“Get outta here,” audibly muttered an elderly gentleman while sitting in a pew at Saint Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church in Farmingville, Long Island, New York, on Friday, December 6, 2002, the Feast of Saint Nicholas and the First Friday of the month of December that year.
“Well, welcome to the Society of Saint Pius X,” I told myself as we made our first tentative steps into the Society’s chapels. “Saint Paul would have had a rough time with this crowd,” I told Sharon later as we drove back with Lucy, who was then just a little over eight months old, to our basement apart in Bethpage, Long Island, New York, thirty miles away.
That would be a common refrain in the years thereafter as our journeys took us to various “unexplored” territories, although, as noted over three years ago now, we were welcomed very warmly by many people in various chapels, including at Saint Michael’s until we came to understand that it is wrong to have any association with a chapel where it is believed that one can recognize the validity of a claimant to the Throne of Saint Peter while reserving the “right” to “sift” through his teachings and pronouncements.
We had gone to Saint Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church for the first time on that day in 2002 as our dear friend, Father Salvatore V. Franco, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn who had been ordained in 1953, was one week away from his death at the age of seventy-six from a blood cancer that he, who had suffered from congestive heart failure for years, did not know he had until just weeks earlier. Father Franco was good enough to offer the Immemorial Mass of Tradition for us in his kitchen in Westbury, New York, shortly after our return to Long Island following Lucy’s birth in Sioux City, Iowa, on March 27, 2002. We had had quite enough of the Protestant and Judeo-Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service during the week, having found refuge from this abomination while I was lecturing in California in the first three months of 2002 by assisting at Masses of independent priests (and at what we realize now were simulations of the true Mass by presbyters). We wanted no more to do with the Novus Ordo and we were going tired of the growing sense of accommodation that we found in indult circles. With Father Franco approaching death, though, we decided that we could have no more contact with the Novus Ordo, and it was this that prompted us to stick our toes into the water at Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Farmingville.
Obviously, one does not want to make a mistake about where to go Mass. It took me about three and one-half years to recognize that the resist but recognize approach of the Society of Saint Pius X was as a recrudescence of the Gallicanism that had been condemned by Pope Pius VI in Auctorem Fidei, August 28, 1794, and that was summarized so brilliantly by a French bishop, Emile Bougaud, in the Nineteenth Century:
The violent attacks of Protestantism against the Papacy, its calumnies and so manifest, the odious caricatures it scattered abroad, had undoubtedly inspired France with horror; nevertheless the sad impressions remained. In such accusations all, perhaps, was not false. Mistrust was excited., and instead of drawing closer to the insulted and outraged Papacy, France stood on her guard against it. In vain did Fenelon, who felt the danger, write in his treatise on the “Power of the Pope,” and, to remind France of her sublime mission and true role in the world, compose his “History of Charlemagne.” In vain did Bossuet majestically rise in the midst of that agitated assembly of 1682, convened to dictate laws to the Holy See, and there, in most touching accents, give vent to professions of fidelity and devotedness toward the Chair of St. Peter. We already notice in his discourse mention no longer made of the “Sovereign Pontiff.” The “Holy See,” the “Chair of St. Peter,” the “Roman Church,” were alone alluded to. First and alas! too manifest signs of coldness in the eyes of him who knew the nature and character of France! Others might obey through duty, might allow themselves to be governed by principle–France, never! She must be ruled by an individual, she must love him that governs her, else she can never obey.
These weaknesses should at least have been hidden in the shadow of the sanctuary, to await the time in which some sincere and honest solution of the misunderstanding could be given. But no! parliaments took hold of it, national vanity was identified with it. A strange spectacle was now seen. A people the most Catholic in the world; kings who called themselves the Eldest Sons of the Church and who were really such at heart; grave and profoundly Christian magistrates, bishops, and priests, though in the depths of their heart attached to Catholic unity,–all barricading themselves against the head of the Church; all digging trenches and building ramparts, that his words might not reach the Faithful before being handled and examined, and the laics convinced that they contained nothing false, hostile or dangerous. (Right Reverend Emile Bougaud, The Life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. Published in 1890 by Benziger Brothers. Re-printed by TAN Books and Publishers, 1990, pp. 24-29.)
