Divine Love and Purgatory

 

Prayer for the Poor Souls in Purgatory
by St. Gertrude the Great

Eternal Father, I offer Thee the most precious blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus Christ, in union with the holy Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Poor Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, for those in my own home and in my family. Amen.

For November, we offer a few excerpts from a true saint for our times, Sister Josefa Menendez, the author of  “The Way of Divine Love”, a treasure of a book that I love dearly. These few quotes give a quite an insight into purgatory. There is much to think on in them.

In Lent 1922, God put Sister Josefa  in touch with an abyss of woe, Purgatory. Many souls came to solicit her suffrages and sacrifices in terms of very great humility. At first she was frightened, but by degrees she became accustomed to their confidences. She listened to them, asked them their names, encouraged them, and very humbly recommended herself to their intercession. The lessons they inculcated are worth remembering. One of them came to announce her deliverance and said: “The important thing is not entrance into religion, but entrance into the next world.” “If religious souls but realized the heavy price to be paid for concessions to the body …” said another, while asking for prayers.

“My exile is at an end and I am going to my eternal home….” A priest-soul said to her: “How great is the mercy of God, when He deigns to make use of the sufferings of other souls to repair our infidelities; what a degree of glory I might have acquired had my life been different.” A nun who, on her entrance into Heaven, confided to Josefa: “How different the things of earth appear when one passes into eternity. What are charges and offices in the sight of God? All He counts is the purity of our intention when exercising them, even in the smallest acts. How little is the earth and all it contains, and yet, how loved…. Ah, what comparison is there between life, however prolonged, and eternity! If only it were realized how in Purgatory the soul is wearied and consumed with desire to see God.”

There were also some poor souls, who having escaped through God’s mercy from a still greater peril, came to beg Josefa to hasten their deliverance. “I am here by God’s great mercy,” one of them said, “for my excessive pride had brought me to the gates of Hell. I influenced a great number of other people, and now I would gladly throw myself at the feet of the most abject pauper. “Have compassion on me and do acts of humility to make reparation for my pride, thus you will be able to deliver me from this abyss.”

“I spent seven years in mortal sin,” another confessed, “and three years ill in bed, and I always refused to go to Confession. I was ripe for hell-fire and would have fallen into it if by your present sufferings you had not obtained for me the grace of repentance. I am now in Purgatory, and I entreat you, since you were able to save me … draw me out of this dreary prison.” “I am in Purgatory because of my infidelity, for I would not correspond with God’s call,” said another. “For twelve years I held out against my vocation and was in the greatest peril of damnation, because in order to stifle my conscience I gave myself up to a life of sin. Thanks to the divine goodness, which deigned to make use of your sufferings, I took courage to come back to God … and now, of your charity, get me out of this gloomy prison.”

THE TEACHINGS OF PURGATORY

Josefa never went down into Purgatory, but she saw and spoke with a number of souls who came to solicit her prayers, and some told her that, thanks to her sufferings, they had escaped Hell. These souls, as a rule, humbly accused themselves of the faults for which they were in Purgatory (see Ch. V. of Biography). A few facts are here added. “ … I had a vocation, but lost it by reading bad books; I also had discarded my scapular, out of contempt” (July 27th, 1921).

“ … I was given up to a great deal of vanity and on the point of marrying. Our Lord made use of very severe measures to prevent my falling into Hell.” (April 10th, 1921). “My religious life was wanting in fervor….” “I had a long religious life, but I spent my last years rather in taking care of my health than in loving Our Lord. Thanks to the merits of a sacrifice you made, I was able to make a fervent death, and I owe it to you that I escaped the long years in Purgatory I had deserved. The important thing is not so much entrance into religion … as entrance into eternity.” (April 7th, 1922).

