bear even more resemblance to both of them were we to have access to them. This is because Our Lord Jesus Christ has been telling us in no uncertain terms, what is necessary to counter-act the arrogant self-centeredness which prevails in the world today.

Tragically, this selfishness has so captivated the souls of mankind that today among the vast majority of people, there is a rigid resistance to Our Lord’s plea for humility of heart. Mankind has developed a resistance to the grace of God much as some disease bacteria develop a resistance to antibiotics, and now they despise the “poor in spirit” as lacking in self esteem, and care not a whit for the “Kingdom of Heaven”.

It is true that the Message of Divine Love is Christ’s plea for our love but it is also a valuable reminder that we must become truly as a little child, poor in spirit, meek and pure of heart in order to be able to receive His love,  Otherwise we risk becoming the darkness that cannot grasp the light. The worldly are unable to grasp Our Lord’s words to St. Margaret Mary:

“If I had been able to find a creature more miserable than you,” He said to Saint Margaret Mary, “I should have chosen her….”

And to Sister Josefa:

“If I could have found a more wretched creature, I should have chosen her for my special love, and through her revealed the longings of My Heart. But I have not found one, and so I have chosen you.” (June 7th, 1923).

Like the followers of Christ who rejected His teaching on the Eucharist, many today reject these “hard sayings”.  But to those very few who have kept His grace in their hearts, we share the truth of the Way of Divine Love with you.

Our Lord is so good, so kind when we do all we can…He takes charge of the rest; it matters so little whether we feel we are getting better or not.’

The  message of Divine Love was given to Sister Josefa in the period immediately after the Message of Fatima. It in no way contradicts but rather serves to illustrate the essential unity of the two devotions. In Our Lady’s words to Sister Josefa, we seem to hear the echo of her interactions with the three seers of Fatima and with the revelations to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (here).

Sister Josefa  at times felt overwhelmed by the effort to discharge her duties of state and the demands of Our Lord for reparation for souls and she spoke with our Blessed Mother. Our Lady then told her:

“What does anything matter, if He takes care of you?’ … My child, why be afraid? The work of Jesus must be founded on much pain and love … banish fear; Jesus is almighty and it is He who acts. He is strong and He will sustain you. He is merciful and He loves you.”

Then she warned her of further tribulations to be encountered:

“He reads the depths of all hearts and  it is He who permits circumstances to be as they are. If His plans often seem to you to be hindered, it is because He wants to keep you very humble and very lowly.”

Sister Josefa told her that she feared herself to be an obstacle to His plans.

“It is true that you are a very wretched little being,” Our Lady said with compassion, “but that is just why Jesus has pity on you and why He hides you in the depths of His Heart so that nothing can possibly harm you. Humble yourself in your littleness and misery, my child. Trust Him, for He loves you and will never forsake you. Let your only ambition be to win many souls for Him, to give Him much glory and much love.”

When Sister Josefa told Our Lady how sad it made her that she sometimes failed in her tasks, Our Lady offered her Our Lord’s Crown of Thorns. “Fix your mind on the Passion and sufferings of Jesus.” Then placing the Crown of Thorns on her head: “Take it,” she added, as she blessed her; “it will keep you in His presence.”

‘Do not be afraid, my child,’ Our Lady said in tender pity. ‘He will never ask anything of you without giving you grace. Then try to overcome your repugnance by remembering that all His commissions are given you because of His goodness and love for souls.

“You must not be afraid, for every time Jesus allows you to endure those torments He means you to draw from them a three-fold fruit:

First: Great love and deep gratitude to the Divine Majesty who in spite of your faults prevents you from falling eternally into Hell.

Secondly: Boundless generosity and ardent zeal for the salvation of souls, with the desire of saving many for Him by your sacrifices and even your tiniest acts, for you know how much these please Him.

Thirdly: The sight of such innumerable crowds of souls lost forever … of souls, of which not one can so much as make an act of love, ought to make you who can love, send up unceasingly to Him echoes of love’s clamor to drown the blasphemous vociferations of that impious abode.“ [Note: this was told to Sister regarding the visions of Hell she was given.]

‘Therefore, great generosity for the salvation of souls, daughter, and much love…. Let my Son use you as He wills…. Let Him finish His work.’ “

Once, Sister Josefa confided in Our Lady her sorrow at failing Our Lord by what she believed was ingratitude.  Our Lady responded,

“But, my child, surely you know that His Heart is a blazing furnace, and its fire exists only to consume our miseries. As soon as you have owned them to Jesus, He remembers them no more. 