It is nevertheless the case that, despite some “unfriendly Indians,” shall we say, among the laity who were most unwelcoming and condemnatory of my indulterer past and highly suspicious of my “conversion” to the cause of tradition, we were most edified by the commitment of the priests of the Society of Saint Pius X to the immutable doctrine of the Social Reign of Christ the King and their uncompromising commitment to opposing the prevailing “popular culture.”. We will always be grateful for the commitment to Catholic teaching found in chapels of the Society of Saint Pius X, praying also, of course, that, just perhaps, one of their bishops and many of their priests will come to recognize that True Popes Never Need to Convert to the Faith.
Hostility to and suspicions about “strangers” in various traditional venues, both in the “resist but recognize” and the sedevacantist camps, betray a most decidedly un-Catholic view of others.
As noted a few years ago now, the clergy and religious and laity of the Society of Saint Pius V are forever on the lookout for “strangers,” people who might be associated with “clergy who derive their orders, whether in whole or in part, from bishops consecrated in the lineage of the late Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc,” a position refuted thoroughly and demolished utterly by Mr. Mario Derksen in Open Letter to Bishop Clarence Kelly. One can see the “looks,” the suspicions and then hear the whispers and the muttering that takes place as the “stranger,” suspected immediately of being a “Thucie,” if you will, is placed under observation until he gets that tap on the shoulder while attempting to recollect himself for the offering of the perfect prayer that is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Such suspicions are not limited to the Society of Saint Pius V. Oh, far from it, sad to report.
Indeed, one of the most disturbing things that we have heard in the past decade was how an independent, militantly anti-sedevacantist priest gave instructions to his ushers not to permit “strangers” into his chapel, explaining that a priest must “know” who is going to his Mass. This attitude was expressed again three years ago by one of his clerical admirers whilst we were at breakfast with him. Our mouths were agape with shock. Since when is this anything other than cult-like behavior? Since when?
I defy anyone to cite any precedent for this in any functioning parish of the Catholic Church prior to the “election” of “Saint John XXIII” on October 28, 1958.
Catholics, especially in urban and suburban areas, moved freely from one parish to another for Mass on weekdays and on many Sundays as their travels or schedules required. They were not viewed with hostility or suspicion as they entered the doors of a Catholic Church. They were not questioned as to their Catholic credentials. They simply took their places quietly and recollected themselves for the offering of the unbloody perpetuation of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’s one Sacrifice to the Father on the wood of the Holy Cross in Spirit and in Truth in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. No priest in the 1950s, for example, “had to know” each of the several hundred people who might be assisting at any one of his offerings of Holy Mass. A priest with the mind of Christ the King and whose heart is conformed to Our King’s Most Sacred Heart through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary does not live in fear and he never worries about who is going to be at his Mass.
Let us call habitual, institutionalized pastoral policies of hostility to and/or suspicions about “strangers” by its proper name: Xenophobia. It is nothing other than that, and it must be condemned as thoroughly foreign to the tender mercies of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is shameful and calls to mind the hateful, mean-spirited behavior of those whose hearts were darkened by the Albigensian heresy that Our Lady instructed Saint Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers, to fight and to destroy by means of the Most Holy Rosary that she gave to him to pray and to promote.
No one is a stranger to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Let me reiterate this point in case any of the very few readers of this site missed it.
No one is a stranger to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus suffered for all men. The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus beats for us in the Most Blessed Sacrament awaiting acts of love from every man alive on the face of the earth, being repaid, however, with such lukewarmness and tepidity and ingratitude from those who think that they are more trustworthy than the “strangers” who might have mustered up the courage to take some baby steps out of the counterfeit church of conciliarism to embrace the truth of our ecclesiastical situation in this time of apostasy and betrayal. How is it not possible to see the image of the suffering Christ in those souls placed within our paths by Divine Providence, less yet treat them as strangers deserving of fear and suspicion?