“… I have been a year and three months in Purgatory, and were it not for your little acts I should have remained there long years. A woman of the world has less responsibility than a religious, for how great are the graces the latter receives, and what liabilities she incurs if she does not profit by them…. How little nuns suspect the way their faults are expiated here … a tongue horribly tortured expiates faults against silence … a dried-up throat, those against charity … and the constraints of this prison, the repugnance in obeying! In my Order, pleasures were few and comforts still fewer, but one can always manage to secure some … and the smallest immortifications have to be expiated here. To restrain one’s eyes, to refuse oneself the gratification of a little curiosity may at times cost a big effort … and here … the eyes are tormented by the impossibility of seeing God.” (April 10th, 1922).

“Another nun accused herself of failings against charity, and of having murmured at the election of one of her Superiors.” (April 12th, 1922). “… I have been in Purgatory till now … because during my religious life I talked a great deal and with little prudence. I often communicated my impressions and complaints, and these indiscretions were the cause of faults against charity which my Sisters then committed.”

“Let all learn from this,” commented Our Lady, who was present at the apparition, “for many souls fall into this danger.” Our Lord stressed this grave warning by these words: “That soul is in Purgatory because of her faults against silence, for this kind of fault leads to many others: first, the Rule is broken; secondly, there often occur in such failings sins against charity or religious spirit, personal satisfaction, outpourings of heart that are ill-placed among religious, and all this, without a feeling of responsibility not only for oneself but for one or many others who are led into the same faults. That is why this soul is in Purgatory, and burning with desire to see My face.” (February 22nd, 1923).

“I am in Purgatory because I did not care enough about the souls confided to me, and because I did not sufficiently realize their value and the devotedness called for by so precious a charge.” (August 1922). … I was in Purgatory a little under an hour and a half to expiate a certain want of confidence in God. True, I always loved Him very much, but not without fear. It is true also that the judgments of religious are severe and rigorous, for we are judged not by our Spouse, but by our God. Nevertheless, during life our confidence in His mercy ought to be boundless, and we should trust His goodness. How many graces are lost by religious who have not enough trust in God.” (September 1922).

“… I am in Purgatory because I did not treat the souls that Jesus entrusted to me with the care they deserved…. I allowed myself to be influenced by human motives and natural likes, not seeing in them God, as I should have, and as all Superiors must. For if it is true that all religious should see in their Superior the Person of God Our Lord, the Superior also ought to see Him in her daughters….” “Thanks be to you who have helped to free me from Purgatory…. O! if nuns realized how far they can be led by unruly feelings … how vigorously they would strive to conquer themselves and master their nature and passions.” (April 1923).

“My Purgatory will be a long one, for I did not accept God’s Will for me, nor make the sacrifice of my life generously enough during my illness. Illness is a great grace of purification, it is true, but unless one is careful, it may cause one to stray away from religious spirit … to forget that one has made vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience, and that one is consecrated to God as a victim. Our Lord is all love, certainly, but also all justice.” (November 1923). (Menendez, Sr. Josefa. The Way of Divine Love (with Supplemental Reading: Devotion to the Sacred Heart)  TAN Books. Kindle Edition.)

Note: Dear readers, in response to those who have asked, my health seems fairly stable at present considering all things, but I have been unable to write much lately mostly because I am heartsick over this never-ending rot in the Church. Like many of you, my heart aches for our dear Lord and His Mother. What terrible times these are! I know we have discussed all this, and we have sacrificed and prayed and offered Masses, but there is nothing that could have prepared us for this unrelenting deluge of filth and cynical, narcissistic hubris. Oh, I don’t have words adequate for this! Well, I will continue to pray for you, all of you and I am very grateful for your prayers for me. And so we will continue, praying for the Church, the Immaculate Bride of Christ, and for her priests; adoring our Beloved Lord and Savior and supporting each other in prayer.

As I was reading Sister Josefa yesterday, the following passage struck me most poignantly. It occurred when Josefa made her vows:

A few hours later Josefa, still deep in glad recollection, noted, so that she might never forget it, what Our Lord had been pleased to do for her.

