Politics and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2018

 

Today we consider a neglected aspect of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that is, its political aspect.  For this essay, I am indebted to a favorite author, Solange Hertz.  In her book, “Utopia Nowhere“,  Solange Hertz proves the importance of the political aspect in a most elegant manner, beginning with her assertion that devotion to the Sacred Heart was established on Golgotha when the Roman Centurion Longinus plunged his lance into the Heart of Jesus, the Heart of “The King of the Jews”, as Pilate’s notice proclaimed.

Longinus, the official representative of the ruling power, thereby performed a political act which stands to this day as a necessary reminder of the battle between the dark powers that rule this world and the power of Christ the King:

Devotion to His Sacred Heart is therefore no sentimental devotion to be pursued only in private. Essentially, it is a political commitment. The Sacred Heart of Christ the King is source and center of the Christian state, human manifestation of the divine Monarchy from which all monarchy takes its name. Its temporal dimensions extend into eternity. Only when viewed from this perspective can the true purpose of Sacred Heart devotion be discerned. Otherwise it is simply a super-excellent practice among many others designed by God to bring the individual into greater intimacy with Him.

Sacred Heart devotion does this, to be sure, but its objective is ultimately and fundamentally political in the real sense of the word politics. It was forged by the divine Wisdom to bring not only the individual, but whole nations into intimacy with God. [“Utopia Nowhere”].

Although devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was evident throughout the long history of the Church, and especially in the lives of many of the mystics of the Church in the Middle Ages, it was not until Our Lord’s revelations to the Visitation nun, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1689 that we began to see the vigorous political thrust of the Sacred Heart.  From Hertz:

The substance of our Lord’s message had been conveyed in six letters written by St. Margaret Mary, five of them to her former Superior, Mother de Saumaise, and the last one to her Jesuit spiritual director, Fr. Croiset. The second letter, dated June 17, 1689, begins by speaking of some great political designs of our Lord:

Behold this Heart which has so loved men…

… which can be executed only by His almighty power … It seems to me He wishes to enter with pomp and magnificence into the homes of princes and kings so as to be honored there to the same degree that He was outraged, despised and humiliated in His Passion, and to receive as much pleasure on seeing the world’s great ones reduced and humbled before Him as He felt bitterness on seeing Himself reduced to nothing at their feet.

And here are the words I heard regarding our King: ‘Inform the eldest son of My Sacred Heart that … he will secure his birth into grace and glory by the consecration he will make of himself to My adorable Heart … and through his mediation, that of the great ones of the earth. He (the Sacred Heart) wishes to reign in his palace, to be painted on his standards and to be graven on his arms to render them victorious over all his enemies, by bringing these proud, arrogant heads under his heel and effect his triumph over all the enemies of the Church.’

There were other requests. In the saint’s fifth letter, dated August 28 of the same year, she says our Lord desired a building to be erected in which would be displayed an image of the divine Heart, to which the King and his entire court would formally consecrate themselves. The King, furthermore, chosen by our Lord as “His faithful friend,” was to ensure that a special Mass in His honor would be authorized by the Holy See and a formal cultus established.

In return the King was promised divine protection against his “enemies, both visible and invisible.” It is now known that these invisible enemies were the occult forces of Freemasonry set into motion by the “merchants of light.” Already they had crossed the Channel from England and were gathering strength in France. And speaking of channels, our Lord made it clear that the Jesuit Fr. de la Chaize, Louis XIV’s confessor, had been chosen by God to see to the execution of His designs.

The Role of the Jesuits

St Margaret Mary explained, “By virtue of the power He had given him [Father de la Chaize], over the heart of our great King, the success of the matter depended on him.” And yet, incredibly, even Jesuit scholars have determined that Fr. de la Chaize never relayed Our Lord’s message to the King.  Hertz suggests that it was Jesuit obedience that withheld him, as it is known that the Father General, Fr. Thyrsus Gonzalez de Santalla was hostile to devotion to the Sacred Heart, as it is documented that he censured and banished  Father Croiset, St. Margaret Mary’s devout confessor for having written an account of the revelations.

To what can we describe such a thing? It seems another instance of the workings of the mystery of iniquity. Thus, the devotion so dear to Our Lord was allowed to languish, and the cause was simply obedience to disobedience. This has worked so well for the ancient enemy, sad to say.

Hertz affirms that the tradition of the French Visitation nuns holds it for certain that Louis XIV did nevertheless learn of the desires of the Sacred Heart through other sources. We know that Louis XIV was already privately practicing the devotion as preached by St. John Eudes, to whom he had allocated 2000 pounds for France’s first chapel to be dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Hertz is certain that the King would have, as piety dictated, submitted St. Margaret Mary’s requests to his spiritual director for approval, with a view to acting on them, but it is clear that no approval was given. Once again, obedience to those who are disobedient to Christ.

In her essay, Hertz stresses an important point, “The divine communications had been directed to Louis XIV’s person [as Monarch], but not to him as an individual. Had this been the case the extraordinary means used would have been entirely disproportionate. It was Louis as King who was addressed.” What we are to understand from this is that God made a request of the French Monarch, not a personal request to one single person, King Louis XIV, but to the French Monarchy to re-establish the ancient and sacred compact between the French Monarchy and the Church. instituted by King Clovis. Let’s delve a bit deeper here, for this has significance for us today.

Fr. Bainvel, theologian of the Sacred Heart, writes:

“The three objects of the message [of the Sacred Heart]: the church, the consecration, the flag are by their very nature national, durable and perpetual; the triumph over the enemies of God and the Church resulting from the accomplishment of the message is even more national, inasmuch as it involves the whole future of France and her providential Catholic mission, her vocation and her raison d’ être.”

In the person of the King all his successors and the nation itself are addressed. The entire court was to take part in the consecration. God’s gifts being without repentance, no time limit was set, and presumably God still waits. Thus, we see that Our Lord Jesus Christ still awaits the obedience of the French Monarch to His demands, as He awaits the obedience of the Pope and Bishops to the demands of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, His most Beloved Mother.

Why the King of France?

Continue reading “Politics and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2018”

For Love of His Sacred Heart

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to the Sacred Heart of Jesus are inseparable, although the modernist church certainly does try! For today, let’s revisit this fine old essay by the incomparable Solange Hertz.