Many have been the times when Our Lord or one of His saints appeared in a hidden form to test the charity of men, to see if they would extend to a child or to a beggar the care and concern and gentleness of heart that they would give to Him.
Saint Edward the Confessor, for example, had a great devotion to Saint John the Evangelist, Our Lord’s beloved disciple. Disguised as a poor man begging for alms, Saint John appeared to Saint Edward the Confessor, the just king of England from 1042 to 1066 who governed according to the Mind of Christ the King and sought to be just to his subjects. Having no money on his person, Saint Edward took off his royal ring and gave it to the beggar. Saint Edward did not recognize the beggar as the saint to whom he was very devoted. It did not matter to him. Saint Edward took the man to be one of his subjects. This did not matter to him. He treated him the way that he would have treated Our Lord in the very flesh. And Saint John sent the ring back to Saint Edward with a message that foretold the latter’s death.
Saint John of God, journeying in what appeared to most men to be an aimless manner, going from here to there so frequently that he was thought to be utterly mad, carried the Christ Child for a long distance, not knowing at first Who he had on his strong back. He was not afraid of the stranger, not afraid of what the stranger would “do” to him. Why? Because he had the loving, trusting heart of the Divine Redeemer and because he trusted not in his physical strength, which was immense, or any kind of weapons such as he used during his time as a soldier. He trusted in the power of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary. He explained his trust to his spiritual director, Saint John of Avila, who never ceased to be amazed by his directee’s Christ-like trust and faith:
“What if doors are slammed in your face?”
“Then they are, although I can’t think they will be. That was never my experience in the past.”
“In the past, you presented a quite different appearance. Not that you went about in shining garments, but at least you were a conventionally attired giant. Now you’re a giant in fustian girt with rope. Head bare. Feet bare. Your height, your flesh pared down to the bone by penances, your garb may well arouse doubts and questions. Don’t forget that the Castilian peasant has something of the gypsy in his make-up. He is changeable of mind and often superstitious. Other pilgrims don cloaks, carry long staffs and have cockleshells on their hats. These externals identify them and readily gain them food and lodging. You’ve no cloak nor rod scallop shell, that ancient emblem of the pilgrim. Who will believe you are going to Guadalupe?
“I don’t know, replied John,” “and I cannot see that it matters. In the end, it is not what I wear that will determine whether I find shelter or not, but the mysterious will of God. As for cloak, staff and shell, what use are they?” Touching his rosary, he said, “Our Lady’s beads are greater protection than any cloak.” (Corville Newcomb Brother Zero: A Story of the Life of Saint John God, Dodd and Mead and Company, 1959, p. 126.)
Yes, there are times when “strangers” mean us harm.
Saint Meinrad knew that the men coming to visit him in his hermitage were going to rob and kill him. He invited them into his hermitage nevertheless. He treated them the way that he would have treated Our Lord, knowing that he would have to make an accounting of himself to Him in a very short time. He did not want to die exercising his legitimate right of self-defense. He died showing men intent on doing him violence the very kindness and solicitude that he showed everyone else who found his various hermitages even though he preferred the solitude of prayer. No one was a “bother” to him. He made time for all. His needs were secondary to those who came to call upon him to seek his counsel and direction. And it was this that he gave to the men who killed him. It is thus not for nothing that Saint Meinrad is known as the “Martyr of Hospitality.” That is indeed quite a different approach than that of fear and suspicion that is exhibited by some tradtionally-minded Catholic clergy and priests when it comes to refusing to give to others the tenderness of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus that is given so readily to them.
A similar example of Catholic charity exhibited to a visitor known to be dangerous was that given us by Father Eldred Leslie, a traditional priest in the Republic of South Africa, who was murdered in January of 2009 by a man who had stolen from him before. He did not go into hiding even though he had been robbed by many people in the past, including by the man who would murder him. He continued serving out in the open, fearless of the consequences, knowing that he had to extend the charity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to all he encountered:
According to Kenny, this was not the first time that his uncle had fallen victim to crime since arriving in the area about ten years ago. “Since arriving here he has been robbed and had his house broken into about 15 times and that’s a conservative figure” he said.