“After the sermon, I went up to the altar rails to receive my crucifix of vows and black veil. Then suddenly I saw Our Lady present, O! so ravishingly lovely, all bathed in light. She held a veil in her hands, and when I returned to my prie-dieu, she herself put it on my head. All round her and framing her person were a number of radiant little faces which looked like those of tiny children, lit up with joy. With ineffable sweetness she said to me: ‘While you, beloved daughter, were suffering, these souls were weaving this veil for you. All those you prayed for have left Purgatory and are safe in Heaven for all eternity.  There they will protect you.’ “

Do you see? We do suffer greatly now, but we should thank Our Lord for this opportunity to gain much merit for poor souls and for consolation for Him whom we love!

All things are passing…God never changes…Patient endurance attains all things…Alone God suffices.

Please pray the Rosary for poor souls!

Christ the King, 2018

 

Today, the last Sunday of October, we honor Our Lord Jesus Christ, King.

During His Passion, Pilate asked Our Lord Jesus Christ, “Art Thou the King of the Jews?” As St. John relates,

Jesus answered: ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now My kingdom is not from hence.’ Pilate therefore said to Him: Art Thou a king then? Jesus answered: ‘Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth My voice.’

Pilate saith to Him: ‘What is truth?’ And when he said this, he went out again to the Jews…” (John 18, 33-38)

‘Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth My voice.’

Notice that Pilate, after asking Jesus, “What is truth?” walked away without attending to His answer. Isn’t that typical of the posturing of the leaders of this world! Here is Jesus telling us that everyone who is of the truth hears His voice and Pilate proves that he is not of the truth by ignoring Christ the King’s voice.

Picture if you will, our King as He must have looked when He said these words, not in front of a cheering crowd, but instead, a jeering mob crying for His crucifixion and death. Not wearing splendid garments but clothed in His bloodied and dirtied robe; not crowned with gold and jewels but with hateful thorns. Thus His appearance affirms His message, that is, that His Kingdom is not of this world. There is enmity between His Kingdom and the false kingdoms of this world. It is a kingdom so sublime that nothing this world can do can impinge upon it, and it will have no end.

By affirming that “My kingdom is not of this world”, Our Lord was teaching that contrary to worldly kings who maintain  their transient rule by force of arms, by worldly power, His kingdom is absolute, it exists beyond time and will never end. His rule in encoded in our hearts, minds, in our wills and we ignore it at the peril of our souls.  There is no escaping it, and whether we accept it, shrug it off with indifference or combat it actively, we nevertheless serve it. Until He comes in glory, we must, in obedience to our thorn-crowned King, serve Him and proclaim His sovereignty in truth and love in all we do.

Make no mistake: our choice is clear: We will serve one or the other: Christ will be our King or by default we serve the ancient enemy of Christ, Satan.

Continue reading “Christ the King, 2018”

The Way of Divine Love and the Message of Fatima

From the archives of evensong’s writings, a previously unpublished article.

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 in 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 and for the next few months, 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 spiritual terrorism of the arrogant pride prevailing in the world today.

Tragically, this diabolical pride 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.’ ”

I was about to write, “If there is interest, I will write more on this.” But now, I have given up on there being much interest and will just say, whether there is interest or not, this needs to be said! And we will follow up with more very soon, God willing.

In the meantime, resolve never to waste a single unjust, unreasonable humiliation, a single opportunity to lift your heart 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 2013-2017 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

 

Christ the King in the Passion of the Church

Today, the last Sunday of October, we honor Our Lord Jesus Christ, King.

During His Passion, Pilate asked Our Lord Jesus Christ, “Art Thou the King of the Jews?” As St. John relates,

Jesus answered: ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now My kingdom is not from hence.’ Pilate therefore said to Him: Art Thou a king then? Jesus answered: ‘Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth My voice.’

Pilate saith to Him: ‘What is truth?’ And when he said this, he went out again to the Jews…” (John 18, 33-38)

‘Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth My voice.’

