Is God Pleased . . .?

This question was left open-ended for a reason, which hopefully will become very apparent. Someone has probably already asked, “Pleased about what?” Pay attention!

Let’s take a trip back in time to the year 1884. The reigning Pope at that time was His Holiness, Leo XIII. On October 17, after Mass Pope Leo had a vision of a conversation between Jesus and Satan. The conversation went like this:

The guttural voice, the voice of Satan in his pride, boasted to Our Lord: “I can destroy your Church.”

The gentle voice of Our Lord: “You can? Then go ahead and do so.”

Satan: “To do so, I need more time and more power.”

Our Lord: “How much time? How much power?

Satan: “75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those who will give themselves over to my service.”

Our Lord: “You have the time, you will have the power. Do with them what you will.”

There has been speculation as to when the hundred years would begin. Some said right after the vision, or after the First World War. There have been events in history that people have said was that beginning. I have my own “theory” and that is what it is, to be accepted or left alone. Satan, the crafty creature that he is had plans for the destruction of Christ’s Church and knew it had to come off without a hitch, flawless in its execution. All the events from October 17, 1884 to the Miracle of the Sun were preparation, getting people into place. He can be very patient when need be. Satan is like the property manager of a big Broadway production. Everything must be in its place and the set changes and prop changes have to be executed at a precise time so that there are no gaps, flawless. By October 17, 1917, he had gotten all his chess pieces on the board where he wanted them. The clock begins to tick off the 100 years. Our Lady gave the warning to Sr. Lucia in 1929, “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart.” Satan had already begun his moves on the Church. The infiltration by Masons that worked their way up the chain and became part of the hierarchy of the Church. Modernism was creeping in at an alarming rate and we were warned by several Popes about this… and they all condemned it.

After Pope Leo’s vision he composed the Saint Michael Prayer, which we only say a small portion now. Thanks in no small part to Paul VI, who removed it from the Novus Ordo. It is a prayer meant to help and protect the Church and should be prayed everyday. But, a word of warning. This prayer is very irritating to Satan and he will retaliate by discovering your weakest point and cause you to sin over and over, making your days miserable. So be aware and on guard should you choose to say it. Be strong and hold on!

“O Glorious Prince of the heavenly host, St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the battle and in the terrible warfare that we are waging against the principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, against the evil spirits. Come to the aid of man, whom Almighty God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of Satan.

“Fight this day the battle of the Lord, together with the holy angels, as already thou hast fought the leader of the proud angels, Lucifer, and his apostate host, who were powerless to resist thee, nor was there place for them any longer in Heaven. That cruel, ancient serpent, who is called the devil or Satan who seduces the whole world, was cast into the abyss with his angels. Behold, this primeval enemy and slayer of men has taken courage. Transformed into an angel of light, he wanders about with all the multitude of wicked spirits, invading the earth in order to blot out the name of God and of His Christ, to seize upon, slay and cast into eternal perdition souls destined for the crown of eternal glory. This wicked dragon pours out, as a most impure flood, the venom of his malice on men of depraved mind and corrupt heart, the spirit of lying, of impiety, of blasphemy, and the pestilent breath of impurity, and of every vice and iniquity.

“These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where the See of Holy Peter and the Chair of Truth has been set up as the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be.

“Arise then, O invincible Prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and give them the victory. They venerate thee as their protector and patron; in thee holy Church glories as her defense against the malicious power of hell; to thee has God entrusted the souls of men to be established in heavenly beatitude. Oh, pray to the God of peace that He may put Satan under our feet, so far conquered that he may no longer be able to hold men in captivity and harm the Church. Offer our prayers in the sight of the Most High, so that they may quickly find mercy in the sight of the Lord; and vanquishing the dragon, the ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, do thou again make him captive in the abyss, that he may no longer seduce the nations. Amen.

V. Behold the Cross of the Lord; be scattered ye hostile powers.
R. The Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered the root of David.
V. Let Thy mercies be upon us, O Lord.
R. As we have hoped in Thee.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.

Let us pray.

O God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name, and as supplicants, we implore Thy clemency, that by the intercession of Mary, ever Virgin Immaculate and our Mother, and of the glorious St. Michael the Archangel, Thou wouldst deign to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits who wander about the world for the injury of the human race and the ruin of souls. Amen.”

Referring back to Fatima and the Third Secret, the world awaited anxiously for its release in 1960, when Our Lady said it had to be read or at the death of Sr. Lucia, which ever came first. Pope John XXIII said the Secret was not for his time and dismissed it. It was also ignored by Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Francis I.
John Paul II had this to say about The Third Secret, “Its content, concerns only our faith. To identify the Secret with catastrophic announcements or with a nuclear holocaust is to deform the meaning of the message. The loss of faith of a continent is worse than the annihilation of a nation; and it is true that faith is continually diminishing in Europe.” HELLO, the faith is diminishing everywhere, very quickly. John Paul’s advice was to pray, pray. All this is in accordance with Satan’s master plan for the destruction of the Church. My “theory”, we have less than two years before Our Lady lets loose of God’s arm and releases His chastisement upon this sinful world. That means October 17, 2017. Our Lady said nations would be annihilated if Russia was not consecrated to her Immaculate Heart. If that is part of the secret, then we have a right to know so we can prepare for the worst and prepare our souls for whatever comes. Sr. Lucia said on April 7.1990, “The events taking place in Europe are a deception. Russia will be the scourge for all nations, because it was not converted. Russia attacks the West, and China invades in Asia.” The popes fiddle and Obama keeps poking the bear.

Satan’s plan is in place and working. Vatican II was an escalation of his plans in an attempt to uproot the true Church. Many are falling, as if drugged, for the touchy, feely Novus Ordo Mess. Many souls are being lost. Since the calling of Vatican II, everything is going downhill. The Church is caught in a mudslide carrying everything in it’s wake and few seem to realize it’s even happening. It’s as though the hierarchy in the church is giving out placebos and all those that take them see no fault. They seem happy as can be, because no one has to convert, pray, or receive the sacraments. This is the attitude of the thumbs up, smiley face of Rome. No one will bite down on the pill to discover it’s only sugar. They are being duped and love it!

Vatican II, brought about the new rite called the Novus Ordo. This action was condemned by the Council of Trent.

Session XXII
CANON III.–If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema.

CANON VI.–If any one saith, that the canon of the mass contains errors, and is therefore to be abrogated; let him be anathema.

CANON IX.–If any one saith, that the rite of the Roman Church, according to which a part of the canon and the words of consecration are pronounced in a low tone, is to be condemned; or, that the mass ought to be celebrated in the vulgar tongue only; or, that water ought not to be mixed with the wine that is to be offered in the chalice, for that it is contrary to the institution of Christ; let him be anathema.

Session VII
CANON IV.-If any one saith, that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous; and that, without them, or without the desire thereof, men obtain of God, through faith alone, the grace of justification;-though all (the sacraments) are not indeed necessary for every individual; let him be anathema.

CANON XI.-If any one saith, that, in ministers, when they effect, and confer the sacraments, there is not required the intention at least of doing what the Church does; let him be anathema.

CANON XIII.-If any one saith, that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be contemned, or without sin be omitted at pleasure by the ministers, or be changed, by every pastor of the churches, into other new ones; let him be anathema.

SECOND DECREE
CHAPTER I.
The Canons relative to the life, and propriety of conduct of Clerics are renewed.
Wherefore clerics called to have the Lord for their portion, ought by all means so to regulate their whole life and conversation, as that in their dress, comportment, gait, discourse, and all things else, nothing appear but what is grave, regulated, and replete with religiousness; avoiding even slight faults, which in them would be most grievous; that so their actions may impress all with veneration. Whereas, therefore, the more useful and decorous these things are for the Church of God, the more carefully also are they to be attended to; the holy Synod ordains, that those things which have been heretofore copiously and wholesomely enacted by sovereign pontiffs and sacred councils,–relative to the life, propriety of conduct, dress, and learning of clerics, and also touching the luxuriousness, feastings, dances, gambling, sports, and all sorts of crime whatever, as also the secular employments, to be by them shunned,–the same shall be henceforth observed, under the same penalties, or greater, to be imposed at the discretion of the Ordinary; nor shall any appeal suspend the execution hereof, as relating to the correction of manners.

Important parts are underlined to emphasis some of the changes that have taken place in this new rite. These are only some of things that are wrong with this “new order”. We have heard recently that the Church is “the Church of the New Advent”. What was wrong with the first Advent and what are we waiting for now. Likewise, the Church is called “the New Pentecost”. Again, what was wrong with the first Pentecost. This is not the church that Jesus Christ established. This is not the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
Please read the Quo Primum Tempore of Pope Saint Pius V, click here
(There will be more about the Novus Ordo in a subsequent article regarding the The Ottaviani Intervention)
There are no longer altars, but tables, complete with a tablecloth and a couple of plastic tubes filled with liquid wax. Vestments in some cases look like over-sized Hawaiian moo-moos. Girls that are supposed to be “altar boys”? This is all wrong, wrong, wrong! Out of pity and sadness for his soul, the reigning Pope cannot seem to speak Catholic. It’s simply not in his vocabulary. He appears to use the modernist trickery to word things in such a way as to avoid the clear charge, “you are a heretic”. Yet what he utters borders on heresy. Those who want to hold on to the true Faith are called names and belittled. How can he be called Father?

It’s becoming increasingly painful to even continue and so this will be brought to an end. The question, Is God pleased? . . .doesn’t need anything added to it. The answer seems simple, NO!
We have a choice – follow Christ or follow man. I’ve made my choice.

The Last Things

Last things? What are The Last Things? Excellent question, especially if you’re not familiar with them. The Last Things are those which we experience at the end of our earthly life. They are Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell. It is my intention to help us all gain a better understanding of what we have to look forward to as we come to that particular point in our lives. The thing is . . . we don’t know just when that will be. Also. what we must do to enter Heaven or fall into Hell.

Death is something that no one really wants to talk about or even think about. It’s scary and very unsettling for human beings. Actually death in and of itself is not scary at all. Death is merely the soul separating from the body. Now the events that lead to one’s death could be frightening and painful, but death is painless. It’s what happens after we pass from this life to the next that could get quite sublime or horrendously painful.

Let’s take the good news first, Heaven. Now Heaven is not going to be like we have tried to imagine with beautiful golf courses and tons of good food. No that’s not the way it is at all. Before we get too far into what Heaven is like, maybe we should focus on how we might reach those gates and enter in. Everything we need to know is in Scripture and the teachings of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. God also knows how forgetful and lazy we are and sends others (the Saints) to help us. For example, back in the fourteenth century, a woman by the name of Catherine, a Third Order Dominican, was allowed by God to enter into ecstasy and have conversations with Him. We know her now as Saint Catherine of Sienna. Catherine, at the time, did not know how to read or write and was in the company of secretaries to record every word that was given to her by our Heavenly Father. Catherine was not only raised to the Altar, but also named a Doctor of the Church. So, what she gave us in her Dialogue with God was not just some superfluous chatter.

We must understand how a soul might reach those gates and enter into Paradise. God sent his only-begotten Son in our human flesh to live among us, teach us and establish the Catholic Church, outside of which there is no salvation. He also had His Son suffer terribly and die a most horrible death to pay for our sins. He ransomed us. Our sins are infinite and they needed an infinite remedy. Jesus Christ crucified was the only answer. God told Catherine that Jesus Christ crucified was the bridge that we must climb to get over the waters running below, those raging waters of sin that will carry us away to Hell. Here are some excerpts of the Dialogue Catherine actually had with God:

“I send people troubles in this world so that they may know that their goal is not this life, and that these things are imperfect and passing. I am their goal, and I want them to want me, and in this spirit they should accept such things. Now there are some, I tell you, who when they feel the pressure of troubles are prompted to remove the cloud from their eyes by their very suffering and by what they see must be the consequence of their sin. In this slavish fear they begin to make their way out of the river. They vomit out the venom with which the scorpion has stung them under the guise of gold. They had embraced him without any reservation, and so he stung them. With this knowledge they begin to get up and turn toward the shore to gain access to the bridge.
But to walk merely in slavish fear is not enough. It is not enough for eternal life to sweep the house clean of deadly sin. One must fill it with virtue that is grounded in love, and not merely in fear. Then one must put both feet on the first stair of the bridge. And the two feet that carry the soul into the love of my Truth, of whom I have made a bridge for you, are affection and desire.”

There’s a couple of keywords -affection and desire. God wants us to have the greatest affection for Him and also to be our hearts desire. He is forever. Everything in this world is passing. The Heavenly Father also said the bridge has three steps that we must climb before we can enter into Heaven. We must understand that nothing enters Heaven that is not perfect. If someone could enter with even the minutest spot, then Heaven would not be heaven. All must be perfect. “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

It is also necessary to understand that we will go through two judgments. First, a Particular judgment when we first pass from this life, and second, a General judgment when Christ comes again. The General judgment is the final word when our bodies and souls will once again be reunited, glorified or damned. Our glorified bodies will spend eternity in Heaven contemplating the presence of God. Those that are damned will be thrust into Hell for eternal torments according to the sins they committed while on earth.

Let’s listen to the dialogue of God in regard to the General Judgment. He spoke thus:

“Know that on the final judgment day the Word my Son will come in my divine majesty to reprove the world with divine power. It will not be like when he was born in poverty, coming from the Virgin’s womb into the stable among the animals, and then dying between two thieves. At that time I had my power in him to allow him to suffer pains and tortures as a man—not that my divine nature was cut off from his human nature, but I let him suffer as a man to atone for your sins.
Not so will he come in this end time. Then he will come in power to reprove these people in person. There will not be a creature who will not tremble, and he will give them all what they deserve.
His glance will be such a torment to the damned that words could not describe it. But for the just it will be a cause for reverent fear and great rejoicing. Not that his face will change—for he is one with my divine nature and therefore unchangeable, and even in his human nature his face is unchangeable since it has taken on the glory of his resurrection. But it will seem so to the eyes of the damned. For they will see him with their terribly darkened vision. A healthy eye looks at the sun and sees light. But a sick eye sees nothing but darkness when it looks into such lightsomeness—and it is no fault of the light that seems so different to the two; the fault is in the sick eye. So the damned see my Son in darkness, confusion, and hatred, not through any fault of my divine Majesty with which he comes to judge the world, but through their own fault.”

So the final or General judgment will separate the goats from the sheep. “And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:” (Matthew 25:32); “So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.” (Matthew 13:49) We should therefore spend our days preparing for this day. It should not come as a surprise, if you are a true Catholic and are following the steps laid out for us in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. The Holy Roman Catholic Church provides all that we need to live a holy life and to give us the great hope of Heaven.
Now lets hear God’s word to Catherine about the beauty of Heaven and how we will be once our bodies and souls are reunited (so as not to rewrite the entire section on this topic, I will just take excerpts and make it as clear as possible):

“By the same principle, those just souls who end in loving charity and are bound by love can no longer grow in virtue once time has passed. But they can forever love with that same affection with which they came to me, and by that measure will it be measured out to them. They desire me forever, and forever they possess me, so their desire is not in vain. They are hungry and satisfied, satisfied yet hungry—but they are far from bored with satiety or pained in their hunger.”
“Just as the soul was made immortal and firm in me, so in this reunion the body will become immortal, its heaviness cast off and made fine and light. The glorified body could pass through a wall, and neither fire nor water could hurt it. But know that this is not due to it’s own power but to the soul’s—which is really my own power given her by grace through the unspeakable love with which I created her in my image and likeness.
The good of these souls is beyond what your mind’s eye can see or your ear hear or your tongue describe or your heart imagine.. . . .They lack no happiness, for the soul is filled, and in this fullness the body will share.”
“I have told you of the good the glorified body will have in the glorified humanity of my only-begotten Son, and this is the guarantee of your own resurrection….. You will all be made like him in joy and gladness; eye for eye, hand for hand, your whole bodies will be made like the body of the Word my Son.”