Despite all this Father Leslie continued to do good in the area. He was well known in the area especially for his work with street children and the poor. “He gave street children and destitute people food and even paid school fees for some of the children,” Kenny said. (Fr. Eldred Lesley Murdered in Johannesburg.)
Father Leslie is also a martyr of hospitality and charity, is he not?
Indeed, the openness of Catholic parishes throughout her history has subjected priests to all manner of dangers. Those who are especially close to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary know that it is a privilege to die while offering–or preparing to offer–the ineffable Sacrifice of the Cross that is Holy Mass. A Franciscan priest named Father Leo Heinrichs died as a martyr of the Eucharist, being ready to accept whatever kind of death that God will send him, praying, though, to die at the feet of Our Lady herself. His prayer was answered at Saint Elizabeth’s Church in Denver, Colorado, where he served as superior of the Franciscan monastery and pastor of the parish:
Father Leo was traveling again after three years. He arrived in Denver on Sept. 23, 1907, to take up his new assignment — superior of the monastery and pastor of St. Elizabeth’s Church.
Five months later, in mid-February, he addressed a parish women’s group. His listeners would recall a comment he made: “How sweet it is to die at the feet of Mary!”
At a funeral on Friday, Feb. 21, 1908, Father Leo offered this thought in his eulogy — “Death may come at any time and under peculiar circumstances. We must live so that when the end comes we will be at peace with God, and then to us death will have no terror, but will be merely the transition to a happier life.”
The next day, he changed the priests’ Sunday Mass schedule. He chose to offer the 6 a.m. Mass instead of his usual 8 a.m. service, so that he could attend a Knights of Columbus Communion breakfast.
In the congregation for the 6 a.m. Mass was 50-year-old Giuseppe Alia, a baptized Catholic who had fled from Sicily with an anarchist sect. He exiled to South America, where his group determined to kill priests who had opposed their propaganda. Alia was designated the sect’s assassin.
A targeted Italian priest was believed to have moved to the United States, and Alia followed his trail to New York City. The intended prey was subsequently believed to have continued on to Denver, bringing his hunter to the Rocky Mountain city. Unable to find the Italian priest, Alia settled on taking down any priest.
As the time for distribution of Holy Communion arrived at the 6 a.m. Mass on Feb. 23, 1908, Alia joined the faithful who knelt at the altar railing. After Father Leo placed the host on Alia’s tongue, the stranger spat the wafer to the floor, then reached into his bulky winter coat and pulled a pistol from the band of his trousers.
An altar boy, seeing the weapon, tried to alert Father Leo, but there was no time. Aiming directly at the priest’s heart, Alia pulled the trigger.
Father Leo fell in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary — “How sweet it is to die at the feet of Mary” — and struggled to make his last priestly act, recovering two of the blessed hosts from the floor and returning them to his chalice.
Witnesses said that he had a smile on his face while he was being administered the Last Rites of the Catholic Church.
An off-duty police officer and others in the church tackled Alia as he attempted to flee. (Father Leo Heinrichs, Martyr of the Eucharist.)
Here is another account of the martyrdom of Father Leo Heinrichs, O.F.M., who, apart from being a martyr of the Eucharist, is also the Protomartyr of Colorado:
Father Leo Heinrichs, O.F.M., arrived at St. Elizabeth’s on September 23rd, 1907. His term as pastor lasted exactly five months. Soon the poor of Denver learned they had a friend in the pastor of St. Elizabeth’s, and every morning a line formed at the friary gate. No one went away without food and a kind word. Father Leo received permission to return to Germany to visit his family after an absence of over twenty one years; but he postponed his journey until after June 7th, 1908, when he planned to give First Communion to a class of seventy children. Death interrupted Father Leo’s plans.