Notice that Pilate, after asking Jesus, “What is truth?” walked away without attending to His answer. Isn’t that typical of the posturing of the leaders of this world! Here is Jesus telling us that everyone who is of the truth hears His voice and Pilate proves that he is not of the truth by ignoring Christ the King’s voice.

Picture if you will, our King as He must have looked when He said these words, not in front of a cheering crowd, but instead, a jeering mob crying for His crucifixion and death. Not wearing splendid garments but clothed in His bloodied and dirtied robe; not crowned with gold and jewels but with hateful thorns. Thus His appearance affirms His message, that is, that His Kingdom is not of this world. There is enmity between His Kingdom and the false kingdoms of this world. It is a kingdom so sublime that nothing this world can do can impinge upon it, and it will have no end.

By affirming that “My kingdom is not of this world”, Our Lord was teaching that contrary to worldly kings who maintain  their transient rule by force of arms, by worldly power, His kingdom is absolute, it exists beyond time and will never end. His rule in encoded in our hearts, minds, in our wills and we ignore it at the peril of our souls.  There is no escaping it, and whether we accept it, shrug it off with indifference or combat it actively, we nevertheless serve it. Until He comes in glory, we must, in obedience to our thorn-crowned King, serve Him and proclaim His sovereignty in truth and love in all we do.

Today, more than ever, we proclaim His Reign. The leaders of the Church and the leaders of this world may turn away from this thorn-crowned King, but we know that He will triumph and they and all their useless pomp and foolishness will be gone in the blink of an eye. Never before have our prayers been given such efficacy; despite what the Bishop of Rome may say, we recite our prayers, be they litanies, rosaries, the Angelus, the Divine Office or the Little Office. Even when our prayers are forced through an act of the will from a heart burdened with the sorrows and disappointments of these bleak times; yes, especially when we least feel inclined to pray! Our Lord told Sister Josefa Menedez that that was when her prayers were most effective in saving poor sinners! (The Way of Divine Love, TAN Publishing).
Continue reading “Christ the King in the Passion of the Church”

Devotion to the Divine Infant

It was Christmas Eve in the old Monastery of Les Feuillants and Sister Josefa Menendez was at Mass,

"Have no fear, draw near to Him: He is all love!"
“Have no fear, draw near to Him: He is all love!”

“I was in the middle of the Chapel, on my way to Communion, when I saw Our Lady coming towards me. In her arms she was holding the Child Jesus, covered with a white veil which she took off as soon as I had communicated. His little garment was white and His hands were crossed on His breast. Then I did not see Him any more … When I had reached my place in the chapel, Our Lady came again quite close to me. She lifted the Child slightly; He was lying in her arms. Little Jesus stretched out His hands and fondled His Mother. Then with His tiny right hand He seemed to be asking me for mine and I gave it to Him. He seized hold of my finger and held it tight, and all around both of them floated an unknown but delicious aroma. Our Lady was smiling, “My daughter”, she said to me, “Kiss the feet of your God, Who will be your inseparable companion if you wish. Have no fear, draw near to Him, He is all love.” I kissed His little feet; He looked at me and then He crossed His hands on His breast and Our Lady wrapped Him in her veil. I asked her to bless me which she did and then they vanished.”

On another day, Our Lady appeared to Sister Josefa Menendez and spoke of her sorrows.

“I asked her,’ wrote Josefa naively, ‘if the presence of the Child Jesus, so small and so lovely, had not been the best of consolations?’ Our Lady then asked her to imagine the anguish she felt when contemplating the Divine Infant,

‘I kissed those little hands, and felt my lips already stained with the Precious Blood that one day would gush from their wounds. I kissed His feet, and already saw them nailed to the Cross. And as I carefully tended His hair, I pictured it all clotted with blood and entangled in the cruel thorns. And when at Nazareth, He first ventured on a few steps, hastening with outstretched arms to meet me, my tears fell as I pictured them extended on the Cross on which He was to die. When He reached boyhood, He was so divinely beautiful that none could contemplate Him unmoved … yet in my heart, the heart of a mother, the sword was turned at the thought of the tortures that were to be inflicted on Him, of which I felt beforehand the savage recoil.” (“The Way of Divine Love”  Kindle Edition).

