Begin at the beginning

NOTE: I have corrected an error about the book by Father Stehlin. The link now is to Loreto Publications where the book is available for $11.95.  

We will not save our souls in this time of crisis if we spurn the means Our Lord Himself has given us, which is the Immaculate Heart of Mary, His most Blessed Mother. This essential devotion is not some syrupy sentimental devotion, it is a thoroughly practical devotion which teaches us the virtues necessary for our salvation. It does this through the Rosary above all. To begin to understand this, we begin at the beginning, which is the Joyful Mysteries. Any other practical means we use to help ourselves or to help others, will be utterly fruitless without understanding and making use of, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary through her Rosary.

Immaculate Heart of Mary, you conceived the Word of God in your heart before you conceived Him in your womb, pray for us.

In the Litany to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we give voice to a profound and significant truth, one that I confess I had not fully considered until reading, and re-reading Father Stehlin’s beautiful treatise on Our Lady, “Who Are You, O Immaculata?” For me, that book has been a pivotal point  and I hope that you will all read it.

A reader who has followed our posts for some  time has requested assistance with sharing the Message of Fatima with those who reject or are indifferent to Our Lady of Fatima,  To answer her question, we find once again that the answer is the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the key to unlock the mystery is found in the prayer above.

In her Rosary, Our Lady shares this beautiful mystery with us. Let’s return to her at the Annunciation, when the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Our Lady was rapt in adoration of God. Her soul, unencumbered by any slightest sin, joyfully accepted His will, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord! Be it done unto me according to thy word. And the Word was made flesh.

By accepting God’s will, Mary began her task with a full nine months of the most intimate closeness with the Word, treasuring Him in her Immaculate Heart for nine months. These two pure and Sacred Hearts, both totally devoted to doing the will of the Father, spent nine months in loving concourse, sharing the thought of their heart, one heart really, beating in the two human persons closest to the Heavenly Father, the Creator. As Adam gave Eve his rib, from which she was made, the new Eve, Mary, gave Jesus her Heart. These Hearts are inseparable, that is why I say one heart.

And so, we think on this in the beautiful First Joyful Mystery. In the Second Mystery, we see these two hearts working together, to baptise John the Prophet, chosen to prepare the way of the Lord.  Thus, Jesus worked His first miracle from within the very womb of Mary. See how Our Lord illustrates His deepest messages with such clear scenes of His actions; actions which cannot be twisted and misconstrued, but viewed clearly show that Jesus chose Mary, first as His Mother, and then as His mediatrix, casting satan from John, and consecrating him to the service of Jesus Christ, as we all must be consecrated to Him through Mary.

In the Third Mystery, we see, literally see this Divine Child, the long-awaited Savior of the world, born not in  the glory and pomp of this passing world, which was still in thrall to satan, but in the serene and humble stable of Bethlehem. Note that we do not see this until the time was ripe for it. First, the Immaculata conceived the Word in her pure heart, then He was made flesh within her flesh, and the two hearts grew as one. Only then at the time designated by Our Father, did He come to dwell among us. And then, even then, not to all but to those who were prepared to receive Him.

In the Fourth Mystery, we see Mary, led by Joseph – this is important – bring the Son of God, this Divine Infant, to the Temple of God to fulfill the Law. At this time, the Holy Family made the customary offering of the poor.  This humility, this obedience, this poverty – this is an essential lesson for us. Think on it. Without these virtues, we are not in any way serving God. Never underestimate the importance of this Mystery. Now, this fourth Joyful Mystery has in it the bitter seed of the Passion and Death of Our Lord, for it is at this time that these two purest and most innocent hearts shared the first searing pain, the sacrifice required of every male of the Chosen People, an inexplicable pain suffered by the Son and shared by the Mother, whose sweet heart was always united to her Son’s Sacred Heart. As Simeon gently, sadly returned  the sobbing Infant to His Mother, he saw her silent tears, and sensed the tremendous weight these two would bear. He quickly looked away and caught a glimpse, there, in the shadows, an enormous Cross looming in the dark corner; there …  Ah, was it but a trick of the light?  One could not be sure, he thought … these tired old eyes…

In the last Joyful Mystery, we see Mary and Joseph searching for Our Lord. Many much wiser see deeper messages in this Mystery. Mine is simple. In this Mystery, we see Mary and Joseph (this is why St. Joseph is shown to us in the last vision at Fatima) Mary and Joseph are here in this Mystery to process through the City of God, which is now in darkness and ruins, to gather us and lead us. We too join the procession. Together, we find Him again. And wonder of wonders, we find Him in His Church! For while we have been searching, following Mary and Joseph, we are being prepared to perceive Him with the clear and perfect vision of children of Mary, the clear vision of her Immaculate Heart. And so we return, full circle, (as in St. John Bosco’s vision) and the Word is made flesh and dwells among us. In our hearts, united to the Heart of our most pure and loving Mother.

This is the answer.  Do this, live this, every day. When you are this, those who are His, will come to Him, through Mary. Not through  what you do on your own but through His grace, mediated by Mary, His Mother. She depends on us, but we, much more so, on her. When we allow ourselves to be her instruments, led by her, miracles happen. But it is not us, not ever us. We go to Jesus through Mary.

Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

†  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!

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Life Under the Banner of Love

 

“In the Holy Ghost’s union with (Mary), not only does Love join these two beings, but the first of the two (the Holy Ghost) is the entire Love of the Holy Trinity, while the second (Mary) is the entire love of creation; and thus in this union of heaven with all of earth, all uncreated love with created love; it is the summit of love.”

Soon, we will reach the date for our Consecration (or reconsecration) to the Immaculata on 8 December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.  Today, we make use of two wonderful books. From Loreto Publications, we have Father Karl Stehlin’s “Who are You, O Immaculata?” and from Angelus Press, we have St. Maximilian Kolbe’s little gem of a book, “Let Yourself be Led by the Immaculate”. Both are available in paperback or e-book/kindle.

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

 

Total Consecration to the Immaculata

By original sin, each of us is separated from God and it is our life’s work to strive to return to God. The first step toward reunion with God, that is, the first rung on the ladder to God, is to make a firm decision of the will toward Mary. This setting out on the way to God is total consecration to Mary. We give ourselves completely to Mary as our Mother and our Queen, as our way to the final destination which is our Lord Jesus Christ. Devotion to Mary is an essential component to the imitation of Christ.

Now, consecration is not simply a pious sentiment made on a whim, it is an agreement, a vow, to make the total gift of oneself. Living this vow requires that one dispossess oneself and no longer act as proprietor and master but rather as a willing slave, conforming to our Lady’s wishes in all things. To understand, let’s look at our model, the Immaculate Mother herself.

The Immaculate Conception

St. Maximilian Kolbe tells us that when Mary said, “I am the Immaculate Conception”, she is confirming that she no longer possesses her being for herself, but is “pure relation to God’, that is, being-for-God. Inasmuch as she is completely united with the Holy Ghost, her spouse, she is utterly, completely consecrated to Him in her inmost being. In just this way, we must divest ourselves, down to the depths of our being; the Immaculata must take our whole life in her hands and thus give us to God.

In the words of St. Maximilian, “Only if we uproot from ourselves everything that comes from self and allow the Immaculata to lead us fully and completely, will we reflect her completely in ourselves.” And so we choose to be as much her own as she is God’s own. And she belongs to God to such an extent that she became His own mother. Father Stehlin adds, “We will voluntarily allow no room to any thought, wish, desire or idea that the Immaculata would not consent to. Such an attitude can become a habit only if we renew this act of self-giving again and again and keep it in mind.”

Our Constant Focus: the Immaculata

In her Immaculate Conception, Mary, our Model, began the return of creation to God, and as her children, we return with her.  St. Maximilian tells us,

“In the Holy Ghost’s union with her, not only does Love join these two beings, but the first of the two (the Holy Ghost) is the entire Love of the Holy Trinity, while the second (Mary) is the entire love of creation; and thus in this union of heaven with all of earth, all uncreated love with created love; it is the summit of love.”

Fr. Stehlin notes, “The true foundation of the spiritual life consists precisely of this: entirely from God, entirely in God, and entirely to God! Now the Immaculata can convey this foundation to her children. In the words of St. Maximilian: “When God spoke about Himself, He said to Moses, ‘I am Who am.’ That is, it belongs to My essence that I always have My being from Myself, without beginning. In contrast, the Immaculate Virgin has her beginning in God, is a creation, is a conception. Nevertheless, she is the Immaculate Conception.”

Thus, to the extent that we devote ourselves to her, she forms in us that magnificent foundation that God formed in her, for we are her children, after all. Fr. Stehlin refers to her work in us as “an unceasing declaration of war against the consequences of original sin.” Now, as we proceed along this path with Our Immaculate Mother as guide, she calls to our attention how greatly we have allowed the toxins of the secular world, and even the poisons of the modernist church to affect us, how often we have been guided in our actions by our wounded human nature, and the traces of self-love in our thoughts, words and deeds.  We are then faced with the bitter, frustrating but very necessary battle over principles.

Continue reading “Life Under the Banner of Love”

What John saw and what Lucia saw

Today we will speak of beginnings and endings

A long, long time ago, John was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, as he tells us. And he heard a loud voice as of the sound of many waters, “I am the Alpha and the Omega …” . And John was given visions, the like of which no man has ever seen since until the night of June 13, 1929 in a small chapel.

Sister Lucia described the vision:

“Suddenly the whole chapel became bright with a supernatural light and above the altar appeared a luminous cross that extended to the ceiling. In an even brighter light appeared above the cross the face of a Man with His body down to the waist. In front of His chest was a Dove, also made entirely of light, and nailed to the cross was the Body of another Man. A little below His hips appeared a chalice floating in the air and a large host, upon which fell the drops of blood that streamed from the face of the Crucified, and from His wounded side. They flowed down upon the host, and from there they fell into the chalice.

Beneath the cross and to the right was Our Lady with her Immaculate Heart in her hand (it was Our Lady of Fatima with her Immaculate Heart, which she held in her left hand, without a sword or roses, but rather, surrounded with a crown of thorns and all aflame).