A week before his death, Father Leo spoke at the Young Ladies’ Sodality meeting. He remarked, while speaking of the Ever-Immaculate Mother of God, “If I had my choice of a place where I would die, I would choose to die at the feet of the Blessed Virgin.” Father Leo usually went to confession on Tuesdays, but he also made his confession the night before his death. That Saturday night he asked Father Wulstan Workman to celebrate the 8 a.m. Mass, so that he (Father Leo) could attend a meeting. That change to the 8 a.m. Mass spared Father Wulstan’s life, and led to Father Leo’s murder at the early Mass.
Father Leo’s murderer was a fifty year old anarchist, Giuseppe Alia, recently arrived through Ellis Island. Alia hated priests because of some wrong, real or imagined, that he suffered in Sicily. The would-be assassin arrived before Mass and seated himself in the third row, in front of the pulpit, alone in the congregation of three hundred souls. The anarchist intended to shoot a priest during the homily, but at the 6 a.m. “Workingmen’s Mass,” there was only a short sermon from the altar steps, so the men would not be late for work. Thwarted but undismayed, Alia remained at Mass, and at Communion knelt at the altar rail to receive the Host from Father Leo. Alia received the Host, then spat it into his hand and flung it at Father Leo’s face. The Host dropped to the floor outside the communion rail as Alia drew his handgun and aimed it at Father Leo’s heart. An altar boy screamed “Look out, Father!” as the anarchist fired at Father Leo. The mortally wounded priest exclaimed “My God, my God!” The priest fell to the floor; he placed the ciborium on the step of Our Lady’s altar, and managed to place two spilled Hosts back into the ciborium before strength left him. In a last gesture, Father Leo pointed to the spilled Hosts that he was now too weak to pick up. Rose Fisher, an eyewitness, reported that Father Leo died smiling, at the foot of the Blessed Mother’s altar. Father Wulstan Workman, who had switched with Father Leo for the later Mass, administered the Last Rites. Father Wulstan told the Denver Post, “I would have been killed and he would be alive now. There is one way to solve the affair that I can see, and that is that God chose the better man.”
Alia attempted to flee the Church, but E.J. Quigley, a conductor for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, tripped him, and Daniel Cronin, an off-duty policeman, subdued and arrested the murderer. Alia stated that, if he had not been stopped, he would have shot more priests. Alia was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death within a few weeks of the murder. Shortly before the execution, a Franciscan priest from St. Elizabeth’s visited Alia in prison. The unrepentant anarchist cursed and swore at the priest. Alia never expressed any remorse, and, despite the pleas of the friars at St. Elizabeth’s, he was hanged at the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City. Alia’s last words, reportedly, were “Death to the priests!”
At the post mortem examination, the coroner found that a bullet through the left ventricle of Father Leo’s heart was the cause of his death. The anarchist had loaded his pistol with sharpened bullets, so, as the murderer thought, to inflict maximum damage. The coroner also found that Father Leo’s upper arms and waist were wrapped in leather straps. Each strap was studded with rows of pointed iron hooks, which pierced the skin. Around the priest’s waist the skin was calloused and scarred, but showed no sign of infection. Father Leo secretly practiced this extreme form of mortification, perhaps to help him master his quick temper. None of his confreres had any idea of his self-inflicted penances. When the friars entered Father Leo’s room after his death, they found that he slept on a wooden door. Also discovered in his room was a translation Father Leo made, from German to English, of the life of Father Victorin Delbrouck, O.F.M., a young Belgian missioner who died a martyr in China in 1898. The short biography was published after Father Leo’s death.