Devotion to the Holy Infant is complementary to that of Fatima. It has been rightly called the way of spiritual infancy. I believe that since the revelations to Sister Josefa occurred right after those of Fatima, there is a strong connection, calling us to deepen our understanding of the essential unity between devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Indeed, it is impossible to read the autobiography of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque and the writings of Sister Lucia and not see the similarities in the total, childlike devotion and trust in Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. This spiritual infancy was also clearly exemplified by St. Therese, the Little Flower.

Continue reading “Devotion to the Divine Infant”

For this was I born

Pilate asked Our Lord Jesus Christ during His Passion,  “Art Thou the King of the Jews?” As St. John relates,

“Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now My kingdom is not from hence. Pilate therefore said to Him: Art Thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth My voice. Pilate saith to Him: What is truth? And when he said this, he went out again to the Jews…” (John 18, 33-38)

Notice that Pilate, after asking Jesus, “What is truth?” walked away without attending to His answer. Isn’t that typical of the posturing of the leaders of this world! Here is Jesus telling us that everyone who is of the truth hears His voice and Pilate proves that he is not of the truth by ignoring Christ the King’s voice.

ReturntoFatima.orgPicture if you will, our King as He must have looked when He said these words, not in front of a cheering crowd, but a jeering mob crying for His crucifixion and death. Not wearing splendid garments but clothed in His bloodied and dirtied robe; not crowned with gold and jewels but with hateful thorns. Thus His appearance affirms His message, that is, that His Kingdom is not of this world. There is enmity between His Kingdom and the false kingdoms of this world. It is a kingdom so sublime that nothing this world can do can impinge upon it, and it will have no end.

This is a timeless message, even more appropriate today than it has been in the last 2,000 years. The leaders of the Church and the leaders of this world may turn away from this thorn-crowned King, but we know that He will triumph and they and all their useless pomp and foolishness will be gone in the blink of an eye. Never before have our prayers been given such efficacy; despite what the Bishop of Rome may say, we will recite our prayers, be they litanies, rosaries, the Angelus, the Divine Office or the Little Office. Even when they are forced through an act of the will from a heart burdened with the sorrows and disappointments of these bleak times; yes, especially when we least feel inclined to pray! Our Lord told Sister Josefa Menedez that that was when her prayers were most effective in saving poor sinners! (The Way of Divine Love, TAN Publishing).

Here is a prayer to Christ the King from Sister Carmela of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.

Continue reading “For this was I born”

Eucharist and Apocalypse Part II

In the silent tableau of Knock, Our Blessed Mother presented to us a most important message for our times. The vision alludes to Apocalypse 5, especially verse 5. Today we seek to look more closely.

From The Apocalypse of St. John

The Little Lamb of God

[1] And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne, a book written within and without, sealed with seven seals. [2] And I saw a strong angel, proclaiming with a loud voice: Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? [3] And no man was able, neither in heaven, nor on earth, nor under the earth, to open the book, nor to look on it. [4] And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open the book, nor to see it. [5] And one of the ancients said to me: Weep not; behold the lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

[6] And I saw: and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the ancients, a Lamb standing as it were slain, having seven horns and seven eyes: which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth. [7] And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat on the throne. [8] And when He had opened the book, the four living creatures, and the four and twenty ancients fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints: [9] And they sung a new canticle, saying: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; because Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God, in Thy blood, out of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation. [10] And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.

[11] And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the living creatures, and the ancients; and the number of them was thousands of thousands, [12] Saying with a loud voice: The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and benediction.”