For love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we offer this essay of Solange Hertz, from her book (highly recommended!), The Thought of Their Heart, on Devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Holy Rosary”.

The Open Heart

by Solange Strong Hertz

“I will reveal My love to them more and more …”

The history of devotion to the Sacred Heart is in a very real sense a gradual revelation of the secret life of the Church. Its prologue, written in the heart of St. John as he reclined against the Lord’s breast at the Last Supper, broadcasts its first rhythms to the world, setting the tempo for the dramatic rending on Calvary. Veneration for the wound inflicted there seems to have been the initial form of the cult among the faithful. From this wound, the “door in the ark,” there gradually issued the proliferation of grace we now know as Sacred Heart devotion, ramifying and increasing through time, space and circumstance to fit all the needs and conditions of worshippers truly seeking intimacy with their Lord.

It elicited tears of repentance, prompted praise, encouraged confident petition and proffered earth’s reparation to heaven for its sins against Love. For centuries the movement developed quietly in the privacy of religious houses and the souls of gifted individuals until it permeated the whole Church in ranks both clerical and lay. In addition to the saints already mentioned, among its devotees must be numbered St. Anselm, St. Frances of Rome, St. Lawrence Justinian, St. Bernardine of Siena, St. Joan of Valois, St. Peter of Alcantara, St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, St. Antoninus, St. Peter Canisius, St. Francis de Sales— to list but a few of those canonized. Others who spread its benefits are legion. Carthusians, Franciscans, Benedictines, Dominicans, each produced its particular “school” of spirituality based on affection for the wounded Heart of the Savior. The wealth of art, literature, and liturgy both canonical and popular which has come down to us on the subject attests to its vigor and sanctifying power.

Not surprisingly, it was St. John Eudes, the apostle of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who was instrumental in directing modern piety towards the Heart of her Son. Called by Pope St. Pius X “initiator, teacher and apostle of the liturgical cult of the Sacred Heart,” he had begun by drawing heavily on the writings of the old Cologne Carthusians so as to establish the cult on solid theological ground. By 1672 he had succeeded in obtaining ecclesiastical approval for a Mass of the Sacred Heart to be celebrated in the communities of his own Order, the Congregation of Jesus and Mary.

The very next year, on the feast of St. John the Apostle, December 27, 1673, the torrents of private revelations converged explosively in the Visitation convent at Paray-le-Monial in France. It was there that our Lord, appearing to the humble young nun, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, chose to set the seal of divine approval on what had until then been a most salutary practice in the Church, but which nevertheless remained a private affair— a kind of “inside track” for fleeter spirits. Our Lord had once told St. Gertrude:

“Whenever you desire to obtain anything from Me, offer Me My Heart, which I have so often given you as a token of our mutual friendship, in union with the love which made Me become man for the salvation of men; and I give you this special mark of friendship, … “

After four great apparitions in Paray from 1673 to 1675, … devotion to the Sacred Heart was soon to be enjoined upon all. If we are to believe the words of St. John the Apostle and the ancient prophets concerning the Heart of God, we who are living three hundred years later must be about to witness nothing less than the last moments of the world. “In the latter days you shall understand these things,” promised Jeremiah. “The THOUGHTS of HIS HEART to all generations: to deliver their souls from death and feed them in famine” (Introit, Mass of the Sacred Heart).

Continue reading “For Love of His Sacred Heart”

The Devil in Lent

And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold: and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat. (Genesis 3, 6)

Once, a reader exclaimed, “This Lent,  I feel as if the devil himself is working against me!” To which I replied, “Then you must be on the right track; otherwise, he would not waste his time.”

A helpful ebook in this regard is Solange Hertz’ “Sin Revisited”. At the outset, she contrasts the intellectual approach of St. Thomas Aquinas with that of the early Desert Fathers, noting that,

“Sin may be described not as the intellect dissects it but as it happens to an individual. … Long before St. Thomas and the scholastics, the ancient Church Fathers described sin in no other terms than those the Bible uses. This was especially true of those stalwart easterners we call the Desert Fathers, who grappled nakedly with sin in the inexorable solitudes of the Egyptian Thebaid in the third and fourth centuries.

“Their (flight to the desert) was a calculated foray into an arena where deadly combats between good and evil could take place at the most elemental level without mundane distractions. They were following, they tell us, the example of Christ grown to manhood, who was led by the Spirit for forty days into the desert to encounter the Enemy at close quarters.”

Mrs. Hertz makes the assertion for gluttony being a very basic sin which arises in ourselves. if you have, (as I have) considered pride as the source and root of most of your sin, you will be fascinated by the case she makes for gluttony. It gave me an insight into why the media hammer us with food and drink advertisements relentlessly. It also helps us understand the importance of fasting. Consider Eve in the Garden of Eden, as told in the Scriptures,

“Our famous original sin in Eden, for instance, wasn’t portrayed dispassionately as grand, primordial pride. It describes our first involvement with simple gluttony. ‘Eve saw for herself that the tree was good to eat and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold; and she took the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat.’ “

Hertz reminds us that gluttony cannot be destroyed as easily as other sins, because food is necessary to support our life and therefore the best we can do is check our superfluous cravings by the power of our mind. But this is an ongoing battle, and never won once and for all. The author  makes the point that vice is not natural to us, and it only seems that way because of our fallen nature. That is precisely why God gave us the Immaculate Virgin Mary and through her, His only begotten Son, those two perfect beings who exemplify in themselves what human nature is meant to be, when when this long, weary battle is won at last.

Quoting extensively from the early Desert Fathers, Hertz shows that they used the symbolism hidden in the Old Testament Book of Joshua to teach about the battle with sin. The seven nations Joshua drove out represented lust, avarice, anger, depression, boredom, vainglory and pride. If you notice that envy is missing, it actually, in this scheme, lurks in the territory between avarice and depression. Similarly, sloth falls in between depression and boredom. Note that pride comes at the end of the Desert Fathers’ list.

“In practice, pride, the ultimate rejection of God in favor of self, is the final end of human sinfulness. Only a purely spiritual being like the devil can be capable of it straight off!”