See, now, how important it is to live a life of virtue and charity. In loving God you love your neighbor, and in loving your neighbor you love God. That is the commandment that Jesus gave, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself.” (Luke 10:27) This is the greatest commandment and our place in Heaven depends on how well we follow it during our life here. Every time we say the Credo we proclaim that we believe in the “guarantee of our own resurrection.” (carnis resurrectiónem)

Let’s take a moment and learn what it is going to be like for those who do not love nor care anything of virtue. Their eternity will be quite different. And remember this is for eternity, there will be no overs.

“ ‘Arise you dead, and come to judgment!’ Their souls will return with bodies. The bodies of the just will be glorified. But the bodies of the damned will be forever tortured, and the sight of my Truth and all the blessed will be for them a great shame and reproach. Then will the worm of conscience gnaw away at the whole tree, both the marrow (that is the soul) and the bark (the body).”

Here are a few vivid accounts of Hell as recorded by Sister Josefa Menendez, Coadjutrix Sister of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 1890-1923, and recorded for all to read in the book “The Way of Divine Love.” Sister was actually dragged down into Hell several times by Satan and his evil cohorts. In this way Jesus thought she would be better able to help those that were in danger of losing their souls to these demons. Let’s begin:

“One of these damned souls cried out: ‘This my torture . . . that I want to love and cannot; there is nothing left me but hatred and despair. If one of us could so much as make a single act of love . . . this would not be hell. . . . But we cannot, we live on hatred and malevolence . . .” (March 23, 1922)

“Today, I saw a vast number of people fall into the fiery pit . . . they seemed to be wordlings and a demon cried vociferously: ‘The world is ripe for me. . . I know that the best way to get hold of souls is to rouse their desire for enjoyment. . . Put me first . . . me before the rest. . . no humility for me! But let me enjoy myself .. . This sort of thing assures victory to me . . . and they tumble headlong into Hell’ “ (October 4, 1922)

“I saw hell as always before, the long dark corridors, the cavities, the flames. . . . I heard the same execrations and imprecations, for—and of this I have already written before—although no corporal forms are visible, the torments are felt as if they were present, and souls recognize each other. Some called out, ‘Hullo! you there? And are you like us? We were free to take those vows or not . . . but now! . . .’ and they cursed the vows.
Then I was pushed into one of those cavities and pressed as it were, between burning planks, and sharps nails and red-hot irons seemed to be piercing my flesh.”
“I felt as if they were endeavoring to pull out my tongue, but could not. This torture reduced me to such agony that my very eyes seemed to be starting out of their sockets. I think this was because of the fire which burns, burns . . . not a finger-nail escapes terrifying torments, and all the time one cannot move even a finger to gain some relief, nor change posture, for the body seems flattened out and doubled in two.
Sounds of confusion and blasphemy cease not for an instant. A sickening stench asphyxiates and corrupts everything, it is like the burning of putrefied flesh, mingled with tar and sulfur . . . a mixture to which nothing on earth can be compared. (September 4, 1922)

 

It would seem that anyone given such a vivid look into Hell would want to do everything possible to keep their souls and those of their loved ones from falling into that great fiery pit. It would do well for anyone who professes to be Catholic to actually practice the Faith as it was handed down from Christ and the Apostles. That means following closely the Dogmas, Doctrines and Traditions of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. It also means receiving the Sacraments and going to the Latin Mass. It means trying to grow in virtue and forsaking the worldly allurements, which are worse than ever. It’s probably safe to say that these things will be taken into consideration at the Particular judgment. There will be no place for excuses then, it will be too late. What did our Heavenly Father say to Catherine? . . .“I send people troubles in this world so that they may know that their goal is not this life, and that these things are imperfect and passing. I am their goal, and I want them to want Me, . . . ‘ God doesn’t want us to accumulate all kinds of stuff to distract us from Him. He wants us to seek Him and love Him, to be one with Him for all eternity, and to live simply in this life. It is my understanding that there are no tears in Heaven, which is probably a good thing because we would be drowning in them. It truly is a time for change. A time to turn back to God.

Purgatory is not mentioned as one of The Last Things, but it is real none-the-less. Being able to enter Purgatory is probably the best chance we have of finally making an entrance into Heaven. This is where the soul is purged of all stain in order to be made perfect. Jesus said, “Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.” (Matthew 5:26) As has been stated before, nothing imperfect can enter into Paradise. If we have loved ones who have passed on, the best thing we can do for them is to have Masses offered for the salvation of their souls (salvation comes after death, not before). According to my understanding, the Catholic Mass {Mass of Pius V} is the cure for their sins… anything less (Novus Ordo) would, at best be attempting to put a band-aide on a festering sore. The Blood of Christ poured out for them at the Mass will help to remove all the stains from their souls so that their suffering will end. And if you think a friend or relative was a saint on earth and went directly to Heaven, don’t count on it. Pray for them and have Masses said for their suffering souls. We don’t know them as God knows them. What we see is superficial.

Sister Josefa never went down into Purgatory herself, but she was visited by souls asking for her help or thanking her for all that she did for them. Saints, religious and laity have been visited by these suffering souls as well. (Purgatory, by Fr. F.X. Schouppe, S.J. ) Here is what some had to say to Sister Josefa. Please remember, Sister prayed and sacrificed for the souls of priests and nuns constantly. This is what Jesus asked of her.

“My purgatory will be a long one, for I did not accept God’s will for me, nor make the sacrifice of my life generously enough during my illness. Illness is a great grace of purification, it is true, but unless one is careful, it may cause one to stray away from religious spirit . . . to forget that one has made vows of Poverty,Chastity, and Obedience, and that one is consecrated to God as a victim. Our Lord is all love, certainly, but also justice.” (November 1921)
“. . . I have been a year and three months in purgatory, and were it not for your little acts I should have remained there long years. A woman of the world has less responsibility than a religious, for how great are the graces the latter receives, and what liabilities she incurs if she does not profit by them. . . . How little nuns suspect the way their faults are expiated here . . . a tongue horribly tortured expiates faults against silence . . . a dried-up throat, those against charity . . . and the constraints of this prison, the repugnance in obeying . . . I in my order, pleasures were few and comforts still fewer, but one can always manage to secure some . . . and the smallest immortifications have to be expiated here, To restrain one’s eyes, to refuse oneself the gratifications of a little curiosity may at times cost a big effort . . . and here . . . the eyes are tormented by the impossibility of seeing God.” (April 10, 1922)

These are only two examples of the poor souls in Purgatory. Their greatest torment is not seeing God, as this nun had told Sister Josefa. Purgatory is not just a lay-over like in our airports, where everyone is bored silly. It is called Purgatory because the soul is “purged” of all stain of sin. It could be likened to being scrubbed with a wire brush. The souls in Purgatory are the Church Suffering and they can no longer pray for themselves. The suffering souls must rely on our help. They suffer the torments with joy knowing they have the hope of going to Heaven. The souls damned have no such hope, ever. And by-the-way, when a soul enters Purgatory and there are no Masses or prayers offered on their behalf, they must fulfill their sentence until all stain is removed. Maybe, you’ve wondered about the time spent in Purgatory. Well, our time is not their time. Sister Marie Denise of the Order of the Visitation, who was very devoted to the poor souls, told her Superior after a very long time of suffering for a particular soul who asked for her assistance, “Ah! My dear Mother, the hours of Purgatory are not computed like those of earth; years of grief, weariness, poverty, or sickness in this world are nothing compared to one hour of the suffering of Purgatory.” (Purgatory, pg. 99) Every prayer, every charitable act, every Mass will help to shorten their stay. Offering Indulgences for them is also a great benefit, for example, actively praying the Stations of the Cross for their intention. The one praying for the indulgence must be in a state of grace and comply with all the requirements. These are usually stated at the beginning or end of the prayer(s) to be said. Indulgences can only be granted by a Pope.

So, we have a choice – Heaven or Hell? It should be an easy decision to make now that you know what could be in store for you or your loved ones. Heaven or stuff…stuff or Heaven. Helping another to gain Heaven will be a real help in making your chances of reaching these Golden Gates a reality. Ask the Blessed Virgin to help you to be more like Her. She is our model and advocate. She is always waiting to hear your call for help. Pray the Rosary every day, do little acts of charity, love God, love your neighbor. Read Scripture, all the answers are there. Attend the Latin Mass if at all possible and don’t be afraid to be Catholic.

 

Resources:

Catherine of Sienna THE DIALOGUE, The Classics of Western Spirituality

THE WAY OF DIVINE LOVE, by Josefa Menedez

PURGATORY, BY Fr. F.X. Schouppe, S.J.

Matthew 5:48
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
48Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 25:32
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
32And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:
Matthew 13:49
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
49So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.
Luke 10:27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 5:26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
26Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.

 

…to Godparent or not to Godparent, that is the question?

 

 

When I hear anyone talking about who they might ask to be Godparents for their soon to be born child, the first picture that comes to mind is this: Two young women that have been friends all their lives and one asks the other, “Would you be my child’s Godmother?” Well, her friend’s jaw drops and then come the squeals and jumping up and down. The answer, “o my god, yes!” Now, these two young women are both Catholic, but their practice of the Faith is truly lacking. I ask myself, “With the horrific catechesis over the past 40 years or so, what are the chances of that child being raised in the true Catholic Faith?” I would guess, rather slim.

You see, it is very important to chose godparents that are going to take an active part in your child’s religious up-bringing. Too often, that task is left solely to the lay people that teach CCD, and I can assure you that not all CCD teachers are the best qualified instructors of the Faith. Nor is the material a parish provides for the child’s instruction necessarily sound. So leaving this task to your parish’s CCD programs is not the best option. That’s why it is so crucial to chose someone knowledgeable in the Apostolic Traditions of the Church. It is the duty of Catholic parents to educate their children and the catechesis of the children should be at the top of the list. (DIVINI ILLIUS MAGISTRI,ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XI ON CHRISTIAN EDUCATION) You need someone that can help you be sure that your child is getting the best religious education. You must also seek out someone who is willing to take on the task with fervor, especially if you become unable to fulfill the task yourself, or feel you are not educated well enough in the Church Apostolic Traditions to take this on alone.

The Church does have some guidelines to follow when choosing godparents, but first, I want to stress some other important things to take into consideration: (1) Catholic parents should arrange for the Baptism of their newborn as soon as possible. Do not delay! (2) The name you choose for your child should, ideally, be that of a Saint; at the least, he or she should not be given a name that conflicts with the Faith or recalls anything unsavory. For example, don’t chose a name like Sabrina that brings to mind witches. There is no saint named Sabrina. The name you choose for your new baby will be known as its “Christian” name. Also remember, that your child will receive yet another new name at Confirmation, it too, should be a “Christian” name.

Choosing Godparents

 The godparents act as witnesses and perform ritually that which the child would do if he or she could speak for themselves.

 Ideally, there should, be one male and one female for this task. Both baptized Catholics in good standing with the Church and who’ve reached the minimum age of sixteen. I would like to add here, that even though the age requirement is sixteens years, it would stand to reason that someone more mature and well versed in the Traditional teachings of the Church would be preferable. If two sponsors are unavailable, one will suffice, as long as this person meets all the requirements. Among those who may not act as godparents are: members of religious orders, spouses in respect to each other, parents in respect to their own children, infidels, heretics (Protestant cults) ,members of condemned secret societies, and public sinners (Note: the 1983 Code As to Christian heretics, it says that while Protestants may not act as godparents, they may act as “witnesses”). So, if one of the people you choose is non-Catholic, it’s fine as long as the other meets the requirements. As stated, the Protestant can only be a witness and not a godparent. In this case it is important that a Protestant witness is fully aware of this ,and that, they have no duty to help in the child’s religious education.

Duties of Godparents

In the case of children, the role of the godparent is to be that of “spiritual guardian” who takes up any “slack” in the child’s catechesis, helps ensure that his godchild learns the True Faith, and prays for the godchild throughout his life. St. Thomas Aquinas writes in his Summa Theologica III-67-8:

 “Now, it has been stated…that godparents take upon themselves the duties of a tutor. Consequently they are bound to watch over their godchildren when there is need for them to do so: for instance when and where children are brought up among unbelievers. But if they are brought up among [orthodox] Catholic Christians, the godparents may well be excused from this responsibility, since it may be presumed that the children will be carefully instructed by their parents. If, however, they perceive in any way that the contrary is the case, [heterodox Catholics, for example] they would be bound, as far as they are able, to see to the spiritual welfare of their godchildren.

 This is a very solemn obligation, not to be entered into lightly. Parents should choose their child’s godparents very carefully and select traditional Catholics who know the Faith, understand the obligations of god-parenting, and are willing and able to live up to those obligations. Parents and godparents should work together for the goal of helping the child to know, love, and serve God!

During the Rite of Baptism, the godparents will answer for the child, that is, they will make the replies to the questions asked by the priest of the one to be baptized. Being a godparent is not just a badge of honor, but a Catholic duty to be taken very seriously. Not only does a godparent hold in their hands the little body of their godchild, but also, their tiny little souls and answers for them before God that they will keep the promises that are made on that beautiful day when that little soul is set free from all stain of original sin and becomes a saint. It’s the duty of the parents and godparents that this is done throughout their lives to help them remain saints. Being a godparent doesn’t end after all the festivities are over, on the contrary, it begins in earnest.

May God bless you and may the Holy Ghost guide you on your journey together with your godchild.

Below are excerpts taken from Canon Law regarding Baptism that they may help you in your decision making process in choosing godparents, the place of baptism, the duties and requirements of the godparents/parents:

 

  • BOOK IV FUNCTION OF THE CHURCH (Cann. 834 – 848)

 

  • PART I. THE SACRAMENTS

      • TITLE I. BAPTISM (Cann. 849 – 878)

 

Baptism (Cann. 850-874)

CHAPTER I.

THE CELEBRATION OF BAPTISM

Can. 850 Baptism is administered according to the order prescribed in the approved liturgical books, except in case of urgent necessity when only those things required for the validity of the sacrament must be observed.

Can. 851 The celebration of baptism must be prepared properly; consequently:

 1/ an adult who intends to receive baptism is to be admitted to the catechumenate and is to be led insofar as possible through the various stages to sacramental initiation, according to the order of initiation adapted by the conference of bishops and the special norms issued by it;

 2/ the parents of an infant to be baptized and those who are to undertake the function of sponsor are to be instructed properly on the meaning of this sacrament and the obligations attached to it. The pastor personally or through others is to take care that the parents are properly instructed through both pastoral advice and common prayer, bringing several families together and, where possible, visiting them.