Commentary:

Continue reading “Eucharist and Apocalypse Part II”

Sister Josefa Menendez and the Way of Divine Love

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is an essential part of the message of Fatima, and this devotion is complemented and enriched by devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, because these two hearts are inseparable. Just a few years after Our Lady of the Rosary’s apparitions at Fatima, Our Lord Himself began appearing to Sister Josefa Menendez in the Convent of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Poitiers, France from 1920 through 1923 when she died. Sister Josefa’s compilation of these visits is known as The Way of Divine Love  and is a very beneficial addition to our spiritual arsenal.

I will reveal My love to them more and more
I will reveal My love to them more and more

Sister Josefa’s book, The Way of Divine Love  has proved to be a worthwhile supplement to our devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. It has an endorsement by Pope Pius XII. I strongly recommend it! Here is a good excerpt from it, although almost any page would have yielded a similar result, it is that packed with beautiful inspirations! From pages 213-215:

“Write for My souls…The soul who constantly unites her life with Mine glorifies Me and does a great work for souls. Thus, if engaged on work of no value in itself…if she bathes it in My Blood or unites it to the work I myself did during My mortal life, it will greatly benefit souls … more perhaps, than if she had preached to the whole world … and that, whether she studies, speaks or writes … whether she sews, sweeps or rests … provided first that the act is sanctioned by obedience or duty and not done from mere caprice; and secondly that it is done in intimate union with Me, with great purity of intention and covered with My Blood.

“I so much want souls to understand this! It is not the action itself which is of value; it is the intention with which it is done. … I have many hidden souls who in their humble labors are very useful workers in My vineyard, for they are moved by love, and they know how to cover their deeds with supernatural gold by bathing them in My Blood. My love goes so far that My souls can draw great treasure out of mere nothing. When as soon as they wake they unite themselves to Me and offer their whole day with a burning desire that My Heart may use it for the profit of souls … when with love they perform their duties, hour by hour and moment by moment … how great is the treasure they amass in one day!

“I will reveal My love to them more and more … it is inexhaustible, and how easy it is for a loving soul to let itself be guided by love.”

The following day, Our Lord told Sister Josefa:

“I would like them to know how much I desire their perfection, and that it consists in doing their ordinary actions in intimate union with Me. If they once grasped this, they could divinize their life and all their activities by this close union with My Heart … and how great is the value of a divinized day! … When a soul is burnt up with desire to love, nothing is a burden to her, but if she feels cold and spiritless everything becomes hard and difficult … let her then come to My Heart to revive her courageLet her offer Me her dejection and unite it to My fervor; then she may rest content, for her day will be of incomparable value to souls. All human miseries are known to My Heart, and My compassion for them is great. …

“But I desire souls to unite themselves to Me not only in a general way. I long for this union to be constant and intimate as it is between friends who live together, for even if they are not talking all the time, at least they look at each other, and their mutual affectionate little kindnesses are the fruit of their love.

“… But if she (soul) is in the throes of desolation and anguish, she need not fear. I am content with a glance, I understand and this mere look will draw down on her special proofs of My tenderness. I will repeat again to souls how My Heart loves them for I want them to know Me thoroughly that they may make me known to those I place in their care.

“I ardently desire My chosen souls to fix their eyes on Me and never turn them away .. and among them there should be no mediocrity, which usually is the result of a misunderstanding of My love. No! It is neither difficult nor hard to love My Heart, but on the contrary, it is sweet and easy. They need do nothing extraordinary to attain a high degree of love: purity of intention, be the action great or small … intimate union with My Heart and love will do the rest.”

Once I discovered, by God’s grace, Our Lady of Fatima’s true message, I struggled mightily with the task of offering my daily duties as reparation, but quickly became discouraged due to my easily distracted nature. And then, once again by praying to Sister Lucia to help me, I discovered Sister Josefa’s marvelously simple “Way of Divine Love” and it has profited me immensely! I wish I could express to you how valuable this book is and hope that by reading the above excerpt you will be inclined to obtain a copy. It is also available as a Kindle download. Both versions are reasonably priced.