When reading the book, it may be helpful to go directly to the Postscript after you read the Introduction and then proceed to read about the Vices. In the Postscript, the author notes the congruence between the Desert Fathers’ approach to sin and devotion to the Immaculata. I found this helpful.

“Devil-fighting isn’t generally thought of as the first consequence of devotion to the Mother of God. If we progress in intimacy with her, however, we soon realize something of what almighty God meant when he said to Satan in Eden, “I will make you enemies of each other: you and the woman, your offspring and her offspring.” Suddenly, her enemies are our enemies. By the time we wake up to the situation, we’re already in the thick of battle, locked in mortal combat with an invisible foe who seems to specialize in fouls. Devil-fighting, we learn, is basic Christian warfare.”

“Sin is never committed from the outside in, although it might look that way; it’s committed from the inside out. No temptation could gain entry into a properly God-oriented, disciplined mind. Inasmuch as “no one can be deceived by the devil but one who has chosen to yield to him the consent of his own will … it is therefore clear,” says Abba Serenus, “that each man goes wrong from this: that when evil thoughts assault him he does not immediately meet them with refusal and contradiction.” If you crush the head of the serpent before he can strike, you don’t have to worry about the rest of him.”

In the Chapter, “Revisiting Sin with St. John of the Cross”, Hertz traces the link from the Old Testament Desert Father Elias to St. John the Baptist, and on through saints Cassian, Basil, and Benedict and affirms that,

“to them we owe not only the knotted discipline and the rules of Christian asceticism, but also our blessed Lady’s Rosary and Scapular. When she appeared to the Carmelite Superior General St. Simon Stock and gave him the Brown Scapular, she promised that whoever died wearing it would never suffer hellfire. If the Rosary beads she had confided earlier to St. Dominic represented the 150 Psalms recited daily by the Fathers, what was this scapular garment but the mantle of Elias, which our Lady now saw fit to throw over the shoulders of all her children? By the Rosary and the Scapular, she declared that she would someday save the world!

“In direct line of descent from the mighty Elias and St. John the Baptist stands St. John of the Cross, modern reformer together with St. Teresa of Avila of the order of the ‘sons of the prophet,’ which according to ancient tradition had been founded originally by Elias on Mt. Carmel. As a religious society it is unique in that it was never designed to ‘do,’ but to ‘stand’ continually in the sight of the Lord of hosts in the spirit of its founder. Its entire rule is summed up in one verse of the first Psalm, where the just man is described as one whose ‘will is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he shall meditate day and night.’ Its inspiration has always been attributed to our Lady, the Flower of Carmel, whom Elias beheld in the distance from the top of his mountain, rising as ‘a little cloud … out of the sea like a man’s foot’ which grew till ‘there fell a great rain’ on the parched earth (3 Kings. 18: 44). The spirit of Elias is one of unmitigated intransigence against the face of apostasy.

“His life already spanning nearly three millennia without tasting death, the prophet will die only by martyrdom in the final tribulation, for his fidelity is impregnable. ‘With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts!’ he told God, ‘before whose face I stand,’ in the cave on Mt. Horeb, and never has he departed from that declaration (3 Kings. 19: 10). To the public called to Mt. Carmel to witness the showdown between himself and Baal’s 450 priests and Jezebel’s 400 prophets, St. Elias had cried out, ‘How long do you halt between two sides? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him!’ (3Kings. 18: 21).

“With similar lack of ambiguity, John the Baptist would speak of ‘laying the axe to the root of the trees’ when he caught sight of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism in the desert of Judea. ‘Brood of vipers!’ he called them. (Matt. 3: 7-10). St. John of the Cross, a true son of the prophets, would see the spiritual life in similar terms. As he wrote to one of his penitents, ‘Anything apart from God is constraint!’ For him, whatever is not God is nada, nothing at all. Reduced to one principle, his doctrine is that faith is the only proximate means of union with God in this life. Other means— vocal prayers, visions, preaching, even good works and the whole panoply of creation— can be very helpful, but have no power to reach Him except through faith. The less dependent on sensible supports faith becomes, the purer it is and the closer to its goal.

Spiritual progress, in other words, is a gradual discarding of inessentials, effected by a loving, Godward groping will. There is no denial of the natural order, but an emphasis on what lies above and beyond it, which is God Himself. Vested in the mantle of the mighty prophet who “is already come” but has yet to return, St. John of the Cross prepares the individual’s way to God as St. John the Baptist prepared Israel’s: “Every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight; and the rough ways plain; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3: 5-6).

“Arriving on the scene just as the Great Apostasy began breaking over the heads of the faithful, the Carmelite master directed his teaching not only to spiritual directors unacquainted with the subtleties of the mystical ascent, but to any ardent soul unable to find a good director. How much more indispensable is he today, when the enemy has actually penetrated the Church’s fortifications and preempted her chains of command! (Hertz, Solange, Sin Revisited  Kindle Edition.)

This little ebook is an invaluable companion for our spiritual journey. I will conclude where Solange Hertz herself concludes:

“The beginner begins where he is, and if he perseveres, God in due time will introduce him into the “nights” of purgation of sense and spirit reserved for the stalwart. St. Augustine said the devil makes a point of circulating evil about good people “that the weak may then think they are are not any good, and so let themselves be carried away by their own evil desires and become corrupted, saying to themselves, Who is there keeps a commandment of God? Or who observes chastity? And when a man believes that no one does, he himself becomes that ‘no one.’”

“In his prologue to The Ascent of Mt. Carmel, St. John of the Cross admitted that it was never his “principal intent to address all,” but rather those “to whom God is granting the favor of setting on the road …” What’s more, in The Dark Night of the Soul he promises they will:  …  suffer great trials, by reason not so much of the aridities which they suffer, as of the fear which they have of being lost on the road, thinking that all spiritual blessing is over for them and that God has abandoned them since they find no help or pleasure in good things. What better description of the purgative night Mother Church herself is now undergoing in those members who truly love God and will not bow the knee to Baal?

