The Price of Our Salvation

 

This meditation on the Precious Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ is one of my favorite readings for meditation, and I find it fruitful even after years.

Today, Monday, July 1st, is the Feast of the most Precious Blood of Jesus. The Church celebrates this Feast on the First Sunday of July, however, which will not be until July 7 this year, so although I am posting this article today, the actual feast will be next Sunday.

The Feast of the most Precious Blood of Jesus is rich in beautiful reminders of God’s gracious providence for us, even though we do not deserve such generosity. Our reference today is  Father Faber’s tender tribute to the Precious Blood of Our Lord.

Most Precious Blood of Jesus, save us, save our priests, save our Church!

 

Father Faber’s beautiful essay, The Precious Blood, or the price of our Salvation“, remarks that the Angels wonder in awe as they adore this Precious Blood.

“Their superior intelligence ministers more abundant matter to their love. From the very first God invited the angels to adore It. He made their adoration a double exercise of humility,—of humility toward Himself, and of humility toward us their inferior fellow-creatures. It was the test to which He put their loyalty. He showed them His beloved Son, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, in His Sacred Humanity, united to a lower nature than their own, and in that lower nature crowned their King and Head, to be worshipped by them with absolute and unconditional adoration. The Son of a human Mother was to be their Head, and that Daughter of Eve to be herself their Queen. …

The Precious Blood belongs in an especial manner to men. Much more, therefore, does God invite them to come to Its heavenly baths, and receive therein, not only the cleansing of their souls, but the power of a new and amazing life. Every  doctrine in theology is a call to the Precious Blood. Every ceremony in the Church tells of it. Every sermon that is preached is an exhortation to the use of it. Every Sacrament is a communication of it. Every supernatural act is a growth of it. Every thing that is holy on the earth is either leaf, bud, blossom, or fruit of the Blood of Jesus.

To its fountains, God calls the sinner, that he may be lightened of his burdens. There is no remission for him in any thing else. Only there is his lost son-ship to be found. But the saints are no less called by God to these invigorating streams. It is out of the Precious Blood that men draw martyrdoms, vocations, celibacies, austerities, heroic charities, and all the magnificent graces of high sanctity. The secret nourishment of prayer is from those fountains. They purge the eye for sublime contemplations. They kindle the inward fires of self-sacrificing love. They bear a man safely, and even impetuously, over the seeming impossibilities of perseverance. It is by the Blood of Jesus that the soul becomes ever more and more radiant. It is the secret source of all mystical transformations of the soul into the likeness of its Crucified Spouse. …

All the new nature of the man, who is “renewed in Christ Jesus,” comes from this Blood, whether it be his love of suffering, his delight in shame, his grace of prayer, his unworldly tastes, his strange humility, his shy concealment, his zeal for souls, his venturous audacity, or his obstinate perseverance. Sinner, saint, and common Christian, all in their own ways, require the Precious Blood each moment of their lives; and, as the manna in the mouths of the Israelites had the savor which each man wished it to have, so is it with the sweetness, the variety, and the fitness of the graces of the Precious Blood.

Father Faber reminds us that Our Savior’s Precious Blood came  from Mary.

Mary’s blood was the material out of which the Holy Ghost, the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity, the artificer of the Sacred Humanity, fashioned the Blood of Jesus. Here we see how needful to the joy and gladness of our devotion is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Who could bear to think that the matter of the Precious Blood had ever been itself corrupted with the taint of sin, that it had once been part of the devil’s kingdom, that what was to supply the free price of our redemption was once enslaved to God’s darkest, foulest enemy?

Continue reading “The Price of Our Salvation”

Desire and Contrition in Lent

Saint Catherine of Siena, in her Dialogues, has much to offer us this Lent.

How finite works are not sufficient for punishment or recompense without the perpetual affection of love.

Then, the Eternal Truth seized and drew more strongly to Himself her desire, doing as He did in the Old Testament, for when the sacrifice was offered to God, a fire descended and drew to Him the sacrifice that was acceptable to Him; so did the sweet Truth to that soul, in sending down the fire of the clemency of the Holy Spirit, seizing the sacrifice of desire that she made of herself, saying:

“Do you not know, dear daughter, that all the sufferings, which the soul endures, or can endure, in this life, are insufficient to punish one smallest fault, because the offense, being done to Me, who am the Infinite Good, calls for an infinite satisfaction? However, I wish that you should know, that not all the pains that are given to men in this life are given as punishments, but as corrections, in order to chastise a son when he offends; though it is true that both the guilt and the penalty can be expiated by the desire of the soul, that is, by true contrition, not through the finite pain endured, but through the infinite desire; because God, who is infinite, wishes for infinite love and infinite grief. Infinite grief I wish from My creature in two ways:

• in one way, through her sorrow for her own sins, which she has committed against Me her Creator;
• in the other way, through her sorrow for the sins which she sees her neighbors commit against Me.