 Can. 852 §1. The prescripts of the canons on adult baptism are to be applied to all those who, no longer infants, have attained the use of reason.

§2. A person who is not responsible for oneself (non sui compos) is also regarded as an infant with respect to baptism.

Can. 853 Apart from a case of necessity, the water to be used in conferring baptism must be blessed according to the prescripts of the liturgical books.

Can. 854 Baptism is to be conferred either by immersion or by pouring; the prescripts of the conference of bishops are to be observed.

Can. 855 Parents, sponsors, and the pastor are to take care that a name foreign to Christian sensibility is not given.

Can. 856 Although baptism can be celebrated on any day, it is nevertheless recommended that it be celebrated ordinarily on Sunday or, if possible, at the Easter Vigil.

Can. 857 §1. Apart from a case of necessity, the proper place of baptism is a church or oratory.

§2. As a rule an adult is to be baptized in his or her parish church and an infant in the parish church of the parents unless a just cause suggests otherwise.

Can. 858 §1. Every parish church is to have a baptismal font, without prejudice to the cumulative right already acquired by other churches.

§2. After having heard the local pastor, the local ordinary can permit or order for the convenience of the faithful that there also be a baptismal font in another church or oratory within the boundaries of the parish.

Can. 859 If because of distance or other circumstances the one to be baptized cannot go or be brought to the parish church or to the other church or oratory mentioned in ? can. 858, §2 without grave inconvenience, baptism can and must be conferred in another nearer church or oratory, or even in another fitting place.

Can. 860 §1. Apart from a case of necessity, baptism is not to be conferred in private houses, unless the local ordinary has permitted it for a grave cause.

§2. Except in a case of necessity or for some other compelling pastoral reason, baptism is not to be celebrated in hospitals unless the diocesan bishop has established otherwise.

CHAPTER IV.

SPONSORS

Can. 872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.

Can. 873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.

Can. 874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:

 1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;

 2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;

 3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;

 4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;

 5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

 §2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew 5:48
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
48Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 25:32
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
32And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:
Matthew 13:49
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
49So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.
Luke 10:27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 5:26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
26Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.

 

In this day and age, there are so many temptations and distractions to keep us busy throughout the entire day. But do we ever give thought to the One who created all that we see, hear and feel, like a cool breeze on a hot summer day? It’s easy to follow the trends and fashions of the day, being like everyone else, robots. Saint Rafael Amáiz Barón had many distractions and temptations, but finally gave in to the true desires of his heart, giving himself totally to God. Do we have the courage to say no to our temptations and surrender to God? Do we truly believe?

 

 

In December 1936, in his monastery alongside a very busy road and a railroad line that made the walls shake, Brother Rafael Amáiz Barón wrote a very humorous meditation titled, “Freedom”. So many travelers coming and going at such speed! They think they are free. But “true freedom is often enclosed between the four walls of a monastery.” Freedom, the Brother added, “is in the heart of the man who loves only God. It is in the man whose soul is attached neither to the mind nor to matter, but to God alone.” During his canonization on October 11, 2009, Brother Rafael was put forward by Pope Benedict XVI as a young man who answered “yes to the call to follow Jesus, instantly and with determination, without limits or conditions.” Given as a model for youth throughout the world, he was one of the Patrons of World Youth Day in Madrid in 2011.

Rafael was born on April 9, 1911 in Burgos, Spain, the eldest in a family of four children. Baptized the following April 21, he received confirmation when he was not quite three years old, and made his first communion on October 25, 1919. When he was nine, he entered a Jesuit school. His great sensitivity was well as his intellectual and artistic gifts revealed themselves at an early age. In January 1922, his family moved to Oviedo, and the boy entered the Jesuit school there. His great piety led him to join the committee in charge of the Solidarity of Saint Stanislaus. According to the Father Prefect of Studies, he was already seeking God, “as if he were magnetized by Him.”

Of a lively temperament, Rafael lost his patience if he was not served quickly and efficiently. Little rumors in his circle greatly upset him. However, he never had disagreeable words for the house staff. He was very scrupulous about the cleanliness of his clothes and his personal affairs. Anything ugly, dirty, or crude, and vulgar stories or expressions were repugnant to him. When he traveled he brought along his boxes of pencils and always returned with a large number of sketches and drawings of landscapes that, once finished were stuffed into folders or given away.

An emotion that makes you think

In 1930, he began studying architecture in Madrid. He dreamed of drawing, of painting, of expressing on canvass and paper what his artistic soul conceived. He was also a musician. That year during the vacation he spent with his Uncle Polin and aunt Maria, the duke and duchess of Maqueda, he discovered the Trappist Abbey of San Isidro de Dueñas. (In the seventeenth century, Abbot de Rancé reformed the Cistercian abbey in la Trappe, in Normandy, France. All the monasteries connected to it are called Trappist and observe the Benedictine rule with particular austerity.) The evening he arrived at the monastery, Rafael felt an intense emotion while attending the Office of Compline; “Above all,” he wrote to his uncle, “I heard a ‘Salve Regina’ that God alone knows what I felt… It was something sublime.” Six years later, returning to these first impressions, Rafael would say that the Lord used the impression made on his sensitivity to make him think. In 1931, he became a member of Catholic Action, and participated in Saint Vincent de Paul meetings and nocturnal adoration. His great piety did not keep him from being first-class gastronome and being familiar with many restaurants. But in everyday life, he was hard to please and ate whatever was offered to him. Brimming with an infectious liveliness, he was nonetheless deeply meditative at times.

In September 1931, during a stay at the Abbey of San Isidro de Dueñas, he wrote, “The Trappist lives in God and for God. God is the only reason for his existence in this world. How different from some so-called Christian souls, for whom God is secondary, to be dealt with from 8 AM to 9AM and then abandoned until the same time the next day, and then again forgotten!” He later added, “The artist possesses a high degree of sensitivity, and so a Trappist monastery and the life of its monks makes an impression on him, as does a painting or a sonata. The artist who is Christian, who has faith, sees in the Trappist monastery something more than that. He sees God in a palpable manner. He leaves strengthened in his faith and, if the Lord grants him the grace, he leaves knowing himself a little better and, alone with God and his conscience, he changes his way of thinking, his way of feeling things and, most importantly, his way of behaving in the world.

During the general audience of August 10, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI said, “These places [where monastic life is led] combine two very important elements for contemplative life: the beauty of creation, which evokes the beauty of the Creator, and silence, which is guaranteed by living far from cities and the great thoroughfares of the media. Silence is the environmental condition most conducive to contemplation, to listening to God and to meditation. …God speaks in silence, but we must know how to listen. This is why monasteries are oases in which God speaks to humanity.”

 Everything turns out much better

In 1932-1933, Rafael performed his military service in the engineers, and then continued his studies in architecture. Living in Madrid, he set himself a precise schedule that included early morning Mass and an evening Rosary. He wrote to his parents: “I have noticed that when I place myself in God’s hands at the beginning of the day, everything turns out much better.” A documentary of Cistercian life, created for the occasion of the eight hundredth anniversary of the French abbey of Sept-Fons, confirmed the favorable impression he’d had during his visit to San Isidro, and led him to choose monastic life. While at the monastery over November 24 and 25, his request to enter was accepted.

In his eagerness to devote himself to the Lord, he wished to enter the monastery without taking leave of anyone, even his parents, for he feared his heart’s response. But he apostolic nuncio (the Pope’s ambassador), to whom he had opened his heart, told him: “I think that you must say goodbye to your parents and receive their blessing.” So Rafael spent the month and a half that remained before he entered the monastery with his family. He waited—not without profound interior suffering—until the Christmas celebrations had passed and, the afternoon of January 7, 1934, calmly declared to his mother, who was playing the piano: “Stop playing for a moment, I have something to tell you.”–”What’s happened? Tell me?”–”Mother,” he began again with tears in his voice, “God is calling me… I want to leave for the Trappist monastery.” She lowered her head and could only say “Son!” When his wife told him about it, Rafael’s father, after a moment of barely perceptible emotion, blessed God, and then asked his son: “When do you want to go? I’ll drive you.” The date for his departure was set for January 15.

The young postulant adapted well to his new life. He believed he had achieved the aim of his aspirations and his vocation. “God has made the Trappists for me and me for the Trappists… Now I can die happy. I am a Trappist!” But a few months later he suddenly developed diabetes. During the month of May, he lost twenty-four kilos in eight days and almost went blind. Forced to return to his family for proper treatment, he reluctantly left the monastery, hoping to be able to return. After receiving the initial care the disease requires, Rafael’s health improved. He suffered from having to be immersed again in a life which he had had so much difficulty leaving. He himself would describe himself, when he returned to his home, as grumbling about his silence and meditation being ruined: “I believe I had to be a Trappist at home… How wrong I was… I was seeking myself in external recollection.” Nevertheless, he began to smoke, play the violin, and paint again. On June 3, he wrote in a letter to his uncle Polin: “What is happening is very much… At the monastery, I was happy, I considered myself the happiest of mortals, I had succeeded in freeing myself from creatures, and I sought nothing but God… But one thing remained—my love of the Trappist monastery. And Jesus who is very demanding and jealous of the love of His sons, wanted me to detach myself from my beloved monastery, even if temporarily.” Rafael quickly understood that his trial was leading him toward a greater freedom of heart.

God’s judgment is near

In July, he wrote to his brother Cistercian novices:”You do not know what you have, and you will never be able to thank God enough for so great a blessing. I myself did not know until I was forced to return into the world… in their suicidal pride, men cry out: ‘We do not need God!…’ Our society has broken down, and cares about everything except for what is truly important. I tell you frankly—in seeing men so blind, one is filled with sadness, and wants to shout to them: ‘Where are going, you crazy, insane people? You are crucifying Jesus, this Nazarean who asked us to love one another!… Don’t you see that you have taken the wrong path, that life is very short, and that we must take advantage of it, because God’s judgment is near?’ But it is useless. In the world, God and His judgments are no longer spoken of.” Rafael understood that men can be freed from the shadow of spiritual death only by opening their hearts to Christ, who is the Light of the nations.

In January 1935, he went with his brother Leopold to the French border to pick up a car his father has bought. He wanted to be the first to drive it, and on this trip he didn’t skimp on comfort and pleasures. But the attraction that life in the world still exerted on him did not keep him from writing to his Father Abbot several months later: “(My brother monks) believe that I have forgotten them, but one does not forget souls one loves in God. In loving them one loves God, and loving Him in His creatures is a great consolation that takes nothing away from His glory.”

The Blessed Virgin will cure you

In May 1935, Mercedes, Rafael’s sister, was diagnosed with acute peritonitis, with no recovery possible. Rafael took close care of her, but suffered intensely from seeing her in this condition. On June 9, the sick girl was at the end of her strength and her ability to endure any more suffering. “Don’t worry, my little sister,” he told her, “I’m going right now to the church to tell the Blessed Virgin everything, so that she will free you and our mother from suffering. You’ll have a good night—you’ll see.” Fifteen minutes later, he came back, smiling. “It’s done, I spoke to the Blessed Virgin: ‘See what you can do, Mother, for my Mom. Cure my sister.’ Now you will see how the Blessed Virgin will cure you.” After a last injection of morphine, the sick girl slept through the entire night. The pain stopped completely and, in a month, against all expectations, she gained back, the twenty-five lios she had lost.

But the desire for Trappist life still burned within the young man. Speaking of himself, he wrote to his uncle in December 1935: “His

Brother Rafael Amáiz Barón

Brother Rafael Amáiz Barón

vocation is to want to be forgotten by the world and by creatures, so as to offer himself to God in the silence and humility of the oblate’s habit. He wants to be an offering for God, but without the world knowing it; to be a shadow who passed his life loving God much and silently. He wants to help worldly souls to love God, but without their knowing it.”Thanks to his health being restored, Rafael was able to enter the monastery again on January11, 1936. Since his diabetes kept him from following the Rule, he was received as an oblate, meaning he would not make public vows like the others. This was for him even more humbling, since his soul was greedy for the Trappist life with its penances, its work, and its rigor in the observance of the Rule. But he perceived being an oblate as a detachment from the Trappist vocation: “I do not deserve to be a monk… Saying the Holy Mass?… Lord, if I am to see you very soon, what does that matter?… Vows?… Do I not love God with all my strength? So what good are vows? Nothing prevents me from being close to Him and loving Him silently, humbly, in the simplicity of the oblature.” He associated his state as oblate with the mystery of Christ’s Passion. However, his detachment from everything did not make him indifferent to others; he wrote his father: “I want to be a very human saint, “ and “love for God does not exclude that of creatures.” To be able to be best cared for, Rafael was put in the infirmary. The former novice master had passed away, and his relationship with the new novice master was not an easy one. He experienced loneliness and misunderstanding, because some monks were scandalized by his exemptions from the Rule. Fortunately, he could rely on the Abbot and his confessor. In the beginning all went well with the nurse, young Brother Tescelino, but in fall 1936 the nurse was drafted, and his replacement was much less understanding. Rafael himself admitted that he was not given enough to eat.

In July 1936, the Spanish Civil War began. Rafael was aware he did not know much about what was happening in Spain. Called up on September 29, he was declared unfit for military service. Many young monks were drafted into the army. Brother Rafael suffered to see his Bothers leave while he was discharged as unfit. After a stay with his family, who had taken refuge in a very quiet Castilian village, Brother Rafael returned to the monastery for the third time on December 6.

The hand of God

On February 7, 1937, Rafael left the monastery for a third time due to his deteriorating health. The war made it impossible for him to receive the care he needed in the monastery. On the occasion of this latest departure he stated: “I see the hand of God so clearly that whatever happens is all the same to me.” He returned to the Castilian village where his parents still were, and took up canvas and brush once more. He took walks in the country, conversed with the tenant farmers, took an interest in his father’s country estate, spent long hours in the garden contemplating the sky, listened to music, and said the Rosary. But in the midst of a certain level of comfort, he found ways to mortify himself in many small things. His mother was his only nurse this entire time. Little by little, Rafael’s health improved, but he was not cured of his disease. However he reached a new stage—from then on, he not only accepted but loved his circumstances, whatever they were.

Rafael felt on him the loving gaze of Jesus, calling him back to the monastery, and an interior battle took place in his soul because of the sufferings that awaited him. “The Lord,” he confessed, “is greatly testing me with my illness, which makes me come and go without having a place to stop—now in the world, now in the monastery. It’s something that one must experience to understand…” Several days later, Rafael told his mother: “Mother, I need to leave.”–”Already, my son?” she replied, her heart wrung with anguish. It was the fourth time she would have to offer her son, and each time the pain was just as intense. “I must leave… Tomorrow I return to the monastery, “ Rafael declared. He went back to San Isidro on December 15. His farewell to his mother was simple but painful. Not seeing her husband getting ready, she asked Rafael: “Isn’t your father going with you?”–”No. This time, I’m leaving alone.”