“Needless to say, shortly before the opening of the fateful Council which launched the tribulation, the mighty voice of Elias, ever faithful to his mission, sounded the alarm from the Carmel of Coimbra, Portugal. On December 26, 1957, a true daughter of his, Sr. Lucia of Fatima, told the Mexican priest Fr. Augustine Fuentes in what may have been her last contact with the outside: ‘Father, we should not wait for an appeal to the world to come from Rome on the part of the Holy Father to do penance. Nor should we wait for the call to do penance to come from our bishops in our dioceses, nor from the religious congregations. No! Our Lord has already very often used these means, and the world has not paid attention. That is why now it is necessary for each one of us to reform ourselves spiritually. Each person must not only save his own soul, but also all the souls that God has placed in our path! ‘ “

Or, as Elias himself put it to the wavering Israelites on the Mount, “How long do you halt between two sides? If the Lord be God, follow Him: But if Baal, then follow him!” (3 Kings. 18: 21)

Saint Elias, living still, Lead us upward, if you will!

NOTE: Typographical error has been corrected. Thank you for noting. Father Fuentes interview was December, 1957.

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!

originally by evensong, reposted 14 Feb 2018  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!

A Novena of Rosaries for Our Lady of Victory

During this October, the month of Our Lady’s Holy Rosary, we honor her as Our Lady of Victory, for it is by this very Rosary that she will triumph over the enemies of the faith .

When the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the shepherd children of Fatima, she identified herself as the Lady of the Rosary. As we know, everything she says is significant. In this case, by claiming the title of Our Lady of the Rosary,  the title of Our Lady of Victory was implied. For history is replete with her victories through her most Holy Rosary. (Here and here).

By the Rosary, She shall crush the head of satan!

We have explained in previous posts that the Feast of the Holy Rosary is celebrated on October 7th because of Our Lady’s Victory at the Battle of Lepanto where the murderous hordes of Mohammed were driven from Christendom on that day in 1571. Today, the Church is beset by enemies from within who are just as determined as the muslims of four centuries ago. We have all heard the old axiom, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Perhaps that is why our humble Pope is so indulgent with his friends, the musllims?

This month, it is good to dwell on Our Lady’s Rosary as the means by which she will be victorious in the ongoing battle with the forces of satan in the world and within the Church itself.

We know Our Lady has already given us the keys to victory – her Rosary and devotion to her Immaculate Heart.  There has never been a better time to take up our Rosaries and join our Queen and Mother in her battle! Solange Hertz explained this best:

“Damaged perspective is quickly corrected by reference to the Mysteries of the Rosary, which contain the whole of human history in prophecy. For the Church there is no possibility of failure. Faithfully reproducing the life of her blessed Lord on earth as Mary did, she has left the Joyful Mysteries far behind and is already at grips with the Sorrowful ones. Approaching her own crucifixion, she is even now on the Way of the Cross which leads to the Resurrection. Like her divine Master, “who having joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb.12:2), she keeps her gaze fixed on the Glorious Mysteries lying ahead.

Conformed to Him in all things, the Church can expect her torment to end like His, abruptly and without warning, leaving the world to marvel as did Pilate, who “wondered that he should already be dead” (Mk. 15:44). Suffering is not natural to man, who was created to share God’s own eternal happiness and glory. The Sacred Heart has promised, “I shall reign in spite of Satan and all opposition!” Revealing her own participation in that promise, His Mother has declared, “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” In their one Heart is laid up one inevitable, final, resplendent victory.”  (Hertz, “The Thought of Their Heart”, Kindle Edition)

The evil within the heart of our Church can only be defeated by Our Lady of the Rosary, Victorious in Battle. To help illustrate this we recently posted a little known vision of St. John Bosco, which we share with you again:

“It was a dark night. Men could no longer tell which way to take in order to return to their homes. Suddenly there appeared in the heavens a very bright light that illuminated the steps of the travelers as though it were mid-day. At that moment there was seen a host of men and women, of young and old, of nuns, monks and priests with the Holy Father at the head. They were going out from the Vatican and were arranging themselves in line for a procession. “Then there came a furious storm which clouded that light somewhat and made it appear that light and darkness were engaged in battle. In the meantime, they arrived at a little square covered with dead and wounded, some of whom cried aloud and asked for help.

“Very many were dropping out of the line of procession. After having walked for a time that would correspond to two hundred risings of the sun (200 days) they all realized that they were no longer in Rome. Struck with fear they all ran to the Holy Father to defend him personally and to attend his wants. Instantly two angels were seen carrying a banner, going they presented it to the Holy Father and said: ‘Receive the banner of He Who fights and scatters the strongest armies of the world. Your enemies are dispersed. Your children with tears and sighs beg you to return.’ “Looking at the banner one could see written on one side, ‘Queen conceived without sin,’ and on the other side, ‘Help of Christians.’

In this, as in his prophecy of the Two Pillars, St. John Bosco affirms that Christ the King prefers to conquer through means of His Most Blessed Mother. The banner of Christ the King bears two of her titles: The first, “conceived without sin” is of course, the Immaculate Conception and the second title is also very informative, Mary Help of Christians, that is, Our Lady of Victory. That is her title for vanquishing the Muslims, which will be accomplished at her last (seventh) apparition at Fatima to end the Islamist war on Christians with the conversion of muslims to the true faith. It is obvious as well, that this Queen will also vanquish the heresies which have thrown the Church into such darkness and disarray. She has promised us, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

The following Novena prayer is for a Novena of Rosaries, that is, nine days of praying the 15 decade, complete Rosary. For those unable to complete the entire Rosary each day, it can also be prayed as a 27 day novena, by saying one five-decade rosary daily, which makes a complete 15 decade rosary each 3 days. For that longer Novena it is good to mark each day on the calendar as it’s completed. There is another lovely tradition, which has worked many miracles, of praying yet another 27 day novena following the first, in thanksgiving for the favor requested. The willingness to pray with faith and gratitude for a favor perhaps not yet granted, is understood to be very pleasing to Our Lady. On a personal note, I have made use of this as a 54 day novena of Rosaries on several occasions and have been astounded at Our Lady’s generosity. She truly never fails us when we pray for the salvation of others with this novena of rosaries.

This Rosary Novena is very powerful, so please be sure to continue it, even though your prayers may be answered before the completion.