Of such as these, inasmuch as they have infinite desire, that is, are joined to Me by an affection of love, and therefore grieve when they offend Me, or see Me offended, their every pain, whether spiritual or corporeal, from wherever it may come, receives infinite merit, and satisfies for a guilt which deserved an infinite penalty, although their works are finite and done in finite time; but, inasmuch as they possess the virtue of desire, and sustain their suffering with desire, and contrition, and infinite displeasure against their guilt, their pain is held worthy. Paul explained this when he said: If I had the tongues of angels, and if I knew the things of the future and gave my body to be burned, and have not love, it would be worth nothing to me. The glorious Apostle thus shows that finite works are not valid, either as punishment or recompense, without the condiment of the affection of love.

How desire and contrition of heart satisfies, both for the guilt and the penalty in oneself and in others; and how sometimes it satisfies for the guilt only, and not the penalty.

“I have shown you, dearest daughter, that the guilt is not punished in this finite time by any pain which is sustained purely as such. And I say, that the guilt is punished by the pain which is endured through the desire, love, and contrition of the heart; not by virtue of the pain, but by virtue of the desire of the soul; inasmuch as desire and every virtue is of value, and has life in itself, through Christ crucified, My only begotten Son, in so far as the soul has drawn her love from Him, and virtuously follows His virtues, that is, His Footprints.

In this way, and in no other, are virtues of value, and in this way, pains satisfy for the fault, by the sweet and intimate love acquired in the knowledge of My goodness, and in the bitterness and contrition of heart acquired by knowledge of one’s self and one’s own thoughts. And this knowledge generates a hatred and displeasure against sin, and against the soul’s own sensuality, through which, she deems herself worthy of pains and unworthy of reward.”

The sweet Truth continued:
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The Seraphic Virgin and the Diabolical Prelates

I have been sickened and disheartened over the stench from the Vatican, but even more so because of the Catholic response to it. For respite, I turned to St. Catherine of Siena and in her beautiful Dialogue we find the following.

In her Dialogue, St. Catherine of Siena tells us that The Eternal Truth complained to her of His consecrated ministers who were so ungrateful that, “They repay Me in this way by continually persecuting Me with such diverse and terrible sins that thy tongue could not narrate, and thou wouldest faint at hearing them. Certain things, however, I will tell thee of them besides that which I have already said, in order to give thee matter for weeping and compassion.”

The Lord God charged His unfaithful ministers as being “like men blinded and without the light of reason, (who) have become animals through their sins, and live lasciviously in word and deed.” Of them He says, “What purity is this that he brings, who rises in the morning with his mind defiled, and his body corrupted with impure mortal sin, and proceeds to celebrate?”

In Chapter 124 of St. Catherine’s Dialogue, the Lord God discourses on how among His ministers reigns unnatural sin.

I say this to thee in order that thou mayest see how great a purity I require from you and from them in this Sacrament, and particularly from them. But they act in a contrary way, for they come full of impurity to this mystery. … committing that accursed

” offer before Me the incense of continual prayer for these poor wretches who are in so miserable a state.”

sin against nature, and as blind and fools with the light of their intellect darkened, they do not know the stench and misery in which they are. It is not only that this sin stinks before Me, Who am the Supreme and Eternal Truth, it does indeed displease Me so much and I hold it in such abomination that for it alone I buried five cities by a Divine judgment, My Divine justice being no longer able to endure it.

This sin not only displeases Me as I have said, but also the devils whom these wretches have made their masters. Not that the evil displeases them because they like anything good, but because their nature was originally angelic, and their angelic nature causes them to loathe the sight of the actual commission of this enormous sin. They truly enough hurl the arrow poisoned with the venom of concupiscence, but when their victim proceeds to the actual commission of the sin, they depart for the reason and in the manner that I have said.

Thou rememberest that I manifested to thee before the plague how displeasing this sin was to Me, and how deeply the world was corrupted by it; so I lifted thee with holy desire and elevation of mind above thyself, and showed thee the whole world and, as it were, the nations thereof, and thou sawest this terrible sin and the devils fleeing as I have told thee, and thou rememberest that so great was the pain that thou didst receive, and the stench of this sin, that thou didst seem to thyself to see no refuge on this side of death, in which thou and My other servants could hide so as not to be attacked by this leprosy.
Continue reading “The Seraphic Virgin and the Diabolical Prelates”

St. Catherine and the Message of Fatima

The Dialogue of the Seraphic Virgin, St. Catherine of Siena has much to avail us in this current conflict:

How finite works are not sufficient for punishment or recompense without the perpetual affection of love.
Leave all to Him, let go of yourself.
Lose yourself on the cross, and you will find yourself entirely.