“He has already granted you so many graces, He is prepared to grant you others greater still. His Heart is an inexhaustible Fountain”

“Jesus has forgiven and forgotten all your failings and all your strivings against His Will, but He never forgets your good resolutions and He takes pleasure in them. His Heart is an abyss of mercy, and it will never fail you. It is, too, an abyss of riches which will never diminish, however largely distributed.

“Love Him as much as you can. He cares for nothing else. Acknowledge your littleness, and be submissive and ready to surrender to His Will in all things. “

So many of us who attempt to live our Consecrations are plagued with scruples and get disheartened, but we should keep our focus on the words of Our Lady: “He has forgiven and forgotten all your failings!” It is we who persist in focusing on our failings instead of on Our Lord; He asks for our love, not for our endless ruminations on our faults.

In closing, we offer you a most useful quote from Our Blessed Mother to help us understand this path we follow:

“Let Him rest in you and do you rest in Him. When you receive His graces, then you repose in Him; when He tries you in one way or another, then He reposes in you.”

When we think on these words, we are able to understand that the beautiful periods of peace given to us in prayer, especially after receiving Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, are when He has drawn us into His Heart. These moments if responded to properly, nourish us and prepare us for the trials to come. But in this sacred dance wherein we move, little by little towards Heaven with our Beloved, we also have the periods when Jesus reposes in our hearts. These are times of darkness, desolation and very great suffering. But they are precisely the most fruitful times, if we maintain our trust in Him.

It was during one of these dark times that Sister Josefa asked Our Lord why He allowed her to struggle in such darknesss of soul, He replied,

“It seems to you that you see nothing and that you are about to fall into the precipice. But need you see, if you are guided? … What you need is to forget self, to abandon your own will and offer no resistance to My plans. Thanks to the acts done in the midst of your sufferings, several of the souls that you will see later have come nearer to My Heart.’

Josefa then complained to Him that when she is struggling against temptations and loneliness, she fails to find Him.

“ ‘When you cannot find Me, look for Me in your Mother. Follow her directions implicitly, for she will guide you to Me. I gave her to you for that very purpose; and know, Josefa, that if you do what she tells you, you are giving Me as much satisfaction as if you were obeying Me personally.

“Love, suffer, and obey. So doing you will enable Me to carry out My plans in you.’ ”

Let us resolve never to waste a single unjust, unreasonable humiliation, a single opportunity to lift our hearts joyfully to God for He alone transforms our sufferings into pure gold, eternal gold that never fails. As Our Lord Himself said to Sister Josefa,

‘Ponder this word: “Gold is purified in the fire.” So tribulation purifies and fortifies the soul, and the time of temptation is of great profit both to you and to souls.’ ”

Thank you for reading. I pray for you always!

Remember, Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins and save us from the fire 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.

  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

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

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

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

A Break in the Pattern

August 19, 1917

The six apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima all occurred on the 13th of each month, except for this one in August. This was because the Administrator of the district of Ourem, a Mason, kidnapped the children, as we discussed in our earlier post, “The Day the Masons Promoted the Message of Fatima.”

Even though the little shepherds were unable to keep their assignation with Our Lady, between 3 and 5 thousand people did come. Here is a brief account:

First, there was a thunderclap, “then came the flash of lightning, and then we began to see a little cloud, very delicate, very white, which stopped for a few moments over the tree and then rose in the air and disappeared. As we looked around us, we noticed the strange thing which we had seen before and were to see in the following months; our faces were reflecting all the colours of the rainbow, pink, red, blue… The trees seemed to be made not of leaves but of flowers; they seemed to be laden with flowers, each leaf seemed to be a flower. The ground came out in colours and so did our clothes. The lanterns fixed to the arch looked like gold.”

At Valinhos

On Sunday, August 19, in the early afternoon, the children brought their flocks to a pasture in Valinhos. Lucia began to get the premonition that Our lady was about to appear, and since Jacinta was not with them, she sent Jacinta’s older brother to fetch her. It is an especially touching detail that Our Lady waited until Jacinta arrived before appearing.

In this visit, Our Lady again reiterated that she wanted them to continue coming to the Cova da Iria on the 13th of the month, and continue to pray the Rosary every day. “In the last month, I will work a miracle so that all may believe. If you had not been taken away to the City, the miracle would have been even greater. Saint Joseph will come with the Child Jesus, to give peace to the world. Our Lord will come to bless the people. Our Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Sorrows will also come.”

Then looking sad, Our Lady said:

Continue reading “A Break in the Pattern”

K.I.S.S…

Keep It Simple is a good rule to help us stay on the true path in the post-Vatican II confusion and wreckage of the faith.