Rafael wrote in his journal: “My vocation is only to love God, in sacrifice and renunciation, with no rule other than blind obedience to his Divine Will. I believe I am fulfilling it today, in obeying, without vows and as an oblate, the superiors of the Cistercian abbey of San Isidro de Dueñas…” Suffering physically and morally, he noted, “They do not know my vocation. If the world knew the continual martyrdom that is my life… If my family knew that my center is not the monastery, nor the world, nor any creature, but God, and God crucified… My vocation is to suffer.” From then on, he abandoned all his desires and renounced any official vocation. “I have realized what my vocation is. I am not a monk…, I am not a lay person…, I am nothing… Blessed be God, I am nothing but a soul in love with Christ.”

Constantly loving God

At the beginning of Lent 1938, the father Abbot informed him that he would give him the cowl, (the ultimate monastic habit, usually reserved for monks who have taken their vows), and the black scapular (until then, he had worn the white cope and scapular of the novice). At the moment, he was delirious with joy, but very quickly he responded: “I have seen clearly that, for me, this is vanity.” His confessor would report that at this time in his life, he spent entire hours before the tabernacle, after which he would be transformed, his limpid gaze reflecting the fiery blaze of love that consumed him. Sometimes, as a diversion to his long hours of solitude that, despite everything, weighed on him, he would be given work to do, peeling potatoes, working in the chocolate factory, making blueprints or drawings for Father Abbot, or studying Latin. Nothing, however, could turn him away from his constant thought of loving God. But the depth of his spiritual life was more visible to others than to himself. It seems to him, in fact, that he was not making any progress. “Dearest Jesus, My God,” he wrote on April 13, “I see Lord, that I am doing nothing in your service. I am afraid of wasting my time… When will I begin, my Jesus, to truly serve you?… I am useless and sick.” Addressing himself, he added, “Poor Brother Rafael!”… Let it be enough for you to constantly purify your intention at every moment, and at every moment to love God. Do everything out of love and with love.”

On Easter Sunday, April 17, 1938, the Father Abbot vested Brother Rafael with the black scapular and the monastic cowl. In his meditation that day, Brother Rafael wrote, “I would be lying if I said that today I did not allow myself to be carried away in vanity… Jesus alone fills up the heart and soul.” Shortly before, he had written to a Trappist brother. “He who gives up everything gives up very little, for he gives up only that which he must one day (the day of his death) give up anyway, whether he wants to or not.” On April 22, his father came to spend the day with him. Brother Rafael seemed fine. But on the 23rd, he took to his bed and suffered attacks of delirium, accompanied by intense pains. He died the morning of April 26, 1938, at the age of 27.

During his second stay at the Trappist monastery, Rafael discovered the deep meaning of monastic silence which becomes transformed into prayer: “People say that the silence in the monastery is sad,” he would write… “There could not be a more wrong view… The silence there is the most joyous language that could be imagined… From the soul of the Trappist living in silence who appears pitiable, bursts forth abundantly and unceasingly a glorious song of joy, full of love and joy to his Creator, to his God, to a loving Father who takes care of and consoles him…” On September 18, 2010, in Westminster Cathedral, Pope Benedict XVI reminded youth of the benefit of silence: “I ask you to look into your hearts each day to find the source of all true love. Jesus is always there, quietly waiting for us to be still with Him and to hear His voice. Deep within your heart, He is calling you to spend time with Him in prayer. But this kind of prayer, real prayer, requires discipline; requires making time for moments of silence every day… Even amid the ‘busy-ness’ and stress of our daily lives, we need to make space for silence, because it is in silence that we find God, and in silence that we discover our true self.” Let us ask the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to teach us to seek God in the silence of our heart.

 

Dom Antoine Marie, o.s.b.

This article is made possible with the permission of the Monks of Claival

Matthew 5:48
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
48Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 25:32
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
32And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:
Matthew 13:49
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
49So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.
Luke 10:27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 5:26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
26Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.

 

The following article has been published before and is of great importance and should not be taken lightly. I have not gotten permission from the author and apologize if necessary for publishing this on Catholic-Truths.com, but I’m confident that Mr. Salza would appreciate the word being passed on to others that have not seen it. It should be read, prayed about and acted upon. It doesn’t make any difference if you are Catholic or not, the situation and condition of this world today should be of great concern. There is a solution! Read on! Then take action! There are instructions at the bottom of the article.

 

The Possible Chastisement of the Third Secret of Fatima

 

John F. Salza, Esq.

(Published in The Remnant, January 31, A.D. 2013)

There has been much speculation about the contents of the Third Secret of Fatima. Our Lady commanded “by express order” that the Third Secret of Fatima be released in 1960. When Cardinal Ottaviani in 1955 asked Sister Lucia “Why this date?” she said the meaning of the Secret will “seem clearer” (“mais claro”) at that time. It is common knowledge that the most impactful event for the Church at that time was the ensuing Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), and this book proves the Third Secret prophesies an apostasy in the Church as a result of the council’s novel “reforms.” Sister Lucia confirmed that the Third Secret begins with Our Lady’s mysterious phrase, “In Portugal, the dogma of the faith will always be preserved etc…,” implying that the Faith will not be preserved elsewhere, even at the highest levels of the Church.

But are Vatican II and the New Mass the only warnings of the Third Secret? No. In June 2000, the Vatican revealed that in the third part of the Secret Our Lady prophesies a possible execution of a Pope, along with bishops, priests, religious and laity in a city half in ruins, perhaps devastated by a nuclear attack. Our Lady in the second part of the Secret also accurately predicted World War II. Hence, the Great Secret of Fatima reveals terrifying material, not just spiritual, chastisements. How might additional, yet-to-be revealed material chastisements of the Third Secret be connected to 1960? Especially when the conditional prophesies of the execution of a Pope and the devastation of a city have not yet occurred as of 2013? My research has led me to a frightening though plausible conclusion: Beginning in 1960, Russia and the United States became formally aware of the biggest material threat to modern civilization.

That threat is referred to as an electromagnetic pulse attack (EMP). An EMP is created by the detonation of a nuclear bomb over a geographical area which damages or destroys all of the electronic systems within the targeted area. In 1960, both the Soviet Union and the United States formalized its plans to test nuclear weapons that would be able to bring about a paralyzing EMP attack against their enemies.1 These tests would reveal the potential damage of an EMP attack which far surpassed scientific expectations. In 1961 and 1962, the Soviet Union launched a series of nuclear bombs over a large geographical area in Kazakhstan whose infrastructure was heavily electrified. The series of test launches was known as K-3 or Test 184.2 Reports were later issued which revealed that the civilian infrastructure of Kazakhstan was severely damaged. Major underground power lines failed, diesel generators malfunctioned, radar was disabled and telephone lines were shut down. All overvoltage protectors fired, and all of the fuses on the power line were blown.3 Even with the usage of relatively smaller nuclear bombs in these tests, debilitating damage was achieved.4

On July 9, 1962, the United States also performed an EMP test known as “Starfish Prime” by launching a high-altitude nuclear bomb over Johnston Island in the mid-Pacific Ocean.5 It was discovered that electromagnetic fields were adversely affected in Honolulu, Hawaii almost 900 miles away. Streetlights were extinguished, microwave communications were disrupted and burglar alarms were sounded off. A number of orbiting satellites were also destroyed. While these effects were not overly dramatic, the test burst was very distant from Hawaii6 and electronic technology has become much more sensitive to EMP since 1962.7 Moreover, the thermonuclear warhead (so-called “hydrogen bomb”) used in Starfish was very inefficient at producing EMP. Nevertheless, the effects of the blast surprised the experts and confirmed that our critical infrastructures, including the electrical power grid itself, would be subject to incalculable damage in an effective EMP attack.8 In other words, the potential damage of an EMP attack became “clearer” with these nuclear tests beginning in 1960 – the year Our Lady commanded the Third Secret to be revealed.

Because almost all aspects of modern American life are run by electricity, primarily through computer chips (food storage, water distribution, utilities, transportation, communication, financial services), the United States is extremely vulnerable to this type of attack. This vulnerability has increased significantly over the last 40 years as more and more of our infrastructure has become increasingly dependent upon electronics. Moreover, based on Congressional reports, we are currently defenseless in most aspects against such warfare.9 The United States Congress formed a Commission in 2001 to examine the impact of EMP on our country, with particular focus on the Soviet and American testing of 1962. The Commission concluded:

Several potential adversaries have or can acquire the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication. EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of US society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power.10

Within seconds of a full-blown EMP attack against our country, millions of Americans would die instantly – in planes that would fall from the sky, in cars that would malfunction, and in hospitals whose life-supporting systems would shut down.11 The rest who are not prepared for such an attack would eventually die either of starvation or disease, or at the hands of hunger- crazed citizens or enemy invaders.12 The effects would be more immediate in populated areas, with survivors frantically attempting to escape to the country in search of food and protection. Information sharing would cease as nearly all radio and television programs would go off the air, further paralyzing our nation with fear of the unknown. Financial systems would shut down and American currency would become worthless. Our country would sink into physical and spiritual darkness beyond all imagination and comprehension.

Within hours of a successful attack, city riots would precipitate and stores would be looted for food before it rotted.13 Killers and rapists would escape from prisons and rain terror upon their victims. After only a month or two, there would be a proliferation of infectious disease, mass-murder and suicide, and starving people would resort to cannibalism, some even eating their own children. If the attack occurred in the winter, millions would also freeze to death. Under any scenario, our military would be paralyzed, as electronically governed aircraft, tanks, submarines and weaponry would no longer function and communications would almost completely break down.14 We would be unable to successfully defend against the inevitable foreign invasion. It would be a literal hell on Earth. It is the most horrific and terrifying scenario that could ever be conceived by the human mind. As Pope John Paul I said, “The secret; it’s terrible.”15

And it could be the conditional chastisement revealed by Our Lady in the Third Secret of Fatima – a chastisement that could befall us if the Pope does not consecrate Russia in time. If this is the Secret, it must be the reason why Sister Lucia could not initially write it down, even after having been commanded to do so by her bishop. What could possibly have scared Lucia in such a manner? After all, she had seen a vision of hell and had been threatened with torture and death as a child. Surely, Our Lady’s description of the aftermath of an EMP attack could have done so. A well-respected professional (who has chosen to remain anonymous) contacted me about this article on the EMP threat after it was published in The Remnant Newspaper.16 The article deeply startled him as it brought back to his memory a conversation he had with the late Father Malachi Martin during their lunch in New York City shortly before Martin died. Father Martin, who read the Third Secret (but was oath-bound not to divulge its particulars), said the Secret reveals “a new form of energy” in the context of a material chastisement. This would explain why Father Martin revealed on the Art Bell Show in 1997 that the Third Secret is more shocking than people can imagine. After revealing the Secret is “much worse” than a natural disaster, he said it “would give a shock, would terrify people, would fill confessionals on Saturday night, would fill the cathedrals, the basilicas, and the churches with believers on their knees, beating their breasts.”17 People do not react that way for warnings of apostasy, especially when these warnings are in Scripture and most of the world is already apostate. But such a reaction is not only conceivable, but expected from those faithful who believe their lives could suddenly be transformed by “a new form of energy” into incomprehensible terror, knowing their fate is in the hands of one man, the Pope (with whom they must now publicly plead to be spared through the consecration).

As we will see, Our Lady repeated the warnings of the Third Secret in Her apparitions at Akita, Japan in 1973. In 1998, Howard Dee, the former Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican revealed to Inside the Vatican that “Cardinal Ratzinger personally confirmed to me that these two messages, of Fatima and Akita, are essentially the same.”18 At Akita, Our Lady warned of “a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will have never seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad.”19 In an EMP attack, fire does indeed fall from the sky through the nuclear explosion that creates the damaging current of positive ions, resulting in the eventual indiscriminate loss of life in its wake. At Akita, Our Lady also revealed, “The survivors will envy the dead.” This would be the case if survivors were imprisoned in a world of physical and mental torture with no way to escape – the inevitable consequence of an EMP attack. This could be why Cardinal Ratzinger, in his 1984 interview with Vittorio Messori, stated that Fatima reveals “dangers threatening the faith and life of the Christian, and therefore of the world.”20 In his May 13, 1967 sermon at Fatima, Paul VI also warned that “the world is in danger.”21

This may also be why the Popes have chosen not to release the Third Secret. In their minds, revealing it would risk precipitating the prophesied events. For example, when John Paul II in Fulda, Germany (1981) was asked why the Secret was not released, he replied: “Given the seriousness of the contents, my predecessors in the Petrine office diplomatically preferred to postpone publication so as to not encourage the world power of Communism to make certain moves.”22 Cardinal Ottaviani had similarly stated in 1967 that the Secret was not revealed in order “To avoid that something so delicate, not destined for public consumption, come for whatever reason, even fortuitous, to fall into alien hands.”23 When Messori in his 1984 interview with Ratzinger pressed him by concluding “I venture, it seems that here [in the Third Secret], also as in the two other ‘secrets,’ Russia is mentioned?” the Cardinal refused to go further and discuss any of the details.

These statements indicate the Third Secret may reveal a devastating attack by Russia against the West, which could most easily be achieved through EMP warfare. This information would indeed be “delicate” and extremely dangerous in “alien hands,” because it would publicly reveal the outcome of Russia’s successful military strategy against the U.S., which it sought to confirm during its EMP testing in 1961-1962. Note well that it takes only a single scud missile, at a cost of only $100,000, with a single nuclear warhead, launched from an inexpensive base or shipboard in international waters, and detonated at 250 miles over the central U.S. to fatally cripple our nation in an instant. This is also why such an attack could easily come from the less sophisticated, rogue nations of the Middle East, who are under the direction and control of “the world power of Communism.”24

The Blessed Elena Aiello prophesied, in 1960 of all years, that “another terrible war will come from the East to the West. Russia with her secret armies will battle America; will overcome Europe.” She also said “Russia will march upon all the nations of Europe, particularly Italy, and will raise her flag over the Dome of St. Peter’s” [Is Rome the city in ruins revealed in the Third Secret?]. In the 1854 prophecy of Zachary, it is also revealed that Russia and China will go to war against the West and “North America will fall and be conquered and brought into bondage.”25 For Russia or China to overrun the United States military and its armed citizens in such manner would seemingly presuppose we were previously rendered incapacitated to some extent to defend ourselves. This would indeed be the case after an EMP attack. When in his 1946 interview Professor William Walsh asked Lucia if the United States would “be overcome by Communism” if Russia is not consecrated in time, she replied “Yes.”26

Of course, only faithless men would believe that hiding Our Lady’s prophecies in the Third Secret would somehow prevent those prophecies from being fulfilled. But that is exactly what the last five Popes have done. This is why Lucia said the Church is under a “diabolical disorientation.” The Popes have chosen to disobey Our Lady, favoring their own remedies of diplomacy and ecumenism rather than Heaven’s remedy of the consecration of Russia. Pope John XXIII, who was responsible for revealing the Third Secret in 1960, may have believed the EMP threat did not exist during his reign. He declared the inapplicability of the Third Secret to his pontificate immediately after reading the Secret in 1959. While this was no excuse to disobey Our Lady’s express order to reveal the Secret in 1960, Pope John’s decision can be rationalized, humanly speaking of course. The EMP threat was not as real or comprehensible during his pontificate.