 

Then, the Eternal Truth seized and drew more strongly to Himself her desire, doing as He did in the Old Testament, for when the sacrifice was offered to God, a fire descended and drew to Him the sacrifice that was acceptable to Him; so did the sweet Truth to that soul, in sending down the fire of the clemency of the Holy Spirit, seizing the sacrifice of desire that she made of herself, saying:

“Do you not know, dear daughter, that all the sufferings, which the soul endures, or can endure, in this life, are insufficient to punish one smallest fault, because the offense, being done to Me, who am the Infinite Good, calls for an infinite satisfaction? However, I wish that you should know, that not all the pains that are given to men in this life are given as punishments, but as corrections, in order to chastise a son when he offends; though it is true that both the guilt and the penalty can be expiated by the desire of the soul, that is, by true contrition, not through the finite pain endured, but through the infinite desire; because God, who is infinite, wishes for infinite love and infinite grief. Infinite grief I wish from My creature in two ways:

in one way, through her sorrow for her own sins, which she has committed against Me her Creator;

in the other way, through her sorrow for the sins which she sees her neighbors commit against Me.

Of such as these, inasmuch as they have infinite desire, that is, are joined to Me by an affection of love, and therefore grieve when they offend Me, or see Me offended, their every pain, whether spiritual or corporeal, from wherever it may come, receives infinite merit, and satisfies for a guilt which deserved an infinite penalty, although their works are finite and done in finite time; but, inasmuch as they possess the virtue of desire, and sustain their suffering with desire, and contrition, and infinite displeasure against their guilt, their pain is held worthy. Paul explained this when he said: If I had the tongues of angels, and if I knew the things of the future and gave my body to be burned, and have not love, it would be worth nothing to me. The glorious Apostle thus shows that finite works are not valid, either as punishment or recompense, without the condiment of the affection of love.

How desire and contrition of heart satisfies, both for the guilt and the penalty in oneself and in others; and how sometimes it satisfies for the guilt only, and not the penalty.

“I have shown you, dearest daughter, that the guilt is not punished in this finite time by any pain which is sustained purely as such. And I say, that the guilt is punished by the pain which is endured through the desire, love, and contrition of the heart; not by virtue of the pain, but by virtue of the desire of the soul; inasmuch as desire and every virtue is of value, and has life in itself, through Christ crucified, My only begotten Son, in so far as the soul has drawn her love from Him, and virtuously follows His virtues, that is, His Footprints.

In this way, and in no other, are virtues of value, and in this way, pains satisfy for the fault, by the sweet and intimate love acquired in the knowledge of My goodness, and in the bitterness and contrition of heart acquired by knowledge of one’s self and one’s own thoughts. And this knowledge generates a hatred and displeasure against sin, and against the soul’s own sensuality, through which, she deems herself worthy of pains and unworthy of reward.”

The sweet Truth continued:
Continue reading “St. Catherine and the Message of Fatima”

St. Catherine of Siena – Advice for the Synod

From the Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena, a Doctor of the Church, we read excellent advice for those who set the agenda and manipulate the Synod on the Family. In the following, the Eternal Father speaks to St. Catherine of His good and holy prelates and contrasts them with those who would serve the world instead. It is excellent advice for the Bishop of Rome’s field hospital.

"I have no other desire in this life save to see the honor of God, your peace, and the reformation of Holy Church, and to see the life of grace in every creature that hath reason in itself."
“I have no other desire in this life save to see the honor of God, your peace, and the reformation of Holy Church, and to see the life of grace in every creature that hath reason in itself.”

“And I would that you know that more darkness and division have come into the world amongst seculars and religious and the clergy and pastors of the holy Church, through the lack of the light of justice, and the advent of the darkness of injustice, than from any other causes.

“Neither the civil law, nor the divine law, can be kept in any degree without holy justice, because he who is not corrected, and does not correct others, becomes like a limb which putrefies, and corrupts the whole body, because the bad physician, when it had already begun to corrupt, placed ointment immediately upon it, without having first burnt the wound. So, were the prelate, or any other lord having subjects, on seeing one putrefying from the corruption of mortal sin, to apply to him the ointment of soft words of encouragement alone, without reproof, he would never cure him, but the putrefaction would rather spread to the other members, who, with him, form one body under the same pastor.

But if he were a physician, good and true to those souls, as were those glorious pastors of old, he would not give salving ointment without the fire of reproof. And, were the member still to remain obstinate in his evil doing, he would cut him off from the congregation in order that he corrupt not the other members with the putrefaction of mortal sin. But they act not so today, but, in cases of evil doing, they even pretend not to see. And do you know why? The root of self-love is alive in them, wherefore they bear perverted and servile fear. Because they fear to lose their position or their temporal goods, or their prelacy, they do not correct, but act like blind ones, in that they see not the real way by which their position is to be kept. If they would only see that it is by holy justice they would be able to maintain it; but they do not, because they are deprived of light.”

Pray for the Pope, pray for our prelates, pray above all for our holy priests, for they are bearing the brunt of this crisis.

St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, intercede for us, heal the Church!
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!