Because of the murder, Bishop Nicholas Matz of Denver had to reconsecrate St. Elizabeth’s church. Father Leo Heinrich’s funeral, on February 26th, 1908, was the largest seen in Denver in many years. The Governor of Colorado and the Mayor of Denver attended, as well as thousands of ordinary folks. The crowds followed the cortege to the railroad station, where Father Leo’s casket was placed on an eastbound train. After a four day journey, Father Leo’s body returned to St. Bonaventure’s in Paterson, New Jersey. Twenty thousand people viewed Father Leo’s body at the friary there. On March 2nd, 1908, after the funeral Mass at St. Bonaventure’s, three thousand accompanied his body across the Passaic River to burial in the Franciscans’ plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa, New Jersey. Father Leo was buried in his Franciscan habit, sandals on his feet, and a purple and gold stole over his shoulders.
In 1911, the Franciscan church in East Paterson (now Elmwood Park), New Jersey, was dedicated to St. Leo the Great, but was named in memory of Father Leo Heinrichs, O.F.M. (Father Leo Heinrich, O.F.M.)
Everyone is welcome in a Catholic church. Everyone, including those who might very well do us harm. There is never any reason to fear. Our Lady has our “backs” now and for all eternity. That was good enough for the martyrs. Isn’t it good enough for us?
There is no injustice or madness or imprudence in this if we consider how cruel and ungrateful we have been to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus by treating It with such coldness and neglect, by making us strangers to Its love for us by refusing to make time, if at all possible in this era of apostasy and betrayal, to spend time in prayer before the Most Blessed Sacrament in Which It awaits our acts of adoration, thanksgiving, reparation and petition. We are the ones who have estranged ourselves from the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Consider this prayer composed by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in honor of her Divine Visitor, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who revealed to her the secrets of His Most Sacred Heart:
O Divine Heart of Jesus, inexhaustible Source of love and goodness, ah! how I regret that I have forgotten Thee too much and loved Thee so little! O Sacred Heart, Thou dost merit the reverence and love of all hearts which Thou hast cherished so much and laid under infinite obligations. And yet Thou dost receive from the greater number nothing but ingratitude and coldness, and especially from my own heart which merits Thy just indignation. But Thy Heart is all full of goodness and mercy, and of this I wish to avail myself to obtain reconciliation and pardon. O Divine Heart, I grieve intensely when I see myself guilty of such cowardice and when I consider the ungrateful conduct of my wicked heart, which has so unjustly stolen the love that it owes to Thee and bestowed it on myself or on vain amusements.
O Heart most meek, if the sorrow and shame of a heart that recognizes its error can satisfy Thee, pardon this heart of mine for it is sorry for its infidelity and ashamed of the little care which it has taken to please Thee by its love. O Sacred Heart of my Saviour, what could I expect from all this but Thy displeasure and condign punishment if I did not hope in Thy mercy. O, Heart of my God, Heart most holy, Heart to which alone belongs to pardon sinners, do Thou in Thy mercy pardon this poor miserable heart of mine. All its powers unite in a supreme effort to make reparations to Thee for its wanderings from Thee and the disordered application of its love.
Ah! how have I been able hitherto to refuse Thee my heart, I who have so many obligations to make Thee its sole possessor, nevertheless I have done so. But now how I regret that I have wandered away from Thee, from the love of Thee who art the Source of all goodness, in a word, from the Heart of my Jesus, who although needing me not, hast sought me out and lavished Thy favors on me. O adorable Heart of Jesus, is it possible that my heart can have treated Thee thus, my heart which depends entirely on Thy love and thy benefits and which, if Thou shouldst take them from it, would fall into the utmost extremes of misery or be reduced to nothingness? Ah! how I am beholden to Thy goodness, O indulgent Heart of my Saviour, for having borne with me so long in my ingratitude! Oh! how timely Thy mercies come to pardon my poor, inconstant heart!
O Heart of my Jesus, I now consecrate to Thee and give Thee all my love and the source of my love, which is my heart; I give Thee both irrevocably, although with great confusion for having so long refused Thee Thine own possessions. O Divine Heart, my very capability of bestowing my poor hear on Thee is a proof of Thy great love for me, but alas! I have availed myself badly of such a favorable opportunity to merit Thy love and grace. Oh! how great is my confusion at the thought of this! O Heart of my Jesus, reform my faithless heart, grant that henceforth it may bind itself to Thy love by its own, and that it may approach Thee as much in the future as it has wandered away from Thee in the past, and as Thou art the Creator of my heart, may Thou, I beseech Thee, one day give it the crown of immortality.