However, John Paul II and Benedict XVI had no such excuse. Reports have been released, nuclear programs have advanced, and the threat has been substantiated.27 Nevertheless, in the words of John Paul II, “truly the publication of such a message [the Third Secret] is no longer something to be so much desired.”28 Similarly, in the words of Benedict XVI, “To publish the ‘third secret’ would mean exposing the Church to the danger of sensationalism, exploitation of the content.”29 As inconceivable as it is, the conciliar Popes have been more concerned about the world’s reaction to the Secret rather than preventing the prophecies of the Secret from coming true through the consecration of Russia. Instead of obeying Our Lady of Fatima and saving the world from disaster, these Popes have chosen the Communist tactic of “perception management,” as the Communists themselves plan to destroy us and plunge the world into hell.

All of the Popes in question have not only publicly promoted the cult of Fatima, but have also expressed their personal belief in the Fatima apparitions. That is what makes their treatment of the consecration of Russia and the Third Secret so incredible to comprehend. If a devastating EMP attack is revealed in the Third Secret, how could these Popes have rejected the Message of Fatima’s remedy to prevent it? How could they have ignored Our Lady’s warnings and put our lives in such grave danger? We can conclude that they not only fear man more than God, but they also trust man more than God. This has been the program of the conciliar Popes’ pontificates, fueled by the anti-supernatural spirit of Vatican II.

John Paul II and Benedict XVI have particularly manifested their faith in man rather than God by assembling the false religions of the world for world peace, rather than the Catholic bishops of the world to consecrate Russia for world peace. A greater affront to Jesus Christ and His Holy Mother cannot be imagined. Even if an EMP attack is not revealed in the Third Secret, the threat of such an attack increases more every day, as our enemies continue to enrich uranium and harvest nuclear power. Moreover, both John Paul II and Benedict XVI (as Cardinal Ratzinger) have acknowledged this very threat of nuclear war – of all places – in their June 2000 release of part of the Third Secret called The Message of Fatima.30 Thus, whether an EMP attack is or is not part of the Third Secret is ultimately academic; what’s critical is that EMP and any other nuclear threat could be swiftly eliminated with the consecration of Russia.31

Our Lady commanded the consecration of Russia to be performed in 1929 when an EMP attack was not a legitimate threat. That threat became known around 1960 when Our Lady commanded the Secret to be revealed. In anyone’s estimation, it is reasonable to hypothesize that an EMP attack (perhaps by Russia against the United States) is the material chastisement revealed in the Third Secret (through the use of “a new form of energy” that Malachi Martin says is revealed in the Secret). Our Lady obviously wanted the consecration to be performed (in 1929) before the world knew of the EMP risk (in 1960), so that the risk would be moot as the world experienced the promised period of peace. But the Popes of Vatican II have chosen their own ways, not Heaven’s way. They have disobeyed God and led humanity to a frightful abyss. They have brought turmoil to the Church and the world. In the end, we know a Pope will consecrate Russia and Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will triumph. Whether we must first suffer the chastisements of the Third Secret, however, remains to be seen.32 If these facts do not inspire us to pray daily for the consecration of Russia, nothing will.

May God spare us from the coming chastisement through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima and the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.

 

For more information, please see my book, co-authored with Robert Sungenis, called The Consecration of Russia – How Seven Popes Failed to Heed Heaven’s Command and Brought Turmoil to the Church and the World (Hometown Publications, 375 pages, 100 photographs), available at www.scripturecatholic.com.

 

Footnotes:

1 Note that a rudimentary analysis of the effects of EMP was recording by the U.S. government’s first nuclear weapon test which took place in July, 1945.

2 The Soviet Union conducted these EMP tests on September 6, 1961 (Test No. 88, Thunderstorm), October 6, 1961 (Test No. 115, Thunder), October 27, 1961 (Test No. 128, K-1), October 27, 1961 (Test No. 127, K-2), October 22, 1961 (Test No. 184, K-3), October 28, 1961 (Test No. 187, K-4), and November 1, 1962 (Test No. 195, K-5).

3 Most of the data still remain classified by the Russian Federation Ministry of Defense, but an informative report was prepared by Vasily N. Greetsai et. al. “Response of Long Lines to Nuclear High-Altitude Electromagnetic Pulse (HEMP)” IEEE Transactions on Electromagnetic Compatibility, Vol. 40, No. 4, November 1998.

4 Nuclear EMP is usually described in terms of three components: E1 (the fastest pulse which induces very high voltages and destroys computers and communications equipment); E2 (similar to the electrical pulses produced by lightning and the easiest to protect against); and E3 (a very slow pulse producing effects similar to a geomagnetic storm caused by a severe solar flare). Further, EMP has the potential to vaporize targets, such as people and buildings, which disintegrate into nothingness (the U.S. government may have already used such techniques in its geo-political military conquests).

5 The “Starfish” test used a 1.44 megaton W49 thermonuclear warhead detonated at an altitude of 250 miles. The U.S. also conducted the Bluegill Triple Prime, Checkmate and Kingfish high altitude tests of 1962, as well as the Hardtack-Teak and Hardtack-Orange tests of 1958. Most of the test results have remained classified.

6 A similar detonation over the continental U.S. would have had much more damaging effects due to the Earth’s greater magnetic field.

7 For example, we have seen the change from analog to digital, with operating frequencies increasing from megahertz to gigahertz, and with the operating voltages of chips reaching ever lower levels.

8 Since the 1962 testing, further nuclear EMP tests are currently prohibited under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty which forbids weapons testing in the atmosphere or outer space.

9 See, for example, the United States EMP Commission’s 2004 Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack (“Commission’s 2004 Report”), and its 2008 Critical National Infrastructure Report (“Commission’s 2008 Report”). See also the Commission’s testimony in 2005 before the U.S. Senate as well as Major Colin R. Miller’s Electromagnetic Pulse Threats in 2010.

10 See the Commission’s 2004 Report at http://www.empcommission.org/docs /empc_exec_rpt.pdf and the 2008 Report at http://www.empcommission.org/docs/A2473-EMP_Commission-7MB.pdf. See also Jerry Emanuelson’s Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse at http://www.futurescience.com/emp.html. It is estimated that it would take up to ten years after an EMP attack to restore our electric power grid to functionality (and such restoration would depend upon the capability and freedom of the worker-survivors after such an attack).

11 There is significant debate concerning the extent of such damage. For example, short cabling and metallic construction in cars may actually serve to protect most of them, although the increased use of non-metallic materials reduces this protection. Test results have been inconsistent. In fact, the malfunctioning of only a portion of all automobiles (say ten percent) would create greater chaos than if all cars were affected (in recent years, declassified information from the Starfish test revealed that cars in Hawaii with non-electronic ignition systems were also damaged by the EMP test, suggesting that potential damage to autos may be greater than anticipated). Further, the damage would depend upon the intensity and frequency of the pulse. Government reports have been conspicuously silent about the horrific impact on airplanes which are completely computer driven.

12 To survive, most people would need to store at least six months worth of nonperishable food and water in their homes, along with a means to cook food (e.g., propane fueled stoves), as well as have access to first aid and medicine. The best prepared will have generators or other emergency power sources, batteries, flashlights, kerosene lamps, portable heaters, two-way and emergency radios. Many will use “Faraday” cages to protect their backup electronic devices. People will also need guns and a stockpile of ammunition to protect themselves from looters. Many will survive by being able to hunt and fish, as well as grow/eat vegetables and fruits from trees. Those who possess gold and silver coins will also be able to barter and transact business when the value of American currency plummets or becomes completely worthless.

13 Such mayhem occurred in the New York City blackout of 1977 in only a single day.

14 The U.S. military currently has some protective measures in place against EMP, but the majority of its infrastructure, systems and communications remain exposed (almost the entire commercial sector has no EMP protection).

15 Before he became Pope John Paul I, Cardinal Albino Luciano in 1977 traveled to Fatima and met with Sister Lucia. It is believed that Lucia explained to him the Secret and also revealed he would become Pope and be murdered by his own Vatican curia. His visit with Lucia was reported in Gente Veneta, July 23, 1977.

16 John Salza, “The Possible Chastisement of the Third Secret of Fatima,” The Remnant, January 31, 2013.

17 Antonio Socci, The Fourth Secret of Fatima (Fitzwilliam: Loreto Publications, 2009), p. 125.

18 Reported by Catholic World News, October 11, 2001.

19 Pope John Paul II has also indicated the Third Secret reveals “that from one moment to the next millions of people will perish.” Stimmes Des Glaubins (Voice of Faith), cited in Chris Ferrara’s The Secret Still Hidden (Pound Ridge, NY: Good Counsel Publications, 2008), p. 37.

20 Reported in the Italian journal Jesus, “Here is Why the Faith is in Crisis,” November 11, 1984.

21 On September 10, 1984, Bishop Alberto Cosme do Amaral of Fatima stated the Third Secret did not speak of “atomic bombs” or “nuclear warheads.” While his statement undermines the proposed thesis, note the following: First, the bishop did not read the Secret and admitted his conclusions were based on his personal study of the matter (he wouldn’t say Lucia agreed with his interpretation until 11 years later, in 1995). Second, he withdrew his 1984 remarks before reasserting them again in 1995, which calls into question the reliability of his statement. Third, his statement attempted to summarize “the meaning of the message” and its primary import, namely, the “loss of faith” which he said was “worse than the annihilation of a nation”; hence, his statement does not preclude the conclusion that a nuclear holocaust is the revealed punishment for that “loss of faith.” Fourth, both Cardinal Ratzinger and John Paul II have collectively confirmed the Third Secret reveals material chastisements which threaten the world and where millions will die instantly (and Ratzinger’s statement came after that of do Amaral). Fifth, as noted, Ratzinger has said the chastisement revealed at Akita (fire raining from the sky) is essentially the same as that revealed in the Third Secret. Sixth, the part of the Third Secret released by the Vatican in 2000 reveals a putative war scene with the execution of the Pope and a city in ruins and hence is not limited to spiritual chastisements. Finally, Our Lady revealed that various nations would be annihilated, which is most certainly explained in the Third Secret (and, interestingly, Bishop do Amaral equated “nuclear holocaust” with “the annihilation of a nation” in his 1984 statement).

22 Stimmes Des Glaubins (Voice of Faith), cited in Ferrara’s The Secret Still Hidden, p. 37.

23 Documentation Catholique, March 19, 1967, Col. 543.

24 While it is unlikely that smaller countries such as Iran and North Korea could currently create the necessary megaton bomb to detonate at the required altitude for a full-scale EMP attack against the U.S., they are certainly getting closer. Moreover, Russia and China currently do have the capability, and have also been supplying arms and related materials to Iran and North Korea for their nuclear weapons programs.

25 See Fr. Paul Kramer’s “What are the Missing Contents of the Third Secret?,” The Fatima Crusader, Issue 95, Summer 2010, p.45. We note that, 170 years removed from this prophecy, Russia and China have entered into a formal military alliance against the West, in what has been called “The Beijing-Moscow Axis.” Perhaps this is why the United States has given so many trade concessions to nations such as China. The U.S. is attempting to appease China and the rest of its enemies, for we cannot currently defend against a universal EMP attack. Perhaps so long as China can continue to profit from our concessions on their artificially inflated currency, China will keep us alive. But, at some point – if the Pope does not timely consecrate Russia – that time will pass and we will be their victims.

26 Louis Kaczmarek, The Wonders She Performs (Manassas, VA: Trinity Communications, 1986), p. 160.

27 The effects of high-altitude nuclear EMP have been known since at least 1962. Information on the Soviet Union testing of 1961-1962 became available in the mid and late 1990s after the Soviet Union’s political restructuring. Certain information concerning the U.S. tests of 1962 also became available. The U.S. Department of Defense and other experts in the field have published information on nuclear weapon effects since the 1970s. We have also already noted the detailed reports from the United States EMP Commission issued in 2004 and 2008, as well as its testimony before the U.S. Senate in 2005.

28 Stimmes Des Glaubins (Voice of Faith), cited inFerrara’s The Secret Still Hidden, p. 37.

29 As Cardinal Ratzinger, in the Italian journal Jesus, “Here is Why the Faith is in Crisis,” November 11, 1984.

30 For example, in the Vatican’s The Message of Fatima, Cardinal Ratzinger writes: “Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: man himself, with his inventions, has forged the flaming sword.”

Yet, in the same document, then Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone says the so-called revelation of the Third Secret of Fatima “brings to an end a period of history marked by tragic human lust for power and evil…” Not only is Bertone’s statement absurd, it obviously contradicts that of Cardinal Ratzinger, and calls into question the credibility of the entire document.

31 Theoretically, even if a Pope didn’t believe in Fatima, some question why he wouldn’t use the apologia of Pascal’s Wager and consecrate Russia anyway, for there is everything to gain and nothing to lose. However, a Pope who didn’t believe in Our Lady’s promises would be motivated not to consecrate Russia because, desiring the praise of men more than God, he would not want to be embarrassed when the promises of the consecration (as he would believe) “do not come true.” In that sense, such a Pope would have something to “lose,” namely, human and worldly respect.

32 If a devastating EMP attack occurs prior to the papal consecration of Russia, it is unclear how the Pope during such chaos will communicate with the world’s bishops in summoning them to perform the consecration on the same day and at the same hour with him. This possibility would be a further punishment from God for the Popes’ many years of disobedience.

 

 

 

Copyright © by John F. Salza. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.johnsalza.com

http://www.scripturecatholic.com

 

 

 

Now here’s the instructions on what you should do immediately- -Send a petition to the Holy Father:

 

 

Petition to His Holiness Pope Francis

to

Consecrate Russia to The Immaculate Heart of Mary

 

 

Dear Holy Father, I (we) know you love Our Blessed Mother and have consecrated your Papacy to Our Lady of Fatima. This is why I am (we are) emboldened to ask you to do one thing that will please Our Lady the most and secure for the world the blessing of peace She longs to bestow upon it: Consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, along with all the Bishops of he Catholic Church.

Our Lady asked for this Consecration, with the specific mention of Russia. I know that you intend to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart on Oct. 13, and graces would certainly flow from such a Holy Act, but Our Lady did not ask for the consecration of the world – She asked specifically for the consecration of Russia, by the Pope and the Bishops. When this is done solemnly and publicly as She specified Our Lady promises world peace.

Dear Holy Father, you have it in your power to end so much suffering in the world. Only you can do this Your Holiness so (I) we, the undersigned, appeal to you as (one of) your faithful children. Please fulfill the request of Our Lady of Fatima! (My) our peace , the peace of (my) our family, the Church and the world depends upon it. You have (my) our prayers, (my) our loyalty and (my) our love.

 

Signed: _________________________________________________

 

 

 

It will cost about a $1.10 to send this simple note. It is surely the best purchase you could ever make. Copy, past, print and mail NOW.

 

Matthew 5:48
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
48Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 25:32
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
32And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:
Matthew 13:49
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
49So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.
Luke 10:27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 5:26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
26Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.

Il valore sofferenza

If you don’t speak or understand Italian, the title of this piece is beyond your understanding. But, if you have a knack for figuring out what another language is saying, you may discover that it means, “The Value of Suffering.” The reason for choosing Italian is that it is the language of Madre Provvidenza, a dear friend and the Foundress of the Missionaries of Faith. Mamma, as her children call her, passed from this life in 2001. Even though Madre was totally blind she has many writings in the form of recorded cassettes that are being reviewed to help bring her cause forward. The Sisters send out a booklet on a regular basis with small articles of some of Madre’s writings. The most recent mailing gave me the idea for this post.