Beneath the cross on the left appeared large letters, as though made of crystal-clear water, that flowed from the hand of the Crucified down upon the altar and formed the following words, Grace and Mercy.

I understood that the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity was being shown to me, …”

The Blessed Virgin’s message was succinct:

“The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, and to order that in union with Him and at the same time, all the Bishops of the world make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to convert it because of this day of prayer and worldwide reparation.”

This vision is so deep and rich in meaning; in it we see encapsulated the mysteries of the Immaculate Conception, the Most Blessed Trinity, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Eucharist and so much more. It is the counterpart to John’s visions on Patmos and bears a similar warning and promise for us. Yet not one Pope has ever spoken of this vision. Not. one. A stunning indifference.

An insight from St. Maximilian Kolbe

In one of his last writings, the Apostle of the Immaculata, St. Maximilian, provides us with an excellent meditation on the meaning of the Immaculate Conception and its relation to the Most Holy Trinity. Let’s see how his brief meditation fits in with Lucia’s mystical vision.

After asking,  “Who are you, O Immaculate Conception?” St. Maximilian writes,

Not God, of course, because He has no beginning. Not an angel, created directly out of nothing. Not Adam, formed out of the dust of the earth (Gen. 2,7). Not Eve, molded from Adam’s rib (Gen. 2,21). Not the Incarnate Word, Who exists before all ages, and of Whom we should use the word “conceived” rather than “conception”. Humans do not exist before their conception, so we might call them created “conceptions.” But you, O Mary, are different from all other children of Eve. They are conceptions stained by original sin; whereas you are the unique, Immaculate Conception.

Everything which exists, outside of God Himself, since it is from God and depends on Him in every way, bears within itself some semblance to its Creator; there is nothing in any creature which does not betray this resemblance, because every created thing is an effect of the Primal cause.

Continue reading “What John saw and what Lucia saw”

Grace in the Reign of Francis

The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary become even richer in meaning as we spend more time with them during Lent, and in this papacy all the more so! In the First Sorrowful Mystery, the Agony in the Garden we see Jesus confronting His persecutors who had been led to Him by Judas, the Patron for the current betrayers of Christ from their powerful positions within the hierarchy. As Jesus restored the ear of Malchus, He spoke to those who had come to destroy Him, “Are ye come out, as it were against a thief, with swords and clubs? When I was daily with you in the temple, you did not stretch forth your hands against Me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” (Luke 22, 52-53)

“The chalice which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”

We are now deep within this hour of darkness in the Passion of the Church, and so we shall find much to profit us in these Sorrowful Mysteries of Our Lady’s Rosary.

At the beginning of that first Passion, there was a terrible betrayal, and the Apostles fled, scandalized, into the darkness. Today, as the Pope and the whole corrupt edifice of the hierarchy  betray our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother, Catholics are scattered. Some are indifferent to the scandal, some fall into sedevacantism, some simply fall away. Some few, however, watch and pray in the darkness, trusting in His promise.

Father Malachi Martin explained this situation in the Church in several interviews and in books, such as Windswept House and The Keys of His Blood. In one interview, transcribed into a small book called The Tempter’s Hour,” Fr. Martin explained that the crisis in the Church is a part of God’s plan for us. During Christ’s Passion, Our Blessed Mother did not rebel at God’s will in any way (contrary to what Pope Francis suggests), instead Mary willed it. Yes, she accepted God’s will most perfectly. In fact, Mary is our perfect model for the approach we must make to this time of the Passion of the Bride of Christ, His beloved and most holy Church.

Continue reading “Grace in the Reign of Francis”

The Message of Fatima for the post-synodal church

To understand what is expected of us in the post-synodal church, we must return to the true message of Fatima. Now, when the Church is being assaulted by those within its highest ranks. we look to Our Lady of Fatima, Star of the stormy sea.

On June 13, 1929, during her accustomed Holy Hour, Sister Lucia of Fatima received what was perhaps the most significant vision of the Most Holy Trinity and Blessed Virgin ever recorded in the history of the faith.

Last Vision of Fatima

Sister Lucia described the vision:

Suddenly the whole chapel became bright with a supernatural light and above the altar appeared a luminous cross that extended to the ceiling. In an even brighter light appeared above the cross the face of a Man with His body down to the waist. In front of His chest was a Dove, also made entirely of light, and nailed to the cross was the Body of another Man. A little below His hips appeared a chalice floating in the air and a large host, upon which fell the drops of blood that streamed from the face of the Crucified, and from His wounded side. They flowed down upon the host, and from there they fell into the chalice.

Beneath the cross and to the right was Our Lady with her Immaculate Heart in her hand (it was Our Lady of Fatima with her Immaculate Heart, which she held in her left hand, without a sword or roses, but rather, surrounded with a crown of thorns and all aflame).

Beneath the cross on the left appeared large letters, as though made of crystal-clear water, that flowed from the hand of the Crucified down upon the altar and formed the following words, Grace and Mercy.

I understood that the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity was being shown to me, …”

Continue reading “The Message of Fatima for the post-synodal church”