Our Lady Of The Rosary Novena Prayer

Dearest Lady, Queen of the most Holy Rosary, from Calvary’s cross, thy dear Son entrusted us to thy care. Behold thy weak and sinful child in supplication at thy feet. I beg thee, accept this Holy Rosary, offered for the glory of God, in reparation for the offenses to thine Immaculate Heart and to the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, for the conversion of sinners and for the special intention: ____________.

Please, dear Mother, place these poor prayers of mine in the chalice of thine Immaculate Heart and offer them to Jesus. Conscious of my own unworthiness, I trust in thine Immaculate Heart, the fountain of infinite mercy. Amen.

One simple and effective way for us to minimize distractions when saying the Rosary is to prepare carefully for our first Rosary of the day. After morning offering/renewal of consecration, make a spiritual communion. It doesn’t take very long and it enables us to stay focused. After spiritual communion and thanksgiving, pray the Angel of Fatima’s Prayer, that is:

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

After that, call to mind the particular Mystery, such as Joyful, Sorrowful or Glorious. It helps greatly if we have previously spent some time reading and thinking about these mysteries. If there is interest in it, perhaps we’ll offer a post on Rosary Meditations. Briefly however, in the Joyful Mysteries, we consider Mary’s humility and obedience. The Sorrowful Mysteries are about obedience and humility in action, that is, on the way of the Cross. Jesus has commanded us to Take up our crosses and follow Him. The Glorious Mysteries encourage us with the fruits of virtue and help instill in us an ever greater faith, hope and love for Our Lord and His Blessed Mother.

It is also helpful to consider the words of the Angelic Salutation (Hail Mary) itself.

“Hail Mary, full of Grace” is a statement of the Immaculate Conception. Mary was conceived immaculate from sin, in order to contribute the Body and Blood of Christ. Why is that concept is so difficult for protestants? Why would they want Our Lord Jesus Christ to spend the first nine months of His earthly existence in a sinful body? It must be because they do not understand that sin is the greatest evil in the world, more so than pain, or even death itself, because sin is seaparation from God, that is to say, death of one’s eternal soul. That is why each Hail Mary begins with the affirmation of the Blessed Virgin’s Immaculate Conception – it is an affirmation of the perfect justice and mercy of God.

“The Lord is with thee” reminds us that Mary is always with the Most Holy Trinity. She is the most favored Daughter of God the Father, the most beloved Mother of God the Son and the most glorious Spouse of God the Holy Ghost. So, whenever we are praying the Hail Mary, the Holy Trinity is right there, too.

“Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” These are the words of Mary’s kinswoman, Elizabeth. (Luke 1, 42) The Church in her wisdom, added the sacred name of Jesus, by which name we are blessed each time we utter it respectfully. By these Biblical praises, we console Our Blessed Mother and Our Lord for the blasphemies against them. Jesus told Sister Lucia that the Immaculate Heart of His Mother is pierced with numerous thorns caused by ungrateful sinners. He called for us to make reparation. We must not be indifferent to His request.

“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” When praying this intercession, we refer back mentally to the Angel of Fatima’s  prayer above, which by Divine inspiration applies the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the salvation of sinners. Mary is truly the Mother of Mercy. The first revelation of Fatima was of the huge number of sinners falling constantly into Hell. We are commanded to pray and offer penance for them. This part of the Hail Mary supplies this need if it is coupled with a clear intention.

At the Doxology, as we pray, “Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost”,  we recall that Mary is always praying that prayer, so dear to her Heart, with us, as are all the choirs of Heaven. For she is Queen of Heaven, and beloved of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Then follows the Fatima Decade Prayer, “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy.” Once again, we ask Jesus to apply that infinite merit to all poor sinners. In this we affirm our trust in His mercy for those who follow Him.

We have written on the Our Father in two previous posts, Meditations on the Our Father,  which can be found here and here.

In numerous apparitions from Our Lady of Good Success, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on up to Lourdes and Fatima, both Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother have asked for prayer and penance. One certain way to fulfill both requests (prayer and penance) is to make time in our busy day for the full rosary of fifteen decades. As St. Louis de Monfort tells us, “…nobody who perseveres in saying the Rosary will be damned, because (Mary) obtains for her servants the grace of true contrition for their sins and by means of this they obtain God’s forgiveness and mercy.” I would add that it is likely that no one will be lost for whom we earnestly pray our Rosaries. Our Lady will never fail her children!

Recite the Rosary every day!

If you are concerned about the well-being of your loved ones, or for our Church in these days of apostasy and confusion, there is no better way to help than by praying the Holy Rosary. At Fatima, in response to Lucia’s question, “Who are you?” Our Lady replied, “I am the Lady of the Rosary.” Sister Lucia explains:

“The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Holy Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, or even of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.”

Frère Michel tells us that Sister Lucia often stressed that in every one of her six apparitions, Our Lady made sure to repeat the request, always in the same terms, with the same insistence: Recite the Rosary every day!”

“This shows how much this beautiful prayer, so traditional in the Church, is supremely pleasing to Her motherly heart. Far from being a completely secondary and optional devotion, the Virgin of Fatima came to reveal to us that the Rosary is the most ordinary condition to infallibly obtain all the graces that we ask of Her.

“Yes, She is the Mediatrix of all graces, by the good pleasure of Her Son. But this outpouring of favors which She holds in Her Heart, She can only release on each of our souls, our families, our countries and the world, in response to the humble and suppliant imploring of innumerable Rosaries. If, just as at Lourdes, She willed to appear at the Cova da Iria holding in Her hand this blessed instrument, guide of our prayers, it was to show us that it is the surest means, because it is the easiest and the humblest, of winning Her Heart and obtaining Her graces.

Frère Michel quotes Sister Lúcia:

“The Rosary is, for the great part of souls who are living in the world, as it were their daily spiritual bread. To deprive them of it, inciting them to neglect or ignore this prayer, is to snatch from their mouth the bread of grace.”

And so, take heart – The battle is far from over – Our Blessed Mother is always victorious!
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary for thou alone hast destroyed all heresies in all the world.

Most Glorious Queen of Heaven, by thy holy Rosary, bind us to thee and lead us to Jesus!

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, Thy will be done.

