Desolation

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Many writers have noted lately the whole world and especially the Church is in a state of extreme desolation. But today, by God’s infinite mercy, we may find that immense benefits are to be drawn from it. From St. Alphonus Liguori:

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When a soul is morally certain of being in the grace of God, although she may be deprived of worldly pleasures, as well as of those which come from God, she nevertheless rests satisfied with her state, conscious, as she is, of loving God, and of being loved by Him. But God, Who wishes to see her purified and divested of all sensible satisfaction, in order to unite her entirely to Himself by means of pure love, what does He do?

He puts her in the crucible of desolation, which is more painful to bear than the most severe trials, whether internal or external; she is left in a state of uncertainty if she be in the grace of God or not, and in the dense darkness that shrouds her, there seems no prospect of her ever more finding God. Almighty God, moreover, will sometimes permit her to be assailed by violent sensual temptations, accompanied by irregular movements of the inferior part, or perhaps by thoughts of unbelief, of despair, and even of hatred of God, when she imagines herself cast off by Him, and that He no longer hears her prayers.

And as, on the one hand, the suggestions of the devil are vehement, and the motions of concupiscence are excited, and, on the other, the soul finds herself in this great darkness, she can no longer sufficiently distinguish whether she properly resists or yields to the temptations, though her will resolutely refuses all consent. Her fears of having lost God are thus very much increased; and from her fancied infidelity in struggling against the temptations, she thinks herself deservedly abandoned by God. The saddest of all calamities seems to have befallen her,—–to be able no longer to love God, and to be hated by Him.

St. Teresa passed through all these trials, and declares that during them solitude had no charms for her, but, on the contrary, filled her with horror; while prayer was changed for her into a perfect hell. When a soul that loves God finds herself in this state, she must not lose courage; and neither must he who directs her become alarmed. Those sensual movements, those temptations against faith, those feelings of distrust, and those attacks which urge her to hate Almighty God, are fears, are tortures of the soul, are efforts of the enemy; but they are not voluntary, and therefore they are not sins.

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The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I remain on retreat; we offer from our archives, for Our Lady on her holy day. Note: I have added the Consecration at the end of this post.:

Today, December 8, we honor the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Savior and by His infinite goodness and mercy, our Mother, too.

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception is an affirmation of just how much God hates sin.

And so, it is an antidote for the heresy of modernism, the “faith” of Pope Francis. Last year, on Our Lady’s Feast, Pope Francis insulted her  as we reported in our post, “The Pope’s Gift to Mary on Her Feast Day”.

The previous year, in December, 2014, Pope Francis essentially rejected the dogma of the Immaculate Conception when he

The Immaculata, an unceasing declaration of war against the consequences of original sin.

remarked in a homily (see here) that perhaps Our Lady may have doubted the promise made at the Annunciation that “He shall reign forever” as she witnessed Our Lord’s crucifixion. Francis said that Mary may have thought, “lies, I was deceived”. This means that the Vicar of Christ speculated that Mary may have sinned against the Holy Spirit, by doubting the truth of God. Now, for the pope to sin personally is one thing, but to preach sin in a homily is quite another. The pope’s remark brings to mind what Our Lord Jesus Christ told Sister Lucia about the need for reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

On May 29, 1930, during Sister Lucia’s weekly Eucharistic Holy Hour, Our Lord told her that the reason He demanded the First Saturdays of Reparation was because of the five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the first of these was “Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception”.  (The True Story of Fatima, from Father Gruner’s Fatima Center.)

When I first read that revelation, it seemed that it referred to protestants who deny Mary’s Immaculate Conception; it never crossed my mind that our Holy Father, the Pope would blaspheme against Our Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Conception. But it helped me to understand why, so long ago, the Angel of Fatima was crying out, “Penance, penance, penance!”. Even though the pope’s blasphemy passed by unobserved by most mainstream commentators, true Catholics need to come to Our Lady’s defense. Pope Francis’s errors must be pointed out and reparation to Our Lady is of the utmost importance. Also, it helps us to defend Our Blessed Mother if we are well-informed and knowledgeable about basic Church doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception.
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