I want to begin with something that Madre Provvidenza had in her article to help explain the value of suffering. I’ll do my best to translate as closely as possible without changing any of Madre’s meaning. First of all, she chose the word “martyr” in Italian “martirio” to give a clear explanation. Here is how she did it:

M = Morire a tutto-Dying at all

To die to all

Denouncing the world

A = Amare Iddio-Loving God

To love God with

all your strength, heart and soul

R = Redimere le anime-To redeem the souls

To win souls for Jesus

To be a part of Christ’s redemption

T = Testimoniare il Cristo-Testiminiare the Christ

To give testimony to Christ

Be a witness to Christ

I = Insegnare ai frateli-Teach brothers

To give instruction

To catechize

R = Rettificare le vie-Rectify the streets

To give assurance

To publicly acclaim the Truth

I- Imitare il Crocefisso-Imitate the Crucifix

To be a living sacrifice

Place yourself on the cross

O = Operare il Bene-Operate the Good

To do good works

To follow God’s will

In following the progression of the meaning given to each letter, I think the word martyr or martirio comes to life. First of all, you have to understand that a martyr is not always someone who was burned at the stake, beheaded or stoned to death for the sake of the faith and love of God. These are the truest martyrs and have been given a special grace to suffer in such a manner. However, we all suffer some kind of martyrdom everyday. But, do we accept what we suffer or do we complain and shake our fist at God and say, “Why do you do this to me? It’s all your fault! Blah, blah, blah. . ..”

No, it’s not God’s fault that we suffer, but our own. We must pay for our own faults and those of others if necessary, to gain eternal life and/or lessen our or their stint in Purgatory. Shaking our fist and getting angry can only increase our sentence, or even worse, cause us damnation should we fall so far away from God.

Madre Provvidenza embraced her suffering and she was an advocate of suffering. She did her share of suffering while she lived, beginning with her blindness and then the seven years until the Foundation of the Missionaries of Faith. She was sent out with no money or means of support to find a bishop who would accept her and the foundation of a new Order. Madre relied on Divine Providence to take care of all her needs. There were times of hunger, cold, no sleep, no shelter. This would be scary enough for someone with sight. Madre developed more maladies as time went on, but she suffered them all for the love of God, for priests in particular and any soul in need. I’m sure she knew some of the souls for which she suffered, but we don’t always know who. Sometimes it’s necessary to ask for the grace to suffer for the conversion of a soul, or the health of a loved one. But if we ask, we must be ready to pay for that soul and not complain. Rather, we should say “thank you” for being allowed to participate in the work of Christ’s redemption. That’s what being a martyr is all about and we need to keep this in mind always at the ready to offer our aches, pains, misfortunes, or whatever God sends us for the sake of souls.

As Catholics, how fortunate we are to have this available to us. To have those willing to suffer for us and with us for those most in need. Offering your day with all its ups and downs for the poor souls in Purgatory is a wonderful grace and should not be overlooked. Offer your day when the alarm sounds in the morning, “Lord, I give you this day for the soul of N. or the souls in Purgatory. They need us and we need them! Keep a smile on your face and have a great day!

So, you’ve given the day for a particular soul or the poor souls. Now, before you retire for the night, make your examination of conscience and see how you did. Think of the worst thing that happened to you today… how did you handle the situation? Not so good . . . well now think of the best thing that happened today. How did you handle that? Hmm . . . a bit prideful or with great charity? Well, you know where and what your faults were for the day, make a good Act of Contrition. Don’t let these failings go to waste, offer them as well for those souls that you offered all your sufferings and pray again, “Thank you for sending all that had to suffer today for N. and I pray it was beneficial and I offer my failings and ask for the grace to handle the situation or one like it more to Your liking.”

I hope this piece has been beneficial to you in understanding the value of suffering and why it is so necessary. Suffering brings grace to those in need that cannot or will not pray for themselves. We also benefit from suffering to shorten our stay in Purgatory. So, no more complaining or fist shaking, embrace, accept and win souls for Jesus. Suffer well, pilgrim, suffer well!

Before you go, pick a martyr and see if their life and suffering included all the points made by Madre Provvidenza. I’m sure you’ll find that it truly did. There are two kinds of martyrs: red and white. Red martyrs die by violence, shedding their blood. White saints die a death of total love of God usually accompanied with physical ailments, for example. Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.

To learn more about Madre Provvidenza visit the official web site.

Matthew 5:48
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
48Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 25:32
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
32And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:
Matthew 13:49
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
49So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.
Luke 10:27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 5:26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
26Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.

 

Pope St. Pius X part 2

 

 

 

O God, Who to safeguard the Catholic Faith and to restore all things in

Christ, didst fill the Supreme Pontiff, Saint Pius, with heavenly wisdom and

apostolic fortitude: grant in Thy mercy: that by striving to fulfill his

ordinances and to follow his example, we may reap eternal rewards.”

 

On this day in the history of Holy Church, the Roman Martyrology teaches us that St. Gregory the Great was raised to the Sovereign Pontificate, saying, “This incomparable man, being forced to take that burden upon himself, sent forth from the exalted throne brighter rays of sanctity upon the world.” How fitting that the Church makes this day the feast day of another great Pope …namely St. Pius X.The readings from Matins says of him: “After the death of Pope Leo XIII he took up the supreme pontificate like a cross, having refused it in vain.”

 

When asked what name he would take, he replied: “Because the Popes who suffered the most for the Church in the previous century bore the name Pius, I will take this name.”

 

The reading from Matins goes on to say of him: “Placed upon the chair of Peter, he gave up nothing of his former way of life. He shone especially in humility, simplicity and poverty. He ruled the Church firmly and adorned it with brilliant teachings. As a most vigilant guardian of the faith, he condemnedand suppressed Modernism, the sum of all heresies; as a most zealous defender of the freedom of the Church, he boldly resisted those who strove to bring about her downfall; he provided for the sound education of clerics, brought the laws of the Church together into one body; and greatly fostered the worship and more frequent reception of the Eucharist.”

 

Knowing his Spouse and Mother, the Holy Church, was deeply wounded by heresy on the inside and being attacked from the outside, he is said to have never smiled as Pope. He knew there was a cosmic battle being waged…and he, as the Vicar of Christ, assumed his role most fittingly with EVANGELICAL SERIOUSNESS. He knew this was no time to be laughing. Read the Gospels… you will find the same seriousness in His Majesty, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

For our meditation today, let us concentrate on his love for the priesthood. In this month of Our Lady of Sorrows, we can think of how Pope St. Pius used to test seminarians and priests about devotion to Our Lady. He would simply ask them why we should be devoted to her. The answer he was looking for, “so that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”

Deeply dedicated to the priesthood, St. Pius often used to say, “Sicut sacerdos, sic populos” … as the priest, so the people. This motivated him to seek complete reform of the clergy whenever and however he could… by teaching and by example… knowing it would lead to the reform of the whole Church. He understood that this a priestly Universe. There will be

no reform without holy priests. Here are some considerations.

 

Due to his outstanding work as a pastor and later as the director of spiritual formation in the local seminary, he was chosen to be bishop of Mantua. He tried to evade the promotion just as, later on, he tried to flee from the papacy. He wrote a long letter to Rome, setting out all the reasons why he should not be appointed. Back came the reply, one word,

written by Pope Leo XIII himself. “Obey!” SoFr. Sarto obeyed, and was consecrated bishop. Soon afterwards, he went home and showed his motherthe episcopal ring which he had been given. Signora Sarto held out her own work-worn hand, with the simple gold wedding-band on the third finger. “You have a beautiful ring,” she said, “but you would not be wearing ittoday if I had not first worn this one.” Pope Pius always kept a picture of his mother on his desk. In Rome, Leo XIII soon had cause to be proud that he had chosen Fr. Giuseppe Sarto for Mantua, saying: “He is the best bishop in Lombardy!”

 

The biggest problem facing the diocese was a shortage of priests: during his first year only one was ordained, though forty were needed. So the new bishop launched a very energetic campaign for vocations. He took over personally the running of the seminary, engaged the best professors and taught some of the more important courses himself. He told his priests to keep a constant look-out for young men who might possibly be called to the priesthood and ordered that they be given every encouragement and brought to see him atthe earliest opportunity.

 

Within a very few years, nearly 150 new priests had been ordained. They must have been very good men… because later he would write as the Pope: “Bear well in mind, Venerable Brethren, the Apostle’s warning to Timothy: ‘Do not lay hands hastily upon anyone.’ In fact, haste in admitting men to Sacred Orders naturally opens the way to a multiplication of people in the sanctuary who do not increase joy. … The eagerness of the aspirants is no excuse for haste. The priesthood that Jesus Christ instituted for the salvation of souls is by no means a human profession or office which anyone desiring it for any reason can say he

has a right to receive” (PIENI L’ANIMO No. 4).

 

“…you have a very serious obligation before God of guarding and fostering most solicitously the proper conduct of the seminaries. Your priests will be as you have trained them” (No. 5). “Let philosophy, theology, and the related sciences, especially Sacred Scripture, be

studied along the lines of pontifical directives: according to the teaching of Saint Thomas…” (No. 6). As the priest, so the people. Like St. Francis de Sales, he told his priests that he wanted no special preparations when he called: the ordinary fare of the presbytery was

good enough for him. He kept in constant touch, knew all their problems and had his own way of dealing with those who were not up to their duties. For example, one parish priest had become especially careless in his duties: he was constantly late in getting to church so that people who wanted to go to confession before Mass had no opportunity to do so. When the laggard arrived one morning, late as usual, he was astonished to find that someone was already hearing confessions.

 

Pulling back the curtain, he found himself face to face with Bishop Sarto. Crestfallen, he waited for the rebuke. It did not come. “Any time you have trouble getting to church, Father, just let me know,” said the gentle Bishop. “I’ll always be happy to stand in for you.” That priest was never late again.

 

Story of St. Luigi Orioni

When the father of a boy he knew complained that Cardinal Sarto, the Patriarch of Venice, was spoiling his boy by inviting him to his room to talk alone, play cards and smoke cigarettes, Don Orione grew indignant and wrote a scathing letter to the Cardinal. He regretted his action shortly after posting the letter. Some years later, when the same Cardinal became Pope Pius X, he feared their first meeting. Yet, Pius X granted all his wishes and more. Before they parted company, however, Pius showed Luigi the letter he sent. The Pope had kept it in his breviary all that time for the sake of humility.

 

At the beginning of his pontificate, Pius X wrote, “To seek peace without God is an absurdity.”This is same as saying to seek peace without God’s Pontiff on earth is an absurdity.Having often foreseen and foretold a great war between European nations, he stepped up diplomatic measures to prevent this tragedy. Nonetheless, in the summer of 1914, the First World War broke out. The Holy Father’s heart was broken. In his distress, he

repeated day and night: “I offer my miserable life as a sacrifice, to prevent the massacre of so many of my children… I suffer for all those who fall on the battlefields…” On August 15, he felt unwell, and on the 19th,he was on the verge of death. “I place myself in the hands of God,” he said with otherworldly tranquility. Around noon, he was given the last Sacraments, which he received, calm and serene, in complete lucidity and admirable devotion. On August 20, at oneo’clock in the morning, making a slow sign of the Cross and joining his hands, as if he were celebrating Mass, having kissed a little Crucifix, the holy Pontiff entered into eternal life. His body remains incorrupt and able to be viewed in St. Peter’s Basilica under the Altar of the Presentation.

 

Dear Saint Pius come back!We need you again! Holy Church needs you again! In the name of the Father . . ..

 

Homily given on September 3, 2013, Feast of Pope Saint Pius X

Matthew 5:48
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
48Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 25:32
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
32And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:
Matthew 13:49
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
49So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.
Luke 10:27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 5:26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
26Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.

Pope St. Pius X and Modernism

I found this homily to be quite prevalent for the world today and to be listened to with great intensity. -Admin

 

 

Although today is the feast of St. Stephen, King of Hungary, I would like to offer the first of two reflections on tomorrow’s Saint, Pope Pius X. I am sure that St. Stephen would approve of this plan since he himself “obtained his royal crown from the Pope and, when he had been anointed king at the Pope’s command, he offered his kingdom to the Apostolic See” (Matins). Furthermore, we might call to mind that when Prince Karl and Zita Hapsburg met with Pope Pius X, he prophesied that Karl would soon be king of Austrian-Hungarian Empire…something that did not seem likely given that there were others in front of him. …but the prophecy soon came true.

Turning to St. Pius X, in his first encyclical, E supremi apostolatus, of October 4, 1903, he made known to the whole world the program of his pontificate: “To restore all things in Christ, so that Christ may be all and in all (cf. Ephesians 1:10 & Colossians 3:11)… To lead back mankind under the dominion of Christ; this done, We shall have brought it back to God… Now the way to reach Christ is not hard to find: it is the Church… It was for this that Christ founded it, gaining it at the price of His Blood, and made it the depositary of His doctrine and His laws, bestowing upon it at the same time an inexhaustible treasury of graces for the sanctification and salvation of men… The duty has been imposed of bringing back to the discipline of the Church human society, now estranged from the wisdom of Christ; the Church will then subject it to Christ, and Christ to God.”

Due to the intense pressure of the Enlightenment (which was running rampant with the spread of Rationalism and Liberalism) many theologians and priests started to adopt its principles as the 19th Century progressed. They formed a new theological system that came to be known as “modernism.” It attempted to wed the Church with the modern age, making it more relevant. The modern age was and still is rationalistic… naturalistic…  humanistic. Consequently, they sought to remove the Divine from everything we believe… to remove the vertical, making all horizontal or natural. No miracles, no piety, no Mystical Body of Christ, etc. They pretended to believe, holding all the doctrines of the Church by name…but giving them new meaning (e.g., The Church, Hell,… ). Thus, Modernism is called “the sum of all heresies” (Matins for Pius X).

By the time Pope Pius took office, he exclaimed that its errors had “nearly [reached] the very bowels and veins of the Church.” He also said, “the rationalists are not wanting in their applause, and the most frank and sincere among them congratulate themselves on having found in the Modernists the most valuable of all allies” (Pascendi, no. 39).

The steps taken by Pius X to find a remedy for this evil system resulted in the decline of Modernism in just a few years. The principal agitators were removed from teaching positions in the Catholic Church, and new impetus was given to philosophical and theological studies in keeping with the principles of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Although firm in doctrine, Pius X nevertheless showed great kindness towards those who had gone astray. In 1908, he recommended to the new bishop of Châlons (France): “You are going to be Father Loisy’s bishop (Loisy, called the “father of modernism” by some, was excommunicated because of his persistence in the heresy.) Treat him with kindness and, if he makes one step towards you, make two steps towards him.” This was a concrete application of his principle: “Fight error, without touching the individual.” Hate sin and error…but seek the salvation of the sinner.