Now here is a neat coincidence: Sister Josefa was Spanish and her sister Angela entered the Carmel of Coimbra and I have read that she was Mistress of Novices when Sister Lucia entered the Carmel! Wouldn’t you love to have been able to be a “fly on the wall” at their meetings!

The message of The Way of Divine Love  is balanced between its sacrificial nature and the peace and joy of total oblation to the will of God; the diabolical attacks, the descents into Hell itself, the great suffering, but also the peace and joy that came from total oblation to the will of God, total union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Thus, Sister Josefa’s messages comply perfectly with Sister Lucia’s. And isn’t that what we all want – to progress towards total Consecration, total oblation of ourselves to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary!

We are now going through such challenging times and I believe that Pope Francis has yet more misery in store for us in his “Year of Mercy”; but we have been given such tremendous blessings! We know that the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus will sustain us and our loved ones and that they have provided us with a safe passage through the chaos and the shortest path to union with them.

The Message of Fatima and the Way of Divine Love – Updated

After I published the post below, I was reminded by an alert reader that the Way of Divine Love may be confused with the false devotion to the Divine Mercy. That devotion was condemned by the same Pope, Pius XII who approved Sister Josefa’s Way of Divine Love. The revelations of Divine Mercy were also condemned twice by Pope John XXIII’s Holy Office. In fact, the image itself was condemned. It was not until John Paul II got his saint-making factory geared up that we had the novelty of a false apparition being proclaimed by a Pope.

The Divine Mercy image itself mocks the beautiful image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Instead of pointing to His Heart, pierced by a lance, encircled in cruel thorns (our sins) and burning with love for souls, we have a strange image purporting to be Jesus pointing to His chest. No heart because no suffering, no suffering because no sin. No sin means mercy unconditional, right in line with the post-conciliar church’s emphasis on universal salvation. No “solemn nonsense” here!

Sister Faustina, in her writings claims that Jesus told her that,  “I am uniting Myself with you so intimately as with no other creature.” (Divine Mercy in My Soul, The Diary of Sr. Faustina, Stockbridge, MA: Marian Press, 1987, p. 288) By that one quote Sister Faustina  claims that Jesus esteems her higher than the Blessed Virgin Mary! There are many other similar quotes in her writings. And so, it is best to steer clear of the devotion to the Divine Mercy, which offers no real benefit that cannot be received through devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The distinction between the Way of Divine Love and the false Divine Mercy is that the Way of Divine Love teaches us that God’s love for us is inseparable from His justice and that love entails reparation. That is essential in these times. The false devotion to the Divine Mercy reflects the entire post Vatican emphasis on the saccharin “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” It appeals to the limp-wristed, perverted church of today where the only true sinners are those who obey the Church’s true teachings.

I wish I could enable comments, but since I can’t, if you have some thoughts, my address is on the sidebar to the right. I will publish and respond to any comments. Thank you.

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Sister Josefa Menendez received her apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus while cloistered in the Convent of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Poitiers, France from 1920 through 1923 when she died. The messages which she received from the Sacred Heart of Jesus are completely complementary with the message of Fatima and are especially beneficial in carrying out the commands given by Our Lord to Sister Lucia that we offer to Him as a sacrifice, all our daily duties.

As I continue my preparation for the renewal of my Total Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary on December 8th, Sister Josefa’s book, The Way of Divine Love has been a wonderful help. It is published by TAN and has an endorsement by Pope Pius XII. I strongly recommend it! Here is a good excerpt from it, although almost any page would have yielded a similar result, it is that packed with beautiful inspirations! From pages 213-215:

“Write for My souls…The soul who constantly unites her life with Mine glorifies Me and does a great work for souls. Thus, if engaged on work of no value in itself…if she bathes it in My Blood or unites it to the work I myself did during My mortal life, it will greatly benefit souls ... more perhaps, than if she had preached to the whole world … and that, whether she studies, speaks or writes … whether she sews, sweeps or rests … provided first that the act is sanctioned by obedience or duty and not done from mere caprice; and secondly that it is done in intimate union with Me, with great purity of intention and covered with My Blood.