St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, protect our families, protect our priests.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

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

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July 29, 2017

It is most important  to understand that the devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Christ the King, and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary are all of a piece, as it were, and in no way are separate, disparate, or contradictory. And these are inseparable as well from the Mass and particularly, the Holy Eucharist.  Furthermore, it is essential to grasp that the requests, demands really, of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, as relayed by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1689, still stand today, more than three centuries after they were made known. Once God has uttered a request, it does not cease to be simply because centuries pass while Catholics turn an indifferent ear to them.

What I had hoped to do in the earlier post was demonstrate the reason Christ Our Lord made His request of the King of France. It was because of the importance of the French Monarchy, as a worldly force established by the will of God for the glory and protection of Christ’s Church. I refer readers to the writings of Solange Hertz as previously cited.

St. Pius X tells us in Vehementer, “The Creator of mankind is also the Founder of human societies, and He preserves them just as He maintains individuals in existence.”  God sent Joan of Arc to make this clear. Her mission was precisely to establish the fact that France was a nation constituted by God under a king who was Jesus Christ’s designated lieutenant. Thus, we see that God first sent St. Joan to aid France, then sent St. Margaret Mary with a message from His Sacred Heart. The engineer of destruction for the latter message was the deceitful Jesuit superior who refused to comply. I will not expand on this now, but it is documented by Hertz in Utopia Nowhere.

At the risk of oversimplifying, I will just state that if Pope Pius XI had only obeyed the commands of the Immaculate Mother of God at Fatima, instead of separating that requested devotion from devotion to the Sacred Heart and Christ the King, he would have been able to fulfill both the demands of the Immaculate Heart and the demands of her Son. Instead of the ever-expanding reign of the evils of satanic marxism, we could have had the glorious reign of Christ the King, through the Immaculata, as Our Lord Himself had so desired.

And what are we to think of France?  The Kingdom of France, established by King Clovis was consecrated by him to  Christ’s Kingship forever by constitutional law. The document’s preamble begins with, “The illustrious Nation of the Franks, having God for Founder,” and closes by praying that, “the Lord Jesus Christ direct those who govern in the way of piety.”  When France’s king failed to submit to the request of its true ruler, Christ the King, it fell to apostasy. Of this, Pope St. Pius X prophesied: “she who had made an alliance with God,” would one day repent and “bear My Name before all peoples and all the kings of the earth.” God’s gifts being without repentance, we may believe that the return to natural law will begin with the conversion of regicide France. (Solange Hertz, “Utopia Nowhere”, loc 1101-1105)

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Politics and the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today we consider a neglected aspect of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that is, its political aspect.  For this essay, I am indebted to a favorite author, Solange Hertz.  In her book, “Utopia Nowhere“,  Solange Hertz proves the importance of the political aspect in a most elegant manner, beginning with her assertion that devotion to the Sacred Heart was established on Golgotha when the Roman Centurion Longinus plunged his lance into the Heart of Jesus, the Heart of “The King of the Jews”, as Pilate’s notice proclaimed.

Longinus, the official representative of the ruling power, thereby performed a political act which stands to this day as a necessary reminder of the battle between the dark powers that rule this world and the power of Christ the King:

Devotion to His Sacred Heart is therefore no sentimental devotion to be pursued only in private. Essentially, it is a political commitment. The Sacred Heart of Christ the King is source and center of the Christian state, human manifestation of the divine Monarchy from which all monarchy takes its name. Its temporal dimensions extend into eternity. Only when viewed from this perspective can the true purpose of Sacred Heart devotion be discerned. Otherwise it is simply a super-excellent practice among many others designed by God to bring the individual into greater intimacy with Him.

Sacred Heart devotion does this, to be sure, but its objective is ultimately and fundamentally political in the real sense of the word politics. It was forged by the divine Wisdom to bring not only the individual, but whole nations into intimacy with God. [Utopia Nowhere].

Although devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was evident throughout the long history of the Church, and especially in the lives of many of the mystics of the Church in the Middle Ages, it was not until Our Lord’s revelations to the Visitation nun, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in 1689 that we began to see the vigorous political thrust of the Sacred Heart.  From Hertz:

The substance of our Lord’s message had been conveyed in six letters written by St. Margaret Mary, five of them to her former Superior, Mother de Saumaise, and the last one to her Jesuit spiritual director, Fr. Croiset. The second letter, dated June 17, 1689, begins by speaking of some great political designs of our Lord:

Behold this Heart which has so loved men…

… which can be executed only by His almighty power … It seems to me He wishes to enter with pomp and magnificence into the homes of princes and kings so as to be honored there to the same degree that He was outraged, despised and humiliated in His Passion, and to receive as much pleasure on seeing the world’s great ones reduced and humbled before Him as He felt bitterness on seeing Himself reduced to nothing at their feet.

And here are the words I heard regarding our King: ‘Inform the eldest son of My Sacred Heart that … he will secure his birth into grace and glory by the consecration he will make of himself to My adorable Heart … and through his mediation, that of the great ones of the earth. He (the Sacred Heart) wishes to reign in his palace, to be painted on his standards and to be graven on his arms to render them victorious over all his enemies, by bringing these proud, arrogant heads under his heel and effect his triumph over all the enemies of the Church.’

There were other requests. In the saint’s fifth letter, dated August 28 of the same year, she says our Lord desired a building to be erected in which would be displayed an image of the divine Heart, to which the King and his entire court would formally consecrate themselves. The King, furthermore, chosen by our Lord as “His faithful friend,” was to ensure that a special Mass in His honor would be authorized by the Holy See and a formal cultus established.

In return the King was promised divine protection against his “enemies, both visible and invisible.” It is now known that these invisible enemies were the occult forces of Freemasonry set into motion by the “merchants of light.” Already they had crossed the Channel from England and were gathering strength in France. And speaking of channels, our Lord made it clear that the Jesuit Fr. de la Chaize, Louis XIV’s confessor, had been chosen by God to see to the execution of His designs.

The Role of the Jesuits

St Margaret Mary explained, “By virtue of the power He had given him [Father de la Chaize], over the heart of our great King, the success of the matter depended on him.” And yet, incredibly, even Jesuit scholars have determined that Fr. de la Chaize never relayed Our Lord’s message to the King.  Hertz suggests that it was Jesuit obedience that withheld him, as it is known that the Father General, Fr. Thyrsus Gonzalez de Santalla was hostile to devotion to the Sacred Heart, as it is documented that he censured and banished  Father Croiset, St. Margaret Mary’s devout confessor for having written an account of the revelations.