Much of the confusion results from faithful Catholics and even hierarchy not knowing the basics of their faith.  Readers ask about  various “apparitions”  which seem to them to be pious and helpful. There is also a steady drip of those who seek to promote false visions and false prophets; many of whom visited Medjugorje and decided to start their own cottage industry of pious frauds.

At times, readers point out that a particular “apparition” has the approval of the local Bishop.  That happens as a result of the disorientation caused by the Church’s defiance of Our Lady’s Message of Fatima. Disobedience breeds confusion.  When you see disobedience and confusion, you are seeing the hand of satan in the Church.

The remedy is the same as always, return to the last point at which there was the certainty of the true faith: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. If the proposed devotion contradicts or distracts from these vital devotions, turn away!

Today, the faithful are by turns confused, misled and eventually battered into indifference by the failure of the hierarchy to provide true guidance. It has helped me considerably to simply adhere to the rule of obeying the requests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. That little rule excludes all these diverting, even contradictory  apparitions and messages.

But since questions continue, here are a few particulars:

God is always the same, He is never going to command one thing today and then contradict Himself at a later date. This is the all-pervasive error of modernism, that God’s truth evolves to meet new situations.  Example: The Ten Commandments are as relevant today as they were in the time of Moses. By adhering to this simple rule, we avoid being misled by the false teachings of Pope Francis and his ilk on marriage and the Sacraments.

In the same vein, when God makes a demand on us, He does not withdraw it even if centuries go by without our obedience to His command. This means that Our Lord’s request to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque for public devotion to His Sacred Heart is just as imperative in 2018 as it was in 1689. The command of Our Lord Jesus Christ has not diminished in urgency in all this time; in fact, it weighs more heavily in the balance against us as time passes.

The Message of Fatima is organically coherent with that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In it Our Lord Himself requests that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary be placed alongside of devotion to His most Sacred Heart.  There is absolutely no contradiction between these two devotions. They are united, complementary, that is, they complement, complete, and strengthen each other, even as the Hearts ofJesus and Mary are united. There is a beautiful theology there, which is totally consonant with all of the true faith, and an unending source of edification and grace.  There is no need or benefit from distracting apparitions, even if they at times may seem pious or at least innocuous.

After Fatima, the Catholic world was flooded with apparitions and today many even have the approval of the sorts of Bishops which have plagued the Church since the revolution of Vatican II. But if we simply use our common sense, (that is our Catholic sense!) we  readily discern that true devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary does not benefit from most of these new devotions.

For instance, we know that Jesus asked St. Margaret Mary Alacoque for public and private veneration for the image of His Most Sacred Heart. And we know that at Fatima, Our Lady told us that Our Lord wants the Church to establish devotion to her Immaculate Heart by means of her Rosary and First Saturdays of Reparation to her Immaculate Heart and for this devotion to be placed alonside of devotion to His Sacred Heart.

And yet, Sister Faustina’s Divine Mercy devotion would have us believe that within the same timeframe of the Fatima request,  that Jesus was also appearing to Faustina requesting a different devotion, this time to an image which omits His Sacred Heart and requires the use of Our Lady’s Rosary to recite prayers which supplant her own prayers, approved by countess popes, encyclicals, saints and centuries of thoroughly Catholic piety. Why would Jesus ask for this different devotion when the earlier requests for devotion to the Immaculate Heart and the even earlier request for the Sacred Heart devotion, were not fulfilled?

Ask yourself, does this new devotion further the propagation of the earlier devotion?

Applying the same rule to the apparitions of Akita and Our Lady of Nations, we see the difference in the two: Akita’s message simply points to the suppressed portion of the Message of Fatima, reinforcing it, while the false Lady of Nations diverts attention in another direction, leading the faithful to actions which do not fulfill the commands of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Once again, the requests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary must be our guiding rule.

Another way of expressing this rule is: the earlier approved devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary take precedence over any proposed new message of devotion. If the proposed new devotion does not help us to fulfill the commands of the earlier devotion, then turn away and refocus on the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. Obedience first, last and always.

At Return to Fatima, we urge all faithful to  Consecrate ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and live our Consecrations in all the daily duties of our lives. There is no need for seeking after newer devotions, newer prophecies, more and more knowledge. We find our inspiration in Eucharistic Adoration (in a truly Catholic Church) in the sacraments and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in our Rosaries, offering all to Jesus through the Immaculata: “O Jesus it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

It is such a practical, clear solution to the confusion: Look to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, heed their requests, devote ourselves to living as they have asked us to live. It is simple, even a child can do it, as Saints Jacinta and Francisco showed us one hundred years ago!

 

Please, 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!

~ 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 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.