We have wounded the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. We have done so. I know only too well the vain amusements that occupied my life for far too long, vain amusements for which I must make reparation until the day I die.
Oh, yes, we do indeed wound the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus so carelessly and so frequently, do we not? All the more reason to be even more careful in returning a true love from our truly repentant hearts to the very font of Divine Love, something that Father John Croiset noted:
Consider that it was no less afflicting and sad for Jesus Christ to see the ingratitude of the majority of the faithful, who would have only coldness and indifference for Him in the Sacrament of His love. He saw the little esteem, nay, even the contempt with which they would treat this greatest proof of His love. He saw that no matter what He might do to be loved by the faithful, even dwelling always amongst them in the Blessed Eucharist, neither this excess of His love, nor His benefits, nor His very presence would be capable of making the greater part of them love Him or would prevent them from forgetting Him. he saw that those churches in which He was to be sacramentally present would be left for most of the time without adorers. He saw what little reverence, nay, what disrespect would be shown in His presence. He saw clearly how the greater part of His followers, who spend long hours in vain amusement and useless visits and complete idleness, would rarely find a quarter of an hour to spend before Him in the Blessed Sacrament. He knew how many others would visit Him only under compulsion and without either devotion or reverence. And finally, He saw the very small number who would eagerly visit Him and devoutly adore Him. He saw clearly that the greater number take no more notice of Him than if He were not really present in the Blessed Sacrament or than if He were a person of no consequence.
The harsh treatment which He received from the Jews, Gentiles and heretics was indeed very painful to Him, but they were His open enemies. But could we ever thought it possible that those who recognize His benefits, that those who make profession of being faithful to Him, that His own children should not only be insensible to His benefits and in no way touched with compassion at the sight of the grief caused by such contempt, but that they should treat Him with contempt by their irreverences and sacrileges? Our Saviour might well say: “If pagans and Turks and infidels had treated Me so, I might have endured it.” “for if my enemy had reviled me, I would verily have borne it”. (Ps. 54:13), but that Christians, Catholics whom I have not only redeemed, but have fed and nourished with my Body and Blood, should have nothing but contempt for Me, that they should treat Me with ingratitude, is too much. “But thou a man of one mind, my guide and my familiar: who didst take sweetmeats together with me! (Ps. 54: 14-15)
What must be the sentiments of this most generous and tender Heart of Jesus which has so loved men, and which finds in the hearts of those men only coldness and contempt? “I am become a reproach among my enemies.” (Ps. 30: 12). If after exposing Myself to the contempt and hatred of My enemies in the midst of the outrages which I suffer, I could at least find a large number of faithful friends who would console Me! But it is quite the contrary: “They that saw me without fled from me.” (Ps. 30:12) The greater number, seeing that I have disguised Myself under the feeble appearance of bread in order to have the pleasure of dwelling among men, abandon Me and forget Me as a person who has no place in their hearts, “I am forgotten as one dead from the heart.” (Ps. 30:13) (Father John Croiset, The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, republished by TAN Books and Publishers.)
No one is a stranger to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
We cannot estrange ourselves from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus more than we have already in our lives by viewing with fear and suspicion those we consider to be “strangers,” especially when we consider how little we have returned by way of fervent receptions of Holy Communion, time spent in abiding prayer before the Most Blessed Sacrament and our acts of love and reparation during the course of a day to the Heart of Hearts that was pierced with lance as It poured out the sacramental elements of Blood and water onto the earth.
May each Rosary we pray help to melt our hardened hearts and to see in each person a child of God by adoption, treating him with the love that the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus gives us with such ardor and fidelity no matter how far we have strayed, no matter how little good use we have made of Its tender mercies in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance.
Isn’t it time to pray a Rosary of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
Isn’t it time to pray a Rosary now?
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.