Like the Cure of Ars, whom St. Pius beatified, he did not miss an opportunity to do his enemies a good turn. One day, a certain citizen of Mantua penned a newspaper article libeling its bishop, an offence for which he could have been sent to jail. Despite the advice of his assistants, the good bishop refused to prosecute, or to take any other action. “What that poor man needs is prayer, not punishment,” he declared. When, soon afterwards, the libeler went bankrupt and it looked as though he really would go to jail, it was St. Pius who saved him by sending him money anonymously. “Say that it is a gift from Our Lady of Perpetual Help,” he told the messenger.

Yet, Modernism, so vigorously denounced by St. Pius X, unfortunately did not disappear. In 1950, Pius XII, in the encyclical Humani generis, warned against various errors, many of which were related to Modernism. The philosopher Jacques Maritain, not free of the heresy himself, stated in one of his books (Le Paysan de la Garonne (1966)) that “the Modernism of Pius X’s time was a mere hayfever” in comparison to the neo-Modernist movement that was currently in vogue.

During the General Audience of January 19, 1972, Pope Paul VI denounced “errors which could completely ruin our Christian conception of life and history. These errors were expressed in a typical manner in Modernism which, under other names, is still widespread.” On September 14th of the same year, Cardinal Heenan, Archbishop of Westminster, echoed the Pope’s declaration, observing that, although the word “heretic” is no longer used in our times, “heretics have by no means ceased to exist. Heresy number one is what we are accustomed to calling Modernism… Modernism is back, and will appear again as the primary threat to the Church of tomorrow. As authority of all sorts has become universally unpopular, the climate has never been more favorable towards a renewed attack against the authority of God and the Magisterium of His Church. The Resurrection, the Holy Trinity, the immortality of the soul, the Sacraments, the Sacrifice of the Mass, the indissolubility of marriage, the right to life of unborn children, of the elderly and the incurably ill—all these doctrines accepted without problem by Catholics till now, will very likely be the object of attacks in the Church of tomorrow.” The experience of the few decades reveals the truth of this analysis. Cardinal Joseph Siri of Genoa in his work Gethsemane: Reflections on the Contemporary Theological Movement (1981) proves and verifies that Modernism is alive and well in our times. All this makes us appreciate the efforts, writings and teachings of St. Pius X … and that we seek to understand them to keep ourselves free of this heresy.

We are living in a time in which to keep our faith alive, we must study and know our faith. We must know it as it has always been known… and that is why Tradition will keep us sane in such times as these…

 

Homily given on September 2, 2013, the Feast of St. Stephen of Hungry

Matthew 5:48
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
48Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 25:32
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
32And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:
Matthew 13:49
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
49So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.
Luke 10:27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 5:26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
26Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.
Ephesians 1:10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
10In the dispensation of the fulness of times, to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in him.
Colossians 3:11
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
11Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. But Christ is all, and in all.

 

Marie of the Sacred Heart

 

† Guard of Honor to the Sacred Heart †

 

 

During his trip to France in 1986, Blessed John Paul II made a pilgrimage to Paray-le-Monial, where he gave a message to the Society of Jesus in which he wrote, “From he Heart of Christ, the heart of man learns to know the true and unique meaning of one’s life and destiny, to understand the value of an authentically Christian life, to guard against certain perversions of the human heart, to join the filial love of God with love of neighbor. Thus—and this is the true reparation asked for by the Savior’s Heart—can we build the civilization of love, so greatly desired, the reign of the Heart of Christ, on the ruins produced by hatred and violence” (October 5, 1986). These words enable us to better grasp the importance of the Guard of Honor to the Sacred Heart—the result of an inspiration given to Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart Bernaud, a nun of the Visitation monastery in Bourg-en-Bresse, France, on March 13, 1863—as a way of keeping the Heart of Christ company, of honoring and consoling It.

 

Anne Marie Constance Bernaud was born on October 25, 1825 into a family of shopkeepers in Besançon. There would be eight children in this deeply Christian family. Baptized on All Saints Day, she would later say that she “needed the help of the entire celestial court.” As a child, Constance was consecrated numerous times to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by an aunt who had a loving devotion to the Sacred Heart, a devotion still rare at the time. At about the age of four, an eye condition that she would suffer from for several years kept her from the games of her brothers and sisters, and led her to develop a true interior life. Entirely lost in her thoughts and prayers, she loved to be alone and sing hymns. But Constance was nevertheless mischievous and playful and would remain so all her life. Gifted with great sensitivity, the little girl did not hesitate to offer her snacks to the poor she met, and shed abundant tears when she heard of suffering. At the age of five, upon learning of the death of one of her aunts, a Sister of Charity in Besançon, she exclaimed, “I will be a nun too!”

 

 

Let’s kneel!

At the time of her preparation for First Communion, Constance already showed a serious knowledge of the truths of the faith. She and her brother Edouard prepared themselves very conscientiously to receive the sacrament of Penance. They wanted above all to omit nothing from the faults they had to confess, or the number. On April 20, 1836, in the Church of Our Lady, they both received the Body of Christ with fervor. That very evening, Constance said to Edouard: “Let’s kneel and ask God for the grace to never make a bad communion!”

 

 

Constance was outstanding student in her boarding school in Besançon. As an adolescent, she completed her studies at the convent of the Sisters of the Child Jesus in Langres, where she was confirmed on May 19, 1839. Unbeknownst to anyone, the girl was deepening her prayer, and praying continuously. Every morning, she made the Stations of the Cross and during the day, said many Hail Mary’s on her rosary. A short book, the “Month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus”, introduced her to devotion to the Heart of Jesus. “No one will ever know all the good this little book has done me,” she would later say. “I would start the month’s exercises over as soon as I finished them.” Her greatest joy was to offer little sacrifices to Jesus without anyone knowing. After Communion every Sunday, she consecrated the following three days to thanksgiving, and the next three days preparing to receive Jesus again in the Eucharist. Nevertheless, after her return to Besançon in September 1840, she went to worldly parties that she enlivened with her pretty voice and her gaiety, enjoying the pleasure of appearing at the gatherings and being noticed. Yet, the desire for consecrated life remained vaguely in her mind. So, when the call of the Lord once again began to make itself felt, she confessed her straying and revealed her desire to enter religious life to a priest. Because of her age, the priest hesitated and put of granting her permission while she was so young.

On October 14, 1841, shortly before her sixteenth birthday, Constance was married off by her parents to Mr. Thieulin, a twenty-eight-year-old merchant. Out of respect for them, she accepted the union they had arranged. But her husband, jealous of his young wife’s outgoing personality, did not make her happy. She took refuge in silence and prayer. Through perseverance and her good example, she obtained his conversion and his regular practice of religion. But on July 26, 1846, he died, leaving Constance a childless widow before she had ever reached her twenty-first birthday. One of her brothers who lived in Paris invited her to stay with him. Once again she allowed herself to be intoxicated by worldly success in society, but she remained faithful to religious practice. In February 1848 began the bloody days of revolution that led to the fall of the July Monarchy and the establishment of the Second Republic. Finding herself in the street at the moment that a gun battle broke out, she barely escaped the deadly confrontation. Disconcerted, she returned to Besançon.

 

 

Visitandine

 

Aware of Constance’s aspirations to religious life, her cousin Madame Morel invited her to Belley and put her in contact with Mother Marie Aimée Morel, the superior of the Visitation monastery in Bourg-en-Bresse, who invited her to participate in the retreat to prepare for the Feast of the Sacred Heart (June 15, 1849). Constance agreed as though the Lord;s call had finally become manifest. But at the end of the retreat, she remained hesitant—wouldn’t she do better to enter the Sisters of the Child Jesus, whom she had known since her teenage years?

 

She confided her doubt to Bishop Devie, a friend of the holy Curé of Ars and the bishop of Belley, who advised her to enter the Visitation. As soon as she entered the convent on July 28, 1849, Constance fell prey to painful interior struggles, which she withstood by taking refuge in trust in God. The following November 25th, she took the religious habit and the name

Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart

Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart

of Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart. The first Friday of April 1851, she made her religious profession. She would write, “I felt strongly that my spouse wanted on that day for me to become a victim of love (meaning entirely abandoned to His love) to make reparation to His divine Heart.

 

In spite of her delicate health, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart led the simple life of a Visitandine for a dozen years, fulfilling the duties entrusted to her with her natural gaiety. Her lively intelligence and musical gifts resulted in her appointment to teach at the boarding school attached to the convent. Her students struck bt her supernatural soirit, nicknamed her “Sister of Pure Love.” But these duties were too heavy for her, and were replaced by the job of secretary, in particular responding to the correspondence the convent received. “Oh, how good it must be to die when one has constantly and tenderly loved and served the Spouse Who must judge us all,” she noted. “Seeking in all things to please my heavenly Spouse, desiring nothing but His divine glance, His love alone—this, I feel, is what Jesus strongly demands of me throughout my religious life, for He will be a very jealous Spouse. O my God, are you not enough for me? … Jesus alone when I am with my sisters, Jesus alone in my exercises, Jesus alone in my tasks, in my recreations, in the children, and to strive not only to please MY Spouse but also to take pains in all things to gladden His divine Heart, to Which He has destined me to be a faithful lover.”

 

A mysterious dial

At this time. Preparations were being made for the beatification of Venerable Margaret Mary Alacoque, who had received the grace of numerous apparitions of the Sacred Heart at the convent in Paray-le-Monial two centuries earlier. This event touched the fervent soul of Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, who wished to be able to respond with all the strength of her faith to the Lord’s complaints to Margaret Mary: “Behold this Heart, which has loved men so much, that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and comsumimg itself, in order to testify to them its love; and in return I receive from most of them nothing but ingratitude and scorn…” On June 7, 1862, the community in Bourg-en-Bresse was solemnly consecrated to the Sacred Heart. At the end of the year, most of the nuns in this community signed and act of abandonment to the Heart of Jesus. On the feast of Epiphany 1863, the Sacred Heart was chosen as “King of the Year.” A few weeks later, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart had a mental vision of a dial showing the hours of the day and night. After drawing a reproduction, she wrote the words “glory, love, reparation” around it. She then put the image of the Sacred Heart in the center of the dial. On March 13th, the third Friday of Lent, the Feast of the Five Wounds of Our Lord, she brought this first dial of the Guard of Honor to her superior, who blessed it and gladly agreed to have the names of all the sisters in the community inscribed on it.

 

Those who wish to join this work of reparation can do so by dedicationg an hour each day to the “guard of honor.” Their name will be inscribed on the dial in the place corresponding to the hour they have chosen. During this hour, without changing their activity, they will mentally unite themselves to Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, offering to Jesus whatever they are doing—at school, at work, reading, preparing a meal, doing errands, traveling, studying, doing a favor, praying… They will strive to think a little lore about Jesus and to make at least an act of love, and preferably a small sacrifice. But no particular action is prescribed—only goodwill is required. Thus “members” across the world will succeed each other in “standing guard” at the foot of the Cross, in the company of the Blessed Virgin, Saint Mary Magdalene, and Saint John. Jesus will not be forgotten at any hour during the day.

 

During Holy Mass on the morning of Palm Sunday 1863, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart was touched by these words of the offertory antiphon: My heart hath expected reproach and misery. And I looked for one that would grieve together with me, but there was none, and for one that would comfort me, and I found none (Psalm 68:20). The Guard of Honor precisely has as its principleend consoling the Heart of Jesus. The evening of Holy Wednesday, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart cough up blood. She, who so loved to sing, was then forbidden to sing in the choir for several months. She offered this sacrifice “for the success of the Guard of Honor,” and took advantage of the holy days to refine the structure of the nascent affort. On Good Friday, she composed the short prayer, “The Offering of the Hour of Guard”, which would be adopted by thousands of souls to consecrate themselves to the Heart of Jesus during their chosen hour: “Lord Jesus, present in the tabernacle, I offer Thee this hour with all my actions, my joys, and my sorrows, to glorify Thy Heart with this testiminy of love and reparation. May this offering benefit my brothers and sisters and make of me an intrument in Thy plan of love. With Thee, for Thee, and in Thee, for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth (In. 17:19). Sacred Heart of Jesus, may Thy Kingdom come!”

 

The pierced side

[T]he following June 13th, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart wrote. “I felt, more than ever, what the Heart of Jesus is: an abyss of love, misunderstood, rejected, pushed back to its source. How much this very gentle Heart has suffered and suffers daily from our trememndous ingratitude! I will implore Him to grant me this grace of making Him known and loved a little.” Devotion to the Sacred Heart, Pope Pius XII would later declare, “provides us with a most powerful means of repaying the divine Lord by our own [love]” (Haurietis Aquas, no.6). On Sunday June 15th, the words “cujus latus performatum” (“from whose pierced side”) from the Eucharistic hymn, Ave Verum Corpus (“Hail True Body”) were deeply engraved in the soul pf Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart. It was then that the Guard of Honor seemed to her to be the means provided by Providence to create a special devotion to the wound that the Heart of Jesus had received on the Cross. It would nevertheless be necessary to wait fifteen years before she could add to the dial the lance that pierced Jesus’ Heart—the bishop of Belley was not in favor of it.

 

In the encyclical Haurietis Aquas, published May 5, 1956, Pope Pius XII wrote, “Nothing therefore prevents our adoring the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ as having a part in and being the natural and expressive symbol of the abiding love with which the divine Redeemer is still on fire for mankind. Though it is no longer subject to the varying emotions of this mortal life, yet lives and beats … the Heart of Christ is overflowing with love both human and divine and rich with the treasure of all graces which our Redeemer acquired by His life, suffering and death. It is therefore the enduring source of that charity which is Spirit pours forth on all the members of His Mystical Body. …The faithful must see .. devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus if they desire to penetrate its inner nature and by piously meditating on it, receive the nourishment for the fostering and development of their religious fervor. If this devotion is constantly practiced with this knowledge and understanding, the souls of the faithful cannot but attain to the sweet knowledge of the love of Christ” (nos.85, 100).

 

Unforeseen success

Soon, other monasteries were invited to join this spiritual movement, and the devotion spread by word of mouth to the faithful attracted to this spiritual program. At the monastery of Paray-le Monial, there was great surprise when they received the dial of the Guard of Honor, because the dial exactly like it already had been developed there. One year later, on March 9, 1864, the Guard of Honor was approved by Pope Pius IX and erected as a Confraternity, then raised to an Archconfraternity under Leo XIII on November 26, 1878. The Guard of Honor’s very rapid expansion across the world did not happen without difficulties and sufferings, which had repercussions on the foundress’s fragile health. Victim of this providential yet unforeseen success, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart increased her activities with Church authorities without ever leaving her humble cell, and took on an impressive correspondence. Her time was divided between the infirmary where several times she found herself at death’s door, and her cell, during better periods. During these periods she would work doubly hard, for she saw in them the will of God. Her humility and willing self-effacement were accompanied by an extreme tenderness that made her warmly welcoming to all who suffered. In the Lord’s hands, she showed a total docility to the service of others, and felts particularly responsible for each “member,” as though each were her own child. In her persevering prayer, a deep conviction that she loved to share grew in her: the Merciful Heart of Jesus would grant her request that no “guard” would be lost to Heaven—that is all those inscribed in the Guard of Honor would also be inscribed in the Book of Life (cf. Revelation 21:27). On March 19, 1865, she wrote about the ministers of God: “I understood that the Sacred Heart passionately loves priests, and I will retain this memory forever.”