“I so much want souls to understand this! It is not the action itself which is of value; it is the intention with which it is done. … I have many hidden souls who in their humble labors are very useful workers in My vineyard, for they are moved by love, and they know how to cover their deeds with supernatural gold by bathing them in My Blood. My love goes so far that My souls can draw great treasure out of mere nothing. When as soon as they wake they unite themselves to Me and offer their whole day with a burning desire that My Heart may use it for the profit of souls … when with love they perform their duties, hour by hour and moment by moment … how great is the treasure they amass in one day!

“I will reveal My love to them more and more … it is inexhaustible, and how easy it is for a loving soul to let itself be guided by love.”

The following day, Our Lord told Sister Josefa:

“I would like them to know how much I desire their perfection, and that it consists in doing their ordinary actions in intimate union with Me. If they once grasped this, they could divinize their life and all their activities by this close union with My Heart … and how great is the value of a divinized day! … When a soul is burnt up with desire to love, nothing is a burden to her, but if she feels cold and spiritless everything becomes hard and difficult … let her then come to My Heart to revive her courage … Let her offer Me her dejection and unite it to My fervor; then she may rest content, for her day will be of incomparable value to souls. All human miseries are known to My Heart, and My compassion for them is great. …

“But I desire souls to unite themselves to Me not only in a general way. I long for this union to be constant and intimate as it is between friends who live together, for even if they are not talking all the time, at least they look at each other, and their mutual affectionate little kindnesses are the fruit of their love.

“… But if she (soul) is in the throes of desolation and anguish, she need not fear. I am content with a glance, I understand and this mere look will draw down on her special proofs of My tenderness. I will repeat again to souls how My Heart loves them for I want them to know Me thoroughly that they may make me known to those I place in their care.

“I ardently desire My chosen souls to fix their eyes on Me and never turn them away .. and among them there should be no mediocrity, which usually is the result of a misunderstanding of My love. No! It is neither difficult nor hard to love My Heart, but on the contrary, it is sweet and easy. They need do nothing extraordinary to attain a high degree of love: purity of intention, be the action great or small … intimate union with My Heart and love will do the rest.”

Once I discovered, by God’s grace, Our Lady of Fatima’s true message, I struggled mightily with the task of offering my daily duties as reparation, but quickly became discouraged. And then, once again by praying to Sister Lucia to help me, I discovered Sister Josefa’s marvelously simple “Way of Divine Love” and it has profited me immensely! I wish I could express to you how valuable this book is and hope that by reading the above excerpt you will be inclined to obtain a copy. It is also available as a Kindle download. Both versions are reasonably priced.

Now here is a neat coincidence: Sister Josefa was Spanish and her sister Angela entered the Carmel of Coimbra and I have read that she was Mistress of Novices when Sister Lucia entered the Carmel! Wouldn’t you love to have been able to be a “fly on the wall” at their meetings!

"Behold my Heart."
“Behold my Heart.”

The thing I like about Sister Josefa’s message is that it is balanced. As you read her life, you cannot help but be impressed by the sacrificial nature of it – the diabolical attacks, the descents into Hell itself, the great suffering, but also the peace and joy that came from total oblation to the will of God, total union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It seems clear to me that Sister Josefa’s messages comply perfectly with Sister Lucia’s.

We are now going through such challenging times and I believe that Pope Francis has yet more misery in store for us; but we have been given such tremendous blessings! We know that the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus will sustain us and our loved ones and that they have provided us with a safe passage through the chaos and the shortest path to union with them.

Thanks be to God!

Remember, pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

~ posted by evensong ~