To what can we describe such a thing? It seems another instance of the workings of the mystery of iniquity. Thus, the devotion so dear to Our Lord was allowed to languish, and the cause was simply obedience to disobedience. This has worked so well for the ancient enemy, sad to say.

Hertz affirms that the tradition of the French Visitation nuns holds it for certain that Louis XIV did nevertheless learn of the desires of the Sacred Heart through other sources. We know that Louis XIV was already privately practicing the devotion as preached by St. John Eudes, to whom he had allocated 2000 pounds for France’s first chapel to be dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Hertz is certain that the King would have, as piety dictated, submitted St. Margaret Mary’s requests to his spiritual director for approval, with a view to acting on them, but it is clear that no approval was given. Once again, obedience to those who are disobedient to Christ.

In her essay, Hertz stresses an important point, “The divine communications had been directed to Louis XIV’s person [as Monarch], but not to him as an individual. Had this been the case the extraordinary means used would have been entirely disproportionate. It was Louis as King who was addressed.” What we are to understand from this is that God made a request of the French Monarch, not a personal request to one single person, King Louis XIV, but to the French Monarchy to re-establish the ancient and sacred compact between the French Monarchy and the Church. instituted by King Clovis. Let’s delve a bit deeper here, for this has significance for us today.

Fr. Bainvel, theologian of the Sacred Heart, writes:

“The three objects of the message [of the Sacred Heart]: the church, the consecration, the flag are by their very nature national, durable and perpetual; the triumph over the enemies of God and the Church resulting from the accomplishment of the message is even more national, inasmuch as it involves the whole future of France and her providential Catholic mission, her vocation and her raison d’ être.”

In the person of the King all his successors and the nation itself are addressed. The entire court was to take part in the consecration. God’s gifts being without repentance, no time limit was set, and presumably God still waits. Thus, we see that Our Lord Jesus Christ still awaits the obedience of the French Monarch to His demands, as He awaits the obedience of the Pope and Bishops to the demands of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, His most Beloved Mother.

Why the King of France?

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Our Lady of the Rosary, 2016

Today is the Feast of the Holy Rosary, Our Lady’s gift to her children.  The Rosary is the second best gift that the Queen of Heaven has given to her children. The first best gift is of course, Our Savior Jesus Christ!

“Non virtus, non arma, non duces, sed Maria Rosarii victores fecit.”
“Non virtus, non arma, non duces, sed Maria Rosarii victores fecit.”

THE HOLY ROSARY: Ultimate Liturgy

By Solange Hertz

The Rosary Is Her Gift To Us…Not Even the Pope Can Change That

(Fundamental Reasons Why So Many Faithful Catholics Never Embraced the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary)

There is no mention whatever of the Rosary in the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Not even in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium, whose final chapter deals exclusively with our Lady ’s role in the Church. A vague reference in Article 67 to “practices and exercises of devotion towards her” might be assumed to include it, but according to Bishop Rendeiro of Coïmbra, the Bishops who wished to add to the text “the Rosary with meditation on the Mysteries of the life of Christ and the Blessed Virgin” were voted down. Apparently the Council deemed it best to follow the recommendations of the Theological Commission and make no mention of particular devotions, for fear of encouraging manifestations of piety beyond what they termed “the limits of sound and orthodox doctrine.” …

Not for them the beloved adage of the saints, “De Maria numquam satis!” They were solicitous to “painstakingly guard against any word or deed which could lead separated brethren or anyone else into error regarding the true doctrine of the Church.” They would only concede that the Church “has endorsed many forms of piety toward the Mother of God,” forms which “have varied according to the circumstances of time and place and have reflected the diversity of native characteristics and temperament among the faithful.”

In point of fact the Rosary began at the foot of the Cross along with Sacred Heart devotion. When Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic with instructions to propagate the Rosary, she did so for the same reason that our Lord would one day appear to St. Margaret Mary. In neither case was anything new proposed to the faithful, who were merely being recalled to practices known in the Church from the beginning, but which they were in imminent danger of forgetting.

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The Open Heart

For love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we offer this essay of Solange Hertz, from her book (highly recommended!), The Thought of Their Heart, on Devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Holy Rosary”.

The Open Heart

by Solange Strong Hertz

“I will reveal My love to them more and more …”

The history of devotion to the Sacred Heart is in a very real sense a gradual revelation of the secret life of the Church. Its prologue, written in the heart of St. John as he reclined against the Lord’s breast at the Last Supper, broadcasts its first rhythms to the world, setting the tempo for the dramatic rending on Calvary. Veneration for the wound inflicted there seems to have been the initial form of the cult among the faithful. From this wound, the “door in the ark,” there gradually issued the proliferation of grace we now know as Sacred Heart devotion, ramifying and increasing through time, space and circumstance to fit all the needs and conditions of worshippers truly seeking intimacy with their Lord.

It elicited tears of repentance, prompted praise, encouraged confident petition and proffered earth’s reparation to heaven for its sins against Love. For centuries the movement developed quietly in the privacy of religious houses and the souls of gifted individuals until it permeated the whole Church in ranks both clerical and lay. In addition to the saints already mentioned, among its devotees must be numbered St. Anselm, St. Frances of Rome, St. Lawrence Justinian, St. Bernardine of Siena, St. Joan of Valois, St. Peter of Alcantara, St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, St. Antoninus, St. Peter Canisius, St. Francis de Sales— to list but a few of those canonized. Others who spread its benefits are legion. Carthusians, Franciscans, Benedictines, Dominicans, each produced its particular “school” of spirituality based on affection for the wounded Heart of the Savior. The wealth of art, literature, and liturgy both canonical and popular which has come down to us on the subject attests to its vigor and sanctifying power.