 

Convinced that others would be more successful in ensuring the Guard of Honor’s permanence, she tried unsuccessfully to entrust it to various communities. It then became clear that the initiative had to remain in the Visitation Order. Like all initiatives inspired by God, the history of the Archconfraternity of the Guard of Honor is marked with the foundress’s tears, sacrifices, humility and total docility. Nevertheless, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart did not encounter only obstacles in the foundation—she also found much support, notably that of Marie Deluil-Martiny, the foundress of the “Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” who would be beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 29, 1989. “The Guard is taking off like a lit fuse!” observed Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart. Along with Saint Francis de Sales, the founder of the Visitation Order, she could say,”I would like the Sacred Heart to have instead of a crown of thorns, a crown formed from the hearts of all mankind!”

 

“First Guard of Honor”

 

 

Pope Pius IX himself would ask to be enrolled in the Guard of Honor on March 25, 1872, and, on July 21, 1875, during the audience granted to a large delegation from the Archconfraternity, would remind them that one of his sweetest glories in life was his title, “First Guard of Honor to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.” Soon more than thirty bishops from France and abroad were enrolled. Through her writings, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart wanted to transmit to each member the love of the Heart of Jesus that consumed her soul. With strength and common sense, she imparted to them a veritable catechesis of the Heart of Jesus so “that not one might be lost for Heaven!.” Laboring in the secrecy of the enclosure, hidden from the world, she left it to God to care for the initiative as He liked. Her correspondence did not end until her death on August 3, 1903.

 

Pope Pius XII wrote, “The Heart of Jesus … [places] before our gaze, all the love with which He has embraced and even now embraces us. Consequently, the honor to be paid to the Sacred Heart is such as to raise it to the rank—so far as external practice is concerned—of the highest expression of Christian piety. … We cannot reach the Heart of God save through the Heart of Christ, as He Himself says:… No one cometh to the Father save by me” (John 14:6). (Haurietes Aquas, no. 106). Nvertheless, the Pope warned, “And, not unreasonably as sometimes happens, accusations of excessive self-love and self-interest are made against those who either misunderstand this excellent form of piety or practice it in the wron way. Hence, let all be completely convinced that in showing devotion to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus the external acts of piety have not the first or most important place; nor is its essence to be found primarily in the benefits to be obtained. For if Christ has solemnly promised them in private revelation it was for the purpose of encouraging men to perform with greater fervor the cief duties of the Catholic reigion, namely, love and expiation” (ibid. 63).

 

Continuing this teaching on the 50th anniversary of the encyclical Haurietes Aquas, Pope Benedict XVI declared: “The Redeemer’s pierced side is the source to which the Encyclical Haurietes Aquas refers us; we must draw from this source to attain true knowledge of Jesus Christ and a deeper experience of His love… Indeed, it is only possible to be Christian by fixing our gaze on the Cross of our Redeemer, on Him Whom they have pierced (John 19:3) …for countless souls the wound in Christ’s side and the marks left by the nails have been the chief sign and symbol of that love, that ever more incisively shaped their life from within” (Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI on Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Encyclical Haurietis Aquas, May 15, 2006).

 

Among the millions of people who have participated in the work, we find besides Blessed Pius IX, Leo XIII, Saint Pius X, Benedict XV and Pius XI, Saint John Bosco, Saint Edward Poppe, Saint Madeleine-Sophie Barat, Saint Daniel Comboni, Father Ratisbonne, Blessed Marcel Callo… In 2007, the Guard of Honor received new impetus when it was established in Pray-le-Monial on January 24th, the feast of Saint Francis de Sales. The Visitation Convent of Saint Mary in this town now houses its international headquarters. On October 4, 2011, Benedict XVI “wholeheartedly granted his apostolic blessing to each of the members and their families.” In March 2013, the 150th anniversary of this initiative was celebrated.

 

 

 

“O sweet Jesus, draw me ever deeper into Your heart, so that your love might engulf me, and I might be drowned in its sweetness!” Let us make this ardent prayer of Saint Francis de Sales our own, so that we might make reparation for the Savior’s infinitely loving heart, too often forgotten, scorned, or wounded by our sins.

 

 

By Dom Antoine Marie, osb

 

 

 

This article is made possible by the permission of the Benedictine Monks of Clairval 

 

The Catholic Items listed come up randomly, occasionally there are things that show up that have nothing to do with this article or the Roman Catholic Church and are to be ignored.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Reading:

Matthew 5:48
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
48Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 25:32
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
32And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:
Matthew 13:49
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
49So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.
Luke 10:27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 5:26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
26Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.
Ephesians 1:10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
10In the dispensation of the fulness of times, to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in him.
Colossians 3:11
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
11Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. But Christ is all, and in all.
Psalm 68:20
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
20Thou knowest my reproach, and my confusion, and my shame.
Revelation 21:27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27There shall not enter into it any thing defiled, or that worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they that are written in the book of life of the Lamb.
John 14:6
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
6Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.
John 19:3
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
3And they came to him, and said: Hail, king of the Jews; and they gave him blows.

“O God…grant to us… that by Thine inspirations we may think what is right, and under Thy guidance perform it.” Collect

The Easter Season contains many very important lessons for overcoming our fallen human nature. Today let’s consider a lesson about keeping our sense of humor in trying situations… a lesson about attaining true happiness even in this life.

 

    The lesson I have in mind flows from this simple fact: in every account of the Resurrection, the disciples were caught off guard because they were expecting something else. The key word here is expecting… Expectations. Ah! Those little mental concepts we formulate ahead of time… little concepts that are very often the sourceof much gain for the devil and much misery for man.

 

    Consider for a moment the disciples on the Road to Emmaus. Walking away from the apostles in the Upper Room on Easter Sunday, they were discussing the things that had happened in Holy Week as well as what St. Mary Magdalene and the other women had lately reported. And the Scriptures tell us, they weresad. They were depressed. Why? Things did not turn out as they had expected! “we hoped that it was He that should have redeemed Israel…”So, they were expecting A-B-C to happen…and instead they got X-Y-Z. Ah…they failed to realize just how good the X-Y-Z was! The Resurrection! The Ascension! Eternal Life!

 

The effects of these expectations on the disciples are sobering: (i) they were walking away from the Apostolic Church symbolized by the apostles gathered in the Upper Room. “This is not what I was looking for in the Church. I am taking a breather.” How many people, falling into some disillusionment start walking away from the Church? Most converts leave the Church within the first year. (ii) Their tongues were loosed. As they were walking away they mulled over their disappointments. The Scriptures say, “in the multitude of words there shall not want sin” (Proverbs 10:19). Surely in their words were various complaints, detractions and perhaps even gossip… “Mary Magdalene…she is sinner, what does she know anyway.” Oh how this is greatly amplified in our times… with blogging, Facebook, texting, cell phones and email! My goodness how the devil must love these times! (iii) Third, they were sad. They were depressed. They were down. Failed expectations cause sadness. More on this in a moment. (iv) They did not recognize the glorious and wonderful truth when it was presented to them… They did not believe St. Mary Magdalene’s report of angels and they did not recognize the Word made flesh when He came to walk among them. Expectations cause a certain blindness in the soul.

 

In a word, we can safely say, forming expectations and holding on to them very often takes away our sense of humor. St. Mary Magdalene was expecting to find the body of Jesus in the tomb in order to give it a proper burial. This is why she and the other women had brought spices with them. When she did not find the body, she wept.

 

Recall the Old Testament story of Naaman found in the 4th Book of Kings. He was the great Syrian general who had leprosy. At the beckoning of a little Hebrew maiden he was encouraged to visit the prophet Eliseus. After making his way to the door of the prophet, not without some trials, he was ready to be healed. But the prophet stayed inside and sent a message to the general to go and bath in the Jordan seven times. The response of Naaman is of key importance.Naaman was angry, and went away, saying: I thought he would have come out to me, and standing, would have invoked the name of the Lord his God, and touched with his hand the place of the leprosy, and healed me” (4Kings 5:10). Ah there it is! “I thought…” The great general was expecting A-B-C…and he got X-Y- Z. Ah!… once again, he failed to see how good the X-Y-Z really was! The result? His tongue was loosed, complaints rolled out… and he became angry. Failed expectations produce anger! No sense of humor here. Yet, we know that cooler heads prevailed, Naaman obeyed and became a wonderful type of the Resurrection… coming out of the waters of the Jordan, with “his flesh restored, like the flesh of a little child: and he was made clean.” And what is more,he was now able to SEE the prophet face to face. His sense of humor was restored, he professed the faith and was glad. “And returning to the man of God, with all his train, he came, and stood before him, and said: In truth, I know there is no other God, in all the earth, but only in Israel: I beseech thee, therefore, take a blessing of thy servant.”

 

When St. Bernadette was seeking to fulfill the 15 days of visits to the Grotto in Lourdes, she was devastated on the 5th day when Our Lady did not come to visit her with an apparition. She was almost inconsolable… She was expecting A-B-C and got X-Y-Z.

 

Oh how much these expectations hurt us… cause us much unnecessary pain and anguish. Consider a few more simple examples: I expect to fall asleep when I go to bed…because I have determined that I need so many hours of sleep to function well. I go to bed on time…and what do you know, I cannot fall asleep for some reason. What is the normal human reaction? We start getting angry that we cannot fall asleep. And that only makes it worse, no? What about driving? Expecting others to be courteous and law abiding? I expect the house to be clean when I get home today? What if it is not? We quickly become angry and miserable creatures. I expect Mass to be so long… I expect the sermon to be 10 minutes… I expect people to dress modestly… children to behave…

 

In getting married, how many fall into this trap! I expect my husband to be like A-B-C…and I got X-Y-Z! Ugggh. I expect my wife to be A-B-C and I got X-Y-Z! Hummm. I wanted children to be this…and I got that. I entered religious life and expected… “I thought…” and I found something very different. “I thoughtthe priesthood would be like… and well, it was not. So many shipwrecks on these shoals of failed expectations… divorces, failed vocations, addictions and habitual sinners are all floundering here!!!

 

I expect A-B-C… come now… when was the last time you really gotA-B-C?! No wonder why we are so unhappy! I have found that Catholics waking up to Tradition and striving with all their might to recover what was lost… have also fallen prey to a sort of failed expectation. Many of us have lived through some of the most trying times the Church has ever experienced! The 60’s, 70’s, 80’s. Many fell away during in this period… only to wake up later. Looking back at their path, they come to the conclusion that IF the men leading the Church at those times had only maintained course… which I, even now, expect them to have done no matter what!… THEN I would not have fallen…I would not have led my family astray for so long… my children would not all befallen away right now. And this failed expectation (formulated mentally after the fact… perhaps partially motivated by a sense of guilt), brings anger. So many Catholics seeking to recover Tradition are angry people. This is why some call them “mad Trads” or “sad Trads.” This is the same pattern people use on their families and parents aswell…looking back they get mad at their failure to live up to their present expectations of what should have been.

 

Let us paint the rest of the picture… as we have seen failed expectations lead to anger. Anger is a passion… meaning that it comes and goes. But anger often produces very powerful experiences at its peak moments. Such strong emotions deposit a bitter memory in the mind. This bitter memory becomes a resentment. Resentments are terrible and nasty things that are hard to overcome. Resentments lead to self-pity…sadness. Poor me! But man hates to feel sorry for himself. It is contrary to his nature. The devil loves to come around at this point and tempt man…with many short cuts to solve his problems… short cuts to feeling good about himself. Giving in, many turn to self-indulge their passions in some way… comfort food, drink, drugs, pleasures of the flesh… entertainment, adventure seeking, etc. … The Poor man then wakes up the next morning…feeling guilty and this renews his anger and the whole cycle begins afresh. Failed expectations, anger, resentment, self-pity, self-indulgence… guilt… anger, resentment, self-pity, self-indulgence.

 

One of the surest ways out of this spiraling cycle of sin and frustration it so get rid these pre-conceived ideas we call expectations. Expect nothing and work with what you have been given. Work on improving your sense of humor and you will see God behind every event. Writing down our expectations can help clarify them and help us to get a good laugh! I am not God… He is “I Am Who Am.” I am “he who is nothing.”

 

The saints fought these human expectations by making resolutions. St. Anthony Mary Claret: “Everything that may happen to me I will consider as coming from Almighty God for my good; and so without ever murmuring I will always say: God’s will be done” (autobiography, p. 169). St. Gabriel Possenti: “I will receive all things from the hand of God, as being sent by Him for my own personal benefit.” And so with all the saints. They had a sense of humor! They recognized in the X-Y-Z situations of their life… stepping stones to something greater… stepping stones to heaven!

 

When we approach a situation without expectations,we are more able to use our reason, to see God working and make good decisions as to what ought to be done. If you came home with no expectations of the house being clean,you would more calmly and reasonably set about cleaning the house and punishing the lazy with a spirit of charity rather than anger. And if the house were clean when coming home, how much more edified you would be!

 

On the other hand, if we approach the situations of our lives, including our very vocations, with expectations, we will sooner or later fulfill these words of St. Philip Neri: “Men are generally the carpenters of their own crosses.” We will construct cross after cross… we will get angry, sad, blog, Facebook, email, and say things we regret and even start to distance ourselves from the Church.

 

When St. Bernadette came on the 9th day to find Our Lady not there for the second time, she was not upset nor devastated. Accepting the X-Y-Z of her situation on the 5th day enabled her to grow spiritually mature… and this enabled her to kiss the ground repeatedly for sinners, as well as to drink and wash in the muddy waters on the 8th day. She gained a sense of humor… Tongues were silenced, truths were confirmed… Bernadette heard Our Lady say: “I am the Immaculate Conception!” Millions have been affected ever since, including thousands upon thousands of conversions… people entering the Apostolic Church. Many souls have recovered a sense of gladness and joy in the waters of Lourdes.

 

I will end with a scene from the life of 19th C. St. Conrad of Parzham which captures these two positions well. As a Capuchin friar working as porter at a Shrine of St. Anne in Germany, St.Conrad had to deal with many beggars. Once a beggar came to the monastery after the best food had been distributed.Br. Conrad explained at that late hour there was little to be had, but he brought him a bowl of soup from the kitchen. After the beggar tasted the food, he immediately threw the bowl at the feet of the brother, saying angrily: “You can eat those slops yourself.” Unruffled, Br. Conrad picked up the pieces of the broken dish and said: “I see you do not like this soup, I will get you something else.”

This is an actual homily given during the Easter season (2013) by a Traditional Roman Catholic Priest.

Hopefully, there will be more to come.

Matthew 5:48
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
48Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 25:32
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
32And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:
Matthew 13:49
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
49So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.
Luke 10:27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 5:26
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
26Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.
Ephesians 1:10
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
10In the dispensation of the fulness of times, to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in him.
Colossians 3:11
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
11Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. But Christ is all, and in all.
Psalm 68:20
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
20Thou knowest my reproach, and my confusion, and my shame.
Revelation 21:27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27There shall not enter into it any thing defiled, or that worketh abomination or maketh a lie, but they that are written in the book of life of the Lamb.
John 14:6
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
6Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.
John 19:3
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
3And they came to him, and said: Hail, king of the Jews; and they gave him blows.
Proverbs 10:19
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
19In the multitude of words there shall not want sin: but he that refraineth his lips is most wise.