Not surprisingly, it was St. John Eudes, the apostle of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who was instrumental in directing modern piety towards the Heart of her Son. Called by Pope St. Pius X “initiator, teacher and apostle of the liturgical cult of the Sacred Heart,” he had begun by drawing heavily on the writings of the old Cologne Carthusians so as to establish the cult on solid theological ground. By 1672 he had succeeded in obtaining ecclesiastical approval for a Mass of the Sacred Heart to be celebrated in the communities of his own Order, the Congregation of Jesus and Mary.

The very next year, on the feast of St. John the Apostle, December 27, 1673, the torrents of private revelations converged explosively in the Visitation convent at Paray-le-Monial in France. It was there that our Lord, appearing to the humble young nun, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, chose to set the seal of divine approval on what had until then been a most salutary practice in the Church, but which nevertheless remained a private affair— a kind of “inside track” for fleeter spirits. Our Lord had once told St. Gertrude:

“Whenever you desire to obtain anything from Me, offer Me My Heart, which I have so often given you as a token of our mutual friendship, in union with the love which made Me become man for the salvation of men; and I give you this special mark of friendship, … “

After four great apparitions in Paray from 1673 to 1675, … devotion to the Sacred Heart was soon to be enjoined upon all. If we are to believe the words of St. John the Apostle and the ancient prophets concerning the Heart of God, we who are living three hundred years later must be about to witness nothing less than the last moments of the world. “In the latter days you shall understand these things,” promised Jeremiah. “The THOUGHTS of HIS HEART to all generations: to deliver their souls from death and feed them in famine” (Introit, Mass of the Sacred Heart).

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Enmity between thy seed and her seed

“With great longing I desire the spread of devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for this heart is the magnet that draws hearts to Me, the heart that radiates to the world the streams of my light and my love. It is finally, the inexhaustible spring from which flows into the world the living water of my mercy.” (Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Lucia, 1943, quoted in Sister Lucia’s letter to Bishop Gurza, May 27, 1943)

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night before He died for our sins, promised us, “I will not leave you orphans.” Thus, he spoke to Sister Lucia in 1943 in order to offer us in this sad Passion of His Church, the Immaculate Heart of His Mother as the inexhaustible spring of living water of His Mercy. Those who remain obstinately indifferent to this do so to their own eternal destruction.

It can be difficult to discern the true path amidst this diabolical smoke and carnage of the great spiritual battle. But Our Lord offers us the remedy: the Heart of Mary, that radiates His light and love to strengthen and guide us safely. In the Message of Fatima, we are given  a key to comprehend the mysterious passage in Chapter 12, Apocalypse:

“A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars”

“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars …And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, …And the dragon was angry against the woman: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

The three parts of the Fatima message can be applied fruitfully here. Briefly, the three parts may be described as:

  1. The warning about the horror of Hell.
  2. Heaven’s plan to avoid this terrible fate and promise for those who obey God’s will.
  3. While the third part is not fully revealed, it concerns the frightful consequences for disobeying, that is, the Chastisement and holds out the promise of victory through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Today, we see clearly the results of this. The reality of Hell is denied, all the way to the top of the institutional Church, misleading many poor sinners. The almost total indifference of the clergy, hierarchy and laity to Heaven’s merciful plan, the true message of Fatima. And so, the Chastisement continues apace, with no mitigation possible at this late point. All this is overwhelming, but there is also much reason for hope, for those who heed Our Lady of Fatima and hold firm to the Faith. For, as Our Lady of the Rosary has promised,

“In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

Due to the disobedience of the popes, to this day the third part of the Message, the Third Secret remains clouded in mystery; however, by all reliable accounts it includes the prophecy that if her commands were not obeyed, the Church would be afflicted with severe chastisements, including an apostasy that would begin at the top, that is, with the pontiff himself. This is what we are experiencing in our day and has also been foretold in many other church-approved revelations, many of which we have already discussed in earlier posts. All together, the Message of Fatima, in all three parts applies to the great battle between the Woman clothed with the Sun and the loathsome red dragon, who is satan.

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The Devil in Lent

“Now it is necessary for each one of us to reform ourselves spiritually. Each person must not only save his own soul, but also all the souls that God has placed in our path!” Sister Lucia of Fatima.

A reader exclaimed recently, “This Lent, it is worse than ever – I feel as if the devil himself is working against me!” To which I replied, “Then you must be on the right track; otherwise, he would not waste his time.”

The Immaculate Conception - Because God hates sin!
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us now and at the hour of our death!

A helpful little ebook in this regard is Solange Hertz’ “Sin Revisited”. At the outset, she contrasts the intellectual approach of St. Thomas Aquinas with that of the early Desert Fathers, noting that,

“Sin may be described not as the intellect dissects it but as it happens to an individual. … Long before St. Thomas and the scholastics, the ancient Church Fathers described sin in no other terms than those the Bible uses. This was especially true of those stalwart easterners we call the Desert Fathers, who grappled nakedly with sin in the inexorable solitudes of the Egyptian Thebaid in the third and fourth centuries.

“Their (flight to the desert) was a calculated foray into an arena where deadly combats between good and evil could take place at the most elemental level without mundane distractions. They were following, they tell us, the example of Christ grown to manhood, who was led by the Spirit for forty days into the desert to encounter the Enemy at close quarters.”

Mrs. Hertz makes the assertion for gluttony being a very basic sin which arises in ourselves. if you have, (as I have) considered pride as the source and root of most of your sin, you will be fascinated by the case she makes for gluttony. It gave me an insight into why the media hammer us with food and drink advertisements relentlessly. It also helps us understand the importance of fasting. Consider Eve in the Garden of Eden, as told in the Scriptures,

“Our famous original sin in Eden, for instance, wasn’t portrayed dispassionately as grand, primordial pride. It describes our first involvement with simple gluttony. ‘Eve saw for herself that the tree was good to eat and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold; and she took the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat.’ “

Hertz reminds us that gluttony cannot be destroyed as easily as other sins, because food is necessary to support our life and therefore the best we can do is check our superfluous cravings by the power of our mind. But this is an ongoing battle, and never won once and for all. The author  makes the point that vice is not natural to us, and it only seems that way because of our fallen nature. That is precisely why God gave us the Immaculate Virgin Mary and through her, His only begotten Son, those two perfect beings who exemplify in themselves what human nature is meant to be, when when this long, weary battle is won at last.

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